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Author Topic: Peter the Rock  (Read 31419 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantino
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« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2004, 03:53:56 AM »

Stavro,

Totally in agreement Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2004, 04:40:26 PM »

Someone has pointed out that perhaps I could have expressed myself more charitably to Dan.  I must admit I was agitated at his post because he basically seemed to me to be saying that Orthodox just "couldn't get with the program."  However, while I feel strongly about my views I don't want to be guilty of rudeness so Dan if you took it that way I'm sorry.

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« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2004, 04:54:00 PM »

I don't have an issue with petra/petros. It is clear what the Fathers thought generally. Either Peter or his confession are the foundation of our life in the Church. The consensus in the Fathers seems to be that the confession is the primary subject of the idea of foundations, and then by implication St Peter, and then by implication the Apostles, and then by implication the episcopate generally who confess this same faith.

Peter's confession is the Rock, St Peter is the Rock, the Apostles are the Rock, the faithful episcopate rightly dividing the word of Truth is the Rock.
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« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2004, 08:48:43 AM »

Not to quibble over small points, but I would say the fact that St. Peter is "the Rock" is explicit in Scripture and the Fathers. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implicit in Scripture and made explicit in the understanding of the Fathers.

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« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2004, 09:40:37 AM »

Well the Fathers seem explicit that the confession of St Peter is the rock, and if we use their understanding and interpretation of scripture as the basis for our reading then it is explicit in the scriptures as well, surely?
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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2004, 10:23:41 AM »

A word of encouragement from Constantinople.

 Your Holiness John Paul II, Pope of the Elder Rome: Rejoice in the Lord.

In these days, in which a forty-year period is completed since the historical and blessed meeting in Jerusalem between our predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory, we turn our thoughts, in gratitude, to their sacred memory and to the vision of the complete union of our sister Churches in the common faith and in the sacraments. It was this vision that they served through brave initiatives and steps. Hence, we assure Your Holiness that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Modesty personally are ready to continue these steps until we come into “the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, praying for the long healthy life of Your Holiness, we embrace you and remain with invariable fraternal love and honour.

At the Patriarchate, 5 January 2004

Bartholomew of Constantinople

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« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2004, 11:13:14 AM »

Well the Fathers seem explicit that the confession of St Peter is the rock, and if we use their understanding and interpretation of scripture as the basis for our reading then it is explicit in the scriptures as well, surely?

Well, if you noticed, that's what I said (see the underlined part below):

Quote
Linus7: Not to quibble over small points, but I would say the fact that St. Peter is "the Rock" is explicit in Scripture and the Fathers. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implicit in Scripture and made explicit in the understanding of the Fathers.
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« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2004, 12:38:23 PM »

You said it was implicit in the Scriptures. Surely the Fathers suggest it is explicit in the Scriptures when they are read with their mind. I think that's what I meant. Otherwise some might suggest that scripture doesn't clearly teach that the confession of St Peter is the Rock, and only secondarily St Peter himself.
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« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2004, 05:19:40 PM »

I've only had time to comment on some of Byzantino's post:

Quote
Augustine's testimony comes to mind here:

"Supposing those bishops who judged at Rome were not good judges, there remained still a plenerary Council of the universal Church where the cause could be sifted with the judges themselves, so that if they were convicted of having judged wrongly their sentence could be annulled." (Ep. 43.)

The text can be found here:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102043.htm

St Augustine (writing in 397) is describing the attempts of the Donatists to overturn the Church's decisions against them. A Roman Synod under the presidency of Pope Miltiades (who died the next year) had ruled against them in 313 as did a subsequent Council at Arles. Popes can and have made bad decisons. An Ecumenical Council even censured a dead pope for doctrinal deficiencies in his correspondence. So, it was not out of line for St Augustine to remark that a Council could have taken up the situation again. (Nor more than a future Council could deal with the Schism between East and West and might censure both popes and patriarchs.) Whatever the case, the Councils were subject to confirmation by the popes themselves.

Quote
Pope Hormisdas' formula was signed by John, Patriarch of Constantinople who added the following statement recalling the 28th Canon of Chalcedon: "I hold the most holy Church of the old and the new Rome to be one. I define the see of the Apostle Peter and this of the imperial city to be one see." (Meyendorff, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, pg. 214.)


It's not clear exactly why Patriarch John added the statement above to the document. He may have had some reservations in the back of his mind. He may have felt the need to bolster Constantinople's claim to being the second See in Christendom at this juncture--a claim that Rome had not yet recognized. A little historical background is in order. The signing of Pope St Hormisdas' Formula in 519 ended the Acacian Schism when Constantinople was sympathetic to the Monophysites. It was signed not only by Patriarch John but by 250 Eastern bishops. The Formula became a standard text which was re-used in subsequent years by Eastern churchmen and emperors, even as late as the Fourth General Council of Constantinople (869-870). There's no doubt that the ending of the Acacian Schism involved some Imperial Pressure but it would be a mistake to interpret the mind of the East as somehow chafing under some sort of papal arrogance. As an example, J.N.D. Kelly writes regarding the visit of Pope John I to Constantinople in 526 and the magnificent reception he received by the city:

"Leaving Ravenna early in 526, the embassy reached Constantinople shortly before Easter (19 Apr.). John was the first pope to leave Italy for the east, and his mission was a humiliating one. His reception, however, was brilliant: the whole city came out to the twelfth milestone to greet him, the emperor [Justin I] prostrated himself before St Peter's vicar, and on Easter Day he was given a throne in church higher than the patriarch's, celebrated mass according to the Latin rite, and instead of the patriarch placed the customary Easter crown on Justin's head." (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, published in 1986, pp. 54-55.)]

