Thursday, December 09, 2010

Responding to Bugay (Part 3) Papacy from the Early Church

And we continue:
Scott Windsor (3): Defense of the Papacy from the Early Church

In the process of trying to find some merit in the document known as “The Donation of Constantine,” Scott Windsor also posted something of a popular defense of the early papacy. He posted a “Scriptural defense” of which he said “This one verse alone is enough for one who has The Faith.”

I’d like to look now at some of his “testimony from the early fathers,” and in particular, the history behind this, his first citation:
Testimony from the Early Fathers:
In 517 the Eastern bishops assented to and signed the formula of Pope Hormisdas, which states in part: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church” [Matt. 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.’ (qtd in This Rock, October 1998).
I wonder if the Roman Catholics who parrot these things actually look at the history of them. Probably not; in the firmly convinced Roman Catholic mind, for someone who has “The Faith,” if something says “Peter,” that means “full-blown papacy.” But nothing could be further from the truth.

This incident here should not be something that Roman Catholics are proud to say is a part of the “divine foundation” of the papacy. In fact, while this is a “foundational event” in the creation of a papacy that had jurisdiction throughout the empire, it is not the “great moment in papal history” that it is sold as.
And, of course, the objective reader can see that the "Formula of Pope Hormisdas" didn't merely use "Peter" - but also "in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied."  The objective reader must be asking him/herself, "Why such an obvious omission on the part of Mr. Bugay?"
Until this time, it should be noted, that Eastern churches, represented by the other patriarchates, almost universally rejected any notion that Rome had any “jurisdiction” over them whatsoever.
Mr. Bugay makes this unsupported assertion - which I counter with the fact that many Eastern ECFs affirmed the role of Peter's primacy.


St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria (306-311 A.D.):
Head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, he became bishop around A.D. 300, reigning for about eleven years, and dying a martyr's death.

Peter, set above the Apostles. (Peter of Alexandria, Canon. ix, Galland, iv. p. 98)

St. Anthony of Egypt (330 A.D.):
Peter, the Prince of the Apostles (Anthony, Epist. xvii. Galland, iv p. 687).

St. Athanasius (362 A.D.):
Rome is called the Apostolic throne. (Athanasius, Hist. Arian, ad Monach. n. 35).

The Chief, Peter. (Athan, In Ps. xv. 8, tom. iii. p. 106, Migne)

St. Macarius of Egypt (371 A.D.):
The Chief, Peter. (Macarius, De Patientia, n. 3, p. 180)

Moses was succeeded by Peter, who had committed to his hands the new Church of Christ, and the true priesthood. (Macarius, Hom. xxvi. n. 23, p. 101)

St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 424):
He suffers him no longer to be called Simon, exercising authority and rule over him already having become His own. By a title suitable to the thing, He changed his name into Peter, from the word 'petra' (rock); for on him He was afterwards to found His Church. (Cyril, T. iv. Comm. in Joan., p. 131)

He (Christ) promises to found the Church, assigning immovableness to it, as He is the Lord of strength, and over this He sets Peter as shepherd. (Cyril, Comm. on Matt., ad loc.)

Therefore, when the Lord had hinted at the disciple's denial in the words that He used, 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith not fail,' He at once introduced a word of consolation, and said (to Peter): 'And do thou, when once thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' That is, 'Be thou a support and a teacher of those who through faith come to me.' Again, marvel also at the insight of that saying and at the completeness of the Divine gentleness of spirit. For so that He should not reduce the disciple to despair at the thought that after his denial he would have to be debarred from the glorious distinction of being an Apostle, He fills him with good hope, that he will attain the good things promised. ...O loving kindness! The sin was not yet committed, and He already extends His pardon and sets him (Peter) again in his Apostolic office. (Cyril Comm. on Luke's Gospel)

For the wondrous Peter, overcome by uncontrollable fear, denied the Lord three times. Christ heals the error done, and demands in various ways the threefold confession ... For although all the holy disciples fled, ...still Peter's fault in the threefold denial was in addition, special and peculiar to himself. Therefore, by the threefold confession of blessed Peter, the fault of the triple denial was done away. Further, by the Lord's saying, Feed my lambs, we must understand a renewal as it were of the Apostleship already given to him, washing away the intervening disgrace of his fall, and the littleness of human infirmity. (Cyril, Comm. on John's Gospel).

