Scott's Rebuttal #3

Chris wrote: Some have criticized the length of my opening statement. The reason it is lengthy was that I desired to address all the standard slogans before they came up.

For this reason I am saddened that Scott seems to be treating this as merely an opportunity to state his position without bothering to interact with the opposing position, which has been fully documented.

In a valid debate it is to be assumed that one will summarize the points of opposition in their conclusion.  To respond line-by-line to every response would make each response exponentially longer than the previous.  I chose to respond to those points Chris felt important enough to include in his concluding statement.  Note to Chris, this is a debate, not a dialog.  Now, since this "Rebuttal 2" from Chris is a bit shorter, I will respond with the more "dialog" method, but I do not promise to continue this in formal debate.  Again, such is fine for a webboard, blog or email list - but in a formal debate I will expect the following format in the future:

1) Opening Statement (each section of the debate should have its own Opening)

2) Documentation to support the Opening Statement

3) Conclusion (final arguments linking the documentation to the Opening Statement)

As a participant in the debate, I should only need to look at the Conclusion, and if I have questions, look back to the documentation provided in section 2.

Case in Point #1 - Honorius

Scott has trotted out the old chestnut that Honorius wasn't condemned for teaching heresy, but rather for failing to proclaim the truth. Astonishingly, he somehow sees milage from Honorius for his side!

For the record, it was Chris who "trotted out" Pope Honorius as an allegedly heretical pope in his first rebuttal.  My explanation suited Chris' accusation.  The condemnation upon Pope Honorius was for his LACK of action.  Now let me ask - if the position of the pope was so unimportant, as Chris would have you believe - then why single out a single bishop for LACK of action?  The very reason they chose to condemn Pope Honorius is precisely because they felt as pope he should have done more to preserve orthodoxy.

But Scott doesn't have enough respect for the debate to interact with the documentation given. Here are a few excerpts from the text of my opening statement:

Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolical tradition but by profane treachery tried to subvert its spotless faith" ~ Pope Leo II
How can merely failing to teaching the truth be regarded as "treachery" and "trying to subvert the faith"?

Because as pope - they saw the lack of action as consent to the "treachery" and likewise to not act to preserve the orthodox faith they saw this as subversive.  This is not hard to see, unless one does not WANT to see.
"St Leo II accepted the Holy Sixth Council wherein were condemned Cyrus, Sergius, Honorius, Pyrrhus who asserted or preached one will and operation in our Lord Jesus Christ". ~Roman Breviary
Honorius "asserted or preached one will". How much clearer does it get?
"Anathema to the heretic Sergius! Anathema to the heretic Honorius" ~Sixth Council
You don't get anathemetized a heretic for merely failing to do something.
"We anathematize and reject those also who are the heretical promoters and patrons of the superfluous and new dogmas" Among these "Honorius, who was Pope of old Rome, who in all things promoted and cooperated with and confirmed their heresy". ~Sixth Council


It just doesn't get any clearer than this. Honorius was regarded as promoting and cooperating with the heresy in ALL things.

Remember, the issue is not whether you think Honorius taught the heresy, the issue is that the Church has always believed that he did. And never did anyone till the 19th century feel compelled to come up with the theory that Honorius didn't teach heresy. These 12 or so centuries where the Church believed Honorius taught heresy is what is devestating to Scott's position. If Scott wants to be taken seriously, he MUST document this opinion from the first millenium.

But the sad thing is that Scott hasn't even bothered to address it.

The fact is, I have addressed it.  Pope Honorius was hated by those who came after him due to his lack of action and lax leadership at a time when letters from him may have squashed the Monothelite heresy at its roots.  Instead, Pope Honorius was trying to reconcile the Monothelites.  Ironically Honorius was not condemned upon his death by his successor - but some 40 years later!  In today's world we could compare that to digging up dirt on Pope Pius XII and labeling him a Nazi due to his lack of action against

the Nazis.  Could he have sent letters condemning Hilter and his regime?  Certainly, but that almost as certainly would have brought Hitler's wrath down upon more Catholics (who were already being persecuted and put in concentration camps for their faith).  Still, modern antagonists - especially those who oppose the papacy - attack Pope Pius XII for similar reasons Pope Honorius was attacked.  I understand that myopically viewing those documents you cite regarding Honorius appear to be a solid case, but the more objectively you look at history and other reports of the situation - the more those condemnations appear to be built on shifting sand.  


What are the words used to condemn Honorius?

