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Author Topic: Why is this not ex cathedra?  (Read 9689 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantino
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« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2003, 02:43:55 AM »

I may not have the time to put every one of those quotes under the microscope but I'll do my best. I recognise those quotes to be from Catholic Answers. As Athanasius alluded, a very different picture emerges when these quotes are read in their proper historical context and in the context of the whole corpus of the Fathers’ writings.  

Here's Canon III of the Council of Sardica, in its entirety:

(from the Greek translation)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: This also it is necessary to add,--that no bishop pass from his own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless indeed he be called by his brethren, that we seem not to close the gates of charity.
    And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province.
    But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighbouring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before.


(from the Latin translation)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: This also it is necessary to add,--that bishops shall not pass from their own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless perchance upon invitation from their brethren, that we seem not to close the door of charity.

    But if in any province a bishop have a matter in dispute against his brother bishop, one of the two shall not call in as judge a bishop from another province.
    But if judgment, have gone against a bishop in any cause, and he think that he has a good case, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it be your pleasure, honour the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who tried the case write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and if he shall judge that the case should be retried, let that be done, and let him appoint judges; but if he shall find that the case is of such a sort that the former decision need not be disturbed, what he has decreed shall be confirmed. Is this the pleasure of all? The synod answered, It is our pleasure.


There are some important facts about this council and the events surrounding it. Neither the Bishop of Rome nor his legates presided over the Council of Sardica but Hosius, Bishop of Cordova. Also, at the time of the Council of Sardica, Pope Julius was the only Orthodox Bishop of an Apostolic See; the other (Eastern) Petrine Sees were in heresy after the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch were deposed by Arians. More significantly, the Canon does not refer to the Bishops of Rome in a general sense, but specifically to Pope Julius. This has led many scholars to take the view that the provisions of the Canons were temporary. The Council of Sardica gave the Bishop of Rome the prerogative of acting as the final court of appeal, a prerogative given legal sanction by this Council, as noted by canonist Bernhard Van Espen (d. 18th Century):

Peter de Marca (De Concordia Sacerdotii et Imperii, Lib. VII., Cap. iij., 8.) says that Hosius here proposed to the fathers to honour  the memory of St. Peter that he might the more easily lead them to consent to this new privilege; for, as De Marca has proved, the right here bestowed upon the Roman Pontiff was clearly unknown before.




You would have to be very hard pressed to say the Council of Sardica gave the Bishop of Rome universal jurisdiction over the entire Church.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2003, 02:48:35 AM by Byzantino » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2003, 05:03:46 AM »

I hope to demonstrate how blatantly dishonest the source of those Patristic quotes is (Catholic Answers).


The quote from Pope Gregory the Great was brutally mutilated and presented as follows:

"Your most sweet holiness, [Bishop Eulogius of Alexandria], has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy . . . I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair, who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honor to myself in no wise delights me . . . who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Peter from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, ‘To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]. And again it is said to him, ‘And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren’ [Luke 22:32]. And once more, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep’ [John 21:17]" (Letters 40 [A.D. 597]).


The entire letter reveals something startlingly different however:


EPISTLE XL.

TO EULOGIUS, BISHOP.

    Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
    Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. And, though special honour to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me. For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi. 17). Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one[2]. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself stablished the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us (Joh. xvii. 21). Moreover, in paying you the debt of salutation which is due to you, I declare to you that I exult with great joy from knowing that you labour assiduously against the barkings of heretics; and I implore Almighty God that He would aid your Blessedness with His protection, so as through your tongue. to uproot every root of bitterness from the bosom of holy Church, lest it should germinate again to the hindrance of many, and through it many should be defiled. For having received your talent you think on the injunction, Trade till I come (Luke xix. 13). I therefore, though unable to trade at all nevertheless rejoice with you in the gains of your trade, inasmuch as I know this, that if operation does not make me partaker, yet charity does make me a partaker in your labour. For I reckon that the good of a neighbour is common to one that stands idle, if he knows how to rejoice in common in the doings of the other.

    Furthermore, I have wished to send you some timber: but your Blessedness has not indicated whether you are in need of it: and we can send some of much larger size, but no ship is sent hither capable of containing it: and I think shame to send the smaller sort. Nevertheless let your Blessedness inform me by letter what I should do.
    I have however sent you, as a small blessing from the Church of Saint Peter who loves you, six of the smaller sort of Aquitanian cloaks (pallia), and two napkins (oraria); for, my affection being great, I presume on the acceptableness of even little things. For affection itself has its own worth, and it is quite certain that there will be no offence in what  out of love one has presumed to do.
    Moreover I have received the blessing of the holy Evangelist Mark, according to the note appended to your letter. But, since I do not drink colatum[3] and viritheum[4] with pleasure, I venture to ask for cognidium[5], which last year, after a long interval, your Holiness caused to be known in this city. For we here get from the traders the name of cognidium, but not the thing itself. Now I beg that the prayers of your Holiness may support me against all the bitternesses which I suffer in this life, and defend me from them by your intercessions with Almighty God.

