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Peter & Succession (Understanding the Church Today)
Ignatius Insight ^ | 2005 | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Posted on 10/21/2006 4:52:03 AM PDT by NYer

From Called To Communion: Understanding the Church Today

Editor's note: This is the second half of a chapter titled "The Primacy of Peter and Unity of the Church." The first half examines the status of Peter in the New Testament and the commission logion contained in Matthew 16:17-19.

The principle of succession in general

That the primacy of Peter is recognizable in all the major strands of the New Testament is incontestable.

The real difficulty arises when we come to the second question: Can the idea of a Petrine succession be justified? Even more difficult is the third question that is bound up with it: Can the Petrine succession of Rome be credibly substantiated?

Concerning the first question, we must first of all note that there is no explicit statement regarding the Petrine succession in the New Testament. This is not surprising, since neither the Gospels nor the chief Pauline epistles address the problem of a postapostolic Church—which, by the way, must be mentioned as a sign of the Gospels' fidelity to tradition. Indirectly, however, this problem can be detected in the Gospels once we admit the principle of form critical method according to which only what was considered in the respective spheres of tradition as somehow meaningful for the present was preserved in writing as such. This would mean, for example, that toward the end of the first century, when Peter was long dead, John regarded the former's primacy, not as a thing of the past, but as a present reality for the Church.


For many even believe—though perhaps with a little too much imagination—that they have good grounds for interpreting the "competition" between Peter and the beloved disciple as an echo of the tensions between Rome's claim to primacy and the sense of dignity possessed by the Churches of Asia Minor. This would certainly be a very early and, in addition, inner-biblical proof that Rome was seen as continuing the Petrine line; but we should in no case rely on such uncertain hypotheses. The fundamental idea, however, does seem to me correct, namely, that the traditions of the New Testament never reflect an interest of purely historical curiosity but are bearers of present reality and in that sense constantly rescue things from the mere past, without blurring the special status of the origin.

Moreover, even scholars who deny the principle itself have propounded hypotheses of succession. 0. Cullmann, for example, objects in a very clear-cut fashion to the idea of succession, yet he believes that he can Show that Peter was replaced by James and that this latter assumed the primacy of the erstwhile first apostle. Bultmann believes that he is correct in concluding from the mention of the three pillars in Galatians 2:9 that the course of development led away from a personal to a collegial leadership and that a college entered upon the succession of Peter. [1]

We have no need to discuss these hypotheses and others like them; their foundation is weak enough. Nevertheless, they do show that it is impossible to avoid the idea of succession once the word transmitted in Scripture is considered to be a sphere open to the future. In those writings of the New Testament that stand on the cusp of the second generation or else already belong to it-especially in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Pastoral Letters—the principle of succession does in fact take on concrete shape.

The Protestant notion that the "succession" consists solely in the word as such, but not in any "structures", is proved to be anachronistic in light of what in actual fact is the form of tradition in the New Testament. The word is tied to the witness, who guarantees it an unambiguous sense, which it does not possess as a mere word floating in isolation. But the witness is not an individual who stands independently on his own. He is no more a wit ness by virtue of himself and of his own powers of memory than Peter can be the rock by his own strength. He is not a witness as "flesh and blood" but as one who is linked to the Pneuma, the Paraclete who authenticates the truth and opens up the memory and, in his turn, binds the witness to Christ. For the Paraclete does not speak of himself, but he takes from "what is his" (that is, from what is Christ's: Jn 16: 13).

This binding of the witness to the Pneuma and to his mode of being-"not of himself, but what he hears" -is called "sacrament" in the language of the Church. Sacrament designates a threefold knot-word, witness, Holy Spirit and Christ-which describes the essential structure of succession in the New Testament. We can infer with certainty from the testimony of the Pastoral Letters and of the Acts of the Apostles that the apostolic generation already gave to this interconnection of person and word in the believed presence of the Spirit and of Christ the form of the laying on of hands.

The Petrine succession in Rome

In opposition to the New Testament pattern of succession described above, which withdraws the word from human manipulation precisely by binding witnesses into its service, there arose very early on an intellectual and anti-institutional model known historically by the name of Gnosis, which made the free interpretation and speculative development of the word its principle. Before long the appeal to individual witnesses no longer sufficed to counter the intellectual claim advanced by this tendency. It became necessary to have fixed points by which to orient the testimony itself, and these were found in the so-called apostolic sees, that is, in those where the apostles had been active. The apostolic sees became the reference point of true communio. But among these sees there was in turn–quite clearly in Irenaeus of Lyons–a decisive criterion that recapitulated all others: the Church of Rome, where Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom. It was with this Church that every community had to agree; Rome was the standard of the authentic apostolic tradition as a whole.

