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January 15th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Former Anglican bishops ordained as Catholic priests in new program

Marking a new era for the Roman Catholic Church in England, three former Anglican bishops were ordained as Catholic priests in London on Saturday, the first to take advantage of a new Vatican program that makes it easier for dissatisfied Anglicans to enter Catholicism.

"Many ordinations have taken place in this Cathedral during the 100 years of its history," said Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols Saturday at Westminster Cathedral. "But none quite like this."

"Today is a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the Catholic Church," he said at the ordination ceremony.

Announced in 2009, the Catholic Church program enables Anglicans to become Catholic and recognize the pope as their leader, yet have parishes that retain Anglican rites, Vatican officials have said.

The move came some 450 years after King Henry VIII broke from Rome and created the Church of England, forerunner of the Anglican Communion.

The parishes will be led by former Anglican clergy - including those who are married - who could be ordained as Catholic priests, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The move comes as some conservative Anglicans are taking issue with their church's increasingly progressive stances on issues like women bishops and homosexuality.

"This journey, of course, involves some sad parting of friends," Nichols said Saturday, acknowledging the new rift among Anglicans. "This, too, we recognize and it strengthens the warmth of our welcome."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Catholic Church • Europe • United Kingdom

soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. gerald

    Steve, you seem to think Christ has stopped working. That is not what Eph 3:20-21 says. The grace to do what we need to do to get to heaven is given freely by God. Yes it is a gift. A gift that must be used. "Without me you can do nothing. In me you can do ALL THINGS". I of course agree that one cannot "get saved" by doing a series of activities that eventually put one in grace. One must be IN GRACE for works to have any merrit. Read Romans 2:4-8 and tell me how someone gets in to heaven without deeds? Let me help you since you don't seem to have looked it up.

    [6] For he will render to every man ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS:
    [7] to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
    [8] but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
    [9] There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
    [10] but glory and honor and peace for every one who DOES GOOD, the Jew first and also the Greek.

    Clearly the works are to be done in faith. I agree but "faith without works is DEAD".

    January 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Where did I say Christ has stopped working? I never said that!

      what you mention in ^ is either the gain of review or loss of reward, NOT salvation! I agree work is important!

      Ephesians 2::8, 9 KJV

      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast .

      January 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Let me ask you what WORK did the thief on the cross accomplish? Yet he was promised to be with Christ in Paradise! All that thief did was to CONFESS Christ! That is ALL he did! NO WORKS yet he obtained Paradise!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • gerald

      Wrath and fury is loss of reward? Very odd. One can fall from grace Steve. "let he who thinks he stands WATCH OUT least he fall". "You have FALLEN FROM GRACE, you have been SEVERED FROM CHRIST". You believe the lie of Once Saved Always Saved it would seem. Terrible theology.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Something

      "Works" only prove that "faith" is alive. It proves nothing about the reason behind the faith being alive.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • gerald

      With regard to the thief didn't I say God must put us in grace first? I think I did. The thief was put in grace and did not have a chance to do anything, though it could likely be that he prayed for others from the cross. He fits Catholic theology far more than protestant theology of imputed righteousness where one has sins covered rather than cleansed. We would say the thief was "baptized" by Christ and cleansed of his sin, just as anyone baptized immediately goes to heaven if they die at that instant. He is no problem for Catholics at all.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • gerald

      Something. The faith must be proven. The grace that produces both faith and works is what is behind both. The grace must be used.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      gerald
      Wrath and fury is loss of reward? Very odd. One can fall from grace Steve. "let he who thinks he stands WATCH OUT least he fall". "You have FALLEN FROM GRACE, you have been SEVERED FROM CHRIST". You believe the lie of Once Saved Always Saved it would seem. Terrible theology.
      -----------
      You are now telling me what I believe! How about you stop judging! I DO NOT believe in once saved always saved! That is a lie! I have been severed from Christ? Fallen from grace? Based on what? YOUR words? I am saved though faith in Christ! Thank God He is my judge and NOT you!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • gerald

      You have been telling me what Catholics believe. Yet you distort it. You don't think you do but clearly you do.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way glad you don't believe in OSAS. Sorry for the offense.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      The offense is forgiven. Thank you for that! I am not telling you what catholics believe. I am sharing scripture based on the discussion! I too apologize for any offense!

      January 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  2. gerald

    Bella Donna,

    More either/or human thinking here.

    "Heaven can;t be "earned" by works (although we must do works, works is NOT what gets you there)
    Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins. Do not be in bondage to any thing or anyone or any church which teaches otherwise."

    I don't know how anyone can read Romans 2:4-8 and say that works don't have a part in entry in to heaven. I could add John 15 passage about vines not bearing fruit being cut down and thrown in to the fire and many other passages. Maybe if you read eph 3:20-21 you will see how God's grace works in our lives bearing 30, 60, 100 fold and that it is not OUR works except that Christ does them in and through us by his grace through the Holy Spirit that makes the works that we do worthy of being presented before God as being of value. For you belief is all that is neccessary but the devil believes and perishes. Jesus and James tell us it is the doers of the word that have eternal life. Not those who just say "Lord, Lord".

    January 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Gerald,

      Romans 6:23 KJV
      For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thus, heaven is NOT earned. It is a GIFT! Cannot be worked for as Christ Jesus already did the WORK! We work BECAUSE we are saved and not to get saved! Work is important, that is how we live out out faith!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  3. Reality

    Why did said bishops even bother as Paul and contemporary historical research and reasoning have put Christianity in the "useless" category?

    To wit:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    January 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • gerald

      Quoting some heretic theology professor proves something? The Pope defined heaven as unity with God. That is a good definition by anyone's book. This unity is not necessarily limited to spirit, though it MUST include spirit. Therefore heaven is not limited to spirit as you try to make the Popes words out to mean. Thus there is no reason to draw the conclusions of your professor you love to quote. He is taking liberty with the popes words and twisting them. God created the physical universe and he can be found in it but is not limited to it. He is joined with his creation and so heaven is very near us.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Gerald,

      Obviously, you missed the section about contemporary historic Jesus and NT experts questioning the physical resurrection of the Jewish, illiterate, preacher man named Jesus.

      January 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  4. BellaDona

    Gerald...Apparently you are Catholic, as I was. Don't bother wasting your time, on my "errors". I have been exposed to the lies of the Catholic Chrch, and have since gotten away. You would be wise to do the same.
    I could care less who "compiled the bible, providing it was the truth , as Jesus wants us to have it. , and I believe it is the truth. I read it for myself, and asked the HOLY SPIRIT to show me HIS truth. He did. That settled it for me.

    The subject of Peter being the rock on which the church is built, has always been a controversy. I just don't believe it was , Peter being the rock. However, even if it is, that is not what I have a problem with. It's the way the Catholic church has down thru time, twisted Gods word!
    The history of the church is what you need to read. Are you aware of the atrociities that she committed? Of how she tortured people just because they would not bow down to her beliefs?
    It still is happening today. They use fear of Hell and ex communication, etc, as fear tactics to blind one to thier lies. Jesus Christ died on that cross for YOUR sins, and said you are saved, Read the scriptures I posted above...do you find fault with the word of God? If so, is it because it conflicts with your "Catholic" religion, traditions of men, and"infallible" popes?
    Do you feel a need to defend it? If so, something must be wrong,huh?
    I posted what The word of God says, so if you are calling that "errors", you need to go to the Lord, not to me.

