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Author Topic: Urgent help needed; possible RC convert  (Read 3397 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jy3pr6
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« on: May 18, 2013, 12:26:17 PM »

Hello brethren,

Before I post the quote, I ask that if you are tempted to post a pithy and/or ironic response, please restrain yourself from posting. My friends and I have been researching Orthodoxy for some time now and have grieved intensely over the schism and our possible duty of having to leave the Catholic Church, and these comments which these and other forums are rife and plagued with are the absolute most awful and insensitive remarks possible converts have to deal with in searching for the true Church of Christ. If possible, I would like to restrict this thread to those who are truly interested in helping me and others who are struggling with this painful process out.

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

As I'm sure many of you are aware already, there are numerous quotes found within the Church Fathers of this nature, but this one in particular brings out one of the more complex issues with the Matthew 16:18 debacle. He, like other Fathers, seem to refer to one Chair of Peter while ascribing to it a perpetual ministry of divine assurance in one See. I've been wrestling with the fact that my RC friend brings up frequently that the Church was founded upon ONE MAN and that the Keys were given to ONE MAN, and that this last point is given the assurance that the gates of hell would not prevail against that ONE CHURCH. With the Peter syndrome set aside, it isn't entirely ridiculous to see how the RC interpretation came about considering the central role of Peter (especially in Matthew 16, Luke 22 and John 21) and his death in Rome which is widely attested to, as being foundational for a LOVING GUARANTEE from God that a particular Church would never err. St. Cyprian says:

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal UNITY has its SOURCE; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance."


There is little doubt that you have come across these passages and others like them before. For that I am sorry, but as I said previously, I am immensely grieved and the responses here, in books and in other forums are lacking regarding certain quotations and RC concepts that are not for the moment fully reconciled with my conscience. Thank you in advance for your charitable responses.

God bless you,

Jonathan
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 12:41:21 PM »

Dear Jonathan,

Know that I am praying for you. I left the Roman Catholic Church and joined the Melkite Eastern Catholic Church where I found a new home for 3 years. During those three years, I inquired into Eastern Orthodoxy.
With my increasing disbelief in Papal Powers, especially papal infallibility and papal supremacy, I finally left the Melkite Church and was chrismated into the Greek Orthodox Church.

I will pray for you that you may find true peace.
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 01:00:17 PM »

Dear Jonathan,

Know that I am praying for you. I left the Roman Catholic Church and joined the Melkite Eastern Catholic Church where I found a new home for 3 years. During those three years, I inquired into Eastern Orthodoxy.
With my increasing disbelief in Papal Powers, especially papal infallibility and papal supremacy, I finally left the Melkite Church and was chrismated into the Greek Orthodox Church.

I will pray for you that you may find true peace.

Bless you Maria. What beautiful hope you've given me. I FEEL your prayers. I cannot thank you enough for manifesting this love of God to me. Bless you friend.
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 01:39:00 PM »

Hello Jy3pr6,
   My spiritual journey has been a difficult and confusing one, and the issue of what role the Bishop of Rome played in the early Church is one I continue to study and wrestle with. That being said, I will give some brief thoughts.

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

The first question I have regarding this passage: What does St. Jerome mean when he says "... I communicate with none but your blessedness..."? Does he mean he only sees communion with the Church of Rome as important? I would like to read this passage in its original language, since nuance can often be lost in translation.

Further, reading the Church Fathers has taught me that there seems to have been varying views of the Bishop of Rome. I don't think the reality that some ECF's may have had a view of the Pope similar to the modern Roman Catholic understanding proves anything more than the variety of views the early church had of the Bishop of Rome. For example, lets pretend that Sts. Jerome and Athanasius believed the Pope had supremacy, and Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa believed no such thing. The issue would remain inconclusive, and it seems that in such cases it is better to side with conservatism (the Orthodox position) unless it can be demonstrated that the greater part of the Christian tradition has agreed with Rome.

Anyways, good questions. I look forward to seeing other responses.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 01:47:55 PM »

Hi, Jy3,

I am on this journey too. It has not been easy. I wish you the best.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 02:44:34 PM »

Hello brethren,

Before I post the quote, I ask that if you are tempted to post a pithy and/or ironic response, please restrain yourself from posting. My friends and I have been researching Orthodoxy for some time now and have grieved intensely over the schism and our possible duty of having to leave the Catholic Church, and these comments which these and other forums are rife and plagued with are the absolute most awful and insensitive remarks possible converts have to deal with in searching for the true Church of Christ. If possible, I would like to restrict this thread to those who are truly interested in helping me and others who are struggling with this painful process out.
You post on an Orthodox forum about "having to leave the Catholic Church" when it fact what you are contemplating joining the Catholic Church.

As for painful, what in particularly causes you your pain?

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."
IIRC, this is from his whining letter to Abp. (the title of Pope at the time was held only by the Archbishop of Alexandria) St. Damasus, on whom to commune with in the East.  Abp. Damasus settled on Paulinus as Patriarch of Antioch, who ordained St. Jerome.  Alas!  The East was in communion with Patriarch St. Meletius, who opened up the Second Ecumenical Council not in communion with the archbishop of Rome and set their seal on the Creed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  At that Council of Saints (it has the most canonized/glorified saints who attended any council, although it was the smallest), they elected St. Flavian to succeed him as patriarch of Antioch, when St. (and so on the Vatican's calendar as well) Meletius reposed, and did so over Old Rome's objections.  Paulinus' line died out after him.  All five lines of patriarchs that the Vatican promoted for patriarch of Antioch all claim to trace their episcopal lineage from Pat. St. Meletius, not Paulinus, who was quite forgotten.

On that:
I am seeking independent verification of information contained in an Orthodox encyclical

The encyclical in question is
"Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848 A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns""

In it they say...

"...witnessed by the great Basil (Ep. 48 Athan.) to be "the most venerable of all the Churches in the world." Still more, the second Ecumenical Council, writing to a Council of the West (to the most honorable and religious brethren and fellow-servants, Damasus, Ambrose, Britto, Valerian, and others), witnesseth, saying: "The oldest and truly Apostolic Church of Antioch, in Syria, where first the honored name of Christians was used."

I have looked at the cite www.ccel.org which gives documents by Church Fathers.

The 48th epistle by Basil begins...
Letter XLVIII.

To Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.

I have had considerable difficulty in finding a messenger to convey a letter to your reverence, for our men are so afraid of the winter that they can hardly bear even to put their heads outside their houses.  We have suffered from such a very heavy fall of snow that we have been buried, houses and all, beneath it, and now for two months have been living in dens and caves.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.xlix.html

Am I missing something regarding the reference (Ep. 48 Athan.)?

Also, I can't find the letter sent by the second ecumenical council to 'the west'



My best guess is that it is this epistle which Basil wrote to Athanasius, which is being referenced: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxvii.html

In it he writes:
Quote
No one knows better than you do, that, like all wise physicians, you ought to begin your treatment in the most vital parts, and what part is more vital to the Churches throughout the world than Antioch?  Only let Antioch be restored to harmony, and nothing will stand in the way of her supplying, as a healthy head, soundness to all the body.  Truly the diseases of that city, which has not only been cut asunder by heretics, but is torn in pieces by men who say that they are of one mind with one another, stand in need of your wisdom and evangelic sympathy.

As I'm sure many of you are aware already, there are numerous quotes found within the Church Fathers of this nature, but this one in particular brings out one of the more complex issues with the Matthew 16:18 debacle. He, like other Fathers, seem to refer to one Chair of Peter while ascribing to it a perpetual ministry of divine assurance in one See. I've been wrestling with the fact that my RC friend brings up frequently that the Church was founded upon ONE MAN and that the Keys were given to ONE MAN, and that this last point is given the assurance that the gates of hell would not prevail against that ONE CHURCH. With the Peter syndrome set aside, it isn't entirely ridiculous to see how the RC interpretation came about considering the central role of Peter (especially in Matthew 16, Luke 22 and John 21) and his death in Rome which is widely attested to, as being foundational for a LOVING GUARANTEE from God that a particular Church would never err. St. Cyprian says:

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal UNITY has its SOURCE; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance."


