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Formal Debate: Office of the papacy

Discussion in 'Formal Debate Threads' started by MarkRohfrietsch, Apr 18, 2016.

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  1. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Title : Office of the papacy
    Topic Power of the Papacy
    Number of rounds : no limit
    Outside links : allowed
    Lutheran position : Taom Ben Robert
    Catholic position : Athanasias
    Discussion not a debate
    Time Limit to response : none

    Peanut Gallery Threads;

    General Theology:
    Formal Debate Peanut Gallery Thread -- Catholic/Orthodox Dialogue -- The Office of the Papacy

    Traditional theology:
    Formal Debate Peanut Gallery Thread -- Catholic/Orthodox Dialogue -- The Office of the Papacy

    Blessings and peace to you both.:crossrc::liturgy::priest::crosseo:

    Mark
    CF Admin
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  2. Taom Ben Robert

    Taom Ben Robert Roman Catholic

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    Hello my friend , I'd first like to thank you for agreeing to dialogue on this issue , and I pray that it will be helpful to us both

    Anyway , the Lutheran view is this , we accept the pope as the bishop of Rome , the successor to Peter , we also support papal primacy , but of honor , we support his right to summon synods of the Orthodox Catholic Church , and that he can preside over the council, the pope can also act as a spokesperson for the church , however we believe that the pope is the equal of the bishops , he does not have universal jurisdiction over the church , nor does Scripture , or Tradition teach his infallibility .

    Keep the faith , Taom
     
  3. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    Hello Taom,


    I am honored that you wish to pick up this discussion and dialog with me. I am grateful in many ways for this and I truly love my Lutheran bretheran in Christ. Its also super cool that you have a Jewish understanding of the faith as well! I apologize for taking so long to write. This week my daughters and I have had a bad case of stomach flu.

    Before we begin deep dialog I just wanted to remind myself, and everyone reading this that this is a ecumenical dialog done in love. This is not a debate! There are no points or winners in this dialog except in a sense we both win because we will both be open to seeing why the other does or does not fully agree with the position dialoged on and then we grow from that. And its ok to dissagree as long as its done in charity(love). I am sure I will grow in learning more about the official Lutheran perspective and I know my brother will grow learning more about the Catholic position. This does not mean we will agree but it hopefully will open both of us up to listen to each other and grow closer to each other as believing Christians and thus help eliminate pride and prejudice on both sides and perhaps truly try to see where the other side is coming from. Our two Churches have done this on the official level for over 50 years and much good fruit has come about because of it.

    I am very grateful to learn more about the Lutheran theology from Mark and from Lutheran seminarians who come in my store and its from this that I realize that while we still do not agree 100% on doctrine or practice, we are much closer in our view then I originally thought on many issues(so much so that I, in my mind, can honestly see in the next 500 years many devout Lutherans and Catholics being fully united again whereas I cannot see this with many other denominations. I sure know both sides are desiring the same from the top levels to the seminary level).

    If what you say above is true for faithful Lutherans in regards to the office of Papacy then I also would include this and am grateful for all we have in common so for. Please forgive my questions I only ask them to more fully understand and not to accuse or start a fight. I know from talking to some Devout non LCMS Lutherans(WELS) that they hold that the Pope or his office is one of the anti-Christ. I am thinking this is still some left over pride and prejudice on thier part but I honestly do not know for sure. I am guessing the LCMS or whatever branch of devout Lutheran branch you hold to does not. I say this because you seemed to take a very close stance to the Orthodox on this office which seems really neat to me. So what is branch of Lutheran Church that you belong to that does teach what you suggested? And what does it teach about the the Pope and the anti-Christ? I can see how an individual pope can be an anti-Christ but not the office itself as I believe the office itself is divinely set up as a fulfillment of the old covenant. I ask this only out of curiosity not out of bating or anything like that?

    In my next section after I hear from you I will try to slowly unpack the reasons why Catholics believe the office of Pope to have a real authority over the whole Church.

    God bless you my brother!

