Faith or work can save us?


In the book Papal Primacy: From its Origins to the Present, Catholic Historian Klaus Schatz says this of the third Century Roman Church (page 21)

We may thus summarize the essential information from the third century by saying that the Roman community was held in high esteem, but its status was not yet distinguished from the solidarity of the whole Church in which all the churches are responsible for one another. The Roman Church held a preeminent place within the overall framework of universal Christian solidarity and episcopal collegiality.

Earlier in the book he points out that Rome held a preeminent place because it was the largest church, the wealthiest church and was located in the Capital. The Roman church had also financially supported many of the other churches and had a reputation of being faithful and orthodox. It was a natural place to turn when conflicts arose in the church. However, when the other churches turned to Rome to mediate disputes the other churches didn’t always accept Rome’s decision. Johnson pretty much says the same thing in his book.



I think it goes to vocabulary.

The way you express yourself seems to go into “sola Scriptura,” which is a late edition to the splintering of the Body.

When you work from that premise, you make yourself (though the “sola” proponents do not see or accept it) the authority.

We can take a single example: the indissolubility of the Sacrament of Marriage.

First, if you hold the belief that there’s no Sacrament or that there is but one or two or three… we will forever not be able to engage within the boundaries that “sola Scriptura” purports since “sola Scriptura” is founded on the conceptions of its proponents.

Yet, if we go the round… as a Catholic seeking the medium with a “soloist” I would say, "OK, let’s see what Jesus States: ‘not so (no divorce), from the Beginning 1 man and 1 woman (see how homosexuality is excluded?) and what God Brings Together let no man set asunder.’ (yes, paraphrased) So Jesus is clearly stating that there’s not to be divorce amongst Christians… yet, those who favor divorce and remarriage would quickly jump on their or Luther or other proponent of ‘yes, divorce and remarry according to sola Scriptura’ to claim that Jesus offer an out: “except in the case of adultery.”

Yet, if Jesus were to have built-in such clause, would He not have been in error since all that would take for a Christian to void his/her marriage is to make sure to engage in adultery or cause the spouse to engage in adultery and the Sacrament is circumvented and made void!

That’s why we need all of the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, not just the “personal” belief that the Word of God is malleable and can bend to my personal desire and understandings.

Maran atha!



The problem is relevancy.

When St. Paul’s Writings were brought into question, did we find hundreds of sources?

When St. Paul’s Writings were declared Sacred did we find hundreds of sources?

The Apostles did not write down Jesus’ Ministry experience… Jesus did not employ hundreds of scribes to follow Him around and take down his dictations or document His “Events.”

It was Oral Tradition that connected the Followers with Jesus. It was only through Inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the Writings began to take shape and only as a response to both the growing Body and the emerging heresies.

The problem you have is that you claim obedience to Scriptures yet you are only obedient to interpretation of Scriptures:

28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
(Acts 15)

Do you believe the Apostles?
Do you believe that all that Christians should do is abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality or do you believe there’s more to it?

Yes, Apostolic Authority; no, no 1, 2, 3, 4 steps and we are all saved!

This is why you cannot see beyond what you have been inculcated to think: interpretation of Scriptures as the actual Word of God.

Maran atha!



…they would be forced to accept Church’s Authority–that’s the whole issue behind “sola Scriptura” and “reformation” and “invisible church.”

Maran atha!



So Jesus was wrong?

Maran atha!



…they also reject the Bible Canon while accepting the Bible Canon (get it? :slight_smile: )

Maran atha!



Yet, there are those who claim themselves as “Believers” who reject Christ’s Divinity as well as the Holy Spirit’s… they also go on the “sola Scriptura” amalgam.

Maran atha!



…that’s side-stepped with ‘all believers are given the same authority’ or some other similar construct.

Maran atha!



That would require that all Truth be Revealed by Christ once and for all–Christ, having access to scribes could have order the new and improve Christian version of Scriptures with glossary and concurrence dict built-in, from day one, would it not?

Maran atha!



What you also (and all those nay sayers) have to do is determine how the Holy Spirit fits into this (the development of the Church and the Unfolding of the Truth [St. John 16:12] and how you, me, and all others will determine, for the Holy Spirit, when to make such Unfolding and Revelations–both in the chronological existence of the Church and the Doctrinal Definition of the Body of Christ.

Maran atha!



Isn’t that what the Catholic church teaches? That Scripture and Sacred Tradition contain all the truth as revealed by Christ and taught by the Apostles, who were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? And that truth has been passed on via the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition?

The CCC states

81 “And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”

If Tradition was the entirety of the Word of God then it was all made available to the Apostles, there should be evidence of that teaching and doctrines of those teachings from the very beginning? Shouldn’t the office of the Pope been historically evident in the 1st and 2nd Centuries if the papal office was revealed to the Apostles?


It’s Revelation through Apostolic Teaching… I think that Succession (Apostolic) is a lot different than ‘the Holy Spirit’ has inspired me… specially when its hundreds upon hundreds of years removed and not in the fellowship which the Apostles have established.

Removing Church Teaching and Doctrine for hundreds of years and coming up with new invention/s of the wheel must prove itself to be disingenuous, don’t you think?

Maran atha!



It was.

Wouldn’t it have been understood by all the churches from the 1st Century onward?

After living with Jesus Christ for three years, the Apostles still didn’t understand the simplest of doctrines. It took their experiencing His death and resurrection and then the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, before they finally understood.

So, whether every single Church member perfectly understood the Doctrines of our Lord, I don’t know.

Wouldn’t Christians in the year 100 or 200 have understood that the Bishop of Rome was the leader of all the churches?

Most did. And some wrote about it.

Ignatius of Antioch

You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force (Epistle to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).


But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles. Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

More importantly, wouldn’t the Bishops and elders in the Eastern Churches have understood it as well and not resisted when Rome claimed the “authority of the keys” in 250?

Most did. And most remained united to the Pope until the 10th century.

Which is the first time on record that the Bishop of Rome asserted Matthew 16 as scripture to support the primacy of Rome.

I don’t know. But Clement of Rome, the Pope after Peter, was already exerting that authority in the first century:

Clement of Rome

Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobeys the things which have been said by him [Jesus] through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in no small danger. We, however, shall be innocent of this sin and will pray with entreaty and supplication that the Creator of all may keep unharmed the number of his elect (Letter to the Corinthians 58:2, 59:1[A.D. 95]).

This wasn’t a complex theological issue. It was about authority.

True. But neither was it complex to believe that God was the King of Israel. Yet they rebelled and wanted a human King. Before that, the Hebrews could see God leading them through the desert and they still rebelled.

I think you’ve neglected to factor in, the fallen human nature.



I would have probably appealed to the same writings as De_Maria has regarding the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. I am not aware of anything beyond that.


I don’t see how we could have true faith that does not lead us to do good works. It’s not about filling a checklist, it’s about doing these things for a reason-- and that reason is found in faith.


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