Sobór Watykański II, który był największym wydarzeniem we współczesnej historii chrześcijaństwa, zainicjował proces otwarcia i reformy Kościoła katolickiego na niespotykaną dotąd skalę. Przez trzy lata dyskutowano na temat najważniejszych tematów, zarówno natury czysto teologicznej i eklezjalnej, jak i pastoralnej i misyjnej. Jednym z tych soborowych tematów było także ożywienie braterskich relacji między katolikami i nie-katolikami. W artykułe dokonano analizy jednego z najważniejszych teologicznych tematów, który niestety pozostał w wyniku soborowej i postsoborowej dyskusji przeszkodą w rzeczywistym dialogu o przywróceniu jedności między katolikami a prawosławnymi. Jest nim prymat papieski, który prawosławni postrzegają jako wynik ludzkiej inwencji, pozbawionej solidnych biblijnych i patrystycznych podstaw. Ternin ten pojawił się po 1054 roku jako podstawowa cecha polityki religijnej związanej z prymatem Rzymu. Kościół prawosławny wierzy w możliwość przywrócenia jedności chrześcijan, jednak nie zgadza się na interkomunię bez uprzedniego osiągnięcia jedności w wierze. Stąd też oczekuje się od Kościoła katolickiego decyzji porzucenia roszczenia prymatu i papieskiej nieomylności bądź też ich przekształcenia zgodnie tradycją pierwszych wieków. Również oczekuje się redefinicji relacji między biskupem Rzymu a kolegium katolickich biskupów w sensie rzeczywistej i efektywnej synodlaności.
The paper outlines the Catholic and the Evangelical standpoint on the primate’s function served by the Bishop of Rome and its origin. The controversy revolves around the key phrase, iure divino and iure humano, which points to the divine or human origin of the primacy. In the Catholic perspective, Jesus Christ brought the Church into existence and provided this institution with permanent structural elements: primacy and apostolate. This thesis, considered an imperative of faith, is based on the texts of the Gospel which underscore the primacy of Saint Peter the Apostle among the Twelve and in the early Church. According to the Catholic ecclesiology, it was not only a private privilege enjoyed by Peter but a permanent element of the structure of the Church, which received the formal status of a dogma at the First Vatican Council. From the outset, the Reformation has assumed that primacy is an element shaped in the course of the historical development of the Church. The ecumenical dialogue between Catholicism and Lutheranism led to the establishment of a standpoint veering towards the consideration of the origin of primacy as a matter of lesser consequence. This step was taken in order to underscore the communal dimension of the Church, with its important function in unifying Christianity and presenting it to the world. The basic premise giving credence to this function is its foundation in the Gospel.
The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is the term for the highest office in the Church. It consists in carrying out a mission appointed to St. Peter and his successors by Christ. The truth about the primacy is a theoretical plane, dogmatically defined at the I Vatican Council in 1870. It also has a practical dimension, which depends on the individual popes and the particular historical context. A characteristic feature of the pontificate of John Paul II was the implementation of the reforms of the II Vatican Council and the Church’s preparation for the Great Jubilee of the third millennium. John Paul II realized the primacy function in accordance with the tradition of the Church, on the grounds of the biblical image of Peter the Apostle, and continuing the line of his predecessors – John XXIII and Paul VI. The leading element of his pontificate was the openness to the world, to man and his dignity, or sensitivity to the signs of the times. The priority at the level of ecclesial unity was a concern for the community at all levels, including the ecumenical field. John Paul II realized the primacy ministry as Servus servorum Dei, in the ancient formula – priority in love .
