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Fragments of Catholic Truth: The primacy of Peter: When and how did Christ entrust it to him? ^ | 8 April 2009 | Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli

Posted on 12/17/2012 5:59:19 PM PST by Salvation

What are the sources or inspiration for these subjects?Basically they are inspired by the documents of the Holy See, and in particular by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium. This was a deliberate choice so as to create an awareness of the vast richness, completeness and beauty of these documents which are, in some circles, hardly known at all. In this way, it is possible to present the essential and fundamental contents of the faith which are professed, not just by the individual Catholic, but by the Catholic Church throughout the world as it adheres to the Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops. It is this teaching that was willed by Christ himself in order to confirm the faith of individual believers, so that, through the centuries and in various different parts of the world, everyone should profess the one true Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Why are the topics treated in this work presented in a dialogical way?From an editorial point of view, the arguments are presented in a dialogical manner, that is to say with questions, each of which is followed by a brief response. This dialogical format, while inviting us to continue reading, is born of and remains faithful to a constant and noble catechetical tradition in the history of the Church. It is well known that many catechisms responsible for the faith formation of entire generations used – and in a very fruitful way – this kind of pedagogical tool. It should not be forgotten that the same Christian faith, a special gift of God, can itself also be described as a continuous dialogue between God with man, and between man and God.
I am also convinced that this approach can help to meet the needs of the today’s world, which certainly has an appetite for interviews of a journalistic type, let alone a taste for synthetic sound bites and catchphrases. This may be due in part to the fact that many people nowadays have little time and, even though they say they are Catholics, need to deepen their faith. This lack of time, unfortunately, often leads to religious ignorance, which in turn, results in a widespread relativism, an arbitrary subjectivism and, last but not least, an impressive reduction in mnemonic capacity regarding the contents of faith. This is not only the case in children and young people but also in adults, both in their catechetical journey and in their various and demanding activities and profession.

Why was the sub-title “Fragments of Catholic Truth” chosen?

The word Fragments was inserted as a sub-title in order to underline the fact that only some of the contents which form the rich and mysterious tapestry of the Catholic Faith, as well some of the challenges that grip the present world, were being presented in this volume. At the same time I would like to stress that, in dealing with each single topic, I do not intend to present all its aspects and contents. For this reason I do not wish – due to a lack of space and time – to give each subject a comprehensive and complete treatment but merely to offer some suggestions, fragments of reflections.

What is the purpose of this work?It is hoped that it may help people to know the beauty and the importance of the Christian faith that is offered to all in a better way by discussing certain of the issues that characterize our society at this point in time.
For this reason it is aimed at Christians in order to give them the opportunity to know and to deepen certain contents of their faith, and to every person who wishes to know what the Catholic Church, through some of her official documents, believes and lives, with the Lord’s help.

Rome, 8 April 2009
Anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood

The Primicerio
of the Basilica of Saints Ambrose and Charles in Rome
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: apostolic; catholic; saints
The primacy of Peter: When and how did Christ entrust it to him?

The primacy of Peter: When and how did Christ entrust it to him?

On what basis is the primacy of Peter, and consequently that of the Pope, founded? It is founded on the will of Christ himself.

Where does this will of Christ appear? There are "numerous references" present throughout the Gospel and in various parts of the Acts of the Apostles showing that it was Christ's will to entrust a special role to Peter within the College of the Apostles.
For example:

  • He is the only apostle to whom Jesus gives a new name, Cephas, which means "rock". John the Evangelist tells us about the event in the following way: Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter)" (John 1, 42).
  • It was not usual for Jesus to give his disciples a new name. If we take as an exception the fact that on one particular occasion Jesus called the sons of Zebedee "sons of thunder" (cfr. Mark 3, 17) - but without ever referring to them as such again - we can see that Jesus did not as a rule attribute new names to his disciples. He did do this, however, with Peter and called him Cephas, a name which can be translated in Greek as Petros, and in Latin as Petrus. It was translated not simply because it was just a name; it was also a "mandate" that Peter received in this way from the Lord. We must also bear in mind that a change of name in Old Testament times was also associated with an anticipation of a mission (cfr. Genesis 17,5; 32,28 ff. etc.). The new name Petrus is found many times in the Gospel and will eventually replace the original name Simon.
  • There are other references too:
    • After Jesus, Peter is the most outstanding and most quoted person in all of the New Testament writings: he is mentioned 154 times under his new name Peter, "rock";
    • The Gospels tell us that Peter was among the first four disciples of Jesus the Nazarene (cfr Luke 5, 1-11);
    • The Master stayed with Peter at his house in Capernaum (cfr. Mark 1,29); When the crowds were crowding around him beside the Lake of Gennesaret, Jesus chose to get into one of the boats that was moored at the water's edge. That particular boat belonged to Simon (cfr. Luke 5,3). Thus Peter's boat became a seat for Jesus;
    • When on various occasions Jesus took just three of the disciples with him, it was always the case that Peter was the leader of this group: in was also the same when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus (cfr. Mark 5,37; Luke 8,51), at the Transfiguration (cfr. Mark 9,2; Matthew 17,1; Luke 9,28), and finally during his last agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cfr. Mark 14,33; Matthew 16,37);
    • It was to Peter and Jesus that the tax collectors turned looking expectantly for them to pay the Temple tax (cfr. Matthew 17, 24-27);
    • Jesus washed the feet of Peter first at the Last Supper (cfr. John 13,6); ;
    • It was for Peter alone that Jesus prayed that his faith may not fail. And when Peter had turned back, Jesus gave him the task of "strengthening his brothers" (cfr. Luke 22,30-32);

Was Peter aware of his specific role?

  • Yes. In fact:
    • it was often Peter who spoke on behalf of the others and asked Jesus to explain a difficult parable to them (cfr. Matthew 15,15). It was Peter who sought to know the exact meaning of a precept (cfr. Matthew 18,21) or to be given the formal promise of a reward (cft. Matthew 19,27);
    • it was he who brought an end to a sometimes embarrassing situation, speaking up on behalf of the disciples. In this way Jesus, when he was saddened by the peoples' lack of understanding following the discourse on the "bread of life", put the question: "Do you want to go away as well?" Peter's response was: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life" (cfr. John 6, 67-69);
    • he was equally decisive in his profession of faith which, again in the name of the twelve, was made at Caesarea Philippi. When Jesus asked: "Who do you say that I am?" it was Peter who replied: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16, 15-16).
  • Peter followed Jesus impetuously; he passed the test of faith, abandoning himself to Christ. There also came the time when he was weak and gave way out of fear: he disowned the Master (cft. Mark 14,66-72). Peter, who had promised absolute fidelity, knew the bitterness and the humiliation of denial. However, he repented and recognised his grave sin: he burst into uncontrollable tears for his wrongdoing.
  • It is precisely to Peter that Jesus entrusts a special mission, described for us by Saint John the Evangelist in that celebrated dialogue that took place between Jesus and Peter (cfr. John 21, 15-18). In this dialogue there is a very significant play on words. In Greek the word "philéo" means the love of a friendship which is tender but not total, while the word "agapào" (agapé) means a love without reserve, total and unconditional. Jesus asks Peter the first time: "Simon... do you love me (agapas-me) with this total and unconditional love (cfr. John 21, l5)? Before the experience of betrayal the Apostle would have certainly said: "I love you (agapo-se) unconditionally". Now that he has experienced the bitter sadness of infidelity, the drama of his own weakness, he says with humility, "Lord, I love you (philo-se)", that is "I love you with my poor human love." Christ insists: "Simon, do you love me with the total kind of love that I want?" And Peter repeats the reply about his humble human love: "Kyrie, philò-se", "Lord, I love you as only I know how to love." Jesus asks Simon a third time: "philies-me?", "Do you love me?" Simon understands that his poor kind of love is enough for Jesus, the only kind of love he is capable of, and yet he was saddened that he had to say it to Jesus in this way. He said to Jesus: "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you (philo-se)".

What is the solemn declaration that defined, once and for all time, Peter's role in the Church?

  • It was when Jesus affirmed: "And so I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I shall build my Church... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bound shall be considered bound in heaven and whoever you loose shall be considered loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16, 18-19).
  • The three metaphors used by Jesus in this affirmation are very clear:
    • Peter shall be the rock foundation on which the Church shall be built;
    • He shall have the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, and shall open or close the gate to whom he judges fit;
    • Finally, he shall bind and loose in the sense that he shall establish or prohibit that which will be necessary for the life of the Church which is and remains the Church of Christ. It always remains Christ's Church and never Peter's Church.
  • What we have described thus far will prepare us now to continue our reflection on the question of the "primacy of jurisdiction."

