Whilst it is true that St Leo the Great did have slightly unorthodox views regarding Rome's primacy (though by no means the same as current RCC doctrine) it is a mistake to say that this was ever accepted by the rest of the Church, nor by the Council of Chalcedon.
I would generally agree with this, but I think that the Chalcedonian Fathers are still generally liable for his errors, since they let him get away with it. Leo’s unorthodox ecclesiology was a substantial cause of the division that took place; it would be wrong to abstractly diconnect it from the actual historical event of Chalcedon and its historical consequences.
I, personally, would confidently assert that had Leo understood his position and the position of his See correctly within the framework of an Orthodox ecclesiology, there would never have been a Council of Chalcedon in the first place.
Pope Leo, as you know, wrote his famous Tome to deal with the Chrisological controversy.
Christology is indeed the subject matter
of the Tome, yet whether Leo was genuinely concerned with defending Orthodox Christology (i.e. whether he actually wrote the Tome for the primary purpose of dealing with the Christological controversy), is a question I’d unfortuantely have to answer negatively.
The Christological disputes of the fifth century were essentially disputes between Alexandrian vs. Antiochene Christology; Cyrillian Christology was at the heart of such disputes, since St. Cyril was the central figure of an indisputably Orthodox Ecumenical Council. It was his Christology that was dogmatised; it was his Christology alone that constituted the Orthodox standard at the time.
One would think that if someone had a genuine interest in solving this dispute that they’d at least be familiar with the essential documents of the dispute at hand. Yet historical facts dictate that Leo of Rome had never even read St. Cyril's 12 chapters, which were dogmatically elevated at Ephesus 431, until after the Council of Chalcedon (i.e. well after he wrote the Tome).
I believe Leo’s concern was simply the naturally increasing reputation and power of the See of Alexandria, which he perceived as a threat to the reputation and power of his own See.
You will find that when Leo was first informed of the controversy surrounding Eutyches, that he didn’t care much for it; he even treated Eutyches with kindness. This attitude continued subsequent to Eutyches’ ex-communication at Constantinople 448. It was only after Ephesus 449 was convened i.e. after Alexandria came into play, that Leo started getting really into the dispute; his attitude towards Eutyches arbitrarily changed from one of kindness to one of hate. He even sided with (in fact worse – restored to Communion) a condemned heretic and well-known arch-enemy of St Cyril (Theodoret of Cyrus), simply for the sake of opposing the See of Alexandria.
However, his Tome was accused of having Nestorian tendencies.
The Tome was viewed quite unfavorably by the majority of the Orthodox world before the inception of Chalcedon. In fact, it is interesting to note that Juvenal of Jerusalem, before departing for Chalcedon, gathered his congregation and advised them to reject and resist him if he were to ever be dissuaded from the Orthodox stance against the Tome i.e. they all, at that stage, agreed that the tome was Nestorian in content. Juvenal did in fact change his mind at Chalcedon, and his congregation did in fact resist and reject him, which is why military force was required in Jerusalem.
At the Council of Chalcedon, the Tome was also initially viewed unfavorably by the clear majority of attendants. Afterwards, as is well known, Nestorius himself praised the tome as a vindication of his position.
Can the OO resistance to Chalcedon really be blamed for interpreting Nestorianism in this document?
It was only after investigating the document, and finding that it was in fact Orthodox, not Nestorian, that it was proclaimed "Peter speaks through the mouth of Leo" (or something to that effect, I forget the exact words).
That is true, but think about it though; the initial reaction to the Tome was quite strong (in the negative direction). If this document managed to elicit so much controversy and suspicion, why did certain Chalcedonian Fathers go out of their way to investigate it so thoroughly for the purpose of forcefully, yet hardly, squeezing some Orthodoxy into it, in order that it may be vindicated as an Orthodox standard of faith? Wouldn’t it just have been easier to reject it, and create a new document in its place, as Anatolius suggested? Indeed, that would have been the common sense response. But here is where Leo’s unorthodox ecclesiology comes into play; the Romans would not accept compromise; the tome had to be accepted, in toto
, else they would abandon the Council, as they had threatened. The tome was really only accepted through blackmail.
The imperial commissioners would not have the Romans abandon the Council, since this would contradict their own agenda to unify the Church under their city. Reading through the minutes, you can see the trickery employed in their rhetoric, which ultimately forced those with a truly Orthodox mindset (i.e. those who could not in all good consciousness submit to the Tome), to see if they could twist and turn this vague and prima facie Nestorian document to conform to some sort of an Orthodox interpretation, no matter how weak.
It was the duty of the Chalcedonian Fathers to put a stop to the agendas that were clearly being pushed forward (i.e. Leo’s self-perceived supremacy, and the Commissioners’ aim towards imperial unity); agendas which compromised the Faith and divided the Church.
P.S. I hope these discussions have not offended you, and we appreciate your general contribution to this forum thus far.