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
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).
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
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.
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
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
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:
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."
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
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!
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?
Why shouldn't we make Rome's primacy conditional on her orthodoxy as the fifth council taught?
Decrees from the Second Ecumenical Council: http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum05.htm
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.
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'!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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