Unity in the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop, and the Formation of the "Catholic Church"




The fact that each Church was united in one Eucharist "which is under the leadership of the Bishop" had a decisive influence on the formation of the Catholic Church during the first three centuries. Already from its first appearance in the sources, the term "Catholic Church" is inseparably bound up with the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop who led it. This is attested by the well-known passage from St Ignatius' Epistle to the Smyrneans:

See that you all follow the Bishop, as Christ does the Father, and the presbyterium as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as a command of God. Let no one do anything connected with the Church without the Bishop, Let that be considered a certain (bebaia) Eucharist which is under the leadership of the Bishop, or one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the Bishop appears, there let the multitude of the people be; just as wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic Church. It is not permitted without the Bishop either to baptize or to celebrate an agape; but whatever he shall approve of, that is well-pleasing also to God, so that everything that is done may be assured and certain.103

The connection to be observed in this fundamental passage between the term "Catholic Church" and the Eucharist "under the leadership of the Bishop," gives rise to the following question: what is the relationship between unity in the Eucharist and in the Bishop and the catholicity of the Church in the first three centuries of the formation of the Catholic Church? In order to give an answer to this question, it is necessary, first, to define the content of the term "Catholic Church" on the basis of the sources from the first three centuries. This content is usually taken by scholars to be self-evident, and this perhaps accounts for the fact that at least so far as we know no one has yet fully examined the history of this term on the basis of the sources. But any conclusions as to the formation of the Catholic Church which are not based on the history of the term "catholic church" cannot be reliable. This is why we need to look closely at the influence of unity in the Eucharist and the Bishop on the formation of the Catholic Church on the basis of the history of the term "catholic church." This will oblige us, more particularly, to examine the relationship of the unity of the Church in the Eucharist and in the Bishop to:

a)         the catholicity of each local Church,

b)         the position of the Catholic Church viv-a-vis heresies and schisms, and

c)         the unity of the "Catholic Church throughout the world."

These three themes cover all aspects of the "Catholic Church," as will be shown in our investigation of the history of this term.


1. The Divine Eucharist, the Bishop and the catholicity of the local Church

It is the prevailing view that the term "Catholic Church" denotes principally the universal or world-wide Church, and refers to the local Church only secondarily and by extension. This view, which has become established in recent years when cosmopolitan ideals have formed in people's consciousness the scheme of "locality" versus "universality,"104 has its roots in the time and the theology of the Blessed Augustine who was the first to give the catholicity of the Church the sense par excellence of "universality."105 But if we examine the sources of the first three centuries carefully, we shall see that the catholicity of the Church did not make its appearance as a geographical or quantitative notion, and should, therefore, not be tied in principle to the world-wide or universal character of the Church.106 In order to define the exact content of this term, we must begin with the supplementary question of the ancient Greek language from which church literature borrowed this term and the primary question of the ecclesioiogy of St Ignatius in whose work this term first occurs. Thereafter we shall need to compare the meaning given to the term by St Ignatius with the ecclesioiogy of the generations preceding him from whom he draws his conceptions of catholicity and also with that of later times in which his influence was decisive especially as regards the connection of the term "Catholic Church" with each local Church.

1. The adjective katholiké in Greek comes from the Aristotelian sense of kath'olou, which is used by Aristotle sometimes in contradistinction to kata meros107  and sometimes to kath' ekaston, 108 understood not only as an adverb but also as an adjective of manner so that it can mean the same as the adjective katholikos. 109 Aristotle did not give katholou a geographical sense so as to mean "world-wide" or "universal" nor a quantitative sense which would take it to mean a sum or total of the "particulars" (epi merous or kath' ekaston). It is notable that whenever he defines it he gives it a qualitative sense denoting what is full, whole, general or common: "That which is true of a whole class and is said to hold good as a whole (which implies that it is a kind of whole), is true of a whole in the sense that it contains many things by being predicated of each, and by ail of them (e.g. man, horse, god) being severally one single thing, because all are living things."110 Aristotle precludes the geographical or quantitative sense of katholou still more clearly when he uses the example: "As 'man' belongs to the general (kath' olou) and 'Kallias' to the particular (kath' ekaston)." 111  Through the comparison of the "general" (katholou) with man in a generic sense and of the particular (kath' ekaston) with the particular human being, the meaning of the term katholikos becomes clear. The kath' ekaston is in no way a segment of the katholou, but constitutes its actual concrete form. Each actual man is as much full man as is man in a generic sense {katholou), which he encompasses in himself, constituting the only actual, personal expression it has in space and time.

This sense of the term katholou or katholikos was preserved after Aristotle, as its use by Polybius,112 Dionysius of Halicarnassus113 and Plutarch114 testifies. Philo who had a decisive influence on the world which surrounded the early Church does not deviate from the Aristotelian sense of the term. Thus, for him too, the word katholikos does not have a geographical or quantitative meaning, but denotes what is complete, full and general.115 As a distinguished specialist on the subject observes,116 in all these cases Philo follows Aristotle. Such was the prevailing sense of the term katholikos in secular literature. The Aristotelian sense of katholou survived and was preserved up to the time of early Christianity. How far the ecclesiastical literature of the first three centuries preserved the Aristotelian sense of this term is the question that will concern us next.

2. Of Christian literature, neither the New Testament nor the Septuagint uses the term "Catholic Church." The Church of Antioch, in which other basic technical terms such as "bishop" and "Christian" were first used,117 is the first to use this term in the passage from Ignatius' Epistle to the Smyrnaeans quoted above.118 The precise meaning of the term "Catholic Church" in this passage has repeatedly been a bone of contention. The main question that has been posed is whether the distinction here is between the universal and the local Church, or the invisible and the visible Church. Funk saw in this passage a distinction between the visible and the invisible Church, the term applying to the invisible,119 while Lightfoot equated "catholic" with "universal."120 Roman Catholic historians such as P. Batiffol,121 and more recently G. Bardy,122 also consider that "catholic" here means "universal."123 This view presupposes that in the text of Ignatius the "Catholic Church" is in contradistinction to the local Church. It is assumed, in other words, that Ignatius' thinking involved the scheme "locality-universality," through

which he conceived of and expressed the unity of the Church in his time as revolving around two centres: the Bishop for the local Church, and Christ for the universal Church. In keeping with this interpretation, catholicity is applied here not to the local Church, but to the "universal" Church.

In parallel, there developed the view that katholou and epi merous in the consciousness of the early Church were used express not so much as an opposition between locality and universality, but mainly as an opposition between the Church and the heresies or schisms: the Catholic Church represents the whole, in contrast with the heresies and schisms which represent the part. Thus "catholicity" can also be applied to the local Church. The assumption underlying this view is that the term appears in the texts from the beginning in a sense of opposition to heresy and schism, and its ultimate conclusion is that for the early Church catholicity meant orthodoxy.124

Beginning with an examination of these presuppositions, we observe that the scheme of an antithesis between locality and universality, often used to interpret the early Church's self-awareness, represents, as we have already observed,125 a later, cosmopolitan outlook foreign to the mentality of the early Church. For precisely this reason, it is very risky to begin an investigation into the origins of catholicity with the scheme "locality versus universality." The other idea, according to which the consciousness regarding catholicity was born out of the Church's polemic against heresy and schism, makes an equally risky starting-point for research, because there is nothing to convince us that Ignatius - our most ancient reliable source - uses the term to make a distinction between the "catholic" Church and the heresies. As the whole of the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans testifies, Ignatius is referring to those within the Church not those outside. It is necessary, then, to pose anew the question: what content has the catholicity of the Church according to Ignatius?

In the text where the term "Catholic Church" first occurs, we observe that it is talking about being devoted to the Bishop as Christ showed Himself devoted to the Father, and to the presbyters as to Apostles, and to the deacons as to a "command of God." Nothing relating to the Church can exist without the Bishop. The only assured (vevaia) Eucharist is that which is performed by the Bishop or his representative. Wherever the Bishop appears, there should the local Church ("the multitude of the people")126 be, exactly as where Jesus Christ is, there is the "Catholic Church." It is not permitted either to baptize or to "celebrate an agape" without the Bishop. But whatever he approves, this is well-pleasing also to God so that whatever is done may be assured and certain. It is quite obvious that the whole text refers to the unity of the local Church which revolves around the Bishop.127 It is he that sums up and incarnates the entire unity of the local Church. Whatever takes place, and above all those elements which are expressions par excellence of unity, namely baptism, the agape and the Divine Eucharist, acquire ecclesial substance (they are "assured and certain") only when they are expressed through the Bishop. This is summed up in the phrase: "where the Bishop is, there is the multitude," i.e. the local Church. But Ignatius also adds to this conclusion the comparison: "just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." What is the meaning of this "just as" (hosper) placed between the local Church and the "catholic" Church? Does it introduce a relationship to a reality different from what precedes, or is it an expression of the same thing in another form? Linguistically, either sense is possible. The "just as" can mean either that the local Church is united around the Bishop whereas the Catholic Church is united around Christ, or that the local Church constitutes a reality exactly the same as that of the Catholic Church. Therefore, no definitive conclusion can be drawn from the narrow hermeneutic method. This passage has to be placed in the more general context of Ignatius's thought (broader hermeneutic method) and then within the historical reality of its period (historical method) in order for definite conclusions to be drawn.

We begin with the question: how does Ignatius understand the local Church and its relation to the Church generally? First of all, we observe that he, too, uses the Pauline phraseology128 and speaks of the Church "which is" in a certain city, 129 and, as we have seen, refers clearly to one Eucharist in each city. It is, however, striking the way he describes each local Church at the beginning of his letters. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, for instance, he writes: "Ignatius who is also called the God-bearer, to the Church which is in Ephesus in Asia, deservedly most happy, being blessed in the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestined before the ages for an enduring and unchangeable glory, united and chosen through the true passion and through the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God."130 The Church of Philadelphia he calls the "Church of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ." He uses the same style to describe the Church of Smyrna.131 Unless these epithets are taken as empty rhetorical hyperbolae, which is altogether improbable, their use by Ignatius shows that the local Church is the very Church of God, predestined before the ages, chosen and glorified. If, then, we allow a conceptual distinction between the Church of God and the local Church in Ignatius's consciousness, the Church of God is to be found fully and in all her glory in every place. The Church of God which "is" or "sojourns" somewhere does not merely reside among the faithful of the local Church as a special sort of invisible state, but is identified with the faithful, i.e. the local Church. This is why Ignatius calls the Ephesians "all God-bearers and temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holiness" (9:2). This is why these very Ephesians are identified by Ignatius with the "Church renowned unto the ages" (8:1). Here, then, is the first fundamental conclusion: the local Church, according to Ignatius, is the very Church of God, the eternal, full, and whole Church. Why?

Having just described the unity of the local Church as the unity of the Church with Christ and of Christ with the Father,132 Ignatius writes: "Let no one deceive himself: if anyone is not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more does that of the Bishop and the whole Church? Therefore he who does not come into the same place {epi to auto) has already shown pride and passed judgement on himself, for it is written, 'God opposes the proud'. Let us be careful, therefore, not to oppose the Bishop, that we may be subject to God. 133 This passage is of great importance because it is so comprehensive. Coming immediately after the description of the unity of the local Church as expressing the unity of the Church with Christ and of Christ with the Father, in a certain sense it provides an analysis of the elements which make up this unity by virtue of which the local Church is identified with the whole Church. We should, therefore, take these elements one by one and examine them.

At the centre of all Ignatius' thinking, lies the Divine Eucharist. Coming together, epi to auto, is the usual expression to indicate the Divine Eucharist,134 and here it is quite clear that this is what it means. The Divine Eucharist is Ignatius's passion.135 He advises the faithful to come together frequently to celebrate it.136 This insistence on Ignatius's part seems to stem from his ecclesiology.137 The Divine Eucharist is the body of Christ, the very flesh of the historical Christ which suffered and is risen.138 The unity of the Church should be not only spiritual, he says, but also physical.139 Through this physical unity which is realized in the Divine Eucharist, the local Church takes on historical substance. This is also why he identifies the local Church with the gathering for the Divine Eucharist, and not simply the local Church, but the "Church of God": the deacons, being ministers of the Divine Eucharist, are ministers of the Church of God.140

Both the local Church and the "Church of God" are expressed historically (in space and time) through the Divine Eucharist. We find ourselves confronted once again with the Pauline ecclesiology.141 The Church is the body of Christ.142 Ignatius is quite clear on the justification for this consciousness which he interprets fully: the Church is the body of Christ because the body of Christ is the historical Christ Himself143 and the historical Christ is the flesh of the Divine Eucharist.144 The local Church, then, is the whole Church for no other reason than because the whole historical Christ is made incarnate within her through the Divine Eucharist. Precisely because of the Divine Eucharist, the local Church can be regarded as the Church of God, the whole Church, and can be addressed as such through the epithets that we have seen; because through the unity of the body of Christ, she "partakes of God."145 This leads Ignatius to stress another element in this passage.

The Divine Eucharist is closely bound up with the Bishop as he is in turn with "the whole Church." These elements are so deeply bound up with one another that they are not clearly distinguished in Ignatius' thought. Thus, when he is talking about the Altar, he suddenly introduces the prayer of the Bishop and of the whole Church. And when he is saying that one who does not participate in the Divine Eucharist is showing pride, he immediately adds that in order to avoid pride we should be subject to the Bishop. He indicates the same connection of the Altar with the Bishop more clearly when he says that anyone who does something "apart from the Bishop and the presbyters and the deacons" is the same as one who is outside the Altar.146 This most profound bond between Bishop and Eucharist in Ignatius' thought has as a consequence another, more striking identification: the Bishop is identified with the entire local Church. Thus, we reach the classic passage "where the Bishop is, there is the multitude..." Judging from the whole of Ignatius' theology, it appears that this passage does not have a merely hortatory sense - or if it has such a sense, it is no more than an expression and affirmation of a reality which is understood ontologically. Ignatius does not hesitate to say that the whole multitude, i.e. the whole local Church, appears before him in the person of the Bishop.147 The "whole multitude" of the Church of Ephesus is present for Ignatius in the person of her Bishop Onesimus.148 This incarnation of the local Church in the Bishop - the result, as we have seen, of the connection between the Bishop and the Divine Eucharist - leads to further consequences for the position of the Bishop in the Church. In these consequences,  the characteristics of the "catholicization" of the Church find their completion.

"Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude be," because according to Ignatius the Bishop incarnates the multitude, the local Church. But the local Church is a full, complete entity, the whole Church of God, because the whole Christ is to be found in her and makes her a unity, the one body of Christ, through the Divine Eucharist. In consequence, Ignatius does not hesitate to go on to link the Bishop with Jesus Christ. The Lord is called "Bishop."149 Whatever happens to the visible Bishop of the Church is transmitted to the invisible Bishop, Jesus Christ. The Bishop forms a "type" and icon of Christ or of the Father Himself, an icon and type not in a symbolic but in a real sense: "It is fitting to obey in no hypocritical fashion; since one is not deceiving this visible Bishop, but seeking to mock the One who is invisible."150 This realist view of the relationship between the Bishop and the Lord allows Ignatius easily to interchange these two persons:151 when he is being led to martyrdom and is away from Antioch, the Lord is the Bishop of that local Church.152 Two different worlds are thus created: God with the Bishop, and those who are apart from the Bishop with the devil.153 Unity around the Bishop is a unity around God and in God.154 'Tor as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ, these are with the Bishop."155 In the same way, union with the Bishop constitutes union with Christ, and vice versa.156

What we have said already sets out the essence of the "catholicization" of the Church. The further consequences of these statements are drawn out by Ignatius himself. The unity of the Church is not simply Eucharistic, but because of the relation of the Bishop to the Eucharist it becomes hierarchical as well. The Church of the Philadelphians realizes her "oneness" when she is "with the Bishop and the presbyters and deacons who are with him."157 Not only that, but the community cannot even be called a church without the clergy, i.e. the Bishop, presbyters and deacons: "without these, it cannot be called a church."158

The further consequences now follow naturally: whatever is accomplished in the Church is valid only when it is approved by the Bishop.159 The Bishop is not from men or through men, but from Christ.160 And unity around the Bishop is not the will of man, but the "voice of God161. The Bishop, in other words, is appointed as such by divine law, and unity around him is recognized as the will not of man but of God. Thus the "catholicization" of the Church leads to the sequence: will (gnomé) of the Father - will of Jesus Christ - will of the Bishop.162 The Catholic Church, as the whole Church, is such by virtue of the fact that she has the whole Christ. But the local Church too is likewise catholic, because she has the whole Christ through the Divine Eucharist. The Bishop as being directly connected with the Divine Eucharist represents the local Church in the same way as the whole Christ represents the generic (katholou) or catholic Church. But given that both the whole Christ and the Bishop are connected with the Church in the Divine Eucharist, the kath' olou or Catholic Church is to be found where the Divine Euchanst and the Bishop are. Thus the Bishop, as it has been most aptly observed, comes to be "the centre of the visible and also the true Church.163  and the local Church comes to be the "Catholic Church" herself.

Thus, neither universal consciousness nor polemic against heresies can explain the origin of the "Catholic Church." Its presence in history follows the line which Ignatius presents to us in such a remarkably concise and comprehensive way, and which, curiously, has been overlooked by scholarly research: one Church, one Eucharist, one flesh and one cup, one altar, one Bishop with the presbyterium and the deacons.164 Thus, in conclusion, the "Catholic Church" is identified according to Ignatius with the whole Christ, and the whole Christ is to be found and is revealed in the most tangible way in the Eucharistic synaxis and communion of all the members of each Church under the leadership of the Bishop. In consequence, the local Church is catholic not because of her relationship with the "universal" Church, but because of the presence within her of the whole Christ in the one Eucharist under the leadership of the Bishop. In this way, each local Church having its own Bishop is catholic per se; that is to say, it is the concrete form in space and time of the whole body of Christ, of the "generic" (kath' olou) Church.

