I have just begun listening to Bishop Hilarion’s talk at the recent SVS conference. He makes reference to the (in)famous Canon 28 of Chalcedon, and gives the standard Orthodox (and generally non-/anti-Roman) interpretation of it: that it ascribes the origin of Old Rome’s primacy not to the will of Christ or succession from the Apostle Peter, but to the will of “the Fathers” based on purely political or historical considerations. In other words, here we have what Fr Francis Dvornik called the Byzantine East’s “principle of accommodation” triumphing over Rome’s (and, to a lesser extent, Alexandria’s and Antioch’s) “principle of apostolicity.” This is why (so the standard account continues) Pope Leo so strenuously objected to it, and the Roman Church never received the Canon.
I am immediately reminded of a very interesting, and very old, article from the Dublin Review contesting the standard reading of Canon 28. The article was suggested to me by Dr William Tighe back at Cathedra Unitatis, where I posted the article in five parts. I would like to re-post the article here at Eirenikon. Look for A. St. Leger Westall’s article “The Fathers Gave Rome the Primacy” later today. The article is a tad polemical for a blog called Eirenikon, but I think Westall’s fascinating argument should be heard.