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Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Otsheylnik] #390040 01/20/13 04:46 PM
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Dear brother Otsheylnik,

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
I was talking about the terms universal bishop and head bishop implying each other - clearly the term bishop doesn't imply that a universal or head one need exist. ON the term bishop, I have never seen the term head bishop in patristic literature. Metropolitan yes (Patriarch is not strictly speaking an office, but a title of honour given to particular metropolitans). But a metropolitan is still a bishop and it is clear that they are bound by the same canons as refer to other bishops, plus some additional ones putting further parameters around their responsibilities. For example, that they can't ordain people where ever they want to in their metropolia without the local bishop's consent and they may not "go from place to place" without the consent of local bishops. In short, their bishops.

Apostolic Canon 34: "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head..." Hence, head bishop. In the Oriental Othodox Tradition, Patriarchs have true jurisdiction, and regarded as the real spiritual and administrative head of his Patriarchal See. It is a position of honor, but not mere honor; it is an office that possesses real authority with responsibilities for his Patriarchal Church that no other metropolitan or local bishop within that Patriarchal Church possesses. This is also the way it is conceived of in the Catholic Church.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Though all head bishops are bishops, not all bishops are head bishops (obviously). There are several important differences between the two:
(1) A bishop's authority is monarchical in nature; a head bishop's authority is presidential in nature.
(2) A bishop can act unilaterally for the good of his Church; a head bishop can only act collegially for the good of his Church.
(3) A bishop has the highest and sole discretion in exercising his authority; a head bishop exercises his authority only upon appeal and in agreement with his brother bishops.

The flaw in this understanding is that all metropolitans (instead of the term head bishop which seems undefined) are local bishops first and foremost themselves (of Rome, Moscow, Jerusalem or wherever else), and that local bishops also are accountable to a synod.

First, the Orthodox hierarchy does not stop at the Metropolitan level, but also has a Patriarchal level. Even metropolitans are subject to their Patriarch (well, in the OO understanding, at least; not sure about the EO understanding, which I think runs the gamut from Low Petrine to High Petrine).

Second, your last clause is exactly accomodated in the explanation of difference (2) and (3), so I'm not sure what "flaw" you are perceiving.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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If there is one who has jurisdiction over all, as implied by being head of all, he is universal.

The extent of jurisdiction (i.e. universality) is not the issue. Rather, the issue is (1) the nature of the jurisdiction, and (2) the idea of having only one bishop for the whole Church, with no need for any other bishop.

It is exactly the issue - you even have it as your point (1).

My point (1) has nothing to do with the extent of jurisdiction. As explained, the issue in the mind of Pope St. Gregory was the idea that the authority of other bishops would be rendered useless or unnecessary. This issue can exist on the metropolitan, patriarchal, or universal levels, so it is not the extent of jurisdiction that is important here. There is actually evidence of this in the EOC right now. IIRC, an EO Metropolitan in the U.S. has made all his suffragans mere auxiliary bishops. By definition, an auxiliary bishop only has a derived jurisdiction, not an ordinary and proper jurisdiction. Such a thing could never happen in the Catholic Church. Not even the Pope, in Catholic ecclesiology, would have the authority to demote a proper bishop to mere auxiliary status. In Catholic ecclesiology, bishops have an authority all their own that is directly from God, which no authority on earth has the right to take away. The Pope's responsibility (as asserted by Pastor Aeternus) is to defend and promote the rightful prerogatives of his brother bishops, not lessen or take them away.

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As explained above, the nature of a bishop's jurisdiction is different from the nature of a head bishop's jurisdiction.

I don't really understand this - the limits of both are set by appropriate canons and are confined to local areas of larger or smaller scope.

Yes. The responsibilites of a Metropolitan as the head bishop of his Metropolitan See are different than his responsibilites as the bishop of his local diocese. Other local bishops do not have the same responsibilities or prerogatives as their Metropolitan head bishop. Further, the nature of a Metropolitan's jurisdiction as head bishop of his Metropolitan See is presidential, while the nature of his jurisdiction for his local diocese as its proper bishop is monarchical. You have to admit that the nature of the relationship between a bishop and the priests of whom he is head in his local Church is very different from the nature of the relationship between a head bishop and the bishops of whom he is head in a Metropolitan Church, a Patriarchal Church or the universal Church.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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And Pope Gregory clearly did deny the possibility of any such thing - both explicitly and implicitly. Most importantly, he denied the theological underpinnings for such a thing by denying that Peter had any role (as opposed to place of honour) that other apostles had - he was the head of a particular community. The only head of the Church is Christ.

This would be disingenuous. If the only head of the Church is Christ, then there would be no head bishops at all and the ancient Apostolic Canon 34 should not exist.

Are you denying that Christ is the only head of the Church here? I don't think so, but am pointing out that that is the implication of your statement.

My point was that just as the concept of a head bishop for a local Church does not contradict the dogma that Christ is the true head of the local Church, neither does the concept of a head bishop for the universal Church contradict the dogma that Christ is the true head of the universal Church.

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Anyway assuming that the only head of the Church is Christ, I don't see what bearing that has on the existence of Bishops, deacons or anything else.

It has a lot of bearing because bishops are in fact the heads of their local Churches. If the bishop is the head of the local Church, does this mean Jesus is not the true head of the local Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Metropolitan is the head bishop of a Metroplitan Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Metropolitan Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Patriarch is the head bishop of a Patriarchal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Patriarchal Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Pope is the head bishop of the universal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the universal Church? Obviously not.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Certainly Peter, the first of the apostles, himself a member of the holy and universal Church, Paul, Andrew, John,— what were they but heads of particular communities? And yet all were members under one Head. (Book 5, letter 18)

This must be taken in context of his understanding of what it meant to say that Peter was a "universal Apostle" or that there is a "universal bishop." To Pope St. Gregory, calling Peter the "universal Apostle" meant that the rest of the Apostles had no relevance, that there would be no need for any other Apostle.

I don't see how this addresses the main point of the piece, which is that Peter was a head of a local church but had a place of honour as first apostle - kind of like the primacy of honour advocated by Orthodox.

My basic premise is the unanimous patristic belief that St. Peter was the coryphaeus (i.e., head) of the Apostles. It is obviously a false interpretation to claim that what Pope St. Gregory meant by the statement you quoted was that the Apostles did not in fact have a visible head among them in the person of St. Peter. This undeniable patristic fact that St. Peter was the acknowledged visible head of the Apostles while acknowledging the ultimate headship of Christ proves that:
(1) the belief that the Apostles (who together had a universal solicitude for the Church) can have a visible head in the person of St. Peter does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Apostles;
(2) likewise, the Catholic principle of a head bishop for the Church universal does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Church.

In other words, Pope St. Gregory's statement that each Apostle was a head of a paticular community and had Christ as their head was not a claim that the Apostles themselves did not have St. Peter as their coryphaeus (i.e., head). The point of stressing that St. Peter was just one of the Apostles who had Jesus as their head was not to deny that St. Peter was in fact established as their head by Jesus Himself (as the head servant in the parable of the faithful and wise servant set over the household when the master leaves), but rather to insist merely that St. Peter was not the ONLY Apostle created by Christ who had a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church. This was the only point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against assigning to St. Peter the role of "universal apostle." The analogy is obvious with regards to the concept of "universal bishop." The point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against the concept of a "universal bishop" was not to oppose the concept of a head bishop for the universal Church, but to oppose the idea that there was ONLY ONE bishop who has a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Perhaps we can spend some time discussing what you think the CC actually teaches regarding the Primacy.

Given that I grew up in the Catholic Church and was a member of a religious order, I think I'm across this.

Maybe you had an Absolutist Petrine conception of the papacy when you were Catholic, and perhaps you still view the Catholic teaching on the papacy through those lenses. If so, it would merit discussion and refutation (I mean, the Absolutist Petrine understanding of the papacy).

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Why should they need it?

I think this question reflects a position that goes beyond the patristic evidence. All the Fathers of the Church admitted that St. Peter was the coryphaeus (i.e., the head) of the Apostles. Christ established him as such. St. Cyprian explained that he was established as a visible head to provide a principle of unity, because the Church is one. This visible principle of unity exists in the Catholic Church today in the papacy, just as it did for the Apostles in the person of St. Peter.

Both Cyprian and Augustine viewed Christ as the rock not Peter. Peter's confession, which is Christ, is the source of unity in the Church, not Peter. Unity flows through Christ on the altar as Eucharist, not from an office.

First, I admit I used to adhere to the "Christ is the rock not Peter" rationale. I don't anymore. I believe Scripture and the Fathers unanimously teach that the Rock is Christ, Peter, and Peter's Faith all at once. It is a false dichotomy to separate the three. I ask you, and please respond to this - what rationale can you offer for separating Peter from Christ and the Faith that he professed?

Second, the Council of Trent explicitly taught that the Eucharist is the source of the Church's unity (it is the Eucharist "which [Christ] desired to unify and unite all Christians"). I don't know who came up with the idea the it is an office (the papacy) that is the source of the Church's unity, but that is not the teaching of the Catholic Church. The papacy is simply a means by which the Church's unity is maintained, but it is not the papacy itself which causes or effects the unity of the Church. The means to maintain this unity was established by Christ Himself. Thus it is necessary, even if for that reason alone (that it was established by Christ).

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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More to the point, why should Rome alone have it, given that in another of his letters (Book 7, Letter 40) Gregory suggests that Peter only died in Rome and was never Bishop there, but that he was in Antioch?

I'm not sure what you mean by "Rome alone should have it." What is it you think that Rome alone has? It certainly can't be infallibility - both Vatican 1 and Vatican 2 taught that the entire Magisterium shares in infallibility, not just the Pope alone. It certainly can't be jurisdiction - both V1 and V2 taught that the Church is governed by the Pope and his brother bishops together. This "Rome alone" business is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor the belief of High Petrine advocates (though the sola papa error is certainly prevalent among Absolutist Petrine advocates, who in fact do not adhere to the actual teaching of the Catholic Church on the papacy).

I mean the identification with Rome alone as having the Petrine succession,

Where does Pastor Aeternus teach that Rome alone has the Petrine succession? I haven't seen it. Obviously, the bishop of Antioch also has Petrine succession. The point of Pastor Aeternus is not that Rome alone has the Petrine succession, but that Rome alone has the primacy among bishops in the Church universal. Unless one can show from Tradition that any particular Church or group of Sees that comprise a Church has more than one primatial bishop, then this objection really doesn't hold any water. The very concept of primacy indicates that only one holds that position.

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the Bishop of Rome alone occupying the Chair of Peter

It depends on what one means by "Chair of Peter." If one means the responsibility to maintain the unity of the Church as a whole, I agree that this responsibility is given to all bishops. If one means the position who holds the primacy for the sake of unity, then this can only refer to one person. And I don't know what rationale you can offer to challenge the idea that primacy can only refer to one person.

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from which erroneous interpretation all else you mention flows. For example, in the decrees of the first Vatican Council:

Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff
That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching

What is erroneous about this exactly? Having the highest power of teaching does not mean he is the only teaching authority in the Church. It only means that if there is a conflict in doctrine among the bishops, there should be one who can make a final decision if necessary. It does not mean he can at his mere discretion create doctrine out of the blue, nor does it mean that he has the authority to contradict Sacred Tradition. So please explain what you regard as erroneous about this?

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No mention of sharing it with Antioch or Alexandria there (it would be worth noting that Cyrian's position was that all bishops shared in this chair - it's restriction to three sees was a typically Roman position, but one which however was still an improvement on identifying it with just one).

First, please explain why Antioch and Alexandria should be mentioned in a dogmatic decree. Do you think it is important as a dogma? That would be a strange claim from an Orthodox.

Second, St. Cyprian nowhere mentions that all bishops shared in this Chair. What he stated was that all bishops have a responsibility to maintain unity with this Chair. The Absolutist Petrine view goes one extreme, interpreting Petrine succession to belong to the bishop of Rome alone. The Low Petrine view goes the opposite extreme, interpreting this to mean that all bishops are successors of St. Peter. The High Petrine view understands the "Chair of Peter" to refer to the principle of unity to which all bishops, including the bishop of Rome, must adhere. The bishop of Rome himself is not excused from the responsibility of maintaining unity with this Chair of Peter. But while all bishops share in the responsibility of ensuring unity with the Chair of Peter, it is the bishop of Rome has the greatest share in this responsibility of ensuring this unity with the Chair of Peter, for he is the primatial bishop of the Church universal (having inherited this role from St. Peter). That is the greatest role of any and every head bishop at any level - to have the primary responsibility of ensuring the unity of the Church of which he is the head bishop. I believe the claim that all bishops are successors of St. Peter as if there was no such thing as a position of primacy is as much an eisegetic imposition into Church history by Low Petrine advocates as is the sola papa error of Absolutist Petrine advocates.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Our Lord Himself explicitly asserted that he will set one servant to take care of the other servants and his entire household by feeding them. And he indicated that this head servant will exist when He returns.

