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Author Topic: "Thou Art Peter"  (Read 44808 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantine Christian
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« on: November 12, 2003, 02:29:48 AM »

Hello Every Buddy

I have been talking about this subject on other
Forums, but i have been getting mixed and confusing
opinions about this subject because all the other boards
are mixed between catholic/orthodox opinions.

My Question is, If Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church,
as stated by Ambrose, Jerome, Hilary, Augustine, Chrysostom,
would that mean that the doctrines of Papal Infallibily and Universal Jurisdiction/Authority would be false since the Pope would not be the Head of the Church since Christ refered to his Confession and not his person? If Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church, would this not mean that he is not a "Universal Pope" This is what I really want to know but have not been able to get a straight answer.


I hope some one can help me with this very important issue,
Knowing this will help me to detrmine if I am indeed called
to Orthodoxy for If I am to remain where I am now. Please help
me understand fully this issue, from the biblical perspective.

In Christ+



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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2003, 04:47:38 AM »

May I ask what was lacking in the response you got on Mo' nachos? (mmm, yummy!)

John.
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2003, 06:59:34 AM »

Hi Byzantine Christian,

(As you read my reply, keep in mind that I'm converting to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism.)

Your question presupposes the idea that accepting a literal interpretation of Matt 16:18 (ie. the "Rock" as Peter himself) entails us to accept the papal claims of infallibility and universal jurisdiction. On the contrary, there's absolutely nothing that precludes us from accepting the personal interpretation and at the same time staunchly rejecting the papal claims.

Although 80% of the Fathers of the Church believed the "Rock" of Matthew 16:18 to be Peter's confession (which incidentally was pointed out at the First Vatican council to no avail), the interpretation of the "Rock" as Peter himself was in no way regarded as illegitimate for many of the Fathers. Blessed Augustine himself, in his Retractions, overturned his original interpretation of the "personal" interpretation in favour of the "confession" interpretation, yet by no means did he attach a denunciation of his former view. He simply left it for the people to decide.  

The personal interpretation first appears in the writings of Tertullian and Origen, gradually gaining momentum thru the centuries. In the 5th Century we find it explicitly mentioned in the Council of Chalcedon, (451 A.D.):

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, Archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice-blessed and all glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the Rock and foundation of the Catholic Church and the foundation of the Orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate and hath alienated from him all hieratic witness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalities."


The same interpretation appears in the writings of many Orthodox Fathers from the time of the schism and even after. You'll find several references to this fact in a great book by John Meyendorff, "The Primacy of Peter":

'The great Patriarch Photius is the first witness to the amazing stability in Byzantium of the traditional patristic exegesis. "On Peter," he writes "repose the foundations of the faith." He is the coryphaeus of the Apostles". Even though he betrayed Christ, "he was not deprived of being chief of the apostolic choir, and has been established as the rock of the Church and is proclaimed by the Truth to be keybearer of the Kingdom of Heaven." One can also find expressions in which Photius aligns the foundation of the Church with the confession of Peter. "The Lord," he writes, "has entrusted to Peter the keys of the Kingdom as a reward for his right confession, and on his confession he laid the foundation of the Church." Thus, for Photius, as for the later Byzantine theologians, the polemical argument artificially opposing Peter to his confession did not exist.'  (p.72).

'We find even more explicit texts in Theophylact of Bulgaria, who, at the beginning of the twelfth century, composed commentaries on the Gospels. Explaining Lk 22:32-3, he puts in the mouth of Christ the following words: "Since I make thee the chief [exarxos] of my disciples (after this thou wilt deny me, thou wilt cry and thou wilt come back to repentance), reaffirm the others; for thus it behooves for thee to act, thou being, after me, the rock and the foundation of the Church." "One must think that this was said," continues Theophylact, "not only about the disciples who lived then, that they might recover in Peter their foundation, but about all the faithful till the end of the ages..." After his denial, Peter "received again, because of his repentance, the primacy over all and the presidency of the universe."' (p. 73).

"Arsenius, a famous Patriarch of Constantinople (1255-60, 1261-7), is also no exception to the rule when he writes: "He is indeed blessed, Peter the Rock [Petros ths petras] on which Christ has established the Church."' (p. 73).

'It is not difficult to present an abundance of such quotations. All Byzantine theologians, even after the conflict with Rome, speak of Peter in the same terms as Photius and Theophylact, without  any attempt to attenuate the meaning of the biblical texts. Their quiet assurance proves once more that they did not think of these texts as being an argument in favour of Roman ecclesiology, which they moreover ignored, and the "logic" of which was totally alien to Eastern Christianity. The following points, however, seemed evident to them:

(1) Peter is the "coryphaeus" of the apostolic choir; he is the first disciple of Christ and speaks always on behalf of all. It is true that other apostles, John, James and Paul are also called "coryphaei" and "primates," but Peter alone is the "rock of the Church." His primacy has, therefore,  not only a personal character, but bears an ecclesiological significance.

(2) The words of Jesus on the road to Caesarea Philippi - "On this rock I will build my Church" - are bound to the confession of Peter. The Church exists in history because man believes in Christ, the Son of God; without his faith, there can be no Church. Peter was the first to confess this faith, and has thus become the "head of the theologians"...he has received the messianic title of the "Rock," a title which in biblical language belongs to the Messiah himself. To the extent, however, that this title depends on a person's faith, one can also lose it. This is what happened to Peter, and he had to undergo tears of repentance before he was reestablished in his dignity.

(3) The Byzantine authors consider that the words of Christ to Peter (Mt 16:18) possess a final and eternal significance. Peter is a mortal man, but the Church "against which the gates of hell cannot prevail" remains eternally founded upon Peter.' (pp. 74-75).

'The confession of Peter, therefore, cannot be separated from Peter himself. Petra or rock does not simply refer to Peter's faith but also to Peter personally. There is a formal and real identity between Petros and petra. Jesus will build the church upon Cephas.' (p. 48).


