For Orthodox Christians St. John Chrysostom's support of the Papacy

It’s been requested of me to provide the quote of St. John Chrysostom that caused me to believe that the Catholic Church is correct and to receive the Sacraments in the Catholic Church even though I am a Chrismated Greek Orthodox Christian - according to the Catholic Code of Canon Law 844 §3. “Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.” and according to the Orthodox Church, it ex-communicates me meaning I can no longer receive the Mysteries of the Orthodox Church prior to Confession to an Orthodox Priest. Though, the Greek Orthodox Church does say that the Catholic Church has valid Sacraments, so in their eyes I’m still receiving Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist. (Though some Orthodox Churches do not believe/teach that.)

Here it is:

“**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.” **Chrysostom, In illud, hoc Scitote, n. 4, p. 282. I read this in the book called Jesus, Peter & the Keys A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren & Rev. Mr. David Hess

I miss the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church and I miss the practice of full Orthodox Spirituality. Please prove this quote of St. John’s wrong so I can come home. I don’t want people to list their emotions or personal opinions, but actual hard facts which disprove it.

Of course there is more than 1 quote of St. John Chrysostom’s that supports the Papacy, so I suppose, if it is possible for someone to prove this one wrong, then I will need to list the others.

Oh and if those also were disproved then I suppose, I’d also need a strong explanation of why “the Keys” were only given to St. Peter by Christ (and not to the rest of the Apostles) & how one can possibly discern from Christ’s action in that matter that the St. Peter and his Successors do not have higher authority than the rest of the Apostles and their Successors.

That should about do it. :slight_smile: Who’s up for the challenge?

For me, Peter does not equal the papacy. I believe St. John was talking about Peter not the other bishops of Rome.

Forgive this sinner if I do not understand. The Orthodox Church has St Peter. Do you think that this quote proves supremacy and infalibility of the Roman Pontiff? Please clarify.

Reading material :slight_smile:

Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Links on the Orthodox and Catholic Churches
The Church and the Pope
The Visibility and Invisibility of the Church
The name of the Catholic Church

O I know that St. Peter is honored as a Saint in Orthodoxy, but I also know that Orthodox today teach that he was equal with the other Apostles and that he and his Successors did not have any authority over any other of the Bishops’ jurisdiction.

The quote I listed was written by St. John Chrysostom a Patriarch of Antioch who specifically contradicts that when he says that St. Peter* was* indeed the very Foundation of the Church and that his jurisdiction is that of the entire universe, not just of Rome.

This teaching substantiates the current views of the Catholic Church and directly contradicts the current views of the Orthodox Church.

Is there anything that proves that this is not really what St. John Chrysostom said/taught?

I do not believe that is what St John is saying. Yes, the Orthodox Church teaches that all apostles are equal and that the Orthodox bishop of Rome had the primacy of honor due to Roma as the capital of Christianity. I am sorry, but I cannot read anything else into this quote. It does not say that the bishop of Rome has supreme universal jurisdiction over all other Churches. And it certainly says nothing about a doctrine of infallibility.

Here is something else that St John says about the apostle St John:

St John Chrysosotom
For the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now.

Here is St John calling St Paul, “the teacher of the world”.

[FONT=Arial]St John** Chrysostom**
The merciful God is wont to give this honor to his servants, that by their grace others may acquire salvation; as was agreed by the blessed Paul, that teacher of the world who emitted the rays of his teaching everywhere.

And here is St John talking about St James as having the chief rule:

[FONT=Arial] 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). 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. 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.
St John Chrysostom, Homily XXXIII on Acts xv.

Interesting, interesting, very interesting.

It seems then that St. John Chrysostom spoke very large about not just St. Peter, but also St. John, St. Paul and St. James - specifically referencing the Council as documented in the book of Acts which Orthodox and Catholics have debated. At each reading, I always naturally come to the side of the Orthodox on that chapter in Acts as it is clear that St. James was “in charge” even though St. Peter is one of the people who spoke.

Interesting, interesting, very interesting.

Okay, okay, before I jump off the deep end, let me make sure I cover all my bases…what is the Catholic interpretation of these other writings of St. John Chrysostom which Mickey has shared here? Especially with regard to his writings about St. James which so clearly demonstrates that he had the same views as the Orthodox hold today in regards to who had the authority in that Council?

Also, do you have anything else Mickey? And what book did you read where you obtained these other quotes of St. John Chrysostom?

