Statement of Joint Catholic-Orthodox Commission

Statement of Joint Catholic-Orthodox Commission:

42. Conciliarity at the universal level, exercised in the ecumenical councils, implies an active role of the bishop of Rome, as protos of the bishops of the major sees, in the consensus of the assembled bishops. Although the bishop of Rome did not convene the ecumenical councils of the early centuries and never personally presided over them, he nevertheless was closely involved in the process of decision-making by the councils.

43. Primacy and conciliarity are mutually interdependent. That is why primacy at the different levels of the life of the Church, local, regional and universal, must always be considered in the context of conciliarity, and conciliarity likewise in the context of primacy.

Concerning primacy at the different levels, we wish to affirm the following points:

1 Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church.

2 While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West, there are differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations.

To summarize: the Eastern and Catholic Churches have agreed that the Pope does, in fact, have primacy over the other Bishops. The remaining question is “How much?” It would not shock me to see a Pope in the future agree to give up some of his power in the interests of Christian Unity. (I hve no doubt our current Pope would, but I think the reconciliation will take long enough that Pope Benedict won’t be one who welcomes our Orthodox brethren home.)

We’re one step closer to fulfilling Christ’s prayer to the Father: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)”

Does Obama want to be President?

Roger L Simon doesn’t think so:

I caught most of the Democratic debate tonight and I was astonished by how unprepared Obama seemed to be on the most obvious question of the evening – how he stood on illegal aliens having driver’s licenses.

Surely his handlers must have prepared him for this question. Otherwise they are rank incompetents. So there can only be one conclusion: Barack Obama does not really want to be President.

I’ve long had the same impression. Obama seems to be a decent, honorable man, as much as I don’t like his politics. I believe he means well and genuinely wants what’s best for the country. I disagree with him tremendously on the proper path forward but I do trust his genuineness in his proposals.

That said, I don’t think he’s ready for the position and I get the feeling he feels the same way. There’s no job in the world as big as the Presidency and every new President has a period of adjustment and on the job training. (After all, how can you prepare for a job which is unique?) I think he knows that.

I have a good friend who’s very tied in down in DC and he told me, while Obama was publicly mulling over whether or not to run, that he would be since he knew this could be his only shot at the prize. Striking while the iron is hot, even if you don’t want the job, is the best way to keep the iron hot for the future. Would John Edwards be a contender now if he hadn’t run in 2004? Not likely, we’d have forgotten him. Similarly, in 4 or 8 years Obama might be yesterday’s news and forgotten about at a time when he would be better prepared. So, run for it now to build up national contacts, name recognition and loyalty for a time in the future when you he’s more ready. Plus, I’m sure he at least suspected the Hillary would likely be unstoppable.

Illinois’ Governor has a net negative approval rating right now. Perhaps we might see Obama run for that office next time it’s up (2010) to build some executive experience.

I don’t think he’ll win the nomination, but we’ll see him again in the future. And by then, I think he’ll want the job.

Hat Tip:

Quote of the Day

“The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.”

— Thomas Jefferson (letter to Spencer Roane, 9 March 1821)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., vol. 15 (325)