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Formal Debate: Rome's universal authority was known for all ages.

Discussion in 'Formal Debate -archives' started by stumpjumper, May 14, 2008.

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  1. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Left the river, made it to the sea Supporter

    Topic: Did the early church believe as has been read from Vatican 1 that it was “known for all ages” that Peter himself had successors (via the Bishops of Rome) who had universal authority over the whole Church? Can this position can be demonstrated through historical documentation and reasoning?

    Affirmative: MrPolo

    : Simonthezealot

    Rounds: 4 rounds each for a total of 8 posts.

    Format: Alternating rounds initiated by the affirmative and concluding with the negative.

    Time limit between posts:
    1 week maximum, no minimum.

    Maximum length for each post:
    1000 words.

    Quotes and outside references are allowed. Please note that all quotes will fall under the 20% rule, which means that each response may contain no more than 200 words which quote or reference an outside source. The quote/reference citation is not part of the grand word total for the post, but proper citation is necessary if used. I’d like to add that when quoting snippets of Early Christian Writers that they should be cited in the most complete context available.

    Peanut gallery here for readers of the debate and for the participants to post in after the debate is concluded is located HERE

    The proposal for this debate is found Here

    Good luck to both participants.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    Polo if you would please or else I can start us with a prayer for civility and grace in our debate?
  3. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    You may say a prayer, sure, thanks. I will go ahead and then start the debate before long here. Should be a day or 2 for me to get a free moment and condense my glob of junk, but I think the limit is 7 days.
  4. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    Oops, my post didn't seem to appear. Yes go ahead and say a prayer, thank you, and I will start in the next day or 2.
  5. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    Heavenly Father we ask that you guide us through our exchange so as to answer in manners that glorify you and you alone Lord, we pray for grace and integrity in our thoughts and words. We pray that any truths you desire to be revealed are revealed and that through this exchange seekers will desire to further to seek your face Lord
    In Christ name
  6. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    Addressing the first sentence of the Topic, "as has been read from Vatican I", what does the council claim was known in every age? Here are the 2 paragraphs in question (bold mine):

    1. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the catholic church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the holy Roman see, which he founded and consecrated with his blood.
    2. Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church. ​

    If you read the parts I bolded, the only thing one can assert that Vatican I directly said was "known in every age" is first that Peter received keys. I don't think anyone can argue that, since this is in Scripture (Mt 16:18-19). In that light, the debate is over, and what "was read" into Vatican I was incorrect.

    Secondarily, the "known in every age" clause also applies to Peter living on in his successors the bishops. The universality of his authority is not included among that which Vatican I says was "known in every age". The "therefore" part of paragraph 2 indicates that this information is deduced from the former.

    However, as I will attempt to demonstrate in discussion with Simon, who has been most charitable in this, the seeds of the universal authority of the bishop of Rome can be seen from the earliest centuries anyway.

    In the interest of brevity, I'll merely start with 1 citation from Clement of Rome (ca. AD 70-95), in his letter to the Corinthians, which demonstrates authority at "Rome":

    Chapter 1: ...we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us...

    Chapter 63: Joy and gladness will you afford us, if you become obedient to the words written by us and through the Holy Spirit root out the lawless wrath of your jealousy according to the intercession which we have made for peace and unity in this letter.

    First, it should be noted that Clement may not have been head bishop of Rome at the time, but rather an auxiliary bishop speaking on behalf of the head Roman Bishop (who if necessary we can get into as the successor of Peter) who obviously would be the hierarchical head. Nevertheless, it can be seen from the text the authoritative exhortations of Rome to a completely different region. Clement's "us" language is indicative of the Roman office speaking.

    Another important note in this letter is that the Corinthians came to Rome for counsel--not exactly around the corner from them.

    A further look at subsequent Church writings indicate Rome beheld an authoritative voice for the whole Church. I can get into more of those in a subsequent post if necessary. But it is important to note, that in any of the first few centuries, writings that speak of Peter's successors having universal authority are met with no objection. As such, even those statements made in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th century are strong evidence that Peter's successor was the leader. The early Church had during that time shown eagerness to counter heresies. But against these early claims of Roman authority over the Church, there is unanimous silence.

    I will stop here in the interest of keeping the post concise.
  7. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?


    Some try to say the epistle your referring to proves Roman primacy because of the “seeming” authoritative nature of it.Clement does speak with force. There are plenty of letters with just as much force which are not from Bishops of Rome but are not used as examples of their primacy, for example The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp.

    Clement doesn’t ever assert the primacy of his office. He has ample opportunity, but does not.

    While I was curious to see which direction you would choose to begin your defense of Rome I’d have to say you’re choice of Clement was the one I prepared for most.

    I would like to make a couple simple points regarding Clement of Rome.
    1.)As I mentioned his writings allow him ample opportunity to establish himself as head of the universal church, yet this is not something we ever see established.

    And more importantly...

    2.)His writings hammer home a tone that is contradictory to monarchial or single headed leadership, the plurality of leadership is repeated over and over and over.

    At the following link you can read the epistle in whole.

    I’ve gone through to share with yourself and the readers what I mean by Clements insistence of a plurality of elders

    1Clem 1:3
    For ye did all things without respect of persons, and ye walked after
    the ordinances of God, submitting yourselves to your rulers and
    rendering to the older men among you the honor which is their due.

    rulers plural,

    Please see how Clement refers to Peter, his supposed successor and then Paul please.

