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The Pope – The Vicar of Christ

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Mungo

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Who created languages?


Scripture is from God.

Catholic dogma is from man.



Can we agree on this?

Man created languages.
Yes Scripture is from God - using man made languages.
Catholic dogma comes from God.
 

Mungo

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Anathema is a curse.

Stop making excuses.


Anathema -

a·nath·e·ma
/əˈnaTHəmə/

noun


a formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine.
"the Pope laid special emphasis on the second of these anathemas"

You are wrong.
Note that I gave you a source for my quotes.
Where is your source for that?
 

Mungo

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No such thing as pope in scripture.

Jesus is the Head of the Church.

See post #36.
You seem to ignore my posts.
Are they too long for you, or you just can't refute them?


Here is the qualification for a bishop, such as the bishop of Rome.


This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 1 Timothy 3:1-5


Does the pope, the bishop of Rome meet the qualifications?


Why does the Vatican forbid the priests to marry?



JLB

The Vatican doesn't forbid priests to marry.
See Banning Marriage?
 

JLB

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Catholic dogma comes from God.

Where in the scriptures does it forbid priests to marry?


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3



JLB
 

Mungo

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Where in the scriptures does it forbid priests to marry?


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3



JLB
See post #43
 

Mungo

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I don't have any problem with Peter being the leader of the apostles (though James was the leader of the community, and Jesus is the head/groom of the church, and though Peter was only little stone/rock while Jesus is the real rock/stone). I have no problem with "Babylon" in Peter's letter being Rome, but I haven't seen any historical/biblical evidence Peter was there and it seems that he was only passing on greetings he had read/heard/received from there but was not also there himself (and Jerusalem not Rome is the center/capital of the Church). I have no problem that authority is important and having one leader/head is too. Nor do I deny that the apostles and church have some authority.
But when I researched the popes list I found that the early popes list really matches the Roman emperors list (eg pope Pius I matches emperor Antoninus Pius in name, meaning, dates, details, and the preceding & succeeding popes & emperors also match all in order), so the popes can't not be genuine successors of Peter (having his keys/authority) and can't be true vicars of Christ. I also found that the patriarchs of Constantinople also match the eastern emperors list too, so that means all the apostolic successions are called into doubt.
Not that I am all anti Catholic or Roman. There are some traditionalist things l like about Catholicism, and my mother's father was an Italian WW2 pow, and the Roman culture/civilisation had some good things. But I simply can not accept what seems a secret lie or wrong. So I just wanted to share my own personal view & info about the popes list matching the emperors list, because watching the discussion here I see the same pope is Peter's successor and has his keys argument used since the synod of Whitby in the 600s ad is so very convincing to many christians. I have no problem if people want to accept the pope is Peter's successor as long as it is openly admitted and not secret (as is the case alot of christians and christian organisations) and as long as the discovery about the popes list is known even if it is not accepted as proven.

According to my list of Popes and Emperors there is no match at all between them.
For example Pius I was from 140-155 and Antonius Pius was from 138-161
From 33 to 97there were 4 Popes but 10 Emperors.
 

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According to my list of Popes and Emperors there is no match at all between them.
For example Pius I was from 140-155 and Antonius Pius was from 138-161
From 33 to 97there were 4 Popes but 10 Emperors.

