Peter/pope?


Where in the Bible do we find Peter assuming and exercising the role of a Catholic pope?

 First, we need to understand what a pope is.  He is the Bishop of Rome, who, in virtue of his position as successor of St. Peter, is the chief pastor of the whole Church, the Vicar of Christ upon earth.

Besides the bishopric of the Roman Diocese, certain other dignities are held by the pope as well as the supreme and universal pastorate: he is Archbishop of the Roman Province, Primate of Italy and the adjacent islands, and sole Patriarch of the Western Church.

The Church’s doctrine as to the pope was authoritatively declared in the Vatican Council in the Constitution “Pastor Aeternus”. The four chapters of that Constitution deal respectively with the office of Supreme Head conferred on St. Peter, the perpetuity of this office in the person of the Roman pontiff, the pope’s jurisdiction over the faithful, and his supreme authority to define in all questions of faith and morals.

So, primarily, he is a bishop.  What’s that? A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.  He has direct lineage to one of the twelve apostles.  He is the pastor of the territory he has oversight of. 

But what is a pastor? The term pastor comes from the Latin word pastor which means shepherd.  In Christian terms, a pastor leads his flock.  Psalm 23 tells us

 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name’s sake.

 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, 
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.

So the pope’s primary task is to lead his flock. Who is his flock? That’s kind of a tough question. His flock includes all humanity, potentially. Whether you want him to be your leader or not, his task is to shepherd humanity. A lot of people take no heed of what he says. But is a mother any less a mother when she tells her child not to do something and he does it anyway? Even with the majority of humanity not listening to him, there are 1.6 billion of us who do, to one degree or another.

So where in the Bible do we get the pope?

The proof that Christ constituted St. Peter head of His Church is found in the two famous Petrine texts, Matthew 16:17-19, and John 21:15-17.

Matthew 16:17-19
In Matthew 16:17-19, the office is solemnly promised to the Apostle. In response to his profession of faith in the Divine Nature of his Master, Christ thus addresses him:

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

“Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” The prerogatives here promised are manifestly personal to Peter. His profession of faith was not made, as has been sometimes asserted, in the name of the other Apostles. This is evident from the words of Christ. He pronounces on the Apostle, distinguishing him by his name Simon son of John, a peculiar and personal blessing, declaring that his knowledge regarding the Divine Sonship sprang from a special revelation granted to him by the Father (cf. Matthew 11:27).

“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter. . .” He further proceeds to recompense this confession of His Divinity by bestowing upon him a reward proper to himself:

Thou art Peter [Cepha, transliterated also Kipha] and upon this rock [Cepha] I will build my Church.

The word for Peter and for rock in the original Aramaic is one and the same; this renders it evident that the various attempts to explain the term “rock” as having reference not to Peter himself but to something else are misinterpretations. It is Peter who is the rock of the Church. The term ecclesia (ekklesia) here employed is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew qahal, the name which denoted the Hebrew nation viewed as God’s Church.

“And upon this rock I will build my Church. . .” Here then Christ teaches plainly that in the future the Church will be the society of those who acknowledge Him, and that this Church will be built on Peter.

The expression presents no difficulty. In both the Old and New Testaments the Church is often spoken of under the metaphor of God’s house (Numbers 12:7; Jeremiah 12:7; Hosea 8:1; 9:15; 1 Corinthians 3:9-17, Ephesians 2:20-2; 1 Timothy 3:5; Hebrews 3:5; 1 Peter 2:5). Peter is to be to the Church what the foundation is in regard to a house.

He is to be the principle of unity, of stability, and of increase. He is the principle of unity, since what is not joined to that foundation is no part of the Church; of stability, since it is the firmness of this foundation in virtue of which the Church remains unshaken by the storms which buffet her; of increase, since, if she grows, it is because new stones are laid on this foundation.

“And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” It is through her union with Peter, Christ continues, that the Church will prove the victor in her long contest with the Evil One:

The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

There can be but one explanation of this striking metaphor. The only manner in which a man can stand in such a relation to any corporate body is by possessing authority over it. The supreme head of a body, in dependence on whom all subordinate authorities hold their power, and he alone, can be said to be the principle of stability, unity, and increase. The promise acquires additional solemnity when we remember that both Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 28:16) and Christ’s own words (Matthew 7:24) had attributed this office of foundation of the Church to Himself. He is therefore assigning to Peter, of course in a secondary degree, a prerogative which is His own, and thereby associating the Apostle with Himself in an altogether singular manner.

“And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the following verse (Matthew 16:19) He promises to bestow on Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

The words refer evidently to Isaiah 22:22, where God declares that Eliacim, the son of Helcias, shall be invested with office in place of the worthless Sobna:

And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut and none shall open.

In all countries the key is the symbol of authority. Thus, Christ’s words are a promise that He will confer on Peter supreme power to govern the Church. Peter is to be His vice-regent, to rule in His place.

“And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Further the character and extent of the power thus bestowed are indicated. It is a power to “bind” and to “loose” — words which, as is shown below, denote the grant of legislative and judicial authority. And this power is granted in its fullest measure. Whatever Peter binds or looses on earth, his act will receive the Divine ratification.

Objections
The meaning of this passage does not seem to have been challenged by any writer until the rise of the sixteenth-century heresies. Since then a great variety of interpretations have been put forward by Protestant controversialists. These agree in little save in the rejection of the plain sense of Christ’s words. Some Anglican controversy tends to the view that the reward promised to St. Peter consisted in the prominent part taken by him in the initial activities of the Church, but that he was never more than primus inter pares among the Apostles. It is manifest that this is quite insufficient as an explanation of the terms of Christ’s promise.

John 21:15-17
The promise made by Christ in Matthew 16:16-19, received its fulfilment after the Resurrection in the scene described in John 21. Here the Lord, when about to leave the earth, places the whole flock — the sheep and the lambs alike — in the charge of the Apostle. The term employed in 21:16, “Be the shepherd [poimaine] of my sheep” indicates that his task is not merely to feed but to rule. It is the same word as is used in Psalm 2:9 (Septuagint): “Thou shalt rule [poimaneis] them with a rod of iron”.

The scene stands in striking parallelism with that of Matthew 16. As there the reward was given to Peter after a profession of faith which singled him out from the other eleven, so here Christ demands a similar protestation, but this time of a yet higher virtue: “Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these”? Here, too, as there, He bestows on the Apostle an office which in its highest sense is proper to Himself alone. There Christ had promised to make Peter the foundation-stone of the house of God: here He makes him the shepherd of God’s flock to take the place of Himself, the Good Shepherd.

The passage receives an admirable comment from St. Chrysostom:

He saith to him, “Feed my sheep”. Why does He pass over the others and speak of the sheep to Peter? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the head of the choir. For this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the others. And also to show him that he must have confidence now that his denial had been purged away. He entrusts him with the rule [prostasia] over the brethren. . . . If anyone should say “Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?”, I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that see but of the whole world.
[St. John Chrysostom, Homily 88 on John, 1. Cf. Origen, “In Ep. ad Rom.”, 5:10; Ephraem Syrus “Hymn. in B. Petr.” in “Bibl. Orient. Assemani”, 1:95; Leo I, “Serm. iv de natal.”, 2].

Even certain Protestant commentators frankly own that Christ undoubtedly intended here to confer the supreme pastorate on Peter. But other scholars, relying on a passage of St. Cyril of Alexandria (“In Joan.” 12:1), maintain that the purpose of the threefold charge was simply to reinstate St. Peter in the Apostolic commission which his threefold denial might be supposed to have lost to him. This interpretation is devoid of all probability. There is not a word in Scripture or in patristic tradition to suggest that St. Peter had forfeited his Apostolic commission; and the supposition is absolutely excluded by the fact that on the evening of the Resurrection he received the same Apostolic powers as the others of the eleven. The solitary phrase of St. Cyril is of no weight against the overwhelming patristic authority for the other view. That such an interpretation should be seriously advocated proves how great is the difficulty experienced by Protestants regarding this text.

Conclusion
The position of St. Peter after the Ascension, as shown in the Acts of the Apostles, realizes to the full the great commission bestowed upon him. He is from the first the chief of the Apostolic band — not primus inter pares, but the undisputed head of the Church.

If then Christ, as we have seen, established His Church as a society subordinated to a single supreme head, it follows from the very nature of the case that this office is perpetual, and cannot have been a mere transitory feature of ecclesiastical life. For the Church must endure to the end the very same organization which Christ established. But in an organized society it is precisely the constitution which is the essential feature. A change in constitution transforms it into a society of a different kind. If then the Church should adopt a constitution other than Christ gave it, it would no longer be His handiwork. It would no longer be the Divine kingdom established by Him. As a society it would have passed through essential modifications, and thereby would have become a human, not a Divine institution. None who believe that Christ came on earth to found a Church, an organized society destined to endure for ever, can admit the possibility of a change in the organization given to it by its Founder.

The same conclusion also follows from a consideration of the end which, by Christ’s declaration, the supremacy of Peter was intended to effect. He was to give the Church strength to resist her foes, so that the gates of hell should not prevail against her. The contest with the powers of evil does not belong to the Apostolic age alone. It is a permanent feature of the Church’s life. Hence, throughout the centuries the office of Peter must be realized in the Church, in order that she may prevail in her age-long struggle.

Thus an analysis of Christ’s words shows us that the perpetuity of the office of supreme head is to be reckoned among the truths revealed in Scripture. His promise to Peter conveyed not merely a personal prerogative, but established a permanent office in the Church. And in this sense, as will appear in the next section, His words were understood by Latin and Greek Fathers alike.