Did the position of primacy given by Jesus to Peter continue after the resurrection?

  • Certainly. In fact
    • Jesus told the women to bring the news to Peter, separately from the other Apostles (cfr. Mark 16,7);
    • Mary Magdalene ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, to tell them that the stone had been rolled back from the tomb (cfr. John 20,2), and John, who had arrived at the empty tomb before Peter, gave precedence to Peter and allowed him to enter first when he eventually came (cfr. Gv 20,4-6);
    • Peter is, therefore, the first among the Apostles to witness an apparition of the Risen Lord Jesus (cfr. Luke 24,34; l Cor 15,5).
  • This role, underlined by this decision, (cfr. John 20,3-10), signals the continuity between the position of primacy he held within the group of the disciples and the primacy that he would continue to have in the community that was born following the events of Easter. We see many references to this in the Acts of the Apostles (cfr. Acts 1,15-26; 2,14-40; 3,12-26; 4,8-12; 5,1-11.29; 8,14-17; 10; etc.).
  • His behaviour is considered to be so decisive that it continues to be the topic both of observation and of critique (cfr. Acts 11,1-18; Gal 2,11-14).
  • At the so-called Council of Jerusalem, Peter undertook a leading role (cfr. Acts 15 and Gal 2,1-10), and precisely because of this Paul recognised a certain quality in him as a witness to the true faith. It was the quality of being the "first" among the disciples that Paul noted (cfr. 1 Cor 15,5; Gal 1,18; 2,7s.; etc.).
  • The fact, moreover, that many of the key texts making mention of Peter within the context of the Last Supper, during which Christ confers on Peter the ministry of confirming his brothers (cfr. Luke 22,31 ff.), reveals how the Church whose birth took place at the time of the Passover commemoration, celebrated in the Eucharist, had one of its constituent elements entrusted to the ministry given to Peter.

What is the ultimate meaning of the primacy of Peter?

  • The contextualisation of the primacy of Peter at the Last Supper, at the moment when the institution of the Eucharist - the Lord's Passover - occurred is a clear indication of the ultimate meaning of this primacy:
    • Peter is to be the guardian of communion with Christ for all time; he must lead all to communion with Christ;
    • He must ensure that the net does not break and that it may allow universal communion to continue. We can only be with Christ if we are with Peter, since Christ is the Lord of all.
  • Peter has the responsibility of guaranteeing communion with Christ. He must ensure that we come to a full realisation of charity in our daily lives, the same charity with which Christ loves us.

How is the primacy of Peter linked with Rome?

  • Peter went to Rome, the centre of the empire, the symbol of the "Orbis" - the "Urbs" that expresses the "Orbis" - the earth. Here he endured martyrdom at the end of his service to the Gospel. For this reason the See of Rome, that had received this great honour, also took the honour given by Christ to Peter: to be at the service of all the particular Churches and for the edification and unity of the entire People of God.
  • The See of Rome was thus recognised as that which belonged to the successor of Peter, and the "cathera" or "chair" of its Bishop represented that of the Apostle whom Christ chose to look after his whole flock.
    The very early Fathers of the Church bear this out, for example
    • Saint Irenaeus (who came from Asia Minor and was later Bishop of Lyon), wrote a work entitled Against the Heresies in 180 A.D. In it he described the Church of Rome as being "the largest and the oldest, known by everyone; founded and constituted in Rome by the two glorious Apostles Peter and Paul "; and he adds: "On account of the Church's illustrious superiority, the universal Church must be in accord with it, in other words, the faithful who are everywhere" (III, 3, 2-3);
    • A little later in 200 A.D. Tertullian also affirmed: "How blessed is this Church of Rome! It was the Apostles themselves who poured out its entire teaching with their own blood " (The prescription of the heretics, 36);
    • And this is what Saint Jerome (who was born around the year 340 in Strido, on the borders of Pannonia) wrote: "I decided to consult the chair of Peter, where the faith exalted by the mouth of an Apostle is to be found; I go there now to seek nourishment for my soul, where once I received the garment of Christ. I do not follow any primate save that of Christ; in this way I place myself in communion with your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that the Church is built upon this rock." (Letters I, 15,1-2).
    • Furthermore there is also the important letter that Clement (the third successor of Peter) sent to the Church at Corinth in the year 96 A.D. This letter constitutes the first exercise of the Roman primacy after the death of Peter. Commenting upon this letter, Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon until 202) wrote: "Under Clement, following the outbreak of an argument among the brothers at Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very important letter to Corinth to reconcile them in peace, to renew their faith and announce to them the tradition that they had only recently received from the Apostles" (Against the heresies 3,3,3).