    If you are comfortable being in a church that follows the word of man, and not of God, that is your choice. Don't waste your time trying to convince me otherwise.
    I will believe what the word of GOD says. I don't need to be subject to what "infallible" popes have decided for me, but what GOD has decided.
    You need to get your eyes on God, and your heart open to his truth, and off the "catholic" beliefs...which are in conflict with the Gospel of Christ!

    January 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • BellaDona

      What

      For a book you claim to love you sure do a lousy job interpreting it. First of all, if Jesus talking about Peter with the word Petra would be like referring to the Pope as Madam. Im sure you will continue to follow your religion so let me show you how to follow it correctly. Throughout the Bible the word rock is used many times to refer to God or Jesus but NEVER a mortal man. In the passage you are referring to Jesus is saying that the Church will be built on himself, as in Jesus is the foundation of the church.

      "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ," (1 Cor. 3:11).

      Get it????

      Steve (the real one)

      Jose
      Jesus founded His Church on the rock of Peter, the first Pope. The Church was called Catholic before there was even a bible. In fact the bible is a Cathoic book, decided on by Bishops at the Council of Nicaea..Read the Church fathers very informative.
      --––
      Not true!
      1. Peter means little stone, not rock!
      2. The rock Jesus was talking about was not Peter but instead was Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ!
      3. The church was founded on the confession that Jesus is the Christ!
      4. Peter was married! Jesus is recorded a healing Peter's mother in law, your popes are no married!
      5. Peter was Jewish and not Christian
      6. The Lord primarily used Paul and NOT Peter to minister to the gentiles!

      @Steve *THE REAL ONE) @WHAT Thank you Jesus, that someone else has found the truth of your word! AMEN!

      January 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • gerald

      Such sad tripe. I fully embrace Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and that is what the CC asks me to do. Yet God works through men he has chosen to bring about salvation. Your claims about Matt 16 are silly. If you don't care about Peter being the leader you say that Jesus instructions for his Church don't matter. Sad that you choose to ignore the way he set up HIS Church. You claim Petros mean stone. It can. It is also KNOWN to be the masculine for of Petra as Jesus would clearly not give a feminine name to Peter, any more than you would call your son Roberta. Robert would be better. Greek is gendered. But the fact of the matter is the words of Matt 16 were SPOKEN in aramaic . Aramiac is not gendered and the word Kepha would have been used. We see Peter called the Syriac form of the word in John 1:42 and other places. (Peter went to Antioch for a while). So we know this was the language used. Your claims are protestant fabrications to justify the existence of tens of thousands of denominations that only trace back to Christ through the CC. Sorry.

      Have Catholics sinned along the way. You betcha. Protestants have as well. Good Queen bess of anglican ilk loved to pull the bowels out of Catholics and watch them die. Catholics were imprisoned for attending masses and over 200 priests killed by protestants. Luther had 100,000 peasants slaughtered in Germany and Calvin Participated in something called The Geneva Inquisition where over 50 people were put to death for views that were deemed "hertical". Not by Catholic leaders but by Protestant. Lots more I could say like baptists drowning anabaptists, the KKK and Protestants, etc. etc. Fact is that 11 out of 12 abandoned Jesus at the cross and Peter denied Jesus three times and there are other scandals in the bible I could speak at length on (i.e. david and bethsheba). But they are redherrings. What they show is the sinfulness of man. They do not show truth or error. More later.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • gerald

      Couple more quick points. Petros was much more commonly used for rock in Konine Greek, the form of the commom man. The greek of poets was where it was used to mean stone or little stone. Ionic Greek I believe is the form. Further, lithos is the word used for stone more commonly. That can be found in other places in the NT. You say you don't care how Jesus set up his Church. It fell away later. Well Jesus said "the gates of hell shall not prevail". We both know he is not a liar.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • gerald

      "Throughout the Bible the word rock is used many times to refer to God or Jesus but NEVER a mortal man."

      Bella,

      Lets the coach of the New England Patriots makes the following statement. "You are Tom Brady and on this quarterback I will build my football team". Would anyone think that the coach was talking about himself? Silly isn't it. Peter/Kepha/Petros all mean rock. Sorry. Isaiha further proves you wrong that noone else but Jesus was called rock.

      [1] "Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD;
      look to the rock from which you were hewn,
      and to the quarry from which you were digged.
      [2] Look to Abraham your father
      and to Sarah who bore you;
      for when he was but one I called him,
      and I blessed him and made him many.

      January 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  5. gerald

    "Even though the feminine noun petra is translated as rock in the phrase "on this rock I will build my church," the word petra (πέτρα in Greek) is also used at 1 Cor. 10:4 in describing Jesus Christ, which reads: "

    BellaDonna, you fall in to that human trap of either/or. The reality is both/and. That Jesus is the rock does not in any way shape or form mean that the term cannot be used for Peter, any more than Aaron is called the holy one and so is Jesus. Peter's rockiness is intimately tied with Jesus and Peter's faith in him so yes Matt 16:18 is about Jesus and faith in him. But the grammer and words are first and foemost tied to PETER. Sorry. There is no question from the rest of the NT that Peter is the leader of the early Church. He is listed first in lists of apostles. Always responds when the group is asked questions. Jesus has more dialogue and instruction for him. Prayers for him SINGULARLY and then requests that he restore the others after the fall, etc. etc. Peter is spoken of FAR more than any of the other 12 at about 300 times to next John at 30. Your claims just dont hold water. Sorry. Then to add the historical proof of the Church fathers and the obvious trace of the popes back to Peter. It's a slam dunk.

    January 17, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • gerald

      I should ad that in Isaiha, Abraham is called the "rock from which you were hewn" so again that Jesus/God is called rock does not prevent the term from being used for others and again their rockiness is only to be associated with Jesus/God and faith and trust in him. More later on your long post of errors.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  6. BellaDona

    @Reality Thanks for a truthful post. Funny how Martin Luther who some people use to attack the "other denonminations", now finds he can be used to justify something , to make a point in favor of Catholic belief? Hmm..thought he wasn't worth mention, as he started the "other" church? Wow, the winds of change do blow!

    Jesus of the Bible is the true foundation (rock) of the Christian faith. He is the rock of salvation. Even Peter claimed that Jesus is the rock, the cornerstone that the builders rejected (Acts 4:10 & 1 Peter 2:1-6). Paul says, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ... ‘the rock was Christ.’”(1 Cor. 3:11 &10:4).

    Even though the feminine noun petra is translated as rock in the phrase "on this rock I will build my church," the word petra (πέτρα in Greek) is also used at 1 Cor. 10:4 in describing Jesus Christ, which reads: "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."

