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Author Topic: St. Maximus the confessor and Rome  (Read 3720 times) Average Rating: 0
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St. Severus "The Crown of Syrians"


« on: August 11, 2011, 09:43:14 PM »

Dear All,

I recently came across the following quote by St.Maximus the confessor...

" "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 there 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 that greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation

"For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which from the incarnate Son of God Himself, and also by all holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and supreme dominion, authority and power of binding and loosing over all the holy Churches of God which are in the whole world".


Did the Orthodox really believe that Rome had universal and supreme dominion over all the churches during his time Huh

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 10:03:54 PM »

If I am not mistaken, that is from a letter which suspiciously exists only in Latin. It's likely a forgery.
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 10:08:30 PM »

If I am not mistaken, that is from a letter which suspiciously exists only in Latin. It's likely a forgery.
Could you provide a reference for that?

Sorry, I don't me to be all, "POST PROOF OR RETRACT!"

I am curious, is all.
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 10:21:42 PM »

If I am not mistaken, that is from a letter which suspiciously exists only in Latin. It's likely a forgery.
Could you provide a reference for that?

Sorry, I don't me to be all, "POST PROOF OR RETRACT!"

I am curious, is all.

Nevermind, the Letter to Peter is what I was thinking of. I believe that these quotations come from a different work. Still, it's hard to see what exactly St. Maximos is trying to say without some context.
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 10:52:25 PM »

We can't say this is an excerpt of "Letter to Peter" because it only exists in excerpts, only in Latin (St. Maximos writings are all in Greek) and was circulated only in the West. It is, at the very best, a suspect document. One that spells out doctrine with wordings that would be seen only later, with a precision on the topic that is not seen in other documents of the time and, most important, in cotradiction with  the *acts* of St. Maximos. When someone asked him to commune with the monothelite Patriarch and offered as an example the fact the legates of the Pope had already done it, falsely acusing the Pope of having had accepted that teaching, instead of paying obedience to the Pope he still refuses to commune with the heretics.

Anyway notice the two paragraphs of the Letter. The first praises Rome for her steadfastness in the Orthodox Faith. It is because Rome preserved this faith that she is praised. Then enters the odd "pope"" paragraph". Either it is an interpolation, or the entire letter is false, or St. Maximos was one of those of whom Pope St. Gregory said wanted to give to his office a title that was not adequate to it.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 11:13:29 PM »

Thank you all for your replies.

I had been in a discussion with a roman regarding the papacy and he brought this quote to allege that the Orthodox prior to the great schism accepted and stood for the Universal supremacy of their pontiff.

Earlier he used St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Cyprian to support his claims....

If somebody could guide me to a thread which discusses the manipulations done by Roman historians using Patristic quotes to prove their claims of Papal supremacy, it would be a great help in understanding things in its perspective.

Aloho n'Barekh !
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 11:23:33 PM »

I hope this helps:

http://web.archive.org/web/20090131232705/http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/responsestopa.htm
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 11:33:30 PM »

After searching around for a bit, this passage seems to come from Opuscula theologica et polemica. A simple google search for this work, however, frustratingly only brings up numerous Catholic apologist websites (which aside from these quotations probably couldn't care less who St. Maximos was or what his enormous contributions to Christianity were).

The questions which must be asked are:
  • Can we find this work in Greek?
  • If so, can we find the passages in question in Greek, so that we can validate their authenticity? As distrusting as this may seem, it would not be the first time that documents have been forged in the name of a great saint or passages have been interpolated into a work of a saint in order to support the papacy (think of the Donation of Constantine or the Decretals of Pseudo-Isidore).
  • If the passages are authentic, what is the context in which they are being written?

Of course, the difficult process one would have to go through in order to examine the authenticity of that quotation is what makes proof-texting so disingenuous. Those who provide quotations in order to support their position can rely on the fact that the barriers to accessing the passage in question for a normal layman will make it impossible for him to come up with a refutation.
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 11:41:34 PM »


Fr. John Whiteford also has this hosted on his church's website. http://www.saintjonah.org/articles/responsestopa.htm
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 11:53:08 PM »

Dear All,

I recently came across the following quote by St.Maximus the confessor...

