Is beatification of John Paul II controversial?

posted at 3:35 pm on April 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Honestly, I didn’t think that a celebration by the Catholic Church over the powerful life of the late Pope John Paul II would generate much controversy at all, at least not until I read The Week’s roundup on the debate.  Critics mainly focus on the failure of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to properly respond to allegations of sexual abuse by priests, which is at least germane to the point.  Others seem more interested in debating the church’s doctrine through John Paul II, whose role was to teach and uphold the doctrine, not to change it to suit contemporary fashion, or to criticize the beatification and canonization process in general as “deifying” ancestors.

As I take my leave of Hot Air for the next ten days or so to travel to Rome and the Vatican to attend the beatification (as well as vacation in Rome), I decided to address the temporal issues of the previous Pope’s beatification in my latest column for The Week:

The Catholic Church took too long to confront the issue of priests that abused children, hid them from scrutiny for far too long, and initially failed to deal with it openly when the issue began to break open over the last 10 years.  The Pope serves as the chief executive of the global church, which makes the organizational failures his responsibility. John Paul II never attempted to evade that responsibility, and though the church moved too slowly, it did make significant changes to address the scandal, and the culture of silence and secrecy that allowed the problem to fester long before Karol Wojtyla became a priest, let alone a pope. …

John Paul II saw the evil of a regime that built walls to detain its subjects, with guards to shoot those who dared to try to escape, and which demanded that people declare their devotion to the state rather than choose to give it willingly to God. Unlike many in that time, he chose to act to dismantle evil and free millions rather than search for a way to peacefully coexist with evil and consign slaves to their chains. And he managed to bring down one of the 20th century’s most murderous empires without an army of his own.

Even in his slow decline toward death, John Paul II served as an example to the world of the dignity of the suffering and dedication to his faith. Popes rarely retire, although there are a few precedents. Even in the infirmity of his Parkinson’s disease, John Paul II put his trust in God, who had called him to lead the Catholic Church until the end of his life. Rather than heed calls to step down from his position, the pope bravely carried out his charge until he drew his last breath, the faithful servant to the end.

No man or woman is perfect, not even the saints.   Peter, who denied Jesus Christ three times despite having been selected as the leader of Christ’s church, gives testament to that fact.  Augustine tried to distance himself from his faith for as long as possible in order to avoid the discipline it demanded.  If saints were perfect, their lives would have nothing to teach us.   John Paul II taught us plenty — and helped free millions from the bondage of Soviet oppression, which even Mikhail Gorbachev noted would have been “impossible” without the Pope.

John Paul was a man who moved the world, through his faith rather than through armies on a battlefield, and helped to bring down one of history’s most oppressive empires.  It is a life worth celebrating, and his is a faith worth recognizing.

I am looking forward to participating in the celebratory Mass on Sunday for John Paul II’s beatification.  I’m also looking forward to taking some time off, but I will miss writing and engaging as I do each day.  Allahpundit has lined up a great slate of guest bloggers to take my place during my vacation, so enjoy and try to miss me a little while I’m gone.


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Fossten, if you’d read the rest of the address, including what is excerpted by theCork above, you’d see JP makes a clear distinction.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Rather “He knew it would be written”

theCork on April 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

God said to “Honor thy Father and Mother”…we simply pray that Mary intercede for us to her son, Jesus.

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars…Her offspring (are) those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.”–Revelation 12:1, 17

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Er…wait…you think that refers to Mary?

Sigh.

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Second, nowhere in Catholic dogma or teaching is Mary ever equated with God. So your continued argument of that point is just making you look and sound foolish to anyone with any idea of Catholic dogma.

Daveyardbird on April 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

How can Mary intercede with God if she has no equality with God? Where in the Bible does it say that Mary even does this? Where does the Bible say we should pray to ANYONE except God?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

How can Mary intercede with God if she has no equality with God? Where in the Bible does it say that Mary even does this? Where does the Bible say we should pray to ANYONE except God?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I might ask you to pray for me sometime. Same idea.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Er…wait…you think that refers to Mary?

Sigh.

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Are you “digging”? Please…I’d really like to see it.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 5:23 PM

“Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honoured by a special cult in the Church. … The sacred synod teaches this Catholic doctrine advisedly and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and that the practices and exercises of devotion towards her, recommended by the teaching authority of the Church in the course of centuries be highly esteemed, and that those decrees, which were given in the early days regarding the cult images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be religiously observed” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, IV, The Cult of the Blessed Virgin in the Church, 66,67, pp. 384-385).

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I might ask you to pray for me sometime. Same idea.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Am I dead?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM

How can Mary intercede with God if she has no equality with God? Where in the Bible does it say that Mary even does this? Where does the Bible say we should pray to ANYONE except God?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Jesus’ first miracle at Cana, the servants went to Mary when they ran out of wine and asked her to ask Jesus to intervene and Jesus turned the water into wine. Scriptural basis for asking Mary to put in a good word with JC.

Daveyardbird on April 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM

The only people who would find this controversial, are those who already hate the Church, and are merely using this as a mask to hide their true nature. Anti-Catholic bigots, like Truthers or Ron Paul fanatics, are driven by an irrational inner hate that no message of peace from The Church will penetrate. Even if the Church were to self immolate, they would be unsatisfied, and just as sad and bitter.
Ed have a great time at the Vatican, I was there when Pope Benedict presided over Mass the first time. I will be taking the Smoking Hot Redhead as soon as finances (and Uncle Sam) allow. The Vatican is an amazing place.
I’m off to soak the feet before the tornadoes hit Ft Bragg again. Apparently the cadre think it’s fun to ruck in the sand. Like I’ll see any of that overseas. Ha!

LincolntheHun on April 27, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Am I dead?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM

It doesn’t appear so to me :)

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 5:26 PM

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

too bad on that rapture question, never get anything even remotely plausible to back it up.

Daveyardbird on April 27, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Mary has absolutely no role in the work of redemption. ….

