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« on: May 20, 2009, 09:34:02 PM »

In the Catholic Church, a Bishop is recognized by being in communion with Rome.

The Orthodox church professes to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

But there are many christian communions. Rome, the Oriental Orthodox, the eastern Orthodox, as well as autonomous Churches which are not completely independent. How do we know which Communion is the 'right' communion, seeing as there is no Patriarch acting as a 'beacon' of sorts? rome is almost a lighthouse of authority in the Catholic Church.. If the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople were to fall into heresy, as EO profess the Roman Patriarch did, what would happen? Who would have that primacy in the communion of Bishops?
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 10:18:05 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 12:04:54 AM »

To echo, Proavoslavbob, we must remember that it is the Eucharist which keeps us in communion, not the bishops themselves.  Only when the true Eucharist is served does that give a true ontological presence of Christ and thus does the bishop have authority.  The bishop's authority is thus dependent upon the Eucharist offered up faithfully and in truth.  If such is the case, then you need not worry about which bishop is doing what.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 12:07:23 AM »

But we have seen that entire communions of Bishops can fall into heresy. The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures. The Bishops in communion with Rome hold doctrines that Eastern Orthodox hold to be heretical. Why should we trust the Communion of Bishops that makes up the Orthodox Church over the catholic church? Or the Oriental Orthodox?

BTW, I thought the next in line (so to speak) was Antioch. Isn't it Rome-Constantinople-Antioch-Alexandria-Jerusalem?
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 12:08:34 AM »

To echo, Proavoslavbob, we must remember that it is the Eucharist which keeps us in communion, not the bishops themselves.  Only when the true Eucharist is served does that give a true ontological presence of Christ and thus does the bishop have authority.  The bishop's authority is thus dependent upon the Eucharist offered up faithfully and in truth.  If such is the case, then you need not worry about which bishop is doing what.

In that case, what makes the Catholics and Oriental Orthodox any different from the eastern Orthodox (assuming, that is, that you hold that their sacraments are valid).
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 12:12:38 AM »

BTW, I thought the next in line (so to speak) was Antioch. Isn't it Rome-Constantinople-Antioch-Alexandria-Jerusalem?

I believe it was Rome - Constantinople - Alexandria - Antioch - Jerusalem.
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 12:19:45 AM »

I just read St. Gregory's letter to the Patriarch at Alexandria, talking about how there are three Sees making up the Holy See of Peter (I think he meant that they all sit on the 'Throne of Peter', which every Bishop does according to Orthodox ecclesiology as I understand it).

I suppose the question I am trying to ask is: "what makes the Orthodox Church different from the catholics, and the orientals, the 'true orthodox', and the many other breakaway Churches?"

what makes the EO the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which the gates of Hell will not prevail against?

It can't just be a communion of Bishops, can it? Again, other groups have the same thing, Bishops recognizing each other. And is it just the Eucharist, when other Bishops who are not EO celebrate valid eucharists?
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 12:30:30 AM »

It can't just be a communion of Bishops, can it? Again, other groups have the same thing, Bishops recognizing each other. And is it just the Eucharist, when other Bishops who are not EO celebrate valid eucharists?

I think you ultimately have to pray to God and study history.  Also, look at the churches now, and see how they understand themselves and the Christian faith.  Give all viewpoints a fair shot, and then make a decision.  It's better to commit than to stay on the sidelines your whole life (not that you would, but others have).  If you're looking for the ancient Church preserved, there to me there are only four options.  The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, the Oriental Orthodox Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorians), or the Roman Catholic Church.  You need to figure out which of those, if any, are the real deal.  I think the Nestorians are an obvious thumbs-down, so really that leaves three choices.  Even as an Eastern Orthodox catechumen, I still privately struggle with the decision in many ways.  The demonic assaults are strong as one pursues the Truth.
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 12:37:42 AM »

That's the conclusion I've come to as well. st. Christopher, patron of travellers, pray for this Pilgrim.

Say, is St. christopher a saint in Eastern Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2009, 12:40:24 AM »

That's the conclusion I've come to as well. st. Christopher, patron of travellers, pray for this Pilgrim.

Say, is St. christopher a saint in Eastern Orthodoxy?

Yes.

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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2009, 01:08:35 AM »

I suppose the question I am trying to ask is: "what makes the Orthodox Church different from the catholics, and the orientals, the 'true orthodox', and the many other breakaway Churches?"

As I said earlier, it is the faith of the Orthodox that we believe sets us apart.   (By this I mean not just the fact that we believe in God, but the way that we believe in Him, and the way we think about Him, and things that flow from Him, like the Church.)  What Scamandrius said about the Eucharist is very true also.  The unbroken link with the apostles is another thing that we hold to be important, but of course  Rome claims this as well.  You said in another thread that you would soon be acquiring a copy of The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware.   I think this is a good place to start: I think you will find the Orthodox point of view a good deal easier to understand after reading it.  By the way, I don't know if others agree, but I would recommend reading the second part of the book first.

Some people think that, in reality, there is precious little, if anything, that really separates the Eastern Orthodox from the Oriental Orthodox, that they both have essentially the same faith but express it in different ways.  Others do not concur with this opinion.

Quote
It can't just be a communion of Bishops, can it? Again, other groups have the same thing, Bishops recognizing each other. And is it just the Eucharist, when other Bishops who are not EO celebrate valid eucharists?

You should know that the whole concept of "validity" is a rather suspect one in Orthodox eyes, since it flows from a way of thinking about the Church that is foreign to our belief.  Some Orthodox believe that the sacraments found in other ecclesial bodies are null and void; others think that this is a grey area that we don't know much about; still others that the benefit of the doubt should be given to the reality of other Church's sacraments (but still that there should not be intercommunion).  Yet another point of view is that there is no sacramental grace in other Churches but that God gives people real grace in other ways in these bodies if they strive to be faithful to Him.  You might also find combinations of these various beliefs.

One thing is for certain for us:  unity in faith and communion is visibly and tangibly expressed when partaking of the Eucharist together.   Please remember that it is not just the bishops together that guarantee the fullness of the Church from the Orthodox perspective, but the entire people of God.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2009, 04:56:05 PM »

I just read St. Gregory's letter to the Patriarch at Alexandria, talking about how there are three Sees making up the Holy See of Peter (I think he meant that they all sit on the 'Throne of Peter', which every Bishop does according to Orthodox ecclesiology as I understand it).

I suppose the question I am trying to ask is: "what makes the Orthodox Church different from the catholics, and the orientals, the 'true orthodox', and the many other breakaway Churches?"

what makes the EO the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which the gates of Hell will not prevail against?

It can't just be a communion of Bishops, can it? Again, other groups have the same thing, Bishops recognizing each other. And is it just the Eucharist, when other Bishops who are not EO celebrate valid eucharists?

