St. Gregory the Great

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by BibleHoarder, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Can you give me some insight from an Anglican perspective on this Roman apologist's claims as to Gregory's famous quote regarding the sees:

  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Rome in the early era had the primacy of honor, among equals; this is pretty clear. Even though there is not strong evidence that St. Peter even came to Rome, the traditional narrative in the Early Church, found in Eusebius and others, is that since St. Peter was (as it were) the chief apostle, and Rome was (as it were) the center of the universe, the narratives which put him in Rome were privileged, and thus Peter and Rome were joined into this construct of a first among equals.

    (We can also add, that it was Peter's faith, not his person, that most Fathers understood to be the Rock of Peter.)

    This idea of Rome being the first among equals is NOT what Rome has traditionally claimed for itself in recent centuries (although it's changing now, with rapid liberalism). Traditionally Rome wanted to claim that it was the ONLY church; not first among equals, because there WERE no equals. The Bishop of Rome was in a sense the only actual bishop in the whole world. He sent other bishops as his emissaries, without an intrinsic right of their own (this is different from the Anglican teaching that bishops get their commission from God). In sum, Rome (traditionally) used to claim that it had the sole jurisdiction over the whole world.

    And we see this claim in the very quote you cite:

    "That becomes clear in Gregory’s other letters where he asserts that Rome has the care of all the Churches who are in turn subject to her. Moreover, Gregory was just repeating the same idea which Pope Innocent previously stated. According to Thomas W. Allies:

    “But we can trace this idea of St. Gregory the Great back through many generations. Pope Innocent (Ep. XXIV), nearly two hundred years earlier than St. Gregory, and only ninety years after the Nicene Council, recognized the patriarchal right of the bishop of Antioch over his provinces by referring to this Canon of the Nicene Council [canon 6], which, he says, “singly expresses the mind of all bishops throughout the world”; and he adds, “We note that this privilege was given to Antioch not so much on account of the city’s magnificence as because it is known to be the first seat of the first Apostle where the Christian religion received its name, where a great meeting of Apostles was held, and which would not yield to the see of the city of Rome, except that the latter rejoices in having received and retained to the end that honor which the former obtained only in transition.

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