    1Clem 5:4
    There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one
    not one but many labors, and thus having borne his testimony went to
    his appointed place of glory.

    1Clem 5:5
    By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the
    prize of patient endurance. After that he had been seven times in
    bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in
    the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the
    reward of his faith,
    1Clem 5:6
    having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached
    the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony
    before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the
    holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance.

    1Clem 6:1
    Unto these men of holy lives was gathered a vast multitude of the
    elect, who through many indignities and tortures, being the victims
    of jealousy, set a brave example among ourselves.

    I do not see where Clement gives Peter a prominent role over Paul

    1Clem 21:6
    Let us fear the Lord Jesus [Christ], whose blood was given for us.
    Let us reverence our rulers; let us honor our elders; let us instruct
    our young men in the lesson of the fear of God. Let us guide our
    women toward that which is good:

    elders plural
    1Clem 42:2
    So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both
    therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order.

    No special mention of Peter
    1Clem 43:1
    And what marvel, if they which were entrusted in Christ with such a
    work by God appointed the aforesaid persons?

    persons no mention of a Papacy
    1Clem 44:1
    And our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would
    be strife over the name of the bishop's office.

    No mention of Peter or Rome
    1Clem 44:4
    Blessed are those presbyters who have gone before, seeing that their
    departure was fruitful and ripe: for they have no fear lest any one
    should remove them from their appointed place.
    1Clem 44:5
    For we see that ye have displaced certain persons, though they were
    living honorably, from the ministration which had been respected by
    them blamelessly.


    Later we see Eusibius quoting Dionysis writing to Soter regarding Clements epistle.
    From there I found this paragraph to be helpful in how they viewed Rome, remember Bishop Soter and Bishop Dionysis are only 70 years after Clement.
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npn...shall always be able to draw advice#highlight

    11. In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows:
    “To-day we have passed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.”

    Advice NOT a command.

    In summary, no matter how hard you try there is absolutely no evidence of a monarchial authority, there isn't even a seed of it. Clements epistle is clear...They were a "band of brothers"

    Till all have heard,
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  8. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Left the river, made it to the sea Supporter

    That ends the first round.

    MrPolo now has up to a week to respond.
  9. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    First, I want to apologize to Simon and any readers. I had hoped not to make such long posts, but I think Simon will agree, the wealth of information on the subject is vast.

    I had already addressed Clement's use of the plural "us" (which even the Pope today uses in speeches and writings). Certainly the Church says that Christ speaks through Her and in a way, Peter and the apostles as well. And a bishop would well speak on behalf of his peers in the clergy.

    The Apostles passed authority through elders as well (Acts 14:23). This does not preclude a high authority.

    Clement in that same letter to the Corinthians talked about these successors of the Apostles,
    "Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop (see also 1 Tim 3:1). For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned, and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry. (see Acts 1:20 et al)"​
    This contemporary of the apostles recognized that bishops maintain an "office" and successors would succeed their ministry. This is important as we consider the uniqueness of Peter's office.

    Another note on Clement that I already mentioned is the fact that the Corinthians were the ones that consulted Rome. There were no living apostles in Rome at that time, but John was still alive in much-closer Ephesus (cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.3) yet it is to Rome where the Corinthians ask for counsel. One must admit, this can be reconciled if Rome held a supreme position.

    The story of the Corinthians continues... St. Dionysius of Corinth verified continued submission to Rome in his letter to Pope Soter (ca 170 AD): "Today, therefore, we have kept the holy Lord's day, on which we have read your letter, which we shall always have to read and be admonished, even as the former letter which was written to us by the ministry of Clement."

    Ignatius in his letter to the Romans (ca 110 AD) eluded to a special authority:
    "Ignatius...to the Church [presiding in Rome]...which presides over love...to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit..."​
    The phrase "presides over love" is prokathemene tes agapes, which has been translated "presides over the brotherhood of love." I won't rest my case on that, since it is a matter of delicacy, but it remains an indicative statement. These statements may at first not seem special. But unlike in this letter to Rome, in Ignatius' other letters he consistently calls them to unity and gives exhortations. Also unlike his other letters, the tone by Ignatius to the Romans is submissive rather than authoritative. He demonstrates this while also showing the origins of the Roman Church by Peter and Paul:
    "I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you." ​

    Later in the letter, Ignatius places Rome above the others in saying,
    "You have never envied any one; you have taught others. Now I desire that those things may be confirmed [by your conduct], which in your instructions you enjoin [on others]"​

    I feel I could go deeper into other quotations of these and other 2nd century writers. Quick example: Recounted by Eusebius, an interesting episode came around 190 AD when Irenaeus and some other bishops rebuked Pope Victor's decision to cut off churches in Asia who did not worship on Sunday. (This was not a matter of faith or morals but of discipline.) Those against a papacy might think, "See! He didn't have the authority!" But the issue was not whether Victor had the authority to do this, but rather that he should make a different decision.

    The reason Roman primacy over the whole Church is important to see here, is because the bishops were the heads of regions. While Peter and Paul were often mentioned as the 2 apostles founding the Roman Church, one of them was the superior: For example, the first 4 Roman bishops are listed as Peter, Linus, Cletus, Clement by Hegesippus (ca 160), Irenaeus (ca 180), Julius Africanus (ca 200), Hippolytus (ca 270), Eusebius (ca 300), Jerome (ca 370), and Augustine (ca 390). These 4 first Popes were the presiders, or overseers, of the Church which bore authority over the whole Church.

