Do the church fathers say Peter is the rock?


Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is?
Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

I have been told many times in this forum, that the catholic church is the true church because christ founded it upon peter, it would seem more likely that he was referring to his confession than to peter him self.

He speaks from this time lowly things, on his way to His passion, that He might show His humanity. For He that hath built His church upon Peter’s confession, and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it…(Sant Chrysostom, On Matthew, Homily 82.3, p. 494).

The one foundation which the apostolic architect laid is our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this stable and firm foundation, which has itself been laid on solid ground, the Church of Christ is built…For the Church was founded upon a rock…upon this rock the Lord established his Church; and the apostle Peter received his name FROM this rock (Mt. 16.18) (Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 7.25,).

This is that firm and immovable faith upon which, as upon the rock whose surname you bear, the Church is founded. Against this the gates of hell, the mouths of heretics, the machines of demons—for they will attack—will not prevail. They will take up arms but they will not conquer (Homily on the Transfiguration, M.P.G., Vol. 96, Col. 554-555).

In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. (The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations Chapter 20.1).

And since all 30,000 protestant denominations hold to Peter’s confession that Jesus is the christ the son of the living God the catholic church has no more right than any other church to claim that Jesus was talking about them.


The Church teaches that it is founded upon St. Peter himself and the faith he professed. From the Catechism:

424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." Christ, the “living Stone”, thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

You can find quotes from the ECF’s over here:


Let us look at a quick summary of the way that the Church Fathers interpreted that verse -
**“Thou are Peter and upon this rock…” **

Archbishop Kenrick of Saint Louis, who was one of America’s
extraordinary bishops, was opposed to the doctrine of
papal infallibilty and at the First Vatican Council
in 1869 he voted against it. He wanted to deliver
a speech against the proposed doctrine at the Council
but instead he ceased to attend the Council meetings.

In his speech prepared for, but not delivered in, the
Vatican Council, and published at Naples in 1870,
he declares that Roman Catholics cannot establish
the Petrine privilege from Scripture, because of the
clause in the Creed of Pius IV, binding them to
interpret Scripture only according to the unanimous
consent of the Fathers.

And he adds that there are five different patristic
interpretations of St. Matt. 16:18

Let’s look at how the Church Fathers line up over this verse:

1…“That St. Peter is the Rock” is taught
by seventeen (17) Fathers

2…That the whole Apostolic College is the Rock,
represented by Peter as its chief,
is taught by eight (8) Church Fathers

3…That St. Peter’s faith is the Rock,
is taught by forty-four (44) Church Fathers

4…That Christ is the Rock,
is taught by sixteen Fathers (16)

5…That the rock is the whole body of the faithful.
Archbp. Kendrick gives no figure.

Archbishop Kendrick summarises

“If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold
for certain that the word “Petra” means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter.”

This is an important point since one of the RC Councils (I need to check which one) laid down the regulation that a preponderance of patristic consensus is needed for the promulgation of any dogma.)

You can look this up and check that I have
it accurately in Friedrich, *Docum ad illust. *
*Conc. Vat. 1, pp. 185-246 *

As to who Archbishop Kenrick of Saint Louis was, please see the Catholic Encyclopedia


This again? One quote from St. John Chrysostom, or one quote from St. Jerome, or one quote from St. Augustine is not gonna work.

Here is St. John Chrysostom on St. Peter

Here is St. Jerome and Rome

Here is St. Augustine and the Papacy

The problem is Jesus didn’t found 30,000 denominations but only one visible and universal (Catholic) Church on St. Peter. We need to find that visible and Catholic Church. With all the data and descriptions from John Chrysostom, Jerome, and Augustine above this shouldn’t be too hard. :smiley:

The Catechism as pointed out uses Matt 16:18 like the Fathers did, in several senses (see CCC 881, 586, 552, 442, 424, 756). Protestant biblical scholars today ackowledge the primary meaning is that Peter is the rock of that passage.

Phil P


For the record, Fr. Ambrose is a heretic and schismatic, not a Catholic. He is one of those people our Lord said to treat as a heathen and publican (Mt. 18:17); and St. Paul said to avoid (Titus 3:10-11).

That being said, yes the Church fathers taught that Peter was the rock in Mt 16:18:

St. Augustine: These miserable retches, refusing to acknowledge the Rock as Peter, and to believe that the Church has received the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, have lost these very Keys from their own hands. (St. Augustine, Christian Combat, circa 397AD)

Tertullian: “Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on whom the Church would be built’ [Mt 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ {Mt 16:19]?” (Demurrer Against the Heretics 200AD)

Tertullian: “[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

However, they also recognized that there is more than one level of interpretation to each verses; and as such, the word rock can figuratively mean faith, and it can also refers to Jesus. But they were not so blind as to claim that Simon - whose name was changed to rock in the very same breath in which our Lord said he would build his Church upon this rock - was not the rock our Lord was referring to. To anyone who is honest, this will be evident.

The Name Rock:

Jesus, who is the Ultimate head of the Church, is referred to in Scripture as both the “cornerstone” of the Church and, like St. Peter, as a Rock. In fact, the Hebrew word tsur, which is translated God in the Old Testament, also has the meaning rock. Some versions of the Bible translate the Hebrew word tsur as “rock” and some translate it as “God”. For example, the Protestant King James version of the Bible, translates tsur as follows:

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried. He is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord, or who is a rock (Tsur) save our God?” (Psalm 18).

The Catholic Douay-Rheims version of the Bible translates the same passage as follows:
“As for my God, his way is undefiled: the words of the Lord are fire tried: he is the protector of all that trust in Him. For who is God but the Lord? or who is God (Tsur) but our God?” (Psalm 18:31-32).

The name rock belongs properly to God, for He is truly our unmovable rock: “The Lord is my rock (tsur) and my fortress” (Psalm 18:2); “Unto thee will I cry, O Lord, my rock (tsur) (ibid. 28:1); I will say unto God, my rock (tsur) (ibid. 42:9); Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock (tsur) and my salvation…My soul, wait thou only upon God … my rock (tsur) and my salvation… He is my rock(tsur) …” (ibid 62:2,6,7); “and they remembered that God was their rock (tsur)” (ibid. 78:35).

Yet Our Lord gave this same name rock, which belongs to himself, to St. Peter. "And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou are Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter (rock) (John 1:42). It is not a coincidence that Jesus, who is called a Rock (1Cor. 10:4, 1Peter 2:8, Rom. 9:33), similarly gave Simon the name Rock (John 1:42, Mt 16:18). We have one person in the Old Testament who is called by this name rock (tsur), and it is no less a figure than Father Abraham. As you know, the Old Testament has many “types” and “images” of New Testament realities. The Paschal Lamb, for example, that was sacrificed by the Jews during Passover foreshadowed Our Lord who was sacrificed for us on Mt. Calvary during Passover. The Old Testament Lamb could not take away sins, but rather pointed to the One who would. That is why, when John the Baptism saw our Lord, he declared “behold the Lamb of God, the one who taketh away the sins of the world”. There are countless other examples of the Old Testament foreshadowing the New Testament. We will look at one other.




In the Old Testament, God is often referred to as “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. This threefold name is an Old Testament “image” of the Blessed Trinity. This image becomes clear when we consider that Father Abraham (who represents God the Father) led his son Isaac up Mt. Moria to be sacrificed to God. Isaac, his son (who represents Jesus) carried the wood up the Mountain, just as Our Lord carried the wood of the cross up Mt. Calvary. Mt. Moria was later re-named Calvary, and is the same mountain upon which Our Lord was crucified. Jacob, the third person, represents the Holy Ghost who is the third person of the Blessed Trinity. This explains why the New Testament Church - whose members have become “a temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6:16) - is called in Scripture “the house of Jacob” (Luke 1), for Jacob represents the Holy Ghost who dwells within the Church. So we can see that “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” was an image of the Blessed Trinity, which explains why God was called by that triune name.

Now, Father Abraham, who, as we have just seen, was a “type” of God the Father, is called in scripture by the same name rock, which was also given to St. Peter in the New Testament. “Look unto the rock (tsur) whence you are hewn … look unto Abraham your Father” (Isaias 51:1-2).

