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Armando
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« on: August 31, 2005, 10:19:44 AM »

What did Christ mean in [John 21:15-17]?
Is there any possible way it mentions the role of the Pope in the Church?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2005, 10:38:32 AM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2005, 10:28:39 AM »

What did Christ mean in [John 21:15-17]?
Is there any possible way it mentions the role of the Pope in the Church?


No, not at all. But I think you're actually referring to the 'feed my sheep' portion of the text, not 'feed my lambs'. At least, that's what RC apologists usually appeal to when speaking of Papal Supremacy. Even then, though, it's a stretch to say the least, and certainly not in line with the Patristic Concensus.

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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2005, 10:36:49 AM »

Listen, I'm tired of listening to stuff like: "The Holy Fathers of the Church disagree with this and that..."
What do the Holy Fathers think this saying, means ??
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2005, 11:03:59 AM »

I looked up some Patristic quotes, trying to get a sample of luminaries looked up to by the west as well as the east. Frankly, no where do the fathers I looked up discuss the papal claims.

They do seem to discuss the capacity of Christ's love to forgive St. Peter for his three-fold denial of knowing Christ, and indicating that St. Peter does have a task ahead of him: to serve as a Apostle, but not necessarily the King of Apostles. St. john Chrysostom does mention that St. Peter is the leader of the Apostles, but no where does he mention that this leadership is transmitted to his future 'descendants', and only those decendants in Rome but not Antioch.

 Here's what Augustine wrote about these verses in his tracts on Jonh's gospel:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.xciii.html#iii.xciii-p10.1

Tractate XCII

In fine, before the Lord’s passion, his slavish fear was questioned by a bond-woman; but after the Lord’s resurrection, his free love by the very Lord of freedom: and so on the one occasion he was troubled, on the other tranquillized; there he denied the One he had loved, here he loved the One he had denied.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iv.viii.html#iv.viii-p19.1

Homily V

 Charity therefore we commend; charity this Epistle commendeth. The Lord, after His resurrection, what question put He to Peter, but, “Lovest thou me?” And it was not enough to ask it once; a second time also He put none other question, a third time also none other. Although when it came to the third time, Peter, as one who knew not what was the drift of this, was grieved because it seemed as if the Lord did not believe him; nevertheless both a first time and a second, and a third He put this question. Thrice fear denied, thrice love confessed. Behold Peter loveth the Lord.

Here's some quotes from St. John Chrysostom:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf114.iv.xxxv.html#iv.xxxv-p43.3

Homily XXXII

Yet Peter in many places ÂÂ is moved, and speaks more warmly than John. ÂÂ And at the end he hears Christ say, “Peter, lovest thou Me more than these?” Now it is clear that he who loved “more than these” was also beloved. But this in his case was shown by loving Jesus, in the case of the other by being beloved by Jesus.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf114.iv.xc.html#iv.xc-p2.3

Homily LXXXVII

[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 requireth of Peter. For when their eating was ended, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.”

“He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.”

And why, having passed by the others, doth 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 putteth into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He bringeth not forward the denial, nor reproacheth him with what had taken place, but saith, “If thou lovest Me, preside over thy brethren, and the warm love which thou didst ever manifest, and in which thou didst rejoice, show thou now; and the life which thou saidst thou wouldest lay down for Me, now give for My sheep.”

When then having been asked once and again, he called Him to witness who knoweth 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 betaketh himself to Him.


What then was it which caused this especial love? To my thinking, it was that the man displayed great gentleness and meekness, for which reason he doth not appear in many places speaking openly. And how great a thing this is, is plain also from the case of Moses. It was this which made him such and so great as he was. There is nothing equal to lowliness of mind. For which cause Jesus with this began the Beatitudes, and when about to lay as it were the foundation and base of a mighty building, He placed first lowliness of mind. Without this a man cannot possibly be saved; though he fast, though he pray, though he give alms, if it be with a proud spirit, these things are abominable, if humility be not there; while if it be, all these things are amiable and lovely, and are done with safety. Let us then be modest, beloved, let us be modest; success is easy, if we be sober-minded.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf205.titlepage.html

St. Gregory of Nyssa used this passage in his fight against Eunomius' second book; no where does it discuss Peter being made a King and this power being descended throguh his 'line' to other bishops of Rome and not Antioch. I won't quote it here due to its length; you can look it up if you want to.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vi.ix.i.html

