Skip to comments.Radio Replies Second Volume - The Idealization of Protestantism
Posted on 05/08/2010 9:30:27 PM PDT by GonzoII
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Thanks for your input.
Most of us Catholics who participate on the Religion forum have seen the most VILE comments gleefully posted, the same ones, day after day after day.
We have answered them in all sincerity until our limit of patience for the very same daily calumnies has been reached.
Like it or lump it, many of us are no longer backing down or making nice. Anti-Catholic bigots have used the Religion Forum rules against us until we have learned to use them ourselves.
If you cannot defend your beliefs, then perhaps it’s wise to stay off the open threads. If you are thin-skinned, same goes. If you are unclear about the rules, perhaps it is best to learn them. And if you want to be taken seriously, do not whine.
I know why people believe the Catholic church is inerrant, I just doubt that they are right. When theological evidence is purely historical, rather than fundamentally scriptural, I typically end up unconvinced.
>> Most of us Catholics who participate on the Religion forum have seen the most VILE comments gleefully posted, the same ones, day after day after day.
>> And if you want to be taken seriously, do not whine.
A self-defeating post.
As for this one:
“Protestantism has no central authority, and no priesthood properly so-called. It has not an apostolicity such as the true Christian Church requires. “
It has the BIBLE, for heaven’s sakes.
“Previously Radio Replies has given purely historical evidence as to why the Catholic church is believed to be the true doctrinally inerrant body esablished by Christ. “
How about some biblical evidence?
Protestantism has our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone of the Church, not the Pope. Those who call their denomination the Church, fail to exercise faith through Christ, when they place the Pope between any believer and God.
Or when they place any “saint” and his/her intercession between any believer and God.
I didn't have in mind "theological" evidence, I meant the Catholic church per se, as an historical entity, along with its hierarchy, sacraments etc. is an historical observable fact that goes back to the first century.
Prove it using non-Roman Catholic (strictly secular, from the period) sources.
As regards from "the period" I admit all credible historians were Catholic thus proving my point that the Catholic church goes back to the time of Christ. The following modern secular sources are provided followed by the Church Fathers:
When Was The Catholic Church founded?
BY Charles The Hammer
When researching the history of the Catholic Church using public sources we find that many times thay are reluctant to give the full truth as to when and by whom the Catholic Church was found. Some are only willing to admit the church existed in the first century but most just avoid the issue altogether.
Protestants many times would like us to believe there was no early church structure or for that matter a specific early church and that Constantine "created" the Roman Catholic Church. they would also like us to believe there was no standardized early church leadership and no universal church leadership, all of these were creations of the third and fourth century. Although as a stated above not everyone the citations is as explicit as we may want them to be their very useful against the pseudo-history.
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 ©1998-2000)
IN THE WRITINGS OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
Saint Cyprian (died A.D. 258): "He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: `he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.' Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ." (Unity of the Catholic Church)
"He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation." (Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Latina)
"Nay, though they should suffer death for the confession of the Name, the guilt of such men is not removed even by their blood...No martyr can he be who is not in the Church." (Ancient Christian Writers)
"Christ has declared the unity of the Church. Whoever parts and divides the Church cannot possess Christ ... The House of God is but one, and no one can have salvation except in the Church" (The Unity of the Church)
"There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church ... and it is they who in His Church have labored in doing good works whom the Lord says shall be received into the Kingdom of Heaven on the Day of Judgment." (Epistle 73:21)
Bishop Firmilean (died A.D. 269): "What is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church." (Anti-Nicene Fathers)
Saints Cosmas and Damian (died A.D. 303): "There is absolutely no salvation outside the Catholic Church" (Saints to Remember)
St. Catherine of Alexandria (died A.D. 307) "It is necessary for you to believe the Catholic Faith and to be baptized, as must every man in order to save his soul." (Saints to Know and Love)
Lactantius (died A.D. 310): "It is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the abode of the Faith, this is the temple of God; into which if anyone shall not enter, or from which if anyone shall go out, he is a stranger to the hope of life and eternal salvation." (The Divine Institutes)
