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If No One Is Pope, Everyone is Pope – A Homily for the 21st Sunday of the Year

August 23, 2014

082314The Gospel today sets forth the biblical basis for the Office of Peter—the Office of the Papacy—for Peter’s successors are the popes. The word “pope” is simply an English version (via Anglo-Saxon and Germanic tongues) of the word “papa.” The Pope is affectionately called “Papa” in Italian and Spanish as an affectionate indication that he is the father of the family, the Church.

That Peter receives an office and not simply a charismatic designation we will discuss later. As to certain objections regarding the Office of the Papacy, we will also deal with them later. But for now let’s look at the basic establishment of the Office of Peter in three steps.

I. The Inquiry that Illustrates – The text says, Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?

It should be noted that in asking these questions Jesus is not merely curious about what people think of Him. He seems, rather, to be using these questions as a vehicle by which to teach the apostles, and us, about how the truth is adequately revealed and guaranteed.

Jesus’ first two questions reveal the inadequacy of two common methods.

1. The Poll – Jesus asks who the crowds say that He is. In modern times we love to take polls and many moderns put a lot of stock in what polls say. Many people (Catholics among them) like to point out that x% of Catholics think this or that about moral teachings or about doctrines and disciplines. It is as if the fact that more than 50% of Catholics think something makes it true, and that the Church should change her teaching based on this.

But as this gospel makes clear, taking a poll doesn’t necessarily yield the truth. In fact ALL the assertions of the crowd were wrong no matter what percentage held them. Jesus is not John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets redivivus. So, running the Church by poll-taking or democracy seems not to be a model that works.

2. The Panel – Jesus, having taught this implicitly, now turns to a group of experts, a “blue-ribbon panel” if you will. He asks the twelve, “Who do you (apostles) say that I am?” Here we simply get silence. Perhaps they were looking around like nervous students in a classroom, not wanting to answer lest they look foolish. The politics on the panel led not to truth but to a kind of self-serving, politically correct silence.

That Peter finally speaks up is true. But, as Jesus will say, he does not do this because he is a member of the panel but for another reason altogether.

Hence the blue-ribbon panel, the committee of experts, is not adequate in setting forth the religious truth of who Jesus is.

And through this line of questioning, Jesus instructs through inquiry. Polls and panels are not adequate in yielding the firm truth as to His identity. All we have are opinions or politically correct silence. Having set forth this inadequacy, the Gospel now presses forward to describe God’s plan in setting forth the truths of faith.

II. The Individual that is Inspired The text says, Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.”

We are taught here not merely that Peter spoke, but also how he came to know the truth. Jesus is very clear to teach us that Peter spoke rightly not because he was the smartest (he probably wasn’t), or because some one else told him (Jesus is clear that flesh and blood did not reveal this to him), or because he happened to guess correctly. Jesus teaches that Peter came to know the truth and speak it because God the Father revealed it to him. God the Father inspires Peter. There is a kind of anointing at work here.

So here is God’s methodology when it comes to adequately revealing and guaranteeing the truths of the faith: He anoints Peter.

It’s not polls or panels that God uses—it’s Peter.

And while truths may emerge in the wider Church, reflecting what is revealed, it is only with Peter and his successors that such views can be definitively set forth and their truth adequately guaranteed. Thus the other apostles are not merely bypassed by God. He anoints Peter to unite them and give solemn declaration to what they have seen and heard.

The Catechism says the following of Peter and his successors, the popes:

When Christ instituted the Twelve, he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them … The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head. This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.

The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head. As such, this college has supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff. The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council. But there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter’s successor (Catechism of the Catholic Church, pp. 880-884, selected).

All these truths point back to this moment when we see how God Himself chooses to operate.

And note, too, the dimension of faith we are called to have. We are to assent to the Pope’s teaching and leadership not merely because we think he is smarter, or because it might happen that he has power, riches, or other worldly means that might impress us or compel us to assent. Rather, we assent to the Pope because, by faith, we believe he is inspired by God. It is not in flesh and blood that we put our trust; it is in God Himself, who we believe has acted on our behalf by anointing someone to affirm the truth and adequately guarantee that truth to be revealed by God.

And this then leads to the final stage wherein Jesus sets forth a lasting office for Peter.

III. The Installation that is Initiated – The text says, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus does not merely praise Simon for a moment of charismatic insight. He goes further and declares that He will build his very Church upon Simon, and thus He calls him Peter (rock). And here, too, He does not merely mean this as a personal gift or as a sort of recognition that will die with Peter. In giving Peter the keys, He is establishing an office, not merely a “promotion” for Peter. This will be God’s way of strengthening and uniting the Church. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says more of this:

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, all that he might sift you all like wheat, but I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and when thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:31).

Hence it is clear once again that God’s plan for the Church is to strengthen one man, Peter (and his successors), that in turn the whole Church may be strengthened and united. Thus the Lord Jesus establishes not only Peter, but also his office. This is God’s vision and plan for His Church.

It is true that many have objected to this teaching. There is no time here to do a full apologetical reply to every objection. But frankly most of the objections amount to a kind of wishful thinking by some, who want this text to mean something other than what it plainly means.  Nothing could be clearer than the fact that Jesus is establishing both Peter and an office that will serve as a foundation for the unity and strength of His Church.

Some object that within other verses Peter will be called “Satan” and will deny Christ. But Jesus knew all this and still said and did what He does here.

Others object that Jesus is the head and foundation, that He is the rock. True enough, but apparently Jesus never got the objectors’ memo, for it is He Himself who calls Peter the rock and establishes him with the authority to bind and loose. It is also true that both Jesus and Peter can be head and rock, in terms of primary and secondary causality (more on that HERE).  And in addition that Peter and his successors are head and rock by making visible and being the means through which Christ exercises His headship and foundational aspect.

Finally, let’s return to the title of this post: “If no one is Pope, EVERYONE is pope!Without a visible head, there is no principle on earth for unity in the Church. The Protestant experiment tried to replace the Pope with Scripture and gave it sole authority. But Protestants cannot agree on what Scripture says and have no earthly way to resolve their conflicts. While they say that authority resides in Scripture alone, the fact is, in claiming the anointing of the Holy Spirit and thus the ability to properly interpret Scripture, they really place the locus of authority within themselves and become the very pope they denounce. Having denied that there is a pope they become pope. If no one is Pope, everyone is pope.

I have read that some objectors think Catholics arrogant in asserting that we have a pope whom we trust to be anointed by God to teach us without error on faith and morals. But which is more arrogant: to claim there is a pope (not me), or to in fact act like one myself?

In the end, the Protestant experiment is a failed one. Many estimates place the number of Protestant denominations as high as 30,000. Personally, I think this is exaggerated—but not by much. Protestants all claim the Scriptures as their source of the truth but differ on many essential matters such as sexual morality, authority, the necessity of baptism, whether once saved is always saved, etc. When they cannot resolve things they simply subdivide. There is an old joke, told even among Protestants, that goes,

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!” Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

A strange little joke, and not entirely fair since most Protestants of different denominations that I know get along fine on a personal level. But the truth is, the denominations disagree over many very important things. The Protestant experiment is a failure that leads only to endless division. The Church needs a visible head. The Bible alone does not suffice, for there are endless disagreements on how to interpret it. Someone must exist to whom all turn and who all agree will resolve the differences after listening.

Jesus installed an individual in this role to manifest His office of rock and head of the Church. That individual was Peter and after, his successors.

Here’s a light-hearted video I put together commemorating Pope Benedict’s many visits to unite and strengthen us. I don’t have enough footage yet to do a Pope Francis video. But I suspect he’ll rack up the miles, too!

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  1. PeaceByJesus says:

    • The Protestant experiment tried to replace the Pope with Scripture and gave it sole authority.

    As usual, RCs must resort to using a straw man to justify RC unScriptural presumptions. SS does not make Scripture the sole authority, and leaving every man to fend for himself what Truth is, but holds Scripture as the only supreme infallible authority as the wholly inspired and thus assured, word of God, and thus the transcendent supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims. Which it is abundantly evidenced to be.

    Many estimates place the number of Protestant denominations as high as 30,000. Personally, I think this is exaggerated—but not by much. Protestants all claim the Scriptures as their source of the truth but differ on many essential matters

    This is simply sophistry, as it is employed to refute what really is the position of Scripture being the sole supreme infallible standard on Truth as literally being the plenary inspired assured word of God – which cannot be said of the supreme standard for RCs – while using a definition of Protestant that is so wide you can drive a Unitarian Scientology Swedenborgian sodomite Episcopalian 747 thru it!

    Such is the result of abandoning the position and esteem of Scripture which defined Protestantism.

