[Orthodoxy] Papal Authority

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    [quote:35zegf3i] With regard to Petrine authority, one need only point to the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea, 325, where 318 Holy Fathers determined the Canonical books of the New Testament, and set them in sequence. If there was an authority in St. Peter that the other Apostles lacked, why were his catholic epistles placed not first, but behind St. Pauls, even behind St. James’ epistles? This is not written to belittle the all laudible St. Peter…I’m just saying, it sounds rather difficult to suggest that the belief in a primacy would exist in the Church, and the epistles of the Apostle Peter would be placed even behind Paul and James. The same Fourth Ecumenical Council that set New Rome as second in honour after Rome, honoured the holder of the See of Rome, with the title of “Universal”, because of the illustriousness of the city where Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred. Many Catholics will argue that the “universal” refers to supremacy in the Church. What does St. Gregory the Great say when he is conferred this title? “The title of “Universal” was OFFERED US BY THE HOLY SYNOD OF CHALCEDON to the bishop of the Apostolic See, which by God’s grace, I serve. Nevertheless, NONE OF MY PREDECESSORS WOULD USE THIS IMPIOUS WORD, because in reality, if a Patriarch is called ‘universal’, he takes from all the others the title of Patriarch” (Letters of St. Gregory, Book V, Letter 20). So, not only does St. Gregory reject this title because it negates the role of the other bishops, but so did those before him. Something changes drasticallly when the Germanic popes, like Gregory VII write his DICTATUS PAPAE–a completely different Pope from those who held the episcopal throne before.

    According to Orthodox Christianity, when Rome was still Orthodox, the bishop of Rome held the special status as FIRST AMONGST EQUALS. Again, the bishop was first among the bishops, but not above the bishops. The Patriarchate of Rome (or See if you prefer) held primacy of influence, not because the See was founded by St. Peter, but because it was the Capital of the Roman Empire. This is why Constantinople is later given the title of second seat of influence, because she became the New Rome, the new capital of the Empire when the Emperor St. Constantine, moved the capital in the 4th century. Even after the move, Rome still held her seat as first amongst equals. Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon says: “We too decree and vote the same things in regard to the privileges and priorities of the most holy Church of Constantinople, the New Rome. For to the throne of Old Rome, AS THE IMPERIAL CITY, the Fathers gave suitable privileges. Motivated by the same aim, the 150 most God-beloved bishops have accorded the like priorities to the most holy throne of New Rome, rightfully judging that the city being honoured by a monarchy and a senate, and EQUAL TO OLD ROME IN RESPECT OF OTHER PRIVILEGES, should be magnified also, as she is in respect of ecclesiastical affairs, COMING NEXT AFTER HER (ROME), OR AS BEING SECOND TO HER.” So, clearly Rome was first amongst equals, and continued to be even after the move of the Imperial Capital. Orthodox Rome still retained her primacy as first amongst equals until she began to take on what was for Orthodox, heresy. This is Orthodox belief on that.[/quote:35zegf3i]


    I did some reading into this subject, and discovered some disturbing things in the 8th century. If someone has further knowledge on Pope Adrian or Pope Leo III, I’d be interested to hear it. History is very important, especially to the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, whom both claim to be the fulfillment of the Church of Christ on earth. I’m just glad to know that the apostolic sucession is recognized in both churches (the bishops being direct successors of the apostles). The claims of heresy about RCC teachings can’t be correct. That would undo many centuries and many beliefs that we hold today. I don’t know where I’m going with this but I’m not happy with what I read.


    I’d be interested in knowing what it is that you found. Do share John.



    [quote:25zlekyj]I did some reading into this subject, and discovered some disturbing things in the 8th century.[/quote:25zlekyj]
    Like what? Where did you read them?


    Just as a little point here… Saying there can be no Pope because Peter’s letters were placed later in the Bible is just silly. The order of books in the Bible has nothing to do with their precedence. Heck, none HAVE precedence, sinc they are all in complete agreement thanks to the Holy Spirit.


    Let me explain what I meant. First, I never suggested, nor has any Orthodox ever suggested that “there can be no pope”. Orthodox Christians honour many past popes as saints of the Church. I was being facetious and tryng to make a point…if St. Peter was the infallible voice of the Church, then surely, the Church would raise everything that St. Peter did and said ahead of the other Apostles…the same way Roman Catholics teach that the Roman Pontiff is supreme, has all the aurthority, episcopal and immediate. Would it be reasonable to place the bull of a Pope on a certain subject after the encyclicals of lesser cardinals? It wouldn’t happen in the RCC today, and I don’t have to be a Roman Catholic to know that. The Pope’s writings would be at the forefront as the infallible lesson for all Roman Catholics. If this has always been the case, and if the bishop of Rome was always seen in this light, I put forth, just for the sake of argument, “why, if it was always catholic teaching that St. Peter and his successors are INFALLIBLE, wouldn’t St. Peter’s writings be lauded over St. Pauls, or even St. James’, and be placed after the Gospels giving account of Christ, at least before the lesser Apostles? Ofcourse, “lesser” Apostles is certainly not a belief of the Orthodox Church, but I’m referring to the Roman Catholic statement that it is St. Peter who apparently is the “Prince of the Apostles” (according to numerous Roman Catholic catechisms…) I stated the order of epistles not as a matter of fact, nor to demean the all laudable St. Peter.


    Once again, the order means nothing becuase ALL of the books are infallible.

    First, the Pope is NOT the only infallible authority of the Church. All of the Bishops in unison (the Magisterium) are also infallible, and can make infallible proclamations. The Pope is the only individual member of the Church who is infallible, however.

    Second, the Pope is only infallible if he is speaking ex Cathedra (to the whoel church), on an issue of faith and morals. Just because he writes something does not make it infallible. He has to specifically make it an infallible pronouncement. The books of the New Testamant have nothing to do with Papal infallibility or Magisterial infallibility–they are infallible because they are the inspired words of the Holy Spirit. So the fact that Peter’s letters are not placed first in order does not mean they are any less authoritative, and the fact that Paul’s are placed first do not make his any MORE authoritative.