 

Where does the Bible say the early churches treated Peter in a papal fashion?
(I think he means other apostles deferring to Peter…)

 

 

Scripture 

Matt. to Rev. – Peter is mentioned 155 times and the rest of apostles combined are only mentioned 130 times. Peter is also always listed first except in 1 Cor. 3:22 and Gal. 2:9 (which are obvious exceptions to the rule).

Matt. 10:2; Mark 1:36; 3:16; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:3; 2:37; 5:29 – these are some of many examples where Peter is mentioned first among the apostles.

Matt. 14:28-29 – only Peter has the faith to walk on water. No other man in Scripture is said to have the faith to walk on water. This faith ultimately did not fail.

Matt. 16:16, Mark 8:29; John 6:69 – Peter is first among the apostles to confess the divinity of Christ.

Matt. 16:17 – Peter alone is told he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation from God the Father.

Matt. 16:18 – Jesus builds the Church only on Peter, the rock, with the other apostles as the foundation and Jesus as the Head.

Matt. 16:19 – only Peter receives the keys, which represent authority over the Church and facilitate dynastic succession to his authority.

Matt. 17:24-25 – the tax collector approaches Peter for Jesus’ tax. Peter is the spokesman for Jesus. He is the Vicar of Christ.

Matt. 17:26-27 – Jesus pays the half-shekel tax with one shekel, for both Jesus and Peter. Peter is Christ’s representative on earth.

Matt. 18:21 – in the presence of the disciples, Peter asks Jesus about the rule of forgiveness. One of many examples where Peter takes a leadership role among the apostles in understanding Jesus’ teachings.

Matt. 19:27 – Peter speaks on behalf of the apostles by telling Jesus that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 10:28 – here also, Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples by declaring that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 11:21 – Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples in remembering Jesus’ curse on the fig tree.

Mark 14:37 – at Gethsemane, Jesus asks Peter, and no one else, why he was asleep. Peter is accountable to Jesus for his actions on behalf of the apostles because he has been appointed by Jesus as their leader.

Mark 16:7 – Peter is specified by an angel as the leader of the apostles as the angel confirms the resurrection of Christ.

Luke 5:3 – Jesus teaches from Peter’s boat which is metaphor for the Church. Jesus guides Peter and the Church into all truth.

Luke 5:4,10 – Jesus instructs Peter to let down the nets for a catch, and the miraculous catch follows. Peter, the Pope, is the “fisher of men.”

Luke 7:40-50- Jesus addresses Peter regarding the rule of forgiveness and Peter answers on behalf of the disciples. Jesus also singles Peter out and judges his conduct vis-à-vis the conduct of the woman who anointed Him.

Luke 8:45 – when Jesus asked who touched His garment, it is Peter who answers on behalf of the disciples.

Luke 8:51; 9:28; 22:8; Acts 1:13; 3:1,3,11; 4:13,19; 8:14 – Peter is always mentioned before John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Luke 9:28;33 – Peter is mentioned first as going to mountain of transfiguration and the only one to speak at the transfiguration.

Luke 12:41 – Peter seeks clarification of a parable on behalf on the disciples. This is part of Peter’s formation as the chief shepherd of the flock after Jesus ascended into heaven.

Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus prays for Peter alone, that his faith may not fail, and charges him to strengthen the rest of the apostles.

Luke 24:12, John 20:4-6 – John arrived at the tomb first but stopped and waited for Peter. Peter then arrived and entered the tomb first.

Luke 24:34 – the two disciples distinguish Peter even though they both had seen the risen Jesus the previous hour. See Luke 24:33.

John 6:68 – after the disciples leave, Peter is the first to speak and confess his belief in Christ after the Eucharistic discourse.

John 13:6-9 – Peter speaks out to the Lord in front of the apostles concerning the washing of feet.

John 13:36; 21:18 – Jesus predicts Peter’s death. Peter was martyred at Rome in 67 A.D. Several hundred years of papal successors were also martyred.

John 21:2-3,11 – Peter leads the fishing and his net does not break. The boat (the “barque of Peter”) is a metaphor for the Church.

John 21:7 – only Peter got out of the boat and ran to the shore to meet Jesus. Peter is the earthly shepherd leading us to God.

John 21:15 – in front of the apostles, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Jesus “more than these,” which refers to the other apostles. Peter is the head of the apostolic see.

John 21:15-17 – Jesus charges Peter to “feed my lambs,” “tend my sheep,” “feed my sheep.” Sheep means all people, even the apostles.

Acts 1:13 – Peter is first when entering upper room after our Lord’s ascension. The first Eucharist and Pentecost were given in this room.

Acts 1:15 – Peter initiates the selection of a successor to Judas right after Jesus ascended into heaven, and no one questions him. Further, if the Church needed a successor to Judas, wouldn’t it need one to Peter? Of course.

Acts 2:14 – Peter is first to speak for the apostles after the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Peter is the first to preach the Gospel.

Acts 2:38 – Peter gives first preaching in the early Church on repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:1,3,4 – Peter is mentioned first as going to the Temple to pray.

Acts 3:6-7 – Peter works the first healing of the apostles.

Acts 3:12-26, 4:8-12 – Peter teaches the early Church the healing through Jesus and that there is no salvation other than Christ.

Acts 5:3 – Peter declares the first anathema of Ananias and Sapphira which is ratified by God, and brings about their death. Peter exercises his binding authority.

Acts 5:15 – Peter’s shadow has healing power. No other apostle is said to have this power.

Acts 8:14 – Peter is mentioned first in conferring the sacrament of confirmation.

Acts 8:20-23 – Peter casts judgment on Simon’s quest for gaining authority through the laying on of hands. Peter exercises his binding and loosing authority.

Acts 9:32-34 – Peter is mentioned first among the apostles and works the healing of Aeneas.

Acts 9:38-40 – Peter is mentioned first among the apostles and raises Tabitha from the dead.

Acts 10:5 – Cornelius is told by an angel to call upon Peter. Angels are messengers of God. Peter was granted this divine vision.

Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18 – Peter is first to teach about salvation for all (Jews and Gentiles).

Acts 12:5 – this verse implies that the “whole Church” offered “earnest prayers” for Peter, their leader, during his imprisonment.

Acts 12:6-11 – Peter is freed from jail by an angel. He is the first object of divine intervention in the early Church.

Acts 15:7-12 – Peter resolves the first doctrinal issue on circumcision at the Church’s first council at Jerusalem, and no one questions him. After Peter the Papa spoke, all were kept silent.

Acts 15:12 – only after Peter (the Pope) speaks do Paul and Barnabas (bishops) speak in support of Peter’s definitive teaching.

Acts 15:13-14 – then James speaks to further acknowledge Peter’s definitive teaching. “Simeon (Peter) has related how God first visited…”

Rom. 15:20 – Paul says he doesn’t want to build on “another man’s foundation” referring to Peter, who built the Church in Rome.

1 Cor. 9:5 – Peter is distinguished from the rest of the apostles and brethren of the Lord.

1 Cor. 15:4-8 – Paul distinguishes Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to Peter from those of the other apostles. Christ appeared “to Cephas, then to the twelve.”

Gal.1:18 – Paul spends fifteen days with Peter privately before beginning his ministry, even after Christ’s Revelation to Paul.

1 Peter 5:1 – Peter acts as the chief bishop by “exhorting” all the other bishops and elders of the Church.

1 Peter 5:13 – Some Protestants argue against the Papacy by trying to prove Peter was never in Rome. First, this argument is irrelevant to whether Jesus instituted the Papacy. Secondly, this verse demonstrates that Peter was in fact in Rome. Peter writes from “Babylon” which was a code name for Rome during these days of persecution. See, for example, Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2,10,21, which show that “Babylon” meant Rome. Rome was the “great city” of the New Testament period. Because Rome during this age was considered the center of the world, the Lord wanted His Church to be established in Rome.

2 Peter 1:14 – Peter writes about Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s death, embracing the eventual martyrdom that he would suffer.

2 Peter 3:16 – Peter is making a judgment on the proper interpretation of Paul’s letters. Peter is the chief shepherd of the flock.

Matt. 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:44 – yet Peter, as the first, humbled himself to be the last and servant of all servants.

 

  

 

 

Tradition / Church Fathers

I. Peter Built the Church in Rome

“Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him.” Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement, 5 (c. A.D. 96).

“I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, 4 (c. A.D. 110).

‘You have thus by such an admonition bound together the plantings of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth.” Dionysius of Corinth, Epistle to Pope Soter, fragment in Eusebius’ Church History, II:25 (c. A.D. 178).

“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:1:1 (c. A.D. 180).

“As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out.” Clement of Alexandria, fragment in Eusebius Church History, VI:14,6 (A.D. 190)

“It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: ‘But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.'” Gaius, fragment in Eusebius’ Church History, 2:25 (A.D. 198).

“[W]hat utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:5 (inter A.D. 207-212).

‘We read the lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising blood. Then is Peter girt by another (an allusion to John 21:18), when he is made fast to the cross.” Tertullian, Scorpiace, 15:3 (A.D. 212).

“Peter…at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer this way.” Origen, Third Commentary on Genesis, (A.D. 232).

“Thus Peter, the first of the Apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with igominy, was last of all crucified at Rome.” Peter of Alexandria, The Canonical Epistle, Canon 9 (A.D. 306).

“[W]hich Peter and Paul preached at Rome…” Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4:21 (A.D. 310).