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Were it not for Mary agreeing (yes, free will) to become the mother of Christ, there would have been no Son of God incarnate. The Catholic Church recognizes this fundamental truth and accepts that Mary, in order to accept the incarnation within her womb, would have to have been saved by Jesus before He was born. Which is entirely possible for God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) since God created time and is not constrained by it. God knew us each even before we were “knit together in our mother’s womb” and so knew Mary before she was conceived. His ability to preserve her to become the mother of Christ can’t be questioned. Did He do that? That’s what the Catholic Church teaches. So Mary absolutely had a role, one that is fundamental and necessary, in the salvation history of mankind and without her, we could not embrace (we hope) our Savior as the Incarnate God.

You have every right to come to your own conclusions and “work out your salvation in fear and trembling” like the rest of us, to varying degrees. I don’t worship Mary nor have I been taught to worship her. She is not a god, nor on even footing with Him. She is, however, the mother of the Savior of the world and thus deserves full honor.

BillyWilly on April 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM

This Methodist isn’t here to argue…just to wish Ed and his family a safe and lovely journey. You will be missed.

redwhiteblue on April 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM

As someone who is very much not catholic I too do not understand why other not-catholic people care about this. I mean, yeah, this thread is fascinating to follow for several reasons, but more in a “did you see that train wreck” vein than “wow, nicely played chess match” vein.

deepdiver on April 27, 2011 at 5:28 PM

How many little boys were molested by priests on this guy’s watch?

Really Right on April 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Far fewer than in the public school system.

katy the mean old lady on April 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Mary has absolutely no role in the work of redemption. ….

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Mary is to be honored, but it should also be recognized she was a sinner saved by grace, just like any other Christian.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I might ask you to pray for me sometime. Same idea.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Am I dead?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Since all Christians are in union with Christ’s mystical body through the sacrament of baptism, and Christ is always offering His perfect sacrifice to His heavenly father, all Christians, living or dead, may petition God the Father through His son. Mother Mary, not least of all.

Goldenavatar on April 27, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Not everything regarding Christian faith nor its traditions were written in the Bible. The Bible actually tells us this.

The doctrine of sola scriptura doesn’t argue with that point but it’s commonly thought that it does. Where we disagree is that there is a difference between all saving knowledge of faith and morals between scripture and tradition.

I know it’s hardly worth bringing up or debating because those of you who think the Catholic Church is wrong cannot be dissuaded from that position.

I don’t think the Catholic church is wrong because it will not be led by false preachers. I believe the Roman church is wrong because it teaches doctrines apart from his Holy Spirit’s inspiration.

Look at 1 Cor. 11:2.

You have taken this verse out of context. The tradition mentioned isn’t unknown. The tradition mentioned is from the end of the previous chapter.

Also, tell me how Paul or any of the apostles could have preached from a Bible not yet written?

They preached from the OT and Christ’s spoken word. It was called preaching. God was activly inspiring men at that time to write. It’s called an open-canon. The non-roman answer is that they didn’t preach anything different from what was to be written down.

It started as oral traditions and not all traditions (nor events) were written down.

So what. I don’t disagree with that.

Notice how the majority of Jesus’ life is NOT written down. Are we to assume His life was of no consequence until he was 30? Once written, those words didn’t negate all the things that were taught but not written.

Of course not but they negate the modern traditions that never appeared until centuries after the time of Christ.

That puts God in a box. I’m sure He won’t fit in whatever box we put Him in.

The Gnostics used that same argument.

Hey, I bet Allah is loving this debate!

BillyWilly on April 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Allah is a faux god.

shick on April 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Mary is to be honored, but it should also be recognized she was a sinner saved by grace, just like any other Christian.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Mary was sinless.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

No bites yet. Hmm.

shick on April 27, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I don’t think the Catholic church is wrong because it will not be led by false preachers. I believe the Roman church is wrong because it teaches doctrines apart from his Holy Spirit’s inspiration.

Who’s doctrine do you follow? What makes you a better arbiter of what the Spirit’s inspiration was?

Daveyardbird on April 27, 2011 at 5:46 PM

To understand what happened and how it could have happened, y’all have to understand the state of psychological and criminological knowledge throughout the history of the scandal.

The abuse took place mainly in the 60s and 70s, when psychology and criminology were heavily into rehabilitation. Pedophilia was believed to be treatable and curable, much like alcoholism. Furthermore, a movement among priests who identified themselves as gay became active, and were a little too willing to believe that charges of molestation were cooked up by homophobic superiors to get rid of gay priests.

Around the 1980s or so, we came to our modern understanding that pedophilia is not truly “curable,” and the only remedy is to separate pedos from their intended victims. More to come, they are rebooting my computer….

Sekhmet on April 27, 2011 at 5:50 PM

How many little boys were molested by priests on this guy’s watch?

Really Right on April 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Or, rather, you should ask, how many little boys were molested by priests with his approval.

Sin is an individual thing.

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 5:57 PM

A&E has been showing some programs about the lost gospels, ones that were not included in the current Bible. Can someone explain to me even though they’re older than ones that got accepted these didn’t make the cut? Seems like man has pretty much been deciding what is considered valid for quite some time.

katiejane on April 27, 2011 at 6:01 PM

John Paul II was a man who held a manmade office and now other men want to give him a manmade honor. What’s the problem?

According to Wikipedia, beatification is the recognition by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name (intercession of saints).

Beatification isn’t biblical. The “Church” has no more ability to know who is and is not in heaven than I do. If John Paul II is in heaven, he got there the same way any other sinner gets there. We are saved by grace through faith in the shed blood and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. That’s the only way. No one gets there through a position or a title or because a group of men say so.

Moreover, praying to John Paul II or any other mortal is an afront to heaven. John Paul was a sinner, just like the rest of us. He does not have, nor did he ever have, the ability to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his name. Popes have no special access to heaven.

Lord, I come to you in Jesus name and ask that you would remove the scales from so many eyes. Rid men of their superstitions and manmade religion. I pray that millions will come to see that John Paul II was just a sinner in need of your saving grace, regardless of the good he may have done during his days on this earth. As hurtful as my words may be to some, I pray that you would use them to prick the conscience of others. Let my words encourage others to search the Scriptures to discover the truth for themselves. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen!

