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Author Topic: Primacy of Petrine Papacy proved through Patristics  (Read 59947 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 03, 2007, 08:26:56 AM »

Alliteration aside I was curious if someone (the Catholics if possible) could provide me with some quotes or writing from the pre-schism patristics which show the that bishop or Rome was instituted with universal jurisdiction over the whole universal church.
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2007, 09:16:34 AM »

Be careful; a lot of the time those quotes are taken out of context, omit the fact that other patriarchs were appealed to, are from corrupted sources, etc.  There was certainly a primacy of Rome owing to its orthodox and prestigious position, but it was not due to some notion of Petrine succession (cf. Dvornik's book on primacy, the title of which escapes me).

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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 12:24:25 PM »

You may well find a quote from St. Irenaeus saying that it is important for everyone to agree with the Bishop of Rome. (The rest of the quote qualifies that as being whenever this Bishop teaches the True Faith.)

That's the earliest I know about though.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 12:57:05 AM »

No it does not. It metions that Rome has maintained the true faith but it does not posit that as the reason that we must follow the teachings of Rome. Rather, the reason it gives is Rome's superior origin.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 02:48:55 AM »

Quote
No it does not. It metions that Rome has maintained the true faith but it does not posit that as the reason that we must follow the teachings of Rome. Rather, the reason it gives is Rome's superior origin.

The patristic texts weren't written in a vacuum.  They were primarily (and particularly in this case) written by those trained in classical rhetoric and should be understood in that light.  A bit of extra pomp and overstating something sounded very different to an ear back then than it does to the modern ear.  And to go beyond anything other than a mere primacy towards universal jurisdiction or something like infallibility is very ahistorical. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 12:15:55 PM »

The patristic texts weren't written in a vacuum.  They were primarily (and particularly in this case) written by those trained in classical rhetoric and should be understood in that light.  A bit of extra pomp and overstating something sounded very different to an ear back then than it does to the modern ear.  And to go beyond anything other than a mere primacy towards universal jurisdiction or something like infallibility is very ahistorical. 

Indeed...there are many other exaggerated quotes that can be given the same interpretation towards Alexandria and Constantinople.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 09:08:27 PM »

Alliteration aside I was curious if someone (the Catholics if possible) could provide me with some quotes or writing from the pre-schism patristics which show the that bishop or Rome was instituted with universal jurisdiction over the whole universal church.

I have to say at the beginning, I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, but a Christian humbled by my findings of the early Church fathers through our brother in Christ, Franky Schaeffer's testimony of Love, and currently on a journey to Orthodoxy but stumped by some wonderful Church Fathers' quotes presented to me by our brethren in the Catholic Churches that have given me greater understanding for why the Catholic theologians believe Roman Catholicism to be the One Church St. Ignatius and St. Iraneus seem to have spoken of:

Following the Chalcedon ecumenical council's support of the Roman Pope's primacy above all others, the following words of our spiritual fathers back the understanding of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith:

You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter, and to all you impart the blessings of that Faith. -- Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98


For if where two or three are gathered together in His name He has said that there He is in the midst of them, must He not have been much more particularly present with 520 priests, who preferred the spread of knowledge concerning Him ...Of whom you were Chief, as Head to the members, showing your good will. -- Chalcedon to Pope Leo (Repletum est Gaudio), November 451

Besides all this, he (Dioscorus) extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior. We refer to Your Holiness. -- Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98

Knowing that every success of the children rebounds to the parents, we therefore beg you to honor our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded agreement to the Head in noble things, so may the Head also fulfill what is fitting for the children. -- Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Ep 98

Even so, the whole force of confirmation of the acts [of the Council of Chalcedon] was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness. -- Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople to Pope Leo, Ep 132 (on the subject of canon 28 of Chalcedon).

Summary: what kind of authority, the CHURCH of the 5th century, from the COUNCIL of CHALCEDON consider the POPE to have:

1) The Pope is set apart as the Interpreter of the Voice of Peter
2) He is the CHIEF of all the Bishops
3) He is the HEAD of all the Bishops
4) He has been charged with the Custody of the Vine by our saviour
5) The whole force of the confirmation of the Acts of the Council was reserved for the Authority of the Pope.

Here are other Church fathers including those from the 1st and 2nd century continued through many centuries of the early Church:

"Blessed Peter, preserving in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. ...And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his see. To him whom they know to be not only the patron of this see, but also primate of all bishops. When, therefore, believe that he is speaking whose representative we are." Pope Leo, Sermon 3:3-4

"Now the Lord desired that the dispensing of this gift should be shared as a task by all Apostles, but in such a way that He put the principal charge on the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the Apostles. He wanted His gifts to flow into the entire Body from Peter himself, as it were from the Head. Thus, a man who had dared to separate himself from the solidity of Peter would realize that he no longer shared in the Divine mystery. " Pope Leo, Ep 10

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180).

"Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love..." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110).

"And he says to him again after the resurrection, 'Feed my sheep.' It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided." Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256)

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’…On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”
St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church, 1st edition, A.D. 251

You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat…in which Chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one." Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 2:2-3 (c. A.D. 367).

"The Holy Synod said: 'Since most impious Nestorius will not obey our citation, and has not received the most holy and God-fearing bishops whom we sent to him, we have necessarily betaken ourselves to the examination of his impieties; and having apprehended from his letters, and from his writings, and from his recent sayings in this metropolis, which have been reported, that his opinions and teachings are impious, we being necessarily compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and colleague, Celestine, bishop of the Roman Church, with many tears, have arrived at the following sentence against him:--'Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been blasphemed by him, defines by this present most holy synod that the same Nestorius is deprived of episcopal dignity and of all sacredotal intercourse." Council of Ephesus, Session I (A.D. 431).

"Philip, presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: Our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine the bishop is according to due order his successor and holds his place...Accordingly the decision of all churches is firm, for the priests of the eastern and western churches are present...Wherefore Nestorius knows that he is alienated from the communion of the priests of the Catholic Church." Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431).

“Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine--and he was the first who held it --that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his place, so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation--nothing but what has been handed down.’” Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 6 (A.D. 434).

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away." Council of Chalcedon, Session II (A.D. 451).

"The great and holy and universal Synod...in the metropolis of Chalcedon...to the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo...being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all...and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness..." Pope Leo the Great, Chalcdeon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451).


“For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter...The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

“Seest thou that of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were exalted and deserving of choice, one is called rock, and is entrusted with the foundations of the church.” Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 32:18 (A.D. 380).

“For if when here he loved men so, that when he [Peter] had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here, much more will he there display a warmer affection. I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it, both for its greatness, and its antiquity, and its beauty, and its populousness, and for its power, and its wealth, and for its successes in war. But I let all this pass, and esteem it blessed on this account, that both in his lifetime he wrote to them, and loved them so, and talked with them whiles he was with us, and brought his life to a close there.” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32 (c. A.D. 391).

"Or rather, if we hear him here, we shall certainly see him hereafter, if not as standing near him, yet see him we certainly shall, glistening near the Throne of the king. Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as a chief and leader of the choir of the Saints, and shall enjoy his generous love. For if when here he loved men so, that when he had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here...” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32:24 (c. A.D. 391).

"Which was mere to the interest of the Church at Rome, that it should at its commencement be presided over by some high-born and pompous senator, or by the fisherman Peter, who had none of this world's advantages to attract men to him?" Gregory of Nyssa, To the Church at Nicodemia, Epistle 13 (ante A.D. 394).


“The memory of Peter, who is the head of the apostles...he is the firm and most solid rock, on which the savior built his Church.” Gregory of Nyssa, Panegyric on St. Stephen, 3 (ante A.D. 394).

"(Peter) The first of the Apostles, the foundation of the Church, the coryphaeus of the choir of disciples." John Chrysostom, Ad eos qui scandalizati 17(ante A.D.
407)

“Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received revelation not from man but from the Father...this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean that unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great Apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey.” John Chrysostom, De Eleemosyna, 3:4 (ante A.D. 407).

“But that great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the authority in faith and priesthood. Tell us therefore, tell us we beg of you, Peter, prince of the Apostles, tell us how the churches must believe in God.” John Cassian, Contra Nestorium, 3:12 (A.D. 430).

“There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the Apostles, pillar of faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever, lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed Pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place...” Philip, Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431).

"The Son granted to Peter over all the earth a power which is that of the Father and of the Son himself, and gave to a mere mortal man authority over all that is in heaven, in giving the keys to the same."
St John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, A.D. 398

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith...” Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451).

“The decrees of the Roman Pontiff, standing upon the supremacy of the Apostolic See, are unquestionable.” Isidore of Seville, (ante A.D. 636).

“For the extremities of the earth, and all in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the most holy Roman Church and its confession and faith, as it were a sun of unfailing light, awaiting from it the bright radiance of our fathers, according to what the six inspired and holy Councils have purely and piously decreed, declaring most expressly the symbol of faith. For from the coming down of the Incarnate Word among us, all the churches in every part of the world have possessed that greatest church alone as their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell do never prevail against it, that it possesses the Keys of right confession and faith in Him, that it opens the true and only religion to such as approach with piety, and shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks injustice against the Most High.” Maximus the Confessor, Opuscula theologica et polemica (A.D. 650).