    In Jesus through Mary,

    Athanasais
     
  4. Taom Ben Robert

    Taom Ben Robert Roman Catholic

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    Hi Athanasias

    Sorry about the wait , I've been having some personal issues , anyway , I'm apart of the North American Lutheran Church , it has no official stance on the papacy , however , the vast majority of its members ( as well as of Lutherans in general) hold to an Orthodox or semi orthodox view of the papacy , as for Wels and LCMS , they hold the pope to temporarily be the antichrist , and I hold they drop that belief .
    I hope that someday our churches reunite ( Lutheranism becoming an autocephalous church)
     
  5. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    Amen thanks Taom. I hope our two Churches reunite one day too. Not only do we hold this but I know on the local level in St. Louis many Lutheran professors of seminary and Catholic ones also feel the same way. I would like to begin with a simple prayer for both of us.

    As Christians baptized in the same Holy Spirit we dare to pray:

    "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth yourSpirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

    O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the sameHoly Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen."

    Mary seat of Wisdom, Pray for us, St. Thomas Aquinas pray for Us. St. Michael the Archangel pray for us and guide us to Christ.

    Ok Taom, I will now attempt to show you why I as a Catholic(and many others) hold to what we do about the office of Papacy. Please have patience with me. There is just so much evidence I think for all this and yet only so much I can write. Literal books have been written that have gone much farther then I have. With so much in common already I am blessed with this dialog. I want to in this post focus on some meaty Jewish fulfillment that you may or may not have already seen. What I want to do is show why Catholics believe the office of Pope itself to have a real primacy not just of mere honor but actual authority(fatherly like authority) over the entire universal Church east and west. I think to me this was very biblical and had some powerful historical evidence as well. In Later post(not this one) we will build on the infallibility of the Pope because this doctrine seems to be the one that offends most people but I think perhaps most people do not truly understand the meaning of it. So I will resist the temptation to talk about infallibility just yet and will get to that. What I first want to do is show why we hold to universal papal authority or primacy. I think once all the pieces of the puzzle are put together infallibility will make sense not just for the Pope but for Christ Church as well. So lets begin.

    There are 3 main typologies that Catholics believe the office of Pope fulfills. Tonight we will talk about one of them in detail another is only hinted at in my earlier dialog with my Eastern Orthodox sister. If you read any of my dialog with her you know that I did not always find the Papacy compelling and at one time was very anti-Papal. It took years of prayer and study for me to see the bigger picture of the puzzle. But once I did it was powerful for me. I should say I am not the only one who sees these connections. I have found many Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Messianic scholars also seem to make some of these typological connections biblically to Peter and his office of authority and leadership in the early Church.

    So Catholics believe that the Papacy is inferred in several passages of scripture and in every Gospel except maybe Marks. For Jewish fulfillment Matthews Gospel is looked at highly for obvious reasons. Later we will get to Luke and John. Let me start by showing you what alot of scholars see in Matthew.

    Anyone that knows Jewish history knows that Davidic Kings had a royal cabinet and a prime minister or steward over the house. Historically this prime minister held real authority second only to the king. In Ancient Israel the steward or Prime minister of the house was given a key and carried it on his shoulder. This key was a sign of his authority. He was also given real authority to open and shut(in rabbinic terms equal to binding and loosing). He was given special authority over the house as that of a Father(papa). This truth is admitted by many scholars Catholic and non-catholic. Former Jew now Catholic scholar Dr. Lawrence Feingold makes this point in his 3 volume work on Catholicism as a fulfillment of Judaism in his work entitled "The Mystery of Israel and the Church" vol III pages 44-45. It is also mentioned by the former Episcopal minister now Catholic Scholar Dr. Taylor Marshal in his book "The Crucified Rabbi Judaism and the origins of Catholic Christianity".

    These scholars and many more saw the direct connection of the office of prime minister in the Davidic Kingdom to that of the office St. Peter was given by Jesus. This is the office that Catholic call the Papacy. The biblical connections are revealing in my opinion. Here is the passage from the Old covenant that reveals this office of Steward or Davidic Prime minister and his succession.

