A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben's Dogmatik
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With a Preface By Cardinal Manning
Volume II --Book VII The Church and the Sacraments
THE means appointed by the Redeemer for the continuation of His work among men are; (1) the Church, which is His mystical body; and (2) the Sacraments, which are the channels whereby His saving grace is conveyed to our souls.
PART I. The Church
"The Eternal Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, for the imitation purpose of perpetuating the saving work of Redemption, decreed to found the Holy Church, in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful might be united by the bond of one faith and charity. For this reason He asked the Father, not for the Apostles only, but for them also who through their word should believe in Him, that they all might be one, as He and His Father are one. And just as He Himself was sent by the Father, so sent He His Apostles whom He had chosen out of the world; so again did He will that there should be in His Church pastors and doctors even unto the consummation of the world. In order that the episcopate might be one and undivided, and that by means of a closely united priest- hood the whole multitude of believers might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, He set the Blessed Peter over the other Apostles, and in him He established a perpetual principle of both of these unities, and a visible foundation upon the firmness of which an eternal temple should be raised" (Vatican Council, sess. iv.).
We shall treat of the Preparation for the Church (chap. 1); the Institution and Constitution of the Church (chap, 2.); the Primacy of St. Peter (chap, 3.); the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff (chap, 4.); the Properties and Marks of the Church (chap. 5.).
Authorities: Franzelin, De Ecclesia Christi; Palmieri, De Eccl. et De Romano Pontifice; Stapleton, De Principiis Fidei Doctrinalibus; Bellarmine, De Controversiis, etc., ii.; Vacant, Etudes Theol. sur les Constitutions du Concile du Vatican; Turmel, Hist, de la Theol. Positive du Concile de Trent au Concile du Vatican; Billot, De Ecclesia, etc.
CHAPTER I. The Preparation for the Church
Our English word "church" (A.S. cyrice, cirice; Germ. kirche is derived from the Greek (simulated as kupiakoc,) "belonging to the Lord" (i Cor. xi. 18, 22). It is used to denote: (1) a building set apart for God's service, and also the service itself; (2) the faithful themselves, "Ye are God's building" (i Cor. iii. 9); "Ye are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor. vi. 1 6); (3) the clergy as distinguished from the laity (Matt, xviii. 17). The corresponding word in the New Testament, (in Greek) (ecclesia), in its original profane use, means "an assembly of the citizens summoned (Greek) by the crier; "and hence it was suited to designate the assembly of the faithful called by God's grace and His ministers ("To the Church [in Greek] that is at Corinth ... to them that are called to be saints (Greek)," (i Cor. i. 2). Except, perhaps, in one or two instances, the word (in Greek) (synagoga, "a bringing or driving together," (this Greek word) is never used for Christ's Church.1
1 The apparent exceptions are James ii. 2 and Heb. x. 25, in the latter of which the word (in Greek) is used. But the context in both passages shows that Christ's Church is not referred to.
"There is a difference," says St. Augustine, "between synagoga and ecclesia: the former means a gathering together, the latter a calling together; even beasts are said to be gathered together, whereas calling together is properly applied to reasonable beings" (In Ps. Ixxxi.; see also Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part I. ch. x. n. 3).
A complete definition of the Church is not possible at this stage of our inquiry. The various elements which go to form it will be gathered as we proceed. At present it will be sufficient to say that by the Church we mean the society or union of all who cleave to God by true supernatural worship.
Sect. 231.The Church of the Old Testament.
In the Divine economy of Revelation and Redemption, three stages can be distinguished: the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the Christian (supra, § 6). Hence in the Church, too, which is the organ of revelation, and the means of applying the fruits of redemption, the same three stages can be distinguished.
I. We read in the early chapters of Genesis of a religious society, "the sons of God," distinct and separate from the impious "sons of men." These "sons of God" possessed a supernatural revelation of God's existence and attributes, of His law and worship, of the angels and a future life, and especially of a coming Redeemer. So, too, the supernatural gifts of grace, and the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, were conferred on those who did what was required on their part. Moreover, they professed their faith not only with the heart, but with the mouth (Rom. x. 10); and not only by word, but also by act by sacrifices and sacraments (see St. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xvi. 9, 10). But just as Revelation in those primitive times was scanty and vague, so, too, the bond of union among the members of the Church was not close. The functions of sacrificing, ruling, and teaching were indeed carried on; but much was left to be determined by individual Patriarchs or heads of families. It may therefore be said that the union, such as it was, consisted in the profession of the same true faith, and the worship of the same true God. With the call of Abraham we have the promise of a fuller revelation and a closer union, which, although far inferior to the revelation and the society which were ultimately to come, were yet a marked advance upon the Patriarchal stage.
II. Under the Mosaic dispensation God chose a people, the Israelites, to be His own peculiar people, and made to them a revelation gradually increasing in extent as the time went on, and also a more definite form of Church. The worship of God was to be observed by certain determinate sacrifices, sacraments, rites, and solemnities; and the unity of this society was symbolized and secured by permitting only one single tabernacle or temple in which sacrifice could be offered up. The priesthood, too, was restricted to the members of a certain family, the lower ministry to the members of a certain tribe, by whom the whole people were to be governed in all sacred matters." If thou perceive that there be among you a hard and doubtful matter . . . arise, and go up to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and thou shalt come to the priests of the Levitical race, and to the judge that shall be at that time; and thou shalt ask of them, and they shall show thee the truth of the judgment; and thou shalt do whatsoever they shall say that preside in the place which the Lord shall choose, and what they shall teach thee, according to His Law; and thou shalt follow their sentence: neither shalt thou decline to the right hand nor to the left hand. But he that will be proud and refuse to obey the commandment of the priest, who ministereth at the time to the Lord thy God, and the decree of the judge, that man shall die, and thou shalt take away the evil from Israel" (Deut. xvii. 8, sqq.). Moreover, the priests possessed teaching authority to preserve and interpret the Divine Law. "The lips of the priest shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the Law at his mouth, because he is the angel [the minister and messenger] of the Lord of hosts (Mai. ii. 7 , cf. Lev. x. 10, n).
III. Nevertheless, even this Mosaic dispensation was only a preparation for a higher dispensation which was to come. "The Law was our pedagogue in Christ (Greek scripture)" a tutor to bring us unto Christ (Gal. iii. 24); "The Law brought nothing to perfection, but was the bringing in of a better hope" (Heb. vii. 19); "You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but the spirit of adoption of sons" (Rom. viii. 15). It was imperfect in all three of the functions which a Church should fulfil. "The Law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, by the self-same sacrifices which they offer continually every year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect. . . . But Christ, being come a high priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hand. . .neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own blood entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. xi. i; ix. n, 12). So, too, their government was concerned with "the works of the Law," "the law of a carnal commandment" (Heb. vii. 16); and their teaching was necessarily meagre and obscure in comparison with the full and definite teaching of the Gospel: called out of darkness into His marvellous light" (i Pet. ii. 9). Hence the priesthood which exercised these imperfect functions was itself imperfect and preparatory. "If perfection was by the Levitical priesthood . . . what further need was there that another priest should arise according to the order of Melchisedech, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the Law" (Heb. vii. II, 12). Only in the Church of Christ, "which is the fulness of Him who is filled all in all" (Eph. i, 23), are these functions and this priesthood found perfect. Even while yet militant on earth, she teaches and believes in faith, she rules and obeys in hope, she sanctifies and is sanctified in charity: "a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people" (i Pet. ii. 9). See St. Leo, Serm. lix. (al. 57), c. 7; Serm. Ixvi. c. 12; St. Thomas, 1a, 2ae, q. 101; Franzelin, De Ecclesia, thes. iii., iv.
Sect. 232. --The Church of Christ foretold and prefigured in the Old Testament.
The Church of the Old Testament was not only itself a preparation for, and a figure of, the Church of Christ; it also announced prophecies, and contained types and figures of this latter and more perfect Church. As Christ's person and work were foretold and prefigured with ever-increasing distinctness, so too was His Church, which is the mystical prolongation of His existence on earth. We have already (Book V. § 167) traced the course of prophecy concerning our Lord, and in doing so we observed how commonly the Prophets speak at the same time of His Church. Here, instead of following the chronological order, it will be better to consider in turn the various images and expressions used to describe this permanent work of Christ's hands.
I. The Prophets announced that when Christ came He would found a kingdom, which should be (1) universal, (2) never-ending, and (3) one.
Its universality is contrasted with the narrowness and exclusiveness --its perennial character and unity with the temporariness and divisions --of the older covenant. "All the ends of the earth shall remember and be converted to the Lord, and all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in His sight. For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He shall have dominion over the nations" (Ps. xxi. 28, 29). "In His days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace till the moon be taken away; and He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth" (Ps. Ixxi. 7, 8). "In the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed; and His kingdom will not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever" (Dan. ii. 44; cf. vii. 13, 14, 27; Agg. ii. 7. 8, 22, 23). "The Lord hath prepared His holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Is. Iv. 10; cf. Ix. 1 sqq.; Ps. xcvii. 3; Mich. iv. 1 sqq.). "It shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them to the east sea, and half of them to the last (west) sea; they shall be in summer and in winter, and the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and His Name shall be one" (Zach. xiv. 8 sqq.).
II. This new people of Israel, this new Jerusalem, this new city of the Lord, this new Sion, promised by the Prophets, is to receive its ruling power, its teaching authority, and its priesthood from Christ the Supreme King, Teacher, and Priest.
1. Christ is to be the Supreme King in this supernatural kingdom of peace; but as this kingdom is to last visibly on earth as long as the earth shall last, so there are ever to be shepherds and princes to rule God's people in Christ's Name and by His power. "I am appointed King by Him over Sion, His holy mountain, preaching His commandment. The Lord hath said to Me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Ps. ii. 6-8). "For a Child is born to us, and a Son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of peace; His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace; He shall sit upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and justice from henceforth and forever" (Isa. ix. 6, 7). "I will set up one Shepherd over them (My sheep), and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their Shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David the prince in the midst of them; I the Lord have spoken it (Ezech. xxxiv. 23, 24). "I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands . . . and I will set up pastors over them, and they, shall feed them. . . . Behold, the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just Branch, and a King shall reign and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jer. xxiii. 3-5; Ps. xliv. 17).
2. This same King and Shepherd is also foretold and promised as a Faithful Prophet; so that His kingdom is to be not only a kingdom of peace, but also a kingdom of truth and justice. "You, O kingdom of Sion, rejoice and be joyful in the Lord your God; because He hath given you a teacher of justice, and He will make the early and the latter rain to come down to you as in the beginning" (Joel ii. 23). "The Law shall go forth out of Sion, and the Word of the Lord out of Jerusalem" (Mich. iv. 2). "All thy children (Jerusalem) shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children; and thou shalt be founded in justice" (Isa. liv. 3; xi. 12; Jer. xxxi. 33, 34; xxxii. 38-40). "I will give you pastors according to My own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine. . . . At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord to Jerusalem, and they shall not walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart" (Jer. iii 15-17). Hence, the name of the city shall be "the City of Truth," and Sion shall be called "the Mount of Holiness." "I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, and the Mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the Sanctified Mountain [Heb. ' the Mount of Holiness'] . . . Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east, and from the land of the going down of the sun . . . they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and in justice" (Zach. viii. 3, 7, 8).
3. Just as the Church was to be a kingdom of peace and truth, ruled over by Christ as King and Teacher, so was it also to be a priestly kingdom with Christ as its High Priest, and men under Him exercising a ministerial priesthood. The son of Josedec, Jesus the high priest, is distinctly spoken of as a type of the Messias: "Hear, O Jesus, thou high priest, thou and thy friends that dwell before thee, for they are portending men [men who are for a sign, men who by words and deeds are to foreshadow wonders that are to come]; for behold I will bring My Servant the Orient" (Zach. iii. 8; supra, p. 53). The Prophet is ordered to unite in this "portending man" the sacerdotal with the royal crown, that there may always be the counsel of peace between them both. "And thou shalt take gold and silver, and shalt make crowns, and thou shalt set them on the head of Jesus the son of Josedec, the high priest, and thou shalt speak to him, saying: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, saying: Behold a man, the Orient is His name . . . He shall build a temple to the Lord, and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit, and rule upon His throne, and He shall be a Priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. . . . And they that are afar off shall come and shall build in the temple of the Lord" (Zach. vi. 11-15; cf. St. Epiph., Heres., xxxix. nn. 2-4). So, too, Christ is promised as a Priest who will acquire His Church
by the sacrifice of His own blood. "He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth; He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter if He shall lay down His life for sin, He shall see a long- lived seed ... by His knowledge shall this My Servant justify many, and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I distribute to Him many, and He shall divide the spoils of the strong, because He hath delivered His soul unto death" (Isa. liii.). This priesthood is not to be temporary and Levitical, but "for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech" (Ps. cix. 4; Gen. xiv. 18; Heb. v., vii., ix.; see also supra, § 210). Hence it is to continue in Christ's Church, having, of course, its origin from Him. "I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues [Heb. 'gather together all nations and tongues'], and they shall come, and they shall see My glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send of them that shall be saved to the Gentiles into the sea, into Africa, and Lydia them that draw the bow; into Italy and Greece, to the islands afar off, to them that have not heard of Me, and have not seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory unto the Gentiles. . . . And I will take of them to be priests and Levites, saith the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth ... so shall your seed stand and your name" (Isa. Ixvi. 18-22; cf. Jer. xxxiii. 15 sqq.).
These passages are enough to show that a clear promise was made of Christ's kingdom, which was to last for ever with its own ruling power, teaching authority, and priesthood --a kingdom to be acquired by Christ the Redeemer with His own Precious Blood --a kingdom composed of all the Gentiles, and founded for their eternal salvation. Indeed, the foundation of this eternal and universal kingdom is one of the marks of the Messias who was to come. (Cf. Isa. xi. i, 11, 12; xl. 2, 9; xlii. 6, 10; li. 3-7; liv.; Ixii.; Ixv. 1 6 sqq.; Osee ii. 16 sqq.; iii. 5; Joel ii. 27-32; iii. 16-21; Amos iii. 16 sqq.; ix. 11; Soph. iii. 14; Zach. ii. 10; xiv. 8, 9.) How far these various passages refer to Christ and His Church, may be gathered from St. Paul's manner of citing them (Rom. xv. 8-12). See Franzelin, l.c. th. vi.
Sect. 233. --The Church of Christ described in the New Testament.
I. When we turn to the New Testament, we are told that Christ came to found a kingdom, which is described as the "Kingdom of God," the "Kingdom of Heaven, "the "Kingdom of Christ." These expressions, especially the two former, are used in various meanings. The "Kingdom of God," "Kingdom of Heaven," sometimes mean the whole of creation (Ps. xxiii. I; xlix. 12; cii. 19, 22; cxliv. 11, etc.); but in the New Testament they mean the supernatural kingdom purchased by Christ's Precious Blood. In this latter sense they denote: (1) Internal gifts and graces (Luke xvii. 20, 21; cf. xii. 31; Rom. xiv. 27, etc.); (2) Heaven, where God reigns with His Saints, and His Saints reign with Him (Matt. viii. n; Luke xiii. 28, etc.); (3) the visible kingdom of Christ here on earth among men and composed of men.
I. The Angel Gabriel, when announcing the Incarnation of our Lord, foretold to the Blessed Virgin: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke i. 32, 33; cf. Dan. viii. 14, 27; Mich. iv. 7). Here it is clear that Christ was to reign over a visible kingdom on earth-- the kingdom prefigured and foretold in the old dispensation. His kingdom was to last on earth as long as the world should last, and was to last absolutely for ever in heaven.
2. The preaching of the Baptist, sent "to prepare the way of the Lord," was: "Do penance (Greek), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. iii. 2). And our Lord Himself declared: "The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the kingdom of God is preached (Luke xvi. 16).
