"Only in Catholic history books..."
ROMAN CATHOLICISM. The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD...The name of the church is derived from its base in Rome and from a Greek term meaning "universal." The word Catholic refers to the wholeness of the church, and for many centuries the Roman church claimed to be the only true Christian denomination.(Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1996)
ROMAN CATHOLICISM: Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctoral and organizational structure that traces its history to the apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century C.E. (Marriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions © 1999, page 938 )
The history of the Roman Church, therefore, in relation to the ancient oriental churches, is in fact, the history of this claim to supremacy. The claim of supremacy on the part of the bishop of Rome rests on the belief that Christ conferred on the apostle Peter a 'primacy of jurisdiction;' that Peter fixed his see and died at Rome and thus, that the bishops of Rome, as successors of the apostle Peter, have succeeded to his preorgatives of supremacy. In this light, historians read the facts of the early history of the church---and they trace to this acknoledgment of the superiority of that see, the numerous references to Rome on matters of doctrine or discipline; the appeals from other churhces, even those of Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople; the depositions or nominations of bishops, examination and condemnation of heresies---of which the first five centuries, especially the 4th and 5th, present examples. . . In all the controversies on the Incarnation---the Arian, the Nestorian, the Eutychian, the Monothelite---not only was the orthodoxy of Rome never impeached, but she even supplied at every crisis a rallying point for the orthodox of every church. ( Imperial Encyclopedia and Dictionary, Volume 32 © 1903)
The Church of Rome is the earliest of Christian organization; after three centuries of persecution, it was given freedom by the edict of Constantine and Licinius and acquired increased influence. Bishoprics were established in various parts of the empire, but the one at Rome remained supreme, and in time the title of Pope, or father originally borne by all the bishops indiscriminately, began to be restricted to the bishop of Rome.(The World Book Encyclopedia © 1940, Page 6166, Volume 14,)
The office of Pope was founded on the words of Christ: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [which means a rock], and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" ( Matthew xvi, 18). The attention of every historian has been attracted by the endurance of the Papacy through centuries that have seen the downfall of every other European institution that existed when the Papacy arose, and of a number of others that have originated and fallen, while it continued t flourish. The Roman Catholic offers these facts as evidence that the Church is not merely a human institution, but that it is built "upon a rock," (The World Book Encyclopedia © 1940, Page 5730 Volume13)
Historical Notes. The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church recognizes the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ on this earth, and as the Head of the Church. It traces its origin from the naming of the Apostles Peter by Jesus as the chief of the Apostles . The authority of Peter as head of the Church is exercised by his successors as the Bishops of Rome. The doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church come from the faith given by Christ to his Apostles.( World Religions, By Benson Y. Landis, © 1957 Page 110)
At first the Christians were terribly persecuted, but gradually they spread the Christs radian spirit and teachings until they united many races, classes, and religious beliefs into a brotherhood which extended from Persia to the Atlantic Ocean. Later, this brotherhood spread to American, and Christianity became the prevailing religion of the Western Hemisphere. It has now ben taught in all countries.For nearly a thousand years the Christians remained practically one great community. Then the Greek Catholics broke away from the Roman Catholics. "The World Book Encyclopedia ©1940, Page 1413 Volume 3)
(The Catholic) Church... traces an unbroken line of popes from St. Peter in the 1st century AD to the present occupant of the papal throne. During this nearly 2,000-year period there were more than 30 false popes, most notably during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. These men were merely claimants to the position. There have rarely been periods when a genuine pope was not ruling the church. In 1978 John Paul II became the 264th true pope.(Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1996)
By A. D. 100,...Christianity had become an institution headed by a three-rank hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons, who understood themselves to be the guardians of the only "true faith." The majority of churches, among which the church of Rome took a leading role, rejected all other viewpoints as heresy. Deploring the diversity of the earlier movement, Bishop Irenaeus and his followers insisted that there could be only one church, and outside of that church, he declared, "there is no salvation." Members of this church alone are orthodox (literally, "straight-thinking") Christians. And, he claimed, this church must be catholic-- that is, universal.(The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. Published by Vintage Books. 1994)
The Empire within the Empire.Long before the fall of Rome there had begun to grow up within the Roman Empire an ecclesiastical state, which in its constitution and its administrative system was shaping itself upon the imperial model. This spiritual empire, like the secular empire, possessed a hierarchy of officers, of which deacons, priests or prebyters, and bishops were the most important. The bishops collectively formed what is know as the episcopate. There were four grades of bishops, namely, country bishops, city bishops, metropolitans or archbishops, and patriarchs. At the end of the third century there were five patriarchates, that is, regions ruled by patriarchs. These centered in the great cities of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Among the patriarchs, the patriarchs of Rome were accorded almost universally a precedence in honor and dignity. They claimed further a precedence in authority and jurisdiction, and this was already very widely recognized ...Besides the influence of great men, such as Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Nicholas I, who held the seat of St. Peter, there were various historical circumstances that contributed to the realization by the Roman bishops of their claim to supremacy and aided them vastly in establishing the almost universal authority of the see of Rome. In the following paragraphs we shall enumerate several of these favoring circumstances. These matters constitute the great landmarks in the rise and early growth of the Papacy.
