Ex Cathedra (and other matters)

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Deacon's Son, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Hi all,

    It's been a while since I last posted. But you know, life starts creeping up on you and you have to face your responsibilities (like preparing for a new baby boy in my case). I hope everyone is faring well, and from a quick glance at some of the recent posts, I see that discussion is as lively as ever.

    Under the topic dealing with the Catholic Church and the ordination of women, I found (as is normal) that the discussion had deviated into multiple topics, one of which was papal infallibility. I decided to start a new thread to tackle this particular point of contention.

    First of all, let's look at terms. The idea of a human being "infallible" has been scoffed at by many Protestants, but without just cause, for most of us are infallible. Yes, even you are infallible much of the time. :eek:

    You see, "infallible" simply means "without error" and as the term is understood by Catholics, it refers to certain statements made by the successors of Peter (and/or by all of the bishops in assembly), not to their actions (for we are all, indeed, sinners). You and I make an infallible statement every time we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. We make an infallible statement every time we admit that we are sinners in need of God's grace.

    We would no doubt agree that God has, through the ages, set aside certain people to be infallible in even greater things dealing with His Incarnation. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were granted infalliblity in the writing of the Gospel (we trust this is true considering the first of the gospel books was most likely not set to paper for at least 20 to 30 years after Jesus' Ascension.)

    What is true with the four evangelists was also true with Peter and remains true with his successor to this day - it is the Holy Spirit which speaks through them (and through all of us when we proclaim the Lord's glory). It is the Spirit which preserves truth.

    As Jesus told his disciples, "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you ." (Jn 14:26). After the Resurrection, "[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit...' " (Jn 20:22).

    It is at this point that Peter and his fellow disciples ("students") become apostles ("those sent"). Peter was then further singled out by Jesus (after having already been declared by the Lord to be "the Rock" upon which He would build His Church):

    "Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?'...'Feed my lambs'...'Tend my sheep'...'Feed my sheep.'" (Jn 21:15-17).

    The Acts of the Apostles follows with the record of the choosing of the first apostolic successor (Matthias - Acts 1:15-26), the fist ecumenical council, the Council of Jerusalem (found in the 15th chapter of Acts) and of the first Apostolic Constitution (Acts 15:22-29). Note that all of these actions were undertaken with the direction of the Holy Spirit, the teacher and preserver of truth within the Church.

    Papal infallibility, then, is just one way that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church to this day. Through the grace of God preserved through apostolic succession, the Bishop of Rome and the bishops in union with him (as successors of the Apostles), are preserved from speaking in error only when definitely proclaiming doctrines on matters of faith and morals. These proclamations are said to be "ex cathedra" (or, from the chair [of the bishop]).

    This simply mean that when a tenet of the faith is questioned or is in need of clarification, the Bishop of Rome and/or all the bishops meeting in council with him (i.e. an Ecumenical Council), when led by the Holy Spirit, may make a definite proclamation to clarify the matter. It is the Holy Spirit moving in the men which is infallible.

    In case some might wonder what is meant by matters of faith that need clarification, one example is the explanation/definition of God's Trinitarian nature which was heavily disputed in the early Church and not adequately clarified until the Council of Nicaea in 325. The most recent exercise of papal infallibility was the clarification of the Church's teaching on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, pronounced by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Technically, each and every saint canonized ("added to the list") by a pope is also proclaimed in an infallible statement, for Christ assured the Apostles that what they bound on earth would be bound in heaven. (Mt 16:18-19).

    I hope this helps to clarify the meaning of infallibility as it is understood by the Catholic Church.

    God bless.

    In Officio Agnus,
    Deacon's Son

    [ August 12, 2002, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Deacon's Son ]
     
  2. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Hi again.

    I also wanted to add my two cents on the matter of women's ordination in the Catholic Church. Let me say first of all that the matter has not (yet) been definitely settled by an ex cathedra proclamation by the pope or by ecumenical council. I have little doubt that such a proclamation is short coming (possibly under the next pope), but we will all have to wait and see.

