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Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair

Posted By: SouthernTransplant

Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 05/30/19 10:18 PM

Just watched this lecture by Steve Ray. Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair. He talks about reading the Bible not just from our American perspective, but from Jewish perspective, which was the way much was written and how the apostles would have understood Jesus's message, including Matt. 16:18-19. I've given a few salient points below. I would suggest you listen to the whole explanation.

Rock

Why did Jesus take the disciples to Caesarea Philippi? Before the tetrarch Philip renamed it for himself, Caesarea Philippi was called Paneas. It's located near the border of Lebanon and was a pagan area. Paneas refers to the Greek god Pan, who was the principle god worshipped there. Pan was the patron of shepherds and flocks. Peter was to be deputized as shepherd to Jesus's flock. Protestants talk about the difference between Greek petros and petra (masculine and feminine) - rock and stone. However, in Aramaic, both words are the same - kepa, from which we get Cephus.

Keys

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven." The keys are the same as those in Is. 22:20-24 - the keys kept by the steward appointed by the king. "... I will ... gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority.... I will place the keys of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open." Thus, the keys are not given to just Peter, but to Peter's Office, which has Linus, Cletus, Clement, ... Francis as his successors.

Chair

In Jewish tradition, when Moses came down from Sinai, he brought 3 things: The Written Law 10 (Commandments), the Oral Law (Talmud and Mishnah), and Authority to Judge. The Chair of Peter is the same judgment seat as held by Moses in Ex. 18:15-16 - The people come to me to consult God. Whenever they have a disagreement, they come to me to have me settle the matter between them and make known to them God's decisions and regulations." The judgment seat was another Office, passed down also to minor judges (bishops, priests). Matt. 23:1 - “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat." Seat in Greek is kathedria.

Quote from Cyprian of Carthage

On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigned a like power to all the Apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church [first edition] 4, c. AD 251)
Posted By: Deacon John Montalvo

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/03/19 03:53 PM

The Talmud (a compilation of both the Mishnah and the Gemara) is a product of Rabbinic Judaism, which developed after the destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The Mishnah was compiled around 200 AD though the oral tradition upon which it is based is centuries older. The Gemara, which could be described as a commentary of the Mishnah, was compiled around 500 AD.

Strictly speaking the Talmud is not something Moses received at Sinai. While the Talmud could give some insight into Jewish thought around the Apostolic and Subapostolic period of the early Church, some historians liken the Talmud to an apologetic tract to defend Judaism against the teachings of the early Church.

The “chair” is a symbol of authority, and it’s not not just a symbol of Peter and his successors, but of every successor of the Apostles, the bishops, who in their respective churches possess executive, legislative, and judicial power of church governance.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/03/19 07:24 PM

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
The Talmud (a compilation of both the Mishnah and the Gemara) is a product of Rabbinic Judaism, which developed after the destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The Mishnah was compiled around 200 AD though the oral tradition upon which it is based is centuries older. The Gemara, which could be described as a commentary of the Mishnah, was compiled around 500 AD.

Strictly speaking the Talmud is not something Moses received at Sinai. While the Talmud could give some insight into Jewish thought around the Apostolic and Subapostolic period of the early Church, some historians liken the Talmud to an apologetic tract to defend Judaism against the teachings of the early Church.

The “chair” is a symbol of authority, and it’s not not just a symbol of Peter and his successors, but of every successor of the Apostles, the bishops, who in their respective churches possess executive, legislative, and judicial power of church governance.


With all of that in mind, I think one has to accept that St Cyprian's words are quite salient, and that the Roman claim is not some 5th century concoction. Cyprian does write that there is also founded a "single Chair" and it belongs to St. Peter who carried it with him, so to speak, to Rome where he was martyred.
Posted By: Deacon John Montalvo

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/03/19 11:15 PM

Cyprian over emphasized the authority of the “single Chair” of Peter. Reread the Lord’s own words regarding Moses’ seat... He does not say one man sits in Moses’ seat, but “the scribes and Pharisees”- so it’s collegial. Bishops are not some “minor judges” who derive their authority from the “chair of Peter” or Peter’s successor. Episcopal authority is derived from the Lord himself. This authority that Christ bestowed upon the Church is also collegial, in that it is given to the College of Bishops headed by the Bishop of Rome and this College always exercises that authority in communion with its head.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican clarified individual episcopal authority with respect to the Bishop of Rome in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium:

“Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them... The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern,” (LG, n. 27).
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 02:02 AM

Originally Posted by SouthernTransplant
Just watched this lecture by Steve Ray. Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair. He talks about reading the Bible not just from our American perspective, but from Jewish perspective, which was the way much was written and how the apostles would have understood Jesus's message, including Matt. 16:18-19. I've given a few salient points below. I would suggest you listen to the whole explanation.