The difference is this: The Orthodox Church holds the Rock and Foundation of the Church is the Orthodox Faith, Rome holds that the Rock and Foundation of the Church is Peter through the Bishop of Rome.   We can look to the Fathers and to the Ecumenical Councils for a consensus on this--even a 'papal' consensus on this.  For example, we find that St. Hadrian, pope of Rome, wrote the following, received and ratified by the Ecumenical Councils, in which He expressly states that the rock and foundation of the Church is the Orthodox Faith:  “…persevere in that Orthodox Faith in which you have begun…He [St. Peter], therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honor [of the keys] was thought worthy to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is founded” (7th Ec. Council Acts session II; cf. NPNF 2.14.537).  Again, this is ratified by an Ecumenical Council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church through a Pope speaking "ex cathedra" in the eyes of the modern Roman Church.   Christ, as He is present in the logoi of the Faith that He Himself founded, is the Rock and Foundation of the Church. 
       St. Augustine Himself said, in His retractional interpretation of Matt. 16 that Christ is clearly saying "Peter, I will build you upon Me, not Me upon You."  This is because of the absurdity of imagining that Christ would build His Body upon Peter, rather than building Peter upon His Body.     
       Of course, Orthodoxy does not, and never has (as is true of most of the western church of the first millenium) seen the physical place of Peter as the criteria for primacy.   Rather, it saw the 'city set on a hill' in the world as the criteria.  As for St. Gregory the Great's version of Peter's sees, we should say that Jerusalem itself, if the sole determination was Apostolic primacy, would still have the primacy.   But, as we know, Jerusalem was the see that was "first among equals" in the early Church, as it was a see, founded not only by all the Apostles including Peter, but by the Lord Himself (Gospel of Luke "beginning at Jerusalem...)  as we read in Scripture that a special collection was taken up not to be sent to Rome, but to Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, however, still honored as the "mother of all Churches" by the Ecumenical Councils, stayed with Orthodoxy, not Roman Catholicism.  Interestingly enough, we know that it was the Bishop of Jerusalem that signed first at the council of Nicea, not Rome or any of the others.     Again, although primacy at a council falls to Constantinople, it is Jerusalem that is still given the title "mother of all churches."  I hope this helps
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 11:33:59 PM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 12:06:31 AM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.

"The Eastern Orthodox Church interprets the verse differently and disagree with the Roman Catholics with regard to the language He was speaking and therefore affecting the meaning. The Roman Catholics believe he was speaking Aramiac, where there would be no distinction in gender. The Eastern Orthodox Church believes that the "rock" Christ refers to is not the person of Peter, but the faith of Peter (the Greek construction, παύτη τη πέτρα, uses the feminine demonstrative pronoun and article; Jesus would have used the masculine if he were referring to Peter's person)[5]. They see Jesus' words, "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" as simply bestowing first upon Peter what was later bestowed upon all of the Apostles collectively (John 21:23, cf. Matthew 28:18). Orthodox see Peter's immediate fall into error, when he opposes the suffering Messiah and is rebuked by Jesus (Matthew 16:21-23), as proof of Peter's fallibility, while the Catholic Church sees Peter's personal failures as having no bearing on his gift of infallibility in his teaching capacity. The Orthodox believe in the infallibility of the Church as a whole, but that any individual, regardless of their position can be subject to error or even heresy in their teaching."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confession_of_Peter

Wikipedia...for what its worth...
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 12:45:05 AM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.

Uh, that is not what the text says:
καγω δε σοι λεγω οτι συ ει πετρος και επι ταυτη τη πετρα οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν και πυλαι αδου ου κατισχυσουσιν αυτης.

The masculine name 'Petros' and the feminine noun 'petra' are obviously related, but definitely distinct words. It's the equivalent of 'You are Rocky, and on this rock, I will build my Church.' Speculation about what Christ might have said in Aramaic, is just that speculation. What the apostles and the Holy Spirit chose to preserve and pass on was the Greek words which clearly distinguish St. Peter from the rock upon which the Church is built (which in Greek is obviously the declaration of faith that Jesus is 'the Christ, the Son of the Living God' which St. Peter had just made).
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2009, 06:39:23 AM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18
...

Start reading from Matt. 16:16 and you will clear your particular misunderstanding. Apart from that, read chapters, at least, and not verses.
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2009, 11:44:43 AM »

It is pure speculation what an aramaic text might have said with regard to kepha, since the only example we have is a syriac text translated from the Greek centuries later.   But what we do have is the Greek text, and the only other place that we find the phrase "epi tauti ti petra" (and upon this Rock) is in Matthew 7.24 where we see it referring to the Logos in His Logoi of the Faith:  "epi tin petran" (upon the Rock).   As St. Augustine once wrote in his retractions, "the Lord said, I will build thee upon Me, Rocky, not Me upon thee."   The Rock is Christ, and the point of both Matt. 7 is that the Logos is ever-present in His logoi, the Pistos is inseparably present in His Pistis, and that this is the Rock on which the House is built.  Christ is the builder of the House, He, as He is present in His logoi of Faith is the Petra upon which the House is built, and He is the chief cornerstone of the building itself.   One of the points of Matt 16.16-18, therefore, is that this same Petra of Matthew 7 Who is now being confessed by the Petros is the solid foundation upon which the Church (the House) is built.     
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 11:58:41 AM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.

Uh, that is not what the text says:
καγω δε σοι λεγω οτι συ ει πετρος και επι ταυτη τη πετρα οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν και πυλαι αδου ου κατισχυσουσιν αυτης.

The masculine name 'Petros' and the feminine noun 'petra' are obviously related, but definitely distinct words. It's the equivalent of 'You are Rocky, and on this rock, I will build my Church.' Speculation about what Christ might have said in Aramaic, is just that speculation. What the apostles and the Holy Spirit chose to preserve and pass on was the Greek words which clearly distinguish St. Peter from the rock upon which the Church is built (which in Greek is obviously the declaration of faith that Jesus is 'the Christ, the Son of the Living God' which St. Peter had just made).


As a quick aside, I've always found it a bit amusing that Simon bar Jonah would be known as "Rocky Johnson" today. 
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2009, 12:52:18 AM »

So He said "You are Petros, and upon this Petra I will build My Church"?

I always got the arguement that this was translated into Greek as Petros because the Aramaic word Kepha was feminin in Greek and could not be used as a name for Peter because he was male.

I notice that in St. Paul's epistles, Simon's name is transliterated as Cephas.

Also, who are the Sheep and Lambs which the Risen Christ tells Peter to tend and feed?
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2009, 09:17:43 AM »

So He said "You are Petros, and upon this Petra I will build My Church"?

I always got the arguement that this was translated into Greek as Petros because the Aramaic word Kepha was feminin in Greek and could not be used as a name for Peter because he was male.

I notice that in St. Paul's epistles, Simon's name is transliterated as Cephas.

Also, who are the Sheep and Lambs which the Risen Christ tells Peter to tend and feed?

But using that argument why would Christ not have just said "Thou art Petros, and upon this Petros I will build my Church."  He used the two to delineate the relationship between the two.  The sheep are the flock of Christ.  The primacy/cathedra of Peter, as St. Cyprian says, is the Episcopacy, and every Bishop shares it, as also confirmed by the Cyprianite council and the 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils that upheld. it.
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2009, 06:45:23 PM »

Good point. I did here one man read the verses in Aramaic though and the word Kepha was used both times.
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2009, 07:45:25 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2009, 07:53:33 PM »

But we have seen that entire communions of Bishops can fall into heresy. The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

Actually, no, they don't.  But that's the subject of another thread (well, several other threads).