    Although Matthew 16 is used as a primary proof-text for the Catholic doctrine of Papal supremacy, Protestant scholars say that prior to the Reformation of the 16th century, Matthew 16 was very rarely used to support papal claims. Their position is that most of the early and medieval Church interpreted the 'rock' as being a reference either to Christ or to Peter's faith, not Peter himself. They understand Jesus' remark to have been his affirmation of Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Son of God
    Another rebuttal of the Catholic position is that if Peter really means the Rock which makes him the chief of Apostles, it would contradict Bible's teaching in Ephesians 2:20 which says that the church's foundation is the apostles and prophets, not Peter alone. They posit that the meaning of Matthew 16:18 is that Jesus uses a play on words with Peter's name to say that the confession he had just made is the rock on which the church is built.[
    Other theologically conservative Christians, including Confessional Lutherans, also rebut comments made by Karl Keating and D.A. Carson who claim that there is no distinction between the words petros and petra in Koine Greek. The Lutheran theologians state that the dictionaries of Koine/NT Greek, including the authoritative[64] Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich Lexicon, indeed list both words and the passages that give different meanings for each. The Lutheran theologians further note that:

    We honor Peter and in fact some of our churches are named after him, but he was not the first pope, nor was he Roman Catholic. If you read his first letter, you will see that he did not teach a Roman hierarchy, but that all Christians are royal priests. The same keys given to Peter in Matthew 16 are given to the whole church of believers in Matthew 18

    From Peter's First Letter:
    2:21-25 – Indeed this is part of your calling. For Christ suffered for you and left you a personal example, and wants you to follow in his steps. 'Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth'. Yet when he was insulted he offered no insult in return. When he suffered he made no threats of revenge. He simply committed his cause to the one who judges fairly.

    And he personally bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might be dead to sin and be alive to all that is good. It was the suffering that he bore which has healed you. You had wandered away like so many sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

    Thru the cross and the shedding of the blood Of Jesus Christ...ALL men, regardless of postion, race creed, religion, etc, have the promise of salavtion, and eternal life thru Jesus Christ!

    There is no "presumption of sin", as tCatholicism maintains that believing you are assured of going to heaven when you die is to commit the sin of presumption: WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAYS"

    "There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit." Pg. 507, #2092

    . By taking this position, the Catholic church once again lines itself up AGAINST written Scripture:

    Gods Word Says" WHAT GODS WORD SAYS:

    "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:13
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
    The Bible declares that those who receive Christ by faith and put their trust in Him can know right now that they have eternal life:

    "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36
    "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

    It's not a sin to presume you are going to heaven if you have been born into God's family through faith in Christ. It is a Biblical fact and a precious promise from the Lord Jesus. It is never presumptuous to take God at His Word. In fact, He loves it when we do:

    "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27-28
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47
    "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40
    Paul didn't consider it presumptuous to declare that he was on his way to heaven:

    "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:" Philippians 1:23

    Heaven can;t be "earned" by works (although we must do works, works is NOT what gets you there)
    Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins. Do not be in bondage to any thing or anyone or any church which teaches otherwise.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • CatholicMom

      BellaDona,

      You said, ‘Protestant scholars say that prior to the Reformation of the 16th century, Matthew 16 was very rarely used to support papal claims. Their position is that most of the early and medieval Church interpreted the 'rock' as being a reference either to Christ or to Peter's faith, not Peter himself. They understand Jesus' remark to have been his affirmation of Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Son of God.

      I am glad you referenced that position as being made by protestant scholars…. So if the early and medieval Church thought like the protestants we would not have had any Popes if they thought like these ‘scholars’, from our earliest beginning but it appears that by the time of the first protesters of the 1500’s we already had 218 Popes!
      The protesters were the ones who wanted to get away from having Popes and started twisting Scripture with their own personal interpretations of the Bible. Leaving Authority behind as they did, they developed the Sola Scriptura idea as their sole authority…a 1500’s concept!

      You quoted ‘Ephesians 2:20 which says that the church's foundation is the apostles and prophets, not Peter alone. Making some sort of emphasis that it implied ‘not Peter alone.’ Trying to mislead people when Ephesians 2 is talking about how Jews and Gentiles alike are one in Christ…one in His Body the Church…and exhorting them to remember how it used to be when they were not in Christ but in sin. It says that the household of Christ is built upon the Apostles and prophets with Christ as the capstone and Catholics have always said that….
      The prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the new Testament and Jesus Christ as the cornerstone build up the foundation of the Church. We have never said that it is Peter alone but in collaboration with other Bishops. In fact we have always held all the Apostles in highest esteem and have only said that Peter was singled out as the one with the final say, by Jesus Christ Himself when Jesus asks Peter to feed my sheep John 21:17. Notice Jesus doesn’t say ‘Feed your sheep, Peter’ but feed MY sheep. He is talking here to Peter not all of the Apostles.

      You said, ‘It's not a sin to presume you are going to heaven if you have been born into God's family through faith in Christ.’ So how are you born into God’s family if not by Baptism? People presume that they do not need to be born again and are saved because they believe in God only. You can be sure that satan believes in God but is he saved? What did satan refuse to do? He refused to do the will of the Father and so we must also do the will of the Father once we are born again [Baptised] in faith. Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
      My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, you said…. Yes, and it is by the following Him that He knows us… when we are about doing the Father’s will.

      … this is the will of Him that sent Me….the Father wants no one to perish, and no man can steal us out of His hand but that does not mean that we cannot jump out of His hand by doing our will instead of the Father’s will.

      You said, ‘Heaven can;t be "earned" by works (although we must do works, works is NOT what gets you there)

      Heaven is open to us by the Blood of Jesus Christ but if we are not born again [Baptized] and then do the will of the Father [works]…. because now it is Christ working through us, …we cannot expect to be recognize as His own and will be left outside the door gnashing our teeth. Agreed, we do not earn Heaven but works are necessary. Babies and mentally challenged persons, and comatose persons are certainly not expected to demonstrate faith and a willingness to do the Father’s will but by the faith of another person they can become members of the Body of Christ [Baptized] just as Jesus did for people who pet!tioned Him to save one they loved. Yes, Heaven is open to all but will all be saved? Jesus died on the cross so that we all might have eternal life but He commands that we take up our cross and FOLLOW Him.
      So many do not want to take up their cross and say, ‘Why me, Lord?’ when we should be saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, your will be done, not mine.’

      January 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • BellaDona

      Hi CatholicMom. Well found a few spare moments here, so thought I wold try and get to your second post to me.
      Again, I will use to asterics for my comment to your post.
      YOU POSTED:
      You quoted ‘Ephesians 2:20 which says that the church's foundation is the apostles and prophets, not Peter alone. Making some sort of emphasis that it implied ‘not Peter alone.’ Trying to mislead people when Ephesians 2 is talking about how Jews and Gentiles alike are one in Christ…one in His Body the Church…and exhorting them to remember how it used to be when they were not in Christ but in sin. It says that the household of Christ is built upon the Apostles and prophets with Christ as the capstone and Catholics have always said that….
      The prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the new Testament and Jesus Christ as the cornerstone build up the foundation of the Church. We have never said that it is Peter alone but in collaboration with other Bishops. In fact we have always held all the Apostles in highest esteem and have only said that Peter was singled out as the one with the final say, by Jesus Christ Himself when Jesus asks Peter to feed my sheep John 21:17. Notice Jesus doesn’t say ‘Feed your sheep, Peter’ but feed MY sheep. He is talking here to Peter not all of the Apostles.
      *** Actually, I was not trying to mislead anyone. I copied that from Wikipedia;;;here it is:
      Although Matthew 16 is used as a primary proof-text for the Catholic doctrine of Papal supremacy, Protestant scholars say that prior to the Reformation of the 16th century, Matthew 16 was very rarely used to support papal claims. Their position is that most of the early and medieval Church interpreted the 'rock' as being a reference either to Christ or to Peter's faith, not Peter himself. They understand Jesus' remark to have been his affirmation of Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Son of God.[62]

      Another rebuttal of the Catholic position is that if Peter really means the Rock which makes him the chief of Apostles, it would contradict Bible's teaching in Ephesians 2:20 which says that the church's foundation is the apostles and prophets, not Peter alone. They posit that the meaning of Matthew 16:18 is that Jesus uses a play on words with Peter's name to say that the confession he had just made is the rock on which the church is built
      As I said, this has always been a controversy, even scholars cannot always agree. I was showing the other point of view.

