Where Did Peter Ever Claim to be the First Pope?

December 2, 2011

Sonya: Do you know of any evidence of Peter claiming to be the first “pope”?

Bread From Heaven:Peter never claimed “to be the first pope” as such. Jesus proclaimed him as such in

Mt. 16:19 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus gave all the apostles the authority to bind and loose

Mt 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

but he only gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom. This promise finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.

Even Protestant scholars will acknowledge that Peter seemed have been designated with more authority that the other apostles by Jesus and based on NT evidence. But then they will contend that this authority was not passed on to another via apostolic succession. But I ask, why would Jesus designate an authoritative leader for His Church that would only last for the remainder of Peter’s short life? If the Church needed leadership in the first century, where many knew Jesus personally and knew the apostles and those who were taught by them, why would later generations not need this same authority and sure guide to the truth?

Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

We see this verse also as indicating a special office for Peter in having responsibility to strengthen the other apostles.

John 21:15-1715 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Here is the well known passage of Jesus reinstating Peter after his betrayal. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confers upon Peter the office of Shepherd of the Church. Of course the other apostles were also shepherds. But He does not specifically confer this office on the others.

But in every list of the apostles, except one, Peter is first. And when Peter and John race to the empty tomb, John beats him there, but waits until Peter arrives and then enters after him. I know these are not the kind of proofs you would like to see but these are the scriptural indications of Peter’s primacy. Matt 16 is the main proof.

But we also have in Acts 15 the first Church Council: A dispute arose between Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity regarding the necessity of circumcision. So, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to have the dispute settled. This is the first council of the Church. It is discussed with much passion. Finally, Peter stood up and proclaimed his decision that circumcision was not necessary. End of discussion.

No wonder all were silent. This was astounding!!! Peter, had decreed that the ancient Mosaic law of circumcision was no longer binding, removed the dietary laws of the Old Covenant. But no one challenged him. Why? Because everyone knew Jesus had appointed him as the chief of the apostles.

Then Paul and Barnabas related what signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles. Then, after this James, takes the decision of Peter and makes it specific and gives detail regarding how it is to be followed by the Church.

We know from Church History that St. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem and as Acts 21:15-25 describes, he was concerned for Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who felt their ancient customs threatened by the great number of Gentile converts. This background explains why St. James made the later remarks at the council and asked Gentiles to respect certain Jewish practices.

This is exactly how things are still done today. Bishops will request minor changes to Church law that are necessary for the culture they are shepherding. There are differences between cultures and what works in Rome may not correlate to Africa, for instance.

There is nothing in Scripture alone that explicitly authorizes Peter to do this. There are implications but nothing clear and unequivocal. That is because the Christians in the infant Church were NOT Sola Scriptura. But the Jews were.

Paul submits his teaching to him and the other apostles in Jerusalem in

Galations 2:1-2 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Then of course there is historical evidence. Which I guess you will reject since it is not in scripture just like I did when I was first presented with this evidence. But I was hot on the trail of Pope Honorius and papal FALLIBILITY.

Honorius was declared a heretic by a later Pope. In my reading, as the Church and heretics battled over the current heresy (I can’t remember which one it was) I noticed a very curious thing. The heretics were all making attempts to get the approval of the Bishop of Rome and no other Bishop. This indicated to me that they knew that if they could get the stamp of approval for their beliefs from this bishop,they would triumph over those where calling them heretics. It was even more convincing to me b/c I stumbled on it and was not even looking for historical evidence of Papal primacy.

In Corinth, the people deposed their Church leaders, and some appealed to the Bishop of Rome, despite the fact that St. John was still living and closer to Corinth than Rome. We have Pope Clement’s response

Sonya: ” or any proof of linus being his successor?

Bread From Heaven: Linus was Peter’s successor according St. Irenaeus, writing between 175 and 190, not many years after his Roman sojourn, enumerates the series from Peter to Eleutherius (Against Heresies III.3.3; and Eusebius, Church HistoryCh 6). His object, as we have already seen, was to establish the orthodoxy of the traditional doctrine, as opposed to heretical novelties, by showing that the bishop was the natural inheritor of the Apostolic teaching. He gives us the names alone, not the length of the various episcopates.

