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Author Topic: The problem with the theory that papal teaching exists "in tension"  (Read 3822 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 18, 2010, 08:12:30 PM »

We can argue about all of the official pronouncements, whether or not they were "contradicted" or simply exist in tension (and there is nothing wrong with a belief existing in tension, even the Orthodox will admit), but there is a practical matter that I see.


The problem with the theory that papal teaching exists "in tension" when it contradicts itself is that this principle is not acknowledged in Roman Catholic theology.

If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 08:46:37 PM »

We can argue about all of the official pronouncements, whether or not they were "contradicted" or simply exist in tension (and there is nothing wrong with a belief existing in tension, even the Orthodox will admit), but there is a practical matter that I see.


The problem with the theory that papal teaching exists "in tension" when it contradicts itself is that this principle is not acknowledged in Roman Catholic theology.

If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.

Interesting. If after 2000 years of Christianity, the Pope has said opposite statements on the faith (and it is confusing to me when it is supposedly ex cathedra and not, or if it might not be sometimes), then what about his infallibility when he says opposite things? Reinterpretation seems to be the only route.

What are the most opposite statements Popes have made speaking ex cathedra?
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 11:19:37 PM »

[
What are the most opposite statements Popes have made speaking ex cathedra?

Now and again I have asked Catholics for a list of papal pronouncements which are ex cathedra and infallible but have never had a response.  I think that Ott proposes there are 63 of them (or thereabouts, my memory is not certain on this point.)
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 11:23:47 PM »


Whether they qualify as technically infallible or not by reason of the presence of such a formula as: "we believe, state, proclaim and define... to the whole Church", no papal pronouncements may be dismissed by Catholics.  They cannot be dismissed as instance of his "non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium."

There is still a requirement to give assent to the teachings of the Pope, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.  I find that quite interesting. 
 
"This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”   
~Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #25

Now Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. 

Whether one posits infallibility in Ecumenical Councils or Popes or both, this document is ungainsayable on all counts, and the Pope was most certainly exercising his magisterial authority.  In other words, Catholics must give assent of mind and will to all papal teachings whether specifically identified as infallible pronouncements or not.
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2010, 11:30:10 PM »

So basically some things he says are infallible, maybe other things he says aren't, but either way, we have to submit our minds to them. spooky.

I think in Orthodoxy our church leaders have high authority, but I personally don't think they have "final authority." After all, even church councils have been overturned.

Also I disagree with Kallistos Wares' statement that "icons are beyond question." It just doesn't sound right, especially if councils have been overturned. What do you think, Father?
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 11:45:48 PM »

So basically some things he says are infallible, maybe other things he says aren't, but either way, we have to submit our minds to them. spooky.

I think in Orthodoxy our church leaders have high authority, but I personally don't think they have "final authority." After all, even church councils have been overturned.

Also I disagree with Kallistos Wares' statement that "icons are beyond question." It just doesn't sound right, especially if councils have been overturned. What do you think, Father?

LBK has contributed information on the great importance of the liturgical deposit and the iconographic deposit in presenting and maintaining the truths of Orthodoxy.  I agree with the bishop that icons are beyond question but of course that has to mean genuine and canonical icons. 

Hopefully LBK will see this thread and point us to the earlier messages..
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 11:55:54 PM »

I am still not sure about this. We know that the church has changed its views on things. If there was an early icon made during one of those times canonically, expressing an earlier view, I dont think its status as a canonical icon would make it "beyond question." That's how it seems to: ecumenical councils have been overturned, and they seem much more authoritative than a mere icon.
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2010, 12:15:22 AM »

We can argue about all of the official pronouncements, whether or not they were "contradicted" or simply exist in tension (and there is nothing wrong with a belief existing in tension, even the Orthodox will admit), but there is a practical matter that I see.


The problem with the theory that papal teaching exists "in tension" when it contradicts itself is that this principle is not acknowledged in Roman Catholic theology.

If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.

Erm....

Not even that really explains their approach.

According to papal infallibility, the formal teachings cannot contradict, but must be consistent throughout with each Pope.
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2010, 12:16:44 AM »

We can argue about all of the official pronouncements, whether or not they were "contradicted" or simply exist in tension (and there is nothing wrong with a belief existing in tension, even the Orthodox will admit), but there is a practical matter that I see.


The problem with the theory that papal teaching exists "in tension" when it contradicts itself is that this principle is not acknowledged in Roman Catholic theology.

If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.