Rock

Why did Jesus take the disciples to Caesarea Philippi? Before the tetrarch Philip renamed it for himself, Caesarea Philippi was called Paneas. It's located near the border of Lebanon and was a pagan area. Paneas refers to the Greek god Pan, who was the principle god worshipped there. Pan was the patron of shepherds and flocks. Peter was to be deputized as shepherd to Jesus's flock. Protestants talk about the difference between Greek petros and petra (masculine and feminine) - rock and stone. However, in Aramaic, both words are the same - kepa, from which we get Cephus.

Keys

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven." The keys are the same as those in Is. 22:20-24 - the keys kept by the steward appointed by the king. "... I will ... gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority.... I will place the keys of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open." Thus, the keys are not given to just Peter, but to Peter's Office, which has Linus, Cletus, Clement, ... Francis as his successors.

Chair

In Jewish tradition, when Moses came down from Sinai, he brought 3 things: The Written Law 10 (Commandments), the Oral Law (Talmud and Mishnah), and Authority to Judge. The Chair of Peter is the same judgment seat as held by Moses in Ex. 18:15-16 - The people come to me to consult God. Whenever they have a disagreement, they come to me to have me settle the matter between them and make known to them God's decisions and regulations." The judgment seat was another Office, passed down also to minor judges (bishops, priests). Matt. 23:1 - “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat." Seat in Greek is kathedria.

Quote from Cyprian of Carthage

On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigned a like power to all the Apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church [first edition] 4, c. AD 251)


Uh huh.....perhaps Brother Ray might want to meditate on this: if this is true and the Chair of Peter had the authority which it claims to have now, i.e., universal jurisdiction over the entire Church, how's come the East failed to promote that, and in fact, it really did not get a head of steam up until Pope Leo IX in the eleventh century?

Pope St. Gregory the Great, when addressed by Patriarch John the Faster as "Universal Bishop" wrote back to John and firmly but in brotherly charity, begged him not to ever use that title again in describing the office of the Bishop of Rome or the Patriarch of Constantinople. Gregory had rather strong words against those who would abrogate such title to themselves.

From the eleventh century onward, beginning with Leo IX and aided by the preaching and support of such men as St. Peter Damian, the papacy lost any semblance of a brotherhood and began to look more like a political kingdom. While the intent - that of reformation of the Latin Church and eradication of clerical and laity corruption - was a desired end, the result has been to establish a Caesaropapist Kingdom in which power rather than charity rules the day. We see the sad outcome of this in things like the Sack of Constantinople, where priests took up the sword and preached that the people inside the walls of Constantinople were to be treated as non-Christians because of their separation from Rome. And it did not stop there. Fast forward to the mess we had in Europe as many Orthodox were attacked by Roman Catholic mobs with the quiet complicity of Rome.

As for the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven - Steve Ray misses this one entirely and completely. The Gospel of Matthew is the Jewish Gospel. It is written for the Jews, is about their Messiah, and has words and phrases that occur nowhere else in the other three Gospels because they are not written for Jews. The Kingdom of Heaven is one of those phrases. It appears nowhere else in the Bible except Matthew, and it means the earthly kingdom which was promised to the Jews. Peter was the Apostle to the Jews, Paul to the Gentiles. We see therefore that Peter was given the keys to open the doors of the Kingdom to the Jews. And Peter would do this through his preaching and witness to Christ. Has nothing to do with the larger Kingdom of God, which is what we have in the combined Jew/Gentile Church. It is a specific duty given to a specific man for a specific reason - and the Jews would understand it in that manner, which is why the Greeks did not!
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 02:04 AM

One other thing - St. Cyprian was dealing with a group of Western schismatics who would not recognize the authority of the Bishop of Rome. His rebuke to them, and the quote that Steve Ray yanks out of context had to do with a rebellion in that century and Cyprian's telling them that they needed to be under the authority ordained over them in Rome.

