15 July, 2009

Discussion with Mark Davies on Apostolic succession and Papal succession

(Mark Davies) "Please forgive me Fr Joe,I forgot to explain what I am calling the papal claim.What I mean is that the Bishop of Rome is the leader of the other bishops and that it is employs apostolic seccession which was used by tertillian in the 2-3 rd century to defend against Gnostics.If it was under apostolic sucession the the pope would be the bishop of Antioch,correct? Since St. Peter was the first bishop of antioch and he ordained the second bishop of antioch.The seat of Peter,I don't understand,when did that appear?

Well I do think it was still a major slip up.Popes thoughout the ages made mistakes,Council of Trent,remember?Doesn't the church now teach that the genesis creation account is now metaphoric or a parable?

Well,I can't say I'm a calvinist,I disagree with the statement that non-christians are saved.Jesus said I am the way the truth and the light,none come unto the father but by me! Muslims,jews,buddhist and atheist,everyone not christian will not enter heaven.It's a biblical proven fact.Of course I do agree full heartedly with you on tradition is important,very important,but traditions can include falsehoods and if one permotes falsehoods it causes the church to lose it's truth.Jesus said "He who isn't for me,is against me" thus! No non-christians shall enter.God already told us who will enter and who won't enter.

Thank you for not getting impatient with my stupidity and May God bless you and your family."

(Fr. Joseph) Again, I believe you are confusing apostolic succession with Papal succession. Apostolic succession means that every Bishop of the Church both Catholic and Orthodox can trace our linage back to one or more of the apostles. Like I said my linage goes back to St. John. Papal succession is the continuous selection of the Bishop of Rome to fill the seat of St. Peter. St. Peter appointed the second and the third Bishops of Antioch. The third Bishop St. Ignatius was the disciple of St. John and of St. Peter. It is not clear who ordained St. Ignatius but it was probably St. John. Any Bishop of the Church could have been appointed to the bishopric of Antioch regardless of who ordained them. I assume you are asking when the seat of Peter came to Rome. The seat of Peter was wherever he resided. When He was in Antioch it was in Antioch and when he transferred his bishopric to Rome it was there. Subsequent Bishops of Rome were nominated after St. Peter's martyrdom in Rome and continued to reside there with the same authority as St. Peter. However, his successors were not necessarily ordained by St. Peter but could have their linage from any of the disciples.

Of course Popes throughout the ages have made mistakes. We are all sinners and in need of a Savior and Popes are no different than anyone else in that respect. It may even be said that some Popes were evil but in spite of that the Church has never wavered in its commission nor ever taught falsely on matters of faith and morals. Of course this fact is not the work of any mortal man but is based solely on the veracity of Christ and testimony to His promises to mankind about His Church. You made reference to the Council of Trent and suggested that there was error there. It is impossible for the Ecumenical Councils to err as it is the Holy Spirit that ensures that the Councils are without error.

The Church does not teach infallibly on the interpretation of the Genesis story or what literary genre it represents. Some take it more literally than others but the Church does not officially teach a literal, metaphorical or any other infallible teaching in regards to the creation story. Personally, I believe for the most part it is literal except the reference to time which was created itself as part of creation. Of course, eternity is outside of time.

I did not mean to imply that you are a Calvinist but that your confusion was influenced by Calvinist theological philosophy. Certainly, I agree and the Church teaches that no one comes to salvation except by Jesus through His Church but we should be aware that Jesus being God and being sovereign may save whom He wishes. It is not for us to judge who will be saved but we can, as Christians agree that it is Jesus that is the judge of all men and all men have the same salvific promise and opportunity. Calvin taught predestination that said that salvation was not promised to all but only to the elect in Christ but the Bible teaching is that the law is written on everyone's heart and it is this law that the Holy Spirit appeals to when bringing one to obedience and faith in Christ Jesus. Why would the law be written on everyone's heart if everyone was not included n God's salvific plan. But, certainly not all will surrender to that law and come to faith and will not be saved but we should not speculate as to whom that may be. We should all pray that everyone dies with salvific grace and not be prideful of our own blessing of grace. The Orthodox have a very unique way of explaining this, they say, "we know where the Church is but not where it is not."

When I speak of traditions I speak of the Sacred Traditions which are the same ones that St. Paul spoke of when he addressed the Thessalonian Church by letter. He spoke of the teaching of the apostles and of Jesus by both oral and written means. Certainly the teaching of Jesus and most of the disciples was oral and not written. In fact Scriptures record that not all of the teaching of Jesus is recorded in Scriptures and are so vast that all the books in the world could not hold all that He taught by word and by deed. So it is these Sacred Traditions of which I speak, which are the infallible teaching of the Church contained in the Bible, the Ecumenical Councils and the Catechism of the Catholic Church which is the teaching of the Magisterium or teaching authority of the Church. It is not the theological speculations of the Popes (unless speaking ex Cathedra), the Fathers, and the Doctors of the Church or any of the great teachers both lay and ordained. It is the deposit of truth revealed to the Church by the Holy Spirit. So, we must discern that which comes from the speculation and ordination of man which are the traditions that Jesus condemned or the teaching, inspiration and revelations of the Holy Spirit to the Church through the authority given to the Church by Christ which are the Sacred Traditions. So, what I am saying is that traditions can indeed contain false teaching and often does but Sacred Tradition comes from an other worldly heavenly source which is the Holy Spirit bringing the Church to all truth in Jesus. That is why Jesus said that the Church will endure without apostasy and remain the "pillar and foundation of the truth." He was ensuring humanity of the source of His teaching from which mankind can be certain of its source and consequently of its veracity. Apostolic succession and Papal succession are a part of His plan for an enduring Church with all of the Heavenly attributes ordained by our founder Jesus who gave all earthly authority to His Church and prayed that we all be one within just as He and the Father are one. God bless and thank you for the discussion.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

1 comment:

  1. MAN,Can't believe how stupid I was back then T.T Did I really write this....>.< Makes me sick.Thanks Father Joseph.For correcting me and leading me to read more....but wow,I was very stupid.Haha.