There is little doubt that you have come across these passages and others like them before. For that I am sorry, but as I said previously, I am immensely grieved and the responses here, in books and in other forums are lacking regarding certain quotations and RC concepts that are not for the moment fully reconciled with my conscience. Thank you in advance for your charitable responses.

God bless you,

Jonathan
On the quotes:
said that this moment in John 21, after the resurrection of Jesus , was the moment that Jesus actually gave  to St Peter the keys and the authority over His church which He had promised him in Matthew 16.
Yes, as we have seen above, Pastor Aeternus taught so in error.  On Matthew 16:
Quote
It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter. When they deal with that question, they ordinarily appeal not to the gift of the keys but to his office as the rock on which the Church is founded. In their references to the potestas clavium, they are usually intent on vindicating against the Montanist and Novatian heretics the power inherent in the Church to forgive. Thus St. Augustine in several passages declares that the authority to bind and loose was not a purely personal gift to St. Peter, but was conferred upon him as representing the Church. The whole Church, he urges, exercises the power of forgiving sins. This could not be had the gift been a personal one (tract. 1 in Joan., n. 12, P.L., XXXV, 1763; Serm. ccxcv, in P.L., XXXVIII, 1349).
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm
On this one:

This has been dealt with a lot (including on St. Chrysostom's words on St. James and St. John, in addition to St. Peter). For an example:
Witega, you seem to say the Fathers often understood references to Peter as meaning the whole group of Apostles.  Does that apply here with Chrysostom's quote?

I found this quote, on the topic of it not only applying to the whole group of Apostles, but also to the lowly bishop of a rural town way down in the stix of Upper Egypt:

Due to the ongoing debate on the Fourth Council, I by chance was reaquainted with a text I thought appropriate here.  It is from the "Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  In one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

 Besa, Life of Shenoute 70-72 (trans. Bell). On the context of this story see Behlmer 1998, esp. pp. 353-354. Gaddis, There is No Crime for those who have Christ, p. 296
http://books.google.com/books?id=JGEibDA8el4C

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

Jesus tells Peter to rule His sheep

It’s important to emphasize that the moment after the Resurrection, in John 21, was the point at which Jesus made St Peter the first pope. This is significant because some non Catholics bring up St Peter’s 3 fold denial of Christ in john 18:25 and following.  When peter denied Jesus Christ, it was before the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Jesus had not yet given St peter the authority as pope. The words in MT 16:18-20 promise the keys of the Kingdom to St Peter. They promise that Jesus would build His Church upon Him and make him the prime minister of His Church, but that office was not conferred upon peter until after the RESURRECTION, BY THESE WORDS IN John21:15-17. Therefore, St Peter’s  denial of Christ poses no problem at all for Catholic teaching on the papacy.
Ah, a little problem for the Vatican in that He had already conferred the Power of the Keys on ALL the Disciples (except St. Thomas, and of course, Judas) in John 20:22.

And, the problem that John 21 deals with St. Peter's denial and his repentance therefrom, to confess his love for Christ once denied:
Quote
So when they had dined, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these? He says unto Him, Yea, Lord, You know that I love You.
1. There are indeed many other things which are able to give us boldness towards God, and to show us bright and approved, but that which most of all brings good will from on high, is tender care for our neighbor. Which therefore Christ requires of Peter. For when their eating was ended, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these? He says unto Him, Yea, Lord, You know that I love You.

He says unto him, Feed My sheep.
And why, having passed by the others, does He speak with Peter on these matters? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the leader of the band; on this account also Paul went up upon a time to enquire of him rather than the others. And at the same time to show him that he must now be of good cheer, since the denial was done away, Jesus puts into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He brings not forward the denial, nor reproaches him with what had taken place, but says, If you love Me, preside over your brethren, and the warm love which you ever manifested, and in which you rejoiced, show thou now; and the life which you said you would lay down for Me, now give for My sheep.

When then having been asked once and again, he called Him to witness who knows the secrets of the heart, and then was asked even a third time, he was troubled, fearing a repetition of what had happened before, (for then, having been strong in assertion, he was afterwards convicted,) and therefore he again betakes himself to Him.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240188.htm

John 21:15-17

Jesus tells Peter to feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. Jesus clearly gives St Peter authority over His flock, the members of His church. Some may ask why Jesus says the 1st time, feed my lambs, and the 2nd and 3rd times my sheep. The early church fathers understood this reference to lambs and sheep to differentiate between youngerand older members of the Church, or to distinguish between the faithful and the clergy . All of them are entrusted to St Peter.
St. John the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom must have not gotten the memo, because the only thing they have to say about young and old
Quote
When you were young, you girded yourself, and walked whither you would, but when you are old, others shall gird you, and carry you whither you will not.
And yet this he did will, and desired; on which account also He has revealed it to him. For since Peter had continually said, I will lay down my life for You John 13:37, and, Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You Matthew 26:35: He has given him back his desire. What then is the, Whither you will not? He speaks of natural feeling, and the necessity of the flesh, and that the soul is unwillingly torn away from the body. So that even though the will were firm, yet still even then nature would be found in fault. For no one lays aside the body without feeling, God, as I said before, having suitably ordained this, that violent deaths might not be many. For if, as things are, the devil has been able to effect this, and has led ten thousand to precipices and pits; had not the soul felt such a desire for the body, the many would have rushed to this under any common discouragement. The, whither you will not, is then the expression of one signifying natural feeling.

But how after having said, When you were young, does He again say, When you are old? For this is the expression of one declaring that he was not then young; (nor was he; nor yet old, but a man of middle age. ) Wherefore then did He recall to his memory his former life? Signifying, that this is the nature of what belongs to Him. In things of this life the young man is useful, the old useless; but in Mine, He says, not so; but when old age has come on, then is excellence brighter, then is manliness more illustrious, being nothing hindered by the time of life. This He said not to terrify, but to rouse Him; for He knew his love, and that he long had yearned for this blessing. At the same time He declares the kind of death. For since Peter ever desired to be in the dangers which were for His sake, Be of good cheer, He says, I will so satisfy your desire, that, what you suffered not when young, you must suffer when you are old. Then the Evangelist, to rouse the hearer, has added,

As to an alleged distinction between clergy and the Faithful:
Now what’s particularly important is that when Jesus says Feed my lambs etc..the 2nd  command of the 3 is the word poimaine in Greek. Many bibles will translate all 3 the same way, as “feed”, but the 2nd command is actually different from the 1st and 3rd.

John 21:15-17 “ He saith unto him, Feed (boske) my lambs…he saith unto him tend (poimane) my sheep…Jesus saith unto him, feed (boske) my sheep.”

In the 1st and 3rd commands that Jesus gives to Peter about His flock, the word in the greek is boske. Boske means to feed. But the word poimane, the 2nd command of Jesus to peter about the flock, means to rule. It is also translated as tend. Hence, Jesus not only commissioned Peter to feed His Church, but to rule it. It’s fascinating that a form of the very same word poimane, which Jesus uses about peter’s authority over the flock in John 21:16, is also used in revelation 2:27

Rev 2;27 “ And he shall rule (poimanei) with a rod of iron..”

That means that Peter not only has a primacy over Christ’s flock, but a primacy of jurisdiction to rule and govern the flock, contrary to what Eastern Orthodox would say. The same word poimane is used in Rev 12:5 and elsewhere to indicate the power to rule.
When St. Paul on behalf of the Apostles turns the Church over to their successors, the bishops, Acts 20, he uses the exact word "poimane" in verse 28 "Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."  So they are placed by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church.  Notice in all the final instructions of Acts not a word about "submit yourselves to Peter."

Traditions of ruling houses die out when the dynasty goes extinct.  You are working at cross purposes, here and elsewhere, trying to prove the necessity of your visible head when you call yourself a member of a decapitated church, with no means of sewing a head back on.  You preach the gospel of a dead god, while we are shown to hold to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Maybe you should try your luck with the Mormons or the Jehovah Witnesses.  They are founded on deus ex machina.
Cyprian the Bishop By J. Patout Burns
http://books.google.com/books?id=egbXJlUgAW8C&pg=PA158&dq=cyprian+all+bishops+successors+peter&hl=en#v=onepage&q=cyprian%20all%20bishops%20successors%20peter&f=false
As he put it
Quote
The doctrine of St. Cyprian upon the point before us is extremely full and clear from many passages of his treatises and epistles. A remarkable passage from the treatise "de Unitate Ecclesiae," has been quoted above, in which he says plainly, that "Christ gave to all the Apostles equal authority," and that "all the other Apostles were what Peter was, endowed with an equal participation of honour and power."

