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Dear Incognitus,

The last time I raised the matter of the Council of Constance, my "Hus" was cooked . . .

Alex

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I must be honest I know little to nothing about the Council of Constance. Any information shed would prevent a long Google search tonight.

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I would speculate that the "primacy of Rome" has little to do with geographical terms but with the presence of the Blessed Apostle who went there, before that Jerusalem and Antioch, had the primacy because of the presence of Peter.
Stephanos I

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Dear Ray,

Well, I think we then need to go back to the Emperor St Constantine and how he ordered protection for Christianity as a state religion.

He did not make the Christian Church THE state religion, but only forbade the persecution of Christians (especially by crucifixion). But Christianity did, in fact, become the state religion of the Roman Empire.

The question your Protestant friends are asking (and what are you doing cavorting with heretics anyway? wink ) has to do with the old system of government in Europe where state and church were NOT separate.

By coming out from underground, the Christian Church was intrinsically connected to the Roman imperial government and way of life, impacting many institutions.

The Pope of Rome at the time, keys or no wink (Andrew is right, you know), did not even have formal jurisdiction over all of Italy and was referred to as "His Beatitude!"

In fact, it was the later power struggles between Emperor and Patriarch at Constantinople that led to the build up of the Roman Pontiff's temporal power in the West - a needed "referee" who kept the Emperor in check.

In those centuries, Rome had lost its former imperial lustre. It still kept its formal place as first Bishopric in the Church owing largely to the fact that the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul were situated in Rome. The idea of the keys given to ONLY one Bishop was not on until much later - the keys were given to Peter, yes, but also to all Bishops through Peter.

It was only until the 4th Ec. Council that there is a section listed that affirms that the Roman See ought to be "first" (and this only at the table of an Ecumenical Council, no mention of jurisdiction at all) ONLY because Rome was the first capital of the Roman Empire.

When Byzantium became the new capital of "Romania" or the Roman Empire, this meant not that a new city had come into being to assume this mantle - but that the entire tradition of the City of Rome had moved to the City of Constantine as the "NEW ROME!" So the "keys" were shared by BOTH the OLD (the Administrator here prefers "Elder" - I don't what agenda HE is pushing - how are you, sir? wink ) and the NEW Romes.

This is also why when the Patriarch of the Roum (aka the Patriarch of Constantinople) visits Rome, he is placed on a throne of equal height to that of the Pope of Old Rome.

Neither ever discarded the tradition that they were the legitimate heirs of the Christian Roum empire where the religion was Orthodox-Catholic of the people and where the national languages was, at one time, both Latin and Greek.

This is why the Orthodox term for RC's as "Latins" is meant, historically, to accuse them of having only a partialized and therefore incomplete tradition - and why Rome, after the schism, called Byzantium "Greek" only to show that, from its point of view, Byzantium had fallen from the fullness of yesteryear's Christian Roum Church and Empire.

But the Emperor's role over the Church as its temporal guardian was something the Church sanctioned.

An Emperor could be opposed if he was shown and condemned as a heretic. But the Church always looked to her Orthodox/Catholic Emperors for the sound temporal leadership and protection she often required and prayed for them most assiduously.

The authority of the Ecumenical Councils comes from the Church herself and the Church only.

It was the Emperors who licked the invitation envelopes and who ordered the hotel and meal accommodations for the bishops.

Alex

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Dear Father Stephanos,

It is true that the presence of BOTH Chief Apostles in Rome and their tombs afterwards led to the veneration of Old Rome as the first bishopric in Christendom.

But the profound jurisdictional powers later appropriated to themselves by the Popes of Rome were simply not envisioned even by the then Bishops of Rome and cannot be supported simply by the fact of Peter's presence in Rome.

He was also in Antioch and Jerusalem - AND, Father, the fact that his secretary, ST Mark, as at Alexandria ALSO extended the Petrine claim to that great city as well.

It was on that basis, through St Mark, that Alexandria exploded its powers and was the first See to declare its bishop a "Pope" with jurisdiction over every church and priest throughout Christian Africa - also the Pope of Alexandria declared himself to be the "Ecumenical Archbishop."

My point is that Rome's jurisdictional claims over other Churches have no real basis in terms of Peter's presence.

In fact, was Peter the "first Pope" of Rome? Or did he consecrate the first Pope of Rome?

