Studying the Foundations of the Roman Catholic Church - Early Church Fathers on the Papacy


#1

This is the third in a series of threads I’ve started to address key issues of the Roman Catholic Faith that I find difficult to believe.

Brief Recap

Previous threads…

Matthew 16 - An atypical linguistics question - We addressed the “rock vs. rock” controversy. We still haven’t come to a complete conclusion yet, but the evidence thus far indicates that either a “kepha/kepha” (rock/rock) or a “kepha/shu’a” (big rock/foundation rock) original works in Matthew 16:18, making either the Roman Catholic or the Protestant perspectives plausible.

Peter the Rock - Here, we studied scriptural support for the primacy of Peter, to see if scripture itself could give us reasonable proof that Peter led the early Christian church, and that he had the supreme authority and infallibility that the pope now has. The most verbose Roman Catholic posters seemed to agree that the passages Roman Catholics cite as support of the papacy are ambiguous. They can be seen to harmonize with either the Roman Catholic or the Protestant point of view.

Topic of this thread

In this thread, I’d like to move to what seems to be the next logical link in the chain regarding the papacy. As linguistics and scriptural exegesis have not formed a certain conclusion (to my mind, either Protestant [and I use that term loosely – I mean non-Roman Catholic, generally speaking] or Roman Catholic views are both somewhat plausible), the next step is to see how the early church handled this issue.

Did they accord Peter (and by extension, the “See of Rome”) primacy? Did they accord this primacy as one of honor only, or one of authority as well? Did they ascribe infallibility to the judgment of these bishops of Rome in the sense modern Roman Catholics do? How did these church fathers interpret Matthew 16?

I would like to limit discussion to the first couple of centuries of the church. I’m not going to place a specific limit, but I would say that information further from the source (that is, further from the apostles and Christ) should be considered less credible (more likely to not reflect original teachings) than stuff nearer to it. This makes sense, doesn’t it?

What I don’t want to see in here…

I realize that, as some would say, this is not my forum, and so I shouldn’t be making rules. However, I am the one who has started this thread, and thus I feel it gives me some authority to set some guidelines. As you’ve all seen thus far, what I’m looking to do is to establish a fair and open debate within certain limits. I don’t want to see independent interpretations of Matthew 16 (that’s what the previous thread was for). I also don’t want to see quotes that are out of context.

Again, this thread is for the discussion of important figures in the early Christian church, specifically focusing on how they viewed Matthew 16, the other passages we previously looked at, and the papacy in general. Anything else is off-topic, and is best handled in another thread.

The goal here is not to come in with dogmatic or blanketing statements about what the early fathers believed. In fact, I won’t even get into the unanimous consent bit, as that wasn’t “established” until Vatican I (I think – it could have been Trent or one of the others, but regardless, it happened well after the time period we’re looking at).

All that said, I have a couple of requests for specific things I am looking for…

  1. In reviewing information about Vatican I (where papal infallibility was formally defined), I repeatedly saw information that Kenrick (Francis Kenrick, I think) actually published his undelivered speech on the subject at Naples after the council. I’ve searched high and low, and all I can find are several people who claim to cite information from Kenrick – I’d like to see the original text of his speech as published. Can someone get me a link to that? I realize most of you will consider it anti-Catholic, but it was a speech which apparently cited information from a lot of early church fathers on the papacy, so I’d like to see it.

  2. Can someone provide me the criteria for who are considered church fathers according to the Roman Catholic Church? Are there any notable figures who are specifically excluded for a particular reason?

  3. I’d like someone to post, perhaps, quotes from three or four early fathers who overtly supported that Peter was the rock of the church. Please try to provide dates, source names, links to the sources, etc where possible.

I look forward to this being an enjoyable debate, and I hope to see many others posting here as well.

Oh – one final request – can we keep the ad hominems out of this thread? I just don’t find any usefulness in attacking the person, rather than the argument.