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Mary is to be honored, but it should also be recognized she was a sinner saved by grace, just like any other Christian.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM
Mary was sinless.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Please show me the supporting Scripture.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Hey Ed, this question is for you. Did you have to secure an invitation to attend this special ceremony at the vatican? What did it take?

karenhasfreedom on April 27, 2011 at 6:05 PM

OK I’m back, dead-threaders!

Anyway, about the time we came to the modern understanding that pedos needed to be gotten rid of, not rehabilitated, something else was brewing. It was a movement that would unite survivors of sexual abuse, and focus on bringing them to justice, no matter how long ago the acts took place!

….Unfortunately, that movement was the Recovered Memory movement, that largely grew out of the sexual abuse awareness coming out of the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare. If the Vatican has anybody working for them, they have shrinks and those who study the Occult. The shrinks scratched their heads, and the Malleus Maleficarum boys couldn’t find some of the stuff the kids were describing in their libraries. Not even in the occult diaries of the likes of Gilles de Rais.

My guess is, they guessed correctly that the recovered memories were likely not true. And if the Catholic Church had confessed to what happened in the 60s and 70s at this point in time, they would be on the hook for everybody who has driven by a Catholic Church and subsequently went to the wrong hypnotherapist to stop smoking. Note that when the scandal came out, it was well after the courts were no longer looking at recovered memories as valid evidence, and were seeking to exonerate those convicted on the basis of recovered memories.

Sekhmet on April 27, 2011 at 6:09 PM

If it’s controversial, it’s because it’s non-biblical. Catholicism is full of funny non-biblical rituals and beliefs. But I hope Ed has a nice vacation.

DaydreamBeliever on April 27, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Name one.

David2.0 on April 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Please show me the supporting Scripture.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Please show us the Scripture that states Scripture is the only source of truth.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 6:11 PM


Mary was sinless.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Really? Wow!
Then why did she call God my Saviour in the Magnificat? Or why did she offer 2 turtledoves for a sin offering in the temple when Jesus was a young man?
O boy, the bible was wrong all this time!
Wrong about saints, wrong about homosexuals, wrong about sin, wrong about Mary,
and wrong about Jesus! ‘Cause you know, Jesus claimed to be the only way.
I mean really, why would we read the bible when the Vatican councils can just make up doctrines and laws as they seem fit to this age, just like the Democrats when the constitution does not agree with what they believe?

maynila on April 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Since fossten ran off from his “digging”…

Please show me the supporting Scripture.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” –Lk 1:28

How can one be with sin, yet “full of grace”?

Not to mention, how can the woman to give birth to our Lord and Savior possibly be tainted with sin?

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Since fossten ran off from his “digging”…

Please show me the supporting Scripture.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” –Lk 1:28

How can one be with sin, yet “full of grace”?

Not to mention, how can the woman to give birth to our Lord and Savior possibly be tainted with sin?

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Luke 1:28 means that she was graciously accepted, or had obtained grace; it wasn’t referring to electing, redeeming, justifying, pardoning, adopting, and sanctifying grace, which she had in common with all other saints. It referred to the special and particular favour, in being chosen and singled out from all other women, to be the mother of the Messiah.

“Not to mention, how can the woman to give birth to our Lord and Savior possibly be tainted with sin?” You did not come up with the idea that Christ had to be born of a sinless woman through Scripture. That’s a product of the fallen and fallible minds of men.

Christ was born of a virgin, but virgin does not equal sinless.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Well, I guess we just disagree on that. It’s hard to believe that a woman tainted with sin could give birth to God.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Guess I have a problem with any religion that props a man up who isn’t the Lord Jesus himself.

CliffHanger on April 27, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM
Well, I guess we just disagree on that. It’s hard to believe that a woman tainted with sin could give birth to God.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I rest on Scripture, not on the ideas and proclamations of men.

The bottom line: I find the entire idea of beatification problematic for prayer in the name of any mortal is an affront to heaven. The Bible clearly reveals, there is but one Mediator, Jesus Christ, and his mediatorial work cannot be supplemented by Mary, Mother Teresa, or Karol Wojtyla.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I rest on Scripture, not on the ideas and proclamations of men.

Not everything we need to know is in the Bible. The Holy Book itself never makes that claim. And God never said “There will be 27 books in the Bible”…The Bible was compiled by man…which books made it, and which did not…remember that.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I rest on Scripture, not on the ideas and proclamations of men.
Not everything we need to know is in the Bible. The Holy Book itself never makes that claim. And God never said “There will be 27 books in the Bible”…The Bible was compiled by man…which books made it, and which did not…remember that.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I have studied the way the Bible was put together in great depth. I trust it is the Divinely inspired Word of God. If it’s just another book compiled by men, we might as well add a book about Harry Potter? Or perhaps one justifying Marxism and abortion.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM

The well of hatred for anything Catholic is deep and fetid.

SKYFOX on April 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM

I have studied the way the Bible was put together in great depth. I trust it is the Divinely inspired Word of God. If it’s just another book compiled by men, we might as well add a book about Harry Potter? Or perhaps one justifying Marxism and abortion.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Then you’re aware that it was the Catholic Church which compiled it, no?

Yes…I agree the Bible was divinely inspired. Again, we simply disagree. Neither will change the others views on this. So I’ll simply say God Bless, and hope you do the same. Cheers.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM

If the Pope decides to make John Paul a saint, that is his call. I am not a Catholic, but if those of the faith loves this man, who am I to say no? This is just the msm and the rop type plowing up snakes. A man of faith has to be raked over the coals if this man is of the Christian faith. Those here of the Catholic faith, I have your back to see to it happens. I have my faith and I hope it happens even if I don’t see it your way.
L

letget on April 27, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I have studied the way the Bible was put together in great depth. I trust it is the Divinely inspired Word of God. If it’s just another book compiled by men, we might as well add a book about Harry Potter? Or perhaps one justifying Marxism and abortion.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM
Then you’re aware that it was the Catholic Church which compiled it, no?

Yes…I agree the Bible was divinely inspired. Again, we simply disagree. Neither will change the others views on this. So I’ll simply say God Bless, and hope you do the same. Cheers.

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM

God bless

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Is beatification of John Paul II controversial?

Really?

