Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review of the Fathers Know Best on the Pope

The formating wasn't great so here's a link to a google docs format:

http://www.arminianchronicles.com/2011/05/review-of-fathers-know-best-on-pope_10.html

Jimmy Akin’s book the Father’s Know Best provides hundreds of quotations from the Church Fathers on various topics allegedly showing the link between the early church and modern Roman Catholicism. Of greatest interest to me were the 143 quotations from the Fathers in support of the Papacy. Reading the book gave me an opportunity to learn more about the Fathers.


Below is a matrix of the results of my review. However, given my review I will risk providing some overall conclusions.

I didn’t find anything in the Fathers that explicitly taught Papal infallibly or got into ex cathedra vs. non-ex cathedra statements by Popes. So right off the bat I would say the Fathers were not Roman Catholic. However, that doesn’t mean they were Southern Baptists either. Many times they were somewhere in-between. As such, I categorized each quotation from the Fathers Know Best on the Papacy in degrees of agreement. My categories were:

1. No objection

2. No biggie

3. Don’t like the wording, but OK

4. I disagree

5. I strongly disagree

6. Roman Catholic

Please note, I never had to use category six but out of the 143 quotes I disagreed nine times and strongly disagreed another nine times. Wherever I didn’t like the wording or disagreed, I looked for the quotes online and read them in their broader contexts.

Two areas of disagreements with the Fathers stood out. First, Leo, around 450, was acting like the boss of the church. That doesn’t mean he thought he was infallible, but he certainly wasn’t a Congregationalist or Presbyterian. Second, in 251 Cyprian of Carthage’s Treaties on the Unity of the Church says the Chair of Peter is the intrinsic reason for unity in the Church. Interestingly there are two versions of the treaties - one of which is fine. Since there’s nothing before Cyprian that I disagree with and nothing after until about 312, Cyprian becomes fairly important. Time permitting, I would like to dig into that work by Cyprian further.

Before getting into the review, I must qualify the ongoing by saying I am only reviewing arguments that the Father’s supported the Papacy. So this review is consciously one sided and can present an unbalanced picture. To get a broader picture one would have to look at arguments from the Fathers against the Papacy – but I will leave that for another day. Here’s the analysis.




The Catholic Church

Father

Date

Work

Page

Category

Additional Info

Comments

Ignatius of Antioch

110

Letter to the Smyrnaeans

176

No objection





Martyrdom of Polycarp

156

Martyrdom of Polycarp

176

No objection





Muratorian
Fragment

178

Muratorian
Fragment

177

Unrelated problems

Does imply Wisdom is canonical



Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 30

177

No objection





Cyprian of Carthage

254

Letters 68:8

177

No biggie

Does call Peter the Rock



Council of Nicaea I

325

appendix to creed

178

No objection





Council of Nicaea I

325

Canon 8

178

No objection





Council of Nicaea I

325

Canon 19

178

No objection





Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 18:23

178

No objection





Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 18:26

179

No objection





Council of Constantinople I

381

Nicene Creed

179

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

390

The True Religion 7:12

179

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

393

Faith and the Creed 10:21

180

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

397

Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 4:5

181

Don't like the wording, but OK

"succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very
seat of the apostle Peter"

Augustine hypothetically sets asides scripture and Mani's claims
and engages in a sort of natural theology

Augustine of Hippo

397

Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 5:6

181

Don't like the wording, but OK

I would not believe in the Gospel w/o the authority of the CC

natural theology and he means that the books are canonical

Vincent of Lerins

434

Notebooks 2:4-6

182

I disagree

CC provides rules for interpreting scripture due to heretical
interpretations

the rule is stick to the universal interpretation and stick to
the fathers

Council of Chalcedon

451

Session 15, Cannon 14

182

No objection



















Apostolic Succession



























Clement I

70

Corinthians 42:4-5

183

No objection





Hegesippus

180

Memoirs

184

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:1

184

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:2

184

Don't like the wording, but OK

it is a matter of necessity that every church agree with this
church [Rome] on account if its preeminent authority

heretics were rejecting scripture - I agree reception by
churches is one way to determine if a book is scripture or not

Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:4

185

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:4:1

185

Don't like the wording, but OK

Questions answered by going to ancient churches started by
apostles

heretics were rejecting scripture - I agree reception by
churches is one way to determine if a book is scripture or not

Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 4:26:2

185

Don't like the wording, but OK

successors received the certain gift of truth, so we have to
obey the elders

Unless they are evil, in which case follow the ones who hold to
the apostles doctrine

Irenaeus of
Lyons

185

Against Heresies 4:33:8

185

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 20

186

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 21

186

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 32

187

No objection





Cyprian of Carthage

254

Letters 75:3

188

No objection





Jerome

376

Letters 14:8

188

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

397

Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 4:5

189



already cited



Peter the Rock













Tatian the
Syrian

170

Diatesseron 23

190

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 22

190

No biggie

Peter the rock



Tertullian of Carthage

220

Modesty 21

190

No biggie

Peter the rock



Oregen of
Alexandria

249

Homilies on Exodus 5:4

190

No biggie

Peter the rock



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Unity of the Catholic Church - Treatis
I:4

