Answers to the claims of 'My exodus from Roman Catholicism'?

Hi,
I came across a book that contains arguments against the papacy written by a former Franciscan monk who converted to Greek Orthodoxy. It has been bogging me down & I wondered whether anyone know about this book & if there is a good answer to its claims?
I believe the papacy is needed & that the disarray of the Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology indicates this, but still…

To sum it up it first argues that from early medieval times the pope is the monarch of the church & that decrees were issued by medieval popes declaring all apostles to have been submitting to the authority of St Peter as first popes & that it’s heresy to think otherwise.
Then he gives arguments with biblical & patristic quotes for the apostles being equal in authority, for the ‘Rock’ of Matt 16 to have been Peters confession & that Patriarch of Rome was only 1st among equals when holding the Eastern Orthodox faith etc.

His doubts began when he found a decree by Pope Innocent X that declared everyone who believed St Paul was not under St Peters papal authority to be anathema. (Sanctii Officii, 1647)

Link to chapter 1: oodegr.co/english/biblia/Ballester/ch1.htm

1st among equals is still first, correct?

Cant be sorta first anymore than you can be sorta pregnant.

What ECF quotes does he have that supports his case?

I know what you mean.
We have the case of Bishop Paul de Ballester who converted from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodoxy, and giving solid reasons for doing so.
We have the case of James Likoudis who converted from Eastern Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism and giving solid reasons for doing so.
Who is right?
Roman Catholics say that James Likoudis is right.
Eastern Orthodox say that Bishop Paul de Ballester is right.
How to decide? should it be by vote of the Patriarchs? In the early Church there were five Patriarchates: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. It was called the the Pentarchy and was composed of the highest-ranking bishops in the Church. But if we take a vote from these five, the result would be four for Bishop Paul de Ballester and one for Mr. Likoudis.
You don’t have this disarray in Euclidean geometry where everyone agrees that the base angles of an isosceles triangle are equal.
Will the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic ever unite when there is so much disagreement on the status of the Pope of Rome, not to mention so many other areas of disagreement?

I don’t think reunion is possible when there is so much disagreement even within both sides.

ICXC NIKA

Many types of nonCatholics make arguements against the pope.

I would recommend that you do your own fact finding so you can come to an unbiased conclusion. There are unbiased sources for reading history and we have writings of church fathers.

There are answers to the questions you raised.

Will the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic ever unite when there is so much disagreement on the status of the Pope of Rome, not to mention so many other areas of disagreement?

The Orthodox first need to start agreeing within their own ranks before talk of union with Rome can be possible.

Still no universally approved canon all these years later.

Here is a large compilation of the early Christian theologians interpretation of Matthew 16:18. The sources are in footnotes at the bottom of the page.
christiantruth.com/articles/fathersmt16.html

We don’t need a compilation or footnotes. We have access to the early writings.

well, I can take a quick run at this.

Yes, the pope was the ruler of the Church. All rule was monarchical in those days–that was the political and social structure which gave order to the disorder following the Roman collapse. There was no democracy or republicanism in those days, remember. It’s useful to not impose our modern historical sense upon the past.

decrees were issued by medieval popes declaring all apostles to have been submitting to the authority of St Peter as first popes & that it’s heresy to think otherwise.

I don’t know about particular decrees, but as the apostles did submit to the authority of Peter as to their leader, what would be wrong about decreeing so. See all the voluminous biblical support for Peter being the first always when there is a full group of apostles; see Jesus Christ’s several special conversations with Peter; see how John deferred to Peter at the empty tomb; and the way Peter ended the dogmatic part of the debate at the First Council; then the way the eastern church deferred to Rome even though a living first Apostle, John was nearer, etc.

Then he gives arguments with biblical & patristic quotes for the apostles being equal in authority,

Here’s the Catholic understanding: All the apostles together exercise Christ’s authority when they act as one body. They couldn’t do it without Peter. But he could act without them, on his own, with that authority. See the places in the NT where Peter alone is directly and solely given the authority; and where that authority is also separately given to the united body of the twelve. As with so many Catholic answers, it is both/and, not either/or.

for the ‘Rock’ of Matt 16 to have been Peters confession

This is an old chestnut for Protestantism; I see it would also be a problem for the Eastern Orthodox. They both must have it this way, otherwise their rejections of Peter haven’t a pebble to stand on. But that biblical interpretation fails. Look into the issue more and you will see. One quick clarifier is to understand that Jesus and His apostles spoke in Aramaic to each other. In Aramaic we have Jesus saying to Peter, “You are Cepha, and upon this cepha I will build my church.” Just skip the Latin.

Patriarch of Rome was only 1st among equals

cute. He was first, and the servant of the servants. He is the first servant, if you will!

His doubts began when he found a decree by Pope Innocent X that declared everyone who believed St Paul was not under St Peters papal authority to be anathema. (Sanctii Officii, 1647)

We can see Paul under Peter’s authority in the NT. Anathema means excommunicated. In these democratic days we cannot seem to even consider it. We only accept self-excommunication these days: if, for example, you commit an abortion, you are automatically self-excommunicated. It means you have committed a mortal sin, God is no longer living in you, and you are therefore de facto not in unity with the body. You are outside the body. So repent, confess, and you will be inside the body again.

You read this man’s book. Now give equal time and read a book or books giving the true and Catholic side of these issues. You can have a field day. But study is indicated. May I suggest you read the tracts available on this website as a start, also go to the websites of the Catholic Answers radio speakers, also study at EWTN …

I like to use the history of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church to argue against Bishop amongst equals. Valid Patriarch gets elected, Constantinople (who by this logic would have no power),declares election invalid, results in schism. So, is Constantinople really a Bishop amongst equals? Are they first? Are they second? How could Constantinople declare another Patriarch’s election invalid, as it was outside of his jurisdiction?

THIS A MILLION TIMES.

And it proves the point… oligarchy is anarchy, unless you are a Person of the Trinity.

who speaks for the orthodox churches?

they have a multitude of voices. they are not unified in their beliefs. they could not even meet to create a unified set of doctrines because of differences in what they teach and believe.

to what set of orthodox beliefs did this priest and the others decide to give their faith, the greek orthodox, the russian orthodox, the coptic church?

it seems to me that there is much not addressed by those who leave the RCC for an orthodox church.

especially, they should address why they chose this orthodox church over a different orthodox church.

:thumbsup:

I think the Coptics fall under Oriental Orthodox, and that’s not under EO umbrella.

The Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox are in communion with each other. The Coptic Orthodox belong to the Oriental Orthodox Church which is different from the Eastern Orthodox.

What doctrine or dogma do we Orthodox disagree on?

Still no universally approved canon all these years later.

All Eastern Orthodox agree on the canon of Scripture. We would only need to make some declaration if there was disagreement.

But that isn’t oligarchy, is it?

I’ve actually been trying to track that particular statement down for a while now. It would probably help if I could read Latin because there doesn’t appear to be an English translation available anywhere. I have no reason to doubt the good father’s word, but I do like to confirm strong claims like the above myself.

St. John Chrysostom says Peter was ruler of the whole world. He also says Peter was crown or head of the Apostles. If Peter is the ruler, as Chrysostom says, then would not the apostles be under Peter’s authority?

. 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, 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 reproches 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)

I didn’t know that Peter ruled over the Chinese people or the people of India. Can you supply us with evidence that Peter ruled over the people in China? Where is this written down in Chinese history?

St John Chrysostom was not in communion with Rome for much of his life, so he apparently didn’t believe any prerogatives of Peter flowed on to the Bishop of Rome, thus it is an abuse of his writings to interpret them so.

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