Papacy Debate. Scott's Rebuttal #2

I will again focus my attention on the conclusion from Chris' Rebuttal #1.  I have read through his rebuttal, but to answer it, line-by-line, would end up adding so much to each successive response that by the time we finished a single response would be so verbose that few if any would bother reading through them.  It is my intent, not only to answer Chris - but to provide a meaningful response which others will read and even refer to in the future.  In my conclusion I will summarize the points I respond to and feel there is further need of response from Chris.

Chris wrote:
In large part, Scott has failed to address the points of dispute.

This is a matter of Chris' opinion.  It is noted that Chris didn't deal with the majority of the 21 Church Fathers quotes which even he admits are more on topic and spoke to the fact that these Fathers and the Early Church considered Peter and his successors to be the "coryphaeus" or "head" of the Church.  Instead, he focuses on the quotes he feels are more generically referring to Peter.  Again, the significance is that they single out Peter and/or his apostolic see (or throne - a point which Chris tries to differentiate a bit in one of the quotes - as if there is a difference between a "see" and a "throne" when BOTH refer to the "seat" of the bishop).

Chris wrote:
Orthodoxy is happy to hear nice things about Peter. Orthodoxy, pre-schism, was happy to consider popes to be one of the successors to Peter. Orthodoxy was even happy to consider Rome's bishop to be the first bishop. For Scott to prove what was agreed already, does not actually win him the debate.

Again, many of the quotes went far beyond merely being "friendly" to the Bishop of Rome, but declaring him to be the head, the coryphaeus.  Chris seems to be avoiding the quotes which prove him wrong and simply focusing on the more general ones - which can be taken EITHER way.

Chris wrote:
For Scott to make progress in this debate, he must tell us why we shouldn't accept all that the Fathers taught, and not just the subset he believes.

So we see here Chris conceding that there IS a "subset" which believes as I believe!  Great!  We're making progress!  Now need I remind Chris that nearly ALL the quotes I provided were from EASTERN Early Church Fathers!?  If I go to the Latin Fathers - the amount of evidence becomes overwhelming!  I tried to stay with Eastern Fathers so that those quotes would have more relevance to Chris' new-found Eastern tradition.
Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't we keep Rome's jurisdiction to her own geographical boundaries as the first council taught?

Chris defeats his own statement in the second paragraph of his Rebuttal #1.  Let me repeat that paragraph for the reader now so that you do not have to go back and look it up:
Chris wrote:
It seems worth refreshing our memories again, what the positions are from my opening statement. Orthodoxy doesn't deny that the Bishop of Rome had primacy in the early church. We don't deny that the see of Rome was one of the sees with a special relationship with Peter. We don't deny that as Christendom's top bishop, people from all over the place took an interest in his opinion on various issues (just as they did with other Patriarchs). We don't deny that Patriarchs, and especially the top Patriarch often took a hand in resolving disputes.

Chris has conceded that the Bishop of Rome not only has "primacy" but is also referred to as the "top bishop."  Likewise he concedes that the Bishop of Rome, like the other Patriarchs, often took a hand in resolving disputes and he notes "especially the top Patriarch."  Essentially he has conceded the entire debate to me in these statements!  THE TOPIC of THIS DEBATE is whether or not the modern papacy is logically rooted in the Early Church - and he has just conceded, twice in one paragraph, that the Bishop of Rome IS the "top bishop" and the "top Patriarch."

Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't we consider the papacy non-essential to a canonical ecumenical council as the second council taught?

At this point I would have to challenge Chris to provide documentation that the Second Ecumenical Council "taught" this.  What we have seen thus far is an argument from silence in this regard.  The fact that no bishops from the West were in attendance at this council would be a cause of concern to call it an "ecumenical council" - however, since this council was ratified, two centuries later, by Rome to be a general council it is accepted as such by the entire Church to this day.

Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't an ecumenical council reconsider a Pope's decision as the third council taught?

I am not arguing against an ecumenical council's ability to reconsider a pope's decision, nor is this a matter of concern for this debate!  The FACT that a council takes to task the decision of a pope at all throws weight to my side of this debate!  It demonstrates that popes did indeed make decisions beyond their geographic jurisdiction and that these decisions have been reconsidered by subsequent ecumenical councils!  Thanks for the support Chris!

Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't we be prepared to demote a Patriarchate as the fourth council taught?

The Fourth Ecumenical Council, Chalcedon 451ad, names Constantinople as the "Second See" - behind (but equal to in other aspects) Rome!  It is also at this council that the council fathers states, "Behold the faith of the fathers, the faith of the Apostles; thus through (Pope) Leo has Peter spoken!"  Naming this council destroys the argument Chris is trying to make, I wonder if anyone else is as shocked as I am that Chris would seek support from Chalcedon?

Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't we make Rome's primacy conditional on her orthodoxy as the fifth council taught?

Decrees from the Second Ecumenical Council:

Here you can see the decrees from the Fifth Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Constantinople, and there is no mention of "primacy" in there, much less the making of orthodoxy (another word not found in this citation).  That being said, an unorthodox pope does not change the status of the "primacy" of the see.  Chris already affirms there IS primacy in Rome - so this is a rather moot point anyway.

Chris wrote:
Why shouldn't we consider that popes can teach heresy as the sixth council taught?

Chris misrepresents Constantinople III here for Pope Honorius is NOT condemned for "teaching" heresy, on the contrary he is condemned for NOT TEACHING in the face of heresy!  The Monothelites were running rampant and Pope Honorius didn't condemn them - THAT was Honorius' "error."  Again, what Chris is missing here is the fact that this council was pointing out the NEED for a pope to stand up and TEACH to ALL - and Pope Honorius failed to do this.  So again we have the facts confirming MY SIDE of the debate, not Chris'!