“Peter…coming to the city of Rome, by the mighty cooperation of that power which was lying in wait there…” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II:14,5 (A.D. 325).

“This man [Simon Magus], after he had been cast out by the Apostles, came to Rome…Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right…For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven…” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures ,6:14-15 (c. A.D. 350).

“And Peter, who had hid himself for fear of the Jews, and the Apostle Paul who was let down in a basket, and fled, when they were told, ‘Ye must bear witness at Rome,’ deferred not the journey; yea, rather, they departed rejoicing…” Athanasius, Defence of his Flight, 18 (c. A.D. 357).

“I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul…My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross.” Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15 (A.D. 377).

“For if when here he loved men so, that when he [Peter] had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here, much more will he there display a warmer affection. I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it, both for its greatness, and its antiquity, and its beauty, and its populousness, and for its power, and its wealth, and for its successes in war. But I let all this pass, and esteem it blessed on this account, that both in his lifetime he wrote to them, and loved them so, and talked with them whiles he was with us, and brought his life to a close there.” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32 (c. A.D. 391).

“Which was mere to the interest of the Church at Rome, that it should at its commencement be presided over by some high-born and pompous senator, or by the fisherman Peter, who had none of this world’s advantages to attract men to him?” Gregory of Nyssa, To the Church at Nicodemia, Epistle 13 (ante A.D. 394).

“But some people in some countries of the West, and especially in the city, [Rome] not knowing the reason of this indulgence, think that a dispensation from fasting ought certainly not to be allowed On the Sabbath, because they say that on this day the Apostle Peter fasted before his encounter with Simon [Magus].” John Cassian, Institutes, X (ante A.D. 435).

“The whole world, dearly-beloved, does indeed take part in all holy anniversaries [of Peter & Paul], and loyalty to the one Faith demands that whatever is recorded as done for all men’s salvation should be everywhere celebrated with common rejoicings. But, besides that reverence which to-day’s festival has gained from all the world, it is to be honoured with special and peculiar exultation in our city, that there may be a predominance of gladness on the day of their martyrdom in the place where the chief of the Apostles met their glorious end. For these are the men, through whom the light of Christ’s gospel shone on thee, O Rome, and through whom thou, who wast the teacher of error, wast made the disciple of Truth.” Pope Leo the Great (regn. A.D. 440-461), Sermon LXXXII (ante A.D. 461).

  Where does the Bible say that one man is the head of all churches?

 

 

 

 

II. Primacy of Peter’s Apostolic See

“The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth … But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger.” Clement of Rome, Pope, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

“Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love…” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110).

“There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the Romans, and addressed to Soter, who was bishop at that time. We cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle…In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: To-day we have passed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.’ Dionysius of Corinth, To Pope Soter (A.D. 171).

“Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180).

“A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s Passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour…Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicated.” Pope Victor & Easter (c. A.D. 195).

“And he says to him again after the resurrection, ‘Feed my sheep.’ It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church’s) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided.” Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256).

“After such things as these, moreover, they still dare–a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics–to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access.” Cyprian, To Cornelius, Epistle 54/59:14 (A.D. 252).

”The reason for your absence was both honorable and imperative, that the schismatic wolves might not rob and plunder by stealth nor the heretical dogs bark madly in the rapid fury nor the very serpent, the devil, discharge his blasphemous venom. So it seems to us right and altogether fitting that priests of the Lord from each and every province should report to their head, that is, to the See of Peter, the Apostle.” Council of Sardica, To Pope Julius (A.D. 342).

“And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province. But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighbouring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before.” Council of Sardica, Canon III (A.D. 343-344).

“Bishop Gaudentius said: If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere charity which thou hast pronounced, that if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighbouring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defense, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this.” Council of Sardica, Canon IV (A.D. 343-344).

“Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent.” Council of Sardica, Canon V (A.D. 343-344).

“Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church. Word should have been written of it to us all, that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons…For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us.” Athanasius, Pope Julius to the Eusebians, Defense Against the Arians, 35 (A.D. 347).

“For Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, having written also against those who said that the Son of God was a creature and a created thing, it is manifest that not now for the first time but from of old the heresy of the Arian adversaries of Christ has been anathematised by all. And Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, making his defense concerning the letter he had written, appears in his turn as neither thinking as they allege, nor having held the Arian error at all.” Athanasius, Dionysius of Rome, 13 (A.D. 352).

“You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat…in which Chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one.” Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 2:2-3 (c. A.D. 367).

“For the good of unity Blessed Peter deserved to be preferred before the rest, and alone received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that he might communicate them to the rest.” Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 7:3 (c.A.D. 367).

“No prejudice could arise from the number of bishops gathered at Ariminum, since it is well known that neither the bishop of the Romans, whose opinion ought before all others to have been waited for, nor Vincentius, whose stainless episcopate had lasted so many years, nor the rest, gave in their adhesion to such doctrines. And this is the more significant, since, as has been already said, the very men who seemed to be tricked into surrender, themselves, in their wiser moments, testified their disapproval.” Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], About Council at Arminum, Epistle 1 (A.D. 371).

“…I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul…The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundredfold…My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.” Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2 (A.D. 375).

“But he was not so eager as to lay aside caution. He called the bishop to him, and esteeming that there can be no true thankfulness except it spring from true faith, he enquired whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church?” Ambrose, The death of his brother Satyrus, 1:47 (A.D. 378).

“Your grace must be besought not to permit any disturbance of the Roman Church, the head of the whole Roman World and of the most holy faith of the Apostles, for from thence flow out to all (churches) the bonds of sacred communion.” Ambrose, To Emperor Gratian, Epistle 11:4 (A.D. 381).

“To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle Peter bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs.” Pope Sircius [regn. A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, Epistle 1 (A.D. 385).

“Or rather, if we hear him here, we shall certainly see him hereafter, if not as standing near him, yet see him we certainly shall, glistening near the Throne of the king. Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as a chief and leader of the choir of the Saints, and shall enjoy his generous love. For if when here he loved men so, that when he had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here…” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32:24 (c. A.D. 391).

“Number the bishops from the See of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who has succeeded whom. That is the rock against which the gates of hell do not prevail” Augustine, Psalm against the Party of Donatus, 18 (A.D. 393).

“I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by…and by the succession of bishops from the very seat of Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection commended His sheep to be fed up to the present episcopate.” Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, 5 (A.D. 395).

“Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown, so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished.” Augustine, To Glorius et.al, Epistle 43:7 (A.D. 397).

“The chair of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today.” Augustine, Against the Letters of Petillian, 2:51 (A.D. 402).

“In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated with all solicitude by bishops, and especially by a true and just and Catholic Council, by preserving, as you have done, the example of ancient tradition, and by being mindful of ecclesiastical discipline, you have truly strengthened the vigour of our religion, no less now in consulting us than before in passing sentence. For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow the Apostle from the very episcopate and whole authority of this name is derived. Following in his footsteps, we know how to condemn the evil and to approve the good.” Pope Innocent [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, Epistle 29 (A.D. 417).

“Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgments…For (Peter) himself has care over all the Churches, and above all that in which he sat nor does he suffer any of its privileges or decisions to be shaken” Pope Zosimus [regn A.D. 417-418 ],To Aurelius and the Council of Carthage, Epistle 12 (A.D. 418).

“For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See.” Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica, Epistle 13 (A.D. 422).

“The rising pestilence was first cut short by Rome, the see of Peter, which having become the head to the world of the pastoral office, holds by religion whatever it holds not by arms.” Prosper of Aquitaine, Song on the Enemies of Grace, 1 (A.D. 429).

“Joining to yourself, therefore, the sovereign of our See, and assuming our place with authority, you will execute this sentence with accurate rigour: that within ten days, counted from the day of your notice, he shall condemn his [Nestorius’] false teachings in a written confession.” Pope Celestine [regn. A.D. 422-432], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11 (A.D. 430).

“The Holy Synod said: ‘Since most impious Nestorius will not obey our citation, and has not received the most holy and God-fearing bishops whom we sent to him, we have necessarily betaken ourselves to the examination of his impieties; and having apprehended from his letters, and from his writings, and from his recent sayings in this metropolis, which have been reported, that his opinions and teachings are impious, we being necessarily compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and colleague, Celestine, bishop of the Roman Church, with many tears, have arrived at the following sentence against him:–‘Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been blasphemed by him, defines by this present most holy synod that the same Nestorius is deprived of episcopal dignity and of all sacredotal intercourse.” Council of Ephesus, Session I (A.D. 431).

“Philip, presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: Our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine the bishop is according to due order his successor and holds his place…Accordingly the decision of all churches is firm, for the priests of the eastern and western churches are present…Wherefore Nestorius knows that he is alienated from the communion of the priests of the Catholic Church.” Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431).

“Peter in his successors has delivered what he received.” Pope Sixtus III [regn. A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch, Epistle 6 (A.D. 433).

“For he [Pope Sixtus] wrote what was in accord with the holy synod [Council of Ephesus], and confirmed all of its acts, an is agreement with us.” Cyril of Alexandria, To Acacius of Meletine, Epistle 40 (A.D. 434).

“Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine–and he was the first who held it –that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his place, so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation–nothing but what has been handed down.’” Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 6 (A.D. 434).

