Upon This Rock

"When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:13-19)

The verses of Matthew 16:13-19 rank among the more significant within the New Testament. Within these verses we see God appointing St. Peter as head of His Church on Earth, and transferring certain of His authority to him. This writing will analyze the significance of the words of Jesus contained in these seven verses.


The Name Change

In Holy Scripture, we find several accounts of individuals having their names changed. In the ancient world this represented a significant event, and was perceived by all as an elevation in status and respect. .Examples follow. Note that in a number of instances, it was God who changed the person's name:


God changed Abram's name to Abraham when He made him the 'Father of a Multitude of Nations'. (Gn 17:5)


God renamed Sarai to Sarah when He made her the 'Mother of Nations'. (Gn 17:15-16)



God changed Jacob's name to Israel, upon making him the father of a nation. (Gn 35:9-12)



Pharaoh Neco renamed Eliakim to Jehoiakim when he made him King of Judah. (2 Kgs 23:34)



On the behalf of the king, Ashpenaz renamed Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when King Nebuchadnezzar adopted them into his service. (Dn 1:6-7)



God changed Simon's name to Peter when He made him the head of His Church. St. Peter was given the authority over His Church by God the Son, and He changed his name to Peter to indicate it clearly to all. (Mt 16:18-19)

In Mat 28:18 Jesus stated: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Thus we see clearly that Jesus had been given His authority from His Father. Further as the Church has always taught, Jesus possessed two natures. Jesus is both God and man (similarly, we have two natures in a body and a soul). Also, note that Jesus is God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity (Jn 1:1-14 and Mt 28:17-20). That is to say, that Jesus had capacity.

With that in mind, and in view of the above citations evidencing Biblical transfers of authority by changing the recipient's name, we can see clearly that when Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, Jesus transferred certain of His Godly authority to St. Peter, the Rock.


The Rock

It is an established fact that while on Earth, Jesus spoke in Aramaic (a Hebrew dialect). When Jesus changed Simon's name He changed it to 'Rock' using the Aramaic word, 'kepha'. Jesus said to Simon: "You are Kepha, and upon this Kepha I will build My Church."

Further, we know from a number of sources, including the ancient writings of Eusebius (and other early Church Fathers: St. Irenaeus, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome and others), that originally the Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic. Matthew's Gospel was translated from Aramaic into Greek some time later.

Certain Protestants, argue that the Greek translation read "Petros" for 'Kepha', and since 'petros' means 'little stone' in Greek, Jesus could not have meant that He was building His Church upon St. Peter. These Protestants are denying a number of premises, resulting in this invalid conclusion.

First, as we have pointed out above, Jesus spoke in Aramaic. Secondly, the Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic, originally. Therefore, it is the Aramaic that governs in this case, and the Aramaic is clear: Simon's name was changed to 'Kepha', meaning 'Rock'.

Additionally, it should be noted that Greek is a gender sensitive language. 'Petra' meaning 'large stone' is feminine while 'petros' meaning 'little stone' is masculine. It would be improper to translate the Aramaic into Greek and give St. Peter a feminine name. For that reason, Kepha was translated into Petros. Since 'petros' in Greek literally means 'little stone' some of the original word-play was lost in translating the Aramaic into Greek. The fact remains that Jesus spoke Aramaic and changed Simon's name to 'Kepha' meaning 'the Rock'. (1)

It is also worthy of note, that in antiquity a person's name was designed to describe a certain nature of that person. For example 'Jesus' means 'God saves'; St. Raphael means 'God has healed', and so on. It should be noted also, that the name 'Kepha' or 'Peter' was not a common name at that time.

 Another significant point to be emphasized is that elsewhere in Holy Scripture when one is being referred to as 'Rock', it is Almighty God who is being referred to. For example . Isa 26:4 reads: "Trust in the LORD for ever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock."(2). Make no mistake about it, when Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven to St. Peter, and changed his name to 'Rock', it registered in a mighty way with the other Apostles and with other people as well. They knew without a doubt that St. Peter had been given the authority of Almighty God on Earth!


The Keys

In ancient times, they who 'possessed the keys' clearly were the people in authority and control (Is 22:19-22; Rv 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1). The handing over of the keys, whether real or symbolic, was understood as a transfer of authority and control.