They (the Apostles) strove to learn through one, that preeminent one, Peter. (Cyril, Ib. 1. ix. p. 736).

And even blessed Peter, though set over the holy disciples, says 'Lord, be it far from Thee, this shall be done to Thee. (Cyril, Ibid. 924).

If Peter himself, that prince of the holy disciples, was, upon an occasion, scandalized, so as suddenly to exclaim, 'Lord, be it far from Thee,' what wonder that the tender mind of woman should be carried away? (Cyril, Ibid, p. 1064)

That the Spirit is God we shall also learn hence. That the prince of the Apostles, to whom 'flesh and blood,' as the Savior says, 'did not reveal' the Divine mystery, says to Ananias, 'Why hath satan tempted thy heart, &c.' (Cyril, T. v. Par. 1. Thesaur. p. 340)

Besides all these, let there come forward that leader of the holy disciples, Peter, who, when the Lord, on a certain occasion, asked him, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' instantly cried out, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' (Cyril, T. v. P.2, Hom. viii. De Fest. Pasch. p. 105)

'If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.' When the Coryphaeus (Peter) had heard these words, he began to change. (Cyril, Ib. Hom.)

This bold man (Julian), besides all this, cavils at Peter, the chosen one of the holy Apostles. (Cyril, T. vi.l. ix. Contr. Julian. p. 325).

Eulogius of Alexandria (581 A.D.):
Born in Syria, he became the abbot of the Mother of God monastery at Antioch. In 579, he was made Patriarch of Alexandria; and became an associate of St. Gregory the Great while visiting Constantinople. Much of their subsequent correspondence is still extant.

Neither to John, nor to any other of the disciples, did our Savior say, 'I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,' but only to Peter. (Eulogius, Lib. ii. Cont. Novatian. ap. Photium, Biblioth, cod. 280)
Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria (450):
The great foundation of the Church was shaken, and confirmed by the Divine grace. And the Lord commanded him to apply that same care to the brethren. 'And thou,' He says, 'converted, confirm thy brethren.' (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Haeret. Fab. lib. v.c. 28)

'For as I,' He says, 'did not despise thee when tossed, so be thou a support to thy brethren in trouble, and the help by which thou was saved do thou thyself impart to others, and exhort them not while they are tottering, but raise them up in their peril. For this reason I suffer thee also to slip, but do not permit thee to fall, thus through thee gaining steadfastness for those who are tossed.' So this great pillar supported the tossing and sinking world, and permitted it not to fall entirely and gave it back stability, having been ordered to feed God's sheep. (Theodoret, Oratio de Caritate in J. P. Minge, ed., Partrologiae Curses Completus: Series Graeca).

I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds. (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives. (Theodoret Ibid, Epistle Leoni)
St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387):
Peter himself the Head or Crown of the Apostles, the First in the Church, the Friend of Christ, who received a revelation, not from man, but from the Father, as the Lord bears witness to him, saying, 'Blessed art thou, &c.' This very Peter and when I name Peter I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, First of the disciples, the First called, and the First who obeyed he was guilty ...even denying the Lord." (Chrysostom, T. ii. Hom)

Peter, the Leader of the choir of Apostles, the Mouth of the disciples, the Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the faith, the Foundation of the confession, the Fisherman of the universe. (Chrysostom, T. iii Hom).

Peter, that Leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that one set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church. (Chrys. In illud hoc Scitote)

(Peter), the foundation of the Church, the Coryphaeus of the choir of the Apostles, the vehement lover of Christ ...he who ran throughout the whole world, who fished the whole world; this holy Coryphaeus of the blessed choir; the ardent disciple, who was entrusted with the keys of heaven, who received the spiritual revelation. Peter, the mouth of all Apostles, the head of that company, the ruler of the whole world. (De Eleemos, iii. 4; Hom. de decem mille tal. 3)

In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples (Acts 15), both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock ...he first acts with authority in the matter, as having all put into his hands ; for to him Christ said, 'And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren. (Chrysostom, Hom. iii Act Apost. tom. ix.)

