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#133705 12/03/03 01:44 AM
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A couple of weeks back, Moderator Fr. Dcn. John Montalvo closed the thread on "Peter is the Rock." He suggested that a new one be started on Petrine Primacy, so here it is.

There are three things that have intrigued me on this subject and have nothing to do with the famous Peter's confession.

The first of these was described by Ray Brown. He discusses the ascendency of prominence of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. That is, as Acts unfolds, Peter takes on a more authoritative role.

Secondly, it is only when Paul disagrees with the need for circumcision and the following of the dietary laws that he seeks out the apostles, and especially Peter. To me, he would only do this if Peter held a great level of authority, even greater than Paul's (which is why Paul had to set the record straight).

Finally, the Petrine See is also the Pauline See. The Authority of the Bishop of Rome derives from both.

John, Deacon

#133706 12/03/03 02:31 AM
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You list the subject title 'Petrine PRIMACY'. The Orthodox Catholic Church has never had a problem with 'Petrine Primacy'. It does however, have a problem with 'Petrine Supremacy'.

The problems arose when the Pope wasn't satisfied with a 'primacy of honor' but opted for a 'supremacy over all'. The problem was further enhanced when the Pope wasn't satisfied with being the 'successor of St Peter' but opted to be the successor of Christ himself by making himself the 'Vicar of Christ on earth'!

So a better subject for discussion would be 'Petrine Supremacy'.

OrthoMan

#133707 12/03/03 02:59 AM
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Bob,

Could you at least make an attempt to actually discuss the issue from an Orthodox viewpoint rather than set up straw men? The issue is a complex one and there are numerous Orthodox theologians you can turn to for an accurate presentation of the Orthodox perspective. To try to reduce it to a pope being hungry for power is just silly and polemical. You do a disservice to Orthodoxy when you set up straw men rather than put forth a well reasoned Orthodox viewpoint.

Regarding the “Vicar of Christ” comment we have discussed this many times. The reason we kiss the hand of a bishop or priest is because he stands in the place of Christ. He is the visible presence of Christ before us. The title is not one belonging to Orthodoxy but the theology behind it is not un-Orthodox.

Admin

#133708 12/03/03 03:54 AM
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[Could you at least make an attempt to actually discuss the issue from an Orthodox viewpoint rather than set up straw men? The issue is a complex one and there are numerous Orthodox theologians you can turn to for an accurate presentation of the Orthodox perspective.]

Administrator: Who's setting up a straw man? The issue regarding the Pope is not one of just 'primacy' alone. Its the type of 'primacy' which is the issue. And you know it as well as I. Only I choose to call it what it really is rather than sugar coat it with a lot of RC mumble jumble.

Added to the self proclaimed titles of the Pope such as 'Universal Bishop' & 'SUPREME Pontiff'..... 'Vicar of Christ' has a very different meaning to those within the Roman Catholic Church and its sui juris appendages than it does to an Orthodox Catholic.

And, I have addressed to issue by quoting Orthodox replies on the subject matter. Do a search on some of my replies from the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue going on regarding the issue being discussed.

My point being lets call it what it really is - Papal Supremacy since we Orthodox Catholics don't have a problem with 'Papal Primacy' within the context that it was for most of the first millenium.

Orthodoc

#133709 12/03/03 01:52 PM
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OrthoMan wrote:
The problems arose when the Pope wasn't satisfied with a 'primacy of honor' but opted for a 'supremacy over all'. The problem was further enhanced when the Pope wasn't satisfied with being the 'successor of St Peter' but opted to be the successor of Christ himself by making himself the 'Vicar of Christ on earth'!
Bob,

You have attempted to render the whole issue to merely one of a power-hungry pope. Further, you have not responded to any of the three issues that Father Deacon John has put forth for discussion. Your post is nothing more than an attempt to set up a straw man (which you do quite regularly). Your effort just won’t work because the issue is more complex. What East and West differ on is the nature of the primacy of Rome. Name calling (i.e., sui juris appendages) may make you feel better but it really only succeeds in showing you as a person who does not have any respect for other Christians. Why cannot you participate by imitating the style of the late Fathers Alexander Schmemann or John Meyendorff (Memory Eternal!)? Both managed in their writings to powerfully present the Orthodox position on papal primacy without resorting to either name-calling or quote wars.

If you honestly believe that Rome is capable of speaking nothing but “RC mumble jumble” I suggest that your argument is really with the representatives of your own Church, who participate in the official Catholic/Orthodox dialogue. Perhaps you need to work at convincing them how horribly evil Rome is in your eyes and ask them to cut off all dialogue with the Catholic Church.

