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JimCBrooklyn
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« on: July 16, 2010, 11:24:21 AM »

I was reading a post that is almost a year old, but that was quite succinct and speaks to many of the issues that I'm now struggling with, and it again made certain assertions about when/where/how Petrine primacy first became an issue. I've been perusing this forum for about 2 weeks now, and others, and keep coming back to the question of Petrine primacy.

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are both very quick to cite early church consensus/ECF writings and epistles to back their respective cases, which has left me awfully confused. I've seen, in snippets various writings from the early church that would seem to support both sides of the question. What is clear to me is that such snippets can always be taken out of their specific contexts, or out of the context the greater body of work of their authors. In order to have a clearer picture for myself, I feel that I need to read these texts, obviously not all the ECF writings in their entirety, but at least certain key ones, as I'm semi-familiar with the players. Can anyone point me to A) some cream of the crop, key early church writings concerning the Bishop of Rome and B) where to find them online?

Thanks!
Jim
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 11:51:57 AM »

I was reading a post that is almost a year old, but that was quite succinct and speaks to many of the issues that I'm now struggling with, and it again made certain assertions about when/where/how Petrine primacy first became an issue. I've been perusing this forum for about 2 weeks now, and others, and keep coming back to the question of Petrine primacy.

Those more knowledgeable in the Fathers will, I hope, answer you, but if I may, the primacy of the Bishop of Rome (and St. Peter was first the Bishop of Antioch) is not so much an issue. The Bishop of Rome was honored as "first among equals," due to the primacy of Rome the city, and also as an honor to the Roman Christians.
But honor does not translate into an authoritarian papacy, where one Bishop gets to tell the others what to do, and where one Bishop is infallible. The method of church governance for centuries was conciliar.
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 12:13:26 PM »

I was reading a post that is almost a year old, but that was quite succinct and speaks to many of the issues that I'm now struggling with, and it again made certain assertions about when/where/how Petrine primacy first became an issue. I've been perusing this forum for about 2 weeks now, and others, and keep coming back to the question of Petrine primacy.

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are both very quick to cite early church consensus/ECF writings and epistles to back their respective cases, which has left me awfully confused. I've seen, in snippets various writings from the early church that would seem to support both sides of the question. What is clear to me is that such snippets can always be taken out of their specific contexts, or out of the context the greater body of work of their authors. In order to have a clearer picture for myself, I feel that I need to read these texts, obviously not all the ECF writings in their entirety, but at least certain key ones, as I'm semi-familiar with the players. Can anyone point me to A) some cream of the crop, key early church writings concerning the Bishop of Rome and B) where to find them online?

Thanks!
Jim

Hi Jim!

There was a very comprehensive site about that some years ago but it went offline. I'll try to find in my old files and printed document the url so you can check at archive.org . But here are some guidelines I followed whe I was researching that as well.

Everybody admits that the Papacy, as it exists today, did not exist in the first millenium. The RC church will use the idea of development of doctrine and of form to explain these changes. The question you have to make is: When does change stop being the development of something that already exists and when is it a "revolution" in the sense of changing what existed for something else even if with the same names and reinterpreting history under the new model? My own conclusion was that this second case explains better the emergence of Papacy.

Second, there are these questions:

1) Was Peter really first among the Apostles?
1a) If yes, in what sense? Is RC current interpretation the true one?
1b) If yes, was this "transmittable" to the bishops he ordained?
1b.1) If it was, why it was transmittable to the bishop of Rome and not to the bishop of Antioch, since Peter founded both sees?
1b.2) If it was, and if the promise of Jesus was to the person of Peter but does not mention the city of Rome, why it was not transmitted to *all* bishops that Peter ordained, regardless of the city? Or, in other words, how come the prerrogatives of Peter could become the prerrogatives of a city?
1c) Was this exclusive to Peter?

2) Other Apostles had special missions in the Church. Along with Peter, John and James were called Pillars of the Church. St. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles. If Peter's special charisma was transmissable, why the other Apostles' charismas were not? Where is the successor of John, of James and of Paul, not simply in the sense to be where they were, but of having a transmission of their own personal charismas?

3) Was Rome really considered first among the Christian sees?
2a) If yes, how was that explained at the time? Was it *just* or *mainly* because Peter was martyred there?
2b) If yes, was that an irremovable condition or was it conditional?

