ACTS Host Comments:
This "answer" was not part of the original format of the debate agreed upon by Jerry and Joe. Joe's answer here should have been the opening of or including in his final or closing statement. I spoke to Jerry about this and he had no problem with Joe's answer being included here, and it is included on Joe's site as well.


My opponent asks if I agree with the text from the Nomocanon that he is using.

I do not, for two reasons. I do not have access to the complete text; and I see no reason to accept an unlabelled dogmatic commentary that I could not even find in contemporary Russian collections as binding. This isn’t "ancient teaching" since my opponent’s edition is from 1897.

According to a contemporary bibliography from the Ecclesiastical Academy of St Petersburg of the Slavonic and Russian texts of the Canons, the post-Nikonian Slavonic editions were often erroneous, and so only the Byzantine commentaries were to be trusted for interpretation, whereas only the canons themselves had authority.

"From the outline here presented…of the Canons of the Councils, it will be seen that… they are reverenced as the source of the operative law in the Russian Orthodox Church, and therefore for her it is only the authoritative Byzantine commentaries which have any particular importance." [Glubokoffski, Bibliograficðeskij Ukazatel' Pecðatnyh Izdanij Apostol'skih I Sobornyh Pravil Na Slavjanskom I Russkom Jazykah, St Petersburg, 1898]

The Ancient Epitome states:

The bishop of New Rome shall enjoy the same honour as the bishop of Old Rome, on account of the removal of the Empire. For this reason the [metropolitans] of Pontus, of Asia, and of Thrace, as well as the Barbarian bishops shall be ordained by the bishop of Constantinople. [for Canon 28 Chalcedon]

I am neither bound by as an Orthodox Christian--nor do I accept—the commentary presented as proof of my opponent’s claim. The words of Pope St Leo will be discussed in closing.