The name Pius is the exact same name for starters.
The dates do match when one collects different versions from different sources, but even with the standard dates you quote you see the whole of Pius' reign is within Antoninus Pius' reign, so Pius' dates completely match AP's, and 138 is only 2 years out from 140. They certainly also altered some dates to disguise the match of the two lists. Pius I's dates from all sources are 140/142/146-154/155/157/161, AP's dates from all sources are 138-148-156-161, so they both totally match except for slight 1-2 years difference start dates.
The makers of the popes list sometimes split emperors into two or more popes to disguise the matches of the two lists. But there are matches of all the first 16 popes with the emperors from Nero to Caracalla & Heliogabalus/Elagabalus all in order so there is no doubt the two lists match because the probability/chances/odds of a number of matches all in order are too high.
Pope Alexander I matches Trajan who was identified with Alexander the Great (and who also has links with one or two/few other Alexanders too). 4th Pope Clement I matches Domitian in name (Domitian's cousin was Clemens), meaning (persecution inverse of clemency), dates, details.
So even with just those 4 we start to see the match between the two lists:
4 Clement I = Domitian (Clemens)
6 Alexander I = Trajan (Alexander the Great)
10 Pius I 140-155 = Antoninus Pius 138-161
16 Calixtus = Caracalla
16-19 antipope Hippolytus = Heligobalus.
Sometimes I can't be sure of the exact correct matches of some popes and emperors, but there are enough successive certainly right ones to prove the thesis. I have all the candidate matches from the 1st pope to 800 ad in my paper on academia.edu for anyone who doubts and wants to check.
But if you don't agree that the evidence is strong enough I accept/respect that (that you are entitled/free to decide for yourself from your evidences). But personally the lists match(es) evidence seems pretty strong to me that I can't doubt it.
 

Mungo

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The name Pius is the exact same name for starters.
The dates do match when one collects different versions from different sources, but even with the standard dates you quote you see the whole of Pius' reign is within Antoninus Pius' reign, so Pius' dates completely match AP's, and 138 is only 2 years out from 140. They certainly also altered some dates to disguise the match of the two lists. Pius I's dates from all sources are 140/142/146-154/155/157/161, AP's dates from all sources are 138-148-156-161, so they both totally match except for slight 1-2 years difference start dates.
The makers of the popes list sometimes split emperors into two or more popes to disguise the matches of the two lists. But there are matches of all the first 16 popes with the emperors from Nero to Caracalla & Heliogabalus/Elagabalus all in order so there is no doubt the two lists match because the probability/chances/odds of a number of matches all in order are too high.
Pope Alexander I matches Trajan who was identified with Alexander the Great (and who also has links with one or two/few other Alexanders too). 4th Pope Clement I matches Domitian in name (Domitian's cousin was Clemens), meaning (persecution inverse of clemency), dates, details.
So even with just those 4 we start to see the match between the two lists:
4 Clement I = Domitian (Clemens)
6 Alexander I = Trajan (Alexander the Great)
10 Pius I 140-155 = Antoninus Pius 138-161
16 Calixtus = Caracalla
16-19 antipope Hippolytus = Heligobalus.
Sometimes I can't be sure of the exact correct matches of some popes and emperors, but there are enough successive certainly right ones to prove the thesis. I have all the candidate matches from the 1st pope to 800 ad in my paper on academia.edu for anyone who doubts and wants to check.
But if you don't agree that the evidence is strong enough I accept/respect that (that you are entitled/free to decide for yourself from your evidences). But personally the lists match(es) evidence seems pretty strong to me that I can't doubt it.

You are just making stuff up.

They don't match at all.
Moreover in 68-69 there were 3 Emperors but Pope Linus was Pope for all of them, and part of Nero's reign. Then at times there was both an Eastern Emperor and a Western Emperor but only one Pope.
 

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You are just making stuff up.

They don't match at all.
Moreover in 68-69 there were 3 Emperors but Pope Linus was Pope for all of them, and part of Nero's reign. Then at times there was both an Eastern Emperor and a Western Emperor but only one Pope.
No I'm not making it up, they made the popes list up. I wrote an ebook on it with many details matches evidences. I can't always be sure of the exact right matches for some but there are enough definitely right ones in succession to prove the match of the two lists. But I won't bother you about it any more after this. I just wanted to try let people here know the truth. It would take pages and pages and hours to prove every pope & emperor match here.
As I already said you have to compare the popes & the emperors dates from a number of different sources to see the dates matches more clearly, and sometimes they altered the dates slightly to disguise the match(es), and as I said sometimes they split popes into more than one. They also excluded some like the 3 "usurpers" of 68-69. Eastern emperors don't come until after Constantine in 300s ad, while the popes list matches from Peter to some centuries past then, and one of the two later W & E emperors was recognised as first/primary.
2nd pope Linus "flax haired" seems to match Vespasian (Flavian "yellow haired", versus Marcil-linus). Linus' dates are variously 56/58-67/69 or 64-68 or 67-76 or 76-79 or 64/67/68-76/78/79/80 and Vespasian's dates are 68/69-79.
Nero seems to match 1st pope "Peter".
I don't enjoy posting on it because I have been and can be persecuted bad (and in ways behind the scenes that no one sees or believes or cares). But if I made the discovery it is not good to keep it secret and be wasted. But God is sovereign and he will protect what christians he wants to.
 

JLB

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See post #43

The Norman ban on clerical marriage was reinforced in 1139, when the Second Lateran Council declared priestly marriage invalid throughout the entire Catholic Church.





JLB
 

JLB

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The Second Council of the Lateran was the tenth ecumenical councilrecognized by the Catholic Church. It was convened by Pope Innocent II in April 1139 and attended by close to a thousand clerics. Its immediate task was to neutralise the after-effects of the schism which had arisen after the death of Pope Honorius II in 1130 and the papal election that year that established Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II.


The most important results of the council included:

  • Canon 4: Injunction to bishops and ecclesiastics not to cause scandal by wearing ostentatious clothes but to dress modestly.
  • Canons 6, 7: Repeated the First Lateran Council's condemnation of marriage and concubinage among priests, deacons, subdeacons, monks, and nuns.
  • Canon 10: Excommunicated laity who failed to pay the tithes due the bishops,
  • Canon 12: Fixed the periods and the duration of the Truce of God.
  • Canon 14: Prohibition, under pain of deprivation of Christian burial, of joustsand tournaments which endangered life.
  • Canon 20: Kings and princes were ordered to dispense justice in consultation with the bishops.
  • Canon 23: Forbade the condemnation of Legitimate Marriages.
  • Canon 25: Forbade any cleric to accept a benefice from a layman.
  • Canon 27: Nuns were prohibited from singing the Divine Office in the same choir with monks.
  • Canon 28: No church was to be left vacant more than three years from the death of the bishop; secular canons who excluded regular canons or monks from episcopal elections were condemned.[1]
  • Canon 29: The use of bows and slings (or perhaps crossbows) against Christians was prohibited.[3][4]

Mungo, you seem sincere and devoted to the Catholic Church, which is commendable.

However we are called to be devoted to Jesus Christ; to love God and love people. Validating heresy is not loving God and loving His children. Please brother, no more covering up the works of darkness.

We are called to expose the works of darkness, which includes the false teachings of any denomination or sect within Christianity.

Why not just say you don’t agree with the Catholic Churches stance on marriage? That you believe they got that wrong?


Why is that so hard?


Marriage is from God. If a priest or nun decides to be married or not should be their decision.


It’s not right to forbid people to marry if the want to serve God as a priest or nun.


Please be reasonable.




JLB
 

Mungo

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The Second Council of the Lateran was the tenth ecumenical councilrecognized by the Catholic Church. It was convened by Pope Innocent II in April 1139 and attended by close to a thousand clerics. Its immediate task was to neutralise the after-effects of the schism which had arisen after the death of Pope Honorius II in 1130 and the papal election that year that established Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II.


The most important results of the council included:

  • Canon 4: Injunction to bishops and ecclesiastics not to cause scandal by wearing ostentatious clothes but to dress modestly.
  • Canons 6, 7: Repeated the First Lateran Council's condemnation of marriage and concubinage among priests, deacons, subdeacons, monks, and nuns.
  • Canon 10: Excommunicated laity who failed to pay the tithes due the bishops,
  • Canon 12: Fixed the periods and the duration of the Truce of God.
  • Canon 14: Prohibition, under pain of deprivation of Christian burial, of joustsand tournaments which endangered life.
  • Canon 20: Kings and princes were ordered to dispense justice in consultation with the bishops.
  • Canon 23: Forbade the condemnation of Legitimate Marriages.
  • Canon 25: Forbade any cleric to accept a benefice from a layman.
  • Canon 27: Nuns were prohibited from singing the Divine Office in the same choir with monks.
  • Canon 28: No church was to be left vacant more than three years from the death of the bishop; secular canons who excluded regular canons or monks from episcopal elections were condemned.[1]
  • Canon 29: The use of bows and slings (or perhaps crossbows) against Christians was prohibited.[3][4]

Mungo, you seem sincere and devoted to the Catholic Church, which is commendable.