I'll update you about my search. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 02:47:53 PM »

At ccel.org

you can see the Apostolic Fathers. Read Clement, and see how there isn't a single appeal to St. Peter as sole source of Rome's authority (that doesn't seem to have entered the debate until the late 3rd century).  Read the Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Romans, with the other ones, and note that whereas St. Ignatius keeps on harping on the need to obey the bishop, he does even mention a bishop in the Epistle to Rome. He also doesn't refer to any Pope at Rome in the other epistles, to which those Churches had to be in communion with.

On St. Iranaeus, in the same book,
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19903.msg297256.html#msg297256
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 10:23:11 PM »

Patristic quotes relating to Petrine Primacy:

Jerusalem

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch (363)


Our Lord Jesus Christ then became a man, but by the many He was not known. But wishing to teach that which was not known, having assembled the disciples, He asked, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' ...And all being silent (for it was beyond man to learn) Peter, the Foremost of the Apostles, the Chief Herald of the Church, not using the language of his own finding, nor persuaded by human reasoning, but having his mind enlightened by the Father, says to Him, 'Thou art the Christ,' not simply that, but 'the Son of the living God.' (Cyril, Catech. xi. n. 3)

For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven. (Cyril, Catechetical Lectures A.D. 350).

Peter, the chief and foremost leader of the Apostles, before a little maid thrice denied the Lord, but moved to penitence, he wept bitterly. (Cyril, Catech ii. n. 15)

In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, also the foremost of the Apostles and the key-bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, healed Aeneas the paralytic in the name of Christ. (Cyril, Catech. xviii. n. 27)

St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (c. 638)

Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the pope's) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus, and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul ... I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church. (Sophronius, Mansi, xi. 461)

Transverse quickly all the world from one end to the other until you come to the Apostolic See (Rome), where are the foundations of the orthodox doctrine. Make clearly known to the most holy personages of that throne the questions agitated among us. Cease not to pray and to beg them until their apostolic and Divine wisdom shall have pronounced the victorious judgement and destroyed from the foundation ...the new heresy. (Sophronius, [quoted by Bishop Stephen of Dora to Pope Martin I at the Lateran Council], Mansi, 893)

Stephen, Bishop of Dora in Palestine (645)

And for this cause, sometimes we ask for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair (the Chair of Peter at Rome) which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the head and highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from old and from the beginning with power by its canonical or apostolic authority, because the truly great Peter, head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be trusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the Gospel of grace, but because he was also commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for 'Peter,' saith He, 'lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.' And again, because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God Himself incarnate for us with power and sacerdotal authority .....And Sophronius of blessed memory, who was Patriarch of the holy city of Christ our God, and under whom I was bishop, conferring not with flesh and blood, but caring only for the things of Christ with respect to your Holiness, hastened to send my nothingness without delay about this matter alone to this Apostolic see, where are the foundations of holy doctrine.

Constantinople

St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)

Peter himself the Head or Crown of the Apostles, the First in the Church, the Friend of Christ, who received a revelation, not from man, but from the Father, as the Lord bears witness to him, saying, 'Blessed art thou, This very Peter and when I name Peter I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, First of the disciples, the First called, and the First who obeyed he was guilty ...even denying the Lord." (Chrysostom, T. ii. Hom)

Peter, the Leader of the choir of Apostles, the Mouth of the disciples, the Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the faith, the Foundation of the confession, the Fisherman of the universe. (Chrysostom, T. iii Hom).

Peter, that Leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that one set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church. (Chrys. In illud hoc Scitote)

(Peter), the foundation of the Church, the Coryphaeus of the choir of the Apostles, the vehement lover of Christ ...he who ran throughout the whole world, who fished the whole world; this holy Coryphaeus of the blessed choir; the ardent disciple, who was entrusted with the keys of heaven, who received the spiritual revelation. Peter, the mouth of all Apostles, the head of that company, the ruler of the whole world. (De Eleemos, iii. 4; Hom. de decem mille tal. 3)

In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples (Acts 15), both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock ...he first acts with authority in the matter, as having all put into his hands ; for to him Christ said, 'And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren. (Chrysostom, Hom. iii Act Apost. tom. ix.)