    I'll conclude this post with the following review: What Vatican I asserted as "known in every age" was (1) Peter received keys (which we know from Mt 16:19), and (2) Peter lives on in his successors (which is also evident in Scripture, and which Clement stated quite clearly above regarding apostles). I remind the audience, that there is no error in Vatican I.

    In the following paragraph, Vatican I, by extension of the previous paragraph stated:
    "Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church."​

    The understanding of this part is something visible in the life of the Church (as I have shown here), and is expressed more and more clearly in the early centuries. As renowned Catholic theologian Dr. Ludwig Ott wrote:
    "The doctrine of the primacy of the Roman Bishops, like other Church teachings and instructions, has gone through a development. Thus the establishment of the Primacy recorded in the Gospels has been gradually more clearly recognized and its implications developed. Clear recognition of the consciousness of the Primacy of the Roman Bishops, and of the recognition of the Primacy by the other churches appear at the end of the 1st century."​
    (for more on development and fuller understanding of truth, see John 14:26, 1 Cor 2:12 et al.)
  10. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    It is difficult I agree, that fact has forced me to answer with responses broken down per paragraph as we are starting to move in a few directions.
    But MrPolo you must agree these comments I highlighted in my previous post from Clement fly in the face of any type of monarchial (individual universal ) leadership and only strengthen my view.
    Interestingly in this post I see the tone of your comments move more toward the apostles and away from Peter alone, which I am not surprised by.
    Clement immediately goes on to say….
    We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them,
    or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry." (First Clement, 44).
    Incidentally Corinth may in fairness be inferred as part of the Roman patriarchette, Antioch being to far away, and Ephesus never making it to patriarchette status.When St. Ignatius writes to the Churches in Asia as I mentioned, he writes with like or greater authority (he actually addresses bishops, whether under his jurisdiction is questionable. They didn't seem to mind).

    Also, Bishop of Rome, Victor I wrote with authority to the Churches of Asia, with disastrous results.
    What is critically important is even while he spoke of a succession of bishops he doesn’t single out Rome, and ironically his view is at odds with the council of Trent who criticized those who say that church leaders are to be appointed only with the approval of the whole church. Clement himself as you read above in fuller context… disagreed.

    You brought up John, in doing that a faulty assertion is being made unless you can respond to each of the following proof request.
    One must prove that disputes were handled by John in other situations before you can say he should have handled this.
    One must prove when the letter was written.
    Not theory. PROVE
    They must prove that John was not on Patmos when it was written, unless you think he was getting his mail at that time.
    They must PROVE when John died.
    We already know from Holy Scripture though that people wrote letters to people outside their jurisdiction. Once again, Eusebius is full of examples. Furthermore I’d suggest that any one who could read Eusebius and see Papal primacy to Rome, hasn’t read him.
    From against heresies 3:3 which you linked, you’ll see at the closing of 3...
    And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.
    Again you can see this is about maintaining the teachings of the apostles (preserving truth)…Not universal authority.
    MrPolo new advents translations aren’t to be trusted in my view, this happens frequently this snippet you’ve linked above is a pathetic translation…I’ve attached 2 university translations 1 protestant and 1 catholic for integrity.
    This is the same note which I linked in my first post and I pointed it out that it was for advice NOT instructions that they viewed his epistles.
    Ignatius commends the Roman church for their love and generosity, not for any papal authority.
    No one is saying that Rome is not the most important church in the West. What you do not see, is a claim of Papal authority
    I’ll take hegessipus since he is the oldest you cited and the only one you linked… While he talks of the line of roman bishops the follow up sentence to this is…
    And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had
    the Lord also and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopas, descended from the Lord’s uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all as being a kinsman of the Lord. Therefore was the Church called a virgin, for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching.17
    So he gives the succession of Roman bishops and then follows up in the next verse with the succession at Jerusalem, Furthermore what he says in his last sentence and as you read further screams LOUDLY against the doctrine of infallibility, this theme he writes about considerably in his fragments it is how after the purity of the apostles era nothing guarantees that purity in future generation.

    Again I want to reitirate about your comments moving more toward the apostles and away from Peter alone, which I am not surprised by as the only evidence toward successor ship in the first 150-200 years after Christ’s resurrection speak in pluralities of; apostles, elders, bishops and the likes. Also to a devoloping doctrine one must establish a "seed" before a tree can grow, and this flies in the face of "being known for all ages"

  11. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Left the river, made it to the sea Supporter

    That concludes the second round.

    MrPolo now has until June 3rd to respond.
  12. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    Responding to some of Simon's concerns... I already went over "we" being characteristic of a leader speaking on behalf of others. In itself, "we" is not ultimately conclusive either way. I don't know what is wrong with the Eusebius translation I linked to from New Advent, nor do I see a material difference from CCEL's website (the other link crashes for me). Perhaps Simon would go into the Greek to show how my point would be any different? In either translation you have the Corinthians reading letters from Roman bishops in their church! For those who are familiar with how the canon of Scripture was determined, one of the criteria was whether a text was read in church. That tells you what authority the Corinthians placed on these letters. Simon also mentioned Hegesippus regarding Papal Infallibility, but that is not the subject of this debate, so I will pass on responding to that.