Pay special attention to point number 2 where it says that confessing the faith of Peter is the prerequisite to sharing his dignity, and consequently his office. This same principle applies to ALL bishops, including the Bishop of Rome. Orthodoxy continues to maintain the the Bishop of Rome followed in the footsteps of Peter in falling from grace, as stated by Byzantine theologians:

'"The one whom one calls Pope, will not be Pope as long as he has not the faith of Peter." (Symeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century, quoted in "The Primacy of Peter," p. 87)

'"One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If this is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff...Let the Bishop of Rome be successor of the orthodoxy of Sylvester and Agatho, of Leo, Liberius, Martin and Gregory, then we also will call him Apostolic and the first among the other bishops; then we also will obey him, not only as Peter, but as the Saviour Himself." (Symeon of Thessalonica, quoted in ibid p. 86).


 
The fatal sin of the popes, relying at that time on the pseudo-Isidorian decretals, was to claim the right to depose bishops arbirtrarily and re-interpreting this primacy in a legalistic sense instead of in the light of the Gospel - a primacy of pastoral care for all the churches turned into a primacy of universal jurisdiction and authoritarianism, limiting the grace of the Holy Spirit to himself and making himself the "Universal Bishop" in the sense condemned by Pope St. Gregory the Great, ie. by placing himself above the others so as to make the bishops merely his agents. The documents of Vatican I make this amply clear.

Regarding the infallibility of the pope, there's far too much to write on this subject matter. The facts of history are overwhelmingly against it. Several points need to be made. It's undeniable that the doctrinal letter of the Bishop of Rome was subservient to the Council, which determined its orthodoxy or heteredoxy. Pope Vigilius was tacitly anathemized by the 5th Ecumenical Council, and Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic by the 6th Ecumencial Council after his dogmatic letters were examined, a condemnation repeated by the Councils of Trullo (which explicitly stated he had taught heresy) and Nicea II. Pope St. Gregory the Great firmly maintained that the concept of an authoritarian universal bishop was diabolical, and described the See of Peter as the churches of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. Moreover, communion with Rome was never the criterion for 'being in the Church,' proven by the fact that the first president of the 2nd Ecumenical Council, Miletus the Bishop of Antioch, was not in communion with Rome. The doctrine of papal infallibilty can hardly be considered part of the experience of the Church from the beginning since it was still being debated as a theological theorem as late as the 19th century (and quite an unpopular one for that matter). To demonstrate that Matt 16:18 was never understood as referring to the supposed infallibility of the Bishop of Rome, I cite the Dominican theologian Yves Congar (1904-1994):

"'The basic conviction, universally shared, is that the Church herself cannot err (Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, decretists). This is understood as the Church in her totality, as congregatio or universitas fidelium.One part or another of the Church can err, even the bishops, even the pope; the Church can be storm-tossed: in the end she remains faithful. In this sense Matthew 28:20 is quoted and even 16:18; Luke 22:32; John 16:13. In the light of this basic conviction in regard to the Church other statements are formulated in regard to one hierarchical authority or another.' (L'Eglise de Saint Augustin a l'epoque moderne, Paris 1970, pp. 244-245).

'Evidence of the uncertainty of numerous minds at the beginning of the
sixteenth century about the pope's primacy by divine right and particularly his infallibility is abundant. The Church was infallible, but what preciselywas the subject of this infallibilty? On this unsettled issue uncertainty and disputes continued until the middle of the nineteenth century. There existed one certain tradition, that of the infalliblity of the Church. And this continued to be firmly maintained.' (ibid., p. 385).



To end this awfully long post, i want to mention that during my journey to Orthodoxy my constant point of reference in determining antiquity of doctrine was Vincent of Lerin's work, "Commonitory", from which I quote a part:

'For what is truly and in the strictest sense "Catholic," as the name itself and the nature of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent.

We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses. Antiquity, if we in no way depart from those interpretations which were openly known to be held by our holy ancestors and fathers. Consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the definitions and determinations having the agreement of all, or at the least of almost all priests and teachers.


The doctrine of papal infallibility and the modern-day understanding of the Primacy of Peter were a few things that didn't satisfy the above criteria.

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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2003, 07:05:43 AM »

By the way, it's every body. not everybuddy Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2003, 07:55:47 AM »

The short answer is that he was not referring to Peter the man, but to Peter's statement of faith: "Thou art the Christ"

An article on the GOA website:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8523.asp
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 10:06:56 AM »

Quote
The short answer is that he was not referring to Peter the man, but to Peter's statement of faith: "Thou art the Christ".

The theology students here can answer this better than I can but AFAIK the experts today agree it refers to Peter personally somehow. What that 'somehow' means is the bone of contention between the churches.

Anyway, this argument seems to be taken whole cloth from Protestantism.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2003, 03:34:45 PM »

A question for those who understand the Greek Grammer, does the fact that Matthew 16:18 says ....-â-Ã  +¦+¦ +á+¦-ä-ü++-é, +¦+¦+¦ +¦-Ç+¦ -ä+¦-Ã -ä++ -ä++ -Ç+¦-ä-ü+¦...imply that the Rock is not Peter himself?  If Saint Peter's person had been the rock wouldn't the text read..."+¦-Ç+¦ -ä+¦-Ã -ä-ë -ä-ë +á+¦-ä-ü-ë" ?


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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2003, 05:41:47 PM »

A question for those who understand the Greek Grammer, does the fact that Matthew 16:18 says ....-â-Ã  +¦+¦ +á+¦-ä-ü++-é, +¦+¦+¦ +¦-Ç+¦ -ä+¦-Ã -ä++ -ä++ -Ç+¦-ä-ü+¦...imply that the Rock is not Peter himself?  If Saint Peter's person had been the rock wouldn't the text read..."+¦-Ç+¦ -ä+¦-Ã -ä-ë -ä-ë +á+¦-ä-ü-ë" ?




You have a good point, Nektarios.  However, the RC rejoinder would be that Matthew was originally written in Aramaic and didn't make that distinction (ie "petra" v. "petros"--assuming I'm transliterating that correctly).
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2003, 05:51:39 PM »

Petros does not mean "rock" in Greek; Petra (f.) does. Petros was a new name given to Simon, a masculinized version of Petra. Interesting that he gets a new name from Petra, but the Petra doesn't refer to him...
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2003, 06:47:20 PM »

However, the RC rejoinder would be that Matthew was originally written in Aramaic and didn't make that distinction (ie "petra" v. "petros"--assuming I'm transliterating that correctly).