Quote
The autonomy of each local church was fiercely defended from any unlawful intrusions by the Popes both in the East and West. I cite two Byzantine scholars:

Francis Dvornik:

"But their fear of compromising the autonomy of their churches prevented the Orientals from accepting the claims that were made by certain Popes, especially Gelasius, Symmacus and Nicholas I, the claim to direct and immediate jurisdiction over the whole Church, including the East." (Dvornik, Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, p. 165.)

Interesting quote. St Gelasius (died 496) and St Symmacus (d. 514) were popes before Pope St Hormisdas! This quote basically refutes the claims of some Orthodox polemicists (like Abbe Guettee) who say that the popes in the first 8 centuries never claimed such jurisdiction (see The Papacy, pp. 31, 374-5). This also refutes that theory that blames the development of the idea of papal universal jurisdiction on later Frankish influence. I would not dispute that Bishops jealousy guarded their autonomy or that Bishops (in the East and West) found themselves opposed to Rome. What I would say for now is that the idea of universal jurisdiction is present much earlier than many would concede as is shown in this quote.

Quote
Sir Steven Runciman:

"The Emperors considered the Pope to be their subject as well as the Patriarch; and the Pope was more important because he was physically less easy to control and politically more useful owing to the influence that he commanded in Italy. Thus if the Pope could only be placated by humiliating the Patriarch to recognize papal superiority, and was himself anxious to show deference to the Pope's office....Thus if some eleven Patriarchs of Constantinople admitted the superiority of the Pope, they made the admission at the Emperor's bidding, and their successors felt themselves at liberty to consider them wrong in doing so." (Runciman, The Eastern Schism, pp.17-18.)

The Emperor was a force to be dealt with, to be sure. I would disagree with Runciman that Eastern submission to Rome can only be attributed to Imperial pressure, however. The checkered case of Pope Vigilius comes to mind. After Justinian's Second Edict against The Three Chapters, Vigilius (in sanctuary at Chalcedon) issues an encyclical against Justinian's edict. Anglican writer Trevor Jalland describes it this way in The Church and the Papacy:

It was now Vigilius' turn to take the offensive. After publishing sentences of disposition and excommunication against his opponents, he issued an encyclical on the lines of the formula of Hormisdas, the purpose of which must have been to reassure Western opinion. The effect on this action on the capital was electric. The excommunicated bishops united in producing a declaration of assent to the four councils' and a profession of readiness to respect and accept as orthodox therein all that had been said to be such by common consent with the legates and representatives of the apostolic see.' Vigilius presently returned to Constantinople [from Chalcedon], and on the death of [Patriarch] Menas had the satisfaction of receiving a solemn profession of faith from his successor, Eutychius, in which the new bishop acknowledged the four councils', the letters of Leo and other Popes, and supported the project of a new council under Vigilius' presidency. For obvious reasons the Pope endeavoured to postpone its assembly and proposed that it be held in the West. But Justinian naturally would have none of this, nor would he entertain any longer the alternative of a round-table conference, still less the proposal of Pelagius that the decision of the question of the Three Chapters' should be left to the Roman see. (page 348)

In this case, the Eastern Bishops united with the Pope against the Emperor. Dom John Chapman concludes that the chief Bishops of the East humilated themselves "before a Pope who has been insulted by the civil power, is in sanctuary for safety, has personally no good character, is not obviously in the right, and has already twice contradicted himself. Such is still the prestige in the East of the See of Peter, even in an unworthy representative."  From Studies in the Early Papacy. (It wasn't until after Justinian proved that Vigilius had secretly promised to support the condemnation of the Three Chapters that Vigilius lost his support among the Bishops.)

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« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2004, 08:56:45 AM »

Howdy Michael,



Quote
St Augustine (writing in 397) is describing the attempts of the Donatists to overturn the Church's decisions against them. A Roman Synod under the presidency of Pope Miltiades (who died the next year) had ruled against them in 313 as did a subsequent Council at Arles. Popes can and have made bad decisons. An Ecumenical Council even censured a dead pope for doctrinal deficiencies in his correspondence. So, it was not out of line for St Augustine to remark that a Council could have taken up the situation again. (Nor more than a future Council could deal with the Schism between East and West and might censure both popes and patriarchs.) Whatever the case, the Councils were subject to confirmation by the popes themselves.

Very good. But how does your implicit admission of the fact that Rome’s judgements were open to dispute square with Rome’s present day claims which render the pope’s decision unquestionable: “there is neither appeal nor recourse against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” (Code of Canons of the Eastern [Catholic] Churches #45.3 & Roman Code of Canon Law #333.3).
 
Augustine as a matter of fact ceded nothing more to the church of Rome than a primacy of pastoral and teaching authority extending over the Catholic Church, not the mythical "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" complex he was rehabilitated with in later times. The African churches, since Pope Stephen’s encroachments and controversy with St. Cyprian, were quick to safeguard their autonomy, as did the Eastern churches. J.N.D. Kelly explains this further:

(J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p. 419, 1978 ed.)  

Augustine’s idea of Church unity is also interesting because he places the cause of schism and disunity on lack of love, which virtue defined Rome’s primacy. Can we honestly look at the conflicts occurring between East and West in the 9th century and especially in 1054, and not find Rome wanting in those fraternal duties, the lack of which caused antagonisms that the post-Vatican II era popes have lamented bitterly?


