Why be Anglican and not Catholic?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Achilles Smith, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Who's they?

    That's a matter of discipline, not doctrine.

    Furthermore, in a Baptist church you'll find even less hope for discipline; actually none at all: there is no formal way to actually put down a heretical parish/congregation. There is no teaching on discipline, correction, and ecclesiastical punishment.

    In the Anglican context especially in orthodox jurisdictions like ACNA and the Continuing Churches, it is practically impossible to be a heretical parish and escape the ire of your bishop. When one recent ACNA church started getting a little friendly with TEC, the Archbishop publicly rebuked and condemned them even for that, before they did anything wrong. This would be impossible in the Baptist context where you'd have no recourse to any kind of discipline whatsoever. If you are hungry for better discipline toward godly doctrine, then you're more likely to find it in the Anglican context than anywhere else, in this weak world of today's 21st century Christianity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  2. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Every day I pray "Lord Jesus Christ, save me a sinner."

    Does wonders when we remember our place in the universe.

    Blessings

    Fr. Mark
     
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  3. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    I sometimes pray that on the cruciform beads of the Anglo-Rosary.

    By the way, I hope you people are not offended by me and apologies if I sounded harsh or cold. I am just going through another spiritual shift in my life and am trying to figure these things out the best I can.
     
  4. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Offence is only a small thing. More importantly, we ought to pray with you so that we can all understand each other. The human weakness is truly our inability to understand each other when we are all, so very much, alike.
     
  5. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    I feel moved to reply to you. But I also feel hesistant.
    I am Catholic. You seem to repeatedly describe Catholics as "smug" or "pompous" (related traits) & I hope you won't judge me as such.
    If we see "smugness" over & over in a grouping, we might ask what it is (in us) that makes us interpret what we are encountering as smugness?

    I mean, Doctrinally-speaking, surely "born-again" once-saved-always-saved is a far "smugger" position than catholic angst about perfection, santification & works.
    Is this "Catholic smugness" perhaps just your pejorative re-casting of (so as to dismiss) "the quite-certitude" about Catholic Ecclesiology?

    For me the choice is at root simple & radical. Either Jesus refounded the Eternal Davidic Kingdom (with all "Kingdom" implies) or he left a book (eventually) to argue over the meaning of.
    The Jews were awaiting the Messiah who would re-establish the Davidic Kingdom, that would last forever & encompass the Nations.
    They were not expecting "A New Book"......and Jesus never mentions one. Neither does he write a book; Nor send "Go & write..."
    As a Carpenter He does not even build the printing press to make Protestantism possible.
    So Jesus is born a king and dies a king. And he talks about "The Kingdom" incessantly. And in Matt 16:18-19 Jesus calls This Kingdom-of-Heaven "my Church". He tells Peter it will never fail & He gives Peter "The Keys" of This Kingdom-of-Heaven. The sign of the King's total authority. He selects 12 Apostles as the princes for the 12 tribes and sets one up as The Davidic Steward. Jesus clearly references the appointment of The King's Steward in Isaiah Isaiah 22:20-23.
    So, instead of writing a book, Jesus founded a living Church/Kingdom/Tradition ... "that would never fail" (Matt 16:18); that he would be with until the end of time (Matt 28:20); & "lead into all Truth". (John 16:13).
    And if you want to hear this "Word-of-God" he said "Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."
    I think Protestant Christians tend to forget Jesus was totally Jewish, & the Jewish Messiah. His Apostles were all Jewish, and, although the nations will flock to His Kingdom-of-Heaven, it remains of Jewish character.
    The Apostles carried on with Jewish habits, customs & assumptions until circumstances required adaptions. Amongst these assumptions is the role of "oral tradition". The Jews had their Torah & Tanakh (Old Testament) but it required interpretation by Rabbis, Scribes & Pharisees. These oral traditions (even when later written) of Talmud, Mishnah & Gemara.
    This Jewish "oral system" just carried on in Catholic (& Orthodox) Christianity. And indeed at first it was all oral tradition.
    This all recognises that using scriptures as a self-expanatory, or all-sufficient, book, is impossible. And nowhere is it proposed until Luther.
    And Jesus told the people that their religious leaders, despite all their sins, had DIVINE guidance. So just before he condemned the Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees in Matthew 23, he gave an unqualified approval to their teachings!
    "The scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the Chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever that they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but do not practice" (Matthew 23:2,3)
    The Jews were to obey their corrupt, but legitimate, leaders because God saw to it that they taught the truth even when failing morally.
    This became the notion of the Catholic teaching authority, that the Seat of Moses, passed down in succession for 1500 years until the time of Christ, and the High Priesthood of Caiaphas, continued in the Church where it became the Seat of Peter.
    Catholicism is Post-Messianic-Judaism.
    It is that same historical, Apostolic, community that Jesus himself breathed on, and promised to be with always, leading it into all truth.
    That is why I reside in it comfortably, & will always remain. This could be misjudged as "smugness". It is not; I have no room for complacency in "working out my salvation in fear & trembling". But I can relax, knowing I am "in the kingdom" for this work. I do not have to search from scratch.
    I can try to "understand" it as much, or as little, as I want. I do not have to "compose" my own creed or theology. The point is to become holy not learned.

