In keeping with guidelines posted by the Religion Moderator, we are posting this thread (and future ones) a series on the Early Church Fathers, as a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus. Protestants are welcome to post comments but restraint from attacks, would be appreciated. This thread is posted to inform, support and defend the historic orgins of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Some more by Irenaeus:
"As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same" (Against Heresies 1:10:2 [A.D. 189]).
"That is why it is surely necessary to avoid them [heretics], while cherishing with the utmost diligence the things pertaining to the Church, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth. . . . What if the apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?" (ibid., 3:4:1).
"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors to our own timesmen who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about.
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles.
"With this church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agreethat is, all the faithful in the whole worldand it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (ibid., 3:3:12).
Orthodox ping. As NYer has said, this caucus is designed for discussion among Orthodox and Latins on subjects which are particularly important to us without the necessity of dealing with the controversies we see on other open threads. As such we should avoid involvement of other ecclesial groups by attacking their beliefs. This is not to say that we cannot comment "vigorously" about each others' (Orthodox & Latin) positions. There are a number of you on the Orthodox ping list who are neither Orthodox nor Latin. As NYer has said, you are very welcome to participate. If, on the other hand, any of you on the Orthodox ping list do not want to be pinged, let me know by a private message and I will redo the list and create a new one for this purpose.
A number of us who have been around awhile are quite excited about the prospects for this new caucus. The development of common positions here on FR and of course far more importantly, the discussions among our hierarchs and the developing relationship between Rome and the largest Orthodox Church, Moscow, give us a lot to talk about.