This name - rock - which properly belongs to God, was applied, albeit in passing, to Abraham, since he prefigured God the Father - the first perso of the Blessed Trinity - and was the father of the Jewish race.

But since Peter was to be the visible representative of Jesus - the truth Rock - his name was actually changed to rock, which makes perfect sense.

The significance of a Name:

When God imposes a name on someone, the name conveys a meaning that describes the person. Since Abraham was a type of God the Father, and Father of the Jewish race, God changed his name from Abram, to Abraham, which means “father of a multitude”. In re-naming Abram Abraham, God designated him as the Father of the Jewish people. So likewise, when Our Lord renamed Simon Peter, which means rock, he designated him as the visible representative of Himself, who is the true rock. And at the same time he conveyed His own authority upon him when He declared: *“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys to the kingdom of heaven” (which properly belong to Me) “and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:20). *

“Peter is made the foundation, because he says: Thou are Christ, the Son of the Living God; and hears in reply that he is a rock. But although a rock, he is not such a rock as Christ; for Christ is truly an immovable rock, but Peter, only by virtue of that rock *. For Jesus bestows His dignities on others; He is a priest, and He makes priests; a rock, and He makes a rock; what belongs to Himself, He bestows on His servants” (St. Basil).

We can see that the name rock (Peter), which Jesus gave to Simon, is a very important name in the Bible, for it is a name that properly belongs to God.

When the Jews rejected Jesus, He established a new Church. This new Church consisted of both Jews and Gentiles. In the Old Testament, Moses was the first earthly head of the Church; and after he died the Jewish religion was ruled by his successor; the one who sat in the “chair of Moses” (St. Matt 23:2). In the New Testament Church, God no longer rules from the “Chair of Moses”, but from the “Chair of Peter”. “In the Catholic Church I adhere to the Chair of Peter. Whoever does not wish to stray from the true fold must follow this voice” (St. Augustine, Apostolic Digest pg 251, circa 410AD).

The following describes what took place when the Jews rejected Our Lord: “Jesus rose up out of the synagogue and went into Peter’s house” (Luke 4:38). Now He teaches from Peter’s ship (diocese): "and [Jesus] going into a ship that was Peter’s… He taught the multitude out of the Ship (Luke 5:3).

St. Ambrose"It is to Peter to whom Christ said: ‘Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.’ Where Peter is, there is no death but eternal life. Where Peter is, there is the Church" (St. Ambrose - Commentary on 12 of David’s Psalms, circa 360AD).

People such as Fr. Ambrose refuse to acknowledge Peter as the rock, and the Pope as the head of the Church. They are completely oblivious to the fact that they are perishing in their unbelief.

All you can do with someone such as that is pray for them. Very rarely is such a hardened heretic converted… but it can happen.*


1…“That St. Peter is the Rock” 17 Fathers
2…Apostolic College is the Rock, 8 Fathers
3…Peter’s faith is the Rock, 44 Fathers
4…Christ is the Rock, 16 Fathers

Yes these numbers are addressed in B.C. Butler’s reply to George Salmon (that chapter is not on my site yet), the anti-Catholic Anglican of the 19th century. He quotes a “Maldonatus” and a “Launoy” who came up with similar numbers (James White in his debates cites these numbers from Salmon as well).

I would have to double-check this, but I believe the reply to the above is that almost all of those “44 Fathers” lived after St. Augustine’s time. So by “Fathers” we are stretching through to the later Middle Ages and up through Renaissance writers.

John Chapman says (in his reply to Anglican Bishop Gore) that no one before St. Augustine taught Christ is the Rock. And if they did after St. Augustine, they were also clear Peter is the Rock (as St. Augustine can be shown holding all 4 views, along with Peter’s successors as bishops of Rome being the rock).

The Fathers before Augustine said either Peter is the Rock, or Peter’s faith is the Rock, or both (St. John Chrysostom clearly believes BOTH, see above article). It is not an either/or.

I distinctly remember us going through all this a number of times in the past. Maybe someone can dig up those threads.