3. The Jews, whether carnal or spiritual, expected that the Messias would found a kingdom upon earth, as the Prophets had foretold; in their minds the expectation of the Messias coincided with the expectation of His kingdom. One of the marks by which He was to be known was that He should be "the Son of David," the King of Israel (John i. 49; Matt. ii. 2, 6; xxvii. 11; John xix. 19, 22). Hence, those who recognized that the prophecies had been fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, hailed Him as King of Israel" (John xii. 13-16; Luke xix. 38), and "Son of David (Matt. xxi. 9); they cried out, Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh" (Mark xi. 10).
4. Our Lord Himself, when about to offer the sacrifice of His own blood, by which He was to purchase His kingdom, declared that He was a King, and that He had a kingdom in this world. Both the Jews who accused Him, and Pilate who judged Him, spoke of a visible kingdom here on earth. This kingdom which they denied Him He claimed for His own, though at the same time He explained that it was of a supernatural order. "Art thou the king of the Jews? . . . My kingdom is not of this world (in Greek) . . . but now My kingdom is not from hence (Greek)" (John xviii. 33, 36). "He does not say," observes St. Augustine, "My kingdom is not in this world, but is not of this world. . . . He does not say, My kingdom is not here, but is not from hence; for His kingdom is here as long as the world shall last" (In Joan, Tract. 115, n. 2). This expression "of this world" occurs elsewhere in St. John's record of our Lord's discourses, and does not exclude the fact of being in this world. "Having loved His own who were in the world (Greek), He loved them unto the end.... If you had been of the world (Greek), the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world (Greek), therefore the world hateth you" (John xiii. i; xv. 19; xvi. 11, 12, 16).
II. This kingdom of Christ upon earth is described by Him under various figures.
1. In the Old Testament God's chosen people are called ''the flock of His sheep." The sheep of Thy pasture" (Ps. Ixxiii. i); "We Thy people, and the sheep of Thy pasture" (Ps. Ixxviii. 13); "He is the Lord our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand" (Ps. xciv. 7; cf. Ps. xcix. 3; Jer. xxiii.; Ezech. xxxiv.; Mich. vii. 14). God rebukes the shepherds of this flock for their neglect to feed the sheep, and promises that He will form a new flock, over which He "will set up one Shepherd, even His servant David," who "shall feed them and shall be their Shepherd" (Ezech. xxxiv. 23; xxxvii. 24, 26; Zech. xi. 7). And under this Shepherd He will set up pastors over them, "and they shall feed them, they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed" (Jer. xxiii. 4); "I will give you," He says, "pastors according to My own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine" (ibid. iii. 15). Accordingly, in the New Testament He declares that He is this promised Shepherd, and that His sheep are the promised flock. "I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep...I lay down My life for My sheep...I give them life everlasting (John x. II, 15,28). He gathers them together; He feeds them with His doctrine; He rules them by His authority. "You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep; My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (ibid. 26, 27); "I am the good Shepherd, and I know Mine, and Mine know Me" (ibid. 14). And this flock is to be composed not only of the children of Israel, but of all the nations. "Other sheep I have, that are not of this fold, and them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold [or, 'flock' in Greek] and one Shepherd" (ibid. 16). As, however, this fold upon earth is to last till the end of time, He appointed other shepherds under Himself, the one Divine Shepherd, to feed His flock: one chief shepherd, Peter and his successors, "Feed My lambs, feed My sheep" (John xxi. 15-17); and others, who should be subordinate to this one, and to whom St. Peter says, "Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking care of it (Greek scriptural text) (i Pet. v. 2).
2 In the Old Testament the kingdom of God is also spoken of as a vineyard. "Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt; Thou hast cast out the Gentiles, and hast planted it...Thou plantedst the roots thereof, and it filled the land" (Ps. Ixxix. 9, 10; Isa. v. 1 sqq.; Jer. ii. 21; xii. 10; Ezech. xix. 10 sqq.). This figure is likewise used by our Lord in describing His Church. "There was a man, an householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge about it, and dug in it a press, and built in it a tower, and let it out to husbandmen," etc. (Matt. xxi. 33-46; Mark xii. 1-12; Luke xx. 9, 19; cf. Isa. v. 2).
3. Closely connected with this figure is another, which other compares the kingdom of God to a marriage-feast, or wedding (Matt. xxii. 2-14; cf. Osee ii.). The parables of the Grain of Mustard-seed and the Leaven bring out the growth and influence of the Church. The Church as a "building" ("I will build my Church;" "You are God's building," I Cor. iii. 9) will be spoken of when we treat of the primacy of St. Peter. But now we are touching on the constitution of the Church, a subject which belongs to the next chapter.
CHAPTER II. The Institution and Constituion of the Church.
All through His life on earth our Lord proclaimed Himself to be the Messias foretold by the Prophets and expected by the Jews: sent by His heavenly Father with supreme authority, and exacting complete obedience of faith in His doctrine and precepts (cf. supra, §211). The exercise of this authority, and the corresponding duty of obedience, were not to be restricted to the short period of His sojourn here below. They were to continue for all days, even to the consummation of the world. Hence no small portion of His teaching and work was devoted to the description and formation of the body which was to be invested with His authority, and to carry on the saving work of Redemption.
This subject has already been dealt with in Book I., Part I. We shall here treat briefly, first, of our Lord's teaching during His Public Life; next, of His teaching during His Risen Life; and, lastly, we shall speak more particularly of the Visible Headship which He conferred upon St. Peter and his successors, the Bishops of Rome.
Sect. 234. --Our Lords Teaching on the Church during His Public Life.
I. From the very first, as soon as He began to preach the Kingdom of God," which He came to found, our Lord called to Himself disciples (Greek), who had the privilege of sharing His blessed company, hearing discourses, and witnessing the wonders which He wrought. From among these, after the Second Passover, He selected twelve to be in a more special manner His associates, and the depositaries of His authority. "And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in the prayer of God. And when day was come, He called unto Him His disciples (Greek); and He chose twelve of them, whom also He named apostles (Greek) (Luke vi. 12, 13). These twelve are constantly spoken of as constituting a single moral body. They are "The Twelve (Greek) (Matt. x. I; xx. 17, 24; xxvi. 14, 20, 47; Mark Hi. 14; iv. 10; vi. 7; ix. 34; x. 32; xi. 1 1; xiv. 10, 17, 20, 47; Acts vi. 2). They are even so styled when their number was reduced to eleven by the death of the traitor Judas (John xx. 24; i Cor. xv. 5, in the Greek text); and when increased to thirteen by the addition of Matthias and Paul (Matt. xix. 28; Apoc. xxi. 14). That their office was a higher one, is clear not only from the very fact and manner of their election, and from the name "Apostles" (messengers, ambassadors) bestowed upon them, but also from various passages, drawing an express distinction between them and the rest of the disciples and the faithful (e.g. Luke xxiv. 9, 33). Moreover, their special function of being authentic witnesses is expressly pointed out. "Of those men that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us...one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. . . . Show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of the ministry and apostleship (in Greek text) and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles" (Acts i. 21-26). Hence our Lord took care to instruct them above all the others in the mysteries of the kingdom of God. They were the chosen companions of His missionary journeys, and were sent by Him, armed with His authority and power, to announce the same message that He announced. "These twelve Jesus sent, commanding them . . . Going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. . . . And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words. . . . Amen, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city" (Matt. x. 5-15; Luke ix. 1-6; cf. Matt. xi. 20 sqq.). In addition to the twelve, "the Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself was to come" (Luke x. i). These, however, were in no way equalled to the Apostles, though as they were sent in His Name He could also say to them: "He that heareth you heareth Me" (Luke x. 16).
II. So far confining ourselves to Our Lord's teaching before His Passion and Death, we observe that He drew a clear distinction between (1) the body of the faithful, (2) the seventy-two disciples, and (3) the twelve Apostles. As long as He remained upon earth, He Himself was the visible Head of this Apostolic College. But as His stay was to be brief, He took care on every occasion to declare that after His departure one of their number was to preside over them and over the whole Church, in His stead; and that that one was to be Simon, whom He sur- named Peter. This privilege of St. Peter will be treated of later on in a separate chapter.
Sect. 235. --Our Lord's Teaching on the Church during His Risen Life.
After having completed the work of our Redemption by the Sacrifice of the Cross, having paid the price of the Church, and having risen in triumph from the dead, Our Lord "showed Himself alive," "to the apostles whom He had chosen," "for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God" (Acts i. 2, 3). His object in appearing to them so often was not only to strengthen their faith in the fact of His resurrection, but to complete the institution and constitution of His Church. Just as in other periods of His life, so also in this especially, many of His words and deeds are not recorded in Scripture (John xx. 30; xxi. 25); nevertheless, as might be expected, there are striking passages concerning the Church, "the kingdom of God," clearly proving the mission of the CHAP. n. Apostles, and the establishment of the supremacy of Peter.
I. In the first apparition to the Apostolic College recorded by St. John (xx. 19, 29), our Lord conferred upon them the same authority which He Himself possessed and had exercised: "As the Father sent Me, I also send you." "As Thou hast sent Me into the world, I also send them into the world" (ibid. xvii. 18). These words are not a mere statement or promise; they actually constitute the Apostles as Christ's successors. "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," He added, for this work to which He appointed them. Hence, in virtue of the powers there and then bestowed upon them, He continued: "Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them." The mission is not, however, restricted to the forgiveness of sins, but is universal, as was His own mission from the Father; and it is confided to the Apostolic College and their successors (cf. "And after that He was seen by the eleven," i Cor. xv. 5; cf. "the eleven disciples," Matt, xxviii. 16). Later on, in Galilee, He renewed this commission, appealing to the supreme authority in virtue of which He sent them, and which was ever to abide with them. "And the eleven disciples went into Galilee unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them . . . and Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: 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." In His last discourse at Jerusalem, before His ascension, He for the third time conferred upon the Apostles the office of continuing His work in His Name and with His authority. "He appeared to the eleven as they were at table (cf. i Cor. xv. 7) ...and He said to them: Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth [your preaching] and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow," etc. (Mark xvi. 14-20). "You shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts i. 8; cf. "and you are witnesses of these things," Luke xxiv. 48; "one of these must be a witness with us of His resurrection," Acts i. 22) Thus in St. Mark the mission of the Apostles is endowed with the same evidences of power which accompanied our Lord's mission (cf. Matt. xi. 20, 24; xii. 41; Mark iv. 40; Luke iv. 36; vii. 16; John ii. 23; v. 36; x. 25, 38; xii. 37; xiv. 12; xv. 24).
II. To understand the nature of the mission entrusted to the Apostles and their successors, we must call to mind the nature of our Lord's own mission.
I. Christ continually declares that His doctrine, His works, His authority and power are derived from His heavenly Father. "I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true...I know Him because I am from Him, and He hath sent Me" (John vii. 28, 29). "My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me" (ibid. vii. 16); "He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath life everlasting. . . . For as the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He hath given Him power to do judgment.... I cannot of Myself do anything: as I hear, so I judge; and My judgment is just, because I seek not My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. . . . The works which the Father hath given Me to perfect, the works themselves which I do, give testimony of Me, that the Father hath sent Me. . . . And you have not His word abiding in you, for Whom He hath sent, Him you believe not (ibid. v. 24-38). The functions or offices of Christ's mission were threefold: He came to govern, to teach, and to sanctify: to be King, Prophet, and Priest (see Book V., Part II., ch. 2). It was in the exercise of these functions, and to provide for their continuance, that He founded His Church. "I lay down My life for My sheep, My sheep hear My voice, and I give them eternal life;" "I will build My Church;" "to thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven;" "Christ also loved His Church, and delivered Himself up for it, that He might sanctify it...that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church;" "the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood." "Christ is the Head of the Church; He is the Saviour of the body (in Greek)." "I have finished the work which Thou hast given Me to do (John xvii. 2 sqq., etc.).
2. Hence, in confiding His mission to the Apostles, He expressly refers to His own mission from the Father: "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you." And He communicates to them His threefold function of ruling, teaching, and sanctifying. "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you. By these words our Lord Jesus Christ ordained the rulers of the world, and teachers and dispensers of His Divine mysteries (in this Greek passage) (St. Cyril Alex., t. iv. pp. 1093-1095; for the continuation of the passage, see Franzelin, I.c. 119). He had already said to His Apostles, "If he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican." "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven." Now, after His resurrection, He actually confers this power and authority upon them as the rulers of His kingdom." All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore," etc. Hence, St. Paul declares that his jurisdiction derives its authority from the power of Christ, and that he exercises it in virtue of the mission conferred upon him by our Lord. "In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved" (I Cor. v. 4, 5). "If I come again, I will not spare. Do you seek a proof of Christ that speaketh in me?" (2 Cor. xiii. 2, 3). Our Lord's office as Teacher is even more expressly imposed upon His Apostles. "Teach [(in Greek), 'make to yourselves disciples'] all nations;" "Preach the Gospel to every creature;" "Ye shall be witnesses to me" (cf. Vol. I. 9). His office of Priest He imparts to them in the general mission which He gives them; for He was sent by His Father to save the world by the oblation of His body and blood once for all (Greek); and He in turn sends them to apply His merits by the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. This sacrifice and these sacraments are not theirs, but Christ's; and their power to perform and administer is His, not theirs. "Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God (i Cor. iv. i). "Was Paul, then, crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul? . . . What, then, is Apollo, and what is Paul? The ministers of Him whom you have believed" (ibid. i. 13; iii. 4, 5). "All things are of God, Who hath reconciled the world to Himself by Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. v. 18).
Billot, De Ecclesia, p. 72 sqq.; Atzberger, Kath. Dogmatik (continuation of Scheeben's work), sect. 327.
CHAPTER III. The Primacy of St. Peter.
As long as Christ, "the Master and the Lord (in Greek)" (John xiii. 13), remained visibly on earth, there was no room or need for any other visible head. But since He willed that His kingdom should be visible, He was obliged, when He ascended into heaven, to designate a vicegerent on earth. "Should any one say that Christ is the one Head and the one Shepherd, the one Spouse of the one Church, he does not give an adequate reply. It is clear, indeed, that Christ is the author of grace in the sacraments of the Church; it is Christ Himself who baptizes; it is He who forgives sins; it is He who is the true Priest, who offered Himself upon the altar of the Cross; and it is by His power that His Body is daily consecrated upon the altar; and, still, because He was not visibly present to all the faithful, He made choice of ministers through whom the aforesaid sacraments should be dispensed to the faithful. . . . For the same reason, therefore, because He was about to withdraw His visible presence from the Church, it was necessary that He should appoint some one in His place to have the charge of the Universal Church. Hence, before His ascension He said to Peter, ' Feed My sheep ' (St. Thomas, Contra Gentiles, lib. iv. cc. 74, 76).
Sect. 236. --The Primacy proved from Scripture.
I. From the very time when our Lord called St. Peter to follow Him, He indicated the dignity to which the Apostle was afterwards to be raised. "Jesus looking upon him said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas (Greek), which is interpreted Peter" (John i. 42). In the election of the Apostles, and again in their mission, he is mentioned the first; and this surname is expressly spoken of: "He chose twelve of them, whom also He named Apostles; Simon, whom He surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John," etc. (Luke vi. 13, 14). "The names of the twelve Apostles are these: the first, Simon (Greek), who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother," etc. (Matt. x. 2; Mark iii. 16). And whenever he is named together with any of the other Apostles, he is always named first. Moreover, our Lord always treats him as the leader and representative of the rest, and he in turn always acts as their spokesman. At the raising of Jairus' daughter "He admitted not any man to follow Him but Peter, and James, and John" (Mark v. 37; Luke viii. 51). When He was to be transfigured "He took Peter, and James, and John. . . . But Peter and they that were with him [as in Greek,, cf. 'Peter and they that were with him,' Luke viii. 45; 'Peter standing with the eleven,' Acts ii. 14; 'Tell His disciples and Peter,' Mark xvi. 7] were heavy with sleep. . . . Peter saith to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here," etc. (Luke ix. 28-33 ' Matt. xvii. I sqq.; Mark ix. I sqq.). So, too, in His agony in the garden, "He taketh Peter, and James, and John with Him. . . . And He cometh and findeth them sleeping, and He saith to Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye and pray" (Mark xiv. 33-38; Matt. xxvi. 37-40). "He saw two ships standing by the lake . . . and going into one of the ships that was Simon's . . . He taught the multitudes out of the ship. . . . He said to Simon, Launch out into the deep for a draught. And Peter answering, said to Him, Master, we have laboured. . . . He (Peter) was wholly astonished, and all they that were with him (in Greek) . . . and so were also James and John. . . . And Jesus saith to Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men" (Luke v. 2-10). When the Apostles, seeing our Lord walking upon the sea, were troubled, "Peter, making answer (to our Lord's assurance, ' Be of good heart; it is I; fear not '), said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me to come to Thee upon the waters. And He said, Come. And Peter, going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus" (Matt. xiv. 22-33). "They that received the didrachmas came to Peter and said to him, Doth not your Master pay the didrachmas? . . . Jesus said to him . . . Go to the sea and cast in a hook, and that fish which shall first come up, take; and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater: take that and give it to them for Me and thee (and in Greek)" (Matt. xvii. 23-26).