#2

I think the two early Christian writers that did it for me, regarding Matthew 16 and the papacy, were the then heretic Tertullian (Modesty, written about A.D. 220, ) and St. Cyprian of Carthage, (The Unity of the Catholic Church, first edition, written about A.D. 251, the edition where the ‘Chair of Peter’ is discussed).


#3

The then heretic Tertullian, *Modesty.*I hear that there has even been an edict set forth, and a peremptory one too [by the bishop of Rome]. The Pontifex Maximus—that is, the bishop of bishops—issues an edict: “I remit, to such as have discharged (the requirements of) repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication.” (1)
. . .
If, because the Lord has said to Peter, “Upon this rock will I build My Church,” “to you have I given the keys of the heavenly kingdom;” or, “Whatsoever you shall have bound or loosed in earth, shall be bound or loosed in the heavens,” you [bishop of Rome] therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing has derived to you, that is, to every Church akin to Peter, what sort of man are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord, conferring (as that intention did) this (gift) personally upon Peter? (21)

St. Cyprian of Carthage, , first editionThe Unity of the Catholic Church:

  1. If any one consider and examine these things, there is no need for lengthened discussion and arguments. There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (St. Matthew 16:18). And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, “Feed my sheep” (St. John 21:16). It is on him that He builds the Church, and to him that He entrusts the sheep to feed. And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;” (St. John 20:21, 22) yet, He founded a single Chair. That He might set forth unity, He established by His authority the origin of that unity, as having its origin in one man alone. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is thus made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, even if they are all shepherds, we are shown but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he confidence that he is in the Church?

#4

from www.scripturecatholic.com

“And he says to him again after the resurrection, ‘Feed my sheep.’ It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church’s) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided.” Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256).

“I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by…and by the succession of bishops from the very seat of Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection commended His sheep to be fed up to the present episcopate.” Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, 5 (A.D. 395).

“Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown, so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished.” Augustine, To Glorius et.al, Epistle 43:7 (A.D. 397).


#5

PC Master–

I’d like you to set the stage for this thread by addressing my question from our previous thread–which is actually quite significant to this thread as well:

Could you identify two or three of the guidelines used for the canonization of Scripture that you consider the most reasonable and valid to you?

For greater relevance to this thread, might I also ask you to compare/contrast the authority of Scripture with the authority of writings of the Church Fathers?

I see this as relevant because the writings of the Church Fathers also rely on Scripture for much of their conclusions–and I still don’t have a clear sense from you as to your reasons for accepting the authority of Scripture. It would make sense to clarify this question so that, when the Church Fathers argue from the authority of Scripture, we will have an understanding of your approach to such arguments…

Thanks,

DJim


#6

Todd, I appreciate the format you used to post such quotes and link to them. I’ll try to use the same format. I would, however, ask that you give a date for your citations wherever possible. Thanks. :slight_smile:

While I realize this is not really on-topic, it should be noted that Tertullian goes on to state that such a proclamation would not be godly. However, I assume you are saying that this is a confirmation of the title of Pontifex Maximus, which is now used by the papacy. However, at the time of that writing (some time before 230AD, when Tertullian died – I couldn’t find an exact date for the writing in question), the term solely applied to the highest ranking priest in the Roman state religion, which wasn’t Christian in any form. The first usage by a pope is somewhere between 350AD and 450AD (varying sources give varying dates, but none date before 300AD, which is at least 70 years after this writing).

Thus, we must assume that the term either referred to the bishop of Rome in a derogatory fashion (referring to him as if he were a pagan, something that would have been seriously offensive to a Christian of the day, given their persecution by the Romans), or that the term was referring to the actual Pontifex Maximus of the time. I haven’t actually read the entire document, so I’m not sure which of these is actually the case, but it certainly wasn’t a “legit” use of the title.

