Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The papacy should be abolished.

Patrick Henry Reardon wrote the following opinion piece for Touchstone Magazine some time ago. I used to read Touchstone quite regularly -- until they got a Roman Catholic editor, and Peter Leithart seemingly became the one token "Reformed" voice for that publication. So I'm not sure what editorial positions they are espousing these days.

But I thought this would be a helpful introduction to what some of the current dialogues are saying with regard to the papacy, as well as some of the historical backgrounds and attitudes.
The question was recently put to me: Should the Orthodox Church be dialoguing with the ancient see of Rome with a view to our eventual reconciliation and reunion? In spite of thus disagreeing with certain other Orthodox Christians holier and wiser than myself, I must answer: Yes, most emphatically, the Orthodox Church should be doing exactly that....

I suggest that the proper model for such an Orthodox dialogue with Rome was provided by the example of St. Mark of Ephesus, the most unforgettable of the Eastern delegates to the Council of Florence back in the fifteenth century. St. Mark is best remembered because of his casting the sole dissenting vote against the reunion of the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church. At the end, he became convinced that the effort for reunion at Florence would be successful only by an infidelity to the ancient Tradition, so he conscientiously voted against it.

Still, St. Mark did not refuse to dialogue and discuss the matter. His fidelity to the true faith did not prevent his taking part in serious theological dialogue with those with whom he disagreed. Even though the Roman Catholic Church was at that time in circumstances indicating great spiritual and moral decline, a decline that would soon lead to its massive dismembering at the Protestant Reformation, St. Mark did not despise Rome or refuse to join his voice to a dialogue summoned to make real that prayer of Christ that we all might be one. Those Orthodox who, like myself, believe that continued dialogue with Rome is a moral imperative, would do well to take St. Mark of Ephesus as their model.

At the same time, nonetheless, we Orthodox should be under no illusions about the difficulties attendant on such dialogue. Because Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have followed progressively divergent paths for nearly a thousand years, arguably we are right now farther apart than we have ever been.

For example, it should be obvious that the Roman papacy is the major obstacle to our reunion. Make no mistake—we Orthodox do not miss the Roman papal authority, for the simple reason that we were never under it. Not for a minute in antiquity did the pope of Rome ever exercise over the churches of the East the level of centralized authority he has grown, over the past thousand years, to exercise over the Roman Catholic Church. In the East, the pope of Rome was simply the senior among his brother bishops, all of whom taught, pastored, and governed the Church through various common actions, occasional synods, periodic consultations, and other forms of consensual adherence, most of them with only the faintest reference or attention to Rome.

The current Roman teaching that all doctrinal and moral questions can be definitively answered and settled by an appeal to Rome is not, the Orthodox insist, the ancient and traditional teaching and practice of the apostolic and patristic Church. If the ancient Catholic Church really did believe in any doctrine even faintly resembling the current doctrine of papal infallibility, there would never have been any need for those early ecumenical councils, all of them held in the East, which laboriously hammered out the creedal formulations, canons, and policies of the Church. The current papal claims, standard doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church since the defining of papal infallibility in 1870 and repeated most recently by Cardinal Ratzinger’s official Vatican declaration Dominus Jesus (released on September 5, 2000), represent an ecclesiastical development radically at odds with the Orthodox understanding of the very nature of the Christian Church as manifest in her ancient life.

The “solution” to this problem sometimes suggested by ecumenically minded Orthodox would be simply for the pope of Rome to forswear these recent claims and go back to the humbler status he enjoyed for the first thousand years of Christian history, namely, that of being the “first among equals,” the chief and foremost of his brother bishops, within a Church taught and governed by the broad consensual understanding of an authoritative Tradition. That is to say, many Orthodox would be delighted for His Holiness of Rome, repudiating what we regard as the errors attendant on his recent understanding of his ministry, to take once again his rightful place as the ranking spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church (a position that the patriarch of Constantinople has held since the separation of Rome from Orthodoxy in the eleventh century).