191

I strongly disagree

Primacy of Peter, Chair of Peter intrinsic reason for unity

2 versions of the same letter; one does not support RC, one
does. Cyprian himself opposed Stephen
so I doubt Cyprian held to the RC view

Cyprian of Carthage

251

Letters 39:5

191

I disagree

One Chair founded on the rock. Another priesthood cannot be made

heretics cannot set up a new church

Cyprian of Carthage

254

Letters 68:8

191

No biggie

Peter the rock



Firmilian of Ceasrea

255

Letters 74:16

192

No objection





Firmilian of Ceasrea

255

Letters 74:17

192

No objection



Seems to be rejecting the bishop or Rome's claims to authority

Clement

290

Letter of Clement to James

192

No biggie

Peter the rock



Clementine

290

Clementine Homilies 17:19

192

No biggie

Peter the rock



Optatus of Milevis

367

Schism of the Donatists 2:2

192

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter head of apostles



Amrose of
Milan

379

Faith 5:57

193

No biggie

Peter the rock



Jerome

376

Letters 15:2

193

I disagree

I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the
chair of Peter

Jerome was confused by the translation between ousius and hypostasis and was asking for advice

Jerome

393

Against Jovinianus I:26

193

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter head of apostles



Augustine of Hippo

400

Letters 53:1:2

194

No objection





Council of Ephesus

431

Session 3

194

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter head of apostles



Sechnall of
Ireland

444

Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 3

194

No objection

equates Peter and Patrick



Leo I

445

Letters 10:1

194

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter chief of apostles



Council of Chalcedon

451

Session 3

195

No biggie

Peter the rock



Peter's Primacy













Clement of Alexandria

200

Who is the Rich Man that shall be saved? 21

195

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

211

Antidote for the Scorpion's Sting 10

195

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

220

Modesty 21

196



already cited



Oregen of
Alexandria

249

Commentary on Matthew 13:31

196

Unrelated problems

Multiple heavens?



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Unity of the Catholic Church - Treatis
I:4

196



already cited



Clement

290

Letter of Clement to James

197



already cited



Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 2:19

197

Don't like the wording, but OK

Chief of apostles



Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 6:14-15

197

No objection

Peter and Paul chief rulers of the church



Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 17:27

197

Don't like the wording, but OK

Chief of apostles



Ephraim the Syrian

353

Homilies 4:1

198

I disagree

Chief of disciples; inspector of those who build

Couldn’t find online

Amrose of
Milan

379

Faith 5:57

198



already cited



Jerome

392

Illustrious Men I

198

Don't like the wording, but OK

Chief of apostles



Jerome

393

Against Jovinianus I:26

198



already cited



Augustine of Hippo

411

Sermons 295:2

199

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

417

Tractates on John 56:1

199

No objection





Council of Ephesus

431

Session 2

199

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter head of apostles



Council of Ephesus

431

Session 3

199



already cited



Leo I

445

Letters 10:1

199



already cited



Leo I

445

Letters 10:1

200



already cited



Leo I

445

Letters 14:12

200

I strongly disagree

Peter leader of apostles, so not all biships today are the same rank

"the greater cities should undertake a fuller
responsibility"

Peter in Rome













Ignatius of Antioch

110

Letter to the Romans 4

201

No objection





Dionysius of Corinth

170

Letter to Pope Soter

201

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:1:1

201

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:2

201



already cited



Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:3

201

No objection





Clement of Alexandria

200

Sketches

203

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 36

203

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 32

203

No objection





Tertullian of Carthage

209

Against Marcion 4:5

203

No objection





Caius of Rome

210

Disputation with Proclus

204

No objection





Poem against the Marcionites

285

Poem against the Marcionites

204

No objection





Peter of Alexandria

306

Penance, Canon 9

204

No objection





Eusebius of Caesarea

312

Church History 5:28:3

204

No objection





Lactantius

318

Death of the Persecutors 2

205

No objection





Cyril of Jerusalem

350

Catechetical Lectures 6:14-15

205



already cited



Optatus of Milevis

367

Schism of the Donatists 2:2

205



already cited



Damasus I

382

Decrees of Damasus

206

Don't like the wording, but OK

Church in Rome at forefront or primacy



Jerome

392

Illustrious Men I

207



already cited



Augustine of Hippo

402

Answer to the letter of Petilian the Donatist 2:51:118

207

No objection





Peter's Successors













Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:3

207



already cited



Tertullian of Carthage

200

Prescription Against Heretics 32

203



already cited



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Unity of the Catholic Church - Treatis
I:4

208



already cited



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Letters 54:14

208

Don't like the wording, but OK

Rome 'Chief Church'



Eusebius of Caesarea

312

Church History 5:28:3

208



already cited



Eusebius of Caesarea

312

Church History 3:4:9-10

208

No objection





Julius I

341

Letter on Behalf of Athanasius

209

I disagree

Rome should pass judgment (on the Bishop of Alexandria), not
other churches

Arians violently over through the church officials rather than
going through due process

