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In Defense of the Papacy: 9 Reasons True Christians Follow the Pope
| February 21, 2013
Posted on 02/22/2013 5:43:18 PM PST by NYer
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI receives a papal tirara - New Liturgical Movement
Listers, glory and honor to God for giving us the grace of the papacy. The Pope is the “Advocate of Christian Memory” and he holds the King’s people to the King’s laws until our Savior returns. Each year on February 22nd the Church celebrates the Cathedra Petri – the Chair of St. Peter.
This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.
The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. New Catholic Dictionary
To commemorate this holy feast day SPL brings you a defense of the papacy with references to Scripture, the Western Church Fathers, the Eastern Church Fathers, and of course, the Medieval Popes.
The article addresses the following questions:
- Did St. Peter hold any primacy amongst the Twelve Apostles?
- Did Christ charge St. Peter with the office of the papacy?
- Did St. Peter exercise his ministry from Rome?
- What about the controversy of Sts. Peter and Paul?
- Did the papacy continue after St. Peter and if so, to whom?
- Did the Early Church speak of a hierarchal Church with bishops?
- What of those who started their own “churches”?
- What did the Eastern Early Church Fathers say about the Petrine Ministry?
- Are all people subject to the papacy?
The following list is certainly not exhaustive. The Scripture studies alone could fill up volumes and a proper study of Church history is a lifetime of academic work; however, we’ve catalogued a quality sampling of sources with biblical and textual citations in order that you may be able to defend or maybe even discover for the first time the grace of the papacy.
1. St. Peter was Prince of the Apostles
Prince of the Apostles means that St. Peter held a certain primacy over the other eleven. Understanding St. Peters unique position among the twelve and the unique ministries he exercised lays an excellent groundwork for a discussion of Christs founding of the Papacy. There are three primary topics of focus for exploring the biblical articulation of the primacy of the Petrine ministry.
St. Peters Place of Primacy Among the Twelve
Sts. Peter, James, and John are a special group of disciples that are allowed to witness the Transfiguration and accompany Christ to the Mount of Olives. In each event, St. Peter, the Rock, is singled out. At the Mount of Olives, Christ finds all three asleep, but it is St. Peter he addresses. During the Transfiguration, it is St. Peter who speaks for the disciples. In St. Luke 5:1-11, Christ calls his first disciples, and the first is Simon Peter. According to Cardinal Ratzinger, the call of Peter appears as the original pattern of apostolic vocation par excellence. Every time the disciples are listed, St. Peter is listed first. Furthermore, when referring to the disciples, sometimes only St. Peter is mentioned by name, e.g., And Simon and those who were with him, and Now Peter and those who were with him. St. Peter is the only one to try to walk on the water (Mt 14:28ff) and he is the one that brings up the famous question of how many times we must forgive. Even St. Peter’s shadow was an instrument of healing.
Significance of the Name Change
While it was common for Rabbis to give nicknames or new surnames to their disciples, e.g., the Sons of Zebedee as the Sons of Thunder, it was uncommon to change a disciples first name. Christ gives Simon the new name Peter or Kephas (or Cephas) meaning rock. In the Old Testament, God changing someones name denoted a special calling, a new vocation, e.g., Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, etc. St. Peter’s name change denotes that he will have a special vocation among the twelve. Obviously Christ was also referred to as the Rock, because he is the foundation of all things. However, in the rabbinical tradition, Abraham was also referred to as a rock: Look to the rock from which you were hewn
look to Abraham your father . Cardinal Ratzinger comments:
Abraham, the father of faith, is by his faith the rock that holds back chaos, the onrushing primordial flood of destruction, and thus sustains creation. Simon, the first to confess Jesus as the Christ and the first witness of the Resurrection, now becomes by virtue of his Abrahamic faith, which is renewed in Christ, the rock that stands against the impure tide of unbelief and its destruction of man.
The Papal Office Given to St. Peter by Christ
After the Resurrection, Christ appears to the Twelve and has a unique conversation with St. Peter. Christ, the Shepherd, asks St. Peter three times if he loves him. St. Peter responds yes all three times presumably this passage should reflect his three denials. Christ also tell St. Peter and Peter alone: feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and feed my sheep. As the Vicar of Christ, St. Peter must care for the flock. In Lk 22:31-34, two major Petrine themes are evident. First, Satan has taken a special interest in St. Peter. He will fail, but will repent. Second, after St. Peter has turned again to Christ, Jesus commissions him to strengthen the brethren. Another mission given only to St. Peter.
In Matthew 16:13-20, the most famous unique call is given to St. Peter: to be the foundation of the Church and to exercise the authority of keys of the kingdom. The office given to St. Peter is that of the Vicar within the Davidic Kingdom. The Vicar governs in the Kings stead, according to the Kings rules, while the King is gone. St. Peter is the Vicar of Christ, the Pope.
Concluding Thoughts and Suggested Reading
For all of this information plus a brief handling of the relationship between Sts. Peter and Paul, please reference 13 Biblical Reasons St. Peter is the Prince of the Apostles. The page citations and Scripture references for this section are taken from Cardinal Ratzinger’s Called to Communion, which was featured in The 6 Books by Pope Benedict XVI All Catholics Should Read.
A selection from “Christ’s Charge to Peter,” Raphael (1515)
2. Jesus Christ Founded the Papacy
According to Holy Scripture, the Office of the Papacy was instituted by Jesus Christ. In fact, he was the only person who had the authority to create such a position. SPL’s article 10 Biblical Reasons Christ Founded the Papacy discusses the following questions:
- What type of kingdom did Christ intend to bring?
- What role did Christ intend for Saint Peter?
- What is the biblical backing for St. Peters role in accordance with the Davidic Kingdom?
- What is the position and what is its purpose?
- What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about St. Peter and the Papacy?
- But in Greek, St. Peters name is Petros and Christ says, upon this petra, so Christ was not referring to St. Peter, was he?
- Isnt Christ The Rock?
- I am a Christian, how can I follow both Christ and the Pope?
- How can I have a personal relationship with Christ and have a middle man, the Pope?
- Scripturally, what would be the overall reason Christ would want a Vicar for his Church?
We will address the first three questions here, because they lay out a proper biblical understanding of the Office of the Papacy.
1. What type of kingdom did Christ intend to bring?
Jesus Christ was descended from King David and referred to as Son of David. King David was promised a descendent who would not only rule forever, but would sit on Davids throne forever; thus, any conversation of what is and what is not properly intended by Christ, regarding his Kingdom, must be couched within the template of the Davidic Kingdom.
2. What role did Christ intend for Saint Peter?
In the district of Caesarea Philippi, Christ asks his disciples Who do men say that the Son of man is? St. Peter responds, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus then says to St. Peter:
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you they of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Christs intention for the role of St. Peter within the kingdom is twofold: Christ changed Simon Bar-jonas name to Peter meaning rock and he will be a foundation for Christs kingdom on earth, the Church, and secondly, St. Peter is given the keys of kingdom, which come with great authority. It is important to note this is one of the few times Christ ever mentions the “Church.”
3. What is the biblical backing for St. Peters role in accordance with the Davidic Kingdom?
If Christ is giving St. Peter a role within his Church, his kingdom of God on earth, then it must be part of the Davidic Kingdom. The symbols of authority given to St. Peter are the keys of the kingdom. Looking to the Old Testament, it is clear that Christ is rewording a passage from Isaiah that speaks of a position within the Davidic Kingdom:
And I will place on his should the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his fathers house.
Here a position within the Davidic Kingdom is described which has the key of authority to open and close, and is considered a position of security and authority when the King is away. Christ, who will sit on Davids throne forever, is using an Old Testament verse to elucidate a New Testament Kingdom position.