    Sorry dude, I really think you misunderstood the nature with which I was saying the whole epistle order. I was putting forth a hypothetical issue for argument’s sake. I certainly was not saying that the New Testament Scriptures were not INFALLIBLE, or that they were not GOD-INSPIRED to men in the Church. Certainly, this is Orthodox belief. Finally, I certainly was not trying to make the argument that the Apostle St. Peter’s epistles were somehow lesser (nor greater) than any of the other Apostolic epistles. I was merely saying, hypothetically, that seeing how they are all EQUAL, how St. Peter’s epistles were not placed, HONOURIFICALLY, in the front, seeing how Catholics see him as “the prince of Apostles”. It was not my intention to offend or annoy you, which I think I did, seeing how you reposted saying “ONCE AGAIN” like I somehow did not get it, again! Also, it wasn’t my intention to demean the all-laudable St. Peter.

    That being said, there are a few things that I wanted to answer to that you mentioned in your post, that I feel I need to say.

    I think St. Vincent of Lerins said it best that the true test of catholic, of the beliefs and tenets of the Church, is something that has believed always and by all. The only way to truly know what the Church has always believed is to look at the history.

    St. Peter was the head of the Apostles, he was the first (PROTOS), but he surely wasn’t the cause (ARCHE) of the authority of the other Apostles. The Lord Jesus Christ endowed them with the authority to bind and loosen, and not St. Peter, who also received his authority from Christ. St. Peter may be called to strengthen his brothers, but not to justify their ministries, as that comes from Christ alone who is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). St. Peter for instance recognizes St. Paul as an Apostles, but it’s not from St. Peter that he becomes an Apostle, St Paul is called by the glorified Christ. It is not a fluke that St. Paul says he goes to the LEADERS of the Church at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:2), and not LEADER. It is not fluke that St. Paul rebukes the Corinthian Church for arguing that certain Apostles are greater (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). It is not a fluke that St. Paul rebukes St. Peter for not eating with uncircumcized Christians, because he was worthy to be blamed (Galatians 2:11-14). Nor is it a fluke that the issue is not settled by the repentant and rebuked St. Peter, but by the Church in collegiality at the Jerusalem Council. It is not a fluke that the Apostles and Elders send out the decrees that it has seemed good to US and the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28). Rome had an honour above being the imperial city. As the imperial city, two shining beacons of the Church, Ss. Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome. The perpetual presence of St. Peter in Rome therefore is not the Pope as a successor of Peter, but the memory of St. Peter himself, who glorified the Triune Lord God by gladly spilling his holy blood in Rome. Rome is not SUPERIOR because of this, she is BLESSED because of this.

    Some Catholics look at the letter of St. Clement to the Church at Corinth and argue that it is a proof of Roman Universal Jurisdiction. The interesting thing is that St. Clement’s name appears nowhere in the document, and it is only by St. Ignatius of Antioch that we know that it was St. Clement who wrote it. Secondly, we know that St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote letters to the Magnesians, to the Smyrneans, to many others. No Roman Catholic would argue that this is a proof of the Universal Jurisdiction of Antioch, would they? Certainly not! What does this illutstrate? A communion of love between the churches, not unlike the communion of love that is God, the Holy Trinity. Just as the Son is wholly God, and not part, so too is every local Church THE CHURCH, and not just a part. Surely, this is the opinion of St. Clement, St. Ignatius, St. Cyprian and many early Church Fathers.

    Canon 6 of the First Ecumenical Council names Rome, Alexandria and Antioch together. There is no exclusive naming of Rome. By the Fourth Ecumenical Council, the Sees of Constantinople (as the new imperial city) and Jerusalem are elevated to Patriarchates also, bringing the number to 5, with Rome holding the honorary first seat of equals, because she is the imperial city. Canon 3 of the Second Ecumenical Council states that Rome has the first seat of honour because she is the imperial city. Canon 28 of the Fourth Council illustrates that this is the reason also. (These are all councils affirmed by the Roman Catholic Church…all stating that the reason for primacy was one of honour because Rome was the imperial city).

    St. Cyprian’s Unity of the Catholic Church is often cited as a document illustrating Roman UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION. The fact is that unlike Roman Catholicism, that teaches that each local Church is part of the whole, St. Cyprian was referring to the local Church and discussing its catholic (wholeness, completeness) status. At the same time, St. Cyprian is talking about the episcopal ministry, calling every bishop a successor of THE CHAIR of Peter. St. Cyprian states that all the Apostles had a like power, and that there was nothing that Peter had that the others didn’t. They were all shepherds in the one flock. Historically placed, St. Cyprian was writing when Novatian was rejecting Pope Cornelius, who held the chair at Rome as bishop. Cyprian was stressing the importance of Apostolic foundation. If St. Cyprian was aruging that the wholeness belongs to one bishop, one of Rome, why does he go on in the next chapter of his De Unitate, to state, “The authority of the BISHOPS forms a UNITY, of which EACH HOLDS HIS PART IN ITS TOTALITY”. If I didn’t know better, it sounds like St. Cyprian is saying that each bishop is the authority of his part, and that part is a totality, is catholic. Each episcopal seat is the Chair of Peter in its totality, according to St. Cyprian. This is why Auer writes in his Catholic Catechism, “The Church”, pg.287, that “It is NO LONGER possible today to join Cyprian in seeing the Petrine succession in the bishop of each local Church”. I ask, WHY? Auer doesn’t say. There is never a reason given as to why that cannot be the case today. It is not possible, because the developped doctrine today in the RCC looks nothing like this.

