Peter, the Primacy and the Bible 50 proofs


 

50 NEW TESTAMENT PROOFS FOR PETRINE PRIMACY AND THE PAPACY 

author unknown

The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong, and is inescapably compelling by virtue of its cumulative weight. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors – living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42).Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

“Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (“Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison – Acts 12:1-17).

31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (“Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John – Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) – an example of “binding and loosing.”

41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet

5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.” 

48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this

 

 

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Great Expatiations


Great Expatiations II {too}

Why do Catholics do what THEY do?

By Patrick Miron

For many Catholics, one of the things we have little understanding of with our Christian Brethren who seemingly “just don’t get it,” deals with the Catholic Sacraments. Adding to this confusion is that many of them choose to call themselves “Bible Church‘s”, which we assume means they actually choose to abide by what the bible actually says. Not so!

A few years ago, while visiting my sister who is of the Baptist faith,  begin to discuss religion.

Sister: Are you saved?

Me: yes I am and I’m in the process of being saved

Sister: what kind of answer is that?

Me: the truth

Sister: That’s NOT! What the bible says

Me: Really?

So I asked her if she had a bible in the car, and she told me that she had the New Testament Gospels only. I looked up

John 20:19-23, which I share here from the King James bible: v19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples [Apostles] were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. v21 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. v22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: v23 Whose soever sins ye remit , they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain , they are retained” END QUOTE I could have provided other examples; but the clarity of this seemed to me, indisputable.

I then explained to Sis, that Christ here was speaking both directly too, and exclusively too His Apostles

[SEE: Mt. 10: 1-8, Mt. 16:15-19, John 14: 16-17, Mk. 16:14-15, and Mt. 28:16-20 for further evidence of this fact]. Her response was “WELL THAT MAY BE WHAT IT SAY’S, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IT MEANS.” When I told her that I could prove biblically that it was; her response was: “I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT It ANY MORE.”

Me: [a silent] Duh: OK?????? She broached the topic, not me.

All of seem to agree WHO God is. And most of us even agree on the Blessed Trinity. But we do not agree on what God is.

Let’s “fast-Forward here.”

I recall some time ago, a Nationally Known and highly respected main Line Protestant Preacher enumerate on Television, “what God is“:

OMNIPOTENCE. [Here’s the Catholic definition: from Father Hardon‘s Catholic Dictionary] “The almighty power of God. He can do whatever does not deny his nature or that is not self-contradictory. Since God is infinite in being, he must also be infinite in power. (Etym. Latin omnis, all + potentia, power: omnipotens, all-powerful.)” End Quote and also: OMNISCIENCE. [again from Father Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary] God’s knowledge of all things. Revelation discloses that the wisdom of God is without measure (Psalm 146:5). And the Church teaches that his knowledge is infinite.

The primary object of divine cognition is God himself, whom he knows immediately, that is, without any medium by which he apprehends his nature. He knows himself through himself.

The secondary objects of divine knowledge are everything else, namely the purely possible, the real, and the conditionally future. He knows all that is merely possible by what is called the knowledge of simple intelligence. This means that, in comprehending his infinite imitability and his omnipotence, God knows therein the whole sphere of the possible.

He knows all real things in the past, present, and the future by his knowledge of vision. When God, in his self-consciousness, beholds his infinite operative power, he knows therein all that he, as the main effective cause, actually comprehends, i.e., all reality. The difference between past, present, and future does not exist for the divine knowledge, since for God all is simultaneously present.

By the same knowledge of vision, God also foresees the future free acts of the rational creatures with infallible certainty. As taught by the Church, “All things are naked and open to His eyes, even those things that will happen through the free actions of creatures” (Denzinger 3003). The future free actions foreseen by God follow infallibly not because God substitutes his will for the free wills of his creatures but because he does not interfere with the freedom that he foresees creatures will exercise. (Etym. Latin omnis, all + scire, to know.) END QUOTE

Now back to this notable preacher who went on for a half-hour about God being all Powerful, All Good, All Perfect and so on. Interspersed in his dialog were a considerable number of derogatory comments about the Catholic Church. I still have not been able to reconcile what he said “GOD IS” and what he claimed the catholic church is.