      Next:
      You said, ‘It's not a sin to presume you are going to heaven if you have been born into God's family through faith in Christ.’ So how are you born into God’s family if not by Baptism? People presume that they do not need to be born again and are saved because they believe in God only. You can be sure that satan believes in God but is he saved? What did satan refuse to do? He refused to do the will of the Father and so we must also do the will of the Father once we are born again [Baptised] in faith. Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
      My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, you said…. Yes, and it is by the following Him that He knows us… when we are about doing the Father’s will.

      Jesus Christ ASSURED us of our eternal destiny, Heaven, once we have acknowledged his death on the cross for us, and asked forgiveness for our sins. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
      Then you have to be Baptised, immersed under the water , (buried, the old self)and rise up a new creature in Christ. Being born again of water and the spirit.
      Here are some examples, that Baptism is always after salvation..When the Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul answered:

      "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house... And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." Acts 16:30, 31, 33

      "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." Acts 18:8

      they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 2:41

      Again, they were baptized, not to become sons of God, but because they already were sons of God.

      When Philip preached to the people of Samaria, first came salvation, then baptism:

      "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12

      Just before his death, the thief on the cross next to Jesus put his faith in Jesus Christ. Obviously, he was never baptized, but he still went to paradise. Why? Because salvation is through faith in Christ, not through baptism

      "... in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13
      "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30
      So, we are saved, and baptised, and recieve the Holy Spirit, and do the works of the Father.
      Next:

      My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, you said…. Yes, and it is by the following Him that He knows us… when we are about doing the Father’s will.

      … this is the will of Him that sent Me….the Father wants no one to perish, and no man can steal us out of His hand but that does not mean that we cannot jump out of His hand by doing our will instead of the Father’s will.
      ***** I agree.
      You said, ‘Heaven can;t be "earned" by works (although we must do works, works is NOT what gets you there)

      Heaven is open to us by the Blood of Jesus Christ but if we are not born again [Baptized] and then do the will of the Father [works]…. because now it is Christ working through us, …we cannot expect to be recognize as His own and will be left outside the door gnashing our teeth. Agreed, we do not earn Heaven but works are necessary.

      *** I agree, works are indeed necessary. However, Baptism does not SAVE you...Believeing on the Lord, and his atonement for our sins, is what SAVES you. Baptism comes after, where you are buried to your old life, and raised a new creature in Christ, and recieve the Holy Spirit. Just read the scriptures above.

      Babies and mentally challenged persons, and comatose persons are certainly not expected to demonstrate faith and a willingness to do the Father’s will but by the faith of another person they can become members of the Body of Christ [Baptized] just as Jesus did for people who pet!tioned Him to save one they loved.
      *****Babies are innocent and do not need to be baptised, nor do the mentally challegend persons, as God does hold them innocent. They are not capable of sinning.
      No one can be saved by the faith of another person
      . No one's faith can "save" another..Salvavtion is by the grace of God and YOU must repent and ask forgiveness and accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
      Note this commentary by Barnes:
      ..Not all the people in the households were saved because someone else believed. They had to believe. Barnes commentary says:
      And thy house – And thy family. That is, the same salvation is equally adapted to, and offered to your family. It does not mean that his family would be saved simply by his believing, but that the offers had reference to them as well as to himself; that they might be saved as well as he. His attention was thus called at once, as every man's should be, to his family. He was reminded that they needed salvation, and he was presented with the a-s-surance that they might unite with him in the peace and joy of redeeming mercy.
      Compare the notes on Acts 2:39. It may be implied here that the faith of a father may be expected to be the means of the salvation of his family. It often is so in fact; but the direct meaning is, that salvation was offered to his family as well as himself, implying that if they believed they should also be saved.

      Yes, Heaven is open to all but will all be saved? Jesus died on the cross so that we all might have eternal life but He commands that we take up our cross and FOLLOW Him.
      So many do not want to take up their cross and say, ‘Why me, Lord?’ when we should be saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, your will be done, not mine.’

      **** I agree wholeheartedly! Praise the Lord!
      It has been a pleasure chatting with you. God Bless You!

      January 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  7. vssaucouer

    Peter and the Papacy

    There is ample evidence in the New Testament that Peter was first in authority among the apostles. Whenever they were named, Peter headed the list (Matt. 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13); sometimes the apostles were referred to as "Peter and those who were with him" (Luke 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Matt. 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6:68-69), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Matt. 14:28-32, Matt. 17:24-27, Mark 10:23-28). On Pentecost it was Peter who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing in the Church age (Acts 3:6-7). It is Peter’s faith that will strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32) and Peter is given Christ’s flock to shepherd (John 21:17). An angel was sent to announce the resurrection to Peter (Mark 16:7), and the risen Christ first appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). He headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26), and he received the first converts (Acts 2:41). He inflicted the first punishment (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic (Acts 8:18-23). He led the first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and announced the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7-11). It was to Peter that the revelation came that Gentiles were to be baptized and accepted as Christians (Acts 10:46-48).

    Peter the Rock

    Peter’s preeminent position among the apostles was symbolized at the very beginning of his relationship with Christ. At their first meeting, Christ told Simon that his name would thereafter be Peter, which translates as "Rock" (John 1:42). The startling thing was that—aside from the single time that Abraham is called a "rock" (Hebrew: Tsur; Aramaic: Kepha) in Isaiah 51:1-2—in the Old Testament only God was called a rock. The word rock was not used as a proper name in the ancient world. If you were to turn to a companion and say, "From now on your name is Asparagus," people would wonder: Why Asparagus? What is the meaning of it? What does it signify? Indeed, why call Simon the fisherman "Rock"? Christ was not given to meaningless gestures, and neither were the Jews as a whole when it came to names. Giving a new name meant that the status of the person was changed, as when Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Gen.17:5), Jacob’s to Israel (Gen. 32:28), Eliakim’s to Joakim (2 Kgs. 23:34), or the names of the four Hebrew youths—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 1:6-7). But no Jew had ever been called "Rock." The Jews would give other names taken from nature, such as Deborah ("bee," Gen. 35:8), and Rachel ("ewe," Gen. 29:16), but never "Rock." In the New Testament James and John were nicknamed Boanerges, meaning "Sons of Thunder," by Christ, but that was never regularly used in place of their original names, and it certainly was not given as a new name. But in the case of Simon-bar-Jonah, his new name Kephas (Greek: Petros) definitely replaced the old.