A section of the “Martyrdom of St. Peter” by Leonello Spada (15761622)
3. St. Peter Exercised his Ministry from Rome
Bl. John Henry Newman said it best: To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant. History paints an overwhelming picture of St. Peters apostolic ministry in Rome and this is confirmed by a multitude of different sources within the Early Church. Catholic Encyclopedia states:
In opposition to this distinct and unanimous testimony of early Christendom, some few Protestant historians have attempted in recent times to set aside the residence and death of Peter at Rome as legendary. These attempts have resulted in complete failure.
Protestantism as a whole seeks to divorce Christianity from history by rending Gospel message out of its historical context as captured by our Early Church Fathers. One such target of these heresies is to devalue St. Peter and to twist the authority of Rome into a historical mishap within Christianity. To wit, the belief has as its end the ultimate end of all Catholic and Protestant dialogue who has authority in Christianity?
The article 11 Reasons the Authority of Christianity is Centered on St. Peter and Rome is a sampling of the praise of and adherence to the Petrine Ministry – The Papacy. While the list gives three quality examples of Scripture connecting St. Peter with Rome, we will look here at a few choice quotes from the Early Church.
Taught in the Same Place in Italy
Bishop Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to the Roman Church in the time of Pope Soter (165-74), says:
You have therefore by your urgent exhortation bound close together the sowing of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both planted the seed of the Gospel also in Corinth, and together instructed us, just as they likewise taught in the same place in Italy and at the same time suffered martyrdom (in Eusebius, Church History II.25).
St. Peter Announced the Word of God in Rome
In his Hypotyposes (Eusebius, Church History IV.14), Clement of Alexandria, teacher in the catechetical school of that city from about 190, says on the strength of the tradition of the presbyters:
After Peter had announced the Word of God in Rome and preached the Gospel in the spirit of God, the multitude of hearers requested Mark, who had long accompanied Peter on all his journeys, to write down what the Apostles had preached to them (see above).
Come to the Vatican and See for Yourself
The Roman, Caius, who lived in Rome in the time of Pope Zephyrinus (198-217), wrote in his Dialogue with Proclus (in Eusebius, Church History II.25) directed against the Montanists:
But I can show the trophies of the Apostles. If you care to go to the Vatican or to the road to Ostia, thou shalt find the trophies of those who have founded this Church.”
By the trophies (tropaia) Eusebius understands the graves of the Apostles, but his view is opposed by modern investigators who believe that the place of execution is meant. For our purpose it is immaterial which opinion is correct, as the testimony retains its full value in either case. At any rate the place of execution and burial of both were close together; St. Peter, who was executed on the Vatican, received also his burial there. Eusebius also refers to the inscription of the names of Peter and Paul, which have been preserved to the present day on the burial-places there (i.e. at Rome).
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us.
4. The Early Church on Sts. Peter and Paul
“Many modern day academics enjoy setting St. Peter and St. Paul in enmity with one another,” states SPL author Catherine, “however, the over emphasis of Galatians 2:11-14 by modern scholarship fails to acknowledge that even though they had a disagreement their mission of spreading the Gospel was the same. In this spirit, I present to you five reflections by members of the early church on the mutual impact that St. Peter and Paul had on the early church. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to let St. Peter and St. Pauls example of faithfulness unto death be your focus today and everyday.” Out of Catherine’s excellent list, we will focus on one particular passage by St. Irenaeus:
Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meeting; [we do this, I say] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; also [by pointing out] the faith they preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.
Against Heresies 3.3.2.
Along with the above quote, the other four passages from the Early Church demonstrate the Fathers focusing on Sts. Peter and Paul as brothers in the faith and fellow martyrs – not enemies vying for power within the Church. For a more biblical focus of the relationship between Sts. Peter and Paul see the above-mentioned list on St. Peter as Prince of the Apostles.
Crucifixion of St. Peter – Masaccio, AD 1426
5. The First Popes of the Catholic Church
In cataloguing the first ten popes of the Catholics Church, SPL hoped to address a few misconceptions. The first would be that the office of the papacy was simply given to St. Peter and then closed upon his death. The necessity of a Vicar of Christ with the Keys of Kingdom is present until the King returns and the Keys are returned to him. Secondly, we hoped to address the pernicious error that the papacy is a historical fiction within the Early Church and it did not materialize until medieval times. For our purposes, we’ll select the two popes that followed St. Peter from The First 10 Popes of the Catholic Church.
