How do I refute Bishop Equality?


#1

Now, dont get my wrong. I love my Orthodox brethren as much as I love my Protestant brethren....Okay, maybe the Orthodox a little bit more. :p ;) :p

But I have been dealing over and over with topics on how the Pope doesn't have his authority and he is first among equals.

Some good refutes I have pulled out is that Jesus established the Church upon Peter and Peter alone has the keys to the kingdom of Heaven...Also Jesus tells peter alone to feed his sheep.

But like Matt. 18:18 says, all the bishops have the authority to bind and loose. The Catholic Church stated that one must be under the Pope to have this authority, the Orthodox think otherwise.

Can someone give me some (Pre 1054) Early Church Writings and/or some scriptures to help me.
It's because of this sole problem that every time in Mass, I kneel and see my priest hands consecrate the host and think, is it really happening? Is this is the true church? When I should be focused on adoration of the Holy Eucharist!

Orthodox Answers are fine too, but I rather much have Catholic answers. I will look at both.

Thanks!


#2

What do you mean by bishop equality? If you mean to say that all bishops are equal with reference to prerogatives of Church governance, then the Orthodox do not teach that. If, on the other hand, you mean the idea that all bishops are ontologically equal, then that is a better representation of Orthodox thought on the matter.


#3

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:293285"]
But I have been dealing over and over with topics on how the Pope doesn't have his authority and he is first among equals.

But like Matt. 18:18 says, all the bishops have the authority to bind and loose. The Catholic Church stated that one must be under the Pope to have this authority, the Orthodox think otherwise.

Thanks!

[/quote]

I must watch what I say here: I've been suspended before!:( But Matt. 18:18 says "YOU".
Jesus was speaking to "the disciples" not just the Twelve. Presumably the 120 believers who gathered in the upper room? ie all Christians who followed Jesus at that time. John 20:22, 23 again mentions "the disciples" (except Thomas "one of the Twelve" 20:24).
".....He breathed on them and said, 'receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." Therefore it is the Holy Spirit in a Christian who discerns.
I believe the whole bible was written to ALL people (except maybe in Luke who dedicates his version to "Theophylus" that is "he who loves God".) One of unsung "gifts of the Spirit" is that the bible turns from just another reference book to a beautiful love letter from God.
I once asked the Lord "what happens to those sins I retain?" The Lord said, "they are retained by YOU, Ian!!!!!!!!!":eek:
I must hastily add that I, Me, Moi, cannot forgive sins like a priest at confession. But it is incumbent upon ME to forgive all those who have sinned against ME, otherwise my asking our Father (in the Lord's Prayer) to forgive my sins is null and void!


#4

[quote="IanGE, post:3, topic:293285"]
I must watch what I say here: I've been suspended before!:(

[/quote]

Sorry to hear that. Glad you are back though...:thumbsup:

But Matt. 18:18 says "YOU".
Jesus was speaking to "the disciples" not just the Twelve.

Presumably the 120 believers who gathered in the upper room? ie all Christians who followed Jesus at that time. John 20:22, 23 again mentions "the disciples" (except Thomas "one of the Twelve" 20:24).
".....He breathed on them and said, 'receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." Therefore it is the Holy Spirit in a Christian who discerns.

If one looks at the context here - it is Mt 18:15-18...In Verse 17 it says to tell it to the "Ekklesia" and then to listen to the "Ekklesia"...or risk being shunned - excommunicated - by said ekklesia.

So the "You" is a collective "You" and not each individual independent of others.
This is a critically important point and one that is clearly demonstrated in Acts 15 where the issue of circumcision et.al. started out as a "low level" argument between Jewish converts and Gentile converts....but eventually had to be decided by the Church leadership in Jerusalem at the time.

The "ekklesia" aspect is critically important because it protects us from errors that we as individuals can easily fall into. Without the community we cannot adequately "test the spirits" that are leading us in our own journey. The power of the Spirit within the community is alluded two directly following - in verses 19 and twenty where Jesus promises to be with, "...two or three gathered in My name..."

Yet if "two or three" determine one thing to be true and "two or three" others determine the opposite to be true...Then the "four or six" (the two groups together) need to come together prayerfully and resolve the matter for one of the two groups is being led by a wrong spirit.

Eventually such gatherings become too cumbersome and representatives are used - just as in Acts 15:2 where, "...Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question."

Anyway - the point of this wordy response is that the "You" spoken of in Mt 18:18 refers to a collective - the Ekklesia - not a whole bunch of individuals acting alone...

Peace
James


#5

What is the point of refuting? Is this meant to be some sort of a magical pick-up line that when use use this line on someone they'd go, "what? Well, you got me there. Take me to your Catholic parish and covert me this minute!"

The Orthodox have held this belief from the beginning of the Church. Do you think anything we can come up with today will change their mind?


#6

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:5, topic:293285"]
What is the point of refuting? Is this meant to be some sort of a magical pick-up line that when use use this line on someone they'd go, "what? Well, you got me there. Take me to your Catholic parish and covert me this minute!"

The Orthodox have held this belief from the beginning of the Church. Do you think anything we can come up with today will change their mind?

[/quote]

You're right. Nothing we do can change their minds....only God's grace.


#7

Let me clear you on this, All Bishops are equal, When a Bishop become Pope, he is not ordained to a higher position, but enthroned to the Seat of Peter. So, how does the Pope differ from the rest of the Bishops, He has the Charism of Infallibility, which only on the scope of Faith and Morals, when ever he declares, he consults the rest of the bishops around the world, In unity with all of them, He declares an Infallible doctrine.

The Pope also has an administrative leadership among the Bishops but this is just for the day to day operation of the church,it does not diminish the completeness of the Apostolic succession of another bishop, such the Pope cannot demote a Bishop to a Priest, the Bishop remains to be a Bishop even in disobedience (administrative and not heretical) to the Pope

An Orthodox Bishop is a true Bishop just as the Pope is a Bishop, he can confer a valid sacrament completely just like any Catholic Bishop

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:293285"]
Now, dont get my wrong. I love my Orthodox brethren as much as I love my Protestant brethren....Okay, maybe the Orthodox a little bit more. :p ;) :p

But I have been dealing over and over with topics on how the Pope doesn't have his authority and he is first among equals.

Some good refutes I have pulled out is that Jesus established the Church upon Peter and Peter alone has the keys to the kingdom of Heaven...Also Jesus tells peter alone to feed his sheep.

But like Matt. 18:18 says, all the bishops have the authority to bind and loose. The Catholic Church stated that one must be under the Pope to have this authority, the Orthodox think otherwise.

Can someone give me some (Pre 1054) Early Church Writings and/or some scriptures to help me.
It's because of this sole problem that every time in Mass, I kneel and see my priest hands consecrate the host and think, is it really happening? Is this is the true church? When I should be focused on adoration of the Holy Eucharist!

Orthodox Answers are fine too, but I rather much have Catholic answers. I will look at both.

Thanks!

[/quote]


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