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (died A.D. 386): "Abhor all heretics...heed not their fair speaking or their mock humility; for they are serpents, a `brood of vipers.' Remember that, when Judas said `Hail Rabbi,' the salutation was an act of betrayal. Do not be deceived by the kiss but beware of the venom. Abhor such men, therefore, and shun the blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no pardon. For what fellowship have you with men without hope. Let us confidently say to God regarding all heretics, `Did I not hate, O Lord, those who hated Thee, and did I not pine away because of Your enemies?' For there is an enmity that is laudable, as it is written, `I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.' Friendship with the serpent produces enmity with God, and death. Let us shun those from whom God turns away." (The Fathers of the Church)
Saint Ambrose (died A.D. 397): "Where Peter is therefore, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life eternal. ...Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward." (The Fathers of the Church)
St. John Chrysostom (died A.D. 407): "We know that salvation belongs to the Church alone, and that no one can partake of Christ nor be saved outside the Catholic Church and Catholic Faith." (De Capto Eutropio)
"We should mourn for those who are dying without the Faith ... And well should the pagan weep and lament who, not knowing God, goes straight to punishment when he dies!" (On the Consolation of Death)
St. Gaudentius of Brescia (died A.D. 410): "It is certain that all men of Noah's time perished, except those who merited to be in the Ark, which was a figure of the Church. Likewise, they cannot in any way now be saved who are aliens from the Apostolic Faith and the Catholic Church" (De Lect. Evangel)
Bishop Niceta of Remesiana (died A.D. 415): "He is the Way along which we journey to our salvation; the Truth, because He rejects what is false; the Life, because He destroys death. ...All who from the beginning of the world were, or are, or will be justified - whether Patriarchs, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Prophets, whether Apostles or martyrs, or any others - make up one Church, because they are made holy by one faith and way of life, stamped with one Spirit, made into one Body whose Head, as we are told, is Christ. I go further. The angels and virtues and powers in heaven are co-members in this one Church, for, as the Apostle teaches us, in Christ `all things whether on the earth or in the heavens have been reconciled.' You must believe, therefore, that in this one Church you are gathered into the Communion of Saints. You must know that this is the one Catholic Church established throughout the world, and with it you must remain in unshaken communion. There are, indeed, other so called `churches' with which you can have no communion. ...These `churches' cease to be holy, because they were deceived by the doctrines of the devil to believe and behave differently from what Christ commanded and from the tradition of the Apostles." (The Fathers of the Church)
Saint Jerome (died A.D. 420): "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. ...This is the Ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. ...And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church's enemies are also my enemies." (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology)
"Therefore, I believe it is good for me to praise the Chair and Faith of peter: with you alone remains uncorrupted the inhereitance of the Fathers. As I follow no one but Christ, so do I therefore unite myself with Your Holiness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this House is profane; whoever is not in this Ark of Noah will perish in the Flood; whoever does not gather with thee scatters; that is: he who is not Christ's is Antichrist's." (To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15)
Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church." (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem)
"So certain and so clear is the Catholic Faith as expressed in the words of the Apostolic See, so ancient and so well-extablished, that it would be a sacrilege for any Christian to doubt!" (Faith of the Early Fathers)
"There is nothing a Christian should dread more than to be separated from the Body of Christ, for if he is separated from the Body, he is not one of His Members. If he is not a member of Christ, then he does not live by His Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ," says the Apostle, "he is none of His" (Romans 8:9) ... Do you also wish to live by the Spirit of Christ? Then belong to the Body of Christ. No one ascends into Heaven except him who remains glued to Christ, for "no man hath ascended into Heaven except Him Who alone descended from Heaven: the Son of man Who is in Heaven" (John 3:13). Do you want to ascend, too? Then become a member of Him Who alone ascends! For He, the Head, is one man with the other members ... If, then, the Body of Christ and its members belong to "one man," do not make two of them ... He is the Bridegroom Who is the Head, the Bride is he who is in the Body. For "they two," He said, "shall be in one flesh" (Mt. 19:5-6) ... And since no one can ascend into Heaven but him who has become His member in His Body, the saying is fulfilled that "no man ascends to Heaven except Him Who descended" ... What do these words mean if not that no man ascends into heaven who has not been made one with Him and, as a member, become hidden within the Body of Him who has descended from Heaven? And what is that Body if not the Church?" (Treatise on John)