He passed over his fall, and appointed him first of the Apostles; wherefore He said: ' 'Simon, Simon,' etc. (in Ps. cxxix. 2). God allowed him to fall, because He meant to make him ruler over the whole world, that, remembering his own fall, he might forgive those who should slip in the future. And that what I have said is no guess, listen to Christ Himself saying: 'Simon, Simon, etc.' (Chrys, Hom. quod frequenter conveniendum sit 5, cf. Hom 73 in Joan 5).

And why, then, passing by the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? (John 21:15). He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others (Galatians 1:18). And withal, to show him that he must thenceforward have confidence, as the denial was done away with, He puts into his hands the presidency over the brethren. And He brings not forward the denial, nor reproaches him with what had past, but says, 'If you love me, preside over the brethren, ...and the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if one should say, 'How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?,' this I would answer that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher, not of that throne, but of the whole world. (Chrysostom, In Joan. Hom. 1xxxviii. n. 1, tom. viii)

St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (434):
A disciple of St. John Chrysostom,...
Peter, the coryphaeus of the disciples, and the one set over (or chief of) the Apostles. Art not thou he that didst say, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'? Thou Bar-Jonas (son of the dove) hast thou seen so many miracles, and art thou still but Simon (a hearer)? He appointed thee the key-bearer of Heaven, and has though not yet layed aside thy fisherman's clothing? (Proclus, Or. viii In Dom. Transfig. t. ix. Galland)

John Cassian, Monk (c. 430):
That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God (Cassian, Contra Nestorium, III, 12, CSEL, vol. 17, p. 276).

St. Nilus of Constantinople (448):
A disciple of St. John Chrysostom, ....
Peter, Head of the choir of Apostles. (Nilus, Lib. ii Epistl.)

Peter, who was foremost in the choir of Apostles and always ruled amongst them. (Nilus, Tract. ad. Magnam.)
Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople (466-516)
Macedonius declared, when desired by the Emperor Anastasius to condemn the Council of Chalcedon, that 'such a step without an Ecumenical Synod presided over by the Pope of Rome is impossible.' (Macedonius, Patr. Graec. 108: 360a (Theophan. Chronogr. pp. 234-346 seq.)

Emperor Justinian (520-533)
Writing to the Pope, ...
Yielding honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, and honoring your Holiness, as one ought to honor a father, we have hastened to subject all the priests of the whole Eastern district, and to unite them to the See of your Holiness, for we do not allow of any point, however manifest and indisputable it be, which relates to the state of the Churches, not being brought to the cognizance of your Holiness, since you are the Head of all the holy Churches. (Justinian Epist. ad. Pap. Joan. ii. Cod. Justin. lib. I. tit. 1).

Let your Apostleship show that you have worthily succeeded to the Apostle Peter, since the Lord will work through you, as Supreme Pastor, the salvation of all. (Coll. Avell. Ep. 196, July 9th, 520, Justinian to Pope Hormisdas).
St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 650)
A celebrated theologian and a native of Constantinople, ...
The extremities of the earth, and everyone in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the Most Holy Roman Church and her confession and faith, as to a sun of unfailing light awaiting from her the brilliant radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers, according to that which the inspired and holy Councils have stainlessly and piously decreed. For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High. (Maximus, Opuscula theologica et polemica, Migne, Patr. Graec. vol. 90)

How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter (Peter & Paul), and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate .....even as in all these things all are equally subject to her (the Church of Rome) according to sacerodotal law. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers (the popes) are of the truly firm and immovable rock, that is of the most great and Apostolic Church of Rome. (Maximus, in J.B. Mansi, ed. Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, vol. 10)

If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus also anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God ...Let him hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which is from the incarnate of the Son of God Himself, and also all the holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and supreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world. (Maximus, Letter to Peter, in Mansi x, 692).

John VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (715):
The Pope of Rome, the head of the Christian priesthood, whom in Peter, the Lord commanded to confirm his brethren. (John VI, Epist. ad Constantin. Pap. ad. Combefis, Auctuar. Bibl. P.P. Graec.tom. ii. p. 211, seq.)
St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (758-828):
Without whom (the Romans presiding in the seventh Council) a doctrine brought forward in the Church could not, even though confirmed by canonical decrees and by ecclesiastical usage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Popes of Rome) who have had assigned to them the rule in sacred things, and who have received into their hands the dignity of headship among the Apostles. (Nicephorus, Niceph. Cpl. pro. s. imag. c 25 [Mai N. Bibl. pp. ii. 30]).

St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople (759-826):
Writing to Pope Leo III ....
Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven. (Theodore, Bk. I. Ep. 23)

Writing to Pope Paschal, ...

Hear, O Apostolic Head, divinely-appointed Shepherd of Christ's sheep, key bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, Rock of the Faith upon whom the Catholic Church is built. For Peter art thou, who adornest and governest the Chair of Peter. Hither, then, from the West, imitator of Christ, arise and repel not for ever (Ps. xliii. 23). To thee spake Christ our Lord: 'And thou being one day converted, shalt strengthen thy brethren.' Behold the hour and the place. Help us, thou that art set by God for this. Stretch forth thy hand so far as thou canst. Thou hast strength with God, through being the first of all. (Letter of St. Theodore and four other Abbots to Pope Paschal, Bk. ii Ep. 12, Patr. Graec. 99, 1152-3)

Writing to Emperor Michael, ...

Order that the declaration from old Rome be received, as was the custom by Tradition of our Fathers from of old and from the beginning. For this, O Emperor, is the highest of the Churches of God, in which first Peter held the Chair, to whom the Lord said: Thou art Peter ...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Theodore, Bk. II. Ep. 86)

I witness now before God and men, they have torn themselves away from the Body of Christ, from the Supreme See (Rome), in which Christ placed the keys of the Faith, against which the gates of hell (I mean the mouth of heretics) have not prevailed, and never will until the Consummation, according to the promise of Him Who cannot lie. Let the blessed and Apostolic Paschal (Pope St. Paschal I) rejoice therefore, for he has fulfilled the work of Peter. (Theodore Bk. II. Ep. 63).

In truth we have seen that a manifest successor of the prince of the Apostles presides over the Roman Church. We truly believe that Christ has not deserted the Church here (Constantinople), for assistance from you has been our one and only aid from of old and from the beginning by the providence of God in the critical times. You are, indeed the untroubled and pure fount of orthodoxy from the beginning, you the calm harbor of the whole Church, far removed from the waves of heresy, you the God-chosen city of refuge. (Letter of St. Theodor & Four Abbots to Pope Paschal).

Let him (Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople) assemble a synod of those with whom he has been at variance, if it is impossible that representatives of the other Patriarchs should be present, a thing which might certainly be if the Emperor should wish the Western Patriarch (the Roman Pope) to be present, to whom is given authority over an ecumenical synod; but let him make peace and union by sending his synodical letters to the prelate of the First See. (Theodore the Studite, Patr. Graec. 99, 1420)

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch (363):
Our Lord Jesus Christ then became a man, but by the many He was not known. But wishing to teach that which was not known, having assembled the disciples, He asked, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' ...And all being silent (for it was beyond man to learn) Peter, the Foremost of the Apostles, the Chief Herald of the Church, not using the language of his own finding, nor persuaded by human reasoning, but having his mind enlightened by the Father, says to Him, 'Thou art the Christ,' not simply that, but 'the Son of the living God.' (Cyril, Catech. xi. n. 3)

For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven. (Cyril, Catechetical Lectures A.D. 350).

