The Catholic Church the True Church: Part 5
Taken From CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS: A DEFENSE OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH
Fr. W. Devivier, SJ
Edited by Bishop S.G. Messmer, DD, DCL
Bishop of Green Bay, Wisc.
BENZIGER BROTHERS, 1903
ART. V.----THE PRIMACY OF THE SEE OF PETER, OR THE PAPACY. 
This question belongs naturally to the chapter which follows, but we treat it here because the primacy of the Roman Pontiff affords a new, distinctive mark, easily recognized and sufficient of itself to distinguish the true Church of Christ from heretical and schismatic sects.
We must carefully distinguish, first of all, the primacy of jurisdiction from primacy of honor, or primacy of directive authority.
Primacy of honor is only a simple right of precedence which in no way confers the right to govern or even to direct. The primacy of directive authority is that of the president of our legislative assemblies, the right to direct the discussion of affairs. The primacy of jurisdiction is quite another thing; it is the real right to govern, and includes the triple power, legislative, judiciary, and coercive. Such is the primacy which Christ bestowed, in all its fullness, upon Peter, and which Protestants deny him.
First Thesis.----Christ Conferred upon St. Peter the Primacy of Jurisdiction over the Whole Church.
FIRST ARGUMENT, DRAWN FROM THE WORDS OF CHRIST.----Among the words addressed by Our Lord to St. Peter there are some which contain the promise to confer upon him the primacy and others which are the fulfillment of this promise.
a. THE PROMISE----Jesus having asked His disciples assembled about Him Whom they thought He was, Peter answered in his own name and publicly proclaimed the Divinity of his Master, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God," and Jesus, delighted with this profession of faith, immediately answered, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: 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." (Matth. xvi. 15 ff.)
It is very evident that these words, than which nothing could be clearer, were addressed, not to the apostolic college, but to Peter. There could be no ambiguity in the words of incarnate Wisdom, particularly when there was question of so important a promise. The Master spoke to be understood, and He wished that there should be no misapprehension of His meaning. That Protestants should explain these words of Our Saviour quite otherwise is not astonishing; it is a case where the letter killeth and the spirit quickeneth. 
The importance of the question itself requires that we should develop it somewhat. Let us observe, first, that the two expressions, "Thou art Peter" (Petrus) and "upon this rock'" (petra), both apply to Peter. The Greek, like the Latin, changes from the masculine to the feminine, but this is not the case the Syro-Chaldaic, [Aramaic] the tongue which Our Savior spoke, or with the majority of the Eastern versions, or even with the Hebrew text, which is considered to be the original text of St. Matthew; it is absolutely the same word (Cephas) which is repeated: "Thou art rock, and upon this rock." As to the Greek, the best authors us or to signify a stone, a rock.
Moreover, the demonstrative this, upon this rock, found in all texts, leaves no room for doubt. As to the pronoun it at the end of the phrase, whether it refers to rock or to Church does not alter the general sense; for if, according to the promise of Christ, the power of Hell is never to prevail against the Church, it is because the Church is built upon Peter, established as the foundation of this spiritual edifice, the basis of which is authority.
Let us now show that Our Saviour gave Peter the fullness of power. In fact the foundation upon which a perfect society rests can be only the supreme authority which governs it. Just as the solidity of an edifice and the adherence of all its parts, nay, its very existence, depends upon its foundation, so the stability, the unity, the very existence of the Church rests upon Peter. The Church, therefore, would not exist without Peter; where he is, there is the Church: Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia (St. Ambrose). But to produce the result intended by Our Saviour this authority must be full and entire; it must include the triple powers----legislative, judiciary, and coercive; in other words, Peter must be invested with the primacy not only of honor, but of power, of jurisdiction. His authority must extend over the entire Church, over the Apostles as well as over the faithful: it was not a portion of His Church which Jesus gave him to govern, that of Rome, for example, or Antioch; it was His Church, the entire religious society which He founded.
The words which follow in the text of St. Matthew, and which were also addressed only to Peter, bear no less conclusive testimony in favor of the primacy of Peter: "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." 
It is well known that in the language of the Scriptures, in all Eastern languages, and in others as well, the keys of the kingdom indicate supreme power, sovereignty. Jesus wished that this power should be exercised over all the members of His Church without exception, over all the spiritual rulers as well as over the simple faithful; for the kingdom of Heaven represents here undoubtedly, as in numerous other passages, the Church.