“And since these heretics were trying to bring the Apostolic See round their view, African councils of holy bishops also did their best to persuade the holy Pope of the city (first the venerable Innocent, and afterwards his successor Zosimus) that this heresy was to be abhorred and condemned by Catholic faith. And these bishops so great a See successively branded them, and cut them off from the members of the Church, giving letters to the African Churches in the West, and to the Churches of the East, and declared that they were to be anathematised and avoided by all Catholics. The judgment pronounced upon them by the Catholic Church of God was heard and followed also by the most pious Emperor Ho they had wandered, and are yet returning, as the truth of the right faith becomes known against this detestable error.” Possidius, Life of Augustine, 18 (A.D. 437).

“After the reading of the foregoing epistle [the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away.” Council of Chalcedon, Session II (A.D. 451).

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties.” Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451).

“The great and holy and universal Synod…in the metropolis of Chalcedon…to the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo…being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all…and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness…” Pope Leo the Great, Chalcdeon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451).

“Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).

“For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter…The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

  

 

 

 

 

III. Peter’s Successors Claim Authority over the Church

“The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth….If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger.” Pope Clement of Rome [regn. c A.D.91-101], 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

“Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate…” Pope Victor I [regn. A.D. 189-198], in Eusebius EH, 24:9 (A.D. 192).

“Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid…Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter.” Pope Stephen I [regn. A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian, Epistle 74/75:17 (A.D. 256).

“I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter s, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us.” Pope Julius [regn. A.D. 337-352], To the Eusebians, fragment in Athanasius’ Against the Arians, 2:35 (c. A.D. 345).

“Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons.” Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], To the Eastern Bishops, fragment in Theodoret’s EH, 5:10 (c. A.D. 372).

“We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry….Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church….I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body….And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons.” Pope Sircius [regn. c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona (Spain), 1,3,20 (c. A.D. 392).

“Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth.” Pope Anastasius [regn. A.D. 399-401], Epistle 1 (c. A.D. 400).

“In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated … by bishops … as you have done, the example of ancient tradition … For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived … that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head)…you also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once.” Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, 1,2 (A.D. 417).

“It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches…Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office.” Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve, 2 (A.D. 417).

“Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter…For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat…Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time…and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision.” Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage (c. A.D. 418).

“For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see.” Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 420).

“The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship.” Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly (c. A.D. 420).

“None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn.” Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia (c. A.D. 420).

“Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity.” Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 1 1 (A.D. 430).

“The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master himself instructed first among the apostles?” Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433).

“But this mysterious function the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter’s solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10 (A.D 445).

“And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the Lord’s own institution as shown towards the partners of His honour, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter’s See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461).

“‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

“Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).

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49 thoughts on “Peter/pope?

  1. So, giving a title to someone is contradictory to the Holy Bible?

    There is ample evidence in the Gospels of Jesus making Peter the head of His Church on Earth. Matthew 16:18-20 to start. If you want to argue that this passage does not make Peter the head of His Church on Earth, please proceed.

  2. Jesus told Simon bar Jonah that he would be called Rock, and upon this Rock he would build His Church. All the apostles were ordained together at the Last Supper. After Jesus rose, he commanded Peter to tend His lambs, feed His sheep. Peter was no greater than any of the other apostles, but he was the leader, nonetheless.

  3. Correct, But Who is rock the church is built Jesus or Peter? hey because Pope claim that after Peter’s confession of Messiah that’s where his papacy begun that making him a vicar of Christ, your pope in other hand do not married Peter was, your pope accept worship even some Kings used to bow down and kiss his feet, while Peter didnt well If Pope is really a Christian im sure he will teach real gospel rather than claiming that there is purgatory while in bible we cant find such thing to asked you Do you believe in this man made Dogma of your Church?

  4. Why do you act as if it’s an either/or question? But Jesus says to Peter “You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build My Church.”

    When Peter was pope, Christianity was illegal. He was on the run, he wasn’t in charge of anything. But even a leader in exile is still a leader. Also, is an acorn more or less of an oak tree than a full grown oak tree?

    Purgatory is Biblical. Paul speaks of it in 1 Corinthians, and Macabees talks about it too. Purgatory is a name for something. All Catholic dogma is God-breathed.

  5. 1 Cor. 15:29-30 – Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the dead’s behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

  6. Perhaps one of the most unique doctrines of Catholicism is that of purgatory.  Purgatory is a place of burning torment and suffering that follows physical death, but precedes heaven.  According to Catholic doctrine, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from original sin � that is, the sin inherent in humans that occurred via the fall in the Garden of Eden.  Each individual commits sins on top of the original sin, for which only the sinner may atone.  This is achieved partly through penance and adherence to the sacraments during their lifetime.  The remaining blemishes of sin must be cleansed through the fires of purgatory, prior to entering heaven.  One can think of it in terms of twisted halfway house where one must be sufficiently tortured before being allowed to matriculate into decent society.  The fire of purgatory, prior to entering heaven. One can think of it in terms of twisted halfway house where one must be sufficiently tortured before being allowed to matriculate into decent society.  The Catholic Encyclopedia defines purgatory this way: Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to mak clean, to purify) in accordance wit Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment those who, departing this life in Go grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid satisfaction due to their transgressions. All sins are not equal before God, nor dare anyone assert that the daily faults of human frailty will be punished with serious violation of God’s law. On the other hand whosoever comes into God’s presence must be perfectly pure for in the strictest sense His “eyes are too pure, to behold evil” (Hab., i, 13) For unrepented venial faults for the to sin at time of death, the Church has always taught the doctrine of purgatory, hard teaching indeed but Christ forgave my sins he had never mentioned that place

  7. So what’s your point? You asked for biblical reference, I gave you a few, and then you copy an article from an anti-Catholic website. You started by saying that ‘purgatory’, the word, is not in the Bible. But neither are the words ‘Trinity’, ‘Bible’, and ‘Incarnation’. The fact that the word isn’t there is pointless. The Catholic Answers tract on Purgatory writes: Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it doesn’t use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory.

    Christ refers to the sinner who “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of one’s sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each man’s work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? “He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering (“fire”) there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage.

    Then, of course, there is the Bible’s approval of prayers for the dead: “In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin” (2 Macc. 12:43–45). Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and no one can help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third condition, at least temporarily. This verse so clearly illustrates the existence of purgatory that, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants had to cut the books of the Maccabees out of their Bibles in order to avoid accepting the doctrine.

    Prayers for the dead and the consequent doctrine of purgatory have been part of the true religion since before the time of Christ. Not only can we show it was practiced by the Jews of the time of the Maccabees, but it has even been retained by Orthodox Jews today, who recite a prayer known as the Mourner’s Kaddish for eleven months after the death of a loved one so that the loved one may be purified. It was not the Catholic Church that added the doctrine of purgatory. Rather, any change in the original teaching has taken place in the Protestant churches, which rejected a doctrine that had always been believed by Jews and Christians.

  8. You don’t understand bible because you brainwashed with catechisim of Your Church, and Other things you speak blasphemy by claiming that Paul onced mentioned Purgatory, When I read those verse I don’t find such thing by the way are you sure you going to heaven when you pass on or in the Catholic purgatory because even a 5 years Old they can see RCC is a cult?

  9. So, you make yourself Pope by declaring that your interpretation is the correct one. I prefer to trust those who listened to Paul speak, and understood what he was saying. I didn’t say Paul mentioned Purgatory. The word is not in scripture. If you’re going to go to insults, I’ll just stop the dialog. So, unless you can stick to topic and not resort to personal attacks, I’ll not approve or respond to your posts.

  10. I don’t need a sinful man to interpret the bible for me Jesus send the Holy spirit to lead us into truth, Whenever I read my bible I pray to ask Holy spirit to help

  11. So, you believe the Holy Spirit comes directly to you? How privileged you are! If this is true, why are there 35,000 individual Protestant denominations, all saying their understanding of the Bible is correct? We know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on to protect those He ordained-the Apostles. And they had the ability to pass on the gift of infallibility to their appointees. This prevented error from entering Christ’s Church.

  12. You don’t know the work of Holy spirit read the gospel of John 14:15-31, Jesus didn’t the Holy spirit will come to pope, Cardinal, bishop or whatever title you may give those who save In Catholicism, But to anyone who believe in that case if you said those who are ordained I hope you don’t believe you will end up having a Counsellor promised by Jesus

    To answer you question on how there are many Protestant denomination it is simply and if you can tell me why Luther and others left the Catholicism to start Protestatism then i’li gladly answer you

  13. We know the works of the Holy Spirit by the fruits. Let me ask you a question: When the Holy Spirit manifested itself for the first time, where did that take place and who was present?

    To answer YOUR question, you’ll have to answer this one: Why did Jesus’ disciples leave him in John 6? And then, why did Judas betray Jesus? The answer you come up with is the same one for the question you asked…

  14. I’m Sure you know that Judas all he wanted was money, And Those who leave Jesus was because they didn’t believe in his teaching so when it came RCC most of the teaching contridict the holy bible that’s why people always depart and join other Church

  15. And we know that love of money is the root of evil. And where does evil come from? I’m still waiting for you to show me where any Catholic teaching contradicts the Bible…

  16. Here is the list

    Calling your Pope Holy father
    Purgatory
    marialotry
    Pray for the dead
    Rosary…etc

    Roman Catholic Church has killed a millions of true Christians who couldn’t agree with her false teaching, And why your pope claim to devine even Calling those Catholic followers who don’t accept much of the false teaching a betrayer like Judas?

  17. How does calling the Pope “Pope” contradict the Bible?

    I’ve already shown just a couple of instances of Purgatory, but even if you disagree about what those passages, mean, the doctrine of purgatory does not contradict Scripture.

