Author Topic: The royal "we" of the papacy  (Read 229 times)

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Offline PG

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The royal "we" of the papacy
« on: December 27, 2015, 09:54:00 PM »
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  • I have always wondered exactly what the "we" of the papacy entails.  Does the "we" mean "me and Peter"?  Or, does it mean "me and Jesus Christ"?  Or, does it mean "me and the bishops/christians in communion with me"?  Or, is it just conforming to the world practice and using the royal we used by monarchs?  Which, I think just means "me and God".  

    I am also under the impression that bishops use the royal "we" as well.  I think I remember +Thuc's consecration certificate that +Pivarunas saying it.  And, I thought that was odd.  But, what do I know.  That is the point of this thread.  So, with bishops, I will assume that it is a universal practice(correct me if I am wrong).  

    And, when does the pope not use it?  Does he not say "I absolve you" in the confessional?  And, instead says "we absolve you".  

    I look in my denzinger and can see from the earliest times that the pope's have used the royal "we".  But, not all of them.  St. Dionysius 259AD did not use it where he is referenced(dz 48-51).  St. Celestine 422 used "we" and "I" in the same letter; but, mainly used the "I".  There may be many more, but I have not looked for all of the cases.  

    Lastly, I cannot recall Christ speaking that way.  Did he ever?  And, if he didn't, why should the popes?  It seems to me very strange that the bishops and the pope should use "we", yet Christ did not.  

    I would personally not like to be switching back and forth between the two if I were pope.  And, surely, that happens.  Can you imagine the pope saying to his cook/waiter some thing like, "we would like our prime rib medium rare".  If popes are doing that, I would have to think that we have a problem.  And, I am not just talking about the "we"(medium rare?).
    "A secure mind is like a continual feast" - Proverbs xv: 15


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