“Peter was pronounced blessed by the Lord...the duty of feeding the spiritual sheep of the Church under whose protecting shield, this Apostolic Church of his has never turned away from the path of truth in any direction of error, whose authority, as that of the Prince of all the Apostles, the whole Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Synods have faithfully embraced...” Pope Agatho, To Ecumenical Council VI at Constantinople, (A.D. 680).

"A copy of the letter sent by the holy and Ecumenical Sixth Council to Agatho, the most blessed and most holy pope of Old Rome…Therefore to thee, as to the bishop of the first see of the Universal Church, we leave what must be done, since you willingly take for your standing ground the firm rock of the faith, as we know from having read your true confession in the letter sent by your fatherly beatitude to the most pious emperor: and we acknowledge that this letter was divinely written (perscriptas) as by the Chief of the Apostles, and through it we have cast out the heretical sect of many errors which had recently sprung up..” Constantinople III, Council to Pope Agatho, (A.D. 680).


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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 09:23:35 PM »

Michael Whelton had a good book on the topic, "Popes and Patriarchs" that came out recently.
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 09:35:53 PM »

Some threads on OC.net dealing with this issue, as found by Google using the following search (exactly as appearing below):

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum papal primacy pope

"Thou Art Peter"
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2188.0.html

De Gloria Olivae and the next Pope.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5762.0.html

True Church
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=133.5

Primacy of Honor vs. Primacy of Authority
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=11334.10

I'm getting frustrated...
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=95.0
    
Pope says Orthodox Church is Defective, Others Don't Even Rate
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12113.0.html

Books on Papal Authority
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7701.msg101627

Pope Drops Title of "Patriarch Of The West'! Still claims 'Vicar Of Christ'!
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8325.0.html

Basic Points of Difference between the Orthodox Church and Papism
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=3736
    
S. Maximos & the Papacy
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=9164
    
Tridentine Latin Mass Returns?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=12103.0
    
Irenaeus and the Papacy
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=4220.0
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 09:36:29 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 11:28:05 PM »

LoL. I love it. Using Chalcedon to justify Papal supremacy. When can we finally put that one to sleep?

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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 11:22:47 PM »

"Whoever calls himself, or desires to be called 'Universal Priest,' is in his elation the precursor of anit-Christ."
(Epistle XXXIII, Pope St. Gregory to Mauricius Augustus… written in 588 A.D.)

It doesn't get much clearer than this... and from the mouth of a (pre-schism) POPE no less!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 11:23:12 PM by _Seraphim_ » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2007, 11:33:31 PM »

"Whoever calls himself, or desires to be called 'Universal Priest,' is in his elation the precursor of anit-Christ."
(Epistle XXXIII, Pope St. Gregory to Mauricius Augustus… written in 588 A.D.)

It doesn't get much clearer than this... and from the mouth of a (pre-schism) POPE no less!

 Cheesy THAT clear, eh? How could we be so stupid not to see it?

Talk about ripping quotes from their context! Did you read at all the post immediately before yours? Read it after you read Pope St. Gregory's entire epistle.

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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2007, 11:42:46 PM »

Contrast that quote with (post-schism) Pope Gregory VII's statement in 1073 A.D.

"The Roman pontiff alone is rightly to be called universal."

It seems that post-schism Popes have taken on a considerably different perspective than the pre-schism Popes before them who upheld Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2007, 12:20:35 AM »

"Whoever calls himself, or desires to be called 'Universal Priest,' is in his elation the precursor of anit-Christ."
(Epistle XXXIII, Pope St. Gregory to Mauricius Augustus… written in 588 A.D.)

It doesn't get much clearer than this... and from the mouth of a (pre-schism) POPE no less!
And yet it was this same pre-schism Pope Gregory the Dialogist/Great who was instrumental in expanding papal authority over the universal Church. (see http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8408.0.html)  Maybe there's more to this Pope than you would like to recognize in your rush to use his quotes out of context to bash our RC brothers and sisters.  I have my own disagreements with the Roman Catholic church, of which I'm sure lubeltri and our other RC posters could tell you, but they're certainly not based on prooftexts taken out of context, particularly from a pope whom Roman Catholics credit for having helped lay the foundation for the papal claims to universal sovereignty, the very claims that you would undermine by quoting this same pope.
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2007, 12:41:42 AM »

Maybe there's more to this Pope than you would like to recognize in your rush to use his quotes out of context to bash our RC brothers and sisters.

