This entry will be updated as new articles are published here. This index is in response to those non-Catholics who have "hijacked" St. Augustine as if he was not truly a devout Catholic in his day. Not to mention he was a priest and bishop of the Catholic Faith who offered the Sacrifice of the Mass (Sacrament of the Eucharist) as do and have all priests throughout Christian history. We've already been compiling articles and resource posts regarding this great Saint and Doctor of the Catholic Faith, so I thought I'd put together this index of those articles (which is a slightly different presentation than clicking on the "label" for "St. Augustine" on the right side of the screen).
St. Augustine on the Papacy (compilation of primary sources)
St. Augustine: Scripture is not the Only Source by which God Speaks to Man (article)
St. Augustine: On Apologetics (article)
St. Augustine: More on Apologetics (article)
St. Augustine: On the Myth of Saints and Martyrs Worship (article)
St. Augustine on St. Peter (compilation of primary sources)
St. Augustine: On the Meaning of Suffering (article)
St. Augustine: Discovers the Catholic Church (article)
St. Augustine: Was St. Augustine Catholic? (compilation of primary sources)
Florovsky (Orthodox) on St. Augustine and Authority (a response article)
As we write more articles and/or make more compilations, expect this list to grow! May God bless you and I hope you're edified by the links above.
Index of articles in support of the papacy:
Series One Replies To Jason Engwer on the Papacy:
- Part 1 - Was the Papacy Established by Christ?
- Part 2 - Was the Papacy Established by Christ?
- Part 3 - On Conciliarism (not really connected to parts 1 and 2)
- Engwer's response to the above
- Part 4 - ECFs on the Papacy
- Part 5 - ECFs on the Papacy
Series Two Replies to Jason Engwer on St. Augustine and Roman Catholicism (somewhat related to the papacy discussion):
Papacy Part 1 - Response to Engwer
Was The Papacy Established By Christ? (Part 1)
By Jason Engwer andA Response by Scott Windsor
For those who don't have much familiarity with the dispute between Protestants and Catholics over the doctrine of the papacy, I want to post two introductory articles on the subject today and tomorrow. The first article, this one, will be about the Biblical evidence, and tomorrow's article will be about the early post-Biblical evidence.
Roman Catholicism claims the papacy as its foundation. According to the Catholic Church, the doctrine of the papacy was understood and universally accepted as early as the time of Peter:
"At open variance with this clear doctrine of Holy Scripture as it has been ever understood by the Catholic Church are the perverse opinions of those who, while they distort the form of government established by Christ the Lord in his Church, deny that Peter in his single person, preferably to all the other Apostles, whether taken separately or together, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction; or of those who assert that the same primacy was not bestowed immediately and directly upon blessed Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through the Church on Peter as her minister....For none can doubt, and it is known to all ages, that the holy and blessed Peter, the Prince and Chief of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind, and lives presides and judges, to this day and always, in his successors the Bishops of the Holy See of Rome" (First Vatican Council, session 4, chapters 1-2)
OK, thus far Mr. Engwer has established that Vatican I taught the papacy was from the beginning.
Different Catholics interpret these claims of the First Vatican Council in different ways. Some Catholics will argue that the concept of the papacy that was understood and accepted in the earliest generations involved universal jurisdiction, so that the differences between how modern Catholics and the most ancient Catholics viewed Peter and the bishops of Rome would be minor. Other Catholics claim, instead, that the earliest Christians wouldn't have associated a concept like universal jurisdiction with Peter and the earliest Roman bishops, and they maintain that the modern view of the papacy developed more gradually. Some Catholics even go as far as to claim that there's no need to show that a concept like universal jurisdiction was intended by Jesus and the apostles. They may argue for the papacy on the basis of philosophical speculation or personal preference, or they may claim that no argument is needed for the doctrine.
Which Catholics, Mr. Engwer? Who are “they?” No one reading this objectively should be accepting the pseudo-science method of your “sources.” You make vague claims about some Catholics see it this way while some others see it another way, but you don’t cite any specific groups of Catholics nor do you cite any sources. This is invalid argumentation to the max! Your first premise here must be rejected by the rational reader.
Catholics who take that last sort of approach are abandoning the battlefield without admitting defeat. Any belief could be maintained on such a basis. If we're going to accept the papacy just because it seems to produce more denominational unity than other systems of church government, because our parents were Catholic, or for some other such inconclusive reason, then we have no publicly verifiable case to make for the doctrine. My intention in these posts is to address some of the popular arguments of those who attempt to make a more objective case for the papacy.
Building upon a faulty premise - so we’re still nowhere with Mr. Engwer’s argument.
Those who argue that a seed form of the papacy existed early on, one that wasn't initially associated with universal jurisdiction, would need to demonstrate that such a seed form of the doctrine did exist. And they would need to demonstrate that the concept of universal jurisdiction would eventually develop from that seed. It wouldn't be enough to show that the development of universal jurisdiction is possible. We don't believe that something is true just because it's possible. If we're supposed to accept a papacy with universal jurisdiction on some other basis, such as the alleged authority of the Catholic hierarchy that teaches the concept, then an objective case will have to be made for the supposed authority of that hierarchy.
And again, we’re continuing building on a faulty premise and introducing an uncited arugment of “it’s possible” as if Catholicism is based upon a “possible” argument, and not upon the very words of Jesus Christ Himself when He declared, “Thou art Peter (Cephas, Rock) and upon this Rock (Cephas) I will build my Church.” Matthew 16:18. I use the name “Cephas” here for in several other places the Aramaic name (and Jesus was likely speaking in Aramaic when in private with His Jewish Apostles, as is the case in Matthew 16) is left untranslated, even in the Greek writings (John 1:42; 1 Cor. 1:12; 1 Cor. 3:22; 1 Cor. 9:5; 1 Cor. 15:5 and Gal. 2:9). Now, if we couple this with overwhelming evidence from the Early Church Fathers (ECFs), which for the sake of brevity in this article, I’ll simply provide a link to another with many quotes and citations for the rational reader to consider: http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2010/08/ecfs-on-papacy.html
...we can clearly see that Mr. Engwer’s accusation of a much later development is wholly inaccurate.
If there had been a papacy in the first century that was recognized as a distinct office, we would expect it to be mentioned in much the same way that offices such as bishop and deacon are mentioned. We wouldn't expect Roman Catholics to have to go to passages like Matthew 16 and John 21 to find alleged references to a papacy if such an office of universal jurisdiction existed and was recognized during the New Testament era. Instead, we would expect explicit and frequent references to the office, such as in the pastoral epistles and other passages on church government.
While going to Scripture one would think is sufficient to present the case to another who maintains the (false) concept of sola scriptura, we DO have reference in the first century, or early second century at the latest in St. Ignatius - who was a disciple of the Apostle John:
+ St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. AD 98-117):
"Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the transcendent Majesty of the Most High and... which presides in the chief place of the Roman territory, a church worthy of God, worthy of honor... presiding in love, maintaining the law of Christ, and bearer of the Father's name: her do I therefore salute... who imperturbably enjoy the full measure of God's grace and have every foreign stain filtered out of them."
(Letter to the Romans, preface)So again, Mr. Engwer builds upon his faulty premise and perhaps in ignorance (though I doubt it) of St. Ignatius, states there is no early reference to the position of St. Peter’s seat and how it was the “chief place... presiding in love... maintaining the law of Christ...” I repeat, the rational reader can see through Mr. Engwer’s smokescreen.
So, how about Matthew 16 and John 21?
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:15-19 KJV)
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. (John 21:15-18 KJV)
So in Matthew 16 we have Jesus giving St. Peter, alone, the authority bind and loose, PLUS the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven! In John 21 was see Jesus confirming what He earlier said, and again speaking to St. Peter, alone, He tells him to “feed My sheep.” I realize that Mr. Engwer does not see this as pastoral authority being given to St. Peter, alone, here (while the other Apostles were present) but that is how Catholics can, have and always will see it - and our argument to this end is quite valid, whether or not Mr. Engwer agrees.
That's what we see with the offices of bishop and deacon. Not only are the offices mentioned (Acts 20:17, Philippians 1:1), but we also see repeated references to their appointment (Acts 14:23, Ephesians 4:11, Titus 1:5), their qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9), their discipline (1 Timothy 5:19-20), their responsibilities (Ephesians 4:12-13, Titus 1:10-11, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1-3), their reward (1 Timothy 5:17-18, 1 Peter 5:4), their rank (1 Corinthians 12:28), the submission due them (1 Timothy 2:11-12), etc. If there was an office that was to have jurisdictional primacy and infallibility throughout church history, an office that could be called the foundation of the church, wouldn't we expect it to be mentioned explicitly and often? But it isn't mentioned at all, even when the early sources are discussing Peter or the Roman church. In the New Testament, which covers about the first 60 years of church history (the prophecies in Revelation and elsewhere cover much more), there isn't a single Roman bishop mentioned or named, nor are there any admonitions to submit to the papacy or any references to appointing Popes, determining whether he's exercising his infallibility, appealing to him to settle disputes, etc. When speaking about the post-apostolic future, the apostles are concerned with bishops and teachers in general (Acts 20:28-31, 2 Timothy 2:2) and submission to scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 3:1-2, Revelation 22:18-19), but don't say a word about any papacy.
So now Mr. Engwer, while not accepting the words of his Savior, is making an argument from silence. By his logic, since the word “Trinity” is not used for nearly 300 years of Church history, then we should reject that too. With such logic, we have just eroded one of the foundations of orthodox Christianity. The rational reader can see that while Jesus Christ Himself establishes St. Peter before and differently than the rest of the Apostles/Bishops (comparing Matthew 16:18-19 with Matthew 18:18) and the glowing account St. John’s disciple, St. Ignatius gives, that Mr. Engwer’s arguments have been, thus far, totally off based and must be rejected. Only one with a biased anti-Catholic (and bigoted) view could possibly maintain there was any truth to Mr. Engwer’s opening thesis.
Craig Keener, citing Jaroslav Pelikan, comments that "most scholars, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, concur that Peter died in Rome but doubt that Mt 16:18 intended the authority later claimed by the papacy (Pelikan 1980: 60)" (A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew [Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999], n. 74 on p. 425).
Why should we be interested in an out of context quote from Craig Keener, a professor at a Baptist seminary? Even if we accept the quote as contextually accurate, we’re given more pseudo-science with vague comments of “most scholars...” without citing a single one besides this out of context quote from Pelikan. Why am I not impressed? I hope the rational reader following along is not either.
