Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Some concluding thoughts from the Called to Communion discussion 1

I’ve mentioned in the past that the issue of the early papacy (or rather the non-existent early papacy) is the “soft underbelly” of Roman claims. If anyone has been involved in these types of discussions – Catholic/Protestant – you know there is always something that can be brought up to evade or change the topic. (The phrase “oh yeah, but what about this…” comes to mind.)

I’ve outlined in another post what Roman Catholics have traditionally believed about the papacy, things which I believed in my early years (the 60’s and the 70’s) – and it’ll be useful to recap them here:

1. The pope is the chief bishop, primate, and leader of the whole Church of Christ on earth.

2. He has episcopal jurisdiction over all members of the Church.

3. To be a member of the Catholic Church, a man must be in communion with the Pope.

4. The providential guidance of God will see to it that the Pope shall never commit the Church to error in any matter of religion.

(Source, Adrian Fortescue, “The Early Papacy”)

These four items are things that are said always to have been believed – and Vatican 1 etched them into stone, so to speak. But these thing are said to have been believed back into the earliest days of the church. From the beginning, according to some.

Fortescue goes on to state that the underpinning, further, revolves around these three foundational elements:

But all of this depends on something else, he said. "All of this depends further on three more theses, into which we cannot enter here." (Pg 51)

These three theses that he did not touch are:

1. "That our Lord gave these rights to the Apostle St. Peter."

2. "That St. Peter must have a successor in them."

3. "That his successor is the Bishop of Rome."

Ratzinger tried to defend these three theses in his “Called to Communion.” And some time ago, I started to get into this and analyze it – it is a genuinely weak set of arguments, given what we know today.

* * *

Peter Lampe’s work (which we know as “From Paul to Valentinus: Christians in Rome During the First Two Centuries”) was first published in Germany in 1987. This work was not a first-of-a-kind work by any stretch. It was sort of a tying together of a lot of disparate threads of thought, which had started more than half a century prior. Here is a summary of some of the major efforts that I’ve found:

In 1927, James Shotwell and Louise Loomis compiled virtually every document that had been used in support of the papacy from the first five centuries of the church (“The See of Peter,” New York and Oxford: Columbia University Press, ©1927, 1955, 1991). These were grouped roughly into “three distinct sets of texts on the ascendancy of the Papacy within the Roman Catholic Church.”

Without going into detail, the vast majority turned out to be, at best, a “curious and less respectable set of documents, the popular apocryphal literature, which grew up around the figure of Peter almost as soon as reliable records began, literature sprung from misconceptions and confusions or else frankly fictitious.”

In the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, a Lutheran theologian named Oscar Cullmann wrote a major study, “Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr” (the first English translation Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1953). In this work, Cullmann analyzed both the theological claims of the papacy (and provided major exegetical studies of Matthew 16:17-19 and related texts). As well, he analyzed the historical literature in tremendous detail, in order to ascertain Peter’s role in the early church, as well as the concept of “succession.” He concluded among other things:
The original Church was led by [Peter], and he led it only in its earliest period. For as soon as the foundation for this leadership is laid, Peter will give it up. Another, James, will take it over in Jerusalem, while Peter will concentrate entirely on his missionary work and will do so, indeed, in a subordinate role under James.

This later subordination of Peter under James is a fact important in every respect. It confirms first of all that the leadership of the Church by Peter also has its significance for us chiefly as a starting point. [This is a point that Cullman has been making throughout: the fact that Peter is "first" is a unique fact. There is no "successor" to Peter. Any leadership role that was given to Peter, any primacy, was completed by this time. It was non-continuing in any way.].

James is the actual head of the Church from the moment that Peter dedicates himself completely to missionary work. The memory of that fact was steadily retained in the whole of Jewish Christianity, which took an interest in the ancient traditions. According to Hegesippus, “The brother of the Lord, James, takes over the leadership of the Church with the Apostles. (Citing Eusebius E.H. II, 3, 4).

Particularly important is the fact that the Pseudo-Clementina, which are friendly to Peter, clearly subordinate Peter to James. Peter has to “give an accounting” to James, “the bishop of the holy Church.” To him Peter sends his public addresses, and [Pseudo-]Clement calls him [James] “Bishop of Bishops,” “leader of the holy church of the Hebrews and of the churches founded everywhere by God’s providence. [Pseudo-]Clement traces Peter’s commission to him [Clement] back to a commission that James gave to Peter. These late reports thus agree with what we can learn concerning James from the letters of Paul and the book of Acts.