II. Not content with these repeated indications of Peter's pre-eminence, our Lord on three several occasions spoke of it in such express terms as to leave no possibility of doubt.
I. The first of these is recorded by St. Matthew (xvi. 13-19; cf. Mark viii. 27, 28; Luke ix. 18-20). It was during the last period of our Lord's ministry, when He devoted Himself especially to the training of His Apostles. They had now recognized Him as the Messias; but they still had worldly notions of the kingdom which He came to found. Henceforth His aim was to correct their false notions, and to prepare them for His passion and death. Taking occasion of the absence of the multitudes, He asked them, "Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?" And after receiving their various answers, He continued, "Whom do you say that I am?" Peter at once replied, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God" (cf. John vi. 67-71). "And Jesus answering, said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I say to thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
(a) On this solemn occasion our Lord addresses St. Peter by his own proper name, "Simon, son of John; "as He likewise did when He entrusted to his care the lambs and the sheep of His flock (John xxi. 15-17). He does so to bring out more clearly the dignity to which the Apostle was to be raised, and which was indicated by the surname imposed upon him. "As My Father hath manifested to thee My Godhead, so do I make known to thee thy pre-eminence (excellentiam)" (St. Leo, Serm. iv. 2). In former times considerable stress was laid by Protestants upon the difference of gender in the words (Greek words)1
1 Even now in the Revised Version this difference is noted.
But our Lord spoke Aramaic, and in that language the same word kepha is used in both places.2
2 "It has often been urged that Peter does not mean 'rock,' but 'stone,' (Greek) being the word for 'rock.' Sound scholarship will not support this distinction, or the inference drawn from it. Christ calls Simon as A'erpos, (Greek), not xerpa, (Greek), simply because (xerpa, in Greek) could not stand as a man's name. This is fully admitted by Meyer, one of the most eminent of New Testament scholars. . . . He quotes to show how commonly (Aerpos, Greek) occurs in the Classics with the meaning 'rock,' Plato, Ax., p. 371; Soph., Phil., 272; O. C., 19, 1591; Find., Nem., iv. 46; x. 126. 'Christ,' he says, 'declares Peter a rock because of his strong faith in Him;' and again, 'The evasion often taken advantage of in controversy with Rome viz. that the "rock" means, not Peter himself, but the firm faith and the confession of it on the part of the Apostle is incorrect, since the demonstrative expression, "on this rock," can only mean the Apostle himself.' We may add that Cephas (in Hebrew) is a common word in the Chaldee Targums for 'rock.' ... In the Syriac form it occurs very frequently in the Peshito, where it means: (1) rock; (2) stone; (3) Peter. Thus, in the text before us (Matt. xvi. 18) we have the very same word for (Aerpos) and (xerpa) :' Thou art Cephas (Syriac symbols), and on this Cephas I will build My Church'" (Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dictionary, ed. iv. POPE). )
The metaphor which He makes use of is plain enough. Christ, the Master Builder, is about to found His Church, the house of God ("You are God's building," I Cor. iii. 9); and in order that it may be able to withstand the tempests by which it will be assailed, He, like the wise man, determines to found it upon a rock (Matt. vii. 24). That rock is Simon, who henceforth is to be called Rock, because on him the Church is to be built. "Thou art Rock, and on this rock (that is, on thee) I will build My Church." And it is Peter, not the other Apostles, who is to be this Rock: "I say to thee, thou art Peter," etc. Now, the foundation is that which gives a building its strength and stability; which holds the parts together; outside of which any part will collapse. Hence it is from Peter that the Church derives her strength and stability: he it is who keeps all her members together; and all who cleave not to him will perish. It is not simply Peter's confession that is the Rock of the Church, but Peter's authority; for it is authority which is the basis which holds a moral building or society together.
(b) Inasmuch as the Church is to be built upon Simon Peter as a secure foundation, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (in the Greek alphabet). Whether we understand the word "hell" (in Greek; in Hebrew) as the abode of the demons and the damned, or simply as the realm of death, the meaning of the passage is much the same (§ 203). The powers of darkness or death shall not be able to destroy the Church built on the rock. Hell may do its worst; death, the conqueror of all else, may strive its utmost; the Church of Christ shall withstand all their attacks, and last for ever.
(c) Simon is to be not only the foundation of the Church; he is also to have complete control and jurisdiction over it: "To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven." We have already seen (supra, p. 292) that "the kingdom of heaven" is used to denote the Church, Christ's spiritual, heavenly kingdom here on earth. "The keys" is a common Oriental expression for control: as "the gates" denote power, so "the keys of the gates" denote control of this power. "I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder; and he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open (Isa. xxii. 22), where Eliacim is appointed over the palace in the stead of Sobna. "I am the first and the last . . . and have the keys of death and of hell" (Apoc. i. 18). "The holy one and the true one, he that hath the key of David: he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth" (ibid. iii. 7). Hence, Christ, by giving Peter the keys, makes him his vicar and representative: delegates to him the power which He Himself possesses.
(d) This jurisdiction is further denoted by the words, "Whatsoever thou shalt bind," etc. Binding and loosing signify, in Rabbinical language, "prohibition and permission, with reference to the various questions submitted to the Rabbis for solution. Hence, it here means much the same as the power of the keys, but with special reference to teaching authority; and Christ promises that the exercise of this authority shall be ratified in heaven a proof that it must be infallible.
2. Among the warnings given to the Apostles at His Last Supper, there was one especially addressed to Peter, but having reference to the others as well: "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you [Greek,. plural = you Apostles], that he might sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee [Greek, singular = thee, Peter], that thy faith fail not; and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren" (Luke xxii. 31, 32). "The danger from the trial of fear was common to all the Apostles, and they stood equally in need of the aid of the Divine protection . . . and yet of Peter special care is taken by the Lord, and for the faith of Peter in particular does He pray, as though the condition of the rest would be more secure, provided the mind of their chief were not subdued. In Peter, therefore, is the strength of all defended, and the aid of Divine grace is so disposed as that the firmness which is bestowed upon Peter by Christ may be conferred by Peter on the Apostles (Ut firmitas quae per Christum Petro tribuitur, per Petrum apostolis conferatur)" (St. Leo, Serm. iv., in Natal. Ordin,, c. 3 )
Our Lord tells St. Peter that Satan has asked and obtained (Greek) permission to put the Apostles to trial, as he did of old the patriarch Job. As in that former case, so also here, God will prove and purify those whom Satan intended to vex and destroy. To defeat the machinations of the Evil One, Christ prays, not for all, but for Peter, the Man of Rock, and it is Peter who is then to strengthen the rest of his brethren. "And thou being once converted (Greek, when thou hast turned to Me from thy sin, or, do thou in thy turn) confirm thy brethren."1
1 It should be noted that the word (in Greek) "confirm," "strengthen," occurs thrice in St. Peter's Epistles. "After you have suffered a little, (God) will Himself perfect you, and confirm you (Greek), and establish you" (i Pet. v. 10). "You are confirmed (Greek) in the present truth (2 Pet. i. 12). "Take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own stedfastness (Greek)" (2 Pet. iii. 17). In the first passage the connection with temptation is remarkable.
"This whole speech of our Lord," says Bengel, "pre-supposes that Peter is the first of the Apostles, on whose stability or fall the less or greater danger of the others depended."1
1 Senserat magnam in Petro fidem et tamen etiam labilitatem Satanas, eoque victo putabat omnes victos fore: at Jesus, servato Petro, cujus ruina ceteros traxisset, omnes servavit. Totus sane hie sermo Domini praesupponit Petrum esse primum Apostolorum quo stante aut cadente ceieri aut minus ant tna-is periclitareiitur (Gnomon, Ed. 8", Stuttgardt, 1887, p. 302).
Not that Peter's need was greater than theirs, but that their faith depended upon his. Just as the Church is "the pillar and ground of the truth (Greek )" (l Tim. iii. 15); in like manner Peter is the strengthener (in Greek) or foundation (Greek) of the faith (i.e. the truth) of his brethren (the Church); and so the Church is the pillar of the truth, because it rests upon Peter, its foundation. Hence it is clear that the promise here made to Simon corresponds with that already made to him at Caesarea Philippi. Here it is Satan who is to attack: there it is "the gates of Hell;" here Simon is the strengthener of his brethren: there he is the rock of the Church; here the brethren shall be safe against Satan, because they are strengthened by Simon: there the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, because it is founded upon the Man of Rock. See Palmieri, I.c., p. 287.
3. After the Resurrection our Lord fulfilled these promises by actually conferring upon Peter the primacy over His Church. "Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John [cf. (Greek), Matt. xvi. 17], lovest thou (Greek, simulated as ayarac) Me more than these? He saith to Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love (Greek, simulated as qi^w) Thee. He saith to him, Feed My lambs (in Greek). He saith to him again, Simon, son of John, lovest thou (Greek, arayac) Me? He saith to him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love (Greek qi^w) Thee. He saith to him, Feed My lambs (in Greek). He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou (Greek, qi^eic) Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, Lovest thou Me? and he said to Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things: Thou knowest that I love (Greek, qi^w) Thee. He said to him, Feed My sheep (in Greek)"1
(1 It cannot be doubted that some gradation is intended in the threefold charge made to Peter, though the present state of the Greek text makes it difficult to specify the nature of this gradation. Some (e.g. St. Ambrose, In Luc., lib. x. n. 175) have suggested: "lambs" (simulated, Greek apvla), "little sheep" (Greek, oviculas), "sheep" (in Greek, oves). Others, "lambs," "sheep," "beloved sheep" (Greek, diminutive of tenderness). The use of three substantives and two verbs (simulated Greek as Booke, roiauive) clearly denotes the universality of the charge.)
(John xxxi. 15-17). Our Lord's object is not to reinstate St. Peter in the Apostleship; for this, if needed, had already been done to him as well as to the others: "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you" (John xx. 21). Here it is a question of conferring a special charge upon Peter as distinct from his brethren. The threefold question is directed to give him an opportunity of a threefold profession of love to atone for his threefold denial; and the threefold charge is intended to express the plenitude of the charge entrusted to him --he is made to be the shepherd of the whole flock. We have already seen that the flock is the Church, and that Christ is its Chief Shepherd (p. 294). The powers which He possess He here clearly delegates to Peter.
III. To understand more fully that Christ made St. Peter His vicar and representative, we must bear in mind that the above-mentioned titles and offices conferred upon the Apostle are those very titles and offices foretold of the Messiah by the Prophets, claimed by our Lord for Himself, and attributed to Him in the Acts and Epistles.
I. "The rock was Christ" (i Cor. x. 4). He is "the stone which the builders rejected," but which "became the head of the corner" (Matt. xxi. 42; Ps. cxvii. 27; Acts iv. n). "The chief corner-stone, in Whom all the building being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord: in Whom also you are built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit" (Eph. ii. 20, 22). "Unto Whom (the Lord) coming as to a living stone...be ye also as living stones built up, a spiritual house. . . . Wherefore it is said in the Scriptures: Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious. And he that shall believe in Him shall not be confounded, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal (Greek)" (i Pet. ii. 4-8; Isa. xxviii. 16; Rom. ix. 33). "Whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken: but upon whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder" (Matt. xxi. 44). "Other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus" (i Cor. iii. 10). If it be objected that these texts exclude St. Peter, we reply with St Leo (Serm, iv., In Nat. Ord., c. 2), "Thou art Peter: that is, whereas I (Christ) am the inviolable Rock; I that chief corner-stone; I Who make both one; I the Foundation besides which no man can lay another; nevertheless, thou also art a rock, because thou art consolidated by My power, that what things belong to Me (or are peculiar to Me) by My power, may be common to thee and Me by participation of them with Me (tu quoque petra es, quia mea virtute solidaris ut quae mihi potestate sunt propria, sint tibi mecum participatione communia)" And Theophylact calls Peter "the Rock and Foundation after Christ (in Greek)" (In Lucam, c. xxii.). The most firm rock, which from that principal Rock received a participation of His virtue and name" (St. Prosper of Acquitaine, De Vocat. Gent., lib. ii. c. 28).
2. So, too, Christ, "the First and the Last," holds "the keys of life and death" (Apoc. i. 18); He is "the holy one and the true one; He that hath the key of David; He that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth" (ibid. iii. 7). "And I will give the key of David upon His shoulder (cf. 'the government is upon His shoulder,' Isa. ix. 6); and He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open" (Isa. xxii. 22; cf. Job xii. 14).
3. He is the Good Shepherd" (John x. 11), the Messiah in His best known and most loving office. "I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them . . . and He shall be their Shepherd" (Ezech. xxxiv. 23; cf. 11-16; xxxvii, 24). "He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd; He shall gather together the lambs with His arm, and shall take them up in His bosom, and He Himself shall carry them that are with young" (Isa. xl. 11). For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (i Pet. ii. 25).
IV. After our Lord's Ascension we find, as might be expected, that St. Peter at once steps into the place and office to which he had been appointed. Where formerly we read of "the twelve," now we read of "Peter with the eleven (Greek);" "Peter and the rest of the Apostles (in Greek text). "He it is who presides at the election of one to take the place of the traitor Judas (Acts i. 15 sqq.); he is the first, and indeed the only one, to preach and instruct on Pentecost Day; he is the first to exercise the miraculous powers promised to the Church: "Peter, with John, fastening his eyes upon him (the lame man), said, Look upon us (in Greek) . . . But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter said, Silver and gold I have none; but what I have I give thee: In the Name of Jesus," etc. (ibid. iii. 4-6). Again, he alone addresses the people (ibid. 12-26). When he and John are the first to be arrested, it is he who defends the action of the Apostles and preaches the Name of Jesus (ibid. iv. 1-22). In the story of Ananias and Saphira, although all the Apostles are concerned, it is Peter alone who examines and delivers judgment on the unhappy couple. Ananias, "bringing a certain part of it [the price], laid it at the feet of the Apostles. But Peter said," etc. (ibid. v. 1-10). Though afterwards "by the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought," yet "the multitude brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came his shadow at the least might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities" (ibid. 12-15). When the High Priest summoned the Apostles before him and for- bade them to preach, "Peter and the Apostles answering, said, We ought to obey God rather than men" (v. 29). When the Gospel was preached in Samaria, Peter was sent1
1 Peter's defence of his conduct (Acts xi. 1-18) cannot be urged against his primacy. A superior may condescend to explain even where he might simply command. See St. Chrysost., In Act., Hom. xxiv. n. 2; St. Gregory the Great, lib. ix., Ep. 39.
with John to confirm the new converts, and again takes the leading part (viii. 14-25). Later on, when "the Church had peace throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria...it came to pass that Peter, as he passed through visiting all (in Greek), came to the saints who dwelt at Lydda" (ibid. ix. 31, 32). "Like a general, he went round surveying the ranks, seeing what portion was well massed together, what in order, what needed his presence. Behold him making his rounds in every direction," etc. (Chrysost., In Act., Hom. xxi. n. 2). Furthermore, he is the first to take the great step of receiving the Gentiles into the Church (Acts x.). When James, the brother of John, one of the three greater Apostles, was put to death by Herod, and when Paul long afterwards was imprisoned, nothing is said of the Church's anxiety at their arrest, or prayers for their deliverance. But when Peter "was kept in prison, prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him (Greek text)" (ibid. xii. 1-5). When dissension threatened the unity of the Church, and when "the Apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter, and when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them, Men, brethren, you know that in former days God made choice among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel," etc. As soon as he had spoken, "all the multitude held their peace," and the subsequent decree of the council was in accordance with his decision. "Peter," says St. Jerome, "spoke with his wonted freedom, and the Apostle James followed his sentence, and all the ancients at once acceded to it" (Ep. 75, Inter August., n. 7).
