Monday, April 23, 2018

The indefectibility of Rome as ensured by "the complex structure of the ecclesial constellation itself"

"As the guardians of orthodoxy, the best among [the popes] sometimes found themselves obliged to resist [heretical] emperors to their face.  It was often the great, solitary saints such as . . . Maximus the Confessor . . . who inspired them with the confidence they needed to do so. . . . This is a fact belonging to the complex structure of the ecclesial constellation itself."

     Hans Urs von Balthasar, The office of Peter and the structure of the Church, trans. AndrĂ©e Emery (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 1986), 209 (of the German original), as quoted by Adrian J. Walker, in "Conscience, the emperor, and the pope:  the witness of St. Maximus the Confessor," Communio:  international Catholic review 41, no. 4 (2014):  750 (740-750).  Thus, St. Maximus does not consider the indefectibility of the Pope a "done deal," but fortifies Pope Martin I for the martyrdom to which they will both be soon subjected.  Also:  "John remains steadfastly ‘other’ than Peter, but he does so precisely in order to give Peter (and his successors) his, John’s, own ‘greater love,’ which is the very gift the Prince of the Apostles will need to ‘confirm the brethren’ (Lk 22:32) in the unity of office and love willed by the Lord".

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