    We don’t worship Mary.

    Praying for the dead, and the Rosary do not contradict Scripture. If you still want to insist, you’ll have to show how Scripture is contradicted by these doctrines of the Church. But worshipping Mary is not a doctrine of the Church. And neither is the Rosary. For that matter, neither is calling the Pope Holy Father.

  18. I’ll start by dogma of Mary, Mary physical mother Of Jesus is importance to many Catholic but the bible say little about her whe does all traditions come from?
    Here is the list of Marian dogma that are not biblical made by man

    1 Devine motherhood
    2 Perpetual virginity
    3 Immaculate conception
    4 Assumption of Mary

    And the Fifth one is on the way Claiming that she Co-redemptrix, mmm they forget that there is one mediator between God and man

  19. Made by man?

    Mary was the mother of Jesus, Jesus is God, Mary is the Mother of God…very logical.

    Where does the Bible say Mary was not always virgin?

    Where in the Bible does it say that Mary was not immaculately concieved?

    Where in the Bible does it say that Mary was not assumed into heaven?

    How does saying that Mary is co-Redemptrix make Jesus any less the mediator between God and man?

    The truth is that the Bible never says that Mary had other children. And we believe that she gave herself to God, and once one gives ones self to God, self belongs to God.
    Regarding her Immaculate Conception:
    Exodus 25:11-21 – the ark of the Old Covenant was made of the purest gold for God’s Word. Mary is the ark of the New Covenant and is the purest vessel for the Word of God made flesh.

    2 Sam. 6:7 – the Ark is so holy and pure that when Uzzah touched it, the Lord slew him. This shows us that the Ark is undefiled. Mary the Ark of the New Covenant is even more immaculate and undefiled, spared by God from original sin so that she could bear His eternal Word in her womb.

    1 Chron. 13:9-10 – this is another account of Uzzah and the Ark. For God to dwell within Mary the Ark, Mary had to be conceived without sin. For Protestants to argue otherwise would be to say that God would let the finger of Satan touch His Son made flesh. This is incomprehensible.

    1 Chron. 15 and 16 – these verses show the awesome reverence the Jews had for the Ark – veneration, vestments, songs, harps, lyres, cymbals, trumpets.

    Luke 1:39 / 2 Sam. 6:2 – Luke’s conspicuous comparison’s between Mary and the Ark described by Samuel underscores the reality of Mary as the undefiled and immaculate Ark of the New Covenant. In these verses, Mary (the Ark) arose and went / David arose and went to the Ark. There is a clear parallel between the Ark of the Old and the Ark of the New Covenant.

    Luke 1:41 / 2 Sam. 6:16 – John the Baptist / King David leap for joy before Mary / Ark. So should we leap for joy before Mary the immaculate Ark of the Word made flesh.

    Regarding her bodily Assumption:
    Rev. 12:1 – we see Mary, the “woman,” clothed with the sun. While in Rev. 6:9 we only see the souls of the martyrs in heaven, in Rev. 12:1 we see Mary, both body and soul.

  20. First of all Mary was a sinner just like all of us because she too need her savior, Luke 1:47
    “My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my savior”

    In 1854, Pope Pius IX’s
    solemn declaration,
    Ineffabilis Deus, clarified
    with finality the long-held
    belief of the Church that
    Mary was conceived free
    from original sin. In
    proclaiming the
    Immaculate Conception of
    Mary as a dogma of the
    Church, the pope expressed
    precisely and clearly that
    Mary was conceived free
    from the stain of original
    sin. This privilege of Mary
    derives from God’s having
    chosen her as Mother of
    the Savior; thus she
    received the benefits of
    salvation in Christ from the
    very moment of her
    conception. (The picture
    above shows her mother,
    Anna, with the infant Mary
    within her womb). This
    great gift to Mary, an
    ordinary human being just
    like us, was fitting
    (according to Catholicism)
    because she was destined
    to be Mother of God. Thus,
    Catholics believe that the
    purity and holiness of the
    Blessed Virgin Mary is a
    model for all Christians
    (Catholics).
    The Catechism of the
    Catholic Church says of the
    Immaculate Conception of
    Mary:
    490. To become the mother
    of the Savior, Mary “was
    enriched by God with gifts
    appropriate to such a role.”
    The angel Gabriel at the
    moment of the
    annunciation salutes her as
    “full of grace.” In fact, in
    order for Mary to be able to
    give the free assent of her
    faith to the announcement
    of her vocation, it was
    necessary that she be
    wholly borne by God’s
    grace.
    491. Through the centuries
    the Church has become
    ever more aware that
    Mary, “full of grace”
    through God, was redeemed
    from the moment of her
    conception. That is what
    the dogma of the
    Immaculate Conception
    confesses, as Pope Pius IX
    proclaimed in 1844:
    “The most Blessed
    Virgin Mary was, from
    the first moment of
    her conception, by a
    singular grace and
    privilege of almighty
    God and by virtue of
    the merits of Jesus
    Christ, Savior of the
    human race,
    preserved immune
    from all stain of
    original sin.” (Pius IX,
    Ineffabilis Deus,
    1854.)
    492. The “splendor of an
    entirely unique holiness”
    by which Mary is “enriched
    from the first instant of
    her conception” comes
    wholly from Christ: she is
    “redeemed, in a more
    exalted fashion, by reason
    of the merits of her Son.”
    The Father blessed Mary
    more than any other
    created person “in Christ
    with every spiritual
    blessing in the heavenly
    places” and chose her “in
    Christ before the
    foundation of the world, to
    be holy and blameless
    before him in love.”
    493. The Fathers of the
    Eastern tradition call the
    Mother of God “the All-
    Holy” (Panagia) and
    celebrate her as “free from
    any stain of sin, as though
    fashioned by the Holy Spirit
    and formed as a new
    creature”. By the grace of
    God Mary remained free of
    every personal sin her
    whole life long.
    For more on the role of
    Mary in Salvation History,
    read the entire section of
    the Catechism of the
    Catholic Church, §§
    456-511.
    What Does The Word of God
    Teach?
    The Bible NEVER teaches
    any such nonsense about
    the “immaculate
    conception” of Mary. In
    fact, the Bible clearly
    teaches the exact opposite
    concerning Mary…
    “As it is written,
    There is none
    righteous, no, not
    one: There is none
    that understandeth,
    there is none that
    seeketh after God.
    They are all gone out
    of the way , they are
    together become
    unprofitable ; there is
    none that doeth
    good, no, not one.” –
    Romans 3:10-12
    The Immaculate
    Conception of Mary is a
    fraud, a big hoax! God’s
    Word clearly declares that
    all of humanity is sinful
    The ONLY person who ever
    walked this earth without
    sin was the Lord Jesus
    Christ. We know this is
    true because the Bible
    clearly proclaims Christ’s
    sinlessness…
    “For he hath made
    him to be sin for us,
    who knew no sin ;
    that we might be
    made the
    righteousness of God
    in him.” -2nd
    Corinthians 5:21
    “For we have not an
    high priest which
    cannot be touched
    with the feeling of
    our infirmities; but
    was in all points
    tempted like as we
    are, yet without sin .”
    -Hebrews 4:15
    Jesus was perfect! Jesus
    never did or said anything
    which He should not have.
    Jesus was the Lamb of God,
    without spot or blemish.
    Mary, Jesus’ earthly
    mother, was a sinner just
    like you and me. Mary was
    a sinner just like Hitler or
    Gacy (a mass murderer).
    We are ALL horrible
    sinners. We tend to think
    that we’re not so bad
    because we compare
    ourselves to worse sinners.
    However, the ONLY
    accurate measuring stick is
    the Word of God and the
    Lord Jesus Christ. If we
    compare ourselves to God’s
    Word, then we will see just
    how filthy and wicked we
    really are in God’s eyes…
    “But we are all as an
    unclean thing, and all
    our righteousnesses
    are as filthy rags; and
    we all do fade as a
    leaf; and our
    iniquities, like the
    wind, have taken us
    away.” -Isaiah 64:6
    The Bible teaches that even
    our good works are “filthy
    rags” in the sight of God.
    Why? Simply because God
    cannot be impressed with
    our self-righteousness. The
    whole reason why Jesus
    came to earth to atone for
    our sins is because we
    cannot save ourselves. How
    can a sinner make himself
    clean? How can a trapped
    man free himself? ONLY
    through Jesus Christ can
    anyone be saved and go to
    heaven. ONLY through
    Jesus can we have our sins
    forgiven. Salvation is all
    about getting your sins
    forgiven and having your
    name written in heaven in
    the Lamb’s book of life. No
    amount of religion or
    personal effort can merit a
    person heaven. We must
    rest in the finished work of
    Christ’s atonement by
    trusting upon the Lord. We
    must believe upon the Lord
    Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).
    Again, there is NOT one
    Scripture in the entire Bible
    which even hints to such
    nonsense as the
    “immaculate conception of
    Mary.” Mary was born with
    a sin-nature just like any
    other fallen human. ONLY
    the Lord Jesus Christ was
    born without a sin-nature.
    This is because Jesus did
    NOT have an earthly
    father, but God in heaven
    was His Father. Jesus had
    God’s blood flowing in His
    veins, not man’s (Acts
    20:28). Jesus had Adam’s
    flesh, but not Adam’s sin-
    tainted blood. The Life is in
    the blood (Leviticus 17:11).
    It’s the father’s blood type
    that is carried to the child,
    not the mother’s. Mary was
    simply an instrument used
    for God’s glory and
    purpose. There was NO
    sexual relations between
    Mary and God (contrary to
    the wicked lies of the
    perverted Mormon religion).
    The Scriptures are clear
    that ALL humans are
    sinners. ONLY the virgin
    born Son of God, Jesus
    Christ, was without sin.
    Please don’t believe the
    damnable heresies of
    Roman Catholicism. Mary
    was a sinner deserving of
    hell, as are ALL sinners
    (Romans 6:23; Revelation
    20:15; 21:8).