Interesting. If after 2000 years of Christianity, the Pope has said opposite statements on the faith (and it is confusing to me when it is supposedly ex cathedra and not, or if it might not be sometimes), then what about his infallibility when he says opposite things? Reinterpretation seems to be the only route.

It would seem more common among those who perceive a seeming occupant as teaching heresy to actually question the legitimacy of his papacy.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2010, 12:21:06 AM »

There are a number of teachings that are "beyond question" simply because of how strongly the faithful believe in them, that to deny them would logically render one in a distinct faith community. That's not to say that those teachings should not ever questioned, because the masses may be misplacing their faith in them, but it does mean that there are some teachings that the majority will not question.

For instance, I will not really question the Cappadocian understanding of the Trinity. It's just so entrenched in my belief system that it is beyond questioning.
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2010, 12:34:11 AM »

There are a number of teachings that are "beyond question" simply because of how strongly the faithful believe in them, that to deny them would logically render one in a distinct faith community. That's not to say that those teachings should not ever questioned, because the masses may be misplacing their faith in them, but it does mean that there are some teachings that the majority will not question.

For instance, I will not really question the Cappadocian understanding of the Trinity. It's just so entrenched in my belief system that it is beyond questioning.

Sure, I understand and agree with what you are saying. But I don't think I agree that icons are by definition "beyond question" even ones generally considered canonical.

That almost means that we cannot question anything that is canonical. But like I said before, I think the church has changed positions on things.

Since you are nonChalcedonian, let's say my church has an icon of Chalcedon and an icon of a later council that was later overuled. Does that mean I cannot question them? Maybe that is a bad example.

I recently saw an icon of St Mark of Ephesus standing on top of a semi-naked Pope. Another poster said it was not canonical. So an icon is canonical unless it isn't.

And how do we determine what is canonical? Church councils and synods, for one. But those have been overuled. And before they were overuled, someone had to question whether their decisions were right, or maybe canonical. So you see my problem with calling icons "beyond question."
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2010, 12:38:40 AM »


It would seem more common among those who perceive a seeming occupant as teaching heresy to actually question the legitimacy of his papacy.

Pope Adrian VI (d.1523)

"If by the Roman Church you mean its head or pontiff, it is beyond question that he can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgement or decretal. In truth, many Roman pontiffs were heretics. The last of them was Pope John XXII (d. 1334).”

(Quaest. in IV Sent.; quoted in Viollet, Papal Infallibility and the Syllabus, 1908).


Pope Pius IX (d. 1878)

"If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him."

(Letter to Bishop Brizen)
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2010, 12:42:15 AM »

There are a number of teachings that are "beyond question" simply because of how strongly the faithful believe in them, that to deny them would logically render one in a distinct faith community. That's not to say that those teachings should not ever questioned, because the masses may be misplacing their faith in them, but it does mean that there are some teachings that the majority will not question.

For instance, I will not really question the Cappadocian understanding of the Trinity. It's just so entrenched in my belief system that it is beyond questioning.

Sure, I understand and agree with what you are saying. But I don't think I agree that icons are by definition "beyond question" even ones generally considered canonical.

That almost means that we cannot question anything that is canonical. But like I said before, I think the church has changed positions on things.

Since you are nonChalcedonian, let's say my church has an icon of Chalcedon and an icon of a later council that was later overuled. Does that mean I cannot question them? Maybe that is a bad example.

I recently saw an icon of St Mark of Ephesus standing on top of a semi-naked Pope. Another poster said it was not canonical. So an icon is canonical unless it isn't.

And how do we determine what is canonical? Church councils and synods, for one. But those have been overuled. And before they were overuled, someone had to question whether their decisions were right, or maybe canonical. So you see my problem with calling icons "beyond question."

Wait, perhaps I was confused. I thought you were saying that the issue of the rightfulness of venerating icons is beyond question.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2010, 12:44:55 AM »


It would seem more common among those who perceive a seeming occupant as teaching heresy to actually question the legitimacy of his papacy.

Pope Adrian VI (d.1523)

"If by the Roman Church you mean its head or pontiff, it is beyond question that he can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgement or decretal. In truth, many Roman pontiffs were heretics. The last of them was Pope John XXII (d. 1334).”

(Quaest. in IV Sent.; quoted in Viollet, Papal Infallibility and the Syllabus, 1908).


Pope Pius IX (d. 1878)

"If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him."