One fears, however, that this would be no solution at all. Such a weakening of the Roman papacy would be an utter disaster for the Roman Catholic Church as it is currently constituted. To many of us outside that institution, it appears that the single entity holding the Roman Catholic Church together right now is probably the strong and centralized office of the pope. The Roman Catholic Church for nearly a thousand years has moved toward ever-greater centralized authority, and it is no longer clear that she would thrive, or even survive intact, without that authority maintained at full strength.
Anyone widely familiar with Roman Catholic publications these days is well aware that, aside from a general and somewhat vague agreement about the authority of the pope, there are reasons to doubt that there really is a unity of faith among Roman Catholics right now. Weaken the authority of the pope? I would truly hate to see such a thing. For instance, if Rome did not occasionally censure the heretics in that church, just who in the world would do it? Can anyone really remember the last time a Roman Catholic bishop in the United States or Germany or Holland (or elsewhere, for all I know) called to account a pro-gay activist priest, or a pro-abortion nun, or a professor in a Catholic college who denied the Resurrection? No, take away the centralized doctrinal authority of Rome, and one fears that the Roman Catholic Church today would be without rudder or sail in a raging sea.

If an Orthodox Christian, then, loves his Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, I believe that he will not wish for a diminished papacy...
.
Touchstone also notes that this article, "Dialogue & Papal Strength," first appeared in the October 2001 issue of Touchstone . But it is not available at that link.

On the other hand, I do believe it would be in the best interest of the church for not only "a diminished papacy," but also for some future pope, yes, to "repudiat[e]... the errors attendant on his recent understanding of his ministry," and just step down. True, such an act would be a "blueprint for anarchy," but if Reardon is correct, the papacy today merely functions as a Band-aid® on the anarchy that already exists.

As Steve Hays has said, only truth is normative. The papacy today does not reflect anything of the truth that Christ preached for his people. It does not reflect the ministry that Peter had in his lifetime, either as a disciple of Christ or as a leader in the nascent church (even if, with Cullman, you think he was a foundational leader). No one in the Apostles' lifetimes had any concept "successors of Peter" or of a continuing "Petrine" ministry.

I think the papacy should be abolished. It only harms Christianity. If Protestants of all stripes were to start saying that, and if they start saying why, such conversations are sure to be picked up among the broader Christian culture, and people are sure to start asking "why?"

On the verge of the anniversary of the Reformation, I think that that can only be a good thing. What do you think?

23 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

Are you also prepared to accept all of the Orthodox faith John, or are you again cherry picking a tiny portion of what the Orthodox believe and then act as if they are "on your side"? As you know, they do not even remotely come close to believing what you believe. Do you accept that the Pope and all of the Patriarchs are successors of the apostles like they do? Do you accept that the Ecumenical Councils are infallible like they do, and that anyone including yourself who reject the ancient faith handed by the apostles and their successors are going to hell?

The fact is, the papacy has been with us 2000 years, not you, not the Orthodox, not Martin Luther nor any other heretic or schismatic is going to wish it, or argue it away. The sooner you come to grips with the fact that you are the true opponent to Christ and His Gospel the better. Until you repent and return to Christ, which you have now fully rejected by leaving His Church, you are living a lie. I know it makes you feel better when you find someone other than another Prot who agrees with you, but we can all see that no ancient Church believes what you believe in any large capacity of doctrine. Again, not a very convincing argument here and i am not visualizing Catholic jumping ship by reading this kind of garbage.

John Bugay said...

I am very well aware of the history of the early church, and no, I am not going to accept "all of the Orthodox faith." I understand how the monarchical bishop developed, and how it did not develop in a "regular" way, geographically. I've cited much evidence to this effect, and I intend to cite more.

In the latest "ecumenical" discussions, the Orthodox continue to reject the idea of the papal primacy. They don't even want to talk about it. I'm going to cite recent Catholic writers to that effect.

