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Papal Primacy
30-11-2007, 12:19 PM
Post: #1
Papal Primacy
I guess this is one for Kirk, but it may be that others here have some information. One of my Catholic friends has written to me on the subject of Papal primacy as follows:
Quote:There is an ancient Syriac collection of canons attributed to St. Maruthas of Maipherqat that contains two canons about papal primacy.

This is one translation of the canons:



On the Patriarchs. Let there be four patriarchs in the whole world as there are four evangelists, and four rivers, and four elements of the world, and four corners, and four winds, and four elements of man, for of these four elements the whole world is composed. And let their Prince and governor be the lord of the see of Blessed Peter at Rome, as the apostles commanded...

The Patriarch Must Oversee Whatever His Metropolitans and Bishops Do. Let the patriarch oversee whatever is done by any of his metropolitans or bishops in the provinces over which they preside, and if he find any of these things to be unfitting, let him change it, and lay down whatever seems good to himself about that matter, for he is the father of them all, and they are his sons. Now metropolitans must acknowledge this authority over themselves, and revere him as an older brother, whom brethren set over themselves, and obey him because of his optimal regime, and superior years. For a patriarch within his jurisdiction is in the image of a father over his sons. And as the Patriarch has authority over his subjects, even so does the bishop of Rome have authority over all the patriarchs, as Peter had it over all the rulers of Christianity, and their Councils: for he is the vicar of Christ over his redemption, his churches, and the people in his care. Whoever contradicts this sanction, the fathers of the Council punish him with anathema.



Several canonical collections of the Copts, Jacobites and Assyrians contain one or both of these canons, including Ibn 'Assal and Bar Hebraeus.
I'd be interested to know if these are genuine or interpolations.

In Christ,

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
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01-12-2007, 11:26 AM
Post: #2
papal primacy
Dear John,
My first, unresearched, response is that the text quoted is certainly not what we believe. It is notoriously easy to mistranslate Syriac. What could be intended is the idea that the Bishop of Rome should be primus inter pares amongst a communion of bishops. I will ask those more learned than me in the Syriac Orthodox Church.
With prayers,
Kirk Yacoub
Quote
01-12-2007, 12:20 PM
Post: #3
Thanks
Dear Kirk,

Many thanks. It doesn't 'smell' right, so to say. Many of these Catholic claims that the ancient Church recognised the primacy of the bishop of Rome seem to involve interpreting texts in a way contemporaries would not have recognised.

I'm very grateful to you for taking this further. My friend is, I am sure, entirely genuine in believing what he has been told by others, but I have this habit of wanting to check up on things - must be the historian in me.

Many thanks,

John
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01-12-2007, 12:36 PM
Post: #4
Re: Thanks
forum Wrote:Dear Kirk,

Many thanks. It doesn't 'smell' right, so to say. Many of these Catholic claims that the ancient Church recognised the primacy of the bishop of Rome seem to involve interpreting texts in a way contemporaries would not have recognised.

I'm very grateful to you for taking this further. My friend is, I am sure, entirely genuine in believing what he has been told by others, but I have this habit of wanting to check up on things - must be the historian in me.

Many thanks,

John

Kirk, this is another one which has ended up under Peter's rather than my name!

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
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13-02-2008, 11:49 AM
Post: #5
 
Dear Kirk and John
This is an interesting post regarding papal primacy. Were there any further developments regarding its authenticity and interpretation?
kind regards John Francis
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13-02-2008, 05:39 PM
Post: #6
 
Dear John Francis,

Clearly not yet!!

This whole business is hampered by the way in which some insist on reading any evidence of 'primacy' as meaning what it means now. This is often accompanied by a restless search for any passage which can be interpreted in that light.

I suspect it would be easier all round if the idea could be accepted that the office has developed over the centuries, and that it was not, in the fifth century, what it is now. Then, according to taste, some could think that fine, and others a shame.

This Pope, like his predecessor, is a very considerable leader and a great Christian example, and if he can help bring us together by working on the moral and spiritual primacy of his office, then that will be a good thing.

In Christ,

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
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13-02-2008, 07:25 PM
Post: #7
 
Dear John
Thank you for your reply-words do change their meaning , use and consequently interpretation-especially when translation from another language is involved.

kind regards John Francis
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15-02-2008, 11:45 AM
Post: #8
papal primacy
This is just to inform you that I asked about the quotation a long time ago and it seems to have got lost somewhere in the hierarchy of the Syriac Orthodox Church! Perhaps the quotation is fom an obscure source,or perhaps it doesn't exist, or perhaps it was written by someone else!
An important point to bear in mind is that the RC Church does not just claim Papal primacy, but Papal supremacy, which is something even more
provocative.

Kirk Yacoub
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15-02-2008, 05:31 PM
Post: #9
 
Dear Kirk,

Thanks for your efforts.

I suspect that, like most such quotations, it is taken out of context to 'prove' that the past was like it is now; it wasn't, and the continued attempts to prove it by misquotation suggest nothing so much as a poor case.

What I don't understand is why the RCC can't say that, like other dogmas, our understanding of the Pope's power has grown with time and prayer.

In peace,

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
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