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An Analysis of Anglican Concepts of the Papal Magisterium from the First Through the Tenth Lambeth Conference


PRIMACY OF HONOR (1888–1908)

by Burns K. Seeley

The affirmation of the historical episcopate in the Third Lambeth Conference symbolized an appreciation of episcopal authority generally lacking in Anglicanism before the nineteenth century. Earlier, the Crown was normally looked upon as ultimate authority in ecclesiastical affairs.

The Supremacy Act (1534) proclaimed the English monarch as “the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England.” [1] Another parliamentary act (1559) described Queen Elizabeth as “the only supreme governor of this realm (…) as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal (…).” [2] With the passage of time, parliament in the name of the Crown assumed control over Church matters. This extended even into the area of doctrine, as the Colenso case demonstrated.

The Oxford Movement sowed the seeds by which episcopal authority could be reasserted. Largely due to its efforts, the role of parliament in Church affairs began to diminish in the Church of England, and outright control in these matters we assumed by episcopal and synodal governments in most other areas of the Anglican Communion.

Anglo-Catholics and other Anglicans also believed that episcopal authority was undermined by the Vatican I reaffirmation of papal primacy and by the council’s definition of papal infallibility. Many thought that the council considered bishops to be no more than papal vicars devoid of any inherent authority.

These conclusions inspired Anglican scholars to challenge the Roman Catholic teaching by resorting to the doctrine of the early undivided Church contained in Scripture, the Fathers and the councils.

1.  Charles Gore

In 1888, a leading Anglo-Catholic, Charles Gore (1853-1932), introduced his study of the papacy. [3] Educated at Harrow and Oxford, he became a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1875. In 1902, he was appointed Bishop of Worchester. He later became the first Bishop of Birmingham (1905) and, in 1911, was translated to the Diocese of Oxford where he remained until his resignation in 1919. A strong advocate of the historic episcopate and other Anglo-Catholic principles, Gore was also a severe critic of the modern papacy. His theological views were directly felt at the 1908 Lambeth Conference of which he was a member.

In his book, he maintained that binding authority in doctrine was not derived from the papacy nor even from general councils as such. Rather, decrees of the latter had force only in virtue of their general acceptance by the Church at large. Through this process the mind of the Holy Spirit was perceived. [4]

It is not clear what was meant by the Church at large. Although the context suggests that it included at least the bishops and clergy, if not the laity. Its theological and geographical demarcations were not discussed.

A.  The Papal Magisterium

Gore contrasted the belief in the magisterial authority of general councils, confirmed by the whole Church, with his understanding of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the magisterial primacy of the papacy. Accordingly, he thought the pope was regarded as the central oracle of Christendom, [5] feeding upon secret stores or arcana of divine truth committed to the See of Peter. Such teaching was said to be first evidenced in the claims of Pope Innocent I (402-417). [6]

Reproduced below is an example of Innocent’s teaching in the matter, including the use of the term arcana.

It is therefore with due care and fitness that you consult the arcana of the apostolic office (that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides those things that are outside, the care of all the churches) as to what opinion should beheld on doubtful matters, following the form of the ancient rule which you and I know, has ever been kept in the whole world. But this I pass by, because I am sure your prudence is aware of it; for how could you by your actions have confirmed it, unless you knew that answers to questions always flow through all provinces from the apostolic spring? Especially as often as questions of faith are to be ventilated, I think all our brothers and fellow bishops ought to refer to none but Peter, that is to the author of their name and office, even as your affection has now referred (to us), a matter which may benefit all churches in common throughout the world. [7]

Arcana could mean secrets, mysteries, revelation or doctrine of the papal office. But these need not connote, as Gore suggested, a Gnostic-like tradition separate from that received by the whole Church.

A clue to its meaning is found in another letter written by Innocent on the same day. In it he explicitly referred to the teaching of ancient tradition, rather than to a separate and secret tradition.

In inquiring about the things which should be handled with all care by the priests (i.e., the bishops) and especially by a true, just and Catholic council, by preserving as you have done, the example of ancient tradition and by being mindful of the discipline of the Church, you have truly strengthened the vigor of our religion, no less now in consulting, than before in passing sentence. For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place desire to follow the very Apostle from whom the very episcopate and the whole authority of this name has emerged; following whom, we know now to condemn the evil and to approve the good. So also, you have by your priestly office preserved the institutions of the Fathers, and have not spurned that which they decreed by a sentence not human but divine, that whatever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended until it comes to the knowledge of this see, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened. (….)
I congratulate you (…) dearest brothers (…) that you ask for a decision which may benefit all the Churches of the world. [8]

We see that the Carthaginian bishops had properly consulted the papacy in keeping with the example of ancient tradition. It was this tradition, of divine origin and preserved by the Fathers, which was said to reveal the primacy of the papacy.

In the arcana letter also, similar words were used. Here the pope praised the bishops at Mileve for consulting him about doubtful doctrinal matters, according to the ancient rule. Therefore, there is every reason to suppose that ancient rule was synonymous with ancient tradition which Innocent held to be the source of ecclesiastical doctrine. Consequently, the arcana letter held that when bishops were unable to determine some aspect of ancient tradition, it was proper for the Roman pontiff to do so. From this, it can be gathered that whatever arcana meant, it did not signify a secret and separate source of doctrine.

In view of the above discussion, is not surprising that Gore believed that Roman Catholicism had “a rule of faith of easy access.” [9] By this was meant that immediate solutions to doctrinal difficulties could be obtained by merely consulting the papacy. By this process, the arduous task of searching out doctrine contained in ancient tradition was avoided. [10] The author wondered why, if the former means were valid, the early Church actually resorted to the latter through the agency of the general councils. [11]

The Church of Rome, however, did not really subscribe to the concept outlined by Gore. This can be seen, for example, in the teaching of Vatican I.

Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, sometimes singly, sometimes assembled in councils, following the long-standing custom of the churches and the form of the ancient rule, reported to the Apostolic See those dangers especially which came up in matters of faith, so that here where the faith can suffer no diminution, the harm suffered by the faith might be repaired. However, the Roman pontiffs on their part, according as the condition of the times and the circumstances dictated, sometimes calling together ecumenical councils or sounding out the mind of the Church throughout the whole world, sometimes through regional councils, or sometimes by using other helps which divine Providence supplied, have, with the help of God, defined as to be held such matters as they had found to be consonant with the Holy Scripture and with apostolic tradition. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of St. Peter not that they might make known new doctrine by his revelation, but rather, that with his assistance they might religiously guard and faithfully explain the revelation or deposit of faith that was handed down through the apostles. Indeed, it was this apostolic doctrine that all the Fathers held, and the holy orthodox Doctors reverenced and followed. [12]

The various means noted, including general councils, which the popes sometimes employed to ascertain the Church’s doctrine indicated a belief that easy, instantaneous, solutions to doctrinal questions were not always available. It should also be noted that Vatican I made it clear that papal definitions were to accord with Scripture and apostolic tradition, not with a separate and secret tradition.

B.  The Examination of the Evidence

In an examination of Scripture, Gore found no testimony favoring the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal primacy. He held, for example, that there was no indication that Christ gave Peter authority over either the Apostles or the Church at large. Attention was then called to Matthew 16:17-19, one of the key passages cited by Rome in support of its position.

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

It was evident, Gore wrote, that the gift of the keys signified that Peter was to become a steward of the kingdom of heaven, commissioned with supernatural legislative authority. But the passage was not thought to preclude a similar gift bestowed upon the other Apostles.

It was pointed out that the Church of Rome taught that not only was this authority limited to Peter, but that also whatever authority the other Apostles had was mediated through Peter. [13]

In contrast to the latter impression, Vatican I taught that Jesus alone chose the Twelve, authorizing them to represent him in the world as shepherds and teachers, with Peter as their head.

Therefore, just as He sent the Apostles, whom He had chosen for Himself out of the world, as He Himself was sent by the Father, so also He wished shepherds and teachers to be in His Church until the consummation of the world. Indeed, He placed St. Peter at the head of the other Apostles that the episcopate might be one and undivided (…). [14]

It can be seen from the above, therefore, that the Apostles’ authority was held to be received directly from the Lord, not through Peter.

Gore maintained the essential equality of all the Apostles. It was pointed out that they all received authority to remit and retain sins. [15] In addition, the wall of the heavenly Jerusalem was described as having twelve equal and coordinate foundations which are the twelve Apostles. [16] Nevertheless, it was allowed that Peter initially exercised a personal leadership among equals which was received from Christ. But this was not thought to be inherited by episcopal successors. Peter, in fact, was said to have retired into the background when Paul became prominent. [17]

Despite these conclusions, it will be recalled that the New Testament revealed that Peter alone was explicitly referred to by Christ as the rock upon which the Church would be built. And only Peter was explicitly granted the stewardship of the keys.

In an examination of patristic literature, the author observed that the Fathers were not unanimous concerning the meaning of the rock in the Matthean passage. Chrysostom (c. 347-407), for example, interpreted it to be Peter’s faith. [18] Origen (c. 185-254) thought it meant all the Apostles. [19] Augustine (354-430) alternated between the views that it either represented Peter himself or that it was the faith which he confessed. [20]

On the basis of this evidence, it was concluded that the Fathers did not consider the interpretation of the rock as having any bearing on the matter of Church authority. Its interpretation was not even thought by them to be a significant question. [21]

In a discussion of the possibility of a Petrine primacy among the Apostles, Gore cited the views of Chrysostom and Cyprian (d. 258). The former called Peter “the chief of the Apostles, the mouthpiece of the disciples, the leader of the band.” [22] But Gore thought that this could not “be strained to imply any essential difference of rank.” [23]

In spite of this conclusion, Chrysostom, in the same work, also wrote that Christ entrusted Peter with the προστασίαν of the brethren. “[24] This meant that Peter was given the authority to govern or superintend the others. In still another place, Christ was quoted as telling Peter to rule the brethren. [25]

The author noted that Cyprian as well made no essential distinction between Peter and the others. The Apostles were said to be what Peter was, having been endowed equally with honor and power. This was so even though Peter was also described as being the one upon whom the Church was built, so that the unity of the Church might be manifested. [26]

If we examine the above carefully, it will be seen that Cyprian actually made a fundamental distinction between Peter and the others when he said that the former was the one upon whom the Church was built. This would imply the bestowal of two honors upon Peter. One was shared with his brethren, the other was his alone. Therefore, it would be perfectly proper to say that he enjoyed a greater overall honor than the others.

As was true of the honor which Peter shared with the others, so with the power. There is no reason why the latter should have precluded an additional power received by Peter as the visible foundation of the Church militant.

With respect to the question of Petrine heirs, Gore thought that nothing approaching ancient consent supported the claims of the Roman see to be the recipient of Jesus’ promise to Peter. [27] The Greek Fathers, especially, were thought to be silent on this point.

I believe indeed that none of the Greek Fathers of the first six centuries connects the position of the Bishop of Rome with the promise to St. Peter. [28]

We should not be amazed to find a general lack of explicit patristic writing on the matter. Christological, Trinitarian and soteriological questions, not questions about papal primacy, were the chief subjects of controversy in the early centuries. Nor should it be expected that those Fathers who did touch upon the authority of the Roman see should have used the more developed language of later times. Earlier references tended to be less precise and less explicit than those of the Middle Ages and the modern era when the doctrine of papal primacy was more often questioned. This should not be surprising since Christology itself did not become highly developed until the controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries.

With the above in mind, it will also be seen that the Greek Fathers were not entirely silent during the first six centuries regarding the authority of the papacy.

During the fifth century, when Nestorianism was ravaging the Eastern Church in particular, Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) sought a papal judgment concerning the author of the heresy.

I was unwilling to openly sever communion with him until I had laid all the facts before you. Deign therefore to ordain what seems right, whether we ought to communicate at all with him, or to tell him plainly that no one communicates with a person who holds and teaches what he does. Further the purpose of your holiness ought to be made known by letter to the most religious and God-loving bishops of Macedonia, and to all the bishops of the East, for we shall then give them, according to their desire, the opportunity of standing together in unity of soul and mind, and lead them to contend earnestly for the orthodox faith which is being attacked. [29]

We see that Cyril held that Pope Celestine (d. 432), a Westerner, had doctrinal jurisdiction over the East and that his decision would unite the Eastern bishops in orthodox unity. It would also determine whether or not Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, should be excommunicated.

