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Author Topic: St. Maximos the Confessor on Rome  (Read 2713 times) Average Rating: 0
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JSOrthodoxy
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« on: July 10, 2008, 11:13:01 AM »

How should we Orthodox interpret the view of St. Maximos the Confessor on the primacy of Rome, especially this quote?

For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High. (Maximus, Opuscula theologica et polemica, Migne, Patr. Graec. vol. 90)

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JSOrthodoxy
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 11:18:09 AM »

I apologize if I started this thread unnecessarily.  I see that there is a whole thread already on patristic quotes and the papacy.  I was just interested in singling out this particular quote for discussion since it would be difficult to read through all pages on the other thread and find specific discussion of St. Maximos the Confessor's view.

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Anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 11:19:13 AM »

1) First check to see if there is a Greek original to that text; not all of these "smoking gun" quotes from St Maximos are from the Greek originals, but some only exist in Latin translations which could be interpolated.

2) Let's assume for the sake of argument that it is a genuine quote; Rome certainly was the most Orthodox patriarchate for a long time and St Maximos is recognizing the reality of his time. Of course, the incumbent of that throne, Honorius, was eventually condemned as a heretic and anathematized by an ecumenical council and the successors of the See of Rome, so he was wrong about that see never falling.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 11:19:26 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

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JSOrthodoxy
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 11:20:27 AM »

Father bless,

Thank you for the good points you make here.  Also, I see that there is already a thread on St. Maximos at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9164.html

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JSOrthodoxy
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 11:26:50 AM »

However, I see that the thread did not really deal with St. Maximos' views in depth.

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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 02:25:13 AM »

Despite Father Anastasios' observation, St. Maximos did defend the orthodoxy of Pope Honorius.  I would also like to point out that anathemas against persons are not infallible (i.e., they can be in error), and only anathemas against doctrines are infallible.

Blessings
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 09:56:30 AM »

Despite Father Anastasios' observation, St. Maximos did defend the orthodoxy of Pope Honorius.  I would also like to point out that anathemas against persons are not infallible (i.e., they can be in error), and only anathemas against doctrines are infallible.

Blessings

If that is the case, then St Maximus was wrong on Honorius; an ecumenical council outranks St Maximus, and an ecumenical council outranks any bishop, such as a Pope or Patriarch, as well.

Could you please clarify what you mean about anathemas and infallibility? It's an interesting point you are making.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 09:56:55 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2008, 01:54:25 PM »

Could you please clarify what you mean about anathemas and infallibility? It's an interesting point you are making.

Indeed. This would have importance in OO/EO re-union consultations, but I digress.
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