In the Old Testament, when God established His Covenant with Israel He provided for a living, continuing authority in the Mosaic priesthood (2 Chr 19:11; Mal 2:7). Similarly, when Jesus, established His New and Everlasting Covenant with His Church, the New Israel (1 Pt 2:9-10; Gal 4:28-31; Gal 6:14-16; Mt 21:43) He provided for a living continuing authority in the Papacy (3).

Jesus wanted unity within His Church, not chaos. To accomplish this, He transferred certain of His Godly authority to St. Peter to lead and guide His Church while on Earth, and told St. Peter specifically: "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." We hasten to emphasize that this authority was given to St. Peter to use on Earth, not in Heaven. The authority of St. Peter and his successors is to be used as the Vicars of Christ on Earth, and whatever he and his successors declare on Earth will be accepted in Heaven. Do not expect to see St. Peter at the gates of Heaven as a popular myth would have it.

Note that although the Apostles were given the power to bind and loose in Mt 18:18, only St. Peter was given the keys, and the attendant supreme authority. The footnote to Mt 16:19 in the New American Bible states: "…the promise of the keys is given to Peter alone. In Matthew 18:18 all the disciples are given the power of binding and loosing, but the context of that verse suggests that there the power of excommunication alone is intended…"

Imagine that your boss convenes a meeting in which he tells the group of employees that he will be traveling out of town for a period of time, and he announces that he has given the keys to the Company's building to one, and only one, of the employees. Clearly, by doing so he has transferred his authority to that chosen employee while he is away. If you can understand this clearly, then why not the transfer of authority in Mt 16?

In 251 A.D., St. Cyprian expressed this clearly when he stated: "…On him [St. Peter] 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?" (The Faith of the Early Fathers, William A. Jurgens (hereinafter, 'Jurgens') 555-556)


The Shepherd

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. (Jn 21:15-17)

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." (Lk 22:31-32)

The citations of Mat 16, Jn 21 and Lk 22 above, indicate clearly that Jesus intended St. Peter to be His Shepherd over His flock, the Church. The renown theologian, Fr. William G. Most stated the following with respect to John 21:

"The imagery of this passage is easy to grasp if one knows the background. From Babylonian times (Hammurabi, 18th century B.C.) down through the Old Testament times, the shepherd stood for authority. In ancient Egypt, too, one of the symbols of the power of the Pharaohs was a shepherd's crook. Similarly, in Homer, kings are regularly given the epithet, "shepherds of the people." Therefore, this clearly was a grant of authority to Peter, the authority promised in Matthew 16:16-19. As R. Brown points out, "Two Protestant scholars of such different persuasions as Cullmann and Bultmann are quite firm in interpreting the command of John 21:15-17 in terms of an authoritative commission for Peter, a view already espoused by Von Harnack, W. Bauer, Loisy and others".(4) Thus, we have here more prime Scriptural support for Peter's authority, which even some very radical Protestant scholars have accepted." (5)

Not only do we see the authority of God given to St. Peter in Holy Scripture, but we see it being used there as well. In Chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles, we see a certain question raised as to whether Gentile converts should adhere to the Mosaic law. The Council of Jerusalem was convened to answer this question raised by St. Paul. Note that the text of Acts 15 tells us that there was considerable debate over this issue; but after St. Peter spoke, the assembly fell silent. .Clearly, we see that the Apostles and the presbyters recognized that St. Peter had been given supreme authority over the Church by the granting of the keys.

Note that they all fell silent after St. Peter spoke. Clearly, they acknowledged that the authority of God on Earth had spoken and settled the matter. As St. Augustine would say in later years, "Rome has spoken; the case is closed.".

Some find it difficult to believe that God would delegate certain of His authority to men on Earth. We would ask you to consider the authority that God gave to other men in Holy Scripture, e.g. Moses, etc. Just as He delegated His authority to them and guided them from Heaven through the Holy Spirit, He has guided, and continues to guide, St. Peter and his successors.

Evidence of this is found in Jn 16 and Lk 10 when He said to the Apostles, who were the first Catholic Bishops:

"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." (Jn 16:12-15)

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Lk 10:16).

