December 7, 2022

    Background:   December 8 marks The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.  Officially proclaimed in Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus in 1854, the dogma reads as follows: “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the... Read more

November 23, 2022

  Introduction: In a previous article, I laid the groundwork for the introduction of a brief citation from Mark of Ephesus’ (d. 1444) First Homily: Refutation of the Latin Chapters Concerning Purgatorial Fire.  There also was given some brief biographical information on the Metropolitan of Ephesus, and a general context of the text that will be analyzed in the present post.  As previously indicated, Mark is answering a Latin probe into the Greek understanding of the “middle-state” during preliminary discussions... Read more

October 23, 2022

        Introduction: As the feast of All Souls Day (November 2nd) fast approaches in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, I figured a post (or two) on Purgatory was in order.  In these articles, I wish to examine a passage from Mark of Ephesus’ (aka Markos Eugenikos) First Homily wherein he argues against the Catholic conception of the post-mortem “middle state”, which came to be known as Purgatory.   Mark of Ephesus (d. 1444) was perhaps... Read more

October 15, 2022

  Such appears to be the claim in a meme (above) that was posted in a Facebook group this week that I occasionally participate in.  The origin of the meme itself is unknown to me (it can also be found here).  The message is straight forward.  Catholics regularly refer Protestant interlocutors to the Early Church Fathers to support their arguments.  In the meme, the advice is taken, and a citation from St. Basil of Caesarea’s (d. A.D. 379) Epistle 283... Read more

October 8, 2022

      The dual apostolicity of the Roman church was a fact well known to the Early Church Fathers.  Not only did Peter and Paul labor there, but they were also ultimately martyred in the imperial capital making their residence permanent in a certain sense.[1]  This apostolic pedigree became a useful tool for second and third century apologists such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Gaius in combatting Gnosticism.[2]  Thus the appearance of the first extant episcopal lists of the... Read more

October 1, 2022

  Comments that the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church made earlier this week caused something of a stir on the internet.  As the Associated Press reports, Patriarch Kirill gave a sermon this past Sunday wherein he assured his listeners that “If someone, driven by a sense of duty, the need to fulfill an oath, remains true to his calling and dies in the line of military duty, then he undoubtedly commits an act that is tantamount to a sacrifice”. ... Read more

September 25, 2022

  Background: According to tradition, the Apostle Peter eventually came to the imperial capital, labored there for a time, and was ultimately martyred there by the Roman authorities.  From a strictly historical perspective, Peter’s martyrdom at Rome is so well attested to in the ancient literary sources that the Lutheran theologian Oscar Cullman concluded that, “were we to demand for all facts of ancient history a greater degree of probability, we should have to strike from our history books a... Read more

September 17, 2022

  “The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark.” (1 Peter 5:13, DRB)   Introduction: In an older post, I had discussed the meaning of the reference to ‘Babylon’ in 1 Peter 5:13, and included the three most common interpretations of the text.  The first, that it is a cryptic reference to Rome, is the oldest, has the support of ancient writers, and is the one favored by the majority... Read more

September 11, 2022

  Introduction: Today on the memorial of September 11, 2022 many Americans (as well as others) reflect upon a major tragedy that took the lives of many, and provoked a major paradigm shift with respect to U.S. foreign policy.  The ripples of that horrible day still affect countless individuals, as well as the world as a whole.  The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the “why”, to explore some of the religious rhetoric leading up to... Read more

September 4, 2022

    Background:  For the first thirteen centuries of Christianity it was accepted as a given that the Apostle Peter, before the end of his life, came to Rome, labored there for a period, and ultimately was martyred there.  It was not until the advent of the Waldensian sect in the High Middle Ages that the first doubts on this question were expressed, and this seemingly in connection with their assertion that the Sacred Scriptures were the only means for... Read more


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