Modesty.
If, because the Lord has said to Peter, “Upon this rock will I build My Church,” “to you have I given the keys of the heavenly kingdom;” or, “Whatsoever you shall have bound or loosed in earth, shall be bound or loosed in the heavens,” you [bishop of Rome] therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing has derived to you, that is, to every Church akin to Peter, what sort of man are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord, conferring (as that intention did) this (gift) personally upon Peter? (21)

Clearly, if this letter was written directly to the bishop of Rome, it is confirming that Tertullian believed this power did not extend to the bishop of Rome of that day. “If…you therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing has derived to you…what sort of man are you…wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord…?” That says it all. Tertullian clearly believed this was a personal gift to Peter himself, conferred personally, and only, on him, and not to any successors or the church.

So, overall, while Peter was considered to be the rock by Tertullian, he certainly did not believe any power or authority that Peter may have had to be succeeded by anyone, especially not the bishop of Rome.


#7

Continued…

St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church, first edition:

  1. If any one consider and examine these things, there is no need for lengthened discussion and arguments. There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (St. Matthew 16:18). And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, “Feed my sheep” (St. John 21:16). It is on him that He builds the Church, and to him that He entrusts the sheep to feed. And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;” (St. John 20:21, 22) yet, He founded a single Chair. That He might set forth unity, He established by His authority the origin of that unity, as having its origin in one man alone. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is thus made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, even if they are all shepherds, we are shown but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he confidence that he is in the Church?

Clearly here, Cyprian says that all of the apostles had an equal authority and power, to the extent of being all that Peter was (including being teachers of the church). Peter had a primacy of honor in the sense of representing the unity of the church. This, however, doesn’t show there to be an authority unique to Peter. It does say that whoever doesn’t cling to the chair of Peter, which presumably, is a literary device to represent the unity of the church (via the unity of all the apostles), cannot be confident that he’s in the church.

This document was primarily written when Novatian (referenced by Roman Catholics as an “anti-pope”) was around.

Unfortunately I could find complete online sources for neither of these documents. Thus it’s hard to tell the context. However, there is another citation I’d offer here, which assures what Augustine’s views actually were. At the end of his life, Augustine published a work entitled The Retractions…

In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable (The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations Chapter 20.1).

He leaves it up to the reader to decide which opinions is more probable, but clearly, from the tone of the passage, and the detail in which he explains his latter view (giving reasonings for it), he views that as the more valid of the two.


#8

Continued…

DJim> While I appreciate that you want an answer to this question, I fail to see what relevance it has to this discussion. The point of this discussion is how did the early fathers interpret scripture (whatever they considered scripture to be). It’s not about how I view scripture. The question is strictly whether or not the papacy (as Roman Catholics insist) was evident to the early fathers. All that matters is how they interpreted scripture and church teachings in regards to the papacy.

Believe it or not, I’m not actually trying to dodge your question – I just am tired of going off on tangents. If you can explain how an answer to the question would actually matter in regards to the opinions of the early fathers on scripture, I would be willing to answer the question, despite my misgivings.


#9

I won’t deign to speak for Todd, but I think the point is that this was written during the Montanist (heretical) period of Tertullian. He is expressly writing against the Psychics (Catholics) during this time. Nevertheless, he affirms that Peter is the rock and that the Bishop of Rome is claiming the same authority as Peter.

So, overall, while Peter was considered to be the rock by Tertullian, he certainly did not believe any power or authority that Peter may have had to be succeeded by anyone, especially not the bishop of Rome.

Correct, but I believe this shows much more than your post indicates you realize (not saying whether you really do or not). Even after his Catholic period Tertullian recognizes that Peter was the rock. If anything, one would expect him to reject this position since it is the transmission of this power as claimed by Rome that he denies. But just as importantly Tertullian clarifies that even at this early date (between 200 and 250; I can give you a source and a more exact date later) the Bishop of Rome did claim this authority.

And with Cyprian:

“It is on him that He builds the Church, and to him that He entrusts the sheep to feed.”

Speaking of Peter here of course. So again, we have an ECF who affirms that Peter is the rock and the foundation of the Church referenced in Matthew 16. I suppose we could go on and address questions about the nature and transmission of this power, but it doesn’t make much sense unless you are willing to accept the ECF’s interpretation of Matthew 16. The relevant question is: do you?


#10

PCM, you are creating a three-fold exploration of this particular issue, it seems, including the previous two threads. Yet, in those threads, I don’t believe you have established a clear framework regarding your own acceptance of “authority” relative to the questions you raise.

By taking a lead role in this discussion, PCM, you are placing your own views squarely in focus, since you are offering your opinions and views regularly. In fact, it is rather clear that your pursuit has a very personal element to it. I am just asking for an honest and clear representation of your viewpoint.

If we don’t know how or why you accept Scripture as authoritative, it will do no good to discuss how the Fathers handled Scripture, because your presuppositions will remain hidden. In fact, it won’t really matter what the Fathers said about Scripture and this issue unless we know what your take is on Scripture.

I do, frankly, feel your reply is a bit of a dodge–but I may well be wrong. My suggestion would be for you to send me a private reply to my question if you really feel strongly that it is not relevant to this thread. Would you, please, reply at least privately?

Thanks,

DJim


#11

Tertullian, in ca. 213 AD, wrote the Montanist work “Monogamy”, in which he says of Peter: “I presume he was a monogamist; for the Church, built upon him, would for the future appoint to every degree of orders none but monogamists…”

A clear indication that Tertullian understood Peter’s role for the Church built upon him was a precedent-setting role. In this case, the precedent is monogamy–but clearly Tertullian saw Peter as the root from which his successors would spring.

Further, one need only look at Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians (ca. 90 AD) to show that, loooong before Tertullian, the concept of apostolic succession was clearly in place:

“Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned, and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.”

Clement is, in context in the rest of the passage, defending some of his contemporary bishops from removal by asserting their succession from the apostles themselves. Clement, himself Bishop of Rome, is writing the Corinthians regarding their affairs…why? because he is a successor to the office of “rock”, so to speak. It’s by no means his job, strictly speaking, as Bishop of Rome, to attend to Corinth matters, but it is his job as “rock” of the Church…

DJim


#12

One minor detail I could add is that St Ignatius of Antioch (AD c107) does gives a much more reverent and formal greeting in his latter to the church in Rome than anywhere else:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that willeth all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God, which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of obtaining her every desire, worthy of being deemed holy, * and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, * abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God.*
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who formed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, * worthy of being deemed holy a and in the apostolical character,** and wish abundance of happiness.* Ignatius, who is also called Theaphorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, beloved by God the Father, and Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh and Spirit of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in His passion by the cross and death, and in His resurrection, which also I salute in its fulness,%between%* and in the apostolical character,%between% and wish abundance of happiness.*

Note that in the latter he asserts authority, whereas in the former he does not

Also, in the Shepherd of Hermas, an angel tells Hermas:
4[8]:3 Thou shalt therefore write two little books, and shalt send one to Clement, and one to Grapte. So Clement shall send to the foreign cities, for this is his duty; while Grapte shall instruct the widows and the orphans. But thou shalt read (the book) to this city along with the elders that preside over the Church.

Now, while it is unlikely due to the evidence of the Muratorian Fragment that Hermas was a contemporary of St Clement, the 4th pope, Clement may have been a notable former bishop of Rome that one could refer to in an allegorical fashion so as to not “out” Hermas’ Brother, Pope St Pius I.
However another Church father, Origen, thought Hermas was the one Paul greets at the end of his letter to the Romans, thus making it possible for Hermas to be a contemporary of Clement and thus the above justification would be unnecessary.*


#13

I think this comment is on topic–but I don’t know if it was covered in the previous two “PCM” threads:

Has it been noted by anyone else just how closely the name “Kephas” resembles the Greek word “Kephale” (if my transliteration is passable)–which just happens to mean head???

