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Author Topic: St. Methodius Testimony on Pope of Rome  (Read 1318 times) Average Rating: 0
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StGeorge
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« on: February 11, 2010, 02:17:46 AM »

Several times within the past week, I have come across on another forum a passage attributed to St. Methodius.  I had never heard of the passage before, and the only place I can find it online is at James Likoudis' website.  I wonder if anyone else has come across it, and what they make of it.     

In any case, the passage:

Quote
"It is necessary to know that this decision [the 28th canon] was not accepted by the Blessed Pope Leo. He did not approve the holy Council of Chalcedon on this point, but he wrote to the Council that he could not accept such a novelty, machinated by the doubtful Anatolius, then bishop of Constantinople. Also, some bishops present at the Council refused to subscribe to the canon. And it is not true as this canon affirms that the holy Fathers have accorded the primacy and honor to old Rome because it was the capital of the Empire. But it is from on high that it began, it is of grace divine that this Primacy has derived its origin. It is because of the degree of his faith that Peter, the most exalted of the Apostles, heard these words from the very mouth of Our Lord: ‘Peter, lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep’. This is why he possesses among the hierarchs preeminent rank and the first See. For, if as this canon affirms, it is because it is was the capital that Ancient Rome possesses the Primacy, it is evidently Constantinople, now capital of the Empire, which has inherited this honor. But everyone knows that although Emperors have dwelt at Milan and Ravenna and that their palaces are found there to our own day, these cities have not received on that account the Primacy. For the dignity and the preeminence of the priestly hierarchy have not been established by the favor of the civil power but by divine choice and by apostolic authority... How would it be possible because of an earthly emperor to displace divine gifts and apostolic privileges and to introduce innovations into the prescriptions of the immaculate faith? Immoveable indeed, unto the end, are the privileges of Old Rome. So in so far as being set over all the Churches, the Pontiff of Rome has no need to betake himself to all the holy Ecumenical Councils, but without his participation manifested by the sending of some of his subordinates, every Ecumenical Council is non-existent, and it is he who renders legal everything that has been decided in the Council... " (testimony discovered by the Russian Orthodox scholar A. Pavlov and first published in the Russian review Vizantiiskii Vremennik, t. iv. 1897; pp. 147-154)

Source: http://credo.stormloader.com/Ecumenic/ethnikos.htm

What struck me is the admission that the "testimony" was only "discovered" and "first published" in the 19th century.  I have no clue to whom the testimony is given, and I wonder if it might be a forgery (or include interpolations), since to my knowledge Rome has never pointed to this testimony within the past millennium, and surely the testimony had to be copied down since the time of St. Cyril were it authentic.

Your thoughts?   
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 02:20:17 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 02:24:05 AM »

I don't know if it's authentic.  All that I know for certain is that St. Methodius had a very close relationship with Rome, lived there for a while, and enjoyed a lot of friendly cooperation with the Latin church.  I believe that he is the one who transferred the relics of Pope Clement to Rome from the East.
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 07:39:45 PM »

No, it's not authentic.  IIRC we dealt with this "quote" or something like it on CAF.  I haven't been able to find the thread there, so it may have been scrubbed.  Perhaps Fr. Ambrose may remember. I do recall that it was pointed out that if it was authentic, we would have heard much, much, much more of it, particularly from the Poles against the Russians, the Ukrainians in submission to Rome against the Orthodox Ukrainians, the Croatians against the Serbs.

I recall some discussion about the citation's source Briancheninov (who comes out as Brian Cheninov) (a rarity in the Ultramontanist's quote mine: usually they identify the purported author but not the source (just in case you wanted to check out the accuracy  police).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 08:05:18 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 08:04:12 PM »

No, it's not authentic.  IIRC we dealt with this "quote" or something like it on CAF.  I haven't been able to find the thread there, so it may have been scrubbed.  Perhaps Fr. Ambrose may remember. I do recall that it was pointed out that if it was authentic, we would have heard much, much, much more of it, particularly from the Poles against the Russians, the Ukrainians in submission to Rome against the Orthodox Ukrainians, the Croatians against the Serbs.