This is also disingenuous. I am sure you are as aware as anyone else that there is more than one way to interpret this passage - it doesn't follow that just because Rome uses this verse to justify itself that its the only way that it can be interpreted.

Far from denying the different interpretations, it is actually only the Catholic Church that adheres faithfully to all the possible interpretations of this passage - we have head bishops at all levels of the hierarchy. The disingenuous position would seem to be the one that denies the plain intent of the Lord's statement that it applies to the Church universal, while only accepting it on hierarchical levels below the universal level.

It's a matter of opinion as to whether the Roman Church maintains the correct exegesis of this passage.

Jesus never left his parables unclarified, and he was rather clear on this one, as well. "Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute food at the proper time?"(Luke 12); ""Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his household to distribute food at the proper time?"(Matthew 24). St. John Chrysostom interpreted this to refer specifically to St. Peter and his successors. So the Catholic interpretation is not a novel thing. It is just as correct as the interpretation that it refers to the head bishops of local Churches. In general, the parable refers to any position that is a headship, and an exhortation that the servant who possesses this headship involves a great responsibility to take care of his fellow servants. Those apostolic Christians who deny such a position of servanthood for the Church as a whole, as if the Church as a whole cannot be considered the household of God that is mentioned in the parable, are the ones who would have a hard time justifying their position.

Blessings

Last edited by mardukm; 01/20/13 05:03 PM.
Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390043 01/21/13 01:21 AM
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I just glanced through the post, but this caught my eye for immediate attention:
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm

Far from denying the different interpretations, it is actually only the Catholic Church that adheres faithfully to all the possible interpretations of this passage - we have head bishops at all levels of the hierarchy. The disingenuous position would seem to be the one that denies the plain intent of the Lord's statement that it applies to the Church universal, while only accepting it on hierarchical levels below the universal level.

It's a matter of opinion as to whether the Roman Church maintains the correct exegesis of this passage.

Jesus never left his parables unclarified, and he was rather clear on this one, as well. "Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute food at the proper time?"(Luke 12); ""Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his household to distribute food at the proper time?"(Matthew 24). St. John Chrysostom interpreted this to refer specifically to St. Peter and his successors.

You mean this?
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Wherefore He first says this, Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall set over His household to give them their meat in their due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.

Tell me, is this too the language of one who is in ignorance? For if because He said, neither does the Son know, you say He is ignorant of it; as He says, who then? what will you say? Will you say He is ignorant of this too? Away with the thought. For not even one of them that are frantic would say this. And yet in the former case one might assign a cause; but here not even this. And what when He said, Peter, do you love me? John 21:16 asking it, knew He not so much as this? Nor when He said, Where have ye laid him? John 11:34

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200177.htm
LOL. It has NOTHING to do with the claims of Pastor Aeternus any more than St. John's reference to Sodom and Gomorrha (in the next, unquoted, lines) are identifying the Mother see of the Church.

Nothing on St. Peter. Nor on his successors. And not a thing on restricting his successors to those at Rome.

Originally Posted by mardukm

So the Catholic interpretation is not a novel thing.

Of course it isn't. Pastor Aeternus introduces the novelty.

Originally Posted by mardukm
It is just as correct as the interpretation that it refers to the head bishops of local Churches. In general, the parable refers to any position that is a headship, and an exhortation that the servant who possesses this headship involves a great responsibility to take care of his fellow servants. Those apostolic Christians who deny such a position of servanthood for the Church as a whole, as if the Church as a whole cannot be considered the household of God that is mentioned in the parable, are the ones who would have a hard time justifying their position.

Au contraire. Justifying the position of the Apostles comes quite easily. St. Cyprian summed their preaching on the subject quite nicely: "The episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one for the whole."

EACH part held by EACH one for the WHOLE.

In Acts, the Apostles send St. Peter, he does not send them. Other than the Ecumenical Synod, the NT does not speak of any responsibility for the Church as a whole above the bishop. The hierarchy of the bishops comes from ecclesiastical, not divine, institution. And when the Fathers set it up, they saw fit to specify its role. And beyond announcing to the other primates (some of which are Metropolitans, btw) the date of Pascha calculated by the Pope of Alexandria, and granting-BUT NOT HEARING-an appeal, the Fathers did not give much responsibility to the archbishop of Rome over the Church as a whole, beyond the responsibility he shared with the other primates and indeed all other bishops.

And, despite what Pastor Aeternus says, "it was through the Church that" his primacy and prerogatives were "transmitted to him in his capacity as Her minister.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390044 01/21/13 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Some Orthodox are agnostic on whether or not there is grace in Catholic sacraments.

And that's because from their perspective, it seems a little extreme to take a firm position one way or the other. (Also, the East has always been more comfortable with ambiguity than the West.)

This makes sense. I've met Orthodox who regard the primacy only as a discplinary matter, not a doctrinal matter, and that it was a heresy for the CC to make it a dogma. But if one accuses someone of heresy for making a dogma out of something that should not be dogma, has not the accuser likewise made a dogma of the opposite position, and thus fallen under his own condemnation?

No.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390046 01/21/13 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mardukm
Dear brother Otsheylnik,

That is a great response. But It appears your understanding of what the papacy is is different from my own. I accept the relevance of Pope St. Gregory's statements. I think we can both agree that Pope St. Gregory's assertions demolish the Absolutist Petrine exaggerations of the papacy. However, as an adherent to the High Petrine view, I don't accept your interpretation of his statements.

Pope St. Gregory clearly denied the concept of a universal bishop, but he did not deny the concept of a head bishop for the Church universal. This is evident from his own actions in relation to the rest of the Church as a whole. There is a palpable difference between the concept of "universal bishop" and the concept of "head bishop of the Church universal." The difference can be understood when one considers the distinction between the concept of "bishop," on the one hand, and the concept of "head bishop," on the other. The important difference is that the authority of a bishop is monarchical in nature, while the authority of a head bishop is presidential in nature. A bishop as such can act unilaterally for the good of his Church. But a head bishop as such can never act alone. So, indeed, there is no such thing as a universal bishop - i.e., a bishop that has a prerogative to act unilaterally for the Church universal, without the agreement or involvement of his brother bishops, since all bishops share in the solicitude of the Church. The Catholic Church fully adheres to Pope St. Gregory's ecclesiology, and this is reflected in the teaching of Vatican 1 and Vatican 2 on the papacy.

Of course, Absolutist Petrine advocates don't have this patristic conception of the papacy, and I have debated Absolutist Petrine advocates on their exaggerations of the papacy at the Catholic Answers Forum many times, sometimes heatedly. However, a head bishop of the Church universal is not the same thing as a universal bishop. I am with you, in agreement with Pope St. Gregory, as far as opposing the idea of a universal bishop (also, IIRC, Pope St. Leo also denied the title of "universal bishop" when the Fourth Ecum sought to grant him that title), but cannot agree with the claim that a head bishop is not a necessary reality of the Church universal. Our Lord Himself explicitly asserted that he will set one servant to take care of the other servants and his entire household by feeding them. And he indicated that this head servant will exist when He returns.

You are reading things which the Apostles did not put in the Gospel, let alone Christ.

Nor what your "magisterium" has put in them:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c...981031_primato-successore-pietro_en.html

I don't find your schema of "Absolutist Petrine," "High Petrine" and "Low Petrine" in that statement on the matter by your present "supreme pontiff" (sounds rather absolutist) while in charge of the office of propagating your doctrines. Nor does it occur in the statement of your previous "supreme pontiff" of blessed memory:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/j..._jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html

Except for a brief disclaimer clause, your Pastor Aeternus embraces what you call an "Absolutist Petrine" position, and requires you to embrace one as well. Have you debated him as well?

Of course Otsheylnik's understanding of the papacy differs from your own, as I've never seen anyone else but you embrace yours. Least of all, Archbishop St. Gregory or Pope Pius IX. You might want to squeeze your "High Petrine" position into the disclaimer clause, but the rest of Pastor Aeternus will not let you, as it empties said clause of any meaning that Archbishop St. Gregory might have put into it. According to your Pastor Aeternus he can indeed, at any time he chooses, act alone, anywhere in the "Church universal." Without collaboration, consent or appeal. He makes that quite explicit.

Indeed, I suspect that bishops cannot act unilaterally themselves as you mean it. They are at all times answerable to both their flock entrusted to them and the whole of the episcopal assembly throughout the world, and Christ Himself.

The question is not if the Catholic Church adheres to the ecclesiology of Arp. St. Gregory, but whether Abp. St. Gregory's eccelesiology adheres to that of the Catholic Church. The teachings of Vatican 1 and 2 certainly do not: "Absolutist Petrine advocates don't have [the] patristic conception of the papacy," but they did and have such authority to write such teachings into the constitution of your ecclesiastical community, and they exercised it both at Vatican I and Vatican II.

Btw, IIRC, Abp. St. Gregory claimed that the Fathers of Chalcedon (a rather odd Council of sorts for you to bring up) wanted to give him the title "Universal Bishop" to Abp. Leo almost two centuries before. I don't recall any such thing in the Acts, but lots of things that would contradict such an assertion.

If a head bishop was "a necessary reality of the Church universal," the Book of Acts would emphasize his "reality" from beginning to end as St. Luke chronicled the Church's spread to the ends of the universe. But no head bishop as you-or, more importantly, your Pastor Aeternus-describes him, rears his head.

Do not confuse eisogesis for express statements.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390048 01/21/13 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mardukm

Apostolic Canon 34: "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head..." Hence, head bishop. In the Oriental Othodox Tradition, Patriarchs have true jurisdiction, and regarded as the real spiritual and administrative head of his Patriarchal See. It is a position of honor, but not mere honor; it is an office that possesses real authority with responsibilities for his Patriarchal Church that no other metropolitan or local bishop within that Patriarchal Church possesses. This is also the way it is conceived of in the Catholic Church.


That's all fine, but note the restriction to nation state - the bishops of every nation acknowledge him who is first amongst them. If Rome wants to restrict its jurisdiction to the Latin patriarchate and be the head bishop there, I have no qualms whatsoever. But a system in which people in another country (Greek, Russian whatever) acknowledge a head outside their nation is simply not envisaged in the quote you supply. Rome can do what it likes within his own see, and similarly as Metropolitan of the Roman provinces. But not in Russia, Greece, or anywhere else.

Originally Posted by mardukm

First, the Orthodox hierarchy does not stop at the Metropolitan level, but also has a Patriarchal level. Even metropolitans are subject to their Patriarch (well, in the OO understanding, at least; not sure about the EO understanding, which I think runs the gamut from Low Petrine to High Petrine).


Not really. Patriarch is a title given to senior metropolitans.

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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
If there is one who has jurisdiction over all, as implied by being head of all, he is universal.

The extent of jurisdiction (i.e. universality) is not the issue. Rather, the issue is (1) the nature of the jurisdiction, and (2) the idea of having only one bishop for the whole Church, with no need for any other bishop.

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It is exactly the issue - you even have it as your point (1).

My point (1) has nothing to do with the extent of jurisdiction. As explained, the issue in the mind of Pope St. Gregory was the idea that the authority of other bishops would be rendered useless or unnecessary. This issue can exist on the metropolitan, patriarchal, or universal levels, so it is not the extent of jurisdiction that is important here. There is actually evidence of this in the EOC right now. IIRC, an EO Metropolitan in the U.S. has made all his suffragans mere auxiliary bishops. By definition, an auxiliary bishop only has a derived jurisdiction, not an ordinary and proper jurisdiction. Such a thing could never happen in the Catholic Church.[/quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_Bishop_of_Rome
Four auxiliary sees (does this concept make sense?) and some dead auxiliaries here: http://www.cam.org.au/Church-in-Melbourne/Bishops/What-are-Bishops-responsible-for.aspx
And a Coptic Catholic auxiliary (and now curial bishop, whatever that is) here: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bgolta.html

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The responsibilites of a Metropolitan as the head bishop of his Metropolitan See are different than his responsibilites as the bishop of his local diocese. Other local bishops do not have the same responsibilities or prerogatives as their Metropolitan head bishop. Further, the nature of a Metropolitan's jurisdiction as head bishop of his Metropolitan See is presidential, while the nature of his jurisdiction for his local diocese as its proper bishop is monarchical. You have to admit that the nature of the relationship between a bishop and the priests of whom he is head in his local Church is very different from the nature of the relationship between a head bishop and the bishops of whom he is head in a Metropolitan Church, a Patriarchal Church or the universal Church.


I agree - obviously a bishop has a different relationship to bishops than to priests.

Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by otsheylnik
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If the only head of the Church is Christ, then there would be no head bishops at all and the ancient Apostolic Canon 34 should not exist.

Are you denying that Christ is the only head of the Church here? I don't think so, but am pointing out that that is the implication of your statement.

My point was that just as the concept of a head bishop for a local Church does not contradict the dogma that Christ is the true head of the local Church, neither does the concept of a head bishop for the universal Church contradict the dogma that Christ is the true head of the universal Church.


If that was the point, I didn't really get it.

