Matthew 16:18 and the antipopes


Matthew 16:18 says about the Church that “gates of Hell will not overpower it”. Why where there antipopes then?


The real pope was still around, and the Church has survived after all the heresies, schisms, etc. that have tried to overcome it


Christ promised to protect his Church from error on faith and morals. Does he stop individual’s from sinning? No. Our free will still applies. Although we’ve only had a handful of “bad popes”, none of them changed the apostolic teaching on faith and morals… That’s proof enough of Christ protecting his Church of which he is the head.

Interesting it is, that no matter where the apostles and disciples went to preach the gospel on this map, all the communities of Christian faith that they established believed in the seven sacraments including the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and Salvific Baptism.

Why would anyone then believe something different that was not founded on the teachings of Jesus that was taught by the Lord himself to the apostles?



Just to clarify for other readers, an Anti-Pope is not a “bad Pope” who lives an immoral life. An Anti-Pope is a man who has a false claim to the Papal throne (i.e., he wasn’t legitimately elected). There have been times in the Church’s past where there was confusion as to whom was rightly elected Bishop of Rome. During these times, while the Church sorted out the confusion, the claimants insisted on their own legitimacy. When the dust settled (which, back then, could last years…remember, no emails, social media, and telephones), the Church could finally say that one man was truly elected Pope and the others were “Anti-Popes”. This is not to say that the Anti-Popes were acting in bad faith, nor that there was no true Pope until there was clarity. The true Pope was, in fact, Pope at his election.


Not sure where you get the information that the apostles established belief in the seven sacraments? I have not read such teaching that came from the apostles, nor them teaching the real presence. Can you share where you get this information from? Thanks!


They taught both of those things. Church fathers and other saints of the early Church talk about those things and some of them were taught to very close successors of the apostles.


I realize that at some point the sacraments and real presence was taught. But the statement was made that the apostles taught them and I was wondering where that information came from?


Did I miss something while I was sleeping? When was the Church overpowered by the gates of Hell. It has not happened and never can.


That’s not what I wrote. I wrote that the apostles preached the gospel. Christ himself instituted and taught them of the sacraments.

Let’s stay on the subject of the Eucharist before moving on:

  • Can read Christ’s own words in John 6:
    53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”

The disciples understood him as Catholics have for 2,000 years, literally. The disciples could not understand his words and left him. For the first time in the bible, Christ did not correct them. He let them go. We can read what the early Church believed, long before the canon of New Testament scripture:

The words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was a disciple of St. John.

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110).

And Justin Martyr

“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).

And St. Irenaeus

“[T]he bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood…” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18,4 (c. A.D. 200).

And Tertullian

“Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, ‘This is my body,’ that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body…He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: ‘I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,’ which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed ‘in His blood,’ affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

So no where do we find the early Catholic Church believing in a “symbolic” Lord’s Supper.

SJacob7, Do you believe that the early Church held to a protestant view of a symbolic Lord’s Supper? If so, can you share some quotes with me from a pastor at the time (as I shared with you above)?



I apologize. I guess I read your statement wrong. I guess I could have just started a new thread. To my knowledge, the apostles did not teach the 7 sacraments to others. And the belief that the communities the apostles went to believed in them is a bit of a stretch to say the least. I know that the sacraments became part of the Church at some point, all I’m saying is there is no mention of the apostles teaching the sacraments (as sacraments) to others. Please, that’s all I’m pointing to.

Where in the 60+ years after Christ ascended into heaven (which would have been in the Word of God) does anyone believe in the real presence? There isn’t any. Now before you get all huffy, I know that at some point after those 60+ years (recorded in the NT), the real presence was taught. It’s just not spoken of in the NT after Christ’s ascension. I realize that we need to also rely on tradition and the church fathers. So it’s ok, I mean no disrespect.


Have you read The Didache - The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations which is an early catechism dated 40 AD to 60 AD.
Scroll down to chapter 9.


SJacbo7 -

I don’t get huffy (at least not on CAF) :stuck_out_tongue:

Think this … again staying only on the Real Presence: Wherever communities of faith existed in the early Church: North Africa, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, today’s Arab countries, India etc… they all believed in the Real Presence. From the writings of the Church (and I only provided few as examples), we can see this belief in place well before 400ad, when the bible as we know it came into existence, 27 books of the New Testament.

How could this belief have come to be?
Who brought this belief to every nation?
Who taught those that brought the belief?
Who taught those, that taught those, that held this belief?
And for argument sake, why does one have to read of this only in the bible?
What about words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of St. John?

OK, but let’s look at the New Testament itself since you seem to believe (it appears) that it must be in Scripture itself. St Paul, an apostle, is teaching of the Real Presence. This is aside from Christ teaching it himself in all four gospels (John 6, MT 26:26, LK 22:19, MK 14:22,24).

1 COR 11
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[c] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

We can also look at the Old Testament scripture, foretelling of the Eucharistic sacrifice: the only pure offering of all time, 24 hours a day, world-wide in the Catholic Church (Orthodox too). Commonly with incense. :wink:

Malach 1:11
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

The Jewish converts to Christianity readily understood the Christian sacrifice, that the bread and wine turned into the actually body and blood of Christ. The video here by Brand Pitre is terrific. I highly recommend watching it to get a more complete understanding of the OT prefigurement of the NT sacrifice.


What do you suppose the apostles taught then? There was no NT, no book to hold.

Do you think the apostles taught baptism? If not how did their disciples became a follower of Christ and their disciples as well? What did Jesus told them? Mat 28:19-20. They were told to baptize and to teach ALL that he has commanded them.
Do you think the apostles taught Confirmation/Eucharist/Penance? If not, then do you think the apostles practice what Jesus told them to do, namely, eat his body, forgive sins? Or do you suppose the apostles promptly forgot as soon as Jesus ascended to heaven and ignore his instructions? Or even more ridiculous, do what Jesus told them but never taught others to imitate?
Didn’t the apostles ordained others? There you go, Holy Orders.
Didn’t the apostles heal the sick? There you go, Anointing of the Sick
Didn’t Christians get married those days? Holy Matrimony. and no divorce either.

What you are saying

  1. is that the Apostles didn’t do what Jesus commanded them to do
  2. the 7 sacraments were not practiced and taught by the apostles.
  3. the apostles practiced the 7 sacraments but did not teach them.

Which one reflects your view?

To present a serious case, you need to provide proof to support your claim. You allude the sacraments were a later invention. You need to substantiate that.


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