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History of Born Again

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History of Born Again

The Born Again Movement traces its origin early in the 19th century. In reaction to Protestant Liberalism a group of Protestant theologians from various denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Evangelicals etc.) wrote a 12 volume book entitled The Fundamentals. The book contains a compilation of essays of Protestant doctrines, and the Born Again Movement adapted their doctrines from this 12 volume book that is why some of their doctrines are similar to those of mainline Protestants. In the strictest sense Born Again Christians is an offshoot of mainline Protestantism, no wonder they claimed to be a non-denominational Church. Born Again Movement arrived at our shores in the late 1930’s and gained its popularity in the 70’s and 80’s which is considered the golden era of Born Again Movement in the Philippines. During these years membership in various Born Again Churches increased because they where able to infiltrate mainline Protestant Churches and had lured nominal Catholics into their fold. However their steady growth ceases starting the year 1990 and their membership declined in the succeeding years. In the year 2000 Born Again Churches from the United States sent their missionaries in the Philippines to re-established the Born Again Movement and this time their primary mission is no longer to infiltrate Protestant and Catholic Churches but targeted the youth in schools particularly college students. In DavaoCity there are various Born Again Churches, the following are the most common Born Again Churches that is actively recruiting students to join their rank, House hold of Faith, Victory Chapel, G12, PSALM and MaranathaFamilyChurch. Born Again evangelist does not want to discuss the history of the Christian church, in their Bible studies with their prospects, they intentionally limit the discussion to the Bible alone. They conceal the history of the Christian religion because it will show that their movement did not originate from the apostles. It is necessary for them to negate history because St. Paul warned us not to accept teachings that did not originate from the apostles Gal.1:8 and Born Again Movement evidently cannot trace the history of their church into the time of the apostles.

 

Method of Evangelization:

Born Again evangelists employ the basic principles of human psychology in order to lure people into their fold. Their method is both manipulation and deception, let me explain why. There are two principles that worked behind their method, emotion and common ground (music). Born Again evangelist realized that music is a common ground among youths, so they utilized music to attract young adults into their churches. If you attend the service of one of these Born Again Churches you can see that their music ministry is like a rock and roll band, they intentionally composed alternative type gospel songs in order to add attraction to their service. In this way those people whom they invited will experience a pleasurable feeling and will come back for more. Aside from music they add into their arsenal the appeal to the emotions of the people. The sermons of their pastors are directed to stir up the emotions of the listeners and sometimes they would even come to the point of crying in the pulpit, that is the reason why their pastors must be a good public speaker. Born Again evangelist knew that once they where able to touch the person’s emotion it will be very easy to manipulate him. Through music they grant pleasure and through emotional manipulation they control the people, this is a classical example of psychological conditioning (this is also used to train dogs). Clearly Born Again evangelization has deception as its chief foundation and they even used selected passages from the Bible to deceive people. They usually start evangelizing by asking ambiguous questions such as “Are you saved?” or “Are you born again?”, if the person answers “no or I don’t know” they will tell you that you must accept Christ as a Lord and Personal Savior in order to be born again otherwise you will be damned to hell. And if the person will answer “yes” they will invite you to their church and worship with them. And if the person is a Catholic that would mean that you have to leave the Catholic Church and do away your Catholic beliefs about Mary, the Saints, confession etc. Let us be vigilant not to fall to the snares of the Born Again movement.

 

 

The Catholic Church

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The Church

Jesus Christ Founded the Catholic Church on AD 33 Mt. 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

(Mt. 28-19) Jesus states – Go ye therefore, and TEACHall nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

(Mk. 16-15) Jesus states – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and PREACHthe gospel to every creature.

(Mk 16-20) –And they went forth, and PREACHED everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

The church is “the light of the world.” He then noted that “a city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). This means his Church is a visible organization. It must have characteristics that clearly identify it and that distinguish it from other churches. Jesus promised, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return.

Church is a ” city set on a mountain that cannot be hidden” ( Matt. 5:14) Church is not spiritual or invisible. Church in Greek is Ekklesia mentioned in the bible more than hundred times.

Protestants thinks that the church is spiritual and invisible composed of some sort of amorphous collection of true believers form every denomination is completely unbiblical. Jesus established only one church, NOT for a group of squabbling rival denominations.

In Matt 18:17-18, Jesus is clearly telling us that the Church is the final authority on questions of faith or discipline. Jesus says to take the wayward brother to the Church for reproval. Now, God would not command us to do the impossible. This means that God would have provided us with the information necessary to understand what “Church” He was talking about. Since Jesus uses “Church” only one other time (in Matt 16:18), it is obvious that this Church must mean the one He built upon St. Peter.

The Scriptural, patristic and historical records demonstrate that this Church could only be the Catholic Church. There was no other Church around at the time these words were penned. Moreover, only the Catholic Church can demonstrate a continuity and consistency in doctrine and morals which would be necessary if we are to make any sense out of Jesus’ words in Matt 18:17-18.

Where does the Baptist take his Pentecostal brother? Where does the Lutheran take his Methodist sister? Jesus’ words demand that there be one, authoritative institution to resolve the doctrinal or disciplinary issue. If not, then Jesus’ words would mean little. We would never have any consistency on doctrine and morals, the very ingredients that are necessary to our salvation. God is one and His Church is one. A kingdom divided against itself will not stand. That is why the Catholic Church has been around for 2,000 years, and the Protestant sects continue to splinter by the thousands each year.

This verse is a tough pill for Protestants to swallow. They want to argue that the Bible is the only and final authority. However, not only does the Bible never say that, the Bible tells us the Church is the final authority. So, if they want to be faithful to the Bible, then they have to follow the Church. Of course, this forces them to determine what “Church” this is. And if they are truly honest with themselves, they know there is no other recourse than joining the Catholic Church.

We need the Church in order to be saved.  Jesus Christ gave us the Church as the exclusive means by which we become united to Him through the sacraments, which allow us to grow in holiness, and give us the best chance for salvation.  Those outside the Church are, objectively speaking, in a spiritually deficient condition, although they can still be saved by Christ.  But the Church gives us the totality of the means of salvation through Christ and His Eucharistic sacrifice, which the Church celebrates from the rising of the sun to its setting.  

The Church is the sacrament of salvation.  Regularly receiving the sacraments that Christ instituted is the way that Jesus has set the whole thing up.  Confession is the normative way that God forgives sins.  The Eucharist is the greatest gift God has given to us this side of heaven – because it is Jesus Christ Himself.  It is only in the Church where we eat His body and drink His blood as Jesus commanded us. 

You cannot receive these sacraments outside the Church where there is no valid priesthood.  The Catholic Church is the bride of Christ, and we are adopted sons of the Father in Christ through His bride, the Church.  You are right to say this is also a matter of faith.  The Church is supernatural, not just a human institution.  That is why the Church is an article of faith.  Pray to Mary, the Mother of the Church, to give you the wisdom you need to truly comprehend its magnificence and necessity.

