A Historical Challenge to the Papacy

I’m having a round of Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism with an Eastern acquaintance of mine, on the subject of the papacy. To my astonishment, my infinite knowledge of Catholicism :wink: is useless against this statement. Her argument:

The Church is not built upon the Rock of Peter as an individual but on the faith of his confession of Christ. “And I say unto you, You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; that is, on the faith of his confession.” (John Chrysostom Homily 54 on Matthew) The Church is built not on an individual and the successors of his See but on the faithful confession of Christ.

The Keys of the Kingdom given to Peter, to absolve sin, are given to all the Apostles in John 20: "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” “As a king sending forth governors, gives power to cast into prison and to deliver from it, so in sending these forth, Christ invests them with the same power.” (John Chrysostom Homily 86 on the Gospel of John) Christ invests them with the same power, not the same power except for Peter but all with the same power. And in fact in Acts we see other Apostles with greater authority than Peter. “There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently, not starts up (for the next word). Great the orderliness (of the proceedings). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. “And after that they had held their peace, James answered,” etc. (v. 13.) (b) Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part.” (John Chrysostom Homily XXXIII on Acts 15: 13,15)

If a St. really said all this, it’s rather troubling. We like to think that most of the members of the early Church respected Catholicism, it’s odd to see a St. attacking it. Anyone know of anything that could help me here?

John Chrysostom as I recall, appealed to Rome when he was kicked out.

I just looked online, and it seems that St. Chrysostom words are used frequently by Orthodox to further points . There seems to be a discussion on it here

christiantruth.com/articles/ray6chrysostom.html

In my opinion, its hard to say that a man who appealed to Rome to settle a matter regarding himself vs. the other (false) patriarch can be understood as opposing the Papacy. It is like shooting himself on the foot for the Rome’s ruling in his favor becomes invalid as well.

So, looking around, I found what would be a good response to that link I posted above with the Orthodox objections

philvaz.com/apologetics/num52.htm

Definitely take a look and hopefully it might help you tackle your friend’s objections better. :slight_smile:

But the fact remains that it is built on his faith. Chrysostom elsewhere refers to Peter as the “first among the apostles,” “the foundation of the Church,” “the first,” “the base,” etc. Chrysostom clearly accepted the primacy of Peter. Further, your friend’s misinterpretation fails to account for why Christ changed his name to “Kephas.” To put the name back in its original Aramaic, Christ would have said, “And I say unto you, you are Kephas, and upon this kephas I will build my Church.” If it was not Peter or his particular faith that the Church was founded upon, the change of Simon’s name becomes quite baffling.

It must be kept in mind also that Catholics believe there are layers of meaning in even single verses of Scripture, so choosing a quote like the one above to try to debunk the papacy is a bad idea to begin with.

The Keys of the Kingdom given to Peter, to absolve sin, are given to all the Apostles in John 20: "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The Keys of the Kingdom are not the power to absolve sin. They are the power to speak with the authority of Christ Himself. Specifically, they relate to the doctrine of papal infallibility.

This is something of a bait and switch.

“As a king sending forth governors, gives power to cast into prison and to deliver from it, so in sending these forth, Christ invests them with the same power.” (John Chrysostom Homily 86 on the Gospel of John) Christ invests them with the same power, not the same power except for Peter but all with the same power.

They all have the same power to absolve sin, but again that is not what the Keys of the Kingdom are.

And in fact in Acts we see other Apostles with greater authority than Peter. “There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently, not starts up (for the next word). Great the orderliness (of the proceedings). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. “And after that they had held their peace, James answered,” etc. (v. 13.) (b) Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part.” (John Chhrysostom Homily XXXIII on Acts 15: 13,15)

None of this shows that other Apostles had greater authority. It simply says that they also had places of high authority. In particular, James was the Bishop of Jerusalem, which is where the dispute cited in Acts 15 took place.

Chrysostom also says, "If anyone should say ‘Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?’ I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that See but of the world."

So while James holds authority over Jerusalem, Peter has authority over the entire world. Sounds pretty Catholic to me. :wink:

If a St. really said all this, it’s rather troubling. We like to think that most of the members of the early Church respected Catholicism, it’s odd to see a St. attacking it. Anyone know of anything that could help me here?

