Author Topic: Patristic Sources on the Papacy  (Read 7090 times)

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katholikos

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Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 10:23:41 »
(EDIT: This post was not intended to be a new thread. It is a response to this post: LINK. )

I don't mean to start a debate in your forum, but regarding a few of the ECFs you mentioned, they also said this regarding the pope:


Irenaeus:
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).


Tertullian :
"Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).

"[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when he conferred this personally upon Peter? Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys" (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).


Origen :
"if we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).



I agree with the premise of your post. But from my POV, while it is true that protestants wrongly reject Apostolic Tradition, the EOs seem a bit selective about it. No disrespect intended - that is just how I view it from my vantage point.
« Last Edit: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 12:38:46 by katholikos »

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #1 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 13:22:24 »
katholikos:

Thanks for your respectful response.  I'm going to first respond to your final comment, then offer brief comments to each of the patristic sources.

I agree with the premise of your post. But from my POV, while it is true that protestants wrongly reject Apostolic Tradition, the EOs seem a bit selective about it. No disrespect intended - that is just how I view it from my vantage point.

I would respond first: the Orthodox, far from being selective about our uses of the Fathers of the Church, are utterly consistent. Here's why.

1. The doctrines of papal universal jurisdiction and of papal infallibility were not held by the early Church, and, in fact, were invented several centuries (in the case of papal infalliblity, nearly 2000 years) after the formation of the Church on Pentecost.  So the Orthodox "failure" to uphold these doctrines is not an instance of being selective about adhering to the Apostolic Tradition and the teaching of the Fathers, but, rather, of being consistent with the received Tradition.

2. Instances in the Fathers of supposed papal universal jurisdiction are not, in fact, instances of universal jurisdiction but of primacy of honor or of an appellate nature.
a. For example, the Tome of Leo was not received because Leo was the bishop of Rome, but because the synod of bishops, representing the whole Church, accepted it as consistent with the Apostolic teaching.
b. Rome was never the see of Peter or of Paul--the Tradition is utterly consistent in teaching that the Apostles were not bishops.  Apostles, by virtue of their office, had universal jurisdiction, but bishops have never had universal jurisdiction of any kind.
c. It is true that the Fathers speak of appeals of unresolved disputes to the See of Rome, but this in no way supports universal jurisdiction.  As an example, the Supreme Court is the highest appellate authority in the  U.S., but it in no way exerts executive or administrative authority over the U.S.

3. Papal infallibility is disproved by:
a. the declaration of the Sixth Ecumenical Council of Pope Honorius as a Monothelite heretic.
b. the espousal by the Papacy of the filioque clause (despite Pope Leo III's condemnation of the filioque)

Many more things could be added, but this is enough to lay some substantive claims.

Now to specific comments regarding your citations of the Fathers.


I don't mean to start a debate in your forum, but regarding a few of the ECFs you mentioned, they also said this regarding the pope:

Irenaeus:
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

This only points to the high esteem with which the Churches esteemed the See of Rome.  Superior in origin because it is the locus of the martyrdoms of two Apostles.  There's no denying that.  But this says nothing about universal jurisdiction, nor does such logically follow from this.


Tertullian :
"Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).

"[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when he conferred this personally upon Peter? Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys" (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

This promise was not limited to St. Peter but given to all the Apostles (John 16).  All the Apostles, and all their successors the bishops, have the power to bind and to loose.


Origen :
"if we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

Preeminence of St. Peter does not equate to the universal jurisdiction of the See of Rome.  Here's why.  The Apostles were not bishops and never governed a local Church.  The Apostles had universal jurisdiction because they were Apostles, but they did not pass on universal jurisdiction to the office of bishops, nor to any single bishop.  This just did not happen.

Furthermore:
– Christ is the head of the Church, not any bishop (Eph. 1:22, 5:23; Col. 1:18). Peter is never
called “head of the Church

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #2 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 17:28:20 »

See what you think of this magazine article, called
PETER AND THE ORTHODOX: A REPRISE
By Ray Ryland


source link:
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9610eaw.asp




Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #3 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 18:22:32 »
The article does a nice job of arguing for the biblical basis of Peter's prominence among the Apostles.  The Orthodox would disagree with very little of the claims made in the article.

