As this blog veers more into somewhat respectable, quasi-scholarly musings, it becomes increasingly difficult to address certain topics with enough nuance and research to satisfy readers who have a high threshold for argumentation and research.
However, most people are not engaging seriously enough in apologetics to seriously understand the scholarship, let alone the actual source material they are analyzing. So, they rely on quote mines. Whoever has the most succinct quotes, impressive statements, and longest list wins. Of course, no respectable form of historical inquiry works this way, but this is attractive to those who do not know how to conduct such research.
I was asked to condescend to the sensibilities of people who are not serious historians (which most people are not, they are in good company) nor invested enough time wise to do an all-encompassing deep dive into the Patristics. Specifically, I was asked to respond to ChurchFathers.org’s list on Peter’s Primacy. It should be noted that this list is a copy and pasted from Catholic.com’s 2004 tract. The standards of academic integrity, such as properly crediting sources, are not always met from websites. It does not make them bad, but a reader should be aware of the quality of the source he is reading.
In any event, if a quote mine not only fails to meet a semblance of academic muster, but also cites “authorities” that cannot be trusted, forgeries, and quotes out of context, it loses its credibility and could be disregarded. And so, for the sake of brevity, I will be responding in a very frank manner, so as not to insult whoever compiled the list, but to get to the heart of the issue for those who want a snappy response.
1. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]. (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).
When reading Patristic texts, Roman Catholic polemicists often confuse Saint Peter being “preeminent” as meaning that not only he himself, but an additional person “descending” from him, that Bishop of Rome, is all-powerful in an ecclesiastical sense. However, this is an eisegesis and obviously goes beyond what many texts, like the preceding, actually say.
“Preeminent” simply means Peter was the first Apostle, among equals. Did early saints see this as some sort of proof of the Papacy? No.
Saints from the third century explicitly rejected that the Bishop of Rome had any sort of power over another Bishop. We know this because the first time a Bishop of Rome brought up the idea (probably inventing it), it was explicitly rejected.
Saint Cyprian said during the Council of Carthage, held to oppose the Pope of Rome:
For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another. (Par 2)
Saint Firmilian, the President of the Council of Iconium, likewise held to oppose the same Pope, said the following:
I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority…Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter (Letter 74:17)
He elsewhere calls the same Pope a schismatic:
[W]hat strifes and dissensions have you stirred up throughout the churches of the whole world! Moreover, how great sin have you heaped up for yourself, when you cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity (74:24).
For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]. (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).
[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church. (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).
First, Tertullian was a Montanist heretic and his opinions are not held in high regard.
Second, if one bothers reading the whole passage in “On Modesty,” he actually disputes whether churches “akin to Peter” exercise disciplinary authority. So ironically, the quote mine not only misrepresents Tertullian’s whole point as he disagreed that Rome (or anyone other than the Montanists) exercised such disciplinary authority, he ascribed the view he disagreed with as belonging to all the churches, not just to the “pontifex maximus,” which he never explicitly identifies as the Roman bishop.
Third, other third century writers, such as Saint Cyprian (referenced above), wrote similarly about keys:
Shall he come to the heretics, where there is no fountain and river of living water at all; or to the Church which is one, and is founded upon one [Peter] who has received the keys of it by the Lord’s voice (Letter 72, Par 11)?
Yet, as we know from other writings of these writers, like Saint Cyprian’s, they did not understand Peter receiving keys to mean that the Bishop of Rome was a Bishop of Bishops.
Third, saints that explicitly invoked “the keys” made reference to all Apostles/Bishops exercising the same authority as Saint Peter:
Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honour and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity (Saint Cyprian, Treatise 1, Chap 4).
Far be it from me to censure the successors of the apostles, who with holy words consecrate the body of Christ, and who make us Christians. Having the keys of the kingdom of heaven, they judge men to some extent before the day of judgment, and guard the chastity of the bride of Christ (Saint Jerome, Letter 14, Par 8).
And how has He set over us so many to reprove; and not only to reprove, but also to punish? For him that hearkens to none of these, He has commanded to be as a heathen man and a publican. And how gave He them the keys also? Since if they are not to judge, they will be without authority in any matter, and in vain have they received the power to bind and to loose (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 12 on the Gospel of John).
By “keys” understand that which binds or looses transgressions, namely, penance or absolution; for those who, like Peter, have been deemed worthy of the grace of the episcopate, have the authority to absolve or to bind. Even though the words “I will give unto thee” were spoken to Peter alone, yet they were given to all the apostles. Why? Because He said, “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted.” Also, the words “I will give” indicate a future time, namely, after the Resurrection (Saint Theophylact quoted in a Catena on Matthew).