The Roman Catholic scholar Klaus Schatz comments:
"There appears at the present time to be increasing consensus among Catholic and non-Catholic exegetes regarding the Petrine office in the New Testament….The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the author of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably 'no.'…If we ask in addition whether the primitive Church was aware, after Peter’s death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Church’s rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer." (Papal Primacy [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], pp. 1-2)
Fr. Schatz holds a view different and contrary to Vatican I, as Mr. Engwer already cited. I’m not impressed that one can find a Catholic priest who holds a liberal view on the papacy. Interestingly, in scanning for references on Fr. Schatz the only sites I found citing him were anti-Catholic sites. That should be a clue right there. But it is a common tactic for the anti-Catholic to dig up some obscure priest who goes against the grain, and then cite him as a “scholar.”
What's said of Peter in Matthew 16 and John 21 is said of other people in other passages. Other people are rocks upon whom the church is built (Ephesians 2:20), other people have the keys of the kingdom that let them bind and loose and open and shut (Matthew 18:18, 23:13), and other people are shepherds of the church (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2). Just as Peter is given a second name, so are other people (Mark 3:17). Peter is called "Peter" prior to the events of Matthew 16 (John 1:42), and we can't know whether he was given the name as a result of Matthew 16 or, instead, Jesus' choice of imagery in Matthew 16 was shaped by a name Peter was already given for another reason.
For one who just previously argued against arguing for “the possible” it seems quite inconsistent of Mr. Engwer to start arguing from the same sort of premise. Just a bit of a double-standard here? That being said, Engwer here has essentially conceded that the Catholic position is at least as strong as the Protestant position! And, in his own words he “can’t know” if the Catholic claims are stronger than his or not. Well, he can know, but chooses to ignore the evidence which supports the Catholic Church. However, let us look at the verses Mr. Engwer has cited (but not quoted) here:
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:20)
Catholicism does not deny that the Church is built upon the 12 foundations of the Apostles, nor do we reject the prophets which came before them. This passage takes nothing away from the
primacy of St. Peter.
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18 KJV)
Yes, Jesus is speaking to the Apostles, as a group here. He gives to them a similar authority, as a group, as He gave to Peter alone in Matthew 16:18-19, however there’s no mention of “the keys” here! St. Peter’s authority was not only first (primacy) but special (the keys). If you continue in Matthew 18 you also see that Jesus continues the “group” authority, “where two or more of YOU are gathered...” etc. While Matthew 16 points us to the primacy of St. Peter’s see and his authority, Matthew 18 points us to the authority of the Bishops as a group, such as in an ecumenical council. Matthew 18 does not detract from the Catholic position, it supports it!
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13 KJV)
This verse is speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees! It has nothing to do with St. Peter or the Apostles. The inclusion of this verse in Engwer’s argument is nothing more than a red herring and must be rejected as such.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (bishops), to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28 KJV).
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (1 Peter 5:2 KJV)
Yes, the rest of the Apostles are bishops too and commissioned with a similar authority in that respect as St. Peter was. These statements take nothing from the Catholic position. And as for John 1:42 referring to Simon as Peter allegedly before Matthew 16, the objective reader must note that John’s Gospel was written perhaps 60 years after the events recorded in Matthew 16! John knew Simon BarJonah as Peter, so it is no special surprise that he calls him “Peter” in the first chapter of his Gospel.
Peter is singled out in Matthew 16 and John 21, but his being singled out doesn't suggest jurisdictional primacy.
Not in the paradigm of the anti-Catholic who refuses to accept any evidence for St. Peter’s primacy. For the objective reader though, it demonstrates that something special was in mind for St. Peter.
We could speculate that Peter is singled out in these passages because he's supposed to fulfill the roles in these passages in a greater way than other people, but such a speculation can't be proven.
Other than the FACT that this is precisely how history played out!
Other people are singled out in other passages, but we don't conclude that those people were Popes.
No citations, just more pseudo-science which the rational reader must reject.
Even if Peter was singled out because he was to fulfill these roles (rock and shepherd) in a greater way than anybody else, he wouldn't need to be a Pope in order to fulfill these roles in a greater way than other people. And he wouldn't need to have successors in that role.
To use that logic, 1) Accepting that Peter was singled out; 2) To fulfill special roles; 3) in a greater way than anybody else; and then to conclude that “greater role” is not the role we now call “pope” is ridiculous argumentation. To assume it would not need to have successors is to assume the end of the Church! When an “office” was vacated it had to be filled, as we saw even in the vacating of Judas’ office/bishoprick in Acts 1.
So, if Peter isn't singled out in Matthew 16 and John 21 because he was being made a Pope, then why was he singled out?
In Matthew 16, he's probably singled out because he singles himself out. He's the one who answered Jesus' question. Similarly, John and James are singled out in Mark 10:35-40 because they were the ones who initiated the discussion with Jesus, not because they were being given some sort of primacy.
In John 21, Peter probably is singled out because he was the one in need of restoration. Peter was the one who denied Jesus three times and thus needed to reaffirm his love for Jesus three times. Since the other apostles didn't deny Jesus as Peter did, it would make no sense for Jesus to approach them the way He approached Peter. Similarly, Jesus treats Thomas (John 20:26-29), John (John 21:20-23), and Paul (Acts 9:1-15) differently than He treats the other apostles. But nobody would assume that Thomas, John, or Paul therefore has jurisdictional primacy or that such a primacy was passed on to a succession of bishops.