" "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 there 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 that greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation

"For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which from the incarnate Son of God Himself, and also by all holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and supreme dominion, authority and power of binding and loosing over all the holy Churches of God which are in the whole world".


Did the Orthodox really believe that Rome had universal and supreme dominion over all the churches during his time Huh

Thanks



No we did not. You have to understand; Roman Catholics, just like their Protestant progeny, are proof texters. They believe the faith is something that can be deduced from interpreting a set of texts. The only difference is what set of texts (for the Protestants it's Scripture alone and for the Catholics it's Scripture and patristics), and who is allowed to interpret those texts (for the Protestants it's the individual believer and for the Catholics the pope).

What does that mean for us? It means they have very little concept of a living, experiential faith. All that matters is how the individuals who currently constitute the Magisterium interpret the various texts. If the Church had always believed in papal infallibility or supremacy the Church would have behaved that way. It would have been part of the actual living experience of the Church. I think even the most cursory reading of the actual events of Church history show that the Church did not behave that way.

So for them new doctrines such as Papal Infallibility, the Immaculate Conception etc are not a problem because they can find and set of texts that they feel these doctrines can be logically deduced from. The problem is, just like the Protestants, they have removed these texts from their proper context, the living experience of the Church.
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 01:00:40 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 09:31:20 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?

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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 10:55:29 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?


Salvation.
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 11:11:16 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?


Salvation.

I prefer a more substantial salvation...not a fluffy one.   Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 11:20:32 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?


Salvation.

I prefer a more substantial salvation...not a fluffy one.   Cheesy

And I prefer a salvation which is beyond compare, one that cannot be described in substantive terms. Wink
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 11:24:40 AM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?


Salvation.

I prefer a more substantial salvation...not a fluffy one.   Cheesy

And I prefer a salvation which is beyond compare, one that cannot be described in substantive terms. Wink

Then you'll want to come on over... Grin
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 11:25:28 AM »

^Down the rabbit hole we again descend.  

As to the quote:  Context, context, context......

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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 11:29:13 AM »

^Down the rabbit hole we again descend.  

As to the quote:  Context, context, context......



I have the context for this quote, sufficient to satisfy me.  I'd like to hear substantially from those who suggest it is not a legitimate support for primatial primacy/petrine primacy in Rome....

M.

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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 12:03:07 PM »

^Down the rabbit hole we again descend.  

As to the quote:  Context, context, context......



I have the context for this quote, sufficient to satisfy me.  I'd like to hear substantially from those who suggest it is not a legitimate support for primatial primacy/petrine primacy in Rome....

M.



The problem is that it is impossible to provide a sufficient rebuttal without the Greek original to check for authenticity and more context. Proof-texting in this manner disingenuously shifts the massive burden of proof from the claimant to the skeptic, when it is the claimant's burden alone to prove the authenticity of the quotation and provide more context if asked by the skeptic.
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?



If you personally love and honor someone, wouldn't you give them that special honor to make them feel special?  I don't think this was just an Eatern thing.  Otherwise I would question the dogmatic characters of Romantic phrases.  Are we really that square to require dogmatically the honor of one bishop above all?

Let's consider the fact that way before Nicea, the see of Alexandria was given the duty of sending annual festal letters for the determination of the date of Easter with a spiritual message.  Can we conclude from this practice that the honor given to Alexandria was an infallible source of dating Easter, to be dogmatically held by all Christians?