In other places he says, "There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded by the voice of the Lord on Peter." This doctrine is thus repeated in the Epistle of Cornelius to St. Cyprian: "Nor are we ignorant that there is one God, one Christ, the Lord whom we have confessed, one Holy Ghost, that there ought to be one Bishop in the Catholic Church." This assertion, which at the first sight might seem to favour the modern claims of the Roman see, is thus interpreted in the treatise "de Unitate:" "The Episcopate is one; of which every individual (Bishop) participates possessing it entire. And again, elsewhere: "From Christ there is one Church, divided throughout the whole world into many members; and one Episcopate, diffused by the 'concordant numerosity' of many Bishops'." Thus the Episcopate is "single and indivisible," but held in equal truth and fulness by many. All alike hold under the promise made to St. Peter'. That promise was addressed to him personally, "to manifest unity;" but in him, was addressed alike to all. There are many shepherds, but the flock is one; in order that if any member of our college (Bishops) endeavour to make heresy, and tear the flock of Christ, the rest may assist, and like good shepherds, collect the Lord's sheep into the flock. All shepherds hold by no other right than that of legitimate and successive ordination. Yet St. Peter himself, whom the Lord chose first and on whom He built His Church, when afterwards Paul disputed with him about circumcision, did not claim any thing to himself so insolently or arrogantly as to say that he held a primacy, or that he ought rather to be obeyed by the present and future generation.
The sayings of the great forty days, between the resurrection and ascension ... By George Moberly
http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA181&lpg=PA181&dq=the+episcopate+is+one+episcopatum+unum&id=XIQrAAAAYAAJ&ots=8gPpU-mje5#v=onepage&q=the%20episcopate%20is%20one%20episcopatum%20unum&f=false
On St. Cyprian, consider his translation of the letter of Firmilian into Latin:

Ah, yes. His translation into Latin of Firmilian's letter for Rome shows that:

17. And in this respect I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of [Arbp.] Stephen [of Old Rome], that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority. For they who are baptized, doubtless, fill up the number of the Church. But he who approves their baptism maintains, of those baptized, that the Church is also with them. Nor does he understand that the truth of the Christian Rock is overshadowed, and in some measure abolished, by him when he thus betrays and deserts unity...
24. Consider with what want of judgment you dare to blame those who strive for the truth against falsehood. For who ought more justly to be indignant against the other?—whether he who supports God’s enemies, or he who, in opposition to him who supports God’s enemies, unites with us on behalf of the truth of the Church?—except that it is plain that the ignorant are also excited and angry, because by the want of counsel and discourse they are easily turned to wrath; so that of none more than of you does divine Scripture say, “A wrathful man stirreth up strifes, and a furious man heapeth up sins.”For what strifes and dissensions have you stirred up throughout the churches of the whole world! Moreover, how great sin have you heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all[/u]; and not even the precepts of an apostle have been able to mould you to the rule of truth and peace, although he warned, and said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.iv.lxxiv.html
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 02:45:23 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 06:38:36 PM »

Hello Jy3pr6,
   My spiritual journey has been a difficult and confusing one, and the issue of what role the Bishop of Rome played in the early Church is one I continue to study and wrestle with. That being said, I will give some brief thoughts.

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

The first question I have regarding this passage: What does St. Jerome mean when he says "... I communicate with none but your blessedness..."? Does he mean he only sees communion with the Church of Rome as important? I would like to read this passage in its original language, since nuance can often be lost in translation.

Further, reading the Church Fathers has taught me that there seems to have been varying views of the Bishop of Rome. I don't think the reality that some ECF's may have had a view of the Pope similar to the modern Roman Catholic understanding proves anything more than the variety of views the early church had of the Bishop of Rome. For example, lets pretend that Sts. Jerome and Athanasius believed the Pope had supremacy, and Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa believed no such thing. The issue would remain inconclusive, and it seems that in such cases it is better to side with conservatism (the Orthodox position) unless it can be demonstrated that the greater part of the Christian tradition has agreed with Rome.

Anyways, good questions. I look forward to seeing other responses.

Thank you for your response friend. I've contemplated this approach myself but for the sake of purifying my intentions I continue to search for possible validations of the RC position. Nevertheless, thank you for your response.
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 06:39:13 PM »

Hi, Jy3,

I am on this journey too. It has not been easy. I wish you the best.


Thank you Biro. May God have mercy on us both.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 06:46:50 PM »

Hello brethren,

Before I post the quote, I ask that if you are tempted to post a pithy and/or ironic response, please restrain yourself from posting. My friends and I have been researching Orthodoxy for some time now and have grieved intensely over the schism and our possible duty of having to leave the Catholic Church, and these comments which these and other forums are rife and plagued with are the absolute most awful and insensitive remarks possible converts have to deal with in searching for the true Church of Christ. If possible, I would like to restrict this thread to those who are truly interested in helping me and others who are struggling with this painful process out.
You post on an Orthodox forum about "having to leave the Catholic Church" when it fact what you are contemplating joining the Catholic Church.

As for painful, what in particularly causes you your pain?

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."
IIRC, this is from his whining letter to Abp. (the title of Pope at the time was held only by the Archbishop of Alexandria) St. Damasus, on whom to commune with in the East.  Abp. Damasus settled on Paulinus as Patriarch of Antioch, who ordained St. Jerome.  Alas!  The East was in communion with Patriarch St. Meletius, who opened up the Second Ecumenical Council not in communion with the archbishop of Rome and set their seal on the Creed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  At that Council of Saints (it has the most canonized/glorified saints who attended any council, although it was the smallest), they elected St. Flavian to succeed him as patriarch of Antioch, when St. (and so on the Vatican's calendar as well) Meletius reposed, and did so over Old Rome's objections.  Paulinus' line died out after him.  All five lines of patriarchs that the Vatican promoted for patriarch of Antioch all claim to trace their episcopal lineage from Pat. St. Meletius, not Paulinus, who was quite forgotten.

On that:
I am seeking independent verification of information contained in an Orthodox encyclical

The encyclical in question is
"Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848 A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns""

In it they say...

"...witnessed by the great Basil (Ep. 48 Athan.) to be "the most venerable of all the Churches in the world." Still more, the second Ecumenical Council, writing to a Council of the West (to the most honorable and religious brethren and fellow-servants, Damasus, Ambrose, Britto, Valerian, and others), witnesseth, saying: "The oldest and truly Apostolic Church of Antioch, in Syria, where first the honored name of Christians was used."

I have looked at the cite www.ccel.org which gives documents by Church Fathers.

The 48th epistle by Basil begins...
Letter XLVIII.

To Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.

I have had considerable difficulty in finding a messenger to convey a letter to your reverence, for our men are so afraid of the winter that they can hardly bear even to put their heads outside their houses.  We have suffered from such a very heavy fall of snow that we have been buried, houses and all, beneath it, and now for two months have been living in dens and caves.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.xlix.html

Am I missing something regarding the reference (Ep. 48 Athan.)?

Also, I can't find the letter sent by the second ecumenical council to 'the west'



My best guess is that it is this epistle which Basil wrote to Athanasius, which is being referenced: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxvii.html

In it he writes:
Quote
No one knows better than you do, that, like all wise physicians, you ought to begin your treatment in the most vital parts, and what part is more vital to the Churches throughout the world than Antioch?  Only let Antioch be restored to harmony, and nothing will stand in the way of her supplying, as a healthy head, soundness to all the body.  Truly the diseases of that city, which has not only been cut asunder by heretics, but is torn in pieces by men who say that they are of one mind with one another, stand in need of your wisdom and evangelic sympathy.