[In other words, any "Petrine succession" to Clement came through a commission to James. This document, by the way, was one of the documents that was widely believed for hundreds of years, known as the "Pseudo-Isidore Decretals."]

It will not do, however, to make some such objection as that Peter went to Rome just at that time in order to “transfer” the primacy from Jerusalem to that place. In reality Peter does not leave Jerusalem in order to transfer the primacy elsewhere; he leaves rather to spread the Gospel. But the significant thing, as said, is that in relation to the new leadership at Jerusalem he does not continue in some superior position, as though James were only his substitute, or were only Bishop of the church at Jerusalem, already sunk to the position of a local church. He rather subordinates himself to the authority of James as the central government. (Cullman, “Peter,” 224-226).
There is more to this, and I’d love to publish it some time.

In 1969, Daniel William O’Connor published “Peter in Rome,” a critical study designed to look at the question of whether Peter actually ever was in Rome. And the answer there was “yes, but likely only at the end of his life. It is probable that he was martyred and buried there. His bones were never recovered.”

In 1973, there was a major work, “Peter in the New Testament,” subtitled “A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (© 1973 Augsburg Publishing House. I have a Wipf and Stock reprint). This work was edited by Raymond Brown, Karl Donfried and John Reumann, “from discussions by” about nine different Roman Catholic and Lutheran scholars, as part of “the United States Lutheran—Roman Catholic Dialogue” that was going on, and its topic was “the Role of the Papacy in the Universal Church.

The conclusion of this group was really to have raised more questions than they answered, and at the end, the reader was referred to the second phase of this work, a patristic study “co-chaired by the Ref. Dr. A.C. Piepkorn of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and by Professor J. McCue of the School of Religion at the State University of Iowa (Iowa City).

I have not been able to track down this work, but a 2004 survey by a Franciscan priest Rev. Adriano Garuti (“Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the Ecumenical Dialogue” San Francisco: Ignatius Press) summarizes the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue this way:
In spite of a certain rapprochement (which is unthinkable if it is confronted with the theory of the papacy formulated by the First Vatican Council), it is impossible to overlook the controverted points which still exist, especially concerning the ius divinum and the fullness of the power of the Bishop of Rome (pg 193).
Dr. Peter Lampe is a Lutheran scholar who is one of the signatories of the 1998 document that was presented in advance of the “Joint Declaration on Justification,” which strongly suggested that that “Joint Declaration” was a mistake.

* * *

As I mentioned, Lampe’s study came out in 1987. In 1989, the Vatican began its own historical study. The results of this study have not been published, as far as I know. (If they had found something favorable, don’t you think they would be crowing about it? But instead, what came out of that, was the 1995 encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, in which we see the spectacle of a pope asking for theological input on ways “to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation.”)

Shortly thereafter, the Vatican held a “theological” symposium on the papacy in 1996, and the strongest reassurances for the papacy that came out of that was, “we are aware of development in the papacy” … “Peter was the leader of the apostles” … “the bishop of Rome is [somehow] the successor of Peter, based on the fact that Peter and Paul died in Rome…”
The symposium is characterized by its properly doctrinal nature, aimed at extracting the essential points of the substance of the doctrine on the Primacy, according to the Catholic Church's conviction of faith...
In addition, there was a document of “reflections” published, just to keep everyone “on the same page,” that is, “These "Reflections" - appended to the symposium - are meant only to recall the essential points of Catholic doctrine on the primacy…” – this is now what it is essential to believe.

THE PRIMACY OF THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
Reflections of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect
Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary

No longer are the boastful claims made by Fortescue a part of the calculation. As much as possible, historical considerations have been stripped from “what it is now essential to believe”.

Note this paragraph from the conclusion of that theological symposium, written by Ratzinger:
On the basis of the New Testament witness, the Catholic Church teaches, as a doctrine of faith, that the Bishop of Rome is the Successor of Peter in his primatial service in the universal Church;13 this succession explains the preeminence of the Church of Rome,14 enriched also by the preaching and martyrdom of St Paul.
Note the bone given to Paul, although Peter and Paul were “Founders” of the church at Rome. Note also that somehow, in some undefined way, it is “the New Testament witness” where this “succession” “explains” “the preeminence of the Church of Rome”.

