Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"This Bridge Should Be Illuminated"

Here's what Vatican I infallibly pronounced about the papacy:
On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs

1. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time.

2. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood.

3. Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received.

4. For this reason it has always been necessary for every Church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman Church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body.

5. Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.
Note that there is not any sense of doubt in the language used here. This is the reason for Fortescue's sense of assurance. Christ himself instituted this office, and it was, in every age, clearly evident, that there was a primacy over the whole church.

It will be no wonder, then, to see the screechiness with which our partisan Roman Catholic friends will respond.

What follows is the conclusion of Peter Lampe's extensive work, "From Paul to Valentinus," chapter 41, pages 397 ff:
Thesis: The fractionation in Rome favored a collegial presbyterial system of governance and prevented for a long time, until the second half of the second century, the development of a monarchical episcopacy in the city. Victor (c. 189-99) was the first who, after faint-hearted attempts by Eleutherus (c. 175-89), Soter (c. 166-75), and Anicetus (c. 155-66), energetically stepped forward as monarchical bishop and (at times, only because he was incited from the outside) attempted to place the different groups in the city under his supervision or, where that was not possible, to draw a line by means of excommunication. Before the second half of the second century there was in Rome no monarchical episcopacy for the circles mutually bound in fellowship.

It would be presumptuous here to wish to write again a history of the ecclesiastical offices that are mentioned especially in 1 Clement and Hermas. My concern is to describe the correlation between fractionation and one factor of ecclesiastical order, the monarchical episcopate. This bridge should be illuminated. What happens across the bridge in the field of history of ecclesiastical offices can only be here briefly sketched – and perhaps motivate one to further investigation.

1. Fractionation into house congregations does not exclude that the Christian islands scattered around the capital city were aware of being in spiritual fellowship with each other, of perceiving themselves as cells of one church, and of being united by common bonds.

Paul writes to several house communities in Rome (Rom 16; see above, chap. 36) and presupposes that these send his letter, with the greetings, from one to another (cf. similarly Col 4:16). The continually repeated (Greek: aspasasthe “greetings”) receives meaning if there were messengers between the various, topgraphically separate groups. In other words, not only were Eucharistic gifts sent to and fro (see above, chap 40), but also letters and greetings from outside the city were exchanged.

That means that people writing from outside of Rome could address the Roman Christians as a unity. Not only Paul but also Ignatius and Dionysius of Corinth did this. Conversely, the Roman Christians as an entirety could send letters to those outside: 1 Clement and a further letter to Corinth around 170 C.E. (Eusebius, Ecc. Hist. 4.3.11). The totality of Roman Christianity undertook shipments of aid to those outside (see above on Dionysius, in Eusebius, Ecc. Hist. 4.23.10). People from the outside consequently spoke of the Roman church (e.g., Ignatius, Rom. Praescr.).

It was useful to assign to someone in Rome the work connected with external communication. Hermas knows such a person by the name of Clement. In Vis. 2.4.3, Hermas prepares two copies of his small book and sends (pempo, “send, dispatch” within the city) one of them to Clement, who forwards it “to the cities outside, for he is entrusted with that task”.

It is important to note that Hermas’s “minister of external affairs” is not a monarchical bishop. In the next sentence, Hermas describes how he circulates his little book within the city. He makes it known “to this city together with the presbyters who preside over the church” (emphasis added). A plurality of presbyters leads Roman Christianity. This Christianity, conscious of a spiritual fellowship within the city, is summed up under the concept of “ecclesia,” but that changes nothing in regard to the plurality of those presiding over it. In Vis. 3. 9.7, Hermas also calls them (Greek proegoumenoi or protokathedipitai – leaders or chief seats).

Hermas knows to report the human side of the presiders: they quarrel about status and honor (Vis. 3.9.7-10; Sim. 8.7.4-6). What are proteia? Are the presbyters wrangling” for first place within their own ranks, for the place of primus inter pares? Whatever the answer may be, Hermas – in the first half of the second century – never mentions the success of such efforts, the actual existence of a single leader. Instead he speaks of (Greek, leaders or chiefs), all in the plural (Vis. 2.4.2f.; 2.2.6; 3.1.8).

Correspondingly, we find in Paul’s and Ignatius’s letters to the Romans nothing of a Roman monarchical leader, even though Ignatius knew of a monarchical bishop’s office from his experience in the east. (Note: whether the monarchical episcopacy was established everywhere in the east is, however, questionable. Ignatius, Phil. 7- (cf. Magn. 6-8) presupposes Christians who do not wish to be under a bishop. In Ancyra around 190 C.E. there was still no bishop presiding but only a group of presbyters; anonymous, in Eusebius, Ecc. Hist. 5.16.5). In the year 144 Marcion, at the Roman synod meeting that he initiated (see above, chap. 40), also saw himself facing “presbyters and teachers” and not a monarchical bishop.