As I'm sure many of you are aware already, there are numerous quotes found within the Church Fathers of this nature, but this one in particular brings out one of the more complex issues with the Matthew 16:18 debacle. He, like other Fathers, seem to refer to one Chair of Peter while ascribing to it a perpetual ministry of divine assurance in one See. I've been wrestling with the fact that my RC friend brings up frequently that the Church was founded upon ONE MAN and that the Keys were given to ONE MAN, and that this last point is given the assurance that the gates of hell would not prevail against that ONE CHURCH. With the Peter syndrome set aside, it isn't entirely ridiculous to see how the RC interpretation came about considering the central role of Peter (especially in Matthew 16, Luke 22 and John 21) and his death in Rome which is widely attested to, as being foundational for a LOVING GUARANTEE from God that a particular Church would never err. St. Cyprian says:

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal UNITY has its SOURCE; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance."


There is little doubt that you have come across these passages and others like them before. For that I am sorry, but as I said previously, I am immensely grieved and the responses here, in books and in other forums are lacking regarding certain quotations and RC concepts that are not for the moment fully reconciled with my conscience. Thank you in advance for your charitable responses.

God bless you,

Jonathan
On the quotes:
said that this moment in John 21, after the resurrection of Jesus , was the moment that Jesus actually gave  to St Peter the keys and the authority over His church which He had promised him in Matthew 16.
Yes, as we have seen above, Pastor Aeternus taught so in error.  On Matthew 16:
Quote
It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter. When they deal with that question, they ordinarily appeal not to the gift of the keys but to his office as the rock on which the Church is founded. In their references to the potestas clavium, they are usually intent on vindicating against the Montanist and Novatian heretics the power inherent in the Church to forgive. Thus St. Augustine in several passages declares that the authority to bind and loose was not a purely personal gift to St. Peter, but was conferred upon him as representing the Church. The whole Church, he urges, exercises the power of forgiving sins. This could not be had the gift been a personal one (tract. 1 in Joan., n. 12, P.L., XXXV, 1763; Serm. ccxcv, in P.L., XXXVIII, 1349).
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08631b.htm
On this one:

This has been dealt with a lot (including on St. Chrysostom's words on St. James and St. John, in addition to St. Peter). For an example:
Witega, you seem to say the Fathers often understood references to Peter as meaning the whole group of Apostles.  Does that apply here with Chrysostom's quote?

I found this quote, on the topic of it not only applying to the whole group of Apostles, but also to the lowly bishop of a rural town way down in the stix of Upper Egypt:

Due to the ongoing debate on the Fourth Council, I by chance was reaquainted with a text I thought appropriate here.  It is from the "Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  In one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

Quote
The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.

 Besa, Life of Shenoute 70-72 (trans. Bell). On the context of this story see Behlmer 1998, esp. pp. 353-354. Gaddis, There is No Crime for those who have Christ, p. 296
http://books.google.com/books?id=JGEibDA8el4C

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.

Jesus tells Peter to rule His sheep

It’s important to emphasize that the moment after the Resurrection, in John 21, was the point at which Jesus made St Peter the first pope. This is significant because some non Catholics bring up St Peter’s 3 fold denial of Christ in john 18:25 and following.  When peter denied Jesus Christ, it was before the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Jesus had not yet given St peter the authority as pope. The words in MT 16:18-20 promise the keys of the Kingdom to St Peter. They promise that Jesus would build His Church upon Him and make him the prime minister of His Church, but that office was not conferred upon peter until after the RESURRECTION, BY THESE WORDS IN John21:15-17. Therefore, St Peter’s  denial of Christ poses no problem at all for Catholic teaching on the papacy.
Ah, a little problem for the Vatican in that He had already conferred the Power of the Keys on ALL the Disciples (except St. Thomas, and of course, Judas) in John 20:22.

And, the problem that John 21 deals with St. Peter's denial and his repentance therefrom, to confess his love for Christ once denied:
Quote
So when they had dined, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these? He says unto Him, Yea, Lord, You know that I love You.
1. There are indeed many other things which are able to give us boldness towards God, and to show us bright and approved, but that which most of all brings good will from on high, is tender care for our neighbor. Which therefore Christ requires of Peter. For when their eating was ended, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these? He says unto Him, Yea, Lord, You know that I love You.

He says unto him, Feed My sheep.
And why, having passed by the others, does He speak with Peter on these matters? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the leader of the band; on this account also Paul went up upon a time to enquire of him rather than the others. And at the same time to show him that he must now be of good cheer, since the denial was done away, Jesus puts into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He brings not forward the denial, nor reproaches him with what had taken place, but says, If you love Me, preside over your brethren, and the warm love which you ever manifested, and in which you rejoiced, show thou now; and the life which you said you would lay down for Me, now give for My sheep.

When then having been asked once and again, he called Him to witness who knows the secrets of the heart, and then was asked even a third time, he was troubled, fearing a repetition of what had happened before, (for then, having been strong in assertion, he was afterwards convicted,) and therefore he again betakes himself to Him.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240188.htm

John 21:15-17

Jesus tells Peter to feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. Jesus clearly gives St Peter authority over His flock, the members of His church. Some may ask why Jesus says the 1st time, feed my lambs, and the 2nd and 3rd times my sheep. The early church fathers understood this reference to lambs and sheep to differentiate between youngerand older members of the Church, or to distinguish between the faithful and the clergy . All of them are entrusted to St Peter.
St. John the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom must have not gotten the memo, because the only thing they have to say about young and old
Quote
When you were young, you girded yourself, and walked whither you would, but when you are old, others shall gird you, and carry you whither you will not.
And yet this he did will, and desired; on which account also He has revealed it to him. For since Peter had continually said, I will lay down my life for You John 13:37, and, Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You Matthew 26:35: He has given him back his desire. What then is the, Whither you will not? He speaks of natural feeling, and the necessity of the flesh, and that the soul is unwillingly torn away from the body. So that even though the will were firm, yet still even then nature would be found in fault. For no one lays aside the body without feeling, God, as I said before, having suitably ordained this, that violent deaths might not be many. For if, as things are, the devil has been able to effect this, and has led ten thousand to precipices and pits; had not the soul felt such a desire for the body, the many would have rushed to this under any common discouragement. The, whither you will not, is then the expression of one signifying natural feeling.

But how after having said, When you were young, does He again say, When you are old? For this is the expression of one declaring that he was not then young; (nor was he; nor yet old, but a man of middle age. ) Wherefore then did He recall to his memory his former life? Signifying, that this is the nature of what belongs to Him. In things of this life the young man is useful, the old useless; but in Mine, He says, not so; but when old age has come on, then is excellence brighter, then is manliness more illustrious, being nothing hindered by the time of life. This He said not to terrify, but to rouse Him; for He knew his love, and that he long had yearned for this blessing. At the same time He declares the kind of death. For since Peter ever desired to be in the dangers which were for His sake, Be of good cheer, He says, I will so satisfy your desire, that, what you suffered not when young, you must suffer when you are old. Then the Evangelist, to rouse the hearer, has added,

As to an alleged distinction between clergy and the Faithful:
Now what’s particularly important is that when Jesus says Feed my lambs etc..the 2nd  command of the 3 is the word poimaine in Greek. Many bibles will translate all 3 the same way, as “feed”, but the 2nd command is actually different from the 1st and 3rd.

John 21:15-17 “ He saith unto him, Feed (boske) my lambs…he saith unto him tend (poimane) my sheep…Jesus saith unto him, feed (boske) my sheep.”

In the 1st and 3rd commands that Jesus gives to Peter about His flock, the word in the greek is boske. Boske means to feed. But the word poimane, the 2nd command of Jesus to peter about the flock, means to rule. It is also translated as tend. Hence, Jesus not only commissioned Peter to feed His Church, but to rule it. It’s fascinating that a form of the very same word poimane, which Jesus uses about peter’s authority over the flock in John 21:16, is also used in revelation 2:27

Rev 2;27 “ And he shall rule (poimanei) with a rod of iron..”

That means that Peter not only has a primacy over Christ’s flock, but a primacy of jurisdiction to rule and govern the flock, contrary to what Eastern Orthodox would say. The same word poimane is used in Rev 12:5 and elsewhere to indicate the power to rule.
When St. Paul on behalf of the Apostles turns the Church over to their successors, the bishops, Acts 20, he uses the exact word "poimane" in verse 28 "Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."  So they are placed by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church.  Notice in all the final instructions of Acts not a word about "submit yourselves to Peter."