The main objective of the paper is to show original theological emphasis on Peter the Apostle. Chapter 21 is considered to be a later addition to the Gospel of John. It is necessary to pay a special attention to related issues of editorial text. Despite its seemingly simple structure John 21: 15-19 poses other challenges. One of them is a puzzling variation of terminology. It is therefore necessary to draw attention to possible variants of critical-literary assessment of the biblical text. In John 21: 15-19 Peter is presented as a shepherd. This par-ticular mission is given to him by the Risen Jesus. The flock, which he has to feed, remains Jesus’ property. John 21:18-19 associated the ministry of Peter with his martyrdom. The entire passage has an ecumenical significance. The delegation of pastoral authority can be treated as a one-off event. The historical context of John 21 indicates the unifying character of the ministry of Peter the Apostle. Proper reading of the text can facilitate dialogue on the nature of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
The article tries to find a possible model of role that the papal office can play for ec-umenical dialogue. First, the author reviews opinions about the pope and his office issued by the Evangelical Church in the 16th century, especially in Martin Luther’s theology. In the second step, there is an analysis of the ‘pope’ understanding presented by the modern Polish Lutheran theology. According to the applied method of “unity in reconciled diversity” it seems that the pope, as a head of the Roman Catholic Church could be understood as primus inter pares. The article develops the possible consequence of this papal duty in the vision of the ecumenical Pentarchy. It would be an ecumenical collaboration between the 5 biggest traditions of the modern Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Eastern Pre-Chalcedonian Churches, Anglicanism and Lutheran Protestantism. This model does not mean a way to the institutional primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
One of the essential problems in the relationship between Catholic-Orthodox churches is the difference in the interpretation of the current forms of the primacy in the Church of the Bishop of Rome. Contemporary studies on the essence and on the method of accom-plishing this service on behalf of the universal Church’s unity assumed new dynamics after the publication of the ecumenical encyclical letter of John Paul II – Ut unum sint. The Pope addressed and requested the pastors and theologians to establish with him a “patient and fraternal dialogue” (see US 95-96), for both parties to strive to achieve “the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned” (US 95). The contemporary Orthodox theologians, based on the results of historical studies, are con-vinced that the idea of the Roman primacy has been always presented in the theological awareness of the Christian East. The Eastern Churches do not negate the primacy of the Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, and as the first bishop of the whole Church. Recognizing the primacy of the Holy See as an incontestable historical fact, the Orthodox theologians see the crucial problem in the determination of its nature. They do not accept the primacy in the juridical sense.
Joseph Ratzinger discusses papal primacy in the Church, which is a communio based on the relationship between primacy and collegiality. Therefore, he supports jurisdictional primacy executed not in a monarchical way, but collegially, with the Pope as the head of the college of bishops. Joseph Ratzinger discusses the Petrine primacy in the New Testament, which he considers a starting point for a discussion about the succession of Peter’s office, choosing (via media) between papalism and conciliarism. He, therefore, focuses on the personal aspect of primacy connected with a given person. Moreover, the article discusses the relationship between the papacy and doctrinal infallibility. It also poses the question whether after his renunciation Benedict XVI still retains the charisma of doctrinal infallibility (or authentic orthodoxy) and how this refers to the current Pope Francis.
”The 500th anniversary of the Reformation for the Orthodox Church is not a special reason for joy, because that was another division in the Church” – Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) said. Although it concerned the relationship between Luther and the Western Church, its reference became the Orthodox Church, in which Luther sought primary teaching and ecclesiology. The proof of this was the Leipzig dispute, during which the primacy, liturgy, structure of the Church, the teaching of justification and purgatory, Luther confronted with the teaching of the Orthodox Church. If Luther saw in the Orthodox Church a framework for his reform, why did he not decide to convert to the Eastern Church? Karmires, emphasizing Luther’s great knowledge of the Orthodox Church, claims, however, that it had only a superficial character, lacking empirical knowledge. He also concludes that Luther neither wanted nor accepted Orthodoxy because of his affection to the mentality of the Western Church and to scholastic theology as well.
As we know the idea of papacy defined during the First Vatican Council is one of the biggest problems for the unity of Christian Churches. The author of this article attempts to re-interpret the statements of the Council relating to this matter. It will be done against the background of the theology of faith that definitely relates the content of faith (fides quae) to the fides qua. In this way, certain statements regarding faith, also referring to the pope, are relativized, but not in the sense of elimination, but in the sense of their intense reference to the center of biblical faith. We have also the possibility to give every time a new shape of papacy, understood as a “ministry of unity”.
The article compares two models of the Church government, which since Vatican II are often in a certain antagonism in the Catholic Church. The model of „Communio” builds the Universal Church from the local church (i.e. the diocesis); the model of „Iurisdictio” (or „Hierarchy”) starts from the primacy of jurisdiction of the bishop of Rom (and separates „ordo“ and „iurisdictio”) The author proposes (with Walter Kasper) a synthesis of „iuris-dictio” and „ordo” as a theological theme for the third Christian millennium. A special place is given to the discussion of the ecclesiology of Joseph Ratzinger, who demonstrates a development from the significance of the collegiality of the episcopate to the „martyria” of the single bishop in the relation of primacy and collegiality