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The Papacy:

Its Historic Origin and Primitive Relations with the Eastern Churches

by Abbé Guettée

Source: http://reocities.com/heartland/5654/orthodox/essays.html
 

 
 
Teachings of Various Church Fathers.

Facts combine with doctrinal evidences to prove that the Papacy enjoyed no universal authority during the first three centuries of the Church; to prove that the bishops of Rome had in ecclesiastical affairs only such influence as was necessarily derived from the importance and dignity of their see; the only one in the West, which was generally recognized as apostolic.

Moreover, the Church of Rome was the mother of many other churches, over which she exercised a certain authority, as we learn from the sixth canon of the first œcumenical council held at Nicea a.d. 325.

There has been a great deal of discussion upon this famous canon, in which the Roman theologians have endeavoured to see an argument in favour of their opinions.

They have called in evidence all the manuscripts in order to find some that should favour their views; and they have, in fact, found some which serve them admirably, by reason of certain additions, which would be very satisfactory if they were only authentic. For instance: "Since, then, the holy synod has confirmed the primacy of the Apostolic See, which is what is due to the merit of St. Peter, who is the prince of the whole episcopate (literally, of the episcopal crown) and to the dignity of the city of Rome."

This is certainly a beautiful preamble for the sixth canon of Nicea; but it is unfortunate that the forger should betray himself, even by his style, We give it as a specimen of its kind: Cum igitur sedis apostolicæ primatum, sancti Petri meritum qui princeps est episcopalis coronæ et Romanæ dignitas civitatis, sacræ etiam synodi firmavit auctoritas. It is only necessary to have read two pages of the Ecclesiastical Remains of the Fourth Century, to discover at first sight the fraud, and be persuaded that this ambitious and uncouth verbiage is of a much later age. which cannot be antecedent to the date of the manuscript itself, namely, the middle ages. In a Roman manuscript, at the head of the sixth canon, we read: "The Roman Church always had the primacy." These words, which we might otherwise adopt; are copied from the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, and in no wise belong to those of Nicea any more than this other formula interpolated in another manuscript, "Let the Roman Church have the primacy forever." All these additions were unknown in the ninth century, since the author of the Fausses Décrétales, who was then living, and who would not have failed to profit by them, has given the canons of the early councils, according to Dionysius Exiguus. This learned man, who made his collection of the canons at Rome itself, died in the first half of the sixth century. According to Cassiodorus, he had a perfect acquaintance with Greek; his version, consequently, deserves entire confidence, and in it we find none of the preceding additions; but it is thus we find the sixth canon of the Nicene Council:

"Let the ancient custom be preserved, that exists in Egypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis, that the Bishop of Alexandria have authority in all these countries, since that has also passed into a custom for the Bishop of Rome. Let the churches at Antioch and in the other provinces preserve also their privileges. Now, it is very evident, that if any one be made bishop without the concurrence of the metropolitan, the great council declares that he may not be bishop," etc., etc.

The object of this canon was to defend the authority of the Bishop of Alexandria against the partisans of Meletius, Bishop of Lycopolis, who refused to recognize it in episcopal ordinations.

The object of the sixth canon, therefore, was merely to confirm the ancient customs respecting these ordinations, and, in general, the privileges consecrated by ancient usage. Now, according to an ancient custom, Rome enjoyed certain prerogatives that no one contested. The council makes use of this fact in order to confirm the similar prerogatives of Alexandria, Antioch, and other churches.

But what were the churches over which, according to custom, the Church of Rome exercised a right of supervision?

Ruffinus designates them Suburbicarian. This writer, who wrote his Ecclesiastical History in the fourth century, who was born at Aquileia and dwelt at Rome, must have known the extent of the jurisdiction of the Roman Church in his times. Now, what does he understand by the suburbicarian churches? It is known that from and after Constantine's reign, the Church was divided in dioceses and provinces like the empire itself. A diocese was then a union of several provinces, and a province was a section of a diocese. The words have changed their sense, and at this time an ecclesiastical province is composed of several dioceses. From this undeniable fact, we know the suburbicarian churches; they are those which existed in places of the same name in the fourth centurythese places being those that were dependent upon the diocese, or the prefecture of Romethat is to say, the ten provinces called "Sicilia, Corsica, Sardinia, Campania, Tuscia, Picenum Suburbicarium, Apulia cum Calabria, Bruttium, Samnium, Valeria." Northern Italy formed another diocese, of which Milan was the prefecture, and was not dependent upon Rome. The diocese of Rome did not call itself Italy, but the Roman Territory. This is why St. Athanasius St. Athanas. Ep. ad Solit. calls Milan the metropolis of Italy, and Rome the metropolis of the Roman Territory. In the fourth century, therefore, the jurisdiction of the Roman bishops extended only over southern Italy and the islands of Corsica, Sicily, and Sardinia.

When the Fathers of the Church speak of the see of Rome as the first of the West, they do not intend to speak of its universal jurisdiction, but of its greatness as the only apostolic episcopate of these countries.

The provinces which the Council of Nicea subjected to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Alexandria formed the diocese of Egypt, just as those subject to the Bishop of Rome formed the diocese of Rome. It makes a comparison between them that perfectly agrees with the commentary of Ruffinus. The sixth and seventh canons of the Council of Nicea may be considered as the legal origin of the patriarchates; the title was not yet in use, but the order was established. According to the principle admitted by the first general council, the number of patriarchs was not limited to four; we are even given to understand that beside the four great apostolic churches of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, there were others which enjoyed similar privileges. The bishops of these churches did not obtain the title of patriarch, but they enjoyed other titles that raised them above the simple metropolitans, such as exarch and primate.

In spite of the subterfuges of the Romish theologians, they cannot escape from two consequences of the sixth canon of the Council of Nicea:

1st. The council declared that the authority of the Bishop of Rome extended only over a limited district, like that of the Bishop of Alexandria.

2d. That this authority was only based upon usage.

Hence, it follows that this authority in the eyes of the council was not universal; that it was not of divine right. The ultramontane system, being entirely based upon the universal and divine character of the Papal authority, is diametrically opposed to the sixth canon of the Nicene Council.

Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the council, by invoking the Roman custom, in confirmation of that of Alexandria, recognized the legitimacy of the established usage, and rendered homage to the dignity of the Roman see; but we must add, that the prerogatives recognized in it were not those to which it has since laid claim.

The General Council of Constantinople, a.d. 381, which is the second œcumenical council, has well interpreted that of Nicea by its third canon, "Let the Bishop of Constantinople have the primacy of honour (priores honoris partes) after the Bishop of Rome, because Constantinople is the new Rome."

The Bishop of Rome was, therefore, regarded as the first in honour, because he was bishop of the capital of the empire. Byzantium having become the second capital, under the name of Constantinople, its bishop became entitled to be second in rank, according to the principle that had governed the Council of Nicea in the exterior constitution of the Church, and according to which the divisions of the empire were made the divisions of the Church.

The Œcumenical Council of Chalcedon, a.d. 451, which met a century after that of Constantinople, throws a new light upon this point, and thus expresses itself in the twenty-eighth canon:

"In all things following the decrees of the holy Fathers, and recognizing the canon just read by the one hundred and fifty bishops well-beloved of God, (third canon of the second council,) we decree and establish the same thing touching the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, the new Rome. Most justly did the Fathers grant privileges to the see of the ancient Rome, because she was the reigning (capital) city. Moved by the same motive, the one hundred and fifty bishops well-beloved of God, grant equal privileges to the most holy see of the new Rome, thinking, very properly, that the city that has the honour to be the seat of the empire and of the senate, should enjoy in ecclesiastical things the same privileges as Rome, the ancient queen city, since the former, although of later origin, has been raised and honoured as much as the latter." In consequence of this decree, the council subjected the dioceses of Pontus, of Asia, Asia Minor is understood, the ancient Metropolis of which was Ephesus. The part of Asia confided to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Antioch is called the East. and of Thrace, to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Constantinople.

The legates of Pope Leo I in the Council of Chalcedon opposed this canon. It was adopted, nevertheless; but the Fathers of the council addressed a respectful letter to Leo, in which, after alluding to the opposition of the legates, they add: "We therefore beg you to honour our judgment by your own decrees."

Romish theologians have claimed to see in this proceeding a proof that the Fathers of Chalcedon recognized in the Bishop of Rome a supreme authority over the decisions of the councils, which, they say, would be of no avail if not confirmed by him. But it is more just to see in this but an act of great propriety inspired by the love of peace and harmony. The council would of course desire that the West should be in concord with the East. The Bishop of Rome represented the West in the council, being the only bishop in the West possessing an apostolic see; again, his see was the first in honour in the universal Church, and evidently it was proper to entreat him to acquiesce in the decision of the council. He was not asked to confirm it, but by his own decrees to honour the judgment which had been rendered. If the confirmation of the Bishop of Rome had been necessary, would the decree of Chalcedon have been a judgment, a promulgated decision before that confirmation?

St. Leo did not understand the letter from the Council of Chalcedon as do our Romish theologians. He refusednot to confirm it by his authoritybut simply to admit it. "This decree shall never obtain our consent," he said. St. Leo, epis. liii. vet. edit.; lxxxiv. edit. Quesn. And why did he refuse his consent? Because the decree of Chalcedon took from the Bishop of Alexandria the second rank, and the third from the Bishop of Antioch, and was in so far forth contrary to the sixth canon of the Council of Nicea, and because the same decree prejudiced the rights of several primates or metropolitans. Ibid. In another letter addressed to the Emperor Marcianus, St. Leo, epis. liv. vet. edit.; lxxxviii. edit. Quesn. St. Leo reasoned in the same manner: "The Bishop of Constantinople, in spite of the glory of his church, cannot make it apostolic; he has no right to aggrandize it at the expense of churches whose privileges, established by canons of the holy Fathers and settled by the decrees of the venerable Council of Nicea, cannot be unsettled by perversity nor violated by innovation."

The Church of Rome has too well forgotten this principle of one of her greatest bishops.

In his letter to the Empress Pulcheria, St. Leo, epis. iv. vet. edit. St. Leo declares that he has "annulled the decree of Chalcedon by the authority of the blessed Apostle St. Peter." These words seem at first sight to mean that he claimed for himself a sovereign authority in the Church in the name of St. Peter; but upon a more careful and an unbiased examination of his letters and other writings, we are convinced that St. Leo only spoke as the bishop of an apostolic see, and that in this character he claimed the right, in the name of the apostles who had founded his church, and of the western countries which he represented, to resist any attempt on the part of the Eastern Church to decide, alone, matters of general interest to the whole Church.

The proof that he regarded matters in this light is that he does not claim for himself any personal authority of divine origin, descended to him from St. Peter, but that, on the contrary, he presents himself as defender of the canons, and looks upon the rights and reciprocal duties of the churches as having been established by the Fathers and fixed by the Council of Nicea. He does not pretend that his church has any exceptional rights, emanating from another source. But by ecclesiastical right, he is the first bishop of the Church; besides, he occupies the apostolic see of the West; in these characters he must interfere and prevent the ambition of one particular church from impairing rights that the cannons have accorded to other bishops, too feeble to resist, and from disturbing the peace of the whole Church. After carefully reading all that St. Leo has written against the canon of the Council of Chalcedon, it cannot be doubted what he really meant. He does not claim for himself the autocracy which Romish theologians make the ground-work of papal authority. In his letter to the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon, he only styles himself "guardian of the catholic faith and of the constitutions of the Fathers," and not chief and master of the Church by divine right. St. Leo, epis. lxi. vet. edit.; lxxx. edit. Quesn. He regarded the canon of the Council of Chalcedon as wrung from the members of that assembly by the influence of the Bishop of Constantinople, and he wrote to the Bishop of Antioch, St. Leo, epis. lxii. vet. edit; xcii. edit. Quesn. that he ought to consider that canon as null, inasmuch as it was contrary to the decrees of Nicea. "Now," he adds, "universal peace can only subsist upon the condition that the canons be respected."

Modern Popes would not have written thus, but would have substituted their personal authority for the language of the canons.

Anatolius of Constantinople wrote to St. Leo that he was wrong, in attributing the twenty-eighth canon of the Council of Chalcedon to his influence; that the Fathers of the council had enjoyed full liberty; and that as far as he himself was concerned, he did not care for the privileges that had been conferred upon him. Nevertheless, these privileges remained in spite of the opposition of the Bishop of Rome, and were recognized even in the West. Let us give one proof among a thousand. It is a letter from an illustrious Gallican bishopSt. Avitus, metropolitan Bishop of Vienneto John, Bishop of Constantinople. Works of St. Avitus, in the miscellaneous works of P. Sirmond. At the same time we can perceive in the struggles between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople respecting the canon of Chalcedon, the origin of the dissensions which afterward led to an entire rupture. In principle, Leo was right to defend the canons of Nicea; but he could not deny that one œcumenical council had the same rights as another that had preceded it; especially while it adhered to the spirit that had directed it. The Nicene Council, in consecrating the usage by which the Bishop of Rome was regarded as the first in honour in the Church, had in view not so much the apostolic origin of his see, as the splendour which he acquired from the importance of the city of Rome; for many other churches had an equally apostolic origin, and Antioch, as a church founded by St. Peter, had priority over Rome. Why, then, should not the Bishop of Constantinople have been received as second in rank, Constantinople having become the second capital of the empire; since the Bishop of Rome was first in rank, only because of its position as the first capital? It was well understood that the Council of Chalcedon had not been unfaithful to the spirit that had inspired that of Nicea; and that if it had somewhat changed the letter of its decrees, it had done so in obedience to the same motives that had directed the first œcumenical assembly. It sustained itself, moreover, upon the second œcumenical council, which, without giving to the Bishop of Constantinople any patriarchal jurisdiction, had, nevertheless, conferred upon him the title of second bishop of the universal Church, and that too without any opposition on the part of the Bishop of Rome, or any other Bishop in the West.

The twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon was the consequence of the third canon of Constantinople. It was the more necessary to give to a patriarch jurisdiction over the dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Thrace, that elections and consecrations occasioned in these dioceses perpetual struggles between the primates and the metropolitans. The Council of Nicea having sanctioned the privileges founded upon usage, every primate and metropolitan pretended to have some such rights.

It was thus the Bishop of Antioch endeavoured to stretch his jurisdiction over the isle of Cyprus; but from time immemorial this Church had governed herself by her bishops together with the metropolitan. The case was carried to the Œcumenical Council of Ephesus, which declared in favor of the Church of Cyprus. Its motive was, "that it was necessary to beware, lest under pretext of the priesthood the liberty be lost which Jesus Christ, the liberator of all men, has given to us, at the cost of his blood." St. Leo, Epis. xcii. Labbe, Collec. of Councils. Cabassut. Not. Eccl. p. 209.

This is why the metropolitans of Cyprus styled themselves as before ὐ (independent) and did not recognize the jurisdiction of any superior bishop. The Bishop of Jerusalem was likewise acephalous, or without chief, according to the seventh canon of the Nicene Council, and he retained the ancient honour of his see.

Thus Leo was right to pronounce in favour of respect for canons; but he was wrong in placing disciplinary canons in the same rank with dogmatic definitions. In fact, the first may be modified when grave reasons demand it, nay, should be modified, sometimes, in the letter, if it be desired to preserve them in spirit; while definitions of faith should never be modified as to the letter, much less as to the spirit.

The canons of the first œcumenical councils throw incontestably strong light upon the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome. They are the complement to each other. The twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon contains nothing less than the doctrine we defend, even though the opposition of the West, in the person of the Bishop of Rome, should strip it of its œcumenical character as certain theologians maintain; for it is well to notice that St. Leo did not protest against it as opposed to the divine and universal authority of the see of Rome, for which he only claimed an ecclesiastical primacy, but simply because it infringed upon the sixth canon of Nicea, in brining down the Bishop of Alexandria to the third rank of the episcopate, and the Bishop of Antioch to the fourth.

It is, therefore, incontestable that at that period the Bishop of Rome did not possess universal authority in the Church by divine right.

This is still more evident, from the part that the bishops of Rome took in the councils. One fact is certain, that they did not convoke the first four œcumenical councils, that they did not preside over them, that they did not confirm them.

We will prove this for each of the Councils.

Here is what Eusebius relates of the convocation, presidence, and confirmation of the First Œcumenical council of Nicea: Euseb. Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. v. et seq.

Constantine declared that he must prosecute to the utmost this war against the secret adversary who was disturbing the peace of the Church.

Resolved, therefore, to bring as it were a divine array against this enemy, he convoked a general council, and invited the speedy attendance of bishops from all quarters in letters expressive of the honorable estimation in which he held them. Nor was this merely the issuing of a bare command, but the Emperor's condescension contributed much to its being carried into effect: "For he allowed some the use of the public means of conveyance, while he afforded to others an ample supply of horses for their transport. The place, too, selected for the synod, the city of Nicea in Bithynia (which derived its name from Victory) was appropriate to the occasion. As soon, then, as the imperial injunction was generally made known, all with the utmost celerity hastened to obey it." . . . . . .  "The number of bishops exceeded two hundred and fifty, while that of the presbyters and deacons in their train, and the crowd of acolytes and other attendants was altogether beyond computation.

"Of these ministers of God some were very distinguished by wisdom and eloquence, others by the gravity of their lives and by patient fortitude of character, while others again united in themselves all these graces. There were among them men whose years demanded the tribute of respect and veneration. Others were younger, and in the prime of bodily and mental vigor; and some had but recently entered on the course of their ministry. For the maintenance of all a sumptuous provision was daily furnished by the Emperor's command.

"Now when the appointed day arrived on which the council met for the final solution of the question in dispute each member attended to deliver his judgment in the central building of the palace. On each side of the interior of this were many seats disposed in order, which were occupied by those who had been invited to attend, according to their rank. As soon, then, as the whole assembly had seated themselves with becoming gravity, a general silence prevailed in expectation of the Emperor's arrival. And first of all, three of his immediate family entered in succession, and others also preceded his approach, not of the soldiers or guards who usually accompanied him, but only friends, who avowed the faith of Christ. And now all rising at the signal which indicated the Emperor's entrance, at last he himself proceeded through the midst of the assembly like some heavenly messenger of God. . . . As soon as he had advanced to the upper end of the seats, at first he remained standing, and when a low chair of wrought gold had been set for him, he waited until the bishops had beckoned to him, and then sat down, and after him the whole assembly did the same.