Time out!  Who is "bashing" anyone here?  Going off on a rant is "bashing"... simply posting a quote is not.

What does it matter if this Pope later propagated Papal Primacy?... the fact is he made a statement about claims to "universal priesthood" which both he himself and a later post-schism Pope contradicted.  Popes are supposedly "infallible"... which implies the impossibility of self-contradictory Papal declarations.

If this is taking things out of context, then kindly enlighten us all with the "proper" way to interpret and reconcile these two contradictory statements.
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2007, 12:57:00 AM »

What does it matter if this Pope later propagated Papal Primacy?...
How do you know it was later?

Quote
If this is taking things out of context, then by all means kindly enlighten us all with the "proper" way to interpret these two contradictory statements.
I was hoping you would enlighten us on this matter, since you seem to know so much about Pope St. Gregory. Wink  BTW, when does one person constitute "us"?
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2007, 01:07:42 AM »

How do you know it was later?

Because he didn't make an opposing statement at that exact moment in time.

I was hoping you would enlighten us on this matter, since you seem to know so much about Pope St. Gregory.

I never claimed to "know so much" about him.

BTW, when does one person constitute "us"?

When I'm not the only person on the entire forum.
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2007, 01:18:50 AM »

Because he didn't make an opposing statement at that exact moment in time.
Could he have made the statement you quoted at some time while he was expanding his papal prerogatives, which would make his efforts to centralize Church authority the proper context for understanding his statement of supposed opposition to universal papal primacy?

Quote
When I'm not the only person on the entire forum.
As far as I can see, you're the only one pressing your interpretation of St. Gregory, and you're the only one who has expressed an interest in having me teach you the "proper" way to understand St. Gregory and the papal claims.
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2007, 01:25:52 AM »

Michael Whelton had a good book on the topic, "Popes and Patriarchs" that came out recently.

In his earlier book Two Paths, Michael Whelton mentions Pope St. Gregory's statement about the "universal priest" as an example of two things:

1) Papal statements that go against Papal infallibility
2) Papal statements that are self-contradictory with other Papal statements

My only desire here was to share a quote from this book which I found to be relevant to this particular thread.

So please spare me all the personal attacks and accusations.

Peter, if you have a problem... take it up with Michael Whelton.
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2007, 01:35:52 AM »

In his earlier book Two Paths, Michael Whelton mentions Pope St. Gregory's statement about the "universal priest" as an example of two things:

1) Papal statements that go against Papal infallibility
2) Papal statements that are self-contradictory with other Papal statements

My only desire here was to share a quote from this book which I found to be relevant to this particular thread.

So please spare me all the personal attacks and accusations.

If you have a problem... take it up with Michael Whelton.
But you never mentioned Michael Welton until now.  You made it appear as if the objection you expressed and the argument you made to support your objection were yours and yours alone, with no reference to any outside source.  Thus, the critique of your methods to which you opened yourself is indeed a legitimate critique and not a personal attack.
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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2007, 08:46:41 AM »

What I find ironic about the quote is that it comes from letters Gregory wrote to the emperor condemning the Patriarch of Constantinople for presuming to take the title "ecumenical patriarch." Gregory thought it to mean that the Patriarch claimed himself to be the only real bishop of all the world, that the other bishops were mere representatives of his, and not bishops in their own right. He found that abhorrent. In the same letter and others, he lays out the Roman pontiff's primacy, based on Christ's words to Peter.

I always found it strange that some EO use Gregory's words out of context to claim him as one of their own while others point to him as one of the most important players in pulling the West into the "papalist" schism. Whatever you think of Gregory, he did not think himself to have a primacy of honor only.
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« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2007, 08:55:11 AM »

While I agree at the irony, Pope Gregory seemed to employ the have-one's-cake-and-eat-it-too argument. Despite what he may have thought of his office, it obviously was not a shared opinion in the east.
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« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2007, 09:02:52 AM »

While I agree at the irony, Pope Gregory seemed to employ the have-one's-cake-and-eat-it-too argument. Despite what he may have thought of his office, it obviously was not a shared opinion in the east.

Well, all I can say is, Popes are fallible. Not every word from the Pope's pen is directly from the Holy Spirit, despite Seraphim's ignorant claims* (of course, we RC think Gregory was right in this respect, but the point stands).

*"Popes are supposedly 'infallible'... which implies the impossibility of self-contradictory Papal declarations."
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« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2007, 10:41:53 AM »

But you never mentioned Michael Welton until now.