I have often used this brief definition of God, and in fact shared with my sister. GOD IS ALL GOOD THINGS PERFECTED. Sis agreed with the definition until I attempted to explain just what this brief explanation entails. It is a critical affirmation that God IS Good; and can be only Good, and that God is Perfect, and can only be Perfect. {UNABLE TO ERROR} consequently He is incapable of lying or deceiving. What God CLAIMS is TRUE; MUST therefore actually BE TRUE. [singular]

Now I must confess that not everything the bible “say’s” is in FACT; exactly what the bible means. For example:

Matthew 18:8And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. & Mark 9:42 “And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire.” And here is a personal favorite: Matt.7: 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?”

Obviously, even indisputably, the metaphorical form is a part of the bibles authorship. So HOW THEN DOES ONE KNOW what is a metaphor, and what is literal? Can we actually know? And this my friends get’s to today’s TOPIC. What are our “Good and Perfect God’s” personal expatiations?

In answering this query, it is necessary to have a Foundation from which we can agree as a launching point. Please KNOW, I do intend to enter into an argument here.  I am willing and even excited about discussing with anyone who is charitable, can provide evidence of there position, and is willing to at least entertain, what I share.

There is but one single INFALLIBLE Rule for right understanding of the Bible. It is this:

[Caps used for emphasis not shouting]

NEVER, EVER, CAN MAY OR DOES ONE BIBLE VERSE, PASSAGE OR TEACHING MAKE VOID, INVALIDATE OR OVERRIDE ANOTHER. This, and charity, along with evidence of your positions are the only conditions to our discussion that I must insist upon. Where this Infallible Rule, not logically the fact, the bible would be worthless for teaching or learning ones Faith.

The basis for catholic beliefs evolve around what we hold to be bible truth, and biblically verifiable.

One God

Can have only One set of Faith beliefs

And has always [for reasons only God fully comprehends] just one chosen people.

That Christ is that One God

The Catholic Faith alone [23 branches] is that One true, complete and protected Faith

And today’s Catholic Church is the only Church [thus the “chosen people“] founded and desired by God.

So friends, just what don’t we Catholic understand?

It’s Time to Join the Church, Now!


My dear friends is Christ,

How can anyone who calles themselves a “Christian” [like Christ & a FOLLOWER of Chirst] hold such a clearly anti -biblical] message. Simply shameful!

Avoid those who mock Christ my friends!

matt fradd

614

If you’re a Protestant Christian, it’s time to climb aboard the barque of Peter!

I’m no prophet, but as the world presses in, I predict protestant communities will continue to water down, and indeed change, as they have in the past, “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).

Take a look at the following issues:

Contraception

Did you know that Christian leaders were unanimous in speaking out against artificial birth control for almost 2,000 years!

In fact, all Christians were united in their position that contraception was a violation of God’s will until the 20th century. As late as 1920, the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church stated its uncompromising rejection of all forms of artificial birth control.

But at the Lambeth Conference of 1930 it changed its mind.

Now virtually every protestant denomination down the board finds no problem with it. If I was…

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Pope: “Hypocrites Dont Have the Intelligence to Find God”


Pope: “Hypocrites Dont Have the Intelligence to Find God”

Pontiff Speaks on the Nature of Hypocrisy During Morning Mass

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, June 19, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis strongly condemned hypocrisy during his homily at Mass this morning in the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Holy Father concelebrated Mass with Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

Also concelebrating were Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Bishop Jean Lafitte, the president and secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Family. Members of the Congregation of Bishops and of the Pontifical Council of the Family were also in attendance at the Mass.

Reflecting on Christ’s words in the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Holy Father compared the behavior of the scribes and Pharisees with the Jesus’ instruction on the proper manner to behave when giving alms and praying. In their hypocrisy, the Pope said, the Pharisees “don’t have the intelligence to find God, to explain God with understanding, and so prevent themselves and others from entering into the Kingdom of God.”