(Letter to Bishop Brizen)


Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2010, 01:42:19 AM »

There are a number of teachings that are "beyond question" simply because of how strongly the faithful believe in them, that to deny them would logically render one in a distinct faith community. That's not to say that those teachings should not ever questioned, because the masses may be misplacing their faith in them, but it does mean that there are some teachings that the majority will not question.

For instance, I will not really question the Cappadocian understanding of the Trinity. It's just so entrenched in my belief system that it is beyond questioning.

Sure, I understand and agree with what you are saying. But I don't think I agree that icons are by definition "beyond question" even ones generally considered canonical.

That almost means that we cannot question anything that is canonical. But like I said before, I think the church has changed positions on things.

Since you are nonChalcedonian, let's say my church has an icon of Chalcedon and an icon of a later council that was later overuled. Does that mean I cannot question them? Maybe that is a bad example.

I recently saw an icon of St Mark of Ephesus standing on top of a semi-naked Pope. Another poster said it was not canonical. So an icon is canonical unless it isn't.

And how do we determine what is canonical? Church councils and synods, for one. But those have been overuled. And before they were overuled, someone had to question whether their decisions were right, or maybe canonical. So you see my problem with calling icons "beyond question."

Wait, perhaps I was confused. I thought you were saying that the issue of the rightfulness of venerating icons is beyond question.



Basically, this is what I read from a Protestant website attacking Orthodoxy. I want to see if this is a caricature of the Church or not. I don't have easy access pages 213-214 of Ware's book "the Orthodox Church," which the attack cites to. I think I speed-read the section of the book on the internet (can't find it now), but it looked like nothing very surprising. it's very possible that the reviewer just perceived Ware's view to be unquestioning. But it may just be that Ware does not question that icons in general are a source of authority, not that all icons are "beyond question."


The critical review is:

Orthodox Tradition: Is the Orthodox Tradition Apostolic?
http://www.equip.org/articles/orthodox-tradition-is-the-orthodox-tradition-apostolic-

Quote
Konstantinidis and Archbishop Michael, for example, belong to the two-source trend, and yet disagree concerning the content of Tradition. Konstantinidis affirms that Tradition includes: (1) the valid and authentic interpretation of Scripture in the church; (2) official formulations and confessions of faith; (3) the formulations, definitions, and creeds of the Ecumenical Councils; (4) the larger accords of the teachings of the Fathers and ecclesiastical authors (Consensus Patrum); and (5) the forms, acts, and institutions and liturgies of the early church. Everything else can be ecclesiastical tradition, but "not the Holy Tradition of dogma and saving faith."23 Except for the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils, however, the Eastern Orthodox church has never formally accepted the points in Konstantinidis’s diagram. Moreover, after the Council of Chalcedon (451), the non-Byzantine Eastern churches did not participate in the councils considered ecumenical by the Byzantine Orthodox.

Alternatively, Archbishop Michael affirms that the oral tradition was handed on "from generation to generation until it was embodied and codified in the works of the major Fathers of the Church and in the resolutions of the seven Ecumenical and the ten local synods of the Church."24 Since Archbishop Michael indicates neither who are the major Fathers nor which are the ten local councils, it is again impossible to distinguish between the Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions. In the absence of such clarification, the church runs the risk of placing the canonical Scriptures on the same footing with a supplementary body of teachings and practices and of ascribing apostolic authority to certain teachings and practices that could well have merely ecclesiastical origin.25

Similar disagreements exist among those who follow the one-source theory. Ware asserts that Tradition includes: (1) the Bible, (2) the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, (3) local councils, (4) the Fathers, (5) the liturgy, (6) canon law (officially established church rules governing faith and practice), and (7) icons.26 In order to avoid conflicting authorities within Tradition, he proposes a "hierarchy" of Tradition within the church. The contemporary church is the final authority in interpreting the Scriptures, the later councils, and the Fathers, while the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are taken as irrevocable.27 He considers the liturgy and icons beyond any question, while canon law is subject to change by the contemporary church. [SOURCE: PAGE 213-214 OF TIMOTHY WARE'S THE ORTHODOX CHURCH]

Alternatively, other adherents of the one-source approach argue, "By the term Holy Tradition we understand the entire life of the Church in the Holy Spirit. This tradition expresses itself in dogmatic teachings, in liturgical worship, in canonical discipline, and in spiritual life."29