***

Notice what Gregory says: the see of Peter is ONE in THREE places: Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. The edited quote also seems to create the impression in the introduction to his epistle that Pope Gregory is referring to himself as sitting in the Chair of Peter, when in fact he is clearly referring to Eulogius.  The same Pope Gregory says in his letter to Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch (Book V, Epistle 39):

"I have introduced in my letter these words drawn from your writings, that your Holiness may know that your own holy Ignatius [Ignatius of Antioch] is also ours. For as we have in common the master, prince of the Apostles, we must neither of us exclusively claim the disciple of this prince of the Apostles."

The same Pope Gregory writes to the Bishop of Alexandria (Book X, Epistle 35):

"Praise and glory be in the heavens to my saintly brother, thanks to whom the voice of Mark is heard from the chair of Peter, whose teaching resounds through the Church as the cymbal in the tabernacle, when he fathoms the mysteries...."

There you have a Pope who, contrary to the claims of Vatican I and the RCC, never believed the See of Peter to be exclusively the Roman Church. Little wonder did he exhoriate anyone who claimed to be "Universal Patriarch", following in the footsteps of St. Cyprian:

"This name of Universality was offered by the Holy Synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the apostolic see which by the Providence of God I serve. But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated.  But far be this from the mind of a Christian that any on should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honor of his brethren..." (Book V: Epistle XLIII, to Eulogios, Bishop of Alexandria and to Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch)

"Let each one give his opinion without judging any one and without separating from the Communion those who are not of his opinion; for none of us sets himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor compels his brethren to obey him by means of tyrannical terror, every bishop having full liberty and complete power; as he cannot be judged by another, neither can he judge another. Let us al wait the judgement of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has the power to appoint us to the government of his Church and to judge our conduct (Council of Carthage, St. Cyprian.)

It's interesting to note that the renowned Roman Catholic scholar Johannes Quasten, in Volume II of his Patrology series, admits:

From these words it is evident that Cyprian does not recognize a primacy of jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome over his colleagues. Nor does he think that Peter was given power over the other apostles because he states: hoc erant utique et ceteri apostoli quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio praediti et honoris et potestatis (De unit. 4). No more did Peter claim it: 'Even Peter, whom the Lord first chose and upon whom He built His Church, when Paul later disputed with him over circumcision, did not claim insolently any prerogative for himself, nor make any arrogant assumptions nor say that he had the primacy and ought to be obeyed' (Epist. 71, 3)."
On the other hand, it is the same Cyprian who gives the highest praise to the church of Rome on account of its importance for ecclesiastical unity and faith, when he complains of heretics ‘who dare to set sail and carry letters from schismatic and blasphemous persons to the see of Peter and the leading church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise, not realizing that the Romans, whose faith was proclaimed and praised by the apostle, are men into whose company no perversion of faith can enter’ (Epist. 59, 14). Thus the cathedra Petri is to him the ecclesia principalis and the point of origin of the unitas sacerdotalis. However, even in this letter he makes it quite clear that he does not concede to Rome any higher right to legislate for other sees because he expects her not to interfere in his own diocese ‘since to each separate shepherd has been assigned one portion of the flock to direct and govern and render hereafter an account of his ministry to the Lord’ (Epist- 59, 14)...If he refuses to the bishop of Rome any higher power to maintain by legislation the solidarity of which he is the centre, it must be because he regards the primacy as one of honor and the bishop of Rome as primus inter pares (Johannes Quasten, Patrology (Westminster: Christian Classics, 1983), Volume II, pp. 374-378).
 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2003, 05:07:22 AM by Byzantino » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2003, 12:22:42 PM »

Byzantino's latest post kinda segway's into something I read before (possibly from Clark Carlton's The Truth:  What ever Roman Catholic should know about the Orthodox Church).  (Whatever I read) states that ALL Bishops share in the "Chair of Peter", which is why in Orthodox Ecclesiology that The Church is encompassed in EACH BISHOP and their flock, and all Bishophoric's together form The Church (I hope this made some sense).  I'm sure someone else here can probably dig up the source and summarize it at least a little better than I just did.
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« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2003, 02:15:11 PM »

I may not have the time to put every one of those quotes under the microscope but I'll do my best. I recognise those quotes to be from Catholic Answers. As Athanasius alluded, a very different picture emerges when these quotes are read in their proper historical context and in the context of the whole corpus of the Fathers’ writings.  

Here's Canon III of the Council of Sardica, in its entirety:

(from the Greek translation)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: This also it is necessary to add,--that no bishop pass from his own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless indeed he be called by his brethren, that we seem not to close the gates of charity.
    And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province.
    But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighbouring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before.


(from the Latin translation)

BISHOP HOSIUS said: This also it is necessary to add,--that bishops shall not pass from their own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless perchance upon invitation from their brethren, that we seem not to close the door of charity.

    But if in any province a bishop have a matter in dispute against his brother bishop, one of the two shall not call in as judge a bishop from another province.
    But if judgment, have gone against a bishop in any cause, and he think that he has a good case, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it be your pleasure, honour the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who tried the case write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and if he shall judge that the case should be retried, let that be done, and let him appoint judges; but if he shall find that the case is of such a sort that the former decision need not be disturbed, what he has decreed shall be confirmed. Is this the pleasure of all? The synod answered, It is our pleasure.


