In an interview with a Bulgarian television network, the Orthodox leader-- who is himself recognized as the "first among equals" in the Orthodox world-- indicated his support for a statement released by the joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission at an October meeting in Ravenna, Italy. That statement had recalled that during the first Christian millennium, the Bishop of Rome was recognized as the foremost of the patriarchs.
Patriarch Bartholomew went on to say, however, that he does not believe the primacy enjoyed by the Pope in the early centuries of Christianity included authority over other patriarchs. The primacy of Rome, he explained, involved precedence of honor rather than disciplinary status over the world's bishops.
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