Eusebius considered Ignatius to be a member/leader of the Catholic Church.

I just want to preface this question by saying one thing: I (who am a former protestant) - love all non-Catholic churches. I have many friends who belong to at least 6 different protestant churches, and I believe that all non-Catholic churches comprise the mystical body of Christ of which Jesus is the head and savior.

The first known usage of the word catholic was in a letter from Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans. He used the phrase “Catholic Church” to differentiate between those faithful to the teachings of the early Church and those who were considered heretics. That was why the early church chose to refer to the church as the Catholic Church.

The fourth-century Catholic Church historian Eusebius says that the apostle Peter and Paul, who planted the faith in Antioch, left directions that Ignatius should succeed Evodius as bishop of that city. Eusebius considered Ignatius to be a member/leader of the Catholic Church to which he belonged and Eusebius belonged to the present day Catholic Church. Here we have a leader from the 1st century and the 4th century belonging to the early church and both claim that the early church was in fact the CC, yet I am told by many that the CC was not the early church of the first 400 years of Christianity, but rather an offshoot of the true church of the early years of Christianity. So, am I to assume that Eusebius was wrong and that Ignatius (a bishop from the east by the way) - belonged to a church that had no affiliation with the church to which Eusebius belonged, which of course is the present day Catholic church?

St. Ignatius records a list of all the Popes from St. Peter up until his time (12 Popes). Although Peter placed bishops in Antioch from which St. Ignatius was a successor from. Yet this Antioch succession of bishops fell into heresy and broke off from Peter’s apostolic succession long after St. Ignatius which proved the gates of hell prevailed their in Antioch. Yet history records the first 30+ popes including Peter were all put to death because of their professed faith in Jesus Christ. The line of apostolic succession of the popes to Peter is unbroken from Peter to present day Pope Benedict XVI.

Eusebius comes along later during the reign of Constantine. Who writes that the providence of God is revealed by the removal of the 400 year persecution of the Catholic Church from the Roman Empire and her Caesars or Augustus’s has come to fulfillment.

Both East and Western Catholic Church remained as one and still does today for the exception of a few new defined “orthodox” Catholic Church’s who maintain valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments who refuse Holy Communion with Peter’s successors in the Popes, when the Early Orthodox Eastern and Western Catholic Church’s maintained communion (unity) with all of their Popes, in both Ignatius and Eusebius times.

Just a little insight; peace be with you

Do you accept everything that Eusebius wrote as accurate and representative of the church of his day? What about his comments on Christ’s attonement for our sins, which looks very much like penal substitution and what he3 has to say about the Eucharist involving symbols?

And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us.

(Demonstratio Envangelica, Book 10, Chapter 1)

He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Him as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses’ law, as Moses foretells: “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” This He suffered "being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes."And then "He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,"and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice.

(Demonstratio Envangelica, Book 1, Chapter 10)

]He gave Himself the symbols of His divine dispensation to His disciples, when He bade them make the likeness of His own Body. For since He no more was to take pleasure in bloody sacrifices, or those ordained by Moses in the slaughter of animals of various kinds, **and was to give them bread to use as the symbol of His Body, **He taught the purity and brightness of such food by saying, “And his teeth are white as milk.” This also another prophet has recorded, where he says, “Sacrifice and offering hast thou not required, but a body hast thou prepared for me.”

(Demonstratio Envangelica, Book 8, 380b)

And he adds: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation.” He plainly teaches that in place of the ancient sacrifices and whole burnt-offerings the incarnate presence of Christ that was prepared was offered. And this very thing He proclaims to his Church as a great mystery expressed with prophetic voice in the volume of the book. As we have received a memorial of this offering which we celebrate on a table by means of symbols of His Body and saving Blood according to the laws of the new covenant, we are taught again by the prophet David to say:
“5. Thou hast prepared a table before me in the face of my persecutors. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and thy cup cheers me as the strongest (wine).”

(Demonstratio Envangelica, Book 1, 37b)

Then too, Eusebius was apparently sympathetic to Arianism. Does this place him squarely in the Catholic Church?

Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, excommunicated Arius about the year 320. The Arians soon found that for all practical purposes Eusebius was on their side. He wrote to Alexander charging him with misrepresenting the teaching of the Arians and so giving them cause "to attack and misrepresent whatever they please…After some delay Eusebius subscribed to the uncompromising creed drawn up by the council, making no secret, in the letter which he wrote to his own Church, of the non-natural sense in which he accepted it. Between 325 and 330 a heated controversy took place between Eusebius and Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch. Eustathius accused Eusebius of tampering with the faith of Nicæa; the latter retorted with the charge of Sabellianism. In 331 Eusebius was among the bishops who, at a synod held in Antioch, deposed Eustathius. He was offered and refused the vacant see. In 334 and 335 he took part in the campaign against St. Athanasius at the synods held in Cæsarea and Tyre respectively. From Tyre the assembly of bishops were summoned to Jerusalem by Constantine, to assist at the dedication of the basilica he had erected on the site of Calvary. After the dedication they restored Arius and his followers to communion.

Also did Ignatius accept apostolic succession? He seems to have thought that his see would remain vacant.

Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria, which now has God for its shepherd, instead of me. Jesus Christ alone will oversee it, and your love [will also regard it].

(Letter to the Romans, Chapter 9)


;7171577]Do you accept everything that Eusebius wrote as accurate and representative of the church of his day? What about his comments on Christ’s attonement for our sins, which looks very much like penal substitution and what he3 has to say about the Eucharist involving symbols?

What comments? Carl, so he can’t be trusted either. I am getting the feeling that no one can be trusted based on some of the things you are telling me. Non-Catholics doubt so many things stemming from the CC, but when it comes to the infallible bible no one doubts that for one second, and that was put together by the CC. Why is that? Surely the CC could have compiled the wrong books considering the fact that they supposedly did so many other things wrong/fallibly - right. :confused:

He said: "We are continually feed with the Savior’s body, we continually participate in the lamb’s blood." He then he says that Christians daily commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice with the symbols of his body and saving blood. Either he was a complete hypocrite or his use of the words -with the symbol- mean something different then what people think that they mean today. So many of his predecessors and contemporaries embraced the true presence so why didn’t they correct him, or better yet, why didn’t he correct all of them? :confused:

The CC wants us to believe that the infallible teachings of Jesus have been preserved through every century as opposed to just the 1st century, so that all Christians, not just the Christians of the apostolic age, can know truth, doctrinally speaking, and most PC’s (people like yourself) - want us to believe just the opposite. Strange…

I don’t know, but Paul certainly did and Ignatius was a pupil of Peter and Paul, or maybe that’s a lie too. Jesus ordained Paul; Paul ordained Titus and told Titus to ordain others. That is succession by my definition.

Hey Joe, the time period of Eusebius was difficult one. Many of the early Church fathers fled into the desert and became monastics during Eusebius times, because these desert fathers saw when the persecution was lifted against the Catholic Church, did not like seeing a world power “Constantine” mix his power with the Catholic Church, to which Eusebius appeared in favor of in his “fulfillment” writings. Many of the Early Church Fathers removed themselves from this scene and sought Monasticsm instead.

Outside of politics here to which the Eastern Church “Constantinople” profitted much material wealth. The riches of the Catholic faith sought refuge in the desert to which the Catholic faith was never tainted with power and wealth from secular powers.

We owe alot during this time period to our desert Fathers for maintaining the Apostolic Traditional faith.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Eusebius for his accurate history, but Eusebius does not speak for the whole Catholic Church of his time, but I would favor St. Ignatius for apostolic succession because he lists the popes and is a disciple of John an apostle of Jesus. In fact Ignatius contemporaries called him “he who was in the hearing of the apostles” and the one Jesus placed in his lap before his disciples recorded in scripture.

Peace be with you

Gabriel, my research has led me to the same conclusion. :thumbsup: I believe, even though the east and west are still split, that the EOC and the CC, together, comprise the one church founded by Jesus.

