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Catholic Saint Augustine says Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer. (Sermon 229)
none of the fathers indicate papal supremacy.rather all of them indicate equality of the successors of the Apostles the bishops.
lets take Saint Cyprian Bishop of Carthage, who considered peter the rock(but saw every bishop as owning the chair of peter) he says:
Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal fellowship both of honour and power; but a commencement is made from unity, that the Church may be set before as one; which one Church, in the Song of Songs, doth the Holy Spirit design and name in the Person of our Lord: My dove, My spotless one, is but one; she is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her (Cant. 9:6) (A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: Parker, 1844), Cyprian, On The Unity of the Church 3, p. 133).
Saint John Chrysostom
For the Son of thunder(John), the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XIV, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 1.1, p. 1).
St. Bede: “Although it may seem that this power of loosing and binding was given by the Lord only to Peter, we must nevertheless know without any doubt that it was given to the other apostles…Indeed even now the same office is committed to the whole Church in her bishops and priests.”[Bede the Venerable, Homilies on the Gospels: Book One: Advent to Lent, Hom. I.20, p. 202.]
St. Isidore of Seville: “So Peter first received the power of binding and loosing, and he first led people to faith by the power of his preaching. Still, the other Apostles have been made equal with Peter in a fellowship of dignity and power. They also, having been sent out into all the world, preached the Gospel. Having descended from these apostles, the bishops have succeeded them, and through all the world they have been established in the seats of the apostles”(De Ecclesiasticus, II.5, M.P.L., Vol. 83, Col. 781-782).
Origen: But if you think the whole church to be built by God upon that one Peter only, what would you say of John the son of thunder or each of the Apostles? Are we to venture to say that the gates of Hades do not prevail against Peter by a special privilege, but prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect? What is said surely belongs to each and all of them, since all are ‘Peter’ and the ‘Rock,’ and the church of God has been built upon them all, and against none who are such do the gates of Hades prevail. Is it to Peter alone that the Lord gives the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and will no other of the blessed receive them? But if this privilege, ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ is common to the others, so also are all the preceding words addressed as it were to Peter (Origen on Matthew XII, 10 as cited in eyendorff J. The Primacy of Peter: essays in ecclesiology and the early church St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992, p. 61).
Saint Chrysostom “For (John) the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now”Homilies on the Gospel of John. Preface to Homily 1.1
There is one Universal Church of the faithful, outside of which there is absolutely no salvation. In which there is the same priest and sacrifice, Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatio) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood, so that to realize the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He has received of us. And this sacrament no one can effect except the priest who has been duly ordained in accordance with the keys of the Church, which Jesus Christ Himself gave to the Apostles and their successors. Canon 1, Fourth Lateran Council,
So a Catholic ‘infallible’ecumenical council declared that peter did not alone receive the keys of heaven but also the apostles and their successors.
”If, however, Jovinianus should obstinately contend that John was not a virgin, (whereas we have maintained that his virginity was the cause of the special love our Lord bore to him), let him explain, if he was not a virgin, why it was that he was loved more than the other Apostles. But you say, Matthew 16:18 the Church was founded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism.” St. Jerome, Against Jovianus, Book I: 26
”St. Bruno of Segni : Here in fact this statement is said principally to Peter, and it ought to be understood as being said to the rest of the apostles. And not only to the apostles, but truly also to the bishops and priests. In fact, the keys and powers themselves have been given by the Lord to not only will free the Church, but also to open the heavens to others.”
if the keys are the powers of binding and loosing,did not the Lord give this privilege to all the apostles in Matthew 18:18? “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
One pope, venerated as a saint by Catholics is Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604), whom famously opposed Patriarch John of Constantinople’s desire to add the term “Ecumenical” to his title, writing to the patriarch that” Whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor of Antichrist, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others. The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of Antichrist; for as that Wicked One wished to be regarded as exalted above other men, like a god, so likewise whoever would be called sole bishop exalteth himself above others.”
What about the fathers that support the papacy through cherry picked quotes?
answering catholic misquotations of the church fathers that allegedly support the papacy:
Cyprian of Carthage
“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
“With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and b.asphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).
answer:You quote St. Cyprian as saying, “”With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source.” but Cyprian never actually says this. why do you misquote Cyprian’s Epistle to Cornelius (54:9-14 actually, not 59:14). It isn’t even vaguely similar to your misquote and suggests nothing similar to your position. Your quote even uses ahistorical terminology like sacerdotal unity!