Alex

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Originally posted by Ecce Jason:
Andrew,

A book I would [b]strongly
recommend on papal primacy, if you have not read it yet, is Papal Primacy: From Its Origins to the Present by Klaus Schatz, SJ.[/b]
Ecce Jason, thanks for the recommendation. I will add it to my long, long list of things I intend to read. My issue is really with supremacy and universal jurisdiction which I do not view as being analogous with primacy (which I don�t have a problem with). The article was interesting to me, because if Mr. Duffy is correct, his historical view cuts the legs out from many of the arguments I have seen put forward by RC apologists for what I guess would be termed Papal Maximalism.

The history surrounding Constance, the Avignon Papacy, Investiture and the waging of war by the Popes against the Hohenstauffens are all very interesting as well.

Andrew

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Ray S. Offline OP
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Thank you Alex for you complete response.

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Andrew,

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The article was interesting to me, because if Mr. Duffy is correct, his historical view cuts the legs out from many of the arguments I have seen put forward by RC apologists for what I guess would be termed Papal Maximalism.
I agree with that pretty much whole-heartedly. I'd say that the book I suggested by Klaus Schatz does much of the same thing.

God bless,
Maximos

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What I may say may have already been stated by others but just encase it hasn't let me reproduce certain texts:

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2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority -- that is, the faithful everywhere -- inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere.--St Irenaeus, Adv.Her.3.3.2
St Irenaeus also names, as we do in the Roman Canon, the Bishops of Rome:

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3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.--St Irenaeus, Adv.Her, 3.3.3.
As Proffessor Duffy makes clear its a question of historical hermenutics and that appears clear enough. There is a hermenutic of suspicion underpinning modern historical science which finds little room for the historical accuracy of St Irenaeus' claims (similiarly those of Sacred Scripture). Redactors and communities are envisioned as interpreting and interpolating.

I have seen arguments put forward against the Papacy on the basis that the early Roman church is unlikely to have had no visible episcopate and that Irenaeus backdated by choosing certain prominent presbyters. Now, of course, this is a perfectly plausible explanation if you're using a hermenutic of suspicion which means you have to distrust all traditional sources. But you see the thing thing is I'm just not willing to call St Irenaeus a liar.

I approach his texts with a hermenutic of recognition with respect for his credibility as a witness and the credibility of the information he provides. Now in the game of modern historical criticism that is an instant way of getting oneself disqualified as a serious historian (shock horror I also believe the gospels are not the products of community redactors and that Jesus did miracles and rose from the dead) but I guess I'm just gullible.

Many of the questions I've seen asked of the Roman claims I believe have already been answered by St Ireneaus. Its possible that St Irenaeus himself was lied to, that the letters to Timothy isnt even a pauline epistle and that the Linus of the Roman liturgy is not the Linus of Sacred Scripture. That St Irenaeus lies about the way Clement's letter to Corinth was percieved to suit his purpose of contradicting the gnostics by making the centre of orthodoxy a church which had no time for their doctrine. Its possible that the Romans themselves greedy to maintain the presidency 'in love' (cf. St Ignatius of Antioch episle to the Romans) simply fabricated the early records of apostolic succession. Its possible St Ireneaus did all of the above on his own steam simply to make his case against Valentiniansm and Marcionism more plausible.

But seeing as I'm using a hermenutic of recognition rather than one of suspicion. I'm going to trust the way St Ireneaus interprets the Roman primacy, the foundation of the aforesaid See, the Corinthian incident as being tied up to Clements authority, and the succession of Popes up until his own day.

People have often cited John Henry Newman as lukewarm todays the Vatican Council's definition on Papal infallibility. Actually nothing can be further from the truth. What Newman was accutely aware of was that according to strict historical science (and Newman was a notorious skeptic i.e. Grammar of Assent) one could not maintain unquestionably the primacy of Rome. Yet falling back upon tradition Newman like myself could readily believe that the way it was reported is how it really went down.


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As Proffessor Duffy makes clear its a question of historical hermenutics and that appears clear enough. There is a hermenutic of suspicion underpinning modern historical science which finds little room for the historical accuracy of St Irenaeus' claims (similiarly those of Sacred Scripture). Redactors and communities are envisioned as interpreting and interpolating.
Myles, I guess what is most striking to me is that the I article I posted was written by a Catholic author and was published on the web site of a Catholic journal. It's not like it's appearing in the pages of Christian Century.

Andrew

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Dear Myles,

Yes, thank you!