    First, let me continue with the concept of doctrinal development. I already mentioned:
    1 Cor 2:12
    Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
    It is even clearer if you read the whole verse in context (1 Cor 2) The Greek word there to "understand" is oida, which means to see, perceive, discern, discover. (see also seeing parts of what Jesus reveals at a time, Mk 8:23-25)

    There are a number of other verses that show this, but the point is that the written Word of God even tells us that our understanding of revelation will continue. Why should we doubt God's Word when pertaining to this issue? What I will continue to demonstrate is the leadership of Peter and his successor.

    I can sympathize with anyone who might look at any one of these 1st-2nd century writings and not see a "papacy." However, one must read them in the context of Church history. Otherwise, one is just looking at the corner of a painting and insisting he knows the entire picture.

    I've covered, not exhaustively, but enough for this debate I pray, 1st-2nd century writings. To verify that we are not "reading into" these writings, I move now in 2 directions of time:

    Before 1st and 2nd century <----------1st-2nd century----------> 3rd century and beyond

    Is the notion of a Petrine leadership still evident in both directions of time? Does what we have said about 1st-2nd century writings fit?

    Compare the following Scripture passages:
    Isaiah 22:22 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.

    Matthew 16:19 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.

    The structure of these passages is nearly identical. In each, someone is given the key to a domain with binding/loosing authority attached. The Isaiah passage speaks of Jerusalem's Davidic kingdom of the world (the Old Testament domain), and the Matthew passage speaks of the heavenly kingdom.

    The "he" in Isaiah 22 is Eliakim, mentioned in the preceding verses. Eliakim was not "king" of Jerusalem, but rather the prime minister (read ahead to Is 36:1-3)

    Look ahead now to the Matthew passage. Jesus is ultimately the "King" who will function through Peter in a special way. The keys are then given to the one who will govern by agency. Isaiah had described the office associated with the key--that is, an earthly office in an Old Covenant. Jesus parallels Isaiah's passing of keys almost exactly, establishing an office in the New Covenant, one with a heavenly pedigree.

    Only Peter, among the other apostles who also received authority, receives this privilege. In Matthew 16:19, the Greek renders the singular use of "you" when referencing Peter.

    Let's take another look at the uniqueness of Peter's role. Pay special attention to the transition from plural to singular (Greek of v. 31 and v. 2) as Jesus speaks to Peter:

    Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you (plural), that he might sift you (plural) like wheat, but I have prayed for you (singular) that your (singular) faith may not fail; and when you (singular) have turned again, strengthen your (singular) brethren."
    Here, Peter is given a singular leadership assignment of strengthening the other apostles.

    Matthew 10:2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb'edee, and John his brother...​
    The Greek word there for "first" is protos. This can mean first chronologically, or the first in rank, first in succession, or honor. We know that Peter was not first chronologically (John 1:40-42). He was the leader of the apostles. I have been known to point to even the most openly anti-Catholic scholar, John MacArthur, who argues strongly for the primal position of Peter. I point him out only in hopes that someone who respects him but not the Papacy might give this an honest look.

    Next, look at:
    When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.​

    By name and reference to "son of John" (see John 1:42), Peter, in contrast to the other apostles who were present, is singularly told to feed and tend the flock.

    Finally, a point of irony in Scripture is Jesus speaking:
    Matthew 23:2-3 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice."​

    The reason it is ironic, is that Jesus cites a concept of "Moses' seat," complete with authoritative successors, sinful people even, in the Jewish faith. This "seat" cannot be found in any Old Testament Scripture. Yet His audience showed no objection because it was evident in the life of the faithful, just as the papacy was in the early Church, with or without a direct, semantic reference.

    What I have presented here is hardly exhaustive. Deeper treatment of the primacy of Peter can be seen in Scripture. For example, see The Biblical Basis for the Papacy, Dr. Scott Hahn, Catholic.com, CatholicCulture etc...
    Now we will go forward in time, beyond the 2nd century to see if the same Petrine leadership is actualized.

    A generation from Irenaeus and the Pope Soter incident....

    "Cornelius was made bishop by the judgment of God and of His Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the suffrage of the people who were then present, and by the assembly of ancient priests and good men, when no one had been made so before him, when the place of Fabian, that is, when the place of Peter and the degree of the sacerdotal throne was vacant."[wash my mouth] St. Cyprian Of Carthage ("Epistle to Antonius," c. 250 A.D.)

    "The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, “Feed my sheep.” And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;” yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honour and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity....Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith?"[wash my mouth] St. Cyprian Of Carthage ("On the Unity of the Catholic Church," 251 A.D.)​

    Cyprian, in these two excerpts, identifies the "throne" of the Roman bishop and identifies the then-current Pope Cornelius preceded by Fabian. He then also discusses the unity of the Church presiding via Peter, upon whom he notes Christ promise to build His Church, with special privileges beyond those of the other apostles. Cyprian even suggests a person who does not hold to the unifying position of Peter is outside the faith.
    There are many other early Church writings validating Petrine primacy and succession. (Catscans, ScriptureCatholic, Catholic.com, etc...
    Even multiple bishops validated this in the following century at the Council of Sardica Canon 5), a synod from 343 A.D.:
    Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters...​

    Consider an "eastern" patriarch, St. John Chrysostom, ca. 370-404 AD:
    At all events the master of the whole world, Peter, to whose hands He committed the keys of heaven, whom He commanded to do and to bear all, He bade tarry here for a long period. Thus in His sight our city was equivalent to the whole world...when Peter was about to depart from here, the grace of the Spirit introduced another teacher equivalent to Peter, so that the building already completed should not be made more unsound by the insignificance of the successor. (Chyrsostom, Homily on St. Ignatius, 4)​
    For those who did not know, Peter was also first bishop of Antioch, the city to which St. John Chrysostom refers. He acknowledges that Peter, whom he called "master" of the whole world, finished as bishop of what he called "Royal Rome."