Pope St. Linus (67-76)
All the ancient records of the Roman bishops which have been handed down to us by St. Irenaeus, Julius Africanus, St. Hippolytus, Eusebius, also the Liberian catalogue of 354, place the name of Linus directly after that of the Prince of the Apostles, St. Peter. These records are traced back to a list of the Roman bishops which existed in the time of Pope Eleutherus (about 174-189), when Irenaeus wrote his book Adversus haereses. As opposed to this testimony, we cannot accept as more reliable Tertullians assertion, which unquestionably places St. Clement (De praescriptione, xxii) after the Apostle Peter, as was also done later by other Latin scholars (Jerome, Illustrious Men 15). The Roman list in Irenaeus has undoubtedly greater claims to historical authority. This author claims that Pope Linus is the Linus mentioned by St. Paul in his 2 Timothy 4:21. The passage by Irenaeus (Against Heresies III.3.3) reads:
After the Holy Apostles (Peter and Paul) had founded and set the Church in order (in Rome) they gave over the exercise of the episcopal office to Linus. The same Linus is mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy. His successor was Anacletus.
We cannot be positive whether this identification of the pope as being the Linus mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21 goes back to an ancient and reliable source, or originated later on account of the similarity of the name.
Pope St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
The second successor of St. Peter. Whether he was the same as Cletus, who is also called Anencletus as well as Anacletus, has been the subject of endless discussion. Irenaeus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person. Tertullian omits him altogether. To add to the confusion, the order is different. Thus Irenaeus has Linus, Anacletus, Clement; whereas Augustine and Optatus put Clement before Anacletus. On the other hand, the Catalogus Liberianus, the Carmen contra Marcionem and the Liber Pontificalis, all most respectable for their antiquity, make Cletus and Anacletus distinct from each other; while the Catalogus Felicianus even sets the latter down as a Greek, the former as a Roman.
The Martyrdom of Saint Clement c. 1480
6. The Apostles Appointed Bishops
The Early Church was the Early Catholic Church. First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians is an orthodox window into the infancy of the Church (AD 97) and particularly into the structure of the Church. The Early Church is not an ambiguous or mysterious time. It is a well recorded period with a great number of writings from the Early Church Fathers. Clement lived in Rome only a stone’s throw away from the Coliseum. He is seen as a successor to St. Peter and is considered the fourth Pope of Rome, following St. Peter, St. Linus and St. Anacletus.
Chapter XLII outlines a clear theology of succession from Christ to the Apostles to the Bishops of the Church. As an early Christian, how do you know if you belonged to the true Church? Well, does your community have a bishop? Did your bishop come from the Apostles who came from Christ our Lord who came from God the Father? It should be stressed this epistle is dated AD 97.
“The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.”
In Chapter XLIV, St. Clement shuts the book on any doubt that the apostles chose and declared men to lead as bishops after their death. It is apostolic succession in a clear and practical manner articulated in AD 97.
“Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.”
It is important to note the universal authority in which Pope St. Clement I is writing. One cannot miss how early in the life of the Church this writing is and how the Church is already a hierarchal body that respects the teachings of the Bishop of Rome. Pope St. Clement I even commands the Corinthians at one point – this note and other are commented on in The Apostles Appointed Bishops: 9 Teachings from St. Clement AD 97.
The Schismatics of Dante’s Inferno by Gustave
7. Those Who Start Their Own Church Follow the Voice of Satan
The Pope as the Vicar of Christ and as the Advocate of Christian Memory stands as tent peg holding down the Universal Church of Christ, and no list on Church unity would be complete without the (in)famous epistle of St. Cyprian, AD 250.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not returning to our world for a harem of “churches.” There is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and it was founded by Christ and charged by him to St. Peter and the Apostles. However, there are now and always have been those groups that attempt to rend Christ from his Church – to recreate that which God gave us, the Church. In AD 250, St. Cyprian wrote an outstanding work entitled On the Unity of the Church. The epistle focuses especially on the topic of schism and those who would set themselves up as Church leaders and/or start their own “churches.” Without question, these groups are proto-protestant groups and the saint’s arguments apply just as much to our modern schismatic and heretical groups as they did to his ancient schismatic groups.
