Papal Transfixion

Pope Francis bowing

Pope Francis bowing

There’s nothing like it.

There’s nothing even close to like it. The conclave, the election of the new Pope, Francis.

My anti-religious facebook friends admitted being transfixed by the Sistine Chapel smoke cam. They were watching the live feed just like the Catholics. They wanted to know who would be elected. The world waited as the suspense built.

Islam has nothing that can match it.
Nor does Protestantism.
Nor does Eastern Orthodoxy.

This is what full visible unity looks like. This is what the principle of unity looks like. One man, the Vicar of Christ, the successor of St. Peter, the rock on which Christ built His Church.

This is the Church with one billion members. Well, really 1.2 billion, but in the Catholic Church we round to the nearest billion.

In the previous weeks we were inundated with endless chatter of speculation. People asked me “who do you think will be pope?” I told them I had no idea. Not one idea. And now with Pope Francis, we see that no one else had any idea, either.

We get a poor man, of humble origins, who lives in solidarity with the poor. Someone overlooked by everyone. Just what the Church needs right now. Someone who lives the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Some people heard it was a Jesuit and thought “oh, finally a ‘progressive’ pope!” Wrong. The Jesuits have been solid as a rock for centuries; they were the best of the best, the special forces of the Catholic Church. The past century has seen many of them go off the deep end. But it remains true that a good Jesuit priest can’t be topped. Solid as a rock. And now Pope Francis brings that holy strength to the papacy.

I, with you, eagerly await what this new pope will bring. God be praised, now and forever amen.

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216 Responses to Papal Transfixion

  1. Nelson says:

    Habemus Papa! Amen!!!! +JMJ+

  2. Bob says:

    It is true that Protestantism has nothing like the papacy for the mere fact the papacy is not in Scripture to begin with.

      • Augustine says:

        Devin,

        Don’t feed the trolls! Trolls have no teachable attitude, they come up just to pontificate like a broken record.

        And one cannot claim that trolls don’t exist because they’re not in Scripture, for Scripture doesn’t say that if it’s not in Scripture it doesn’t exist to begin with.

    • bella says:

      You can’t argue Catholics are wrong just because you interpret bible verses differently. How many different interpretation of Bible verses are there in the Protestant churches? Just like you give various denominations the benefit of doubt, shouldn’t you at least give the same to the Catholic Church?

    • Rebecky says:

      The word “trinity” does not appear in scripture either. Thank goodness we had early theologians (who were all Catholic) to articulate it and many other tenents of Christianity which most Christian churches accept as being beyond question. St. Paul said we should hold fast to our traditions, both written and oral…Don’t you think if Jesus thought the early church needed a visible head to it that He would think we would continue to need that? After all, He did say that he would not leave us as orphans, right? We are not orphans as long as we have our Holy Father, who through the power of the Holy Spirit, is protected from teaching error.
      God bless!

  3. Augustine says:

    Pope Francis is first in many things, but, first and foremost, he is the 265th successor of St. Peter.

    May the Lord bless pope Francis to nurture and tend His flock. May Sts. Francis Xavier and Francis of Assisi pray for pope Francis. May Our Lady, Mother of the Church pray for us.

  4. Paul Davis says:

    May God Grant Him Many Years…

    God Bless Pope Francis, I’m impressed with the Conclaves decision. He seems to already be shaking things up…

    But just to be clear Devin, many of us in the EO support the Bishop of Rome as the Primate of the Bishops, but not the interpretation of the papacy that the Catholic church has developed over two Millenia. In our parish many have expressed nothing but grace and good will towards Pope Francis, and I feel the same way.

    And just an aside, Islam has more members than the Catholic Church, and I think we both can agree that it doesn’t make them any more right…

    -Paul-

    • Devin Rose says:

      Paul,

      I hope this post didn’t come off too triumphalistically.

      My point is that no other religion or organization has a central head like this. Islam is like Protestantism in its fragmentation. The closest you have in EO is the Ecumenical Patriarch, and his role and how people understand it is much, much less than what Catholics believe about the bishop of Rome, as evidenced externally by the conclave and the world-wide fixation on it.

      So yes EOs believe varying things about the bishop of Rome, as you know, but this post was intended to be largely orthogonal to that.

      And you are right that sheer numbers do not prove anything, but again it goes to the weight of this event, that one man is the servant of the servants of God, 1.2 billion of them only counting the Catholics.

      God bless,
      Devin

    • De Maria says:

      Paul Davis says:
      ….But just to be clear Devin, many of us in the EO support the Bishop of Rome as the Primate of the Bishops, but not the interpretation of the papacy that the Catholic church has developed over two Millenia.

      1. That sounds sort of as a contradiction. If you respect him as the Primate, the first of the Bishops of Christ’s Church, why do you not submit to his authority?

      2. It developed from the foundation of Christ’s Teaching. The position has developed in conformity to the development of the Church itself, which was a seedling and is now a full grown tree.

      In our parish many have expressed nothing but grace and good will towards Pope Francis, and I feel the same way.

      Wonderful! May that lead to good fruit in the future.

      And just an aside, Islam has more members than the Catholic Church,

      Debatable. Muslims in Christian countries are not in fear for their lives and don’t have to live underground (so to speak).

      Christians in Muslim countries can not reveal themselves for fear of their lives. Former Muslims in those countries, converts to the Christian faith or any other can not reveal themselves either.

      It was heard recently on Islamic Television:

      Synopsis from The American Thinker by James M. Arlandson.

      This translation of a televised conversation reveals a rare glimpse into the outlook of Muslim scholars who are concerned about Christianity’s growth. The invited guest is Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani; the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, which is an institution specializing in graduating imams and Islamic preachers.

      Katani starts off describing the overall problem:

      Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000.

      As to how that happened, well there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.

      and I think we both can agree that it doesn’t make them any more right…

      I truly feel sorry for the millions of Muslims upon whom, first Mohammed and then Uthman, perpetrated such a deception that has persisted so many centuries.

  5. I hope that he is a good and faithful steward of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  6. Pam H. says:

    @Bob, how do you read Matthew 16:17-20? The Lord said these things to PETER ONLY. Not to all His disciples.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Pam,
      If the church was built on a man (Peter) then it could not stand against the gates of hell. Secondly, there is no office of pope i.e. supreme leader of the entire church in the NT.

      • joeclark77 says:

        Your first point is directly contradicted by: “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.”

        I assume you already know that Peter means “rock” and it was not Simon’s name; the Lord is giving Simon the name “rock” in the same sentence He says that “upon this rock I will build my church.” So… it is a plain reading from Scripture that the Church WAS built on a man AND that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

        • Augustine says:

          In Aramaic, it would have gone along these lines:

          “You are Boulder and on this boulder I will build my church.”

          To say that one boulder is not the other is precious, to say the most charitable thing that I can muster.

      • De Maria says:

        Bob says:
        March 14, 2013 at 11:17 am
        Hi Pam,
        If the church was built on a man (Peter) then it could not stand against the gates of hell. Secondly, there is no office of pope i.e. supreme leader of the entire church in the NT.

        We have more faith in the Builder than that.
        1. Jesus built the Church upon that Rock (i.e. Peter). Therefore, it is unassailable.

        2. Jesus, Himself, guaranteed that it would not fall.

        Your lack of faith in Christ is astounding.

        • Bob says:

          What I don’t have faith in is your ability to exegete Scripture correctly.

          • De Maria says:

            It is yours in question Bob. Not mine or anyone other Catholic’s.

          • De Maria says:

            Bob, if you had faith in Christ, you would have faith that what He builds will stand forever:

            Matt 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

            Jesus Christ founded the Church upon the Rock of Peter. The Rock He picked out Himself. And we believe it will stand forever.

            You don’t, because you don’t have faith in Christ and what He said.

            • Bob says:

              The problem is that no correct exegesis of any passage will show Peter to be the supreme leader of the church or that his authority was pasted on. Secondly, we know there is no such office of a pope in the NT. We also know that Rome was not the center of Christianity in the first century. The first was Jerusalem. This is where the church was born.

              • De Maria says:

                Bob says:
                March 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm
                The problem is that no correct exegesis of any passage will show Peter to be the supreme leader of the church or that his authority was pasted on.

                The problem is that you don’t know correct exegesis when you see it because you rely on the lies of the Protestants.

                Secondly, we know there is no such office of a pope in the NT.

                We know that there is because Jesus created it and appointed Simon bar Jonah its first officer:

                John 21:15-17
                King James Version (KJV)
                15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

                16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

                17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

                We also know that Rome was not the center of Christianity in the first century. The first was Jerusalem. This is where the church was born.

                True. But St. Peter was appointed Pope. He then traveled to Rome and established there his office.

  7. Peter’s confession (of faith) is the Rock…not Peter the man.

    Come on. Just look at the man…just look at ANY man.

    • Seraphim says:

      That is the beauty of the story. Although we are weak and fallen, Christ tells us that through us he will build and sustain the Church. Do not be mistaken in thinking Catholics believe we do this on our own. It is by God’s grace that the vicar of Christ is able to lead the Church.

      • De Maria says:

        Amen! It is a wonder that Protestants can believe in their salvation. If they don’t believe that God can sustain a man with grace, how do they believe they are saved at all? Do they save themselves?

  8. Seraphim says:

    Oh boy… the old debate about what the rock is…

    Moving on though! We have a new pope!!! Many years!

  9. Bob says:

    De Maria,
    Lets test your exegetical skills. What verse in Scripture mentions the papacy as a church office. Here are the only passages that deals with the structure of the church: Eph 2:20-22, 4:11-12; I Tim 3:1-13 and Titus 1:7-9. Where do we see the papacy i.e. supreme leader of the church mentioned in these passages?