"The bishop who occupied the chief place in the right division of the assembly then rose, and, addressing the Emperor, delivered a concise speech."

This account shows that it was the Emperor who convoked the council, and gave formal orders to that effect, and that he occupied the place of president in the assembly. Doubtless he had no ecclesiastical right to convoke this council; yet while the direct intervention of the emperors in the convocation of councils in the first centuries does not prove that they had any ecclesiastical rights, it proves, at least, that the Church did not then possess any central power that could call all the bishops together. Otherwise the Christian emperors would have addressed that authority, and every thing undertaken by them without that authority would have been null and void.

The bishop who occupied the highest place in the Nicene Council had only the first place on the right of the Emperor. Constantine was placed in the middle, at the end of the hall, and upon a separate seat. What bishop occupied the first place, Eusebius does not say; which leads one to think it was himself. The historian Socrates maintains, in fact, that it was really Eusebius, Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine. This bishopric was one of the most important of the East, and the first in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem.

In the commencement of his Life of Constantine, Eusebius thus expresses himself: "I myself have recently addressed eulogies to the victorious prince, seated in the assembly of God's ministers." If these words are not a demonstrative proof, they nevertheless give great probability to the statement of Socrates.

But whether it be Eusebius of Cæsarea, or Eustathius of Antioch, as Theodoret affirms, Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. Book I. ch. vii. or Alexander of Alexandria, as Niectas Nicet. Thesaur. fid orthodox, Book V. ch. vii. maintains, after Theodore of Mopsuestia, is of small account. Thus much is certain, that the envoys of the Roman Bishop did not preside. This is a fact admitted by all historians worthy of credence. We must come down to Gelasius of Cyzieus to learn that the Bishop of Rome presided at the Council of Nicea in the person of Hosius of Cordova, his deputy. In the first place, Hosius was not the delegate of the Bishop of Rome; he takes this title neither in the Acts of the Council nor elsewhere. The Bishop of Rome was only represented by the priests Vitus and Vincent, and not by Hosius. Thus, even if Hosius had presided over the Council, this fact would prove nothing in favour of the pretended authority. But it is certain that Hosius had not that honour, and that the ecclesiastical presidence of the assembly was in the Bishops of the great Sees of Alexandria, Antioch, and Cæsarea of Palestine, while the Emperor himself had the civil presidency.

After having heard the eulogies of the first bishop of the assembly, Constantine made an address in which he said that he had convoked all the bishops to labor for peace, and he entreated them to secure it to the Christian world. When he had finished, he invited the presidents of the council to speak. There were, therefore, several presidents. With this declaration before us of Eusebius, Euseb. Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. xiii. who was an eye-witnessa declaration that nothing contradictscan it reasonably be contended that the Council was presided over by the Bishop of Rome, in the person of Hosius his proxy? What fact can authorize such an assertion, diametrically opposed to the authoritative and positive testimony of Eusebius?

This learned historian has accurately traced the functions of Constantine. From the time the bishops took the floor, animated discussions arose. "The Emperor," continues Eusebius, Ibid. "gave patient audience to all alike and received every proposition with steadfast attention, and by occasionally assisting the argument of each party in turn, he gradually disposed even the most vehement disputants to a reconciliation. At the same time, by the affability of his address to all, and his use of the Greek language, (with which he was, not altogether unacquainted,) he appeared in a truly attractive and amiable light, persuading some, convincing others by his reasonings, praising those who spoke well, and urging all to unity of sentiment, until at last he succeeded in bringing them to one mind and judgment respecting every disputed question."

Constantine convoked the council and presided over it, These are two facts which no one in good faith can contest. A third fact, not less unquestionable, is that it was he who promulgated its decrees. To establish this, it is sufficient to translate the following passages of the letter that he addressed to all the bishops who had not attended the assembly, "in order," writes Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Bood III. ch. xvi. and xvii. "to assure them of what had been done." it is Eusebius himself who has preserved this letter for us:

"Constantinus Augustus to the Churches:
"Having had full proof in the general prosperity of the empire, how great the favour of God has been toward us, I have judged that it ought to be the first object of my endeavours, that unity of faith, sincerity of love, and community of feeling in regard to the worship of Almighty God, might be preserved among the highly favored multitude who compose the Catholic Church: and inasmuch as this object could not be effectually and certainly secured, unless all, or at least the greater number of the bishops were to meet together, and a discussion of all particulars relating to our most holy religion to take place; for this reason as numerous an assembly as possible has been convened, at which I myself was present, as one among yourselves, (and far be it from me to deny that which is my greatest joy, that I am your fellow-servant,) and every question received due and full examination, until that judgment which God, who sees all things, could approve, and which tended to unity and concord, was brought to light, so that no room was left for further discussion or controversy in relation to the faith."

After this preamble, which is of itself significant, Constantine publishes the decree of the Council, upon the celebration of Easter. He explains the reasons for it and recommends its observance. Before dismissing, the bishops, Constantine again addressed them, exhorting them to maintain peace among themselves. He particularly recommends "those in high places not to raise themselves above their inferiors in rank; for," he adds, "it belongs to God only to judge the virtue and superiority of each one." Euseb. Life of Constantine, Book III. ch. xxi. He gave them some further advice, and then permitted them to return to their churches. They all withdrew joyfully, ascribing to the intervention of the Emperor the peace that had been established between those who had differed in opinion.

In respect to the most serious question that had been discussed in the Councilthat of ArianismConstantine wrote of it to Egypt, where the discussion had birth, "confirming," writes Eusebius, "and sanctioning the decrees of the Council on this subject." Euseb. Life of Constantine, Book III. ch. xxiii.

Thus nothing is wanting in the intervention of Constantine at Nicea. It is he who convokes the Council, he who presides, and he who confirms the decrees. Eusebius, a contemporaneous historian, an eye-witness of the events, who took part in the Council, positively asserts it; while subsequent historians, all worthy of confidenceSocrates, Sozomen, and Theodoretbear witness to the fidelity of his recital.

Gelasius of Cyzicus, author of a romance founded upon the Council of Nicea, who lived in the fifth century, is the first, as we have said, to make mention of the Bishop of Rome in the convocation and presidency of the Council of Nicea. His mistake was propagated in the East, and the sixth general council in the seventh century did not protest against it when uttered in its presence. But it will be admitted that the erroneous assertion of a writer who entirely contradicts history and the clearest traditions, cannot be received as truth because a council held at a much later period did not protest against it, when, even had it been competent, it was not called to pronounce upon that question. It is not possible, then, honestly to oppose such proofs to the multiplied evidences of contemporaneous writers, and to that of the Council itself, which, in its letters, never speaks of the intervention of the Bishop of Rome.

It is certain that Constantine did not claim any ecclesiastical rights for himself; that he only presided at the Council in order to assure liberty of discussion, and that he left the decisions to episcopal judgment. But it is nevertheless true that he convoked the Council, that he presided, that he confirmed its decrees; that under him there were several bishops presidents; that the delegates of the Bishop of Rome did not preside; that Hosius, who the first signed the acts of the Council, was not the delegate of the Bishop of Rome, whatever Gelasius of Cyzicus may say, whose testimony is worth nothing, even by the avowal of the most learned of the Roman theologians. See the judgement given by the Jesuit Feller upon this historian: "A Greek author of the fifth century, who wrote the History of the Nicene Council, held in 325. This history is only a novel in the opinion of the best criticsat least, in many respects, he is at variance with the documents and relations most worthy of belief." Like a good Ultramontane, Feller affirms that Gelasius had excellent motives, and it is this which has made him embellish his history a little. Thus, according to Feller, Gelasius has lied, but his falsehoods are excusable because of his intentions, and because his motives were good. Feller was faithful to the spirit of his Company.

What now was the intervention of the Bishop of Rome in the second œcumenical council? Nothing.

The Council was convoked by the Emperor Theodosius, (a.d. 381,) who did not even ask the opinion of the Bishop of Rome. That Bishop, Damasus, did not even send legates to it, nor did any other western bishop take part in it. The Council was composed of one hundred and fifty members, among whom we distinguish such men as St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebaste, St. Amphilochius of Iconium, and St. Cyril of Jerusalem. It was presided over by St. Meletius of Antioch.

For a long time there had been a schism at Antioch. That city had two bishops, Meletius and Paulinus. The Bishop of Rome was in communion with the latter, and consequently regarded Meletius as schismatic, which nevertheless did not prevent his being regarded as a saint by the Western churches as well as those in the East. The second œcumenical council was therefore under the presidency of a bishop who was not in communion with Rome. Meletius died during the sitting of the council. Those who were well known for eloquence among the Fathers pronounced his eulogy. There remains only the discourse of St. Gregory of Nyssa. The faithful vied with each other in lavishing marks of their veneration for the holy Bishop of Antioch; he was regarded by all as a Saint, and when his body was transported to Antioch the journey was an uninterrupted ovation.

After the death of St. Meletius, St. Gregory Nazianzen presided. The assembly did not recognize Paulinus as the legitimate Bishop of Antioch, although he was in communion with the Bishop of Rome, and they paid no heed to a compromise, by the terms of which the survivor Meletius or Paulinus was to be recognized as bishop by all the Catholics. They accordingly chose St. Flavianus to succeed Meletius, and, excepting the partisans of Paulinus, the Church of Antioch supported this choice.

St. Gregory Nazianzen having, obtained permission to resign his see of Constantinople, was succeeded as president of the council, successively by Timothy of Alexandria and Nectarius of Constantinople. These presidents had no relations with the Bishop of Rome.

Nevertheless the council enacted important dogmatic decrees, and its decisions mingled with those of the Council of Nicea in the formula of the creed; moreover, it changed the order of the ecclesiastical hierarchy by giving to the Bishop of Constantinople the second place in the Church, and by placing after him the Bishops of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. It enacted besides a great number of disciplinary canons which were adopted by the whole Church. See the Acts of the Council in Father Labbe's Collection; Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret; the Works of St. Gregory of Nyssa and of St. Gregory Nazianzen, etc.

The year following the Council of Constantinople, the Emperor Gratianus assembled another at Rome. Paulinus of Antioch was there. He was there sustained in his opposition to St. Flavianus, who was nevertheless recognized as the legitimate bishop by the majority of the provinces that depended upon the patriarchate. The West had raised an outcry against the East, for having on decided important matters without the concurrence of the West. But aside from the legitimacy of Flavianus, all the other acts of the Council were now concurred in, and the Council of Constantinople was universally considered as œcumenical, although neither convoked, nor presided over, nor yet confirmed by the Bishop of Rome.

In view of such facts, what becomes of the pretensions of the Bishop of Rome to an absolute autocracy in the Church? He claims, to-day, that all jurisdiction comes from him, and here is a council presided by a holy bishop with whom Rome is not in communion promulgating dogmatic and the most important disciplinarian decrees; and this council is one of those which St. Gregory the Great revered as one of the four gospels. See Ecclesiastical Histories of Sozomen and of Theodoret; the Letters of St. Jerrome and of St. Ambrose; the Collection of the Councils by Labbe.

The third œcumenical council held at Ephesus (431) was convoked by the Emperor Theodosius II. and his colleague; both of them signed the letter of convocation addressed, as was customary, to the metropolitan of each province. "The troubles of the Church," they say, See Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria; Collection of the Councils, by Labbe. Eccl. Hist. of Socrates. "have made us think it indispensable to convoke the bishops of the whole world. In consequence, your Holiness will make arrangements to present yourself at Ephesus, at the Pentecost, and to bring with you such of the bishops as your Holiness may judge convenient," etc.

We read in the acts of the council that St. Cyril was the first, as occupying the place of Celestine, Bishop of Rome; but as Fleury remarks, Fleury, Eccl. Hist. Book XXV. ch xxxvii. "He might as well have presided by right of the dignity of his see." This reflection is quite just. Nevertheless, since the second œcumenical council had given the second place in the episcopate to the Bishop of Constantinople, Nestorius might have disputed the presidency of the assembly with his antagonist, Cyril. Cyril had, therefore, a good reason to come to an understanding with Celestine, Bishop of Rome, in order that the heretic they had assembled to condemn should not preside over them.

We can thus understand why the Bishop of Alexandria thought fit to appear at the council with the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome; but it would be wrong to conclude that he was the legate of that bishop, who was represented by two Western bishops and a Roman priest. In none of the acts of the council does Cyril mention his title of legate of the Bishop of Rome; and when the discussion was about him, he called to the chair not the delegates of the Roman Bishop, but the Bishop of Jerusalem, who was next to him in rank, since the Bishop of Antioch was not at the council.

After having read the Nicene Creed, a dogmatic letter was read from St. Cyril to Nestorius, and the bishops present adopted it as the expression of their faith. They next read a letter in which Nestorius set forth his doctrine: it was condemned. Juvenal of Jerusalem proposed to read the letter of the very holy Archbishop of Rome to Nestorius; then was read the third dogmatic letter of St. Cyril; this was the synodal letter with the twelve anathemas. It was declared that the doctrine of the Bishop of Rome and that of St. Cyril were agreeable to the Nicene Creed.

The testimony of the fathers in the East and West was then opposed to the errours of Nestorius. There was read a letter written by the Bishop of Carthage in the name of the African bishops, who could not be present at the council, and of whom St. Cyril was the delegate. That was approved. Finally the sentence was pronounced and signed by all the bishops. St. Cyril signed thus: "Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, I have subscribed, judging with the Council." The other bishops adopted the same form. It must be observed that St. Cyril did not sign as representative of the Bishop of Rome. If he had consented to use the delegated powers of Celestine, it was simply to be prepared in case Nestorius should have wished to dispute his precedence. Consequently that delegation had not the importance that Romish theologians delight in ascribing to it.

The Bishop of Antioch had not arrived when the condemnation of Nestorius was pronounced. They pretended that Cyril was judge in his own cause, against the Bishop of Constantinople. The Emperor declared in favour of the latter, and his party claimed that the discussion should be reöpened. It was at this time that the Bishop of Rome sent three legates to represent him. They were bearers of a letter which commenced thus: "The assembly of the bishops manifests the presence of the Holy Spirit; for a council is holy and should be venerated, as representing a numerous assembly of Apostles. They were never abandoned by the Master whom they were ordained to preach. He taught by them, and told them what they should teach, and he declared that it was he who was heard through his apostles. This charge to teach has been transmitted to all the bishops alike, we all possess it by right of inheritance, we all who announce in the place of the apostles, the name of the Lord in divers countries of the world, according to his word: 'Go teach all nations.' You must observe, my brethren, we have received a general order, and that Jesus Christ willed we should all execute it in discharging this duty. We should all participate in the labors of those to whom we have all succeeded." A Pope writing thus to a council was very far removed from the theories of modern Papacy. Celestinus letter was approved by the assembly, which in its enthusiasm cried out, "Celestinus the new Paul! Cyril the new Paul! Celestinus, defender of the faith! Celestinus, who agrees with the council! The whole council renders thanks to Celestinus! Celestinus and Cyril are one! The faith of the council is one! It is that of the whole earth!"

Celestine and Cyril were put in the same category as defenders of the Catholic faith. Neither had any authority except through the conformity of their doctrine with that of the council Instead of considering Celestine as having inherited a universal authority from St. Peter, they compare him to St. Paul, the Doctor-Apostle.

The legates examined the Acts of the Council, and declared that they regarded them as canonical, "since," they said, "the Bishops of the East and West have taken part in the council, in person or by proxy." It was not, then, because the Bishop of Rome had directed or confirmed it.

The council, in its synodical letter addressed to the Emperor, relies upon the adhesion of the Bishops of the West, of whom Pope Celestine was the interpreter, to prove that its sentence against Nestorius was canonical.

In view of these facts and this doctrine, it will be admitted that St. Cyril might have presided at the council without any mandate from the Pope; that if he rejoiced that he represented Celestine, it was only because he thereby took precedence of Nestorius, in spite of the canon of the Council of Constantinople, which gave to Nestorius the first rank after the Bishop of Rome; and that the three deputies of the Pope did not go to Ephesus to direct the assembly or confirm it, but to convey the adhesion of the Western bishops assembled in council by Celestine.

It is false, therefore, to say that the Pope presided at the council by St. Cyril, who in such case would have been his legate. It is one thing to yield for a particular reason the honours attached by the Church to the title of first bishop, and quite another to delegate the right to preside at an œcumenical council. The position of legate of the Bishop of Rome did not carry with it the right to preside, as we see in councils where the deputies of that bishop were present, but did not preside. The prerogatives of first bishop delegated to St. Cyril, gave him precedence over Nestoriusin case that heretic had chosen to insist on presiding over the Council of Ephesus, by virtue of the third canon of the Council of Constantinople. The Romish theologians have, therefore, grossly misunderstood the fact, of which they would make a weapon against the Catholic doctrine. They have not observed that even after the arrival of the legates of the Bishop of Rome at Ephesus, when St. Cyril did not preside at the council, it was Juvenal Bishop of Jerusalem, who had that honour. The Bishop of Antioch having taken sides with Nestorius, and not attending the assemblies, the right to preside fell upon the Bishop of Jerusalem; since, according to the hierarchy established by the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople, he was fifth in order. This fact alone is strong proof against the opinion that attributes to the Bishop of Rome the right to preside at councils either in person or by proxy. Had he been present, and if the council had had no reason for putting him on his trial, or excluding him, he would without doubt have presided, in virtue of his ecclesiastical title of first Bishop; but when he caused himself to be represented there, his deputies had no right to preside, and in fact never did preside. The Bishops of Rome themselves knew so well that they had not this right, that they oftenest delegated simple priests or deacons, who could not properly preside in a council of bishops.

The Acts of the Fourth Œcumenical Council, held at Chalcedon in 451, are not favourable to the Papal system, whatever may be said by Romish theologians.