But the article does NOT establish that just because St. Peter is first among the Apostles that the See of Rome is first among all the bishops.  In other words, nothing in the article establishes that the charisms of St. Peter passes to the see of Rome.

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #4 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 18:39:43 »
The article does a nice job of arguing for the biblical basis of Peter's prominence among the Apostles.  The Orthodox would disagree with very little of the claims made in the article.

But the article does NOT establish that just because St. Peter is first among the Apostles that the See of Rome is first among all the bishops.  In other words, nothing in the article establishes that the charisms of St. Peter passes to the see of Rome.

Do you believe that doctrine developes? Authentic doctrine can still be authentic even though it developes as times passes. It does not make sense that doctrine would develop for several centuries, then all of a sudden STOP developing at one point in time.

I believe that current Catholic doctrines on the pope are legitimate developments of these earlier patristic views.

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #4 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 18:39:43 »



Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #5 on: Mon Jan 19, 2009 - 18:43:48 »
No, the Orthodox deny that doctrine develops.  It is the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints.

If doctrine develops, then we have the rather strange situation that the Apostles, upon whom the Church is founded, knew less than we know today.  What a shaky foundation.

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #6 on: Tue Jan 20, 2009 - 06:12:44 »
No, the Orthodox deny that doctrine develops.  It is the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints.

If doctrine develops, then we have the rather strange situation that the Apostles, upon whom the Church is founded, knew less than we know today.  What a shaky foundation.

I think you're wrong about that. Before I elaborate, tell me: Which councils up to what point in time dp you recognize as authentic?

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #7 on: Wed Jan 21, 2009 - 13:32:47 »
Well, let me ask: what do we know now that the Apostles did not know?  The Trinity?  The consubstantiality of the Father and the Son?  What doctrinal developments do we now have that the Apostles didn't, which increases our theological understanding?

We Orthodox accept the seven Ecumenical Councils, and consider the 4th Council of Constantinople (879-880) as Ecumenical (the Eighth).  Many Orthodox also consider 5th Constantinople (1341-1351) as Ecumenical (the Ninth), some do not, but all Orthodox ascribe to the declarations of the Council.  I'm aware that some consider the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) as having binding authority as the Ecumenical Councils do, but it is not a Synod I've seen very many Orthodox appeal to.

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #8 on: Thu Jan 22, 2009 - 08:08:19 »
Well, let me ask: what do we know now that the Apostles did not know?  The Trinity?  The consubstantiality of the Father and the Son?  What doctrinal developments do we now have that the Apostles didn't, which increases our theological understanding?

We Orthodox accept the seven Ecumenical Councils, and consider the 4th Council of Constantinople (879-880) as Ecumenical (the Eighth).  Many Orthodox also consider 5th Constantinople (1341-1351) as Ecumenical (the Ninth), some do not, but all Orthodox ascribe to the declarations of the Council.  I'm aware that some consider the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) as having binding authority as the Ecumenical Councils do, but it is not a Synod I've seen very many Orthodox appeal to.

Okay. And do you not believe that much of what those councils taught were legitimate developments of doctrine?

For example, the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681), under Pope Agatho was attended by the Patriarchs of Constantinople and of Antioch, 174 bishops, and the emperor. It put an end to Monothelism by defining two wills in Christ, the Divine and the human, as two distinct principles of operation.

Now, I highly doubt that the Apostles could have articulated - or even fully understood - the two wills in Christ as two distinct principles of operation. That is a "development".

The same can be said for Catholic doctrines in later councils. The seeds - the genesis - of the doctrines can be found in scripture, but not fully developed. Surely you can see that.

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #9 on: Thu Jan 22, 2009 - 10:57:02 »
And do you not believe that much of what those councils taught were legitimate developments of doctrine?

It depends, again, on what you mean by development of doctrine. If you mean something new that the Apostles did not know or could not have known?