From all this it is clear that the Aristotelian sense of the kath' olou which is inherent and takes its concrete form in the kath ekaston165 has been preserved in Ignatius' use of the term. Just as for Aristotle, each actual human being is the full incarnation of man as a whole, so for Ignatius each local Church forms the incarnation of the whole Christ and the Church as a whole. This incarnation is full and real, so that it cannot be understood in terms of Plato's or Philo's philosophy,166 and is expressed par excellence in the one Eucharist "under the leadership of the Bishop." But if Aristotle's sense of kath' olou has been taken up and preserved by church literature, this happened because this term adequately expressed a consciousness which already existed prior to the use of the term "Catholic Church." What was this consciousness which Ignatius had inherited, and for the expression of which Antioch chose the term "Catholic Church"? Our information on this will come from the ecclesiology of the generations immediately preceding Ignatius or contemporary with him to which the few surviving sources bear witness.

3. In our investigation of the origins of the unity of the Church, we saw that the Church first made her appearance as Jesus Christ Himself. By virtue of the inclusion in Him of the "many" for whom He was crucified and raised up, the Church constituted the unity of the very body of Christ in which the "many" become One person. This unity was expressed historically in its fullness through the Divine Eucharist. There the One and the "many" meet regardless of their numbers because Christ was regarded as being present even if only "two or three" were gathered together (Mt. 1850). The full presence of Christ, the whole Christ, was not tied to numbers or quantity, the indifference to which is expressed in the conjunction "or." This was manifested from the beginning as a reality in the local Church. From the moment when the Church was united around the Divine Eucharist, which means from the beginning, she believed that she constituted the whole Christ and therefore the whole Church. Thus, Paul calls the local Church of Corinth during the synaxis of the Divine Eucharist the whole Church.167 With the consciousness of oneness (one Lord - one Divine Eucharist) there developed also the consciousness of wholeness, of the kath' olou {the whole Christ - the full and certain Divine Eucharist - the whole or Catholic Church). Paul is a clear witness to the connection between the oneness and the katholou of the Church through the Divine Eucharist. The early Church had a sensitivity about dismemberment of the whole which deserves our attention: "let us not tear the members apart. 168 This shows that she understood herself not only as one, but also as wholeness and fullness. Hence, there arose the consciousness of the Church as the fullness of Christ which is manifested in Paul's letters to the Ephesians and Colossians. 169  How should the "fullness" (pleroma) and the recapitulation of everything in Christ be understood in these Epistles? The opinions of commentators differ. 170  At any rate, it is highly doubtful whether they can be understood quantitatively, as Christ being "complemented" by the Church. It is more likely and more accurate, even where the language is that of Christ being "complemented" by the Church, that this should be understood not as a matter of addition but as an expression of the full presence of the one within the other. The Church is the fullness (pleroma) of Christ because she constitutes Christ in His fullness.

The same applies to recapitulation (anakephalaiosis). Although the term is used by Paul in a cosmological sense, it is not devoid of ecclesiological significance. The term seems to be used in the sense of the new Adam.171 The human being par excellence includes within Himself the whole of humanity172 and recapitulates all things in Himself.173 The "many" are united in Him, and through the many He constitutes not only the one Adam par excellence, but also the full and completed new Adam, in other words his fullness. But as the Apostle Paul himself explains,174 recapitulation in Christ applies above all to the Church, "which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Therefore, however, much these two Epistles show tendencies to interpret the body of Christ in a cosmological rather than a strictly ecclesiological sense (and for this reason are considered deutero-Pauline by some scholars), the fact that the "fullness" refers par excellence to the Church is quite dear. This fullness of the body of Christ is recognized both by the Epistles mentioned above and by those to the Corinthians as existing in each local Church. The Church of Ephesus is regarded as "one body,"175 and the Colossians are likewise called to be one body.176 Thus, the consciousness that the local Church constitutes the full body of Christ, the catholicity of which does not need complementing by the other local Churches, appears widespread in the Pauline Epistles certainly on the evidence of those which are addressed to local Churches. Hence, the Church of Corinth is called by Paul "the whole Church" (Rom. 16:23 and 1 Cor. 14:23). Thus from the "whole Church" of Paul, we have arrived naturally at the "Catholic Church" of Ignatius.

Going on to examine other texts belonging to the period prior to Ignatius, we have no difficulty in drawing the same conclusion from the first epistle of Clement. There too, the Pauline and Ignatian idea that the local Church is identified with the Church of God is widespread. The Church of Rome and the Church of Corinth are each separately called the "Church of God,"177 and their faithful are "elect and sanctified." There was a "full outpouring of the Holy Spirit" on all the Christians of Corinth178 so that the Church of Corinth can without hesitation be called a "portion of the holy" {meris agiou). As variations in the codices attest, it is not impossible that this is an indirect reference to participation in the Divine Eucharist.179 But 1 Clement gives clearer expression to the consciousness that the local Church forms the whole body of Christ when in reference to the disturbances in Corinth it develops the Pauline idea of the body of Christ.180 From the viewpoint of consciousness, then, the antiquity of the Church's catholicity goes back to the earliest texts, and from Paul's time to that of Ignatius continues to be understood as the fullness of the body of Christ in each Church. What can we say about the outward marks of this catholicity?

Exactly as in Ignatius, so in 1 Clement, unity in the Divine Eucharist is the expression par excellence of the catholicity of the Church. First Clement does not of course develop this theme as broadly as Ignatius does because this epistle represents a period which is facing different problems, specifically the major problem of transition from the apostolic to the post-apostolic age through the link of apostolic succession, something that does not appear as a problem in Ignatius.

But, it is noteworthy that in confronting with this problem too, 1 Clement reveals a consciousness that the "catholicization" of the Church is accomplished on the basis of the "gifts of the episcope" which is to say the Eucharist. Thus while the Bishop is absent from this text, for linguistic rather than substantive reasons,181 the institution of the episcopé is present, and is connected in a notable way with the Eucharist. "Their" ministry (i.e. that of the Apostles) or of those appointed by them consists essentially in offering the Eucharist. Although the term leitourgia ("liturgy" or "ministry") is used by Clement in various different ways,182 (it is noteworthy that in the case of the "presbyters" who had been deposed and those whom they had succeeded) it is used par excellence in the sense of "offering the gifts."183 The dismissed "presbyters," then, had as their main task the offering of the Gifts. This alone is mentioned in connection with their dismissal which for this reason is considered "no small sin" (44:4). In its concern to preserve the characteristics of catholicity in the Church of Corinth, 1 Clement, like Ignatius, links her Bishop and clergy with the Lord through the Apostles;184 not in any abstract way or for any other reason, nor on a theoretical and theological level, but in relation to the Divine Eucharist which is offered by them. And, even if it is supposed that with 1 Clement certain Roman categories creep into the way the characteristics of catholicity are interpreted of (see for instance the use of the term "legitimate" in 40:4), this does not give the historian the right to speak of catholicity appearing with 1 Clement. On the contrary, from what we have maintained here, it is clear that there is no conceivable relationship, let alone identity, between the Roman spirit and catholicity around the time of Ignatius because catholicity arises out of the local Church's consciousness of constituting the whole Christ. The external marks which express this consciousness are essentially and primarily the Divine Eucharist as the body of Christ, and the Bishop who offers it ("with the presbyterium and the deacons"). These form the indisputable historical expressions of catholicity which 1 Clement does not invent, but upholds at a period which was, as we have seen, highly critical for the history of the Church. In consequence, 1 Clement is not innovating and does not, as has been maintained, introduce the Roman spirit into the teaching about catholicity. But in response to the urgent historical needs of its time, when the Apostles were starting to disappear, it connects two generations through an existing link, that of the Divine Eucharist with which the Bishops or "presbyters" who offered it had always been inseparably connected. Without a doubt, in doing so, it is making an interpretation and speaking theologically. It develops teachings such as those of a priesthood which exists by divine law and is understood iconically,185 obedience to the clergy as to God,186 a clear distinction between clergy and laity187 etc. But this theology does not create either the consciousness of catholicity or new external characteristics of catholicity. These already existed: 1 Clement merely interprets them. Thus, the "presbyters" and apostolic succession were recognized as characteristics of the Catholic Church before Ignatius during the crucial generation when the Apostles were disappearing; and for that generation as for Ignatius, the recognition came from the Church's consciousness shaped in the celebration of the Divine Eucharist that she constitutes the whole and full body of Christ.

Similar conclusions can be drawn from study of another text which probably represents the same period as 1 Clement. Judging from the fact that both these texts are gravely concerned with the same problem: the transition from the apostolic age to a situation where the Apostles were gradually disappearing, but had not yet all gone. This is the Didache.188

In regard to two points of the greatest interest for our study, the way this problem in addressed is common to both these texts. Just as 1 Clement recognizes the fullness of the local Church on the theoretical level, identifying her with the very Church of God, so the Didache recognizes the fullness of the local Church on the practical level setting her as judge over the itinerant charismatics and thus in essence above them. We find the same in another text from about the same period: the third Epistle of John. This text speaks of a certain Diotrephes "who loves to have pre-eminence" who clearly presided over a local Church and did not "acknowledge the authority" of the Apostles.189 The fact that this is condemned by John does not alter the situation from an historical angle. The question of whether we have here a clash between "spirit" and "hierarchy" is of only secondary importance for history. The reality is that at the time of 3 John the local Church was able, through the Bishop who represented her, to judge the charismatics and decide whether or not to receive them. In the same way, ail that the Didache says about the charismatics being judged by the local Church should be understood not as a mere desire on the part of its author or compiler, but as a reflection of a certain state of affairs that did exist and was widely spread. In keeping with this, every charismatic had to be subject to approval by the local Church,190 and she would judge whether he was a genuine apostle or prophet and should be received. This is the first point that testifies to the fullness of the local Church.

The other problem for this transitional generation, namely the succession to the ministry of the apostles who were no longer there, is solved as in 1 Clement:

a) "Bishops and deacons" are ordained, that is "presbyters" or "Bishops -presbyters - deacons"191 and

b) - most importantly for us here - the transition or "succession" from the apostolic to the subapostolic age take place through the Divine Eucharist.

When 1 Clement speaks of the succession of the Apostles, it refers to the "offering of the gifts" as their "ministry." The Didache, also speaking about the ordination of the "Bishops and deacons," says, "for they also serve for you the ministry of the prophets and teachers" (15:1). What is this "ministry of the prophets and teachers"?192 Previously, when speaking about the Divine Eucharist (chs. 9-10), the author of the Didache has clearly alluded to the prophets offering the Divine Eucharist whenever they were present in the local Church: "allow the prophets to make thanksgiving (Eucharistein) as much as they want." It is precisely this ministry that he seems to have in view also when he speaks of the ordination of the "Bishops and deacons." This is apparent from the fact that immediately before this (ch. 14) he has spoken at length about the Divine Eucharist, and still more from the conjunction "therefore" with which he links what has been said about the Divine Eucharist with the passage concerning ordination of "Bishops and deacons" as ministers to serve the ministry of the charismatics. It is also noteworthy that this is done not by introducing a new institution to replace one which was disappearing, but simply by emphasizing and reinforcing an office which already existed but was often overshadowed by the Apostles and other charismatics. This is indicated clearly by the passage: "Do not therefore despise them" (literally "overlook," hyperidete). For they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers" (15:2). The phrase "do not despise them" testifies to their preexistence. Thus, the connection of the subapostolic age to the apostolic is achieved here too through the already existing link that expressed par excellence the catholicity of the local Church namely the Divine Eucharist and the ministers who led it. The Eucharist is of tremendous ecclesiological significance also for the Didache because according to this text too it is inseparably bound up with the unity of the Church.193 Thus in confronting, with 1 Clement and 3 John, the gradual loss of the Apostles and other charismatics, the Didache preserves the conviction that despite the lack of Apostles and charismatics, the existing Eucharist and the permanent ministers who lead it represent the local Church in her fullness as the "Church of God."

From study of these texts, it can be concluded without difficulty that the three generations known to Ignatius, which go back to the apostolic age itself, believed that through the one Eucharist "which is under the leadership of the Bishop" each local Church is revealed in history as the full body of Christ and, therefore, as "the whole Church," as the Apostle Paul puts it. It was precisely this consciousness that Ignatius gave expression in his use of the term "Catholic Church." Derived from the Aristotelian sense of kath' olou, this term provided with the greatest precision the verbal form required to express this consciousness given that the kath'olou is understood as being fully incarnate and made concrete through the kath' ekaston.

Thus each local Church has come to be the concrete form in history of the katholou Church, the Catholic Church herself.

4. The historical conditions in which the generations following Ignatius lived obliged the Church to connect her catholicity with the element of Orthodoxy as we shall see at greater length shortly. Nevertheless, even at that period, the term "Catholic Church" did not cease to refer principally to each local Church. The following examples from the history of the term are sufficient to demonstrate this:

a)   In the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which belongs to the first or second generation following Ignatius,194 the term "Catholic Church" now appears clearly as a technical term, but again used of the local Church. Thus in 16:2, we read that Polycarp was Bishop of "the Catholic Church in Smyrna. 195This is in accordance with the whole ecclesiology of this text, in which the local Church, just as in Paul's Epistles, 1 Clement and Ignatius, is identified with the very "Church of God.196

Each local Church constitutes a "paroikia of the Catholic Church. 197As a paroikia, the local Church does not constitute a segment of the Catholic Church, but the place in which the whole Catholic Church dwells. 198 The meaning of the term, in consequence, is no different from that given it by Ignatius: in each place the Church kath' olou, the whole Christ, is made a concrete historical reality. Thus, the Church in Smyrna is called in the Martyrdom of Polycarp the "Catholic Church."199

But in the Martyrdom of Polycarp, we also find the phrase: "of the Catholic Church throughout the world" (8:1). This passage is usually adduced as proof that the "Catholic Church" was identified in Polycarp's time with the "universal" Church.200 On the contrary, however, this passage proves that the phrase "Catholic Church" did not mean "universal Church." This is shown, we consider, by the position of the phrase "Catholic Church" alongside the designation "throughout the world." For if it is accepted that "catholic" is to be interpreted as "universal" (oikoumenike) then we are confronted with a curious tautology which would yield the meaningless phrase "and of all the universal (oikoumenike) Church which is throughout the universe (oikoumene).201

b)   The first or second generation after the Martyrdom of Polycarp continued to apply the term "Catholic Church" to each local Church. Thus, Tertullian uses the term in the plural, writing of "Catholic Churches,"202 which obviously precludes the identification of this term with the "universal" Church.

c)   Even in the third century, the term "Catholic Church" continues to refer to the local Church. This is shown by two typical examples.

The first comes from Cyprian's well-known work De catholicae ecclesiae unitate, which by "catholica ecclesia" means the local Church of Carthage;203 the unity of which Cyprian was trying to protect by this work. This becomes highly significant for the history of the term "Catholic Church" if we take into account the fact that the title most likely belongs to Cyprian himself.204 In consequence, there is no basis for the view205 that Cyprian was the first to formulate the idea of church organization on the basis of the Roman empire; in other words as a world-wide unity of which the local Churches form parts complementary to one another.

The second example comes from other texts of Cyprian's time. Thus, the Roman confessors of whose declarations Cornelius informs Cyprian use the term "Catholic Church" as follows: "Nor are we ignorant of the fact that there should be one Holy Spirit, one bishop in the Catholic Church."206 If in this passage catholica is translated "universal," it automatically yields the impossible sense "there should be one Bishop in the universal Church"!207 It is clear that here "catholic" refers once again to the local Church. The evidence of this passage takes on special significance for the historian because it comes not only from Cyprian but also from other Churches of the West (Rome and Africa), and is linked also with the Churches of the East as is shown by the exact translation of the passage in Cornelius' letter to Fabius of Antioch.2081 A similar use of the term "catholic" is to be found in other texts of the same period.209 Thus, the identification of the "Catholic Church" with the episcopal diocese, and indeed with the Bishop, is more than clear in Cyprian's words to Antonianus: "You also wrote that I should pass on a copy of this same letter to Cornelius our colleague, so that he may put aside all anxiety and know at once that you are in communion with him, that is, with the Catholic Church.210

The declaration of the confessors of Rome "that there should be one Bishop in the Catholic Church" combined with Cyprian's fundamental ecclesiological principle which prevailed at that time: "the Bishop is in the Church and the Church in the Bishop,"211 ties in Cyprian's time fully with that of Ignatius from the viewpoint of consciousness concerning the catholicity of the Church. Just as for Ignatius, the Bishop forms the centre not only of the visible "but also of the true Church," so also for the Church of Cyprian's time, the whole Church (this is the meaning of the term ecclesia) is present in the Bishop. And just as for Ignatius there is "one Bishop" in the Church, so also for Cyprian's time "there should be one Bishop in the Catholic Church." Only one difference is evident between these two periods which is a difference not of substance but of emphasis: whereas in Ignatius' time, the local Church united in the person of the one Bishop was "the whole Church" herself by reason of being united in one Eucharist, this latter element - although, as we have seen, not absent as an historical fact in the period after Ignatius - had faded in the consciousness of later generations as an element in catholicity. Thus in Cyprian's time, the one Bishop is no longer emphatically connected with the one Eucharist. Such changes in emphasis which do not affect the substance of things are normal in history. And this change occurred because, as we shall see below the dangers from heresies and schisms obliged the Church to concentrate her attention on other elements of her catholicity.


2. The Eucharist, the Bishop and the position of the "Catholic Church" vis-a-vis heresies and schisms

1. From the time of the Martyrdom of Polycarp onwards, the attentive student of the sources will observe that the catholicity of the Church is now emphatically connected not so much with the Eucharist as with the orthodoxy of the Church.

