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Sunday, October 11, 2009

The foundation

St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor Pictures, Images and Photos

When St. Francis de Sales was a young priest, he traveled to the Chablais region in France. Located south of Geneva, it had a population of around 72,000 people, most of whom had converted to Calvinism. St. Francis had a difficult time finding people who were willing to listen to him, so he began printing up pamphlets defending the Catholic faith. He put some up on placards on the streets, but most he slid under doors in the dark of the night. At the end of four years, he left the region almost entirely re-converted back to Catholicism.


I read his collected pamphlets collected in a book called The Catholic Controversy, published by Tan books. I remembered that he had written about one of the topics in our previous comment thread, and I am reproducing that chapter here in its entirety.

Resolution of a Difficulty

But a great proof of the contrary, as our adversaries think, is that, according to S. Paul: No one can lay another foundation but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus; and according to the same we are domestics of God; built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone. And in the Apocalypse [Revelation], the wall of the holy city had twelve foundations, and in these twelve foundations the names of the twelve Apostles. If then, say they, all the twelve Apostles are foundations of the Church, how do you attribute this title to S. Peter in particular? And if S. Paul says that no one can lay another foundation than Our Lord, how do you dare to say that by these words: Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, S. Peter had been established as foundation of the Church? Why do you not rather say, asks Calvin, that this stone on which the Church is founded is no other than Our Lord? Why do you not rather declare, says Luther, that it is the confession of faith which Peter had made?

But in good truth it is an ill way of interpreting Scripture to overturn one passage by another, or to strain it by a forced interpretation to a strange and unbecoming sense. We must leave to it as far as possible the naturalness and sweetness of the sense which belongs to it.

In this case, then, since we see that Scripture teaches us there is no other foundation than Our Lord, and the same teaches us clearly that S. Peter is such also, yea and further that the Apostles are so, we are not to give up the first teaching for the second, the second for the third, but to leave them all three in their entirety. Which we shall easily do if we consider these passages in good faith and sincerely.

Now Our Lord is in very deed the only foundation of the Church; he is the foundation of our faith, of our hope and charity; he is the foundation of all ecclesiastical authority and order, and of all the doctrine and administration which are therein. Who ever doubted of this? But, some one will say to me, if he is the only foundation, how do you place S. Peter also as foundation?

You do us wrong; it is not we who place him as foundation. He, besides whom no other can be placed, he himself placed him. So that if Our Lord is true founder of the Church, as he is, we must believe that S. Peter is such too, since Our Lord has placed him in this rank. If any one besides Our Lord himself had given him this grade we should all cry out with you: No one can lay another foundation but that which is laid.

And then, have you well considered the words of S. Paul? He will not have us recognize any foundation besides Our Lord, but neither is S. Peter nor are the other Apostles foundations besides Our Lord, they are subordinate to Our Lord: their doctrine is not other than that of their Master, but their very Master's itself Thus the supreme charge which S. Peter had in the militant Church, by reason of which he is called foundation of the Church, as chief and governor, is not beside the authority of his Master, but is only a participation in this, so that he is not the foundation of this hierarchy besides Our Lord but rather in Our Lord; as we call him most holy Father in Our Lord, outside whom he would be nothing.

We do not indeed recognize any other secular authority than that of His Highness [of Savoy], but we recognize several under this, which are not properly other than that of His Highness, because they are only certain portions and participations of it.

In a word, let us interpret S. Paul passage by passage: do you not think he makes his meaning clear enough when he says: You are built upon the foundations of the Prophets and Apostles? But that you may know these foundations to be no other than that which he has preached, he adds: Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Our Lord then is foundation and S. Peter also, but with so notable a difference that in respect of the one the other may be said not to be it. For Our Lord is foundation and founder, foundation without other foundation, foundation of the natural, Mosaic and Evangelic Church, foundation perpetual and immortal, foundation of the militant and triumphant, foundation by his own nature, foundation of our faith, hope nad charity, and of the efficacy of the Sacraments.

S. Peter is foundation, not founder, of the whole Church; foundation but founded on another foundation, which Our Lord; foundation of the Evangelic Church alone, foundation subject to succession, foundation of the militant not of the triumphant, foundation by participation, ministerial not absolute foundation; in fine, administrator and not lord, and in no way the foundation of our faith, hope and charity, nor of the efficacy of the Sacraments. A difference so great as this makes the one unable, in comparison, to be called a foundation by the side of teh other, whilst, however, taken by itself, it can be called a foundation, in order to pay proper regard to the Holy Word. So, although he is the Good Shepherd, he gives us shepherds under himself, between whom and his Majesty there is so great a difference that he declares himself to be the only shepherd.

At the same time it is not good reasoning to say: all the Apostles in general are called foundations of the Church, therefore S. Peter is only such in the same way as the others are. On the contrary, as Our Lord has said in particular, and in particular terms, to S. Peter, what is afterwards said in general of the others, we must conclude that there is in S. Peter some particular property of foundation, and that his is in particular has been what the whole college has been together.

The whole Church has been founded on all the Apostles, and the whole on S. Peter in particular; it is then S. Peter who is its foundation taken by himself, which the others are not. For to whom has it ever been said: Thou art Peter, etc.? It would be to violate the Scripture to say that all the Apostles in general have not been the foundations of the Church. It would also be to violate the Scripture to deny that S. Peter was so in particular. It is necessary that the general word should produce its general effect, and the particular its particular, in order that nothing may remain useless and without mystery out of Scriptures so mysterious. We have only to see for what general reason all the Apostles are called foundations of the Church: namely, because it is they who by their preaching have planted the faith, and the Christian doctrine; in which if we are to give some prerogative to any one of the Apostles it will be to that one who said: I have laboured, more abundantly than all they.

And it is in this sense that is meant the passage of the Apocalypse [Revelation]. For the twelve Apostles are called foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem, because they were the first who converted the world to the Christian religion, which was as it were to lay the foundations of the glory of men, and the seeds of their happy immortality. But the passage of S. Paul seems to be understood not so much of the person of the Apostles as of their doctrine. For it is not said that we are built upon the Apostles, but upon the foundation of the Apostles--that is, upon the doctrine which they have announced.

This is easy to see, because it is not only said that we are upon the foundation of the Apostles, but also of the Prophets, and we know well that the Prophets have not otherwise been foundations of the Evangelical Church than by their doctrine. And in this matter all the Apostles seem to stand on a level, unless S. John and S. Paul go first for the excellence of their theology. It is then in this sense that all the Apostles are foundations of the Church; but in authority and government S. Peter precedes all the others as much as the head surpasses the members; for he has been appointed ordinary pastor and supreme head of teh Church, the others have been delegated pastors entrusted with as full power and authority over all the rest of the Church as S. Peter, except that S. Peter was the head of them all and their pastor as of all Christendom.

Thus they were foundations of the Church equally with him as to the conversion of souls and as to doctrine; but as to the authority of governing, they were so unequally, as S. Peter was the ordinary head not only of the rest of the whole Church but of the Apostles also. For Our Lord had built on him the whole of his Church, of which they were not only parts but the principal and noble parts.

"Although the strength of the Church," says S. Jerome, "is equally established on all the Apostles, yet amongst the twelve one is chosen that a head being appointed occasion of schism may be taken away." "There are, indeed," says S. Bernard to his Eugenius, and we can say as much of S. Peter for the same reason, "there are others who are custodians and pastors of flocks, but thou hast inherited a name as much the more glorious as it is more special."

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79 comments:

Jennie said...

Very interesting, Kelly.
I agree with many of St. Francis de Sales' points about Peter. I don't agree with his assessment of Luther and Calvin's interpretation of Matt. 16:17-19. I don't agree with the implication that Peter's 'primacy' (I think there is a better word for Peter's position) is the beginning of a succession of a single line of apostolic authority. I know that is not the subject of this but it is implied.
I am doing some reading and will have more to say about the post, if I am permitted.
Here is my recent post called 'Who is the Rock?' about the Matthew 16 passage: http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/10/who-is-rock.html In my post there are some quotes from Augustine that give good understanding of the passage.

Elena said...

Thank you Kelly. I think this explains nicely that Jesus is indeed the foundation and how Peter figures in on that.

Kelly said...

I was hoping this post would help clarify that by saying Peter is the rock, we are not denying Christ as the foundation. St. Francis did a much better job than I did in explaining this position.

You can comment on the primacy of Peter, or the rock/foundation issue. I can write apostolic succession next, but I probably won't be able to get it up until the weekend. My husband will be having surgery to repair a hernia tomorrow, and Friday I have to take care of him, as well as take the children to the doctor for a well-visit.

I will read the posts on your blog before I start on the next post, to make sure I have addressed any of your concerns for misunderstanding on the Catholic position.

SunshinyLiving said...

Wow, excellent! That is a book I think I'll need to purchase.

Jennie said...

OK. One or two thoughts. If in Matt. 16 Jesus IS calling Peter the rock upon which the church is built, is He not also including the other Apostles in this while singling Peter out as the one who is a leader in doing the things that all the Apostles will do, and that indeed the whole church will do in the future as it grows? For example, as we said in the last post, Peter was given the lead in first giving the gospel to each major group: Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles. He was the spokesman, the one everyone could see out front, showing the boldness, authority and power of Christ, not his own authority and power. This is shown again as he, along with John, encounter the lame man at the Gate of the Temple and Peter heals him just as Jesus would have done, in Jesus' name. Then when all the people come running, he boldly preaches the gospel, glorifying Christ and convicting of sin, showing he is full of the Spirit. He and John are arrested by the Sanhedrin and Peter boldly preaches to them. He always points to Jesus, giving God the glory, and reflecting the person of Christ in his behavior. The only other person we see in scripture who is shown this way in detail (though I believe the other Apostles behaved with this authority and boldness and had healing power from the Spirit as well) is Paul. Peter is the spokesman, the one who goes first, and has the privilege of preaching first, laying the foundation.

Another thought, If Jesus IS NOT calling Peter 'the rock' (Petra), Jesus may still be giving him this first privileged office of being the head spokesman and example of Christ for the church and the world. I believe that Jesus was referring to Himself as petra, but laying Peter down as the first stone built upon Him. All future bishops and people would look to Peter as their example in boldness and Spirit-filled preaching of the gospel, and in always giving Christ the glory.

Jennie said...

I just thought of something based on what I said in the last comment about Peter preaching first and laying the foundation. In a way Peter, in preaching the gospel in Acts 2 and beginning the Church (in Christ's name and power) is laying down Christ to the people as the cornerstone, and Peter laid down himself by faith as the first stone built upon Christ when he made the confession in Matthew 16 that Jesus is the Christ. He was the spokesman for the Apostles who all believed this (except Judas) and he was given the privilege to continue this office and be the first to preach it to his fellow men. Peter, after Christ, is our first example of Christ-likeness.

Paul said...

Francis de Sales wrote:
Thus they were foundations of the Church equally with him as to the conversion of souls and as to doctrine; but as to the authority of governing, they were so unequally, as S. Peter was the ordinary head not only of the rest of the whole Church but of the Apostles also. For Our Lord had built on him the whole of his Church, of which they were not only parts but the principal and noble parts.