Worth Revisiting: Development and negation: the struggle continues

May 7, 2011

Development and negation: the struggle continues


The latest installment in my “Development and Negation” series was about slavery. More specifically, the question was whether the development of Magisterial teaching on the moral status of slavery negates any previously taught doctrine that meets the Church’s own criteria for irreformability. My answer was, of course, no—as it has been in every case where dissenters of the right or the left charge the Magisterium with discrediting itself by contradicting itself over time. What I shall do here is illustrate the significance of the general topic by presenting what happened to the debate over the slavery question.
The critic against whom I have lately defended the Magisterium was theologian Joseph O’Leary, an unreconstructed prog of a kind all too familiar on ostensibly Catholic theology faculties. The original target of his criticisms was Avery Cardinal Dulles, who had addressed the slavery issue among others in his article “Development or Reversal?” In criticizing my own position on the slavery issue, which accords with Dulles’, O’Leary repeats a charge he has made in almost every debate he and I have had in the past: “Liccione has devoted huge intellectual effort to proving that the Church has never reversed its official teaching on any point of morality.” As anybody who reads my series can verify for themselves, however, that is not what I have devoted effort to proving. I have openly acknowledged cases in which Church authorities have reversed their application of moral principles to specific moral questions, such as how heretics may be punished, whether borrowers may ever be charged for loans beyond the principal, and when the death penalty can be justified. What I have instead sought to show is that no moral tenet taught by the Church in such wise as to meet her own criteria for irreformability has thereby been repudiated. Tenets that do meet such criteria are, to be sure, sometimes wrongly applied; others take time to be recognized and formulated for what they are. That is why development and refinement in Catholic moral teaching are both possible and necessary. But my thesis has been that such development and refinement do not entail negation of any tenet taught in the past with the Church’s full authority. Tenets so taught are infallibly taught and are thus “irreformable,” meaning “not to be contradicted.” So the Church does not contradict or negate them. What’s happened in my debate with O’Leary well illustrates the importance of that point.

In his last comment here on my slavery post, O’Leary proceeds in characteristic fashion by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. I had claimed, as an aside, that magisterial support in the Middle Ages for the physical punishment of heretics—such as the papal bull Ad Extirpanda—did not meet the Church’s own criteria for irreformability. I have made that claim before, and I’ve made it because AE’s subject matter was not any irreformable moral tenet, but rather a prudential judgment on the specific, very time-bound question whether the good of the body politic requires that heretics be physically coerced into confessing their heresies. Those who exercise magisterial authority, including popes, can be wrong about that without logically discrediting their own claims to teach infallibly, and thus irreformably, about “faith and morals” under certain conditions. In this case medieval ecclesiastics, including St. Thomas Aquinas, were wrong about the socio-political importance and necessity of torturing heretics. I’ve explained why before, but I don’t want to distract readers any further by getting into that again. Here, rather, is what O’Leary says in response to my claim that “Ad Extirpanda does not satisfy the Church’s own criteria for the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium”:


Do you refer to the papal teaching office or the universal teaching office of bishops, which is usually what people mean when they talk of the ordinary magisterium? As far as I know there are only 2 candidates for infallibility of the former, namely the dogmas of 1854 and 1950. I tend to follow G. Hallett SJ in thinking the claim of infallibility to be meaningless (thus neither true nor false), The infallibility of bishops is a Bellarminian thesis unwisely embraced, without disucssion, by the bishops at Vatican II and ruthless exploited since then to claim infallibility for Vaticanist doctrines on contraception, women’s ordination etc., at the very time as any autonomous teaching authority of bishops is beiing undercut.

Let’s leave aside the rather elementary point that the “ordinary” magisterium of the Church is not to be contrasted with the “papal” magisterium but rather with the “extraordinary” magisterium. Either the pope or the bishops can and do exercise either magisterium (though the bishops can only do so legitimately in communion with the pope). It’s bad enough that O’Leary, an ostensibly Catholic theologian, has missed that. But he’s actually suggesting that the dogma of papal infallibility is “meaningless” and asserting that the doctrine of the infallibility of bishops, authoritatively taught in Lumen Gentium 25, is “a Bellarminian thesis unwisely embraced, without disucssion [sic], by the bishops at Vatican II.” Again, let’s leave aside the irony that a theologian who signs himself “Spirit of Vatican II” is rejecting a very important ecclesiological doctrine authoritatively taught by the Fathers of Vatican II. O’Leary is out to end the game before it starts.

If the dogma of papal infallibility is “meaningless” and the infallibility of the bishops, as explained in LG §25, a mere thesis “unwisely embraced,” then the question whether the Church’s development of doctrine has ever negated an irreformably taught doctrine cannot be usefully debated. Before that question can be usefully debated, there must be some agreement among the participants both that there are infallibly taught doctrines and that there are consistently applicable criteria for identifying doctrines as such. For reasons I’ve given, the class of “infallible” doctrines is co-extensive with that of “irreformable” ones. Among Catholic theologians who care about teaching with and in the name of the Church, such agreement holds in substance, if not always at the margins. But between me and O’Leary, it does not hold in any sense at all. So, we do not even agree on the premises of the discussion. Perhaps that is why O’Leary consistently misrepresents what I aim to do.

The only useful strategy for the O’Learys of the world—and their name is legion—would be to argue that the historic development of Catholic doctrine precludes any doctrine of magisterial infallibility (ordinary or extraordinary, papal or episcopal) that could be (a) meaningful, (b) useful, and (c) definitively held. If there is no such doctrine of infallibility, then the question which tenets count as irreformable is purely a matter of opinion, and my “development and negation” project is not worth pursuing. That is roughly the tack Hans Küng took in his once-celebrated book Infallible? An Inquiry. A debate about his argumentative strategy is worth having because it can be settled by facts and logic. As I read Küng’s book and researched his sources three decades ago, my debate with him was gradually settled. I concluded his case was not compelling on either historical or logical grounds. More important, I soon realized that if he were right, then the claims of the Catholic Magisterium to be preserved from error under certain conditions are so much hot air. In that case, there would be no compelling reason to remain in full communion with Rome, other than to undermine her claims from within.