This “explanation” may be found in Ratzinger’s “Called to Communion,” and I will say here, that it is such a tremendous stretch, that I find it to be laughable. (You may not, but then again…)

The summary of that document is:
13. … 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.
So, in effect, "nanny-nanny-boo-boo on you."

Nevertheless, there is going to be a “last word” on the papacy; it is forthcoming, and it is going to be the result of these historical studies that these Called to Communion folks are mocking and dismissing right now.

47 comments:

Lvka said...

Although we're bitter enemies, our common blind hatred of the Pope is stronger than this, so I want to share this with you.

:-)

John Bugay said...

Lvka, I don't consider us to be bitter enemies, nor do I have "blind hatred of the pope."

But I do view the papacy as having caused the greatest harm to the church as a whole and to the cause of Christ in history. That's one reason why I focus on it.

The second reason, as I noted above, is that this historical situation is such that it has persuaded even those in Rome to believe that its position is in flux and hence moveable.

The combination of those elements just may (with some public opinion, properly applied) enable us to see some truthful admissions from that lying institution some time during our lifetimes. I think that is a goal worth working toward.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"As much as possible, historical considerations have been stripped from “what it is now essential to believe”."

That is a very telling sign.

Jae said...

@John you said, "But I do view the papacy as having caused the greatest harm to the church as a whole and to the cause of Christ in history."

In reality the Bishop of Rome is the Visible symbol of Christian Unity for thousand of years until a guy named Martin Luther broke that unity and within this so called reformation movement sprouted hundreds more differing heads and these "heads" that founded their own brand of churches with their own doctrines and church structure and auhtority are actually, their own popes and traditions put together.

It is just a matter of opening our eyes.

John Bugay said...

Jae, it was the folks who opened their eyes who started the Reformation. And we need to be thankful for their courage.

Jae said...

I agree with you, give thanks to Martin Luther for the modern idea of relativism.

This is not my Lord had prayed for to be ONE.

I Corinthians 1:10 to ".. be PERFECTLY JOINED together in the SAME mind and in the SAME judgment."

John Bugay said...

Alas, Jae, the Lord has failed, eh?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Bugay arrogantly writes, "Jae, it was the folks who opened their eyes who started the Reformation. And we need to be thankful for their courage."

That is Satan's favorite ploy, pride and personal courage. Luther and the pretended "reformers" played the game well just as their master Lucifer taught them so well. So it is today those who hold themselves up over Christ and His Church. They too serve their own personal interests rather than the interests of God. In the end Lucifer will say to Bugay and those like him, "well done my courageous servants."

natamllc said...

MB

that certainly was very foolish stuff there!

John Bugay said...

If "the Church" was so Christ-like, then why did Luther fear for his life? Maybe he remembered his old friend John Hus.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Maybe because he was a heretic, and he feared being cut off from society for the salvation of the souls of others who would be mislead by his Satanic teachings of arrogance and pride.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Just a guess.

Lvka said...

Hi there!

Placing subversive, anti-Protestant link.

Bye there! :-)

natamllc said...

John,

hah!

I suppose we can conclude for ourselves two things, then?

One, Hus and Luther were mindful of this from Matthew's Gospel:

Mat 23:33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Mat 23:34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
Mat 23:35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.


And two, we too! :( or :), whichever it is?

John Bugay said...

Not a good guess Matthew. He was sure "the Church" would have him killed.

John Bugay said...

natamllc, sometimes those scriptures just hit too close to home!

natamllc said...

Oh yeah, and I wanted to note the irony of the title of the then Cardinal Ratzinger's book: Called to Communion!

Ironic, isn't it in light of Christ's own Words, found here:

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
Mat 11:26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


To the one, it is a religion of self-righteous works!

To the other, it is joy unspeakable and full of Glory in that His work of Righteousness is finished and there is nothing left for us to do but to have communion with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, sent into this world to save His people from their sins!

1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Makes no difference how many hail mary prayers you pray, the prayers to Jesus and to Our Heavenly Father are the ones that count!

Yeah!

Lvka said...

His work of Righteousness is finished and there is nothing left for us to do but to..


