Author Topic: I gotta ask  (Read 1119 times)

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Offline primuspilus

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I gotta ask
« on: December 19, 2011, 02:10:06 PM »
This is a follow up to a topic from the other day that I never got a response on and I'd like some clarification.

I listened to Fr. Hopko's podcast about St. Andrew setting up the Church of Byzantium being a myth and that if he did, the Early Fathers didn't mention it.

Im not one to question Fr. Hopko, but if it is such a glaring myth with no basis of fact (which Fr. Hopko alluded to), why is it accepted that St. Andrew did so?

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 02:25:16 PM »
"it is a tradition, seek no farther!" - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 4 on Second Thessalonians

That's as close as I can figure  :police:

EDIT--So as not to confuse, I didn't mean that St. John was talking about this issue in particular, just mentioning the spirit or idea of sometimes following a tradition without skepticism or investigation.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:26:42 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline witega

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 02:30:20 PM »
I'm not sure why Fr. Hopko would be so certain it has 'no basis in fact'--a local tradition maintained in the church of Byzantium for several centuries that no one thought worth talking about on the larger stage until after the city became the center of the Empire seems well within the range of possiblity.

The thing to remember is that the whole 'Apostolic see', 'successor of st. x' business was always more a rhetorical device than a comment on actual history. Consider: there were 12 Apostles (-Judas + St. Matthias) plus St. Paul. Only St. Pauls's travels (and only a portion of them) are clearly documented in Scripture, but we know that the Apostles spent years traveling all over the Roman Empire (and beyond) establishing Churches.

But in the 3rd and 4th centuries when the 'Apostolic see' rhetoric begins to become common, there's only 3 mentioned (Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch), and one of those doesn't even actually claim to have been founded by an Apostle (Alexandria, founded by St. Mark, disciple of St. Peter). Why was Athens not an 'Apostolic See of St. Paul" or Ephesus an 'Apostolic See of St. John'. Where were all the churches St. Thomas or St. Philip founded? Why were only the 3 largest cities of the Empire (with Jerusalem and Constantinople added later) talked about in this way?


Obviously, the rhetoric was more about the Sees relative prominence within the Church rather than about the actual history.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 02:32:59 PM »
"it is a tradition, seek no farther!" - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 4 on Second Thessalonians

That's as close as I can figure  :police:

EDIT--So as not to confuse, I didn't mean that St. John was talking about this issue in particular, just mentioning the spirit or idea of sometimes following a tradition without skepticism or investigation.

hmm too bad they didn't differentiate between little t's amd big T's in greek... :P
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:37:16 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 02:33:48 PM »
Witega, helps to listen to what Fr. Thom says. You find you might find that you agree with him.
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Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 03:17:21 PM »
I was always under the impression that it was a story constructed to legitimize Constantinople's claim to 'Apostolicity' which for the most part seems to be a made up concept pushed by the Roman Church in its attempts to legitimize the papal claims. It certainly is a nice honorific concept, but it falls apart under any sort of logical scrutiny as an actual guiding principle for church governance.
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 04:28:43 PM »
I think it should not matter. My Church was not founded by an Apostle (as in Holy Trinity, Lynchburg VA) but it is still of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The same can be said for Moscow, since its a patriarchate. Such things really shouldn't matter anymore. We're of the Church that was founded by Christ and His Apostoles.

Constantinople was under another church before it became a patriarchate, wasn't it?

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Offline William

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 11:13:56 PM »
It'd be nice if a Christian patriarchate didn't officially endorse a lie.

I personally don't see why it's so unrealistic that St. Andrew visited an important port within his missionary territory. The story of him visiting Kiev is another story, though...
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 04:18:19 AM »
Witega, helps to listen to what Fr. Thom says. You find you might find that you agree with him.

I listened to that particular podcast recently and I think orthonorm's hit the nail on the head with this comment.

Also, witega, I've enjoyed your posts recently. Thank you for them.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 04:20:57 AM »
I was always under the impression that it was a story constructed to legitimize Constantinople's claim to 'Apostolicity' which for the most part seems to be a made up concept pushed by the Roman Church in its attempts to legitimize the papal claims. It certainly is a nice honorific concept, but it falls apart under any sort of logical scrutiny as an actual guiding principle for church governance.

Yeah, seems pretty stupid considering the bishop of a diocese as far-flung as Hong Kong or Australia could become the most honoured and senior in our communion should all the others fall into heresy.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 04:27:30 AM »
This is a follow up to a topic from the other day that I never got a response on and I'd like some clarification.

I listened to Fr. Hopko's podcast about St. Andrew setting up the Church of Byzantium being a myth and that if he did, the Early Fathers didn't mention it.

Im not one to question Fr. Hopko, but if it is such a glaring myth with no basis of fact (which Fr. Hopko alluded to), why is it accepted that St. Andrew did so?

PP

This is from Halsall at Fordham:

Demetrius Kymenas, deriving his comments from the Thriskeftiki kai Ethiki Encyclopaedia (Athens 1962-8) sums up the situation as follows:-

It is difficult to say where the legend stops and where reality begins. However, the Apostle Andrew preached in the general area and according to the tradition he ordained the first bishop of Byzantium (Stachys), the first  bishop of Nicaea (Drakonteios), the first bishop of Chalkedon (Tychikos), the first bishop of Sinope (Philologos), the first bishop of Thracian Herakliea (Apellis), etc. (He ordained many of the Seventy Apostles as bishops in cities of Asia Minor, Thrace and Greece).