If you continue to doubt, consider a purely human endeavor of only a few people growing over time into hundreds of millions. Knowing human nature as you do, what is the probability that a purely human endeavor could remain united in its teaching for 5 years? For 50 years? For 200 years? How about for 2,000 years?! That is exactly what the Catholic Church has done. It has continued to teach the true Gospel universally for 2,000 years! Truly, there have been disagreements. Yes, there have been priests and laymen that have challenged certain elements of doctrine, and even some have split away. But the fact remains that after the debates, the Catholic Church continues to teach the true doctrine of God. No other religion can make that claim.

Compare that to Protestantism which is only about 500 years old, and continues to divide into new ecclesial communities daily (as of April 2001, there were 37,999 of them) (6). Compare that to Protestantism where pastors represent religious feudal lords over their ministries each teaching his personal version of the Gospel (7).

Clearly, the Catholic Church could not possibly have survived in teaching the true Gospel universally for 2,000 years, without Divine Guidance!

(Note: We know that all of Christendom will suffer the Great Apostasy of 2Thes 2:1-5 during the Great Tribulation including Catholicism, and that only a Faithful Remnant will survive. That Faithful Remnant will be the true Catholic Church, which will continue to teach the true Gospel of Christ. And not even Satan in all his fury of the Great Apostasy will prevail against God's Catholic Church.)


The Primacy of St. Peter in Holy Scripture

A close inspection of Holy Scripture will detect that St. Peter is considered, is represented, and acts first among the Apostles. Consider the following:


St. Peter often spoke for the rest of the Apostles (Mt 19:27; Mk 8:29; Mk 10:28; Lk 12:41; Jn 6:68-69).


The Apostles are sometimes referred to 'Peter and his Apostles' (Lk 9:32; Mk 16:7; Acts 2:37)


St. Peter's name always heads the list of the Apostles (Mt 10:1-5; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13)


St. Peter is the most frequently mentioned Apostle.


St. Peter is conspicuously involved in all the Church's "firsts": St. Peter led the meeting which elected the first successor to an Apostle (Acts 1:13-26) St. Peter preached the first sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40), and received the first converts (Acts 2:41. St. Peter performed the first miracle after Pentecost (Acts 3:6-7), inflicted the first punishment upon Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic, Simon the magician (Acts 8:20-23). St. Peter is the first Apostle to raise a person from the dead (Acts 9:36-41). St. Peter first received the revelation to admit Gentiles into the Church (Acts 10:9-16), and commanded that the first Gentile converts be baptized (Acts 10:44-48). Also, in Acts 4 and 5 we see St. Peter administer discipline.


In Lk 22:31-32 we see Jesus telling St. Peter that He has prayed for him that his faith may not fail and to strengthen the other Apostles.

Fr. Most adds the following:

"At this point, let us begin investigating the record of the Scriptures on Peter. In the Gospels, Peter is everywhere. He is always named first among the special three who were given the privilege of being with Jesus at special times: on the Mount of the Transfiguration, in the inner part of the Garden of Gethsemani, and on other occasions. When Jesus wanted to preach to the crowds pressing on Him, it was into Peter's boat that He went to sit and teach the crowds (Lk 5:3). A bit later, He said to the same Peter, "Launch out into the deep." (Lk 5:4). It was to Peter that Jesus said not long after, "Fear not, from henceforth you shall catch men." (Lk 5:10). It was Peter who was told to walk on the waters of the lake to meet Jesus (Mt 14:28-30). It was Peter who alone was told to catch a fish and find in its mouth a coin to pay the tribute for Jesus and Peter (Mt 17:24-27). It was Peter who asked on behalf of all the Apostles, "Behold we have left all things, and have followed you: what therefore shall we have?" (Mt 19:27).

The angel at the tomb of the risen Savior said, "But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee." (Mk 16:7). Four times in the New Testament there appears a list of the Apostles, and, although the order of names is not the same in all, Peter is always listed first. (Mt 10:2-5; Mk 3:16-20; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13).