Now, I understand that etymologically they aren’t really related because of the Hebrew root for “Kephas”–I just think it’s very… coincidental???..that the name Jesus gave to Simon happens to function in Greek as a near-homonym (perhaps an actual pun in this case?) for the word “head” in Greek?

The Greek word “kephale” is the common metaphor in Greek for anything supreme, prominent, or primary…

To hear the Hebrew “Keph” for rock is to hear the core of the Greek root for “head”…

Coincidence? (for topic’s sake–do any Church Fathers take note of this similarity?)

DJim


#14

Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for Me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which My teaching flows, you are the chief of My disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the first-born in My institution, and so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys to my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures! St. Ephraim (ca. 306-373), Homilies [4,1] from Jurgens Faith of the Early Fathers, sec. 706. (Emphasis added).

May not mean much though. All of Ephraim’s works were written in Syriac.

As a side note, Tertullian’s Modesty was written ca. 220.


#15

Interesting thread. No comments, just subscribing:)

Okay, maybe I do have a comment. I find it interesting and significant that even though Tertullian did not believe that Peter’s power had been passed on, it does show quite clearly that others did believe so.

I did not know of this quote, and do find it quite interesting. I would also be interested in the EO explanation of that.


#16

From: christiantruth.com/fathersmt16.html
**Augustine **

Remember, in this man Peter, the rock. He’s the one, you see, who on being questioned by the Lord about who the disciples said he was, replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ On hearing this, Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you’…‘You are Peter, Rocky, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of the underworld will not conquer her. To you shall I give the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall also be loosed in heaven’ (Mt 16:15-19). In Peter, Rocky, we see our attention drawn to the rock. Now the apostle Paul says about the former people, ‘They drank from the spiritual rock that was following them; but the rock was Christ’ (1 Cor 10:4). So this disciple is called Rocky from the rock, like Christian from Christ. Why have I wanted to make this little introduction? In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer. John Rotelle, O.S.A., Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993), Sermons, Volume III/6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327

Ambrose

He, then, who before was silent, to teach us that we ought not to repeat the words of the impious, this one, I say, when he heard: ‘But who do you say I am,’ **immediately, not unmindful of his station, exercised his primacy, that is, the primacy of confession, not of honor; the primacy of belief, not of rank…**This, then, is Peter who has replied for the rest of the Apostles; rather, before the rest of men. And so he is called the foundation, because he knows how to preserve not only his own but the common foundation. Christ agreed with him; the Father revealed it to him. For he who speaks of the true generation of the Father, received it from the Father, did not receive it from the flesh. Faith, then, is the foundation of the Church, for it was not said of Peter’s flesh, but of his faith, that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ But his confession of faith conquered hell. And this confession did not shut out one heresy, for, since the Church like a good ship is often buffeted by many waves, the foundation of the Church should prevail against all heresies. The day will fail me sooner than the names of heretics and the different sects, yet against all is this general faith-that Christ is the Son of God, and eternal from the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary. The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C.: Catholic University, 1963), Saint Ambrose, The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 4.32-5.35, pp. 230

Ambrosiaster

‘Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.’ The above puts together New and Old Testaments. For the apostles proclaimed what the prophets said would be, although Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘God placed the apostles first, the prophets second’ (1 Cor. 12.28). But this refers to other prophets, for in 1 Cor. Paul writes about ecclesiastical orders; here he is concerned with the foundation of the Church. The prophets prepared, the apostles laid the foundations. Wherefore the Lord says to Peter: ‘Upon this rock I shall build my Church,’ that is, upon this confession of the catholic faith I shall establish the faithful in life


#17

Notice Kaycee that the rock that was following them–the Isrelites–is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament scriptures.

It comes from Sacred Tradition which you Curse with all your being!