..take up our cross and follow Him.

John Bugay said...

Lkva, we do this, not out of a hope that we can somehow earn salvation, but out of gratitude for the salvation He has already secured for us.

natamllc said...

Lvka

good point!

Here is how that is defined exegetically by the Apostle before King Agrippa:

Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Act 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.


Lvka,

question?

For which reason/s were they going to kill the Apostle?

Was it for preaching the Truth or for preaching the Truth and living it, too?

Blogahon said...

'non-existent papacy'

- Other things that were 'non-existent' by the measure that John is using:

1) The New Testament Canon (and the Protestant Old Testament Canon)

2) the doctrine of the Trinity

3) the doctrine of sola (or solo) scriptura

4) the doctrine of sola fide

5) the reformed (any of the many) belief about the Eucharist

6) a good percentage of doctrines espoused by the WCOF

Etc

I have an idea...why not only believe and practice those things which are explicitly and in their fullest form present in the first century as verifiable by the modern historical scholars that John quotes?

Lets examine their works and if any doctrine or practice was not fully explicit in the first century (according to them) than we'll conclude that those doctrines are fictive constructions and drop them. No need to examine the fathers anymore. They were all liars (at worst) or duped (at best). They didn't have Peter Lampe's 1987 work to lean on.

Heck we don’t even need the bible anymore, we have Peter Lampe! He says among other things that Paul’s epistles weren’t really written by Paul anyway. If he is right about the first century Roman church than he must be right about the epistle ‘forgeries!’

Who is with me?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Bugay says, "Not a good guess Matthew. He was sure "the Church" would have him killed."

Yeah thats what cut off means. By the way, why bring up something that your Protestant forefathers did as well? You act as if your Protestant heritage is some golden example of Cristian virtue. Your bringing up of John Huss is nothing more than a Red Herring. What else do you have?

Blogahon said...

OR we could examine OTHER scholars that disagree with the ones that John is citing and go by what they say!?!?

Because, what John is not telling you is that there are other 'smart men' who look at the same data and come to other conclusions.

You see, this is not an exact science folks. The actual extant data that exists from the time period in question is quite slim. (Although I would argue that even then the weight of the extant evidence falls squarely towards the Catholic view of things. Just pick up a copy of the Diadache and honestly tell me that it sounds more Presbyterian than Catholic.)

What any historical criticism minded historian like Peter Lampe is doing is filling 'blanks' with speculation. Some of it may be accurate and some of it may be way off base.

The other thing that John isn't telling you is that much of what these same scholars conclude are things that John would wholeheartedly reject out of hand.

For example, ask John if he believes that Paul wrote the Pauline epistles and then consult what Peter Lampe had to say about that. And then go to John and point out what Peter Lampe said. And then watch John reserve the right to dismiss Peter Lampe’s conclusions because they don’t fit with his presuppositions.

Then ask yourself, "On what basis can John dismiss Lampe about that but refuse the Catholics the same privilege when it comes to other conclusions that Lampe makes?"

A lot of this was covered in this thread. If you haven’t read all the comments please do so.

Here is the deal: John’s faith is not built upon the conclusions of the modern school of historical criticism. Neither is ours.

It has not been that long since I was Reformed and most of my family and many of my friends still are Reformed. Not one of them bases their faith on the conclusions of historians...just imagine if they did!

Blogahon said...

I had a comment disappear. Too bad, it was pretty much the best comment I've ever written.

Short Summary:

1) John knows that there are other scholars that disagree with the scholars that he is citing (or at least scholars that come to very different conclusions.) This is pointed out on the Called to Communion thread.

2) John also knows that standing on these scholars is a difficult place to stand because these same scholars come to conclusions about history that John cannot, as a Reformed Christian, accept. One such example is the authorship of the epistles.

Ask John if he believes that Paul wrote the Pauline epistles. Then compare his response to Peter Lampe’s assessment of that question.

3) I know of no Christians that base their faith and believe doctrines on whether or not a modern historian gives enough corroboration.

4) I know for a fact that many 1st century historians that are highly regarded have concluded things about the early church that would make any good Christian cringe.

So, if all things are equal, I would like to know on what basis many of you reject the historical conclusions of guys like Bart Ehrman?

If we are just supposed to capitulate to Lampe’s conclusions that are based on pure speculation than what gives you the right to disagree with Ehrman?