There are some important facts about this council and the events surrounding it. Neither the Bishop of Rome nor his legates presided over the Council of Sardica but Hosius, Bishop of Cordova. Also, at the time of the Council of Sardica, Pope Julius was the only Orthodox Bishop of an Apostolic See; the other (Eastern) Petrine Sees were in heresy after the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch were deposed by Arians. More significantly, the Canon does not refer to the Bishops of Rome in a general sense, but specifically to Pope Julius. This has led many scholars to take the view that the provisions of the Canons were temporary. The Council of Sardica gave the Bishop of Rome the prerogative of acting as the final court of appeal, a prerogative given legal sanction by this Council, as noted by canonist Bernhard Van Espen (d. 18th Century):

Peter de Marca (De Concordia Sacerdotii et Imperii, Lib. VII., Cap. iij., 8.) says that Hosius here proposed to the fathers to honour  the memory of St. Peter that he might the more easily lead them to consent to this new privilege; for, as De Marca has proved, the right here bestowed upon the Roman Pontiff was clearly unknown before.




You would have to be very hard pressed to say the Council of Sardica gave the Bishop of Rome universal jurisdiction over the entire Church.



Hi Byz,
I don't believe anyone claims the council gave the Pope universal juristicition. Only that there is a pattern in the early Church to defer to the judgement of the Pope in certain situations. Clearly this is what was being done in the above statement. It wouldn't have mattered who was Pope becaue the letter specifically says that they are defering to the successor of Peter and gives the reason, "honour the memory of St. Peter the Apostle".
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Polycarp
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« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2003, 02:49:02 PM »

I hope to demonstrate how blatantly dishonest the source of those Patristic quotes is (Catholic Answers).

I don't believe that there is any dishonsety whatsoever in Catholic Answers. These folks are people of faith and like you have a common fielty to Christ Jesus. They see historical events and writings from a different point of view that you. That does not make them dishonest anymore than your differing opinion makes you dishonest.

The quote from Pope Gregory the Great was brutally mutilated and presented as follows:

"Your most sweet holiness, [Bishop Eulogius of Alexandria], has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy . . . I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair, who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honor to myself in no wise delights me . . . who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Peter from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, ‘To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]. And again it is said to him, ‘And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren’ [Luke 22:32]. And once more, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep’ [John 21:17]" (Letters 40 [A.D. 597]).


The entire letter reveals something startlingly different however:

Well I read it too and what I see is that the Pope was being given special recognition by the bishops in question and he was answering their honoring in a humble and elloquent manner their recognition of his position as Pope. Note the areas in red.

EPISTLE XL.

TO EULOGIUS, BISHOP.

    Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
    Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. And, though special honour to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me. For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi. 17). Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one[2]. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself stablished the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside,

All he is saying here is that at one time Peter was the only bishop(Apostle) in these places and now by God's grace there is a bishop for each place!

whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us (Joh. xvii. 21). Moreover, in paying you the debt of salutation which is due to you, I declare to you that I exult with great joy from knowing that you labour assiduously against the barkings of heretics; and I implore Almighty God that He would aid your Blessedness with His protection, so as through your tongue. to uproot every root of bitterness from the bosom of holy Church, lest it should germinate again to the hindrance of many, and through it many should be defiled. For having received your talent you think on the injunction, Trade till I come (Luke xix. 13). I therefore, though unable to trade at all nevertheless rejoice with you in the gains of your trade, inasmuch as I know this, that if operation does not make me partaker, yet charity does make me a partaker in your labour. For I reckon that the good of a neighbour is common to one that stands idle, if he knows how to rejoice in common in the doings of the other.

    Furthermore, I have wished to send you some timber: but your Blessedness has not indicated whether you are in need of it: and we can send some of much larger size, but no ship is sent hither capable of containing it: and I think shame to send the smaller sort. Nevertheless let your Blessedness inform me by letter what I should do.
    I have however sent you, as a small blessing from the Church of Saint Peter who loves you, six of the smaller sort of Aquitanian cloaks (pallia), and two napkins (oraria); for, my affection being great, I presume on the acceptableness of even little things. For affection itself has its own worth, and it is quite certain that there will be no offence in what  out of love one has presumed to do.
    Moreover I have received the blessing of the holy Evangelist Mark, according to the note appended to your letter. But, since I do not drink colatum[3] and viritheum[4] with pleasure, I venture to ask for cognidium[5], which last year, after a long interval, your Holiness caused to be known in this city. For we here get from the traders the name of cognidium, but not the thing itself. Now I beg that the prayers of your Holiness may support me against all the bitternesses which I suffer in this life, and defend me from them by your intercessions with Almighty God.

***

Notice what Gregory says: the see of Peter is ONE in THREE places: Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. The edited quote also seems to create the impression in the introduction to his epistle that Pope Gregory is referring to himself as sitting in the Chair of Peter, when in fact he is clearly referring to Eulogius.  The same Pope Gregory says in his letter to Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch (Book V, Epistle 39):

And he explains what he means by that too. That Peter either served in those places establishing them as his see or that Peter sent his diciple there (Alexandria).

"I have introduced in my letter these words drawn from your writings, that your Holiness may know that your own holy Ignatius [Ignatius of Antioch] is also ours. For as we have in common the master, prince of the Apostles, we must neither of us exclusively claim the disciple of this prince of the Apostles."

The same Pope Gregory writes to the Bishop of Alexandria (Book X, Epistle 35):

"Praise and glory be in the heavens to my saintly brother, thanks to whom the voice of Mark is heard from the chair of Peter, whose teaching resounds through the Church as the cymbal in the tabernacle, when he fathoms the mysteries...."

There you have a Pope who, contrary to the claims of Vatican I and the RCC, never believed the See of Peter to be exclusively the Roman Church. Little wonder did he exhoriate anyone who claimed to be "Universal Patriarch", following in the footsteps of St. Cyprian:

"This name of Universality was offered by the Holy Synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the apostolic see which by the Providence of God I serve. But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated.  But far be this from the mind of a Christian that any on should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honor of his brethren..." (Book V: Epistle XLIII, to Eulogios, Bishop of Alexandria and to Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch)

"Let each one give his opinion without judging any one and without separating from the Communion those who are not of his opinion; for none of us sets himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor compels his brethren to obey him by means of tyrannical terror, every bishop having full liberty and complete power; as he cannot be judged by another, neither can he judge another. Let us al wait the judgement of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has the power to appoint us to the government of his Church and to judge our conduct (Council of Carthage, St. Cyprian.)

It's interesting to note that the renowned Roman Catholic scholar Johannes Quasten, in Volume II of his Patrology series, admits:

From these words it is evident that Cyprian does not recognize a primacy of jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome over his colleagues. Nor does he think that Peter was given power over the other apostles because he states: hoc erant utique et ceteri apostoli quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio praediti et honoris et potestatis (De unit. 4). No more did Peter claim it: 'Even Peter, whom the Lord first chose and upon whom He built His Church, when Paul later disputed with him over circumcision, did not claim insolently any prerogative for himself, nor make any arrogant assumptions nor say that he had the primacy and ought to be obeyed' (Epist. 71, 3)."
On the other hand, it is the same Cyprian who gives the highest praise to the church of Rome on account of its importance for ecclesiastical unity and faith, when he complains of heretics ‘who dare to set sail and carry letters from schismatic and blasphemous persons to the see of Peter and the leading church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise, not realizing that the Romans, whose faith was proclaimed and praised by the apostle, are men into whose company no perversion of faith can enter’ (Epist. 59, 14). Thus the cathedra Petri is to him the ecclesia principalis and the point of origin of the unitas sacerdotalis. However, even in this letter he makes it quite clear that he does not concede to Rome any higher right to legislate for other sees because he expects her not to interfere in his own diocese ‘since to each separate shepherd has been assigned one portion of the flock to direct and govern and render hereafter an account of his ministry to the Lord’ (Epist- 59, 14)...If he refuses to the bishop of Rome any higher power to maintain by legislation the solidarity of which he is the centre, it must be because he regards the primacy as one of honor and the bishop of Rome as primus inter pares (Johannes Quasten, Patrology (Westminster: Christian Classics, 1983), Volume II, pp. 374-378).
 


Again I never heard the Catholic explaination that claimed every ECF believed in or taught the universal primacy of Rome in all matters involving local problems etc.  The role of the Pope is an  understanding of the which the Roman Church developed over time due to many different circumstances and reasons. Having a difference of opinion does not make either side liars.
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Polycarp
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« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2003, 10:10:10 PM »

Hi Polycarp,

Let me clarify my comments about Catholic Answers. I certainly wasn’t questioning the sincerity of their faith, but the quality of their scholarship. I should’ve used a different word than dishonest. That was wrong. My point is, presenting sliced up quotes of random Fathers wrenched out of their context in order to vindicate modern Roman Catholic doctrine makes me very suspicious of their scholarship. There are multiple instances of these tendencies that prevent me from holding Roman Catholic net apologists in high regard (with the exception perhaps of Robert Sungenis). These are the same people who call into question the scholarship of those who critique Catholic doctrine, and conveniently whack the label “anti-Catholic” on them to top it off. Whether it was Catholic Answers or a secondary source they were quoting, I think leaving out those items in Pope Gregory’s letter which contradict modern Roman Catholic understanding of the “Chair of Peter” is inexcusable.


Getting back to Pope Gregory's letter, I don’t disagree with your interpretation, neither do I deny that the Bishop of Rome was the most important Bishop and first in the hierarchy of the Church. But like the other Fathers, Pope Gregory never applies the “Chair of Peter” in an exclusive sense to the Bishop of Rome but follows a similar theology to Cyprian’s in that all the legitimate Bishops who confess the faith of Peter are Peter’s successors, although this privilege applies in a much more significant way to the Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

The point in question is whether, as you say, the development of the Pope’s role as universal Bishop was a legitimate one, and whether this role was present in all ages as Vatican I stated. I believe no such justification exists for the former, and no evidence exists for the latter on the basis of the historical evidence available.