The reason I brought this up is because the Orthodox are a very reliable counter to claims that "the ancient church always believed in the papacy." If anyone is guilty of make believe or wishful thinking, it is you and your like-minded apologists.

I am saying that no one "model" of the early church got everything correct. We need to catalog the errors of everyone. Yes, some councils made some good decisions -- I'll point to Nicea and Constantinople as having worked out some very difficult issues. Ephesus was a disaster, and I've written about that in many places. (And I'll point you to those places if you care to see them). The definition of Chalcedon was a very good and Scriptural definition. (The 28th council of Chalcedon is a very, very good barometer of what the Eastern Orthodox churches thought about the papacy -- and it didn't involve a divine institution, which is about the only thing that "Official Rome" holds onto these days, with respect to the papacy.)

I did not intend this to be an argument. I just wanted to bring the issue to everyone's attention.

Dozie said...

The author of the article was talking about the role of the pope in the Church (an issue for which pope John Paul already invited others to discuss) which is different from the existence of the office in the Church.

Does John Bugay affirm the office of the pope as Reardon does? Does he admit to the "ancient see of Rome"? Does he admit that the papacy existed in antiquity? If he does not, what is the point of broadcasting the article? Perhaps he is attempting to show how disconnected he is from Christian history.

John Bugay said...

Hi Dozie -- Of course I don't agree with everything Reardon says. But one thing I agree with:

The Eastern churches were never under Roman authority!!

That alone is worth the price of admission here, wouldn't you agree?

Rhology said...

Are you also prepared to accept all of the Orthodox faith John, or are you again cherry picking a tiny portion of what the Orthodox believe and then act as if they are "on your side"?

They are... on this issue.
Up to you to argue why anyone can only use argumentation from someone when one agrees with that someone 100%. Have fun.


the papacy has been with us 2000 years

Or 1850 years.

And Dozie, don't you have some Jew pigs to insult?

Jae said...

@ John, "I think the papacy should be abolished."

My friend it would never happen so long as Jesus Christ is God - because He Himself founded it. The Catholic Church is the oldest living and functioning institution in the western world where all others caved-in and crumbled to the ground like the Roman Empire, Barbarians, Mongols up to the modern day Soviet Union and even protestant churches caving-in to artificial contraception, gay-marriage, abortion, cloning, stem-cell and a lot more daunting issues by the secular world and she will be standing still until we are all gone and dead...because it is not just mere men that ABIDES in her but Jesus Christ.

@Rhology, the papacy has been with us "1850 years." Your position is not even supported by HISTORICAL WRITTEN FACTS, ACADEMIC SOURCES AND Patristic Father's /Early Christian writings. Here are some FACTS from refutable sources and not from hearsay,dubious, unverifiable ones which obviously you read about:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/441722/papacy/275551/List-of-popes-and-antipopes

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/List+of+Popes+of+the+Roman+Catholic+Church

The earliest Fathers recognized the primacy of Rome (or what might be called "priority") and Orthodox scholars generally concede this:

LOOK AT THE DATE!!!!


ST. CLEMENT OF ROME (c. 96 AD)
"Let us turn to the facts. We know that the Church of Rome took over the position of 'church-with-priority' at the end of the first century. That was about the time at which her star ascended into the firmament of history in its brightest splendor...Even as early as the Epistle to the Romans, Rome seems to have stood out among all the churches as very important. Paul bears witness that the faith of the Romans was proclaimed throughout the whole world (Rom 1:8)....we have a document which gives us our earliest reliable evidence that the Church of Rome stood in an exceptional position of authority in this period. This is the epistle of Clement of Rome...We know that Clement was '
"PRESIDENT" of the Roman Church...." (page 124)

on ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (c. 110 AD)

"We find the first direct evidence about the priority of the Roman Church in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch. Speaking of the Church of Rome, Ignatius uses the phrase 'which presides' in two passages.... The Roman Church 'presides' in love, that is, in the concord based on love between all the local churches. The term 'which presides' [Greek given] needs no discussion; used in the masculine it means the bishop, for he, as head of the local church, sits in the 'first place' at the eucharistic assembly, that is, in the central seat. He is truly the president of his church...[Ignatius] pictured the local churches grouped, as it were, in a eucharistic assembly, with every church in its special place, and the church of Rome in the chair, sitting in the "FIRST PLACE". So, says Ignatius, the Church of Rome indeed has the priority in the whole company of churches united by concord....In his period no other church laid claim to the role, which belonged to the Church of Rome." (page 126-127)

Cont.