Peter, the chief and foremost leader of the Apostles, before a little maid thrice denied the Lord, but moved to penitence, he wept bitterly. (Cyril, Catech ii. n. 15)

In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, also the foremost of the Apostles and the key-bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, healed Aeneas the paralytic in the name of Christ. (Cyril, Catech. xviii. n. 27)
St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (c. 638):
Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the pope's) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus, and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul ... I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church. (Sophronius, Mansi, xi. 461)

Transverse quickly all the world from one end to the other until you come to the Apostolic See (Rome), where are the foundations of the orthodox doctrine. Make clearly known to the most holy personages of that throne the questions agitated among us. Cease not to pray and to beg them until their apostolic and Divine wisdom shall have pronounced the victorious judgment and destroyed from the foundation ...the new heresy. (Sophronius,[quoted by Bishop Stephen of Dora to Pope Martin I at the Lateran Council], Mansi, x., 893)

Stephen, Bishop of Dora in Palestine (645):
And for this cause, sometimes we ask for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair (the Chair of Peter at Rome) which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the head and highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from old and from the beginning with power by its canonical or apostolic authority, because the truly great Peter, head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be trusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the Gospel of grace, but because he was also commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for 'Peter,' saith He, 'lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.' And again, because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God Himself incarnate for us with power and sacerdotal authority .....And Sophronius of blessed memory, who was Patriarch of the holy city of Christ our God, and under whom I was bishop, conferring not with flesh and blood, but caring only for the things of Christ with respect to your Holiness, hastened to send my nothingness without delay about this matter alone to this Apostolic see, where are the foundations of holy doctrine.

St. Epiphanius, Archbishop of Salamis (385):
Holy men are therefore called the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them; as that Chief of the Apostles testifies, he that was found to be blessed by the Lord, because the Father had revealed unto him. To him then did the Father reveal His true Son; and the same (Peter) furthermore reveals the Holy Spirit. This was befitting in the First of the Apostles, that firm Rock upon which the Church of God is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The gates of hell are heretics and heresiarchs. For in every way was the faith confirmed in him who received the keys of heaven; who looses on earth and binds in heaven. For in him are found all subtle questions of faith. He was aided by the Father so as to be (or lay) the Foundation of the security (firmness) of the faith. He (Peter) heard from the same God, 'feed my lambs'; to him He entrusted the flock; he leads the way admirably in the power of his own Master. (Epiphanius, T. ii. in Anchor).
Sergius, Metropolitan of Cyprus (649 A.D.)
He writes to Pope Theodore, ....

O Holy Head, Christ our God hath destined thy Apostolic See to be an immovable foundation and a pillar of the Faith. For thou art, as the Divine Word truly saith, Peter, and on thee as a foundation-stone have the pillars of the Church been fixed. (Sergius Ep. ad Theod. lecta in Sess. ii. Concil. Lat. anno 649)
(Previously cited here).

Clearly there's much more recognition of the papacy and Peter's headship in the East than Mr. Bugay (and even most Eastern Orthodox) would like to give credit for.
Describing the period from approximately 400-900ad, a period during which the Church was “unified under the papacy,” Klaus Schatz, in his “Papal Primacy: From Its Origins to the Present” (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, ©1996 by the Order of St. Benedict, Inc.), Schatz points out that “for five hundred years the role of Rome in the imperial Church was determined essentially by the relationships among three entities: the ecumenical councils, the patriarchates, and the imperial establishment.”
Let me state first off, the Church was "unified under" Christ from the very beginning.  Jesus Christ selected St. Peter to be His vicar (John 21:15-17) in the presence of the rest of the Apostles.  
Keep in mind that the Roman church had always been marked by a lust for power and expansion.
Mr. Bugay seems oblivious to our Lord's command to "go ye therefore into all nations..." (the "Great Commission") wherein the Church was commanded to "expand."  Mr. Bugay labels this adherence to Christ's command as a "lust for power and expansion?"
150 ad: the church at Rome is ruled by a plurality of presbyters who quarrel about status and honor. (Shepherd of Hermas). “They had a certain jealousy of one another over questions of preeminence and about some kind of distinction. But they are all fools to be jealous of one another regarding preeminence.”
This is not a denial of preeminence - on the contrary, the fact they are squabbling about it at this early date is implicit evidence of such preeminence already believed and practiced.
235: Hippolytus and Pontianus are exiled from Rome by the emperor “because of street fighting between their followers” (Collins citing Cerrato, Oxford 2002).
This is not denial of the papal office!  Just because "followers" were allegedly "street fighting" does not say there was no papacy.
258: Cyprian (Carthage/west) and Firmilian (Caesarea/east) both become incensed when Stephen tries to exercise authority outside of Rome. [Stephen is the first pope on record to cite Matt 16:18 in support of his own authority.]
St. Cyprian writes (citing the same passage Bugay asserts Stephen being the first to use for his own authority):
"[After quoting Matthew 16:18f; John 21:15ff]...On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigned a like power to all the Apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, 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; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, all 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 desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church [first edition] 4, c. AD 251)
"Our Lord, whose commands we ought to fear and observe, says in the Gospel, by way of assigning the episcopal dignity and settling the plan of His Church...[quotes Matthew 16:18f]...From that time the ordination of bishops and the plan of the Church flows on through the changes of times and successions; for the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers. Since this has indeed been established by divine law, I marvel at the rash boldness of certain persons who have desired to write to me as if they were writing their letters in the name of the Church, 'since the Church is established upon the bishop and upon the clergy and upon all who stand firm in the faith.'" (Cyprian, Letter 33 (27), 1 to the Lapsed, c. AD 250)

