Author Topic: On this Rock  (Read 9426 times)

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Offline montalban

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2006, 09:44:56 PM »
According to some documents St. Peter is not seen as the sole founder of Rome’s Christian church, nor is he even seen as its first bishop! Irenaeus wrote that Peter was not alone… "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and ÂÂ Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church." Irenaus, “Against Heresies”, Book III.1.1 (quoted at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7297_1937859)

Ireneaus goes on to say
"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say, ] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate." Ibid. Book III.3.2-3

That is, Linus is the first Bishop of Rome, NOT St. Peter. Reading Irenaus further one sees that he counts St. Clement as third from Linus (not St. Peter)... "Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric." Ibid. Book III.3.3

In fact, Peter did not even ordain Linus as the first Bishop of Rome!
“Of the church of Rome, Linus the son of Claudia was the first, ordained by Paul; and Clemens (Clement), after Linus' death, the second, ordained by me Peter." “Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions,” Book 7, Chapter XLVI — “Who Were They that the Holy Apostles Sent and Ordained?” quoted at
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-47.htm#P6959_2343426

Thus Peter was not the Bishop of Rome because his role was that of an Apostle — that is, to travel about establishing Christian communities as ÂÂ James was not an Apostle, seemingly having resigned from that when he became bishop of Jerusalem (see Appendix B regarding his role in the church council there).

However Rome has a special position in honour because it was founded by Sts. Peter and Paul, and it was the most important city in the Empire.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006, 09:48:54 PM by montalban »
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Offline Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2006, 08:13:41 PM »
All the various verses that point to Peter in the scriptures really do make the whole concept of honor muddy in my opinion. Objections to jurisdictions of Patriarchal provinces were being objected at every level. Universal jurisdiction didn't fully come to light until the 400's and on.

The Council of Nicea not only had to deal with Arianism but had Melitianism (He was a bishop performing illicit ordinations) as well. So what and who had authority was not only unclear in regards to the Papacy but also in regards to Patriarchal Sees as well. This is important because just like many issues in the early Church that required letters and Councils to clear things up, the same same applies to the Papacy.

~Victor

Offline montalban

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2006, 03:31:05 AM »
All the various verses that point to Peter in the scriptures really do make the whole concept of honor muddy in my opinion. Objections to jurisdictions of Patriarchal provinces were being objected at every level. Universal jurisdiction didn't fully come to light until the 400's and on.

The Council of Nicea not only had to deal with Arianism but had Melitianism (He was a bishop performing illicit ordinations) as well. So what and who had authority was not only unclear in regards to the Papacy but also in regards to Patriarchal Sees as well. This is important because just like many issues in the early Church that required letters and Councils to clear things up, the same same applies to the Papacy.

~Victor

Glad you raised the councils...
THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL (Nicea)

States in canon 6.

“The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved. In general the following principle is evident: if anyone is made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, this great synod determines that such a one shall not be a bishop. If however two or three by reason of personal rivalry dissent from the common vote of all, provided it is reasonable and in accordance with the church's canon, the vote of the majority shall prevail.”[1]


This can and has been misinterpreted by some Catholics, however the matter is made more clear in the following…

 

THE SECOND ECUMENICAL COUNCIL

(THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

CANON II states

“THE bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs. And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that particular province as was decreed at Nice. But the Churches of God in heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the times of the Fathers.”[2]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] http://members.aol.com/DSeraphim/1.html

[2] http://www.ccel.org/fathers/NPNF2-14/3Const1/Canon2.htm
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Offline Augustine

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2006, 03:22:28 PM »
I think it's really important in discussions on topics like this (which in some wise really do reflect old problems, problems which predate the "great schism" by centuries) that the Orthodox participants have a good grasp of just where it is they stand.

By this I do not mean simply having a good knowledge of "proof texts" (better yet, read in context!) or anything like this.  Rather, what I mean is just why it is the Church has the consensus it does.

It is not because we Orthodox are free from sin, or that the historical occupents of the various Patriarchal See's of the East are "better" than the Popes of old (or even of more modern times).  Far from it.  Really, the only difference is that our Churches have not fallen to the same temptations that Rome did - this is not to say though, that they have not been sorely tempted by them, even faltering a little bit time and again.

For example, an honest reading of first millenia Church history does make it pretty clear that both Rome and Constantinople were jockeying for "extra powers."  It is also true that at times (and some would argue today as well) Constantinople has been guilty of being so avaricious of "pull" within the Church, that it's imperilled the greater good and unity of the Churches throughout the world in the process.  This is what Rome did as well - the big difference being, Rome went off the deep end, where as Constantinople has not.

There have been all sorts of unhealthy tendencies in the Church which have reared their ugly heads from time to time, and in many different forms.  For example, for centuries the Church in Russia was effectively reduced to an office of the state - the Patriarchate of Moscow was suppressed and the Tsar in effect became "head" of the Russian Church.  While the faith of the Russian Church survived this, I don't think anyone would argue such a state of affairs is anything for us to take a lesson from (save as a cautionary tale about temporal lords sticking their noses where they don't belong), or something we should desire.