Thanks for the feedback. My quest for knowledge is never ending. I am a perpetual student…and i defer to the CC for the simple fact that the bible tells us that Jesus will be with his church forever, and that He will guide His church into all truth, and the CC in my opinion, is the historical church of Matthew 16; the rest is just faith…


Gabriel, I agree. Do you believe that men like Ignatius and Polycarp belonged to the present day CC, considering the fact that they make that claim? If they did then the early church is the present day CC, but people keep trying to convince me that the CC was an offshoot of the early church, and was not founded by Jesus; your thoughts friend??? :slight_smile:

Carl, if the present day CC cannot be trusted to teach error free doctrine, as did the apostles until the close of the apostolic age, and nor could they in the past, and the myriad PC’s cannot be trusted to teach error free doctrine, then where does that leave us, doctrinally speaking? :confused:

I would always trust Jesus first over men. Jesus states to Peter “I will be with you until the consumation of the world”. This Catholic Church has been through many tests and trials but rest assured Jesus has never left us orphans, and His presence has always been with the Catholic Church since pentecost.

Every Saint since apostolic times have maintained their Catholicity in the sacraments we practice today unchanged in the Catholic Church since apostolic times, especially in the true body and blood presence of Jesus Christ in His Eucharist. Everyone of the early church fathers give testimony to this, including St.Paul from scripture and the Gospel writers.

The early church consisted of Jewish converts called “the way”, after Peter recieved the revelation from heaven to allow the gentiles into the Church recorded in the books of Acts, “the way” loses its Hebrew term and becomes known as the Catholic (universal) Church recorded from St.Ignatius early 100’s a.d. as though “Catholic Church” is already a common name for the Church of Jesus Christ.

In fact it is undisputed recorded historical fact from both religious and secular history that the only Christian church to be in existence for the first 1600 years is the Catholic Church to the present day.

Peace be with you

Gabriel, reading your post from my former protestant perspective, that makes perfect sense to me and that was why I had to come home to Rome. Thanks for reinforcement in the face of so much anti-Catholic sentiment, in my life, from within my family the most.

Peace brother…

And also with you;:slight_smile:

It’s actually not so strange at all. The being that wishes an end to Christ’s true Church, which subsists in the actual body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, (as opposed to the symbolic meal in the NCC), casts confusion into the minds of the faithful against that same CC whenever he can.

If you think about it, this confusion has been on-going for over 400 years, and has resulted in many leaving the true presence of the Savior himself in the CC for a watered down version of Christianity in the thousands of NCC’s. Those Christ-loving, but confused and largely uninformed about the CC, are without the aid of grace through the Sacraments, and are without the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They are without the armour to fight the devil that is available through the Church that Jesus founded.

Off hand, I would say that this is a most effective way for the devil to attack and battle for souls, which is his goal always.

That’s using the presumption that “Catholic Church” refers to the “Roman Catholic Church.” Eastern Orthodox refer to themselves as the Catholic (and apostolic) Church as well, as (I believe) so do the Coptics and some Eastern Christian sects. In fact, many Protestant groups, in their creeds and confessions, use the term “catholic church” in the sense of the original meaning of catholic which was “universal.”

Byzantine, I’d say that it is safe to say that Ignatius of Antioch belonged to the CC, based on the fact that he says that, and that one CC split in the 11 th century.

The eastern and western Holy Sees had a schism in the 11th century, yes. No Christian denies that. But what, then, is your point? The title of your thread suggested Ignatius and Eusebius were members of the “the present day Catholic Church” - which “catholic church” were you referring to?

Hey Byzantine_Wolf…

The CC and EOC in my humble opinion, comprise the one (albeit divided) - visible church founded By the Jesus Christ circa AD 33, historically speaking, and that was the CC that Ignatius belonged to, and I pray every day for their unification. :thumbsup:

eh? what? Eucharist involving symbols not virtually unheard of for 11 centuries? hmmm…

Even though they have differing opinions regarding purgatory, papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, what ecumenical councils are valid, etc.? Furthermore, what about the Coptic Church? Are they part of the church established by Christ in 33 AD? This is getting a bit off-topic, but if we’re going to claim Ignatius and Eusebius were members of the same Catholic Church of today (and if by this we mean the Roman Catholic Church), then words and definitions have meaning.

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