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Author Topic: Peter was Wrong but not infallible  (Read 617 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 30, 2011, 12:56:21 PM »

exsert from Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy AFR talk by F.A.S. Damick

Orthodoxy and Roman Catholic Differences - Part 1

(3:52) "Roman numeral number two, letter A, The Development of Doctrine.
Roman Catholic Doctrine develops, such in a way that new doctrines appear which are absent in previous centuries. Because the Roman Catholic faith is not 'backwards compatible', to borrow a computing term, that means that a good Catholic from 200 years ago, could be in danger of excommunication were he alive today. As an example, papal infallibility was denied by many Catholics including bishops, until the official definition of the dogma in 1870, they all remained good Catholics before 1870, now they would be excommunicated.

(19:56) second, Saint Paul, our patron, withstood Saint Peter, to his face, over Peter's temporary acceptance of the Judaising heresy. Gal 2:12 At the council in Jerusalem, which decided this matter, it was the local Bishop, James, not Peter, who spoke for the apostolic assembly. Peter's personal authority as the supposed first pope, was nowhere appealed to, nowhere. In fact, Peter, was in the wrong.

(25:33) Papal infallibility. This is the teaching that the pope is infallible in questions of faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra, which means, from the throne and always has, always has been, since Saint Peter. From Vatican I, which defines this dogman in 1870.

"This seed(?) of Saint Peter, always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples. This gift of truth and never failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this seed(?), so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all. We teach and define, as a divinely revealed dogma, that when the roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him by blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine redeemer willed his church to enjoy, in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, since definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not by the consent of the church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, God forbid, which have the temerity to reject this definition of ours, let him be a nathama."

Pretty clear, pretty clear, umm, particularly note the phrase, "not by consent of the church" (repeats the quote) This is a power the pope enjoys, of himself. Doesn't have to ask anyone permission or get anyones approval.

Here are some historical problems and Orthodox objections to this doctrine. First, this is a practical problem, there is no single agreed upon list of infallible statements made by the pope. Thus rendering this dogma almost useless in actual practise. There is no official formula which all Roman Catholics agree, indicates an infallible ex cathedra statement. Saint Peter, we mentioned this, was rebuked by Saint Paul for being a Judaiser, so if the first pope, er, fell into heresy, Then where was his infallibility?"

(the question marks in bracks are mine because i couldn't make out what the word he was saying)
______________________________________________

My confused parts are this

Ok i picked out these parts of the talk because he is basically saying that before 1870 the Pope could make mistakes and after, because of the doctrine changes or dogma definitions, w/eva, the Pope was only infallible when he was speaking from his position in his office as Pope yeah?? So when Andrew says that Peter got it wrong and Paul was in his face about it, Peter was just being himself and socially not mixing or eating with the Gentiles when the Jews was around (thas what i understand anyways) Peter wasn't in his office making official statements, so i don't think this is a fair point. The Pope is only infallible when he is in a certain position. Not just when hes hanging out being a bloke.

Thanks Poppy

« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 12:58:33 PM by Poppy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 01:48:38 PM »

Quote
Roman Catholic Doctrine develops, such in a way that new doctrines appear which are absent in previous centuries. Because the Roman Catholic faith is not 'backwards compatible', to borrow a computing term, that means that a good Catholic from 200 years ago, could be in danger of excommunication were he alive today. As an example, papal infallibility was denied by many Catholics including bishops, until the official definition of the dogma in 1870, they all remained good Catholics before 1870, now they would be excommunicated.

Hm, couldn't the same thing be said about Orthodoxy vis-a-vis chiliasm? It was an accepted, even popular, belief in the early Church but it was eventually formally rejected and now I don't think anyone can teach chiliasm and remain Orthodox.
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 02:00:54 PM »

"The Pope is only infallible when he is in a certain position. Not just when hes hanging out being a bloke."

ACK!! sorry i didn't mean the Pope i meant Peter
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 02:50:18 PM »

In my opinion the problem with the doctrine of exclusivity of the manifestation of the infallibility of the Holy Spirit through the Pope in ex cathedra situations is that it affirms and foster mistrust in the power of the Spirit of Truth in prevailing.

It is a rather simple thing, that even atheists and secularists can know. Many of them trust science precisely because despite its many recorded mistakes they know and trust that truth is strong enough to prevail of its own accord, despite the many failings of men. In fact, it can be said that truth always prevails in the end, because it only ends when truth prevails.

