Papacy & Catholic Hierarchy

Today’s gospel reading is from Matthew 23 and Jesus mentions, “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice’.” (Mt 23:1–3).

So here is a little bit about that to flesh it out and show the larger ramifications.

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven.’

“And again He says to him after His resurrection: ‘Feed my sheep.’ On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.

“So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”

To read the whole article and see all the pictures, click here or on the pictures above.

For my DVD “Peter, Keeper of the Keys” and my book “Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church”, click here https://www.steveraysstore.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my talk on “Peter: the Rock, the Keys & the Chair” Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

 

{ 2 comments }

At the 20219 investiture of new Knights and Dames into the North Central Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, I was asked to give the keynote talk on Sunday morning with a good number of bishops in attendance and several renowned theologians and radio personalities.

IMGP1378(Photo: Janet and I with Patriarch of Jerusalem Saba at Mass at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Easter 2004)

Janet and I have been members of this order for nearly 20 years now. Since Janet and I have been to Israel over 180 times, I assumed they would request a talk on the Holy Land, the Holy Sepulchre and the local Christians that we support. So I accepted.

But as the date drew nearer I asked which topic was chosen for me. The Lieutenant of the North Central Lieutenancy informed me, you shall speak on “How can a John Paul II Catholic Survive in a Pope Francis World”.

I was a bit shocked but said I would do it. Having written two books on the Papacy published by Ignatius Press (The Papacy and Upon this Rock) and an on-location document (Peter, Keeper of the Keys) I have a bit of knowledge about the papacy.

The talk was given the morning after I returned home from Israel at 10 PM the night before. I was exhausted and jetlagged but asked God for strength and clarity. Hope you find the talk helpful and encouraging in these strange days in which we live.

{ 1 comment }

downloadFor starters, sedevacantists are those who believe the chair of Peter is empty, from the Latin sede-chair and vacante-empty. It is the belief we have no legitimate pope since around the 1960’s with various dates proposed.

Someone wrote to me today and asked,

Hi Steve. I have seen you around the internet and have learned a great deal about Catholicism from you. I was wondering if you’ve heard of Sedevacantism and what your thoughts are on the subject. I’m guessing you will be pretty knowledgeable about this and would like your expertise. Is it possible and why or why not. I understand you are a busy man but I would really like your insights on this. Thank you.

I responded,

God bless you and thanks for your kind words. With the Church in the sad, abysmal state that she is currently in, I understand the angst many people feel and I join you in that. With a Pope who has caused great confusion instead of clarity, weak-kneed bishops, closed churches, sex scandals, uncatechized faithful and more — I too am frustrated. However…

When I joined the Catholic Church 26 years ago I quickly identified the extreme Left (the liberals who want women priests, LGBT acceptance, liturgical dance, etc.) and I stayed as far away from them as possible.

Secondly, I identified the extreme-Right (those rejecting Vatican II, saying we have no pope, rejecting the Novus Order, etc.) and I stayed away from them with equal fervor.

I do this no matter what organization or society I join. Some converts joined the Catholic Church and got enticed into one or the other of these heady and seductive schismatic-minded groups. It is like jumping on a horse and falling off the other side.

Jesus is building his Church. It is not about our current Pope, or bishops who are more politicians than pastors, or the multiple problems in today’s Church. It is about Jesus. It is his Church and he is the one I trust.

download (1)There have always been good popes and bad popes, strong and spineless bishops, problems and sin. There has never been a Golden Age in the Church. Every generation thinks, “Oh my, the Church is falling apart, the Pope and bishops are bad, evil prevails, schism looms, etc.” You would think that it was a Golden Age under the great Apostle St. Paul. Just read 1 and 2 Corinthians to have that myth shot to hell.

I eschew the sedevacantists like I reject the schism of Luther and others who divide the Church, cause confusion and assert themselves as “their own popes and councils.”

Jesus said to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67–68)

Stay with Jesus, stay with his Church, stay with all the great converts who have joined the Church in the last 30 years and who have no thought to follow such radicals. The chair is not empty. It is filled by a man with all the imperfections of men, but Jesus still reigns and I for one will stay with him and the Church and pray, work, teach and remain faithful.

Remember, Mother Teresa, who also loved and stayed true to the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church said, “He does not require us to be successful, only to be faithful.”

