Calling the best apologists.......Answer to Mormons


#1

How should I answer this Mormon intelligently who said this to me about the early Catholic Church authority and history?..

“We have bishops quarreling over who gets to be in charge for centuries with no way to pass on the authority of a bishop (succession can only be vertical. It cannot be horizontal, so bishops cannot ordain other bishops. Only apostles can ordain bishops.) When they finally get straightened out (with Constantine’s help), they decide the collective bishopric has the power to then ordain other bishops. Paul also chewed Peter out and argued against him, ultimately getting his way. The deeper you look into the church pre-325, the more discord you find. It took the threat of exile just to get a majority of bishops to agree on the correct perception of the relationship of God to Jesus, and that was achieved just because the biggest “homoousios” supporter in the room (they were a vast minority prior to Nicea) happened to be Constantine’s right hand man, so he got Constantine to threaten those who didn’t sign on with banishment. Some bishops tried to change the text to “homoiosios” (like substance) when they went up to sign, but they were caught and banished. Just because one guy says, “Oh, yeah, the church I’m trying to defend was unified,” doesn’t mean all the other evidence is void.”


#2

Wow, did he say all of that without taking a breath! :eek:

Seriously though, you could ask him what point is he trying to make. It’s no revelation to us that the Curch which Jesus founded was and is made up of fallible people - Peter denied Him three times and only John of all the apostles was at the foot of the cross. If he wishes to discuss things about the Catholic Church which puzzle him get him to ask you one question at a time; not a scatter-gun of questions. If you don’t know the answer tell him that honestly and then go and try to find the answer either here or by doing some research yourself. If he is going to make claims that go back nearly 2000 years about the Catholic church it’s up to him to provide you with the original sources for the claims for you to study.

Good luck. I’ll keep your efforts in my prayers.


#3

I don’t understand the “bishops can’t ordain bishops” argument. The Apostles ordained their successors who ordained their successors and so on. The bishops today are the successors of the Apostles through Apostolic Succession. So, that is an area in which he seriously is mistaken.

catholic.com/library/apostolic_succession.asp

The Bishop of Rome is also a successor of an Apostle, the Apostle Peter, of course. We have had a documented unbroken line of Apostolic Succession for 2,000+ years coming straight from St. Peter. Here is a list of all of the Popes from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI:

newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm


#4

I would also ask this person in what year the Great Apostasy occurred. I can never get a definitive answer to that one. Since Mormonism rests its claims on the idea that the Catholic Church went into apostasy, you’d think they’d have a clear argument documenting when that happened to support their claims to authority. But, they have no such thing. :shrug:

The “homoousios” comments are referring to the condemnation of Arianism. This person seems to think that Arians were just another group of Christians within the Church who had differing opinions about the nature of Christ’s divinty. Not so! Arians were an heretical sect outside the Church. Because the number of people being deceived by the errors of this heresy was growing, the Church called the Council of Nicaea to condemn this *outside *heresy and emphasize the teaching about Christ’s divinity that the Church had always had, that it had received in the inerrant and unchanging Deposit of Faith. The Council was not called to debate the issue of Christ’s nature and vote. I think that’s what this person thinks! :stuck_out_tongue:


closed #5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.