Eastern Catholics

Catholic Global Network shared this on Facebook.  I know that Scott (Cathapol) has talked about Eastern Catholics before, but I thought this was a good thing for us to remember.  Our Church is truly Catholic (universal) and truly diverse.

"Every Roman/Latin Rite Catholic should know of the Easter Rite Catholic Churches.  Fully united, 100% Catholic..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Catholic_Churches

What Catholics Believe, an Introduction

I have been contemplating how to defend our Faith--the Faith passed down from Jesus Christ through the Apostles down to us today.  I contemplate how fellow Christians, those who belong to traditions that have departed from the Church founded by Christ, or who belong to no tradition at all, can and do believe that Catholics are not Christians.  Contemplating how my journey of faith brought me from an early faith in a Baptist tradition to my passionate love for my Lord as a member of His Body--the Catholic Church, I do not understand the hostility or anti-Catholic bigotry.  Since, I became a Catholic 15 years ago, I have met more "Christian" bigots than in all my 30+ years as a Baptist.  I'm still a Christian.  I still love the Gospel--in fact, I love it even more passionately.  So, I thought I'd begin a series on Christ's Church.  Unlike Protestant Apologists, I don't intend to reinvent the wheel I will be using the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents along with the Scriptures in my articles.

So, to begin.

The Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Only Begotten Son of God,
        born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light,
        true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial
       with the Father;
        Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven,
        and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
        of the Virgin Mary,
        and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified
      under Pontius Pilate,
        he suffered death and was buried,
        and rose again on the third day
        in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
        to judge the living and the dead
        and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
        the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son
        is adored and glorified,
        who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic,
     and apostolic Church.
    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
        and I look forward to the resurrection
        of the dead and the life of the world to come.

This is what we believe--Catholics.  It is virtually the same as the Orthodox version of the Creed (yes, I do know the difference), and similar to the Creeds used by the Lutherans and many other Protestant faiths.

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son."26 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:
In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27
26 Heb 1:1-2.
27 St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2,22,3-5 in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. K. Kavanaugh, OCD, and O. Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC:Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979),179-180:LH, OR Advent, week 2, Mon.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 65 (CCC 65).

Next, a look at the Creed step by step.

Trinity Sunday's Gift From God

The trinitarian phenomena will be visible for the next few nights.  These are the planets Jupiter, Venus and Mercury (from left to right).  They will be "dancing" about each other for the next several nights.

Let Us Pray for Memory

As I promised earlier, I am returning to the subject of Pope Francis and the Holy Ghost.

Who is the Holy Ghost?  What memory of Him do you have? 

On the Monday before Pentecost, the Holy Father set the tone for the week.
He focused on the Holy Spirit who, he said, helps Christians remember the history of the faith and the gifts God has given. Without this grace, he said, the faithful risk slipping into idolatry.
Many Christians don’t know who the Holy Spirit is or what he is, he said, and the Holy Spirit “is always somewhat ‘the unknown’ of the faith.” And yet, he continued, the Holy Spirit is “God active in us” and “awakens our memory” of how Christ redeemed us of our misery and sin.
Without this memory, a Christian is not a true Christian, but becomes an “idolator,” the Pope went on, a “prisoner of circumstance, a man or woman who has no history.” To remember the grace of God is especially important, he said, when, for example, “a little vanity creeps in, when someone believes themselves to be a winner of the Nobel Prize for Holiness.”
The Holy Father concluded with an invitation to Christians to ask for the grace of memory, so that “they will not forget that they were slaves, and the Lord has saved them.”
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-and-the-holy-spirit#ixzz2UMwsRofo 
I'm impressed with the point that one who does not "remember" who the Holy Ghost is - is not really a true Christian, but an idolator!   Can one be "saved" who is considered to be an idolator?  Methinks not.  This leads us to a more recent statement from one of Pope Francis' daily homilies, wherein some think the Pope is teaching Universalism.  As an example, here is one such blog/article which apparently is attempting to draw that conclusion:

Catholicism gone catholic
According to Il Papa:
[Pope Francis] told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.
"Even them, everyone," the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. "We all have the duty to do good," he said.
"Just do good, and we'll find a meeting point," the pope said in a hypothetical reply to the hypothetical comment...
Of course, if Jesus has "redeemed" "everyone" including atheists, then why is doing good a "duty"? Why bother to do good?
Or are we all redeemed, but some are more redeemed than others?
If so, then I suppose one can do good to merit a bigger mansion in heaven. Or a place closer to the throne of God.
Okay, but still, what's wrong with the atheist who says, "Well, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin in this world, and have a lower place in heaven, thankyouverymuch"?

I responded on that blog with this:

Scott5/26/2013 12:16 AM
Brian said: Yeah, I was just speaking of the inceasing number of Catholics who believe in Universal Salvation, including apparently now the Pope.
sw: First off, this pope dies not believe in Universalism. Just because he stated the fact that Atheists are redeemed does not mean Athiests are or will be saved. To be redeemed simply means that the price for someone's redemption has been paid - and that price HAS been paid by Jesus Christ - for everyone, including Atheists. The difference between an Atheist and a true Christian is that the true Christian ACCEPTS this FREE GIFT or GRACE, the Atheist rejects it. 
sw: Secondly, the context of the statement - which Patrick actually kind of includes here - does not say Atheists can be saved by doing good - only that we are ALL, Atheists included, commanded to do good. If the Atheist does good, Pope Francis is saying, then he and they can meet in that place, of doing good. A starting point, or common ground upon which to plant seeds and grow fruit. 
sw: Thirdly, this pope has actually taught a form of "EENS" (Latin acronym of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla salus - or Outside the Church there is No Salvation). Pope Francis said that people cannot be fully united to Jesus outside of the Church during a Mass to commemorate Saint George, the saint he is named after. “You cannot find Jesus outside the Church,” he said April 23 in the Apostolic Palace’s Pauline Chapel.

It will be interesting to see how much more "spin" is put on this out-of-context statement from Pope Francis.

"Morally Straight"?

Does anyone know of a good boys' group?

The Boy Scouts have now voted to drop "their discriminatory ban" on openly gay boys in scouts.  Even though the Supreme Court voted in 2000 that they, as a private organization, had the right to decide who could and could not be members.

The new resolution actually says, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”  According to a Washington Post online article.

I am so disappointed in the Boy Scouts of America right now.  I can't even imagine who the delegates were who supposedly voted 61% for the resolution.  According to a Scout leader I know, approximately 40% of Boy Scouts are Mormons.  Then next two largest groups are Baptists and Catholics.  Who voted yes on this resolution???  Apparently, the California and New York delegations and their liberal cohorts outnumber the majority of conservative voting delegates.

Will they have to change the Scout Oath?

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Like the movement to ban the "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, will there be a movement to drop "to God" and "morally straight" from the Scout Oath?  Or will relative morality come into play?

It is only a matter of time, then, before they'll have gay men leaders.  I will not expose my sons to such immorality, nor put them in harms' way.  I intend to wait until the 'chips fall' and the USCCB makes a statement.  But, if the vote stands and the scouts change their policy to allow boys who are openly gay, we'll be looking elsewhere for activities for the boys.  Thankfully, my oldest earned his Eagle Scout and is now an adult.  Now we have to decide what to do with our 16- and 14-year old Boy Scouts and our 7 year old Cub Scout.  We can't in all good conscience accept this resolution or the slippery slope the Boy Scouts are now on.  

I certainly will not do any more recruiting for the Scouts.  General Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, and Ernst Seton and William Boyce, co-founders in America, are turning in their graves right now.  Any suggestions?

Update 5/24/13: The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement yesterday (including a video).  Read it here.

