Is There Historical Evidence for a Pope?

May 31, 2008


Q. Is there any historical evidence for the Papacy?

A. In the writings of the Early Church Fathers the fact of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is taken for granted. In 80 A.D. the Corinthian Church kicked out their bishop and/or priest. Appeals were made to Pope Clement I, the fourth Bishop of Rome to settle the matter. And yet, the Apostle St. John was still alive at Ephesus and living a lot closer to Corinth than Rome. Never the less the appeals were made to the Pope because all knew that he had the authority to make a binding decision.

St. Irenaeus, a student of St. Polycarp (a disciple of St. John the Apostle), exhorts all “Christians (to) be united to the Church of Rome in order to maintain the Apostolic Tradition. He then made a list of all the Bishops of Rome up to his time. There is nothing in his writing that sounds like he is trying to be convincing but rather that all Christians take for granted that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church.

For 250 years the Roman Emperors tried to destroy Christianity through persecution. In the first 200 years of Christianity, every Pope but one was martyred. So, even the Romans knew that the Bishop of Rome was the head of the Church.

A Roman Emperor’s greatest fear was a rival to the throne. Nevertheless, the emperor Decius (249-251 A.D.) one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christian Church made the following remark:

I would far rather receive news of a rival to the throne than of another bishop of Rome. (Christian History, Issue 27 1990, vol IX, No. 3, p22)

Decius said this after he had executed Pope Fabian in 250 A.D.

-Beginning Apologetics by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham


The Daily Maronite: The Miracle of the WORD

May 31, 2008

The Miracle of the WORD

 

2000 years ago, God has said His WORD. He said everything He wanted to say in Jesus Christ. He sent His only Son to the world, to save the world. He showed us the power of the Word, the need for the Word (for salvation), and the way everything can be fulfilled through the Word to overcome evil. Do I believe in the power of my word? Do I know how much my word is needed in my community? Where can my word be fulfilled overcoming evil?

The power of the word:
The word has the power to destroy or to build: The word “I hate you” is totally different from the word “I love you”. Each word has a different effect on the person who hears it.
The word has the power to create a certain atmosphere: Swearing at home can create a very tense atmosphere in the family. Speaking calmly can create a peaceful atmosphere at home.

The word has the power to transform those who receive it: Your word can transform despair into hope, desolation into consolation, slavery into freedom, darkness into light, sickness into healing. The centurion asked Jesus to “only say the word and he shall be healed.”

The word has the power to destroy evil: Pope John Paul II has never used weapons to overcome the evil of communism. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Poland and the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Maronite Patriarch has never used weapons to overcome the evil of the Syrian regime. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Read the rest of this entry »


Young White Couples

May 31, 2008

First see Christian Lander’s latest offering at Stuff White People Like: “White people in the News, May 30, 2008″

TOPIC THIS COULD ALSO COVER (FUTURE SUGGESTION):

*White people like child-bearing in late 30’s early 40s.
*White people like to be “young” for indefinite periods of time that would otherwise seem arbitrary or at the very best “pushing it”.

The “young couple” in the photo –  her: 30s,  him: 40s.

Bring on the “Hill-billy” jokes if you like, but where I come from a “young couple” is a “young couple” if and when both are under 24/25ish.

Advanced white people understand you should not have children until you are confident you can afford strollers as big as VW Bugs and gentrified homes…  SUPER-Advanced white people understand that it is ideal for your one child to be headed to a liberal arts college for an arts degree right about the time you are ready to collect social security… Not a frightful idea in their mind – the 60s are the new 40s to them.

God bless Viagra & Cialis…

White people, eh? What are ya gonna do?

 

 


May 31: Blessed Nicolas Barrè

May 31, 2008

Blessed Nicolas Barrè, 1621 – 1686 Read the rest of this entry »


All Growed Up!: The JP2 Kids Grow Into B16’s Men

May 31, 2008

The world moves in seconds, minutes and days.

