Help Finding the Best Polemic Works Defending Papal Primacy


#1

I am about to begin the process of trying to thoroughly refute the diverse claims Protestants and Oriental/Eastern Orthodox raise against the Papacy (in a charitable and cordial way). Often some of their misunderstandings are fundamental misinterpretations of what the Catholic Church teaches about itself. Other times they are misunderstandings of the content of History, Tradition and Scripture.

This is the most important Catholic specific doctrine with regards to knowing what is of faith. I want people to be Catholic and helping some people make the final steps toward the faith sometimes involves a lot of reading. I want all of the best argumentation to be in one place and easy to find

In order to do so, I am collecting as many of the “best” and “strongest” polemic works against the Papacy that I can find.

I am also looking for as many of the best polemic works in favor of the Catholic Truth of the Papacy and this is where I need some help.

Can people please give me good resources, (preferably lists of books that are still extent today) that provide the top notch defense of the Catholic Papacy. The older the polemic work on the Papacy is, the better I prefer more traditional sources, as opposed to works like Upon this Rock by Steve Ray.

In order to prove the Papacy you must prove three things. #1 That it is essentially taught in scripture. #2 That ancient (pre-1054AD history) is compatible with the Papacy doctrine AND #3 That the Church that claims Papal Primacy has always been accompanied with undeniable miracles or signs from God (his stamp of approval). This is deduced from Jesus’ promises that first class miracles will always be with his true church. So anything that touches on these three subjects is fair game.

This thread is not an invitation for Protestants to debate. I will also post on a Protestant forum separately to simply attain a list of polemic works against the Papacy.

Obviously this project will involve a lot of work (reading and logic) and take probably a year to complete but it is worth it because the Papacy needs to be defended against misconceptions and lies and I hope others feel the same way

Thank you so much in advance! God bless!


#2

Father Adrian Fortescue is the best. His complete works are available here:

onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Fortescue%2C%20Adrian%2C%201874-1923

I recommend starting with “The Early Papacy”.


#3

Some suggestions, in order of publication date:

-Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII
(Online: w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_29061896_satis-cognitum.html)
-The Truth of Papal Claims, Cardinal Raphael Merry Del Val
(Online: archive.org/details/a592718200merruoft)
-The Church and infallibility: A reply to the abridged Salmon, Bp. B.C. Butler
(Partly online here: biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/num11.htm)
-The Building of Christendom, Warren H. Carroll (2nd of 6 volume church history series)
(Not online, have to buy or loan)
-The Shepherd and the Rock, Apb. J. Michael Miller
(Not online, have to buy or loan)


#4

Try the books by the author of this article:

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1355

Byzantium and the Roman Primacy

by Francis Dvornik


#5

The Second Vatican Council ruled out the polemical approach. (cf. Unitatis redintegratio, 10)


#6

Jesus, Peter and the Keys

amazon.com/Jesus-Peter-Keys-Scriptural-Handbook/dp/1882972546

Pope Fiction

amazon.com/Pope-Fiction-Answers-Misconceptions-Papacy/dp/0964261006

Recent books…but the authors have learned from the “mistakes” of earlier authors and documents, and “honed their skills”. So, they shouldn’t be shunned. :shrug:


#7

Vatican 2 didn’t reject Catholic apologetics altogether, did it? By “polemics” I obviously did not mean “insensitive attack” or “yelling match”. I mentioned doing it in a cordial and charitable way. I’m simply building up a case as why the Catholic Church is correct on this issue. The natural consequence is that rejection of the Papacy is a mistake.


#8

Just read the entire book in one sitting. It was kind of short but filled with valid points. Thanks for the recommendation(s)!


#9

I have Pope Fiction but have only read bits and pieces. The main reason I prefer older books is mostly because they are more likely to be in the public domain.


#10

Vatican II wanted to promote a theology more suited towards unity. They wanted to forget the past in a lot of respects in how we explained each other. They encouraged joint corporation and dialogue - and from this fruit develop a non-abrasive theology. They proposed assiduous conversion of heart in the spiritual life as a means to do this (vis. “theology on the knees”)


#11

The best book I have ever read on this subject is St. Francis de Sales’s “The Catholic Controversy” Article 6. Here is that portion in the table of contents:

archive.org/stream/catholiccontrove00sain#page/n40/mode/1up

And here is the text:

archive.org/stream/catholiccontrove00sain#page/237/mode/1up

Other good public domain books on the subject:

Defense of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith Against the Anglican Sects Book 3: Of the Excellence and Power of the Supreme Pontiff Over Temporal Kings
philological.bham.ac.uk/suarez/3eng.html

Cardinal Reginald Pole - Defense of the Unity of the Church (go to page 98)
strobertbellarmine.net/books/Pole–Defense.pdf (PDF)

Also, Unitatis Redintegratio 10 merely says that seminarians should be trained in a theology that is not polemical. It doesn’t say that polemical theology is bad or that no one should study it or write it. In fact, so long as seminarians are trained in a non-polemical theology, the requirement of Unitatis Redintegratio 10 is fulfilled, and so they may Also be trained in polemical theology.


#12

animalis. You stated . . .

The Second Vatican Council ruled out the polemical approach. (cf. Unitatis redintegratio, 10)

Dmar198 correctly pointed out . . .