V. The personal infallibility of each of the Apostles ("When he, the Spirit of truth is come, He will teach you all truth") and the universality of their jurisdiction ("teach ye all nations"), rendered the exercise of St. Peter's peculiar prerogatives less manifest, and gave the Apostles a position with regard to him which could not k e ^Id by their successors with regard to his successors (see infra, § 239). This was especially so in St. Paul's case. The attacks made upon his authority on the ground that he was not one of the original Twelve, required him to take every occasion of magnifying his own apostolic office. Nevertheless, we find in his Epistles passages which clearly indicate his recognition of Peter's supremacy. "I went to Jerusalem to see Peter (in Greek), 'to make the acquaintance of, to interview Cephas '), and I tarried with him fifteen days; but other of the Apostles I saw none, saving James, the brother of the Lord (Gal. i. 18, 19). "After so many great deeds," says St. Chrysostom (in h. 1.), "needing nothing of Peter nor of his instruction, but being his equal in rank (Greek), for I will say no more here, still he goes up to him as to the greater and elder (Greek). . . . He went but for this alone, to see him and honour him by his presence. He says, I went up to visit Peter. He did not say, to see Peter, but to visit Peter (Greek), as they say in becoming acquainted with great and illustrious cities. So much pains he thought it worth only to see the man. . . . For he honours the man, and loves him more than all (in Greek): for he says that he came up for none (Greek) of the Apostles save him." Four times does he mention St. Peter in his First Epistle to the Corinthians: twice where he gives him the place of honour (Paul, Apollo, Cephas, Christ; i. 12; iii. 22, 23); and twice where he singles him out by name, the rest being spoken of in a body (ix. 5; xv. 5). True, in Gal. ii. 9 the order is James, and Cephas, and John;1
1 This reading is not altogether certain. Peter is placed first in the codices used by some of the Fathers; e.g. Tertullian, Adv. Marc. 1. i. c. 20; Chrysostom, in h. 1. (at least when he is commenting on the passage); Ambrosiaster, ibid.; Ambrose, De Interpell. Jobi, 1. i. c. 5; Augustine, in c. 2, Ep. ad Gal.; Theodoret, In Ps. Ixxxvi. I; In Cant. iii. 10; Ad Rom. xv. 26; In 2 Cor. viii. 18. St. Jerome, both in his text and in his commentary, reads, Peter and James and John," and says nothing of any other reading.
but here he is speaking of the three as Apostles, and asserting his equality with them as such. And the division of labour which is there spoken of ("To me was committed the gospel of the uncircumcision, as to Peter was that of the circumcision") is not opposed to Peter's primacy. "For, as a mark of his excellence, Christ Himself, Who came to save all men, with Whom there is no distinction of Jew and Greek, was yet called 'Minister of the circumcision' by Paul (Rom. xv. 8), a title of dignity according to Paul's own words, for theirs was 'the adoption of children, and the glory and the testament, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises,' while 'the Gentiles praise God for His mercy.' But just as Christ our Lord was so called Minister of the circumcision, in such sense as yet to be the Pastor and Saviour of all, so Peter, too, was called the minister of the circumcision, in such sense as yet to be by the Lord constituted (Acts ix. 32) pastor and ruler of the whole flock. Whence St. Leo, 'Out of the whole world Peter alone is chosen to preside over the calling of all the Gentiles, and over all the Apostles, and the collected Fathers of the Church, so that though there be among the people of God many priests and many shepherds, yet Peter rules all by immediate commission, whom Christ also rules by sovereign power'" (Baronius, Ann., A.D. 51, sect. 29; St. Leo, Serm. iv.).
There is another famous passage in this same Epistle which is often quoted against St. Peter's primacy. "When Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed (Greek). For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision. And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews consented (Greek). So that Barnabas also was led by them into that dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Gal. ii. 11-14). Peter's conduct was in no way an error against the faith. He had been the first to receive the Gentiles (Acts x., xi.), and he distinctly taught that the Law was no longer binding (ibid. xv. 7 sqq.). In his anxiety, however, to conciliate the Jews, whom he had lately taken under his special charge (Gal. ii. 9), he lived as a Jew. On the other hand, St. Paul, to whom the Gentiles were entrusted, rightly feared that the example of Cephas (the Man of Rock, on whom Christ had built His Church) might be quoted to prove the necessity of observing the Law, and therefore he strongly protested against such conduct. Nevertheless, we find him shortly afterwards circumcising Timothy "because of the Jews that were in those places" (Acts xvi. 3). The Fathers who comment on the story of the dissension, however they may differ in their interpretation, are anxious to uphold Peter's dignity, and admire his humility in submitting to be rebuked, rather than Paul's freedom in rebuking him. "Peter gave to posterity a rarer and a holier example --that they should not disdain, if perchance they left the right track, to be corrected even by their youngers --than Paul: that even inferiors might confidently venture to resist superiors, maintaining brotherly charity, in the defence of evangelical truth. . . . Much more wonderful and praiseworthy is it willingly to accept correction than boldly to correct deviation. Paul, then, has the praise of just liberty, and Peter of holy humility" (St. August., Ep. Ixxxii. n. 22). See also Estius's excellent commentary on Galatians ii.
Sect. 237. --The Fathers on the Primacy of St. Peter.
In the small space at our disposal it will not be possible for us to give more than a few of the passages in which the Fathers speak of the titles and prerogatives of St. Peter. The English reader will find the Patristic evidence given at length in Mr. Allnatt's excellent work, Cathedra Petri; Waterworth's The Fathers on St. Peter and his Successors.
I. St. Peter the Prince and Head of the Apostles.
St. Clement of Alexandria: The blessed Peter, the Chosen (Greek), the Pre-eminent (Greek), the First (Greek) of the disciples" (Quis Dives Salvetur. Op., ed. Migne, ii. p. 625).
Origen: "Peter the Prince of the Apostles" (In Lucam, Hom. xvi. tom. iii. p. 952). "Jesus having adjudged him greater than the other disciples (Greek)" (tom. xiii.. In Matt., n. 14; tom. iii. p. 588).
Cyprian: "St. Peter, whom the Lord chose to be first, or chief (quem primum Dominus elegit)" (Epist. Ixxi., Ad
Quintum). "The Primacy is given to Peter (Primatus Petro datur)" (De Unit. Eccl., n. 4).
St. Peter of Alexandria: "Peter, set above the Apostles (Greek)" (Canon. Penitent., n. 9; Galland. iv.; et ap. Hardouin, Concil., tom. i. p. 229).
Eusebius: "That powerful and great one of the Apostles, who on account of his excellence was the leader of the rest (Greek)" (Hist. Eccl., lib. ii. c. 14).
St. Hilary: "The Prince of the Apostolate (Greek)" (Apostolatus princeps) (In Matt. vii. 6).
St. Athanasius: "Peter the Chief or Leader (Greek)" (In Ps. xv. 8; tom. iii. p. 105, Migne).
St. Cyril of Jerusalem: "Peter the chiefest and foremost leader of the Apostles (Greek)" (Catech. ii. n. 19, Migne, p. 31).
St. Ephraem Syrus: "The Prince of the Apostles" (tom, ii., Serm. Syr., Ivi., Adv. Haer., p. 559). "The Chief of the Apostles" (ib. Serm. Gr. in Adv. Dom., p. 203).
St. Gregory of Nyssa: The Leader and Coryphaeus of the Apostolic Choir. . . . The Head of the Apostles" (Alt.
Orat. de S. Steph., tom. iii. pp. 730-733).
St. Gregory of Nazianzum: "Peter the Chief of the Apostles (Greek)" (Carm. Theol, lib. ii. sect. I, carm. xii. 222).
St. Basil: "Peter, who was preferred before all the disciples (Greek) (De Judic. Dei, n. 7, tom. ii. p. 221).
St. Epiphanius: "Peter became a Leader to his own brother. And God sees the dispositions of the heart, and knowing who is worthy to be appointed unto presidency (Greek). He also chose Peter to be the Leader (Greek) of His disciples, as in every way has been clearly shown" (Adv. Haer., 51, n. 17, tom. i. p. 440).
St. Jerome: "Peter the first Pontiff of the Christians (Primus Pontifex Christianorum)" (Chron. Euseb. ad Ann.,
44, tom. viii. p. 578). "The Prince of the Apostles (Princeps Apostolorum)" (Dial. adv. Pelag., n. 14). "Out of the Twelve, One is chosen in order that by the institution of a Head the occasion of schism might be removed" (Adv. Jovin., lib. i. n. 26, tom. ii. p. 279).
St. Chrysostom: "The Chief of the Apostles, the First in the Church (Greek)" (Hom. iii. de Poenit., n. 4). "Peter it was to whom had been entrusted the government (Greek)" (Hom, xxxiii., In Act., n. 2). "He entrusted into his hands the Primacy over the Universal Church (Greek)" (Hom, v. de Poenit., n. 2).
St. Augustine: "Who can be ignorant that the most blessed Peter is the first (primum) of the Apostles?" (In Joann. tract. Ivi. n. i). "Peter, by reason of the Primacy of his Apostolate, personified the Universal Church" (ib. tract., cxxiv. n. 5). (Cf. Serm. Ixxvi. n. 4; De Bapt. cont. Donat., lib. ii. n. 2.)
General Council of Ephesus, 431: "The blessed Peter, the Head of the whole faith, and even of the Apostles (Greek)" (Act. ii., Labbe, tom. iii. p. 619). "The Prince (Greek) and Head (Greek) of the Apostles" (Act. iii., Labbe, p. 625).
St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Set over (Greek) the holy disciples;" "the Prince (Greek) of the holy disciples;" "Prince (Greek) of the Apostles;" "the Leader (Greek)" (In Joann. lib. x. tom. vii. p. 924; ibid., lib. xii. p. 1064; Thesaur., tom. viii. p. 340; Hom, xiii., De Fest. Pasch., tom. x. Pt. ii. p. 105, ed. Migne).
Theodoret: "The Coryphaeus of the Apostles" (In Ps. ii.); "the first of the Apostles" (Hist. Relig., c. ii.). "He (Paul) renders due honour to the Head (Greek)" (Comm. in Gal., i. 18).
St. Leo: "Peter . . . not only the Prelate of this see (Rome), but the Primate (primatem) of all Bishops" (Serm. iii., De Natal. Ord. c. 4). "The Prince of the whole Church (totius ecclesia principem)" (Serm. iv. c. 4). "The Lord who committed the Primacy (primatum) of the Apostolic dignity to the most blessed Apostle Peter" (Epist. v., Ad Episc. Metrop. per Illyr. Constit., c. 2).
II. St. Peter the Rock of the Church.
Tertullian: "Peter, who is called the Rock whereon the Church was to be built, and who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven (De Praescr. Haeret., c. 22).
Origen: "That great foundation of the Church, and most solid Rock upon which Christ founded the Church (Magno illi ecclesia fundamento, et petrae solidissimae, super quam Christus fundavit ecclesiam) (In Exod. Com., v. n. 4, Op. tom. ii. p. 145, Migne; cf. In Joann., tom. iv. p. 95; apud Euseb., Hist. EccL, vi. c. 25). "Peter, against whom the gates of hell shall not prevail" (De Princ., lib. iii. c. 2, n. 5). "Neither against the Rock upon which Christ builds His Church, nor against the Church shall the gates of hell prevail (Greek)" (In Matt., tom. xii. n.11).1
1He also applies the word Rock to every faithful disciple.
St. Cyprian: "Peter, whom the Lord chose as first, and upon whom He built His Church (Epist. Ixxi., Ad Quint., n. 3). "There is one Church, founded by the Lord Christ upon Peter, for the origin and purpose of unity (Una ecclesia a Christo Domino super Petrum origine unitatis et ratione fundata) (Epist. Ixx., Ad Januar. Cf. Epist. Ixxiii., Ad Jubaian., n. n; De Bono Patientiae, n. 9; Epist. Ixvi., Ad Pupiamum, n. 8; Epist. lix., Ad Cornel, n. 9; Epist. xliii., al. xl. Ad Plebem., n. 5; De Exhort. Martyr., n. ii; De Habitu Virg., n. 10).
Eusebius of Caesarea: "Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built (Greek), against which the gates of hell shall not prevail" (Hist. Eccl, lib. vi. c. 25. Cf. Demonstr. Evang., lib. iii. c. 4).
St. Hilary of Poitiers: "Peter . . . upon whom He was about to build His Church. . . Peter the foundation of the Church (Tract, in Ps. cxxxi. n. 4). "The firm Rock upon which the Church was to be built (firma superaedificandae in ea ecclesiae petra) (In Ps. cxli. n. 8. Cf. De Trin., lib. vi. c. 20).
St. Gregory of Nyssa: "Peter the Head of the Apostles ... is in accordance with the prerogative bestowed upon him by the Lord, the unbroken and most firm Rock (Greek), upon which the Lord built His Church" (Alt. Orat. de S. Stephan. Op., tom. iii. p. 734, Migne; cf. Hom. xv. in Cant. Cantic., tom. i. p. 1088).
St. Gregory of Nazianzum: "Of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were great and deserving of the choice, one is called a Rock, and is entrusted with the foundation of the Church (Greek)" (Orat. xxxii. n. 18. Op., tom. ii. p. 591, Migne; cf. Carmin., sect. 2, Poem. Moral., n. 1, vers. 489, tom. ii. p. 325; Carm. Theol., loc. cit.; Orat. ix., Apol. ad Patr., n. 1, tom. i. p. 235).
St. Epiphanius: "The First of the Apostles, that firm Rock upon which the Church of God is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. But the gates of hell are heresies and heresiarchs" (Anchorat., n. 9). "Peter . . . a firm Rock founding the faith of the Lord, upon which the Church was in every way (Greek) built. . . . A firm Rock of the building, and Foundation of the House of God" (Adv. Hares., 59, nn. 7, 8).
St. Ambrose: "Whom He (Christ) pointed out as the Foundation of the Church, when He called him the Rock" (DeFide, lib. iv. c. 5, n. 56, tom. ii. p. 531, Migne). "It is that same Peter to whom He said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.' Therefore, where Peter is, there is the Church (ubi ergo Petrus, ibi Ecclesia; ubi Ecclesia ibi nulla mors, sed vita aeterna)" (In Ps. xl. n. 30, tom. i. p. 879; cf. In Lucam, lib. iv. nn. 70, 77; De Virginit., c. 16, n. 105; De Incarnat., c. iv. n. 33; c. 5, n. 34; De Sp. Sancto, c. xiii. n. 158).
St. Chrysostom: "When I name Peter, I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, the First of the disciples (Greek)" (Hom. iii.. De Poenit., n. 4; cf. Hom, in illud, Hoc Scitote, n. 4; Ad eos qtii scandalizati sunt, n. 17; In illud, Vidi Dom. Hom. iv. n. 3 ; Hom. De Dec. Mil. Talent, n. 3 ; Hom. liv. n. 2 ; Hom. iii., In Matt; n. 5; Hom. xix., In Joann., n. 2)
Joann., n. 2.)
St. Jerome: "Peter, upon whom the Lord founded the Church" (Epist. xl, Ad Marcellam). "Peter the Prince of the Apostles, upon whom the Church was founded in stable massiveness (super quem ecclesia Domini stabili mole fundata est)" (Dial. adv. Pelag., lib. i. n. 14). "As Christ Himself gave light to the Apostles, that they might be called the light of the world, and as they obtained other names from the Lord; so to Simon also, who believed on the Rock Christ, He bestowed the name of Peter; and according to the metaphor of a rock, it is rightly said of him, 'I will build My Church upon thee.' The gates of hell are vices and sins, or certainly the doctrines of heretics by which men enticed are led to hell (In Matt. xvi. tom. vii. p. 124). "Upon this Rock (the See of Peter) I know that the Church is founded (Epist. xv., Ad Pap. Damas. tom. i. p. 39).