That, I suspect, is the real point of the O’Learys of the world.

FROM TWO YEARS AGO: Ronald Weinland Interview with James Whale (April 10, 2008) « Is It Really The End?

April 10, 2010

Ronald Weinland Interview with James Whale (April 10, 2008) « Is It Really The End?  Wrote two years ago:

Ronald Weinland Interview with James Whale (April 10, 2008)

April 12, 2008 · No Comments

First thing, can we all agree that James Whale’s jingle is quite good? Of course we can!

He are the key points from Ronald Weinland’s latest interview that he gave to James Whale of talkSport in the UK this past Thursday, April 10th:

  • Second witness of Revelation will be announced April 17; he mentioned he’d do it in the sermon (which I assume will be on the 19th) and on his website (which I assume can be on the 17th itself)
  • Again he stated the first trumpet of Revelation will be blown this coming April 17 (Thursday) and it will unfold over a period of 45 to 90 days (June/July)
  • The second trumpet will leave no doubt in any ones mind because it will involve nuclear devices detonating in ports but not on land (third trumpet will involve nuclear devices in cities)
  • The interval of 45 to 90 days between the first and second trumpets will be depend on people’s response/repentance
  • Fifth trumpet will start the last revival of the European Union, which will be 10 nations merging with Germany as the power base (note: the UK will be suffering along side the USA/Canada and will not be part of the revived EU); they will attack the USA to prevent them from retaliating (on who?); the EU attacks because they will feel obligated to intervene
  • A year and a month and a day later Russia and China will come together to start the first phase of the final war that leads to Armageddon (this must be the sixth trumpet)
  • Sixth trumpet brings Russia and China together to destroy a third of the earth
  • As one of the two end time witnesses in Revelation, Ronald declares that the Pope/Catholic Church, as the religious power, will finally kill him three and a half days before Christ returns
  • Starting this coming April 17, the Pope/Catholic Church will become increasingly irritated at Ronald as he begins to speak out
  • The Pope will be given some kind of special power on April 17 when he is in Washington D.C.

Personal Notes:

  • Ronald reveals more openly the role of the Pope/Catholic Church in his prophecy
  • He goes more indepth about the role of the EU/China/Russia than he normally does
  • He stated that if by mid June it is not very clear that things are happening the way he predicts it will then he’ll no longer preach/be a prophet; however, this is a shorter period than the 45 to 90 days says the first trumpet will last for, but this is consitent with his last interview where he states that if by Pentacost (June 8th) its not obvious he step down
  • When pressed by James, Ronald stated we’d see something in the news on Thursday, but he normally states it is the start of a process; Was this just a mistake on his Ron’s part? Or did he mean he’d release something?
  • Interestingly, he seems to indicate that the first tradgedy will be only in the USA and its primary allies (Canada/UK/Austrailia); however, I thought the first trumpet covers the entire planet?

If you’d like to listen to the interview yourself then just go to:

Ronald Weinland is a minister in the Church of God PKG. He has authored two end-times related books and claims to be one of the two witnesses of Revelation. For more information please visit his website.

  • So two years later… How is this panning out?
  • Did the Pope get special powers on April 17, 2008?
  • Did the Pope/Catholic Church become increasing agistated by Ronald?
  • Was there an attack by port in the last two years?
  • An attack on land 45-90 days later?
  • Russia & China got together one year, one month and one day after that?

I post dated this post two years… 

I also kept contributing to my retirement account.

4 Years Ago Today

April 19, 2009

Time flies!

Worth Revisiting One Year Later: “Peter, Rock of Ages”

April 18, 2009

“Need I mention that the Catholic Church long antedated the US government, and there will be a pope long after there is no US president?” rhetroically asks Lew Rockwell — Pope and President. Mr. Rockwell then quotes this remarkable piece of rheortic from “the great 19th century classical-liberal (and Protestant) historian, Thomas Babington Macaulay:”

    There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extends over the vast countries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn, countries which a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabits Europe. The members of her communion are certainly not fewer than a hundred and fifty millions; and it will be difficult to show that all other Christian sects united amount to a hundred and twenty millions. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.

My jaw dropped when I first came across and pondered that phrase “before the Saxon had set foot on Britain” a few years ago.

SOURCE: http://orientem.blogspot.com/2008/04/peter-rock-of-ages.html

Happy Birthday

April 16, 2009

Ratzinger & Ratzinger.
See: “When your little brother is Pope”

Hitler’s Pope: The BIG LIE

August 18, 2008

Q. Why didn’t the Catholic Church help the Jews who were being murdered by Hitler?

A. The Catholic Church and Pope Pius absolutely DID help the Jews and many other people persecuted by Hitler. The Jewish ambassador and author, Pinchas Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews, estimates that Pope Pius, through the Catholic Church saved 600,000 -860,000 Jews during WWII by ordering everyone to throw open the doors of the monasteries and convents to the Jews. The Vatican also held and sheltered thousands of Jews and others.

At first, priests, bishops, and the Pope spoke out against Hitler. And what do you think Hitler did?

Back down?

Out of respect for the Church?

Change his ways?

Repent? And go to confession?


Fear public opinion?

NO! NOT AT ALL. We know in our minds and hearts the character of Hitler and the SS. And we would expect that he would punish this kind of criticism–harshly. And that is exactly what he did. More innocent Jews and Catholics were murdered immediately after public criticism. In fact, the Jewish convert, Saint Edith Stein, was rounded up with other baptized Jews and executed in one of these reprisals.

Therefore, everyone, including the Pope saved the lives of all the people they could—-secretly. To do otherwise would have been to endanger more innocent lives.

Ironically, the very lack of public statements by Pope Pius XII are now being used to condemn him for inaction. So he would have been damned if he did and damned if he didn’t–Can you imagine the outcry if he had selfishly and self righteously raged against Hitler over and over, in spite of the fact, that reprisals took even more innocent lives? The Pope would have been bitterly condemned by everyone! This would have actually been the result IF he had done what armchair critics think he should have done.

Instead of that, he prudently chose to save all the lives he could save quietly and secretly. And so, he is damned for not speaking out. At the end of the war everyone, including the Jews, praised Pope Pius XII for all that he had done.

But today, sixty years later he is judged in popular opinion to have been cold and uncaring, even in league with Hitler. Nonsense!

If you are confused by conflicting information let me tell you a true story.

The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zollie, converted to the Catholic Church after the war. Not during the war, in order to save himself from the Nazi’s, but after the war. He, his wife, and daughter entered the Catholic Church. And do you know what name he chose for his baptismal name?

Eugenio…. not one of the most well known and popular of saint names….

Do you know what the baptismal name of Pope Pius XII was?


Can anyone actually believe that this Rabbi not only converted to the Catholic Church but chose the pope’s own name for his own, at baptism, knowing Pope Pius did nothing?!!! It stretches credulity to believe that the Chief Rabbi of Rome, during World War II, who absolutely knew what the Pope did or did not do for his people, would do such a thing in spite of a do-nothing pope. Rather it speaks to just the opposite conclusion. Pope Pius’ exemplary and heroic behavior during such chaotic and murderous times greatly impressed the Rabbi. This culminated in his final conversion. And he did choose the name Eugenio in honor of the Pope.

If you would like to read the beautiful story of his conversion you can see it here. Or read his book Why I Became a Catholic by Israel Zollie.

Hitler’s Pope: The Urban Legend

August 16, 2008

Q. I have heard that Pope Pius XII was in league with Hitler during World War II. What happens to papal infallibility in this case?

A. First of all, as surprising as it may seem NOTHING happens to papal infallibilty for two reasons.

(1) Papal infallibility refers only to the Doctrine that the Holy Spirit protects the Catholic Church from error by preventing the Pope from TEACHING error about FAITH AND MORALS to the WHOLE CHIURCH. The Doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope is all about protecting the Church’s Teaching NOT Behavior of the pope.

(2) Pope Pius XII was NOT in leage with Hitler. That is a scurrilous lie. We know there have certainly been wicked popes in the history of the Catholic Church. But the Holy Spirit protected His Church from error by preventing them from teaching heresy. Popes are NOT ordained to sinlessness. The holiness of a man has not always been the reason for election to the throne of Peter.

So the Doctrine of Infallibility is not touched because Pope Pius XII never taught heresy to the whole Church. And Pope Pius XII was one of the Heros of the Holocaust.

Yes, Hitler was baptized Catholic but he was apostate. He had no “in” with the pope.

Pope Pius, in his position as Secretary of State for the Vatican before his election as pope, DID have diplomatic relations with the Reich. THAT WAS PART OF HIS JOB. We would never accuse the American Ambassador to Germany of “being in league with Hitler” simply because he had diplomatic relations with Germany. That is ridiculous. Besides Pius was a determined enemy of the Reich as was his pope, Pius XI.

The following is excerpted from Elizabeth Altham’s essay:

Catholic Heroes of the Holocaust

Eva Fogelman interviewed more than three hundred rescuers, and checked Read the rest of this entry »

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention For August, 2008

August 4, 2008

Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for is:

“That the human family may know how to respect God’s design for the world and thus become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us.”

105th Anniversary Of The Repose Of Pope Leo XIII

July 20, 2008

Hear him speak.

Telegraph: “Ex-Anglican communities to become Catholic, Rome confirms “

July 16, 2008

Ex-Anglican communities to become Catholic, Rome confirms

The Catholic Church will expand its provision of “Anglican Use” parishes in the United States in order to allow whole communities of traditionalist Anglicans into the Roman fold, a senior Catholic archbishop has announced.

Pope Benedict on a recent visit ot the Yankee Stadium in New York

The Most Rev John J Myers, Archbishop of Newark and Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, told a conference of ex-Anglicans on Friday that “we are working on expanding the mandate of the Pastoral Provision [of Catholic parishes using Anglican-inspired services] to include those clergy and faithful of ‘continuing Anglican communities’.

“We are striving to increase awareness of our apostolate to Anglican Christians who desire to be reconciled with the Holy See. We have experienced the wonder of several Episcopal Read the rest of this entry »

Who Is Left Standing In These Troubled Times As A Christian Voice That Can Re-gather The Storm-Tossed Flock?

