The letter of Pope Adrian I

Possibly one of the best texts that prove that infallibility of the Popes is false, is the letter of Pope Adrian I, Greek translation of which was read on the Seventh Ecumenical Council:

google.com/books?id=5sCqMrxtjBAC&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q&f=false

   I mean fragment about primacy of the Pope from the last line of p. 48 until the sign of the cross on p. 49. This is English translation from Greek translation of the letter. And in footnotes of p. 49 there is English translation of Latin original of this fragment.
   Doesn't this show, that Greeks simply didn't know about infallibility of the Popes? Because if they knew, then they wouldn't had deleted this teaching in their translation by replacing "the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles" with "Apostles SS. Peter and Paul".

English translation from Greek translation of the letter of Pope Adrian I:

   "And, more especially, if ye follow the traditions of the orthodox faith of those chief Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and kindly welcome their Vicar, even as your predecessors honoured each one the Vicar of his own days. And let your divinely-received power give all honour to the most holy Roman Church of these chief Apostles, to whom power has been granted by God, the Word Himself, to loose and to bind sins in heaven and on earth; for they will become the guardians of your kingdom, and will subdue all the barbarous nations under your feet, and wherever ye go they will make you victorious. Now these same

holy and chief Apostles, who laid the foundation of the Catholic and Orthodox faith, have left a written law, that all who ever should succeed to their thrones should maintain the same faith, and should continue in it even unto the end, and thus it is that our Church maintains and honours holy images."

   In the Latin the name of Peter stands alone. In the Latin this paragraph runs as follows --

“For the proofs of his dignity are found in the sacred authors, and in that unbounded veneration paid to him by all the faithful everywhere throughout the world, for the Lord hath made Him who is keeper of the keys of heaven, Prince over all; and this privilege was conferred upon Him by the same Divine Person by whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven were granted; for He that was endued with such singular honour, had before been honoured to make that confession of faith on which the Church of Christ is founded. A blessedness of reward followed this blessed confession, by preaching of which the holy Catholic Church has been enlightened, and from which other Churches have taken the documents of their faith; for the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who first presided in the Apostolic See, bequeathed the Principality of the Apostleship and the pastoral care to his successors who, throughout all ages, should sit in his most holy chair, to whom he left the power of authority; for just as it was bestowed on him by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so in the same way did he hand it down by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, by whose tradition it is that we venerate the holy images of Christ, of His holy Mother, of the Apostles, and all Saints.”

what the heck is this?

The substance concerning the authorty of the See of Rome and its bishop seems the same to me–if anything, this is evidence of the Catholic dogma of the primacy. The only difference is one text refers to it as the See of Peter and the other as the See of Peter and Paul.

And this disproves Papal infallibility how? Or do you think Catholics believe St. Paul didn’t lay a foundation for the Catholic faith?

BTW this forum is for asking questions and dialogue, not proselytizing and trying to “prove” Catholics false.

Hi Vadim. I’m quite open to debating Papal Infallibility, but we’ve got to distinguish between the official Catholic teaching on it (which is highly restrictive) and the popular ideas about that float around. I’d say that the latter is what you are disproving here.

The main idea is that if you read both quotes, you will see, that “Peter” in one of them was replaced with “Piter and Paul” in another one, and so, the teaching on primacy of the Pope disappeared from this text. And this text was very important, because it was the letter of the pope which was read during the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

Indeed, I forgot to put questions. My questions are:

  1. does this version of the text (i. e. Latin original, translated into English) contain teaching on primacy of the Pope?

“For the proofs of his dignity are found in the sacred authors, and in that unbounded veneration paid to him by all the faithful everywhere throughout the world, for the Lord hath made Him who is keeper of the keys of heaven, Prince over all; and this privilege was conferred upon Him by the same Divine Person by whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven were granted; for He that was endued with such singular honour, had before been honoured to make that confession of faith on which the Church of Christ is founded. A blessedness of reward followed this blessed confession, by preaching of which the holy Catholic Church has been enlightened, and from which other Churches have taken the documents of their faith; for the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who first presided in the Apostolic See, bequeathed the Principality of the Apostleship and the pastoral care to his successors who, throughout all ages, should sit in his most holy chair, to whom he left the power of authority; for just as it was bestowed on him by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so in the same way did he hand it down by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, by whose tradition it is that we venerate the holy images of Christ, of His holy Mother, of the Apostles, and all Saints.”