St. Augustine: "Peter, who had confessed Him the Son of God, and in that confession had been called the Rock upon which the Church should be built (Petrus . . . in illa confessione appellatus est petra super quam fabricaretur ecclesia)" (In Ps. Ixix. n. 4). "Number the bishops from the See itself of Peter, and in that order of Fathers see who succeeded to whom: this is the Rock which the proud gates of hell overcome not (ipsa est petra quam non vincunt superba inferorum portae) (Ps. in Part. Donat., tom. ix. p. 30; cf. Epist. liii., Generoso, n. 2).
St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Allusively to the name from the rock, He changed his name to Peter; for on him He was about to found His Church (in Greek)" (In Joann., i. 42, lib. ii. Op. tom. vi. p. 131, Migne). "Calling, I think, the rock the immoveableness in the faith of the disciple" (In Isai., lib. iv. tom. iii. p. 593; cf. In Matt., c. xvi. tom. v. p. 54).
St. Leo the Great: "The Lord willed that the mystery of His gifts should so belong to the office of all the Apostles, as to seat it chiefly in the most blessed Peter, highest of all the Apostles; and from him, as it were from the Head, He wills His gifts to flow as into the whole body; that whosoever dares to recede from the solidity of Peter, may know that he has no part in the Divine mystery. For this man, assumed into the participation of His indivisible unity, He willed to be named what He Himself was, by saying, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church;' that the rearing of the eternal temple, by the wonderful grace of the gift of God, might consist now in the solidity of Peter, strengthening with his firmness this Church, that neither the rashness of men might attempt it, nor the gates of hell prevail against it (Epist.ad Episc.per Prov. Vienn.in causa Hilarii, c. I; cf. Serm. iv. In Natal. Ord., c. 2, quoted above, p. 311). "The Rock of the Catholic Faith, which name the blessed Apostle Peter received from the Lord" (Epist. cxix. n. 2, Ad Maxim. Ep. Antioch). "By the loftiness of his faith he gave so much pleasure as to receive the sacred firmness of an inviolable Rock, upon which the Church being founded, it should prevail over the gates of hell and the laws of death; and that neither in loosing nor in binding should anything be ratified in heaven but what it may have settled by the decision of Peter (Serm. li., Hom. Sabbat, ante 2m Dom. Quadr., c. I; cf. Epist. xxviii., Ad Flav.).
Council of Ephesus, 431. In this Council the Legate Philip called Peter "the Pillar of the Faith, the Foundation of the Catholic Church (Greek)" (Act. iii., Labbe, tom. Hi. p. 625; ed. Paris, 1671).
Council of Chalcedon, 451. In the sentence against Dioscorus, approved of by all the bishops (mostly Easterns), Peter is called "the Rock and Foundation of the Catholic Church, and support of the orthodox faith (Greek) (Act. iii., Labbe, tom. iv. p. 425).
St. Gregory the Great: "Who is ignorant that the Holy Church is established on the firmness of the Chief of the Apostles, who in his name expressed the firmness of his mind, being called Peter from the Rock? (lib. vi., Epist. 3, Ad. Eulog. Alexandr.)
St. John Damascene calls Peter "that Coryphaeus of the Apostles, the Firm Foundation, the unbroken Rock of the Church (Greek) In Sacr. Parallel., tom. ii. p. 591, Migne).
Photius says that "upon Peter rest the foundations of the faith (Greek) (Epist. ccxliii. al. xcix.).
It may be objected that many of the Fathers (notably objection St. Augustine) take the Rock to be, not Peter himself, but the confession which Peter made; and that others explain that the Rock was Christ. To this we reply that these interpretations are not opposed to that which we have given, but are rather collateral to it: the three taken together give us an adequate interpretation of the passage. In Christ's words, ' Thou art Peter,' etc., a threefold truth is contained: (1) Peter is the Rock of the Church, i.e. the person of Simon, who is made a Rock or is endowed with the Primacy, is the basis on which the Church rests; (2) Faith is the Rock of the Church, i.e. Peter's faith is that which constitutes him the foundation of the Church; (3) Christ is the Rock of the Church, i.e. He is the principal, original Rock on which Peter rests. See Palmieri, l.c., 248, sqq.; and on St. Augustine's interpretation, Franzelin, De Eccl., p. 136 sqq.
III. Peter the Key-bearer.
As the Fathers naturally speak of this prerogative of Peter in connection with the foregoing, it will here suffice to quote only two or three passages.
Tertullian: "If thou thinkest heaven is closed, remember that the Lord left here the keys thereof to Peter, and through him to the Church" (Scorpiace, cap. 10; cf. De Praescr. Haeret., n. 22).
Origen: "If we carefully examine the writings of the Evangelists, we may discover much difference and preeminence (Greek) in the words spoken to Peter (Matt, xvi. 19), over and above those spoken to the Apostles generally (ibid, xviii. 19) in the second place. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys, not of one heaven, but of many, and that whatsoever things he should bind upon earth should be bound, not in one heaven, but in all (the heavens) ... for they (the other Apostles) do not transcend in power as Peter, so as to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Comment, in Matt., tom. xiii. n. 31).
St. Ambrose: "What fellowship can these (the Novatians) have with Thee: men who take not up the keys of the kingdom, denying that they ought to forgive sins; which indeed they rightly confess of themselves; for they have not Peter's inheritance who have not Peter's chair, which they rend with impious division (De Poenit., lib. i. nn. 32, 33).
St. Chrysostom: "Great was God's consideration towards this city (Antioch), as He manifested by deeds; inasmuch as Peter, who was set over the whole habitable world, into whose hands He put the keys of heaven; to whom He entrusted to do and to support all things (Greek) (Hom, in S. Ign. Mart., n. 4; cf. In Matt. Hom., liv. n. 2; In Matt. Hom., Ixxxii. n. 3).
St. Leo the Great: "The right of this power (of the keys) passed also indeed to the other Apostles, and the constitution of this decree has flowed on to all the princes of the Church; but not in vain is that entrusted to one which is intimated to all. For to Peter is this therefore entrusted individually, because the pattern of Peter is set- before all the rulers of the Church. The privilege of Peter therefore remains, whatever judgment is passed in accordance with his equity (Non frustra uni commendatur quod omnibus intimatur. Petro enim ideo hoc singulariter creditur, quia cunctis ecclesiae rectoribus Petri forma praeponitur. Manet ergo Petri privilegium, ubicunque ex ipsius fertur aequitate judicium)" (Serm, iv., In Nat. Or din., c. 3; cf. Epist. x., Ad Episc. per Prov. Vienn. in causa Hilarii, c. 2., supra, p. 322).
St. Gregory: "Behold he (Peter) receives the keys of the heavenly kingdom; the power of binding and of loosing is given to him; to him the care and government of the whole Church is committed (Ecce claves regni accipit, potestas ei ligandi atque solvendi tribuitur, cura, ei totius ecclesiae et principatus committitur)" (lib. v., Epist. xx., Ad Manric. August).
Venerable Bede: "Blessed Peter in a special manner received the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the Headship of judiciary power, that all believers throughout the world might understand that all those who in any way separate themselves from the unity of his faith and communion, such can neither be absolved from sins, nor enter the gate of the heavenly kingdom (Hom, xvi., In Die SS. Pet. et Paul., Migne, Patr. Lat. tom. xciv. p. 223).
IV. St. Peter the Confirmer of his Brethren.
St. Ambrose: "Peter, after being tempted by the devil, is set over the Church. The Lord therefore signified beforehand what that is, that He afterwards chose him to be the Pastor of the Lord's flock. For to him He said, 'But thou, when thou art once converted,' etc. (Petrus ecclesiae praeponitur . . . postea eum pastorem elegit dominici gregis) (In Ps. xliii. n. 40; cf. De Fide, lib. iv. c. 5, n. 56).
St. Chrysostom: "He (Peter) first acts with authority in the matter (the election of Matthias), as having all put into his hands; for to him Christ said, 'And thou,' etc. (Greek) Hom. iii., In Act., nn. 1-3; cf. St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Lucam, tom. v. p. 420; Theodoret, Haeret. Fab., lib. v. c. 28).
In the General Council of Ephesus St. Peter is called "the Pillar of the Faith (Greek)" (Act. iii., Labbe, tom. iii. p. 625). And in the General Council of Chalcedon, "the Foundation (6 0e/Atoc) of the orthodox faith" (Act. iii., Labbe, iv. p. 425). For St. Leo, see above, p. 308.
V. St. Peter the Chief Pastor.
Origen: "To Peter was the Supreme Power to feed the sheep delivered, and upon him as on the earth was the Church founded (Petro cum summa rerum de pascendis ovibus traderetur, et super ipsum velut super terram fundaretur ecclesiae) (lib. v., In Ep. ad Rom., n. 5).
St Cyprian: "Peter, to whom the Lord commends His sheep to be fed and guarded, on whom He placed and founded the Church (cui oves suas Dominus pascendas tuendasque commendat) (De Habitu. Virg., n. 10).
St. Ephraem Syrus: "Blessed the flock committed to thy care! How much it has grown! . . . O thou blessed one, that obtainedst the place of the Head and Tongue in the body of thy brethren," etc. (Bibl. Orient, ed. Asseman., tom. i. p. 95; cf. Serm. Ivi., Adv. Haer., tom, ii., Syr., p. 559).
St. Ambrose: "Chosen to feed the flock by the judgment of the Lord Himself" (De Fide, lib. v. prolog. n. 2; cf. the foregoing heading).
St. Chrysostom on John xxi. 15: "And why, then, passing over the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the Mouth of the disciples and the Leader of the choir. On this account Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others, and withal, to show him that he must have confidence, as the denial was done away with. He puts into his hands the presidency over his brethren (Greek). And He brings not forward that denial, neither does He reproach him with the past, but says to him, 'If thou love Me, rule over the brethren (Greek)' (cf. Greek). . . . And the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing at what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if any one should say, 'How, then, did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?' I would answer, 'That He appointed this man (Peter) teacher, not of that throne, but of the world'" (In Joann. Hom. Ixxxviii.; cf. Hom. v. de Poenit., n. 2; De Sacerdotio, lib. ii. c. i).
St. Augustine: "I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by ... the succession of priests from the very chair of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, committed His sheep to be fed (Tenet me ab ipsa sede Petri Apostoli, cut pascendas oves post resurrectionem Dominus commendavit, successio sacerdotum) (Contra Ep. Fundam Manich., n. 5). "Peter was made the Pastor of the Church, as Moses was made the Ruler of the Jewish people" (Contra Faust., lib. xxii. c. 70; cf. Serm. xlvi. n. 30; Serm. ccxcv. nn. 2, 4).
St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Over the Church He sets Peter as Shepherd (Greek)" (In Matt., xvi. tom. v. p. 55, ed. Migne).
St. Leo the Great: "Out of the whole world the one Peter is chosen to be set over both the calling of the nations, and over all the Apostles and all the Fathers of the Church; that, although in the people of God there be many priests and many shepherds, Peter may rule all, as made his, whom Christ also rules by supreme headship (omnes tamen proprie regat Petrus, quos principaliter regit et Christus)" (Serm. iv., In Nat. Ord., c. I; cf. Ep. x., Ad Episc. per Prov. Vienn. in Causa Hilarii, c. 2; Serm. Ixxiii., De Ascens. Dom., n. 2).
St. Gregory the Great: "By the voice of the Lord the care of the whole Church was entrusted to holy Peter, Prince of all the Apostles; for to him it is said, 'Peter, lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep"' (lib. v., Epist. xx., Ad Maurit. August.).
Palmieri, De Rom. Pont., p. 225 sqq.; Billot, De Ecclesia, p. 528 sqq.; Turmel, Hist, de la Theol. Posit., etc., p. 151 sqq.; Atzberger, op. cit., sect. 342; Allies, St. Peter: His Name and Office.
CHAPTER IV. The Primary of the Roman Pontiff.
"That which the Prince of Shepherds and great Shepherd of the sheep, Christ Jesus our Lord, established in the person of the Blessed Apostle Peter to secure the perpetual welfare and lasting good of the Church, must, by the same institution, necessarily abide unceasingly in the Church; which, being founded upon the Rock, will stand firm to the end of the world. For none can doubt --and it is known to all ages --that the Holy and Blessed Peter, the Prince and Chief of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind, and lives, presides, and judges to this day and always, in his successors the Bishops of the Holy See of Rome, which was founded by him, and consecrated by his blood (Vatican Council, sess. iv. ch. 2; cf. Acts of the Council of Ephesus, sess. iii., Labbe).
Sect. 238. --The Perpetuity of the Primacy of Peter in the Bishops of Rome.
I. The argument for the perpetuity of Peter's Primacy is briefly this: Christ's Church will last for all days, therefore the Primacy must be perpetual. Our Lord built His Church upon a rock, that the gates of hell might never prevail against it; the rock must therefore continue for all days. Satan is ever endeavouring to sift the members of it; hence they always stand in need of confirmation in the faith. The sheep and lambs of His flock must ever be fed, guided, and defended against their foes. Now, these functions of Rock, Key-bearer, Confirmer, and Shepherd were entrusted to St. Peter, who was, however, a mortal man. They must, therefore, be exercised by other persons acting in his name and invested with his prerogatives." It is matter of doubt to none, rather, it is a thing known to all ages (Greek), that the holy and most blessed Peter, the prince and head of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith, the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and Redeemer of mankind. And to him was given authority to bind and loose sins, who, even till this present, and always, both lives and judges in his successors (Greek); our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine, the bishop, the canonical successor (Greek) and vicegerent of this Peter, has sent us as representatives of his person" (Philip, the papal legate at the Council of Ephesus, Act iii., Labbe, tom. iii. col. 625). "The solidity of that faith, which was commended in the Prince of the Apostles, is perpetual; and as what Peter believed in Christ is perpetual, so is what Christ instituted in Peter permanent. . . . The disposition, therefore, made by the truth remains, and blessed Peter, continuing in his acquired firmness of the rock, has not abandoned the entrusted helms of the Church.... If anything, therefore, is rightly done by us, and rightly ordained; if anything be, by our daily prayers, obtained from the mercy of God, it is his doing and merit, whose power survives, and whose authority excels in his own chair (cujus in sede sua vivit potestas, excellit auctoritas).... That in the person of my lowliness he be acknowledged, be honoured, in whom both the solicitude of all pastors, with the care of the sheep entrusted to them, still continues, and whose dignity fails not, even in his unworthy heir (et cujus dignitas etiam in indigno herede non deficit) (St. Leo, Serm. iii., De Natal. Ordin., cc. 2-4). "The blessed Peter ceases not to preside over his own see, and he enjoys a never-ceasing fellowship with the ever- lasting Priest (Christ). For that solidity which Peter, himself also made a rock, received from the rock Christ, has passed onwards to his heirs also; and wheresoever any firmness is exhibited, the constancy of that pastor is undeniably apparent (St. Leo, Serm. v., De Natal. Ordin., c.4).
As the Fathers usually speak of the perpetuity of the Primacy in the person of the Bishop of Rome, we shall reserve further extracts for the next paragraph.
II. The perpetuity of the Primacy is contained in the words of the Gospels no less than is the Primacy itself; but the way in which it was to be perpetuated is not precisely determined. Nevertheless, it is evident that there must be some means of indicating the person or persons invested with the powers originally conferred upon Peter. Now, the voice of tradition tells us that one mode of succession, and one alone, has ever been acknowledged in the Church, viz. that the Bishop of Rome is the successor of St. Peter, forming one moral person with him, holding all his prerogatives of ruling and teaching the Church.