    However, those who most strongly hold to the supremacy of Scripture as the wholly inspired and assured word of God are much more unified in basic key beliefs than the fruit of Rome, even surpassing weekly mass goers. Thus both Rome and liberals have treated such “fundamentalists” as their greatest ideological enemies.

    And while this is far from comprehensive unity which has ever been a goal not realized, “unity” in Rome is largely on paper or merely organizational, while the greatest scope of unity is found in cults, which also basically operate out of the RC model of sola ecclesia, in which the church is the supreme authority.

    And under which cultism the members are to ascertain the veracity of church teaching by searching the Scriptures, as assurance is based upon the premise of the anointed assured veracity of the magisterium, for if it was by Scripture then they would be as evangelicals.

    Nor does SS leave the believer to fend for himself, or the church without ecclesiastical authority, but as Westminster affirms,

    “It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same…” (http://www.spurgeon.org/~phi1/creeds/wcf.htm)

    • Having denied that there is a pope they become pope. If no one is Pope, everyone is pope.

    This also is a miscontruance, as to be a pope is to claim the anointing of infallibility, which is only what cults effectively claim, leaving the RC objection to be that of lay people correctly discerning what Truth is in contradiction to the magisterium. Which is what RCs argue is necessary.

    For the RC polemic is that an assuredly (if conditionally) infallible magisterium is essential for determination and assurance of Truth (including writings and men being of God) and to fulfill promises of Divine presence, providence of Truth, and preservation of faith, and authority.

    And that being the historical instruments and stewards of Divine revelation (oral and written) means that Rome is that assuredly infallible magisterium. Thus those who dissent from the latter are in rebellion to God.

    Would you not agree that this is your real argument?

    • I have read your first paragraph several times and still cannot figure what you are trying to say there. I kinda tuned out after that. But Your question at the end I would answer in the qualified affirmative. But you use unnecessarily strong words (e.g. polemic – I am not at war with you) and thus your use of the word rebellion may be a bit strong since I do not think that every Protestant has thought through these things in such a way that would permit me to describe them as rebels. Many are just born into a system they question little and have not been able to hear a full demonstration of the arguments. Hence some may well be sincerely in error.

      • Peter Wolcauk says:

        “…as to be a pope is to claim the anointing of infallibility…” “…an assuredly (if conditionally) infallible magisterium…”
        The stand of PeaceByJesus on infallibility hasn’t been stated in a way that is clear to me however, I have encountered many who dispute infallibliliy on such imcomplete evidence that they don’t even finish the sentence.
        Often I have read and heard the claim that Catholics believe that the Pope is infallible but leave out the second part of the sentence which states that this infallibilty occurs when under the guidance of The Holy Spirit.
        Is this dispute based on a belief that The Holy Spirit is not infallible?

        • PeaceByJesus says:

          Of course i understand that papal infallibility occurs when under the guidance of The Holy Spirit, which is why i carefully stated, “an assuredly (if conditionally) infallible magisterium…”

          For indeed, Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares. By which you have your assurance.

          • Again, so difficult to understand what you are talking about PBJ. “an assuredly (if conditionally) infallible magisterium…” (I don’t even know what this phrase means).

          • PurdueGuy06 says:

            Dear PeaceByJesus,

            I would propose this question to you. Who do you go to when a question of the Bible arises? Do you just interpret scripture yourself or do you go to someone to get help with interpretation? Now, how do you know what you were just taught is correct? Whoever you go to, you have in essense, made that person an “infalliable” source to explain the Bible to you. If you don’t like the interpretation, then who do you go to?

            The other main question is, why do you even believe that the Bible is the Word of God? Why not the Koran or the Book of Mormon?

            Faith and reason do not contradict each other. Only the Catholic Church has remained consistent in Her teaching. Look at the one simple commandment “Thou shall not kill”. Only the Catholic Church has defended the rights of all of God’s children from conception until natural death. We have Christians who claim that experiments can be done on “embryos” or say that “abortion” is a right. Is not the child in the womb, no matter what stage of life he or she is in, a Child of God? Then what right does a Christian have to kill embryos or even their own child in the womb? One simple commandment and Christians cannot get it right.

            So, who has final authority whether to say abortion is wrong? How can one Christian denomination claim one thing and it completely contradicts another denomination? Rebellion to authority has caused this mess. Rebellion to obedience has led to this mess. Both Luther and Calvin gave vows of obedience to Holy Mother Church only to break their vows. Breaking their vows ultimately meant they lied to Christ. Could they be forgiven, of course. It still does not change what they did.