Dr. Taylor Marshall has an idea for a Catholic Scouting Organization, the Scouts of St. George.  Read about it here.

Communion in a non-Catholic Service

Q.  Can Catholics receive communion in a non-Catholic ceremony?



R.     Catholics believe that the Eucharist is a sign of unity.  This is one of the reasons that Protestants can’t ordinarily receive Communion in Catholic churches.  The same holds true in the opposite direction:  For a Catholic to receive Protestant communion would not only give the impression that the Protestant version is valid, but it would also create a false sense of unity.  There is no true unity between us sadly and for us to receive communion in a Protestant church would be lying with our bodies.  Almost as if we would say yes by bobbing our heads up and down in the affirmative but saying no with our words.  We would be giving a mixed message, and a confusing one.  And therefore lend confusion as to what the Catholic Church actually teaches on the matter.


And that, my friend, is the main reason a Catholic Christian shouldn’t receive communion in a non-Catholic church.  The Catholic Church teaches in the True Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, most other churches do not believe in this change.  For a Catholic to receive communion in a non-Catholic church would be saying to the other Christians of that church that he believes as they do.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  Everything revolves around this fact, the fact that Jesus Christ is actually present in the consecrated bread and wine.  We would be doing a great disservice to those Christians by going along with their ideology.  We ought to provoke their thinking instead and to wake them up from their complacency by simply not partaking of communion and keeping to the truth.  In fact, we are not in full communion with each other yet and pretending that we are is not helpful for any member of His Church.

God Bless

"Ever Ancient, Ever New", Happy Birthday to the Church!

What a wonderful celebration of our Faith and the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit.  We trace the beginning of the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to this moment in time.
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.  At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?  Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?  We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”  (Acts 2:1-11; NAB)
[Courtesy:  Catholic Global Network--https://www.facebook.com/CatholicGlobalNetwork
and Catholic Memes--https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMemebase]

Pope Francis and the Holy Ghost

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-and-the-holy-spirit/ Pope Francis preaches on the Holy Ghost in us. If we do not keep this in our memory, we risk slipping into idolatry. More later...

Happy St. Brendan's Day

One of my favorite saints and my eldest son's namesake.  [Image posted on facebook]
Happy St. Brendan's Day!

Mortal Sin

[Note:  This blog is directed to those who believe themselves to be good Catholics]
We learned in last week’s leaflet that Jesus instituted a Church with authority (Mat 18:15-18).  Now are we free to ignore this Church, preferring our own particular ideas, our own preferences?  In a strict sense we are free to do as we wish BUT for those of us who are Christians, we are most free when we follow God. 

As Christians we are to follow God as Jesus taught us.  We put our trust in His message and teachings.  As a famous 20th century philosopher once said: “To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says.  There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice.”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Jesus advised us to listen to His Church when He told us to bring our disagreements to it in Mat 18.  Specifically, He told the apostles to tell it to the Church and if they will not listen to the Church then we are to treat them as though they are lost.  Jesus said: “tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

And so we see that Jesus’ advice in determining the truth is to go to His Church.  On matters of faith and morals we also know that whatever the Church proclaims to be true is infallibly known to be true since Jesus said that whatever the Church binds on earth will be bound in heaven.  Since nothing untrue can be bound in heaven means that whatever the Church binds on earth must also be true.

Now, if you are aware of a Church teaching defined as true and binding but reject it anyway then you are freely going against the advice of Jesus as well as rejecting the authority of His Church.  If all these conditions are met, that is first, that you are aware of the binding authority of His Church and secondly freely reject it, which is a very grave matter, then you are rejecting the rightful authority given to His Church by God Himself.   You are perpetrating a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches in the necessity of keeping the Sabbath day Holy by going to Mass on Sunday?  If you are aware of this and freely neglect to go without good reason then you are committing a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches on the grave matter of artificial contraception usage to be against the moral law?  If you are aware of this teaching of the Church and yet freely use artificial contraception anyway then you are committing a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches that human life is sacred and to be protected?  If you were aware of this and also aware of the extreme abortion views of one political candidate while the only other candidate opposing him clearly had a better life-affirming stand but voted for the one with the extreme abortion proponent anyway then you committed a mortal sin.

