Did St. Agatho teach the infallibility of the Roman church?
Posted 20 February 2011 - 02:05 AM
"For this is the rule of the true faith, which this spiritual mother of your most tranquil empire, the Apostolic Church of Christ, has both in prosperity and in adversity always held and defended with energy; which, it will be proved, by the grace of Almighty God, has never erred from the path of the apostolic tradition, nor has she been depraved by yielding to heretical innovations, but from the beginning she has received the Christian faith from her founders, the princes of the Apostles of Christ, and remains undefiled unto the end, according to the divine promise of the Lord and Saviour himself, which he uttered in the holy Gospels to the prince of his disciples: saying, "Peter, Peter, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that (thy) faith fail not. And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Let your tranquil Clemency therefore consider, since it is the Lord and Saviour of all, whose faith it is, that promised that Peter's faithshould not fail and exhorted him to strengthen his brethren, how it is known to all that the Apostolic pontiffs, the predecessors of my littleness, have always confidently done this very thing: of whom also our littleness, since I have received this ministry by divine designation, wishes to be the follower, although unequal to them and the least of all."
Perhaps I am misreading the quotation, or maybe this letter is not binding canonically? I remember the Council declaring this letter of Agatho to be binding in their own letter written to Agatho.
All comments are greatly appreciated.
Posted 20 February 2011 - 01:44 PM
One must be careful with these circular arguments: "I am infallible which must be true because I said so and I am infallible!"
Herman the fallible Pooh
Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:28 AM
Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:16 AM
Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:37 AM
Let's look at Luke 22: 32:
I still find an issue with the manner in which Agatho cites Luke 22:32 as evidence that Peter's faith exclusively cannot fail,
32 ἐγὼ δὲ ἐδεήθην περὶ σοῦ ἵνα μὴ ἐκλίπῃ ἡ πίστις σου· καὶ σύ ποτε ἐπιστρέψας στήριξον τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου.
Peter, Peter, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
It is clear that Christ is saying to Peter that He has prayed that Peter's faith not fail, not that Peter's faith cannot fail. This is a distinction of utmost importance, as, as later happened, Peter's faith did, indeed, fail, in his three-fold denial of Christ, attested to by more than one Gospel.
Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:57 AM
It seems something got lost (in innocence or deliberately) in translation from the original to, in this case, English.
Let your tranquil Clemency therefore consider, since it is the Lord and Saviour of all, whose faith it is, that promised that Peter's faith should not fail and exhorted him to strengthen his brethren,
In the light of the plain interpretation of Luke 22:32, the conclusion that "Christ promised Peter's faith should not fail" cannot be sustained. Nowhere does Christ promise anything to Peter, nor does He guarantee Peter's faith will not fail. And, as Herman correctly pointed out, the apparent assertion by Agatho that Rome, up to that time, had never fallen into heresy, also is without foundation.
Any links to the passage in the original language?
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