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#122063 - 07/28/02 05:52 PM The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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This was the formula that settled the first schism between East and West. It was concluded in Constantinople in AD 519:

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. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied. From this hope and faith we by no means desire to be separated and, following the doctrine of the Fathers, we declare anathema all heresies, and, especially, the heretic Nestorius, former bishop of Constantinople, who was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, by Blessed Celestine, bishop of Rome, and by the venerable Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. We likewise condemn and declare to be anathema Eutyches and Dioscoros of Alexandria, who were condemned in the holy Council of Chalcedon, which we follow and endorse. This Council followed the holy Council of Nicaea and preached the apostolic faith. And we condemn the assassin Timothy, surnamed Aelurus ["the Cat"] and also Peter [Mongos] of Alexandria, his disciple and follower in everything. We also declare anathema their helper and follower, Acacius of Constantinople, a bishop once condemned by the Apostolic See, and all those who remain in contact and company with them. Because this Acacius joined himself to their communion, he deserved to receive a judgment of condemnation similar to theirs. Furthermore, we condemn Peter ["the Fuller"] of Antioch with all his followers together together with the followers of all those mentioned above.

Following, as we have said before, the Apostolic See in all things and proclaiming all its decisions, we endorse and approve all the letters which Pope St Leo wrote concerning the Christian religion. And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise that from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries. But if I attempt even the least deviation from my profession, I admit that, according to my own declaration, I am an accomplice to those whom I have condemned. I have signed this, my profession, with my own hand, and I have directed it to you, Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of Rome.


OrthoMan and I began a discussion on this in another thread. Perhaps we can take it up again here? I have attempted to give some background on this Formula based on some of my own research at:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/hormisdas.html

Bob had begun by giving some of his thoughts on it. Bob, care to continue?

#122064 - 07/28/02 07:53 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Dear Dave Ignatius,

This is powerful stuff. I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.

Of course Rome was not the only Apostolic See. But it is manifestly obvious that in this context, the statement is certainly referring to Rome. This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.

I'll be looking forward to learning more about the significance of this statement as the dialogue develops. Thanks for your work.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian

#122065 - 07/28/02 08:55 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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>This is powerful stuff. I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.

I think it is approached as history, that prior to the great schism, Rome was indeed the premier Apostolic See, that She was often looked to for resolution of conflicts, and that She was the best of the best, a kind of Michael Jordan, who was the premier player among great players. Technical term is Primer inter Pares, first among equals. She was not seen as infallible - No bishop was seen by the early Church as infallible, and indeed, whenever ecumenical councils met, even the previous unanimous concilliar decisions were reaffirmed [or not!] - So that not even unanimous ecumenical Bishop vote was seen as infallible.

The matter of the play on words in "You are Peter" was I think taken and given as a eulogism of honor, and not taken literally as the Roman See does today. Even in the West, it was not dogmatically understood this way for the first thousand years and more...

Others can doubtless answer better than I...

geo


"Be not troubling of you the heart..."
#122066 - 07/29/02 12:04 AM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Dave, do you have a reference to the complete translation of the actual document itself? Very enlightening.

#122067 - 07/29/02 11:14 AM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:


>>>This is powerful stuff.<<<

Not really. Every now and again, a "Catholic" apologist will dredge it up as "proof" that the Eastern Churches accepted "papal supremacy". But to put the Acacian Schism and the "Formula of Hormosidas" in those terms is anachronistic at best, and ignores the actual historical context of both the dispute and the resolution.

>>>I really would like to know what the modern Orthodox response would be such a precedent from the early Church. I hope it is something better than trying to dodge the question by claiming the "Apostolic See" didn't necessarily refer to Rome.<<<