No, I do not believe in that kind of development of doctrine.

For example, the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681), under Pope Agatho was attended by the Patriarchs of Constantinople and of Antioch, 174 bishops, and the emperor. It put an end to Monothelism by defining two wills in Christ, the Divine and the human, as two distinct principles of operation.

Now, I highly doubt that the Apostles could have articulated - or even fully understood - the two wills in Christ as two distinct principles of operation. That is a "development".

On the contrary, the Apostles *did* believe in the two wills of Christ.  Here's why:

Jesus, in the Garden, asks that the cup pass from him, and yet says of the Father: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be dine.  In John's Gospel, Jesus says to his Apostles, my will is to do the will of him who sent me.  And we could multiply such examples.

But, we also know that the Gospels assert Jesus' divine personhood.  Again John's Gospel: I and the Father are one, he who as seen me has seen the Father. Again, we could multiply examples.

The point here is this: the Apostles could not have believe that Jesus was only human and had only a human will, because he claimed to be one with the Father and that seeing him was seeing the Father.  But clearly Jesus *did* have a human will, because he clearly aligns his human will with the will of the Father in the Garden.

Hebrews says that Jesus had to become like us in all ways.  So, if Jesus is like us, he had a human will.  But clearly he also was divine, the only begotten Son of God.  And as the Son of the Father he also had the divine will.

This is just a brief sketch, but I think it sufficient to demonstrate that the Apostles *did* believe that Jesus had two wills.

Now, did the Apostles use the same sort of technical terminology that III Constantinople used?  Of course not.  But that's a far cry from saying the Apostles didn't know or couldn't know that Jesus had two wills.

Orthodox accept a very specific kind of "development of doctrine": that which is exemplified by the Councils: nothing new added to the Faith, but specific expressions of that Faith to avoid distorting the Apostolic deposit.  When Chalcedon gave its definition of the Person of Christ, it didn't invent new things to say about Christ, it gave four alpha-privatives.  It said, here are the things we cannot say about Christ lest we depart from the Apostolic deposit.

III Constantinople did not add something new to our understanding of Christ which we got from the Apostles, but safeguarded what we *had* received so that we would not depart from the Apostles' teaching.  It gave new developments of expressing the one and the same doctrine, but it did not develop the doctrine or change it.

Here's the problem with the Apostles not having as much knowledge as we have: if we are not to depart from the Gospel, we have to ensure that our Gospel is apostolic, but if we are asserting something the Apostles didn't/couldn't believe, how can we know it is truly apostolic?  I submit we cannot, your analogy below (on which I'm to comment next) notwithstanding.

The same can be said for Catholic doctrines in later councils. The seeds - the genesis - of the doctrines can be found in scripture, but not fully developed. Surely you can see that.

First of all, your metaphor of seeds (or acorn/oak as I've also seen, borrowing from Aristotle) doesn't fit your definition of the development of doctrine and here's why.

The fullgrown development of the plant from the seed does not, in fact, constitute anything new relative to the organism.  There has been no change in the essence/substance of the organism, only a change, relative to time, in its appearance/accidence.  Indeed, using the acorn/oak analogy, if, on full growth, one were to lop off various branches of the tree, that would not change the essence of the organism either.  An acorn *is* an oak at a specific point in time.  A full grown oak is the same acorn at a specific point in time.

But the development of doctrine, as explicated by Rome via Cardinal Newman, does not actually teach the sort of organic development as the metaphor.  In fact, the development spoken of by Rome is completely new, and not contained in the apostolic acorn/seed.  Here are a few examples:

The filioque:
No Apostle, and no Church Father ever taught the filioque.  The filioque itself was a noble-intentioned attempt to fend of Arianism, but because it was not part of the Apostolic deposit, because it was a true innovation, it necessarily ends up with an heretical Trinity in which the Spirit is not of the same essence as the Father and the Son (which explains in part, in my opinion, that the Western churches have had such problems with their understanding of the charismata).