"Although the strength of the Church," says S. Jerome, "is equally established on all the Apostles, yet amongst the twelve one is chosen that a head being appointed occasion of schism may be taken away." "There are, indeed," says S. Bernard to his Eugenius, and we can say as much of S. Peter for the same reason, "there are others who are custodians and pastors of flocks, but thou hast inherited a name as much the more glorious as it is more special."

---------------
I'm not sure why he was using Jerome to support his claims. Jerome did not believe (contrary to Vatican I's "unanimous" claim) that Peter was the "rock" in Matt. 16.
Also, it was a good thing for Francis that the Calvinist's he was re-verting in Geneva did not have access to New Advent. Or they would have seen how he was misrepresenting Jerome's writings.
The Jerome passage in context actually explains that according to Jerome, Peter was chosen over John because of his age. (commonly denied by R.C apologists) He then extols the greatness of John over Peter (paying obvious attention to his alleged virginity).

cont.

Paul said...

"But you say, Matthew 16:18 the Church was founded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism. But why was not John chosen, who was a virgin? Deference was paid to age, because Peter was the elder: one who was a youth, I may say almost a boy, could not be set over men of advanced age; and a good master who was bound to remove every occasion of strife among his disciples, and who had said to them, John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you," and, "He that is the greater among you, let him be the least of all," would not be thought to afford cause of envy against the youth whom he had loved. We maybe sure that John was then a boy because ecclesiastical history most clearly proves that he lived to the reign of Trajan, that is, he fell asleep in the sixty-eighth year after our Lord's passion, as I have briefly noted in my treatise on Illustrious Men. Peter is an Apostle, and John is an Apostle— the one a married man, the other a virgin; but Peter is an Apostle only, John is both an Apostle and an Evangelist, and a prophet. An Apostle, because he wrote to the Churches as a master; an Evangelist, because he composed a Gospel, a thing which no other of the Apostles, excepting Matthew, did; a prophet, for he saw in the island of Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian as a martyr for the Lord, an Apocalypse containing the boundless mysteries of the future. Tertullian, more over, relates that he was sent to Rome, and that having been plunged into a jar of boiling oil he came out fresher and more active than when he went in. But his very Gospel is widely different from the rest. Matthew as though he were writing of a man begins thus: "The book of the Generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham;" Luke begins with the priesthood of Zacharias; Mark with a prophecy of the prophets Malachi and Isaiah. The first has the face of a man, on account of the genealogical table; the second, the face of a calf, on account of the priesthood; the third, the face of a lion, on account of the voice of one crying in the desert, Isaiah 40:3 "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." But John like an eagle soars aloft, and reaches the Father Himself, and says, John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God," and so on. The virgin writer expounded mysteries which the married could not, and to briefly sum up all and show how great was the privilege of John, or rather of virginity in John, the Virgin Mother John 19:26-27 was entrusted by the Virgin Lord to the Virgin disciple."

source:
Against Jovinianus (Book I)

Elena said...

Where specifically is he saying Peter is NOT the rock?

Paul said...

"The one foundation which the apostolic architect laid is our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this stable and firm
foundation, which has itself been laid on solid ground, the Church of Christ is built...For the Church was
founded upon a rock...upon this rock the Lord established his Church; and the apostle Peter received his
name from this rock." (Mt. 16.18).

Commentary on Matthew 7.25, M.P.L., Vol. 26, Col. 51. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen der Auslegung von
Matthaus 16,13-18 im lateinischen Mittelalter, Dissertation (Tubingen, 1963), Footnote #200, p. 49.

Paul said...

"She, that with a firm root is founded upon the rock, Christ, the Catholic Church, is the one dove; she stands
the perfect one, and near to His right hand, and has nothing sinister in her."

Epistle 65.15, Ad Principiam. Cited by J. Waterworth S.J., A Comentary (London: Thomas Richardson, 1871), p. 109.

Paul said...

"The rock is Christ, Who gave to His apostles, that they also should be called rocks, 'Thou art Peter, and upon
this rock I will build My Church"

Commentary on Amos vi.12-13. Cited by J. Waterworth S.J., A Comentary (London: Thomas Richardson, 1871), p. 112-113.

Paul said...

'You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church.' Just as Christ himself gave light to the apostles,
in order that they might be called the light of the world, so other names were derived from the Lord: for
example, Simon, who believed in the rock, Christ, was given the name 'Peter.' And in accordance with the
metaphor of the rock, Jesus rightly said to him: 'I shall build my Church upon you. And the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.'

Commentary on Matthew III, 16:18, M.P.L., Vol. 26, Col. 121-122.

Paul said...

"Was there no other province in the whole world to receive the gospel of pleasure, and into which the serpent
might insinuate itself, except that which was founded by the teaching of Peter upon the rock Christ."

Against Jovinianus (Book II)

Paul said...

"When subsequently one presbyter was chosen to preside over the rest, this was done to remedy schism and to
prevent each individual from rending the church of Christ by drawing it to himself. For even at Alexandria
from the time of Mark the Evangelist until the episcopates of Heraclas and Dionysius the presbyters always
named as bishop one of their own number chosen by themselves...For what function, excepting ordination,
belongs to a bishop that does not also belong to a presbyter? It is not the case that there is one church at
Rome and another in all the world beside. Gaul and Britain, Africac and Persia, India and the East all
worship one Christ and observe one rule of truth. If you ask for authority, the world outweighs its capital.
Wherever there is a bishop, whether it be at Rome or at Engubium, whether it be at Constantinople or at
Rhegium, whether it be at Alexandria or at Zoan, his dignity is one and his priesthood is one. Neither the
command of wealth nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more of a bishop or less a bishop. All alike are
successors of the apostles."

Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954), Volume VI, St. Jerome,
Epistle 146.1, To Evangelus, pp. 288-289.

Jennie said...

In my post 'Who is the Rock?' I quoted from the following passages from Augustine which came from an article by William Webster which has a link on my post.
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.1

Its clear, you see, from many places in scripture that Peter can stand for, or represent, the Church; above all from that place where it says, To you will I hand over the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Mt. 16:19). Did Peter receive these keys, and Paul not receive them? Did Peter receive them, and John and James and the other apostles not receive them? Or are the keys not to be found in the Church, where sins are being forgiven every day? But because Peter symbolically stood for the Church, what was given to him alone was given to the whole Church. So Peter represented the Church; the Church is the body of Christ.13


Augustine, I think, is saying that Peter represents the church or stands for the whole church, what he was given is also given to the whole church,(and here's my addition to Augustine) but he is the first; the example; the spokesman.

continued

Jennie said...

Here is a passage from 1 Peter that adds to this idea:
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Here Peter is saying that all believers are stewards of God's grace, not just one man as was mentioned in an earlier post about Peter and the popes. He says that if any believer speaks,'let him speak as the oracles of God', so each believer can speak God's word boldly by the power of the Spirit. I believe we are all successors of Peter, and he is our first spokesman and example.

Here is another passage from 1 Peter in which he says all believers are living stones coming to the first living stone, Christ. Peter doesn't set himself apart from the other stones built upon Christ, but always points to Christ.

1 Peter 2:
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,


“ Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,


“ The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and


“ A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Elena said...

So there isn't one specific place where it is said "Peter is not the rock?"

Jennie said...

Paul,
Neither the
command of wealth nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more of a bishop or less a bishop. All alike are
successors of the apostles."

Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954), Volume VI, St. Jerome,
Epistle 146.1, To Evangelus, pp. 288-289.


Who is speaking here, the authors, or is it a quote from a Church Father?

Jennie said...

Elena,
So there isn't one specific place where it is said "Peter is not the rock?"
Why does it have to say that, if it never occurred to the Fathers that Peter was 'the Rock' or 'Petra'. Most seem to have believed Jesus was 'Petra' and Peter was the first built upon Him.

Paul said...

Jennie,
Those were all quotes from Jerome that I posted above.

Jennie said...

Paul,
so Jerome thought all the bishops were successors of the Apostles? I guess the Roman Catholics think that too, though; but they think the bishop of Rome is specifically the successor of Peter.
Is that right, Elena and Kelly?

But Jerome in the earlier part of that quote did say that the Roman bishop was not any greater than the others. All were equal.

Jennie said...

I guess I should add to what I already said that based on what I have read in scripture I don't agree with de Sales on what he said about Peter's authority:
Thus they were foundations of the Church equally with him as to the conversion of souls and as to doctrine; but as to the authority of governing, they were so unequally, as S. Peter was the ordinary head not only of the rest of the whole Church but of the Apostles also. For Our Lord had built on him the whole of his Church, of which they were not only parts but the principal and noble parts.
I believe Peter's gift from the Lord in Matt. 16 was to be the first stone built on Christ AND the first to build upon the foundation of Christ in preaching the Word. I don't see any authority over the other Apostles or bishops exercised by Peter in scripture that was not exercised by the other Apostles and even by the other elders like James the brother of the Lord. I see the authority and boldness of preaching the gospel.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Actually, all the apostles worked together to build a foundation for the church upon Christ. Without the chief cornerstone (Christ), no foundation could be laid. In masonry, the cornerstone had to be placed before the foundation could be laid. The symbol of the twelve apostles making up twelve foundations in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:14 refers to the work they did in building the church from the bottom up, by building upon Christ. The word 'foundation' as used to refer to the apostles should be interpreted to mean 'work' or 'establish' based upon usage, and not meaning succession. For example, the apostle Paul spoke about not preaching in certain areas because others were already established there.

"And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another's foundation" (Romans 15:20, NKJV).

Again Paul fully explained what he meant by, "for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). In the passage, the word 'foundation' is used in conjunction with the words 'build' and 'work' to denote that the foundation is Christ, and that men are able to build upon the foundation of Christ.

"Now if anyone builds on this foundation, with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:12,13).

Thus we see that the word 'foundation' when used in reference to men, denotes the work we do in building up the church, upon Christ, the Rock.

So the question is this. Did Christ build His church upon the apostles? Or did the apostles build the church upon Christ?

Peace.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
So the question is this. Did Christ build His church upon the apostles? Or did the apostles build the church upon Christ?

Both?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

In this country we have 'founding fathers.' Is our nation built upon these founding fathers, or are the founding fathers builders of our nation?

Jennie said...

I still say both.

Christ built His church working through the Apostles who built upon the foundation of Christ.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Exactly Jennie!

Christ builds His church upon Himself, and through us, by the work we do in His church. The work of the apostles became foundational to the laying down of the church, and thus they, the apostles, became foundational for the church, which BTW is continually being built up when more of us join the church, to do the work of Christ.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this. Will our work stand up to the fire, or will it be burnt because it was unprofitable? (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).

Peace.

Elena said...

Elena,
So there isn't one specific place where it is said "Peter is not the rock?"
Why does it have to say that, if it never occurred to the Fathers that Peter was 'the Rock' or 'Petra'. Most seem to have believed Jesus was 'Petra' and Peter was the first built upon Him.


Because of course from my perspective most seem to have believed that Christ did change his name to Peter Petros and that he did build his church upon him. So such an exact quote would be very compelling for your argument.