 

Around the year A.D. 107, a bishop, St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Near East, was arrested, brought to Rome by armed guards and eventually martyred there in the arena. In a farewell letter which this early bishop and martyr wrote to his fellow Christians in Smyrna (today Izmir in modern Turkey), he made the first written mention in history of “the Catholic Church.” He wrote, “Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church” (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2). Thus, the second century of Christianity had scarcely begun when the name of the Catholic Church was already in use.

Thereafter, mention of the name became more and more frequent in the written record. It appears in the oldest written account we possess outside the New Testament of the martyrdom of a Christian for his faith, the “Martyrdom of St. Polycarp,” bishop of the same Church of Smyrna to which St. Ignatius of Antioch had written. St. Polycarp was martyred around 155, and the account of his sufferings dates back to that time. The narrator informs us that in his final prayers before giving up his life for Christ, St. Polycarp “remembered all who had met with him at any time, both small and great, both those with and those without renown, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world.”

We know that St. Polycarp, at the time of his death in 155, had been a Christian for 86 years. He could not, therefore, have been born much later than 69 or 70. Yet it appears to have been a normal part of the vocabulary of a man of this era to be able to speak of “the whole Catholic Church throughout the world.”

The name had caught on, and no doubt for good reasons.

The term “catholic” simply means “universal,” and when employing it in those early days, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Polycarp of Smyrna were referring to the Church that was already “everywhere,” as distinguished from whatever sects, schisms or splinter groups might have grown up here and there, in opposition to the Catholic Church.

The term was already understood even then to be an especially fitting name because the Catholic Church was for everyone, not just for adepts, enthusiasts or the specially initiated who might have been attracted to her.

Again, it was already understood that the Church was “catholic” because — to adopt a modern expression — she possessed the fullness of the means of salvation. She also was destined to be “universal” in time as well as in space, and it was to her that applied the promise of Christ to Peter and the other apostles that “the powers of death shall not prevail” against her (Mt 16:18).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in our own day has concisely summed up all the reasons why the name of the Church of Christ has been the Catholic Church: “The Church is catholic,” the Catechism teaches, “[because] she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is ‘missionary of her very nature'” (no. 868).

So the name became attached to her for good. By the time of the first ecumenical council of the Church, held at Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 325 A.D., the bishops of that council were legislating quite naturally in the name of the universal body they called in the Council of Nicaea’s official documents “the Catholic Church.” As most people know, it was that same council which formulated the basic Creed in which the term “catholic” was retained as one of the four marks of the true Church of Christ. And it is the same name which is to be found in all 16 documents of the twenty-first ecumenical council of the Church, Vatican Council II.

It was still back in the fourth century that St. Cyril of Jerusalem aptly wrote, “Inquire not simply where the Lord’s house is, for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens the houses of the Lord; nor inquire merely where the church is, but where the Catholic Church is. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body, the Mother of all, which is the Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (Catecheses, xviii, 26).

The same inquiry needs to be made in exactly the same way today, for the name of the true Church of Christ has in no way been changed. It was inevitable that the Catechism of the Catholic Church would adopt the same name today that the Church has had throughout the whole of her very long history.

https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm

 

 

When did the term “Roman Catholic Church” first come into being?

It is not possible to give an exact year when the Catholic Church began to be called the “Roman Catholic Church,” but it is possible to approximate it. The term originates as an insult created by Anglicans who wished to refer to themselves as Catholic. They thus coined the term “Roman Catholic” to distinguish those in union with Rome from themselves and to create a sense in which they could refer to themselves as Catholics (by attempting to deprive actual Catholics to the right to the term).

Different variants of the “Roman” insult appeared at different times. The earliest form was the noun “Romanist” (one belonging to the Catholic Church), which appeared in England about 1515-1525. The next to develop was the adjective “Romish” (similar to something done or believed in the Catholic Church), which appeared around 1525-1535. Next came the noun “Roman Catholic” (one belonging to the Catholic Church), which was coined around 1595-1605. Shortly thereafter came the verb “to Romanize” (to make someone a Catholic or to become a Catholic), which appeared around 1600-10. Between 1665 and 1675 we got the noun “Romanism” (the system of Catholic beliefs and practices), and finally we got a latecomer term about 1815-1825, the noun “Roman Catholicism,” a synonym for the earlier “Romanism.”

A similar complex of insults arose around “pope.” About 1515-25 the Anglicans coined the term “papist” and later its derivative “papism.” A quick follow-up, in 1520-1530, was the adjective “popish.” Next came “popery” (1525-1535), then “papistry” (1540-1550), with its later derivatives, “papistical” and “papistic.” (Source: Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1995 ed.)

This complex of insults is revealing as it shows the depths of animosity English Protestants had toward the Church. No other religious body (perhaps no other group at all, even national or racial) has such a complex of insults against it woven into the English language as does the Catholic Church. Even today many Protestants who have no idea what the origin of the term is cannot bring themselves to say “Catholic” without qualifying it or replacing it with an insult.

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/when-did-the-term-roman-catholic-church-first-come-into-being


 


 

 

I hope Manny now knows not to turn his back on the true source of his power.

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I hope Manny now knows not to turn his back on the true source of his power, her mommy praying the rosary all throughout the fight for his son. Sobrang pag mamahal ni mommy Dionisia sa kanyang anak pinag Rosary si Pacman during the fight ang kanyang Anak para MANALO
sobrang pag mamahal ni mommy Dionisia sa kanyang anak pinag Rosary si Pacman during the fight ang kanyang Anak para MANALO
At Las Vegas during the PacMan – Bradley 2 Fight April 12, 2014

All about Rome and Peter

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To those who do not believe in St. Peter as being authority of the Apostles:

bullet Consider of all the Apostles, Our Lord chose to give a permanent new name ONLY to St. Peter by saying, “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter” Matthew 16:18. Note Our Lord did not give the other Apostles an additional new names, only Peter, which signifies Peter’s authority among the Apostles. And if we look elsewhere in Scripture, other name changes have signified a change of status, such as with Abraham in Genesis 17:5 and Jacob in Genesis 32:28.
bullet Consider the verse, “And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” Luke 22:31. When Our Lord was about to establish the faith in His Church, He specifically prayed for St. Peter as head. Scripture does not show Our Lord saying this to any of the other Apostles. Is this not to place him as responsible for all? And it is also equally clear that having prayed specifically for St. Peter, the head of the others, it was so St. Peter might not fail, who was to assist with supplying the others with the faith as well.
bullet And when Our Lord says, “being once converted” that St. Peter should “confirm thy brethren“, does this not clearly state that St. Peter is head of the others? Our Lord could not have given St. Peter the command to confirm the Apostles without charging him to have care over them.
bullet Also consider the verses, “When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.” John 21:15. Our Lord again, only said these words to St. Peter and not to the other Apostles because St. Peter alone was the authority among them. There is no confusion on whether Our Lord was speaking to St. Peter alone here for the part “more than these” shows Our Lord referring to the other Apostles, and only St. Peter was grieved. And what does it mean to give someone charge of feeding the sheep but to be their pastor, ruler and shepherd? In many places in Scripture to “feed” and to “rule” are used interchangeably as well so there is no confusion here.
bullet And when Our Lord said, “As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep.” John 10:15, Our Lord was not referring to specific sheep, but ALL of His sheep. Some Protestants have argued that Our Lord was referring to only specific “lambs” and “sheep” in John 21, but this is illogical for if He was, why did He not specify the specific lambs and sheep?
bullet In addition, Our Lord first says, “Feed my lambs” twice, then “Feed my sheep” once. What was the purpose of this? This was to clearly give St. Peter charge not only over the people but the pastors and Apostles themselves for the sheep nourish the lambs.
bullet We also have proof of St. Peter’s authority over the other Apostles based on any time either all or part of the Apostles are referenced in Scripture, St. Peter is always listed first, and in each of these instances, the other Apostles’ names that follow are not in any particular order.
bullet We also note in numerous places in Scripture where there is occasion for the Apostles to speak, St. Peter is known to speak for the group. “Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” John 6:68. Notice St. Peter speaks for the group and also says “and WE have believed“, speaking for all. Only one in authority speaks for a group.
bullet Consider the verse, “And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe” Acts 15:7. This verse clearly shows St. Peter publicly exercising his authority over the other Apostles.
bullet Some Protestants have been known to say that all the Apostles are equal, with St. Peter having no authority over them. Looking at the verses just referenced above, Our Lord clearly bestowed this right on St. Peter for the good of the Church; to avoid schisms like we see in the Protestant churches today!
bullet To further expand on this point, in several other locations in Scripture there are references to Peter and the other Apostles without naming them, such as “Peter and they that were with him” (Luke 9:32) and “Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him” (Mark 1:36) which clearly indicate St. Peter as head. St. Peter is also named separately when referencing all of the Apostles on several occasions such as “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee” (Mark 16:7), and “But Peter standing up with the eleven” (Acts 2:14), and “and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles” Acts 2:37. What more can be said on this subject?
bullet Here we see St. Peter being first to convert others to the Church; “They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls” Acts 2:41
bullet Here we see St. Peter performing the first healing; “But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength” Acts 3:6-7
bullet St. Peter was the first of the Apostles to raise the dead; “Peter kneeling down prayed, and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and seeing Peter, she sat up. And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive.” Acts 9:40,41. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter’s authority over the other Apostles.
bullet The Protestant reformers have also denied St. Peter was originally the first head of the Church. How can anyone deny this when so many writings from the first three centuries from renowned people contain references to St. Peter being first head of the Church and head of the Apostles? For example we have in the middle of the third century St. Cyprian saying that Cornelius has succeeded to “the place of Fabian which is the place of Peter” (Ep 55:8; cf. 59:14). Firmilian of Caesarea notices that Stephen claimed to decide the controversy regarding rebaptism on the ground that he held the succession from Peter (Cyprian, Ep. 75:17). In the first quarter of the 3rd century (about 220) Tertullian (De Pud. 21) mentions Callistus’s claim that Peter’s power to forgive sins had descended in a special manner to him. About the same period, Hippolytus in  “Clement of Rome”, 1:259) reckons Peter in the list of Roman bishops. In addition writings from St. Jerome quote St. Peter as “Head of the Church” and a writing from St. Hilary as “Happy foundation of the Church” and many, many other examples not listed here. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter being the first Bishop of Rome.

 

21. To those who do not believe St. Peter was first Bishop of Rome and that he had successors that continued to lead the Church:

bullet Our Lord clearly said, “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Matthew 28:19-20.  It is very clear from these verses that the Apostles in their lifetime could not have taught ALL nations themselves, hence Our Lord continued the SAME thought with the word “and”, stating that He would be with them to the end of the world. This can only refer to successors.
bullet Also consider the verses, “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17. Here Our Lord clearly states the spirit of truth would “abide with them forever”, which indicates their successors as well. How were the Apostles to fulfill Our Lord’s words in the verses above without Apostolic successors? It is clear Our Lord knew they could not finish teaching all nations in their lifetime and that He was promising to be with their successors, guiding them until the end of the world. How else can these verses be interpreted?
bullet Furthermore we can immediately see that “teaching all nations” would not be limited to the Apostles alone, for we see St. Paul in his Epistles sending Bishop Titus and Bishop Timothy to finish the work he had begun in spreading the faith. Furthermore, we see St. Paul instructing Bishop Titus to further pass on this position to others; “For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee” Titus 1:5
bullet As we mention elsewhere on this page, Our Lord clearly established St. Peter as His vicar and administrator of the Church on earth. If Our Lord was to establish a head of His Church back when the Apostles were alive and were so steadfast and so strong, how much more today is the Church in need of a head when there are so many weaknesses and infirmities in the members of the Church?
bullet As for St. Peter having successors, several ancient writings exist from the first, second, and third centuries from St. Clement, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Dorotheus, Optatus of Milevis, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and the Fourth General Council of Chalcedon, ALL which make reference to St. Peter being first Bishop of Rome who later handed succession to St. Linus, St. Anacletus, and St. Clement. Some of the writings about these three successors conflict with each other with respect to the order of these successors, due to the fact that St. Clement was first offered to be successor of St. Peter as Bishop, but he initially refused it until the deaths of St. Linus and St. Anacletus, who took the role before him. Nevertheless all ancient writings agree on these three as being successors of St. Peter. So why do the Protestant reformers choose to ignore the writings of all antiquity?
bullet The Protestant reformers have stated that the Catholic Church was still pure during the first six or so centuries, and writings from countless Saints and others during those same centuries all coincide in that St. Peter was first Bishop of Rome, who later handed off that succession to other Bishops of Rome, St. Linus, St. Anacletus, and St. Clement. So why do the Protestant reformers choose to deny this? And to those who agree St. Peter had successors but that those successors were not the Bishops of Rome, the early General Councils of Nice, Constantinople, and Chalcedon contradict you, all indicating the Bishops of Rome were successors.
bullet In short, never in the early centuries of the Church were there bishops who claimed they were head or superior over the rest other than the Bishop of Rome. On what grounds then do the Protestant reformers have to challenge what is so plentiful in ancient writings?
bullet It is also interesting to note that some of the Protestant reformers chose to deny St. Peter was ever in Rome, which is contrary to ancient writings. Calvin, seeing this denial would oppose antiquity, instead chose to believe St. Peter was “not long” Bishop of Rome instead. It is interesting to see the immediate conflicts in opinion that arose between the Protestant reformers before the reformation even got off the ground. It is clear from ancient writings that St. Peter spent the majority of his life in Rome, and some years in Judea and Antioch.
bullet As for Protestant reformers challenging the term “pope” used for the Bishop of Rome because it is not found in Scripture,  it is simply a term that means “chief father” or “grandfather”. There are many other terms that people use for the Bishop of Rome such as “His Holiness” and “Holy Father” which are not in Scripture either, but they do not have to be as they are simply a choice of terms. We see reference to the term pope in writings of St. Jerome and the Council of Chalcedon (which was held while the Church was still “pure” according to the Protestant reformers) and in other writings, but the choice of the term is insignificant as it simply refers to the head Bishop of Rome.
bullet We all agree that the books of the Bible contain the inspired Word of God. These books of the Bible also contain the many writings of St. Peter such as 1 St. Peter and 2 St. Peter, and we all believe them to be inspired and the infallible Word of God. Why then do the Protestant reformers find it so far above reason to also believe in St. Peter’s infallibility acting as head of the Church?