He passed over his fall, and appointed him first of the Apostles; wherefore He said: ' 'Simon, Simon,' etc. (in Ps. cxxix. 2). God allowed him to fall, because He meant to make him ruler over the whole world, that, remembering his own fall, he might forgive those who should slip in the future. And that what I have said is no guess, listen to Christ Himself saying: 'Simon, Simon, etc.' (Chrys, Hom. quod frequenter conveniendum sit 5, cf. Hom 73 in Joan 5).

And why, then, passing by the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? (John 21:15). He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others (Galatians 1:18). And withal, to show him that he must thenceforward have confidence, as the denial was done away with, He puts into his hands the presidency over the brethren. And He brings not forward the denial, nor reproches him with what had past, but says, 'If you love me, preside over the brethren ...and the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if one should say, 'How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?,' this I would answer that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher, not of that throne, but of the whole world. (Chrysostom, In Joan. Hom. 1xxxviii. n. 1, tom. viii)

St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (434):
A disciple of St. John Chrysostom

Peter, the coryphaeus of the disciples, and the one set over (or chief of) the Apostles. Art not thou he that didst say, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'? Thou Bar-Jonas (son of the dove) hast thou seen so many miracles, and art thou still but Simon (a hearer)? He appointed thee the key-bearer of Heaven, and has though not yet layed aside thy fisherman's clothing? (Proclus, Or. viii In Dom. Transfig. t. ix. Galland)

John Cassian, Monk (c. 430)

That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God (Cassian, Contra Nestorium, III, 12, CSEL, vol. 17, p. 276).

St. Nilus of Constantinople (448)
A disciple of St. John Chrysostom

Peter, Head of the choir of Apostles. (Nilus, Lib. ii Epistl.)

Peter, who was foremost in the choir of Apostles and always ruled amongst them. (Nilus, Tract. ad. Magnam.)

Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople (466-516)

Macedonius declared, when desired by the Emperor Anastasius to condemn the Council of Chalcedon, that 'such a step without an Ecumenical Synod presided over by the Pope of Rome is impossible.' (Macedonius, Patr. Graec. 108: 360a (Theophan. Chronogr. pp. 234-346 seq.)

Emperor Justinian (520-533)

Writing to the Pope:
Yielding honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, and honoring your Holiness, as one ought to honor a father, we have hastened to subject all the priests of the whole Eastern district, and to unite them to the See of your Holiness, for we do not allow of any point, however manifest and indisputable it be, which relates to the state of the Churches, not being brought to the cognizance of your Holiness, since you are the Head of all the holy Churches. (Justinian Epist. ad. Pap. Joan. ii. Cod. Justin. lib. I. tit. 1).

Let your Apostleship show that you have worthily succeeded to the Apostle Peter, since the Lord will work through you, as Surpreme Pastor, the salvation of all. (Coll. Avell. Ep. 196, July 9th, 520, Justinian to Pope Hormisdas).

St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 650)
A celebrated theologian and a native of Constantinople

The extremities of the earth, and everyone in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the Most Holy Roman Church and her confession and faith, as to a sun of unfailing light awaiting from her the brilliant radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers, according to that which the inspired and holy Councils have stainlessly and piously decreed. For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High. (Maximus, Opuscula theologica et polemica, Migne, Patr. Graec. vol. 90)

How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter (Peter and Paul), and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate .....even as in all these things all are equally subject to her (the Church of Rome) according to sacerodotal law. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers (the popes) are of the truly firm and immovable rock, that is of the most great and Apostolic Church of Rome. (Maximus, in J.B. Mansi, ed. Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, vol. 10)

If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus also anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God ...Let him hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to pursuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which is from the incarnate of the Son of God Himself, and also all the holy synods, accodring to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and surpreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world. (Maximus, Letter to Peter, in Mansi x, 692).

John VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (715)

The Pope of Rome, the head of the Christian priesthood, whom in Peter, the Lord commanded to confirm his brethren. (John VI, Epist. ad Constantin. Pap. ad. Combefis, Auctuar. Bibl. P.P. Graec.tom. ii. p. 211, seq.)

St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (758-828)

Without whom (the Romans presiding in the seventh Council) a doctrine brought forward in the Church could not, even though confirmed by canonical decrees and by ecclesiastical usuage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Popes of Rome) who have had assigned to them the rule in sacred things, and who have received into their hands the dignity of headship among the Apostles. (Nicephorus, Niceph. Cpl. pro. s. imag. c 25 [Mai N. Bibl. pp. ii. 30]).