St. Jerome

Here St. Jerome in his dialogue against the Pelagians even discusses the nature of the Church and does not discuss the claims put forth by the Latin Church:

18. C. How is it then, Atticus, that the Divine Word urges us to perfection?

A. I have already explained that in proportion to our strength each one, with all his power, must stretch forward, if by any means he may attain to, and apprehend the reward of his high calling. In short Almighty God, to whom, as the Apostle teaches, the Son must in accordance with the dispensation of the Incarnation be subjected, that“God may be all in all,” clearly shows that all things are by no means subject to Himself. Hence the prophet anticipates his own final subjection, saying, “Shall not my soul be subject to God alone? for of Him cometh my salvation.” And because in the body of the Church Christ is the head, and some of the members still resist, the body does not appear to be subject even to the head. For if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, and the whole body is tortured by the pain in one member. My meaning may be more clearly expressed thus. So long as we have the treasure in earthen vessels, and are clothed with frail flesh, or rather with mortal and corruptible flesh, we think ourselves fortunate if, in single virtues and separate portions of virtue, we are subject to God. But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, and this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and death shall be swallowed up in the victory of Christ, then will God be all in all: and so there will not be merely wisdom in Solomon, sweetness in David, zeal in Elias and Phinees, faith in Abraham, perfect love in Peter, to whom it was said,“Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?” zeal for preaching in the chosen vessel, and two or three virtues each in others, but God will be wholly in all, and the company of the saints will rejoice in the whole band of virtues, and God will be all in all.






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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2005, 10:59:04 AM »

Armando,

Quote
What did Christ mean in [John 21:15-17]?
Is there any possible way it mentions the role of the Pope in the Church?

Directly, no.  Christ is speaking to St.Peter directly, with no mention of successors, etc.  However, St.Peter as a "proto-type" of sorts, and any passages relating to him, would come to be applied to the Popes of Rome, though more so in western Christendom (within the "Patriarchate" of the Bishop of Rome) than in the East...though you'll see on again, off again endorsements of the Pope as being St.Peter's "successor" or what have you - but I would submit this wasn't understood as having the significance that it would have amongst western Christians.  Hence, why this would eventually become a cause for schism between Western and Eastern Christians.

James,

Quote
No, not at all. But I think you're actually referring to the 'feed my sheep' portion of the text, not 'feed my lambs'. At least, that's what RC apologists usually appeal to when speaking of Papal Supremacy.

The passage, actually says both "lambs" and "sheep" - see here.

Quote
Even then, though, it's a stretch to say the least, and certainly not in line with the Patristic Concensus.

Well, it's easier to speak of such a consensus rather than demonstrate it.  You'll find all sorts of interpretations of "Petrine" passages in the old "undivided Christendom", some operating at different levels of the same text (the idea that passages have only one valid interpretation being an idea foreign to the Fathers), with more endorsement of "Petrine Papacy" views obviously in the west.  This is of at least some significance, since Orthodox nominally claim that the voices of such views (such as those of St.Boniface, who was an apostle to the germanic tribes) were voiced by "Orthodox Christians of the pre-schism west".

In reality, I think it's better (though perhaps less homogenous and comforting) to say that the differences surrounding this issue are quite old, far older than the official "schism of 1054" date, yet only toward the end of the first millenia did the subject become so divisive.  Yes I'm saying it - there were Christians in communion with each other for quite some time who (gasp) did not have 100% agreement with one another on every single article of their religious beliefs (at least those which they, for a time, did not perceive to be "of the essence".)

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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2005, 12:24:19 PM »

Quote
Well, it's easier to speak of such a consensus rather than demonstrate it.  You'll find all sorts of interpretations of "Petrine" passages in the old "undivided Christendom", some operating at different levels of the same text (the idea that passages have only one valid interpretation being an idea foreign to the Fathers), with more endorsement of "Petrine Papacy" views obviously in the west.  This is of at least some significance, since Orthodox nominally claim that the voices of such views (such as those of St.Boniface, who was an apostle to the germanic tribes) were voiced by "Orthodox Christians of the pre-schism west".

In reality, I think it's better (though perhaps less homogenous and comforting) to say that the differences surrounding this issue are quite old, far older than the official "schism of 1054" date, yet only toward the end of the first millenia did the subject become so divisive.  Yes I'm saying it - there were Christians in communion with each other for quite some time who (gasp) did not have 100% agreement with one another on every single article of their religious beliefs (at least those which they, for a time, did not perceive to be "of the essence".)