The New Way of Satan
He [Satan] has invented heresies and schisms, whereby he might subvert the faith, might corrupt the truth, might divide the unity. Those whom he cannot keep in the darkness of the old way [paganism], he circumvents and deceives by the error of a new way [schism/heresy]. He snatches men from the Church itself; and while they seem to themselves to have already approached to the light, and to have escaped the night of the world, he pours over them again, in their unconsciousness, new darkness.
Upon This Rock
There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, Feed my sheep.
Can the Spouse of Christ Be Adulterous?
The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.
Those Who Start Their Own Church Vomit Poison
These are they who of their own accord, without any divine arrangement, set themselves to preside among the daring strangers assembled, who appoint themselves prelates without any law of ordination, who assume to themselves the name of bishop, although no one gives them the episcopate; whom the Holy Spirit points out in the Psalms as sitting in the seat of pestilence, plagues, and spots of the faith, deceiving with serpents tongue, and artful in corrupting the truth, vomiting forth deadly poisons from pestilential tongues; whose speech doth creep like a cancer, whose discourse forms a deadly poison in the heart and breast of every one.
Priests and Sacrifice
What sacrifices do those who are rivals of the priests think that they celebrate? Do they deem that they have Christ with them when they are collected together, who are gathered together outside the Church of Christ?
Without a doubt this epistle of St. Cyprian is one of the most quotable letters of the Early Church Fathers. For more commentary and more unabashed Catholic quotes visit Those Who Start Their Own Church Follow the Voice of Satan: 11 Teachings from St. Cyprian AD 250.
St. John Chrysostom, pray for us.
8. The Eastern Fathers Supported the Petrine Ministry
Often times the papacy is misunderstood a “characteristic” of Western Christianity. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. The Catholic Church embraces the Eastern Catholic Churches along with the Roman Church and they are united in doctrine under the Holy Father, the Pope. SPL has catalogue an extensive collection of quotes from the Eastern Church Fathers supporting the Petrine Ministry.
St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (d. A.D. 638)
Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the popes) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus, and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul
I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church. – Sophronius, Mansi, xi. 461
St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople (d. 826)
Writing to Pope Leo III:
Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven. (Theodore, Bk. I. Ep. 23)
Sergius, Metropolitain of Cyprus (649)
Writing to Pope Theodore:
O Holy Head, Christ our God hath destined thy Apostolic See to be an immovable foundation and a pillar of the Faith. For thou art, as the Divine Word truly saith, Peter, and on thee as a foundation-stone have the pillars of the Church been fixed. (Sergius Ep. ad Theod. lecta in Sess. ii. Concil. Lat. anno 649)
SPL has listed over 50 quotes of the Eastern Church Fathers: The Early Church in Jerusalem Followed the Pope: 7 Quotes from History, Constantinople: 25 Quotes from the Eastern Fathers on the Petrine Ministry, and Rome is the Apostolic Throne: 24 Quotes from Alexandria, Antioch, and Cyprus.
St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, Vicar of Christ, pray for us.
9. All Human Creatures Are Subject to the Pope
The following is a short compilation of quotes taken from previous Ecumenical Pontiffs of Rome: Outside the Church there is no hope for salvation. These quotes show us the confidence that our previous Bishops of Rome have had in their authority given by God Himself to be the Vicar of Christ here on Earth. As St. Augustine said, Rome has spoken, the case is closed.
The universal Church of the faithful is one outside of which none is saved.