Jae said...

on AUGUSTINE (c. 380 A.D.) Primacy of Peter:

"Number the bishops even from the very seat of Peter, and see every succession in that line of fathers; that seat is the rock against which the proud gates of hell do not prevail." Psalmus Contra Partem Donati 43.30....

"For, if the order of the succession of bishops is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter, to whom the Lord said: 'Upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." For to Peter succeeded Linus, to Linus Clement ... To Julius Liberius, to Liberius Damasus, to Damasus Sircius, to Sircius Anastasius." (St. Augustine, Epistle 53).

Also in terms of Peter's own authoritative primacy, Augustine says:

"Peter ... On account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples." (St. Augustine, Enarratio in Psalmum 108)
And speaking of the authority of the Roman church itself, he says:

The Church of Rome "...in which the authority of the Apostolic office has always stood fast." (St. Augustine, Epistle 43:7)

And writing to the Pope himself, he says:

"This act, Lord Brother, we thought right to intimate to your holy charity, in order that to the statutes of our littleness might be added the authority of the Apostolic See for the preservation of the safety of the many and the correction of the perversity of some." (St. Augustine to the Pope on Pelagianism, Epistle 175)

I could cite a lot more but the space won't allow it but the point is - there is an overwhelming SOLID EVIDENCE of the line of succession and Pimacy of the seat of Peter throughout the church's history. Anyways, Rhology, these are from some very refutable sources, how about yours? What can you put on the table?

@ John, "I am not going to accept "all of the Orthodox faith." I understand how the monarchical bishop developed"... well even in Heaven it is very hierarchical in NATURE where God is the King and Archangels, Seraphims, and angels follow their respective ranks, positions and dominions as emulated by the primitive church attested by Apostle Paul in the Holy Writ.

So where does it leave you, brother?


Peace.

Dozie said...

“The Eastern churches were never under Roman authority!! That alone is worth the price of admission here, wouldn't you agree?”

Less than two weeks ago John Bugay wrote a series of articles arguing for the "the nonexistent early papacy." Now he finds Patrick Henry Reardon who has a different kind of issues with the papacy but who also characterizes the papacy as ancient and as having “existed in antiquity”. Mr. Bugay denies early papacy, calls it “fictional” and a “forgery”. Surprisingly, he seems incapable of recognizing that the man he is quoting contradicts his position on the papacy.

Mr. Bugay wants me to address the question of whether the Eastern Churches were ever under the Roman authority. Here, Mr. Bugay seems to be abandoning what he has been arguing for – “the nonexistent early papacy." This is a major shift. The primary question is whether the papacy was a forgery, a fiction, and nonexistent in the early Church. This the argument that needs to be sustained and I am interested to see how Reardon helps him make his case.

Constantine said...

Jae wrote:

Your position is not even supported by HISTORICAL WRITTEN FACTS, ACADEMIC SOURCES AND Patristic Father's /Early Christian writings.

How about these historical written facts, academic sources and Patristic quotes?

The papacy did not come into existence at the same time as the church. In the words of John Henry Newman, “While Apostles were on earth, there was the display neither of Bishop nor Pope.” Peter was not a bishop in Rome. There were no bishops in Rome for at least a hundred years after the death of Christ. The very term “pope” (papa, daddy) was not reserved for the bishop of Rome until the fifth century – before then it was used of any bishop (S. 89). ….