Chris wrote:
The question is one of who is going to judge who.

No, the question of THIS DEBATE is not over who judges whom - but rather what is the ROLE of the papacy and if that ROLE is a legitimate development from the Early Church.  I suppose I should have objected to the word "development" earlier, but having not done so previously I do so now.  It is my contention that the ROLE of the Bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter's See in Rome has not "developed" but rather has been consistent from the beginning of the Church and that ROLE has been referenced throughout the history of the Church.  My quotes, I repeat, were primarily from Eastern Church Fathers in order to have more relevance to Chris' adherence to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Chris wrote:
Is Scott going to set himself up as judge of Mt 16 over and against the Fathers? Is he going to judge Popes as to when they speak infallibly? Is he going to judge who in fact is the valid pope or bishop? Is he going to judge the ecumenical councils as to how they apply to the papacy?  Or will he submit both himself and the Pope to the judgment of the Church?

First off NONE of those questions have ANYTHING to do with THIS DEBATE!  What *I* will judge or submit to is NOT the thesis we are to prove or disprove here!  Secondly, the answer to each of those questions (so I cannot be accused of avoiding questions) is no; no; no; no; yes for me and I do not submit the pope to any judgment.

Chris wrote:
As I discussed in my opening statement, the papacy solves nothing.

Again, we're not here to debate whether or not the papacy solves anything!  We're here to debate the role of the papacy and whether or not the modern role can be traced to the Early Church.

Chris wrote:
The most non-concilliar doctrine ever proposed - papal infallibility, actually puts the burden of judgment back onto the individual to judge what is infallible, and thus no two Catholics can now agree on what the Church teaches infallibly.

Papal infallibility is scriptural!  The statement neither you, nor ANY opponent of papal infallibility I have seen, is based in Matthew 16:18-19.  That statement is that Peter, and Jesus is speaking to Peter ALONE at this point, has the authority to bind or loose whatsoever he chooses AND whatsoever he binds on Earth is also bound in Heaven.  So, unless Chris is contending that error can be bound in Heaven, Peter (alone here) is given the charism of infallibility.  Later, the college of Apostles/Bishops (like in an ecumenical council) is given the same charism.  The Apostles as a group, or Peter alone.  This is Scripture and does not need "conciliar" approval (though that too is given, but after the Eastern schism, thus Chris would not accept that as a conciliar statement so it really is not part of my argument).

Scott's Conclusion for Rebuttal #2:

I again assert, what is stated above are my answers to Chris' statements.  Chris can choose to deal with those statements or not in his next rebuttal.  What I do expect a "line-by-line" treatment of is my conclusion, which follows:

A throne is another word for a see or chair - the significance of the quote referring to the Apostolic Throne is not lost in calling it a "see" or a "chair."

The See of Rome is considered throughout the Early Church as the "coryphaeus" or "head."  Many of the quotes I provided from Eastern Fathers testify to this point and Chris largely ignores that entire concept and most of the "21 quotes" which he has affirmed DO speak to this end.

Chris has stated there IS a subset, at least, which agrees with my position - in doing so he has conceded this debate!  The modern role of the papacy can indeed be traced to the Early Church - if even only in the "subset" which he concedes.  Now I remind the reader, the primary "subset" I have referred to thus far is almost wholly comprised of Eastern Fathers! 

Chris has conceded that the Bishop of Rome is considered to be the "top Bishop" and the "top Patriarch."  He openly stated that Orthodoxy doesn't deny the Bishop of Rome these titles and/or that role.  Again, in doing so Chris has largely conceded this entire debate.

I reiterate my challenge to Chris to document his statement that the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople I) "taught" that the consent of the Bishop of Rome was unnecessary to consider a council to be "ecumenical."  In fact, the fact that Constantinople I did not include ANY bishops from the West, that council itself was dependent on the Pope's consent - which would not come until a couple hundred years later, but it DID come and thus IS considered to be among the ecumenical councils by both East and West.

Chris has conceded that the early Popes did indeed make decisions beyond their geographical jurisdiction and demonstrated this fact for me in pointing to the Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431ad) and that this council reconsidered such decisions by an earlier pope.  Again, I thank Chris for the support here!

In naming the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon 451ad) Chris has indirectly affirmed again the Bishop of Rome's position as the "First See" when it named Constantinople as the Second See effectively "demoting" the Patriarch of Antioch (which, incidentally is another See of Peter - but was never referred to as "the First See").  He argues for equal treatment considered to Constantinople and Rome - which Rome does not deny and never has.  What is significant here that both Constantinople AND Rome are considered "above" the other sees - and why is Constantinople raised to this level?  Because it is also referred to as "New ROME!" 

I also challenge Chris to acknowledge that he misrepresented Constantinople III for it did not condemn Pope Honorius for teaching, rather he was condemned for NOT teaching in the face of the Monothelite heresy which was running rampant throughout the Church.  Pope Honorius was condemned because he did NOT stand up and teach EXACTLY HOW CHRIS AFFIRMS THE PAPACY HAS NO LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO TEACH!  In other words, the condemnation of Honorius at Constantinople III is evidence for my side of this debate, not Chris'!

Again I thank Chris for the opportunity to present the Catholic teaching on this matter.  I hope and pray that he sees the truth in what has been said here and sees the fact that he has already, in large part, conceded this debate as I have pointed out above.  I hope and pray that his journey to the One, True Church has not ended short of the mark.

Scott Windsor<<<

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