Quote
The Bishops in communion with Rome hold doctrines that Eastern Orthodox hold to be heretical. Why should we trust the Communion of Bishops that makes up the Orthodox Church over the catholic church? Or the Oriental Orthodox?

That's what we call Faith: no hedging bets.  Not to chose is to chose.  No escaping existential questions.

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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2009, 04:14:29 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2009, 04:26:22 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?
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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2009, 05:10:40 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?

What is the heresy you refer to in this case. 
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2009, 05:41:08 PM »

Quote from: Pilgrim

How do we know which Communion is the 'right' communion, seeing as there is no Patriarch acting as a 'beacon' of sorts?

Seeing as how there are many communions today claiming to be The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church established by Christ, there really is no way to objectively know which one is it. We can simply try our best to discern which of these communions has the most solid claim to continuity with the pre-Schism church (meaning before the schisms of the 5th century) on the basis of the Tradition of the time of the Church when there was not such division (i.e. up until ~449).

Quote from: Pilgrim

If the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople were to fall into heresy, as EO profess the Roman Patriarch did, what would happen? Who would have that primacy in the communion of Bishops?

In the EOC? If the Ecumenical Patriarch were to enter into heresy/schism, then the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria would become "first among equals" as a result.
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2009, 05:43:29 PM »


To echo, Proavoslavbob, we must remember that it is the Eucharist which keeps us in communion, not the bishops themselves.  Only when the true Eucharist is served does that give a true ontological presence of Christ and thus does the bishop have authority.  The bishop's authority is thus dependent upon the Eucharist offered up faithfully and in truth.  If such is the case, then you need not worry about which bishop is doing what.

While I agree that the Eucharist is fundamental to the authority of the Bishop, I do not agree with your idea that the reality of intercommunion is not dependent on the Bishop. As a matter of fact, without the Bishop there is no Eucharist. And it is the communion of our bishops with each other that result with us being in communion with people of other dioceses.
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« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2009, 05:47:28 PM »

Quote from: Pilgrim

But we have seen that entire communions of Bishops can fall into heresy. The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures. The Bishops in communion with Rome hold doctrines that Eastern Orthodox hold to be heretical. Why should we trust the Communion of Bishops that makes up the Orthodox Church over the catholic church? Or the Oriental Orthodox?

This is definitely where we get into danger. And not many are willing to admit the situation for what it is, because then they have to realize that Christendom is in such a situation that the Church must on a certain level be discerned outside of Church authority. Yes, this is a dangerous reality, but there really is no way around it. How can we decide the identity of the Church on the basis of Church authorities when the very nature of the Church is beforehand unknown? We can't. The best we can do is dialogue with others and try to discern which community shows the most solid continuity with the Undivided Church of the first 400 years.

Quote from: Pilgrim

BTW, I thought the next in line (so to speak) was Antioch. Isn't it Rome-Constantinople-Antioch-Alexandria-Jerusalem?

Nope. Even before Constantinople and Jerusalem were even Patriarchates at the First Council of Nicaea, even then it was Rome-Alexandria-Antioch.
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« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2009, 05:50:02 PM »

Quote from: Alveus Lacuna

I think the Nestorians are an obvious thumbs-down

Agreed. Especially given that their schism was largely nationalistic in motivation rather than doctrinal. Really only the RCC, EOC, and OOC are all that worth considering as the Church.
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« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2009, 05:52:35 PM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.

What I wonder is if Jesus really said Kepha and Kepha. Because the Greek indicates a difference in gender, Petros and Petra.
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« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2009, 05:53:17 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?

What is the heresy you refer to in this case. 
Off the top of my head: Nestorianism, Monophysism (the real thing, not Miaphysism), Monotheletism, Iconoclasm, Uniatism, Calvinism.
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« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2009, 05:54:05 PM »

a quick question on Matt. 16:18

when I read it I find it difficult to see how Christ can mean that Peter's confession is the rock, not peter himself.

"YOU are Kepha, and on this Kepha (that is, Peter, who Jesus just said was the rock) I will build my Church."

I realize, of course, that this does not mean that Rome has ultimate authority, or that the Pope of Rome alone is Peter's successor.

Uh, that is not what the text says:
καγω δε σοι λεγω οτι συ ει πετρος και επι ταυτη τη πετρα οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν και πυλαι αδου ου κατισχυσουσιν αυτης.

The masculine name 'Petros' and the feminine noun 'petra' are obviously related, but definitely distinct words. It's the equivalent of 'You are Rocky, and on this rock, I will build my Church.' Speculation about what Christ might have said in Aramaic, is just that speculation. What the apostles and the Holy Spirit chose to preserve and pass on was the Greek words which clearly distinguish St. Peter from the rock upon which the Church is built (which in Greek is obviously the declaration of faith that Jesus is 'the Christ, the Son of the Living God' which St. Peter had just made).


As a quick aside, I've always found it a bit amusing that Simon bar Jonah would be known as "Rocky Johnson" today. 

 laugh
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« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2009, 05:55:27 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

It wasn't done with Rome...
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« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2009, 05:57:37 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?

What is the heresy you refer to in this case. 
Off the top of my head: Nestorianism, Monophysism (the real thing, not Miaphysism), Monotheletism, Iconoclasm, Uniatism, Calvinism.

Totally called it. Actually, historically it seems to me that perhaps Constantinople had the most complete and broad representation of heretics among its Patriarchs over and above any of the other Patriarchates.
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« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2009, 05:58:18 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

It wasn't done with Rome...

....yeah, it took a while for us to realize what she was up to.  There's a thread on that somewhere.
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« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2009, 06:00:01 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?

What is the heresy you refer to in this case. 
Off the top of my head: Nestorianism, Monophysism (the real thing, not Miaphysism), Monotheletism, Iconoclasm, Uniatism, Calvinism.

Totally called it. Actually, historically it seems to me that perhaps Constantinople had the most complete and broad representation of heretics among its Patriarchs over and above any of the other Patriarchates.

Nothing like being "ecumenical."
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« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2009, 06:24:32 PM »

That's the conclusion I've come to as well. st. Christopher, patron of travellers, pray for this Pilgrim.

Say, is St. christopher a saint in Eastern Orthodoxy?

Have a look at message #412 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.msg319839.html#msg319839
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« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2009, 06:51:55 PM »

From the Orthodox point of view, you are not asking the right question.  The assurance of the fullness of the Church comes from all of the bishops in communion with each other, and the Orthodox faith that they and their flocks all confess, not from one bishop who is a "beacon" for all the others.  The Orthodox believe that the Church is collegial and that no bishop is sacramentally greater than any other.  Granted, we do look to certain bishops to be leaders and we do grant them special recognition as the first among equals.  To answer your last question, if Constantinople were to fall into heresy, I think Alexandria would be the next patriarchate in line to assume the primacy of honour in the Church.

Not that I adverse to Alexandria, but I would hope we would find an Orthodox EP to replace a heretical one.

The jihad continues... Roll Eyes

Are you partial to heresy?

Several heretics have served as EP, and they all have been replaced. Is there a problem with that?