Wills, Garry. Why I am a Catholic. Boston, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 2002. p. 54


The word "pope" was not used exclusively of the bishop of Rome until the ninth century, and it is likely that in the earliest Roman community a college of presbyters rather than a single bishop provided the leadership.”

Joseph F. Kelly in his The Concise Dictionary of Early Christianity (The Liturgical Press, 1992), p. 2, notes


“While Clement's position as a leading presbyter and spokesman of the Christian community at Rome is assured, his letter suggests that the monarchical episcopate had not yet emerged there, and it is therefore impossible to form any precise conception of his constitutional role (p. 8).

Kelly, J N D. Oxford Dictionary of Popes. England, Oxford University Press, 1986. p. 8


The new status of the apostolic see was reflected in the emergence of a new term, apparently first used by Clement I in 1047: papacy, papatus. Constructed on the analogy of bishopric, episcopatus, it expressed the idea that there existed a rank or order higher than that of bishop.

Morris, Colin. The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250. Oxford University Press, 1989, reprinted 2001.
P. 107.


The time when popes would seek to exercise any sort of general administrative supervision over Latin Christendom was still remote, but some important steps in that direction were to be taken in the pontificate of Gregory VII.” Morris, ibid. Pp. 107-108.


“The study of the history of the Roman primacy has shown that Catholics must resign themselves to the fact that the New Testament does not support claims for Peter’s position of primacy, nor for succession to that position, nor for papal infallibility…Consequently, no historical foundation exists in the New Testament to justify the papal primacy. The concept of this primacy is, rather, a theological justification of a factual situation which had come about earlier and for other reasons.”

Ohlig, Karl-Heinz. Why We Need the Pope: The Necessity and Limitations of Papal Primacy. Trans. Dr. Robert C. Ware. St. Meinrad, Indiana, USA. Abbey Press, 1975. Trans. of Braucht die Kirche einen Papst?. Germany, 1973. Pp. 91-92

...to be continued....

Constantine said...

Continued....


“Peter was a figure of central importance among the disciples of the Lord…Nevertheless, the terms primacy…and jurisdiction…are probably best avoided when describing Peter’s role in the New Testament. They are postbiblical, indeed, canonical, terms.”

Richard P. McBrien, Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame



“A judicial superiority of one church over another, or certainly anything like papal primacy of jurisdiction, was completely foreign to Ignatius or Irenaeus [in the second century], or even Augustine [in the fourth]…In particular, all kinds of thinking in categories of hierarchical subordination or superiority will lead us astray”.

Fr. Klaus Schatz, S.J. Papal Primacy. Tr. James Sievert. Liturgical Press, 1996).


. A synod of bishops, 254, addressed an epistle to the Spanish churches, affirming the validity of the consecration of Sabinus and Felix. They ignore the papal decision, but exculpate Stephen on the ground of ignorance. It does not look as if either the church of Spain or the church of Africa took the Roman see as more than one among other influential sees; or held recourse to Rome to be of any more consequence than recourse to Carthage.

Kidd, B. J. The Roman Primacy to A.D. 461. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1936. Pp. 29-30

Constantine said...

I was interested to interact with Jae’s offering of what he thinks is Patristic support for the modern notion of the papacy by bringing in a number of quotations. But that is tedious to do and to read, so I will just share the thoughts of a member of the Magisterium on the topic, so as not to despoil the conversation with a Protestant source.

Peter Kenrick was the Archbishop of St. Louis at the time of Vatican I and his thoughts on Patristic support for the notion that Peter, personally, was bestowed with the “keys” by Christ are noted here:

"Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, in his speech prepared for, but not delivered in, the Vatican Council, and published at Naples in 1870, declares that Roman Catholics cannot establish the Petrine privilege from Scripture, because of the clause in the Creed of Pius IV, binding them to interpret Scripture only according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. And he adds that there are five different patristic interpretations of St. Matt. 16:18: (1) That St. Peter is the Rock, taught by seventeen Fathers; (2) that the whole Apostolic College is the Rock, represented by Peter as its chief, taught by eight; (3) that St. Peter's faith is the Rock, taught by forty-four; (4) that Christ is the Rock, taught by sixteen; (5) that the Rock is the whole body of the faithful. Several who teach (x) and (2) also teach (3) and (4), and so the Archbishop sums up thus: "If we are bound to follow the greater number of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold for certain that the word Petra means not Peter professing the faith, but the faith professed by Peter". - Friedrich, Docum. ad illust. Conc. Vat. I. pp. 185-246."