DT,

Matthew may very well have originally been written in Aramaic, and Jesus may very well have spoken this originally in Aramaic.  But as far as I know, the oldest texts we have, and which are authoritative from a doctrinal sense, and that are used to make translations, are in Greek.  Is this RC rejoinder a legitimate one in light of this?

Frobisher,

Quote
Interesting that he gets a new name from Petra, but the Petra doesn't refer to him...

The average Orthodox will say that it refers to Peter's faith, perhaps to the detriment of other interpretations, while the average Catholic will say that it refers to Peter himself and to his office, usually to the detriment of any other interpretations.  That's my experience, anyway.  

I personally don't have any problem saying that the Rock here is Peter, but would he be the Rock without his confession of faith?  They are linked: 'The confession of Peter, therefore, cannot be separated from Peter himself. Petra or rock does not simply refer to Peter's faith but also to Peter personally. There is a formal and real identity between Petros and petra. Jesus will build the church upon Cephas.'    And "One should not contradict the Latins when they say that the Bishop of Rome is the first. This primacy is not harmful to the Church. Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter. If this is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff...

Byzantino's long post in this thread is, I think, very good.  If you haven't done so yet, I recommend reading it.
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2003, 12:52:15 AM »

Hello Every Buddy

I have been talking about this subject on other
Forums, but i have been getting mixed and confusing
opinions about this subject because all the other boards
are mixed between catholic/orthodox opinions.

My Question is, If Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church,
as stated by Ambrose, Jerome, Hilary, Augustine, Chrysostom,
would that mean that the doctrines of Papal Infallibily and Universal Jurisdiction/Authority would be false since the Pope would not be the Head of the Church since Christ refered to his Confession and not his person? If Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church, would this not mean that he is not a "Universal Pope" This is what I really want to know but have not been able to get a straight answer.


I hope some one can help me with this very important issue,
Knowing this will help me to detrmine if I am indeed called
to Orthodoxy for If I am to remain where I am now. Please help
me understand fully this issue, from the biblical perspective.

In Christ+





 Think about this. Why would Jesus bother to change Simon's name? Why change it to Rock? If that dosen't answer your question read what Jesus says to Simon Peter after that . I will give you the Keys to The Kingdom of Heaven. What ever you loose etc. Jesus changed Simon's name to Rock then gives him the office of The Keys and the power to loose and bind on Earth and in Heaven. Why do all of this for Simon Peter if he wasn't trying to clearly point to Peter as his choice to lead The Church after he assended to Heaven? What would be the point of Jesus saying these things to Peter?
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2003, 01:30:16 AM »

Both the profession and the Apostle are important, Mor, but both sides seem to have it not 100% in your view. Am I understanding this correctly? I remember we had another thread on this same passage. Interesting how we break these things down to such fine points. Smiley

Matt
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2003, 02:00:17 AM »

Think about this. Why would Jesus bother to change Simon's name? Why change it to Rock? If that dosen't answer your question read what Jesus says to Simon Peter after that . I will give you the Keys to The Kingdom of Heaven. What ever you loose etc. Jesus changed Simon's name to Rock then gives him the office of The Keys and the power to loose and bind on Earth and in Heaven. Why do all of this for Simon Peter if he wasn't trying to clearly point to Peter as his choice to lead The Church after he assended to Heaven? What would be the point of Jesus saying these things to Peter?
Peace,
Polycarp

*****The preceding post was an unpaid RC commercial***** Smiley
Seriously,
I have often wondered why everyone assumes Christ changed Simon's name and if so, why we assume it was for the reasons we state (in differing interpretation).
Skipping the petros/petra (rock/bedrock) and going back to Aramaic, the name was, I believe, "cephas" - the root word for the Greek "kefalos" (head).
So, Think about this- Christ was appending a name to Simon (essentially calling him both hard-headed and steady in faith.)
In the ancient world with no familial surnames, it was common to append a extra moniker to keep people with common names straight.
 Examples: There were , what, 13 Yeshusas (Jesus) historically. The Lord is "the Christ" or Plato's real name  was Aristokles "the Broad" (platon) [not my username the Aristokles the Elder!]
Just playing some word games.
Keep the Faith,
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2003, 02:14:42 AM »

Both the profession and the Apostle are important, Mor, but both sides seem to have it not 100% in your view. Am I understanding this correctly? I remember we had another thread on this same passage. Interesting how we break these things down to such fine points. Smiley

Matt

Dear Matt,

In my opinion, the average Christian on either side of the debate--Catholic or Orthodox--focuses on one particular facet of the issue, but not the other.  Catholics will often attack Orthodox who say the Rock is Peter's confession of faith by calling that a Protestant argument, even if you quote Church Fathers who Catholics recognise as saints to back up that claim.  The only interpretation the average Catholic (average being a relative term, most Catholics probably don't care, but I'm talking about those that do care and are relatively well-versed in their faith) will accept for "the Rock" is that it refers exclusively to Peter's person and to his office.  Similarly, most Orthodox usually say the Rock is Peter's confession, and ignore other things in the liturgical and patristic patrimony which allow for the "Peter = Rock" interpretation.  

Personally, I don't have any problem admitting that the Rock is Peter's confession and Peter himself.  But I don't think admitting that Peter is the Rock makes me a Roman Catholic.  IMO, there is a very large jump one must make in order to justify post-schism RC claims re: the papal office by referring to this passage, and there is nothing about "Peter = Rock" that necessitates making that jump.  Let them only prove his faithfulness to the faith of Peter and to that of the successors of Peter.  If this is so, let him enjoy all the privileges of pontiff.  The faith and the office go hand in hand.
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2003, 04:31:47 AM »

Think about this. Why would Jesus bother to change Simon's name? Why change it to Rock?