  10. De Maria says:

    Bob says:
    March 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm
    De Maria,
    Lets test your exegetical skills. What verse in Scripture mentions the papacy as a church office. Here are the only passages that deals with the structure of the church: Eph 2:20-22, 4:11-12; I Tim 3:1-13 and Titus 1:7-9. Where do we see the papacy i.e. supreme leader of the church mentioned in these passages?

    Bob, who are you to test anyone? You are not my teacher. Nor do you know how to exegete any text. For instance:

    You say, “Scripture alone”. But Scripture says, “Traditions by Word and Epistle” (2 Thess 2:15).

    You say “faith alone”. But Scripture says, “Not by faith only.” (James 2:24).

    You say, “sanctification”. But Scripture says, “salvation” (Phil 2:12).

    You say, “outwork the salvation gained by Christ”. But Scripture says “work out your salvation in fear and trembling” (Phi 2:12).

    You say, “reap an eternal reward”. But Scripture says, “reap eternal life” (Gal 8:6).

    Now, I told you, here is where Jesus appointed Peter as the Chief Officer of His Church:
    John 21:15-17
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    If you want to go into a bit more detail, I invite you to see me here:
    Who is the Rock?

    • Bob says:

      Put your anger aside and concentrate on what I asked. Where in those passages I quoted is there any office of a pope? This your opportunity to teach me something. Ball is in your court.

      • De Maria says:

        Put your anger aside

        I’m not angry Bob. I’m simply making an observation. You are no one to put us to any test. Your words and purported exegesis has been rejected by every Catholic here.

        You might be angry because I don’t submit to you. But you are truly no one whom I need to submit to. Its ironic that Protestants want to get rid of the Pope in order to replace him themselves.

        and concentrate on what I asked. Where in those passages I quoted is there any office of a pope?

        Lol! Bob, its not in those passages you quoted. Its in the ones I quoted.

        Show me Sola Scriptura in Scripture. Show me Sola Fide in Scripture. There’s more Scripture than that which you produced.

        This your opportunity to teach me something. Ball is in your court.

        I’ve been teaching you stuff on this website for months now. You don’t want to learn anything. You simply want to force your cockamamie ideas down our throat.

        I’m not angry Bob. Perhaps you are projecting your feelings upon me. I’m simply telling you the truth. As my kids used to say, “You’re not the boss of me.” Lol! ;)

        • Bob says:

          Thank you. There is no office of pope in the NT. We know that from all the passages that deal with the structure of church never mention nor hint at a papacy. We also know from the first couple of centuries there was no papacy.

          What this means is the the papacy is a creation of the Roman Catholicism. It is not grounded in Scripture as we both have seen.

          • De Maria says:

            Bob says:
            March 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm
            Thank you. There is no office of pope in the NT. We know that from all the passages that deal with the structure of church never mention nor hint at a papacy. We also know from the first couple of centuries there was no papacy.

            We know that the Papacy has existed ever since Christ established it and appointed to it St. Peter. The Papacy has been around as long as the Church, over 2000 years.

            What this means is the the papacy is a creation of the Roman Catholicism. It is not grounded in Scripture as we both have seen.

            We have seen that your doctrines are not grounded in Scripture. You try to ignore them and turn the conversation but it is clear.

            You say, “Scripture alone”. But Scripture says, “Traditions by Word and Epistle” (2 Thess 2:15).

            You say “faith alone”. But Scripture says, “Not by faith only.” (James 2:24).

            You say, “sanctification”. But Scripture says, “salvation” (Phil 2:12).

            You say, “outwork the salvation gained by Christ”. But Scripture says “work out your salvation in fear and trembling” (Phi 2:12).

            You say, “reap an eternal reward”. But Scripture says, “reap eternal life” (Gal 8:6).

            Every passage we examine contradicts you.

            It is obvious that your mind has been entrapped by a cult. And you are trying those cultic techniques on us. But repeating lies over and over. That is the sign of a cult.

          • “Pope” is not even an official title in the Catholic Church; it is a nickname, coming from the word “father”, which has kind of stuck. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, and you do find bishops, episcopoi, in the New Testament. They were clearly appointed to carry out the apostolic ministry as the church grew and the original Apostles died.

            It is also clear that Peter was the chief Apostle, and he was to be a rallying point for the Apostles (Luke 22:32). As the Church has grown and times have changed, the understanding of the role of the Successor of Peter has developed and changed.

  11. The power is in His Word (in preaching and teaching about Christ, Baptism, Holy Communion).

    This power creates faith in people and is not dependent on any particular church or organization or person. Where the Word is…God is. Acting for sinners.

    • De Maria says:

      Steve Martin says:
      March 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm
      The power is in His Word (in preaching and teaching about Christ, Baptism, Holy Communion).

      You forgot the works done in accordance with His Word. We are called to obey God’s Word. Not just to talk about it.

      Philippians 2:12
      Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

      2 Thessalonians 1:8
      In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

      This power creates faith in people and is not dependent on any particular church or organization or person. Where the Word is…God is. Acting for sinners.

      Where God’s Word is active, His people are doing His work:
      Galatians 5:6
      For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

      1 Thessalonians 1:3
      Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

  12. “You forgot the works done in accordance with His Word. We are called to obey God’s Word. Not just to talk about it.”

    Right. When are you going to start?

    It seems to me that there are plenty of people not too far from all of us that we could be helping right now, instead of debating and sitting in front of a computer screen.

    We are all derelict when it comes to keeping God’s law. all of us.

    That’s why He had to come and die on the cross for sinners. We just aren’t up to the task.

    • De Maria says:

      Right. When are you going to start?

      As for me, I started long ago.

      It seems to me that there are plenty of people not too far from all of us that we could be helping right now, instead of debating and sitting in front of a computer screen.

      Your problem, Steve, is you don’t know the word of God very well.

      You might want to sit down and study some time.

      Have you not read in Scripture?

      1 Timothy 5:8
      But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

      Do you provide for your family, Steve? Then you’ve already started.

      Luke 11:41
      But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

      Do you give alms and tithes, Steve? Then you’ve already started.

      IF ALL YOU DO is sit behind a computer and type, you are in trouble.

      We are all derelict when it comes to keeping God’s law. all of us.

      Speak for yourself, Steve. The Catholic Church gives us many avenues to give aid and assistance to mankind. We feed the hungry, slake the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit people in jail and take in strangers.

      I thought Lutheran Churches did the same thing, but perhaps I was wrong.

      That’s why He had to come and die on the cross for sinners. We just aren’t up to the task.

      Speak for yourself. I’ll leave it up to God to judge how I’ve done.

      1 Corinthians 4:4
      For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

      In the meantime, I do my duty:

      Luke 17:10
      So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

  13. joeclark77 says:

    Bob, the word “Pope” is a nickname that means “father” and it doesn’t go all the way back. There is no reason to be hung up on the fact that the *word* “Pope” isn’t in the Bible. The *job* of leading the Church is clearly in the Bible, and Peter is the one given that job.

    • Bob says:

      Joe,
      Its not the word “pope” that were looking for but the concept i.e. one supreme leader of the entire church in Scripture or the early church. It does not exist. Peter is never spoken of like this nor is there such an office in the NT church.

      • De Maria says:

        It does exist. Jesus appointed Simon the Pastor of His flock.

        John 21:17
        He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

  14. Paul Davis says:

    All,

    This isn’t about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s not a contest. This constant bickering about the roll of the papacy isn’t getting us anywhere, I didn’t convert to the EO because I misunderstood scripture, the church fathers, or because of any single source. Nor was it because I was disappointed in the Catholic church. The same questions come up again and again, so before you challenge my belief in the EO, please try to come up with something new, I’m tired of arguing in circles.

    It was in point of fact because of a message that Devin had posted on the EO that piqued my interest (Thank you Devin by the way), it started a journey of researching the early church and reading Orthodox theologians to see what they believed. If your faith is based on the Catholic Interpretation of the Papacy, then Peace Be With You. May God Grant You Many Years.

    For others of us, our search led in a different direction, mine led away from the Catholic Church and into the loving arms of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, where I have been adopted into a loving parish family, and an aesthetic life that is deepening my faith and lierally changing my life from the inside out. I’m meeting other Catholics who are now on the same road that my wife and I are traveling, and I’m always surprised to hear stories of Catholics who are shunned and verbally attacked by other Catholics who seem to understand nothing of the commonality and deep roots the two faiths share.

    Devin often mentions that after a while he started hearing the same things over and over from Protestants about the Catholic Church, I feel the same way about Catholics who challenge me about the Eastern Orthodox faith, and I’m often amused and saddened when they seem to take offense that I converted.

    I love the Catholic Church, I wish nothing but the best for Pope Francis, and he is in my daily prayers, Habemus Papam!

    Isn’t that enough?

    -Paul-

    • De Maria says:

      Thanks for clearing that up and sorry for the misunderstanding. Because it sounded to me like you were challenging the Catholic Doctrine.

      You said:

      But just to be clear Devin, many of us in the EO support the Bishop of Rome as the Primate of the Bishops, but not the interpretation of the papacy that the Catholic church has developed over two Millenia.

      So, just to clarify my position, which I believe is the Catholic position. The Papacy was established by Jesus Christ. And has developed, right along with the entire Catholic Church, just as a seed grows to become a tree. Any development of the Papacy has been to fill the needs of the growing Church as Jesus Christ ordained:

      Matthew 13:52
      Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

      I might add, if you want us to be sensitive to your beliefs, you should be sensitive to ours.