As you can see, a little more context completely derails your friend’s objections. Chrysostom was Catholic through and through. :slight_smile:

Cheers!

For the sake of argument, the apostles made a similar confession 2 chapters earlier

Mt 14:
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Did Jesus say to the apostles, hey guys “your confession was a revelation from the Father” so I’m going to change everybody’s name to Rock (Peter) , and give you the keys to the kingdom,? Nope!

This would be the place to do it if it was based on one’s “confession” right? But as we see, Jesus said nothing to them for that confession.

Let’s face it, Peter was the Father’s choice to lead, ergo the office Peter holds among the apostles ergo the Church, is all the Father’s choice. Peter and his faith one. It’s not either/or but both.

Now let’s consider some imagery

Peter’s see was Rome and his tomb is below the altar at St Peter’s in Rome. That’s a physical image of the Church being built on Peter :wink:

Who says the keys are only the power to forgive sins? That’s not the image in [Is 22:22…]

Keys are only mentioned twice in the NT, that’s with Peter and Jesus only. Matthew 16:19 , Revelation 1:18

God made Peter their leader. An argument over primacy among THEM, broke out in the upper room, the night of the last supper.

Lk 22:
24 A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; 29 as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,a] that he might sift you**(“http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lk%2022:24-32&version=RSVCE#fen-RSVCE-30061b”)] like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”

Footnotes:

[LIST=1]
*]Luke 22:31 The Greek word for you here is plural; in verse 32 it is singular
*]Luke 22:31 The Greek word for you here is plural; in verse 32 it is singular
[/LIST]Peter:
[LIST]
*]is the greatest among them and Jesus confirms it
*]He is to serve as Jesus serves
*]What is one of the titles of the pope? Servant of the Servants of God.
*]For Peter to do his job that Jesus commissions for him, it goes without saying the others must be willing to be led by Peter.
*]If they aren’t willing to be led by Peter, Satan is sifting them as Jesus says
[/LIST]

St. Chrysostom, as is well-documented in the philvaz.com link above, spoke most well of the Papacy, so I don’t think that’s an issue. Other answers above are good. Also, it is Catholic teaching that Peter’s confession is that upon which the faith is built (CCC#424). But to limit it to that is to commit a false dichotomy. Catholics also teach the Church is built on Peter the person (CCC#881).

If we delve in the context of Matthew 16, notice the symmetry of the text:
Matthew 16:16-18 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. Peter first tells Jesus “who” he is and who’s “Son” he is. You are Christ, Son of God. Jesus responds in the same way in reverse, telling him whose son he is and who he is: “Simon Bar-Jonah” (which means Simon, son of Jonah) and you are “Peter,” i.e. Rock. To deprive Peter of that identity is to do violence to the mirror image present in the text.

For your Orthodox friend, I would also recommend directing him to the following document: The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium
Joint Coordinating Committee for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church
In current Orthodox understanding, the matter of special primacy for Peter is not in question - as to what is the nature of the primacy remains negotiated between the Churches.

Eastern Fathers of the Church Recognize The Rock and Crush the “Confession” Argument
Peter is the Rock

Tatian the Syrian (AD 170)

“Simon Kephas answered and said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee also, that you are Rock, and on this Rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it” (The Diatesseron 23 [A.D. 170]).

Tertullian (AD 220)

“Was anything hid from Peter, who was called the Rock, whereon the Church was built; who obtained the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the power of loosing and of binding in heaven and on earth?” (Tertullian, De Praescript Haeret).

Tertullian thereafter writes to criticize Pope Callistus I by saying …“I now inquire into your opinions, to see whence you usurp the right for the Church. Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church …[Matt 16-19]’ that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed over to you, that is, to every church akin to Peter? What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when He conferred this personally on Peter? ‘On you,’ He says, ‘I will build my Church; and I give to you the keys’…” (Tertullian, On Modesty 21:9-10)

The Apocryphal Letter of St. Clement of Rome to St. James (C. 221 A.D.)

“Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus Himself, with His truthful mouth, named Peter” (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221])

St. Gregory Nazianzus

“See thou that of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were great and deserving of the choice, one is called a Rock and entrusted with the foundations of the Church.” (Gregory Naz., T. i or xxxii). … and "Peter, the Chief of the disciples, but he was a Rock (Gregory Naz., T. ii.) …and … “[Peter], that unbroken Rock who held the keys.” (Gregory Naz., Sect. ii Poem Moral. tom. ii.)

St. Gregory of Nyssa

“Peter, with his whole soul, associates himself with the Lamb; and, by means of the change of his name, he is changed by the Lord into something more divine. Instead of Simon, being both called and having become a Rock, the great Peter did not by advancing little by little attain unto this grace, but at once he listened to his brother (Andrew), believed in the Lamb, and was through faith perfected, and, having cleaved to the Rock, became himself Peter.” (Gregory of Nyssa, T. i. Hom. xv. in C. Cantic). …and …. “Peter …that most firm Rock, upon which the Lord build His Church.” (Gregory of Nyssa, Alt. Or. De. S. Steph.)

St. Basil the Great

“The house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the foundations of which are on the holy mountains, for it is built upon the Apostles and prophets. One also of these mountains was Peter, upon which Rock the Lord promised to build His Church.” (Basil, T. i. Comment. in Esai. c. ii.). …and …. “The soul of blessed Peter was called a lofty Rock …” (Basil, Sermon 1 De Fide I.13).

St. John Chrysostom

“…and when I name Peter, I name that unbroken Rock, that firm foundation, the Great Apostle, the First of the disciples …” (Chrysostom, T. ii. Hom. iii. de Paednit). …and …. “Peter, the 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.” (Chrysostom, In illud. hoc Scitote). and …. “Peter, … that Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the Faith, the Foundation of the Confession.” (Chrysostom, T. iii. Hom. de Dec. Mill. Talent)

The Ravenna Document has this note at the top (emphasis mine)

http://www.vatican.va/img/vuoto.gif"[FONT=Times New Roman][size=2]The following is the original English text of the ‘Ravenna Document’ which was discussed and unanimously approved by the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church during the tenth plenary session of the Commission held in Ravenna from 8-14 October 2007. Thus, [FONT=Comic Sans MS]the document represents the outcome of the work of a Commission and should not be understood as an official declaration of the Church’s teaching. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has provided translations of the text in Italian, French and German. "[/FONT][/FONT][/size]

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ch_orthodox_docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html

As I read that, the document then, is just a discussion, it’s not official.

Western ECF’s – Peter the Rock

Cyprian of Carthage (AD 251)

“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. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven.’ And again He says to him after His resurrection: ‘Feed my sheep.’ On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he 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 [A.D. 251]).

Ambrose

“[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?” (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

"…Christ ‘bestow[ed] the favor of this title upon His disciple, so that HE TOO might be Peter [rock]” (that is, the Rock of the Church in a vicarious sense).

“Peter is called the Rock because, like an immovable rock, he sustains and joins the mass of the entire Christian edifice.” (Ambrose, Sermon 4).

“It is to Peter that he says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal” (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David 40:30 [A.D. 389]).

Augustine

“Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of God is able to forgive all sins. They are wretched indeed, because they do not recognize in Peter the rock and they refuse to believe that the keys of heaven, lost from their own hands, have been given to the Church” (Christian Combat, 31:33(A.D. 397), in JUR,3:51).

“When, therefore, He had said to His disciples, ‘Will ye also go away?” Peter, that Rock, answered with the voice of all, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life’ “ (Homilies on John, Tract 11:5(A.D. 417), in NPNF1,VII:76).

“And the Lord, to him to whom a little before He had said, ‘Blessed thou art, and upon this Rock I will build my Church,’ saith, ‘Go back behind, Satan, an offence thou art to Me.’ Why therefore ‘Satan’ is he, that a little before was ‘blessed,’ and a ‘Rock’ ?” (In Psalms, 56[55]:14[PL 36, 656] (A.D. 418),in NPNF1,VIII:223).

“Peter, who had confessed Him as the Son of God, and in that confession had been called the rock upon which the Church should be built.” (In Psalms, 69:4[PL 36, 869] (A.D. 418), in Butler, 251).