Rather, the essential, enduring truth is that the Church is fundamentally episcopal and eucharistic - this is the ideal, this is the bedrock of the Church on earth, however much worldly concerns over "juristiction" and other forms of power grabbing may arise from time to time and try to obscure this.

Offline Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2006, 05:46:06 PM »
Glad you raised the councils...
THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL (Nicea)

States in canon 6.

“The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved. In general the following principle is evident: if anyone is made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, this great synod determines that such a one shall not be a bishop. If however two or three by reason of personal rivalry dissent from the common vote of all, provided it is reasonable and in accordance with the church's canon, the vote of the majority shall prevail.”[1]


This can and has been misinterpreted by some Catholics, however the matter is made more clear in the following…

 

THE SECOND ECUMENICAL COUNCIL

(THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

CANON II states

“THE bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs. And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that particular province as was decreed at Nice. But the Churches of God in heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the times of the Fathers.”[2]

Sorry Montalban, I'm not entirely sure what you are understanding from this and what your objection is. Can you help me out please? ???

Offline montalban

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2006, 02:41:44 AM »
Sorry Montalban, I'm not entirely sure what you are understanding from this and what your objection is. Can you help me out please? ???

Not offering any objections. Only offering more evidence on the Orthodox understanding of the church as given by the Councils.
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Offline Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2006, 12:21:29 PM »
Not offering any objections. Only offering more evidence on the Orthodox understanding of the church as given by the Councils.

Actually, it's proof not evidence.  ;D
http://www.carlton.srsd119.ca/chemical/Proof/default.htm

I am still unsure how this is proof to your claim. It's not like the RC doesn't read this as well.
http://www.ewtn.org/library/indexes/PATRISTC.htm

Online Asteriktos

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2006, 12:36:39 PM »
Regardless of the precise definition in scientific circles, in common usage the term proof equates to a statement or idea being absolutely and unquestionably proven as accurate and true, and thus, unless you are writing a paper at MIT or something, the word evidence is a much more accurate and less confusing term.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 12:38:47 PM by Asteriktos »
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Offline Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2006, 12:53:00 PM »
Regardless of the precise definition in scientific circles, in common usage the term proof equates to a statement or idea being absolutely and unquestionably proven as accurate and true, and thus, unless you are writing a paper at MIT or something, the word evidence is a much more accurate and less confusing term.

Fine, I would certainly not want to squabble over words. Nonetheless I am still unsure what's it's evidence for. ???

Online Asteriktos

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2006, 01:08:58 PM »
Well we've gone over this before, and you seem to dissappear... ;)  It's evidence that Rome and the other Church's had different understandings of Rome's place and power in the Church. The Eastern Churches frankly didn't give a hoot what Rome thought, if Rome was the only sticking point and Rome was wrong. St. Gregory the Theologian was not in communion with Rome, for example, does that mean that St. Gregory was not in the Church (as modern RC dogma would have it?). Of course not, and the RCC recognizes this since she considers Gregory a saint. The Eastern Churches, and especially Constantinople, did what they thought right, not what they thought Rome wanted. Perhaps it would be best to go back and review our answers to you from the past (not to mention the dozens of other threads on the subject), rather than asking us to spend more hours retyping them? :) Here are a couple threads you could start with...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7129.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7184.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=6416.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=4461.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7160.msg93761#msg93761
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 01:09:45 PM by Asteriktos »
"Well, do I convince you, that one ought never to despair of the disorders of the soul as incurable? ...For even if thou shouldst despair of thyself ten thousand times, I will never despair of thee" - St. John Chrysostom

Offline Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2006, 02:31:14 PM »
Well we've gone over this before, and you seem to dissappear... ;)
It's evidence that Rome and the other Church's had different understandings of Rome's place and power in the Church. The Eastern Churches frankly didn't give a hoot what Rome thought, if Rome was the only sticking point and Rome was wrong. St. Gregory the Theologian was not in communion with Rome, for example, does that mean that St. Gregory was not in the Church (as modern RC dogma would have it?). Of course not, and the RCC recognizes this since she considers Gregory a saint. The Eastern Churches, and especially Constantinople, did what they thought right, not what they thought Rome wanted. Perhaps it would be best to go back and review our answers to you from the past (not to mention the dozens of other threads on the subject), rather than asking us to spend more hours retyping them? :) Here are a couple threads you could start with...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7129.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7184.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=6416.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=4461.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7160.msg93761#msg93761

Sounds good to me. I have my reasons for disappearing and I noted it in one of my lasts post. ;)
Although I will note that your attempt to make this a East vs. West thing is either an honest mistake or you have gotten used to noting it in such a way. There were Bishops (Melitianism) as I noted above that were being dethroned left and right for going beyond their faculties and performing or adapting all sorts of false views. And yes, this was going on mostly in the East. So it wasn't necessarily directed disobedience towards the See of Rome or the West. The East was doing just fine dethroning and squabbling on their own.