We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, ...and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted."
Again, it's due to his LACK of action - not due to anything he actually taught.  We are to debate whether or not the modern papacy is a legitimate development.  If anything, the Honorius case (as I already mentioned) draws attention TO the thesis due to his LACK of action as pope which could have squashed the Monothelite heresy at its roots.   Again, I did not bring up Pope Honorius intially and have said all I intend to say about this case.

Case in Point #2 - Second Council

Scott challenges me to document that the second council taught that they didn't need the consent of Rome. But I already documented this, and yet again Scott doesn't bother to interact with it:

"To the right honourable lords our right reverend brethren and colleagues, Damasus, Ambrosius, Britton, Valerianus, Ascholius, Anemius, Basilius and the rest of the holy bishops assembled in the great city of Rome, the holy synod of the orthodox bishops assembled at the great city of Constantinople sends greeting in the Lord.... "We beseech your reverence to rejoice at what has thus been rightly and canonically settled by us, by the intervention of spiritual love and by the influence of the fear of the Lord, compelling the feelings of men, and making the edification of churches of more importance than individual grace or favour." ~Bishops of Constantinople to the Pope.

The council of Constantinople I, which drew up dogmatic canons concerning the Christian faith, considered the issues "settled" and done so "canonically" , prior to the Pope having given his approval.

How is an off-hand comment from Augustine that "the case is closed", more significant than an ecumenical council of the world's bishops stating that "it is canonically settled"? This so clearly shows the complete hypocrisy of the Roman position.

First off, the Council of Constantinople I settled issues - I do not dispute that.  


Second, I draw attention to the fact that they submitted their "canonically settled" issues to Rome.  This alone does not prove my case, but again - I did not bring this up!  Chris brought this up thinking it supports his side of the thesis, but again the very fact that they submitted these "canonically settled" matters to Rome is an indication of how much they respected Rome and sought Rome's blessing upon the council decisions.


Thirdly, local jurisdictions have canonical rights, responsibilities and duties and may adjudicate matters without Rome's involvement on every issue - in fact I would say most issues are "rightly and canonically settled" without Rome's intervention.


Fourthly, the fact that local jurisdictions can and do settle things without Rome does not take away from Rome's authority.  


Fifthly, Constantinople I and St. Augustine's Sermon 131.10 are not related issues.  St. Augustine, and the African bishops wrote to Rome (sent rescripts) and Rome responded.

So Rome had spoken and that is when St. Augustine stated "causa finita est" ("the cause is ended" or "case is closed").


There is no hypocrisy in the Catholic position, only polemics coming from one who turns a blind eye to anything "Catholic."  At least that's the way this appears.

Case in point #3 - Third Council

Scott tries to make hay out of the Pope's attempt to "make decisions beyond his geographical jurisdiction" . Firstly, Scott doesn't seem to be at all bothered that this attempt was completely rebuffed.

But even worse, he doesn't interact with the quote I gave showing that this extra-jurisdictiona l judgement was also taken by the Patriarch of Alexandria:

"the authority of our See, having been combined with yours, and acting authoritatively in our stead will carry out this sentence with due severity" ~Pope to Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem

The authority the Pope calls on is the combination of two Patriarchal sees, not the keys of Peter. And Cyril calls a local council and issues an anathema in his own name. If the Roman Pope's dabbling in events outside Rome is significant, then we could say the same of the Pope of Alexandria. However, both of them were ignored by the authority of the ecumenical council.

Again, where is Scott's interaction with the evidence presented? He claims that a council revisiting the decision of a Pope is not a matter of concern for this debate. However it very much is a concern, since now the papacy considers its decisions to be irreformable. "No mortal may presume to reprehend him, forasmuch as he is judge of all, and is judged of no one."

Red herring, Chris.  The ONLY matters irreformable from a pope would be an ex cathedra statement on a matter of faith or morals.  A local decision can most definitely be overturned by an ecumenical council.

Case in point #4 - Peter and the Keys

Scott continues to trott out the party line about Matthew 16:19 giving Peter alone power to bind and loose, and the "college of bishops" only the power to bind as a group.

However, there is nothing whatsoever in the text of Mt 18 that would indicate excercising the power as a group. It's a simple grammatical fact that addressing people in the plural does not show the action is to be taken in a group sense. An example is only a few verses later in 18:35: "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you (plural), if each of you (plural) does not forgive his brother from your heart." Obviously the intention is not about what God will do to them as a group, but what God will do to each individual of the group to whom the words apply.