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Anyway assuming that the only head of the Church is Christ, I don't see what bearing that has on the existence of Bishops, deacons or anything else.

It has a lot of bearing because bishops are in fact the heads of their local Churches. If the bishop is the head of the local Church, does this mean Jesus is not the true head of the local Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Metropolitan is the head bishop of a Metroplitan Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Metropolitan Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Patriarch is the head bishop of a Patriarchal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Patriarchal Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Pope is the head bishop of the universal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the universal Church? Obviously not.


You seem to be arguing here that the existence of bishops, head bishops, popes and whatever else has no bearing on the fact that Christ is the head of the Church. Whilst I don't disagree with this statement, its the precise opposite of the one that I was making.

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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Certainly Peter, the first of the apostles, himself a member of the holy and universal Church, Paul, Andrew, John,— what were they but heads of particular communities? And yet all were members under one Head. (Book 5, letter 18)

This must be taken in context of his understanding of what it meant to say that Peter was a "universal Apostle" or that there is a "universal bishop." To Pope St. Gregory, calling Peter the "universal Apostle" meant that the rest of the Apostles had no relevance, that there would be no need for any other Apostle.

I don't see how this addresses the main point of the piece, which is that Peter was a head of a local church but had a place of honour as first apostle - kind of like the primacy of honour advocated by Orthodox.

My basic premise is the unanimous patristic belief that St. Peter was the coryphaeus (i.e., head) of the Apostles. It is obviously a false interpretation to claim that what Pope St. Gregory meant by the statement you quoted was that the Apostles did not in fact have a visible head among them in the person of St. Peter. This undeniable patristic fact that St. Peter was the acknowledged visible head of the Apostles while acknowledging the ultimate headship of Christ proves that:
(1) the belief that the Apostles (who together had a universal solicitude for the Church) can have a visible head in the person of St. Peter does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Apostles;
(2) likewise, the Catholic principle of a head bishop for the Church universal does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Church.

In other words, Pope St. Gregory's statement that each Apostle was a head of a paticular community and had Christ as their head was not a claim that the Apostles themselves did not have St. Peter as their coryphaeus (i.e., head). The point of stressing that St. Peter was just one of the Apostles who had Jesus as their head was not to deny that St. Peter was in fact established as their head by Jesus Himself (as the head servant in the parable of the faithful and wise servant set over the household when the master leaves), but rather to insist merely that St. Peter was not the ONLY Apostle created by Christ who had a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church. This was the only point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against assigning to St. Peter the role of "universal apostle." The analogy is obvious with regards to the concept of "universal bishop." The point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against the concept of a "universal bishop" was not to oppose the concept of a head bishop for the universal Church, but to oppose the idea that there was ONLY ONE bishop who has a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church.


As arguments that universal doesn't actually mean universal that's a fair, if confusing, effort.

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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Perhaps we can spend some time discussing what you think the CC actually teaches regarding the Primacy.

Given that I grew up in the Catholic Church and was a member of a religious order, I think I'm across this.

Maybe you had an Absolutist Petrine conception of the papacy when you were Catholic, and perhaps you still view the Catholic teaching on the papacy through those lenses. If so, it would merit discussion and refutation (I mean, the Absolutist Petrine understanding of the papacy).

Like IAlmistry I'm bewildered by this tree of types of Petrine understanding. I thought there was just one position that the Catholic Church taught, but apparently I'm wrong.

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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Why should they need it?

I think this question reflects a position that goes beyond the patristic evidence. All the Fathers of the Church admitted that St. Peter was the coryphaeus (i.e., the head) of the Apostles. Christ established him as such. St. Cyprian explained that he was established as a visible head to provide a principle of unity, because the Church is one. This visible principle of unity exists in the Catholic Church today in the papacy, just as it did for the Apostles in the person of St. Peter.

Both Cyprian and Augustine viewed Christ as the rock not Peter. Peter's confession, which is Christ, is the source of unity in the Church, not Peter. Unity flows through Christ on the altar as Eucharist, not from an office.

First, I admit I used to adhere to the "Christ is the rock not Peter" rationale. I don't anymore. I believe Scripture and the Fathers unanimously teach that the Rock is Christ, Peter, and Peter's Faith all at once. It is a false dichotomy to separate the three. I ask you, and please respond to this - what rationale can you offer for separating Peter from Christ and the Faith that he professed?


I really don't understand what you're asking of me here. You seem to be saying that I have to some reason justify believing three exegetical perspectives are correct simultaneously. If that's what you're asking, my justification for not doing so is because it seems illogical to do so.

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Second, the Council of Trent explicitly taught that the Eucharist is the source of the Church's unity (it is the Eucharist "which [Christ] desired to unify and unite all Christians"). I don't know who came up with the idea the it is an office (the papacy) that is the source of the Church's unity, but that is not the teaching of the Catholic Church.


How about this?

And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. Lumen Gentium 18



Last edited by Otsheylnik; 01/21/13 11:38 AM.
Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Stephanos I] #390049 01/21/13 11:41 AM
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Otsheylnik Offline
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Originally Posted by otsheylnik
from which erroneous interpretation all else you mention flows. For example, in the decrees of the first Vatican Council:

Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff
That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching

What is erroneous about this exactly? Having the highest power of teaching does not mean he is the only teaching authority in the Church. It only means that if there is a conflict in doctrine among the bishops, there should be one who can make a final decision if necessary. It does not mean he can at his mere discretion create doctrine out of the blue, nor does it mean that he has the authority to contradict Sacred Tradition. So please explain what you regard as erroneous about this?


I regard as erroneous any unqualified statement that the Bishop is the successor of Peter. See, for a start, the numerous quotations I have given above from St Gregory regarding how the successors of Peter are "three bishops". Hence why I think if Rome is arguing that Pastor Aeternus is in keeping with Gregory's doctrine it should mention three bishops as successors to Peter - the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria and Rome, or at least say "a successor". If they want to argue that they have a different doctrine to Gregory, they can keep what they have.

I think IAlmistry dealt with most of the other points here...

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: IAlmisry] #390206 01/26/13 04:45 PM
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mardukm Offline
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Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Jesus never left his parables unclarified, and he was rather clear on this one, as well. "Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute food at the proper time?"(Luke 12); ""Who is the wise and faithful servant whom the master will put in charge of his household to distribute food at the proper time?"(Matthew 24). St. John Chrysostom interpreted this to refer specifically to St. Peter and his successors.

You mean this?[/quote]
No. It's from his work On the Priesthood, Book 2:
For when we see any one bestowing care upon members of our household, or upon our flocks, we count his zeal for them as a sign of love towards ourselves: yet all these things are to be bought for money:— with how great a gift then will He requite those who tend the flock which He purchased, not with money, nor anything of that kind, but by His own death, giving his own blood as the price of the herd. Wherefore when the disciple said, You know Lord that I love You, and invoked the beloved one Himself as a witness of his love, the Saviour did not stop there, but added that which was the token of love. For He did not at that time wish to show how much Peter loved Him, but how much He Himself loved His own Church, and he desired to teach Peter and all of us that we also should bestow much zeal upon the same. For why did God not spare His only-begotten Son, but delivered Him up, although the only one He had? It was that He might reconcile to Himself those who were disposed towards Him as enemies, and make them His peculiar people. For what purpose did He shed His blood? It was that He might win these sheep which He entrusted to Peter and his successors. Naturally then did Christ say, Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord shall make ruler over His household. Again, the words are those of one who is in doubt, yet the speaker did not utter them in doubt, but just as He asked Peter whether he loved Him, not from any need to learn the affection of the disciple, but from a desire to show the exceeding depth of his own love: so now also when He says, Who then is the faithful and wise servant? he speaks not as being ignorant who is faithful and wise, but as desiring to set forth the rarity of such a character, and the greatness of this office. Observe at any rate how great the reward is— “He will appoint him,” he says,” ruler over all his goods.”

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Nothing on restricting his successors to those at Rome.

That's in your own misinterpretation of Pastor Aeternus (along with the Absolutist Petrine advocates). I'll agree with your criticisms of the Absolutist Petrine view any day, but you are mistaken if you think your perception and their perception is what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Originally Posted by Ialmisry
Originally Posted by mardukm

So the Catholic interpretation is not a novel thing.

Of course it isn't. Pastor Aeternus introduces the novelty.

The novelty is not Pastor Aeternus, but rather the misinterpretation imposed on it.

Originally Posted by Ialmisry
Originally Posted by mardukm
It is just as correct as the interpretation that it refers to the head bishops of local Churches. In general, the parable refers to any position that is a headship, and an exhortation that the servant who possesses this headship involves a great responsibility to take care of his fellow servants. Those apostolic Christians who deny such a position of servanthood for the Church as a whole, as if the Church as a whole cannot be considered the household of God that is mentioned in the parable, are the ones who would have a hard time justifying their position.

Au contraire. Justifying the position of the Apostles comes quite easily. St. Cyprian summed their preaching on the subject quite nicely: "The episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one for the whole."

EACH part held by EACH one for the WHOLE.

Yes, this is the teaching of the Catholic Church. It is called collegiality. Each bishop has a responsibility for the whole Church, but there is one, the one who has the primacy, who has the primary responsibility for the unity of the Church, moreso than other bishops. The body and the head always work together, never apart from each other, for the good of the whole Church. Contrary to the Low Petrine view, no local bishop and no local Church is independent from other bishops or local Churches, much less in their relation to their head bishop and the Church universal. The very reality of the ecumenical council proves the error of the Low Petrine view in this regard. And yes, I understand that not all EO have this conception of ecclesiology (as stated in a previous post, the EO ecclesiology seems to run the gamut between Low Petrine and High Petrine).

Originally Posted by Ialmisry
In Acts, the Apostles send St. Peter, he does not send them. Other than the Ecumenical Synod, the NT does not speak of any responsibility for the Church as a whole above the bishop.

Jesus did in the parable of the wise and faithful servant.

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The hierarchy of the bishops comes from ecclesiastical, not divine, institution.

This is true. The organization of the Church into Patriarchates and Metropolitan Sees originated from the Church, not from Christ. But the idea that there would be a head servant among the servants in his entire household originated from Christ, not the Church. So what Christ set up was for the Church as a whole - HIS Church - while the Church, as it grew and as time progressed, set up smaller bodies of administration for the sake of good order, in imitation of the form that Christ set up for the Church as a whole.

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And when the Fathers set it up, they saw fit to specify its role. And beyond announcing to the other primates (some of which are Metropolitans, btw) the date of Pascha calculated by the Pope of Alexandria, and granting-BUT NOT HEARING-an appeal, the Fathers did not give much responsibility to the archbishop of Rome over the Church as a whole, beyond the responsibility he shared with the other primates and indeed all other bishops.

Yes, the appellate authority is a recognition of the primacy of the bishop of Rome for the whole Church. And your statement is a rather jaundiced account of the Sardican Canons. The bishop of Rome, according to those Canons, has the prerogative to hear the case through his representatives at the new court set up by the appeal (Canon 5: "...let it be in the power of the bishop of the Roman Church, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right - that some be sent with the bishop [who is appealing] and invested with his authority...But if he think that the bishops [of the neighboring sees] are sufficient for the examination and decision of the matter, let him do what shall seem good in his most prudent judgment"). And not only that, but he has the prerogative to choose the judges (Canon 3: let us, if it seem good to your charity, honor the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighboring provinces and let him appoint judges...").

The early Church recognized a greater authority for the bishop of Rome for matters throughout the Church, and outside of his immediate, local jurisdiction, moreso than you pretend. But neither is this authority unilateral and absolute as Absolutist Petrine advocates pretend. The extremes of the Absolutist and Low Petrine views really have no basis in the history of the Church.

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And, despite what Pastor Aeternus says, "it was through the Church that" his primacy and prerogatives were "transmitted to him in his capacity as Her minister.

I can agree that much of the way the Primacy is exercised has been conditioned by the circumstances of the Church as time progressed, not established by Christ Himself. However, the Primacy per se is from Christ. And there are certain basic responsibilities that came along with this Primacy established by Christ (to confirm his brother bishops and to feed the entire household of God being the most obvious scriptural prerogatives). I think part of the eisegesis of non-Catholics comes from the idea that when canons are established, it is an indication of a novelty being introduced into the Church. Hence, the Canons of Sardica, for example, are (mis)interpreted as the first time the universal appellate authority of the bishop of Rome is established. This is an obviously false reading of the sources, as we know that bishops were appealing to the bishop of Rome long before the time of Sardica. The fact is, canons are more often than not merely a codification of long-standing customs/beliefs.

Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Some Orthodox are agnostic on whether or not there is grace in Catholic sacraments.

And that's because from their perspective, it seems a little extreme to take a firm position one way or the other. (Also, the East has always been more comfortable with ambiguity than the West.)

This makes sense. I've met Orthodox who regard the primacy only as a discplinary matter, not a doctrinal matter, and that it was a heresy for the CC to make it a dogma. But if one accuses someone of heresy for making a dogma out of something that should not be dogma, has not the accuser likewise made a dogma of the opposite position, and thus fallen under his own condemnation?