      Glad to hear you love the Catholic Church.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

  15. Nelson says:

    Bob,
    Sure there is a concept for this. Just go back to Moses, Abraham, or David etc….This leaders were in charge of Gods people (Israelites).

    • Bob says:

      Nelson,
      Peter is never referenced as some kind of Moses etc. Only Christ is.

      • JeffB says:

        Compare the reference to Peter as rock in Matt 16 with Isaiah 51:1-2…Peter is the new Abraham, the new rock from which the people of God are hewn.

        • Bob says:

          JeffB,
          Who in the 1st-2nd century used Isaiah 51:1-2 for Peter?
          Such a comparison for Peter is not found in Scripture.

          • De Maria says:

            It is a Biblical principle, Bob. I guess you guys don’t know anything about that.

            The Jews were hewn from Abraham, if they follow his example of faith.

            John 8:39
            They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

            We are hewn from Christ. We are the Body of Christ.

            We are also hewn from St. Peter. The Scripture says:

            1 Corinthians 11:1
            Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

            1 Peter 2:5
            Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

            Again, you suck all the meaning out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ does not forsake those who preach His Word as you do:

            John 17:
            20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

            21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

      • De Maria says:

        Bob,

        You have a very provincial mind and you project those limited ideas to us. You don’t see a reference to Moses. But we do. It is so clear, it is like the proverbial “rattlesnake”. As the saying goes, “If it were a rattlesnake, it would have bit you by now.”

        Jesus is God. In the OT, God appointed a man to speak His Word. That man’s name is Moses:

        Exodus 18:13-15
        King James Version (KJV)
        13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

        God even called Moses, “god”:

        Exodus 7:1
        And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

        Do you not know that Jesus is the Rock!?

        1 Corinthians 10:4
        And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

        This is why He named Simon, the R0ck. In order to represent that Simon would walk in His stead before the Church. Simon is the Ambassador of Christ, Simon is the Vicar of Christ. That is why Jesus named him, Peter, the Rock.

        1 Corinthians 2:14
        But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

        As for “Pope”. It is also in Scripture. Pope means Papa or Father.

        Isaiah 22: 20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:

        21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.

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

        23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.

        • Bob says:

          De Maria,
          JW’s and the cults also see stuff in Scripture that I don’t.
          I guess they must right to.

          Where do any of the apostles in the letters refer to Peter as a rock? Where in 1-2 Peter does Peter Himself refer to himself as the rock that the church is built on?

          Who in the first couple of centuries used Isaiah 22: 20 as a support for the bishop of Rome?

          • De Maria says:

            Bob says:
            March 15, 2013 at 11:11 am
            De Maria,
            JW’s and the cults also see stuff in Scripture that I don’t.
            I guess they must right to.

            Bob, yours is a cult just like the JW’s and others. The Catholic Church is the True Church of Jesus Christ:

            Ephesians 3:10
            King James Version (KJV)
            10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

            Where do any of the apostles in the letters refer to Peter as a rock?

            Everytime they call him Peter.

            Where in 1-2 Peter does Peter Himself refer to himself as the rock that the church is built on?

            Everytime he calls himself Peter.

            Who in the first couple of centuries used Isaiah 22: 20 as a support for the bishop of Rome?

            I have to do it. I have to call it as I see it.

            That is hypocritical of you Bob. You don’t accept the Church Fathers teaching the Real Presence, faith and works, any of the Sacraments etc. etc.

            But you accept Sola fide, Sola Scriptura and all the Protestant errors even though the Church Fathers do not teach those.

            But now you claim that they must teach that Isaiah 22 refers to St. Peter before you will accept it.

            That is astonishing. And you do it so naturally.

            Anyway, it is a Biblical principle, Isaiah notes that God gave Eliakim the keys to the House of David, the Kingdom of God, and thus made him father over His People.

            Jesus, God, did the same for Simon when He called him, Rock and gave him the keys to the Kingdom.

            Anyway, your argument doesn’t seem to stand in the way of other Protestants:

            One of the greatest Protestant Biblical scholars of the century supports this — W. F. Albright, in his Anchor Bible Commentary on Matthew. I opened it up. I was surprised to see, “Peter as the Rock will be the foundation of the future community, the church. Jesus here uses Aramaic and so only the Aramaic word which would serve His purpose. In view of the background in verse 19, one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see this rock as the faith or the confession of Peter.” In other words, Professor Albright is admitting as a Protestant that there is a bias in Protestant anti- Catholic interpreters who try to make Jesus’ reference to the rock point only to Peter’s faith or confession. “To deny the pre-eminent position of Peter,” Albright says, “among the disciples or in the early Christian community is a denial of the evidence. The interest in Peter’s failures and vacillations does not detract from this pre- eminence, rather it emphasizes it. Had Peter been a lesser figure, his behavior would have been of far less consequence. Precisely because Peter is pre-eminent and is the foundation stone of the Church that his mistakes are in a sense so important, but his mistakes never correspond to his teachings as the Prince of the Apostles.” We will see.”

            Albright goes on in his commentary to speak about the keys of the kingdom that Jesus entrusted to Peter. Here’s what he says, “Isaiah 22, verse 15, undoubtedly lies behind this saying of Jesus. The keys are the symbol of authority and Father Roland DeVoe rightly sees here the same authority vested in the vicar, the master of the house, the chamberlain of the royal household in ancient Israel. In Isaiah 22 Eliakim is described as having the same authority.”

            Now let’s just stop here and ask, “What is he talking about?” I think it’s simple. Albright is saying that Jesus in giving to Peter not only a new name, Rock, but in entrusting to Simon the keys of the kingdom, He is borrowing a phrase from Isaiah 22. He’s quoting a verse in the Old Testament that was extremely well known. This, for me, was the breakthrough. This discovery was the most important discovery of all. Let’s go back to Isaiah 22 and see what Jesus was doing when He entrusted to Peter the keys of the kingdom….What’s happening here? Well, in verse 19 it says, “I will thrust you from your office and you will be cast down from your station and on that day I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe and will bind your girdle on him and will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah; and I will place on his shoulder the key of the House of David.”

            Now the House of David is like, you know, the House of Bourbon. It’s a dynastic reference. The House of David is the Davidic kingdom, the Davidic dynasty. We know this because David has been dead for hundreds of years when this is happening in Isaiah 22, “I will give you the key of the House of David. He shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open. He will become a throne of honor to his father’s house.” Look at all of the symbols of dynastic authority that are being given to this individual. First of all, an office. Second, a robe. Third, a throne and fourth, keys, the key of the House of David, these royal keys.

            Now, what is going on here? I’ll just summarize it in rather simple terms. Hezekiah was at the time, the king over Israel. He was the son of David, hundreds of years after David had died. He was in the line of David and also he was ruler over the House of David. Now all kings in the ancient world had, as kings and queens have these days, cabinet officers, a cabinet of royal ministers. Like Margaret Thatcher is the Prime Minister, so there are other ministers under the Queen in Great Britain. Hezekiah, as King, had as his Prime Minister before Shebna who proved unworthy. So he was expelled, but when he was expelled, he left an office vacant. Not only did you have dynastic succession for the king, but you also have a dynastic office for the Prime Minister. When Shebna is expelled, there is an empty office that needs to be filled and that’s why Eliakim is called to fill it.

            Now, Eliakim is a minister in the cabinet, but now he is being granted the Prime Minister’s position. How do we know? Because he is given what the other ministers do not have, the keys of the kingdom, the key to the House of David. That symbolized dynastic authority entrusted to the Prime Minister and dynastic succession. Why? Because it’s the key of David; it’s the House of David.

            Let me go back and try to simplify this even further. I’ll read the quote. Albright says, “In commenting upon Matthew 16 and Jesus giving to Peter the keys of the kingdom, Isaiah 22:15 and following undoubtedly lies behind this saying.” Albright, a Protestant, non- Catholic insists that it’s undoubtable that Jesus is citing Isaiah 22, “The keys are the symbol of authority and DeVoe rightly sees here the same authority as that vested in the vicar, the master of the house, the chamberlain of the royal household of ancient Israel.” In other words, the Prime Minister’s office.

            Scott Hahn

  16. Bob says:

    None of the apostles ever refer to Peter as the rock. Never as the one on whom the church is built on.
    Here is what we know so far:
    1) no office of the papacy in Scripture.
    2) no apostles refers to Peter as being the supreme leader of the church.
    3) no passing on of the office of an apostle.
    4) no papacy in the first century. No one refers to the bishop of Rome as the supreme head of the entire church. No one has that title.

    • De Maria says:

      Bob says:
      March 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm
      None of the apostles ever refer to Peter as the rock.

      Peter means Rock.

      Never as the one on whom the church is built on.

      He is called Peter because Jesus named him so, the day He established the Church upon him.

      Here is what we know so far:

      This is what we know.
      1) office of the papacy is in Scripture.
      2) all apostles refer to Peter as being the supreme leader of the church.
      3) Apostolic succession is in Scripture.
      4) The Papacy was established by Christ and is recognized in every century. All recognize the bishop of Rome as the supreme head of the entire church. The Bishop of Rome has that title.

      5. The Reformers are heretics.
      6. Scripture disagrees with Bob’s theology.
      7. Bob’s beliefs are such as that induced by cults which brainwash people by continually repeating propaganda.

      That’s what we know.

      • Bob says:

        De Maria,
        We both know Peter was never known as the supreme leader of the church nor that he claimed it for himself nor do any of the other apostles ever acknowledge this of him either.
        We also know there is no such office in the NT.

