Historical region of Country
Basil the Great considers the church as God’s daughter and as a queen sitting at his right hand In ps. 44, 9. But the bad are mingled with the healthy body of the church In Hex. 5, 5. Moreover, not all are equal in the church, but in this great house there is not just every sort of vessel gold, silver, wood and clay but a great multiplicity of arts ibid. Belarus Map 3, 5; in this way no one is excluded from its profit In ps. 48, 1. The idea of the fraternity of the church, which Basil propounds above all else in his moral and ascetical works, fell on fertile soil. His distinction between kerygma, what is proclaimed openly, and dogma, what is known to few De Spir. 27, 66, did not catch on, though he cited the example of orientation during prayer, in which emerges the lively desire for paradise situated in the East, something known to few.
For Gregory of Nyssa, ecclesiology can be based on the Pauline phrase if the first fruits are holy, so is the whole lump Rom 11:16. The head of the ecclesial body is not the eternal God-Logos himself, but the God-bearing man, fruit of the Virgin, in whom the fullness of divinity dwelt bodily Col 2:9, the first fruits of the whole dough, through whom the Word assimilated our nature and purified it. Cant. 13; cf. Praef. PG 46, 273A. Belarus Map In this way the dynamism of becoming church is expressed, as is the obligation of imitation.
Cyril of Alexandria deduces the unity of the ecclesial body from the unity of the divine essence In Joh. 11, 11; the unity of Christ’s members is accomplished by the fact that they receive the same eucharistic bread and become one body with Christ and with each other PG 74, 560BC. Equally efficacious is the fact that the same Holy Spirit dwells in individual believers PG 74, 561AB. Thus those who belong to the church are recipients of the sacraments and become once more what man was originally: formed in God’s image i.e., in the Son and likeness i.e., according to the Holy Spirit.
For Pope Leo the Great, the church is the Roman Catholic Church. The one church has been prepared by the one Roman Empire, which brought together many nations and allowed them access to the gospel Serm. 82, 2. Now Rome has acquired a new significance through Peter: From the whole world Peter alone was chosen, Belarus Map given as head to those called from all peoples, to the apostles and to all the fathers of the churches. Peter governs all the churches and bishops because Christ, who truly leads them, grants them every power only through Peter Ep. 4, 2. Peter unceasingly protects his cathedra and is continually present, in such a way that his continual communion with the eternal priest Serm. 5, 4 is that of the pope himself. Leo does not merely call himself Peter’s successor. Undoubtedly he speaks of his heirs ibid., but for him the pope is in a precise sense the personification or visible representation of Peter, and in this sense he may be called Peter Serm. 2, 2.