This thread isn't about Michael Whelton.
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2007, 10:47:17 AM »

Well, all I can say is, Popes are fallible.

Papal Infallibility is Roman dogma.

...despite Seraphim's ignorant claims...

Thanks, I feel the love.
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« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2007, 11:39:45 AM »


Thanks, I feel the love.

I was not sending you love, but stating a fact.

Papal Infallibility is Roman dogma.

Yes, it is, but not at all the way you characterize it. And that is all the time I am going to waste on your ill-informed attacks.
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« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2007, 01:05:10 PM »

I was not sending you love...

I noticed

Yes, it is, but not at all the way you characterize it.

I don't believe I've posted enough words on this thread to characterize anything.

And that is all the time I am going to waste on your ill-informed attacks.

No complaints here.
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2007, 12:10:24 AM »

This thread isn't about Michael Whelton.
But for you to quote Michael Welton, it would have been much better for you to give him credit right from the start rather than lead us to believe that what you were arguing was totally your point of view.  (I will say no more on this tangent so that we don't hijack this thread with an argument over your use of Mr. Welton's writings.)
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« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2007, 12:07:36 AM »

Alliteration aside I was curious if someone (the Catholics if possible) could provide me with some quotes or writing from the pre-schism patristics which show the that bishop or Rome was instituted with universal jurisdiction over the whole universal church.

See Post #5 here (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=893877&highlight=bumblebee#post893877) where I list a number of quote-mining sites normally given to me in debate
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2007, 12:44:43 AM »

Copying from the site to which montalban linked us (for those who don't necessarily want to visit the Catholic forum)...

http://www.catholic.com/library/eastern_orthodoxy.asp

http://www.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/patriarchs.htm

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atrium/8410/pete.html

http://ic.net/~erasmus/ERASMUS4.HTM

http://www.catholicsource.net/articles/petertherock.html

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/the_rock.htm

http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/docs/ecfpapacy.htm


Let me suffix this, though, with this warning from Anastasios:
Be careful; a lot of the time those quotes are taken out of context, omit the fact that other patriarchs were appealed to, are from corrupted sources, etc.  There was certainly a primacy of Rome owing to its orthodox and prestigious position, but it was not due to some notion of Petrine succession (cf. Dvornik's book on primacy, the title of which escapes me).

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« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2007, 02:41:52 AM »


Some I think are dead links.

Another I've been challenged with is ScriptureCatholic's site
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html

A typical debate went like this...

I was shown the following
1 Cor. 9:5 – Peter is distinguished from the rest of the apostles and brethren of the Lord.

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html

The actual passage says 1 Corinthians 9:5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?

One Catholic argued that Peter is 'set aside' from the others by being mentioned separately.

I pointed out that if this is a sign of church heirarchy, then what level are the Lord's brothers who are also set aside from the other Apostles

The response to this was that the person said that they were putting me on their ignore list!
 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2007, 11:14:38 AM »

Some I think are dead links.

Another I've been challenged with is ScriptureCatholic's site
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html

A typical debate went like this...

I was shown the following
1 Cor. 9:5 – Peter is distinguished from the rest of the apostles and brethren of the Lord.

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html

The actual passage says 1 Corinthians 9:5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?

One Catholic argued that Peter is 'set aside' from the others by being mentioned separately.

I pointed out that if this is a sign of church heirarchy, then what level are the Lord's brothers who are also set aside from the other Apostles

The response to this was that the person said that they were putting me on their ignore list!
 Roll Eyes

Yes, just like they liked to ignore St. James in Acts 15.

Glad to find you here.  It seems all the refugees from ECF are finding (or returning Grin) home here.
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2007, 10:29:48 PM »

Hello,

"Whoever calls himself, or desires to be called 'Universal Priest,' is in his elation the precursor of anit-Christ."
(Epistle XXXIII, Pope St. Gregory to Mauricius Augustus… written in 588 A.D.)

It doesn't get much clearer than this... and from the mouth of a (pre-schism) POPE no less!
When Saint Gregory the Great mentions Universal Priest - or more usually Universal Bishop - he is referring to the title of Ecumenical Patriarch that the Patriarch of Constantinople had granted. I'm not certain whether it was the Patriarch or the Emperor who bestowed the title. From my reading of the letters, it seems that this may have been a miscommunication between East and West (a common problem given the technological limitations of the era).