Clapsis notes, "The Orthodox Church has only a small number of dogmatic definitions, forming the profession of faith obligatory for all its members. Strictly speaking, this minimum consists of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, which is read during baptismal service and the liturgy, and the definitions of the seven ecumenical councils."30 Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff, however, adopts a less concise approach: "The Orthodox, when asked positively about the sources of their faith, answer in such concepts as the whole of Scripture, seen in the light of the tradition of the ancient Councils, the Fathers, and the faith of the entire people of God, expressed particularly in the liturgy. This appears to the outsiders as nebulous, perhaps romantic or mystical, and in any case inefficient and unrealistic."31



The reason I got into the discussion is this: Luther made a big deal of saying that church tradition is not a FINAL authority. But do we Orthodox believe that anything is a final authority outside scripture? I read that the church councils are infallible, and it's my impression that they might be the only thing claimed as infallible AKA a FINAL authority AKA "beyond question." Please clarify!

Thanks.
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2010, 01:45:44 AM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.

There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them. Basically, it means that the pope cannot make heresy when he speaks ex-cathedra. For them, it is like asking what if blue was red or something else. It is outside their framework. Of course, I don't agree in the first place that a pope can be infallible when talking on matters of faith.
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2010, 09:57:38 AM »


Whether they qualify as technically infallible or not by reason of the presence of such a formula as: "we believe, state, proclaim and define... to the whole Church", no papal pronouncements may be dismissed by Catholics.  They cannot be dismissed as instance of his "non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium."

There is still a requirement to give assent to the teachings of the Pope, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.  I find that quite interesting. 
 
"This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”   
~Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #25

Now Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. 

Whether one posits infallibility in Ecumenical Councils or Popes or both, this document is ungainsayable on all counts, and the Pope was most certainly exercising his magisterial authority.  In other words, Catholics must give assent of mind and will to all papal teachings whether specifically identified as infallible pronouncements or not.
"Religious submission" might simply mean "a degree of reverence".
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 12:02:28 PM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.

There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them.

Actually, it looks like the answer may be option four:

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

To sum up then:

1. The traditional and continuing law of the Church, expressed repeatedly in papal constitutions ever since the Middle Ages, allows for a heretical or apostate cardinal to participate fully in a papal conclave and even to be elected pope. If he could validly attain the papacy as a heretic or apostate, he could certainly retain it validly, even while remaining in that unhappy spiritual state.

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.


From http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0103fea1.asp
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 12:05:51 PM »

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

To sum up then:

1. The traditional and continuing law of the Church, expressed repeatedly in papal constitutions ever since the Middle Ages, allows for a heretical or apostate cardinal to participate fully in a papal conclave and even to be elected pope. If he could validly attain the papacy as a heretic or apostate, he could certainly retain it validly, even while remaining in that unhappy spiritual state.

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.


From http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0103fea1.asp

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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2010, 12:50:10 PM »

My. Brain. Hurts. .....  Huh Huh Huh

I just find 'em. I don't explain 'em.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2010, 05:52:03 PM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.

There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them.

Actually, it looks like the answer may be option four:

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

This is saying that he can have publicly discernable heresies, but it isn't explicitly saying that they could happen when speaking when ex-cathedra. The article says that he could at some point make a heresy, it would be ILLICIT\ILLEGAL, BUT it would be valid so you would have to OBEY it.

The point is, this screwed up logic still does not specifically talk about the times when he is supposedly infallible. it only says that he CAN be fallible sometimes, and we have to OBEY him when he makes mistakes.

(ignore for the moment that it says you don't have to obey him when obedience would cause sin, despite the fact that obeying heresy IS sinful, hence there is no valid heresy either. Ridiculous. The point is, this doesnt say if the heresies would happen when speaking ex cathedra, this deals with their messed up problem of obedience. They could change to rule about TOTAL obedience and ALWAYS infallible, but retain their idea of sometimes infallible.)
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2010, 05:58:31 PM »

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

To sum up then:

1. The traditional and continuing law of the Church, expressed repeatedly in papal constitutions ever since the Middle Ages, allows for a heretical or apostate cardinal to participate fully in a papal conclave and even to be elected pope. If he could validly attain the papacy as a heretic or apostate, he could certainly retain it validly, even while remaining in that unhappy spiritual state.

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.


From http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0103fea1.asp

My. Brain. Hurts. .....  Huh Huh Huh

Yeah, this is why Pastor Aeternus is such a useless dogma.
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2010, 08:23:35 PM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.

There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them. Basically, it means that the pope cannot make heresy when he speaks ex-cathedra. For them, it is like asking what if blue was red or something else. It is outside their framework. Of course, I don't agree in the first place that a pope can be infallible when talking on matters of faith.

