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To: adiaireton8; NYer; D-fendr; TexConfederate1861

Proof texting the Fathers is as fruitless a pursuit as when the heterodox proof text the scriptures. What counts is the reality of the consensus patrum and how that worked on the ground. The Eastern Churches never accepted Rome's pretentions to universal immediate jurisdiction. The appeals to Rome made by various Fathers were made pursuant to an authority given by the Council of Sardica, an authority which was limited and only could be exercised in individual cases and accepted only if the hierarch involved chose to accept the decision. The authority of the pope lay in three areas; first, his Orthodox Teaching, second his primacy and third his right to break communion (which is not an anthema) with the offending hierarch. Examples of how this works can be seen in the way the EP and Moscow handled the matter of the Estonian Church.

Now, you doubt that an Orthodox person can speak for the Orthodox Church on these matters. You are very, very wrong. What I and the other Orthodox Christians here believe about this question is of the utmost importance because without our agreement, there will be no reunion. You say that I spoke like a Protestant, and yet Protestantism is the child of Rome, not the East. It was Rome which introduced dogmatic innovations in derogation of the declarations of the Ecumenical Councils, not Orthodoxy. It was Rome which concluded that it had a monopoly on the Holy Spirit.

The excesses of Rome lead to the Protestant Reformation. The outrage of Vatican I lead to this following comment by the +Anthimos VII and the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in their response to Praeclara Gratulationis of Pope Leo XIII. Noting that unity of the churches can only be founded on a complete unity of faith, the Synod, in A Reply to the Papal Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Reunion, wrote inter alia:

"XIV Passing over, then, these serious and substantial differences between the two churches respecting the faith, which differences, as has been said before, were created in the West, the Pope in his encyclical represents the question of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff as the principal and, so to speak, only cause of the dissension, and sends us to the sources, that we may make diligent search as to what our forefathers believed and what the first age of Christianity delivered to us. But having recourse to the fathers and the Ecumenical Councils of the Church of the first nine centuries, we are fully persuaded that the Bishop of Rome was never considered as the supreme authority and infallible head of the Church, and that every bishop is head and president of his own particular Church, subject only to the synodical ordinances and decisions of the Church universal as being alone infallible, the Bishop of Rome being in no wise excepted from this rule, as Church history shows. Our Lord Jesus Christ alone is the eternal Prince and immortal Head of the Church, for 'He is the Head of the body, the Church," [14] who said also to His divine disciples and apostles at His ascension into heaven, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' [15] In the Holy Scripture the Apostle Peter, whom the Papists, relying on apocryphal books of the second century, the pseudo-Clementines, imagine with a purpose to be the founder of the Roman Church and their first bishop, discusses matters as an equal among equals in the apostolic synod of Jerusalem, and at another time is sharply rebuked by the Apostle Paul, as is evident from the Epistle to the Galatians. [16] Moreover, the Papists themselves know well that the very passage of the Gospel to which the Pontiff refers, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,' [17] is in the first centuries of the Church interpreted quite differently, in a spirit of orthodoxy, both by tradition and by all the divine and sacred Fathers without exception; the fundamental and unshaken rock upon which the Lord has built His own Church, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail, being understood metaphorically of Peter's true confession concerning the Lord, that 'He is Christ, the Son of the living God.' [18] Upon this confession and faith the saving preaching of the Gospel by all the apostles and their successors rests unshaken. Whence also the Apostle Paul, who had been caught up into heaven, evidently interpreting this divine passage, declares the divine inspiration, saying: 'According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' [19] But it is in another sense that Paul calls all the apostles and prophets together the foundation of the building up in Christ of the faithful; that is to say, the members of the body of Christ, which is the Church; [20] when he writes to the Ephesians: 'Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the house hold of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.' [21] Such, then, being the divinely inspired teaching of the apostles respecting the foundation and Prince of the Church of God, of course the sacred Fathers, who held firmly to the apostolic traditions, could not have or conceive any idea of an absolute primacy of the Apostle Peter and the bishops of Rome; nor could they give any other interpretation, totally unknown to the Church, to that passage of the Gospel, but that which was true and right; nor could they arbitrarily and by themselves invent a novel doctrine respecting excessive privileges of the Bishop of Rome as successor, if so be, of Peter; especially whilst the Church of Rome was chiefly founded, not by Peter, whose apostolic action at Rome is totally unknown to history, but by the heaven-caught apostle of the Gentiles, Paul, through his disciples, whose apostolic ministry in Rome is well known to all. [22]

