Needing Some Answers


#1

Hey Guys:)

It’s Brittany here!
I’m a sophomore in high school, and God has blessed me with an entire group of very religous, Christian friends. I have no idea where I’d be without them, and they challenge my faith everyday. The only thing is that none of them are Catholic, and are mostly Baptist, Protestant, or non-denominational. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, and I love it so much because they support me in my faith, and I can learn about their faiths while at the same time teaching them about mine (and dispelling some pretty funnyrumors about Catholics:)) It has never been an issue…until recently.
One of my very outspoken friends has always questioned me very regularly about Catholics, and he told me how much he doesn’t agree with us. It has never bothered me, and we can get into some very deep conversations about the differences between our faiths. I love it when he questions me because it means that I have to search for my own answers to things I may not have questioned before. The only downside to our controversy is that, while I try to maintain very open to his faith and the faiths of my friends, he is very closed to mine…my arguments usually fall on deaf ears. Again, this is fine. I hope that one day something I say will get through to him. Our friendship doesn’t suffer because of these differences…until yesterday.
Recently, his “attack” has been on the Pope. Again, I have been able to answer his questions, although it is a little more difficult because I am sad to say that I don’t know as much as I should on the it.
Yesterday, I was doing homework before class and he came up to me with questions about the first Pope. I told him that the first priest was Peter…he asked me to prove it. I showed him a passage from Matthew where Jesus tells Peter that ‘upon this rock I will build my church.’ My friend immediately contested it, saying that the passage was not directed at Peter, but at all people. I agreed that the passage may have mutiple meanings, but that one interpretation was that it was directly to Peter, making him the first priest. The conversation began to flare up, and I am very sad to say that I began to fail in my testimony. He began giving me questions that I could not immediately find answers to, The debate evolved, and somehow turned to the Immaculate Conception. This was where I truly failed. He asked me to show him the passage in the Bible where it said that Mary was born without Original Sin, and I told him that I would have to go home and look it up…and he responded that that was what he had expected, and walked off. (I must put in a word for my friend…he’s not coming off so well right now:) He is very passionate about his faith, and sometimes very reluctant to listen…but he’s an amazing person and a strong Christian, just a little stubburn sometimes, especially toward Catholism)
I continued to work on my homework, and he went over to another one of my friends and began talking to him. I don’t think he knew that I could hear him, but he told my friend what I thought I heard as “her faith is really shallow.” Again, I could not really hear, but at that moment what I thought I heard hit me. I was really tired from the night before, and apparently very emotional:) I got up to go to class, and outside the room, I began to cry…of course, EVERYONE just happened to be walking by when it happened…and before lunch even came, my entire group knew because I don’t typically cry.
I was not feeling well and hadn’t been able to finish my homework in the morning, so I took my lunch and moved off to one side to try to cram before my final period. He eventually came over, and apologized for what he had said. However, somehow we got from ‘I’m sorry’ to ‘Catholism is a cult’, and there was little I could say to change his mind. The conversation ended with the bell and a final question from him of, “Don’t you want to know what’s wrong with your faith?” I couldn’t respond, and he walked away…not the most fun I’ve ever had:)

So now that my novel is over, I have several questions and requests. First, on Monday if he brings anything up again, I want to have the answers. If you could help me with any passages about the Immaculate Conception or the history of the Pope, I would appreciate it so much. Second, I had been told that the Pope has made only two infalible statements in like the last 50 or 100 years, and if this is true and you know what they were concerning, that would be incredibly helpful as well. Finally, if you could just send some prayers his way that God could open his mind to differences just a little, that would be amazing as well. Again, I’m sorry this was so long, I have a tendency to write novels when I should be writing paragraphs, but this was really bothering me and I want to be able to defend our faith as best as possible at every opportunity. Thank you all soooo much, and thank you again for listening to my rant:)
Sister in Christ,
Briddz


#2

Hello Brittany,

I am a junior in high school and have received similar attacks from my good-intentioned friends. I don’t have answers to all of your questions, but I believe the last two infallibly proclaimed doctrines were the Immaculate Conception and The Assumption, and I believe at least one was proclaimed over 100 years ago, but correct me if I am wrong. As for information about the pope, I always go to the Catholic Answers website and type in the subject. This is usually a very good tool, though I am still very young in my apologetics. I will wait to hear answers from other members. I need them too!

