Monday, April 06, 2009

The Acts of the Apostolates

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go to Rome to see Pope Peter and submit their views to the Holy Father.

When they came to St. Peter’s basilica, they were welcomed by Pope Peter and the College of Cardinals. Having made prior arrangements with the Prefecture of the Pontifical House of the Vatican City for a papal audience, Paul and Barnabas reported everything God had done through them.

When they finished, Pope Peter, who was seated in the Cathedra Sancti Petri, dictated an encyclical to St. Mark:

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to me, by the authority vested in me by our Lord Jesus Christ, when he said, “you are the Pope, and upon this papacy I will build my Church,” to hereby pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.

Hence if–God forbid!–Matthew, Andrew, James, John, Thaddeus, Thomas, Paul, or Bartholomew should dare willfully to think otherwise than as has been defined by me, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart.

Sincerely Yours,

St. Peter

Bishop of Rome
Vicar of Christ
Prince of the Apostles
Pontifex Maximus
Primate of Italy

1 comment:

  1. Steve, as you know, I've made a hobby of investigating the early papacy. Virtually all of the history I've been able to find (and that includes both Catholic and Protestant historians) is echoing Peter Lampe's contention that the city of Rome was large enough that the house church network in ancient Rome (see Romans 16) was dispersed enough that there was only a Presbyterial style of church government in that city until about 160 ad.

    See Peter Lampe: "Christians at Rome the First Two Centuries: from Paul to Valentinus"

    Lampe also argues that the earliest "list" of Roman "bishops" is "with highest probability, a fictive construction." That is, an individual named Hegesippus "constructed" the list, in approximately 160 ad, based on names of presbyters that were known at the time. (D.W. O'Connor, writing in the 1969 publication, "Peter in Rome" discusses the Greek that Hegesippus used in stating that he "constructed" this list.)

    Jason has quoted Robert Eno, S.S., in his work, "The Rise of the Papacy" (originally published in 1990 and republished in 2008). The "S.S." following Eno's name means that he is from the Sulpician order, which is an order devoted to the teaching, training, and formation of diocesan priests.

    Eno's work puts forth Lampe's study as THE history of the papacy. And given that his order is devoted to teaching Catholic priests, (and that they are in all Catholic seminaries, everywhere), means that no Catholic can contest Lampe's conclusions. It is being taught as fact to Catholic priests.

    As well, Patrick Granfield, writing in "The Limits of the Papacy" under the heading of "Theological Development," gives this:

    "Only from the middle of the second century can one speak of the "Bishop" of Rome. But even in the earliest days, Rome enjoyed a unique position. ... The jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome developed gradually... Not until the end of the fourth century did the Bishops of Rome begin to assert vigorously their universal primatial claims. The theoretical foundation for primacy took shape in the century between Damasus I (366-384) and Leo I (440-461)." (pg 33)

    So Rome has two problems with this. The papacy, and its authority to "bind and loose," is the primary excuse that Rome gives for all of the "developments" they have effected over the centuries. Not only must they now cite "development" with regard to the early papacy (as opposed to Vatican I's "the primacy was given directly and immediately..." and all of that further boastful language.) But they also now have a living example of papal dogma "developing" before our eyes.

    Here's Vatican I:

    Here's an overview of the new papal theology (which centers on "the primacy of the successor of Peter"):

    Roger Collins, a professor at Edinburgh University, Scotland, has also recently released a history of the papacy, "The Keepers of the Keys," in which he cites Lampe, chapter and verse in providing his own writing of this history.