XV. The divine Fathers, honoring the Bishop of Rome only as the bishop of the capital city of the Empire, gave him the honorary prerogative of presidency, considering him simply as the bishop first in order, that is, first among equals; which prerogative they also assigned afterwards to the Bishop of Constantinople, when that city became the capital of the Roman Empire, as the twenty-eighth canon of the fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon bears witness, saying, among other things, as follows: 'We do also determine and decree the same things respecting the prerogatives of the most holy Church of the said Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers have rightly given the prerogative to the throne of the elder Rome, because that was the imperial city. And the hundred and fifty most religious bishops, moved by the same consideration, assigned an equal prerogative to the most holy throne of New Rome.' From this canon it is very evident that the Bishop of Rome is equal in honor to the Bishop of the Church of Constantinople and to those other Churches, and there is no hint given in any canon or by any of the Fathers that the Bishop of Rome alone has ever been prince of the universal Church and the infallible judge of the bishops of the other independent and self-governing Churches, or the successor of the Apostle Peter and vicar of Jesus Christ on earth."

Here's a link to the entire encyclical. While much of what the Synod speaks of has been resolved or near resolved, the issue of Petrine Supremacy remains, for Orthodoxy, in every aspect identical today as it was then. Proof texting the Fathers then didn't work and it won't work now.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1895orthodoxencyclical.html


29 posted on 02/04/2007 5:40:14 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; adiaireton8; D-fendr; TexConfederate1861
The apostles chose successors. But what authority did Jesus give to Peter himself? Matthew 16:19 tells us that Christ gave Peter both the power of the keys and the power of binding and loosing. The first was given to Peter alone (Matt. 16:19), the second also to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18).

As noted in my post above,

One compelling biblical fact that points clearly to Simon Peter’s primacy among the 12 Apostles and his importance and centrality to the drama of Christ’s earthly ministry, is that he is mentioned by name (e.g. Simon, Peter, Cephas, Kephas, etc.) 195 times in the course of the New Testament. The next most often-mentioned Apostle is St. John, who is mentioned a mere 29 times.

30 posted on 02/04/2007 6:11:38 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Kolokotronis
You say that I spoke like a Protestant, and yet Protestantism is the child of Rome, not the East.

If you have studied the life and writings of Luther, as I have, you would know how often Luther appealed to the state of the Eastern Churches to justify his schism. Protestantism is in that respect the younger sister of the Orthodox; the Orthodox set the example for her, and like a younger sister Protestantism followed that example.

-A8

31 posted on 02/04/2007 7:24:09 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: Kolokotronis
When you appeal to Nektarios, that's evidence. But when I appeal to fifteen pages of unanimous consent of the early fathers, that's "proof-texting".

Amazing.

-A8

32 posted on 02/04/2007 7:27:42 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: Kolokotronis
and accepted only if the hierarch involved chose to accept the decision.

Do you think Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch, accepted the decision to be removed from his office. No, he did not. Soldiers had to be brought in to forcibly remove him from the church building. That was almost 80 years before Sardica.

Sardica did not *give* the bishop of Rome any authority. It recognized his authority, as the authority to whom accused bishops could appeal. And throughout the early church we see examples of accused or troubled bishops and priests appealing to the bishop of Rome. Have you read the documents from Sardica? I have.

It was Rome which introduced dogmatic innovations in derogation of the declarations of the Ecumenical Councils,

Name one such derogation.

It was Rome which concluded that it had a monopoly on the Holy Spirit.

Name one place where Rome claims to have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. Can't do it? Ok, now retract your ridiculous straw man. (It wouldn't be your first straw man either; NYer just had to correct your claim that the Pope makes himself out equal to God, as if you didn't really know better.)

The excesses of Rome lead to the Protestant Reformation.

That's a red herring. Instead of pointing to the Protestants, let's focus on the schism between the Orthodox and the Catholics.

I have to run. Talk to you later.

-A8

33 posted on 02/04/2007 7:46:11 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: Kolokotronis
Why didn't the twenty-eighth canon of the Council of Chalcedon (451) become canon law?

-A8

47 posted on 02/04/2007 12:37:25 PM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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