“Jesus says: ‘You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to others.’ They are ethicists without goodness, they do not know what goodness is. But they are ethicists, aren’t they? ‘You have to do this, and this, and this . . .’ They fill you with precepts, but without goodness.

Pope Francis also noted another form of hypocrisy: those who use Christian piety to elevate themselves. “The Lord speaks about fasting, about prayer, about almsgiving: the three pillars of Christian piety, of interior conversion, that the Church proposes to us all in Lent,” the Holy Father said.

“There are even hypocrites along this path, who make a show of fasting, of giving alms, of praying. I think that when hypocrisy reaches this point in the relation with God, we are coming very close to the sin against the Holy Spirit. These do not know beauty, they do not know love, these do not know the truth: they are small, cowardly.”

The 76 year old Pontiff also spoke candidly on hypocrisy within the Church and “ how bad it makes all of us.” Pope Francis told the faithful that it is important to look at the example of the publican mentioned in the Gospel who prayed: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, a sinner.”

“This is the prayer we should say every day, knowing that we are sinners but with concrete sins, not theoretical [sin],” the Holy Father concluded.

“But all of us also have grace, the grace that comes from Jesus Christ: the grace of joy; the grace of magnanimity, of largesse. Hypocrites do not know what joy is, what largesse is, what magnanimity is.”

Why call God [who Is Spirit]; “Father?”


 

God as Father?

 

By Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio

The Fatherhood of God has come under fire with the rise of feminism. If we know that God is pure spirit who transcends male and female, masculine and feminine, why preserve what some believe to be the antiquated, patriarchal practice of referring to the divinity as “Father”? This article uses the occasion of the American observance of Father’s Day to address this issue. 

Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question – what does it mean to call God “Father?”

Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach the gist of the Ten Commandments.

But that the supreme Being is not just “King of the Universe” or “Master” but “Father,” that he desires that we have a close, familiar relationship with Him–these ideas you don’t find anywhere outside the teaching of Jesus.

To call God “Father” does not mean to say, of course, that he is an old man with a white beard. Only the second person of the Blessed Trinity wedded himself to a male human nature in the womb of Mary. The Father and the Holy Spirit are pure Spirit and transcend male and female, masculine and feminine (CCC 239). This is no new insight brought to Christianity by the feminist movement. It has always been taught that the word “Father” applied to God, is used by way of analogy. Analogies tell us something very true despite being imperfect. Until recently, the father was recognized by Western society as origin, head and provider of the family. To call the first person of the Trinity “Father” means that he is the origin and transcendent authority of all and cares for the needs of all. 

But we all instinctively know that a father who just pays the bills and barks orders is not enough. We expect a dad to have an intimate, affectionate relationship with his children, to spend “quality time” with them. To call God “Father” means, then, that he is near to us, intimately concerned with us, fond of us, even crazy about us. He is not the distant, clockmaker God of Thomas Jefferson and the Deists. This aloof God of the philosophers created the world to run by virtue of its own natural laws so that he could withdraw and occupy himself with more interesting pursuits. 

No, the God whom Jesus calls Father cares about us and knows us intimately. “Every hair on your head is numbered (Matthew 10:30).” He loves us more than we love ourselves and knows us better than we know ourselves.

Now, this does not mean that He makes all things go smoothly for us. He loves us so much that He made us in His image and likeness, which means He made us free. And through the free choice of the first man, evil and death were invited into our world. He does not shield us from all the troublesome consequences of this “original sin” which each of us, sadly, has ratified with our own personal sin. But He sent us prophets, like Jeremiah, to wake us up and warn us of the horrible consequences of disobedience. And finally He sent his firstborn Son to be a new Adam, to pay the price of that disobedience and give the human race an undeserved new start.

