August 22, 2019

#11 CHURCH, the Head, 1846




Q. Who is the true and chief head of the Church? [pg. 154]

    A. Jesus Christ is the true head of the Church, who, being himself invisible, governs his Church from heaven in an invisible manner.
    Q. Did Jesus Christ appoint any vicar on earth to govern his Church in quality of visible chief or head?
    A. Yes: he appointed for that purpose St. Peter and his successors.
    Q. Did St. Peter receive more power than the other Apostles from Christ?
    A. Yes; as is evident from many passages of Scripture.
    Q. Quote St. Matthew, chap. xvi.
    A. “Thou art Peter, and upon this rook I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
    Q. What is meant here by the word “rock”?
    A. Peter himself.

Q. Why?
A. Because in John, chap, i, 42, Christ, in calling Peter, gives him a new name, which signifies a rock, and which explains clearly the meaning of the word “rock” in the above text. “Thou art Simon the son of Jona, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter, or a rock. Our Saviour spoke in the Syriac language, and in that language, Cephas is the same as Petros in the Greek, both meaning a rock; indeed, the words of Christ, literally interpreted, have this meaning: “Thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Such words were not addressed to any other Apostle.
    Q. What are the words of the text immediately following? Matth. chap. xvi, 19.
   A. “And I will give to thee (Peter) the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Q. Did not Christ address the same to words to all the Apostles?
    A. On this occasion, he addressed these words to Peter alone, which makes it quite evident that he intended  to confer on Peter a peculiar power; when he addressed the other Apostles in these words, he did so generally and to all in common.
    Q. What does Christ say to Peter—John xxi, 15, 16, 17?
    A. “Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep.” And the Fathers of the Church have understood by the lambs, the lay faithful people; and by the sheep, the pastors of the people; for as the sheep nourish the lambs, so do the pastors of the Church tend, and spiritually feed, their flocks.
    Q. What do you conclude from the above commission given only to Peter?

    A. That Christ gave the charge of the whole Church, pastors and people, sheep and lambs to Peter alone.


Q. Have you any other proofs of St. Peter’s Primacy or supremacy?
   A. Yes; in Luke, chap. xxii, v. 26, Christ says to his Apostles, “He that is greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serve.” Therefore there was a GREATER, or LEADER,   among the Apostles, otherwise Christ’s words could have no meaning; but if there was a leader. Peter, and no other, was that man.
    Q. Does Christ anywhere offer up a special prayer for Peter’s faith, without including, in this prayer, the rest  of the Apostles?
    A. Yes; Luke xxii, 32,—Christ says to Peter these words:—“But I have prayed for thee, that thy FAITH FAIL NOT; and thou, being once converted, CONFIRM THY BRETHREN.” From which it is clear, that Peter had a superiority over his brethren given him by Christ; for if he was only their equal, how could he confirm them?
    Q. Why does Christ—John, chap. xxi, before giving Peter the special charge of all
Christ’s lamb, and sheep, ask that Apostle whether he loves him (Christ) MORE than the other Apostles love him?

A. Christ evidently requires greater love from Peter, because he is to confer a greater dignity upon him, committing to his care the whole Christian community, pastors and people.
    Q. Have you any other Scriptural proof for Peter’s superiority?
A. When the Scripture gives the names of the Apostles in order, Peter’s name is always) placed first. (Matth.chap.x.) Nor can it be alleged that this was done because Peter was the oldest, for Andrew was Peter’s elder, and was even the first to follow Christ. St. Ambrose, in Epist. ii, ad Cor. cap. xii, says; “Not Andrew, but Peter was chief amongst the Apostles.” St. Augus. lib. de Baptis., says: “Behold Peter, who held the pre-eminence with such lustre.” St. Optat., lib. contra Parmen., adds: “Peter was appointed chief of the Apostles, to the end that unity might be preserved in the Church.

Transfiguration – Icon Peter proclaims faith with desire to set up tents

Q. Did Peter act at any time as chief functionary of the Church?
A. He did so immediately after the Ascension of our Lord. He assembled the Apostles, he presided at the election of an Apostle to replace Judas. (Acts, chap. i.) Peter was the first to preach Jesus Christ crucified, and by the conversion of three thousand at his first sermon, first gave form to the Christian Church, verifying the words of Christ, that he should be the rock or foundation from which the Church should arise. (Acts, chap. ii.) He is first to teach the admission of the Pagans or heathens to baptism, which matter he alone was taught by a revelation from heaven. (Acts, chap, x.) He works the first miracles, at the Beautiful gate of the Temple, on the lame man, (Acts, chap, iii,) on Æneas and Tabitha, (Acts, chap. ix,) and as a punishment on Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts, chap. v.)
    Q. Does it appear, from any other circumstances, that Peter was chief among the Apostles?
A. Yes; for when he was cast into prison the whole Church prayed for him, nor was this done for any of the other Apostles; to him alone did heaven vouchsafe an angel as a deliverer from his prison, (Acts, chap. xii.)