Phil P


Since you are in open contradiction to your Pope, your Magisterium and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in applying Matthew 18:17 to an Orthodox priest, how can we have much confidence in your interpretation of Matthew 16:18? :confused:


Fr. Ambrose << Archbishop Kendrick summarises: >>

“If we are bound to follow the greater number
of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold
for certain that the word “Petra” means not Peter
professing the Faith, but the faith professed by Peter.”

This archbishop might have indeed said that, but Protestant scholars do not even believe this today. Why? Let’s summarize what all the Protestant scholars are saying in their commentaries on Matthew 16:18 –

(A) Peter is the Rock, the foundation stone of Jesus’ Church, the Church would be built on Peter personally;

(B) Peter’s name means Rock (petros or petra in Greek, Kepha or Cephas in Aramaic);

© The slight distinction in meaning for the Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) was largely confined to poetry before the time of Jesus and therefore has no special importance;

(D) The Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) by Jesus’ day were interchangeable in meaning;

(E) The underlying Aramaic Kepha-kepha of Jesus’ words makes the Rock-rock identification certain;

(F) The Greek word petra, being a feminine noun, could not be used for a man’s name, so Petros was used;

(G) Only because of past “Protestant bias” was the Peter is Rock identification denied;

(H) The pun or play on words makes sense only if Peter is the Rock;

(I) Jesus says “and on this rock” not “but on this rock” – the referent is therefore Peter personally;

(J) Verse 19 and the immediate context (singular “you”) shows Peter is the Rock of verse 18;

(K) Peter’s revelation and confession of Jesus as the Christ parallels Jesus’ declaration and identification of Peter as the Rock;

(L) Peter is paralleled to Abraham who also had his name changed, was a Father to God’s people, and was called the Rock (Isaiah 51:1-2; cf. Gen 17:5ff).

The joint Catholic and Lutheran ecumenical study Peter in the New Testament (Augsburg Publishing, 1973), while acknowledging “other interpretations” might be possible looking simply at the Greek alone (e.g. clearly affirming Peter is the Rock, the authors note some of the Church Fathers, see Brown/Reumann page 93, footnote 216), the scholars conclude –

“…precisely because of the Aramaic identity of Kepha-kepha, there can be no doubt that the rock on which the church was to be built was Peter. Is this true also for Matthew in whose Greek there is the slight difference Petros/petra? Probably the most common view would be that it is.” (Raymond Brown, John Reumann, et al page 92-93)

Since so many commentaries support this, the authors state in a footnote: “It would be pointless to list all the commentaries holding this view [that the Rock is Peter]…” (page 93, footnote 215). The Orthodox study The Primacy of Peter has this to say about the clear Aramaic language of the passage:

“It has long been noticed that Mt 16:17-19 has a Palestinian, Aramaic background. The form of Jesus’ reply to Peter’s confession appears Hebraistic. There are parallels to the Matthean text in the Qumran literature. The use of semitisms such as ‘gates of Hades,’ ‘flesh and blood,’ ‘bind and loose,’ and semitic parallelism again indicates an Aramaic environment…[Jesus] conferred upon Simon Bar-Jonah the title Peter, and promised that he would build his church upon him. ‘You are Peter (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church (ecclesia).’ These words are spoken in Aramaic, in which Cephas stands both for petros and petraThe confession of Peter, therefore, cannot be separated from Peter himself. Petra or rock does not simply refer to Peter’s faith but also to Peter personally. There is a formal and real identity between Petros and petra. Jesus will build the church upon Cephas.” (Veselin Kesich, “Peter’s Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition” in Meyendorff [St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992], page 47,48)


Phil P


Fr. Ambrose << your Magisterium and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in applying Matthew 18:17 to an Orthodox priest >>

For the record, I think USMC is wrong about the Orthodox. See encyclicals by John Paul II and Vatican II. I have no problem embracing Orthodox and Protestants as Christians and “brothers in the Lord” who believe the same Christ that Catholics do (Decree on Ecumenism from Vatican II).

Phil P


You’re not just shooting yourself in the foot by calling me a heretic and schismatic for not acknowledging Peter as the rock, but you are also heaping fire upon your own head since even the great Saint Augustine, in his mature years, came to the belief that Peter was NOT the rock but the rock was Peter’s faith.