Traditions of ruling houses die out when the dynasty goes extinct.  You are working at cross purposes, here and elsewhere, trying to prove the necessity of your visible head when you call yourself a member of a decapitated church, with no means of sewing a head back on.  You preach the gospel of a dead god, while we are shown to hold to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Maybe you should try your luck with the Mormons or the Jehovah Witnesses.  They are founded on deus ex machina.
Cyprian the Bishop By J. Patout Burns
http://books.google.com/books?id=egbXJlUgAW8C&pg=PA158&dq=cyprian+all+bishops+successors+peter&hl=en#v=onepage&q=cyprian%20all%20bishops%20successors%20peter&f=false
As he put it
Quote
The doctrine of St. Cyprian upon the point before us is extremely full and clear from many passages of his treatises and epistles. A remarkable passage from the treatise "de Unitate Ecclesiae," has been quoted above, in which he says plainly, that "Christ gave to all the Apostles equal authority," and that "all the other Apostles were what Peter was, endowed with an equal participation of honour and power."

In other places he says, "There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded by the voice of the Lord on Peter." This doctrine is thus repeated in the Epistle of Cornelius to St. Cyprian: "Nor are we ignorant that there is one God, one Christ, the Lord whom we have confessed, one Holy Ghost, that there ought to be one Bishop in the Catholic Church." This assertion, which at the first sight might seem to favour the modern claims of the Roman see, is thus interpreted in the treatise "de Unitate:" "The Episcopate is one; of which every individual (Bishop) participates possessing it entire. And again, elsewhere: "From Christ there is one Church, divided throughout the whole world into many members; and one Episcopate, diffused by the 'concordant numerosity' of many Bishops'." Thus the Episcopate is "single and indivisible," but held in equal truth and fulness by many. All alike hold under the promise made to St. Peter'. That promise was addressed to him personally, "to manifest unity;" but in him, was addressed alike to all. There are many shepherds, but the flock is one; in order that if any member of our college (Bishops) endeavour to make heresy, and tear the flock of Christ, the rest may assist, and like good shepherds, collect the Lord's sheep into the flock. All shepherds hold by no other right than that of legitimate and successive ordination. Yet St. Peter himself, whom the Lord chose first and on whom He built His Church, when afterwards Paul disputed with him about circumcision, did not claim any thing to himself so insolently or arrogantly as to say that he held a primacy, or that he ought rather to be obeyed by the present and future generation.
The sayings of the great forty days, between the resurrection and ascension ... By George Moberly
http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA181&lpg=PA181&dq=the+episcopate+is+one+episcopatum+unum&id=XIQrAAAAYAAJ&ots=8gPpU-mje5#v=onepage&q=the%20episcopate%20is%20one%20episcopatum%20unum&f=false
On St. Cyprian, consider his translation of the letter of Firmilian into Latin:

Ah, yes. His translation into Latin of Firmilian's letter for Rome shows that:

17. And in this respect I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of [Arbp.] Stephen [of Old Rome], that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority. For they who are baptized, doubtless, fill up the number of the Church. But he who approves their baptism maintains, of those baptized, that the Church is also with them. Nor does he understand that the truth of the Christian Rock is overshadowed, and in some measure abolished, by him when he thus betrays and deserts unity...
24. Consider with what want of judgment you dare to blame those who strive for the truth against falsehood. For who ought more justly to be indignant against the other?—whether he who supports God’s enemies, or he who, in opposition to him who supports God’s enemies, unites with us on behalf of the truth of the Church?—except that it is plain that the ignorant are also excited and angry, because by the want of counsel and discourse they are easily turned to wrath; so that of none more than of you does divine Scripture say, “A wrathful man stirreth up strifes, and a furious man heapeth up sins.”For what strifes and dissensions have you stirred up throughout the churches of the whole world! Moreover, how great sin have you heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all[/u]; and not even the precepts of an apostle have been able to mould you to the rule of truth and peace, although he warned, and said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.iv.lxxiv.html

What causes me pain Ialm is the confusion and the doubt. There seem to be some major points in favor of both sides, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed at times when I consider how limited I am. I've even come to the point of considering gnosticism because of all of this (a phenomenon which has manifested itself not only to me but to 3 other RC friends of mine who were/are investigating the EOC). The people of God were not meant to be put through this unnecessary struggle, and it further pains me that this is the state of Christendom. The thought of throwing even more of my friends and family into that same doubt and confusion should I discover the truth of Orthodoxy is yet another painful burden to bear. But our Lord said that "anyone who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." I have no other choice but to attempt perseverance with the help of our Lord. May He have mercy on me.

And thank you very much for the quotes and information you posted, I will look into them when I have more time on my hands.

God bless you.
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 07:49:30 PM »

What causes me pain Ialm is the confusion and the doubt. There seem to be some major points in favor of both sides, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed at times when I consider how limited I am. I've even come to the point of considering gnosticism because of all of this (a phenomenon which has manifested itself not only to me but to 3 other RC friends of mine who were/are investigating the EOC). The people of God were not meant to be put through this unnecessary struggle, and it further pains me that this is the state of Christendom. The thought of throwing even more of my friends and family into that same doubt and confusion should I discover the truth of Orthodoxy is yet another painful burden to bear. But our Lord said that "anyone who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." I have no other choice but to attempt perseverance with the help of our Lord. May He have mercy on me.

And thank you very much for the quotes and information you posted, I will look into them when I have more time on my hands.

God bless you.
The confusion and doubt troubles me as well. I was a lot more at peace when I thought there were essentially two choices: Protestantism and the Church (RCC), but the fact that it is actually Protestantism and the Churches that all claim to be the Church and trace their roots back to the Apostles (Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Assyrian Church of the East) is more complicated and makes the true path less clear. I envy the people who have chosen one of those Churches and are absolutely sure that their Church is THE Church. Frankly, I'm not sure I will ever have that confidence again.
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 04:49:36 AM »

"As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

This might shed some light upon this quote. In Antiquity, when you requested something, you showered him with superlative compliments. St. Jerome was especially fond of Cicero. You shouldn't take this quote too seriously
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 06:11:44 AM »

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

As I have always said, that was true then; it cannot be said to be true now. Regarding Matthew 16, Jesus' promise was to the Church, not to Peter alone. If one would read the passage, Jesus promised the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church; He did not say it will not prevail against Peter. We must read St. Jerome's quote here in the context of how it was during his time--that is, Rome being Orthodox then. Such a greeting would make sense during his time as it was true back then. Today that is not so.
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 07:56:15 AM »

God is working in all the churches.
if you want the depths of God's love, go to the orthodox or catholic churches.
if you want correct theology, go to the orthodox church.
but if you think God wants you to stay in the catholic church until he fixes our mistakes and brings us into communion (don't hold your breath!) then you can stay there.

i know some very fine catholics who don't go around spreading dodgy teaching (eg. they are the only true church, they can change the creed when they want without asking the other apostolic churches for their opinion) and who live a Godly life and are great examples to us all. but your church is having some trouble at the moment, so i think you should only stay there if you truly believe it is part of your spiritual journey to remain there.

there is only one God, and Christianity is true. but there are some in non orthodox churches who have not yet found the right moment to join an orthodox church because of their family, friends, church members etc.

so i think the answer to your questions is different for different people at different times.
the main thing is to love God and to keep searching until you are in the right place.
and then when you get there, don't be too shocked to find it is not perfect, as none of us are in heaven yet, and the church is imperfect because of the people in it.

may God guide you and give you peace, and have a look in the other orthodox - catholic threads for more information.
God bless u,
mabsoota (former protestant who also seriously considered the catholic church)
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 10:00:14 PM »

Hello brethren,

Before I post the quote, I ask that if you are tempted to post a pithy and/or ironic response, please restrain yourself from posting. My friends and I have been researching Orthodoxy for some time now and have grieved intensely over the schism and our possible duty of having to leave the Catholic Church, and these comments which these and other forums are rife and plagued with are the absolute most awful and insensitive remarks possible converts have to deal with in searching for the true Church of Christ. If possible, I would like to restrict this thread to those who are truly interested in helping me and others who are struggling with this painful process out.