    In the early centuries, the Church was divided according to the PRINCIPLE of ACCOMODATION, and this was the case in the West too. Under Diocletian, says Frances Dvornik, a Roman Catholic historian, the jurisdiction of Rome was lessened by political divisions and given to the bishop of Milan. Rome seems to have accepted the this situation because it conformed to the principle of ACCOMODATION. So, NO, Rome did not always assert UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION, and NO, Rome did not always make claims of primacy based on St. Peter. To be sure, the earliest records of bishops, like that of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, do not name St. Peter the first bishop of Rome, but St. Linus, a disciple of St. Paul (Adversus Haereses III.3.3.). It is not by fluke that St. Gregory the Dialogist, Pope of Rome, call the Roman flock he tends to children of Paul in his Dialogues. After all, Holy Tradition tells us that St. Peter was in Rome to be martyred, and that before that, he was in Antioch for seven years. Moreover, to St. Peter are attributed the Sees of Antioch, Tripoli, Laodicea, Caesarea. If there is a Petrine Primacy, why did these other sees, why did not Anitioch lay claim to it? Because they understood correctly what 4th-5th century Rome started misinterpreting.

    What were the historical and the political factors that triggered the Petrine claims?
    1) The Imperial City moved from Rome to Constantinople, New Rome.
    2) The Empire in the West as a Political Institution crumbles to the barbarian invasions.
    3)The See of Rome is the only social structure left after everything else is destroyed
    4) Being the only Apostolic See in the West, and apart from the East, Rome can make and magnify claims without her THEN sister churches buffering her claims.

    It is not a secret that the Fifth Ecumenical Council argued that questions of faith could only be solved COLLEGIALLY, by a Synod, not by a single individual, not even the first among equals, the Pope of Rome. The Jerusalem Council was cited at the Fifth Ecumenical Council to illustrate that COLLEGIALITY WAS ALWAYS THE WAY OF THE CHURCH.

    Was the Pope always historically INFALLIBLE? NO, he certainly was not! Pope Honorius was condemned at the Sixth Ecumenical Council as a Monothelite heretic. Earlier than this, at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, Pope Vigilius refused to condemn the books that the council had collegially found heretical, but wanted to give the decision himself. He was REMOVED FROM THE COMMUNION! He was only later reintroduced, after recognizing the Council’s decision. THIS COUNCIL REFUSED VIGILIUS HIS CLAIM THAT HE CAN MAKE UNILATERAL VALID DECISIONS ON HIS OWN IN MATTERS OF FAITH. This is again, a council that is seen as Ecumenical in both West and East. Furthermore, anytime a new bishop of Rome was consecrated, the Pope would read from the Liber Diurnus, the Profession of Faith, and the anathema that was put on Pope Honorius the heretic. This practice was continued until, (surprise, surprise) the eleventh century reforms of the Germanic popes.

    With the filioque controversy, Pope Leo III rejected it as heresy. Pope Hadrian I did the same. Pope John VIII, earlier had rejected not only filioque, but claims of UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION, also. These were Popes, who according to Pastor Aeternus were INFALLIBLE. The Germanic popes had no qualms about overturning Pope John VIII condemnation of filioque, inserting it. If the Pope is infallible, these Reformer popes ERRED in overturning the condemnation of filioque. If the previous popes erred in condemning filioque, THEN THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS INFALLIBLITY, no NOT EVEN ON DOCTRINES OF FAITH in the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Infallibility, as has always been taught in the Church, comes with COLLEGIALITY.

    Uncertaindrummer, you argue that the Pope is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra, and I’ve heard many Roman Catholics argue, what I consider to be vain argument, that he has only spoken ex cathedra once or twice. NOT ACCORDING TO PASTOR AETERNUS. If I may quote the bull that made PAPAL INFALLIBLITY a doctrine in 1870: “We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, WHEN, IN THE EXERCISE OF HIS OFFICE AS SHEPHERD AND TEACHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authoirty, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that INFALLIBLITY which the divine Redeemer willed His Church to enjoy in defining doctrines concerning faith and morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, AND NOT BY THE CONSENT OF THE CHURCH, IRREFORMABLE”. (Pastor Aeternus 4). This is completely at odds with the history of the Church. The Ecumenical Councils forbade any bishop to speak for the whole Church, like the 5th Ecumenical Council and Pope Vigilius, who was removed from the communion. Doctrines come not from the Pope, but the Church in COLLEGIALITY. Finally, it is the CONSCIENCE OF THE CHURCH, which has always been clergy and laity, to confirm that what has been declared has always been taught and is confirmed by the Body of Christ. The same is true for Councils. St. Maximos the Confessor rightly said that “Truth judges synods”…a Council is not Ecumenical by its nature…there was the Robber Synod of 449 that was rejected, as were other false ones, that declared false teachings. This audacious claim of INFALLIBILITY was never in the Church, as Roman Pontiffs were WRONG IN FAITH AND MORALS, and IN THEIR OFFICE, before. On top of this, to say that these decrees are IRREFORMABLE? The decrees of one BISHOP? Speaking for the entire Church? If these false doctrines are truly irreformable, there is an unbridgable chasm between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy knows that the Church shows the bishop is not INFALLIBLE. Nestorianism? Was sprouted by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. Let’s not delude ourselves. The only way to check heresy, and personal delusion and fault, is by testing it against a brother’s view. One calls to mind the wise words of St. Gregory, Pope of Rome, the Dialogist, NO BISHOP CAN CALL HIMSELF UNIVERSAL WITHOUT RENDERING VOID THE MINISTRY OF OTHER BISHOPS. This wise man of God, how he clearly understood his role as servant of the servants of God!

    Was the same humility there with the Germanic Popes of the Eleventh Century, when the See of Rome went from primatus to PAPATUS. The PAPACY WAS BORN! Pope Gregory VII felt that his shoe was worthy to be kissed, and stated it, that the Roman Church had never erred, the Pope cannot err, the Pope can depose bishops and Emperors, and do what he likes, like the Church is his inheritance!!!! Audacious! How about Innocent III who wasn’t pleased with the title Vicar of St. Peter, but had to change to “Vicar of Christ”, the first time it was used. When did Christ ever need to be VICARIOUSLY with HIS CHURCH ANYWAY? The Lord Who says that He is always with us (Matthew 28:20)? “The surpreme pontiff is not called the Vicar of a mere man (St. Peter is suddenly not enough), but truly the Vicar of the True God” (Regestorum sive Epistolarum I, PL 214, 292A). Can there be ANY DOUBT that these PROUD CLAIMS helped sparked what would be the Protestant Reformation? How about Boniface VIII, and Unam Sanctam, where he states “I am pope and Emperor”.