This change is attested mainly by the way in which the texts refer to the institution and function of the Bishop. While, as has been observed,212 "curiously, Ignatius does not consider preaching an indispensable attribute of the Bishop (Philad. 1:2),"213 a generation or two later the emphasis is placed precisely on the Bishop's teaching work. The Martyrdom of Polycarp (16:2) refers to the Bishop Polycarp in the following terms: "The most wonderful martyr Polycarp, who became in our times an apostolic and prophetic teacher, Bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna." As this passage shows, the Bishop already concentrates in himself all the properties of the charismatics (he is "apostolic" and "prophetic"); but while these properties include the offering of the Eucharist, the emphasis is placed heavily on his teaching authority: "for every word that went out of his mouth has been and will be accomplished." 214

The same emphasis on the teaching authority of the Bishop can be seen in the rest of the texts from the latter half of the second century. In the fragments of Hegesippus (c. 175 AD), preserved in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History (IV.22), each local Church appears united in her Bishop who is regarded as the authoritative bearer of the true apostolic tradition: "in every succession and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and by the prophets and by the Lord."215 From historical research and also his own personal knowledge,216 Hegesippus goes on to give the names of Bishops going back to the Apostles themselves through a continuous succession. A few years later (around the year 185), Irenaeus continues Hegesippus' line of argument.217 True gnosis consists in the teaching of the Apostles and the agreement existing from the beginning in the Church throughout the whole world and the extension of the body of Christ through the succession of the Bishops to whom the Apostles had entrusted the various local Churches.218 Furthermore, according to Irenaeus, the Bishop is the authoritative teacher not simply by virtue of his apostolic succession, but also by virtue of his ordination. This element, appearing in the sources for the first time, serves to combine teaching authority with charismatic authority in general in the Bishop. In contrast to the heretics who maintain private assemblies, the "presbyters" of the Church were not, like them, merely teachers, but had the infallible "charisma" of truth.219

What caused such prominence to be given to the teaching authority of the Bishop, and what implications did this have for the history of the term "Catholic Church"? Once we have given an answer to these questions, we shall examine how unity in the Eucharist and in the Bishop relates to this new stage in the consciousness of catholicity during the first three centuries.

It is not an accident that this emphasis on the teaching authority of the Bishop coincides with the time of Polycarp's martyrdom. With the death of Polycarp, the last living bearers of the memory of the apostolic teaching disappear. The final, rather modest attempt at referring back to apostolic times by way of memory is to be found in Irenaeus who speaks of his own and Florinus' shared recollections of what Polycarp had told them of his contact with the Apostles in his youth.220 But, as we have seen, Irenaeus by no means confines himself with this sort of argument, and subsequent generations no longer use living memory at all as a proof of the orthodoxy of the Church. The disappearance of the living and immediate bearers of this memory created of itself the clear need to stress the teaching authority of the Bishop, just as at another time (see 1 Clement and the Didache), the disappearance of the Apostles had required stress to be laid on the lifelong and permanent priesthood of those who offer the Eucharistic Gifts.

But apart from this reason, the stress on the teaching authority of the Bishop also became imperative as an answer to the challenge of the Gnostic heresy. If the heresies of those times can be regarded as anti-historical,221 then Gnosticism more particularly can be said to constitute the most intellectualized form of religion. For the history of the notion of Catholicism, it is a fact of especial importance that it was the Gnostics and not the Orthodox who first introduced the idea of apostolic succession. This indicates that the expression of the consciousness of catholicity did not have orthodoxy as its focal point from the beginning. The first reference to apostolic succession is to be found in the Gnostic epistle of Ptolemy to Floras (165 AD)222 who appears again reiterating the claim of his teacher Valentinus to apostolic succession. This is explained if one takes into account that the Gnostic heresiarchs remained within the Church for a long time while they were already preaching their heresy.223 Rome was full of teachers and philosophical schools in the second century AD; and heresiarchs such as Marcion, Basileides and Valentinus contrived for years to be in contact with the Church while they were teaching heretical doctrines. Why did the Gnostics claim apostolic succession? The reason should be sought in the fact that the primary and most grave accusation against them was that they were teaching "new things." In order to refute this accusation, they maintained that they possessed a secret and "hidden" tradition going back to the Apostles.224

But what is characteristic in the present instance is that they understood this succession as a succession of teaching, (the type of succession that existed from the teachers of the Greek philosophical schools) which forced the Church to stress the already existing, but not greatly emphasized, capacity of the Bishop as teacher and of the Church as the storehouse of truth.225

This prominence given to the teaching authority of the Bishop, combined with the central place that he held in the Church's consciousness regarding catholicity, brought with it corresponding developments in the notion of the "Catholic Church."

Previously, as we have seen, the Church saw herself as "catholic" in the sense of the full presence within her of the whole Christ through the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop who offered it. Now, because of the increased emphasis in the meantime on the teaching work of the Bishop who expressed the Church's unity, "catholic," little by little, took on the meaning of the orthodox Church. Characteristic examples of such a development are the conceptions of the "Catholic Church" in Irenaeus, Tertuilian, the author of the Muratori Canon, and Clement of Alexandria, who all lived around the end of the second century.

According to Irenaeus, "the Church of God" is usually understood as contrasted with the heretics.226 The Church is presented as possessing her own system of teaching,227 and furthermore, which is more important, as supported by her teaching mission as by a "pillar."228 For this reason, wherever there is a reference to the Church as a whole, this is always done almost exclusively in order to emphasize her preaching and teaching.229 "The whole Church" (tota ecclesia) in Irenaeus' time is used as an expression and proof of orthodoxy in contrast with heresy. Thus the college of the Apostles was not only the Church par excellence, but also the whole Church (tota ecclesia) "from which every Church had its origin."230 It is characteristic that "the whole Church" is not connected here in any way with the concept of universality. But it is equally characteristic of the development which had taken place in the meantime that it does not appear as in Paul and Ignatius in reference to the synaxis of the Divine Eucharist but as proof of the Church's orthodoxy: the whole Church was incarnate in the college of the Apostles, free of heretics, because "there was no Valentinus there then, nor any of the others who destroy themselves and their followers."231 Similarly the understanding of the external marks of catholicity takes on a new emphasis as we believe is shown in the following example. Irenaeus mentions 1 Clement at one point232 and refers incidentally to apostolic succession. But the interpretation of it that he gives is noteworthy and forms a clear picture of the development that had taken place in the understanding of the marks of catholicity. Whereas Clement, as we have seen, connects apostolic succession with the offering of the Gifts, meaning the Divine Eucharist - the dismissal from which of the Apostles' successors had prompted the composition of the letter - this is overlooked by Irenaeus who sees the purpose of 1 Clement as being instead the renewal of apostolic faith in Corinth. The disturbance in Corinth which 1 Clement attempts to quell is for Irenaeus a matter of faith rather than of liturgy. Because apostolic succession, for the Church of his time, meant principally the guarantee of orthodoxy and the transmission of the apostolic tradition.

In Tertullian, it is equally clear that "Catholic Church" is a technical term denoting the "Orthodox Church" in contradistinction to the heresies.233 The term "Catholic Church" also has the sense of "orthodoxy" in the fragments of the so-called Muratori Canon. In this text, a distinction is made between those books of the New Testament which the "Catholic Church" accepts and uses and those which the heretics accept and which, therefore, "cannot be accepted by the Catholic Church."234 Here, too, the term "Catholic Church" means the true and Orthodox Church which possesses the correct canon of Holy Scripture in contrast to the heretical groups. It should be noted that the term does not indicate the "universality" of the Church in this text either, given that, when it is a matter of her "universality," the Church is described as "one Church, spread over all the world."235

After Irenaeus and at the beginning of the third century, the term "Catholic Church" continues to be connected mainly with the notion of orthodoxy. Thus according to Clement of Alexandria, the "Catholic Church" means the true and Orthodox Church in contrast with the heresies.236 The heresies are later human assemblies.237 The "Catholic Church" is the true and ancient Church whose walls the heretics have "clandestinely" dug through238 and which they "are eager to cut asunder into many [churches]."239 But in contrast with the divisive efforts of the heretics, the unity of the Catholic Church is stressed: "We say that the ancient and catholic Church is one only."240

Such was the history of the term "Catholic Church" from the middle of the second century to the beginning of the third. The threat of heresies and of Gnosticism in particular obliged the Church to give increased emphasis to the element of orthodoxy, in such a way that the "Catholic Church" was contrasted with the heresies, and the Bishop was seen as the successor of the Apostles not so much in leading the Eucharist, as was the case earlier, but rather in apostolic teaching.

This gives rise to the question: what was the meaning of unity in the Eucharist and the Bishop during this period in the history of the "Catholic Church"?

Despite the increased emphasis on the component of orthodoxy, the Divine Eucharist continued even in this period to be inseparably bound up with the catholicity of the Church. This connection appears in the sources under two aspects. Firstly, orthodoxy is unthinkable without the Eucharist. This is expressed emphatically by Irenaeus who more than anyone else stresses the element of orthodoxy at this period. Connecting orthodoxy with the Eucharist, he writes, "our doctrine (i.e. the orthodox faith) is agreed on the Eucharist, and the Eucharist confirms our doctrine... For we offer Him [God] His own, consistently proclaiming communion and union and confessing the rising of flesh and spirit."241 Besides, it is well-known that Irenaeus attributes immense importance to the Eucharist in the Church's struggle against heresies especially against the dualism of the Gnostics. According to Irenaeus, the Eucharist constitutes the strongest affirmation of the value of creation and of the material world,242 and also the expression par excellence of the unity of the Church in the body of Christ.243

The second aspect under which orthodoxy appears in connection with the Eucharist in the sources of the period under examination is expressed clearly in these sources through the principle that the Eucharist without orthodoxy is an impossibility. This principle requires particular examination because it is the most decisive factor in the position of the Catholic Church vis-a-vis heresies.

Orthodoxy had of course always been a precondition in the Church for participation in the unity of the Eucharist as shown by the confessions of faith incorporated into liturgical texts which are known already from New Testament times.244 The same precondition was preserved insistently in the early Church especially in the East.245 But the most decisive period for the establishment of this principle in the Church's consciousness proved to be the second half of the second century and the beginning of the third. A contributory factor in this was the development in the phenomenon of heresy itself which took place in the meantime.

Heresy appears as a threat to the unity of the Church even from New Testament times (Acts 20:29-30).246 But during the second half of the second century, heresy starts to be characterized by a tendency to take on an ecclesial shape. From the notion of a personal opinion or choice, which was the original meaning of the term airesis,247 or that of a "school of thought" which it took on subsequently on the model of the Greek philosophical schools,248 during the period we are looking at heresy began to develop into organized groups on the model of the Catholic Church. Rome, for example, was the scene of an historically unprecedented coexistence of heretical groups249 which did not content themselves with a teaching mission, but, perhaps in order to counter the arguments of the Catholic Church, sought to obtain ecclesial status themselves.

Thus, an effort can be observed on the part of heretical groups at this period to put bishops at their head, as shown by the case of the Theodotians at the time of Pope Zephyrinus (199-217), who persuaded the confessor Natalius to become their Bishop in return for a salary.250 This effort on the part of the heretical groups occasioned further clarification of the Church's catholicity in her consciousness and thus brought about the following very important development: the catholicity of the Church now began clearly to take shape as an expression of that Church which in the person of her own Bishop, who preserved the historical and charismatic continuity of her being, combined at once right liturgical life and right faith. This consciousness which forms one of the most decisive stages in the development of ecclesial catholicity begins with Hippolytus and comes to completion with Cyprian.

Of Hippolytus's works, the Philosophumena or Refutation of All Heresies shows that the "Catholic Church" of the beginning of the third century saw herself as one in each city, distinguished from the other groups in that they were simply "schools" or places of teaching, while the Catholic Church was a liturgical community, centreed on the Divine Eucharist which preserved strictly defined boundaries around itself. Thus Hippolytus, being unable to accept more than the one Church in Rome, calls Calhstus' group a "school" which is outside the communion of the Church251 and cannot be called a "Catholic Church."252

Thus at this period, the consciousness was clearly formed that the "Catholic Church" was a notion necessarily including, apart from orthodoxy, a strictly ecclesial or liturgical communion. This is why Origen speaks in his writings of two groups in Christianity which he contrasts with one another: one is called "churchmen" (ekklesiastikoi) and the other "those from the heresies,"253 and he prides himself on belonging to the group not simply of "Christians" but of "churchmen."254 One who belongs to the groups of the heretics calls himself a "Christian" ("professione quidem christianus est, intellectu fidei haereticus et perversus est" - "he is professedly a Christian, but in his understanding of the faith he is a heretic and perverse"), while on the contrary the "churchman" is not called simply "Christian" but also "catholic": "fidei credulitate et professione nominis christianus est et catholicus" ("by belief in the faith and profession of the name he is a Christian and a Catholic"). "Churchman" and "catholic" are identified and the one explains the other. The "heretic" fighting against the "churchman" is fighting the "catholic," as once, the Egyptian who was an Israelite only on his mother's side fought against the true Israelite: "adversus ecclesiasticum, adversus catholicum litigat."255 This identification of "churchman" with "catholic" is a characteristic mark of the way the term "Catholic Church" is now used to indicate "ecclesial communion" not only in faith, but also in the Divine Eucharist. As is shown by a later text which, however, reflects an earlier state of affairs, in order for strangers to gain entry into a paroikia, it was not enough to ask them whether they were "believers"; they also had to be asked whether they were "churchmen"256 meaning in regular communion with the Catholic Church.

A typical example of the connection between Eucharist and orthodoxy at the beginning of the third century is the Greek text in the Toura papyrus, of great interest for the history of dogma and liturgy, entitled "Discourses of Origen to Heracleides and the Bishops with him ion the Father and the Son and the Soul], published in 1949 by J. Scherer.257 This is the major part of the Acts of an episcopal council including the discussion between Origen and a certain Bishop, Heracleides, whose ideas had precipitated the calling of the council. What is of importance for us here is that in the course of the discussion about the Son's relationship to the Father, Origen refers to the Eucharistic prayer in order to stress that the content of prayer and the content of faith should be in total harmony. The relationship of the Son to the Father is one of unity in nature in a distinction of persons, and hence "the offering [of the Eucharist] is to God Almighty through Jesus Christ as He who offers [or is offering258] His divinity to the Father; not twice, but let the offering be to God from God..." (2.24; he. cit. p. 62). Thus the orthodox faith and the Eucharistic offering, which most likely occasioned discussion, are mutually dependent, and the unity of the Church depends on the harmony between the two in such a way that whoever disagrees, be he a Bishop or a presbyter, "is not a Bishop nor a presbyter nor a layman. If he is a deacon, he is not a deacon nor a layman. If he is a layman, he is not a layman, nor does he come together" {synagetai, i.e. take part in the Eucharistic synaxis) (5.5; loc. cit. p. 64).

The way the consciousness of the Church's catholicity was shaped by the now decisive joining of Eucharistic communion with orthodoxy is clearly illustrated by the manner in which the Church in the period under discussion accountedfor the institution of the episcopate. Earlier, as we have seen, the institution of episcopacy was connected in the beginning chiefly with the Divine Eucharist (Clement of Rome, Ignatius) and, later on, chiefly and emphatically with its teaching function (Martyrdom of Polycarp, Hegesippus, Irenaeus). At the beginning of the third century, these two elements are joined into one, and the Bishop is clearly the expression of both simultaneously- This is illustrated in the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus,259 a text of great value for the history of this period. A careful examination of the evidence this text gives concerning the Bishop tells us that the Bishop, who was alter Christus and alter apostolus for his Church,260 concentrates in himself the power both to "shepherd the flock" of his Church, that is to teach her members with authority, and to "offer to Thee the gifts of Thy holy Church," that is to perform the Divine Eucharist.261

Thus, around the beginning of the third century and under pressure from heresy, which already showed a tendency to clothe itself in ecclesial garb, unity in the Divine Eucharist is combined with unity in orthodoxy while the Bishop through his ordination is clearly made the successor of the Apostles both in the offering of the Eucharist and in the preservation of orthodoxy, hi the same way, this period sees a synthesis of the elements which earlier expressed the notion of the "Catholic Church." This synthesis is expanded and matures still further in the time of Cyprian and under pressure from another negative factor, that of schism.

2. "Schism" occurs as a term even in the earliest texts of the New Testament, but the meaning it has there is simply that of a temporary disagreement262 or of quarrels between individuals, not between organized groups.263 Later "schism" is confused with "heresy," in place of which it is often used, and this ended finally in the definition of heresy as wrong belief, and schism as a division of an administrative or moral kind.264

Under pressure from schism, which was a most acute problem in the third century, the consciousness concerning the Church's catholicity was clarified still further. This clarification was passed down to history mainly through the personality of St Cyprian who for this reason represents a milestone in the history of the unity of the Church.

Continuing the tradition and mind of the Church of the time of Hippolytus and Origen, the Church of Cyprian's time inherited the consciousness that her catholicity consisted in unity in right faith and sacramental communion, expressed through the Bishop of each local Church. But going beyond what it had inherited,

Cyprian's generation further clarified the components of this catholicity both for itself and for history in general, because thanks to Cyprian and the controversies of his time, the history of ecclesiology in this period can be studied easily. Thus we receive on the one hand an almost complete description of the composition and organization of the local Church, and on the other, a clarification and an ecclesiological expression of the catholicity of each local Church.

The local Church comprises two basic components bound together in complete unity and order: the people (plebs) and the clergy (ordo or clerus). 265 The clergy consists of various degrees. Among the laity, by contrast, there are no degrees. 266 Within the clergy, we find clearly distinguished the three hieratic degrees (bishop, presbyter, deacon) and also the lower clergy267 with the responsibilities of each defined. All are dependent on the Bishop and owe obedience to him. In his absence, both the clergy and the deacons can be given a mandate to represent him in his responsibilities and his work.268 When he is present, however, they may only be in obedience to him.269 The laity similarly owes obedience to the clergy and in particular to the Bishop. This obedience does not preclude their participation in church affairs mainly in the form of giving an opinion on serious issues270 and electing clergy.271 But as in antiquity (1 Clement - Ignatius), this participation was approbatory in character and not by way of a precondition: while from the other clergy the Bishop seeks consilium (advice), from the laity he merely seeks consensus (consent).272 These are two different things.273 It is possible for the rest of the clergy and the laity to participate in the election of a Bishop, but the election depends on and receives its validity from the participation of the Bishops.274

All this is a consequence of the ancient consciousness that the catholicity of the local Church is expressed by the Bishop. It is he that incarnates the local Church (as we have already seen in Ignatius).275 When, therefore, Cyprian writes to a particular Church, he addresses her Bishop alone (Cyprianus Cornelio fratri, Cyprianus Jubaiano fratri, etc.). If the episcopal throne is vacant, he addresses the clergy (Cyprianus presbyteris et diaconis Romae consistentibus). Only when he is addressing his own Church, because of course he is not addressing her entirety, does he write to her clergy and laity (Cyprianus presbyteris et plebi universae). Cyprian gives an ecclesiological explanation of this position of his. For him it is a fundamental and inviolable principle that the Church has been founded upon the Bishop:276 for the Church is nothing other than the people united around their Bishop and the flock bound to their shepherd (Ecclesia plebs sacerdoti adunata et pastori suo grex adhaerens). The Bishop is in the Church and the Church in the Bishop, and if anyone is not with the Bishop, he is not in the Church.277 Whoever separates himself from the Bishop, separates himself from the Church.278 Such are the essential and inviolable ecclesiological principles of Cyprian's time.