  21. You really need to stop all this cutting/pasting, and put your own thoughts.

    Mary was human, but not every human is a sinner. To sin, one needs to do something that is sinful with purpose. So you have to do something that’s wrong, and know that it’s wrong. There is no biblical evidence that Mary committed any sin. This leaves Original Sin. And it is true that Mary, being human, would naturally be born in Original Sin. But by God’s grace, she was not. Hence, the greeting of Archangel Gabriel, “Full of Grace”. You cannot be full of grace and a sinner at the same time, which is why Mary was puzzled by the greeting. The fact is that Mary did nothing to merit this favor, it was God’s gift, and thus God is Mary’s savior. Jesus was perfect because He is God. Mary is perfect because she was the bearer of Jesus, by the grace of God. Or, are you trying to say that God could not give Mary that gift? Limiting God? When you question about people being born without sin, don’t forget, Adam and Eve were born without sin. They committed sin wilfully.

    I don’t know how the Holy Spirit “came upon” Mary. God’s ways are not our ways, and He is free to do as He wishes. All we know is that Mary was a virgin before the birth of Christ, during the birth of Christ, and after the birth of Christ.

    I’ve shown you Biblically how and why we consider Mary to be immaculately concieved. IT’s for you to believe or not.

  22. David: you say ‘Not every human is a sinner?’

    Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”
    Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
    Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
    Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

    “There is no biblical evidence that Mary committed any sin.”

    Do you claim the same evidence for Joseph having no biblical evidence of sinning? Any evidence of Lazarus sinning? Martha? Matthias? The list goes on and on. No specific sin is listed for many mentioned in scripture, but that doesn’t imply they were guiltless. The passages I cited above verify that ALL humans have fallen short. Mary was blessed, but she was fully human. Are humans holy?

    My second question is also related to Mary: Do you have scriptural evidence that Mary hears your prayers?

    What is your view regarding the Pope’s sale of indulgences partially to fund St. Peter’s Basilica?

  23. Romans 3:23 refers only to those able to commit sin. This is not everyone. For example, infants, the retarded, and the senile cannot sin. We believe that the “all” you quoted in Romans is hyperbole, and if you go to the reference of that quote from Psalm 116, you’ll see the use of literary diatribe. The big picture of Romans 3:21-31, these verses provide a clear statement of Paul’s “gospel”, the principle of justification by faith in Christ. God has found a means of rescuing humanity from its desperate plight: Paul’s general term for this divine initiative is the righteousness of God (Rom 3:21). Divine mercy declares the guilty innocent and makes them so. God does this not as a result of the law but apart from it (Rom 3:21), and not because of any merit in human beings but through forgiveness of their sins (Rom 3:24), in virtue of the redemption wrought in Christ Jesus for all who believe (Rom 3:22, 24–25). God has manifested his righteousness in the coming of Jesus Christ, whose saving activity inaugurates a new era in human history.

    Regarding Mary, we believe that, as Eve was born without sin, and disobeyed, Mary was born without sin, and obeyed. Mary’s sinlessness is a gift of God. The point of ‘no biblical evidence’ is that the doctrine we state does not go against Scripture. That’s the claim anti-Catholics claim, that Catholic doctrine contradicts the Bible. It does not. Mary, being the Ark of the New Covenant, like the Ark of the Covenant, was special because both contained the Word of God, the Bread of Life, and the Staff of Aaron, symbol of the High Priest.

    Regarding Mary hearing our prayers, and likewise the Saints in heaven who are alive, Revelation 5:8 – the prayers of the saints (on heaven and earth) are presented to God by the angels and saints in heaven. This shows that the saints intercede on our behalf before God, and it also demonstrates that our prayers on earth are united with their prayers in heaven. (The “24 elders” are said to refer to the people of God – perhaps the 12 tribes and 12 apostles – and the “four living creatures” are said to refer to the angels.)

    Tim 2:1-2 – because Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), many Protestants deny the Catholic belief that the saints on earth and in heaven can mediate on our behalf. But before Paul’s teaching about Jesus as the “one mediator,” Paul urges supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. Paul is thus appealing for mediation from others besides Christ, the one mediator. Why?

    1 Tim 2:3 – because this subordinate mediation is good and acceptable to God our Savior. Because God is our Father and we are His children, God invites us to participate in Christ’s role as mediator.

    1 Tim. 2:5 – therefore, although Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, there are many intercessors (subordinate mediators).

    Regarding indulgences, you could never, and can never buy your way into heaven. The Church teaches, especially in the season of Lent, that it is an act of penance to give alms. It is true that the Vatican sent out people to collect donations for the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. It was not the intention of the Vatican that collectors should make promises like those. So the error was in the people, not in the Church. I don’t know if you’re a football fan, but last season, the head coach and former defensive coordinator were suspended from coaching because they encouraged players to injure other players. It is my belief that these coaches did nothing different than any other coach, other than giving direct linkage of pay for performance. Every offense exploits the other team’s weakness, and if a key player goes down, the offense will hit that spot hard. In other words, it wasn’t what was said, it was how it was said. The same is true in the indulgence problem. An indulgence is, sort of, restitution for a crime, sort of like when you pay back someone you stole from.

  24. David

    That’s fraud and lies you think God’s word lies?
    Who ever came with that dogma that because she give birth to Messiah so she was sinless? i’m believing the reformers who have already let the world know papacy is the seat of antichrist

  25. Well, it’s you against the entire early Church…

    Jesus instituted a Church, and it became real on Pentecost. Jesus said that his Church would never pass away until He returned. The only Church that fits Jesus’ own words is the Catholic Church.

    Acts 1:15-26 – the first thing Peter does after Jesus ascends into heaven is implement apostolic succession. Matthias is ordained with full apostolic authority. Only the Catholic Church can demonstrate an unbroken apostolic lineage to the apostles in union with Peter through the sacrament of ordination and thereby claim to teach with Christ’s own authority.

    Acts 1:20 – a successor of Judas is chosen. The authority of his office (his “bishopric”) is respected notwithstanding his egregious sin. The necessity to have apostolic succession in order for the Church to survive was understood by all. God never said, “I’ll give you leaders with authority for about 400 years, but after the Bible is compiled, you are all on your own.”

    Acts 1:22 – literally, “one must be ordained” to be a witness with us of His resurrection. Apostolic ordination is required in order to teach with Christ’s authority.

    Acts 6:6 – apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority has transferred beyond the original twelve apostles as the Church has grown.

    Acts 9:17-19 – even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop. This is a powerful proof-text for the necessity of sacramental ordination in order to be a legitimate successor of the apostles.

    Acts 13:3 – apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority must come from a Catholic bishop.

    Acts 14:23 – the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.

    Acts 15:22-27 – preachers of the Word must be sent by the bishops in union with the Church. We must trace this authority to the apostles.

    God’s word doesn’t lie. Man’s understanding lies. This is why the above points are so important. They show the authority to declare what is meant in Scripture.

  26. “we believe that, as Eve was born without sin, and disobeyed, Mary was born without sin, and obeyed.”

    Eve was not born, she was created, as was Adam. Mary, on the contrary, was the natural daughter of fallible human parents at least four thousand years downstream of the apex of human genetics. I still do not see scriptural evidence that Mary was born sinless. Such a preeminent claim should have clear scriptual evidence in order to be considered foundational. I have a hard time considering the notion that the Holy Spirit overlooked or neglected this mention even once when inspiring the written Word which is interwoven from book to book like a fabric confirming authoritive claims from multiple sources. One prepositional phrase as simple as (Mary, who was sinless… ) in any of the books would have negated any forseen ambiguity. In my opinion, this portion of the Catholic foundation is built on sand.

    and to reply to your earlier post…
    “Where does the Bible say Mary was not always virgin?”

    1. In Mathew 1:24-25. “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

    The preposition UNTIL is a functional word used to indicate continuance to a specified time. Therefor their marriage was consumated after she gave birth.

    2. Mary had other kids after having Jesus. She had 4 other sons that are mentioned by name and an unspecified but plural number of daughters.
    Mathew 12:46 “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. ”
    Mathew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”
    Mathew 13:56 “And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
    Mark 3:31 “And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.”
    Luke 8:19 “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. ”
    John 7:3 “So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. ”
    Acts 1:14 “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
    Galatians 1:19 “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

    Clearly, Mary consumated her union with Joseph after the birth of Jesus and subsequently had other sons and daughters. I find no evidence indicating perpetual virginity or the need thereof.

    One final note: it is a pleasure to converse with you. I appreciate the time you have taken to clarify your position. Epistemology is an important part of my studies. I find that any disagreement can be resolved when applying the absolute truth of God’s Holy Word. As long as we can agree the scriptures are not subjective but are to be interpreted as the Holy Spirit intended.

  27. David

    Greating

    You contradict God’s word if your read Romans 3:23
    I quote
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! Where in the bible it written that Mary was sinless?? aren’t you aware that this is to deny the bible in other to follows the man-made tradition?
    And
    What is your view regarding the
    Pope’s sale of indulgences
    partially to fund St. Peter’s
    Basilica? And are you not aware that during the papal reign during dark ages your pope banned the reading of bible and the owners of it ?