It is not a call to have a universal primate.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 05:15 AM

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Cyprian over emphasized the authority of the “single Chair” of Peter.
Another accepts (interprets) Cyprian's emphasis on Peter as being applicable to all bishops and as that which unifies the episcopacy:

Quote
But when the debate started in the thirteenth century the Byzantine side insisted upon the idea of a succession of Peter in each local church in person of the bishop, the "high-priest" and teacher at the eucharistic gathering. This idea had already been expressed in the doctrine of the cathedra Petri of St. Cyprian of Carthage in the third century.
p 66

Quote
To follow the standard concepts accepted since St. Cyprian of Carthage, each local catholic Church is centered on the cathedra Petri occupied by its local bishop, but since there is everywhere only one catholic Church, there is also only one episcopate (episcopatus unus est).
p 86

LIVING TRADITION
Orthodox Witness in the Contemporary World
John Meyendorff
ST. VLADIMIR'S SEMINARY PRESS
CRESTWOOD, NY 10707
1978
Posted By: ajk

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 05:41 AM

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
... words and phrases that occur nowhere else in the other three Gospels because they are not written for Jews.
The authority and veracity of the Gospel (text) is not based on statistical occurrences within.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
The Kingdom of Heaven is one of those phrases. It appears nowhere else in the Bible except Matthew, and it means the earthly kingdom which was promised to the Jews.
"Kingdom of Heaven" is a periphrasis for "Kingdom of God" and is not "the earthly kingdom which was promised to the Jews."
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Cyprian over emphasized the authority of the “single Chair” of Peter. Reread the Lord’s own words regarding Moses’ seat... He does not say one man sits in Moses’ seat, but “the scribes and Pharisees”- so it’s collegial. Bishops are not some “minor judges” who derive their authority from the “chair of Peter” or Peter’s successor. Episcopal authority is derived from the Lord himself. This authority that Christ bestowed upon the Church is also collegial, in that it is given to the College of Bishops headed by the Bishop of Rome and this College always exercises that authority in communion with its head.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican clarified individual episcopal authority with respect to the Bishop of Rome in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium:

“Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them... The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern,” (LG, n. 27).


St. Cyprian was certainly no Ultramontanist, nor am I. You are correct in quoting the Council Fathers of Vatican II in correcting this extreme notion advanced by some even today. In the context of St. Cyprian's other writings, I do not think he over-emphasized the "single Chair" of Peter, but puts this in the perspective that the Catholic Church today understands. If the "East failed to promote this", it was in the fourth and fifth centuries when Constantinople, wielding Imperial power, sought to and did, usurp the prerogatives of elder Rome. Indeed, the episcopate is one and the Bishop of Rome is no more a bishop than all the others, but as the extent of the jurisdiction of the others differs so does his. As Pope St. Gregory the Great phrased it so well, "Servus Servorum Dei" - just a little bit too humble to be called "ecumenical".
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 02:34 PM

Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Cyprian over emphasized the authority of the “single Chair” of Peter. Reread the Lord’s own words regarding Moses’ seat... He does not say one man sits in Moses’ seat, but “the scribes and Pharisees”- so it’s collegial. Bishops are not some “minor judges” who derive their authority from the “chair of Peter” or Peter’s successor. Episcopal authority is derived from the Lord himself. This authority that Christ bestowed upon the Church is also collegial, in that it is given to the College of Bishops headed by the Bishop of Rome and this College always exercises that authority in communion with its head.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican clarified individual episcopal authority with respect to the Bishop of Rome in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium:

“Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them... The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern,” (LG, n. 27).


St. Cyprian was certainly no Ultramontanist, nor am I. You are correct in quoting the Council Fathers of Vatican II in correcting this extreme notion advanced by some even today. In the context of St. Cyprian's other writings, I do not think he over-emphasized the "single Chair" of Peter, but puts this in the perspective that the Catholic Church today understands. If the "East failed to promote this", it was in the fourth and fifth centuries when Constantinople, wielding Imperial power, sought to and did, usurp the prerogatives of elder Rome. Indeed, the episcopate is one and the Bishop of Rome is no more a bishop than all the others, but as the extent of the jurisdiction of the others differs so does his. As Pope St. Gregory the Great phrased it so well, "Servus Servorum Dei" - just a little bit too humble to be called "ecumenical".


Servus Servorum Dei is a far cry from the pronouncements of Pope Boniface VIII in the Papal Bull Unum Sanctum and the utter arrogance of what he said there. Unfortunately, the Latin Church took off with this, I imagine seeing the power and glory of their worldly kingdom rather than the humility of Christ, and have made life miserable for the East for several centuries.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 02:51 PM

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
The Fathers of the Second Vatican clarified individual episcopal authority with respect to the Bishop of Rome in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium:

“Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them... The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern,” (LG, n. 27).

This is very important and needed to be said and kept in mind. It must be read in conjunction with what was already stated in §22:
Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation.
DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH LUMEN GENTIUM
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
The Fathers of the Second Vatican clarified individual episcopal authority with respect to the Bishop of Rome in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium:

“Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them... The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called "prelates," heads of the people whom they govern,” (LG, n. 27).