Elena said...

Those were all quotes from Jerome that I posted above.

I understand that. But where does he specifically say it?

Elena said...

I guess the Roman Catholics think that too, though; but they think the bishop of Rome is specifically the successor of Peter.
Is that right, Elena and Kelly?


Right.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Actually here is a quote that says that Jesus is the Rock, or Petra.

"And they all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock[Petra], that followed them, and that Rock[Petra] was Christ" (1 Corithians 10:4).

Nothing is scripture even suggests that Peter was the first stone laid after Christ. All twelve apostles were needed. That was why they had to ordain Matthias to replace Judas before Pentecost, and before the apostolic work began.

Peter was a leader - yes, but Christ called him to "feed His sheep" as an apostle to the JEWS scattered throughout the Roman empire and beyond, while Paul was called to be an apostle to the GENTILES OR NON JEWS in the Roman empire and beyond.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Peter's primary role was to convert Jews to Christianity. I would expect that if Peter had successors, that their main job would be to convert Jews to Christianity, and not establish a largely Gentile religion.

Elena said...

Nothing is scripture even suggests that Peter was the first stone laid after Christ.

Yea there is Hillary and we've spent quite a bit of time discussing it.

It's one thing to disagree with it but it's a bit disingenuous to say that "nothing even suggests." come on ...

Kelly said...

Paul, I'm clearly not seeing the same thing that you are seeing in those quotes. I don't see any contradiction at all.

You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church.' Just as Christ himself gave light to the apostles,
in order that they might be called the light of the world, so other names were derived from the Lord: for
example, Simon, who believed in the rock, Christ, was given the name 'Peter.' And in accordance with the
metaphor of the rock, Jesus rightly said to him: 'I shall build my Church upon you. And the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.'


This says that Jesus told Peter he would build is church on him, and that this is derived from Jesus, Himself. Elena and I have said that the Pope has no power himself, per se, but acts as the steward of Jesus.

For what function, excepting ordination,
belongs to a bishop that does not also belong to a presbyter? It is not the case that there is one church at
Rome and another in all the world beside.


This one, in particular, I find really strengthens our case. Jerome says that in order to maintain the unity of the church (the four marks of the Church are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic), a hierarchy was formed. The bishops guided over the priests, and he particularly stresses that bishops are to be chosen from the priests.

There is one priesthood, which is ensured through apostolic succession (mentioned at the end of this quote). Pope Benedict was first ordained a priest. From the priesthood, he was elevated to bishop. From there, he became cardinal and then Pope. But as Pope, he shares the same priesthood as my local parish priest. I believe Pope John Paul II made it a point to hear confessions at St. Peter's in order to underscore this.

But Jerome in the earlier part of that quote did say that the Roman bishop was not any greater than the others. All were equal.

No, it didn't say that. It said that the church has unity, and that the church in Rome, is the same as the church anywhere else. It says that all bishops share the same priesthood, through their apostolic succession.

yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism.

Jerome's does not question that Peter was appointed the head of the church. His whole letter is trying to prove that virginity is superior to those who are married, and Jovinianus said that all of the apostles were married, whereas Jerome held that John was not.

Elena said...

Yea, I don't think the Jerome argument is a very strong one for what Paul et al want it to say.

Kelly said...

The quote from William Webster, Jennie, is this:

[In my first book against Donatus] I mentioned somewhere with reference to the apostle Peter that "the Church is founded upon him as upon a rock". This meaning is also sung by many lips in the lines of blessed Ambrose [saint and bishop of Milan who baptized Augustine], where, speaking of the domestic cock, he says: "When it crows, he, the rock of the Church, absolves from sin." But I realize that I have since frequently explained the words of our Lord: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church", to the effect that they should be understood as referring to him whom Peter confessed when he said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God", and as meaning that Peter, having been named after this rock, figured the person of the Church, which is built upon this rock and has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For what was said to him was not "Thou art the rock", but "Thou art Peter". But the rock was Christ, having confessed whom (even as the whole Church confesses) Simon was named Peter. Which of these two interpretations is the more likely to be correct, let the reader choose.

Augustine spent time at the end of his life working through everything he ever wrote and trying to clear up any contradictions. He did not repudiate the first meaning of the verse, but clarified that both meaning could be likely.

The Catholic Church still owns the truth of both meanings today.

CCC #424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

Kelly said...

As an aside, one of the things I love about Catholicism is that it does not insist on one intended meaning per Bible verse. Following in our Jewish roots, we like to squeeze every big of meaning possible out of Scripture. It is truly a banquet for us, made of many different dishes, all nourishing in a different way.

To insist one one, preferably literal, meaning for all of Scripture is to exist on bread alone.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
As an aside, one of the things I love about Catholicism is that it does not insist on one intended meaning per Bible verse. Following in our Jewish roots, we like to squeeze every big of meaning possible out of Scripture. It is truly a banquet for us, made of many different dishes, all nourishing in a different way.

To insist one one, preferably literal, meaning for all of Scripture is to exist on bread alone.


I would say the same thing about why I love scripture, because there is a wealth of meaning in it and one can never exhaust it. We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and it is truly a feast that never ends.

Paul said...

Kelly said:
"As an aside, one of the things I love about Catholicism is that it does not insist on one intended meaning per Bible verse.
Following in our Jewish roots, we like to squeeze every big of meaning possible out of Scripture. It is truly a banquet for us, made of many different dishes, all nourishing in a different way.

To insist one one, preferably literal, meaning for all of Scripture is to exist on bread alone.