OBJECTION.----It is alleged against this decisive argument in favor of the primacy of Peter that this power to bind and to loose was given later to all the Apostles (Matth. xviii. 18). Hence it would seem that the promise made only to Peter did not convey any greater power than was afterward accorded to all the Apostles.
ANSWER.----To appreciate the falseness of this conclusion it is sufficient to remark that Christ in addressing only Peter, and in this very solemn manner, promises him not only the power to bind and to loose, but moreover, and first of all, to make him the foundation of His Church and to give him the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Evidently this promise, given in reward of his personal profession of faith and in such emphatic terms, has some special significance: it must contain something more than the simple promise of the power to bind and to loose. If, therefore, the power to bind and to loose signifies the fullness of power, this something additional must be the primacy of the same power. The power to loose and to bind was given to all, and by the same authority, but not in the same manner. Peter, to whom alone the power was first given, received it in all its fullness without any restriction, he was to exercise it over the other Apostles; they also received it, but only after Peter, secondarily, and not over him. "Upon one alone," says St. Cyprian, the illustrious bishop of Carthage, "did Christ build His Church, and him He commanded to feed His sheep. And though after His Resurrection He gave to all His Apostles the same power to remit sin, yet, in order to manifest unity, He has by His Own authority so placed the source of the same unity as to begin from one. . . . The primacy was given to Peter for the government of one Church and one apostolic chair." The other Fathers hold the same language (see Third Argument). Bossuet, therefore, gives us only the teaching of tradition when he says in his celebrated Discourse sur l'unite de l'eglise: "It was manifestly the intention of Jesus Christ to place first in one alone what He afterwards willed to place in many; but the sequence does not reverse the beginning, and the first, does not lose his place. . . . The promises of Christ as well as His gifts are without repentance, and that which He has once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable; moreover, the power given to several is necessarily restricted by being divided, while power given to one alone, and over all, carries plenitude." If the slightest doubt as to the meaning of Jesus could remain in our minds, He Himself dispels it when He fulfills His promise.
b. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE.----Our Lord after His Resurrection appeared to seven of His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, and addressing the Apostle who had denied Him thrice, He asked him three times: "Simon son of John, lovest thou Me? (Lovest thou Me more than these?)" Peter answered with a triple and touching protestation of love. Jesus addressed him these solemn and decisive words: "Feed My lambs," "Feed My sheep" (John xxi. 16, 17). We know that the word to feed means, in the Greek text, to rule, to govern. Behold, then, Peter, and Peter alone, established shepherd of the flock of Christ with an authority which is in no way limited. Moreover, in designating the entire Church under the figure of a flock, Jesus explicitly distinguishes in this flock the lambs from the sheep, indicating by the first the simple faithful, and by the second those by whom they are spiritually begotten and who must feed and guide them, that is, the bishops and priests. And in placing Peter over all the fold, Christ Himself, the sovereign Pastor, bestowed upon him the most extended power, the plenitude of power, the primacy of jurisdiction. "All," says Bossuet, "are submitted to the keys given to Peter, kings and peoples, shepherds and sheep. It is Peter who is first commanded to love more than all the other Apostles, and then to feed and govern all, the lambs and the sheep, the little ones and the mothers, the shepherds themselves: shepherds in regard to the people, sheep in regard to St. Peter." Thus did Christ fulfill the promise of conferring upon Peter the supreme authority of His whole Church, of making him the foundation-stone of this edifice.
SECOND ARGUMENT, DRAWN FROM THE FACTS RELATED IN SCRIPTURE.----Peter, in the Gospels and in the Acts, is represented as the first and the chief of the Apostles, yet there is never any protest on the part of the others, though we know that they were jealous and sensitive in regard to precedence. Thus St. Matthew in enumerating the Apostles is not content with naming Peter first, though he was not the first in the order of vocation, but he expressly states that he is the first. "The names of the twelve Apostles," says he, are these: "the first, Simon who is called Peter." After the Ascension of Our Saviour it is Peter who presides and directs the assembly where St. Matthew is chosen; again, he is the first to preach the Gospel to the Jews, to receive the order to Baptize Cornelius and open the Church to the Gentiles. He punishes Ananias and Sapphira for their untruth, and confounds Simon the magician; it is he, again, who proclaims before the tribunal his right and his mission to preach, who works the first miracle in confirmation of the new religion; he is the first, again, to speak in the Council of Jerusalem when "all the multitude held their peace." Cast into prison, he is an object of solicitude to the entire Church, which never ceases to pray for him until he is miraculously delivered; it is he, again, who founds in Asia the see of Antioch, which became for this reason the patriarchal see. Finally, it was he who founded the see of Rome, and because he died bishop of that city, his lawful successors have always had, and will always preserve, the primacy of the universal Church.