    Soon after that, in 419 A.D., at the Council of Carthage, some 68 bishops addressed Pope Innocent:
    Consequently, Lord and Brother, we have thought it best to transmit this report to your holy Charity, that the authority of the Apostolic See may be added to the decisions of our insignificance... (4)​

    This Council includes many such other references to the Roman bishop's authority.

    What is also characteristic of the early Church at large in the face of these statements of Roman and Petrine primacy, is the scarcity of challenge to the concept. There is no "Against the Papist Heresy" document. If the Papacy were so far removed from Christ's intention as we often hear, where was the unanimous outcry? There is instead a unanimity throughout the centuries for the Papacy, onto today.

    Theoretically, if there was a council that decried this, one would have to pit it versus the councils that support it and show cause for authority. An opposition to mentions of Roman primacy would also demonstrate that the concept was prevalent.

    Refer back to my timeline, in which I have shown Petrine primacy both before and after the 1st-2nd centuries. If one insists on denying a "papal" role evident in 1st-2nd century writings, there is a problem. Under this reading of the earliest documents, we would have the Old Covenant generations pointing to a single leader of Christ's Church, followed by 130 years or so of "no leader," followed by 1800 years of a single leader again. The no-papacy concept is untenable in this light. But if we maintain our interpretation of Clement or Irenaeus as demonstrative of a singular leader of the Church, our reading is tenable with both Scripture and with the years that followed.
  13. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    Petrine primacy and apostolic succession are NOT the same as universal authority/Roman primacy (the subject of this debate).
    Inconclusive? Clement speaks of obedience to elders, shows a view of Paul seemingly superior to Peter, speaks to the leadership role as of a multiplicity of elders as opposed to the monarchial, Clement said who Corinth should submit to AND IT WAS NOT HIM,
    1Clem 1:3
    For ye did all things without respect of persons, and ye walked after
    the ordinances of God, submitting yourselves to your rulers and
    rendering to the older men among you the honor which is their due.
    Most importantly we see nothing giving Rome universal authority.

    The translation changed &#8220;which we read for its valuable advice&#8221; to &#8220;which we shall always have to read and be admonished&#8221; One speaks from a brotherhood side by side view the other from a superiority view.
    As I stated earlier; the Corinthian church was part of the Patriarchate of Rome. And yet they viewed it as ADVICE not instruction, if your placing weight toward "universal authority" because they read this in churches and its from Rome, then the same could be said for any number of other writings read in churches that originated from; Antioch, Jerusalem, Smyrna, Lyons and other locales.

    To your point of doctrinal development; in reality there is no room for development. According to Vatican 1 the first person to succeed Peter would have had primacy/authority over the whole church.
    "Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church.
    --Vatican 1
    Peter was a leader, so I&#8217;m not sure what point you are trying to make. All bishops can be considered the successors of Peter. That fails to address how Rome has claimed its universal authority.
    It&#8217;s not ONE writing MrPolo, do you completely appreciate how much text we have prior to 250 AD?
    The Catholic Church teaches that this Universal authority has always existed. If the entire Christian church had a leader after Peter, you think maybe they would say something about it prior to 200 AD?
    The Roman church demands that people follow her and trust that she is the church started by Christ, if nothing is there in the first 200 years after Christ, I would be very concerned as a follower of a church that claims infallible rulings regarding faith and morals because she holds to keys from Peter, yet can show no record of anyone believing or accepting this view of &#8220;universal authority/passing the keys&#8221; for the better part of 200 years?
    This is NOT about leadership it is about the succession or lack of succession of universal authority passed onward to the Roman bishops.
    the end result ...25b. the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off:
    Is the church and all the members hanging on her going to fall away as well?
    If any thing this speaks against a continual passing of the keys oh wait it says key (singular), just noticed that.
    Dr. Macarthur whom you brought up first says this key is referenced as well in Rev 3:7 (CHRIST himself possesse(s) it)
    The primal position of Peter has zero to do with &#8220;Universal authority&#8221;.
    Equal arguments can be made for Paul , for example he is the only apostle who speaks to his authority over all the churches
    See; 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 7:17, 2 Corinthians 11:28

    Three times denied, three times restored! Again this has nothing to do with universal authority being passed to his successors, being the Roman bishops.

    You truly are forced to do this because the first 200 years after Christ does NOT support Romes view of universal authority, again it isn&#8217;t about Peter&#8217;s leadership it&#8217;s about universal authority being passed to successive bishops.
    Cyprian did believe in a primacy of Peter, but look it&#8217;s as chronological and symbolic, not jurisdictional&#8230;

    Where is the succession to the bishop of Rome?
    At the 7th council of Carthage Cyprian denied that there's any Pope.
    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." &#8211; (The Seventh Council of Carthage.)

    I have much more on Cyprian but that should suffice to show his view of any papal authority..