 


22. To those who do not believe in the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and His authority over the Church:

bullet First let us consider the term “rock” used so frequently in Scripture. If we look throughout Scripture, “rock” has always been used to refer to Our Lord and no one else. Our Lord by His excellence is called the rock, because He is the foundation of the Church. This we all agree on.
bullet Now let us go back to the primary verses in Scripture which the Protestant reformers disagree with the meaning of, which are, “And Jesus answering, said to 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.” Matthew 16:18. Some Protestant reformers choose to believe that Jesus was speaking to St. Peter, but starting with “and upon this rock” they claim Our Lord was no longer referring to St. Peter. Why would Our Lord bother to mention or refer to St. Peter in the verse if He was about to speak about something else? We answer it is illogical to think Our Lord said the sentence beginning with “Blessed are thou, Simon Bar-jona…” in order to say nothing more than “thou are Peter” afterward, then suddenly change the subject mid-sentence to refer to something else. The verse only makes sense when all is referring to St. Peter.
bullet Note that at that time, “Peter” was not the proper name of a man as we know it today, but was only then appropriated to Simon Bar-jona by Jesus, and this name was not given to anyone else. This forces the question, if the name Peter was never used before this time, why would Our Lord suddenly give Simon the name Peter? What could have been the meaning or purpose of this name change other than implying Simon was equivalent to what “Peter” meant, which is rock?
bullet Note also that when Jesus first met St. Peter He said, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter.” John 1:42. Note here that the name Cephas also translates to the word “rock”, as does Peter. In other words Cephas and Peter and rock all have the same meaning. So this is the same as saying, “thou art rock; and upon this rock…”. Now considering that the term “rock” has always been attributed to Our Lord only throughout Scripture, what do you think it signifies when Our Lord now calls St. Peter “rock”?
bullet In addition we can clearly see the early Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries referring to St. Peter as the rock. For example Tertullian writes, “Peter, who is the rock whereon the Church was to be built, and who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (De Praes., 22). St. Cyprian also writes, “Peter, whom the Lord chose as first, and upon whom He built His Church” (Epis. 71, Ad Quintum).
bullet Next we see the verse immediately following “That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” with the verse “And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matthew 16:19. Notice “thee” which is referring to St. Peter alone. Also, verses 18 and 19 clearly go together and are a continuous thought separated by “and”, contrary to some of the Protestant reformers who would illogically try to separate the verses under unrelated thoughts. And to confirm, the belief as explained above has been maintained by the Catholic Church from Her earliest days, and was confirmed at the Council of Chalcedon, when even the Protestant reformers admit the Catholic Church was the true Church.
bullet Also consider Our Lord, upon stating “upon this rock I build my church” is comparing His Church to a building, and when He says He will build it on St. Peter, He is referring to St. Peter being the Church’s visible foundation here on earth. This in other words makes St. Peter head and superior of this Church. In other words, Our Lord is the foundation, founder and builder, while St. Peter is only the foundation from an administrative point of view. Our Lord is the Church’s master, while St. Peter only has management of it on earth.
bullet It is true that Scripture teaches us that there is no other foundation than Our Lord, though it also teaches us that St. Peter is also a foundation, and further that the Apostles are as well. It is incorrect and illogical to give up the belief that Our Lord is foundation after we read that St. Peter is also foundation or that the Apostles are. Rather all three beliefs remain, and instead we focus on the degree in which they are each considered foundations. Consider the verse from St. Paul, “Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Ephesians 2:20. Here St. Paul clearly implies all of the Apostles are foundations, with Our Lord having a notable difference among them as corner stone of the foundation. The Apostles are also called foundations but from a different perspective; simply because it is they that lay the foundation of the Church everywhere by their preaching. Prophets are mentioned in this verse for the same reason; we know they are not foundations of the Church but we can refer to them as such in another sense because of their doctrine.
bullet The Catholic Church has always believed that Our Lord is the only foundation of the Church and our faith. No one has ever doubted this. Though some Protestants will ask why then Catholics place Peter as foundation. And we answer that it is not WE that placed him there, but Our Lord who did so in verses 18 and 19 as we mention above. If anyone besides Our Lord had placed St. Peter as part of the foundation of the Church, we and the rest of the Catholic Church would protest. “For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid” 1 Corinthians 3:11. Our Lord simply approved this Himself so who are we to deny it? Note that St. Peter and the Apostles are not foundations BESIDE Our Lord, rather they are foundations subordinate to Our Lord.
bullet And to those Protestants who claim Our Lord also said the same to the Apostles as to St. Peter; “And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” we agree fully. But notice nowhere in Scripture does Jesus say “And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” to anyone other than St. Peter.
bullet Some Protestants also like to claim that the Catholic Church considers St. Peter as a successor to Christ. They are incorrect. Rather St. Peter is a vicar of Christ and should in no way be compared to Christ who is God. Just as a King gives his son power to chastise, grant favors, and give gifts, his son does not have the scepter, but only exercise of it. What the King’s son does will be valid, be that does not make him King. This relationship is similar to that of Our Lord and St. Peter, and to that of St. Peter and the Apostles.
bullet In summary, all of the Apostles are referred to as foundations of the Church, but in authority and government, St. Peter precedes. St. Peter is foundation, not founder of the whole Church, and he is a foundation, but founded on another foundation, which is Our Lord. St. Peter is the foundation (not founder) of the Church on earth, and is the administrator of faith, hope, charity, the Sacraments, and of the Church on earth, but he is NOT the Lord of them.