Cyril did not reveal the basis of his belief in the pope’s authority. But his action accorded with the directive of the Council of Sardica (342) “that the priests (bishops) of the Lord from all the provinces should report to the head that is to the see of Peter the apostle.” [30]

As can be seen, this council attended by Eastern bishops connected papal authority with St. Peter. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it would seem that this view was generally held in the East, and consequently by Cyril as well.

Cyril’s belief that Peter was the chosen one of the Apostles, and that the Church was founded and securely fixed upon Peter’s immovable faith is beyond dispute.

The divine Word pronounced Peter, the chosen one of the holy apostles, to be blessed. For when in parts of Caesarea called Philippi, the Saviour asked “Who do men say that the Son of man is” (…) he cried out saying “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”, and speedily received the reward of his true conception about him, Christ saying “Blessed art thou (…)”, calling, I imagine, nothing else the rock, in allusion to his name, but the immovable and stable faith of the disciple on which the Church of Christ is founded and fixed without danger of falling. [31]

The above evidence in itself is admittedly inconclusive. Nevertheless, it is sufficient to raise substantial doubts concerning the assertion that no Greek Father of the first six centuries connected the position of the pope with the promise to Peter.

The claims of Roman Catholicism for the papacy, Gore wrote, were also absent in the Western Church during the early centuries.

It would not appear that any kind of authority was attached to the Roman see during the early centuries even in the West, except such moral authority or prestige as must have belonged inevitably to so great an apostolic see. [32]

We would do well, however, to examine at this point two examples of Western thought regarding the papal see. One from the third century, the other from the fourth.

Cyprian believed that the Church of Rome was the See of Peter. As such it was the principal Church from which the unity of the priesthood originated. It was this see to which unbelief was inaccessible.

After all this, they yet in addition, having had a false bishop ordained for them by heretics, dare to set sail, and to carry letters from schismatic and profane persons to the chair of Peter, and to the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise. They fail to reflect that those Romans are the same as those whose faith was publicly praised by the apostle to whom unbelief cannot have access. [33]

It will be recalled that Cyril spoke of Peter’s immovable and stable faith upon which the Church of Christ was founded and fixed without any danger of failing. Cyprian expressed the belief that this faith had been transferred to the Roman see. Jerome (c. 342-420) considered the Roman Church to be the See of Peter upon which the Church was built.

Following none in the first place but Christ, I am in communion with your beatitude (Pope Damasus), that is with the chair of Peter. On that rock I know the Church is built. Whoever shall eat the lamb outside this house is profane. If any be not with Noah in the ark, he shall perish in the flood. [34]

Not only was the Church built upon the Roman see, but those not in communion with it perished.

The work of Cyprian and Jerome indicated the existence of an early Western belief that the authority of the papal see was uniquely superior to the prestige or moral authority associated with an apostolic see, even a great apostolic see.

Hippolytus (c. 170- c. 236) also was an example of early Christian thought in the West. Inasmuch as he regarded his contemporary, Pope Callistus (c. 217 – c. 223) a heretic, 35 Gore concluded that Hippolytus was unaware of any unique authority attached to the papacy. 36 In fact, however, Hippolytus believed himself to be the legitimate Bishop of Rome. Consequently, his attitude towards Callistus bore no reflection on the papacy. Besides, moral laxity was actually ascribed to Callistus, although the term used was heresy. [37]

During the fourth century, at one point while pope, Liberius denounced Athanasius (c.296-373) and subscribed to Arianism. [38] Subsequently, Athanasius described the pope’s action in sympathetic terms. [39] Commenting upon this, Gore thought that had Athanasius believed the papacy was the guardian and infallible teacher of the faith, he would have been shocked rather than compassionate.

He must have quivered at the awful shock of finding himself deserted by the “Holy Father” on the central dogma of the faith. (…) There is no avoiding or palliating this conclusion. [40]

An examination of a portion of Athanasius’ account reveals his reaction to the event.

Thus they tried at first to corrupt the Church and the Romans, wishing to introduce impiety into it. But Liberius, after he had been exiled for two years, gave way, and from fear of threatened death he subscribed. But this also shows their violence, and the hatred of Liberius against the heresy, and his support of Athanasius, whilst he had a free choice. For what is done under torture against a man’s first judgment is not the willing deed of those who fear, but that of the tormentors. [41]

We see that Liberius was not imputed with heresy. Consequently, since he withheld internal assent, there was no reason for Athanasius to be shocked or to believe that he was deserted by the pope regarding a central dogma of faith.

C.  Papal Jurisdiction

The First Vatican Council taught that the papacy, by divine right, held the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church. This meant that the pope had the right to command, as distinct from merely being the superintendent or elected chairman of the board of bishops. The term jurisdiction could also mean juridical as distinct from inherent, ontological or charismatic. But this was not the meaning of the term when applied to papal primacy. In the latter sense, jurisdiction was held to be inherent, effecting not only the so-called juridical order. It included the authority to bind in matters of faith and morals. [42]

Gore, in reference to the doctrine of papal jurisdiction, maintained that the only primacy acknowledged in the early general councils was one of honor. This was believed to be especially clear in canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon (451).

Nothing can be more certain than that the bishops who enacted this canon did not regard the privileges of Rome as part of the divine and essential constitution of the Church. (…) Nothing can be more plain than that the primacy of Rome is in their eyes a “primacy of honor.” [43]

An examination of the canon reveals that the Council Fathers did indeed ascribe a primacy of honor to the Roman see.

We, following in all respects the rules of the holy fathers and recognizing the canon of the 150 most religious bishops just recited, do also define and vote for the same things respecting the privileges of the most holy church of Constantinople, new Rome. For to the throne of the elder Rome, because that was the imperial city, the fathers naturally rendered the first honors; and moved by the same consideration, the 150 most religious bishops assigned equal honors to the most holy throne of new Rome, judging with reason that the city which is honored with the government and senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the elder royal Rome, should also be magnified like her in ecclesiastical matters, being second after her. [44]

The prelates’ underlying premise related to the honor owed to cities, not to churches. The greater the city, the greater the honor. The city with the greater honor would equally enhance the prestige of its ecclesiastical see. The more honored the city, the more honored the see.

Curiously, even though Constantinople was the new Rome with the government and the senate, it ranked only equally with the old Rome. An even greater discrepancy is apparent when we note that the See of Constantinople was judged inferior to the See of Rome.

A possible explanation is that the bishops believed the occupant of the Roman see had a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church by divine right. This factor would have rendered the See of Constantinople’s relationship with the new Rome of secondary importance.

A belief in a primacy of jurisdiction was in fact manifested in a letter written by the Council to Pope Leo.

  1. You are set as an interpreter to all of the voice of blessed Peter, and to all you impart the blessings of that faith. And so we too, wisely taking you as our guide in all that is good, have shown to the sons of the Church their inheritance of the truth.

  2. (…) Besides all this he (i.e. Dioscorus) extended his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour---we refer to your holiness---and he intended to excommunicate one who was zealous to unite the body of the Church. [45]

The pope was Peter’s spokesman and the divinely authorized guardian of the Church. These concepts did not conflict with the Roman see’s primacy of honor. Rather they were the principal reasons underlying it.

We have seen that Gore believed that, apart from the testimony of the early papacy itself, the witness of the early Church did not support the modern Roman Catholic claims for the papacy. Scripture, the Fathers and the councils were thought to reveal that Peter’s authority was the same as that shared by all the Apostles, even though he also exercised a non-transferable leadership among them. The authority enjoyed by the Roman see during the early centuries was said to be derived solely from the decrees of general councils, thus indicating only a primacy of honor.

Gore’s views of papal authority were compatible with those of the first three Lambeth Conferences, and they also generally paralleled those of Pusey. However, Gore alone mentioned a Petrine leadership among the Apostles.

2.  William Bright

The next work to be analyzed is entitled The Roman See in the Early Church (1896). [46] Its author, William Bright (1824-1901), was Regius professor of Church history at Christ Church, Oxford. Ordained in 1850, he was educated at Rugby and University College, Oxford. His earlier writings include A History of the Church from the Edict of Milan, A.D. 313 to the Council of Chalcedon, 451 (1860); Eighteen Sermons of St. Leo the Great on the Incarnation: with the “Tome” with Notes (1862); Faith and Life: Readings Compiled from Ancient Fathers (1864); and Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils (1867).

The Roman See in the Early Church is a comparative study of the Vatican I doctrine of papal primacy in light of the New Testament and the teaching of the early Church. With respect to the New Testament, Bright found no evidence to support a belief in a Petrine primacy of jurisdiction.

This is not a mere argument, ex silentio; if St. Peter had been, by Christ’s commission, His unique Vicar, the monarch and oracle of the growing Church, a polity so simple and intelligible must have found expression in Apostolic writings, and could not have been ignored by the “Vicar” himself. [47]

The New Testament was thought to reveal only that Peter was the spokesman of the Apostles, the typical Apostle, and that together with John he exercised a leadership in the Church which ceased at the Jerusalem Council. [48] He was said to be the spokesman of the Apostles in a sense that did not imply an inherent authority over them. He was their mouthpiece only.

The author also believed that, contrary to Vatican I, Peter never functioned as the “local chief pastor of the Roman Church, in the sense of occupying its see.” [49] It was noted that during the post-Apostolic period, Irenaeus said only that Peter founded the Roman see with Paul, and to this statement Dionysius of Corinth added that both Apostles were martyred in Rome. [50]

The Vatican Council, however, never quite stated that Peter functioned as the “local chief pastor of the Roman Church, in the sense of occupying its see.” With respect to the matter at hand, it said only that Peter founded the Roman see and consecrated it with his blood. [51] This statement concurred perfectly with the teaching of Irenaeus and Dionysius.

Vatican I also declared that those who succeeded Peter in the Roman see, which he founded and consecrated, inherited his primacy as well. [52] But, again, this did not necessarily imply that Peter himself occupied the see as the chief local pastor.

The Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople, 381), Bright noted, was attended exclusively by Eastern prelates. It was further maintained that they met and acted without the sanction or the assent of the Roman pontiff. Consequently, the council fathers could not possibly have heard of the “modern papal hypothesis” that the pope was “the pastor and teacher of all Christians, the sovereign ruler of all prelates and their flocks.” [53] He was said to be patriarch of the West and no more. This attitude towards the papacy was thought to be evidenced also at the Ecumenical Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. [54]

The assertion that Constantinople lacked papal sanction merits our attention. It is true that there is not enough evidence to indicate that the council received specific approbation from Pope Damasus (366-384). Still, there is also no explicit evidence that such was not forthcoming. Nevertheless, assuming the author’s assertion was true, would this necessarily mean that the Eastern prelates were unaware of the modern doctrine that the Roman pontiff held the primacy of jurisdiction over the Church? This would be true only if the obligation of sanctioning councils, such as Constantinople I, was regarded by Rome as essential to the exercise of papal primacy.

During Bright’s time the documents of Vatican I held the latest doctrinal development on papal primacy. Yet they did not teach that, before the early councils such as Constantinople I could have either met or acted, formal papal approbation was necessary.

If the latter council had been intended by the Eastern bishops to be an ecumenical rather than a regional synod, then perhaps formal papal approval might reasonably have been expected. In fact, however, it was not held to be ecumenical in the technical sense until sometime after its conclusion.

Bright concluded that the Vatican I decrees on papal primacy lacked the support of Scripture, the post-Apostolic Fathers and the early ecumenical councils. At most Peter was the spokesman of the Apostles, the typical Apostle, and one whom with John his fellow-Apostle, exercised a temporary leadership over the Church. There was no indication that Christ appointed Peter to be the Prince and the head of the Apostles. Therefore no such authority could have been passed on to Petrine successors in the Roman see. In addition, the early ecumenical councils bore no signs of a belief in papal primacy by divine right.