Consider also the fact of the honor St. Athanasius received from St Gregory the theologian in his 21st Oration:
Quote
Thus brought up and trained, as even now those should be who are to preside over the people, and take the direction of the mighty body of Christ, [3276] according to the will and foreknowledge of God, which lays long before the foundations of great deeds, he was invested with this important ministry, and made one of those who draw near to the God Who draws near to us, and deemed worthy of the holy office and rank, and, after passing through the entire series of orders, he was (to make my story short) entrusted with the chief rule over the people, in other words, the charge of the whole world

One might think from this letter, it was Alexandria that was in charge of the Catholic Church.  But St Basil in a letter to St Athanasius talks about the importance of the see of Antioch during its problems:
Quote
No one knows better than you that like all wise physicians, you ought to begin your treatment in the most vital parts, and what part is more vital to all the churches than Antioch?  Only let Antioch be restored to harmony, and nothing will stand I the way of her supplying, as a healthy head, soundness to all the body.

So first we have St Gregory saying that St Athanasius was in charge of the whole church, and then we have St Basil easing to St Athanasius to help restore the head of the Church, Antioch.  This type of language is not strange.  Nor is this "fluff" carry all falsehood, but rather they do carry truth, but not to the point of dogmatizing it for all generations.  And to entertain another letter from St Basil, while Antioch is the head, he reiterates that St Athanasius is the Physician of the whole Church:
Quote
When I turn and gaze upon the world, and perceive the difficulties by which every effort after good is obstructed, like those in a man walking in fetters, I am brought to despair of myself.  But when I gaze in the direction of your reverence; I remember the Lord has appointed you to be thepjysician of the diseases I. The Churches; and I recover my spirit, and rise from the depression of despair to the hope of better things.

And I understand similar honors were later given to Constantinople.  So really, I'm not entirely convinced of the praises to Rome to be some sort of dogmatic stick that puts him above l other bishops.  His episcopacy is an honor of love, not of Christian duty or dogmatic coercion.  The ecclesiology of the West in my opinion is not something that should be imposed on the East, but I find it at a level of theologomenon, unnecessary for the central faith of a practicing Orthodox and Catholic Christian.

So assuming this is a legitimate quote, considering the Monothelite controversy and the suffering St Maximus went through, he found a supporter and a friend in Rome, and the same honor the Cappadocian fathers gave to Athanasius, maximus gave to Rome.
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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2011, 01:51:47 PM »

^Down the rabbit hole we again descend.  

As to the quote:  Context, context, context......



I have the context for this quote, sufficient to satisfy me.  I'd like to hear substantially from those who suggest it is not a legitimate support for primatial primacy/petrine primacy in Rome....

M.



You are the only Roman who has responded so far.. I am really interested in knowing the context. The explanations given so far weigh against the roman position.

Aloho n'barekh !
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2011, 02:52:57 PM »

^Down the rabbit hole we again descend.  

As to the quote:  Context, context, context......



I have the context for this quote, sufficient to satisfy me.  I'd like to hear substantially from those who suggest it is not a legitimate support for primatial primacy/petrine primacy in Rome....

M.



You are the only Roman who has responded so far.. I am really interested in knowing the context. The explanations given so far weigh against the roman position.

Aloho n'barekh !

The excerpt has no Greek original, it doesn't even exist in its entirety in Latin and the pieces that exist were and are circulated only among Catapapics. We can't know if it is original or not, but the reasonable suspicion should be on the side of not being authentic. *If* it is original, then St. Maximo may have been among those St. Gregory said that wanted to give to the pope that superlative rank,which he (St. Gregory) and all his predecessors had not accepted.
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2011, 04:17:08 PM »

When I come to Egypt, I tell you, Egyptians really make you feel so good when you land.  My uncles and cousins all would tell me things like, "No wonder all of Egypt lighted up."  Or "Really, you bring joy to all the Egyptians."  And when I see them honoring their mothers, "Oh Lady, you are the lady of all the beloved" or when they talk to their fathers, "There is no one in Egypt who would ever do anything without your permission, baba."

I think you'll find a lot of that exaggerated honorific expressions in the early Church fathers on popular bishops, and Roman bishops one of the most popular.

All fluff and no substance...what can you trust from those eastern Churches after all?


Salvation.

I loved that.  laugh
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