Jesus didn't change Simon's name to Peter in Matthew 16:18, He gave him the name Peter when He first called him in John 1:42

Polycarp, if you want to push the Roman Catholic position then you are more than welcome to start a thread under the topic "Orthodox-Catholic* Discussion". That's what it is there for. You are posting in the "Convert Issues" topic of an Orthodox forum. Please respect the guidelines given for posts in this topic.

John.
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2003, 07:35:52 AM »

Think about this. Why would Jesus bother to change Simon's name? Why change it to Rock?

Jesus didn't change Simon's name to Peter in Matthew 16:18, He gave him the name Peter when He first called him in John 1:42

Polycarp, if you want to push the Roman Catholic position then you are more than welcome to start a thread under the topic "Orthodox-Catholic* Discussion". That's what it is there for. You are posting in the "Convert Issues" topic of an Orthodox forum. Please respect the guidelines given for posts in this topic.

John.

A question was asked and I gave him an answer to ponder. Are you saying that only one point of view (the Orthodox) is allowed to be posted? What are you afraid of? Besides I did not give an answer. I simply asked more questions. The answers were left up to the reader to think about.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2003, 08:41:19 AM »

A question was asked and I gave him an answer to ponder. Are you saying that only one point of view (the Orthodox) is allowed to be posted? What are you afraid of? Besides I did not give an answer. I simply asked more questions. The answers were left up to the reader to think about.

Dear Polycarp,

I think it is safe to say that the "Convert Issues" topic of an orthodox forum is a place where people come to ask for the "Orthodox" view. I suspect that most Catholics who post questions there are fully aware of the "Catholic" position on those questions they ask.

We dealt with this issue before in the thread "Thinking about Orthodoxy" in this same topic and I think this topics guidelines were laid out pretty clearly for you. If you think we are afraid of anything then start firing away in the "Orthodox-Catholic* Discussion" topic.

This is from the original post in this thread (my highlights)
Quote
Hello Every Buddy
I have been talking about this subject on other
Forums, but i have been getting mixed and confusing
opinions about this subject because all the other boards
are mixed between catholic/orthodox opinions
.

He came to an orthodox forum to ask the orthodox opinion on the subject. You neither respect his request nor the guidelines for this forum.

Again, you are more than welcome to discuss Roman Catholic views in the appropriate topic, you will find that we are very open to such discussions, but I respectfully request that you keep your churches opinions out of the "Convert Issues" topic area.

John
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2003, 11:57:34 AM »

A question was asked and I gave him an answer to ponder. Are you saying that only one point of view (the Orthodox) is allowed to be posted? What are you afraid of? Besides I did not give an answer. I simply asked more questions. The answers were left up to the reader to think about.

Dear Polycarp,

I think it is safe to say that the "Convert Issues" topic of an orthodox forum is a place where people come to ask for the "Orthodox" view. I suspect that most Catholics who post questions there are fully aware of the "Catholic" position on those questions they ask.

We dealt with this issue before in the thread "Thinking about Orthodoxy" in this same topic and I think this topics guidelines were laid out pretty clearly for you. If you think we are afraid of anything then start firing away in the "Orthodox-Catholic* Discussion" topic.

This is from the original post in this thread (my highlights)
Quote
Hello Every Buddy
I have been talking about this subject on other
Forums, but i have been getting mixed and confusing
opinions about this subject because all the other boards
are mixed between catholic/orthodox opinions
.

He came to an orthodox forum to ask the orthodox opinion on the subject. You neither respect his request nor the guidelines for this forum.

Again, you are more than welcome to discuss Roman Catholic views in the appropriate topic, you will find that we are very open to such discussions, but I respectfully request that you keep your churches opinions out of the "Convert Issues" topic area.

John

Oh I see your point. Ok sorry about that.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2003, 01:47:15 PM »

Thank you, Polycarp, i really wasnt looking for the
Catholic Interpretation, ive been Catholic for 5 years,
ive hurd what they have to say. Thanks anyway.

I was wondering how do the Orthodox deny
the Papal Doctrines, whats there basis for there
denial? It would really help me on my Journey towards
Holy Orthodoxy to know the details.

In Christ
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2003, 02:06:22 PM »

Oh dear - do you know I think if you invested in a copy of English grammar and learned some, and then invested in a spell checker , people might just be prepared to help you a little more.

It is becoming more and more difficult to understand your posts.
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2003, 03:23:06 PM »

That comment was really unnessisary and not appreciated.
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2003, 03:42:24 PM »

Why would you say something like that?


Oh dear - do you know I think if you invested in a copy of English grammar and learned some, and then invested in a spell checker , people might just be prepared to help you a little more.

It is becoming more and more difficult to understand your posts.
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2003, 03:49:43 PM »

That comment was really unnessisary and not appreciated.

necessary

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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2003, 03:54:14 PM »

Criticizing someone's grammar and spelling will not win converts!

That comment was really unnessisary and not appreciated.

necessary


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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2003, 03:59:48 PM »

Well, the concept of right and wrong extends beyond Orthodoxy and even into grammar.  Since the filioque is wrong, we don't say it. Since 'unnessisary' is wrong, we shouldn't say it either.
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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2003, 04:04:01 PM »

Yeah there is a real connection between correcting someone's spelling and the issue if the filioque is right and wrong. How about compassion and civility extending beyond Orthodoxy?

Well, the concept of right and wrong extends beyond Orthodoxy and even into grammar.  Since the filioque is wrong, we don't say it. Since 'unnessisary' is wrong, we shouldn't say it either.
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2003, 04:07:34 PM »

Lads and Lassies,
Perhaps some use of the Private Messaging system on the board would be more appropriate at times...

Demetri
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2003, 04:13:23 PM »

I agree.  Can we get back on topic?
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2003, 04:32:06 PM »

I actually believe that Jesus is referring to Peter as the Rock in Matt. 16, however this does not mean that he is the head of the Church. He is the rock in the same sense in which the other apostles are, i.e. they are the foundation of the Church, they are all the Rock (Eph. 2:20). Peter is viewed as the model of epicopate, not the head of it.

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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2003, 05:41:27 PM »

I actually believe that Jesus is referring to Peter as the Rock in Matt. 16, however this does not mean that he is the head of the Church. He is the rock in the same sense in which the other apostles are, i.e. they are the foundation of the Church, they are all the Rock (Eph. 2:20). Peter is viewed as the model of epicopate, not the head of it.