Saint Cyprian denied the pope’s authority at the seventh council of carthage:”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.”
“f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with
You quote Origen’s commentary on Matthew 16, but only quote a small part of it out of context and not the whole which completely rejects the pope: “… And if we too have said like Peter, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, You are Peter, etc. Matthew 16:18 For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, 1 Corinthians 10:4 and upon every such rock is built every word of the church, and the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God.” (Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (book XII))
Optatus “In the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter, the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head – that is why he is also called Cephas – of all the apostles, the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . .Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church” (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [circa A.D. 367]).
Answer:Your quote of Optatus is completely off point. He was arguing against the Donatists and their setting up of a counterfeit bishopric in Rome. What he is saying is that only the See of Peter, the Bishopric of Rome, is legitimate, apostolic—in the West!
“Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear ‘I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’” (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).
“Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is ‘I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ’s enemies” (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415]).
“Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?” (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).
Answer: St. Augustine is divided into early Augustine and later Augustine because St. Augustine later on wrote a book called “The Retractions” where he rejects much of what he had earlier argued, including what you quoted. The same is true for Origen, just in reverse.
Here St. Augustine retracts his former beliefs on St. Peter being the rock: “In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable.” (The Retractions, Chapter 20, p. 151)
The very fact that St. Augustine finally says that it is up to the reader to decide which of the two opinions is more likely also shows definitely that it wasn’t a dogma in his time like it is today with the Roman Catholic Church.
Let me quote St. Augustine, again, by the way, “For men who wished to be built upon men, said, ‘I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas,’ who is Peter. But others who did not wish to built upon Peter, but upon the Rock, said, ‘But I am of Christ.’ And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, ‘Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?’ And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter. This same Peter therefore who had been by the Rock pronounced ‘blessed,’ bearing the figure of the Church.”
“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the epistle to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anencletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. . . To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded. . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherus. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us” (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [inter AD. 180-190]).
“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops qf the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition” (Against Heresies 3:3:2).
Answer:You quote St. Irenaeus, who in fact isn’t making the usual Catholic claims in that quote. Even without any context to that quote it is completely in line with what the Orthodox believe. And notice he’s not making the usual Catholic claims about St. Peter being the sole foundation of the church. he’s saying St. Peter and St. Paul founded the Church of Rome.Secondely,this translation is based on a latin translation of a lost Greek text.However, it isn’t likely he used the Greek “dei” for “must” signifying a moral obligation or duty, or it would have been translated into Latin as “oportet”. Rather, “necesse est” likely translates the Greek “anagke” which signifies simply a necessity which must be gathered from the context.
In this case, Irenaeus mentions that Rome has “potior principalitas”, a “more powerful pre-eminence”.
He bases this pre-eminence of influence not only on being jointly founded by two apostles, but because the faithful must resort to Rome, and that the tradition there preserved, from the apostles, “is always preserved by those who are from all quarters”.
If we possessed the Greek text of the passage in question, there is no doubt there would not be the uncertainty resulting from the Latin word. But Eusebius and Nicephorus have preserved for us other fragments of the primitive text. Now it happens that in these fragments the good Father uses expressions which the Latin translator has rendered by the word convenire, and which have no meaning, except just this one of going—whether together or separately.
In the second book, chapter xxii., (Migne’s edition, col. 785,) St, Irenæus says: “All the priests who have gone to Asia, to John, disciple of the Lord, bear witness to it.”
Greek Text: καὶ πάντες οἱ πρεσβύτεροι μαρτυροῦσιν, οἱ κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν Ἰωάννῃ τῷ τοῦ κυρίου μαθητῇ συμβεβληκότες.
Latin translation: “Omnes seniores testantur qui in Asia apud Joannem discipulum Domini convenerunt.”
In the third book, 21st chapter, (Migne’s edition, col. 947,) speaking of the Septuagint interpreters of Scripture, St. Irenæus says of them, “Being assembled at Ptolemy’s house,” etc.
In Greek: “Συνελθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ παρὰ τῷ Πτολεμαίῳ.”
The Latin translator renders this “Convenientibus autem ipsis in unum apud Ptolemæum.”
The good father then has simply said that, the concourse of Believers from all countries, drawn to Rome by the necessities of their business, because that city was the first and most powerful of the Empire, contributed to preserve there the Apostolic tradition, because those Believers carried there the Faith of the Churches to which they belonged.
Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 88.1-2
For he who then did not dare to question Jesus, but committed the office to another, was even entrusted with the chief authority over the brethren
Answer:this is another quote taken out of context.this would seem to indicate that Chrysostom taught that Peter was the supreme ruler of the Church. However in the passage cited above Chrysostom speaks of the apostle John as also receiving the charge of the whole world and the keys equally with Peter: And this He did to withdraw them (Peter and John) from their unseasonable sympathy for each other; for since they were about to receive the charge of the world, it was necessary that they should no longer be closely associated together (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XIV, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 88.1-2, pp. 331-332).The Greek word used here is prostases,and Saint Chrysostom uses this word for other apostles in Catechetical Lectures 6.15
For the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XIV, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 1.1, p. 1).
He goes on to speak of Paul as being on an equal footing with Peter: Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as chief and leader of the choir of the saints, and shall enjoy his generous love….I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it…Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder, at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. What a rose will Rome send up to Christ!…what two crowns will the city have about it! what golden chains will she be girded with! what fountains possess! Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, nor for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church (1 Cor. 15:38) (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XI, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32, Ver. 24, pp. 561-562).
Further, Chrysostom speaks of James, and not Peter, as possessing the chief rule and authority in Jerusalem and over the Jerusalem Council:
This (James) was bishop, as they say, and therefore he speaks last…There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently; not starts up (for the next word). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XI, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 33, pp. 205, 207)
For He that wrought for Peter unto the Apostleship of the Circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles.’ He calls the Gentiles the Uncircumcised and the Jews the Circumcision, and declares his own rank to be equal to that of the Apostles; and, by comparing himself with their Leader not with others, he shows that the dignity of each was the same. After he had established the proof of their unanimity, he takes courage, and proceeds confidently in his argument, not stopping at the Apostles, but advances to Christ Himself, and to the grace which He had conferred upon him…(Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XIII, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle to the Galatians, Chapter II, ver. 8, p. 17).
He clearly states here that Peter and Paul are equal in status.
In another writing Chrysostom says this about all of the apostles: The Apostles were designated rulers, rulers who received not nations and particular cities, but all being entrusted with the world in common (Inscriptionem Actorum II. PG 51, 93).
He took the coryphaei (plural meaning heads or rulers) and led them up into a high mountain apart … Why does He take these three alone? Because they excelled the others. Peter showed his excellence by his great love of Him, John by being greatly loved, James by the answer … “We are able to drink the chalice.Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 56.2
The coryphaei, Peter the foundation of the Church, Paul the vessel of election Contra ludos et theatra 1, PG VI, 265
Hesychius of Jerusalem uses the term Coryphæus(Head,ruler) to refer to James.Denny, E., (1912)Papalism: A Treatise on the Claims on the Papacy as set forth in the Encyclical Satis cognitum, (Rivingtons; London), p85
John Chrysostomon “As a king sending forth governors, gives power to cast into prison and to deliver from it, so in sending these forth, Christ investeth them with the same power.Homily LXXXVI On the Gospel of John John xx. 10, 11 also,chrysostom refers to the bishop of antioch as peter’s successor
In referring to Flavian, bishop of Antioch, Chrysostom says
In referring to Flavian, bishop of Antioch, Chrysostom says: In speaking of S. Peter, the recollection of another Peter has come to me, the common father and teacher, who has inherited his prowess, and also obtained his chair. For this is the one great privilege of our city, Antioch, that it received the leader of the apostles as its teacher in the beginning. For it was right that she who was first adorned with the name of Christians, before the whole world, should receive the first of the apostles as her pastor. But though we received him as teacher, we did not retain him to the end, but gave him up to royal Rome. Or rather we did retain him to the end, for though we do not retain the body of Peter, we do retain the faith of Peter, and retaining the faith of Peter we have Peter (On the Inscription of the Acts, II. Cited by E. Giles, Documents Illustrating Papal Authority (London: SPCK, 1952), p. 168. Cf. Chapman, Studies on the Early Papacy, p. 96).
And in speaking of Ignatius of Antioch, Chrysostom refers to him as: a successor of Peter, on whom, after Peter, the government of the church devolved (In S. Ignat. Martyr., n. 4. Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1910), Volume III, p. 309).
so is Ignatius Aphrem II the bishop of bishops instead of pope Francis?