Please, examine your conscience before receiving our Lord in the Eucharist.  Are you guilty of mortal sin?  If you are then I urge you to go to confession before receiving the Eucharist since you would be “guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:27)
God Bless

Missed past week’s leaflets?  Questions?  Comments?  Come visit our Blog at www.parishofthepreciousblood.blogspot.com

The True Story of Fatima

Today is the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, May 13, 1917:

My boys will have some fond memories of this!
And, rather than just watch it online, please support those who produce products like this:

See also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Fatima

Gosnel Guilty of Murder 1

It was just announced, Gosnel is guilty of murder in the first degree.

Ascension Thursday

Today marks the day Jesus Christ ascended back to the Father in Heaven.  He ascended under His own power, as God the Son.  In many dioceses, the celebration of the Ascension is moved to Sunday.  Then, the next Sunday is Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit, sent by God the Son, came upon and gave life to His Church in the Apostles and Mary.

50 Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. 51 As He blessed them He parted from them and was taken up to Heaven.  52 They did Him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53and they were continually in the temple praising God. (Luke 24)

 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after He spoke to them, was taken up into Heaven and took His seat at the right hand of God. 20 But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.] (Mark 16)

6 When they had gathered together they asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.  8 But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.  10 While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven."  12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.
(Act 1)

Why is Believing Correct Doctrine so Important?

Simply put, because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). That in knowing the truth we are made free of sin (John 8:32 ff ).  A doctrinal truth is a truth revealed to us by God through Jesus or the apostles.

John 14:6 tells us that the only way to go to the Father who is in heaven is by the truth.  Therefore through the truth is the only way to heaven.  If we accept false doctrines we are in real danger of turning away from the faith (1 Tim 4:1).  That’s why Paul reminds Timothy and Titus many times to confront those who teach falsely (1 Tim 4:16, 2 Tim 4:2, Tit 1:9).

But in this day and age, where do WE go to have the truth?  When one says that the bread and wine that are blessed are mere symbols of His flesh and Blood and another believes that the bread and wine are actually His Flesh and Blood, Soul and Divinity…who do we believe?  Who has the final say in determining the truth?  The final arbiter and defender of the truth decides what is true.  The final arbiter and defender of the truth is where the buck stops.  What is the defender and upholder of the truth? Scripture plainly tells us that the final authority that we are to go to settle the matter is the Church (Matt 18:15-17) with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13) and that is how the first followers of our Lord Jesus Christ understood the matter and settled major disputes between themselves.  We know this with certainty because we see the first application of this teaching at the council of Jerusalem as found in the book of Acts (Acts 15:2) who’s decision, guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), was binding for all Christians (Acts 16:4).


The trick now is to determine which Christian Church out of the thousands of Christian churches out there today, which one has been in existence from day one to settle these disputes.  This church is the one Church that Jesus tells us that we are to go to determine the truth with assurance since He promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail against His church (Matt 16:19).  She therefore must be in existence throughout history from its inception to today.  Which Christian church out there claims to be 2,000 years old with evidence to back its claim?  Only the Catholic Church can make that claim.
God Bless

GB Sola Scriptura Discussion Final?

Well, it seems that interest in the Sola Versus Solo Scriptura
discussion has subsided, so unless something else comes up,
this will be my final posting to Green Baggins on this subject.
Since that topic does not seem to be getting read on GB anymore
I will post my responses here.

