Michael on CDF presented the following ECF quotes in support of Papal authority as stated and exercised by the Early Church. (It appears he got his quotes from the ScriptureCatholic website).
"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth....If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Pope Clement of Rome [regn. c A.D.91-101], 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).
"Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate..." Pope Victor I [regn. A.D. 189-198], in Eusebius EH, 24:9 (A.D. 192).
"Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter." Pope Stephen I [regn. A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian, Epistle 74/75:17 (A.D. 256).
"I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Pope Julius [regn. A.D. 337-352], To the Eusebians, fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians, 2:35 (c. A.D. 345).
"Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], To the Eastern Bishops, fragment in Theodoret's EH, 5:10 (c. A.D. 372).
"We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry....Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church....I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body....And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons." Pope Sircius [regn. c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona (Spain), 1,3,20 (c. A.D. 392).
"Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth." Pope Anastasius [regn. A.D. 399-401], Epistle 1 (c. A.D. 400).
"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated ... by bishops ... as you have done, the example of ancient tradition ... For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived ... that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head)...you also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, 1,2 (A.D. 417).
"It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches...Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve, 2 (A.D. 417).
"Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter...For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat...Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time...and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision." Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage (c. A.D. 418).
"For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 420).
"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly (c. A.D. 420).
"None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia (c. A.D. 420).
"Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity." Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 1 1 (A.D. 430).
"The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master himself instructed first among the apostles?" Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433).
"But this mysterious function the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10 (A.D 445).
"And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the Lord's own institution as shown towards the partners of His honour, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter's See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461).
"'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).
"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).
And who can forget what the Council of Chalcedon stated explicitly:
"Peter speaks through Leo!" (Chalcedon, 451 AD).
Also on the ScriptureCatholic Website we find these quotes as well:
- Man does not live by bread alone.
- We are to fear and serve God, and Him alone.
- We are not to tempt God.
(Deuteronomy 6:16 DRB)
A great selection of Catholic books, many in PDF format, great reading for Lent!
On p. 171 of The Fatal Flaw (a book you are most dissatisfied with) White brings up something I NEVER noticed before I read it, and I would bet not one nice Catholic on this site has either. Staring at us right before our eyes in vs. 65 isAnd He was saying, "Because of this, I said to you that no one is able to come to me except it is given to him by the Father. Because of this many of His disciples went away to the things behind and no longer walked with Him."White: "Jesus was the greatest speaker of all time, yet many of the disciples went away from following Him. If man could be convinced simply by coming in contact with Him, these men would have been. But the operative factor was missing---the enablement of the Father. These disciples went away not because of Jesus' words about eating His flesh or drinking His blood, but because Jesus asserted that it is simply not possible for anyone to come to Christ unless the Father enables him. Roman Catholics continuously assert that these people went away because they would not accept Jesus' teaching on the Eucharist...but what caused them to stumble was the proclamation of the absolute sovereignty of God and the inability of man. The text specifically says, because of this many of His disciples went away...." (qtd here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/catholicdebateforum/message/56992)
Well, I'll do a fuller critique of The Fatal Flaw at some point, I've began that project a few times now and have lots of notes in the margins, but for now we'll concentrate on this John 6 passage and point out (again) White's errors now being repeated by Antony. So as to not be ripping passages from context, let us start at the beginning of John 6 and work our way through the whole chapter. I should also point out to Mr. Antony, at least this "nice Catholic" has not only noticed this before - but has debated White on this very topic before - and if Mr. Antony were paying attention, he would have seen that from discussions we've been having on CDF.
So, at the very beginning of John 6 we have Jesus performing a miracle with bread (and fishes) whereby from so few loaves and fishes over 5000 people (the Scripture only counts the men) are fed. Jesus not only demonstrates His authority over the physical things of this world, but also prefigures the Eucharistic bread which He will later give to us and it will be multiplied throughout the world so that every true believer can partake in this "bread." More on that in a bit.John 6 (New American Standard Bible - White's favorite translation at least it was at one time, so I'll use it)
Five Thousand Fed
1 After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).2 A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.3 Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples.4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?"10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.12 When they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost."13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
And again Jesus demonstrates He is God and has authority over the elements! It is not physically possible for the surface tension of water to support the weight of a human being walking upon it - yet there Jesus is! In Matthew's account St. Peter also gets out of the boat and walks on the water, until he is distracted by the storm about him and begins to sink. This truly is a miraculous metaphysical event for it is beyond natural reason that He should be (and Peter too) walking on water. God has authority over His creation.Jesus Walks on the Water
15 So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,17 and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.18 The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.19 Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.20 But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."21 So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.22 The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.23 There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"
Just a note here in opposition to Calvinism - He does not come to give life merely to the elect, but He gives it to "the world."Words to the People
26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?"29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."30 So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'"32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.33 "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."