God bless, friend,

Byzantino
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« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2003, 10:28:02 PM »

Thank you Biz.
I agree that the modern Catholic understanding of the Papacy is one which developed in more recent times and in the early Church the Pope was defered to but not necessairly looked at as having the same authority the modern Pope has. Yet we should remember that in the case of the modern Pope there are two groups who are loyal or answerable to him. One is those Churches which were evangelized by Roman missionaries. That is the vast majority of the worlds countries/bishops and those who have apostolic roots and wish to have communion with the successor of Peter because they agree that he is the Church's ligitimate Earthly leader.
I understand that this role developed over time and yet that dosen't cause as big a problem for me than being opposed to the successor of Peter. Jesus personally picked Peter to be the lead apostle and for me that means alot. For me not to be in communion with the successor of Peter is questionable ground.
Yet I stand with the Pope for the reunification of the whole Catholic Church which will never be whole till the Orthodox are back in communion with us.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2003, 06:45:35 AM »

For me not to be in communion with the successor of Peter is questionable ground.

As I think was pointed out earlier, all bishops are considered to be Peter's successors.

I note that you admit that the Roman Catholic understanding of the role of the Pope developed over time, so you admit that it is not something that was always believed by the church. Such things that have been added that were not always believed by the church are usually referred to as innovation and heresy are they not?

John the unworthy.
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« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2003, 10:59:02 AM »

For me not to be in communion with the successor of Peter is questionable ground.

As I think was pointed out earlier, all bishops are considered to be Peter's successors.

An interesting idea. Wouldn't that actually require admission that Peter was the "Rock" and Jesus really meant for the whole Church to look to Peter and his actual successors for leadership of the whole Church? Wouldn't that be admitting Petrine primacy?

I note that you admit that the Roman Catholic understanding of the role of the Pope developed over time, so you admit that it is not something that was always believed by the church. Such things that have been added that were not always believed by the church are usually referred to as innovation and heresy are they not?

John the unworthy.

No because development of the teachings of Christ and the apostles was and is normal in the Church. Development of doctrine was first used by the apostles at the first ecumenical council at Jerusalem as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles. If doctrine can't develop then many doctrines we hold in common would have to be considered as innovation and heresy. The Trinity would be the biggest example.
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Polycarp
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« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2003, 01:43:08 PM »

Polycarp,
As has been brought up, according to St. Cyprian's ecclesiology (and the ecclesiology of many others) all Bishops share the Chair of Peter and as the qoute from Pope Gregory shows, the Bishop of Antioch is the successor of St. Peter so the Orthodox Church also has a literal succession from St. Peter as well.
In fact when you qouted Gregory I was very suprised because that was an excerpt from the very same qoute I gave you on CARM about the See of Peter being in more place than in Rome.


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« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2003, 07:33:33 PM »

Polycarp,
As has been brought up, according to St. Cyprian's ecclesiology (and the ecclesiology of many others) all Bishops share the Chair of Peter and as the qoute from Pope Gregory shows, the Bishop of Antioch is the successor of St. Peter so the Orthodox Church also has a literal succession from St. Peter as well.
In fact when you qouted Gregory I was very suprised because that was an excerpt from the very same qoute I gave you on CARM about the See of Peter being in more place than in Rome.


Athanasius

Yes my friend I understand your view point. However how the Churches of the East start their respective list of bishops? Antioch had Peter as first as does Rome. But who else lists Peter as their first bishop?
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2003, 04:52:45 AM »

As I think was pointed out earlier, all bishops are considered to be Peter's successors.

An interesting idea. Wouldn't that actually require admission that Peter was the "Rock" and Jesus really meant for the whole Church to look to Peter and his actual successors for leadership of the whole Church? Wouldn't that be admitting Petrine primacy?

Petrine primacy has never been in question. It is the idea of Petrine supremacy that is innovative. And again, all bishops are the "actual successors" of Peter, not just the ones that sit in Rome

Quote
No because development of the teachings of Christ and the apostles was and is normal in the Church. Development of doctrine was first used by the apostles at the first ecumenical council at Jerusalem as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles. If doctrine can't develop then many doctrines we hold in common would have to be considered as innovation and heresy. The Trinity would be the biggest example.

The deposit of faith given to the Apostles contained the fullness of truth. When that truth was attacked by heresy it became necessary to define that truth in language and terms that could not be twisted and abused. Nothing new or innovative was defined. Likewise with the first council in Jerusalem which I believe was more pastoral than dogmatic. The Jews were insisting that Gentile converts had to follow the laws of the old covenant, in particular, circumcision. But Jesus had fulfilled the old covenant, and all who are born anew in Christ share in that fulfillment. However, the Apostles decided that they should obey some of the laws, not I believe, because it was necessary for their salvation, but in order not to scandalise their Jewish brethren.

Dear Polycarp, I have had very little sleep this week due to one of my children being quite ill, so I have been fairly ungracious towards you in some of my posts. If I have upset you, I hope you will be able to forgive me for being so short tempered. It is certainly not how I wish to be towards you.