I. The Fathers of the Council of Sardica (A.D. 342) "honour the memory of the holy Apostle St. Peter" in the person of Julius, Bishop of Rome (can. 3): "the priests of the Lord from each of the several provinces are to "refer to the Head, that is, to the See of the Apostle Peter (ad caput, id est, ad Petri Apostoli sedem) (Epist, Synod, ad Julium, Labbe, tom. ii. p. 66 1). "I bear the burdens," says Pope St. Siricius, "of all who are heavily laden; yea, rather, in me that burden is borne by the blessed Peter, who we trust in all things protects and has regard to us, who are the heirs of his government (haec portat in nobis beatus apostolus Petrus, qui nos in omnibus, ut confidimus, administrationis suae protegit et tuetur haeredes) (Ep. i., Ad Himer. Tarrac. Ep. n. i.; Galland, tom, vii.p. 533). And Pope St. Zosimus says, "Canonical antiquity by universal consent willed that so great a power should belong to that Apostle, a power also derived from the actual promise of Christ our God, that it should be his to loose what was bound, and to bind what was loosed, an equal state of power being bestowed upon those who, by his will, should be found worthy to inherit his see, for he has both charge of all the Churches, and especially of this wherein he sate. . . You are not ignorant that we rule over his place, and are in possession also of the authority of his name" (Ep. xi. Ad Afros, Galland, tom. ix. pp. 15, 16). "Peter . . . even till this present and always, both lives and judges in his successors," etc. (Concil. Eph. act. iii.; see above, p. 329). "Anathema to him who believeth not that Peter hath so spoken by Leo (Petrus per Leonem ita locutus est) (Council of Chalcedon, Hardouin, tom. ii. p. 306). "Peter spoke by Agatho (Third Council of Constantinople, Hardouin, tom. iii. p. 1422; cf. pp. 1159, 1287). The Second Council of Nicaea professed its adherence ("The holy synod so believes, so is convinced, so defines") to Pope Hadrian I's letter, in which he says, "Peter's See shines forth in Primacy (Greek) over the whole Church, and is Head of all the Churches of God. Wherefore the same blessed Peter the Apostle, governing the Church by the command of the Lord, left nothing uncared for, but held everywhere, and holds, supreme authority (Greek)" (Hardouin, tom. iii. p. 103). "We who have taken upon us to rule the Apostolic See in the place of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles" (St. Gregory the Great, Lib. ii., Ep. Ad. Columb.).
2. The Bishop of Rome is declared to be, by the very fact of his succeeding to that See, the successor of St. Peter's Primacy. That is to say, St. Peter, by taking possession of the See of Rome, thereby made that the supreme See, invested with all his primatial prerogatives; so that when he vacated the See by death, his successor in the See became by that very fact his successor in the Primacy. "Peter, therefore, first filled that individual chair which is the first of the marks (of the Church, cathedram unicam [unique or pre-eminent] quae est prima de dotibus); to him succeeded Linus; to Linus succeeded Clement; to Clement, Anacletus [he gives the whole succession]; ... to Liberius, Damasus; to Damasus, Siricius, who is now our colleague, with whom the whole world, by the mutual exchange of circular letters (commercio formatarum) is concordant with us in one fellowship of communion. You who wish to claim to yourselves the holy Church, tell us the origin of your chair" (St. Optatus of Milevis, De Schism. Donat., lib. ii. nn. 2-4). "If the order of bishops succeeding to each other is considered, how much more securely and really beneficially do we reckon from Peter himself, to whom bearing
a figure of the Church the Lord says, 'Upon this rock,' etc. For to Peter succeeded Linus; to Linus, Clement [he gives the whole succession]; to Damasus, Siricius; to Siricius, Anastasius" (St. Augustine, Ep. liii. nn. 2, 3). "Cornelius was made bishop . . . when the place of Fabian that is, when the place of Peter and the rank (gradus) of the sacerdotal chair was vacant" (St. Cyprian, Ep. lii., Ad Anton.). He speaks of "the chair of Peter the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise (ecclesiam principalem, unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est)" (Ep. iv., Ad Cornel.). Firmilian is indignant with Pope St. Stephen, "who so prides himself on the place of his episcopate and contends that he holds the succession of Peter, upon whom the foundations of the Church were laid" (Ep. Ixxv., Inter Cyprianas). St. Ambrose praises his brother Satyrus, who, being in a place of doubtful orthodoxy, "called the bishop unto him, and not accounting any grace true which was not of the true faith, he inquired of him whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops --that is, with the Roman Church (utrumnam cum episcopis Catholicis, hoc est cum Romaao Ecclesia conveniret)" (De Excessu Fratris, n. 46.)" I speak," says St. Jerome, "with the successor of the Fisherman, and the disciple of the Cross. I, following none as the first, save Christ, am linked in communion with thy blessedness --that is, with the chair of Peter. Upon that Rock I know that the Church is built. Whoso shall eat the Lamb outside this house is profane. If any be not in the ark of Noah, he will perish when the deluge prevails.... I know not Vitalis; Meletius I reject; I am ignorant of Paulinus. Whoso gathereth not with thee (Damasus) scattereth; that is, he who is not of Christ is of Antichrist (Epist. xv., Ad Damas) "What does he (Rufinus) call his faith? That which is the strength of the Roman Church, or that which is in the volumes of Origen? If he answer, 'the Roman,' then are we Catholics (Si Romanam responderit, ergo Catholici sumus)'' (Adv. Rufin., ed. i. c. 4). "Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own See, gives the true faith to those who seek it. For we, in our solicitude for truth and faith, cannot, without the consent of the Roman Church, hear causes of faith" (Ep. Ad Eutech.).
3. As the succession to the Primacy of Peter is bound up with the succession to the See of Rome, hence the Church of this See holds the Primacy over the Universal Church. "Your faith," said St. Paul to the Romans (i. 8), "is spoken of in the whole world." "For with this Church (of Rome), because of its more powerful principality, every Church must agree --that is, the faithful everywhere --in which (i.e. in communion with the Roman Church) the tradition of the Apostles has ever been preserved by those on every side (Ad hanc ecclesiam propter potentiorem [al. potiorem] principalitatem necesse est omnem convenire ecclesiam, hoc est, eos qui sunt undique fideles, in qua semper ab his qui sunt undique, conservata est ea quae est ab Apostolis traditio)" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres., iii. 3).1
1 "'Principalitas' can only mean 'principality,' or 'supremacy.' It occurs: iv. 38, 'God holds the principality;' ii. 30, 'God is above every principality and domination.' In eight other places it is used of the supreme God of the Gnostics. So in i. 26, I: 'The principality which is above all,' ' the principality which is above everything.' It is used --as we know from the Fragments of the original Greek preserved in the Philosophum. x. 21; Theodoret, Haeret. Fab. i. 15 --to translate (Greek), 'authority' or 'supremacy'" (Addis and Arnold, Cath. Dictionary: Pope). The passage is thus translated in Clark, Ante-Nicene Christian Library (vol. v. p. 261): "For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church on account of its pre-eminent authority --that is, the faithful everywhere." Waterworth's version is given supra, vol. i. p. 28.)
St. Ignatius of Antioch had already before him addressed the Roman Church as the one "which presides (Greek) in the place of the region of the Romans," and again as the Church "which presides over charity (in Greek) (Epist. ad Rom. Proem)2
2 "Si le martyr s'etait adresse a l'eveque de Rome, ces presidences pourraient etre interpretees comme locales: dans son eglise c'est toujours l'eveque qui preside. Mais ici il ne s'agit pas de l'eveque, il s'agit de l'Eglise. A quoi preside l'Eglise romaine? A d'autres eglises dans une circonscription determinee? Mais Ignace n* a pas l'idee d'une limitation de ce genre. D'ailleurs y avait-il alors en Italie des communantes chretiennes distinctes, dans leur organisation, de la communante romaine? Le sens le plus naturel de ce language c'est que l'Eglise romaine preside a l'ensemble des eglises. Comme l'eveque preside dans son eglise aux ceuvres de charite", ainsi l'Eliglise romaine preside a ces memes oeuvres dans la chretiente tout entiere (Duchesne, Eglises Separees, p. 128). The learned author refers to a paper read by Ad. Harnack at the Berlin Academy, Feb. 6, 1896.
St. Cyprian calls the Church of Rome "the chair of Peter, and the chief Church,. whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise (Petri cathedram atque ecclesiam principalem unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta esf)" (Epist. Iv., Ad Cornel., n. 14), "the root and matrix of the Catholic Church (ecclesiae catholicae radicem et matricem)" (Epist. xi., Ad Cornel., n. 3). "From this Church (of Rome) the rights of venerable communion flow unto all (St. Ambrose, Epist. xi. n. 4). But this is abundantly clear from the various passages already cited.
The frequent recourse to the See of Rome, as early as the second century, is a clear proof of the practical acknowledgment of the Primacy of the Popes. St. Justin came there from Grecian Palestine; Hegisippus from Syrian Palestine; Tatian from Assyria; Abercius Marcellus from Phrygia. Asia, especially, sent a large contingent: among whom were St. Polycarp, and St. Irenaeus, the future Bishop of Lyons. In the following century Origen undertook the journey, out of his desire to see that very ancient Church. In Africa, Tertullian is continually speaking of the Roman Church: for him, whether as one of the faithful or as a heretic, the centre of Catholic authority is at Rome, and not in Africa (Duchesne, Eglises Separees, p. 135).
The doctrine contained in this section was defined in Councils, the General Council of Florence (1439), summoned to bring about the union of the Greek and Latin Churches. "We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold the Primacy over the world, and that the Roman Pontiff is himself the successor of the blessed Apostle Peter, the Prince of the Apostles; and that he is the true Vicar of Christ, and the Head of the whole Church, and the Father and Teacher of all Christians; and that to him, in the blessed Peter, was delivered by our Lord Jesus Christ the full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church, as is also contained in the acts of Ecumenical Councils and in the sacred canons" (Denzinger, Enchir., Ixxiii.; see also the confession of faith accepted by Michael Paleologus in 1267, and submitted by him in the Second Council of Lyons, 1 274; Denzinger, ibid., lix.). Finally, the Vatican Council condemned those who "deny that it is by the institution of Christ, or by Divine right, that blessed Peter should have a perpetual line of successors in the Primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter in the Primacy (sess. iv. ch. 2).
Scholion. That Peter laboured in Rome is now admitted by almost all scholars (see Duchesne, op. cit., p. 124); St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Eusebius are three of the chief, but by no means the only, ancient authorities in favour of his founding his See there. St. Irenaeus speaks of "that greatest, most ancient, and most illustrious Church founded and constituted at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul,1
1 St. Paul did not actually found the Roman Church (Rom. i. 13; xv. 20-24); but his name is always connected with that Church by reason of the great Epistle which he addressed to it, and by reason of his labours, imprisonments, and death in Rome.
who, having founded and built up that Church, transmitted the office of the episcopate to Linus. To him succeeded Anencletus, etc. (Adv. Haer., lib. iii. c. 3; ap. Euseb., Hist., lib. v. c. 6). See Mr. Allnatt's Was St. Peter Bishop of Rome? Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 123; Mgr. Barnes, St. Peter in Rome; Harnack, Peter, in Encycl. Brit.
Sect. 239. --The nature of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff.
In the present section we shall point out more precisely the nature of the Primacy, the existence of which has already been abundantly proved. To understand this, we must bear in mind the threefold power exercised by our Lord, and transmitted by Him to His Church (supra, p. 288).
I. As regards Order, the Roman Pontiff has all the powers, and no more than the powers, of a bishop. If the newly elected Pope is not already a bishop, he must first be consecrated before being crowned. Nevertheless, before consecration, he is really and truly the Pope, Supreme Head of the Church, able to decree, rule, name or depose bishops, and exercise every duty of pontifical jurisdiction (to be presently referred to); but he cannot ordain or consecrate till he has himself received the imposition of hands from other bishops, inferior to himself, and holding under and from him their sees and jurisdiction.1
1 The ceremony of consecration sometimes takes place quite apart from the coronation (as in Clement XIV.'s case), sometimes in connection with it, either before (Gregory XVI.'s case) or during the Papal Mass. )
II. In the matter of jurisdiction the position of the Roman Pontiff is widely different from that of ordinary bishops, archbishops, or patriarchs. Their jurisdiction is dependent and limited: his is supreme and universal. To him alone the whole of Christ's flock is entrusted; he holds the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and the power of binding and loosing; and these functions come to him not from below, but from above by succession to St. Peter, whom Christ Himself directly appointed. "The Roman Pontiff." says the Council of Florence, is the head of the whole Church, Father and Doctor of all Christians: to him [in the person of] blessed Peter was given full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church, as also (qnemadmodum etiairi) is contained in the acts of Ecumenical Councils and in the holy canons." And the Vatican Council: "If any shall say that the Roman Pontiff hath the office merely of inspection or direction, and not full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate to the discipline and government of the Church spread through the world; or assert that he possesses merely the principal part (potiores partes) and not all the fulness of this supreme power; or that this power which he enjoys is not ordinary and immediate, both over each and all the Churches, and over each and all the pastors and the faithful: let him be anathema" (sess. iv. ch. 3). This latter Council takes care to note that the Primacy of the Pope in no way derogates from the ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction by which bishops, who have been set by the Holy Ghost to succeed and hold the place of the Apostles,'1
1 Council of Trent, sess. xxiii. ch. 4
feed and govern each his own flock as true pastors." Nay, rather that the authority is asserted and protected by the Primacy, according to the words of St. Gregory the Great, "My honour is the honour of the whole Church: my honour is the firm strength of my brethren. Then am I truly honoured when the honour due to each and all is not withheld" (Ep, ad Eulog. Alexandrin., lib. viii. ep. 30).2
2 St. Gregory, while rejecting the title of "universal bishop," is careful to point out that he does so because the title would imply that there was only one real bishop, and that all the so-called bishops were merely the vicars of this one. But though not the sole bishop, he undoubtedly claims to be supreme over all the others, who are really and truly bishops of their respective sees. "As to what they say of the Church of Constantinople, who doubts that it is subject to the Holy See? This is constantly owned by the most pious emperor, and by our brother the bishop of that city" (lib. ix. ep. 12). "Every one familiar with the Gospel is aware that by the word of the Lord the care of the whole Church was entrusted to Peter. . . . Behold, the care and the primacy (principatus) of the whole Church is entrusted to him, and yet he is not styled the universal Apostle" (lib. v. ep. 20). See Franzelin, De Eccl., p. 175 sqq.; Palmieri, De Rom. Font., p. 446 sqq.
III. Just as his jurisdiction is supreme, so is the Pope's teaching authority infallible. It will not be necessary, after what has been said in this chapter and vol. i. §30, §31, to develop at any length the proof of this point. As St. Peter is the Rock of the Church, his faith must be the foundation of the Church's faith: the gates of hell shall not prevail against her faith, because it is founded on his faith; he has the supreme power of binding and loosing, in which is especially contained supreme teaching authority; Christ's prayer that Peter's faith might not fail, and the duty imposed of confirming the brethren, show that the faith of the brethren was to depend upon Peter's faith; the whole of Christ's flock is entrusted to his care, to be fed by him with the genuine word of doctrine. And, as we have seen, the promises made to Peter and the powers conferred upon him apply equally to his successors, the Roman Pontiffs. The Vatican Council, completing the definitions of the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869), the Second Council of Lyons (1274), and the Council of Florence (1438), and the Profession of Faith of Pope Hormisdas (5l9) thus defines Papal Infallibility: "The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra --that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding Faith or Morals to be held by the Universal Church-- by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding Faith or Morals; and therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves (ex sese), and not from the consent of the Church" (sess. iv. ch. 4).
Two main objections are brought against this doctrine --one negative and one positive --viz.: (1) that it was not recognized or exercised in the early ages of the Church; and (2) that certain Popes have actually erred.