Another 20th century member of the Magisterium seems to deliver the death blow to the whole idea by acknowledging that given the lack of Scriptural support for a “matter of faith”, the matter must be rejected.

Here, now, Yves Cardinal Congar, one of the ‘architects’ of Vatican II:

"To imagine that the Church, at a given moment in its history, could hold as of a faith a point which had no statable support in Scripture, would amount to thinking that an article of faith could exist without bearing any relation to the centre of revelation, and thus attributing to the Church and its magisterium a gift equivalent to the charism of revelation, unless we postulate, gratuitously, the existence of an esoteric oral apostolic tradition, for which there exists no evidence whatsoever. It is an express principle of Catholic teaching that the Church can only define what has been revealed; faith can only have to do with what is formally guaranteed by God. Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions An Historical and a Theological Essay (London Burns & Oates, 1966), p. 414."

How can any support remain for this man made institution?

Peace.

Constantine said...
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Constantine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jae said...

@Constantin, "How about these historical written facts, academic sources and Patristic quotes?"

Well, I think I just gave you more than a handful from Brittanica, Encyclopedia, Dictionary and from obviously Patristic Father's writings giving support to the line of succession (list of popes from Peter)and primacy of the seat of Peter, what more do you want?

Your sources from selective "catholic scholars" (aka Hans Kung) which seem to otherwise undermine the Papal issue is by enlarge overwhelmed by a tidal wave of dissertations from the vast majority of Church hierachy and Patristic Fathers from the earliest age to this day.

Let's put this to an end for our part, I take the Official Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The episcopal college and its head, the Pope:

880 When Christ instituted the Twelve, "he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the HEAD of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them."

398 Just as "by the Lord's institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another."399

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.
"The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."402 "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."

By the way, the word, "pope" is from latin word "papa" which affectionately the same as the word, "father" in English.

THERFORE: There is no doubt that an objective study of the evidence yields the conclusion that the Catholic Church believed in Universal Primacy, had an Ecumenical center of unity and agreement in Rome, and the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and Councils demonstrates this -- and to deny this is based purely on "anti-Roman prejudice".

In the Mathematical realm, deny these facts constitute an error that we called "conjecture."

Peace.

Dozie said...

"The papacy should be abolished"

Abolished by who? Make your choice:
- By John Bugay?
- By the U.S. government?
- By Protestsnts
- By Catholics
- By the Hitlers of our age
- None

Is John Bugay, given his level of antagonism towards the Church, saying the Church should be attacked since he can't identify who should abolish the papacy and has the power to do so? Otherwise his appeal makes no sense; he is not in a position to either abolish the Catholic Church or make credible appeal for the abolition of such. Perhaps we have an individual who just rants without sufficient thought.

Rhology said...

Dozie blathered:
Abolished by who?

An idiotic thing to say. By those who were formerly of its ranks but who've realised its blasphemy and evil and been converted to true faith and dependence on Jesus.

John Bugay said...

Dozie -- Please note that the papacy is already contemplating, "a new situation" for itself in the world, in the document "ut unum sint." True, JPII is claiming that this "new situation" "in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission," but I would argue, there is really nothing essential to "its mission," and so this "new situation" should essentially a pope stepping down, saying it all was phony, and then a council of local Christians voting upon a new bishop for the city/diocese of Rome, and a world-wide council of Christians from all traditions voting that the "conclave" process should never again occur.