Hence we see that St. Peter is, by the will of Christ Himself, the sole founder of the Church, made or appointed the bearer of the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, the depository of the sovereign power, the supreme pastor of the entire flock; and that it is with reason that all Catholic tradition, after naming Peter the prince of the Apostles, proclaims the pope the prince of bishops, the Father and Doctor of all Christians; the head of all churches [dioceses], the supreme pastor of the universal Church, etc. 
THIRD ARGUMENT, DRAWN FROM TRADITION.----The Fathers of the Church agree in interpreting the above texts in the sense of a veritable primacy of jurisdiction granted to St. Peter. The limits of our work do not permit us to develop this important proof at any length, but we cannot refrain from giving a few texts, particularly from the first centuries, during which time, according to Protestants themselves, the Church of Christ preserved the doctrine of Christ in all its purity. The texts are so clear and explicit that they dispense with all commentary. Let us hear Tertullian first: "Nothing could have been hidden from Peter, who received the keys of the kingdom of Heaven with the power of binding and loosing upon earth and in Heaven, and who was called Peter because upon him as upon a foundation-stone the Church was built." In another place he says: "Our Saviour gave the keys to Peter, and, through Peter, to the Church." Origen declares that though the Church is founded upon all the Apostles, Peter nevertheless is "the grand foundation of the Church, the solid rock upon which Christ built it." Peter has received "supreme power to feed the sheep." "Though Our Lord gave all the Apostles the power to bind and to loose, nevertheless, in the interest of unity, He spoke only to Peter when He said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.' " This is also the opinion of St. Pacian, whose language is identical with that of St. Optatus of Milevum: "In the interest of unity, Peter merited the place at the head of all the Apostles, and he was the only one to receive the power of the keys of the kingdom in order to communicate it to the others." "Through Peter, Christ confided to the bishops the keys of the kingdom of Heaven."
The testimony of Eusebius of Cesarea, St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Ephrem, St. Epiphanius, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Eucharius, Bishop of Lyons, and many other Fathers and writers of the fourth and fifth centuries, is no less conclusive in favor of the primacy of jurisdiction than that of the Fathers immediately following the time of the Apostles. But we shall be content with mentioning the clear text of St. Leo the Great: "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 personal commission, whom Christ also rules by sovereign power. Beloved, it is a great and wonderful participation of His Own power which the Divine Condescendence gave to this man; and if He willed that other rulers of the Church should enjoy aught together with him, yet never did He give, save through him, what He denied not to others."
In addition to the authority of the Fathers of the Church, whose unanimity can be explained only by the faithful preservation of apostolic tradition, we have that of the General Councils, which are also the authentic voice of the universal Church (see below).
Second Thesis.----Jesus Christ Desired that this Primacy should Descend to the Lawful Successors of Peter.
This thesis has already been proved apropos of the apostolicity of the ministry. Let us mention, however, a few decisive reasons which relate especially to the primacy.
The form which Jesus Christ gave His Church can be modified only by Him. Now Christ in constituting His Church established a primacy which no one can touch, much less suppress; hence it must always exist not personally in St. Peter, but in his lawful successors.
Moreover, the text of St. Matthew presents the primacy of St. Peter as the foundation of the Church, without which it cannot exist. It is in fact this primacy which must sustain in the Church unity of government, purity of doctrine, holiness of morals; on it, in a word, depend the stability and the efficacy of the Divine work. The foundation of an edifice, and particularly a foundation of this nature, must necessarily endure as long as the edifice itself, that is, according to the Divine promises, until the end of time. Now Jesus knew that Peter would not live forever; hence He evidently desired that his ministry and his primacy should be perpetuated until the end of time in his lawful successors. 