Also, Unitatis Redintegratio 10 merely says that seminarians should be trained in a theology that is not polemical. It doesn’t say that polemical theology is bad or that no one should study it or write it. In fact, so long as seminarians are trained in a non-polemical theology, the requirement of Unitatis Redintegratio 10 is fulfilled, and so they may Also be trained in polemical theology.

From Unitatis Redintegratio section 10

  1. Sacred theology and other branches of knowledge, especially of a historical nature, must be taught with due regard for the ecumenical point of view, so that they may correspond more exactly with the facts.

It is most important that future shepherds and priests should have mastered a theology that has been carefully worked out in this way and not polemically, especially with regard to those aspects which concern the relations of separated brethren with the Catholic Church. . . .

***This above needs to be balanced with this below . . . ***

From Unitatis Redintegratio section 11 (with emphasis and formatting mine)

  1. The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety.

Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.

At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.

Think about that.

Bible Christians can understand an appeal to the Bible.

So instead of an approach like,:

"You don’t affirm the papacy? That’s OK. Well we all believe in Christ and after all, that’s really the ONLY thing that matters. "

(which is not only false irenicism that Vatican II condemns, but is false theology as well) is wrong.

(animalis. I am not trying to say YOU would do this. I’m merely bringing these things out because there are lurkers here who may misunderstand what you are saying here and jump to this conclusion if not clarified.)

Also an approach like:

“Well you gotta affirm the papacy because the Church has authority so there.”

Would also be wrong. Wrong in attitude, not content. (There IS a truth here though in this appeal in that it highlights authority is correct, but it is wrong because it excludes a way that Bible Christians can readily see why).

“The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren.”

But an approach like . . .

“Look. You and I both affirm Scripture. We see in Matthew 16, Peter is the ROCK. We see this at Caesarea Philippi where there is a ROCK 500 feet long by 200 feet high. We see Peter is the ONLY one that gets “the keys”. We see binding and loosing authority on earth that is at least under certain circumstances, ratified in Heaven. I want to challenge you to get beyond your presuppositions and affirm Scripture! And all of this is echoed down throughout Christian history too.”

This is the kind of presentation that Vatican II is calling for.

We stand fast to the faith, present doctrines in a way that builds upon other doctrines, we present a FULL Gospel, and we do it in love!

That’s what Vatican II teaches.

More from section 11 of Unitatis Redintegratio . . .

Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility.

When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a “hierarchy” of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith.

Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.(34)

Unitatis Redintegratio link . . .

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html

Vatican II is not a “club” warning us away from evangelization.

Vatican II is a wonderful blueprint on HOW to approach evangelization in our epoch.


#13

HOW about the Bible:D

Mt 10: 1-8 noting that EACH of these passages are

  1. Directly from God to the Apostles
  2. Pay very close attention tot eh “singular tense”
  3. By intent exclusive to the Apostles and there successors [COMPARE Mt 10: 1-8 to Mt 28:18-20

Mt 16: 15-19

John 17: 17-20 “As the Father sent Me, so too I SEND YOU” [is literal]

Mt 28:18-20

Eph 2: 19-22

The foundational argument is that Jesus [GOD] came to earth to REDEEM all of humanity, and to SAVE those willing to be saved fro all time. This then in an absolute sense requires succession in order to accomplish this goal.

As for books:

I have a few suggestions

[1] THIS IS THE FAITH [3td edition] by Canon Francis Ripley [Tan Pub.]

[2] The Catholic Encyclopedia

[3] GOOGLE the “Papacy”[or the history of the papacy], there are many fine and informative articles that will present the case clearly

God Bless you

Patrick


#14

Weareyoung. You said . . .

Can people please give me good resources, (preferably lists of books that are still extent today) that provide the top notch defense of the Catholic Papacy. The older the polemic work on the Papacy is, the better . . .

If you want the “old stuff” because the copyrights have expired and you can more easily disseminate such information (so you are going to avoid the “new stuff”), I could see that.

If that’s the case, but you would also like some “new stuff” too you can PM me.

I have written several books and booklets on the papacy that includes some of the newer polemics and you won’t be constrained by copyright issues, because I’ll let you copy and disseminate them for free.

I even have a “Traditionalist-Catholic” (whatever that is) friend who wrote a treatise defending Traditionalist Catholics from SSPX people who were hassling him and other Traditionalist Catholics.

He did a writing specifically on the Papal Primacy Issue (and other issues), and at least some of the SSPX people have now came into a fuller unity joining him and others attending the Catholic Indult.

This would be available to you for free too (“almost certainly” free although since its not my work, for now the best I can say is “almost” certainly. I am a phone call away from that being upped to “certainly”).

If you want “old stuff” for other reasons, there are some good suggestions here on this thread already.

Hope your defense of the faith goes well.

God bless.

Cathoholic


Again from Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio section 11 (just to re-emphasize the point) . . .

Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded. . . .

. . .Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue . . .

. . . When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a “hierarchy” of truths, since they . .

Something to ponder here . . .

Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue . . . . When comparing doctrines with one another (notice in section 11, it is assumed in Vatican II, that we have an ecumenical dialogue that includes COMPARING DOCTRINES with one another) , they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists . . .


#15

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