5) In the end John does not realize the implications of his own apologetic method. As Francis Beckwith rightly concluded: "The problem with scorched Earth apologetics is that you may “win” the argument but there’s no Earth left on which to revel in your victory."

I would hope that all of the cheerleaders here reading this thread would think about this carefully. This is serious stuff. There are many Christians that have lost their faith after reading modern historians and believing their speculations.

natamllc said...

Sean and Matthew

you make it out that there were no disputable controversies in the First Century.

And why should we rely upon those scholars anyway, not that that is not a bad idea.

We have the Holy Spirit.

We have the Lord Himself.

We have God in Heaven from Whom all else flows.

Oh yeah, and there are plenty of Elect Angels and fallen demons doing the things they do.

You points don't carry off so well!

And what is it that the New Testament Writers endeavored to do but what they experienced first hand publicly and by the Spirit of Christ:


Luk 24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Luk 24:46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
Luk 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
Luk 24:49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."


It really is remarkable and amazing just how much of the Old Testament is explained in the New Testament. One gets the idea that the fruit doesn't fall very far from its Tree!

John Bugay said...

The early church seems to have done just fine without a papacy.

John Bugay said...

Sean, I've answered most of your questions already, here:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/trueman-newman-and-discernment.html

Blogahon said...

John,

I think you've deflected the question more than anything else.

Dr. Trueman, of course is adhering to the advice of such like St. Paul ("Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" and "test everything; hold fast what is good") .

I've tested what Peter Lampe is saying about the first century. So have many other people that I know who I know are good Christian men and women and they disagree with his summary of the 1st century Church just like you disagree with his summary of the authorship of the epistles.

Jae said...

@John said, "Alas, Jae, the Lord has failed, eh?"

The Lord never fail and He is always faithful to the church He founded as ONE and guided by ALL Truth from DAY ONE to the present even in the midst of sins of men, by that she would not be allowed to teach heretical (error) doctrines or the great promise is forfeited.

Since the Enemy could not destroy the Church he settled for the tactic of "divide and conquer". Satan is the father of division and confusion and in some parts he succeeded by dividing the unity of the Body of Christ. The first wound was the Great Eastern Schism in 1054 A.D. and the worst and deepest one occured in 1517 A.D. the "Reformation" era where relativism was born.

Andrew said...

Matthew said:
"Luther and the pretended "reformers" played the game well just as their master Lucifer taught them so well."

No Matthew, I'm pretty sure the reformers were just "separated brethren". I guess it just depends on which council you go with. Oh well.

Jae said...

I will let the eraly fathers speak:

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

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)

"The epistle is couched in very measured terms, in the form of an exhortation; but at the same time it clearly shows that the Church of Rome was aware of the decisive weight, in the Church of Corinth's eyes, that must attach to its witness about the events in Corinth. So the Church of Rome, at the THE END OF THE FIRST CENTURY, exhibits a marked sense of its OWN PRIORITY, in point of witness about events in other churches. Note also that the Roman Church did not feel obliged to make a case, however argued, to justify its authoritative pronouncements on what we should now call the internal concerns of other churches. There is nothing said about the grounds of this priority....Apparently Rome had no doubt that its PRIORITY would be accepted without argument." (page 125-126)

on ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (c. 98-110 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.

Blogahon said...

Jae....

"Those are all forgeries."

But hey, so is 2nd Timothy according to Peter Lampe.

Jae said...

Cont.

ST. CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE (c. 250 AD)

In the middle of the third century St. Cyprian expressly terms the Roman See the Chair of St. Peter, saying that Cornelius has succeeded to "the place of Fabian which is the place of Peter".

The See of Rome was -ecclesia principalis unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est- [the Principal Church from which the unity of the priesthood/episcopacy has its rise]." (page 98-99)

According to Cyprian, every bishop occupies Peter's throne (the Bishop of Rome among others) but the SEE OF PETER'S THRONE - THE BISHOP OF ROME IS THE DIRECT HEIR OF PETER.

ST. AUGUSTINE (380 A.D.)on the 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)

Some more:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12260a.htm

These are well documented historical facts which NO protestants could spin and deny.

GeneMBridges said...