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#133710 12/03/03 02:15 PM
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Dear Orthoman,

Perhaps it is your tenor of speech that might be the problem? smile

Ultimately, though, I see what you wrote as being "spot on."

The Roman papacy filled a vacuum with the absence of a strong secular authority in the person of a Roman emperor.

This development is now critiqued even by RC scholars who see in it something that not only had nothing to do with the Church and the Gospel, but as something that led even to the tensions in the West that resulted in the Reformation.

Perhaps you could tell us more about how a reformed Papacy that might be acceptable to Orthodoxy should function?

God bless,

Alex

#133711 12/03/03 02:24 PM
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Alex wrote:
Ultimately, though, I see what you wrote as being "spot on."
I disagree. Bob’s argument is nothing but straw because of his lack of charity. Those who wish to understand the Orthodox position on this issue should turn to the writings of Orthodox theologians. Bob’s posts only detract from this understanding.

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Alex wrote:
The Roman papacy filled a vacuum with the absence of a strong secular authority in the person of a Roman emperor. This development is now critiqued even by RC scholars who see in it something that not only had nothing to do with the Church and the Gospel, but as something that led even to the tensions in the West that resulted in the Reformation.
While there is certainly a historical development of the petrine primacy I know of no legitimate RC scholar who believes that petrine primacy is based on fiction. Alex, can you please provide an example (with references) of the argument of one of these scholars?

#133712 12/03/03 02:29 PM
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I have a book called "Jesus, Peter, and The Keys" which I have read "bits, pieces, and sections" of since I got it about 6 years ago.

Now I am reading it from front to back, and marking up the margins with penciled notes. I wonder if some of you might find it interesting as well.

The book looks at the Papacy from several viewpoints....Scripture, Tradition, and modern scholars. It makes use of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant resources.

I'm guessing the book is still available.

The full title is: Jesus, Peter, and the Keys
A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy

Authors: Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgreen, and David Hess


Let us pray for Unity In Christ!
#133713 12/03/03 03:58 PM
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From a purely historical standpoint the primacy of Peter is not debated by Catholic or Orthodox as far as I can tell. The role of the pope in the universal Church (a sneeky way of avoiding the word "catholic" -- even if lower case) is something that requires careful study and examination.

While Alex correctly points out that the lack of imperial leadership in Rome led to the pope taking over both the spiritual and political leadership of Rome, this development is, IMNSHO, an accident of history. However, because of the problems faced by Rome the development of theology in the West was stagnated and, consequently, they did not have to deal with the early heresies that plagued the East. This accidental purity of theology led the East to ask the West to intervene in several debates.

Finally, the fact that the Latin Church grew to be so large that the Patriarch of the West had authority over some 80% of Christianity directly has to be considered in this equation.

These three items seem to be the springboard for the modern papacy and its "supremacy." That the role of the pope today is not what the Early Church envisioned is pretty much acknolwedged by all. The Holy Father himself has called for dialog on what the role of the papacy might be.

If we set aside the issue of the Orthodox Church in this problem, there is still an issue for Eastern Catholics, especially those in Patriarchal Churches. If the rights and prerogatives of these Churches are to be honored, the pope really has to keep a "hands off" relationship with them. On the other hand, Scripture records that Peter's charge is to "build up the brethren" which suggests an "elder brother" sort of approach in which he may gently, fraternally, correct. I'm certain that all will agree that such correction, when it has been given, has been neither gentle nor fraternal. Yet, the writings of the popes has, for the most part, reflected a sensitivity that has not always been present on the part of the hierarchy that has dealt with the East.

Where, then, do we go with this? I submit that the model of the Early Church is incomplete as it reflected an organism that was still growing -- much as the model of Acts does not reflect the model of the pentarchy (the five Patriarchal Churches). Yet, in the Early Church we must find the roots for what is to be used.

The reason I don't see the Patriarchal model working today is something that is near and dear to the heart of our Administrator -- the fact that we no longer honor the "one city, one bishop" rule.

What has happened is simple: the Patriarch of the West has subjects all over the world so he is, in effect, the Patriarch of the World since all Latin Catholics belong to him. This condition does not apply to Orthodoxy since they mostly retained, until the Americas, the principle of one bishop, one city. Yet, even there we find difficulty as there are Greek Orthodox in Russian territories and Russian Orthodox in Greek territories. This dilution of clear boundaries is something that must be addressed.