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 27, 2011 at 8:01 PM

“Never be afraid to love Mary. You can never love her more than Jesus does.”
-St. Maximilian Kolbe
Another wonderful 20th Century Pole.

Viva il Papa!

JPII We Love You!

Branch Rickey on April 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM

No man or woman is perfect, not even the saints. Peter, who denied Jesus Christ three times despite having been selected as the leader of Christ’s church, gives testament to that fact.

Ed, you will just have to forgive me for being contentious on this thread. John Paul did indeed deserve credit for his part in bringing down the Wall, as well as other historical achievements. However, the entire New Testament makes it quite clear that there is NO intermediary between man and God, save Jesus. Jesus selected nobody as the “leader of his church”, certainly not Peter. I understand very well the biblical source of that doctrine, but it is misapplied:

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
~ Matthew 16:15-18

The “rock” to which Jesus refers is the declaration that He is the Christ. It is the statement of faith that He, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Almighty in human flesh, and able to deliver a soul from sins, that is the foundation and security of his church. Peter is not his first “Vicar”, a completely non-biblical concept that a human other than Jesus serves in an intermediary role in the world’s communication with God.

Peter was a man who believed. The same as you, the same as me. Peter was flawed, the same as you, the same as me, just as you point out above. Beyond a twisted reading of the passage above, there is no Scriptural context, following the ressurection, for an office of such magnitude that it is considered God’s voice on Earth.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
~ Matthew 23:8-10

Please enjoy your trip, and thank you for what you do.

Freelancer on April 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM

And I gave money to those bastards (hundreds of dollars) based on JPII’s support of the order.

He protected men like Cardinal Law from Justice. There’s nothing “bashing” about that. It is simply true.

mankai on April 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Ahh…an angry ex-Catholic let down by fallible men in the Church and now has a chip on his shoulder. Seen your type many times. I’m sorry you were hurt by whomever it was in the Church and I will pray for you. I know men who went from discerning monastic life – quite learned in the faith – to leaving the church because of how they were treated by certain Catholics. Emotions can win out over logic time and time again. As I said, I’ll pray for you.

As a quite knowledgeable and devout Catholic, I have a feeling if you dig deep down, even you yourself know that you are misrepresenting what the Church teaches on things such as Mary “worship” – I have a huge devotion to Mary with do confusion whatsoever that God is still infinitely above even her. Sure, you can get caught up in semantics, as most anti-Catholic arguments are only that. But if you knew and lived the faith at one time, you know it’s disingenuous.

Concerning fossten – your arguments show only a surface understanding of Catholic teaching or, as with mankai, are are wont to realize that winning a debate on semantics is a hollow victory and convinces only those who are already on your side.

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 8:58 PM

The Bible clearly reveals, there is but one Mediator, Jesus Christ, and his mediatorial work cannot be supplemented by Mary, Mother Teresa, or Karol Wojtyla.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Interesting. I guess that means you never ask your friends to pray for you. What’s that you say? You only ask your living friends? Yeah. Me too. Alive in Christ. Or is mortal death the end?

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Then why did she call God my Saviour in the Magnificat? Or why did she offer 2 turtledoves for a sin offering in the temple when Jesus was a young man?

maynila on April 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Cause He did save her – just before she sinned, silly – which made her all the more grateful. You can offer someone a towel after they fall in a mud puddle, or place the towel over the puddle before they step in it – either way, you’ve helped them be clean.

Same reason Jesus was baptized.

Oh man…why am I getting into this. Debating religion on the internet always bears so little fruit…

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Hey Ed, this question is for you. Did you have to secure an invitation to attend this special ceremony at the vatican? What did it take?

karenhasfreedom on April 27, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I’m guessing he didn’t – it will be celebrated in the Piazza in front of St Peters, made specially for such occasions to be able to accommodate millions of worshipers.

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Err…maybe not millions….but lots…

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Lord, I come to you in Jesus name and ask that you would remove the scales from so many eyes. Rid men of their superstitions and manmade religion. I pray that millions will come to see that John Paul II was just a sinner in need of your saving grace, regardless of the good he may have done during his days on this earth. As hurtful as my words may be to some, I pray that you would use them to prick the conscience of others. Let my words encourage others to search the Scriptures to discover the truth for themselves. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen!

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Wait, wait, wait…what are you doing? I thought there was only ONE mediator between me and God…

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM

How can Mary intercede with God if she has no equality with God? Where in the Bible does it say that Mary even does this? Where does the Bible say we should pray to ANYONE except God?

fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Have you ever asked someone to pray for you or yours? Do you participate in prayer circles? Then you have intercessors and you understand fully what is going on here. Some of our Catholic intercessors happen to have died and gone to eternal life. Remember, Catholicism believes in immediate individual judgement — you don’t go to nonexistance until the General Judgement.

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Lord, I come to you in Jesus name and ask that you would remove the scales from so many eyes. Rid men of their superstitions and manmade religion. I pray that millions will come to see that John Paul II was just a sinner in need of your saving grace, regardless of the good he may have done during his days on this earth. As hurtful as my words may be to some, I pray that you would use them to prick the conscience of others. Let my words encourage others to search the Scriptures to discover the truth for themselves. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen!

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Even Satan can pray and quote Scripture — and as for manmade religion, what you have just done qualifies absolutely.

As for John Paul II, we certainly believe that he was a man, and that he sinned. There are only a couple of people who have walked upon this Earth without sin. Even Peter, the first Pope, denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed.

But others — even sinners — can still mediate: Here is John 20:21-23:

He said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

And here is James 5:14-16:

Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

These scriptural exhortations are the basis for the Christian Sacrament(Mystery) of Confession/Reconciliation and the Sacrament (Mystery) of Anointing of the Sick (Euchelaion) as practiced by both the Roman Catholic Church and by the various Orthodox Churches.

You may stand alone and pray to God alone for forgiveness, and you may fervently pray (if possible) from your sickbed, but as the Bible states, having others intercede is a powerful gift from them which can amplify your prayer and gain you forgiveness of your sins.

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Ed, you are so lucky.

God bless you and your wife. Have a safe trip and may you grow closer to His Most Sacred Heart while you are there.