Athanasius

Very good point.

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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2003, 06:12:35 PM »

If Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church, would this not mean that he is not a "Universal Pope" This is what I really want to know but have not been able to get a straight answer.


In Christ+


You could say it this way.  Anyone who makes that Confession is a rock and the rocks build the Church.  Our confession of Christ makes us members of His Church.  As members of His Church by our confession, we are the rocks that compose the earthly church.  

Even as a Catholic, I never understood how this passage led to all the papal authority that arose.  I always saw it as a political move to fill the vacuum of power once the Roman emperors in the west were deposed.

For the period in history when Emperor Justinian established control over Italy, he exerted considerable power over the pope to the point where he imprisoned him for a period of time.  Earlier, during the time when Theodosius and Valentinian I were emperors in the west, Ambrose of Milan help more respect and was regarded more as a church leader than the Pope of Rome
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« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2003, 06:42:44 PM »

OK folks I do understand what you say - and maybe I have been somewhat cruel - and I apologise, but the fact remains that this  question has been posted on 3 Boards to my knowledge.

It is , to my mind , extremely difficult to post a reply to a question that is worded so that to understand what is meant - it is actually easier to repeat the question aloud.

From elsewhere I understand that Byzantine Christian could possibly be considering a future in the Priesthood - to achieve this he will have to present written essays and assessments . My advice is meant to be helpful .

I will say no more on the subject and ask for your understanding and forgiveness.

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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2003, 03:59:12 PM »

Dear Justinianus:

It might help you understand the Catholic position if you also consider doctrinal development as espoused and expounded by Cardinal Newman.

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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2003, 07:05:40 PM »

Hey there AmdG!!!
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« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2003, 07:10:52 PM »

Justinianus

Ambrose may have held more respect in the West but the Pope was still the Pope and Ambrose would've been and was the first one to bend the knee to Peter's successor.

[and was regarded more as a church leader than the Pope of Rome]
Could you cite your source?

Wow!  Cardinal Newman!!! Amadeus is bringing out the bigs guns!

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« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2003, 11:02:57 PM »

I am Orthodox, yet I think it is abundantly clear that St. Peter was the chief of the Apostles, and the bishops of Rome were regarded as his successors. I also think the early bishops of Rome held more than honorific authority in the Church, although not the monarchical authority that would develop later.

Anyway, what I really wanted to bring up was something that occurred to me in reading and studying St. Ignatius of Antioch recently.

If you study what St. Ignatius had to say about the relationships of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, you will see that he envisioned a hierarchy(duh!) that is aptly summarized in this passage:

". . . be eager to do everything in God's harmony, with the bishop presiding in the place of God and the presbytery in the place of the council of the apostles and the deacons, most sweet to me, entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Magnesians, 6).

This image is repeated over and over in St. Ignatius' letters: the bishop presiding in the place of God . . .

It occurred to me that if such an arrangement is God's plan for the local churches, why would God use something different for the universal Church as a whole?

I mean, why would God concentrate authority at the local level in the hands of one man and not create a similar executive office for the Church as a whole?

I know I will get jumped on for thinking along those lines, but what about it?

It seems to me that if the pattern of a single ruling bishop and a council of presbyters is God's plan for the local churches, then it would make sense that He had something similar in mind for the Church as a whole.

Why concentrate authority in one individual at the local level only to leave the universal Church a potential chaos of competing bishops?

 

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« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2003, 11:18:50 PM »

Linus7,
I think your ending question goes against basic Orthodox teaching that wherever a bishop is with even only one faithful Christian to minister to, there is the WHOLE church.
Demetri

Addition by edit:
This line of thought also does not take into account that ALL the Bishops of Antioch are also "successors" to Peter.
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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2003, 12:10:06 AM »

I believe that St. Peter established the See of Antioch FIRST before going to Rome.

Quote
This line of thought also does not take into account that ALL the Bishops of Antioch are also "successors" to Peter.
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« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2003, 12:12:35 AM »

Linus7,
I think your ending question goes against basic Orthodox teaching that wherever a bishop is with even only one faithful Christian to minister to, there is the WHOLE church.
Demetri

Addition by edit:
This line of thought also does not take into account that ALL the Bishops of Antioch are also "successors" to Peter.

I don't think the "wherever there is a bishop there is the whole Church" teaching was meant to exclude the rest of the Church, elsewhere, with other bishops present. I think it was meant to indicate the communion of the saints, that the whole Church is in communion with each of its members wherever the eucharistic Body is present.

I also think that Church history - as reflected in the records of the Seven Councils, for example - is pretty clear that the bishops of Rome were regarded as successors to St. Peter's authority as well as his office in a way that the bishops of Antioch were not.

I am not advocating a full-blown, modern RC doctrine of the papacy; yet I think many Orthodox have adopted what amount to ahistorical Protestant arguments because of their aversion to RCism.

I think the bishops of Rome acted in a sort of executive role in the early Church but not as absolute monarchs with over-arching, universal jurisdiction.

I think it is an error to exaggerate like Protestants and make the claim that an early pope was "just one of the boys" among the College of Bishops. It hurts our credibility.

I now await the slings and arrows of my outraged brethren.
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« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2003, 12:17:17 AM »

Linus,

Based upon what I was taught by my Priest in the catechumen class, I think that what you are saying is VERY Orthodox.

On another note: Stop by more often!!
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« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2003, 02:53:25 AM »


I don't think the "wherever there is a bishop there is the whole Church" teaching was meant to exclude the rest of the Church, elsewhere, with other bishops present. I think it was meant to indicate the communion of the saints, that the whole Church is in communion with each of its members wherever the eucharistic Body is present.

Conceded.

Quote
I also think that Church history - as reflected in the records of the Seven Councils, for example - is pretty clear that the bishops of Rome were regarded as successors to St. Peter's authority as well as his office in a way that the bishops of Antioch were not.