Yes, we know that the statement is not possible for them. And questioning the status of the doctrine as heretical is one option yes. The property of the doctrine can be changed to make the statement true from "the Pope is teaching heresy" to "the Pope is teaching something that appears to be heresy to me but is actually orthodoxy". However, the status of the person pronouncing the teaching can also be changed to make it true from "the Pope is teaching heresy" to "someone masquerading as the Pope is teaching heresy".
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 08:59:18 PM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.

There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them.

Actually, it looks like the answer may be option four:

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

This is saying that he can have publicly discernable heresies, but it isn't explicitly saying that they could happen when speaking when ex-cathedra. The article says that he could at some point make a heresy, it would be ILLICIT\ILLEGAL, BUT it would be valid so you would have to OBEY it.

The point is, this screwed up logic still does not specifically talk about the times when he is supposedly infallible. it only says that he CAN be fallible sometimes, and we have to OBEY him when he makes mistakes.

(ignore for the moment that it says you don't have to obey him when obedience would cause sin, despite the fact that obeying heresy IS sinful, hence there is no valid heresy either. Ridiculous. The point is, this doesnt say if the heresies would happen when speaking ex cathedra, this deals with their messed up problem of obedience. They could change to rule about TOTAL obedience and ALWAYS infallible, but retain their idea of sometimes infallible.)

What I am saying is that the fourth option for what happens when a "Pope teaching heresy" is not a separate option.

Either 1. He isn't infallible (Thomas Moore said this) 2. He isn't really the Pope (as you said), or 3. It isn't a really heresy because he is infallible (what I said).

Your Option 4 fails as a separate option.
Option 4 is that it's a heresy but it's valid. This doesn't solve anything. If it's valid then it either A. isn't really heresy, or B. it's a heresy but he isn't infallible because he can make a mistake.

The citations you gave though don't say he can make a heresy EVEN IF he is speaking Ex Cathedra.
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2010, 09:21:11 PM »

This question about heretical Popes has not been resolved by some of the best theological minds of the Roman Catholic Church, so it is doubtful if anyone on IC.net will succeed.  laugh

People such as Bellarmine teach that heretical Popes must be judged and deposed.  Aquinas says something similar and so do some of the Popes, such as Innocent III.

The thing is that all them them simply take it for granted that a Pope may become a heretic.

Since the rise of Ultramontanism and the diminution of the authority of Councils among the Western Chalcedonians (i.e., Roman Catholics  Smiley  ) the Pope's power has increased signficantly and it is now generally thought that an heretical Pope cannot be judged and cannot be deposed since there is just no earthly power superior to his which can act to bring about his judgement and his deposition.

So an heretical Pope would continue as a Pope and Catholics have a (maybe fond and naive) hope that the Holy Spirit will intervene to stop him harming the Church.

To my eyes an heretical Pope is already a great harm to the Church.  Surely there is no other Church in Christendom which is willing to accept that its supreme authority is a heretic and must be left in office!!  I would see that as one of the Marks of the UnChurch.
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2010, 10:00:17 PM »

Yes, this all sounds like it is being said that Popes who teach heresy outside of ex cathedra should not be followed.

However, I was considering the matter of when a seeming Pope teaches heresy seemingly in the context of ex cathedra. In that case, the only options are that papal infallibility is false, or that the heretic is not actually the Pope.


There is a third option: IT IS NOT HERESY BECAUSE HE IS INFALLIBLE. Hence your assumption "what if a Pope teaches heresy" is not possible for them.

Actually, it looks like the answer may be option four:

A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly

This is saying that he can have publicly discernable heresies, but it isn't explicitly saying that they could happen when speaking when ex-cathedra. The article says that he could at some point make a heresy, it would be ILLICIT\ILLEGAL, BUT it would be valid so you would have to OBEY it.

The point is, this screwed up logic still does not specifically talk about the times when he is supposedly infallible. it only says that he CAN be fallible sometimes, and we have to OBEY him when he makes mistakes.

(ignore for the moment that it says you don't have to obey him when obedience would cause sin, despite the fact that obeying heresy IS sinful, hence there is no valid heresy either. Ridiculous. The point is, this doesnt say if the heresies would happen when speaking ex cathedra, this deals with their messed up problem of obedience. They could change to rule about TOTAL obedience and ALWAYS infallible, but retain their idea of sometimes infallible.)