The council was convoked by the Emperor Marcianus, All the documents to which we refer in this account, may be found in Labbe's Collection of the Councils. See also, the works of St. Leo. who gave notice of it to the Bishop of Rome, St. Leo. The Empress Pulcheria also wrote to him, and said that it had pleased the very pious Emperor, her husband, to assemble the Eastern bishops in council, in order to consider the necessities of the Catholic faith. She entreats him (the Bishop of Rome) to give his consent, in order that its decisions may be according to rule. It was, in, fact, just and necessary to demand the adhesion of the West, so that the council might be œcumenical. St. Leo replied that the doubts which had been raised concerning the orthodox faith made a council necessary; consequently, the Emperor Marcianus and Valentinian his colleague, addressed letters of convocation to all the bishops.

It must be remarked that St. Leo only consented to the convocation of the council He, therefore, believed neither in his right to convoke it, nor to terminate the discussions himself, by virtue of his authority. His letters to Marcianus, to Pulcheria, and to the Fathers of the council, leave no doubt of this.

This preliminary fact is of great importance.

Leo had requested that the council should take place in Italy; but the Emperor refused this, and convoked it at Nicea and afterward Chalcedon. In nearly all its sessions the council recognizes having been convoked by the most pious Emperors, and never mentions the Bishop of Rome in this connection. A Roman council under Pope Gelasius, asserts that the Council of Chalcedon was assembled by the intervention of the Emperor Marcianus, and of Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople. The original conception was in fact theirs; yet, as St. Leo consented to it, his prerogatives as first bishop were allowed him, as they should have been. Consequently, he sent to Chalcedon his legates, who were, Boniface, one of his fellow-priests of the city of Romeas he says in several of his letters to MarcianusPaschasinus, Bishop of Sicily, Bishop Julian, and Lucentius.

"Let the brethren," said he, in his letter to the Fathers of the council, "believe that by them I preside in the council. I am present amongst you in the persons of my vicars. You know from ancient tradition what we believe; you cannot therefore doubt what we wish."

As this shows, St. Leo appeals to the old traditions, and leaves the council to judge all questions without interposing his pretended doctrinal authority.

But does he use the word preside in its strictest sense ?

If we attentively examine the Transactions of the Council, we see that the delegates of the Emperor occupied the first place; that the assembly had several presidents; that the legates of the Bishop of Rome and Anatolius of Constantinople acted simultaneously as ecclesiastical presidents. Such was the case in the twelfth session particularly; and accordingly a council of Sardinia says, in a letter addressed to the Emperor Leo: Int. act. Conc. Chalced. "The Council of Chalcedon was presided over by Leo, the very holy Archbishop of Rome, in the persons of his legates, and by the very holy and venerable Archbishop Anatolius."

Photius, in the seventh book of The Synods, designates as presidents of the Council Anatoliusthe legates of the Bishops of Rome, the Bishop of Antioch and the Bishop of Jerusalem. Cedrenus, Zonarius, and Nilus of Rhodes relate the same thing. Ced. Compend. Hist; Zonar. Annal.; Nil. Rhod. de Synod.

On the other hand, in the report addressed to St. Leo by the Fathers of the Council, we read that the assembly was presided over by the delegated officers of the Emperor. We must, therefore, admit that the Council of Chalcedon was held under the same conditions as that of Nicea; that the civil authority held the first place there; and that the bishops of sees since called patriarchal presided together. We have no difficulty after this in admitting that the Bishop of Rome occupied the first place among the bishops in the persons of his legates; but it is one thing to occupy the first place and another thing to preside, especially in the sense that Romish theologians give to this word.

It is an undeniable fact that the dogmatic letter addressed by St. Leo to the Fathers of the Council was there examined and approved for this reason: that it agreed with the doctrine of Celestine and Cyril, confirmed by the Council of Ephesus. When the two letters of St. Cyril were read, in the second session, the "most glorious judges" and all the assembly said: "Let there now be read the letter of Leo, most worthy in God, Archbishop of Royal and Ancient Rome." At the close of the reading the bishops exclaimed: "Such is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Apostles! We all believe thus! Anathema to those who do not thus believe ! Peter has spoken by Leo. Thus taught the Apostles. Leo teaches according to piety and truth; and thus has Cyril taught." Some of the bishops having raised doubts as to the doctrine contained in St. Leo's letter, it was determined that after five days, they should meet at the house of Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople in order to confer with him, and receive further explanations. If such a commission had been given to the legates of the Bishop of Rome, there is no doubt that the Romish theologians would draw numerous conclusions from it in favour of their system. But the legates were only called upon by Anatolius to explain certain Latin words that seemed obscure to those who doubted and who, after the explanation of the legates, gave their adherence with the others to Leo's letter. All that was done in this council in the matter of this letter proves, in the most evident manner, that it was not approved as coming from a bishop having authority, but rather because it agreed with traditional teachings. It suffices to glance through the Transactions, to find abundant evidence of this. Some Romish theologians can see nothing but these words, "Peter has spoken by Leo," as if that expression could have an Ultramontane sense, placed as it is in the midst of other exclamations, and taken with a host of other declarations, which give it only the meaning we have indicated.

As those honorary titles which are found in the Transactions of the Council, addressed to the Bishop of Rome, have been much abused, we must point out their true meaning.

St. Gregory the Great in his letters against the title of œcumenical bishop assumed by John the Faster, the Patriarch of Constantinople, teaches us that the Council of Chalcedon had offered this title to the Bishop of Rome. In fact we see, in the Transactions of the Council, that this title was given to him by his legates. The first of them subscribed to the profession of faith in the sixth session in these terms:

"Paschasinus, bishop, vicar of his Lordship Leo, Bishop of the universal church, of the city of Rome, president of the Synod. I have ordered consented, and signed." The other legates signed in about the same terms.

Again in the third session, the legates in speaking of St. Leo, said: "The holy and blessed Pope Leo, head of the universal Church, endowed with the dignity of the Apostle Peter, who is the foundation of the Church and the rock of faith," etc., etc.

In the fourth session, the legate Paschasinus gave also to Leo the title of Pope of the universal Church

The Fathers of the council saw in these expressions nothing more than an honorary title, which the Bishop of Rome, no doubt, desired the better to determine his superiority over the Bishop of Constantinople, whom the second œcumenical council had raised to the second rank, and who as bishop of the new capital of the empire must naturally gain a preponderant influence in the affairs of the Church, because of his frequent relations with the emperors. There is then every reason to believe that the council, in order to humour the jealousy of the Bishop of Rome, accorded to him the title of œcumenical bishop. It was one way of causing Rome to adopt the twenty-eighth canon, of which we have already spoken, and in which was developed that of the second œcumenical council, concerning the elevation of the Bishop of Constantinople to the second rank in the episcopate. But the Bishops of Rome, if we are to believe St. Gregory, their successor, regarded this title as illegal.

In view of such a decision by the popes themselves, can much importance be attached to the words of the legates, and is it fair to use them as proofs of an authority, of which the expression alone was condemned at Rome? Let us observe, moreover, that the council in offering a title to the Bishops of Rome, indirectly decided that they had no right to it in virtue of their dignity, and that they should never claim for this title any thing more than a purely ecclesiastical value.

As for the confirmation of the Acts of the Council, we must observe two things: that it was the council that confirmed the dogmatic letter of St. Leo, and that the Fathers only addressed him in order to ask his adherence and that of the Western Church. Leo refused to admit the twenty-eighth canon, as we have said; yet that did not prevent its being universally admitted in the West no less than in the East.

Thus the Bishop of Rome did not convoke the Council of Chalcedon; he did not preside alone by his deputies, who only bad the first place because he was the first bishop in virtue of the canons; be did not confirm the council; and the honorary titles conferred upon him prove nothing in favour of the universal and sovereign authority that is sought to be ascribed to the Papacy.

The accounts we have given can leave no doubt as to the view which was universally taken of the authority of the Bishops of Rome in the fourth and fifth centuries.

Yet, in order not to leave unanswered any of the assertions of the Romish theologians, we will proceed to examine the facts and texts in which they have sought proofs to support their system.

The principal events of the fourth and fifth centuries upon which they rely, are those relating to St. Athanasius, to the Donatists, and to St. John Chrysostom. Let us consult the positive and admitted data of history in relation to this subject.

One of the results of the sixth canon of Nicea bad been to give the first rank in the Church to the Bishop of Rome. Moreover, by reason of the circumstances in which the West was placed, he must be considered as its interpreter. Consequently, the following ecclesiastical rule Socrates, Hist. Eccl. Lib. II. c. xvii. became a usage: that he should always be invited to the oriental councils when they should assemble, and that they should decide nothing without having his opinion. This was a just rule; for the East, in itself, no more forms the universal Church than the West; and the Bishop of Rome represented the entire West at a period when these countries were overrun by barbarians, when the bishops could not leave their sees to go to the East, to testify in discussions in which their particular churches were not interested. This is the reason given by Sozomen. Sozom. Hist. Eccl. Lib. III. c. vi. "Neither the Bishop of the city of Rome," he says, "nor any other bishop of Italy, or of the more distant provinces, assembled at this council, (Antioch,) for the Franks were then ravaging Gaul."

Paul of Constantinople, and Athanasius of Alexandria, faithful to the faith of Nicea, being persecuted and condemned by some of the oriental bishops, sustained by the imperial power, naturally addressed themselves to the Western Church, appealing to the Bishop of Rome, who represented it. "The Bishop of the city of Rome," says Sozomen, Sozom. Hist. Eccl. Lib. III. c. vii. "and all the bishops of the West, regarded the deposition of the orthodox bishops as an insult to themselves; for, from the beginning, they had approved of the Nicene faith, and still continued of the same opinion. Hence, they graciously received Athanasius, who went to them, and they claimed the right to judge his cause. Eusebius (of Nicomedia) was much grieved at this, and wrote of it to Julius."

Eusebius of Nicomedia represented the Eastern Arians, and it was the Bishop of Rome who represented the Western bishops. That bishop was Julius. He assumed the defence of the persecuted bishops, sustained them against the Eastern bishops, and, using thus the prerogatives of his see, Socrates, Hist. Eccl. Lib, II. c. xv. recognized as legitimate bishops those whom the Arians had unjustly deposed. The latter assembled at Antioch, and addressed a letter to Julius, in which they sharply told him that it was no more his business to meddle with those whom they had expelled than it had been theirs to concern themselves with the affair of Novatus, whom he had driven from the Church. Sozomen Sozom. Lib. III. c. viii. gives further particulars of this letter. We learn from him that the oriental bishops said, "That the Church of Rome was glorious, because it had been the abode of the Apostles, and that from the beginning, she had been the metropolis of piety, although the teachers of the faith had come to her from the East. Yet it did not appear just to them, that they (the Eastern churches) should be regarded as inferior, because they were surpassed in number and in magnificence by a church to whom they were superior in virtue and courage."

Julius did not reply to them that he was chief of the Church by divine right, but he reminds them of the ecclesiastical rule already quoted, in virtue of which he had the right to be summoned and consulted. Sozomen adds, Sozom. Lib. III. c. viii. that "this prerogative, due to the dignity of his see, gave him the right to take care of all those who had appealed to him, seeking refuge from the persecutions of the Arian faction of the East, and that he should restore to each one his church."

The pretensions of the Bishop of Rome did not extend beyond an ecclesiastical prerogative. The Eastern bishops would not believe that Julius was the interpreter of the Western Church, as he claimed in the answer which he addressed to them. Letter of Julius to the Eastern Bishops, in the Apology of St. Athanasius, 26.

For this reason the bishops of that part of the Catholic Church were convoked, that they might decide between the Eastern bishops and the Bishop of Rome in the case of the persecuted bishopsespecially St. Athanasius. That was the object of the Council of Sardica, (a.d. 347.) Socrat. Hist. Eccl. Lib. I. c. xx.

This fact alone is sufficient to prove that the universal authority of the Bishop of Rome was not then recognized, and that his ecclesiastical prerogative was subordinate to the judgment of the council.

Julius wrote to the Council of Sardica, excusing himself from personally responding to the letter of convocation that had been addressed to him. He sent two priests and a deacon to represent him, and the assembly was presided over by Hosius, Bishop of Cordova.

The cause of Athanasius and that of the other bishops deposed in the East by the Arian faction, with the support of the imperial power, was examined. Their innocence and orthodoxy were established, and they were confirmed as legitimate bishops of their respective sees. A council assembled at Rome by Julius had already pronounced a similar sentence, but that had been found insufficient. Another council of the West, held at Milan, requested the Emperor Constans to make arrangement with his brother, who resided at Constantinople, to assemble the bishops of the two empires. It was then that the two emperors convoked the Council of Sardica, where the Eastern clergy were to meet the Western, and terminate the discussion. The Arian bishops, finding themselves in the minority, pleaded some technical objection for not attending the council, which held its sessions nevertheless, under the presidency of Hosius, Bishop of Cordova.

The Council of Sardica was neither convoked nor presided over by the Bishop of Rome. Nor was Hosius there as his legate, as some say, without being able to prove it; nor were his delegates treated with any particular honour.

In his letter, written to the Eastern bishops, in the name of the Roman council, Athanas. Apolog. 36. Julius had blamed them for having judged Athanasius and the other bishops, who adhered to the Nicene Creed, without regard to the custom which had obtained, of deciding nothing in the East, without referring to the Apostolic See of the West, "Are you ignorant," he said, "that it is the custom to write first to us?" Athanas. Apolog. 35.

The Council of Sardica strengthened that custom by its third canon, which was proposed in these terms by Hosius: "If two bishops of the same province have a discussion, neither of them shall choose as umpire a bishop of another province. If a bishop who has been condemned is so certain of his being right, that he is willing to be judged again in councillet us honor, if you find it well to do so, the memory of the Apostle St. Peter: let those who have examined the cause write to Julius, Bishop of Rome: if he think well that the case have a rehearing, let him designate the judges; if he think there be no necessity for reviewing, his decision shall be final."

This proposition was approved by the council, and the Bishop Gaudentius added, (canon 4th,) that during the appeal, no bishop should be appointed to the place of the one deposed, until the Bishop of Rome should judge the case.

The council (Can. 5th, Greek7th Latin) prescribed the practice of these appeals to Rome.

The Romish theologians exult in these canons. Yet it is only necessary to read them carefully to perceive that they are altogether contrary to that system. In fact, the council, far from recognizing in the Bishop of Rome an universal and divine authority, did not even sanction, in any general manner, the usage which had grown up of appealing to the Bishop of Rome as the representative of the West. It merely so decided for certain particular cases. Beside the bishops of the great sees, whom the Arians persecuted, and whose cause it was the province of the councils to judge, there were many less important bishops and priests in the East, whose causes the entire Church could not consider. See the letter of Julius to the Eastern Bishops in the Apology of St. Athanasius.

It is these bishops that the council refers, in the last resort, to Julius, Bishop of Rome. It does not refer them to the Bishop of Rome generally, but to Julius. Nor does it make this rule obligatory; the appeal is purely optional; and lastly, the council proposes to honour the memory of St. Peter by granting to a Bishop of Rome a prerogative which it considers new and exceptional. Is not such a decision tantamount to a formal declaration that the Pope had no legal rights, even in the decision of questions of discipline and the general government of the Church? If the council had believed that the Pope had any right whatever, would it have thought to do him so great an honour in granting him a temporary prerogative?

The council published its declarations in several synodical letters, Athan. Apolog. Adv. Arianos; Hillary of Poitiers, Fragments; Theodoret, Eccl. Hist. in which are examined in detail the cases of St. Athanasius and the other orthodox bishops persecuted by the Arians, and unjustly deprived by them of their sees.

The Romish theologians quote, with an especial pride, the synodal letter to the Bishop of Rome, in which the following language occurs:

"And thou, beloved brother, though absent in body, thou hast been with us in spirit, because of thy desire and the accord that is between us. The excuse thou hast given for not taking part in the council is a good one, and based on necessity; for the schismatic wolves might, during thine absence, have committed thefts and laid traps; the heretical dogs might have yelped, and, in their senseless rage, have effected mischief; finally, the infernal serpent might have diffused the venom of his blasphemies. It would have been well and very proper to convoke the bishops of all the provinces at the capital, that is to say, at the see of St. Peter; but you will learn from our letters all that has been done; and our brethren in the priesthood, Archidamus and Philoxenus, and our son Leo the deacon, will make all things known to you by word of mouth."

We have translated the word caput by capital, and we believe that such was the meaning of the council ; for it places it in contrast to the word province in the same phrase. It would have been well, according to the council, to hold the assembly as Julius desired, at Rome, for the double reason that Rome was the capital of the empire, and also the see of St. Peter.

The Romish theologians translate the word caput by that of chief; but they do not thereby help their cause; for this word signifies both head and first in hierarchical order. That the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church, as being first bishop and holding the highest see, we do not deny ; that he is the first in the hierarchical order established by the Church every one allows; what then is the use of translating illogically a text of the Council of Sardica, for the sake of propping up a system which it really can in no wise be made to favour?

While endeavouring to draw such great advantage from one word employed by the Council of Sardica, these theologians have kept out of sight the facts which clearly appear from the transactions of that holy assembly, namely, that it was convoked by the Emperors Constans and Constantiusas the council itself and all the historians affirm; that it was convoked in order to pass upon a decision rendered by the Pope, in a council at Rome; that Hosius presided, and not the legates; To establish this fact, it is only necessary to quote the first line of the signatures of the council: "Hosius of Spain, Julius of Rome, by the Priests Archidamus and Philoxenus," etc. St. Athan. Apolog. adv. Arian. 50. and finally, that, instead of being itself confirmed by the Pope, it was the council that confirmed the sentence of the Pope, and that granted him certain ecclesiastical privileges. St. Athanasius, Apol. adv. Arian., and History of the Arians for the monks. Eccl. Hists. of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. Acts of the Council in Father Labbe's Collection.

These incontrovertible facts are more significant than a mistranslated word can be in the question of Papal authority, and give to the appeal of St. Athanasius its true character.

Let us now examine the case of the Donatists.