----------------------
Not a whole lot of room for freedom of interpretation here though:


Chapter I: Of the Institution of the Apostolic Primacy in blessed Peter.
We therefore teach and declare that, according to the testimony of the
Gospel, the primacy of jurisdiction over the universal Church of God was
immediately and directly promised and given to blessed Peter the Apostle
by Christ the Lord. For it was to Simon alone, to whom he had already said:
‘Thou shalt be called Cephas,’ that the Lord after the confession made by
him, saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ addressed
these solemn words: ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–Jona, because flesh and
blood have not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I
say to 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 to thee the
keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, it
shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it
shall be loosed also in heaven.’ And it was upon Simon alone that Jesus
after his resurrection bestowed the jurisdiction of chief pastor and ruler over
all his fold in the words: ‘Feed my lambs; feed my sheep.’
cont.

Paul said...

At open variance
with this clear doctrine of Holy Scripture as it has been ever understood
by the Catholic Church are the perverse opinions of those who, while
they distort the form of government established by Christ the Lord in his
Church, deny that Peter in his single person, preferably to all the other
Apostles, whether taken separately or together, was endowed by Christ
with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction; or of those who assert that
the same primacy was not bestowed immediately and directly upon blessed
Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through the Church on Peter as
her minister.
If any one, therefore, shall say that blessed Peter the Apostle was not
appointed the Prince of all the Apostles and the visible Head of the whole
Church militant; or that the same directly and immediately received from
the same our Lord Jesus Christ a primacy of honor only, and not of true
and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema.


source:
Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

Kelly said...

That doesn't negate what I wrote earlier.

The Catholic Church still owns the truth of both meanings today.

CCC #424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Elena,
So there isn't one specific place where it is said "Peter is not the rock?"
Why does it have to say that, if it never occurred to the Fathers that Peter was 'the Rock' or 'Petra'. Most seem to have believed Jesus was 'Petra' and Peter was the first built upon Him.

Because of course from my perspective most seem to have believed that Christ did change his name to Peter Petros and that he did build his church upon him. So such an exact quote would be very compelling for your argument."
-------------------
Elena
Jerome is quoted at least 4 times above stating that "the rock" is Christ. That is an axiom that does not need to be qualified with a negation.

Paul said...

"Because of course from my perspective most seem to have believed that Christ did change his name to Peter Petros and that he did build his church upon him."
--------------------
So far I have only found Cyprian claiming that Peter is "the rock" of Matt. 16 among the ECF's in the first 5 centuries. And yet Cyprian claimed that as a Bishop, he also sat on the chair of Peter. Maybe you have found others that would qualify the "most" in your statement?

Kelly said...

It doesn't have to be one or the other, Paul. That's kind of the point of the post. Jerome can say that Jesus is the rock and still affirm that Jesus called Peter the rock. (posting from hospital, sorry to be brief.)

Jennie said...

I think an important point about the anathema Paul cited is that the Catholic Church has no right to anathematize something that God, in His word, has not anathematized. Paul anathematized those who would teach a different gospel. The teaching about the primacy and authority of Peter as stated in the anathema is not part of the gospel and is not agreed upon by Christians historically or presently. The anathema is making it mandatory to believe something that is not essential for salvation and is not even correct according to many. It is apparently an attempt to insist on a doctrine that centers control in one man for the entire church. It is demanding that people believe one interpretation when there are several other valid ones that actually may all be true, but the one they insist on is most likely not true because it has no historical or biblical support.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I hope your husband is doing well. I'm praying for him.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
It doesn't have to be one or the other, Paul. That's kind of the point of the post. Jerome can say that Jesus is the rock and still affirm that Jesus called Peter the rock. (posting from hospital, sorry to be brief.)

But Jesus is calling Peter 'rock' AFTER HIMSELF, in imitation of Himself, and resting on His strength. Augustine made that clear, and I think the other Fathers we've mentioned seemed to agree that it was Jesus who is Petra and that Peter is built upon Him. It is Petra in Matt. 16 upon which the church is built.
Augustine did not insist either interpretation, so the RCC has no precedent to insist and curse people for not accepting their view.

Paul said...

It doesn't have to be one or the other, Paul. That's kind of the point of the post. Jerome can say that Jesus is the rock and still affirm that Jesus called Peter the rock. (posting from hospital, sorry to be brief.)
-----------------
Kelly,
my sympathies to your husband. Hernia repairs are no fun.
I'm not arguing that Jerome denied Peter was called "rock". My point is that Jerome states that Jesus is "the rock" that the church is built on. Just as Jesus is "the light" from which he calls them "the light of the world". Jerome's claim is in direct conflict with Vatican 1 and Satis Cognitum.

Paul said...

Jerome:
"For what function, excepting ordination,
belongs to a bishop that does not also belong to a presbyter? It is not the case that there is one church at
Rome and another in all the world beside."

Kelly wrote:
"This one, in particular, I find really strengthens our case. Jerome says that in order to maintain the unity of the church (the four marks of the Church are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic), a hierarchy was formed. The bishops guided over the priests, and he particularly stresses that bishops are to be chosen from the priests."
----------------
More on this from Jerome:

Paul said...

