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The Primacy of Saint Peter #353793
09/30/10 02:50 AM
09/30/10 02:50 AM
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Thanos888 Offline OP
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Peace in Our Lord Jesus Christ,


I would like to discuss this issue as a Coptic Orthodox Christian with you all.

I am aware that ultimately, our main difference rests on this issue.

As Roman Catholics, you are of the opinion that the primacy of Saint Peter is not just an organizational issue, but a theological one.

Let's discuss this for a bit.

Jesus addressed Simon by what seems to have been the nickname "Peter" (Cephas in Aramaic, Petros [rock] in Greek) and says, "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it."

First, I will present to you how the Coptic Orthodox Church understand this statement:

We understand it as follows:

On his faith. The rock, his faith - Christ will build His Church. That was because, it was through his faith that he testified that Christ IS the Son of God.

So, is the Church to be built on the PERSON of Saint Peter, or the FAITH of Saint Peter?

In the beginning, the apostles were the 1st Bishops of the Church.

I do believe, according to my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that Saint Peter was the Bishop of Rome and Antioch.

Saint James was the Bishop of Jerusalem.

Saint Andrew - of Constantinople.

Saint Mark - Alexandria.

etc..

So, we have a situation where each apostle has a bishopric. If we were all of one faith, One Church, then surely, after the death of the 1st Apostles, that the descendant of Saint James COULD WELL have been elected the successor of Saint Peter?

Do you see my point? In the early Church - we were all Catholic Apostolic. There was no reason why a Coptic Christian (i,e an EGYPTIAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC Christian) could not have travelled to Rome, become a bishop himself and succeeded Saint Peter.

Or - is it the case where it was only possible for one of the clergy that Saint Peter had ordained to succeed him? Is that the case?

You see my point? If it was on the PERSON of saint Peter, then Saint Peter's son would have had to be his successor, not his own disciples (those whom he had under his bishopric).

So, both Saint Peter (Your Founder) and saint Mark (our Founder) had the same exact faith when they went out their separate ways.

Both of them had Configuration X (Dogma, Creed, values, faith) as their faith. The same faith.

So, when we were in unity, in the beginning, nothing was stopping any of the discples of the disciples from being under the authority of the successor of any of the various Holy Sees. You agree??

So logically, what was required to succeed Saint Peter was someone who was ordained through the apostolic hierarchy, and who had the same configuration of faith 'X'.

So, if we, as Coptic Orthodox Christians, are NOT under the hierarchy of the successor of Saint Peter, but our Pontiff's faith is Configuration X, then to SOME catholics, we are not saved. That's right folks. To some Catholics, that means we are not saved.

Wow.

Do you believe this?

Anyway, the interesting point is this:

Saint Peter's faith was at Configuration X.
What about the faith of his successors? Was it X?
Are you at release X? or have you incremented it? Are you perhaps now at X.10? or X.20?
What version is it at?

Whilst the Coptic Orthodox Church is still at release X, we haven't innovated a thing. We haven't added nor taken away from what Saint Peter and Saint Mark had. Have we ??

Look at you all!! The fact that YOU exist (Byzantine Catholics) is the image of what your Church was at around version X.1. And I must say, you do look and behave extremely much like us.

So, again, I ask - is it the PERSON of Saint Peter, or the FAITH of Saint Peter??

Let's say it is the PERSON of Saint Peter, which would mean that - it is the FAITH of Saint Peter, but his successor MUST be in Rome. His successor must be the chief of the apostles.

That's great! I would agree with that. Why not?

But, the problem is - the Coptic Orthodox Church sees itself at Version X. It doesnt see you at Version X at all. In fact, as I said, your very existance (Byzantine Catholics) is a testimony that this version has incremented and evolved.

Here is an incremented version of your faith. This was in Notre Dame Cathedral Paris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZbzTQDhkGA&feature=related

Don't worry if you don't understand French, you will understand this perfectly well at the end.

