The Orthodox Christian Church existed before St. Peter established his 2nd "See" in Rome.

**The fact is that the Church existed before the Bible - the Church didn’t need the Bible in order for the Church to exist (something Protestants fail to grasp)…and likewise, the Church also existed well before Peter ever created a “chair” in Rome - the Church didn’t need the Pope of Rome in order for the Church to exist.(something many modern Catholics seem to fail to grasp). **

The Church existed before Rome was established and the Church has continued without missing a beat since Rome excommunicated itself from the Church.

Each of the Original 5 Patriarchates all have an unbroken line of succession:

St. Andrew the Apostle founded the Church in Byzantium prior to 38ad (later to be called Constantinople), here are his successors:

St. Mark the Apostle founded the Church in Alexandria in 40ad, here are his successors: greekorthodox-alexandria…ent&cid=001003 The current Patriarch aka Pope is: Theodoros II

St. Peter the Apostle founded the Church in Antioch in 45ad, here are his successors:…her%20Contents

St. James the Apostle founded the Church in Jeruselem prior to 62ad, here are his successors:…riarx_iero.htm

St. Peter the Apostle, together with St. Paul, founded the Church in Rome in about 53ad or soon after: I can’t provide you with a link of his successors in Rome simply because I can not find a link, but I don’t think that it’s doubted by anyone.

I don’t quite understand the argument since the location of the Holy See is not what makes it the Holy See, it’s the fact that the Successor of Peter, who possesses the Keys of Supreme Authority, resides there. So of course the Church existed before Peter and Paul went to Rome, but Peter had the Keys and was the supreme Apostle.

So in other words, the Church can exist without Rome but it can’t exist without the Papal Office.

The Church existed before Rome was established and the Church has continued without missing a beat since Rome excommunicated itself from the Church.

This is a warn out statement. How can the Church built on the faith and person of Peter fall into error when Jesus promised it would never be overcome by the gates of hell?

Each of the Original 5 Patriarchates all have an unbroken line of succession:

Constantinople can’t trace its lineage to St Andrew, this is a myth the Greeks invented.

Actually Theodoros II is not the successor of the See of St. Mark. It is Pope Shenouda III…unless you believe that the non-Chacledonians are heretics. So do you? :popcorn:

Sacred Tradition is so hard to figure out. I cannot decide which of the hundreds of versions of it to believe were I to accept tradition.
Oriental Orthodox?
Old Catholic?
Polish National Catholic?
any of these groups?

How can Sacred Tradition be true when it causes such divisions?
How is anyone supposed to decide which group to join?
It seems like there is a new group every week claiming apostolic succession.

Why are none of the Church’s founded by St. John “the beloved” important?

Sacred Tradition is not a dividing issue, althought there may be differences in ecclesiastical tradition. If you are worried about discovering the Church Jesus founded, our Lord gave us a sign to visible identify it. He said it would be built on Peter. There is only one Church in existence that can be said to be built on the faith and person of Peter.

What the Bible-dismissers forget is that the first disciples did have the OT, or most of it. The usual Catholic Fundamentalist argument guts itself by insisting that

  • Jesus was recognised as being God from the start
  • the gospels record Jesus’s own words
    If both propositions are true, then His words must have had Divine authority, & thus been equal in weight to those of the Bible as we now have it. That they were not written down in a sturdily-bound Bible complete with Imprimatur is beside the point.

Furthermore, not having a complete canonised Bible of 66 or 72 or 80 (any advance on eighty ?) books is not the same as having no Bible & no NT anywhere or at all. The argument is either ignorant of the facts of the history of the canonisation of the NT, or illogical in its argument from those facts, or dishonest, or all some combination. If Christians can secure their beliefs only by ignorance, illogic & lies, that security is intellectually, morally, & spiritually worthless. It’s a con-trick, nothing more.

Why would Scriptureless Fathers quote books as Scripture ? They do so, over 12,000 times between them. Even when all objections are given the fullest possible weight (as they must be), it remains true that they had plenty of Biblical books to treat as Biblical, inspired by God, canonical & authoritative. Some are better grounded in the Bible than others - Arnobius’ knowledge of Christianity (c. 300) is pitiful, as is his use of the Bible; Cyril of Jerusalem OTOH, 50 years later, relies on it constantly. As for suggesting that Origen (185-253) or Augustine (354-430) or Chrysostom was ignorant of the Bible, only an ignoramus could say that.

If there was no Scripture recognised as such by the first disciples, the argument that the NT quotes the deuterocanonicals as Scripture implodes - Catholic Fundamentalists cannot have it both ways. The “argument” makes a nonsense of the Fathers’ writings - many of which are commentaries on books accepted as inspired Scripture. The very ECFs by whom the CFs swear are reduced to rubble by what CFs want to be true. This is Bizarro-Christianity, not the religion of the ECFs.