            Here is something else to think about. When did another Church admit that She was wrong and ask for forgiveness? The Catholic Church teaches infallibly but Her children still sin.

            God bless.

      • Tailler Huws says:

        I see the same issues as you, Msgr Pope. I find it interesting how a dry twig on a huge tree can judge the huge tree for not being a dry twig. The dry twig says, “What is wrong with you? You are fat and sappy, and you have very deep roots, and your color is green. Don’t you know that you should be dry, brittle and rootless instead?”

        • PeaceByJesus says:

          Your logic would thus require the church to submit to the Jews, for as the Holy Spirit teaches regarding the Gentiles being grafted in, “if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.” (Romans 11:17-18)

          Moreover, you presume that Rome is not the dying tree while the twig is the growing one, which is manifestly the case. And ” to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

          • Tailler Huws says:

            I think that you are misunderstanding (and therefore misapplying) the Scriptures which you are quoting…But it is good that you are using the Scriptures.

      • PeaceByJesus says:

        I do not know why you cannot comprehend what i said, but it is clear that your are misrepresenting both the RC position as well as what under SS. The RC premise is not simply a that a visible head is essential, but one that uniquely possesses assured infallibility, to whom all the church looks to as its supreme exalted leader and magistrate as the first in a line of such.

        And under SS this is not something that can be claimed, making them popes, but the basis for veracity must be upon the weight of Scriptural substantiation, not the premise of assured personal infallibility.

        But the latter is what you affirmed, and which effectively renders the NT invalid. For if an infallible magisterium is essential for determination and assurance of Truth, and being the historical instruments and stewards of Divine revelation (oral and written) means that such is that assuredly infallible magisterium, then how could both men and writings of God be recognized and established as being so before Rome claimed it was essential for this?

        And how could the common people be correct in following an itinerant holy man in the desert who ate insects, and an itinerant Preacher from Galilee, when both of whom were rejected by those who were rejected (Mk. 11:27-33) by those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel, (Mt. 23:2) who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, and inheritors of promises of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation, and thru whom the Divine Christ came. (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Rm. 3:2; 9:4,5)

        But who reproved them by Scripture, (Mk. 7:2-16) and established His Truth claims upon scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the early church as it began upon this basis. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)

        Under the Roman model, “the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors,” (VEHEMENTER NOS) and the idea of assurance of Truth being obtained apart from an infallible magisterium, and of the magisterium being wrong when the laity are right is anathema to Rome.

        But which perpetual assuredly (if conditionally) infallible magisterium is neither promised nor necessary in Scripture, and instead while the magisterium was often instrumental in conveying, discerning and preserving Truth, yet God often raised up “prophets, wise men and scribes” from without it to reprove it, and provide Truth and discernment. And thus faith was preserved, and thus the church began and continues as the body of Christ, manifest where the faith of the gospel is lived out. Thanks be to God.

        • I respond by saying, that the subconjuctive orbitals of mistophetetic morgenes establishes a kind of euphoria known but to PBJ whose use of English, assuredly if conditionally but infallibly conveys arcane intelligibility. I sense he does not like us, but has a hard time explaining to me why. I sense the you are trying to describe circular logic, but are actually misconstruing hierarchy of truth. If you know what I mean. Any way you would have a bible to quote were it not for the authority of the Catholic Church to assert is authoritative status as the textus receptus

    • Terry Carlino says:

      I will limit myself to only one or two points. The first being if “Scripture as the only supreme infallible authority as the wholly inspired and thus assured” then where is that inspired Scripture documented? Since Scripture itself does not contain a list of what is included how is one to know which is “inspired Scripture” and which is not? Also what Scripture is one to use? Even ignoring the Apocrypha which version of Scripture is to be counted as the supreme infallible authority? KJV, the original Hebrew or Greek, or some other translation?
      Indeed the fact is that it was the Catholic Church, through first the pronouncement of the Pope Innocent I, and then through the Ecumenical Council of Trent, which initially determined what writings were canonical and which were not.
      A second point is that how could anyone suppose that those who hold that “who most strongly hold to the supremacy of Scripture as the wholly inspired and assured word of God are much more unified in basic key beliefs than the fruit of Rome” when one cannot even get most Protestant groups to agree on something as basic as Sacraments or morals?
      Also it is illegitimate to speak of the “Fruit of Rome”. There is only one orthodox Catholic belief, not limited to Roman Catholicism, but the same across all of the Churches in union with the Roman Pontiff. That belief is contained in the Magisterial documents of the Catholic Church. The fact that some professed Catholics don’t ascribe to them is not due to a weakness in the Church, but due to a weakness in the sinner. The Church teaches what the Church teaches. In its Magisterial teachings it has not changed over it’s whole history.