"They who have not peace themselves now offer peace to others. They who have withdrawn from the Church promise to lead back and to recall the lapsed to the Church. There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewehre is scattering." (Cyprian, Letter 43 (40), 5, c. AD 251)

"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; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance." (Cyprian, Letter 59 (55), 14 to Cornelius of Rome, c. AD 252)

"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is One and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another." (Cyprian, Letter 66 (69), 8 to Florentius Pupianus, c. AD 254)
Mr. Bugay gets no real support from St. Cyprian!  Now yes, there IS this single case wherein Cyprian and Firmilian oppose Pope St. Stephen over the matter of rebaptizing heretics - but St. Cyprian's overwhelming support of unity under St. Peter's successor overshadows this incident regarding the rebaptizing of those baptized by heretics.
306: Rival “popes” exiled because of “violent clashes” (Collins)

308: Rival “popes” exiled because of “violent clashes” (Collins again).
An assertion supported only by a date and a secondary source reference ("Collins") is not a valid argument and is thusly rejected as such.
What genuinely gave bishops of Rome the impetus to expand further was the conversion of Constantine. Eamon Duffy noted that this event “propelled the bishops of Rome into the heart of the Roman establishment. Already powerful and influential men, they now became grandees on a par with the wealthiest senators in the city. Bishops all over the Roman world would now be expected to take on the role of judges, governors, great servants of state (“Saints and Sinners,” New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997, 2001, pg 37).
Well first off here, note that the writer admits to the fact that the "Bishops of Rome" were "already powerful and influential."   Then, as there never was a separation of Church and State - as most modern men and writers experience - bishops from every region are further empowered as a natural flow when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity.
Duffy had previously recounted the story of the young Ambrose (b. 340-397), “fascinated as the women of the family clustered around Liberius (352-366), kissing his hand, and the boy had amused and infuriated his relatives by imitating his stately walk and offering his own hand to be kissed by the womenfolk” (36).
What this has to do with the price of rice in China, I don't know.  It seems Mr. Bugay is just digging up whatever he can that he perceives to be negative.
In 324, though, Constantine moved the capital to the East. According to Duffy, he:
“washed his hands of Rome,” and “departed to create a Christian capital in the East. It would fall to the popes to create a Christian Rome. They set about it by building churches, converting the modest tituli (community church centres) into something grander, and creating new and more public foundations, … Over the next hundred years their churches advanced into the city – Pope Mark’s (336) San Marco within a stone’s throw of the Capitol, Pope Liberius’ massive basilica on the Esquiline (now Santa Maria Maggiore), Pope Damasus’ Santa Anastasia at the foot of the Palatine, Pope Julius’ foundation of the site of the present Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Pudenziana near the Baths of Diocletian under Pope Anastasius (399-401), Santa Sabina among the patrician villas on the Aventine under Pope Celestine (422-32).