St Irenaeus shows that the Church of Rome was founded by the two Chief Apostles - as were the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria and also those of many Eastern villages ( wink ) where the Apostles preached - but that St Peter was NOT the first "Bishop of Rome."

The Apostles had the powers of bishops, to be sure.

But a bishop is someone who is located in a See. The Apostles could NOT fulfill that function and remain faithful to their calling as Apostles sent throughout the world.

Viva il Papa!

Alex

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Dear Alex

St Ignatius of Antioch did not consider himself the 3rd Bishop of Antioch but the 2nd whereas by the 4th century Eusebius clearly did consider St Ignatius as such. The understanding of these and many other things e.g. the Trinity was unclear in the early Church (cf Justin Martyr's presentation of the Triad) thats all part of the development of doctrine. People realised certain truths but they did not have a clear understanding of them until the era of consolidation.

For example the non-canonical genuine acts of Sts Peter and Paul from the 2nd century clearly envisions the relationship betweent he former and the latter as that of an Archbishop to his suffragan Bishop. The work doesn't explicitly call Peter, Bishop of Rome, but he is most certainly in charge of the Roman church and preoccupied with controversy with Simon Magus.

Moreover Alex you surprise me with your statement that the Apostles could not have remained as such had they taken up episcopal Sees. This not only defies hundreds of years of tradition not merely Roman tradition but of many other ancient sees e.g. Ephesus but concrete and documented examples some of which should be close to your heart e.g. St Methodius of the Slavs. Being a resident Bishop doesn't prevent you from being a missionary.

As you well know it was the practice once upon a time to ordain missionary clerics as Bishops who would set up Sees in their field of mission when they arrived and organise the local church as we see the Apostles doing throughout Acts. St Boniface's episcopal title as Archbishop of Mainz did not prevent him from being Apostle to the Germans etc.

Since the consolidation of the doctrine in the Nicene era it has been understood by East and West generally that St Peter was Bishop first at Antioch then at Rome. Hence the Old Roman calendar had the feast of the chair of St Peter at Antioch as well as the chair of St Peter at Rome. The Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch list Peter as the first Bishop of their See and they have every right to. Likewise we list St Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and St Paul besides him as organiser of the early Roman church. And on account of this do the foundations of the Roman church stands as St Ireneaus makes clear.


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Dear Myles,

But to be a Bishop in charge of a flock means, in the ancient canons, to be "static" that is, not to move.

A bishop who is in such a position can indeed be a missionary and even MUST be, especially if he is to convert remaining vestiges of paganism etc. as was often the case.

But the Apostles clearly preached the Gospel, nurtured local Churches and consecrated bishops for them before moving on.

At no time did they remain as bishops of the Sees they founded and the only thing that stopped them from going elsewhere was, of course, martyrdom.

Again, if there are any ancient witnesses that attest to Sts Peter and Paul ever being the first "Bishops of Rome" as opposed to having ordained the first Bishops there, please let us know! smile

And I'm happy I can still surprise people at my age (50 on March 29th . . .)

Alex

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How ancient do they have to be? Eusebius, Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen if I remember corrtectly all say Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

PS) Is it not also true that a Bishop can transfer Sees?


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I know you're gone for Lent but I'll leave these here for you for when you return. I have cited no authorities later than the 4th century and excluded quotations from the Roman Pontiff's themselves.

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For they say that all the early teachers and the apostles received and taught what they now declare, and that the truth of the Gospel was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter, but that from his successor, Zephyrinus, the truth had been corrupted. --early 3nd century authority cited by Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3
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In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter in mighty Rome commanded Linus, the first elected, to sit down. After him, Cletus too accepted the flock of the fold. As his successor, Anacletus was elected by lot. Clement follows him, well-known to apostolic men. After him Evaristus ruled the flock without crime. Alexander, sixth in succession, commends the fold to Sixtus. After his illustrious times were completed, he passed it on to Telesphorus.--Poem against the Marcionites 276-284 (A.D. 267)
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[In the second] year of the two hundredth and fifth Olympiad (A.D. 42): The apostle Peter, after he has established the church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains as a bishop of that city, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years--Eusbeius, The Chronicle (A.D. 303).
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You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head�that is why he is also called Cephas �of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all--Optatus, The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 (A.D. 367)
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At Rome the first apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul--Epiphanius of Salamis, Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 (A.D. 375).
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Simon Peter the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the Church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion�the believers in circumcision, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia�pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to over-throw Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero--St Jerome, On Illustrious Men 1 (A.D. 396)


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