    I love Ray (UncleRay) to death, and he and I have had limited discussion on the matter of women's ordination but I respectfully (if any of you knew Ray, you would know that his gentle countenance commands much respect) disagree with him on this issue. Does that mean that one of us is somehow "less" Catholic. Of course not. It is for neither of us to decide ultimately, but it is up to the Magisterium, which will be led by the Holy Spirit to make a definite proclamation on the issue when the time is right.

    The Catholic laity's views on the issue of women's ordination in the Church can be broken into four schools of thought:
    1) Those who have done little research into the matter but think that the idea "sounds good" or "is only fair" (The Fuzzy, Feel-good School)
    2) Those who have done equally minimal research but are sure that female ordination is wrong "just because it's always been that way" or because women are somehow "subservient" to men (The Chauvenistic School)
    3) Those who have put time and effort into researching the subject out of a genuine love of truth and faithfully hope that they are right in concluding that women should be ordained (The Both Sexes Are Equal School)
    4)Those who have put forth time and effort into researching the subject out of a genuine love of truth and faithfully hope that they are right in their conclusion that women should not be ordained (The Both Sexes Are Equal But Not the Same for a Reason School).

    Now, the first two schools, I dismiss outright because of their sheer intellectual laziness. The second two are where (as far as I can tell) Ray and I fall, respectively. There are valid and noteworthy points raised for and against the ordination of women in both of these schools. In my opinion, the evidence weighs more heavily on the side of not ordaining women. I have found what I consider compelling reasons for the priesthood to be reserved for men and, in my opinion, to begin ordaining women would be a radical departure from the truth preserved through Apostolic Succession. Of course I respect the right of others to disagree with me.

    The details of my reasoning for not supporting women's ordination are not pertinent to the subject of this thread so I will not get into my reasoning here. If another thread is opened on the subject, perhaps then I will go deeper into the topic.

    I write all of this to say this: there is nothing wrong with having a discenting opinion in the Church on matters that have yet to be infallibly definded by the Magisterium. As long as one remains loyal to the Church by submitting to a yet-to-be-clarified teaching that they don't wholly agree with, there is no problem. The unity is preserved along with the catholocity. It is when one chooses to break the visible unity of the Church over a teaching that the problem begins.

    Now, after a matter has been clarified (if needed) by an ecumenical council and/or an infallible papal statement on the matter, dissent on the subject is intolerable. But this is yet to happen on the subject of women's ordination.

    I tend to think that it is only a matter of time before an infallible statement is issued reasserting the Church's tradtional stance on the subject, but until that happens, one is free to dissent. After all, some of the greatest saints of the Church were in the "dissenters" category over some doctrinal issues years (and even centuries) before those issues were infallibly defined. One example is St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), who taught against the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a teaching not finally defined until 1854.

    God Bless.

    In Officio Agnus,
    Deacon's Son

    [ August 12, 2002, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: Deacon's Son ]
     
  3. LaRae

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    DS,

    I gotta disagree with you on one point. We are not free to dissent about the ordination of women according to Ordinatio Sacredotalis.

    "......Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful....."

    Also Ratzinger had the following to say:

    CONCERNING THE TEACHING CONTAINED IN ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS RESPONSUM AD DUBIUM

    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    October 28, 1995

    Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

    Responsum: In the affirmative.

    This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

    The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

    Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

    Joseph Card. Ratzinger
    Prefect

    Tarcisio Bertone
    Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

    I don't see how you think we are free to dissent on this topic??

    LaRae
     
  4. DHK

    DHK
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    Your theology, and logic, is a little off here. First the promise to the disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them and bring all things into remembrance (though applied by many well-meaning Christians to the Holy Spirit leading in their own lives) has to directly with the Holy Spirit bringing into remembrance the Words of Jesus, Scripture to be written down at a future date. The Holy Spirit would bring these things into their remebrance.