Do you not think that us being united with you would be good for us? Do you think it is out of our disobedience that we are not under Rome?

It is out of our passion to hold on FIRMLY what we received from our Founder - Saint Mark, and the Church Fathers that we are not in union with you.

Let's say we were One Church (hypothetically speaking).

What would it look it? Well, you'd have the Pope, and many Patriarchs of different Churches (Greek, Coptic, Russian etc). I assume the Patriarchs would be like "Senior Cardinals of the Church".

Would you agree that if a Pope was to be selected, well - that would mean the choice would be open to everyone who was a Cardinal. Which could mean someone from the Greek Patriarchate could be the next Pope of Rome.

Naturally. Right? Or is God racist? Even if we were united, One Church, all UNDER the Pope of Rome, that only someone who was Italian could actually be ordained as the new Pope??

Again, this just underlines my point:

The Church will then be built on the FAITH of Saint Peter, not HIM PERSONALLY. But how can a faith exist without a person!??? Well - Saint Peter isn't physically here with us today, and his Church is still around - so I guess that would mean that someone with his faith is sitting in his seat.

The question for you now is simple. Is the person sitting in the Throne of Saint Peter today CARRYING the same Faith (Configuration X) that Saint Peter had???

Because, with all due respect, the Catholic Church looks nothing like you, and you resemble us more than you look like them.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353810
09/30/10 07:37 AM
09/30/10 07:37 AM
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Thanos888 Offline OP
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I just wish to summarise my post briefly. Apologies if it was too long:

If Christ wanted Saint Peter (Him as a Person) to be the rock on which He would build His Church, then you should have ordained the biological sons of Saint Peter as his successors.

If it is the faith of saint Peter - then that would imply any member of the One Catholic Apostolic Church could have been the successor of Saint Peter. Anyone who had the correct faith, that is.

Our faith is the same as that of Saint Peter, whilst unfortunately, it seems that what the Catholic faith is today is an incrementation of that.

I posted a video link of Charismatic prayer in the Holy Church of Notre Dame - Paris. You will see catholics jumping up and down and singing around the altar.

This is not the faith of Saint Peter. You agree?

But - we can argue that these groups do not represent the True Catholic Church, but then after Vatican II, the filoque, purgatory, immaculate conception, supremacy of the Pope etc, (the list goes on) - seems a quite a far stretch from what the original faith was.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353818
09/30/10 07:58 AM
09/30/10 07:58 AM
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Brother Thanos,

GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!

Regarding St. Peter, the answer to your question is BOTH - the Church is built on the the confessed FAITH of St. Peter as well as the Person.

The See of St. Mark IS Petrine in that St. Mark was Apostle St. Peter's disciple.

"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. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years [Antioch]. 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.” (Book VII, Epistle XL of St Gregory I, Pope of Rome to Pope Eulogius of Alexandria)

It was said that the three original Patriarchates of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch were given primacy in their respective regions partly due to their Petrine origins. In addition the Arabic Hudoyo Canons gives the Patriarch of Patriarchs role to the Pope of Rome.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353820
09/30/10 08:28 AM
09/30/10 08:28 AM
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Thanos888 Offline OP
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Hello Michael,

Yes, I am aware you all consider Saint Mark as the secretary of Saint Peter (correct me if I'm wrong) - lol..

Saint Mark actually, was not an Apostle. He was an evangelist, but as far as I'm aware, he wasn't an apostle.

So, the Church was to be established on the FAITH and PERSON of Saint Peter? Right?

I think your reasoning is that Saint Peter IS the head of the Church; i.e. that it bothers you that there are separate patriarchates outside that of Rome.

But this brings us to the next question.

The Orthodox have one small problem with all this. They HONESTLY don't mind having 1 leader - nor being under the authority of One Pope or Patriarch. Their problem is your faith.

Your faith has evolved from that which Saint Peter had.

* The dogmatic additions, councils and retractions by the RC make you look like "innovators" of the faith rather than the custodians of it.