Moreover, Eusebius of Caesarea organized the first version of his ecclesiastical history in accord with the same principle. It was to be a written record of the continuity of apostolic succession, which was concentrated in the three Petrine sees Rome, Antioch and Alexandria-among which Rome, as the site of Peter's martyrdom, was in turn preeminent and truly normative. [2]

This leads us to a very fundamental observation. [3] The Roman primacy, or, rather, the acknowledgement of Rome as the criterion of the right apostolic faith, is older than the canon of the New Testament, than "Scripture".

We must be on our guard here against an almost inevitable illusion. "Scripture" is more recent than "the scriptures" of which it is composed. It was still a long time before the existence of the individual writings resulted in the "New Testament" as Scripture, as the Bible. The assembling of the writings into a single Scripture is more properly speaking the work of tradition, a work that began in the second century but came to a kind of conclusion only in the fourth or fifth century. Harnack, a witness who cannot be suspected of pro-Roman bias, has remarked in this regard that it was only at the end of the second century, in Rome, that a canon of the "books of the New Testament" won recognition by the criterion of apostolicity-catholicity, a criterion to which the other Churches also gradually subscribed "for the sake of its intrinsic value and on the strength of the authority of the Roman Church".

We can therefore say that Scripture became Scripture through the tradition, which precisely in this process included the potentior principalitas–the preeminent original authority–of the Roman see as a constitutive element.

Two points emerge clearly from what has just been First, the principle of tradition in its sacramental form-apostolic succession—played a constitutive role in the existence and continuance of the Church. Without this principle, it is impossible to conceive of a New Testament at all, so that we are caught in a contradiction when we affirm the one while wanting to deny the other. Furthermore, we have seen that in Rome the traditional series of bishops was from the very beginning recorded as a line of successors.

We can add that Rome and Antioch were conscious of succeeding to the mission of Peter and that early on Alexandria was admitted into the circle of Petrine sees as the city where Peter's disciple Mark had been active. Having said all that, the site of Peter's martyrdom nonetheless appears clearly as the chief bearer of his supreme authority and plays a preeminent role in the formation of tradition which is constitutive of the Church-and thus in the genesis of the New Testament as Bible; Rome is one of the indispensable internal and external- conditions of its possibility. It would be exciting to trace the influence on this process of the idea that the mission of Jerusalem had passed over to Rome, which explains why at first Jerusalem was not only not a "patriarchal see" but not even a metropolis: Jerusalem was now located in Rome, and since Peter's departure from that city, its primacy had been transferred to the capital of the pagan world. [4]

But to consider this in detail would lead us too far afield for the moment. The essential point, in my opinion, has already become plain: the martyrdom of Peter in Rome fixes the place where his function continues. The awareness of this fact can be detected as early as the first century in the Letter of Clement, even though it developed but slowly in all its particulars.

Concluding reflections

We shall break off at this point, for the chief goal of our considerations has been attained. We have seen that the New Testament as a whole strikingly demonstrates the primacy of Peter; we have seen that the formative development of tradition and of the Church supposed the continuation of Peter's authority in Rome as an intrinsic condition. The Roman primacy is not an invention of the popes, but an essential element of ecclesial unity that goes back to the Lord and was developed faithfully in the nascent Church.

But the New Testament shows us more than the formal aspect of a structure; it also reveals to us the inward nature of this structure. It does not merely furnish proof texts, it is a permanent criterion and task. It depicts the tension between skandalon and rock; in the very disproportion between man's capacity and God's sovereign disposition, it reveals God to be the one who truly acts and is present.

If in the course of history the attribution of such authority to men could repeatedly engender the not entirely unfounded suspicion of human arrogation of power, not only the promise of the New Testament but also the trajectory of that history itself prove the opposite. The men in question are so glaringly, so blatantly unequal to this function that the very empowerment of man to be the rock makes evident how little it is they who sustain the Church but God alone who does so, who does so more in spite of men than through them.

The mystery of the Cross is perhaps nowhere so palpably present as in the primacy as a reality of Church history. That its center is forgiveness is both its intrinsic condition and the sign of the distinctive character of God's power. Every single biblical logion about the primacy thus remains from generation to generation a signpost and a norm, to which we must ceaselessly resubmit ourselves. When the Church adheres to these words in faith, she is not being triumphalistic but humbly recognizing in wonder and thanksgiving the victory of God over and through human weakness. Whoever deprives these words of their force for fear of triumphalism or of human usurpation of authority does not proclaim that God is greater but diminishes him, since God demonstrates the power of his love, and thus remains faithful to the law of the history of salvation, precisely in the paradox of human impotence.