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

As I'm sure many of you are aware already, there are numerous quotes found within the Church Fathers of this nature, but this one in particular brings out one of the more complex issues with the Matthew 16:18 debacle. He, like other Fathers, seem to refer to one Chair of Peter while ascribing to it a perpetual ministry of divine assurance in one See. I've been wrestling with the fact that my RC friend brings up frequently that the Church was founded upon ONE MAN and that the Keys were given to ONE MAN, and that this last point is given the assurance that the gates of hell would not prevail against that ONE CHURCH. With the Peter syndrome set aside, it isn't entirely ridiculous to see how the RC interpretation came about considering the central role of Peter (especially in Matthew 16, Luke 22 and John 21) and his death in Rome which is widely attested to, as being foundational for a LOVING GUARANTEE from God that a particular Church would never err. St. Cyprian says:

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal UNITY has its SOURCE; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance."


There is little doubt that you have come across these passages and others like them before. For that I am sorry, but as I said previously, I am immensely grieved and the responses here, in books and in other forums are lacking regarding certain quotations and RC concepts that are not for the moment fully reconciled with my conscience. Thank you in advance for your charitable responses.

God bless you,

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan. I can relate to a lot of what you're going through. (For quite a while my profile said "Melkite (inquirer into Orthodoxy)" -- and in some sense that describes me still.)

I see you've already gotten a lot of good responses. I just want to mention something that no one has mentioned yet (I don't think). Namely, it strikes me that you have such a sense of urgency to act ... given that you are unsure, don't you think that God wants you take your time, and convert if/when you're confident that you should?
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 11:13:42 PM »

No rush. Slow down.
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2013, 08:40:50 PM »

The best thing I found (and I haven't read the rest of the posts in this thread so I do apologize if someone else has brought this up) is to look at the claims of the first Vatican council when it comes to the papacy, then compare this to the writings of the Church fathers. The justification of papal primacy in their definition relies exclusively on Matthew 16:18 and goes on to to assert that all of the Holy Fathers of the early Church submitted to this primacy of both honor and jurisdiction from the very beginning of the Church.  Basically if one of the Church fathers can be shown to have not submitted to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome then the claims of Vatican I can be proven false.  And so it follows if even one decree from a council is proven false, then the Roman Catholic Church is not infallible.  (I don't think that by the Vatican I definition the Church Fathers had to be in complete agreement or general consensus on the interpretation of Matthew 16:18 but the fact that they are in neither doesn't help the Roman Catholic cause)       
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 05:31:49 AM »

Hey my advice to you is to pray, pray abs pray some more! Don't rush this decision. Do things in Gods time, bot your own.

with regards to the quotes... Your faith cannot be built on a quote. The early church was very divided on a number of issues. In the west, the universal jurisdiction and supremacy if the Pope was virtually unquestioned. Where as in the east, it Ws a lot more complicated. There were some who believes in the primacy of honour alone ( majority) and some who believed as those in the west did. 

I advise you to focus on the truth of the doctrines that each church teaches. See if they conform to tradition. For me , Catholicism was an outright winner. For some, reaching such a conclusion is not as easy. I recommend you read the works of Scott Hann as they address the quotes of the fathers and the evidence for the catholic position.
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 11:15:04 AM »

My feeling after all these years is that we're kind of like the splinters of that broken mirror in "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson. Each Church reflects the glory of God, but in an incomplete way.

If we ever get put back together again we'd be able to shine with a perfect reflection. That will take some serious action on His part first, though.  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 02:00:04 PM »

My feeling after all these years is that we're kind of like the splinters of that broken mirror in "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson. Each Church reflects the glory of God, but in an incomplete way.

If we ever get put back together again we'd be able to shine with a perfect reflection. That will take some serious action on His part first, though.  Wink

Nice!! Wink
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 02:09:35 PM »

What causes me pain Ialm is the confusion and the doubt. There seem to be some major points in favor of both sides, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed at times when I consider how limited I am. I've even come to the point of considering gnosticism because of all of this (a phenomenon which has manifested itself not only to me but to 3 other RC friends of mine who were/are investigating the EOC). The people of God were not meant to be put through this unnecessary struggle, and it further pains me that this is the state of Christendom. The thought of throwing even more of my friends and family into that same doubt and confusion should I discover the truth of Orthodoxy is yet another painful burden to bear. But our Lord said that "anyone who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." I have no other choice but to attempt perseverance with the help of our Lord. May He have mercy on me.

And thank you very much for the quotes and information you posted, I will look into them when I have more time on my hands.

God bless you.
The confusion and doubt troubles me as well. I was a lot more at peace when I thought there were essentially two choices: Protestantism and the Church (RCC), but the fact that it is actually Protestantism and the Churches that all claim to be the Church and trace their roots back to the Apostles (Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Assyrian Church of the East) is more complicated and makes the true path less clear. I envy the people who have chosen one of those Churches and are absolutely sure that their Church is THE Church. Frankly, I'm not sure I will ever have that confidence again.

Actually Protestantism isn't truly an option. The idea of Apostolic Succession and hierarchy as well as tradition along with the Bible was established Church doctrine when the Church was one. Protestantism is simply a rejection of those things.

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 02:16:47 PM »

With that said here is a quote from St. Jerome which seems to support the Catholic claim:

 "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the only house where the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Arc of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails."

As I have always said, that was true then; it cannot be said to be true now. Regarding Matthew 16, Jesus' promise was to the Church, not to Peter alone. If one would read the passage, Jesus promised the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church; He did not say it will not prevail against Peter. We must read St. Jerome's quote here in the context of how it was during his time--that is, Rome being Orthodox then. Such a greeting would make sense during his time as it was true back then. Today that is not so.

St. Jerome spoke the truth, at the time. Again, taking all of the quotes from the Fathers in context, the rock is the Faith upon which Peter was seated. Not Peter upon which the Faith was seated. Rome was indeed the Orthodox Church for hundreds of years while the East was in heresy. So, I think an Orthodox worldview would agree with the quote, but in it's proper context.

This understanding is in the EO liturgy today when commemorating of St. Peter the Aleut:   
 
Quote
O Peter, upon the rock of thy faith hath Christ built His Church,
    and in the streams of thy blood hath He hallowed our land.
    In thee thy people hath been sanctified, O Aleut;

St. Peter the Aleut was murdered by Catholic Colonialists in Alaska for refusing to denounce his culture and his Orthodoxy, and adopt Roman Catholicism. Without taking the Fathers as a whole you can get various interpretations from it. In other areas, St. Jerome clearly affirms the Orthodox view that the rock is the Faith. St. Augustine holds this view too.

Cyrillic is equally correct that we need to recognize people writing in the past used rhetoric like they were at war with each other. St. Ignatius said for example: "heretics and schismatics will not inherit the Kingdom of God" but is he judging all of them before the Great Day? I think he's just using rhetoric to illustrate the enormity of heresy and schism. Not literally condemning them all to hell, I think an Ecumenical Council would have that job.

Unlike Wandile I think the RC Church could only really be the True Church if the Pope was truly supreme, and that, given his supremacy, he could innovate in matters of doctrine. For example, the understanding of Atonement in the West is utterly foreign to Judaism. This is one of the reasons Jews reject Christ. Because of this Western, non-Jewish understanding of the Atonement. Funny thing, the Orthodox Church never taught this 'Vicarious Atonement' and so, doesn't have the view that the West does on it. Unless the Pope has supremacy, he has no right to modify the doctrines of the Church to the extant that it loses the Jewish understanding of the Atonement and takes on a completely different understanding that is completely Western. This is just one example, others would be Purgatory, Indulgences, the Filioque, Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception.
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2013, 04:03:26 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2013, 04:05:40 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 04:16:27 PM »

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Tongue

Actually, mine was a serious question.
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2013, 04:20:16 PM »

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Tongue

Actually, mine was a serious question.