> TurretinFan said,
> April 17, 2013 at 9:59 am
> Regarding #150:
> I (TF) had written:
>>> Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be
>>> called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just
>>> a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other
>>> supposed rule.
> Scott, you replied:
>> Well, I believe I have adequately demonstrated “the other rule.”
> TF: I don’t doubt that you believe you did so, but you’re wrong.
sw:  Well, again, the "unanswered question" here asking "Can error
be bound or loosed in heaven?" It's a simple, yes or no response
here.  If "yes" - then how can we know the Bible itself is infallible?
If "no" - then most certainly these "men" were given infallible
authority.  Then comes the question of "succession" in their "office"
or "bishoprick" Which has also been demonstrated through several
passages AND the fact that in some of the earliest of the ECFs we
have explicit lists of "succession" - especially to the Bishop of

>> sw: You sound as if you’ve conceded to me the rhetorical point of
>> satis scriptura, have you?
> TF: a) It’s a little strange to me that you are so eager to try
> to make a purely rhetorical point. I would have hoped you were
> more interested in the substance.

sw: Rhetoric is not necessarily without substance.  All argument is
rhetoric.  The point is what you're REALLY defending is
indeed satis scriptura and not sola scriptura, for which there is no
scriptural defense. If you disagree with me, don't simply state I am
wrong, be the first to point us to THE passage in Scripture which
explicitly states Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the
Christian church.  Again, there is NO SUCH VERSE!  Prove me
wrong, don't just proclaim it.

> TF: b) And no, I don’t grant the rhetorical point, either. While
> the exclusive aspect of Scripture in the post-apostolic era is
> less clearly addressed than the sufficiency of Scripture, it is
> also something taught in Scripture.

sw: And again I challenge you, or anyone else reading this, to
present the passage from Scripture which would affirm your
unsubstantiated statement of "it is also something taught in
Scripture."  I repeat, it is NOT taught in Scripture and
just because you say it is does not make it so.

>> sw: re: that man and/or those men
>> This is not the article/topic for Apostolic Succession, though
>> we have touched upon it in passing. MY POINT is that infallible
>> authority was given to that man and/or those men. Would you
>> agree with me that far?
> TF: a) Actually, if you are trying to demonstrate the
> “other rule,” then you need to get from the apostles to that
> other rule. If your “point” is not to establish the
> “other rule,” then your point misses the point.

sw:  Well, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  The evidence
is clear for those who are objectively looking at what has been
presented.  If you're looking solely with the intent of
disproving, then with such a biased view, you will likely not
see it.

> TF: b) The idea that “infallible authority was given to” them
> is rather vague.
sw:  It's not vague if you will (finally) answer the question I
have been asking.

> TF:  I have an infallible Bible,
sw: Without using circular argumentation, how do you know your
Bible is infallible?

> TF:  ...and so long as I teach what it says, then whatever I
> bind on earth will be bound in heaven.
sw: Jesus is not addressing "the Church" at the point of the
"binding and loosing" passages.  In Matthew 16 it is ONLY St.
Peter and in Matthew 18 it is ONLY the Apostles.  I realize
Protestants would like to make this a global charism,
but they are reading something into the text which is not there
when they do.

> TF:  So, you could say that infallible authority has been given
>  to me.
sw:  I could say that, but it would not be true.  

> TF:  Moreover, in the context of Matthew 16, the “binding and
> loosing” seems connected with the keys and the gates of hell.
sw:  Actually, as I already pointed out at GB, it has to do with the
“kingdom of heaven” - not the “gates of hell!”  The context which
speaks of the “gates of hell” refers to “the Church” and the fact
that the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

> TF:  In other words, it seems that it refers to the gospel
> message – the proclamation that those who trust in Christ are
> loosed from their sins, and those who do not remain bound by
> the gates of hell to be under the power of death.
sw:  An interesting interpretation, for sure - but not accurate nor
contextual.  The “proclamation” is “whatsoever YOU shall bind
on earth...” and “whatsoever YOU shall loose on earth” is bound
or loosed in heaven.  There is nothing in the context to even
imply that this is referring to someone trusting in Christ or not,
but is clearly an authority given to St. Peter and the Apostles.
Context lucidly demonstrates this authority and decidedly
leaves your interpretation in error.