-ak_mike :slight_smile:


#3

Hi Brittany,

Don’t worry about it kid, I’m a lot older than you and my apologetics skills fail me all the time. Just remember that our faith is what we BELIEVE, not what we can argue with others. Just because you cannot debate the fine points of Catholic doctrine doesn’t mean that your “faith is shallow”.

Many protestants grow up with a spiritual chip on their shoulder. Don’t let it throw you. There is nothing wrong with directing someone to sources for the answers. Some of us are just not comfortable debating faith issues. I suggest that you spend some time reading the tracts on Catholic Answers, EWTN or some of the other good Catholic sites to bolster your own knowledge so that you will be more comfortable with the questions. Mind you, I am not saying that you need to be more comfortable arguing the questions, just comfortable that YOU know the answers so that the questions will not shake your own confidence.

The worst thing that can happen in an argument like you describe is that YOUR faith will be weakened. That is often the goal of protestant argument - not learning what Catholics believe and why, but weaking our faith in the hope of “converting” us. Don’t fall for it. Take your time, read and learn. And don’t allow others to corner you into arguments.

Have confidence in the knowledge that you have already found the fullness of Truth that is the Catholic faith.

Blessings.


#4

Brittany and Mike,

I want to start by saying I think it’s awesome that you guys are out there defending the faith, in the frontlines so to speak. Please keep up the good work, especially when it gets tough. Remember, Satan attacks those who have the potential of doing much good, and God, being on your side, is far stronger than anything evil can send your way.

OK, on to the questions.

WRT Peter, you are correct briddz, in referencing the passage where he says You are Peter (the word peter means rock) and on this rock I build my church. Make a point of the fact that the rock (Cephas in arameic, the language this passage was first spoken in) had not been used as a name up to this point in time, and yet Jesus changed Simon’s name, just as in the old Testament God changed the names of key players, when making a covenant (e.g. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham). Peter’s name change is significant, and that he called him the Rock upon which the church was build is also significant. In this same passage of the Bible, Christ also tells Peter (Rock) that he will give him the keys of the kingdom and he will have the power to bind and loose (He gives this first to Peter alone). He later extends the binding and loosing to the remainder of the Apostles, but the keys, a symbol of the position of Prime Minister, remain reserved to Peter, the leader of the Apostles.

Peter, in some ways the weakest of the Apostles, is selected to be their leader, so that it is all the more apparent that all Power and Glory is from God. Peter, the apostle who denies Christ 3 times turns back to lead the flock. This was foretold by Jesus in Luke 22:31-34 where Christ instructed Peter in the need to strengthen his brothers. He warned him that Satan would be sifting all, but the Christ had prayed specifically for Peter. Be careful here, some of the translations do not clarify you (singular) from you (plural). Know that Satan sifts plural and Christ here has identified praying specifically for Peter, so Peter will not err when strengthening and leading his followers.

I heard something the other day that was really helpful to me in thinking about the Papacy. As you most likely already know one of the titles for the Pope is Servant of the Servants of God. This particular title is one I especially like, because it so clearly indicates the position of the pope. What I heard the other day takes this one step further perhaps, in that with Popes, such as Pope John Paul II, who serve the Gospel, the Church flourishes in their time. On the few occasions where there has been a pope who instead thought they could Lord over the Gospel, the Church has undergone extreme turmoil. But even in the occasions where the Pope wasn’t appropriately humble, none has spoken on issues of Faith and Morals or confirmed the decisions of a Council on Church matters that would contradict Church Doctrine. The very few (I think it’s 3) Popes who were less than holy when serving in the office of Pope, did NOT add to the Church Dogma anything that was contradictory to the Sacred Tradition as handed down from the Apostles.