The most horrible consequence of sin, eternal death (Gehenna), has been graciously removed for all who accept the free gift of salvation that comes by way of the cross of Christ. But evil is still at large in the world, and evil brings trials and tribulations. Our Father will not shelter us from these anymore than He sheltered Jeremiah (Jer 20:10-13) or Jesus. A good father doesn’t protect his children forever from the harsh realities of life, but helps them as they progress through various stages of development to face the challenges and grow through the difficulties. Scripture says that even Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered (Heb 5:8-9). How much more do we need to learn and mature, and some learning can only take place through suffering.

So as a true Father, he loves us too much to take us out of the fray. But there’s one thing we can be sure of–He’ll never leave us to fight our battles alone.

Pope Francis “Everyone is invited to be the People of God”


Pope: we are all invited to be members of the People of God

http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=700783

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday addressed the crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.

Please find below Vatican Radio’s full translation of his address.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today I would like to touch briefly on another of the terms with which the Second Vatican Council defined the Church, that of “People of God” (cf. Dogmatic Constitution. Lumen Gentium, 9; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 782). I shall do so with a few questions upon which we can all reflect.

1. What does it mean to be “People of God”? First of all, it means that God does not really belong to any people; for it is He who calls us, who summons us, who invites us to be part of his people, and this invitation is open to all, without distinction, because God’s mercy “desires all people to be saved “(1 Tim 2:4). Jesus does not tell the Apostles and us to form an exclusive group, an elite group. Jesus says: Go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:19). St Paul says that within the people of God, in the Church, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). I would like to say to those who feel far from God and the Church, to those who are fearful or indifferent, to those who think they can no longer change: the Lord is calling you too to be part of his people and he does it with great respect and love! He invites us to be a part of this people, the people of God

2. How do you become a member of this people? It is not through physical birth, but through a new birth. In the Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born from above, of water and of spirit to enter the Kingdom of God (cf. John 3:3-5). It is through Baptism that we are introduced to this people, through faith in Christ, the gift of God which must be nurtured and tended to throughout our whole life. Let us ask ourselves: how can I grow in the faith that I received in my Baptism? How do tend to this faith that I have received and that the people of God has? How do I make it grow? And another question.

3. What is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for our neighbor according to the new commandment that the Lord left us (cf. Jn 13:34). It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, it is recognizing God as the only Lord of life and, at the same time, accepting the other as a true brother, overcoming divisions, rivalry, misunderstandings, selfishness; the two things go together. We have still so far to go to be able to live concretely according to this new law, the law of the Holy Spirit working within us, the law of charity, of love! When we see in the many wars between Christians in the newspapers or on TV, how can the people of God understand this? Within the people of God there are so many wars! And in neighborhoods, in workplaces, so many wars due to envy, jealousy. Even within the same family, there are so many internal wars. We must ask the Lord to help us understand this law of love. How good, how nice it is to love each other as true brothers. How nice that is! Let’s do something today: perhaps we all have our likes and dislikes, and perhaps many of us are angry with others. But at least let’s say to the Lord: “Lord, I am angry with him or with her. I pray for him and for her. I pray to you”. To pray for those with whom we are angry. It’s a big step in this law of love. Let’s do it today!

4. What mission does this people have? To bring to the world the hope and the salvation of God: to be a sign of the love of God who calls all to be friends of His; to be the yeast that ferments the dough, the salt that gives flavour and preserves from decay, the light that brightens. Just as I said, it is enough to open a newspaper, and we see that around us there is the presence of evil, the Devil is at work. But I would like to say in a loud voice: God is stronger! Do you believe this? That God is stronger? Let’s say it in a loud voice: God is stronger! Do you believe this? That God is stronger? Let’s say it all together. God is stronger! All of us! And you know why He is stronger? Because He is the Lord, the only Lord. God is stronger! Good! And I would like to add that reality which is sometimes dark and marked by evil can change, if we are the first to bring the light of the Gospel especially with our lives. If in a stadium, let’s think of the Olympic Stadium in Rome, or that of San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires, if on a dark night one person lights up a lamp, you can barely see it, but if each of over seventy thousand spectators switches on his own light, the whole Stadium lights up. Let’s make our lives a light of Christ; and together we will bring the light of the Gospel to the whole world.