    No where is Peter elevated to any position above the other Apostles. In fact he was rebuked by Paul for being in the wrong. Paul "withstood him to the face." The keys are simply the keys of knowledge, or the gospel, which every believer has. If the truth be known I have access to those keys more than the pope does because I have a greater understanding of the gospel than he does. If he understood the gospel, he would denounce the Catholic Church for what it is and leave it.

    "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal.1:8)

    Acts 15 was not an "ecumenical" council. The Apostles gathered to clarify the matter concerning the Judaizers. These were false teachers who followed Paul wherever he went trying to assert that circumcision and the law were part of salvation. They were very much like the Catholic Church who maintain today that baptism and good works are part of salvation. The Apostles denounced this heresy, and made clear that salvation was by faith. They were to leave the Gentile beilievers alone, excepting for a few moral guidelines that they set forth.

    Thus Papal infallibility is simply an invention of the Catholic Church, a mere pipedream. The Holy Spirit has never guided these wicked men in their unholy deeds during the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution of Bible-believing Christians in every age since its inception.
    DHK
     
  5. Astralis

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    You act like the Pope has to be a perfect man to be correct on doctrine. Surely you must agree that the Pope can sin! Even Catholics admit that. When Paul rebuked Peter he didn't do this to correct his doctrine but to correct his actions. Yes, the Pope sins - he goes to confession regularly.
     
  6. Dualhunter

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    You act like the Pope has to be a perfect man to be correct on doctrine. Surely you must agree that the Pope can sin! Even Catholics admit that. When Paul rebuked Peter he didn't do this to correct his doctrine but to correct his actions. Yes, the Pope sins - he goes to confession regularly.</font>[/QUOTE]A person's beliefs tend to have a significant effect on his or her actions. A person who knows what to do and what not to do ought to behave better than somebody who does not have as good a knowledge of right and wrong. If a person is infallible in regards to faith and morals, he ought to be near perfect in his actions since he's supposed to know better.
     
  7. DHK

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  8. CatholicConvert

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    DHK --

    You are so delusional it is not even funny. What history of the Church do you read anyway? I sure would love to the the writings of the Baptist Early Fathers of the Church. You happen to have a copy hanging around somewhere you could send me? Just be careful that the ink is dry when you stuff it into your envelope. :D :D

    ALL BELIEVERS HAVE THE KEYS??

    Like I said -- delusional. :eek:

    If you would take the time to actually STUDY and READ the CONTEXT of Matthew 16: 18 - 19, you would see that the context of the keys is AUTHORITY.

    Mt 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Jesus HIMSELF describes what is involved with the possession of the keys, for in the construct of the sentence, He first makes the promise:

    And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven (the kingdom of heaven is the EARTHLY CHURCH)

    and then He goes on to describe the RESULTS of what having those keys means:

    and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    In other words, "you will get the keys" and as a result "you will be able to bind and loose".

    Now you tell me that YOU have the power to bind and loose. Tell me, my delusional friend, that you have the power to forgive sins as given to St. Peter and the apostles.

    Yer hatred of the Catholic Church is making you a sloppy student of the Bible.

    In disagreement -- big time

    Brother Ed
     
  9. Astralis

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    I agree. Yet, it was a sinner who was an Apostle of Jesus - in fact they all were - they were all human and they all sinned. Strange isn't it? Jesus still loved them and asked these sinners to teach others about Him.

    Think about it.
     
  10. Astralis

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    They haven't? When did things begin to change?

    Can you show some evidence of this?

    Can you explain how doctrine can't change yet it took a while to explain what the Trinity was? Do you think that defining something is the moment it is invented? If so then the Trinity is an invention according to your logic.
     
  11. Dualhunter

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    You seem pretty full of hatred yourself.