No.

Why? How does making a disciplinary matter into a dogma make it a matter of heresy?

Originally Posted by IAlmisry
You are reading things which the Apostles did not put in the Gospel, let alone Christ.

Or perhaps you are reading things into Pastor Aeternus that was never intended by the Fathers of V1. It amazes me that when we assess the decrees of EVERY Council in the history of the Church, they are NEVER interpereted apart from (1) Sacred Tradition, nor (2) the background debates of the Fathers available to us. Yet both Absolutist Petrine advocates and detractors of Vatican 1 do the exact opposite with regards to V1. Why? We need to interpret the decrees of V1 in the context of the discussions of the Fathers of the Council and in the context of Sacred Tradition. A lot of times, the words of a Decree can have more than one apparent meaning. Take for example the First Ecumenical Council. The semi-Arians and the Pneumatomachi had no problem appealing to its Decrees to support their own opinions, but their understanding was very different from the Faith possessed by the Fathers of Nicea.

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I don't find your schema of "Absolutist Petrine," "High Petrine" and "Low Petrine" in that statement on the matter by your present "supreme pontiff" (sounds rather absolutist) while in charge of the office of propagating your doctrines.

Perhaps that's because you have not read beyond the jaundiced and non-contextual presentations of Absolutist Petrine advocates and Low Petrine detractors, who seem to be have the market as far as the popularity of opinions. When I've debated Absolutist Petrine advocates at CAF, 100% of them had never even heard of the official Relatio of Vatican 1. And I'm pretty sure that most if not 99% of non-Catholics have the same lack of awareness on the matter.

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Nor does it occur in the statement of your previous "supreme pontiff" of blessed memory:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/j..._jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html

The document you linked to represents the High Petrine view, not the Absolutist Petrine view. I'm not sure what the point of your focus on mere terminologies is. The conceptual differences between the High Petrine and Absolutist Petrine views are very easy to understand.

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Except for a brief disclaimer clause, your Pastor Aeternus embraces what you call an "Absolutist Petrine" position, and requires you to embrace one as well.

That's probably only because either (1) you already have a pre-conceived notion, or (2) you read Pastor Aeternus without understanding what the Fathers of V1 debated behind the scenes. A perfect example of point (1) is the idea that V1 taught that the Pope is the onlysuccessor of St. Peter, when there is no such statement in the Decree. Rather, the Decree states only that the bishop of Rome is the successor of St. Peter's primacy. There are numerous such examples of eisegesis by Absolutist Petrine advocates and Low Petrine detractors. Another, more popular, example is the statement in the Decree that the Pope can exercise his prerogatives "freely" or "unhindered." Absolutist Petrine advocates and Low Petrine detractors misinterpret this term to mean that the Pope has absolute power without restriction. They/you think that the term "freely" means "uninhibited," when, in FACT, the word, according to the original intent of the Fathers, actually only means "uncoerced." The term "freely" means nothing more than that the Pope exercises his prerogatives with free will/volition - i.e., . The Pope cannot be FORCED to do or not do something that his office demands. It does not mean the Pope can do what he wants, when he wants, where he wants. This is actually explained in the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, which incorporates that very statement from the V1 Decree in the Canons.

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Have you debated him as well?

Why would I need to, when HH JP2 of thrice-blessed memory himself held to a High Petrine view:
"Vatican I's definition, however, does not assign to the Pope a power or responsibility to intervene daily in the local churches...The decrees of Vatican I are thus understood in a completely erroneous way when one presumes that because of them "episcopal jurisdiction has been replaced by papal jurisdiction"; that the Pope "is taking for himself the place of every bishop"; and that the bishops are merely "instruments of the Pope: they are his officials without responsibility of their own."" (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19930224en.html)

Note that HH did not say "well, the Pope doesn't do it because it is a merely practical impossibility," which is the usual claim by both Absolutist Petrine advocates and Low Petrine detractors of the papacy. Rather he says that Vatican 1 did not give such power (i.e., to invervene daily) to the Pope.

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Of course Otsheylnik's understanding of the papacy differs from your own, as I've never seen anyone else but you embrace yours.

There are a lot of Catholics who adhere to a High Petrine view, not an Absolutist Petrine view, of the papacy. One of the moderators at CAF even sent me a PM congratulating me for my defense of the High Petrine view. Many have e-mailed me (mostly Catholics in communion with Rome, but also Catholics not in communion with Rome) to thank me for the distinctions, and a lot have told me that the distinctions have helped them remain in the Catholic Church. You have to understand that perhaps 98% of my studies in the process of my decision to join the Catholic communion came not from Catholic theologians, but from Catholic Magisterial sources. Most Catholic theological material comes from Latin Catholics, many with an Absolutist Petrine perspective. But my knowledge, as stated, was informed by Catholic Magisterial sources, not popular lay apologetic and theological sources. For example (among many), my knowledge of "Purgatory" came from Magisterial sources such as the Councils of Trent and Florence, not popular theological sources, so I've never imbibed the popular Latin theologoumena regarding "Purgatory" (e.g., purgatorial fire, purgatorial punishment, accounting of time, etc., etc.) as part of my Catholic consciousness.

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Least of all, Archbishop St. Gregory

Pope St. Gregoy did not have an Absolutist Petrine outlook.

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...Pope Pius IX.

Yes. Pio Nono had personal Absolutist Petrine tendencies, but the Council did not.

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You might want to squeeze your "High Petrine" position into the disclaimer clause, but the rest of Pastor Aeternus will not let you, as it empties said clause of any meaning that Archbishop St. Gregory might have put into it. According to your Pastor Aeternus he can indeed, at any time he chooses, act alone, anywhere in the "Church universal." Without collaboration, consent or appeal. He makes that quite explicit.

Can you please point out exactly where Pastor Aeternus states that the Pope can
(1) act alone (2) any time he chooses, (3) without collaboration, (4) without consent, (5) without appeal. You say this is quite explicit, but I haven't seen it. I admit that Pastor Aeternus explicitly states that the Pope can act anywhere in the Church universal (though that does not in the least mean he can do whatever he wants).

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Indeed, I suspect that bishops cannot act unilaterally themselves as you mean it. They are at all times answerable to both their flock entrusted to them and the whole of the episcopal assembly throughout the world, and Christ Himself.

Agreed. But I think we each have a different understanding of what "answerable" means. The highest authority in the Church is Sacred Tradition, and EVERY bishop, including the Pope, is subject to it. When I think of "answerable," I mean being answerable to Sacred Tradition. which is the true judge in all matters. I think what you mean by "answerable" is being anwerable to a personal authority. In the Catholic Church, the authority of Sacred Tradition exhibits itself in what is known as "latae sententiae" excommunication - i.e., an excommunication by virtue of the law itself, not by a personal authority. Even the Pope is subject to this. Bishops, including the Pope, are servants of Sacred Tradition, and they cannot act apart from or in contradiction to it. Though there is no canonical means to depose a Pope, he can indeed lose his status by virtue of latae sententiae excommunication. This occurred during the "babylonian captivity" of the Avignon papacy period. What occurred was that the College of Cardinals elected a new Pope, who called an Ecumenical Council, which then made a sentence based on the sacred canonical Tradition of the Church. The College itself did not have the canonical authority to judge the Pope, so that was the way it was done. I've read even in such a traditional Catholic source as the old Catholic Encyclopedia that the events that occurred during the Avignon period was not an aberration, but a legitimate exercise of conciliar authority in an extreme case.

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If a head bishop was "a necessary reality of the Church universal," the Book of Acts would emphasize his "reality" from beginning to end as St. Luke chronicled the Church's spread to the ends of the universe. But no head bishop as you-or, more importantly, your Pastor Aeternus-describes him, rears his head.

Well, the Apostles were not bishops, but the Apostles had a coryphaeus, which was St. Peter. The body of bishops down through the centuries simply inherited/inherits its ontological make-up from the Apostles, which was established by Christ Himself, by virtue of Apostolic Succession.

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Do not confuse eisogesis for express statements.

Actually, when one speaks of eisegesis, one understands that it is not merely the words, but the proper CONTEXT of the words that has been neglected. So it is the Absolutist Petrine advocates and Low Petrine detractors who are guilty of eisegesis. Both camps neglect not only the context of the statements made by Fathers during the Council, but the context of Sacred Tradition as well, in their misinterpretation of the Vatican Decrees.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Otsheylnik] #390207 01/26/13 05:02 PM
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mardukm Offline
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm

Apostolic Canon 34: "The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head..." Hence, head bishop. In the Oriental Othodox Tradition, Patriarchs have true jurisdiction, and regarded as the real spiritual and administrative head of his Patriarchal See. It is a position of honor, but not mere honor; it is an office that possesses real authority with responsibilities for his Patriarchal Church that no other metropolitan or local bishop within that Patriarchal Church possesses. This is also the way it is conceived of in the Catholic Church.


That's all fine, but note the restriction to nation state - the bishops of every nation acknowledge him who is first amongst them. If Rome wants to restrict its jurisdiction to the Latin patriarchate and be the head bishop there, I have no qualms whatsoever. But a system in which people in another country (Greek, Russian whatever) acknowledge a head outside their nation is simply not envisaged in the quote you supply.

One can infer the actual meaning of the Apostolic Canon when one compares it to the first recorded imitation of the Canon in a local Council, a Council of Antioch in 341 A.D:
"It behoves the bishops in every province to acknowledge the bishop who presides in the metropolis, and who has to take thought for the whole province, because all men of business come together from every quarter to the metropolis. Wherefore it is decreed that he have precedence in rank, and that the other bishops do nothing extraordinary without him, according to the ancient canon which prevailed from the times of our fathers, or such things only as pertains to their own particular parishes and the districts subject to them. For each bishop has authority over his own parish, both to tmanage it with the piety which is incumbent on every one, and to make provisions for the whole district which is dependent on his city; to ordain presbyters and deacons; and to settle eerything with judgment. But let him undertake nothing further without the bishop of the metropolis; neither the latter without the consent of the others."

Notice that the later canon is based on the more ancient one, and that the later canon refers to a smaller range of jurisdiction than the ancient one. Futher, the later canon bases the head bishopric in the metropolis (or capital), but the ancient one does not. Also, the ancient canon is not at all clear that the range of jurisdiction is being restricted to only one nation state. First of all, the ancient Greek term for "nation" had a more general meaning that was not restricted to political boundaries. Secondly, the Greek term for "every" is ambiguous. It could mean "each." Read in this way, it would support your view. But it could also mean "every" or "all." Read in this way, it can easily be interpreted as "all the bishops must acknowledge him who is head."

The Apostolic Canon is more ambiguous than the later canon from Antioch, as well it should be since the Apostolic Canon is a more general principle regarding head bishops, which can be applied at any level of the hierarchy (metropolitan, patriarchal, universal). So it would be eisegesis to restrict the Apostolic Canon to refer to only head bishops at the metropolical level, reading back into the Apostolic Canon an interpretative preference. The Catholic position (and the High Petrine position in general) does not restrict the Apostolic Canon in that way, and we recognize its relevance at all levels of the hierarchy.

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Rome can do what it likes within his own see, and similarly as Metropolitan of the Roman provinces. But not in Russia, Greece, or anywhere else.

No head bishop can can do "what he likes."

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
First, the Orthodox hierarchy does not stop at the Metropolitan level, but also has a Patriarchal level. Even metropolitans are subject to their Patriarch (well, in the OO understanding, at least; not sure about the EO understanding, which I think runs the gamut from Low Petrine to High Petrine).

Not really. Patriarch is a title given to senior metropolitans.

I understand that you yourself don't conceive of a Patriarch as having real jurisdiction. But this is not the way the early Church understood it. If one reads the Canons of Nicea, one sees that the bishop of Alexandria is said to have jurisdiction in areas outside of his own local diocese. Of course, this jurisdiction is of a different nature than his jurisdiction for his own local diocese, as already explained previously. But it is a true jurisdiction nonetheless. This is one of the principal differences between the High and Low Petrine views, though we would both reject the excesses of the Absolutist Petrine view.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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The extent of jurisdiction (i.e. universality) is not the issue. Rather, the issue is (1) the nature of the jurisdiction, and (2) the idea of having only one bishop for the whole Church, with no need for any other bishop.

It is exactly the issue - you even have it as your point (1).

My point (1) has nothing to do with the extent of jurisdiction. As explained, the issue in the mind of Pope St. Gregory was the idea that the authority of other bishops would be rendered useless or unnecessary. This issue can exist on the metropolitan, patriarchal, or universal levels, so it is not the extent of jurisdiction that is important here. There is actually evidence of this in the EOC right now. IIRC, an EO Metropolitan in the U.S. has made all his suffragans mere auxiliary bishops. By definition, an auxiliary bishop only has a derived jurisdiction, not an ordinary and proper jurisdiction. Such a thing could never happen in the Catholic Church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_Bishop_of_Rome
Four auxiliary sees (does this concept make sense?) and some dead auxiliaries here: http://www.cam.org.au/Church-in-Melbourne/Bishops/What-are-Bishops-responsible-for.aspx
And a Coptic Catholic auxiliary (and now curial bishop, whatever that is) here: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bgolta.html

I did not say there is no such thing as an auxiliary bishop. I said that in the Catholic Church, a proper bishop cannot be simply demoted to an auxiliary status. Many dioceses have auxiliary bishops, and sometimes they can be promoted as a bishop of a particular diocese with proper jurisdiction. But short of heresy or a great public scandal, the proper jurisdiction of a bishop in the Catholic Church cannot be taken away, with the bishop being demoted to mere auxiliary status.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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The responsibilites of a Metropolitan as the head bishop of his Metropolitan See are different than his responsibilites as the bishop of his local diocese. Other local bishops do not have the same responsibilities or prerogatives as their Metropolitan head bishop. Further, the nature of a Metropolitan's jurisdiction as head bishop of his Metropolitan See is presidential, while the nature of his jurisdiction for his local diocese as its proper bishop is monarchical. You have to admit that the nature of the relationship between a bishop and the priests of whom he is head in his local Church is very different from the nature of the relationship between a head bishop and the bishops of whom he is head in a Metropolitan Church, a Patriarchal Church or the universal Church.

I agree - obviously a bishop has a different relationship to bishops than to priests.

A lot of people think that the relationship of the Pope to his brother bishops is the same relationship that a bishop has to his priests. That is not true. This is the misinterpretation that Absolutist Petrine advocates and detractors of V1 impose on the V1 decrees. The Catholic Church has never taught this. The relationship between the Pope and his brother bishops is the same relationship that any head bishop (patriarch, metropolitan, primate, etc.) has to his brother bishops, except the extent of jurisidction is simply greater (i.e., a Metropolitan's is for the Metropolitan See, a Patriarch's is for the Patriarchate, and the Pope's is for the whole Church). But the nature of jurisdiction is the same as that of any head bishop - i.e., it is presidential, not monarchical. The Pope is a head bishop, not a universal bishop. There are only two conceivable differences between the Pope's primacy, and the primacy of other head bishops:
(1) The Pope's primacy is considered to be from Christ as successor of St. Peter's primacy which was from Christ, while the primacy of other head bishops originated from the Church.
(2) While every other head bishop must act in a formal manner collegially, the Pope can act in a formal manner either personally OR collegially. However, it must be noted that while the Pope can act in a formal manner personally, this does not mean that he can act in a formal manner unilaterally (i.e.,
"personal" does not mean "unilateral"), because the Pope is constrained by the divine constitution of the Church to always act in at least an INformal manner collegially.
Here is what two national synods of bishops after V1 taught about the Decrees.
The German bishops:
"The episcopate also exists by virtue of the same divine institution on which the office of the Supreme Pontiff is based. It enjoys rights and duties in virtue of a disposition that comes from God himself, and the Supreme Pontiff has neither the right nor the power to change them."

The Swiss bishops:
"...he [the Pope] is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains; he is tied up and limited by the Creeds already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church; he is tied up and limited by the divine law and by the constitution of the Church [COMMENT: this previous line has great relevance to our discussion about the Pope’s relationship to his brother bishops]; lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious societies there is a civil society; that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of the Temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and which belong to the domain of civil society."

Both encyclicals met with approval from Pope Pius IX. These statements by no stretch of the imagination can be interpreted as Absolutist Petrine.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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It has a lot of bearing because bishops are in fact the heads of their local Churches. If the bishop is the head of the local Church, does this mean Jesus is not the true head of the local Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Metropolitan is the head bishop of a Metroplitan Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Metropolitan Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Patriarch is the head bishop of a Patriarchal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the Patriarchal Church? Obviously not. Similarly, does the fact that a Pope is the head bishop of the universal Church mean that Jesus is not the true head of the universal Church? Obviously not.

You seem to be arguing here that the existence of bishops, head bishops, popes and whatever else has no bearing on the fact that Christ is the head of the Church. Whilst I don't disagree with this statement, its the precise opposite of the one that I was making.

The basic principle is that any head in the Church (on whatever level - pope, patrarich, metropolitan, local bishop, abbot, protopriest, etc.) does not replace Christ, but simply represents Him.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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This must be taken in context of his understanding of what it meant to say that Peter was a "universal Apostle" or that there is a "universal bishop." To Pope St. Gregory, calling Peter the "universal Apostle" meant that the rest of the Apostles had no relevance, that there would be no need for any other Apostle.

I don't see how this addresses the main point of the piece, which is that Peter was a head of a local church but had a place of honour as first apostle - kind of like the primacy of honour advocated by Orthodox.

My basic premise is the unanimous patristic belief that St. Peter was the coryphaeus (i.e., head) of the Apostles. It is obviously a false interpretation to claim that what Pope St. Gregory meant by the statement you quoted was that the Apostles did not in fact have a visible head among them in the person of St. Peter. This undeniable patristic fact that St. Peter was the acknowledged visible head of the Apostles while acknowledging the ultimate headship of Christ proves that:
(1) the belief that the Apostles (who together had a universal solicitude for the Church) can have a visible head in the person of St. Peter does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Apostles;
(2) likewise, the Catholic principle of a head bishop for the Church universal does not diminish in any way the dogma that Christ is the head of the Church.

In other words, Pope St. Gregory's statement that each Apostle was a head of a paticular community and had Christ as their head was not a claim that the Apostles themselves did not have St. Peter as their coryphaeus (i.e., head). The point of stressing that St. Peter was just one of the Apostles who had Jesus as their head was not to deny that St. Peter was in fact established as their head by Jesus Himself (as the head servant in the parable of the faithful and wise servant set over the household when the master leaves), but rather to insist merely that St. Peter was not the ONLY Apostle created by Christ who had a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church. This was the only point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against assigning to St. Peter the role of "universal apostle." The analogy is obvious with regards to the concept of "universal bishop." The point of Pope St. Gregory's argument against the concept of a "universal bishop" was not to oppose the concept of a head bishop for the universal Church, but to oppose the idea that there was ONLY ONE bishop who has a sole, unilateral responsibility for the whole Church.

As arguments that universal doesn't actually mean universal that's a fair, if confusing, effort.

Thanks. But the argument is not that "universal" does not mean "universal." The argument is that the term "universal" does not mean "absolute with free license to do whatever one pleases." Asserting the geographical range of jurisdiction of a head bishop (metropolitan, patriarchal, or universal) is by no means equivalent to saying that the head bishop can simply replace his brother bishops within that geographical range of jurisdiction. As already affirmed, the relationship between a head bishop and his brother bishops is very different from the relationship between a bishop and his priests.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Perhaps we can spend some time discussing what you think the CC actually teaches regarding the Primacy.

Given that I grew up in the Catholic Church and was a member of a religious order, I think I'm across this.

Maybe you had an Absolutist Petrine conception of the papacy when you were Catholic, and perhaps you still view the Catholic teaching on the papacy through those lenses. If so, it would merit discussion and refutation (I mean, the Absolutist Petrine understanding of the papacy).

Like IAlmistry I'm bewildered by this tree of types of Petrine understanding. I thought there was just one position that the Catholic Church taught, but apparently I'm wrong.

To be perfectly clear, the Absolutist and High Petrine views exist in the Catholic Church. The High and Low Petrine views exist in the Orthodox Churches in general, with the Low Petrine view seemingly restricted to the EOC.

The difference between the Absolutist and High Petrine views was very evident at Vatican 1. The Absolutist Petrine view was held by a group called the neo-ultramontanists. Their beliefs were very new, and actually originated only in the early 19th century from England. There were two types of neo-ultramontantists - political and theological. Political neo-ultramontanists were known for their belief in the deposing power of the Pope. Theological neo-ultramontanists held/hold the views that are most often criticized by non-Catholics (Orthodox and Protestant). Neo-ultramontanism was rejected by Vatican I. What non-Catholics call and criticize as "Ultramontanism" is actually "Neo-ultramontanism." Many V1 Fathers (of both the Minority and Majority parties) had commented that many are likely to misinterpret the words of [i]Pastor Aeternus on the Primacy - how true that is. This misinterpretation is the basis for the Absolutist Petrine view, and it is NOT the teaching of V1.[/i] Here is an interesting piece of information on Neo-ultramontanism: There is a popular report among detractors of V1 that a certain Bishop Lecourtier was so disgusted by the V1 Decrees that he tossed his copy of the Decrees into the river. Detractors of V1 advertise this incident to prove that the Minority Party at V1 thoroughly rejected the V1 Decrees. The truth of the matter is that Bishop Lecourtier was actually a member of the NEO-ultramontanist party at V1, not a member of the Minority party.

Despite the more obviously collegial intentions of V2, there was a resurgence of neo-ultramontanism after V2. These modern neo-ultramontantists believe more centralization is the only solution to the apparent liturgical chaos in the Latin Catholic Church. Thus, it is little wonder that the Absolutist Petrine view is very common among members of the SSPX and Traditional Catholics in general. I've also read that a contributing factor to the resurgence of neo-ultramontanism (the Absolutist Petrine view) is the apparent (but false) belief that the Catholic Church has relaxed its teaching as being the one, true Church. These Absolutist Petrine advocates believe V2's teaching on collegiality is a symptom of this weakening in the Church's self-perception of being the one, true Church, and have reacted accordingly in their rejection or diminution of the Catholic Church's Traditional teaching and belief in collegiality.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Both Cyprian and Augustine viewed Christ as the rock not Peter. Peter's confession, which is Christ, is the source of unity in the Church, not Peter. Unity flows through Christ on the altar as Eucharist, not from an office.

First, I admit I used to adhere to the "Christ is the rock not Peter" rationale. I don't anymore. I believe Scripture and the Fathers unanimously teach that the Rock is Christ, Peter, and Peter's Faith all at once. It is a false dichotomy to separate the three. I ask you, and please respond to this - what rationale can you offer for separating Peter from Christ and the Faith that he professed?

I really don't understand what you're asking of me here. You seem to be saying that I have to some reason justify believing three exegetical perspectives are correct simultaneously. If that's what you're asking, my justification for not doing so is because it seems illogical to do so.

You don't seem to think it is illogical to believe that the Rock can simultaneously be Christ and St. Peter's confession. Why do you think it is illogical to regard St. Peter as the rock also?

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Second, the Council of Trent explicitly taught that the Eucharist is the source of the Church's unity (it is the Eucharist "which [Christ] desired to unify and unite all Christians"). I don't know who came up with the idea the it is an office (the papacy) that is the source of the Church's unity, but that is not the teaching of the Catholic Church.

How about this?
And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. Lumen Gentium 18

Thanks for the quote. When you mentioned "source," I interpreted that to mean the source of ontological unity. The papacy is not by any means the source of the Church's ontological unity. That can only be achieved with and by the Eucharist. On the other hand, I have no problem with the teaching that the papacy is the VISIBLE source of the Church's unity. The distinction between the ontological source of unity and the visible source of unity is evident in Jesus exhortation for unity in John 17. Christ taught that our unity is for a witness to those who are not in the Church. The Eucharist is not real for those who are outside the Church, so the Eucharist is not the sign of unity to the world that Christ intended. The Eucharist is indeed OUR sign and source of unity as Christians, members of the Church, but we need something else to be a sign and source of unity to the world, those who are not in the Church and who have no conception of or belief in the Eucharist. On this point, I have no doubt in my conscience that the papacy serves this purpose for the world who does not know Christ. The basic principles of sociology and psychology dictate that it is leadership which is the most evident sign and source of unity in any ordered society. I suspect (and believe) this is why Christ established St. Peter as the coryphaeus of the Apostles, as the VISIBLE source and sign of unity of His Church for those who did not know Him. In St. Cyprian's words, he was the principle of unity of the Apostles. Just as the Apostles needed this principle of unity - something to consider: maybe just as much for themselves as for a witness to the world who did not know Christ - so does the Church today.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by otsheylnik
from which erroneous interpretation all else you mention flows. For example, in the decrees of the first Vatican Council
Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff
That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching

What is erroneous about this exactly? Having the highest power of teaching does not mean he is the only teaching authority in the Church. It only means that if there is a conflict in doctrine among the bishops, there should be one who can make a final decision if necessary. It does not mean he can at his mere discretion create doctrine out of the blue, nor does it mean that he has the authority to contradict Sacred Tradition. So please explain what you regard as erroneous about this?

I regard as erroneous any unqualified statement that the Bishop is the successor of Peter.

But it's not unqualified. The context clearly indicates that the Decree is about the succession of the Primacy, not succession in general.

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See, for a start, the numerous quotations I have given above from St Gregory regarding how the successors of Peter are "three bishops". Hence why I think if Rome is arguing that Pastor Aeternus is in keeping with Gregory's doctrine it should mention three bishops as successors to Peter - the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria and Rome, or at least say "a successor." If they want to argue that they have a different doctrine to Gregory, they can keep what they have.