"Everyone God teaches, He teaches out of pity; but whomever He does not teach, He does not teach them out of justice ... The saving grace of this religion, the only true one, through which alone true salvation is truly promised, has never been refused anyone who was worthy of it; and whoever did lack it was unworthy of it. Consequently, those who have not heard the Gospel, and those who, having heard it, have refused to come to Christ, that is, to believe in Him ... all of these have perished in death; they all go in one lump into condemnation." (Predestination of the Saints; Admonition and Grace)
St. Patrick (died A.D. 493): "Not without just cause does the Apostle say: 'Where the righteous shall scarcely be saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly transgressor of the law find himself?' (1Peter 4:18). The Words are not mine, but God's and the Apostle's and Prophet's who have never lied: "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be damned' (Mk 16:16). God hath spoken!" (The Writings of St. Patrick)
Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): "Hold most firmly and never doubt at all that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Enchiridion Patristicum)
"No one can be saved by any means outside the Church; all pagans and heretics are infallibly damned ... Anyone who is outside the Church is walking a path not to Heaven but to Hell. He is not approaching the home of eternal life; rather, he is hastening to the torment of eternal death." ("On the Faith of Peter" and "The Forgiveness of Sins")
"Anyone who is out of this Church is walking a path not to heaven, but to hell. He is not getting closer to the home of eternal life; on the contrary, he is hurrying to the torments of eternal death. And this is the case not only if he remains a pagan without Baptism, but even if, after having been Baptized, he continue as a heretic" (To Euthymius, on the Remission of Sins)
Saint Bede the Venerable (died A.D. 735): "Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside." (Hexaemeron)
"He who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of the Church will certainly be damned and enter the gate of hell whether he wants to or not!" (cf. Sermon 16; PL94:129)
- CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS -
LOL! It is as I thought.
The Gemera, Josephus, Seneca, Tacticus, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius, and many others... All are not credible? Their silence on the matter of the highly structured Papist faith speaks volumes.
It is not the method; it is the very acting on a desire to be more than this earthly existence offers through practice of 'religion' is what I am concerned with.
Do either of you think God cares about this? Does Jesus?
I got pinged. This is the first time I’ve opened one of the “Radio Replies” threads. (I read the books when I was in late grade school—forty years ago.)
If you don’t want to get into fights, just ignore the threads. Seriously. The Moderation Nazis will take care of it if it gets out of hand.
Ah, my error in having primarily the Church Fathers in mind, since it's from them that I draw most of my proof for the existence of the Catholic church because they were the most interested in writing about it.
Indeed some the above wrote about Christianity but why would they be interested in giving a detailed account about it? I.e. Josephus who was writing about the history of the Jews, Seneca, a Stoic philosopher...
While we are opposed in our alignment, surely you must understand the danger of accepting a condition where any entity is allowed to define itself - As SnakeDoc rightly declared, it "creates something of a feedback loop."
In my travels through history, much like yourself, I could find no real evidence of a structured church until late 200AD - In fact, the modern writers you quoted were quoting primarily 300AD+ sources...
Not that ALL Roman Catholic sources are impeachable - Eusebius (I think) quoted Thallus, another quoted Phragon, both first century sources... But these (Thallus, Phragon) bring no evidence of priests and robes, popes and crosiers to the game.
(Bear in mind that I am a fan of Eusebius, primarily because of his known access to the Alexandrian Library)
I am more likely to take the offhand remarks of neutral parties, or even critics, as evidence before I would take the machinations of the party in question itself - Especially when that entity has the power to rewrite history - which is a proper position to take.
As an example, If one sees history outside of what Rome may have been able to manipulate, James the Just (Jesus' brother) is the notable successor to Jesus.
As another example, an early sect which the Roman church despised (as they are critical, I pay attention) - The Nazarenes - were visible into the fourth century, when the Roman Church assumed the name. These folks, for all that the Roman church hated them, followed Christ's path more closely, embracing God's Holy Days and Hebrew (not Judaism) traditions, while accepting Christ's message. A completely different path than the Roman church subscribed to, and by then, demanded.
The mystery of iniquity walked the halls of the Church even in Paul's day - He saw it happening then. Therefore, no historic church has the convenience of resting on it's holy laurels - Proof of claim is even made more necessary - And that proof is not there.
What evidence do you have that Catholics are picking a fight lately?
It seems to me that Catholics are posting as they always have. Gonzo has been posting these three classic books, bit-by-bit, for months and months.
Then don’t read the threads.