That was along my thinking.  For what it is worth, I also did not notice the quote referred to in the lengthy papal encyclical on Saints Cyril and Methodius,  written by Pope John Paul II.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 08:04:49 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 08:15:49 PM »

No, it's not authentic.  IIRC we dealt with this "quote" or something like it on CAF.  I haven't been able to find the thread there, so it may have been scrubbed.  Perhaps Fr. Ambrose may remember. I do recall that it was pointed out that if it was authentic, we would have heard much, much, much more of it, particularly from the Poles against the Russians, the Ukrainians in submission to Rome against the Orthodox Ukrainians, the Croatians against the Serbs.

That was along my thinking.  For what it is worth, I also did not notice the quote referred to in the lengthy papal encyclical on Saints Cyril and Methodius,  written by Pope John Paul II.

Another example, from someone who sometimes posts here and on CAF (and quotes "St. Methodius" just before):
Quote
And, on the very eve of the Schism, the Byzantine St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), writes:

"One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If it is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of Pontiff. Let the Bishop of Rome be successor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and the first among the other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Savior Himself." (Symeon the New Theologian, Dialogue Against Heresies 23, PG 155:120 AC; cited in Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter).
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=235272&highlight=Brianchaninov

The correct context of this quote (which is St. Symeon of Thessalonica, a 14th century saint, not St. Symeon, who fell asleep before 1054) I've mentioned before.
I do completely agree with your conclusions, dear Michał. As I love to say as often as I can, I consider myself "a sedevacantist since 1054".
I like it.
Quote
There's no true Successor of Peter and Pope of Rome since the Schism of 1054, so the Holy See is vacant. As pope st. Gregory pointed out, the Sees of Alexandria and Antioch share the same ministry as the Pope of Rome, being all successors (materially in Antioch and ideally in Alexandria) of the same st Peter. And since the same ministry was recognized by the Church Fathers in the ecumenical councils to the Sees of Constantinople and Jerusalem, they also share the same activity.
In truth, the True Church proved that could survive without any Papal primacy... Yet let's pray the Lord that in the end the Holy See of Rome might be restored in its orthodoxy. Amen!
In Christ,    Alex

Amen! Amen! Amen!
To repost something on this subject:

Quote
When he was Orthodox. We still would "follow" him, if he followed the Fathers. Let him confess the Orthodox Faith, and he shall be first.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica (15th cent., after the sack of Constantinople) writes:

One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If it is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff ... Let the Bishop of Rome be succesor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and first among other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Savior Himself

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...esult#PPA86,M1
p. 86

When the pope of Rome 4 centuries latter wrote a letter addressed to the Orthodox Faithful in an attempt to go over the Patriarchs heads, the Patriarchs responded:

In a measure the aggressions of the later Popes in their own persons had ceased, and were carried on only by means of missionaries. But lately, Pius IX., becoming Bishop of Rome and proclaimed Pope in 1847, published on the sixth of January, in this present year, an Encyclical Letter addressed to the Easterns, consisting of twelve pages in the Greek version, which his emissary has disseminated, like a plague coming from without, within our Orthodox Fold...Usurping as his own possession the Catholic Church of Christ, by occupancy, as he boasts, of the Episcopal Throne of St. Peter, he desires to deceive the more simple into apostasy from Orthodoxy, choosing for the basis of all theological instruction these paradoxical words (p. 10, 1.29): "nor is there any reason why ye refuse a return to the true Church and Communion with this my holy Throne"...As to the supremacy, since we are not setting forth a treatise, let the same great Basil present the matter in a f'ew words, "I preferred to address myself to Him who is Head over them."..For all this we have esteemed it our paternal and brotherly need, and a sacred duty, by our present admonition to confirm you in the Orthodoxy you hold from your forefathers, and at the same time point out the emptiness of the syllogisms of the Bishop of Rome, of which he is manifestly himself aware. For not from his Apostolic Confession does he glorify his Throne, but from his Apostolic Throne seeks to establish his dignity, and from his dignity, his Confession. The truth is the other way...But, finally, his Holiness says (p. ix. l.12) that the fourth Ecumenical Council (which by mistake he quite transfers from Chalcedon to Carthage), when it read the epistle of Pope Leo I, cried out, "Peter has thus spoken by Leo." It was so indeed. But his Holiness ought not to overlook how, and after what examination, our fathers cried out, as they did, in praise of Leo...Of more than six hundred fathers assembled in the Counci1 of Chalcedon, about two hundred of the wisest were appointed by the Council to examine both as to language and sense the said epistle of Leo; nor only so, but to give in writing and with their signatures their own judgment upon it, whether it were orthodox or not...And thus all in succession: "The epistle corresponds," "the epistle is consonant,"the epistle agrees in sense," and the like. After such great and very severe scrutiny in comparing it with former holy Councils, and a full conviction of the correctness of the meaning, and not merely because it was the epistle of the Pope, they cried aloud, ungrudgingly, the exclamation on which his Holiness now vaunts himself: But if his Holiness had sent us statements concordant and in unison with the seven holy Ecumenical Councils, instead of boasting of the piety of his predecessors lauded by our predecessors and fathers in an Ecumenical Council, he might justly have gloried in his own orthodoxy, declaring his own goodness instead of that of his fathers. Therefore let his Holiness be assured, that if, even now, he will write us such things as two hundred fathers on investigation and inquiry shall find consonant and agreeing with the said former Councils, then, we say, he shall hear from us sinners today, not only, "Peter has so spoken," or anything of like honor, but this also, "Let the holy hand be kissed which has wiped away the tears of the Catholic Church."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