What Gregory says is true - as he is condemning the idea of a universal bishop (he equates this with sole bishop) were the other bishops are not really bishops. But he does not condemn, but rather reinforces, the idea of the universality of the Papacy.
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« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2007, 01:13:02 PM »

This is one of those issues that just is not amenable to reasoned debate using patristics because for every quote from one side of the debate the other side will produce some opposing quote and neither side is going to surrender their most cherished shibboleths.

There is ecumenical discussion between the various jurisdictions perhaps they will be fruitful but I really doubt that a message board discussion will make much progress as long as each side is engaging in some kind of muster of ancient texts to support their side of the debate.
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« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2007, 01:40:03 PM »

Posted this elsewhere, but seems to apply.

Eamon Duffy, author of "Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes", wrote a shorter article called "The Popes: theory and fact" which appeared in the Catholic journal The Tablet.  The link is here - http://www.thetablet.co.uk/articles/6636/  (you have to register to read the free articles).

There are two lengthy quotes in it that to me apply directly to the question:

Quote
From its very beginnings, the papacy has been surrounded with the mantle of timelessness, or rather, with a particular historical myth, whose vulnerability, considered simply as history, is every bit as problematic for Catholics as for anyone else. At least since the high Middle Ages the papacy has been understood as an institution directly created by Jesus Christ in his own lifetime: he willed that his Church should be ruled by the Apostles and their successors, and he gave to Peter, as leader of the apostles, the fullness of spiritual power, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Peter came to Rome, and there appointed his own successors, whose names are recited to this day in the canon of the Mass - Linus, Cletus, Clement, and so on down to John Paul II. All that the modern Church claims for the pope, his authority in doctrine and his power over institutions, is on this account a simple unfolding of the dominical bestowal of the keys, and the post-resurrection command to Peter to feed Christ's sheep.

We have known for more than a century that the historical underpinning of this account is unfortunately not quite so simple. The Church of Rome during its first two centuries based its claims to precedence not on the Lord's words to Peter, but on the preaching and death in Rome of two apostles, Peter and Paul. The commission in Matthew 16:18, Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, is quoted in no Roman source before the time of the Decian persecution, in the middle of the third century, and even then the claims which the Pope of the time tried to base on that quotation were indignantly rejected by the Churches of Africa to whom he was addressing himself.

And indeed, the very roots of what may be called the foundation myth of the papacy are themselves uncomfortably complicated. The Church established itself in Rome some time in the AD 40s: we now know that for the best part of the century that followed, there was nothing and nobody in Rome who could recognisably be called a pope. Christianity in Rome evolved out of the Roman synagogues, and to begin with it was not so much a single Church as a constellation of independent churches, meeting in the houses of wealthy converts or in hired halls and public baths, without any central ruler or bishop. The Roman synagogues - there were 14 of them in the first century - unlike the synagogues in other great Mediterranean cities like Antioch . . . were all independent, with no central organisation or single president, and to begin with at least, the churches of Rome also functioned independently. Many of them were in any case ethnic or regional churches, groups of Syrian, Greek, Asian residents in Rome, using their own languages, following the customs of the Christian communities back in their home regions.

Elsewhere in the first century, episcopacy emerged as the dominant form of church order - the rule of each church by a single senior presbyter who took the lead in ordinations and the celebration of the Eucharist, and who was the focus of unity for all the Christians of a city or region. But Rome, probably because of the complexity and ethnic and cultural diversity of the Christian communities of the capital of the world, was very slow to adopt this system.

In the conventional accounts of the history of the papacy, the letter of Clement, written from Rome to the Church at Corinth around the year AD 95, is often thought of as the first papal encyclical, attributed to Pope Clement, Peter's third successor and the last pope personally known to the Prince of the Apostles. In fact, the letter is written on behalf of the whole Roman Church, it is unsigned, and the author speaks unequivocally of the elders who rule the Church, in the plural.

EVERYTHING we know about the Church at Rome in its first century or so points in the same direction, to a community which certainly thought of itself as one Church, but which was in practice a loose and often divided federation of widely different communities, each with its own pastors and its own distinctive and often conflicting liturgies, calendars and customs. It was in fact the threat of heresy within this seething diversity, and the Roman need to impose some sort of unity and coherence on the Church in the city, that led to the emergence of the Roman episcopate, and the firming up of the Roman community's pride in the life and death among them of the two greatest apostles, into a succession narrative. By the 160s the graves of Peter and Paul had shrines built over them and were being shown to Christian visitors to Rome: by the early third century the bishops of Rome were being buried in a single crypt in what is now the catacomb of San Callisto, as a sort of visible family tree stretching back, it was believed, to the apostolic age. But all this was a construct, tidying the mess and confusion of real history into a neat and orderly relay race, with the baton of apostolic authority being handed from one bishop to another.