In Christ,

John the unworthy.
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« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2003, 05:38:20 AM »

Another thought.

The most clearly defined beliefs of the church became clearly defined in response to heresy, through the ecumenical councils.

Papal supremacy is clearly defined in the Roman Catholic church. What was it defined in response to and which ecumenical council defined it, since it is sufficiently different from early church understanding of the position of the bishop of Rome to require an ecumenical council to declare it (IMHO).

Another question that Serge asked some time ago. Why is the crowning of a Pope not a sacrament? Perhaps he is just a bishop after all.

unworthy John.
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« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2003, 08:21:06 AM »

According to Vatican I the theory of development of doctrine doesn't apply to the doctrine of the Infallibility of the Papacy/Universal Supremacy because Vatican I said there was no development:

Therefore *****faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith*****, for the glory of God our Saviour, the exaltation of the Christian religion, and the salvation of Christian people, the sacred Council approving, we teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. But if any one—which may God avert—presume to contradict this our definition: let him be anathema. (Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, Chp. 4, pp. 266-71)

Under the development of doctrine theory, a defined doctrine is claimed to have been present in seed form in the early Church. I think the witness of history testifies to the contrary. There are just too many Fathers who never taught the doctrine of Vatican I, even under those circumstances you would think it would be called into play. Some quite explicitly denied it, such as Pope St. Gregory. I think the Vatican I doctrine would more accurately reflect the faith of the early Church if it were refined to teach the infallibility of the Ecumenical Council.

Also it's worth noting that the Bishop of Rome was not the only Bishop who received the honorary titles such as those bestowed upon him (Pope Leo) at the Council of Chalcedon. The Bishops of Jerusalem and Constantinople were at times praised with the very titles given to the Bishop of Rome. So too were the non-Roman Patriarchs symbolically equated with the Apostles. For example, at the Council of Ephesus in 431, whose president was, at first Cyril of Alexandria, and then Juvenal (Bishop) of Jerusalem, Cyril together with Pope Celestinus are compared to St. Paul:

"Celestinus the new Paul! Cyril the new Paul! Celestinus defender of the faith! Celestinus who agrees with the Council! The whole Council renders thanks to Celestinus! Celestinus and Cyril are one! The faith of the Council is one! It is that of the whole earth!"

Note additionally that it is the ***Council**** which acts as the standard against which the Pope's doctrinal letter must conform, **not** the other way around!  


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« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2003, 10:13:34 AM »

"Development" in the most basic sense is not a problem - it just depends on what sort of development you mean.

For example, there have obviously been many exoteric developments, in terms of praxis, throughout the Church.  This explains the obvious development of different strains of liturgy, so called "rites."

There is also legitimate "doctrinal development" - if what one means, is the clearer expounding of the apostolic witness, in particular, protecting that "sacred deposit" from innovators.  This is the understanding Orthodox Christianity has of "development" as a legitimate phenomenon.

However, the type of "development" that has become synonymous with the justification or RC claims which have no parallel in other "ancient traditions" of Christendom (pre-eminantly of course, the Orthodox one - however, apart from their errors, I'd include the other eastern churches in this), is a development of substance - a sort of theological evolution, in which tenents of faith are treated like philosophical propositions, which human learning and insight can turn into syllogisms.

This is the main source (at least in the apologetic realm - I think there are other factors that have contributed to innovations in the RCC which were only justified after the fact) of those areas where the RCC disagrees with the Orthodox Church.  Functionally, the RCC has committed to an attitude which accepts the idea that revelation can be "improved upon".  Thus, you end up with a religion which has many "dogmas" that leave the Orthodox Church up in arms.

Given this fact, is it fair for RC apologists to be up in arms when the Orthodox simply do not recognize these elements as part of their own faith, let alone their patrimony/tradition?  Indeed, many of these relatively recent Latin "distinctives" would have been alien not only to the Eastern Fathers, but those of the West as well.  These novelties were not a part of their faith; this is simply a matter of historical fact; so why reprove those who are content with the faith of their fathers, as opposed to the "philosophizing" of savants?

Let's be honest - if I somehow developed a time machine, and zapped a 5th century Italian or Gaulic Priest into our present day, where do you think he'd find himself more comfortable - in the thought realm and practice of an Orthodox Church, or in a RC church (let's make it less imposing - say, a Tridentine RC mission)?  Consider the following...

- this "Priest out of time" would have beheld his congregation standing through liturgical services, not sitting.

- he would have admistered Holy Communion under "both species" (admittedly, this has recently changed, after centuries of disuse, in the RCC...however, it still doesn't occur in "Tridentine rite" liturgies).

- he would have observed similar great fasts, with very similar restrictions (even before Vatican II, Catholicism has had relatively little in the way of fasting)

- while the monastic norm of letting hair/beards grow long never became a rule in the west like it did in the east, a beard of some kind was the norm for western clergy up until the time of the West's estrangement from the east (thus explaining the concern of Eastern Christians when they noticed this started to disappear in Latin clergy), both as a sign of masculinity/an affront to vanity, and as iconographic of the Saviour Himself

- he would have recited the Nicene Creed minus the filioque clause

- he would have no clue the Bishop of Rome is "infallible" or has "universal juristiction"

- the sacred images adorning his churches would be for the better part, indistinguishable from those in the east (and which remain in the Orthodox Tradition)

- he very well may have been married!

