'Replies from Roman Catholics'

Mike Martin - 22

17th February, 2003

(Continued from page 299)

An Ignatius letter proves Papal Rome's 'presidency'?

You write:  In the year 107, we have the writings of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who wrote 8 letters to various churches on his way to martyrdom in Rome.  He addresses the Church at Rome as that 'which holds the presidency in the place of the country of the Romans.'

TCE:  Again, let us look at the actual quote from 'THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE ROMANS (SHORTER AND LONGER VERSIONS)':

The letter opens:

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that willeth all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God, which also presides in the place of the report of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of obtaining her every desire, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the San of the Father:  to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God.  Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, and is possessed of the Spirit, which I also salute in the name of Almighty God, and of Jesus Christ His Son:  to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments, who are filled inseparably with all the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in God, even the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

In his
'THIRD EPISTLE' Ignatius writes (in his introduction):

Ignatius, who is [also called] Theophorus, to the Church which has received grace through the greatness of the Father Most High; to her who presideth in the place of the region of the Romans, who is worthy of God, and worthy of life, and happiness, and praise, and remembrance, and is worthy of prosperity, and presideth in love, and is perfected in the law of Christ unblameable:  [wishes] abundance of peace

Clearly a biased Papal translation can even make it seem as if the Roman church had 'presidency' over other churches but, again, the sections merely state that the church 'presides' in
'The region of the Romans' which is a long way from saying that she was 'president' over, or 'presided over' all other churches!

Ignatius tells us that the Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ?

You write:  Ignatius also tells us that the Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ.  And for those who believe that the Catholic Church began at some late date, Ignatius left us with the following quote:  'Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it.  Wherever the bishop will appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.'  Again, 107, A.D.

TCE:  Regarding the Eucharist, in his Epistle to the Philadelphians, Ignatius wrote (CHAPTER 5 - HAVE BUT ONE EUCHARIST, ETC):

Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist.  For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants:  that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to [the will of] God.

and he continues:

I have confidence of you in the Lord, that ye will be of no other mind.  Wherefore I write boldly to your love, which is worthy of God, and
exhort you to have but one faith, and one [kind of] preaching, and one Eucharist.  For there is one flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ; and His blood which was shed for us is one; one loaf also is broken to all [the communicants], and one cup is distributed among them all:  there is but one altar for the whole Church, and one bishop, with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants.  Since, also, there is but one unbegotten Being, God, even the Father; and one only-begotten Son, God, the Word and man; and one Comforter, the Spirit of truth; and also one preaching, and one faith, and one baptism; and one Church which the holy apostles established from one end of the earth to the other by the blood of Christ, and by their own sweat and toil; it behooves you also, therefore, as 'a peculiar people, and a holy nation,' to perform all things with harmony in Christ.  Wives, be ye subject to your husbands in the fear of God; and ye virgins, to Christ in purity, not counting marriage an abomination, but desiring that which is better, not for the reproach of wedlock, but for the sake of meditating on the law.  Children, obey your parents, and have an affection for them, as workers together with God for your birth [into the world].  Servants, be subject to your masters in God, that ye may be the freed-men of Christ.  Husbands, love your wives, as fellow-servants of God, as your own body, as the partners of your life, and your co-adjutors in the procreation of children.  Virgins, have Christ alone before your eyes, and His Father in your prayers, being enlightened by the Spirit.  May I have pleasure in your purity, as that of Elijah, or as of Joshua the son of Nun, as of Melchizedek, or as of Elisha, as of Jeremiah, or as of John the Baptist, as of the beloved disciple, as of Timothy, as of Titus, as of Evodius, as of Clement, who departed this life in [perfect] chastity, Not, however, that I blame the other blessed [saints] because they entered into the married state, of which I have just spoken.  For I pray that, being found worthy of God, I may be found at their feet in the kingdom, as at the feet of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; as of Joseph, and Isaiah, and the rest of the prophets; as of Peter, and Paul, and the rest of the apostles, that were married men.  For they entered into these marriages not for the sake of appetite, but out of regard for the propagation of mankind.  Fathers, 'bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;' and teach them the holy Scriptures, and also trades, that they may not indulge in idleness.  Now [the Scripture] says, 'A righteous father educates [his children] well; his heart shall rejoice in a wise son.' Masters, be gentle towards your servants, as holy Job has taught you; for there is one nature, and one family of mankind.  For 'in Christ there is neither bond nor free.'  Let governors be obedient to Caesar; soldiers to those that command them; deacons to the presbyters, as to high-priests; the presbyters, and deacons, and the rest of the clergy, together with all the people, and the soldiers, and the governors, and Caesar [himself], to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as Christ to the Father.  And thus unity is preserved throughout.  Let not the widows be wanderers about, nor fond of dainties, nor gadders from house to house; but let them be like Judith, noted for her seriousness; and like Anna, eminent for her sobriety.  I do not ordain these things as an apostle:  for 'who am I, or what is my father's house,' that I should pretend to be equal in honour to them? But as your 'fellow-soldier,'  I hold the position of one who [simply] admonishes you.