However we are called to be devoted to Jesus Christ; to love God and love people. Validating heresy is not loving God and loving His children. Please brother, no more covering up the works of darkness.

We are called to expose the works of darkness, which includes the false teachings of any denomination or sect within Christianity.

Why not just say you don’t agree with the Catholic Churches stance on marriage? That you believe they got that wrong?


Why is that so hard?


Marriage is from God. If a priest or nun decides to be married or not should be their decision.


It’s not right to forbid people to marry if the want to serve God as a priest or nun.


Please be reasonable.




JLB

All of those had taken a vow of celibacy. The Church expects them to be faithful to that vow.

If they want to get married they can apply to be released from that vow and leave the priesthood or religious life.
No-one has to take those vows in the first place.
 

JLB

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All of those had taken a vow of celibacy.

I see, so you were there and know each person individually?

Wow! How old are you?


If they want to get married they can apply to be released from that vow and leave the priesthood or religious life.

Thank you for being honest.


Why would someone want to stop being a priest or leave religious life or stop serving God just because they desired to be married?

Peter was married.

Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. Matthew 8:14




This is what the Spirit of God warned us about.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry… 1 Timothy 4:1-3






JLB
 

Mungo

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I see, so you were there and know each person individually?

Wow! How old are you?
It was a long standing practice in favour of celibacy, or if a man had a wife before coming a priest to separate. But (according to a long article in the Catholic Encyclopedia) local variations in the practice. The first Lateran Council came down against these local practices and it was made very explicit at Lateran 2.



Why would someone want to stop being a priest or leave religious life or stop serving God just because they desired to be married?

They can serve God in other ways. We should all be serving God in the state we have chosen.
Peter was married.

Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. Matthew 8:14
That doesn't say that Peter's wife was still living. There is no other mention of Peter having a wife.

As you said:
I see, so you were there?

Wow! How old are you?

This is what the Spirit of God warned us about.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry… 1 Timothy 4:1-3



JLB

You are just repeating an argument that has already been refuted.

See post #1

Now, have you anything new on this or are we done?
 

Niblo

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4 Clement I = Domitian (Clemens)
6 Alexander I = Trajan (Alexander the Great)
10 Pius I 140-155 = Antoninus Pius 138-161
16 Calixtus = Caracalla
16-19 antipope Hippolytus = Heligobalus.
In Post 27 you write:

‘But when I researched the popes list I found that the early popes list really matches the Roman emperors list (e.g. pope Pius I matches emperor Antoninus Pius in name, meaning, dates, details, and the preceding & succeeding popes & emperors also match all in order), so the popes can't* not be genuine successors of Peter (having his keys/authority) and can't be true vicars of Christ.’

* I presume this is a typo for ‘can’.

Fascinating stuff. Let’s have a look at your examples:

You link Pope St. Clement I with the Emperor you call ‘Domitian (Clemens)’.

Clement was Bishop of Rome from 88 CE until his death in 99 CE; and a contemporary of Saints Peter and Paul.

The Emperor Domitian (birth name: Titus Flavius Domitianus) reigned from 81 to 96 CE.

Domitian was never called ‘Clemens’. This cognomen belonged to his cousin Titus Flavius Clemens

According to the Jewish Encyclopaedia (1901) Flavius Clemens ‘converted to Judaism, and was martyred at Rome.’

Please explain the connection between St. Clement and Domitian (aside from the fact that they were contemporaries, living in Rome); and why you think this connection mitigates against Clement being a ‘genuine successor of Peter’.

You link Pope Alexander I with one you call ‘Trajan (Alexander the Great).’

Alexander was Bishop of Rome from circa 107 CE until his death in circa 115 CE.