 

23. To those who do not recognize and do not have respect for the authority of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope):

bullet First, we see on many occasions in Scripture where there is occasion for the Apostles to speak, St. Peter is known to speak for the group. “Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” John 6:68. Notice St. Peter speaks for the group and also says “and WE have believed“, speaking for all. Also consider the verses, “Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15 and “And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible. Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?” Matthew 19:26. Also consider at the election of St. Matthias it is St. Peter alone who speaks and determines. There are many other examples in Scripture where St. Peter speaks for the group of Apostles. Simply put, it is usual that the head should speak for the whole body, and that what the head says is considered to be said by all the rest. And it is this reason that St. Chrysostom and Origen have called St. Peter “the mouth and crown of the Apostles”. “Amen, amen I say to you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me.” John 13:20
bullet When St. Peter was placed as foundation of the Church, and the Church was certified that the gates of hell should not prevail against it, was it not enough to say that St. Peter as foundation-stone could not be crushed with infidelity or error, which is the principal gate of hell?
bullet If the head shepherd can conduct his sheep into venomous pastures, the flock is soon to be lost. So if the head shepherd, with no other visible head available, can wander, who will set him straight? If there are no other head shepherds to lead and the sheep are not capable of guiding, how can this head shepherd guide his flock with a guarantee that hell will not prevail, unless supernatural assistance exists?
bullet Consider the great authority of Moses who sat and judged all the differences among the people, and all difficulties which occurred in the service of God. He appointed judges for issues of lower importance and the greater doubts were reserved for him. God spoke through him for decisions of that time and we all believe this. Why then do the Protestant reformers doubt a similar situation with the head of the Catholic Church? Considering Moses, is this situation THAT far above reason? Clearly it is not. If God had such providence over the religion of the Jews to establish them a supreme judge in whose sentence they were bound to consent to, there is no doubt that God provided Christianity with a similar judge or pastor who has the same authority to remove doubts and disagreements concerning the Scriptures.
bullet Even Luther originally believed in the authority of the Pope as we can see in his letter to Pope Leo X in 1518 where he actually presents six reasons for proof of authority of the Holy See in Rome and states that Scripture supports these reasons! Calvin himself originally believed in the authority of the Holy See as well, stating the Ancients have honored and revered it. So on what grounds do these Protestant reformers change from being Catholics, scrapping their beliefs to start a whole new doctrine?
bullet It is clear looking at the history of the Catholic Church that She does not believe the Pope can err or mislead the faithful in regards to faith and morals, which is based on Our Lord’s words that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Outside of decisions on faith and morals and in all private decisions, the Pope is susceptible to mistakes just as anyone else. Simply put, everything a king says is not law and does not become law, but only that which the king pronounces as king and legislator. So goes the same with the Bishop of Rome; he can make errors outside the chair of Peter, as a private individual by writings and bad example, but with pronouncements on faith and morals in the chair of Peter, Our Lord’s promise holds.
bullet If all are bound by the Lord to believe the teachings of the Apostles and their successors or be condemned, and those teachings could contain error, what confusion would occur in Christendom with some parties considering one teaching good, another bad, and others occupying themselves in controlling the decisions of their superiors?
bullet Consider the verse, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth.” John 16:13. How does the Holy Spirit teach, but through the Pastors of the Church?
bullet Consider St. Ignatius, early church Father and Bishop of Antioch, who sent his Epistle to the Trallians around the year 107 AD. In it he writes, “For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ…” and in the same paragraph writes, “It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ“. This was in the earliest time of the church shortly after the death of the last Apostle. Clearly St. Ignatius here openly states that a Bishop should be obeyed as to Christ himself, and that we should also be subject to the presbytery (priest) as to the Apostles. How much more would this apply to the head bishop of the church in Rome?
bullet To Protestants who rather consider Luther an authority, how can you look to a man who blindly excommunicates the Pope, and the Bishops, and the entire Catholic Church in one written Bull while completely ignoring all the facts as presented on this page? Such decisions can only be made out of anger or frustration and not of intelligent facts. And what are we to think about Luther writing to the King of England claiming, “I will be the enemy of the papacy, burnt I will be thy enemy.” Are these the words of a Christian? Of an authority? Consider the writings of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and other reformers which are filled with vulgarities, calumnies, insults, detraction and ridicule. Are these really the words of a Christian with a mission from God to “reform” the Church? What does this all mean than that they have nothing else to say and are unable to keep from ill-saying? No one sent from God would do or say such things as these reformers have.

 

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To those who say the Catholic Church perished or went apostate , which brought about the need for a reformation:

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To those who say the Catholic Church perished, which brought about the need for a reformation:

bullet To say that the Church perished or went apostate is blasphemous against the Passion of Our Lord. Didn’t Jesus undergo His passion and death for us that He could establish His Church for all of us? Of what sense does it make that Our Lord should let go of His Church which cost Him so dear right after He established it? Of what sense would it make that He would take it back from us after giving it to us? How could He have abandoned the Church, which cost Him all of His blood? Do you think that Jesus is weaker than His adversary, the devil, and was overcome by him?
bullet In Scripture Jesus clearly made promises on promises pertaining to the perpetuity of His Church. To say the Church perished is to call Jesus a liar. “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18)
bullet Who gave Luther and Calvin a commission to revoke so many holy and solemn promises which Our Lord made of His Church? Did Our Lord not say of His Church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”? (Matt 16:18) And didn’t He say, “behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” Matthew 28:20? And didn’t Our Lord say “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever” John 14:16? And don’t we see repeated mention in the New Testament that Our Lord will be with us? How can all of these promises stand if the Church perished or went apostate? And if the true Church is to last forever as Christ told us, how can it have failed or went apostate for a thousand years as the Protestant reformers claim?
bullet He who thinks himself to be the reformer or resuscitator of the Catholic Church attributes to himself the honor due to Jesus alone, and makes himself greater than the Apostles. The Apostles preserved the Church by their ministry after Our Lord instituted it. He who says that he has found the Church dead and raised it to life himself is the most audacious human alive.
bullet If the Church did perish and the Protestant reformers were the ones to truly resuscitate the Church back to a true state, that would make them greater than the Apostles. But never have they shown any signs or wonders of such greatness in their lives as the Apostles did!
bullet To say that the Church perished sometime after the first five or six centuries as the Protestant reformers say is to imply nothing else than our predecessors for nearly 1000 years before the reformation are damned, for outside of the true Church there is no salvation.
bullet And lastly, there is no doubt there were problems in the Church before the Reformation. The Church has always had problems in every century and has always been persecuted, as Our Lord told us would be the case. We also see in Scripture that Our Lord said He would be with His Church forever and that it would never fail. Looking at the history of the Church, whenever problems had arisen, the Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, always called together General Councils and corrected the problems. If there were problems in the Church before the Reformation, it was not up to unknown men like Luther and Calvin to try and correct them on their own without any authority when it was well known that the Church had always used General Councils to correct problems for the 1500 years prior.

