c) It is in the light of the idea of a community of structure that we should view the bishop’s role as the sole ordainer, for
…the bishop is the one through whom all charismatic manifestations of the Church must pass, so that they be manifestations not of individualism but of the koinonia of the Spirit and of the community created by it. (199)
While extraordinary ministries have their place and must be encouraged,
if they go through the bishop, in whom the entire structure converges and the “many” become “one” in a particular existential milieu. (199)
d) Zizioulas then turns to the implications of the apostolic foundation and origins of particular Churches, suggesting that the argument for the special authority of particular sees only makes sense within the historical approach in which the apostles are understood as individuals.
Moreover, with Saint Cyprian we see the Ignatian and Hippolytan synthesis being altered so that the bishop comes to represent not Christ but Saint Peter.
… for him each episcopal throne is not, as it is for Ignatius, the “place of God” or Christ, but the cathedra Petri. The significance of this alteration is that we can now talk of unus episcopatus dispersed over the earth with Peter as its head. This leads to the concept of episcopal collegiality, as it has been expounded today in Roman Catholic theology. (200)
While it is wrong to read universalistic ideas into Cyprian’s ecclesiology,
There are, however, two basic elements in this view which decisively affect the synthesis we are concerned with here. In the first place this view leads to the disappearance of the Christological image of episcopacy. Thus it leads away from both Ignatius and Hippolytus. The bishop becomes alter apostolus (Peter) but not alter Christus. In the second place, and as a consequence of this, the structure of the local Church ceases to reflect the Kingdom of God with Christ surrounded by his apostles. The eschatological perspective, therefore, is in danger of disappearing from ecclesiology. (201)
In fairness to Saint Cyprian, however, understanding the bishop as alter Petrus does not mean dissolving the apostolic college. Instead, we should
take seriously his application of the image of the apostolic college in its entirety to each episcopal Church. This would preserve an essential part of the eschatological image of apostolicity in the Church structure. In speaking, therefore, of unus episcopatus we should not speak of a structure outside or above or independent of the concrete community to which each bishop is attached through ordination. (201)
In the ordination of the bishop we see a double conditioning in which the bishop is linked simultaneously with the apostolic college as it is expressed in both his own Church and in other Churches. The Petrine role is not irrelevant but its integration into a synthesis requires an appreciation of the proper relation between the local and the universal manifestations of the apostolic college.
Such a relation can only be one of identity, so that neither of these manifestations may have priority over the other. (202)
Moreover, while certain sees have been honoured and given positions of primacy,
when we place the universal dimensions of apostolic continuity in the light of the synthesis I am expounding here … we cannot argue from the standpoint of special apostolic sees without destroying the synthesis. Special apostolic character can and must be recognized in all those Churches which happen to have historical links with one or more of the great apostles. But this is not to be confused with the deeper and fundamental notion of apostolic continuity which passes through the very nature and structure of each Church and relates not just to the historical but also to the eschatological perspective of apostolic continuity. (203)