Archbishop Hilarion quotes St. Simeon of Thessalonica....

The issue with the Vatican model is that it makes the Apostles not the font of the episcopacy, but St. Peter's appointees, and all bishops not the successors of the Apostles, but acolytes of the Successors of St. Peter.

This use of St. Symeon's words diametrically opposed what he said: the Pope can be first if he confesses the Orthodox faith.  St. Symeon is pointing out what the Patriarchs later did "the emptiness of the syllogisms of the Bishop of Rome, of which he is manifestly himself aware. For not from his Apostolic Confession does he glorify his Throne, but from his Apostolic Throne seeks to establish his dignity, and from his dignity, his Confession. The truth is the other way"
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 08:19:51 PM »

No, it's not authentic.  IIRC we dealt with this "quote" or something like it on CAF.  I haven't been able to find the thread there, so it may have been scrubbed.  Perhaps Fr. Ambrose may remember. I do recall that it was pointed out that if it was authentic, we would have heard much, much, much more of it, particularly from the Poles against the Russians, the Ukrainians in submission to Rome against the Orthodox Ukrainians, the Croatians against the Serbs.

That was along my thinking.  For what it is worth, I also did not notice the quote referred to in the lengthy papal encyclical on Saints Cyril and Methodius,  written by Pope John Paul II.

Another example, from someone who sometimes posts here and on CAF (and quotes "St. Methodius" just before):
Quote
And, on the very eve of the Schism, the Byzantine St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), writes:

"One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If it is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of Pontiff. Let the Bishop of Rome be successor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and the first among the other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Savior Himself." (Symeon the New Theologian, Dialogue Against Heresies 23, PG 155:120 AC; cited in Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter).
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=235272&highlight=Brianchaninov

The correct context of this quote (which is St. Symeon of Thessalonica, a 14th century saint, not St. Symeon, who fell asleep before 1054) I've mentioned before.
I do completely agree with your conclusions, dear Michał. As I love to say as often as I can, I consider myself "a sedevacantist since 1054".
I like it.
Quote
There's no true Successor of Peter and Pope of Rome since the Schism of 1054, so the Holy See is vacant. As pope st. Gregory pointed out, the Sees of Alexandria and Antioch share the same ministry as the Pope of Rome, being all successors (materially in Antioch and ideally in Alexandria) of the same st Peter. And since the same ministry was recognized by the Church Fathers in the ecumenical councils to the Sees of Constantinople and Jerusalem, they also share the same activity.
In truth, the True Church proved that could survive without any Papal primacy... Yet let's pray the Lord that in the end the Holy See of Rome might be restored in its orthodoxy. Amen!
In Christ,    Alex

Amen! Amen! Amen!
To repost something on this subject:

Quote
When he was Orthodox. We still would "follow" him, if he followed the Fathers. Let him confess the Orthodox Faith, and he shall be first.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica (15th cent., after the sack of Constantinople) writes:

One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If it is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff ... Let the Bishop of Rome be succesor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and first among other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Savior Himself

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...esult#PPA86,M1
p. 86

When the pope of Rome 4 centuries latter wrote a letter addressed to the Orthodox Faithful in an attempt to go over the Patriarchs heads, the Patriarchs responded:

In a measure the aggressions of the later Popes in their own persons had ceased, and were carried on only by means of missionaries. But lately, Pius IX., becoming Bishop of Rome and proclaimed Pope in 1847, published on the sixth of January, in this present year, an Encyclical Letter addressed to the Easterns, consisting of twelve pages in the Greek version, which his emissary has disseminated, like a plague coming from without, within our Orthodox Fold...Usurping as his own possession the Catholic Church of Christ, by occupancy, as he boasts, of the Episcopal Throne of St. Peter, he desires to deceive the more simple into apostasy from Orthodoxy, choosing for the basis of all theological instruction these paradoxical words (p. 10, 1.29): "nor is there any reason why ye refuse a return to the true Church and Communion with this my holy Throne"...As to the supremacy, since we are not setting forth a treatise, let the same great Basil present the matter in a f'ew words, "I preferred to address myself to Him who is Head over them."..For all this we have esteemed it our paternal and brotherly need, and a sacred duty, by our present admonition to confirm you in the Orthodoxy you hold from your forefathers, and at the same time point out the emptiness of the syllogisms of the Bishop of Rome, of which he is manifestly himself aware. For not from his Apostolic Confession does he glorify his Throne, but from his Apostolic Throne seeks to establish his dignity, and from his dignity, his Confession. The truth is the other way...But, finally, his Holiness says (p. ix. l.12) that the fourth Ecumenical Council (which by mistake he quite transfers from Chalcedon to Carthage), when it read the epistle of Pope Leo I, cried out, "Peter has thus spoken by Leo." It was so indeed. But his Holiness ought not to overlook how, and after what examination, our fathers cried out, as they did, in praise of Leo...Of more than six hundred fathers assembled in the Counci1 of Chalcedon, about two hundred of the wisest were appointed by the Council to examine both as to language and sense the said epistle of Leo; nor only so, but to give in writing and with their signatures their own judgment upon it, whether it were orthodox or not...And thus all in succession: "The epistle corresponds," "the epistle is consonant,"the epistle agrees in sense," and the like. After such great and very severe scrutiny in comparing it with former holy Councils, and a full conviction of the correctness of the meaning, and not merely because it was the epistle of the Pope, they cried aloud, ungrudgingly, the exclamation on which his Holiness now vaunts himself: But if his Holiness had sent us statements concordant and in unison with the seven holy Ecumenical Councils, instead of boasting of the piety of his predecessors lauded by our predecessors and fathers in an Ecumenical Council, he might justly have gloried in his own orthodoxy, declaring his own goodness instead of that of his fathers. Therefore let his Holiness be assured, that if, even now, he will write us such things as two hundred fathers on investigation and inquiry shall find consonant and agreeing with the said former Councils, then, we say, he shall hear from us sinners today, not only, "Peter has so spoken," or anything of like honor, but this also, "Let the holy hand be kissed which has wiped away the tears of the Catholic Church."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

Archbishop Hilarion quotes St. Simeon of Thessalonica....

The issue with the Vatican model is that it makes the Apostles not the font of the episcopacy, but St. Peter's appointees, and all bishops not the successors of the Apostles, but acolytes of the Successors of St. Peter.

This use of St. Symeon's words diametrically opposed what he said: the Pope can be first if he confesses the Orthodox faith.  St. Symeon is pointing out what the Patriarchs later did "the emptiness of the syllogisms of the Bishop of Rome, of which he is manifestly himself aware. For not from his Apostolic Confession does he glorify his Throne, but from his Apostolic Throne seeks to establish his dignity, and from his dignity, his Confession. The truth is the other way"

Thanks.  When I click on the google books link, it only takes me to the general page, not the specific book.   Do you know a way to show me this?

The quote of St. Symeon rings especially true. 
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 09:24:35 PM »

Thanks.  When I click on the google books link, it only takes me to the general page, not the specific book.   Do you know a way to show me this?

The quote of St. Symeon rings especially true. 
The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church By John Meyendorff Chapter 4 The Church which presides in love.  Nicholas Afanassieff
http://books.google.com/books?id=hMjoJx8FD2wC&pg=PA86&dq=Primacy+of+Peter+Liberius&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Primacy%20of%20Peter%20Liberius&f=false
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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