  28. Eve was born from Adam’s rib, but that’s neither here nor there. There is no direct scriptural evidence that Mary was sinless, but Catholics are not limited to Scripture, that’s a limitation Protestants put on themselves; there is nothing in Scripture that says that it is the only authority. And just because you think it should be readily evident means little. And, it’s not foundational, it is dogmatic.
    God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Exodus 40:34-35]
    God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and the indwelled Mary. At that time Mary’s womb became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Luke 1:35].

    The Ark contained the 10 Commandments [the words of God in stone], a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that came back to life [Deuteronomy 10:3-5; Hebrews 9:4].
    The womb of the Virgin contained Jesus: the living Word of God enfleshed, the living bread from heaven, “the Branch” (Messianic title) who would die but come back to life [Luke 1:35].

    The Ark traveled to the hill country of Judah to rest in the house of Obed-edom [2 Samuel 6:1-11]
    Mary traveled to the hill country of Judah (Judea) to the home of Elizabeth [Luke 1:39]

    Dressed in a priestly ephod, King David approached the Ark and danced and leapt for joy [2 Samuel 6:14]
    John the Baptist, son of a priest who would himself become a priest, leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb at the approach of Mary [Luke 1:43]

    David shouted for joy in the presence of God and the holy Ark [2 Samuel 6:15]
    Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry of joy in the presence God within Mary [Luke 1:42]

    David asked, “How is it that the Ark of the Lord comes to me?” [2 Samuel 6:9]
    Elizabeth asks, “Why is this granted unto me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” [Luke 1:43]

    The Ark remained in the house of Obed-edom for 3 months [2 Samuel 6:11]
    Mary remained in the house of her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months [Luke 1:56].

    The house of Obed-edom was blessed by the presence of the Ark [2 Samuel 6:11]
    The word “blessed” is used 3 times in Luke 1:39-45 concerning Mary at Elizabeth’s house.

    The Ark returned to its sanctuary and eventually ends up in Jerusalem where the presence and glory of God is revealed in the newly built Temple [2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Kings 8:9-11]
    Mary returned home from visiting Elizabeth and eventually comes to Jerusalem, where she presents God the Son in the Temple [Luke 1:56; 2:21-22]

    God made Aaron’s rod (which would be kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove he was the legitimate High Priest [Numbers 17:8].
    God would resurrect His Son, who had become enfleshed in Mary’s womb and born to bring salvation to all mankind, to prove He is the eternal High Priest [Hebrews 4:14].

    When the Ark was outside the Holy of Holies [when it was being transported] it was to be covered with a blue veil [Numbers 4:4-6]
    In Mary’s appearances outside of heaven visionaries testify that she wears a blue veil.

    In Revelation 11:19 John sees the Ark of the Covenant in heaven [this is the last verse of chapter 11]
    In Revelation 12:1 John sees Mary in heaven. It is the same vision Juan Diego saw of Mary in 1531’the Woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon.

    You said: 1. In Mathew 1:24-25. “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

    The preposition UNTIL is a functional word used to indicate continuance to a specified time. Therefor their marriage was consumated after she gave birth.

    2. Mary had other kids after having Jesus. She had 4 other sons that are mentioned by name and an unspecified but plural number of daughters.
    Mathew 12:46 “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. ”
    Mathew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”
    Mathew 13:56 “And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
    Mark 3:31 “And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.”
    Luke 8:19 “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. ”
    John 7:3 “So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. ”
    Acts 1:14 “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
    Galatians 1:19 “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

    First, the word ‘until’ does not suppose any action after. You say “Until we meet again”, and this does not necessarily mean that you will meet again.
    Secondly, the Bible never says Mary had other children. It mentions Jesus’ brothers, which do not necessarily belong to Mary by birth. They’re cousins, half-brothers and sisters, etc. James and Joseph,
    “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew
    significantly calls “the other Mary”. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an
    Old Testament expression.

    I am enjoying presenting my positions to you, as well. Just remember that Catholics believe that Scripture and Apostolic Tradition are on a par with each other. We have the writings of those who sat at Jesus’ feet, and those who sat at the apostles’ feet to explain what Jesus really said and meant…

  29. Romans 3:23:

    Rom. 3:23 – Some Protestants use this verse “all have sinned” in an attempt to prove that Mary was also with sin. But “all have sinned ” only means that all are subject to original sin. Mary was spared from original sin by God, not herself. The popular analogy is God let us fall in the mud puddle, and cleaned us up afterward through baptism. In Mary’s case, God did not let her enter the mud puddle.

    Rom. 3:23 – “all have sinned” also refers only to those able to commit sin. This is not everyone. For example, infants, the retarded, and the senile cannot sin.

    Rom. 3:23 – finally, “all have sinned,” but Jesus must be an exception to this rule. This means that Mary can be an exception as well. Note that the Greek word for all is “pantes.”

    1 Cor. 15:22 – in Adam all (“pantes”) have died, and in Christ all (“pantes”) shall live. This proves that “all” does not mean “every single one.” This is because not all have died (such as Enoch and Elijah who were taken up to heaven), and not all will go to heaven (because Jesus said so).

    Rom. 5:12 – Paul says that death spread to all (“pantes”) men. Again, this proves that “all” does not mean “every single one” because death did not spread to all men (as we have seen with Enoch and Elijah).

    Rom. 5:19 – here Paul says “many (not all) were made sinners.” Paul uses “polloi,” not “pantes.” Is Paul contradicting what he said in Rom. 3:23? Of course not. Paul means that all are subject to original sin, but not all reject God.

    Rom. 3:10-11 – Protestants also use this verse to prove that all human beings are sinful and thus Mary must be sinful. But see Psalm 14 which is the basis of the verse.

    Psalm 14 – this psalm does not teach that all humans are sinful. It only teaches that, among the wicked, all are sinful. The righteous continue to seek God.

    Psalm 53:1-3 – “there is none that does good” expressly refers to those who have fallen away. Those who remain faithful do good, and Jesus calls such faithful people “good.”

    Luke 18:19 – Jesus says, “No one is good but God alone.” But then in Matt. 12:35, Jesus also says “The good man out of his good treasure…” So Jesus says no one is good but God, and then calls another person good.

    Rom. 9:11 – God distinguished between Jacob and Esau in the womb, before they sinned. Mary was also distinguished from the rest of humanity in the womb by being spared by God from original sin.

    Luke 1:47 – Mary calls God her Savior. Some Protestants use this to denigrate Mary. Why? Of course God is Mary’s Savior! She was freed from original sin in the womb (unlike us who are freed from sin outside of the womb), but needed a Savior as much as the rest of humanity.

    Luke 1:48 – Mary calls herself lowly. But any creature is lowly compared to God. For example, in Matt. 11:29, even Jesus says He is lowly in heart. Lowliness is a sign of humility, which is the greatest virtue of holiness, because it allows us to empty ourselves and receive the grace of God to change our sinful lives.

    The Pope never sold indulgences. Some representatives, while collecting alms, made promises they weren’t allowed to make. You cannot buy your way into heaven-you never could, and you never will.
    During the Dark Ages, most people could not read, only clergy could read. Also, all Bibles at that time were hand written, expensive, and owned by the Church. During those times, most books were chained down, to protect the books themselves. There was no ban.

  30. This is diabolical doctrine hard to believe something maybe you don’t understand you forget that every centuries Mary’s dogma is being added As long as I believe in the ony God’s word i’ll never believe on that doctrine

  31. Just because it’s hard for you to believe doesn’t make it wrong. It’s hard for Muslims to believe that God became man. Besides which, the dogmas we have about Mary always point us right back to Jesus, and therefore, to God.

  32. David, you say “the word ‘until’ does not suppose any action after.”

    Websters Dictionary says: “until: used as a function word to indicate continuance (as of an action or condition) to a specified time ”

    The Dictionary and I disagree with your definition. Clearly the Bible says Joseph consummated their union and it even tells us when he did it.
    ———————–
    The greek word for ‘cousin’ is not the same as ‘brother’ which is used in the passeges I cited. Although ‘brother’ can have indication such as you are my brother, the context refers to siblings. To close your eyes to the clear indication of siblings for the sake of protecting dogma is neither right nor honest. I ask you to grant the Holy Spirit the benefit of the doubt that He has better grammatical prowse than you give him credit.
    ———————-
    re: Rom 3:23……. Jesus is an exception to the “all have sinned” passage because it is a comparative statement to Himself. “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”. Jesus IS the Glory of God and the “all” is in reference to ALL Jews and ALL Gentiles and since Mary was an Israelite Jew, she is among the ‘all’.
    ———————-
    Interesting…. You said “It is true that the Vatican sent out people to collect donations for the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. It was not the intention of the Vatican that collectors should make promises like those. So the error was in the people, not in the Church….In other words, it wasn’t what was said, it was how it was said. The same is true in the indulgence problem. An indulgence is, sort of, restitution for a crime, sort of like when you pay back someone you stole from.”

    The online Catholic Dictionary says Pope Leo X authorized the sale of indulgences (since he squandered much of the prior wealth due to his lavish lifestyle). Not exactly subordinates acting on their own behind the Pope’s back, as you suggested.