You will know that he wrote a book in his later years called “Retractationes” in Latin in which he corrected the errors of his earlier teachings. In this boks he makes it clear that he himself no longer believes that Peter is the rock.

Will you now call the Saint (whose praises cannot be sung enough by the Popes) a heretic??!!

"In that book, I said in one place, in speaking of St. Peter, that the Church had been built on him as on the rock. This thought is sung by many in the verses of the blessed Ambrose, who says of the cock, that "when it crew the Rock of the Church deplored his fault.’ But I know that subsequently I very frequently adopted this sense, that when the Lord said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ he meant by this rock, the one which Peter had confessed in saying, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son, of the living God;’ so that Peter, called by the name of this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon that rock, and which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

“**In fact, it was not said to him, Thou art the rock; but thou art Peter. The rock was Christ. **Peter having confessed him as all the Church confesses him, he was called Peter. Between these two sentiments, let the reader choose the most probable.”

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, on the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul:
“Saint Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound
confession of His Divinity: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, was deemed worthy by the Saviour to hear in answer: “Blessed art thou, Simon … I tell thee, that thou art Peter [Petrus], and on this stone [petra] I build My Church” (Mt 16:16-18). On “this stone” [petra], is on that which thou sayest: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” – it is on this thy confession I build My Church.”

Please read the entire sermon. Notice how far Saint Augustine is from the modern Roman Catholic teaching re: Peter and the Rock, Peter and the Keys, Peter and the “Feed my sheep” – all used now to bolster claims of papal authority. But Augustine holds to an orthodox interpretation of these “petrine” passages.


How DO you find these threads so quicky :smiley:

Lets be honest.

Are you in perfect communion with the pope? No

Were you in perfect communion with the pope at one time? Yes

Therefore you are in schism.

Now, whether or not you are a heretic could be debated ad infinitum.

Peace and God Bless.


Let’s have a look at a small selcetion of patristic quotes which deny that Peter was the rock…

At the famous Council of Sardica (343 A.D.) Rome claimed universal jurisdiction over all of Christendom. Therefore eighty Eastern bishops, in response to this unheard of call to total control over the Church, refused to accept that Eastern bishops should be judged or ordered by Rome. In addition, they were outraged to learn that bishops expelled from the Church by a lawful Eastern synod were reinstated by Rome, which acted alone and with no authority to make such a unilateral decision.

As a result of these conflicts, we read in the highly informative and very authoritative ancient documents Collectanea Antiariana Parisina (A, IV) the following condemnation of Rome’s self-imposed and fictional authority over the Church at large. The majority bishops, seeing Rome’s desire for hegemony, wrote:

(We protest strongly)… “the novelty, which is abhorrent to the ancient custom of the Church, that that which has been decided by an Oriental Council of bishops should be revoked by a Western bishop.” At the conclusion of the documents Pope Julius is censured with an anathema.

“This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church.” (St. Gregory Nazianzen, 26th Discourse)

“He (Paul) names only Peter, and only compares himself with him, because as Peter had received the primacy to found the Church of the Jews, he, Paul, had been chosen in like manner to have the primacy in founding the Church of the Gentiles.” (St Ambrose)

“Faith is the foundation of the Church, for it was not of the person but of the faith of St. Peter that it was said that the gates of hell should not prevail against it; it is the confession of faith that has vanquished hell.” (St Ambrose)

“If you believe that God has raised the whole building of his Church on Peter alone, what will you say of John, the son of the Thunder? What will you say of each of the Apostles? Will you venture to say that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Peter in particular, but shall prevail against the others? Are not the words, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, addressed to them all? Have not these words had their fulfillment in each one of the Apostles?” (Origen)

“The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession.” (St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew)

“The Rock (petra) is the blessed and only rock of the faith confessed by the mouth of Peter. It is on this Rock of the confession of faith that the Church is built.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers, 2nd book on the Trinity)

'“The word “Rock” has only a denominative value-it signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles.” (St Cyril of Alexandria)

In his Letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril says:
“Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a spiritual edifice.”