July 4, 2008

Fr. J in Benedict the Re-Gatherer put it best and most succinctly… Our Holy Father is making great efforts to reach out and gather the faithful. In these troubled times, now more than ever, we need it.

B16 understands and recognizes what is at stake worldwide. Islam is growing because of its continued value of fertility, and many non-Catholic baptized Christians are adrift in a sea of unknowing. What the future holds for the places they called home is uncertain. Re-gathering the ranks, and strengthening the brethren is no small task.

Can you think of anyone else on the world seen remotely close to being up for this task? Any other Church that could go toe-to-toe with Islam, secularism, the sexual revolution, the post-modern era and actually stand a chance? Is any other cohesive expression and manifestation of Christianity actually growing? Read the rest of this entry »

Ben & Bart

June 30, 2008

5 bob to Overheard in the Sacristy

Now if they could just get +++Al to join them…

Popes and Bishops in the Early Church

June 10, 2008

Q. If popes and bishops are necessary then why were there none in the early church?

A. In the early Church there were all three ordained offices of the Catholic Church that we have today (Deacons, Priests, Bishops). They were called by different names but the offices were in existence and are designated in Acts 6:5 and Acts 15 at the first Church Council and elsewhere in the New Testament.

Q. Then why have I never seen that in Acts 15 before? I have read it many times.

A. You surely saw it but just missed the significance of the information you were reading.

First, we have Peter at the council who stood up and settled the dispute, made the POPE or Vicar of Christ in Matthew 16:17-19.

Then, also present at the first Church Council were the apostles who became the first BISHOPS ( Gr. Episkopos) in the Church. There are many other New Testament passages that mention the office of bishop or overseer.

Next we see PRIESTS, called elders in the New Testament because this is the strict English translation of the Greek presbuteros. However, our English word Priest is etymologically derived from the Greek word presbuteros.

And finally we have DEACONS. Stephen and others in Acts 6 and qualifications of deacons in I Timothy 3:8-12. There are many other NT passages also that talk about deacons.

Election of the Pope

June 8, 2008

Q. “Do you say that God makes a man infallible who has to be voted for just like politicians?
A. God says He does.
However the pope is not infallible because he was voted for. He is elected by votes, and when elected he receives infallibility from God. The pope does not derive his infallibility from those who elected him but directly from the power of God.” Radio Replies, Vol. 1,p 96

Q. What is infallibility?
A. It is the guarantee that all teaching from the Pope on faith and morals given to the whole Church will be free of error. God gives the pope this gift regardless of his holiness or lack of it because He wills to protect His Church from error. Our Lord can, with a holy pope, instruct the whole Church through many writings and teachings. Thus, the Church is strengthened much. But in the event an evil pope attains the Chair of Peter through the machinations of heretics or evil men (as has happened in the past) Our Lord protects His Church by preventing the pope from writing or teaching error to the whole Church.

Q. If the Pope is infallible, then why do the laws of the Church change with the popes?

A. Infallibility concerns morals and doctrine. These are never changed by popes. Disciplines of the Church can be changed to keep them fresh and fruitful in the lives of the faithful

Infallible Pope???

June 6, 2008

Q. How can anyone actually believe that a mere man could be infallible?

A. Of course, an athiest would never accept this, but anyone who believes in a Creator God could easily accept that God can do anything He chooses to do. Wouldn’t you agree? So, anyone who believes in an all powerful God could accept that it would be theoretically possible for God to cause a man to be infallible.

But, that does not mean that He would choose to make a man infallible. So, then we could ask,

“Has He ever made any mere man infallible in the past?” And the answer to that question is


But here we are only left with Jews and Christians, perhaps Muslims, but I don’t know for sure, who believe that God has made many different men infallible down through the Read the rest of this entry »

Kneeling Before the Pope

June 4, 2008

Q. In Acts 10:25-26, Peter refused to let a man kneel before him. Why doesn’t the Pope also forbid people from kneeling before him just like St. Peter?

A. In this passage from Acts Cornelius “fell at his feet and worshipped” Peter. Seeing this Peter said, “Arise. I myself am also a man.”
If the Pope detected that someone who came to honor him was in fact worshipping him he too would give the same warning. And forbid it. But kneeling is a sign of respect and reverence, especially in former times. When Sir Francis Drake knelt before Queen Elizabeth, he was not worshipping her. So kneeling can be a sign of respect or of worship. It all depends upon the intentions of the one who kneels.

The intention of the one who is kneeling can not be detected, for sure, unless he is asked about his intentions. For instance, many non Catholics, seeing a person kneeling in front of a picture or statue of Mary or another saint jump to the uncharitable conclusion that he has seen idolatry with his own eyes!

Comment: Actually a difference can be detected by an outward sign. Gregor:The difference is marked by the rule (today not always observed) that we genuflect on our right knee before God, whereas we genuflect on our left before the Pope (and – traditionally – Cardinals and our own Bishop).

June 3: Blessed Pope John XXIII, The Smiling Pope

June 3, 2008

Blessed Pope John XXIII, 1881 – 1963 Read the rest of this entry »

But Paul Rebuked Peter

June 2, 2008

Q. In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul rebuked Peter for hypocrisy so it seems pretty clear that Peter was NOT infallible after all.

