Date: 2018-02-22 14:31
6. When I first explored the writing of the ECF, I literally yelled to myself, “he has no idea he is the Pope.” The idea of development presented by Sullivan and Eno, was very foreign to anything that I ever expected to see as a faithful Catholic way of looking at the Early Church.
7. This way is very foreign to Catholic self understanding as evidenced by numerous attempts to read developed Catholic theology and authority back into the writings of the ECF. Orestas Bronson presented a well thought out criticism of Newman’s development theory and many Catholic intellectuals were of the opinion that Newman’s ideas were not Catholic ideas. I really think that your reluctance to see the subordinationism that numerous scholars claim is present in the pre-Nicene Fathers is a symptom of this.
8. The Bible does not IMO witness to the process of acquiring more and more broad powers via development. It seems to me that God typically chooses folks who then enlist others to work with them. Moses and Aaron and the Levitical Priesthood. Jesus, the Apostles, and the co-workers and the Episcopes and Presbyters and … I do not see where a Bishop becomes a Metropolitan over other Bishops. Then a Metropolitan becomes a Patriarch over other Metropolitans and Bishops. Then the Bishop/Metropolitan/Patriarch in Rome becomes (is recognized as) the Pope.
9. Moses and Abraham and Peter and Adam and Noah all claimed to receive revelation to develop/define God’s truth. The Catholic Church does not follow this pattern. Instead groups of Bishops get together and dialogue about truth. One can argue that the Holy Spirit guides such things, but there are clearly abuses associated with these groups of Bishops that would be hard to assign to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
5. There are numerous aspects of Roman Primacy that seem to turn upon secular happenstance. Certainly a sovereign God may use the secular prominence of a city, the fact that the there was one Western See and *censored* Eastern Sees of great prominence (after Jerusalem ceased to be of great prominence), the fact that the Roman government took people to Rome to kill them, and other things to aid in the development of His divinely selected authority but this also appears very human.
6. While I try to removed myself from a LDS paradigm when I assess other paradigms, it is worth noting that from a LDS paradigm the development of centralized authority rather than the divine selection of a Prophet/Apostle is not God’s way. The leading of a church via an appeal to Tradition teased out of history by scholars rather than a direct appeal to God’s ongoing revelator guidance is not God’s way. From a LDS paradigm it is easy to see the apostasy of authority in the early church.