Council of Sardica

342

Cannon 3

209

I disagree

Rome decides if a case is to be retried



Optatus of Milevis

367

Schism of the Donatists 2:2

209



already cited



Jerome

376

Letters 15:1

210

No objection





Jerome

376

Letters 15:2

210



already cited



Jerome

376

Letters 16:2

210

I disagree

chair of Peter - asks Rome to decide

Jerome was confused by the translation between ousius and hypostasis and was asking for advice

Jerome

382

Dialogue Against the Luciferians 23

210

No biggie

see of Rome and successor to Peter



Amrose of
Milan

388

Penance 1:7:33

211

No biggie

Chair of Peter and Peter as rock



Jerome

392

Illustrious Men 15

211

No objection





Augustine of Hippo

400

Letters 53:1:2

211



already cited



Augustine of Hippo

402

Answer to the letter of Petilian the Donatist 2:51:118

211



already cited



Council of Ephesus

431

Session 3

212



already cited



Leo I

449

Letters 28:5

212

No objection





Leo I

452

Letters 105:3

212

I strongly disagree

annulled a resolution of bishops on the authority of Peter

Anatolius
bishop of Constantinople wanted control of Alexandria and Antioch (contrary to
Nicea) but Leo opposed him declaring his resolution
annulled

Council of Chalcedon

451

Session 2

212

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter has spoken through Leo

poetic excess (Peter the all wise) - also may be referring to
Leo's quotes of Peter

Authority of the Pope













Clement

70

Letter to Corinthians I, 14, 63

213

No objection





Hermas of
Rome

80

The Shepherd 1:2:4

214

No objection





Ignatius of Antioch

110

Letter to the Romans Greetings

214

No objection





Ignatius of Antioch

110

Letter to the Romans 3

214

No objection





Dionysius of Corinth

170

Letter to Pope Soter

214

No objection





Dionysius of Corinth

170

Letter to Pope Soter

215

No objection





Dionysius of Corinth

170

Letter to Pope Soter

215

No objection





Irenaeus of
Lyons

189

Against Heresies 3:3:3

215



already cited



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Unity of the Catholic Church - Treatis
I:4

216



already cited



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Letters 48:1

216

No objection





Cyprian of Carthage

252

Letters 51:1

216

No objection





Cyprian of Carthage

252

Letters 51:8

216

I disagree

Place of Peter or sacerdotal throne



Cyprian of Carthage

251

Letters 54:14

217



already cited



Firmilian of Ceasrea

255

Letters 74:17

217



already cited



Eusebius of Caesarea

312

Church History 5:23:1-5:24:11

217

I strongly disagree

Victor excommunicated the Asian Churches over the days to
observe a fast

He was wrong to do this, but he thought he had the authority to

Eusebius of Caesarea

312

Church History 5:24:18

217

No objection





Julius I

341

Letter on Behalf of Athanasius

218



already cited



Council of Sardica

342

Cannon 3

219



already cited



Council of Sardica

342

Cannon 4

219

I disagree

Rome decides if appeals should be heard in case bishop is
deposed by other bishops

My thoughts: pastors shouldn't depose each other, that should
come from the congregation - but if they did you would have to pick someone
to arbitrate

Optatus of Milevis

367

Schism of the Donatists 2:2

219



already cited



Jerome

376

Letters 15:2

219



already cited



Jerome

376

Letters 16:2

219



already cited



Council of Constantinople

381

Cannon 3

220

I strongly disagree

Constantinople has prerogative of honor after Rome

Leo objected to this. Also, seems to show leadership is based on politics and size rather
than apostolic origins

Augustine of Hippo

397

Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 4:5

220



already cited



Augustine of Hippo

411

Sermons 131:10

220

Don't like the wording, but OK

Reply from Rome has come. The matter is at an end.



Celestine I

414

Letters 17

220

I strongly disagree

Guard the authority of the Apostolic See. Don't join the fight, judge the options.

Couldn't find online

Innocent I

417

Letters 29:1

221







Council of Ephesus

431

Session 2

221

I strongly disagree

Peter head of whole faith. Request to ratify proceedings before Rome's delegates arrival

Rome came late with word from their bishop that he agreed.

Leo I

445

Letters 10:1-2

222

I strongly disagree

Apostolic See reversed or confirmed decisions

Isn't saying he's infallible, but he is ackting
like 'the boss'

Leo I

452

Letters 105:3

222



already cited



Leo I

445

Letters 14:12

222



already cited



Peter Chrysologus

449

Letters 25:2

223

I strongly disagree

We cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of Rome

Couldn't find online

Council of Chalcedon

451

Session I

223

Don't like the wording, but OK

apostolic bishop of Rome



Council of Chalcedon

451

Session II

223



already cited



Gregory I

597

Letters 7:40

224

Don't like the wording, but OK

Peter now sits in the chair of Peter in the person of his
successors. Prince of Apostles

Rome, Antioch, Alexandria bishops now in the See
of Peter

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