    Jesus, the Messiah, is God's LAST-Word-to-Man, there can be no refounders & no refoundings.
    The Protestant narrative relies on this Messianic-kingdom (personally-founded by The-God-Man-Christ) going belly-up at various dates (depending on which Protestant you are listening to) to be "saved" by a mortal much later.
    To me it has almost seemed faintly blasphemous that the story is that Jesus's personal creation failed, and had to be restarted by a mere mortal like Luther, Calvin, & thousands of others.
    This narrative also seems to make Christ a liar; he deserted his Church for 1200-1900 years. And, when The Holy Spirit finally re-awoke He went into overdrive leading Protestantism into a Babel of confusion instead of "into all truth".
    The proof produced of this "belly-up"...... is "abuses", scandals, or alleged "errors" or "heresies".
    Abuses & scandals happened in the old kingdom but God remained faithful. His field is always a field with tares.
    But how do you know what are "errors" or "heresies" and what are not?
    These can only be judged by divinely guaranteed authority.
    In this you depend on yourself alone.........or on another fallible ego.....that created a Protestant tradition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  6. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    My take on all of this is as follows (for what it's worth):

    Christ did establish a Church. That Church, over time, through human sinfulness, divided into the Assyrian Church of the East, The Oriental Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholic Church. All of these are of apostolic origin, have valid priesthoods, and valid sacraments. In fact, the RCC would agree with what I just stated. Where I would disagree with each of these Churches is when any of them have said they have it all correct, and the other three are in schism. I view them as being like brothers who have had a falling out and won't live under the same roof.

    Anglicanism, following the branch theory, retained the apostolic succession, and is a portion of the Western Church, though separated from Rome, much as the Old Catholics and the Swedish Lutherans are. Where it becomes problematic is where we see many Anglican bodies (and Old Catholics of Utrecht and the Swedish Lutherans) becoming increasingly heterodox.

    Other Christian bodies, such as the Baptists, Presbyterians, etc., are still Christians, but are deficient in their theology and sacraments to one degree or another. The most important thing, in my opinion, is being a Christian and adhering to the basics, or what the RCC what could the "deposit of faith," but the correct sacramental theology, while not determining one's salvation, is still important. I find in orthodox Anglicanism that aspect, or form, of Christianity that most resonates with me, but I do not "unchurch" those from other Christian denominations, and if someone feels they need to be in the Roman Catholic Church (or the Orthodox or Methodist, for that matter) more power to him/her.
     
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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Much of what you say is indeed fair. In my view however the Anglican Tradition is not a Protestant Tradition but rather a part of the Catholic Church which has room for Protestants and Catholics. The Davidic Kingdom is but one strand of the New Testament Narrative, however it should also be noted that the New Testament also references the Samaritan Eschatological messianic expectations, and the notion of Jesus as the Savior of the Cosmos which both the John 4 narrative and the account of the wise persons from the East point towards.

