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I have then opened these sacred pages.

Upon This Rock

Well shall I dare to say it? And still more, to my very great surprise, I find in the apostolic days no question of a pope, successor to St. Peter, and vicar of Jesus Christ, any more than of Mahomet who did not then exist. No, Monsignori, I do not blaspheme, and I am not mad. Now having read the whole New Testament, I declare before God, with my hand raised to that great crucifix, that I have found no trace of the papacy as it exists at this moment. Do not refuse me your attention, my venerable brethren, and with your murmuring and interruptions do not justify those who say, like Father Hyacinthe, that this Council is nothing, but that our votes have been from the beginning dictated by authority.

If such were the case, this august assembly, on which the eyes of the whole world are turned, would fall into the most shameful discredit. If we wish to make it great, we must be free. I thank his Excellency, Monsignor Dupanloup, for the sign of approbation which he makes with his head: Reading then the sacred books with that attention with which the Lord has made me capable, I do not find one single chapter, or one little verse, in which Jesus Christ gives to St. Peter the mastery over the apostles, his fellow-workers.

I establish him my vicar upon earth. Not only is Christ silent on this point, but so little does He think of giving a head to the church, that when He promises to His apostles to judge the twelve tribes of Israel Matt. Certainly, if He had wished that is should be so, He would have said it. What do we conclude from this sentence?

Logic tells us that Christ did not wish to make St. Peter the head of the apostolic college. When Christ sent the apostles to conquer the world, to all He gave the promise of the Holy Spirit. Permit me to repeat it: Peter had been elected pope, Jesus would not have spoken thus; but according to our tradition, the papacy holds in its hands two swords, symbols of spiritual and temporal power.

One thing has surprised me very much.

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Turning it over in my mind, I said to myself, If Peter had been elected Pope, would his colleagues have been permitted to send him with St. John to Samaria to announce the gospel of the Son of God? What do you think, venerable brethren, if at this moment we permitted ourselves to send his holiness Pius IX. Plantier to go to the Patriarch of Constantinople, to pledge him to put an end to the Eastern schism? But here is another still more important fact. An Ecumenical Council is assembled at Jerusalem to decide on the questions which divide the faithful. Who would have called together this Council if St.

Peter had been pope? Well, nothing of this occurred. The apostle assisted at the Council as all the others did, yet it was not he who summed up, but St. James; and when the decrees were promulgated, it was in the name of the apostles, the elders, and the brethren Acts Is it thus what we do in our church? The more I examine, O venerable brethren, the more I am convinced that in the scriptures the son of Jonas does not appear to be first. Now, while we teach that the church is built upon St. Paul whose authority cannot be doubted says, in his epistle to the Ephesians 2: And the same apostle believes so little in the supremacy of St.

If therefore this last apostle had been the vicar of Christ, St. Paul would have taken great care not to censure so violently those who belonged to his own colleagues. The same apostle, counting up the offices of the church, mentions apostles, prophets, evangelists, doctors, and pastors. Is it to be believed, my venerable brethren, that St. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles, would have forgotten the first of these offices, the papacy, if the papacy had been of divine institution?

The forgetfulness appeared to me to be as impossible as if an historian of this Council were not to mention one word of his holiness Pius IX. Forbidding me to go on, you show yourselves to the world to do wrong in shutting the mouth of the smallest member of this assembly. The apostle Paul makes no mention, in any of his letters directed to the various churches, of the primacy of Peter. If this primacy had existed, if, in one word, the church had in its body a supreme head infallible in teaching, would the great apostle of the Gentiles have forgotten to mention it?

What do I say? He would have written a long letter on this all-important subject. Then, as he has actually done, when the edifice of the Christian doctrine is erected, would the foundation, the key of the arch, be forgotten? Now, unless you hold that the church of the apostles was heretical which none of us would either desire or dare to say , we are obliged to confess that the church has never been more beautiful, more pure, or more holy, than in the days when there was no pope. Neither in the writings of St. James, have I found a trace or germ of the papal power. Luke, the historian of the missionary labors of the apostles, is silent on this all-important point.

The silence of these holy men, whose writings make part of the canon of the divinely-inspired Scriptures, has appeared to me burdensome and impossible, if Peter had been pope, and as unjustifiable as if Thiers, writing the history of Napoleon Bonaparte, had omitted the title of emperor. I see here before me a member of the assembly, who says, pointing at me with his finger, 'There is a schismatic bishop who has got among us under false colors.