Papal infallibility:
No Apostle, and no Church Father, ever taught this doctrine.  In fact, the historical evidence defeats this doctrine because popes have been condemned by Ecumenical Council as being heretics (such as Honorius).  In fact, this distorts the Apostolic deposit of the Faith regarding the Church, severing the connection of the Head from the Body (cf. Ephesians 4).

Universal Papal Jurisdiction:
No Apostle, and no Church Father, ever taught this doctrine.  In fact, the witness of the Church Fathers is that all bishops are the successors to St. Peter (see St. Cyprian of Carthage).  This teaching does distort the Apostolic deposit because it once again severs the connection of the Head from the Body.

The Immaculate Conception:
No Apostle, and no Church Father, ever taught this doctrine.  In fact, this teaching distorts what the Apostle Paul *did* teach in Romans, that all humans have been infected with the effects of the sin of Adam.  If a development of doctrine contradicts Scripture, it cannot be Apostolic.

No, the Roman teaching on the development of doctrine is not the teaching of the Church.

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #10 on: Thu Jan 22, 2009 - 14:11:28 »
It depends, again, on what you mean by development of doctrine. If you mean something new that the Apostles did not know or could not have known?

No, I do not believe in that kind of development of doctrine.

Neither do I. That would be more of an "invention" of doctrine, like Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide are inventions of doctrines.

On the contrary, the Apostles *did* believe in the two wills of Christ.  Here's why........
Well SURE, you can see it in retrosepect now that you understand it. But you are quoting events and words of Christ, and viewing them through a doctrine which you NOW understand thanks to the council having defined it. But I don't think that the apostles would have heard  Christ say "nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done" and said to themselves: "Hey look, the two wills in Christ are two distinct principles of operation."
 ::smile::

When I say "development", I mean coming to a deeper, more "defined", articulation of scriptural concepts that may seem a bit fuzzy if one were to go by scripture alone.


Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #11 on: Thu Jan 22, 2009 - 15:19:33 »
It depends, again, on what you mean by development of doctrine. If you mean something new that the Apostles did not know or could not have known?

No, I do not believe in that kind of development of doctrine.

Neither do I. That would be more of an "invention" of doctrine, like Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide are inventions of doctrines.

Yes, I believe that the solas of the Reformation, as they are explicated, are innovations.

On the contrary, the Apostles *did* believe in the two wills of Christ.  Here's why........
Well SURE, you can see it in retrosepect now that you understand it. But you are quoting events and words of Christ, and viewing them through a doctrine which you NOW understand thanks to the council having defined it. But I don't think that the apostles would have heard  Christ say "nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done" and said to themselves: "Hey look, the two wills in Christ are two distinct principles of operation."

I agree with you in part: they would not have probably understood the technical terminology that arose to fight back heretical understandings of the Gospel.  But, yes, they would have recognized that Jesus has two wills, because they would have recognized that for Jesus not to have had a human will would have meant he was not human.

I do hear what you're saying about reading history anachronistically.  But again, I'm not saying that Peter would have heard "two wills" and thought of all the technical terminology that developed later. *That* would be reading anachronistically. But what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in two wills in Christ (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in two wills in Chirst, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it.

When I say "development", I mean coming to a deeper, more "defined", articulation of scriptural concepts that may seem a bit fuzzy if one were to go by scripture alone.

I would challenge you on this: and let's take the later expression of dogma regarding the Trinity.  What is it that the Nicene Christians understood about the Trinity that there is no way that the Apostles could have understood.  How did the Nicene Christians better understand God than did the Apostles?

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #12 on: Fri Jan 23, 2009 - 06:35:21 »
.....I agree with you in part: they would not have probably understood the technical terminology that arose to fight back heretical understandings of the Gospel.  But, yes, they would have recognized that Jesus has two wills, because they would have recognized that for Jesus not to have had a human will would have meant he was not human.

I do hear what you're saying about reading history anachronistically.  But again, I'm not saying that Peter would have heard "two wills" and thought of all the technical terminology that developed later. *That* would be reading anachronistically. But what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in two wills in Christ (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in two wills in Chirst, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it.......