St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople (759-826)

Writing to Pope Leo III:
Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven. (Theodore, Bk. I. Ep. 23)

Writing to Pope Paschal:
Hear, O Apostolic Head, divinely-appointed Shepherd of Christ's sheep, keybearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, Rock of the Faith upon whom the Catholic Church is built. For Peter art thou, who adornest and governest the Chair of Peter. Hither, then, from the West, imitator of Christ, arise and repel not for ever (Ps. xliii. 23). To thee spake Christ our Lord: 'And thou being one day converted, shalt strengthen thy brethren.' Behold the hour and the place. Help us, thou that art set by God for this. Stretch forth thy hand so far as thou canst. Thou hast strength with God, through being the first of all. (Letter of St. Theodore and four other Abbots to Pope Paschal, Bk. ii Ep. 12, Patr. Graec. 99, 1152-3)

Writing to Emperor Michael:
Order that the declaration from old Rome be received, as was the custom by Tradition of our Fathers from of old and from the beginning. For this, O Emperor, is the highests of the Churches of God, in which first Peter held the Chair, to whom the Lord said: Thou art Peter ...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Theodore, Bk. II. Ep. 86)

I witness now before God and men, they have torn themselves away from the Body of Christ, from the Surpreme See (Rome), in which Christ placed the keys of the Faith, against which the gates of hell (I mean the mouth of heretics) have not prevailed, and never will until the Consummation, according to the promise of Him Who cannot lie. Let the blessed and Apostolic Paschal (Pope St. Paschal I) rejoice therefore, for he has fulfilled the work of Peter. (Theodore Bk. II. Ep. 63).

In truth we have seen that a manifest successor of the prince of the Apostles presides over the Roman Church. We truly believe that Christ has not deserted the Church here (Constantinople), for assistance from you has been our one and only aid from of old and from the beginning by the providence of God in the critical times. You are, indeed the untroubled and pure fount of orthodoxy from the beginning, you the calm harbor of the whole Church, far removed from the waves of heresy, you the God-chosen city of refuge. (Letter of St. Theodor and Four Abbots to Pope Paschal).

Let him (Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople) assemble a synod of those with whom he has been at variance, if it is impossible that representatives of the other Patriarchs should be present, a thing which might certainly be if the Emperor should wish the Western Patriarch (the Roman Pope) to be present, to whom is given authority over an ecumenical synod; but let him make peace and union by sending his synodical letters to the prelate of the First See. (Theodore the Studite, Patr. Graec. 99, 1420)

Alexandria

St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria (306-311)
Head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, he became bishop around A.D. 300, reigning for about eleven years, and dying a martyr's death.

Peter, set above the Apostles. (Peter of Alexandria, Canon. ix, Galland, iv. p. 98)

St. Anthony of Egypt (330)

Peter, the Prince of the Apostles (Anthony, Epist. xvii. Galland, iv p. 687)

St. Athanasius (362)

Rome is called the Apostolic throne. (Athanasius, Hist. Arian, ad Monach. n. 35)

The Chief, Peter. (Athan, In Ps. xv. 8, tom. iii. p. 106, Migne)

St. Macarius of Egypt (371)

The Chief, Peter. (Macarius, De Patientia, n. 3, p. 180)

Moses was succeeded by Peter, who had committed to his hands the new Church of Christ, and the true priesthood. (Macarius, Hom. xxvi. n. 23, p. 101)

St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 424)

He suffers him no longer to be called Simon, exercising authority and rule over him already having become His own. By a title suitable to the thing, He changed his name into Peter, from the word 'petra' (rock); for on him He was afterwards to found His Church. (Cyril, T. iv. Comm. in Joan., p. 131)

He (Christ) promises to found the Church, assigning immovableness to it, as He is the Lord of strength, and over this He sets Peter as shepherd. (Cyril, Comm. on Matt., ad loc.)