But I don’t mind USMC’s sharp tone too much. I can respect his beliefs (even though he is totally out of step with the modern Popes on this one. :smiley: )


Either that is a poor translation, or St Augustine was confused.

He starts off:

Wherefore it was not one man, but rather the One Universal Church, that received these “keys” and the right “to bind and loosen.”

But later on says:

That one, to whom was given “the keys of the kingdom” and the right “to bind and to loosen,” himself thrice bound himself by fear and cowardice (Mt 26:69-75), and the Lord thrice loosens him by His appeal and in turn by his confession of strong love.


Do you know what put us out of communion with the Pope?

It was a Bull of Excommunication issued by Cardinal Humbert in 1054 in the name of the Pope.

Its first charge against the Catholics of the East was that they castrated their guests ! <I am not pulling your leg!> Read the text of the Excommunication.

With this and other ridiculously false charges in the Bull the Catholic Patriarch of Constantinople was excommunicated by the Church of Rome along with “all who agree with him.” In this way, one of the most unjust actions in history sanctioned by the Popes, the entire Catholic Church of the East (far larger numerically at that time than the Church of Rome) was eventually excommunicated. Rome withdrew into an isolation of its own choice in the area of southern and western Europe.


Fr. Ambrose << “The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession.” (St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew) >>

Whoah whoah whoah whoah, one Father at a time. :smiley:

There are dozens of passages in St. John Chrysostom talking about Peter. John Chapman addresses about ninety of them.


I’ll admit St. John Chrysostom had little to say about the Papacy or the Bishop of Rome, but he was clear about St. Peter being the rock, the chief, the first of the apostles. He also said Peter’s faith or confession is the rock (as does the Catechism today see above). It is not either/or.

Phil P


Didn’t like my post, huh? I wasn’t calling you a heretic and schismatic for denying that Peter is the rock, but for rejected the Primacy of the Pope and Papal Infallibility.

I do want to apologize for one thing: If any Catholic led you to believe that you do not need to acknowledge the Pope as the infallible head of the Church, I’m sorry because that is dead wrong.

Anyone who rejects one truth revealed by God looses all faith.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “Faith, as the Church teaches, is “that supernatural virtue by which, through the help of God and through the assistance of His grace, we believe what he has revealed to be true, not on account of the intrinsic truth perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, the Revealer, who can neither deceive nor be deceived” (Conc. Vat., Sess. iii., cap. 3). **If then it be certain that anything is revealed by God, and this is not believed, then nothing whatever is believed by divine Faith: for what the Apostle St. James judges to be the effect of a moral delinquency, the same is to be said of an erroneous opinion in the matter of faith. “Whosoever shall offend in one point, is become guilty of all” (Ep. James ii., 10). ****Nay, it applies with greater force to an erroneous opinion. **For it can be said with less truth that every law is violated by one who commits a single sin, since it may be that he only virtually despises the majesty of God the Legislator. But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honour God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith. “In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are will not profit them” (S. Augustinus in Psal. liv., n. 19). And this indeed most deservedly; for they, who take from Christian doctrine what they please, lean on their own judgments, not on faith; and not “bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. x., 5), they more truly obey themselves than God. “You, who believe what you like, believe yourselves rather than the gospel” (S. Augustinus, lib. xvii., Contra Faustum Manichaeum, cap. 3).”

Sometimes, through an “imprudent eccumenism”, as Pope Pius XIII called it, the truth is watered down by those who seek unity at the expense of truth. If this has happened with you, and you think you can reject truths that have been revealed by God, my sincerest apologies.


Hey, I’m way ahead of you, USMC, I can quote you a multitude of Popes who taught that I am going to hell for not being in communion with them - Eugene IV, Boniface VIII, Innocent III, Leo XII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, etc, etc.

The thing is that you have to get with the programme. The last few Popes have stood the teaching of their predecessors on its head in this regard. The teaching has changed.


Since a man and his confession cannot be in schism, I would say that means that 61 Church Fathers say that the rock is St Peter (combining #1 and #3). We have a consensus!!! :smiley:

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