    "In that day I will call my servant Eli'akim the son of Hilki'ah,
    [21] and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
    [22] And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
    [23] And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house." (Is 22:21-23 RSV)

    These verses from the OT myself and many scholars Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and messianic feel are paralleled and fulfilled by the office Jesus gave Peter in the NT. Hence the Peter being the New covenant Davidic Prime minister with authority second only to the king.

    Notice here the office of Prime minister is not just one of Honor. Its of Honor but also real authority over the house. That will be I think fundamental to this understanding of primacy biblically.

    Compare for IS 22:21-23 to Matt 16:17-19.

    "And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
    [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
    [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt 16:17-19 RSV)

    You can see the parallels in each passage. What also brought it home to me was the reference to the Prime minister being a Fathers to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This Father figure or Papa or Pope is what we call the Bishop of Rome. So I and many others see this verse as paralleling and fulfilling the office of Davidic Prime Minister. Christ of course is the New King(Rev 19:6) from the line of David(Matt 1:1). Catholics view the Church as the New messianic kingdom of Israel truly. In fact Dr. Feingolds 3 volume series of books was written on just that.


    Now I am not usually prone to seeing this kind of stuff and anyone can see anything in anything. Heck the Mormons have their prophets and they see all kinds of stuff. What I admired about this and what brought this truth home to me was that it was not just Catholics who saw this but when I read commentaries by non-Catholics they saw this as well. In other words it was not just Catholic scholars making this up to get a power play or shoehorn in their own theology of the Papacy.

    I was astonished when a friend of mine gave me a Jewish New Testament commentary by David Stern and on page 54 he agreed with the Catholic exegetes about this connections to IS 22 in Matt 16 about Peter Being the Steward and Judge of the new covenant.

    Another rabbinic commentary also saw this connection:

    "The authority of Peter is to be over the Church, and this authority is represented by the keys." (--S. T. Lachs, A Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, page 256.)

    Here is one modern standard protestant commentary on this.

    "The major opinion of modern exegetes… [is] that Peter, as a sort of supreme rabbi or
    prime minister of the kingdom, is in 16.19 given teaching authority
    , given that is the
    power to declare what is permitted (cf. the rabbinic shara’ ) and what is not permitted (cf.
    the rabbinic ’asar). Peter can decide by doctrinal decision what Christians must and must
    not do.
    This is the traditional Roman Catholic understanding, with the proviso that Peter
    had successors. This interpretation of binding and loosing in terms of teaching authority
    seems to us to be correct… Peter is the authoritative teacher without peer”
    (W. D.
    Davies and Dale C. Allison, The Gospel according to Saint Matthew volume 2:638-39)


    A protestant bible scholar we read in Grad school FF. Bruce also sees this:

    "And what about the 'keys of the kingdom'? The keys of a royal or noble establishment were entrusted to the chief steward or majordomo; he carried them on his shoulder in earlier times, and there they served as a badge of the authority entrusted to him. About 700 B.C. an oracle from God announced that this authority in the royal palace in Jerusalem was to be conferred on a man called Eliakim . . . . (Isaiah 22:22). So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be, so to speak, chief steward." (--F. F. Bruce The Hard Sayings of Jesus pages 143-144).

    Another Protestant commentary that I bought a few years ago reads:

    "Isaiah 22:15 undoubtedly lies behind this saying. The keys are the symbol of authority, and Roland de Vaux [Ancient Israel, tr. by John McHugh, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1961] rightly sees here the same authority as that vested in the vizier, the master of the house, the chamberlain, of the royal household in ancient Israel. Eliakim is described as having the same authority in Isaiah; it was Hilkiah's position until he was ousted, and Jotham as regent is also described as 'over the household' [2 Kings 15:5]....It is of considerable importance that in other contexts, when the disciplinary affairs of the community are being discussed [cf. Matt 18:18; John 20:23] the symbol of the keys is absent, since the sayings apply in those instances to a wider circle....The role of Peter as steward of the Kingdom is further explained as being the exercise of administrative authority, as was the case of the OT chamberlain who held the 'keys.' The clauses 'on earth,' 'in heaven', have reference to the permanent character of the steward's work." (Albright/Mann, The Anchor Bible: Matthew, page 196-197)


