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Author Topic: Does Theodore Abu-Qurrah support the papacy?  (Read 374 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 10, 2013, 06:37:25 AM »

Recently I've discovered some Catholic sources using this 'eastern' writer Theodore Abu-Qurrah (also written Abu Quarra)

In particular...

"As for us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, our sole goal is to build ourselves on the foundation of St. Peter, he who directed the six holy councils. These councils were gathered by command of the Bishop of Rome, the city of the world. Whoever sits on that city’s throne is authorized by Christ to have compassion on the people of the church, by summoning the ecumenical council, and to strengthen them, even as we have demonstrated in other places. We ask Christ to confirm us in this forever, that we might inherit through it his kingdom, in that we have joined with it the doing of his commandments. To him be praise, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and forever."
-From On the Death of Christ
Now I don't for one minute agree that all the councils were called for by the pope.

But I'm interested if anyone else has information on this writer.
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 06:54:15 AM »

One does sometimes find passages like that in Eastern Byzantine writers before the 850's. How literal one should take these quotes is another thing altogether. Greek rhetoric always liked using superlatives, it goes back since at least Demosthenes and Lysias.
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 05:07:02 PM »

Yeah, I'm surprised the Vatican's quote miners haven't used Theodore before now. He has been in English for some years now.

Theodore is mistaken, which can be seen in 1) he doesn't mention the sixth council at all (which would bring up the issue of Pope Honorius.  And the Monothelites i.e. Maronites were a major group he confront in his polemics) and b) his "historical" details do not match what we know from the sources in the Councils themselves.  No bishop of Rome called Constantinople I (or had any involvement in it, being out of communion with the bishop who opened it, Abp. St. Meletius of Antioch), Abp. Sylvester of Rome had no involvement to speak of in calling Nicea I, Constantinople II was held over the express objection of Abp. Vigilius of Rome, etc.

Unfortunately, Theodore was willing to twist the truth to make a polemic point, in this case, trying to score an easy win over the Miaphysites.

He goes on on this in a treatise called "On the Councils".  A good English translation has been out for years:
http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/T/bo3535574.html
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 11:24:44 PM »

Thanks folks.

I wonder if his superlatives were because he was fighting against iconaclasts (including the emperor). It would make some sense for him to be boosting the role of the pope if he wanted to argue in favour of images.

Anyway, I've ordered the book from amazon.com
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 12:14:50 AM »

Thanks folks.

I wonder if his superlatives were because he was fighting against iconaclasts (including the emperor). It would make some sense for him to be boosting the role of the pope if he wanted to argue in favour of images.

Anyway, I've ordered the book from amazon.com

It was because he had to refute the Non-Chalcedonians, but not open himself to the accusation before the Muslim authorities that he owed any allegiance because of his confession to the Emperor of the Romans.  e.g. Griffith, "The Apology of Theodore Abu Qurra"
http://books.google.com/books?id=86j_48nKrOAC&pg=PA292&dq=Abu+Qurra+Councils&hl=en&sa=X&ei=q28YUZzCK8Tm2AX57IDwBg&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Abu%20Qurra%20Councils&f=false
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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