What I am saying is that the fourth option for what happens when a "Pope teaching heresy" is not a separate option.

Either 1. He isn't infallible (Thomas Moore said this) 2. He isn't really the Pope (as you said), or 3. It isn't a really heresy because he is infallible (what I said).

Your Option 4 fails as a separate option.
Option 4 is that it's a heresy but it's valid. This doesn't solve anything. If it's valid then it either A. isn't really heresy, or B. it's a heresy but he isn't infallible because he can make a mistake.

The citations you gave though don't say he can make a heresy EVEN IF he is speaking Ex Cathedra.

According to the article quoted above, you are correct a little further up it says...

Quote
On the basis of twentieth-century canon law (found in both the 1917 and 1983 Codes), a pope who fulfilled the canonical requirements for heresy—that is, who pertinaciously doubted or denied one or more truths to be believed with divine and Catholic faith (cf. 1983 Code 751; 1917 Code 1325 §2)—would not have the moral right before God to be pope. Therefore, his remaining in office would be illicit. Still, if he refused to resign, he would truly be the pope in the sense that his acts of papal governance would still be valid before God and the Church. It should go without saying that divine providence would never permit him to define his heresy ex cathedra. The dogma of papal infallibility assures us this can never happen.
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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2010, 10:21:03 PM »

GREGORY!

Catholicism teaches we are certain that the Pope speaks ex cathedra when he uses a certain formular of words saying so.
Quote
"It should go without saying that divine providence would never permit him to define his heresy ex cathedra. The dogma of papal infallibility assures us this can never happen."

BINGO! THAT'S THE ANSWER! YOU WIN THE $100,000,000$ prize!


SO: Papal infallibility says the pope cannot err when he alone speaks "from Peter's chair" ("ex cathedra")
Your exception: What if a Heretic Pope errs when speaking "from Peter's chair"?
Answer: It cannot happen because the Pope cannot err when speaking "from Peter's chair!" After all, God would not permit it!


Oh but it seems to you like it could happen? You think God could let the Pope err if he chooses to when he announces he is speaking for the church? Things are not what they seem!
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2010, 10:45:06 PM »

Y'all having fun? Wink
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2010, 11:17:21 AM »

Y'all having fun? Wink

LOL....I've been watching and thinking the same thing. 

The scholastics sat in their universities and did the same thing and the Church just kept right on working, for better and sometimes for worse, while the speculators speculated.  Thank goodness the Holy Spirit does not take counsel of the speculators.

M.

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« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2010, 12:34:01 AM »

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.

That is incredibly ridiculous.
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« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2010, 02:27:51 AM »

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.

That is incredibly ridiculous.

Stop being such a speculator, Deus!   Cheesy

Quote
The scholastics sat in their universities and did the same thing and the [PAPAL??] Church just kept right on working, for better and sometimes for worse, while the speculators speculated.
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« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2010, 04:24:05 AM »

Y'all having fun? Wink

LOL....I've been watching and thinking the same thing. 

The scholastics sat in their universities and did the same thing and the Church just kept right on working, for better and sometimes for worse, while the speculators speculated.  Thank goodness the Holy Spirit does not take counsel of the speculators.

M.



I don't think I know what you mean.  Could elaborate?  (I mean this in all honesty).
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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2010, 08:30:47 PM »

2. A pope who began his pontificate as an orthodox Catholic but became a formal heretic or apostate during his pontificate would thereby legally incur excommunication. However, even if his heresy or apostasy should become publicly discernible, the absence of any competent authority on earth who could lawfully declare his excommunication would mean that, if he refused to resign and continued to insist on carrying out acts of papal authority, those acts, though illicitly exercised, would still be valid. In other words, he would still be juridically the true pope whom we would have to recognize and obey in all things but sin, even though at the inner level at which grace operates he might well be totally separated from the mystical body of Christ.

That is incredibly ridiculous.

Stop being such a speculator, Deus!   Cheesy

Quote
The scholastics sat in their universities and did the same thing and the [PAPAL??] Church just kept right on working, for better and sometimes for worse, while the speculators speculated.

 Grin Tongue
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2010, 04:39:06 PM »


If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.

I am reminded of the saying that folks in glass houses should not throw stones.

In fact, what I have learned from immersing myself in Orthodox theology is that the Western Fathers, even those acknowledged and celebrated as saints, have absolutely no authority unless they agree with the Eastern Fathers.  In other words, the authority of the Eastern Fathers is simply assumed to be infallible.  Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome?   What is patristical consensus when the testimony of the Western Fathers is excised?