Here's Ut Unum Sint:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html

And here's a document by Joseph Ratzinger, and his admission, that "only the pope has the last word on how this will occur":

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfprima.htm

13. In any case, it is essential to state that discerning whether the possible ways of exercising the Petrine ministry correspond to its nature is a discernment to be made in Ecclesia, i.e., with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and in fraternal dialogue between the Roman Pontiff and the other Bishops, according to the Church's concrete needs. But, at the same time, it is clear that only the Pope (or the Pope with an Ecumenical Council) has, as the Successor of Peter, the authority and the competence to say the last word on the ways to exercise his pastoral ministry in the universal Church.

This is an ecclesiastical "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" moment if ever there was one.

Constantine said...

Hi Jae,

You wrote:

Well, I think I just gave you more than a handful from Brittanica, Encyclopedia, Dictionary and from obviously Patristic Father's writings giving support to the line of succession (list of popes from Peter)and primacy of the seat of Peter, what more do you want?


Well, I might grant that you did give me “more than a handful” of Patristic sources for your side but that in no way makes your case.

The teaching of the Catholic Church is that a dogmatic pronouncement must have the “universal consent of the fathers.” I don’t think you have provided that and, according to the Magisterial sources I provided to you, “a handful” of Patristic sources is meaningless.


You further wrote:

Your sources from selective "catholic scholars" (aka Hans Kung) which seem to otherwise undermine the Papal issue is by enlarge overwhelmed by a tidal wave of dissertations from the vast majority of Church hierachy and Patristic Fathers from the earliest age to this day.


I don’t think I quoted Kung, and purposefully so. But what to make of all of the other Catholic scholars and there work? How do you discredit them? What of Cardinal Congar who disagrees with you? Should we take your word over that of a Cardinal of the Church?

(BTW – the proper phraseology is “by and large”, not “by enlarge”. We’re not trying to make anything bigger!)


The fact is there is no “tidal wave” of dissertations. The historical fact from the earliest days on is that papal primacy was the kleptomaniacal claim of a few bishops in Rome which took root when their opposition (i.e. the Eastern church) was forcibly removed.


You wrote one further time: Let's put this to an end for our part, I take the Official Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Of course you would take the Catechism, but that is just arguing in a circle.

And you humorously wrote:

THERFORE: There is no doubt that an objective study of the evidence yields the conclusion that the Catholic Church believed in Universal Primacy, had an Ecumenical center of unity and agreement in Rome, and the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and Councils demonstrates this -- and to deny this is based purely on "anti-Roman prejudice".

No. An objective study shows that Peter knew he wasn’t a “pope” (Acts 10:26), the apostles knew Peter was no “pope” (Acts 8:14), the Apostle Paul knew Peter was no “pope” (Galatians 2:11). An objective study of the sort conducted by Catholic seminary professor Archbishop Kenrick shows that there was absolutely no “unanimous testimony of the Fathers” which alone discredits the institution of the papacy. And an “objective study” of the Councils (i.e. Nicea, Constance, etc.) demonstrates that when necessary they will override the “primacy of jurisdiction”, thereby exercising a higher authority than the pope in contradiction to the Catechism.

I wish you well in your further studies.

Peace.

Constantine said...

Oops. Errata.

When I wrote, "But what to make of all of the other Catholic scholars and there work?", the "there" should have been "their".

Mea culpa.

Peace.

Jae said...

@ Constantin, thanks...you said, "Of course you would take the Catechism, but that is just arguing in a circle."

Did you ask yourself even why did I cite the CCC? For the obvious reason you were all quoting catholic "scholar of the day" phenomenon...so, logically to end this part of discussion I quoted from the so called "official", does it makes sense to you? Do you think it's still the comical begging the question aka circular reasoning (circulus in probando ) that Rhology was employing all the time especially in his dissertation on "Disagreements with Romanists"?


You said, "The teaching of the Catholic Church is that a dogmatic pronouncement must have the “universal consent of the fathers.” I don’t think you have provided that and, according to the Magisterial sources I provided to you, “a handful” of Patristic sources is meaningless."