It is not our purpose to explain in detail the causes of this schism, which so long afflicted the Church of Africa. From the numerous facts connected with it, we only intend to draw this conclusion, that both the schismatics and the Catholics recognized in the episcopate the only authority competent to decide the questions that divided the Church. Hence the numerous councils that were called on both sides, and which mutually condemned each other. Constantine, immediately upon his elevation to the throne, wrote to Cæcilianus, Bishop of Carthage, to offer him money and the protection of his lieutenants to enable him to bring the schismatics to order. The latter endeavored to justify themselves before the prince, claiming that the bishops who had condemned them were judges in their own cause, and praying the Emperor to allow them to be tried by bishops from Gaul, where he then was. He consented, and named as judges three of the most learned and distinguished bishops of the ageMaternus of Cologne, Rheticius of Autun, and Marinus of Arles. He sent them to Rome, to join with Miltiades, bishop of that city, and Mark, It is very generally admitted by the learned that Mark was an influential priest, who was Bishop of Rome after Sylvester. in hearing the conflicting depositions of Cæcilianus and his opponents. Eusebius has preserved the letter which Constantine wrote upon this occasion to the Bishop of Rome and to Mark. We will translate that letter, together with an extract from the petition of the Donatists to Constantine. These documents will determine the character of the appeal of the Donatists, and will prove that the Romish theologians are wrong in citing it in support of their opinions.

Here is, first, the extract preserved by St. Optatus. St. Optat. Book I. against Parmenianus.

"We beseech thee, O Constantine! most excellent emperor, thou that comest from a righteous family, (for thy father was not a persecutor like his colleagues; and Gaul is free from this crime,) The Donatists here refer to the crime of having given up the Holy Scriptures during the persecutions. since between us bishops in Africa there are dissensions, we beseech thee let thy piety give us judges who are of Gaul!"

In consequence of this petition, Constantine chose the three bishops we have mentioned, adding to their number the Bishop of Rome and Mark, to examine and give judgment in the case. Constantine writes thus to the two Roman judges: Euseb. Eccl. Hist. Book X. ch. v.

"Constantine Augustus, to Miltiades, Bishop of Rome and to Marcus. This Mark has been very troublesome to the Romish theologians. If he had not been named with the Bishop of Rome, it would have been far easier to have made of the latter a sovereign judge to whom the three Gallican bishops were added merely from motives of expediency, and to remove every pretext on which the Donatists could oppose the sentence. But the bare name of this Mark is sufficient to forbid that conclusion. Baronius was so thoroughly convinced of this, that he has tried to prove that there was in this place an errour of the copyist. He therefore proposes to replace the words ὶ ῳ by ἱῃ. There are many inconveniences attendant upon this, besides that of distorting Eusebius's text. The first is the word hierarch signifies bishop, and Miltiades is already called by Constantine Bishop of Rome. Why should he have given him twice the same qualification in the superscription of his letter? The second is, that the word ἱῃ, to mean bishop, was not yet in use, in the fourth century. All the learned oppose these reasons to Baronius, and call attention to the further fact that all the manuscripts clearly bear the words ὶ ῳ. Must a text be distorted and a bad word introduced in order to please the Romish theologians? The end will not justify the means. As many communications of this kind have been sent to me from Anulinus, the most illustrious proconsul of Africa, in which it is contained that Cæcilianus, the Bishop of Carthage, was accused in many respects by his colleagues in Africa, and is this appears to be grievous, that in those provinces which divine Providence has freely intrusted to my fidelity, and in which there is a vast population, the multitude are found inclining to deteriorate, and in a manner divided into two parties, and among others, that the bishops were at variance; I have resolved that the same Cæcilianus, together with ten bishops, who appear to accuse him, and ten others, whom he himself may consider necessary for his cause, shall sail to Rome. That you (ὑῶ) being present there, as also Reticius, Maternus, and Marinus, your colleagues, whom I have commanded to hasten to Rome for this purpose, he may be heard, as you may understand most consistent with the most sacred law. And, indeed, that you may have the most perfect knowledge of these matters, I have subjoined to my own epistle copies of the writings sent to me by Anulinus, and sent them to your aforesaid colleagues. In which your gravity will read and consider in what way the aforesaid cause may be most accurately investigated and justly decided, since it does not escape your diligence that I show such regard for the Holy Catholic Church, that I wish you, upon the whole, to leave no room for schism or division. May the power of the great God preserve you many years, most esteemed."

From the foregoing documents we must conclude, that the Donatists did not appeal to Rome, but to the Emperor; that they did not ask the arbitration of the Bishop of Rome, but of the Gallican bishops; that it was the Emperor who added of his own motion the Bishop of Rome and Mark to the three Gallican bishops whom he had chosen. Is there in all this the shadow of an argument in favour of the sovereign authority of the Bishop of Rome? Could the choice of the place seem important? Evidently not, for there is nothing peculiar in Constantine's choosing the city whither one could most easily go from both Africa and Gaul; and this choice explains why he added Miltiades and Mark to the judges asked for by the Donatists. It would have been very improper to send bishops to Rome to judge an ecclesiastical cause, without asking the intervention of those who were at the head of the Roman Church. It is thus easy to see why Constantine named Miltiades and Mark judges in the case of the Donatists, although their intervention had not been asked.

Fifteen other Italian bishops went to Rome for this affair. The council pronounced in favor of Cæcilianus. The Bishop of Rome having been of the council, the sentence would necessarily have been regarded as final if his sovereign authority had been recognized. Such was not the case.

The Donatists complained that the Gallican bishops whom they had asked for were too few in number at Rome, and demanded a more numerous council, in which their cause should be examined with more care.

Constantine convoked this council at Arles. He invited there a large number of bishops from different provinces of his empirethat is to say, of the West, for at this time he only possessed that part of the Roman empire. Eusebius has preserved Constantine's letter to the Bishop of Syracuse, inviting him to come to Arles. Euseb. loc. cit. Saint Opatus, Book I. Letters of St. Augustin, passim. Father Labee's Collect. of Gallican Councils in Sirmond. This letter is important as showing that the judgment at Rome was not considered final, and that it was the Emperor who convoked the Council of Arles. But the Fathers of the council themselves say so in their letter to Sylvester, Bishop of Rome, who had succeeded Miltiades. The Bishop of Rome sent thither as his legates, the priests Claudianus and Vitus, and the deacons Eugenius and Cyriacus. The council took place in 315, ten years before the great Council of Nicea. Marinus of Arles presided. After confirming the sentence of the Council of Rome, the bishops saw fit to make several ordinances, which they sent to Sylvester with this letter:

"Marinus, etc., etc., to the well-beloved Pope Sylvester, eternal life in the Lord.

"United by the bonds of mutual charity and in the unity of the Catholic Church, our mother, from the city of Arles, where our most pious emperor has caused us to meet, We salute you, most glorious father, with all the respect which is due to you.

"We have had to do with men both licentious and most dangerous to our law and tradition; but thanks to the power of God who is present in our midst, and to tradition and the rule of truth, they have been confounded, silenced, and rendered unable to carry out and prove their accusations; wherefore by the judgment of God and the Church, who knows her own, they have been condemned.

'Would to God, beloved brother, you had condescended to be present at this spectacle! We think that the sentence given against them would have been still more overwhelming, and, if you had given judgement with us, we would have experienced a still greater joy; but you could not leave those places where the apostles still preside, and where their blood renders a continual witness to the glory of God.

"Well-beloved brother, we have not thought it necessary to confine ourselves solely to the business for which we assembled, but have also considered the necessities of our respective provinces; and we send you our ordinances, that through you, who have the greatest authority, they may become universally known."

It is generally claimed in the West, that by these last words, the Council of Arles recognized the universal authority of the Bishop of Rome. But it is not sufficiently remembered that this council was held without any cooperation on the part of that bishop; that he did not preside; that in the letter of the Fathers, no mention is made of his authority, among, the motives that caused to condemn the Donatists; that they do not wait for his approbation for his approbation or confirmation in order to their disciplinarian ordinances ; that they merely apprize him of them, in order that, since in his position of bishop of an apostolic see he bad the greatest authority, he might make them known to all.

This only proves that the Bishop of Rome was recognized as the first in the West, because of the apostolic authority and of dignity of his see; that he was thus the natural medium between the West and the apostolic sees of the East. To find more than this in the words of the Council of Arles would be to distort them. It suffices to notice, that this council, convoked without the Bishop of Rome, acted independently, and that it confirmed a sentence of a council of Rome at which the Pope presided, to be convinced that the papal authority as received at this day in the West, was then unknown.

It thus appears that the Romish theologians are without a show of reason when they cite the appeal of the Donatists as favourable to papal pretensions.

Let us now examine the case of St. John Chrysostom:

This great Bishop of Constantinople drew upon himself the hatred of the Empress Eudoxia and of many bishops and other ecclesiastics, by his firmness in maintaining the rules of the purest discipline. The facts we are about to analyze all rest upon the authority of Palladius the historian, a desciple of St. John Chrysostom; the Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret; the works of St. John Chrysostom; and upon the official documents inserted either in the work of Baronius or in the Collection of Councils by Father Labbe. His enemies were supported by Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria. This bishop had condemned some poor monks as Origenists. They had come to Constantinople to seek for redress. The famous question of Origenism was thus revived. Chrysostom did not think it profitable to examine it. But Eudoxia, who busied herself with theological questions more than was becoming in a woman, took the part of the monks against Theophilus, who was accordingly commanded to appear at Constantinople. But before Theophilus arrived there, Chrysostom incurred the hatred of the Empress, and she determined upon using Theophilus to avenge her of that great man, who had not known how to yield a servile submission to her caprices.

It was not long before Theophilus, who had been summoned to Constantinople under accusation of guilt, bore himself as the judge of that innocent archbishop, who out of respect for the canons, had refused to judge him. He conspired with certain bishops who were courtiers; and he corrupted sundry ecclesiastics by money and promises. Sustained by the court, he, with thirty-five other bishops assembled in a place called The Oak, near Chalcedon, (a.d. 403.) These bishops were at once prosecutors, witnesses, and judges. They had not dared to assemble at Constantinople, where the broad light of day would have fallen upon their calumnies, and where they had cause to fear the faithful people who venerated their pastor. Of the thirty-five bishops, twenty-nine were of Egypt. While the enemies of Chrysostom assembled at The Oak, the faithful bishops, forty in number, had gathered around Chrysostom, at the call of the Emperor, to judge Theophilus. Chrysostom was conferring with these bishops, when two messengers from the pseudo-council of The Oak came to summon him to appear there. The holy bishop refused to recognize his enemies as judges. They nevertheless proceeded to depose him, and wrote to the Emperor Arcadius, that it was his duty to banish him and even to punish him for the crime of high treason, in having in his sermons insulted the Empress Eudoxia. This amounted to a demand for his death. The whole people rose against the conventicle of The Oak in favour of Chrysostom, who would not leave the city without being forced to do so. The Emperor then commanded one of his counts to expel him, using violence even, if necessary. The saint took advantage of a moment when his faithful children had somewhat relaxed their vigilance, to leave his house, and give himself up to the soldiers commissioned to arrest him. He was put in ward until evening, and was conveyed by night to the port. But in spite of these precautions, the people found out that their pastor was taken from them. A great crowd followed him weeping. Chrysostom was put on board of a ship, and hurried off before daylight, and he was landed on the, coast of Bithynia.

Such gross injustice gave universal umbrage. Several of the enemies of the saint repented of their calumnies; the people besieged the churches and filled them with their clamour. A dreadful earthquake at this time filled Eudoxia, the first cause of the crime, with terror. She attributed it to her injustice, and hastened to recall Chrysostom. The people received him in triumph, and his enemies hid themselves or fled. He asked a council before which to justify himself. Theopililus, afraid to face incorruptible judges, fled to Egypt. But Eudoxia, having recovered from her first fright, renewed her persecutions against Chrysostom, who, with apostolic freedom, preached against her numerous acts of injustice.

Theophilus was written to, to return, that the intrigues of the pseudo-council of The Oak might be carried out. But the Bishop of Alexandria contented himself by sending perfidious counsels from a distance. A new council was assembled; forty-two bishops pronounced in favour of the saint. The others, influenced by the court, accepted as legitimate his deposition by the pseudo-council of The Oak, and decided that Chrysostom, having, been deposed by a council, and having reässumed his see without having been reïnstated by another council, was guilty and deserved to be deposed.

Chrysostom, indeed, had asked for a council immediately after his return to Constantinople; the Emperor had granted it; but Eudoxia had given contrary orders, for she did not desire a regular council, but an assembly composed of the enemies of the saintly Archbishop. She carried her point, and caused Chrysostom to be condemned for not having been reïnstated by a council, when she herself had rendered that council impossible.

Renewed persecutions followed this unjust sentence. It was then that Chrysostom addressed himself to the West, represented by the bishops of the most important sees, to set before them the violence and injustice of which he had been the victim. The object of his letter was to warn the Western bishops against the calumnies that his enemies might perhaps already have published against him, and to entreat them not to take from him their charity and their communion. He addressed his letter to the Bishop of Rome, who was then (a.d. 404) Innocent Venerius of Milan, and to Chromatius of Aquileia. This fact, which is not denied, suffices to prove that he did not appeal to the Pope as a chief having authority over all the Church. He added in his letter, that he was disposed to defend himself, provided his adversaries would give him a fair trial; which is a further proof that he did not carry his case to Rome as to a superior tribunal. It was natural that the Bishop of Constantinople, persecuted in the East by unworthy bishops and by the imperial power, should look to the Western Church for assistance. The bishops who had declared for Chrysostom, as well as the people of Constantinople, wrote also to the Western Church; their letters were carried to Rome by four bishops and two deacons. They believed that Theophilus of Alexandria would endeavour to seduce the bishops of the West, and they were not mistaken. In fact, a messenger from Theophilus had arrived in Rome some days before the deputies from Constantinople, and had handed to Innocent a letter in which, without entering into any details, the Bishop of Alexandria said that he had deposed Chrysostom. Some time after, he sent to Rome the acts of the pseudo-council at The Oak. Innocent declared that he would remain in communion with Chrysostom and Theophilus until such time as a council composed of Eastern and Western bishops should pronounce canonically upon the case. He accordingly requested the Emperor of the West to come to an understanding with his brother Areadius, Emperor of the East, in order that this council might be assembled. Honorius did, in fact, write to this effect; but the court at Constantinople wished to be revenged upon Chrysostom, and not to have him regularly tried. The holy Archbishop, after suffering most unjust treatment, was accordingly again exiled. Arsacius was placed in his see, without the observance of the canonical forms. He died the following year, and was quite as uncanonically succeeded by Atticus.

These renewed persecutions did not cool the zeal of St. Chrysostom's friends. Several of them took refuge in Rome and brought to Innocent a letter from those of the clergy and people of Constantinople who remained faithful to their bishop. Innocent answered, consoling them and endeavouring to inspire them with the hope that God would soon deliver them by means of the œcumenical council which he was labouring to have assembled.

It was to a lawful council that Chrysostom and his friends had appealed; and Innocent, far from assuming the right to determine the affair by his own authority, placed all his hopes as well in the council.

These facts speak loudly, and need no comment.

Other bishops of the West were of the same opinion. The Bishop of Aquileia, in particular, joined his efforts to those of Innocent, in order to obtain from Honorius the convocation of a council in the West that should consult upon the means of terminating the affair that so justly engaged their thoughts. The Italian bishops assembled by order of Honorius and gave as their opinion, that an œcumenical council should be assembled at Thessalonica, whither the bishops of the East and West could go with equal facility; and that such a council was necessary in order to close the discussion by a final award.

They prayed him to write to this effect to Arcadius. Honorius wrote to ask Innocent to send him five bishops, two priests and one deacon, to carry the letter which he should write to his brother. It was the third that he wrote him on the same subject.

In view of the difficulties raised by Arcadius against the convocation of a council, this was certainly a proper occasion for the Pope of Rome to settle the question himself, in virtue of his sovereign authority, if he had possessed any. But neither Chrysostom nor his friends of the East, nor the bishops of the West, nor the Pope himself dreamed of this mode, to them unknown. They all were satisfied to ask of the emperors a council, which alone had the authority to give a final decision.

The deputies who bore the letter of Honorius were likewise intrusted with several other letters, from Innocent of Rome, from Chomatius of Aquileia from Venerius of Milan, and other bishops of Italy. Moreover, they were bearers of a note from the council of Italy, to the effect that Chrysostom should in the first place be reïnstated in his see and in communion with the Eastern bishops, before appearing at the œcumenical council, where his cause was to be decided.

Areadius did not even allow the deputies to land at Constantinople, but sent them to Thrace where they were treated as prisoners. The letters they carried were taken from them by force, and they were cast upon a rotten vessel to be returned to the West. Four Eastern bishops who had accompanied them were roughly handled and exiled to the most distant parts of the empire. Many Eastern bishops then became the victims of the most cruel treatment, and Areadius entered upon an organized persecution against all those who had remained faithful to Chrysostom.

Palladius relates that the Roman Church and the Western council resolved thereupon to communicate no longer with the partisans of Atticus and Theophilus, until it should please God to provide the means of assembling the œcumenical council. Theodoret also relates that the bishops of Europe acted thus. Some Eastern churches followed the same rule; but other churches, and that of Africa in particular, did not separate themselves from the communion of Chrysostom's adversaries, although taking the part of this holy patriarch, and hoping that justice would be done to him.

This was the state of things when St. John Chrysostom died. From his remote place of exile, a short time before he quitted this life, he had written to Innocent, thanking him for the zeal he had displayed in his cause. He wrote similar letters to the Bishop of Milan and other bishops who had openly declared for him.

The entire East rendered justice to the great Archbishop after his death, recognizing him as a saint, which recognition restored the communion between all the Eastern and Western churches.

Such is the exact analysis of facts relating to the affair of St. Chrysostom. It appears from it, that the saint did not appeal to Rome; that he sought in the Western Church a support against his enemies of the East; that the Western bishops only acted collectively to cause his case to be determined; that they only ascribed to a general council authority to pronounce final sentence; that they only claimed for themselves the right to separate themselves from the communion of such as they deemed accomplices of injustice; and lastly, that Innocent of Rome acted with no more authority in all these discussions than the Bishop of Milan or of Aquileia.

From these facts, is it not clear that the care of St. John Chrysostom, far from furnishing evidence in favour of the sovereign authority of the Papacy, proves precisely the contrary?

Some Romish theologians having asserted, in the face of all historical documents, that Chrysostom had appealed to Rome for the purpose of suspending the proceedings against him by the interposition of 'the papal authority, we will remark, that, according to St. Chrysostom himself, he addressed his protest, not only to the Bishop of Rome, but to other bishops. "I have also addressed this same letter," he says, "to Venerius, Bishop of Milan, and to Chromatius, Bishop of Aquileia."

Here is what he asks of his colleagues in the West; "I pray you, therefore, to write letters declaring null and void all that has been done against me, granting me inter-communion with you as in the past, since I am condemned without a bearing, and since I am ready to justify myself before any impartial tribunal."

What was the tribunal to which he appealed? The Bishop of Rome affirms that there was no other except a council; he expresses himself substantially to this effect in his letter to the clergy and people of Constantinople: "From the friendly letter that Germanus the priest and Cassianus the deacon have handed to me from you, I have gathered with an anxious mind the scene of woe you describe, and the afflictions and the trial that the faith has endured among you. This is an evil for which there is no other remedy than patience. . . . . I derive from the beginning of your affectionate epistle the consolation which I needed. . . . . . Innocent bishops are driven from their sees. John, our brother and colleague, and your bishop, has been the first to suffer from this violence, without having been heard, and without our knowing of what he is accused. . . . As regards the canons, we declare that only those made at the Council of Nicea should be recognized. . . . . Nevertheless, what remedy can be applied to so great an evil? There is no other than to convoke a council. . . . . Until we are able to obtain the convocation of a council, we cannot do better than to await from the will of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ the remedy of these evils. . . . . We are continually devising means to assemble a general council, where all dissensions may be set at rest at the command of God. Let us then wait, entrenched within the bulwark of patience."

We could multiply such texts; but to what purpose, when all the facts demonstrate the errour of these Romish writers?

We will now endeavour to learn, with the aid of doctrinal texts, what has been the teaching of the Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries respecting the authority of the Bishops of Rome.

After studying profoundly and critically, and without bias or prejudice the historical and dogmatic remains of the first centuries of the Church, we cannot read without pain the works of Romish theologians in favour of the papal authority.

We have had the patience to read most of those regarded as authorities, such as Bellarmin, Rocaberti, André Duval, Zaccaria, and many of the most renowned of the modern theologians who have taken these as their guidessuch as Gerdil, Perrone, Passaglia. We have read the principal works of the modern Gallicansthose, namely, of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuriesand particularly the works of Bossuet, Nicole, Tournely, and La Chambre. We are convinced that the latter have borrowed from the Ultramontanes those of their texts which appear to have the greatest weight, limiting the sense to a primacy of divine right and a restricted authority of the Pope, while the others extend it to an absolute authority and infallibility. Among them all, we have remarked, first, a crowd of broken and corrupted texts distorted from their true sense, and isolated from the context expressly to give them a false interpretation. We have remarked, secondly, that the texts of each particular Father are isolated from other texts of the same Father touching the same point of doctrine, although the last may modify or absolutely destroy the sense attributed to the first. We have remarked, thirdly, that these writers deduce from these texts, consequences clearly false, and which do not logically follow from them. Of this we shall give two examples, among the many we could point out.

Launoy, as we have already mentioned, has analyzed the Catholic tradition upon the interpretation of the text, "Thou art Peter," etc. He has found but seventeen Fathers or Doctors of the Church who have applied to St. Peter the word the stone, (la pierre;) he has pointed out more than forty of them, who have understood this expression as applied to the confession of faith made by St. Peter, that is to say, to the divinity of Jesus Christ. The Ultramontanes cannot dispute this, but they pretend that by giving the faith of Peter as the foundation of the Church, the Lord necessarily granted to that Apostle not only an indefectible faith, but also infallibility, and that these gifts have passed to his successors.

Now, all the Fathers of the Church, quoted for the latter interpretation, have meant by the confession of St. Peter, only the belief he had confessed, his objective faith, or the object of that faith, and not the subjective faith or the personal adherence that he had given to it. The belief confessed by St. Peter being the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Fathers quoted have interpreted the text, "Thou art Peter," etc., in this sense, that the divinity of Jesus Christ is the rock upon which the Church rests. All speak in the clearest terms to this effect. Not one of them speaks of any privilege whatever granted to St. Peter personallyand á fortiori, not of any privilege descended to the Bishops of Rome as his successors. Thus, even had St. Peter received any prerogative from Jesus Christ, it would be necessary to prove that this prerogative was not personal; but the Ultramontanes dispose of that difficulty with extreme facility. They simply affirm that the privileges granted to St. Peter belong to his successors; they rest these privileges upon texts which say nothing at all about them; they affirm, on the strength of these falsified texts, that the Bishops of Rome are the only successors of St. Peter, because that Apostle died Bishop of Rome.

What they say upon this last point is the second example that we shall give of their false reasoning. They rely chiefly upon St. Irenæus, Tertullian, and Eusebius to prove this.

Now, Eusebius expresses himself thus: "After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, Linus was the first that received the episcopate at Rome." Eccl. Hist. Book III. ch. 2 "Clement also, who was appointed the third Bishop of this Church, (Rome.)" Book III. ch. 4. "After Anencletus (or Cletus) had been Bishop of Rome twelve years he was succeeded by Clement." Book III. ch. 15. "After Euaristus had completed the eighth year as Bishop of Rome, he was succeeded in the episcopal office by Alexander, the fifth in succession from Peter and Paul." Book IV. ch. 1. Thus it makes no difference to Eusebius whether he places Paul before Peter, or Peter before Paul, when he speaks of the foundation of the Church of Rome. The bishops are the successors of the one as well as of the other, and neither of them is counted among the Bishops of Rome. St. Irenæus has nowhere said that Peter bad been Bishop of Rome; he even asserts the contrary in a most incontestable manner. He expresses himself in substance as follows: "The blessed Apostles, (Peter and Paul,) when they founded and organized the Church of Rome, gave to Linus the episcopate, and the care of governing that Church. . . . . Anencletus succeeded Linus; after Anencletus, Clement was the third, since the Apostles, who had charge of this episcopate." St. Iren. agt. the Heret. Book III ch. 8.

St. Peter and St. Paul founded and organized the Church of Rome, but it was Linus who was made the first Bishop, even during the life of the Apostles. Observe that Peter and Paul are here coordinated by the holy doctor. Thus if we prove the episcopate of St. Peter at Rome by the text quoted, we also prove that of St. Paul by the same text. Rome would then have had two Apostle-Bishops at one and the same time.

Tertullian mentions the Bishops of Rome in the same order as St. Irenæus, and designates Linus as the first, and Anencletus as the second. Tertull. agt. Marcion, Book IV. He only claims for Rome the succession of St. Peter, by ordination, from St. Clement, third bishop of that city. "Let those," he said, "who boast of dating back to apostolic times, show by the succession of their bishops, that they derive their origin from an Apostle or an apostolic man, as the Church of Smyrna proves that Polycarp was ordained by John, or as the Church of Rome shows that Clement was ordained by Peter." Tertullian de Prescription. chap. xxxii. We might infer from this, that Linus and Anencletus were ordained by St. Paul, who in that case, had organized the Roman Church before Peter.

When Tertullian says that St. Peter sat on the chair of Rome, he does not mean that he was Bishop, but that be taught there; for the word chair signifies nothing more than teaching in the writings of the Fathers. If he had meant otherwise, he would have made Linus the second bishop, not the first.

Thus the evidence brought by Romish theologians to prove the episcopate of St. Peter at Rome, tells against them, and only establishes the fact that St. Peter and St. Paul founded the Roman Church, and consequently that this Church is Apostolic in its origin, which no one denies. Besides these historical evidences which confound them, the Romish theologians have invoked the letter of Firmilianus, already quoted, and those few texts from St. Cyprian, the true meaning of which we have already explained. As regards the letter of Firmilianus, it is only necessary to read it, in order to understand its true sense, and to wonder that they should have ventured to appeal to its evidence. As to St. Cyprian, we will now in a general way sum up his doctrine, in order to make apparent the abuse that has been made of it.

St. Cyprian St. Cyp. de Unitat. Eccl. Letters 27, 55, 59, 75. proves: First, that the Church of Rome was built upon St. Peter as the type and representative of the unity of the Church; secondly, that the Church of Rome is the chair of Peter; thirdly, that the Church of Rome is the principal church from which sacerdotal unity proceeded; fourthly, that treachery and errour cannot gain access to the Roman Church.

From this, the Romish theologians argue that the Popes, as successors of St. Peter, are the centre of unity, and that beyond them and their Church, all is schism.

Such are not the legitimate conclusions from the doctrine of St. Cyprian; for the holy Doctor lays down other principles besides, which clearly determine the sense of the former ones: First, that St. Peter in confessing the divinity of Jesus Christ, answered for all the Apostles, and spoke in the name of them all, and not in his own name personally; secondly, that the other Apostles were equal to St. Peter in power and dignity; thirdly, that all the Bishops who are successors of the Apostles are successors of St. Peter, in the same way as those of Rome.

If St. Peter answered Jesus Christ in the name of his colleagues, it was because the question was addressed to them as well as to him. St. Cyprian positively asserts this: "Peter, upon whom the Lord had built the Church, speaking alone, for all, and answering by the voice of the Church." If the personality of that Apostle was not concerned in Christ's question and in Peter's answer, can it be said that his person is the foundation of the Church? It is evident that all the Apostles have been so many foundations of that mystical edifice; as Holy Scripture affirms very plainly, and as we have already endeavoured to show. Peter in replying alone, was, therefore, but the symbol of the unity which was to govern the Apostolic body, and afterward the episcopate. But in being the symbol or sign, was he necessarily the source and principle of it, so that without him it could not subsist? What if he were? Would the Bishop of Rome inherit this privilege? St. Cyprian was so far from this opinion, that he united with Firmilianus in rebuking Stephen, Bishop of Rome, for breaking this unity and putting himself outside of this unity, when he separated himself from the communion of those who differed with him in belief concerning rebaptism. The question is not whether Stephen was right or wrong, but what Cyprian thought of his opposition. Now so far from believing that unity with Stephen was necessary to unity with the Church, he affirmed that Stephen had separated himself from that unity. Can it be said after this, that Cyprian placed in the Bishop of Rome the source and principle of the unity of the Church? He did not even attribute that prerogative to the person of St. Peter. He saw in him only the symbol of that unity, which resided in the entire apostolate, as it was subsequently to reside in the episcopate, which is one; which episcopate in its unity, is the see of Peter. He fully develops that reflection in one of his letters. St. Cyp. 27th Letter. "Jesus Christ," he says, "in order to determine the honour due to a bishop, and all that concerns the government of the Church, speaks in the Gospel and says to Peter, 'I say to thee, thou, art Peter,' etc." Thus Christ does not confer upon Peter, by these words, a personal prerogative; he confers upon all the Apostles a power common to them all, and not only upon the Apostles, but upon all the Bishops their successors, who jointly and severally possess the episcopate, which is one, and which is thus the foundation of Church unity.

Is it consistent with this doctrine of St. Cyprian to affirm, as do the Romish theologians, that Christ gave to Peter a personal privilege, and that this exclusive privilege has passed to the Bishops of Rome?

The great principle that runs through the remarks of the Bishop of Carthage, is, that in the Church there is but one apostolic see; that is to say, as he himself explains it, but one legitimate episcopate transmitted from the Apostles; let this episcopate be attacked at Rome or elsewhere, it is an attack upon the unity and upon the apostolic see, which must remain one, as Christ has taught us by answering to one for all. It is this episcopate which is the chair of St. Peter. Therefore when Novatus would establish at Rome, side by side with the legitimate episcopate, another episcopate which does not come from the Apostles, this last episcopate is out of the unity of the apostolic seethe universal see, the unity of which is typified in Peter; he is therefore schismatic, as well as all others who would establish in any place whatsoever, an episcopate separate from the one which constitutes the apostolic inheritance.

Instead of thus comparing the several points of the doctrine of St. Cyprian upon the Church, the Romish theologians have only consented to notice some few words standing alone, such as see of Peter, source of unity, for the sake of applying them without reason to the particular church of Rome, while they might so easily have convinced themselves that the holy Father understood by these words nothing more than the apostolic Church, or the legitimate episcopacy in general. It is thus that he speaks of the lawful episcopate of Carthage as the see of Peter, as well as of that of Rome; St. Cyprian, 40th Letter. that he speaks of the early bishops of Rome, as the predecessors of himself, the Bishop of Carthage, which obviously means that he possessed the same legitimate episcopate that they had; St. Cyprian, 67th Letter. and accordingly, in the famous letter to Pope Cornelius, which has been so much abused by the Romans, because in it the holy Doctor calls the Church of Rome the principal church, from which sacerdotal unity proceeded St. Cyprian, 55th Letter. We have already explained these words. in this letter, St. Cyprian exclaims with indignation against a handful of unprincipled men, who sought an appeal to Rome, as if the bishops of Africa were not possessed of the same authority.

If, contrary to all evidence, we should accept the construction given by some Romish theologians to a few isolated words of St. Cyprian, we must conclude that the good Father was wanting in common-sense. For on the one hand he would make Peter the foundation and chief of the Church, while on the other he would teach that all the Apostles had the same honour and power as Peter; he would make the Bishop of Rome sole inheritor of St. Peter's prerogatives, while maintaining that all lawful bishops are his heirs in the like manner; he would teach that the episcopate is but one, possessed jointly and severally by all legitimate bishops and at the same time he would make the Roman episcopate a separate and superior authority; he would regard the Pope as the source of unity, and in the same breath reprove the Pope for seceding from unity; he would recognize a superior jurisdiction in the see of Rome, while he would call those men unprincipled who did not see in Africa the same episcopal authority as in Rome.

We have already seen that St. Cyprian blamed Pope Stephen for pretending to be bishop of bishops, which, according to his real teaching, was in fact monstrous; but he had taught the doctrine that Rome ascribes to him, he could not have blamed him, for it would have been legitimate.

Is it just, then, for the sake of favouring the papal system, to make of St. Cyprian a writer wanting in good sense and logic, and to isolate out of his writings a few words that may be interpreted in favour of this system, without noticing the rest?

We think it more proper to compare the several parts of the doctrine of one to whose genius and holiness all Christian ages have rendered homage. In this manner we find in his works a broad, logical, and catholic doctrine, but one opposed to the papal system. Whence it follows that the champions of the modern Papacy cannot rest upon his evidence, without falsifying his works, without insulting his memory, without denying by implication both his genius and his sincerity, which alone can give any authority to his words.

It follows from all this, that Rome cannot establish her pretended rights upon the testimony of either St. Irenæus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, Firmilianus, nor of Eusebius of Cæsarea, without resorting to such subterfuges as are unworthy of an honest cause.

Such is also their practice with respect to numerous testimonies that prove the falsity of their interpretation of the famous text, "Thou art Peter." The Fathers, who understand it to refer to the person of St. Peter, are the most ancient, say these theologians; they were nearer to the apostolic times, and understood the text better than those of later centuries. Upon that point they emphatically quote Tertullian, who, in fact, says: Tertul. De Prescriptions, cap. xxii. "Could any thing have been hidden from Peter, who was called the rock of the church which was to be built?"

At first sight, one might indeed think that Tertullian had applied the word rock (la pierre) to the person of Peter, but he explains himself in another of his works, where he says: Tertul. adv. Marc. Lib. IV. "If Christ changes the name of Simon to that of Peter, it is not only to signify the strength and firmness of his faith, for then he would have given him the name of such solid substances as are strengthened and made more durable by admixture and cohesion; but he gives him the name of Peter (the stone) because, in Scripture, the stone typifies and represents Christ, who is the stone of which we read that it is laid to be a stumbling-stone and rock of offence. Rom. 9:33. Since, then, he thus changes his name, it is to express the change he is going to make in the world, by transforming idolatrous nations into stones similar to him, and fit for the building of his Church."

With this explanation of Tertullian himself before us, where are the deductions that it is sought to draw from his first text?

And further, when we see Tertullian, in the work from which we have quoted, maintaining that in addressing Peter, Christ addressed all the Apostles; teaching, moreover, that the twelve Apostles were equal among themselves, like the twelve wells of Elim, the twelve precious stones of Aaron's breast-plate, and Joshua's twelve stones from Jordan; can it be said in good faith that he acknowledged in St. Peter any exceptional or superior prerogative? Above all, can he be said to have acknowledged these prerogatives in the Bishops of Rome?

One thing is certain, that the Fathers who seem to have understood the words "upon this rock" to apply to the person of St. Peter, really meant to apply it only to the object of his Faith, namely, Jesus Christ, the Man-God. We will give as an example St. Hilary of Poitiers.

This Father, in his commentary upon St. Matthew and upon the Psalms, applies to St. Peter the word rock of the Church, and regards him as its foundation. St. Hil. of Poit. Commentary upon the 16th chap. of St. Matt., and upon the 131st psalm, 4.

But in his work upon the Trinity he acknowledges that it is upon the rock of his confessionthat is to say, upon the divinity of Jesus Christthat the Church is built. St. Hil. of Poit. on the Trinity, Book VI. chap. 36. "There is," he adds, "but one unchangeable foundation St. Hil. of Poit. on the Trinity, Book II. chap. 23. that only rock confessed by the mouth of St. Peter, 'Thou art the Son of the living God.' Upon that are based as many arguments for the truth as perversity can suggest doubts, or infidelity calumnies."

It is evident that in this place the holy Father means only the object of St. Peter's confession of faiththat is, the divinity of Jesus Christ. If it should be claimed that he meant his subjective faiththat is to say, his adherenceand that the Bishops of Rome have inherited that unfailing faith, it suffices to recall the anathema of the same Father against Pope Liberius, who had grown weak in the confession of the divinity of Christ: "I say to thee anathema, O Liberius, to thee and to thine accomplices. I repeat, anathema. And again I say it to thee a third time; to thee, Liberius, then prevaricator." St. Hil. de Poit. Fragm.

According to St. Hilary of Poitiers, therefore, if St. Peter may be considered as the rock of the Church, it is only because of the confession of faith that be made in the name of the whole Apostolic College, and through the very object of that faith, which is the divinity of Christ. His doctrine thus agrees with that of Tertullian and the other Fathers, who have only in this sense applied to Peter himself the title of rock of the Church. If we add that this Father and the others nowhere imply that this title belongs to the Bishops of Rome, and further, that their teaching is even altogether opposed to that opinion, it will be admitted that it is only by a strange abuse of some of their words, taken alone and misconstrued, that the Romish theologians have sought to prop the papal authority upon their testimony.