* The charismatic movement within the Church is quite worrying.
This is definately NOT the faith of Saint Peter.

The Coptic Church has a huge problem with all this.

It suffered, more than any other Church, for keeping the faith. Not only suffered in terms of the number of martyrs it lost for the faith, but suffered also to ensure nothing was altered from what it had received from the Apostolic teachings.

The Coptic Orthodox Church prides itself in the fact that the 21st Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark was Saint Athanasious the Apostolic. Yes, that's right, the chap that wrote your creed happened to be our 21st patriarch.

The theologians who presided over every single council, from the Nicea to Constantinople were all from the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Its going to be very hard to ask them to throw away what they have been keeping sacred and consistent. But the thing is this Michael: Your Church needs the Orthodox Church. It needs to revert back to Orthodoxy for its own good. Its stuck now.

If we were all of one faith, one dogma, one creed, then there would be no issue about supremacy. I can assure you, our patriarchs, bishops and metropolitans are not "authority hungry" individuals. Not at all. They are "responsibility minded" not authoritarian-minded.

So, if we were one Church, and our Patriarchs became senior Cardinals of the Catholic Church - then any of them could be elected as the next Pope? Right?

See... I don't think they'd want that, but.. that's not for me to say. Im in no position to speak on their behalf.

The point is, logically, it seems to be that the seat of Saint Peter, without the Faith of Saint Peter is not feasible.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353828
09/30/10 09:29 AM
09/30/10 09:29 AM
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Dear brother Thanos888,

I just wanted to point out that our Oriental brethren in the Syriac Orthodox Church also regard the primacy of St. Peter as a theological issue, not merely canonical/organizational.

This is the general position of the apostolic Churches in the Syriac Tradition, including the Syriac Orthodox, the Churches of the East (ACOE and Chaldean Catholics), and the Maronites. It is something the Latin Catholic Church and the Churches of the Syriac Tradition have in common. They even have their own dialogue through the Pro Oriente foundation, distinct from the dialogue with other Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches.

I'm very busy right now, so I can only give quick responses. Hopefully, in several days, my schedule will be freed up more, and I can give more detailed responses.

Blessings,
Marduk

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353832
09/30/10 10:05 AM
09/30/10 10:05 AM
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StuartK Offline
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No one denies the primacy of Peter. The question is what kind of primacy he held. And I can assure you, nobody on any side is going to be particularly happy with the answer to which history points.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: StuartK] #353835
09/30/10 10:21 AM
09/30/10 10:21 AM
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Thanos888 Offline OP
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Hi Stuart,

What kind of Primacy did he hold?

Please tell us.

I really don't know.

Let's just stop one second and face facts:

a) YOUR Church is the Holy Apostolic Church of God
b) So is ours
c) We need to unite

Let's get this over with mate.

What happened?

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353844
09/30/10 11:52 AM
09/30/10 11:52 AM
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There have been Fathers of the Church who have given both impressions that it is the faith of St Peter and also the person of St Peter. I think if we use that phrase only namely "you are Peter and upon this rock i will build my Church we do not have a clear understanding, you need to include what Christ said to Peter following that statement.
"And I will give "you" (singular) the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you (singular) bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you (singular) loosed in heaven."

Stephanos I

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Stephanos I] #353853
09/30/10 12:54 PM
09/30/10 12:54 PM
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ByzBob Offline
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Likewise, there have been fathers who disagree that the keys were given to Peter alone.