“And if a Jew asks us why we do that, we sound from the rock, we say, This Peter did, this Paul did: from the midst of the rocks we give our voice. But that rock, Peter himself, that great mountain, when he prayed and saw that vision, was watered from above” In Psalms, 104[103]:16(A.D. 418),in NPNF1,VIII:513).

**Pope Leo I **

“[T]he blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he understood. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that, from his being called the rock, from his being pronounced the foundation, from his being constituted the doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the umpire to bind and loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ” (Sermons 3:2–3 [A.D. 450]).

The way I see it is this:Matthew 16:19 and John 20:22-23 may sound similar, but they aren’t really.
The Gospel of Matthew shows Jesus handing the Keys of the Kingdom to
Peter specifically, which rings very similar to Isaiah 22:15–25, in which the
Key to the House of David is placed on Eliakim’s shoulder, which happens
to represent a certain authority, and also prefigures Matthew 16:19.

Authority and to watch over Christ’s Church was given to Peter, not to the
other Apostles in the same manner. What was given universally to all 12
of the Apostles in John 20 was the duty to absolve/retain sins, as well as
I believe the office of bishops.

We must also keep in mind that Matthew 16 and John 20 are two separ–
ate events, one being before the resurrection, the other being after, which
ought to make clear how these offices differ.
Let me throw this thought in also: The Rock on which Jesus builds his Church
on may be the Rock of the Peter’s Confession, yet we ought to also recognize
how *Simon *is being identified with his confession by being renamed Peter.

True, and thanks for pointing that out. But I think it worth while to send that to his Orthodox friend anyway because members and clergy of the Orthodox Church have professed great regard for the Ravenna statement. In mind, I know of Metropolitan Kallistos Ware who believes the document is great cause for optimism. :o

Exactly. Ask your friend why Jesus would bother to rename Simon “Peter” or “Cephas”, if Peter himself were not the rock?

What do you mean? St. Chrysostom was kicked out of the Catholic church? That’s odd, but how does that invalidate what he said? You say he was settling regarding a false patriarch. Were those the patriarch’s words he was quoting then? Or what?
Prodigalson2011 (and all who mentioned the argument of the Rock
We have been over the Kephas thing. I had to smooth out the usual misinformation about Peter’s name and the Greek, and that was that. She concedes that point.
BUT AS TO THAT QUOTE from Chrysostom, that could be quite helpful. Would you mind giving me the source, please? I don’t think you’re making that up :slight_smile: but she will want to know where you got it from, and read it for herself. (If you have a date, that would also be lovely.)
Randy Carson
I would also love use your Chrysostom quote as well, but again, while you provided a citation, I would like to know the source have a URL. (If it’s not online, simply tell me which book you read it in and perhaps give me a link to where one can buy it, please.) I’m afraid she won’t be impressed if I just say, “A little bird, err, bee told me.”
Everyone Else Who Kindly Gave me Quotes
I may use those, but for the time being, we are focusing exclusively on the Rock argument. This is the main Biblical proof of Catholicism in my view. We’ve already been all over Honorious, Vigilius, why do we need a Vicar for Christ when Christ is not absent, etc, and I think we just need to focus on on the biggy. The quotes may come in handy later, however, and I appreciate you posting them.
Lastly, thank you for that overwhelming response with so much feedback and links. It took me twenty minutes to read it all!

There was a revolt or something and St. John C. was exiled from his seat of Constantinople. Then he appealed to Rome which would make zero sense if he thought Rome did not have primacy.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says the following

“They had scarcely left Constantinople when a huge conflagration destroyed the cathedral, the senate-house, and other buildings. The followers of the exiled bishop were accused of the crime and prosecuted. In haste Arsacius, an old man, was appointed successor of Chrysostom, but was soon succeeded by the cunning Atticus. Whoever refused to enter into communion with them was punished by confiscation of property and exile. Chrysostom himself was conducted to Cucusus, a secluded and rugged place on the east frontier of Armenia, continually exposed to the invasions of the Isaurians. In the following year he had even to fly for some time to the castle of Arabissus to protect himself from these barbarians. Meanwhile he always maintained a correspondence with his friends and never gave up the hope of return. When the circumstances of his deposition were known in the West, the pope and the Italian bishops declared themselves in his favour. Emperor Honorius and Pope Innocent I endeavoured to summon a new synod, but their legates were imprisoned and then sent home. The pope broke off all communion with the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch (where an enemy of Chrysostom had succeeded Flavian), and Constantinople, until (after the death of Chrysostom) they consented to admit his name into the diptychs of the Church.”