These conclusions agreed substantially with those of Pusey and Gore. Although, unlike his two predecessors, Bright noted that Peter shared a non-authoritative leadership over the Church with John. The scholar’s views of the papacy also reflected those contained in the first three Lambeth Conferences.

3.  The Fourth Lambeth Conference (1897)

In 1897, the bishops of the Anglican communion once more traveled to London to attend a Lambeth Conference. This conference, the fourth, was presided over by Frederick Temple (1821-1902).

Temple was a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, where he also taught for a short period of time. Ordained in 1847, he was at first attracted to Anglo-Catholicism, but he later adopted more liberal theological attitudes. He was consecrated Bishop of Exeter in 1869. In 1885, he was translated to the See of London, and became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1897. In his later years, he was noted for his opposition to Anglo-Catholicism.

The encyclical letter of the conference recommended that the metropolitans of all Anglican provinces be accorded the title of archbishop, in accordance with the ancient custom of the Western Church. [55] This represented a continued emphasis by Lambeth prelates upon the importance of the historic episcopate which was a direct result of Anglo-Catholic influence.

The same emphasis was apparent in a committee report which regretted an 1872 act of parliament. The committee members said that the measure seemed in effect to restrict the full exercise of episcopal liturgical powers. [56]

As in previous conferences, the present one spoke of the “usurped authority of the See of Rome.” [57] This, of course, also echoed the beliefs of Pusey, Gore and Bright who thought that the claims of the modern papacy could not be justified by either Scripture or early tradition.

A conference committee realized that the inclusion of the historic episcopate in the Lambeth Quadrilateral presented grave difficulties for non-episcopal Churches. At the same time, the members of the committee felt that they would not “be justified by placing ‘new barriers between (…) (themselves) and the ancient historical Churches.’” [58] They added that the Anglican Communion could not barter away any of its “God-given trust.” [59] Their report, however, was not adopted by the conference.

The two paragraphs immediately above represented the Anglo-Catholic view of ecclesiastical authority. Only the historic episcopate was believed to be Christ’s chosen instrument for ruling and feeding the post-apostolic Catholic Church. This affirmation excluded both papal and non-Catholic concepts of Church authority.

The present conference in its official documents, that is, in the encyclical and resolutions, spoke very little about the Church of Rome. Its only reference was to the papal usurpation of authority referred to above. A committee report, however, dealt with the subject in some detail. In somewhat guarded terms, it revealed a willingness to resolve differences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, even if for the time being polemics were the only practical means available.

As regards the Church of Rome, a series of documents has been issued by Pope Leo XIII, expressing his desire for the union of Christendom, but unfortunately asserting as its only basis the recognition of the papal supremacy as of divine right. In the last of these documents the Pope proceeded to an examination of the position of the Church of England, and thus called forth an answer from the Archbishops of the English Church. [60] Though controversy is rarely a method of promoting unity there are grounds for thankfulness in the courteous tone in which much of this controversy has been conducted; in the abandonment by the Pope of much irrelevant and spurious matter which previously rendered discussion hopeless; in the limitation of the sphere of controversy to definite points; in a large amount of subsidiary literature, embodying the results of much research; and in the desire shown on both sides to understand and not consciously to misrepresent one another. If this spirit increase, even controversy will not have been in vain; and we await the issue of such controversy with entire confidence. [61]

The committee then declared that it did not propose to submit to the conference any resolution touching “on this branch of the subject.” [62] At the same time, the committee adopted as its own the following portion of a committee report from the previous conference.

The Committee (…) felt that, under present conditions it was useless to consider the question of Reunion with our brethren of the Roman Church (…) any proposal for reunion would be entertained by (…) that Church only on condition of a complete submission on our part to those claims of absolute authority, and the acceptance of those other errors, both in doctrine and in discipline, against which, in faithfulness to God’s Holy Word, and to the true principles of His Church, we have been for three centuries bound to protest. [63]

At first glance, the two statements quoted above appear irreconcilable. The first encouraged unity efforts; the second discouraged them. It is possible, however, to harmonize the two. The first may have been intended only as an unofficial effort by the committee members to encourage informal ecumenical encounters with Rome of a polemical nature. The second may have been a warning against formal unity proposals by the conference proper, since Rome would regard them as an Anglican willingness to submit to its terms.

We have seen that the conference’s stress upon the importance of the historic episcopate, as well as its attack upon papal authority, were repetitions of the views of the earlier conferences. They also represented the beliefs of Pusey, Gore and Bright. [64]

4.  Edward White Benson

Cyprian, His Life, His Times, His Work [65] was the major work of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson (1829-1896). Posthumously published in 1897, it was essentially a defense of the historic episcopate.

Benson was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge (1852). Ordained in 1853, he became for several years assistant master of Rugby School. In 1877, he was elevated to the episcopate and became the first Bishop of the Diocese of Truro (England). He was appointed to the See of Canterbury in 1882.

As Archbishop of Canterbury, he actively sought to improve Anglican relations with the Churches of the East. He was, however, no great admirer of the Church of Rome and refused to cooperate with Leo XIII’s efforts in 1894 to lessen tensions between the two traditions. [66]

In his book, Benson sought to demonstrate that Cyprian advocated the primacy of the episcopal college. This was believed to be especially clear in the fourth chapter of the latter’s treatise on Church unity, entitled De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate or simply De Unitate. Although some phrases in extant manuscripts of the work upheld the primacy of the papacy, these, the archbishop maintained, were spurious.

The papal apologists have framed, and at all hazards, and against evidence full and understood, have steadfastly maintained the grossest forgery in literature. Without the insertion of their phrases the passage means something palpably different. [67]

Although he was not the first Anglican to take such a stand, [68] his work touched off a controversy with Roman Catholic scholars which extended well into the twentieth century.

Benson noticed that when the phrases supporting papal primacy in the De Unitate were removed, the remainder, which read in a smooth and coherent manner, advocated episcopal primacy. [69] It was held that this theme was consistent with Cyprian’s other writings, none of which was believed to support papal primacy. [70]

The alleged interpolations were thought to be based upon an expanded version of the fourth chapter of the work contained in a letter written by Pope Pelagius II in 585. [71] It was furthermore contended that the phrases in question were ‘deliberately for three centuries past forced by papal authority in the teeth of evidence upon editors and printers who were at his mercy. “ [72]

The disputed text, as translated by Benson, is reproduced below. The words which Benson believed to be spurious are underlined.

The Lord saith unto Peter, “I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. And to the same He says after His resurrection ‘Feed my sheep.’ He builds His Church upon that one, and to him entrusts His sheep to be fed. And although after His resurrection He assigns equal power to all His apostles, and says ‘As the Father sent me even so send I you, receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosoever sins ye remit they shall be remitted unto him, and whosoever sins ye retain they shall be retained,’ nevertheless in order to make the unity manifest, He established one Chair, and by His own authority appointed the origin of that same unity beginning from one. Certainly the rest of the apostles were that which Peter also was, endued with equal partnership both of honour and office, but the beginning sets out from unity, and: Primacy is given to Peter, that one Church of Christ and one Chair may be pointed out; and all are pastors and one flock is shown, to be fed by all the apostles with one-hearted accord, that one Church of Christ may be pointed out. It is this one Church which the Holy Spirit in the Person of the Lord speaks of in the Song of Songs, saying, ‘My dove is one, my perfect one, one is she to her mother, elect to her who brought her forth.’ He that holds not this unity of the Church, does he believe that he holds the faith ? He who strives and rebels against the Church, he who deserts the Chair of Peter on which the Church was founded, does he trust that he is in the Church ? Since the blessed Apostle Paul also (…). [73]

Benson believed that whoever wrote the underlined portions held “the cardinal doctrine of the Roman see. “[74] But he was convinced that it was not Cyprian. “The very mention of the supremacy of the one Pontiff, or the universality of one jurisdiction, is the precise contrary of (…) Cyprianic statements.” [75]

Several quotations from Cyprian’s writings were reproduced to support his contention. All of these were interpreted as upholding the primacy of the episcopate. Among them, in at least two instances, were portions of Cyprian’s Epistle [59] to Pope Cornelius (251-259). [76]

7. Peter, however, on whom the Church has been built by the same Lord, speaking one for all, and answering with the voice of the Church, says “Lord to whom shall we go?” [77]
14. (…) to the chair of Peter, and to the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise. [78]

Other pertinent passages from Epistle 59 were not presented by Benson for the reader’s consideration. Nevertheless, they significantly revealed Cyprian’s thought regarding ecclesiastical authority. One of these, from chapter five, placed in a clearer light the above quotation from chapter fourteen. Both this and a fuller portion of chapter fourteen are reproduced below.

5.      For this has been the source from which heresies and schisms have arisen, that God’s priest is not obeyed, nor do people reflect that there is for the time one priest in the Church, who for the time is judge instead of Christ, and if the whole brotherhood would obey him, according to divine teaching, no one would stir up anything against the college of priest (…) [79]
14. After all this, they yet in addition, having had a false bishop ordained for them by heretics, dare to set sail, and to carry letters from schismatic and profane persons to the chair of Peter, and to the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise. They fail to reflect that those Romans are the same as those whose faith was publicly praised by the Apostle, to whom unbelief cannot have access. [80]

Chapter five states that there is one priest, that is, one bishop in the Church who is for the time judge in place of Christ. Because he is not obeyed, heresies and schisms have arisen. If he were obeyed no harm would come to the college of (high) priests. Note that Cyprian regarded these convictions as based upon divine teaching.

Chapter fourteen maintains that Rome is the site of the See of Peter, the principal Church from which the unity of the (high) priesthood took its rise or origin. Those belonging to this see, viz. the Romans, are those to whom falsehood could not gain access.

Chapter five says that there is one bishop who by divine authority possesses the magisterial and jurisdictional primacy over the Church. Submission to his teaching prevents heresies and schisms from arising. Chapter fourteen says that it is the See of Rome which is immune to heresy. This would also obviously include the bishop of the see, who most certainly is the same bishop referred to in the fifth chapter.

Benson believed that chapter seven favored the primacy of the episcopate, rather than that of the papacy. But, in light of the chapters just examined, there is no necessary reason to think so. The seventh chapter states that Peter is the one upon whom Christ built his Church. Peter is also the one who speaks for all, who responds with the voice of the Church. That Peter should speak on behalf of the Church, with its voice, is by no means incompatible with the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal primacy.

The evidence provided by Epistle 59 indicates that in at least one instance outside of the De Unitate, Cyprian expressed a belief in the primacy of the papacy by divine right.

With respect to the alleged interpolations of the De Unitate, Anglican scholars E.W. Watson and Trevor Jalland demonstrated that they in fact accorded with statements in other Cyprianic writings. [81] Some examples of this are noted below. The suspected fraudulent phrases are presented first and are underlined. Their parallels follow in capital letters.

  1. And to the same (i.e., Peter) He says after His resurrection ‘Feed my sheep.’ He builds His Church upon that one, and to him entrusts His sheep to be fed.

    Peter also, to whom the Lord COMMENDS HIS SHEEP TO BE FED and guarded, on whom He placed and founded the Church, denies that he has any silver or gold. [82]

  2. He establishes one chair, and by His own authority appointed the origin of that same unity beginning from one.

    There is one God and one Christ and one Church and ONE CHAIR founded by the voice of the Lord on the rock. [83]

  3. And all are pastors and one flock is shown, to be fed by all the apostles with one-hearted accord.

    Although we are many SHEPHERDS, yet we FEED ONE FLOCK. [84]

    (…) fellow bishops, the whole company of whom, throughout the entire world, have CONSENTED WITH UNANIMITY. [85]

  4. He who deserts the Chair of Peter (…). (…) to THE CHAIR OF PETER and to the principal church (…). [86]

Among the disputed phrases of the De Unitate, number four above, in its entirety and in its relationship with the undisputed part of its sentence setting, most clearly reflects the doctrine of papal primacy. “He who deserts the Chair of Peter on which the Church was founded, does he trust that he is in the Church?” As we have seen, this statement also has a counterpart in Cyprian’s Epistle 59, where the same belief is disclosed.