One might reiterate here that this period presented nothing essentially new from the viewpoint of ecdesiology. This can be seen from a careful examination of what has been said up to this point. But as has been done, hitherto, in the course of our investigation, so now, too, we have to compare the period we are looking at with earlier times and establish what shifts of emphasis or interpretations ecdesiology may have undergone in the consriousness of the Church. In the present case, historical conditions contributed to the following developments which were highly significant and of derisive importance.

The schism occasioned by the "lapsed" which rocked the Church of Cyprian's time, and which arose after only the first year of Cyprian's episcopate (249 AD - persecution of Decius), had brought up for discussion the problem of the jurisdiction of the Bishop of each local Church, and the relationship of this jurisdiction to the authority of the martyrs (another form of the very ancient problem of the relationship between the charismatics and the permanent ministers). The problem had been posed in the form of the question: did the martyrs have the right and the authority, on the basis of their sacrifices for the faith, to pardon those who had lapsed, releasing them from the penance imposed by the Church? The right to pardon those who were in a state of penance belonged to the Bishop. There was a belief in some circles that the martyrs had within them the Holy Spirit who had strengthened them in the hour of martyrdom.279 As Spirit-bearers, then, did they not have the authority to act at least as the Bishop did? The answer from Cyprian and the other Western Bishops was negative. Only in the case of those on their deathbeds could the lapsed be given such pardon by economy (and anyway this presupposed the knowledge and approval of the Bishop). Others were obliged to await the return of the Bishop to his see. Yet again, the "Catholic Church" showed a consciousness that her unity and catholicity rested on the Bishop. It should be noted mat this took place before the schism of Novatus which Harnack makes the ground and starting-point for Cyprian's conviction that "ecclesia super episcopos constituatur ["the Church is founded on the bishops"].280 This is evidence that Harnack is wrong because the above-mentioned decision by Cyprian and the other Western Bishops came before Novatus, and reflects very ancient beliefs which we have already looked at. This, then, was the first historical event of Cyprian's time which led to the clarification of episcopocentric catholicity.281

After Cyprian's stance against the martyrs pardoning those who had lapsed, there followed the schism of Felicissimus around whom a part of the laity ("portio plebis") had gathered. Such a group of Christians living apart from the Bishop was not even called a Church by Cyprian. When the lapsed sent him a letter "in the name of the Church" ("ecclesiae nomine"), Cyprian described them as impudent for wanting to call themselves a "Church" ("ecclesiam se volunt esse..."). There was a strong consciousness that the Catholic Church could not be found outside the Bishop. But in the meanwhile and before Felicissimus was condemned and unity in Carthage restored (251 AD - Council of Carthage), Rome was faced with the Novatianist schism in which Novatus, a presbyter from Carthage belonging to the faction of Felicissimus, took part, having an interest in seeing Novatian made Bishop of Rome, since the latter would support Felicissimus' faction. The election of Cornelius as Bishop of Rome was supported without hesitation by Cyprian, and this contributed to the further clarification of his ecclesiology through letters and through his work De catholicae ecclesiae unitate. The notion of catholicity is used repeatedly by Cyprian: the election of Novatian took place "contra ecclesiam catholicam"282 (again, the Church of Rome is meant, and not the universal Church). The "Catholic Church" in Rome was not that with Novatian, but that with Cornelius, from which those with Novatian had detached themselves.283 Writing to the confessors of Rome, who supported Novatian, he reminds them that confession during persecutions is not a sufficient duty for the Christian, and that devotion to the unity of the Catholic Church and her Bishop is an equally serious duty. By electing a Bishop over against the existing Bishop, the confessors had acted contrary to the catholicity of the Church ("contrary to the unity of the Catholic institution, they plotted to make another bishop"), and in this way had tried to found another Church, outside that which the Lord had founded - "something that is neither lawful nor permissible to do."284 For the Catholic Church founded by the Lord is one, and her unity rests on the unity of the episcopate ("episcopatus unus est").285 Thus, in a way reminiscent of Ignatius, the Bishop, the Catholic Church, Christ and God form an unbreakable sequence. Cyprian, therefore, has no difficulty in drawing the conclusion: whoever does not have the Church as his mother cannot have God as his Father ("habere non potest Deum patrem qui ecclesiam non habet matrem"). And he who is not with the Church is not with Christ ("He who gathers eleswhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ")286 just as he who is not with the Bishop is not with the Church287 and in consequence is with neither Christ nor God.

What understanding of the Catholic Church underlies these convictions? This is elucidated for us by (a) the work De catholicae ecdesiae unitate, and (b) the texts written in response to the events which took place towards the end of Cyprian's life.

According to the De Unitate, the Catholic Church is that which concentrates in herself of all the means of salvation. The emphasis is not placed only on her orthodoxy or only on the celebration of the Divine Eucharist or simply on these two as happened in the times before Cyprian. The consciousness concerning catholicity had now matured considerably, and under pressure of historical events, it reached the fullness of its expression. The Catholic Church is that which incarnates orthodoxy, the Divine Eucharist and every other means of salvation, every sacrament: Priesthood and Baptism. These will be developed more clearly towards the end of Cyprian's life in response to the controversies over baptism.

But they are already expressed in principle and in a negative way in De Unitate: outside the Catholic Church there is no baptism {"non abluntur illic homines"), nor Eucharist ("falsa sacrificia"), nor Bishop ("episcopi nomen") nor indeed a "cathedra" of right teaching.288 Can someone maintain that he has a right faith, asks Cyprian, if he is not connected with the cathedra of Peter which is occupied by the Bishop in each local Church?289 Faith and orthodoxy for Cyprian are ecclesiological concepts: right faith cannot form a self-sufficient means to salvation, but is a component in the believer's more general dedication to the Catholic Church. He clarifies these principles still further when, around the year 255, the issue arises of the validity of baptism by heretics. This issue first appears in a letter of Cyprian's to a certain distinguished layman named Magnus who had asked, at Cyprian's own instigation, whether the Novatianists were able to perform valid baptisms. Cyprian answers in the negative: heretics and schismatics do not have the right and the power to baptize.290 This position of Cyprian's and the way he justifies it reveal much about the then prevailing consciousness as to what exactly constitutes the Catholic Church which is our immediate concern here. Why are heretics and schismatics unable to perform valid baptisms? For Cyprian there is one answer: because they are outside the Catholic Church. To the question of whether the Novatianists do not have the same faith as the Catholic Church, he replies in the negative: their Creed is not the same as ours because in our Creed there is a reference to belief in the Church whereas the Novatianists do not have a Church. Similarly there is a reference to remission of sins, but the Novatianists do not receive this through the Church.291 As to faith in the Holy Trinity in the name of Whom they baptize, he asks: did not Korah and Dathan and Abiram have the same faith as Moses, but were punished by God nonetheless?292 This line of argument of Cyprian's bears witness that right faith is not sufficient to constitute the "Catholic Church." Orthodoxy no longer forms the criterion for the "Catholic Church," but the "Catholic Church" is the criterion for orthodoxy: belief in the Church forms an essential and necessary element in orthodoxy. The catholicity of the Church, then, is a wider concept than orthodoxy: it includes orthodoxy, without being coextensive with it. What does this broader reality consist in? This is the climax of our investigation on this subject. As a result of the baptism issue, Cyprian gives the first full expression in history to the catholicity of the Church; an expression which is, therefore, of decisive importance, summing up the consciousness of previous generations of Christians on this subject not by adding together various points, but as a flowing and organic whole. Here is what he says.

Heretics and schismatics, being outside the Catholic Church and not obedient to her, do not have the Holy Spirit. Even supposing, then, that they could baptize, they could not bestow the Holy Spirit. But this is not enough; for one who does not have the Holy Spirit cannot even baptize.293 Baptism forgives sins, and sins are forgiven only by those who possess the Holy Spirit in accordance with Jn 20:22. But it is precisely this that those outside the Catholic Church lack: "all of these, heretics and schismatics, do not confer the Holy Spirit."294

What then is the deeper reason for this inability on the part of schismatics and heretics to perform "valid" sacraments? At this point, the unity of the Church comes into play as a factor of decisive importance in the relationship of the Catholic Church to schism and heresy.

For Cyprian, just as for Paul and Ignatius (see above), the Eucharist constitutes the sacrament of Church's unity in such a way that the Eucharist acquires ecclesiological content. We see this chiefly in the remarkable letters 63 and 69; the basic ideas in which are characteristic of the whole of Cyprian's ecclesiology. Interpreting the symbolism of the mingling of the water and the wine in the Eucharistic Cup, and of the grains of wheat from which the Eucharistic Bread is made, he observes that just as Christ bears all of us in Himself so in the mingling of the water and the wine in the cup the multi-rude of the faithful (populus) are united into one indissoluble unity. Therefore, the Church too, united in the Eucharist, is inseparably united with Christ in such a way that the two become one being. When the holy Cup is consecrated, it is necessary that neither wine alone nor water alone should be offered. For if we offer the water alone, the people appear without Christ. The same goes for the union of the grains of wheat for preparing the bread. Just as the multitude of grains of wheat are collected together and ground together and mixed so as to become one loaf of bread, so also in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, there is but one body in which our multiplicity is joined together and united.

Precisely because the Eucharist possesses this ecclesiological content, the schismatics and heretics who do not participate in it cannot perform "valid" sacraments. For Cyprian, this is the basis for the "validity" of the heretics' baptism: if they participated in the unity of the Eucharist, they would participate also in the whole charismatic life of the Church. This understanding, which sets up Eucharistic unity as the fullness of ecclesial unity in general, is clearly expressed by Cyprian:

If Novatian were united in this bread of the Lord, if he were mingled with the others in the people of God, then he could maintain that he possessed the grace of the one baptism, because he would be within the unity of the Church... How indivisible is the mystery of unity and how hopeless the destruction of those who provoke the wrath of God by creating a schism and making another bishop in place of their own Bishop, is described by Scripture in the Book of Kings, in connection with the ten tribes who separated themselves from Judah and Benjamin and forsook their king in order to enthrone another.295

This important passage reveals that for Cyprian who broadens the concept of the catholicity of the Church by making a synthesis of all the elements he had inherited from previous generations that unity in the one Divine Eucharist and the one Bishop296 forms the criterion for the catholicity of the Church. A second Eucharist and a second Bishop in the same geographical area constitute a situation "outside the Catholic Church." Here too, the supreme mark of remaining within the Catholic Church is unity in the one Eucharist "under the leadership of the Bishop." Such unity describes the bounds of catholicity which in the synthetic exposition given by Cyprian means that living fullness of the body of Christ in which through the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, doctrinal life {orthodoxy), and sacramental life (Eucharist, Baptism, Priesthood) form mutually dependent elements and an unbreakable unity which defines the boundaries and the substance of the Church. This fullness subsists in each Church which is led by a canonical Bishop.

Was this understanding of catholicity Cyprian's consciousness only, or that of the Church in general around the middle of the third century? This is difficult to answer, because at that period there did not yet exist the criterion through which the consciousness of all the Churches around the world could be expressed at the same time, namely, the ecumenical council. We do, however, know that many Churches became involved in the discussion about baptism, and this helps us to know their views relative to Cyprian's position. First of ail, we note that all the Churches of Africa had sided with Cyprian's views in two Councils, one in the autumn of 255 and one shortly before Easter in 256. Present, at the latter, were 71 Bishops from Africa and Numidia who had endorsed the decisions of the 255 Council. These decisions are a precise reflection of Cyprian's views summarizing his teaching on the "Catholic Church" as set out above: the "Catholic Church" is the sphere of operation of the Holy Spirit, and therefore, she alone is able to possess right teaching and sacraments.297 Thus, we can say that what has been said above regarding Cyprian's ecclesiology can be taken by historical research as a reflection of the consciousness of the Churches in Africa and Numidia.298 What was the understanding of the Churches of the East in this matter? Judging from those that took part in the discussion on baptism, we may say that the eastern Churches wholeheartedly shared the ecclesiological views of Cyprian. Writing to Cyprian (in 256) in the name of the Churches of Cappadocia, Cilicia and Galatia, obviously after a council had been convened there, Firmilian of Caesarea in Cappadocia concurs with Cyprian's ecclesiology without hesitation. Firmilian's letter299 is a notable historical document because it vigorously proclaims the fullness and catholicity of every local Church which has a Bishop at her head,300 and declares that the ecclesiological views on catholicity of the Churches he represents are identical with those of Cyprian.301 As for the other eastern Churches, we have indications that the Church of Alexandria, although in practice following Rome, was theoretically in her ecclesiology more in agreement with Cyprian,302 and if we believe Firmilian, the Church of Jerusalem too had many disagreements with Rome.303 Anyway, the fact is that throughout the East councils were convened in the autumn of 256 which decided unanimously to follow Cyprian in his ecclesiology.304

It remains to examine the position on this subject of the Church of Rome which in the person of her bishop Stephen was strongly opposed to the views of Cyprian. On what exactly did Stephen disagree with Cyprian? Our concern here is to see whether and to what extent Rome shared Cyprian's views on the "Catholic Church" which should not be precluded a priori by the great impression made by the controversy between Rome and Africa. Unfortunately, Stephen's arguments are known to us only in part and perhaps in distorted form because they have come down to us through the letters of Cyprian and others of his opponents. We should not, then, give Cyprian's letters the status of an historical source in this matter. Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained. The point which interests us here, however, is not that of rebaptism, but that of the ecclesiological presuppositions behind it. On these both the treatise De Rebaptismate (and Stephen of Rome) and Cyprian seem to be in essential agreement; for both accept that the Holy Spirit is not given to those who are baptized outside the Catholic Church.307 We can in consequence accept that the consciousness of the "Catholic Church" which Cyprian formulated as a result of the schisms did not differ in essence from that of those who disagreed with him on the issue of baptism. And, therefore, that, insofar, as the sources allow us to know, this consciousness was that of all the Churches of the middle of the third century.

Summarizing the information we have, we observe that the clarification in the Church's consciousness of catholicity, which took place as a result of the acute problem of schism and with the help of the great figure of Cyprian, consisted in the following basic principles:

(a)  In contrast to the schismatic group, the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the body of Christ (original meaning of catholicity) which, however, is manifested not simply as unity in the Eucharist or in orthodoxy and in the Bishop, but as fullness and self-sufficiency in every saving operation of the Holy Spirit expressed through the unity of each Church around the Bishop in whom the Church resides (ecclesia in episcopo).

(b) Schismatics are outside the Church, and in consequence, there can be no question of their participation in the sphere of the body of Christ. Hence, there is no essential distinction from an ecdesiological viewpoint between schism and heresy. What interests Cyprian is that both are outside the Church. Given that the Church is the one and only body of Christ, anyone who is outside the Church is outside Christ and outside salvation.308

It is not hard to see that such an "ecclesiology of schism" arises out of the ancient identification of the Church with the Eucharistic synaxis and the oneness of that synaxis in each Church. A basic presupposition of Cyprian's position is the coincidence between the canonical boundaries of the Church and her essential boundaries. This coincidence was achieved, as we have seen, through the unity of each Church in one Eucharist under one Bishop. Hence anyone who does not participate in this unity and establishes a second Eucharist under a second Bishop within the geographical boundaries of a given Church (the creation of a schism) is establishing a second Church not only in a canonical sense but also in an essential dogmatic sense. Given, however, that the Church according to Cyprian's basic understanding is one only, any communion in another Eucharist and under another Bishop bears no relation to the body of Christ. To have two or more Eucharistic communities under two or more Bishops in each city is unacceptable. Without this presupposition, the "ecclesiology of schism" developed by Cyprian would not be possible.

Was the problem of schism solved through this ecclesiology of Cyprian's? From an historical and perhaps also from a theological viewpoint/ the answer is negative.309 The coincidence between the canonical and essential boundaries of the Church was not accepted by Stephen of Rome, and was later rejected totally by Augustine. After him, this negative position towards Cyprian's ecclesiology was followed almost unanimously by the West which preferred to make a distinction between the charismatic and canonical spheres of the Church, and to accept the possibility that even those who by reason of schism did not participate in the latter, might participate in the former. The East, apart from a very few exceptions, seems to have followed Cyprian without yet having solved this fundamental problem from either a theological or an historical viewpoint. The final answer as regards history will be given only once the sources after Cyprian in both East and West have been examined. Cyprian's position, which we have examined here, covers the situation regarding the relation of schism to the unity of the Church only in the first three centuries.


3. The Eucharist, the Bishop and the unity of the "Catholic Church throughout the world"

We have seen above that the term "Catholic Church" was not identified with the "worldwide Church" in the sources of the first three centuries. The connection of the catholicity of the Church with her universality can be seen only from the fourth century onwards although the connection between these two concepts was not formed into a full identification until the time of the Blessed Augustine.310 In order, however, for this connection to have taken place in the fourth century, the way must certainly have been prepared for it during the first three centuries. We propose to look at this preparation here because of its direct relationship with the unity of the Church in the Eucharist and the Bishop.