Next I will turn my attention to “PBJ” in comment 218

> peacebyjesus said,
> April 21, 2013 at 10:18 am
>> sw:  I believe it is a bit silly to request me to present
>> something outside of Scripture to point Protestants to,
>> knowing that Protestants will reject any authority outside
>> of Scripture! That being said, I point to Scripture which
>> tells the Bible believer that men were given infallible authority.
> PBJ:  And RCs will effectively reject any authority outside of
> the church, as only what she says Tradition, Scripture and
> history teach has authority (sola ecclesia). “Authority” is thus
> relative.
sw:  Well, “authority” is relative, but the request for me to
provide you with something you know ahead of time you will
not accept is, as I said, “a silly request.”  What RCs may or
may not do is not relevant to the question/task presented to

> PBJ:  And it is indeed silly to suppose that a straw man
> refutes SS, as historically understood, as if nothing besides
> Scripture can be of viable use, rather than all such being
> subject to Scripture.
sw: Thank you for proving my point!  When you make the
statement of “all such being subject to Scripture” - you’ve
precisely stated what my position explains and why it is a
silly request to ask me to prove something outside of

> PBJ:  But such use of straw men is necessary when
> Scripture only affirms one source as being wholly inspired
> of God and (as written) the standard for obedience and
> testing and establishing truth claims, and providing for
> practical means in understanding it.
sw:  The passage you refer to (again) speaks to the sufficiency
of Scripture, or in Latin - satis scriptura.  Because that
particular passage makes no mention of “another source”
does not logically mean there is no other source!  This is an
invalid argument from silence.  As I stated earlier too -
Scripture does affirm another infallible source in St. Peter and
the Apostles.  So, the verse you keep referring to not only
does not say sola scriptura, elsewhere in Scripture
the concept is utterly refuted - that is, for those who have eyes
to see.

> PBJ:  And that rather than an assuredly infallible magisterium
> of men being God’s transcendent means of providing and
> preserving Truth, the church actually began in dissent from
> those who were over that entity which historically was the
> instrument and steward of Holy Writ and inheritors of the
> Promises, sitting in the very seat of Moses.
sw:  To take your position is to make the Scriptures false in
Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18.  Perhaps you would be
up to the task of answering the question I’ve been repeatedly
asking?  “Can error be bound/loosed in heaven?”  Yes or no.
I fully expect your response to either be more obfuscation or

> PBJ:  It is likewise silly for a RC to appeal to Scripture as if
> that were the real authority for his doctrine, and then to insist
> that his interpretation of it is true, despite the evidence
> against it,
sw:  Why is it silly for me to appeal to the authority YOU accept?
That being said, you have not presented any valid evidence
against my claims and/or interpretation of Matthew 16 and 18.

> PBJ:  ...but this is required when one attempts to support a
> tradition of men that rests upon the premise of perpetual,
> assured magisterial infallibility, which has infallibly declared
> itself thusly. And around it goes.
sw:  Around it goes?  Sorry, but it is Scripture which declares
what will later be called our Magisterium - that’s not a circular
argument.  Scripture is an authority you accept SO you
SHOULD accept that there is ANOTHER authority!
> PBJ: It has already been shown you that your claim that
> binding and loosing was restricted to the apostles is false,
sw:  No, just because someone CLAIMS my argument is
false does not make it so!  No one has proven my argument
to be false - and since there was no one else present (this
was not a public sermon when Jesus spoke of binding and
loosing) my argument is on very solid ground.

