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Unity of Christians
I Am On The Rock
Matthew 16:18-19
Question: Why would Jesus found His Church on Peter when Jesus calls Peter  Satan?
Answer: In Mt. 16:13-23, Jesus, first asks the Apostles, "who do men say that the Son of man
is? Then, he asks Peter; "Who do say that I am?" Peter replies: v. 17 "You are the Christ, the
Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him: "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh
and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." Then Jesus
promises to established His Church on Peter. After, Jesus says in v. 21 "that he must go to
Jerusalem and suffer many things.." Peter says: "God forbid Lord! This will never happen..."
But Jesus said to Peter: "Get behind me, Satan!
You are a hindrance to me..."
Jesus is pointing out that Satan is talking through Peter now, trying to oppose the perfect will
of God. By using the "eyes of men" Peter is blind to the reality of the situation. Jesus is not
truly saying that Peter is Satan. In v. 17 Jesus said that the Father was speaking through
Peter. That would mean that the Father was speaking through Satan! READ John 21:15-19
substituting Satan for Peter:
v. 15, "Jesus said to Satan , "Satan, ..., do you love me more than these?"

Q. Peter was never in Rome. In Paul's 2nd Letter to Timothy, written from Rome, Paul
says "only Luke is with me" [2 Tim 4:2] evidently Peter was not in Rome. So, how
could the bishops of Rome be his successors?

A. First, if Peter was never in Rome that point does not disprove the Papacy.
If the line from Timothy proves Peter was not in Rome, it also proves there were no Christians,
other than Luke and Paul there. Yet we know from our study of Acts 28 that there was a
community of believers in Rome. Were they all out of town that day?
Peter writes his First Letter and signs off in v. 13 as being in Babylon, which was a code word
for Rome in the early Christian Church. p. 201, William A. Jurgens, in his three volume set,
The Faith of the Early Fathers,includes thirty references to this question. i.e. Dionysius of
Corinth, writing to Soter, the twelfth Pope, about 170 A.D., said: "You have also, by your very
admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at
Rome."Speaking of their martyrdom.

Q. Some of the popes lived dissolute lives, this is proof that they were not heads of the
Church Christ founded.

A. Either the office of the papacy exists or it doesn't, whether the people in the office are holy
or not would not make the position null and void. If that were true, we could say that Judas
was not an apostle because he handed Jesus over to the Jews, or Peter wasn't an apostle
because he denied his Lord. The reasoning behind this question makes no sense.
The popes that did live sordid lives never bothered with the teaching of the Church.

Q. How can you say that the rock on which Jesus promised
to build his Church was St. Peter, when St. Paul said that:
"the rock was Christ"? [1 Cor. 10:4]

A. First, let me say that I am glad that you pointed out this verse.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4; " I want you to know, bretheren, that our fathers were all under the
cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in
the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink.
For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them and the Rock was Christ."
Before I answer your question, I would like to point out that this reference to the Rock that
followed the Israelites in the desert can not be found in the Jewish Bible, in other words in our
Old Testament.
This reference to the Rock that followed the Israelites in the desert is part of Old Testament
Oral Tradition. St. Paul was using Oral Tradition as well as Written Tradition when he
preached, both were equally accepted by his audience. Which gives witness to the Catholic
and Orthodox Church's teaching on both Written and Oral Tradition!
Now to your answer:(7) p. 211, "If the rock really did refer to Christ, as fundamentalists claim,
did Matthew leave the passage as it was? Matthew must have realized that his readers would
conclude the obvious from "Rock...rock". If he meant Christ to be understood as the rock, why
did he not say so? Why did he construct his sentences so awkwardly that contortions would
be required to elicit the fundamentalist interpretation? The reason of course, is that Matthew
knew full well what the sentence seemed to say was just what it really was saying. It was
Simon-weak, Christ denying Simon-who was chosen to be the first link in the chain of the
papacy. The scandal, to fundamentalists, is that Christ would chose as his Vicar the weakest
of the apostles, not the strongest. But God seems to enjoy working through the lowly in order
to confound the mighty, ..."

Q. Jesus spoke in Greek not in Aramaic, we know that this was the language of Jesus'
time. Because they wrote the New Testament in Greek, so the common man could
read it. So your explanation of petros & petra doesn't hold water.

A. (6) p. 200 "Actually, if the Evangelist had intended to contrast Peter the "stone" with Jesus
the "Rock", the obvious word to use for Simon Peter would have been lithos, the more
common Greek word for stone of small rock. This would have eliminated any possible
confusion between Peter and Jesus. On the other hand, the deliberate use of petros and
petra points to an attempt to translate an Aramaic pun into Greek, which of course is precisely
what Catholics contend. Interestingly, Jesus himself is called lithos (e.g. Mt. 21:42, 44) four
times more often than he is called petra (12 times to 3, a fact which doesn't dissuade Peter
from characterizing all believers as "stones" [lithoi]in 1 Peter 2:5.)

Q. What about Pope Honorius?

A. (3) p. 150 There is no doubt that Pope Honorius I (625-638) was personally orthodox.
However, through his prohibition against speaking of two modes of operation (speaking on
the divine & human nature of Jesus) he unwittingly favored the Monthelite error. The Sixth
General Council wrongly condemned him as a heretic. Pope Leo II (682-683) confirmed his
anathematisation but not for the reason given by the Council. He did not reproach him with
heresy, but with negligence in the suppression of the error.

Q. (CC)Some bishops, including popes, have erred in 'small matters", such as
whether the earth revolves around the sun. If we cannot trust them in such matters, how
can we ever believe anything they say about "big matters" like how to attain salvation
or Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist?

A. The reason we trust the bishops when they teach collectively (not individually) is that we
have a promise from our Lord that he would not leave us orphans (John 14:18), that we would
know the truth (John 8:32), that he would be with us always (Mt. 28:20), and that he would
guide us into all truth (JN. 16:13). We believe that Jesus keeps his promises, and since it is
his task (and therefore the Church's task) to lead us to salvation, the Magisterium is kept free
from error when the bishops dogmatically define a matter of faith or morals, such as at an
ecumenical council.
Once it has been established that Scripture does not teach (as it does not) which body moves
around the other, it is a matter for science - not for the Church - to establish whether the
earth moves around the sun or vice versa. It is a matter that falls outside the Church's
infallibility, which applies only to matters of faith and morals, not to matters of physical
science. It is not that this is a "small matter"; it simply is outside the Church's area of
infallibility. Christ did not will that the pope and the bishops be infallible about things simply to
answer the questions of the curious, but to make them effective shepherds in leading souls to
God; hence the area in which they are protected by the Holy Spirit are circumscribed. Topics
such as how to be saved and the Real Presence have everything to do with salvation and our
relation to God, so they fall within the Church's area of infallibility.
1 Corinthians 10:4
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