Successors to Peter's authority, yes. But this begs the definition of that authority. Even at the First Council at Jerusalem, with Peter present, it was James as bishop who settled the dispute. So the precedent of the role was set as arbiter. The source of the First among Equals definition. The Bishop of Rome had the authority to settle disputes BETWEEN the other four patriarchs, but not authority over EACH nor could he meddle within their respective sees. Once the Pope removed his see from the Orthodox Church that primacy went to Constantinople where it still is today. (I often wonder when I read posts here lambasting the EP if some newbies understand his role in the Church as 'First among Equals'). Bishop Kallistos (Ware) maintains and I AGREE that should the Pope bring his church back to Orthodoxy, he would again be "First" under this definition.

Quote
I am not advocating a full-blown, modern RC doctrine of the papacy; yet I think many Orthodox have adopted what amount to ahistorical Protestant arguments because of their aversion to RCism.

I'm not sure here, but the last time I was in Greece there were about 9 million Orthodox who know nothing about Protestant arguments and they're even more anti-RC.
I do think you're frustrated by the jurisdictional morass here in America, but the Pope ain't the cure.

Quote
I think the bishops of Rome acted in a sort of executive role in the early Church but not as absolute monarchs with over-arching, universal jurisdiction.

Corporate Christianity? Naw, if he's done his job right back then there would have been no schism. I think we agree here.

Quote
I think it is an error to exaggerate like Protestants and make the claim that an early pope was "just one of the boys" among the College of Bishops. It hurts our credibility.

I don't think we exaggerate nor do I worry about credibility.

Quote
I now await the slings and arrows of my outraged brethren.


It's not open season up here on overworked graduate students(yet).


Demetri (now where's that hard hat?)
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« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2003, 03:37:30 AM »

Great post Linus!!!!!! Grin

The one thing that disappoints me about some Orthodox apologetics is the rather unhistorical undermining of the importance of the Bishop of Rome and the Orthodox Roman Church, together with the over-emphasis of the confessional interpretation of Matt 16:18 to the detriment of the personal interpretation, the latter which, as John Meyendorff points out was "readily recognized by Byzantine ecclesiastical writers" and that "only late polemicists, especially anti-Latin, tended to diminish it but this was not the case among the most enlightened of the Byzantine theologians.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Bishops of Rome were considered the vicars (or successors) of Peter, more so around the time of Pope St. Leo the Great. Rome had a very special and well-acknowledged claim to both Peter and Paul as the custodian of the tombs (relics) of both Apostles. One also can't ignore the fact that the voice of the Pope, when in agreement with the Orthodox faith, was gloriously received as though it were the very voice of Peter. "Peter has spoken through Leo" exclaimed the Council of Chalcedon; "Peter has spoken through Celestine," shouted the Council of Ephesus.

Linus also correctly points out that the Bishop of Rome was regarded as possessing the authority of St. Peter by virtue of the primacy of the Orthodox Roman Church, a primacy clearly articulated by the 5th Century and exercised in the context of the collegial nature of the Church. Thus we find the Bishop of Rome extolled throughout the first millenium of the Church by his fellow shepherds grateful for his paternal love and guidance for the entire Church, expressed in particular at the Ecumenical Councils, such as Chalcedon, in its message to Pope Leo the Great: "You came to us; you have been for everyone the interpreter of the voice of blessed Peter....We were some 520 bishops whom you guided, as the head guides the members."  (Sorry Phil for bringing up Leo again, I couldn't help it)  Tongue

The 3rd Council of Constantinople (680-81) likewise thanked its head Pope Agatho: "We place ourselves in your hands, you who occupy the first see of the universal Church, you who rest on the firm rock of faith."

Yet not one of these Orthodox Popes of Rome ever claimed the universal jurisdiction and the supremacy over the Council that would later divide the Church, but rather adhered to the concept of the collegiality of all the Bishops gathered together at the Councils, to which the Pope's doctrinal letter, despite having the greatest authority, was subservient:

"All the fathers spoke one by one, and only after examination were the letters of St. Agatho and the whole Western Council approved....but nonetheless they examine the matter, they inquire into the decrees of the Roman Pontiffs and after inquiry held, approve Agatho's decrees, condemn those of Honorius."
Session 8: The Emperor said: Let George, the most holy Archbishop of this our God-preserved city, and let Macarius, the venerable Archbishop of Antioch, and let the synod subject to them (ie. their suffragans) say, if they submit to the force of the suggestions sent by the most holy Agatho Pope of Old Rome and by his synod.  [The answer of George, with which all his bishops, many of them, speaking one by one, agreed except Theodore of Metilene (who handed in his assent at the end of the Tenth Session).]

(Sessions of the Sixth Ecumenical Council).


"Now let us consider the case of Chalcedon. Pope Leo considered null and void the hijacking of Ephesus in 449, but he was aware that he could not annul this council on his own authority. This is why he proposed that the emperor convoke a new council (which he would have liked to have seen held in Italy, but failed to achieve). It is clear that Leo, despite his trenchant assertions, was not an autocrat. He took his decisions in agreement with the Roman synod. In his letter of confirmation of Chalcedon he called the members of the Council "his brothers and co-bishops." He always sought a consensus from the college of bishops and from the universal Church. His representatives certainly affirmed that the church of Rome "is the head of all the churches" and its bishop the "archbishop of all the churches" - in Latin: "Pope of the universal Church." But this title is easily misunderstood, for Leo never claimed the right to govern as bishop of the individual churches. Rather he understood his authority as bearing an essential witness to the truth, which, as he himself said, did not belong to him: it was the faith of the Church as the apostle Peter first proclaimed it. That is why he was pleased that his "Tome" was acknowledged by the council, "confirmed," he wrote, "by the undisputed accord of the entire assembly of brethren." Two conceptions, verbally at odds, had come together in the truth that embodies accord at a higher lever, an accord that is not juridical and cannot be objectified." (Olivier Clement, You Are Peter, pg 47.)

Is it therefore any wonder that, once Rome started interpreting her primacy more and more legalistically, she became so puffed up with a pride that would make Ceaser jealous, transforming that primacy from one of pastoral service to the entire Church to one of tyranny and authoritarianism, as witnessed in Gregory VII's Dictatus Papae:

2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal.

3. That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.

4. That, in a council, his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.

5. That the pope may depose the absent.

7. That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.

8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.

9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.

10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.

11. That this is the only name in the world.

12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.

13. That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.

16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.

17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.

18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.

19. That he himself may be judged by no one.

20. That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair.

22. That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.

23. That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope.

25. That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod.

26. That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.

 
One can't help but notice that in the very same century the pseudo-Isidorean decretals were disseminated, the Bishops of Rome suddenly realized they had the duty to depose whomever they wished and made the awesome discovery that Uncle Constantine had left them lots of land in his will! *wink wink*  

None of us are advocating Rome's present understanding of the Petrine primacy. But it won't be very conducive to our efforts at unity if one side or the other undermines the very historical facts that will actually foster unity rather than hinder it. Primacy exercised in light of the Gospel - a primacy of solicitous love, pastoral care and responsibility for the entire Church, exercised among the Church instead of outside it, is Orthodox. It might be worthwhile to jot down the sentiments of those Roman Catholics who seek to reform the papacy to make it fit in the context of the Gospel, the reformers whom Rome only seeks to silence:

"John XXIII...provided at least a sketch to prove that it is not illusory to think that the pope could be different. What then might the pope be like? Such a pope would have a genuinely evangelical and not a juridical-formalistic and staatic-bureaucratic view of the Church. He would see the mystery of the Church in the light of the Gospel, of the New Testament: not as a centralized administrative unit, in which the bishops are merely the pope's delegates and executive organs....not jealously to hold on to powers and prerogatives or to exercise authority in the spirit of the old order, but to make authority felt as service in the spirit of the New Testament and in response to the needs of the present time: fraternal partnership and co-operation, dialogue, consultation, and collaboration, especially with bishops and theologians of the whole Church, opportunity for those concerned to take part in the process of making decisions, and full scope for the exercise of co-responsibility. This pope would therefore regard his function as a function of the Church: a pope not above or outside the Church, but in the Church, with the Church, for the Church. No extrinsicism, isolationism or triumphalism....If he could and certainly should sometimes act "alone," this could never mean "apart" and "separated" from the Church and her episcopal college, but in spiritual communion and unbroken solidarity with the Church as a whole."

"This pope then would not be against justice, but against juridicism; not against law but against legalism; not against order, but against immobility; not against authority, but against authoritarianism; not against unity, but against uniformity....He would be inspiriter in the spirit of the gospel and a leader in the postconciliar renewal and Rome would become a place of encounter, of dialogue andof honest and friendly co-operation." (Hans Kung.)



May Rome come to her senses!
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« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2003, 09:52:55 AM »

Byzantino

I hesitate to respond to this post as it is in the convert area but statements are being made about the RCC so here we go....

{May Rome come to her senses!}  
What?HuhHuhHuh?

[she became so puffed up with a pride that would make Ceaser jealous, transforming that primacy from one of pastoral service to the entire Church to one of tyranny and authoritarianism,]

"Make Caesar jealous"?  Oh come on let's not engage in cheap shots.  The pope had to take a role of leadership as he didn't have an emperor telling him what to do as New Rome did.

[ That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.]

As the pope was the metropolitan of Italy and patriarch of the West this doesn't seem odd.  The eastern patriarchs can't do this??

[. That, in a council, his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.]

A legate can always speak for his principal and act for him.

[. That the pope may depose the absent.]

Don't quite understand this one.

[. That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.]

In keeping with the duties of a metropolitan hardly a tyrant.

[. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.]

That's because again we didn't have an emperor.

[. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.]

At the time it was common for subjects to kiss the feet of their prince.  This doesn't happen anymore.  I do seem to remember that all had to kiss the emperor of New Rome's feet including bishops.

[ That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.

16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.

17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.

18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.]

All the actions of a metropolitan and patriarch nothing tyrannical here.


[awesome discovery that Uncle Constantine had left them lots of land in his will! *wink wink*]

Oh come off it the Donation of Constantine was seen to be a forgery in the 16th cent by RCs.


[It might be worthwhile to jot down the sentiments of those Roman Catholics who seek to reform the papacy to make it fit in the context of the Gospel, the reformers whom Rome only seeks to silence:]

You quote John XXIII and Kung.  No one is seeking to silence John and Kung should be silenced as I don't think his other writings would be considered Orthodox even by the EO.

The office of the Papacy has evolved over time and had to make changes to meet the needs of the Church and the world.  You state that the Popes have been tyrants. Some have but more have stood up for freedom and truth at times when it was unpopular to do so.

Carpo-Rusyn



 

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« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2003, 07:40:30 PM »

Hi CR,

Firstly please don't get the impression i'm anti-papacy because of my sentiments for the way the Petrine primacy has been exercised by many of the popes over the last 1200 years...heck i'm even considering taking on the name of a pope for my chrismation!

To address your points,

"Make Caesar jealous"?  Oh come on let's not engage in cheap shots.  The pope had to take a role of leadership as he didn't have an emperor telling him what to do as New Rome did.

Which turned the pope into an Emperor, king, feudal lord and commander of armies, threatening to the spiritual equivalent of capital punishment to anybody who threatened his sovereignty and temporal possessions. Didn't Jesus say "my kingdom is not of this world"? These aren't cheap shots, it's history.


[ That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.]

As the pope was the metropolitan of Italy and patriarch of the West this doesn't seem odd.  The eastern patriarchs can't do this??


You don't understand. The Pope claimed the right to depose ANY bishop! Not just the ones in his jurisdiction. This is exactly what Pope Nicholas did to St. Photius. These actions were in blatant contravention of the canons of the Councils which circumscribed the pope's jurisdiction. Exercising the prerogatives reserved for Councils alone was unprecedented.


[. That, in a council, his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.]

A legate can always speak for his principal and act for him.


Of course, but this also boldly states that the legates can depose any bishop and is above all other bishops. Can this honestly be regarded as consistent with the tradition of the Church?


[. That the pope may depose the absent.]

Don't quite understand this one.


I think it means that the pope can depose anyone absent from the Council.

[. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.]

That's because again we didn't have an emperor.