5. What is the goal of this people? Its end is the kingdom of God, which has been begun by God Himself on earth, and which is to be further extended until it is brought to perfection by Him at the end of time, when Christ, our life, shall appear (cf. Lumen Gentium, 9). The goal then is full communion with the Lord; it’s to enter into his divine life where we will live the joy of his love without measure. That full joy.

Dear brothers and sisters, to be Church, is to be God’s people, according to the Father’s great plan of love, it means to be the yeast of God in this humanity of ours, it means to proclaim and to bring God’s salvation into this world, which is often lost, in need of encouraging answers, answers that give hope, that give new vigour in the journey. May the Church be a place of mercy and of hope in God, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel. And to feel welcomed, loved, forgiven, encouraged, the Church’s doors must be open, so that all may come and that we can go out of those doors and proclaim the Gospel. Thank you so much.

Text from page

http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=700783
of the Vatican Radio website

Baptism as understood by Catholics and Protestants


My reply to a friends questions on Baptism. by Pat Miron

[QUOTE]Super busy, thanks for asking!! How’s everything with you?

Hey, do you by chance have something you could share to help me understand all the different theologies on Baptism? I’ve come across some questions on a Protestant forum. They see a contradiction in our teachings on this matter. Main emphasis being the “necessity” of being “born of water” and the of the Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet, there are many exceptions (infants, mentally disabled, the good thief to name a few). If it is a necessity, how can it not be a necessity? Does that make sense? What exactly do they take this statement to mean… “Born of water”?

Thanks for all the great lessons, I’m learning a lot![/QUOTE]

SURE. Thanks for asking. It’s another GREAT question.

Please understand my response in no way a detraction of non-Catholics. But we must lay a right understanding and truthful foundation for our discussion.

Let’s begin with the fact that all non-Catholic-Christians have in varying degrees, a limited amount of right understanding on a great many bible teachings. This is God’s JUST response for there hard-hearted and at times even hard-headed, lack of even common sense, on issues like One God can logically have only one set of Faith beliefs. Combine this fact with the reality that God; Perfect and Good, simply could not, would not and certainly did not wait more than ONE THOUSAND YEARS for King Henry; Luther, Calvin, Smith and the horde of today’s innovative, new- church and differing faith-beliefs founders to make His One True-Faith Teachings known and available to humanity. All of which compete with the Only Church and Only Faith actually founded by God personally and directly and therefore, all other faiths, are in competition with God Himself and a direct affront to God’s necessarily singular truths.

Acts 20: 28-30 “Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, [singular] which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Douay Rheims Bible Christ did in fact give the very Key’s to Heaven access directly too, and exclusively to Peter and today’s Successors to Peter.

Matt.13:9-12 “He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”  For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. “

Baptism holds differing levels of understanding, importance and meanings within the numerous Protestant communions. Some accept and understand its essential significance in mans efforts and desires for ones Salvation. Other, far less so. And some go so far as to deny that it is “essential “ at all.

John 3:1-12 “And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’ s womb, and be born again? Jesus answered: [Verse 5] Amen, amen [Means: Truly-Truly] I [God] say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again. The Spirit breatheth where he will; [MEANS: grants RIGHT Understanding to whom it please Him to do so] and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can these things be done? Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a teacher in Israel, and knowest not these things?

Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?” End Quote 

Mark.16: 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”

So the fact that the Catholic Church teaches is full accord with God’s Devine and Perfect Will as evidenced by the Bible is clearly factual. Truth does not become meaningless simply because some choose to deny or alter it. And it is highly notable that this teaching comes from the same Author; the same Book, and even the same chapter as one of Protestantism’s most quoted passages:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting”; Which too is not fully or correctly understood.