Which leads to the question regarding the Immaculate Conception. You have fallen into the trap of buying their premise that everything to be known can be found in the Bible. Everything in the Bible is Correct and Good for Teaching, etc, but it is not complete. This is a Protestant position which the Catholic Church does not accept. There is Sacred Tradition which we received from the Apostles. It preceeded NT Scripture and scripture comes from the Tradition. Together they make up the Deposit of Faith that we hold to firmly, as encouraged by Paul in 1 Cor 11:1 and 2 Thess 2:15.

But how can we know oral tradition is true from Christ and the Apostles? 1) Read the Church Fathers - tons of info there; 2) Liturgical texts (Didache, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus); 3) Archeaology - (e.g. the catecombs); 4) Conciliar Documents (Nicaea, Chalcedon, etc.)

I’m sorry your friend is being difficult. Remember to continue to love him with Christ’s charity. The Holy Spirit will work on him when the time is right. Know that you are planting seeds, even if he doesn’t recognize them right now.

God Bless,

CARose


#5

Hi, Brittany.

Regarding the immaculate conception, you can actually see it very very gently referred to in Ezekiel 17, in the famous Parable of the Two Eagles.

In the Bible, all references to “desert” and “wasteland” and “wilderness” are symbols, or types, representing “the world in need of salvation.”

So, it is not an accident that in Matthew 4:1 et seq. Jesus is tempted by the Devil in the desert.

A “fertile field” or “seed bed,” on the other hand, would be a place not in need of salvation.

Now, watch what happens in Ezekiel 17. I’ll use the King James Version, otherwise your friend will reject it for that reason…

17:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 17:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours,
The great eagle is the Holy Spirit.

came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:
All non-fig trees in the Bible somehow refer to the cross. The Lebanon cedar is very appropriate. The wood is almost red – it looks blood-washed. Here the cedar seems to refer to the family of the cross – Jesus’ ancestors, and Jesus. Jesus himself would be the “uppermost branch” – the last of the line.

17:4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.
In a land of buying and selling…what? Well, we say that Jesus “purchased” our salvation by suffering and dying to pay for access to Heaven and the grace which gets us there.

17:5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field;
He “also” took the seed of the land. “Seed” is always “faith” in the Bible. I.e., the Holy Spirit planted the uppermost branch of the cedar, and great faith, in a “fruitful field.” “Fruitful field”? In what did the Holy Spirit plant Jesus which did not need salvation???

Immaculate (sinless) Mary.

he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 17:6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
So, here we see this “uppermost branch of the cedar tree” becoming the “vine” with many branches. Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches.” So, I’m right!

17:7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.
So, here we see the vine leaving its Jewish roots – Jewish Jesus becoming a Gentile Church.


#6

Here’s some biblical support for the Immaculate Conception:

One is Luke 1:28 where the angel addresses Mary, “Hail, full of grace!” Now, as we know, before we are baptized, we are born with original sin. Original sin means our soul is without grace. It is essentially dead. Mary was not baptized at this point. How could she have been full of grace if she was conceived with original sin?

Here’s some more complex evidence:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Gen. 3:15). My namesake!!!

Let’s analyze this little prophetic verse. In this verse, God is speaking to the serpent, Satan. Everyone, including fundies and evangelicals will agree that “He will strike your head” refers to Jesus defeating Satan. Since Jesus is the woman’s offspring, that makes the woman Mary. Now God puts enmity between Jesus and Satan’s offspring. Now, since we know Jesus was conceived sinless and never sinned His whole life, we can say that this enmity is complete enmity. Complete emnity means Jesus was totally in opposition with evil and sin.

Now notice this enmity that God places between Jesus and evil is the same emnity that God has placed between the woman and Satan. Thus, it must also be complete enmity. Mary is also in total opposition to sin. Mary was conceived without original sin because God has put this complete emnity between her and sin. Thus, she also led a sinful life as well.