However, I do believe that we can derive a model from the Pentarchy that is workable. Each Patriarch would have the ultimate voice in "his" Church. All would meet as brothers with the pope having a "primacy of honor" (primus inter pares -- first among equals) coupled with the function of fraternal correction. This correction is to be applied not in disiplinary matters, but only in matters of theology -- and even then only in matters where a schism would result should the issue not be resolved.

All juridic authority of the pope over those Churches in communion with him must be surrendered. I can see no solution that would be possible without this.

Edward, deacon and sinner

#133714 12/03/03 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by FrDeaconEd:


All juridic authority of the pope over those Churches in communion with him must be surrendered. I can see no solution that would be possible without this.

FrDeaconEd,

Yes, I think what you are suggesting is occurring since V-II. It is a work in process.

I might add that modern popes have been the greatest cheerleaders, if I may use that term, on behalf of the Eastern Churches.

As succesor of St. Peter, the Holy Father is the "Big Gun" who can come in handy to help restore and maintain the patrimony of the Christian Churches of the East.

2-cents.

Regards,

Paul

#133715 12/03/03 07:52 PM
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Well yes perhaps "juridic authority" has to and can be surrended. But there will always be times when it is necessary for the Pope of Rome, as the appeal of the last court, to be juridically involved in another Patriarchate, as was the case in the first millenium. As first among equals the repsonsibiity for maintaining unity still fall upon him as head of the Episcopal College.

Stephanos I
Unworthy Monk and Arch sinner.

#133716 12/03/03 08:32 PM
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Dear Administrator,

First of all, I apologise for my attempt at trying to be conciliatory. It was none of my business and I shouldn't have stuck my nose in.

Secondly, I referred to the historical development of the papacy as a monarchical institution, not to the petrine primacy itself.

There are RC discussions on this development galore and I recently purchased a book with a number of such discussions that is currently on loan from my private home library.

When I get it back, I will be happy to share the particular details of it. Although I suspect that when someone asks for particular details about sources, as you have, it is simply an expression of dismay, anger. disappointment or disgust - or all of the preceding.

And it's not like you're hearing about this issue from the RC standpoint for the first time.

Again, I'm sorry to have butted in when my comments were not asked for.

Alex

#133717 12/03/03 08:49 PM
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Alex,

Thank you for your post. It puts what you stated earlier in a better context. I agree that there are some good RC studies that separate the development of petrine primacy from that of the petrine civil-monarchy (for a lack of a better term). Your original post seemed to be stating that the RC scholars believed that the development of petrine primacy was merely secular and not rooted in the Gospel

I do admit to a certain level of dismay, anger, disappointment and disgust! When someone mentions something very interesting I find it extremely annoying when they do not provide a reference so that I can investigate further. Please do post the references when you have the opportunity.

Admin

#133718 12/03/03 08:56 PM
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Dear Administrator,

Well, I have noticed that the scholarly level of this forum has risen considerably over the past several months!

I have always enjoyed reading on these topics and usually have a good memory for what is written.

But a very bad one for authors, book titles, publishing houses, dates of issue and Library of Congress numbers.

Perhaps I'll take one of those memory courses - after I'm settled into a new line of work.

Alex

#133719 12/03/03 09:09 PM
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Father Deacon Ed wrote:
The reason I don't see the Patriarchal model working today is something that is near and dear to the heart of our Administrator -- the fact that we no longer honor the "one city, one bishop" rule.
Let me throw this out as something to consider. While I certainly do believe that we need to return to the “one city, one bishop” rule I also believe in economy. I can envision, by way of economy, that, in a reunited Church, the Roman Catholics in Russia could continue in separate jurisdictions yet still be subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow. Such dioceses could co-exist (at least for several generations) and the bishops of those dioceses would be members of the Patriarchal Synod. Similar arrangements could be made in other countries. In Italy, for example, the Russian Orthodox would become subject to the Patriarch of Rome (the pope). In Ukraine, the Roman Catholics and Russian Orthodox would become subject to the Patriarch of Kiev. This method would allow a return to the “once city, one bishop” rule at least at the patriarchal level. I invite a critique of this idea.

-

Father Deacon John Petrus, can you please elaborate on the three points you made?

In the Acts of the Apostles Peter’s role does ascend. At the Council of Jerusalem Peter’s words were given the greatest weight and really solved the issue.

Paul logically seeks out the other apostles to help him convince Peter of his position because he knows that Peter has the final say.

The Petrine See is also the Pauline See. Is it reasonable to claim petrine authority on this basis? I’m not clear about this third point and welcome further development of this point.

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