Another blogger who uses a pseudonym of "TurretinFan" posted an article of little more than invented scenarios which were seeming to impugn the Catholic teaching on the papacy. Some responses have gone back and forth in the combox on his blog, but my current response is read better as its own article than a combox so I am posting it here (I'm also posting it there in parts, but again it's easier to read it here). To see what I'm responding to, please visit TurretinFan's blog here:
> a) There's nothing in the original article that
> suggests that Roman apologists use these
The inference is there when you said, “many of my readers of the Roman communion would draw a similar inference that Athanasius is affirming Roman primacy.” You have clarified that you did not have any Catholic apologists in mind, I have thanked you for this clarification - and I thank you again.
> I was hoping the problem was that you
> didn't read the article carefully. If you did
> read it carefully, I'm not sure what to
> attribute your question to.
Again, I had no “problem” with the article, per se, other than the invented “what if” scenario seemed deliberately misleading. Again, you have clarified your position. I have thanked you, and I thank you again.
> b) You are welcome to disagree, but most
> of the quotations at the links you provided
> don't even come close to being as strong
> statements in favor of Rome or Rome's
> bishop as the statements in favor of
> Alexandria's bishop, or Caesarea's bishop,
> or Carthage's bishop, or Antioch.
> Let me take the first quotation from your
> first list:
>> "The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul],
>> having founded and built up the church
>> [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of
>> the episcopate to Linus"
>> (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189]).
> Look at it! Even if we leave aside the
> fact that the hacked up quotation has to
> use brackets to put in the most important
> words, and even if we ignore the fact that
> Irenaeus is absolutely guaranteed to be
> wrong (Scripture proves that Paul didn't
> found the church in Rome), still what
> does he say except that Linus was
> made a bishop there by them? Nothing
> about universal jurisdiction, primacy, or
> succession of investiture of replacement
> of Peter by Linus after Peter's death
> (what are we supposed to believe that
> there were two popes for a while?).
Let us take your objections here in order:
1) The “hacked up quotation” which makes use of brackets does so to insert the CONTEXT of St. Irenaeus’ work! Just look at 3:2:
by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those who exist everywhere. (emphasis mine)Yes, the context speaks volumes - and I would encourage any objective readers here to look at the context: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm
2) I am not here to argue your disagreement with St. Irenaeus.
3) Saying St. Linus was made a bishop by them, alone, does not prove succession - but it does, when combined with OTHER ECF testimonies, provide further evidence for succession.
4) THEN when we look at the paragraph just prior to the one cited in the list, which you refer to, we DO see things in a much more “Catholic” light.
5) Two popes? I’m not asking you to believe that - while I would not oppose the concept of a dual governing by Sts. Peter and Paul - St. Peter still has a primacy of office which St. Paul does not have.
> It's lame. It doesn't come close to
> establishing a papacy in the early church.
Well, again, when we look at the context, which again I hope you and both your and my readers do, such an establishment is not hard to see at all.
> It takes oodles of wishful thinking and
> Rome-colored glasses to anachronistically
> impose the papacy on that quotation.
Again, there is no anachronism here. I feel the need to use a quote from The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo Montoya)
> The first of my quotations says Athanasius
> had the "charge of the whole world" which
> is a lot closer in its sound to a statement of
> universal jurisdiction than Linus simply
> being made a bishop.
Well again, read a bit more context from St. Ireneaus, but be that as it may - the words of praise for St. Athanasius came near the end of his life. You may recall, it was St. Athanasius, almost alone, who stood firm on behalf of the entire Church in the face of Arianism. I whole-heartedly uphold the praises lofted upon him in his waining years.
> Yes, I'm free to have a contrary opinion to
> yours, and there's a good reason I do.
Well, while I have empathy for your opinions, I once thought much as you do - I cannot agree that your reasons are good - and I’m certain that where you are now you do not believe my stance is “good” either.
Godspeed to you, TF.
Scott:a) As far as your response to my analysis of the quotation goes, you abandon the quotation itself for a questionable translation of another item in the context;
b) But even with that, you are forced to admit "Saying St. Linus was made a bishop by them, alone, does not prove succession";
c) So you make a vague general appeal to all the ECFs writings and claim "THEN when we look at the paragraph just prior to the one cited in the list, which you refer to, we DO see things in a much more “Catholic” light."
But of course the problem is that the same methodology is applied to all the quotations. None of them prove the papacy, and it is only by selecting those quotations and viewing them anachronistically that we can conclude that they have anything to do with the papacy (a doctrine unknown in that time).-TurretinFan
a) From what I can see, the verbage is identical to what you quoted - so now it's a "questionable translation?"
b) Again, the word "alone" there should be "ALONE" to make the point that this statement ALONE does not PROVE succession - however taken in light of other quotes it ADDS to the evidence of succession as numerous ECFs list St. Linus in the succession of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome.
c) No one is asking you to "view them anachronistically." LOOK at what is said IN CONTEXT and IN TIME - the words are ALL THERE, but again - only for one who has eyes to see.