        BTW- if the reformers were heretics and Protestants embrace the doctrines of the reformers that would make Protestants heretics. Now is it not true that Rome does not call Protestants heretics but “separated” brethren? If that is true, then the reformers would not be heretics but “separated” brethren. Right?

        • De Maria says:

          Bob,

          We both know that Peter was known as the supreme leader of the church and that Jesus appointed him and that the other apostles acknowledge this of him also.
          We also know Jesus Christ established the office.

          BTW- the reformers were heretics and Protestants embrace the doctrines of the reformers. That makes Protestants followers of traditions of men.

          It is also true that heretics are Catholics who teach erroneous doctrine. And that, since modern day Protestants were never Catholic, although they are not technically heretics, they are teaching damnable doctrines which will cause them to lose their salvation.

          It is also true that because of their Baptism, they are born again in Christ, and are therefore correctly called “brethren” although separated by their embracing of error in doctrine and by their refusal to accept the Church of Christ.

          That is what we both know.

  17. Nelson says:

    Bob,
    I have a feeling that you can hear but you are not listening. You asked for a basic concept and Moses is one. Christ told Peter personally to feed his sheep. Come on Bob, you asked for the concept and now it’s not good enough. We love you brother but we can only take the horse to the water.

    • Bob says:

      Nelson,
      It is up to RC’s to defend the papacy from Scripture. They are making claims about it from there and its important to see if this is true or not. If true, then Protestants should be under the authority of the pope. If not true, then the papacy should be done away with because that would mean Christ never established it and it is a man-made doctrine that should be rejected.

      • De Maria says:

        1. The Papacy is true and taught in Scripture.
        2. Protestants don’t believe it.
        3. The Papacy will remain. Nothing you can do about it, no matter how much nor how often you deny it, complain, object. No matter whether you believe in it or not.

        Try a little humility Bob. It goes a long way.

  18. I’m pretty sure that the Bible says we have one Mediator, and that is Christ Jesus.

    Popes are fine, when they do no harm. There have been a lot of good ones who were good and faithful stewards of God’s Word.

    There have also been some terrible ones. The Medici Popes, for instance.

    There was a time when Popes were considered chaste if they limited their sexual exploits to women. That’s a fact. It’s good to take an honest look at it and not get so wrapped up in ‘the club’, that you are unwilling to criticize your own.

    • Bob says:

      Steve,
      You need some humility. Don’t confuse us with facts. Ok?

      • LOL :D

        There’s a lot of dirty laundry in my own Christian tradition, too.

        But we own up to it and come to the realization that these folks are saints AND sinners. Real sinners.

        I mean, look at King David. Now there was a real sinner!

        • De Maria says:

          LOL

          There’s a lot of dirty laundry in my own Christian tradition, too.

          But we own up to it and come to the realization that these folks are saints AND sinners. Real sinners.

          I mean, look at King David. Now there was a real sinner!

          Yes there is. But the Catholic Church remains infallible.
          Ephesians 3:10
          King James Version (KJV)
          10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

          Your problem is that you don’t believe the Word of God. You place more faith in the words of men.

          • Bob says:

            How can you say you believe in the Word of God when it has been demonstrated from Scripture and early church history that there is no papacy?

            It is you who is putting faith in men and not the Scripture.

            • De Maria says:

              What has been demonstrated, over and over, is that you don’t believe in the Word of God.

              What has been demonstrated over and over is that you twist Scripture to pass off your tradition of men.

              That is what has been demonstrated.

      • De Maria says:

        Bob,

        You said,
        Don’t confuse us with facts. Ok?

        nuf said

    • De Maria says:

      Steve Martin says:
      March 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm
      I’m pretty sure that the Bible says we have one Mediator, and that is Christ Jesus.

      I’m pretty sure the Bible says we must intercede for all men:
      1 Timothy 2:1
      I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

      I’m pretty sure the Bible says we can save ourselves and others:
      1 Timothy 4:16
      Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

      Popes are fine, when they do no harm. There have been a lot of good ones who were good and faithful stewards of God’s Word.

      There have also been some terrible ones. The Medici Popes, for instance.

      There was a time when Popes were considered chaste if they limited their sexual exploits to women.

      Were you there? If not, then you are taking the word of fallible men. For I don’t see any of that in Scripture.

      That’s a fact.

      If its a fact, then you can show me the proof. And I don’t mean to show me someone’s opinion. I mean to show me the proof.

      It’s good to take an honest look at it and not get so wrapped up in ‘the club’, that you are unwilling to criticize your own.

      There are plenty of Catholics who have gone against Catholic Teaching. But the Church is infallible in its Teaching. And so is the Pope.

      • The Medici Popes were “infallible”?

        They were out and out murderers and adulterers, and they bought their office.

        Got this on wikipedia. (ask your priest a RCC historian if much or at least most of this is not true). If you come across an intellectual honest one, you may be dismayed by their answer.

        __

        Popes sexually active before receiving Holy Orders

        Pope Pius II (1458–1464) had at least two illegitimate children, one in Strasbourg and one in Scotland, both born before he entered the clergy. Pius delayed becoming a cleric because of the requirement of chastity.[12]

        Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492) had two illegitimate children during his licentious youth, both born before he entered the clergy.[13] According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, he “openly practised nepotism in favour of his children”.[14] Girolamo Savonarola chastised him for his worldly ambitions.[15]

        Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) had one illegitimate son before he took holy orders. Academic sources[who?] identify him with Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence.[16][self-published source][17][better source needed]
        Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585) had an illegitimate son before he took holy orders.[18][19]

        [edit]Popes who were, or may have been, sexually active after receiving Holy Orders

        Pope Julius II (1503–1513) had three illegitimate daughters, one of whom was Felice della Rovere (born in 1483, twenty years before his election).[20] The schismatic Council of Pisa, which sought to depose him in 1511, accused him of being a “sodomite covered with shameful ulcers.”[21][better source needed]

        Pope Paul III (1534–1549) who, according to some sources, held off ordination in order to continue his promiscuous lifestyle, fathering four illegitimate children (three sons and one daughter) by his mistress Silvia Ruffini.[22][self-published source] He broke his relations with her ca. 1513. There is no evidence of sexual activity during his papacy. He made his illegitimate son Pier Luigi Farnese the first Duke of Parma.[23][not in citation given]

        [edit]Popes sexually active, or accused of being sexually active, during pontificate

        Pope Sergius III (904–911) was accused by his opponents of being the illegitimate father of Pope John XI by Marozia.[24] These accusations are found in Liutprand of Cremona’s Antapodosis,[25] as well as the Liber Pontificalis.[26][page needed] The accusations are disputed by another early source, the annalist Flodoard (c. 894–966): John XI was brother of Alberic II, the latter being the offspring of Marozia and her husband Alberic I, so John too may have been the son of Marozia and Alberic I. Bertrand Fauvarque emphasizes that the contemporary sources backing up this parenthood are dubious, Liutprand being “prone to exaggeration” while other mentions of this fatherhood appear in satires written by supporters of late Pope Formosus.[27]
        Pope John X (914–928) had romantic affairs with both Theodora and her daughter Marozia, according to Liutprand of Cremona in his Antapodosis:[28][better source needed] “The first of the popes to be created by a woman and now destroyed by her daughter”.[citation needed] (See also Saeculum obscurum)

        Pope John XII (955–963) was accused by his adversaries of adultery and incest.[29][30] The monk Benedict of Soracte noted in his volume XXXVII that he “liked to have a collection of women”. According to Liutprand of Cremona in his Antapodosis,[25] “they testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father’s concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse.” According to E. R. Chamberlin, John XII was “a Christian Caligula whose crimes were rendered particularly horrific by the office he held”.[31] Some sources report that he was rumoured to have died 8 days after being stricken by paralysis while in the act of adultery,[29] others that he was killed by the jealous husband while in the act of committing adultery.[32][33][34][35] (See also Saeculum obscurum)

        Pope Benedict IX (1032– became pope in 1044, again in 1045 and finally 1047–1048).[36] He was accused by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of “many vile adulteries.”[37][38] Pope Victor III referred in his third book of Dialogues to “his rapes… and other unspeakable acts.”[39] His life prompted Saint Peter Damian to write an extended treatise against sex in general, and homosexuality in particular. In his Liber Gomorrhianus, Damian accused Benedict IX of routine sodomy and bestiality and sponsoring orgies.[40] In May 1045, Benedict IX resigned his office to pursue marriage.[41]

        Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) had a long affair with Vannozza dei Cattanei before his papacy, and by her had his illegitimate children Cesare and Lucrezia. A later mistress, Giulia Farnese, was the sister of Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III. Alexander fathered at least seven, and possibly as many as ten illegitimate children.[42]

        Popes accused of having male lovers during pontificate

        Pope Paul II (1464–1471) is popularly thought to have died due to indigestion arising from eating melon in excess,[43][44] though a rumour was spread by his detractors that he died while engaging in sodomy.

        Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484) was alleged to have awarded gifts and benefices to court favourites in return for sexual favours. Giovanni Sclafenato was created a cardinal by Sixtus for “ingenuousness, loyalty,…and his other gifts of soul and body”,[45][better source needed] according to the papal epitaph on his tomb.[46][verification needed]

        Pope Leo X (1513–1521) was allegedly a practising homosexual, according to some modern and contemporary sources (Francesco Guicciardini and Paolo Giovio). He was alleged to have had a particular (albeit one-sided) infatuation for Marcantonio Flaminio.[47]

        Pope Julius III (1550–1555) was alleged to have had a long affair with Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte. The Venetian ambassador at that time reported that Innocenzo shared the pope’s bed.[48]

        • De Maria says:

          Do you know what the word, “alleged” means?