There are numerous other examples in which Peter is constantly first. In all, he is named 118 times in the Gospels, while John is named only 38 times. If we count the Gospels and Acts together, Peter is named 171 times, while John is mentioned by name only 46 times." (5)


Establishment of a Church and an Office

"There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.' They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?" They answered him, "He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times." Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.)" When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet. (Mt 21:33-46)

Clearly in this parable, the vineyard represents the people of God i.e. Israel; the servants represent the prophets; the landowner's son is Jesus; and the tenants represent the Jews, in particular the chief priests and Pharisees. The people that will produce its fruit represents the Church i.e. the people of God after the death of Jesus or the New Israel (1 Pt 2:9-10; Gal 4:28-31; Gal 6:14-16; Mt 21:43) (3). Indeed this parable was realized with the immolation, death and resurrection of Jesus.

In the writing, Must the Reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem Precede the Second Coming of Christ, we discussed at length how Mt 21:33-46 was realized with the Church replacing the synagogue upon the veil in the Temple being torn in two at the death of Jesus on the cross (Mt 27:50-52). That is, the Church then became the people of God, the New Israel, and upon receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost began its ministry. The first Pentecost is recognized as the official 'birthday' of the Church, but clearly Jesus was establishing it over time during His public ministry.

In the following citations, we see Jesus giving the Church its ministry through the Apostles:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Mt 28:19-20)

"Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (Jn 20:21-23)

"And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood". (Lk 22:19-20)

 Thus we have a Church established by Jesus, and its ministry given it by Jesus. It is illogical to think that Jesus would establish His Church on Earth, declare that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, and not provide for an authoritarian office to manage it on Earth in His place. Further, it is illogical for Jesus to establish such an office, and not contemplate succession. As we stated above, God wants unity within His Church, not chaos.

Imagine the operation of a commercial enterprise without a President to manage it. Imagine a sports team without a head coach or manager to guide it. Imagine if there was no authoritarian office to manage His Church. Confusion and chaos would ensue as it was in ancient Israel:

"In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes." (Jude 21:25).

When Jesus gave the keys to St. Peter, He not only transferred certain authority over His Church to St. Peter, but by doing so established an office. In this period of history, that is exactly what transferring the keys meant: the transferring of authority and the establishment of an office.


Apostolic Succession Contemplated

We stated earlier that in the Old Testament we see evidence of the Mosaic priesthood being established, and that this priesthood did not end with the Old Testament.

When Christ established His Church, the New Israel, He set up a living, continuing authority to teach, govern, and sanctify in His name. This living authority is called "Apostolic" because it began with the twelve Apostles and continued with their successors. It was this Apostolic authority that would preserve and authentically interpret the revelation of Jesus Christ. This same Apostolic authority determined the canon of the Bible (i.e. which books were inspired by the Holy Spirit), and will preserve the teachings of Jesus Christ in all their fullness, and uncorrupted from error, until the end of time.

Mt 28:18-20 represents Jesus' farewell address to His Apostles. It reads: "And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." NB: His words "I am with you always, to the close of the age" indicates clearly that Jesus willed succession, and did not intend for this authority to last for one generation only.

Further, in Acts 1:20-26, we see the first example of Apostolic succession in Mathias being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot.

Why would Jesus give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not expect it to be passed on in succession? If the early Christians needed a leader of the Church, the Christians in subsequent years would need one even more; as many of the Christians during St. Peter's time had heard Jesus teach the Gospels and knew the Apostles personally; while later Christians would not. In later years, the Church would need a leader even more, as forces would attempt to corrupt the teachings of the Church.

Further His words: "The gates of the Hell shall not prevail against it" clearly contemplate that Jesus established this succession until the end of time.

Pope St. Clement stated the following regarding Apostolic succession (8): "'…Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned, and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry…" (Pope St. Clement I, Letter to the Corinthians; ca 95 A.D.; Jurgens 21)

Imagine how illogical it would be for a new country being established, and the constitution of such new country not providing for succession in its leadership. Why then, is it not clear that Jesus intended Pope St. Peter, as his leader on Earth, to have successors?


The First Bishop of Rome

St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. This is evident in Holy Scripture; this is what the Church has taught since its early days; and this is what the Church continues to teach. Erroneously, certain Protestants claim that St. Peter was never in Rome, and could not have been the Bishop of Rome.

For the first 300 years or so, the Catholic Church was persecuted by the Romans, by being crucified, fed to the lions, and mass murdered. The Catholic Church was forced underground, literally. The Catholics lived and worshipped in the underground catacombs in various places within the Roman Empire. They were compelled into disguising themselves and their activities in every way.