More hypocritical arguments for the “possible.”
Catholics sometimes argue for a papacy by interpreting Matthew 16 in light of Isaiah 22:20-22.
Well, since Mr. Engwer is not providing quotes, allow me. Matthew 16 has already been quoted above, so let’s look at Isaiah 22:
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. (KJV)
But whatever relevance Isaiah 22 would have to Matthew 16, it would have relevance for Matthew 23, Luke 11, and other passages that use such imagery as well.
Except that Matthew 23 and Luke 11 do not make any reference to “keys,” and both Matthew 16 and Isaiah 22 do! That being said, I don’t believe I have ever used Isaiah 22 in support of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16 - however, the language is similar and I can see why some may, and perhaps I will in the future.
And any Catholic appeal to Isaiah 22 would have to be a partial appeal, not a complete parallel, since a complete parallel wouldn't favor the claims of Roman Catholicism. God is the one who gives the key in Isaiah 22, so an exact parallel would put Jesus in the place of God, not in the place of the king. So, if Jesus is God and Peter is the prime minister, then who is the king?
Who said anything about a prime minister? God gives the key to the king in Isaiah and God gives the key(s) to Peter in Matthew. God gives the keys in both instances. The symbolism of the “king” in Isaiah is not lost in the jurisdictional authority of Peter.
Some church official with more authority than Peter? What about Isaiah 22:25? Should we assume that Popes can "break off and fall", and that the keys of Matthew 16 can eventually pass to God Himself (Revelation 3:7) rather than to a human successor? If Catholics only want to make a general appeal to Isaiah 22, without making an exact parallel, then how can they claim that papal authority is implied by the parallel? Why can't the Isaiah 22 background convey a general theme of authority without that authority being of a papal nature?
Again, let me save the reader from having to look this up:
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 22:25 KJV)So, IF we take verses 20-22 as support for Matthew 16:18-19, then the reading of verse 25 would be related to “that day” or the “last day” when God Himself will remove the burden from the papacy and now His People (the Church) will be with Him in Heaven, so there will be no need for a pope anymore. Now to answer Mr. Engwer’s question, “Why can’t the Isaiah 22 background convey a general theme of authority without being of a papal nature?” Well, certainly one “can” read it that way, but again we have Mr. Engwer arguing for “the possible” which he himself has criticised. Still, if it is a “general theme of authority,” why would it NOT apply to the authority of the Church Jesus Christ built?! Yes, one day ALL earthly authority, even divinely instituted authority will be for naught. That too is the best case FOR using Isaiah 22 in support for the Catholic position on Matthew 16 - for God Himself puts (or nails) this person in place and that person (or office as we see it) remains in place until “that day” when He removes the nail.
Paul refers to "apostles" (plural) as the highest rank in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 2:20), and he names Peter second among three reputed pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9). The most natural reading of the Biblical evidence is to see Peter as a highly reputed pillar of the church who had equal rank, equal jurisdiction, with the other apostles. He could be said to have had some types of primacy in some contexts, and the same could be said of other apostles and early church leaders, but there's no reason to think that papal authority was one of those types of primacy or that such authority was passed on exclusively to a succession of Roman bishops.
First off, yes - all the Apostles were bishops! All of them shared a responsibility and authority, just as every bishop to this day shares. It is not as though Cephas was made a king and the rest were princes, no! They were all bishops! The office of the bishop is the highest in the Church. Each bishop is essentially the “pope” of his jurisdiction. The Bishop of Rome has fundamental jurisdiction over Rome itself, but also a jurisdiction of unity which extends to all the jurisdictions of the world. The Bishop of Phoenix does not answer to the Archbishop of New York, nor vice versa. Likewise, the Bishop of Phoenix does not answer to the Bishop of Rome in his daily oversight of the Diocese of Phoenix. However, should there be a dispute between the Bishop of Phoenix and the Archbishop of New York, which cannot be resolved between them, they can turn to the Bishop of Rome for moderation, guidance and resolution.
There is no papacy in the New Testament. It's not there explicitly or implicitly. This "clear doctrine of Holy Scripture" that the First Vatican Council refers to isn't even Biblical, much less clearly Biblical. Roman Catholics assume that a papacy is implied in some New Testament passages, but that assumption can't be proven and is unlikely.
Well, Mr. Engwer is begging the question here in his conclusion. First off, we’ve seen that he’s not even presented a single valid argument in all of “Part 1” of this essay on the papacy, so he’s based this conclusion on what? Secondly, to say the concept of the papacy is “not there explicitly or implicity” is simply a bigoted view - since it clearly IS there from the Catholic perspective. The inability to consider this perspective is nothing short of bigotry. He sort of lends an ear saying “Roman Catholics assume that a papacy is implied...” but, and again with no valid arguments, goes on to negate the possibility.
I’ll save my concluding thoughts for when I’ve gone through this whole “three-parter.”
Papacy Part 2 - Response to Engwer
Was The Papacy Established By Christ? (Part 2)
By Jason Engwer andA Response by Scott Windsor
Because neither the apostolic nor the earliest post-apostolic Christians refer to a jurisdictional primacy of the bishop of Rome, Catholics often cite references to any type of primacy of the Roman church. But a non-jurisdictional primacy of the Roman church doesn't prove a jurisdictional primacy of the Roman bishop.
