My answer to Question #1
The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome comes from the Gospels. The Popes have always claimed that it comes from Christ, through Peter, to the Bishop of Rome. Not through canons.
...the holy Roman Church has been set before the other churches not by any synodical decrees but by the evangelical voice of our Lord and Savior, saying: "Thou art Peter...[PL 13: 374]
This decree comes from a Roman council under Pope St. Gelasius[492-496], or Pope St. Damasus[366-384] who is according to the Sixth Ecumenical Council an "... adamant of the faith" [Mansi 11: 661-2]
There is evidence for the Primacy in the Councils. Writing for the Council of Aquileia St. Ambrose calls the Roman Church:
... head of the entire Roman world... for from thence, as from a fountain head, the rights of venerable communion flow unto all...[Ep. 11. PL 16: 946]
In some cases the councils themselves asked for confirmation from the Pope. The councils of Milevis and Carthage[both 416] in Africa condemned the Pelagian heresy. Pope St. Innocent I[401-417] wrote back to both these councils and made claims to authority.
For you have approved of referring this matter to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See...[PL 20: 582-3]
...thus following the formula of the ancient rule, which as you know has ever been observed along with me by the whole world...[PL 20: 589-90]
St. Augustine praised these letters of Pope St. Innocent saying:
... he answered in a manner which was proper and necessary for a bishop of the Apostolic See.[Ep. 186. PL 33: 816-17]
I already mentioned the Lateran Council which St. Maximus the Confessor[580-662] considered Ecumenical. It didnít form any canons on the Primacy. It simply used it for the good of the church. At the council Steven of Dora, who was a bishop under St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, stated why he had come to Rome
to that Chair which rules and presides over all, that is to yours, the head and highest... because the truly great Peter, leader of the apostles, clearly was deemed worthy not only to be entrusted with the keys of heaven, alone [and] apart from the rest...[Mansi X, 893]
Stephenís testimony is consistent with a Primacy that is based on the Gospels. A Primacy which comes from Christ through Peter.
Pope St. Martin[642-649] appointed as vicar in the east John bishop of Philadelphia. He does so
...by the authority given us in the Lord through Saint Peter, prince of the apostles. [Mansi X, 827-31]
The authority of, "Blessed Peter prince of the Apostles" is not valid only in times of crisis. It can be used at any time. Pope St. Agatho used this exact authority when he reorganized the hierarchy of Britain. [Mansi 11: 181]
The Councils did not form canons on the Primacy because they presupposed it.
St Maximus the Confessor[580-662] spoke of:
... Rome, that is, the Apostolic See, which from God the Incarnate Word Himself as well as all the holy Councils, according to the sacred canons and definitions, has received and possesses supreme power in all things and for all things, over all the holy churches of God throughout the world, as well as power and authority of binding and loosing. For with this church, the Word, who commands the powers of heaven, binds and looses in heaven.[PG 91: 144]
St. Maximus also wrote:
For ever since the Word of God condescended to us and became man, all the Churches of Christians everywhere have held, and hold the great Church there as their sole basis and foundation, because, according to the very promises of the Lord, the gates of hell have never prevailed over her, but rather she has the keys of the orthodox faith and confession; she opens the genuine and only piety to those who approach her piously, but closes every heretical mouth that speaks injustice... [PG 91: 137-40]
Do you agree with these statements or not? If not tell me why St. Maximus is wrong?