Friday, August 10, 2012

Failed Protestant Attempts to Tear Down St. Peter and His Papal Authority at the Expense of St. Paul, and My Reply

One of my better-known articles / papers is my piece, 50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy, which was part of my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (2001), and published in The Catholic Answer in Jan / Feb. 1997, right before I put up my website.

Lo and behold, an anti-Catholic Protestant apologist named Jason Engwer, wrote, back in 2002, a turn-the-tables rhetorical reply to my piece, which he called, "51 New Testament Proofs for Pauline Primacy and the Papacy." I refuted that, and he made another counter-reply, which I rebutted also

Apparently his paper was no longer online, and someone made a request for him to re-post it (which he did). Here is his current explanation about what he was trying to accomplish:

I wrote it in response to a Roman Catholic apologist's list of 50 alleged Biblical proofs of a Petrine papacy. Some of the items in my list are meant to parallel items in that Catholic's list. For example, he cited the performance of a miracle through Peter's shadow (Acts 5:15) as evidence of Petrine primacy. I paralleled that with a citation of Acts 19:11-12 as evidence of Pauline primacy. I don't actually think a Pauline papacy is implied by Acts 19 or any other passage I cite below. What I was doing was demonstrating how the same sort of bad reasoning that Catholics often apply to Peter can be cited to justify similar conclusions about other Biblical figures, like Paul.
Catholics can't object to my list by pointing to post-Biblical evidence for a Petrine papacy, since the issue under discussion is whether the Biblical evidence supports a papacy. Nobody denies that a Petrine papacy eventually developed in Rome. The question in this context is whether that papacy was just a later development or is a teaching of the scriptures as well.

Amidst the usual worthless anti-Catholic bilge in the comments for Jason's paper, the guy who requested him to post it (a former Catholic, just for the record) made some remarks: a few of which I will reply to, as sort of a fun continuation of the spirit of my two rebuttals. He gushed in rapt admiration:

Jason, this article is a CLASSIC (!!!!!). Thanks for posting it again. In my opinion, your Biblical argument for Pauline Papacy is SOOOOOO much stronger than Catholic Biblical arguments for Petrine Papacy. You BEAT them (not merely match them) at their own sophistical game.

* * *

I then made my reply:

Jason, no doubt by a mere inadvertent oversight (seeing that he was kind enough to also keep my name anonymous), neglected to mention that I responded at great length not only to this paper of his, but also to his follow-up effort. For any who care to read both sides of a dispute (I know that that is sort of a quaint outdated custom these days), here they are [link / link]:

Suffice it to say that Jason's was a failed effort. He didn't prove at all what he set out to prove, and Petrine primacy, as indicated in the Bible, is as strong as ever, with the Pauline data not undermining it one bit: neither in point of fact nor in terms of turning-the-tables rhetoric, counter-analogy, or reductio ad absurdum (as in Jason's paper).

So, here are some things I would add to your list (though, they are already there implicitly).

Regarding: . . .

#37. The demons don't recognize Peter.

In context, why would they? The context of Paul being named was Paul's handkerchiefs healing folks and casting demons out of them (Acts 19:11-12): which is precisely a secondary relic in Catholic theology: God using an object connected to a holy person to bring about miracles. Even Peter's shadow healed folks (Acts 5:15), so the two were not unlike in that respect.

The Jewish exorcists specifically mention Jesus and Paul (Acts 19:13-14). Therefore, the demon answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know" (Acts 19:15).

It doesn't follow (in any sense) that they would never mention (or "recognize") Peter in another context, or that Paul is therefore above Peter, simply because Paul was mentioned in this instance and the demon recognized his name. Nothing is proven by this example.

Even if the NT doesn't mention a specific example of Peter being named by a demon, that isn't proof that it never happened; only proof that it is not recorded in the Bible (as many many things were not).

We know, in any event, from the Gospels, that Peter, as one of the twelve, cast out demons.

Much ado about nothing . . .

#1 . . . Peter is never said to be an apostle to Gentiles; but only the Jews. . . .

How very odd, then, that God gave Peter the vision of all foods being clean: an issue that had specifically to do with Gentiles in relation to Jewish law (Acts 10:9-16).

Doubly odd (given what you claim) is the fact that Cornelius, a Roman Gentile, was told by an angel specifically to seek out Peter, and he sent men to beseech him (Acts 10:1-8, 17-18).

Peter is told by the Holy Spirit that they have arrived (Acts 10:19-20). Peter then visited and ate with Cornelius and a great many persons and spoke about how Gentiles were now part of God's plan of salvation (Acts 10:21-43).

The Holy Spirit then fell upon these men, and Peter baptized them (Acts 10:44-48).

All this (an entire chapter devoted to it), yet you claim that Peter was to preach only to the Jews? Quite a strange position indeed . . . Here God, and angels are communicating all over the place, to Peter and a righteous Gentile, but we are told by you that "Peter is never said to be an apostle to Gentiles" -- as if that has any relevance to anything. Here, right in Scripture, we see him reaching out to the Gentiles most dramatically.

It's one of innumerable Protestant "either/or" false dichotomies that I shoot down almost on a daily basis in my apologetic work.

This particular anti-Catholic site has a record of deleting my comments, so I made sure to preserve them in this new paper. Thanks for the opportunity, guys, to give further support to the primacy of St. Peter over against failed and illogical attempts to shoot him down!

* * *

My opponent came back for a second round.  I won't cite all his words here, but they can be read in the discussion thread. I respond to most of his additional particular counter-arguments:

Dave, you act as if Jason was genuinely attempting to make a case for Pauline Papacy such that his arguments (and my comments) have to make sense. In actual fact, he was attempting to show how Catholic-style eisegesis (not exegesis) could be used to argue for Pauline Papacy.

I did no such thing. I know exactly what he was trying to do: knew it originally (ten years ago) and now. I can read his own explanation, and in fact, I quoted his explanation of the nature of his counter-argument in my Internet post that I made out of this exchange: precisely so my readers wouldn't be confused about that (since it is a somewhat complex form of counter-argument).

And so my replies presuppose the nature of the argument utilized. If he or you argue that it is just as plausible or more so, to argue for a Pauline papacy (whether it is merely rhetorical or not doesn't change the validity of logic or exegesis used), I come back and show how it is not: that the argument fails.

I fully understand it, and I think I refute it on its own terms: not as a straw man. The entire argument fails, period. It was fun to interact with, but I think it is thoroughly fallacious all down the line, and my two long replies show exactly how and why I think that. You expanded upon his reasoning in the same "mode" and I believe I've shown how you fail, too. Nothing personal. :-)

Your argument about Peter and demons was that they didn't "recognize" him. I showed how it fails, by delving into the context of the demons and Paul: from which you derived your argument.

One must also understand the intent of my original paper. I wasn't claiming that all 50 points were equally strong or earth-shaking. Some are merely interesting in terms of showing that Peter was more eminent in Scripture than is commonly supposed.

Jason's tongue-in-cheek #37 was "The demons in Acts 19:15 recognize Paul's primacy." You follow up with "The demons don't recognize Peter." Neither one can withstand scrutiny. The fact remains that these arguments can be shot down, but mine are valid examples from the Bible. The data in Acts about a demon and Paul is irrelevant because it wasn't tied to primacy in the first place.

The strength of my paper comes from its cumulative effect. Some of the 50 points are far more important (namely, the "rock" and "keys of the kingdom" that are supported by massive Protestant scholarly comments, as to Peter being an extraordinary leader).

There are a lot of quite significant things: Peter was the first to preach the gospel after Pentecost, first to  perform a miracle, to raise the dead, to receive the Gentiles into fellowship, to recognize and refute heresy and to pronounce an anathema, etc. These are not insignificant.

It's not a "wild inference" from Scripture that Peter was the first pope. A guy like F. F. Bruce, after all, could write:

So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be, so to speak, chief steward.

(Hard Sayings of Jesus, Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1983, 143-144)

Likewise, The New Bible Dictionary:

So Peter, in T.W. Manson's words, is to be 'God's vicegerent . . . The authority of Peter is an authority to declare what is right and wrong for the Christian community. His decisions will be confirmed by God' (The Sayings of Jesus, 1954, p. 205).

(New Bible Dictionary, edited by J. D. Douglas, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962, 1018)

There's something going on there. It isn't just flimsy, arbitrary Catholic propaganda, as you guys pretend. There is real and solid biblical indication of serious, profound leadership, and from this we derive the notion of a pope: the leader of the Christian Church.

Just as James' statements to the other Apostles of "listen to me [James]" (Acts 15:13) and "Therefore I [James] judge" (verse 19) could be jumped upon to prove Jacobean Papacy. Does anyone doubt that if Peter had said "therefore I judge" that Catholics would use that to argue for Petrine Papacy? I know that when I was a Catholic I personally would have loved for Peter to have said it, rather than James. I would have prayed, "Lord, why didn't you have Peter say it instead since Peter actually was the Pope? Father, shouldn't the Holy Spirit not have inspired Scripture to record James' statement even if he did say it? Why Lord? Why?!?!"

I dealt with this in my latest book, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura (#74; p. 95):

We learn that “after there was much debate, Peter rose” to address the assembly (15:7). The Bible records his speech, which goes on for five verses. Then it reports that “all the assembly kept silence” (15:12). Paul and Barnabas speak next, not making authoritative pronouncements, but confirming Peter’s exposition, speaking about “signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles” (15:12). Then when James speaks, he refers right back to what “Simeon [Peter] has related” (15:14). Why did James skip right over Paul’s comments and go back to what Peter said? Paul and his associates are subsequently “sent off” by the Council, and they “delivered the letter” (15:30; cf. 16:4).

None of this seems consistent with the notion that Paul was above or even equal to Peter in authority. But it’s perfectly consistent with Peter’s having a preeminent authority. Paul was under the authority of the council, and Peter (along with James, as the Bishop of Jerusalem) presided over it. Paul and Barnabas were sent by “the church” (of Antioch: see 14:26). Then they were sent by the Jerusalem Council (15:25, 30) which was guided by the Holy Spirit (15:28), back to Antioch (15:30).

I stand by my statement that Peter is never said to be an Apostle to the Gentiles (i.e. commissioned to or sent especially to them).

And I stand by my assertion that this is perfectly irrelevant, insofar as we know (from the Bible) that Peter evangelized Gentiles as well as Jews. This is why I showed the example of an entire chapter of Acts, while you insist on playing non sequitur word games.

We have in the Bible, Peter stating at the Jerusalem Council (RSV): ""Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe." (Acts 15:7).

The great Bible scholar and self-described "Paulinist" F. F. Bruce, in his book, Peter, Stephen, James, & John (Eerdmans, 1979, p. 32) states:

That Peter's missionary activity was not restricted to Jews is implied here and there in the New Testament. . . . 1 Peter . . . is addressed in Peter's name to Gentile converts in various provinces of Asia Minor (including two which were evangelized by Paul).

2 Peter also seems to be addressed to Gentiles, though it is debatable.

Bruce also noted (p. 33) that Peter was among the eleven disciples that Jesus commissioned to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19 ff.): thus obviously including Gentiles. So we know that Peter did indeed have such a commission.

We Protestants acknowledge all of those passages and conclude that none was above another in authority (even if Peter was a "leader" of sorts). . . . Actually, it's you who doesn't properly acknowledge the other passages we cite that balances the truth of Peter's position in the early Church.

It's not just me, nor just Catholics. In my book on the papacy I cite a host of Protestant scholars who agree with a Bible-based Petrine primacy (based on "rock" and "keys of the kingdom" and other passages); so do even the Orthodox [see. e.g., The Primacy of Peter, edited by John Meyendorff (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992].

You're not even in line with John Calvin, for heaven's sake, who wrote:

One was chief among the apostles, . . . That twelve had one among them to direct all is nothing strange. Nature admits, the human mind requires, that in every meeting, though all are equal in power, there should be one as a kind of moderator to whom the others should look up. There is no senate without a consul, no bench of judges without a president or chancellor, no college without a provost, no company without a master. Thus there would be no absurdity were we to confess that the apostles had conferred such a primacy on Peter.

(Institutes, Book IV, 6:8)

This was part of my book about Calvin. You don't even appear to be aware of it, since you claim that Protestants en masse deny that Peter had primacy.

Not Calvin, and not lots of other Protestant scholars, whose word carries far more weight in your circles and in the world of Bible commentary than yours or Jason's.

* * *

My opponent, to his credit, came back for a third round of debate. But at this point of the debate  censorship problems arose, as usual, at Triablogue, where the debate was taking place:

It's been about thirty-one hours now since I tried to post some additional comments in the thread (my "meta-analysis below). They're still not up. 

1) Thus it appears quite likely that Triablogue is censoring my latest comments on the thread (which it has often done in the past), to make it look like I have no further replies to several vigorously argued posts from my opponent (that I reply to below), and that he emerged triumphant by default, due to my apparent silence. It's not absolutely certain that censorship is taking place. But, you know the saying: " it it walks like a duck, smells like a duck . . . " This site has a notorious track record of cowardly censorship, especially where I am concerned, so I may be excused for suspecting it again, after two comments of mine have not yet appeared in 31 hours.

2) Jason Engwer originally re-posted his paper from ten years ago without mentioning that it was a reply to my paper. I'm never named and am only referred to as "a Roman Catholic apologist." This is a game many anti-Catholic sites have played for some time now, so that they can avoid being found in a Google search. They almost never inform me that any writing of mine is being critiqued on their sites. Fortunately, my opponent in the present debate mentioned my name (the big naughty no-no), thus allowing me to locate the post. :-)

3) Furthermore, he neglected to mention that I responded at length not only to this paper at the time, but also his follow-up paper. Dialogue or debate is not Jason's forte (he once departed a major one with me in the large anti-Catholic forum CARM in mid-stream), but he loves the one-way lectures, with no mention of any replies made.

4) Moreover, Bishop "Dr." (?) James White has broken his sacred code of silence concerning me, by posting a snide little post that merely links to Jason's; entitled, "Excellent Thoughts on How You Can Manufacture Evidence of 'Primacy' By Selective Citation." He shows himself, therefore (and not for the first time, by a long shot), a coward, by blasting someone without (again!) mentioning their name, in linking to the paper that did the same thing. And his site has never allowed comments. Dialogue and debate on the Internet is not Mr. White's thing to do, either. He avoids it like the plague. On several occasions when I ventured into his chat room I was promptly banned.

What do these people have to hide, if they are supposedly so confident of the superiority of their case over against the one true Catholic Church? What are they so scared of?

I started my third counter-reply with a meta-analysis of "Annoyed Pinoy's" methodology:

Dave I want to say that I respect your intellect. You're smarter than myself. I don't want my disrespecting anyone (including you) take away from my credibility or my own objectivity about issues I debate. I have crossed the line in the past when I've made reference to you (whether you're aware of it or not). I apologize for that. 

Thanks for your kind words. It has been an enjoyable dialogue. I wanted to preface any reply by noting the curious irony of the structure of all your questions: "If the Papacy is true, why [Bible passages x, y, z, etc.] . . . ?"

This is, of course, an argument from plausibility: precisely similar to many in my 50 Petrine Bible Proofs. But you and Jason have bashed that form of argument when I make it on behalf of a papacy. He described my method as "the same sort of bad reasoning that Catholics often apply to Peter." You called it "Catholic-style eisegesis" and a "sophistical game."

The logical structure of most (but not all) of my 50 proofs was:

1. "IF we assume for the sake of argument that Peter was indeed a leader / "pope" then would the (presented) data in the Bible about Peter be consistent with that notion?"

You simply flip that around, using the same logical structure for the opposite proposed conclusion:

2. "IF we assume for the sake of argument that Peter was NOT a leader / "pope" then wouldn't the (presented) data in the Bible about Peter be consistent with that notion and inconsistent with his being pope?"

It's the same sort of argument: from plausibility, analogy, and strong to the degree that it creates a cumulative effect: if each point can be solidly defended under scrutiny.

Therefore, since (far as I can tell), your fifteen questions are perfectly serious: not merely a reductio that utilizes (as you view it) unworthy Catholic eisegetical methods, how is it that it is legitimate exegetical analysis or permissible speculation when you use it to argue against the papacy, but sophistical eisegesis when I use it to defend same?

You seem to be perfectly serious, rather than tongue-in-cheek or turning the tables (merely rhetorically) when you state things like "for someone like myself, these questions seriously call into question the concept of the Papacy." That's not just joking and fooling around, is it?

It seems to me, then, that if you wish to argue in this way, you have to retract your opinion of my method as a whole in my 50 Proofs paper. You can still, of course, disagree with my particular and broad conclusions (just as all Bible exegetes will question others in good faith).

That is much different, however, from questioning the entire methodology from a to z, and classifying it as "sophistical eisegesis" etc. It's simply attempted exegesis that you disagree with for [biblical] reasons a, b, c.

We could also compare your method and mine in another way by using your exactly stated structure:

AP: "If the Papacy is true, why [Bible passages x, y, z, etc.] . . . ?"

Dave: "If the Papacy is untrue, why [Bible passages x, y, z, etc.] . . . ?"

You say I can't and shouldn't argue in that fashion in my paper, yet you are allowed to do it with your 15 questions? It's a disconnect and inconsistent.

Either both are legitimate forms of argumentation (considered apart from the particular premises and conclusions drawn) or neither is. It can't be (logically) that one is legitimate and the other not. For elaboration on arguments from plausibility, see this book devoted to it (esp. p. 3 ff.).

Paul and Barnabas were sent by “the church” (of Antioch: see 14:26).

You imply that being sent signifies that Paul wasn't Pope. Then what do you do with Acts 8:14 which says, "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:"? By the use of your own logic, Peter wasn't Pope because he himself was "sent" by the Apostles.

I think this is a good point. Let me try to give my best answer. In context, I made this remark in my recent book a section that started off by stating, "Paul's ministry was not 'self-validating.'" I was trying to overthrow a rather common Protestant outlook that regards Paul as totally above all assemblies and churches and sort of a lone ranger apostle: as if he could never conceivably be told to do anything by a mere local assembly..

The Catholic view holds that Peter is above all churches in terms of being the first pope, but we also think that categories of ecclesiology were fluid and less developed than they were later on (just as trinitarian theology was). Thus, we have no problem  with instances where it doesn't seem as "worked out" as it is later on.

But beyond that. we can also surmise that St. Peter was humble enough to be sent by a group of apostles in Jerusalem, even assuming he was the leader. He listened to the judgment of the Church, just as popes today work in concert with ecumenical councils. This doesn't necessarily imply inequality, since the Father sent the son and the Holy Spirit, while they remained equal with Him. Jesus as a boy was "subject" to Joseph and Mary, even though he was God and they were creatures.

Imagine as an analogy, the President of the United States having a conference with his cabinet, about a serious crisis in a foreign country. They decide together that it is best for the President and the Secretary of tate to visit the trouble spot. So in that sense the group sent the leader, but he remained the leader all the while.

I realize, though, that this could all apply to Paul, too, so it is a point well taken. The bottom line about Peter remains all the particular distinctives and prerogatives given to him that were not seen even in an apostle as great as Paul. Like I've said, it is a cumulative argument, and the evidence becomes strong when seen all together.

None of this seems consistent with the notion that Paul was above or even equal to Peter in authority. But it’s perfectly consistent with Peter’s having a preeminent authority.

Just because it's "consistent" with it, doesn't prove it.

I agree. All I claimed above (in your very quotation from me) was that it was consistent with Peter, but not with Paul. Logical inconsistency can, however, rule out certain things, even if it doesn't prove others. It depends on the nature of the argument, as I discussed above. Arguments from analogy or accumulation of themes are not ironclad proofs. But they can be quite strong, as more pieces are found to fit into them.

The burden of proof is on Catholics to positively prove Peter is the Pope. 

I think the cumulative case, rightly understood, and not caricatured, is very strong. It may not be absolute proof (not like, say, "God exists" or "man was created," but it is quite impressive.

If Peter were the Pope, and if he was especially sent to the Jews, then wouldn't it make sense that he stay in Jerusalem (as the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church)? Jerusalem was center and birthplace of the Christian Church. That's precisely why the council of Jerusalem was held there and not elsewhere.

He spent time there but also elsewhere, as I have shown. He did a lot of evangelization of Gentiles, too.

Like I said above, even if we interpret Acts 10 as Peter being commissioned to Gentiles, it's irrelevant if we're paralleling the bad arguments that Catholics often make (emphasizing one set of texts to the exclusion of others). 

Again, I agree. This wasn't part of my original argument for Petrine primacy (which you imply in your comments preceding the above). I was responding here to your additional claim that Paul was sent to Jews and Gentiles and Peter only to Jews. I have now provided about five counter-examples. You then confused my argument on that score with my proofs for primacy; but this is not part of that. It's simply proving that Peter evangelized Gentiles, too, over against your extreme assertion.

It's not just me, nor just Catholics. In my book on the papacy I cite a host of Protestant scholars who agree with a Bible-based Petrine primacy (based on "rock" and "keys of the kingdom" and other passages); so do even the orthodox.

Primacy is not equivalent to Papacy. 

I agree, which is precisely why I used the word "primacy" above. It's a prerequisite for papacy, but not equivalent. So you tell me nothing new.

Primacy is consistent with Papacy, but it doesn't amount to Papacy. 

Exactly. But it is not insignificant. It is a strong indication of a possible papacy existing in primitive and less developed form at that time: just as all doctrine develops.

That's why even though the Orthodox willingly acknowledge Petrine Primacy, they deny the Papacy. They even go so far as to say that for the first few centuries the Roman See was "the first among equals". 

Exactly. Again, you tell me nothing new, that I don't already know. The reason I brought this up was that you seemed to be denying even the primacy of Peter, so I noted that lots of folks (including John Calvin) don't go that far. They (the Orthodox and many Protestants) accept it, while denying a papacy based upon it. It all depends on what one is trying to prove at any given time. I'm very precise with my terminology and aware of precisely what I am arguing at any given time.

The burden of proof is on Catholics to prove Papacy, not merely to prove things consistent with it.

We can demonstrate or argue for it a lot more successfully than many doctrines of Protestantism can be supported from Scripture (yet you guys casually accept them anyway). Sola Scriptura isn't at all seen in Scripture (I've written two whole books about that). The canon of Scripture obviously isn't, also. Sola fide is unable to be harmonized with all of Scripture: especially Pauline teachings. Many other false Protestant doctrines (such as denominationalism or a symbolic Eucharist) are difficult if not impossible to establish from Scripture alone. But Protestants have no problem accepting them, almost by osmosis.

It's only when it comes to Catholicism, that the most rigorous, philosophically compelling evidence is required, in a way that is never applied to the many Protestant doctrines that are radically unbiblical. It's a double standard (needless to say). And I've seen it a hundred times in my apologetics dialogues, if I've seen it once. It's standard Protestant modus operandi.

I have no problem with Calvin's quote or in even saying that Peter had "primacy", if we mean by that he was the leader of the Apostles. Affirming that the apostles were equals doesn't mean that one can't at the same time affirm that Peter had primacy. I didn't intend to "claim that Protestants en masse deny that Peter had primacy." I affirm Peter's primacy in that sense. I think the Bible is clear about that.

Good. Then if you grant that Peter was the leader of the apostles, then you are closer to grasping that he was the leader of the Church: since the apostles were the early Church in capsule form. And you can perhaps be persuaded that if there was a leader at first, then God intended for there always to be one, just as with other offices: priest (presbyter or elder in Scripture), deacon, and bishop. That's just common sense: why would the Church have a leader till Peter died, and not have any leader for the next 2000 years? It makes no sense. But Protestants (typically) simply pick and choose which offices they like and which they will discard.

Previously I said...

However, you're the one who's using EITHER/OR [i.e. false dichotomy] thinking in saying, either Peter is the Pope because of the passages you highlight OR Protestants are wrong because they don't properly acknowledge those passages.

I should have said "However, you're the one who's using EITHER/OR [i.e. false dichotomy] thinking in saying, either Peter is the Pope because of the passages you highlight OR these passage shouldn't exist if he wasn't the Pope."

I have defended the logic and form of my arguments above, and have demonstrated, I think, that you use the same form in your 15 points (below).

Let's be honest. If Peter was the Pope then:

1. Why were the Zebedee brothers asking if they could be Jesus' right-hand and left-hand men (Matt. 20:20ff) if Jesus already made it clear that Peter was to be the Pope in Matt. 16? Why wouldn't the Gospel writers correct their misunderstanding and state that Peter was Pope?

The disciples didn't understand a lot of things, including the necessity of the crucifixion, and that Jesus would rise from the dead (even though He told them repeatedly that they would happen, and arguably made it quite "clear"). Peter likely didn't know what Jesus meant, himself, when he was being commissioned in Matthew 16. But after he received the Holy Spirit, he did, as seen in his behavior. So why would you think that they would understand this fully? It is an unreasonable demand that has no force. The Gospel writers need nopt spell out everything in declarative statements. They teach mostly by example.

If you are so convinced my 50 proofs are bad ones and unable to withstand scrutiny, then you can take on all 50 yourself. Even Jason Engwer didn't do that (no one ever has these past 15 years). He chose to engage in a failed reductio instead, that I shot down twice as fallacious and ultimately irrelevant to my arguments.

2. Why wouldn't Paul make the exception of Peter when he sarcastically referred to "super apostles" (2 Cor. 11:5) if the Papacy is true?

Because this is a non sequitur with regard to Peter. Paul wasn't referring to real apostles, but sarcastically (11:1: "foolishness"; cf. 11:13-14) to those who preached another Jesus or another gospel.

3. When Paul's apostleship was questioned by some, why didn't he immediately appeal to the fact that the Pope acknowledged his genuine apostleship to settle the issue, if the Papacy is true?

In the previous example he used sarcasm and appealed to his preaching of the true gospel over against the heretics. He didn't have to do that every time. But he did do it in Galatians, where he says rthat he went to see Peter for fifteen days (Gal 1:18) and Peter, James, and John at a later date (2:9): who gave him "the right hand of fellowship."

4. In light of 1 Cor. 1:12ff and the whole of chapter 3, why wouldn't Paul refer to Peter as Pope? If the Papacy is true, then there can be a genuine sense in which one could say, "I am of Cephas/Peter". Even if there might be negative fleshly sense in which it can be said.. Yet Paul doesn't explicitly affirm or implicitly acknowledge the Papacy. Nor does Paul address the abuses of the Papacy but deals with himself, Peter and Apollos as equals. 

You are taking all that out of context. This is an unreasonable, senseless demand, since in that passage Paul was contrasting the Lordship of Jesus Christ (1:10, 13, 17); to the factions made by man. In any event, if someone was "of Peter" and Peter was the head of the universal Church, then that would simply be saying that "I am of the universal Church," which is perfectly acceptable. Thus, St. Augustine (I'm compiling a book of is quotes right now) habitually referred to Peter as representative of the whole Church in his person.

It seems to me that a Pope cult developed years later (as the Orthodox have documented).

The papacy developed, for sure: a lot more rapidly after persecution ended, as Cardinal Newman has demonstrated and discussed in his Essay on Development. So did many other Christian doctrines, so this is not surprising at all, let alone novel. But there is plenty of indication already in Scripture.

5. If the Papacy is true, why would Paul (in Gal. 2:9) refer to James, Cephas, and John as seeming/reputed pillars of the Church when he knows all along that there is a special sense in which Peter is pope? He refers to all three as if they were equals.

Because there is a sense in Catholic ecclesiology that all bishops are equals. I went through these dynamics earlier in the discussion of Paul and Peter being "sent." All bishops are "pillars of the Church."

6. Regarding the same context, if the Papacy were true, why would Paul say what he did in Gal. 2:6?

And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.-ESV

But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)-- well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.-NASB

Paul implies his equality with them (including Peter).

Not really. He was simply saying that they added nothing to him in terms of his having received the gospel and commission directly from God. It doesn't follow, however, that he regarded himself as their equals in the Church (which is what is at issue in this debate). This is shown by his notion that he had to have his ministry confirmed by the Church's leaders. He was consulting with them specifically for that purpose (Gal 2:1-2). He never denies that they were "of repute."

None of this is inconsistent with the notion of Peter being the leader. Even Paul's famous hypocrisy rebuke of Peter (one of the great favorites of Protestants) strongly  implies this, insofar as Peter is singled out as especially sinful in committing hypocrisy, on the principle of "to whom much is given, much is required."

That hypocrisy is not inconsistent with leadership is shown in Jesus telling His disciples to follow the teachings of the Pharisees, despite their being hypocritical (Matthew 23).

7. If central authority was essential to Christianity, why didn't Jesus do something about those others who were preaching in His name (Mark 9:38ff)? If the Papacy were true, why would Jesus say, "For he that is not against us is on our part"? Notice I cited Mark's gospel. The gospel that may have been based on Peter's sermons. Why wouldn't Mark make clear in this passage (or any where else in this gospel) that Peter is the Pope?

At that point the Church per se was not yet formed (the real beginning was after Pentecost). Therefore, leadership issues of that sort were not yet put into place or operation (and not as yet fully understood, since the disciples misunderstood many important things). Jesus was simply saying that if these guys were doing good works in His name, to let them do it: "he that is not against us is for us."

8. If the Papacy is true, why in John 12:20-22 did Philip go to Andrew and then together they went to Jesus, when Philip could have gone to Peter as the Pope? The only way I can understand this is if the Church didn't realise Peter was the Pope until later. Maybe after the resurrection. If so, when exactly after the resurrection? Before or after Paul's conversion? Before or after Peter's own death? How many generations or centuries afterward? 

This is straining at gnats. You don't even look at what the text says, in your rush to run down Peter and the papacy. And where are you finding all these 15 points? I highly doubt that they are all original with you. The answer here is easy: Peter isn't Jesus! The text plainly asserts that "we wish to see Jesus." Why in the world would Philip have to go to Peter, seeing that the inquirers were looking specifically for Jesus? Next objection?

9. If the Papacy is true, why isn't that office mentioned in Eph 4:11-12, 1 Cor. 12:28-29, 1 & 2 Timothy or Titus?

I guess for the same reason that bishops aren't mentioned in the Ephesians passage, while they are elsewhere. Neither bishops nor deacons are mentioned in 1 Cor 12:28-29. Obviously, not everything has to be mentioned in every passage, or you yourself wouldn't argue that there are no bishops in the Bible, because these two passages didn't mention them, while mentioning many other offices. By the same token, we see Petrine primacy and the papacy in all the various indications I set forth in my paper. peter alone was given the keys, called the "rock", told to feed the sheep, etc.You want to major on the minors and completely ignore the majors, which is the usual methodology in critiques of the papacy. You argue as the atheist does who denies Christianity and an inspired Bible altogether: poke a 100 supposed holes in something: yet each "poke" is shown to be irrelevant or fallacious upon close scrutiny.

I did an extensive study of Paul's word usage and discovered some very interesting things:

Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Titus, and Philemon neither mention "Scripture" nor cite the OT, and Philippians doesn't mention the word and makes just one OT citation.

In Ephesians, the Church/Tradition ratio to Scripture is 18-6; other books are similar: Philippians (4-1), Colossians (12-0), 1 Thessalonians (5-0), 2 Thessalonians (3-0), Titus (4-0). Would any sola Scriptura advocate have predicted such an outcome before studying these words? Not likely . . .

By your reasoning, then (that you apply to Peter and the papacy), because five NT books never mention Scripture, it is not our rule of faith. And because tradition or the Church are often mentioned far more than Scripture, therefore, they should be part of the rule of faith, whereas Protestants exclude them.

Meanwhile, you apply a double standard in relation to things you do accept. The Bible nowhere spells out its own canon, yet you accept the standard canon confirmed by the Church in councils in the 4th century (minus the seven books you arbitrarily threw out).

The Bible never teaches sola Scriptura at all, yet you make it one of your pillars, your rule of faith, and build everything else upon it. It's merely a false tradition of men, and your whole system rests upon it. Meanwhile, you demand excruciating, compelling proof of the papacy, while expecting no proof at all of sola Scriptura, and accepting it in blind faith.

10. If the Papacy is true, why doesn't Peter (in his epistles) acknowledge or make reference to it? In fact, Peter refers to himself as a "fellow elder" (1 Pet. 5:1ff) in a context where it would be supremely fitting for him to appeal to his position as Pope.

Peter was humble, just as popes are today, referring to themselves as "the servant of the servants of God." Jesus told His followers not to Lord it over others (in the autocratic sense). The pope is a fellow bishop with other bishops. But he is the leader of them, too. Peter acts as a leader. He lets his actions speak louder than his words. Even Jesus usually did the same. He didn't go around always saying, "I'm God, I'm God!" He called His disciples (far lesser than Him) brothers and friends and sons, and subjected Himself to Joseph and Mary as a child. God (Jesus as a child) did what a mere created man and woman told Him to do. But you're saying that a pope can't even say someone is a fellow elder? It's absurd. You don't grasp biblical / Hebraic categories and thinking very well if this is how you argue.

11. If the Papacy is true, then why doesn't the author of Hebrews acknowledge the Papacy in light of the fact that authority and priesthood are two of the main topics of the book? How could such a supposedly vital and useful office not be referred to in any of the epistles (including Peter's) or in this very long book (Hebrews)?

Hebrews is about the priesthood of Jesus in particular, not all priests. So this should not surprise anyone. Petrine primacy is referred to in the epistles, though not very explicitly (as the papacy was still a developing doctrine). If you had read my 50 Proofs you would have known this already:

I already mentioned Paul confirming his ministry initially through Peter. But I guess you never saw that passage, huh? Paul distinguishes the Lord's post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). Why? He was obviously singling him out as more significant. Paul refers to Peter as distinct among apostles (1 Cor 9:5). Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or "elders." Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21). Peter corrects those who misuse Paul's writings (2 Pet 3:15-16). Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. "Babylon" (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

"For those who have eyes to see . . ."

12. If the Papacy is true, why didn't Christ sent Paul immediately to the Pope to be instructed and have his apostleship legitimized? 

I don't know. But we know that Paul did do so after three years (Gal 1:18). You ignore the significance of that and major on the minors by honing in on the time period. Like I said, you argue exactly like atheists who try to find all these alleged :difficulties" in the Bible. I know, because I've debated many of them. I was in a room with 16 one time, answering their rapid fire objections. You lack faith. You need to pray to God to open your eyes to be able to see all this evidence, if you can't see it, and can only try to relentlessly poke holes. God wants you in the one true Church, in the fullness of faith. He wants you back.

Or why didn't Christ send Peter to Paul ahead of time like Cornelius did when he sent two of his servants and one of his soldiers to find Peter? 

Beats me.  Why does God do a lot of things? Why doesn't he judge and annihilate America, since we have sinned far more than Sodom and Gomorrah ever did, with the blood of some 50 million aborted babies all over us? We don't understand a lot of things God does.

Instead Christ sends Ananias to Paul. You might say that it's because Ananias was closer.

God uses whom He wills, for His purposes. He once used a donkey to speak to a prophet..

But Paul didn't visit Peter for years afterward. In all those years, Paul could have gone to see Peter, or Peter to have seen Paul. When they do meet, Paul refers to Peter and the others as not having "added/contributed anything" to him (Gal. 2:6). How could the Pope not add/contribute anything to Paul? 

Dealt with above . . . 

After Paul's conversion, many Christians feared whether he was a false convert. At any time he could have sought the Pope's confirmation.

Again, you minimize the fact that he did do so, and make it a matter of "why did it take so long?" You miss the forest for the trees.

13. If the Papacy is true, then wouldn't the Jews know that Peter was the Pope and therefore the leader of Christianity? If so why didn't they go after him and "cut off the head", as it were? Why, instead, go after Paul (Acts 21:28)? As Jason said, "he's the man they hold most responsible for teaching Christianity everywhere." It was Paul, not the Pope that opponents of Christianity wanted to assassinate (Acts 23:12).

It's not either/or. Paul as the most active missionary was an obvious target. They did go after him. I guess you overlooked Acts 12:1-11 in your Bible-reading. And he was regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity, along with John, but here Peter had a more prominent role. So that is two incidents before they ever went after Paul, who wasn't even yet a Christian during the first, and barely converted at the time of the second. Peter was also the first traveling missionary, before Paul, and first exercised what would now be called "visitation of the churches" (Acts 9:32-38,43).

14. Paul says in 1 Cor. 11:1 "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." (ESV). Why doesn't Paul or any other writer of the NT say that about Peter, especially since he's supposed to be the Pope? Excluding Matthew (because of the disputed interpretation of chap. 16), no New Testament writer teaches about or refers to (even implicitly acknowledge) the office of the Pope (or Peter as Pope). Not the writer of Hebrews, or Mark, James, Jude, or in the entire Lukan, Johannine, Pauline, (EVEN!) Petrine corpus.

Any saint is worthy of imitation, as we see in Hebrews 11 and the heroes of the faith. This is simply irrelevant. It was valid for Paul to say he should be imitated because he was a great follower of Christ.

As for the second claim, poppycock. Go read my 50 Proofs and other papers of mine where I defend the papacy on various grounds, from the Bible.

15. If the Papacy is true, why would Peter's centrality fade in NT history as the book of Acts shows and as the rest of the epistles show by their deafening silence of Peter? Before Luke published Acts, he could have conferred with other Christians regarding the Pope's whereabouts and activities. But he didn't.

There is plenty there, and more than enough to bolster Catholic claims. Broad claims like this are not really arguments in the first place. You have to demonstrate your grandiose claims. I've given many biblical arguments in my defenses of the papacy, as seen in this very paper.

Finally, EVEN IF Peter were the Pope, that doesn't prove that his successors have the same or similar prerogatives. Apostolic succession is an additional burden of proof Catholics need to shoulder.

Technically, that's correct, though I argue that it is strongly implied by analogy and cross-examples of other Church offices. I have made the case for apostolic succession as well: both biblically and historically.

Dave, admittedly these 15 questions are very basic and so I assume that you've got ready answers for them. But for someone like myself, these questions seriously call into question the concept of the Papacy. I say that as someone who likes the idea of the Papacy. So, I don't think I'm being biased about this issue. 

Good! Then you can be persuaded! If God wants you back in the Catholic Church (as I'm sure He does), you'll feel the Holy Spirit "tugging" you, assuming you truly are willing to go wherever he leads you.

But I realize that there are a lot of things that I would like to be the case, or that I think that God should have done and God didn't do. God often does things counter-intuitively both in Redemptive History as well as providentially.

That's very true. He often does fool and surprise us in what He does. All of Christianity has shocking and surprising elements that no one could have predicted (including the incarnation and crucifixion and Resurrection themselves), and that many cannot accept at all. So why should the papacy be any different?

* * *

My opponent made a few more replies on his blog, in the combox (one / two). He stated, "I have no problem with the form of argument you used.. . . I didn't bash the form of the argument." I reply as follows:

You described my article as a "sophistical game." That's not merely a disagreement in good faith on the conclusions of an opponent's exegesis. It's loaded, polemical language.

I then answered four specific questions that he asked:

1. Do you believe that the NT explicitly or implicitly teaches the Papacy?

Implicitly in most cases, but since there is quite a bit, it is cumulative. In other instances (such as Matthew 16), it is fairly explicit, once cross-referencing and the cultural and OT background are considered in the overall equation.

2. When do you believe the Church explicitly and consciously believed in the Papacy?

From the beginning, but with increasing development as time went on. By the time of Pope Leo the Great (440-461), it was pretty much developed, except for fine details. But it continues to develop.

3. Do you believe that sometime during his lifetime Peter consciously knew he was the Pope? If so...

Yes. That derived from his commission in Matthew 16 ("rock" and keeper of "the keys of the kingdom").

4. Do you believe Peter knowingly had all the prerogatives that Vatican I says the Pope has? Or do you believe he had them, even if he wasn't aware of having them (since maybe it was later understood by the Church that Popes have such prerogatives)?

No, because that incorporated another 1800 years of development. I believe he knew he was the leader and had strong central authority as somehow the shepherd over the flock of the universal Church.

Much of Protestant misunderstanding of the papacy, as with many "Catholic" doctrines, such as Mariology, has to do with an insufficient grasp of development of doctrine. That's why the latter was key in my own conversion. Once I understood that, it was the final piece of the puzzle found. It explained many things to me that were formerly perplexing.

* * *


romishgraffiti said...

"(I know that that is sort of a quaint outdated custom these days), here they are [link / link]:"

When I click the links, I get "page does not exist"

Scott W.

Tom Schuessler said...

Dave: Keep up the tremendous work. Where do you get your energy and determination? Any tips for the rest of us? Tom Schuessler

Dave Armstrong said...

It's odd that those links didn't work, because they were the same ones I have in the second paragraph. But I fixed them and tested it. They're fine now.


Thanks! My motivation comes from 1) loving my work, 2) doing what God called me to do, 3) having a passion for truth rather than the sophistry that I was accused of by Jason and others. :-)

I think that's the key. We all need to do what God is calling us to do, as St. Paul teaches. Everyone has their purpose and place that God wants therm, for His plan. This is mine.

All glory to God! He makes it all possible.

Dave Armstrong said...

I have added a second round of back-and-forth with my opponent, as of 8:08 PM ET Thursday.

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

I think this goose is cooked Mr. Armstrong. :)

Dave Armstrong said...

I have probably tripled the size of this paper by going a third round in debate and answering many more objections, including a list of 15 things.

Expanded at 10:15 PM ET Saturday.


Dave, I've responded to your comments on my blog. :)

Dave Armstrong said...

An additional brief section was added with my replies to four direct questions I was asked. Added at 7:15 PM ET on Monday.

Maroun said...

ANNOYED PINOY . Look , as Dave tried to tell you several times about development , but for some reason you continue to ignore it or maybe you don`t understand it .
Typical protestant ignorance to understand the meaning of development , is when you insist on going back to the scriptures and everything should always be exactly the same as 2000 years ago,otherwise it should be refuted . As saint John Henry Newman explained , that there is a huge difference between development ( Catholic way ) and corruption (protestant way ). As a protestant you want the Church always to remain a seed , we as catholics on the other hand and rightly so,we believe that what was a seed 2000 years ago,has developed and become a tree and still growing and developing . And because the seed is not a seed anymore , this is why you will not find what the Catholic Church believes and teaches about the papacy,is not exactly 100% as it used to be 2000 years ago .
A dead thing does not develop , but a living thing always develops , now the Church of Christ which is His body , is definitly alive and developing .
About the protestants on the other hand , not only they don`t believe in development , or they don`t understand development , but they have caused corruption . A corruption occurs , when we completly refuse and ignore and change , everything which hapened before and you begin to believe and teach something exactly the contrary . This is exactly what the protestants did and still do .
So we (Catholics ) are not the ones which changed , but developed,but you (protestants ) have corrupted . It`s amazing that everything which was considered a heresy in the first 5 centuries and still is among the Catholics and orthodox , nowadays is considered orthodox teachings by you the protestants . I am not saying that you personally do it on purpose , but this is the problem of ignorance . As saint John Henry Newman also said , to be deep in history is to stop being a protestant .
I truly humbly suggest that you read a book called , the Catholic controversy , written by saint Francis De Sales , in it you will find out that everything the protestants believe and teach was always a heresy in the first 5 centuries as i told you .

Nick Nunya said...

Hi Dave,

In regard to Question #6 on Gal. 2:6, the phrase the concerns me particularly is, "what they were makes no difference to me." This may be an issue that can only be solved by looking at the Greek (since "makes no difference" is a pretty modern phrase in English), but I was wondering if you could clarify a little more specifically what you think Paul meant by this. The way the passage reads in English, at least, does seem to lend itself to the interpretation that Paul was dismissing the authority of the other Apostles rather non-chalantly.


Dave Armstrong said...

Navarre Commentary for this passage:

6–9. The phrase “those who were reputed to be something” may seem somewhat sarcastic, but in the context it is evident that St. Paul totally accepts the authority he refers to. It is as if he were saying: All authority comes from God, and if he chooses to put certain people, in positions of authority, he does so without “partiality.” Human prestige, the apparent qualities of those in authority, carry no weight with him: people are to be obeyed simply because God has given them positions of authority.

Those who were in charge, the “pillars” of the Church, saw Paul’s mission as a further expression of God’s mercy. Just as Peter had been chosen to preach mainly to the Jews, so Paul had been designated to evangelize mainly the Gentiles.

This distinction does not mean that St. Peter and St. Paul had mutually exclusive areas of preaching. The fact is that they both could and did preach to pagans and Jews indiscriminately. The decision made here refers to the primary mission of each at the time.

6. “Added nothing to me”: “imposed” no particular prescription or obligation; this can be read as meaning: those in authority did not impose any obligation on me or in any way require me to modify my teaching or policy.

Also, Bernard Orchard, Catholic Commentary (1953):

The authorities, i.e. the three Apostles, imparted no fresh knowledge to him, saw nothing defective or incorrect in his teaching, but on the contrary heartily recognized his mission as being directly from God. ‘But of these who are looked up to as authorities’: St Paul is depreciating not the Twelve themselves, but the extravagant and exclusive claims set up for them by the Judaizers, viz. the fact that the Twelve knew Jesus in the flesh before his Resurrection did not give them any special advantage over him, for God does not judge according to this. Both he and they are Apostles in the fullest sense and God does not regard the difference between him and them in the circumstances of their call. While admitting fully their Apostolic Authority his own is not dependent on their approbation.

Grubb said...

Hi All,

Dave, I don't have an issue with Peter being the primary leader of the Apostles, but I do have an issue with him being declared infallible with regard to doctrine. Is there scripture that you believe supports this claim?

Maroun, the reason reformed Christians continue to go back to the Bible as the ultimate authority of what's right & wrong is because it's the one thing that has remained constant for 2000 years. A good example of developing doctrine is the Trinity. That wasn't understood 100% in the 1st century, but it developed over time and doesn't contradict any Scripture. However, if the Roman Catholic church institutes doctrine that contradicts scripture, that's not "developing" that's departing from the truth. Paul said there was one mediator between God and men, Jesus, but the RCC says Mary is co-mediatrix. When "developing" doctrine contradicts the Word of God, it can't be right no matter who developes it. Don't you agree?

Nick said...

Hello Dave,

I have a question for you regarding Peter and Matthew 24, which some have pointed in favor of Papal Primacy:

"45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,[c] whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants[d] and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

From the parable it is often thought this applies to Christians in general, which it does in a sense. But looking more carefully, it is especially talking about Church leadership. What is even more interesting is that it speaks of a singular 'chief steward' who is in charge of the entire household. This makes perfect sense if Peter was head of the Church, but it doesn't make much sense if everyone is of equal authority. The parable would have to be speaking of be stewards (plural). Is there any merit to this?

Dave Armstrong said...


I have a whole book about infallibility:

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Nick,

I don't know for sure, but it sounds quite plausible to me as one application of the passage.

Maroun said...

Grubb . Look,with all my respect , if you read what the Catholic Church teaches about co-mediatrix and about the intercession of the saints , then i am sure that you will see that the Church (nor the Church fathers ) from the first centuries onwards did not contradict nor depart from the scriptures . Now please , i don`t know what is it that you know about the meaning of co-mediatrix or the intercession of the saints , but because you said that to believe in the blessed virgin Mary as co-mediatrix is to contradict the scriptures , this could only mean that you have never even bothered to check the explanation or the meaning which the Church gave .Because i am sure that when you check the meaning from (Catholic sources of course)instead of relying on anti-Catholic sources or your own misconception or misunderstanding , then you will never say again that to believe in co-mediatrix or the intercession of the saints is to depart from the scriptures or to contradict scriptures .
I am not going to do your homework for you , but i will humbly ask you to check the things that Dave also explained about co-mediatrix on his blog , and you can also check the new advent encyclopedia on intercession and mediation , and then you can come back and explain to us how did the Church and the Church fathers depart or contradict the scriptures please .
Maybe they contradicted your own misunderstanding of the scriptures and your own misinterpretation of the scriptures but not the scriptures .GBU

Grubb said...


Thanks for your kind reply. I appreciate your thoughts and your exhortation to find out for myself.

I've had conversations at length on this site about what the "co-mediatrix" means, and this is the response that I got (paraphrased): Mary was sinless and full of grace and is therefore qualified to mediate with Jesus between God and men. If that's not accurate, then someone has done a poor job conveying what it really means to me...or I've done a poor job understanding. : )

Here's what Wikipedia says about her as Mediatrix. I know, I know...Wikipedia isn't always reliable or sanctioned by the RCC, but it at least gives an indication of what the common man believes to be true. If it's wrong, someone should address it. "The title "Mediatrix" is used in Roman Catholic Mariology to refer to the intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mediator in the salvific redemption by Jesus Christ and that her son bestows graces through her." ( If Wikipedia is accurate, she has a part in mediating our redemption for salvation.

However, at this RC website, The Catholic Planet, they refute that notion. They say in their point #5, "Mary is not a co-Redeemer and is not able to save anyone, not even with and under Christ. Christ alone redeems; Mary merely immerses herself in all that Christ does toward our redemption. Her role is not co-redemptive." ( According to this, she merely immerses herself in Christ. Not sure what that means by heavenly standards or how anyone would know that since it's not in scripture.

And in the Catholic Planet's point #7 they say, "Mary is also Mediatrix of Divine Providence and of mercy and of all that God does within Creation, except with respect to Christ and herself." So Mary IS mediating "divine providence and mercy." But that's still being a mediator and violates I Tim 2:5 that says there is "one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Aside from using Wikipedia : ) where do you think I erred?

Maroun said...

Grubb. Again,the problem with your way of thinking is that you want to understand and interpret the scriptures in a literalist instead of a literal manner . For example , the bible in :Romans 3, verse 10 says, " it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one.'" Yet, James 5:16 says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. If absolutely no one is righteous, then who is James talking about? Luke chapter 1 says that Elizabeth and Zechariah were righteous before God. If absolutely no one is righteous, then how can that be? Is Scripture contradicting itself?
Now in your literalistic way of thinking and understanding , no one is just,means no one,but then what would you do with the many times in which persons in the bible are called just?
So again,you have read that our Lord Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men,so because you are a literalist , then you cannot understand nor accept how can other persons also be mediators and intercede for us.
In the O.T. we see that Moses, Abraham, and Job interceded on behalf of others... that's mediating between God and man. We know that it is okay to ask others here on earth to pray and intercede for us.... that's mediating between God and man. So, I think, once again, we have a situation where a passage of the Bible is being misinterpreted and misunderstood. There is only one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, but as members of the Body of Christ, He allows us to share in His mediation.
So Grubb , as i humbly asked you before , you can check on Dave`s blog what Dave wrote about co-mediatrix , and also in the new advent Catholic encyclopedia about intercession and mediation , then you can disagree if you wish . But do not tell me that someone said this or i read this in wikipedia. OK?

Grubb said...


While you did mention Dave's blog & the New Advent Encyclopedia, you also said, "Because i am sure that when you check the meaning from (Catholic sources of course) instead of relying on anti-Catholic sources...". Even though I didn't check the exact sources you cited, I did get a source that has a RC position (The Catholic Planet) and a source that isn't anti-RC (Wikipedia). I did my homework. : )

The Bible declares no man is righteous but then says some ARE righteous. Both of those statements are completely & literally true. Before a man is saved, he is unrighteous. Period. Paul said, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (II Cor 5:20-21) No man is righteous apart from Christ.

So the Bible doesn't contradict itself, and the reformed church understands correctly the meaning of the passages you cited.

As to men interceding for other men, the passage says that there's "one mediator between God and men" meaning "between God and mankind." With that clarity, I'm not between God and mankind when I pray for my brother.

Paul says, "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." He not only says there's only one, he says who the one is, Jesus. I don't understand the ambiguity that allows you to insert Mary or anyone else as a second mediator. You're taking a passage that's crystal clear with the simplest, literal interpretation and making it figurative & more complex when there's no other scripture that necessitates it. It's not like I Tim 2:5 says there's only one mediator and Hezekiah 6:3 says there's multiple mediators.

There's no other passage that says there are multiple mediators; this passage isn't ambiguous when taken literally; the simplest interpretation is that there's only one; Paul names the one mediator; and there's nothing else taught in scripture that indicates Mary or anyone else is a mediator at all. To name her a co-mediatrix makes absolutely no sense with regard to the rest of the Bible.

By the way, I was just kidding about the Hezekiah 6:3, I know that's not a real book. : )

Maroun said...

Grubb . Amazing . According to you now,no one is righteous , means no one is righteous apart from Christ period . In fact this is what you said : Before a man is saved, he is unrighteous.
The example which i gave you from Luke 1 is about Elizabeth and Zachariah and they were called righteous before even the incarnation . And what about Job in the old testament?he is also called righteous and that was way before the incarnation and redemption . Why should i even mention Job and Luke 1 and others,let`s go back to romans 3 verse 10 says, " it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one. Paul is quoting from psalm 14 and the funny thing that in this same psalm verse 5 speaks about the righteous people .
Now let`s go back to I Tim 2:5 which says there's only one mediator. What is the role of the mediator?to intercede . Now you said that nowhere in the bible we will find about other mediators or other intercessors except our Lord Jesus Christ , even though i gave you some specific names from the old testament first .In the O.T. we see that Moses, Abraham, and Job interceded on behalf of others...and also king David did the same , and in 1 Tim 2 , from which you took (the crystal clear according to you ) verse , funny that you missed the first verses of the same chapter where Paul is asking us to do what?I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; wow Paul is asking us to make intercessions for all men? wait a minute Paul , you are contradicting the scriptures , you are a Catholic Paul , you have a man made tradition . No one can intercede for anyone,because in 1Tim 2:5 the scriptures says very clearly that there is only one mediator between God and men , the Lord Jesus Christ,how dare you Paul ask us to intercede?only Christ can intercede for us...
You see how funny your claims are Grubb?

Maroun said...

Grubb . I am going to quote from Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary,on 1 Tim 2:5 for you :Ver. 5-6. One mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself a redemption for all. Take all these words together, and we may easily understand in what sense the apostle calls our Saviour Christ, the one or only mediator; that is, he is the only mediator, who at the same time is our Redeemer; the only mediator who could mediate between God, the person offended by sin, and men the offenders; the only mediator who reconciled God to mankind by his incarnation and death, by the infinite price of his blood, by his own merits, independently of the merits of any other. All Catholics allow that the dignity and office of mediator in this sense belongs only to our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made man to save us. The sense then of this place is, that as there is but one God, who created all, so there is but one mediator, who redeemed all. But yet the name of mediator is not so appropriated to Christ, but that in an inferior and different sense the Angels and saints in heaven, and even men on earth, who pray to God for the salvation of others, may be called mediators, intercessors, or advocates; and we may apply ourselves to them to pray, intercede, and mediate for us, without any injury to Christ, since we acknowledge that all their intercession and mediation is always grounded on the merits of Christ, our Redeemer. The same word for mediator, in the Greek as well as in the Latin, is given to Moses, God's servant. (Galatians iii. 19.) See also Deuteronomy v. 5. The words of our Saviour himself, (Matthew xxiii.) taken according to the letter, contain an express prohibition of being called masters, or fathers; and this reason is given, because all men have one Father in heaven, and because Christians have one master, Christ. Yet no one can justly pretend from thence, that in a different sense, a man may not be called father or master, without any injury to God, or to Christ. (Witham) --- Christ is the one and only mediator of redemption; who gave himself, as the apostle writes, a redemption for all. He is also the only mediator, who stands in need of no other to recommend his petitions to the Father. But this is not against our seeking the prayers and intercessions, as well of the faithful upon earth, as of the saints and Angels in heaven, for obtaining mercy, grace, and salvation, through Jesus Christ. As St. Paul himself often desired the help of the prayers of the faithful, without any injury to the mediatorship of Jesus Christ. (Challoner) --- If there be other mediators among the Angels and saints, they are only so in subordination to the first[Christ], who by themselves have no right to mediation or favours, and who cannot demand them but through the merits of him[Christ] who is our only essential mediator. (Estius, Menochius, &c.) Consult Judges iii. 9; 2 Esdras ix. 17; Acts vii. 35. --- A redemption for all. Not only for the predestinated, not only for the just, not only for the faithful, but for all Gentiles and infidels: and therefore he says again, (chap. iv. 10.) that Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of the faithful. See St. Augustine[1] and St. Chrysostom.[2] (Witham)

Roberto Jung said...


"Dave, I don't have an issue with Peter being the primary leader of the Apostles, but I do have an issue with him being declared infallible with regard to doctrine. Is there scripture that you believe supports this claim?"

The discussion has gone off in another direction, but I hope our esteemed host will be able to address this question in another blog post.

Further, I would like to submit for consideration the essay "The Vatican Dogma" by the late Eastern Orthodox scholar Sergius Bulgakov. I deem it to be the decisive refutation of papal supremacy in general, and would be delighted to see Dave offer an extensive response. The essay is very long and dense, so Parts II, III, and IV are the sections I recommend as putting forward the crucial arguments.


Maroun said...

Roberto . I am not going to speak on Dave`s behalf (i don`t even know if he will consider it worth while to answer ) . But let me show you some contradictions since the very begining which Sergius said .
First of all he said this : many of its most learned and influential members were definitely op­posed to the formula asserting papal infallibility... but then a few lines after that he said this : The few dissenting theologians, with the venerable Dœllinger at their head, found themselves outside the pale of the Church as “Old Catholics.”
So first he said that many were definitly opposed but then after only a few...
Then he said this : To begin with, bishops, of whom a church council is normally composed, are present there as representing, or bearing witness for, their respective dioceses—there can only be a council when people give and take counsel. But in this case there could have been no such thing, since the very purpose of the Council had been kept secret.
I am going to quote now something from the new advent encyclopedia about the preparations of the council which lasted 4 years...Although the Bull convoking the council was received with joy by the bulk of the Catholic masses, it aroused much discontent in many places, especially in Germany, France, and England. In these countries it was feared that the council would promulgate an exact determination of the primatial prerogatives of the papacy and the definition of papal infallibility. The dean of the theological faculty of Paris, Bishop Maret, wrote in opposition to these doctrines the work "Du concile générale et de la paix religieuse" (2 vols., Paris 1869). Bishop Dupanloup of Orléans published the work "Observations sur la controverse soulevée relativement à la définition de l infaillibilité au prochain concile" (Paris, Nov., 1869). Maret's work was answered by several French bishops and by Archbishop Manning. Archbishop Dechamps of Mechlin, Belgium, who had written a work in favour of the definition entitled "L infaillibilité et le concile générale" (Paris, 1869), became involved in a controversy with Dupanloup. In England a book entitled "The Condemnation of Pope Honorius" (London, 1868), written by the convert, Le Page Renouf, aroused animated discussions in newspapers and periodicals. Renouf's publication was refuted by Father Botalla, S.J., in "Honorius Reconsidered with Reference to Recent Apologies" (London, 1869). Letters from French correspondents in the first number for Feb., 1869, of the "Civiltà Cattolica", which stated that the majority of French Catholics desired the declaration of infallibility, added fresh fuel to the flames.
I will continue in part two .

Maroun said...

Part two :
And also : In the meantime zealous work had been done at Rome in preparation for the council. Besides the general direction that it exercised, the preparatory commission had to draw up an exhaustive order of procedure for the debates of the council. Five special committees, each presided over by a cardinal and having together eighty-eight consultors, prepared the plan (schemata) to be laid before the council. These committees were appointed to consider respectively:

church discipline;
Oriental Churches and missions;
ecclesiastico-political questions.

It may justly be doubted whether the preliminary preparations for any council had ever been made more thoroughly, or more clearly directed to the aim to be attained. As the day of its opening approached, the following drafts were ready for discussion:

three great dogmatic drafts, (a) on the Catholic doctrine in opposition to the errors which frequently spring from Rationalism, (b) on the Church of Christ and, (c) on Christian marriage;
twenty-eight drafts treating matters of church discipline. They had reference to bishops, episcopal sees, the different grades of the other clergy seminaries, the arrangement of philosophical and theological studies, sermons, the catechism, rituals, impediments to marriage, civil marriage, mixed marriages, improvement of Christian morals, feast days, fasts and abstinences, duelling, magnetism, spiritualism, secret societies, etc.;
eighteen drafts of decrees had reference to the religious orders;
two were on the Oriental Rites and missions; these subjects had also been considered in the other drafts of decrees.
So which secrecy is he talking about?
I am going to stop now,because as the Italians say,il buongiorno si vede dal mattino ...
For more informations on the vatican council of 1870 , plz check the new advent encyclopedia on the subject.

Maroun said...

Part 3 : in fact this is what Sergius said : No one knew why it was being called, and its main object was revealed only after it had assembled...
Come on Roberto , do you even believe that a council was called and no one knew why it was being called?
Then he also said this:The Council is of momentous significance for Catholicism; it showed both the immense power of discipline and organisation, characteristic of the Ca­tholic world, and its great weakness—absence of spi­ritual freedom.
Absence of spiritual freedom? which spiritual freedom is he talking about?the freedom of the protestants ?i mean the confusion of the protestants and also of the so called (orthodox) ? does he mean by freedom the contradictions among themselves ? their own private interpretations? which freedom? to begin with , which orthodox even accepts anything contrary or which disagree`s with their doctrines?
This is typical orthodox and protestant false accusations and bashing of the Catholic Church .
Does this Sergius himself submit to the authority of his patriarch yes or no?if yes then he is not free (according to his words ) and if he does not then he is not an orthodox according to his orthodox church...

Maroun said...

Lol : then this Sergius said this : The overwhelming number of diocesan bishops were Italian (out of the total number of 541 European bishops, Italy had 276, Austria-Hungary—­48, France—84, Germany— 19). It is clear enough what this preponderance of Italian bishops meant: they were directly subordinate to the pope as their patriarch and entirely dominated by Rome. The non-diocesan members of the Council together with the disproportio­nate number of Italian bishops constituted a majority which could carry any resolution submitted to the meet­ing. This is precisely what happened.
We could say the same thing of the first five councils which he himself as an orthodox does and must accept: the majority of the bishops were from the east and all subject to the emperor . So this according to Sergius means that the emperor could and did get what he wanted....
What kind of nonsense is this? I mean did you even yourself read these things Roberto? i mean i am reading and then writing , but i can write something after reading every line....

Maroun said...

Roberto : look at this for example:The opponents of infallibility constantly assert that the pope convoked the council of the Vatican solely to have papal infallibility proclaimed. Everything else was merely an excuse and for the sake of appearances.
So if the opponents claim and assert that (according to them the pope convoked the council solely for papal infallibility ) then this means that they knew , and if they knew and they did , then why did Sergius say that none knew?
You see the contradictions all the time?

Maroun said...

Then Sergius said this : When on July 13, 1870 the Vatican dogma was put to the vote, 88 members of the Council were against it (non placet) and 62 conditionally so (placet juxta modum); 84 out of the 88 and 41 out of the 62 were diocesan bishops representing such influential Catholic countries as Austria-Hungary, France and Ger­many. When the dissenting bishops left the Council (of this more will be said later), 535 members remained for the final voting; 533 voted for the resolution and only two—against. By that time only 4 out of 24 German bishops were present only 44 out of 86 French bishops, only 9 out of 60 from Austria-Hungary.
What Sergius failed to mention or did not want to mention was this:Shortly before the fourth public session a large number of the bishops of the minority left Rome with the permission of the directing officers of the council. They did not oppose the dogma of papal infallibility itself, but were against its definition as inopportune. And he also failed to mention that the reason why they left On Monday, 18 July, 1870 was the outbreak of the Franco-German war .
I don`t know yet if this Sergius wrote what he wrote knowing the truth or ignoring the truth . However , what he wrote was biased and just trying to force his ideas and explanations on what truly hapened...

Roberto Jung said...


I appreciate all the work you've done --and very rapidly--in the way of offering a Catholic defense vis-à-vis part I of Bulgakov's essay. You bring up many valid points and show that he appears to have been misinformed on the history of Vatican I. In fact I've seen elsewhere that it can be argued how the skeptical/cynical Protestant interpretation was deeply flawed concerning the workings of the council around the time it was held.

But my aim was actually to delve into the history and theology surrounding papal supremacy itself. Recall that I originally wrote, "Parts II, III, and IV are the sections I recommend as putting forward the crucial arguments."

May the Lord guide us and the Theotokos pray for us.


Roberto Jung said...



"I mean did you even yourself read these things Roberto?"

I've already seen what looked like compelling Catholic rebuttals of the charges against the ostensible politicking at Vatican I before. I've also read about how the Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in AD 431 involved some devious machinations even on the part of the orthodox camp. As a result, I saw fit to concentrate on slogging through all the other objections raised by Bulgakov in Part II onward.


Grubb said...


(I wrote these 1st 2 paragraphs before reading your 2nd comment. I left the 2nd paragraph in -- even though it essentially restates what you said -- to show that we're on the same page.)

My initial comment had it phrased "No man is righteous apart from Christ in the NT or faithful obedience to the Law in the OT." For brevity, I left out the bolded part assuming you'd make the connection since the OT is a foreshadowing of what was to come, Jesus.

You're interchanging "mediator" and "intercessor" as though they're the same thing in the passage, but the context tells us Paul is talking about 2 different things. Verses 1-2 tell us to intercede for those around us, so that our circumstances may be good. However in verses 3-6 he shifts from intercession w/ prayer to mediation of salvation: "This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time." So the mediation he's talking about here is mediation of salvation not just intercession of prayers.

(after reading your 2nd comment)

So we agree that men are to intercede for each other, but that intercession in no way mediates salvation. Why call Mary a co-mediatrix if she's simply interceding? If that's the case, there's nothing special about the term co-mediator/mediatrix, and anyone who intercedes for another is a co-mediator/mediatrix.

However, the RCC doesn't call others co-mediators/mediatrixes does it? Why?

Interestingly, I went to look at the New Advent Encyclopedia to see what mediatrix means and couldn't find it. I went to this site: . But I did find this definition there: "Mediator (Christ as Mediator) - A mediator is one who brings estranged parties to an amicable agreement. In New Testament theology the term invariably implies that the estranged beings are God and man, and it is appropriated to Christ, the One Mediator" : )

I've looked online for the New Advent Encyclopedia but could only find it for sale for $20. You're going to have to do my homework for me if you want me to read anything from it. : )

Maroun said...

hi Grubb .
The new advent encyclopedia,at least in Finland,Italy and Lebanon ... i don`t know about other countries is available on line for free , here:
Otherwise you can google church fathers,and then chose church fathers home,and again you are in the new advent encyclopedia.
You said that mediation and intercession are two different things,actually they are connected and intermingled together.GBU

Roberto,i will as soon as i have time check parts 2,3 and 4,GBU

Maroun said...

Hi Roberto .
I began to read part II of this Sergius guy and he said this for example: On the one hand, bearers of lower hier­archical orders cannot ordain to higher orders, so that the consecration of a pope by bishops (cardinals) is canonically and sacramentally unmeaning:
Let me try and give an example why what he said is wrong . The bible itself , the Church gave us the bible which is the written word of God . Now is the Church higher than the bible?of course not . Does the Church serve and obey the word of God?of course it does . Then you see how his whole system crumbles down?
So on the one hand it is true that the pope is the vicar of Christ , it is true that the cardinals with the Holy Spirit chose the Pope and why is that?because our Lord wanted things to be done this way .
So just as the Church gave us the bible and is at the service of the bible,also the cardinals (bishops ) give us the pope . But the most amazing thing which strikes me , is that this Sergius does not understand that the Pope is not the pope so that he can be served but to serve,just like our Lord Jesus Christ came to serve and not to be served . In fact the pope is the servant of the servants of Christ .
So this Sergius is (i don`t know if it`s out of ignorance or out of hatred ) still insist on the fact (maybe as he see`s it or want`s it to be ) still think that the pope is to be served and not as he truly is , to serve...
I really hope that you understand what i`m trying to say...GBU

Maroun said...

Part two:
Then Sergius asked :Is it possible that a council, said to be heretical in respect of a fundamental dogma about the church, should in another respect be considered œcumenical?
The answer is yes , because the council began as oecumenical but ended as schismatical : Eugene IV replied to these excesses by the publication of the Bull "Doctoris gentium" (18 September), in which it was stated that unless the delegates abandoned their methods and confined themselves for a limited number of days only to the Bohemian affair the council would be transferred to Ferrara. The reply was a reassertion of the superiority of a general council (19 October). Cardinal Cæsarini made one final effort to effect a reconciliation, but failed, and then, accompanied by all the cardinals except d'Allemand and by most of the bishops, he left Basle and joined the pope at Ferrara, to which place the council had been definitely transferred by a Bull of Eugene IV (30 December).

Henceforth the assembly at Basle could be regarded only as schismatical.

In fact this is what Hefele said(Conciliengesch., 2d ed., I, 63-99) that the assembly at Basle may be regarded as cumenical from the beginning until the Bull "Doctoris Gentium" (18 September, 1437) transferred its sessions to Ferrera, and that the decrees passed during that period regarding the extirpation of heresy, the establishment of peace among Christian nations, and the reform of the Church, if they are not prejudicial to the Apostolic See, may be considered as the decrees of a general council.

Maroun said...

Roberto :
Let me for example clear one more thing for you which Sergius said . He is claiming all the time that the council of constance deposed ( what he called the pope John XXIII ) lol .
Maybe this Sergius did not know or maybe he choses to ignore , that first of all , the Catholic Church does not recognize John XXIII of the 15th century as pope ,in fact all you have to do is to read the list of popes and this John XXIII is not among them. In fact only the 262 pope is John XXIII .
Then Sergius objected and said this :But Hefele goes on to say that the Council of Constance may only be regarded as œcecume­nical after its last (41-45) session, when it worked jointly with Pope Martin V. If, however, it was not le­gally valid or not œcumenical (to use Hefele’s deliberate­ly vague phraseology) from the first, its transactions 28 have no validity, and it could not become cecumenical in conjunction with a new pope for, in that case, he would not be a rightful pope .

With all my respect , who said that only an oecumenical council can chose a pope?this person is mixing two completly different things together just to prove his point .
I don`t know when am i going to be able to continue reading,because i am quite buzy at the moment . But actually , it dosent take a genius to refute Sergius`s ideas...GBU

Maroun said...

Then Sergius said this :
Pope Pius II in the bull Exsecrabilis condemned appeals to a council against the pope; in 1516 Pope Leo X in the bull Pastor aeternus condemned the re­solution of the Council of Basel (which merely re­stated that of the Council of Constance) about the sup­remacy of the council over the pope.

And rightly so , because this is what Gallicanism also taught , and i will quote from the new advent encyclopedia on Gallicanism , with simple words why the council is not superior over the pope :
Without involving ourselves in technical developments, however, we may call attention to the weakness, of the Scriptural scaffolding upon which Gallicanism supported its fabric. Not only was it opposed by the luminous clearness of Christ's words — "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My Church"; "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not . . . confirm thy brethren" — but it finds nothing in Scripture which could warrant the doctrine of the supremacy of council or the distinction between the line of popes and the individuals — the Sedes and the Sedens. Supposing there were any doubt of Christ's having promised infallibility to Peter, it is perfectly certain that He did not promise it to the council, or to the See of Rome, neither of which is named in the Gospel.

Maroun said...

Then Sergius wrote this : As a temporary expedient the Greeks had to deal with a papal conciliabilum which consisted of eight cardinals (all the others were at Basel)lol
At Basel the sectaries, now reduced to one cardinal and eleven bishops, elected an antipope, Duke Amadeus of Savoy, as Felix V.

So Sergius is claiming that all the other cardinals (one ) was at Basel?

This Sergius is funny ....
Then he said this:While in Florence the Greeks were being forced to recognise the pope’s supremacy, another part of the Roman Catholic Church denied this supremacy as a matter of dogma. It was the hopeless position of the Greeks as well as their indiffer­ence to the question at issue that prevented them arbi­trating in the great schism in the Western Church and implanting there the principles of Orthodoxy. Had they done so, they would have prevented the fall of Byzantium and the coming of the Reformation.

Which great schism in the western Church is he talking about? And so now , as usual,it`s all because of the pope and the Catholic Church that Byzantium fell ?lol , this guy Sergius reminds me of the muslims,no matter what they do and no matter what hapens,it`s all because of the Jews...

I am so glad that this Sergius never became a Catholic. He thinks that because he never became a Catholic is the greatest loss in history for us Catholics...

Roberto Jung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roberto Jung said...


Thanks for your many comments. I hope to reply soon, inshallah*. :)


*I'm not using this word in a mocking way, as I'm learning the splendid Arabic language, both Modern Standard and Lebanese. If you have any tips for a Canadian student like me, I'm all ears :)

Maroun said...

Then Sergius asked this:
Is it per­missible, even for the sake of “œconomy” to have agreements or even to negotiate with ecclesiastical usurpers and heretics?

why not? Not everything a heretic says must be 100% wrong. So we can agree with the true things which the heretic believes and we can and must refuse the errors the heretic believes . So what`s the problem with negotiating with heretics? I mean , maybe this Sergius does not know,that the Church does not want to destroy the heretics , but to correct the heretics and gives them the truth ... The fullness of the truth . If they accept it great,if they don`t then they remain heretics...

Maroun said...

Then he asked this :The next question is altogether insoluble: which of the two was the true pope and which the anti-pope ­Eugenius or Felix? In fact, they have been both re­cognized by the Roman Church: Eugenius so long as he lived, and after his death—Felix, whose abdication was interpreted as a free act, leading to the election of a new pope.
Where does he see or read that Felix was a pope?in the lists of popes,he is regarded as antipope. So why does Sergius insist on asking which of the two is pope ?
So Sergius,there is the answer to your question , Eugenius was the pope and Felix was not,are you happy?

Maroun said...

I just began to read part IV .
Sergius said this (among many other things )Canon III confers on the pope such absolute power within the church that infallibility follows as a matter of course; canon IV, which generally attracts more at­tention, is in a sense an attempt to limit or, rather, to define it. In virtue of his plena potestas the pope may command anything, and consequently is in practice irreformabilis at all times and in all things, but canon IV limits this infallibility and irreformability[39] to matters concerning faith and morals, and makes it a condition that the judgment should be pronounced ex cathedra.

It seems to me that Sergius is actually unhappy with Christ Himself by being unhappy with vatican council , why someone may ask? well simply because now he is attacking Peter and the power of the keys which our Lord Jesus Himself gave him . Our Lord Jesus gave the keys to Peter and not to the councils,so the late Sergius was actually unhappy and trying to fight with what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself did .
The funny thing is that he calls himself orthodox. Well the true orthodox fathers agree with us on the primacy of the Roman sea , but of course,as many so called orthodox and many (if not all protestants ) as soon as a Church Father is in agreement with us,then this Church father must be refused...
Honestly Roberto , this Sergius is not even worth reading...GBU

Maroun said...

Again Sergius said this : But all his ecclesiastical judgments at a councilor in the consistory, bulls or breves, equally bear the stamp of fullness of power, irreformabilitas, and in that sense are ex cathedra.
Not true , you see how he tries to force us believe what he believes?i mean Sergius decided that everything the pope says or does or defines must be ex cathedra,but this is not what the Catholic Church teaches nor what the infallibility of the Pope means (at least not according to the Catholic Church ) . So why then instead of saying what the Catholic Church itself says about the infallibility of the pope , Sergius goes on to tell us what he himself believes it means and it does mean and should mean,and that is why he refuses it?
It`s like what Archbishop Fulton Sheen said about the protestants,when he said that you wouldn`t find in the USa 100 persons which hate the Catholic Church but millions which hate what they mistakingly believe is the Catholic Church .
The same thing this Sergius is doing . Instead of disagreeing with what the Church teaches,he instead disagree`s with what he pretends the Church is teaching.Lol

Maroun said...

Sergius asked this question?How else could one explain the pope’s condemnation of Coper­nicus’s astronomical theory?
I need to know which pope condemned the theory of Copernicus? And especially ex cathedra? If no such thing hapened and i am sure it didn`t , then you can see how Sergius and many like him have only false accusations...

Maroun said...

Way to go Sergius:
He said this :The Vatican zealots in their theological self­-assertion had not sufficiently thought out their plan of utilizing the council’s vote on a subject which from the nature of the case was not within any council’s competence. They inadvertently transformed the council— convoked and opened as such—into the parody of one, or into a mere consultation expressing in the form of a dogma something that had always existed as a fact. Obviously if papal supremacy was established by God Himself and existed from the first, the most that a council could do would be to proclaim this fact, but not to ratify it[49]. The council was set a task known to exceed its competence and it ought to have refused it, or to have passed it over in silence. In any case to discuss it was a mistake.
So now , the illuminated Sergius knows better than the cardinals and better than everyone present at the Vatican council , that everything they did and decided was a mistake , even discussing the matter...
Look Roberto ! i am going to humbly tell you how Sergius and many like him think...
I say this thig is white , then Sergius the wise comes along and says,Maroun said this thing is white but he actually meant black,and because me (Sergius ) and everyone else know that this thing is white and not black,this could only mean that what Maroun said is false and we refuse it as such... Does this make any sens to you?
I mean the Catholic Church said that the pope is infallible only when he speaks ex cathedra,and not when he speaks on daily basis , then again Sergius the wise comes along and says,by saying ex cathedra,they meant to say always,and because we know that not everything and always the pope is correct,then we refuse to believe that the pope is infallible...
I don`t know about you Roberto,but this guy is so biased that every word he wrote is based on false assumptions...

Dave Armstrong said...