Trajan (birth name Marcus Ulpius Traianus) reigned from 98 – 117 CE; having taken the name Caesar Divi Nervae Filius Nerva Traianus Optimus Augustus.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Trajan’s second major war was against the Parthian’s, Rome’s traditional enemy in the east……..In 115 Trajan annexed upper Mesopotamia and, in the same or next year, moved down the Tigris River to capture the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. He reached the Persian Gulf, where he is said to have wept because he was too old to repeat Alexander the Great’s achievements in India.’ (My emphasis).

Trajan is said to have left the Persian Gulf for Babylon, with the intention of offering sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he died. This ‘pilgrimage’ was frustrated by a Parthian revolt.

Why would you call Trajan ‘Alexander the Great’, if not to fabricate a connection between the Emperor and Pope Alexander?

Please explain the connection between these two gentlemen (aside from the fact that they were contemporaries); and why you think this connection mitigates against Alexander being a ‘genuine successor of Peter’.

Continued:
 

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You link Pius I with the Emperor Antoninus Pius.

Pius was the Bishop of Rome from circa 140 CE until his death in circa 154 CE.

Antoninus (birth name Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus) was Emperor from 138 to 161 CE.

One of his first act as Emperor was to persuade the Senate to grant divine honours to his immediate predecessor – and father by adoption – the Emperor Hadrian; an honour they had, at first, refused.

The loyalty shown to Hadrian by Antoninus is the most likely reason for his cognomen ‘Pius’ (in this case, meaning ‘dutiful in affection’).

Please explain the connection between Pope Pius 1 and Emperor Antoninus (aside from the fact that they were contemporaries, sharing a common cognomen); and why you think this connection mitigates against the former being a ‘genuine successor of Peter’.

You link Calixtus I with the Emperor Caracalla

Calixtus was Bishop of Rome from circa 218 CE until his death in 222 or 223 CE.

The Emperor Caracalla (birth name Lucius Septimius Bassianus; renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) reigned from 198 CE to 217 CE; and was, therefore, as dead as a doornail before Calixtus became Pope.

Please explain the connection between them (aside from the fact that they were contemporaries); and why you think this connection mitigates against Calixtus I being a ‘genuine successor of Peter’.

Finally, you link Saint Hippolytus with Elagabalus (aka Heliogabalus).

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

‘Saint Hippolytus (d. 235) is commonly considered to be the earliest ‘antipope’, as he protested against Pope Callixtus I and headed a separate group within the Church in Rome. Hippolytus was later reconciled to Callixtus's second successor, Pope Pontian, when both were condemned to the mines on the island of Sardinia.

‘Although Hippolytus’ reputation as a scholar and his literary talent were assets to his cause, the church chose Calixtus for the papacy when Zephyrinus died. In disgust, Hippolytus withdrew from the Roman community and headed a dissident group that consecrated him. He reigned in opposition to the succeeding pontificates of Saints Urban I (222–230) and Pontian (230–235), with whom he was exiled to the mines of Sardinia in 235 during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Maximinius. There he became reconciled with Pontian and exhorted his supporters to unite with Rome. Before dying as martyrs, both resigned to allow for a successor, St. Anterus (235–236), thus ending the schism. Pope St. Fabian (236–250) had their corpses brought to Rome for solemn burial.’

The Emperor Elagabalus (birth name – probably – Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus) reigned from circa 204 to 222 CE. On becoming Emperor, he assumed the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

While a young man in Emesa (Homs – in Syria) he served as priest to the god Elagabal, from which – after his death – he gained the Latinised name ‘Elagabalus’.

Saint Hippolytus was never a bearer of the Papal ‘keys/authority’, since he was never Bishop of Rome. However, please explain the connection between Hippolytus and Elagabalus (aside from the fact that they were contemporaries); and why you think this connection would have mitigated against Hippolytus being a ‘genuine successor of Peter’ had he become Pope.

I appreciate that you have worked hard at this, and I accept your sincerity. You will understand, however, that hard graft and sincerity alone do not constitute proof; and should not be taken as such.