For with the same realism with which we declare today the sins of the popes and their disproportion to the magnitude of their commission, we must also acknowledge that Peter has repeatedly stood as the rock against ideologies, against the dissolution of the word into the plausibilities of a given time, against subjection to the powers of this world.

When we see this in the facts of history, we are not celebrating men but praising the Lord, who does not abandon the Church and who desired to manifest that he is the rock through Peter, the little stumbling stone: "flesh and blood" do not save, but the Lord saves through those who are of flesh and blood. To deny this truth is not a plus of faith, not a plus of humility, but is to shrink from the humility that recognizes God as he is. Therefore the Petrine promise and its historical embodiment in Rome remain at the deepest level an ever-renewed motive for joy: the powers of hell will not prevail against it . . .


Endnotes:

[1] Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 2d ed. (198 1), 147- 51; cf. Gnilka, 56.

[2] For an exhaustive account of this point, see V. Twomey, Apostolikos Thronos (Münster, 1982).

[3] It is my hope that in the not-too-distant future I will have the opportunity to develop and substantiate in greater detail the view of the succession that I attempt to indicate in an extremely condensed form in what follows. I owe important suggestions to several works by 0. Karrer, especially: Um die Einheit der Christen. Die Petrusfrage (Frankfurt am Mainz, 1953); "Apostolische Nachfolge und Primat", in: Feiner, Trütsch and Böckle, Fragen in der Theologie heute (Freiburg im.Breisgau, 1957), 175-206; "Das Petrusamt in der Frühkirche", in Festgabe J. Lortz (Baden-Baden, 1958), 507-25; "Die biblische und altkirchliche Grundlage des Papsttums", in: Lebendiges Zeugnis (1958), 3-24. Also of importance are some of the papers in the festschrift for 0. Karrer: Begegnung der Christen, ed. by Roesle-Cullmann (Frankfurt am Mainz, 1959); in particular, K. Hofstetter, "Das Petrusamt in der Kirche des I. und 2. Jahrhunderts", 361-72.

[4] Cf. Hofstetter.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: catholic; petrinesuccession; primacyofpeter
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To: Salvation

Correction. There is not difference in the NT of Catholics and Protestants. The Protestants do not have several OT books which are the Deuterocanonical Books in the Catholic Bible. I don't recall all of them but they were in the Greek version of the OT. Some of the books are Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, and Sirach.


101 posted on 10/21/2006 4:47:01 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: Conservative til I die

Gutenberg was Catholic. It was his printing press that allowed those who otherwise would not have access to the Bible because of their finances.

It is also important to remember that literacy rates during the Middle Ages and the Reformation were very low. So most faithful relied on preaching and illustrations ( stained glass windows) to learn the stories of the Bible.


102 posted on 10/21/2006 4:53:56 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: adiaireton8
"Do you have any other ad hominems for me?"

I guess we're done.
103 posted on 10/21/2006 5:16:24 PM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: Iscool

How wonderfully you responded to what was nothing more than a personal insult. That shows Christian love more than anything. God Bless you.


104 posted on 10/21/2006 5:53:15 PM PDT by ladyinred (RIP my precious Lamb Chop)
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To: ladyinred
How wonderfully you responded to what was nothing more than a personal insult. That shows Christian love more than anything. God Bless you.

I don't know what response you're referring to...

105 posted on 10/21/2006 6:31:15 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?
Paul many times stated that he was not worthy to be apostle where others fought to be seated next to Christ in the Kingdom.

Then he goes and contradicts that by saying these rather egotistical statements:

"And when they had known the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars.......

SEEMED to be pillars? They WERE pillars of the Early Church and were given the honor of being with Jesus during His earthly mission.

But of them who seemed to be some thing, (what they were some time, it is nothing to me, God accepteth not the person of man,) for to me they that seemed to be some thing added nothing.

Whoa! Did he dare say that the Apostles, St. James, St. Peter and St. John had added NOTHING??

For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.

They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I AM MORE; in many MORE labours, in prisons MORE frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.

Doesn't sound so humble to me.

Is that why Paul confronted Peter in his hypocrisy concerning the Jews and the Gentiles?

Someone should have confronted St. Paul about his own hypocrisy. He scolded St. Peter for the very SAME thing he did himself. He circumcised St. Timothy out of fear of the Jews!