Therefore, when the Lord had hinted at the disciple's denial in the words that He used, 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith not fail,' He at once introduced a word of consolation, and said (to Peter): 'And do thou, when once thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' That is, 'Be thou a support and a teacher of those who through faith come to me.' Again, marvel also at the insight of that saying and at the completeness of the Divine gentleness of spirit. For so that He should not reduce the disciple to despair at the thought that after his denial he would have to be debarred from the glorious distinction of being an Apostle, He fills him with good hope, that he will attain the good things promised. ...O loving kindness! The sin was not yet committed, and He already extends His pardon and sets him (Peter) again in his Apostolic office. (Cyril Comm. on Luke's Gospel)

For the wonderous Peter, overcome by uncontrollable fear, denied the Lord three times. Christ heals the error done, and demands in various ways the threefold confession ... For although all the holy disciples fled, ...still Peter's fault in the threefold denial was in addition, special and peculiar to himself. Therefore, by the threefold confession of blessed Peter, the fault of the triple denial was done away. Further, by the Lord's saying, Feed my lambs, we must understand a renewal as it were of the Apostleship already given to him, washing away the intervening disgrace of his fall, and the littleness of human infirmity. (Cyril, Comm. on John's Gospel).

They (the Apostles) strove to learn through one, that preeminent one, Peter. (Cyril, Ib. 1. ix. p. 736).

And even blessed Peter, though set over the holy disciples, says 'Lord, be it far from Thee, this shall be done to Thee. (Cyril, Ibid. 924).

If Peter himself, that prince of the holy disciples, was, upon an occassion, scandalized, so as suddenly to exclaim, 'Lord, be it far from Thee,' what wonder that the tender mind of woman should be carried away? (Cyril, Ibid, p. 1064)

That the Spirit is God we shall also learn hence. That the prince of the Apostles, to whom 'flesh and blood,' as the Savior says, 'did not reveal' the Divine mystery, says to Ananias, 'Why hath Satan tempted thy heart, (Cyril, T. v. Par. 1. Thesaur. p. 340)

Besides all these, let there come forward that leader of the holy disciples, Peter, who, when the Lord, on a certain occassion, asked him, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' instantly cried out, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' (Cyril, T. v. P.2, Hom. viii. De Fest. Pasch. p. 105)

'If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.' When the Coryphaeus (Peter) had heard these words, he began to change. (Cyril, Ib. Hom.)

This bold man (Julian), besides all this, cavils at Peter, the chosen one of the holy Apostles. (Cyril, T. vi.l. ix. Contr. Julian. p. 325).

Eulogius of Alexandria (581)
Born in Syria, he became the abbot of the Mother of God monastery at Antioch. In 579, he was made Patriarch of Alexandria; and became an associate of St. Gregory the Great while visiting Constantinople. Much of their subsequent correspondence is still extant.

Neither to John, nor to any other of the disciples, did our Savior say, 'I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,' but only to Peter. (Eulogius, Lib. ii. Cont. Novatian. ap. Photium, Biblioth, cod. 280)

Antioch

Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria (450)
A native of Antioch, Theodoret ruled under the Antiochean Patriarch.

The great foundation of the Church was shaken, and confirmed by the Divine grace. And the Lord commanded him to apply that same care to the brethren. 'And thou,' He says, 'converted, confirm thy brethren.' (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Haeret. Fab. lib. v.c. 28)

'For as I,' He says, 'did not despise thee when tossed, so be thou a support to thy brethren in trouble, and the help by which thou was saved do thou thyself impart to others, and exhort them not while they are tottering, but raise them up in their peril. For this reason I suffer thee also to slip, but do not permit thee to fall, thus through thee gaining steadfastness for those who are tossed.' So this great pillar supported the tossing and sinking world, and permitted it not to fall entirely and gave it back stability, having been ordered to feed God's sheep. (Theodoret, Oratio de Caritate in J. P. Minge, ed., Partrologiae Curses Completus: Series Graeca).

I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds. (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives. (Theodoret Ibid, Epistle Leoni)

Cyprus

St. Epiphanius, Archbishop of Salamis (385)

Holy men are therefore called the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them; as that Chief of the Apostles testifies, he that was found to be blessed by the Lord, because the Father had revealed unto him. To him then did the Father reveal His true Son; and the same (Peter) furthermore reveals the Holy Spirit. This was befitting in the First of the Apostles, that firm Rock upon which the Church of God is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The gates of hell are heretics and heresiarchs. For in every way was the faith confirmed in him who received the keys of heaven; who looses on earth and binds in heaven. For in him are found all subtle questions of faith. He was aided by the Father so as to be (or lay) the Foundation of the security (firmness) of the faith. He (Peter) heard from the same God, 'feed my lambs'; to him He entrusted the flock; he leads the way admirably in the power of his own Master. (Epiphanius, T. ii. in Anchor).

