Who is the Vicar of Christ?


#1

I’ve read an article by Richard Bennet about the false claim of the Roman Pontiff to be the Vicar of Christ.
The history of the claim:
Rome’s outlandish assertion came relatively late in history of the papacy. Originally, the Bishop of Rome claimed to be the vicar and rightful heirs of the Caesars. Because the Bishop of Rome exercised authority in a city which was once the seat of the power of the Roman Empire, other bishops and national monarchs gradually accepted him as vicar and successor to Caesar with the same suprime title of Pontifex Maximus.
Next the Bishops of Rome claimed to be ’ The vicar of the prince of the apostles’ that is, the vicar of Peter. Thus in the early fifth century, Bishop Innocent I (401-417 AD) insisted that Christ had delegated supreme power to Peter and made him the Bishop of Rome, therefore, as Peter’s successors, were entitled to exercise Peter’s power prerogatives.
Boniface III, who became Bishop of Rome in 607, established himself as ’ Universal Bishop’ , thus claiming to be master over all other bishops. It was not until the eight century, however, that the title’ Vicar of the Son of God ’ was found in a fraudulent document called The donation of Constantine. Although this notorious document was proven false in the early sixteen century, the Bishops of Rome, having used the title ’ Vicar of Christ ’ since the eight century, continued to do so.

It’s an interesting article and I’d like to know what you think about it.
The full article is on the author’s webpage: www.bereanbeacon.org


#2

[quote=adriano]It’s an interesting article and I’d like to know what you think about it.
[/quote]

I think it’s full of historical inaccuracies. I think it’s a poor work of scholarship. I think it’s hardly worth reading.

Did you have a specific question?

God Bless,
RyanL


#3

It was Jesus who established Peter as his first vicar, the wise and faithful servant set over the Master’s household and given the keys of the kingdom to care for the household until his Master’s return. (See Luke 12:41-46, Matthew 16:18-19, Isaiah 22:15-24)

The Church of Rome has been exercising its universal authority over other local churches from the beginning as is manifest in the letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians written about 80 A.D.

In 107 A.D. Ignatius of Antioch says that each local church “must look upon the bishop as the Lord Himself” and “submit to the bishop as you would to Jesus Christ.” Thus, in his own local church, each bishop is a vicar of Christ. Ignatius also says that the Church of Rome holds “the presidency of love” and so, logically, the bishop of Rome is the principal vicar of Christ on earth and more than any other bishop must be looked upon as the Lord Himself and submitted to as to Jesus Christ.

In 189 A.D. Irenaeus of Lyon says that all the faithful of the world must agree with the Church of Rome. Since the Church of Rome must agree with its bishop (per Ignatius of Antioch, above), therefore, logically, all the faithful of the world must agree with the bishop of Rome and, (per Ignatius of Antioch, above) look upon him as the Lord himself and submit to him as they would to Jesus Christ, making the bishop of Rome the vicar of Christ.

In 220 A.D., Tertullian (a heretic at that time), in his treatise On Modesty, sarcastically applies the title ‘Pontifex Maximus’ to Pope Callistus I of Rome, calling him “the bishop of bishops, which means the Pontifex Maximus” for issuing a decree on his own authority that repentant adulterers should be reconciled with the Church throughout the world.

Around 250 A.D., Cyprian of Cathage says, “There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord.” He says that the bishop of Rome occupies “the Chair of Peter…in which sacerdotal unity has its source” and anyone in communion with the bishop of Rome is in communion with the Catholic Church and, "f “anyone desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” The bishop of Rome occupies the Chair of Peter and so the bishop of Rome is the vicar of Peter.


#4

…he’s the man…

http://photos1.blogger.com/img/14/1763/640/Benedict%20XVI.jpg


#5

[quote=adriano]It’s an interesting article and I’d like to know what you think about it. …The full article is on the author’s webpage: www.bereanbeacon.org
[/quote]

I read that article and (as with all the rest of Bennet’s bunkum attacks on Catholicism) it’s just more of the same. Note the fact that he cites no early church history to support his allegations. Why? Because they simply do not exist. Any time anyone makes an assertion or allegation, the burden of proof is upon them. To fail to do most often means that theirs is an empty assertion that cannot be so supported and therefore is either 1. their opinion (for what it’s worth) or 2. an outright misrepresentation (depending upon the persons motivations I suppose).

