[PODCAST] Weighing Eastern Orthodox Objections to Catholicism – A Critique of Michael Whelton , Part 1


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Citations from St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and 6th century Greek Monks

“In an instrumental sense, Peter is ‘the rock’ or ‘rock’: grafted by the power of God onto the divine Rock, in order to become the first stone of Christ’s edifice. How did Simon (Peter) become ‘rock’? By confessing Jesus as Messiah and Son of the Living God.” (His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Fr. Laurent A. Cleenerwerk, page 262)

“We may conclude that the early church Fathers and Christian writers recognized Peter’s position of honor and preeminence in the New Testament period. He was the spokesman for the group of the twelve, the leader, the shepherd, and the martyr. Their interpretations of Jesus’ promise to Peter — ‘You are Peter , and on this Petra I will build My Church” — converge with those of modern exegetes: the rock is Peter. But they also interpreted the rock as Peter’s confession. The Church is built on Peter, or the Church is built upon the rock, which is Peter’s confession. We cannot find two distinct groups of exegetes, one of whom states that the ‘rock is Peter’, while the other concludes that ‘the rock is Peter’s confession’. In the writings of any given author, one can often find both interpretations simultaneously” (Primacy of Peter edited by Fr John Meyendorff, page 65)

“Not undeservedly, therefore, was he pronounced blessed by the Lord, and derived from the original Rock that solidity which belonged both to his virtue and to his name, who through revelation from the Father confessed the selfsame to be both the Son of God and the Christ” (Tome of St. Leo to Chalcedon 451)

“Therefore the Holy Church of God, the mother of your most Christian power, should be delivered and liberated with all your might (through the help of God) from the errors of such teachers, and the evangelical and apostolic uprightness of the orthodox faith, which has been established upon the firm rock of this Church of blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, which by his grace and guardianship remains free from all error” (Letter of Pope St. Agatho to Constantinople 681)

“Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors” (St. Gregory the Great, VII – 40)

424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’8 On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church. (Catechism of the Catholic Church )

“Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received ” (Council of Vatican 1870)

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