    The words of St. Gregory the Dialogist could be heard from the bishops who could not believe what had been declared at Vatican I. Bishop de las Cases of Hippo argued, “In effect the pope remains the only true bishop in the entire Church, the others being certainly bishops in name but, in reality, mere vicars” (quoted from Mansi, 52, 338). Bishop Bravard of Coutances, “the bishops appear to be no more than the vicars of the Roman pontiff, removable at his behest, whereas Christ chose TWELVE whome He called His Apostles, and all of us, who are appointed to a See, believe that when we received the fullness of the priesthood, we were wedded to that See, truly and irrevocably before God, adn that we were bound to it as to a spouse” (quoted from Mansi, 52, 678). Roman Catholic Antiochian Patriarch Gregory II Youssef rebuked Pope Pius IX, saying that the Church was not an absolute monarchy, that his decrees were against the Living Holy Tradition of the Church…to which Pius the IX made the infamous statement “I AM TRADITION”. When Gregory prostrated to kiss the Pope’s slipper, Pope Pius IX, seeking to teach him a lesson in humility, placed his foot on the nape of his neck, stepping on him, teaching him to not be so audacious. As Christians, my dear Catholic friends, we are called to be OBEDIENT, BUT ALSO TO BE RESPONSIBLE.

    Does the audacity end at Vatican I. What about Pope Pius X (must be in the name), who declared “The Pope is not only representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the pope speak? It is Jesus Christ Himself who speaks”. Okay, now this is too much. A bishop holds the place of Christ in the local Church, wears the priesthood of Christ, but HE IS NOT CHRIST. CHRIST IS CHRIST. How about Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), who said “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth, which means I am God on earth” GOD is God on earth:) As He is God in heaven. The triune Lord God is in all places and fills all things. A bishop, regardless of who that bishop is, hold the place of Christ, but is not God.

    The Orthodox Church believes and confesses that ECCLESIOLOGY is no one man’s to change. The Church arrived at her doctrines in defense of faith, arrived at her creeds, COLLEGIALLY. These are eternal Truths. This is the Biblical Example. If Christ willed the bishop of Rome to be His Vicar, INFALLIBLE, and sovereign over the whole Church, it would have been so from the beginning. It certainly is not up to negotiation! Truth is not negotiated, twisted, compromised, and then arrived at! NO, Truth is confessed! Either the Doctrine of the Infalliblity of the Bishop of Rome has always been part of the Church, or it’s an innovation and heresy. The very fact that Church history does not agree with Roman Catholic claims, illustrates to Orthodox what they have said from the beginning. It is HERESY to claim that any one bishop, regardless who he is, can speak for the WHOLE CHURCH, or IS INFALLIBLE.

    Forgive me for the long post. I tried to keep it short, but I think I had to state all that I did. Again, I surely did not mean to offend anyone. As the name would imply, we are going to have different beliefs. I had to explain to you that I’m not Roman Catholic for a reason.

    Hope you are all having a good day,
    In Christ,


    It is REALLY late and I don’t have time to reply to your post (i’ll try to do that over the weekend), but I do want to let ou know I am not in any way annoyed, I am sorry if I came off that way.


    [quote:384kvz2c] Canon 28 of the Fourth Council illustrates that this is the reason also. (These are all councils affirmed by the Roman Catholic Church…all stating that the reason for primacy was one of honour because Rome was the imperial city). [/quote:384kvz2c]
    For the record, the See of Rome rejected Canon 28.

    …. and going back to your quote:
    [quote:384kvz2c]I think St. Vincent of Lerins said it best that the true test of catholic, of the beliefs and tenets of the Church, is something that has believed always and by all. [/quote:384kvz2c]
    As far as this statement goes, I would like you to address where exactly the historical basis for Canon 28 came from…. you seem to object to Roman primacy because it is not historical (in your opinion), so I am confused how Canon 28 and the advance of Constantanople does not jump out at you as completely unwarrantable, novel, and uncanonical. The see was not Apostolic (The legend of St. Andrew founding the see was a late afterthought; it is now abandoned by all scholars.), had no glorious traditions, no reason whatever for its usurpation of the first place in the East, but an accident of secular politics. The first historical Bishop of Byzantium was Metrophanes (315-25); he was not even a metropolitan, he was the lowest in rank a diocesan bishop could be, a suffragan of Heraclea. That is all his successors ever would have been, they would have had no power to influence anyone, had not Constantine chosen their city for his capital.

    For me… the only proof I need is history…. MODERN history.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Orthodox brothers and sisters, but come on….
    Jerusalem was overrun by the Arab Moslems in 637, and was ruled by the Moslem Turks until World War I (except for 1099-1187 under the Latins).

    Antioch was notorious for heresy, succumbing successively to Docetism, Modalism, Arianism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism. After 451, it became increasingly Monophysite. It fell to the Persians in 538 and to the Arab Moslems in 637. Many bishops and a third of the people submitted to Rome in 1724 (Metkites).

    Alexandria essentially plunged into Monophysitism after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Whatever little continuing impact it had on orthodox, Chalcedonian Christianity was pretty much swept away with the Moslem conquest of 642.

    Constantinople [color=red:384kvz2c](now Istanbul)[/color:384kvz2c] fell prey to Arianism, Monophysitism, and Monothelitism, but later thrived as the center of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Orthodoxy. Its claim as “New Rome” and its place as the seat of Greek Christian culture vanished with its complete overthrow by the Turkish Moslems in 1453.