In 1 Pt 5:13, St. Peter ends his Epistle by telling his audience that the Church in Rome sends you its greetings. It reads: " The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you. And so doth my son, Mark." (DRV).

'Babylon' was the code word used for 'Rome' in the days of the persecutions. It was chosen no doubt, as the moral depravity and cruelty of the ancient Roman Empire resembled that of ancient Babylon. Additional evidence of the word 'Babylon' being used as the code word for 'Rome' is seen in Rv 14:8; 17:5 and 18.2. .In his first epistle we see St. Peter writing from Babylon i.e. from Rome. At the time of this writing, Babylon on the Euphrates lay in ruins. Further, St. Peter was never in Babylon, Egypt, so it had to be Rome. He was probably hiding underground to avoid detection by the Romans at the time. In the ancient writing, The History of the Church, II, Ch 15, Eusebius speaking of the writings of Pope St. Clement and of Papais, confirms that St. Peter was in Rome at the time that 1 Pt 5:13 was composed, and that he used the word 'Babylon' as a code word for 'Rome'.

The following are a selection of excerpts from the ancient writings of the early Fathers of the Church indicating clearly that St. Peter taught in Rome; was the Bishop of Rome; and was crucified and buried in Rome:


In writing to the Romans, St. Ignatious wrote: "I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles of Jesus Christ, but I am the very least [of believers]: they were free, as the servants of God; while I am, even until now, a servant…" (St. Ignatious of Antioch, Letter to the Romans, Ch 4, ca 110 A.D.)


"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter…" (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, III, Ch 1; inter 180-199 A.D.)


"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority -- that is, the faithful everywhere -- inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, III, Ch 3, inter 180-199 A.D.)


"But if there be any (heresies) which are bold enough to plant themselves in the midst of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men,--a man, moreover, who continued stedfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter." (Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, Ch 32, ca 200 A.D.) NB: presiding bishops ordain priests -- in this case, St. Peter, the bishop of Rome.


"When Peter preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been for a long time his follower and who remembered his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed. Having composed the Gospel, he gave it to those who had requested it." (St. Clement of Alexandria, Hypotyposeis; ca 190-210A.D.; Jurgens 439-440) (Eusebius, The History of the Church, VI, Ch 14)


"It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: "But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church." And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his epistle to the Romans, in the following words: "You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time." I have quoted these things in order that the truth of the history might be still more confirmed." (Eusebius (ca 265 A.D.- ca 340 A.D.), Church History, II, Ch 25)


"Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's…" (Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, Ch 36; ca 200 A.D.)


"Let us see what milk the Corinthians drank from Paul; to what rule of faith the Galatians were brought for correction; what the Philippians, the Thessalonians, the Ephesians read by it; what utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood." (Tertullian, Against Marcion; IV, Ch 5; inter 207-212 A.D.)


"…the Apostle Peter, after he has established the Church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains as bishop of that city, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years" (Eusebius, The Chronicle, Ad An.Dom 42; ca 303 A.D.; Jurgens 651aa)


"Nero is the first, in addition to all his other crimes, to make a persecution against the Christians, in which Peter and Paul died gloriously at Rome." (Eusebius, The Chronicle, Ad An.Dom. 68; ca 303 A.D.; Jurgens 651cc)


"But this did not last long. For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome" (Eusebius, The History of the Church, II Ch14; inter 300-325 A.D.)

According to Eusebius (ca 265 A.D.- ca 340 A.D.) the bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul are buried in the Vatican or the Ostian Way in Rome. Rome, Italy is the only place on Earth that claims the tomb of St. Peter. It is located directly beneath the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. His tomb was confirmed to be there when it was found again in 1968. (9)


The Teaching of the Church on the Primacy of the Pope

Our Lord gave the Apostles, and their successors in the Catholic Church, the ministry to preach and to make disciples of all men. "And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach." (Mk 3:13-14)

We have seen from certain citations of Holy Scripture above, that Jesus told them to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.." (Mt 28:19-20);and, "…As the Father has sent me, even so I send you…" (Jn 20:21-23). Also, we have seen how He promised to guide them by way of the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…" (Jn 16:12-15); and, "He who hears you hears me…" (Lk 10:16).

