Early Church Fathers Agree: Peter has the Keys

Early Church Fathers Agree: Peter has the Keys

**Tertullian **

“[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

Cyprian of Carthage (251 A.D.)

“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]).

John Chrysostom

I would fain inquire then of those who desire to lessen the dignity of the Son, which manner of gifts were greater, those which the Father gave to Peter, or those which the Son gave him? For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to a mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven. “For heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 How then is He less, who has given such gifts, has effected such things?

And these things I say, not dividing the works of Father and Son (“for all things are made by Him, and without Him was nothing made which was made”): but bridling the shameless tongue of them that dare so to speak.

But see, throughout all, His authority: “I say unto you, You are Peter; I will build the Church; I will give you the keys of Heaven.”

Like I said with your other posts and I repeat it again, we have a lot of writtings from the Early Christians, who say the same thing, I wish we could all be in agreement with this. I mean its not like if we are trying to degrade anybody.

Just to play the devil’s advocate a bit…How do you think the Orthodox Churches justified their schism in 1049 if the Early Church Fathers seem to be in such perfect agreement? Was it just because they didn’t have google back then or what was it? :slight_smile:

They *justified *it on the basis of a bunch of trumped-up charges of heresy.

The ‘Filioque’. Azymes bread. Western Bishop cut their beards. Etc.

Interesting…I was unaware of this issue of Azymes bread contributing to the break, though I suppose in the end, one could attribute it to one of the capital sins, pride, and lack of charity, perhaps on both sides.

It seems that when these two elements grow strong, nearly anything can be justified and truth goes out the window and into the moat.

What happens if a “called” Minister for Priesthood doesn’t have facial hair? :hmmm:

Im just half joking;)


Sadly funny that beards of all things could be a contributing factor but it was just a pretext I suppose. The devil has many different files in his tool bag, it would seem.

You’ve got that backwards. We Orthodox did not go into schism, Rome broke off from us.

if the Early Church Fathers seem to be in such perfect agreement?

There was not such perfect agreement as you suggest, nor do many of Randy’s quotes convey the meaning Randy intends when placed in their proper context.

We don’t ordain women so it isn’t a problem :smiley:

Do you as an Orthodox take issue with the filoque clause? I’m just curious.


I’m not an apologist. Otherwise I might have to say sorry. :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, another question, hypothetical: Would you go to a Catholic Mass if there was no Orthodox service on a Sunday within a 1000 miles?

Er, I wasn’t even considering women in any shape or form. Ministerial Priesthood is for men only.:highprayer:

The usual option if there was no Orthodox Church we could get to on a Sunday would be to pray the Hours.
Church worship is pretty important to us though, so when we go on holidays, it tends to be limited to where we can find an Orthodox Church.

So, even though a valid Eucharist was available to you, you’d rather not obey the Lord’s command to “do this” due to it being a “Catholic” mass?

…and excommunicate ourselves?! :eek: I can’t believe you’d even go there, Randy.

JamalChristophr, Orthodoxy doesn’t have exactly the same approach toward what you would call your “Sunday Obligation”. And we don’t have exactly the same perspective towards your declared sacraments as you have towards ours. So, while you may certainly disagree with our perspective, this may help you understand why we wouldn’t look to your services as a solution to this problem. And if we had a question, we’d bring it to our priest for direction, not a message board. :wink:

I did not realize that you would receive automatic excommunication. My apologies.

One question: While we are not in full communion, do you recognize our sacraments as valid?

Finally, this from oca.org:

Orthodox Christians are not permitted to receive Communion in non-Orthodox communities, including the Roman Catholic. To do so would imply a unity that in fact does not yet exist. Also it implies that we are “united” to the faith community from which we receive the Eucharist.

In brief, while Roman Catholicism sees Orthodoxy as a “sister church”, Orthodoxy sees herself as the fullness of the Church, not the “other half” of the Church, as implied in the notion of a “sister church.”

The gulf is wider than I ever imagined when I first started chatting with EO in these forums a year ago.

Not from OUR perspective, mind you. It’s all in how YOU see things.

There is a range of opinions among the Orthodox concerning the validity of Catholic sacraments. A position I’ve often heard from the Orthodox is that they do not know if Catholic sacraments are grace-filled.

This was my understanding. So, conceivably some Orthodox might feel comfortable receiving the Eucharist or confession from a Catholic priest in case of emergencies or other hardship while others would have nothing to do with anything Catholic.

Satan must be *very *pleased with himself.

Ryan, do the Orthodox understand that Catholics do not harbor these same feelings of animosity? Or do they assume that we must hate them just as much as they apparently hate us?

I think you’re asking the wrong question. Do we Catholics hate Protestants because we refuse to share communion with them?

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