I am writing this so that every one in our Church,
both Orthodox and Jacobites, read this and reject any
teaching that is against the teaching of Patriarch St.
Severus. Then, the immediate thing to do is to unite
on the basis of this faith.
"That a church is a confession of right faith no one
who is reckoned among Christians and has understanding
doubts, since the Lord plainly said in the Gospels to
the divine Peter, the first of the apostles, when he
made the confession, Thou art Christ, the Son of the
living God, Thou art Cephas, and upon this rock will I
build my church, and the gates of Sheol shall not
prevail against it; and he called the firmness and
fixity of such a confession a rock. And, as speech
knows a right and sound opinion on faith as a church,
so it also knows the believers who confess it as a
church." [St. Severus, Letter to the Holy Convents of
Virgins of Christ]
In Orthodox church Peter along with Paul is honored
are firsts among Apostles. Peter, as the elder among
them and Paul, because of his hardwork for the Church.
But the Church does not use this as an opportunity to
bring local churches under single administration.
Regarding administration, Apostolic Canons (Canon
Slihe) mandates the unity of the church, the bishops
in "each Nation" under one head bishop.
Few things to notice from the words of St. Severus:
- that "a Church is a confession of right faith"
- that "He called the firmness and fixity of such a
confession a rock"
- that "as speech knows a right and sound opinion on
faith as a Church, so it also knows the believers who
confess it as a Church."
In clear words St. Severus teaches that the "firmness
and fixity of confession" is the Rock.
Based on this, those who teach that the person of
Peter is the Rock is teaching a wrong faith, a faith
different from St. Severus.
Pope Shenouda also explains that the faith of
confession is the Rock upon which the Church is found.