First Clement presupposes the same presbyterial governance: hagoumenoi (1:3), proeoumenoi (21.6) presbuteroi (44.5, 47.6, 54.2, 57.1) episkopoi, (42:4f=Isa 60:17; LXX). As in Hermas (Vis. 3.5.1; Sim. 9.27.1; cf. 9.31.5f.), the word “bishop” is in the plural. And First Clement 44:5 clarifies who exercises episkope: the presbuteroi! A number of them, who simultaneously had episkope in Corinth, were dismissed by the Corinthians. In 47:6, 57:1 the dismissed men are called presbuteroi. In short, by presbuteroi and episkopoi 1 Clem designates the same persons. The two terms are interchangeable, as in Hermas (Vis. 3.5.1).

“Bishops” are presbyters with a special function. With what function are they entrusted? Hermas in Mand. 8.20., Vis. 3.9.2, Sim. 1.8 uses the verb episkeptesthai not in relation to an office but referring to all Christians in the sense of “to care for the needy, to visit them. (Hermas) Sim.9.27.2.f. portrays the official “bishops” correspondingly as those who care for (diakonia) the needy and the widows. In this work they are supported by the deacons (Sim. 9.26.2). Our comparison of episkeptesthai and episkopoi shows that Hermas with the functional term “episkopos” still clearly associates episkeptesthai and its social-diaconal content. The wordkplay episkopoi--eskepasan in Sim.9.27.2 demonstrates the same.
This type of analysis goes on for a number of pages, and if there are questions, then I can provide that analysis on particular points.

To the scoffers, keep in mind that this is a 500 page book, and the analysis provided here has much, much foundational work (literary and archaeological and more) supporting it. It is no wonder that Eamon Duffy says that any future work that deals with this period must begin with this work.

I've published selections such as this one in various places, and I've had some Catholics tell me that this is an obscure work, that it will soon be forgotten. But this body of factual information isn't going anywhere.

Rome has re-calibrated its discussion of the papacy since the heady days of Vatican I and Adrian Fortescue, to lead off with the fact that they are aware of "development." It is clear from the language of Vatican I that they had no concept of development in mind. It is clear from Fortescue, some 50 years after Vatican I, that "Clement commanded" with the assurance of any modern pope. But the situation was far, far more questionable than that. Roman boastfulness has been caught in a snare, and it is evident that it does not know how to squirm out of this.

22 comments:

John Bugay said...

When I say "recalibrated," note the vagueness of the "requirement" in this statement, "Dominus Iesus," which Ratzinger put out in 2000:

The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”. With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that “outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth”, that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that “they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.

What is this "historical continuity"? We don't know. We aren't told. Whatever it was, "the faithful" are "required" to believe it though.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html

Note too that 1 Tim 3:15, which I've discussed, is continually misused as a proof-text.

Lvka said...

Presbyters do preside over the church. (In case you didn't know that..)

And Clement does speak a great deal about the similarities between the OT and NT priesthoods, placing a lot of specific emphasis on the OT Archpriest as well. (Which does seem to imply the existence of a parallel office in the NT church).

John Bugay said...

Yes, Lvka, the hits just keep on coming. "A plurality of presbyters leads Roman Christianity."

And First Clement 44:5 clarifies who exercises episkope: the presbuteroi! A number of them, who simultaneously had episkope in Corinth, were dismissed by the Corinthians. In 47:6, 57:1 the dismissed men are called presbuteroi. In short, by presbuteroi and episkopoi 1 Clem designates the same persons. The two terms are interchangeable, as in Hermas (Vis. 3.5.1).

If you and I keep agreeing on things, I may ask James Swan if he'd like to have you as a regular contributor on Beggars All!

John Bugay said...

Although, Lvka, I do have to disagree with you on Clement. Clement messed up a few things.

Compare these quotations, the first from Hebrews, and the second from Clement:

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

   "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
  but a body have you prepared for me;
 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
 you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
 as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'"

When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
"This is the covenant that I will make with them
 after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
   and write them on their minds,"

then he adds,


"I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:5-18)


Did you get that last line? "Where there is forgiveness of sins and lawless deeds, then there is no longer any offering for sin.

Now, notice what Clement says:

Since, therefore, these things are now clear to us and we have searched into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do, in order, everything that the Master has commanded us to perform at the appointed times. Now he commanded the offerings and services to be performed diligently, and not to be done carelessly or in disorder, but at designated times and occasions. Both where and by whom he wants them to be performed, he himself has determined by his supreme will, so that all things, being done devoutly and according to his good pleasure, may be acceptable to his will. Those, therefore, who make their offerings at the appointed times are acceptable and blessed, for those who follow the instructions of the Master cannot go wrong. For to the high priest the proper services have been given, and to the priests the proper office has been assigned, and upon the Levites the proper ministries have been imposed. The layman is bound by the layman's rules.