A. If the definition of the Dogma of Infallibility of the Pope included all the actions of the pope then the Galatians passage would indeed be evidence that Peter was not infallible. However, the Dogma of Infallibility DOES NOT include the actions of the pope. The Pope is only infallible when and ONLY when, he both 1) teaches on faith and morals and 2) when he teaches to the whole church.

In the Galatians passage Peter did not fulfill either one of the requirements for infallible teaching let alone both requirements. He simply did not promulgate any teaching for the whole church. He caved into peer pressure. He was weak at this moment.

Some might insist that he certainly was teaching by his actions. But again this is not the type of teaching referred to in the Dogma of Infallibility. But even if we concede that Peter did teach, still he was NOT teaching error to the whole Church. Therefore, it still would not meet the requirements necessary to be considered a failure of infallibility.

This Dogma does not imply that every word from the lips of the pope is infallible.

He could make errors in his speech as he walks with a Cardinal friend down the hall at the Vatican. (Not taught to the whole Church/not on faith and morals)

He could make arithmetic errors in his checkbook. (Neither about faith and morals nor for the whole Church)

In a meeting and discussion of theology with other bishops he could even make mistakes. (Not taught to the whole Church)

But none of these would disqualify him from being infallible because the Holy Spirit ONLY protects his teaching when it is about both faith and morals and it is being taught to the whole church

June 2: Pope Saint Eugene I

June 2, 2008


Pope Saint Eugene I, d. 657 Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.

Petros/Petra vs. Rocky/Rockelle

May 24, 2008

Q. Isn’t the problem, with the Catholic argument that Peter is the Rock of Matthew 16, that the Greek word used by Jesus for the Rock foundation of His Church is petra but the name He uses for Peter is Petros? Doesn’t Petra, meaning a BIG rock refer to Peter’s confession whereas, petros, Jesus’ name for Simon, means small stone.

A. This is a valiant attempt by non-Catholics to explain away Biblical evidence that Jesus founded His Church on Peter. However, it simply is not convincing when one looks at the facts.

First, most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic there is only ONE word for rock. Kepha. So what Jesus actually said would have been:

You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.

Jesus was not making any distinctions, after all, between Peter and the petra that Christ would build His Church upon. But obviously Peter comes from the Greek word petros. So, of course, one would tend to wonder about the strength of this argument since we now call Simon–Peter and not Kepha. The explanation is simple. There actually are several places in the New Testament where the Aramaic IS used for Simon.

John 1:42
And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas, which, when translated, is Peter.”

1 Corinthians 1:12
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,

  • 1 Corinthians 9:5
    Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?
  • Simon’s new name has come down to us as Peter because the Greek translation of the New Testament is the stronger traditional translation used by the Church when translating into Latin and English, and other vernacular languages.
    Second-When the translation of the original Aramaic was made into Greek the word petra which denoted Peter was simply changed by the translator to petros because petra has a feminine ending and petros has the masculine ending. It would not be fitting to call the Prince of the Apostles by a girl’s name like Rockelle. In English we use the name Peter which is a Greek name but if we were to make a strict translation into English it would be Rock or Rocky. A man’s name.

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    Catholic China News

    May 16, 2008

    The Holy Father’s Intentions for May

    May 6, 2008


    That Christians may use literature, art, and the media to greater advantage to favor a culture which defends and promotes the values of the human person.


    That just as she accompanied the Apostles in the early stages of the Church, may the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization and Queen of the Apostles, continue to guide missionaries throughout the world with maternal affection.

    Papal Media Coverage Evolving

    May 3, 2008

    From The Pilot.

    As I followed the pastoral visit of the Holy Father on television, switching between EWTN and FoxNews, I could not help but contemplate how far we have come. I remember the coverage of the visits to the United States of John Paul the Great in 1979 and 1987. Then the coverage focused on dissenters. The commentators wanted to know when the Church would change its teachings of life, sexuality, marriage and women. When would the Church come into the modern age and cease to cling to ideas that everyone knew were outdated? To the media it was clear, the Church was not attracting new vocations to the priesthood and religious life; it was not engaging the younger generation and if the Church didn’t come around quickly it would soon sink into irrelevance. The dissenters assured us change would come; it was only a matter of time.

    By John Paul’s third visit in 1995, the critics recognized that things would not change under his pontificate, but they still held out the hope that he was a passing phenomenon. He was ill. His death was expected and then there would be a new pope who would bring the Church into the 20th century. By 1995, the pundits grudgingly admitted that John Paul had achieved rock star status, he had stopped the decline of vocations and he had attracted the young, but they consoled themselves with the belief that his successor would not be able to match his appeal. The critics were, however, less confident than they had been.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Pope left off Time’s list of influential people

    May 2, 2008

    Hmmm… Time Magazine’s 2008 list of the “100 Most Influential People” has quite a few familiar and not so familiar faces on it this year.  A rather interesting mix.

    Conspicuous by his absesnse from the list is an octegenarian German cleric who has his own micro-state in Europe.  Not all that well known, but you might have seen brief glimpses of coverage (if you were watching closesly) of his recent visit to America.  Rumor has it, he signed up and took a White House tour when he was here. (Maybe he was in the group of Girl Scouts rumored to have also toured that day…)

    I suppose it is possible that a man who has made the cover and front page of newspapers and magazines around the world who leads a church of 1.1B, and got constant coverage for a visit he made to America ranks as the 101st most influential person in the world.