  1. does this version of the text (i. e. Greek translation from Latin original, translated into English) contain teaching on primacy of the Pope?

“And, more especially, if ye follow the traditions of the orthodox faith of those chief Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and kindly welcome their Vicar, even as your predecessors honoured each one the Vicar of his own days. And let your divinely-received power give all honour to the most holy Roman Church of these chief Apostles, to whom power has been granted by God, the Word Himself, to loose and to bind sins in heaven and on earth; for they will become the guardians of your kingdom, and will subdue all the barbarous nations under your feet, and wherever ye go they will make you victorious. Now these same
holy and chief Apostles, who laid the foundation of the Catholic and Orthodox faith, have left a written law, that all who ever should succeed to their thrones should maintain the same faith, and should continue in it even unto the end, and thus it is that our Church maintains and honours holy images.”

You are reasoning as if you already know the full teaching on primacy of the Pope before. But let us look at these texts with eyes of a person who has never heard of such teaching before. The teaching that Apostle Peter had more power than other Apostles did – is an important part of the teaching on primacy of the Pope. But this teaching disappeared from the Greek version. If one knows only Greek version of this text, and doesn’t know any other texts which Roman Catholics quote to prove primacy of the Pope, then this person won’t infer that Apostle Peter had more power than Apostle Paul did.

I would say so.

  1. does this version of the text (i. e. Greek translation from Latin original, translated into English) contain teaching on primacy of the Pope?

“And, more especially, if ye follow the traditions of the orthodox faith of those chief Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and kindly welcome their Vicar, even as your predecessors honoured each one the Vicar of his own days. And let your divinely-received power give all honour to the most holy Roman Church of these chief Apostles, to whom power has been granted by God, the Word Himself, to loose and to bind sins in heaven and on earth; for they will become the guardians of your kingdom, and will subdue all the barbarous nations under your feet, and wherever ye go they will make you victorious. Now these same
holy and chief Apostles, who laid the foundation of the Catholic and Orthodox faith, have left a written law, that all who ever should succeed to their thrones should maintain the same faith, and should continue in it even unto the end, and thus it is that our Church maintains and honours holy images.”

I would say yes because of what I bolded. I’ll leave it at that because I’m not really just not feeling like a long conversation about this. Sorry. :o :shrug:

:twocents:

If so, then can you or someone else please show me some Roman Catholic book or document where this text is quoted in order to prove primacy of the Pope? For example, let’s see what Pope Leo XIII quotes in order to prove primacy of Pope in his Satis Cognitum Encyclical (On the unity of the Church), which is available on official Vatican site. ( vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_29061896_satis-cognitum_en.html )

In a fragment where he quotes from Acts of Ecumenical Councils, he quotes from several Ecumenical Councils, but completely avoids the Seventh Ecumenical Council:

“Wherefore what was acknowledged and observed as Christian faith, not by one nation only nor in one age, but by the East and by the West, and through all ages, this Philip, the priest, the Pontifical legate at the Council of Ephesus, no voice being raised in dissent, recalls: “No one can doubt, yea, it is known unto all ages, that St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and the ground of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the Kingdom from Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is: the power of forgiving and retaining sins was given to him who, up to the present time, lives and exercises judgment in the persons of his successors” (Actio iii.). The pronouncement of the Council of Chalcedon on the same matter is present to the minds of all: “Peter has spoken through Leo” (Actio ii.), to which the voice of the Third Council of Constantinople responds as an echo: “The chief Prince of the Apostles was fighting on our side: for we have had as our ally his follower and the successor to his see: and the paper and the ink were seen, and Peter spoke through Agatho” (Actio xviii.).”

If not done so already, I would suggest to the OP to Google number of times infallibility has been used.

It seems to be a huge sticking point for many. Thinking about how it’s been used would help in understanding how little it is needed and has been used.

Why? Since it’s creation, the Catholic Church has had the same foundational teachings.