In Chapter 7 of

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.  Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes.  But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again.  It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.  But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.  They are ashamed of the cross; they mock at the passion; they make a jest of the resurrection.

And in Chapter 8 -

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God.  Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.  Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it.  Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.  It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

Justin also emphasizes the fact that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?

You write:  Justin Martyr left us with a lot of writing in the year 135.  In it he gives the first known detailed description of a Christian worship service.  It is, to the letter, a description of a Catholic Mass of today.  Justin also emphasizes the fact that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. 

TCE:  Regarding Justin Martyr, in 'The First Apology', he writes (CHAPTER 66 - OF THE EUCHARIST):

And this food is called among us Eujcariatia [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined.  For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.  For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, 'This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;' and that, after the same manner,  having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, 'This is My blood;' and gave it to them alone.  Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done.  For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

Justin writes that the Eucharist is partaken by those who believe
'not as common bread and common drink' and makes it clear that they believed that 'Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation'.  And he states that 'the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh'.  This certainly seems to be the earliest writings describing the error of 'transmutation' and we will see later if this doctrine is Biblical - or even logical - in the framework of what we know from Scripture of described miracles.

In the
'Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr' he writes (CHAPTER 41 - THE OBLATION OF FINE FLOUR WAS A FIGURE OF THE EUCHARIST):

'And the offering of fine flour, sirs,' I said, 'which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed, in remembrance of the suffering which He endured on behalf of those who are purified in soul from all iniquity, in order that we may at the same time thank God for having created the world, with all things therein, for the sake of man, and for delivering us from the evil in which we were, and for utterly overthrowing principalities and powers by Him who suffered according to His will.  Hence God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you:  'I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands:  for, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, My name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure offering:  for My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord:  but ye profane it.' [So] He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane [it].  The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first.

Justin continues in

'Accordingly, God, anticipating all the sacrifices which we offer through this name, and which Jesus the Christ enjoined us to offer, i.e., in the Eucharist of the bread and the cup, and which are presented by Christians in all places throughout the world, bears witness that they are well-pleasing to Him.  But He utterly rejects those presented by you and by those priests of yours, saying, 'And I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles (He says); but ye profane it.' Yet even now, in your love of contention, you assert that God does not accept the sacrifices of those who dwelt then in Jerusalem, and were called Israelites; but says that He is pleased with the prayers of the individuals of that nation then dispersed, and calls their prayers sacrifices.  Now, that prayers and giving of thanks, when offered by worthy men, are the only perfect and well-pleasing sacrifices to God, I also admit.  For such alone Christians have undertaken to offer, and in the remembrance effected by their solid and liquid food, whereby the suffering of the Son of God which He endured is brought to mind, whose name the high priests of your nation and your teachers have caused to be profaned and blasphemed over all the earth.  But these filthy garments, which have been put by you on all who have become Christians by the name of Jesus, God shows shall be taken away from us, when He shall raise all men from the dead, and appoint some to be incorruptible, immortal, and free from sorrow in the everlasting and imperishable kingdom; but shall send others away to the everlasting punishment of fire.  But as to you and your teachers deceiving yourselves when you interpret what the Scripture says as referring to those of your nation then in dispersion, and maintain that their prayers and sacrifices offered in every place are pure and well-pleasing, learn that you are speaking falsely, and trying by all means to cheat yourselves:  for, first of all, not even now does your nation extend from the rising to the setting of the sun, but there are nations among which none of your race ever dwelt.  For there is not one single race of men, whether barbarians, or Greeks, or whatever they may be called, nomads, or vagrants, or herdsmen living in tents, among whom prayers and giving of thanks are not offered through the name of the crucified Jesus.  And then, as the Scriptures show, at the time when Malachi wrote this, your dispersion over all the earth, which now exists, had not taken place.