This symbolic rearrangement of the past is of course an unavoidable aspect of all human attempts to make sense of the present, and it is a notable feature of the New Testament itself. My point is not that any of this disproves the claims we would wish to make for the papacy: it is perfectly open to us to read this process as providential. Nevertheless, the recognition that the emergence of the bishops of Rome was the result not straightforwardly of a direct and immediate act of the incarnate word of God in his own lifetime, but rather of a long and uncertain evolutionary process, which might conceivably have run a different way, surely rules out any absolutist understanding of the nature of papal authority.

In a later section he says

Quote
From its earliest appearance, the papacy has been preoccupied with issues of unity and uniformity, the imposition of Roman order on regional diversity - and from the beginning it has been resisted, and been rebuked by other Christian leaders who were able to appeal to its own remote past against its more authoritarian and tidy-minded present.

In the face of history, then, we cannot quite subscribe to the notion of the papacy as timeless, founded by Our Lord's command in the beginning and maintaining through all the vicissitudes of time the constant exercise of that divine mandate. But another version of that story can be told, less direct, in which the history of the papacy is the history of the steady unfolding of its inner reality. In this version of papal theory, full weight is given to the transformations of history. What remains constant, however, is the inner reality of the papacy, a mission revealed in the biblical sources and the early history of the Church, and steadily rendered clearer and clearer in its long march through time.

Some version of this account, it seems to me, is fundamental to any Catholic belief in papal authority. As it stands, however, it is probably far too tidy. The process by which the papacy has emerged as the administrative and ideological centre of the largest wing of a divided Christendom has been by no means straightforward and progressive. The later doctrinal centrality of Rome for Catholics cannot, I think, be read out of the history of the formative stages of Christian doctrine: the papacy did indeed play a decisive role at the Council of Chalcedon, when the so-called Tome of Pope Leo the Great provided the council with the essential formulation of Catholic incarnational teaching. But this was a highly unrepresentative event: for the most part the early papacy contributed nothing whatever to the shaping of fundamental Christian teaching, and the creative centres of the Church lay elsewhere, in the East.

Nor has the institutional unfolding of the papacy been a story of steady upwards evolution. Papal claims reached their height in the central Middle Ages. Bernard of Clairvaux told his pupil, Pope Eugenius III: In truth there are other doorkeepers of heaven and shepherds of flocks: but you are more glorious than all of these . . . . They have flocks assigned to them, one to each: to you all are assigned, a single flock to a single shepherd. You are called to the fullness of power.

Bernard made these lofty claims in a treatise designed to teach the pope the obligation to serve others, and to reform himself and the papacy, but the same claims were turned by the popes into a platform from which to dominate and cow the world, as Boniface VIII attempted to do in the Bull Unam Sanctam, in which he declared that it was altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff. Everything the modern papacy claims, and very much more, such as the right to appoint emperors and to depose kings, was then claimed for the popes. Yet in the centuries that followed, the reality of papal authority declined drastically, not simply in the countries of the Reformation, but among all the Catholic powers of Europe. The Baroque papacy inhabited buildings which spelled out a megalomaniac vision of papal dominance, but the reality was that the popes were increasingly reduced to ceremonial figures, preoccupied with preserving their interests in Italy, increasingly marginalised in the councils of kings.

The modern papacy, therefore, is not the product of a steady evolution from simple beginnings, the natural growth of some essential acorn into a mighty oak. In some real sense it is, rather, the result of an historical catastrophe, the French Revolution. The revolution swept away the Catholic kings who had appointed bishops and ruled Churches. The hostile secular states which emerged to replace them in nineteenth-century Europe attempted to control the influence of the Church in public life, but were glad to leave its internal arrangements to the pope.

If one had to single out the most crucial and important practical power possessed by the modern popes, it would certainly be the right to appoint the bishops of the world. It is salutary to remind ourselves that the popes did not possess this power in canon law till 1917, and that as a matter of fact the practice of direct papal appointment of bishops did not become general until well towards the end of the nineteenth century, largely as a result of the decision of the anti-papal kings of Italy not to exercise this traditional prerogative of the secular ruler. Most of the bishops appointed by the pope before then were in fact appointed by the pope functioning not as universal pastor, but as primate of Italy or as secular ruler of the papal states. The 1917 Code of Canon Law, itself, which lies at the heart of papal domination of the modern Church, owed at least as much to the Napoleonic Code as to holy Scripture, and most of the actual exercise of papal authority in the modern Church is rooted in quite specific aspects of the institutional and intellectual history of the last 200 years.