    The Lutheran/Catholic ecumenical study Peter in the New Testament comments:

    "One suggestion is that the verse [Matt 16:19] is evocative of Isa 22:15-25 where Shebna, prime minister of King Hezekiah of Judah, is deposed and replaced by Eliakim on whose shoulder God places 'the key of David; he shall open...and he shall shut.' The power of the key of the Davidic kingdom is the power to open and to shut, i.e., the prime minister's power to allow or refuse entrance to the palace, which involves access to the king. If this were the background of Matthew's 'keys of the kingdom,' then Peter might be being portrayed as a type of prime minister in the kingdom that Jesus has come to proclaim, and the power of binding and loosing would be a specification of the broader power of allowing or refusing entrance into the kingdom....The prime minister, more literally 'major-domo,' was the man called in Hebrew 'the one who is over the house,' a term borrowed from the Egyptian designation of the chief palace functionary." (Brown, Reumann, et al page 96-97, and footnote referring to Roland DeVaux Ancient Israel)

    Needless to say there are many more that I came across when studying this. What seems to be agreed upon is by many scholars is the Catholic view that Peter was given a office of Chief Steward, Judge, or prime minister of authority over the Church in the New covenant in reflection of the old Davidic covenant.

    Now as one of the main protestant commentaries said above this is the traditional Catholic understanding...with the proviso that Peter had successors. The key to me then was did Peter have successors and was this fatherly authority over the Church seen in the Church in the first 6 hundred years? That answer to me and to many would be a yes. But we can get into the history in the next post. I think this is plenty to chew on.



    I hope that helps you see some of why we think Peter and his successors was given an office of Pope or authority over the whole Church. There is still so much to go over. We need to get to the other typologies, the other gospels, and history and then we can tackle infallibility. I think once you see the reasons why you may not agree with us but you will be able to at least see our pov on the Papal authority and infallibility. Well . Have a blessed night. I look forward to learning from you and talking more.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  6. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    BUMP!
     
  7. Taom Ben Robert

    Taom Ben Robert Roman Catholic

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    Hello again my friend , I'm going to try to present the reasons why we reject papal supremacy

    The first Ecumenical council explicitly states that bishops are to be ordained locally ( canon 4)
    also , a few years before the council the pope had condemned the heresy of Arianism , yet it took a council to decide the matter

    The second council was presided by Meletius of Antioch

    The First council of Euphesus did not consider pope Celestine s condemnation binding on the whole church , and it ended the matter by condemning nestorianism

    The Fourth council was called despite the opposition of the pope at the time

    Pope Vigillius opposed the condemnation of the three chapters, the fifth council overruled him , and threatened excommunication, only then did he back down

    Pope Honorus was declared a heretic by the Sixth council


    The church fathers have stated that the keys were given not to Peter alone , but to the other Apostles as well in Matt 18:18

    The Jerusalem councils decision was not of peters alone , and James stated the councils decision, not Peter

    Irenaeus and the east rebuked pope Victor , and only at a council was the Easter controversy settled

    Both Peter and Paul founded the Church of Rome

    Canon 28 of Chalcedon explicitly declared Constantinople of equal authority to Rome
    This was confirmed by the fourth council of the Lateran , and the council of Florence


    Scripture states that the apostles are equal , that Paul rebuked Peter , and that all believers are called to be stones ( 1 Peter 2:4-9 )

    Many sees were founded by Peter ,all of equal authority

    There is more I could say , but this gives an idea of our position based on history
    Keep the faith my brother
     
  8. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    Taom,


    Thank you for your candid and beautiful answers. I was going to try to stick slowly to maybe one or 2 things at a time so we can get deeper into each others view and flush out all the particulars because there is just so much to try to learn and help others understand about the Papacy and our respective Churches views.. I see here you have listed many things some of them scriptural and some of them historical. This is good! Its really helping me understand where your coming from. Now I am afraid I have an embarrassment of riches on this topic both from a historical and biblical pov. There is just so much more evidence we can get to but I want to give a reasonable answer to your good objections.What I would like to do if its ok with you is answer all of these objections of yours so as to hopefully remove obstacles to unity. I would like to answer a few at a time(Maybe 3 or 4) and while at the same time continuing to go over more and more biblical/Jewish typological evidences and historical and archeological evidences for the universal authority of Christ Papacy as well. These are fun! I will try to be fair and use Catholic and non-Catholic sources but the post will be much longer and packed with info. I hope that is ok. Give me a few days there is much I would like to share with you. God bless you my brother! I hope you had a blessed Pentecost.