This is supported by the fact that Jesus often calls Mary “Woman.” See John 2:4 at the wedding feast at Cana. Also see when He was on the cross in John 19:26.

The wedding feast at Cana is also great Biblical support for Mary’s interceding on our behalf. Hope this helps!


#7

Realize that Protestants like this feel like they have to prove the Catholic church is SO WRONG (at least, in their own minds) to justify the Reformation. So, take this “attack” as him being insecure in his own faith. Don’t tell him that to his face, but realize that it is not based on anything personal against you. Pray for him and make sacrifices for him. Above all, be patient and kind to him. That will break him down over time more than any fancy argumentation. He will start to see his actions as uncharitable and, maybe, become a little more openminded.

That having been said, I LIVE for these types of situations. Believe it or not, many here probably ENVY your opportunity :smiley: You may feel like it is a dailty chore, but God has given you a chance to grow in your faith, as well as an opportunity to share it.

Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers at your fingertips. Be humble enough to admit when you don’t have the answer, but tell them that you will find out and tell them. And then do it.

This website has tons of info. Go to the tracts forum at www.catholic.com and you will get more info than you need.

Keep it up. We are all here for support if you need it.

Rich


#8

[font=Verdana]That having been said, I LIVE for these types of situations. Believe it or not, many here probably ENVY your opportunity :smiley: You may feel like it is a dailty chore, but God has given you a chance to grow in your faith, as well as an opportunity to share it.

[/font]

This is so true. Everyone seems to have stories of people trying to evangelize them. How come nobody tries to evangelize me? I feel so left out :crying: .


#9

Dear ChessusPower…

Get yourself these books.
I insist!!

Upon This Rock by Stephen K. Ray

Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid

Read them thoroughly - it will take some time.'
Then you will be ready for anything - even all those pesky “rock” challenges! :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]Recently, his “attack” has been on the Pope. Again, I have been able to answer his questions, although it is a little more difficult because I am sad to say that I don’t know as much as I should on the it.
[/quote]

Let me suggest a VERY good place to start learning apologetics. There is a very easy to read series called Beginning Apologetics by Jim Burnham and Father Frank Chacon. It covers MANY of the arguments used by Protestants to criticize the Church.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]My friend immediately contested it, saying that the passage was not directed at Peter, but at all people.
[/quote]

Protestants often use this argument because the Greek word used for Peter is Petros (a masculine noun), while the word used for rock is petra (a feminine noun). Petros literally means small stone while petra means massive rock. They say then that the “massive rock” which Christ built His Church upon must not refer to Peter the “small stone” but to Peter’s profession of faith. That might make sense if Jesus was speaking Greek, but He spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic, the word for rock is kepha. Therefore, when Jesus says, “You are Kepha (Rock) and upon this kepha (rock) I will build my Church.” This makes it clear that Jesus was identifying Peter as the rock. Because this part of the Bible was written in Greek and not in Aramaic, it is easy to get confused until one remembers that Christ was speaking in Aramaic.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]I agreed that the passage may have multiple meanings, but that one interpretation was that it was directly to Peter, making him the first priest. The conversation began to flare up, and I am very sad to say that I began to fail in my testimony. He began giving me questions that I could not immediately find answers to, The debate evolved, and somehow turned to the Immaculate Conception.
[/quote]

This is another tactic used by many Protestants. They want to keep you off balance by switching bouncing between subjects. In the future, lay some ground rules. The first rule being, we ONLY discuss one subject at a time. If he has a problem with a particular belief, let him ask his question. If you know the answer then answer it. If you don’t, tell him that you will get back to him with the answer. Then go home and research the subject or ask someone who may know the answer. The next day, tell him what you learned and THEN allow him to change the subject. Remember, he’s had time to learn the arguments against the Church, he should allow you the time to give him the answers to his questions.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]This was where I truly failed. He asked me to show him the passage in the Bible where it said that Mary was born without Original Sin, and I told him that I would have to go home and look it up…and he responded that that was what he had expected, and walked off.
[/quote]

His attitude toward you indicates his lack of respect toward you and your beliefs. You deserve better.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid](I must put in a word for my friend…he’s not coming off so well right now He is very passionate about his faith, and sometimes very reluctant to listen…but he’s an amazing person and a strong Christian, just a little stubburn sometimes, especially toward Catholism)
[/quote]

Don’t defend his actions. They speak for him and what he is. Just as your actions speak for you. Your heart is big and that is commendable.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]I was really tired from the night before, and apparently very emotional I got up to go to class, and outside the room, I began to cry…of course, EVERYONE just happened to be walking by when it happened…and before lunch even came, my entire group knew because I don’t typically cry.

[/quote]

You will meet MANY people (some come disguised as friends) who will attack your faith and your Church. Christ was crucified because of this. A “friend” betrayed Him. Hold strong to your faith. Learn about it, embrace it and defend it. You aren’t alone and can always ask for help.

God bless.


#11

Brittany,
You may wish to visit a wonderul site that uses scripture to illustrate the Catholic faith:

ScriptureCatholic

It has proven very useful when dealing with “scripture alone” antagonists.

Keep up the good work fighting for the Truth.

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#12

They know better Genesis:rotfl:
http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/cartoon44.gif


#13

Next time this happens, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that you have to show that everything you believe must be formally attested to in the Bible. :wink: You should have turned the tables on your friend and demanded that he show you where in the Bible where the doctrine of sola scriptura appears. He won’t be able to do that, since there is nothing in the Bible that supports this false doctrine. Remind your friend that you are a Catholic, and that Catholics don’t believe in sola scriptura because that doctrine was never taught by Jesus or the Apostles.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offence. :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=Matt16_18]Next time this happens, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that you have to show that everything you believe must be formally attested to in the Bible. :wink: You should have turned the tables on your friend and demanded that he show you where in the Bible where the doctrine of sola scriptura appears. He won’t be able to do that, since there is nothing in the Bible that supports this false doctrine. Remind your friend that you are a Catholic, and that Catholics don’t believe in sola scriptura because that doctrine was never taught by Jesus or the Apostles.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offence. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

This is very very good advice to keep in mind when one is subjected to rapid-fire questioning about the faith. It is also very effective in allowing you to gain some control over the “debate”. As Matt16_18 suggests, a short response such as, “all of your questions assume that the Bible is the sole rule of faith. Before I answer your questions, show me where in the bible this “doctrine” of sola scriptura is explicitly taught” is quite effective.

Also, don’t let your friend get you down on yourself for having to look up the answers to his specific questions. It is much worse to try to “fake” your way through an answer. And don’t worry, all these “stock” objections to the Catholic Faith have logical, thorough and scriptural refutations…just ask if you are unsure and we here will help you find them.


#15

[quote=Genesis315]“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Gen. 3:15). My namesake!!!

Now, since we know Jesus was conceived sinless and never sinned His whole life, we can say that this enmity is complete enmity. Complete emnity means Jesus was totally in opposition with evil and sin.

Now notice this enmity that God places between Jesus and evil is the same emnity that God has placed between the woman and Satan. Thus, she also led a sinful [presumably you mean **sinless
[/quote]

] life as well.

You found the parallel structure. Nice. I love it.


#16

[quote=Ani Ibi]Thus, she also led a sinful [presumably you mean **sinless
[/quote]

] life as well.

:bigyikes: oops, yes I did mean “sinless”! Thanks for pointing that out!

There’s that great scene in “The Passion” where Mary and Satan are on opposite sides of the Via Dolorosa. It’s an excellent visual of this enmity.


#17

[quote=Genesis315]:bigyikes: oops, yes I did mean “sinless”! Thanks for pointing that out!

There’s that great scene in “The Passion” where Mary and Satan are on opposite sides of the Via Dolorosa. It’s an excellent visual of this enmity.
[/quote]

Yes, I was remembering the film when I was reading through these posts. Gibson so saw the parallelism. What a work of consummate art that film was. Such a pity that so much time and energy has been taken up in arguing the interpretations and so little time actually critiquing the film.