The Church moves in years, decades and centuries.

Not for nothing, something like 20% of the episcopate in the US has come of retirement age since B16 ascendency in 2005. If today’s seminarians are the “John-paul-2-kids” tomorrow’s bishops will be “Benedict’s boys”. He is a remarkably healthy 81, 3 years in with a reasonable and realistic chance of more years of his papacy ahead of him than behind him…

I haven’t seen exact numbers, but just for speculation’s sake, in the course of a 7 year period (starting in April 2005) is it reasonable and realistic to believe or suspect that 40% of the bishops serving in 2005 will be retiring? I bet if we ran the numbers that is very possible… So far looking at what the appointments have been… Well I expect the next ten years to be VERY interesting with what will be going on among the men already appointed, and the men who will be appointed.

Everyone get back to me in 2018 for a look back at this discussion – if we can gather at a watering hole, the first round will be on me.


“orthodox” Anglicans

May 30, 2008

In the past 5 years two bitterly opposed camps on issues like scripture and sexuality have rent the fabric of the Episcopal Church (TEC) into two very unequal parts–the liberals having almost complete say and the power of the courts to crush the self proclaimed “orthodox.” At least this is the point of view of the so called “orthodox” Episcopalians/Anglicans, who bleat on and on about their victim status in TEC and in the Anglican Communion. Theologically, as a Catholic, I am on the side of the “orthodox.” Their moral position on homosexuality is the right one. But, I don’t agree entirely that they are either victims or orthodox.

What has happened to TEC since the 2003 ordination of practicing gay bishop is clearly the fault of the “orthodox” who have stood by with hands on hips for decades while their church has been swirling down the toilet. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: REVELATION TO JOSEPH

May 30, 2008

REVELATION TO JOSEPH

 

This Sunday is the Revelation to Joseph Sunday. The truth is revealed to Joseph after doubts concerning his beloved Mary. Joseph was in front of a great Mystery (the Virgin is with child) and a great vocation (to become a father of the Son of the Father in Heaven).

We learn 7 things from Joseph:

1- The Righteous man: Joseph was a righteous man, committed to God’s commandments. He had no fear or shame of his commitment. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer, in union with God, surrendered completely to God’s Will, avoiding evil and doing good.

2- The pure love: Joseph had a pure & honest love towards Mary. His love was not controlling. He respected her. A controlling love leads to despair, illusion, envy, and in some cases to crime. There are many people in this world who are stuck on the road because of their controlling love. They love the other for selfish reasons.

3- No exposure to the public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy to Joseph to bring his fiance to the priests where she would be condemned to death. When our partner, our wife, our husband, our girlfriend, our boyfriend, our neighbor, our brother, etc… relapses or fails, sometimes we are too quick to judge. We emphasize his/her sin and we make his/her story the discussion of the day. The Church teaches that talebearing destroys our neighbor’s honor. It is a sin against justice & charity.

4- He planned to dismiss her quietly: Joseph did not surrender to the feeling of being betrayed or to the love of vengeance.

5- The openness & listening to God’s revelation: Joseph was opened to God’s explanation of what was going on. He listened to what the Angel told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his Vocation.

6- No suspicions: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Love believes everything.

7- Welcoming Mary & Jesus: The Angel said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house.” Joseph welcomed Mary & Jesus in his house. That’s what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary & Jesus to our hearts, family, life.

A reading from St. Ephrem the Syrian:
Joseph had loved the Son as a child and he served him as a god. He rejoiced in him as he rejoices in the Good One and he feared him as a righteous. How amazing?

Joseph says, “Who gives me this grace that the Son of the almighty be my son. I suspected your mother and planned to dismiss her. I did not know that in her womb was hidden a great treasure that enriched my poverty.

David the King was from my kin and he wore the crown. But I , myself, had been humiliated becoming a carpenter instead of a king. But the crown had been given back to me for I hold the Lord of Lords in my hands. 


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