This chapter introduces the reader to issues involved in studying the papacy’s reception and/or rejection in the Christian East. While other theological issues (e.g., the filioque and the use leavened/unleavened bread in the Eucharist) might have caused the schism between East and West, most today would agree that today “the primacy of Rome is the principal obstacle standing in the way of [Catholicism’s] reconstituted unity with the Orthodox Church.” Examining the sources and history of the debate may not immediately solve the so-called “problem of the papacy,” but an objective reading of the biblical, patristic, and historical evidence may go a long way toward understanding it.
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