3. THE LETTER OF CLEMENT TO JAMES
Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect. (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).
The above is from a fourth century forgery (despite its surmised date above), which makes it untrustworthy. Even if one were to argue that even pseudegraphic works give insight into what contemporaries believe, there is nothing in the above statement that would give Peter some sort of ecclesiastical superiority. As discussed beforehand, preeminence was mainly understood as honorary.
[I]f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens. (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).
Origen is a condemned heretic who did not submit to his own Bishop in Alexandria, let alone the Bishop of Rome. Contextually, one can immediately conclude that his statements about Peter do not pertain to Roman ecclesiastical superiority. Furthermore, if one actually sits down and reads Origen’s exegesis in detail, one cannot help but conclude that it is bizarre in several respects and taken seriously by no one.
5. CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE
The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
As proven above, anyone who seriously cites Saint Cyprian as teaching the Papacy is either fundamentally dishonest or has never seriously read him. For those wondering what Cyprian is actually talking about in the above, it was a standard North African apologetic to assert that all non-schismatic Bishops were successors of Peter. For more detail, one can read up on Saint Optatus’ musings on the same subject a century later.
6. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM
The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish. Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly. (Catechetical Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]).
[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven [Matt. 16:19]. (ibid., 6:14).
In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9:32–34]. (ibid., 17:27)
First, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, being in communion with Antioch, was out of communion with the Church of Rome when he was Bishop. (It is unclear if communion was restored between Jerusalem and Rome soon after the Council of Constantinople I, though this certainly had not occurred by 382 as the synodical letter supposes the western churches do not recognize Cyril’s canonical election as Bishop even at so late a point.)
Second, nothing in the above spells out superior Petrine prerogatives. Considering what we know about the man, we must understand the preceding as speaking of Peter’s honorifics and not Papal Primacy or Supremacy.
7. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Jesus said to Peter, ‘Feed my sheep’. Why does He pass over the others and speak of the sheep to Peter? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the head of the choir. For this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the others. And also to show him that he must have confidence now that his denial had been purged away. He entrusts him with the rule [prostasia] over the brethren. . . . If anyone should say ‘Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?’, I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that see but of the whole world. (Homilies on John, 88.1)
First, Saint John Chrysostom was not in communion with Rome for most of his life due to the Meletian schism.
Second, as shown above, he taught all Bishops received “the keys.”
Third, traditionally Peter had “rule” over the other Apostles in that he made them Bishops. This did not give an ecclesiastical superiority which endowed the city of Rome with so much importance that it was non-negotiable to be in communion with them (which Chrysostom likely was not when he penned the above). As for a “proof texts” that Peter was the Bishop to the other apostles, one can read Apostolic succession lists and a statement to that effect by John of Thessalonica.
8. AMBROSE OF MILAN
[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]? (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379])
The idea that Peter is the “foundation of the Church” is clearly a reference to Peter being the first Bishop who gave the other Apostles their Bishoprics, as seen above. There is no reference to ecclesiastical superiority.
It should be noted that Saint Ambrose re-entered communion with eastern Bishops after the Council of Constantinople I when Rome did not (see Letter 14). It is certainly possible that Ambrose and other Western Bishops were sensitive to Rome’s position, as Letter 56 indicates that the Western Bishops were out of communion with Antioch years later.
9. POPE DAMASUS I
Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it. (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382])
First, the above is a forgery from the sixth century, which calls into questions its credibility.
Second, even if one were to say that a forgery reflects what someone (whomever that is) believes, this does not help the “Papal Supremacy is found in the early Church” camp. This is because if someone had to forge this idea, instead of just finding it in real documents, it proves that the idea is new—and not sufficiently early. As for “the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches,” this is clearly a reference to Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon, which in fact did this very thing explicitly. And, if most of the Church affirmed Canon 28, which they did, and not this forgery (because it did not exist), then this reflects that an anti-primacy view was the majority view—not the forger’s view.
‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division. (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).
This quote has insufficient context. Above, one can surmise that Saint Jerome believed all the Apostles had “the keys.” Furthermore, Jerome also explicitly spoke about Pope Liberius being “conquered by the tedium of exile and subscribing to heretical wickedness,” as this Roman Catholic source attests. Saint Hilary of Poitiers is quoted in the same source as writing the following about the same Pope: “I know not whether it was with greater impiety that you exiled him than that you restored him.”