Let each of you brothers, give thanks to God with your own group, maintaining a good conscience, not overstepping the designated rule of his ministry, but acting with reverence. Not just anywhere, brothers, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the offerings for sin and trespasses, but only in Jerusalem. And even there the offering is not made in any place, but in front of the sanctuary at the altar, the offering having first been inspected for blemishes by the high priest and the previously mentioned ministers. Those, therefore, who do any thing contrary to the duty imposed by his will will receive death as the penalty. (1 Clement 40:1-41:3)


Hebrews is saying, "there is no longer any offering." Clement is saying, "perform the offerings and services diligently, or receive death as the penalty."

What went wrong here? The only possibility is that Clement misunderstands what Christ has done.

Lvka said...

My job here is not to show you how Clement does not contradict Paul, whose disciple he was, but simply to stop you from presenting half-truths about his views.


As your American witnesses swear in your American courts-of-law: to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

John Bugay said...

What "half-truths" am I presenting?

Lvka said...

"Truth" = Clement used the terms priest(s) and bishop(s) inter-changeably, AND in his parallels between OT and NT priesthood he places a great deal of empahsis on the office of the OT Archpriest.


"Half-truth" = Clement used the terms priest(s) and bishop(s) inter-changeably.

John Bugay said...

Couple of things Lvka:

1. "Archpriest" is a term that never really caught on in the west.

2. Lampe goes to great lengths to show the muddle between who exercises what responsibilities. And far more than just the words get confused.

3. You still haven't responded to the notion that Clement's use of the OT sacrificial system here is a very bad misunderstanding of the "once for all" nature of Christ's sacrifice.

Lvka said...

"Archpriest" is a term that never really caught on in the West.


It didn't exactly "catch on" in the East either: in Romanian, for instance, the "-priest" in "Arch-priest" is not the same as the Romanian word for "priest". ("Arhiereu" vs. "preot"). It's basically "Hierarch" spelled backwards: with the "-arch" coming before the "hier-". (We have the word "ierarh" as well). -- The word "preot" came from our Roman ancestors [Dacia was conquered by the Romans in around 100 AD], whereas the later two are neologisms ("recent" words) of Greek origin (borrowing).


"Sacrifice" is not the same as "sacrificing": for us, it's a noun, not a verb (HT to a Lutheran pastor), and it refers to Christ body and blood, given to us in edible form unto eternal life (John 6:53). What God does is send down His Holy Spirit to change our vegetal sacrifice (like the ones Adam and Melchisedek have offered) of bread and wine, into Christ's once-and-for-all, flesh-and-blood sacrifice.

John Bugay said...

...Christ's once-and-for-all, flesh-and-blood sacrifice....

If it's "once," then maybe you can describe the mechanism by which this "once for all" sacrifice historically developed into some sort of a ubiquitous thing. Christ, after all, "sat down" -- he is no longer "sacrificing." He is sitting.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I knowingly accept the Roman Catholic Church's Magisterial pronouncement of anathema upon my soul for rejecting the teaching that Peter and his (supposed) successors have primacy and authority over the whole Church.

Lvka, as an Eastern Orthodox, do you accept your anathema from the Roman Catholic Church's infallible Magisterium? Or were you not aware of this prior to this post by John Bugay?

John Bugay said...

Now, Truth, we've been through this before, and you, as a separated brethern, being separated through no fault of your own (you being descended from those rascals who genuinely left the One True Church), cannot be excommunicated, and therefore the anathema does not apply to you.

Now Lvka, he is in great shape, what with him being in "other lung" territory and all.

Only former Catholics, who leave of their own volition, can really be anathematized. And I've been told by some well-meaning folks, that even I have some hope, because if I had been properly catechized, I'd have never left, and as it is, I'm invincibly ignorant.

So don't be scaring everyone with talk of anathemas like that :-)

Lvka said...

The noun "sacrifice" refers to that which was sacrificed: Christ's body (and blood) on the Cross of Golgotha. The Eucharist is that same sacrifice, the earthly bread and wine offered by us being united with Chrit's heavenly body and blood into one offering.

John Bugay said...

That may be true for you guys, but for Roman Catholics, it's a verb.

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."

natamllc said...

And still the argument flows!

I would spin off these thoughts about it then.

I would note the apostleships of both Peter and Paul and their territorial realities. Their Holy Spirit assigned territories are distinguished in the Scriptures.

Peter's apostleship was to the Jews primarily and somewhat to the Gentiles.

Paul's apostleship was to the Jews somewhat but primarily to the Gentiles.