St. Epiphanius taught the same doctrine as St. Hilary of Poitiers. Epiph. Hæres. 59. "Peter, prince of Apostles," he says, "has been for us as a solid stone, upon which the faith of the Lord rests as upon a foundation; upon which the Church has been in every way edified. It was chiefly because he confessed the Christ, Son of the living God, that it was said to him, 'Upon this rock of solid faith I will build my Church.'"

The Apostle Peter is not separated from the dogma he confessed; and it is this dogma itself which is the foundation of the Church.

We do not deny that St. Epiphanius called Peter prince of Apostles; but in what sense?

The Romans cite the following text in their favour: Epiph. Hæres. 51. "Andrew first met the Lord, because Peter was the younger. But subsequently when they had renounced every thing else, it was Peter who was first; he then takes precedence of his brother. Add to this that God knows the bent of all hearts, and knows who is worthy of the first place. It is for this reason that Peter was chosen to be prince of his disciples, as is very clearly declared."

Did St. Epiphanius mean by this, that Peter was the foundation and chief of the Church, or that the Church was founded upon the objective faith of that Apostle that is to say, the divinity of Christ, to which he had rendered homage? He answers for himself, as we have already seen.

"Upon Peter," he says, "the Church is built, because he confessed Christ as Son of the living God, and because it was said to him, Upon this rock of solid faith I will build my Church."

In the same place St. Epiphanius teaches that the words "feed my sheep" were not said by the Lord to commit to Peter the government of the Church, but to reinstate him in his apostolic dignity, which he had forfeited by denying Christ. "The Lord," he says, "called Peter again after his denial; and to efface the three denials, he calls upon him thrice to confess him."

Elsewhere Epiph. Hæres. 27. he makes St. Paul the equal of St. Peter at Rome, saying of them, "Peter and Paul, the first of all the Apostles, were equally Bishops of Rome." And he thus speaks of St. James of Jerusalem:

He (James) first received the see, (of Jerusalem;) it is to him first that the Lord intrusted his throne upon earth." Epiph. Hæres. 78.

It is clear that he did not believe that it was Peter who bad inherited the throne of the Lord in this world. He believed then that the primacy granted to St. Peter was a mere priority, as Pope Leo St. Leo, Sermon II., (III in Migne,) upon the anniversary of his elevation to the Pontificate. explains it in the following passage: "The disposition of the truth remains: and the blessed Peter has persevered in that strength of the rock which he had received, and has never abandoned the reins of the Church which had been confided to him; he received ordination before the others, in order that when he is called rock (Pierre) and foundation, . . . . we might know, by the mystery of these titles, what union exists between him and Christ."

This text proves that St. Leo saw in St. Peter nothing more than a priority of ordination. He believed that it was by his ordination uniting him to Christ that he was the rock (Pierre) and the foundation of the Church.

He understands the power of binding and loosing committed to Peter in an equally orthodox sense. "This power is confided to him," he says, St. Leo, Sermon III., (IV Migne.) "in a special manner, because the type (forma) of Peter is proposed to all the pastors of the Church. Therefore the privilege of Peter dwells wherever judgment is given with his equity." Hence he concludes that only that will be remitted or retained which might be so by a just sentence and one worthy of Peter.

It is difficult to understand how the Romish theologians have dared to quote the two preceding texts in support of the papal autocracy, so evident is it that St. Leo ascribes to St. Peter only a primacy, or rather a priority of ordination, and that instead of ascribing to the Bishop of Rome only, the power of Peter, be regards that Apostle only as the form or figure of the apostolic power, which is exercised in reality wherever it is exercised with equity.

And this also explains these other words of St. Leo: Ib.

"From the whole world is Peter chosen to lead the vocation of all peoples, all the Apostles, and all the Fathers of the Church; so that, though there are many priests and many pastors, nevertheless, Peter governs all those whom also Christ governs in chief.

"The divine condescension gave to this man a great and wondrous participation in His power; whenever He willed there should be something in common between him and the other princes, he never gave save through him what he did not deny to the others."

Such phrases that smack of panegyric should have their doctrinal interpretation according to the positive instruction which we find in the other texts of the same father.

St. Leo does not pretend that St. Peter's power, whatever it was, passed to the Bishops of Rome. His letter to the Council of Chalcedon proves this, as we have seen, sufficiently; and this power of the first Apostle did not make him master of the others; it has passed to all bishops who exercise it lawfully; Peter was only distinguished by the priority of his ordination.

Romish theologians have misused the eulogiums that St. Leo and other Fathers have addressed to St. Peter, in an oratorical way, without choosing to see that even literally understood, they do not constitute privileges transmissible to the Bishops of Rome, since none of these Fathers have recognized any in them; but no one who is familiar with the Fathers could take these eulogies literally. We will prove this by the works of St. John Chrysostom, whose writings have been most abused by the Ultramontanes, and whom they most prefer to quote in support of their system. They have accumulated texts to prove that the great Bishop of Constantinople gave to St. Peter the titles of first, of great apostle, of Coryphœus, of prince, of chief, and of mouth of the Apostles.

But if he has given the same titles to the other Apostles, what can we conclude in favour of St. Peter?

Now, in several places in his writings he says of all the Apostles, that they were the foundations, the columns, the chiefs, the doctors, the pilots, and the pastors of the Church.

He calls Peter and John in the same sense, princes of the Apostles. Upon St. Matthew, Homily 32. He says of Peter, James, and John collectively, that they were "first in dignity among the Apostles, the foundations of the Church, the first called, and princes of the disciples." Upon the First Chapter of Galatians.

If he says of St. Peter, "Peter so blotted out his denial, that he became the first of the Apostles, and that the entire universe was confided to him," Against the Jews. Eighth Discourse. he likewise says elsewhere of Peter and John, that the universe was confided to them; Upon St. John. Eighty-eighth Homily. he says of St Paul: "Angels often receive the mission of guarding the nations, but none of them ever governed the people confided to him as Paul governed the whole universe. . . . The Hebrew people were confided to Michael the Archangel, and to Paul were committed the earth, the sea, the inhabitants of all the universeeven the desert." Panegyric upon St. Paul. Second Homily. "In the kingdom of heaven," he says, "it is clear that no one will be before Paul." Upon St. Mathew. Sixty-fifth Homily. He further calls him the pilot of the Church, Sermon on the Twelve Apostles. vessel of election, the celestial trumpet, the leader of the spouse of Christ; that is, the Church. Homily upon the words, "May it please God that ye be patient awhile." In the following passage, he evidently places him above St. Peter: "In the place where the cherubim are covered with glory, and where the seraphim soar, there shall we see Paul with Peter, (Paul) who is the prince and president () of the choir of saints." Thirty-second Homily upon Epistle to Romans.

It is most important to observe that St. Chrysostom attributes an equal dignity to these two Apostles when he mentions both of them together. We will give some few examples.

In his second sermon on prayer, he tells us that prayer has such power that it "delivered from great perils both Peter and Paul, the columns of the Church and princes of the Apostles, the most glorious in heaven, the walls of the universe, and guardians of earth and sea." Upon Prayer. Second Discourse.

Speaking of the rebuke which Paul gave to Peter at Antioch, he says: "Is any one troubled to hear that Paul resisted Peter, that the columns of the Church came into collision and fell upon each other? For they are the columns that bear and sustain the roof of faith; and not only the columns, but also the shields and eyes of the body of the Church, the source and treasury of all good things; and if one should say of them all that could be imagined, he could not sufficiently describe their dignity." Homily on the words, "I withstood him to the face." Later he compares these Apostles to two coursers drawing together the chariot of the Church, adding, in allusion to his fall, that one of them, Peter, appears to halt. Ibid. He finally adds, "How, O Paul! didst thou, who wast so gentle and good with thy disciples, show thyself cruel, inhuman toward thy fellow-apostle," () Ibid. Is it possible to say more distinctly that Paul was equal with Peter in dignity?

We find the same truth in the following passage, which deserves very particular attention:

"Christ confided the Jews to Peter, and set Paul at the head of the Gentiles. I do not say this of myself, but we have Paul himself who says: 'For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. (Galat. 2:8.) For as a wise general () who, after having carefully estimated the capacities of each, gives to one the command of the cavalry, and to another that of the infantry, Christ also did certainly divide his army in two parts, and confided the Jews to Peter, and the Gentiles to Paul. The two divisions of the army are indeed several, but the general is one." Ibid.

Here, then, is the true doctrine of St. John Chrysostom: The Apostles were equal in dignity; Peter and Paul were alike first among them, the one for the Jews, the other for the Gentiles; Peter never received any exclusive supremacy over all Christendom; the only chief of the Church was, is, and ever shall be, Jesus Christ himself. Let us carefully observe these words of St. Chrysostom, "I do not say this of myself," which signifies: this is not a mere personal opinion; it is a truth which the Holy Ghost has taught us by the Apostle Paul.

St. John Chrysostom has not recognized in the Church any dignity superior to the apostolate in general.

Of all spiritual magistratures," says he, "the greatest is the apostolate. How do we know this? Because the apostle precedes all others. As the consul is the first of civil magistrates, so is the apostle the first of spiritual magistrates. St. Paul himself, when he enumerates these dignities, places at their head the prerogatives of the apostolate. What does he say? 'And God has set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers.' Do you observe the summit of these dignities? Do you mark that the apostle is at the apex of the hierarchyno one before, none above him. For he says: 'First, apostles.' And not only is the apostolate the first of all dignities, but also the root and foundation thereof." Homily upon the Utility of Reading Holy Scripture.

St. Chrysostom recognized no supremacy in the apostolate. Had he believed that Christ had set one of the Apostles above the rest to be his representative on earth and the visible chief of his Church, he certainly would have said so, for manifestly then or never was the time to speak of it.

We can now appreciate the audacity which the Romish theologians display in asserting that according to St. Chrysostom, the authority of Peter was the most fundamental and essential thing, in the organization of the hierarchy, which the Church has received from Christ. The great and holy Patriarch is his own defence against those who have falsified his doctrine, when he tells them that the apostolate belongs equally to all the Apostles. "That it is the first of all dignities, that the apostle is at the summit of the hierarchy, that none is before and none above him." The Romish theologians make the most capital of this passage on the election of St. Matthias: "Peter always speaks first, because he is full of zeal; because it is to him that Christ has committed the care of the flock; and because he is the first among the Apostles." A little further on, asking whether Peter would not, himself, have designated some one to take the place of Judas, be adds, "Without doubt he could have done this, but be refrained in order not to seem to do a favour to the one he would name."

In the first place, these expressions that "Peter always speaks first, because he is full of zeal and because he is first among the Apostles," are the best evidence that Chrysostom never meant to say, because he was the chief of the Church. And thus the third because, inserted between the other two, "because it is to him that Christ has committed the care of his flock," is no, longer susceptible of the meaning attached to it by the Romanists; unless one would make the good Father contradict himself, not only in this passage, but in all his writings. This is abundantly confirmed by the explanation that the great Patriarch gives of the words, "feed my lambs, feed my sheep," upon which our adversaries most rely when they claim that it was to Peter alone that these words were addressed, and that to him alone was confided the care of the flock. "This," writes St. Chrysostom, "was not said to the Apostles and bishops only, but also to each one of us, however humble, to whom has been committed the care of the flock." Upon St. Matthew, 77th homily. Thus, according to St. Chrysostom, these words were not said to Peter alone and only for him; they did not confer upon him the dignity of supreme pastor of the Apostles and the Church; but were addressed to all the Apostles in common, and to all bishops and pastors who are equally the successors of the Apostles. Moreover, St. Chrysostom perceived neither honour nor authority in these words, but an exhortation to zeal and carefulness. "Three times," be says, "the Lord questioned Peter, and three times he gave him this command, in order to show him how much care must be taken for the salvation of the sheep." Upon St. John, 88th homily.

St. Chrysostom himself has refuted the conclusions that the Romanists would draw from the remainder of the text.

"Behold," he says, "how Peter does all things by common consent, and decides nothing by his own authority and power. . . ." Upon the Acts of the Apostles, 8d hom.

"It was not Peter who presented them, (Matthias and Joseph,) but all, (the Apostles.) Thus Peter did nothing but give them counsel, showing moreover that it did not come from him, but had been announced of old in the prophecies, and thus he was the interpreter, but not the master." And again: "Remark the modesty of James, although he had received the Bishopric of Jerusalem, he says nothing on this occasion; consider also the great modesty of the other disciples, who, after unanimously giving the throne to James, no longer disputed among themselves. For that Church was, as it were, in heaven, having nothing of earthshining not by its walls or its marbles, but by the unanimous and pious fervour of its members." . . .

The Romish theologians quote the first part of this text, but carefully abstain from quoting the last; such, indeed, being their habit.

According to this Father, therefore, the Apostles acted by common consent; they chose together the candidates for the election; Peter did not speak as master, but as interpreter of the prophecies; James, who was the first in dignity, and the other Apostles, allowed him to speak alone because of their modesty, not because they did not possess the same power as he. If St. Chrysostom recognized a superior dignity in any of the Apostles, we should say it was in St. James of Jerusalem. In fact, beside the text already quoted, we find the following amongst his writings:

"Behold, after Peter it is Paul who speaks, and no man objects; James looks on and remains quiet, for the primacy had been committed to him. John and the other Apostles do not speak, but remain silent without the least vexation, because their soul was free from all vainglory. . . . After they (Barnabas and Paul) ceased speaking, James answered and said, 'Simeon hath declared how God, at the first, did visit the Gentiles.' . . . Peter's language had been more vehement; that of James is more moderate. It is thus those should always act who possess great power. He leaves severity for others, and reserves moderation for himself."

Again, where he analyzes the words of St. James, he reasons thus:

"What means, I judge? It means, I affirm, with authority, that the thing is thus. . . . James, therefore, decided the whole question." Upon the Acts of the Apostles, 33d hom.

This passage may not seem to the Romanists to prove the primacy of James, but it assuredly disproves that of Peterif by primacy we mean authority.

Romish theologians also quote St. Chrysostom upon the fall of St. Peter as follows:

"God permitted him to yield, because He meant to establish him prince of the entire universe; so that, remembering his own faults, he should pardon those who might fall."

We, have already seen that St. Chrysostom does not use this title of prince of the universe, in the sense that Rome struggles to give it; and without that interpretation, the passage quoted presents nothing further in favour of the papal theory. As to St. Chrysostom's opinion of Peter's fall, he himself explains it: Upon Chapter 1st of Galatians.

"Wishing to correct Peter of this fault of contradiction, Christ permitted that this Apostle should deny Him. . . . Hear what He says to him: 'I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.' He holds this language to him in order to touch him the more forcibly, and to show him that his fall would be heavier than that of the others, and that it would need a greater aid. For his was a double crimethat of contradiction, and that of exalting himself above the others. There was yet a third, still more seriousthat of relying entirely upon his own strength. In order to cure Peter, the Saviour allows him to fall; and, passing by the other disciples, He says to him, 'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat'that is, to trouble, to tempt you'but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.' Why, if Satan hath desired to sift all the Apostles, does not the Lord here say,' I have prayed for you'? Is it not, evidently, for the reasons I have stated? Is it not in order to touch Peter, and to show him that his fall would be heavier than that of the others, that He speaks to him only? How, then, could Peter deny Christ? Because Christ did not say to him, 'that thou shouldst not deny me,' but 'that thy faith fail not, that it do not entirely perish.'" Upon St. Matthew, 82d homily.

How is it possible to discover in such language the faintest allusion to a supremacy of authority given to St. Peter upon the occasion of his fall? What singular boldness to maintain that our Lord meant to establish a distinction in favour of Peter, and to notify him of his elevation over the other Apostles, precisely at the moment when He foretold him his fall and denial!

The following words most evidently determine the meaning which Chrysostom gives to Peter's primacy. He says, in the first place, that this Apostle was "first in the Church." Now "the first in a society," does not mean "the chief of that society." Again he adds: "When I say Peter (Pierre) I say the solid rock, (la pierre,) the unshaken base, the great Apostle, the first of the Apostles, the first called, the first obedient." Upon Almsgiving, 3d homily. Evidently he praises Peter for the solidity of the faith he had confessed; he calls him "first of the Apostles," because he was the first called to the apostolate. He does not say "first in authority," but "the first obedient." St. Peter had, therefore, the glory of being called first to the apostolate, and of being also the first servant of Jesus Christ.

As regards the alleged succession from St. Peter that is claimed for the Roman bishops, the Romish theologians sum up the doctrine of St. Chrysostom as follows:

"The Church of Antioch had the honour of possessing St. Peter for a time. She acknowledges him as her founder, but she did not keep him. It was to Rome that he removed his see; it was at Rome that he received the palm of martyrdom; and Rome has his tombRome, preëminently the royal city."

What says the Father?

"One of the prerogatives of our city (Antioch) is to have had for her teacher Peter, the leader of the Apostles. It was just that the city which first of all the world was adorned with the name of Christian, should have for her Bishop the first of the Apostles. But having received him as teacher, we did not keep him always; we yielded him to the imperial city of Rome; or rather, we have always kept him; for if we have not the body of Peter, we have kept the faith of Peter as our Peter, since holding Peter's faith is as though we held Peter himself." 2d Homily upon the Title of the Acts of the Apostles.

Peter is therefore nothing except for the sake of the truth to which he testified. St. Chrysostom says this expressly in the same discourse, and adds: "When I mentioned Peter, another Peter was brought to mind, [Flavian, Bishop of Antioch, at the time the discourse was written,] a father and doctor common to us all, who has inherited St. Peter's virtue, and has received his see in heritage." Again, in his eulogy of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, we read: "St. Ignatius was the successor of Peter in his principality." Eulogy of St. Ignatius The Latin translation thus renders it: "St. Ignatius succeeded (St. Peter) in the dignity of the episcopate." This is incorrect. The principality in the style of the Fathers is the apostolate, which is indeed the source of the episcopate, but surpasses it in dignity and power. But whether translated principality or episcopate, St. Chrysostom's testimony is equally opposed to the Romish doctrine, that the Bishop of Rome is the sole successor of St. Peter. According to St. Chrysostom, St. Peter cannot in fact have occupied the see of any one city, being equally and in a general sense the apostle-bishop of all the churches where he preached the Gospel, and where his teachings are preserved.