So, in other places Justin writes in terms that can be accepted as Biblical.

Irenaeus supports the Roman Catholic view of the Papacy and the listing of the Bishops of Rome?

You write:  And I'm surprised that you quote Irenaeus (year 180), who tells us that the Catholic Church is where the apostles deposited the faith 'like money in a bank.'  If you had read him carefully when he was listing the Bishops of Rome, you would have seen that Linus was not the first Bishop of Rome, but was commissioned as the second in line after the founders of the Roman Church, Peter and Paul.

TCE:  We quoted Irenaeus in our e-mail as follows:

'Du Pin,
another Papal Roman Catholic historian, acknowledges that 'the primacy of Peter is not recorded by the early Christian writers, Justin Martyr (139), Irenaeus (178), Clement of Alexandria (190), or others of the most ancient fathers.'  The Roman Church thus builds her papal system, not on New Testament teaching, nor upon the facts of history, but only on unfounded traditions.'

Furthermore, as we have seen, there is no record that Peter was ever Bishop of Rome, and therefore no Bishop of Rome could possibly be his successor.  Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (178-200 A.D.), provided a list of the first 12 Bishops of Rome. 
Linus was the first and Peter's name does not appear.  Eusebius of Caesaria, the Father of church history, never mentions Peter as Bishop of Rome.  He simply says that Peter came to Rome 'about the end of his days' and was crucified there.  Paul, in writing his epistle to the Romans, greets many people by name, but not Peter.  That would be a strange omission if Peter had been living in Rome, and especially if he were its bishop!

Irenaeus, writing in 'Against the Heresies' (Book 4; Chapter 18)

5.  Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned.  But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion.  For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit.  For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

If you strain the meaning of
'the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit' and 'the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly' you can force the Roman view into the text, but all Christians partaking of the emblems no longer consider the bread and wine to be 'common' but to symbolise the very real spiritual union which we have with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at Communion.  But this is a very long way from the Roman interpretation of the nature of the bread and wine.

In book 5, Chapter 2, Irenaeus also wrote

1.  And vain likewise are those who say that God came to those things which did not belong to Him, as if covetous of another's property; in order that He might deliver up that man who had been created by another, to that God who had neither made nor formed anything, but who also was deprived from the beginning of His own proper formation of men.  The advent, therefore, of Him whom these men represent as coming to the things of others, was not righteous; nor did He truly redeem us by His own blood, if He did not really become man, restoring to His own handiwork what was said [of it] in the beginning, that man was made after the image and likeness of God; not snatching away by stratagem the property of another, but taking possession of His own in a righteous and gracious manner.  As far as concerned the apostasy, indeed, He redeems us righteously from it by His own blood; but as regards us who have been redeemed, [He does this] graciously.  For we have given nothing to Him previously, nor does He desire anything from us, as if He stood in need of it; but we do stand in need of fellowship with Him.  And for this reason it was that He graciously poured Himself out, that He might gather us into the bosom of the Father.  2.  But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption.  But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body.  For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made.  By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, 'In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins.' And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills).  He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.  3.  When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him? - even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that 'we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.' He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones, - that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body.  And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a corn of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption, because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness, in order that we may never become puffed up, as if we had life from ourselves, and exalted against God, our minds becoming ungrateful; but learning by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature, we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives, and thus never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man.  And might it not be the case, perhaps, as I have already observed, that for this purpose God permitted our resolution into the common dust of mortality, that we, being instructed by every mode, may be accurate in all things for the future, being ignorant neither of God nor of ourselves?