There is only one successor to the primacy. The decree must be taken contextually. I suppose anyone can take a little snippet from the Decree devoid of context and impose any sort of interpretation they want on that little snippet. I'm not saying you are doing this on purpose.

I once debated an Absolujtist Petrine advocate at CAF, and it was a shock for me to learn that he was completely UNaware that the following statement from Pastor Aeternus existed:
"The power of the Supreme Pontiff is far from standing in the way of the power of ordinary and immediate episcopal jurisdiction by which the bishops who, under appointment of the Holy Spirit, succeed in the place of the Apostles, to feed and rule individually, as true shepherds, the particular flock assigned to them. Rather their power is asserted, confirmed, and vindicated by the same aupreme and universal shepherd."

He could probably recite the dogma by heart, but he had not laid his eyes on anything else in the Decree apart from the other sections which, when taken out of context, can be imagined to support an Absolutist Petrine misunderstanding of the Decree. So devoid of the knowledge of this context, he had the belief that the Pope could indeed replace any bishop in a local diocese at his mere discretion. Needless to say, the one I debated never heard of the official Relatio of Vatican 1 either.

It is a rather unfortunate fact that many Latin Catholics, when they speak of dogma, think that the only thing that is authoritative is the dogma itself, and often neglect anything else that is taught by the Magisterium. A perfect example is the idea that Mary did not die. The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma of the Assumption clearly mentions her death several times. Yet, it amazes me that certain Catholics can have such an easy conscience about rejecting the teaching of the ordinary, universal Magisterium of the Church, which is reflected in the statements that accompany any dogma. Eastern and Oriental Catholics generally do not have this same outlook on Sacred Tradition. To us, what is dogmatized is NOT the only authoritative kind of teaching in the Church. Dogma really only reflects that a certain belief has come into focus due to disagreement or special concern. It does not mean that what is not dogmatized can so easily be neglected or rejected. A lot of Catholics (and "non-"Catholics) fail to realize that infallibility exists not just in the Extraordinary Magisterium of the Church (responsible for the proclamation of dogma), but also in the universal, ordinary Magisterium and the sensus fidei of the Church. A lot of Catholics (and "non-"Catholics) fail to consider that perhaps a teaching is not dogmatized simply because it has never been questioned, and its lack of dogmatization should not be taken as a gauge of the authority (or lack thereof) of a certain teaching for the Church. I think what happens is that former Latin Catholics unintentionally carry their Latin outlook over into their new Church environment. Despite their claim to adhere to the Eastern or Oriental phrenoma, they still view the concept of dogma in the same way as it is popularly conceived in the Latin Catholic Tradition. So in their criticism of the Catholic Church, they only focus on this or that little snippet that is the dogmatic statement, neglecting its proper context. Again, I'm not saying this is done intentionally.

Blessings

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Stephanos I] #390230 01/27/13 12:12 AM
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Cavaradossi Offline
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Originally Posted by mardukm
Notice that the later canon is based on the more ancient one, and that the later canon refers to a smaller range of jurisdiction than the ancient one. Futher, the later canon bases the head bishopric in the metropolis (or capital), but the ancient one does not. Also, the ancient canon is not at all clear that the range of jurisdiction is being restricted to only one nation state. First of all, the ancient Greek term for "nation" had a more general meaning that was not restricted to political boundaries. Secondly, the Greek term for "every" is ambiguous. It could mean "each." Read in this way, it would support your view. But it could also mean "every" or "all." Read in this way, it can easily be interpreted as "all the bishops must acknowledge him who is head."

The Apostolic Canon is more ambiguous than the later canon from Antioch, as well it should be since the Apostolic Canon is a more general principle regarding head bishops, which can be applied at any level of the hierarchy (metropolitan, patriarchal, universal). So it would be eisegesis to restrict the Apostolic Canon to refer to only head bishops at the metropolical level, reading back into the Apostolic Canon an interpretative preference. The Catholic position (and the High Petrine position in general) does not restrict the Apostolic Canon in that way, and we recognize its relevance at all levels of the hierarchy.


I must object that the eisegesis here is in your reading of the Greek. Firstly, the Greek word for every, hekaston takes the meaning of all in the plural. When it appears in the singular, it takes the meaning of each. Secondly, while you are right that ethnos has more meanings than "nation," there is no reading of the term ethnos which supports your reading of the canon in a universal manner.

The first clause of the Canon reads: tous episkopous hekastou ethnous eidenai chre ton en autois proton... (The bishops of each province must recognize the first among them...)

"Of each nation" appears in the singular, which makes it highly untenable to argue that this clause is establishing any sort of universal jurisdiction. The first among them cannot be a bishop beyond their ethnos, as such a bishop would not be en autois; (among them). Only if the canon read tous episkopous hekaston ethnon (the bishops of all nations) would your argument hold, and even then, it would not be definitive, but only open to two interpretations, because there would be an ambiguity—owing to the fact that hekaston, when it appears in the plural means all severally (as opposed to all in a collective manner)—as to whether en autois would refer to the collection of bishops of one ethnos, or to the collection of bishops from all ethne.

Last edited by Cavaradossi; 01/27/13 12:13 AM.
Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390252 01/27/13 08:16 AM
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Otsheylnik Offline
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Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
First, the Orthodox hierarchy does not stop at the Metropolitan level, but also has a Patriarchal level. Even metropolitans are subject to their Patriarch (well, in the OO understanding, at least; not sure about the EO understanding, which I think runs the gamut from Low Petrine to High Petrine).

Not really. Patriarch is a title given to senior metropolitans.

I understand that you yourself don't conceive of a Patriarch as having real jurisdiction.

I think that's a really unfair characterisation of my position. Of course they have jurisdiction. The fact is that in the ante-Nicene Church the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, etc. were talked of as metropolitans. Various canons set the limits of the jurisdiction of these metropolitans. They were given the title of Patriarch later on, but this didn't necessarily imply anything additional to that previously given to them.


Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
You have to admit that the nature of the relationship between a bishop and the priests of whom he is head in his local Church is very different from the nature of the relationship between a head bishop and the bishops of whom he is head in a Metropolitan Church, a Patriarchal Church or the universal Church.

I agree - obviously a bishop has a different relationship to bishops than to priests.

A lot of people think that the relationship of the Pope to his brother bishops is the same relationship that a bishop has to his priests.

Not me. He's a metroplitan.


Quote
(2) While every other head bishop must act in a formal manner collegially, the Pope can act in a formal manner either personally OR collegially. However, it must be noted that while the Pope can act in a formal manner personally, this does not mean that he can act in a formal manner unilaterally (i.e.,
"personal" does not mean "unilateral"), because the Pope is constrained by the divine constitution of the Church to always act in at least an INformal manner collegially.


How is this informal collegiality manifested and how can it be differentiated from unilateralism by the lay observer?


Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik

You seem to be arguing here that the existence of bishops, head bishops, popes and whatever else has no bearing on the fact that Christ is the head of the Church. Whilst I don't disagree with this statement, its the precise opposite of the one that I was making.

The basic principle is that any head in the Church (on whatever level - pope, patrarich, metropolitan, local bishop, abbot, protopriest, etc.) does not replace Christ, but simply represents Him.

Again, I'm not really sure why you're making this point - I was making the opposite one. I don't disagree with the point you're making. What I do disagree with is the suggestion that a particular ecclesiastical structure exists by divine right (as in the points from the German and Swiss bishops above saying that bishops existed by divine intent). I don't think it's that simple. Did Jesus appoint people bishops or deacons? No, of course not. These offices came to exist in the Apostolic Church by a process of discernment, and their functions were similarly delimited over time. As I noted, there was for some time only a very vague distinction between the presbyterate and the episcopate, so much so that the terms were used interchangeably, and it is beyond contention that the diaconate did not function in the way it dopes now (for example, they used to celebrate the Eucharist and hear confessions). My point is that the way these things have now been decided to work is a long historical process. It can't be said that "because Christ is head of the Church we must have this structure", which is more or less what people are arguing when they read things about the episcopate into the dialogue with Peter. I argue that the most that can be argued that the structure we have come to use is not contradictory to the message of Christ. Our ecclesiastical structures are not the only ones we could have had, we could have had different ones.

Originally Posted by mardukm
To be perfectly clear, the Absolutist and High Petrine views exist in the Catholic Church. The High and Low Petrine views exist in the Orthodox Churches in general, with the Low Petrine view seemingly restricted to the EOC.

The difference between the Absolutist and High Petrine views was very evident at Vatican 1. The Absolutist Petrine view was held by a group called the neo-ultramontanists. Their beliefs were very new, and actually originated only in the early 19th century from England. There were two types of neo-ultramontantists - political and theological. Political neo-ultramontanists were known for their belief in the deposing power of the Pope. Theological neo-ultramontanists held/hold the views that are most often criticized by non-Catholics (Orthodox and Protestant). Neo-ultramontanism was rejected by Vatican I. What non-Catholics call and criticize as "Ultramontanism" is actually "Neo-ultramontanism." Many V1 Fathers (of both the Minority and Majority parties) had commented that many are likely to misinterpret the words of [i]Pastor Aeternus on the Primacy - how true that is. This misinterpretation is the basis for the Absolutist Petrine view, and it is NOT the teaching of V1.[/i] Here is an interesting piece of information on Neo-ultramontanism: There is a popular report among detractors of V1 that a certain Bishop Lecourtier was so disgusted by the V1 Decrees that he tossed his copy of the Decrees into the river. Detractors of V1 advertise this incident to prove that the Minority Party at V1 thoroughly rejected the V1 Decrees. The truth of the matter is that Bishop Lecourtier was actually a member of the NEO-ultramontanist party at V1, not a member of the Minority party.

Despite the more obviously collegial intentions of V2, there was a resurgence of neo-ultramontanism after V2. These modern neo-ultramontantists believe more centralization is the only solution to the apparent liturgical chaos in the Latin Catholic Church. Thus, it is little wonder that the Absolutist Petrine view is very common among members of the SSPX and Traditional Catholics in general. I've also read that a contributing factor to the resurgence of neo-ultramontanism (the Absolutist Petrine view) is the apparent (but false) belief that the Catholic Church has relaxed its teaching as being the one, true Church. These Absolutist Petrine advocates believe V2's teaching on collegiality is a symptom of this weakening in the Church's self-perception of being the one, true Church, and have reacted accordingly in their rejection or diminution of the Catholic Church's Traditional teaching and belief in collegiality.


Is this cataloguing of the historical ups and downs of different points of view just an elaborate way of saying "we're all cafeteria catholics picking and choosing our interpretations" or is it a way of saying that there actually is no position that's objectively true?

Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Both Cyprian and Augustine viewed Christ as the rock not Peter. Peter's confession, which is Christ, is the source of unity in the Church, not Peter. Unity flows through Christ on the altar as Eucharist, not from an office.

First, I admit I used to adhere to the "Christ is the rock not Peter" rationale. I don't anymore. I believe Scripture and the Fathers unanimously teach that the Rock is Christ, Peter, and Peter's Faith all at once. It is a false dichotomy to separate the three. I ask you, and please respond to this - what rationale can you offer for separating Peter from Christ and the Faith that he professed?
Originally Posted by otsheylnik
I really don't understand what you're asking of me here. You seem to be saying that I have to some reason justify believing three exegetical perspectives are correct simultaneously. If that's what you're asking, my justification for not doing so is because it seems illogical to do so.

You don't seem to think it is illogical to believe that the Rock can simultaneously be Christ and St. Peter's confession. Why do you think it is illogical to regard St. Peter as the rock also?


Peter's confession is not the rock, it is "rocky" or "rock-like". There's a distinction.

Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
from which erroneous interpretation all else you mention flows. For example, in the decrees of the first Vatican Council
Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff
That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching

What is erroneous about this exactly? Having the highest power of teaching does not mean he is the only teaching authority in the Church. It only means that if there is a conflict in doctrine among the bishops, there should be one who can make a final decision if necessary. It does not mean he can at his mere discretion create doctrine out of the blue, nor does it mean that he has the authority to contradict Sacred Tradition. So please explain what you regard as erroneous about this?
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I regard as erroneous any unqualified statement that the Bishop is the successor of Peter.

But it's not unqualified. The context clearly indicates that the Decree is about the succession of the Primacy, not succession in general.

I think that's a semantic defense. It's like arguing that "Alexandria and Antioch are successors to the chair of Peter, but only Rome is successor to both the Chair and primacy of Peter". It seems like casuistry to me. Or a bit like episcopi vagantes who ordain people and say "I'm going to give you only one of my lines of succession". Either you're a successor or you're not.

Originally Posted by mardukm
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See, for a start, the numerous quotations I have given above from St Gregory regarding how the successors of Peter are "three bishops". Hence why I think if Rome is arguing that Pastor Aeternus is in keeping with Gregory's doctrine it should mention three bishops as successors to Peter - the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria and Rome, or at least say "a successor." If they want to argue that they have a different doctrine to Gregory, they can keep what they have.