Okay. Now lets apply your reasoning to the pope. Now I don't want to start a "pope" argument in your forum, but in all fairness, you said:
....But what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in two wills in Christ (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in two wills in Chirst, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it....

Could not one also make the argumet thusly:
....what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in the meaning of the authority keys as pertains to the Davidic Kings' Prime Ministers (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in the meaning of the authority keys as pertains to the Davidic Kings' Prime Ministers, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it..

??????

Because, that is the whole meaning of the keys. Matthew's gospel was aimed at Jewish readers, which is one reason why Jesus is repeatedly referred to as "son of David". Jesus is a king in a line of Davidic kings, and Jewish men would have understood the "keys" in that context. Jesus was making Peter the Prime Minister to the king, just like in the Davidic Kingdoms of old. And it is fair to say that over the centuries, doctrine "developed" to more clearly articulate this Biblical fact.

Again, you may not agree, but surely you can see the argument, and you cannot in all fairness absolutely say it is wrong



Quote
....I would challenge you on this: and let's take the later expression of dogma regarding the Trinity.  What is it that the Nicene Christians understood about the Trinity that there is no way that the Apostles could have understood.....
Well, I think it is fair to say that the apostles were steeped in the Old Testament, and the OT does not teach about the Trinity (even though now, in retrospect, we can see shadows of the Trinity in certain poassages). The apostles mandate was to teach what Christ had taught them, and Christ really never went into the Triune nature of God with them.

Now did they sit around in their old age and ponder the meaning of Christ being God and how the Son relates to the Father and to the Holy Spirit? Perhaps. But these men were not theologians; they were simple men. I think they spent their time doing what Christ asked them to do, to teach, preach and baptise, and not sit around and theorize theological possibilites.

Of course, this is my personal opinion. I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: Fri Jan 23, 2009 - 06:42:09 by katholikos »

Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #13 on: Fri Jan 23, 2009 - 14:36:09 »
Okay. Now lets apply your reasoning to the pope. Now I don't want to start a "pope" argument in your forum, but in all fairness, you said:
....But what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in two wills in Christ (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in two wills in Chirst, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it....

Could not one also make the argumet thusly:
....what I am saying is that the historical record *does* reveal that the Apostles *did* believe in the meaning of the authority keys as pertains to the Davidic Kings' Prime Ministers (and not unknowingly as though they would have had to wait five centuries for someone to point it out to them) and that if they did *not* believe in the meaning of the authority keys as pertains to the Davidic Kings' Prime Ministers, later Christians could not have promulgated this as Christian dogma because the basic Gospel would not have supported it..

??????

Simply in terms of its structure, of course, there would be an analagous flow of argument.

Of course, the question is: did the Apostles view the keys of the Kingdom in terms of the Davidic Kings' Prime Ministers?  I would submit: no.  First of all, the two wills of Christ are immediate inferences from categorical propositions in the New Testament.  There are not such categorical propositions in the New Testament regarding Davidic royal Prime Ministers--and, quite frankly, it's a huge stretch to imply it.

That's why, while on structural terms your argument would appear to be valid, in fact it is not, because the premises are untrue, while for the ditheletist position the premises are in fact true.

Because, that is the whole meaning of the keys. Matthew's gospel was aimed at Jewish readers, which is one reason why Jesus is repeatedly referred to as "son of David". Jesus is a king in a line of Davidic kings, and Jewish men would have understood the "keys" in that context. Jesus was making Peter the Prime Minister to the king, just like in the Davidic Kingdoms of old. And it is fair to say that over the centuries, doctrine "developed" to more clearly articulate this Biblical fact.

Again, you may not agree, but surely you can see the argument, and you cannot in all fairness absolutely say it is wrong

I cannot say it is absolutely wrong on structural grounds, no.  But arguments are not made on structural grounds alone.  I would say its' absolutely wrong for two reasons: it is not the case the Davidic Prime Ministers are in Christ's or his Apostles' minds in Matthew 16, because if it were, John the Apostle, who was there, would not have given the same promise to *all* the Apostles in John 20; and furthermore, even if the posited connection is true, it does not follow that only St. Peter is custodian of such keys (as per John 20).