What can the Pope do for us?We can and ought to pray that the primacy of Peter, entrusted to mere human beings, may always be exercised according to how the Lord intended it, and that it may recognized according to its true meaning by those brothers and sisters who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church.

of the Basilica of Saints Ambrose and Charles, Rome
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli

1 posted on 12/17/2012 5:59:25 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Advent series Ping!

2 posted on 12/17/2012 6:04:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Fragments of Catholic Truth: The primacy of Peter: When and how did Christ entrust it to him?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Yes to Christ, No to the Church?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: The Resurrection of Christ: Why is it the high point of the Christian Faith?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Jesus Christ: How is he true God and true man?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Why are the Four Gospels the heart of Christian Faith?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Evangelisation: why and how?
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Why is it necessary to announce Jesus Christ?
3 posted on 12/17/2012 6:15:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Thank you for posting this. In the context of the crap that has been posted against the Church recently this was a comforting read.

Peace be with you

4 posted on 12/17/2012 7:50:40 PM PST by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: Natural Law

The Truth will win out in the end.


5 posted on 12/17/2012 7:58:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

amazing....coupled with the history of the early church, itz mind-boggling folks still debate this...

6 posted on 12/17/2012 8:13:58 PM PST by raygunfan
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To: raygunfan

It makes me wonder if they have just been propagandized so much by their denomination.

7 posted on 12/17/2012 8:19:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

To All:

I agree. As a former Evangelical Christian I was amazed by the fact that time after time the Catholic position was not only solid but CONVINCING.

The main points of contention for me were: veneration of the Saints, Mary, Purgatory, the Pope, Sola Fida and Sola Scriptura.

In each of these topics the Catholic position once thoughtfully understood, was astonishingly evident.

Of course I approached this with an open mind, which not many people do. I am lucky in that regard I guess.

8 posted on 12/17/2012 9:26:56 PM PST by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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To: Salvation
The contextualisation of the primacy of Peter at the Last Supper, at the moment when the institution of the Eucharist - the Lord's Passover - occurred is a clear indication of the ultimate meaning of this primacy:

Peter is to be the guardian of communion with Christ for all time; he must lead all to communion with Christ; He must ensure that the net does not break and that it may allow universal communion to continue. We can only be with Christ if we are with Peter, since Christ is the Lord of all.

Peter has the responsibility of guaranteeing communion with Christ. He must ensure that we come to a full realisation of charity in our daily lives, the same charity with which Christ loves us.

1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

It only takes one verse from God in the scriptures to shoot down this nonsense put out by your religion...The Bible contradicts your religion is so many places...

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

This is the definitive statement

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

9 posted on 12/18/2012 6:47:41 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: Iscool
>>1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; <<

Yet they would put Peter above all the rest and go so far as to claim a “vicar” or stand in for Christ here on earth. Go figure.

10 posted on 12/18/2012 7:53:34 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton
Our Savior ascended into heaven. He left people in charge. Dare say that in that process a single head under Christ with others are in charge of an organization that goes back to the days of Christ. A Church that has a lasted two thousand years with apostolic succession. I think one the most amazing things I have I witness is the laying on of hands for priests in ordination by the bishops and priests. Especially when I hear the bishop talk about this going on from the beginning with a reading of Acts 6 that show laying on of hands.

The Choosing of the Seven

6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

THEY Presented These Men to the APOSTLES, Who PRAYED And LAID Their HANDS on Them.................. Till even today and beyond till Christ comes back. Catholic Church still going on with biblical actions in the book of acts from the beginning.

11 posted on 12/22/2012 7:52:38 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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