Benson questioned the authenticity of the alleged interpolations on three principal counts. Two of which we have already noted. (1) The doctrine expressed in them supported the Roman Catholic views of the papacy. This was believed contrary to Cyprian’s teaching on the episcopate found in his other works. (2) When the questioned phrases were removed, the remainder read smoothly and it also supported what was thought to be a doctrine of episcopal primacy contained in Cyprian’s other writings. (3) These same phrases are absent in certain undisputed variants of the De Unitate.

Faced with the problem which the evidence presented, an Anglican scholar, B.J. Kidd, put forth a hypothesis which Benson apparently did not consider. The former surmised that Cyprian may well have written the allegedly spurious De Unitate. But if he did so, Kidd said that he must have written it prior to his controversy with Pope Stephen (254-257) over the baptism of heretics and schismatics. [87]

By 1937, the Jesuit scholar Maurice Bevenot found himself in substantial agreement with Kidd. The former, after examining over one hundred manuscripts of the De Unitate, concluded that the original version advocated papal primacy. After the quarrel with Stephen, Cyprian was thought to have altered the text, deleting the phrases Benson considered spurious. [88]

The additional evidence of Epistle 59 lends strong support to the views of Kidd and Bevenot. [89] The De Unitate was first written in 251; Epistle 59 in 252. Cyprian’s difficulties with Rome did not begin until 255. After this date, his ecclesiological writings tended to center exclusively on the authority of the members of the episcopal college.

It is significant that Cyprian’s encounter with papal authority revolved around the doctrine of Baptism, since it was Stephen’s view which prevailed. Cyprian held that baptized heretics and schismatics must be rebaptized before reception into the Catholic Church. But the pope maintained that this was not Catholic practice. Stephen’s view, not Cyprian’s, is also that received by the Anglican Communion.

It has been shown that Benson found no valid evidence that Cyprian believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal primacy. He was thought instead to advocate the primacy of the episcopal college. However, independent analyses of the evidence indicate that during the early years of his episcopate, Cyprian openly advocated papal primacy.

5.  Frederick W. Puller

A revised edition of a book by F.W. Oykker (1843-1938) dealing with Peter and his relationship to the Roman see was published in 1900. [90] A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge (as was Benson), Puller was ordained in 1866. An ardent Anglo-Catholic, he became a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (Cowley Fathers), the oldest Anglican religious order for men. Among his other published works were The Duties and Rights of Parish Priests with Reference to the Present Crisis, London 1877, and On the Divorce and Remarriage of Converts to Christianity, Calcutta, 1882.

In order to test Rome’s claims for Petrine primacy, Puller resorted to an analysis of scriptural and patristic texts in his work on the Roman see. [91] He concluded for example that if the rock in Matthew 1:17-19 really represented Peter, as Rome believed, then this would also be the unanimous view of the Fathers. Nevertheless, some said that rock was Peter’s faith. Others said that it typified Christ himself. And some, though obviously not all, thought it represented Peter. The author admitted that the latter view was the oldest and most common interpretation. Nevertheless, “we do not find the unanimity which on the Roman hypothesis would have been anticipated.” [92]

His position was premised on the assumption that it was necessary to have patristic unanimity on scriptural exegesis before doctrinal truth could be ascertained. But would this always be the case? Especially where scriptural symbolism was involved, as in the Matthean text. In such instances, the historical and literal interpretation of a Father need not always be present.

A more fundamental question would be that concerning the historical and literal views of the Fathers towards Peter. If those writing on the subject unanimously taught a divinely bestowed Petrine primacy, it would matter little whether at times the Matthean rock was interpreted as other than Peter’s person.

Puller himself believed that Jesus equated Peter with the rock upon which the Church would be built. But he also believed that there was no difference between Peter, as the foundation rock of the Church, and all the Apostles as the Church’s foundation. [93]

At first glance, the author’s conclusion appears feasible. Yet, if the contexts of both the Matthean and Ephesians passages are taken into consideration, it will be seen that the Church referred to in the one is not precisely the same as that in the other. The Church in the Matthean text is the Church militant; that in Ephesians is the entire Body of Christ, both in this life and beyond. In Matthew, Peter alone is called the rock of the Church militant. In Ephesians, all the Apostles with the prophets are the foundation of the entire Church, visible and invisible. Furthermore, in Ephesians, Christ is described as the cornerstone or head of the entire Church. In Matthew, Peter, as the sole steward in charge of the keys, is the sole visible head of the visible Church. It can be seen, therefore, that there is a real distinction made between Peter as the rock, and all the Apostles as the Church’s foundation.

There was no doubt in Puller’s mind that Peter enjoyed a definite primacy. But it was not that ascribed to him by the Church of Rome.[94] It was no more than a divinely granted primacy of honor. He was the first among equals or primus inter pares. This implied a certain leadership among the Apostles, but not over them. His honorary primacy was a reward for being the first to confess the Christ, the Son of the Living God. In addition, the author believed that there was no scriptural evidence indicating that the primacy was inherited by alleged Petrine successors in the See of Rome. 95 There was not even believed to be any clear testimony that Peter was ever connected with the Church of Rome. Although it was conceded that I Peter 5:13 might be an obscure reference. [96]

An Anglo-Catholic, the author believed in apostolic succession. [97] Yet there are no clear allusions to the doctrine in the New Testament. There are references to apostolic men, men ordained by the Apostles to help them with their work. But it is not certain that these, and these alone, received the authority to act in the Apostle’s stead upon the latter’s death. Since tradition alone clearly manifests a belief in apostolic succession, this also should be the basis for clearing up obscure scriptural references to Peter and to the nature of his authority. It also should be referred to respecting the question of Petrine succession.

Even in an analysis of patristic tradition, Puller was unable to find support for the Roman Catholic doctrine of Petrine primacy. The patristic consensus regarding John 21:15-17 was cited as an example. The Johannine passage itself is reproduced below.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

It was held by the author that the Fathers believed Jesus’ instruction to Peter was given him solely in virtue of his being an Apostle. It was not thought to differ substantially from the commission given to the others. Leo I (440-461) was held to be the first to invent the germ of the idea that the text revealed a Petrine primacy over the Church.

It appears that, whether we study the passage as it occurs in S. John’s Gospel, or whether we consult the comments on it to be found in the writings of the great Fathers of the Church, we find no trace of papal interpretation. I verily believe that S. Leo invented that interpretation, or rather the germ of it (….). In other words, the Anglican view of the passage is the Catholic view, and the Roman view is the un-Catholic view, and it is in fact a grievous perversion of our Blessed Lord’s meaning. [98]

An independent examination of patristic writings, however, shows that John Chrysostom interpreted the disputed text in a Roman Catholic manner in the century preceding Leo’s.

After that grave fall (for there is no sin equal to denial), after so great a sin, he brought him back to his former honor, and entrusted him with the care of the universal Church, and, what is more than all, he showed us that he had a greater love for his master than any of the apostles, for he said, “Peter, lovest thou me more than these?” [99]

Chrysostom wrote that Jesus entrusted Peter with the care of the universal Church. Another text reveals that no other Apostle shared in this honor.

He say to him “Feed my Sheep.” Why does he pass over the others and speak about these to him ? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the head of the choir; for this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the other (…). He entrusts him with the primacy of the brethren; and as He does not bring forward the denial, or reproach him with the past, but says: “If you love me, rule the brethren (…). And if anyone would say “How did James receive the chair of Jerusalem,” I would reply that He appointed Peter a teacher not of the chair, but of the world (…). [100]

Peter was charged with the care of the whole Church and with the primacy of the brethren. It is worth noting that the Father expressing these beliefs was from the East.

With respect to the college of bishops, Puller observed that the Fathers acknowledged no other head than Christ whose “Invisible Vicar” was the Holy Spirit. [101] Nevertheless, we have already observed that Cyprian believed in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the episcopal college. [102]

Fuller concurred with Benson’s assessment of Cyprian’s writings. There was thought to be no manifestation of a belief in papal primacy.

The defenders of the English Church may safely stake their case, so far as it relates to the papal claims, on the witness borne by S. Cyprian. May the prayers of that blessed martyr draw down upon the Church of England and upon us her children a full measure of the divine blessing and protection! [103]

We have seen that Puller believed there was no scriptural or patristic testimony indicating a divinely appointed Petrine primacy over either the Apostles or the whole Church. Peter had, at most, a divinely granted primacy of honor or leadership. It was also held that the same sources bore no testimony to the belief that the Roman pontiff was either the successor of Peter’s primacy or that he was the head of the episcopal college.

The concept of Peter’s primacy of honor was seen earlier in connection with Gore’s book. William Bright had spoken of a non-authoritative leadership in the Church shared with the Apostle John. Puller regarded Peter as first among equals. These latter were, fundamentally, developed variations of the primacy of honor concept.

Puller’s views on the papacy were the same as those of the other authors, including those of Pusey and Benson.

6.  Darwell Stone

Another work dealing with the question of papal primacy was published in 1900. [104] Its author was Darwell Stone (1859-1941), a theologian destined to become a principal spokesman for Anglo-Catholicism. Educated at Merton College, Oxford, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1885. He was principal of both Dorchester Missionary College (1888-1903) and Pusey House, Oxford (1909-1934). Beside his book on dogma which we are about to examine, he was responsible for several other publications. Among them were The Church of England, An Appeal to Facts and Principles (1903), The Christian Church (1905), and A History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (two vols., 1909).

Stone noted, with respect to Petrine primacy, that the Fathers were not unanimous in their interpretation of the rock in Matthew 16:18. Nor were they unanimous in their understanding of Christ’s commission to Peter to feed the sheep, found in John 21:16-17. Although Peter was thought to have some connection with the Church of Rome, Stone maintained that there was not sufficient evidence to determine accurately what it really was. [105]

It will be recalled, however, that our earlier research has demonstrated that there was abundant patristic testimony to Petrine primacy. Peter was considered the chief of the Apostles. Rome was regarded as the site of the chair of Peter in which his successors sat. It was this chair which Peter founded (with Paul) and consecrated with his blood.

The author also asserted that the doctrine of papal infallibility was never affirmed by the teaching of the early undivided Church. [106] Yet we have already noted that this was held by Cyprian. Jerome, too, expressed an implicit belief in the doctrine. This is seen in a letter of his to Pope Damasus.

Decide, I beseech, if you please, and I will not fear to acknowledge three hypostases. If you order it, let a new creed be compiled after the Nicene, and the orthodox will confess in like words with the Arians. (…) Well might Ursinus be joined to your beatitude, Auxentius to Ambrose. 107 Far be this from the faith of Rome. May the devout hearts of the people drink of no such sacrilege. Let us be satisfied to say one substance, three persons subsisting, perfect, equal, coeternal. Let us drop three hypostases, if you please, and hold one. It is no use using different words in the same sense (…). But if you think right that, with explanations, we should say three hypostases, we do not refuse (…). [108]

Jerome believed that the pope had the authority to determine a matter of faith. Whatever the Roman pontiff decided, Jerome would accept as binding. In addition, in a preceding section of the same letter, he said that the Church of Rome was the See of Peter upon which the Church was built. Those perished who were not in communion with this chair in which Pope Damasus sat.

Following none in first place but Christ, I am in communion with your beatitude, that is with the chair of Peter. On that rock I know the Church is built. Whoever shall eat the lamb outside this house is profane. If any not be with Noah in the ark, he shall perish in the flood. [109]

The pope’s magisterial authority, therefore, was said to derive from Peter. Those having no access to this authority perished in the flood.