And there ya go! A simple, but profound fact. :thumbsup:

Maybe you missed the explanatory footnote on the bottom of page 47 in the link you gave:
This letter was not only curtailed, but greatly softened, in translation, in order not to displease the Greeks, to whom all that was said in the original concerning the Roman Church and its vicar would have been very unpalatable. Some of the material alterations will be noticed. The change was not just a simple insertion of Paul’s name, there were also omissions. You’ll note that what they omitted in the Greek translation is the **whole reference about the keys ** and to whom they had been given- since I suppose the Greeks would have found that “unpalatable” since it proclaimed the primacy of the Pope.

Do you dispute that it was to Peter alone that the keys were given?

The following link gives the texts also and is much easier to use than the one in your opening post…
fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.asp

[quote=Vadim244] Possibly one of the best texts that prove that infallibility of the Popes is false, is the letter of Pope Adrian I, Greek translation of which was read on the Seventh Ecumenical Council:

google.com/books?id=5sCqM…page&q&f=false

I mean fragment about primacy of the Pope from the last line of p. 48 until the sign of the cross on p. 49. This is English translation from Greek translation of the letter. And in footnotes of p. 49 there is English translation of Latin original of this fragment.
Doesn’t this show, that Greeks simply didn’t know about infallibility of the Popes? Because if they knew, then they wouldn’t had deleted this teaching in their translation by replacing “the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles” with “Apostles SS. Peter and Paul”.

English translation from Greek translation of the letter of Pope Adrian I:

“And, more especially, if ye follow the traditions of the orthodox faith of those chief Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and kindly welcome their Vicar, even as your predecessors honoured each one the Vicar of his own days. And let your divinely-received power give all honour to the most holy Roman Church of these chief Apostles, to whom power has been granted by God, the Word Himself, to loose and to bind sins in heaven and on earth; for they will become the guardians of your kingdom, and will subdue all the barbarous nations under your feet, and wherever ye go they will make you victorious. Now these same
holy and chief Apostles, who laid the foundation of the Catholic and Orthodox faith, have left a written law, that all who ever should succeed to their thrones should maintain the same faith, and should continue in it even unto the end, and thus it is that our Church maintains and honours holy images.”

In the Latin the name of Peter stands alone. In the Latin this paragraph runs as follows –

“For the proofs of his dignity are found in the sacred authors, and in that unbounded veneration paid to him by all the faithful everywhere throughout the world, for the Lord hath made Him who is keeper of the keys of heaven, Prince over all; and this privilege was conferred upon Him by the same Divine Person by whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven were granted; for He that was endued with such singular honour, had before been honoured to make that confession of faith on which the Church of Christ is founded. A blessedness of reward followed this blessed confession, by preaching of which the holy Catholic Church has been enlightened, and from which other Churches have taken the documents of their faith; for the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who first presided in the Apostolic See, bequeathed the Principality of the Apostleship and the pastoral care to his successors who, throughout all ages, should sit in his most holy chair, to whom he left the power of authority; for just as it was bestowed on him by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so in the same way did he hand it down by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, by whose tradition it is that we venerate the holy images of Christ, of His holy Mother, of the Apostles, and all Saints.”
[/quote]

round and round the mulberry bush…

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Really? I didn’t think that happened on web forums.

:wink: :smiley:

Before the Tome of Leo was read at Chalcedon and accepted with the words, “Peter has spoken through Leo,” the Tome of Leo was sent to a committee headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople for study to determine its orthodoxy. Only after the committee pronounced it orthodox was it read at the Council. This shows that the members of the council did not accept it just because it was written by the Pope, but required that it be judged by a committee of the council to be orthodox before it was approved.
The 6th Ecumenical Council heard and approved the Letter of Pope Agatho, but it also condemned Pope Honorius I for heresy. Therefore, it would be rather difficult to use the 6th Ecumenical Council as an example of papal infallibility.
There never was any question that the ancient Church and the 7 Ecumenical Councils recognized the Pope as having a primacy of honor. However, that title was purely honorific and did not give the Pope supreme authority over the Church. That authority belonged only to an Ecumenical Council the canons of which establish local self rule and not universal papal jurisdiction. All Bishops were elected locally with no requirement that their election be recognized by Rome. Each Patriarchate administered its own affairs independent of any authority by Rome. Even within his own Patriarchate, the Patriarch was not supreme, but was required by the canons to follow the decisions of the synod of Bishops of his Patriarchate.

Fr. John

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