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To those who do not believe in veneration of statues, pictures, crucifixes and other images of Christianity

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To those who do not believe in veneration of statues, pictures, crucifixes and other images of Christianity

bullet We must first note here that it can readily be seen from the very beginning that Christians adorned their catacombs with paintings of Christ, of the Saints, and of scenes from the Bible, including parts of Our Lord’s Passion such as His crowning.
bullet Next we note many ancient writings which reference pictures and statues commonly used by Christians in the early centuries of the Church including St. Ambrose (d. 397) and St. Augustine (d. 430) each referring several times to pictures of our Lord and the saints in churches, St. Jerome (d. 420) also writes of pictures of the Apostles as well-known ornaments of churches, Gregory of Tours (d. 594) says that a Frankish woman, who built a church of St. Stephen, showed the artists who painted its walls how they should represent the Saints out of a book. St. Nilus in the fifth century blames a friend for wishing to decorate a church with profane ornaments, and exhorts him to replace these by scenes from Scripture. St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) was also a great a defender of icons in the Church. These are just a few examples.
bullet The conclusion here is that the principle of adorning chapels and churches with pictures dates from the very earliest Christian times. Centuries before the Iconoclast troubles they were in use throughout Christendom. So also all the old Christian Churches in East and West used holy pictures constantly.
bullet Next we note the Council of Nicaea II (787) approved of veneration of images, and forbade adoration of them. The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have always followed decisions of this Council since.
bullet As additional proof that Catholics do not “worship” or idolize such images, we can clearly see in the document “Veneration of Images” in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07664a.htm) that the Catholic Church has always allowed ONLY veneration but never worship of pictures, statues and the like.
bullet Some non-Catholics may still somehow insist that veneration of a picture or statue is somehow idolatry or superstition regardless of the proof we provide above. To this we ask, do you have pictures of loved ones around your home as reminders of them? If so, do you love the actual pictures and frames they are in, or do you love who the pictures remind you of? And if you kneel to read a prayer from a prayer book, are you worshipping the prayer book or just using it as an aid? I think we all know the answers to these questions.
bullet Now let us consider the definition of prayer from “A Catholic Dictionary” (1958) which states that prayer is the “raising of our mind and heart to God”. Hence anything that raises our thoughts heavenward is prayerful.
bullet Let us now consider the average Christian home today. Many do not have a single symbol of Christianity in any room, but rather are filled with modern art that appeal to sensual rather than the spiritual side of our nature. The Catholic home (especially the devout Catholic home) will be filled with pictures and/or statues of Our Lord, or crucifixes instead of modern art. The result? Looking around a home such as this will constantly “raise the mind and heart to God” for everyone in the family, which is what prayer does. This is clearly not worship but rather an aid. While a family who owns a home filled with modern art will always be thinking on “earthly” levels and will scarcely give Our Lord a second thought throughout the day. Scripture tells us to pray often, so a prayerful home is much better than a non-prayerful home.
bullet In summary, statues, pictures and the like are a constant inspiration to pious thoughts. They are not ornaments or objects of idolatry or superstition, but prayer aids. Even a short look is an effective means of prayer! Not to have any pictures or statues is a denial that Jesus is master of our households.  We all know what Our Lord thought of those who refused to publicly acknowledge Him. No amount of prayer aids is too many, and makes the task of raising our children in the love of God that much easier

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Examples of writings from the early Church Fathers (the first Christians in the early centuries after the Apostles) showing they were Catholic, not Protestant:

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The following quotes are taken from “Fathers in the Faith”, the Complete 37 Volume Collection of the Early Church Fathers.

References to the Virgin Mary

bullet EARLY LITURGIES–THE DIVINE LITURGY OF JAMES, THE HOLY APOSTLE AND BROTHER OF THE LORD (1st century): “Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most glorious, blessed Lady, the God-Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the saints….”
bullet THE LITURGY OF THE BLESSED APOSTLES. COMPOSED BY ST. ADAEUS AND ST. MARIS (3rd century?): “We offer to Thee this reasonable service for those who have fallen asleep in faith, … patriarchs, apostles, evangelists, martyrs, … and every just one made perfect in the faith: especially our all-holy, undefiled, most blessed Lady, Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary,” etc. But she, they tell us, was assumed into glory, like Christ Himself, and reigns with Him as “Queen of Angels,” etc.”
bullet THE TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS, CONCERNING THE PASSING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (2nd century): “And when the Lord’s day came, at the third hour, just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in a cloud, so Christ descended with a multitude of angels, and received the soul of His beloved mother. For there was such splendour and perfume of sweetness, and angels singing the songs of songs, where the Lord says, As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters, that all who were there present fell on their faces, as the apostles fell when Christ transfigured Himself before them on Mount Thabor, and for a whole hour and a half no one was able to rise. But when the light went away, and at the same time with the light itself, the soul of the blessed virgin Mary was taken up into heaven with psalms, and hymns, and songs of songs. And as the cloud went up the whole earth shook, and in one moment all the inhabitants of Jerusalem openly saw the departure of St. Mary…..Then the apostles with great honour laid the body in the tomb, weeping and singing through exceeding love and sweetness. And suddenly there shone round them a light from heaven, and they fell to the ground, and the holy body was taken up by angels into heaven.
….Then the blessed Thomas told them how he was singing mass in India – he still had on his sacerdotal robes. He, not knowing the word of God, had been brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most holy body of the blessed Mary going up into heaven.”
bullet A TREATISE ON NATURE AND GRACE, AGAINST PELAGIUS. BY AURELIUS AUGUSTIN, BISHOP OF HIPPO, ADDRESSED TO TIMASIUS AND JACOBUS (A.D. 415): “CH42. THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY MAY HAVE LIVED WITHOUT SIN. NONE OF THE SAINTS BESIDES HER WITHOUT SIN. We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.”


References to Priests, Bishops, and Saying Mass

bullet REGISTER OF THE EPISTLES OF SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, BOOK V,EPISTLE XXI TO CONSTANTINA AUGUSTA (6th century): “Further, a bishop of the city of Salona has been ordained without the knowledge of me and my responsalis, and a thing has been done which never happened under any former princes. When I heard of this, I at once sent word to that prevaricator, who had been irregularly ordained, that he must not presume by any means to celebrate the solemnities of mass…”
bullet DECREES OF FABIAN (3rd century) FROM THE CODEX OF DECREES IN SIXTEEN BOOKS: “II. That an illiterate presbyter may not venture to celebrate mass. The sacrifice is not to be accepted from the hand of a priest who is not competent to discharge the prayers or actions (actiones) and other observances in the mass according to religious usage.”
bullet SELECTIONS FROM THE LETTERS OF ST. AMBROSE: MEMORIAL OF SYMMACHUS THE PREFECT OF THE CITY, Epistle XX (4th century): “The day after, which was Sunday, after the lessons and the sermon, when the Catechumens were dismissed, I was teaching the creed to certain candidates in the baptistery of the basilica. There it was reported to me that they had sent decani from the palace, and were putting up hangings, and that part of the people were going there. I, however, remained at my ministrations, and began to celebrate mass.”