So, inferring from a short snippet that Jerome had a developed view of the Papacy is unjustified. He certainly did not ascribe to Papal Infallibility and neither did his contemporaries.
Additionally, the quote is laid out in a dishonest way. In its fuller context, Jerome specifically rejects Papal claims:
The Church is founded upon Peter, although in another place, the same thing is done upon all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the strength of the Church is established equally upon them all. Yet, therefore, among the twelve Apostles, one is chosen, that a head being appointed, occasion of schism may be taken away. (Saint Jerome, Against Jovinian, Book I, Par 26)
It is most curious that the embolden was removed from the quote.
11. POPE INNOCENT I
In seeking the things of God . . . you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us [the pope], and have shown that you know that is owed to the Apostolic See [Rome], if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the apostle himself [Peter] from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have emerged. (Letters 29:1 [A.D. 408]).
It was customary for Bishops to look for the judgement of a more important Bishop in their region. The above was in response to Saint Augustine and North African Bishops wanting support from the Bishop of Rome in condemning local Pelagian heretics. While the local Council of Serdica (fourth century) gave Rome the highest position as a court of appeals below an ecumenical council, the North African Bishops did not recognize this council’s canon and thought it to be a forgery.
In any event, Saint Augustine relates in Letter 43 that a Pope (and a western synod held under his care) can be appealed to an Ecumenical Council. This shows that the above statement was written within the context of Bishops who understood there to be an appellate structure within the Church, where the highest authority was held by an Ecumenical Council above the Pope.
Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear ‘I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411])
Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is ‘I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ’s enemies. (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415]).
Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter? (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).
First, as discussed above, Augustine had a conciliar supremacy view.
Second, the above quotations speak of Peter “figuratively” as representing the whole Church, as Augustine’s other writings attest to:
For as some things are said which seem peculiarly to apply to the Apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning, unless when referred to the Church, whom he is acknowledged to have figuratively represented, on account of the primacy which he bore among the Disciples; as it is written, I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and other passages of the like purport (Exposition on Psalm 109, Par 1)
For if in Peter’s case there were no sacramental symbol of the Church, the Lord would not have said to him, I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. If this was said only to Peter, it gives no ground of action to the Church. But if such is the case also in the Church, that what is bound on earth is bound in heaven, and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven, — for when the Church excommunicates, the excommunicated person is bound in heaven; when one is reconciled by the Church, the person so reconciled is loosed in heaven: — if such, then, is the case in the Church, Peter, in receiving the keys, represented the holy Church. (Tractate 50 on the Gospel of John, Par 12).
The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church (Tractate 124 on the Gospel of John, Par 5).
13. COUNCIL OF EPHESUS
Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: ‘We offer our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you . . . you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your blessednesses is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the head of the apostles, is blessed Peter the apostle.’ (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]).
Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome] said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors.’ (ibid., session 3).
First, the Council itself began on June 22, 431 without the Papal legates and performed all its functions, including issuing its decree and excommunication of Nestorius, at this time. Rome’s function was to simply receive the council as the Church of Antioch eventually did.
Second, the Council read the Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius, which says the following:
And verily Peter and John were of equal honour one with another, in that they were both Apostles and holy disciples. (Source)
In short, it is clear that the Council exhibited conciliar supremacy and taught the equality of Bishops.
14. Pope Leo I
The Papal quote mine quoted throughout this article ends with three quotes from Pope Saint Leo I. It is also, not coincidentally, the “newest” of all the quotes, penned nearly 400 years after the time of the Apostles.
However, unlike all of the preceding quotes, Leo’s appears to actually teach some sort of Papal primacy with statements such as:
Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head.
Because it is a quote mine, the entire context of the comment is missing. The historical context is important and it is precisely this reason why serious people should not be employing quote mines.
Here is the context: Leo was in a spat with Saint Hilary of Arles, who rejected Papal meddling in his jurisdiction. However, it was understood that provincial Bishops had to submit to the decisions of the Metropolitan Bishop, while the Metropolitan had to have the consent of the provincial Bishops:
The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit. (Apostolic Canon 34)
However, Leo’s words are a bit stronger than what is canonical in the above. Why? Bishops (sadly) were always jockeying for power. It was not always necessarily greedy, as it was in a sense a defensive measure that protected one’s jurisdiction. As we say today, “the best defense is a good offense.”