This first highlighted section cuts right through the Roman doctrine by stating clearly that:  '
BLOOD CAN ONLY COME FROM VEINS AND FLESH, AND WHATSOEVER ELSE MAKES UP THE SUBSTANCE OF MAN, such as the Word of God was actually made' and thus states clearly that the blood which redeems us came from the fully flesh and blood Word of God (Jesus!) and cannot come from a piece of bread!

The second highlighted section emphasises the difference between natural things which are planted or fall to the ground and '
fructifies in its season' or 'becom[es] decomposed', whereas  the body of Christ fulfilled Scripture and 'did not see decay' (Acts 13:37).  In contrast, the supposedly transformed bread and wine of the Roman Eucharist will mould and decay!


Those who have become acquainted with the secondary (i.e., under Christ) constitutions of' the apostles, are aware that the Lord instituted a new oblation in the new covenant, according to [the declaration of] Malachi the prophet.  For, 'from the rising of the sun even to the setting my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice;' as John also declares in the Apocalypse:  'The incense is the prayers of the saints.' Then again, Paul exhorts us 'to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.' And again, 'Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips.' Now those oblations are not according to the law, the handwriting of which the Lord took away from the midst by canceling it; but they are according to the Spirit, for we must worship God 'in spirit and in truth.' And therefore the oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual; and in this respect it is pure.  For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment.  And then, when we have perfected the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life eternal.  Those persons, then, who perform these oblations in remembrance of the Lord, do not fall in with Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritual manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.

This section makes it clear that the writer is talking about an
antitype, which is a figure used to describe a real thing, for in Scripture Jesus is likened unto the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) as the Lamb of God (John 1:29,36).  The first Passover feast eaten by the Jews in Egypt was to become a memorial feast for the people and the Lord's Supper (communion) is the New Testament corresponding antitype to Christ.  Both the Passover feast and the Lord's Supper have many things in common.  First, they had the same meaning as a memorial:  the Passover was to remember Egypt, while the Lord's Supper remembers Christ's death (cf.  Exodus 12:26 and 1 Corinthians 11:25).  Secondly, each feast used a young, innocent and perfect lamb:  (cf.  Exodus 12:5 and John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19).  The Jews were to eat the flesh of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:8), while Christians are to eat the flesh (bread) of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:27).  The Jews were not allowed to break any bones of the lamb when they ate it (Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12) and, in the same manner, the Christian's 'Passover Lamb' had no bones broken (as prophesied in Psalm 34:20 and fulfilled in John 19:33-36).  The blood of the Jewish Passover lamb was to be painted on the outside of the door so that when the death angel came to destroy all of Egypt, he would 'Passover' that house and not kill the occupants.  In similar manner, the blood of the Christian's Passover Lamb was shed for the forgiveness of sins, so that when Judgment day comes, all who have accepted the offering of the Perfect Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will not be destroyed in Hell (Matthew 26:27).

An important point regarding the Papal view of the Eucharist is that it contradicts many Old Testament Scriptures which forbid the eating of human flesh and the drinking of human blood (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17).  If the Eucharist bread was supernaturally transformed into the flesh of Christ and the wine into the blood of Christ by the Papal priesthood this would result in a contradiction of God's Word and also means that pagans who criticized 'Christians' for cannibalism would be absolutely correct! 

The blood of Jesus is a central theme for the redemption of all mankind. 
Ephesians 1:7.  The blood of Christ justifies:  Romans 5:9.  It sanctifies:  Hebrews 13:12; cleanses:  1 John 1:7; Washes:  Revelation 1:5; Brings us near to God:  Colossians 1:20; The church was bought with the Blood of Christ:  Acts 20:28; Revelation 5:9.  Now the grace of God sent His son to die for our sins on the cross.  Ephesians 2:8'By grace you are saved, through faith...'  In the redemption process, God supplies the grace and man supplies the faith.  Without the blood of Christ mankind would utterly we without hope.  Have you applied the sacrificial blood of Christ to your sins?

Here is your other quote from Irenaeus

1.  Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth:  so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life.  For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers.  On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth.  For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches? 2.  To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendor, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent.  Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom.  If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address.  Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.

