Is St. Peter the Rock on Which Jesus Founded His Church


Where Did Peter Ever Claim to be the First Pope?


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

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

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

Jesus gave all the apostles the authority to bind and loose

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

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

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

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

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

John 21:15-1715 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!


Leroy made many comments about several issues on the post (click)–>Peter/Petra Controversy.

He contended that the Church was built on Christ’s confession not Peter, that Peter was rebuked by Paul and therefore disqualified in some way from being pope, dismissed infallibility of the Pope, and proclaimed the priesthood of all believers. You can read his whole comment by clicking on the link above.

Dear Leroy,
What you say is true of course but it isn’t the whole truth. Please see this post about Peter:

Rock: Peter or his confession?

Jesus did not say that the gates of Hell will not prevail over Peter but they would not prevail over His Church. And the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself over 2000 years ago and over which the Gates of Hell have not yet prevailed against. Damaged? Yes but not conquered.

All men are silenced by death eventually, but that does NOT mean that Hell has prevailed over them. You have veered into heresy here.

As for Paul and Peter please read:

Paul Rebuked Peter

All believers belong to the priesthood but so did all the Jews in the OT. And just like the Jews, the Catholic Church has both a priesthood of all believers and a ministerial priesthood. Please see this post:
Priesthood of All Believers

Regarding Infallibility. You believe the writers of the the books of the Bible were infallible in their writings so if God could make them infallible why not the leader of the Church He founded? Please see this post: Infallible??

The Truth About Pope Pius XII And Hitler


I recently went on a field trip with my daughter’s 8th grade class from our CATHOLIC school, to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California (a local Holocaust museum). Our docent, whose father survived the holocaust was excellent. She did a good job of warning the students not to let themselves be taken in by propaganda from the surrounding culture, as the Germans and many others had done before and during WWII.

Therefore, I was shocked and offended when a film shown to our Catholic students said that none of the churches helped the Jews and even the Pope and the Vatican did NOTHING! Before becoming Catholic I researched this issue and found that this view is the result of Rolf Hochhuths’ play, The Deputy, and other anti-Catholic propaganda.

I wrote the museum with documentation that that information was not true and and asked if they would please change offending the film.

A few days later, I also asked my daughter’s teacher if I could speak to the class and correct this information. She said I could submit the info and she would make sure it was OK.

So, I gave her a lot of information. I told her I just needed 10-15 min.to explain why the Pope had to do what he did secretly, that the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to the Catholic Church after the war and took the Pope’s baptismal name, Eugenio, as his own at baptism. And I wanted to tell the kids a couple of the stories about how CATHOLICS rescued Jews so they would not feel ashamed of their Church and their Faith. And that people of other faiths rescued Jews also, of course.

The next day the teacher called me and said the Principal of our Catholic school and our Priest said I could not present this information because “the church says Pope Pius the XII and the Catholic Church were just bystanders.”

It took my breath away. Catholics who would rather believe lies about our Church and the Vicar of Christ! So in defense of Pope Pius XII I am sharing this YouTube.com video.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In defense of Pius XII

 


Election of the Pope



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

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

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

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

Historical Evidence for Pope?



Q. Is there any historical evidence for the Papacy?

A. In the writings of the Early Church Fathers the fact of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is taken for granted. In 80 A.D. the Corinthian Church kicked out their bishop and/or priest. Appeals were made to Pope Clement I, the fourth Bishop of Rome to settle the matter. And yet, the Apostle St. John was still alive at Ephesus and living a lot closer to Corinth than Rome. Never the less the appeals were made to the Pope because all knew that he had the authority to make a binding decision.

St. Irenaeus, a student of St. Polycarp (a disciple of St. John the Apostle), exhorts all “Christians (to) be united to the Church of Rome in order to maintain the Apostolic Tradition. He then made a list of all the Bishops of Rome up to his time. There is nothing in his writing that sounds like he is trying to be convincing but rather that all Christians take for granted that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church.

For 250 years the Roman Emperors tried to destroy Christianity through persecution. In the first 200 years of Christianity, every Pope but one was martyred. So, even the Romans knew that the Bishop of Rome was the head of the Church.

A Roman Emperor’s greatest fear was a rival to the throne. Nevertheless, the emperor Decius (249-251 A.D.) one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christian Church made the following remark:

I would far rather receive news of a rival to the throne than of another bishop of Rome. (Christian History, Issue 27 1990, vol IX, No. 3, p22)

Decius said this after he had executed Pope Fabian in 250 A.D.

Beginning Apologetics by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham