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Remains of Apostle Paul May Have Been Found
Associated Press (excerpt) ^ | December 6, 2006

Posted on 12/06/2006 4:29:58 PM PST by HAL9000

Excerpt -

ROME (AP) - Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome's second largest basilica.

The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week.

~ snip ~

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apostle; apostlepaul; archaeology; catholic; christianity; godsgravesglyphs; paul; relics; rome; saintpaul; stpaul; vatican
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To: DelphiUser
I did not know this about catholic doctrine; can you point me to a source?

Try here.


241 posted on 12/07/2006 11:33:44 AM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: khnyny
You might want to check out the work and writings of Marcus Grodi.

Why would I want to do that?

242 posted on 12/07/2006 11:39:37 AM PST by what's up
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To: SuziQ
far be it from me to assign any limits to God's generosity, or to assume that He cannot do what He means to do

Who's asking you to? No one said there were limits to God's generosity.

And He can do whatever He wants.

243 posted on 12/07/2006 11:46:58 AM PST by what's up
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To: Radix

Yes, but Paul was martyred so perhaps he was buried in a different tomb at first and then when the church discovered where his body was, as he is a very prominent figure, relocated him. Thats my theory.

244 posted on 12/07/2006 11:52:20 AM PST by gun_supporter
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To: khnyny
Thanks for the link. A little long and his initial problem is simple to resolve.

Sola scriptura is in the Bible. But the funny thing is that I use the same verse that you use to prove the opposite. Weird.

I follow an apostolic church. The apostles said to follow what they said and wrote. Since they're all dead, I can only follow what they wrote. They didn't say to follow what other people said they said.

They preached in the open. There was no secret, backroom knowledge passed only to the inner circle.

They preached the full measure of salvation. We do not have a deeper understanding today then they had back then.

Peter is not the rock, because Jesus had already explained what the rock was before the controversial verse.

The keys are the only interesting item that I can not dismiss. But the power of binding and loosing was given to all of the apostles. And that I know, Jesus never told Peter he could pass the keys on to future generations. Anything else is just hearsay

Anyway, I'm glad your happy being Catholic. I'm happy being a member of an apostolic church.
245 posted on 12/07/2006 11:53:27 AM PST by Tao Yin
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To: Aquinasfan
Well, the Catholic Church has never sanctioned the selling of indulgences.

I found this at New Advent regarding indulgences. I was curious to know what the Catholic Church's current teaching on indulgences is.

The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local.

So it appears that some sort of indulgence program is still in effect. And they vary according to events and countries. And there are local and non-local indulgences.

I have to admit this is a bit weirder than I thought.

246 posted on 12/07/2006 11:55:27 AM PST by what's up
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To: what's up
[You might want to check out the work and writings of Marcus Grodi.

"Why would I want to do that?"]

The same reason anyone reads anything pertaining to something that they're interested in - intellectual curiosity and the opportunity to further their knowledge base.
247 posted on 12/07/2006 11:59:49 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: khnyny

Yes, but why would I be interested in or have any curiosity about Marcus Grodi?

248 posted on 12/07/2006 12:02:29 PM PST by what's up
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To: what's up

Your information is incorrect.
see also:
A Primary on Indulgences

Myths about Indulgences

Indulgences. The very word stirs up more misconceptions than perhaps any other teaching in Catholic theology. Those who attack the Church for its use of indulgences rely upon—and take advantage of—the ignorance of both Catholics and non-Catholics.

What is an indulgence? The Church explains, "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church’s help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints" (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1). To see the biblical foundations for indulgences, see the Catholic Answers tract A Primer on Indulgences.

Step number one in explaining indulgences is to know what they are. Step number two is to clarify what they are not. Here are the seven most common myths about indulgences:

Myth 1: A person can buy his way out of hell with indulgences.

This charge is without foundation. Since indulgences remit only temporal penalties, they cannot remit the eternal penalty of hell. Once a person is in hell, no amount of indulgences will ever change that fact. The only way to avoid hell is by appealing to God’s eternal mercy while still alive. After death, one’s eternal fate is set (Heb. 9:27).

Myth 2: A person can buy indulgences for sins not yet committed.

The Church has always taught that indulgences do not apply to sins not yet committed. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, "[An indulgence] is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power."