Elisa on April 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Who’s doctrine do you follow? What makes you a better arbiter of what the Spirit’s inspiration was?

Daveyardbird on April 27, 2011 at 5:46 PM

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:13-14

shick on April 27, 2011 at 11:53 PM

The Bible clearly reveals, there is but one Mediator, Jesus Christ, and his mediatorial work cannot be supplemented by Mary, Mother Teresa, or Karol Wojtyla.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Then you have never prayed for someone else or participated in a prayer chain or asked anyone else to pray for you?

Why ask another person to pray for you when you could just pray directly to God without that other person? Because there is power in the more people praying about something. So we pray for ourselves and we ask others to pray for us.

And while we ask all sorts of people to pray for us, we in particular ask believers who are close to God and pray a lot. Because they know how to talk to God and we assume God will hear their prayers. Are not the holy ones in Heaven close to God? Closer than any friend we have here on earth?

The saints are alive in Christ. They are not dead.

Revelation 8:3-4:
“He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel.”

Revelation 5:8:
“Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.”

Elisa on April 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Moreover, praying to John Paul II or any other mortal is an afront to heaven. John Paul was a sinner, just like the rest of us.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Where does it say that in the Bible that asking a holy one in Heaven to pray for us is “an afront to Heaven?”

A Saint is someone who is in Heaven and saved. Are you saying that only those who have not sinned will be saved? Obviously no.

Of course Pope John Paul, like all Popes from St. Peter on have sinned, as we all have sinned.

But with repentance and the grace of Jesus Christ, some are in Heaven. The names of some of those in Heaven are unknown, but we can guess on some of them. But there are a few whose names are known to us, because the Holy Spirit has revealed those names to us through His Church – formally canonized Saints.

Elisa on April 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Please show us the Scripture that states Scripture is the only source of truth.

mikeyboss on April 27, 2011 at 6:11 PM

I don’t think anyone answered this. Did they?

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Ed
I am posting this and sending it to your email address…

Ed I have a Catholic priest in my family (he is my brother). I talked to him tonight and he said that he has contacts in Rome that could/should be willing to escort/help you around (They did the same for me/family Christmas vacation in 2010). If you want I am willing/able to arrange “informal guides” for you/family.

F15Mech on April 28, 2011 at 12:11 AM

I have studied the way the Bible was put together in great depth. I trust it is the Divinely inspired Word of God. . . . .

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM

I don’t mean to pick on you, truly. It’s just that every time I read something I want to respond to, you wrote it. lol Sorry. I’m sure you are a good Christian person who loves God.

Another question for you.

Obviously the 4 Gospels and St. Paul’s letters were universally considered scriptural from the first century on. But what about the other books of the New Testament?

These were widely held to be Scriptural, but not universally considered so. And there were other good Christian writings from the first century that were also widely held to be Scriptural, but not universally so that did NOT make it into the Bible. (I’m not talking about the stupid Gnostic “gospels” which were never considered scriptural by anyone in the Church and were of later origin, as you know.)

It was the Holy Spirit through the Bishops of the Church during the councils of the 4th century that gave us the canon of the New Testament and Old Testament that we still hold to today. You share the same New Testament canon with us.

How do you know that the Bishops decided correctly, if you do not have faith in the oral Sacred Tradition of the Church?

How do you know that Hebrews should be in the Bible instead of the Epistle of Barnabas? Or both? Or neither?

How do you know that James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation belong in the Bible and that they are Scripturally the Word of God?

How do you know that the Didache and the Shepherd of Hermes do not belong in the Bible? Even Clement’s 1st letter to the Corinthians was considered Scriptural until almost the 4th century.

All these books were in the same “maybe” category when they were debated by the Bishops in the 4th century.

Same with the following additional passages to the Gospels which were not in all the early manuscripts. How would you feel to open up your Bible and not see them in there?

Luke 22:43-44:

And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.

John 7:53 to 8:11:

Then each went to his own house,

while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

Mark 16:9-20:

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

(But) later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

That you read them and “feel” they are the Word of God is not a proper answer because it doesn’t say that in the Bible. It is subjective and there passages in those other books that “feel” like Scripture also.

The Bible does not come with an inerrant table of contents. Without faith that the Holy Spirit worked through fallible Bishops in the 4th century, how can one have faith that the entire New Testament is the Word of God?

If you accept the entire canon of the New Testament as the Word of God, then you are believing the oral Sacred Tradition of the Church.

2 Thessalonians 2:15:
“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the TRADITIONS which you were TAUGHT by us, either by WORD OF MOUTH or BY LETTER.”

God bless you.

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Also 10 days is not going to give yourself time to see all of Rome.

Since you are going for Pope JP2′s beatification some important landmarks you should notice…

In Vatican square on the right as you approach it from the front….Left as you enter the security to enter there is a stone which marks the spot JP2 was shot. If you look up you will see a painting of Mary, on the Vatican. That was where PJ2 saw Mary when he was on the ground bleeding.

Also in the Vatican notice the markers on the floor where it shows the size of the Vatican compared to cathedrals around the world, to get an idea of its size.

If you need a map of Rome the best place to find one is at the next McDonald’s (sad but true a few years ago) according to my other brother who lived their for 6 months.

F15Mech on April 28, 2011 at 12:44 AM

miConsevative on April 27, 2011 at 9:02 PM

unclesmrgol on April 27, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Sorry for the repetition. I should have read all the comments first.

God bless you both and all those here.

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Also if you are near…head up to Sant’Ignazio.

If you plan on using the metro/train while we were safe I had to guard my wallet.

F15Mech on April 28, 2011 at 1:03 AM

I must say I find this thread very ironic when you go back into history and research the term “devils advocate”…

I have no doubt that some priest/lawyer in Rome is reading the comments (one in SF is) and constructing an argument as to why he should NOT become a saint (step 2 in the process).

One thing I would like to point out to the devils advocate is that PJ2 may have “cooked the books” by changing the guidelines back when he did.

F15Mech on April 28, 2011 at 1:46 AM

The “rock” to which Jesus refers is the declaration that He is the Christ. It is the statement of faith that He, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Almighty in human flesh, and able to deliver a soul from sins, that is the foundation and security of his church.