Cyril of Alexandria’s request that Pope Celestine decide for the Eastern Church on the orthodoxy of Nestorius, is also capable of expressing a belief in papal infallibility. [110]

Stone hoped that Roman Catholic theologians would interpret the Vatican I doctrine of papal infallibility to mean that ex cathedra definitions must be limited to what the Catholic Church had already received. He feared, however, that such an interpretation was impossible. [111]

Such was possible, however, since the council fathers explained that before such definitions were made, popes sought to discover the mind of the Church. [112] Consequently, they “defined as to be held such matters as they found consonant with the Holy Scripture and with apostolic tradition.” [113]

Stone’s concepts of Petrine and papal primacy basically echoed those of the Anglican scholars noted earlier in our study. Therefore, his views on the papacy, in essence, paralleled those of the Lambeth Conferences.

7.  Spencer Jones

Thus far we have discerned a slight development in the Petrine doctrine held by the scholars previously noted. Pusey, for instance, spoke of no Petrine authority other than that shared with the other Apostles. This concept was essentially that of Benson as well. Gore, however, detected a primacy of leadership among equals. Bright spoke further of a shared leadership with John in the Church. Puller described Peter as first among equals. The views of these latter two authors were actually developments of the primacy of honor concept.

No development, however, was perceived regarding the scholars’ views of papal primacy. There was thought to be no early documentation indicting that the papacy was divinely authorized to exercise jurisdiction over the Church, whether in matters of faith and morals or otherwise. At most, the Roman see and its bishop enjoyed a certain primacy of honor which derived from the canons of ecumenical councils.

We will now consider a work exhibiting a far more sympathetic attitude towards Rome’s position on the papacy. [114] Its author, Spencer Jones, obtained an M.A. degree from Oxford in 1887. Priested in 1882, he spent most of his ministry in parish work. Other books written by him included The Clergy and the Catechism (seventh edition, 1895) and Our Lord and His Lessons (1901). His work on the papacy was especially well received by a minority of Anglo-Catholics who actively promoted Anglican-Roman Catholic unity. Even sixty-three years after its publication, it had not been forgotten.

As a theological student (…) I read Fr. Spencer Jones’ reunion essay ENGLAND AND THE HOLY SEE (now no doubt alas out of print, like so many good books of those days) with its insistence upon the need for dogmatic agreement in any scheme for Christian Reunion, and upon the fact in the case in point that while the Church of England could change and indeed has changed, the Church of Rome cannot alter her dogmas and continue to be. [115]

Peter, from Jones’ point of view, was the most prominent Apostle cited in the Gospels and in the first half of the book of Acts. In the four former writings, it was noted that Peter’s name was mentioned at least ninety-one times. But John, the next most cited figure, was mentioned in only thirty-eight instances throughout the entire New Testament. Peter’s name was cited more than fifty times in the first twelve chapters of Acts, but no other Apostle on more than eight occasions. [116]

It was conceded that mere quantity in itself was no proof that Peter was more prominent than the others. This could be ascertained only by taking into account the relationship of the Petrine passages with the rest of the New Testament. When this was pursued, one could see that it was Peter, after Christ himself, who was the most prominent figure in the Spirit-assisted minds of the New Testament authors. [117]

In an analysis of the apostolic lists in the Gospels, Jones observed that Peter’s name always appeared first and that of Judas Iscariot last. But the position of the other Apostles varied. These were thought to reflect “the principle of precedence in dignity.” [118]

In other scriptural locations, it was noted that Peter was specifically referred to by name, while his colleagues were spoken of in general terms. Mark 16:7 was cited as an instance of this sort. “Go tell his disciples and Peter (…)”. 119

Other places were observed in which Peter was depicted as the principal figure as, for example, in Luke 24:34 and I Corinthians 15:5. In these latter he was distinguished as the first to receive a Resurrection appearance. [120]

Many non-Roman Catholics believed that James of Jerusalem was presiding officer of the Jerusalem Conference. Jones, however, maintained that the events described in Acts 15 made it clear that Peter, not James, assumed this position. It was pointed out that during the delivery of decisive speeches at the end of the conference, it was Peter who took the lead. It was his speech, based upon a divine vision, which provided the solution for the controversy occasioning the meeting. James, on the other hand, simply voiced his opinion in the matter which, significantly, was based upon Peter’s judgment. There was nothing to indicate that he was speaking authoritatively for the whole Church, whereas Peter’s declaration had divine support. [121]

Jones also wrote that it was the Jerusalem Conference, under Peter’s direction, which set the guidelines for Paul’s leadership in the Gentile mission. Jones asserted that this was ample proof that Peter, not Paul, exercised a primacy over the entire Church during the period of the latter’s missionary activities. This was said by the author in protest to beliefs to the contrary. [122]

Jones detected substantial support for a Petrine primacy by divine right in Matthew 16:17-19 (“Thou art Peter (…)”); Luke 22:31-32 (“Simon (…) Satan has desired to have you (…) strengthen your brethren.”) and in John 21: 15-17 (“Feed my lambs (…)”).

In the Matthean text, a parallel was perceived between the designation of Simon Bar-Jonah as Peter and the divine bestowal of substitute names upon Old Testament personages. The latter designations were given to signify the particular destinies which their bearers would experience. Abram, for instance, became Abraham. “No longer shall your name be Abram (exalted father), but your name shall be Abraham (father of a multitude); for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” [123]

The appellation of Simon as Peter (rock, stone) was thought to be derived from Isaiah 28:16. “Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation (…)’” After Jesus himself became the foundation stone, he was believed to have transferred the authority implied in the metaphor to Simon, who then became Simon the Rock (Πέτρος , Peter). [124] It was this rock upon which the Church militant would be built and against which the gates of hell would not prevail. It was observed that only Simon Bar-Jonah among the Apostles had been surnamed Peter by the Savior. It was only on Peter that the Church would be built. It was only to the Church built upon Peter that the promise of indefectibility was made. It was only to Peter that the promise of the keys was made. Only the gift of binding and loosing was to be shared by all the Apostles. [125]

Jones had no difficulty in equating Peter (Πέτρος) with the rock (πέτρα) upon which Jesus would build his Church. Some writers, perhaps even Augustine, believed the two terms were not identical for linguistic reasons. [126] They thought that if Jesus had intended to identify Peter with the rock, Peter would have been called Πέτρα, not Πέτρος . However, Jones observed that Jesus actually called Peter, Kephas (Aramaic). The same form meaning both a man’s name and a rock. But when translated into Greek, it became Πέτρος for a man and πέτρα for a rock. Consequently, in the Matthean context, the latter terms were both intended to apply to Simon Bar-Jonah.

A catena of patristic and conciliar texts, produced by the author, demonstrated that Peter was commonly referred to as the rock upon which the Church was built. [127]

Jones also pointed out that the promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church was immediately related to the rock (Peter) upon which the Church would be built. In other words, the Church’s indefectibility was directly dependent upon Peter. [128]

The gift of the keys was seen as a charge to Peter to act as Christ’s steward in the administration of the Church militant. This was a far larger responsibility than that entailed in the power of binding and loosing shared with the Apostles. [129] The latter was believed to be limited to the administration of the Church’s discipline.

Luke 22:31-32 contains the account of Jesus telling Peter that Satan desired to have the Apostles to sift them as wheat. “Nevertheless, Jesus continued, “I have prayed for you (singular) that your faith may not fail; and when you (singular) have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”

Jones saw a parallel here with the Matthean passage noted above. In both instances, Peter was distinguished and set apart from his fellow Apostles. And in both he had been given authority over them. In the Lucan account, it was Peter’s rock-like faith which would prevail, even against the attacks of the Devil. Consequently, he would be able to strengthen his brethren. In the Matthean text, the Church founded upon the rock (Peter) would prevail, even against the onslaughts of the gates of hell. [130]

John 21:15-17 depicts Jesus speaking to Peter in the presence of some of the Apostles. “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these” (…) Feed my lambs. (…) Feed my sheep.” Jones detected here the conferral on Peter of the title of universal shepherd. [131] It was noted also that John Chrysostom taught similarly in his commentary On John, Homily 88, 1 [132] which we have already examined.

The author observed that Cyprian, Jerome, Optatus of Mileve, Prosper of Aquitaine, and Vincent of Lerins, among other Fathers, regarded the popes as the most prominent persons in the Church. The underlying basis for this was said to be their belief that the Roman pontiffs were the inheritors of Peter’s primacy over the Church. [133]

Many non-Roman Catholic scholars held that Irenaeus’ admonition of Pope Victor (189-198) during the Paschal Controversy was proof that the early Church was ignorant of the papal primacy by divine right. It was argued that Irenaeus would not have rebuked the pope for either excommunicating or threatening to excommunicate the Asiatics, if the former had recognized the act as a legitimate exercise of papal authority. Jones, on the other hand, pointed out that the evidence indicated only that the wisdom of the pope’s decision was called into question, not his right to render it. [134]

The author was also favorably impressed with the Council of Chalcedon’s confirmation of Leo I’s claims of jurisdictional primacy over the Church. It will be recalled that the council reminded Leo that he had been entrusted by the Savior with the custody of the vine, that is, the visible Church. In light of this, Jones held that such evidence should be of concern to the Church of England, since the latter regarded Chalcedon as a council received by the whole Church. [135]

Although some scholars objected, the author saw no valid reason why the abundant testimony of early popes themselves to papal primacy should be discounted. It was thought quite natural that when their authority was challenged that they should refer to the tradition of their predecessors. That is, to a tradition stating that the Roman pontiffs were the inheritors of Peter’s primacy. It was pointed out that it would be natural for any bishop to appeal to the tradition of his predecessors to support his authority should it be threatened. As popes would appeal to Peter’s authority and his chair in which they sat, Archbishops of Canterbury, for example would appeal to the authority of their see derived from its first occupant, Augustine of Canterbury. [136]

Jones was of course right when he said that there was no reason why an individual pope’s accounting of his own authority should be discounted simply because he himself rendered it. But the value of independent testimony is desirable and even necessary when the tradition appealed to is called into question.

Few, if any, people ever seriously questioned the tradition that Gregory I appointed Augustine the first Archbishop of Canterbury and endowed the see with certain privileges. But in contrast to the tradition surrounding this see, that concerning Rome implied a submission by all Christians of their minds and wills to the papacy. Consequently, it should hardly seem surprising that some would question papal authority solely because of the stringent nature of the demands attached to it. Therefore, in the case of papal claims, outside testimony is of the utmost importance.

On the basis of the evidence of the early Church, Jones concluded that no portion of the contemporary Church could truly be considered primitive as well which was not in some sense Roman. It was stressed that this conclusion had special relevance to the Church of England. [137]

It was noted also that in Anglicanism a great deal of misunderstanding existed regarding the doctrine of papal infallibility. In an effort to remove it, Rome’s teaching in the matter as understood by Jones was presented.

It was pointed out that certain criteria were provided by Rome in which an infallible judgment binding upon the whole Church could be recognized. Such a judgment must, for example, be restricted to the area of faith or morals within the limits of the original revelation. The pope must also intentionally draw upon the fullness of his power for the purposes of his judgment and be understood by the faithful at large to have done so. Moreover, an infallible judgment was one addressed to the whole Church throughout the world. [138]

The author emphasized that the subject matter of an infallible pronouncement was not some new doctrine arising from within a pope’s own person. Actually, such a pronouncement would be the final resolution of a doctrinal problem which had faced the whole Church for some time, perhaps for centuries. During this period, the Holy Spirit would be assisting the entire Church to see all aspects of the question. The same assistance would also be given the pope. This would enable him “to hit upon the psychological moment for a final and formal consideration of the subject and for a solemn and judicial pronouncement upon it.” [139] Once more, it was stressed that the pope’s final judgment had to reflect some aspect of the faith contained within the original deposit.

Jones asserted that papal infallibility did not mean a gift of inspiration. Furthermore, it pointed out that there was no inherent faculty for doctrinal truth within a pope which could be exercised at will. There was instead an external and conditional assistance of the Holy Spirit available to him. This assistance guaranteed a correct judgment in matters of faith or morals, if the pope exercised it in his office of supreme shepherd and teacher, and if it met the above-mentioned conditions.