There is only one successor to the primacy. The decree must be taken contextually. I suppose anyone can take a little snippet from the Decree devoid of context and impose any sort of interpretation they want on that little snippet. I'm not saying you are doing this on purpose.


Can you please show me where it is explained how only certain attributes of Peter are transferred to one of his successors and not others? I don't disagree that the primacy can be held by one individual, but I believe the primacy comes from the Church, not Peter. As clearly explained at Chalcedon the reason for it was based on Rome's status as the centre of empire. This makes sense to me. I don't understand, how logically, it can come from Peter if he has many successors.


Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Otsheylnik] #390264 01/27/13 07:43 PM
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Dear brother Otsheylnik,

Thanks for the conversation so far. I find it's often difficult for two people with different points of view to have a civil conversation, but you have a very respectable disposition.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Not really. Patriarch is a title given to senior metropolitans.

I understand that you yourself don't conceive of a Patriarch as having real jurisdiction.

I think that's a really unfair characterisation of my position. Of course they have jurisdiction. The fact is that in the ante-Nicene Church the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, etc. were talked of as metropolitans. Various canons set the limits of the jurisdiction of these metropolitans. They were given the title of Patriarch later on, but this didn't necessarily imply anything additional to that previously given to them.

More often than not, during debates or discussions regarding head bishops, the concept of "primacy of jurisdiction" is commonly regarded as being opposed to the concept of "primacy of honor." You had earlier stated that Patriarchs are a position of honor, which would normally indicate that one denies that a Patriarch is a position of jurisdiction. Further, your current statement that "patriarch" is a "title," indicates to me you don't believe it is an actual office with real prerogatives. Forgive me if my assumption was wrong, but until now, the language you have used to describe your position would not lend one to assume that you believe that Patriarchs have real jurisdiction.

This development in our conversation has some interesting consequences, imo. I need to ask you -- in light of our conversation and the conciseness of our definitions, do you personally think that the idea of a head bishop for the Church universal (NOT a universal bishop for the Church) is wrong?

Originally Posted by otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
You have to admit that the nature of the relationship between a bishop and the priests of whom he is head in his local Church is very different from the nature of the relationship between a head bishop and the bishops of whom he is head in a Metropolitan Church, a Patriarchal Church or the universal Church.

I agree - obviously a bishop has a different relationship to bishops than to priests.

A lot of people think that the relationship of the Pope to his brother bishops is the same relationship that a bishop has to his priests.

Not me. He's a metroplitan.

This is great to know. More often than not, when I have a debate or discussion with Low Petrine advocates, they will hurl the usual "the Pope can replace his brother bishops any time at his mere discretion" accusation. I'm glad you at least recognize that this is not the nature of the Pope's jurisdiction as a head bishop. At this point, I would be interested to discuss more concisely what objections you might have to the idea - as already mentioned - of a <head bishop> for the Church universal (not a universal <bishop>). You mentioned (later in your post) that you object to the idea of "divine establishment." Would that be your main objection? In lieu of that question, do you recall earlier in this thread where I mentioned the range of ecclesiastical positions that I've encountered? In the list of (3) thru (8), which one (or ones) would you say best approximates your own position? It seems to be either (4) or (6). I'm not trying to pidgeonhole your position, just trying to get a better understanding for the sake of our discussion.

Originally Posted by Othseylnik
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(2) While every other head bishop must act in a formal manner collegially, the Pope can act in a formal manner either personally OR collegially. However, it must be noted that while the Pope can act in a formal manner personally, this does not mean that he can act in a formal manner unilaterally (i.e., "personal" does not mean "unilateral"), because the Pope is constrained by the divine constitution of the Church to always act in at least an INformal manner collegially.

How is this informal collegiality manifested and how can it be differentiated from unilateralism by the lay observer?

This is a great question. Perhaps I should first explain what I mean by "informal collegiality." The government of the Catholic Church is run by the College of Bishops, who represent the supreme authority in the Church. There are two FORMAL ways for the College to exercise its supreme authority - (1) the collegial authority of the Ecumenical Council which represents the entire Church, and (2) the personal authority of the Pope, who can also represent the entire Church. In this latter exercise of formal authority, the Pope's brother bishops either act as his counselors, or his brother bishops act as legislators with the Pope being the executive authority (hence, the collegial authority is INformal); in an Ecumenical Council, they act with the Pope as the judicial/legislative/executive power(hence, the collegial authority is formal). There is a very important caveat to this discussion - namely, the Pope's formal exercise of personal authority is not activated by his mere discretion, but by the needs of the Church. He can only use his authority to RESPOND to the genuine needs of the Church, not be the unilateral arbiter of what the needs of the Church are. For example, the Pope has absolutely no canonical or divine authority to wake up one day and decide, "You know what, I don't think it is good for the Melkites to retain their Byzantine Liturgy anymore; I'm going to make it a law to forbid them to perform the Byzantine Liturgy." This is one of the grossest misrepresentations made by Absolutist and Low Petrine advocates about the papal prerogatives. The Catholic canons assert that the Pope has the prerogative to RESPOND to the needs of the Church either personally or collegially, and in this action, he must be in communion with his brother bishops. The way it works, and has always worked, is that the bishops approach the Pope for help when they feel it is necessary, and then the Pope responds, either in a formal manner personally or a formal manner collegially. I don't know what mental gymnastics Absolutist Petrine exaggerators and Low Petrine detractors employ to support their opinion, but they somehow translate that statement from the Canons to mean that the Pope has the prerogative to unilaterally make laws at his mere discretion.

Informal collegiality is normally explicitly indicated in any papal decree. But sometimes, it requires some investigation to discover the collegiality involved in a papal decree. For example, there was a discussion with an Absolutist Petrine advocate at CAF several months ago, and someone asked him for one instance when a Pope, though promulgating something by his personal authority, did not at the same time arrive at his decision collegially. He proposed 2 examples: (1) a recent change in canon law by HH Pope Benedict; (2) Humanae Vitae. I did some investigation online, and it turns out that the motu proprio for the change to canon law specifically indicates that the change was done due to appeals by the bishops, and that the Pope had obtained the counsel of several episcopal conferences before making the change. So there was no unilateral authority being exercised in this example. As far as Humanae Vitae, it turns out that the matter actually came to the attention of the Pope through the appeal of some bishops because a certain South American bishop had brought it up during V2. Further, it was only after the matter was put to the vote at V2 (with a little over 90% of the bishops affirming the Traditional position of the Catholic Church on contraception) that the Pope decided to promulgate Humanae Vitae. Not too many people are aware of the collegiality involved when Humanae Vitae was promulgated. Humanae VItae was promulgated under the formal, personal authority of the Pope, not the formal, collegial authority of the Council, but it was by NO means a unilateral decision by the bishop of Rome (contrary to popular propaganda by Absolutist Petrine advocates). Some more popular and well-known examples of informal collegiality involved in papal decrees are contained in the Apostolic Constitutions on the dogmas of the IC and Assumption, and the promulgation of the Codes of Canon Law. These were not unilateral actions by the Pope, but involved the clear participation of his brother bishops, though eventually promulgated by the Pope's personal authority. I hope these few examples help explain that when the Catholic Church speaks of the personal authority of the Pope, she is referring to the personal and formal promulgating authority of the Pope. It is called "personal" because the decision is his by his free volition and by his own authority, but it is not called "personal" because it is, or is intended to be, unilateral.

I recall reading about the discussions for reunion with the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Middle Ages. Rome had to submit and resubmit with constant revisions the conditions for reunion to the Armenian Church I think 3 times before a portion of the Armenian Apostolic Church eventually consented to reunion. At the Council of Florence, it was also explictly stated that the papal bulla for reunion with the Coptic Orthodox Church would have no effect unless it was approved by the Coptic Synod. It is ludicrous to think that the Pope's authority in the Church universal is unilateral and/or absolute, or that he is the Church's sole, universal bishop, or that it has ever been that way, or that it will ever be that way, or that it is taught to be so by the Catholic Church.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik

You seem to be arguing here that the existence of bishops, head bishops, popes and whatever else has no bearing on the fact that Christ is the head of the Church. Whilst I don't disagree with this statement, its the precise opposite of the one that I was making.

The basic principle is that any head in the Church (on whatever level - pope, patrarich, metropolitan, local bishop, abbot, protopriest, etc.) does not replace Christ, but simply represents Him.

Again, I'm not really sure why you're making this point - I was making the opposite one. I don't disagree with the point you're making. What I do disagree with is the suggestion that a particular ecclesiastical structure exists by divine right (as in the points from the German and Swiss bishops above saying that bishops existed by divine intent). I don't think it's that simple. Did Jesus appoint people bishops or deacons? No, of course not. These offices came to exist in the Apostolic Church by a process of discernment, and their functions were similarly delimited over time. As I noted, there was for some time only a very vague distinction between the presbyterate and the episcopate, so much so that the terms were used interchangeably, and it is beyond contention that the diaconate did not function in the way it dopes now (for example, they used to celebrate the Eucharist and hear confessions). My point is that the way these things have now been decided to work is a long historical process. It can't be said that "because Christ is head of the Church we must have this structure", which is more or less what people are arguing when they read things about the episcopate into the dialogue with Peter. I argue that the most that can be argued that the structure we have come to use is not contradictory to the message of Christ. Our ecclesiastical structures are not the only ones we could have had, we could have had different ones.

Thanks for the explanation. I think I have a better grasp of what you are trying to say. But from what you are saying here, I don't perceive any great difference in our perspectives on this particular point. To be more concise, for example, the Catholic Church teaches that the three-fold hierarchy of deacon-priest-bishop is of divine establishment, yet we really have no direct Scriptural evidence that Christ established it that way. I think you are very correct in your assessment that "divine establishment" simply means that it is "not contradictory to the meassage of Christ." I don't see why we can't understand V1's decree that the Primacy is "divinely established" in the same way - i.e., that it is not contradictory to the message of Christ.

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
The difference between the Absolutist and High Petrine views was very evident at Vatican 1. The Absolutist Petrine view was held by a group called the neo-ultramontanists. Their beliefs were very new, and actually originated only in the early 19th century from England. There were two types of neo-ultramontantists - political and theological. Political neo-ultramontanists were known for their belief in the deposing power of the Pope. Theological neo-ultramontanists held/hold the views that are most often criticized by non-Catholics (Orthodox and Protestant). Neo-ultramontanism was rejected by Vatican I. What non-Catholics call and criticize as "Ultramontanism" is actually "Neo-ultramontanism." Many V1 Fathers (of both the Minority and Majority parties) had commented that many are likely to misinterpret the words of [i]Pastor Aeternus on the Primacy - how true that is. This misinterpretation is the basis for the Absolutist Petrine view, and it is NOT the teaching of V1.[/i] Here is an interesting piece of information on Neo-ultramontanism: There is a popular report among detractors of V1 that a certain Bishop Lecourtier was so disgusted by the V1 Decrees that he tossed his copy of the Decrees into the river. Detractors of V1 advertise this incident to prove that the Minority Party at V1 thoroughly rejected the V1 Decrees. The truth of the matter is that Bishop Lecourtier was actually a member of the NEO-ultramontanist party at V1, not a member of the Minority party.

Despite the more obviously collegial intentions of V2, there was a resurgence of neo-ultramontanism after V2. These modern neo-ultramontantists believe more centralization is the only solution to the apparent liturgical chaos in the Latin Catholic Church. Thus, it is little wonder that the Absolutist Petrine view is very common among members of the SSPX and Traditional Catholics in general. I've also read that a contributing factor to the resurgence of neo-ultramontanism (the Absolutist Petrine view) is the apparent (but false) belief that the Catholic Church has relaxed its teaching as being the one, true Church. These Absolutist Petrine advocates believe V2's teaching on collegiality is a symptom of this weakening in the Church's self-perception of being the one, true Church, and have reacted accordingly in their rejection or diminution of the Catholic Church's Traditional teaching and belief in collegiality.

Is this cataloguing of the historical ups and downs of different points of view just an elaborate way of saying "we're all cafeteria catholics picking and choosing our interpretations" or is it a way of saying that there actually is no position that's objectively true?

The first option would be a fair (and amusing) way to put it, but there is definitely an objectively true position about the Decrees of Vatican 1. As far as "papal infallibility" is concerned, the official position of the Catholic Church is contained in the official Relatio. The Relatio was the official interpretation of the Decree on "Papal Infallibility" given a few days before the final voting on the Decrees. The interpretation was proposed by Bishop Gasser of Brixen, the official spokesperson for the Committee De Fide, the committee responsible for drafting the Decrees. He was specifically chosen for the purpose of explaining the meaning of the Decree on "Papal Infallibility." It basically demolishes most of the misinterpretations imposed on the Church's teaching on "Papal Infallibility" proposed by Catholic Absolutist Petrine exaggerators and non-Catholic detractors. Unfortunately, not too many people know about the official Relatio.