Saint Cyril of Alexandria said Peter and John were both apostles and saints adorned with equal honours and powers”. In commenting on Mt 16:18 he teaches that the word “rock has only a denominative value – it signifies NOTHING but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles” ~Of the Trinity, Book 4.” (17)
St. Theodore the Studite: “John was…equal with Peter” [see Oratio IX, Laudation in S. Joannem apostolum et evangelium, P.G. 99, 772A-788D], or rather the Apostle John was “the greatest of all the Apostles” [St. Theodore, Ep. II.41]
Peter then was only the first among the apostles as Stephen was the first among deacons.” [Augustine, Sermon 316; cf. also St. Cyprian, 71st letter, to Quint.]
St. Bede the Venerable: “‘Thou art Peter [Petrus –Rocky], and upon this Rock [Petra] from which thou didst receive thy name, that is, upon Me Myself, I will build the Church, and if anyone turns aside from the society of this confession, even though it may seem to him that he does great things, he will not belong to the building which is the Church.”[“Homily 1.16, After Epiphany, “Homilies on the Gospels Book I, 163]
St. John Chrysostom: “‘And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’; that is, on the faith of his confession”[St. John, Homily 53 on St. Matthew].
St. John Chrysostom: “He speaks from this time lowly things, on His way to His passion, that He might show His humanity. For He that hath built His Church upon Peter’s confession, and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it…”[St. John Chrysostom, Homily 82.3 on St. Matthew]
Saint Cyprian :to all the apostles after His resurrection He gives equal power (parem potestatem) and says “As the Father hath sent me, even so I send you: ” ~Cyprian, De Unitate 4.
For neither did Peter, whom first the Lord chose… when Paul disputed with him afterwards about the circumcision, claim anything to himself unsolently, nor arrogantly assume anything, so as to say that he held a primacy, and that he ought to be obeyed by novices and those lately come. Cyprian, Epistle LXX concerning the baptism of heretics.
In the administration of the Church each bishop has the free discretion of his own will, having to account only to the Lord for his actions. None of us may set himself up as bishop of bishops., nor compel his brothers to obey him; every bishop of the Church has full liberty and complete power; as he cannot be judged by another, neither can he judge another (Cyprian’s opening address to the Council of Carthage. …
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. ~Cyprian to the Lapsed, Epistle XXVI.
Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. (Gregory the Great, Book VII, Epistle XL)
St. Jerome represents St. Paul as saying: “I am in nothing inferior to Peter; for we were ordained by the same God for the same ministry.” [St. Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, cited Abbe Guettee, The Papacy; clearly, if inferior in nothing (in nullo), then equal in every thing.]
“He, then, who before was silent, to teach us that we ought not to repeat the words of the impious, this one, I say, when he heard, ‘But who do you say I am,’ immediately, not unmindful of his station, exercised his primacy, that is, the primacy of confession, not of honor; the primacy of belief, not of rank….”
(The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1963), Saint Ambrose, Theological and Dogmatic Works, The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord IV.32-V.34, pp. 230-2
his, then, is Peter, who has replied for the rest of the Apostles; rather, before the rest of men. And so he is called the foundation, because he knows how to preserve not only his own but the common foundation…Faith, then, is the foundation of the Church, for it was not said of Peter’s flesh, but of his faith, that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ But his confession of faith conquered hell. And this confession did not shut out one heresy, for, since the Church like a good ship is often buffeted by many waves, the foundation of the Church should prevail against all heresies…”-Saint Ambrose
Theological and Dogmatic Works (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 44)page 231
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Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors… Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one… He himself stablished the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself.
(“To Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria,” Book VII, Epistle XL)
So we have a orthodox pre-schism pope admitting antioch and alexandria are sees of saint peter and that alexandria and antiochian patriarch's sit on his throne.
Exactly, and to be born again, that is all a person needs to believe. Anyone who believes Jesus is the Christ, has been born again. That is all they need to believe. Because it is the job of the Christ, the Messiah, to take away their sins. He pays for all sins. That's why salvation is not by works but by faith. Christ's purpose was to cover everyone's sins. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God.
1 John 5:1 KJV Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
Born of God means "born again."
1 John 5:13 KJV
 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
If a person believes in the name of the Son of God (Jesus Christ), then they are saved. (They must recognize that He is the one that saves; the Savior, and that they themselves do not save themselves through their own works, because that's what Savior/Christ/Messiah means, and they are not the Christ.)
Anyone who believes salvation is by works has not trusted in Christ. They believe they can partially take away their own sins, making themselves co-equals with Christ. Work salvation is basically the person saying they and their works are as righteous as Christ, which means they don't need Him. It is all Christ or not at all. Christ gets all the glory. Salvation is a free gift, to everyone who can believe, unearned.
A good man is above pettiness. He is better than that.