Pope Innocent III, ex cathedra, Fourth Lateran Council (1215 AD)
We declare, say , define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam (1302 AD)
You see, dearly beloved sons and venerable brothers, how much vigilance is needed to keep the disease of this terrible evil from infecting and killing your flocks. Do not cease to diligently defend your people against these pernicious errors. Saturate them with the doctrine of Catholic truth more accurately each day. Teach them that just as there is only one God, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, so there is also only one truth which is divinely revealed. There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the community of His children.[Rom 1; Heb 11; Council of Trent, session 6, chap. 8.] There is only one true, holy, Catholic church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord,[St. Cyprian, epistle 43.] outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church.[St. Cyprian,de unitat. Eccl.] Thus, there can be no greater crime, no more hideous stain than to stand up against Christ, than to divide the Church engendered and purchased by His blood, than to forget evangelical love and to combat with the furor of hostile discord the harmony of the people of God.[St. Cyprian, epistle 72.]“
Blessed Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem
Happy Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, listers.
TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach
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The priests in the Vatican do not even follow the pope. So many of them are off in their cross-dressing gay bars. The POPE does not even follow the pope! He quit. I’ll follow Jesus, thank you very much.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:05:23 PM PST
(A messianic ger-tsedek)
I guess you have not read today's Gospel where Christ does name Peter as the head of the Apostles and gives him the Keys of the Kingdom as well as power to bind and unbid sins.
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
Who do people say that the Son of Man is?
They replied, Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
He said to them, But who do you say that I am?
Simon Peter said in reply,
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus said to him in reply, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:07:40 PM PST
("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
10. Because who wouldn't want to follow a guy who gets crowned with a giant gold Carmen Miranda hat?
Went to an all girl Catholic High School. I was bold and when they started the one true Church, I stood up for other faiths and Jews. I was actually sent to detrention for my arrogance. A protestant at the prom....don't even think about it.
great post!!! I played devil's advocate all the time, in my Catholic High school and with our "group" at each other's homes...great fun!...the Nuns running things thought that I was GREAT and I did my job well. There never was a time when protestants and others could not be heard. If our arguements were not satisfactory....they win! HOWEVER..our arguements are always right. Christ created ONE true church and it happens to be the Catholic church. There is absolutely no doubt about that!
there was NEVER an arguement that other denominations weren't Christian....just that Catholicism was the ONLY complete Christian religion.
I graduated high school in 1957 (Catholic Memorial High in Waukesha, Wis) and there were indeed non-Catholics at our prom....noone asked the religion of our dates!
posted on 02/22/2013 7:10:11 PM PST
I am surprised someone didn't syncretistically inject The Holy Mother
Disappointed nobody did so you decided to do it yourself.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:11:13 PM PST
Wow, what a telling headline.
The reason for the Reformation summed up in a sentence!
posted on 02/22/2013 7:11:53 PM PST
(Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
posted on 02/22/2013 7:14:22 PM PST
("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
posted on 02/22/2013 7:16:29 PM PST
("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
the Most Holy Trinity in union with the saints
And peace be with you also...but doesn't this spread our worship elsewhere, dilute our worship of the Lord.
If our minds and heart are not directed at Him and Him alone...aren't we diluting our worship.
He wants a direct and personal relationship with you...not via intermediaries standing between the Two of you.
Isn't this what you want? Don't you hear His voice.
Of course, his mother is the holiest woman who ever lived...of course the Pope is trying hard to lead the Church forward to Him.
But in the end...isn't it just between you and Him?
posted on 02/22/2013 7:16:52 PM PST
(Get armed, practice in the use of your weapons, get physically fit, stay alert!)
For something so important as to who would lead the church after Jesus’ ascension, why does it only appear in one gospel? I think Paul would beg to differ as well.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:18:28 PM PST
("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
I have not found anything in the Bible or teachings of Jesus that there is “one true Church”, if so they would have named it. There is also nothing in the Bible that gives one or some human beings more religious authority than others.
Human beings are sinners. The goal is to try to be better. If we are pretending that leaders of a church are more moral than we are, we are off course. If we teach that prophets or “saints” are holier than we are, we have gone off the reservation of what Jesus was teaching us.