    Look at the scene

    Not only was there significance in Simon being given a new and unusual name, but the place where Jesus solemnly conferred it upon Peter was also important. It happened when "Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi" (Matt. 16:13), a city that Philip the Tetrarch built and named in honor of Caesar Augustus, who had died in A.D. 14. The city lay near cascades in the Jordan River and near a gigantic wall of rock, a wall about 200 feet high and 500 feet long, which is part of the southern foothills of Mount Hermon. The city no longer exists, but its ruins are near the small Arab town of Banias; and at the base of the rock wall may be found what is left of one of the springs that fed the Jordan. It was here that Jesus pointed to Simon and said, "You are Peter" (Matt. 16:18).

    The significance of the event must have been clear to the other apostles. As devout Jews they knew at once that the location was meant to emphasize the importance of what was being done. None complained of Simon being singled out for this honor; and in the rest of the New Testament he is called by his new name, while James and John remain just James and John, not Boanerges.

    Promises to Peter

    When he first saw Simon, "Jesus looked at him, and said, ‘So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter)’" (John 1:42). The word Cephas is merely the transliteration of the Aramaic Kepha into Greek. Later, after Peter and the other disciples had been with Christ for some time, they went to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). Jesus told him that this truth was specially revealed to him, and then he solemnly reiterated: "And I tell you, you are Peter" (Matt. 16:18). To this was added the promise that the Church would be founded, in some way, on Peter (Matt. 16:18).

    Then two important things were told the apostle. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules. Later the apostles as a whole would be given similar power [Matt.18:18], but here Peter received it in a special sense.

    Peter alone was promised something else also: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19). In ancient times, keys were the hallmark of authority. A walled city might have one great gate; and that gate had one great lock, worked by one great key. To be given the key to the city—an honor that exists even today, though its import is lost—meant to be given free access to and authority over the city. The city to which Peter was given the keys was the heavenly city itself. This symbolism for authority is used elsewhere in the Bible (Is. 22:22, Rev. 1:18).

    Finally, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" (John 21:15-17). In repentance for his threefold denial, Peter gave a threefold affirmation of love. Then Christ, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14), gave Peter the authority he earlier had promised: "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17). This specifically included the other apostles, since Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" (John 21:15), the word "these" referring to the other apostles who were present (John 21:2). Thus was completed the prediction made just before Jesus and his followers went for the last time to the Mount of Olives.

    Immediately before his denials were predicted, Peter was told, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again [after the denials], strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:31-32). It was Peter who Christ prayed would have faith that would not fail and that would be a guide for the others; and his prayer, being perfectly efficacious, was sure to be fulfilled.

    Who is the rock?

    Now take a closer look at the key verse: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church" (Matt. 16:18). Disputes about this passage have always been related to the meaning of the term "rock." To whom, or to what, does it refer? Since Simon’s new name of Peter itself means rock, the sentence could be rewritten as: "You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church." The play on words seems obvious, but commentators wishing to avoid what follows from this—namely the establishment of the papacy—have suggested that the word rock could not refer to Peter but must refer to his profession of faith or to Christ.

    From the grammatical point of view, the phrase "this rock" must relate back to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith ("You are the Christ, the Son of the living God") is two verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause.

    As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: "I have a car and a truck, and it is blue." Which is blue? The truck, because that is the noun closest to the pronoun "it." This is all the more clear if the reference to the car is two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is two sentences earlier than the term rock.

    Another alternative

    The previous argument also settles the question of whether the word refers to Christ himself, since he is mentioned within the profession of faith. The fact that he is elsewhere, by a different metaphor, called the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4-8) does not disprove that here Peter is the foundation. Christ is naturally the principal and, since he will be returning to heaven, the invisible foundation of the Church that he will establish; but Peter is named by him as the secondary and, because he and his successors will remain on earth, the visible foundation. Peter can be a foundation only because Christ is the cornerstone.

    In fact, the New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5-6, Rev. 21:14). One cannot take a single metaphor from a single passage and use it to twist the plain meaning of other passages. Rather, one must respect and harmonize the different passages, for the Church can be described as having different foundations since the word foundation can be used in different senses.

    Look at the Aramaic

    Opponents of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 sometimes argue that in the Greek text the name of the apostle is Petros, while "rock" is rendered as petra. They claim that the former refers to a small stone, while the latter refers to a massive rock; so, if Peter was meant to be the massive rock, why isn’t his name Petra?

    Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is kepha, which is what Jesus called him in everyday speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, "You will be called Cephas"). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was: "You are Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church."

    When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to Greek, there arose a problem which did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life. In Aramaic the word kepha has the same ending whether it refers to a rock or is used as a man’s name. In Greek, though, the word for rock, petra, is feminine in gender. The translator could use it for the second appearance of kepha in the sentence, but not for the first because it would be inappropriate to give a man a feminine name. So he put a masculine ending on it, and hence Peter became Petros.

    Furthermore, the premise of the argument against Peter being the rock is simply false. In first century Greek the words petros and petra were synonyms. They had previously possessed the meanings of "small stone" and "large rock" in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century this distinction was gone, as Protestant Bible scholars admit (see D. A. Carson’s remarks on this passage in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books]).

    Some of the effect of Christ’s play on words was lost when his statement was translated from the Aramaic into Greek, but that was the best that could be done in Greek. In English, like Aramaic, there is no problem with endings; so an English rendition could read: "You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church."

    Consider another point: If the rock really did refer to Christ (as some claim, based on 1 Cor. 10:4, "and the Rock was Christ" though the rock there was a literal, physical rock), why did Matthew leave the passage as it was? In the original Aramaic, and in the English which is a closer parallel to it than is the Greek, the passage is clear enough. Matthew must have realized that his readers would conclude the obvious from "Rock . . . rock."

    If he meant Christ to be understood as the rock, why didn’t he say so? Why did he take a chance and leave it up to Paul to write a clarifying text? This presumes, of course, that 1 Corinthians was written after Matthew’s Gospel; if it came first, it could not have been written to clarify it.

    The reason, of course, is that Matthew knew full well that what the sentence seemed to say was just what it really was saying. It was Simon, weak as he was, who was chosen to become the rock and thus the first link in the chain of the papacy.

    January 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Another though on Peter, the first Pope….Jesus built His Church on people not on confessions. Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom to Peter not to a confession.

      This is what Martin Luther had to say about it:

      ‘Why are you searching heavenward in search of my keys? Do you not understand, Jesus said, 'I gave them to Peter. They are indeed the keys of heaven, but they are not found in heaven for I left them on earth. Peter's mouth is my mouth, his tongue is my key case, his keys are my keys. They are an office. They are a power, a command given by God through Christ to all of Christendom for the retaining and remitting of the sins of men. (Martin Luther 1530 A.D.- after he left the Church )

      January 16, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Reality

      What do many contemporary historic Jesus and NT experts say about "Peter and the Rock":

      Tis not a very sound foundation!!!

      e.g. Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book "Jesus After 2000 Years" p. 198

      Matt 18, 19b, "The passage was put into the mouth of Jesus by Peter himself or by his followers and subsequently predated by Matthew into the life of Jesus. Is is inauthentic. "

      See also:

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=073_Who_is_Jesus

      And then there is this summary:

      “Now Rome which developed the Church of Dogma (rather than metanoia) dared to add things which have scant basis in scripture like the Trinity, Individual priesthood, Auricular Confession, Transubstantiation, Infallibility, Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. None of these are present in scripture nor can they be deduced. Matthew 16:18 was discovered to apply to the papacy by Damasus I who had over a hundred of his rival's supporter's killed to gain the bishopric of Rome. It is after this time that the phrase from Matthew is more and more centered on Rome. The bishops of Rome committed many crimes. The biggest one was to ascribe their malfeasance to the Holy Spirit. Still is.”