AND he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, there was a certain disciple there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman that believed; but his father was a Gentile.

To this man the brethren that were in Lystra and Iconium, gave a good testimony.

Him Paul would have to go along with him: and taking him he circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places. For they all knew that his father was a Gentile.

St. Paul admits this:

And I became to the Jews, a Jew, that I might gain the Jews:

To them that are under the law, as if I were under the law, (whereas myself was not under the law,) that I might gain them that were under the law.

And he's got a problem with St. Peter??

Then he seems to break a promise that he made to the Apostles in the Book of Acts:

It hath seemed good to us, being assembled together, to choose out men, and to send them unto you, with our well beloved Barnabas and Paul:

Men that have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.

For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:

That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.

Well, St. Paul does an interesting little shuffle here.

If any of them that believe not, invite you, and you will be willing to go; eat of any thing that is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.

But if any man say: This has been sacrificed to idols, do not eat of it for his sake that told it, and for conscience' sake.

Conscience, I say, not thy own, but the other's. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience ?

If I partake with thanksgiving, why am I evil spoken of, for that for which I give thanks ?

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God.

This can get kind of disturbing considering the words of Jesus Christ in the Apocalypse:

Yet I have a few things against you. You have some people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the Israelites: to eat food sacrificed to idols and to play the harlot.

Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

St. Paul is not without a few nicks in his own armor. Like St. Peter, he had his own foibles and flaws.

106 posted on 10/21/2006 6:33:38 PM PDT by FJ290
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To: Iscool
I don't know what response you're referring to...

She was referring to post #46 where you admitted to being a sinner......saved by grace.

Good answer!

107 posted on 10/21/2006 6:49:56 PM PDT by Diego1618
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To: Diego1618; ladyinred; Iscool

I'm sorry....I should have pinged ladyinred also to my post #107.


108 posted on 10/21/2006 6:51:55 PM PDT by Diego1618
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To: Uncle Chip
Well Well!!!! --- you must be one of them thar "Bible Code" experts

No, just very experienced in finding the Protestant anti-Catholics who belong to Churches of the Almighty Dollar. Tell me, what affiliation does your "church" have?

109 posted on 10/21/2006 6:53:18 PM PDT by AlaninSA ("Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden)
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To: FJ290
Lets remove all the teachings of Paul from the NT. what do we have left for doctrine? Not a whole lot. Who was the head of the Church at Jerusalem, Jame. Who went to Rome first Paul. Who is the head of the Church JESUS CHRIST. There is no evidence that Christ setup a hierarchy of secession in the church.
110 posted on 10/21/2006 6:56:31 PM PDT by John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?
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To: wmfights
"Protestants cannot explain the fact that the early Church, spread all over the known world, held to the same Catholic faith."

Well, Protestants are Catholics that left the Catholic church for one reason or another...But as far as I can see, they're still Catholic...

But you didn't mention that Constantine basically joined your church with the Pagan worshippers of Diana when he took charge...That's the group that worshipped the Queen of Heaven...That's why you celebrate Jesus' birthday on the winter solstace, the worship of the Sun God...

It's a matter of your same history that your church burned as many copies of scripture that didn't line up with your church as they could find...And killing many 'heretics' in the process...

But the fact is, a lot of these groups survived the onslaught by Rome...And they grew and branched out...And they made copy after copy of the scriptures and passed than on, to be copied some more...

And bucketloads of manuscripts survived that were passed on to different groups dating from around 4 AD and for hundreds of years to follow...

These make up the majority of manuscripts that the King James bible was created from...Your church didn't invent, or create, or write the bible I use...There's no connection between my bible and your church...

111 posted on 10/21/2006 6:59:23 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: ventana
Well, Paul clearly was superior to Peter in some respects. Peter was just a shepherd, feeding sheep, feeding lambs, feeding sheep. Just a shepherd, after all.

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

All the elders of the church were instructed to feed the sheep...And if you think it meant supremacy for Peter, look at the next verse...

1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.

Well that shot the primacy of Peter to pieces, and anyone after him that thinks they are any more than a sinner in God's church, including any of the so-called 'church fathers' who demand that the followers esteem the bishops more highly than or even equal to the scripture...

That bible will straighten out kinds of mis-understanding...

112 posted on 10/21/2006 7:19:30 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: ladyinred
How wonderfully you responded to what was nothing more than a personal insult. That shows Christian love more than anything. God Bless you.