    In Jesus the new Covenant Davidic King through Mary the new Covenant Davidic Queen Mother,
    Athanasais
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  9. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    Hello Taom Ben Robert,


    Peace be with you! As I said in my previous letter I am going to try to answer a few of your good objections at a time from the Catholic pov and also keep delving deeper into why we hold that Peter and his successors had and have a real authoritative office of New Davidic Prime minister(or Pope) over the entire Church. One thing I think we have to distinguish is authority and infallibility. What I would like to do first is to establish that Peter and his successors had real authority(fatherly authority ) over the Church universal. After all of that is explained then we can get to infallibility for the Pope and Church. But first thing is first. I will also get into some historical and archeological evidences which I think are powerful;. Here are the questions from you that I will try to answer first. As I said before this is a dialog and I am not expecting you or anyone to convert over my answers. What I think this will do is hopefully remove some roadblocks so that you can at least see why Catholics(including many converts to the Catholic faith from Protestantism and Judaism) see the evidence they do for the Papacy and its office historically and biblically. You gave some good objections that were well thought out. Here are some of what you said:




    The fact that all the apostles share in the power of the keys I think this is a good objection. But did you know Catholics also teach this? We do not deny it. It’s true looking to Matt 18:15-20 we can see all the apostles and Bishops by extension have a sharing in that power of the keys to a “judicial and priestly” degree as they were made priest and judges of the new covenant ( for example compare Matt 18:15-20 with Deut 17:2-13 to see this typological connection and theological fulfillment of offices). The Catholic Church teaches this. All Bishops have a sharing in that authority to a degree. All Bishops and all Catholic priests according to Catholic theology have the power to bind and loose sins in confession which was part of the exercise of the keys. All Bishops have judicial authority in the diocese they are in. There is a real sharing in the power of the keys to degrees depending on your God given office. Peter alone and his successors share in the fullness of the power of the Keys. So to us there are levels. Remember Peter alone was singled out among the other apostles here earlier in Matthew and given that gift personally(Matt 16:13-19). One cannot say that about James or John. Although James and John share in the power to bind and loose as do all apostles, Peter alone was given this authority apart from the context of a council(where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name Matt 18:19-20). So Catholics (and many protestant bible scholars, Messianic, Jewish ones that I listed) view this singling out as Peter being called apart in a special way and given a special authority second of that to the king alone that reflects Is 22:20-24 in the role Davidic Prime minister of the new covenant. I personally (and so do many Catholics) feel this evidence is so strong especially since many non-Catholic bible scholars also see it. In other words we are not just trying to shoehorn in our own theology. There seems to be a real synthesis here between new and old covenant and Peters office.


    But there is much more biblically one can say about why this is the case. Although all apostles are called to shepherd the flock Peter again even after committing 3 public mortal sins(denying Christ) is singled out again by Jesus to “feed my Sheep” 3 times(Jn 21:15-17). Thus we see him as being the chief Shepherd on earth after Jesus. Although Simon was weak and majorly sinful at times even to the fact that satan tried to sift him like wheat (satan is no dummy he knows if he strikes the leader the rest will fall) it was Peter again that Jesus prayed for so His faith may not fail and it was Peter given the duty by Jesus himself to strengthen all the brethren(Lk 22:31-32) this shows to me a clear leadership authority. It was Peter who was the first disciple to enter the empty tomb(LK 24:12) and the first disciple to whom the Risen Lord showed himself (Lk 24:34, 1 Cor 15:15).


