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Author Topic: Primacy of Peter  (Read 1031 times) Average Rating: 0
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Patriarch Noah I
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« on: November 13, 2007, 05:47:02 PM »

Can anyone xplain to me why the Orthodox reject the Primacy of Peter, based on Scripture? I mean, to me, it seems that Scripture backs the idea of Peter being the Chief Apostle.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 05:47:17 PM by Patriarch Noah I » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 05:48:26 PM »

Do a search here or check the "More Stats" page for some threads on this topic - start with "Thou Art Peter".
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 05:51:27 PM by Αριστοκλής » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 11:30:47 PM »

Orthodoxy does not reject the primacy of St. Peter the Apostle.  In our hymnology, he, along with St. Paul the Apostle, are referred to as "Chief"  (Gr. Chorifi) Apostles.

Orthodoxy interprets the scripture, "...and upon this rock I will build my Church," as Christ's assertion that, upon this faith that Peter had just demonstrated, He will build His Church.  It is not upon Peter that He will bulid His Church, but upon the faith he had demonstrated when he was asked, "Who do you say I am?"  To which Peter responded, "You are Christ, the Son of the Living God."  (Quotes may not be exact.  I wrote them from memory.)

Orthodoxy always accepted the Bishop of Rome as having primacy, among the early Churches, because it was the capitol of the Empire.  All of the early churches in the provinces of the empire had apostolic foundations.  Peter had founded the Church of Antioch before he ventured to Rome.

What Orthodoxy rejects is the claim that the Church of Rome has Universal Jurisdiction (The Magesterium)and the fact that Rome claimed it could superceed the authority of the Ecumenical Synods.  The foremost example being the addition of the phrase, "and of the Son," centuries after the 4th Century Ecumenical Synods which defined the "Symbol of Faith."  These words were added by the Pope (a Greek word for father) to the 8th article of The Creed some -400- years after the First and Second Ecumenical Synods promulgated them and were accepted by the conscience of the Church.  This issue and the jurisdicitional authority asserted by Rome as the first milenium progressed resulted in the Great Schism; initially in 1054, but confirmed in 1204 when the Crusades sacked Constantinople-BWT
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 11:36:04 PM by BTRAKAS » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 05:39:05 PM »

Can anyone xplain to me why the Orthodox reject the Primacy of Peter, based on Scripture? I mean, to me, it seems that Scripture backs the idea of Peter being the Chief Apostle.

I must appologize for not first getting permission from Arsenios and I hope he forgives my boldness in having one of his articles posted. Its one of the best explanations I have come across in many postings that make clear just what St. Peter's role was in the early church:

"Christ called St. Peter to be the leader of the apostolic choir, and through his leadership, to mirror the oneness of the apostolic mission and grace. It is for this reason that St. Peter is often singled out in the Gospels and the writings of the Fathers for special mention. St. Peter was a symbol of the oneness and equality of the apostles and his leadership was meant to coordinate the affairs of the other apostles in peace and concord. Before his martyrdom, St. Peter (with St. Paul) left this mission of primacy and service in the See of Rome.

For this reason, the early Church believed that the Roman Church held a primacy among the other Churches. This ministry was a continuation of St. Peter’s and was analogous to his service among the apostles. The Bishop of Rome, as the head of the Roman Church, exercised this primacy and for this reason was considered a unique successor of Peter. Like St. Peter’s work among the apostles, the Bishop of Rome’s work among the bishops was one of service among equals. It was also meant to be serve as a symbol of the oneness of all Orthodox Bishops and Churches. Therefore, when you see quotes that give special titles to the Pope, that laud the unerring Faith of Rome, that set Rome apart from other Churches, be reminded that this is done to show that all the Bishops, the Orthodox Faith, and the Churches themselves, are one. This isn’t done in order to turn Rome into some “super-Church” and the Bishop of Rome into a “super-bishop.” It is only for the purpose of stressing the oneness of the gifts of God.

In the early centuries of Christianity, this Roman primacy was always in the form of bearing witness to the common faith shared by all Christians and was devoted to the solitude and well-being of the Churches of God. The Roman See was never understood as a "sovereign" of other Churches, nor was her bishop the "sovereign" of other bishops. All Orthodox Churches were considered as equal and possessing full unity of faith, worship, and communion with each other. Rome was meant to bear witness to the oneness of the Church, the unity of her Faith, and was devoted to the service of the Churches' full catholicity and success in bearing witness to the Gospel.

When Rome changed this legit gift of primacy and service into power over other Churches and replaced the Eucharistic unity of the Church with a secular unity befitting the Roman Empire rather than the Kingdom of God, Orthodox Christians judged the Pope as having broken communion with the Body of Christ, and we currently await an Orthodox Pope who will restore the Orthodox Rome of the Holy Fathers. We don't consider ourselves to have broken communion with St. Peter, the Orthodox Popes of Rome, nor the Orthodox Roman See. Post-Schism Roman Popes changed, whereas we remained solid in the Faith and practice of the Holy Fathers."
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 05:40:00 PM by JoeS » Logged
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