What is the heresy you refer to in this case. 
Off the top of my head: Nestorianism, Monophysism (the real thing, not Miaphysism), Monotheletism, Iconoclasm, Uniatism, Calvinism.

Totally called it. Actually, historically it seems to me that perhaps Constantinople had the most complete and broad representation of heretics among its Patriarchs over and above any of the other Patriarchates.

Nothing like being "ecumenical."

 laugh
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2009, 04:09:12 AM »

Coming into Catholic communion, I always that that the "Rock" of Matthew 16:18 refers to ALL THREE - Jesus, Peter's Confession, and Peter.  The unanimous teaching of the Fathers on the matter does not exclude one over another.  Even St. Augustine in his famous Retractations admits to his readers that they can choose on their own which intepretation to have.

There's the difference between the EO understanding and the CC understanding on the matter - the EO (at least the polemical ones) reject that the Rock refers to St. Peter, while the Catholic (even the polemical ones) will never deny that the Rock can refer to Christ and his confession at the same time.  That is the Incarnational/sacramental principle at work in the Catholic understanding.  Catholics claim Peter is the Rock ONLY because Christ is the Rock, and with that Grace was able to make his rock-like confession.  In distinction, it seems EO will claim the Rock refers ONLY to Christ or Peter's confession, as is evident in this discussion already.

Blessings,
Marduk

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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2009, 10:58:46 AM »

Coming into Catholic communion, I always that that the "Rock" of Matthew 16:18 refers to ALL THREE - Jesus, Peter's Confession, and Peter.  The unanimous teaching of the Fathers on the matter does not exclude one over another.  Even St. Augustine in his famous Retractations admits to his readers that they can choose on their own which intepretation to have.

There's the difference between the EO understanding and the CC understanding on the matter - the EO (at least the polemical ones) reject that the Rock refers to St. Peter, while the Catholic (even the polemical ones) will never deny that the Rock can refer to Christ and his confession at the same time.  That is the Incarnational/sacramental principle at work in the Catholic understanding.  Catholics claim Peter is the Rock ONLY because Christ is the Rock, and with that Grace was able to make his rock-like confession.  In distinction, it seems EO will claim the Rock refers ONLY to Christ or Peter's confession, as is evident in this discussion already.

Blessings,
Marduk



Sorry, but I disagree.  There is no need to say that Peter is not the Rock, and the Orthodox do not do so.  Peter is the Rock (Petros) and Christ is the Rock (Petra).  The point of the passage is to show the relationship between the two.   To invent that Peter is both Petros and Petra is unnecessary.   As St. Leo the Great said, the Petrus of the Church "derives his name from that original Petra (Christ)."   Petra is the mother Rock and the Petros "born" from the Petra.  He is not a pebble but he is solid Rock coming forth from foundational Rock.  We do not need to twist the passage to see the obvious. 
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2009, 06:37:10 PM »

Church Fathers and the Rock
 
Archbishop Kenrick, who was one of America's
extraordinary bishops, was opposed to the doctrine of
papal infallibilty and at the First Vatican Council
in 1869 he voted against it. He wanted to deliver
a speech against the proposed doctrine at the Council
but instead he ceased to attend the Council meetings.
He published his speech in Naples the following year.
 
It is important because he lists the five different
patristic interpretations of Matthew 16:18.
 

Let's look at how the Church Fathers line up over this verse:
 

1...."That St. Peter is the Rock" is taught
by seventeen (17) Fathers
 

2....That the whole Apostolic College is the Rock,
represented by Peter as its chief,
is taught by eight (8.) Church Fathers
 

3....That St. Peter's faith is the Rock,
is taught by forty-four (44) Church Fathers
 

4....That Christ is the Rock,
is taught by sixteen Fathers (16)
 

5....That the rock is the whole body of the faithful.
Archbp. Kendrick gives no figure.
 

Archbishop Kendrick summarises
 
"If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold
for certain that the word "Petra" means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter."
 
This is an important point by Kendrick since one of the
RC Councils (I need to check which one) laid down the
principle that a preponderance of patristic consensus
is needed for the promulgation of any dogma.
 
You can look this up and check that I have it
accurately in Friedrich, Docum ad illust. Conc. Vat. 1, pp. 185-246
 
As to who Archbishop Kenrick was.
Please see the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08618a.htm "
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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2009, 09:11:19 PM »

Dearest FatherHLL,

Sorry, but I disagree.  There is no need to say that Peter is not the Rock, and the Orthodox do not do so.  Peter is the Rock (Petros) and Christ is the Rock (Petra).  The point of the passage is to show the relationship between the two.   To invent that Peter is both Petros and Petra is unnecessary.   As St. Leo the Great said, the Petrus of the Church "derives his name from that original Petra (Christ)."   Petra is the mother Rock and the Petros "born" from the Petra.  He is not a pebble but he is solid Rock coming forth from foundational Rock.  We do not need to twist the passage to see the obvious. 
I agree that some Catholic apologists often, in a reactionary manner, focus too much on Peter's being NAMED the Rock, instead of Peter's QUALITY as the Rock which is derived from Christ.  However, I disagree that anyone is twisting any passages.  The problem, to me, is when apologists (or polemicists, rather) makes any one of the definitions MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE (i.e., claiming one interpretation, and saying the other interpretation is not possible).  I think Catholics and Orthodox are BOTH prone to that tactic. 

A good example is Father Ambrose's claim in his most recent post.  He wants to make a false dichotomy between Peter as "the Rock" and Peter's faith as "the Rock," as if the preponderance of one set of testimonies means the other set of testimonies are not just as valid.  I think the proper method is to understand how they relate to each other, instead of making these interpretations mutually exclusive.

Humbly,
Marduk
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« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2009, 09:34:43 PM »

May I direct folks to the following:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14723.msg230684.html#msg230684
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2009, 03:19:47 AM »

A good example is Father Ambrose's claim in his most recent post.  He wants to make a false dichotomy between Peter as "the Rock" and Peter's faith as "the Rock," as if the preponderance of one set of testimonies means the other set of testimonies are not just as valid.

That's silly. I offered Kenrick's statistics to show the rich variety of patristic understanding of "the rock."  The majority consensus is for the rock meaning the faith of Peter, but, as Fr HLL points out, there are other interpretations which supplement and enrich the majority meaning.  Nonetheless the majory consensus remains important.

Kenrick did us all a favour because he cuts across the often used Cathoic technique of presenting only those patristic quotes which favour Peter as the rock and ignoring the majority of quotes which say otherwise.  It is a great safeguard to be aware how the Fathers balance out over this matter.
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« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2009, 03:36:17 AM »

I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley


Note well:


1. The parts where the Pope speaks of Alexandria and Antioch sharing the keys with Rome


2. The parts where the Pope speaks of the equality of Rome and Alexandria and Antioch


3. The parts where the Pope says that all three of these Sees form one See over which the three bishops preside.


-oOo-


St Gregory I, Pope of Rome, Epistle XL, writing to Pope Eulogius
Patriarch of Alexandria.


"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius] 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 [he means the bishops], but even in the
number of such as stand [he means the faithful].
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 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.


For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. 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.”