    So you admit St. Peter’s Basilica was built at least in part with funds acquired fraudulently with Pope Leo X’s blessing. Shouldn’t the Pope pay restitution for keeping this massive structure? Acquiring wealth and property through deception goes against foundational principles of Christianity, wouldn’t you agree?
    If my wife robs a bank of $48 million and gets pardoned and heralded by me (as governor of my state), should we be allowed to keep the money to build a monstrous statehouse to conduct our business in? I’de say nay… and Jesus would be kicking the table over as he did in Matthew 21:13.

  33. “Only the Catholic Church can demonstrate an unbroken apostolic lineage to the apostles in union with Peter through the sacrament of ordination and thereby claim to teach with Christ’s own authority.”

    Sorry, the Mormons have a similar claim of unbroken apostolic lineage.

  34. Just about to turn my computer off and I had another thought. If by Catholic dogma Mary was born without Original Sin and never sinned on her own accord, why would she then need to be sanctified by Grace? Only sinners need grace. If you’ve never sinned, you wouldn’t need grace.
    She was likely in her early teens. If she had committed no sin her entire life, don’t you think people would have noticed or mention would have been made at least once? When Joseph found she was pregnant, he was going to divorce her quietly.
    By your claim, Joseph would have thought he discovered Mary’s very first sin, but instead of being overwhelmingly astonished at Mary’s perceived first and her only sin thus far, he instead thought about it for a while and then took a nap. (Mat 1:19)
    Mary refers to God as her Savior. Savior from what? Why would a sinless person need a Savior? “saved” implies guilt.

    Can you define “Holy” from Catholic dogma? How is God’s holiness different from the Catholic position of Mary’s holiness?

  35. What I said is that “until” does not necessarily suppose that an action is going to take place in the future. And in this case, that is true. The Bible never says that Mary had other children. It says Jesus had brothers and sisters. Those named siblings were mothered by “the other Mary”.
    Regarding Romans 3:23, so what? There are exceptions in humanity, and God made an exception with the Mother of God.

    Regarding indulgences:

      Every

    church building is built with money raised as charitable collections. What does that prove? People often make promises they cannot keep, without authorization from proper authority. What does that prove? You’re right, that an indulgence is like paying restitution. Let me ask you this: If you steal from a bank, and get caught, and make restitution, does that mean you don’t have to serve a sentence in punishment? No, it doesn’t. You may receive a lesser sentence. So it is with an indulgence.

    According to the teachings outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, two distinct consequences follow when a person sins. A mortal sin (one that is grave and is committed knowingly and freely) is equivalent to refusing friendship of God and communion with the only source of eternal life. The loss of eternal life with God and the eternal death of Hell that this rejection entails is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. In addition, every sin, even those that, not being mortal, are called venial sins, cause a turning from God through what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called purgatory. The resulting need to break this attachment to creatures is another punishment for sin, referred to as “temporal punishment”, because, not being a total rejection of God, it is not eternal and can be overcome in time. Even when the sin is forgiven, the associated attachment to creatures may remain. The sinner must “strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the ‘old man’ and to put on the ‘new man’.”

    An indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the Catholic Church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution. An indulgence is thus not forgiveness of sin nor release from the eternal punishment associated with hell in Christian beliefs. In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave alms to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The aggressive marketing practices of Johann Tetzel in promoting this cause provoked Martin Luther to write his Ninety-Five Theses, condemning what he saw as the purchase and sale of salvation. So I guess, if you think building a church is squandering money, you could say that Pope Leo should pay restitution. Sorry, he’s dead. Anything he did wrong, he’s paying God for.

  36. Good! You’re thinking! But you’re missing something…Mary was titled “Full of Grace” what does that mean? The act was bestowed on Mary by God-nothing she did herself. God bestowed His grace on Mary, which is what the Greek word kecharitōménē. Grammatically, the word is the feminine present perfect passive voice participle of the verb χαριτόω, charitóō, which means “to show, or bestow with, grace” and, in the passive voice, “to have grace shown, or bestowed upon, one.”

    By God’s grace, she was immaculate in anticipation of her Son’s redemptive death on the cross. The Church therefore describes Mary as “the most excellent fruit of redemption”.

    Mary’s holiness is bestowed on her. God is, by His nature, Holy.

  37. I guess I should have provided the link i referenced regarding Pope Leo X.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09162a.htm
    ————————-
    “What I said is that “until” does not necessarily suppose that an action is going to take place in the future. And in this case, that is true. ”

    Simply baffling how you can deny scripture to protect ideology.
    Irregard to rational thought is frustrating to me. To be able to know anything, we must agree to basic laws of logic and these fundamental laws are absolute (law of identity, law of non-contradiction, law of excluded middle, etc..). To close your eyes and say ‘no it don’t’ makes no sense whatsoever. I worked with an old guy who was the poster boy for irrational thought, we would agree all day long about fundamental principles and yet he would deny them to maintain his worldview.
    If we can’t agree on epistemology, we might as well go have a pizza and end discussion. Ancient Dakota tribal widsom states that when you realize you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
    I listed 7 scriptures that plainly cite Jesus’ mother and brothers and the scripture that says Joseph consumated the union. How does Catholic dogma explain away the fact that Joseph consumated the union after Jesus was born? You simply modify fixed language definitions.
    I guess this is just one of those differences between protestants and catholics.

  38. I know the site. I’m not saying he didn’t give indulgences. I’m saying there was no sale. Indulgences are not get out of hell free tickets.

    Baffling? What’s baffling is that the Apostles, who were protected from teaching error, taught their successors, who were also protected from teaching error, etc. for 1500 years, that Mary was a virgin before Jesus was born, at the time Jesus was born, and after Jesus was born, and then Luther comes along (actually, Luther taught Mary’s perpetual virginity and immaculate conception), the Protesters choose to deny it, and then expect everyone to believe it! Either Jesus spoke the truth, or he didn’t. He protected His Church against all error. And His Church taught that Mary was sinless and ever-virgin.

    I gave you an example of how using the word “until” does not mean that an event is going to happen. I showed you how the Bible never says “Mary’s children”, but does say “Jesus’ brothers. The part you’re missing is the part about Joseph. Early Christian fathers and tradition tell us that Joseph was chosen to be the protector of a consecrated virgin, Mary. Tradition tells us that Mary’s parents were elderly and asked God for a child, which they promised to consecrate. God provided, they kept their promise. Mary was a consecrated temple virgin. Upon her age of maturity, still being consecrated, the high priest selected an older widow to protect her and her promise. Of course, none of this is written in Scripture, so it’s not necessary for anyone to believe. But it lends background to why we believe what we believe.

    When we have questions, we return to those who were nearer to the time, not to our own suppositions:
    “And when he had taken her, he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son.’ He hath here used the word till,’ not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, hath he used the word, till’? Because it is usual in Scripture often to do this, and to use this expression without reference to limited times. For so with respect to the ark likewise, it is said, The raven returned not till the earth was dried up.’ And yet it did not return even after that time. And when discoursing also of God, the Scripture saith, From age until age Thou art,’ not as fixing limits in this case. And again when it is preaching the Gospel beforehand, and saying, In his days shall righteousness flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away,’ it doth not set a limit to this fair part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the word “till,” to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves thee to make the inference.” John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).

    “Thus, what it was necessary for thee to learn of Him, this He Himself hath said; that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth; but that which both was seen to be a consequence of the former statement, and was acknowledged, this in its turn he leaves for thee to perceive; namely, that not even after this, she having so become a mother, and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail, and a child-bearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have endured to know her. For if he had known her, and had kept her in the place of a wife, how is it that our Lord commits her, as unprotected, and having no one, to His disciple, and commands him to take her to his own home? How then, one may say, are James and the others called His brethren? In the same kind of way as Joseph himself was supposed to be husband of Mary. For many were the veils provided, that the birth, being such as it was, might be for a time screened. Wherefore even John so called them, saying, For neither did His brethren believe in Him.’ John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).

    “Her virginity also itself was on this account more pleasing and accepted, in that it was not that Christ being conceived in her, rescued it beforehand from a husband who would violate it, Himself to preserve it; but, before He was conceived, chose it, already dedicated to God, as that from which to be born. This is shown by the words which Mary spake in answer to the Angel announcing to her conception; How,’ saith she, shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ Which assuredly she would not say, unless she had before vowed herself unto God as a virgin. But, because the habits of the Israelites as yet refused this, she was espoused to a just man, who would not take from her by violence, but rather guard against violent persons, what she had already vowed. Although, even if she had said this only, How shall this take place ?’ and had not added, seeing I know not a man,’ certainly she would not have asked, how, being a female, she should give birth to her promised Son, if she had married with purpose of sexual intercourse. She might have been bidden also to continue a virgin, that in her by fitting miracle the Son of God should receive the form of a servant, but, being to be a pattern to holy virgins, lest it should be thought that she alone needed to be a virgin, who had obtained to conceive a child even without sexual intercourse, she dedicated her virginity to God, when as yet she knew not what she should conceive, in order that the imitation of a heavenly life in an earthly and mortal body should take place of vow, not of command; through love of choosing, not through necessity of doing service. Thus Christ by being born of a virgin, who, before she knew Who was to be born of her, had determined to continue a virgin, chose rather to approve, than to command, holy virginity. And thus, even in the female herself, in whom He took the form of a servant, He willed that virginity should be free.” Augustine, Of Holy Virginity, 4 (A.D. 401).

  39. Well so does Christianity. But the Mormons claim that Jesus is an angel, though, and that public revelation didn’t end with the last apostle, which is what Jesus told us.

What say you???

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