The doctrine of papal infallibility was said to exclude all common and ordinary acts of a Roman pontiff as a private person. It excluded, too, all of his acts as a private theologian and all acts which did not deal with faith or morals. Also excluded were all his acts which were not those of the supreme teacher of the Church defining doctrines to be held by the whole Church. [140]

Jones next discussed the Roman Catholic doctrine of the episcopate. It was noted that Rome taught that the gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus to lead the Apostles into all truth, [141] would always be present with the episcopal college as long as it was united to the pope as its head. Should, however, the college become separated from its infallible head, then the infallibility of the Church itself would be lost. [142] In fact, however, Rome maintained such could never occur, even though some bishops may from time to time leave the Catholic Church. It was a matter of faith that the college would always be united to its head by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. [143]

There was a common belief in Anglicanism that Rome taught that bishops were only the vicars or suffragans of the Roman pontiff. To dispel this notion, the author pointed out that Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) taught precisely the contrary. He said that the successors of the Apostles were not mere “Vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they ruled.” [144]

Jones believed that the claims made by Roman Catholicism for the papacy were substantiated by Scripture and by the teaching of the early undivided Church. [145] Arriving at this conclusion, he asked for freedom within Anglicanism to discuss in an atmosphere free of polemics those things which divided Anglicans from Roman Catholics. In particular, the author sought “a full and complete restatement of the subject before us,” that is, of Anglicanism’s attitude towards the Holy See. [146]

It need hardly be stated that Jones’ views of the papacy far outdistanced those contained in the other Anglican works already analyzed, as well as those of the Lambeth Conferences.

8.  The Fifth Lambeth Conference (1908)

The Fifth Lambeth Conference assembled in 1908. Its presiding officer was Randall T. Davidson.

Davidson (1848-1930) was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Oxford. Ordained in 1875, he soon became resident chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury A.C. Tait, (1878). He later became Dean of Windsor (1883), Bishop of Rochester (1891), Bishop of Winchester (1895), and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1903.

In the latter position he worked to enable all three theological parties in the Church of England to express freely their respective points of view. His principal published works were several editions of the documents of the Lambeth Conferences.

In the encyclical of the Fifth Conference, the bishops declared that they possessed a ministry which was given by Christ through his Apostles. “We who speak are bearers of the sacred commission of the ministry given by our Lord through His Apostles to the Church.” [147] At first glance, this appears to reflect the Anglo-Catholic belief in apostolic succession. But it could also be taken to mean that the episcopate was only one among several equal forms of ministry given by Christ to his Church through the Apostles.

Once more we see that Anglican bishops as a whole were not inclined to view the historic episcopate precisely in the same manner as either Anglo-Catholics or Roman Catholics. Many of the bishops had a concept of the Christian ministry which more closely resembled that of classical Protestantism. The papacy was not thought of as the usurper of the prerogatives of a Catholic episcopate with apostolic succession. Rather the papacy represented the denial of several types of divinely authorized ministries, one of which was the non-papal episcopalian ministry used in the Anglican Communion.

The conference encyclical, reflecting the teaching of the early Catholic Church on marriage, condemned artificial means of preventing childbearing. It was regarded as an evil “which cannot be spoken of without repugnance.” [148] In this respect, the Lambeth prelates also concurred with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church and with that of most Protestant Churches of that era.

The bishops, in a resolution, reaffirmed the position of the 1888 Conference respecting the dissolubility of Christian marriage. It was maintained that only the innocent partner in a marriage damaged by adultery or fornication was free to remarry during the lifetime of the opposite spouse. [149] This stand, however, in contrast with that on contraception and abortion, was not that of the early Church. It also dealt with a sacrament which meant a matter of faith was involved. Consequently, as we have seen, it was at odds with the proclamation of the 1878 Conference declaring that the Anglican Communion “held the Faith revealed in Holy Writ (…) and maintained by the Primitive Church.” [150]

Anther Fifth Conference resolution stated that Anglicans must seek the reunification of the whole of Christendom. Steps should be taken, too, to prohibit actions tending to prevent or retard that goal. [151] Thus, the Roman Catholic Communion, as well, was implicitly included in the ecumenical aspirations of the Lambeth fathers. This was the first such sentiment to be revealed in an official Lambeth Conference document, although a committee report of the previous conference encouraged informal reunion efforts with Roman Catholics.

A committee report of the present conference apparently was the basis for the above resolution. It said that the committee members desired “to place on record their conviction that no projects of union can be regarded as satisfactory which deliberately leave out the Churches of the Latin Communion.” [152] The report also noted that many episcopal Churches, not in communion with Rome, thought favorably of the Latin Church. There was a tendency “to look with sympathetic hope toward that great Communion as embodying ideals which they find to be largely lacking in much of the sectional Christianity of today.” [153] On the other hand, there was detected by the committee a growing interest by Roman Catholics in the practical affairs of other Churches, especially those of Anglicanism. This interest was thought to be “sometimes accompanied with a sense of deficiencies in the Latin Church itself for which a remedy will have to be sought outside.” [154] The nature of the outside remedy, however, was not disclosed.

For the time being, though, the committee believed that no great progress towards Anglican-Roman Catholic unity could be accomplished. This was due to the official conditions for Church unity imposed by the Church of Rome, such as acceptance of the jurisdictional primacy of the papacy. These, the committee held, Anglicans could not accept.

It has been seen that the present conference, in accord with preceding conferences, was unable to accept Rome’s position on papal primacy. This stance reflected not only the viewpoint of Anglo-Catholics, but of Evangelicals and Latitudinarians as well. However, its expression was more subdued in 1908 than in the past.

As a matter of fact, there was present in the 1908 Conference a new attitude towards the Church of Rome, previously unexpressed in an official Lambeth document. For the first time, a Lambeth Conference officially advocated Church unity with all Christendom. This represented, as we noted, at least an implicit conviction that the Church of Rome could not be left out of the Anglican ecumenical perspective. This view was also explicitly contained in a committee report. These two documents, and a committee report of the 1897 Conference holding the same conviction, reflected a movement away from the earlier, less positive outlook towards Rome and the papacy.

This change in viewpoint more closely paralleled the aspirations of Anglo-Catholics in general and of Spencer Jones in particular. Unlike Jones, however, most Anglo-Catholics could not in conscience accept Rome’s claims for papal primacy. But they were able to acknowledge a certain primacy of honor, to which Gore and the others referred. Furthermore, most Anglo-Catholics genuinely admired Rome’s piety and discipline, as well as its emphasis upon the sacraments and Eucharistic worship. Most Anglo-Catholics therefore could be said to want unity with Rome, but not with the papacy as it was then constituted. Most other Anglicans, however, generally desired broader reforms within the Church of Rome before seeing the Anglican Communion actively seeking unity with it.

The 1908 Conference also displayed a hesitancy to adopt fully as its own the Anglo-Catholic understanding of the historic episcopate. We have noted this same hesitancy to be present throughout the history of the Lambeth Conferences.

The views concerning the matrimonial bond contained in the 1908 Conference were other than those of the early Church. Nevertheless, it was to the doctrine of this period that not only Anglo-Catholics in general appealed as the norm for Anglicanism, but also the bishops of earlier conferences. [155]

Throughout the present chapter, with the sole exception of Spencer Jones, we have witnessed a decided reluctance by both Anglican scholars and Lambeth Conference bishops to accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal primacy. The scholarly basis for this attitude was held to be the lack of evidence supporting Rome’s claims in Scripture and in ancient tradition.

At the same time, there was perceived a slight development in Petrine doctrine which had occurred over the years. From a position which recognized no difference at all between Peter and other Apostles the belief arose that the former had been given a divinely constituted primacy of leadership among equals and in the universal Church. Thus we see a development in a direction more closely approximating Rome’s concept of Petrine primacy.

Footnotes Chapter II

  1. Cf. 26 Henry VIII, cap. 1 (Statutes of the Realm iii, 492).

  2. I Elizabeth, cap. 2 (Statutes of the Realm iv, pt. i, 355).

  3. Charles Gore, Roman Catholic Claims, London, Longmans, Green and Co., (4th ed.), 1892, xxii-184 p.

  4. Ibid., p. 42.

  5. This same concept of the papacy was also held by the modern Anglican scholar R.P.C. Hanson. Cf. R.P.C. Hanson, “A Modern Defense of Infallibility,” Theology, Vol. 57, 1954, p. 381.

  6. Gore, op. cit., p. 43.

  7. Ep. 30, 2, to the Council of Mileve, 27 January 417 (PL 33, 784): “Diligenter ergo et congrue apostolici consulitis honoris arcana (honoris, inquam, illius quem, praeter illa quae sunt extrinsecus, sollicitudo manet omnium Ecclesiarum super anxiis rebus, quae sit tenenda sententia, antiquae scilcet regulae formam secuti, quam toto semper ab orbe mecum nostis esse servaam. Verum haec missa facio; neque enim hoc vestram credo latere prudentiam: qui id enim actione firmastis, nisi scientes quod per omnes provincias de apostolico fonte petentibus responsa sempter emanent? praesertim quoties fidei ratio ventilatur, arbitror omnes fratres et coepiscopos nostros, nonnisi ad Petrum, id est, sui nominis et honoris auctorem referre debere, velut nunc retulit vestra Dilectio, quod per totum mundum possit omnibus Ecclesiis in commune prodesse.”

  8. Innocent, Ep. 29, to the Council of Carthage, 27 January 417 (PL 33, 780): “In requirendo de his rebus, quas omni cum sollicitudine decet a sacerdotibus, maximeque a vero justoque et catholico tractari concilio, antiquae traditioonis exemola servantes, et ecclesiasticae memores disciplinae, nostrae religionis vigorem non minus nunc in consulendo, quam antae cum pronuntiaretis, vera ratione firmastis, qui ad nostrum referendum approbastis esse judicium, scientes quid apostolicae Sedi, cum omnes hoc loco positi ipsum sequi desideremus apostolum, debeatur, a quo ipse episcopatus et tota auctoritas nominis hujus emersit. Quem sequentes, tam mala damnare novimus quam probare laudanda. Vel id vero quod patrum instituta sacerdotali custodientes officio non censetis esse calcanda, quod illis non humana, sed divina decrevere sentenia, ut quidquid quamvis in disjunctis remotisque provincilis ageretur, non prius ducerent finiendum nisi ad hujust Sedis notitiam perveniret: ut tota hujus auctoritate justa quae fuerit pronuntiatio firmaretur (…)

    Gratulor igitur, fratres charissimi (…) et per cunctas totius orbis Ecclesias omnibus una quod prosit decernendum esse deposcitis.”

  9. Gore, op. cit., p. 49

  10. Ibid., p. 49f

  11. Ibid., p. 50-52

  12. The First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, chapter 4, (Collectio Lacensis VII, 48): “Quocirca totius orbis antistites, nunc singuli, nunc in Synodis congregati, longam ecclesiarum con setudinem et antiquae regulae forman sequentes, ea praesertim pericula, quae in negotiis fidei emergebant, ad hanc Sedem Apostolicam retulerunt, ut ibi potissimum resarcirenur damna fidei, ubi fides non potest sentire defectum. Romani autem Pontifices, prout temporum et rerum conditio suadebat, nunc convocatis oecumenicis Conciliis aut explorata Ecclesiae per orbem dispersae sententis, nunc per Synodos particulares, nunc aliis, quae divina suppeditabat providentia, adhibitis auxiliis, ea tenenda definiverunt, quae sacris Scrituris et apostolicis traditionibus onsentanea, Deo adiutore, cognoverant. Neque enim PETRI succesoribus Spiritus Sanctus promissus est,ut eo revelante novam doctrinam patefacerent, sed ut, eo assistente, traditam per Apostolos revelationem seu fidei depositum sancte custodirent et fideliter exponerent. Quorum quidem apostolicam doctrinam omnes venerabiles Patres amplexi et sancti Doctores orthodoxi venerati atque secuti sunt.