Church leaders, whatever the title, are teachers and messengers. It is not about them, they are frail, sin-laden humans just as we are. The focus is the message: “Jesus Saves”. Anything else is a distraction.
The pomp and circumstances aren’t needed. The golden domes, the palaces, the wealth are distractions. Who are they trying to impress? Christians should not be any more impressed than they would be a Televangelist and his private jet.
“Saints” have no power to listen or answer prayers or intercede or bring a message to Jesus, they are certainly not necessary Biblically. Jesus-God can hear our prayers, we don’t need 10,000 Saints dressed as USPS employees to deliver them. The idea that an earthly ‘authority’ (not existent Biblically) can dictate to God who is a “Saint” is ridiculous.
A personal walk with Jesus is just that, no intermediaries are needed ever.
Having said all that, I am usually the among first ones to stick up for the Catholics when the liberals and media attack them. I am always calling for these liberal faux “Catholic” organizations and groups to be ex-communicated and told to stop using that word.
I understand that on the vast majority of issues we are allies and I also do consider them Christian.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:21:32 PM PST
It is amazing that your response to child sexual abuse being widespread and knowingly covered up by bishops and priests - and that there is rampant homosexuality - is to point elsewhere, as if that makes it neutral. No, it is always sinful.
If it is sinful, clean your house, instead of trying to demean Christians that follow Christ, instead of Rome.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:22:37 PM PST
(Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
To: sr4402; GeronL; DManA; NYer
By the way, I agree that the headline is unnecessarily provocative. I am a Catholic but I gladly
recognize that other non-Catholic followers of Christ are Christians. In fact, I *must* believe that because it is a doctrine of my Church! (And also because it comports with evidence and makes sense.)
However, having done the keyword search in the NT of the KJV, I find multiple times when the Apostles tell believers to follow them, or even to follow the Church:
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Acts 13:43 Converts follow Paul & Barnabas
1 Corinthians 4:16 Paul saying "follow me" again
1 Thessalonians 1:6 "Be followers of US, and of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 2:14 They became "followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus"
I could go on and on -- many more citations -- but I won't weary you. Or weary myself: besides, I've got to go to bed.
This doesn't focus on the Papacy by name, but it does directly speak about the necessity of Apostolic leadership in the Church. Bottom line: follow the guy that's following the Lord.
” Not all christians are christians... “ - PopePipus I...
posted on 02/22/2013 7:24:41 PM PST
(This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
You are mistaken. Do you understand how the Church pulled those Diana/Athena/Semiramis worshipers into the fold? That was a long time ago...and God forgive them for their error...but...
I love Mary...but I also understand how She has been used to perpetuate the worship of the Queen of Heaven. Mary is not the Queen of Heaven.
Read some ancient history and get a grip on who is being worshiped.
Syncretism is where this whole Mary worship thing came from...not from God.
You are worshiping not Mary, but Semiramis.
She's a demon...good luck with that.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:24:55 PM PST
(Get armed, practice in the use of your weapons, get physically fit, stay alert!)
Was it Biblical when ruthless Roman emperors crowned themselves as Pope? Was it Biblical when the Holy Roman Empire had large armies?
Where in the Bible does Jesus announce that a living human called a “Pope” would run his terrestrial church?
posted on 02/22/2013 7:25:34 PM PST
And so I say to you, you are Peter (which means little rock), and upon this Rock (the Rock of Ages - referring to Himself) I will build my Church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
There. So that there is no confusion. It was a comparison which was consistent with the idiom of the language at that time. But you knew that already.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:25:34 PM PST
(Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
God forgive you for that.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:26:58 PM PST
As I recall it was a Baptist who baptized our Lord, long before Peter journeyed to Rome. Just sayin.
there is a major difference between a Baptist and a Baptizer....a baptizer is one who baptizes...as far as a denomination is concerned, a Baptist follows Mr. Smythe who in 1609 formed the Baptist denomination.
posted on 02/22/2013 7:27:32 PM PST
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