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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:58 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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p.falk wrote:
I thought to myself "why not just ask Eamon Duffy directly?"...
so I did.

Here are his responses:

Quote:
I’m very sorry my little book has caused you some uneasiness, but I don’t really think you need be concerned. You might find it helpful to look at the opening chapter of my larger full-scale history of the Popes, Saints and Sinners, which treats the issues you raise in more detail.

But if I can address your worries briefly: two issues seem clear enough: the new testament attributes a distinctive and primary role to the apostle Peter, which he received from Christ himself: and from the earliest point at which there is evidence, it was assumed in the early Christian world that in some sense or other, the apostolic authority of BOTH Peter and Paul inhered in the church at Rome: so by the third and probably by the late second century, churches elsewhere in the mediterranean were referring problems and seeking guidance from the Church at Rome, and deferring (if not absolutely!) to its authority. By the third century, that assumption of apostolic authority had become the subject of overt theological reflection and debate, and at that point bible texts, including “Thou art Peter....” get cited in its favour. The fact that those texts aren’t cited in the way familiar to modern RCs like you and me till then, doesn’t , so far as I can see, bring into question the validity of the Roman Church’s claims – after all, the doctrine of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit didn’t get defined till the 5th century , but we don’t for that reason doubt the truth of the doctrine. Theological reflection takes time to articulate the faith the Church had been practising before anyone got round to working out how you would justify or explain it.

As for the succession of popes, I think the key thing to grasp is that the inheritor of the Apostolic charism at Rome was the CHURCH at Rome: the early documents are all clear that it is the community as a whole which carries the weight of apostolic authority, though in practice that was inevitably exercised by and expressed through the leaders, in a hierarchic sense, of the Roman church. There must always have been some kind of leadership and oversight (which is what the word “bishop” means) after the age of the apostles, but for historical and sociological and ethnic reasons there were always a range of Christian communities at Rome, so that oversight, or episcopacy, seems to have been exercised at first through a number of presbyters, what we would now call a College, and only gradually focussed as everywhere else in the person of a single “monarchic” bishop, a process which seems to have been completed in Rome by about 160 or so, and which was probably slower to settle there than in many other christian communities, because Rome was so vast a place, and the churches reflected the social reality of the city, so full of ethnic and linguistic diversity as the greatest and most cosmopolitan city in the ancient world . I myself see no problem about taking that process of settlement, and the establishment of a single unitary authority over the various churches in the city – as a providential evolution, in continuity with the ministry of the Apostles, and I can’t see myself that this prevents us seeing the popes as the rightful inheritors of the Apostolic ministry. But the fact that it was the community, the Church of Rome, in the first instance, and only secondarily the individual bishops of that Church of Rome, who were understood as inheriting the Apostolic role, is a salutary check on some absolutist understandings of what the papacy is and how it should be exercised. You might like to look at the very fine (and short!) book on all this, just titled The Bishop of Rome, by the distinguished Dominican theologian, Jean Tillard (now, sadly, dead) .

I hope some of that is helpful to you
All good wishes
Eamon Duffy






Wow. Way to go. I'm impressed.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:00 am 
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I did respond to him, thanking him and informing him that I was going to post his reply here (gave the web address) but also stating that if he wished me to take it down I certainly would. I know, I probably should have asked first prior to posting - but, I really didn't know if my initial email to him would even be answered (certainly not as fast as he did reply).

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:04 am 
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p.falk wrote:
I did respond to him, thanking him and informing him that I was going to post his reply here (gave the web address) but also stating that if he wished me to take it down I certainly would. I know, I probably should have asked first prior to posting - but, I really didn't know if my initial email to him would even be answered (certainly not as fast as he did reply).



He appears a scholar and a gentleman. I've always read him with profit, and much agreement.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Since the author himself answered you, my thought may or may not be relevant, but my first thought about a clearly defined papacy, is that for the first three hundred years of the church, they were busy just trying to stay alive. Also, unless or until the papal authority was challenged, there would have been no need to define the role. If everyone accepts the heirarchy, why say anything?

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Thank you for the reply, Anawim.