The consciousness that all Christians form one Church despite being scattered "throughout the world" is evident from the first days of the Church. This consciousness should be connected with two basic factors. The first factor is external to the Church, and consists in the fact that when Christianity first appeared, it was confronted with a widespread "universal" unity - the unity of the oikoumene - the idea of which was cultivated by the Greeks of Christ's time.311 During the first three centuries, the Church never lost the consciousness of living within this oikoumene, and her sacred mission, as carried out indeed by the Apostle to the Gentiles, very early revealed her universal spirit.312 The second factor contributing to the unity of Christians all over the world is internal to the Church and consists in the Church's self-awareness of forming a people, the Israel of God, which is scattered to the ends of the earth. In the same way, there was formed very early the consciousness of a Church of the diaspora, which is clearly expressed in the first Epistle of Peter,313 and which, later, through the sharp differentiation of Christianity from both Judaism and Hellenism, took on the form of characterizing the Church as a third race.

The consciousness of the unity of the Church throughout the world was connected early with the Divine Eucharist. We see this in the Didache which preserves in the original Eucharistic prayers the image of the unity in the Eucharist not only of each Church, but also of the whole "Catholic Church throughout the world": "Just as this loaf was scattered all over the mountains and was brought together and made one, so let Thy Church be gathered from the ends of the earth in Thy Kingdom."314 It repeats the same prayer a little later (10.5) with the petition: "...and gather her together from the four winds..." We see this connection of the Eucharist with the consciousness of the unity of Christians ail over the world also in the Epistle to Diognetus. In this text, the spread of the Church all over the world is heavily stressed.315 The concept of the Church in this epistle is that of the new Paradise in the midst of which is the tree which is Christ, and in which, the faithful are gathered together to perform the Eucharist under the leadership of the ministers.316

In the second half of the second century and arising out of the Paschal controversies, we are confronted with a particular emphasis on the consciousness that the Churches all over the world form a unity.317 At the same period, and as a result both of these disputes,318 and of Montanism,319 the first councils of Bishops make their appearance, an event which brings into history once and for all a concrete external criterion for expressing the unity of the Catholic Church throughout the world.

It is a notable fact that even at this period the unity of the Catholic Church throughout the world is combined with unity in the Eucharist and in the Bishop. The institution of councils, as it appears during the years we are looking at, has in view in the final analysis nothing other than "communion," i.e. the unity of the Churches in the Eucharist. This is evident from a careful reading of the first text to give us any information about councils: "The faithful in Asia came together often and in many parts of Asia to consider this subject, and examined the novel utterances and declared them profane and rejected the heresy; thus [the heretics] were expelled from the Church and debarred from communion."320 But the Paschal disputes too were closely bound up with unity in the Eucharist: "Victor, who presided over the Church of the Romans, immediately tried to cut off from the common union as heterodox all the paroikies of Asia with the Churches bordering them, and publicized this through letters, proclaiming all the brethren there totally excommunicate."321 From this passage, it becomes obvious that the supreme expression of the "common union," i.e. of the unity of the Church throughout the world, lies in the communion of the Eucharist. Thus, Irenaeus, writing to Victor of Rome on the same subject, uses as his principle argument the fact that the bishops of Rome prior to Victor "sent the Eucharist" to "those who did not observe" the same manner of celebrating Easter as Rome did.

On the universal level too, this unity in the Eucharist was a unity through the Bishop. This was shown in various ways. The communication of members of one Church travelling to another required them to be provided with a special letter from the Bishop confirming their position in their own Church322 to the end that they should be received into eucharistic communion. This is shown even more characteristically in the practice, which appears also in the canonical sources, whereby each Bishop "concedes" the Eucharist to the Bishop of another Church who is visiting him. (* Transl.note: i.e. he allows the visiting bishop to take his place as celebrant.)

 We know that this took place in Rome when Polycarp went there to deal with the question of Easter323 while the Syriac Didascalia around the beginning of the third century presents it as a normal practice at least in that area.324

In this way, it was demonstrated in the most graphic manner that there was essentially one Eucharist and one episcopate in the whole world. Thus, the differences over the manner of performing the Eucharist were very few and of secondary importance while the basic structure of the Eucharist was amazingly the same in all geographical regions, as we see from a comparison between the outline of the liturgy in Justin's First Apology and the eastern liturgies of the fourth century. The fact that the Eucharist in Rome could be performed with no difficulty by Polycarp from Ephesus, and the evidence of Egeria's account of her travels in Jerusalem and elsewhere, together with that of Abercius of Hierapolis who travelled through almost all the then known world, finding everywhere the same "infinitely great and pure fish from the spring, whom a pure virgin caught and gave to His friends to eat forever, having a mixed wine that is good and giving it with the bread."325

But if, as appears from the above, there was but one Church in all the world according the consciousness of unity in the first three centuries, how is the existence of many full and Catholic Churches around the world to be understood? How, in other words, could the Christians of those days conceive of the one "Catholic Church throughout the world" despite the multiplicity of Churches in various places especially when they regarded the latter as full Churches? Here we come up against the most fundamental problem of all. This is the problem of how the Catholic Churches in various places relate to the Catholic Church throughout the world in the consciousness of the Church of the first three centuries. On this question, the existing sources permit the following observations.

If the information in the sources is examined carefully, it shows that the strong unity among Christians all over the world was necessarily manifested through the local Church. No Christian believer could participate in the unity of the Church throughout the world if he did not first belong to the unity of a particular local Church. This raises the fundamental problem of the relationship that existed, both ecclesiologically and canonically, between the unity of the local Church and that of the Church throughout the world. What has already been written about the catholicity of the local Church precludes an understanding of the Catholic Church throughout the world as a unity of parts complementing each other, given that each local Church, having her own Bishop as a genuine successor to the Apostles both in the leadership of the one Eucharist and in orthodox faith, was a full and complete Church which had no need of any complement. In this case, how are we to understand the unity of the particular Churches in the one Catholic Church throughout the world?

Already from the beginning of the second century, as Ignatius testifies, there was the consciousness that "the Bishops who are at the ends of the earth are in the mind (gnome) of Jesus Christ." 326 This is of particular importance for the unity of the Church throughout the world and the expression of this unity through the institution of councils. 327 But if this is placed in the light of Ignatius' ecclesiology, according to which, as we have seen, the whole Christ is revealed in the unity of each Church, the unity of the Bishops who are at the ends of the earth can mean nothing other than mystical identity: given that according to Ignatius' ecclesiology the Church under each Bishop is united and presented in him as the body of Christ, then all the Bishops, coinciding in the same centre, are "in Jesus Christ." Universal unity, therefore, consists not in a mutual complementarity of parts or in a democratic "majority" but in the coincidence of the local Churches with each other in the same place, i.e. "in the gnome of Jesus Christ."

A similar understanding of the unity of the Churches throughout the world in one Church is also expressed by St Cyprian. In agreement with the entire tradition before him, he regards the Bishop, as we have seen, as the centre of the Church's unity as the one on whom the Church is based. How does he view the unity of the "Bishops who are at the ends of the earth," however? Here we should observe, with E. Mersch,328 that it is not possible to find in Cyprian any external criterion for the unity of the local Churches. While he keeps on talking about the unity within each Church, especially in the De Catholicae Ecdesiae Unitate, he does not by any means speak clearly about the unity of all the Churches in various places. It is mainly negative conclusions on this subject that can be drawn from a careful examination of his works. Thus is it perfectly clear that, despite his recognition of the primacy of Peter, he does not recognize in any of the Bishops the right to express the unity of all the Bishops. This is demonstrated, besides, by his constant struggles against Rome's view on baptism. If the texts in his works which have provoked so much discussion329 had even the slightest sense of acknowledging in the Roman Church the property of expressing the unity of all the Churches throughout the world, these struggles of Cyprian's would be inexplicable. Besides, on the positive side, the only principle governing Cypria theology of the unity of the local Churches is that of the unity of the episcopate: "episcopatus unus est." 330 This means that each of the Bishops participates in the same episcopate, not as a part of a whole, but as an expression of the whole. Hence the full equality of the Bishops all over the world forms a fundamental ecclesiological axiom for this Father too. It is not only all the Bishops together, but also each one of the Bishops who is the successor of all the Apostles.331 The unity of all these Bishops and of the Churches under them in the one Catholic Church throughout the world is described by Cyprian with the term unanimitas.332 This shared consciousness and unanimity is ascertained through all the communication between the Bishops but in a quite special way through the Councils. In this way, the unity of the Bishops in different places is not a unity by addition as in a modern democracy but a unity of identity. St Cyprian underlines this more than clearly when he writes to Antoninus (Epist. 52): "Hence also the unity the Bishops, who, though they are many, form a unity through the identity of their minds." In consequence, it is only as a unity in identity that the unity of the episcopate according to Cyprian can rightly be expressed.

The concept of unity in identity is the underlying basis for the consciousness of universality in all the Churches during the first three centuries. This was the spirit behind both the insistent rejections of any intervention by Rome in the Churches of Asia in the second century about which we ha spoken already and the institution of Councils itself. In Irenaeus' famous passage about tradition,333 the dominant idea is that of the identity of faith: the Church scattered throughout the world is one in faith and speaks with on voice because there is an identity of all the local Churches confirmed by the identity of mind of their Bishops.334 For Tertullian, similarly, the unity of the Catholic Church aroum the world is nothing other than the coincidence and identity of the Churches in different places with the content and life of the first apostolic Church; an identity which makes each one the Churches fully apostolic and catholic: "For this reason,' he writes, "these Churches (i.e. those scattered around the world), however numerous and large they may be, are nothing other than the original apostolic Church herself, from which they all originated. They are all original, all apostolic, because they all confirm their complete unity... No other law governs them but the one tradition of the same mystery."335 This doctrine of Tertullian's not only excludes the primacy of any Church, since all the Churches without exception are equally apostolic and full Churches,336 but it also implies the same concept of unity that we find in Irenaeus: the identity of each Church with the tradition of the same mystery forms the only law governing the relationship of mutual unity of the Churches all over the world in the one catholic and apostolic Church. In this, precisely, lies the importance of the institution of Councils,337 at which the "Bishops who are at the ends of the earth" would come together, insofar as they could, and make sure that they were all "in the mind of Jesus Christ." hi the case where full identity could not be established, unity would be in jeopardy, and might be broken up by the exclusion of certain Churches from "communion."338 In this way, the catholicity of each Church was not diminished but confirmed, insofar as she too was "in the mind of Jesus Christ." Such a consciousness of unity in identity among the Churches in different places was understood as a meeting of all the Churches in different places at the same centre: "in the mind of Jesus Christ." Hence if in conclusion the question is posed as to what is the centre of unity among the Churches throughout the world, the entire consciousness of the Church of the first three centuries would reject the idea of any one Bishop individually forming such a centre.339 The only centre of such unity for the Church of that period was Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church throughout the world knew no other centre of her unity. The coincidence and identity of the local Churches with this centre formed the expression of their unity in the one Church, expressed through communion in the one Eucharist, from which Churches not identified with this centre were cut off.

But how was it made certain that the Churches were identical with each other in the same centre, i.e. in the "mind of Jesus Christ"? What criterion was used to establish that the local Churches were united in the one "Catholic Church throughout the world"? This leads us to examine the deeper meaning of the catholicity of the Church which appears in the sources of the first three centuries as having the following three dimensions.

First of all, the chronological or historical coincidence of the local Churches with the past, and in particular with the original apostolic Church, was regarded as indispensable. This element of reference back through history was so strong in the Church's consciousness during the first three centuries that the terms one Church and ancient Church are linked together and interpret each other.340 For Hegesippus, this historical reference back to the original Church, and the identity of each Church with this original Church, was the strongest argument against heresies.341 For Tertullian, each local Church is fully apostolic and catholic precisely because she is none other than "the primitive apostolic Church herself."342 It is not without significance, then, that all the ancient Councils, including indeed the Ecumenical Councils, grounded their decisions in what the Scriptures and the Fathers had in the past expressed as the faith of the Church.

A second point seen as indispensable was the spatial or geographical verification of the identity of the Churches in the same faith and life "in the mind of Jesus Christ." This meant that in order to be "catholic" each Church had to be identified with the other Churches and live in full communion with them. The necessity for this verification led to the appearance and establishment of the institution of Councils. The ultimate import of which during the first three centuries is revealed in the light of Ignatius' phrase: "the Bishops who are at the ends of the earth are in the mind of Jesus Christ."343 But this element of geographical or spatial catholicity was not in itself sufficient for the unity of the "Catholic Church throughout the world." Its importance was absolutely dependent on the existence of the first criterion, i.e. that of going back chronologically and historically to the primitive Church, and the verification through this of the identity of each Church with the original apostolic Church. Thus, supposing that the majority of the Churches coincided with each other but did not coincide with the original apostolic Church, then the opinion of the "majority" would have no force.344 This meant that the "Catholic Church throughout the world," united through the Councils, did not form a unity by addition in which "catholic" would coincide with "majority," but a qualitative and organic unity in which what was "catholic" was identified with what was "true" and "original" as this appeared in the first apostolic Church.

Yet both the geographical or latitudinal dimension of the "Catholic Church" and the chronological or retrospective referral and connection with her original state of being remained unable to verify the identity of the Churches in the "mind of Jesus Christ" without a third component of catholicity, the charismatic or sacramental. It should be noted that both the reference back to the historical memory of the Church and the meeting of the Churches around the world in the same place (epi to auto) took place in the person of the Bishop. Thus, the reference of the Churches to the past was effected by drawing up lists of Bishops from which it was evident that each Church went back without a break to the Apostles while the meeting of the local Churches in the same place was effected through episcopal Councils. This event was not coincidental, but should be connected with the notion, clearly expressed by Irenaeus, that the truth of the Church is unbreakably bound up with the charism of the Priesthood, and is therefore preserved by the Bishops "who with the succession of the episcopate have received the certain charisma of truth, according to the goodwill of the Father."[qui cum episcopatus successione charisma veritatis certum secundum placitum patris acceperunt]345 But in this way the catholicity of the Church was organically and unbreakably bound up, in the ultimate analysis, with the unity of the Eucharist given that the "charisma" of the Priesthood346 was bestowed only within the Eucharist.

These observations lead us to the conclusion that according to the sources of the first three centuries, the unity of the local Churches in the one "Catholic Church throughout the world" understood as their identity with the one whole Christ, was expressed in history:

a)   as a vertical relationship of each Church with the one and whole Christ mystically present in the one Eucharist, to which the Bishop was connected as the visible head, possessing the "charism of truth";

b)   as a historical reference back to the past and the full identity of each Church with the primitive apostolic Church; and

c)   as a latitudinal extension of each Church to the inclusion and communion of the Churches everywhere on earth, if and insofar as the first two conditions held good for them. This tripartite identification of the Churches with each other and with the whole Christ was the ultimate and essential arbiter of the "common union of the Churches" through which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church was preserved and expressed.347


Summarizing the conclusions of Part Two, we may make the following observations:

The identification of the Divine Eucharist with the Church of God which is in a particular place, which as we saw in Part One was firmly established in the consciousness of the early Church, entailed maintaining one Eucharistic synaxis "under the leadership of the Bishop" in each Church. From historical research into the sources, we have established that Ignatius' exhortation to maintain one Eucharist under one Bishop at one altar corresponded to an historical state of affairs. It was thus established that there was in fact only one synaxis to perform the Eucharist and one Bishop in each Church. This fact was not altered by the existence of "household" churches because, as has been established, there was not more than one such Church in each city (so that the household Church was "the whole Church" according to Paul), nor by the spread of Christianity into the countryside given that at the beginning and up to the middle of the second century the Christians from the countryside came together into the Church of the nearest city, and later they formed Churches of their own with their own Bishops, the chorepiscopi, who were initially full Bishops. This principle of one Bishop presiding over the one Eucharist in each Church held good for all geographical areas, and the doubts about it implied at certain points of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History have been proved by our research here to be groundless.

Such a unity of the whole Church of God in a certain place in the "one Eucharist under the leadership of the Bishop" had a decisive effect on the formation of the Catholic Church during the crucial period of the first three centuries. Thus initially and at the very first appearance of the term "Catholic Church," unity in the Divine Eucharist and in the Bishop was that historical reality which expressed in the fullest way the meaning of the catholicity which was gradually entering the Church's consciousness. The Apostle Paul's "whole Church," identified with the one Church of each place united in the Divine Eucharist, became St Irenaeus' "Catholic Church" which, as we have established, had no other meaning than the fullness and wholeness and identity of the body of Christ as this was realized and revealed in the one Eucharist under the one Bishop in which the "multitude" was united. Later, when around the middle of the second century heresies and schisms formed themselves into organized groups "outside the Church" but tending to the cloak themselves in the external marks of the Church, the emphasis in the "Catholic Church" was placed on orthodoxy and on the pure preservation of the apostolic preaching without this meaning that unity in the Divine Eucharist and in the Bishop ceased to be the main factor differentiating the Catholic Church from the heresies and schisms. The Eucharist was "in agreement" with orthodoxy and orthodoxy in agreement with the Eucharist (Irenaeus), while the Bishop was shown to be the successor of the Apostles both in the Eucharist and in orthodoxy (Hippolytus), preserving through the "charism of truth" (Irenaeus) which he had received at his ordination, performed exclusively during the Eucharist (Hippolytus), the identity of the faith and also the fullness of the Church (Cyprian). Thus each Church, united in her Bishop who had been thus appointed, was a full Church identified with the whole body of Christ,348 whence also the term "Catholic Church" was used during the first three centuries primarily and chiefly, as we have seen, of each such Church, and indeed in such a way that it could be declared that "there should be one Bishop in the Catholic Church."

This catholicity of each episcopal Church does not make her ecclesiologically and historically independent of the other Churches around the world. The consciousness which early appeared concerning the "Catholic Church throughout the world" (Mart. Polyc.) meant that although there were Churches around the world nevertheless there was in essence but one Church. This one Church throughout the world was not a sum total of parts, for, as we have seen, each Church in particular was the whole Church, and this for reasons connected not with the geographical extent of the Church but with her nature which is revealed especially in the one body of the one Eucharist. This one Church throughout the world was manifested in history as a unity not of parts but of full circles obliged to be essentially identified with one another. This unity in identity was manifested in time through identity with what the Lord and the Apostles taught (apostolic succession of bishops) and in space through identity with what the other Churches around the world lived and taught (institution of councils) while the absence of this identity automatically meant the creation of a schism.

