Doing some research for some future postings on the topic of “Apostolic Succession,” I came across this little gem from Ratzinger’s work, “God’s Word: Scripture-Tradition-Office”:
“The concealing of the old theological idea of the sedes apostolica, which was after all from the outset a part of the Church’s understanding of herself [NOT!], by the idea of the five patriarchates must be regarded as the real evil in the dispute between East and West, an evil that also had its effect upon the West, inasmuch as—despite the retention of the concept of the sedes apostolic—a largely administrative and patriarchal concept of the importance of the Roman See developed that could hardly help any outsider to have a clear grasp of the real essence of the Roman claim, as distinct from any other claims”(pg 35).
So, not only was the concept of the “five Patriarchates” a real evil in itself for challenging Roman claims—it caused Rome to exaggerate its own claims, making it hard for any outsider to have a clear grasp of the real essence of the Roman claim.
I have recently noted the avoidance of responsibility for one’s actions as just simply a juvenile, adolescent trait. This of course is only one trait that is typical of the ongoing Roman mindset.