Author Topic: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.  (Read 868 times)

Offline Xavier

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From: http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/a122.htm

INTRODUCTION BY THE CARDINAL ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER

Of course we desire to convert all men -- especially our own countrymen, as loving them best -- to the Catholic Religion. Could it be otherwise? We believe the Catholic religion to be the one only true religion, founded by Jesus Christ upon the Rock. We should fail, then, in love for God did we not strive to extend His Kingdom, which is His Church upon earth; and in love for our neighbour, did we not endeavor to persuade him to become one of God's liegemen and a sharer with us in the Divine life of the Faith and of the Sacraments. It is no matter of doubt or of indifference that is at stake, but absolutely the most vital, the most personal, the eternal interest of man.

But any kind of conversion will not do. The conversion must be real, genuine, and based on solid grounds. That is to say, it must rest not only upon conviction, but upon a right conviction, a conviction rooted in the right fundamental principle. To come into the Catholic Church simply on account of the beauty of her ceremonial, the reasonableness of this or that set of doctrines and practices, or her venerable antiquity and her attractive traditions, or as a mere refuge from persons or systems that have bred dissatisfaction and distrust, is to enter the Church without a conviction rooted in the right fundamental principle.

What is that principle? Simply this: that the Catholic Church is the Divine Teacher, set up in the world by Jesus Christ, and that our attitude towards her must be that of a Disciple. The Disciple does not pick and choose according to his taste, nor, when the Divine Teacher is once accepted, can he be ruled by private judgment and understanding. Our Lord Himself shows us this by His own method of procedure. When He had announced, "My flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed," many said,

"This saying is hard, and who can hear it? And after this many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him." Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Will you also go away?" And Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. We have believed and have known that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God." (John 6:51ff)

Christ, therefore, gave no countenance to those who would believe only that which was agreeable to their notion of fitness or possibility. He gave them no explanation of how His Flesh and Blood were to be eaten and drunk. He demanded this, and this alone, that they should recognise the Divine Teacher, and having found Him, that they should take up their due position as learners or disciples. There was no compromise, no halting; if unwilling to accept this fundamental principle, the position of a Disciple, they might all go away, aye, even the twelve.

The vital question, then, is, Where is the Divine Teacher? Some, prompted by private motives, with subtilty and sophistry, evade the question, or answer it in a way to leave themselves an escape from the plain obligation of a disciple. Their aim is to stay as they are. To them the Church is a vast organisation incapable of articulate speech, or it is made up of branches, each of which has an independent voice, but without any one living, visible, audible authority to control the whole.

Now it is best, in this matter, to come to close quarters, and to deal with a definite member of the Church -- namely, with the Head. If the Church is visible at all, it must have a visible Head, at least as visible as the body itself. It is the essential business of the head to speak and direct. It controls the body, according to certain divine laws. It secures to the whole unity of thought and of action. Without its presence and influence the members must either fall into dissolution or destroy one another. Where, then, is the visible Head of the Catholic Church? For a thousand years the English people professed. with one accord, the Pope to be their religious Head. They acknowledged one centre of authority, the See of Peter; were led by one Supreme Shepherd, the successor of Peter; and they were consequently united, by the profession of the same Faith and Sacraments, in one religion, with the whole of Christendom.

There is one passage, so aptly setting forth the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in a letter from King Edward II., A.D. 1314, directed to the Sacred College of Cardinals, during the vacancy of the Holy See, that I quote it not only for its own intrinsic merit, but as showing the belief of the English nation.

"When Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, had consummated the mystery of man's redemption, and was about to return to His Father, lest He should leave the flock He had bought with the price of His Blood bereft of the government of a shepherd, He delivered over and entrusted the care of it, by an immutable ordinance, to Blessed Peter the Apostle, and in his person to his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, that they may govern it in succession. He willed that the Roman Church, who, for the time, presiding as the Mother and Mistress of all the faithful, holds, as it were, the place of God upon earth, should by salutary teachings direct the peoples of the said flock, scattered over the whole world, in the way of salvation, and show them at all times, how they should 'behave themselves in the house of God' " (Wilkins, volume 2, page 450).

Three hundred years earlier King Edward the Confessor notifies in a solemn charter the extraordinary devotion which the English people had ever had towards St. Peter and his successors:

"summam devotionem quam habuit semper gens anglorum erga eum [Petrum] et vicarios ejus" (Wilkins, volume 1, page 319).

And three hundred years before that, again, Bede was teaching and writing that "Whosoever shall separate himself in any way whatsoever from the unity of Peter's faith, and from his communion, can neither obtain pardon of his sins nor admission into heaven." (Hom 37, Giles).

The lesson of history teaches unmistakably that the unity of the visible Church can be preserved only by its normal union with its visible Head. The Churches, planted among different and antagonistic races and tongues -- for instance, the French, the German, the Italian, the English Churches -- are all one in Faith and the Sacraments, through their submission to the See of Peter.

So long as the spiritual authority and headship of the Pope was recognised by the English people, they remained united in creed and religion. It was not Canterbury, but Rome that was the source and the touchstone of unity. Though after the apostacy of the sixteenth century the names of the old sees were retained, with their accumulated wealth, their extensive patronage, their State protection, Canterbury and the rest of them were unable to hold the English people in unity of faith and practice for a single generation. Though backed up by the sovereign and the whole legislative power of England, and by a code of the most drastic penal laws, they were speedily reduced to the pitiable condition of seeing the people fall away from them in all directions. The nation that had been conspicuous for its religious unity during a thousand years became, from the moment it rejected the authority of the Holy See, a by-word throughout Europe for religious rebellion and sporadic dissent.

Had there been, as we are assured by some, no essential change in religion, but only a healthy reform and a purification from errors and abuses, how came it to pass that this purified and perfected religion began its career by falling into discredit with the people of England, and to such an extent that religious dissent has become quite as characteristic of the last 300 years in England, as religious unity and peace had been of all the preceding ages of our history? I will only add that the leaders of the Established Church need not throw the blame of this upon the English people. Had the various countries of the Continent, which are still united in one faith, withdrawn, like England, from the guidance of the Chief Shepherd, they too, like England, would long since have been similarly torn to pieces by religious strife and discord.

The recent revival of Catholic doctrines and practices in the Church of England is very wonderful. It is a hopeful sign. It is a testimony to the patristic dictum that the human mind is "naturally Christian." It exhibits a yearning, and a turning of the mind and heart towards the Catholic Church. It is a national clearing the way for something more, and is to be regarded as a grace from above. It may be all this; but it is not yet obedience and submission to the Divine Teacher.

A whole cycle of Catholic doctrines might be picked out one by one and strung together, and passionately professed, upon grounds of private judgment; but that is not submission. It is one thing to recognise that the pasture is sweet and wholesome, and another thing to recognise and to obey the voice of the Shepherd.

Goats may enter into the pastures of the sheep, and  may select at will the herbs, the grasses and clovers they most fancy, and may doubtless deem them sweet and delicious; but this does not constitute them sheep of the fold. The sheep hear the voice of their Shepherd and they follow Him. He chooses the pastures; He leads His sheep into them. The relations of sheep and Shepherd correspond to those of disciple and Teacher. And hence it is clear that no one ought to be received into the Catholic Church unless he come into the fold through the gate, of which Peter, the chief shepherd, is the keeper.

Indeed, I may add, that people who, through negligence or inadvertence, have been admitted into the Church without having mastered the fundamental doctrine that they are to be disciples and learners of a living Divine Teacher, are apt, upon encountering temptation, scandal, contradiction, or disappointment, to leave her. They had indeed been within the fold, but they were not of it, because they had never really recognised the Shepherd.

A word on two classes of difficulties raised against the Catholic Church by her professional opponents. First, intellectual difficulties: no doctrine is free from them, not even the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. Difficulties arise from the limitation of our faculties, from mists of ignorance, from prejudices, antipathies, and sinful conduct. The sun is shining, but we see it not while dense fogs or clouds and storms interpose between it and ourselves. We see it not when our vision has become gravely affected, or when we close our eyes. It is a common practice with the opponents of the Catholic Church to endeavour to hold souls back by arraigning before them a multitude of difficulties and objections against the doctrines of the Church. To this two things may be said.

First, it would be easy to string together a most formidable array of difficulties quoted and examined by Catholic theologians in their great scientific works on theology. But it is obvious that it would be necessary to be a trained theologian, or to spend a lifetime in research, were it needful to give detailed answers to them all. Then there are works, like those of Dr. Littledale and others, written in order to blind and mislead: made up of calumnies, misquotations, and a calculated admixture of truth and error. These are often intended to shock and alienate the moral sense quite as much as the intellectual. If they do not finally succeed in this, at least they may succeed in creating perplexity, anxiety, and delay.

Now, instead of entering into a maze of objections, into a labyrinth of difficulties, a shorter and more satisfactory course should be taken. Find the Divine Teacher, find the Supreme Shepherd, find the Vicar of Christ. Concentrate all your mental and moral faculties upon finding the Head of God's Church upon earth. This is the key to the situation. The learned work to which these words serve as introduction is intended to aid this inquiry, by setting forth for this doctrine various of its reasonable motives of credibility. If only you find the Divine Teacher, you may leave all objections to the doctrines he teaches to answer themselves. And if you find him not, then answers to the difficulties brought against his teaching will go for little.

Secondly, moral difficulties have to be met -- in-grained antipathies, traditional prejudices, fears and anxieties: fear to offend and grieve parents, guides, and loved ones; fear of temporal consequences, loss of station, of influence, of fortune, possibly poverty and want; anxieties as to whether the call be of God, whether to trust Him without clear insight into the future; perplexities as to the difference between the motives of credibility and the divine certainty of faith.

All these are very real and sharp trials; but these, or others, are to be expected, for it is said,

"Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. Humble thy heart, and endure; incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding, and make not haste in the time of clouds. Wait on God with patience; join thyself to God and endure, that thy life may be increased in the end." (Ecclesiasticus [Sirach] 2)

Faith is a gift of God. No man can acquire faith by study alone, as by his own skill.

"No man can come to Me, unless it be given him by My Father." (John 6:65)

Or to quote the Council of Trent:

"If any man saith that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without His help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of justification may be bestowed upon him, let him be anathema." (Session 6)

The motives of credibility which may be learnt by reading and study do not produce the absolute and perfect certainty of faith. They lead a man to see that the objects of faith are worthy of belief; they show him that he is under an obligation to give to them the assent of faith. But it is grace, it is God who inspires the soul with the pious inclination to believe, the "pia affectio ad credendum." The certainty of faith rests, not indeed upon the motives of credibility, or upon facts or arguments that may or may not be evident in themselves, but upon the veracity of God Who has revealed them.

Or as the Vatican Council defines it:

"Faith is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true; not because of the intrinsic truth of the things, viewed by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself Who reveals them, and Who can neither deceive nor be deceived."

And again:

"Though the assent of faith is by no means a blind action of the mind, still no man can assent to the Gospel teaching as necessary to obtain salvation, without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Who gives to all men sweetness in assenting to and in believing the truth. Wherefore, faith itself, even when it does not work by charity [Galatians 5:6], is in itself a gift from God, and the act of faith is a work appertaining to salvation, by which man yields voluntary obedience to God Himself, by assenting to and cooperating with His grace, which he is able to resist."

And further on the same Council declares:

"That we may be able to satisfy the obligation of embracing the true faith and of constantly persevering in it, God has instituted the Church....which both invites to itself those who do not yet believe, and assures its children that the faith which they profess rests on the most firm foundation; and its testimony is efficaciously supported by a power from on high. For our merciful Lord gives His grace to stir up and to aid those who are astray, that they may come to a knowledge of the truth; and to those whom He has brought out of the darkness into His own admirable light He gives His grace to strengthen them to persevere in that light, deserting none who desert not Him." (Cap, De Fide)

All this shows that the assent of faith is concerned with the will as well as with the intellect, and that a man who is seeking to come to a knowledge of that article of faith which declares that God has left a Divine Teacher to guide men safely in the affairs of salvation, must give himself to prayer and to humble repentence and contrition as much as to study and to reading.

"The prayer of him that humbleth himself shall pierce the clouds, and he will not depart till the Most High behold." (Ecclesiasticus [Sirach] 35)

HERBERT CARDINAL VAUGN, Archbishop of Westminster

AUTHOR'S PREFACE (BY LUKE RIVINGTON)

The particular theory opposed in this book lies at the root of the controversy which we are forced to carry on with our Anglican friends on the subject of Church government at the present moment. It is the theory of the lawful independence of National Churches. Even the Magna Charta has been enlisted in the service of this theory by so able and respected a writer as Lord Selborne. The expression "Let the Anglican Church be free" is held by his Lordship to express the determination of the Church of England in that century to be independent of Papal jurisdiction. [1] The present jurisdiction of the See of Canterbury is referred to the general question of the independence of National Churches by so eminent a writer as Dr. Stubbs. [2] Mr. Gore goes so far as to deduce from the teaching of St. Cyprian the fundamental independence of each bishop in the whole world. [3] And the present Archbishop of Canterbury writes that the "individual independence of elected bishops" was the Cyprianic doctrine, but that it is applicable only to "States which have not that intimate union with the Church which the ideal of a Christian nation requires." [4] In other words, the ideal condition, according to his Grace, is the independence, not of each bishop, but of each national Church. And this was certainly the doctrine of some of the most eminent teachers in the Establishment in previous centuries, as for instance, Bishop Overall, the author of part of the Catechism in the Church of England Prayerbook. [5]

And this ideal of independence is asserted to be the teaching of history, the natural outcome of the principles which are to be discovered especially in the primitive Church. There, we are told, there was no dependence on Rome; there was no shadow of centralisation to be seen; there, if the Pope comes at times to the front, it is as the occupant of a See, great by reason of its relation to the empire, not because of any special relation to the Apostolic College. It was with this ideal of independence that, according to Dean Church, the Oxford movement was in special and profound sympathy. [6]

In the following pages, the doctrine set forth by John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, in his famous letter to King Edward the First, as that of the Church of England, is maintained as the teachimg of the primitive Church. [7] It is, of course, perfectly true that Magna Charta spoke of the Anglican Church being free; but the freedom claimed and granted was not from the authority of the Pope, but from the lawlessness of the king -- in a word, it involved, amongst other things, freedom to appeal, when necessary, to Rome. [8] "The Anglican Church" at that time signified a religious body in the closest communion with Rome, and under her obedience in spiritual matters. For in that same Charter, the Archbishop of Canterbury is called a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, and the next words to those quoted by Lord Selborne proclaim the fact that the confirmation of "the lord Pope Innocent"' had been "obtained" for this very matter. [9] It is maintained in this book that the close communion with Rome which the Church of England thus avowed, and which it cherished during all those centuries from St. Augustine to the sixteenth century, is a principle deeply embedded in the life of the primitive Church.