Oops. Sorry, I thought it was a playful question. As we say, "My bad."  Wink
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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2013, 04:55:04 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Lies, we all know that 100,002 is the limit (it's divisible by three after all, as a sign of the Holy Trinity, unlike 100,001 which is only divisible by 11 and 9091).
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2013, 05:04:29 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Lies, we all know that 100,002 is the limit (it's divisible by three after all, as a sign of the Holy Trinity, unlike 100,001 which is only divisible by 11 and 9091).

All I know is that I am not getting a plane ticket to Iraq to go to Church every Sunday. Seriously, I can't afford it.
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2013, 05:09:41 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Lies, we all know that 100,002 is the limit (it's divisible by three after all, as a sign of the Holy Trinity, unlike 100,001 which is only divisible by 11 and 9091).

All I know is that I am not getting a plane ticket to Iraq to go to Church every Sunday. Seriously, I can't afford it.

Actually, AFAIR, their Patriarchate is in Chicago.
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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2013, 06:40:02 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Lies, we all know that 100,002 is the limit (it's divisible by three after all, as a sign of the Holy Trinity, unlike 100,001 which is only divisible by 11 and 9091).

All I know is that I am not getting a plane ticket to Iraq to go to Church every Sunday. Seriously, I can't afford it.
Well, we do have Chaldean Catholics here in the states. Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2013, 06:41:04 PM »

I think the Nestorian Church is pretty unlikely. I mean, there are only 100,000 alive.

What's the official minimum number of members required for a Church to be considered "possibly the One True Church™"? 
100,001

Lies, we all know that 100,002 is the limit (it's divisible by three after all, as a sign of the Holy Trinity, unlike 100,001 which is only divisible by 11 and 9091).

All I know is that I am not getting a plane ticket to Iraq to go to Church every Sunday. Seriously, I can't afford it.
Well, we do have Chaldean Catholics here in the states. Smiley
There is a Maronite Church where I live.
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« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2013, 06:54:58 PM »

AS a former Roman catholic, and currently a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church, allow me to share what I discovered in the Orthodox View of the Papacy:

Often, in Orthodox apologetics, we encounter a rather curious, and frankly anti-patristic stance: The notion that The Bishop of Rome, as successor to St. Peter is just the same as any other bishop without any difference whatsoever. This rather "Low Petrine" view of Peter and his successors often causes faithful Orthodox who read the fathers conscientiously a great deal of confusion, because so many speak so highly of the Bishop of Rome and certainly accord him a particular kind of headship. I myself would have converted earlier from Roman Catholicism if I did not witness this unjustified "leveling of the playing field" when discussing Orthodox Rome.

That said, I solemnly reject any Papal notions of Supremacy in the sense of the Pope being more than a bishop, and I also reject the idea that the Pope has a legally defined universal Jurisdiction that is immediately of divine origin and empowers him to potentially cause confusion by unrestrained communication amongst the churches. These are "Absolutist" and Ultramontane views foreign to the fathers and the Orthodox Popes.

 I posit what the fathers posited, and especially Pope St. Leo: A high View of Peter and the Bishop of Rome that is nevertheless subject to the overall patristic consensus, the canons and is of SYNODICAL origin. Moreover, as we shall see, St. Leo himself states that the Bishops of the greater cities were given greater authority on account of the city.

 First, we must synthesize:

 It is the patristic teaching of St. Irenaeus, St. Leo and the council of Chalcedon that on account of Romes Secular Status of imperial center, she has received the Primacy.

St. Irenaeus says:

"as it would be very tedious to enumerate in such a work the succession of all the Churches, we will trace that of the very great and very ancient Church and known of all, which was founded and established at Rome by the two very glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul; which possesses a tradition that comes from the Apostles as much as the Faith declared to men, and which has transmitted it to us through the succession of her Bishops; by that, we confound all those who in any manner whatsoever, either through blindness or bad intention, do not gather where they should; for every Church, that is to say, the faithful who are from all places, are obliged to go toward [convenire] that Church, because of the most powerful principality. In this Church, the tradition of the Apostles has been preserved by those who are of all countries."

The faithful would convene at Rome because it was the imperial center, and as such men from all nations, and therefore every apostolic tradition, would arrive and go to the Church of Rome which retained these traditions of the apostles from every country.

So we see the Church of Rome was great in the eyes of Irenaeus because of its Apostolic founders, and it carried influence because its faith was truly catholic, having inherited from abroad the various traditions of the apostles. I.E. The Church of Rome has greatness and priority on account of its being founded by the chief apostles, AND being at the center of the empire, in the imperial city.

Again, the Council of Chalcedon expressed, as we know, in its 28th canon:

"Following in every detail the decrees of the holy fathers, and taking cognizance of the canon just read of the 150 bishops dearly beloved of God who gathered under Theodosius the Great, emperor of pious memory, in the imperial city of Constantinople, New Rome, we ourselves have also decreed and voted the same things concerning the prerogatives of the most holy Church of the same Constantinople, New Rome.  For the fathers rightly acknowledged the prerogatives of the throne of the Elder Rome because it was the Imperial City, and moved by the same consideration the 150 bishops beloved of God awarded the same prerogatives to the most holy throne of the New Rome, rightly judging that the city which is honored by the imperial authority and the senate and enjoys the same [civil] prerogatives as the imperial city of the Elder Rome, should also be magnified in ecclesiastical matters as she is, being second after her."

Now, St. Leo says in his 14th Letter to Anastasius, bishop of Thessalonika:

"The connection of the whole body makes all alike healthy, all alike beautiful: and this connection requires the unanimity indeed of the whole body, but it especially demands harmony among the priests. And though they have a common dignity, yet they have not uniform rank; inasmuch as even among the blessed Apostles, notwithstanding the similarity of their honourable estate, there was a certain distinction of power, and while the election of them all was equal, yet it was given to one to take the lead of the rest. From which model has arisen a distinction between bishops also, and by an important ordinance it has been provided that every one should not claim everything for himself: but that there should be in each province one whose opinion should have the priority among the brethren: and again that certain whose appointment is in the greater cities should undertake a fuller responsibility, through whom the care of the universal Church should converge towards Peter's one seat, and nothing anywhere should be separated from its Head."

This passage of St. Leo is absolutely essential for understanding the growing Orthodox Papal emphasis on Primacy. It establishes two things:

1. St. Leo obviously did not oppose the 28th canon of Chalcedon on the basis of its principle for determining rank, because he himself establishes the same principle; he opposed it because he felt it was a canonical violation. This is of epic importance, because of the wily claims of Roman apologists. St. Leo did not ever object to the councils reasoning regarding HIS OWN primacy, but in lowering Alexandria and Antioch to the 3rd and 4th positions within the Pentarchy, contravening the 6th canon of Nicea.

2. It establishes a truly ordered hierarchy that is neither fully pyramidal, nor is it a leveled playing field: I will call it, vanguardal, based on St. Leos terminology, using the word "converge", and not "submit." The vanguard. the wedge shaped formation taken by soldiers on the battle field is certainly a model of both strong and centralized unity, and conciliarity. We could say the church throughout the ages is like a bunch of bishops marching in vanguard formation: Certainly, one takes the lead at various levels, and the others follow, certainly there is a sense in which one is head and all follow that head as equals in episcopal dignity, but not episcopal rank. When some bishops are taken out by the arrows of heresy, the bishops simply reorder their formation, and the church suffers no change. If even the Leader, the Primate and head be struck, then those who were immediately behind him simply step forward, as we trudge onward toward the heavenly Jerusalem.

We should also acknowledge that earlier in this letter, St. Leo calls these various levels of episcopal ministry within the church Petrine when he specifically says the Role of Peter amongst the apostles is the model for the Role of Metropolitan amongst bishops. This should be even more revelatory about his understanding of himself amongst metropolitans and archbishops. So every Metropolitan and Every Patriarch and the Primatial Patriarch (Whether old Rome or New) is exercising a ministry based upon St. Peter's example, and is truly Petrine in that sense.

Now, the question may become: "Ok, great Rome was the first, and as the first played a unique role, analogous to the Role Peter played amongst the apostles, and the Metropolitan plays in his synod. But what does that mean?"