      • Dave says:

        Terry Carlino,

        You are so correct. The Bible actually states that the authority resides in the Church. And the Bible itself also states that it is not inexhaustible, that many miracles and other things Jesus did are not contained in the Bible.

        The Church, instituted by Christ, came first, and years later it was the Catholic Church which composed the Holy Bible, I believe around 300 AD, although it could’ve been a bit earlier, my memory sometimes fails me. Anyhow, the revelations were from God to the catholic authors.

        Jesus I trust in Thee…

    • Dave says:

      PBJ,

      First of all, “Peace Be With You!” I am not here to logically argue since you are a learned man, but here is a good web site to read that most all non-Catholics have never heard about. It will help you to understand that many have unknowingly separated themselves and their future generations from His Church. Now, people like my wife whose descendants are from England, fall into this category. Hence they miss out on all of the supernatural things that have been going on for centuries. They are cut off from the centuries of divine revelations and apparitions.

      https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/backgr.htm and
      https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm

      And this is from Jesus himself. I’m sure you will investigate further. See Divine Mercy (1931).

  2. Michael B Rooke says:

    @PeaceByJesus
    Cardinal Manning wrote “But faith needs a divine authority, and a divine authority must be infallible. It is only playing with terms and using words of no meaning if we speak of a divine authority which is not infallible. Any teacher, be it a man or corporate body, which disclaims infallibility cannot be a divine teacher.”

    • PeaceByJesus says:

      That is not surprising coming from Manning, considering he resorts to effectively arguing that history and tradition is only what Rome says it is.

      It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine….I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. Its past is present with it, for both are one to a mind which is immutable. Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves….The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour. — Most Rev. Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, “The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation,” (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228 .

      Rather, any teacher, be it a man or corporate body, which claims assured infallibility is presuming Divinity, as nowhere is infallibility promised to any man or office whenever they will speak universally defining a matter of faith and morals, so that “The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.” (Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism,” p. 275)

      • I must say, I find your writing style very difficult, but that said, I think your point (as I take it) is self-refuting since, if I do not accept that God has inspired the Church and the pope working together in the magisterium to be able (by God’s grace) to teach reliably and infallibly then I am not sure why we are even having a conversation sine you PBG are the pope of your own little church of one I am pope of my own little church of one. I would rather put faith in what God has revealed, namely that Jesus founded a Church, which is his Body, and that he authorized the apostles to preach an detach in his name, and to bind and lose. Otherwise its off to our own little church of one. If no one is pope everyone is pope of their own little world, and why should you care what I think in my Church?

      • Michael B Rooke says:

        @PeaceByJesus
        Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (1808–1892) wrote many books very many of which are listed on the Website of The Cardinal Manning Society.
        http://cardinalmanning.wordpress.com/
        He was an Anglican priest and was received into the Catholic Church 6 April 1851 and was ordained 14 June 1851. He was was chosen as Archbishop of Westminster in 1865, In 1875, Manning was created Cardinal.

        Among his writings are two books written on the Holy Spirit from which arises infallibility.
        The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost written in 1865 before the First Vatican Council of 1868
        The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost was written in 1875. Both books are available on line in pdf format links are provided in references below.

        My quotation was from The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost ( Page 67) and not the Temporal Mission as you would seem to suggest.
        [1]
        The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost
        http://openlibrary.org/books/OL14024733M/Temporal_mission_of_the_Holy_Ghost_or_Reason_revelation
        [2]
        The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost
        http://archive.org/details/a591685300mannuoft

  3. Maria says:

    https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm#5 – the words of this Novena , which seems striking in the explicit mention of the nature of what division entails , hopefully would help many to help to strive to pray for unity ;

    this may be esp. so for the Sacramental Churches ( Orthodox ) ;

    used to have this nagging question of the reason for Bl.Mother asking for Rosary prayers duing her apparitions ;
    couple of points that have been better grasped of late are these – that becuase of presence of possible anathema curses , spelled out by heads of divided Churches , effects of which mght still play out ( unsure if such effects are worse for those who say such ) and the blessings / praise that are invoked in the Rosary prayers ( Hallowed be Thy Name of the Our Father, Hail Mary , blessed are thou among women ..- the latter verse from Elisabeth specificaly about the gift of faith of our Mother , thus to help counter the loss of such , which is what often keep persons divided , whether in Churches or families.