Wanna know what the Early Church Fathers really had to say ? Here ya go! Church Fathers

Futhermore, (I can’t belive that he used this one!) This is his only remote attempt to cite any church history in all his footnotes.

[10] “The Donation of Constantine” states “‘as on earth he (Peter) is seen to have been constituted vicar of the Son of God, so the pontiffs, who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles’” jmgainor.homestead.com/files/PU/PF/doco.htm

3/9/05 This “Donation of Constantine” is one of the most famous forgeries in all of history! Check this out!
Honest research of an “ex-priest”? I don’t think so… If it’s a fraud…why cite it since it certainly doesn’t support his case at all. It’s just irrelevent junk to confuse and indict the faith of decent Catholics.
Pax tecum,


#6

I’m not in favour or against the article of Richard Bennet. I’m searching for the truth and I haven’t made up my mind regarding Catholicism. The author of the article should have a very good knowledge of Catholicism since he spent 30 years in the Domenican Order and served 22 years as a priest. I just find very interesting that after such along time as a catholic priest, he decided to leave the Catholic Church.


#7

[quote=adriano]I’m not in favour or against the article of Richard Bennet. I’m searching for the truth and I haven’t made up my mind regarding Catholicism. The author of the article should have a very good knowledge of Catholicism since he spent 30 years in the Domenican Order and served 22 years as a priest. I just find very interesting that after such along time as a catholic priest, he decided to leave the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

And I am a cradle Catholic led astray by evangelicals and protestants and “non-denoms” for over 34 years before having the good sense and guts to sit down and really “study to show myself approved” at which time I concluded that the Catholic Church is all it claims to be and that all the rest …are not.

I was led astray because I was woefully ignorant of what I believed and why and it was my own fault for never listening during the previous 17 years of my life. I wanted to be a Southern Baptist preacher at one point, but they couldn’t handle the “gifts of the spirit” and so I went Assemblies of God and eventually was a deacon there until I saw the stuff that went on behind the scenes and left because they too said they believed the Bible yet ignored parts of it and blatantly disregarded others.

Five years ago I was accosted by a guy who jumped my case because I had a Catholic Bible in my hand and who then proceeded to allege the usual “You Catholics worship Mary” trash which even I knew was wrong. I promised him I’d check it out and get back to him with what I found and that if he was right, I’d never step foot in a Catholic Church ever again. I found The Catholic Home Study Service courses and discovered that not only was he wrong about out beliefs about Mary, but everything else as well.

Y’know…that guy wouldn’t even discuss it…

Needless to say I came home and have been studying the Bible and Church history and apologetics and the whole bit ever since. My walk with Christ, though difficult sometimes, is better than it’s ever been before and now I’m a Fundamentalist’s nightmare…and evangelizing, “witnessing” Catholic. I know my faith now and I’ll never let go of this beautiful treasure that God in His mercy has drawn me to. God help me to sell all that I possess and go quickly and buy this field in which I have found it!
Pax tecum,

Wanna know the truth about the Catholic faith my dear friend? Here’s one of the best sources of all : The Catholic Home Study Service and their FREE courses. :thumbsup:
Pax tecum,


#8

Adriano,
You will also find some VERY good articles on the topic of the Papacy in The CA Library . Please feel free to PM me through this site if you have any questions. I been where you’re at my friend, don’t let these people mess you up.
The peace of Christ be with you always!


#9

Church Militant,
Thank you for sharing your views. I find quite difficult to object that the Catholic Church, historically speaking, is the true church but there are isssues in the RCC that make me feel very uncomfortable like the celibacy of the Priesthood. Many years ago I wanted to become a priest but I felt that celibacy was very wrong. Who sane in his mind would go against one of our most powerful instincts? I do not agree with celibacy at all and I can tell you from my own personal experience that celibacy is not a sane state of mind to be in. When I wanted to be a priest I spent a very long time being celibate and I can tell you that it’s not an easy ride and you have to fight many “demons” in your mind. Another issue that make me feel pretty sick is the wealth of the Vatican and why the Pope is also called the Holy Father when the Bible is very clear about not calling anyone Father but God? I can mention other issues that make me feel very uncomfortable but to be honest I feel that I would do better in another denomination because I wasted many years trying to realize myself in the RCC. Perhaps God is calling me somewhere else. I have friends from different denominations and they all claim to be in the truth. I’ve decided to study the Bible to try to figure out the true doctrines therefore I’ve bought the New Inductive Study Bible. It’s a Bible that gives you the chance to study and search for yourself about the truth without being brainwashed from one denomination or another.