References to the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist

bullet LEO THE GREAT, LETTER IX, TO DIOSCORUS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA (5th century): “III. The repetition of the Holy Eucharist on the great festivals is not undesirable: “Again, that our usage may coincide at all points, we wish this thing also to be observed, viz. that when any of the greater festivals has brought together a larger congregation than usual, and too great a crowd of the faithful has assembled for one church to hold them all at once, there should be no hesitation about repeating the oblation of the sacrifice…”
bullet LEO THE GREAT, LETTER LIX, TO THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF CONSTANTINOPLE (5th century): II. They are to be rejected who deny the truth of Christ’s flesh, a truth repeated by every recipient at the Holy Eucharist. Let such men be rejected by the holy members of Christ’s Body, and let not catholic liberty suffer the yoke of the unfaithful to be laid upon it. For they are to be reckoned outside the Divine grace, and outside the mystery of man’s salvation, who, denying the nature of our flesh in Christ, gainsay the Gospel and oppose the Creed …..In what density of ignorance, in what utter sloth must they hitherto have lain, not to have learnt from hearing, nor understood from reading, that which in God’s Church is so constantly in men’s mouths, that even the tongues of infants do not keep silence upon the truth of Christ’s Body and Blood at the rite of Holy Communion? For in that mystic distribution of spiritual nourishment, that which is given and taken is of such a kind that receiving the virtue of the celestial food we pass into the flesh of Him, Who became our flesh.”
bullet THE CANONS OF THE 318 HOLY FATHERS ASSEMBLED IN THE CITY OF NICE, IN BITHYNIA, CANONS XVIII (A.D. 325): “It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.”
bullet REGISTER OF THE EPISTLES OF SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, BOOK IV, EPISTLE XXVII, TO JANUARIUS, BISHOP (6th century): “We therefore desire thee to search out the authors of the charge against him: and, unless he who sent those same letters be prepared to support his charges by canonical and most strict proofs, let him on no account approach the mystery of holy communion.”
bullet ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, (Cateches. Mystagog. v.(1)), (4th century): “When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.”
bullet JOHN OF DAMASCUS: AN EXACT EXPOSITION OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH, BOOK IV, CHAPTER XIII (7th century): “Concerning the holy and immaculate Mysteries of the Lord. With all our strength, therefore, let us beware lest we receive communion from or grant it to heretics; Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, saith the Lord, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest we become partakers in their dishonour and condemnation”


References to the Bishop of Rome and the Lineage of Popes

bullet IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES — BOOK III (CHAP. I to CHAP. XIV) (2nd century): “The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric.”
bullet LETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, LETTER LIII, TO GENEROSUS, OUR MOST LOVED AND HONOURABLE BROTHER, FORTUNATUS ALYPIUS AND AUGUSTIN SEND GREETING IN THE LORD (A.D. 400): “For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: “Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!” The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius.


References to the Catholic Church being the True Church of Christ

bullet A TREATISE CONCERNING THE CORRECTION OF THE DONATISTS, EPISTLE CLXXXV, A LETTER OF AUGUSTIN TO BONIFACE, Ch 10 (5th century): “Let them therefore feel bitter grief for their detestable error of the past, as Peter did for his fear that led him into falsehood, and let them come to the true Church of Christ, that is, to the Catholic Church our mother; let them be in it clergy, let them be bishops unto its profit, as they have been hitherto in enmity against it.”
bullet THE CHURCH HISTORY OF EUSEBIUS, BOOKS III & IV, (3rd to 4th century): “But the splendor of the Catholic and only true Church, which is always the same, grew in magnitude and power, and reflected its piety and simplicity and freedom, and the modesty and purity of its inspired life and philosophy to every nation both of Greeks and of Barbarians.”


References to the Sacrament of Penance (Confession)

bullet ST. AUGUSTIN, TEN HOMILIES ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN (5th century): “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to purge us from all iniquity.”
bullet THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF GREGORY OF NYSSA, BOOK XI (4th century): “For if the confession of the revered and precious Names of the Holy Trinity is useless, and the customs of the Church unprofitable, and if among these customs is the sign of the cross, prayer, baptism, confession of sins, a ready zeal to keep the commandment, right ordering of character, sobriety of life, regard to justice, the effort not to be excited by passion, or enslaved by pleasure, or to fall short in moral excellence…”
bullet THE THIRD PART OF THE CONFERENCES OF JOHN CASSIAN, CONFERENCE OF ABBOT PINUFIUS ON THE END OF PENITENCE AND THE MARKS OF SATISFACTION, CHAPTER VIII (4th century): “Of the various fruits of penitence FOR after that grace of baptism which is common to all, and that most precious gift of martyrdom which is gained by being washed in blood, there are many fruits of penitence by which we can succeed in expiating our sins……Moreover by means of confession of sins, their absolution is granted…”
bullet TWO BOOKS OF ST. AMBROSE, BISHOP OF MILAN CONCERNING REPENTANCE, BOOK II, CHAPTER VII (4th century): “Why do you fear to confess your sins to our good Lord? “Set them forth,” He says, “that thou mayest be justified.” The rewards of justification are set before him who is still guilty of sin, for he is justified who voluntarily confesses his own sin; and lastly, “the just man is his own accuser in the beginning of his speaking.” The Lord knows all things, but He waits for your words, not that He may punish, but that He may pardon.”
bullet SERMONS ON SELECTED LESSONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, SERMON LXXXV, ON THE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL, JOHN IX. 4 AND 31, “WE MUST WORK THE WORKS OF HIM THAT SENT ME,” ETC. AGAINST THE ARIANS (4th century): “Apply yourselves then earnestly to prayer, ye sinners: confess your sins, pray that they may be blotted out, pray that they may be diminished, pray that as ye increase, they may decrease: yet do not despair, and sinners though ye be, pray. For who hath not sinned? Begin with the priests. To the priests it is said, “First offer sacrifices for your own sins, and so for the people.” The sacrifices convicted the priests that if any one should call himself righteous and without sin, it might be answered him, “I look not at what thou sayest, but at what thou offerest; thine own victim convicteth thee.”
bullet GREGORY NAZIANZEN, ORATION XL, ON THE HOLY LIGHTS AND ON HOLY BAPTISM (4th century): ” Do not disdain to confess your sins, knowing how John baptized, that by present shame you may escape from future shame (for this too is a part of the future punishment); and prove that you really hate sin by making a shew of it openly, and triumphing over it as worthy of contempt.”
bullet ST. AUGUSTIN ON THE PSALMS, PSALM XCV (5th century): “The more therefore thou despairedst of thyself on account of thy iniquities, do thou confess thy sins; for so much greater is the praise of Him who forgiveth, as is the fulness of the penitent’s confession more abundant. Let us not therefore imagine that we have receded from the song of praise, in understanding here that confession by which we acknowledge our transgressions: this is even a part of the song of praise; for when we confess our sins, we praise the glory of God.”
bullet CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES, BOOK VII, CONCERNING HYPOCRISY, AND OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS, AND CONFESSION OF SINS (4th century): “XIV. Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; and whatsoever is pleasing to the Lord, that shalt thou do. By no means forsake the commands of the Lord. But thou shalt observe what things thou hast received from Him, neither adding to them nor taking away from them. “For thou shalt not add unto His words, lest He convict thee, and thou becomest a liar.” Thou shalt confess thy sins unto the Lord thy God; and thou shalt not add unto them, that it may be well with thee from the Lord thy God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but his repentance.”