Freelancer on April 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Matthew 16:16-19
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus SAID TO HIM in reply, “Blessed are YOU, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to YOU, but my heavenly Father. And so I SAY TO YOU, YOU are Peter, AND upon THIS rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give YOU the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever YOU loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

“Jesus said to him” and “I say to you.” Jesus is ONLY addressing St. Peter in this whole passage. (later in the Gospels He gives all the Apostles the power to bind and loose, but here He is first giving it only to Peter and only Peter is ever given the “keys” in the New Testament.)

Peter gets a name change and is given “the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.” 2 significant things. He calls Peter “blessed” and says that it is by God’s design (“For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” Clearly Peter is being singled out for a special reason. This is all unique and unpresidented.

All the words and sentence structure in this passage point to Peter himself being “this rock.”

Peter’s declaration was not in the same sentence that said “AND on THIS rock.” There are 2 whole sentences between Peter’s declaration and Jesus saying “this rock.”

And look at the words right before “AND on THIS rock.”

“I SAY TO YOU, YOU are Peter, AND upon THIS rock I will build my church.” I capitalized the “AND” for emphasis because it ties “THIS rock” to “Peter” in the very same sentence. After Jesus repeatedly uses the word “you.” Jesus keeps saying YOU, YOU, YOU to Peter.

And he gives Simon Peter the name Rock and says He is building His Church on “this rock.” Rock/Peter/Petros/Kepha.

I also capitalized “THIS” for emphasis because the Greek word used is “tautee” which actually should translate as “this same” or “this very” rock. Not simply “this.”

The sentence reads, “YOU are Rock/Kepha/Petros, AND (kai) on THIS (tautee-this same or this very) rock/kepha/petra I will build my Church.”

It didn’t read, “YOU are Rock/Kepha/Petros, BUT (alla) on this rock/kepha/petra I mentioned before I will build my Church.”

And Simon was not called Rock only once. From then on his name was changed to Rock/Peter/Petros/Kephas by Jesus Himself. And that is what He was called by everyone throughout the New Testament. Petros and several times Kephas. (Jesus spoke Aramaic and when he said this to Peter it was in Aramaic. “You are Kepha and on this kepha I will build my Church.” The actual Greek text includes the Aramaic words “bar Jonah,” son of John.) Paul called him Cephas many times. And in John’s Gospel he is called Cephas.

“Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).” (John 1:42)

Even a lot of Protestant Bible scholars today will tell you that the “rock” was St. Peter. They just don’t believe that the office had succession.

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Peter is not his first “Vicar”, a completely non-biblical concept . . . . . Beyond a twisted reading of the passage above, there is no Scriptural context, following the ressurection, for an office of such magnitude that it is considered God’s voice on Earth.

Freelancer on April 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM

St. Peter is seen as the leader of the new Church throughout the New Testament. And it was only to Peter that Jesus, the good shepherd, said, “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.”

But it is in the Old Testament where you will find even more Scriptural support for the office of the Papacy/Vicar/Servant of the Servants of God. The Pope is the Chief Stewart of Jesus Christ, who is our Davidic King forever. When the King was not physically present in the Kingdom, the Chief Stewart had his royal authority.

Remember that Jesus recognized the “chair of Moses” as having legitimate authority. Giving the Apostles the power to “bind and loose” was a passing on of that authority to His Church.

Here is something I wrote to someone previously on this.

All the following is my paraphrasing and condensing of a section of the book “Upon this Rock” by Stephen K. Ray. It’s a great book and I would recommend it to anyone. The footnotes are very long and as interesting as the book is. It is filled with scripture, early Christian writers, and both Catholic and Protestant scholars.

First I’ll talk about “binding and loosing.”

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

In Jewish tradition this meant the “legislative and judicial powers of the Rabbinic office.” All of the middle east used these terms. This power was also given to all the Apostles in John’s Gospel.

This was “profound to First Century Jews.” Early converts would not be “confused or uncertain about what Jesus meant.” The first century Jewish historian, Josephus used these word also.

This meant that Peter and the Apostles had authority. To judge and to make laws, and also to forgive and retain. The original Greek words in this New Testament passage and the Hebrew words they stood for in part meant “to forbid and to allow” in rabbinical religious law.

While the binding and loosing power was given to all the Apostles (the first priests and Bishops), the “keys” were only given to Peter.

“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

This had huge significance. The “keys” were the “hallmark of royal authority.”

They belonged to Jesus and they were His to give and entrust to His steward. This would also be unmistakable to the Jews of Jesus’ time. The Davidic kings were “possessors of the keys of David” and had the power to “open and shut.”

Luke 1:30-33
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the LORD GOD WILL GIVE HIM THE THRONE OF DAVID HIS FATHER AND HE WILL RULE OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB FOREVER, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Revelation 3:6-7
“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write this: ” ‘The holy one, the true, who HOLDS THE KEY OF DAVID, WHO OPENS AND NO ONE SHALL CLOSE, WHO CLOSES AND NO ONE SHALL OPEN, says this: . . . “

Jesus was the Davidic king forever and He was the “holy one.” He held the “key of David” and would reign “forever.”

The Davidic Jewish kings of Israel followed the customs of other Middle Eastern kingdoms, such as Egypt. They had stewards who had “dominion over the house” like the Egyptian royalty and other Eastern rulers had Viziers and Majordomos. The Steward/Vizier/Majordomo was not simply a person, but an office that had succession. The king would entrust this office to someone he trusted and that person had royal authority over the land.

Isaiah 22:19-22
“I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I WILL PLACE THE KEY OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID ON HIS SHOULDER, WHEN HE OPENS, NO ONE WILL SHUT, WHEN HE SHUTS, NO ONE SHALL OPEN.”

Here we see the Jewish king’s steward, Eliakim. The king places the “key of the house of David on his shoulder.” The steward is entrusted with the king’s power to “open” and “shut,” like in Revelations Chapter 3 above, where Jesus, as Davidic king, has the “key” and the power to “open” and “close.” Jesus also conferred his royal power to His steward, Peter, using the same language.

