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The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church #251952
09/08/07 08:33 PM
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The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The recent Vatican document on ecumenical relations does not claim this of Roman Catholicism, as certain commentators suggest. In response to one such commentator, David Yonke, I wrote the following letter:
Quote
In your article of Sunday, July 22, you repeat an error that has been widespread in media reporting on the recent document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

You write: "All Christian traditions except Roman Catholicism have “defects,” “wounds,” or are not true churches, according to the controversial document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."

The document does not indicate "Roman" Catholicism, but simply "Catholicism." There are more than twenty Catholic Churches in communion with one another. With the Roman Catholic Church being the largest of these Churches and it's Pope being the head of the universal Church, many people are confused into thinking that the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic Church are the same thing. They are not. If you read more carefully, you'll note that the word "Roman" does not even appear in the document (except in the fourth footnote).

To his credit, Mr. Yonke acknowledged his error, but he then dismissed it, writing, “It is of minor significance, however, when considering the numbers of adherents affected. As you know, the vast majority of Catholics are Roman Catholics.” This is tantamount to saying that the Apostolic Church was of minor significance because the vast majority of monotheists at the time were Jews.

The Roman Catholic Church is not superior to or above the other Catholic Churches. It is equal to them. The Roman Catholic Church’s numbers are by far the greatest, yet greater numbers do not indicate greater importance. As established by the Council of Chalcedon, the Roman pontiff retains the primacy among the patriarchates of the Church. Yet, it is important that the Eastern understanding of the Petrine primacy is as "primus inter pares"(first among equals).

In reference to this, Grégoire III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkites, once said, “With all respect for the Petrine office, the patriarchal office is equal to it.” When questioned about this controversial stance Patriarch Grégoire III elaborated:
Quote
"Really I always say: I am cum Petro but not sub Petro. If I were sub Petro, I would be in submission, and I couldn’t have a true frank, sincere, strong and free communion with the Pope. When you embrace a friend, you are not “below”. You embrace him from the same height, if not it wouldn’t be a true embrace. Unita manent, (united things last)….

"The papacy, since John XXIII, is the most open authority in the world. In no other Church is there such openness and such democratic praxis as in the Church of Rome. But then there are those who want to appear as the super-Catholics, and they then insist and always only on the sub Petro and sub Roma. And so, according to me, they contradict the true sense of the papacy itself, its office to confirm the brethren in the faith. We have suffered for our communion with Rome. For a hundred and fifty years we have said Mass in the catacombs, in Damascus, because we were forbidden do it in public because of our communion with the bishop of Rome. We’re more Roman than the Romans! That’s why we want to benefit from this communion as from a treasure, a gift, a help for our faith. As Saint John says, our faith is our sole victory."


Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JohnRussell] #251985
09/09/07 11:37 AM
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The Roman Catholic Church is not superior to or above the other Catholic Churches. It is equal to them. The Roman Catholic Church’s numbers are by far the greatest, yet greater numbers do not indicate greater importance.



In other news the Pope is a Catholic. shocked


I'm afraid it's futile to believe that the media will allow themselves to be disabused of their ignorance and prejudices.


Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JohnRussell] #251999
09/09/07 05:14 PM
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JohnRussel:

I agree with you and Patriarch Gregiore III of the Melkites. However, though the Pope and the Roman Church is of equal value to the other Patriarchates, that does not mean they have equal authority and responsibilities. For one thing, the Patriarch of the Melkites does not have universal juridiction and the charism of infallibility when speaking ex cathedra.

May God bless you

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JohnRussell] #252015
09/09/07 08:45 PM
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Just as an interesting sidenote, though Patriarch Grégoire III does not say so during the interview cited above, as Patriarch of Antioch he, too, succeeds St. Peter - a tradition Pope Benedict XVI alluded to during the General Audience of March 14th .

an excerpt from that audience:
Quote
Today, we will be speaking of St. Ignatius, who was the third Bishop of Antioch from 70 to 107, the date of his martyrdom. At that time, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were the three great metropolises of the Roman Empire. The Council of Nicea mentioned three "primacies": Rome, but also Alexandria and Antioch participated in a certain sense in a "primacy".

St Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, which today is located in Turkey. Here in Antioch, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles, a flourishing Christian community developed. Its first Bishop was the Apostle Peter - or so tradition claims...

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JohnRussell] #252049
09/10/07 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnRussell
Just as an interesting sidenote, though Patriarch Grégoire III does not say so during the interview cited above, as Patriarch of Antioch he, too, succeeds St. Peter - a tradition Pope Benedict XVI alluded to during the General Audience of March 14th .

an excerpt from that audience:
Quote
Today, we will be speaking of St. Ignatius, who was the third Bishop of Antioch from 70 to 107, the date of his martyrdom. At that time, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were the three great metropolises of the Roman Empire. The Council of Nicea mentioned three "primacies": Rome, but also Alexandria and Antioch participated in a certain sense in a "primacy".

St Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, which today is located in Turkey. Here in Antioch, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles, a flourishing Christian community developed. Its first Bishop was the Apostle Peter - or so tradition claims...


Pope St. Gregory the Great also makes it clear that Peter rules from three places, Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria and that the Petrine primacy does not belong to the Pope of Rome alone. Pope Gregory the Great also denies universal jurisdiction of the papacy and regards as the antichrist any Bishop who would thrust himself over the others as universal Bishop.

Joe

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JohnRussell] #252059
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In reference to this, Grégoire III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkites, once said, “With all respect for the Petrine office, the patriarchal office is equal to it.” When questioned about this controversial stance Patriarch Grégoire III elaborated:
Quote
"Really I always say: I am cum Petro but not sub Petro. If I were sub Petro, I would be in submission, and I couldn’t have a true frank, sincere, strong and free communion with the Pope. When you embrace a friend, you are not “below”. You embrace him from the same height, if not it wouldn’t be a true embrace. Unita manent, (united things last)….

"The papacy, since John XXIII, is the most open authority in the world. In no other Church is there such openness and such democratic praxis as in the Church of Rome. But then there are those who want to appear as the super-Catholics, and they then insist and always only on the sub Petro and sub Roma. And so, according to me, they contradict the true sense of the papacy itself, its office to confirm the brethren in the faith. We have suffered for our communion with Rome. For a hundred and fifty years we have said Mass in the catacombs, in Damascus, because we were forbidden do it in public because of our communion with the bishop of Rome. We’re more Roman than the Romans! That’s why we want to benefit from this communion as from a treasure, a gift, a help for our faith. As Saint John says, our faith is our sole victory."

[/quote]

I find his statements interesting and potentially a good bridge to build on. However, what of the fact that the Bishop of Rome does indeed have authorities that the other Bishops do not have. Such as the ability to declare a doctrine infallibly (though they only do so after consulting others of course) or the right to remove Bishops or not approve of them. I am all for fighting to make sense of the first among equals concept, but how can people be completely equal when one could remove the other from power if they really wanted to? Here is another quote from the article you cited, where he seems to understand that Rome has at least in theory the right to intervene.

GRÉGOIRE III: For a hundred and fifty years we have elected our bishops without interferences from Rome, though nobody has ever denied Rome the right to intervene.

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy] #252081
09/10/07 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy


Pope St. Gregory the Great also makes it clear that Peter rules from three places, Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria and that the Petrine primacy does not belong to the Pope of Rome alone. Pope Gregory the Great also denies universal jurisdiction of the papacy and regards as the antichrist any Bishop who would thrust himself over the others as universal Bishop.

Joe


Actually, the Popes have never claimed no such honorary title. Pope Gregory and his predecessors were condemning the Patriarch of Constantinople's use of the honorary title "Ecumenical (or Universal) Patriarch." Pope St. Gregory the Great in fact made clear that the Bishop of Rome has the right to the title of "universal bishop," according to the Council of Chalcedon, though he and his predecessors and successors (to the present day) rejected it just for the sake of charity and to avoid potential misinterpretation of it meaning "sole bishop." By the way these writings of Pope St. Gregory, clearly proves how the Bishop of Rome has always exercised universal jurisdiction when annuling Eastern synods and having the power to depose Eastern bishops.

Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book V, Letter 43
...Now eight years ago, in the time of my predecessor of holy memory Pelagius, our brother and fellow-bishop John in the city of Constantinople, seeking occasion from another cause, held a synod in which he attempted to call himself Universal Bishop. Which as soon as my said predecessor knew, he despatched letters annulling by the authority of the holy apostle Peter the acts of the said synod; of which letters I have taken care to send copies to your Holiness. Moreover he forbade the deacon who attended us the most pious Lords for the business of the Church to celebrate the solemnities of mass with our aforesaid fellow-priest. I also, being of the same mind with him, have sent similar letters to our aforesaid fellow-priest, copies of which I have thought it right to send to your Blessedness, with this special purpose, that we may first assail with moderate force the mind of our before-named brother concerning this matter, wherein by a new act of pride, all the bowels of the Universal Church are disturbed. But, if he should altogether refuse to be bent from the stiffness of his elation, then, with the succour of Almighty God, we may consider more particularly what ought to be done.

For, as your venerable Holiness knows, this name of Universality was offered by the holy synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the Apostolic See which by the providence of God I serve. But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title; since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated. But far be this, far be it from the mind of a Christian, that any one should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honour of his brethren. While, then, we are unwilling to receive this honour when offered to us, think how disgraceful it is for any one to have wished to usurp it to himself perforce.

Wherefore let not your Holiness in your epistles ever call any one Universal, lest you detract from the honour due to yourself in offering to another what is not due."

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360205043.htm


Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book IX, Letter 68


For if one, as he supposes, is universal bishop, it remains that you are not bishops.

Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances,—though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209068.htm



Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252082
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Originally Posted by Roman_Army
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy


Pope St. Gregory the Great also makes it clear that Peter rules from three places, Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria and that the Petrine primacy does not belong to the Pope of Rome alone. Pope Gregory the Great also denies universal jurisdiction of the papacy and regards as the antichrist any Bishop who would thrust himself over the others as universal Bishop.

Joe


Actually, the Popes have never claimed no such honorary title. Pope Gregory and his predecessors were condemning the Patriarch of Constantinople's use of the honorary title "Ecumenical (or Universal) Patriarch." Pope St. Gregory the Great in fact made clear that the Bishop of Rome has the right to the title of "universal bishop," according to the Council of Chalcedon, though he and his predecessors and successors (to the present day) rejected it just for the sake of charity and to avoid potential misinterpretation of it meaning "sole bishop." By the way these writings of Pope St. Gregory, clearly proves how the Bishop of Rome has always exercised universal jurisdiction when annuling Eastern synods and having the power to depose Eastern bishops.

Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book V, Letter 43
...Now eight years ago, in the time of my predecessor of holy memory Pelagius, our brother and fellow-bishop John in the city of Constantinople, seeking occasion from another cause, held a synod in which he attempted to call himself Universal Bishop. Which as soon as my said predecessor knew, he despatched letters annulling by the authority of the holy apostle Peter the acts of the said synod; of which letters I have taken care to send copies to your Holiness. Moreover he forbade the deacon who attended us the most pious Lords for the business of the Church to celebrate the solemnities of mass with our aforesaid fellow-priest. I also, being of the same mind with him, have sent similar letters to our aforesaid fellow-priest, copies of which I have thought it right to send to your Blessedness, with this special purpose, that we may first assail with moderate force the mind of our before-named brother concerning this matter, wherein by a new act of pride, all the bowels of the Universal Church are disturbed. But, if he should altogether refuse to be bent from the stiffness of his elation, then, with the succour of Almighty God, we may consider more particularly what ought to be done.