But again, one doesn't have to believe me, since I quoted the interpretation of the Fathers concerning the power of binding and loosing. I'll just quote one of the many again:
Saint Jerome: "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 on them all alike" - Epistle 146.1
Now if all the apostles received the same promise as individuals, then the Church would naturally believe they had equal power:
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.
"But you say that the Church is founded upon Peter although the same thing is done in another place upon all the apostles, and all receive the kingdom of heaven, and the solidity of the Church is established equally upon all" ~Jerome, Adv. Jovianum, 1:26

Where is Scott's interaction with these facts? All he seems to be able to do is re-parrot a theory about Mt 16 which is contrary to the Fathers. Either each apostle has the same power as Peter, or they do not. The Fathers say they have the same power. If Scott wants to be taken seriously, he MUST come up with a quote where a father says the pope of Rome has the greater power of binding and loosing by himself. Where is the quote from the first millenium presenting the theory that the apostles can only bind and loose as a group? It doesn't exist. The foundation of Scott's whole position, and his whole ecclesiology is unknown to the fathers.

Is that so Chris?  

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, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18]. 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. . . . If someone [today] 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; first edition [A.D. 251]).

"Cornelius was made bishop by the decision of God and of his Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the applause of the people then present, by the college of venerable priests and good men, at a time when no one had been made [bishop] before him—when the place of [Pope] Fabian, which is the place of Peter, the dignity of the sacerdotal chair, was vacant. Since it has been occupied both at the will of God and with the ratified consent of all of us, whoever now wishes to become bishop must do so outside. For he cannot have ecclesiastical rank who does not hold to the unity of the Church" (Letters 55:[52]):8 [A.D. 253]).

"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" (ibid., 59:14).

Cyrl of Alexandria 

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).

The fact of the matter is I provided a whole litany of Early Church Fathers who support the interpretation I have presented.  I refer the reader back to the last part of my Opening Statement.

The other major problem with Scott's interpretation, is that he hasn't proven the relationship between his interpretation and reality. He hasn't proven that the Bishop of Rome is primate because he succeeds from Peter. I showed from Chalcedon that this was not the understanding of the Church, rather he is primate because of Rome's secular status. I showed that Leo considered the ranking of Rome to be based on Nicea, not Mt 16. Furthermore, whatever apostolic authority Rome had, I showed that the Fathers consider to be equally derived from Peter and Paul (recall Leo's sermon LXXXII). And I showed that other sees were regarded as inheriting Peter's throne.

It seems I need to remind Chris again the thesis of this debate.  We are to debate "Is the modern role of the Papacy a legitimate development from the early church?"  The key here is "development" and "legitimate."  Chris is actually demonstrating the development of the modern role of the papacy!  Was it based on Nicea, Matthew 16, Peter and Paul - per Leo?  All these points are debatable - but what Chris is inadvertently doing is bringing to attention the special apostolic authority in Rome - regardless of where we might argue the root of it comes from!  Thanks Chris! 

In other words, even if we accepted Scott's anachronistic interpretation, lock, stock and barrel, it wouldn't prove that the Roman bishop is the sole inheritor of such powers, as opposed to also bishops of Antioch, all bishops, or even all believers, depending on which fathers you want to listen to.

And since Rome wan't considered primate because of Peter, as I documented, Scott can't show that whatever rights Rome had as primate, aren't now vested in the Bishop of Constantinople as first bishop. As I documented from the fifth council, only orthodox bishops can be considered primate.

In other words, this theory is chock full of holes.

So Chris claims, but Constantinople I, which Chris himself has cited, says this in Canon 3:

Because it is new Rome, the bishop of Constantinople is to enjoy the privileges of honour after the bishop of Rome (source).

Oops.  I guess Scott's "theory" isn't so "chock full of holes" now, is it?

Head of the Church?

Scott claims I didn't deal with his church father quotes which allegedly consider Peter and his successors as "head" of the church. But as I pointed out, discussing Peter isn't the same as discussing the bishop of Rome. The earliest quote from a Church Father that Scott has presented calling the Bishop of Rome as "head" of the church is from the 7th century. As I pointed out, to assume that Chrysostom's mention of Peter as head of the apostles, also applies to bishops of Rome, ignores the major contradiction that Chrysostom spent most of his life out of communion with Rome and only came into communion by accident when he was tricked and kidnapped by imperial troops and taken to Constantinople and appointed Patriarch. Chrysostom never mentions the kind of relationship between Peter and the Papacy that Scott needs to prove his point.