I'm kinda slow today...But thankyou...Ya know, I'm kind of junk-yard-dog type of person...But I thank God that He saves all kinds of us mongrels...Fortunately, He gives us a little grace from time to time as well...

113 posted on 10/21/2006 7:31:12 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: AlaninSA
No, just very experienced in finding the Protestant anti-Catholics who belong to Churches of the Almighty Dollar.

I realize you weren't speaking to me but I hafta say there seems to some irony in that statement coming from someone who belongs to a church of countless 50 million + dollar temples...

114 posted on 10/21/2006 7:36:27 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool

How many of our beautiful churches have the name of the "pastor" plastered all over the front of them or on some massive sign visible from the freeway?

Oh yeah, none.

The "Bible," "community" and "grapevine" "churches" - and all of their incarnations are more often than not just a temple to the ego and pocketbook of the "pastor."

Joel Osteen.

John Hagee.

Jim Bakker.

Hey, they're your non-denominational boys. How many high dollar cars, big homes and neon lights do they have? Cults, all.


115 posted on 10/21/2006 7:45:44 PM PDT by AlaninSA ("Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden)
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To: Uncle Chip

1Pe 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
1Pe 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
1Pe 5:3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.


116 posted on 10/21/2006 8:06:35 PM PDT by kerryusama04 (Isa 8:20, Eze 22:26)
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To: Uncle Chip; wmfights
WM"They had copies of the writings, but were they put in a fixed order and established as complete Scripture?"

UC Good question. I'm sure the fixed order is not that critical since they were probably smart enough to put the epistles together, the gospels together, the Hebrew scriptures together in some logical order. But as to whether all or any of the patriarchs had all the scriptures, I don't know. Perhaps a study of their extant writings would indicate what they had, but would also not rule out what they had but just did not quote from.

Act 17:10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Act 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Apparently, they had something more to go on than just "word of mouth".

117 posted on 10/21/2006 8:19:41 PM PDT by kerryusama04 (Isa 8:20, Eze 22:26)
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To: John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?
Lets remove all the teachings of Paul from the NT. what do we have left for doctrine?

Gee, how about the teachings of Jesus Christ?

118 posted on 10/21/2006 10:52:28 PM PDT by FJ290
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To: FJ290

"Lets remove all the teachings of Paul from the NT. what do we have left for doctrine?"

"Gee, how about the teachings of Jesus Christ?"

---- And Paul's Epistles are not the teachings of Jesus Christ??????


119 posted on 10/22/2006 5:29:43 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: GAB-1955; AlaninSA
Don't forget that the Protestant Church was not created de novo

As freeper AlaninSA noted to another poster, all the churches that separated from Rome, did so out of ego.

the first churches held that they were carrying on the true traditions of the church universal that had been corrupted by Rome.

Churches? - According to Scripture, Christ wanted us to be one (John 17:22-23).  We are all as a Church to be of one mind and to think the same (Philippians 2:2; Romans 15:5).  There is only to be one "faith" (Ephesians 4:3-6), not many.  For the Church is Christ's Body and Christ only had one Body, not many.  Also, since the Church is Christ's Bride (Ephesians 5:29), can Christ be married to more than one wife (essentially a spiritual form of the the sin of polygamy)?  No, Christ can only have one wife (i.e., one Church, not many).

Corrrupted by Rome? Such as what? Please back up your accusations with facts.

120 posted on 10/22/2006 5:44:12 AM PDT by NYer
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To: AlaninSA

". . . experienced in finding the Protestant anti-Catholics who belong to Churches of the Almighty Dollar. Tell me, what affiliation does your "church" have?"

----- It's certainly not affiliated with the Church of the Almighty Dollar. It doesn't own 20% of the realestate of Spain and have massive cathedrals and land holdings throughout the world and run a financial empire out of its headquarters in Rome that exceeds that of all Protestant denominations put together.

----- It's more like the Church of the Almighty God who gave us the incorruptible Word of God. You can join the church for free if you just open that Bible in your closet, or invest $29.95 for a good reliable one and open it regularly. Is that too much for you? Is that too much for the hope of eternal life????


121 posted on 10/22/2006 5:45:20 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: NYer

"Corrrupted by Rome? Such as what? Please back up your accusations with facts."

----- How about the facts nailed to the chapel door at Wittenburg by a well educated and loyal Catholic Church Augustinian monk??????


122 posted on 10/22/2006 5:57:14 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip; NYer

"Is that too much for you?"

Getting a bit personal so early on Sunday morning?


123 posted on 10/22/2006 6:37:09 AM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: Uncle Chip

Ah, like so many anti-Catholics you're unable or unwilling to name the denomination to which you belong. What are the beliefs of the church? Do they have a statement of faith?

Far too many attack the Catholic Church and then dodge questions about their own church. Why is this?

My assumption is that it's fear.

Fear of having their own faith challenged.

Fear of having their own "pastor" exposed.

Fear of finding that there's much more Truth in Catholic teachings than that of Bubba's House of Fire-n-Brimstone.


124 posted on 10/22/2006 6:45:01 AM PDT by AlaninSA ("Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden)
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To: Running On Empty

"Is that too much for you?"

Getting a bit personal so early on Sunday morning?

Isn't salvation a "personal" matter? Or do you get a group rate?


125 posted on 10/22/2006 6:48:43 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: AlaninSA

Ahhhh --- spoken like a true Catholic.

It's an open Bible church, one of those churches that the Vatican has lobbed all of those anathemas from the Council of Trent at. If you want to talk about "fear", you should first look inward, and ask "why does the Vatican fear those Bible believers so much that it has to pontificate anathemas against them"??????


126 posted on 10/22/2006 7:02:42 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: NYer
Body and Christ only had one Body, not many. Also, since the Church is Christ's Bride (Ephesians 5:29), can Christ be married to more than one wife (essentially a spiritual form of the the sin of polygamy)? No, Christ can only have one wife (i.e., one Church, not many).

Jesus has

1Co 7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. churches everywhere...

And if there ever was a pope, it had to have been Paul...

2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

Paul's in charge of the Christian church(s)...

Also, since the Church is Christ's Bride (Ephesians 5:29), can Christ be married to more than one wife (essentially a spiritual form of the the sin of polygamy)? No, Christ can only have one wife (i.e., one Church, not many).

When was the wedding??? And the Marriage Supper of the Lamb???

127 posted on 10/22/2006 7:05:49 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Uncle Chip

Again--you are being quite personal and sarcastic as well.

Welcome to Sunday.

Salvation has always been a personal matter, but it also has always had its communal dimension.

I'm sure you are aware of that.


128 posted on 10/22/2006 7:15:12 AM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: Uncle Chip

No such thing, Chip.

Afraid to identify the "church?"

That's fine. It's clear that you're not comfortable posting a statement of faith from that "church." Do they even have a website?

You see, Chip, our brethren who've moved away from the Catholic Church have a great unwillingness to be challenged. This is why they hide their doctrine and "theology."

We Catholics have ours completely available for the world to see.

I find it quite funny that an "evangelical" protestant congregation would be unwilling to share information on their beliefs.

If the beliefs are good, accurate and faithful -- they sharing them would bring in more believers, would it not?


129 posted on 10/22/2006 7:16:59 AM PDT by AlaninSA ("Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden)
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To: Running On Empty

"Again--you are being quite personal and sarcastic as well. "

---- and you're not being personal and accusatory?

Was sarcasm ever used by the prophets, the disciples, the apostles, ........ Did Jesus use sarcasm? Do you use sarcasm? ...... oh just not on Sunday?????


130 posted on 10/22/2006 7:23:26 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip

No, I don't use or relish sarcasm.

It is Sunday and I hold Sunday to be a very special day. It is the day when I meet with my fellow Catholics at my parish to worship and to praise our God.

I also am lucky that I can be there on weekdays, too...as are many of my fellow Catholics.

It's quite natural that as a practicing Catholic (convert to the Church) that I don't like it when people acting as provocateurs come on threads that are Catholic subjects, and begin needling the Catholics with anti-Catholic posts.

The moderator here has made it clear that it's OK to do this on the open forum, and that if we have a rebuttal to make, to make it, but not to get personal.

It's very difficult to respond to posts that are openly condescending of my Faith and yet to respond in third person form or to try to get beyond the obvious in order to speak the truth in love.

Since I am not hard-wired for this kind of fighting, I am content to say that I withdraw and leave it to my Catholic brethren, those to whom God has given the gift for this kind of debate. I am grateful for them and to them.

I acknowledge that I can't contribute positively and effectively, though I wish that I could.

I ask God to bless you on this holy Sunday, this special day in the week.

And now I'm on my way to Mass.


131 posted on 10/22/2006 7:44:19 AM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: Iscool
"Protestants cannot explain the fact that the early Church, spread all over the known world, held to the same Catholic faith."
_____________________________________

You've confused me with another poster who didn't want to answer questions and then accused me of ad hominen attacks.