    Again as in Cyprians case you need to view things from a complete reading, While holding an exalted view of Peter, Chrysostom, did not transmit this status to the bishops of Rome.
    He considered all bishops successors of Peter.
    He shows no supreme authority of one bishop over another.
    In all his remarks about Peter and I ask this in complete sincerity, where does Chrysostom apply them to the bishops of Rome in an exclusive sense?
    He doesn&#8217;t.
    He never applies that to his statements and it is historically insincere to declare that is what he meant when he personally never said it. His view was clearly different than Rome.
    Check out Chrysostoms 53rd homily on the gospel of Matthew.
    3.... "And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; "that is, on the faith of his confession.
    In the first and 2nd century NO papal role can be shown it's easy to deny.

    MrPolo, in a survey of Christian history no matter what claims your church makes, history is quite clear in it&#8217;s indication that the concept of &#8220;papal rule&#8221; of the whole church was established in a very slow and in very painful stages.
    Bishop Leo in the mid 5th century, was a major figure in this as he was the first one to provide biblical and theological basis for the growing papal claim.
    Petrine primacy as well as apostolic succession are NOT the same as universal authority/Roman primacy (the subject of this debate).
    I believe you know you have gone WAY wide of the mark to this point in our debate.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  14. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Left the river, made it to the sea Supporter

    End of round three.

    Mr. Polo will be the next to respond.
  15. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    I will pass on responding to personal commentary about my supposed strategy, or any personal opinions set forth. I will also let my earlier comments stand on issues we have already discussed, such as the word "we." I also do not accept "equal arguments can be made for Paul"...there is no such early Church discussion of the "throne" or seat of Paul as there is with Peter, nor was the Church founded upon him, nor did he have keys, etc... I would like to see an explanation of what the "primal position of Peter" is if it is not one of "authority." For readers, please see my study of "protos" in my 3rd round and all mentions of Peter in my posts to see that his primacy has to do with authority.

    I'd also like to address Isaiah 22:25 as indicative that the Church or papacy will fall away. First, I'll respond to the notion that "key" vs. "keys" in Isaiah and Matthew destroys the parallel. I'm sorry, but to do so is to deny the plain symmetry of these verses. I had addressed key vs. keys in a thread now deleted, or I'd link to it. In either case, the keys represent authority, and at the least, one has to grant that Peter received even more than Eliakim.

    But anyway, reading Isaiah 22:25 in context, we see that Eliakim's predecessor was Shebna (v. 15), who disgraced his office (v. 18). That's when the key was passed onto Eliakim, who would "be a father" to the people (v. 21) with "authority" (v. 21). He will be fixed like a peg (v. 23). On "that day" the peg will be "cut down" (v. 25).

    The Lord just finished a doxology on the honor that Eliakim and his "descendants" would enjoy. To then say that what the Lord just got done putting into place is going to break off does not fit. Read v. 19-20 of the Lord speaking to Shebna: "I will thrust you from your office and you will be cast down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eliakim..." Then when the Lord repeats in v. 25: On "that day...the peg shall...shall be cut down." He is referring to Shebna, who was replaced by a new peg, Eliakim. The old peg was "cut down" on the day Eliakim was summoned. Refer back to v. 19-20. The Lord had said on "that day" He would cast "down" Shebna.

    Eliakim now assumes authority, complete with the key of the House of David (v. 22) in the verse that mirrors Matthew 16:19 that I discussed in round 3. Eliakim, not Shebna, is the model upon which Peter's office is a type. We also know from Scripture that Old Testament types were mere shadows of the superior ante-types of the New Testament.

    Adam was a type of Christ (Rm 5:14), but of course Christ is the superior firstborn--an Adam with no faults. And as Haggai 2:9 prophesied: "Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the Lord of hosts." (see also 2 Cor 3:5-11 on the superiority of New Covenant types) And of course, as I already cited in round 3, Peter will uphold the faith (Lk 22:32) and not fail (like a falling peg).

    There are also two quotations I'd like to address. The first is from St. John Chrysostom, who supposedly denied that Peter himself was the Rock when he said, "upon this rock will I build my Church; 'that is, on the faith of his confession.'"

    As with St. John Chrysostom, the Catholic way of interpreting Scripture is not exhausted when a single meaning is drawn from the text. The written Word is viewed as much richer. There may certainly be secondary senses within the text. The literal meaning of this passage is that Peter is the rock. To deny this is to do a disservice to Christ changing Peter's personal name to Rock. And this is by no means a uniquely Catholic interpretation. But getting back to St. John, he certainly believed Peter the man was the rock:
    Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received the revelation not from man but from the Father....this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean the unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey. (Chrysostom, On Almsgiving, 3:4, 394 A.D.)​

    More from St. John Chrysostom on the foundational nature of Peter is here. And still today, the Church teaches Peter of course is the rock (CCC#552), and it can also be said "the rock of this faith" (CCC#424).

    I would also like to address this quote by Cyprian because it is worth a deeper look regarding Papal authority:
    For no one [of us] has set himself up [to be] bishop [of bishops]... (incidentally, the bracketed words apparently do not appear in the Greek translation by Zonaras)​

    Reading this quote in context, the issue about which Cyprian was speaking was whether or not someone deemed a heretic could effect a valid baptism. At the time Pope Stephen, then bishop of Rome, stated that the Spirit will flow even through a heretic if the proper form of baptism is enacted. Thus, a person who was the object of such a baptism would be validly baptized in the eyes of the Church.

