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1252 [1252]

K. Henry. 8. The letter of Tonstall and Stokesley, to Cardinall Poole.

peraduenture you would say, that Peter dyd not vnderstand the sayd wordes of Christ, for lacke of the lyght whiche the latter men haue obtayned to perceaue, and therby vnderstand the wordes of Christ to Peter, better then Peter hym selfe dyd. And straunge also it were to condemne Peter as an hygh traytor to hys maister, after hys Ascension: as he in dede were worthy, if hys maister had signifyed vnto hym, that the Byshops of Rome, by hys dying there 

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The bishops are raising a controversial issue. In the Apocryphal Acts of Peter (said to have been written by John's companion Leucius Charinus), Peter is seen fleeing Rome to avoid execution until he is confronted by a vision of Christ heading into Rome. This is the source of the famous 'Quo Vadis?' phrase. Peter turns back and accepts his martyrdom. Should he really, in his willingness to flee, be considered as Pole and tradition often consider him?

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, should be heades of all the Church, and he knowyng the same by these wordes, Fede my shepe, yet notwithstandyng hys maisters hyghe legacie and commaundement, would flee, as hee did, from Rome, MarginaliaOf thys flying away of Peter from Rome, read before pag. 54. col. 1.vntill hys maister encountryng hym by the way with terrible wordes, caused hym to returne. And because thys hystorye peraduenture can not waye agaynst an obstinate mynde, to the contrarye: what shall we saye to the wordes of S. Ambrose, 
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This refers to St Ambrose (c.340-97), one of the four great doctors of the church, and his work on the Holy Spirit entitled 'De Spiritu sancto libri tres ad Gratianum Augustum' (which can be found in Patrologiae cursus completus: series Latina, 221 vols., ed. by J P Migne (Paris, 1844-1903), xvi, pp.731-850).

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MarginaliaAs great primacie geuē to S. Paule, as to Peter.declaring and affirmyng that as great and as ample primacie was giuen to Paule, as to Peter? Vpon these wordes of Paule: He that vvrought by Peter. &c. thus hee writeth: Petrum solum nominat, & sibi comparat, quia primatum ipse acceperat 
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The quote is taken from 'De Spiritu sancto', book ii, p.808. The bishops draw out the equity argument for Paul and Peter. The Henrician apologist often referred to Ambrose, as his writings could be interpreted against the theory of the church's foundation on one human figure.

ad fundandam Ecclesiam: fe quoq; pari modo electum vt primatum habeat in fundandis Ecclesijs Gentium. &c.
That is to say: He nameth Peter onely, and compareth hym to himselfe, because he receyued a primacy to buylde a Church: and that he in lyke sorte was chosen hymself to haue a primacy in buylding the Churches of the Gentiles. And shortly after it followeth: Of those (that is to say, of the Apostles) which were the chiefest, hys gyfte, he sayeth, was allowed which he had receyued of God, so that he was found worthy to haue the primacy in preaching to þe Gentiles, as Peter had in preachyng to the Iewes. And as he assygned to Peter for his companions, those whiche were of the chefest men amongst the Apostles: euē so also dyd he take to hym selfe Barnabas, who was ioyned vnto hym by Gods iudgement: and yet dyd he chalenge to hym selfe alone the prerogatiue or primacye which God had gyuen hym, as to Peter alone it was graunted among the other Apostles. So that the Apostles of the circumcision gaue their handes to the Apostles of the Gentiles, to declare theyr concorde in fellowshyp, that eyther of them shoulde know that they had receyued the perfection of the spiryte in the preachyng of the Gospell, and so should not nede eyther other in any matter. And shorthy after, sayth S. Ambrose, MarginaliaEqualitie of degree among the Apostles.who durst resyst Peter the chiefe Apostle, but an other such a one, whiche by the confydence of hys election myght knowe hym selfe to be no lesse, and so myght reproue boldelye that thyng which he inconsyderately had done. &c.

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This equalitie of dignitie, whiche S. Ambrose affirmeth by Scripture to be equally gyuen to Peter and Paule, S. Cypriane and S. Hierome 

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This refers to St Cyprian (d.258), who was converted to Christianity late in life, and to St Jerome (c.347-420), who is best known as the translator of the out of its original languages into the Latin edition known as the Vulgate. These church fathers were useful for the parity argument as both recognized Peter and Paul as sectarian leaders (Jews and Gentiles respectively).

