*That *time, yes
I was at Mass at our Cathedral (now a Basilica!!!) celebrating Confirmation (I was a sponsor). Behind the Altar, there is a beautiful painting. In a 40 foot semi-circle, the 11 Apostles and Mary are standing (each about 8 feet tall) facing the Altar and holding one of their hands out toward the Altar. (It’s very beautiful).
While pondering the Historical Significance of the people Christ entrusted to found His Church and how they’ve passed their authority on through the ages for nearly 2000 (!!!) years, I began to wonder why the other Apostles weren’t made Bishop of Rome after Peter’s death. It would certainly seem like they would be the most qualified, wouldn’t you say?
Then it hit me!
If so, what would have happened after the death of John? John was the last Apostle to die, and it would have seemed like the Church would have felt, “well, too bad all the Apostles are dead, now we’ll have to settle for someone who’s not an Apostle to run the Church”.
But by picking Linus (it is Linus, isn’t it - my Ephiphanies
That time - one H too many
aren’t infallible after all) the Church was setting a standard. It was like She was saying, “Yes, we will guard against the gates of Hell til the 2nd coming of Christ when we will gladly hand the keys back to their rightful owner, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!!”
Small but essential detail:
The keys don’t need to be “handed back” to Christ, because He has not given them up. They are His now (see His words to St.John in Revelation):
*]Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last,
*]Rev 1:18 and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.[/LIST]& also:
*]Rev 3:7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: “The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.”[/LIST]It is because the keys are always in His hands, that Peter & his successors (like bishops in the Church later) were able to exercise [some of] His authority. The power of the keys which Peter received is a spiritual grace, not a material object; so it does not cease to be Christ’s when He grants men a share in it. He also grants to men a share in His Holy Spirit - but no one thinks that the Holy Spirit of Christ is on earth, and therefore, not in Christ.
What He has done, is give Peter a share in what is His - that is, in His ministry in His Church. He is the Eternal Shepherd of His flock on Earth as well as in Heaven - the bishops on earth, including the Pope, are shepherds for a while: that is the ministry in His Church which they exercise. ##
What are your thoughts on this matter? Remember this comes from the “Gospel of Notworthy”, so it is always open to debate and downright criticism. Sometimes I think I need to add a disclaimer at the end of my posts - “The views of this person do not necessarily represent the Catholic Church or any other living person”!
LOL AFAICS, what matters is less that the Apostles were Apostles, just as Peter was, than that Peter’s *ministry in the Church *should be continued - it was important for someone who had known the Lord on earth to be elected to fill up the number of the Apostles ( as told in Acts 2); but bishops are not Apostles; they are their successors; but they do not have quite the same function as the Apostles did.
The Apostles are a bit like the foundations of a building - everything else in its structure is built up on them. There can be many courses of stones built up on a foundation, just as there can be many generations of bishops to succeed the Apostles - but there is only one foundation; and that foundation, like the rest of the building, gains its strength from Christ, Who is the Cornerstone. Like us who are not bishops, the bishops who succeed to the ministry of the Apostles are to be “living stones”, built up on that foundation & on that Cornerstone.