As far as the Primacy, there is not a more ready explanation as there is with "papal infallibility" (though one can infer some things about the Primacy from the official Relatio). One really needs to investigate the debates - what the member bishops stated - and the changes that were made to the Decree on the Primacy as a result of these debates in order to understand its true meaning. This is how we come to understand the intentions of the Fathers of our common Councils in the first millenium, and we should apply the same standard to the Vatican Council. There are several statements in the Decree on the Primacy that, without a proper knowledge of the background debates, can lead to the excesses of the Absolutist Petrine view. I asked brother Isa where in Pastor Aeternus he feels he finds support for his opinion that the Pope can act without appeal, without counsel, etc. , etc., etc. I assume his position is different from mine because he does not have the same knowledge about the background of the V1 Decrees that I came to possess due to my study of the matter in the process of whether I should join the Catholic Church. If he will respond to my question and give the specific portions of Pastor Aeternus that he feels supports his opinions, I will offer appropriate responses to demonstrate that his understanding was not the intention of the Council Fathers.

Originally Posted by otsheylnik
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Originally Posted by otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
First, I admit I used to adhere to the "Christ is the rock not Peter" rationale. I don't anymore. I believe Scripture and the Fathers unanimously teach that the Rock is Christ, Peter, and Peter's Faith all at once. It is a false dichotomy to separate the three. I ask you, and please respond to this - what rationale can you offer for separating Peter from Christ and the Faith that he professed?

I really don't understand what you're asking of me here. You seem to be saying that I have to some reason justify believing three exegetical perspectives are correct simultaneously. If that's what you're asking, my justification for not doing so is because it seems illogical to do so.

You don't seem to think it is illogical to believe that the Rock can simultaneously be Christ and St. Peter's confession. Why do you think it is illogical to regard St. Peter as the rock also?

Peter's confession is not the rock, it is "rocky" or "rock-like". There's a distinction.

I believe that's a well-accepted distinction. Many popular Catholic apologetics describe Peter as "rocky" because his stature of "rock" is derived from Christ, not that he is himself the primordial Rock by his own power. I'm not aware of any Catholic source, officially or popularly, who would deny this distinction. So I'm still not sure what is the basis of your denial that Peter can be called "Rock."

Originally Posted by otsheylnik
Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
I regard as erroneous any unqualified statement that the Bishop is the successor of Peter.

But it's not unqualified. The context clearly indicates that the Decree is about the succession of the Primacy, not succession in general.

I think that's a semantic defense. It's like arguing that "Alexandria and Antioch are successors to the chair of Peter, but only Rome is successor to both the Chair and primacy of Peter". It seems like casuistry to me. Or a bit like episcopi vagantes who ordain people and say "I'm going to give you only one of my lines of succession". Either you're a successor or you're not.

Originally Posted by mardukm
There is only one successor to the primacy. The decree must be taken contextually. I suppose anyone can take a little snippet from the Decree devoid of context and impose any sort of interpretation they want on that little snippet. I'm not saying you are doing this on purpose.

Can you please show me where it is explained how only certain attributes of Peter are transferred to one of his successors and not others? I don't disagree that the primacy can be held by one individual, but I believe the primacy comes from the Church, not Peter. As clearly explained at Chalcedon the reason for it was based on Rome's status as the centre of empire. This makes sense to me. I don't understand, how logically, it can come from Peter if he has many successors.

Thanks for the concise explanation of your concern. From what I know, Pope St. Gregory's position was an admission that the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch shared in St. Peter's status as coryphaeus, because they are, after all, head bishops of their respective Churches. But the principle of primacy would still indicate that even these head bishops have one among them who holds the primacy. Certainly, we see this principle of head bishops themselves having a head bishop in the metropolitan-patriarchal relationship. I don't see how the same cannot be the case in the patriarchal-universal relationship.

Blessings

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Stephanos I] #390265 01/27/13 08:04 PM
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That's a lot of bandwidth burn't for very little illumination.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Otsheylnik] #390268 01/27/13 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik

Can you please show me where it is explained how only certain attributes of Peter are transferred to one of his successors and not others? I don't disagree that the primacy can be held by one individual, but I believe the primacy comes from the Church, not Peter. As clearly explained at Chalcedon the reason for it was based on Rome's status as the centre of empire. This makes sense to me. I don't understand, how logically, it can come from Peter if he has many successors.


I do not know if I will provide more enlightenment, but I will try to use less bandwidth. Here is my answer to your question: Because it might be supposed that whomever he appointed to oversee the churches of Antioch and Alexandria succeeded him as bishops of those churches. Peter moved on and took the primacy of the Apostolic College with him. It seems that it was the common belief in the ancient Church that Peter ended his sojourn in Rome where he was martyred. It might be supposed that those appointed to preside there in his place inherited his primacy in the Church. That seems to be the simple logic behind Catholic belief, and I do not think it is far-fetched.

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: Cavaradossi] #390271 01/27/13 11:41 PM
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Dear Cavaradossi,

THANK YOU for providing the Greek original and for helping to resolve this matter, but not in the way you migh think. If you have copied the original Greek text correctly, I'm afraid it actually supports the Catholic position without a doubt.

Originally Posted by Cavaradossi
I must object that the eisegesis here is in your reading of the Greek. Firstly, the Greek word for every, hekaston takes the meaning of all in the plural. When it appears in the singular, it takes the meaning of each. Secondly, while you are right that ethnos has more meanings than "nation," there is no reading of the term ethnos which supports your reading of the canon in a universal manner.

First of all, hekaston can take on the meaning of "all" even if it is not in the plural; it can take on the meaning of "each" even if it is not in the singular. As an adjective, it will be plural or singular only depending on the noun it is modifying. If the noun is in the plural form, it will be in the plural; if the noun is in the singular form, it will be in the singular. You cannot restrict the meaning of hekaston merely on whether it is in the singular or plural form.

Secondly, it is obvious from the Greek (if you have copied it correctly) that hekastos is in fact not acting as an adjective. If it was acting as an adjective, it would have to agree in number with what it is modifying. However, ethnous is in plural, while hekastou is in the singular. This indicates that hekastou is not acting as an adjective, but as a substantive. It is ethnous that is in fact acting as an adjective, modifying the noun episkopous. Thus, the correct reading of the text in English is "The national bishops of every one [that is, all people] must recognize who is first among them..."

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The first clause of the Canon reads: tous episkopous hekastou ethnous eidenai chre ton en autois proton... (The bishops of each province must recognize the first among them...)

I'm not sure why you translate ethnous as "province." And I don't understand the point about being "among them." Even if taken in a universal context, the bishop of Rome would still be one of the bishops of the Church universal, and hence "among them." I'd be more inclined to agree with your point if it was to stress that the Canon underscores that the head bishop is "among them," not "above them." smile

But Greek is Greek. smile It is extremely, extremely difficult to interpret the Greek as "the bishops of each nation," but perhaps there was a gloss from the copyists. So I am willing to concede the possibility that it can apply merely to the context of one nation. But this possibility admits it is only a possibility, and that the universal context is an equally cogent understanding. On the whole, there is no good reason to restrict the meaning to only one interpretation.

Blessings

Re: Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint [Re: mardukm] #390291 01/28/13 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mardukm
Dear Cavaradossi,

THANK YOU for providing the Greek original and for helping to resolve this matter, but not in the way you migh think. If you have copied the original Greek text correctly, I'm afraid it actually supports the Catholic position without a doubt.

Originally Posted by Cavaradossi
I must object that the eisegesis here is in your reading of the Greek. Firstly, the Greek word for every, hekaston takes the meaning of all in the plural. When it appears in the singular, it takes the meaning of each. Secondly, while you are right that ethnos has more meanings than "nation," there is no reading of the term ethnos which supports your reading of the canon in a universal manner.

First of all, hekaston can take on the meaning of "all" even if it is not in the plural; it can take on the meaning of "each" even if it is not in the singular. As an adjective, it will be plural or singular only depending on the noun it is modifying. If the noun is in the plural form, it will be in the plural; if the noun is in the singular form, it will be in the singular. You cannot restrict the meaning of hekaston merely on whether it is in the singular or plural form.

Hekastos has the meaning of each or of all severally. The idea expressed really changes very little in Greek, but in English, the word "each" does not agree with nouns in the plural (e.g., "each nations" is grammatically incorrect), and "all" does not agree with nouns in the singular (e.g., "all nation" is also a grammatical error). In English, all can carry both a several meaning and a joint or collective meaning. So for example, to tell a group of people, "you are all liable," could have different meanings: it could be meant that they are all severally liable, i.e., they each have a limited liability separate from the liability of other members of the group, such that if one of them dies, the other members are not liable for whatever the dead member was liable for individually; or it could be meant that they are jointly liable, which means that they are all liable as a whole, so that if one of them dies the group as a whole still carries the same liability.

Hekastos, however, only has the meaning of all severally, and not of all jointly, and it is translated as "all" in order to maintain agreement between the adjective and the noun without changing the number of the noun. Thus as a rule of thumb, if keeping the number of the noun the same it is proper to translate hekastos as "each" and hekastoi as "all." Hekastos, however, simply does not carry the meaning of "all jointly." If the canon read something like "Tous episkopous pantwn ethnwn," you might have a definitive case for reading the canon in a universal fashion, but as I pointed out earlier, the word hekastos is problematic for your reading of this canon, because of the meaning it carries, such that even trying to read "tous episkopous hekastwn ethnwn" (the bishops of all nations severally) in a universal way is not really the most natural reading, and reading "tous episkopous hekastou ethnous" in a universal way is untenable.

Originally Posted by mardukm
Secondly, it is obvious from the Greek (if you have copied it correctly) that hekastos is in fact not acting as an adjective. If it was acting as an adjective, it would have to agree in number with what it is modifying. However, ethnous is in plural, while hekastou is in the singular. This indicates that hekastou is not acting as an adjective, but as a substantive. It is ethnous that is in fact acting as an adjective, modifying the noun episkopous. Thus, the correct reading of the text in English is "The national bishops of every one [that is, all people] must recognize who is first among them..."

Evidently, the Greek is not "obvious" at all, because there are several egregious errors in your analysis of the Greek. Ethnos is a third declension noun, not second declension. Ethnous is not the plural accusative of ethnos, but it is the contracted form of the singular genitive of ethnos (i.e., ethnoos-->ethnous, instead of the alternative form ethneos for the genitive singular). Hekastou, a singular genitive adjective (not noun) is modifying the singular genitive noun ethnous, and hekastou ethnous is acting as a partitive genitive modifying episkopous.

To run through the syntax of just this phrase, we have tous (article pl masc acc) episkopous (noun pl masc acc) hekastou (adj sg neut gen, modifies ethnous) ethnous (noun sg neut gen, limits episkopous as a partitive genitive), which should unquestionably be translated as "The bishops of each nation." If you disagree, then please supply some sort of analysis based on proper Greek grammar.

Originally Posted by mardukm
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The first clause of the Canon reads: tous episkopous hekastou ethnous eidenai chre ton en autois proton... (The bishops of each province must recognize the first among them...)

I'm not sure why you translate ethnous as "province."

Because you objected that ethnos has several meanings, so I am simply translating it with multiple meanings (nation, province, etc., with province being an especially likely meaning, since the word ethnos commonly carried this meaning in Roman times) to demonstrate that no matter what meaning of ethnos is used, the canon simply cannot be read to support a universal primacy.

Originally Posted by mardukm
And I don't understand the point about being "among them." Even if taken in a universal context, the bishop of Rome would still be one of the bishops of the Church universal, and hence "among them." I'd be more inclined to agree with your point if it was to stress that the Canon underscores that the head bishop is "among them," not "above them." smile

"En autois" uses a construction of the preposition "en" which shows that something is taken from a collection of things of which it is also part. The term autois here refers back to the subject of the clause, tous episkopous hekastou ethnous. If the intention here were to detail a universal primacy, the use of the term hekastou would make no sense with the later use of en autois, because bishop of Rome is not a member of the bishops of each ethnos, but only a member of the bishops of his particular ethnos. Again, if it had read "tous episkopous pantwn ethnwn," your reading of the canon would make sense, as the bishop of Rome is definitely en tois episkopois pantwn ethnwn, but he is not en tois episkopois hekastou ethnous, and that is why the canon reading, "tous episkopous hekastou ethnous," is problematic for your interpretation.

Originally Posted by mardukm
But Greek is Greek. smile It is extremely, extremely difficult to interpret the Greek as "the bishops of each nation," but perhaps there was a gloss from the copyists.

Actually that would be the standard interpretation of the canon, and I would contend the only one that makes sense grammatically.

Originally Posted by mardukm
So I am willing to concede the possibility that it can apply merely to the context of one nation. But this possibility admits it is only a possibility, and that the universal context is an equally cogent understanding. On the whole, there is no good reason to restrict the meaning to only one interpretation.

Again, it simply does not work well when en autois is referring back to tous episkopous hekastou ethnous.

Last edited by Cavaradossi; 01/28/13 05:12 AM.
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