REMARK.----It results from the two preceding theses that the jurisdiction or power of the Pope is ordinary, and not restricted to exceptional cases. Jesus Christ in fact made no restrictions when He established Peter the founder of His Church and the pastor of His flock. He desired that this Church should always find its stability in its foundation, and that the flock should never cease to obey its pastor. No doubt the popes, in the interest of good government, usually exercise their jurisdiction in the form of direction and surveillance, leaving to the bishops the initiative, and the freedom of action necessary in the details of an effectual administration; but they do not for this reason lose the rights conferred upon them by the supreme pastor of souls. (Hergenroether, Cath. Church and Chr. State, I., essay 4; Br. W. xili. 480.)
Third Thesis.----The Church of Rome Possesses the Primacy of the See of Peter.
This is a point concerning which no dispute seems possible. It is very evident that the Catholic Church, and it alone, obeys the successors of St. Peter, the first supreme pastor given to the Church by Christ Himself. 
A. Tradition and history afford us such abundant and clear testimony in regard to St. Peter's sojourn in Rome that for thirteen centuries no one thought of questioning it.  After the Waldenses, Protestants would naturally try to deny this fact, which was of extreme importance in their controversies with Catholics. Hence they, together with modern unbelievers, left nothing undone to destroy this truth, solidly established by incontrovertible documents, and made still more certain by the labors to which their attacks gave rise. It may be well to give a brief summary of the proofs furnished us by the most authentic records.
1st. The prince of the Apostles himself may serve as witness here. In his first epistle addressed to the Christians of Asia Minor he concludes thus: "The Church that is in Babylon saluteth you, so doth my son Mark" (1 Peter v. 13). The word Babylon evidently means here, as well as in various parts of the Apocalypse, the city of Rome, regarded then by the Jews as the centre of impiety, as was the Babylon of the East by the Jews of the Captivity. It has always been interpreted in this sense by the Fathers of the Church, with whom even M. Renan fully agrees, as well as the Protestant Grotius. Moreover, the arguments used by unbelieving scholars to overthrow this ancient tradition and prove that the Babylon mentioned in the epistle of St. Peter is a city of the East will not bear serious examination.
2d. At the end of the first century, St. Clement of Rome, disciple of the chief of the Apostles, speaking of the faithful sacrificed by Nero after the burning of Rome, mentions among them St. Peter and St. Paul, and he adds these significant words: "They were a great example among us; it was here that they bore the outrages of men and endured all kinds of tortures." It is well known that this Saint's epistle is the first Christian writing, outside of the Scriptures, which has come down to us.
Forty years after the death of St. Peter, St. Ignatius, dragged from Antioch to Rome, where he became the prey of the beasts of the amphitheater, addressed to the Romans this touching prayer:
"I conjure you, show me not unseasonable kindness, let me become food for the beasts. . . . I do not command you like Peter and Paul; they were Apostles, and I am only a condemned man."
These words are significant only in as far as they admit that the two Apostles governed the Church of Rome.
Though the early ages of Christianity afford little explicit testimony in regard to Peter's sojourn at Rome, it is not a matter of astonishment. For, in addition to the fact that but few of the writings of that period have come down to us, no one thought of expressing any doubt upon this subject, nor, consequently, of attesting it; but little attention is given by writers to idle questions during times of persecution. Hence St. Peter's sojourn in the Eternal City is mentioned only incidentally here and there.
3d. A century after the death of St. Peter, the tradition of his sojourn and of his Martyrdom at Rome was universal. Renan himself says: "No one denies that from the end of the second century the general belief of the Christian Churches was that the Apostle Peter was Martyred at Rome." And Tertullian, who lived in Rome at the end of the second century, says: "Go through the apostolic churches and you will still find the very chairs that were occupied by the Apostles, each in its place. If you are near Italy you have Rome. O happy Church, to which the apostles gave their doctrine and their blood; where Peter endured the same suffering as his Master!" "If you go to the Vatican, or to the Ostian Way," wrote Caius under the pontificate of Zephyrinus (202-219), "you will find the trophies (tombs) of those who founded this Church." He says elsewhere that Eleutherius was "the thirteenth bishop of Rome after St. Peter."