I guess then we can all look at the various quotes and at the Bible itself to figure out what the Papacy is or should be, but really the quotes don't solve the issue since they can be interpreted differently.  The bare history itself tells me what I have believed all along - Rome was accorded its place of reverence and spiritual authority due to its seat as the first city of the Roman Empire and the dual martyrdom of the apostles Peter and Paul there.  I think the idea of the direct link of Peter to the bishops of Rome and the transmission of "keys" to them is both a misinterpretation of what is in the Bible and is just simple historically untenable.  Much it seems to me rests on this point.

It seems to me the Byzantine Church accepted primacy ( http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=1355 ) but rejected universal jurisdiction, and that ultimately that is what the schism is about (the Filioque aside).  Muscovy actually probably developed its own distinct ecclesiology after departing from Byzantium.

In the end I think all sides need to rid themselves of their various imperial ecclesiologies.
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« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2007, 02:21:48 PM »

This is one of those issues that just is not amenable to reasoned debate using patristics because for every quote from one side of the debate the other side will produce some opposing quote and neither side is going to surrender their most cherished shibboleths.

There is ecumenical discussion between the various jurisdictions perhaps they will be fruitful but I really doubt that a message board discussion will make much progress as long as each side is engaging in some kind of muster of ancient texts to support their side of the debate.

What is particularly useful, IMO, is the observation on how the others' interpret the various texts.  Every patristic citation you provide gives me a glimpse into how you read the Fathers, and specifically their references to Peter.  It then allows me the opportunity to evaluate the way I read the texts, and if I find your methodology or conclusions problematic, it provides me with a framework for response in a way that you will (a) understand and (b) consider thoughtfully.

So, yes, we're not going to end the schism here on OC.net.  However, we do have an opportunity to learn about each other and, hopefully, a place to hone our skills at communicating effectively with "the other side."
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« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2007, 05:04:32 PM »

Hello,

I think the idea of the direct link of Peter to the bishops of Rome and the transmission of "keys" to them is both a misinterpretation of what is in the Bible and is just simple historically untenable.

How so?
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2007, 06:28:19 PM »

How so?

See above.
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2007, 10:02:08 PM »

Hello,

See above.

Are you referring to the two quotes from the magazine in one of your previous posts - or something else?
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2007, 11:24:58 PM »

The article pretty well encapsulates what I think the problems are with Papal Supremacy (as opposed to primacy).  The words unfortunately are often used interchangeably. 
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« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2007, 12:21:44 AM »

The article pretty well encapsulates what I think the problems are with Papal Supremacy (as opposed to primacy).  The words unfortunately are often used interchangeably. 
What bothers you about papal supremacy though?

Seems to me that bishops exercise authority under some kind of conditions no matter what system is adopted. Collegiate or monarchy ... it does not seem to matter because the people still believe and worship according to traditions that go back a long way but usually cannot be proven to go all the way back to Jesus Christ in his earthly ministy and since that appears to be the root of the set of objections that are raised by Eamon Duffy regarding the papacy a similar critique applied to a great many traditions within the Church would yield the same or a similar degree of uncertainty ... but would we stop believing because of the uncertainty? I do not think that we would.
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« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2007, 03:02:38 AM »

This is one of those issues that just is not amenable to reasoned debate using patristics because for every quote from one side of the debate the other side will produce some opposing quote and neither side is going to surrender their most cherished shibboleths.
Frankly that is to ignore history, then. As pointed out John Chrysostomon spent his life outside of communion of Rome. That in itself is a massive clue to the 'context' of ALL of the quotes.
There is ecumenical discussion between the various jurisdictions perhaps they will be fruitful but I really doubt that a message board discussion will make much progress as long as each side is engaging in some kind of muster of ancient texts to support their side of the debate.
Again, that is to ignore the evidence presented from history. Try engaging in that !
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« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2007, 03:04:50 AM »

What bothers you about papal supremacy though?
It's to express God in a way that's counterfeit.

The church is the Body of Christ. It's like taking a picture of Christ as he is, cutting it up and re-arranging it and then still calling it Christ, but in a different form
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« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2008, 05:38:06 AM »

The advocates of papal sovereignty on this thread are a perfect example of what Anastasios warned about in reply#1. Thus we have perfect examples of what he meant.


EDIT:  Insulting epithet replaced with something more charitable  - PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2008, 05:12:18 PM »

For anybody interested in the archaeology surrounding saint Peter's remains here's an interesting video http://cdn.libsyn.com/stanastasia/WhyRomeIsHomeiPod_Lo.mp4
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