    (BTW, the Dalai Lama was here at the same time the Pope was… Maybe I just don’t get the cable channels his all-day coverage was on.)

    I can’t say I particularly covet secular accolades for the Pope in the secular media. It doesn’t bother me that they don’t.

    More to the point, I am rather embarassed for Time which is either demonstrating a great deal of ideological bias or perhaps it is the case that the writers of this magazine don’t themselves actually read Time on a regular basis… If they did, they would likely begin to notice that Benedict XVI seems to get a lot more press than such a supposedly uninfluential person would otherwise garner.

    How odd.

    When Pope Benedict passes unto his eternal reward, we will see what sort of TV coverage his funeral gets around the world.  And than we will compare it one day to:

    I bet the next time Shinya Yamanaka & James Thomson visit Washington and New York, half a million people will try to get tickets to go to any event they hold at the nearest baseball stadium!

    Oh Time, how silly and uninfluential you have made yourself look!

    Post from BaghdadHope: Mar Bawai Soro

    April 30, 2008

    H.G. Mar Bawai Soro and H.G. Mar Sarhad Y. Jammo are currently in Rome. On Sunday, April 27th, 2008, there was an ordination of 29 men into the priesthood. Many of our parish were happy to see him at that wonderful event. The following is a blog entry written by a certain blogger named “BaghdadHope”. I have reproduced it here as it is quite informative of recent going-ons with our diocese.

    Mar Bawai Soro: place of honour in Saint Peter

    Catholic Answers Tract on “Papal Infallibility”

    April 24, 2008

    Papal Infallibility

    The Catholic Church’s teaching on papal infallibility is one which is generally misunderstood by those outside the Church. In particular, Fundamentalists and other “Bible Christians” often confuse the charism of papal “infallibility” with “impeccability.” They imagine Catholics believe the pope cannot sin. Others, who avoid this elementary blunder, think the pope relies on some sort of amulet or magical incantation when an infallible definition is due.

    Given these common misapprehensions regarding the basic tenets of papal infallibility, it is necessary to explain exactly what infallibility is not. Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true. We have this from Jesus himself, who promised the apostles and their successors the bishops, the magisterium of the Church: “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16), and “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).

    Vatican II’s Explanation

    Vatican II explained the doctrine of infallibility as follows: “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith” (Lumen Gentium 25). Read the rest of this entry »

    April 22: Pope Saint Soter

    April 22, 2008

    Pope Saint Soter, d. ca. 174

    Another Biased Blogger Gets It Wrong

    April 20, 2008

    This cartoon showed up another blog – Pope Ratzo Protects Pedophile Bishops « – and is just one more instance of folks writing about the abuse who get it WRONG.

    If Only School Boards Would Not Insist That Teachers Remain Celibate All Their Lives « Per Christum Seldom talked about are the much, much higher rates of abuse that occur in public school districts.  Many perpetrators go unpunished beyond having their resignation accepted – and then moving to another school district.  With damage caps in place (sometimes as low as $100K) most attorneys are not terribly interested in pursuing a case that could take years with a maximum payout of $33K (1/3d) for the attorney involved.  That is very little money for a case that could take years to go to trial.

    Celibacy = Abuser Magnet? « Per Christum So is celebacy the issue?  Does it stand to reason that men who target teenage boys (the overwhelming demographic victimized) would want to go through 4-8 years of formation and then live in the fishbowl of the parish rectory?  Couldn’t they accomplish the same goals with Internet chat rooms while working a better paying job less in the spotlight?

    The vast majority of priests are thought never to have abused any children (99.8%) Yes, that is right, abuse is NOT the norm – it isn’t even 1% of all the priests in all the US church that have been so much as accused.  Can the same or similar be said for most other professions with access to children? Sure the abuse cases out there that are the most notorious grab headlines… But does that implicate everyone?

    Shedding Light On Sex Abuse Scandals « Per Christum Have Protestants in general fared any better with their married clergy?  Decidedly not.

    People with a goal of actually understanding this problem would know better than to write such pedantic drivel.  But anti-Catholicism is still very acceptable… And when it comes to beating that horse, any stick will do!

    Benedict XVI, Muslims, Spengler – 3 Years Later

    April 19, 2008

    AsiaTimes commentator “Spengler” wrote what is below on the day of the election of Pope Benedict XVI – interestingly, it seems to have been written and gone to print just before the election was announced.

    Three years on, approaching the 3d anniversary of the pontificate of B16, and the events of the past 36 months, this is proving fascinating to review.

    Spengler is best described, I think, as an Evangelical who has had some prophetic visions. I have written about him before on his vision of China and the future of Christianity. He is a man (actually, is he a man?) of big thoughts. Thoughts I don’t always agree with, but thoughts I can never ignore.

    Click on the title for the full article. (Emphasis mine.) Read the rest of this entry »

    Holy Father, Ohio Can Top That!

