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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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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« 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.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 03:20:49 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
Tags: bishops ecclesiology Apostolic succession catholicity sobornost 
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