Sergius, Metropolitain of Cyprus (649)

Writing to Pope Theodore:
O Holy Head, Christ our God hath destined thy Apostolic See to be an immovable foundation and a pillar of the Faith. For thou art, as the Divine Word truly saith, Peter, and on thee as a foundation-stone have the pillars of the Church been fixed. (Sergius Ep. ad Theod. lecta in Sess. ii. Concil. Lat. anno 649)
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2010, 11:25:07 PM »

Quote
Patristic quotes relating to Petrine Primacy

Your intellectual dishonesty sickens me.  Angry
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2010, 11:48:42 PM »

For those wondering where Feanor had gone traweling for quotes.

http://www.fisheaters.com/easternfathers.html

They seem to pine away for the good ol' days of the Inquisition.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 11:53:31 PM »

Patristic quotes relating to Petrine Primacy:
I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.
I was reading a post that is almost a year old, but that was quite succinct and speaks to many of the issues that I'm now struggling with, and it again made certain assertions about when/where/how Petrine primacy first became an issue. I've been perusing this forum for about 2 weeks now, and others, and keep coming back to the question of Petrine primacy.

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are both very quick to cite early church consensus/ECF writings and epistles to back their respective cases, which has left me awfully confused. I've seen, in snippets various writings from the early church that would seem to support both sides of the question. What is clear to me is that such snippets can always be taken out of their specific contexts, or out of the context the greater body of work of their authors. In order to have a clearer picture for myself, I feel that I need to read these texts, obviously not all the ECF writings in their entirety, but at least certain key ones, as I'm semi-familiar with the players. Can anyone point me to A) some cream of the crop, key early church writings concerning the Bishop of Rome and B) where to find them online?

Thanks!
Jim

I thought so.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 01:17:38 AM »

Here's a website that tries to explain ECF quotes that Catholics use to support the modern day papacy and show their true context. Obviously the author is trying to push an agenda but it is still quite interesting:

http://www.the-highway.com/Matt16.18_Webster.html
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 01:28:54 AM »

Here is a quick summary of the way that
the Church Fathers interpreted that verse -
"Thou are Peter and upon this rock...."

Archbishop Kenrick, who was one of America's
extraordinary bishops, was opposed to the doctrine of
papal infallibilty and at the First Vatican Council
in 1869 he voted against it. He wanted to deliver
a speech against the proposed doctrine at the Council
but instead he ceased to attend the Council meetings.
He published his speech in Naples the following year.

It is important because he lists the five different
patristic interpretations of Matthew 16:18.


Let's look at how the Church Fathers line up over this verse:


1...."That St. Peter is the Rock" is taught
by seventeen (17) Fathers


2....That the whole Apostolic College is the Rock,
represented by Peter as its chief,
is taught by eight (8 ) Church Fathers


3....That St. Peter's faith is the Rock,
is taught by forty-four (44) Church Fathers


4....That Christ is the Rock,
is taught by sixteen Fathers (16)

5....That the rock is the whole body of the faithful.
Archbp. Kenrick gives no figure.


Archbishop Kenrick summarises

"If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter,** then we must hold
for certain that the word "Petra" means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter."

**This is an important point by Archbishop Kenrick and
it should be given its full weight. It is RC doctrine
that where there is something disputed the choice must
be made for the consensus of the Fathers, the
consensus patrum.

You can look this up and check that I have it
accurately in
Friedrich, Docum ad illust. Conc. Vat. 1, pp. 185-246

As to who Archbishop Kenrick was.
Please see the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08618a.htm

Now in light of the fact that the large majority
of the Church Fathers do NOT teach that the Rock
is Saint Peter, I say that it is not fair to say that the
Orthodox are dunderheads over this matter.
Are the Church Fathers also dunderheads?


And you should remember that 65 of the bishops gathered
at the First Vatican Council REFUSED to vote for the
proposed dogma of papal infallibility. Were they
also blockheads? Wouldn't one say that IF the doctrine
had been so normal and accepted in the Catholic Church
in the centuries prior to Vatican I that there would
never have been such a solid block of resisting bishops
who refused to vote for it in 1869.
This was only 133 years ago, quite recently.