God bless


#10

[quote=adriano]there are isssues in the RCC that make me feel very uncomfortable like the celibacy of the Priesthood.
[/quote]

Others on the forum will give you clear reasons why celibacy is a reasonable and holy condition for priests.

I would like to make the observation that the Mega-Churches found all around America have become big businesses handed down from father to son. It’s grotesque and it is interesting that celibacy would prevent such a gross material display in the modern world.


#11

[quote=adriano]Church Militant,
Thank you for sharing your views. I find quite difficult to object that the Catholic Church, historically speaking, is the true church but there are isssues in the RCC that make me feel very uncomfortable like the celibacy of the Priesthood. Many years ago I wanted to become a priest but I felt that celibacy was very wrong. Who sane in his mind would go against one of our most powerful instincts? I do not agree with celibacy at all and I can tell you from my own personal experience that celibacy is not a sane state of mind to be in. When I wanted to be a priest I spent a very long time being celibate and I can tell you that it’s not an easy ride and you have to fight many “demons” in your mind. Another issue that make me feel pretty sick is the wealth of the Vatican and why the Pope is also called the Holy Father when the Bible is very clear about not calling anyone Father but God? I can mention other issues that make me feel very uncomfortable but to be honest I feel that I would do better in another denomination because I wasted many years trying to realize myself in the RCC. Perhaps God is calling me somewhere else. I have friends from different denominations and they all claim to be in the truth. I’ve decided to study the Bible to try to figure out the true doctrines therefore I’ve bought the New Inductive Study Bible. It’s a Bible that gives you the chance to study and search for yourself about the truth without being brainwashed from one denomination or another.

God bless
[/quote]

Adriano,

Thank you for being transparent about your own journey. I read your story with keen interest and would like you to know, your post demonstrates to me that you are (!) called to the RCC. At the same time, I am glad you decided not to enter the Catholic Church until you resolved those issues.

About celibacy:
It is true that in the Latin-rite of the Catholic Church (Roman Catholic), only celibate men are selected to the priesthood. As a young man discerning a possible call to the priesthood, I must first discern whether God has called me to a perpetual state of singular devotion to him (the celibate life). I am unsure if I have that first calling, and yet I know, if I do not, I positively do not have the second calling (to the priesthood) as a Roman Catholic.

It is difficult to be sure, especially to the many married men who would love to dedicate their lives to the priesthood, but do not have the calling to celibacy. And yet, the celibate priesthood is a beautiful gift within the Church, one that all Christians should appreciate. I encourage you to study the Bible more deeply, and discover the value of the celibate life. I am sure you are not called to the celibate life, as your testimony demonstrates (I also may not be), but I hope you ask the Church for guidance on why it has established so high a standard for its ministers.

As for your other objections…
I invite you to continue searching for answers. Al of us on the forum can easily answer these other objections, after all, many of us left Protestantism to become Catholics.

I simply remind you that Christ founded one true Church – a visible organization that carries His truth. I urge you not to find the denomination that is the “best fit,” but where you fiind yourself disagreeing with the Catholic Church, humble yourself, and seek the answers to those questions. Allow the Church to guide you; when you do, you will finaly find that peace, and I pray you will experieince the fullness of the Christian life, as only fond within Catholicism, in time.

  • Hugo

#12

[quote=adriano]I’m not in favour or against the article of Richard Bennet. I’m searching for the truth and I haven’t made up my mind regarding Catholicism. The author of the article should have a very good knowledge of Catholicism since he spent 30 years in the Domenican Order and served 22 years as a priest. I just find very interesting that after such along time as a catholic priest, he decided to leave the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

If he was a Dominican for 30 years, he should have got a better education; the Dominicans are among the most learned and scholarly Orders in the Church. If he was a priest, he should have had a better education as well. The quality of the citation you post is beneath junior high school and straight out of a typical anti-Catholic rant. I wonder, if you were to check with the Dominicans, would you find a record of this guy? He sounds an awful lot like Alberto Rivera.

Nevertheless, while it is true that the full development of papal primacy took some centuries to emerge fully, the “acorn” is in Scripture and the “seedling” is in the VERY early Church. The oak tree came to full maturity with the promulgation of papal infallibility in the 19th Century as an outgrowth of the long-held belief in the indefectability of the Church (a doctrine shared by the Eastern Orthodox, by the way). The papacy consolildated over time; it didn’t erupt de novo in the middle ages.