St. Irenreus, bishop of Lyons, disciple of St. Polycarp, who was taught by St. John, mentions twice in his treatise against heresies that Peter and Paul founded the Church of Rome. The same testimony is borne by St. Denis of Corinth, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen. St. Cyprian, martyred in the year 258, calls the Church of Rome the see of Peter. It is useless to quote the Fathers of later times; they are unanimous in their testimony.
4th. The most ancient catalogues, in enumerating the series of Roman pontiffs, always place St. Peter at the head of the list. Such are those of St. Irenreus, Tertullian, and Optatus of Milevum. Eusebius, who borrowed his list from the memoirs of Hegesippus (175 to 189), writes in his history: " After Peter, the first bishop of Rome was Linus, and Clement was the third." 
5th. The same testimony is borne by the monuments, medals, and paintings of the first ages. According to de Rossi, it is the veritable episcopal chair of St. Peter, the chair which he used in religious ceremonies, which is venerated as a sacred relic at Rome. The author of the poem against Marcion speaks, in the beginning of the third century, of the real chair in which Peter sat, and in which he commanded that Linus should follow him. Tertullian bears similar testimony in favor of the episcopal throne of St. Peter.
6th. There is no contrary tradition that can be cited against this constant tradition of the first ages of the Church. No city except Antioch boasts of ever having had St. Peter as its first pastor; no one ever thought of locating the tomb of the prince of the apostles anywhere but at Rome. The Ebionitic and Gnostic apocrypha themselves, though they tell us a thousand fables concerning St. Peter, never placed the seat of his episcopacy anywhere but at Rome; finally, among so many heretics and so many schismatics of all times, no one, until the appearance of the Waldenses, or we might say until the Reformers of the sixteenth century, questioned the general belief in this historical fact. Let us add that among Protestants themselves there is a large number of scholars who admit with us St. Peter's sojourn in the Eternal City. We may cite among others Cave, Grotius, Usserius, Basnage, Scaliger, Neander; even Renan finally says: "I think the tradition in regard to Peter's sojourn at Rome probable, but I believe that this sojourn was of brief duration, and that Peter suffered martyrdom shortly after his arrival in the Eternal City."
Hence it is incontestable that St. Peter, Martyred in the year 67, came to Rome and died bishop of that city. We may even fix the period of the Apostle's arrival, in the year 42, on the authority of the first part of the "Catalogue of Liberius," of the historian Paul Orosius, a writer of the fourth century, of the historian Eusebius, whose chronicles were written about the year 310, and of St. Jerome, born in 246. The latter says: "Simon Peter came to Rome to combat Simon the magician, the second year of the reign of Claudius, and he occupied the episcopal chair there during twenty-five years, until the last year, that is, until the fourteenth of the reign of Nero." According to the illustrious archaeologist J. B. de Rossi the ancient monuments confirm this date completely.
It is to be remarked, moreover, that no ancient author, no monument, either directly or indirectly, contradicts the twenty-five years of the episcopacy of St. Peter, and the learned P. Ch. De Smedt, Bollandist, in his Dissertationes selectæ unhesitatingly concludes that the opinion attributing to St. Peter twenty-five years of episcopacy at Rome is "by far the most probable." We must not conclude, however, that St. Peter remained at Rome without ever leaving it during all this period. The contrary is very probable. In fact there is clear mention, notably in Lactantius and in the catalogue of Felix IV, of a second voyage of St. Peter to Rome under the Emperor Nero. 
The series of St. Peter's successors is known to us down to Leo XIII. Hence Rome, and consequently the Roman Catholic Church, possesses the See of St. Peter.  No sect, moreover, has ever claimed this inheritance.
B. In further proof of our thesis we shall content ourselves with mentioning the first four Councils, which have always been regarded by the Church with special veneration, and considered as almost equal to the four Gospels.