The point I was trying to get across was the idea that Christianity was totally unified is a myth. There have been all types of different sects, including RC, from the beginning. Tertullian is just one example, he is not a St. in the RCC because he became a Montanist (similar to Pentecostals) later in his life.

The same mythology applies to the idea that Peter was some kind of "super" Apostle, or the belief that the RCC founded the Canon.
132 posted on 10/22/2006 7:53:10 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: AlaninSA

No such thing, Chip. Afraid to identify the "church?"

----- I just did.

That's fine. It's clear that you're not comfortable posting a statement of faith from that "church." Do they even have a website?

----- I'm not sure if there is a website. But I will tell you the one that it's teachings are closest to: Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. They have a website.

You see, Chip, our brethren who've moved away from the Catholic Church have a great unwillingness to be challenged. This is why they hide their doctrine and "theology."

----- There is nothing hidden about true Christian Churches and the Scriptures that they believe in. The RCC knows exactly what they believe. My goodness, ask them. They've been trying to silence them since the 5th century, and with earnest since the Reformation.

We Catholics have ours completely available for the world to see.

----- That's not really true, unless you can see into the minds of your Magisterium.

I find it quite funny that an "evangelical" protestant congregation would be unwilling to share information on their beliefs. If the beliefs are good, accurate and faithful -- they sharing them would bring in more believers, would it not?

----- We share them all the time by encouraging people to receive the Word of God in its simplicity --- to believe the truth according to the Scriptures not the elusive and unseen minds of a magisterium.


133 posted on 10/22/2006 7:57:56 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: wmfights

I didn't realize that Tertullian had been denied sainthood.
Does that mean that he is not considered part of the patriarchal tradition of the RCC? How many other early Christian writers are also excluded from the RCC's list of acceptable patriarchs?


134 posted on 10/22/2006 8:04:35 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: wmfights

I suspect you didn't intend to post to me...


135 posted on 10/22/2006 8:04:40 AM PDT by Iscool
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What bothers me about the Roman Catholic Church are the new ICEL hegelian dialectics of retranslated Scripture. I end up having to confess as "the Word of God" that which cannot be found in any Bible on the face of the earth. It comes as little surprise that 'ecclesiastical freemasonry' has entered the Church as is looking to destroy the Faith from within. The Jesuits and the Opus Dei are filled with illuminati elements whose objectives are to 'dumb down and destroy' the true beauty of what the Church really teaches masked in the relativism of New Age philosophies.


136 posted on 10/22/2006 8:06:26 AM PDT by PageMarker
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To: kerryusama04; Uncle Chip
Act 17:10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Act 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Apparently, they had something more to go on than just "word of mouth".
_______________________________

I think your absolutely right that they were compiling writings. The Torah was already established and they had copies of the OT writings that made up the Talmud. I also think it is safe to believe that every church that received a letter made copies and these were passed on as well. The point I was trying to make was that until St. Athansius, on his own initiative, put together a definitive list we do not have a completed Canon. I have yet to find any historical record of the Canon being established and fixed prior to this date. Thus, the myth that the RCC established the Canon is debunked. The RCC affirmed a deed that was already done.
137 posted on 10/22/2006 8:07:40 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: wmfights

For information sake, where in Athanasius' writings does he provide a list of the books?


138 posted on 10/22/2006 8:17:45 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip
"I didn't realize that Tertullian had been denied sainthood.
Does that mean that he is not considered part of the patriarchal tradition of the RCC? How many other early Christian writers are also excluded from the RCC's list of acceptable patriarchs?"
_________________________________

Great question. I don't know. I'm just guessing, but they don't disregard Augustine and he also changed his thinking later in life.
139 posted on 10/22/2006 8:18:56 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: Iscool

"I suspect you didn't intend to post to me..."
_______________________________

My mistake.


140 posted on 10/22/2006 8:20:04 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: wmfights

Does that mean that only his early writings are accepted as part of their Tradition, and his later writings excluded?


141 posted on 10/22/2006 8:32:37 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip
For information sake, where in Athanasius' writings does he provide a list of the books?
____________________________________

St. Athansius wrote in his 39th Festal letter in 367 AD to the churches he was Bishop of in Egypt. Prior to this Eusebius compiled a list, but he had no authority behind it and he only listed the books that "should be read". It was Athansius who acted with authority for Egypt and gave a list that "in these alone the teaching of Godliness is proclaimed". Augustine followed about 30 years later at the Synod of Hippo where the exact same grouping of books and order was declared the Canon.