#18

Hello Brittany. I am sorry to hear about your friends attitude.

First I would like to address the statement about Matt. 16 where he said it is addressing all the people.

The books of the bible were originally written in Greek. In the Greek language there are different forms of words that express the meanings of the words. There is a different word for the plural than there is for the singular. For example, the greek and English for Matt. 16;18 is

kagw de **soi **legw oti su ei petroV, kai epi tauth th petra oikodomhsw mou thn ekklhsian, kai pulai adou ou katiscusousin authV.

[font=Arial][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Arial][size=2]*

*[font=Symbol][font=Arial][size=2]18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and[/size] the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [/font] [/font][/size][/font]

I underlined the important word for this attack. The words above that are underlined and bolded, pronounced soy and ei, are the words that are important to this topic. The word **soi **[font=Arial][size=2]is the singular dative form of the word “You”. [font=Symbol][size=4]ei[/size] is the singular 2nd person singular in the present tense for the verb “to be”. The Greek language is very precise and you can destinguish who is being addressed just by the verb being used if it is in 2nd person. The word **ei **[font=Arial]can only be translated in the singular as “you are”. It can only be speaking to Peter.[/font][/font][/size][/font]
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[font=Arial][size=2]Here is the greek and English for verse 19[/size][/font]
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[font=Symbol][size=4][font=Arial][size=2][size=4][font=Symbol][font=Symbol][size=4][font=Arial][size=2][size=4][font=Symbol]dwsw **soi **[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]

[/size]taV kleidaV thV basileiaV twn ouranwn, kai o ean dhshV epi thV ghV estai dedemenon en toiV ouranoiV, kai o ean lushV epi thV ghV estai lelumenon en toiV ouranoiV. [/font][/font][/font]
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[font=Symbol][size=4][font=Arial][size=2]19[/size]

*[/size] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [/font] [/font][/size][/font]
[font=Arial][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Arial][size=2]Again here we see the word [size=4][font=Symbol]soi[/size] which as we have seen is the singular form for “you”. This is the verse where Jesus gives the keys to Peter. It can only be interpretted as addressing only Peter. The other word that is underlined is also a 2nd person singular verb that expresses the same thing.[/font][/size][/font]
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[font=Arial][size=2]Continued
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#19

[font=Arial][size=2]We can compare that with the Greek and English for Matt. 18;18[/size][/font]
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[font=Symbol][size=4][font=Arial][size=2] [size=4][font=Symbol]amhn legw umin[/size][/size]

[/size], osa ean dhshte epi thV ghV estai dedemena en ouranw kai osa ean lushte epi thV ghV estai lelumena en ouranw. [/font][/font] [/font][/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=2][font=Symbol][size=4][/size][/font][/size][/font]
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[font=Symbol][font=Arial]18

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.[/font] *[/font][/font]
[font=Symbol][size=4][/size][/font]
[font=Arial][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Arial][size=2]The word I have underlined is the plural dative form of the word “you”. In this sentence it can only be interpreted as addressing all of them. As you can see, it is different than the other word above from Matt. 16;18 and 19. If your friend wanted to read the bible like he is, he would have to change what the original greek says. But Christ does not Give the keys to the kingdom to them all like he gave to Peter. That was Peters alone.[/size][/font]
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[font=Arial][size=2]These verses can only be translated as they are understood by the Catholic Church.[/size][/font]
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[font=Arial][size=2]greekbible.com/
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#20

With the history of the pope, you can see for example Irenaeus is the second century said that the church of Rome had authority over all other churches. And guess who is the head of the church of Rome?

[font=MS Sans Serif]2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome

by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority,(3) that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. [/font]

The next paragraph in the writing traces the first 13 popes.

  1. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth. [font=Arial]

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These are from Irenaeus Against Heresies Book III chapter III.


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