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Author Topic: Was Pope Gregory the Great a popeist?  (Read 508 times) Average Rating: 0
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Billy
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« on: November 27, 2012, 06:35:09 AM »

I have noticed that there seem to be a lot more patristics enthusiasts here than on most other protestant forums . . . so here is my question . . .

There is a very famous letter from Gregory the great to John of constantinople, saying some things that any non-catholic would instantly take as explicit denial of the papacy. RC apologists argue that the context does not indicate that, and also that he also promoted the papacy and excercised his papal powers on several occasions.
http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num7.htm (Look half way down to see the bit I am referring to.)

What would you say? Does this argument deserve to be relegated to the "do not use" list?
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mike
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 08:03:35 AM »

What an Earth is a popeist?
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 08:33:45 AM »

It is not an argument, it is historical evidence. Argument is in how it is used.

So, it has to be used, for either side. It's a historical piece and cannot simply be put away.

Said that, it is one of the clear evidence that not even early Rome understood primacy to be what modern Rome claims. They even acknowledge that with the "development" theory, by stating that what they claim today is just an explicit form of what was implicit.

In this case though, their justifications are so artificial, the text so twisted to claim that a reproach of the concept of universal bishop would in fact be a reproach of an usurpation that the more they try, the more they convince any rational non-biased mind that they are just pushing and rationalizing.

Finally, one must always criticize their take on "development". Obviously things change along time, and how one explains or expresses the faith will change. But their particular take of "implicit" to "explicit" basically allows for anything, since the Bible is 95% written in a poetic form (that doesn't mean it isn't historical in some parts, but that even when narrating history, it does so in poetic language). So it is easy to say that the Bible "always" preached whatever only that it was "implicit" and now God saw fit to make it explicit. I remember that someone once used Bible text to prove that God is a piece of cheese, as an exercize to demonstrate that you can make the Bible mean anything. Despite the irreverence, the experiment is correct. The Bible cannot be read out of the context it was created, that it, the Orthodox Church. That is why some saints claim that the Pope was the first protestant. When Rome started using this kind of argument to justify innovations, it created the path for Luther.
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Peter J
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 08:07:44 PM »

I have noticed that there seem to be a lot more patristics enthusiasts here than on most other protestant forums . . .

Saying "most other protestant forums" doesn't make sense, since this is an Orthodox forum and not a protestant forum. (It does, however, have a section for Orthodox-Protestant Discussion if that interests you.)
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