This is what guided the Renaiscence, the Enlightment, the Scientific Optism of the 19th century and that is what guides many people in the secular area today: a profound, deep trust that truth will prevail despite humans superstitions, ill-intentions and outright mediocrity and evil.

*That* is true trust in the Spirit of Truth, and that is something that Christians in general have lost. They believe in Truth, they know much more about Truth than secularists (that it is a Person, the Word of God, that Truth was born of a Virgin and was crucified and resurrected for us, that Truth ascended to Heaven and sent its Spirit to dwell in us), but Christians simply do *not* trust that this Spirit of Truth can prevail through the tribulations and gates of Hell. The larger part of Christians think that Truth can prevail in most confusing issues only through ex cathedra proclamations of a bishop dependent on the supreme control of the Church to make this truth prevail. The other part thinks that the Spirit of Truth is locked in a book and therefore in need of human interpretation to become intelligeable ("each person a pope") and of militant preaching to make it prevail, and the third part, we Orthodox, although we know the Spirit of Truth requires neither of these, simply have got stuck in such petty disputes that we have been very limited in our witnessing of the power of the Spirit of Truth in the world.

We should stop with all these nonsense from the three parts and simply understand and live the trust in the Spirit of Truth to prevail and blow wherever it wants: popes, scriptures, synods, a single priest, bishop, deacon, monk or lay person, a theologian, a singer, a fool or even outside the Church when necessary (see the centurion with more faith than the anyone in the People of God. The Spirit of Truth even used Balam's blessings benefiting the people of God, Balam's donkey seeing an angel and speaking the truth, and even heretics and demons, although with ill-intentions, confessed Jesus to be the Messiah).

When that Infallible Spirit, the Spirit of Truth wants to prevail, it will use whatever mean necessary. Secularists know that and this trust is their strength. Romans and Protestants restrict and twist this trust and Orthodox don't live up to it. That is why we all have been in the defensive all these years.
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 03:08:17 PM »

Nice post, especially the last two paragraphs.
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 03:33:45 PM »

Fabio Leite im not sayng that i agree with the Pope being infallible. I think more that the truth will pop up in all kinds of places yep yep because it's truth. Gods truth, your truth my truth anyones it will all come out it always does.

Alls i'm saying is that i think the Catholic position is being misrepresented in this talk. If i understand him right.
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 03:51:57 PM »

I think that what the Father is saying is that before Vatican I there were many Romans who not only didn't believe but outrightly oppposed the concept that the Pope is infallible. And he is not talking about common folks like you and me, but respected saints, theologians and bishops.

And that they would be excommunicated today.

The point is: how is that relevant? Hasn't there been occasions when part of the Church was wrong? Even good people were wrong?

Of course there was, but the point was always corrected through the catholicity of the Church: what the church believes everywhere, by all people in all times.

Papism (word by which I condense the concepts of Universal Jurisdiction, Supremacy and Infallibility) defends that it is the catholic truth about the Church. But:

* The East never accepted it. Despite how papists interpret what the Easterns have said, they know better what they meant. In praxis and theoria, papism was never accepted.

* In the West itself, there has always been a *huge* number of Christians who recognized papism is a heresy, that inside the Roman church itself. In fact, most Romans don't even understand what Papism really is. They know the Pope is the "boss" and that's it. And, of course, there is nothing wrong in having a "boss" to use this simple understanding. It's the theology and particular interpretation of papism on the role of the "boss" that is heretical. Anyway, Protestants, the vast majority of Romans, and a good number of sound theologians, bishops and saints do not hold the papist doctrine.

So all the East (minority uniates) plus most Romans plus all Protestants stance on this doctrine is that it is misguided at best and a heresy at worse. That today, that in the centuries before. At least one of these tenets (universal jurisdiction) was attacked by one of the holiest popes, St. Gregory I. So, it's really not difficult to see where the catholicity of the Church lies and what is the "choice" of specific verses and excerpts to force a interpretation.

I said all this because that is what I think to be what the speaker is saying when he points out how the earlier catholic thinkers would be treated by the advocates of the new doctrine.
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 04:04:05 PM »

One point that I see often overlooked about this passage,

St Paul withstood St Peter to his face concerning what he was doing, not what he was teaching. After all, this is the same St Peter who accepted the first gentiles into the Church. I don't think St Peter saw gentiles as "less Christian" than the Jews, and certainly not, according to his vision, "common or unclean".

That being said, doctrine and personal conduct are almost always directly connected in the NT, so if not outright teaching, could cause a stumbling block and give the impression that his conduct was doctrinally based.

That being said, I am not giving a defense of papal infllibility, or stating that any one individual is or was in and of themselves or their position infallible. Also worth noting, the NT does not give an account of any of the apostles directly teaching any false doctrine once they received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 04:09:16 PM »

Also worth noting, the only "dogma" (literally in the greek, usually translated as "decree"), pronounced by the Church in the NT came from the council in Jerusalem, not from any individual.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 04:21:03 PM »

I agree that the Galatians 2 incident isn't a good example against Papal Infallibility, Leo III is far better.

I do think though that Galatians 2 shows us an example of a "Pope" falling into personal heresy (or hypocrisy regarding heresy at least) which in the opinion of many (most?) Roman theologians (several of them Roman Saints), the Pope cannot fall into and remain Pope. So although this is not official dogma, I think Galatians 2 is a big problem for papal theology.
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 04:27:21 PM »

As for the story of Peter, the first heresy was a kind of pyletism: some Christian Jews thought that Jesus was a messiah only for the Jews. They accepted the idea that one converted to Judaism in order to be a Christian, but they had troubles accepting that one could be a Christian without being a Jew first. Therefore they had to become Jews first.

Peter did stand for this opinion. He had to be convinced by a heavenly revelation to accept the baptism of a pagan Roman. And nevertheless, he still remained "addicted" to his old Jewish habits to the point of scandalizing the non-Jews. In other words, he had understood intellectually, but had not changed his attitude yet. That's where Paul's reproach came in handy. Peter needed a "humiliation" shock, like many of us do, to actually get it. Only after an ex-pharisee who had not even lived with the Lord put him against the wall that truth landed with all its consequences. Peter was stubborn but very devout, not to mention that despite whatever intellectual or even behavioral error, he had the "correct opinion", the "right praise": Christ is the Son of God. So this right praise was able to give him perspective and he eventually understood that he was wrong, although, sometimes, he had to be "shaked" out of his mistakes.

*This* right praise works this way in *all and each Christians*. As long as one holds to the true faith, infallible authority will upon him.
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 04:49:47 PM »

In my opinion the problem with the doctrine of exclusivity of the manifestation of the infallibility of the Holy Spirit through the Pope in ex cathedra situations is that it affirms and foster mistrust in the power of the Spirit of Truth in prevailing.

It is a rather simple thing, that even atheists and secularists can know. Many of them trust science precisely because despite its many recorded mistakes they know and trust that truth is strong enough to prevail of its own accord, despite the many failings of men. In fact, it can be said that truth always prevails in the end, because it only ends when truth prevails.

This is what guided the Renaiscence, the Enlightment, the Scientific Optism of the 19th century and that is what guides many people in the secular area today: a profound, deep trust that truth will prevail despite humans superstitions, ill-intentions and outright mediocrity and evil.

*That* is true trust in the Spirit of Truth, and that is something that Christians in general have lost. They believe in Truth, they know much more about Truth than secularists (that it is a Person, the Word of God, that Truth was born of a Virgin and was crucified and resurrected for us, that Truth ascended to Heaven and sent its Spirit to dwell in us), but Christians simply do *not* trust that this Spirit of Truth can prevail through the tribulations and gates of Hell. The larger part of Christians think that Truth can prevail in most confusing issues only through ex cathedra proclamations of a bishop dependent on the supreme control of the Church to make this truth prevail. The other part thinks that the Spirit of Truth is locked in a book and therefore in need of human interpretation to become intelligeable ("each person a pope") and of militant preaching to make it prevail, and the third part, we Orthodox, although we know the Spirit of Truth requires neither of these, simply have got stuck in such petty disputes that we have been very limited in our witnessing of the power of the Spirit of Truth in the world.

We should stop with all these nonsense from the three parts and simply understand and live the trust in the Spirit of Truth to prevail and blow wherever it wants: popes, scriptures, synods, a single priest, bishop, deacon, monk or lay person, a theologian, a singer, a fool or even outside the Church when necessary (see the centurion with more faith than the anyone in the People of God. The Spirit of Truth even used Balam's blessings benefiting the people of God, Balam's donkey seeing an angel and speaking the truth, and even heretics and demons, although with ill-intentions, confessed Jesus to be the Messiah).

When that Infallible Spirit, the Spirit of Truth wants to prevail, it will use whatever mean necessary. Secularists know that and this trust is their strength. Romans and Protestants restrict and twist this trust and Orthodox don't live up to it. That is why we all have been in the defensive all these years.
I wanted to respond to your point from a Protestant perspective, so I made a new thread. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37526.msg593653.html#msg593653
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2011, 05:06:19 PM »

nvmd
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