All of this occurred outside of Rome. Eusebius was the Bishop in Palestine. Athansius was the Bishop in Eygpt. Augustine was the Bishop in Algeria. A book I found helpful when looking into this was Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman. It is well researched and footnoted.
142 posted on 10/22/2006 8:36:36 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: Uncle Chip
"Does that mean that only his early writings are accepted as part of their Tradition, and his later writings excluded?"
________________________

I don't know. I suspect that once he was considered outside the RCC his writings were ignored. Maybe one of the RC posters, who's familiar with the era, can explain the why's and where for's.
143 posted on 10/22/2006 8:39:42 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: Uncle Chip

You're not identifying a church's identity by saying that it's a "Bible" church. That "affiliation" is simply too vague - and varies greatly depending on the ego, wallet and attitude of the "pastor."

Come on, be honest.

As if we Catholics hide our teachings. The entire catechism of the Catholic Church is available at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM - and the approved translation of the Bible for Catholic Americans is located at http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/ -- all right out in the open.

Your obvious fear of the Catholic church is at the same time amusing and disturbing.


144 posted on 10/22/2006 8:58:47 AM PDT by AlaninSA ("Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden)
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To: trisham
Can someone please explain to me why some Catholics insist on preaching Peter and Rome instead of Jesus and his Gospel?

(By the way, calling the above article propaganda is not an insult, it is at minimum someone's thoughtful opinion, and may also, in fact, be the truth. These threads are open to anyone who wishes to join the discourse. Sorry of you disagree, but that doesn't make it hate speech.)

Articles like this have an agenda, which is to justify someone's set of beliefs and set out to provide proofs that they are correct, and that other views are wrong.

Not picking on Catholics, by the way -- a lot of sects do the same thing... We're the REAL Christians, our way is the BEST way, we have a SPECIAL claim to truth, tradition, doctrine, etc. that YOU don't have.

I would like to see more Christians on FreeRepublic preach Jesus and his gospel, instead of re-posting other people's scholarship and regurgitated, long-winded volumes on doctrines of secondary or no importance.

There is a world out there to be redeemed, loved, saved and rescued from hell. The real followers of Jesus are out there doing his work. The others are arguing about doctrine and trying to prove that they're right.

"If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in His name, He'd never stop throwing up." -- from Hannah and Her Sisters

145 posted on 10/22/2006 9:16:17 AM PDT by Silly
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To: wmfights; Uncle Chip
Acts 17:10-11 also state the the NT Evangelists did not conradict the OT, IMO. That is an important facet to my personal faith.

Another point is that the sciptures we hold today, from Genesis to Revelation, all agree. This shows me that the Holy Spirit - not men - is responsible for this work.

146 posted on 10/22/2006 9:26:06 AM PDT by kerryusama04 (Isa 8:20, Eze 22:26)
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To: AlaninSA

I'm sorry if you don't get it, but that's your problem not mine.

BTW "Running On Empty" says that I'm being mean to you. Did she tattle on me to the hall monitor? Is that how debates are handled on a Catholic Forum? I thought people on Free Republic were grownups, or is that just on non-Catholic forums.


147 posted on 10/22/2006 9:27:17 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: kerryusama04
"Another point is that the sciptures we hold today, from Genesis to Revelation, all agree. This shows me that the Holy Spirit - not men - is responsible for this work."
______________________

I completely agree.

I think most people don't know how many forgeries, uninspired books, and different sects existed from the time the Apostolic era ended and the rise of Roman Catholicism as the state religion around 400 AD. In that environment the Canon that emerged can only be explained by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I don't know of any great arguments that the books of the New Testament are not inspired. But I think the historical record shows the Canon was not formed by the RCC.
148 posted on 10/22/2006 9:44:03 AM PDT by wmfights (Psalm : 27)
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To: PageMarker
...Jesuits and the Opus Dei are filled with illuminati elements...
Time to get out the tin foil cap I am guessing


149 posted on 10/22/2006 9:47:57 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper (It looks like one of those days when one nuke is just not enough-- Lt. Col. Mitchell, SG-1)
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To: kerryusama04

"Another point is that the sciptures we hold today, from Genesis to Revelation, all agree. This shows me that the Holy Spirit - not men - is responsible for this work."

----- Aaaaaammmmmmmeeeeeeeennnnnnnnn !!!!!!! And that is why they should be valued above the writings of anyone else, be they 2nd century patriarch, 4th century prelate, 10th century bishop, 12 century pope, 16th century reformer, or present day magisterium.


150 posted on 10/22/2006 9:48:40 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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