> PBJ:  while the things Rome has bound include the
> Scriptures themselves, and the things she has loosed
> include the unholy sword of men upon them that loved
> them, while becoming as the gates of Hell for too many
> who trusted in her.
sw:  1) Yes, the Canon of Sacred Scripture has been infallibly
bound - even YOU accept the Church’s authority upon the
Canon of the New Testament!  Keep in mind it was the
Catholic Church in Catholic councils which initially spelled
out the Canon of Sacred Scripture and it was a Catholic
priest under direct request from Rome which translated the
Scriptures into the (then) common tongue of Latin (St.
Jerome).  It is that same Latin Vulgate which was declared
infallibly to represent the Canon of Sacred Scripture.  
These are facts of history which you cannot honestly deny.
sw: 2) There is no infallible “loosing of the sword” (holy or
unholy), so you’re just wrong there.
sw: 3) Becoming “the gates of Hell” would be exactly
contrary to what Scripture records Jesus promising, so
either your statement is false - or Jesus’ is.  I’ll stick with
Jesus’ statement!

And finally...
Don said, in comment 219:
April 22, 2013 at 12:19 am

> Don: Cathapol 215, (speaking to James Swan, who never
> replied)..
>> sw: …knowing that Protestants will reject any authority
>> outside of Scripture!
> Don: Um, sure, because all us Protestants are anarchists?
sw:  I didn’t say that, but one need only look at the literally
thousands of Protestant sects which have multiplied
virtually exponentially since the so-called “reformation.”
Catholicism has ALWAYS been there throughout 100% of
Christian history, and for over 50% of that history the Church
was ONE.  Protestantism crept onto the scene in the last
25% of Christian history and has divided itself so many
times since then that if one objectively wants to make an
argument for anarchy - historically speaking that logically
goes to Protestantism.  Now again, I did not make an
argument for anarchy, but since you brought it up, I
thought I should clarify.

> Don:  I would like to think by now that you understand
> that Protestants merely reject any authority that sets
> itself up to be equal to or above Scripture.
sw:  Well two things here.  First off, please pardon my
hyperbole.  I do recognize that Protestantism (for the
most part) does recognize other authorities, including
the Church, just not other infallible authorities.  Secondly,
I do not argue that the Church is above Scripture, though
I know others have attempted to SAY that is my position,
it is not.

> Don: Anyway, as you are aware, Scripture never
> mentions anything about a “Bishop of Rome,”
sw: Not by that name, but Scripture DOES mention the
“office” of the “bishoprick” (several times) and the fact
that this “office” is an “apostolic office” is undeniable, so
Peter, being a bishop who was in Rome (martyred there
on the same day St. Paul was martyred there).  The
Bishoprick of Rome is traditionally traced back to St. Peter,
so historically speaking - your argument is quite empty.

> Don:  and Protestants have heard and reject the
> exegetical efforts to get from Matthew 16 to the Vatican
> and Magesterium.
sw:  It doesn’t take much exegesis to get there... for those
who have eyes to see, that is.

> Don:  So there’s no great need to rehash those arguments.
> But evidence to support those arguments would be
> welcome; that seems to be what James Swan is requesting.
sw: Well, in this response I have not requoted all the arguments,
but I have referred to them and there are links back to the
original statements so the interested reader can go back and
read (or reread) what was stated.
> Don:  What sort of evidence? Well you’re correct that
> declarations from the Magisterium would not be sufficient.
> But simple, unbiased historical evidence would work fine.
> For example, if somebody found an authentic Polycarp
> manuscript that says something like, “…just like ol’ Pope
> Anacletus used to say…,” then you’d have some
> extremely strong evidence for Apostolic Succession;
sw:  Oh, like something from the Council of Chalcedon stating
"Peter speaks through Leo!"  See:

> Don:  from there, an argument that they would possess
> infallible authority would not be automatically accepted but
> would probably be quite strong.
sw:  Well, SEVERAL sources from the Early Church Fathers
are cited in the sources I cite above.  I see that you still leave
yourself an “out” from the argument, but at least you’re willing
to grant that such arguments are “strong.”  
sw:  So, with these replies, unless someone has something
of substance to counter with, I end my participation in the

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