Jerome (347-420): A presbyter, therefore, is the same as a bishop, and before dissensions were introduced into religion by the instigation of the devil, and it was said among the peoples, ‘I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, and I of Cephas,’ Churches were governed by a common council of presbyters; afterwards, when everyone thought that those whom he had baptised were his own, and not Christ’s, it was decreed in the whole world that one chosen out of the presbyters should be placed over the rest, and to whom all care of the Church should belong, that the seeds of schisms might be plucked up. Whosoever thinks that there is no proof from Scripture, but that this is my opinion, that a presbyter and bishop are the same, and that one is a title of age, the other of office, let him read the words of the apostle to the Philippians, saying, ‘Paul and Timotheus, servants of Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons.’ John Harrison, Whose Are the Fathers? (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1867), p.488. See also Karl Von Hase, Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, trans. A. W. Streane, Vol. 1, 2nd ed. rev. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909), p. 164. Cited also by Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 2, ed. John T. McNeill and trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, reprinted 1977), IV.4.2, pp. 1069-1070.
Latin text: Idem est ergo presbyter qui et episcopus, et antequam diaboli instinctu, studia in religione fierent, et diceretur in populis: Ego sum Pauli, ego Apollo, ego autem Cephae, communi presbyterorum consilio, Ecclesiae gubernabantur. Postquam vero unusquisque eos quos baptizaverat suos putabat esse, non Christi, in toto orbe decretum est, ut unus de presbyteris electus superponeretur caeteris, ad quem omnis Ecclesiae cura pertineret, et schismatum semina tollerentur. Putet aliquis non Scripturarum, sed nostram esse sententiam, episcopum et presbyterum unum esse, et aliud aetatis, aliud esse nomen officii: relegat Apostoli ad Philippenses verba dicentis: Paulus et Timothaeus servi Jesu Christi, omnibus sanctis in Christo Jesu, qui sunt Philippis, cum episcopis et diaconis, gratia vobis et pax, et reliqua. Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, PL 26:562-563.

Jerome claims that the three-office system was not a Biblical but a pragmatic one.

Paul said...

Jerome (347-420): Therefore, as we have shown, among the ancients presbyters were the same as bishops; but by degrees, that the plants of dissension might be rooted up, all responsibility was transferred to one person. Therefore, as the presbyters know that it is by the custom of the Church that they are to be subject to him who is placed over them so let the bishops know that they are above presbyters rather by custom than by Divine appointment, and ought to rule the Church in common, following the example of Moses, who, when he alone had power to preside over the people Israel, chose seventy, with the assistance of whom he might judge the people. We see therefore what kind of presbyter or bishop should be ordained. John Harrison, Whose Are the Fathers? (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1867), p.488. See also Karl Von Hase, Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, trans. A. W. Streane, Vol. 1, 2nd ed. rev. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909), p. 164.
Latin text: Haec propterea, ut ostenderemus apud veteres eosdem fuisse presbyteros quos et episcopos: paulatim vero ut dissensionum plantaria evellerentur, ad unum omnem sollicitudinem esse delatam. Sicut ergo presbyteri sciunt se ex Ecclesiae consuetudine ei qui sibi praepositus fuerit, esse subjectos: ita episcopi noverint se magis consuetudine, quam dispositionis Dominicae veritate, presbyteris esse majores, et in commune debere Ecclesiam regere, imitantes Moysen, qui cum haberet in potestate solum praeesse populo Israel, septuaginta elegit, cum quibus populum judicaret. Videamus igitur qualis presbyter, sive episcopus ordinandus sit. Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, PL 26:563.

Elena said...

Jerome is quoted at least 4 times above stating that "the rock" is Christ. That is an axiom that does not need to be qualified with a negation.

Which is not the same thing as saying Christ did not call Peter the rock. Sorry but it's just not saying what you're trying to imply it does.

Elena said...

I think an important point about the anathema Paul cited is that the Catholic Church has no right to anathematize something that God, in His word, has not anathematized.

It's in the loosing and binding stuff - that's where the Church gets the right. See also kelly's prior comments on anathema - and let's not go there on this thread. Since Kelly is preoccupied today those types of comments will be deleted quicker than you can say Jack Frost!

Elena said...

I guess I'm missing your point Paul. Are we arguing Presbyters vs. bishops?

Jennie said...

Elena,
It's in the loosing and binding stuff - that's where the Church gets the right.<

Who says that that's what it means?

Isn't it referring to forgiveness of sins through the gospel and helping believers to get free of the things that bind them because of their sins?

Elena said...

Who says that that's what it means?


Jesus

Jennie said...

Elena,
Jesus didn't say that binding and loosing meant 'the church' could order people to believe something that most Christians historically didn't believe and threaten the flock with a curse if they don't accept that.
There is no basis for that thinking.

Elena said...

Jesus left His church and his vicar (Peter) and the apostles and via apostolic succession the popes and bishops to pass on his teachings. Part of the church's job is to protect the church and the believers from error. Sometimes that meant strong pronouncements like anathemas and today possibly excommunications - none of which precludes any one from repenting and coming bck into the fold.

As far as history goes- history is on the side of Catholicism which has historic Protestantism beat by 1500 years or so. More Christians for centuries followed the Catholic church for her teachings than not.

This is one of the things that keeps me Catholic - there just isn't an historic case for Protestantism.

Jennie said...

Have there been any anathemas pronounced between the New Testament one and the ones at the council of Trent? I'm not familiar with that information.

I believe the only reason for an anathema would be to repeat the one that Paul stated, which is God's inspired word, because someone or some group is perverting the gospel. It would be a repetition of what God has already said, not a new pronouncement.
Historically, the church fathers as far as I know did not threaten people with curses because if they didn't believe in a certain form of church government, especially one which is not specifically stated in scripture.

Elena said...

Let's wait for Kelly, our anathema expert to come back and handle that.

Jennie said...

Fine with me, Elena.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie said:

"I think an important point about the anathema Paul cited is that the Catholic Church has no right to anathematize something that God, in His word, has not anathematized."
----------------------------------
I wouldn't worry too much about the anathemas. Those anathemas are only applicable to their church members, and not to us outsiders. Those anathemas are powerless against those of us outside of the Catholic denomination. What we have to fear is curses pronounced upon us by God, not man.