    There was much debate on this issue as evidenced in such sources as the writings of Firmilian, who sided with Cyprian at the time. Firmilian wrote a scathing critique of Stephen. Firmilian granted that his opponents included Stephen and "those who agree with him." (Firmilian, letter to Cyprian, 8, 256 AD)

    Among those with Cyprian and Firmilian opposed to so-called heretical baptism, were a number of bishops in Africa. It was these bishops for whom Cyprian spoke in the local Synod when he stated: "For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops..." More on this in a moment... (At the bottom of Simon's link to the Synod at Carthage, we read 16th century historian Binius' comment that "Bishop of bishops" was a term that was a "custom" at the time for the Roman bishop.)

    Firmilian, in his letter siding with Cyprian against Stephen, wrote the following:
    But what is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church which was once based by Christ upon the rock, may be perceived from this, that Christ said to Peter alone, Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven...the power of remitting sins was given to the apostles, and to the churches which they, sent by Christ, established, and to the bishops who succeeded to them by vicarious ordination...I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter, is stirred with no zeal against heretics...​

    • Firmilian claims that the power to forgive sins given to the apostles was passed on to their successors by ordination.
    • Firmilian says "Peter alone" was the foundation of the one Church, coupled with binding and loosing authority.
    • Firmilian does not disagree with the notion of Peter having left a "throne" filled by a successor.

    Look beneath the issue of heretical baptism in Firmilian's letter. What Firmilian is challenging is whether Stephen is validly filling the throne of Peter. His doubt is cast on Stephen personally because of "the greatness of his error." Of course the valid successor of Peter could not teach error in issues of faith. He does not assert there is no throne nor that Peter's special authority is not passed onto his successors. That there is a throne with Petrine authority passed through successors is a given in Firmilian's discourse!

    Getting back to Cyprians "no bishop of bishops" comment should be read in light of what I already quoted of Cyprian in my 3rd round: "the place of Peter and the degree of the sacerdotal throne..." and that the "origin of unity" in the Church is rooted in Peter.

    After the Council at Carthage, Cyprian wrote to Stephen specifically regarding the agreement of the African bishops on the invalidity of any baptism by a heretic. He said:
    We have brought these things, dearest brother, to your knowledge, for the sake of our mutual honour and sincere affection; believing that, according to the truth of your religion and faith, those things which are no less religious than true will be approved by you. (Cyprian, letter to Stephen, 3, 255 A.D.)​

    Ultimately, on this issue, the authority of Rome's bishop won out. Just as the debate in Acts 15 over the necessity of circumcision ended with Peter's voice, so too did the Church preserve the Tradition of Pope Stephen. The monk Jerome and Vincent of Lerins both recognized Cyprian's subservient view to the See of Peter.

    As Augustine recounts the tale of Cyprian and heretical baptism, he points out how Cyprian later submitted to the authority of the Church:
    Seek counsel from the blessed Cyprian himself. See how much he considered to depend upon the blessing of unity, from which he did not sever himself to avoid the communion of those who disagreed with him; how, though he considered that those who were baptized outside the communion of the Church had no true baptism, he was yet willing to believe that, by simple admission into the Church, they might, merely in virtue of the bond of unity, be admitted to a share in pardon. For thus he solved the question which he proposed to himself in writing as follows to Jubaianus: "But some will say, 'What then will become of those who, in times past, coming to the Church from heresy, were admitted without baptism?' The Lord is able of His mercy to grant pardon, and not to sever from the gifts of His Church those who, being out of simplicity admitted to the Church, have in the Church fallen asleep." (Augustine, On Baptism, II.18)​

    Thus we see more clearly when Cyprian spoke of unity through Peter, and sought "approval" from Stephen, and ended up submitting his own view to that of the Pope's. Today, the Church recognizes him as a saint.

    Subsequent Popes affirmed Stephen. And the Church to this day recognizes the validity of proper Trinitarian baptism, even if administered by someone outside the faith. (CCC#1256)

    In summary, what I showed beginning in round 1, is that Vatican I correctly asserted that what was "known in every age" was 1) Peter received keys, and 2) He lived on via successors. Of this, there can be little doubt.

    Building upon that, we see the superiority of Peter's successors as authoritative, counseling, and the source of unity for the entire Church. We do not see outrage when a Roman bishop exercised authority across oceans and continents in the first, second, or third centuries. Consistently, Peter and his successors, were singularly recognized as the apostolic leader in Scripture and in the life and writings of the early Church, some of which I have detailed in these 4 rounds of debate. Councils of multiple bishops deferred to the Roman bishop. In fact, a papacy had to follow if the events described in Scripture were true. As Christ established on that day when He handed Peter the keys, the Catholic Church is preserved faithfully to His word today.

    In closing, I want to thank Simon for his time, effort, and patience with my unanticipatedly long posts. This is an exhausting enterprise. I also want to thank all readers for taking the time to examine this important issue. I have learned more than I could have imagined. I hope you have as well.

    May Divine Truth shine as a beacon to us all, as we strive to learn to live by "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Mt. 4:4) In humble submission to the King of the ultimate Throne, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!
  16. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    Our debate Topic: Did the early church believe as has been read from Vatican 1 that it was “known for all ages” that Peter himself had successors (via the Bishops of Rome) who had universal authority over the whole Church?