Well here we have Mr. Engwer conceding to at least some form of primacy which is held by the “Roman church.” The Church at Rome is where the successor of St. Peter is seated, which is why it is called the “See of Peter.” St. Peter was clearly given some added responsibility, not only in primacy - but in exclusivity as well. For example in Matthew 16:18-19 Peter, and Peter alone is promised by Jesus Christ, God Himself, the “keys to the kingdom of Heaven.” These keys are promised to no one else, and there is no further mention of these keys - not even when the rest of the Bishops/Apostles are granted (as a group) the infallible authority to bind and loose (Matthew 18:18) which Peter received in primacy and alone in Matthew 16:18-19. (These verses have been quoted in my “Part 1” response and are also “common knowledge” to anyone who has engaged Catholics in apologetics).
Even Peter himself isn't referred to as having papal authority among the early post-apostolic sources. Terence Smith explains:
"there is an astonishing lack of reference to Peter among ecclesiastical authors of the first half of the second century. He is barely mentioned in the Apostolic Fathers, nor by Justin and the other Apologists" (cited in Robert Eno, The Rise of the Papacy [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1990], p. 15)
Again we see Mr. Engwer engaging in an argument from silence, however the Early Church Fathers, (ECFs) are not wholly silent on this matter. And before I continue, Smith’s statement is relatively meaningless, as there are few extant writings prior to the first half of the second century! Certainly there are some (as you will see below) but until the beginning of the fourth century the Church was under the persecution of pagan Rome and we don’t have a lot of volumes prior to that. Again, we have some. Let us look at one of the writings of our third pope, Pope Clement I:
"Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4–5, 44:1–3 [A.D. 80]).Pope Clement clearly speaks to the need of successors to the office of the bishop, and he himself is named by other ECFs as the third in succession from St. Peter as the Bishop of Rome, Epiphanius writes in the latter half of the fourth century:
"At Rome. the first Apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul; then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul, whom Paul remembers in his Epistle to the Romans .... The succession of the bishops of Rome is as follows: Peter and Paul, Linus and Cletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telephorus, Hyginus, Pius, Anicetus, whom I have already mentioned above in my enumerating of the bishops. (The Panacea against All Heresies 27,6)And we have St. Ignatius, who was a disciple of (learning directly from) St. John the Apostle, opening his letter to the Church of Rome with:
To the Church that has found mercy in the transcendent Majesty of the Most High Father and of Jesus Christ, His only Son; the church by the will of Him who willed all things that exist, beloved and illuminated through the faith and love of Jesus Christ our God; which also presides in the chief place of the Roman territory; a church worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and presiding in love, maintaining the law of Christ, and bearer of the Father's name: her do I therefore salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. Heartiest good wishes for unimpaired joy in Jesus Christ our God, to those who are united in flesh and spirit by every commandment of His; who imperturbably enjoy the full measure of God's grace and have every foreign stain filtered out of them. (Ignatius to the Romans, circa 100ad).And St. Irenaeus in the latter part of the second century:
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies, 3:3:2).Tertullian writes about 200ad:
"But if there be any [heresies] which are bold enough to plant [their origin] in the midst of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [their first] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men—a man, moreover, who continued steadfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter" (Demurrer Against the Heretics, 32).There are more, but skipping to St. Augustine (whose mentioning in another blog article is what has led to this response) we see him lauding the Church and especially the papacy in:
"[T]here are many other things which most properly can keep me in [the Catholic Church’s] bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15–17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house" (Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 4:5 [A.D. 397]).
Concepts of Petrine supremacy (as well as a primacy of Paul or James in some places, for example) did develop over time. Cyprian, for example, a bishop who lived in the third century, believed in a primacy of Peter, but it was a non-jurisdictional primacy (On the Unity of the Church, 4), and Cyprian repeatedly denied, in multiple contexts, that the bishop of Rome or any other bishop has universal jurisdiction (Letter 51:21, Letter 54:14, Letter 67:5, Letter 71:3, Letter 72:26).
And the Catholic can AGREE with this statement, in context that is. It seems far too often, as apparently in the case of Mr. Engwer too, that the concepts of “jurisidiction,” “primacy,” and “authority” are confused. It seems they want to concede primacy (perhaps because to study the Fathers, they must come to the conclusion that “primacy” cannot be denied), but when it comes to “authority” and “jurisdiction” - they seem to confuse these with primacy. First off, primacy simply means “first” - as St. Peter was the first Apostle given infallible authority. With this primacy comes responsibility too though. There’s a responsibility of unity among the Christian faithful. Whereas each bishop has virtually unilateral authority over his respective jurisdiction (diocese) there is a unifying authority in the See of Peter. We can also agree, to a point, that there has been some development in the office of the papacy throughout history, but it fundamentally remains as St. Peter’s See, and has always been a source of unity for the Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic scholar Robert Eno wrote:
"it is clear that he [Cyprian] did not see the bishop of Rome as his superior, except by way of honor...it is clear that in Cyprian's mind, one theological conclusion he does not draw is that the bishop of Rome has authority which is superior to that of the African bishops" (The Rise of the Papacy [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1990], pp. 59-60)
Eno is not denying the Catholic concept of a papacy here! I realize that many Protestant apologists wish to latch on to every professing Catholic who SEEMS to support their non-contextual arguments, but to what end? I am not fully versed in Eno’s works, but I do know that some do not consider him to be “conservative enough.”