Peace.

Paul said...

Daughter Of Wisdom said:
"I wouldn't worry too much about the anathemas. Those anathemas are only applicable to their church members, and not to us outsiders."
----------------
That in fact is the common claim (that anathemas are no longer applied, and that excommunication applies only to those already in the R.C Communion).
However, their dogmatic decrees DO condemn those outside the "Church", (meaning Roman Church).

" Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Unam Sanctam

Paul said...

Jennie wrote:
"Have there been any anathemas pronounced between the New Testament one and the ones at the council of Trent? I'm not familiar with that information."
-----------
Jennie,
The answer is yes. In fact Pope Honorius was anathematized and pronounced a heretic:

"Though Vatican I appeals to history as a valdation for its claims, it is the very facts of history which prove them to be spurious. Historically, papal infallibility was never part of the teaching or practice of the early Church, nor was it ever part of the doctrinal content of saving faith as taught by it. This is well illustrated by the actions of the 6th Ecumenical Council (III Constantinople) held in 680-681 A.D. This Council is well known in Church history for its official condemnation of a number of leading Eastern Bishops as well as a Bishop of Rome for embracing and promoting heretical teachings. The particular Pope who was posthumously excommunicated from the Church and forever branded a heretic was Pope Honorius, who reigned as bishop of Rome from 625 to 638 A.D."

An Ecumenical Council Officially Condemns a Pope for Heresy

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Paul, let them anathematize all they want. If we work to maintain religious freedom in this country, then we have nothing to worry about. Those anathemas will just be powerless words.

Kelly said...

Anathemas are off topic. Elena may gleefully delete any further comments on them.

Thank you for the prayers for my husband. He is having trouble keeping down his pain medication or any food. I just got back from my third trip to the pharmacy, so hopefully we have it fixed this time.

Elena said...

Gleefully!!!

Jennie said...

Elena,
may I just make a remark to D.O.W. about what she said about anathemas?

Jennie said...

Did ya'll hear about the little boy in Colorado who's father was working on a hot air balloon project with him, and the little boy, who is about 6 I think, when his dad wasn't around, let the balloon loose; a little friend said he saw the boy climb into it, so they thought he had floated away in it; they had helicopters following it and when it went down, he wasn't in it. Everyone was afraid he had fallen out before they began following it. Well...my daughter just read online that he was found hiding in a cardboard box in their garage, probably because he was afraid he'd get in trouble for letting the balloon go! Can you imagine the parent's relief? Whew!

Elena said...

Sure - email her.

Jennie said...

Well, that's no fun :)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I pray that Kelly's husband will recover and be well.

Peace and blessings,
Hillary

Jennie said...

Here's an article that Paul linked to on my blog about Pope Honorious and Papal infallibility:
http://www.stanmurrell.org/papal_infallibility

Kelly said...

It's hard to take any article seriously that begins with "because we're all placed under anathema" because we disagree with the doctrine.

I also found the conclusion pretty humorous. What assurance do Catholics have that Pope Benedict's writings won't be condemned as heretical years from now? Well, what assurances do the non-Catholic Christian churches have that their preferred denomination won't start ordaining practicing gay men to the ministry? Or paying for abortions for their church employees? Sure, your system is a much better guarantee of stability . . .

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Well, what assurances do the non-Catholic Christian churches have that their preferred denomination won't start ordaining practicing gay men to the ministry? Or paying for abortions for their church employees?
Protestants don't claim infallibility for their leaders. The standard for Biblical protestant churches is to teach their people to trust in Christ and His word and not in 'the church,' so since the church and its leaders are not infallible and are not expected to be, we look to the scriptures as our final authority. When men fail, we should stand on the word of God, and be able to see that we should not follow men, but God.

Since, however, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the bishop of Rome can never err in matters of faith and morals, when her leaders, like Honorious, go astray and teach false doctrines, her people (having accepted the dogma of infallibility) must believe that their leaders cannot be wrong in teachings on faith and morals and so will be much more likely to accept what is taught than to question it. Their standard is the Church hierarchy and not the scriptures, so they have no truly infallible rule to go by unless they reject the church teaching and turn to God's word.
In other words, if you claim infallibility, you'd better be able to deliver it, or you'll be the blind leading the blind. The RCC has trained her people to trust in her instead of in God's word; but God says “ Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5

Kelly said...

The RCC has trained her people to trust in her instead of in God's word

Indeed, that is why I'm always quoting from papal documents here at VTC instead of the Bible.

Since, however, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the bishop of Rome can never err in matters of faith and morals, when her leaders, like Honorious, go astray and teach false doctrines, her people (having accepted the dogma of infallibility) must believe that their leaders cannot be wrong

Yes, you have firmly convinced me that Catholics are now Monophysites.

Now that is settled, you might remember that I try to space out the debates for a reason. I will try to be less grumpy, if you respect my break. The incredible-non-sleeping baby is back, and if he's awake, he is crying. *sigh*

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Sorry, I didn't realize you were taking a break; but I don't demand an immediate answer, and I often post things just to add information so others who read it can see both sides (though I suppose you don't want to leave it unanswered, so I see what you mean). If it bothers you I will try to avoid posting in between conversations.

About Catholics not being monophysites, the point is that if errors are not caught and corrected, as Honorious' was not immediately caught, then people will continue to go more and more into error. I would guess that the majority of people, in the RCC as well as in many protestant churches, don't do very well at checking teachings out against the Bible and are likely to just go with the flow.

Jennie said...

It's very hard having a baby that seems to need no sleep; my two and a half year old was that way for her first year and a half, so I feel for you.