Comments: women bishops: two press releases

No-one in Rome seems the least concerned that the Bishops of Rome's claim to be King of the Bishops presents a major obstacle to unity as far as we and pretty everyone else is concerned. So, the goal for unity is what, doctrinal agreement with Rome?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 9 July 2008 at 11:07pm BST

Thanks be to God---Holy Li Tim-Oi, continue to pray for us!

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 12:18am BST

King of bishops... I have never seen that title before...where is it Ford. Catholics do not see him , as like one of those grotesque caricatures you see in the popular press, with a great head in disproportion to the body.

Catholicism is truth, proportion and beauty.

Bishops are brother bishops, and he just has the powwer to intervene if there isan extraordinary issue amongst the ordinaries.

By the way I think the statement by the women at WATCH that Catholicism does not recognise is spot one. According to the Catholic Church Anglicanism lost its apostolicity first in 1550 ( with its new Ordinal) and finally in 1559, not in 2008.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 6:17am BST

"Anglican churches", not "The Anglican Church."

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 6:25am BST

"Bishops are brother bishops, and he just has the powwer to intervene if there is an extraordinary issue amongst the ordinaries"

RIW, first of all my "king of the bishops" was a bit of hyperbole for effect. All the same, the above quote is not entirely accurate. The Papal claims were the inciting cause of the Great Schism, and played a great role in the Reformation. The Pope claims authority to do far more than merely intervene as the elder brother. The situation you describe sounds like what Orthodox and Anglicans want the situation to be rather than an accurate description of what actually is.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 12:53pm BST


I will try to interpret your words in the most generous way possible. If you meant to say that the Pope was a super-bishop, to call him "king of the bishops" is an overstatement at best and a caricature at worst. Yet the substance of that statement is consistent with Unam Sanctam and other similar papal claims made in the past, culminating in the infallibility doctrine of Vatican I, the attempt to balance it with collegiality at Vatican II, and the Holy Office trying to retract it a bit just after Lumen Gentium was passed.

I think Robert does not realize the reality of the situation, because while bishops are theoretically brothers and equals, the Roman Church seems to have made it clear that one bishop is more equal than the rest, and in the minds of ordinary Catholics, the Pope is sometimes seen as a "super-bishop." That's how most people see him. Not necessarily the king, but someone more than a mere diocesan bishop.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 2:52pm BST

Robert Ian Williams wrote: “Catholicism is truth, proportion and beauty.”

No, no, dear RIW. That is Neo Platonism ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 4:06pm BST

À propos de the Bishop of Rome and Kings, Innocentius IV did claim that he “deposed” and excommunicated Emperor Fredric II in 1245 17/8, didn’t he?

And his son Conrad II, 1228 King of Jerusalem, 1235 Duke in Schwaben, 1237 Roman King, 1250 King of Naples and Sicily??

And the grandson Corradino was betrayed, executed in Naples in 1268 by a Rival king set up by Rome???

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 4:25pm BST

Ren, I'll tone it down. Yet, up till Paul VI, popes were crowned, a powerful symbol of monarchical authority. No Bishop of Rome has styled himself as such, certainly, and I do believe the successor of Peter deserves more respect than that shown by my statement. I do, however, feel that Popes claim more than just status as primus inter pares. It was a major contributor to the great Schism, and the Anglican break with Rome (that and the political insecurity and laciviousness of a certain king), and the solidification of Papal power has progressed since then. Still, sorry to give offence, I will be more circumspect in future.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 5:49pm BST

Indeed they do, Ford, indeed they do. I would only hope that the Pope's aides take the "servus servorum Dei" title more seriously sometimes, now that the problem is bishops who whack people with their staves first before listening to them... especially, of course, gays and lesbians.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Friday, 11 July 2008 at 2:04am BST
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