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Author Topic: Orgins of a quote  (Read 1575 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seekingthetruth
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Elder Philotheos Zervakos


« on: July 19, 2007, 12:25:36 PM »

Hello,

I found an interesting quote in an article that I would like to find the origins of. The quote is taken from a book entitled "The Papacy" by Abbe Guettee. Here's the quote(s).

Quote from: Pope St. Gregory The Great to the Bishop of Alexandria
“I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is by his pride, the precursor of anti-Christ, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others.  The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of anti-Christ;  for as that wicked one wished to be regarded as exalted above other men, like a god, so likewise whoever would call himself sole bishop exalteth himself above others” (Ibid., 226).

“It cannot be denied that if any one bishop be called universal, all the Church crumbles if that universal one fall”  (Ibid., p. 223).

“Your Holiness has been at pains to tell us that in addressing certain persons you no longer give them certain titles that have no better origin than pride, using this phrase regarding me, ‘as you have commanded me.’  I pray you let me never again hear this word command;  for I know who I am and who you are.  By your position you are my brethren;  by your virtue you are my fathers.  I have, therefore, not commanded;  I have only been careful to point out things which seemed to me useful.  Still I do not find that Your Holiness has perfectly remembered what I particularly wished to impress on your memory;  for I said that you should no more give that title to me than to others;  and lo! in the superscription of your letter, you gave to me, who have proscribed them, the vainglorious titles of Universal and Pope.  May your sweet holiness do so no more in the future.  I beseech you;  for you take from yourself what you give excess to another.  I do not esteem that an honor which causes my brethren to lose their own dignity.  My honor is that of the whole Church.  My honor is the unshakable firmness of my brethren.  I consider myself truly honored when no one is denied the honor due to them.  If Your Holiness calls me Universal Pope, you deny that you are yourself what I should be altogether.  God forbid!  Far from us be words that puff up vanity and wound charity” (Ibid., p. 227).

It's taken from this article: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/maxwell_peter.htm
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lubeltri
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2007, 03:38:06 PM »

Sigh...after much searching, I could not find the first quotation, except in different versions in other polemical sites (and out of context, as usual). Epistles from Pope St. Gregory are listed here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3602.htm Here is an epistle from Gregory to Patriarch John of Constantinople. I see similar ideas expressed in it, but not exactly the first quotation you pasted above. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360205018.htm

These quotations are worthless without context.

I always found this argument odd, considering Pope St. Gregory was condemning the Patriarch of Constantinople in that letter for assuming the title Ecumenical Patriarch which, Gregory thought, implied that the other bishops were only agents of the one bishop and not bishops themselves (Gregory insists that was the reason why the Popes refused that title when the Council of Chalcedon offered it to them).

It is also odd to me that polemicists simultaneously criticize Pope St. Gregory as one of the first real Popes (meaning, overreaching his authority and building the papal supremacy) while also using out-of-context quotations from him to "prove" that papal supremacy did not exist.

I did find the second quotation (way out of context). It's from a letter to Emperor Mauricius: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360205020.htm

I can't help you with the third quotation. Can't find that either. You are quoting from an article which is quoting from a book supposedly quoting from a translation of Gregory. Not easy to find these things.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 03:43:50 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Seekingthetruth
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Elder Philotheos Zervakos


« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2007, 04:14:58 PM »

Thanks for the effort! I did find the book in question online, but could not find the exact quotes in it. But, there is some good stuff that can be found in it.
http://jmgainor.homestead.com/files/PU/Lks/AbGu/AbGu.htm
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 04:17:05 PM by Seekingthetruth » Logged

"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman. It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost."
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 05:08:18 PM »

The following letters of St. Gregory are helpful:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360205020.htm (as provided already above)

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209068.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360207033.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360208030.htm
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007, 05:19:37 PM by Apotheoun » Logged

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Seekingthetruth
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Elder Philotheos Zervakos


« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 06:17:10 PM »

Thank you!
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"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman. It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost."
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