Council Day 4 Reflection–Arius
Most Holy Emperor and my Fellow Christian Brothers,
I must admit, after seeing the progress we were able to make as a whole concerning the Creed in earlier sessions, I am most displeased with the outcome of the last session. Although I was able to see some solace in the elimination of future councils with the creation of the primary bishop position, I am much less enthused in the Council’s decision of granting the metropolitan all complete authority over the Church. It seems that many of us have not learned adequately from the past of the chaos that can arise from only a select set of bishops having “ultimate authority” over the “lesser” bishops of the smaller parishes.
I was shocked at how easily my pleas and outcries to the Council about the drawbacks to metropolitan bishop power were cast aside. I was convinced my arguments in favour of equality amongst bishops were sound. Even though the Council has promised a system of “checks and balances”, I am most sceptical as to whether that system will be effectively put into place. I fear that myself and those of Arian beliefs will be, in some ways, oppressed by the power of the metropolitan bishops. And if the primary bishop does not see favour with myself or other Arians… Then I fear for the worst. I was utterly shocked as to how easily those I considered my “allies” were coerced by the rest of the council into accepting metropolitan bishops into power. The events of Antioch seemed to play again around me, in that on that matter I was more or less alone in my stance.
I can see reason for the primary bishop finding his seat in Rome. Jesus Christ did name Peter the “rock” upon which His church would be built, and Peter did take up residence in Rome. We know this from Sacred Scripture. With that justification in mind, though, I do not see any justification for the power given to the metropolitan bishops. If we are looking for a check upon the primary bishop, can that not be made by the rest of the bishops as a whole? I do not see any justification, aside from the thirst for power by those few, for any superior power to be given to those bishops.
However, I suppose there is some piece of victory in that after this Council is called to a close, there will be no more need of future councils, in light of the new authority of whoever is to be named as our primary bishop. I can sleep well knowing that the calamity of Antioch will never again take place. Unless this Council progresses along the same lines of our last session…