Of course, this raises the question, Who are the Eastern Fathers?  Byzantine Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox debate this question.  Who did God favor at Chalcedon?  How does one know?  

A little humility, it seems to me, is in order.  Glass houses and all that ...  
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2010, 07:03:08 PM »

In fact, what I have learned from immersing myself in Orthodox theology is that the Western Fathers, even those acknowledged and celebrated as saints, have absolutely no authority unless they agree with the Eastern Fathers.

I haven't seen that. More often than not it seems that 1 or 2 of the Western Fathers espouse bizarre and heterodox doctrines that are in contradiction to the massive and consistent contrary consensus of the Eastern Fathers.

Is St Leo the Great a saint?

No.

Is St Gregory the Great a saint?

No.

What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome?

While it is true that the Western Fathers had a more highly primacist view of the authority of Rome, I think all but 1, 2, or 3 of them come short of real Ultramontanism.

Who did God favor at Chalcedon?

Pope Saint Dioscorus I.

How does one know?

The definition of the faith of the First Council of Ephesus.
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« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2010, 07:15:47 PM »


If we look at the Orthodox Church, it can often resolve disputes and tensions by searching for a patristic consensus.    But Catholics for their part cannot afford to search for a papal consensus.... if for example, they searched for the papal consensus on the question of the damnation of those who are not in the Roman Catholic Church and not in submission to the Supreme Pontiff, then the consensus is overwhelmingly clear.  They are damned.

So what Catholicism does is accept, not tension or papal consensus, but simply the latest contemporary papal teaching and this overrides previous teaching.  Papal teachings of the past are ignored or, in some cases, "creatively reinterpreted" to make them mean what the Pope who wrote them never intended.

I am reminded of the saying that folks in glass houses should not throw stones.

In fact, what I have learned from immersing myself in Orthodox theology is that the Western Fathers, even those acknowledged and celebrated as saints, have absolutely no authority unless they agree with the Eastern Fathers.  In other words, the authority of the Eastern Fathers is simply assumed to be infallible.  Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome?   What is patristical consensus when the testimony of the Western Fathers is excised?

Of course, this raises the question, Who are the Eastern Fathers?  Byzantine Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox debate this question.  Who did God favor at Chalcedon?  How does one know?  

A little humility, it seems to me, is in order.  Glass houses and all that ...  

With all respect, it's not an issue of Glass houses. I believe we reject the idea that a single person, or even a selection of saints by themselves are infallible.

My understanding is that only the 7 ecumenical church councils are infallible, and they only became infallible when ratified by a consensus the church body as a whole.

Eastern fathers vs western fathers is a separate issue. Of course, once Rome declared its leader unequally supreme infallible and the schism happened, It is no surprise that the eastern saints would prefer the consensus of the eastern saints, without declaring that it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to be wrong.

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« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2010, 09:32:21 PM »

 

Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome? 

Si ego testimonium perhibeo de meipso, testimonium meum non est verum

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true

~John 5:31
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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2010, 10:07:01 PM »

If early Roman popes said they were supreme, unequaled, and infallible, then I think we would have to give some respect to that view. I don't think they felt that way, and even if they did, I don't think the rest of Christendom agreed.

As a matter of principle, it is hard for me to say that one person on earth outside the Trinity can be "unmistakable." It is somewhat like saying that he cannot sin. I don't believe that. I even doubt that Mary was sinless, and such is not a doctrine of the Orthodox Church anyway.
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2010, 10:19:49 PM »

Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome? 

Here is the teaching of Saint Gregory the Great.  It is something which is never mentioned in Catholic apologetics.


Pope Saint Gregory the Great believed that the Blessed Peter had established
three Petrine Sees of equal authority - Rome, Alexandria, Antioch.

This Triptarchy existed prior to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it is connected
with a belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.


Note well what the Pope says here in his letter to Eulogius of Alexandria:

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius of Alexandria] has spoken
much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince
of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the
persons of his successors.

"And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the
dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand.
But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to
me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. …And to him it is
said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the
kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And
when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once
more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi.
17).

Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one.

For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See,
over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever
good I hear of you, this I impute to myself.”

 (Book VII, Epistle XL)
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« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2010, 10:35:42 PM »

Wow.
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2010, 02:56:50 PM »

Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome? 

Here is the teaching of Saint Gregory the Great.  It is something which is never mentioned in Catholic apologetics.


