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The Second Council of Nicaea (The Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Apostolic See, Keys, Chief of the Apostles, St. Peter, Shepherd

“If following the traditions of the orthodox Faith, you embrace the judgment of the Church of blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles, and, as of old your predecessors the holy Emperors acted, so you, too, venerating it with honour, love with all your heart his Vicar, and if your sacred majesty follow by preference their orthodox Faith, according to our holy Roman Church. May the chief of the Apostles himself, to whom the power was given by our Lord God to bind and remit sins in heaven and earth, be often your protector, and trample all barbarous nations under your feet, and everywhere make you conquerors. For let sacred authority lay open the marks of his dignity, and how great veneration ought to be shown to his, the highest See, by all the faithful in the world. For the Lord set him who bears the keys of the kingdom of heaven as chief over all, and by Him is he honoured with this privilege, by which the keys of the kingdom of heaven are entrusted to him. He, therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honour was thought worthy to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is founded. A blessed reward followed that blessed confession, by the preaching of which the holy universal Church was illumined, and from it the other Churches of God have derived the proofs of Faith. For the blessed Peter himself, the chief of the Apostles, who first sat in the Apostolic See, left the chiefship of his Apostolate, and pastoral care, to his successors, who are to sit in his most holy seat forever. And that power of authority, which he received from the Lord God our Saviour, he too bestowed and delivered by divine command to the Pontiffs, his successors, etc.” (Session 2, Pope Hadrian I's Letter [A.D. 787]).

“save for the authority of our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as is plain to all. Because if he be named Universal, above the holy Roman Church which has a prior rank, which is the head of all the Churches of God” (Session 2, Pope Hadrian I's Letter [A.D. 787]).

“the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church” (Session 2, Pope Hadrian I's Letter [A.D. 787]).

“Let that false assembly, which without the Apostolic See … was held contrary to the traditions of the venerable fathers against the divine images, be declared anathema in the presence of our delegates, and let the word of our Lord Jesus Christ be fulfilled, that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against her” (Matt. 16:18); and again: ‘Thou art Peter …’ (Matt. 16:18–19), whose throne holding the first place in all the world shines forth and holds its place as the head of the whole Church of God.” (Pope Hadrian I, Epistle 1, Quod ad dilectionem, read at the 7th Ecunmenical Council of Nicaea II, to the schismatic bishops of Istria)

“They who receive the dignity of the empire, or the honour of the principal priesthood from our Lord Jesus Christ, ought to provide and to care for those things which please him, and rule and govern the people committed to their care according to his will and good pleasure.

“Therefore, O Most Holy Head [Caput], it is incumbent upon us and you, that irreprehensibly we know the things which be his, and that in these we exercise ourselves, since from him we have received the imperial dignity, and you the dignity of the chief priesthood.” (Divine Sacra, sent by the Emperors Constantine and Irene to the Most Holy and Most Blessed Hadrian, Pope of Old Rome).

“Constantine and Irene — Sovereigns of the Romans in the Faith, to the most holy Bishops, who, by the grace of God and by the command of our pious Sovereignty, have met together in the Council of Nicaea.

“The Wisdom which is truly according to the nature of God and the Father — our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God — who, by his most divine and wonderful dispensation in the flesh, has delivered us from all idolatrous error: and, by taking on him our nature, has renewed the same by the co-operation of the Spirit, which is of the same nature with himself; and having himself become the first High Priest, has counted you holy men, worthy of the same dignity.

“He is that good Shepherd who, bearing on his own shoulders that wandering sheep — fallen man, has brought him back to his own peculiar folds — that is, the party of angelic and ministering powers [Ephesians 2:14-15], and has reconciled us in himself and having taken away the wall of partition, has broken down the enmity through his flesh, and has bestowed upon us a rule of conduct tending to peace” (The Imperial Sacra, read at the first session).

“Peter and Peter the most beloved-of-God presbyters who held the place of Hadrian, the most holy pope of Rome, said: We ourselves received such letters from our apostolic father and delivered them to the pious lords…Peter and Peter, the God-loved presbyters and legates of the Apostolic See, said: Let the holy Synod say whether it receives the letters of the most holy Pope of Old Rome.” (Readings of Papal legates at Session 2)

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