 (Book VII, Epistle XL)

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« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2009, 09:30:35 AM »

I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley


Note well:


1. The parts where the Pope speaks of Alexandria and Antioch sharing the keys with Rome


2. The parts where the Pope speaks of the equality of Rome and Alexandria and Antioch


3. The parts where the Pope says that all three of these Sees form one See over which the three bishops preside.


-oOo-


St Gregory I, Pope of Rome, Epistle XL, writing to Pope Eulogius
Patriarch of Alexandria.


"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius] 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 [he means the bishops], but even in the
number of such as stand [he means the faithful].
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 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.


For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. 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.”


 (Book VII, Epistle XL)


As  I read remarks on CAF concerning the power of the keys, it appears that the current Catholic interpretation is that Peter alone has the keys and the authority to bind and loose.  When would you say that the teaching changed from a sharing of the keys to the current teaching that the Pope of Rome alone has the keys. Also, are there any more references to the sharing of keys?
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« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2009, 09:55:56 AM »

As  I read remarks on CAF concerning the power of the keys, it appears that the current Catholic interpretation is that Peter alone has the keys and the authority to bind and loose.  When would you say that the teaching changed from a sharing of the keys to the current teaching that the Pope of Rome alone has the keys.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an article The Power of the Keys where it seems that up until the 14th or 15th century the power of the keys was not understood in the limited modern Catholic understanding.  The understanding for the first millennium and a half in the West was centred on the power of all the clergy to judge penitents and forgive their sins.   It's a tantalisingly short article and it would be great to find a fuller source.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm

"The meaning attached to the term [the power of the keys] by the older Scholastics was, however, different from this. They followed the patristic tradition, and confined its significance to the judicial authority exercised in the Sacrament of Penance.

"The power of the keys, St. Thomas tells us (Summa Theologica Supp:17:2, ad 1um), is a necessary consequence of the sacerdotal character. It is, in fact, identical in essence with the power to consecrate and to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The one sacerdotal gift is applied to different ends in the different sacraments.

Such, too, appears to be the teaching of Pope John XXII [died 1334] in a well-known passage dealing with this subject. The definition, "The keys are a special power of binding and loosing by which the ecclesiastical judge [the confessor] should receive the worthy [into the kingdom of heaven] and exclude the unworthy therefrom", generally accepted in the Scholastic period (Peter. Lombard,  John XXII, St. Thomas Aquinas), might seem indeed to include jurisdiction in the external as well as in the internal forum.

"But in point of fact it was not so understood. The distinction between the clavis potentiae [key of power]and the clavis scientiae [key of knowledge] was employed here. By the clavis scientiae was understood the priestly authority to interrogate the penitent and thus obtain cognizance of the facts of the case; by the clavis potentiae, the authority to grant or refuse absolution."

[For easier readibility I have taken the Latin sentences out of this extract, but of course left the English.  I don't believe that anything has been distorted by this but please read the article on the website if you want to see the Latin.]
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« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2009, 10:08:54 AM »

I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley
As  I read remarks on CAF concerning the power of the keys, it appears that the current Catholic interpretation is that Peter alone has the keys and the authority to bind and loose.  When would you say that the teaching changed from a sharing of the keys to the current teaching that the Pope of Rome alone has the keys. Also, are there any more references to the sharing of keys?

I just posted something on the proof text that the Vatican put in the dome of St. Peter's.
"Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

The unique promise to Peter was not the binding and loosing one since in Matt 18:18 it was applied to all the Apostles.

Right you are!

Quote
The unique promise to Peter (the Rock upon which the Church was to be built) was that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

and those keys do what?

The quote is QUITE plain on that.  I bold faced in case you missed it.

Quote
In the Fathers the references to the promise of Matthew 16:19, are of frequent occurrence. Almost invariably the words of Christ are cited in proof of the Church's power to forgive sins. The application is a natural one, for the promise of the keys is immediately followed by the words: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth", etc. Moreover, the power to confer or to withhold forgiveness might well be viewed as the opening and shutting of the gates of heaven. This interpretation, however, restricts the sense somewhat too narrowly; for the remission of sins is but one of the various ways in which ecclesiastical authority is exercised. We have examples of this use of the term is such passages as August., "De Doctrina Christi", xvii, xviii: "Quid liberatius et misericordius facere potuit. . .nisi ut omnia donaret conversis. . .Has igitur claves dedit Ecclesiae suae ut quae solveret in terra soluta essent in coelo" (How could He [Christ] have shewn greater liberality and greater mercy. . .than by granting full forgiveness to those who should turn from their sins. . .He gave these keys to His Church, therefore, that whatever it should remit on earth should be remitted also in heaven) (P.L., XXIV, 25; cf. Hilary, "In Matt.", xvi, P.L., IX, 1010).

It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter. When they deal with that question, they ordinarily appeal not to the gift of the keys but to his office as the rock on which the Church is founded. In their references to the potestas clavium, they are usually intent on vindicating against the Montanist and Novatian heretics the power inherent in the Church to forgive. Thus St. Augustine in several passages declares that the authority to bind and loose was not a purely personal gift to St. Peter, but was conferred upon him as representing the Church. The whole Church, he urges, exercises the power of forgiving sins. This could not be had the gift been a personal one (tract. 1 in Joan., n. 12, P.L., XXXV, 1763; Serm. ccxcv, in P.L., XXXVIII, 1349). From these passages certain Protestant controversialists have drawn the curious conclusion that the power to forgive sins belongs not to the priesthood but to the collective body of Christians (see Cheetham in "Dict. Christ. Antiq.", s.v.). There is, of course, no suggestion of this meaning. St. Augustine merely signifies that the power to absolve was to be imparted through St. Peter to members of the Church's hierarchy throughout the world.

Some few of the Fathers, however, are careful to note that the bestowal of this power upon St. Peter alone, apart from the other Apostles, denoted his primacy among the twelve (Optatus, "De Schism. Don.", vii, 3, in P.L., XI, 1087). Origen dilates at length on this point, but teaches erroneously that the power conferred upon the Twelve in Matthew 18:18, could only be exercised within certain restrictions of place, while that conferred upon St. Peter in Matthew 16:18, was of universal extent (Comm. in Matt., P.G., XIII, 1179).


Btw, Opatus places a great emphasis on the line of St. Peter at Rome, but then produces a incorrect list of popes (I'll let the comment on Origin "teaches erroneously" stand on its own).
Quote
The whole schism has arisen through the quarrel as to the episcopal succession at Carthage, and it might have been expected that Optatus would claim this property of cathedra by pointing out the legitimacy of the Catholic succession at Carthage. But he does not. He replies: "We must examine who sat first in the chair, and where. . . .You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome upon Peter first the chair of the bishop was conferred, in which sat the head of all the Apostles, Peter, whence also he was called Cephas, in which one chair unity should be preserved by all, lest the other Apostles should each stand up for his own chair, so that now he should be a schismatic and a sinner who should against this one chair set up another. Therefore in the one chair, which is the first of the dotes Peter first sat, to whom succeeded Linus." An incorrect list of popes follows, ending with, "and to Damasus Siricius, who is today our colleague, with whom the whole world with us agrees by the communication of commendatory letters in the fellowship of one communion. Tell us the origin of your chair, you who wish to claim the holy Church for yourselves". Optatus then mocks at the recent succession of Donatist antipopes at Rome.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11262b.htm

Quote
(2) Occasionally, though infrequently, Christ's promise is not restricted to signify the power to forgive sins, but is taken in the fuller meaning of the gift of authority over the Church. Thus St. Gregory in his letter to the Emperor Maurice, after quoting Christ's words in Matthew 16:18-19, writes: "Behold he [Peter] received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing is committed to him, the care of the whole Church and its government is given to him [cura ei totius Ecclesiae et principatus committitur (Epist., lib. V, ep. xx, in P.L., LXXVII, 745)]. St. Maximus in a sermon on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (P.L., LVII, 403) says that to St. Peter was given the key of power (clavis potentioe), to St. Paul the key of knowledge (clavis scientioe). The idea of a key of knowledge is clearly derived from Christ's words to the Pharisees, Luke 11:52: "You have taken away the key of knowledge." This distinction of the clavis potentioe and clavis scientioe recurs frequently in the medieval writers, though without reference to St. Paul.