          If you do, and I assume you do, why would you pass that off as “proof” of anything?

          You’re either intentionally dishonest or devoid of any understanding.

          And I mean that with the best intentions.

          • Bob says:

            You are unwilling to acknowledge the truth about these things. Even RC scholars acknowledge these things.

            • De Maria says:

              Two which you cherry picked vs a thousand which contradict their testimony and agree with the Church.

              And even those two which you cherry picked, submit to the Pope, believe the Marian Doctrines, believe in the Real Presence and in general, are good Catholics.

              Bob, it is you who are unwilling to acknowledge the truth. That is most evident by your denial and rejection of the Word of God. And your attempts to twist the Scriptures at every opportunity in order to pass on your doctrinal errors.

    • joeclark77 says:

      Steve, it is precisely because the Popes have been sinners that we know the Church is the same one our Lord established on the rock, Peter, and that it is guided by the Holy Spirit.

      Think about it: if every Pope was a saint, you would say that they never taught errors of morals because they never made errors of morals. If every Pope was a genius-level theologian, you would say that they never taught errors of faith because they never made errors of faith. If every Pope was a world-class administrator, you would say the Church has survived because it was always run like a well-oiled machine. No Holy Spirit needed, if all the Popes had been perfect.

      But history tells us that every Pope has been a sinner, and some have been grave sinners… yet none has ever *taught* sin. Some may have been fools… but none of them ever *taught* error. Some have been poor leaders or weak politicians… yet the Church has survived longer than any other organization — or even any civilization — in our history. It’s almost as if “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” or something!

  19. While you’re at it, you might want to look up 1 Timothy 2:5

    “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

    • De Maria says:

      Which is right and which is wrong?

      1 Timothy 2:5

      “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

      1 Timothy 2:1
      I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

      1 Corinthians 3:9
      For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

      Intercessors are mediators.
      Fellow labourers with God are saviours.

      So, tell me, which is right and which is wrong?

  20. Here’s a whole page of despicable things that Martin Luther said about the Jew (I’m a Lutheran…and they disgust me ):

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/Luther_on_Jews.html

    For the record, Luther said a lot of wonderful things, as well. But we don’t put our leaders on a pedestal and make demigods out of them.

    • De Maria says:

      I don’t follow Martin Luther. You do. Therefore, you have to justify your decision to do so.

      I follow Jesus Christ in accordance with the Teachings of His Church. The Church remains infallible, whether you like it or not. Whether you believe it or not.

      • My point was that we Christians ought not put our faith in men, great as some of them might be. They are all fallen.

        No one person is “infallible”. Only the Word of God is.

        • De Maria says:

          My point is that the Word of God commands us to have faith in the men which are appointed leaders in the Church:

          Hebrews 13:7
          King James Version (KJV)
          7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

        • Bob says:

          What sad is that most of other RC’s on this site are unwilling to defend their beliefs. They know from our discussions they are unable to withstand the scrutiny.

          • De Maria says:

            On the contrary, Bob. They are following the Scripture more closely than I. Because it is taught in our Traditions:

            2 Timothy 2:23-24
            King James Version (KJV)
            23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

            You, Bob, are quarrelsome and breed strife. My Catholic brethren who refrain from engaging your foolish and unlearned questions are wiser than I.

            And Bob, your statements have not withstood any test. We have scrutinized your statements and compared them to the Word of God and every single time, you failed.

      • Bob says:

        How can you be following Christ when you believe in doctrines He never taught nor thought of?

        • De Maria says:

          The Doctrines of the Catholic Church are the Doctrines of Jesus Christ.

          Your doctrines are those of demons and wicked men who contradict God’s word. You yourself have demonstrated that you disregard the Word of God and replace it with your false doctrines at every opportunity.

          • Bob says:

            How can the doctrines of the RCC be the doctrines of Christ when Christ never many of your doctrines? Jesus never taught indulgences, purgatory or the papacy.

            Search the Scripture. You will not find them there.

            • De Maria says:

              He taught all the Doctrines of the Catholic Church. And He disagrees with you on all your doctrines. He never taught sola scripture or sola fide or any other Protestant doctrine.

  21. Phil Wood says:

    Hello Devin, just when the Mennonites go all quiet, you Catholics surprise us all with surprise Pope. I think quite a few commentators missed the mark. I heard a lot about the ‘evangelical gestures’ of the first southern pontiff. For myself I’m quietly hopeful about the new man in the plain white cassock. I’m under no illusions that he’s wildly progressive. But if the substance matches the spin then this is a very positive move in the right direction. I thought of Pope John XXIII.

    There are resonances for Mennonites in the arrival of Pope Francis. We have recently welcomed the Colombian, Cesar Garcia to the role of General Secretary of the Mennonite World Conference. The wind is moving south. I think this is a significant reflective moment for all of us in Europe and North America – whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or Anabaptist. I hope we will learn to speak to one another with a little more humility and understanding.

  22. Bob says:

    Steve,
    Amen.

  23. The world has always had plenty of religionists. Had them long before Jesus came.

    Their bag is to become right with God based on what they ‘do’.

    In Christ Jesus, God has set us free from all that cotton-pickin’ ladder-climbing, self-focused religion.

    But, many just are in love with ‘religion’. The project.

    They might as well take all those pages in their New Testament, and rip them out of the Bible. There’s really no need for Christ in all of that.

    • De Maria says:

      We follow Christ, not Steve Martin nor Bob.

      Here is what Christ says:
      Matthew 25:31-46
      King James Version (KJV)
      31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

      32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

      33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

      34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

      35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

      36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

      37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

      38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

      39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

      40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

      42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

      43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

      44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

      45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

      46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

      Yeah, that Teaching is in the Bible. So is this one:
      Revelation 22:12-15
      King James Version (KJV)
      12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

      13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

      14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

      15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

      And this one:
      Romans 2:1-13
      King James Version (KJV)
      2 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

      1 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

      3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

      4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

      5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

      6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

      7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

      8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

      9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

      10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

      11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

      12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

      13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

      Yessir, you teach a doctrine of demons. I will stick with Jesus Christ.

    • joeclark77 says:

      Well, then, what’s the big deal? If our Lord is bound to let all of us into Heaven, no matter how we live or how we sin, and “no backsies” allowed once we’re born again, then why not just relax and ignore us? If you’re allowed all the fornication, divorce, remarriage, etc, that you like, can’t we be allowed our quirky Marian devotions and our anachronistic use of Latin? Or are we the one denomination out of 30,000 that isn’t allowed to “sin boldly”?

      • Bob says:

        Joe,
        RC divorce just like others. Its just that your church has renamed it. Its called an annulment. It is true Roman Catholicism is a denomination. In fact there are dozens denominations within Roman Catholicism. See David A. Barrett’s book, World Christian Encyclopedia.

        • De Maria says:

          Not true Bob. Divorce is the ripping apart of two which God has joined together.

          Annulment is recognition that two were never joined together by God.

          For instance, shot gun weddings are approved by Protestants.

          They are not approved by Catholics. If any coercion is recognized in a marriage, it is annulled. Both parties must be free to marry or not, as they choose.

          • Bob says:

            If an annulment is the recognition that 2 were never joined together then what do you say of the children born of this relationship? We’re they born out of wedlock? Was the sexual relationship between the parents really fornication?

            • De Maria says:

              Legitimacy is a “legal” concept. Not a moral concept. Annulment has no bearing on that question. Your national, state or local government decides that question, if they are so inclined to do.

            • De Maria says:

              Sorry, I jumped to conclusions. Most people ask about the legitimacy of the children. As to your actual question:

              We’re they born out of wedlock?

              Yes, in the eyes of God. No, in the eyes of your government.

              Was the sexual relationship between the parents really fornication?

              Sin depends on the willful disobedience of the individual. To the extent that the parties were aware that their union was invalid, their sexual relationship would be a sin of fornication.

              Divorce and remarriage, which is permitted by all Protestant denominations, remains adultery as defined by Jesus Christ.

  24. “We follow Christ, not Steve Martin nor Bob.”

    What can I say to that, other than Bob and I are very sorry. We were looking to have you follow us and we could start a brand new cult.

    Oh well…

    • De Maria says:

      I believe you. You won’t find Catholics knocking anyone over the head like those who seek to start a cult.

      Your behavior, yours and Bob’s, is precisely like that of those who seek to start cults.

      I’m glad you finally admitted it. I hope that signals an end to the madness.

  25. Infallibility of the Pope means that the Holy Spirit prevents the Pope from teaching doctrines of faith and morals to the universal Church that are in error. The Holy Spirit does not prevent the Pope from sinning.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Greg,
      Where did Jesus promise He would protect the leader of any church from error?

      • De Maria says:

        Matthew 16:18-19
        King James Version (KJV)
        18 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.

        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.

        Where did Jesus say that faith alone justifies?

        • The Gospel of John, 6:28,29

          Romans 3:27,28

          Romans 4:4,5

          Romans 4:16

          Romans 5:1

          Just to name a few…

          But religionists DON’T WANT TO rely on Christ alone. They want a role in it all, too.

          So have at it. You’d better get busy, De Maria. All that time you could be spending helping the poor and needy, you are instead sitting in front of the computer. You could be in big trouble if it depends on what ‘you do’.

          • De Maria says:

            You posted a bunch of Scripture references without explaining why. I gather you object to helping the needy. Whereas Scripture says:

            James 1:27
            Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

            Maybe you spend all your time in front of a computer. But I have a life. And when I’m in front of a computer and she I’m not, I do my best to obey Christ.