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and (1) believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and (2) does not come into judgment, but has (3) passed out of death into life. - John 5:24 NASB

    Peter was given the privelge to preach the Gospel, those who believe the Gospel of Truth get into heaven, those who reject it don't, it's the key to get in through the door which is Christ.

    Look up Pope Benedict IX on www.newadvent.org to see a fine example of the evils of the Catholic church.
     
  12. Dualhunter

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    I agree. Yet, it was a sinner who was an Apostle of Jesus - in fact they all were - they were all human and they all sinned. Strange isn't it? Jesus still loved them and asked these sinners to teach others about Him.

    Think about it.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I never denied that they were sinners, I'm simply saying that I'd expect somebody who really is infallible to be nearly perfect.
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
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    As far as Baptist history is concerned, a good reference work is "A History of the Baptists," by Thomas Armitage. It is in two volumes, but also can be obtained on cd.
    Your theological comprehension of ecclessiology is deplorable. It is no wonder that you cannot comprehend the meaning of the "keys," when you have no notion of the meaning of the "ekklesia."

    "If you would take the time to actually STUDY and READ the CONTEXT of Matthew 16: 18 - 19, you would see that the context of the keys is AUTHORITY."
    ---You have concisely stated one of your biggest problems: Study and read the context!! Let's look at it:
    Mt 16:18,19
    And I say also unto 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 unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    This is the first mention of the word "church" or "ekklesia" in the New Testament, and it always has the meaning of "assembly." It is noteworthy to point out that it is consistent throughout Scripture that rock always refers to God or Christ, not to Peter. Christ was referring to Himself, not to Peter. Peter was but a small stone in the building of an assembly which would be a model for others to follow.

    The second occurrence of the word church or "ekklesia" is in Matthew 18:

    Mt 18:15-18
    ΒΆ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
    18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Notice in this passage the word church or assembly is treated as such. If you have ought against your brother go to him; take one or two witnesses; take to the church--that is the local assembly. Ekklesia always refers to a local assembly of believers. This passage is speaking of authority in the church and specifically of church discipline. If the person in question would not listen: first to the one who went to him, second to two or three church members, third to the entire church, then he was to be unto them as a heathen. That is they were not to have fellowship with that person; they were not to eat with him. He was to be "disfellowshipped," if you want to use that word. When the church members would come together to make such a decision, God would be with them (whether large or few). That is the true meaning of verse 20. And whatever decision they made, God would be with them in that decision. It would be done just as if it were done in Heaven. It would be an authoritative decision on the part of that local assembly. Mat.16:19 fits in agrees with this passage also.

    Again, the keys simply refer to the key of knowledge, a term Jesus used in rebuking the scribes, lawyers and Pharisees. "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." (Luke 11:52). The key of knowledge was the key of understanding that these leaders were to give the people that they might find entrance into the kingdom of God. They failed in their duty, and made them "the children of Hell," even as they were. The Apostles had the gospel, once again the key to understanding the entrance into Heaven. This isn't anything mysterious or complicated. The keys are the gospel. Anyone who has a basic understanding of the gospel has the knowledge to open the doors of Heaven to the unsaved.

    Read Scripture in its context. Understand what the Biblical definition of a "church" is. The Catholic "Organization" never was a church, and never will be.
    DHK
     
  14. Astralis

    Astralis
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    True. But, mind you, the Pope is not an infallible man. He makes mistakes and he can even get doctrine confused and make mistakes if not making an infallible statment. He has to actually study something before he makes a statement that is 100 percent true! You and I both make infallible statements when we proclaim that Jesus is God or that the Trinity is true. We're not perfect but we know that these truths are 100 percent true.
     