    Peter seems to be the undisputed and authoritative leader of the early Church. It was he who presided over the choice of the successor of Judas(Acts 1:15-26), And Peter who explained to the crowd the meaning of Pentecost(Acts 2:14-40), healed the lame begger at the temple(Acts 3:1-10). It was Peter who pronounced sentence on the sinners Ananais and Sapphira and who opened the Church to the gentiles(Acts 10:9-48).It was Peter that Paul went to learn from after his conversion(Gal 1:18). Early tradition claims Peter as first Bishop.


    Now if you think all of this above is just Catholic propaganda think again. All of the information above I received from a Standard scholarly “protestant” source, namely the Oxford Dictionary of Popes (pages 5 & 6) written by protestant Anglican historian and clergyman J.N.D. Kelly.



    Now on the council of Jerusalem we may politely disagree as well. I have no problem seeing collegiality in Acts 15. The Catholic Church teaches collegiality among the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome. All one has to do is read Vatican II’s document Lumen Gentium to see this. I think many protestants are unaware of this. The Pope is not an overlord and he seeks council from the magisterium and collegiality in decision making (this is true even for his ex cathedra statements of which he has done only 2 or 3 times in history arguably by catholic scholars).


    It seems to me and to other Catholics and to at least some protestant scholars like protestant scholar G. Campbell Morgan in his commentaries on the acts of the apostles (Pages 362-363) that James did not have the final say. In our view Peter opened and lead the council and declared the truths of that council initially. According to Morgan, James gave his opinion in line with Peter’s declaration and then they and bound on the Church what they did in collegiately. Here Morgan, the protestant scholar, would say “it is absurd to believe at this moment that James gave personal opinion as the final word from which there could be no appeal” .


    So collegiality yes. Vatican II also teaches collegiality and Papal authority. I do not see the 2 as mutually exclusive. So to me there is no problem with what Peter did at Acts 15 or what James or Barnabus did. At least that is our view.


    Before I get to your 3rd objection I want to also give what I feel is powerful historical and archeological evidence for Peters office of leadership and authority in the early Church. A theologian and convert to the Catholic faith from the Lutheran Church Dr. William Marshner gave a fantastic lecture on you tube on the archeological evidences for Peters offices. (from scholar Dr. William Marshner you tube on How do we know the early Church). Dr. Marshner mentions that Eusebius(Church historian) had available to him evidence from early Christian art. There is a lot in Catecombs and early Churches and 4th century bascillicas to suggest Peter alone as new legal authority for the Church and most important apostle.


    Dr. Marshner describes that in the artwork that "we can securely date to the 2nd century Our Lord Jesus is depicted 440 times. The 2nd most depicted figure is St. Peter who come in at 212 times. In addition to the 212 there are also 100 more times in which Peter is shown in the guise of Moses. For example Peter with horns. Peter is shown with the Keys, He is shown as a teacher sitting on a Rock and reading a book, where he is presented as Moses. Peter is often receiving a book from Jesus Christ and it says on the cover of the books “Lex or the Law of God or the Lord giveth the Law”.


    "In 4th century after Christianity got above ground Peter was shown sitting in a chair authoritatively(cathedra). So Christ is seen as to Peter as God was to Moses on Mt Sinae giving the law which makes Peter the “new Legal authority” as seen in the eyes of the early Church,. This is very telling and important! Sometimes in arwork when Peter is shown as Moses, Peter is striking a rock and water comes out of the rock where Roman soldiers may drink. Sometimes Peter is shown carrying a Lamb like the Good shepherd( reflecting the Gospel of Johns 21’s role for Peter which singles him out as role of chief Shepherd of the Church). Peter is shown 312 times in total, the most after Jesus and St. Paul is only shown 47 little times. Then comes the group of the apostles as a whole with Peter shown 30 times, Moses 37 times, Daniel a couple of times Elijah a couple of times."



    This archeological evidence to me made me see how powerfully clear it is that the Catholic(and some protestant scholars I mentioned ) were right about Peters prime ministry or leadership authority and office in the early Church. This is evident to me as he was seen as the new covenant Leader, Chief Shepherd, and new covenant legal authority over the entire Church in that early art work. This is far more then just a mere an honorable title this is a real authority as reflected in the IS 22 and Matt 16.