  13. Gore, op. cit., p. 78.

  14. Introduction to the First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ (Collectio Lacensis VII, 482): “Quemadmodum igitur Apostolos, quos sibi de mundo elegeat, misit, et doctores usque ad consummationem saeculi esse voluit. Ut vero episcopatus ise unus et indivisus esset (…) beatum PETRUM ceteris Apostolis praeponens in ipso instituit (…).“

  15. John 20:23.

  16. Apocalypse 21:14.

  17. Gore, op. cit., p. 80-85. A similar view of Petrine authority was expressed by Gore’s contemporary George Salmon (1819-1904). Cf. George Salmon, The Infallibility of the Church, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1951, p. 337-342 (reprint of 2nd ed., 1890).

  18. Cf. Chrysostom, On Matthew, Homily 5, 2 (PG 58, 534).

  19. Cf. Origen, Commentary on Matthew, Book 12.11 (PG13, 997).

  20. Cf. Augustine, Retractiones, Book 1, Chapter 21,1 (PL 32, 618).

  21. Gore, op. cit., p. 86.

  22. On John, Homily 88, 1 (PG 59, 478): […] έ̉κκριτοςτω̃να̉ποστόλωνκαίστόματω̃νμαθητω̃νκαίκορυφήτου̃ χορου̃.

  23. Gore, op. cit., p. 88.

  24. Chrysostom, op. cit.: ̉Αμαδέκαίδεικνύςαυ̉τω̃, ότιχρήθαρρει̃νλοιπόν, ω̉ςτη̃ςα̉ρνήσεως ε̉ξεληλαμένης, ε̉γχειρίζεταιτήνπροστασίαντω̃να̉δελφω̃ν.

  25. 25. Ibid. […] λέγει δέ, ότι ̉Ει φιλει̃ς με, προϊστασο τω̃ν αδελφω̃ν.

  26. Gore, op. cit., p. 89. Cf. Cyprian, De Catholicae Ecclessiae Unitate 4 (CSEL 3, 212).

  27. Gore, op. cit., p. 90

  28. Ibid., p. 91.

  29. 29. Cyril of Alexandria, Ep. 11, 7, to Celestine, AD 430 (PG 77,86) : Ού πρότερον δέ τη̃ς πρός αυ̉τον κοινωνίας ε̉κβάλομεν ε̉αυτους μετά παρρησίας, πρίν άν ταυ̃τα τη̃ ση̃ θεοσεβεία α̉νακοινωσώμεθα. Διό δή καταξίωσον τυπω̃σαι το δοκου̃ν, καί πότερόν ποτε χρή κοινωνειν αυ̉τω̃, ή̉ λοιπόν α̉πειπει̃ν μετά παρρησίας, ό̉τι τοιαυ̃τα φρονου̃ντι καί διδάσκοντι ου̉δείς κοινωνει̃. Τόν δέ ε̉πί τούτοις σκοπόν τη̃ς ση̃ς θεοσεβείας χρή γενέσθαι διά γραμμάτων καταφανη̃ καί τοι̃ς ευ̉σεβεστάτοις καί θεοφιλεστάτοις ε̉πισκόποις τοι̃ς κατά Μακεδονίαν, καί ά̉πασι τοι̃ς κατά την ̉Ανατολήν. ̉Επιθυμουσι γάρ αυ̉τοις δώσομεν α̉φορμάς του̃ πάντας μια̃ ψυχη̃ και μια̃ γνώμη στη̃ναι, καί ε̉παγωνίσασθαι τη̃ ο̉ρθη̃ πίστει πολεμουμένη.

  30. Council of Sardica, To Julius 9 (PL 10, 639) “Hoc enim optimum et valde congruentissimum esse videbitur, si ad caput, id est ad Petri apostoli sedem, de singulis quibusque provinciis Domini referent sacerdotes.”

  31. Cyril of Alexandria, On the Holy Trinity, Dialogue 4 (PG 75, 865) : Ταύτη τοι, μεμακαρίσθαι θει̃ος ημίν έ̉φη λόγος των α̉γίων α̉ποστόλων τόν έ̉κκριτον Πέτρον. ̉Επειδή γάρ διεπυνθάνετο μέν ο Σωτήρ, περί τά μέρη Καισαρείας τη̃ς καλουμένης Φιλίππου, τό, τίνα δή ει̉ναι φασιν οι ά̉νθρωποι τον Υιόν του̃ α̉νθρώπου […] α̉νεκεκράγει, λέγων «Σύ ει ο Χριστός ο Υιός του̃ Θεου̃ του̃ ζω̃ντος,» καί της α̉ληθου̃ς ε̉π’αυ̉τω̃ διαλήψεως τήν α̉ντέκτισιν ου̉κ ει̉ς μακράν ε̉κομίζετο, Χριστου̃ λέγοντος· «Μακάριος ει […]» πέτραν, οι̉μαι, παρωνύμως, έτερον ου̉δέν, ή̉ τήν α̉κατάσειστον καί ε̉δραιοτάτην του̃ μαθητου̃ πίστιν α̉ποκαλω̃ν, ε̉φ’ η και α̉διαπτώτως ε̉ρήρεισταίτε καί διαπέπηγεν η ̉Εκκλησία Χριστου̃.

  32. Gore, op. cit., p. 96.

  33. Cyprian , Ep. 59, 14, to Cornelius, AD 252 (CSEL 3, 683): “ Post ista adhuc insuper pseudopeiscopo sibi ab haereticis constituto nauigare audent et ad Petri cathedram adque ad ecclesiam prncipalem unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est ab schismaticis et profanis litteras ferre nec cogitare eos esse Romanos quorum fides apostolo praedicante laudata est, ad quos perfidia habere non possit accessum.”

  34. Ep. 15, 2, to Pope Damasus, AD 375 (PL 22,355): “Ego nullum primum nisi Christum sequens beatiudini tuae, id est cathedrae Petri, communione consocior, super illam petram sedificatam ecclesiam scio, quicumque extra hanc domum agnum comederit, profanus est. si quis in Noe arca non fuerit, periet regnante diluuio.”

  35.   Cf. Hippolytus, Philosophumena, Book 9, 7. The text may be found in Paul Wendland’s Die Griechishen Christlichen Scriftsteller der Ersten Drei Jahrhunderte, Leipzig, 1916.

  36.     Gore, op. cit., p. 98.

  37.     Hippolytus, op. cit., Book 9,12.

  38.     Cf. Liberius, To The Eastern Presbyters and Bishops, A.D. 357 (PL 10, 689).

  39.     Cf. Athanansius, Historia Arianorum 35-42, A.D. 358 (PG 25, 733).

  40.     Gore, op. cit., p. 100.

  41. Athanasius, op. cit., p. 41: Ουτω μέν ουν καί τήν Ρωμαίων Εκκλησίαν καί κατά τήν αρχήν επεχείρησαν διαφθειραι, θελήσαντες εγκαταμίξαι καί εν αυτη τήν ασέβειαν ˙ ο δέ Λιβέριος, εξορισθείς, ύστερον μετά διετη χρόνον ώκλασε, καί φοβηθείς τόν απειλουμενον θάνατον, υπέγραψεν. Αλλα καί τουτο δείκνυσιν εκεινων μέν τήν βίαν, Λιβερίου δέ τό κατά της αιρέσεως μισος, καί τήν υπέρ Αθανασίου ψηφον, ότε τήν προαίρεσιν ειχεν ελευθέραν. Τά γάρ εκ βασάνων παρά τήν εξ αρχής γνώμην γιγνόμενα, ταυτα ου των φοβηθέντων, αλλά των βασανιζόντων εστί βουλήματα.

  42. Cf. Collectio Lacensis 484 sq.

  43. Gore, op. cit., p. 101

  44. Canon 28, Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451 (PL 67, 93) : Πανταχου̃ τοι̃ς τω̃ν αγίων πατέρων όροις επόμενοι, καί τόν α̉ρτίως α̉ναγνωσθέντα κανόνα τω̃ν εκατόν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλεστάτων ε̉πισκόπων τω̃ν συναχθέντων ε̉πι του̃ τη̃ς ευ̉σεβου̃ς μνήμης μεγάλου Θεοδοσίου του̃ γενομένου βασιλέως ε̉ν τη̃ βασιλίδι Κωνσταντινουπόλει νέα Ρώμη, γνωρίζοντες, τα αυτά καί ημει̃ς οριζόμεν τε καί ψηφιζόμεθα περί των πρεσβείων τη̃ς αγιωτάτης ε̉κκλησίας τη̃ς αυτη̃ς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως νέας Ρώμης. Καί γάρ τω̃ θρόνω τη̃ς πρεσβυτέρας Ρώμης, διά τό βασιλεύειν τήν πόλιν εκείνην, οι πατέρες ει̉κότως α̉ποδεδώκασι τα πρεσβει̃α· και τω̃ αυ̉τω̃ σκοπω̃ κινούμενοι οι εκατόν πεντήκοντα θεοφιλεστατοι ε̉πίσκοποι, τά ί̉σα πρεσβει̃α α̉πένειμαν τω̃ τη̃ς νέας Ρώμης αγιωτάτω θρόνω, ευ̉λόγως κρίναντες, τήν βασιλεία καί συγκλήτω τιμηθει̃σαν πόλιν, καί τω̃ν ί̉σων α̉πολαύουσαν πρεσβείων τη πρεσβυτέρα βασιλίδι Ρώμη, καί ε̉ν τοι̃ς ε̉κκλησιαστικοι̃ς ως ε̉κείνην μεγαλύνεσθαι πράγμασι, δευτέραν μετ’ ε̉κείνην υπάρχουσαν.

  45. Council of Chalcedon, To Leo, 1, 2, A.D. 451 (PL 54, 952): “1. Vocis beati Petri omnibus constitutus interpres, et ejus fidei beatificationem super omnes adducens. Unde et nos, quippe ut in choatore bonorum te ad utilitatem utentes, Ecclesiae filiis haereditatem sortemque veritatis ostendimus. 2. (…) Et post haec omnis, insuper et contr ipsum, cui vinae custodia a Salvatore commissa est, extendit insaniam, id est contra tuam quoque dicimus sanctitatem; et excommunicationem meditatus est contra te, qui corpus Ecclesiae unire festinas.“

  46. William Bright, The Roman See in the Early Church, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1896, x-490 p.

  47. Ibid., p. 8

  48. Ibid., p. 7r

  49. Ibid., p. 9.

  50. Ibid., p. 9f. Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3,3, A.D. 185 (PG 7, 848); Dionysius of Corinth, To the Romans, A.D. 171; In Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 2, 25, 8 (Loeb Classical Library 1, 182).

  51. Cf. The First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, chapter 2 (Collectio Lacensis VII, 483).

  52. Ibid.

  53. Bright, op. cit., p. 117.

  54. Ibid., p. 155 ff.; 1; 203-206

  55. Randall T. Davidson (ed.), The Five Lambeth Conferences, London, S.P.C.K., 1920, p. 187.

  56. Ibid., p. 272f.

  57. Ibid., p. 194

  58. Ibid., p. 248

  59. Ibid.

  60. Presumably this was a reference to the Pope’s Bull entitled Apostolicae Curae of the preceding year, 1896, in which Anglican Orders were found to be invalid. This, in turn, elicited a replay from the Archbishop of Canterbury and York in March 1897, which upheld the validity of Anglican Orders.

  61. Davidson, The Five Lambeth Conferences, p. 246.

  62. Ibid.

  63. Ibid., p. 246f. Cf. p. 159.

  64. Cf. “The Lambeth Conference of 1897,” in Church Quarterly Review, Vol. 45, No. 2, 1897, for a contemporary appraisal of the conference.

  65. Edward White Benson, Cyprian, His Life, His Times, His Work, London, Macmillan and Co. Ltd., 1897, xxxvii-636 p.

  66. Cf. A.J. Mason, “Edward White Benson,” in the Dictionary of National Biography, Suppl. i, 1901, p. 177.

  67. Benson, op. cit., p. 193.

  68. J. H. Newman, for example, as an Anglican in 1839, and R. E. Wallis in 1868 questioned the authenticity of the pro-papal passages.