Quote
It's not clear exactly why Patriarch John added the statement above to the document. He may have had some reservations in the back of his mind. He may have felt the need to bolster Constantinople's claim to being the second See in Christendom at this juncture--a claim that Rome had not yet recognized. A little historical background is in order. The signing of Pope St Hormisdas' Formula in 519 ended the Acacian Schism when Constantinople was sympathetic to the Monophysites. It was signed not only by Patriarch John but by 250 Eastern bishops. The Formula became a standard text which was re-used in subsequent years by Eastern churchmen and emperors, even as late as the Fourth General Council of Constantinople (869-870).


Don't forget the above-mentioned council was annulled at the legitimate Fourth Council of Constantinople 10 years later, in the presence of the papal legates and 400 other clergymen.

Quote
There's no doubt that the ending of the Acacian Schism involved some Imperial Pressure but it would be a mistake to interpret the mind of the East as somehow chafing under some sort of papal arrogance.


I fully agree. It’s hard to ignore the incredibly high esteem the Popes were held in by the whole Church.

Quote
As an example, J.N.D. Kelly writes regarding the visit of Pope John I to Constantinople in 526 and the magnificent reception he received by the city:

"Leaving Ravenna early in 526, the embassy reached Constantinople shortly before Easter (19 Apr.). John was the first pope to leave Italy for the east, and his mission was a humiliating one. His reception, however, was brilliant: the whole city came out to the twelfth milestone to greet him, the emperor [Justin I] prostrated himself before St Peter's vicar, and on Easter Day he was given a throne in church higher than the patriarch's, celebrated mass according to the Latin rite, and instead of the patriarch placed the customary Easter crown on Justin's head." (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, published in 1986, pp. 54-55.)]


The same is bound to happen again once Rome returns to Orthodoxy. To my knowledge the Patriarch of Constantinople on his visit to the Vatican was honoured with a seat side by side the Pope’s in recognition of the "dual primacy" established at the 2nd and 4th Ecumenical Councils.

Quote
Interesting quote. St Gelasius (died 496) and St Symmacus (d. 514) were popes before Pope St Hormisdas! This quote basically refutes the claims of some Orthodox polemicists (like Abbe Guettee) who say that the popes in the first 8 centuries never claimed such jurisdiction (see The Papacy, pp. 31, 374-5).

The quote actually says certain Popes claimed such jurisdiction, still the Orthodox polemicists exhibit a bad case of “downplay the role of the Pope” syndrome, which is very silly.


Quote
This also refutes that theory that blames the development of the idea of papal universal jurisdiction on later Frankish influence. I would not dispute that Bishops jealousy guarded their autonomy or that Bishops (in the East and West) found themselves opposed to Rome. What I would say for now is that the idea of universal jurisdiction is present much earlier than many would concede as is shown in this quote.


If by “universal jurisdiction” you mean anything that resembles Gregory VII’s reforms and his Dictatus Papae then I vehemently disagree. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy, which is the main reason behind my conversion.

I think the Pope Vigilius incident was discussed in another thread a little while ago ("You Are Peter") so I won’t go into that.

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« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2004, 02:46:44 PM »

You said it was implicit in the Scriptures. Surely the Fathers suggest it is explicit in the Scriptures when they are read with their mind. I think that's what I meant. Otherwise some might suggest that scripture doesn't clearly teach that the confession of St Peter is the Rock, and only secondarily St Peter himself.

Matthew 16:18 explicitly teaches that St. Peter is the Rock. That his confession of faith is also the Rock is implied and not stated.

I think Scripture does teach that Peter's confession is also the Rock, but it does not do so explicitly, at least not in Matthew 16:18.

I would disagree that St. Peter is only secondarily the Rock of Matthew 16:18. That he is the Rock is the primary and literal meaning of that passage.

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« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2004, 02:58:43 PM »


[. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy]

Byzantino,

I support and agree with this section of your post, though being a RC I don't know where it places me in the "big picture".

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« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2004, 06:06:45 PM »

Hi Jakub,

Well...i think it would make you quite Orthodox   Cheesy

God bless
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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2004, 01:28:48 AM »

Howdy Byzantino!

Quote
Very good. But how does your implicit admission of the fact that Rome’s judgements were open to dispute square with Rome’s present day claims which render the pope’s decision unquestionable: “there is neither appeal nor recourse against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” (Code of Canons of the Eastern [Catholic] Churches #45.3 & Roman Code of Canon Law #333.3).


To begin with, St Augustine is not giving a detailed analysis of canon law. He's talking about the insane course of the Donatists who tried every avenue to get a judgment to their liking. So, he's talking hypotheticals here. Having said that, I still don't have any problem with the idea that an Ecumenical Council might review an action by a long, dead pope. It's happened before and will probably happen again. Besides, the ancient custom is for the acts of an Ecumenical Council to be approved by the pope anyway. So, if a Council reviewed the actions of a pope and made a new decision and the current pope agreed...who would we be to disagree? The canon you referred to does not preclude that possibility. Nor is that canon something that could not change if there was a reunion of our Churches.