If you are claiming that in order for St Clement – and the others – to become Bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter, it was a necessary condition that they be free from any link (‘in name, meaning, dates and details’) to their Emperor, then the burden of proof is on you.

You have a problem, and it is this:

We have the complete works of St Clement of Rome. These include four Epistles; his ‘Recognitions’ (expressed in ten Books), and twenty homilies.

In his Preface to ‘Recognitions’ – addressed to St Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia – Rufinus of Aquileia, the translator, writes:

‘The epistle in which the same Clement, writing to James the Lord's brother, informs him of the death of Peter, and that he had left him his successor in his chair and teaching, and in which also the whole subject of church order is treated, I have not prefixed to this work, both because it is of later date, and because I have already translated and published it. But I do not think it out of place to explain here what in that letter will perhaps seem to some to be inconsistent. For some ask, Since Linus and Cletus were bishops in the city of Rome before this Clement, how could Clement himself, writing to James, say that the chair of teaching was handed over to him by Peter?

Now of this we have heard this explanation, that Linus and Cletus were indeed bishops in the city of Rome before Clement, but during the lifetime of Peter: that is, that they undertook the care of the episcopate, and that he fulfilled the office of apostleship; as is found also to have been the case at Cæsarea, where, when he himself was present, he yet had Zacchæus, ordained by himself, as bishop. And in this way both statements will appear to be true, both that these bishops are reckoned before Clement, and yet that Clement received the teacher's seat on the death of Peter.’
(‘The Complete Works of the Church Fathers’; my emphasis).

Note that Linus and Cletus are called bishops ‘in the city of Rome’, with duties of care (as there are today, and always have been); but it is Clement who receives the ‘teacher’s seat’ on the death of Peter; thus becoming the Bishop of Rome.

There can be no doubt that Clement was a genuine successor of Peter (‘having his keys/authority’). You will need to prove that there was no valid Apostolic succession after Clement. Good luck with that!

Peace.
 

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I wrote:

'We have the complete works of St Clement of Rome. These include four Epistles; his ‘Recognitions’ (expressed in ten Books), and twenty homilies.'

Further research has revealed that of these writings, only the First Epistle the Corinthians is undisputed. As far as I am aware, the comments of Rufinus of Aquileia, regarding the appointment of Clement by St. Peter are not disputed.

In his Epistle to the Corinthians Clement writes:

'Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him (God) through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy.'

Here, Clement is instructing the rebellious church at Corinth to reinstate their leaders. His words bear the mark of a person of authority.
 
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Niblo

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Here is another – longer – version of Clements Epistle:

‘The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

‘It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, rather to obey God than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good. Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and benignity of our Creator.

‘Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments. Let us consider those who serve under our generals, with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things which are commanded them. All are not prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and thence arises mutual advantage. Let us take our body for an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head; yea, the very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. But all work harmoniously together, and are under one common rule for the preservation of the whole body.

‘Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those (ministers) already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure (from this world); for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.

‘Let us cleave, therefore, to the innocent and righteous, since these are the elect of God. Why are there strifes, and tumults, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we not (all) one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear in pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that we are members one of another? Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, Woe to that man (by whom offenses come)! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones. Your schism has subverted (the faith of) many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continues.

‘Let us therefore, with all haste, put an end to this (state of things); and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former seemly and holy practice of brotherly love. For [such conduct] is the gate of righteousness, which is set open for the attainment of life, as it is written, Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go in by them, and will praise the Lord: this is the gate of the Lord: the righteous shall enter in by it. Although, therefore, many gates have been set open, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ by which blessed are all they that have entered in and have directed their way in holiness and righteousness, doing all things without disorder. Let a man be faithful: let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in judging of words; let him be pure in all his deeds; yet the more he seems to be superior to others [in these respects], the more humble-minded ought he to be, and to seek the common good of all, and not merely his own advantage.’ (‘The Complete Works of the Church Fathers’ – Extracted from various Chapters of the Epistle).

It was not the CC that fractured the ‘Body of Christ’.
 
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