    The importance of the Petrine See is more in evidence in the conciliar period, and perhaps becomes more significant when the Capital of the Empire was moved to Constantinople, and was discussed at the Council of Constantinople, perhaps because they were trying to understand what place to give to the Patriarch of Constantinople as the see was not in existence (or at least of great significance) at the Council of Nicaea.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I'd want to push back on that, and defend the classic Protestant perspective, even if modern Protestants have mucked it up and made it unpalatable, especially the Pentecostals who are more or less completely abominable. By classical Protestants I mean the early Reformers, who were deeply Catholic and referred to themselves as Catholics. The groups similar to modern 'protestants', in their era the Anabaptists, the Quakers, the Levelers -- all these they expelled and excommunicated as utterly sinful and blasphemous. But in today's tolerant climate, we tolerate sin and evil, and so we don't castigate or excommunicate sinful and blasphemous Protestants, and they're able to infect and affect how the overall label is perceived.

    If we separate modern Protestantism from classical Protestantism; namely, division, rejection of catholicity, abandonment of the sacraments, gnosticism, versus, deep catholicity, rejection of all novelty and modernism, and deeply sacramental and scriptural.

    The fact of the matter is that even if the modernist Protestants had infected up the Protestant brand, which used to mean deep Catholicism and now means division and liberal heresy -- nevertheless, even today, Christendom as a whole is becoming more classically Protestant. All major perspectives the Protestants levied on the gospel, on justification, on grace, on salvation, have penetrated and became accepted, because they're simply more in line with the evidence. Just as one evidence point, the protoevangelium of Genesis, under Roman medieval/baroque translations, always referred to Mary:

    Genesis 3:15: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
    Douai-Rheims (Roman Catholic) translation of 1589​


    If you know the importance of the protoevangelium, the proto-Gospel, then putting Mary at the heart of the gospel puts her at the very center of salvation. That's how the medieval church translated Genesis 3.15

    But the Reformers came, and read the underlying text and said, hey, it doesn't say she, it says it, the seed. It refers to our lord and saviour:

    Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
    King James Authorized Version (Anglican) translation of 1614​


    The difference between the pronouns is pretty much galactic, in this case. And of course the Roman church cried foul. They executed, tortured and burned the heroic martyrs who stood for the truth of Scripture.


    And yet, lo and behold, the recent RCC translations now say:

    Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
    Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition of 2006​

    Lo and behold, Rome now says that justification is by faith alone -- the original reason for which they excommunicated the monk named Fr. Martin Luther back in 1520.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Harlen has complained about nothing that hasn't been discussed or explained a hundred times over on this forum and obviously doesn't understand Anglicanism at all. Maybe you should know what a forum is about before making your first post on it.

    The New American Bible, a thoroughly Roman Catholic modern translation, also denies that 1 Corinthians 3:15 teaches purgatory in its footnotes.
     
  10. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    1) Anglicanism has gospel, the canon, the creeds and apostolic succession/holy orders. Only the most extreme sectarian could argue we are not catholic.
    2) Anglicanism has the five solae, most importantly a classical understanding of Sola Scriptura and sola fidei.
     
  11. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    Could you tell me where "Rome now says that justification is by faith alone"
     
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  12. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    I think you neglect the power & necessity of Christ's bestowal of superintendancy on Peter.

    Why did Jesus re-name Simon-Bar-Jona "Rock" (Peter)?
    A Re-naming by God is always deeply meaningful & purposeful.
    What is its purpose here?
    Why is Simon renamed "Rock"?


    Could you consider that God foresaw all the divisions, & all the manner of divisions, that you see? And that by appointing His Davidic Steward he gave us the remedy?
    Thus we will always be able, like Ambrose, to say...."Where Peter is, there is the Church"
    This provides a sure Rock & foundation.
    Even for those who reject this authority I think there can be a parasitic utilisation of Rome as a "reference-point"......and even when it is the reference point for "protest", it still all depends on its rock-like shear existence.

    To further underline this focal, unitary nature of Peter's superintendency, (in Luke 22:31-32) Christ tells Peter...

    "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you (plural) as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon,(singular) that your faith will not fail. And when you (sing.) have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-34)

    Why Jesus didn't pray for ALL his Apostles in this way?
    Why ONLY for Peter?
    (Peter becomes the touchstone of Orthodoxy & unity in disputes. & multiple touchstones only prolong the argument)

    "Branch theories" look like trying to reverse-engineer-History to get back into The Catholic Church (theoretically) .....without having to actually get back into it?
    Anyway only a small part on one branch subscribes to it. But I accept that, as a Catholic, all those validly baptised are Christians. If they lack full communion or are in schism may this be some sort of dangling, snapped branch?
     