The answer is that the "Formula" was imposed on the Eastern Churches by the Emperor Justin I as a means of ending the Acacian Schism and therefore open the way to the reestablishment of Byzantine jurisdiction over Italy (which was accomplished by Justin's successor Justinian the Great). When the document was ratified by the Church of Constantinople, the Patriarch signed his name with a caveat, that "Constantinople, being 'New Rome', is one with and equal to 'Old Rome'". There was never on the part of the Eastern Churches any interpretation of the Formula of Hormosidas as making them "subordinate" to the Church of Rome, let alone the notion that Rome had any sort of jurisdiction over the Eastern Churches. Going beyond the immediate facts around the signing of the Formula, one must look at how the Eastern Churches actually lived their relationship with the Church of Rome in order to see what interpretation must be given to the Formula itself. And there, we see that the Eastern Churches acted as full and independent, neither subordinate to or under the jurisdiction of Rome. In effect, everything stayed as it was, and in the three centuries after the signing of the Formula, it remains an historical fact that the Bishop of Rome had to have his election ratified by the Emperor of New Rome, and had to submit a synodicon to the imperial exarch at Ravenna. In other words, the Formula of Hormosidas had absolutely NO effect on the inner or outer lives of either the Western or Eastern Churches, and therefore has no bearing on relations between the Eastern and Western Churches today--except in the minds of people like Jim Likoudis.

>>>Of course Rome was not the only Apostolic See. But it is manifestly obvious that in this context, the statement is certainly referring to Rome. This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.<<<

Meaning nothing, since the primacy of Rome was acknowledged throughout the Ecumene (the bounds of the Roman world, East and West). The key question, always ignored by both sides, is what primacy actually meant at the time when there was unity in the Church. And most assuredly, that primacy bore no relationship to the Roman self-defined concept that emerged in the wake of the Gregorian reforms and which reached its apogee in Pastor Aeternus.

#122068 - 07/29/02 11:26 AM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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>>>I think it is approached as history, that prior to the great schism, Rome was indeed the premier Apostolic See, that She was often looked to for resolution of conflicts, and that She was the best of the best, a kind of Michael Jordan, who was the premier player among great players.<<<

it would be more accurate to say that Rome, being both an intellectual backwater and lacking a theological "school" of its own on par with Alexandria and Antioch, and later Constantinople (the real "superstars" of the patristic era Churches), and being inately conservative in outlook, tended to stand aloof from the various controversies of the day and so served as a benchmark of Christian orthodoxy against which new concepts were measured. Rome did very little innovative thinking in the first millennium, and Leo the Great's Tome to Flavian remains very much the exception that proves the rule (and at Chalcedon, it was not blindly accepted, but tested against the gold standard Christology of Cyril of Alexandria, and then modified before being incorporated into the "Chalcedonian Formula").

Technical term is Primer inter Pares, first among equals.<<<

This is a term which is much misunderstood in contemporary society, which is not based on the two bedrocks of late classical society--status and auctoritas. Being primus inter pares has nothing to do with juridical rank, but with prestige, charisma. It was something that had to be earned and maintained, and which could not be defined in advance. In the case of Rome, it came initially because Rome was the center of the Empire, and the early Church believed that ecclesial structures should parallel those of the secular power. It also came from the prestige and auctoritas of the Church of Rome's size, wealth and above all, the witness of her martyrs. That she could number among these both Peter and Paul gave Rome an extra dash of dignitas and auctoritas, but its primacy in the first half of the first millennium was never based on "apostolicity". In fact, the apotolic argument (that Rome was founded by Peter AND Paul, later that Rome was founded by Peter, and later still, that the Bishop of Rome was Peter's heir and inherited Peter's special place) begins to emerge only as the social and political prestige of the city of Rome begins to decline in the fourth century.

>>>She was not seen as infallible - No bishop was seen by the early Church as infallible, and indeed, whenever ecumenical councils met, even the previous unanimous concilliar decisions were reaffirmed [or not!] - So that not even unanimous ecumenical Bishop vote was seen as infallible.<<<

In fact, nothing is infallible until it is received by the entire Body of Christ into the fabric of Holy Tradition. Messy, but much better than attempting to impose things by juridical fiat.

>>>The matter of the play on words in "You are Peter" was I think taken and given as a eulogism of honor, and not taken literally as the Roman See does today. Even in the West, it was not dogmatically understood this way for the first thousand years and more...<<<

This is correct. Apologetic use of Matthew 16:18 emerges quite late in the day, and was, interestingly, marked by the emergence of the myth that Andrew (the First Called) founded Byzantium--an indication that the terms of the engagement had moved out of accomodation and into apostolicity.

#122069 - 07/29/02 11:34 AM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Stuart writes:

And most assuredly, that primacy bore no relationship to the Roman self-defined concept that emerged in the wake of the Gregorian reforms and which reached its apogee in Pastor Aeternus.

