The Liberation of St. Peter, by Antonio de Bellis (1616-1656) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
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I had an encounter with a former Catholic Protestant (Church of Christ) in a closed Facebook group, who was replying to my posted paper, 50 NT Proofs for Petrine Primacy & the Papacy.
This guy concluded that my list was a fantasy and dreamt-up and that the Bible needs to state outright and explicitly that Peter was pope; he also questioned that the papacy was an office, with someone to replace Peter the way Judas was replaced. Lastly, he denied that Catholic popes were successors to St. Peter.
I first responded: “Cool! If you are that confident, then surely you can go through all 50 and rip ’em to shreds. I’ll wait with baited breath . . .” He replied that he had already done that (!). Then I decided to make the lengthier reply to this silliness, that follows below.
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The Bible no more has to say “Peter was pope” than it has to say, “These 27 books [all 27 individual names listed] are the inspired books of the New Testament” (which it never says: biblical canonization is a tradition and a matter of Church authority).
The teaching that Peter was the leader of the Church is there in all the proofs I have provided, whereas there is no proof in the New Testament that the 27 New Testament books that we consider inspired and the New Testament are what they are.
Yet you believe that with no biblical evidence whatever, while we believe Peter is pope with tons of New Testament evidence in its favor.
It’s the same with sola Scriptura, one of the two pillars of the Protestant so-called “Reformation”. The Bible never states this principle that all Protestants consider GOSPEL TRVTH: “the Bible is the only infallible / supreme authority and tradition and the Church are not that.” It’s never ever stated.
But the sublime authority of the Church and Tradition are both stated many times, as I prove in various papers of mine (including one about oral tradition that I also posted this very today).
Succession is easy to establish. If there is such an office as the papacy / leader of the whole Church (as my 50 proofs show), then it follows that this office would be for perpetuity, by analogy to all the other offices, such as bishop and deacon.
But of course most Protestants couldn’t care less that the Bible casually assumes that there is such a thing as a bishop, and always would be.
I have lots of other thoughts on the papacy and succession, etc., in various papers and books, but this is enough for now. You can’t climb Mt. Everest in one day. You gotta go step-by-step, slowly (and catch your breath between each step).
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The person then explained that he was a former Catholic, with the usual laundry list of complaints about various Catholic doctrines. I asked him, “how many books of Catholic apologetics did you read before departing, and which ones?” He didn’t answer that. I asked him a second time. He refused to answer again. He claimed that he was only persuaded by “real, clear evidences.” So I replied:
Of course you do [make “presumptions and assumptions”: as he denied] . I showed how you do it with at least two things, in my previous reply:
1) The canon of the NT, which is never listed in the NT. You accept that with no biblical evidence whatever; only from [Catholic] tradition and Church authority.
2) Sola Scriptura, which is never stated anywhere in the Bible, ever. Nothing, zip, zero, nada. I wrote two books just about that [one / two], and have engaged in countless dialogues with Protestants about this central issue of dispute. None of them have ever shown me that the contrary is the case. They can’t produce a single passage. And they can’t do so because it doesn’t exist.
So that is a mere tradition of men, invented in the 16th century, that you accept and base your entire view on, while it is utterly absent from the Bible (making it also — logically –, a self-defeating position).
He made more summary statements, and so I added:
I just gave them [“scriptural evidences”] to you in my paper and explanation here, but you cannot receive it. Your Protestant bias doesn’t allow you to accept it at this time. Presumably, that’s why you offer no direct rebuttals of what I say; only blanket assertions, which are not arguments.
I’m done. If you don’t interact at all with what I say, there is no reason to talk to you any longer. God bless. I don’t do the one-way thing, where the Protestant preaches about a dozen different things and persistently ignores every counter-argument offered by the Catholic.
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