Quote
Augustine as a matter of fact ceded nothing more to the church of Rome than a primacy of pastoral and teaching authority extending over the Catholic Church, not the mythical "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" complex he was rehabilitated with in later times. The African churches, since Pope Stephen’s encroachments and controversy with St. Cyprian, were quick to safeguard their autonomy, as did the Eastern churches. J.N.D. Kelly explains this further:



For another view, see:
http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num16.htm

It wouldn't surprise me if some Roman apologists have overstated their case. Kelly does seem to state things negatively: "there is no evidence that...," or "he nowhere recognizes..." That's using negative evidence and I disagree with that approach. I would, however, agree with Kelly's historical assessment here:

"[Pope Innocent] also praised his correspondents [St Augustine and four other African bishops] for referring the matter to his judgement (they had in fact not done so), thus following the ancient tradition that bishops everywhere should submit disputed matters of faith to Peter, the founder of their name and office. No previous pope had so clearly enunciated the view that the apostolic see possesses supreme teaching authority. St Augustine rejoiced that two councils had sent their decisions to the holy see, definitive rulings had come back, and the case was settled." (Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, under entry for Pope St Innocent I, died 417, pp. 37-38.)

"By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 417)

Notice, how Kelly explains the teaching of Pope St Leo on papal primacy:

"First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle. Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St Peter, i.e., through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St Peter's magisterium, and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece. (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 420-1)

Quote
Don't forget the above-mentioned council was annulled at the legitimate Fourth Council of Constantinople 10 years later, in the presence of the papal legates and 400 other clergymen.

My point was that the Forumla of Pope St Hormisdas had a long ecclesiastical history being re-used several times. It was not, as some have tried to make it seem, a one time event that was forced upon unwilling Easterners. The Formula was sworn to by many in the East over several generations.

Quote
The quote actually says certain Popes claimed such jurisdiction,


True. I think the quotes from Kelly above indicate that there were others--including Pope St. Leo. I think we can throw in Pope St Hormisdas and Pope Damasus, to name just a couple.

Quote
still the Orthodox polemicists exhibit a bad case of “downplay the role of the Pope” syndrome, which is very silly.

I agree. Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.

Quote
If by “universal jurisdiction” you mean anything that resembles Gregory VII’s reforms and his Dictatus Papae then I vehemently disagree. I maintain the Catholic Church recognized in the church of Rome and her bishop a universal primacy of moral, pastoral and teaching authority defined according to the spirit of the Gospel and not juridicalism - authority, not authoritarianism; love and solicitude, not slavery. Essentially it amounts to the presence in the Church of a voice which Pope St. Leo the Great describes as having precedence among the brethren, examples of its practical application seen in Pope St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians. I believe this idea of primacy is consistent with the testimony of the Fathers and Ecumenical Councils and the claims of Orthodoxy, which is the main reason behind my conversion.

I would agree that the essence of papal primacy should be serving in love, or as St Gregory Dialogist referred to himself as "the servants of the servants of God." That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. And even though Dvornik and Kelly admit a much earlier claim to papal supremacy than most Orthodox are willing to admit that doesn't mean that the exercise of that supremacy has always been the best. That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. (There's enough sin on both sides of the Schism to go around.) But the claim to supremacy is there:

From St Gregory the Great:

"For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful." (Letter to John, Bishop of Syracuse, Book IX, Epistle XII, P.L. lxxvii, 957)

[St Gregory writing to Eusebius of Thessalonica, Urbicus of Dyrrachium, Andrew of Nicopolis, John of Corinth, John of Prima Justiniana, John of Crete, John of Larissa and Scodra, and many other bishops about his concern that they might be drawn into a council in Constantinople:] "Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances, -though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit ye yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod. (Book IX, Letter LXVIII)

Pope St Leo, writing to the Emperor:

"Let it be enough for him [Anatolius--Archbishop of Constantinople] that by your piety, and by my gracious favour, he has obtained the bishopric of so great a city. Let him not disdain a royal city, though he cannot make it an apostolic see; and let him on no account hope that he can rise by doing injury to others." (Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, page 327, Leo, Ep. 104, to the Emperor Marcian, P.L. 54.993.)

Letter of Pope St Agapetus to Peter, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, reproving him for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus: "We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned." (Mansi 8: 922.)

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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2004, 09:19:43 AM »

Hi Michael,

This dialogue's been quite enjoyable for me Smiley

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To begin with, St Augustine is not giving a detailed analysis of canon law. He's talking about the insane course of the Donatists who tried every avenue to get a judgment to their liking. So, he's talking hypotheticals here. Having said that, I still don't have any problem with the idea that an Ecumenical Council might review an action by a long, dead pope. It's happened before and will probably happen again. Besides, the ancient custom is for the acts of an Ecumenical Council to be approved by the pope anyway. So, if a Council reviewed the actions of a pope and made a new decision and the current pope agreed...who would we be to disagree? The canon you referred to does not preclude that possibility. Nor is that canon something that could not change if there was a reunion of our Churches.

Doesn't the canon refer to appeals, which renders the pope's decisions final? I'd like to see how a canon lawyer interprets it but if it means what i think it means, then another practice of the ancient Church is eschewed, namely the appeal to a Council above the pope.

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It wouldn't surprise me if some Roman apologists have overstated their case.


You’re right on that. I found a significant chasm between Roman internet apologists and Roman scholars. The tendency many of us have is to force our presuppositions into the historical data inevitably leading to an anachronistic formulation of history. But I must say I’m extremely disappointed with the methodology and selectivity used by so many net apologists, particularly in their treatment of the history of the papacy.


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Kelly does seem to state things negatively: "there is no evidence that...," or "he nowhere recognizes..." That's using negative evidence and I disagree with that approach.