Roman Catholic scholar William La Due:
"In the context of his life and his convictions reflected in his actions and his writings, Cyprian's position can be paraphrased as follows: Peter received the power of the keys, the power to bind and loose, before the other apostles received the same powers. This priority - in time - symbolizes the unity of episcopal power which is held by all in the same way. The only difference is that Peter was granted the power a short time before the others. It must be said that the impact of Cyprian's symbolism is not entirely clear. He was not a speculative theologian but a preacher, trained more as a lawyer than as a rhetorician. His meaning, from the context of his conduct as a bishop, seems quite unambiguous. And those who see in The Unity of the Catholic Church, in the light of his entire episcopal life, an articulation of the Roman primacy - as we have come to know it, or even as it has evolved especially from the latter fourth century on - are reading a meaning into Cyprian which is not there." (The Chair of Saint Peter [Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999], p. 39)
Mr. La Due, with all due respect, is offering his opinions on the matter. I would disagree with him (and others I’m sure Mr. Engwer would like to trot out) in the statement that the “power of the keys” is “the power to bind and loose.” The “keys” are given ONLY to Peter. Keys are a symbol of authority, and the keys are given to ONE. The “power” to bind and loose is another issue, and even here - Peter is given this authority alone (Matt. 16:18-19) whereas the rest of the bishops are given this authority as a group (Matt. 18:18). And again we must emphasize that in Matt. 18 there is no mention of “keys” when this distinct authority is given to the college of bishops (the Apostles assembled as a group).
Catholic scholar Klaus Schatz:
"He [Cyprian] does not rely on any specific responsibility of Stephen [bishop of Rome] as primate....Cyprian regarded every bishop as the successor of Peter, holder of the keys to the kingdom of heaven and possessor of the power to bind and loose. For him, Peter embodied the original unity of the Church and the episcopal office, but in principle these were also present in every bishop. For Cyprian, responsibility for the whole Church and the solidarity of all bishops could also, if necessary, be turned against Rome." (Papal Primacy [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], p. 20)
Even the conservative Roman Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott acknowledged:
"St. Cyprian of Carthage attests the pre-eminence of the Roman Church...However, his attitude in the controversy regarding the re-baptism of heretics shows that he had not yet achieved a clear conception of the scope of the Primacy." (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma [Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1974], p. 284)
Eastern Orthodox scholar Veselin Kesich:
"In his controversy with Bishop Stephen (254-257), Cyprian expressed the view that any bishop, whether in Rome or elsewhere, was included in Jesus' message to Peter. Like Tertullian, Cyprian is unwilling to accept the claim of exclusive authority for the Bishop of Rome on the basis of Mt 16:18-19....Peter is not superior in power to the other apostles, for according to Cyprian all of them are equal." (The Primacy of Peter, John Meyendorff, editor [Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992], p. 63)
Anglican scholar J.N.D. Kelly:
"Cyprian made plain, that each bishop is entitled to hold his own views and to administer his own diocese accordingly...[In Cyprian's view] There is no suggestion that he [Peter] possessed any superiority to, much less jurisdiction over, the other apostles...While he [Cyprian] is prepared, in a well-known passage, to speak of Rome as 'the leading church', the primacy he has in mind seems to be one of honour." (Early Christian Doctrines [San Francisco, California: HarperCollins Publishers, 1978], pp. 205-206)
In Cyprian we see an example of a father who thinks highly of Peter and the bishops of Rome without believing in a papacy. In fact, he contradicted the concept. With Cyprian in mind as an example of how Catholics often misrepresent the fathers to make them appear to have supported the papacy when they actually didn’t,
All these commentaries, but let us look at what St. Cyprian HIMSELF said!
"[After quoting Matthew 16:18f; John 21:15ff]...On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigned a like power to all the Apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one Chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church 4, c. AD 251)
“Our Lord, whose precepts and admonitions we ought to observe, describing the honour of a bishop and the order of His Church, speaks in the Gospel, and says to Peter: “I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:18-19) Thence, through the changes of times and successions, the ordering of bishops and the plan of the Church flow onwards; so that the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers. Since this, then, is founded on the divine law, I marvel that some, with daring temerity, have chosen to write to me as if they wrote in the name of the Church; when the Church is established in the bishop and the clergy, and all who stand fast in the faith.” (Cyprian, Letter 33 (27), 1 To the Lapsed, c. AD 250)
They are now offering peace who have not peace themselves. They are promising to bring back and recall the lapsed into the Church, who themselves have departed from the Church. There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon the rock (Peter) by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood be made, except the one altar and the one priesthood. Whosoever gathers elsewhere, scatters. (Letter 39.5 AD 251)
"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal Church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source; nor did they take thought that these are Romans, whose faith was praised by the preaching Apostle, and among whom it is not possible for perfidy to have entrance." (Cyprian, Letter 59 (55), 14 to Cornelius of Rome, c. AD 252)
"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is One and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another." (Cyprian, Letter 66 (69), 8 to Florentius Pupianus, c. AD 254)So, when we look at what St. Cyprian himself actually says, and avoid the anti-Catholic (and some modernist/liberal/revisionist Catholic) commentaries - it becomes quite clear what his position on the papacy is, and it is wholly in line with modern thinking on the papacy.