By the Scholastic theologians the precise significance of the term was closely analysed.
(1) The view which is now universally accepted is exposed at length by Suárez (De Poenit., disp. xvi). According to him, the phrase as employed by Christ in His promise to St. Peter denotes the gift of ecclesiastical authority in its widest scope. This authority was to be in a sense peculiar to St. Peter and his successors in the chief pastorate; for they alone were to possess it in its fullness...
(2) The meaning attached to the term by the older Scholastics was, however, different from this. They followed the patristic tradition, and confined its significance to the judicial authority exercised in the Sacrament of Penance...
(3) Hence there were not wanting theologians who narrowly restricted the scope of the gift, and asserted that it denoted the special prerogatives appertaining to St. Peter and his successors, and these alone. Thus Cardinal Cajetan (Opusc., I, tract. iii, De Rom. Pont., c. v) held that while the power of binding and loosing belonged to all priests, the power of the keys -- authority to open and shut -- was proper to the supreme pontiff; and that this expression signified his authority to rule the Church, to define dogma, to legislate, and to dispense from laws. A similar opinion would seem to have been held by the Franciscans whose views are rejected by John XXII
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm

In other word, in answer to your question "When would you say that the teaching changed from a sharing of the keys to the current teaching that the Pope of Rome alone has the keys," quite late, post Luther.
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« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2009, 04:18:24 PM »

In other word, in answer to your question "When would you say that the teaching changed from a sharing of the keys to the current teaching that the Pope of Rome alone has the keys," quite late, post Luther.
OK.
I can understand the opposition of the Orthodox to the current Catholic concept that the power of the keys, or the power of binding and loosing, would mean that the Pope of Rome has universal and absolute jurisdiction and disciplinary authority over the entire Church, including the Eastern Churches.  It looks like this was developed and amplified  mostly when the Roman Church was separate from the Eastern Churches, although still, historically, it looks to me like the Pope of Rome had a certain primacy of honor at least.
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« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2009, 05:08:52 PM »


I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley

And yet Gregory is still attributing a special authority to those who have their episcopal consecration/succession through Peter, and thus he is suggesting an understanding that isn't really that of the present day Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox but rather something seemingly in between.

Furthermore, if we are to vindicate this system of Gregory's we must admit to the criticisms that the Bishop of Rome originally had of the Pentarchy and the placement of honor of Constantinople after Rome, for Constantinople is not a see of Peter. The original Triumvirate as found at Nicaea would have to be upheld instead.
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« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2009, 07:01:14 PM »


I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley

And yet Gregory is still attributing a special authority to those who have their episcopal consecration/succession through Peter, and thus he is suggesting an understanding that isn't really that of the present day Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox but rather something seemingly in between.

Furthermore, if we are to vindicate this system of Gregory's we must admit to the criticisms that the Bishop of Rome originally had of the Pentarchy and the placement of honor of Constantinople after Rome, for Constantinople is not a see of Peter. The original Triumvirate as found at Nicaea would have to be upheld instead.
The way I look at it, is that the situation today is different from what it was one  or two thousand years ago. So, according to the Catholic theory of development of doctrine, this teaching will have to be reevaluated and reworked so as to be acceptable to all parties concerned.
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« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2009, 07:15:44 PM »


I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley

And yet Gregory is still attributing a special authority to those who have their episcopal consecration/succession through Peter, and thus he is suggesting an understanding that isn't really that of the present day Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox but rather something seemingly in between.

Furthermore, if we are to vindicate this system of Gregory's we must admit to the criticisms that the Bishop of Rome originally had of the Pentarchy and the placement of honor of Constantinople after Rome, for Constantinople is not a see of Peter. The original Triumvirate as found at Nicaea would have to be upheld instead.

We are not to vindicate this system of Gregory's.  The Vatican makes much of St. Peter, claiming an unique authority on the basis of it. But the testimony of Pope St. Gregory belies this, an embarrassing detail for the Vatican.  As the quote I provided above shows, even a country bishop could claim the authority of St. Peter.

Now Constantinople is an issue in that it was the catalyst for the rise of Ultramontanism in Rome, but that was a long and tortured route.  First the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council, which included the primates of Constantinople and Antioch (neither in communion with Rome at the time) and that of Alexandria, which elevated Constantinople.  Rome wasn't there.  The reaction began in the Synod of the Oak, where I believe for the first time the primate of one Church (Alexandria) had the primate of another (Constantinople) deposed, over the protests of others (Rome, Antioch).  Next Alexandria again deposed another primate of Constantinople at Ephesus, this time with the (right) agreement of Rome, and the dismemberment of Antioch (Cyprus being recognized (rightly again) as independent).  Then, at Ephesus II, Alexandria deposes Constantinople and Antioch, and then Rome.  At Chalcedon Alexandria is deposed, Antioch is dismembered so as to create Jerusalem, leaving Rome and New Rome to duke it out, Constantinople's elevation being reaffirmed.  In that contest Constantinople was battled tested, whereas Rome was not, and Constantinople was a see on the rise, Rome a see of a declining city, and had to fall back on prestige rather than power.

Such had not been previously the case. Pope Victor was the first primate to presume to depose another primate.  Pope Victor was also the first Pope from outside of Rome within Rome's patriarchate in the West (there were predecessors from the East), the one who introduced Latin into the Roman mass, and hence was projecting his own provincial view of Rome onto the sees of the East.  He links to the emperor's household, and got many favors by imperial decree, unusual for an illegal organization.  The Church, however, slapped Pope Victor's hand, and he made no Petrine claims as the basis of his authority.  That claim wouldn't enter the equation until Rome's battle with his suffragan in North Africa, between Pope St. Stephen and Primate St. Cyprian.  Again, Rome even in her own patriarchate got her hand slapped with help from the East.  She took no large part in the conversion of the Empire, but it wasn't until the Emperor gave his title of Pontifex Maximus, and, after befriending the eventual winners of battles in the East, that she joined in the above struggle and Ultramontanism began to take off.
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« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2009, 07:16:55 PM »


I believe this is germane to this topic - the teaching of Pope Saint Gregory the Great that the three Patriarchates which
existed in his time -Rome, Alexandria and Antioch-  founded by Peter, were equal in power and authority.   This is something from
one of the Church's greatest Popes which you will never see in any Catholic work on the papacy.   Smiley

And yet Gregory is still attributing a special authority to those who have their episcopal consecration/succession through Peter, and thus he is suggesting an understanding that isn't really that of the present day Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox but rather something seemingly in between.