  13. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    I don't want to double-post. Could you look at my reply to Peteprint Post #32
     
  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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  15. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    As I understand it Stalwart, the Joint Declaration is an exploration not "Catholic Teaching", which is what I took you to mean by "Rome now says....."
    The link you posted is to a hostile opinion piece, on the Joint Declaration, by a dissident Sedevacantist organisation.
    They can hardly be expected to be the voice of "Catholic Teaching" or what "Rome says".

    (1)Even if it isn't Catholic teaching, perhaps you could provide the text within the JD that supports your statement that....."Rome now says that justification is by faith alone"
    (2)Then perhaps you could supply a truly authoritative source for this assertion...... Catechism or encyclical perhaps?
     
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  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sedevacantists can actually be a very good source for what Rome says. Their intent is to keep Roman Catholic teaching intact, and they contend that in modern decades the Roman church has completely abandoned its old doctrines. Thus if we want authoritative old RCC teachings, from Trent or from Vatican I, then the sedevacantists are often a good place to go. I know they are disliked in mainstream RCC circles, but that is no reason for us here to dismiss them.

    "25. We confess together that sinners are justified by faith in the saving action of God in Christ. By the action of the Holy Spirit in baptism, they are granted the gift of salvation, which lays the basis for the whole Christian life. They place their trust in God's gracious promise by justifying faith, which includes hope in God and love for him. Such a faith is active in love and thus the Christian cannot and should not remain without works. But whatever in the justified precedes or follows the free gift of faith is neither the basis of justification nor merits it."

    "27. ... While Catholic teaching emphasizes the renewal of life by justifying grace, this renewal in faith, hope, and love is always dependent on God's unfathomable grace and contributes nothing to justification about which one could boast before God."


    It hasn't made its way into one of the catechisms yet, but catechisms are hardly the final source of authority, because as we saw recently, a Pope can just change the catechism at his will, such as completely rewriting the Catholic doctrine on capital punishment. In any case, Pope Francis had this to say on Martin Luther and on justification back in 2016:

    "Today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he [Martin Luther] did not err. He made a medicine for the Church."

    http://www.dennyburk.com/pope-francis-says-he-agrees-with-martin-luther-about-justification/
     
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  17. harlen

    harlen New Member

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    (1)Surely you recognise that you do not ask a Protestant "what Rome teaches"? To ask a Sedevacantist is similar.

    (2)But the text you supplied does not say "faith alone". (Oh that wretched word that Luther slipped into his translation of Romans.)

    It says the reverse does it not? I italicise what must go with "faith" as understood here........

    Quote " We confess together that sinners are justified by faith in the saving action of God in Christ. By the action of the Holy Spirit in baptism, they are granted the gift of salvation, which lays the basis for the whole Christian life. They place their trust in God's gracious promise by justifying faith, which includes hope in God and love for him. Such a faith is active in love and thus the Christian cannot and should not remain without works.
    This is not "faith alone"

    Perhaps this is an "Either/Or" problem?
    The clue to most of these Catholic/Protestant differerences is the difference between "Either/Or" ....&......"Both/And"

    And most Heresies were caused by false "EITHER/OR" Dichotomies

    eg

    EITHER God is three; OR God is one
    EITHER Christ is fully human; OR fully divine

    So the early centuries of Catholic Christianity faced a veritable barrage of such heresies. It used Councils & Creeds to authoritatively preserve the paradoxical "both/ands" of supernatural truthes (always Mysteries) such as "The Trinity" or the "Hypostatic union".

    At the Reformation the earthbound, relentless, logic-of-the-flesh, reasserted itself with a new list of either / or dichotomies.

    EITHER Faith OR Works

    EITHER Faith OR Reason

    EITHER Bible OR Tradition

    EITHER Gospel OR Law

    EITHER God's Soverignity OR Free Will

    EITHER Memorial Meal OR Eucharistic Sacrifice

    EITHER "Baptism of water" OR "Baptism of The Spirit"

    EITHER Worship in the Spirit OR Worship with your body

    EITHER Jesus is in The Eucharist OR in Heaven

    EITHER A relationship with Jesus OR a relationship with Mary & The Saints

    EITHER Priesthood of all believers OR Ministerial Priesthood

    EITHER An invisible Church (of the "saved") OR A visible "Institution"

    Protestantism posed the false dichotomies,

    Selects the first,

    Makes it a "Sola"

    and then attack Catholics as though they held only the opposite choice!

