First off, I'd like to issue a quick apology to the readers of the debate: without making excuses for myself, a quick rereading of my last rebuttal clearly shows inefficient use of space and horrible grammar. I'd like to "clean up" and clarify the previously discussed to finish the opening arguments, before we continue to the questions. I would also like to ask the owner of the mirror site at American Catholic Truth Society if it would be all right to correct some severe grammatical errors in my rebuttal.

My opponent cited the Byzantine Liturgy for St Silvester, and now St Peter, to prove Papal Primacy had extraordinary jurisdiction. None of the quotes actually refer to such a primacy, and my opponent has not proven that Papal Primacy is a direct consequence of the Petrine ministry.

My opponent cites the example of the schism of the Arians to prove that Papal primacy existed through Pope Julius. I maintained that such was not the case, on the basis that neither Sozomen nor Socrates appears to recognize this primacy, and in fact Pope Julius was not aware of it either. More will be said about this later.

The demonstration of the so called vicariates of Rome my opponent discusses appears to be restricted to the vicariates, and so proves nothing.

The presence of Papal legates at the Councils my opponent mentions only serve to demonstrate the limitations of Papal power: in one case the legates are rebuffed by the Council of Chalcedon, in another they act in Rome's stead to confirm the Council of Ephesus. None of this proves Papal primacy.

My opponent's use of the Libellus of Hormisdas-- until very recently little more than a historical footnote-- is unwarranted, since although it defends his position, it was also signed under conditions of persecution, Pope Hormisdas refusing assistance to Eastern Bishops until reception of a signature. It is never confirmed by the Church, by a Father or Canon of an Ecumenical Council, and quite rightfully does not deserve to be.

While there is some value in quoting Pope St Martin's use of authority during the monothelite controversy, he was also a bulwark of Orthodoxy during a period of worldwide heresy, as Pope Julius centuries before. That conditions under heresy change the way the canons are applied is mentioned in my opening statement. It is interesting that my opponent quotes St Maximus the Confessor twice: I have already quoted a dialogue during his Life which demonstrates he was willing to break communion with all sees if necessary, to preserve his Orthodoxy.

Responding to the Rebuttal: St Irenaeus

St Irenaeus, in speaking of the "principal succession" or "perpetual succession is referring to the Episcopate of the Church itself. He uses Rome as an example not even because of Roman Orthodoxy, but because of location. Rome was the seat of the Empire, and Christians passed through it daily in commerce. To change it into a statement that implies that Rome is referred to because of some sort of primacy is mistaken on the part of my opponent, and deceptive on the part of Roman translators of the passage.

My opponent asks: Considering this I ask how exactly does this translation of convenire go to the extreme of "condemning" Roman Primacy? I also ask what does it mean to "go toward that church?" What is the reason for this "going toward" if not because Rome has the "more powerful principality?"

I answer: very simply, St Irenaeus chose Rome because it was obvious, being the center of the Empire and a famous Church. He then states that this succession is a good example because Christians from all places united at Rome, so in a sense Rome is little more than a blessed stop-over for Christians in the thinking of St Irenaeus. The Saint is not condemning Rome, but the imaginary jurisdictional primacy of this discussion. St Irenaeus proves that the Pope of Rome is little more than--to use my opponent's words-- "first in line".

Sardica and Carthage

My opponent writes: It is a myth to assert that Sardica addressed jurisdiction at a mere local level and that there was no Eastern representation at the council. Eastern bishops who did not attend the council were Arian schismatics.

I believed I addressed this a little differently. I believe, as my opponent noted, that the canons of Sardica have universal weight due to their affirmation at Trullo, which was taken by many including Pope Hadrian I as the conclusion of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. However, I also noted that the Bishops appealing to Rome at this point were no less than the second and third ranking Bishops in the world, meaning there were no higher authorities left to appeal to, since their councils had become heretical. I am not denigrating Sardica, but do not address to it the same meaning as my opponent does for a number of reasons.

My opponent notes Canons 3 and 4 of Sardica, where Rome is given a simple right of appeal (something I noted in the opening) in the universal Church (since the Pope is both the Patriarch in the West, and the eldest Patriarch of the Three in the time of Sardica). I admit a lack of clarity on my part. But my opponent does not quote the canons in full. Why? Remember the question here is whether Papal primacy, in the history of the Church, is more than a primacy of honor. I say it is not. Now let us look at canon 3 in its fullness (emphasis mine):

BISHOP HOSIUS said: This also it is necessary to add,--that bishops shall not pass from their own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless perchance upon invitation from their brethren, that we seem not to close the door of charity.

But if in any province a bishop have a matter in dispute against his brother bishop, one of the two shall not call in as judge a bishop from another province.

But if judgment, have gone against a bishop in any cause, and he think that he has a good case, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it be your pleasure, honour the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who tried the case write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and if he shall judge that the case should be retried, let that be done, and let him appoint judges; but if he shall find that the case is of such a sort that the former decision need not be disturbed, what he has decreed shall be confirmed. Is this the pleasure of all? The synod answered, It is our pleasure. (Latin)

As we can see, not only is the final court of appeal present in the complete canon, so was the honorary character of Rome as final-court-of-appeal. Again, Rome is "first in line". The full text of canon 4 demonstrates that these two canons do not show two powers coming from Rome, but that if the final case is not fully presented, the Bishop so charged cannot be replaced.