Leo was not the only Bishop who thought along these lines. In the same decade, there was considerable controversy among the eastern Bishoprics, particularly as the upstart Bishopric of Constantinople started exerting influence over historically more powerful Bishoprics, such as Ephesus, Antioch, and Alexandria. This culminated with the false-Ecumenical Council, Ephesus II. This Council was held at the behest of Dioscorus, the Bishop of Alexandria, and not surprisingly served to make his Bishopric (he hoped) the most powerful in the world.
The council lauded Dioscorus as an “Ecumenical [lit. Worldwide] Patriarch” (Dvornik, Byzantium, 79) and as a particularly special Bishop:
All the world knows thy faith—Dioscorus is a personage unique in the world. (p. 126)
Contemporaries understood that Alexandria was overreaching and meddling in foreign jurisdictions (i.e. exercising “supremacy”), as Domnus of Antioch (himself quoted in the council) complained:
[T]he Bishop of Alexandria should have jurisdiction over the Egyptians only…(Dioscorus), as events prove, refused to conform to these decisions [Canon 6 of Nicea limiting Rome and Alexandria’s jurisdictions] and violating them… (p. 301, 303)
And so, Leo was hardly alone in interfering outside of his own province. In fact, it appears that Dioscorus was asserting himself quite a bit more forcefully outside of his province than even Leo was, as affairs in Asia Minor and Antioch technically were outside of his jurisdictional sphere of influence–while Arles was actually within his jurisdiction.
In light of the preceding, statements such as Leo’s should hardly be surprising given the debates of the time.
Conclusion. From the preceding, one can surmise that the Papal quote mine fails miserably in proving its point. However, someone may respond, “why isn’t there an Orthodox quote mine?”
This is a good question. In short, due to the Papacy being a cultural institution, even the non-religious know about “the Papacy” and “Peter” and can automatically make associations with statements that, as we saw in the above, really do not say anything about the modern Papacy but to our eyes and ears sound like they could. Orthodoxy, not being a western cultural institution nor encapsulated in one Earthly man, while clearly having the canonical ecclesiology of the early Church, does not really have snappy quotables that resonate the same way.
If one were to quote Apostolic Canon 34, the Council of Carthage, and Firmilian speaking on behalf of the Bishops of Asia Minor, one would not immediately identify a conciliar ecclesiology, even though it is clearly there (and in fact, explicitly there unlike the anachronistic Papal ecclesiology). Someone asserting something taken for granted at its time usually does not say it forcefully enough for it to resonate the same way perhaps some of Leo’s statements would. Usually, a forceful statement is made specifically because it was not taken for granted. It is sort of like raising one’s voice in order to get attention so they may listen to some new thing one has to say.
For example, the Council of Constantinople I made a clear statement asserting the conciliar ecclesiology of Orthodoxy:
[Y]ou have shown your brotherly love for us by convoking a synod in Rome, in accordance with God’s will, and inviting us to it, by means of a letter from your most God-beloved emperor, as if we were limbs of your very own, so that whereas in the past we were condemned to suffer alone, you should not now reign in isolation from us, given the complete agreement of the emperors in matters of religion. Rather, according to the word of the apostle, we should reign along with you.’ (Synodical Letter of 382)
Read quickly, this is an unremarkable statement. However, it is literally saying that the eastern Bishops are not “limbs of your [the Pope’s] very own” and asserts the right to “reign along with you [at Rome].” Clearly, the Bishop of Rome is not superior to the other Bishops, who reign along with him. Because such an ecclesiology was taken for granted, the rhetorical force is not at the “volume” to garner many reader’s attention.
However, when Popes slowly began expanding their claims and exerting prerogatives, the Church started forcefully rejecting the idea of the Papacy. In response to Pope Vigilius refusing to attend the fifth ecumenical council and teaching that all who did not accept his teachings were anathema, the sentence of the council asserted that collegiality was the final authority in deciding doctrinal matters, not Papal primacy:
[T]he Holy Fathers, who from time to time have met in the four holy councils, following the example of the ancients, have by a common discussion, disposed of by a fixed decree the heresies and questions which had sprung up, as it was certainly known, that by common discussion when the matter in dispute was presented by each side, the light of truth expels the darkness of falsehood. Nor is there any other way in which the truth can be made manifest when there are discussions concerning the faith, since each one needs the help of his neighbour.
Now at 5,000 words, I have gone far beyond what the quote-miners can handle. But, let it not be said that no one ever responded. The quote mines are insufficient and the truth requires quite a bit more digging.