#13

[quote=adriano] Many years ago I wanted to become a priest but I felt that celibacy was very wrong. Who sane in his mind would go against one of our most powerful instincts? I do not agree with celibacy at all and I can tell you from my own personal experience that celibacy is not a sane state of mind to be in. When I wanted to be a priest I spent a very long time being celibate and I can tell you that it’s not an easy ride and you have to fight many “demons” in your mind.
God bless
[/quote]

*32. I should like you to be free of anxieties. *An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.
33. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,
34. and he is divided.

1 Cor 7:32-34

*12. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
*Matt 19:12


#14

[quote=adriano]Church Militant,
Thank you for sharing your views. I find quite difficult to object that the Catholic Church, historically speaking, is the true church but there are issues in the RCC that make me feel very uncomfortable like the celibacy of the Priesthood. Many years ago I wanted to become a priest but I felt that celibacy was very wrong. Who sane in his mind would go against one of our most powerful instincts? I do not agree with celibacy at all and I can tell you from my own personal experience that celibacy is not a sane state of mind to be in. When I wanted to be a priest I spent a very long time being celibate and I can tell you that it’s not an easy ride and you have to fight many “demons” in your mind. Another issue that make me feel pretty sick is the wealth of the Vatican and why the Pope is also called the Holy Father when the Bible is very clear about not calling anyone Father but God? I can mention other issues that make me feel very uncomfortable but to be honest I feel that I would do better in another denomination because I wasted many years trying to realize myself in the RCC. Perhaps God is calling me somewhere else. I have friends from different denominations and they all claim to be in the truth. I’ve decided to study the Bible to try to figure out the true doctrines therefore I’ve bought the New Inductive Study Bible. It’s a Bible that gives you the chance to study and search for yourself about the truth without being brainwashed from one denomination or another.

God bless
[/quote]

Adriano,
You sound like one who has been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated by fundamentalist error and you really do need to get into those articles on the very topics that you mention.

I also agree with you that you need to get into your Bible, but before you get all excited about that new Bible, I’d check to see if it is defective…In that if it has less than 73 books in it then you have been sold one that does not conform to the Bible of the early church, and that’s just plain not right.

Quit beating yourself up about celibacy and the priesthood my friend, if you can’t hack it then you are not called to it. That’s part of discerning a vocation. I know I was never called to be a priest and that is part of the reason why. It’s no shame or sin, it’s just not my job, and God has other things for me (and you) to do.

It’s perfectly scriptural though, regardless of the opinions of our n-C cousins.
Matthew 19:10-12
"10 His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.11 Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it. "

1st Corinthians 7:6-9
"6 But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. 8 But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I. 9 But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt." (Emphasis mine)

My dear Adriano…it’s not about us feeling “comfortable”, it’s about our being obedient to Our Lord and the church that He established…as opposed to some form of “Christianity lite”.

All that "wealth you mentioned… you really should check out the Vatican’s own website and read their financial statements for yourself. They haven’t broke even since 2000 and the 2004 report isn’t out yet. Most of that “wealth” is between the envious and malicious ears of anti-Catholic critics. I know all this because I just had to look it all up (on The Vatican’s own website) to clear up an allegation like this on another forum.
Calling a priest Father is not forbidden by the NT, and anyone who tells you that is not telling you the truth.
Look this over: Call No Man Father

My friend there are very good answers to all these things and please feel free to PM me with anything that you may not wanna deal with out in the open forums. You’re in the right place…just stick around!
Pax tecum,


#15

The twelve Apostles were vicars of Christ. Jesus said to them:
“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me…” (Matthew 10:40)

The seventy disciples were vicars of Christ. Jesus said to them:
“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me…” (Luke 10:16)

The Galatians received St. Paul as a vicar of Christ:
“and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 4:14)

The Gospels and the first half of Acts clearly show that St. Peter was the leader of the apostles and the other disciples. Thus, St. Peter was the principal vicar of Christ.


#16

Adriano,

These three sites (two of which are from Catholic Answers’ THIS ROCK), should give you a better perspective about the veracity of Richard Bennett:

catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9707disp.asp

catholic.com/newsletters/kke_030909.asp

catholicsource.net/articles/mass.htm


#17

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