Pope Saint Gregory the Great believed that the Blessed Peter had established
three Petrine Sees of equal authority - Rome, Alexandria, Antioch.

This Triptarchy existed prior to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it is connected
with a belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.


Note well what the Pope says here in his letter to Eulogius of Alexandria:

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius of Alexandria] has spoken
much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince
of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the
persons of his successors.

"And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the
dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand.
But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to
me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. …And to him it is
said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the
kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And
when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once
more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi.
17).

Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one.

For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See,
over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever
good I hear of you, this I impute to myself.”

 (Book VII, Epistle XL)


I don't see what the problem is. All Bishops have a share in the authority of Peter. Why not have three principal sees with an even greater share in that authority. And why not even more a share in the servanthood of St. Peter by one of the three. I love the humility demonstrated by St. Gregory here. It is clear from his other documents that he is well aware of his primacy, even above and beyond the three sees mentioned here, but yet he demonstrates his humility in dealing with these other two. What a great Saint he is.
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GregoryLA
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« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2010, 07:42:17 PM »

Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome? 

Here is the teaching of Saint Gregory the Great.  It is something which is never mentioned in Catholic apologetics.


Pope Saint Gregory the Great believed that the Blessed Peter had established
three Petrine Sees of equal authority - Rome, Alexandria, Antioch.

This Triptarchy existed prior to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it is connected
with a belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.


Note well what the Pope says here in his letter to Eulogius of Alexandria:

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius of Alexandria] has spoken
much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince
of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the
persons of his successors.

"And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the
dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand.
But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to
me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. …And to him it is
said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the
kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And
when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once
more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi.
17).

Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one.

For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See,
over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever
good I hear of you, this I impute to myself.”

 (Book VII, Epistle XL)


I don't see what the problem is. All Bishops have a share in the authority of Peter. Why not have three principal sees with an even greater share in that authority. And why not even more a share in the servanthood of St. Peter by one of the three. I love the humility demonstrated by St. Gregory here. It is clear from his other documents that he is well aware of his primacy, even above and beyond the three sees mentioned here, but yet he demonstrates his humility in dealing with these other two. What a great Saint he is.

Would you mind sharing with us some of the quotes where St. Gregory talks about his primacy?
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« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2010, 08:00:05 PM »

Anyone before St. Gregory the Great that expressed believe in the Petrine primacy of three sees, including Alexandria?

I know I asked before, but I can't find the thread where you answered this question.
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« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2010, 10:38:20 PM »

Anyone before St. Gregory the Great that expressed believe in the Petrine primacy of three sees, including Alexandria?

It all depends on what you mean by "primacy".

Do you mean supremacy?

One of the irritating things about these discussions is that no one really comes out and specifies what they mean by "primacy", whether it by primacy of honor or presidency or supremacy or infallibility or something else.
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« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2010, 01:06:45 AM »

Is St Leo the Great a saint?  Is St Gregory the Great a saint?  What does one do about their teachings on the authority of the bishop of Rome? 

Here is the teaching of Saint Gregory the Great.  It is something which is never mentioned in Catholic apologetics.


Pope Saint Gregory the Great believed that the Blessed Peter had established
three Petrine Sees of equal authority - Rome, Alexandria, Antioch.

This Triptarchy existed prior to the now familiar Pentarchy, and it is connected
with a belief in a Petrine foundation for each of these three major Sees.


Note well what the Pope says here in his letter to Eulogius of Alexandria:

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

"Your most sweet Holiness [Eulogius of Alexandria] has spoken
much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince
of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the
persons of his successors.


"And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the
dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand.
But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to
me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. …And to him it is
said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the
kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19).
And again it is said to him, And
when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once
more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi.
17).

Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the
principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has
grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one.

For he himself [Peter] exalted the See in which he deigned even to
rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to
which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself
established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for
seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See,
over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever
good I hear of you, this I impute to myself.”

 (Book VII, Epistle XL)


I don't see what the problem is. All Bishops have a share in the authority of Peter. Why not have three principal sees with an even greater share in that authority. And why not even more a share in the servanthood of St. Peter by one of the three. I love the humility demonstrated by St. Gregory here.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Quote
It is clear from his other documents that he is well aware of his primacy, even above and beyond the three sees mentioned here, but yet he demonstrates his humility in dealing with these other two. What a great Saint he is.
I would be interested to see where he makes such a statement compared to the other 2 seats of Peter.
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