[L]et’s consider the earliest evidence cited by Catholic apologists. Clement of Rome, the earliest church father and a Roman bishop, sent a letter to the Corinthian church to counsel them about a dispute involving the leadership of their church. Such letters were common in early Christianity (Ignatius' letter to Polycarp, Polycarp's letter to the Philippian church, etc.), and no jurisdictional superiority, much less papal authority, is implied by the sending of such a letter. To the contrary, the letter is written in the name of the church of Rome, not the bishop of Rome, and the letter makes many appeals to various authorities (scripture, Jesus, the apostles, the Holy Spirit, etc.), but never to any papal authority.
Now this is just a silly and perhaps desperate comment to attempt to differentiate between the “Church of Rome” and the “Bishop of Rome!” The Bishop of Rome speaks as the Church of Rome, especially in this context!
Thomas Halton comments:
"Some scholars anachronistically saw in the epistle an assertion of Roman primacy, but nowadays a hermeneutic of collegiality is more widely accepted." (Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Everett Ferguson, editor [New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999], p. 253)
Other early sources, such as Ignatius and Dionysius of Corinth, commend the Roman church for virtues such as love and generosity, but say nothing of any jurisdictional primacy of the Roman bishop. Irenaeus speaks highly of the Roman church, but gives non-papal reasons for doing so.
Roman Catholic scholar William La Due comments:
"It is indeed understandable how this passage [in Irenaeus] has baffled scholars for centuries! Those who were wont to find in it a verification of the Roman primacy were able to interpret it in that fashion. However, there is so much ambiguity here that one has to be careful of over-reading the evidence....Karl Baus' interpretation [that Irenaeus was not referring to a papacy] seems to be the one that is more faithful to the text and does not presume to read into it a meaning which might not be there. Hence, it neither overstates nor understates Irenaeus' position. For him [Irenaeus], it is those churches of apostolic foundation that have the greater claim to authentic teaching and doctrine. Among those, Rome, with its two apostolic founders, certainly holds an important place. However, all of the apostolic churches enjoy what he terms 'preeminent authority' in doctrinal matters." (The Chair of Saint Peter [Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999], p. 28)
I’m really not going to spend anymore time on these commentaries. They do not speak for the Catholic Church.
Similarly, Tertullian gives non-papal reasons for the importance of the Roman church (The Prescription Against Heretics, 36).
Actually, in Chapter 32 of that same document, we find Tertullian saying, “as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter.” And what is said in Chapter 36 is not quite as innocuous as Mr. Engwer, “you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! Where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's!” It may not be the strongest testimony for the papacy, but it certainly does not negate the papacy and does speak highly of the Church at Rome and the authority of the Apostles (Peter and Paul) which remains there.
Regarding Origen, the Catholic scholar Robert Eno explains that "a plain recognition of Roman primacy or of a connection between Peter and the contemporary bishop of Rome seems remote from Origen’s thoughts" (The Rise of the Papacy [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1990], p. 43).
Again, this “Catholic” scholar, Robert Eno seems to be quite revisionist in his thoughts, IF this is a contextually accurate quote from The Rise of the Papacy. Let’s look at a few quotes from Origen, shall we?
"See what the Lord said to Peter, that great foundation of the Church, and most solid Rock, upon which Christ founded the Church ..." (Origen, In Exodus. Hom. v. . 4 tom. ii).
"Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? 'Oh you of little faith,' he says, 'why do you doubt?'" [Matt. 14:31] (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).
"Upon him (Peter), as on the earth, the Church was founded." (Origen, Ep. ad. Rom. lib. v.c. 10, tom iv.)
"Peter, upon whom is built Christ's Church, against which the gates of hell will not prevail." (Origen, T. iv. In Joan. Tom. v.)So, to say that a connection between the contemporary Bishop of Rome and Peter is “remote from Origen’s thoughts” seems to be quite an irresponsible statement.
The first reference to a papacy or something similar to it is found in the Roman bishop Stephen, acting in his own interests, around the middle of the third century. Peter had been dead for nearly two centuries before the doctrine first appears.
As we’ve already demonstrated, this statement of Engwer’s is wholly FALSE!
When Stephen asserted it, he was opposed by bishops in the West and East, such as Cyprian and Firmilian.
We must question whether Mr. Engwer has actually READ the letter of Firmilian to Pope Stephen! Firmilian does not deny the papacy! His is bothered by Pope Stephen’s “introducing of many other rocks” because of a controversy over baptism. In paragraph 6 he expresses his disappointment in how Pope Stephen was defaming the Apostles Peter and Paul who established the See of Rome. In paragraph 17 he says:
And in this respect I am justly indignant at this so open and manifest folly of 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, should introduce many other rocks and establish new buildings of many churches; maintaining that there is baptism in them by his authority.So again, this letter of Firmilian to Pope Stephen is NOT a denial of the papacy, as Mr. Engwer falsely asserts, it expresses his frustration in Pope Stephen’s “folly” and “defaming” of the papacy.
Thus, the papacy was absent, including in contexts where we would expect it to be mentioned, for about the first two centuries of church history, then arose in Rome and gradually became more widely accepted in the West and sometimes to some extent in the East. But even in the West, the papacy was accepted only gradually and inconsistently. Some of the earliest ecumenical councils would either imply or explicitly state a rejection of the doctrine.