This is very important and needed to be said and kept in mind. It must be read in conjunction with what was already stated in §22:
Quote
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation.
DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH LUMEN GENTIUM


This is beautifully stated by the Council Fathers. Papal Primacy, exercised in the humble manner as recent popes have, is a gift to the Church.That some popes have been arrogant, militarists and moral midgets, does not abrogate the office. It has certainly caused misery in the West for centuries, but do we really need to beat dead horses endlessly in our quest for unity?
Posted By: ajk

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 09:59 PM

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Servus Servorum Dei is a far cry from the pronouncements of Pope Boniface VIII in the Papal Bull Unum [sic] Sanctum [sic] and the utter arrogance of what he said there.

Actually, according to this source (link), the Bull Unam Sanctam is headed:
Quote
Bonifatius, Episcopus, Servus servorum Dei.
Ad perpetuam rei memoriam.

The Bull is not long and deserves a reading (link), as it presents an interesting counterpoint to the often presumed inferiority of the spiritual, and the Church, in our very secular and materialistic age.
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/04/19 10:44 PM

9. Moreover, that every human creature is to be subject to the Roman pontiff, we declare, we state, we define, and we pronounce to be entirely from the necessity of salvation.

Nuts on that.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/06/19 12:38 AM

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
9. Moreover, that every human creature is to be subject to the Roman pontiff, we declare, we state, we define, and we pronounce to be entirely from the necessity of salvation.

Nuts on that.


Yah, nuts on that! I tend to agree. On the other hand, Unam Sanctam was written at a time when western Europe was totally Catholic and there was a great deal of struggle between church and state, and they absorbed one another like nothing we know in our times, even in post-Soviet Russia. I also feel that the Latin word, "subesse" (to be under) does not have the same connotations as the English, "subject to" as it is often translated. Subesse is a little bit softer, and almost affectionate. But, you'd probably say "nuts to that", too! smile
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/06/19 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
9. Moreover, that every human creature is to be subject to the Roman pontiff, we declare, we state, we define, and we pronounce to be entirely from the necessity of salvation.

Nuts on that.


Yah, nuts on that! I tend to agree. On the other hand, Unam Sanctam was written at a time when western Europe was totally Catholic and there was a great deal of struggle between church and state, and they absorbed one another like nothing we know in our times, even in post-Soviet Russia. I also feel that the Latin word, "subesse" (to be under) does not have the same connotations as the English, "subject to" as it is often translated. Subesse is a little bit softer, and almost affectionate. But, you'd probably say "nuts to that", too! smile



LOL! Well, not exactly. I think we need a center of unity for the entire Church. My issue is not with having a single focused person who is the center of unity, but rather in the juridical manner in which that office plays out. And from what I have read, this is the Orthodox position also. Seems to me a "First Among Equals" who is truly "A Servant to God's Servant" would not be a bad thing. Having that servant heart, you know.

But.....there are a lot of other fish to fry in this mix also. Kind of sad, really. I remember my godmother coming back from an ecumenical meeting several years ago and telling me that as she listened to the various speakers drone on and on and on, she said she just wanted to stand up and scream "Stop talking and put our Church back together." I think a lot of us feel that way.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/06/19 01:37 AM

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
LOL! Well, not exactly. I think we need a center of unity for the entire Church. My issue is not with having a single focused person who is the center of unity, but rather in the juridical manner in which that office plays out. And from what I have read, this is the Orthodox position also. Seems to me a "First Among Equals" who is truly "A Servant to God's Servant" would not be a bad thing. Having that servant heart, you know.

But.....there are a lot of other fish to fry in this mix also. Kind of sad, really. I remember my godmother coming back from an ecumenical meeting several years ago and telling me that as she listened to the various speakers drone on and on and on, she said she just wanted to stand up and scream "Stop talking and put our Church back together." I think a lot of us feel that way.


Godmothers and grandmothers are always right! For a long time I have thought that the disunity between the western and eastern Apostolic and historically contiguous churches is a bishops problem, and that the burden is on them to "put the Church back together again" so to speak. Why there is no sense of urgency has often puzzled me. There seems to be a complacency that we are all "Unam Sanctam". We need a real Ecumenical Council now, or at least a permanent Synod of east and west to work out all the kinks that divide us! And they should not rest until they are done.
Posted By: Santiago Tarsicio

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/27/19 05:57 AM

I think that the traditional notion of authority / hierarchy differs from the notion we have today after modernity. Explaining the authority of the Pope of Rome is sometimes as difficult as explaining man's authority over the woman in the family.

I think that the traditional notion of hierarchy is almost synonymous with order, in the sense of "being in conformity to divine ratio". A "superior" in the traditional notion is not an ontological category, (a superior is not someone better). There is no autonomy of the superior (or individual autonomy) - a superior can not invent things because he wants.