As I understand things (and as I believe by faith), the primacy of Rome in every age has some relationship to every other age. I believe that the "development" of doctrine regarding the primacy found legitimate expression in "Pastor Aeternus" and its reaffirmation in a more collegial context in "Lumen Gentium."

But more and more I find these theological "constructs" on all sides are pale and quite empty in light of the reality of the Petrine Ministry in the life of the Church TODAY.

Toronto is yet another expression of this great gift - beyond all criticisms and constructs (and historical research).

I don't expect everyone to think as I do (though I expect, I suppose, that Catholics believe what the Church teaches).

#122070 - 07/29/02 12:15 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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[This at the very least is a confirmation that the Primacy of Rome is an Apostolic tradition acknowledged by the early Church.]

No Orthodox Catholic denies the primacy of Rome. The problem isn't the primacy of Rome but its claims to SUPREMACY over the entire Church. The primacy of Rome was a primacy of HONOR that was never based on Mathew 16:18 but the fact he resided in the capitol of the empire which is made very clear in the three canons of the undivided church that I have posted.
Just like no Orthodox Catholic would deny there was a preeminence OF HONOR accorded to St Peter.


[Jesus Christ, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.]

Once again the reference is refering to the FAITH of Peter since it was addressing a heresy that had arisen in the church (Nestorism). Thats what I mean about 'the context in which it is written'. Christ did not build His Church only on St Peter. Eph. 2:1920 says God's household is "built upon the foundation of the Apostles [PLURAL}," not on one.
Peter had no authority over the other Apstoles. In Acts 15 at the council of Jerusalem, he does not settle the dispute - he does not have the last word and someone else gives the judgement (Acts 15:6-21) verse 14 states: Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE LAMB.

In Mathew 18:18 we see all the Apostles are later given the power to "bind" and "loose". The "power of the keys" was given to all the bishops of the church, not only to the Roman Popes.
------------------------

I've already commented on the 'Apostolic See' and the 'Catholic religion' which at the time does not by any means refer only to the Church of Rome but also to the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandra, and Constantinople. Remember that St Peter was also the Bishop of Antioch before he went to Rome. So he also established the Apostolic See of Antioch.
Had the Pope exclaimed 'The Holy City' instead of 'the Apostolic See' are we then to assume there is only one 'Holy City' in all of Christendom? Or the 'Holy City of Rome' is more Holy than the city of Bethlehem where Christ was born or Jerusalem where Christ died?

Some of you obviously just want to dismiss the canons of the church that were accepted by all in favour of quoting church fathers out of context to prove your point.

I will give an example of what I mean.

Pope Saint Gregory writes, By the voice of the Lord the care of the entire Church was entrusted to the Holy Apostle and leader of all the Apostles Peter. (Letter 5:37)

Roman Catholics love to use this as proof of Papal supremacy. But Pope St Gregory never considered himself or anyone else to be at any given time sole occupant of Peter's office.

[Pope St gregory (Letter 7:40 [NPNF ser.2, 12:228]) calls St Euloguis, bishop of Alexandra "he who occupies St Peter's chair," and adds that by divine authority three bishops (namely Rome, Antioch, and Alexandra) preside over the single see.

That is just one example why you can post all the random quotes from the church fathers and they do not mean a thing when compared to the canons of the church because they have to be taken in the context they were written.

There is a big difference between the words 'primacy' and 'supremacy'. So, since the Roman Pope now claims universal authority over the entire church and all its bishops lets use the correct word which is SUPREMACY rather than simply PRIMACY from now on.

Can you give me ONE CANON of the individed church that gives the Roman Pope SUPREMACY over the entire church? We will start from there rather than out of context quotes by saints and early church fathers. Which will just end up in another tit for tat game which I don't intend to play for the umpteenth time.

Orthoman

P.S. Today its supposed to go up to 98 degrees with a heat factor of about 110. I did a stupid thing by putting my computer in the back bedroom where there is no air conditioning. As I write this I am slowly turning from 'medium rare' to 'medium'. There is only so far I will go to defend my Holy Orthodox Catholic faith. So you may not hear from me until while the 'heat goes on'. The temperature that is! meanwhile I will be downstairs in the air conditioning!