    Rome never succumbed to heresy. It experienced barbarian invasions, periodic moral decadence, a few weak or immoral popes, the Protestant Revolt, the “Enlightenment,” Modernism, etc., but always survived and rejuvenated itself. The papacy continues unabated to this day, with venerable power and prestige.

    Servant of God John Paul II dies…. and the world comes to a stand-still…. and I have yet to meet an Orthodox Catholic in person who could name all the current Patriarchs. My point? The Orthodox faith has become a non-factor in the world. The historical record shows the Primacy of Rome, and the Roman Catholic Church still has relevance in today’s world…

    … I can live with that. <img loading=” title=”Wink” />

    Peace in Christ,


    Alright, there is NO WAY I can respond to everything in your post, but I will respond to a few things:

    You seem stuck on the fact that Peter’s letters are not put first in the Bible. I’m not. I guess it is just a difference of opinion. I DON’T think the Church would put the first Pope’s letters first, any more than they would put the original Apostle’s letters in over ones who were only called later.

    Also, the Biblical evidence for Peter being the head of the Apostles is extreme, and not only that, no Christians–except heretics–ever denounced the See of Rome–EVER–until Orthodoxy came along and there was the big huge schism. If the Pope was not the head of the Church, why was there not an outcry against Pope’s usurping power EARLIER in history? There should have been.


    SOGFPP and Uncertaindrummer,
    Thank-you both for your replies. There are a few things I’d like to comment on, like the big blabber mouth that I am. Sorry <img loading=” title=”Smile” /> I think it’ll be easier if I just respond to you guys separately.

    You say that the See of Rome did not recognize Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. That’s fine, it still doesn’t change the fact that the Council, in Chalcedon, did elevate Constantinople to a Patriarchate…I don’t think the Holy Fathers would have done this if the “legend” as scholars have now rejected, didn’t have any bearing. Aside from that, there is no scholarly proof that St. Peter was ever in Rome for the 10+ years that Catholics suggest he was, but that doesn’t stop Roman Catholics from making the claim. The Church has always taught it, the bishops of Constantinople, and later Patriarchs, are enumerated from the Apostle Stachys, to the present day. Surely, a Roman Catholic who doesn’t like the idea of some supposed “usurpation” is going to reject this. Realistically, there was no USURPATION. New Rome never claimed to be taking over Rome, Constantinople never made a claim to the first honorary seat. Rome’s honorary primacy was never challenged by Constantinople’s elevation to a Patriarchate. This is something that Roman Catholics don’t seem to understand, for some strange reason.

    You state, that “I seem to object to Roman primacy because it is not historical”. You obviously haven’t been reading my posts. I did not object to Roman primacy, I surely did not say it is not historical. I said, when Rome was Orthodox, she was the first among equals, and she had a primacy of honour and privilege because she was the imperial city, and because of the blessed memory of the Ss. Peter and Paul, who were martyred in Rome. I surely never said that Roman primacy was not historic, so please don’t misconstrue what I say, or put words in my mouth. Sorry if that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it in a perturbed sense. Tone can’t be typed into a post, sorry:).

    You argue that Metrophanes was the lowest rank of a diocesan bishop. According to Christian teaching and the Holy Scriptures, there is no such thing as a greater and lesser bishop! The honourifics of Patriarch, Archbishop, Metropolitan, are placed on a bishop of a particular See, whether that be a Patriarchate, Archdiocese, etc. That doesn’t make one a greater bishop, for according to the Scriptures, all that is mentioned is a bishop, presbyter(priest) and a deacon. Yes, a Patriarch is a bishop. Yes, a pope is just a bishop. Yes, a bishop is a bishop.

    As for Jerusalem being overrun with Muslims, I’ll be the first to agree that more should have definitely been done to keep Muslims out of the Holy Land, but it is not exactly honest to say that the Byzantine Roman Empire did nothing. Battles were being fought on buffer tranzition zones all the time. One need only look at the Battles between Byzantium at Syria, at Egypt, with Seljuk and then Ottoman Muslims to know that they didn’t just say “enter”. Nor can one really say that Orthodoxy did not service in Jerusalem even with the Ottoman Muslim presence. The same is true for Antioch, where the priesthood of believers often rose up and defended the Church even when heretical bishops had taken hold of the Church, until Orthodoxy could be formally restored. Because that’s what the Church is–it’s clergy and laity. The conscience of the Church was not defeated by the heresy that seeped into the Sees of the East.

    Rome didn’t have heresy at this time? Certainly not, she was in the West. Realistically, Rome didn’t really contribute much to the theology of the Church either. Remember the heresies were coming out of the East, especially the intellectual center of Alexandria, but the rebuttals to the heresy was also coming out of the East. This isn’t because there was IMMUNITY in Rome, but because theology was coming out of the East. Even St. Clement, Pope of Rome, when he wrote to Corinth, he wrote in Greek, the language of Christian theology. It’s not a secret, and it surely doesn’t make the Eastern Patriarchates superior to the one in the West, it’s just the nature of things. To say therefore, that there weren’t faithful Christians still in the East, attacking and smashing heresy, is absolutely ridiculous. To say that heresy was victorious, is equally as ridiculous. Today, Arianism has found its way back into the light by Protestant pluralism, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, and such, and as you so aptly pointed out SOG, that was a protest against Rome, it didn’t happen in the East.

    You say that 1453 was the end of Constantinople’s influence. No, Constantinople’s influence as a spiritual leader did not end in 1453, just as it did not end in 1203 when wearers of the Cross didn’t make it to Jerusalem, but had no qualms about ransacking the City, making off with hundreds of Holy Relics back to the West, defiling the Churches and massacring thousands! 1203 did not destroy Orthodoxy, and the Latin imposition was gone in less than a hundred years. 1453, Hagia Sofia might have been overwashed with white paint, but just as the paint would chip, and the mosaics of the Mother of God would return again and again, so too did Orthodoxy not fade in the East. For 400 years, Greece was under Ottoman Rule, but that didn’t change the fact that the Orthodoxy of 1453 Greece remained intact in the 1900s when the Ottomans were pushed out of the Balkans, because come hell or high water, the Church of the Faithful has not thrown its inheritance away. The successions of all the Patriarchates continued. Some other ancient sees in the East were ended, others were founded, on the same ecclesial grace and ordination that is always with the Church. Truly, what you wrote was a huge overstatement and quite selective.