My title of bishop gave me a right to it, as my Christian conscience forces me to speak and to say that which I believe to be true. What has surprised me most, and what moreover is capable of demonstration, is the silence of St.


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Can you imagine such a pope, my venerable brethren, if St. Now, if you wish to maintain that he was the pope, the natural consequence arises that you must maintain that he was ignorant of the fact. Now I ask whoever has a head to think and a mind to reflect, are these two suppositions possible?

To return, I say, while the apostle lived, the church never thought that there could be a pope; to maintain the contrary, all the sacred writings must be entirely ignored. But it is said on all sides, Was not St. Was he not crucified with his head down?


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  • Are not the pulpits in which he taught, the altars at which he said the mass, in this eternal city? Peter having been at Rome, my venerable brethren, rests only on tradition; but, if he had been Bishop of Rome, how can you from that episcopate prove his supremacy? Scaliger, one of the most learned of men, has not hesitated to say that St. Peter's episcopate and residence at Rome ought to be classed with ridiculous legends. Venerable brethren, I am ready to be silent; but is it not better, in an assembly like ours, to prove all things, as the apostle commands, and to hold fast what is good?

    That dictator is history. This is not like a legend, which can be. Till now I have only leant on her; and if I have found no trace of the papacy in the apostolic days, the fault is hers, not mine. Do you wish to put me into the position of one accused of falsehood? You may do it, if you can. Finding no trace of the papacy in the days of the apostles, I said to myself, I shall find what I am in search of in the annals of the church.

    None of you, I hope, will doubt the great authority of the holy Bishop of Hippo, the great and blessed St. These same bishops, in the sixth Council of Carthage, held under Aurelius, Bishop of that city, wrote Celestinus, Bishop of Rome, to warn him not to receive appeals from the bishops, priests, or clerics of Africa; and that he should send no.

    That the Patriarch of Rome had from the earliest times tried to draw to himself all the authority is an evident fact; but it is an equally evident fact that he had not the supremacy which the Ultramontanes attribute to him. I confess without difficulty that the Patriarch of Rome held the first place. One of Justinian's laws says, 'Let us order, after the definition of the four Councils, that the holy pope of ancient Rome shall be the first of the bishops, and that the most high Archbishop of Constantinople, which is the new Rome, shall be the second. Do not run so fast to this conclusion, my venerable brethren, inasmuch as the law of Justinian has written on the face of it, 'Of the order of the patriarchal sees.

    For example, supposing that in Florence there was an assembly of all the bishops of the kingdom, the precedence would be given to the Primate of Florence, as among the Easterns it would be accorded to the Patriarch of Constantinople, as in England to the Archbishop of Canterbury. But neither the first, nor the second, nor the third, could deduce from the position assigned to him a jurisdiction over his colleagues. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

    And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. New International Version And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. New Living Translation Now I say to you that you are Peter which means 'rock' , and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

    English Standard Version And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Berean Literal Bible And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades not will prevail against it. New American Standard Bible "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

    King James Bible And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Christian Standard Bible And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

    BibleGateway

    International Standard Version I tell you that you are Peter, and it is on this rock that I will build my congregation, and the powers of hell will not conquer it. In terms of your question, that means that regardless of what was said to Peter and the Apostles here, there is no reason to suggest that church leaders can just pick up the idea and run with it, presuming to have the same position under God as the Apostles. Which brings us to point 3". That means whatever is happening on earth, the reality of it has already been decided in heaven, by God. The keys of the kingdom of heaven are best described in Luke Here Jesus is condemning the experts in the law for the way they have handled Old Testament scripture.

    As Peter preaches this, people will either enter the Kingdom, or reject it.

    Upon This Rock - Wikipedia

    They will either be bound restricted , or loosed permitted to enter the kingdom. He does, however, hold the keys to the kingdom, which he holds out as he preaches the message of forgiveness in Christ. Of course, Eph 1: In this way, the reality of that Peter sees on earth, has already been decided in Heaven.

    Allison Durham Speer - Upon This Rock [Live]

    This gets us back to what we said before about the translation of v In terms of your question then, the binding and loosing is talking about salvation in Christ, which Peter is involved in as he preaches the gospel message holds out the keys. It is not talking about any rules he wishes to make up.

    The authority is top-down, from God to us, through the Apostles -not the other way around. So, in summary, my answer would be that no, church leaders do not have the ability to make laws which God has to obey, absolutely not!