The belief in the Primacy of St. Peter and in the Founding by him of the Church at Rome.The Catholic Church teaches that the apostle Peter was given by the Master primacy among his fellow apostles and, furthermore, that Christ intrusted that disciple with the keys of the kingdom of heaven and invested him with superlative authority as teacher and interpreter of the Word by the commission "Feed my sheep"; . . ."feed my lambs," thus giving into his charge the entire flock of the Church. It also teaches that the apostle Peter himself founded the church at Rome. Without doubt he preached at Rome and suffered martyrdom there under the Emperor Nero...The Pastor as Protector of Rome.With the advent of the barbarians there came another occasion for the Roman bishops to widen their influence and enhance their authority. Romes extremity was their opportunity. Thus it will be recalled how mainly through the intercession of the pious Pope Leo the Great the fierce Attila was persuaded to turn back and spare the imperial city; and how the same bishop, in the year A.D. 455, also appeased in a measure the wrath of the Vandal Geiseric and shielded the inhabitants from the worst passions of a barbarian soldiery...Thus when the emperors, the natural defenders of the capital, were unable to protect it, the unarmed Pastor was able, through the awe and reverence inspired by his holy office, to render services that could not but result in bringing increased honor and dignity to the Roman see. (Mediaeval and Modern History, By Myers, Pg 26-27 Ginn and Company New York, 1905 )
Peter: d AD 64? Apostle, pope, and saint. According to the Bible Peter, a fisherman of Galilee was originally known as Simon. He was chosen by Jesus to be the first leader (pope) of his disciples. During Jesus' crucifixion, Peter denied knowing him, an act that Jesus had predicted and that Peter bitterly repented of. After word of Jesus' ascension to heaven, Peter actively sought converts, and is believed to have been crucified, head downward, in Rome by Nero. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is considered to be the first Pope. (Excerpted from the Macmillan Concise Dictionary of World History, compiled by Bruce Watterau. © 1986 Macmillan Publishing Company, a division of Macmillan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
"If you are a Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ began your religion in the year 33. "(Ann Landers (Jewish), syndicated columnist in the Daily Record of Morris County, N.J. (from which we take this piece) for Monday, November 11,1996 reads)
"The Roman Catholic church ... the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken episcopal succession descending from Saint Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ...Until the break with the Eastern church in 1054 and the break with the Protestant churches in the 1500s, it is impossible to separate the history of the Roman Catholic church from the history of Christianity" (The Encarta Encyclopedia © 1997 says)
"33-40 A.D.The Roman Catholic Church is founded by Jesus Christ"(The Timetables of History © 1975)
"The Catholic Church...Saint Peter and the Popes who have descended in unbroken succession from him have never ceased to feed, with the life-giving Sacraments and doctrines of the Catholic Church, the sheep whom Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd" (History Of The Popes © 1965)
"Jesus Christ has founded one only Church, the Catholic hierarchical Church, whose chief pastors are the Pope and the Bishops in union with the Pope," (The Early Church © 1945)
"St. Peter, of Bethsaida in Galilee, From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock .Prince of the Apostles, was the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He lived first in Antioch and then in Rome for 25 years. In C.E. 64 or 67, he was martyred. St. Linus became the second pope." (National Almanac © 1996)
"ROMAN CATHOLICISM The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD, ...the Roman church owes its existence to the life of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD" (Comptons Encyclopedia ©1995)
"Roman Catholic authority rests upon a mandate that is traced to the action of Jesus Christ himself, when he invested Peter and, through Peter, his successors with the power of the keys in the church. Christ is the invisible head of his church, and by his authority the pope is the visible head." (Encyclopedia Britannica ©1999)
"Roman Catholicism Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD." (Encyclopedia Britannica ©1999)
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, the largest single Christian body, composed of those Christians who acknowledge the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, the pope, in matters of faith. The word catholic (Gr. katholikos) means "universal" and has been used to designate the church since its earliest period, when it was the only Christian church. The Roman Catholic church regards itself as the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken episcopal succession descending from St. Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ on the 12 apostles (see APOSTLE). The church has had a profound influence on the development of European culture and on the introduction of European values into other civilizations. Its total membership as the 1990s began was about 995.8 million (about 18.8 percent of the world population). (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia ©1998-2000)
The doctrine of apostolic succession, that is, the continuous transmission of ministry from the time of Jesus until today. The doctrine is found as early as the Epistle to the Corinthians (c. 96), traditionally attributed to Pope Clement I...It is expressly affirmed in Roman Catholicism. It is identified with the succession of bishops in office and interpreted as the source of the bishops authority and leadership role. The most specific instance of these claims is that the pope is the successor of St. Peter, who was chosen by Jesus as head of his church (see Matt. 16:1618). (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia
Sounds good, doesn't it...However, your apostolic line has been broken numerous times, even from the get-go from Peter...Names were later inserted into the line to make it look like an unbroken line...
The doctrine is found as early as the Epistle to the Corinthians (c. 96), traditionally attributed to Pope Clement I...
There you go again...You don't have the letter...It's your church's 'tradition' that such a letter ever existed...
It is expressly affirmed in Roman Catholicism. It is identified with the succession of bishops in office and interpreted as the source of the bishops authority and leadership role. The most specific instance of these claims is that the pope is the successor of St. Peter, who was chosen by Jesus as head of his church (see Matt. 16:1618).
I can just imagine the look on a Catholic's face when he for the first time read the scriptures in his own language...No doubt he said about his church, 'this is not the church of the scriptures'...
The Reformers are the true catholics...