  15. Dualhunter

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    True. But, mind you, the Pope is not an infallible man. He makes mistakes and he can even get doctrine confused and make mistakes if not making an infallible statment. He has to actually study something before he makes a statement that is 100 percent true! You and I both make infallible statements when we proclaim that Jesus is God or that the Trinity is true. We're not perfect but we know that these truths are 100 percent true.</font>[/QUOTE]Notice that he's only infallible when it's convenient. The Catholic church is supposed to have this oral tradition that is perfectly preserved orally. Now if it has already been passed down to him orally he shouldn't have to study it nor should we get priest having wierd variations in doctrine because they should have received this tradition orally. Instead what we see is when something isn't found in the Bible, it's called "tradition" in defense.
     
  16. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Hi all,

    Wow. I guess I just wasn't thinking. I opened this new thread for the singular purpose of clarifying the Catholic belief of papal infallibility and to attempt to explain why we Catholics adhere to such a tenet. I expected to get some questions on clarity but I wasn't thinking about people trying to attack the teaching. I've been away too long. ;)

    Anyway, please allow me to respond to some of the points raised.

    I could not agree with you more, DHK. But surely you would not disagree that if the Holy Spirit can be credited with preserving the authors of the New Testament from errors, we must also suppose that He also led the formation of the NT canon in the centuries to come. So the implication that the only role referred to by John 14:26 was the preservation of the NT authors is automatically proven false (unless you don't think the NT canon is inspired? The Letter of James is a pretty tough pill to swallow, theologically speaking, for most Protestants- just ask Luther) ;) .

    Allow me to quote Steve Ray who, like me, is a Baptist convert to the Catholic Church:

    "In the NT, the names Simon, Peter, or Cephas occur almost 200 times. The names of all the other disciples combined occur only about 130 times. In the NT lists of apostles, Peter is listed first. Matthew uses the word first (Mt 10:2) to "to single him out as the most prominent one of the twelve". He was the spokesman and authoritative voice of the apostles, as seen in the early chapters of Acts. Paul spent fifteen days in private with Peter before beginning his own apostolate (Gal 1:18)."

    DHK wrote:
    Ray continues: "Jesus bestowed special prerogatives on Peter, recounted in Matthew 16:13-20. Peter is given a new name, which in Scripture denotes a change in status or position (e.g., Gen 17:4-5). Jesus spoke Aramaic and gave Simon the Aramaic name Kepha (Rock) which is is "Petra" in Greek and "Peter" in English. The Greek "petra" is feminine so the masculine "Petros" was adopted. There is no distinction between Kepha the man and Kepha the Rock upon which Jesus would build his Church-Peter is the rock (cf. CCC no. 552). Protestants often claim that Christ is the only foundation (1 Cor 3:11) attempting thereby to unseat Peter. However, they mistakenly mix the metaphors. In 1 Corinthians, Paul is the builder and Jesus is the foundation; in Matthew, Jesus is the builder and Peter is the rock foundation. Another NT metaphor pictures the Church "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Eph 2:20).

    "Jesus chose Caesarea Philippi as the backdrop for the Petrine appointment. Here Herod had built a temple to Caesar Augustus atop the massive rock, a center of pagan worship and a source of the Jordan River. At the rock base was a gaping cavern referred to by the pagans as the "gates of hell". Standing before the "temple" built to the "divine Caesar", Jesus revealed God's plan to build his new "temple", the Church, to the true God with Peter as the solid rock.

    "After establishing Peter as the "Rock", Jesus promises to give Peter the "keys of the kingdom of heaven"-a reference to the steward's keys in Isaiah 22. The Davidic throne had been vacant since the Babylonian captivity (586 BC). The archangel Gabriel announced to Mary her Son Jesus would be given "the throne of his father David" (Lk 1:42). As Jesus, the new King of Israel, re-established the Davidic throne he appointed Peter to the office of royal steward-to rule "over the house" of the king (cf. CCC 553). Keys represent exclusive dominion and this authority was granted to Peter alone. The office of royal steward was successive in Israel. Familiar with their history, the Jews certainly understand that the office of Peter would be filled by successors as was the royal steward's office in Judah. The steward may die, but the office continues.

