Rev. Dr. Richard Price speaks on Papal Authority and the Byzantine Reception in the 1st Millennium – Which Side Stands to Gain?

Fr Al Kimel, the well known Eastern Orthodox blogger @ Eclectic Orthodoxy, has been dear to many readers for his long-standing (close to 15 years now?) record of providing thought-provoking blog articles on theology. He has recently published a blog giving a basic summary of how the Byzantine-East received the claims to papal supremacy from the West throughout the 1st millennium (he borrows from another blog entitled Orthodoxidation) taking largely from the commentary provided by Rev. Dr. Richard Price on Reason and Theology (if you haven’t seen them, go check them out). See the link below the paragraph for Fr. Kimel’s article.
Fr. Kimel doesn’t reveal his own interpretation of Fr. Price but simply gives a summary of what he thinks answers the original question. Other Orthodox, such as the author of the Orthodoxidation article linked in Fr. Kimel’s blog post below, have interpreted Fr. Price’s commentary as a huge blow to Catholicism and a victory for the Byzantine claims. I myself have responded to this some time ago in the article on my own blog entitled “Rev. Dr. Richard Price speaks on Papal Authority and the Byzantine Reception in the 1st Millennium – Which Side Stands to Gain?” (see the article linked at the bottom). I did not want the record to only have what appears to me a rather hasty misapprehension of Fr. Price.

Erick Ybarra

Recently, the prolific Michael Lofton brought on Dr. Richard Price, a well-known scholar in Church History and Patristic Theology, to discuss the Council of Ephesus (431) and the Nestorian Controversy. This is not the first time that Price has made an appearance on Reason and Theology (see here and here), and so he is familiar with the atmosphere that R&T brings to the table. This time, Price had some more commentary on the phenomenon of Papal authority and the Byzantine reception of it in the 1st millennium. Some of this commentary simply rehearses what he has already said in previous videos. I wanted to publish a brief article to ask the question of which side, today, stands to gain from his commentary?

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St. Clement of Rome (AD 35-99) and the Gift of Justification by Faith apart from Works

In a recent video released on YouTube channel Truth Unto Godliness (a wonderful name for a show), the host of the show together with another YouTuber The Other Paul (presumably, from the Apostle Paul?), gave a brief exposition of the early Pope St. Clement I’s famous letter to the Corinthian community. I listened to this because I’ve become acquainted with the host of the show and we’ve been able to achieve a very gracious correspondence for quite some time now. The Other Paul seems to be an up and coming researcher into early Christianity and has devoted his time to its research. In the show, they interact with an article St. Clement of Rome: Soteriology and Ecclesiology written by the well known Catholic apologist Dr. Bryan Cross and seek to refute its contents. In that article, I myself am found making a comment on October 15th, 2012 giving a major objection to Dr. Cross’s attempt to show that St. Clement’s teaching on justification (paragraph 32 of his epistle to Corinth). This objection that I had given came up in Truth Unto Godliness‘s exposition and it marks a point of interest since I am now a Catholic who has abandoned by former beliefs on the doctrine of justification as well as corrected some of my false views about the Catholic view of justification. I thought it would be worth the time to give my thoughts on this, though I should say that this is by no means an extensive paper on the matter. I plan to release a book on the issue of justification soon enough entitled The Just Shall Live By Faith: Examining the Justification Debate between Catholics and Protestants from Paul’s Epistle to Rome. The reader should look forward to that for some more mature thoughts on the matter.

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St. Peter Chrysologos (380-450) on the Heavenly Bread of the Lord’s Prayer

One of the under-appreciated giants of the early Church is St. Peter Chrysologus (380-450), who was Archbishop of Ravenna. He has his given last name “Chrysologus” because it means, literally, “the Golden-worded” (Χρυσο-λόγος, i.e., he preached gold.) It is similar to St. John Chrysostom whose name Chrysostomos means “the Golden Tongue”.

He gives a nugget of gold in his commentary on the Lord’s prayer on the part which says, “give us our daily bread”, and I am happy to share it with you all. *Notice the continuity of “flesh” from that which took residence in Mary, died on the cross, and was buried in the tomb with what St. Peter believed was placed in the Church and its altars. A spiritual presence (absent of substance) doesn’t get placed somewhere (or at least, it is very unlikely he thought of it this way)*

He writes:

“The heavenly Father is encouraging us, as heavenly sons, to ask for heavenly bread. He said: 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 (John 6:41). He is the Bread sown in the Virgin, leavened in the flesh, moulded in His passion, baked in the furnace of the sepulchre, 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒔, 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒇𝒖𝒍”

(Sermon 67; Eng. Trans: Claire Russell, 𝐺𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶ℎ𝑢𝑟𝑐ℎ 𝐹𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠: 𝑆𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑊𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶ℎ𝑢𝑟𝑐ℎ (London: Scepter, 2008), 365.)