“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.”
Chrysostom, on John, Homily 88

Just bethink you, and shudder, at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. What a rose will Rome send up to Christ!..what two crowns will the city have about it! what golden chains will she be girded with! what fountains possess! Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, nor for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church (1 Cor. 15:38)
**Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans, Homily XXXII
By St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407

St John Chrysostom
He speaks from this time lowly things, on his way to His passion, that He might show His humanity. For He that hath built His church upon Peter’s confession, and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it…

This will seem harsh…but for me…the Orthodox Church (s) simply fails in one significant test…(which proves to me that it is not the “rock” foundation and has separated itself from the “Rock”)…they are not actively pursing or involved in the Lord’s Great Commission…preaching the Gospel, baptizing all in the Name of the Trinitarian formula)…, and teaching all to obey all that the Lord commanded…i.e., being Our Lord’s presence as missionaries to all the peoples of the world. If that was Our Lord Jesus’ last great command to the apostles (The Eleven)…I simply can’t see how a myriad/bunch of National/ethnic/culture Churches…with no active missionary “arm”…is carrying our the Lord’s Great Commission. By default…they can’t be the “Rock” / founding foundation…no matter how valid or licit their apostolic succession/sacraments!

Okay…help me…what am I missing/don’t understand about this Great Commission and the Orthodox Churches?

**Matthew 28: 16-20 (NIV)****The Great Commission **

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This will also seem harsh…but I am truely puzzled…why would/should anyone of the Episcopal/Anglican sect really care about this issue?..Peter…the papacy…and Peter’s successor popes/bishops of Rome?..Surely King Henry VIII’s followers (then and now) don’t have a* “dog in this fight*”! Really…what difference does it make to the Episcopal/Anglican Christian? It seems to me…to be, like me a Catholic, really being concerned about why the Baptist Christians have Southern and American Baptist Organizations…and are arguing over who is really the overall head of the Baptist sects/congregations.

Please help me understand.

Pax Christi

I knew this would descend into attacks, lies and insults. How very sad. :frowning:

You’re here for me, not for him.

Who succeeded Saint Paul, i.e, is there a recognized apostolic see (acknowledged by the Church) as there is for the apostolic see of Rome which is descended from the Chair of Peter?

Let us remember that many of the Orthodox Churches have only recently emerged from a period of persecution that was extreme. Some of the suffering of the Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union (prior to people like Stalin trying to emasculate it and use it a tool for propaganda and morale building) is woeful to recall, including Metropolitans crucified on the doors of their own churches, shot for protesting systematic executions of those been scapegoated by the state and similar.

But the Orthodox Church does have a missionary arm and does reach out to others, the Antiochian Orthodox Church is quite active near me and collabrates and works together with many fellow Christians from a variety of denominations.

Hi Lancer,

This would seem to be a great area of misunderstanding on the part of you and many other Catholics. Rest assured though, it is simply a misunderstanding. Let me help you clear it up.

Please take out a globe or a world map.

First, look at Greece, Turkey, Africa, India, and all of the Middle East: Iraq, Iran - the Churches in these Countries sided with the Orthodox during the split of the Orthodox from Rome.

Next, look at the size of Russia and all the Eastern European Countries, Finland and China, Japan and Alaska. It was Orthodox Missionaries who converted this entire land mass.

All of Russia was converted in 988 - after the East and West had already split on the issue of the Papacy and the Filioque, but before the official mutual ex-communications of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches.

Alaska, Western Canada, Washington, Oregon and CA were converted by several Orthodox Missionaries: (St.) Innocent, (St.) Herman & (St.) John Maximovich.

There are also now Orthodox Churches all over Western Europe.

Finally, look at all of the Americas: North, Central & South and Australia there have been Orthodox Missionaries & Mission Parishes as well as fully established Parishes there for quite some time.

This in no way diminishes the Missionary work of the Catholic Church, I just want to clarify and bring to light the missionary work of the Orthodox Church as this was your question.


That eloquently I think refutes the assertion that missionary work has not been part of the Orthodox tradition. It’s an annoying untruth that seems to have gained popular acceptance.

You have to remember SingleMomMonica that the council had concluded what they did because of what was first revealed to Saint Peter (from God himself) who then revealed it to the other apostles who as such convened a council approving what Saint Peter had spoken (there are two approaches I believe being summoned here, the infallibility of the council as well as that of the pope).

p.s Please take in mind also that even though St. John spoke of St. James, and St. John and St. Paul in glowing terms, none have like St. Peter a successor that is actually acknowledged as sitting in the Chair of Peter and as such given primacy by the early Church fathers.

St Peter was in Antioch first. :wink:

But what does this mean except that he was bishop of Antioch first? Are you denying the early Church fathers called the see of Rome as the Chair of Peter? Furthermore, you didn’t answer my question, what apostolic see is recognized as the Chair of Paul by the early Church fathers? God bless Mickey.

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