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, do extende to all the Apostles, Cypriane saying thus 
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This comes from Cyprian's treatise entitled 'On the unity of the church' (which can be found in The Writings of Cyprian, 2 vols., ed. by A Roberts and J Donaldson (Edinburgh, 1882), i, pp.377-98). The quote comes early in the work (pp.380-1).

: Hoc erant vtiq̀ & cæteri Apostoli, quod fuit Petrus, pari cōsortio præditi, & honoris & potestatis: MarginaliaCyprian. De simplicitate clericorum.All the reste of the Apostles were the same that Peter was, beyng endued with lyke equalitie of honour and power. And S. Hierome thus: 
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This comes from Jerome's treatise 'Contra Jovinianum' (which can be found in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, second series, 14 vols., ed. by Henry R Percival (New York, 1890-1900), vi, pp.346-416. The quote comes early in the work (pp.350-1).

Cuncti Apostoli claues regni cœlorum accipiunt, & ex æquo super eos Ecclesiæ fortitudo fundatur: MarginaliaContra Iouinianum.All the Apostles receyued the keyes of the kingdome of heauen, and vpon them, as indifferently and equally, is the strength of the Churche groūded and established. Which S. Hierome also, aswel in his commentaries 
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The bishops were making an argument that the primacy of Rome was a human institution without scriptural foundation [see, Public Records Office, State Papers 1/113, fols.5rv]. The references to the treatise of Jerome is to his 'Commentariorum In Epistolam ad Titum (Liber Unus)' (which can be found in Patrologiae cursus completus: series Latina, 221 vols., ed. by J P Migne (Paris, 1844-1903), vii, pp.555-600). The quote comes early in the work (at p.566). The bishops also refer here to a letter of Jerome to Evagrius. This is probably Evagrius of Antioch (an early friend and patron of Jerome) although no specific letter to be found in the edited collections of Jerome epistles. As Evagrius' selection as bishop of Antioch was disputed as unlawful at the time, a letter to his friend on the authority and role of a bishop makes some sense.

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vpon the Epistle to Tite, as in his Epistle to Euagrius, sheweth that these primacies long after Christes ascension, were made by the deuise of men, where before, by the commune agrement and consent of the clergie, euery of the churches were gouerned, yea the Patriarchall churches. The wordes of S. Hierome be these: MarginaliaCap. 1. super Titū.Sciant ergo Episcopi se magis ex cōsuetudine, quam dispensationis dominicæ veritate, Presbyteris esse maiores: MarginaliaDifference betwixte byshops & priestes. how it is come.Let the Bishops vnderstand, that they be greater then other priestes, rather of custome, then by the vertue & veritie of þe Lordes ordinaunce. And in his said Epistle to Eungrius he hath the like sentence, and addeth thereto: Vbicunque fuerit Episcopus, siue Romæ, siue Eugubij, siue Constantinopoli. &c: Where soeuer a Bishop be, either at Rome, or at Eugubiū, or at Constantinople, he is of all one worthines, & of all one priesthode: and that one was elected which should be preferred before other, it was deuised for þe redresse of schismes, leste any one chalēging to much to hym selfe, should rente the Church of Christ. These wordes onely of S. Hierome, be sufficiēt to proue that Christ by none of these three textes (which be all that you and others do alleadge for youre opinion) gaue to Peter any such superioritie, as the Bishop of Rome by them vsurpeth: and that Peter nor no other of the chiefe Apostles did vendicate such primacie or superioritie, but vtterly refused it, and therfore gaue preeminence aboue them selues, to one that though he be sometymes called an Apostle, yet he was none of the. xij. as Eusebius in the beginning of his second boke 
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The bishops here refer to Eusebius, Church History (which can be found in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, second series, 14 vols., ed. by Henry R Percival (New York, 1890-1900), i, pp.73-405 (lib.ii). James the Just is considered either the half-brother or step-brother of Jesus and was the first bishop of Jerusalem.

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called Historia Ecclesiastica, doth testifie, alledging for him the great and auncient clerke Clemens Alexandrinus, saying thus: Petr9, Iacobus, ac Iohannes, post assumptionem Saluatoris, quamuis ab ipso fuerant omnibus penè prælati, tamen non fibi vendicarunt gloriam, sed Iacobum qui dicebatur Iustus, Apostolorum Episcopum statuunt: Peter, Iames, and Iohn, after Christes ascensiō into heauē, although they were by hym preferred almoste before all other, yet they chalenged not that glory to them selues, MarginaliaIames the Iuste made the Byshop of the Apostles.but decreed that Iames, who was called Iustus, should be chiefe Bishop of the Apostles. By these wordes it is cleare, that Iames was the Bishoppe of the Apostles, not because as some men doe glose, he was elected by the Apostles, but because he had therby the primacie and honour of a Bishop in Ierusalē, aboue the rest of the Apostles.