      January 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I wonder why an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving god willing to torture people for all of eternity if they get his worship instructions wrong would present those instructions in such a form that only people who study the linguistic minutiae of multiple dead languages could possibly have a chance of understanding what he really meant.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      CatholicMon,

      Jesus NEVER build His church on a fallible human being! Again, Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ is the foundation of the Church! Not a human being. Peter was indeed leader but WAS NOT/IS NOT the rock! Te Rock is Christ and Christ only!

      January 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Another issue is Peter is long dead! So according to you the rock of the church is dead! Dead foundation = dead church, Just as a weak foundation = a weak structure! The ROCK is JESUS himself! Not Peter!

      Secondly Peter (A JEW) was the leader of the early church. Explain how the leadership passed from a JEW to GENTILES? If the popes came from Peter, why are they not JEWISH?

      January 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,

      YOu have Jesus using some very confused wording if Peter is not the rock. You know who Tom Brady is don't you. Now if Brian Billicheck said "You are Tom Brady and on this quarterback I will build my football team" would anyone in their right mind think that Mr. Billicheck was the quarterback? Very silly. Peter means rock so in changing Simon's name to Rock (Peter) Jesus said these things in unmistakable terms. Of course mean will twist to their own destruction.

      Peter was given the keys. It is interesting if one compares Matt 16:18 to Is 22:22 that the steward was a like position and that position also held keys and was sccessionary. It is clear that Jesus was paralleling this passage in Matt 16:18 and so indicating a successionary position. History bears this out as the papacy is quite tracable back to Peter from historical records. Keys indicate succession. If buy a house the previous owner gives me keys. When I sell the house I pass the keys on to the next owner. Sorry your post does not hold water.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      civiloutside,

      Seek and ye shall find! You’ve heard it before……
      We cannot love with a love like Jesus Christ’s love unless we seek after Him. The more you seek the more you love and the more you desire everyone to know Jesus Christ. We learn all about Him by reading books and studying His Word and mostly by hearing His Word. Once you know Him you cannot help but love Him!
      If you met someone and at the onset you tell yourself ‘this is the person I am going to marry someday’ do you run up to her and tell her all the wonderful things about yourself that you want to share with her for eternity or are you patient and let her get to know you first?

      January 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Steve (the real one),

      Yes, Peter was martyred but then if we believe in the Words of Jesus Christ to all the Apostles He COMMANDED they go out to all the world and Baptize all nations….now would He make such a demand on people who on their own would not have lived long enough to complete the job? Of course not, Jesus Christ is not unreasonable!

      Acts 1 Tells of the death of Judas, the Apostle who betrayed Jesus, and how 'another May take his office.' Thus, at the death of each Apostle another took his office and filled his bishopric position. Peter was the one with the highest of Authority and also had his bishopric filled. When they voted on the one who was to fill the positions, they were to choose ‘good men’ as spoken of in 1Tim chapter 3 and chapter 5.

      January 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  8. Gary

    @ What ....just like you said it is a book ...nothing but a book written by man. No proof any book has been written or inspired by any God. Man interprets the book just like they interpret news,politics, ect. religion is based on faith...Science is based on facts.

    January 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Anglican

      Gary. What is your field? You seem to know science very well.

      January 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  9. ramez

    Im Glad to see the church reunite what has been lost. I dont know why people speak of abused children when this article has nothing to do with it ? .. you people act as if in todays society no one abuses children but the catholics? do youre research all major religions have abused children, "prophet" mohamed married a 6 year old . pedophilia is something unavoidable in today's society religious or none religious abuse TAKE PLACE ALL THE TIME and it's a shame because it's disturbing and destroys humanity. God bless all those who have been abused and their famillies. The church is deeply sorry for the corruption and is looking to move ahead in order to stop it at once. But what is important in this article is that we see a sign of positive among a society full of corruption

    January 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • BellaDona

      Thats because they got caught! How many Pope's looked the other way, and allowed those molestors to stay put within the organization? Then used thier "secret" Papal authority to cover it up. You asked why people are so up in arms with the Catholic Church, while others do the same?? Mayby it's because people are fed up with all the "piety" and "perfectness" of the Catholic Church, and all the virtueous gloating about how "holy" the infallible church is, including the Popes, who are God on Earth (or think they are), but allow this behavior?
      That is far from God like.
      Everytime I hear CatholicMom tell someone to love thier sisters and brothers, and then turn around in the same breath and put down all churches outside of the Catholic Religion, I could throw up. What hypocrisy!

      Jesus Christ died for ALL people, regardless of wether the Catholic Religion is the true church or not. I am sure God will honor the salvation and baptism, and fill those people with his Holy Spirit as well. Just because they attend another church, as long as it practices the Holy Communion and Baptism,(the 2 mentioned in the Bible) and recognizes the Trinity, and follows all that Jesus commanded, they will see Heaven, as well.
      Luther left the CC because there was some sick stuff going on. He was trying for reform. Why did he leave and start his own, because he would have been killed and tortured if he hadn't.
      Some Catholics need to read thier own history. Back in those days, Catholic clergy did some pretty horrific things. Especially to Christians that did not believe in the Catholic traditions and so on. They were killed for it.

      I was raised Catholic, and left the church. I have a real relationship with Jesus now. He is more real then he has ever been to me, in all the years I was there. I see the truth, and know that the Catholic Church needs hellp. They went off the track somewhere, and it is truly NOT the church that Jesus Christ intended.

      Most are so indoctrinated with thier "traditions of men" and "authority" crap...all because they are believing so called popes who are more interested in themselves then they are the church. I know there were some screwy things that went on in the church I went to, but Catholics won't acknowledge it for fear that was instilled in us, that we would be excommunicated and thrown in hell! You dare not go against the "Catholic Church".
      What a damnable lie of men. Sorry, I am sick of it and will let anyone know how I feel.

      January 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      BellaDona,

      You said, ‘….people are fed up with all the "piety" and "perfectness" of the Catholic Church, and all the virtueous gloating about how "holy" the infallible church……’

      The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ…why would He found one that is other than perfect? Is not the Church His Body with Him as the Head? Just because people sin and do things wrong in His Church does not mean that what He founded is characteristic of sinful man. No, the beauty of what the Church is remains true to Jesus Christ’s founding, with all Seven Sacraments as means of achieving holiness for Her members; the Catholic Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth; it is the House of God. No amount of ranting and raving will change the Truth; Jesus Christ promised the Paraclete to assure His Church would remain as He founded it and it has remained so for 2000 years inspite of sinful man.

      Here are just a few things which Martin Luther said: I also wonder if people realize how far they have drifted from the first protester’s original plan…look also at what he said about Mary, for instance….

      "This one will not hear of Baptism, and that one denies the sacrament, another puts a world between this and the last day: some teach that Christ is not God, some say this, some say that: there are as many sects and creeds as there are heads. No yokel is so rude but when he has dreams and fancies, he thinks himself inspired by the Holy Ghost and must be a prophet."
      De Wette III, 61. quoted in O'Hare, THE FACTS

      [I don’t think he included himself in the yokel group]

      "Noblemen, townsmen, peasants, all classes understand the Evangelium better than I or St. Paul; they are now wise and think themselves more learned than all the ministers."
      Walch XIV, 1360. quoted in O'Hare, Ibid, 209. ABOUT LUTHER, 208.