    Happened to be in a church that was doing the ‘Morning Glory ‘ version of the Consecration prayers on the Feast Day of the Queenship of Bl.Mother ;
    http://33daystomorningglory.blogspot.com/p/consecration-prayer.html

    seems it helped to reognise more , how often one’s thoughts can be at discord and wander away , from what could be in line with that of the Bl.Mother’s and of the need to bring them back, with the recitation of the Hail Mary and how good this could be , if repeated often , in union spiritually with the significant persons in
    one’s life instead of letting the enemy rehash useless topics !

    Noted a striking point in Fr.Carl’s book ( Freedom through deliverance ) –

    ‘ after deliverance , if you have any doubts if all the spiritts are gone , under your breath , say , ‘In the Name of Jesus , I cast out each and every other spirit ‘ ( or pray a Hail Mary ! )

    Hope that we in The Church , being blessed to pray with the Holy Father, would help to alleviate the roles of the spirits of division and its effects in so many lives !

    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us !

  4. justin says:

    The Orthodox have managed quite well for millenia under crushing muslim and communist opposition…and all without a Pope. The claims of the Orthodox is something often ignored by both Protestants and Catholics. The Papacy as we know it today cannot be read into the New Testament. Besides that, for the first two or the centuries after the Ascension of our Lord none of the Fathers paid much exegetical attention to MT 16…

    • How can you say that? I have never seen and experienced such division and hatred as when I was in the Holy Land and observed how much the Orthodox hate eachother. Almost every year their hatred boils over into fistfights and other physical actions in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Nativity

    • Dave says:

      Justin,

      Catholic means universal. The Catholic Church (Jesus’ Church) is universal since it was started by Jesus and meant to be catholic, ie universal. The Orthodox church is nationalistic. Why hasn’t Patriarch Kirill of Moscow openly criticized or distanced himself from Russia and Putin, as Putin invades and then lies about such incursions into other countries. See Ukraine. There are many more instances of this if you investigate.

      Please see Divine Mercy – 1931 and you will begin to understand.

      https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm (please note day 5 of the novena)

      Peace out!

  5. Doug says:

    Great post again Monsignor. Your joke, however, is probably mostly dated. While there are some Protestants up on their denomination enough to know its heritage, I would bet that these days the vast majority has no idea of the origins. Whether it was Calvin or Luther or the Wesleys and what exactly was the beef that led to the division.

    I constantly marvel at the wonderful things about the Catholic Church and pity my Protestant friends who are missing so much good stuff.

  6. Bruce Newman says:

    I became a Christian (Protestant ) in 1978. I converted to Catholicism in 2009. I wasted a lot of time debating people and became much happier when I devoted most of my energies to trying to make sure I understood my own stance as best I could. To venture your opinion on the Internet is the same as to have a half price sale on Playstations at Wal-Mart in terms of response. If I understand anything now (and after all these years I feel I know a lot less than I used to think I did) it’s why Jesus remained silent before Pilate and others.

  7. chris awo says:

    In this difficult time in Church history here is the unity we all grave
    Let us remember that we must never separate Peter from Paul; and we must not separate Paul from Peter. That is the will of our Lord Jesus.

    These two saints are essential symbols of Christian Unity.

    And what does this Christian unity entail?
    1) Unity with the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
    Our Lord Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14 v 6)
    As Christians we must never water-down this statement, rather we must trumpet it loud and clear for all of humanity to hear.

    2) Unity with Mary, Ever-Virgin
    read more:www.popeleo13.com/pope/2014/06/30/category-archive-message-board-69-peter-paul-unity/

  8. John Harden says:

    “If No One Is Pope, Everyone is Pope” … except during a Papal Conclave. Then no one is pope.

  9. Timothy says:

    30,000 may not be an exaggeration. My understanding of that is that every new non-denominational church that springs up is its own denomination. They are not all part of a single “non-denomination.” They all vary widely on what they believe, so they are each their own new denomination. If that is the case, then every “bible church” and “Gracepoint Non-Denominational Community church” that pop up nearly every week in strip malls could easily add up to the tens of thousands.