But when we say that Papal supremacy is found deeply embedded in the life of the primitive Church, what do we exactly mean? No one who appeals to the primitive Church professes to find in her actual life a literal transcript of his own present position. National Churches certainly did not exist in Europe; it would be hard to say what could be included under the national Church of Rome. The appeal must be to something else than a primitive presentation of the form and outward appearance of any system in the nineteenth century. What, then, do we ourselves mean when we say that the Papal regime was in existence in the earliest beginnings of Christianity? The question really is as to whether the alleged counterpart in the early Church differs from its successor in the present, in substance, in principle, in essential features.

Is the difference, for instance, between the Papal regime of today and the position of the Papacy in the first four centuries of the Christian era more than between the oak and the acorn? Does the difference between the two argue a dissimilarity of constituent elements, or is it merely the necessary difference between various stages of normal growth?

On meeting some one whom we have not seen since his childhood we are often constrained to exclaim, "I should never have known it to be you!" Yet it is the same person whom Almighty God brought into the world as an infant, whose powers and appearance have thus developed. This simile of the child and the grown man, as well as that of the oak and the acorn, was adopted in regard to the Church by St. Vincent of Lerins, the author of the formula (though not of the truth) of the "always, everywhere, and by all," as a test of truth not yet defined.

And yet an idea has taken hold of many minds to the effect that when Dr. Newman wrote his book nearly fifty years ago, now called "The Development of Christian Doctrine," he was striking out a new theory, [10] instead of merely illustrating, with that force which belonged to the greatest religious genius of this country, the theory on which the Church has always proceeded in teaching Christian history. His first title may be thought to countenance the idea; but the second corrects it. And St. Vincent of Lerins is a sufficient witness that the theory which Cardinal Newman so expanded and illustrated was not new even in the fifth century.

Dr. Dollinger only reflected the general teaching of the Church when he wrote, sixty years ago, with his usual felicity of expression, the following passage:

"Like all other essential parts of the constitution of the Church, the supremacy was known and acknowledged from the beginning as a divine institution, but it required time to unfold its faculties; it assumed by degrees the determined form in which the Bishop of Rome exercised systematically the authority entrusted to him for the preservation of the internal and external unity of the Church." [11]

And some years afterwards the same writer says of the Papacy:

"Its birth begins with two mighty, pregnant, and far-reaching words of the Lord. He to whom these words are addressed realises them in his person and in his acts, and transplants the institute to which he has been appointed into the centre of the infant Church, to the Roman capital itself. Here it grows up in silence, occulto velut arbor aevo; and in the earliest times it manifests itself only in particular traits, till the outlines of the ecclesiastical power and action of the Bishop of Rome become ever clearer and more definite. Already even in the times of the Roman Empire the Popes are the guardians of the whole Church." [12]

I venture to call this view of the matter more in accord with history than that proposed by the respected writer to whom I have alluded, [13] which in effect prescinds all real development from the action of the Papacy, if it is to be acknowledged as of divine institution.

It is the repudiation of the necessity of a real development which seems to me the greatest blot in book which appeared last year under the auspices of the Bishop of Lincoln, who has made himself responsible for its general accuracy as well as its thesis. I have incorporated in this book an answer to the main points of that work. I have not, however, included an account of the Acacian troubles, because I have dealt with these elsewhere; [14] but, in point of fact, the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon (with which this book closes) is such as to establish the fact that the law of Christian life is communion with Rome, and any seeming exceptions must be treated as such, and must not be quoted as establishing a principle of action in the future. To the history of that council I venture to draw the especial attention of the reader, because I am not aware of any English work that contains as full an account of its various acts. And it is only by seeing certain expressions in their context that their full value can be gauged, as establishing, not what St. Leo claimed (though that has its value), but what the Church at large received without consciousness of novelty or usurpation. I have sometimes referred the reader to the original of Dr. Dollinger's writings, but more often to the English translation, since the former is much less accessible than the latter.

I have, in conclusion, to thank his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster for so kindly enriching this volume with an introduction, and the Censor Deputatus, Father Sydney Smith, S.J., for going beyond the necessities of his office in the way of many helpful suggestions.

NOTE -- Since the above lines were written, a book has appeared [15] by the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford, containing a chapter on "Papalism and Antiquity," which consists for the most part of a critique on a book of mine published in 1889. [16] Lest the following pages (especially the last two hundred) should seem a miracle of anticipation, I may as well say that the chapter in Canon Bright's work, to which I allude, is a reproduction or recension of an anonymous article by that writer in the "Church Quarterly Review" for October 1889, characterised by much bitterness against the "Church of Rome," calling it an atmosphere of untruthfulness.

I do not propose to descend into the arena of vituperation and invective. But I am able to say that the following pages contain a direct answer to most of the arguments advanced in Canon Bright's "Papalism and Antiquity." For after reading his article in the "Church Quarterly," when it appeared in 1889, I came to the conclusion that there was need of a fuller account of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon than has yet been given in English, with special reference to the points urged in that article, and now repeated in Canon Bright's recension of the same. It rarely falls to the lot of a writer to be able to produce an answer to such representations of history as Canon Bright proposes in his new book, within a few weeks of their appearance. But it is my good fortune to have been able to do this through the accident of having selected the original draft for particular refutation. I would draw especial attention to the treatment of the twenty-eighth Canon of Chalcedon, on pages 437-449, as meeting one of Canon Bright's chief points. [17]

But I feel bound to add a few words here on one passage in Canon Bright's chapter on Papalism, referring to this very subject. [18] The Regius Professor says (p. 234),

"When Mr. Rivington tells us that 'nothing more transpired concerning the canon, and it was omitted from the authorised collection of canons even in the East,' he omits, and it is no small omission -- it is a real suppressio veri -- to say after Hefele that the Greeks did not adhere to the profession made by Anatolius, and that his successors continued to act as patriarchs under the terms of the new canon, with the full approval of their emperors, and in despite of the protests of Rome."

Will it be believed that Canon Bright has altered my words by a most important, nay, crucial omission? My words are ("Dependence," p. 60),

"Nothing more transpired concerning the canon. No further appeal was made to it at that time, and it was omitted from the authorised collection of canons even in the East."

Now this statement is absolutely true. Hefele, to whom Canon Bright appeals, says the same:

"From that time Leo continued to exchange letters with Anatolius, and his successor Gennadius, but there was nothing more said between them on the subject of the twenty-eighth Canon." (History of the Councils, 207)

But Canon Bright has omitted the all-important words, which I have placed in italics, and thus made my statement refer to the future instead of the present only. The strangest part of the matter is that in his anonymous article, of which he calls this chapter a "recension" (cf. Preface, p. vii), the words I have italicised above appear in their right place, and he there accuses me only of "going near to supressio veri" (Church Quarterly Review, October 1889, p. 133); whereas now, having in his "recension" omitted the crucial words of my statement, he accuses me downright of that form of literary dishonesty.

But, further, I had actually said on the same page, "What Constantinople did was to continue its encroachments." And on the next page but one (p. 62) I have given an instance of an attempt to revive the canon, and of the emperor's fruitless endeavour to induce Rome to recognise it. How, then, can Canon Bright say that I even suppressed this?

Nor is this writer correct in saying, "It is all very well to talk of  'the canon invalidated,' i.e. from the Papal stand-point, but it is the canon which has practically prevailed." The canon was invalidated from the high Anglican standpoint; for as Le Quien ("Oriens Christianus," p. 51) points out, a canon, to be a canon of the whole Church, must be accepted by the West. This was repudiated by the West. Even the Illyrians did not sign. And when, centuries after, Constantinople was allowed to take precedence of other Eastern sees, it was not on account of this canon; and in the previous centuries it was not the canon that prevailed, but unjustifiable encroachments. Does Canon Bright imagine that a canon passed under such disgraceful circumstances as I have described below (cf. p. 440) -- dropped by the archbishop and emperor in whose reign it was proposed -- could override the Nicene settlement? The Pope said, No. And when Acacius came on to the scene and acted on the canon, it was to place heretics, who opposed the doctrine of the Incarnation, as defined at Chalcedon, in the Eastern sees -- heretics like Peter the Fuller at Alexandria.

Canon Bright, in the same paragraph, quotes Liberatus against me; but my account altogether agrees with that of Liberatus, who in the same chapter speaks of the "usurpations" of Anatolius, and in the passage quoted by Canon Bright is stigmatising the Erastianism and encroachments that went on under the pretext of that canon, and in the following chapter describes the usurpations of the heretic Acacius ("detectus hereticus"). [19] In fact this whole passage in Canon Bright's book is, I regret to say, a tissue of misrepresentations, his accusation of suppressio veri being actually supported by omitting the very line which confines my statement to the present, whilst the truth supposed to be suppressed is concerned with the future.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 08:40:05 AM by Xavier »
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Offline Kreuzritter

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The Disciple does not pick and choose according to his taste, nor, when the Divine Teacher is once accepted, can he be ruled by private judgment and understanding.

Then stop privately understanding and judging Pope Francis and Vatican II, and submit to them.

Until you do, everything you say is shameless hypocrisy.
 

Offline Xavier

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Is that all you can say? Doesn't your heart grieve for all that Catholic England so terribly lost by its Anglican Schism and Protestant Heresy on the whims of an adulterous and lecherous schismatic and heretic named Henry VIII who grieved even his Christian wife with innumerable divorces? For a 1000 years, as documented, the Catholic Church so admirably kept England in the Peace and Communion of the Universal Church. In those days, historians say, "Catholic England was the happiest country, perhaps, that the world had ever known" (Corbett). It was the Papacy under Pope St. Gregory the Great and the Popes that sent St. Augustine of Canterbury and other missionaries to England; it was the Papacy that so admirably kept all of Christendom and the Catholic world in both East and West wondrously united in the Catholic Apostolic Church. No sooner had rebellion against Her began, than the endless splintering into many sects ensued. Hear Venerable St. Bede: "Whosoever shall separate himself in any way whatsoever from the unity of Peter's faith, and from his communion, can neither obtain pardon of his sins nor admission into heaven." (Hom 37, Giles)."

Vatican II is not infallible. There were some dogmas that should have been defined and some errors and immorality that could have been condemned that weren't. That will now have to be done in future. And it certainly can be done, and Catholics can hold it will be.

Papal Infallibility has been infallibly defined by the Holy Ghost through the Catholic Church. What's your excuse for still rejecting it, by private judgment?

"CHAPTER 1: THE EPISTLE OF ST. CLEMENT OR THE TYPE SET

In the very first document belonging to Christian history, outside the pages of Holy Scripture, the Church of Rome steps to the front in a manner that is suggestive of supreme authority, and that tallies with her whole future attitude towards the rest of the Church. The occupant of the See of Rome comes before us, speaking in the name of his Church, within the lifetime of the Apostle St. John, and settles a disturbance in a region naturally more nearly related to that Apostle than to the Church of Rome. And he comes before us both as in possession of a tradition of divine truth, and as its authoritative exponent to a distant Church. He lays down the law of worship and government for the whole Church as of Divine institution.

The circumstances were as follows: The Church in Corinth had for some time been torn by dissensions, and had caused the utmost scandal on all sides (sect 47). [20] A few fiery spirits, with a considerable following, had succeeded in extruding probably their bishop and some of his presbyters, if not, indeed, one or more bishops in the neighbourhood, from their sacred office (Greek, sect 44). [21] The Church of Rome came to the rescue. The persecutions under Nero and Domitian had alone prevented her from intervening earlier (sect 1). But as soon as possible St. Clement wrote a letter entitled, 'The Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth,' which Dr. Lightfoot characterizes as 'almost imperious' [22] in tone, and which St. Irenaeus spoke of as 'most powerful,' or 'most adequate.' [23] In this letter St. Clement speaks of the tradition which the Church of Rome had received from the Apostles themselves (sect 44), as to a succession of rulers in the Church, to prevent strife 'about the name [i.e. dignity] of the office of bishop (Greek).' Speaking of this government of the Church, he finds its type in the Old Covenant, in the High Priest, Priests, and Levites. He says that the Apostles, in order to obviate strife, ordained as successors in the ministry (Greek) bishops and deacons. He magisterially reproves the ringleaders of the disturbances in Corinth for attempting to extrude such successors of the Apostles, [24] and says that 'it will be a sin in us' to depose them from their 'sacred office (Greek).' Further on, in a passage only discovered of late, he claims their 'obedience unto the things written by us through the Holy Spirit' (sect 63), as he had said a little previously:

'If any disobey the things spoken by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and no small peril' (sect 59).

The letter concludes with saying that they hope soon to receive back again the legates whom they have sent, with a report from Corinth that the peace, which they desire has been restored. Such was the first recorded act of the Church of Rome. And it is spoken of in terms of enthusiasm by St. Irenaeus, from whom we gather that the Corinthians amended their ways, and the desired result was achieved. It is also alluded to with commendation by St. Ignatius on his way to his martyrdom.

Dr. Lightfoot lays great stress on the fact that the name of St. Clement does not appear in this letter, but only that of the Church of Rome. [25] He admits, however, that the letter was written by St. Clement, and calls it an 'incident in his administration' of the Church. [26] But he thinks that St. Clement 'studiously suppressed' [27] his name, as not being in such a position of authority as is involved in the monarchical idea of the episcopate. He thinks that, in consequence, 'his personality is absorbed' [28] in the Church of Rome, and that in this we may discern a vital difference between the first century and the fifth. He says that 'the language of this letter is inconsistent with the possession of Papal authority in the person of the writer'; that 'it does not proceed from the Bishop of Rome, but from the Church of Rome.' It is spoken of, he says, in the second century as 'from the community, not from the individual.'