In this same discourse, St. Chrysostom calls St. Ignatius of Antioch, "teacher of Rome in the faith," and gives the following as the reason why Peter, Paul, and Ignatius died at Rome: "You [inhabitants of Antioch] have through God's blessing, no further need of instruction, for you have struck root in religion; but the people of Rome, because of the great wickedness that prevailed there, needed more powerful aid; therefore were Peter and Paul, and Ignatius with them, put to death there." Eulogy on Ignatius In developing this subject, he adds : "The death of these Apostles and Ignatius was a visible proof and a preaching in action of the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

In another discourse, St. Chrysostom shows just as plainly that he ascribes no right of superiority to the city of Rome, although Peter and Paul died there. He says: "I love Rome for her magnificence, her antiquity, her beauty, for the multitude of her inhabitants, her power, her wealth, her military glory; but, above all, I call that city blessed, because Paul wrote to the Romans during his life, because he loved them, because he spoke with them, during his sojourn among them, and ended his life in their midst." Homily 22, on the Epistle to Romans. He thus merely expresses a personal sentiment of affection for the city of Rome. The praises he gives her are earthly and temporal. He merely says, "I love Rome," but he does not say that he recognizes the Church of that city as the Queen of Churches the mother and mistress of all others. He ascribes no privilege to her on account of St. Peter. We see, therefore, that, in seeking to give the sanction of so great a name to their doctrine of papal prerogative, the Romish theologians have distorted the works of this great divine. And no less the doctrine of St. Gregory Nazianzen, which, in respect to St. Peter, may be entirely summed up in this text: "Thou seest," he says, "how among Christ's disciples, all equally great, high, and worthy of election, this one is called the Rock, in order that on his faith he may receive the foundations of the Church." S. Greg. Nazian. 26th Discourse. He does not Say that it was upon the person of St. Peter that the Church was to be built, but upon his faith; nor yet upon his subjective faith, which was to fail so sadly at the moment of his threefold denial; but upon his objective faiththat faith which he had confessed in the divinity of Christ.

Romanists invoke the testimony of St. Gregory of Nyssa, Greg. of Nyssa, Panegyric of St. Stephen who says:

"We celebrate the memory of St. Peter, who is the chief of the Apostles; and in him we honour the other members of the Church, for it is on him that the Church of God rests, since, in virtue of the prerogative he holds from the Lord, he is the firm and solid rock on which the Saviour has built his Church."

Such is the translation of Roman theologians. Here is the literal translation from the Greek:

"We celebrate the memory of St. Peter, who is the chief of the Apostles; and together with him are glorified the other members of the Church; and the Church of God is strengthened, since, in virtue of the gift that the Lord has given him, he is the firm and most solid rock upon which the Saviour has constructed the Church." ῶ Ἀῶ ὶ ὲ ἀῷ ὰ ὰ ῆ ἐ, ἐ ὲ ἡ ἐ ῦ ῦ.  ὰ ὴ ἀῷ ὰ ῦ ὰ ἡ ἀῤῥὴ ὶ ἐ᾽ ἢ ὴ ὁ ὴ ὠ. (Greg. of Nyssa.)

By their translation, the Romish theologians endeavour to convey the idea that Peter received an exceptional gift, that made him the sole foundation of the Church. St. Gregory positively denies the errours they would attribute to him in the following passages, taken from the same discourse they misquote:

" We chiefly commemorate to-day those who have shone with a great and dazzling splendour of piety. I mean Peter, James, and John, who are the princes of the apostolic order. . . The Apostles of the Lord were stars that brightened all under heaven. Their princes and chiefsPeter, James, and Johnwhose martyrdom we celebrate to-day, suffered in various ways. . .

"It is just to celebrate on the same day the memory of these men, not only because they were unanimous in their preaching, but because of the equality of their dignity, (ὸ ὁ.) The one (Peter) who held the first place, (,) and who is the chief of the Apostolic college, received the favour of a glory suitable to his dignity, being honoured with a passion similar to that of the Saviour. . . But James was beheaded, aspiring to the possession of Christ, who is truly (ὅ) his head, for the head of man is the Christ, who is at the same time head of all the Church." . . . .

"They (the Apostles) are the foundations of the Church, the columns and pillars of truth. They are never-failing springs of salvation, from which flow abundant torrents of divine doctrine."

After again giving the same titles to Peter, James, and, John, St. Gregory adds:

"Nevertheless, we have not said this to debase the other Apostles, but to bear witness to the virtue of those of whom we speak; or, better still, in order to speak the common praise of all the Apostles."

All these titles, all this praise, given by St. Gregory to Peter, James, and John, refer not to the dignity of their apostolatethat dignity was the same in allbut merely to their personal virtue. He is at particular pains to leave no doubt as to the true value of these encomiums, and upon the doctrine of the real equality of the Apostles, for he adds:

"As regards the truth of the dogmas, they, (the Apostles,) like members, represent one and the same body; and whether one member be honoured, as the Apostle says, (1 Cor. 12:26,) all the members rejoice with it. As their labours for religion were in common, so also the honours deserved for their preaching of the faith are in common. Why," he continues, "should we be so bold as to endeavour to express what is above our power, and to strive worthily to celebrate the virtues of the Apostles? Our encomiums are not for Simon, (Peter,) known as having been a fisherman, but for his firm faith, that supports the Church. Neither do we exalt the sons of Zebedee, (James and John,) but the Boanerges, which means the sons of the thunder."

It is, therefore, not the person of Peter that is the rock of the Church, but the faith he confessed; that is, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, or the divinity of Christ, to which he bore witness.

Among the Greek Fathers there is not one who has taught a different doctrine from that of Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa. St. Cyril of Alexandria says expressly, "The word rock has only a denominative valueit signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the Apostle." St. Cyril of Alexandria, Of the Trinity, Fourth Book. This forbids us to ascribe to Cyril the opinion that founds so great privileges upon that word, and yet this text has been quoted in favour of the modern Papacy by its champions. They quote yet another passage: "He (Christ) teaches his disciple (Peter) that it was He that knew all things before they were created; He announces to him that his name shall be no more Simon, but Peter; giving, him to understand by this word that He would build his Church upon him as upon a stone and a very solid rock." St. Cyril of Alexandria upon St. John Book II. ch. xii.

Has he taught that Peter should be exclusively the foundation of the Church? No; for he teaches elsewhere St. Cyril of Alexandria, Letter to Nestorius. that "Peter and John were equal in dignity and honour." In another place St. Cyril of Alexandria, Second Discourse on Isaiah. he teaches that "Christ is the foundation of allthe unshaken base upon which we all are built as a spiritual edifice." Has he in this taught that the privileges of Peter would pass to the Bishops of Rome?

He nowhere makes the least mention of such a thing. Why, then, do Romish theologians call him to witness? For we have seen that the application of the word rock to Peter does not prove that this Apostle enjoyed any exceptional prerogatives; much less does it prove that the Bishops of Rome have inherited any from that Apostle.

St. Cyril had, touching the prerogatives of St. Peter, no other teaching than that of the learned school of Alexandria. Clement, one of the great luminaries of that school, taught distinctly that no primacyin the sense of authorityever existed among the Apostles. The disciples," he says, St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromat. Fifth Book, fifth section. "disputing for primacy, Christ made a law of equality, saying, 'Ye must become as little children.'"

Origen taught no other doctrine. Romish theologians quote some texts in which he seems to apply to the person of St. Peter the title of the rock, but they omit this passage, in which he clearly explains himself: "If you believe," he says, Origen, Commentary on St. Matt. "that God has raised the whole building of his Church on Peter alone, what will you say of John, the son of the Thunder? What will you say of each of the Apostles? Will you venture to say that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Peter in particular, but shall prevail against the others? Are not the words, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, addressed to them all? Have not these words had their fulfillment in each one of the Apostles?" And such also is the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria, ever faithful to the traditions of his fathers.

The same is true of that of St. Basil of Cæsarea. Romanists have in vain sought to use him as an authority. It is sufficient to read him to be assured that he has nowhere made the Apostle Peter the rock of the Church, as they pretend. "The house of the Lord," he says, St. Basil on second chapter of Isaiah. "built in the top of the mountains," is the Churchaccording to the Apostle who says that one should know how to conduct one's self in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God. Its foundations are in the holy mountains, for it is built upon the foundations of the Apostles and Prophets. One of these mountains was Peter, upon which rock the Lord promised to build his Church. It is just that sublime souls, lifted above terrestrial things, should be called mountains. Now, the soul of the blessed Peter was called a sublime rock, because he was firmly grounded in faith, and that it bore constantly and courageously the blows that were laid upon it in the day of trial. St. Basil concludes that by imitating that faith and courage we shall also become mountains upon which the house of God may be raised.

Some Western fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries seem, more than those of the East, to favour the papal authority. But it is not so in fact. We have already given the doctrine of Tertullian, of St. Cyprian, of St. Hilary of Poitiers, and of St. Leo. That of Ambrose, Augustine, Optatus, and Jerome is the same.

According to St. Augustine, St. Ambrose had made the word rock in his hymns relate to the person of St. Peter, and this had at first led him to adopt this construction. St. Ambrose, however, explains himself in other writings, as in the following: St. Ambrose, On the Incarnation. "Faith is the foundation of the Church, for it was not of the person but of the faith of St. Peter that it was said that the gates of hell should not prevail against it; it is the confession of faith that has vanquished hell." The truth confessed by St. Peter is, therefore, the foundation of the Church, and no promise was made to his person, nor, consequently, to his subjective faith.

Among the texts of St. Ambrose, Rome relies chiefly upon this: St. Ambrose on St. Luke, and passim. "The Lord, who questioned, did not doubt; he questioned, not to learn, but, in order to teach which one he would leave, as the vicar of his love, before ascending to heaven . . . Because, alone of them all, be confessed Him, he is preferred to all . . . The Lord does not ask the third time, likest thou me, Thus only can we do justice to the text. In fact ᾷ and ῖ are both properly translated "lovest," as in our common English version; but in the Greek the two words indicate different degrees or lovingῖ being stronger than ᾶ.Ed. but lovest thou me; and then He does not commit to him, as the first time, the lambs that must be nourished with milk, nor, as at the second time, the young sheep; but he commands him to pasture all, that, being more perfect, he may govern the most perfect."

Now, say with much gravity the Romish theologians, after quoting this text, who are these most perfect sheep if not the other Apostles? Then they go one step further, and suppose that the Pope takes Peter's place, and the Bishops that of the other Apostles; and thus they arrive at the conclusion that the Bishops are the sheep as regards their relation to the Pope.

St. Ambrose never said a word that would sustain such inferences. He gives no dogmatic character to what he says of St. Peter. He proposes a mystic and devout interpretationhe has no intention to confound the Apostles, who are the shepherds, with the sheep. Much less does he dream of any privileges of the Bishops of Rome, whom he does not even mention. A tottering foundation, indeed, for so lofty an edifice! St. Ambrose, like Hilary of Poitiers, ascribes sometimes to the person of Peter, sometimes to his faith, or rather to the object of his faith, the title of the rock. To his person he only attributes the title in a figurative manner, and by extension. "Jesus Christ," he says, "is the rock. He did not deny the grace of this name to his disciple when he called him Peter, because he borrowed from the rock the constancy and solidity of his faith. Endeavour, then, thyself to be a rockthy rock is thy faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If thou art a rock, thou shalt be in the Church, for the Church is built upon the rock."

This explanation leaves no shadow of doubt upon the sense in which St. Ambrose took this famous saying, upon which Romanists rear the prodigious monument of papal prerogatives. Why was this name given to Peter? "Because," adds St. Ambrose, "the Church was built on Peter's faith." But what faith? His personal belief, or the truth he believed? St. Ambrose replies in the same place, "Peter was thus named because he was the first who laid the foundation of faith among the nations." What did he preach? Certainly not his personal assent. What he taught is, then, the truth that he believed; and that truth is the foundation of the Church.

The works of St. Ambrose are full of proofs against papal pretensions. But why multiply texts? One only needs to glance over his works to be convinced that he is no authority in favour of the Ultramontane system. We shall therefore be content to quote only the following texts, in which he sets forth his belief concerning Peter's primacy.

In explaining these words in the epistle to the Galatians, "I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter," he says: "It was proper that Paul should go to see Peter. Why? was Peter superiour to him and to the other Apostles? No; but because, of all the Apostles, he was the first to be intrusted by the Lord with the care of the churches. Had he need to be taught, or to receive a commission from Peter? No; but that Peter might know that Paul had received "the power which had also been given to himself."

St. Ambrose also explains these other words: "When they saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was committed to me:" "He (Paul) names only Peter, and only compares himself with him, because as Peter had received the primacy to found the Church of the Jews, he, Paul, had been chosen in like manner to have the primacy in founding the Church of the Gentiles." Then he enlarges upon this idea, which completely demolishes the papal pretensions. In fact, according to St. Ambrose, Rome, which confessedly did not belong to the Jews, should not glory in the primacy of St. Peter, but in that of St. Paul. Besides, she would then come closer to historic truth: for it is demonstrated that Paul evangelized Rome before Peter; that her first two bishops were ordained by Paul; and that her succession through Peter only dates from Clement, her third Bishop.

Finally, what does St. Ambrose mean by the word primacy? He attached no idea of honour or authority to it, for he says positively: "As soon as Peter heard these words, 'Whom say ye that I am?' remembering his place, he exercised this primacy, a primacy of confession, not of honour; a primacy of faith, not of rank." St. Ambrose on the Incarnation. Is not this to reject all idea of primacy as taught by the Romanists? It is clear, then that they wrong St. Ambrose in making him their authority.

No less St. Augustine. This Father indeed said, St. Augustine on 69th Psalm. "Peter, who a short time before had confessed that Christ was the Son of God, and who in return for that confession, had been called the rock upon which the Church should be built, etc.;" but he explains his meaning in several other works. Let us give a few specimens: St. Augustine, 13th Sermon "Peter received this name from the Lord to signify the Church; for it is Christ who is the rock, and Peter is the Christian people. The rock is the principal word; this is why Peter is derived from the Rock, and not the rock from Peter; precisely as the word Christ is not from Christian, but Christian from Christ. 'Thou art therefore Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. I will build thee on myselfI will not be built on thee.'"

"The Church," he says again, St. Augustine, 124th Tract. "is built on the rock after which Peter was named. That rock was Christ, and it is on this foundation that Peter himself was to be raised."

In his book of the Retractations, the same Father says: St. Augustine Retractions, Book I. ch. 21. "In that book, I said in one place, in speaking of St. Peter, that the Church had been built on him as on the rock. This thought is sung by many in the verses of the blessed Ambrose, who says of the cock, that "when it crew the Rock of the Church deplored his fault.' But I know that subsequently I very frequently adopted this sense, that when the Lord said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,' he meant by this rock, the one which Peter had confessed in saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son, of the living God;' so that Peter, called by the name of this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon that rock, and which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. In fact, it was not said to him, Thou art the rock; but thou art Peter. The rock was Christ. Peter having confessed him as all the Church confesses him, he was called Peter. Between these two sentiments, let the reader choose the most probable."

Thus St. Augustine condemns neither of the interpretations given to the text, Thou art Peter, etc. But he evidently regards as the better the one which he most frequently used. Yet this does not prevent the Romish theologians from quoting this Father in favour of the first interpretation, which he admitted but once, and renounced, though without formally condemning it.

St. Augustine teaches, like St. Cyprian, that Peter represented the Churchthat he was the type of the Church. He does not infer from this that the whole Church was summed up in him; but, on the contrary, that he received nothing personally, and all that was granted to him was granted to the Church. Sermons 118 and 316, Sermon 10 on Peter and Paul, Tract 124 on John et alibi. Such is the true commentary upon the belief of the Fathersthat Peter typified the Church whenever he addressed Christ, or the Lord spoke to him. St. Augustine, it is true, admits that Peter enjoyed the primacy, but he explains what he means by that word. "He had not," he says, "the primacy over the disciples (in discipulos) but among the disciples, (in discipulis.) His primacy among the disciples was the same as that of Stephen among the deacons." He calls Peter the first (primus) as he calls Paul the last, (novissimus,) which conveys only an idea of time. And that this was indeed St. Augustine's idea, appears from the fact that, Sermon 10 on Peter and Paul. in this same text, so much abused by Romanists, because in it Augustine grants Peter the primacy, he distinctly asserts that Peter and Paul, the first and the last, were equal in the honour of the apostleship. Therefore, according to St. Augustine, Peter received only the high favour of being called first to the Apostleship. This distinction with which the Lord honoured him, is his glory, but gave him no authority.

According to Romish theologians, St. Augustine recognized the supreme authority of the Roman Church when he said that, the principality of the Apostolic chair has always been in vigour there;" St. Aug. Ep. to the Donatist Bishops. but what did he mean by these words? It is certain that the Church of Africa, under the inspiration of St. Augustine himself, who was her oracle, wrote vigorously to the Bishop of Rome, warning him not to receive to his communion thereafter, those whom she had excommunicated, as he had done in the case of a certain Appiarius, Epist. Episcop. Afric. ad Celestin. et Conc Carth. III. because he could not do so without violating the canons of the Council of Nicea. Far from recognizing the supreme authority of Rome, the Church of Africa, in accord with St. Augustine, refused to that Bishop the title of summus sacerdos. St. Augustine did not, therefore, recognize the superior jurisdiction of the Roman Church. What, then, does he mean by principality of the Apostleship? He leaves no doubt upon the subject. After having ascribed this principality of the Apostleship to St. Paul as well as to St. Peter, he observes that it is something higher than the episcopate. "Who does not know," says he, "that the principality of the Apostleship is to be preferred to every episcopate?" St. Augustine's 10th Sermon on Peter and Paul. The Bishops were considered, indeed, as successors of the Apostles; but while they inherited from them the apostolic ministry, they had no share in certain superiour prerogatives, which only belonged to the first Apostles of Christ. These prerogatives constitute the principality of the Apostleship, which thus belongs equally to all the first Apostles. And in fact, the title of Apostle-prince is given to them all indifferently by the Fathers of the Church. Every Apostolic Church, thereforethat is, every Church that has preserved the legitimate Apostolic successionhas preserved this principality of the see, that is, of Apostolic teaching. St. Augustine merely says that, in his time, the Church of Rome had preserved this succession of Apostolic teaching. Does that prove that he recognizes in her a superiour authority, and one universal in the government of the Church? Assuredly not. So far was he from recognizing any such authority, that by preference, he sends the Donatists to the Apostolic churches of the East, to be convinced of their errour; not because he did not believe Rome to have inherited the Apostolic teaching-for we have seen to the contrarybut because Rome, mixed up as she was already with their discussions, did not offer equal guarantees of impartiality as the Apostolic churches of the East.