Here is another passage which talks about the Egyptian steward (called a Vizier), Joseph (son of Hebrew Patriarch, Jacob).

Genesis 41:38-45
“Could we find another like him,” Pharaoh asked his officials, “a man so endowed with the spirit of God?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “SINCE GOD HAS MADE ALL THIS KNOWN TO YOU, no one can be as wise and discerning as you are. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people shall dart at your command. Only in respect to the throne shall I outrank you. Herewith,” Pharaoh told Joseph, “I place you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” With that, Pharaoh took off his signet ring and put it on Joseph’s finger. He had him dressed in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. He then had him ride in the chariot of his VIZIER, and they shouted “Abrek!” before him. Thus was Joseph INSTALLED OVER THE WHOLE LAND OF EGYPT.
“I, Pharaoh, proclaim,” he told Joseph, “that without your approval no one shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
Pharaoh also BESTOWED THE NAME OF Zaphnath-paneah on Joseph, and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.”

Note the three things I capitalized. Joseph, as Vizier, was chosen because God had made things known to him. Just like Jesus said to Peter. His heavenly father revealed the truth to Peter and that is why Peter was chosen.

The Pharoah changed Joseph’s name upon giving him the office and the power. Just like Peter’s name was changed by Jesus (the king) when Jesus gave Peter (the steward) the “keys.”

It seems that Protestant and Catholic Bible scholars alike believe that Joseph was also given “the gift of infallible interpretation as the ‘preserver’ of Egypt.” (I don’t understand where this comes from. Maybe from “no one can be as wise and discerning as you are.”) Anyway there seems to be agreement on this point concerning Joseph. Catholics also believe that Peter had the “gift of infallible interpretation.”

And Joseph had power over the “whole land of Egypt.” In Isaiah above, the steward, Eliakim, “shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” Peter was also given authoritative power and was to be a “father” to the Christians.

Page 266 says, “Once the work of redemption had been completed and all authority had been given to Jesus, he passed the keys of authority over to Peter to administer the kingdom as a visible steward in his ‘absence.’”

This key of royal authority is not the only key conferred upon Peter. Jesus said, “I will give you the KEYS to the kingdom of heaven.”

What are these other keys? The keys to the Netherworld/Hell/Hades.

“Abyss” is also translated as “bottomless pit” and “Netherworld” is also translated as Hades or Hell in some Bible versions (Catholic and Protestant.)

Revelation 1:17-18
When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last,
the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the KEYS TO DEATH AND THE NETHERWORLD.”

Revelation 9:1
“Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. It was given the KEY FOR THE PASSAGE TO THE ABYSS.”

Revelation 20:1-2

“Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the KEY TO THE ABYSS and a heavy chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years. . .”

These passages in Revelation describe Jesus having the keys to death and the Netherworld. Jesus gave the Church the power to save souls and overcome sin (evil and Satan) and death by preaching Christ’s message. Jesus gave Peter authority over the Church, by giving him the keys.

These keys (over sin and death and royal Davidic authority forever) were given by Jesus to Peter alone. The office of Steward was an office with succession and Jesus reigns forever. So we believe that this office given to Peter also had succession.

(end of my paraphrase of Ray’s book)

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 2:20 AM

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 2:20 AM

Wow! That’s some comment. Many, including St. Augustine wouldn’t have agreed with Ray.

This key of royal authority is not the only key conferred upon Peter. Jesus said, “I will give you the KEYS to the kingdom of heaven.”

Hmm.. Did Jesus give Peter the keys here?

Look up when he was actually given the keys and if he was the sole receiver of them.

shick on April 28, 2011 at 7:27 AM

1 Thessalonians 4:13 fossten on April 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

This is a compression of Matthew 24:30-49, not a description of some event future to us. Matthew 24 deals with the seige and destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, as does 90% of Revelation.

Note that in Matthew 23:36 Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.”

In 24:34 Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

Then there’s Rev. 1:1, “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place,” and 1:3, “because the time is near.”

Rev. 22:6, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

Rev. 22:10, ““Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near.

Are these events in our future, or do words have meaning?

Akzed on April 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM

shick on April 28, 2011 at 7:27 AM

You linked a quote from St. Augustine. Augustine is saying that Jesus gave authority to all the Apostles and that the gates of Hell would never prevail against the faith of the Church nor against the Church Herself.

Clearly this is true. The Catholic Church has always taught that all the Apostles and Bishops had valid authority. I said in my post that Jesus later gave the power to bind and loose to all the Apostles. But they had that authority only if they were unified with the chair of Peter.

Do we ever see the Apostles going against Peter?

Would Augustine think that the other Apostles had authority if they went counter to Peter?

Nope.

Here are some quotes from St. Augustine who most certainly recognized the Apostolic See resting in Rome, as the successor of St. Peter.

“For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom as bearing in the figure the whole Church, the Lord said, “Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!” The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: – Clement, . . . .whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius.” (letters of St. Augustine 53, 2)

That city (Carthage) had a bishop of no slight authority, who was able not to heed the multitude of enemies conspiring against him, when he saw himself united by letters of communion both with the Roman Church, in which the primacy of the apostolic chair has always been in force . . .” (Epistle 43, 7)

Not to speak of that wisdom which you (the Manichaeans) do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of the people and nations keeps me in the Church, so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, and established by age. The succession of priests keep me, beginning from the very seat of Peter the Apostle, to whom the Lord after His resurrection gave it in charge to feed His sheep down to the present episcopate. And so lastly does the name itself of Catholic, which not without reason, amid so many heresies, that Church alone has so retained that, that all heretics wish to be called Catholic, but when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets no heretic will venture to point to his own basilica or house. . . . For my part I should not believe the gospel except the authority of the Catholic Church moved me.” (Against the Epistle of Manichaeus 5, 4-5)

“[On this matter of the Pelagians] two councils have already been sent to the Apostolic See [Rome], and from there rescripts [decrees from the Pope] have come. The matter is at an end; would that the error too might sometime be at an end.” (Sermons 131:10)

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Hmm.. Did Jesus give Peter the keys here?