      [he put himself on par with St. Paul]

      "We concede - as we must - that so much of what they (the Catholic Church) say is true: that the papacy has God's word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scriptures, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them?"
      Sermon on the gospel of St. John, chaps. 14 – 16 (1537), in vol. 24 of LUTHER'S WORKS,
      St. Louis, Mo.: Concordia, 1961, 304.

      [He was trying to fix what he had let out of the cat’s bag but he couldn’t get it back…he had gone too far with his dreams and fancies]

      About The Blessed Virgin Mary...
      "The great thing is none other than that she became the Mother of God; in which process so many and such great gifts were bestowed upon her that no one is able to comprehend them. Thereupon follows all honor, all blessedness, and the fact that in the whole race of men only one person is above all the rest, one to whom no one else is equal. For that reason her dignity is crowded into a single phrase when we call her the Mother of God; no one can say greater things of her or to her, even if he had as many tongues as leaves and blades of grass, as the stars in heaven and sands on the seashore. It must also be meditated in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God."
      Die Erklarung des Magnificat – 1521.

      The first Protestant loved and honored the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of GOD, as did the other reformers. Why have the heirs of Protestantism drifted away from the teaching of their founders? The one thing he got right his followers left behind, too.

      No, Martin Luther was given every opportunity to retract his words and remain in the Church but he chose against it but towards the end of his life he spoke of much regret. He would not have been killed if he stayed [like you said]; just like Father Cutie was asked to stay but in his pride he left the Church on his own choosing. Martin Luther and some who broke from him were also priests, just like Father Cutie, and none were killed for leaving and none would have been killed for staying.

      But their superiors beseeched them.

      "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing; and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be perfectly united in one mind and in one judgment."
      1Corinthians 1:10
      "Obey your superiors and be subject to them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of your souls; so that you may do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would not be expedient for you."Hebrews 13:17King James
      "Let no one lead you astray with empty words; for because of these things the wrath of GOD comes upon the children of disobedience. Do not, then, become partakers with them."
      Ephesians 5:6-7
      "The Scribes and Pharisees have sat on the chair of Moses. ALL things, therefore, that they command you, observe and do. But do not act according to their works; for they talk but do nothing."
      Matthew 23:2-3
      This is a command to be obedient regardless of individual feelings, and it comes from Jesus Christ. So these men, former priests, are prime examples of evil working from within the Church to try to destroy Her…but they only succeeded in causing the flock to become disconnected.

      Jesus Christ warned us that there would be scandals in His Church.

      "Woe to the world because of scandals! For it must needs be that scandals come, but woe to the man through whom scandal does come!"
      Matthew 18:7
      And He said to His disciples, "It is impossible that scandals should not come; but woe to him through whom they come."
      Luke 17:1
      These are the words of Jesus Christ Himself. Did he say the Church is the source, or the cause of the scandals? No, He said a person is. Remember, the Catholic Church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners (Mark 2:17).

      Recall a certain man named Judas, chosen by Jesus Christ Himself. This man was responsible for the scourging, crucifixion, and death of the creator of the universe. It was the worst possible scandal ever conceived and perpetrated by.....none other than a man.
      The Catholic Church itself is indefectible. Scripture says it is, and we know it since it has an indefectible founder.
      See Ephesians 5:25-27
      We do not leave Peter and the rest of the Apostles because of the works of Judas.

      "I know that after my departure fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock. AND FROM AMONG YOUR OWN SELVES MEN WILL RISE SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS, TO DRAW AWAY THE DISCIPLES AFTER THEM."
      Acts 20:29-30
      How do these verses apply to the reformers?
      Well, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli were Catholic priests and so was Father Cutie who is working hard to get others to follow him in his wayward thinking.
      So they were, "from among your own selves men will rise",
      and they did, "speak perverse things" (Hebrews 13:17 also, remember?),
      and they did, "draw away the disciples after them".
      Ecclesiastes 1:10-11

      Those who fail to profit from the mistakes of others in history are doomed to repeat them.
      "You shall not do as we are now doing; here, everyone does what seems right to himself..."
      Deuteronomy 12:8, Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25
      Isn't this the mindset of a lot of people today?
      "I will do my own thing."
      "What 'feels good' for me is right for me."
      "It does not matter which Church I belong to."
      "Fear not, for I am with thee: turn not aside, for I am your GOD. I have strengthened thee, and have helped thee, and the right hand of My Just One hath upheld thee. Behold all that fight against thee shall be confounded (split into 38,000 pieces maybe?) and ashamed, they shall be as nothing, and the men shall perish that strive against thee."
      Isaias 41:10-11

      Yes, and now they are at the ‘ashamed place’ where they are saying ‘they do not need religion at all…. just themselves and their Bible and their perceived relationship with Jesus on their own terms not HIS.’

      Do those who say "The Holy Spirit prompted me", realize that it is one of three spirits which is actually doing the "prompting"?
      They are:
      1. The Holy Spirit.
      2. The human spirit within each one of us.
      3. An evil, or demonic spirit.

      These spirits must be discerned, as we are obliged by Holy Scripture to test all spirits.
      "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of GOD; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world."
      1John 4:1

      The testing can be easily done, as we have the Word of GOD with which to discern the spirits.
      If the prompting is contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, then most assuredly, it is NOT coming from the Holy Spirit. That leaves us with only two choices, neither of which is from GOD.

      "And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of GOD, but is of antichrist of whom you have heard that he is coming, and now is already in the world."
      1John 4:3.
      So if no man can SEND himself but goes off and does so anyway and others follow, which spirit are they listening to? And today, not wanting religion is still listening to a spirit but it is just the strengthening of the spirit that severed them from Jesus Christ’s founded Church in the beginning.

      BellaDona, you were so concerned about being excommunicated? That doesn’t sound truthful at all. You left of your own freewill, and want to cry about excommunication?

      I am sorry you have hardened your heart towards Jesus Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church. Am I now your enemy because I have told you the Truth?

      January 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  10. Reality

    And next there will be Father Cutie and his family entering the RCC heirarchy of lost sheep!!

    January 16, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  11. Chip

    LOL. Religion is absolutely ridiculous.

    January 16, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  12. dalis

    You can alway tell so much about religious people by how vindictive they are towards apostates. The comments are truly entertaining.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  13. Jose

    For all those haters out there, The Catholic Church has been around since Jesus founed it and will be around until the end of time. In the words of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-38) "For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God."

    January 16, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • What

      Read the book again. In the story's Jesus never founded the Catholic church in fact he was a Jew. The Christian churches started after his death. The different sects of Christianity started when the early Christians had to compromise on the wording of the bible to optimize the number of converted pegans.

      January 16, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Jose

      Jesus founded His Church on the rock of Peter, the first Pope. The Church was called Catholic before there was even a bible. In fact the bible is a Cathoic book, decided on by Bishops at the Council of Nicaea..Read the Church fathers very informative.

      January 16, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • What

      In the story's it does say he would build a church on a rock but the rock was called petra not peter. Where in the book does it say the word Catholic?