Thanks for the links, I'll take a look.

~Victor

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2006, 02:14:35 AM »
Well, in this case I don't think the east vs. west thing is a mistake, or due to laxity in generalizing terms. All of the east did accept the canons in question, and rather early*, while all in the west rejected the canons for quite a long time, and only eventually accepted some of them when the Crusaders had deposed Orthodox hierarchs and replaced them with Latin ones (in other words, Rome--and all the west followed--didn't mind Constantinople or other cities having more prominence when Rome knew that these cities would remain obedient to Rome's rule). In most cases it would be generalizing to use an east vs. west dichotomy, but in this case I think it's accurate.


*There were of course hold outs, e.g., Alexandria certainly did not like the rise of Constantinople to second place, since that demoted Alexandria to third place, but everyone in the east accepted things rather quickly as compared to the west which followed the lead of Rome, eaving different canonical traditions developing in the east and west for centuries, so that one can see decidedly western beliefs/practices (e.g., clerical celibacy, people must go through all the stages of the clergy before becoming bishop, etc.) while the east generally also had it's own beliefs which differed from the west (issues that couldn't be resolved at the local level went to Constantinople, etc.).
"Well, do I convince you, that one ought never to despair of the disorders of the soul as incurable? ...For even if thou shouldst despair of thyself ten thousand times, I will never despair of thee" - St. John Chrysostom

Offline montalban

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2006, 02:18:06 AM »
Actually, it's proof not evidence.  ;D
http://www.carlton.srsd119.ca/chemical/Proof/default.htm
No it's evidence.
I am still unsure how this is proof to your claim. It's not like the RC doesn't read this as well.
http://www.ewtn.org/library/indexes/PATRISTC.htm
What's this quote of links to do with anything?
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Offline montalban

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Re: On this Rock
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2006, 02:20:34 AM »
Fine, I would certainly not want to squabble over words. Nonetheless I am still unsure what's it's evidence for. ???
It's part of a trail of evidence that shows that Romanists have got it wrong with regards 'primacy' of the Pope.

One could merely quote mine the fathers, but this is the application of the understanding of the Fathers.

To put it another way it shows the limitations of a bishop... which is what the Pope in Rome is... to only his bishopric.

Another example of this might be how people reacted to Pope St. Victor attempting to go outside his jurisdiction...
Victor was Pope (189-199) when controversy arose amongst some churches regarding when Easter should be celebrated. The Church in Asia Minor celebrated Easter on a different day from the rest of the Christian churches, and although he initiated a synod to investigate, this was done by request, not command. Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus wrote to St. Victor “Victor and the Roman Church”.[1] Not “Victor head of the church” (in other words he’s acknowledging Victor as head of his own diocese.

Eusebius further says “There is extant to this day a letter from those who attended a conference in Palestine presided over by Bishop Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem; and from those at Rome a similar one, arising out of the same controversy, which names Victor as bishop. There are others from the Pontic bishops, presided over by Palmas as the senior; from the Gallic province, over which Irenaeus was archbishop, and from the bishops in Osrhoene and the cities of that region. There are personal letters from Bishop Bacchyllus of Corinth and very many more, who voiced the same opinion and judgment and gave the same vote. All these laid down one single rule the rule already stated.” [2]

 Thus the decree came from the conference, not from the Pope. However, Polycrates disputed the council findings. Eusebius wrote…
“Thereupon Victor, head of the Roman Church attempted at one stroke to cut off from the common unity all the Asian diocese, together with the neighboring churches, on the ground of heterodoxy.” [3]

Note here it states that Victor attempted. He failed because “…this was not to the taste of all the bishops: they replied with a request that he would turn his mind to the things that make for peace and unity and love towards his neighbours. We still possess the words of these men who very sternly rebuked Victor. Among them was Irenaeus, who wrote on behalf of the Christians for whom he was
responsible for in Gaul.”[4] This hardly suggest universal over-lordship as understood by the early church. In fact it argues very much against this; one bishop sought to exert his authority outside of his See and was either ignored or sternly rebuked.

Even when the churches were reconciled it was done in a manner that does not suggest Papal overlordship…

16 And when the blessed Polycarp was at Rome in the time of Anicetus, and they disagreed a little about certain other things, they immediately made peace with one another, not caring to quarrel over this matter. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe what he had always observed with John the disciple of our Lord, and the other apostles with whom he had associated; neither could Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it as he said that he ought to follow the customs of the presbyters that had preceded him.[5]

That is, two bishops met and came to a mutual agreement. It was in no way where the Pope ordered and Polycarp obeyed.


Endnotes
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[1] Eusebius — v. 24, quoted in Whelton, p45.
[2] Ibid, p45.
[3] Ibid, pp46-47.
Note that the Catholic Church regards Eusebius as the "Father of Church History" (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05617b.htm)
[4] Whelton, Ibid.
[5]  Eusubius, Book V Chapter XXIV quoted at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P2729_1313445
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 02:26:29 AM by montalban »
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