Q. Did Peter act as presiding teacher among the Apostles?
A. Yes; he decided, in the first Council held at Jerusalem by the Apostles, that the Christians should not be subjected to the Jewish rite of circumcision; St. Paul, though an Apostle, did not venture to decide upon it. [pg. 159] “Men
brethren,” said Peter, “you know that in former days God made CHOICE among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel;” and, when Peter had made an end of speaking, “all the multitude held their peace;” and even James himself, who was bishop of Jerusalem, where the Apostles were assembled, rose only to repeat St. Peter’s decision, and to acquiesce in it (Acts, xv.)
    Q. What do you conclude from all this?
    A. That there is not one truth more clearly established in Scripture, than the superiority or supremacy of Peter, and that the acrimonious attacks of Protestants on this article of the Christian faith, only prove that they make a sport of the Scripture, except in as far as it supplies them with some passages, seeming to bear two meanings, which they pervert, in order to prop up the tottering fabrics of contradictory and contrary schisms.


CHAPTER III. – Admission of this Supremacy

Q. The supremacy of St. Peter once established, what necessarily follows?
    A. That all the successors of St. Peter hold the same rank and power; because the form of government established by Christ in his Church, was not to last merely during one or two centuries, but always, like the Church until the consummation of the world.
    Q. Who are the successors of St. Peter?
    A. The bishops of Rome, in which capital of the world, St. Peter established his See and ended his life.

Q. What reply do you make to those who pretend to hold that St. Peter never was at Rome?
    A. We put the following rather troublesome questions to them. In the first place, tell us, if St. Peter did not suffer martyrdom at Rome under the Emperor Nero, in what part of the world, and when did he die? Secondly, if St. Peter did not die at Rome, at what time, and from what country, were his relics or remains transported thither, for there they are beyond all doubt? Thirdly, did not the Fathers of the early and pure Church, who lived near to the time of St. Peter, know better than Protestants, who made their first appearance only three hundred years ago, who was the first bishop of Rome?
    Q. Do any of these Fathers say St. Peter was the first?
A. Yes; St. Augustine, Ep. ad Gener., enumerating the bishops who had governed the Church of Rome, begins thus—Peter was the first, to Peter succeeded Linus, and to Linus, [pg. 161] Clement. St. Optatus, contra Parmen.—”St. Peter first occupied the See of Rome, to him Linus succeeded, and after Linus, Clement.” St. Ireneus, lib. iii, cap. 8; St. Epiphanius, de 27 Heres.; and all the other Fathers who have given a catalogue of the bishops of Rome, assign the first occupation of that See to Peter. St. Leo, in Ser. de Petro et Paulo, says: “Rome became the capital of the Christian world, because St. Peter established his See in Rome.

In Pream. Concil. Chalc., arid also in Coun. Ephes., it is said, that “Peter lives, judges, and defines, in his successors.” ”Happy Church,” says Tertullian, addressing the Church of Rome, “which the Great Apostles fully impregnated with all their doctrine and all their blood.”

CHAPTER IV. – Obey the Bishop of Rome

Q. Do all the faithful owe obedience to the bishop of Rome?
    A. Yes; all are bound to obey him as the vicar of Jesus Christ, the chief bishop of the whole Christian Church.
    Q. Is it a grievous sin to refuse submission to the sovereign Pontiff?
    A. “Whoever oppose,”
says St. Paul, “the lawful authorities, oppose the order of the Al-
mighty, and those who resist such authority bring condemnation on themselves.”

    Q. Is it necessary that all Christian Churches be in strict communion with the See of Rome?

   A. So all the Fathers teach. St. Ireneus, lib iii, cap. 3, says: “The Roman Church is the principal, and hence all other Churches must be united to her.” St. Cyprian, lib. i Epist. 8—”There is only one God, one Christ, one Church, one chair of Peter, established by the Word of Christ himself.”

St. Jerom, Epist. to Pope Damasus

“I am attached to your chair, which is that of St. Peter,—I know that the Church is built upon that rock;” and again, “Whoever eats not the Lamb in that house, is profane; whoever takes not refuge in that ark, shall perish in the waters of the deluge; whoever is not with you, is against Jesus Christ; whoever gather not with you, scatter abroad.”

Q. Why is the Catholic Church called also Roman?
    A. Because the Catholic Churches of all nations and ages have honored the See of Rome, and, on account of its “superior headship,” have always gloried in the profession of their attachment to it.

Indulgence Prayers: An Indulgence, plenary indulgences once a month, on the ususal conditions, for the daily recitation of these prayers (S.C. Ind. Jun 22, 1782, S.P. Ap., May 18, 1935.)

“Thou art the Shepherd of the sheep, the Prince of the Apostles, unto thee were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Thou art Peter; And upon this Rock, I will build my Church. ” Let us pray. ” Raise us up, we beseech Thee o Lord, by the apostolic assistance of blessed Peter, Thine Apostle: so that weaker we are, the more mightily we may be helped by the power of intercession: and that being perpetually defended by the same holy Apostle we may neither yield to any inequity, nor be overcome by any adversity, Though Christ our Lord.. . Amen.

REFUTING PROTESTANTISM WITH DOCTRINAL CATECHISM 1846 continues next with… #12 OBEDIENCE 1846 posting May 18th Saturday, Pope John I

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