The Lord never fail and He is always faithful to the church He founded as ONE and guided by ALL Truth from DAY ONE to the present even in the midst of sins of men, by that she would not be allowed to teach heretical (error) doctrines or the great promise is forfeited.

Agreed, the Lord would never let the one truly most holy orthodox cahtholic church teach teach damnable heresies...for instance the Assumption of Mary.

Since the Enemy could not destroy the Church he settled for the tactic of "divide and conquer". Satan is the father of division and confusion and in some parts he succeeded by dividing the unity of the Body of Christ. The first wound was the Great Eastern Schism in 1054 A.D. and the worst and deepest one occured in 1517 A.D. the "Reformation" era where relativism was born.

1. Typical Romanist...low view of Scripture, ergo ignorance thereof:

Scripture speaks of divisions in the Church as both negatively and POSITIVELY:

for there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. (I Cor. 11).

2.You're misusing "relativism." Relativism would be Proposition P is correct as is Proposition P1, when it is evident they are contradictory.

Unlike Romanists, we Protestants distinguish between types and levels of error We disagree over certain issues-for example, credobaptism vs. infant baptism. We don't agree that both are correct.

Ergo, Jae,you're misusing the term "Relativism," and your objection is nothing more than a pseudoproblem generated by the projection of your standards upon us. That's a classical example of mirror-reading.

dtking said...

I will let the eraly fathers speak:

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


I will let the eraly fathers speak:

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


What follows is an amazing piecemeal of quotes. The Romanist doesn't tell you what book from which he's quoting. It’s from a chapter by orthodox scholar Nicolas Afanssieff in a book edited by John Meyendorff titled, The Primacy of Peter. Since I have this book and have read this section, please permit me to fill in some of the ellipsis that the Romanist conveniently omitted. Unlike the Romanist, I'll tell you the source of his amazing "cut and paste" job while I fill in some blanks he left from the orthodox scholar...

Nicolas Afanassieff: In other words, Clement is supposed to have been [according to G. Dix] the bishop of a considerable number of churches, which were governed by presbyteries. This opinion belongs in a world of pure fantasy, and will not stand up to serious critical investigation. See his chapter, “The Church Which Presides in Love,” in John Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992), p. 125.

Nicolas Afanassieff: The epistle is not written by Clement alone; but in the name of the Roman Church. “The Church of God dwelling in Rome to the Church of God dwelling in Corinth.” This form of address already proves that the Roman Church did not set itself above the Church of Corinth; they are both called “Church of God.” There is no hint in the epistle of any claim being made by the Church of Rome to exercise any power over the Church of Corinth. If the Church of Rome had believed itself to be invested with a higher power, then the Epistle of Clement would surely have been written in a very different tone. See his chapter, “The Church Which Presides in Love,” in John Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992), p. 125.

You can go here...

http://books.google.com/books?id=hMjoJx8FD2wC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=%22We+know+that+the+Church+of+Rome+took+over+the+position%22&source=bl&ots=ILuCOKSO0L&sig=p6jyYzeA2Zng_YPwYlM3WiaUf48&hl=en&ei=dzaITLfDLIXGlQetuu2eDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22We%20know%20that%20the%20Church%20of%20Rome%20took%20over%20the%20position%22&f=false

and read the pages from the book yourself and see what the Romanists neglected to cite. No wonder he didn’t give you the name of the book from which he was citing.

dtking said...

I will let the eraly fathers speak:

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


LOL,

1) You notice that Clement isn't speaking.

2) Yes, an orthodox scholar is speaking, namely, Nicolas Afanssieff in a book edited by John Meyendorff titled, The Primacy of Peter. This Romanist neglected to tell you the source of his piecemeal citations, but you can go to this link and read for yourself how the orthodox scholar, in context, refutes the very point the Romanist is asserting. Read p. 125 closely and see how the Romanist has butchered the very point that the orthodox writer makes...
http://books.google.com/books?id=hMjoJx8FD2wC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=%22We+know+that+the+Church+of+Rome+took+over+the+position%22&source=bl&ots=ILuCOKSO0L&sig=p6jyYzeA2Zng_YPwYlM3WiaUf48&hl=en&ei=dzaITLfDLIXGlQetuu2eDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22We%20know%20that%20the%20Church%20of%20Rome%20took%20over%20the%20position%22&f=false

John Bugay said...

Good evening Gene, David. Welcome to Beggars All.

dtking said...