The ultimate form of expression of such a Church throughout the world was unity in the Divine Eucharist and in the Bishop. "Communion" was the ultimate link in the "common union" (Eusebius), while each Eucharist was offered for the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church from one end of the earth to the other, each Bishop being able to "concede" the Eucharist to the Bishop of another Church (Anicetus of Rome to Polycarp) and each believer able to partake in the Eucharist of another Church with the introduction and permission of his own Bishop. In this way, the unity of the faithful around the world was nothing other than a unity through the Bishop and the Church to which each belonged. The living cell of church unity was the one Eucharist under the leadership of the Bishop and the "Catholic Church" expressed therein. It was only through the life of this cell that each Christian lived and all Christians together in all corners of the world who make up the one Catholic Church. Through this consciousness of unity, the Church of the first three centuries recognized the Lord Jesus Christ as the one centre of the unity of the Catholic Church throughout the world. It was with Him that the "Bishops who are at the ends of the earth" had to be identified, and Him that each Bishop mystically and truly personified, in a full and catholic manner, as he presided over the Divine Eucharist through which the Church of God was revealed in each place.


103. Smyrn. 8.

104. See above, Introduction.

105. Augustine did this in his desire to combat the provincialism of the Donatists. Cf. P. Batiffol, he Catholicisme de Saint Augustin, 19295, p. 212.

106. Immediately after the third century, Cyril of Jerusalem gives the first synthetic definition of the catholicity of the Church, in which the concept of universality forms merely a part of the meaning of the term "Catholic Church": "She is called catholic because she extends throughout all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because she teaches universally (katholikos) and completely all the doctrines that should come to men's knowledge... and because she brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind... and because she universally treats and heals the whole species of sins... and possesses in herself every form of virtue which is named..." (Catechetical Orations 18.23, PG 33:1044). From the fourth century on, the term requires particular study. Cf. A. Gopfert, Die Kathoiizitat. Eine dogmengeschkhtliche Studie, 1876. In recent times, Roman Catholic theology in particular, for ecclesiological reasons and mainly in order to give ecclesiological import to the Bishop of Rome as universal Bishop, has identified catholicity totally with the worldwide character or universality of the Church. Notable exceptions are (from the viewpoint of historical research on the term) J. Moehler, who strongly rejects the identification of "catholic" with the "world-wide" or "universal" Church, at least in respect of the sources from the first three centuries {op. cit., French translation pp. 246-249); and from the viewpoint of systematic theology, E. Mersch, La Theologie du Corps Mystique, II, 9462, p. 234ff. and H. de Lubac, Catholicisme. Les Aspects Sociaux du Dogmc, 19472, p. 26. Y. M.-J. Congar (Sainte Eglise. Etudes et Approches Ecclesiologiqucs, 1963, p. 158ff.) connects catholicity with the idea of the "fullness of Christ" in which multiplicity is combined with unity. In modern Orthodox theology, the meaning of the term "Catholic Church" has yet to be examined from an historical point of view, while from the viewpoint of systematic theology Cyril of Jerusalem's synthetic definition largely prevails. Thus, in I. Karmiris' Synopsis (pp. 89ff.) the following tripartite definition is given: "She is catholic firstly as being spread out and including followers all over the world and throughout time, without any restrictions of place or time... Secondly... in the sense of being orthodox - as opposed to the various heretical and schismatic churches... Thirdly, catholicity denotes the unity and wholeness and identity of the Church as the body of Christ... From the above it becomes clear that catholicity is not merely a quantitative mark of the Church, but also at the same time a qualitative one...." For a similarly composite definition, encompassing the local, chronological, exterior and interior senses of kath' olou, see P. Trembelas' Dogmatics, II, p. 356ff. Also to be found, however, is an identification of catholicity chiefly and primarily with the geographical extension of the Church to the ends of the earth. So for example in Ch. Androutsos, Dogmatics of the Orthodox Eastern Church, 1907, p. 279. Cf. also K. Mouratidis, The Essence and Polity, p. 178ff. Other Orthodox theologians, however, consider this identification admissible only on the assumption that the worldwide character of the Church would be regarded as a consequence and secondary element of catholicity, the essence of which should on no account be understood in a quantitative or geographical sense, as is presupposed by its identification with the worldwide and universal character of the Church. Thus G- Florovsky observes in "Le Corps du Christ" (loc. cit., pp.24-27): "In the earliest dcouments, the term katholtke ekklesia was never used in a quantitative sense, to denote the geographical spread of the Church... The universal geographical extent of the Church is but a manifestation or an interpretation of this inner integrity, of the spiritual plenitude of the Church... 'Catholic' as 'universal' has been taken into the current theological vocabulary, first of the West and later of the East as well... hi fact, this was a terrible diminution of the grand idea of catholicity, an unhappy mutilation of the primitive conception. The main accent has been transferred to something that is merely secondary and derivative, and what is truly essential has been ignored... Catholicity in its essence is in no way a geographical or spatial concept... It is quite possible that at a given period heretics or indeed atheists might be more numerous than the faithful and indeed spread everywhere, 'ubique,' and the Catholic Church might be reduced, empirically speaking, to a 'negligible quantity,' driven into the desert or into 'caves and holes in the ground...' 'Catholic' is not a collective name. The Church is not catholic only inasmuch as she gathers all the local communities..." Here, of course, we are investigating exclusively the sources from the first three centuries, in the light of which the question will be posed regarding the meaning of the term "Catholic Church" as it developed in the consciousness of the Church during that period.

107. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1,2,15.

108. Aristotle, On Interpretation 7,1

109. Aristotle, Metaphysics 2, 6, 7ff: "katholou einai ai arkitai" - "the principles are universals." Cf. Nikomachian Ethics 2,7,1: "oi katholou logoi" - "general statements."

110. Aristotle, Metaphysics 4, 26, 2 [ET W.D. Ross, 77K Works of Aristotle, Oxford 1982]. Notable is the identification we observe here of catholicity with "wholeness" and "oneness."

111. Aristotle, On Interpretation 7,17.

112. Polybius 6,5,3: "general (katholike) exposition" in contrast to "detailed discussion" {kata meros logos). Similarly 1,57,4; 8,4,11; 3,37,6: "These countries regarded from a general point of view" (katholikoteron).

113. On Composition of Words 12: "For it is not in the nature of the thing to admit of general (katholiken) and technical comprehension."

114. Life of Pompey, where "general (katholou) inquiry" is used in the sense in which Aristotle uses "general proof" (Prior Analytics 1,1).

115. Philo, Life of Moses II, 32 (ed. Conn, Vol. I, p. 212).

116. H. Wolfson, Philo, II, 1947, p. 181.

117. Cf. G. Konidaris, On the Supposed Difference p. 45ff.

118. See above p. 87.

119. Patres Apostolki 1,1901, p. 283.

120. The Apostolic Fathers - Ignatius and Polycarp, 1,1889, p. 310. Cf. E.C. Blackman, Marcion and his Influence, 1948, p. 15.

121. op. cit. p. 166ff.

122. La Theologie de I'Eglise de s. Clement de Rome s. Irinee, 1945, p. 64ff.

123. The view that catholicity=universality seems to have prevailed in Roman Catholic theology. See e.g. H. Moureau, "Catholicite," in D.T.C. II/2 (1939), col. 1999, and H. Leclercq, "Catholique," in D.A.C.L H/2 (1910), col. 2624. This view is of course an inevitable consequence of Roman Catholic ecclesiology which takes each local Church to be a segment of the worldwide Church. Hence the efforts of Roman Catholic theology to interpret ancient catholicity too in this sense, as does e.g. P. Galtier, who writes in reference to Polycarp's time (and in total contempt of the highly significant passage from the Martyrdom of Polycarp, 16, 2) that: "each of the local Churches is like a section of the great universal catholic Church" ("Ad his qui sunt undique," in Revue d'Histoire ecciesiastique 44 (1949), 425.

124. This was the conclusion drawn by H. Genouillac, L'Eglise chretienne au temps de s. Ignace d'Antioche, 1907, p. 108. A different view was expressed by Kattenbusch (Das apostolische Symbol, II,pp. 920-927), according to which fatholike in the passage of Ignatius under discussion means una sola; but this seems not to have found support.

125. See above p. 13.

126. "The multitude" (to plethos) is a technical term for the local Church. See F. Gerke, Die Stetlung des I. Clemensbriefes innerhalb der Entwkklung der altchristlichen Gemeinde-Verfassung und des Kirchenrechts, 1931, p. 132. Elsewhere "the multitude" seems to mean the laypeople as opposed to the clergy and particularly the Bishop. See, in Magn. 6:1, Tral. 1:2 and 8:2.

127. Cf. Ignatius, Eph. 2:2,4:1; Magn. 7:1,13:2; Tral. 2:1,13:2; Philad. inscr., 2:1,7:1-2 (concerning the character of priesthood by divine law. Cf. also 1:1: "Which Bishop, I know, obtained the ministry... not of himself, nor by men..."); Polyc. 4:1, 5:2, where marriage is explicitly added to those rites which have to be performed by the Bishop.

128. He was fully aware that he was imitating Paul in this matter, as evidenced by the passage in the Epistle to the Trallians (inscr.): "which also I greet in its fullness, in apostolic character."

129. An exception is the phrase "the Church in Syria" or "the Church of Syria"; but these should not be understood as "the Church of the province of Syria" but as the Church of Syria par excellence, i.e. Antioch, or as a straightforward reference by Ignatius to the place where he is staying, as Lightfoot thinks (op. cit. p. 201). For the view that the phrase "Bishop of Syria" (Rom. 2:2) implies a sort of metropolitan authority, see G. Konidaris, On the Supposed Difference p. 47, and V. Corwin, Saint Ignatius and Christianity Antioch, 1960, p. 44ff.

130. Cf. Trallians and Romans, preamble. Cf. also P. Chresti True Life according to the Teaching of Ignatius the God-bearer [in Greek] 1951, p. 36.

131. "Most worthy of God and most holy," etc.

132. Ignatius, Eph. 5:1: "I reckon you [the Ephesians] happy being joined to him [the Bishop] as the Church is to Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is to the Father."

133. Ignatius, Eph. 5:2-3.

134. Cf. p. 48 above.

135. Cf. especially Ignatius, Eph. 20:2: the Eucharist is the "medicine of immortality."

136. Eph. 13:1. To Polycarp 4:2. Cf. P. Chrestou, op. cit. p. 38.

137. Cf. J. Romanides, The Ecclesiology of St Ignatius of Antioch 1956, p. lOff., and more generally C.C. Richardson, "The Church in Ignatius of Antioch," in Journal of Religion 17 (1937), pp. 428-443.

138. Smyrn. 7:1: the Docetists abstain from the Eucharist "in order to avoid confessing that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, and which the Father in His goodness raised up."

139. Magn. 1:2; Eph. 10:3.

140. Tral. 2:3. For the identification of Church and altar see also Philad. 4; Magn. 7:2; Ephes. 5:2 and Tral. 7:2.

141. See p. 45f. and 56f.

142. Eph. 4:2.

143. Smyrn. 1:2.

144. Smyrn. 7:1.

145. Eph. 4:2 and Tral. 11:2.

146. TraL 7:2.

147. Tral. 1:1: "so that I see the whole multitude of you in him (Polybius)."

148. Eph. 1:3. Cf. also Magn. 6:1, where the presbyterium with the deacons are added to the Bishop. This does not indicate an diminution in the significance of the Bishop, who, as it appears from the other passages, is the only person able to represent the Church - characteristically, Ignatius never says this of the presbyterium or the deacons, while he says it several times about the Bishop alone.

149. Magn. 3:1-2.

150. Magn. 3:2.

151. To Polycarp, preface.

152. Rom. 9:1. The interchange of the names "God" and "Christ" is usual in Ignatius and does not create an issue here.

153. Smyrn. 9:1: "You should honor both God and the Bishop; one who does anything without the knowledge of the Bishop is worshipping the devil."

154. To Polycarp 6:1.

155. Philad. 3:2.

156. See above p. 89, n. 70.

157. Philad., preamble.

158. Tral.3:l.

159. Baptism, the agape, the Eucharist, marriage etc. Cf. Magn. 4:1: "It is fitting not just to be called Christians, but actually to be such; just as some give a man the title of Bishop, but do everything without him. It seems to me that such people are not in good conscience, because they are not gathered together in an assured manner (bebaios) according to the commandment."

160. Philad. 1:1.

161. Philad. 7:1-2.

162. Eph. 3:2: "I have therefore taken it upon myself first to exhort you to concur with the will (gnome") of God. For Jesus Christ... is the will (gnomi) of the Father, as the Bishops too... are according to the will (or "in the mind - en gnomi) of Jesus Christ." [Translator's note: since the term gnomi has the sense of will, purpose and mind, there is no one English word which can translate it idiomatically in all cases. Thus when the last part of the above passage is quoted hereafter as "the bishops... are in the mind of Jesus Christ," it should be borne in mind that the phrase carries connotations of being "according to the will and purpose."]

163. Bonis,op.cit.p.21.

164. Philad. 4.

165. See above, p. 109f.

166. As it is for example by E. von der Voltz, Ignatius von Antiochen ah Christ und Theologe, 1894, p. 62f. In Plato and Philo (see Philo, Peri katask. 16-19), the relation of the notional prototype to the material and concrete antitype presupposes that the latter has real existence only insofar as it is a mirror of the former. According to Ignatius, however, the local Church constitutes a reality of herself from both the historical and the conceptual point of view. Thus, the Aristotelian sense of katholou is closer than Platonic philosophy to the content of the term "Catholic Church.

167. 1 Cor. 14:23; Rom. 16:23; cf. above, p. 96.

168. 1 Clem. 46:7, echoing Paul (Eph. 4:4-6).

169. Eph. 1:22,1:10; Col. 1:19.

170. See V. Ioannidis, "The Unity of the Church" p. 176f.

171. Cf. Rom. 5. V. Ioannidis also connects the two (op. cit. pp.175-7).

172. Cf. also the term "Son of Man," on which see above, p. 55f.

173. Col. 1:16.

174. Eph. 1:22-23.

175. Eph. 4:4.

176. Col. 3:15.

177. 1 Clem., preamble.

178. 1 Clem. 2:2.

179. Thus the Coptic text has agion meris, ("portion of the holy ones/of the holy things"), the Latin has "holy portion" and the Constantinopolitan codex has agia mere, ("holy places"). All these, and especially the phrase in the Coptic text, are probably references to the Eucharist.

180. 37 and 46:7: "Why are there discords and outbursts of anger and dissention among you?... Why do we rend and tear apart and rebel against our own body, and reach such a point of madness that we forget that we are members one of another?"

181. The reason is that use of the term "Bishop" came in late in the West; the institution of Bishops was, however, indicated by the collective term "the presbyters." See G. Konidaris, On the Supposed Difference, p. 35.

182. Elsewhere he speaks of Enoch and Noah as "ministering" (leitourgountes) (9:3-4), as also of the angels (34:5), or of the Old Testament prophets as ministers (ieitourgoi) of the grace of God (8:1).

183. 1 Clem. 44:2-4.

184. J. Danielou (Theologie du Judeo-Christianisme, p. 409f.) places the institution (?) of the "eminent men" mentioned in 1 Clement between the Apostles and the Bishops, as successors of the synedrion of the Twelve with the primary task of establishing permanent ministers in various places. This theory is certainly questionable because the subject of the "eminent men" in 1 Clement is very complex and there is no justification for elevating them into a permanent institution of the post-Apostolic era.

185. 1 Clement 40:3 and 42:1-2. Cf. G. Konidaris, On the Alleged Difference p. 31.

186. 14:1,21:5 and 57:1.

187. 40:5 and 41:7: the clergy and the laity form "orders," each of which has its own spheres of responsibility which it may not go beyond.

188. The problem for the Didache consists in the gradual but almost complete disappearance of the charismatics. See Didache 13:4: "If you have no prophet...."

189.  3 John 9.

190. Didache 12:1-13:7.

191.  Didache 15:1. The similarity with 1 dement is shown also in the use of the term "tested {dedokimasmenoi) men" for those who are to be ordained ( Clement 44). As to the preference for the term "Bishops and deacons" and its meaning, see G. Konidaris, On the Supposed Difference p.39f. According to Konidaris, the preference for the term "Bishops and deacons" is due on the one hand to the geographical area to which the Didache originates, namely the West (cf. Phil. 1:1), and on the other to its scriptural character (1 Clement, Paul) which suits the character of the Didache as a "metacatechetical handbook."

192. The expression should be taken in an inclusive sense indicating the charismatics as a whole and consequently also the Apostles.

193. Didache 9:4 and 10:5. For the connection of the "Bishops and deacons" with the Eucharist in the Didache cf. also A. Theodorou, History of Dogma I/I (1963), p. 260.

194. Polycarp's martyrdom has been dated to 22/23 February 156 through research done by E. Schwartz, Abhandlungen der koninglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschafien zu Gotttngen, VTII (1905), p. 125f.

195. Lightfoot's view that the word "catholic" should be replaced with "holy" has no serious arguments in its favor since it rests on a single manuscript in Moscow which has probably altered the original text. On this see Funk, Patres Apostolici I (1901), p. 334 and Leclercq in D.A.C.L. 1/2, col. 2626.

196. Mart. Polyc. inscr..: "the Church of God which sojourns (paroikei) in Smyrna." A comparative examination of the sources up to the Martyrdom of Polycarp produces the following eloquent picture of how the terms "Church of God" and/or "Catholic Church" are used for the local Church:

Paul: "the Church of God which is in Corinth" or "the whole Church"

1 Clement: "the Church of God which sojourns at Rome."

Ignatius: "the Church of God which is in Philadelphia." Polycarp "the Church of God which sojourns at Philippi."

Mart.Polyc. "the Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna" or "the Catholic Church in Smyrna."

197. Mart. Polyc. inscr.: "to all the paroikiai of the holy and catholic Church in every place."

198. This was the meaning of paroiko (translated above "sojourn") at that time. See the relevant article in Kittel, T.W.N.T.

199. This also serves to refute the views of G. Bardy (La Theologie de I'Eglise I, p. 56) who overlooks the catholicity of each local Church in his attempt to advance the Roman Catholic ecclesiology which presupposes the universal Church and the universal Bishop.