Thee issue for many Protestants;

notably, Fundamentalist and OSAS, “Faith Alone” adherents is that any imposed conditions, no matter by whom [EVEN Their God] or what they are, or how well grounded they are biblically, that “compete” with their chosen understanding HAS TO BE either wrong, insignificant or both. Because they “certainly are right” and everyone else is wrong. Understanding this reality is critical for those who are attempting to actually share God’s TRUTH with them. In their minds, hearts and limited understanding, the FACT that our position is biblical is simply not relevant.

Because they, by buying- into “by Faith alone [or even grace & Faith alone], no other conditions, or mandates can possibly “be relevant” much less necessary or  essential. “I BELIEVE therefore and thereby I AM SAVED> End of [their] story.”

By failing to accept God’s WORDS, and understanding the effects of baptism, they actually choose to deny God, and God’s Saving [highly conditional Authority], & God’s Will. Because God MUST pass judgment based NOT on what we choose to believe; BUT on what God makes Possible for one to know and then accept and believe.

Isaiah 48:4 : “Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass”

Psalm 95: 6-9 “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts, as at Mer’ibah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,  when your fathers tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.”

Hebrews 3: 8, 15 “do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, while it is said, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

The effects of this Obstinate denial of truth are many.

Ones salvation is put greatly at risk.

Right and full understanding is made impossible by God to them

One knowing or unknowing, makes little difference in Devine Justice, because this act, this choice, IS denying God’s RIGHT to be God and to dictate to His Created the conditions He will accept for merited salvation.

This belief denies the existence and effects of Original Sin and HOW it must [and can] be eliminated

Their belief is clearly unbiblical.  Actually holding to a belief clearly contrary to Gods KNOWN Will and desire.

Some of the effects of sacramental Baptism

http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/p/Sac_Baptism.htm

Baptism: The Door of the Church: The Sacrament of Baptism is often called “The door of the Church,” because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church. Traditionally, the rite (or ceremony) of baptism was held outside the doors of the main part of the church, to signify this fact.

“The Necessity of Baptism: Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.”

The Church [the CC], as the sole, and SOUL holder of “the Key’s to heavens access:

Matthew 16-18-19,

is so adamant and clear in understanding the absolute necessity of Sacramental baptism [which can be valid, conditionally, also by Desire or Blood as a martyr] in the process of Ones Salvation that She [Mother Church] recognizes as valid, other Christian Faiths Baptisms “with water & and in the name of the Blessed Trinity.”

[QUOTE]Yet, there are many exceptions (infants, mentally disabled, the good thief to name a few). If it is a necessity, how can it not be a necessity? [/QUOTE]

First, Infants, and mentally disabled are NOT excluded from the absolute necessity of Baptism

. Those are uniformed  or under- informed Protestant positions; NOT God’s and not God’s Catholic Church’s Teachings.

John 3:5 “Amen, amen [Means: Truly-Truly] I [God] say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

God and the Bible say nothing about ANY exclusions

. Certainly the bible contains nothing specific that claims infants, or the handicapped are not, or may not be baptized.

Because of their inhibited understanding, they cull certain passages such as this one, which when taken out of context, CAN lead one astray.

Acts.8:12 “ But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”  This accept passage while at the same time ignoring the same author: Acts.16: 15; & 33  And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. & And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Acts.18: 8 “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. So here we have testimony of THREE-families being Baptized. What are the odds that none of them had children, which are not specifically excluded anyway?

As for the “Good Thief”

1. God can make any good thing happen; as he did in OT times.

2. IF under the New Covenant: he would have been covered by Baptism of Desire

3. If under the Old Covenant [Christ had not yet Risen from the Dead]; He would have been covered by the Blood of Christ Sacrifice on the Cross.

Mentally disabled

are still required to have baptism because of the EFFECTS of Baptism on ones Soul do NOT rely only on personal consent; so much as God’s Mercy and Love. Just as Infant Baptism is VALID and Licit; so too those UNABLE to choose by themselves or FOR themselves can be sponsored by an adult. This Sacrament is often affirmed for ones self in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

God Bless you my friend, thanks for asking!

Pat