God bless you! Below is a video with Jimmy Akin about the problems with sedevacantists.

{ 7 comments }

Responding to an Eastern Orthodox Christian who challenged me about the Papacy on Catholic Answers Live

October 14, 2020

When I was last on Catholic Answers Live last week Constantine Regas called in to defend the Eastern Orthodox position against the Catholic Church’s teaching on Peter and the Primacy of Rome. Constantine’s words are in BLUE and my responses are in BLACK. I appreciated Constantine’s irenic tone and honest demeanor.  CONSTANTINE REGAS (CR): I called […]

Read the full article →

Peter and the Primacy in Scripture and the Early Church Discussion

July 16, 2020

Had another great evening with William Albrecht and Michael Lofton on their popular and wide-ranging Reason & Theology show. It was a great time of discussion, challenge and digging deep into the issue of the primage of Peter and Rome in Scripture and the Church Fathers – East and West. Enjoy the lively discussion…. Throughout […]

Read the full article →

Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

June 30, 2020

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 New […]

Read the full article →

Did Jesus Re-name Simon the “Rock” – Confusion with Petra, Cephas, Rock and Peter

June 29, 2020

A loving wife of an unbelieving Protestant husband asked me to explain to her husband that Jesus renamed Simon as Peter and how that relates to Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. So in simple terms I gave it a simple (though a bit long) explanation. I hope it helps you as well. ******************************* Let’s give this […]

Read the full article →

My Interview on LifeSite News: My Conversion, the Wuhan Virus Situation & My Take on Pope Francis

May 12, 2020

Last week I did a YouTube interview with John-Henry Westen, editor of LifeSite News. It was also written into an  article in which Westen begins, “May 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Today I had the chance to speak with well-known Catholic apologist, author, and veteran tour guide of the Holy Land Steve Ray about a wide […]

Read the full article →

Why Are We Catholic?

March 30, 2020

This excellent little summary was prepared by the Faith Formation ministry in Escanaba Michigan and sent to me by Mike Cousineau. Enjoy and be challenged and edified. Sent it to a friend who needs to read it. 1.  St. Cyprian of Carthage, martyr & Bishop, wrote in 249 AD, “He who would have God as […]

Read the full article →

Steve’s EWTN “Bookmarks Brief” on the Papacy

February 7, 2020

We

Read the full article →

Catherine of Siena and Leaving the Church

February 5, 2020

What this 14th-century mystic can teach us about fidelity to Christ and to a Church in crisis Thomas McDermott, OP In the wake of so many clerical sex abuse scandals, too many people the Catholic Church appears hypocritical and bankrupt morally and spiritually. In the midst of such trying times, how can Catholics justify remaining […]

Read the full article →

On EWTN TV this week with three time slots

January 30, 2020

I will be on EWTN’s Bookmarks show this week during three-time slots. The show is hosted by Doug Keck, EWTN’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Doug interviews me for 30-minutes as we discuss my new book “The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters” published by Ignatius Press. You can join the shows at: […]

Read the full article →

“Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded.” By Dr. Ed Peters

January 20, 2020

Article below by Canon Lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters: (Steve Ray here: It is amazing how many people today are rejecting the papacy of Pope Francis, claiming that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really the pope. It comes up on my Twitter and Facebook accounts almost daily. Even though Canon Lawyer Ed Peters wrote his legal […]

Read the full article →

My Talk on Pope Francis is now available

October 24, 2019

A few weeks ago I gave a controversial talk entitled “How Does a John Paul 2 Catholic Survive in a Pope Francis World.” The talk was given to a 6-state gathering of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre with a number of bishops in the audience. Al Kresta spoke first with the same topic […]

Read the full article →

St. Augustine and St. Paul on Real Bishops

October 7, 2019

“No man can be a good bishop if he loves his title but not his task.”  St. Augustine May God grant us good Shepherd‘s. May he grant us those willing to be politically-incorrect, willing to be honest with their flock, exposing heresy and sin even if it’s among their own bishops and priests — even if […]

Read the full article →

My Respectful but Honest Radio Show concerning Pope Francis

September 13, 2019

Today I was invited on the Terry & Jesse Show to discuss the uncomfortable situation we Catholic find ourselves in with Pope Francis. Hope you appreciate the show. My interview starts 15 minutes into the hour.

Read the full article →