200. Thus for example inter alios Leclercq in D.A.C.L. /2, col. 2626 and F. Heiler, Urkirche und Ostkirche, p.3f.

201. The fact that this passage clearly implies the unity of the Churches all over the world is another matter, and we shall deal with this later. Here we are looking at the meaning of the term "Catholic Church," which, as this text clearly shows, had not yet become identified with the "universal Church."

202. De Prescr. Haer. 26:4 (P.L. 2:38): "diversam et contrariam (regulam fidei) illi quam catholice (=catholicae) in medium proferebant." [They brought in (a rule of faith) different from and contrary to that put forward by the catholic (Churches)] "Ecclesiae" should be understood after the plural "catholicae" according to the interpretation of Labriolle-Refoule in Tertullien: Traite de la Prescription contre les Heretiques (Sources Chretiennes 46), 1957, p. 123 n. 4.

203. The contrary view of C. Butler ("St Cyprian on the Church," Downside Review 71 (1953), pp. 263-66) has not found support. It was disputed both by P.-Th. Camelot ("St Cyprian et la primaute' in Istina 1957, p. 423) and P.M. Benevot (Si Cyprian. The Lapsed- The Unity of the Catholic Church (Ancient Christian Writers No. 25), 1957, pp. 74-75). This view had earlier been disputed by another Roman Catholic historian, P. Batiffol (op. cit. pp. 437-9), who observed that "the treatise De unitate ecclesiae... does not include a system of a universal Church, in other words of Catholicism." How the fact that the term "catholicae ecclesiae" appears in the title of Cyprian's work can be reconciled with Batiffol's unfounded assumption that catholicity is identical with universality is impossible to understand.

204. The existing manuscripts create problems as to the genuineness of the word "catholic" in the title of the work. Some of them omit the term, which is why H. Koch (Cyprianische Untersuchungen, 1926, pp. 102-107) placed this work before the schism of Novatus when it is believed that Cyprian did not use the term "Catholic Church." But as C.H. Turner observes in his review of the above work of Koch's (in English Historical Review, 1928, p. 247), the term "Catholic Church" was already very widely used even in the West by the second century. To this, it should be added that only very few manuscripts lack the term "catholic" in the title of the work while the majority have it, as has been shown by H. Janssen, Kultur und Sprache. Zur Geschichtc der alien Kirche in Spiegel der Sprachentwicklung: von Tertullian bis Cyprian (Latinitas Christiana primaeva: Studia ad sermonem latinum pertmentia, No. 8), 1938, p. 18 n.2. According to these mss., the term "catholic" belongs as a genuine part of Cyprian's work.

205. As maintained by N. Afanassieff, "La Doctrine de la Primaute a la Lumiere de 1'EcclesioIogie," in Istina 1957, pp. 401-420.

206. Cyprian, Letter 49 (46).2.4: "Nec ignoramus unum Sanctum Spiritum, unum episcopum in catholica esse debere." We find precisely the same phrase in Cornelius' letter to Fabian of Antioch (Eusebius, Led Hist. VI.43.11): "For the avenger of the Gospel did not understand that there should be one Bishop in the Catholic Church." [Translator's note: numbering of Cyprian's Epistles is according to Hartel's edition (1871), with Migne's numbering in brackets. Where only one number is given, it refers to Hartel's numbering. The English translation in Ante-Nicene Fathers follows Migne's numbering, but see ANF vol. 5, p. 301, note 3.]

207. This sense is impossible because nowhere in the sources for the first three centuries does there occur the idea of one Bishop for the whole world. The term "episcopus episcoporum" is used by Tertullian ironically. See below.

208. (1 See above, n. 206.

209. See e.g. Cyprian's Letter 45 (42).l.

210. Letter 55 (52) 1.2: "Scripsisti etiam ut exemplum earundem litterarum ad Cornelium collegum nostrum transmitterem, ut deposita omni solicitudine jam sciret te secum, hoc est cum catholica ecclesia, communicare."

211. Cyprian, Ep. 66 (69).8.3: "episcopum in ecclesia esse et ecclesiam in episcopo."

212. By Prof. Bonis, op. cit. p. 40.

213. The same goes for both 1 Clement and the Didache, where, as we have seen, the Bishop, implied within the term "presbyters" or "Bishops and deacons," is connected emphatically with the offering of the Eucharistic Gifts and not with preaching. Even Justin (c. 150 AD), who refers plainly to the liturgical preaching of the Bishop (1 Apol. 76), sees no need to stress his teaching authority as is done from the Martyrdom of Polycarp onwards.

214. Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2.

215. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV.22.3,5. We have underlined "in every succession" and "in every city" because of their importance for the catholicity of each local Church: apostolic succession appears as "successions" in the plural exactly as catholicity presents itself as "Catholic Churches." Each local Church possesses both the whole succession of all the Apostles and catholicity, i.e. the fullness of the Church. This consciousness is expressed at the same period in connection with the Paschal controversies by Polycrates of Ephesus who writes to Victor of Rome that the Roman Church cannot impose her local traditions upon the other local Churches because the other Churches too have a self-sufficiency in tradition as being connected with "great luminaries" (Eusebius, Church History V.24.2-8). In the same spirit, Irenaeus also writes to Victor, observing in conclusion that "the disagreement over the fast demonstrates our agreement in faith" (Ibid. 12-13).

216. He personally knows of three generations including the first successors of the Apostles. Cf. Konidaris, Historian, Church... (in Greek), p. 6f.

217. See e.g. Adv. Haer. .3.3 (PG 7:849ff.)

218. Adv. Haer. IV.23.8 (PG 7:1047f.)

219. Adv. Haer. IV.26.2. On the nature of the episcopal office according to Irenaeus see also H. Alivizatos, "The Significance of the Episcopal Office According to Irenaeus" (in Greek), in Nea Sion, 10 (1910), 336ff.

220. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V.20.4f. See G. Dix, "Ministry," loc. cit. p.

221. See C. Schneider, Geistesgeschichte des Christentums 1,1945, p.

222. Quoted in Epiphanius, Adv. Haer. 33.6.7 (PG 41:568). Cf. B.Reynders, "Paradosis: Le progres de l'idee de Tradition jusqu'a saint Irenee," in Rech. de Theol. anc. et mediev. 5 (1933), 172f. If the "teacher" referred to in Justin's Second Apology (2) is the author of this letter, then the core at least of this letter can be dated back to 155 AD. Cf. G. Dix, "Ministry" p. 202f.

223. Cf. Tertullian, Adv. Valent. 4, where we learn that Valentinus was an unsuccessful candidate for Bishop of the Church of Rome.

224. See Clement of Alexandria, Strom. .106.4, and Hippolytus, Philos. 7.20.1. Cf. H.F. von Campenhausen, KirchiichesAmt,p. 172f.

225. The creation of the New Testament canon passed through the same development. When the Church of Rome defined the four Gospels and the Pauline Epistles as the "canon of truth," this was nothing other than an "anti-canon" set against the canon formed by Marcion to prove the "apostolicity" of his doctrines. Cf. G. Dix, "Ministry," p. 202f.

226. E.g. Adv. Haer.1.6.2 and IU.3.4, as also 1.16.3.

227. op. cit. 1V.33.8 (PG 7:1077).

228.. "The Gospel is the pillar of the Church." op. cit. IH.10.8 (PG 7:835).

229. E.g. opxif. 1.10.1-2.

230. op. cit. III.12.5. Cf. 1.10.3: 'The whole existing Church having one and the same faith."

231. Adv. Haer. 11U25.

232. Adv. Haer. .3.3 (PG 7:850).

233. De Prescr. haer. 30.2 (PL 2:42): "constat ilios [Marcion et al.] et catholicae primo doctrinam credisse apud ecclesiam Romanensem" ["It is known that (Marcion et al.) at first believed the doctrine of the Catholic (Church), in the Church of Rome."] Adv. Marc. IV.4 (PL 2:365): "Marcion pecuniam in primo calore fidei cathoiicae ecclesiae contulit" [ "In the initial ardour of his faith, Marcion brought money to the Catholic Church."]

234. "In honorem tamen ecclesiae catholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae disciplinae sanctificaie sunt..." "In catholicam ecclesiam recipi non potest." H. Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment und die Monarchianischen Prologe zu den Evangelien, 1933.

235. "una tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse."

236. Cf. F. Heiler, op. cit. p. 4. We cannot, however, see what basis there can be for the view that Clement makes a distinction between "local heresies und schisms" and a "universal worldwide Church (Weltkirche)." The contrast between locality and universality does not exist in the passage of Clement which Heiler adduces or in other texts of this period. The distinction is simply between heresy and orthodoxy.

237. Strom. Vn.17 (ed. Staehlin, III p. 75.1.8. PG 8:548A): "Their human assemblies were later than the Catholic Church."

238. Ibid.: "chopping up the tradition and clandestinely digging through the wall of the Church."

239. Strom. VI1.17 (PG 8:552A).

240. Ibid., (PG 8:552B).

241. Adv. Haer. IV.18.5 (PG 7:1028).

242. Cf. A.W. Ziegler, "Das Brot von unseren Felder. Bin Beitrag zur Eucharistielehre des hl. Irenaus," in Pro mundi vita, Festschrift zum Eucharistischen Weltkongress 1960. Herausgegeben von der theologischen Facultat der Ludwig-Maximilian Universitat, 1960, pp. 21-43.

243. See Adv. Haer. V.2.3 (PG 7:1126-1127). Cf. also P. Gaechter, "Unsere Einheit mit Christus nach dem hi. Irenaus," in Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie 58 (1934), 516.

244. Cf. above, p. 17.

245. See the sources in W. Elert, op. cit., where it is shown that for the early Church, particularly the Eastern Church, right faith was an essential precondition for participation in the Church's Divine Eucharist.

246. The problem of heresy per se does not concern us here given that it is investigated at length in a study to follow on the Church's unity in faith during the first three centuries. For the present, see H.E.W. Turner, The Pattern of Christian Truth. A Study in the Relations between Orthodoxy and Heresy in the Early Church, 1954; S.L. Greenslade, Schism in the Early Church, (no date), and also eiusdem "Der Begriff der Haresie in der alten Kirche," in Schrift und Tradition, ed. K.E. Skydsgaard und L. Vischer (WCC) 1963, pp. 2444.

247. In the New Testament the term has this meaning so that Paul can write "there must be factions (aireseis) among you..." (1 Cor. 11:19); but it was not long before it became a technical term indicating a belief which is false and dangerous to the Church (Ti. 3:10).

248. Hence, the heretics were regarded by the church writers of the second century as offspring of the philosophers. See H.E.W. Turner, op, cit. p. 7f.

249. See G. La Piana, "The Roman Church at the End of the Second Century" in Harvard Theological Review 18 (1925), and G. Bardy, La Question des Langues dans I'Eglise Ancienne, 1948, p. 93.

250. 1 Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V.28.10.

251. Philos. 9.12.21 (PG 15:3386. Ed. Wendland, p. 249.1. 20-21):  "They were ejected from the Church by us, and attached them selves to them [the followers of Callistus] and swelled the numbers of his school."

252. He regards it is a scandal that "they, past all shame, try to call themselves a Catholic Church." Philos. 9.12.25 (PG 15:3387; Wendland p. 250.1. 21-23).

253. Against Celsus 6.27 (PG 11:1333A). Cf. Homily on Isaiah 7.3 (PG 13:291): "haeretici sunt... sed nos ecclesiastici sumus."

254. On the Gospel of Luke 16 (PG 13:1841B): "Ego quid opto esse ecclesiasticus et non ab heresiarcha aliquo sed a Christi vocabulo nuncupari... cupio esse et did Christianus." - "Because I want to be a churchman and be named after Christ and not after some heresiarch... I want both to be and to be called a Christian."

255. On Levit. 14 (PG 12:553-554).

256. "Inquiring whether they are believers, whether they are churchmen, whether they are not sullied by heresy." From the Didascalia of the Apostles, as transmitted by the Apostolic Constitutions 11.58 (ed. Funk, p. 167).

257. J. Scherer, Entretien d'Origene avec Heraclide et les Eveques ses Collegues sur le Pere, le Fils et I'Ame, 1949. Also in Sources Chretiennes No. 67,1960, to which references are given here.

258. According to P. Nautin, op. cit. p. 231, reading prosferousa (the feminine participle agreeing with "the offering of the Eucharist") instead of prosforou agreeing with "[dia] Iesou Christou."

259. See below, Part II.

260. See the prayer of ordination for a Bishop (ed. Dix, pp. 4-6), where the Bishop receives through it (a) the very "guiding spirit" which, according to the Christological sense of Ps. 51/50:14, strengthened the Lord in carrying out His messianic work, and (b) "the power which Thou gavest to the Apostles."

261. Ibid. Other powers of the Bishop are added to these in the prayer: "And in the highpriestly spirit to have power to remit sins according to Thy commandment, to ordain according to Thy command, and to loose every bond according to the power which Thou gavest to the apostles."

262. See Jn. 7:43; 9:16; and 10:19, where "schism" means not a permanent division but a temporary disagreement. Specifically on Paul, see J. Dupont, "Le Schisme d'apres Saint Paul," in 1054-1954: lEglise et les Eglises, 1,1954, p. 117f.

263. See 1 Cor. 1:10, where the subject is a disagreement between individuals rather than groups (cf. J. Munck, Paulus und die Heilsgeschichte, 1954), and also 11:18, where Paul is talking about selfish divisions involving, not groups, but "each one" (11:21) at the Lord's Supper. Similarly 12:25, where the "schism" likewise refers to the individualism of certain the members of the Church of Corinth. Besides, the explanation of the term "schism" by "quarrelling" (eris) in 1 Cor. 1:11 confirms this meaning given that "quarrelling" here means nothing more than a disagreement of a personal character as is accepted by commentators (see inter alios P. Backmann, "Der erste Brief auf die Korinther," in Kommentar zum N.T., 7,19102, p. 567; J. Weiss, Der erste Korintherbrief (Mayer 5), 1910", p. IS).

264. See S.L. Greenslade, op. cit. p. 18f.

265. Epist. 59 (55).2O: "florentissimo illic [in Rome] clero tecum praesidenti et sanctissimae atque amplissimae plebi..." [" the most distinguished clergy there (in Rome) who preside with you, and the most holy and large congregation..."]. The strict distinction between clergy and laity in the local Church is not Cyprian's invention, for, as we have already seen, in 96AD (1 Clement) the Church had a clear consciousness of such a distinction. The terms plebs and ordo belong to Tertullian {Monog. 11 and 22; Exhort, castit. 7). Cf. also Cyprian's Epist. 59(55).18 and 40(35).l.

266. See Epist. 80(82).l, where the orders of Christian citizens dealt with by the decree of Valerian (257 AD) {senatores, cgregii, viri, equites romani) do not constitute orders in the Church.

267. An epistle of Cornelius of Rome to Fabius of Antioch (251 AD) informs us that at that time the Church of Rome had 46 presbyters, 7 deacons, 7 subdeacons, 42 acolytes, 52 exorcists and readers and "innumerable" laity. For the Church in Carthage, we do not have precise figures, but we have evidence of the existence of a Bishop, presbyters, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists and readers (Epist. 29(24); 34(28).4; 45(42).4; 49(46).3 etc.).

268. Epist. 12(37),!: "Officium vestra diligentia repraesentet" ["Let your diligence be the representative of my office"] Cf. also Epist. 5(4).l.

269. He writes characteristically of the presbyters that their obedience to the Bishop is such that only when they rebel, as did Novatus in Carthage and Novatian in Rome, do they acquire independence and a history of their own: "quando aliqui de presbyteris, evangelii nec loci sui memores, sed neque... nunc sibi praepositum episcopum cogitantes, quod numqam omnino sub antecessoribus factum est, cum contumelia et contemptu praepositi, totum sibivindkent" ["since some presbyters, mindful neither of the Gospel nor of their own place, and not even... considering the bishop now set over them, claim for themselves complete [authority] in a contemptuous affront to the bishop - something that was never in any way done under our predecessors"], Epist. 16(9).l.

270. Epist. 14(5).l.

271. Epist. 57(54).3. Cf. also 49(46).l.

272. Epist. 34 (28). 3-1.

273. The difference between consilium and consensus has already been pointed out by R. Sohm (Kirchenrecht p. 234): "The assembly of the community simply says yes."

274. Epist. 55 (52). 8: "Et factus est episcopus a plurimis collegis nostris qui tunc in urbe Roma aderant." ["He was made bishop by many of our colleagues who were present in Rome at that time."]

275. The Bishop was not understood as the "representative" of his Church during the first centuries. In his person, as we see in Ignatius, the Church was not "represented" - by way of delegation - but expressed and presented in her entirety. Cf. the correct observations of Archim. S. Harkianakis (op. at. p. 46) on the distinction between the terms antiprosopevsis (representation) and parastasis (presentation).

276. "Ecclesia super episcopos constituatur." Epist. 33 (27).

277. "Episcopum in ecclesia esse, et si qui cum episcopo non sit in ecclesia non esse" - Epist. 66 (69). 8; a clear echo of Ignatius, Smyrn. 8.

278. De Unitate 17.

279. See A. Phytrakis, Reactions Against the Veneration of Saints in the Ancient Church and their Causes, 1956, pp. 4 and 38. Cf. eiusdem, Relics and Tombs of the Martyrs in the First Three Centuries, 1955. p. 9f.

280. Dogmengeschichte vol. 1 (fourth edition), p. 417. According to Harnack's view, the prevailing belief before the schism of Novatus was that the Church was not episcopocentric but a consortium of bishop, clergy and laity.