  69. Benson, op. cit., p. 203.

  70. Ibid., p. 219f.; cf. p. 197-199.

  71. Ibid., p. 217, 220.

  72. Ibid., p. 203.

  73. De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate 4, A.D. 251 (PL 4, 498): “Loquitur Dominus ad Petram: Ego tibi dico, inquit, quia tu es Petrus; et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferorum non vincent eam. Et tibi dabo claves regui caelorum: et quae ligaveris super terram, erunt ligata et in caelis; et quaecumque solveris super terram, erunt soluta el in caelis. Et iterum eidem post resurrectionem suam dicit: Pasce oves meas. Super illum unum aedificat Ecclesiam suam, et illi pascedas mandat oves suas. Et quamvis Apostolis omnibus post resurrectionem suam parem potestatem tribuat et dicat, Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos: accipite Spiritum sanctum; si cujus rentiseritis peccata, remittentur illi, si cujus tenueritis, tenebuntur tamen, ut unitatem manifestaret, unam cathedram constituit, unitatis ejusdem originem ab uno incipientem sua auctoritate disposuit. Hoc erant utique et caeteri Apostoli quod fuit Petrus, pconsortio praediti et honoris et potestatis, sed exordium ab unitate proficiscitur, et primatus Petro datur, ut una Christi Ecclesia et cathedra una monstretur. Et pastores sunt omnes, et grex unus ostenditur, qui ab Apostolis omnibus unanimi consensione pascatur, ut Ecclesia Christi una monsiretur. Quam unam Ecclesiam etiam in Cantico canticorum Spiritus sanctus ex persona Domini designat et dicit: Una est columba mea, perfecta mea, una est matri suae, electa genitrici suae. Hanc Ecclesiae unitatem qui non tenet, tenere se fidem credit? Qui Ecclesiae renititur et resistit, qui cathedram Petri, super quem fundata est Ecclesia, deserit, in Ecclesia se esse confidit? quando et beatus apostolus Paulus (…).“

  74. Benson, op. cit., p. 203.

  75. Ibid., p. 193.

  76. Ibid., p. 192, 198.

  77. Ep. 59, 7 (CSEL 3,675): “Petrus tamen super quem aedificata ab eodem Domino fuerat ecclesia, unus pro omnibus loquens, et ecclesiae voce respondens ait, ‘Domine, ad quem imus?’”

  78. Ep. 59, 14 (CSEL 3,683): “(…) et ad Petri cathedram adque ad ecclesiam principalem unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est.”

  79. Ep. 59 (CSEL 3,671): “Neque enim aliunde haereses abortae sunt aut nata sunt schismata quam quano sacerdoti Dei non obtemperatur nec unus in ecclesia ad tempus sacerdos et ad tempus iudex uice Christi cogitatur: cui si secundum magisteria diuina obtemperaret fraternitas uniuersa, nemo aduersum sacerdotum collegium quicquam moueret (…).“

  80. Ep. 59, 14 (CSEL 3,683): “Post ista adhuc insuper psuedoepiscopo sibi ab haereticis constituto nauvigare audent et ad Petri cathedram adque ad ecclesiam principalem unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est ab schismaticis et profanis litteras ferre nec cogitare eos esse Romanos quoum fides apostolo praedicante laudata est, ad quos perfidia habere non possit accessum.”

  81. Cf. E.W Watson’s article in the Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 5, 1904, p. 433; and Trevor Jalland’s The Church and the Papacy, London, S.P.C.K., 1944, p. 163.

  82. De Habitu Virginum 10 (CSEL 3,194): “Petrus etiam cui oues suas Dominus pascedas tuendasque conmendat, super quem posuit et fundauit ecclesiam, aurum qui dem sibi esse et argentum negat.”

  83. Ep. 43,5 (CSEL 3,594): “Deus unus est et Christus unus et una ecclesia et cathedra una super Petrum Domini voce fundata.”

  84. Ep. 68,4 (CSEL 3,747): “Nam etsi pastores multi sumus, unum tamen gregem pascimus.”

  85. Ep. 55,8 (CSEL 3,629): “(…) coepiscoporum (…) quorum numerus uniuersus per totum mundum concordi unanimitate consensit.”

  86. Ep. 59,14 (CSEL 3,683): “(…) ad Petri cathedram adque ad ecclesiam principalem (…).”

  87. Cf. B.J. Kidd, A History or the Church to A.D. 461, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1922, Vol. 1, p. 458f.

  88. Cf. Maurice Bénevot, St. Cyprian’s De Unitate, London, 1937, p. 55-56.

  89. For a critical view of Bénevot’s theory, consult John L. Rossner’s article, “New Light on Cyprian,” Anglican Theological Review, Vol. 40, 1958, p. 214-219.

  90. F.W. Puller, S.S.J.E., The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome, London, Longmans, Green and Co. (3rd ed. rev.) 1900, xxxv-568 p.

  91. In praise of Puller’s book, I. Thomas wrote that, “The historical objections to the Roman claims set forth with remarkable acumen in Fr. Puller’s Primitive Saints and the See of Rome, and remain unanswerable.” Cf. Ivor Thomas, “A Logical Defect in Roman Claims,” Theology, Vol. 19, 1929, p. 210f.

  92. Puller, op. cit., p. 99.

  93. Ibid., p. 105f.; cf. Ephesians 2:19-20.

  94. Puller, op. cit., p. 108f.

  95. Ibid., p. 109.

  96. Ibid., p. 116.

  97. Cf. p. 146

  98. Ibid., p. 128.

  99. On Penitence, Homily 5, 2 (PG 49, 308): Μετά γάρ τό χαλεπόν ε̉κει̃νο πτω̃μα· α̉ρνήσεως γάρ ου̉δέν ί̉σον κακόν· α̉λλ’ ομως μετά τοσου̃τον κακόν πάλιν αυ̉τόν πρός την προτέραν ε̉πανήγαγε τιμήν, καί τήν ε̉πιστασίαν τη̃ς οικουμενικη̃ς ̉Εκκλησίας ε̉νεχείρισε· καί ο πάντων μει̃ζόν ε̉στιν, α̉πέδειξεν ημι̃ν αυ̉τόν πλει̃ω α̉ποστόλων α̉πάντων έ̉χοντα τήν ει̉ς τόν Δεσπότην α̉γάπην. Πέτρε γάρ, φησί, φιλει̃ς με πλει̃ον τούτων.

  100. On John, Homily 88, 1 (PG 59, 478) : Λέγει αυ̉τω̃· Βόσκε τά πρόβατά μου. Καί τί δήποτε, τούς ά̉λλους παραδραμών, τούτω περί τούτων διαλέγεται; ̉Έκκριτος η̉ν τω̃ν α̉ποστόλων, καί στόμα τω̃ν μαθητω̃ν, καί κορυφή του̃ χορου̃·διά του̃το καί Παυλος α̉νέβη τότε αυ̉τόν ιστορησαι παρά τους ά̉λλους […] ̉Εγχειρίζεται τήν προστασίαν τω̃ν α̉δελφω̃ν. Καί την μέν ά̉ρνησιν ου̉ προφέρει, ου̉δέ ο̉νειδίζει το γεγονός· λέγει δέ ότι ̉Ει φιλεις με, προϊστασο τω̃ν α̉δελφω̃ν […] ̉Ει δέ λέγοι τις πω̃ς ουν ο Ιάκωβος τόν θρόνον έ̉λαβε των Ιεροσολύμων;ε̉κει̃νο ά̉ν εί̉ποιμι, ότι τουτον ου̉ του̃ θρόνου, α̉λλά τη̃ς οι̉κουμένης […]

  101. Puller, op. cit., p. 406f.

  102. Cf. Ep. 59:5,14.

  103. Puller, op. cit., p. 95

  104. Darwell Stone, Outlines of Christian Dogma, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1900, p. 359

  105. Ibid., p. 144f.

  106. Missing

  107. Ursinus and Auxentius were Arians.

  108. Ep. 15,4 to Pope Damasus, A.D. 375 (PL 22,355): “Decernite, obsecro: si placet, non timebo tres hypostases dicere; si iubetis, condatur noua post Nicenam fides et similibus uerbis dum Arianis confiteamur orthodoxi (…). Iungatur cum beatitudine tua Ursinus, cum Ambrosio societur Auxentius. Absit hoc a Romana fide: sacrilegium tantum religiosa populorum corda non hauriant sufficiat nobis dicere unam substantiam, tres personas subsistentes perfectas, aequales, coaeternas; taceantur tres hypostases, si placet, et una teneatur non bonae suspicionis est, cum in eodem sensu uerba dissentiunt (…). Si rectum putatis, scribite tres hypostases cum interpretationibus suis debere nos dicere non negamus (…).

  109. Ibid., chapter 2: “Ego nullum primum nisi Christum sequens beatudini tuae, id est cathedrae Petri, communione consocior. Super illam petram aedificatem ecclesiam scio. Quicumque extra hanc domum agum comederit, profanus est. si quis in Noe arca non fuerit, periet regnante diluuo. “

  110. Cf. Ep. 11, to Celestine (PG 77, 80).

  111. Stone, op. cit., p. 141.

  112. Cf. The First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, chapter 4, Collectio Lacensis VII, 486.

  113. Ibid.: “Ea tenenda definiverunt, quae sacris Scripturis et apostolicis traditionibus consentanea (…) cognoverant.”

  114. Spencer Jones, England and the Holy See, An Essay Towards Reunion, Longdon, Longmans, Green and Co., 1902, xxx-264 p.

  115. Written by G.A.C. Whatton in the foreword of A.H Simmon’s reunion essay, To All That Be In Rome, Leeds, England, Frisby, Sons and Whipple (Printers) Ltd., 1965.

  116. Jones, op. cit., p. 101f

  117. Ibid., p. 102.

  118. Ibid., p. 103

  119. Cf. Matt. 27:37; Luke 8:45; 22:31-32.

  120. Cf. Matt. 14:28; 15:15; 16:17-19; Mark 9:5; John 22:15-17.

  121. Jones, op. cit., p. 110.

  122. Ibid., p. 107f.

  123. Genesis 17:5.

  124. Jones, op. cit., p. 129f. Cf. Ephesians 2:20.

  125. Jones op. cit., p. 132f.

  126. Missing

  127. Jones, op. cit., p. 136f

  128. Ibid., p. 137f

  129. Ibid., p. 139f

  130. Ibid., p. 142f

  131. Ibid., p. 143-145.

  132. PG 59,25; cf. supra 84f.

  133. Jones, op. cit., p. 160-166.

  134. Ibid., p. 116f. Cf. Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Book 5 (Loeb Classical Library 1, 502).

  135. Jones, op. cit., p. 159. Cf. Council of Chalcedon, To Leo 2 (PL 54,952).

  136. Jones op. cit., p. 169f.

  137. Ibid., p. 172.

  138. Ibid., p. 313f.

  139. Ibid., p. 314f.

  140. Ibid., p. 315f.

  141. Cf. John 16:13.

  142. Jones, op. cit., p. 316.

  143. Ibid., p. 317.

  144. Ibid., p. 423. Cf. Satis Cognitum (Acta Sanctae Sedis 28 (1895-1896)).

  145. Jones, op. cit., p. 172

  146. Ibid., p. 425.

  147. Davidson, The Five Lambeth Conferences, p. 294.

  148. The following patristic references are a sampling of the consentient patristic witness in this matter. Justin Martyr, Apologia 2,1 (PG 6,231): Didache 2, 1-2 (Kirsopp Lake, Apostolic Fathers, I, 311); Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, 2,10 (GCS 12,214); Jerome, Ep. 22,13 (PL 22, 692); John Chrysostom, Homilia in Matthaeum 28 (PG 57, 357); Augustine, De Conjugiis Adulterinis 2,12 (CSEL 41,396).

  149. Davidson, The Five Lambeth Conferences, p. 327.

  150. Ibid., p. 83.

  151. Ibid., p. 331.

  152. Ibid., p. 426.

  153. Ibid.

  154. Ibid.

  155. Ibid., Cf. “The Lambeth Conference,” Church Quarterly Review, Vol. 67, No. 2, 1908, p. 1-23, for a contemporary view of the conference.

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