This passage makes it clear that God had deposited everything we need with the Church. 
But how come you avoided mentioning that Irenaeus clearly recorded that the apostles had left their writings!  Yes, he does say that if we did not have their writings we could 'follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches? ...  To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition' but the first emphasis is on the writings which they clearly had in their possession.  There is no mention of any deficiency in the writings (the Scriptures) as you infer in your second e-mail so, again, you have failed to prove your point. 

You question whether Linus was the first Bishop of Rome or successor to Peter and Paul? 


A co-presbyter with Linus and Cletus, he succeeded them in the government of the Roman Church.  I have reluctantly adopted the opinion that his Epistle was written near the close of his life, and not just after the persecution of Nero.  It is not improbable that Linus and Cletus both perished in that fiery trial, and that Clement's immediate succession to their work and place occasions the chronological difficulties of the period.  After the death of the apostles, for the Roman imprisonment and martyrdom of St.  Peter seem historical, Clement was the natural representative of St.  Paul, and even of his companion, the 'apostle of the circumcision;' and naturally he wrote the Epistle in the name of the local church, when brethren looked to them for advice.  St.  John, no doubt, was still surviving at Patmos or in Ephesus; but the Philippians, whose intercourse with Rome is attested by the visit of Epaphroditus, looked naturally to the surviving friends of their great founder; nor was the aged apostle in the East equally accessible.  All roads pointed towards the Imperial City, and started from its Millarium Aureum.  But, though Clement doubtless wrote the letter, he conceals his own name, and puts forth the brethren, who seem to have met in council, and sent a brotherly delegation (Chap.  lix.).  The entire absence of the spirit of Diotrephes (St.  John, Ep.  III.  9), and the close accordance of the Epistle, in humility and meekness, with that of St.  Peter (Ep.  I, v.  1-5), are noteworthy features.  The whole will be found animated with the loving and faithful spirit of St.  Paul's dear Philippians, among whom the writer had learned the Gospel.

Later in the introduction, we read of the list of Roman bishops:

Conclusion:  the lists of early Roman bishops are in hopeless confusion, some making Clement the immediate successor of St.  Peter, others placing Linus, and others still Linus and Anacletus, between him [Clement] and the apostle.  The internal evidence, again, leaves the matter doubtful, though it has been strongly pressed on both sides.  The probability seems, on the whole, to be in favour of the Domitian period, so that the Epistle ['Clements' First Letter to the Corinthians] may be dated about A.D. 97.

And we read, in
Chapter 7 of Ignatius to the Trallians:

And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as the holy Stephen did to the blessed James, Timothy and Linus to Paul, Anencletus and Clement to Peter? He, therefore, that will not yield obedience to such, must needs be one utterly without God, an impious man who despises Christ, and depreciates His appointments.


Now it occurs to me to mention, that the report is true which I heard of thee whilst thou wast at Rome with the blessed father Linus, whom the deservedly-blessed Clement, a hearer of Peter and Paul, has now succeeded.  And by this time thou hast added a hundred-fold to thy reputation; and may thou, O woman! still further increase it.  I greatly desired to come unto you, that I might have rest with you; but 'the way of 245 man is not in himself.' For the military guard [under which I am kept] hinders my purpose, and does not permit me to go further.  Nor indeed, in the state I am now in, can I either do or suffer anything.  Wherefore deeming the practice of writing the second resource of friends for their mutual encouragement, I salute flay sacred soul, beseeching of thee to add still further to thy vigor.  For our present labor is but little, while the reward which is expected is great.

To further confuse the issue it states here that Clement succeeded Linus?
  If so - and you claimed Clement was fourth Bishop of Rome in your second e-mail - doesn't this make Linus third?  This certainly explains the view that the list of bishops is hopelessly confused and bears out our earlier statement about putting too much store on the accuracy and reliability of the early Church Father's writings (which are never claimed to be inspired)!

In Book 3, Chapter 3, of 'Irenaeus Against Heresies', we also read: 

3.  The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate.  Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy.  To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric.  This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes.  Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles.  In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels.  From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another God beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things.  To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus.  Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius;  then after him, Anicetus.  Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate.  In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us.  And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

So this adds further confusion to your list of bishops by making the order Linus, Anacletus and then Clements - but it certainly doesn't call Peter or Paul the bishop or Pope!  Further, the note on Clement does not inform us that the Corinthians 'appealed' to the Roman bishop in any form - never mind calling him 'leader' of the church or a 'pope' - or even that Clement wrote the letter, for it states
:  'In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians'.