When you hear the words: 'Peter, do you love me?' imagine you are in front of a mirror and looking at yourself.
Peter, surely, was a symbol of the Church. Therefore the Lord in asking Peter is asking us too.
To show that Peter was a symbol of the Church remember the passage in the
Gospel: 'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Has only one man received those keys? Christ himself explains what they are
for: 'Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.' If these words had been said only to Peter, now that he is dead who would ever be able to bind and loose?
I make bold to say that all of us have received the keys. We bind and loose. And you also bind and loose.
Whoever is bound is separated from your community: he is bound by you. When he is reconciled, however, he is loosed, thanks to you because you are praying for him. We all in fact love our Lord, we are all his members.
And when the Lord entrusts his flock to shepherds, the whole number of shepherds is reduced to one individual body, that of the one Shepherd.
Peter is undeniably a shepherd, but without doubt Paul also is a shepherd, each Apostles is a shepherd. All the holy bishops are shepherds, without a shadow of a doubt. Serm. Morin, 16 (Miscellanea Agostiniana, 493ff.) -St. Augustine:

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Stephanos I] #353855
09/30/10 01:06 PM
09/30/10 01:06 PM
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Quote
There have been Fathers of the Church who have given both impressions that it is the faith of St Peter and also the person of St Peter. I think if we use that phrase only namely "you are Peter and upon this rock i will build my Church we do not have a clear understanding, you need to include what Christ said to Peter following that statement.
"And I will give "you" (singular) the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you (singular) bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you (singular) loosed in heaven."

Stephanos I


I agree, the context is everything in this passage. I have a protestant relative who tried to argue that Jesus was actually telling Peter the opposite - something like "you are rock (small stone), and on THIS rock (big boulder - symbolizing Jesus Himself), I will build my Church." Totally ignoring that Jesus starts the sentence out praising Peter with "Blessed are you", and then giving him the keys to bind and loose.

And then there is also John 21:15-17 - "feed my lambs", "tend my sheep", "feed my sheep". Jesus seems to want Peter to be intensely aware that he will be in charge in those very dramatic verses. You can almost imagine Peter sort of laughing uncomfortably as he answers three times "You know that I love you.". I love that scene.

Last edited by desertman; 09/30/10 01:07 PM.
Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: Thanos888] #353859
09/30/10 01:11 PM
09/30/10 01:11 PM
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Doesn't it also end with "Get thee behind me, Satan"?

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: StuartK] #353860
09/30/10 01:15 PM
09/30/10 01:15 PM
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Different conversation. grin

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: desertman] #353869
09/30/10 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by desertman
I agree, the context is everything in this passage. I have a protestant relative who tried to argue that Jesus was actually telling Peter the opposite - something like "you are rock (small stone), and on THIS rock (big boulder - symbolizing Jesus Himself), I will build my Church." Totally ignoring that Jesus starts the sentence out praising Peter with "Blessed are you", and then giving him the keys to bind and loose.

And then there is also John 21:15-17 - "feed my lambs", "tend my sheep", "feed my sheep". Jesus seems to want Peter to be intensely aware that he will be in charge in those very dramatic verses. You can almost imagine Peter sort of laughing uncomfortably as he answers three times "You know that I love you.". I love that scene.


I see Peter, contrite of heart, perhaps with tears in his eyes, as he his Lord restores him, through a three fold confession of love, after his three-fold denial of his Lord. This passage's relation to the question of primacy is questionable at best.

Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: ByzBob] #353874
09/30/10 02:47 PM
09/30/10 02:47 PM
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I see Peter, contrite of heart, perhaps with tears in his eyes, as he his Lord restores him, through a three fold confession of love, after his three-fold denial of his Lord. This passage's relation to the question of primacy is questionable at best.


I wasn't trying to make light of the passage by my subjective imagining. I also imagine Peter becoming gradually more contrite and sober, as the promptings continue by Jesus which causes him to realize the seriousness of what is being said - that He will be leaving them again and the role of shepherd is now being passed on to Peter. All this when he had just decided to go back to being a fisherman!
In what way is the passage's relation to this topic questionable at best?


Re: The Primacy of Saint Peter [Re: desertman] #353875
09/30/10 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by desertman
In what way is the passage's relation to this topic questionable at best?


I guess it depends on one's definition of primacy. The Roman Catholics I have talked to that typically bring up this passage wish to anachronistically pour the papal definition of 1870 back into the text, which, in my estimation, is to abuse the passage.

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