Myth 3: A person can "buy forgiveness" with indulgences.

The definition of indulgences presupposes that forgiveness has already taken place: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven" (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1, emphasis added). Indulgences in no way forgive sins. They deal only with punishments left after sins have been forgiven.

Myth 4: Indulgences were invented as a means for the Church to raise money.
Indulgences developed from reflection on the sacrament of reconciliation. They are a way of shortening the penance of sacramental discipline and were in use centuries before money-related problems appeared.

Myth 5: An indulgence will shorten your time in purgatory by a fixed number of days.

The number of days which used to be attached to indulgences were references to the period of penance one might undergo during life on earth. The Catholic Church does not claim to know anything about how long or short purgatory is in general, much less in a specific person’s case.

Myth 6: A person can buy indulgences.

The Council of Trent instituted severe reforms in the practice of granting indulgences, and, because of prior abuses, "in 1567 Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions" (Catholic Encyclopedia). This act proved the Church’s seriousness about removing abuses from indulgences.

Myth 7: A person used to be able to buy indulgences.

One never could "buy" indulgences. The financial scandal surrounding indulgences, the scandal that gave Martin Luther an excuse for his heterodoxy, involved alms—indulgences in which the giving of alms to some charitable fund or foundation was used as the occasion to grant the indulgence. There was no outright selling of indulgences. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "[I]t is easy to see how abuses crept in. Among the good works which might be encouraged by being made the condition of an indulgence, almsgiving would naturally hold a conspicuous place. . . . It is well to observe that in these purposes there is nothing essentially evil. To give money to God or to the poor is a praiseworthy act, and, when it is done from right motives, it will surely not go unrewarded."

Being able to explain these seven myths will be a large step in helping others to understand indulgences. But, there are still questions to be asked:

249 posted on 12/07/2006 12:12:06 PM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: what's up
So it appears that some sort of indulgence program is still in effect.

It is. The doctrine is perfectly reasonable. To understand the issue it's important to understand what an indulgence is.

Consider the following sin. A boy bats a baseball through his neighbor's window. He runs away. Later, he regrets running away, goes to his neighbor, and apologizes. The neighbor accepts his apology. This scenario is analogous to the Catholic practice of Confession. The neighbor represents God who acts through the priest in forgiving the sinner (the boy).

But is simple forgiveness of the boy by the neighbor sufficient for the reparation of the wrong? Shouldn't the boy repay the neighbor for the broken window, in addition to asking for forgiveness? So "an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven."

Indlugences, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The word indulgence (Lat. indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio.


To facilitate explanation, it may be well to state what an indulgence is not. It is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power. It is not the forgiveness of the guilt of sin; it supposes that the sin has already been forgiven. It is not an exemption from any law or duty, and much less from the obligation consequent on certain kinds of sin, e.g., restitution; on the contrary, it means a more complete payment of the debt which the sinner owes to God. It does not confer immunity from temptation or remove the possibility of subsequent lapses into sin. Least of all is an indulgence the purchase of a pardon which secures the buyer's salvation or releases the soul of another from Purgatory. The absurdity of such notions must be obvious to any one who forms a correct idea of what the Catholic Church really teaches on this subject.


An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.

Regarding this definition, the following points are to be noted:

In the Sacrament of Baptism not only is the guilt of sin remitted, but also all the penalties attached to sin. In the Sacrament of Penance the guilt of sin is removed, and with it the eternal punishment due to mortal sin; but there still remains the temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e., in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during his life on earth. Some writs of indulgence--none of them, however, issued by any pope or council (Pesch, Tr. Dogm., VII, 196, no. 464)--contain the expression, "indulgentia a culpa et a poena", i.e. release from guilt and from punishment; and this has occasioned considerable misunderstanding (cf. Lea, "History" etc. III, 54 sqq.). The real meaning of the formula is that, indulgences presupposing the Sacrament of Penance, the penitent, after receiving sacramental absolution from the guilt of sin, is afterwards freed from the temporal penalty by the indulgence (Bellarmine, "De Indulg"., I, 7). In other words, sin is fully pardoned, i.e. its effects entirely obliterated, only when complete reparation, and consequently release from penalty as well as from guilt, has been made. Hence Clement V (1305-1314) condemned the practice of those purveyors of indulgences who pretended to absolve" a culpa et a poena" (Clement, I. v, tit. 9, c. ii); the Council of Constance (1418) revoked (Sess. XLII, n. 14) all indulgences containing the said formula; Benedict XIV (1740-1758) treats them as spurious indulgences granted in this form, which he ascribes to the illicit practices of the "quaestores" or purveyors (De Syn. dioeces., VIII, viii. 7).

