Art and Faith, Too

Friday, 26 August 2011

Unknown Artist. Pope John VII. Pinacoteca Vaticana. VATICAN CITY (Roma)

Pope John VII

Unknown Artist

8th century

Pinacoteca Vaticana. Vatican Museums



John VII (circa 650-707) (ruled 705-707) is one of the Popes of Rome labelled as being under the “Byzantine Captivity“. That terminology is asinine… “Byzantine” is a Germanic neologism of the 16th century, to use it for earlier periods is anachronistic, and we Orthodox shouldn’t tolerate its usage amongst us. In any case, Rome was under Imperial (that’s to say, New Roman) rule from 532 to 751, so, it’s natural that the Vasileos/Imperator would approve episcopal elections, just as he did in other parts of the Empire… that’s an integral part of the concept of “Symphonia”. John’s father was the imperial cura palatii urbis Romae, or Administrator of the Palatine Hill; native Romans (Latin-speaking “Italians“, if you will) were an integral part of Imperial society. In like manner, the Popes of Rome were part of the Pentarchy (the five Ancient Patriarchates, the contemporary system of Church governance within the Empire), they had no secular state (no bishop had or has that… the so-called “Papal States” only date from 756, after the collapse of New Roman Imperial (“Byzantine”) authority in Italy), nor were they “rulers” of the Church (let alone “infallible” or having “immediate jurisdiction” over every diocese). Could the papacy return to this primitive state? It could… but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen. Let’s have friendship and good will. Unity? .That’s not possible under present conditions… and all sane people know it.


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