    April 18, 2008

    45,000+ people at the papal Mass with 500,000+ people wanting tickets between DC & NY…

    It occurs to this Buckeye we can top that here in Ohio, easily. With a seating capacity of 102,329 (not counting seats on the field),  plenty of lodging, great parking, and an good airport in Columbus… The Pope could stay up the street at the Pontifical College Josephinum (he literally owns the place, he does have a room there)…

    Just doing the math, 5 Masses over 5 days…  That adds up. 

    Maybe next time, eh? Think about it.

    And Rob from AZ – you are welcome to sleep on the couch as you take in the glory of the Heartland. What are friends for?  You bring the beer.

    Fire Bill Maher

    April 18, 2008

    If for no better reason then I am tired of hearing his voice and seeing that bloated condescending face in all its smugness… Here is a photo of Bill Maher wearing his “Dead Steve Irwin” costume the Halloween after SI died.

    And then there is the little matter of him calling the Pope a Nazi…

    Classy, Bill.  Real classy.

    Bloggers feel free to cross-post

    Will This Photo Be Used In “Planned Parenthood For Pelosi” Fundraising Mailers And Websites?

    April 17, 2008

    I am not certain if this is going to hurt Speaker Pelosi’s Planned Parenthood support.  Being that her former chief of staff is now the President the Planned Parenthood Federation of America it may be no big deal.

    Still, I doubt this one is going to make the “Planned Parenthood for Pelosi” website and newsletter. 


    See also: Priest’s Letter to Speaker Pelosi

    Prada, The Pope, Poverty & Some Questions

    April 17, 2008

    Apropos: And We Thought The Devil Wore Prada « MediaMyopic

    Do poor people starve if the Pope wears donated shoes?

    Is it odd or wrong for Catholics – considering what they believe the function of the office of priest, bishop and pope to be are – to be OK with the Pope having nice shoes?

    Should the Pope wear Keds?

    Should octogenarians (happy birthday, B16 – 81, and lookin’ good!) get a pass when it comes to wearing well-made donated shoes on the grounds they are older and still the job requirement is such that they are on their feet for several hours a day?

    Is there much we can glean from papal footware about the office, the man or his stance on poverty and justice for the poor?

    Does it matter in the end if the Pope donates his shoes to the homeless, with Minneapolis homeless sporting papal Prada?

    At the end of the day, do we know Does the Pope where Prada?

    Happy Birthday!

    April 16, 2008

    Do You Know How Hard It Would Be For Me To Resist The Temptation To Take This Baby For A Spin If I Had This Man’s Job?

    April 2, 2008

    Not that the Secret Service wouldn’t have something to say about it.  It would sooooo be worth it though.

    5 bob to: American Papist

    French Sources: Soviets Behind Pope John Paul II Assassination Attempt

    April 1, 2008


    Personally I have believed this for years… From a very interesting corner of the blogosphere we get the following story:

    Soviets tried to kill Pope

    31 03 2008

    Agence France Presse is reporting that the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981 – which almost did kill him – was ordered by the old Soviet KGB, the “Committee for State Security.” Comments Civil Commotion,SOURCE

    This has been rumored for a long while, of course, and it is totally believable. It was John Paul II who went to Poland during Lech Walesa?s Solidarity uprising, defying the old Soviet Union to stop him, and kicked-off the disintegration of the USSR.

    In fact, the Vatican and President Ronald Read the rest of this entry »

    Who Laid The Easter Egg?

    March 28, 2008
    Who Laid the Easter Egg? 

    Basilian Bishop, Kyr Dionysius Lachovicz, OSBM.


    Four Basilian Consecrated Without Mandate This Month

    In November 2007, the Catholic World News (www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=54919) reported on excommunication of Father Basil Kovpak, the head of the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych (SSJK), a group with ties to the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) which has been active among Byzantine Catholics in the Ukraine since the early 1990s. Bishops of the SPPX – themselves excommunicated because they were consecrated without approval from the Holy See – ordained two priests and seven deacons for the SSJK. On 23 March 2008, this past Easter Sunday (according to the Gregorian Calendar), the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) published a communiqué about the latest schism to divide its unstable ranks. Four members of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat – Eliáš Dohnal, Metoděj Špiřík, Markian Hitiuk and Robert Oberhauser – were consecrated bishops without having been nominated by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Synod and without a papal approval. Thus, according to CCEO, canon 1459 §1, they have automatically encurred the penalty of excommunication.

    Strangely, the UGCC communiqué has an air of uncertainty about it. It does not explicitly state they are excommunicated; rather, if all that is stated about these four Basilians is true, they await excommunication. What is not certain is who was their consecrator. A possible candidate seems to be Mychajlo Osidach, who claims to have been Read the rest of this entry »

    Culture Change For The Legion of Christ?

    March 26, 2008

    A Zenit article with some of my comments below.

    In a private audience with Benedict XVI, the general director of the Legionaries of Christ renewed the congregation’s loyalty to the Pope at the start of a new stage in its history, following the Jan. 30 death of the founder. Read the rest of this entry »

    The Pope On Vacation

    July 22, 2007

    Papal retreat video.

    What the Pope does on vacation…

    Take a look at this video clip to see how the Pope started out on his summer papal retreat.