There's an interesting development in the history of the papacy. IMHO, the Papcy, just before the schism, was veiwed as a divinely appointed (through St. Peter) authority structure, rather than a doctrine essential to the faith, which it is today in Catholicism. I find it interesting how the Orthodox were considered schismatics by Catholics back in the day, but since the advent of the First Vatican Council, they would, if they had separated after it, be considered heretics instead. It seems that Orthodoxy is the faith that has not changed.

Now we must ask if doctrine can develop. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2005, 01:19:12 PM »

Armando, seems to me that there are many things you are tired/sick of.. why don't you go to Vatican, kiss the red shoe and give us all a break, for I am tired of some nervous Latins being arrogant and parading around as someone who is decent enough to even get an answer.

Especially if they did not come to get one, but to present their WRONG views in the first place.
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2005, 01:52:24 PM »

I think it's addressed to each and everyone of us who return to Christ and He forgives us. We have to serve just like our Lord did. Everyone in his/her way.

Someone once said "no one will enter the Kingdom of Heaven alone".

so LOVE everyone so Christ can take over, FEED His sheep so you can witness HIS strength and taste a sample of what is to come and so that God gets glorified and so we can inherit what is prepared for us.

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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2005, 02:11:52 PM »

Armando, seems to me that there are many things you are tired/sick of.. why don't you go to Vatican, kiss the red shoe and give us all a break, for I am tired of some nervous Latins being arrogant and parading around as someone who is decent enough to even get an answer.

I agree
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2005, 03:19:55 PM »

Sean,

Quote
I find it interesting how the Orthodox were considered schismatics by Catholics back in the day, but since the advent of the First Vatican Council, they would, if they had separated after it, be considered heretics instead. It seems that Orthodoxy is the faith that has not changed.

Well it depends on what you mean by "change", or at least what it is you're talking about as being the object of change.

Fundamentally, between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, I think it's pretty easy to see that both in terms of praxis and doctrinal formulations, Orthodoxy is the more "conservative" of the two (and I mean that term in the strictest sense, without implying anything about rigidity or being moralistic, etc.)

A big problem is that most of the "distinctives" which have become divisive issues between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches are ones which clearly predate the "great schism", often by centuries.  The Latins were using for azymes for centuries in their Eucharist - they were insisting upon the use of Latin in their rites, even where it was no longer the common tongue, etc.  They were also popularly using the filioque, or in some form endorsing the theology behind it.

This is why I think it's very difficult for Orthodox Christians to be strident, and act as if it should be incredibly clear to the Latins that they're horrendously in the wrong.  This is precisely why healing such divisions is so difficult - the seeds of them are in many respects far older than the official, open schism itself (the same would be true of the situation of the non-Chalcedonians.)

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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2005, 05:07:57 PM »

Quote
Armando, seems to me that there are many things you are tired/sick of.. why don't you go to Vatican, kiss the red shoe and give us all a break, for I am tired of some nervous Latins being arrogant and parading around as someone who is decent enough to even get an answer.

Especially if they did not come to get one, but to present their WRONG views in the first place.

Not that I hate or even slightly dislike you, I just want to let you know that I am as Greek and as non-Latin as possible.
Being sick of meaningless excuses doesn't mean I am against Orthodoxy. I just want to hear Church Fathers saying that
no Patriarch or Bishop has universal power over the Church. There are lots of testimonies from Church Fathers and Councils that testimony something close to the primacy of the Pope in the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2005, 05:23:29 PM »

I would suggest looking at St. Gregory the Greats response to St. John the Faster for a condemnation of the idea of a universal bishop.

"In reality if a Patriarch be called universal, this takes from all the others the title of Patriarch."

"I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor of Antichrist, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others.  The errour into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of Antichrist; for as the wicked one wished to be regarded as exalted above other men, like a god, so likewise whoever would be called sole bishop exalteth himself above others"

Both of those are from St. Gregory the Great. 

For a detailed look at this topic the book The Papacy by Abbé Guettée  which can be found online here:  http://www.odox.net/Orthodox-Practice.htm
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2005, 05:44:08 PM »

Ahem... Universal Patriarch... ahem...the Patriarch of Constantinople...ahem...

So both St. Peter and St. Andrew created Sees of the anti-Christ?
Maybe Protestants are right then?!  Grin Grin
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2005, 05:48:12 PM »

Constantinople has never claimed universal jurisdiction and St. Peter didn't create the modern papacy.
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