Quote
....I would challenge you on this: and let's take the later expression of dogma regarding the Trinity.  What is it that the Nicene Christians understood about the Trinity that there is no way that the Apostles could have understood.....
Well, I think it is fair to say that the apostles were steeped in the Old Testament, and the OT does not teach about the Trinity (even though now, in retrospect, we can see shadows of the Trinity in certain poassages). The apostles mandate was to teach what Christ had taught them, and Christ really never went into the Triune nature of God with them.

Now, *that's* an interesting postulation.  Where did the Apostles learn of the appearance of the voice of God the Father, the Holy Spirit as a dove and Christ in the flesh?  None were there (as per John 1).  It would have had to have been from Christ himself (or perhaps from John, but that is not likely).  Secondly, didn't Jesus tell the Apostles to baptize in the names of the Trinitarian Persons?  Doesn't Christ speak of the three Persons of the Trinity in his Last Supper discussion on the Comforter?

Furthermore, the implications of this proposition are ludicrous: the Apostles did not believe in the Trinity, and yet, believing in the Trinity is the mark of Faith (one cannot be a Christian apart from such a belief).  So, what shaky foundations we stand on when the Apostles did not believe in the Trinity!

Now did they sit around in their old age and ponder the meaning of Christ being God and how the Son relates to the Father and to the Holy Spirit? Perhaps. But these men were not theologians; they were simple men. I think they spent their time doing what Christ asked them to do, to teach, preach and baptise, and not sit around and theorize theological possibilites.

Of course, this is my personal opinion. I could be wrong.

Why do you assume that the Apostles thought of the Trinity on their own?  The Trinity is necessarily a revealed doctrine, just as the Incarnation is necessarily a revealed doctrine (cf. matthew 16).  And if the later Nicene Christians came to the conclusion that the Trinity is a necessary doctrine in which to believe, such that one cannot be a christian apart from such a belief, how is it that God failed to alert Peter and the rest to this important dogma?

No, progressively greater knowledge as the definition of the doctrine of development is a very, very dangerous doctrine, for it completely undercuts the Apostolic foundations of the Faith, and obviates any need for adherence to the deposit of faith.

katholikos

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #14 on: Mon Jan 26, 2009 - 09:26:22 »
....No, progressively greater knowledge as the definition of the doctrine of development is a very, very dangerous doctrine, for it completely undercuts the Apostolic foundations of the Faith, and obviates any need for adherence to the deposit of faith.


I'm starting to get the feeling that you and I are using different terminologies and misunderstanding each other.

You already know what I stated elsewhere: Catholic Dogma is that all revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle, and that all the Church does is guard and hand on the deposit of faith, and when neccessary, define it either for clearer uinderstanding or sometimes to refute heresy. So, therefore, it is obvious, in that context, what I mean when I use the word "development".

Have you ever read  AN ESSAY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE by John Henry Cardinal Newman? Its actually online:
http://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/


Offline CDHealy

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #15 on: Sat Jan 31, 2009 - 08:21:26 »
Newman's understanding of DofD is precisely the way I've summarized it--although said with quite  a few more winsome and erudite words.

(And it looks like yet another Catholic has left/been banned from the boards.)

ex cathedra

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #16 on: Sat Mar 28, 2009 - 21:39:01 »
if it was important it would have been in the bible.


 Timothy 3:15
and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus

Offline trifecta

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Re: Patristic Sources on the Papacy
« Reply #17 on: Wed Apr 22, 2009 - 17:54:12 »
Sorry ex,

That scripture quotes proves our point, not yours. 

Those scriptures that Timothy has known from infancy would be the Old Testament, not the New Testament.  This letter was among the earliest NT writings.  And the NT would not be approved by the church until the 4th century.

The more you learn about church history (including the church fathers) the more you will see how untenable many Protestant claims are.

 

     
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