During which period? And is the pope's becoming an emperor justified in light of the gospel and tradition of the Church?

[. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.]

At the time it was common for subjects to kiss the feet of their prince.  This doesn't happen anymore.  I do seem to remember that all had to kiss the emperor of New Rome's feet including bishops.


But that's my point, and you yourself have acknowledged the pope as a prince who took on the nature of a secular ruler. The secular rulers weren't the only ones obliged to kiss the pope's feet. The same demand was made by (i can't remember which pope) to the Eastern patriarchs - one of the conditions that needed to be accepted before the meeting took place. "I am pope and emperor" said Pope Boniface VIII in 'Unam Sanctam.'


[ That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.

16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.

17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.

18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.]

All the actions of a metropolitan and patriarch nothing tyrannical here.


They're the actions of a very extraordinary metropolitan! The councils did not need the pope's orders to become Ecumenical. The second Ecumenical Council verifes this. Not only was the pope not represented but the Council was still regarded as Ecumenical despite being largely an Eastern Council. The third point is an ever greater historical aberration.


[awesome discovery that Uncle Constantine had left them lots of land in his will! *wink wink*]

Oh come off it the Donation of Constantine was seen to be a forgery in the 16th cent by RCs.

It originates from the 8th-9th Century as part of the pseudo-Isidorean decretals and had an enormous influence in shaping the papacy. Clear as daylight.


[It might be worthwhile to jot down the sentiments of those Roman Catholics who seek to reform the papacy to make it fit in the context of the Gospel, the reformers whom Rome only seeks to silence:]
You quote John XXIII and Kung.  No one is seeking to silence John and Kung should be silenced as I don't think his other writings would be considered Orthodox even by the EO.

I didn't quote Pope John XXIII. I'm not interested in Kung's other writings as they're irrelevant to the basic ideas he presents for a reformed papacy. Who would oppose the kind of papacy envisioned by Kung? It sounds pretty good to me!

The office of the Papacy has evolved over time and had to make changes to meet the needs of the Church and the world.  You state that the Popes have been tyrants. Some have but more have stood up for freedom and truth at times when it was unpopular to do so.


Probably for another thread...but nobody who's studied the history of the Church can honestly say that the papacy of Gregory VII was a legitimate development of the papacy of the first 800 years. The damage done to the Roman church as a result of the collision of temporal and spiritual powers is astronomical and has tarnished an office which should've always been remembered as an enormous blessing to the entire Church, which is what it can and will be again thanks to the precedent set by great popes such as John XXIII and John Paul II and our constant prayers.
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Linus7
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« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2003, 08:55:25 PM »

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Linus7:
I also think that Church history - as reflected in the records of the Seven Councils, for example - is pretty clear that the bishops of Rome were regarded as successors to St. Peter's authority as well as his office in a way that the bishops of Antioch were not.

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é :
Successors to Peter's authority, yes. But this begs the definition of that authority. Even at the First Council at Jerusalem, with Peter present, it was James as bishop who settled the dispute.

I don't mean to argue for arguing's sake, so pardon me. But I've heard that "St. James presided at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15" argument before, and I don't buy it.

At the conclusion of "much debate" (verse 7), St. Peter spoke first. He was the one, after all, who had inaugurated the mission to the Gentiles. St. James spoke last, as Bishop of the host city, Jerusalem. He gave his judgment, but there is no indication that it was what "settled the dispute."

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é : So the precedent of the role was set as arbiter. The source of the First among Equals definition. The Bishop of Rome had the authority to settle disputes BETWEEN the other four patriarchs, but not authority over EACH nor could he meddle within their respective sees. Once the Pope removed his see from the Orthodox Church that primacy went to Constantinople where it still is today. (I often wonder when I read posts here lambasting the EP if some newbies understand his role in the Church as 'First among Equals'). Bishop Kallistos (Ware) maintains and I AGREE that should the Pope bring his church back to Orthodoxy, he would again be "First" under this definition.

I agree with most of what you said, especially with that last sentence, but I still think the bishops of Rome had more authority in the early Church than you are allowing here.

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Linus7:
I am not advocating a full-blown, modern RC doctrine of the papacy; yet I think many Orthodox have adopted what amount to ahistorical Protestant arguments because of their aversion to RCism.

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é : I'm not sure here, but the last time I was in Greece there were about 9 million Orthodox who know nothing about Protestant arguments and they're even more anti-RC.
I do think you're frustrated by the jurisdictional morass here in America, but the Pope ain't the cure.

It doesn't matter whether or not they know their arguments are Protestant. The argument that the early popes had no more authority than any other bishop is a Protestant argument and an extremely weak one at that. So is the argument that "the Rock" was solely St. Peter's confession or solely Christ Himself.

You're right about my frustration over the jurisdictional morass in America.

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Linus7:
I think the bishops of Rome acted in a sort of executive role in the early Church but not as absolute monarchs with over-arching, universal jurisdiction.

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é : Corporate Christianity? Naw, if he's done his job right back then there would have been no schism. I think we agree here.

Christianity is "corporate." That is one of the reasons the Church is called the Body of Christ.

I think Christ made St. Peter the presiding Apostle and that He meant for that role to continue in the bishops of Rome.

I do agree with you about later papal failures; but I think that when it comes to the Great Schism there's plenty of blame to go around.

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Linus7:
I think it is an error to exaggerate like Protestants and make the claim that an early pope was "just one of the boys" among the College of Bishops. It hurts our credibility.

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é : I don't think we exaggerate nor do I worry about credibility.

We exaggerate if we are using erroneous Protestant arguments to make a case that need not be made.

I think our argument with Rome is a matter of the degree of papal authority, not whether or not the popes had any more authority than any other bishop.

We know they did.

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Linus7:
I now await the slings and arrows of my outraged brethren.

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+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é :
It's not open season up here on overworked graduate students(yet).
Demetri (now where's that hard hat?)
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Would you mind telling my wife that?

And that parenthetical "yet" sounds ominous!

« Last Edit: November 16, 2003, 09:01:04 PM by Linus7 » Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
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Tags: papal primacy Primacy of Peter Petrine Primacy That Irenaeus quote 
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