281. The highly significant passage is this: "Dominus noster, cujus praecepta metuere et servare debemus, episcopi honorem et ecclesiae suae rationem disponens in evangelio loquitur et dicit Petro: Ego tibi dico quia tu es Petrus, et super istam petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam, et portae inferorum non vicent eam, et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum, et quae ligaveris super terram erunt ligata et in caelis, et quaecumque solveris super terram erunt soluta et in caelis. Inde per temporum et successionum vices episcoporum ordinatio et ecclesiae ratio decurrit ut ecclesia super episcopos constituatur et omnis actus ecclesiae per eosdem praepositos gubernetur."  ["Our Lord, whose precepts we should fear and observe, setting out the honour of the bishop and the order of His Church, speaks in the Gospel and says to Peter: say to thee that thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and what thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.' Hence through changing times and successions the ordination of bishops and the order of the Church flow on, so that the Church is founded upon the bishops and every action of the Church is directed by those same bishops who are set over her."] Epist. 33 (27). I. Cf. also Epist. 66 (69). 8. It should be noted that this passage implies that every Bishop (and not only the Bishop of Rome) is a successor of Peter given that the above saying of the Lord refers to "the honor of the bishop and the order of His Church."

282. Epist. 44 (41). 1.

283. Epist. 45 (42). 1: "ut ad catholicae ecclesiae unitatem scissi corporis membra conponerent" - ["to bring together the members of the divided body into the unity of the Catholic Church."]

284. "contra institutionis catholicae unitatem alium episcopum fieri consensisse; id est, quod nec fas est nec licet fieri, ecclesiam alterant institui." Epist. 46 (44). 1.

285. De Unit., 5.

286. de Unit., 6: "Qui alibi praeter ecclesiam colligit Christi ecclesiam spargit."

287. Epist. 66 (69). 8: "Si qui cum episcopo non sit, in ecclesia non esse...."

288. The term cathedra connotes the symbol of authoritative teaching. Irenaeus, Evang. Dem. 2.

289. In more detail, the argument in De unitate is as follows: In the person of Peter, the Lord "founded one cathedra" ("unam cathedram constituit"), and, therefore, "primacy is given to Peter" ("primatus Petro datur"). But each local Church through her Bishop is founded upon Peter and his cathedra. Thus "anyone who does not hold to this unity, merely believes that he is holding to the faith" ("hanc... unitatem qui non tenet, tenere se fidem credit.") Cf. below.

290. Epist. 69 (76). 1. The same view had already been expressed about 30 years previously by Councils in Africa (220 AD, Council of Carthage, as indicated in Epist. 73,3 and 71,4), Asia Minor (Epist.75,9f., Council of Iconium around 235 AD mentioned by Firmilian in a letter to Cyprian), Antioch and N. Syria.

291. Epist. 69 (76). 7.

292. De unit. 8 or Epist. 69 (76). 8.

293. Epist. 69 (66). 10.

294. Epist. 69 (66). 11: "cuncti haeretici et schismatici non dant Spiritum sanctum."

295. Epist. 69 (76). 5-6.

296. The oneness of the priesthood is inseparably joined to the oneness of the Eucharist and cannot be understood in any other way. See Epist. 43 (40). 5: "Aliud altare constitui aut sacerdotium novum fieri praeter unum altare et unum sacerdotium non potest." ["No other altar can be instituted, no other priesthood can be established apart from the one single altar, the one single priesthood."] Cf. De Unit. 17 and 14 (PL 4:513 and 510).

297. Epist. 70,3.

298. The same agreement among the African Churches was expressed in 256 at a Council of 87 bishops (see Sententiae episcoporum in Hartel's edition of the works of Cyprian, vol. I p. 435f.) The Council of Carthage in 251 had already declared by its canon all that has been said above about the meaning of "Catholic Church" in Cyprian. The "Catholic Church" according to this canon is contrasted not only with heresies, but also with schismatic groups, and is defined not simply by right belief but as the sphere of every operation of grace, such as Baptism (see H. Alivizatos (ed.), The Holy Canons, p. 220f.). On the importance of this Canon for the unity of the Church, cf. also G. Konidaris, G.C.H., p. 235.

299. Epist. 75A.

300. Hence, the harsh language it uses in several places against the primacy of Rome (Ibid.)

301. He who is outside the Catholic Church is "alienus a spiritali et deifica sanctitate" Qbid., 8) which suggests that the Catholic Church is the only Spirit-bearing and sanctifying communion.

302. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. VII.5.3-5) testifies to Dionysius of Alexandria's disagreement with Stephen of Rome.

303. Epist. 75,6. It is not, however, certain that Firrnilian is here referring specifically to the ecclesiology under discussion.

304. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. VII.5.5. The ecclesiological isolation of Rome was so marked that it may have been the reason why Stephen did not, it seems, carry out his announced intention of breaking communion between Rome and the dissenting Churches, and why his successor Xystus II hastened to restore unity by making concessions.

305. Right before the African Council of September 256. J. Quasten (Patrology II, p. 368) takes the years between 256 and Cyprian's death as the time of its composition.

306. De Rebaptismate, ed. W. Hartel as an appendix to the works of Cyprian.

307. A basic presupposition in the ecclesiology of De Rebaptismate is the distinction between the baptism of water and that of the Spirit. As a curious consequence of this distinction, the idea appears in this text that the Church is in exclusive possession of the Holy Spirit (whence she can baptize in the Spirit), but not of the Lord (with whom the baptism of water is clearly linked here).

308. The idea that outside the Church there is no salvation was first formulated by Origen (Horn, on Joshua son of Nun 3.5, PG 12:841 B).

309. Fr. Georges Florovsky poses this problem sharply and analyzes the difficulties it presents from the viewpoint of ecclesiology in his article "The Doctrine of the Church and the Ecumenical Movement," in The Ecumenical Review 2 (1950), 152-161.

310. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. 18.23, PG 33:1044) was the first to introduce the idea of universality into the definition of catholicity (see above, p. 126, n.4). But it should be noticed that he does not yet regard this universality as synonymous with catholicity but as one element which can describe it among others. Only Augustine, for reasons that are well-known (see above p. 126, n.3), identified the catholicity of the Church completely with her universality.

311. On this see the detailed analysis of L. Philippidis, History of the New Testament Period (in Greek), pp. 33f. and 240-257, which sets out the factors contributing to unity in the Hellenistic world, namely: unity in administration, law, the state cult, means of international exchange and manners; a very broad network of road and sea communications; and a sense of the unity and worldwide character of the state.

312. Ibid.,p.257.

313. 1 Pet 1:1: " to the elect, the exiles of the dispersion...." Likewise at 5:9: "Knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world."

314. Didache 9.4.

315. To Diogn. 6.1f.: 'To put it simply, what the soul is in a body, so are the Christians in the world. The soul is scattered throughout all the members of the body, and [so are] the Christians throughout all the cities of the world... and Christians... hold the world together."

316. Ibid. 12.1 and 8. The text is obscure. Nautin (Lettres et Ecrivains, p. 169), after some delicate textual work, reconstructs it as follows: "You will always reap from God what is desirable, what the serpent does not touch, nor does error defile; nor Eve is corrupted, but believed to be virgin [alla parthenos pistevetai], and to be salvific proves, and apostles receive understanding, and clergy are gathered together, and the Passover of the Lord comes forth and is betrothed to the world, and in teaching the saints the Word is glad, through whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory to the ages. Amen." As Nautin understands it (op. cit. p. 170): "the new paradise is the Church, and the Church for him is composed firstly of the orders which preside at the Eucharistic assembly."

317. Cf. H. Alivizatos, The Cause of the Disputes over Easter in the Second Century (in Greek), 1911, pp. 14,16 and 103: the root cause was the catholicization of the Church and not simply the question of fasting (or of the duration of the fast, as B. Lohse has tried to prove (Das Passafest der Quartadecimaner, 1953, p. 113).

318. Cf. G. Konidaris, The Formation..., p. 38f.

319. Cf. P. de Labriolle, La Crise Montaniste, p. 39. Doubts are expressed by P. Batiffol, op. cit. p.265; I. Lebreton, "Le Developpement des Institutions a la fin du IIe et au Debut du IIIe s., in Recherches des Sciences Religieuses, 1934; and G. Bardy, La Theologie, I, p. 203. Labriolle's view (cf. also G. Konidaris, The Formation, p. 38) is however supported by the evidence of Tertullian, De Jejunio 13.

320. n anti-Montanist, quoted in Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V,16.10.Cf. Ibid. 28.6 and 9: "having been excluded from communion."

321. usebius, Eccl. Hist. V.24.9.

322. See the evidence for this in W. Elert, op. cit.

323. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V.24.14-17.

324. Syriac Didascalia 12 (ed. Connolly, p. 122).

325. See P. Trembelas, "Contributions to the History of Christian Worship," in E.E.Th.S. (1958/60), 1963, p. 38f. On the same subject of the historical evidence for "supralocal" unity, see also C. Vogel, "Unite de l'Eglise et Pluralite des Formes Historiques...," in L'Episcopat et I'Eglise universelle (Unam Sanctam 39), 1962, p. 601f.

326. Ignatius, Eph. 3.2.

327. Cf. G. Konidaris, The Formation, p.27; here we have the "prelude" to the Ecumenical Council.

328. Le Corps Mystique, II, p. 30.

329. See in E.W. Benson, op. cit. pp. 197-199, and A.D. d'Ales, La Theologie de Saint Cyprien, 1922, p.l21f.

330. De Unit., 6.

331. Epist. 66 (69). 5: The Lord's words to the Apostles (Lk 10:16) were addressed to all the Bishops. It should be noted how Cyprian refers to the Apostle Peter as the foundation of the Church's unity: "God is one, and Christ is one, and the Church is one, and one is the throne (cathedra) which the Lord's word founded upon Peter" ("Deus units est et Christus unus et una ecclesia et cathedra una super Petrum Domini voce fundata") (Epist. 43 (40). 5). The nature of this one Church founded upon Peter is made clear by a careful study of the passage immediately following: "no other altar can be instituted, no other priesthood can be established apart from the one single altar, the one single priesthood" ("Aliud altare constitui aut aliud sacerdotium novum fieri praeter unum altare et unum sacerdot non potest") (Ibid.). From this it is quite clear that Cyprian has in mind here the proliferation of altars within one and the same 1 Church because of schisms (besides, it is clear from the whole of the letter that this is what it is talking about); and consequently the ecclesial unity founded on the one throne of Peter is to be fund in the episcopal Church which does not admit a second altar. In consequence, each bishop sits on the one throne of Peter. Cf. De Unit., 4. In view of this, one is justified in asking whether there is any ground, at least as far as the sources of the first three centuries go, for the view (see also in Archim. S. Charkianakis, op. cit.p.44f.) that the hierarchy "in its entirety" constitutes the successor of the Apostles in such a way that the college or "choir" of the Twelve is shared out in the succession to the particular Bishops. Such a collective unity of the episcopate, a unity by addition which easily permits the maintenance of a special office for the Pope as unifying in his person the college of the Apostles which is parcelled out among the various Bishops, is the underlying basis for the theory which has recently appeared among Roman Catholic theologians: concerning the "collegiality" of the Bishops. On this see inter alia the collections Le Concile et les Conciles, ed. B. Botte et al., 1960; and L'Episcopat de I'Eglise Universelle, ed. Y. Congar and B. Dupuy, 1962, esp. pp. 17-28, 227-328, 481-535, and also J. Colson, L'Episcopat Catholique: Collegialite et Primaute dans les Trois Premiers Siecles de l'Eglise, 1963; J. Hamer, op, cit. p. 237f.; P. Stockmeier, "Bischofsamt und Kircheneinheit bei den Apostolischen Vatern," in Trier Theologische Zeitschrift 63 (1964), 321 /35; W. de Ries, "Die Kollegiale Struktur der Kirche in den ersten Jahrhunderten," in Una Sancta 19 (1964), 296-317, and P. Rusch, "Bischof. Die Kollegiale Struktur des Bischofsamtes," in Zeitschrift fur Kathol. Theologie 89 (1964), 257-85. On this theory from the viewpoint of the conclusions of oui search, see general remarks below (General Conclusions).

332. See J. Zeiller, "La conception de l'Eglise aux Quatre Premiers Siecles," in Revue d'Histoire Ecclesiastique 29 (1933), 582.

333. Adv. Haer. 1.10.2: "For the languages around the world are different, but the force of the tradition is one and the same. The Churches established in Germany do not believe differently or hand down anything different, nor do those among the Iberians, nor those among the Celts, nor those in the East, nor in Egypt nor in Libya, nor those established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, God's creature, is one and the same all over the world, so also the proclamation of the truth shines everywhere and illumines all who wish it to come to knowledge of truth. Neither will the very powerful speech of those who preside over the Churches say anything different from this (for no one is above the teacher), nor will one who is feeble in speech diminish the tradition. For since the faith is one and the same, one who can say much about it has not increased it, nor has one who can say little diminished it." Cf. A. Benoit, Saint Irenee: Introduction a lEtude de sa Theologie, 1960, p. 215f. It should be noted that while Irenaeus is able to talk here about many "Churches" he does not talk about many "faiths." The "Churches" can be in the plural; it is sufficient that they are identical in the one faith. This relates to the remarks of J. Danielou, "Mia Ecclesia," p. 135f.

334. See Adv. Haer. V.20.1: "Those who preside over the Church, to whom the whole world is entrusted, watchfully guard the apostolic tradition, testifying to us that they all preserve one and the same faith... the same spiritual gifts... they live according to the same laws..." The repetition of "the same" is indicative of their unity in identity. 

335. De Praescr. 20. 5-7; cf. ibid. 21.4-7.

336. It is worth noting the way in which Tertullian refers to the Church of Rome, placing it on the same level as any other apostolic Church: "Are you in Achaea? You have Corinth. You are not far from Macedonia? You have Philippi, you have Thessalonike. If you can get to the shores of Asia, you have Ephesus. If you are in Italy, you have Rome..." In all these Churches, without exception, you will find "the very thrones of the apostles still preeminent in their places, where their authentic writings are read" etc. (Ibid. 36.2.

337. We cannot here concern ourselves in detail with the question of the nature of the conciliar system when it first appeared in his tory. A work dedicated specifically to this is in preparation.

338. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V.16.10.

339. It is noteworthy that Tertullian uses the title "episcopus episcoporum" ironically (De Pudic. 1.6. Cf. De Monog, 17) in reference to the Bishop of Rome (or of Carthage, according to E.W. Benson, op. cit. pp. 30-31, H. von Campenhausen, Kirchliches Ami, pp. 251 and 259, and W. Telfer, The Forgiveness of Sins, 1960, pp. 62 and 67).

340. This is to be observed particularly in the works of Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. See passages in J. Danielou, "Mia Ecclesia," p. 139.

341. See above, p. 128f.

342. De Praescr. 20.5-7 and 21.4-7.

343. Ignatius, Eph. 3.2. See above, n. 216.

344. The principle of majority decision, formulated for the first time in the 6th Canon of the First Ecumenical Council, related to questions of order. Could it be applied also to substantive issues such as those of faith on which numbers never seem to have been a criterion for decisions? Many Councils, even ones which were ecumenical as to their composition, such as that of Ephesus in 449, were unable to impose their decisions upon the consciousness of the Church; while others which were smaller in numbers and lacked geographical ecumenicity, such as the Second Ecumenical Council, expressed the "Catholic Church" faithfully. The criterion for truth in the Church has never been quantity or number, and often in history the true, "catholic" Church has been overshadowed by the numerical weight of heretics and schismatics.

345. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. IV.26.2: "qui cum episcopatus successione charisma veritatis certum secundum placitum patris acceperunt."

346. That the term "charisma" in this passage of Irenaeus should be understood as meaning the Priesthood, which is always bound up with the Eucharist, see G. Dix, "Ministry," pp. 209-210. Cf. also A. Ehrhardt, op. cit. pp. 107-24. Contrary views are expressed by scholars such as K. Mueller, "Das Charisma Veritatis und der Episcopat hex Irenaeus" in Z.N.T.W. 23 (1924), 216-22; D. van den Eynde, Us Normes de lEnseignement Chretien, 1933, p. 187 and E. Molland, "Irenaeus of Lugdunum and the Apostolic Succession," in journal of Ecclesiastical History 1 (1950), 25f. Although these views are favored by the silence of the texts of Irenaeus, they conflict with the very ancient use of the term "charisma" in connection with ordination even from New Testament times (1 Tim. 4:14 and 2 Tim. 1:6).

347. "The common union of the Churches," an expression highly characteristic of the theses in this work, is used by Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. V.24.9) of the second century Councils, and reveals the deeper meaning of the institution of Councils when it first appeared. The truly supreme importance of this institution lies in the fact that through it the Churches in various places are shown to be in essence one Church only in the whole world without ceasing to be in themselves full "Churches."

348. Cf. the remarks of Metropolitan Dionysius of Servies and Kozani in Oikodomi, Ecclesiastical and Literary Bulletin 2 (1959) (in Greek), 126: Each single Church united with her Bishop, in which the mystery of the Divine Eucharist is celebrated, "is not simply a part of the whole within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; but inasmuch as she communes in the whole in the unity of the Holy Spirit, she is herself one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, i.e. the 'fullness' and the Body of Christ.'" Again, Prof. N. Nissiotis rightly observes ("Worship...," p. 198) that through the Divine Eucharist "a local community does not pray alone, but as part of the universal, Catholic Church in the world, and as a part which contains the whole truth in its fullness by offering the one Eucharist." Cf. also J. Meyendorff, "Sacrements et Hierarchie dans I'Eglise," in Dim Vwant 26 (1954), pp. 81-91, and P. Evdokimov, L'Orthodoxie, 1959, p. 130. This fullness of each local Church at least in the sources from the first three centuries is now recognized, albeit without being linked with the Divine Eucharist, by certain Roman Catholics such as B. Botte, "La Collegialite dans le Nouveau Testament et chez les Peres Apostoliques," in La Concile et les Conciles. Contribution a I'Histoire de la View Conciliaire de I'Eglise, 1960, p. 14f., where he observes that "the local Church appeared hierarchically organized, with the bishop who is her leader, the presbyterium which assists him and the deacons who are his ministers. But she also appeared as autonomous. Above the bishop there was nothing, and he was, humanly speaking, completely independent." Similarly, J. Hamer (op. cit. p. 38f.) remarks on the basis of the sources of the early Church that "it is not in adding together the local communities that the whole community which constitutes the Church is born; but each community, however small, represents the whole Church."




Article published in English on: 19-2-2008.

Last update: 5-5-2008.