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Peter's Primacy - Orthodox theologians

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  • Issac K Joseph
    Now regarding the Orthodox theologians, they also agree that in Matthew 16:18, rock is a likely reference to Peter personally. (Veselin Kesich (1992).
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2009
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      Now regarding the Orthodox theologians, they also agree that in Matthew 16:18, "rock" is a likely reference to Peter personally. (Veselin Kesich (1992).

      "Peter's Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition" in The Primacy of Peter.
      (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. pp. 47–48.)

      Orthodox theologians follow such Fathers as St. John Chrysostom by clarifying that "rock" simultaneously refers to Peter (instrumentally) as well as Peter's confession of faith which has ultimate significance in establishing the Church.
      (Veselin Kesich (1992).

      "Peter's Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition" in The Primacy of Peter.
      (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. pp. 61–66.)

      Orthodox scholars follow St. John Chrysostom and the Byzantine tradition in seeing Peter as the icon of the episcopate with his title of protos (first) implying a certain level of authority over the other apostles. In this traditional Orthodox and Patristic view, the Church is the local Eucharistic assembly ("the diocese" in today's terminology) and the one who holds the "Chair of Peter" (St. Cyprian's expression) is the bishop. As a result, the primacy of Peter is relevant to the relationship between the bishop and the presbyters, not between the bishop of Rome and the other bishops who are all equally holding Peter's chair.
      (Cleenewerck Laurent (2008).
      His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. EUC Press. pp. 257–263.)

      As John Meyendorff explained: "A very clear patristic tradition sees the succession of Peter in the Episcopal ministry. The doctrine of St Cyprian of Carthage on the "See of Peter" being present in every local Church, and not only in Rome, is well-known. It is also found in the East, among people who certainly never read the De unitate ecclesia of Cyprian, but who share its main idea, thus witnessing to it as part of the catholic tradition of the Church. St Gregory of
      Nyssa, for example, affirms that Christ "through Peter gave to the bishops the keys of the heavenly honors," and the author of the Areopagitica, when speaking of the "hierarchs" of the Church, refers immediately to the image of St Peter. A careful analysis of ecclesiastical literature both Eastern and Western, of the
      first millennium, including such documents as the lives of the saint, would certainly show that this tradition was a persistent one; and indeed it belongs to the essence of Christian ecclesiology to consider any local bishop to be the teacher of his flock and therefore to fulfill sacramentally, through apostolic succession, the office of the first true believer, Peter... There exists,
      however, another succession, equally recognized by Byzantine theologians, but only on the level of the analogy existing between the apostolic college and the episcopal college, this second succession being determined by the need for ecclesiastical order. Its limits are determined by the Councils, and -in the Byzantine practice – by the "very pious emperors."
      (The Primacy of Peter, p. 89)

      In Christ
      Issac K Joseph
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