For, as your venerable Holiness knows, this name of Universality was offered by the holy synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the Apostolic See which by the providence of God I serve. But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title; since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated. But far be this, far be it from the mind of a Christian, that any one should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honour of his brethren. While, then, we are unwilling to receive this honour when offered to us, think how disgraceful it is for any one to have wished to usurp it to himself perforce.

Wherefore let not your Holiness in your epistles ever call any one Universal, lest you detract from the honour due to yourself in offering to another what is not due."

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360205043.htm


Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book IX, Letter 68


For if one, as he supposes, is universal bishop, it remains that you are not bishops.

Furthermore, it has come to our knowledge that your Fraternity has been convened to Constantinople. And although our most pious Emperor allows nothing unlawful to be done there, yet, lest perverse men, taking occasion of your assembly, should seek opportunity of cajoling you in favouring this name of superstition, or should think of holding a synod about some other matter, with the view of introducing it therein by cunning contrivances,—though without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See nothing that might be passed would have any force, nevertheless, before Almighty God I conjure and warn you, that the assent of none of you be obtained by any blandishments, any bribes, any threats whatever; but, having regard to the eternal judgment, acquit yourselves salubriously and unanimously in opposition to wrongful aims; and, supported by pastoral constancy and apostolical authority, keep out the robber and the wolf that would rush in, and give no way to him that rages for the tearing of the Church asunder; nor allow, through any cajolery, a synod to be held on this subject, which indeed would not be a legitimate one, nor to be called a synod.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209068.htm




I do not see how either of these passages suggest that Pope Gregory the Great asserted universal jurisdiction. In fact, it seems to me just the opposite. As for his saying the assent of the Apostolic See is necessary, I would only point out that in other letters he points out in numerous places that there is more than one Apostolic See and in fact that the Apostolic See is St. Peter is shared by Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. So, in other words, it really takes the consent of all of the Apostolic Sees in order for something to be binding on the whole Church (hence Pope Gregory the Great affirms conciliarism and not papal jurisdiction).

Joe

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252085
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Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252086
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Hey wait, I think I know you Mr. John Russell. Didn't this melkite and his girlfriend just see you at Saint Athanatios this weekend after Divine Liturgy as we were passing through? smile

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252087
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Joe,

Actually, it is clear that what Pope Gregory meant was that the Apostolic See is the Roman Church. Yes, there are many apostolic sees, but when it is singular as in the Apostolic See it is refering to the Roman Church. This is clear in the following letter from Pope Gregory the Great to John Bishop of Syracuse. In it he comments on how a Greek or Latin from sicily murmured that Pope Gregory was putting Constantinople "in check" while at the same time the Roman Church was copying Greek liturgical customs from Constantinople as if the Church of Constantinople is superior to the Roman Church. Here's what he says about that:


Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book IX, Letter 12
Wherein, then, have we followed the usages of the Greeks, in that we have either amended our own old ones or appointed new and profitable ones, in which, however, we are not shown to be imitating others? Wherefore, let your Charity, when an occasion presents itself, proceed to the Church of Catana; or in the Church of Syracuse teach those who you believe or understand may possibly be murmuring with respect to this matter, holding a conference there, as though for a different purpose, and so desist not from instructing them. For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful. For he is foolish who thinks himself first in such a way as to scorn to learn whatever good things he may see.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209012.htm


Clearly, within its context, the Apostolic See is intended to be the Roman Church, in which Constantinople is subject to. He is instructing John to assemble a conference to teach the people that Constantinople is subject to the Roman Church and therefore Pope Gregory has both the authority to put Constantinople in check, and use Constantinople's good customs.

May God bless you

PS: If you want to discuss what Pope Gregory meant by Antioch and Alexandria having a share in the Apostolic See, please show me where to find that particular passage. It is my understanding that all the Churches within the Catholic Church have a share in the Vatican.







Last edited by Roman_Army; 09/10/07 02:42 PM.
Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252091
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Here's the text

EPISTLE XL.


TO EULOGIUS, BISHOP.


Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.

Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter's chair who occupies Peter's chair. And, though special honour to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me. For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi. 17). Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one[2]. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself stablished the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us (Joh. xvii. 21). Moreover, in paying you the debt of salutation which is due to you, I declare to you that I exult with great joy from knowing that you labour assiduously against the barkings of heretics; and I implore Almighty God that He would aid your Blessedness with His protection, so as through your tongue. to uproot every root of bitterness from the bosom of holy Church, lest it should germinate again to the hindrance of many, and through it many should be defiled. For having received your talent you think on the injunction, Trade till I come (Luke xix. 13). I therefore, though unable to trade at all nevertheless rejoice with you in the gains of your trade, inasmuch as I know this, that if operation does not make me partaker, yet charity does make me a partaker in your labour. For I reckon that the good of a neighbour is common to one that stands idle, if he knows how to rejoice in common in the doings of the other.

Furthermore, I have wished to send you some timber: but your Blessedness has not indicated whether you are in need of it: and we can send some of much larger size, but no ship is sent hither capable of containing it: and I think shame to send the smaller sort. Nevertheless let your Blessedness inform me by letter what I should do.

I have however sent you, as a small blessing from the Church of Saint Peter who loves you, six of the smaller sort of Aquitanian cloaks (pallia), and two napkins (oraria); for, my affection being great, I presume on the acceptableness of even little things. For affection itself has its own worth, and it is quite certain that there will be no offence in what out of love one has presumed to do.

Moreover I have received the blessing of the holy Evangelist Mark, according to the note appended to your letter. But, since I do not drink colatum[3] and viritheum[4] with pleasure, I venture to ask for cognidium[5], which last year, after a long interval, your Holiness caused to be known in this city. For we here get from the traders the name of cognidium, but not the thing itself. Now I beg that the prayers of your Holiness may support me against all the bitternesses which I suffer in this life, and defend me from them by your intercessions with Almighty God.


What do you think is going on here?

You can find another version at:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf212.iii.v.vii.xxvi.html

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Roman_Army] #252092
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Originally Posted by Roman_Army
Joe,

Actually, it is clear that what Pope Gregory meant was that the Apostolic See is the Roman Church. Yes, there are many apostolic sees, but when it is singular as in the Apostolic See it is refering to the Roman Church. This is clear in the following letter from Pope Gregory the Great to John Bishop of Syracuse. In it he comments on how a Greek or Latin from sicily murmured that Pope Gregory was putting Constantinople "in check" while at the same time the Roman Church was copying Greek liturgical customs from Constantinople as if the Church of Constantinople is superior to the Roman Church. Here's what he says about that:


Originally Posted by Pope St. Gregory the Great, Book IX, Letter 12
Wherein, then, have we followed the usages of the Greeks, in that we have either amended our own old ones or appointed new and profitable ones, in which, however, we are not shown to be imitating others? Wherefore, let your Charity, when an occasion presents itself, proceed to the Church of Catana; or in the Church of Syracuse teach those who you believe or understand may possibly be murmuring with respect to this matter, holding a conference there, as though for a different purpose, and so desist not from instructing them. For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful. For he is foolish who thinks himself first in such a way as to scorn to learn whatever good things he may see.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209012.htm


Clearly, within its context, the Apostolic See is intended to be the Roman Church, in which Constantinople is subject to. He is instructing John to assemble a conference to teach the people that Constantinople is subject to the Roman Church and therefore Pope Gregory has both the authority to put Constantinople in check, and use Constantinople's good customs.

May God bless you

PS: If you want to discuss what Pope Gregory meant by Antioch and Alexandria having a share in the Apostolic See, please show me where to find that particular passage. It is my understanding that all the Churches within the Catholic Church have a share in the Vatican.








Granted, Pope Gregory seems to indicate that Constantinople is subordinate to Rome. Does he ever say this of the Churches of Alexandria and Antioch? Also, he seems to reject the Council of Chalcedon's placing Constantinople as #2 and it makes sense that he would since Constantinople's elevation was political and not based on apostolic prestige. But, it would be interesting to see if he ever regards his brethren at Antioch and Alexandria this way.