BISHOP GAUDENTIUS said: It ought to be added, if it be your pleasure, to this sentence full of sanctity which thou hast pronounced, that--when any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those bishops who have sees in neighbouring places, and he [the bishop deposed] shall announce that his case is to be examined in the city of Rome--that no other bishop shall in any wise be ordained to his see, after the appeal of him who is apparently deposed, unless the case shall have been determined in the judgment of the Roman bishop. (Latin)

As we can see, two different applications of "primacy" are not at work here, but Canon 4 is simply an explanation of Canon 3.

My opponent quotes a version of Canon 6 of Nicea which states "The Roman Church always had the primacy" at its start. Besides pointing out the fact that this is not a universally accepted rendering, I am not sure how this helps him, when the whole canon is laid out using his wording (again, emphasis mine):

The Roman Church has always had the primacy. Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

It appears the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch have just had their power codified side by side with Rome, which makes sense in the Petrine context (all three sees come from St Peter), and as I mentioned in my opening, all three were defined as "Metropolitan" sees. I do not have the full text of the Coptic Canon 6 handy. I will have to find it, but I am not quite sure what the quote proves.

My opponent writes: Cyprian believed that the council of Carthage had every right to rule as it did in this matter. He also believed that he had no right to enforce his view on any other bishop and vice versa.

But the council, on the other hand did "enforce its views", for it requested in its final canon that the Bishop of Rome not to receive Aparius into the Roman Communion (Canon CXXXVIII). However, St Vincent of Lerins is not condemning the council of Carthage in his Commonitory: St Vincent was referring to Donatism, since after the quote my opponent provided, St Vincent says:

[6.18] And O marvellous revolution! The authors of this same doctrine are judged Catholics, the followers heretics; the teachers are absolved, the disciples condemned; the writers of the books will be children of the Kingdom, the defenders of them will have their portion in Hell. For who is so demented as to doubt that that blessed light among all holy bishops and martyrs, Cyprian, together with the rest of his colleagues, will reign with Christ; or, who on the other hand so sacrilegious as to deny that the Donatists and those other pests, who boast the authority of that council for their iteration of baptism, will be consigned to eternal fire with the devil?

In the end, "Pope Stephen and the Tradition of the Church" did not "prevail" over the "Council of 256": the same Council which my opponent refers to twice to demonstrate Sardican ecumenicity, the Council of Trullo, ratifies the Council of Carthage alongside the Council of Sardica. This is of much higher import than the council of Arles, which was never given ecumenical sanction.

Julius, Pope of Rome

My opponent is misreading both Sozomen and Socrates. That Julius believed that there was already a "canon" in force giving him the right to judge was not sufficient deterrent; or Bishop Hosius would not have had to call the Council of Sardica to establish these rules three years later, to give them a legal sanction. And while my opponent is correct that "the only Bishops who did not attend the council of Sardica were Arian heretics" to dismiss my claim of Sardica being a local council, he neglects to note that both Sozomen and Socrates point out that the entire East had become Arian and that the entire East and the entire West were in schism.

I have already covered the issue of the reception of St Athanasius. Sozomen clearly records that Pope Julius had no real recourse from the canons to defend St Athanasius (and he did so, instead at great personal risk) until the Council of Sardica three years after the arrival of his brethren in the Petrine Ministry.

The Question of St Maximus the Confessor

As demonstrated in the previous rebuttal, it is difficult, but obviously not impossible for my opponent, to grind the struggle against heresy into a neat Papal framework. But the obvious question remains: Did St Maximus believe that it was necessary to be in communion with the See of Rome to be Orthodox if Rome fell? The answer is no. If it was otherwise, he could not have said what he did; nor could he have even question St Martin on his primitive, Orthodox use of the term filioque. Yet St Martin did not appeal to his authority, but clarified his position, leaving St Maximus satisfied.

The Liturgy-- and Closing

I am glad my opponent is learning to read the Orthodox liturgies. I hope that the discussion we have had on them so far (I believe I have addressed the flowering language already, and none of the quotes concerning St Peter really have to do with Popes of Rome) will spur him on to consider Orthodoxy, which does not denigrate St Peter and the Holy Popes of Rome of the past, but wars only with heresy. None of the quotes say more than what I was already showing: that the Liturgy glorifies all Orthodox Christians who have passed on to that great reward. Yes, the liturgies teach doctrine. But none teach the strange doctrine of a jurisdictional Papal Primacy. I am not surprised that my opponent, apparently searching through the Menaion (which is actually 12 large volumes in size) only found such nebulous quotations to demonstrate his position.

We have still not seen a single quote that demonstrates the "Divine Origin" of the Papal Primacy. No canons which demonstrate a normative jurisdiction over the entire episcopate. We don't even see Papal legates treated with respect in councils the Roman Catholic Church accepts. We have seen a "tipping of the hat"-- not even to Rome, but to St Peter!-- in Sardica Canon 3. And we do see a "standing first in line" in the controversial Canon 28 of Chalcedon, and it is the arrangement of that canon which demonstrates that Orthodox Rome's primary concern was the order of the Petrine Sees, not See. As for St John's Gospel: I am quite aware that the Fathers of the Church read St John. All Orthodox Christians refer to the Gospel of St John the Theologian. But I am specifically referring to the odd interpretation that states that "sheep" and "lambs" refer respectively to clergy and laity. I believe Oscar Cullman popularized it in Protestant circles. However, I cannot state the newest author of such a belief with any certainty, though it appears in the book Jesus, Peter and the Keys, the precursor to the book my opponent quoted in the opening.

Now on to my first question.