Some of these are easier to answer than others, but I’d appreciate any insight that fellow Catholics can provide. Perhaps, if each respondent addresses two or three of the questions, all 22 will eventually be covered. I’ll be dividing the questions between two posts. Thanks in advance for the help.
[size=4]Twenty-two Protestant questions on[/size]
[size=4]the Papacy & Papal Infallibility[/size]
(adapted from Robert L. Reymond, The Reformation’s Conflict With Rome: Why It Must Continue [Christian Focus[/COLOR]
Publications, 2001], pp. 37-44)
The Roman Catholic apologist must…be able to address, to the satisfaction of reasonable men, the following twenty-two questions:
1. Why do Mark (8:27-30) and Luke (9:18-21), while they also recount the Caesarea Philippi conversation between Jesus and Peter, omit all reference to that part of Jesus’ conversation which grants to Peter his alleged priority over the other apostles, the point which for Rome is the very heart and central point of our Lord’s teaching ministry?
2. Why does the New Testament record more of Peter’s errors after the Caesarea Philippi confession than of any of the other apostles?
3. Why can the disciples after the Caesarea Philippi incident still dispute among themselves concerning who was the greatest (Matt. 18:1; 20:20-28; Luke 22:24)? Apparently they did not understand that Jesus’ statement had given Peter any priority over them. And if Christ had in fact intended by his Caesarea Philippi pronouncement that Peter was to be his “vicar” and leader of all Christendom, why did he not clear up the disciples’ confusion once and for all by telling them so straightforwardly?
4. Why was Peter, if he was the head of the church, instead of sending other apostles to investigate the Samaritan revival, dispatched by the leaders of the Jerusalem church to investigate what was going on in Samaria (Ac. 8:14)?
5. Why did the other apostles and the brotherhood in general feel they could challenge Peter’s involvement in the Cornelius incident if he was in fact the undisputed and infallible head of the church (Ac. 11:1-18)?
6. Why does Paul list Peter as only one of the “pillars” in Jerusalem, and second after James at that (Gal. 2:9)? And in this connection, why at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, over which James quite obviously presided, is Peter merely the first speaker, assuming no special prerogatives in the debate that ensued, and not the president of that Council? Why was the entire matter not simply submitted to Peter rather than to the Council, and why did not the decision go forth as a “Petrine” deliverance rather than an “apostolic” decree?
7. How can Paul say of the Jerusalem leadership (James, Peter and John) who “seemed to be something” (Gal. 2:2, 6, 9), if Peter was the Christ-appointed leader of the church: “What they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality” (2:6)?
8. How can Rome escape Paul’s implicit charge of creating a “Corinthian faction” disruptive to church unity (1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3-9) when it urges the “primacy” of Peter over Paul, Apollos, and the universal church?
9. Why, if Peter was the bishop and pastor of Rome, as the Roman church maintains, and if it was Paul’s established missionary practice “to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation” (Rom. 15:20; see 2 Cor. 10:16),—why, I ask, does Paul declare that he had longed to come to Rome and had purposed many times to come there (but had been prevented from doing so) “so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong” and “in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles” (Rom. 1:11-13)? Would not such activity at Rome on Paul’s part have been both a denial of his own missionary policy and an affront to Peter whom Rome alleges was pastor there at that time?
10. Why does Peter describe himself as simply “an apostle of Jesus Christ,” as one among many “living stones” (Greek, lithoi zones), and “the fellow elder” (ho sumpresbuteros), with other elders (1 Pet. 1:1; 5:1)?
11. Why does Peter, if he was Rome’s “first pope,” contradict medieval Roman Catholic teaching that the purchase of indulgences will bring forgiveness of sin for oneself and will deliver one’s loved ones from purgatory when he declared that “it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19)?
12. Why does Peter, if he was Rome’s “first pope,” teach, contra Rome’s teaching that the laity needs a priestly clergy to mediate between them and God, that in Christ all his readers are “a holy priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5, hierateuma hagion) and “a royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9, basileion hierateuma) who have direct access to God through Christ?