#18

Bede

You are Peter and on this rock from which you have taken your name, that is, on myself, **I will build my Church, upon that perfection of faith which you confessed **I will build my Church by whose society of confession should anyone deviate although in himself he seems to do great things he does not belong to the building of my Church…Metaphorically it is said to him on this rock, that is, the Saviour which you confessed, the Church is to be built, who granted participation to the faithful confessor of his name. Homily 23, M.P.L., Vol. 94, Col. 260. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen, Footnote #204, p. 156.

Moreover he is called Peter because of the vigour of his mind which clung fast to that most solid rock, Christ.Homily 23, M.S.L., Vol. 186, Col. 108. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen, Footnote #124.

Peter, who before was called Simon, received from the Lord the name ‘Peter’ because of the strength of his faith and the firmness of his confession; for Peter clung with a firm and sturdy heart to him about whom it is written: 'the rock, moreover, was Christ.’ Homily 16, M.S.L., Vol. 94, Col. 222. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen, Footnote #125.

**And upon this rock, that is, upon the Lord and Saviour who gave participation in his name to the one who in faith recognized, loved, and confessed him, **so that Peter might be called by the name of the rock: upon this rock the Church is built, so that one does not attain to eternal life and the share of the elect except by faith in and love of Christ, by partaking of Christ’s sacraments, and by observing his commandments. Homily 16, M.S.L., Vol. 94, Col. 222. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen, Footnote #138.

Cassiodorus

‘It will not be moved’ is said about the Church to which alone that promise has been given: ‘You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.’ For the Church cannot be moved because it is known to have been founded on that most solid rock, namely, Christ the Lord… Expositions in the Psalms, Psalm 86.1, M.P.L., Vol. 70, Col. 618.

Cassian (John)

But what are the other words which follow that saying of the Lord’s, with which He commends Peter? ‘And I,’ said He, ‘say unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.’ **Do you see how the saying of Peter is the faith of the Church? **He then must of course be outside the Church, who does not hold the faith of the Church. ‘And to thee,’ saith the Lord, ‘I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ **This faith deserved heaven: this faith received the keys of the heavenly kingdom. **See what awaits you. You cannot enter the gate to which this key belongs, if you have denied the faith of this key. ‘And the gate,’ He adds, ‘of hell shall not prevail against thee.’ The gates of hell are the belief or rather the misbelief of heretics. …(edited for brevity by moderator) For you then, who come against the Apostle’s faith, as you see that already you are bound on earth, it only remains that you should know that you are bound also in heaven. ** Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XI, The Seven Books of John Cassian, Book III, Chapter 12, 14.
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#19

Chrysostom (John)

For Simon, saith He, ‘Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat;’ that is, that he may trouble, confound, tempt you; but ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.’ And why, if Satan desired all, did He not say concerning all, I have prayed for you? Is it not quite plain that it is this, which I have mentioned before, that it is as reproving him, and showing that his fall was more grievous than the rest, that He directs His words to him? And wherefore said He not, But I did not suffer it, rather than, ‘I have prayed?’ He speaks from this time lowly things, on his way to His passion, that He might show His humanity. **For He that hath built His church upon Peter’s confession, **and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it; He that hath given him the keys of Heaven, and hath put him in possession of so much authority, and in no manner needed a prayer for these ends (for neither did He say, I have prayed, but with His own authority, ‘I will build My church, and I will give thee the keys of Heaven’), how should He need to pray, that He might brace up the shaken soul of a single man? Wherefore then did He speak in this way? For the cause which I mentioned, and because of their weakness, for they had not as yet the becoming view of Him. Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume X, Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 82.3, p. 494.