If CFs want their arguments to commit seppuku, they really ought to do so elsewhere; blood & intestines leave a colossal mess.

The Church existed before Rome was established and the Church has continued without missing a beat since Rome excommunicated itself from the Church.

But - a bordello is still a bordello, no matter who the manager is. The Jews were keen on the promises given them in the Covenant - but once they presumed on the promises, & followed after idols, instead of serving & obeying the One God Who had done so much for them, they were swept away, along with their filth. God can destroy us also - He can create a new & holy People from the earth of the stones if He wishes to.

Each of the Original 5 Patriarchates all have an unbroken line of succession: **… **

So has the Japanese Empire - & it’s older than anything Christians have to show. What good is corporate succession, without succession in doctrine & in Christian holiness ? Were the kings of Judah after David & Solomon praised for their unbroken succession ? No. The Bible is unflinching in recording their sins.

BTW - what’s not broken, always can be. There is no guarantee against that.

When the Apostles were alive, the distinctions between Orthodoxy & Catholicism & Protestantism did not exist; only the tendencies that gave birth as them did. So in that sense, the Apostles were Protestant & Catholic & Orthodox. Members of each type of Christianity can claim that the Apostles were Orthodox or Catholic or Protestant, only because there is a continuity between each of these OTOH, & the Apostles OTO; this does not at all ensure that each later Christian type has inherited all of what Apostolic Christianity was - if it had, all these types would teach all that the Apostles did; they do no such thing. Apostolic Christianity itself inherited only parts of the Jewish Tradition - most of the JT was ignored, or actively rejected. The Marcan Jesus has no time for the Oral Tradition of Judaism; He disallows it by quoting Isaiah 29.

The failure of later types to be faithful to all that went before, even after the Apostles, is shown by the failure of Churches to bother with the Fathers who are outside the culture in which their own form of type of Christianity was developed - when do the Orthodox bother with St. Augustine, or Catholics with James of Sarug ? They stay with what is comfortable; the result is a mutilated & incomplete Tradition which never says anything they do not at a given moment believe. :mad: :frowning:

As for St. Mark & Egypt - that is about as trustworthy as the assertions that Joseph of Arimathea, the Child Jesus, & St. Philip the Apostle visited Britain :slight_smile: It’s merely a religious variant of the desire to dignify family or nation by connecting it to a great name. How is it different in kind from the pleasant fancy that the kingdom of Britain was founded by Brutus, great-grandson of the Trojan hero Aeneas? That was believed from c.1150 to about 1600, & later. People are gullible - there is nothing we cannot be induced to believe, however baseless. As for Tradition, that’s a sort of Chinese Whispers, despite the continuity. So much for continuity of bishops - it guarantees a big fat **0 :frowning: **

Whatever, your comment is completely contrary to actual history. Rome even acknowledges it. The current pope made a visit to the Patriarchate St. Andrew established. I have the DVD of their visit. The Pope seemed in awe at the Divine Liturgy he attended.

No one denies that the Church was there before it was in Rome.

Why are these the five Patriarches? What makes these more important?

Ralph, that is a great question. I’m glad you asked.

I’m sure you agree that Jesus’ Apostles were important fellows and that history shows that they all went off to preach, get converts and start Churches.

I wish I knew everything, but I don’t. I do know that St. Thomas went to India and started the Church there. I do know that St. Mark went to Alexandria and started the Church there. St. Philip in Ethiopia, St. Andrew went to Byzantium and started a Church there, St. Peter went to Antioch and started a Church there, St. Paul went all over Greece: Corinth, Thessalonica, etc and started Churches there, Sts. Peter and Paul went to Rome and started a Church there, St. James remained in Jeruselem and started the Church there. I wish I knew where the others went to start Churches. I know that John was the caretaker of the Theotokos.

Anyway, so what made some of these Churches “more important” that they would be raised to called Patriarches and the others weren’t? Well, it has to do with their importance in the secular world and in the previous Jewish faith.

Obviously, Jeruselem was important because that is where the Temple where the right worship of the Triune God was done in the Pre-Christian world.

Okay, so what about the others?

Well, Rome was the Capitol City of the known world…the Roman Empire which had ruled for centuries before and after Christ’s death and resurrection.

Although the Church existed, as established by St. Andrew in 38ad, in Byzantium, it was not elevated to be called “Patriarch” until after the Roman Emperor Constantine transferred the Roman Empiror’s Capitol City to Byzantium (at which point he renamed it after himself). He wanted the official religion of the Roman Empire to be Christianity and felt that Rome was too full of Idol Worship and the old religion and he wanted a fresh start/clean slate in already Christian Byzantium.