It will be well at once to warn our readers of a general misconception involved in the use of the word 'monarchical' as applied by certain writers (such as Dr. Lightfoot and Dr. Salmon and others) to the episcopate, and above all, to the Bishop of Rome.

When we speak of the Bishop of Rome as the infallible guardian of the faith, we do not mean that he is placed in a position in which he can act in isolation from the rest of the episcopal body. The very doctrine of Papal Infallibility implies that he never can act apart from the general teaching of the Church. We can always be sure that his utterances, when attended with those conditions which are implied in the exercise of his infallibility, are the exposition of the Church's mind as a whole. If we were to suppose the case of the Pope on the one side, and the whole of the episcopate arrayed against him on the other, we should be obliged to hold that the Pope would be in the right and the rest of the episcopate in the wrong. But such a case never has occurred, and never can. It is involved in our Lord's promise of His presence with the Church in her teaching 'all days unto the consummation of the world,' (Matt 28:20) that the body will never be separated from the head. The Holy Father speaks in the name of his children; and his children will never, as a whole, protest against his teaching.

But not only so. The Bishop of Rome, throughout the ages, has adopted the principle on which St. Cyprian, who especially expounded the monarchical idea of the episcopate, says that he ever proposed to govern his diocese -- viz. with consultation. So nothing is more characteristic of the government of the Church by those great Popes, like St. Damasus and St. Leo, in the fourth and fifth centuries, than their use of episcopal assessors. As St. Ignatius speaks of the bishop of the diocese having his corona -- his circlet -- of presbyters, so the Bishops of Rome ever had their circlet of bishops, and made use of their advice in all great matters concerning the general welfare of the Church. When, then, the Popes used the plural 'we,' they were not only using the majestic plural, but they had gathered into their utterances with a special closeness a portion of that great whole in whose name they were justified in speaking. They had held their synod. They were not acting in lone majesty, but in concert with others whom they had gathered into a special closeness of contact with themselves.

Again, the supremacy which belongs strictly to the Bishop of Rome, as the successor of St. Peter, is often attributed, not to the Bishop of Rome, but to the Church of Rome. In the later history of the Church we constantly meet with the supremacy of the bishop spoken of as though it belonged to the Church of Rome. To this day we constantly speak of 'Rome' doing this or saying that, while of course we believe that the informing power of the whole is the bishop himself, as successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Martin V., in the Council of Constance, condemned the proposition of Wycliffe, that 'it is not of necessity to believe that the Roman Church is supreme amongst the other Churches'; and in the Creed of Pope Pius IV, a similar expression is used by converts on their reception into the Church, viz. : 'I acknowledge the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church to be the mother and mistress of all Churches,' just as in the profession of faith prescribed by Clement IV and Gregory X, and made by the Greeks after the second Council of Lyons, the words are: 'The holy Roman Church has the supreme and full primacy and sovereignty over the whole Catholic Church.' And, lastly, the Vatican decree runs thus (Constit. 'Pastor Aeternus,' cap 3): 'We teach and declare that the Roman Church, by the ordinance of Christ (disponente Domino), has the sovereignty of ordinary power over all other [Churches].'

Consequently, if primitive Christian history presents us with the spectacle of the Church of Rome calling herself by this name, and stepping to the front to act with authority in guarding the faith of the Church as to the Apostolic succession of her rulers, and restoring unity to a divided Christian community at a distance, this does not constitute anything like a vital difference between this early expression of authority and the most recent instance of Papal rule. It is at most a difference of terminology. It would not allow that, because an act of authority was done in the name of the Church of Rome, it was not done by the authority of the Bishop of Rome. [29] Unless, then, Dr. Lightfoot had been able to show that there was no other possible reason for St. Clement suppressing his name in the letter to Corinth, that fact that he did suppress it would not prove that he did not occupy the position in the minds of the early Christians that he occupies now in the Roman Catholic Church. And yet the argument from silence is the main point urged by Dr. Lightfoot in this matter. 'The language of this letter,' to which he appeals as showing a difference between earlier and later Popes, means its silence as to the name of its author.

But there is more than one possible solution of this silence. If the tradition which St. Epiphanius [Haer xxvii, 6] gives is based on facts, to the effect that after the death of the Apostles Peter and Paul, St. Clement refused to occupy the position of bishop in the Roman community out of modesty, the same deep humility might well operate in this, perhaps, first great act of discipline exercised by him towards a distant Church. On the Papal teaching concerning Church government it would be enough for St. Clement to mention the Church of Rome; she held 'the principality,' as St. Irenaeus says, which, says St. Augustine, 'was always in force.' St. Clement was successor of St. Peter because he was Bishop of Rome. He owed his relationship to the Divine Head of the Church, viz. that of His Vicar, to his position in the Church of Rome; and it would not be unnatural, in writing a letter of some severity to the Church at Corinth, that he should simply speak of the Church of Rome, and not mention his own unworthy name. This will only seem far-fetched and fanciful to those who do not reflect that our Lord's description of the vital difference between the head of His kingdom and those of the kingdoms of this world was that 'the principal one' in His kingdom would not 'lord it' over others, after the example of this world's rulers, but would be amongst the rest as He Himself was -- their Ruler, their Lord and Infallible Teacher, and yet lowly and meek in heart. [30]

But there is yet another possible, and indeed probable, solution of this suppression of his name, on which Dr. Lightfoot has rested his argument as to the difference between St. Clement and the Papacy in subsequent times. The Church had only just emerged from the most fiery persecutions, and might at any moment be exposed to another. All societies, organised without leave from the civil authorities, were illegal, and consequently the last thing that the head of the Christian community would do under such circumstances would be to flaunt their condition as an organised body before the world. A letter, of such authoritative tone as St. Clement's, with his own name at its head, might easily fall into the hands of strangers; and if St. Peter himself thought it advisable to call Rome 'Babylon,' [31] when writing of the Church of Rome, it might very well seem the part of prudence in the bishop to suppress his name when writing from Rome.

And yet neither of these suppositions is necessary to account for the fact of St. Clement's silence as to his name. Writing as the head of the Christian community, he could write officially in its name. A successor of his did the same, St. Soter. And Eusebius expressly says that Clement wrote in the name of his Church (H.E. iii, 37), and St. Jerome, that he wrote in the person of the Church (De Viris Illustr 15).

And this is the explanation of a passage in Eusebius in which he speaks of this letter of St. Clement. St. Dionysius of Corinth, writing to the Church of Rome, describes the letter as 'your Epistle written to us by Clement'; whereas Eusebius says that Dionysius made 'some remarks relating to the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,' on which Dr. Lightfoot convicts Eusebius of making an assumption not warranted by the words of Dionysius. [32] But the Greek historian, like all the world after him, considered it was all one, to call it, as Dionysius did, the letter of the Romans 'by Clement,' or the letter of Clement: just as St. Clement of Alexandria speaks [Strom v. 12,81] of it in both ways, as the Epistle of the Romans, and the Epistle of Clement [Strom iv. 17,19]. All is explained by the principle which St. Cyprian laid down when he said, 'You ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop.'

It would not have been necessary to enter at such length into Dr. Lightfoot's interpretation of this omission of the name in St. Clement's letter, were it no that Dr. Lightfoot's name gives weight to everything that he says, and that many who heartily repudiate his views as to the Christian ministry [33] yet follow him in this particular point.

The letter, then, of St. Clement was written in the name of the Church of Rome, and was, as Dr. Lightfoot says,

'the only recorded incident in his administration of the Church.'

It was, according to the same writer,

'undoubtedly the first step towards Papal domination.'

It would seem impossible to mistake its tone of authority, 'almost imperious,' says the same writer. [34] Dr. Salmon, in his book on 'Infallibility,' [35] maintains that the tone 'is only that of the loving remonstrance which any Christian is justified in offering to an erring brother.' But in his article on St. Clement in the 'Dictionary of Christian Biography' (Smith and Wace), he says,

'Very noticeable in the new part of the letter is the tone of authority used by the Roman Church in making an unsolicited interference with the affairs of another Church.' [36]

'Already in St. Clement's letter an assumption, so natural as to be almost unconscious, of the right to advice and interpose underlies his pacificatory argument.' [37]

It is certainly singular that only a few years after the dogma of Papal Infallibility, always the general belief of Christians, had, in view of emerging denials, been made obligatory, a manuscript, in a Greek monastery, containing strong assertions of the divine authority with which the Church of Rome conceived herself to be speaking, should be suddenly unearthed. Dr. Lightfoot had substituted a long fragment from another writer, as possibly the substance of the long-lost portion of this invaluable letter, and most scholars admired his ingenuity. But a comparison with this suggested complement of the letter, and the actual fragment now recovered, will show how the imagination of a brilliant scholar differs from the actual thoughts of the great Bishop of Rome himself. [38]

There is one passage which suggests an answer to the question, whether this letter from Rome was in answer to an appeal or was an unsolicited intervention. The writer says (sect 44) that

'we do not think that such as these' (i.e. men left there by Apostles and of good repute) 'are being justly cast out from the sacred ministry; for it will be no small sin in us, if we should extrude [or depose] from the episcopate those who have offered the gifts blamelessly and holily.'

It certainly seems as though the case of these bishops (I use the exact equivalent without meaning thereby to settle the question what exactly their office was) had been laid before the Church of Rome. The Corinthians had removed them from the exercise of their office, as is stated in the next sentence; but in this sentence the writer of the Epistle treats their deposition as not concluded; it is the present tense, as though their act awaited its completion at the hands of Rome. Whether this were so or not, the matter must have been brought before them in some way, for Rom passes most definite judgment as to whether these rulers deserved such treatment, instead of asking for further particulars. The passage in which St. Clement speaks of the 'report' having reached Rome [sect 47], which seems at first sight to suggest that the Romans had not been directly consulted on the matter, refers only to the statement that the disturbance, of which the main facts seem to have been brought very circumstantially before the Church of Rome, was due to only 'one or two ringleaders.'

The expression in the beginning of the letter, 'the matters in dispute among you,' does not compel us to suppose that the matters of dispute among them had not been also referred to Rome. For if there had been no appeal, why should St. Clement excuse himself for not having attended to the matter sooner? On the whole, then, it seems most likely, though not certain, that the letter was written in answer to an appeal from Corinth.

Such, then, was 'the first steps towards Papal domination' (Lightfoot), or, as we should prefer to call it, the first recorded exercise of authority towards a distant Church. There was no protest; on the contrary, St. Irenaeus and St. Ignatius praised it, and Corinth treasured the letter and read it at Divine service on the Lord's Day for years to come.

Such is the dawn of uninspired Christian history. In that first century of the Christian era unity was restored at Corinth by the action of Rome writing a most powerful letter and sending legates (Clem, Ep ad Cor, sect 45) to the scene of disturbance; and, according to St. Ignatius, Rome was the teacher of others, with special allusion, it is thought, to this letter: 'Ye taught others' (Ignatius, Ep ad Rom, 3) are words which, as Dr. Lightfoot remarks [39], 'the newly discovered ending of St. Clement's letter enables us to appreciate more fully' -- a letter in which the writer claims to speak with the authority of God.

The least that can be said of this first disclosure of Rome's position in the church is that it fits in with her present position in Roman Catholic Christendom.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 02:58:41 AM by Xavier »
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Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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Offline Kreuzritter

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Is that all you can say?

Submit to Pope Francis and Vatican II or shut up, hypocrite.

 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Quote
Papal Infallibility has been infallibly defined by the Holy Ghost through the Catholic Church.

Now it's Catholic teaching that dogmatic definitions are inspired? So much for infallibility being only protection from teaching error.

Quote
What's your excuse for still rejecting it, by private judgment?

I don't accept your premise, and I absolutely and consistently exercise private judgment in what I choose to believe. You, on the other hand, are a logically inconsistent hypocrite who continually exercises private judgment to reject Pope Francis and Vatican II's magisterium and liturgy and persist in his schism.
 

Offline Xavier

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Instead of yelling at me, work on reading the book, and preparing a response to it, from your Gallican perspective. The book is an excellent defense of Catholic Doctrine against your neo-Protestant heresies. Angry Trolling is not a response to it.

Since Vatican II is not ex cathedra, only a blind man would think it falls under Vatican I's definition of Papal Infallibility. Both Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI have said it does not - as if it needed to be said.

A heretic is one who chooses. If you knowingly reject infallible judgments of the Church, including Papal Infallibility and the Immaculate Conception, you are no less a heretic than one who denies the Holy Trinity or the Incarnation. If you don't want to be, accept the Dogma.

You also obviously haven't read what Vatican I says about the Holy Ghost being promised to St. Peter and his Successors, until the end of time, not for making known new doctrine, but so that by His divine assistance, they may explain doctrines from the depositum fidei.

You haven't in any way dealt with all the proofs Fr. Rivington cites from Pope St. Clement of Rome's Epistle to the Corinthians. Pope St. Clement of Rome affirms the Holy Ghost is speaking through him in his judgments on the situation afflicting the Church in Corinth.