We therefore find your points unproven, again, and move on to your next point.

(Continued on page 301)

Full Menu

Topics discussed on pages responding to Roman Catholics
Section 8-25:

Do TCE write out of 'hatred of the Catholic Church'?

'Two sides to every story' - or the truth versus the lies?

Scandalous behaviour of 'just a few popes'?

Luther was far from perfect - but Salvation is not based on him or his doctrines!

Luther struggled to leave all of Rome's corrupt doctrines

Hagiography - a sure mark of 'religion' and religiosity

Don't check out the facts when your mind is made up?

Are the scandals of Papal Rome acceptable?

Why does Rome persecute those following the Bible alone?

Have there really been only 'a few scandalous popes'?

Has Rome really 'survived 20 centuries'?

The blasphemy of Mariolatry

Matthew 23 describes the clergy of Rome!

'Some popes were great sinners … Luther … was far more scandalous'

Luther taught that good works were to be avoided/performing them was a mortal sin 

'Luther's' Protestant society much more immoral than Papal Rome?!

Luther threw out seven entire books of the Bible

Luther added the word 'alone' to Romans 3:28?

Protestants still use Luther's canon of the Bible instead of the rightful Catholic one

Protestant-Fundamentalism began a hundred years ago? - I

Protestant-Fundamentalism began a hundred years ago? - II

Who have conflicting beliefs and no unity of doctrine - 'Protestants' or Roman Catholics?

Catholics were just about the only Christians around until the Reformation - did Rome kill millions?

Were other heresies around before the Reformation?

The Papal Doctrine of 'The Two Swords'

The 'first' Protestants persecuted Roman Catholics?

Who really massacred millions?

Who really began the witch-hunts!

Witchcraft was one excuse used to persecute 'heretics' such as the Anabaptists

Oliver Cromwell:  Lord Protector of England (1599-1658)

Can anyone claim that Rome is even slightly Biblical?

How did we actually get the Bible?

Can Rome logically deny Sola Scriptura?

Did the apostles consult Scripture or the Holy Spirit?

Does 'Tradition' - 'oral teachings' of the apostles - have a place?

Passages in Scripture point to the importance of Tradition?

No Christian faith is more closely aligned with the Bible than Catholicism?

Baptism is necessary for salvation?

Keeping 'The Commandments' is essential for salvation?

'Once Saved Always Saved' means you can wilfully sin?

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is Biblical?

The Bible is not the sole authority in matters of faith?

Catholicism was present from New Testament times?

Peter is always listed as the first apostle in all the gospels?

Jesus didn't say that Peter would be perfect in behavior - only in his teaching?

Early Christians prove the Papal view of the Eucharist is correct?

Claims of 'cannibalism' prove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?!

A letter to Clement proves that the Corinthians appealed to a Bishop and did not consult Scripture?

An Ignatius letter proves Papal Rome's 'presidency'?

Ignatius tells us that the Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Justin also emphasizes the fact that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Irenaeus supports the Roman Catholic view of the Papacy and the listing of the Bishops of Rome?

Polycarp mentions Ignatius approvingly - and this supports the claims of Papal Rome?

Do the Church Fathers' beliefs support Rome or 'Fundamentalist' beliefs?

Salvation from the Perspective of the Early Church Fathers





Papal Roman Catholic HERESIES

If the Catholic Church were really a tool of Satan, then its exorcism rite would go against the words of Jesus?

Satan was jealous of Padre Pio and 'attacks' by Satan and evil spirits prove he was used by God?

If the Catholic Church is a tool of Satan, why does Satan harass holy Catholics?

Do Catholics check their minds in at the door?

Should we point out Papal anti-democratic behaviour - as well as the heretical nature of some 'Protestant' pastors? 

Papists believe that each 'Protestant' has the right to interpret the Bible personally so that millions of 'views' exist?

Protestants don't have Christian unity while 'one billion Catholics' have 'one set of doctrine'?

'Protestant' arguments have little power against Catholics who know the Bible and History?

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