Yet, having said that, when not being in communion with the Bishop of Rome becomes the sine qua non of one's identity as an Orthodox Christian, one may begin to question what master he serves. We examined the phenomenon of "Anti-Western Orthodoxy" back in Musings, January 26, 2005. And I've just received notice of an article entitled "Mount Athos Objects to Ecumenical Openness" by George Weigel recounting how dismayed the Athonite monks were with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the way he treated his Roman guest, Pope Benedict XVI, in Constantinople last December.
Why? Because, the monks complained, "the Pope was received as though he were the canonical bishop of Rome." There were other complaints, but that was the first listed in a statement released last December 30 by the Assembly of Representatives and Superiors of the twenty monasteries: Why was Bartholomew treating Benedict as though the latter were, in fact, the bishop of Rome?If we can't agree on that much, we may have a little problem.