References to Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead

bullet ST. AUGUSTIN: THE ENCHIRIDION (ON FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE), CH69, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE THAT SOME BELIEVERS MAY PASS THROUGH A PURGATORIAL FIRE IN THE FUTURE LIFE (5th century): “And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire, and in proportion as they have loved with more or less devotion the goods that perish, be less or more quickly delivered from it. This cannot, however, be the case of any of those of whom it is said, that they “shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” unless after suitable repentance their sins be forgiven them. When I say “suitable,” I mean that they are not to be unfruitful in almsgiving; for Holy Scripture lays so much stress on this virtue, that our Lord tells us beforehand, that He will ascribe no merit to those on His right hand but that they abound in it, and no defect to those on His left hand but their want of it, when He shall say to the former, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom,” and to the latter, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.”
bullet Saint Augustine, ON CARE TO BE HAD FOR THE DEAD [DE CURA PRO MORTUIS] (5th century): “Howbeit it is a question which surpasses the strength of my understanding, after what manner the Martyrs aid them who by them, it is certain, are helped; whether themselves by themselves be present at the same time in so different places, and by so great distance lying apart one from another, either where their Memorials are, or beside their Memorials, wheresoever they are felt to be present: or whether, while they themselves, in a place congruous with their merits, are removed from all converse with mortals, and yet do in a general sort pray for the needs of their suppliants, (like as we pray for the dead, to whom however we are not present, nor know where they be or what they be doing)…”
bullet HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, HOMILY XLI, 1 COR. xv. 35, 36 (4th century): “Let us not then be weary in giving aid to the departed, both by offering on their behalf and obtaining prayers for them: for the common Expiation of the world is even before us. Therefore with boldness do we then intreat for the whole world, and name their names with those of martyrs, of confessors, of priests. For in truth one body are we all, though some members are more glorious than others; and it is possible from every source to gather pardon for them, from our prayers, from our gifts in their behalf, from those whose names are named with theirs. Why therefore dost thou grieve? Why mourn, when it is in thy power to gather so much pardon for the departed?”
bullet HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, HOMILY XXI, ACTS IX. 26, 27 (4th century): “Knowing these things, let us devise what consolations we can for the departed, instead of tears, instead of laments, instead of tombs, our alms, our prayers, our oblations, that both they and we may attain unto the promised blessings, by the grace and loving-kindness of His only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.”


References to St. Peter being Chief of the Apostles

bullet LEO THE GREAT, SERMON LXXXII, ON THE FEAST OF THE APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL (5th century): “III. On the dispersing of the Twelve, St. Peter was sent to Rome. For when the twelve Apostles, after receiving through the Holy Ghost the power of speaking with all tongues, had distributed the world into parts among themselves, and undertaken to instruct it in the Gospel, the most blessed Peter, chief of the Apostolic band, was appointed to the citadel of the Roman empire, that the light of Truth which was being displayed for the salvation of all the nations, might spread itself more effectively throughout the body of the world from the head itself. What nation had not representatives then living in this city; or what peoples did not know what Rome had learnt? Here it was that the tenets of philosophy must be crushed, here that the follies of earthly wisdom must be dispelled, here that the cult of demons must be refuted, here that the blasphemy of all idolatries must be rooted out, here where the most persistent superstition had gathered together all the various errors which had anywhere been devised.”
bullet LEO THE GREAT, SERMON III (5th century): “II. From Christ and through S. Peter the priesthood is handed on in perpetuity 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.”
bullet THE EPISTLES OF ZEPHYRINUS, SECOND EPISTLE, TO THE BISHOPS OF THE PROVINCE OF EGYPT (3rd century): “ZEPHYRINUS, archbishop of the city of Rome, to the most beloved brethren who serve the Lord in Egypt. So great trust have we received from the Lord, the Founder of this holy seat and of the apostolic church, and from the blessed Peter, chief of the apostles, that we may labour with unwearied affection for the universal Church which has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and aid all who serve the Lord, and give help to all who live piously by apostolic authority…”
bullet THE EPISTLES OF POPE PONTIANUS (3rd century): “and that the blessed Apostle Peter, the chief of the apostles, in whose cause you spend yourselves, may open the gate of that same glory.”
bullet THE EPISTLES OF POPE FABIAN (3rd century): “Whence also the blessed chief of the apostles, Peter, addressing the people at the ordination of Clement…”
bullet HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, HOMILY LXXII (JOHN 12, 13 & 14) (4th century): “Again, why did he use these words, not at any other point of time, but only when the chief of the Apostles beckoned? That thou mightest not deem that Peter beckoned to him as being greater, he saith that the thing took place because of the great love (which Jesus bare him).”
bullet THE SEVEN BOOKS OF AUGUSTIN, BISHOP OF HIPPO, ON BAPTISM, AGAINST THE DONATISTS (BOOK VII) (5th century): “It is well, however, that they so constantly bear in mind that it was possible even for Peter, the chief of the apostles, to have been at one time minded otherwise…”


References to the Authority of St. Peter

bullet LEO THE GREAT, LETTER XIV, TO ANASTASIUS, BISHOP OF THESSALONICA (5th century): “Leo, bishop of the City of Rome, to Anastasius, bishop of Thessalonica. I. Prefatory. If with true reasoning you perceived all that has been committed to you, brother, by the blessed apostle Peter’s authority, and what has also been entrusted to you by our favour, and would weigh it fairly, we should be able greatly to rejoice at your zealous discharge of the responsibility imposed on you.”
bullet LEO THE GREAT, LETTER CV, (TO PULCHERIA AUGUSTA ABOUT THE SELF-SEEKING OF ANATOLIUS) (5th century): “Leo the bishop to Pulcheria Augusta. III. Only by imitating his predecessor will he regain Leo’s confidence: the assent of the bishops is declared null and void. But the bishops’ assents, which are opposed to the regulations of the holy canons composed at Nicaea in conjunction with your faithful Grace, we do not recognize, and by the blessed Apostle Peter’s authority we absolutely dis-annul in comprehensive terms, in all ecclesiastical cases obeying those laws which the Holy Ghost set forth by the 318 bishops for the pacific observance of all priests in such sort that even if a much greater number were to pass a different decree to theirs, whatever was opposed to their constitution would have to be held in no respect.”
bullet RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT. BOOK X, CH VI, PETER’S AUTHORITY (1st century): “But I should like that one of you, and not Peter, should answer what I have said; for it is not fitting to take words and instruction at his hand, with questions; but when he gives a deliverance on any subject, that should be held without answering again. And therefore let us keep him as an umpire; so that if at any time our discussion does not come to an issue, he may declare what seems good to him, and so give an undoubted end to doubtful matters. And now therefore I could believe, content with his sole opinion, if he expressed any opinion; and this is what I shall do at last. Yet I wish first to see if it is possible by discussion to find what is sought. My wish therefore is, that Clement should begin first, and should show if there is any good or evil in substance or in actions.”