The satisfaction, usually called the "penance", imposed by the confessor when he gives absolution is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance; an indulgence is extra-sacramental; it presupposes the effects obtained by confession, contrition, and sacramental satisfaction. It differs also from the penitential works undertaken of his own accord by the repentant sinner -- prayer, fasting, alms-giving -- in that these are personal and get their value from the merit of him who performs them, whereas an indulgence places at the penitent's disposal the merits of Christ and of the saints, which form the "Treasury" of the Church.

An indulgence is valid both in the tribunal of the Church and in the tribunal of God. This means that it not only releases the penitent from his indebtedness to the Church or from the obligation of performing canonical penance, but also from the temporal punishment which he has incurred in the sight of God and which, without the indulgence, he would have to undergo in order to satisfy Divine justice. This, however, does not imply that the Church pretends to set aside the claim of God's justice or that she allows the sinner to repudiate his debt. As St. Thomas says (Suppl., xxv. a. 1 ad 2um), "He who gains indulgences is not thereby released outright from what he owes as penalty, but is provided with the means of paying it." The Church therefore neither leaves the penitent helplessly in debt nor acquits him of all further accounting; she enables him to meet his obligations.

In granting an indulgence, the grantor (pope or bishop) does not offer his personal merits in lieu of what God demands from the sinner. He acts in his official capacity as having jurisdiction in the Church, from whose spiritual treasury he draws the means wherewith payment is to be made. The Church herself is not the absolute owner, but simply the administratrix, of the superabundant merits which that treasury contains. In applying them, she keeps in view both the design of God's mercy and the demands of God's justice. She therefore determines the amount of each concession, as well as the conditions which the penitent must fulfill if he would gain the indulgence.

See also Indulgences, Catechism of the Catholic Church (beginning at paragraph 1471).
250 posted on 12/07/2006 12:48:45 PM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: ops33

Not to cause debate, but is there reasoning as to why her body went to heaven?

251 posted on 12/07/2006 12:53:41 PM PST by Sensei Ern ( - For a good time visit
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To: HAL9000

Beginning with post #14, I could see that this thread would largely degenerate into a Protestant v Catholic polemic.

252 posted on 12/07/2006 12:58:57 PM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, avoid the moor, where the powers of darkness are exalted.")
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To: A.J.Armitage; Kolokotronis
By all appearances even the Gnostics knew the difference between Thomas and, say, John. It's just modern academics who don't. The only ones who ever disputed the place of the four Gospels were Marcionites, and they took away, not added.

I don't think it's that simple: they're not called the Gnostic Gospels, for nothing; the Epistle of Barnabas, at least, was accepted by many Christians as part of Scripture in the 2nd century, and the Church's struggle against all sorts of heretical movements started from the very beginning. Even Paul had to warn about those who "come and preach another Jesus whom we have not preached, ... or a different gospel which you have not accepted."(2 Corinthians 11:4)

Please read more carefully. That phrase [the surviving history] has nothing to do with "Tradition". It has to do with history in the ordinary sense...

I reiterate: that is Tradition. We know it the same way we know about Caesar conquering Gaul. It is the part of our history by which we know the Apostolic teachings accepted and handed on (the word 'tradition' is taken from the Latin 'trado, tradere' meaning to hand over) by their converts and their successors in the early Church.

Do texts start as Canonical? ... was John a part of the Canon as soon as it was put down on papyrus, or did it need to be added later?

In its more general sense, "canon" (like "the literary canon") means a body of writings generally accepted as having time-tested value. In the ecclesiastical sense, "canon" means an ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council. In any sense, "canon" always indicates something that has been ruled on and accepted. (Excuse me if this seems nit-picky, but we have to agree, one way or another, on what we mean by the word.)

The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a process stimulated by disputes, both within and without the Church, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.

