July 30, 2007 by Raphael Masterjohn RMOrthodox@aol.com
ORTHODOXY vs THE PAPACY: THE FOUNDATION OF THE [ORTHODOX] CHURCH
Papal Dogma asserts that the Papacy is built upon Peter, and based upon these words of the Holy Bible:?Jesus asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say I am ? And they said, Some say John the Baptist, some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, But whom do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonas; for flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven,and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven? (Matthew 16: 16-19).
According to Papal propaganda, broadly circulated during the second millennium, Christ built His Church upon Simon who was renamed Peter (rock). As such Popes of Rome remain as Peter”s successors, having total authority over the Christian Church. Papal propaganda claims that this authority came from Christ who chose Peter above the other Disciples as the chief cornerstone on which He built is Church. The ideology that Peter is the rock upon which the Church of Jesus Christ is literally papal mythology. Peter in his epistle,denies emphatically, any ideology that Peter is the foundation of the Church. According to divine truths which are Orthodox doctrine, Peter is not the foundation of the Church. Peter testifies: ?If so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming as a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen and precious of God, you also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Whereby it is also written in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect and precious, and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded.Therefore, unto you that believe He is elect and precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient? (1 Peter 2: 3-8). St. Paul in the same spirit, testifies and establishes future Orthodox doctrine, saying: ?For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ? (1 Corinthians 3:11). Both Peter and Paul establish beyond all doubt, that Peter is not the foundation stone of the Church. These two Apostles tear apart and assign to Hades allthe lies and slander of the Papacy, and fortifies those who do not support Roman mythology of Peter?s succession. That Jesus Christ is the foundation stone is the confession of Peter, revealed to him by the Father:?You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.?Peter confirms this moreover saying: ?you also as living stones? (all who like Peter, confess Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, are allowed to enter the Church, be baptized and receive the grace of the Holy Spirit).
The Apostle Paul?s testimony did not declare that Christ had laid a foundation, as the Papists assert, butthat He alone is the foundation of the Church. He alone is the Truth that came down from heaven. These prophetic words of St. Paul contradict Papal claims. As wax before the fire so also will perish the Papacy. PETER contradicts the PAPAL claim as to Peter?s being THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH on the ROCKS of TRUTH. Peter denies emphatically that he is the ROCK Orthodoxy is not one of many churches, but is the Church against which the gates of Hades have not prevailed. Orthodoxy is the Body of Christ who is the revealed truth that came down from heaven. The descent and the preaching of Orthodox truth began on the day of Pentecost, and continues forth. All persons who confess ?You are the Christ, Son of the Living God?, become living stones in the edifice of the Church when they actuate their confession. Peter firmly supports Orthodox truths, and is a contradictory to the fictional foundation of the Papacy.?If it be so that you have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom coming as a living stone, disallowed indeed of men but chosen of God and precious, you also as living stones are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ Wherefore also it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded? (1 Peter 2:3-6) . The most perfect foundation that could be laid is the one who the Father has chosen and it cannot be Peter, for Peter says clearly ?he that believes in him shall not be confounded?. It is not faith in Peter that saves man, but faith and confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Lover of man. St. Peter, a faithful and zealous follower of Jesus Christ, eventually became a vessel of the divine grace. He became Christ-like, meek and humble, but not Pope-like, lusting after earthly power and dominion. Peter?s fiery zeal for Christ motivated his offensive actions, always seeking to protect Christ and the truths of our Faith. At first, his zeal caused him setbacks such as his denial. After Pentecost, Peter and the other Apostles, empowered by the Holy Spirit,preached the Gospel and strengthened the infantile Church. Courageously the Apostles went about proclaiming the exact same wonderful tidings of the salvation of mankind, by belief in Jesus Christ. Simon Peter did not seek dominion over all the other Apostles, nor did he distort the meaning of Christ?s words, by claiming he was given primacy or supreme authority. It is scripturally evident that Peter never conceived himself as having supremacy, lordship or infallibility, as apostate and pseudo-Christian Popes He readily accepted the opposition and correction of Paul when Paul sharply rebuked him for ?not walking according to the truth of the Gospel? (Gal. 2:11-14). Where is the primacy? Where is the dominion? Where is the infallibility?