So it seems to me like St. John C. believed in the primacy of Rome or otherwise he would not have appealed to her.

Also do remember, you do not need to prove to her that St. John C was pro-papacy. All you need to is establish reasonable doubt that St. John C spoke either way. To me, the very appeal of St. John C. to Rome proves at least just that. There is reasonable doubt in using St. John C as for or against the Papacy.

Furthermore, one of the sites I quoted listed the following book as being very good.

amazon.ca/dp/1163618187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385163099

It’s only $3 on kindle so might be worth a looksy for you too.

Thank you kindly, that is all quite informative.
However, to all of you, one thing still puzzles me:
“…for James was invested with the chief rule”
Why would he say that if he believed Peter had supremacy or, to use Chrysostom’s wording, “chief rule”?

Your Orthodox friend is merely reciting the standard Protestant material. In fact, I don’t even see your Othodox friend acknowledging a “primacy of honor” for the Bishop of Rome.

I understand that many Protestants who see the limits of Protestantism but yet still cannot come to the Catholic Church turn to Eastern Orthodoxy. I wonder if they are bringing their anti-Catholicism with them to infect Eastern Orthodoxy.

True enough, perhaps, but may I ask what you’re referring to? If you were addressing my previous post, that wasn’t a quote from her. It’s from the statements by Chrysostom I used to start this thread.

He saith to him, “Feed my sheep”. Why does He pass over the others and speak of the sheep to Peter? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the head of the choir. For this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the others. And also to show him that he must have confidence now that his denial had been purged away. He entrusts him with the rule [prostasia] over the brethren…If anyone should say “Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?”, I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that see but of the whole world. [St. John Chrysostom, Homily 88 on John, 1. Cf. Origen, “In Ep. ad Rom.”, 5:10; Ephraem Syrus “Hymn. in B. Petr.” in “Bibl. Orient. Assemani”, 1:95; Leo I, “Serm. iv de natal.”, 2].

Pound Coolish #15
However, to all of you, one thing still puzzles me:
“…for James was invested with the chief rule”
Why would he say that if he believed Peter had supremacy or, to use Chrysostom’s wording, “chief rule”?

The Council took place on the eve of the dispersion of the apostles on their mission to “all the world.” St. James seems to have been designated as the future Bishop of Jerusalem, but there is no indication that Jerusalem itself had been designated as the “chief See”. At the Council, St. Peter manifested his superior authority by speaking first, giving his decision and declaring that, by means of a vision, the course to be adopted had been indicated to him by God. His verdict did not need the approval of the assembly, and it left no room for discussion. “All held their peace” once Peter had spoken (Acts, 15:11).

The Anglican scholar, Dr. Trevor G. Jalland, in his book “The Church and the Papacy,” says of the subsequent speech of St. James: “It is the summing up of a chairman, not the verdict of an arbiter. If anything, the narrative suggests that it was the evidence of Peter which turned the scales of decision.” The same Dr. Jalland says of St. Paul’s visit to Jerusalem (Galatians, 1:18) that Paul “admits that he did encounter James . . . but makes it clear that this meeting was purely accidental. Why was it so important to introduce himself to St. Peter? Can we exclude the possibility that St. Paul had some problem of a pastoral or administrative nature, regarding which he had reason to think that St. Peter’s opinion would not only be valuable, but decisive?” At most it can be said, as regards the Council itself, that St. James acted as local host, not as supreme ruler of the whole Church.

Although it was later extended to all collectively, Christ nevertheless gave more to St. Peter than to the others. To St. Peter, whose name He had changed from Simon to “Rock”, He had said in the singular: “Thou are Peter (Rock), and upon this rock I will build my Church . . . and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” He did not say those additional words to the other apostles. Again, to St. Peter alone, in Jn., 21:15-17, He committed the whole flock, saying: “Feed my lambs . . . feed my sheep;” also, in Lk., 22:32: “I have prayed for thee (again in the singular) that thy faith fail not; and do thou . . . confirm thy brethren.”

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