Papacy & Catholic Hierarchy

A Canonical Primer on Popes and Heresy

by Steve Ray on December 16, 2016

No one in a position of ecclesial responsibility—not the Four Cardinals posing dubia, not Grisez & Finnis cautioning about misuses, and not the 45 Catholics appealing to the College, among others—has, despite the bizarre accusations made about some of them, accused Pope Francis of being a heretic or of teaching heresy.

While many are concerned for the clarity of various Church teachings in the wake of some of Francis’ writings and comments, and while some of these concerns do involve matters of faith and morals, no responsible voice in the Church has, I repeat, accused Pope Francis of holding or teaching heresy.

That’s good, because the stakes in regard to papal heresy are quite high. Those flirting with such suspicions or engaging in such ruminations should be very clear about what is at issue.

First. Heresy is, and only is….

For the whole article by Canon Lawyer Ed Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap., click here.

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The Dangerous Road of Papal Silence

by Steve Ray on December 3, 2016

From The Catholic Thing, a brilliant daily article.

Fr. Mark Pilon notes that the pope’s refusal to answer four cardinals dubia about Amoris Laetitia is splintering the faith. It’s not schism.Yet.

Image #: 32929582 Pope Francis leaves after leading a mass in remembrance of all the Cardinals and Bishops who died during the past year in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION HEADSHOT) REUTERS /GIAMPIERO SPOSITO /LANDOVThe letter of the four Cardinals to Pope Francis, and the decision to go public with this document certainly constitute a stunning affair in the history of the Church. When has anything like this ever taken place? There’s the sad history of Ignaz Von Dollinger, which eventually led to his excommunication, but Dollinger was simply a priest-historian, and no Cardinals ever joined his challenge to Vatican I’s solemn teaching on papal infallibility.

This present event is a dramatic challenge to Pope Francis who, ironically, has several times called for a shaking up of the Church. The Cardinals are all well respected and strong supporters of the papal primacy and the papal office of teaching.

Their letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is a sincere effort to gain some clarity on positions advanced in Amoris Laetitia. For their troubles, the head of the Roman Rota has openly threatened them with loss of their status as Cardinals.

For the full article, click here.

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

by Steve Ray on December 1, 2016

In Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), it is interesting to hear what Jesus REALLY said. I thought you would find this interesting.

So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18)? Compare this with John 1:42. (Even though the auto link here says it means Peter, it should say “means rock”.)

You know of course, that Jesus did not speak English. If most of us heard Him speak those words today we would have no clue what He was saying. Jesus spoke Aramaic and that language is still alive in very small communities in the Middle East.

Aramaic sm.jpgWhat you see written to the right is Syriac Aramaic as written by my friend Efrem Nissan in Bethlehem. He is a Syrian Orthodox Christian. (Click on the text for a larger image.)

Now, not only can you see the script — which is close to what would have been written in the time of Jesus — but you can listen to it as well. I took this short video clip of Efrem reading the words you see written here. He read them on our pilgrimage. Listen for the word “kepha” twice. Kepha is the word “rock” in Aramaic.

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Mass In A Vietnamese Prison

November 5, 2016

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver tells us this story of the love of a man for the Holy Mass: During Pope John Paul II’s Spiritual Exercises in March 2000, Vietnamese Archbishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuân preached on the Eucharist with stories from his 13 years in prison at the hands of the communists. He […]

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Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

October 25, 2016

St. Peter in the New Testament What Do We Know About Him?   Peter is the big rugged fisherman who became the humble servant of the servants of God. Jesus chose him from among the Twelve to be the leader and the visible head of the Church. What do we know about Peter from the […]

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Inept Attempt to Dismiss the Petrine Primacy in the See of Rome

July 29, 2016

Someone on the Catholic Discussion Forum asserted his opinion and tradition against the papacy in the Catholic Church. I gave short, imperfect, and brief comments in the ten minutes I had free today. This is a thread on whether or not the office of the papacy with qualifications for successors is mentioned in scripture. My […]

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Pope Chooses Cupich for Key Bishop-choosing Panel

July 7, 2016

From Crux:  Pope Francis on Thursday named Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago to the Vatican’s all-important Congregation for Bishops, in effect positioning the Chicago prelate to help shape the next generation of bishops in the United States and around the world. The Congregation for Bishops is composed of roughly 30 senior prelates from around the […]

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George is right, Georg is wrong

June 8, 2016

by Dr. Edward Peters George Weigel has an excellent critique of Abp. Georg Gänswein’s weird theory of, of—of what, exactly?—a Janus-like, bifurcated, co-papacy featuring Francis as the ‘active’ member and Benedict XVI as the ‘contemplative’ member. It’s nonsense, of course, and I have little to add to Weigel’s call for firmly rejecting such malarkey. But […]

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Hierarchy of the Catholic Church – Very Interesting Webpage full of Info

March 29, 2016

There is a boatload of info on this website including the Bishops from around the world, Cardinals, Councils, and much more.

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Can Peter Walk on Water? Can Sinful Men be Infallible?

January 9, 2016

Is it possible for a sinful, fallible man to give an infallible interpretation of Scripture or an infallible definition of doctrine? If he is fallible and sinful, doesn’t that preclude his ability to be infallible when it comes to things of God? No. In fact while many Protestants would say the Pope cannot be infallible […]

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Simple Chart on Hierarchy of Authority, Infallibility, Dogma and Doctrine in the Catholic Church

January 8, 2016

From Jimmy Akin: Periodically, I’m asked what the difference is between dogma and doctrine. People have the idea that they are kinds of Church teaching, but they’re not sure precisely what the difference is (or even if there is one). To help folks understand this, I’ve created an infographic that shows how dogma and doctrine […]

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Watching Rush of Wind and Flutter of Wings over the Vatican

October 23, 2015

This morning  Janet and I are in Rome for a few days awaiting our pilgrimage group as we embark across Italy and then by ship voyaging around Greece and Turkey to follow the footprints of St. Paul and the Early Church. This morning, from the rooftop of our rented apartment as we eat breakfast, we’re looking […]

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Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople rebukes Moscow, underlines importance of ties with Rome

September 5, 2015

  Catholic World News – September 04, 2015Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople underlined the importance of ecumenical ties with Rome, and criticized the resistance of the Russian Orthodox Church, in an August 29 address.  The Ecumenical Patriarch—recognized as the “first among equals” of the world’s Orthodox leaders—stressed the primary importance of ecumenical affairs, and reiterated […]

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What Do 2,400 Vatican Workers Actually Do?

November 11, 2014

Interesting article in Legatus Magazine. Read it HERE.  It gives us an idea what goes on behind the Vatican Walls and the Swiss Guards.

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Holy Father – is he Holy?

November 8, 2014

A young man stood up at my conference in the Philippines a while ago and parroted (yelled out) the Fundamentalist mantra: “The Pope is a sinner like everyone else; why do you call him ‘HOLY Father’?” I leaned into the microphone and said to the young man in front of 2,000 people, “You should really […]

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What My Grandpa Said About the Pope – A Boy’s Story

October 28, 2014

My grandpa is a nice old gentleman, with gray hair, and gold spectacles, and very fond of his little grandson Billy—that’s me. Grandpa and I often go out to walk together, that is, on fine days, because on cloudy days he never goes out of the house, but stays at home to keep “comfortable with […]

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