Sources indicate Pope may have restored the Papal title, Patriarch of the West

According to our information, Pope Francis reinstates the title of Patriarch of the West (Old Rome) in the annual Vatican Diptychs (Pontificio Annuario del Vaticano 2024), which will be released next Tuesday.

The title, which was removed by Pope Benedict XVI, after pressure from the conservative circles of the Vatican and at the urging of the theologian Adriano Garuti, from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of of the Faith (Dottina della fede). An act, which extreme conservatives imposed in 2006 on Pope Benedict XVI. 

(Cathcon: half-right on this, Garuti authored for the conservative Ignatius Press, "The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Ecumenical Dialogue" which contains the germs of the idea of the title of Patriarch as a barrier to ecumenism- the Papacy should not use ideas of power but should persuade and collegiality and the title of Patriarch are at odds.  He cannot be described as "an extreme conservative" rather of the Ratzinger school.  The insider knowledge indicates that the sources may well be correct)

On the contrary, modern theologians of the Roman Catholic Church had questioned it during the Second Vatican Council (1958-63). For the history and the decisions of the First Vatican Council of 1860 had not met with the spontaneous consent of those who participated.

As is well known, the Pentarchy (Patriarchies of Old Rome, New Rome – Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) was defined by the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, where the ambassadorial five Patriarchates and their responsibilities were defined in the context of synodality .

Francis' move is part of the rediscovery of confraternity, which is at its heart. In this way, he wants to emphasize the importance of the lost synodality in the Lord's Church, which expresses His Body and has synodality as a tool.

The initiative came from the meeting of Bartholomew and Francis in 2014 in Jerusalem, on the 50th anniversary of the joint lifting of the anathemas between the two Churches by Athenagoras and Paul VI and their exhortation that all Christians celebrate in 2025 the 17 centuries from the First Ecumenical Council.

In other words, as it is widely emphasized, it is an attempt, especially in our time when the world is on the verge of a 3rd world war, for all Christians to meet again - as the Pope has stated - for a common new beginning, despite their tragic past mistakes. Because only a united Church, with synodality as a tool, can resist the arrogance of the Earth's powerful.

Besides, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, last Sunday (31.3.2024), on the occasion of the Easter holiday according to the Gregorian Calendar, emphasized in his speech: "On this day, the world-joyous message of the Resurrection acquires additional topicality, as the Our non-Orthodox Christian brothers celebrate today the resurrection of our Lord, Holy Easter. We have already sent our representatives to all the Christian Communities of the other Confessions here, to convey to them the festive wishes of the Holy Church of Christ the Great and our Patriarchal congratulations. But also from this position we address a heartfelt greeting of love to all Christians everywhere on earth who are celebrating Holy Easter today. And we pray to the Lord of glory, that the common celebration of Easter that we will have next year, will not be a happy coincidence, a fortuitous event, but the beginning of the establishment of a common date for the celebration of year under Eastern and Western Christianity, in view of the 1700th anniversary, in 2025, of the convocation of the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea, which, among other things, dealt with the issue of regulating the time of Easter celebration. We are optimistic, as there is good will and willingness on both sides. For, indeed, it is a scandal to separate the celebration of the unique event of the one Resurrection of the One Lord!

It is recalled that the blessed Elder Metropolitan of Pergamum, Ioannis (Zizioulas), emphasized that we should not be prisoners of our history, but look forward to the future, the end times. A fact that the Pope, in a preface to the posthumous book of the Blessed Ioannis, emphasized that history should not guide the future, but history should conform to the future of humanity.


Cathcon: Francis does the right thing for all the wrong reasons.  He conflates the Eastern and Catholic notions of synodality in a way that has aggravated Eastern Catholics. Thinking so highly of the notion of synodality then leads him to believe then that taking back the title of Patriarch of the West will advance the synodal cause.