    Now you had said that all of the sees Peter founded were of equal authority. This I must politely disagree on and so do many others. For me and for many reading the fathers of the Church and the early Councils are what really made us see Papal authority even in its roots forms. It was reading the apostolic father St. Ignatius of Antioch who I admired for his courage as while going to death to be martyred he wrote letters to the Churches encouraging them and asking them to remain strong for Christ sake in the faith. He was a great example! They are powerful letters. In his letter dated 107 A.D He writes to the Roman Church and speak of them in a different way then he does others.


    “to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father" (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).


    Here Ignatius of Antioch (Antioch also being a see that Peter left) seems to elevate the Roman Church and name it worthy of honor, blessing, success, etc and holds the presidency or other translations read “who presides over in love” (over the Church). To me this was a clear indication of Papal authority especially coming from an eastern father of a see of Peter. That is at least my opion and many Catholics and those who have read him and became Catholic.


    But we can go earlier then that. If we go to the 1st century we see Pope St. Clement of Rome in his epistle written to the Corthinians between 80-96 A.D making some interesting and authoritative statements outside of his diocese and jurisdiction . In His epistle to the Corinthians(which is the only authentic epistle by him we know of) he speaks of apostolic succession, Jewish fulfillment of offices, and then dares to settle and issue in Corinth commanding them to reinstate their elders and writing to them that if they do not obey the Church of Rome under his letter they will be in trouble by God.


    “But if any disobey the words spoken by Him [God] through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and no small danger… For you will give us great joy and gladness, if you obey what we have written through the Holy Spirit and root out the unlawful anger of your jealousy, in accordance with the appeal for peace and harmony which we have made in this letter" ("Letter" 59.1; 63.2)


    I and many converts to the Catholic faith that were protestant and converted(like Dr. Lawrence Feingold, and Steve Ray) read this from Pope Clement and see this as real ancient evidence for Roman Papal authority over the Church.


    Now you have to ask yourself this question. The Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem are closer to Corinth then Rome is. Yet Rome and its Bishop settles the dispute. Why? Why didn’t Corinth write to Alexandria? One could say Jerusalem was a mess so he didn’t write to it after the sack of it 20 year earlier but Alexandria sticks out. Why did he not write to them? Why did he write to Rome? I believe They did because they saw the Rome and the Papal office in the light of Matt 16:16-18, IS 22, LK 22, and Jn 21 in regards to the conferral of primacy of Peter and his successors. At least that is our view. I think its very reasonable.



    For a much deeper explanation of this ancient document and why we Catholics view it as we do and why we see converts also view it this way like convert to the Catholic faith Dr. Lawrence Feingold, see his lecture on this entitle “Clement of Rome first know exercise of Papal Primacy”


    http://www.hebrewcatholic.net/05-02-clement-of-rome-first-known-exercise-of-papal-primacy/


    I think this next part is hopefully going to kill a few birds with one stone. You brought up St. Ireneaus rebuke of Pope Victor and Peter Rebuking Paul and the fact that the church of Rome is founded by both Peter and Paul. All of this is very very true. Ironically enough it is St. Ireneaus and his writings on this that lead me and many non Catholics to see early apostolic evidence for Papal authority from another eastern Father . Ireneaus writings on this topic have brought more protestant ministers into the Catholic Church in the last 30 years then any other I would say. Check out the coming home network to see more of this fact.


    Lets deal with a few objections first. First its ok if Irenaus rebuked Pope Victor. Pope can be rebuked. Just like any pastor can be rebuked and yet still have a pastoral authority over his congregation so to any Pope can be corrected or rebuked. Peter was rebuked by Jesus and St. Paul yet Peter was still given the office of leadership in scripture. Many Popes have been corrected or rebuked by people in the Church. St. Catherine of Sienna corrected and rebuked Pope Gregory XI for example. But Gregory stil held his office of authority. Its very important to understand that being Pope does not mean you will always do things right! But even If Irenaus corrected Pope Victor about it does not change Pope Victor from his universal authority as Bishop of Rome. Actually to me it shows his authority. So notice when Victor excommunicated the churches of Asia Minor as a group, bishops sought to change Victor’s mind,but they did not challenge his authority to have made the excommunication. He had that power. They wanted to change his mind but that’s it. That shows universal authority of the Bishop of Rome even in apostolic times to me and many others.