(a) In answer to the first of these objections, we may refer to the passages of the Fathers already quoted, and to the frequent appeals to Rome as early as the second century.1
1 "Le centre d'une future orthodoxie catholique etait evidemment la (< Rome). Sous Antonin (138-161) le germe de la papaute existe bien caracterise (Renan, Rome et le Christianisme, p. 153). "L'esprit qui, en 1870, fera proclamer l'infaillibilite du pape, se reconnait des la fin du II siecle, a des signes deja reconnaissables. L'ecrit dont fit partie le fragment latin connu sous le nom de Canon de Muratori, ecrit a Rome vers 180, nous montre deja Rome reglant le canon des Eglises, donnant pour base a la catholicite la passion de Pierre, repoussant egalement le montanisme et le gallicanisme (ibid., p. 172).
Moreover, we may observe, with Cardinal Newman: "It is a less difficulty that the Papal supremacy was not formally acknowledged in the second century, than that there was no formal acknowledgment on the part of the Church of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity till the fourth. No doctrine is defined till it is violated. And, in like manner, it was natural for Christians to direct their course in matters of doctrine by the guidance of mere floating and, as it were, endemic tradition, while it was fresh and strong; but in proportion as it languished, or was broken in particular places, did it become necessary to fall back upon its special homes, first the Apostolic Sees, and then the See of St. Peter. Moreover, an international bond and common authority could not be consolidated, were it ever so certainly provided, while persecutions lasted. If the Imperial Power checked the development of the Councils, it availed also for keeping back the power of the Papacy. The Creed, the Canon, in like manner, both remained undefined. The Creed, the Canon, the Papacy, Ecumenical Councils, all began to form as soon as the Empire relaxed its tyrannous oppression of the Church. And as it was natural that her monarchical power should display itself when the Empire became Christian, so was it natural also that further developments of that power should take place when the Empire fell" (Newman, Development, p. 151, 6th ed.).
(b) As regards the Popes who are said to have erred, it may be answered generally that any such erroneous teaching is not ex cathedra; that is to say, it does not fulfil the conditions required by the Vatican definition (see 31). Thus, the conduct of Liberius in purchasing his return from exile by condemning Athanasius and subscribing a semi-Arian creed, cannot be urged against infallibility. He did not "define any doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church: "what he did he did under compulsion, and as soon as he was free to speak he confirmed the orthodox Council of Alexandria. As St. Athanasius himself says, "Liberius, being exiled, later on, after a period of two years gave way (Greek), and in fear of the death with which he was threatened, subscribed. But even this shows their violence, and the hatred of Liberius against the heresy, and his decision for Athanasius when his will was free. For things done through torments contrary to the original judgment these are not acts of will on the part of those who have been put to fear, but of those who inflict the torture" (Epist. ad Monach. et Hist. Arian., 41). See Card. Newman, Arians, pp. 314, 334; Catholic Dictionary, LlBERIUS; Palmieri, De Rom. Pont. p. 637.1
1 As Peter Ballerini briefly puts it: "Liberii lapsus non certus, nee si certus, voluntarius, nec in definitione Fidei (De Vi et Ralione Primatus, cap. xv. sec. 13, n. 39.
The condemnation of Pope Honorius (625-638) by the Sixth General Council (Third Constantinople, 680), and the confirmatory letter of Leo II anathematizing "Honorius, who did not endeavour to sanctify this Apostolic Church by teaching of Apostolic tradition, but permitted the spotless one to be defiled by unholy betrayal," certainly present some difficulty. We cannot here discuss the question at any length; we must content ourselves with stating what would seem to be the best answer. First, then, the teaching of Honorius was not erroneous. What he held was that there were not two contrary wills in Christ: Our Lord's action was morally one. St. Maximus, the most determined opponent of Monothelitism, regards him and his expressions as perfectly orthodox. Why, then, was he condemned? Because this doctrine served as a cloak to the Monothelite heresy, especially as he declared that it was foolish to speak of one operation or two operations, and that it was better to leave such subtleties to the grammarians. Leo II., at any rate, condemned him only in this sense. "The crafty Byzantine, Sergius, put the unsuspecting Pope (Honorius) on a false scent, and elicited from him a letter which he was enabled to misuse for his own purpose, and indeed in favour of a heresy advocated by himself, but then totally unknown to the pontiff. These expectations were crowned with success. The expressions of Honorius, as could not fail to happen, were set up by the Greeks in connection with the question then so warmly agitated; and so, as the Byzantines (at the Council of Constantinople) required, to whom the condemnation of so many of their patriarchs was excessively irksome and displeasing, Honorius likewise was condemned" (Hergenrother, Anti-Janus, Eng. trans., p. 80. See supra, p. 83; Franzelin, De Verbo Incarn., p. 396 sqq.; Palmieri, De Rom. Pont., p. 655 sqq.).
On the Primacy of the Pope see Palmieri, op. cit., 319 sqq.; Billot, De Eccl., 586 sqq.; Atzberger, op. cit., sect. 343; Turmel, op. cit., p. 228 sqq.; Histoire du Dogme de la Papaute.
CHAPTER V. The Properties and Marks of the Church
From what has been said concerning the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, it is clear that that Church alone which acknowledges this Primacy is the true Church of Christ. Nevertheless, as Catholics in their discussions with Protestants are accustomed to waive this proof, and to appeal to such marks of the true Church as are admitted by both sides, we shall now proceed to speak of these.
It should be noted that, though the Church possesses many properties, not all of these are marks, in the technical sense of the word. Marks are those properties or signs by which she may be distinguished from other bodies. She alone possesses the marks; other bodies may possess certain of her properties. Thus, visibility is one of her properties; yet this may belong to heretical sects. Unity, Holiness, Catholicity, and Apostolicity are marks, and are found in her alone. On the subjects dealt with in this chapter, see Franzelin, De Ecclesia, sect, iv.; Palmieri, De Ecclesia, p. 27 sqq.; De Rom. Pont., Append., p. 677 sqq.; Murray, De Ecclesia, cap. iv. sqq.; Newman, Angl. Diff.i I. p. 229 sqq.; Billot, De Eccl., p. 128 sqq.; Turmel, op. tit., p. 117 sqq.; Atzberger, op. tit., sect. 331 sqq.
Sect. 240 The Visibility and Perpetuity of the Cktirck
I. When we speak of the visibility of the Church, we do not mean simply that her members, her rites, and her ministry can be seen. What we mean is that these can be recognized to constitute the true Church of Christ; so that, in other words, we can point out a certain society, and say of it, This is Christ's Church." As a rule, Protestants do not deny to the Church some sort of visibility; but they hold that in its essence it cannot be seen, because the qualities which make a man a member of it are themselves invisible.
I. In the passages of the Old Testament in which the Church is foretold, she is spoken of as especially conspicuous to all mankind. "In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths" (Isa. ii. 2, 3); "It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of mountains, and high above the hills," etc. (Mich. iv. 1,2; cf. Matt. v. 14). So, too, the expressions used by our Lord manifestly refer to a body which can be seen and distinguished. His Church is a Kingdom (Matt. xvi. 19), a Fold or Flock (John xxi. 15), a tribunal before which the wicked are to be denounced (Matt, xviii. 17). It is also styled a City by St. John (Apoc. xxi. 2), and a House by St. Peter (i Pet. ii. 5) and St. Paul (i Tim. iii. 15). And in the Acts of the Apostles its history is narrated as that of a body plainly distinguishable from all false religious bodies.
2. If we turn to the Fathers, we find this doctrine even more explicitly stated. "It is an easier thing for the sun to be quenched than for the Church to be made invisible (in Greek) (St. John Chrysost., Hom, iv., in illud Vidi Dom., n. 2; cf. In Is. ii. n. 2). "There is no safeguard of unity," says St. Augustine, "save from the Church made known by the promises of Christ --a Church which, being seated on a hill, as has been said, cannot be hid; and for this cause it must needs be known to all parts of the earth. Let us, then, hold it as a thing immovable and firm, that no good men can separate themselves from her; that is, that no good men wherever those men may dwell, even though they may have to bear with evil men well known to them will, on account of those evil men, separate themselves by the foolhardy sacrilege of schism, from the good that are at a distance from and unknown to them (Contra Ep. Parmen., n. 28; see also lib. ii., Contra Lit. Petil., n. 74). "The Church," says St. Cyprian, "flooded with the light of the Lord, puts forth her rays throughout the whole world; yet the light is one which is spread over every place, while its unity of body is preserved (De Unitate, n. 5). In fact, the Fathers taught that they who cut themselves off from the visible Church by refusing to believe what she taught and to submit to her rule --that such were none of Christ's, and were shut out from salvation. See Faith of Catholics, vol. i. p. 189 sqq. And, indeed, it is clear from reason itself that, if our Lord founded a Church at all if He gave it authority to teach and rule and sanctify it must be distinguishable from false bodies not founded by Him and not possessed of His authority.
When Christ said to the Pharisees, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation (Greek) (Luke xvii. 20), He meant that it did not require prolonged and difficult investigation, for it was in the very midst of them (Greek). Again, when He told the Samaritan woman that "the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in "truth" (John iv. 23), He contrasted them, on the one hand, with the Jews, whose worship was by means of carnal sacrifices; and, on the other, with the Samaritans, whose worship was false, inasmuch as they adored that which they knew not. Nor can the words of St. Paul, "For you are not come to a mountain that can be touched," etc. (Heb. xii. 18), be urged against the visibility of the Church; for the object of the Apostle is to show the excellence of the New Law by pointing out that, while the Old was given on an earthly mountain amidst terrible signs, the New comes down from heaven and is a covenant of mercy and love.
In order to understand this property of visibility, we must carefully note the distinction between the body and the soul of the Church. The former consists of those external elements which go to make a society, viz. the ministry of the pastors and subordination of the sheep, the profession of the faith and participation in the sacraments; the latter means the internal gifts of sanctifying grace, of faith and charity, and other virtues. The external elements are necessary for the Church's social existence; the internal elements must be possessed by her members if they would attain the end for which they were called to the Church, i.e. eternal salvation. Hence, not every member of the Church is necessarily saved; and, on the other hand, some who belong only to the soul of the Church are saved. When we maintain, with St. Ignatius, St. Irenaeus, St. Cyprian, St. Augustine and his contemporaries, that "out of the Church, out of the Faith, there is no salvation (Athanasian Creed), we mean that those are not saved who are outside the soul as well as the body of the Church. "We and you know," said Pius IX to the bishops of Italy (August 10, 1863), "'that those who lie under invincible ignorance as regards our Holy Religion, and who, diligently observing the natural law and its precepts, which are engraven by God on the hearts of all, and prepared to obey God, lead a good and upright life, are able, by the operation of the power of Divine light and grace, to obtain eternal life."1
1 See also similar words in an earlier allocution, December 9, 1854.
II. That the Church will last "for all days, even to the consummation of the world (Greek)," is clear from our Lord's promises, and also from the very nature and purposes of the Church. It was foretold of Him that "of His kingdom there should be no end (Luke i. 32). He has promised her His abiding assistance: "Behold, I am with you always (Matt, xxviii. 20); "The gates of hell shall not prevail against her" (ibid. xvi. 18); "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever" (John xiv. 1 6); the end of the world is to come when the Gospel has been preached everywhere (Matt. xxiv. 14); the good seed and the cockle are both to grow until the harvest, which is the end of the world (ibid. xiii. 24 sqq.). Moreover, as God wills that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (i Tim. ii. 4), and as the Church is the means instituted for this purpose, it follows that as long as men shall be, the Church shall be too.
It is not necessary to quote at any length the Fathers, where their testimony is so plain and so abundant. "Not for a brief period," says St. Augustine, "was the Church to exist on this earth, but the Church will be here till the end of the world. . . . The Church shall not be conquered; shall not be rooted up; nor give way before any trials whatever till the end of this world shall come, and out of this temporal dwelling-place we be received into that eternal one (Enarr. in Ps. Ix. n. 6). "Unbelievers think," he says elsewhere, "that the Christian religion will last for a certain period in the world, and will then disappear. But it will remain as long as the sun as long as the sun rises and sets: that is, as long as the ages of time shall roll, the Church of God, the true body of Christ on earth will not disappear" (In Ps. Ixxi. n. 8). And again: "The Church will totter if its foundation shakes; but how can Christ be moved? . . . Christ remaining immovable, it (the Church) shall never be shaken. Where are they that say that the Church has disappeared from the world, when it cannot even be shaken?" (Enarr. in Ps. ciii. serm. ii. n. 5). "Secede not from the Church," says St. Chrysostom; "for nothing is stronger than the Church. Thy hope is the Church; thy salvation is the Church; thy refuge is the Church. It is higher than the heavens and wider than the earth. It never grows old, but is ever full of vigour. Wherefore Holy Writ, pointing to its strength and stability, calls it a mountain" (Hom. De Capto Eutropio, n. 6).
Our Lord's words, "But yet the Son of Man, when He cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on earth? do not make any direct statement, but allude to the great "revolt" or falling off (Greek) which is to precede the last days (2 Thess. ii. 3). Still even then the false Christs and false prophets shall not be able to deceive the elect (Matt, xxiv. 24).
Sect. 241. --The Unity of the Church.
It is so clear from the Holy Scriptures that the Church of Christ must be one, that no Christian can venture to deny it. The great question is --What sort of unity did our Lord will for His Church? As the Church is a visible society, the union must also be visible and external. Moreover, it must be a union of belief not simply in certain so-called fundamental doctrines, but in all revealed truths. And again, it must be not a loosely confederated union of different Churches, but one single Church, one body and one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one fold, and one Shepherd one, that is, in communion, one in faith, and one in worship. "The Church in respect of its unity," says St. Clement of Alexandria, "belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts. We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence. . . . Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it" (Strom., lib. vii. c. 17).
I. Our Lord's prayer at the Last Supper (John xvii. 1123) is not merely an ineffectual wish, but an efficacious cause of that for which He asked. "All My things are Thine, and Thine are Mine," He said to His Father; and He expressly stated that the unity of His followers was to be a sign of the Divinity of His mission. "Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name . . . that they may be one, as we also are . . . that they may be one, as thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." Again, Christ spoke of His Church as a Kingdom (Matt. xvi. 17; cf. John xviii. 36 sqq.), and He said, "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand (Mark iii. 24). He called it also the one Fold under the one Shepherd (John x. 1 6). By St. Peter it is styled a House (i Pet. ii. 5); "If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark iii. 25). St. Paul says God "hath made Him (Christ) Head over all the Church, which is His mystical body" (Eph. i. 22, 23). Of this body he says, "All the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ; for in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (i Cor. xii. 12, 13); and of this mystical body, "The Head, Christ; from Whom the whole body being compacted and fitly joined together by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in charity" (Eph. iv. 15, 16). "As in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Rom. xii. 4, 5). No stronger language could be used to bring out the compactness, the close union, of the members of Christ's Church. Anything like a vague agglomeration of different bodies is absolutely excluded. "There is one God and one Christ," says St. Cyprian, "and His Church is one, and the faith is one, and one the people joined together in the solid unity of the body in the bond of concord. This unity cannot be broken, nor the one body divided by the separation of its constituent parts" (De Unit. Eccl., n. 23). And St. Augustine: "See what you must beware of --see what you must avoid --see what you must dread. It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off --a hand, a finger, a foot. Does the soul follow the amputated member? As long as it was in the body it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic so long as he lives in the body; cut off from it, he becomes a heretic --the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member (Serm. cclxvii. n. 4).
II. 1. "Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord among men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore in His Divine wisdom He ordained in His Church unity of faith: a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the Faithful" (Leo XIII., Encycl., Satis cognitum). As the Church is one, and as she is the union of those that believe, it follows that her faith must be one. "One faith," says St. Paul (Eph. iv. 5). And again: "I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment" (i Cor. i. 10). He says that Christ "gave . . . pastors and doctors ... for the edifying of the body of Christ until we all meet together in the unity of the faith . . . that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" (Eph. iv. 11-14). We have already shown that this unity of faith is secured by the teaching authority of the bishops, presided over by their infallible visible head, the Bishop of Rome (Book I. Part I., and supra, p. 303 sqq.). It is a unity of faith in the whole of Revelation, and not in certain parts of it; for to reject even a single revealed doctrine is to reject the authority of God (supra, § 38). "In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me, the many things in which they are will not profit them (St. Augustine, In Ps. liv. n. 19).
