Gratsianskiy Mikhail

Pope Gelasius I (492-496) and His Ecclesiological Views

Gratsianskiy Mikhail (2016) "Pope Gelasius I (492-496) and His Ecclesiological Views ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2016, vol. 65, pp. 25-41 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201665.25-41


The article deals with the ecclesiological views of Pope Gelasius I (492–496), formed during the schism between the Roman Church and the Churches of the East after 484. The development of Gelasius’ ecclesiological concepts is studied in connection with the ideological and political legacy of Pope Leo I (440–461), who made a great contribution to the development of the idea of the Roman primacy both ideologically and politically. The article discusses the views of Gelasius on the composition of the privileges of the Roman Church, which generally characterize its authoritative position among other Churches. On the basis of the definitions given by the Council of Nicaea, interpreted in a special way, Gelasius, following here Pope Leo I, introduced the order of the universal sees: Rome is followed by Alexandria and Antioch, and this order is the order of rank and power. According to his views, the see of Rome, being the see of St. Peter, fi nds itself in an exceptional position, while the see of Constantinople is reduced to the status of an ordinary bishopric. The amount of power of the Roman bishop is not comparable to that of other bishops. To the Pope belong the rights of the Supreme Court for the universal Church; one is not allowed to appeal against his decisions. The Roman Pontiff has the right to convene ecumenical councils, and conciliar definitions must be approved by his act. By his decision, without receiving an appeal from other sees and without a special Council, he may depose the Primates of the local Churches. Also, by his own decision the Pope determines and condemns heresies.


Pope Gelasius I, Pope Leo I, Pope Felix III, Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople, ecclesiology, Councils, the 28th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon, Roman primacy.


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Information about the author

Gratsianskiy Mikhail

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Moscow State University, Leninskie gory, Shuvalovskii korpus, Moscow 119234, Russian Federation;
Email: gratsianskiy@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


Исследование подготовлено в рамках работы по проекту «Причерноморье и Средиземноморский мир в системе отношений Руси, Востока и Запада в Средние века» (соглашение No 14–28–00213 от 15 августа 2014 г между Российским научным фондом и МГУ им М В Ломоносова)