Whoever adores the Pope-king as the vicar of Christ commits a double jeopardy. Firstly believing that Christ needs a vicar, which Christ never mentioned or would mention. Christ solemnly promised: ?Lo, I am with you even to the close of the age.? Secondly, error is death to our souls, for if we adore the enemy of Christ we forfeit the true Christ and our own salvation. Christ said: ?Upon this rock I will build my church.? There were not two churches and there are not two Christs. There is but one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. Also there are fishermen in both the Papacy and concerning this in Orthodoxy, we sing in the festive commemoration: ?Blessed are you O Christ our God,who made the fishermen become all-wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them You drew the whole world into your net, Lover of man, glory to you! (Pentecost troparion) The Papacy fishes to catch men in order to dupe them into worshiping a man in place of the God-Man. Orthodoxy fishes to bring men into the saving Orthodox Church, wherein dwells the Trinitarian God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, who live in immortality and grant eternal life to those who love Him. The papal claim to Peter?s supposed authority are not to be found in Holy Scripture as the Papacy propagandizes. The first epistle of Peter begins: ?Peter, an apostle of the Lord, to the strangers gathered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bythinia . . .? (1 Peter 1:1). ?The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ . . .? (1 Peter 5:1). Peter?s second Epistle begins the same way., without superiority or consciousness that he is the head of the Church. He ranks himself as one of many. ?Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them who have attained similar precious faith . . .? (2 Peter 1: 1). ?This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you, in which to stir up your remembrance, that you might be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior . . . ? (2Peter 3:1-2). The phrases: ?an apostle?, ?I also am an elder?, ?us apostles?, ?who am also an elder?, clearly show that Peter was not claiming superior authority over others, but an equality in agreement with Christ?s commands. PETER: ?I am an apostle? THE POPES: ?I alone am the chief and first apostle? * ?I am an elder? ? I am the chief elder and Holy Father? * ?us the apostles? ? Popes are above all apostles” * ? who am also an elder? ? Popes know nothing of Peter?s humility. * The Lord commanded that we become like Him, saying: ?Learn from me for I am meek and humble in My heart? (Matthew 11:29). Arrogance and haughtiness, pomp, self aggrandizement and superiority do not belong to the followers of Jesus Christ. The claim of infallibility could only be derived from these defects,for God alone is infallible. He is our only head and Lord and Master, and needs no vicar to replace Him, for: ?Lo I am with you to the close of the age? (Matthew 28:20 ), and ?But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things in remembrance which I have said to you? (John 14:25-26) Christ?s Church has survived the centuries just as he promised, not in the Papacy, not in Protestantism, but in the original Church which has changed nothing yet preserved everything. This is Holy Orthodoxy ? the true Faith headed by the Truth who came down from heaven and guided by the Holy Spirit for the salvation of our souls. We hold firmly to this saving and true Orthodox Faith, for it is Paradise and earth and within her you will find that she is the dwelling place of the Trinity, Father, on and Holy Spirit, to whom be all glory and dominion forever. * (From First Vatican Council of the Papacy) ?In order that the Episcopate also might be one and undivided, and that, by means of a closely united priesthood, the multitude of the faithful might be kept secure in the oneness of faith and communion, He set Blessed Peter over the rest of the Apostles . . . We therefore teach and declare that, according to the testimony of the Gospel, the primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God, was immediately and directly promised and given to Blessed Peter the Apostle by Christ the Lord . . . If any one, therefore, shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of the Apostles and the visible Head of the whole Church Militant, or that the same directly and immediately received from the same our Lord Jesus Christ a primacy of honor only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction, let him be anathema . . . If then, any should deny that it is by the institution of Christ the Lord, or by divine right, that Blessed Peter should have a perpetual line of successors in the Primacy over the Universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy, let him be anathema . . . Wherefore, resting on plain testimonies of the Sacred Scripture, and adhering to the plain and express decrees both of our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, and of the General Councils, We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, in virtue of which all the faithful of Christ must believe that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is true Vicar of Christ, and Head of the whole Church, and Father and Teacher of all Christians, and that full authority was given to him in Blessed Peter, to rule, feed, and govern the Universal Church by Jesus Christ our Lord; as is also contained in the acts of the General Councils and in the Sacred Canons . . .Hence we teach and declare that by the appointment of our Lord the Roman Church possess a superiority of ordinary authority over all the Churches, and that this authority of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, . . . all our bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also to those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world, so that the Church of Christ may be one flock under one supreme pastor through the preservation of unity both of communion and of profession of the same faith with the Roman Pontiff. This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and of salvation . . . We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed, that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in discharge of the office Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of the supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiffs are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church . . . But if any one ? which may God avert ? presumes to contradict this Our definition, let him be anathema.? From the decrees of the first Vatican Council in 1870. Decrees of Vatican Council on Faith and the Church, Central Office Chair of Unity Apostolate, Graymoor, Garrison, NY, 1958, with approval of Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York.
www.agioros.com ) Monk Prodromos Gregoriates ? Secretariat of the Sacred Community. Translation by: A. N. Article published in English on: 8-1-2007. Last update: 8-1-2007.