Au contraire!  I presented these quotes before, but I'll do so again:

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)

For what purpose did He shed His blood? It was that He might win these sheep which he entrusted to Peter and his successors. (De Sacerdotio, 53)

But even then, it's acceptable I suppose to call the primate as a kind of "head" of the church. Despite Scott's claim that my recognizing that the Pope of Rome as having held position of first bishop is some act of "conceding the debate", it is nothing of the kind.

Well yes, in reality, you have conceded the debate in that as "a kind of head of the church" you're yielding to the fact that the modern role of the papacy would still be a "kind of head of the church."  In short, a legitimate development.

The issue is not whether the Pope once held position of first bishop, the issue is what it means to be first bishop. Currently the first bishop in the Orthodox Church is the Bishop of Constantinople. If Scott is happy for the Pope to have the same rights as the Bishop of Constantinople now enjoys, then we would have come to agreement. 


I am content to agree with Constantinople I, Canon 3 with regard to the Bishop of New Rome/Constantinople - enjoying these privileges of honor second only to the Bishop of Rome.

However the Bishop of Constantinople has never made the kind of claims that the Bishop of Rome has, claiming individual infallibility and immediate jurisdiction over the whole Church. Clearly, being first bishop does not prove having unlimited jurisdictional power.


Well, you may disagree all you want, but Matthew 16:18-19 has Jesus passing over the rest of the Apostles (who are also present) to give him, alone, this authority to bind or loose (that's jurisdictional power) and this authority is over "whatsoever" he chooses to bind or loose (unlimited).  I realize you disagree with me on this - but my statement is rooted in Scripture and in the many Church Fathers (many from the East too) whom I have quoted and cited in this debate.  Now I can see why Protestants would have a need to disagree with the Catholic understanding of infallibility - but not Eastern Orthodoxy.  Afterall, we shared over a millennium of unity, and the split was truly over political issues moreso than theological, but I digress - this debate is not about Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy reunification.   The point is, the papacy was established by Jesus Christ and the modern role of the papacy has definitely developed from the apostolic roots and IS testified to in the Fathers - IF - we don't close our eyes to ALL the facts.

The Fourth Council

It continues to astound me how much of a slave to sound bites and slogans Scott is. 

Well, what astounds me - and perhaps the objective reader here as well - is that Chris seems to think ad hominem attacks are valid in debate!   Whether or not I am a "slave to sound bites and slogans" is irrelevant.  Please Chris, let's not go personal here, and stick to the point at hand.

Again with the "Peter has spoken through Leo" slogan. Who actually cares about this? The real issue is that the council scrutinized the statements of Leo and Cyril and AFTER finding them in agreement with the traditions they received, THEN proclaimed them to be orthodox.   

The fact of the matter is at the Council of Chalcedon (the 4th Council) they had just read the "Tome of Leo" and then remarked what Chris labels a "sound bite" or "slogan."  Let us read it again:

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: ‘This is the faith of the fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! So we all believe! Thus the orthodox believe! Anathema to him who does not thus believe! Peter has spoken thus through Leo! . . . This is the true faith! Those of us who are orthodox thus believe! This is the faith of the Fathers!’" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 451]).

So who really cares about this?  Well obviously the Fathers at the Fourth Council cared enough to have this recorded for time immemorial in the "Acts of the Council."  The point is, in the 5th century we have the bishops (East and West) agreeing upon the orthodoxy of "Peter has spoken thus through Leo (the current successor to Peter)."

But with all this sloganing, has Scott even begun to address the issues raised by the fourth council? No he hasn't.

We're not here to debate other issues raised by the Fourth Council!  My duty and sole responsibility in this debate is to demonstrate the modern role of the papacy being a legitimate development - and this declaration of the Fourth Council, regardless of what else is presented by the council, supports the modern role of the papacy!   Don't be distracted by side-topics - and acknowledge the FACT that this statement wholly supports Peter's authority/voice coming through Leo some four centuries after St. Peter was crucified in Rome.

Scott hasn't refuted the fact that the Chalcedon bishops stated that Rome was first see because it was the capital of the empire, not because of Peter. 


Irrelevant point, inaccurate but also irrelevant.  My responsibility is to present the case that the MODERN ROLE is a legitimate development.  IF it were due to Rome being the capital of the empire at the time and there is where "The Apostolic See" was established for unity in the Church - then sobeit!   