I don’t see a problem with that; if there’s no evidence of the modern day RC papal claims in Augustine’s works, why not state things negatively?


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I would, however, agree with Kelly's historical assessment here:

"[Pope Innocent] also praised his correspondents [St Augustine and four other African bishops] for referring the matter to his judgement (they had in fact not done so), thus following the ancient tradition that bishops everywhere should submit disputed matters of faith to Peter, the founder of their name and office. No previous pope had so clearly enunciated the view that the apostolic see possesses supreme teaching authority. St Augustine rejoiced that two councils had sent their decisions to the holy see, definitive rulings had come back, and the case was settled." (Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, under entry for Pope St Innocent I, died 417, pp. 37-38.)

"By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 417)


I also agree with Kelly's assessment. I would just keep in mind that the Roman interpretation of primacy was not accepted by the whole Church, which is the condition for catholic doctrine.


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Notice, how Kelly explains the teaching of Pope St Leo on papal primacy:

"First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle. Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St Peter, i.e., through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St Peter's magisterium, and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece. (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 420-1)


This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy. We notice it was the popes themselves who were the major exponents of the Roman version of primacy, so we would expect to find popes speaking of their capacity as such. However I’m sure you would agree that the claims of certain popes cannot override relevant Canons in ecclesial matters, one of which is Apostolic Canon 34 which stresses collegiality in the Church:

“It is fitting that the bishops of each people should know who is first among them, that they should acknowledge him as head and not undertake anything beyond the confines of their own sees without having consulted him. But the one who is first, for his part, must not do anything without consulting them. Thus a communion of thought will reign, and God will be glorified in the Lord (the Christ) through the Holy Spirit.”


It’s along these lines that the rest of the Church saw any attempts by Rome at defining truth on her own as invalid. There’s some good insight to be gained in the works of Olivier Clement on this subject matter. In “You Are Peter: An Orthodox Reflection on the exercise of Papal Primacy” (highly recommended if you haven’t already read it) he notes:

‘Leo never claimed the right to govern as bishop each of the individual churches. Rather he understood his authority as bearing an essential witness to the truth, which, as he himself said, did not belong to him: it was the faith of the Church as the apostle Peter first proclaimed it. That is why he was pleased his “Tome” was acknowledged by the Council, “confirmed,” he wrote, “by the undisputed accord of the entire assembly of brethren.”’ (pp. 46-47.)

Elsewhere he writes:

‘The Pope could hear an appeal, function as a court of annulment, but the canons protected the autonomy of local churches. Councils, almost always with papal accord, clarified doctrine and established the foundations of Church disciplineGǪ.The pope would write to the council with the intention of imposing an authoritative solution to some problem; his letter was received and listened to with the utmost respect, but freely and in the context of free reflection. The faith of Peter, indeed, but could it be separated from the vicariate of Peter, if God wanted this latter and the charism that goes with it? But did he want it? The East, at the time of the Ecumenical Councils, said yes, but differently - differently, that is, from Catholic theologians who in modern times have hardened the texts of a Leo the Great, making them more authoritarian. Certainly, that risk was there already; an evolution could be discerned. Nevertheless Leo never ceased affirming that the purpose of Roman primacy was to serve ecclesial communion, fidelium universitas, itself founded upon the “unity of the Catholic faith.” Moreover, he says time and again that he cannot exercise his charism except in communion with his “brothers and co-bishops” whose rights he respects and safeguards.’ (pp. 55-56.)


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My point was that the Forumla of Pope St Hormisdas had a long ecclesiastical history being re-used several times. It was not, as some have tried to make it seem, a one time event that was forced upon unwilling Easterners. The Formula was sworn to by many in the East over several generations.


I agree. Also the deposition of a heretic by a Pope can go both ways. St. Photius and the Eastern council deposed Pope Nicholas for abusing his authority.


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I agree. Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.


Not only is that regrettable, it’s bad history.


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I would agree that the essence of papal primacy should be serving in love, or as St Gregory Dialogist referred to himself as "the servants of the servants of God." That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. And even though Dvornik and Kelly admit a much earlier claim to papal supremacy than most Orthodox are willing to admit that doesn't mean that the exercise of that supremacy has always been the best. That there have been some failures at times to this principle I have no doubt. (There's enough sin on both sides of the Schism to go around.) But the claim to supremacy is there.


It certainly was there among several popes but the question is, was it justified in consideration of the Canons circumscribing the authority of the popes and the concept of the collegiality of the Church, as Canon 34 specifies above. We’ve inherited the challenge of trying to resolve these issues because they were never fully resolved at any period in the Church’s history. If however, evidence can be presented of a solution proposed by the entire Church which was accepted by all, then we need to face facts and decide who has remained in line with that solution. The Eighth Ecumenical Council (879-880) is the closest thing that came to solving this matter once and for all. Here are some of the decisions made by the Council:

Papal jurisdiction would not extend to the Eastern churches although the primacy of Rome would be recognized by all.

Both Rome and Constantinople agreed to recognize the preeminence of each other in their respective sphere.

Additions to the Creed (the filioque) were condemned.

Patriarch St. Photius was vindicated and the council held in Constantinople 10 years prior was annulled.


We come to the Gregorian reforms of the 11th Century and find the Roman church dislodging the above Council from its rightful place as the Eighth Ecumenical and replacing it with the previously annulled council. Was this action justified, and consonant with the collegial practice of the Church which forbade the pope from taking doctrinal matters arbitrarily in his own hands? A carte blanche to simply defy an Ecumenical Council whose decrees were upheld for two centuries cannot be justified.