    That heresy threatened and crept into some of the Eastern Sees, I surely do not deny…it is history. Iconoclasts held the See of Constantinple for a hundred years, and they would smash the holy images. Why do you think the Orthodox comemorate the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the sRestoration of the Holy Images on the First Sunday of Great Lent, as the Sunday of Orthodoxy! How many faithful monks and lay believers witnessed for the Church and for the Truth in those hard times. But Orthodoxy prevailed! Surely I am not saying that the bishops infallibly alwys carried Orthodoxy, but Orthodox Christianity is something that is far bigger than the sum of its parts. If this does illustrate anything, it is that NO SEE or NO BISHOP can honestly think himself immune to heresy. That is being dangerously presumptous and haughty.

    Rome has never accepted heresy? Interesting! I mentioned to you that Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic. Many will argue, he is a heretic, not the Church. It’s funny they don’t argue the same thing with the heretical bishops of the East, that there were still faithful maintaining orthodoxy in those sees. Ah, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no? But how about a heresy that sprouted in the West? How about FILIOQUE? Not a heresy? Interesting, I can name Popes of Rome who thought it was heresy and rejected it. They were being pressured by Charlemagne to add it, and they did not. They rejected it as heresy, and Rome, after Germanic Popes took the seat, had no qualms about accepting it. A heresy accepted and then attempts at justification. Regardless of the fact that the Lord says the Spirit proceeds from the Father (St. John 15:26), Rome has no problem about unilaterally adding to the Creed of the Faithful that was arrived at COLLEGIALLY. There were canons forbidding the adding or deleting to the Creed, but apparently Rome probably never formally accepted those Canons, either, right? This was all just the road to what is now being called DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT, which is basically an after-the-fact justification of Rome’s malleable theology, by saying the faith once delivered to all the saints is “GROWING”. If this is the growth, it is not a legitimate growth, but rather, like an apple tree that starts growing oranges. No heresy in Rome? Are you kidding me!!!!

    You say John Paul II died and the world stood still. He was a good man, and the Lord give rest to his soul. He was also a high profile man, and a political leader, sovereign of the Vatican. The numbers of Roman Catholicism are far bigger than Orthodox numbers, so it’s not exactly a fair assessment to say that just because not so many know the Eastern Patriarchs, that they are not important. Realistically, Roman Catholicism is high profile, that in and of itself, does not make it right or correct. Christ never said large numbers and high profile will set you free, but He said the TRUTH will. The wide path is easily followed, it will have plenty of numbers, but it is the narrow path that is tread by fewer. If you think that profile of the Pope makes Catholics right about everything, or more relevant to the world, I think that’s about the most superficial argument I’ve heard thus far. You minimize the importance of Orthodoxy, without knowing that literally thousands of books are being translated into English and not fast enough, that the Orthodox Church is one of the quickest growing Christian Churches in North America, that they are encouraging Orthodox men to join the priesthood, because there is such great demand. Surely you don’t know this, SOG, you just make these negligent empty statements of “not being relevant” without looking into the subject.

    I know that Orthodox today believe what Orthodox in the first century believed. I know that we don’t teach innovative philosophical, legalistic views like purgatory for residue of forgiven sin, or limbo for babies who have not been baptized, or a series of other “developments” that have made their way into your malleable theology over the centuries. We surely have not suggest that the Lord’s redemptive work needed the assistance of the Blessed Virgin, as some Catholics are pushing the Pope to recognize.

    Of course, a Roman Catholic would never argue that there are heresies in his church. Since 1870, you have been taught that the bishop that guides Rome, and every Roman Catholic See, is infallible. Pastor Aeternus tells you a bishop is infallible, while the history of the Church, pre-schism, our common inheritance, tells you that patriarchs like Nestorius and popes like Vigilius and Honorius have been excommunicated, or in the case of Honorius, condemned as heretics! CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS? DO YOU HAVE BLINDERS ON? If the heresy that came from the Eastern heretical Patriarchs stigmatizes us, SOGFPP, as you do not hesitate to enumerate, and which I certainly do not deny, because the proof is all there…with the difference, than none of the Eastern Sees make vain claims that their bishops are infallible. Bishops are men, and as such, are fallible. But the Church IN COLLEGIALITY is guided by the Holy Spirit.

    “ORTHODOXY IS A NON-FACTOR IN THE WORLD”, that’s what you said. That is obviously a biased opinion, you surely did not look into Orthodoxy to make that opinion, it’s growth or its movement in the world. You surely did not look and see that it has a thriving presence on ALL CONTINENTS. You haven’t looked at missionary work growing in Africa and South America, the Phillipines in Asia, Orthodox Churches in Japan and Korea, India…but we’re “A NON-FACTOR IN THE WORLD”. Hmmm, interesting. Maybe it’s because we are taught to be in the world, but not of the world. The high profile, doesn’t really suit us so well, but that’s okay. What you don’t see, SOG, is that your proud comments, devoid of any actual search into the Orthodox Church today, illustrates a pride that goes part and parcel with being Roman Catholic. This is what Luther rebelled against, and this is what effectually made every Protestant an “infallible pope” in themselves, deciding for themselves. They had the example thriving in the West.

    SOG, one final comment before I address Uncertaindrummer. I don’t understand how you didn’t answer on absolutely anything I wrote about the principle of accomodation, papal condemnations of the filioque, Pope John VIII condemnation of universal jurisdiction, as well as St. Gregory, Pope of Rome’s condemnation of the conotations of one bishop leading the entire Church, making other Patriarchs non-entities (look at what the bishops of your Roman Catholic Church said after Vatican I, I have three of their responses quoted for you in the previous quote. That pope of blessed memory, St. Gregory, surely did see what would happen). The increasing changes are developments, certainly. Legitimate, no. The history speaks for itself. If a bishop, not even of Rome was not infallible at the 6th Ecumenical Council when he was dubbed a heretic, then it is surely not a legitimate “doctrinal development” to say he is today. Period. It’s heresy.