These churches were a mark of the upbeat confidence of post-Constantinian Christianity in Rome. The popes were potentates, and began to behave like it. Damasus (366-382) perfectly embodied this growing grandeur. An urbane career cleric like his predecessor Liberius, at home in the wealthy salons of the city, he was also a ruthless power-broker, and he did not hesitate to mobilize both the city police and the Christian mob to back up his rule His election had been contested, and he had prevailed by sheer force of numbers – as the Liber Pontificalis puts it, ‘they confirmed Damasus because he was the stronger and had the greater number of supporters; that was how Damasus was confirmed’. Damasus’ grass-roots supporters included squads of the notoriously hard-boiled Roman fossores, [actually a minor order in the church, made up of catacomb diggers generally armed with picks], and they massacred 137 followers of the rival Pope Ursinus in street-fighting that ended in a bloody siege of what is now the church of Santa Maria Maggiore” (37-38).
I’ve heard Roman Catholics say that, “well, it was the highest office in the church, it’s no wonder people would fight about it. First, that’s no excuse, for Christians (1 Tim 3), and second, that’s not the real reason people fought about it. Here, Duffy cites the secular historian Ammianus Marcellinus:
I do not deny that men who covet this office in order to fulfill their ambitions may well struggle for it with every resource at their disposal. For once they have obtained it they are ever after secure, enriched with offerings from the ladies, riding abroad seated in their carriages, splendidly arrayed, giving banquets so lavish that they supass the tables of royalty… (38).
It was noted above that Liberius pranced around prompting women to kiss his hand, and Damasus himself was known as “the ladies’ ear-tickler”.
Well again, Mr. Bugay would like for all Christians to be impeccable, but that just hasn't happened and won't happen until our Lord returns in glory.  Men are men, women are women - both know how to "use" whatever system they find themselves in.  Some were "better" than others, and some were down-right corrupt, but NONE were perfect.
As a side note, (snip) - removed as this is purely nothing more than a distraction from the discussion at hand.
J.N.D. Kelly, in his “Oxford Dictionary of the Popes,” points out that Basil the Great (d. 379) had a “less than happy” relationship with Damasus and that “like the west generally, [Damasus] failed to understand the new developments and, when Antioch was split between rival bishops, [Damasus] persisted in backing Paulinus, the unrepresentative leader of a reactionary group, instead of Meletius, on whom eastern hopes for unity were centred; …In despair Basil described him as impossibly arrogant.”
So, the Bishop of Rome did not support the bishop the East wanted...  now, if Rome had no real say outside its own borders, why is this even being discussed?
Kelly also notes that while “he took no part in the ecumenical council (the second) held at Constantinople in 381, and made no contribution to the constructive détente between east and west which was now under way,” nevertheless ”Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as ‘the apostolic see’ and ruling that the test of a creed’s orthodoxy was its endorsement by the pope.” (Kelly 33)
The fact is, Constantinople I declares Constantinople to be "New Rome" and is declared above all other churches - except Rome, to which it remained second.  The statement that there was "no part" in the Second Ecumenical Council is not quite true, as Rome did send legates.  That council would not have the title of "ecumenical" without Rome's endorsement.
So even by the time of Damasus, while the eastern churches were embroiled in some of the most intensive deliberations over Nicene orthodoxy and the Nicene creed, “pope” Damasus was busy tickling ladies’ ears, promoting his own importance, and fomenting division among the Eastern churches. Damasus is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
This statement is nothing but polemical gossip.  Because someone made a comment about "tickling ladies' ears" this is now the only thing someone like Mr. Bugay will recognize Pope Damasus for.  Pope Damasus had to deal with an anti-pope.  In two Roman synods (368 and 369) he condemned Apollinarianism and Macedonianism (source).  It was also Pope Damasus who commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Bible into the common (vulgar) tongue of the people, hence the name of the "Vulgate." 

Mr. Bugay, as a former Catholic, certainly seems to have quite an ax to grind here, but his viewpoints are far from objective - he seems to only see negatives.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this quote might be apt:

    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." --G.K. Chesterton

    In the world of Catholic Apologetics, it seems that Catholic continually have to defend against the same fallacies over and over. Certain anti-Catholic propaganda becomes fashion and seems never to cease being fashionable. One, of course, being that the papacy and the authority of the papacy, is a modern "invention." Little could be further from the truth, but this fallacy continues to enjoy fashion.


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