Thus, in the traditional notion, a superior always has a greater service, the higher he is, the more servant he is.

Thus, in the traditional notion, the satanic phrase "Non Serviam" (I will not serve) implies a refusal to receive and to give orders, it is a refusal of the order, a refusal of the divine ratio.
Posted By: Santiago Tarsicio

Re: Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair - 06/27/19 05:52 PM

Benedict XVI in 2010 gave a catechesis on the traditional Christian sense of authority: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20100526.html

Parts:

"The cultural, political and historical experiences of the recent past, above all the dictatorships in Eastern and Western Europe in the 20th century, have made contemporary man suspicious of this concept. A suspicion which is often expressed in a conviction that it is necessary to eliminate every kind of authority does not come exclusively from man, and is not regulated and controlled by him. But it is precisely in reviewing those regimes which in the last century disseminated terror and death, that we are forcibly reminded that authority, in every circumstance, when it is exercised without reference to the Transcendent, if it neglects the Supreme Authority, which is God, inevitably finishes by turning against man. It is important, therefore, to recognize that human authority is never an end in itself but always and only a means and that, necessarily and in every age, the end is the person, created by God with his own inviolable dignity and called to relate to his Creator, both along the path of his earthly journey and in eternal life; it is an authority exercised in responsibility before God, before the Creator. An authority whose sole purpose is understood to be to serve the true good of the person and to be a glass through which we can see the one and supreme Good, which is God. Not only is it not foreign to man, but on the contrary, it is a precious help on our journey towards a total fulfilment in Christ, towards salvation."

"Every Pastor, therefore, is a means through whom Christ himself loves men: it is through our ministry, dear priests, it is through us that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: "let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord" (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1)."

"In order to be a priest according to the heart of God (cf. Jer 3: 15) it is necessary that not only the mind, but also the freedom and the will be deeply rooted in living friendship with Christ, a clear awareness of the identity received in Priestly Ordination, an unconditional readiness to lead the flock entrusted to him where the Lord desires and not in the direction which might, apparently, seem easier or more convenient....In fact, no one is really able to feed Christ's flock, unless he lives in profound and true obedience to Christ and the Church, and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of the priests towards Christ; for this reason the personal and constant encounter with the Lord, profound knowledge of him and the conformation of the individual will to Christ's will is always at the root of the pastoral ministry."

"During the last decades, we have heard the adjective "pastoral" used almost as if it were in opposition to the concept of "hierarchical", and in the same way the idea of "communion" has also been set against it....However, this is a misunderstanding of the meaning of hierarchy, which arose in historical times from abuses of authority and careerism. But these are, in fact, abuses, and have nothing to do with the essential meaning of "hierarchy" itself. Common opinion holds that "hierarchy" is something connected with dominion and therefore cannot correspond to the real sense of the Church, that is unity in the love of Christ. But, as I have said, this is a mistaken interpretation, which has its origins in the abuses of the past, but does not correspond to the real meaning of hierarchy. Let us begin with the word. The word hierarchy is generally said to mean "sacred dominion", yet the real meaning is not this, but rather "sacred origin", that is to say: this authority does not come from man himself, but it has its origins in the sacred, in the Sacrament; so it subjects the person in second place to the vocation, to the mystery of Christ; it makes of the individual a servant of Christ, and only as a servant of Christ can he govern and guide for Christ and with Christ. Therefore he who enters into the Sacred Order of the Sacrament, the "hierarchy", is not an autocrat but he enters into a new bond of obedience to Christ: he is tied to Christ in communion with the other members of the Sacred Order, the Priesthood. Nor can the Pope, reference point for all the Pastors and for the communion of the Church, do what he likes; on the contrary, the Pope is the custodian of obedience to Christ, to his word summed up in the "regula fidei", in the Creed of the Church, and must lead the way in obedience to Christ and to his Church. Thus hierarchy implies a triple bond: in the first place the bond with Christ and with the order given by Our Lord to his Church; then the bond with the other Pastors in the one communion of the Church; and lastly, the bond with the faithful who are entrusted to the individual, in the order of the Church. Therefore it is clear that communion and hierarchy are not contrary to each other, but they influence each other. Together they form one thing (hierarchical communion)."

"Jesus' way of governing was not through dominion, but in the humble and loving service of the Washing of the feet, and the kingship of Christ over the Universe is not an earthly triumph, but reaches its highest point on the wood of the Cross, which becomes a judgement for the world and a point of reference for the exercising of that authority which is the true expression of pastoral charity."
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