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MarginaliaSeing Paule was chiefe primate of the Gentiles, it is agaynst reason that the Romanes should chalenge the primacie by Peter.And one thyng is especially to be noted, and also marueled at, that the Bishops of Rome do chalenge this primacie alonely by Peter, and yet S. Paule, whiche was his equal, or rather superiour by Scripture, in his Apostleship amongst the Gentiles, whereof Rome was the principall, suffred at Rome where Peter did, and is commonly in all the Romane Church, ioyned with Peter in all appellations and titles of preeminence, and both be called Principes Apostolorum: The chiefe of the Apostles. Vpon both is equallye foūded the church of Rome. The accoūting of Bishops of Rome, many yeres agreeth thereunto. For Eusebius sayth, MarginaliaLib. 3. cap. 21.that Clemens tertius post Paulum & Petrum, Pontificatum tenebat: Clement was the thyrde Byshop after S. Paul and Peter: rekonyng them both as Bishopes of Rome, and yet therein preferryng S. Paule: With like wordes sayinge of Alexander Bishop of Rome: that Quinta successione post Petrū atq̀ Paulum, plebis gubernacula fortitus est: Alexander obtayned the gouernaunce of the people by succession, the fifte Bishop after Peter & Paule. Irenæus also sayth, as Eusebius reciteth: MarginaliaLib. 5. cap. 6.that Fundata & edificata Ecclesia, beati Apostoli Lino officium Episcopatus iniungunt: After the Churche was once founded and buylded, the holy Apostles charged Linus with the Bishoprike. Wherby appeareth, that they both ioyntly cōstituted hym Bishop of Rome, and receyued onely their 

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More evidence from the treatise of Eusebius.

Apostleship enioyned vnto them by Chirst. And therfore if the Bishoppes of Rome chalenge any preeminence of authoritie by Peter, they should aswel or rather chalenge the same by Paul, because they both founded it, and both there preached, and both there suffered: resigning first that bishoprike to Linus, and al at once.

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And if you will peraduenture leaue to the former preaching there by Peter, whiche by Scripture can not bee proued, yet then at the least S. Paule and hys successors in Ephesus should haue like primacie, because he founded firste that church, though S. Iohn after that did builde it, as witnesseth Eusebius saying: MarginaliaLib. 3. ca. 23.Ecclesia quæ est apud Ephesum, à Paulo quidem fundata est, à Iohanne verò ædificata: The Churche which is at Ephesus, was founded of Paul, but it was builded of S. Iohn. And so Peter should haue no other primacie in Rome, but as Paul had in Ephesus, that is to say: MarginaliaThe fyrst foūdation of a church maketh no primacie.to be counted as the fyrst preacher and conuerter of the people there to þe faith of Christ. And aswell might all the bishops of Ephesus, chalenge the primacie of all nations, both Gentiles and Iewes by S. Paule the Apostle of the Gentiles their founder, as the Bishop of Rome by S. Peter the Apostle only of the circumcision, in case he were the fyrst founder chalenging primacie ouer all. But vndoubtedly this primacie ouer all, that the Bishops of Rome of late do chalenge, was not allowed nor yet knowen nor heard of amongst þe aunciēt fathers, though they had theyr church of Rome in hyghe estimation, aswell for the notable vertuous dedes that the Clergye dyd there shewe and exercise abundantly to theyr neighbours (as witnesseth the said Eusebius, MarginaliaLib. 4. cap. 23.alleaging there þe Epistle that Dionisius Alexandrinus wrote to Soter Bishop of Rome, testifying the same) as for that the Citye of Rome was the most ample and chiefe Citie of all the worlde, witnessyng S. Cypriane, saying: MarginaliaCypri. Lib. 2. ad Corneliū.Planè, quoniam pro magnitudine sua debeat Charthaginem Roma præcedere, illic maiora & grauiora cōmisit: Certeinly, because that Rome ought for the greatnes therof to excell Carthage, there Nouatus committed the greater & more greuous offences. Which S. Cipriane 

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The bishops here refer to the fact that, while bishop of Carthage Cyprian had submitted a number of his decrees and statutes to bishops of Rome - although this should not be read as submission to a higher authority but merely as evidence of his desire to keep other authorities abreast of his opinions, maintaining that all bishops have liberty within their sees.

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also, when he had ordeyned and appoynted certayne

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decrees
CCC.ij.
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