He hasn't refuted that Apostolic sees can be demoted in the rankings, and thus Rome can be demoted. 


Again, irrelevant!  The fact is St. Peter's See was moved from Rome to France for a while, so in effect Rome was "demoted" during that period.  But again, so what?  What has that to do with whether or not the MODERN ROLE of the papacy is a legitimate development?

He hasn't interacted with the fact that when Leo objected to the 28th canon of Chalcedon giving equal rights to Constantinople, his analysis of patriarchal rankings was based on the canons of Nicea, NOT on the basis of Peter and Mt 16. Nobody thought at this time that Rome's first position was due to Peter. Rome is not the only Petrene see. 

Actually, Canon 28 of the Fourth Council (Chalcedon) does not mention the Council of Nicea.  Let us look at the entire canon so as to not misrepresent it further:


Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome.  For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city.  And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her (Old Rome); so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him  (source).

For Scott to be taken seriously, he MUST present a quote from the fathers expressing the later argument that Rome is the unique Petrene see because it was the last one Peter was supposedly stationed at. This idea is a much later development.

(Sigh) Chris just can't seem to stay away from ad hominem attacks!  Whether or not I, personally, am taken seriously is not at issue here.  What IS at issue here is the MODERN ROLE of the PAPACY and the legitimate (or lack thereof) development of it.  So Chris would like something to show it is already in place prior to Chalcedon?  How about some 20 years earlier at the Council of Ephesus?   Read it and concede:

Council of Ephesus

"Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod’" (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]). (source).

The Fifth Council

Scott seems to be actually denying what the fifth council said. Let's (revisit) it:
From the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople II, Session VII (553): "But we bishops answered him (Pope Vigilius): "If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four councils have done, we will hold thee as our head, as a father and primate."

This quote can be found in standard reference works such as Volume XIV of the Post-Nicene Fathers by Philip Schaff. Scott says he can't see anything about primacy, but it's right there. Being considered "primate" is having primacy. And it's conditional on his orthodoxy.

Scott makes the counter claim that an unorthodox pope doesn't change the status of the primacy of the see. But what does change the status? Well, the decision of the Church can do it, said Chalcedon. But the topic of the debate is not what to do with the Roman see but what to do with unorthodox popes, and the answer is that they are not primates according to the fifth council. To claim that any pope is primate, one has to establish that they are orthodox. And as we have seen, the Church reserves the right to make that judgement.

Again I must remind Chris that this is not about what to do with an unorthodox pope in the past!  The question we're dealing with is whether or not the modern role of the papacy is a legitimate development.  Whether or not Constantinople II recognizes the orthodoxy of Pope Vigilius is immaterial to the debate at hand.  That council, in fact, did NOT recognize Pope Vigilius as orthodox - but that does not change the fact that Jesus gave to St. Peter something which would be passed down to his successors - and even if Pope Vigilius was not an orthodox holder of that gift - it was passed through him to his successor and does continue to this day.  We're not promised that every pope would be impeccable - in fact even St. Peter is a pre-figuring of how sometimes even those highly selected will fail - even to the point of heresy (like denying Christ).  


It has never been at issue that the Pope was first bishop, primate or even "head" bishop, to use a term that cropped up in the 6th or 7th century. The issue at hand is what rights the first bishop may hold, and whether the first bishop must always be the one from Rome.

I posit that it doesn't have to be Rome - rather it has to be a successor St. Peter's See, which happens to be in Rome.  Had St. Peter stayed in Antioch, all this talk would be about the Bishop of Antioch.  As I have shown, the term "head" or "corypheus" was used centuries earlier, here's a few from St. John Chrysostom:

"Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received the revelation not from man but from the Father....this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean the unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey." (De Eleemos III, 4, vol II, 298[300])

"Peter the coryphaeus of the choir of apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the foundation of the faith, the base of the confession, the fisherman of the world, who brought back our race form the depth of error to heaven, he who is everywhere fervent and full of boldness, or rather of love than of boldness." (Hom de decem mille talentis, 3, vol III, 20[4])

"The first of the apostles, the foundation of the Church, the coryphaeus of the choir of the disciples." (Ad eos qui scandalizati sunt, 17, vol III, 517[504])

So again, Chris' argument has been proven false.

Scott is treating the readers with disdain by ignoring the evidence that has been presented to him.