Yes, by all means, let's let Cyprian speak, as he did to Pope Stephen...

Cyprian (c. 200-58): For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another. But let us all wait for the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only one that has the power both of preferring us in the government of His Church, and of judging us in our conduct there. ANF: Vol. V, The Treatises of Cyprian, Concerning the Baptism of Heretics. (First paragraph of the treatise).

dtking said...

And let's let Augustine echo the sentiments of Cyprian...

Augustine (354-430) quoting Cyprian approvingly: For no one of us sets himself up as a bishop of bishops, or, by tyrannical terror, forces his colleagues to a necessity of obeying, inasmuch as every bishop, in the free use of his liberty and power, has the right of forming his own judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he can himself judge another. But we must all await the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has the power both of setting us in the government of His Church, and of judging of our acts therein.’” NPNF1: Vol. IV, On Baptism, Against the Donatists, Book II, Chapters 1.

Jae said...

Hmmm, I thought so, this is the best of what protestantism could offer...ONE CITATION (even out-of-context) to refute the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome from a tsunami that say otherwise.

I just wonder what St. Cyprian had in mind on the Church and the Papacy when he wrote:

"...they dare even to set sail...to the CHAIR OF PETER and the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source...whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy [errors or perversion of faith] to have entrance." (Epistle 59:14)

Another one: "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).

The complete discussion by J.N.D. Kelly, one of the greatest patristic scholars of the 20th century and an Anglican with Dom John Chapman.

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num44.htm

Look and read the entire text and not just pick and choose to fit your theology.

Jae said...

"Unlike Romanists, we Protestants distinguish between types and levels of error We disagree over certain issues-for example, credobaptism vs. infant baptism. We don't agree that both are correct."

So, sorry but a lot of cognitive dissonance going on here.

Who determines who is in error or not? For sure, Jesus Christ didn't left us to figure out for ourselves....hmmm, since the Bible can't make a decision and pass a judgment of who got it right or wrong, are you suggesting an impasse? So the heck if a good abiding christian who truly believes he's right like Charles Russell (Baptist pastor turned Jehovah's Witness) that Jesus Christ is a mere human...or hundreds more differing ideas?

Then you said "we don't agree that both are correct", what is this? So, in essence you are telling us there is no quarantee of truth? What does it hinder us to believe that what you got are all wrong in the first place or in any point of christian doctrines?

Christian doctrine is not based on high probability which protestants would like to believed.

So, sorry I don't buy this kind of stuff because it contradicts my Lord's promise to guide His Church in ALL Truth from day one until he comes back again.

dtking said...

Hmmm, I thought so, this is the best of what protestantism could offer...ONE CITATION (even out-of-context) to refute the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome from a tsunami that say otherwise.

No, I think you're the one operating under a delusion. Neither Cyprian nor Augustine believed in the bishop of Rome having primacy over all others, and those citations are not out of context in their opposition against such a notion. You see, they didn't get the Roman fuzzies every time they mentioned the name Peter, as you folks do when a ancient witness speaks of Peter.

Moreover, your "cut and paste" butchering of that eastern orthodox scholar in The Primacy of Peter is the best example of "cognitive dissonance going on here."

But hey, when you're a Romanist, what else do you have? :)

P.S. folks, the cry of "out-of-context" is the typical Roman ploy when he suddenly discovers that his emperor has no clothes.

Jae said...

DT king said, "Neither Cyprian nor Augustine believed in the bishop of Rome having primacy over all others".

I will not respond to some name calling but let's see what really Augustine said about the matter. (Oh by the way, what do say about the citations from Cyprian opposing your views then?)

AUGUSTINE ON THE PRIMACY OF PETER: Direct quotes -


"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.