The Council of Nice, held in 325, attests in formal terms that the Roman Church has always possessed the primacy.  This was so evidently the primacy of jurisdiction that the Council of Sardica, an appendix to that of Nice, acknowledged that a bishop deposed by the Council of the province had a right to appeal from it to the Pope. The second General Council, which was held at Constantinople in 381, also places the Bishop of Rome before the Bishop of Constantinople, the imperial city. In 431 the bishops, assembled for the third time in Ecumenical Council at Ephesus, declared that they deposed the heresiarch Nestorius because they were obliged so to do by the holy canons and by the letter of Pope Celestine, Bishop of the Church of Rome. In the same Council one of the legates of the Pope makes the following declaration, which was received without the slightest protest: "No one is ignorant of that which has been known at all times, namely, that the holy and blessed Peter, . . . who received the keys of the kingdom of Heaven with the power to bind and to loose, has continued to live up to the present time and still lives in his successors, exercising through them the right to judge." Then in 451 comes that of Chalcedon, the testimony of which, too long to quote, is still more explicit. Let it suffice to say this is the Council in which, when the letter of St. Leo to Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople, was read, all the members exclaimed: "This is the true faith of our fathers, the faith of the Apostles; this is our belief; thus do all the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not believe the same! Peter has spoken to us thus through Leo." In the synodal letter to the Pope his confirmation of the acts of the Council is required in order that "thy loftiness may accomplish that which is meet towards thy sons."
It is useless to speak of the Councils which followed, the doctrine of which is incontestable. Let us mention only the Council assembled at Florence in 1439, in which the Greeks as well as the Latins signed the following decree of Pope Eugenius IV: "We define that the holy apostolic see and the Roman Pontiff possess primacy over the whole world; that this same Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, prince of the Apostles; that he is the true Vicar of Christ, and the head of the entire Church, the Father and Doctor of all Christians; that to him was given by Our Lord Jesus Christ, in blessed Peter, full power to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church, as is also declared in the acts of the Ecumenical Councils and in the holy canons."
Let us hear, finally, the words of the Vatican Council, in chapter iii. of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. After renewing and developing the definition of the Council at Florence it adds: "If anyone say that the Roman Pontiff is charged only with the surveillance or direction and not with plenary and supreme power of jurisdiction over the entire Church, not only in that which relates to faith and morals, but also in matters relating to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world; or, again, that he possesses only the chief share of this power, and not all its fullness; or, finally, that this power which he possesses is not ordinary and immediate, over all the churches as well as over each individually, over all the pastors and the faithful and over each one of them, let him be anathema!" 
The logical and indisputable result of our thesis is that the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church, since she alone possesses the centre and foundation of the Church, and she alone has preserved her first organization in all its integrity.
1. Allies; Alnatt; Botalla; De Maistre; Hettinger; Humphrey; Kenrick; Lindsay; Murphy; Preston; Rivington; Spalding, J. M, Evidences, I. 11, 12; Lockhart, Old ReI., ch, 8 ff.; Hunter, vol. i., Schanz, III., ch. 12, 13; A. C. Q. xix. 691; C. W. xxxv. 105.
2. It is well to remark in passing that Protestants, following their system of free interpretation, have succeeded in discovering in this very clear text at least ten not only different but contradictory meanings. Some say that Our Lord addressed, not Peter individually, but the apostolic college represented in Peter. In truth this would have been a very extraordinary and unexpected reward granted to the faith of Peter and announced in such solemn terms. Others claim that by" THIS ROCK" He meant His Own Person; but why then did Our Saviour use the future tense, "I will build" and not "I build"? Is it not evident, moreover, that ædificabo (I will build) and dabo (I will give) are intimately united by the sense of the whole context; that if one of these two verbs designate Peter, the other also does?
3. Apropos of this text Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, p. 41, quotes these lines from Milton:
"Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean Lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain).
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake," etc.;
and then says: "Let us think over this passage and examine its words. First, is it not singular to find Milton assigning to St. Peter not only his full episcopal function, but the very types of it which Protestants usually refuse most passionately? His 'mitred' locks! Milton was no bishop-lover; how comes St. Peter to be 'mitred'? 'Two massy keys he bore.' Is this, then, the power of the keys claimed by the Bishops of Rome, and is it acknowledged here by Milton only in a poetical license, for the sake of its picturesqueness, that he may get the gleam of the golden keys to help his effect? Do not think it. Great men do not play stage-tricks with doctrines of life and death: only little men do that. Milton means what he says, and means it with his might too----is going to put the whole strength of his spirit presently into the saying of it. For though not a lover of false bishops, he was a lover of true ones; and the Lake-pilot is here in his thoughts, the type and head of true episcopal power. For Milton reads that text, 'I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven,' quite honestly. Puritan though he be, he would not blot it out of the book because there have been bad bishops; nay, in order to understand him, we must understand that verse first; it will not do to eye it askance, or whisper it under our breath, as if it were the weapon of an adverse sect. It is a solemn universal assertion, deeply to be kept in mind by all sects."---TRANSLATOR.