I reject this criticism.  I explained what I was doing before I did it and focused the last rebuttal upon the "Conclusion" of Chris' previous rebuttal.   In a "debate" format, that should be all that is necessary.  It would appear that Chris would like more of an informal dialog that debate.  I have made this response more "conversational" and have answered him point by point.  Let us hope his objections subside.

  • Scott hasn't shown why we should ignore all the canons saying Rome should keep to its own jurisdiction. Rome along with Alexandria anathemetizing people around the time of the third council has nothing whatsoever to do with the Pope of Rome's jurisdiction, and Scott is hoping to distract the reader's attention from the canons of Nicea and the Synod of Carthage.

I'll not get into a testosterone battle over motives here.  I have answered Chris' objections.

  • i) Scott hasn't given us any reason to believe the Bishop of Rome is essential to an authoritative dogmatic council, given that the second council wrote to Rome saying that they had already canonically settled the issues. ii) He also ignores all the other data, such as Nicea I's acceptance prior to Rome's approval, iii) the fact the East couldn't be bothered inviting the West to the 2nd council, iv) the East's ambivilence to the West in the 5th/6th council of Trullo, v) the East's ignoring the West's procrastination around the 7th council, vi) and the West's ignoring the Pope's judgement on the 7th council also.

If you're going to bullet points - how about sticking to individual points per bullet?  I have numbered the points above and will respond below accordingly:
i) Other than the fact that every ecumenical council has been accepted/ratified by a pope?  How "ecumenical" can it be if the "Coryphaeus" does not assent to it?
ii) I have respectfully considered all other data, including Nicea's canonically settling of issues, as a council SHOULD do, before sending it on to Rome.  
iii) The council was (later) accepted by the West, so point is moot.
iv) Too vague of an accusation to consider rationally.
v) So they didn't wait for the papal approval, it still happened.  Point is moot.
vi) Charlemagne rejected the 7th Council.  Charlemagne convened his own council, creating a controversy - I agree - but in the end the 7th Council was accepted and Charlemagne's rejected.   I do not argue that there were not times of controversy, and I reiterate the point that what Charlemagne did or didn't do is NOT the topic of this debate!   When I do not respond to something it typically is not without cause.  I apologize if this has distressed you at all, but all you have accomplished in bringing it up again is the fact that you're introducing tons of irrelevant facts (true as they may be) and I can only assume it is purposeful to distract from the REAL topic at hand.  