This leads to my next point about the abuse of papal authority. We believe the presence of Rome’s Petrine charism is conditional - the pope and the church of Rome must remain in the faith of Peter for her primacy to be acknowledged. Clement again:

‘In the East, therefore, one turned to Rome when the faith was in danger and the harmony of the Pentarchy threatened. The attitude of Maximus the Confessor demonstrates both the depth of the trust and, subsequently, the extreme reserve found necessary when the pop seemed no longer to mirror the faith of Peter, when Petros and petra went their separate ways, however slightly. During the monothelite controversy, which we have already mentioned, Maximus, a simple monk but an immense theologian, gained the support of RomeGǪ.The church of Rome, he said, “has the keys of the faith and of the orthodox confessionGǪ.” But whenever Rome seemed to waver, ready to compromise, were it only by silence, the example of Maximus recalled that the pope’s confession of faith could never take the place of a personal act of faith. The petrine charism cannot replace personal conscience, humble and courageous, based on the internal evidence of the Good News. “Yesterday, the 18th of the month (April 685), on the day of mid-Pentecost, the patriarch [the new Pope Vitalian had just taken up again with Constantinople] spoke to me as follows: “To what church do you belong? To the church of Constantinople? To Rome? To Antioch? To Alexandria? To Jerusalem? But they are all one. If then, you belong to the catholic Church, remain at one with it lest in taking a path other than the way of life you meet with something unforeseen.’ I said to him: ‘The catholic Church is the forthright and saving confession of faith in the God of the universe, who showed this in proclaiming Peter blessed for confessing it forthrightly.’” (pp.35-37.)

Can we turn to the eyes of the spirit and infer with it that the Petrine charism has remained in Rome given these phenomena:

The secularized/Protestantized Liturgy
The despotic authoritarianism of the medieval papacy, a violation of the spirit of the Gospel
The relegation of the mind of the Fathers in favour of Scholasticism
The claims to temporal power and the use of Petrine scriptural texts to justify those claims
The scandal of the Inquisition

It has only been since Vatican II that Rome has miraculously changed course in her relations with the East and the world in general. But prior to that, not many of us can see the title of "servant of the servants of God" translated into deeds by very numerous popes.


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From St Gregory the Great:

"For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful." (Letter to John, Bishop of Syracuse, Book IX, Epistle XII, P.L. lxxvii, 957)

[St Gregory writing to Eusebius of Thessalonica, Urbicus of Dyrrachium, Andrew of Nicopolis, John of Corinth, John of Prima Justiniana, John of Crete, John of Larissa and Scodra, and many other bishops about his concern that they might be drawn into a council in Constantinople:] "Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances, -though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit ye yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod. (Book IX, Letter LXVIII)


Pope St. Gregory is in line with the collegial practice of the Church here; "...without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force..." Again, it worked both ways, with nothing to be done in an exclusive fashion.


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Letter of Pope St Agapetus to Peter, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, reproving him for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus: "We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned." (Mansi 8: 922.)


A great example of the exercising of primacy, which would amount to zilch without the moral authority enforced by Agapetus.

I'm out of time for now.
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« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2004, 10:13:12 AM »

Yet, the Orthodox polemicists who rely the Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today.


Good Morning Michael,

This statement sparked my curiosity.  Most of what I have read on this topic seems to fall into 2 categories: polemical or scholarly.  Certainly (for example) the "Primacy of Peter" (from SVSP) qualifies in the latter category, and doesn't employ the "Abbe Guettee" approach.  What books, do you know of, written by Orthodox scholars (i.e. not zealous converts with an axe to grind against their former confession) that employ the "Abbe Guettee" approach.  And, no, I don't classify (the former Baptist) Michael Whelton as a scholar.  My 13 years as an Orthodox Christian has shown me that the polemical approach is far more popular among internet enthusiasts, but has actually little representation on official Church levels or in local parishes (unless you count offshoot sects as part of the Orthodox Church, which would be similar to counting SSPX or SSPV as part of the Roman Catholic Church).  So when you say that the "...Abbe Guettee approach ("the rock was not Peter," and "no early popes claimed papal supremacy") are well represented in Orthodoxy today"...do you mean that this representation is primarily on internet fora and personal web sites?
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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2004, 10:33:43 AM »

Byzantino wrote:

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This dialogue's been quite enjoyable for me

And for me as well. My time is limited for the next few days so it'll be probably next week before I can really respond.

I do find this a refreshing change from most Internet discussion groups. To answer the question just raised: I don't mean to cast a slur on modern Orthodox scholarship. There are problems IMO: for example, Fr John Meyendorff in Imperial Unity says that Patriarch Anthimus resigned whereas everything I've read said he was deposed by Pope St Agapetus. However, Meyendorff is quite refreshing to read after Abbe Guettee.  Smiley

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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2004, 11:30:02 AM »

There are problems IMO: for example, Fr John Meyendorff in Imperial Unity says that Patriarch Anthimus resigned whereas everything I've read said he was deposed by Pope St Agapetus.


I am glad you mentioned that. I have obviously read Fr John Meyendorff with benefit but have found that in matters relating to my own areas of especial interest he also is sometimes in error. I don't even mean controversia matters of opinion and interpretation but fact. Sometimes this has prevented me taking his opinions as authoritative in some passages because they contain mistakes. But I hesitate to say that of a man much more learned and spiritual than I. It just goes to show that evertyone can make mistakes and no-one is infallible.
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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2004, 06:59:42 PM »

Quote
My 13 years as an Orthodox Christian has shown me that the polemical approach is far more popular among internet enthusiasts, but has actually little representation on official Church levels or in local parishes (unless you count offshoot sects as part of the Orthodox Church, which would be similar to counting SSPX or SSPV as part of the Roman Catholic Church).