    I’m not fixated on the “order” issue, I was merely trying to get you to understand the nature in which I wrote it. It’s the last time I’ll mention it, it’s not even important. Forget I brought it up.

    You say biblical evidence shows Peter was the head of the Apostles. Biblical evidence shows Peter took a leading role in the Gospel, but never that he was something the other Apostles were not. Even St. Peter himself comments that all are witnesses to the Risen Christ. St. Peter was witnessing, didn’t mean that the other Apostles were not doing the same thing. The fact that St. Peter was rebuked illustrates that he was not infallible, and that his views and teachings were not the views of the Church. The fact that this matter was settled in COLLEGIALITY illustrates what the Holy Scripture teaches, and what the Councils supported…COLLEGIALITY. Neither you nor SOG addressed why St. Irenaeus of Lyons, writing in the 2nd Century, names St. Linus as the first bishop of Rome? He is a Western Father, too.

    You say that noone who was Christian rebuked the See of Rome until Orthodoxy “came along” The Eastern Orthodox Church, we’re the ones who still recite the Creed without the unilateral alteration…the Original text. The innovator was Rome. We didn’t “come along” my friend, we had a common history. You are trying to argue that no one can deny Rome, that she is immune to heresy? Sheer arrogance. Rome had been spared from the controversial heresies that grew out of the East, granted, but they had no qualms in agreeing with the theology that was coming out of the East to refute and smash that same heresy, and return orthodox practice. What about when false teaching was birthed in the West? What about filioque, condemned by many Roman Popes, supposedly always infallible, but today, you vainly call it Catholic. EITHER THE POPES WERE WRONG TO CONDEMN IT, OR THE GERMANIC POPES WERE WRONG TO ACCEPT IT. EITHER WAY, INFALLIBLITY HISTORICALLY CRUMBLES. This is precisely why it needs to claim infallibility and “doctrinal development”…because it NEEDS IT, because it can’t rest on anything outside that. It was unilateral addition to the Creed, forbidden by all Ecumenical Councils, but I guess Rome didn’t accept those canons either, huh? If the Orthodox “WHO CAME ALONG” did anything, Uncertaindrummer, it was call Rome on her growing audacity. Surely this didn’t start in the eleventh century, and it is nonsense to say that there wasn’t an outlash to these claims earlier. Pope Vigilius who I mentioned earlier, wanted to give the decision unilaterally at the Council, and he was forbidden. Rome was getting bigger than her role allowed, and history is clear in showing it. Pope Nicholas I, and Patriarch St. Photius telling him that he was claiming too much to himself, this is clear proof that Rome could not make these claims. The West rushed to call this the “Photian Schism” why? Because a bishop was telling another bishop in the Church that he (Nicholas) did not have the authority to tell Photius (another bishop) that his flock was his (Nicholas’) flock. IT APPEARS GOOD TO “US” AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE “US” doesn’t exist in your church anymore. YOu say the Magesterium and the bishops….those bishops are only validated by that pope…their authority is not from God as ordained bishops, but by the BISHOP OF THE BISHOPS. The US, is I in Roman Catholicism since Pastor Aeternus. No more Holy Fathers, but ONE HOLY FATHER.

    That’s all I’ll say. Like I said, I’m a blabbermouth, I forget to stop sometimes. God be with you all.


    Well as usual, I simply cannot reply to your whole post, it is jsut WAY TOO LONG. I do appreciate it though, I found it interesting.

    Second, I am no historical expert, so I would indeed find it difficult to argue with you based on historical issues.

    First, I would liek a clarification of certain things: Orthodox do not believe in purgatory? Is that what you were saying? Do you not believe in the Immaculate Conception? I was under the impression orthodox DID believe in these doctinres, maybe I am wrong.

    Second, Jesus told Peter, and PETER ALONE that he would be the “rock” upon which Jesus built His church, Now Protestants try to wriggle out of this in all kidns of strange ways but I find it difficult to believe you would. You are obviously highly intelligent, and yet you don’t believe Peter was any different than the other Apostles despite being the Rock? Also, Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep (His flock, the Church), something he never told the other Apostles. Peter DID give the keys to Heaven to all of the Apostles but only gave them siongularly to Peter. Peter’s name is mentioned 195 times in the Gospels, John is next with 27! Granted, that doesn’t prove anything, but it certainly leans in favor of Peter’s primacy.

    Also, whenever the Apostles are listed, Peter is always lsited FIRST, and Judas LAST. If you want some sort of honourific proof that Peter was considered the leader, that is pretty convincing.



    Hmmm…. what an unsettling turn. Oh well.

    I was hoping to have a decent discussion about this, but it seems I have touched a nerve.

    I gave my opinion (right or wrong) about the thread topic… I don’t believe I made any assumptions about you personally or make personal attacks directed at you.

    [quote:2ryl7m1t]Surely you don’t know this, SOG, you just make these negligent empty statements of “not being relevant” without looking into the subject.


    SOG, is that your proud comments, devoid of any actual search into the Orthodox Church today,

    Are you kidding me!!!!

    Surely you don’t know this, SOG, you just make these negligent empty statements of “not being relevant” without looking into the subject.[/quote:2ryl7m1t]
    I actually have great respect for the Orthodox faith and am trying to educate myself on a daily basis about the Church.

    I gave my opinion….. and because it differs from yours, you have decided to question my education, my humilty… etc.

    This is unacceptable to me… I would have rather had a discussion and learn something from you, but as I read more and more of your posts, I realize I should just avoid you and concentrate on a diologue with Orthodox members who are a bit more charitable….. who’ve got a little bit more of that Uncreated Light in them.

