Friday, January 22, 2010
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following historic Christian theology since the time of the early Church Fathers, refers to the Catholic Church as "the universal sacrament of salvation" (CCC 774-776), and states: "The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men" (CCC 780).
Be not deceived, my brethren: If anyone follows a maker of schism [i.e., is a schismatic], he does not inherit the
Treatise on Rebaptism
Treatise on Rebaptism
Fulgentius of Ruspe
Fulgentius of Ruspe
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Why do Catholics believe that God is three Persons, called the Holy Trinity? How can God be three Persons and still be one God?
Catholics believe there is one God consisting of three distinct and equal divine persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - because on numerous occasions God has described Himself thus. The Old Testament gives intimations that there are more than one Person in God. In Genesis 1:26, God says, "Let us make man to our image and likeness."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
St. Peter is clearly deficted as the first among the apostles, both by Jesus and by the evangelist. St. Peter is mentioned 191 times in the New Testament. All the other apostles combined are mention by name just 130 times. And the most commonly referenced apostle apart from St. Peter is St. John, whose name appears 48 times. St. Peter's authority is unquestioned, even by St. Paul. And Peter's name appears first in virtually every listing of the apostles, just as Judas' name always appears last. If theres is a reason for a latter - which there obviously is - on what basis can we deny there is a reason for the former?
Mat. 16:15-19 - "Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah...you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of thenetherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Some Protestant apologistsd make much of the fact the two words for "rock" in the original Greek text, Petros and Petra , have different gender endings. They claim that the gender ending results in different meanings - usually, in the size of the "rock" in question. But the different geneder endings are simply due to the fact that a man's name cannot have a feminine ending, while the Greek word for "rock" does. The error in the Protestant position becomes abundantly clear when one realizes that in the Aramaic language, which Jesus spoke, there were no gender endings for nouns. So when Jesus spoke this sentence, he would have been saying, "...you are rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church..." There would have been difference whatsoever in the endings of the words; it would have been the exact same word used twice. This is just one example of Protestatnt believers reading the scripture through the lens of their traditions, and missing the clear and obvious sense of certain key passages. The fact is, these are profoundly important verses, for they contain Jesus' unequivocal promise to protect and guide the Church he is to found, throug St. Peter, to whom he entrusts the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whenever God renames someone, he is calling our attention to a truly momentous event - as in Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israerl, Saul to Paul and Simon to Rock.
Is. 22:15-25 -"Eliakim is given the keys of the kingdom, thus becoming the most powerful man in the realm apart from the king himself. The keys are the sign of the royal authority. Because the keys are passed on to each successive officeholder, they indicate that the office lives on even after the individual who hold it dies. The king does not stop appointing stewards when one dies - the keys are passed along to another. Thus Jesus' royal authority did not die with St. Peter but was passed on to the next generation, as it will be until the end of time.
Accorsing to St. Paul, St. Peter was singled out by Jesus after the resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:3-5 - "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also recieved: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was burried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas (St. Peter), then to the Twelve."
Note too that St. Paul refers to St. Peter by the name Jesus gave him: Cephas, which is, "Rock." This reference by St. Paul is alone enough to refute the alternative intertive interpretations given for Mt. 16:15-19.
For example, if the word "Rock" referred not to Peter, but to Peter's faith, then St. Paul would making a terrible blumder in referring to Simon himself as "Rock." No, in the passage from Matthew, Jesus himself was clearly giving Simon a new name, "Rock," indicating a change in his status that was to have a momentous impact on salvation history.
The keys belong to Jesus, in the scripture, they are the sign of his authority. When he gives the keys to St. Peter in Mattew 16, he is simply delegating the authority, which is his for all eternity, thus, as Eliakim before him (see Is. 22:15-25), St. Peter is chief steward of the kingdom who wields the king’s authority.
After St. Paul receives his revelations from the Holy Spirit, he travels to Jerusalem specifically to confer with St. Peter.
Gal. 1:18 – “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas…” This is an awesome indication of the position of the authority, which St. Peter occupied. Also note that once again Paul refers to Peter by the name Jesus gave him – Cephas, or “Rock.”
Abraham was the patriarch of the old covenant, and his name was changed by God to underscore his status. Abraham was also,, in the passage quoted here, the only man reffered to as “rock” until Jesus reffered to St. Peter that way. Elsewhere, that metaphor was reserved for God (Deut. 32:4; 1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 18:3, etc.). So not only reffering to Simon as “Rock” but also by changing his name in the process, Jesus is establishing an undeniable parallel between Simon Peter and Abraham. Peter is the patriarch of the new covenant, just as Abraham was the patriarch of the old.
Acts 2:14:36 – “Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed…” This is the first Christian sermon detailed in scripture. Already St. Peter’s status as leader is clear, as shown by the title, “the Eleven,” which never included Peter.
Jesus prays for St. Peter alone among the apostle.
Lk. 22:31-32 – “ Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” Peter receives special attention from Jesus. Jesus observes that Satan is seeking to break the apostles’ faith. Jesus response is to pray for Peter and direct him to hold the rest of the apostles firm. Jesus’ statement devotails perfectly with Peter’s role as the “Rock” upon which the Church rests, and the pope’s role in Church history.
Three times Jess asks St. Peter:
Jn. 21:15-17 –“ Do you love me?...” and three times he commands Peter to “feed my lambs” and “tend my sheep.” Note that Jesus makes no such request of any other apostle. St. Peter is supplied with supernatural means to accomplish the task Jesus gives him.
Mat. 17:24-27 –“…go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open his mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.” Peter, in paying the tax for Jesus, acts as the Lord’s proxy in this earthly matter.
St. Peter initiates and then supervises the choice of Judas’ successor.
Acts 1:15-26 – “During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers…”
Jesus acknowledges the authority of the Pharisees when they speak from the Chair of Moses.
Mat. 23:1-3 – “…Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.’” Incidentally, the phrase, “the chair of Moses,” is not found anywhere in the Old Testament. The fact that the Lord refers to it here confirms the fact that Jesus acknowledged the authority of tradition.
Out of 265 Pope, 79 were saints, only 10 were immoral or corrupt, and not one ever taught error in areas of faith and morals. That’s a failure rate of less than 4 percent. By way of comparison, of the apostles picked by Jesus, one out of the original twelve was evil – representing a failure rate of 8 percent. So the supposed evil and corruption of the popes of history is hardly a reason to despair of the institution of the papacy. Indeed, we would suggest that the extremely low number of evil popes suggest Holy Spirit is guiding their selection and providing them support.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Deut. 34:18 - "Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid his hands upon him; and so the Istraelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord's command to Moses." The wisdom and the authority of the Holy Spirit are imparted through the laying on of hands by those already in authority. This is still the case today, as we see in the Sacrament of the Holy Orders, which is conducted by a bishop, acting under the authority given to the apostles by Jesus himself.
Gen. 14:18 - "Melchizedek, king od Salem, brought out bread amd wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram..." Why did Abraham need to be blesses by a man, when he was chosen by God to be the father of nations? In scripture, no one takes mantle of spiritual authority upon himself. Even Moses, after being chosen by God, reports to "all the elders of the Israelites" to convince them of his call (Ex.4:29-31). Likewise, Jesus himself is dedicated in the temple and baptized in the Jordan. In submitting to such sacramental rituals himself, Jesus is showing us that no one outside of the divinely ordainde spiritual authority of the Church.
Heb. 7:1-28 - " You are priest forever according the order of Melchizedek..." Jesus has become the guaranettee of an (even) better covenant...he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away."
Refers to Ps. 110:4 - "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever..." The priesthood of the Lord is on going and eternal. And since priesthood of individual men is based on thew priesthood of Jesus, we know it is ongoing and eternal also.
At Pentecost, Jesus ordainde the apostles and commissioned them to go out and minister to world.
Jn. 20:19-23 - "As the Father has sent me, so I send you,' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Received the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retained are retained.'" The fact that he sent them as the Father had sent him shows that he intends them to function as he did - as priest. It is no coincidence that it is here he also give them the priestly power to forgive sins.
Acts 8:9-25 - When Simon the Magician wishe to recieve the power of the Holy Spirit, he did not simply declare himself a minister and begin to preach. Instead, he approached St. Peter with his proposition. Even this sinner knew that he could not ordain or anoint himself.
1 Tim. 5:17 - "Presbyters who preside well deserve double honor, especially those who toil in preaching and teaching... Do not lay hands too readily on anyone..."
Heb. 6:2 - "...laying on of hands..."
Mal. 2:7 - "...The lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."
Phil. 1:1 (KJV) -"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."
The Church hierarchy existed from the first Christian generation. All the faitfull are "a royal priesthood, a holy nation"(1 Pet. 2:9), because we offer all we have and all we do to the service of the Lord. And we pray that our personal sacrifice is acceptable to him. But that does not mean we are authorized as individuals to offer Mass on behalf of the community. That privilege is se-aside for men to whom the Holy Spirit has been imparted through the laying on of hands. It is no accident that we see no one in the early Church taking such authority upon themselves. In apostolic times, the authority to teach and preach was always imparted through the laying on of hands by the apostles.