            Hebrews 5:9
            And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

        • Bob says:

          Matthew 16:18-19 has nothing to do with Jesus promising He would protect the leader of any church from error. Rather it has to do with church discipline and not doctrine.

    • So when a Pope wants to bring in some extra money to buy art or build a new cathedral, he can get someone like John Tetzel to go around and tell people that if they pay some cash they can get themselves and their relatives out of purgatory sooner…and this is “infallible”?

      This (rightfully) drove Luther up the wall, and was a large impetus behind the Reformation.

      Only the Word itself is infallible. No human is infallible.

      ___

      I’m NOT trying to get anyone here to leave Catholicism. I would like for you to examine a bit more closely, the theology of the Cross vs. the theology of glory.

      Thanks.

      • joeclark77 says:

        1. Donating money to the Church is charity, and yes, you can gain “treasure in heaven” (whatever that means) by giving money. If your Protestant churches really thought this was untrue, shame on them for passing around a collection plate.

        2. If a person like Tetzel was a sinner, that doesn’t mean those who gave money to the Church were sinning by doing so. Nor does it mean that the way the Church used the money was a sin. Nor does it mean the indulgences were invalid.

        3. I suspect what really drove Luther up the wall was the vow of chastity he made, and the sexy nuns that wouldn’t give him any sugar.

        4. One thing you are ignoring is that the Reformation WAS successful. Reform of corrupt practices actually happened. The Council of Trent being a key moment in that process. Yet, for some reason, those “reformers” who claimed that what they really wanted was a “reform” of the Church, did not return to the fold. I wonder why? Maybe what drove their rebellion was not a perceived need for reforms, but actually Luther’s heretical doctrine that sin doesn’t matter.

        • Bob says:

          Joe,
          You should study the causes of the Protestant Reformation and how your church handled it. You would be shocked by your church.

          • joeclark77 says:

            “Protestant” and “Reformation” together form an oxymoron. Are you protesting against the Church, or are you trying to reform it? The Church has been through many cycles of reform and renewal since it was founded in the upper room, and in no case have these ups and downs justified heresy and rebellion against our Lord.

            The behavior of Martin Luther, Henry VIII, etc, demonstrates that their supposed motivations for rebellion were just rationalizations. What they really wanted was illicit sex. If they actually wanted to reform or rebuild the Church, they wouldn’t have betrayed and abandoned it.

            • Bob says:

              joeclark,
              You should not bring up “illicit sex” in light of the scandals that your church leaders are responsible for. Its brings shame on the name of Christ.

              As for Luther and the reformers they wanted to reform the church but the leaders of the church at the time refused to do so.

              • joeclark77 says:

                “the leaders of the church at the time refused to do so”… even if that were true, SO what? Does that give you license to (a) abandon the Church which is the Body of Christ, (b) preach a new, false religion, and (c) declare that divorce, adultery, fornication, etc., are no longer sins?

  26. Bob says:

    If the marriage is annulled because a real marriage never took place in the first place then the priest is guilty of fraud at the time he performs the wedding. At the wedding he blesses them and pronounces them husband and wife when in reality they were never married. He tells them they are joined together but the reality is they never were. This is a deception on the part of the priest.

    • joeclark77 says:

      I would imagine that these invalid marriages are rarely the ones performed by priests, more often the ones conducted at city hall or by Elvis somewhere. But there’s probably occasional abuse of annulment by lax priests, too. Even so, so what? Does that make it right? Does the revelation that Catholics sometimes sin, somehow justify Protestants promoting fornication and adultery?

      • Bob says:

        What annulments do is to make mockery of marriage by claiming such marriages never really took place. Its a fraud and it creates all kinds of problems as I have outlined.

        • De Maria says:

          What Protestants do is make a mockery of the Gospel.

        • anton says:

          This is the funniest statement I have heard in a long time……especially coming from someone I believe, is a protestant, when protestantism allows all kinds of mockery to marriage from divorce to contraception to abortion.

  27. anton says:

    http://catholicdefense.blogspot.ca/2013/03/a-fascinating-concession-by-albert.html
    For those who would like to know more about that shifty idea of Sola Scriptura.

  28. joeclark77 says:

    History has shown that whenever someone had an authentic conversion or mystical experience, it bore fruit in their lives. In many cases, the adoption of a religious vocation. Think of St. Therese, or the children of Fatima. Think of St. Augustine, who left behind a life of sin and became a great theologian and doctor of the Church. Think of St. Francis (who lived in a time when the Church needed a great deal of reform) and how by his example he renewed the faith of many.

    You can also tell false religions and heresies by their fruits. In virtually every prominent case (Luther, Henry VIII, Joseph Smith, Muhammad), their first priorities were rationalizing the acquisition of sex slaves. Can you explain that pattern, in light of “By their fruits you shall know them”?

  29. Bob says:

    Joe,
    When you wrote-““the leaders of the church at the time refused to do so”… even if that were true, SO what? Does that give you license to (a) abandon the Church which is the Body of Christ,”

    The leaders of your church apostatized and left the reformers no choice but to abandon Rome and reestablish the church again on the gospel.

    • De Maria says:

      Joe,
      When you wrote-”“the leaders of the church at the time refused to do so”… even if that were true, SO what? Does that give you license to (a) abandon the Church which is the Body of Christ,”

      The leaders of your church apostatized and left the reformers no choice but to abandon Rome and reestablish the church again on the gospel.

      That’s not true, Bob, the leaders of your church rebelled against God’s Church.

      However, Joe asked a question which you didn’t answer. When Jesus admitted that the Pharisees were not acting according to God’s will, He said:

      Matthew 23:1-3
      King James Version (KJV)
      1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

      2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

      3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

      And Scripture says:

      Hebrews 13:17
      King James Version (KJV)
      17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

      Where do you claim Scripture gives you the right to rebel against the Church? Let me see the Scripture, Chapter and verse. I want to see it.

  30. Bob says:

    Joe,
    You wrote in regards to Protestants–“(c) declare that divorce, adultery, fornication, etc., are no longer sins?”

    What Protestant church declares that divorce, adultery, fornication, etc., are no longer sins?

    • anton says:

      Hmmm, where do we start,………there are 20,000-30,000 diferent protestant denominations and many millions of indivdual mini popes so lets start with a protestant relative of mine…….she thinks they are no longer sins because Christ covers for her.

      • Bob says:

        anton,
        I asked what Protestant church declares that divorce, adultery, fornication, etc., are no longer sins and not what some ignorant Protestant thinks.

        • anton says:

          How many protestant churches allow remarriage in their churches? Where is the collective protestant out cry against all the abortions? When has a protestant church spoken out against contraception? Who is the ONE protestant that speaks for all the many denominations (who feeds your sheep)? That is a difficult question to answer, I know, because there is no consensus amongst all of you. That ignorant protestant you speak of is a product of your branch of faith. By their fruits you shall know them.

    • joeclark77 says:

      Divorce and adultery: the Anglican church is the obvious example, but certainly not the only one. I’m pretty sure every mainline Protestant denomination is cool with divorce and remarriage as many times and for whatever reasons a person desires.

      Fornication (sex outside of marriage) is at least tacitly endorsed by every denomination that teaches the morality of artificial contraception — which I’m pretty sure is all of them. If you’re in one of the “conservative” denominations that encourages adultery and contraception but frowns on premarital sex, well, good for you.

      The fact remains that Protestantism was invented as a rationalization for the reformers’ favorite sins. The main thing it offers its believers is the comfort that they’re “saved” by professing the faith and therefore don’t have to actually live that faith.

      • Bob says:

        Protestantism became necessary because the RCC refused to repent of its sins and continue in its corruptions.

        • De Maria says:

          Protestantism has never been necessary. It is simply an excuse for people who will not endure sound doctrine to rebel against the Will of God.

          • Bob says:

            Indulgences, purgatory, Marian dogmas and treasury of merit are not sound doctrines.

            • anton says:

              Here is your chance to back up your statement on Catholicism and it’s doctrines not being sound, but be warned that these doctrines have deep Christian roots and are also biblical so don’t disappoint……and don’t divert or respond by asking another question….and don’t resort to Bibles that are missing books because they may point to these very doctrines. No short answers either because Catholicism has a rich history of 2000 years and has depth and is not a religion of sound bites so deserves a thorough understanding of It before you can make such claims.

            • anton says:

              I am still waiting for you to back up your claim.

  31. Bob says:

    Joe,
    What sex slaves did Luther have? Where did he encourage other reformers and Protestants to have them?
    Be sure to give me the documentation for this claim given I have never heard of it before. Thanks

    • anton says:

      All you have to know about Luther is his quote to “be a sinner and sin boldly”……nice message to spread among Christians to bring about moral decay in society…..by their fruits you shall know them.

    • joeclark77 says:

      He made a concubine of a nun named Katharina von Bora. She was a bride of Christ and they had both sworn vows of celibacy. That is repeated, ongoing adultery. While it may be a bit of hyperbole to call it “sex slavery”, the relationship was obviously not based on self-giving love. It is right in line with the pattern set by Henry VIII etc. “You shall know them by their fruits” and you’ll never find a single Protestant reformer whose behavior after “conversion” compares to that of say, St. Francis of Assisi.

      • Bob says:

        Katharina von Bora decided being a nun for life was not for her. She left the order and married Luther. That is not adultery since she married him.

        Where has your church officially called Katharina von Bora an adulteress for marrying Luther?

        • De Maria says:

          They made vows of celibacy. They made these vows to God.

          No need.

          Psalm 50:14
          Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

          They could not promise God that they would never marry and then claim that they had been married before God.

          God is not anyone’s plaything.
          Hebrews 10:31
          It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  32. Bob says:

    anton,
    What is the context for Luther saying-“be a sinner and sin boldly”……?

    • joeclark77 says:

      It was in a letter.

      • Bob says:

        What is the context for the letter and what is the context within the letter for Luther to write-“”be a sinner and sin boldly”……?

        • De Maria says:

          It is the biggest and saddest misinterpretation of Scripture that has ever been made. To this day, Protestant believe that they have every right to sin in order that grace may abound.

          But Scripture says:
          Romans 6:
          King James Version (KJV)
          1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

          2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

          3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

  33. anton says:

    So when we speak of protestantism, we need to look at context…….but if I go by sola scriptura, Luther wrote it, I read it, he said it, so I must believe him. Let us not make it about semantics seeing that Luther added a word where originally there was none, (previous post above).

    • Bob says:

      Again, what is the context for Luther saying ““be a sinner and sin boldly”……?

      • anton says:

        What is the context of “Tend my sheep”…….?

      • anton says:

        I am doing exactly what protestants do, taking words out of context, reading them at face value, and re-interpreting what I have read, I am not a follower of Luther so his words are meaningless to me, but I do recall Jesus saying to the adulteress, “go and sin no more”.

        • Bob says:

          Then you really don’t know what you are talking about. Better you should stay on the sidelines and learn before comment.

          • De Maria says:

            Really? If we say that Jesus said, “go and sin no more.” We don’t know what we are talking about?

            Jesus didn’t say, “sin and sin mightily.” That was Luther. I suppose that is because you follow Luther who preaches that we sin and sin mightily that grace may abound. Yet, he twisted the Scripture when he said that. Perhaps that is where you learned your skill at twisting Scripture.

            If anyone needs to stay on the sidelines because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, it is you, Bob.

            • Bob says:

              What is the context for Luther to write ““sin and sin mightily.”?

              • De Maria says:

                Sin and sin mightily and grace will abound the more.

                But Scripture says:
                Romans 6:
                6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. …

  34. anton says:

    I guess I have struck a nerve……..so if I don’t square with what a protestant has to say, I must stay on the sidelines? I could say the same to you when it comes to Catholicism but I won’t. Peace to you.

  35. Bob says:

    If you are going to make a claim about something then be ready to back it up. If I make a claim about Roman Catholicism then you have every right to ask me to back it up if necessary.

    • anton says:

      Okay,………. right…………I have been following De Maria’s questions to you for back up when it comes to Catholicism and instead of backing it up, you respond by diverting and asking another question. Maybe you should take your own advice. Nice try. Peace!

    • De Maria says:

      Bob says:
      March 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm
      If you are going to make a claim about something then be ready to back it up. If I make a claim about Roman Catholicism then you have every right to ask me to back it up if necessary.

      We’re still waiting for you to back up anything you’ve said. Unless you mean the lies and errors you continually repeat.

  36. Bob says:

    When your church refused to repent of its errors it left the Reformers no choice but to establish the true church on the gospel again. The Reformers were much like Jesus and the apostles who refused to follow the Pharisees in their errors.

    BTW- no one is to submit to leaders who teach error.

    • joeclark77 says:

      In addition to the ludicrous comparison of Luther, Henry VIII etc to our Lord, you are drawing conclusions based on some major ecclesiological assumptions that you aren’t backing up here. How did the Reformers have “no choice” but to rebel against the Church? When our Lord told St. Francis to “rebuild my church”, he came up with a way of accomplishing it that didn’t involve apostasy and heresy. And since when is “no one to submit to leaders who teach error”? The authority of the bishops comes not from their personal holiness but from the Holy Orders they receive from our Lord himself. In other words, as most Christians have understood for centuries, just because you have a bad bishop or bad priest doesn’t mean you can or should abandon the Body of Christ and form your own “true church” with your own edited Bible. Instead, try prayer and fasting and almsgiving. On the whole, and across history, the Church is guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, despite the fact that it is made up of sinners.

      • Bob says:

        What did your church try to do with Luther? They tried to arrest him.
        “To protect the authority of the Pope and the Church, as well as to maintain the doctrine of indulgences, ecclesiastical officials convinced Charles V that Luther was a threat and persuaded him to authorize his condemnation by the Holy Roman Empire. Luther escaped arrest and remained in seclusion at Wartburg castle for several years where he continued to write and translate the New Testament into German.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_of_Worms

        Luther and the reformers knew the leaders of your church could not be trusted. They had no real interest in dialogue.

        Before Luther there was Jan Hus. “He was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, including those on ecclesiology, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hus

        You really should study the causes of the Protestant Reformation. Remember: your church had no problem with creating the inquisitions that had the full approval of popes. Many people were tortured and murdered by these inquisitions that had the full approval of the leaders of your church centuries.

        • joeclark77 says:

          Why shouldn’t Luther have been arrested? What’s wrong with laws against the preaching of heresy? Heresy leads souls into sin and Hell. Luther was declaring war on the Church, and it would be childish of him to expect that she wouldn’t fight back. Frankly I would give Luther a little more credit than you do — he knew what he was doing and I’m sure he expected to have to fight for it.

          Your line that the church “couldn’t be trusted” because “they had no real interest in dialogue” made me LOL, it’s just the sort of thing that a 1970s postmodernist would say. Would you “dialogue” with Satan? Is his truth just as valid as anyone else’s truth?

          • Bob says:

            Yes Luther knew what he was doing and so did your church. They did not want dialogue and would have most likely murdered him if he was locked up.

            Are you for locking up people today if they don’t agree with Rome? Would you like to see the inquisitions of your church come back?

            • joeclark77 says:

              The crime isn’t “not agreeing” with Rome. Christian nations have always tolerated people of other religions and heterodox beliefs. What they did not tolerate is intentional and public preaching of heresy. Whether that was a good policy or not is one for the political philosophers. Taking a look at the fruits of “religious liberty”, I’m inclined to think it was good policy.

              I fail to see how you think any of this is an argument for the truth of Protestantism. But then again, your repeated use of the word “dialogue” suggests that you’re one of those postmodernists who doesn’t even believe in objective truth. Do you think everybody is entitled to his own truth, all truths are equally valid, and “refusal to dialogue” is the only sin?

  37. Phil Wood says:

    I hear the passionate desire for truth and the personal stories in this thread. Devin will know from previous contributions to other discussions that I’m skeptical of clericalism in general, let alone a papacy. I’m uneasy though, that were in danger of missing the moment whilst we’re playing apologetic ping pong. There are early signs that this new pope is a good man. Moreover, he’s a good man for a crucial moment. I have hopes for the Ecumenical movement, which has been exiled on the margins for too long. What is it about the Christian church that spins out disagreement over centuries? Is it too much to hope that Jesus’ prayer for unity – ‘that all of them may be one’ – wasn’t directed to an empty heaven?

    It should be a burning question to all of us who are the heirs of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Grebel: has the Reformation reformed? What are we waiting for? If we’re expecting other Christians – Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant or Anabaptist – to become people ‘just like us’ then the wound will never heal.

    Rob, my stepson, has said he wishes to be confirmed in the Catholic Church. Anna (my Catholic wife) and I, will help him with the preparation. We have feet of clay (there are parts of the catechism I don’t agree with). On Palm Sunday Anna will join London Mennonites for ‘Walking Church’. Our church has a partnership with the London Catholic Worker. Perhaps sometimes soon we’ll all be one. In the meantime we share the journey together.

    • joeclark77 says:

      Phil, I think your ecumenical attitude is a lot better than the rest of ours on this thread, and I regret that I may have been uncharitable in the debate… as often happens on the internet. Like you, when I was a Protestant, I remember one of the reasons I was thinking about giving Catholicism a chance was the idea that “if we’re ever all going to be re-united, it’s obviously going to happen in that Church, not this one…”.

      When it comes to the catechism, the Protestant attitude is: if I disagree with the teachings, my own opinion is deemed true unless I’m persuaded otherwise. The (ideal) Catholic attitude is: if I have found myself disagreeing with 2000 years of church fathers, popes, saints, and theologians, I (try to) assume (in humility) that maybe they’re right and I’m wrong. And in practice, each such disagreement becomes an impetus to do more reading and learning. And every time I’ve discovered that the Church’s teachings are built on a wealth of philosophy and human experience. The more you dig, the more you learn.

      You then find out that being Catholic doesn’t mean constant mortification of the judgment, as in fact many points of theology are still open for debate. You can’t disagree about the Real Presence in the Eucharist, that’s a definitive teaching, but debate is still open on, for example, what Purgatory is like, or what happens to unbaptized infants, when the death penalty is appropriate, whether a particular war is just or injust, etc.

      • Phil Wood says:

        Hi Joe,

        A lot of questions and valuable reflection flow from your response. I wouldn’t characterize dissent as necessarily the clash of individual conscience or conviction with the unified teachings of the Church. Whilst I’m painfully aware Protestant fragmentation the difficulties I have with the Catechism aren’t just my own. They are expressed corporately between Christians of different Traditions and within the Catholic Church. If unity is to be fully realized it cannot be imposed from above. I’m sure we all appreciate the fundamental difference between peace and pacification.

