Addenda to the Eastern Papal Florilegium…

The following is a copy of comments that were left at my edition of the florilegium I assembled about the doctrine of papal primacy according to Eastern Fathers. I will probably add more addenda to this post as time goes on.

* * *

Anonymous said…
Many of the earlier easter [sic] fathers you have quoted do not make a connection between Rome and St. Peter. St. Peter was also bishop in Antioch. It was actually St. Paul who established the church in Rome; St. Peter arrived later and was subsequently martyred in the city. Simply saying St. Peter was the bishop of a city does not necessarily grant any church primacy. The concept of primacy is not a Biblical teaching. If it were, the keys to the Kingdom would not be opened except through one individual person. The key to the Kingdom is a symbol for the Holy Priesthood, by which through the sacraments (baptism, confession, communion, etc.) we are saved. How is it, indeed, that that Church of Alexandria had presidence during the first three Ecumenical Councils until Chalcedon (451), when Pope Leo of Rome coerced Emperor Marcian, by means of Empress Pulcheria, to convene the council? There was no need to rewrite the faith so powerfully defined by the first three councils. The Tome and the summons were both not needed. It was pure political intrigue that purposed the council of Chalcedon. If anything, the heresy of Nestorious was more of a threat during that period.May the Lord preserve the life and standing of our honored father the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.-Shenoute

2:07 AM

Anonymous said…

Shenoute -As the Cogitator’s collection of quotes shows, many of the Eastern Fathers disagreed with your apparently sola-scriptura-based objections to the papacy. The Tradition of the Church is very clearly in favour of at least some kind of Roman primacy.I may be wrong, but I don’t think it is true that the ‘Church of Alexandria had presidence during the first three Ecumenical Councils until Chalcedon’. It’s irrelevant anyway.

7:13 PM

Kjetil Kringlebotten said…

“The concept of primacy is not a Biblical teaching.” It most certainly is.In 1Tim 3:15 (NKJV ), Paul in fact points to the church for authority, calling it “the pillar and ground of the truth.” The question is, who has authority in the Church? Read Christ’s words in Matthew 16:18-19 (and 18:18): “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”The Jewish Encyclopedia, published in the early 20th century, and available online, contains an article on binding and loosing. Let me quote from it:The power of binding and loosing was always claimed by the Pharisees. Under Queen Alexandra, the Pharisees, says Josephus (“B J.” i, 5, § 2), “became the administrators of all public affairs so as to be empowered to banish and readmit whom they pleased, as well as to loose and to bind.” (…)

In this sense Jesus, when appointing his disciples to be his successors, used the familiar formula (Matt. xvi. 19, xviii. 18).
[This is to short, but I do not want to comprimise [sic] copyright. Read the entire aticle [sic]]

11:40 PM

Michael said…

Cogitator,I hope you considered the Eastern Catholic Churches when you decided to profess the Catholic faith.Anyhow, as to the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome – I think this can be seen from many fathers; BUT these should not be mingled with SUPREMACY. These two concepts are entirely different. Most Orthodox can accept PRIMACY, they will not accept SUPREMACY – and the way that it is worded by many Latins, their refusal is quite understandable.

1:52 PM

the Cogitator said…

Hi Michael,I most certainly did consider entering an Eastern Catholic rite. But partially because of a lack of such rites in Taiwan and also because of a genuine affinity for the Roman Catholic tradition, I became a Roman Catholic. You’ll notice in my initial comments before listing the patristic quotes, when I asked who else sounds like these Fathers, I said “outside of the Catholic Church,” not “the Roman Catholic Church.” It seems stranger to me that Eastern Orthodox can share virtually the same liturgical and canonical patrimony as Eastern Catholic rites, while refraining from the latter’s union with the papacy, than that fully Eastern Catholics can have union with the papacy. Are you saying Eastern Orthodox are more Eastern than Eastern Catholics? Unless you are, the existence of Eastern Catholics in union with Rome is a peculiarity in need of much explanation for Easterns who refuse to maintain ecclesial unity.As for the finer points of debating supremacy versus primacy, I am aware of that sometimes very casuistic distinction. I leave it to you to review the patristic evidence I’ve provided here and see how the Fathers parse the difference. Look, for example, at Epiphanius’s, Chrysostom’s, Asterius’s, and especially Maximus’s comments with an eye on the word “power”.


10:07 AM

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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One Response to Addenda to the Eastern Papal Florilegium…

  1. graywills says:

    Dear Cogitator and Michael,
    Wise words. Quite a number of Roman Catholics in this Country consider the Eastern Rite tradition, ( and other Orthodoxy ), but sadly being such a small population Eastern Catholics are scattered far and wide, with the rare opportunity to receive visits from priests residing in Australia. I must admit, if there were an Eastern Rite church here I would most certainly give it serious attention.
    Prayers and Blessings,

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