Look up when he was actually given the keys and if he was the sole receiver of them.

shick on April 28, 2011 at 7:27 AM

What exactly are you saying? That Peter did not receive these keys? Or that Jesus gave the keys to everyone? (We all know we are not speaking of physical keys, right?)

Where in the Bible does it say either of those things? Or are you reading in between the lines in your own interpretation of Jesus’ words?

Was Jesus addressing only Peter in this passage? Yes

Is there any other place in the bible where Jesus gives the keys to anyone else? No

If Jesus promised to do something would He then not do it? No

Are His Words true and is Christ faithful to them? Yes.

Right before the Ascension, Jesus told Peter alone to “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep.”

After the Ascension when Jesus, our Davidic king, visibly and physically left this earth, then his chief steward, Peter, received the keys that Jesus said he would confer on him. The keys of religious authority and unity.

The chair of Moses, whose authority Jesus recognized as valid, was then given to the chair of Peter by Jesus in the new covenant.
We can see he received these keys by his actions and how others treated him and wrote of him. Both in the New Testament and in the early Christian writings from the first few centuries.

The exact time he received them? Perhaps at Pentecost when it was Peter who stood up and spoke for everyone, by the Holy Spirit that was promised to and given to the whole Church. We see him taking the leadership position over and over. And the first miracle after Christ’s death was done through Peter.

Wish I had time to quote all the passages.

Have a good day and God bless you.

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Do we ever see the Apostles going against Peter? Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray,” Gal 1:11-13.

Also, do you not find it odd that St. Peter would be on the one hand the head of the whole Church, yet nevertheless referred to thusly by St. Paul: “For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles,” Gal. 1:8.

Akzed on April 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Why is it that sexual aberrations and religion seem to go together? It’s not limited to the Catholic cult. The main competition has a ‘prophet’ who paid himself 10 extra wives after his first sugar mama (15 years his senior) left the scene. In the most famous last case he was a child molester.

Annar on April 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I heard he was posthumously converting to Islam. He doesn’t want his actions to reflect the policies of the Catholic Church.

DailyDanet on April 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

“When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray,” Gal 1:11-13.

Also, do you not find it odd that St. Peter would be on the one hand the head of the whole Church, yet nevertheless referred to thusly by St. Paul: “For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles,” Gal. 1:8.

Akzed on April 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

St. Paul was reprimanding St. Peter on his behavior, not on his faith teachings. Because Peter most certainly agreed with Paul on the issue of the Gentiles not having to be circumcised. Peter did not want to upset the Jews from Jerusalem. But Peter himself did eat with the uncircumcised when those from Jerusalem were not around.

A Pope can make personal mistakes and any Catholic can tell him so. St. Catherine of Siena respectfully reprimanded the Pope in the 14th century.

But St. Paul would never go against St. Peter in his faith teachings.

In Acts Chapter 10, God spoke to Peter in a vision telling him that the Gentiles were acceptable to God and then Peter said to Baptize them

In Acts 15 at the 1st Church Council in Jerusalem, in fact, it was Peter himself who stood up and said that the Gentiles did NOT have to be circumcised. There was debate, Peter stood up and made the faith declaration and there was no more debate after that. Paul gave witness testimony and St. James declared how the faith belief, that was decided by the Holy Spirit through the council and declared by St. Peter, would be implemented. Because that was under James’ jurisdiction, as Bishop of Jerusalem. That is how councils worked then and since then.

Never going against a faith teaching of the Bishop of Rome. You will not find anyone going against Peter in matters of faith anywhere in the New Testament. And he was always treated with respect. Nothing St. Paul said was disrespectful. He was right to call Peter out on his behavior. His statement in Galatians 1:8 sounds perfectly OK with me. It is the truth. It does not detract from Peter’s authority in the whole Church.

Don’t forget that Paul went to Jerusalem to confer with Peter specifically.

Galatians 1:18-19
“Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas and remained with him for fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.”

Peter is ALWAYS listed first in the lists of Apostles. And it usually reads “first Peter” the Greek word “proto” which means “first and foremost.”

It is Peter who spoke for the Apostles in several Gospel passages.

Luke 22:31-32:
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, YOU MUST STRENGTHEN YOUR BROTHERS.”

Jesus never singles out anyone else to strengthen the others.

1 Peter 5:1-4
“So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, (overseeing) not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

Peter is instructing and correcting elders of the Church.

In Acts Chapter 1, it was Peter who spoke up and initiated replacing Judas (with Matthias.)

In Acts Chapter 2, at Pentecost it was Peter who spoke to the crowds.

In Acts Chapter 3, Peter performs the first healing of the Church.

In Acts Chapter 10, Peter is the first in the Church to raise someone from the dead

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Sorry for the repetition. I should have read all the comments first.

God bless you both and all those here.

Elisa on April 28, 2011 at 12:48 AM

You done good.

unclesmrgol on April 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Hmm.. Did Jesus give Peter the keys here?

Look up when he was actually given the keys and if he was the sole receiver of them.

shick on April 28, 2011 at 7:27 AM

Depends on the meaning of the word “keys”. In the referenced passage, it is definitely Peter who is given the keys. Peter, as the foundation of the Church, confers upon the Church the power to bind and loose — which, as I point out in a comment above, underlays the Sacraments of Confession and of Anointing of the Sick. So others, of the Church, also have been delegated the said power — as any Catholic may, for example, Anoint the Sick. The Sacrament of Confession, due to problems when it was publicly performed, is now done privately, with a priest representing the Church rather than laypeople.

Of course, your idea of “the Church” is different from ours, as has been pointed out by both sides over and over.

unclesmrgol on April 30, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Since fossten ran off from his “digging”…

Please show me the supporting Scripture.

Stayright on April 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” –Lk 1:28

How can one be with sin, yet “full of grace”?

Not to mention, how can the woman to give birth to our Lord and Savior possibly be tainted with sin?

JetBoy on April 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

A VERY LATE ADDITION TO COMMENTS HERE (located only after doing some internet searching and finding this page)…

Allow me to publicly apologize, JetBoy, for feeling critical toward you in times past. I had no idea that these were your beliefs, and again, I apologize for being critical of you in earlier times.

Lourdes on June 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

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