        For various reasons Christians do journey from one Christian Tradition to another. Those journeys run both ways. In my congregation there are people who came to Anabaptism from a Catholic background. I have a Benedictine friend who made the journey in reverse. My background was nominally Anglican. Now I’m a Mennonite. I’m sure those stories matter a great deal to the people involved. Taken as a whole though, I’m not sure they have much of a bearing on Christian unity or the relative merits of a Christian Tradition. If I’m allowed to dream a little, my hope is that unity will be something we do together because we love and trust one another. In the Anabaptist communities I’m familiar with we talk a lot about ‘consensus decision-making’. In practice that kind of approach takes time. It’s hard work. There will always be honest disagreement in the Christian Church. But those knotty issues of theology look different when there is a bond of community between Christians who come from different backgrounds.

        • De Maria says:

          Hi Phil,

          You said:
          If unity is to be fully realized it cannot be imposed from above.

          But the Catholic Church is not forcing unity. The Catholic Church simply refuses to cave in to error and novelty.

          Some people, like Bob for instance, want to force Catholics to believe what they believe. Why?

          If I’m allowed to dream a little, my hope is that unity will be something we do together because we love and trust one another

          Scripture teaches:
          Acts 10:34-36
          King James Version (KJV)
          34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

          Therefore, we CAN all get along. As long as everyone understands that the Catholic Church believes and teaches that she is the True Church of Jesus Christ.

          I know that you, Protestants, consider this to be an arrogant stance. But it is the Truth. Therefore it is not arrogant. It is complete faith in Jesus Christ.

  38. anton says:

    …..and as a nun, she was married to Jesus first because nuns are considered “brides of Christ”.

  39. Bob says:

    Just because your church considers nuns ““brides of Christ” does not mean they are married in the sense of a man and a woman are. We know these “brides of Christ” are not really wives of Christ nor do they function as wives.

    • De Maria says:

      Bob,

      You have spoken as a “natural man” would speak. We know that they are truly the spiritual wives of Christ because they put His will above anyone else. Catholic Doctrine is spiritually discerned.

  40. Bob says:

    Rome at the time of Luther was not interested in real dialogue with the Protestant Reformers. They knew they could not win with the Reformers because they knew Scripture to well and many of the doctrines of the RCC could not be supported by the Scripture. They also knew that corruption in the church could never be justified.

    If I was a postmodern I could not call your church in error.

    • De Maria says:

      On the contrary, Bob, the Reformers lost every debate they had against Catholics. That is why Luther began to take Scripture apart and add words to it. Because Scripture did not back up his doctrines.

    • joeclark77 says:

      Why the obsession with “dialogue”? You don’t “dialogue” with someone who is willing to lie in order to “win” the debate. Someone like that will never be persuaded of the truth, because they don’t care about the truth. Nor will they help you to discover truth, because they have no qualms about lying. The point of dialogue or debate is to derive truth, thus, it makes no sense to “dialogue” with Satan. You don’t “negotiate” with heresy because the truth is non-negotiable. The proper response to heresy is to teach the Truth in charity, which is exactly what the Church has done for 2000 years.

      • Bob says:

        What are you talking about? You are the one who lied about Luther.

        • De Maria says:

          Was Luther a Catholic Priest who had made a vow of celibacy? Or not?

          Did he forsake his vows? Or not?

          The one lying about that matter is you.

          • Bob says:

            Priests leave all the time. Depends on the nature of the vows and Rome can and does release priests from vows.

            • De Maria says:

              They ask to be released and do everything in humble submission to the God given authority of the Catholic Church.

              Luther attacked the authority of the Catholic Church. There is no sign that he ever asked to be released of his vows.

            • joeclark77 says:

              I think there’s an obvious difference between someone who leaves because he cannot fulfil his vows, and someone who leaves to declare war on the Church and preach heresy. Don’t you?

              • Bob says:

                Joe,
                You need to study church history. It was your church that declared war on Luther and the Protestant Reformers. Just look at what they did to Jan Huss. “At Constance he was tried, condemned, and burnt at the stake, 6 July, 1415.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07584b.htm

                Luther though did not take this lying down. He used the printing press to get his ideas out to people. He and the others made it possible for the people to hear and understand the gospel.

              • joeclark77 says:

                Bob, even from the point of view of the Protestants, your position is silly. It would be like the American revolutionaries claiming that Britain declared war on them, or was being unfair or “untrustworthy” for responding in the normal way to treason and rebellion. I don’t recall John Adams or Thomas Jefferson calling the King “unfair” for not “dialoguing” with them. Your whining, childish 1960s attitude would have been alien to both sides. I would give Martin Luther the benefit of the doubt, and assume he undertook rebellion like a man.

        • joeclark77 says:

          Anyone who has read basic history knows that there are times for “dialogue” and times when it is inappropriate. Some things are non-negotiable. When an enemy pressures you to “negotiate” on the non-negotiable, he’s really trying to pressure you into “meeting him halfway”. Luther was preaching heresy, and he was willing to edit and rewrite the Bible (i.e. lie) to convince people that his heresy was valid and that it was okay to sin. The appropriate response by the Church is not to compromise or negotiate Truth, or to accommodate half of the heresy, but to rather to stand firm and teach the truth.

          • Bob says:

            You still have it wrong. Your church was promoting heresy by its doctrine of indulgences. No apostle ever taught such a thing and the selling of indulgences to the people so the pope could build a cathedral is not only heresy in action but a fraud. The cathedral is built on a false pretense.

            • De Maria says:

              The ones promoting heresy were the Reformers.

              Indulgences are taught in Scripture:
              Matthew 19:21
              Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

              • Bob says:

                No true exegesis of Matthew 19:21 would conclude this verse is saying anything about an indulgence. Try again.

  41. Bob says:

    Priests leave all the time. Depends on the nature of the vows and Rome can and does release priests from vows.

    • De Maria says:

      They ask to be released and do everything in humble submission to the God given authority of the Catholic Church.

      Luther attacked the authority of the Catholic Church. There is no sign that he ever asked to be released of his vows.

      • Bob says:

        Luther and the Protestant had a God-given duty to confront the leaders of the RCC of their corruptions.
        “Sixtus IV (1471–1484) established the practice of selling indulgences to be applied to the dead, thereby establishing a new stream of revenue with agents across Europe.[10] Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) was one of the most controversial of the Renaissance Popes. He fathered seven children, including Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia, by at least two mistresses.[11] Fourteen years after his death, the corruption of the papacy that Pope Alexander VI exemplified—particularly the sale of indulgences—prompted Luther to write the The Ninety-Five Theses, which he nailed to the door of a church at Wittenberg in Saxony.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_Reformation

        • De Maria says:

          Bob says:
          March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am
          Luther and the Protestant had a God-given duty to confront the leaders of the RCC of their corruptions.

          It is the Protestants who were corrupt. And continue to be. You post all these allegations and accusations as though they were proven facts, but they are not.

          May God forgive you. Because you will be judged for every unthinking word that you speak:
          Matthew 12:36
          King James Version (KJV)
          36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

  42. Bob says:

    Joe, De Maria,
    Since you 2 are experts on the RCC I thought I would ask you how Biden and Pelosi could receive communion at the Vatican even though both of them are strong supporters of abortion and same sex marriage. How could it be that the Vatican would allow this knowing that the supporting abortion and homosexuality are wicked evils? Isn’t the allowing of this a mockery to Christ and your church?

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/19/despite-abortion-views-biden-pelosi-receive-commun/

    • joeclark77 says:

      Bob, have you no faith in divine justice?

      • Bob says:

        Joe, what does divine justice have to do with this?

        • De Maria says:

          Anyone who assists in the proliferation of abortion, AUTOMATICALLY excommunicates himself. Communion nor any of the Sacraments will be of any avail to those people except as contributing to the sin of sacrilege which they commit for so doing.

          about
          ABORTION AND EXCOMMUNICATION

          Q. 1. What does the Catholic Church teach about abortion?

          A. 1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

          “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” [CIC, can. 1398] “by the very commission of the offense,” [CIC, can. 1314] and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. [Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324] The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” (C.C.C. # 2272)

          “A person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.” [Code of Canon Law 1398]

          Q. 2. What does “formal cooperation in an abortion” means?

          A. 2. “Formal cooperation in an abortion” means all the individual who had an abortion, the abortionist who performed the abortion(s), the nurses and other employees that assist in abortions, the administrative staff that provided facilities where abortions were performed, all the individuals who recommended/suggested an abortion, the politicians who supported abortions and/or who voted in favour of them, all the relatives who supported abortions, no matter their excuse for being in favour of it, and even the religious persons who have supported such an act by word or action.

          There are no exception, either one is in favour of abortions or totally against it.
          Latae sententiae excommunication

          The Vatican doesn’t have to say a word.

          • Bob says:

            I talked to a priest about this issue of Biden and Pelosi and he said they were only following their consciences. Go figure.

            btw— I haven’t heard any protests from any official at the Vatican about this. Maybe its not that big of a deal.

            • joeclark77 says:

              Next thing you know you’re going to inform us that our Church was founded by a glutton and winebibber, friend to publicans and sinners… oh! the scandal!

            • anton says:

              1 Corinthians, 11:27-29
              “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

              One cannot escape divine justice because God’s judgment is always just and true. Catholics have access to reconciliation/confession, even Biden and Pelosi, so how can we know if they have done penance and received absolution or not before receiving communion? It is not for us to judge. They bring God’s judgement onto themselves if unworthy. God is also abundant in mercy.

  43. De Maria says:

    Well Bob,

    I get the impression you haven’t learned a thing in the time you’ve been here. And you keep coming back to the same tired claims and accusations. Therefore, it is time for me to bow out.

    Hasta luego.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  44. joeclark77 says:

    Bob, you’re wrong. But I’ll add one additional citation: Matthew 16:19: “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.

  45. Bob says:

    Joe, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m only giving you the facts.

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