21 June 2011

A Comment

I offered on a Roman Catholic friend's blog:

There is a difference, if you will, between "Peter has spoken through Leo" and "Leo speaks for Peter."

Think about it.

11 comments:

Terry Maher said...

Judas H Blogmeister Priest I hope it wasn't Der Schuetzmeister's. I went to that "Catholic" blog to talk on Catholic terms and found even that impossible.

But predictable. Catholic terms are not what I was taught any more, but Rome and its inebriates will not and can not admit that: it cannot be true therefore it isn't true, usually trotting out that insipid idiot Newman whose mental invention of a doctrinally developed RCC allowed a sola ecclesia, by church alone, to solve his problems by, if you will, deus-ex-ecclesia.

The difference will not impress an RC at all. In fact they will agree with you. "Leo speaks for Peter" is (in this mindset) not at all a case of, or what was referred to by, "Peter has spoken through Leo".

It is an assent similar to the assent in traditional (which lets out Reform and Conservative) Judaism to later rabbinic clarifications: it is as if Moses heard it at Sinai.

"Peter" is not Peter but an office instituted by Christ and first conferred upon Peter but conserved in his successors throughout church history until the Last Day.

Peter spoke through Peter, as it were, originally and at the time the statement was made spoke through Leo. Not Leo and not even Peter himself spoke for Peter. Rather both spoke in different times for the same office instituted by Christ.

Or so I was taught and would have argued some decades ago.

Bloody Newman anyway. Every Catholic campus parish used to be called a Newman Center, but come the Revolution, in no small part heralded by Newman, they couldn't change the names fast enough to Catholic Student Center or some such a thing.

William Weedon said...

deus-ex-ecclesia. Terry, that is your best line ever! I LOVE it!

Ps-Iosifson said...

Or, "Leo is Peter".

Ps-Iosifson said...

I have often wondered whether there is or was in Roman law an understanding of heir or successor that included an assumption of the full power and ability of the predecessor. That is, I wonder if in Latin and Roman law there was a sense that the heir really and truly speaks for the predecessor?

There was a similar assumption to be found in Frankish law where there was no understanding of the idea of ownership or responsibility or jurisdiction apart from land ownership, and not concept of corporate person. Thus, a local church was the responsibility, jurisdiction and property of the one how owned the land the church was on, and there could be no corporate person known as the Church that could own or run something like a local parish when it didn't own the land the church sat on. This paradigm was broken down by Cluny, which was placed under the direct jurisdiction of the Pope - and which had long lasting ramifications regarding universal and immediate jurisdiction in the RCC.

Michael L. Anderson, M.D. said...

The Apology is quite decisive about it, in the course of thumbing its nose at the Donatists and the Wycliffites (Ap [VII et VIII: The Church.28], K+W p. 178): "...Nor does [a personal rascality] detract from the efficacy of the sacraments when they are distributed by the unworthy, because they represent the person of Christ on account of the call of the church, and do not represent their own persons, as Christ himself testifies [Lk 10:16], "whoever listens to you listens to Me."

My assumption is that one is not far from the kingdom, when one reaches a certain ease with the notion that "Christ has spoken through Alexander VI," whenever the latter faithfully administered the precious Word and Sacrament.

How much more honor, opportunity and responsbility, does ordained mortal flesh need to grasp?

Michael Anderson, SSP

David Garner said...

Wow, well said!

William Tighe said...

"I have often wondered whether there is or was in Roman law an understanding of heir or successor that included an assumption of the full power and ability of the predecessor."

Roman inheritance law; see Walter Ullmann's "Leo I and the Theme of Papal Primacy," *Journal of Theological Studies* XI(1), 1960, pp. 25-51:

http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/XI/1/25.full.pdf+html

Ps-Iosifson said...

Will do, if that's correct, then it helps to explain why the Latin West could look at the same data and see something entirely different. Different assumptions.

William Tighe said...

Leo's phrase about himself as the "indignus heres Beati Petri" says it all in a nutshell: the Roman heir (heres) inherits juridically all that the original maker of the bequest (St. Peter*) was, even if that inheritor is himself, as an individual, "unworthy" (indignus) of the inheritance and incapable of adequately fulfilling its requirements.

On the "Petrine bequest," you might wish to read this other article by Ullmann, published in the same journal later in the same year:

"The Significance of the Epistola Clementis in the Pseudo-Clementines," JTS XI(2), pp. 295-317.

William Tighe said...

Leo's phrase about himself as the "indignus heres Beati Petri" says it all in a nutshell: the Roman heir (heres) inherits juridically all that the original maker of the bequest (St. Peter*) was, even if that inheritor is himself, as an individual, "unworthy" (indignus) of the inheritance and incapable of adequately fulfilling its requirements.

In other words, the "heir" is, juridically speaking, all that the original testator who made the bequest was; Leo *is* Peter - or, as Roman popes and their defenders from Julius I put it, he holds the "locus Petri," the "place" (we could say "office," but it's rather stronger than that) "of Peter."

William Weedon said...

Now, if only our Lord and St. Peter were Romans...