    This is a mistake

    Catholics usually think & believe "Both / And"

    Again Catholicism preserved the "both/and 's" of supernatural truthes.

    God is cannot be bound by the simple dichotomies of scholars.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I can accept the mystery & paradox that God is sovereign, & that all is by His grace, and yet I have free will.

    So I can say that we are saved but by grace, through faith that works in love.
    Everything is by grace....even my next breath.
    But God also gives me free will and I can refuse His grace, or co-operate with his grace. ....by his grace.
     
  18. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    It seems fantastical to me to claim, in this day and age with all the access we have to the patristics and church history, to continue to insist on papal supremacy and infallibility.
     
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  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sure you could ask a Protestant what Rome teaches. What Rome teaches is not some hidden gnostic knowledge. It is contained in books, manuals, encyclicals, and canon law. Anyone can read those things. I wouldn't distrust you to ask what Anglicanism teaches, if you have good will. Anyone can find out these things.


    First of all this isn't about some one passage in Romans. There are many passages in the New Testament, and even in the Old Testament, that teach precisely justification by faith alone, which if you ask I can list for you.

    But here is where it is taught in the Joint Declaration, as signed by Rome:

    "While Catholic teaching emphasizes the renewal of life by justifying grace, this renewal in faith, hope, and love is always dependent on God's unfathomable grace and contributes nothing to justification about which one could boast before God."
    (in other words, there's nothing other than justification.)

    And here:

    "whatever in the justified precedes or follows the free gift of faith is neither the basis of justification nor merits it."
    (in other words, justification does not depend on anything other than faith.)


    And here is where it is taught by one of your Popes:

    "Today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he [Martin Luther] did not err. He made a medicine for the Church."

    http://www.dennyburk.com/pope-francis-says-he-agrees-with-martin-luther-about-justification/
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    OK.

    Whilst I appreciate that this is the Roman argument, and I have often found that adherents can sound peculiarly biblical and fundamentalist on this subject.

    Nonetheless, history is not so clear cut. Silvester did not personally attend the Council of Nicaea, though he did send delegates. Apart from those in attendance, it was recognised that the council proceedings were assented to by each of the five Patriarchs. At Constantinople there was new new reality, for the Capital of the Empire was no longer Rome but Constantinople, and the Patriarch of Constantinople had not existed at the previous council. The decision was taken that Constantinople ranked second only to Rome.

    Acts 15 of course presents an interesting insight into the life of the early church, and it seems that it is James who speaks for the Church, and seems to be identified as its leader. We know in reading scripture that Peter struggled with gentile salvation, and he and Paul clearly struggled with this key issue.

    What is less clear is that nature of primacy being exercised in the Church. In Jerusalem it seems to be essentially a democratic leadership looking for a general consensus. At the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople it seems to still be largely democratic, though clearly there were winners and losers. Damasus was not present at Constantinople, though he did have representation. The edicts of the Council (including/especially the Nicene Creed) were recognised as binding, based on the authority of the Council, and of the Patriarchs. Had the proceeding of the council not been accepted by one of the Patriarchs the authority of the Council could be in question. Damasus was the Pope - Patriarch of the West, and his authority was the equivalent of the others. His primacy seems to have been a Primacy of Honour.

    At Chalcedon Leo tried to exert influence on the Council with the Tome of Leo, however this was not as well received. During the Photian Schism there was significant stress between Constantinople and Rome, which was ultimately patched up (more bandage than resolution I suspect). Come 1014 the Pope acted against the Council of Constantinople and amended the Creed of the Council, proclaiming the authority of the Keys. This ultimately led to the Great Schism.

    Essentially the question become a matter of interpretation. Is it Simon-Peter the person who is the Rock (his heirs and successors according to the law) or is it that faith that he has just expressed in Jesus that is the rock.

    I have a great deal of respect for Rome and for the Pope, however that does not require me to accept of all that is said in relation to the office.

    Pax Dominus Vibiscum
     
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