    "As the steward of Christ's kingdom, Peter is given the authority to bind and loose. This entails more than "opening heaven's door to those who believe the Gospel". Protestant scholar M. Vincent explains, "No other terms were in more constant use in Rabbinic canon-law than those of binding and loosing. They represented the legislative and judicial powers of the Rabbinic office. These powers Christ now transferred . . . in their reality, to his apostles; the first, here to Peter." Aramaic scholar George Lamsa writes, " 'He has the key,' means he can declare certain things to be lawful and others unlawful; that is to bind or to loose, or to prohibit or to permit, or to forgive". Other passages express Peter's primacy. Jesus tells Peter that, "Satan demanded to have you [plural], that he might sift you [plural] like wheat, but I have prayed for you [singular] that your faith may not fail; and when you [singular] have turned again, strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:31-32). Peter represents the apostles before God, and Jesus prays for him exclusively that he in turn can support his fellow apostles. This perfectly exemplifies the primacy of the Pope and his collegiality with the other bishops. Jesus also appoints Peter the shepherd of his sheep with the universal Church in view (Jn 21:15-17). The Jews would understand, according to contemporary usage, that the words "feed" and "tend" meant to teach, govern, and rule. St. Augustine comments, "The succession of priests keeps me [in the Catholic Church], beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate." St. John, writing long after Peter's death, reminds Christians of Peter's singular status.

    DHK further argues against the authority of Peter by saying:
    Ray continues: "Papal infallibility is often challenged by mentioning Paul's public rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. However, Paul does not oppose Peter's teaching, but rather Peter's failure to live consistently with his teaching. It was Peter's example that everyone followed so his conduct was crucial. Papal infallibility does not guarantee impeccable conduct; it only guarantees infallible teaching under strict conditions (CCC no. 891). Paul acknowledges Peter's office as "Rock" by referring to him as "Cephas" eight times-the title Christ himself had chosen. Tertullian (c. 160-c. 225) wrote, "If Peter was reproached [by Paul] . . . the fault certainly was one of procedure and not of doctrine" (On Prescription Against the Heretics, 23).

    "James' pastoral summary at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) does not nullify Peter's primacy. On the contrary, Peter delivered a binding pronouncement and defined doctrine. Only after Peter spoke did the debating assembly "keep silence" (Acts 15:12). After Paul relates his experiences, James spoke, as the bishop of Jerusalem, to summarize, quoting Peter along with Scripture. In 1 Peter 5:1, Peter's calls himself a "fellow elder". This humble greeting does not diminish Peter's authoritative office anymore than the President's words "My fellow Americans" denies Presidential authority, or the Popes' greeting "my fellow bishops" denies Papal authority.

    "In the first century, Christians and Jews referred to Rome with the pseudonym "Babylon"-persecutor of God's people. Peter wrote his first epistle from "Babylon" (1 Pet 5:13) where he was later martyred. Jesus prophesied that aged Peter's arms would be stretched out and John interprets Jesus' words as foretelling Peter's death (Jn 21:18-19). After decades of spreading the Gospel and ruling as Bishop of Rome, Peter's noble apostolate ended in crucifixion, though his Petrine office continued. Early Church history consistently affirms Peter's crucifixion and burial in Rome around AD 67. From the first century onward, the chair of Peter in Rome was revered among the Church Fathers."

    I could not have put it better myself.

    God bless.

    In Officio Agnus,
    Deacon's Son
     
  17. Dualhunter

    Dualhunter
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    Jesus could have said you are Petros and on this petros (both masculine) had he being talking about Peter the second time he said rock. Gender of words differs between languages and the gender of a word does not necessarily reflect of the gender of a person called by that word. Spirit is female in Hebrew, yet I don't think that you believe the Holy Spirit is female but rather refered to as a "He" in the Bible. Petros refers to a small stone, petra refers to suggests something bigger like a rock shelf. And before any Catholic tries to claim that it reads differently in Aramaic, the Holy Spirit inspired New Testament is written in Greek, Greek is not the only language with different words for rock (English has "stone", Hebrew and Aramaic have their own variations) which though often used interchangeably tend to have variations in their precise meaning just as petros and petra do. As already mentioned, had Jesus really been refering to Peter all He had to say was petros a second time instead of saying petra and had He used the same word when he spoke it the Holy Spirit would have made certain that the same word was used in both places in the Greek.
     