This is a very accurate observation, gbmtmas. It certainly cuts both ways, and would be curious to see how much it actually retards progress towards unity.

Fr. Meyendorff has been extremely beneficial for me too; obviously he's not perfect but we'd be very hard pressed to find total perfection in any scholar. He is reliable though. I can't say that about any internet apologists, both RC and Orthodox so i just stick with the scholars. On the subject of Church history I've found Karl Hefele, Johanne Ignaz von Dollinger, Philip Schaff and J.N.D. Kelly to be the most accurate and beneficial.

Michael, have you tried Olivier Clement's treatise "You Are Peter?"

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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2004, 05:01:32 AM »

It is a discussion between RC and EO concerning their history of supremacy struggle, and me as OO am not concerned about this continued struggle as the Church of Alexandria was never, at any point of time, under any supremacy of any other church. However, I wanted to comment on some points.

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First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord on the apostle

No, it shouldn't. It is not important how the Popes of Rome intrepret it nowadays or in Chalcedon and in Middle Ages, most importantly is how the  Holy Apostles themselves understood the famous "supremacy texts" and how St.Peter himself understood the verses.

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Secondly, St Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see.
He was not. St.Paul was the Apostle in Rome, the Founder of the Church, the man who could be considered Bishop there. St. Clement is said to have followed him as First Pope of Rome. Where is St. Peter in this line ?

Quote
This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy.
Consider the source. I think that was his main objective in his Papacy, to establish the supremacy of Rome in expense of the all other aspects, even the unity of the Church is endangered.

Peace,
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« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2004, 09:09:03 PM »

He was not. St.Paul was the Apostle in Rome, the Founder of the Church, the man who could be considered Bishop there. St. Clement is said to have followed him as First Pope of Rome. Where is St. Peter in this line ?

  Where do you get that from? Without being ab hominem, that sounds as foolish as claims saying that St. Paul was the actual founder of Christianity.
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« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2004, 09:39:52 PM »

Stavro -

I think most Orthodox scholars are in agreement that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

"Linus, whom he [St. Paul] mentioned in his Second Epistle to Timothy as his companion at Rome, has been before shown to have been the first after Peter that obtained the episcopate at Rome" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 4).

One can recognize that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome without admitting all the other RC claims.
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« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2004, 10:04:06 PM »

St. Irenaeus (preserved in Eusebius) also confirms Peter and Paul's founding of the Roman church.

St Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", chapter III

"...the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops."
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« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2004, 10:14:40 PM »

One can recognize that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome without admitting all the other RC claims.

Yep. I completely agree with this.
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« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2004, 10:31:23 PM »

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This is of course how Pope St. Leo conceived of the Roman primacy.

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stavro: Consider the source. I think that was his main objective in his Papacy, to establish the supremacy of Rome in expense of the all other aspects, even the unity of the Church is endangered.

Please realize that Pope St. Leo the Great is revered by Orthodox and Roman Catholics alike as a saint and Father of the Church.

I saw your post over on the Non-Chalcedonian Forum about Dioscorus. I did not write a post disparaging him, although I could.

Please avoid disparaging remarks about Orthodox saints.


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« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2004, 11:32:17 PM »

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Please avoid disparaging remarks about Orthodox saints
LEO is not a saint in my church. I commented because he was used as a reference. But out of respect for your wish, I will stop exposing him, although I could.

Maybe it was not wise to participate on this discussion, as it seems it is between Chalcedonians and they have a common ground in who they regard as a reference.  

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« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2004, 11:37:04 PM »

LEO is not a saint in my church. I commented because he was used as a reference. But out of respect for your wish, I will stop exposing him, although I could.

Maybe it was not wise to participate on this discussion, as it seems it is between Chalcedonians and they have a common ground in who they regard as a reference.  

Peace,
Stavro  




Thank you.

I realize Pope St. Leo is not regarded as a saint in your church, just as Dioscorus is not regarded as a saint in ours.

I also refrained from posting anything disrespectful about him, so I appreciate your reciprocating.
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« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2004, 01:59:30 AM »

A word of encouragement from Constantinople.

 Your Holiness John Paul II, Pope of the Elder Rome: Rejoice in the Lord.

In these days, in which a forty-year period is completed since the historical and blessed meeting in Jerusalem between our predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory, we turn our thoughts, in gratitude, to their sacred memory and to the vision of the complete union of our sister Churches in the common faith and in the sacraments. It was this vision that they served through brave initiatives and steps. Hence, we assure Your Holiness that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Modesty personally are ready to continue these steps until we come into “the unity of the faith and the communion of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, praying for the long healthy life of Your Holiness, we embrace you and remain with invariable fraternal love and honour.

At the Patriarchate, 5 January 2004

Bartholomew of Constantinople

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« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2004, 03:39:32 AM »

Surely there is a difference between acknowledging someone as a saint and considering it disrespectful to criticise anything they had said, done or written?

For all of our saints I mean?

Surely proper historical analysis must be allowed weight without being disrespectful. I mean generally of our own common saints and of our particular ones.