So the Gospel of John was authentic, God-inspired Truth as soon as it was being conceptualized in the mind of John; it was authentic, God-inspired Tradition as soon as it came out of his mouth (e.g. handed on --- spoken to a group of disciples, or dictated to a scribe), and authentic, God-inspired Scripture as soon as it was written. But it wasn't Canon until it was "canonized" --- that is, it was acknowledged to be authentic, accepted by the Church.

I've always been mystified why anyone would take [the Lerins quote] seriously. If that's how you define orthodoxy, then by the surviving history (in the sense I intended that phrase in the first place) there's no orthodoxy at all.

I'm at a loss to understand what you mean by that. Orthodoxy is the truth that has been handed down to us. It is still being handed on: by word of mouth, in writing, in the example and lives of the Saints.


Then how do you learn the truths of the Faith?

(P.S. Kolokotronis? I'm inviting you testimony here, my Orthodox brother!)

253 posted on 12/07/2006 12:59:10 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Glory to God in the highest.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

You correctly point out that the content of the New Testament was only finalized several centuries after the death of Jesus, so that the "Bible alone" philosophy could not have been maintained by the early Christians since they did not have the complete Bible as we know it. The "Bible alone" doctrine is actually a fairly late invention in Christianity, indeed, it could aptly be called a "tradition of men." That said, it is not an entirely bad philosophy, but - again - people have differing interpretations of specific biblical passages, so even the "Bible alone" philosophy does not eliminate disputes over doctrine.

254 posted on 12/07/2006 1:07:04 PM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, avoid the moor, where the powers of darkness are exalted.")
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To: Aquinasfan
But is simple forgiveness of the boy by the neighbor sufficient for the reparation of the wrong? Shouldn't the boy repay the neighbor for the broken window, in addition to asking for forgiveness?

Sure the boy (or sinner) should do restitution or pay back for wrongs done when/if possible.

However, paying back God? Don't think so.

255 posted on 12/07/2006 1:35:12 PM PST by what's up
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To: Mrs. Don-o
nobody claimed to have relics which would have come only from a dead body. Teeth, yes. Vertebrae, no.

(Sigh.) OK, and I have an ovary of Abraham Lincoln. Obvious hoax, and with no ecclesiastical approval, I double-dog-guarantee it.

I'm not vouching for the authenticity of any relics. It is highly probably that 100% of them are fakes. I am just refuting your statements (1). That nobody has ever claimed to have had relics of the Virgin Mary and (2) That nobody has ever claimed to have had relics of the Virgin Mary that could only have come after she died.

To make a blanket statement that nobody has ever made such claims is hard to defend without extensive research. And just a cursory Google search reveals claims that refute both of your assertions.

Lastly, I don't know if the bone in the cathedral in France was there with or without ecclesiastical approval or not. But that's not relevant to either of your assertions!

256 posted on 12/07/2006 1:39:03 PM PST by jas3
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To: Grig
Our teaching is that he kept the wounds of his crucifixion by his own choice as a testemony of what he did.

That's what I believe as well.

257 posted on 12/07/2006 1:39:52 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: AppyPappy
It's been less than 200 years. Produce them for me.

That's my point. They don't exist. Never have.

258 posted on 12/07/2006 1:45:06 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: jas3
Sorry: my expression was sloppy-- really sloppy --- so let me try again:

(1) considering the red-hot centuries-long multi-continent-wide enthusiasm for holy relics, if there were widespread belief that the remains of Mary's body were still one earth, there would have been widesread interest in either finding or fabricating such remains. But there wasn't, so there wasn't.

(2) If the Church taught that neither Jesus nor Mary left any earthly bodily remains, it would repudiate purported relics. It did, so it did.

Thank you for the correction, fellow FReeper. I misspoke myself.

And P.S., I think there were, over the centuries, instances of fraud; but there were also ongoing processes of authentication (as with the authentication of "Old Masters" artwork: people who had an interest--- devotional, financial, or otherwise--- were motivated to secure evidence and guarantees that they were getting the "real thing.") So no, I don't think that most of the relics are fraudulent.

259 posted on 12/07/2006 2:11:10 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Sipping a long, cool glass of sorry.)
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To: sgtbono2002

Paul Camarata was recently talking about St. Paul Outside the Wall on the Saintcast podcast. Interesting stuff for a Protestant to learn!

260 posted on 12/07/2006 2:15:44 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Pray for our President and for our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world!)
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