    But here is where Ireaneaus is so clear on Papal authority and the See of Rome being above all other sees(even the ones that Peter Founded)


    “ Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolic tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." Irenaeus,Against Heresies,3:3:2 (A.D. 180),in ANF,I:1415-416


    Hear St. Ireneaus an Eastern apostolic Bishop, makes this clear in apostolic times that it’s a matter of necessity that all Churches agree with the Church of Rome because of her preeminence and authority via its apostolic succession and tradition. Those things are not comfortable to many non-Catholics as apostolic succession plays no big role in many Lutheran bodies nor is it required but to the early Church it was very important in matters of truth and authority and meant authoritative Episcopal succession especially of Roman Bishops because it was succession of an office that was divine and authoritative in nature via the new Davidic prime minister(as hinted in the succession in IS 22:20-24 and fulfilled in Matt 16:13-19).


    Very Important is what Irenaeus does right after he says this. He immediately list all the Bishops of Rome from Peter all the way to Pope Eleutherius! So to me it became crystal clear that even the east recognized a preeminent authority in the Church of Rome and the Bishops of Rome over all the other Churches. This is so clear not only to me but to many protestants I have talked to that they either A). try to ignore Ireneaus writings as in the case of one Baptist seminarian I know, or B) Say he was fatally flawed and not to listen to him as in other cases I have read from protestants because they often do not want to admit this. But its really clear when you read the whole thing.


    My last piece of historical evidence for the universal authority of the Bishop of Rome over even the eastern Churches in this segment of the dialog comes from a heretical case which is very strong evidence. That is the case of Paul of Samosata.


    In the third century Paul of Samosata was bishop of Antioch who fell into a Christological heresy and denied the personhood of the Logos. In 264 A.D. the bishops of Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor convened in synod and condemned Paul’s heresy. Paul Promised to reform but never did and kept teaching and living not in accord with the council. So then the Eastern Bishops held a second council and then a third council met. They decided to depose and excommunicate him. They named a replacement Bishop named Domnus . Strangely however, Paul of Samosata refused to vacate his episcopal office. The bishops then appealed to Emperor Aurelian, who was in Antioch at that time. Now notice here that it would have been very easy for the Emperor to end the matter then and there and order replacement . But look what he did. The emperor instead of doing this himself asked Rome to decide who should be patriarch. The Bishop of Rome chose Domnus, and he was installed and Paul of Samosata obeyed and left his office. This to me was a clear example of early Papal authority in the Church of Rome and recognized even by the east.


    As Fr .Ray Ryland in His article on Papal authority in Catholic Answers Magazine has stated


    “Please do notice that this was a big controversy among Eastern bishops, and it involved the rightful occupant of the third most important see in the Church, an Eastern see. Why did Aurelian turn to Rome for a decision? Why would he have the controversy settled in a way that would be a staggering affront to the Eastern bishops and to their authority . . . unless they recognized the pope’s universal jurisdiction. That they did. None objected. The matter was settled. " Roma locuta est" (Rome has spoken).”



    Now I know I have a few more questions to answer. I definitely will get to the 2 Popes you brought up and I want to get to the Ecumenical council of Chalcedon because that council more then any I think shows Roman Papal Authority over the entire Church. I will write on that next but it will take some time as there is a lot to cover. God bless you. I hope you can see why we teach what we do even if you do not agree with it.

    Before I go on I want to give a chance for you Taom to respond. Then afterward I will go even further into the councils and Popes you asked about from our Catholic pov. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  10. Taom Ben Robert

    Taom Ben Robert Roman Catholic

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    Sorry about the lack of replies ,<staff edit> I'll try to reply soon ...
     
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  11. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Please take your time, as you need to.
     
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