Again, Mr. Engwer argues from silence, but we’ve shown the Fathers really weren’t as silent as he is convinced they were. One must remember, for the “first two centuries” - actually, it was the first three centuries, the Catholic Church was essentially in hiding much of the time from the pagan Roman Empire. There were some times of peace in those first 300 years, but overall, the Church was persecuted by Rome more than it was tolerated. The first 15 popes were all martyred (into the 3rd century) and several others after that too.
The Catholic scholar Klaus Schatz summarizes:
"Rome did not succeed in maintaining its position against the contrary opinion and praxis of a significant portion of the Church. The two most important controversies of this type were the disputes over the feast of Easter [in the second century] and heretical baptism [in the third century]. Each marks a stage in Rome's sense of authority and at the same time reveals the initial resistance of other churches to the Roman claim." (Papal Primacy [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], p. 11)
These controversies are not a denial of papal primacy. We’ve already discussed the “heretical baptism” issue (Firmilian’s letter) and a dispute over the date of Easter is not a doctrinal issue, but more of discipline or practice issue. So once more Mr. Engwer’s choice of a “Catholic scholar” is one of convenience, and not reality or truth. We’ve already seen the testimony of many of the Early Church Fathers - so this 20th century commentary must be rejected.
It’s important to recognize that the early sources had many opportunities to mention a papacy if they believed in such a concept. When men like Clement of Rome and Tertullian comment on issues of authority and the status of the Roman church without mentioning a papacy, the absence of the concept is significant. When men like Ignatius and Irenaeus write at length on issues of authority and Christian unity, without even once mentioning a papacy, that absence is significant. They explicitly and frequently mention offices such as bishop and deacon. They explicitly and frequently make appeals to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the apostles, prominent churches, and other authorities. They explicitly and frequently discuss the Messiahship of Jesus, the virgin birth, the resurrection, the unique authority of the apostles, and other basic Christian doctrines, so it can’t be argued that they didn’t mention a papacy only because it was already known to and assumed by everybody. The fact that other concepts were known and assumed didn’t keep the early sources from explicitly and frequently mentioning those concepts. Why didn’t they mention a papacy?
What is truly important to recognize is that we’ve already shown Mr. Engwer’s assertion here to be utterly false. Even if it were true, he’s again trying to make an argument from silence, and silence lends consent to an argument, not negation. Thus, both because Engwer doesn’t make a valid argument and because what he is asserting has been proven false - we must reject his claims (again).
They did sometimes mention a prominence of the Roman church. And, thus, Catholic apologists have attempted to transform the prominence of the Roman church into a jurisdictional primacy of the Roman bishop. But if the papacy is an oak tree, the prominence of the early Roman church is more like an apple seed than an acorn. It has to be manipulated if we want to transform it into an oak tree. If the seed is being manipulated so as to arrive at a desired unnatural conclusion, then it’s not comparable to an acorn naturally growing into an oak.
Interesting analogy - but wholly inapplicable to the Catholic Church and the papacy.
The early prominence of the Roman church doesn’t logically lead to a papacy. The churches in Jerusalem, Rome, Alexandria, and other cities have been prominent at different times in church history for different reasons, and none of them can claim an apostolic jurisdictional primacy for their bishop as a result. It would be sort of like arguing that since the city of Philadelphia was prominent during the time of the founders of America, then the founders must have intended whatever authority claims the mayor of Philadelphia makes hundreds of years after the founders have died.
The matter of the papacy is not a popularity contest! The matter was decided by Jesus Christ when He select Peter to be His first vicar. If there was any merit to Engwer’s analogy above, then we’d be arguing for the Church of Jerusalem to be the apostolic see with primacy, however there are no such arguments for Jerusalem. It may be another creative analogy, but it is not applicable.
If Ignatius thinks highly of the virtues of the Roman church or Tertullian commends the Roman church because some of the apostles labored and suffered in Rome, it doesn’t logically follow that these church fathers would agree with a later claim of universal jurisdiction by the bishop of Rome.
What doesn’t follow (non sequitur) is Mr. Engwer’s argument that St. Ignatius’ and Tertulian’s commendation of the Church at Rome, and the fact that Sts. Peter and Paul professed Church doctrine and spilled their blood in martyrdom at Rome are NOT supportive of the Catholic Faith! No, what we’ve seen from Mr. Engwer is literally nothing but invalid and/or out of context statements regarding the papacy. Where there are definitive statements in support of the papacy he has either overlooked them completely or attempted to minimize them down to a level of insignificance. In short, he’s not presented an honest appraisal of the Catholic position on the papacy. When we look to even just what St. Augustine said (posted previously) we see very strong support in the exact same language we use to this day! And then there is another posting made last month here with literally DOZENS of ECF references (4 dozen to be precise) some with several citations each and many PRIOR to St. Augustine. Well, there is one more “part” of this “three part essay” (which again, does not seem like it was originally intended to be part of this series and is really “part 6” from some other series), so I’ll save my final concluding thoughts for after that one. I just wanted to somewhat conclude here because in these first two parts, which do appear to be intended to be together, there is no honest attempt to present the Catholic position, much less refute it - and I have provided tons of reference material which refutes and utterly destroys Mr. Engwer’s thesis... thus far. Again, one more “part” to go, so I’ll stop here for now.
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