- he would have celebrated the Mass with leavened bread (symbolic of the grace of the New Covenant, and the Ressurection of Christ)

- if he was a Gaul, or from the most western parts of the "Western Church", he may very well have celebrated the Mass behind a "root screen", which was for all purposes a variant on the Byzantine Iconostasis ("icon screen" which seperates the altar area from the rest of the Church)

- He would have not only known the "economy of salvation" under overwhelmingly judicial (which to a point are valid - they're present in Scripture, and in both the Eastern and Western Fathers) analogy, but also in terms of being a ransom, and the conquest of "Light" over "darkness" (a Life which death could not overwhelm - the "harrowing of hell"), and would not be able to appreciate the Anslemian cult of the "angry God" which for centuries became synonymous with popular Latin piety

- He would have no clue what an "indulgence" is for

etc., etc.

In short, our western clerical time traveller, was Orthodox in his faith, and would without doubt find is faith in so called "Eastern" Orthodoxy, not a Catholicism which he would undoubtedly not recognize.

Seraphim
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« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2003, 10:23:16 AM »

As I think was pointed out earlier, all bishops are considered to be Peter's successors.

An interesting idea. Wouldn't that actually require admission that Peter was the "Rock" and Jesus really meant for the whole Church to look to Peter and his actual successors for leadership of the whole Church? Wouldn't that be admitting Petrine primacy?

Petrine primacy has never been in question. It is the idea of Petrine supremacy that is innovative. And again, all bishops are the "actual successors" of Peter, not just the ones that sit in Rome

Quote
No because development of the teachings of Christ and the apostles was and is normal in the Church. Development of doctrine was first used by the apostles at the first ecumenical council at Jerusalem as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles. If doctrine can't develop then many doctrines we hold in common would have to be considered as innovation and heresy. The Trinity would be the biggest example.

The deposit of faith given to the Apostles contained the fullness of truth. When that truth was attacked by heresy it became necessary to define that truth in language and terms that could not be twisted and abused. Nothing new or innovative was defined. Likewise with the first council in Jerusalem which I believe was more pastoral than dogmatic. The Jews were insisting that Gentile converts had to follow the laws of the old covenant, in particular, circumcision. But Jesus had fulfilled the old covenant, and all who are born anew in Christ share in that fulfillment. However, the Apostles decided that they should obey some of the laws, not I believe, because it was necessary for their salvation, but in order not to scandalise their Jewish brethren.

Dear Polycarp, I have had very little sleep this week due to one of my children being quite ill, so I have been fairly ungracious towards you in some of my posts. If I have upset you, I hope you will be able to forgive me for being so short tempered. It is certainly not how I wish to be towards you.

In Christ,

John the unworthy.

Dear John,
Thank you for sharing your feelings and your thought's. Actually I didn't feel that you were short tempered. I am used to posting at CARM which is a fundamentalist Protestant site.  Although I am supprised at the ammount of anamosity that some Orthodox have towards the Catholic Church it is much less harsh than what fundamentalest protestants like to dish out.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2003, 10:36:00 AM »


Hello,
What heresy did Honorius teach? What document did he promulgate that taught heresy?
Popes are not protected from personal error.  Only excathedra teachings are protected.
Peace,
Polycarp


Honorius was condemned by the sixth ecumenical council for monothelitism.  He wrote a letter to Patriarch Sergius who had asked *not for a personal opinion* as RC authors allege but for *confirmation of the teaching of the church*.  Honorius responded by teaching monothelitism.

To say that a pope can be a heretic but not teach heresy ex cathedra is a meaningless distinction.  If we don't know when decisions are ex cathedra and we don't know if something is heresy unless it is condemned, the grey area is too big.  This system is not Orthodox or patristic.

anastasios

That is why the decision was that a Pope had to be speaking excathedra Anastasios. To avoid any confusion about whether a Pope was teaching dogmatically. The Pope must essentially say he is speaking excathedra about the teaching. I'm not sure that this is something that is meant to be retroactive but rather to clarify future situations. We shouldn't be looking back to see if there are excathedra statements because there was no teaching that claimed excathedra teachings had to be considered infallable before. So Honorius dosen't fall into this category. He never declared any teaching on the subject excatherdra or otherwise. Honorius may have errored privately but he didn't make any binding statements regarding the faith that was meant to go out to the whole Church as dogma.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2003, 10:45:58 AM »

Another thought.

The most clearly defined beliefs of the church became clearly defined in response to heresy, through the ecumenical councils.

Papal supremacy is clearly defined in the Roman Catholic church. What was it defined in response to and which ecumenical council defined it, since it is sufficiently different from early church understanding of the position of the bishop of Rome to require an ecumenical council to declare it (IMHO).

Another question that Serge asked some time ago. Why is the crowning of a Pope not a sacrament? Perhaps he is just a bishop after all.

unworthy John.

Unfortunately the Catholic Church has been split by schism for 1000 years. The Latin Church has had to weather her problems alone without the benifit of the Eastern half of the CHurch and has a different situation than the East. The latin Church has taken the responsibility for itself and certainly in the Latin Church the Pope has always been the last word. So technically from the Latin Church's side this idea can be said to have been believed from the begenning. If however the great schism never happened then the whole thing would probably be different. I really don't know why the dogma was declared when it was, because it certainly is a stumbling block for reunification. It may be that the Catholic side will have to find a way to more narrowly interpret the teaching so that a way can be found to reunite the Church.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2003, 11:00:33 AM »

"Development" in the most basic sense is not a problem - it just depends on what sort of development you mean.

For example, there have obviously been many exoteric developments, in terms of praxis, throughout the Church.  This explains the obvious development of different strains of liturgy, so called "rites."

There is also legitimate "doctrinal development" - if what one means, is the clearer expounding of the apostolic witness, in particular, protecting that "sacred deposit" from innovators.  This is the understanding Orthodox Christianity has of "development" as a legitimate phenomenon.

However, the type of "development" that has become synonymous with the justification or RC claims which have no parallel in other "ancient traditions" of Christendom (pre-eminantly of course, the Orthodox one - however, apart from their errors, I'd include the other eastern churches in this), is a development of substance - a sort of theological evolution, in which tenents of faith are treated like philosophical propositions, which human learning and insight can turn into syllogisms.

This is the main source (at least in the apologetic realm - I think there are other factors that have contributed to innovations in the RCC which were only justified after the fact) of those areas where the RCC disagrees with the Orthodox Church.  Functionally, the RCC has committed to an attitude which accepts the idea that revelation can be "improved upon".  Thus, you end up with a religion which has many "dogmas" that leave the Orthodox Church up in arms.

Given this fact, is it fair for RC apologists to be up in arms when the Orthodox simply do not recognize these elements as part of their own faith, let alone their patrimony/tradition?  Indeed, many of these relatively recent Latin "distinctives" would have been alien not only to the Eastern Fathers, but those of the West as well.  These novelties were not a part of their faith; this is simply a matter of historical fact; so why reprove those who are content with the faith of their fathers, as opposed to the "philosophizing" of savants?

Let's be honest - if I somehow developed a time machine, and zapped a 5th century Italian or Gaulic Priest into our present day, where do you think he'd find himself more comfortable - in the thought realm and practice of an Orthodox Church, or in a RC church (let's make it less imposing - say, a Tridentine RC mission)?  Consider the following...

- this "Priest out of time" would have beheld his congregation standing through liturgical services, not sitting.

- he would have admistered Holy Communion under "both species" (admittedly, this has recently changed, after centuries of disuse, in the RCC...however, it still doesn't occur in "Tridentine rite" liturgies).

- he would have observed similar great fasts, with very similar restrictions (even before Vatican II, Catholicism has had relatively little in the way of fasting)

- while the monastic norm of letting hair/beards grow long never became a rule in the west like it did in the east, a beard of some kind was the norm for western clergy up until the time of the West's estrangement from the east (thus explaining the concern of Eastern Christians when they noticed this started to disappear in Latin clergy), both as a sign of masculinity/an affront to vanity, and as iconographic of the Saviour Himself

- he would have recited the Nicene Creed minus the filioque clause

- he would have no clue the Bishop of Rome is "infallible" or has "universal juristiction"

- the sacred images adorning his churches would be for the better part, indistinguishable from those in the east (and which remain in the Orthodox Tradition)

- he very well may have been married!

- he would have celebrated the Mass with leavened bread (symbolic of the grace of the New Covenant, and the Ressurection of Christ)

- if he was a Gaul, or from the most western parts of the "Western Church", he may very well have celebrated the Mass behind a "root screen", which was for all purposes a variant on the Byzantine Iconostasis ("icon screen" which seperates the altar area from the rest of the Church)

- He would have not only known the "economy of salvation" under overwhelmingly judicial (which to a point are valid - they're present in Scripture, and in both the Eastern and Western Fathers) analogy, but also in terms of being a ransom, and the conquest of "Light" over "darkness" (a Life which death could not overwhelm - the "harrowing of hell"), and would not be able to appreciate the Anslemian cult of the "angry God" which for centuries became synonymous with popular Latin piety

- He would have no clue what an "indulgence" is for

etc., etc.

In short, our western clerical time traveller, was Orthodox in his faith, and would without doubt find is faith in so called "Eastern" Orthodoxy, not a Catholicism which he would undoubtedly not recognize.

Seraphim


Brother Seraphim,
I agree with all of your examples. Yet all of them are examples of traditions which "developed" over time and are not something that "must" remain the same for all time. If you transported Saint Paul to the 5th century he would have found many differences in the Church of that day compared to his also. Icons, vestments, prayers to the Saints, prayers for the faithfully departed, the creed etc. Yet that dosen't make any of these practices heresy does it?
Peace,
Polycarp
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