4. Livius, St. Peter, Bishop of Rome; Waterworth, The Fathers on St. Peter; also, Faith of Catholics, vol. i.; Hunter, tr. V., ch. 2.
5. The perpetuity of St. Peter's primacy, by the divine ordinance of Christ, is easily proved from the constant tradition of the Church, where it is laid down as the very foundation upon which the Fathers and Councils base their belief in the Roman Primacy.---EDITOR.
6. "The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, that is of the Pope, is the complex result of doctrine and fact. It supposes the truth of the perpetuity of the Primacy, and the twofold historical fact that Peter was Bishop of Rome and that he made the Roman Episcopate the sole title of succession. The question whether Peter was ever in Rome, though not necessarily identical with the fact of his Roman Episcopate, is practically bound up very closely therewith."---Schanz, III., ch. 13, n. 6. See also I. E. R., Oct. 1901; Spalding, Evidences, 1. 12, n. 3; Livius, 1. c., pt. iii.
7. Livius, St. Peter; Fouard, St. Peter; Thebaud Church and Gentile World, II., ch. 11; Parsons, Studies, I.; Chatard, Occasional Essays, n. 1; Barnes, St. Peter in Rome; Schanz, III., p. 470 ff.; Murphy, ch. 4; Bishop England's Works, II., p. 370; C. W. ix. 374, x:vi. 55, 345; D. R., April, Oct. 1897.
8. D. R., Oct. '98; Apr. '99, on the Succession of the first Roman bishops; Birkhauser, p. 105; Bruck, I., p. 77.
9. Fouard, St. Peter and the First Years of Christianity.
10. "It is, making allowance for the greater lapse of time between the two extremes, as easy to prove that Pius IX is the successor of St. Peter in the government of the Church, as that James K. Polk is the successor of George Washington in the presidency of the United States; and the fact of the succession in the former case as much proves that the Church of which Pius IX is Pope, is the Church of St. Peter, that is, of the Apostles, as the succession in the latter case proves that the United States of which Mr. Polk is President is the same political body over which George Washington presided."----Br. W. vi. 479.
11. This is strongly contested by excellent Catholic historians, who deny that the famous Canon VI. of this Council deals at all with the Primacy. See Hefele, History of the Councils, I., p. 397 ff. On the other hand, the above canon does not prove anything against the Roman Primacy. See Parsons, Studies, I., p. 205 ff. On the above Councils and the canons referred to see Hefele, 1e. On the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon in particular see Rivington, The Roman Primacy.---EDITOR.
12. See the numerous testimonies of the Fathers collected in Faith of Cath., I., p. 59 ff.; Allies, The Throne of the Fisherman; Waterworth, pt. ii.
To prove the primacy of St. Peter and that of his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, we may also appeal to all ecclesiastical history. We shall see that from the beginning of the Church, and throughout all the ages, the most positive facts and the most undeniable testimony witness to the faith of pastors and of the faithful in the primacy of the See of Rome. But we do not think it necessary to dwell upon these historical facts, which may, moreover, be found in numerous works. We may quote particularly the 69th conference of P. Ollivier. "We should never finish," he says at the conclusion of one of his conferences, "if we were to quote all the instances in which the Churches of the East and of the West appeal to Rome, either to ask support of the Pope in their struggle with error, or to obtain from him the re-establishment of their episcopal sees, of which they had been unjustly deprived, or to consult him upon doubtful questions relating to faith or discipline. . . . A fact which of itself demonstrates the primacy of the Pope is that never in the East or in the West was a single Council, even among the most important, recognized as ecumenical, that is, as representing the universal Church, unless it was convened, at least implicitly, by the Pope, and presided over or confirmed by him. . . . Since the concurrence of the popes was considered as essential by the entire Church, the entire Church, by this fact, recognized their primacy of power and of jurisdiction."---see Kenrick, Primacy, ch. 13; Allies, See of Peter, ch. 5, n. 5, 6.
VIEW THE IMAGE OF ST. PETER, PLAIN, LARGE