There were obvious overlaps in ministry between these two. Eating pork, anyone? :)

I would note the territorial peculiarity then, here:

Act 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
Act 16:6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
Act 16:7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
Act 16:8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
Act 16:10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.


What do you see here is going on and "Who" is directing the apostolic ministry?

Why would the Spirit and Jesus both forbid Paul from speaking the Word in Asia?

I propose a simple answer. The Spirit gave that work of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in those parts of Asia to Peter.

Consider Peter's apostleship and the "territory" where he was assigned to exercise his apostolic ministry, here:

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.


This simple argument of Scripture alone establishes for me enough of an argument against the erroneous primacy/papacy/magisterium/anachronism claim of the RCC and your persistence with that claim here Lvka.

Peter's work was to the Jews and Paul's was to the Gentile worlds of his day. I at least assume, Lvka, you accept that both of these men finished their courses assigned to them successfully?

These two men came to a meeting of the minds, when, after a passing of time and I dare say it wasn't about Peter's "word" of Prophecy as claimed so clearly within the citation from the Vatican 1 work "On the permanence of the primacy of the blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs" cited by JB, above, but as is clearly written here:

2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Now Lvka, he is in great shape, what with him being in "other lung" territory and all."

Wait a minute. I thought the Roman Catholic Church claims not only both lungs, but the whole visible Body of Christ as well.

How can Lvka be okay since he's not a member of the visible Church that Christ founded called the Roman Catholic Church?

Lvka said...

1. Maybe you're right about the Catholics, but from the citation that you offered, I can't say that it results that.

2. *IF* it's true, then maybe it's because of their (and your) Anselmian satisfaction-view of Christ's Sacrifice (as propitiation by being punished by death for our sins instead of us) -- which the East does not possess, at least not as its *primary* view.

John Bugay said...

You gotta keep up Truth. It was John Paul II who said the church needed to breathe with both of its lungs. The Orthodox church being the "other lung." I can find that citation for you if you like.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"It was John Paul II who said the church needed to breathe with both of its lungs. The Orthodox church being the "other lung.""

What??!

Was Pope JP II offering his own private interpretation of the Magisterial pronouncement from Vatican I??

That's so crazy and contradictory when I have just read comments in an earlier thread that went like this:

"Turretinfan, how about looking at what these "Catholic" authors are writing compared to promulgated doctrine. Can't be that difficult dude, and the fact that you don't understand this is troubling. It doesn't matter if they are Catholic University graduates, professors, or chaplians - or even bishops - if they are teaching things opposed to promulgated doctrine then we can't say that they are teaching the faith."

Based on what Alexander just wrote above, isn't it logical to say that Pope JP II is not teaching the Catholic faith because he is teaching something opposed to the promulgated doctrine in Vatican I that clearly states:

"Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema."

The Eastern Orthodox Church clearly denies this. By Magisterial decree, whoever denies this is anathema.

If Pope JP II says otherwise, then he is exercising his private interpretation of infallible Magisterial teaching.

Is this okay? Can and should Catholics exercise their own private interpretation of infallible Magisterial teaching? Is that what the Vatican II calls the "primacy of conscience" and so that means that Catholics have liberty and freedom to exercise private interpretation of Magisterium teaching just like Pope John Paul II did?

Way to go Pope John Paul II!! Leading the way for private interpretation by Catholic laity.

John Bugay said...

See section 54:

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

EBW said...

Mr. Bugay,

Rome favored a collegial presbyterial system of governance...

If so, then are you arguing how it is linked to Christ and/or the Apostles ?
In what sense did they "preside"
while quarreling for status and honor ?

John Bugay said...

EBW -- Rome favored a collegial presbyterial system of governance...

This was only at the time of the Apostles, and shortly thereafter. Of course, the role of the apostles was absolutely unique. And as the book of Acts reports, they "appointed elders in every city." In Rome, the situation was such that there were a number of identifiable congregations (Paul identified at least three or four or five "churches in their home" congregations in Romans 16.) It would seem as if these were "equals." And it is in that sense that they presided -- usually the person in whose home the church met, was the leader of the congregation.

The letter of 1 Clement talks about "orderly ranking" (41.1), but he does not get this from the Scriptures, he models this after the Roman military.

"Let us serve as soldiers, brothers, with all seriousness under his [Christ's] faultless orders. Let us consider how the soldiers who serve under our commanders--how precisely, how readily, how obediently they execute orders. Nt all are prefects or tribunes or centurions or captains of fifty and so forth, but each in his own rank executes the orders given by the emperor and the commanders." (37:1-3)

In this way, the structure of the Roman military was appropriated into the leadership of the churches at Rome at an early date.

So these "equals" (who were equal as presbyters) evidently became a bit more ambitious, "wanting to be first." [And this is not something I made up. Hermas reports it.]