  18. DHK

    DHK
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    Allow me to quote Steve Ray who, like me, is a Baptist convert to the Catholic Church:

    "In the NT, the names Simon, Peter, or Cephas occur almost 200 times. The names of all the other disciples combined occur only about 130 times. In the NT lists of apostles, Peter is listed first. Matthew uses the word first (Mt 10:2) to "to single him out as the most prominent one of the twelve". He was the spokesman and authoritative voice of the apostles, as seen in the early chapters of Acts. Paul spent fifteen days in private with Peter before beginning his own apostolate (Gal 1:18)."
    </font>[/QUOTE]Your argument is illogical. Does the number of times a name is used indicate its importance? Let's look as some examples:
    1. The word "and" is used 23,872 times in the Bible; the word "the" 24,123; and the word "God," is used 4,447 times. Which word do you consider most important? Does frequency or number of times used in this case count?
    2. What about Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea? Which one is spoken of more often in the New Testament? Does it matter? Which one is more important? Is either one more important in God's sight? No! Both are equal in God's sight. God is no respecter of persons.
    3. When the Apostles argued among themselves who should be the greatest (as they often did), did Jesus at any time say that Peter should be the greater one? Absolutely not. In fact, quite the opposite; he upbraided them for the childish arguing, and set an example of humility for them in John 13 where he took a towel and washed each of their feet.
    As far as being the spokesmen, he was just outspoken. That was his nature. Would you like to say that it was nature to deny the Lord also. The other Apostles didn't do that. It was John that took care of Mary. Each Apostle was considered equal in Christ's sake, except for Judas, for He knew that he was unsaved and would betray Him. Even then He gave him every opportunity to repent.
    DHK
     
  19. DHK

    DHK
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    The Book of Romans was written by Paul to the believers in Rome in 58 A.D. If we take your date of Peter's death at 67 A.D., that hardly leaves enough room for him to be the bishop or hold any kind of so-called "petrine office" for "decades" at Rome. Paul mentioned in his greetings many people at Rome, but he never mentioned Peter. Surely, if Peter had been there he would have sent him greetings, just as he sent his greetings to Aquilla and Priscilla. Was he not just as important as they? The fact is that Peter was not in Rome. He may have been in Rome for his death, but even that can not be proven dogmatically. If it was the place of his death, he no doubt was hunted down by the Roman authorities and brought there as a criminal to die. There is no proof that was his place of residence, and no proof that he ever pastored a church there, much less was the Bishop. That is all a Catholic dream, a tradition with no historical basis in fact.
    DHK

    [ August 13, 2002, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
     
  20. inkaneer

    inkaneer
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    "The Catholic church is supposed to have this oral tradition that is perfectly preserved orally. Now if it has already been passed down to him orally he shouldn't have to study it nor should we get priest having wierd variations in doctrine because they should have received this tradition orally. Instead what we see is when something isn't found in the Bible, it's called "tradition" in defense."

    Let's face it. The Bible didn't drop out of heaven leather bound and with the words of Jesus in red ink. In fact the early church had no Bible. The Bible didn't appear until the end of the fourth century AD. Jesus commisioned the Apostles to go and preach the Word not to go and write a book. It was the Church [Catholic] that determined the Canon of scripture. The writings selected to be included in the Canon [all 73 books ] were those that supported the oral teaching. This was in accord with scripture which calls the Church the pillar and foundation of truth [1 Tim 3:15]. Therefore if the scripture says the Church is the pilar and foundationof truth why do you contradict scripture?
     

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