It's a good point because that is pretty much how most doctrine get developed. My evangelical friends will say "Marian devotion? Some me where it says that in the Bible".

By the same standard Christ's divinity was disputed among early Christians. It took two councils (I think) to hammer the point home.

I should have been more accepting to the fact that if Christ's divinity wasn't beyond reproach.... certainly the Papacy wouldn't be either.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:13 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Thank you for the reply, Anawim.

It's a good point because that is pretty much how most doctrine get developed. My evangelical friends will say "Marian devotion? Some me where it says that in the Bible".


You need to challenge their assumption that everything has to be spelled out in the Bible or you won't get anywhere. One very useful tactic is to point out how much of the stuff they take for granted isn't in the Bible. Where does the Bible speak of 'accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior?'

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:25 pm 
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Dang it, Doom!!
I was thinkin' you'd find it cool that Eamon Duffy actually responded.
But I's gets nuttin from ya!!

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:26 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Dang it, Doom!!
I was thinkin' you'd find it cool that Eamon Duffy actually responded.
But I's gets nuttin from ya!!

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It is very cool...

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:33 pm 
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No exaggeration:
I sent the email off at 8:00am (central... ahem, God's time) and I had a response by 8:30.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Pretty impressive....so would you say that his response eased your concerns, as far it goes?

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:41 pm 
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I'm feeling like I'm reading something that Fr. Raymond Brown would have written if he had been an historian.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
I'm feeling like I'm reading something that Fr. Raymond Brown would have written if he had been an historian.



Seriously dude, Duffy doesn't deny any of the teachings of the Church, and where the Church does not speak others should not presume to speak on her behalf. There is nothing that he said which is contrary to any of the teachings of the Church, he does not deny the primary of the Pope, his universal jurisdiction or his infallibility, and neither Ott nor any other source I consult says one iota about there being any strict guidelines what an historian can say about how the office of Pope developed. This is an area where the boundaries are not clearly marked or maybe even nonexistent and unless one explicitly denies a teaching of the Church (which Duffy does not) then a Catholic has an obligation to be assume that no heresy or error exists until it can be proved and to interpret a person's statement in a way that is consistent with Church teaching.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Since you got Mr. Duffy's reply, this may or may not be useful, but I picked up A Book of Essays by Monsignor Benson from the school library today, and in his essay "Infallibility and Tradition" he touches upon this subject in a most satisfactory way, though it isn't the focus of the whole essay.

However, I haven't the slightest idea how easy it may be to find it outside dusty academic libraries, and Mr. Duffy's explanation is similar to the late Monsignor's, so...

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:20 am 
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Eamon Duffy must be a great Irish historian.

His name is mentioned in the following PDF document, defending Pope Pius XII:

http://www.myfathershouse.com/pdf/Pope_ ... Vashem.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:24 am 
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Sinty wrote:
Since you got Mr. Duffy's reply, this may or may not be useful, but I picked up A Book of Essays by Monsignor Benson from the school library today, and in his essay "Infallibility and Tradition" he touches upon this subject in a most satisfactory way, though it isn't the focus of the whole essay.

However, I haven't the slightest idea how easy it may be to find it outside dusty academic libraries, and Mr. Duffy's explanation is similar to the late Monsignor's, so...

"Dr. Duffy," I'm pretty sure.

Monsignor Benson's book is online here.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Sinty wrote:
Since you got Mr. Duffy's reply, this may or may not be useful, but I picked up A Book of Essays by Monsignor Benson from the school library today, and in his essay "Infallibility and Tradition" he touches upon this subject in a most satisfactory way, though it isn't the focus of the whole essay.

However, I haven't the slightest idea how easy it may be to find it outside dusty academic libraries, and Mr. Duffy's explanation is similar to the late Monsignor's, so...

"Dr. Duffy," I'm pretty sure.


Oh, whoops. :oops:

Quote:
Monsignor Benson's book is online here.


Oh, will you look at that! Thanks for finding it; and if anyone feels like reading essays, I would recommend it, it's very interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Popes Who Shook the World
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:22 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Seriously dude, Duffy doesn't deny any of the teachings of the Church

I never claimed he did.

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