  • Scott hasn't shown how the third council's decision to revisit the declaration of a Pope of Rome can be compatibile with the modern Roman idea that the decisions of a Pope are irreformable and that the Pope can be judged by no-one.
Matters of a local issue are not "ex cathedra" and the decision you're bringing up was one between Rome and Alexandria discussed in a letter to Jerusalem.   Non-infallible matters may be readdressed by an ecumenical council.  Chris also seems to be trying to make something of the fact that in this instance "the keys" were not invoked.  Again, irrelevant to the point - the fact that "the keys" are not invoked makes it totally irrelevant to the subject of this debate.  Now IF the pope had declared upon the authority of Peter through him, and him alone - and THAT was rebuffed, THEN Chris may have had a point - but clearly this is a non-issue and thus was appropriately not addressed previously.
  • Scott has ignored the issues of the 4th council, that it declared Rome's status to be due to its secular position (not Peter), that Leo's objection to changing the rankings was based on Nicea, and not Mt 16 or apostolic tradition and that sees can be promoted and demoted. Thus Scott hasn't established that the Roman see's status has not been demoted by agreement of the Church.
As I pointed out above, Canon XXVIII of Chalcedon (4th Ecumenical Council) "ranks" Constantinople SECOND to Rome!  I don't see how Chris is finding mileage for his thesis here!  In fact, this is supporting MY thesis, that the modern role of the papacy is indeed a legitimate development from the Early Church.  The Early Church, in the 4th Ecumenical Council, is affirming that while Constantinople as "New Rome" is equal in authority but still second in "rank" to "Old Rome." 
  • Scott has ignored the statements of the fifth council. Whatever the position of the Roman see, they were only willing to consider the Roman pope as primate if he gave an orthodox confession. If primacy depends on orthodoxy, then Scott can't be sure of the Pope's primacy right now.
First off, succession does not depend on orthodoxy.  The statement from the Fifth Council was that THEY would not consider him THEIR primate if he was unorthodox, but then again IF he were orthodox then they would indeed accept him as their primate.   It would seem, especially with the discussions going on at present between Pope Benedict XVI and metropolitan of Pergamon Joannis Zizioulas, a theologian of recognized value and of great authority, the "mind" of  ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, (source).
  • Scott hasn't shown us why we should believe that Honorius didn't teach heresy as the extremely clear statements of the Church through history show. And again, whether he taught heresy is secondary to the fact that the Church believed that he taught heresy. Nor has he interacted with other cases of heretical popes such as Vigilius who was anathemetized by the Fifth Council.
Again, Chris needs to examine ALL the date surrounding this event, not just the polemical statements made by those angered by Pope Honorius' lax leadership.  Had he actually led with authority his office holds he may have squashed the Monothelite heresy from the root.   His lack of action was seen as promoting of the heresy.  Again, if the "role" of the pope were not seen as so important - this would not be an issue at all!  The very fact we're discussing it is evidence of the modern role of the papacy but in the negative, since he DIDN'T act like he was expected to.
  • i) Scott hasn't shown that his "college of bishops" interpretation of Mt 16/18 has either any grammatical basis, nor any patristic basis among the Fathers. ii) He hasn't shown that Peter is the only holder of the Apostolic Chair of Peter iii) and has ignored the information given about Antioch. iv) He has ignored all the patristic interpretation of the equality of the apostles and their power v) and their receipt of the keys.  vi) And he has ignored that the patristic interpretation of Peter's primacy is chronological, not of power of jurisdiction. (St Ambrose said, Peter was "first in confession, not in honor, first in belief, not in rank"). vii) Scott hasn't documented the antiquity of the theory that Rome had primacy because Peter was there last.
Again, several topics under one bullet, I've numbered them again and will respond thusly:
i) Matthew 16 does not deal with the "college of bishops" - for Jesus is speaking to Peter, alone, in Matthew 16:18-19.  In Matthew 18:18 Jesus is speaking to the Apostles as a group - as the college of bishops.  To imply He was giving them each this authority individually is to add something to the text which isn't there.
ii) I'm not so sure Chris proofread this statement - Peter occupies his see/chair - I do not know what Chris is asking me to do here, unless he meant the opposite - and that he wants me to show that others have occupied St. Peter's Apostolic See - that would be rather easy to do, many references show us that after St. Peter came Linus, Cletus, Clement, etc.
iii) I do not ignore the fact that St. Peter first formed a see in Antioch.  I fully acknowledge this - but he (with St. Paul) formed the see at Rome, and that see is credited to St. Peter.  I'd have to research this, and it is another topic separate from this debate, but I am unaware of St. Paul attaching himself to a "see."
iv) I do not ignore that the Apostles are given equality of power, but Peter was given primacy and the title of "coryphaeus" (head) of the choir of Apostles.  Chris acknowledges this.
v) Most references to the keys refer to St. Peter's reception of them.  
vi) Chris lists St. Ambrose' personal statement that St. Peter's position is not first in honor or rank, but as we saw in Constantinople I, Canon 3 - where it is speaking of Constantinople's rank in honor - being second only to Old Rome (the quote says "after Rome").
vii) Peter's See has primacy because it's Peter's See!  For a time St. Peter's See was in Avignon, not Rome - but it was still St. Peter's See.
  • Scott has not seriously interacted with the points I made about St Vincent of Lerin's Commonitorium, which presents an alternative theory of catholic unity. Scott's pointing out that Vincent "supported" the bishop of Rome of the time is disingenious and irrelevant.
I was being quite genuine and I redirect the reader back to my Rebuttal #1 wherein I quoted the Commonitorium demonstrating how St. Vincent was appealing to the Pope in this matter - precisely for the premise of this debate!  The ROLE of the Pope was seen as one who LEADS and St. Vincent wanted him to lead by decree, not by silence.
  • Scott has not explained to us why we would accept Chrysostom's comments about Peter as being transferrable to bishops of Rome, given that Chrysostom only came into communion with Rome against his wishes and never links Peter and bishops of Rome the way Scott does.