In speaking of S. Peter, the recollection of another Peter has come to me (St. Flavian, his bishop), the common father and teacher, who has inherited his prowess, and also obtained his chair. For this is the one great privilege of our city, Antioch, that it received the leader of the apostles as its teacher in the beginning. For it was right that she who was first adorned with the name of Christians, before the whole world, should receive the first of the apostles as her pastor. But though we received him as teacher, we did not retain him to the end, but gave him up to royal Rome. Or rather we did retain him to the end, for though we do not retain the body of Peter, we do retain the faith of Peter, and retaining the faith of Peter we have Peter.On the Inscription of the Acts, II. Taken from Documents Illustrating Papal Authority (London: SPCK, 1952), E. Giles, Ed., p. 168. Cf. Chapman, Studies on the Early Papacy, p. 96.
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Cyprian**

The Lord saith unto Peter, I say unto thee, (saith He,) that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:18-19). To him again, after His resurrection, He says, Feed My sheep. Upon him being one He builds His Church; and although He gives to all the Apostles an equal power, and says, As My Father sent Me, even so I send you; receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosoever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted to him, and whosoever sins ye shall retain, they shall be retained (John 20:21);-yet in order to manifest unity, He has by His own authority so placed the source of the same unity, as to begin from one. Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal fellowship both of honour and power; but a commencement is made from unity, that the Church may be set before as one; which one Church, in the Son of Songs, doth the Holy Spirit design and name in the Person of our Lord: My dove, My spotless one, is but one; she is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her (Cant. 9:6

Cyril of Alexandria

For that reason divine Scripture says that Peter, that exceptional figure among the apostles, was called blessed. For when the Savior was in that part of Caesarea which is called Philippi, he asked who the people thought he was, or what rumor about him had been spread throughout Judea and the town bordering Judea. And in response Peter, having abandoned the childish and abused opinions of the people, wisely and expertly exclaimed: ‘You are Christ, Son of the living God.’ Now when Christ heard this true opinion of him, he repaid Peter by saying: ‘Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ The surname, I believe, calls nothing other than the unshakable and very firm faith of the disciple ‘a rock,’ upon which the Church was founded and made firm and remains continually impregnable even with respect to the very gates of Hell. Dialogue on the Trinity IV, M.P.G., Vol. 75, Col. 866.

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#20

Jesus didn’t give the Keys to Peter’s Faith–He didn’t give them to a Rock–whart would a Rock do with them–He gave them to Peter–it would take a human being to exercise them!

What’s so hard to understand about that?

If Israel’s prime minister in the Old Testament had the keys to the kingdom of Israel when the King of Israel was away–are you going to tell me that Jesus’ church would Have no one to exercise the keys once he ascended and was away?

Come on now–it doesn’t take rocket science.

Stretch it Way out there Kaycee–and while yes while you’re stretching it tell us how ignorant and dumb the Corinthian Church was for listening to Clement!

Tell us how dumb all the churches were for listening to the Roman church.

Tell us how they hated the episcopacy!

Tell us how they didn’t believe that the church should have priests!

And while you’re at it tell us why Augustine once said “Rome has spoken the case is closed”.

Now who is dumber–Augustine for recognizing Rome’s authority or Kaycee for selectively misquoting him?

And before you run away Kaycee tell us why it is OK for the Holy Spirit to Inerrantly Inspire Paul to write about the rock that followed the Israelites when the only mention of that rock comes from Sacred Tradition!

Why is it OK for the Holy Spirit to endorse Sacred Tradition but for Kaycee to hate it?

If Paul had preached about the rock that followed the Israelites before he wrote the letter to the Corinthinas–which is quite probable–would Kaycee if he had lived back then told Paul that he would not believe him because the rock was not in the scriptures?

We don’t expect you to face such questions and answer them Kaycee. That would take a mind open enough to see that Sola Scriptura is Blaspehmy against the Holy Spirit speaking orally through the prophets and through the disciples.

See Kaycee’s disciples aren’t able to do that–they are mere robots chained to what Protestants 1500 years later would say that they were able to do–restriceted to their view of the scriptures.

How pathetic!


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