Furthermore, if we are to vindicate this system of Gregory's we must admit to the criticisms that the Bishop of Rome originally had of the Pentarchy and the placement of honor of Constantinople after Rome, for Constantinople is not a see of Peter. The original Triumvirate as found at Nicaea would have to be upheld instead.
The way I look at it, is that the situation today is different from what it was one  or two thousand years ago. So, according to the Catholic theory of development of doctrine, this teaching will have to be reevaluated and reworked so as to be acceptable to all parties concerned.

that's an intersting idea: can development of doctrine develop in the other direction.
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« Reply #54 on: June 16, 2009, 08:41:53 PM »


Then, at Ephesus II, Alexandria deposes Constantinople and Antioch, and then Rome.

Leo was not deposed.
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« Reply #55 on: June 16, 2009, 08:43:57 PM »


We are not to vindicate this system of Gregory's.

So Gregory's triumvirate can be used to criticize the Papacy but not the Pentarchy? WTH?
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« Reply #56 on: June 16, 2009, 10:11:15 PM »


Then, at Ephesus II, Alexandria deposes Constantinople and Antioch, and then Rome.

Leo was not deposed.

Quote
Dioscorus sent an encyclical to the bishops of the East, with a form of adhesion to the council which they were to sign (Perry, p. 375). He went to Constantinople and appointed his secretary Anatolius bishop of that great see. Juvenal of Jerusalem had become his tool, he had deposed the Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople; but one powerful adversary yet remained.  He halted at Nicaea, and with ten bishops (no doubt the ten Egyptian metropolitans whom he had brought to Ephesus), "in addition to all his other crimes he extended his madness against him who had been entrusted with the guardianship of the Vine by the Saviour" -- in the words of the bishops at Chalcedon -- and excommunicated the pope himself.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05495a.htm
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« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2009, 10:18:10 PM »


We are not to vindicate this system of Gregory's.

So Gregory's triumvirate can be used to criticize the Papacy but not the Pentarchy? WTH?

Evidently admitted by the apologists themselves, as usually they post the doctored version of the quote, as happened recently on another forum. police Roll Eyes police

Quote
42) Pope St. Gregory the Great: “Your most sweet holiness, [Eulogius, bishop 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” (Letter to Eulogius [597 AD]).

Now, compare that to the full quote above.

The quote can be used to let the Ultramontanist claims of there being only one successor of St. Peter with his authority implode on themselves.  As the Pentarchy is not based on it, it is unaffected.

This has been dealt with before.
Pope Saint Gregory wrote to Pope Euloghius of Alexandria and he is strong in his assertion that all three Bishops of Rome and Antioch and Alexandria are equally Petrine and of one authority with the same Petrine prerogatives... It's an astounding reversal for the unique claims of modern Rome!

If I may bring Pope Gregory's text onto the Forum...
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« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2009, 12:06:46 AM »

This has been dealt with before.
Pope Saint Gregory wrote to Pope Euloghius of Alexandria and he is strong in his assertion that all three Bishops of Rome and Antioch and Alexandria are equally Petrine and of one authority with the same Petrine prerogatives... It's an astounding reversal for the unique claims of modern Rome!

If I may bring Pope Gregory's text onto the Forum...

And it has also been dealt with on the Supremacy of Peter thread, where I used the Orthodox liturgical texts for the feasts of Apostles Peter and Paul, and of Apostle Andrew, to show most clearly the Orthodox position on the matter.
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« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2009, 10:00:27 PM »

Thanks for the link Irish Hermit! Extremely interesting.

Does anyone know of good resources for looking at the case made against Papal infallibility at Vatican I?

It seems to me that Martin Luther is justified in resisting Papal Supremacy. This however does not in my mind excuse the later heresies he preached (sola scriptura, etc).

when I started looking at the catholic Church I became very venomous toward Luther, pointing out his bad points to a Lutheran friend (God forgive me for pride and a lack of Christian charity here). This is probably a topic for another thread but do you think Luther is ultimately justified in his actions?
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« Reply #60 on: June 23, 2009, 11:57:15 PM »

Thanks for the link Irish Hermit! Extremely interesting.

Does anyone know of good resources for looking at the case made against Papal infallibility at Vatican I?

Irish Hermit, on another forum  police Roll Eyes police posted the picture of the Anglo-Irish Catechism, pub. 1870, nihil obstat imprematur, where it stated that papal infallibility was Protestant Anti-Catholic Propoganda.

IIRC Hefele had to revise hisv magnus opus on the councils

Quote
It seems to me that Martin Luther is justified in resisting Papal Supremacy. This however does not in my mind excuse the later heresies he preached (sola scriptura, etc).

when I started looking at the catholic Church I became very venomous toward Luther, pointing out his bad points to a Lutheran friend (God forgive me for pride and a lack of Christian charity here). This is probably a topic for another thread but do you think Luther is ultimately justified in his actions?
Does it matter?  He cannot be canonized, he cannot be cited as a Church Father (but can be cited like one cites Winston Churchil or Mark Twain), and we should pray that the Lord have mercy on his soul, as we would for anyone.
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« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2009, 02:36:52 PM »

Church Fathers and the Rock
 
Archbishop Kenrick, who was one of America's
extraordinary bishops, was opposed to the doctrine of
papal infallibilty and at the First Vatican Council
in 1869 he voted against it. He wanted to deliver
a speech against the proposed doctrine at the Council
but instead he ceased to attend the Council meetings.
He published his speech in Naples the following year.
 
It is important because he lists the five different
patristic interpretations of Matthew 16:18.
 

Let's look at how the Church Fathers line up over this verse:
 

1...."That St. Peter is the Rock" is taught
by seventeen (17) Fathers
 

2....That the whole Apostolic College is the Rock,
represented by Peter as its chief,
is taught by eight (8.) Church Fathers
 

3....That St. Peter's faith is the Rock,
is taught by forty-four (44) Church Fathers
 

4....That Christ is the Rock,
is taught by sixteen Fathers (16)
 

5....That the rock is the whole body of the faithful.
Archbp. Kendrick gives no figure.
 

Archbishop Kendrick summarises
 
"If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold
for certain that the word "Petra" means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter."
 
This is an important point by Kendrick since one of the
RC Councils (I need to check which one) laid down the
principle that a preponderance of patristic consensus
is needed for the promulgation of any dogma.
 
You can look this up and check that I have it
accurately in Friedrich, Docum ad illust. Conc. Vat. 1, pp. 185-246
 
As to who Archbishop Kenrick was.
Please see the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08618a.htm "


Where is your source for this? Is his document/speech online anywhere?









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« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2010, 08:27:39 PM »

The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

The Oriental Orthodox does not deny two natures of Christ. Oriental Orthodox does consider monophysitism as a heresy. The Oriental Orthodox believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one hypostasis "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration". These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" .  We believes that Christ is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria.