It's a bit silly to separate Peter from the Bishop of Rome when we examine ALL the evidence here.  This seems little more than an act of desperation to avoid dealing with the FACT that St. Chrysostom doesn't sound much like he's under duress while he's praising the "Coryphaeus" of the Apostles!  If that is not enough, let Chris - or at least the objective reader here consider this from St. John Chrysostom:
"In speaking of Peter, the recollection of another Peter has come to me" (viz. St. Flavian, his bishop) "our common father and teacher, who has succeeded to the virtue of Peter, and also to his chair. For this is the one great prerogative of our city, that it received the coryphaeus of the apostles as its teacher in the beginning. For it was right that she who first was adorned with the name of Christians [cf. Acts 11:26] 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. Nay, but we did retain him till the end; for we do not retain the body of Peter but we retain the faith of Peter as though it were Peter himself; and while we retain the faith of Peter, we have Peter himself." (Hom in inscr Act II, 6, vol III, 86[70])

  • Scott doesn't explain to us why we should think other Church fathers are supporters of his concept of the Papacy. e.g. Athanasius who said that the true church is defined by adherance to Tradition, never mentioning Rome. Or Augustine who wrote volumes on the unity of the Church to the Donatists while never mentioning Rome. Mentioning that Athanasius was in communion with Rome is irrelevant.

I beg to differ!  Mentioning that both Sts. Augustine and Athanasius were in communion with Rome is not irrelevant, and I've demonstrated how St. Augustine sought Rome's counsel and when Rome spoke, the case was closed (Sermon 131.10).  

Pope Julius I

"[The] judgment [against Athanasius] ought to have been made, not as it was, but according to the ecclesiastical canon. . . . Are you ignorant that the custom has been to write first to us and then for a just decision to be passed from this place [Rome]? If, then, any such suspicion rested upon the bishop there [Athanasius of Alexandria], notice of it ought to have been written to the church here. But now, after having done as they pleased, they want to obtain our concurrence, although we never condemned him. Not thus are the constitutions of Paul, not thus the traditions of the Fathers. This is another form of procedure, and a novel practice. . . . What I write about this is for the common good. For what we have heard from the blessed apostle Peter, these things I signify to you" (Letter on Behalf of Athanasius [A.D. 341], contained in Athanasius, Apology Against the Arians 20–35).

  • And most of all, Scott hasn't even attempted to interact with the anachronism of infallibility, beyond giving his anachronistic interpretation of Mt 16. He can't afford to let the reader take his focus off the rote interpretation of Mt 16 and notice the total absence of the discussion of this dogma throughout history. Without the Roman revision of history about the meaning of the keys and the binding and loosing, Scott has nowhere to stand.

As it has been pointed out to Chris several times now, infallibility is CLEARLY spoken of in Matthew 16 as well as Matthew 18.  In both references "whatsoever" they bind or loose is bound or loosed in Heaven - and since error cannot be bound in Heaven, then this binding and loosing is infallible binding and loosing.  There's no getting around this.  My argument is neither anachronistic nor a "Roman revision" (noting again Chris slipping into Protestant "Roman" name-calling instead of maintaining a sense of balance here).  Need I remind Chris that Constantinople is called "New Rome" - and thus the roots of Orthodoxy are just as "Roman" as they are in the Latin Church.  Again, I am content to stand on God's Word here.  

In short, Scott is still not interacting with the evidence. 

I have interacted with the evidence just fine, and have reiterated myself a few more times in this most recent rebuttal.

Some people will no doubt be content in Scott's repeating the meaningless slogans of "Peter spoke through Leo" and "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" (which is a false quote), instead of doing the hard work of cutting through the slogans to the fullness of what the early Church Fathers taught. 
I believe I have demonstrated far more than mere "slogans" and have provided a consistent case for the treatment of St. Peter and his See throughout the Early Church.  That being said, "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" is NOT a "quote" per se (though it's been used enough times that we are quoting someone!) however it is a VERY accurate paraphrase of what St. Augustine actually said in Sermon 131.10.  Counsels were sent to Rome, rescripts (a reply) came back (Rome spoke), "causa finita est" (an exact quote of St. Augustine's Latin) the case is closed.  (If you want an example wherein I thoroughly refute what you just said click here).

Why would "the case is closed" be more convincing than the "it is canonically settled" statement of the second council? 
As I pointed out earlier - "canonically settled" is quite valid and appropriate - AND that "settled" case was STILL sent to Rome for the blessing of the Pope.  They were just rather forceful to point out that the case was already adjudicated. 

The question is whether the reader is willing to accept all the Fathers wrote, and not just a part.
That would be my point!  Chris seems a bit myopically focused upon prooftexts which appear to support what he says - but when we look at the bigger picture, sometimes within the same document, but most definitely when we consider ALL the Fathers - then any objections which appeared to have merit initially, just disappear.


(Word Count 5617 - Not counting Chris' words)