The Old Catholic Encyclopedia: "History bears complete testimony that from the very earliest times the Roman See has ever claimed the supreme headship, and that that headship has been freely acknowledged by the universal Church. We shall here confine ourselves to the consideration of the evidence afforded by the first three centuries. The first witness is St. Clement, a disciple of the Apostles, who, after Linus and Anacletus, succeeded St. Peter as the fourth in the list of popes....The tone of authority [in his Epistle to the Corinthians] which inspires the latter appears so clearly that [Protestant scholar J.B.] Lightfoot did not hesitate to speak of it as 'the first step towards papal domination' ...Thus, at the very commencement of church history, before the last survivor of the Apostles had passed away, we find a Bishop of Rome, himself a disciple of St. Peter, intervening in the affairs of another Church and claiming to settle the matter by a decision spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Such a fact admits of one explanation alone. It is that in the days when the Apostolic teaching was yet fresh in men's minds the universal Church recognized in the Bishop of Rome the office of supreme head....The limits of the present article prevent us from carrying the historical argument further than the year 300. Nor is it in fact necessary to do so. From the beginning of the fourth century the supremacy of Rome is writ large upon the page of history. It is only in regard to the first age of the Church that any question can arise. But the facts we have recounted are entirely sufficient to prove to any unprejudiced mind that the supremacy was exercised and acknowledged from the days of the Apostles." (volume 12, article "Pope" page 263, 264)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 08:37:01 AM by Xavier »
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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Offline Xavier

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"CHAPTER 2: THE CLEMENTINE ROMANCE

I. 'It is very remarkable,' says a Protestant historian, 'that a person of such vast influence in truth and fiction, whose words were law, who preached the duty of obedience and submission to an independent and distracted Church, who vision reached even to unknown lands beyond the Western Sea, should inaugurate, at the threshold of the second century, that long line of pontiffs who have outlasted every dynasty in Europe, and now claim an infallible authority over the consciences of 200,000,000 of Christians.' [40]

Dr. Schaff here speaks of St. Clement, who, as Dr. Salmon says, 'speaks in a tone of authority to a sister Church of Apostolic foundation, and thus reveals the easy and innocent beginning of the Papacy,' [41] in a letter which, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, forms 'undoubtedly' 'the first step towards Papal domination.' [42]

The reasonable explanation is that he spoke as successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. The first recorded utterance of a Christian bishop in uninspired literature speaks in the name of his Church with the voice of infallibility, and that Church is the Church of Rome. His letter was bound up with Holy Scripture, and is to be seen this day in the British Museum amongst the contents of the great Alexandrian Codex of the Bible. According to Origen, Eusebius, and St. Jerome, he was that Clement whose name St. Paul mentions as 'in the book of life.' According to some modern authorities he was a Jewish freedman, or the son of a freedman belonging to the household of Flavius Clements (Lightfoot). There can be little doubt that his letter, read as it was in public worship in numerous Churches, as, for instance, in Corinth itself, for many years, made the name of Clement sufficiently well known for a large amount of spurious literature to gather round it in the second and third centuries -- a literature which has played an extraordinarily prominent part in modern controversy. It furnishes, according to Dr. Lightfoot, Dr. Salmon, the Bishop of Lincoln, and Mr. Puller, the key to the assertions made by the Christian writers of the third century to the effect that the See of Rome is the See of Peter. The same literature had already been seized upon with avidity by the Rationalist school of Tubingen, and still forms the basis of similar theories concerning the origin of Christianity.

II. This literature contains a romantic narrative in which St. Clement in his travels meets with relative after relative whom he had lost -- hence called the 'Recognitions' -- and a set of Homilies, containing a great deal of Ebionitish doctrine, and a letter of St. Clement to St. James, which forms a sort of preface to the version which obtained currency in Rome. In this letter St. Clement says incidentally that he was ordained by Peter, a fact which by no means forms a prominent feature of the narrative, and is accompanied in the same breath with the statement that he was commissioned by Peter to send certain sermons to St. James, as the head of the Christian Church. The position of St. James as the bishop of bishops is an important feature of the letter. 'Taken as a whole, the Clementine Romance is,' as Mr. Puller admits, 'entirely un-Petrine and un-Roman.' [43] Its whole tendency is also anti-Pauline -- depreciatory, that is, of St. Paul as compared with St. James, in accordance with the Ebionitish doctrine which placed St. James before either St. Peter or St. Paul. It is supposed to have appeared in Rome either in the middle or the end of the second, or in the beginning of the third century, or later still. It was never quoted as an authority by early Christian writers, but nevertheless obtained after a while an extensive circulation. It is written with skill and popular effect. To this day most of its readers will admit that there is a certain fascination about it, viewed merely as a romance.

III. Its anti-Pauline tendency was seized upon by Baur and the Tubingen school in general, and vastly exaggerated; and having been thus interpreted, was made to do service in connection with a passage in Holy Scripture which has, from the earliest days of Christianity, been pressed into the service of unbelief. The state of things supposed to be described in the Clementine Romance was held to a survival of the state of matters which obtained in the early Church, as shown, according to this theory, by the conflict between St. Peter and St. Paul in Antioch. The difference between these two Apostles was held to be vital, instead of concerning only a matter of practical expediency; and so, according to this theory, the early Church began with a conflict as to the truth to be taught, of which we have the remnants in the Clementine literature. Every effort was therefore made to throw back the Clementine Romance into the second century, and as far back in that century as possible.

It would be outside the subject of this book to enter upon the complete and decisive answers which have been given by Christian writers to the Rationalist school of Tubingen on this head.

IV. But this spurious Clementine literature is, as I have said, now pressed into the service of anti-Papal writers. Dr. Salmon, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, one of the most vigorous opponents of the Papal claims, whilst he exposes the weakness of the Rationalists' deductions from the Clementine literature, nevertheless rounds off one of his paragraphs with the assertion that it

'has had a marvellous share in shaping the history of Christendom, by inventing the story that Peter was Bishop of Rome, and that he named Clement to succeed him in the see.' [44]

He expressed the same theory elsewhere, saying that as regards the story of Peter's Roman episcopate,

'the real inventor of the story was an editor of the Clementine Romance....Though the doctrinal teaching of the Clementines was rejected as heretical, the narrative part of the book was readily believed.'

He gives no proof of this, but continues, 'and in particular this story of Clement's ordination by Peter was felt to be so honourable to the Church of Rome that it was at once adopted there, and has been the traditional Roman account ever since.' [45] Dr. Lightfoot adopted the same theory, stating that

'its glorification of Rome and the Roman Bishop obtained for it an early and wide circulation in the West. Accordingly, even Tertullian speaks of Clement as the immediate successor of St. Peter.' [46]

I would gladly give this author's proof, but I have been unable to find anything but assertion on this whole subject. The present Bishop of Lincoln had recently adopted the same position in his preface [47] to Mr. Puller's book on 'The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome.' Dr. King is speaking, indeed, of a theory which no one, that I have been able to discover, ever held, viz. that St. Peter was the 'sole founder of the Roman See.' But it is evident that he alludes to the theory of St. Peter being held to have been the first Bishop of Rome, and he proceeds to say, referring to Mr. Puller's book (p. 48,49), that 'the anti-Pauline Clementine Romance may explain the source from which this invention was derived.' Mr. Puller himself has made it the pivot of his argument against Rome.

'If the author of the Clementine Romance had not been an Ebionitish heretic, with an inherited hatred of the memory of St. Paul, the world would never have heard of the chair of Peter. It is strange how, from the very first, the Roman claims have been based upon forgeries.' [48]

And when he comes to the crucial passage in St. Cyprian's writings, where that saint speaks of the See of Rome as 'the Chair of Peter and the principal Church whence sacerdotal unity took its rise,' he dismissed St. Cyprian from his array of witnesses on this point, as under a prevailing delusion. 'I need say nothing about the expression, "Chair of Peter," as spplied to the See of Rome. By the time of St. Cyprian Western Christians had learnt from the Clementine Romance to apply the title to the Roman See.' [49] Mr. Puller goes farther (if his words are to be taken seriously) than his predecessors, for he says, 'No one had any suspicion that the Clementine Romance was a lie invented by a heretic,' for which there is no proof given; and, further, 'the story was accepted on all sides.' In other words, the whole Church believed that St. James was its visible head!

'Some,' he continues, 'like St. Cyprian, accepted it, but without allowing it to modify to any appreciable degree the traditional teaching of the Church. Others, more closely connected with the Church of Rome [50], fastened on the notion of the chair of Peter, and used that notion to provide an apostolic basis for the growing claims of the Roman See.'

It is difficult to see how they would secure 'an apostolic basis' by extruding St. Paul. For the twin Apostles include St. Peter. It was not, therefore, a substitution of St. Peter for St. Paul, but of St. Peter for St. Peter and St. Paul.

V. But the Clementine literature is a subject which deserves a somewhat fuller treatment. I shall accordingly endeavour to show that, supposing 'the corporate pride of the Roman Christians' could be reasonably imagined to be so 'flattered' by the 'unique position which it [this romance] assigned to Clement,' which is Dr. Lightfoot's explanation, it has not been conclusively proved that this romance was the first to call St. Clement the successor of Peter in the bishopric of Rome. It may be shown that there was something else before it -- namely, the lists of the Bishops of Rome.

But before entering on this proof I feel that it is necessary to enter a protest against the assumption virtually made by some that the local Church of Rome was in that early age filled with the spirit of the devil. How could this be, if, with Dr. Lightfoot and others, we explain the position of superiority accorded to the Church of Rome by her moral majesty? She presided 'in love,' in his interpretation of [the Greek]. The possibility of such a translation of St. Ignatius' words is not now the question; but so Dr. Lightfoot explains her position. This 'practical goodness,' as he chooses to translate the supernatural gift of [Greek] [51], enabled her, according to these writers, to take, and justified her in taking the lead, and led others to acquiesce in a kind of primacy. This (they tell us), together with her position as the Imperial city, went to form her unique position. Was, then, the Church of Rome, the leading Church according to all these writers, so filled with the spirit of lying that she could take the suggestion of a romance in place of her own lists, which we know from Hegesippus she then possessed, whether by oral tradition or in writing? [52] Had she the heart to alter her tale, to drop the Apostle in whom she had gloried, and in whom, conjointly with St. Peter, she glories today, sending our her bulls in their twin name? -- had she, I say, the heart suddenly to change her attitude towards her known and beloved founders? Did Tertullian, when he came to Rome, instead of examining the lists, instead of listening to what older men could tell him, take up with an incidental expression in a romance, which no single writer of that time ever quoted, so far as our records go, as an authority, and of which they rejected the heretical teaching, according to Dr Salmon? Could all classes in the Church of Rome agree suddenly on a new platform, and no whisper of the fundamental change find its way outside, or produce the slightest protest against this change in the Church's idea of her own constitution? Is it reason, is it common sense, to suppose that in twenty years, which is the utmost space of time that is given [53], a change so vital was effected, as that the episcopal chair was no longer what it is assumed by these writers to have been, that of the two Apostles, but of one only?

But further, why should the 'corporate pride of the Roman Christians' be so flattered by the story of St. Clement being so prominent, and having been ordained by St. Peter, that it henceforth adopted the idea of the see being that of Peter and not that of Peter and Paul? Was, then, St. Peter so far above St. Paul that it would flatter their corporate pride to call it the see of Peter instead of the see of both? Was the glorification of St. Clement sufficient to balance the depreciation of St. Peter, in the same narrative, below St. James? And could Rome ever bear any approach to an Ebionitish view of the Apostle of the Gentiles? Again, who are the writers who were thus, on Mr. Puller's theory, deluded? Men like Tertullian, who belonged to the Church of Carthage! But is it conceivable that Tertullian, with his forensic ability, the first Christian writer of the day, who had been at Rome before the year 200, had never heard of what these writers suppose to have been the earlier teaching, viz. that the See of Rome was not the See of Peter, but merely founded by the two Apostles, and that neither of these Apostles held to it any relationship different from the other? Or if they knew of this supposed earlier teaching, can we conceive of their deliberately falsifying or ignoring it without a word of explanation? Is this the way in which the phrase, which was henceforth common to all ages, sprang into existence? If so, the expression 'the chair of Peter' must be considered the symbol of the Church's utter inability to extrude a seriously erroneous doctrine.

Such are the insuperable philosophical difficulties in the theory that the Clementine Romance gave birth to the doctrine that the See of Rome is the See of Peter. There are, however, critical obstacles besides.

VI. We know that Rome possessed at least two lists of her bishops before the Clementine Romance appeared on the scene. In the right of Eleutherius (A.D. 175-189), a converted Jew, named Hegesippus, came from Syria to Rome for the purpose of inquiring particularly into the lists of bishops from the Apostles' time. He desired, above all things, to establish the connection between the series of bishops and the Apostles in each case, in the East and in the West. Eusebius (not a Roman writer) wrote with the list as made out by Hegesippus under his eye. What, then, is the evidence supplied in this matter by Eusebius?

But first we must be clear as to what it is that we are engaged in proving. Catholic theology, then, has always spoken of the See of Rome as, in some sense, the See of the two Apostles, Peter and Paul. We join these two Apostles together in all our thoughts concerning Rome, when we wish to be precise and explanatory. Rome has inherited from St. Paul the merits of his martyrdom and a peculiar inheritance of watchful care, as her patron conjointly with St. Peter. But from St. Peter she has inherited his character of foundation in a unique sense, as compared with the other Apostles (who are also foundations, cf. Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14), and that possession of the keys which was bestowed on Peter (cf. Matt 16:19; Isa 22:22; Rev 3:7). This possession of the keys is something beyond their mere use and exercise, such as the rest of the Apostles received (cf. Matt 18:18; John 20:23) for the purposes of their temporary mission, as founders of Churches throughout the world. Those who do not belong to us are not generally aware that we never commemorate St. Peter in the Holy Mass, or the other sacred offices of the Church, without immediately also commemorating St. Paul, nor St. Paul without at once adding a memorial of St. Peter.

The Feast of June 29 is not with us the Feast of St. Peter, as it is in the calendar of the English Church, it is the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. And every Pope sends forth his bulls in the name of the two Apostles. As, then, a person could not argue from the latter fact that the See of Rome is not held by us to be in a special sense the See of Peter, so neither could one argue from a mention in any early writer of a relationship of the See of Rome to the two Apostles that such a writer did not also believe in a special relationship to the Apostle Peter on the part of the same see. To prove similarity of teaching between primitive and modern Rome, we should look for the use of both expressions. This is exactly what we do find in Tertullian, who speaks of Rome as the see into which the Apostles Peter and Paul 'poured all doctrine (totam doctrinam),' and says at the same time that St. Clement was ordained to it by St. Peter (De Praescr Haer 32, A.D. 200). Tertullian, I notice in passing, does not say that St. Clement was the immediate successor of St. Peter, but simply that St. Clement, Bishop of Rome (whom all the world knew, and who was the teacher of others), was ordained by St. Peter himself. This is all that his argument requires, since it is to establish that apostolicity of the Church of Rome. It was necessary for this purpose to show not only that it was founded by two Apostles, but that they both, or (which was at the least the same thing) one of them, had instituted a successor, as in the case of the other Churches which he mentions.

And now we return to Eusebius. Dr. Lightfoot [54] has furnished us with a most exhaustive critical investigation of the relationship between the list made out by Hegesippus and the History and Chronicle of Eusebius, and has gone far to prove that the latter had the very list of Hegesippus in his hand, through th medium of a Syrian writer in the time of Elagabalus, named Julius Africanus. But that he had, somehow, the list of Hegesippus may be deduced from his own words.

When, then, does Eusebius, resting on the list made by Hegesippus in the middle of the second century, say concerning the relationship of St. Clement to St. Peter? There is now no question as to his making him the next but one to Linus. When, then, was the relationship of Linus to Peter?

There are two sources from which we gather the witness of Eusebius -- his History and his Chronicle. In his History he says (H.E. iii, 2) that Linus was the first appointed to the bishopric of the Church of the Romans after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter. This is an expression which decides nothing; for we should say that Henry III was the first king of England after John, meaning to include John amongst the kings. The word 'after' may be used of a successor in the same chair, the first successor being called the first bishop after the original occupant.

But immediately afterwards Eusebius uses an expression which suggests a difference of relationship between St. Peter and St. Paul to the bishopric of Rome. For he says (H.E. iii, 4) that Linus obtained the bishopric of the Church of the Romans 'first after Peter.' Here we have Peter alone connected with the bishopric. But further on there is another expression, when he speaks of Clement as 'holding the third place of those who acted as bishop after both Paul and Peter' (iii, 21). Here the series of bishops obviously begins with Linus, but the exact relationship to the two Apostles is not defined. In another passage (iv, 5) he speaks of Telesphorus as receiving the bishopric 'seventh from the Apostles,' which may mean after their death, or in succession to them.

So far, then, Eusebius is found to speak ordinarily of Linus, coming after the Apostles, as the first bishop, but on one occasion he speaks of him as the successor of Peter alone. Both are true, according to the teaching of theology.

But besides his History, Eusebius drew up a Chronicle, which appears to have contained the list from which he took that which he gives in his History. This is a matter of general agreement. But that Chronicle is not extant. We have only a few extracts in Syncellus, a Greek writer of the ninth century, and three versions in other languages -- viz. Armenian, Latin, and Syriac. The first of these, the Armenian, was, according to Petermann, who has translated it into Latin [55] , from two sources -- the original Greek and a Syriac translation. The first part, according to Petermann, with whom Lightfoot agrees so far [56] is from the original Greek. In this, whilst Clement is counted as third from the Apostles, there is a passage of supreme importance, in which the writer says: 'The Apostle Peter, when he had first founded the Church of Antioch, sets out for the city of Rome, and there preaches the gospel, and stays there as prelate of the Church for twenty years' (H.E. ii, 150). It also so happens that we have this very passage in the original preserved by Syncellus: 'but he [i.e. Peter], besides the Church in Antioch, also first presided over that in Rome until his death.' (original Greek provided in note).

And the Latin version by St. Jerome confirms this, for St. Jerome, who made the translation, says of Peter, 'He is sent to Rome, where, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years, he perseveres as bishop of the same city.' And yet St. Jerome calls Linus 'the first bishop after Peter.' Thus the Chronicle of Eusebius coincides with the History. St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, but being an Apostle also, the bishops are sometimes counted from Linus and not from the Apostle, sometimes from one Apostle, sometimes from both. (This must not be understood as though Linus, Bishop of Rome, did not succeed to the pontificate of the Universal Church; but the apostolate was something besides that).

The Syriac version again confirms the Armenian and Latin on this particular subject. It has an excerpt from the Chronicon, which says that 'Peter, after he had established the Church at Antioch, presided over the Church at Rome for twenty years.'

The later Greek and Oriental chronographies establish the same point. Cardinal Mai published one which was drawn up professedly 'from the labours of Eusebius,' in which the lists of bishops open with the statement, 'Peter first acted as bishop (Greek) in Rome' whilst in the same century Nicephorus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, gives a list of 'those who acted as bishops in Rome from Christ and the Apostles -- I. Peter the Apostle.'

Dr. Lightfoot has (it seems to the present writer) proved that both the History and the Chronicon of Eusebius derived their lists from Hegesippus. But not only so. He seems to have established another point of great importance for our present purpose, and that is the connection between a passage in Epiphanius and the original list of Hegesippus. He thinks that this list really appears in Epiphanius (Haer xxvii, 6). Now St. Epiphanius speaks of both Peter and Paul as at once Apostles and Bishops in Rome, and gives the name of Linus next. He then goes on to explain how it was that although St. Clement was a contemporary of the two Apostles, yet the others succeeded 'to the episcopate before him', viz. Linus and Cletus. Here, then, according to some very satisfactory reasons given by Dr. Lightfoot, we are in closest contact with Hegesippus, who wrote, be it remembered, in the middle of the second century. And the writer who is considered to give us most directly and unquestionably the results of Hegesippus' work in Rome is also the writer who enters most largely into the question of St. Clement's relationship to St. Peter. He was, according to St. Epiphanius, ordained by that Apostle, but could not be prevailed upon to take upon himself the responsibility of the sole episcopate on their death, until, Linus and Cletus having both died, he was at last 'forced' into it. It is, of course, only conjecture that the subject of Clement filled a special place in the 'memorials' of Hegesippus, as it did in St. Epiphanius' work; but, supposing this to be the case, we have another side-light thrown on the prominence which the name of St. Clement obtained in the East, whence came the Clementine Romance. Hegesippus was himself a Syrian Christian, who visited Corinth and Rome. Julius Africanus, through whom Eusebius derived his knowledge of Hegesippus' work, was a native of Emmaus. And the Clementine Romance hailed, in its original dress, also from the East.

The result of all that has been said is, that what we can glean from Eusebius and St. Epiphanius concerning Hegesippus' work, which was written in the middle of the second century, points to a belief already established, that St. Clement, at whatever interval, occupied 'the chair of Peter' -- a belief, therefore, which was in existence before the Clementine Romance could, on any theory, have made its appearance in Rome or the West.

VII. But there is one more witness, and that of the first importance, viz. St. Irenaeus himself. In his list of the Bishops of Rome we have again, according to Dr. Lightfoot, the same work of Hegesippus, though this is denied by many scholars. However, the witness of St. Irenaeus is of importance in itself, because it is often supposed to contradict that of Tertullian. [57] But that is an idea which arises simply from a misinterpretation. In his first mention of the succession of the Bishops of Rome (Haer i, 27, 1), St. Irenaeus speaks of Hyginus as the ninth, which makes St. Peter the first, as Hyginus was the eighth after the Apostle. He repeats this on another occasion (Haer iii, 4, 3). Dr. Lightfoot here conjectures that the reading may be wrong; but admits that 'all the authorities are agreed' as to the correctness of the reading. His only reason for supposing that the reading may be wrong seems to be that it does not fit in with his theory that St. Peter ought not to be counted as a Bishop. The reading appears in St. Cyprian, Eusebius, and St. Epiphanius. But St. Irenaeus also says in another passage (Haer iii, 4, 3) that the Apostles Peter and Paul entrusted the ministry of the episcopate to Linus, and that Clement came 'third.'

This seeming contradiction is explained by the consideration above, viz. that Linus might be called first after Peter, or second, according as the writer meant to speak of those who were only Bishops as one body by themselves, by reason of the apostolate of St. Peter, or of the bishops as actually commencing with him who was Apostle and Bishop all in one. The episcopate of Linus, although inheriting the peculiar powers of St. Peter's episcopate, i.e. of his universal pontificate (though not of his apostolate considered in its fullest sense), would naturally be due to the joint action of the two Apostles.

Thus the see was founded by the two Apostles; the first person who was bishop without being one of the Twelve was appointed by their common action. This bishop inherited those features of St. Peter's apostolate which were special to him, and accordingly he might be spoken of either as

the second Bishop of Rome,
or the first after Peter,
or the first after the martyrdom of the two Apostles,
or, in fine, the first after Peter and Paul, Apostles and Bishops:
The former because of the relationship of St. Peter to Rome as the originator of its universal pontificate, the latter because of the connection of St. Paul with Rome as fellow-labourer with the Prince of the Apostles, and its joint patron in the courts of Heaven. No one of these terms excludes the other. St. Irenaeus does not contradict Tertullian, nor Tertullian, St. Irenaeus.

A see founded by two Apostles is not necessarily the see of both or either. The expression settles nothing. St. Gregory founded the See of London, but was not its bishop. If it seemed good to one Apostle to take the See of Rome under his special care, and form to it a special relationship, there would be nothing in the fact of the foundation of the community having been due to co-operation to prevent his so doing. It cannot be said that St. James founded the See of Jerusalem, and yet he was its first bishop. And, conversely, although St. Paul, coming on to the scene after St. Peter, assisted in the foundation of the organization of the Christian community at Rome, it was not necessary that he should also be its bishop in the same sense as St. Peter.

Why, then, should Tertullian speak of Clement as ordained by St. Peter if Linus was the first bishop? The two facts I have shown are not mutually exclusive. There is nothing unreasonable in the first part of the explanation given by Rufinus in his preface to his translation of the Clementine Recognitions, viz. 'Linus and Cletus were indeed bishops in the city of Rome before Clement, but during the lifetime of Peter, that is to say, so that they bore the care of the episcopate, whilst he fulfilled the office of the apostolate.' (H.E. iii, p. 4) We must, however, add that they also reigned after St. Peter, and when it came to the successor of the Apostle, now in glory, one must come before the other, and whether from humility, as St. Epiphanius thought, or from whatever other cause, St. Clement came third. But it is more likely that it was settled by the two Apostles that Linus should be the first successor of Peter before their death, and hence the account in St. Irenaeus. They did not, they could not, hand on precisely their own position, for they were Apostles; but 'they committed the ministry of the episcopate to Linus' (Haer iii, 3, 3).

St. Clement, however, especially from his great Epistle, filled a place in men's eyes which the others did not, and so for Tertullian's purpose it would be enough to say that he was ordained by St. Peter, not thereby excluding the other two. Tertullian wished to insist on the succession of doctrine, and mentions the connection between the well-known Clement and St. Peter as sufficient. He received the bishopric from St. Peter, whether as first or third was not material to the point.

VIII. But this is not all. The question now occurs: When did the Clementine literature appear in Rome? Was it before Tertullian wrote? The Tubingen school did its best to force the composition of these writings as far back in the second century as the middle. The Bishop of Lincoln (preface to Primitive Saints) fathers Mr. Puller's theory, which is apparently the same as that of Dr. Lightfoot, and nearly that of Dr. Salmon. The latter writer renders his own theory more difficult to maintain, by making this literature 'not older than the very end of the second century,' [58] in at any rate the form in which it appeared at Rome. In this case it would have been contemporaneous with Tertullian's account, and one does not see how Tertullian could possibly have gone counter to the supposed older tradition at once.

Mr. Puller speaks of its appearance at Rome as 'an event which probably intervened between the time of St. Irenaeus' treatise and the time of St. Cyprian,' [59] which is too vague for his thesis. Accordingly he settles its date further on, purely, however, on the grounds of his own assumption as tot he effect of that literature. He says,

'There is much reason for supposing, that the notion that St. Peter himself consecrated Clement to the Roman See is wholly due to the Clementine Romance, and therefore that romance must have established its influence in Rome some time during the last twenty years of the second century, between the year 180, which is the approximate date of the treatise of St. Irenaeus, and the year 200, which is the approximate date of the treatise of Tertullian.' [60]

(But, like Dr. Lightfoot, he does not give the reasons for this, which is the pivot of the whole argument). Mr. Puller realises the importance of establishing a date for the Clementine literature anterior to Tertullian's account of Peter having ordained Clement. And it is not too much to say that the argument of his book altogether halts if this cannot be established. The 'very end' of the century, which Dr. Salmon gives as its date, will not really serve the purpose; for who cold believe that a new novel, making St. James the head of the whole Church, could in a year or two, or in five years, induce the Roman Christians to tell such a lie on behalf of their 'corporate pride' as to ignore their older lists and (supposed) older tradition on the authority of a book written in the interests of Ebionitism?

There is, however, an interesting piece of evidence which goes far to prove that neither the Tubingen Rationalists nor the anti-Papal writers are correct in assigning this Clementine literature to any part of the second century. In the 9th book of the 'Recognitions' of Clement, as preserved in Rufinus' translation, there are nearly ten chapters which are almost identical (in many places absolutely so) with a treatise o which Eusebius gives a copious extract, written by a Syriac theologian named Bardesanes, born at Edessa, and famous for his philosophico-theological speculations. The Syriac original of the treatise, of which Eusebius gives the extracts in Greek, was discovered by the late Canon Cureton in 1843 and published in 1855. Cureton thought that Bardesanes (or proper name, Bardaisan) himself wrote the treatise, but it was possibly written by a disciple of his, who incorporated the arguments of a treatise of his master. So that in that case what follows would apply to the substance of the Bardesanes dialogue, not to its form. But I will speak of it as Bardesanes. (i.e. By way of giving to the maintainers of the earlier date the benefit of the doubt. I have no doubt myself that the writing is that of a disciple. I have not discussed the only supposition that would militate against the following contention as to the date -- the supposition, namely, that an earlier form of the Clementine Romance reached Rome, and that the chapters from the treatise of Bardesanes were added in a subsequent edition. Probably no critic would maintain that. And it must be remembered that the crucial passage about Clement occurs in the Epistle to James, which is obviously the covering letter, so to speak, to the Recognitions, and no part of an earlier period. Rufinus, who had the original in his hands, expressly says that it was of later date.)

The first question that arises is, which borrowed from the other -- Bardesanes from the Greek 'Recognitions' or the 'Recognitions' from Bardesanes? Dr. Hort points out what most people will consider one adequate reason for believing that the 'Recognitions' borrowed from Bardesanes. [61] The Syriac original of Bardesanes 'contains various names and particulars pointing towards a Mesopotamian origin, which are obliterated partially in the Greek dialogue and still more in the Recognitions.' If, therefore, we considered the 'Recognitions' to be the original, we should have to suppose that Bardesanes took the matter from them and inserted these names and other particulars into his Syriac narrative as he went along. On the other hand, if the treatise or dialogue of Bardesanes (or his disciple) is the original, from which the writer of the 'Recognitions' borrowed these chapters, he did what was only natural, viz. dropped the allusions to Mesopotamia in giving the narrative its Greek dress, a process usual with a compiler such as the author of the 'Recognitions' appears to have been, and even with a mere translator who might wish to recommend the story to Western minds. Probably few scholars will hesitate which theory to adopt. So that the 9th book of the 'Recognitions' may be said with good reason to have been taken from the famous treatise of Bardesanes. (The consensus of scholars is in favour of the Eastern origin of the Clementine Romance as against Baur).

It only remains to determine the date of the original treatise or dialogue of Bardesanes. Now, there is a lengthy note of great value on this subject appended to an article by M. Priaulx (referred to in Hort) on 'Indian Embassies to Rome, from the Reign of Claudius to the Death of Justinian,' contributed to the 'Journal of the British Asiatic Society,' (1862, p. 289). The article is not written with reference to our present subject, but purely from an antiquarian point of view. M. Priaulx is showing reason why the date assigned to Bardesanes' writings by the early Christian writers is erroneous. His name is connected by these writers with Antoninus Pius, Antoninus Verus, and Marcus Antoninus, to whom Eusebius says Bardesanes presented a copy of his book, adding that he wrote it in consequence of the persecutions of the Christians by Marcus (A.D. 167-177), and about the time that Soter, Bishop of Rome, died (A.D. 179). Now, Bardesanes was born A.D. 154 (Edessene Chronicle). He was, therefore, only seven years old when Antoninus Pius died, and twenty-five when Soter died. But when he wrote the dialogue in question, or its substance (if it was that of his disciple Philip in its present form), he was able to allude to a former work of his, which makes it probable that he was in middle age. But there is a note of time, which forces us to place the earliest limit of the treatise considerably later. It says that 'as yesterday the Romans took Arabia and abrogated all their ancient laws, and more especially that circumcision with which they were circumcised.' This could only refer to the conquest by Trajan (167), or by Severus (196), (cf. Eutropius, iii 18), when Arabia was reduced to a province. In the one case Bardesanes would be only thirteen; consequently we must suppose that he wrote, not then, but soon after the death of Severus (A.D. 211).

If we suppose this treatise to have been written in 214, it would have been written 18 years after the conquest, and at the age of 60. Now, at that time the Emessine Elagabalus was on the throne, who specially affected the name of Antoninus. Nothing would be more natural than for Bardesanes to present his book to the emperor, and to address him as Antoninus, the name by which he was known in Syria. Further, it would be most probable that the Christians would know of the honour of the book being thus presented, whilst it would also be most natural that amongst subsequent writers a confusion should arise as tot he name Antoninus, as its application to Elagabalus was not known at that time, so far as we can tell, in Greece or Rome. Hence the mistaken transference of date to the time of the Antoninus in the second century by Eusebius and others.

By this ingenious conjecture, based on sound principles, new light seems to be thrown on the date of the 'Recognitions,' and Dr. Hort is probably quite correct in his estimate of that date. They could not have appeared at Rome until well into the third century. Consequently the theory of the writers with whom I have been dealing, as to Tertullian having adopted the incidental notice in the Clementine Romance about St. Clement having been appointed to the Chair of Peter, must be dismissed, and some other more solid ground for that writer's assertion must be adopted. No other needs to be sought than the list of the Bishops of Rome, which Hegesippus found in existence, whether orally or otherwise, in the middle oft he second century, which, according to Eusebius, made Linus, Anencletus, and Clement all successors of St. Peter. There would be no difficulty in supposing that St. Peter ordained Clement, whether we accepted St. Epiphanius' explanation or not.

IX. There is also no difficulty in supposing that the Clementine literature, on being introduced into the West, would contain what I may now assume to be the common tradition of the West as to St. Clement having been ordained by St. Peter, although thinking him to be the first successor, as an Eastern story well might; whereas the idea that, in order to depreciate St. Paul, the Ebionitish writer made Rome the See of Peter only, and so determined the whole future of the Church, first misleading the keen apologist Tertullian into assuming as the common teaching o the Church as heretical trick of less than twenty years' standing, is in the highest degree improbable from the view of merely natural criticism; but when we look at it from the supernatural view of the Church, as the Body of Christ and the home of the Spirit of Truth, and remember that, according to the admission of all, the Church of Rome, the leading Church from any point of view, the Churhc which, according to Dr. Lightfoot, owed her great position to her moral ascendency, as well as to her secular position: when, I say, we remember that she, the centre of the Christian world, adopted that view of her relationship to St. Peter which is implied in the supposition of this ordination, viz. that she is 'the chair of Peter,' then the theory that 'the corporate pride' of the Roman Christians led them to a guilty participation in a mere falsehood becomes quite untenable.

Novels are often based on facts, or at any rate contain a certain number of historical facts; and it is unreasonable to assume that every statement in the Clementine Romance is untrue because it is a work of fiction. Anyhow, Tertullian in A.D. 199 or 200, could not have derived his ideas from a romance which does not seem to have reached Rome before the time of Elagabalus, i.e. well into the third century. It results, then, from what has gone before, that

St. Irenaeus taught that, whilst the See of Rome was founded by the two Apostles, Peter and Paul, it was also in a special sense the See of Peter; that
so far as we can glean anything positive from Eusebius about the list of the Bishops of Rome, drawn up by Hegesippus in the midle of the second century, it also included a special relationship of St. Peter to that see; that
Tertullian, after or during his visit to Rome, wrote as an ascertained fact that St. Clement was ordained by St. Peter, although he does not say that he was his immediate successor; that
the Clementine literature reached Rome after Tertullian had left; and that
in its Western dress it wove into its tale the common tradition of the West to which Tertullian had made allusion.
Note: Since writing the above I have seen a very able essay on the Clementine literature in the 'Studia Biblica' (vol ii) edited by Professors Driver, Cheyne, and Sanday. The writer, Dr. Bigg, considers that Uhlhorn has conclusively proved the Eastern origin of this literature, and that 'there can be no reasonable doubt' that the work called the 'Homilies' was well known to the author o the 'Recognitions' (p. 183). He shows, as others before him, that there must have been an earlier form on which both the 'Homilies' and the 'Recognitions' drew, and says that this 'must not be fixed too early.'  He suggests about A.D. 200. But his only reason for this seems to be his assumption that 'the Clement legend,' in which he seems to include the ordination by Peter, was contained in the older form. Dr. Salmon, rightly, denied this (Dict of Chr Biog, article Clem. Lit. p. 511). Dr. Bigg admits that the argument against heathenism is of a late type. As yet, however, not a shadow of proof has been produced that the earlier original o the 'Homilies' and 'Recognitions' appeared at Rome. Much less can it be supposed, in the face of Rufinus' statement to the contrary, that the letter of St. Clement, which mentions his ordination by St. Peter, belonged to the earlier original. The 'Recognitions' is, obviously, the form in which the literature first appeared at Rome, and the said letter of Clement was, as Dr. Salmon says, 'the preface to the Recognitions' (Dict of Chr Biog, ibid).

Dr. Bigg gives a very plausible account of the reason of the circulation of this literature at Rome. He thinks that Alexander of Apamea brought with him to Rome, 'as a new Gospel, the volume which had been dedicated to Elxai among the Seres of Parthia by an angel 96 miles high. The particular article of this revelation, on which he relied for success, was a baptism which washed away all, even the most hideous sins, without any discipline or penance at all' ('Hom' xi, 26-7). Alexander arrived in the city of Rome during the reign of St. Callixtus (A.D. 219-222), in the midst of the storm about remission of sins after baptism, and 'such as improvement on the terms of Callixtus might be expected to win over many of the looser Christians.' [62]

Whatever may be thought of this ingenious conjecture, it suggests that there are other reasons for the popularity of this literature more probable than that given by Dr. Lightfoot and others. But even if all these critical difficulties could be solved, one irrefragable proof of the untenableness of the view against which I have been contending would still remain. According to that view, the Romans wished that their see should be the See of Peter rather than the See of the two Apostles. It seemed to them more honourable; it 'flattered their corporate pride,' says Dr. Lightfoot. But why, unless St. Peter was superior to St. Paul? The mere fact that St. Peter was first in order, but not in jurisdiction (primus inter pares), could never be a sufficient reason for dropping the name of St. Paul. The Romans were not Ebionites that they should despise St. Paul. They must, on Dr. Lightfoot's theory, have considered Peter, on independent grounds, head and shoulders above his brother Apostle, if, in less than 20 years, they could reverse their (supposed) former history, and claim for their see the name of Peter only. St. Paul tells us that 'he laboured more abundantly than they all'; how could St. Peter tower above St. Paul, except on the supposition that our Lord had appointed him to be the supreme ruler of the Church?

Our adversaries in this matter have to suppose the very point which they are concerned to deny, viz. the supremacy of Peter, in order to find a motive for the supposed adoption by the Romans of this Clementine literature as the guiding star of their local history."
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Offline Xavier

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CHAPTER 3: ST. IRENAEUS, OR THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE CHURCH OF ROME

The Epistle of St. Clement is alluded to in a remarkable passage in the work of St. Irenaeus against heresies. He has just given the Church's rule of faith, which is, agreement with the Church of Rome, by reason of her 'more powerful sovereignty' as compared with other Churches. He then proceeds to speak of one special instance of her exercise of sovereignty, viz. 'the letter of the Church in Rome to the Corinthians on behalf of (eis) peace,' which letter he describes as most adequate or powerful (Greek). He describes it -- according to one reading, the Church of Rome, according to another, her letter (Haer lib iii, 3, 2) -- as 'forcing them together (Greek) and renewing their faith,' delivering 'the tradition which it had recently received from the Apostles,' i.e. St. Peter and St. Paul.

I. In the passage of which this is the sequel, St. Irenaeus, I have said, gives the Catholic rule of faith. Nothing can be more clear and simple. It is, ultimately, agreement with Rome. The deposit of the faith was delivered by our Lord to the Apostolic College; and if we wish to know what that faith is, we have only to consult an Apostolic Church. But the easiest way of all is to consult the Church of Rome, because all must agree with, or (which comes to the same thing) have recourse to, that Church. She was founded by two Apostles, the most glorious of all, so the saint avers, and her Church is the most renowned and the greatest of all. She has a more powerful sovereignty than the rest, and by reason of this, all other Churches must have recourse to, or agree with her, so that in her, by union with her, the faithful everywhere have preserved the deposit of revealed truth.

Such is the plain teaching of our saint, who united in himself such special qualifications for expressing the Church's rule of faith. St. Irenaeus combines the experience of East and West, and united the second century with apostolic times. He was an Eastern and had been trained by St. Polycarp, who himself had sat at the feet of St. John. And he was a Western bishop.

In the treatise from which the summary of his teaching, just given, is taken, he is engaged in pointing out the way in which the Christian faith may be known. Dr. Lightfoot observes that, in this second century, 'the episcopate is regarded now not so much as the centre of ecclesiastical unity, but rather as the depositary of apostolic tradition.' The two things, however, go hand in hand. St. Irenaeus himself mentions them together in specifying the effects of St. Clement's letter as 'compelling them to unity and renewing their faith' (Haer lib iii, 3).  It was as the guardian of the faith that the Church of Rome presided over the Universal Church. St. Ignatius speaks of her as 'presiding in the place of the region of the Romans' (an expression which indicates not the extent, but the centre of her presiding authority), and says that she presides 'over the [covenant of] love.' Dr. Lightfoot translates this 'in love' instead of 'over the love,' and understands the love, not as the supernatural gift of the Holy Ghost, but as 'practical goodness,' in a word, philanthropy, instancing her great generosity in alms. But Dr. Dollinger appears to be right in regarding 'the love' as the equivalent of 'the Church.' [63] And it was as the guardian of the faith that the Church of Rome presided over the covenant of divine love. This involved her being the centre of unity; for it is of the essence of the guardianship of the faith that those only should be admitted into the one teaching body, or remain in it, who hold the one faith, and this involves a central authority and source of decision.

Now this is what also results from the famous passage of St. Irenaeus quoted above. The Church of Rome has a sovereignty, and it is connected with the preservation of the faith.

II. But, as Dr. Dollinger says, 'For three hundred years there have not been wanting writers who have endeavoured to wrest these words from their evident meaning' (German title, 1833). I shall here only deal with such as have been adopted by writers in this country. But first, I will give the translation ordinarily adopted by Catholic writers, amongst whom I am glad to be able to number Tillemont and Bossuet.

'It is necessary that every Church, that is, the faithful who are everywhere, should agree with this Church [in Rome]; in which that tradition which is from the Apostles has been preserved by those who are everywhere.'

To this rendering exception has been taken in the following particulars --

(a) It is said that St. Irenaeus does not say that every Church must agree with the Church of Rome, but must resort to it, and that by every Church is meant the individuals amongst the faithful who find their way to the city of Rome. [64]

Now, it may be admitted that the words convenire ad may mean physical recourse, but it must be remembered that it is to the Church, not to the city of Rome that this centripetal movement is said to be 'of necessity.' And it is every Church which must resort to the Church of Rome. The following words -- 'those who are from all sides' -- explain, but must not be allowed to explain away, the word Church. It is as organised communities, not as individual men of business, that every Church must resort to the Church of Rome. The necessity also can hardly be that which arises from the fact that Rome was the centre of secular life. Men who came to hawk their wares, or consult the market, or plead their civil causes, are hardly the persons likely to promote the integrity of the faith. Whilst such men as Hegesippus found their way to Rome, men like Alexander of Apamea did the same. And, as a rule, it is either the wealthy, or the secular-minded, or the ne'-er-do-wells of a community who bend their steps to the metropolis, and this would not contribute to the preservation of the faith. The mere fact of a confluence of streams will not keep the waters sweet; there must be some preservative power in the centre.

Nor is there any need to see in the word 'necessary' anything more than a deep-seated attraction which drew men to the Church of Rome on another ground. The word used by St. Irenaeus is the regular word in ecclesiastical Latin, as is the corresponding word in Greek, for such necessity. St. Cyril uses it as expressing the obligation under which he lay of writing to the Pope about Nestorius. [65]

It is, therefore, more natural to translate convenire ad as 'agree with' [66] and to understand necesse est of that necessity which arose from the commanding position of the Church of Rome and the supernatural operation of the Holy Ghost. But even if we translate convenire ad 'resort to,' it must be borne in mind that a necessary resort of all Churches to the Church of Rome implies supremacy in the latter.

(b) To what was the commanding position of the Church of Rome due according to St. Irenaeus? Our answer is, to its superior sovereignty, as not only an apostolic but, as in after times it was called, the Apostolic Church; to its having, as St. Irenaeus puts it, been founded by the two most glorious Apostles, to which we must add the fact that one of those two most glorious Apostles was he to whom the Lord has said, 'Thou art Peter,' which signifies a special association with the Rock of Ages.

Dr. Pusey and Mr. Keble understood by the word 'sovereignty,' merely primitiveness or origin. They saw that the words must apply to the Church, and not to the city. Dr. Dollinger completely shattered to atoms this same translation, as given by Gieseler. ' (German text given) He scouts the idea that such as 'illogical conclusion ever entered the mind of St. Irenaeus'; and he shows that the word 'principalitas' means in Irenaeus' writings 'supreme authority,' and points out that Rome was not the oldest Church (German title, p. 357). Indeed, it may be added that St. Irenaeus expressly calls Jerusalem, the mother Church in point of antiquity (Haer iii, 12, 5).

(c) But whilst understanding the 'principality' as meaning sovereignty, others, as Mr. Puller, understand it of the imperial position of the city. But this is absolutely excluded by the context. It is the apostolic origin of any Church that gives it, according to St. Irenaeus, its commanding position; it is the specially apostolic character of the Church of Rome that gives it its peculiar position amongst the apostolic Churches. Bossuet calls such as interpretation as that given by Mr. Puller 'trifling' with the matter; Hefele calls it 'ridiculous' (lacherlich); Perrone, 'most absurd.' For, as Bossuet says, St. Irenaeus was speaking, in the previous sentence, of the Church of Rome as founded by the Apostles Peter and Paul, not in her imperial aspect. And the words 'more powerful' imply comparison with the Churches ('every Church') which he has mentioned in the same breath, and with which he contrasts the Church of Rome as 'the most ancient and the most universally known.'

(d) Some writers, as Mr. Gore and Mr. Puller, have laid great stress on the word translated 'everywhere.' It is literally 'from all sides.' And they seem to imagine that this suggests the picture of an assemblage of the faithful from all quarters in the city of Rome. But it may equally represent the view of a writer regarding the faithful as living in all quarters of the globe, and connected with the centre not by physical movement, but by the tie of a common faith. It is, however, certain that the word is used by the Latin interpreter, and that the corresponding word in Greek was also used by St. Irenaeus (for in this case we have the original in the Bodleian MS), for 'everywhere' simply. St. Irenaeus speaks of the four Gospels as 'breathing, or blowing, incorruptibility everywhere and revivifying men.' The word for 'everywhere' used here is the same as in the passage we have been considering; [67] and it is obvious that it means a radiation from a centre, not vice versa.

Further, St. Irenaeus does not say that the apostolic tradition was preserved through these merchants, and lawyers, and appellants, and heretics, and faithful, that gathered haphazard to the city of Rome, but by them -- which reduces the supposition that he meant these business travellers at all to an absurdity.

Once more, the interpretation given by Canon Bright, viz. that the principalitas was 'a sort of primacy' involving a moral guarantee of its soundness of belief, which led St. Irenaeus to say that every Church was itself true to apostolic tradition "must needs agree with it" -- implies the very doctrine which he is endeavouring to exclude. For it must be asked: If all orthodox Churches are necessarily found to be in agreement with the Church of Rome, what is this but ascribing infallibility to that Church? This, indeed, is what St. Irenaeus does ascribe to Rome, an ascendency in matters of faith which makes her teaching the test and norm of the Catholic faith. And so he goes on to show that as a matter of fact other Churches, such as Smyrna and Ephesus, do agree with Rome (Mr. Puller has misunderstood this passage).

(e) Lastly, it has been objected that the words 'in which' (in qua) may refer to 'every Church,' and not to the Church of Rome. But this, again, necessitates the absurdity of supposing that every orthodox Church is necessarily in agreement with Rome, and yet that Rome is not infallible, or the equal absurdity of supposing that the chance business men who found their way to Rome for secular purposes kept Rome right in the faith -- or the people, for instance, who brought with them the Clementine Romance. The words in qua are well explained by Dr. Dollinger, as stating that the faithful throughout the world were 'in' the Church of Rome -- that is, in communion with it as the centre of unity. The corresponding word in Greek would be that which is used by St. Paul of our being 'in Christ,' and the exact phrase of the Latin interpreter, whose translation is all that we have of this passage in St. Irenaeus, is used by the African bishop, St. Optatus, whose work St. Augustine recommended, viz. 'in which one chair [i.e. the chair of Peter] unity might be preserved,' i.e. that in communion with this one chair, etc. (German given in note, p. 358).

The plain and simple meaning, therefore, of St. Irenaeus remains in possession. All Churches must agree with the Church of Rome, so that if you know the faith of the Church of Rome you know the faith of the whole Christian Church.

To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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Offline abc123

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Since Vatican II is not ex cathedra, only a blind man would think it falls under Vatican I's definition of Papal Infallibility. Both Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI have said it does not - as if it needed to be said.



Amazing. Simply amazing.

God bless you, Kreuzritter. You have infinitely more patience than I do. Statements such as the above are why I gave up trying to answer Xavier long ago. I don't know if it is stupidity or plain bad faith and obstinacy. I should hope it is the former.
"I once laboured hard for the free will of man until the grace of God at length overcame me."- St. Augustine
 

Offline Xavier

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From: http://catholicismhastheanswer.com/vatican-ii-must-be-clarified/

"There will be no infallible definitions. All that was done by former Councils. That is enough." -Pope John XXIII, Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, 11 October 1962

"There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility."  -Pope Paul VI, Weekly General Audience, 12 January 1966

"Differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral." -Pope Paul VI, General Audience, 6 August 1975

"The Second Vatican Council solemnly declared in its Constitution on the Church that all the teachings of the Council are in full continuity with the teachings of former councils. Moreover, let us not forget that the canons of the Council of Trent and of Vatican I are de fide, whereas none of the decrees of Vatican II are de fide;The Second Vatican Council was pastoral in nature. Cardinal Felici rightly stated that the Credo solemnly proclaimed by Pope Paul VI at the end of the Year of Faith is from a dogmatic point of view much more important than the entire Second Vatican Council. Thus, those who want to interpret certain passages in the documents of Vatican II as if they implicitly contradicted definitions of Vatican I or the Council of Trent should realize that even if their interpretation were right, the canons of the former councils would overrule these allegedly contradictory passages of Vatican II, because the former are de fide, the latter not." -Dietrich Von Hildebrand

"Dietrich von Hildebrand is the 20th century Doctor of the Church." -Venerable Pope Pius XII

“When the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century is written the name of Dietrich Von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time.” –Pope Benedict XVI

"Certainly the results of Vatican II seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI: expected was a new Catholic unity and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which has developed for the most part under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result therefore seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Catholic Church."  -Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Now Pope Benedict XVI), L'Osservatore Romano, 24 December 1984

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest."  -Cardinal Ratzinger (Now Pope Benedict XVI), address to the Chilean Bishops, 13 July 1988, Santiago Chile
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 10:44:50 AM »
"CHAPTER VI.
ST. CYPRIAN ON APPEALS TO BOMB.


I. The essential points, then, in the teaching of St. Cyprian on the Unity of the Church are these. Every Christian finds himself under the rule of one pastor, who has to give an account of his rule to the one Lord of all (Ep. lv. B. lii.). To this one pastor or bishop the faithful in that district owe obedience in matters of faith and discipline.

But this bishop is one of a compact body visibly united by intercommunion with all the rest ; and he derives his authority from the words of our Lord to St. Peter in Matthew xvi. 18. He is part of a stream whose united volume flows through the ages from that apostolic source.1 He must be an accepted member of the great brotherhood of the ' one episcopate 1 a The episcopate is one body, and when one bishop has been regularly appointed to a district, no one can come in after him and claim the authority of Peter.3

These were the two points on which it was necessary to lay unequivocal and almost exclusive stress at the time when St. Cyprian wrote his treatise on Unity. The encroachments of some of the martyrs and confessors on the office of the head of the diocese in which those who applied to them lived, placed that office in jeopardy in the early part of his episcopate ; in the second, the legitimate occupancy of the See of Borne was questioned by Novatus and Novatian. The question could not be determined by any reference to the rights of the Bishop of Rome when once elected ; it was the legitimacy of his election which was in dispute. This St. Cyprian decided by asking who was the acknowledged bishop already in possession, legitimately elected, and in communion with the whole brotherhood of the legitimate clergy throughout the world.

The Church, he maintained, cannot be likened to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.1 He expressly repudiated this state of things as a type of what could happen in the Church of Christ. The Church, he says, in effect, as he sets aside this discord under the Old Covenant, has an external visible unity of her bishops ; not because they themselves are visible, but because they are visibly united. (' De Unit. Eccles.' § 6). He recurs to this contrast between the Old and New covenants in his letter to Magnus (Ep. lxix. B. lxxvL), and maintains that, so far from the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah being in any typical and ecclesiastical sense like the Christian Church,* our Lord's words about the Samaritans show that the ten tribes were not members of one kingdom in the sense in which people must be one in the Christian Church.

1 "The Lord ratifieth us in His Gospel, that those same who had then severed themselves from the tribes of Judah and Jerusalem, and, having left Jerusalem, had withdrawn to Samaria, should be reckoned amongst profane and heathen" 9 (Zoo. cit. § 5). The further question, as to the instrument and guardian of episcopal unity, did not at this period of his life call for any detailed treatment on the part of our saint. This question, however, is plainly answered in his writings. For the whole authority of the episcopate is traced to Peter, not, indeed, to the exclusion of the other Apostles, but as to their head, their representative, and summary. And allusions to the See of Peter occur precisely on those occasions when it would be natural for the topic of the centre or source of unity to come into incidental notice. When the five schismatics sailed to Borne, to try and hoodwink the Pope as to their number and importance, St. Cyprian expresses his security that they will not succeed, for they are going to the very see which is the source of episcopal unity—' the chair of Peter and the Sovereign Church, whence episcopal unity took its rise.'

And when he is persuading a brother-bishop that Cornelius is the legitimate occupant of that see, and he comes to the point where he has to insist on the fact that Cornelius superseded no one else, but that the see was vacant, he calls the see by its Christian name, • the place of Peter.' It was at once a Christian see and a special see, 9 the place of Fabian, that is, the place of Peter, and the rank of the sacerdotal chair was vacant.9
1
The See of Borne was thus in one respect the same as every other see, i.e., in respect to the Sacerdotium ; it was a ' sacerdotal chair,' but it was also, in its own way, 1 the place of Peter.' And his whole attitude towards that see was up to this time one of peculiar respect, deference, and veneration, as the centre of the Church's visible unity.

I shall now examine his teaching on appeals to Borne.

II. A fact that must strike us at once is that St. Cyprian denounced in no measured terms a certain small body of schismatics who repaired to Borne in the hope of persuading St. Cornelius, the Pope, that they were true bishops. But whilst the fact that they repaired thither showed their knowledge of the value set on Bome's favourable judgment, their idea was not in the least that of an appeal in the regular sense of that term. The circumstances were as follows. An heretical bishop, named Privatus, who had been con- demned by ninety bishops, had come to Carthage and made one Fortunatus bishop over the Novatianists there. He had gathered round him four men whom St. Cyprian called 1 at the outset 'desperate and abandoned.9

They were Felix, made bishop outside the Church, and Jovinus and Maximus, who had been condemned first by nine bishops, and then had been excommunicated a year since by a larger council—by 'very many of us.' These were joined by one named Bepostus, who had lapsed into idolatry during persecution.

These five men (says St. Cyprian), joined by ' a few who have either sacrificed or have evil consciences, chose Fortunatus to be their pseudo-bishop.'

It was thus a little body which had no standing in the Church and no right of appeal. Sailing to Borne was a piece of impudence which
our saint justly denounced as such.

These ' desperate and abandoned ' fellows, as he calls them more than once, informed the Pope that twenty-five bishops were present at the ordination of Fortunatus. They had made the boast in Carthage itself that as many as twentyfive Catholic bishops were about to assist from Numidia.

' In which lie,' says St. Cyprian, '.when they were afterwards detected and put to shame (five only who had made shipwreck of the faith having met together, and these excom- municated by us), they then sailed to Borne with their merchandise of lies, as though the truth could not sail after them and convict their false tongues by proof of the real fact.' 2 Such were the circumstances under which St. Cyprian very naturally, and with no prejudice to the general principle of appeals to Borne, invoked the decision of the African bishops that causes should be heard in Africa itself. These men were condemned criminals, condemned for moral delin- quencies and heresy, and they did not repair to Borne to re- open the case of their own crimes, but to persuade Borne that they had at their back an imposing array of bishops, and that Cyprian was dealing unjustly with the lapsed.3 They said nothing about their past condemnation, of which St. Cyprian, therefore, had to inform the Pope. Their cause had been heard, and sentence had been passed against them.

Fortunatus himself was only a pseudo-bishop; he was, in reality, a presbyter under Cyprian's jurisdiction. As such he had no right of appeal straight to Rome, if indeed at all, under the peculiar regulations of the African province. 1 Anyhow, if he wished this sentence reversed, his obvious duty was first to clear himself in Africa, and then at least to observe the proper form of appeal. Instead of this, "having had a pseudo-bishop ordained for them by heretics, they dare to set sail and to carry letters from schismatic and profane per- sons to the chair of Peter and the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood has taken its rise, remembering not that they are the same Romans whose faith has been commended by the Apostle, to whom faithlessness can have no access." On one only plea, according to St. Cyprian, could such a transgression of the Church's laws be even imagined by any one to be justifiable —i.e. on the supposition (absurd enough) that the authority of the legitimate African bishops, who had tried and condemned them, was insufficient in point of numbers as compared with these ' desperate and abandoned ' men. It was this on which they had laid stress. But it was false.

They had been twice condemned, on the last occasion by a numerous assembly of legitimate bishops. These men themselves were neither legitimate bishops nor numerous. They were desperate and abandoned men, and few.2 Those who judged them were sufficient in point of number and of weight.

' For,' as St. Cyprian continues,3 ' if the number of those who passed sentence on them last year 4 is reckoned together with the presbyters and deacons, more were then present at the judgment and trial than these same men who are now seen to be joined with Fortunatus.' St. Cyprian, in his reasoning here, in no way offends against the general principle of appeals to Rome as formulated in the Vatican decrees.1 He is dealing with a particular case in which the appellants, if such they could be called, had no standing in the Church and no ground of appeal.

III. On the other hand, in dealing with the case of an heretical bishop in Gaul, St. Cyprian distinctly acted on the supposition that the Pope was the proper person to set in motion the excommunication of the leading bishop in that region."
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 10:58:17 AM »
It would seem that St. Stephen, who had succeeded to the throne of Peter after the martyrdom of Lucius, had been slow to use his authority to the extent required, as St. Cyprian thought, in a case that was now brought before him.

Marcian, Bishop of Aries, had withdrawn from the communion of the Church and attached himself to Novatian. He boasted that he had not been excommunicated, but had himself withdrawn, and no new bishop had been appointed. Application had been made to the Pope by the bishops of the province, but, for reasons which we cannot tell, he had not as yet acted in the matter. Accordingly, Faustinus, Bishop of Lyons, who belonged to the same province,2 had on his own account communicated with St. Cyprian, whose fiery nature was calculated to hasten a matter over which St. Stephen was taking his time. We often think the physician can attend to us and heal us more quickly than is perhaps possible.

St. Cyprian wrote to the Pope and reminded him that the management of such a matter belonged to the episcopate,3 and, as he implies, the requisite aid in this case could only come from St. Stephen himself. St. Cyprian urged St. Stephen to effect this. He therefore urged the Pope to write ' letters of plenary authority [lit. most full letters l ] by means of which, Marcian being excommunicated, another may be substituted in his place.' He presses the Pope to immediate action on the ground that bishops have no ' greater or better office ' to perform ' than by diligent solicitude and wholesome remedies to provide for cherishing and preserving the sheep.' He likens the flock at Aries to sailors who need another harbour, owing to the unsafety of their present one—and this new harbour he wishes St. Stephen to provide.

They are like travellers whose inn is beset and occupied by robbers, and who seek other safer inns in their journey. These safer inns and this safer harbour ought, St. Cyprian contends, to be provided by St. Stephen by letters of excommunication—'letters by which, Marcian having been excommunicated, another may be substituted in his place.' It was not advice that the bishops of Gaul needed ; St. Cyprian could give that. That, indeed, was all for which St. Cyprian himself was asked, and his reply was his urgent request to St. Stephen that he would, not advise, but direct letters of excommunication. The excommunication of a bishop was no new matter ; but as the martyrs of Vienne and Lyons had called to the Pope to aid them, so now the bishops of Gaul had appealed to the Pope, and to their thinking had been left too long without the requisite aid.

St. Cyprian, therefore, reminds St. Stephen that Marcian was trading on the lack of a formal excommunication, as though ' he had not been excommunicated by us.' It only needed, in Cyprian's judgment, formal letters of excommunication to be issued by Stephen, with a mandate to elect a bishop in his place. He therefore asks him to comply with his prayer, and to notify with whom they are henceforth to communicate.

St. Cyprian, indeed, not only by this request to the Pope concerning letters of excommunication and letters of communion, but by an incidental expression also, shows what position St. Stephen occupied in his theory of Church government. Marcian was to be formally excommunicated because of his Novatian teaching. 'Let him not give, but receive sentence* (§ 4).

Accordingly, St. Cyprian urges upon St. Stephen that his predecessors in the see (' our * predecessors, he calls them, so full is he of the perfect unity of the Church) had given judgment on Novatian's teaching. They, he says i.e. Popes Cornelius and Lucius, whom he has just mentioned by name 4 they, full of the Spirit of God and in the midst of 1 a glorious martyrdom, decided that communion (pax) should be granted to the lapsed, and by their own letters they sealed their decision that the fruit of communion and peace was not to be denied them when penance had been done ; which we all everywhere altogether judged. For there could not be a difference of thought (diversus sensus) amongst us, seeing that there was one Spirit in us' (in quibus unus esset Spiritus). I do not see how one could better express the mutual relations between the Holy See and the rest of the Church, and the common charisma of infallibility possessed by the Pope and the Church, than in these golden words. What do they teach ? They say that the Popes decided the question, full of the Holy Ghost ; that the whole Church agreed, and that it could not be otherwise, considering they were under the influence of the same Spirit (cf. p. 830).

Accordingly, St. Cyprian says that St. Stephen is bound to honour the judgments of his predecessors by his own 1 weight and authority.' * Marcian, therefore, will be deposed, and the name of his successor notified by the authority of the Pope. Marcian's name disappeared from the diptychs.* IV. Once more, before the turn in his life, St. Cyprian showed his acceptance of the principle of Papal jurisdiction. I say the principle, for he objected to the particular exercise in this case. tfwo bishops had been deposed in Spain for having taken out certificates of idolatry 1 during the late persecution. Their names were Basilides and Martial. Moreover two bishops had been appointed in their place, Sabinus and Felix. Basilides, and probably Martial also, appealed to Borne. Obviously it was not the first time that such an appeal had been made.

St. Stephen, as St. Clement before him, restored them, or ordered them to be restored to communion, whether by reason of the irregularity with which their case had been conducted, bishops having been appointed in their place without his cognisance (which St. Cyprian's words in Martian's case [p. 71] show to be an irregular proceeding), or whether St. Stephen was simply taken in by Basilides' state- ment, we do not know, as the necessary evidence is not forth- coming. But several bishops of the region appear to have accepted the Pope's ruling, and communicated with Basilides and Martial ; and accordingly Felix and Sabinus looked round about for help in the shape of counsel and advice as to what they were to do. This is expressly stated by Cyprian.

To him they naturally went for such help, considering the prominent part he had taken in the matter of the lapsed during persecution. St. Cyprian held a council and advised their people to cling to them as their real bishops. The probability is, as Baronius thought, that these two were sent to Rome with the conciliar letter to help towards their acceptance by the Pope.

The important point, however, for us is the way in which our saint dealt with the authority of the Pope. He nowhere denies it as a matter of principle, but he sees some restriction in it's claim to obedience. He considered that the Pope had been overreached, and says that although there was some fault in this in the way of negligence, the real sin lay at the door of the bishop who had deceived the Pope.2 He is describing the aim of this bishop—it was 'to be replaced unjustly in his episcopate from which he had been rightly deposed.'

Not a word has St. Cyprian to Bay against the possibility of a bishop being replaced in his bishopric by the Pope.

Had our saint held the view that the Pope could not restore a bishop who had been deposed by his surrounding colleagues, it must have appeared. But no, the power of St. Stephen is not for a moment questioned. It is the certainty of Basilides' crimes that is put forward as the ground for considering the restoration null and void.1 The injustice consisted in the certainty of his crimes. St. Cyprian writes with some emotion—indeed, to some extent, without the self-restraint which one would desire ; but he does not even remotely hint at any lack of authority on the part of the Pope. He says that he is ' far away and unaware of the true state of the case' (§ 5), not that he is assuming a power which he does not possess. Instead of settling the matter by that obvious rejoinder, he holds a council and decides that St. Stephen has been deceived by false statements, and that Basilides, so far from deserving reinstatement in his bishopric, has only added to his crimes by the falsehoods he has told the Pope. For the position of Basilides is really one, says St. Cyprian, which had been provided for by Pope Cornelius and the rest of the bishops.

So that our saint is avowedly acting under the shelter of a Papal decision with which the whole Church had agreed (§ 6). It is unfortunate that we have no sufficient evidence on which to form a judgment as to the whole case. We have only Cyprian's side. And he does not exhibit a very judicial tone of mind, so far as the scanty record goes. There is no appearance of his having consulted St. Stephen on the matter at all, which, whatever the latter's position, would, to say the least, have been a matter of courtesy. We do not know on what grounds St. Stephen formed his judgment, nor what exactly his judgment was. St. Cyprian's own account is taken only from the aggrieved party. And if St. Stephen could be deceived, so could St. Cyprian. And if, as the latter says, St. Stephen was too far off, St. Cyprian was further off. The intercourse between Rome and Spain was greater than that between Spain and Carthage; and Spain was more closely connected from a civil as well as ecclesiastical point of view, with Rome than with Carthage. And why did Felix and Sabinus go to Carthage instead of to Borne, where they might have disabused the Pope of his prejudice, if such it was, against their case? St. Stephen's character was, according to St. Vincent of Lerins, that of a ' holy and prudent ' man.

According to St. Dionysius, he assisted all parts of Arabia and Syria by his letters. 1 We have a right, therefore, to suspend our judgment as to his negligence, on the principle of * audi alteram partem.' What we gather for certain from the letter of Cyprian is, that in spite of some vehemence, he did not dispute the principle that the Pope could, where just cause existed, restore a deposed bishop of Spain. The editors of Migne's magnificent collection of the whole literature on the subject endorse the supposition of Baronius, that Felix and Sabinus went with the letter of the Carthaginian synod to Rome, and that St. Cyprian's intent was to move St. Stephen to sanction the deposition of Basilides and Martial.

But in point of fact our materials are insufficient for understanding the matter fully, and we do not know the sequel. It looks as if it would not be difficult for the Evil One to produce a rupture between these two saints, one of whom was full of holy vehemence, and the other of holy prudence.

' Coming events cast their shadow before.'deference does seem to be paid to him, not on account of bis near- ness only ; be exercises an eminent authority, although only [sic] as the executive of the rules of the Universal Church.' But the most recent anti-Papal writer 1 contends that it was only for the sake of obtaining St. Stephen's advice for these bewildered bishops of Gaul that St. Cyprian wrote. Our saint, however, says nothing about advice. He is, indeed, made to speak of advice by this writer's translation, according to whom the words, ' It is ours to advise and come in aid ' are the equivalent of the Latin ' cui rei nostrum est consulere et subvenire ' ! * It is easy after such a manipulation of the text to make out that ' St. Cyprian presses on Stephen the duty of writing a Utter of counsel and help.' But, even if this writer's incorrect translation of the above words could be passed, the words could not be considered exhaustive of what St. Cyprian wished from the Pope. A letter of counsel and help is not exactly the equivalent of ' letters to the province,' whereby, Marcian being ' excommunicated, another may be substituted in his place.'

Yet these are what St. Cyprian asks the Pope to send. And, again, letters to ' signify plainly to us who has been substituted at Aries in the room of Marcianus [loc. cit. § 6], that we may know to whom we should direct our brethren and to whom we should write,' are something more than mere counsel and advice. They imply an 1 eminent authority."
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!). http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 12:03:27 PM »
Quote
St. Clement of Rome affirms the Holy Ghost is speaking through him

Outright lies!

The Epistle in Section 63 reads as follows:

Joy and gladness will you afford us, if you become obedient to the words written by us and through the Holy Spirit root out the lawless wrath of your jealousy according to the intercession which we have made for peace and unity in this letter.



 

Offline Sempronius

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Re: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 01:11:36 PM »

Since Vatican II is not ex cathedra, only a blind man would think it falls under Vatican I's definition of Papal Infallibility. Both Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI have said it does not - as if it needed to be said.



Amazing. Simply amazing.

God bless you, Kreuzritter. You have infinitely more patience than I do. Statements such as the above are why I gave up trying to answer Xavier long ago. I don't know if it is stupidity or plain bad faith and obstinacy. I should hope it is the former.

Its perfectly legitimate to state that Vatican 2 isnt dogmatic. If its that hard to accept the opinion of most people on this forum then you are free to go. And please take Kreuzritter with you, then both of you can thump your breasts and say ”Thank you God for not making us like those pitiful papists”
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Fr. Luke Rivington: The Primitive Church and the See of Peter, 1894 Book.
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 03:10:20 PM »

Since Vatican II is not ex cathedra, only a blind man would think it falls under Vatican I's definition of Papal Infallibility. Both Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI have said it does not - as if it needed to be said.



Amazing. Simply amazing.

God bless you, Kreuzritter. You have infinitely more patience than I do. Statements such as the above are why I gave up trying to answer Xavier long ago. I don't know if it is stupidity or plain bad faith and obstinacy. I should hope it is the former.

Its perfectly legitimate to state that Vatican 2 isnt dogmatic. If its that hard to accept the opinion of most people on this forum then you are free to go. And please take Kreuzritter with you, then both of you can thump your breasts and say ”Thank you God for not making us like those pitiful papists”

Most people? Last time I checked there were plenty Sedevacantists here who don’t accept your private-judgment-based opinion. In any case, it’s irrelevant to the point. Refusal to submit to the magisterium of Pope Francis and of a council signed and affirmed by every ordinary of the Catholic Church, dogmatic or not, on the basis of private judgment of the status and content of their teaching is precisely what makes Xavier a hypocrite and logically inconsistent in his invective.