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Irenaeus recognized that Victor could indeed "cut off whole Churches" and that such excommunication would have been ontologically meaningful. In the end, it took some patience and an Ecumenical Council to achieve what Victor could not achieve by his threat to excommunicate.Despite Victor's failure to carry out his intent to excommunicate the Asian churches, many Catholic apologists point to this episode as evidence of papal primacy and authority in the early Church, citing the fact that none of the bishops challenged his right to excommunicate but rather questioned the wisdom and charity of his action.The centre of gravity in the empire was fully recognised to have completely shifted to the eastern Mediterranean.Rome lost the Senate to Constantinople and lost its status and gravitas as imperial capital.Still, the Church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical lines, and the fundamental breach has never been healed, with each side sometimes accusing the other of having fallen into heresy and of having initiated the division.
Apart from Rome in the West, "many major Churches of the East claim to have been founded by the apostles: Antioch by Peter and Paul, Alexandria by Mark, Constantinople by Andrew, Cyprus by Barnabas, Ethiopia by Matthew, India by Thomas, Edessa in eastern Syria by Thaddeus, Armenia by Bartholomew, Georgia by Simon the Zealot." Famous also are the seven churches of Asia (the Roman province of Asia), mentioned in the opening chapters of the Book of Revelation.
This is what Roman Catholics argue with the implication that such an excommunication would be ontologically meaningful and put someone "outside the Catholic Church".
Yet, we do not see bishops "pleading" but indeed "sharply rebuking" and "admonishing" Victor.
For instance, in 431, Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, appealed to Pope Celestine I, as well as the other patriarchs, charging Constantinople Patriarch Nestorius with heresy, which was dealt with at the Council of Ephesus.
In 342, Pope Julius I wrote: "The custom has been for word to be written first to us [in the case of bishops under accusation, and notably in apostolic churches], and then for a just sentence to be passed from this place".