A term that comes closer to Oriental Orthodoxy teaching on the natures of Christ is miaphysite.
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2010, 11:00:02 PM »

The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

The Oriental Orthodox does not deny two natures of Christ. Oriental Orthodox does consider monophysitism as a heresy.

It's always a puzzle and I wonder if various Oriental Churches have greater or lesser amounts of monophysite teaching remaining in their theology.

See this message here about the Christology of Pope Shenouda and his teaching in his book "The Nature of Christ":

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13683.msg191067.html#msg191067
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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2010, 01:57:10 AM »

Father,

You might want to ask Fr. Chris for admission to the private forum, where this can be discussed more thoroughly.   Smiley
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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2010, 03:46:15 AM »

Father,

You might want to ask Fr. Chris for admission to the private forum, where this can be discussed more thoroughly.   Smiley

Thanks, Salpy, but I've been warned that the private forums are not a place for monastics. 
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« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2010, 06:00:02 PM »


Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

Only for what we understand to have been the standard definition of nature at the time of Ephesus I, Ephesus II, and Chalcedon. The definition for nature provided at Constantinople II appears to be slightly different, and in the context of this definition it might be appropriate to speak of two natures after the union.
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« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2010, 06:01:43 PM »

I just read St. Gregory's letter to the Patriarch at Alexandria, talking about how there are three Sees making up the Holy See of Peter (I think he meant that they all sit on the 'Throne of Peter', which every Bishop does according to Orthodox ecclesiology as I understand it).

I suppose the question I am trying to ask is: "what makes the Orthodox Church different from the catholics, and the orientals, the 'true orthodox', and the many other breakaway Churches?"

what makes the EO the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which the gates of Hell will not prevail against?

It can't just be a communion of Bishops, can it? Again, other groups have the same thing, Bishops recognizing each other. And is it just the Eucharist, when other Bishops who are not EO celebrate valid eucharists?

The difference is this: The Orthodox Church holds the Rock and Foundation of the Church is the Orthodox Faith, Rome holds that the Rock and Foundation of the Church is Peter through the Bishop of Rome.   We can look to the Fathers and to the Ecumenical Councils for a consensus on this--even a 'papal' consensus on this.  For example, we find that St. Hadrian, pope of Rome, wrote the following, received and ratified by the Ecumenical Councils, in which He expressly states that the rock and foundation of the Church is the Orthodox Faith:  “…persevere in that Orthodox Faith in which you have begun…He [St. Peter], therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honor [of the keys] was thought worthy to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is founded” (7th Ec. Council Acts session II; cf. NPNF 2.14.537).  Again, this is ratified by an Ecumenical Council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church through a Pope speaking "ex cathedra" in the eyes of the modern Roman Church.   Christ, as He is present in the logoi of the Faith that He Himself founded, is the Rock and Foundation of the Church. 
       St. Augustine Himself said, in His retractional interpretation of Matt. 16 that Christ is clearly saying "Peter, I will build you upon Me, not Me upon You."  This is because of the absurdity of imagining that Christ would build His Body upon Peter, rather than building Peter upon His Body.     
       Of course, Orthodoxy does not, and never has (as is true of most of the western church of the first millenium) seen the physical place of Peter as the criteria for primacy.   Rather, it saw the 'city set on a hill' in the world as the criteria.  As for St. Gregory the Great's version of Peter's sees, we should say that Jerusalem itself, if the sole determination was Apostolic primacy, would still have the primacy.   But, as we know, Jerusalem was the see that was "first among equals" in the early Church, as it was a see, founded not only by all the Apostles including Peter, but by the Lord Himself (Gospel of Luke "beginning at Jerusalem...)  as we read in Scripture that a special collection was taken up not to be sent to Rome, but to Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, however, still honored as the "mother of all Churches" by the Ecumenical Councils, stayed with Orthodoxy, not Roman Catholicism.  Interestingly enough, we know that it was the Bishop of Jerusalem that signed first at the council of Nicea, not Rome or any of the others.     Again, although primacy at a council falls to Constantinople, it is Jerusalem that is still given the title "mother of all churches."  I hope this helps

That only addresses his question about the Roman Church, not the Oriental Orthodox.
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« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2010, 06:03:24 PM »

*redundant*
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« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2010, 06:08:41 PM »


Then, at Ephesus II, Alexandria deposes Constantinople and Antioch, and then Rome.

Leo was not deposed.

Quote
Dioscorus sent an encyclical to the bishops of the East, with a form of adhesion to the council which they were to sign (Perry, p. 375). He went to Constantinople and appointed his secretary Anatolius bishop of that great see. Juvenal of Jerusalem had become his tool, he had deposed the Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople; but one powerful adversary yet remained.  He halted at Nicaea, and with ten bishops (no doubt the ten Egyptian metropolitans whom he had brought to Ephesus), "in addition to all his other crimes he extended his madness against him who had been entrusted with the guardianship of the Vine by the Saviour" -- in the words of the bishops at Chalcedon -- and excommunicated the pope himself.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05495a.htm

He excommunicated him, yes. Which is different from him deposing him.

On top of this, Leo had already excommunicated Dioscorus before Dioscorus excommunicated him. It was simply tit for tat at that point.
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« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2010, 06:15:46 PM »

The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

The Oriental Orthodox does not deny two natures of Christ. Oriental Orthodox does consider monophysitism as a heresy. The Oriental Orthodox believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one hypostasis "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration". These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" .  We believes that Christ is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria.

A term that comes closer to Oriental Orthodoxy teaching on the natures of Christ is miaphysite.

You are not representing the traditional OO teaching on this matter.

In so far as what nature was understood to mean at the time of Ephesus I, Ephesus II, and Chalcedon, the OO do deny there being two natures in Christ, because to teach two natures after the union would be to dissolve the union. Both Cyril and Dioscorus refused to confess "two natures after the union" or "in two natures". This is because nature was understood to be a synonym for hypostasis. This is the meaning that the OO churches continue to use and hence why the OO churches still continue to refuse to use these formulas in the official dialogues.

"The Oriental Orthodox believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one hypostasis"

No. "Union" means making one. If two natures are truly to be united then they must, in some respect, be made one. Hence it is logical to speak of one nature after the union. The problem here is that you are actually using the EO understanding of the term nature that was defined at Constantinople II, not the traditional OO understanding of the term.

"We believes that Christ is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria."

Hence there are not two natures after the union.
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« Reply #71 on: February 19, 2010, 06:17:24 PM »

The Oriental Orthodox Bishops are in communion, are they not? Yet they deny that Christ has two natures.

The Oriental Orthodox does not deny two natures of Christ. Oriental Orthodox does consider monophysitism as a heresy.

It's always a puzzle and I wonder if various Oriental Churches have greater or lesser amounts of monophysite teaching remaining in their theology.

See this message here about the Christology of Pope Shenouda and his teaching in his book "The Nature of Christ":

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13683.msg191067.html#msg191067

I don't really think it is a matter of the particular churches. I think it is more so a matter of individuals and their degree of education or their particular Christological slant. You can just as much find Copts who will tell you that it is acceptable to speak of two natures after the union and who think that Chalcedon was really orthodox all along as you will something more along the lines of what His Holiness teaches.
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