#122071 - 07/29/02 01:00 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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One can read the Formula of St Hormisdas anachronistically in two ways:

1)One can assume that the first millennium Church operated like the Catholic Church today--operating with a tight centralized control.

2)One can accept uncritically the typical Eastern view today that Rome was only an equal with the other Patriarchates and that what primacy it had was merely honorific.

Both are modern views and cannot be projected back onto those times. The Catholic teaching on the primacy of the successor of St Peter is one that has developed over time. This is but one stage of the development. Separate from this is the manner in which the primacy is exercised--which everyone agrees can be changed.

What we can learn from this document is (I'll only concentrate on two items):

1)What was the Church (East and West) willing to say about how to interpret Matthew 16 ("You are Peter".)

2)What the Church (East and West) was willing to say about the necessity of communion with Rome.

This is not to deny the political involvement of Justin and Justinian nor that there was some reserve on the part of some Eastern bishops (after all, that is one reason the Emperor got involved!) But, to view the Patriarch of Constantinople's addendum to it as "emptying it of all value" (as some have stated) is viewing the Formula through Reformation glasses. Whatever he meant (and that is open to question), he still submitted. For an interesting commentary (and the complete text of the Patriarch's gloss) see the latter part of the chapter "The Consequences of Chalcedon" by S. Herbert Scott:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/conseq.html

I have more to add but am out of time at the moment. I did want to ask Stuart what he meant when he referred to "Catholic" apologists with quotes around "Catholic"?

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 07-29-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]

#122072 - 07/29/02 01:11 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by DTBrown:
>>>I did want to ask Stuart what he meant when he referred to "Catholic" apologists with quotes around "Catholic"?<<<

Those for whom the entire issue of Catholicity is centered around acceptance of certain propositions regarding the Bishop of Rome, as opposed to understanding and reception of the entirety of the Catholic Tradition as maintained by all the Apostolic Churches--to which the issue of universal primacy is tangential at best.

#122073 - 07/29/02 01:13 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Dear Dave,

I've read this thread with some interest.

My response to you is that whatever the past, let's leave the theological experts to bury it.

Let us live the faith in Christ and in His Holy Catholic Church today and right NOW!

Let's allow ourselves to be penetrated by the love of the Lord Jesus, especially through the witness and example of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

If I knew nothing of Church history, and I really don't care about it now, frankly, I would recognize the Spirit at work in the Pilgrims of WYD - and in the leadership of His Holiness.

Styles of leadership change. But our job is to irradiate Christ to the world.

Nowhere in the New Testament is there ever mention made that a theologian or a church historian ever made it to heaven on his or her merits as such alone.

Let's follow His Holiness and the Pilgrims toward Christ!

Alex

#122074 - 07/29/02 01:52 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Stuart,

So, perhaps the pope is "Catholic," but not really Catholic--is that your point? smile

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

#122075 - 07/29/02 01:57 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Alex wrote:

Quote
If I knew nothing of Church history, and I really don't care about it now, frankly, I would recognize the Spirit at work in the Pilgrims of WYD - and in the leadership of His Holiness.

Styles of leadership change. But our job is to irradiate Christ to the world.

Nowhere in the New Testament is there ever mention made that a theologian or a church historian ever made it to heaven on his or her merits as such alone.

Let's follow His Holiness and the Pilgrims toward Christ!


Thanks for the reminder, Alex! We watched a bunch of the WYD on EWTN (I know a few here will go "boo! hiss!!") and enjoyed it tremendously! My son (age 13) particularly got caught up in watching the services...and he usually gets "bored" at church. He'd like to go to Cologne...I guess I'd better start saving $!

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

#122076 - 07/29/02 02:09 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Dear Dave,

Yes, it was all inspiring!

But to see what effect WYD on the participants and the presence of the Holy Father among us, well, if that is "tangential," I never want to be "central."

Alex

#122077 - 07/29/02 04:21 PM Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas  
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Quote
Originally posted by DTBrown:
>>>Stuart,

So, perhaps the pope is "Catholic," but not really Catholic--is that your point? smile

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
<<<

No, Dave, my point is that the papacy and its associated primacy exist to serve to serve the Church, the Church does not exist to justify the existence of the papacy--though, to listen to some people, you would think that without the papacy there would be no Church.

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