What it means is that Apostolic Canon 34 is very significant:

"The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit."

In other words, when a Pope is Orthodox, he has a true priority and primacy within the Orthodox church. This means that, on account of his primacy and his position as first, that those affairs that are of universal scope (like heresy that gets out of control, or generally rampant disorder spreading in the church) are truly his legitimate concern.

Simultaneously, he does not have the right to micromanage Patriarchs, metropolitans and bishops. His immediate authority and jurisdiction is limited to his own diocese. As is any Archbishop, Metropolitan or Patriarch.

But nevertheless, a Metropolitan, while not having the right to micromanage his bishops, is still RESPONSIBLE for his entire metropolis. It is his duty to see it rightly ordered, and his bishops duty to do nothing without his consent. On the Patriarchal level, it is the Patriarchs business to administer his own diocese, and not be a burden to the metropolitans of his synod, who nevertheless, are not to initiate any activity that could have ramifications outside of his own diocese without Patriarchal consent. The patriarch has a real RESPONSIBILITY for his entire patriarchate, and it is his DUTY to see it well ordered. The same is true of the Primatial Bishop, the Protos of the church. The Primatial bishop has NO BUSINESS interfering in the lives of bishops and patriarchs when there is nothing of universal concern. Nevertheless, it is his DUTY as the FIRST, as the IMAGE of the whole, as the Spiritual head and icon of the church's unity to preoccupy himself with the things that are of universal concern to the church. By doing this properly, he will truly be the servant of the servants of God.

It is in THIS context that we can understand why it is absolutely ESSENTIAL for ORTHODOX Popes to sign off on things like ecumenical councils; because nothing ought to be done without their consent given that they occupy the first place, and being Orthodox, have the most important say, following apostolic canon 34. This explains the objections of the Papal legates at Chalcedon regarding the Robber council of Ephesus, where they accuse Dioscorus of holding a council without the consent of the apostolic see, something unheard of. This is not Papal supremacy, this is the practical effects of a real and working primacy. The fathers CLEARLY testify to the effects of this real and working primacy, and as an Orthodox Christian, I personally am a little embarrassed by other Orthodox who certainly ignore the historical record by seeking to downplay the role of the Orthodox popes. We can AFFIRM the principle of Papal primacy as orthodox and speak in perfectly glowing terms about the primacy and headship of the Pope , of the necessity of having his consent in matters pertaining to the whole church (when he is Orthodox) without being embarrassed to be Orthodox. This is one of those cases where we have to make fine distinctions, and honestly, not many people want to.

Let's allow ALL the fathers to shape our phronema, and ALL the things they unanimously held, let us also hold without prejudice, all without falling into the Heresy of Papal Supremacy and Infallibility.

Well, to wrap up, allow me to quote the 14th century saint, St. Symeon of Thessaloniki :

St. Symeon of the Thessaloniki ca. 1381-1429

"We should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. But only let them show that he is true to the faith of Peter and his successors; then let him have all the privileges of Peter, let him be first, the head of all and the supreme hierarch. Only let him be faithful to the Orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agathon, Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we too shall call him apostolic father and the first among hierarchs; then we will be under his authority not only as under Peter, but the very Saviour Himself." (PG 145, 120 AC)
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« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2013, 07:31:13 PM »

Too much to read! Lazy mode activated, shutting down. . .
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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2013, 10:37:59 AM »

Too much to read! Lazy mode activated, shutting down. . .

+1
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« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2013, 10:42:17 AM »

I read it but disagree with it. Why should Rome have anything to say in the East? They never had much authority in the East and thousand years of schism and ridiculous papal claims don't exactly help.

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Aren't terms like "Low Petrine" inventions of mardukm?
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« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2013, 10:52:56 AM »

I read it but disagree with it. Why should Rome have anything to say in the East? They didn't have much authority in the East and thousand years of schism and ridiculous papal claims don't exactly help.

Aren't terms like "Low Petrine" inventions of mardukm?

umm because Rome is the mother of all churches, the head church that presides and oversees the whole church as a leader should... Now I'm not saying Rome should micromanage everything in the east but rather it has the authority to interfere when needs must. Or else what good is having a head church if it has no authority to fix problems where they arise and keep the order?

oh and no those petrine categories are not made up by mardukum. I've heard them being thrown around.
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« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2013, 10:58:03 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.
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« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2013, 11:14:13 AM »

I read it but disagree with it. Why should Rome have anything to say in the East? They didn't have much authority in the East and thousand years of schism and ridiculous papal claims don't exactly help.

Aren't terms like "Low Petrine" inventions of mardukm?

umm because Rome is the mother of all churches, the head church that presides and oversees the whole church as a leader should... Now I'm not saying Rome should micromanage everything in the east but rather it has the authority to interfere when needs must. Or else what good is having a head church if it has no authority to fix problems where they arise and keep the order?

oh and no those petrine categories are not made up by mardukum. I've heard them being thrown around.

Maybe I'm completely wrong, but the Church in Jerusalem is the mother church.  And no, a bishop rules a diocese as he sees fit.  If problems arise, there are local councils.  Brother bishops help one another and admonish errant bishops, but don't interfere as they see fit. 
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« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2013, 11:19:32 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
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« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2013, 11:22:03 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
I have never understood this argument. I don't see St. Peter saying, "Oh, I am sorry James, you are right and I am wrong. My mistake. Thanks for correcting me."
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« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.
Your raise a good point. I have observed many Eastern Orthodox Posters here argue that Christ is not the head of our Church. I've always thought it was a silly argument. Of course Christ is. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have visible representatives on earth. We would equally ask, whos is the head of the local Church? The Bishop or Christ? Of course such a question sets up a false dichotoy.
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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2013, 11:25:37 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
I have never understood this argument. I don't see St. Peter saying, "Oh, I am sorry James, you are right and I am wrong. My mistake. Thanks for correcting me."

No, but St. James made the judgement.
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« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2013, 11:27:03 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
I have never understood this argument. I don't see St. Peter saying, "Oh, I am sorry James, you are right and I am wrong. My mistake. Thanks for correcting me."

No, but St. James made the judgement.
And? He's an Apostle. Of course he can. I equally say, "Everyone quieted down to listen to St. Peter which proves he was really the in charge." I don't think arguments from the council of Jerusalem prove one position or the other.
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« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2013, 11:27:10 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
I have never understood this argument. I don't see St. Peter saying, "Oh, I am sorry James, you are right and I am wrong. My mistake. Thanks for correcting me."

I was talking more about jurisdiction. Rome claims that it has universal, ordinary, immediate jurisdiction due to St. Peter being the head of the Apostles. But then why was the Apostolic council presided by St. James and not St. Peter?
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« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2013, 11:29:30 AM »

The "First" in the Church is Christ, not the bishop who lives close to the Tiber.

Straw Man  Roll Eyes

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is the head too. Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too. Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ , the visible head of the bishops and church so too as Peter was head of the apostles.

And yet, St. Peter deferred to St. James the Just while he was in Jerusalem. If St. Peter was the Head of the Apostles, why then did he not preside over the Council of Jerusalem?
I have never understood this argument. I don't see St. Peter saying, "Oh, I am sorry James, you are right and I am wrong. My mistake. Thanks for correcting me."

I was talking more about jurisdiction. Rome claims that it has universal, ordinary, immediate jurisdiction due to St. Peter being the head of the Apostles. But then why was the Apostolic council presided by St. James and not St. Peter?

There is no evidence indicating which Apostle presided over the council. When St. Peter started talking the debate ended. There was clearly some deference to Peter. I'm not saying this proves that Peter was the Prince of the Apostles. All I am saying is that the Council of Jerusalem does not give enough evidence to argue either the Eastern Orthodox or the Catholic position.
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« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2013, 11:33:38 AM »

I don't see how it defies logic. It is the bond of love, not a specific hierarch, that keeps the Church together. And if it is the job of the Papacy to keep the Church united it didn't do its job very well (see the 30.000+ denominations that the Reformation spawned).

And this...

Yet it defies logic for Christ to set up a church with a hierarchy but not to have a visible leader too.

Hence the Bishop of Rome is called Vicar of Christ

...is a good example of the non sequitur-fallacy.
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