Here is where White starts his Calvinist argumentation, "all that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." When does this "giving" happen? I posit the "giving" may be argued validly to happen on "the Last Day," and those whom are given THEN will not be cast out. However, this "giving" may happen BEFORE "the Last Day," for it says HE will not cast them out, but if they do not persevere (as St. Paul so often teaches) then they have not been "cast out" per se, but they have "turned and walk with Him no more," of their own accord.34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread."35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.36 "But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
Now here is a stronger case for Calvinism, but it's still not solidly in Calvin's court. Again, IF this "giving" happens on "the Last Day," then they have been judged and will not be lost. IF the "giving" is on "the Last Day" then perseverance is not part of the picture - it is finished, there's nothing left to persevere in. If this "giving" happens ahead of time and none can be lost, then St. Paul's (repeated) teachings on perseverance are meaningless. Calvinism on a whole has to explain away and/or rationalize away the concept of perseverance, but now is not the time to discuss that so much as it is to lay out the argument for John 6 being a prefiguring and Eucharistic treatise, so let us continue.38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
Note the conditions here! You must BEHOLD and BELIEVE in Him to have eternal life. IF you do this, then He Himself will raise you up on "the Last Day."40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
Here we have THREE THINGS to consider:
Words to the Jews
41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?"43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves.44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Here again the Calvinists think they have a foothold on the argument, but again they are twarted by the fact that the condition of "believing" is put here. What kind of "believer" would refuse to "obey" the Lord? More on that in a bit.45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.46 "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Now eight times in eleven verses Jesus talks about us eating HIM, HIS FLESH and drinking HIS BLOOD. This command repeated so many times CANNOT BE IGNORED! If one attempts to explain away and/or diminish this eight-fold repeated command - are they obedient to His Word? Are they truly "believers" in His Word if they do not accept Him AT HIS WORD? This is the crux of the matter - and as we continue we see that it is over THIS that many of His disciples are grumbling! It is THIS over which they said "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" Don't be caught up in the Calvinistic shell game by later verses taken out of the context of these verses! Don't forget verse 52 either, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" THIS is what they are struggling with!The Eucharistic Treatise
48 "I am the bread of life.49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
Note again the subject of this section the "THIS" which He is talking about is the previous section which is the eight times in eleven verses of Jesus referring to the necessity to eat His Body and drink His blood. White and Antony would have us believe that verse 65 is the Calvinistic treatise which causes the disciples to walk away from Him but anyone reading the context can certainly see that the whole subject of their grumblings was over "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" Yes, we must BELIEVE HIM and ACCEPT HIS WORD and EAT HIS FLESH or we have NO LIFE in us. THAT is the "this" in "this reason" which is followed by verse 66:Words to the Disciples
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble?62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.64 "But there are some of you who do not believe " For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
Again, as a result "of THIS" many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. I can't emphasize more the "THIS" which the disciples were grumbling over just five verses earlier and what they were grumbling over is verses 48 through 58 wherein eight times in eleven verses Jesus demanded we eat His body and drink His blood. It is absolutely silly to ignore all this context and then attempt to impute Calvinistic theology into verse 65, as if verses 48 through 64 weren't even there.66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
And in closing of John 6 Jesus does not go after those who "withdrew and were walking with Him anymore" and say, "Hey wait guys! Don't get Me wrong here, all you need to do is believe, that's what I really mean by eating and drinking. Come on back, don't take Me so literally!" No, He allowed them to walk away for they RIGHTLY understood Him and just lacked the faith to accept Him at His Word. Then, instead of offering a different explanation to The Twelve, He challenges them, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" In short, He was sticking to what He said and gave them the option to leave too - but Simon Peter stood up and answered for the rest of them, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" You have the words of eternal life." Then interestingly enough John ties all this up with a reference to the night on which He was betrayed, and the one who would be identified as the betrayer would be so identified at the celebration of the First Eucharist!Peter's Confession of Faith
67 So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"68 Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.69 "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."70 Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?"71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
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