      January 16, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Jose

      Peter is the rock on which Jesus founded his church. The words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant "small stone" and "large rock" in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used.

      January 16, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • What

      For a book you claim to love you sure do a lousy job interpreting it. First of all, if Jesus talking about Peter with the word Petra would be like referring to the Pope as Madam. Im sure you will continue to follow your religion so let me show you how to follow it correctly. Throughout the Bible the word rock is used many times to refer to God or Jesus but NEVER a mortal man. In the passage you are referring to Jesus is saying that the Church will be built on himself, as in Jesus is the foundation of the church.

      "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ," (1 Cor. 3:11).

      Get it????

      January 16, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • chief

      jose... the same can be said about pedaphiles.... the catholic church isnt Christian it is exclusive to those who follow what the pagan teaching of the rc church has told them...

      January 16, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Jose
      Jesus founded His Church on the rock of Peter, the first Pope. The Church was called Catholic before there was even a bible. In fact the bible is a Cathoic book, decided on by Bishops at the Council of Nicaea..Read the Church fathers very informative.
      --------–
      Not true!
      1. Peter means little stone, not rock!
      2. The rock Jesus was talking about was not Peter but instead was Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ!
      3. The church was founded on the confession that Jesus is the Christ!
      4. Peter was married! Jesus is recorded a healing Peter's mother in law, your popes are no married!
      5. Peter was Jewish and not Christian
      6. The Lord primarily used Paul and NOT Peter to minister to the gentiles!

      January 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      What,

      That is always the question, ‘Where is that in the Bible?’ Do you not know that every word is not in the bible?

      The word Catholic isn’t in the Bible, but Catholic, referring to the Whole Church, was a term in common use and Ignatius' writing is simply the oldest still existing text which contains a specific form of the phrase we still use today as a proper name. That of "ekklesia katholicos," which means "Universal Church". The terms "holen ten ekklesian" which means "The Whole Church" and "ekklesia kathholes" which means "The Church throughout the whole of" were also in use, and by the Apostles no less, as it was used freely as if common to all in the year 107 in writings.

      Do you believe in the Trinity? That word isn’t in the Bible either. Neither is triune but most people know what it means.

      Even the word Bible is not in the Bible. It was coined by Catholics. It means books from the Greek word βυβλος-byblos meaning "papyrus", from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported papyrus, the "paper" of the day.

      Another word not in the Bible: Pope.
      St. Peter ended his days as the Bishop of Rome, and the Bishop of Rome succeeds to the ministry of St. Peter as the head of the universal Church . "Pope," is merely a nick-name from the early 300s. It comes from the Greek word "papa," that means "father" or "patriarch."

      January 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  14. TheBossIsOut

    Let the blind lead the blind. They will both fall into the ditch.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen, sadly, but so true!

      January 16, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • CatholicMom

      TheBossIsOut, and HeIsGod,

      Try to recall how we got the Bible….it was the Catholic Church that compiled it.

      You should admire people who realize the wrong path they have been on and for their bravery to come home to the Church that Jesus Christ founded. They know how persecuted they are going to be…it is the Catholic Church that will be persecuted as the Bible says because the world hates what it does not know.

      But these brave Anglicans are home, and oh, so welcome! It is a great feeling, I am sure, for them to say ‘I was lost and now am found.’

      January 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  15. Jon

    so... 3 priests left one of 25 000 christian denominations to join one of the 24 999 remaining.

    .... and?

    January 16, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Jon,

      You don’t understand…the Catholic Church is not a denomination…it is the Mother Church. All those that broke from Her are derivatives or denominations, and there are around 38,000 denominations today, all springing from Lutheranism.

      This is what Martin Luther had to say about it….... In a 1545 letter to his wife, Martin Luther writes about the Reform...

      ‘Let us get out of this Sodom. I prefer to wander about homeless and to beg my bread from door to door than to poison my poor last days by the spectacle of all these disorders. We experience it daily that the people are seven times worse today than ever before under the Papacy; they are more avaricious, more unchaste, more envious, more intemperate, more dishonest... [John Laux, CHURCH HISTORY, p.431]

      By the year 1545 see how many splits Martin Luther had witnessed……………

      1521, Martin Luther started the Lutherans when he broke away from the one true Church that had already existed for 15 centuries. Prior to this time, the false doctrine of "Sola Scriptura", or "Bible only", had not existed, and neither had the false man made doctrine of "Individual Interpretation" of Holy Scripture.
      1521, Thomas Munzer started Anabaptists by breaking from Lutheranism in the same year.
      1534, King Henry VIII started the Church of England. (Anglican)
      1536, John Calvin, teaching predestination, formed the Calvinists.

      I don't blame Martin Luther for wanting the wrongs and corruption to end that was festering in the Church...none wants it but people sin and we must point it out and cause it to be stopped but you don't stop a problem by leaving and starting your our ecclesial community. Even though it did cause the Church to change the selling of indulgences and other corruption. So I hope that God has mercy on Martin Luther's soul because even though he gave up, it did cause eyes to open to what was wrong.

      From his sad writings you can tell he was sorry that he became prideful in his thoughts about the Bible, changing it, just because he realized he had such power and people would accept it but it was not a power from God; and that is where he went wrong and he caused many to follow him off the Path.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  16. HeIsGod

    God is a jealous God, stop worshiping pagan idols that don't exists!!

    January 16, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Know What

      NL

      "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
      — Marcus Aurelius

      (Thanks to poster @NL on another article)

      January 16, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  17. independent

    Shame on the majority of you. Anonymity online allows you to say the worst that is in you, thinking no one knows who you are.
    You know, and God knows. Spew your filth and condemn yourselves.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • What

      So you think that Oden is watching us all and will send Thor to punish the blasphemers?

      January 16, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Ktusoon

      I think it's the BEST that is in me to vocally resist, ridicule and disparage organized religion.

      Think about it: Why should I choose YOUR religion? Why not one of the thousand other Christian denominations? Or how about the non-Christian religions?

      How about the many, many, many thousands of religions that have lived and died, socially, throughout history?

      Shame on you, really, for not being willing to figure this stuff out on your own.

      January 16, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Ktusoon,
      So sorry it is so confusing for you.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  18. Brian

    "Mark my words, the Catholic Church will prevail and become stronger in it's efforts to right the wrongs of this world.".....

    Yes, and other worlds too. An official in the Vatican said that if we discover life on other planets we should send Jesuits there to convert them to Catholicism because Catholicism is the True Religion.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  19. sdgd

    there was one true church in the start, and in the end, there shall be one true church, the catholic church, and the false world council of churches which the catholic church is not a part of..... Repent 4 the kingdom of God is at hand.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  20. Terry

    The Anglican Communion, especially the Episcopal Church, is being ripped apart – not over women or gays – but by the authority of scripture. Period.

    January 16, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Ktusoon

      Do you mean the Book of Mormon? I'm just confused because everyone thinks the holy books of their respective religion amount to a decisive "authority of scripture. Period."

      January 16, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • What

      Thanks for clearing that up, I was way off. I always thought it was because of the readily available information that people interested in learning about religion had at there disposa,l leading to the realization that the Bible borrows stories from many other Holy books and therefore must be a creation of man.

      January 16, 2011 at 12:20 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.