How Can Sinful Pope Teach Infallibly?

(Also: Is Divine Mercy Enough?)

From: Peter Parker

Mr. Bloom,

Unfortunately you took my claim about popes out of the context to what I was referring to. I am sorry as it is partially my fault. I will try and explain better. Rome has decreed that their popes are "infallible" as are all councils when making decisions on teachings of faith and morals. These are supposedly successors of Peter. My argument is why would God choose men to represent Him which history has clearly (and you yourself admit) have lived lives in total contradiction to Christ. It's simple, He hasn't, man has. Man has invented many ways to put himself over others and align himself with God. Mr. Bloom, there is "no man" infallible in any aspect of life. This honor is reserved for God Himself. Yet, you also ignore the many examples I set forth of how Peter "never", by his own words, exalted himself over anyone. There is no Biblical evidence that anyone recognized Peter as a supreme pontiff.

As for Moses. Mr. Bloom, even for a "simple priest" you must have known that these anathema's that you refer to in Deuteronomy 27:14-26 have absolutely nothing in common with those imposed by the Roman church. Moses spoke under the "Inspiration of God". In other words Mr. Bloom, these were God's words not man's. Did you care to read Deuteronomy 27:10? I'll do it for you..

"Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today"

You see Mr. Bloom, one must first understand the whole context of these passages before using them. These were clearly set forth by God. The council of Trent set forth over 200 anathema's "by men" condemning men. And they were simply put forth to stop sincere catholics from demanding change (reformation) within a corrupt church.

As for your following claim: "I am a simple priest, Peter. I have no learning or accomplishments to rely on - only the Divine Mercy."

Mr. Bloom, you surprise me. You have all the time you need to become a learned man. Actually, this is the responsibilty that you have taken on. How else can you teach? Why is it that I, a "simple" lay person, with a family and a job that requires me to be away from Scripture for at least 10 hrs a day, can be learned? You have no excuse. Divine Mercy is a beautiful gift to those whom God grants this grace. I ask you, does it stop there? Are we not to live out our faith? This includes reading His word daily and evangelizing the truth to others. The following verse should be posted on the wall of your office..

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" 1 Peter 3:15.

Mr. Bloom, these answers can only come from those who do not look upon themselves as merely "a simple priest with no learning or accomplishments to rely on."

I do agree with you that it is indeed "Christ Alone - In His Fullness" and let me add that no human being can add to this sufficient sacrifice of the debt that only Christ could pay. We owed a debt we could not pay. Christ paid that debt He did not owe. Anyone who thinks he can add anything to this toward one's own salvation or the salvation of another, is taking away from the Divine commission set forth by this once and only complete sacrifice. For if we could add anything to this, Christ died for nothing. Read Hebrews 9:12-28, 10:1-14. I commend you if you truly belive in Christ alone, unfortunately the institution in which you serve has added much to this sacrifice, all of which is merely man-made tradition.

As you are busy looking for a defensive answer to the questions and statements that I have given to you, I ask you to give me your understanding of 1 Timothy 2:5-6.

Mr. Bloom, I urge you to look to the Scriptures daily. Not as a defense against other religions, as is the case with many catholics as well as protestants. We should always pray to God before we look to His Word that He may reveal His truth to us as a means to learn so that we can proclaim this truth to others. God answered my prayers while I was a practicing catholic. I have read the Catechism of the catholic church, Vatican II, Baltimore catechism etc. and then by God's grace I read the Bible. Mr. Bloom, the Bible won and the "truth set me free."

I pray the same for you and your readers.

Peace and grace,

Peter

PS..We can look to man's writings to learn of man's history. His teachings however must be compared to Scripture. If they are not to be found there we must ask why and again, in most cases we will be horrified at the answer. I need not look to any web-site created by the thoughts and biased opinions of man. I happen to have been blessed with the ability to find "all" answers in God's Holy Book. Scripture reveals no primacy of man other than Christ himself and neither do the historical records of the early church.

The apostle Paul has revealed this truth in 2 Timothy 3:16...

"All Scripture is God - breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be "thoroughly" equipped for every good work."

Why has man decided to stake a different claim? There are many answers but each one leads to the broad road.

**********

Oh, Peter, you make false assumptions. I do read the Bible daily. It is what I use for my hour of prayer in the morning - and at other times during the day. I am sure you remember that at Sunday and daily Mass we have a cycle of Scripture readings which is probably more extensive than any other Christian denomination. I have read the Bible (all 72 books, not the abridged version) from cover to cover a number of times. My conclusion is that while the Catholic Church embraces the whole of the Scriptures, those who separate themselves from her tend to focus on a more limited number of texts.

An example: The early Catholic writers (Clement, Irenaeus, Gregory, Augustine, Athanasius, etc.) knew about Matthew 23:9 ("Call no man father...teacher...master...") but they also read Job 29:16, Is. 22:2021, Acts 7:2, Romans 9:10, 1 Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:11, 1 Tim 1:18, and 1 Cor. 4:1415. These texts and others refer to spiritual sons and fathers in the way Catholics use the title for priests. St. Paul rather pointedly tells the Corinthians he is their father. I don't mind you not giving me the customary title of respect, but to be consistent you should not call me "mister" (it'a a form of the word "master"). Also since "doctor" is the Latin word for teacher, do you avoid that title for your physician (or for Billy Graham)? If not, you need to ask yourself whether Jesus' point in Mt. 23:9 was to abolish certain titles of respect - or something more profound.

On the question of infallibility, you seem to be saying the popes could not have taught infallibly because they were sinners. But St. Paul was a sinner - in fact, he considered himself "the worst of sinners." Peter was also a sinner (Lk 5:8). It is hard to imagine a greater sin than the one Peter committed (Mk 14:70, par), yet God used him to guide the early church. (See Lk 22:32, Mt 16:18, Lk 24:34, Jn 21:15, Act 1:13, 2:37, 4:13, 5:3, 5:15, 8:17, 15:7, etc.) Paul tells the Galatians he laid his teaching before Peter (to guarantee its orthodoxy). In Corinthians he mentions Peter in his short of profession of faith. Altho Peter identified himself as a "fellow Elder" (like the pope might call himself a "brother priest") still his name is first on every New Testament list of Apostles. And Peter himself wrote two New Testament books, one of which warns against misinterpretations of St. Paul.

It is true Peter did not exalt himself. He recognized it was God working through him, a weak, sinful human being to carry out a necessary office, that is, to ensure correct teaching - and protect the Church from heresies. The later popes did the same. You are right that infallibility belongs to God, not man. However, since you have read the Catechism, you must know that is exactly what it teaches:

"In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a 'supernatural sense of faith' the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, 'unfailingly adheres to this faith.' #889

I appreciate your comment: "Divine Mercy is a beautiful gift to those whom God grants this grace. I ask you, does it stop there? Are we not to live out our faith?" That is a good statement of the Catholic doctrine of grace and works - altho you might be giving a bit too much emphasis to the latter.

I also appreciated your exhortation to read the Bible non-defensively. Peter, is it safe to say that you see merit in a prayerful study of Scripture?

Am glad we both accept the phrase: Christ Alone - in His Fullness. St. Paul make it clear the fullness of Christ includes His Church (Col 1:18) in heaven and on earth - and that in some way we fill up what is lacking in his suffering (1:24).

Fr. Bloom

P.S. Peter, where did you get this idea: "And if you think I'm just making this up, visit the Vatican and go to this list of Popes they have etched in the walls where the history of the popes are located. Your going to find a couple of hundred years with no names."? When I saw it, it looked pretty complete.

P.P.S. Are you still interested in knowing the distortions contained in Richard Bennett's testimony?

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