You can check these facts in several major Catholic writings...

"How the Pope Became Infallible" by August Bernhard Hasler.
"Infallible? - An Unresolved Enquiry" by Hans Kung.

They say that at the opening of Vatican I only 50 bishops
were in favour of Pope Pius IX's desire to have the Popes
declared infallible. 130 of the bishops had declared
beforehand that they were against Papal Infallibility,
and the rest of the bishops, 620 were undecided.

I have secrhed the Net a few times to try and find the actual Fathers on whom he based his statistics but have never found anything.   Anybody have any knowledge of this?
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2010, 01:58:04 AM »

Quote
Patristic quotes relating to Petrine Primacy

Your intellectual dishonesty sickens me.  Angry
I can't really disagree. I'm a little confused why he has Orthodox as his religion. I hope that perhaps he meant to clarify that post saying that it's something RCs cite in order to prove their beliefs.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 07:15:43 AM »

Quote
Patristic quotes relating to Petrine Primacy

Your intellectual dishonesty sickens me.  Angry
I can't really disagree. I'm a little confused why he has Orthodox as his religion. I hope that perhaps he meant to clarify that post saying that it's something RCs cite in order to prove their beliefs.

In Christ,
Andrew

Yeah, was confused myself...
Thank you all for the links/info/thoughts. Keep 'em coming!
Jim
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2010, 10:19:32 AM »

I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.

Yes, I hate it when people do that.  I hate it when Catholics do this (I have seen this particular list of quotes many, many times (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's a sticky at CAF Roll Eyes !).

FWIW I've seen EO (no one here, of course!  Wink ) do the same thing - wrench a quote from some forgotten papal bull from hundreds of years ago, to "prove" that Catholics believe something they really don't.

It's annoying no matter where it's coming from, ain't it?  
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 11:00:44 AM »

I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.

Yes, I hate it when people do that.  I hate it when Catholics do this (I have seen this particular list of quotes many, many times (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's a sticky at CAF Roll Eyes !).

FWIW I've seen EO (no one here, of course!  Wink ) do the same thing - wrench a quote from some forgotten papal bull from hundreds of years ago, to "prove" that Catholics believe something they really don't.

It's annoying no matter where it's coming from, ain't it?  
Quite. That's really the purpose of this thread, is to try to weed through some of that sort of thing. It just isn't helpful, because when you first encounter such quotes, they tend to make an impression, but then you see the other side/see them refuted, and seesaw, and just get awfully confused, rather than being able to make any kind of sound collection of information and knowledge.
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 11:46:47 AM »

I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.

Yes, I hate it when people do that.  I hate it when Catholics do this (I have seen this particular list of quotes many, many times (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's a sticky at CAF Roll Eyes !).

FWIW I've seen EO (no one here, of course!  Wink ) do the same thing - wrench a quote from some forgotten papal bull from hundreds of years ago, to "prove" that Catholics believe something they really don't.

Like what?

On the EO side, there isn't much comparable to the authority of a papal bull. So that's somewhat apples and oranges from the start. But I would have to have examples of a quote from a forgotten (as if, according to Lumen Gentium for instance, that matters) papal bull, recent or ancient, to analyze.
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2010, 11:54:42 AM »

I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.

Yes, I hate it when people do that.  I hate it when Catholics do this (I have seen this particular list of quotes many, many times (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's a sticky at CAF Roll Eyes !).

FWIW I've seen EO (no one here, of course!  Wink ) do the same thing - wrench a quote from some forgotten papal bull from hundreds of years ago, to "prove" that Catholics believe something they really don't.

Like what?


I think what she means is a quote from, or segment of a bull, or any other source, taken similarly out of context or chopped up to look nicer for one side.

On the EO side, there isn't much comparable to the authority of a papal bull. So that's somewhat apples and oranges from the start. But I would have to have examples of a quote from a forgotten (as if, according to Lumen Gentium for instance, that matters) papal bull, recent or ancient, to analyze.
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2010, 12:12:26 PM »

I thought the OP specifically asked not for quotes wretched out of their context and squeezed into roles they were not intended for.

Yes, I hate it when people do that.  I hate it when Catholics do this (I have seen this particular list of quotes many, many times (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's a sticky at CAF Roll Eyes !).