St. Augustine, who did not even recognize the right of Rome to interfere with the discussion of mere matters of discipline in the African Church, was still further removed from recognizing her doctrinal authority. In many of his writings he sets forth the rule of faith, and never in that connection does be mention the doctrinal authority of the Church of Rome. In his eyes, the rule of faith is the constant and unanimous consent of all the Apostolic churches. His doctrine is the same as that of Tertullian, and it has been copied, so to speak, by Vincent Lirinensis, whose admirable Commonitorium sums up perfectly the doctrine of the first five centuries upon this fundamental question. In view of this great doctrine so clearly stated by the Fathers, and in which not the faintest foreshadowing of Roman authority is to be founda doctrine, on the contrary, diametrically opposed to this pretended authorityit is difficult to understand how the partisans of the Papacy have ventured to invent their system; for they must have known that they were thus putting themselves in direct opposition to all Catholic tradition.

Romish theologians quote with much pomp and circumstance two other passages from St. Augustine. In the first, this Father, speaking to the Pelagians, St. Aug. Serm. 131. De Verb. Evang. says: "As regards your cause two councils have been sent to the Apostolic See. Rescripts have returned the case is finishedmay it please God that also the errour be so!" The advocates of the Papacy thus translate this passage: "Rome, has spokenthe case is finished; Roma locuta estcausa finita est." This expression, Rome has spokenRoma locuta est, is a mere invention. It does not occur in St. Augustine. The otherthe case is finishedis there. We shall presently see what it means.

The second passage, similar to the first, is thus conceived: "Your cause is finished," he said to the Pelagians, St. Aug. adv. Julian, Lib. III. "by a competent judgment of the bishops in general; there is nothing for you to do except to submit to the sentence that has been given; or to repress your restless turbulence if you cannot submit!"

The first text dates back to the year 419, when the Pelagians had been condemned by two African councils and by Pope Innocent I. The second is of the year 421, when eighteen Pelagian bishops had appealed from this sentence to a general council. According to this text, say the Romish theologians, the condemnation of the Pope, confirming that of the African councils, had a doctrinal authority from which there was no appeal to a general council, and therefore Rome enjoyed a superiour and final authority in dogmatic questions.

These inferences are not just. In the first place, St. Augustine did not regard a sentence of Rome as final. Thus, speaking of the question of rebaptism, he asserts that St. Cyprian had a right to oppose his belief to that of Pope Stephen; and be says that he himself would not give so positive an opinion on that point if a general council had not settled it. St. Aug. de Baptismate adv. Donat. de Baptismate ad. Petil. At the same time be admits that Stephen had with him the majority. He says to the Donatists, that after having been condemned by the council of Rome, they had one resource leftan appeal to the plenary or œcumenical council. Aug. Epist. 4. It thus appears that he did not regard the sentence of the Pope, even given in council, as final and without appeal.

It must be remarked, moreover, that in the case of the Pelagians, St. Augustine only once mentioned a sentence from Romein the first text quoted. In the second text, and everywhere else, he only speaks of a judgment given by all the bishops; particularly those of the East. St. Aug. Lib. I. adv. Julian This, then, is St. Augustine's argument: "You have been condemned everywherein the East and in the Westwhy then appeal to the Church in council, when all the churches unanimously condemn you?" The Pelagians relied on a sentence in their favour given by Pope Zosimus, Innocent's successor. How does Augustine answer them? "If I should concede (what is not true) that the Roman Church passed this judgment upon Celestius and Pelagius, and that she approved their doctrines, it would only follow that the Roman clergy were prevaricators. Ib. Lib. II. This answer of St. Augustine overthrows the whole theory that the Ultramontanes would build upon this enlarged and distorted text. He did not exclude Rome in the judgment given against the Pelagians, because that church is Apostolic and a part of the Church Catholic; yet his argument is wholly summed up in the following words: "Where will you go?" he says to the Pelagians. "Do you not see, wherever you turn, the army of Jesus Christ arrayed against you the world over; at Constantinople quite as much as in Africa and in the most remote lands?" Ib.

Beside all this, another proof that even at Rome as well as elsewhere in the church, the sentence of Innocent I. was not regarded as terminating the case is found in the fact that, after his sentence, the case was reëxamined at Rome itself by Zosimus, the successor of Innocent, by the several churches in a great number of synods; and finally Epist. Conc. Ephes. ad Cælest. v. et St. Prosp. Opera, Phot. Biblioth. Cardinal Noris. Hist. Pelag. Lib. II. cap. ix. Rom. ed. by the Œcumenical Council of Ephesus, which judged the case and confirmed the sentence given at Rome and in all other places where it had been examined.

When we are told how Pope Innocent I. happened to be called upon to give an opinion in the case of Pelagius, we see very clearly that the Romish theologians have misapplied the text.

The African bishops had condemned the errours of Pelagius in two councils, without a thought of Rome or its doctrine. The Pelagians then set up, to oppose them, the alleged faith of Rome, which they said harmonized with their own. Then the African bishops wrote to Innocent to ask him whether this assertion of the Pelagians was true. They were the rather moved to this that the Pelagians had great influence at Rome. Epist. Snyod Carthag. ad Innocent int. St. Aug. Op. Aug., Ep. 191 and 194, Possid., int. Op. Aug. St. Prosp. Chron. ad ann. 418. They did not write to the Pope to ask of him a sentence that should guide them, but that they might silence those who claimed that heresy was maintained at Rome. Innocent condemned it, and therefore Augustine says: "You pretended that Rome was for you; Rome condemns you; you have also been condemned by all the other churches; hence the case is finished." Instead of asking a decision from Rome, the African bishops pointed out to the Pope the course he should pursue in this affair. Epist. quinque Episcop. int. Aug. Op.

Here then again have the Romish theologians not only abused the text of St. Augustine, but also invented a part of it to suit the necessities of their cause.

Another text which at first sight seems very favourable to Romish pretensions, is that of St. Optatus of Melevia, which is quoted on all occasions by those theologians. Reasonably interpreted, this text is no more in their favour than those of the other Fathers. The holy bishop of Melevia was opposing, the Donatists who had established a bishopric at Rome. He wished to prove to them that this bishopric was not legitimate. To do this it was necessary to prove that the only legitimate bishopric was that which had descended in direct line from the Apostlesfor there was but one only Apostolate of which Peter typified the unity, and nothing outside of that Apostolic seethat is, this apostolatecould claim to be legitimate. St. Optatus, therefore, thus addresses his adversary: S. Optat. Lib. II. cont. Parm.

Thou canst not deny itthou knowest that the bishop's chair was first given to Peter in the city of Rome; upon that chair sat Peter the chief of all the Apostles; thou knowest why he was called Peter; that thus in that one see, unity should be preserved by all; lest each of the other Apostles should claim a separate see for himself; and that he should be schismatic and sinful who should establish another bishopric beside that only see."

"For the sake of unity," he elsewhere says, Ib. Lib. I. cont. Parm. the blessed "Peter (for whom it had been enough had he only obtained pardon after denying his Master) deserved to be preferred to all the Apostles, and alone received the keys of the kingdom of heaven to impart them to others."

St. Optatus was arguing against a man who denied the unity of the ministry and its Apostolic origin. In order to convince him he holds up before him Romethe only Apostolic church of the West whose origin was incontestable. He shows him that Peter, who was the type of sacerdotal unity, founded the see of Rome; that, consequently, he must be with this see, if he would be in the unity and would give an Apostolic character to his ministry; but from this to an authority over the whole Church is a long step.

The whole argument of St. Optatus proves this to have been his idea in the preceding texts.

Our angel," He alludes to the angels of the churches, which in the Apocalypse mean the bishops. he says, "dates back to St. Peteryours only to Victor. This was the bishop the Donatists had established at Rome. Address yourself, if you like, to the seven angels which are in Asia; to our colleaguesthose churches to whom St. John wrote, and with which you are evidently not in communion. Now all outside of these seven churches is foreign. If you have any one of the angels of the seven churches with whom you are one, you commune through him with the other angels; through them with the churches, and through the churches with us. Such not being the case, you have not the characteristics of a Catholic churchyou are no true Catholics."

Such is a faithful analysis of the argument of St. Optatus. He does not seek in his work to prove that the legitimate Bishop of Rome had universal authorityhe only proves that he was descended in direct line from the Apostles, and that his Donatist rival was illegitimate. He proves that all the Apostolic churches of the East were in communion with the Apostolic Bishop of Rome, and that, consequently, the Donatists were not in Catholic or universal unity. We really cannot see how such teaching can be quoted to support the pretensions of the modern Papacy. Nay, more. We may certainly justly quote it against them.

We have now reviewed the strongest texts upon which the Ultramontanes and modern Gallicans have rested their theories about the papacy. The former see in them the papal autocracy, the latter a limited monarchy of which the Pope is the headnot absolute nor infallible, but subject to the laws and decrees of the councils. Both have misinterpreted the texts and have drawn false conclusions from them; it would be sufficient to set them the one against the other in order to confound them. The only facts proved by the texts are the following:

First. St. Peter was the first among the Apostles; but this title gave him no authority.

Secondly. Peter coöperated with St. Paul in founding the Church of Rome.

Thirdly. This Church is consequently an Apostolic see.

The advocates of papal authority would conclude from these facts, that the Bishops of Rome, as successors of St. Peter, have inherited that Apostle's prerogatives. But the texts prove neither the prerogatives of Peter nor their descent to the Bishops of Rome. That Bishop is no more the heir of St. Peter than of St. Paul. He merely holds his bishopric in the same church where those Apostles exercised their apostleship. Peter and Paul died at Rome, but if by their death they glorified the Church, non constat that they have bequeathed their apostolate any more than the other apostles have bequeathed theirs to the churches in which they died. Those prerogatives which were intended to be perpetuated in the Church, have been transmitted not by the death of the Apostles, but by ordination. It is to this end that they ordained and established bishops in all the churches they founded; at Rome as much as anywhere else. Accordingly, as appears from the records of the first centuries, the first Bishop of Rome was Linus, and not St. Peter. The Roman episcopate, therefore, only dates back to Linus, and that episcopate draws its origin from the Apostolate; from Paul first, who ordained the first two bishops, then from Peter, who ordained Clement, who was chosen to fill the see of Rome after the death of Anencletus, and long after Peter's death. The Bishops of Antioch are traced in precisely the same manner to the apostolate of Peter and Paul; those of Alexandria also go back to Peter by St. Mark, who was the delegate and disciple of that Apostle. The other Apostolic Sees, Jerusalem, Smyrna, Byzantium, etc., can be traced like that of Rome to some one of the Apostles. Their episcopate is thus Apostolic, but it is not the Apostolate.

Before concluding our examination of the Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries, we must mention, in the way of objection, some texts of St. Jerome that seem favourable to such papal extravagances. We must premise:

First. That even should the words of this Father be taken literally, they could prove nothing, since he would be alone against all; and the opinion of a single Father proves absolutely nothing as to Catholic doctrine.

Secondly. That these texts of St. Jerome cannot be taken literally without making him contradict himself.

Writing to Pope Damasus, his friend and protector, Jerome thus expresses himself: St. Hieron. Epis. 57 ad Damas. "Although your greatness awes me, your goodness reässures. I ask of the priest the saving sacrificeof the shepherd the help he owes to the sheep. I speak to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. Following no chief save Christ, I am united in communion with your Holiness; that is to say, with the see of Peter. I know the Church is built upon this rock. Who eats not of the lamb in this house is defiled. Whoever dwells not in Noah's ark will perish at the time of the deluge. I do not know Vitalis; I repel Meletius ; I ignore Paulinus. This alludes to the dissensions in the church of Antioch. Whoever does not reap with you, scatters his harvest; that is, he who is not of Christ is of Antichrist." Then he asks Damasus if he shall speak of the divine hypostases, or be silent.

And addressing Damasus or the Roman ladies, particularly Eustochia Jerome speaks in very nearly the same terms of the Roman see.

Should his words be taken literally, or should we not rather see in them only a bit of flattery addressed to the Popethe rather that Damasus had given to Jerome pledges not only of protection but of friendship? At all events, it is certain that we cannot take them literally without making St. Jerome contradict himself. We notice, in the first place, that he recognized but one First in the ChurchJesus Christ; that he calls the Apostle Peter the rock on which the Church is built, asserting at the same time that Christ alone is that rock, and that the title of secondary stones belongs equally to all the Apostles and to the Prophets. "The stones," S. Hieron. adv. Jovinian. he says, "must be understood to mean the Prophets and the Apostles. The Church is the rock founded upon the most solid stone." He teaches that the Church is represented by the Apostles and Prophets, meaning that it is established upon both"super prophetas et apostolos constituta." Yet, in his letter to Damasus, he seems to say that Peter is the foundation of the Church, to the exclusion of the others.

But did he not, perhaps, mean to imply that Peter had some superiority as a foundation of the Church? Not so; for he clearly says the contrary: "The solidity of the Church," he says, "is supported upon them (the Apostles and Prophets) equally. S. Hieron. adv. Jovin. He calls Peter prince of the Apostles; but he also says: "He (Christ) shows us Peter and Andrewprinces of the Apostlesestablished as teachers of the Gospel."

Was this principality of Peter an authority, as might be inferred from the letter to Damasus? Jerome answers that question in the following passage: St. Hieron. adv. Pelag. Lib. I. ch. 4. "What can be claimed for Aristotle that we do not find in Paul? for Plato that does not belong to Peter? As Plato was the prince of philosophers, so Peter was the prince of Apostles, upon whom the Church of the Lord was built as upon a solid rock." Elsewhere, S. Hieron. comment. in Epist. ad Galat. he represents St. Paul saying: "I am in nothing inferior to Peter; for we were ordained by the same God for the same ministry." Clearly, if inferior in nothing, (in nullo,) then equal in every thing.

The Romish theologians cannot deny that the Fathers have generally taught the equality of the Apostles among themselves; on this point, tradition is unauimous. No Father of the Church has taught any other doctrine. But these theologians affect to give no weight to so important a fact. They try to evade the overwhelming testimony of the Fathers by this distinction: the Apostles, they say, were equal in respect of the apostolate, but not in respect of the primacy. Lest we be accused of falsely attributing this distinction to the Romish party, let us here say that it may be found in the works of a theologian of great authority in that party, Father Perrone. Tract de Loc. Theol. part 1st, sect. 2d, chap. 1. Difficult respons. ad 6. But clearly, such a primacy, as it is understood at Rome, cannot coëxist with any equality whatsoever. The Fathers cannot teach the equality of the Apostles without denying the superiority of any one of them. They teach that equality absolutely. To resort, then, to a distinction that takes away this absolute character, is to falsify their testimony.

After all, has St. Jerome conceded to the see of Rome any exceptional prerogatives, as we might be led to think from his letters to Damasus and Eustochia? Let us see what he says in another letter: St. Hieron. Epist. 146 ad Ev.

"We must not believe that the city of Rome is a different church from that of the whole world. Gaul, Britain, Africa, Persia, the East, India, all the barbarous nations, adore Jesus Christ, and observe one and the same rule of truth. If one is looking for authority, the world is greater than one city. Wherever there is a Bishop, be he at Rome or at Eugubium, at Constantinople or at Rhegium, at Alexandria or at Tanis, he has the same authority, the same merit, because he has the same priesthood. The power that riches give, and the low estate to which poverty reduces, render a Bishop neither greater nor less."

It cannot be more distinctly stated that the rule of truth dwells only in the entire episcopal body, and not at Rome; that the Bishop of Rome is no more, as bishop, than the humblest bishop of the Church; that the power he possessed because of his riches, did not make him superiour to the rest. One might almost think that St. Jerome exerted himself, in all his works, to refute his own letters to Damasus.

But, say the Roman theologians, the papal prerogatives were so well recognized, that even the heretic Jovinian mentions them. And, in fact, in order to prove to St. Jerome that the estate of marriage was superior to that of virginity, he says: "St. John was a virgin, and St. Peter was married; why, then, did Christ prefer St. Peter to St. John to build his Church on him?" The Romanists stop here, but do not give us St. Jerome's answer to Joviniana proceeding not creditable to their good faith, as we shall see. Here is St. Jerome's answer: S. Hieron. Lib. I. adv. Jovin. "If he chose Peter rather than John for this honourable distinction, it was that it was more expedient not to confer it upon a young man, nay a child, as John was, in order to excite no jealousy. But if Peter be an Apostle, so is John also. The one is married, the other is virgin; but Peter is only an Apostle, and John is an Apostle, an Evangelist, and a Prophet."

St. Jerome could not have reasoned thus, if he had had the same idea of St. Peter's primacy as is held at Rome concerning that of the Pope. His reasoning against Jovinian would have been worthless if that heretic had considered Peter's primacy otherwise than as a priority, in virtue of which he was the representative of the Apostolic college, and the type of unity; for he (St. Jerome) grounds his argument upon this conceded point: that St. Peter was but an Apostle like the others. If Jovinian had believed that Peter was any thing more than this, St. Jerome's argument would have been ridiculous. And if St. Peter had been the chiefthe prince of the Apostles in the sense that Rome now gives to these expressionswould St. Jerome have laid down as the first principle of his argument, that St. John was superiour to St. Peter, because of his characters of Evangelist and Prophet?

After the review we have given of the constant and universal tradition of the Church, during the first five centuries, we may well be amazed to hear Cardinal Orsi Orsi, de Infallib. Rom. Pontif. assert, that nothing could be opposed to papal pretensions except a few isolated texts, which do not contain the true sense of Catholic tradition; to hear all the advocates of the Papacy declare that Catholic tradition is in favour of their system, especially in the first centuries!

 

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Article published in English on: 6-2-2010.

Last update: 6-2-2010.

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