Joe

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy] #252098
09/10/07 06:04 PM
09/10/07 06:04 PM
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Posts: 510
Meriden, CT
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Ray Kaliss Offline
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Ray Kaliss  Offline
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Dear Roman Army…

What you present is of some interest … but not solid or indisputable proof of a Petrine Primacy of universal judicial authority. At best it is circumstantional and depends upon the assumption of further context. It may be proof of the author's own beliefs (whatever they are … are not real clear) but history is also full of letters preserved that display early Christians held all kinds of beliefs and not all were correct. It can be interpreted that way (by desire) but can also be interpreted in other ways. It all depends upon what color of context the person interpreting assumes and supplies.

These three items …

Quote

To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matth. xvi. 19). And again it is said to him, And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (Joh. xxi. 17).


I have researched well.

I am aware that on the Roman side (I am Roman) they have been traditionally been given as scriptural proof for universal judicial authority. But in my research the ‘keys of David“ spoken of are not to be equated with a Prime Minister office of Davidic government. Also the keys (whatever they are) are not given at that moment as it seems to me that the verb is ‘I shall give’ meaning at some point in the future. Also the verbs indicate that what is bound on earth is already bound in heaven - making the earthly binding a confirmatory role. The church is often referred to as ‘heaven’ in the OT and NT and so it may just as well be that Peter will publicly confirm what the churches already hold to be true. There is nothing to indicate that the keys are to be given to Peter alone (excluding others) but rather that Peter is told before hand (needing more support than the others) what shall come later to them all. The traditional RC interpretation ignores the future tense of this passage and interprets it as an immediate appointment of Peter to a Prime Minister position of government. I do not see it that way. (I am not going to argue an interpretation with you).

The second part (“when you are converted turn and strengthen your brothers“) also assumes that only Peter is assigned to strengthen his brothers - where the assumption should probably rather be that they strengthen each other. Peter directly denied Christ (the others did not go that far) and so I consider it good personal advise that, once recovered, he (as well as another other apostles) strengthen each other. We should take into account Peter’s weakness throughout the gospels - which caused Christ to give Peter some extra care. Peter may have needed the most extra help.

The third support (“feed my sheep”) … the emphasis in this passage is usual given by the RC to the “feed my sheep” directive. However - the emphasis of this passage is on the type of love Peter had tried to show Christ (heroic sacrificial love) which type of love always failed thought the gospel. The kind of love Jesus wanted was a love of human friendship. And the sheep Jesus mentions are not defined - there is no apparent reason to assume that the sheep are the other apostles - the sheep can just as well be the common folk and the laity flock which Peter will gain (like any other apostles).

There are just as many scriptures that may prove that that the role (assumed to Peter) is servile (confirmatory) and not judicial primacy. Whoever would be chief among you must be the servant of the others. Etc .. I will not name them all.

I am well aware of the traditional interpretations and I am well aware that there does exist traditional interpretations of portions of scriptures which are wrong and misguided - but yet have been traditionally held. This does not make them ‘right’.

That Peter held some select role (and his successors) is evident and the East does not deny that. But just because the President of the USA must put his signature to laws that Congress and Senate pass - does not mean that the President has a judical primacy and can design and put laws into operation totally by his own authority. There are mechanisms at play which level the field. The President has a role as top dog in the eyes of many - but that interpretation of his job is not accurate. He is answerable to the Houses.

BTW - you do not need to use bold in all your messages. Bold is usually reserved for shouting or strengthening the impact of a few words of sentences. Your posts would be easier to read in normal font.

Can you offer us anything further?

This is all just my own opinion.

-ray

Re: The Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church [Re: Ray Kaliss] #252104
09/10/07 06:38 PM
09/10/07 06:38 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 153
North of Scotland
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Highlander Offline
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Highlander  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
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Quote
The second part (“when you are converted turn and strengthen your brothers“) also assumes that only Peter is assigned to strengthen his brothers - where the assumption should probably rather be that they strengthen each other.


Actually, the word for "you" is singular, not plural.

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