Because the lord of the small city of Byzantium, Xeuxikus, was brutal and a fanatic pagan who used to tie and throw in the sea any Christian who visited his city,  Andrew resided in nearby Argyroupolis (later a suburb of Constantinople), and there he stayed for two years during which time he managed to create a Christian community of 2000 people along with their church and episcopate. It is not clear if Stachys is the same person with the one the Apostle Peter calls "dear" in his letter to the Romans, but his memory is celebrated by the Orthodox church on October 31.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/byzantium/texts/byzpatcp.html

Byzantium, out of which Constantinople sprang, was a small, well-fortified town, occupying most of the territory comprised in the two hills nearest the head of the promontory, and in the level ground at their base. The landward wall started from a point near the present Stamboul custom-house, and reached the ridge of the 2nd hill, a little to the east of the point marked by Chemberli Tash (the column of Constantine). There the principal gate of the town opened upon the Egnatian road. From that gate the wall descended towards the Sea of Marmora, touching the water in the neighbourhood of the Seraglio lighthouse. The Acropolis, enclosing venerated temples, crowned the summit of the first hill, where the Seraglio stands....

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Constantinople

In the time of Saint Andrew Byzantium was a very busy mercantile and maritime city, full of loose sailors and bad women, and it makes perfect sense that it would have been a place to go and preach the Gospel.

Offline LBK

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 04:56:21 AM »
The historical iconography of All Saints of Russia has consistently shown Apostle Andrew, and the Equals-to-the-Apostles Vladimir and Olga in the center of the icon, venerating the Cross of Christ. Good enough for me.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 07:20:07 AM »
Yes, typically, the mention of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle's "founding" of the Church of Byzantium (later renamed New Rome and became known as Constantinople) is prefaced with "tradition holds that."  Not to diminish Fr. Thomas' vast knowledge of the Church and his exceptional witness and contributions to the Church, I am of the opinion that these exceptionally well educated and well read theologians, typically are victims of Western Christian scholarship which I'm sure asserts that there is no documentation of St. Andrew's founding of the Church of Byzantium.  As noted above, however, the synaxarion does tell us that "he left the Apostle Stachy's as the Church's first bishop."

On another note as to an issue raised above, there were many churches founded by Apostles, which are discussed in the New Testament, Ephesos, Thessalonica, Corinth, etc; however, the sees that were honored by the early Ecumenical Synods (Councils to use Western terminology), recognized as "patriarchates," were centers of the church due to their civil prominence in the Roman Empire, except for Jerusalem, which was honored due to its having been the area of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.  Alexandria and Antioch were provincial capitals. Rome of course, discounts this opinion because it wants to believe it was the center of the church, or the first throne of honor, because it was founded by St. Peter the Apostle, the Chief Apostle, (Orthodoxy also grants the title "Chief Apostle," to St. Paul), but it was honored by the Church because it was the capital of the Empire.  When Constantinople was recognized as second in honor to the Church of Rome, it was stated "because it is New Rome."  The Church's recognition of the Church of Cyprus' autocephaly, corroborates this logic of the honor the Church bestowed upon what would become known as the Pentarchy, as it has Apostolic foundation by St. Barnabas, but was not recognized as a patriarchate.   
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Offline Wyatt

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 10:30:01 AM »
Easy...it was an idea peddled by the Church of Constantinople to bolster its authority and make it seem on par with Rome since it had no actual apostolicity.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 11:57:06 AM »
Easy...it was an idea peddled by the Church of Constantinople to bolster its authority and make it seem on par with Rome since it had no actual apostolicity.
But thats what I was saying. It really does not matter because they are still of the Church that is Apostolic.

The reason Rome was given a high place is because it was the seat of the Empire. Same as Constantinople later on. "The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome" Canon 3.

It had nothing to do with Apostolicity, if it did, then Antioch or Alexandria would have gotten the honors.

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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 03:27:32 PM »
Easy...it was an idea peddled by the Church of Constantinople to bolster its authority and make it seem on par with Rome since it had no actual apostolicity.
But thats what I was saying. It really does not matter because they are still of the Church that is Apostolic.

The reason Rome was given a high place is because it was the seat of the Empire. Same as Constantinople later on. "The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome" Canon 3.

It had nothing to do with Apostolicity, if it did, then Antioch or Alexandria would have gotten the honors.

PP

Or Cyprus or Jerusalem, as Basil points out above.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: I gotta ask
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 04:08:50 PM »
Easy...it was an idea peddled by the Church of Constantinople to bolster its authority and make it seem on par with Rome since it had no actual apostolicity.
But thats what I was saying. It really does not matter because they are still of the Church that is Apostolic.

The reason Rome was given a high place is because it was the seat of the Empire. Same as Constantinople later on. "The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome" Canon 3.

It had nothing to do with Apostolicity, if it did, then Antioch or Alexandria would have gotten the honors.

PP

Or Cyprus or Jerusalem, as Basil points out above.
Also true.

PP
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker