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Author Topic: Specific quotes on Papal Infallibility  (Read 5847 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 02, 2009, 04:27:54 AM »

I am sure there are copious threads on this subject but I have a question regarding two specific quotes. They seem to definitively support the Catholic position. I am wondering if someone can give me context to these?

Cyprian of Carthage: "Would the heretics dare to come to the very seat of Peter whence apostolic faith is derived and whither no errors can come?"

Augustine: "Rome has spoken; the cause is concluded."
Irish Hermit
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us

« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 05:11:08 AM »

Augustine: "Rome has spoken; the cause is concluded."

Yes,  it comes from St. Augustine's Sermo 131.  It's a misquote of Augustine's words... if I had a dollar for every time I have heard it misquoted!   laugh

Here is what he really wrote:

Iam enim de hac causa duo concilia missa sunt ad Sedem Apostolicam; inde etiam rescripta venerunt. Causa finita est; utinam finiatur error!

"For already on this matter two councils have sent to the Apostolic See, whence also rescripts have come back from there. The case is ended; would that the error may end likewise!"
Irish Hermit
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 05:33:12 AM »

I am sure there are copious threads on this subject but I have a question regarding two specific quotes. They seem to definitively support the Catholic position. I am wondering if someone can give me context to these?

Cyprian of Carthage: "Would the heretics dare to come to the very seat of Peter whence apostolic faith is derived and whither no errors can come?"

Dear Sophia,

Unfortunately this is one of those mangled and made up quotes which the Orthodox have spent years on Catholic Answers Forum trying to correct.  Saint Cyprian never said that.  Some modern Catholic apologists have made it up.  It is not an honest way of discussing things with the Orthodox -I don't mean you but I mean the original people who made up the quote.

Rather than go through it all again, please reference this thread which discusses this false quote:
"Misquotation in Papal Infallibility Tract?"

As someone says on the thread:  "If a college student did this on a paper, he could be EXPELLED."  And they blame Karl Keating for it, although I am not sure just who is guilty.  Keating may have picked it up from someone else.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 05:46:14 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
Papa Gregorio
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 07:30:56 AM »

You'll find St. Cyprian espousing a view of papal primacy that comes remarkably close to how Orthodox Christianity has generally understood the role of the Bishop of Rome in the Universal Church, that is, he is the first bishop to whom the college of bishops owes great deference in his witness to the Orthodox faith insofar as his doctrinal orthodoxy (and the church of Rome) is recognised. Scholarship (as distinct from amateur internet "apologists") i dare say, bears a resounding mark of unanimity on this important feature of St. Cyprian's ecclesiology. Let me give you a few such quotes which convey the mind of this important Father in witnessing to one of the most ancient beliefs about the primacy of Peter, keeping in mind that some of these sources are Roman Catholic:

"In a letter to Cyprian, Firmilian endorsed everything the bishop of Carthage had said and added a few strokes of his own...Recalling the earlier dispute about the date of Easter, he upheld the practice of Asia Minor by commenting that, in the celebration of Easter and in many other matters, the Romans did not observe the practices established in the age of the Apostles, though they vainly claimed apostolic authority for their aberrant forms. The decree of Stephen was the most recent instance of such audacity, an instance so grave that Firmilian ranked Stephen among heretics and blasphemers and compared his doctrines and discipline with the perfidy of Judas. The Apostles did not command as Stephen commanded, Firmilian wrote, nor did Christ establish the primacy which he claimed...To the Roman custom, Firmilian, like Cyprian, opposed the custom of truth, ‘holding from the beginning that which was delivered by Christ and the Apostles.’ And, Firmilian argued, by his violence and obstinacy, Stephen had apostacized from the communion of ecclesiastical unity; far from cutting heretics off from his communion, he had cut himself off from the orthodox and made himself ‘a stranger in all respects from his brethren, rebelling against the sacrament and the faith with the madness of contumacious discord…’ "(Morrison, K 1969, Tradition and Authority in the Western Church, Princeton: Princeton University, pp. 31-32.

“At the same time there is no evidence that he [St. Augustine] was prepared to ascribe to the bishop of Rome, in his capacity as successor of St. Peter, a sovereign and infallible doctrinal magisterium. For example, when in his controversy with Julian of Eclanum he appealed to Innocent, his view was that the Pope was only the mouthpiece of truths which the Roman church had held from ancient times in harmony with other Catholic churches. Nor was he willing, in practical matters, to surrender one jot of the disciplinary independence of the African church which Cyprian had defended so stoutly in his day (Kelly, JND 1978, Early Christian Doctrines, Harper Collins, San Francisco, p. 419).

"Cyprian is convinced that the bishop answers to God alone. ‘So long as the bond of friendship is maintained and the sacred unity of the Catholic Church is preserved, each bishop is master of his own conduct, conscious that he must one day render an account of himself to the Lord’ (Epist. 55.21). In his controversy with Pope Stephen on the rebaptism of heretics he voices as the president of the African synod of September 256 his opinion as follows:

“No one among us sets himself up as a bishop of bishops, or by tyranny and terror forces his colleagues to compulsory obedience, seeing that every bishop in the freedom of his liberty and power possesses the right to his own mind and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another. We must all await the judgment of our Lord Jesus Chirst, who singly and alone has power both to appoint us to the government of his Church and to judge our acts therein’ (CSEL 3, 1, 436).

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 Peter was given power over the other apostles because he states: hoc erant 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" (Quasten, J n.d., Patrology: Vol.2, Christian Classics, Allen, pp. 375-378)

By the way - would you like to discuss the infallibility of Charlemagne and his successors? :-)

“Paraphrasing Vergil, [Charlemagne’s] court theologians hailed him as the one “on whom alone rests the entire welfare of the churches of Christ”….In a response to a warning not to corrupt Charles, Alcuin replied: “It would be impossible for him to be corrupted by anyone, for he is a catholic in faith, a king in power, a pontiff in preaching, a judge in equity, a philosopher in liberal studies, a model in morals.””(Pelikan, J 1978, The Christian Tradition: A history of the Development of Doctrine, vol. 3, ‘the growth of medieval theology (600-1300)’, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 51-2).

« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 07:35:56 AM by Papa Gregorio » Logged
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 08:35:37 AM »

On St. Cyprian, consider his translation of the letter of Firmilian into Latin:

Ah, yes. His translation into Latin of Firmilian's letter for Rome shows that:

17. And in this respect I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority. For they who are baptized, doubtless, fill up the number of the Church. But he who approves their baptism maintains, of those baptized, that the Church is also with them. Nor does he understand that the truth of the Christian Rock is overshadowed, and in some measure abolished, by him when he thus betrays and deserts unity...
24. Consider with what want of judgment you dare to blame those who strive for the truth against falsehood. For who ought more justly to be indignant against the other?—whether he who supports God’s enemies, or he who, in opposition to him who supports God’s enemies, unites with us on behalf of the truth of the Church?—except that it is plain that the ignorant are also excited and angry, because by the want of counsel and discourse they are easily turned to wrath; so that of none more than of you does divine Scripture say, “A wrathful man stirreth up strifes, and a furious man heapeth up sins.”For what strifes and dissensions have you stirred up throughout the churches of the whole world! Moreover, how great sin have you heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all[/u]; and not even the precepts of an apostle have been able to mould you to the rule of truth and peace, although he warned, and said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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