Alexandria? It was a very important city in the Roman Empire. It once held the world’s largest library (before the fire).

Antioch? It too had a secular importance in the Roman Empire.

(Similarly, in the U.S. certain cities stand out that people are familiar with: New York City, Los Angeles, San Fransisco)

Meanwhile, since those Original 5 Patriarches were established and recognized, other Churches in important secular cities have also be elevated to “Patriachates”. The Orthodox Church has continued to grow. “Newer” (using that term relatively, since some of these have been around for more than 1,000 years) Patriarches have been established: like the Church in Moscow, as well as small countries that are so small, rather than naming the Patriarchate after a city, they named it after the entire country: the Church of Serbia, the Church of Romania, the Church of Bulgaria and the Church of Georgia - all are valid Patriarchates.

Other places have Churches which are independant of Patriarches, sometimes called: Autocephalous…they include the Church of Cyprus, the Church of Greece, the Church of Albania, the Church of Poland, the Church of Czech - Slovakia, the Church of Finland and the Church of Estonia. The reasons for their independence various from founded by an Apostle to due to secular politics/oppression independence was needed.

Gee, I wonder what happened to the other apostles? :rolleyes:

If you’re going to try to prove that the Orthodox Church is the Church of Christ, than at least give scriptural and Church Father proof, okay?

Catholics don’t claim Rome was the first created See. It’s just like Andrew was older, but Peter was still given the primacy. It always either had Peter or a Bishop of Rome who succeeded him in his position of primacy.

Plus, I don’t think any Orthodox person would deny that Rome had some special aspect to it even in the first couple centuries. The Petrine aspect is one reason why it was special, but Catholics also believe there were other reasons too. Even when St. Paul writes to them their faith is already known throughout the world. Why is that? I don’t think anyone would deny Rome had some special status (even if they only admit it was of honor or charity) even before there was such a thing as “Patriarchates.”

Pope Benedict explained this well in his homily on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (with the EP present):

How was it elevated to Patriarch?

Acts 15 shows that St. Peter was the leader, dispite him not yet establishing Rome. Let us not forget this. Rome is significant now. Though the Pope moved to Avignon, and he was legit there, it caused a lot of confusion. VARC, are you saying there’s a Patriarch/anti-patriarch issue in that Orthodox Church?

This doesn’t prove St Andrew is the patriarch of Constantinople.

This is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says, and you’re welcome to try to dispute it:

*A probably reliable tradition makes the Byzantine Church a suffragan of Heraclea in Thrace at the beginning of the third century. In the fifth century we meet with a spurious document attributed to a certain Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre at the end of the third century, according to which the Church of Byzantium was founded by the Apostle St. Andrew, its first bishop being his disciple Stachys (cf. Romans 16:9). The intention of the forger is plain: in this way the Church of Rome is made inferior to that of Constantinople, St. Andrew having been chosen an Apostle by Jesus before his brother St. Peter, the founder of the Roman Church.

The first historically known Bishop of Byzantium is St. Metrophanes (306-314), though the see had perhaps been occupied during the third century. It was at first subject to the metropolitan authority of Heraclea, and remained so, at least canonically, until 381, when the Second Ecumenical Council (can. iii) gave the Bishop of Constantinople the first place after the Bishop of Rome. (For the exact meaning of this canon see Hefele, Hist. des Counciles, tr., Leclercq, Paris, 1908, II, 24-27.)*


Constantinople made itself important when in the Council of 381 it declared itself to be second in primacy after Rome. This move offended the Church of God in Rome because their delegates were not present at the council, and because the Greek idea of primacy is based on the grandeur of a city, and not the Divinely instituted Primacy of Jesus.

It also offended the Alexandrians whose See was long regarded as second after Rome.

Constantinople became a wedge that eventually split the Church.

Just an addendum to my previous post…

If primacy is based on the grandeur of a city, does Constantinople still deserve to be second after Rome?

Grace and Peace,

As I understand it… it is not the fact that St. Peter ‘founded’ the Holy See of Rome that made Rome unique… it is the fact that both St. Peter and St. Paul are still present in Rome that makes the See of Rome unique. Within Rome remain many martyrs of the faith and both Great Saints still remain within her and their relics still have profound influence over those in the Rome whom listen.

To argue which was first founded misses the point of the Early Church’s recognition of Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria as superior in honor to that of Jerusalem. If their measure of such honor was based on which was established first it is a certainty that Constantinople would never have been recognized above Jerusalem nor any other.

We must recognize that there was another measure at use within the Early Church and it was heavy with the blood of the martyrs and that of the slumbering saints beneath the See of Rome and other Sees.