2. A religious society having one faith must necessarily also have unity of worship, which is the outward expression of the faith and social union of the members. Hence the Catholic Church throughout the world has the one same sacrifice of the Mass, and all her members participate in the same sacraments. "For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread" (i Cor. x. 17); "One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. iv. 5). "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you" (John vi. 54; cf. Matt. xxvi. 26; I Cor. xi. 23). "All these were persevering in one mind in prayer. . . . And they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts i. 14; ii. 42). "Neither attempt ye," says St. Ignatius, "anything that seems good to your own judgment; but let there be, in the same place, one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is better. Wherefore haste ye all together, as unto the temple of God, as unto one altar, as unto one Jesus Christ, Who proceeded from one Father, and is in one, and to one returned" (Ad Magnes., 7). "God is one, and Christ one, and the Church one, and the chair one, founded by the Lord's word upon a rock. Another altar or a new priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, cannot be set up. Whosoever gathereth elsewhere, scattereth (St. Cyprian, Ep. xl., Ad Plebem, De Quinque Presb., n. 5, and De Unitate, passim). "Adoration is necessary, but adoration which is not out of the Church, but is ordered in the very court of God. Invent not, He saith, your own courts and synagogues for Me. One is the holy court of God" (St. Basil, Hom, in Ps. xxviii. n. 3).
3. On the unity of government, necessary to preserve the unity of faith and of worship, we have already spoken when treating of the Primacy of St. Peter. See Leo XIII's Encycl., Satis Cognitum.
Sect. 242. --The Holiness of the Church.
A thing is said to be holy, either because it is itself dedicated to God, e.g. a temple, an altar; or because it has the power of producing personal holiness (i.e. moral righteousness in the sight of God), e.g. sacraments (see 89). We shall here show that the Church is herself a holy object, and that she contains the means of making her members holy: she is the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints.
I. The Church is Christ's Mystical Body: "The Church, which is His body, and the fulness of Him Who is filled all in all (Eph. i. 22; cf. I Cor. xii. 27). She is His Bride: "The husband is the head of the wife; as Christ is the Head of the Church. . . . Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it, that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish," etc. (Eph. v. 23-32); "the House, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (l Tim. iii. 15); "the Temple of God is holy, which you are" (i Cor. iii. 17; cf. vi. 19); the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven (Matt xxi. 43; xxv. I, etc.). It is hardly necessary to quote the Fathers on a doctrine so clearly taught in Scripture. The difficulty about evil members of the Church will be dealt with presently.
II. The object for which Christ founded His Church is the salvation of mankind. Hence He endowed her with all the means necessary for the accomplishment of this purpose. Her ministry, her doctrine, her laws ("He that heareth you, heareth Me, etc."), her sacraments ("He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved") all are means for sanctifying her members. "He gave . . . other some pastors and doctors for the perfecting of the saints (Greek) ... for the edifying of the body of Christ . . . unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ (Eph. iv. II sqq.).
"It is of her (the Church) that we are born; with her milk are we nourished; her breath is our life. The spouse of Christ cannot become adulterate; she is undefiled and chaste. She owns but one home; with spotless purity she guards the sanctity of one chamber. She keeps us for God; she appoints unto a kingdom the sons that she has borne. Whosoever, having separated from the Church, is joined to an adulteress, he is cut from the promises of the Church. Neither shall he come into the rewards of Christ who leaves the Church of Christ. He is an alien, he is profane, he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for a Father who has not the Church for a mother (St. Cyprian, De Unitate, nn. 5, 6).
III. Because the Church is holy, and possesses the means of sanctifying her members, we must not thence conclude that as a fact all her members are holy, and that mortal sin shuts them out of her pale. Holy Scripture speaks of the Church as a field in which the cockle grows along with the wheat (Matt. xiii. 24 sqq.); as a barn containing chaff as well as wheat (ibid. iii. 12); as a draw-net cast into the sea and gathering together all kinds of fishes, both bad and good (ibid. xiii. 47); it tells us that in the Church the goats are mingled with the sheep (ibid. xxv. 32), foolish virgins with the wise (ibid. xxv. 1-13), the wicked servants with the good, and that vessels to dishonour are found in the same great house as vessels to honour (2 Tim. ii. 20). Hence the Apostles, although they did their utmost for the sanctification of the faithful, nevertheless looked upon sinners as still members of the Church. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (i John i. 8). This was the doctrine which St. Augustine and St. Optatus of Milevis urged against the Donatists.1
1 St. Augustine's letters and other writings on the Donatist schism may be seen in the ninth volume of his works in the Benedictine edition. The great work of St. Optatus on the same subject, entitled De Schismate Donatistarum, teaches that not any sort of sin, but only heresy and schism, can make a man cease to be a member of the Church.
Sect. 243. --The Catholicity of the Church.
The word "Catholic" (Greek) means "general" or "universal." When we say that the Church of Christ is Catholic, we maintain that she is universal as regards time, space, and doctrine. That is to say: (1) she has always existed since she was originally founded, and she will continue to exist for all time; (2) she is not con- fined to any special place or nation, but is spread over the whole earth; and (3) she teaches the whole of the doctrine revealed by Jesus Christ. It is, however, with the second of these meanings that we have here to deal. We should moreover, carefully note that it is of moral universality, not of physical, that we speak; and that in the beginning the Church was not, of course, actually spread throughout the whole world, but only tended to be so spread, inasmuch as the Apostles received the commission to teach all nations.
I. In the Old Testament universality is expressly foretold as a mark of the Church which the Messiah is to found. "I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession (Ps. ii. 8); "He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth (ibid. Ixxi. 8); "All the kings of the earth shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him" (ibid. Ixxi. 11); "All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord, and all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in His sight "(ibid. xxi. 28); "Behold, I have given Thee to be the Light of the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation, even to the furthest part of the earth" (Isa. xlix. 6); "All nations shall flow into the house of the Lord (ibid. ii. 2). Daniel speaks of the Church as "the stone "which "became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (ii. 35). "I have no pleasure in you [the Jews], saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will not receive a gift of your hands. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down My Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My Name a clean oblation: for My Name is great among the Gentiles (Mai. i. 10, n). Our Lord, when reminding His Apostles that all the prophecies concerning Him must be accomplished, said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day, and that penance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name unto all nations." His commission to them was, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark xvi. 15); "Go ye and teach all nations (Greek)" (Matt, xxviii. 19); "You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth (Greek)" (Acts i. 8). Hence, the Apostles "going forth, preached everywhere" (Mark xvi. 20) --at first, indeed, to those of the Jewish faith, "devout men of every nation under heaven" (Acts ii. 5), but afterwards to the Gentiles (Acts x., xv. 7 sqq.). And St. Paul says, "We have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith in all nations for His Name" (Rom. i. 5); and that "God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of truth; for there is one God and one Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a redemption for all" (i Tim. ii. 4, 5).
II. Already as early as the end of the first and the beginning of the second century, the Church of Christ was called "Catholic." "Where the bishop is," says St. Ignatius, "there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church (Greek) (Ad Smyrn., n. 8). And St. Justin, "There is no race of men --whether of barbarians or of Greeks, or in fine, bearing any other name, whether because they live in waggons or without a fixed habitation, or dwell in tents, leading a pastoral life --among whom prayers and eucharists are not offered to the Father and Maker of the universe through the Name of the crucified Jesus" (Dial. cum Tryph., n. 117). "Having received this faith, the Church, though spread over the whole world (Greek), and elsewhere (in Greek text) guards it sedulously, as though dwelling in one house; and these truths she uniformly holds as having but one soul, and one and the same heart; and these she pro- claims and teaches, and hands down uniformly, as though she had but one mouth. For though throughout the world* the languages are various, still the force of the tradition is one and the same. And neither do the Churches founded in Germany, nor those in Spain, in Gaul, in the East, in Egypt, in Africa, nor in the regions in the middle of the earth, believe or deliver a different faith; but as God's handiwork, the sun, is one and the same throughout the universe, so the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men that wish to come to the knowledge of the truth (St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres., 1. i. c. 10, n. 2). "You, Parmenianus, have said that the Church is with your party only . . . consequently, for it to be with you in a small portion in Africa, will it not be with us in another part of Africa? Will it not be in Spain, in Gaul, in Italy, where your party is not? . . . Where will be the propriety of the name 'Catholic,' since the Church is called Catholic from this, that it is according to reason and everywhere diffused?1
1 "Cum inde dicta sit Catholica quod sit rationabilis et ubique diffusa." Optatus here takes "catholic" in the sense of (Greek simulated kara aoyov) as well as (Greek simulated as kao oyov.)
For if you thus at your pleasure narrow the Church into so straitened limits, if you withdraw from it all nations, where will that be which the Son of God merited? Where that which the Father freely of His bounty bestowed on Him, saying, in the second Psalm, 'I will give thee,' etc.? "(St. Optatus of Milevis, De Schism. Donat. l. ii. n. 1.) Many passages might be quoted from St. Augustine: "The question between us undoubtedly is, Where is the Church? whether with us or with them (the Donatists)? That Church assuredly is one, which our ancestors called the Catholic, that they might show by the name itself that it is throughout the whole. For throughout (or according to) the whole is expressed in Greek by (in Greek) But this Church is the body of Christ. . . . Whence assuredly it is manifest that he who is not in the members of Christ cannot have Christian salvation" (De Unit, Eccles., n. 2). "The agreement of peoples and of nations keeps me; an authority begun with miracles, nourished with hope, increased with charity, strengthened by antiquity, keeps me; the succession of priests from the chair itself of the Apostle Peter --unto whom the Lord, after His resurrection, committed His sheep to be fed down even to the present bishop, keeps me; finally, the name itself of the Catholic Church keeps me (tenet postremo ipsum Catholicae nomen) --a name which, in the midst of so many heresies, this Church alone has, not without cause, so held possession of (obtinuit) as that, though all heretics would fain have themselves called Catholics, yet to the inquiry of any stranger, 'Where is the assembly of the Catholic Church held? ' no heretic would dare to point out his own basilica or house (Contra Ep. Manichaei Fundam., n. 5). "If ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord's house is (for the sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord), nor merely where is the Church, but where is the Catholic Church? for this is the peculiar name of this holy (Church) and mother of us all, which is, indeed, the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech., xviii. 25).
Sect. 244. --The Apostolicity of the Church.
The fourth mark of the Church is Apostolicity, by which we mean that the true Church must be the same as the Church of the Apostles, holding the same doctrine as the Apostles, and deriving her orders and mission from them. If a Church teaches any doctrine other than that taught by the Apostles, or if she has not a succession of ministers coming down uninterruptedly from them, she cannot be the Church of Christ. We have already dealt with this subject in Book I. (vol. i. p. 16 sqq.).
Sect. 245. --The Roman Catholic Church the true Church of Christ.
As we have observed above (p. 341), we have abundantly proved that that Church alone which acknowledges the Primacy of St. Peter is the true Church of Christ. This is, of course, sufficient to convince us that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church. Apart, however, from this proof, we can show her Divine origin from the fact of her possessing the four above-mentioned marks Unity, Holiness, Catholicity, and Apostolicity.
I. Before applying these tests of the true Church, it may be well to make a few observations which will anticipate certain objections.
1. It is obvious that unity is the most practical of all the marks. Whether a Church is at one with itself is a matter more easy to discover than whether it is holy or apostolic. On the other hand, there may be a sort of unity due to stagnation; and there may be variety and dissensions in matters not essential. Where there is life and vigour, and where differences are adjusted by appeal to an authority recognized by all, there we may safely apply the test of unity.
2. Holiness is a far more difficult test to apply, for it is internal (though manifesting itself outwardly), and it is not essential for membership of the Church. Nevertheless, God's providence requires that the means of sanctity should not altogether fail of effect, and that extraordinary degrees of holiness should be found only within His visible Church.
3. Catholicity ranks almost with unity as a practical test. At the same time, we must not expect anything like physical universality. We are confronted with the pro- found difficulty of the existence of hundreds of millions of human beings who are outside Christianity (see vol. i. p. 135 sqq.). Hence the test must be applied among the various bodies claiming the name of Christian, and applied to some one as against some other, not as against all the rest which are not joined together in anything like a union. The existence of such bodies is only to be expected after our Lord's warnings about antichrists and false prophets, and the testimony of St. Paul (2 Tim. iii. 12 sqq.; iv. 3, etc.), St. John (ii. 18), and St. Jude (ii sqq.).
4. Apostolicity is sometimes hard to apply, both on account of the scarcity of early documents, and the difficulty of grasping their meaning; and also on account of the development of the Church's doctrine and practice (vol. i. p. 105 sqq.).
On the various objections connected with the application of these marks of the Church, see Newman's Anglican Difficulties, vol. i. part ii.1
1 As Anglicans are fond of appealing to antiquity against us, we draw attention to Cardinal Newman's summary reply: Though the Creed of the Church has been one and the same from the beginning, yet it has been so deeply lodged in her bosom a* to be held by individuals more or less implicitly, instead of being delivered from the first in those special statements, or what are called definitions, under which it is now presented to us, and which preclude mistake or ignorance. These definitions, which are but the expression of portions of the one dogma which has ever been received by the Church, are the work of time; they have grown to their present shape and number in the course of eighteen centuries, under exigency of successive events, such as heresies and the like, and they may, of course, receive still further additions as time goes on. Now this process of doctrinal development, as you might suppose, is not of an accidental or random character; it is con- ducted upon lines, as everything else which comes from God; and the study of its laws and of its exhibition, or, in other words, the science and history of the formation of theology, was a subject which had interested me more than anything else from the time I first began to read the Fathers. ... It was gradually brought home to me ... that the decrees of later Councils, or what Anglicans call the Roman corruptions, were but instances of that very same doctrinal law which was to be found in the history of the early Church; and that in the sense in which the dogmatic truth of the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin may be said, in the lapse of centuries, to have grown upon the consciousness of the faithful, in that same sense did, in the first age, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity also gradually shine out and manifest itself more and more completely before their minds. Here was at once an answer to the objections urged by Anglicans against the present teaching of Rome; and not only an answer to objections, but a positive argument in its favour; for the immutability and uninterrupted action of the laws in question throughout the course of Church history is a plain note of identity between the Catholic Church of the first ages and that which now goes by that name" (Anglican Difficulties, ii. p. 394 sqq.).
II. i. The unity of the Roman Catholic Church is a fact of such notoriety that any proof would be superfluous. All her members throughout the whole world have the same faith; they all participate in the same sacrifice of the Mass and the same seven sacraments; and they all acknowledge one supreme ruler and teacher on earth, the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ.
2. The doctrines which she teaches, and the practices which she enjoins, are eminently holy: she holds out to her members numberless aids to sanctification --from the Mass and the sacraments downwards; and, in spite of many scandals, she has ever been renowned for the sublime degree of holiness of some, and the general worthiness of countless, members of her communion.
3. She is truly Catholic, because she is not restricted to any race, or tongue, or nation. Her numbers greatly surpass those of any heretical or schismatical body --nay, they probably surpass the numbers of all the non-Catholic sects put together.
4. The Roman Catholic Church is Apostolic both in her doctrine and in her ministry. What she believes she has always believed; she has never taught any other truths than those which have been handed down to her by the Apostles by word of mouth or by writing; for every one of her doctrines she is able to produce most ancient authority. The succession of her pastors begins with the Apostles, and comes down uninterruptedly to our own day. "Pointing out that tradition which the greatest and most ancient and universally known Church of Rome --founded and constituted by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul --derives from the Apostles, and that faith announced to all men, which through the succession of (her) bishops has come down to us, etc. For to this Church, because of its more powerful principality, every Church must agree --that is, the faithful everywhere --in which the tradition of the Apostles has ever been preserved by those on every side" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres., iii. 3). ' If the order of bishops succeeding each other is to be considered, how much more securely and really beneficially do we reckon from Peter himself. . . . For to Peter succeeded Linus; to Linus, Clement [he gives the whole succession]; to Damasus, Siricius; to Siricius, Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist appears" (St. Augustine, Ep. liii. n. 2, Generoso).