"There are many things which which most justly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church; the agreement of peoples and nations keep me; the authority established by miracles, fostered by hope, increased by charity, and confirmed by antiquity, keeps me; the succession of priests from the very See of the Apostle Peter, unto whom our Lord after His Resurrection committed His sheep to be fed, down to the Episcopate, to this day, keeps me; in fine, the very name of Catholic keeps me, which, not without cause, has in the midst of so many heresies clung to this Church alone in such a way that though all heretics want to be called Catholics, still when a stranger asks to be directed to the Catholic Church no man of them dares to point out his own basilica or house." Against the Letter of Manichaeus



"...Why! a faggot that is cut from the Vine retains its shape. But what use is that shape if it is not living from the root? Come, brother, if you wish to be engrafted in the Vine. It is grievous when we see you thus lying cut off. Number the bishops from the See of Peter. And, in that order of fathers, see whom succeeded whom. This is the Rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer. All who rejoice in peace, only judge truly." (St. Augustine, Psalmus Contra Pertem Donati)


and


"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)


and also


"In order of the succession (i.e. the succession of Peter), no Donatist bishop is found. But, unexpectedly, they sent from Africa an ordained man who, presiding over a few Africans in Rome, propagated the title of Mountain Men or Cutzpits." (St. Augustine, Epistle 53)


cont

Jae said...

Cont:

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)

and

"For we do not pour back our little stream for the purpose of replenishing your great fountain, but in the great temptation of these times, we wish it to be approved by you whether our stream, though small, flows from the same head of water as your abundant river, and to be consoled by your answer in common participation of the same grace." (St. Augustine to the Pope, Epistle 177)

And speaking later of this Pope's authoritative decree, he writes:

"And the words of the venerable bishop Innocent to the Council of Carthage ...what is more plain and clear than this sentence of the Apostolic See?" (St. Augustine, Contra Julian 2:4, 6:7)

and

"...When he answered that he consented to the letters of Pope Innocent, of blessed memory, by which all doubt about this matter was removed." (St. Augustine, Contra Julian 2:3:5)

and

"Do you think these fathers, viz. Irenaeus, Cyprian, Reticius, Hilary, Ambrose, are to be despised because they belong to the Western Church, and I have mentioned no Eastern bishop among them? What are we to do, since they are Greeks and we are Latins? I think that you ought to be satisfied with the part of the world in which our Lord willed to crown the Chief of the Apostles with glorious martyrdom. If you had been willing to hear blessed Innocent, the president of that Church [Rome], you would have long ago disengaged your perilous youth from the nets of the Pelagians. For what could that holy man answer to the African councils except from what of old the Apostolic See and the Roman Church with all others preservingly hold? ...See what you can reply to St. Innocent, who has no other view than have those into whose council I have introduced you; with there he sits also, though after them in time, before them in rank... Answer him, or rather answer the Lord Himself, whose words he alleges. What will you say? What can you answer? For if you should call blessed Innocent a Manichaean, surely you will not dare to say it of Christ?" (St. Augustine, Contra Julian 1:4:13)

and

"To all these letters, he (Pope Innocent) answered in the manner which is right and the duty of the bishop of the Apostolic See." (St. Augustine, Epistle 186)

I guess Augustine and Cyprian don't have any idea what they're talking about, what Papacy?

Turretinfan said...

"You act as if your Protestant heritage is some golden example of Cristian virtue."

a) There are plenty of golden examples in our heritage; and

b) We don't follow the traditions of men, so we feel free to acknowledge that those in our heritage were sinners, as also we are.

Jennie said...

"Maybe because he was a heretic, and he feared being cut off from society for the salvation of the souls of others who would be mislead by his Satanic teachings of arrogance and pride."

Matthew B., I'm a little late reading these comments, but I want to ask you if you think 'heretics' should still be "cut off from society for the salvation of the souls of others who would be misled by their Satanic teachings of arrogance and pride." Is that what Jesus and the Apostles taught?

Lalo said...

I found it really interesting when you mentioned those three essential elements for the Catholic idea of the papacy. It reminded me of a German Catholic historian, Norbert Brox. In the Spanish translation of his book Kirchengeschichte des Altertums (Historia de la iglesia primitiva [a history of the early church]) when he describes and analyzes the early papacy he comes up with this: "The traditional theological foundation for the Roman papacy is primarily grounded on the "institution" or ordering of this ministry "by Christ", besides this, on the fact that Peter was "the first bishop of Rome" and, finally, on the uninterrupted succession of bishops as successors of Peter, which is certified, and who as such exercised the same functions and legal authority that Peter had exercised as the first supreme head of the universal church." Page 134 [translated form the Spanish version.] It is interesting that in the same paragragh Norbert Brox continues: "It is necessary to question the historic value of these data." And then he proves each one of these presupositions for the papacy to be with no foundation in history.