To the effect are you REALLY SERIOUS? REALLY? honestly? If I put them all here you might be overwhelmed please just read the Book titled, "The Early Church Fathers" by Jurgens, then tell me of your thoughts....for once even secular academic sources provided credence to our claim but NONE to yours.

Now for the "Magisterial sources", scholar of the day" or a "member of the magisterium" that is in effect we are just appealing to whatever a "scholar" says for the day and that we're looking to hear (any priest, bishop or saint says is not equal to the teaching Authority of the Church - Magisterium)...which is a very low, low grade of choice especially if that "scholar" is not FAITHFUL with his own Tradition (viz. liberal, modernist).

We are very, very generous to all of you and provided you with some solid written historical facts (limited as though coz of the space) now it's your turn to put something on the table please, PLEASE because so far we have seen NONE... cite, quote of the same quality, verifiable and truthful datas we provided to give some sort of credence to yours?
(please not from some religious fanatical, dubious, ex-priest, ex-nun, or whatever websites).

Peace

Constantine said...

Hi Jae,

No, I have to confess, your last post made no sense.

The source for the "universal consent of the Fathers" can be found in the Creed of Pius V or the Rule of St. Vincent of Lerins. You may want to Google them.

YES. I AM REALLY SERIOUS.

I don't think I appealed to a "scholar of the day" but rather provided scholarly information that spanned the early Christian era, touched on the 3rd century, then to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Odd concept of a day, you have.

"We are very, very generous to all of you and provided you with some solid written historical facts (limited as though coz of the space) now it's your turn to put something on the table please..."

And we are very, very grateful for all that you have provided. The sheer effort it takes to discern a clear meaning from your expositions is equaled only by the chagrin that results from finding it missing in the end.

And, we have put a full feast on the table. I'm sorry you weren't able to reach it.

Blessing to you and yours.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Roman Catholic Archbishop Kendrick: "And he adds that there are five different patristic interpretations of St. Matt. 16:18: (1) That St. Peter is the Rock, taught by seventeen Fathers; (2) that the whole Apostolic College is the Rock, represented by Peter as its chief, taught by eight; (3) that St. Peter's faith is the Rock, taught by forty-four; (4) that Christ is the Rock, taught by sixteen; (5) that the Rock is the whole body of the faithful. Several who teach (x) and (2) also teach (3) and (4), and so the Archbishop sums up thus: "If we are bound to follow the greater number of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold for certain that the word Petra means not Peter professing the faith, but the faith professed by Peter"."

WooooOOOooooooOOOOOooooW.

Oooof. Such a statement (by an RC Archbishop, no less) just takes your breath away.

----------

As an aside, ever heard of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy?

If I was a Roman Catholic large-mouth bass who unthinkingly gulped and swallowed all Magisterial Dogma, I'd employ a variant of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy to deny or blunt what Archbishop Kendrick points out. I'd use the "No True Catholic" fallacy by saying:

"No true Catholic would deny that Scripture (via Matthew 16:18) clearly and unequivocally established Apostle Peter as the Rock upon which Christ's Church, the Roman Catholic Church was founded. No true Catholic would use his or her private interpretation of Magisterial Dogma to reject, contradict, or refute Magisterial Dogma. Archbishop Kendrick has done what no true Catholic would ever do. Therefore, Archbishop Kendrick is not a true Catholic. And since he is not a true Catholic, then his arguments can be safely and happily rejected, dismissed, repudiated, and discredited. True Catholics only accept the arguments of true Catholics. This is as it should be, and definitely how God intends His followers to follow and obey His divinely established Teaching Office, the Magisterium. Further, no true Catholic would deign to privately interpret the Magisterium's infallible teachings."

Constantine said...

Hi TUAD,

Thanks for the "True Scotsman" thing. I was previously unaware of its name although I have seen it in operation numerous times.

Peace.