If you read 'The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined' for instance, by the Indian Orthodox theologian Fr V.C. Samuel, then we find criticism of Dioscorus without disrespect, likewise criticism of Leo of Rome without disrespect.

And the writings of Fr John Romanides are criticical of Leo of Rome also, I am quite sure that as a conservative and traditionalist Orthodox he did not mean his criticism to be disrepectful.

I think we should be careful not to speak as though people and events are beyond criticism, that is the way of cults. Yet we should speak carefully and not seek to cause offense, and listen carefully and not be easily offended.
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« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2004, 04:10:39 AM »

ByzantineSerb,
no need to exchange insults and words like "foolish" and so on. You could have mentioned some references like the others did and it would add more weight to your argument.
As far as asking me "where I got that from", I will open a separate topic for that with the references I see validating my position.

Peter,
good post.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2004, 05:28:30 AM »

Good post Pete.

It's frustrating enough that many of us can't make honest criticisms without being labelled anti-(you name the church.) I have to contend with that all the time.
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« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2004, 08:02:06 AM »

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And the writings of Fr John Romanides are criticical of Leo of Rome also...

Hi Pete,

Could you recommend any of Fr. Romanides' works on Church history including the critique on Pope Leo you mentioned?

Thanks!
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« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2004, 08:17:44 AM »

Take a look at www.romanity.org. There are lots of good materials there including 20 or so by Father John.

The one I was referring to is http://www.romanity.org/htm/ro4enfm.htm, which is titled

"LEO OF ROME'S SUPPORT OF THEODORET, DIOSCORUS OF ALEXANDRIA'S SUPPORT OF EUTYCHES AND THE LIFTING OF THE ANATHEMAS"

.....What we are here concerned with is the evidence already presented by this writer as far back as 1959-60 and especially 1964 that both Leo and Dioscoros are Orthodox because they agree with St. Cyril Of Alexandria, especially with his Twelve Chapters, even though both had been considered heretical by the other side here represented.....

.....One must emphasize that acceptance of the Three or Seven Ecumenical Councils does not in itself entail agreement in faith. The Franco-Latin Papacy accepts these Councils, but in reality accepts not one of them. In like manner there are Orthodox, since Peter the Great, who in reality do not accept the soteriological and Old Testament presuppositions of these Councils. On the other hand those of the Oriental Orthodox, who have not been Franco-Latinised in important parts of their theology, accept the first three of the Ecumenical Councils, but in reality accept all Seven, a fact which has now become clear in recent agreements......
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« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2004, 10:17:26 AM »

sdcheung,

"I don't follow him.
He's an Ecumenist wretch!"

That seems not a very bright critique,  more of a reflection upon you than upon the Patriarch.   If you represent Orthodoxy in any way I thank God that I was spared of it.

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« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2004, 11:31:33 AM »

sdcheung,

"I don't follow him.
He's an Ecumenist wretch!"

That seems not a very bright critique,  more of a reflection upon you than upon the Patriarch.   If you represent Orthodoxy in any way I thank God that I was spared of it.

Dan Lauffer


Whatever.
he's not my Patriarch.
I'd rather have Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens on the Ecumenical Throne than this Ecumenist.
and If another Saint Mark of Ephesus comes along, I'll follow him too.

Orthodoxy must be preserved against Roman catholicism.
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« Reply #80 on: January 23, 2004, 11:44:13 AM »

I wasn't aware that Orthodoxy was under any threat from Roman Catholicism?
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« Reply #81 on: January 23, 2004, 11:49:35 AM »

I wasn't aware that Orthodoxy was under any threat from Roman Catholicism?

It has always been under threat from Roman Catholicism.
Why do you think we have Uniates? To lull us into thinking that Papal Supremacy might be Ok or something. Smiley

I'm not buying it.

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« Reply #82 on: January 23, 2004, 12:06:03 PM »

I don't feel threatened by Roman Catholicism, and in the Mother land if there is a sense of threat from the presence of the Coptic Catholic Church then I would expect that Coptic Orthodox need to work harder at internal evangelism. We all do. People leave Orthodoxy because it isn't meeting some felt need. Better to criticise ourselves than complain that some other communion is scratching that itch. That's why I'm always concerned and ambivalent about legal state pressures and prohibitions on non-Orthodox groups.
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« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2004, 12:12:05 PM »

They can talk over their qualms and questions of the faith when they go to confession. Questions shouldn't go unanswered. But, States that put legislation forbidding Proselytization from other groups, I am somewhat in agreement with.

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« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2004, 12:21:20 PM »

Then why should there not be laws forbidding evangelism of Muslims and conversion of Muslims to Christianity.
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« Reply #85 on: January 23, 2004, 12:23:58 PM »

One way street? We can proselytize, but shame on you for taking our Sheep! Wink
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« Reply #86 on: January 23, 2004, 12:30:13 PM »

We need to look after our sheep better then. Smiley
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« Reply #87 on: January 23, 2004, 12:35:58 PM »

yeah, Inoculate the faithful (sheep), from wierd sects, and weird doctrines and totally heretical religions like islam.
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« Reply #88 on: January 23, 2004, 12:52:52 PM »

Frobie,

Uh, oh! He's on to you.  Cheesy

It has always been under threat from Roman Catholicism.
Why do you think we have Uniates? To lull us into thinking that Papal Supremacy might be Ok or something. Smiley

I'm not buying it.

 
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« Reply #89 on: January 23, 2004, 12:57:08 PM »

Ela Vre Tony..
I am always on to Eastern Catholics.
They be Trojan horses.
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