The bolded part is circular reasoning at its most basic. Rome didn't even claim that for itself for hundreds of years; but allow it to grab for power in a particular political/cultural context, give the mechanism of "do whatever a Pope wants to" a neat Latin name, and you have created a whole new thing, unchecked and unimpeachable. If you don't like it or it is in complete conflict with orthodoxy, reference an "organic evolution and continuous revelation" and 90% of people will swallow it. And even if Rome did have the special task of holding the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" together, it certainly did a piss poor job of it and blew out apostolic sees purely in the name of its own authority- that is the tail wagging the dog.
Sorry, but it pains me.
Wow! Android, I did not mean to upset you. Nor was I trying to give a defense of Catholicism. Like I stated earlier, I really didn't want to start making these intellectual arguments just yet. My post which you referenced was simply me trying to give my reasoning from a very high level.
With that said, however, I believe Papist and others have answered your comment about circular reasoning.
I don't think its a fair statement to say that Rome did a "piss poor" job of holding together the Church. Sure the Catholic Church has it's fair share of stains, but so too does the Orthodox Church. If you believe the Orthodox Church is the original ancient Church then it would seem the OC failed to hold the church together perfectly as well. It lost the Assyrian Church, the Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholicism.
My point is that neither the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church have spotless records which we can use as a gage to determine who is the true church. Both, however, are still around and many of the leaders of both Churches are trying to bring them back together again. I think this is necessary and important. Mudslinging by either side is not going to help anything. That's what broke the two apart so many years ago.
You didn't upset me, per se, but I can't read something heartfelt from someone like that, who has made the hasty decision you have, and not feel "pained" a bit.
Let's be honest, your draw to Orthodoxy occurred over a period of time. Presumably, prayer and contemplation accompanied that period of your life. Then, ALL OF THE SUDDEN, the scales are lifted and everything is okay.
I've felt that before- not just with faith, but relationships, work, political views, etc. There is a natural psychological desire to resolve confusion by submitting to the status quo- for you, in this case, that means submission to Rome.
I'll be honest- I can read the "keys to the kingdom" verse 100 times and, depending on my mood and a variety of factors, I can think either way about it. Sometimes, it seems clear to me that Jesus was speaking to Peter as the rock, other times, it seems clear to me that Jesus was making a statement about Peter's faith. More often than not, it seems clear to me that Christ was trying to draw a correct answer out of Peter and make it an example- "I will build my church out of people who believe that I am the Son of God". When read in the context of the other encounters with Peter (Peter falling in the water for lack of faith, Christ predicting Peter's thrice denial at the Last Supper, etc.) it seems clear the Christ loved Peter, but infallibility and control over Christ's church and fellow apostles CLEARLY wasn't part of the calculus.Regardless
, the point is that reading that (and other verses) and "going with what feels right" is a classic Protestant trap, egged on by sola scriptura. When something "feels right", it's not time to give into it, wipe our brow and be glad our time of troubles and confusion is over. It usually means we are giving in to our natural inclinations, which we know aren't always our allies. Discomfort and struggle are a more constant Christian companion than clarity and steely resolve-- at least for those who are at the spiritual stage you seem to be at (I should know, I'm where you are, if not steps behind).
And, I don't think Papist answered my question/comment at all, and I made a bunch of other points that Papist and others have ignored.
Message boards are horrible in conveying tone- so I'm sorry this sounds more blunt and "jerky" than I intend. However, we are on an Orthodox board and when people say they believe infallibility/supremacy of Peter (which again, somehow translates to his being bishop of rome, still not a clear connection) was "instituted by Christ" and willingly accept the idea that the Pope is infallible I feel like I must stand and be counted.
Regarding primacy- the status of Rome as an imperial city, coupled with the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul, accorded Rome a special place, one that would translate to performing ceremonial tasks to open/close synods, or hear appeals, etc. You can read Scripture and the Fathers/Councils harmoniously
and conclude that Jerusalem was special, Constantinople was special, Rome was very special- but that all bishops benefit from Apostolic Succession (duh), that the pentarchy and conciliar approach to resolving disputes is correct (as instituted by Acts), and that relative honor among the Sees does not translate to theological, jurisdictional and dogmatic superiority. Why is that so hard?