Winterr's words

Monday, February 20, 2006

Chair of Peter the Apostle

My dad Peter was named after Peter the Apostle. Peter was a very special Saint to my grandparents and most of my family and to me , Peter the Apostle is the very first Apostle I learned about so naturally I want to post this for today.

The 22nd of February is the feast day that commemorates when Jesus Christ chose St.Peter the Apostle to sit in his place as the servant authority of the whole Church.
In Peter the healing powers of Jesus in him is well attested like the raising of Tabitha from the dead, curing the crippled beggar. People carrying the sick into the streets so when Peter passed his shadow might fall on them etc.

Today we celebrate the unity of the Church, founded on St.Peter the Apostle , and renew our assent to the magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, (Pope Benedict XVI).

Jesus Christ made Peter the leader of the apostles and of the church (Matthew 16:18-19),
giving him the "keys of the kingdom" because Jesus Christ desired that the Church be one
Not only did Jesus Christ make him leader but also made him infallible when he acted or spoke as Christs representative on earth, this is why we as Catholics stand true and believe that when our Holy Father (Pope meaning Father) brings forth his teachings from the Chair of Peter,or known as "ex Cathedra " he is infallible by the protection that Jesus Christ promised him.
The Infallibility has been passed on through the successors (other Popes) of St.Peter, giving the Church an infallible guide on earth to lead the Church.

So St.Peter the Apostle became the first Bishop of Rome. Then Peter passed on his apostolic authority to the next Bishop of Rome, and so it was passed on and we call it "apostolic succession"
This is an unbroken chain of successors up until today where we have Pope Benedictcit XVI.

Here are some scripture references regarding this:

Matthew 16-20, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

(this is clearly a promise from Jesus Christ to Peter, that he will build his Church on Peter, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it = infallibility)

Christ's commission to the apostles:
"All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." Matthew 28:18-20

Mark 16:15-16, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned."

"I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever. The spirit of truth . . . he shall abide with you, and shall be in you" John 14:16, 17

This is a remarkable promise that we have in Christ, to trust today that we are protected, and that Jesus Christ chose the right man to begin with being St.Peter the Apostle.

All-powerful Father,
You have built Your Church on the rock of Saint Peter's confession of faith.
May nothing divide or weaken our unity in faith and love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

If i'm incorrect on any of the information just let me know.

Pictue above is the Chair of Peter

Also, on a side note , have you ever been stuck for time to read the Church Fathers? I have been telling myself to read them but haven't had the time, or at least that's what I tell myself.
Ancient and Future Catholics and ChurchYear.Net have come up with a great solution for you, if you are anything like me and want to read them.
They have come up with a Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan (.pdf) (go here for html version).
If you follow their plan, by the time Easter comes, you will have read 10 early Church Fathers and over 15 individual works from the early Church.
Chad (the guy with one of the cutest baby boys ever!) has put together one file containing all the writings of the Fathers in order!

If you are interested in doing it let us know at
Per Christum or on Jonathan's blog as they would love to hear some feedback on your choices or anything you want.
Although I am a contributor on the Per Christum blog and Anicient & Future Catholics, I did not come up with any of this, nor take credit for it.
Although i'm going to do the reading program for Lent.
Peace all!
posted by Grace B at 7:04 PM


One thing I'll say about you catholics is you have much cooler stuff than we protestants do. We are lucky these days if we have stained glass. Stupid modernity.

I got the lenten reading off your future hubbies sight and look forward to actually observing lent this year for the first time.

11:47 AM  

Cubes, I think it's wonderful that you are doing it too! I have never read one of the Church Fathers so I look forward to it also, I also look forward to hearing what you get out if it. =)

12:25 PM  

I've read a handful of things from the fathers of the faith, but not much.

12:53 PM  

The notion of Papal Infallibily was invented very late - and is not true. The Pope is not infallible - even if he thinks he is. And they are very careful indeed on this matter. He's only supposed to be infallible on matters of doctrine - and these have changed over the ages. So check out what you're told is fact.

1:26 PM  

anonymous, though I agree with you, have some nerve to reveal yourself. Don't hit and run.

1:32 PM  

Hi Annonymous,
The doctrine of Papal Infallibility doesn't mean that the Pope is always right in all his personal teachings. Catholics are quite aware of that, and I did not state otherwise. I know that the Pope is very much a human being as do all Catholics.
The doctrine means that the Pope is divinely protected from error when, acting in his official capacity as chief shepherd of the Catholic fold, he gives a decision which is binding on the conscience of all Catholics around the world. So his infallibility is limited to his specialty the faith of Jesus Christ.
What I am told is fact and I have made sure of that, but am interested where your facts are coming from if you don't mind sharing that and where exactly I am out of line with the teaching of the Church.
The facts are:
That in order for the Pope to be infallible on a particular statement four conditions must apply:

1. He must be speaking ex cathedra "from the Chair'' of Peter, or in other words, officially, as head of the entire Church (as i have stated)
2. the decision must be for the whole Church and
it must be on a matter of faith or morals
3. The Pope must have the intention of making a final decision on a teaching of faith or morals, so that it is to be held by all the faithful.
4)It must be interpretive not originative the Pope has no authority to originate new doctrine. He is not the author of revelation only its guardian and expounder.
He has no power to distort a single word of Scripture, or change one iota of divine tradition. His infallibility is limited strictly to the province of doctrinal interpretation, and it is used quite rarely. It is used in order to clarify, to "define,'' some point of the ancient Christian tradition.
It is the infallibility of which Christ spoke when He said to Peter, the first Pope: "I will give (o thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven.'' (Matt. 16:19).
Certainly Christ would not have admonished His followers to "hear the church'' (Matt. 18:17) without somehow making certain that what they heard was the truth — without somehow making the teaching magisterium of His Church infallible.

When Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom is where this orgininates, not "very late" as you state, but if you have some information on that feel free to post it.

2:21 PM  

Also Protestant denominations, on the other hand, feel free to change their doctrines. For example, all Protestant denominations once taught that contraception was gravely sinful, but since 1930, when the Church of England's Lambeth Conference decided contraception was no longer a sin, virtually all Protestant ministers in the world have accepted this human decision and changed their teaching.

Thanks for visiting and you are welcome to post your thoughts respectfully at any time regardless of what our different beliefs are :)

2:34 PM  

Anonymous may have missed the salient points of your post.

Indeed, the Holy Father is infallible in the areas of faith and morals and he must intend to speak infallibly on the subject as supreme teacher of the Church with his full apostolic authority. She explained that "he brings forth his teachings from the Chair of Peter,or known as 'ex Cathedra' he is infallible by the protection that Jesus Christ promised him. Papal infallibility was never an invention - it existed from the apostolic times and this is evident in history and Sacred Scripture. Jesus said, "You are Peter, the Rock and upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it". Also, Christ says that He will be with us until the end of time". So papal infallibility is even evident in logic. Jesus will never permit the Pope's teachings to be in error. Karl Keating explain it in his book "Catholicism And Fundamentalism".

"Pretend for a moment a Pope is infallible not only in matters of faith or morals, but in trigonometry. He is presented with an examination consisting of one hundred trigonometry problems. What is the least number of problems he will answer correctly?
Someone who says "one hundred" may understand trigonometry, but his understanding of infallibility is no better than the average non-Catholic's understanding. The correct answer is: zero. Although infallible in trigonometry, the Pope might get none of the problems right. Being infallible in trigonometry would mean being prevented from putting down the wrong answers. It would not mean being able to put down the right ones. The answer sheet could be left entirely blank,and would be, if the Pope had not done his homework (Keating, 215).

2:52 PM  

By the way, this is a great post Carmel. Thank you for defending the Chair of Peter.

2:55 PM  

Hey St.P's
Thanks for sharing the Karl Keating explanation, I may have to check that book out! =)

9:43 PM  

Yes, yes!

It's a great book. Do read it.

Mind you, looks like you've got things well in hand here, anyway.

9:58 PM  

i am neither protestant nor catholic so let me make a point please . . . while i do intend (nor need to speak) to speak for carmel or any of the other roman catholics that have commented i think that the conversation was incorrectly interrupted and subsequently misdirected by the anonymous comments . . . (read that as the fine art of missing the point here) . . . here’s what i mean . . .

carmel is NOT (nor has she ever asserted herself as a theologian) her writing are primarily written from what i would describe as the ~ God-With-Life ~ what i mean by that is . . . . what does life lived with God on a vineyard in the southern hemisphere as a roman catholic look like . . . . carmel fortunately for her readers is attempting to do just that describe what that life being lived out looks like if one were to journal or “witness” that sort of life being attempted . . . . (up coming journal entries may include what moving, marriage transitions, and cross-cultural communication looks like through those eyes as well) . . . . . we can only hope . . .

therefore, if you are as astute as you have anonymously asserted yourself to be you might quickly discover that you are in fact at fault yourself in correcting her . . .why? . . . (thanks for asking) . . . . because the NT is replete with principles that safe guard against this type of spiritual one-upmanship . . . if you will notice in her archives her writings (in context) are exactly as i have described them . . . reflective, meditative, and vulnerable introspection . . . not theological . . . so if you apply Protestant Hermeneutics to this type of discussion you are attempting to make her words perform a task that they were not intended to perform . . .

two last points ~ first, for me this is EXACTLY what i hate (yes, hate) about my own faith tradition, it is culturally acceptable within MANY Protestants to feel it is there responsibility to correct any theological deviation they encounter . . . however, over all of the years that i have fellowshipped with devout catholic believers they never correct me “uninvited” . . . and in my humble opinion that method of correction is far more effective in the long run in the actual task of “making disciples” . . . not to be confused with correcting for the sake of correcting . . . personally i sense far more of the “fragrance of Christ” when this method is utilized above other methods . . .

hear the spirit of which i am speaking . . . i am not trying to be hurtful or mean spirited with my comments just honest . . . thanks for listening . . .

7:05 AM  

Thank you David! You got me right indeed! I'm blessed to have you visit me and i'm equally blessed to be visiting your blog too.

10:27 PM  

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