    Can this position can be demonstrated through historical documentation and reasoning?

    The simple answer demonstrated in this debate is NO.

    MrPolo’s final posit utilized a bishop of the mid 3rd century (Cyprian) some 220 years after Christ ascended, John Chrysostom from the end of the 4th century around 350 years after Christ ascended, some extreme straining of Clements words, and finally a faulty analogy of the Isaiah 22 passage.

    The dates shown in the above paragraph should stand alone as proof that universal authority was not something held by anyone in the first 220 years after Christ ascended, and a reading of Vatican 1 leaves NO room for development as I mentioned in an earlier post.

    It took MrPolo reaching into the 3rd and 4th century to attempt to build a case that could show any sort of an acknowledgement of universal authority, I’ll make one final post regarding Cyprian to show his view was exactly as I portrayed, as far as Chrysostom goes it seems senseless to carry on with his view being its from the end of the 4th century, that is a far cry from being known for all ages and lastly I will point out the error in attaching the Isa. 22 view of scripture as an OT view on the papacy.

    My (actually Cyprians) response to your historical view of Cyprian…

    In Cyprians 26th epistle, he stakes HIS claim that as a bishop that he (Cyprian) is a successor to Peter as ALL bishops fulfill this role, with NO mention of Rome.

    • Our Lord, whose precepts and admonitions we ought to observe, describing the honour of a bishop and the order of His Church, speaks in the Gospel, and says to Peter: “I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Thence, through the changes of times and successions, the ordering of bishops and the plan of the Church flow onwards; so that the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers. Since this, then, is founded on the divine law, I marvel that some, with daring temerity, have chosen to write to me as if they wrote in the name of the Church; when the Church is established in the bishop and the clergy, and all who stand fast in the faith. For far be it from the mercy of God and His uncontrolled might to suffer the number of the lapsed to be called the Church; since it is written, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” For we indeed desire that all may be made alive; and we pray that, by our supplications and groans, they may be restored to their original state. But if certain lapsed ones claim to be the Church, and if the Church be among them and in them, what is left but for us to ask of these very persons that they would deign to admit us into the Church? Therefore it behoves them to be submissive and quiet and modest, as those who ought to appease God, in remembrance of their sin, and not to write letters in the name of the Church, when they should rather be aware that they are writing to the Church.
    So when Cyprian said; for neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, which I highlighted in an earlier post, it is exactly what he meant.

    My response to your claim regarding Isaiah 22…

    The well-worn idea of arguing for a papacy by viewing Matt. 16 in light of Isa. 22, is flimsy at best and is something NO fathers prior to the 8th century ever even attempted to do, it‘s not mentioned in Matthew. Isaiah 22:22 cites “the house of David” clearly Messianic in nature.
    Jesus himself, cites Isaiah 22:22 as I mentioned earlier in Rev. 3:7, “And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this.”
    Jesus has, (present tense), the key (singular) of David.
    He does not say that He gives this key away. Look at how our Lord introduces Himself in each of the letters; these images set Him apart from all creatures. We need to remove ourselves from such a twisting of scripture and stay with the plain meaning/reading of it?

    Even if A Catholic insists on appealing to Isa 22 it would have to be a partial appeal, not a complete parallel, since a full alignment would not favor the claims of the church at Rome. God is who gives the key in Isa 22, so an exact parallel would put Jesus in the place of God, not in the place of the king. So, if Jesus is God and Peter is the prime minister, then who is the king? Some church official with more authority than Peter? Again, what about Isa 22:25? Should we assume that Popes can "break off and fall", and that the keys of Matthew 16 can eventually pass to God Himself (Revelation 3:7) rather than to a human successor? If Catholics only want to make a general appeal to Isa 22, without making an exact parallel, then how can they claim that papal authority is implied by the parallel? Clearly, this is about a basic theme of authority NOT a papacy.

    A repeat…RE: CLEMENT. Clement said who Corinth should submit to AND IT WAS NOT HIM,
    1Clem 1:3
    For ye did all things without respect of persons, and ye walked after
    the ordinances of God, submitting yourselves to your rulers and
    rendering to the older men among you the honor which is their due.
    Rulers plural and more importantly we see nothing giving Rome universal authority and he gives actual instruction to whom submission should be made.

    For this final post I will leave my comments at this, The Roman Catholic church has made the bold claim that it has held universal authority handed directly on from Peter continually to B16 and that this has been KNOWN FOR ALL AGES, there are hundreds and hundreds of writings from the first 200 years of CHRISTianity, NOT one shows that these early writers acknowledged the succession of universal authority to the bishop of Rome.

    I pray this is an eye opener for members of the Roman Catholic Church; they are following an organization that claims infallibility because of this very reason. But history denies every bit of it.
    It is the very reason we must accept the writings of the apostles and their disciples as our final authority, not on a church which based its authority on something NO early CHRISTian writers from the first few hundred years even believed.

    As a side note...One final challenge to anyone, find 1 early church father in the first 500 years of Christianity that acknowledged ALL the following;
    Peter was the rock, this set him apart from the other apostles, Peter alone holds the keys separate from binding and loosing, Peter was the bishop of Rome, the only bishop all this is relevant to is the bishop of Rome, and that this established bishop was the universal head of the church.
  17. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me

    Thank you to both participants. The four rounds are now completed. Closing this thread.
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