FWIW I've seen EO (no one here, of course!  Wink ) do the same thing - wrench a quote from some forgotten papal bull from hundreds of years ago, to "prove" that Catholics believe something they really don't.

Like what?


On the EO side, there isn't much comparable to the authority of a papal bull. So that's somewhat apples and oranges from the start. But I would have to have examples of a quote from a forgotten (as if, according to Lumen Gentium for instance, that matters) papal bull, recent or ancient, to analyze.
I think what she means is a quote from, or segment of a bull, or any other source, taken similarly out of context or chopped up to look nicer for one side.
I understand what she is saying, I just need an example to comment.
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2010, 04:53:07 PM »

Here is a quick summary of the way that
the Church Fathers interpreted that verse -
"Thou are Peter and upon this rock...."

Archbishop Kenrick, who was one of America's
extraordinary bishops, was opposed to the doctrine of
papal infallibilty and at the First Vatican Council
in 1869 he voted against it. He wanted to deliver
a speech against the proposed doctrine at the Council
but instead he ceased to attend the Council meetings.
He published his speech in Naples the following year.

It is important because he lists the five different
patristic interpretations of Matthew 16:18.


Let's look at how the Church Fathers line up over this verse:


1...."That St. Peter is the Rock" is taught
by seventeen (17) Fathers


2....That the whole Apostolic College is the Rock,
represented by Peter as its chief,
is taught by eight (8 ) Church Fathers


3....That St. Peter's faith is the Rock,
is taught by forty-four (44) Church Fathers


4....That Christ is the Rock,
is taught by sixteen Fathers (16)

5....That the rock is the whole body of the faithful.
Archbp. Kenrick gives no figure.


Archbishop Kenrick summarises

"If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter,** then we must hold
for certain that the word "Petra" means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter."

**This is an important point by Archbishop Kenrick and
it should be given its full weight. It is RC doctrine
that where there is something disputed the choice must
be made for the consensus of the Fathers, the
consensus patrum.

You can look this up and check that I have it
accurately in
Friedrich, Docum ad illust. Conc. Vat. 1, pp. 185-246

As to who Archbishop Kenrick was.
Please see the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08618a.htm

Now in light of the fact that the large majority
of the Church Fathers do NOT teach that the Rock
is Saint Peter, I say that it is not fair to say that the
Orthodox are dunderheads over this matter.
Are the Church Fathers also dunderheads?


And you should remember that 65 of the bishops gathered
at the First Vatican Council REFUSED to vote for the
proposed dogma of papal infallibility. Were they
also blockheads? Wouldn't one say that IF the doctrine
had been so normal and accepted in the Catholic Church
in the centuries prior to Vatican I that there would
never have been such a solid block of resisting bishops
who refused to vote for it in 1869.
This was only 133 years ago, quite recently.

You can check these facts in several major Catholic writings...

"How the Pope Became Infallible" by August Bernhard Hasler.
"Infallible? - An Unresolved Enquiry" by Hans Kung.

They say that at the opening of Vatican I only 50 bishops
were in favour of Pope Pius IX's desire to have the Popes
declared infallible. 130 of the bishops had declared
beforehand that they were against Papal Infallibility,
and the rest of the bishops, 620 were undecided.

I have secrhed the Net a few times to try and find the actual Fathers on whom he based his statistics but have never found anything.   Anybody have any knowledge of this?

I don't see the problem here.  The faith professed by Peter is the clear grounds upon which the Church has defined infallibility.  It was never the man Peter who was the focus.  It was always Christ's response to Peter who said by faith that Jesus was the Son of the Living God that has been the focal point for papal primacy and infallibility.

Mary
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don't even go there!


« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2010, 04:58:07 PM »

Like what?

On the EO side, there isn't much comparable to the authority of a papal bull.

Sorry, I believe you have misunderstood me (not an uncommon event on forums like this!  Wink ).

For example, on another thread (which I will *not* link to here, as I don't want to re-fan the flames, which seem to have died down), an EO posted a quote from the writings of a medieval Pope which he then extrapolated from to prove that Catholics believe the Pope is part of the Eucharist, along with Christ.  Which is quite definitely not what Catholics believe and is not taught by the Church.  But like I said, you can pull anything out of context to prove what you want to prove.
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