    Peace be with you,


    You’re right…if you’re looking for someone who has the Uncreated Light, you won’t find him here. I’m sorry, you’re right. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry if I offended you. I surely didn’t mean to question your humility, and you’re right, I did. I am a man with passions, and surely, I shouldn’t let them get the best of me like that. I reacted defensively, because I know that Orthodox Christianity is not a non-entity in the world, and I just figured that anyone who looks at Orthodoxy, and it’s demand in the USA alone, which I am not from, one would surely not state that it is a non-entity.

    For what it’s worth, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said many things in that post. I don’t blame you for avoiding me…and I’m surely not a spokeperson nor a beacon for Orthodoxy, not even on my “best” days. You’ll probably be better enlightened by someone else.



    Well this is a depressing end to the discussion…


    I certainly didn’t mean to end the discussion, nor did I mean to depress or offend anyone. Like I said, I went on the defensive, because I think it is unrealistic, or a gross over-generalization to call Orthodoxy, a non-entity. This does not, nor do I mean for it to, excuse what I said. I’m hoping that people will understand and forgive, but that is there perogative. This is why I said that if you guys can definitely find better tempered, certainly more spiritually illumined Orthodox to discuss, that’s wonderful. I certainly don’t mind continuing the discussion with anyone. I should probably just insert, as a head’s up, that I tend to make mistakes and say things on top of my irritation sometimes. I try to keep that to a minimum, but every now and then, it gets the better of me. I’m a soul in the struggle between good and evil, and surely never claimed to be a saint.
    The least in Christ,


    Well I don’t remember ever calling Orthodoxy a non-entity, although I will admit I live in a place where Orthodoxy is… rare to say the least.

    But I definitely liked learning more about it. I do think you got a LITTLE defensive though, but believe me, it happens to the best of us. I tend to piss people off quite a bit on message boards, a fact which anyone who has ever been to Creedfeed can attest to, lol

    But seriously, I wasn’t offended by anything you said.


    Thanks for your post, and for your understanding.


    There is no denying that the east had it harder then the west. With most all the invasions happening in the east, it is easy to see why most of the theology was coming from there. Although there was a moment of silence since the Turks invaded in 1453. Which is thought by many to be the official separation of the east from the west. Why such silence since it’s separation from Rome? The reading I’ve done thus far has lead me to believe that BOTH sides had some fault in the schism. One of my questions is a schism ever justified? I’m sure both sides will say no. But the most crucial question is whether Peter was simply has a primacy of honor or does it go beyond on that and does he have a primacy of authority?

    To show Peter’s primacy of authority I will open with a commentary by Catholic Answers:

    At every juncture where Jesus speaks of Peter’s relation to the other apostles, he emphasizes Peter’s special mission to them and not simply his place of honor among them.
    In Matthew 16:19, Jesus gives Peter “the keys to the kingdom” and the power to bind and loose. While the latter is later given to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18), the former is not. In Luke 22:28‚Äì32, Jesus assures the apostles that they all have authority, but then he singles out Peter, conferring upon him a special pastoral authority over the other disciples which he is to exercise by strengthening their faith (22:31‚Äì32).

    Listen to what some of the fathers had to say about Peter’s office:

    [b:1j4v1kyb]St. Peter Chrysologus[/b:1j4v1kyb]
    “In all things we exhort you, honorable brother, that you obediently attend to the things which have been written down by the Most Blessed Pope of the city of Rome, since Blessed Peter, seated and presiding in his own see, offers the truth of the faith to those who are seeking it. For we out of zeal for peace and for the faith cannot hear cases regarding the faith without the consent of the bishop of the city of Rome” (Letter to Eutyches, 2, A.D. 449).

    [b:1j4v1kyb]St. Fulgentius of Ruspe[/b:1j4v1kyb]
    “That which the Roman Church, which has the loftiest place on the earth, teaches and holds, so does the whole Christian world believe without hesitation for their justification, and does not delay to confess for their salvation”

    [b:1j4v1kyb]Pope Victor (A.D. 195)[/b:1j4v1kyb]
    “And he says to him again after the resurrection, ‘Feed my sheep.’ It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church’s) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided.”

    [b:1j4v1kyb]Council of Sardica,Canon V (A.D. 343/344)[/b:1j4v1kyb]
    “Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent. And be this also ordained. But if he think that the bishops are sufficient for the examination and decision of the matter let him do what shall seem good in his most prudent judgment. The bishops answered: What has been said is approved.”

    Does this sound like just honor?

    You say that the See of Rome did not recognize Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. That’s fine, it still doesn’t change the fact that the Council, in Chalcedon, did elevate Constantinople to a Patriarchate…I don’t think the Holy Fathers would have done this if the “legend” as scholars have now rejected, didn’t have any bearing. Aside from that, there is no scholarly proof that St. Peter was ever in Rome for the 10+ years that Catholics suggest he was, but that doesn’t stop Roman Catholics from making the claim. The Church has always taught it, the bishops of Constantinople, and later Patriarchs, are enumerated from the Apostle Stachys, to the present day. Surely, a Roman Catholic who doesn’t like the idea of some supposed “usurpation” is going to reject this. Realistically, there was no USURPATION. New Rome never claimed to be taking over Rome, Constantinople never made a claim to the first honorary seat. Rome’s honorary primacy was never challenged by Constantinople’s elevation to a Patriarchate. This is something that Roman Catholics don’t seem to understand, for some strange reason. [/quote:1j4v1kyb]

    Perhaps individual catholics don’t understand, but this is recognized Ted. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says, [i:1j4v1kyb]”The consummation of the schism is generally dated from the year 1054, when this unfortunate sequence of events took place. This conclusion, however, is not correct, because in the bull composed by Humbert, only Patriarch Cerularius was excommunicated. The validity of the bull is questioned because Pope Leo IX was already dead at that time. On the other side, the Byzantine synod excommunicated only the legates and abstained from any attack on the pope or the Latin Church.”[/i:1j4v1kyb]

    I will await your response.


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