Therefore, it is clear that God is speaking through His Catholic Church on Earth. Let's consider some of what that Church has taught about the primacy of the Pope as summarized by Fr. Most:

"Even before a Council found occasion to teach the primacy of Rome, we find Christians in practice accepting that primacy. For example, there was acceptance when Pope St. Clement I, writing to Corinth around 95 A.D., intervened in a schism there, in which the lawful authorities had been ousted and supplanted by rebels. This Pope, who seems to have known Sts. Peter and Paul personally-for he says that they "belonged to our own generation" began his letter saying, "Because of the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes, we think our attention has been slow in turning to the things debated among you." Later in the same letter he adds, "If some are disobedient to the things He [Jesus] has spoken through us, they should know that they are enmeshing themselves in sin, and no small danger." No ordinary person, without authority, would want or need to explain his slowness in taking up a case in a distant place, nor would he claim Jesus had spoken through him, so that it would be wrong not to comply.

In the second half of the next century, St. Irenaeus, who as we saw before, had listened to St. Polycarp tell things he had heard from the lips of St. John the Apostle himself, wrote a striking line. In the course of explaining that the way to be sure of getting sound doctrine is to be sure that the local church from which one receives it has unbroken continuity back to the Apostles, he adds, "Since it would be very long, in a volume of this sort, to go through the succession [of Bishops] in all the churches, by showing it in the most ancient one, known to all, founded by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul at Rome, which holds the tradition and faith announced by the Apostles, coming down by the successions of Bishops even to us-in this way we confound all those who in any way, out of self-pleasing, or vain glory, hold illicit assemblies. For it is necessary that every church, that is, the faithful who are everywhere, agree with this church because of its more important principality-this church in which the tradition coming from the Apostles has always been kept by those who are from every place."

Some features of this text are not clear, and therefore are open to discussion. However, it is clear that the Church of Rome is the principal church and all other churches must agree with it because it has the doctrine of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

At the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., although the Nestorian heresy was an Eastern error, St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt, went west to Pope Celestine for a decision before he went to the Council. The Pope then sent delegates to the Council who asserted without contradiction by anyone at the Council, "There is no doubt, it has been known to all centuries, that the holy and blessed Apostle Peter, the prince and head and pillar of the faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ ... He [Peter] lives even to this time, and always in his successors gives judgment."

Twenty years later the Council of Chalcedon, which again dealt with an Eastern heresy, accepted the decision of Pope Leo that, in Christ, there is one divine Person and two natures, divine and human. When the Pope's letter had been read, the bishops exclaimed, "This is the faith of the Fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. We all believe thus ... Anathema to him who does not so believe. Peter has spoken through Leo."

In 680 A.D., the Third Council of Constantinople wrote to Pope Agatho, "And so we leave to you, the Bishop of the first See of the whole Church, what is to be done, you who stand on the firm rock of faith, and we gladly acquiesce in your letters of true doctrine ... which we acknowledge as prescribed divinely from the supreme peak of the Apostles ... Peter spoke through Agatho."

The Council of Lyons, in 1274 A.D., taught in more general terms that, "The holy Roman Church holds the supreme and full primacy over the whole Catholic Church, together with fullness of power, which it truly and humbly recognizes it received from the Lord Himself in blessed Peter, prince and summit of the Apostles, whose successor is the Roman Pontiff."

The Council of Florence, in 1439 A.D. taught, "We define that the holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff holds the primacy in the whole world, and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, prince of the Apostles and true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians, and that to him, in blessed Peter, full power of ruling and governing the universal Church was given by our Lord Jesus Christ."

Finally, Vatican Council I, in 1870, acting under the protection which Jesus Christ Himself promised to the teaching of the successors of the Apostles, taught, "We teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when functioning as the pastor and teacher of all Christians, by his supreme Apostolic authority he defines a doctrine on faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed His Church should be equipped in defining a doctrine of faith or morals, and .so, that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. If anyone-which may God forbid-dares to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema." .

.Vatican II reaffirmed this teaching, "His definitions of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are rightly called irreformable, for they are pronounced under the assistance of the Holy Spirit promised to him in blessed Peter, and so they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment.".

Speaking of his lesser pronouncements, Vatican II said, "... religious submission of will and of mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not defining; that is, in such a way that his supreme Magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will."

In regard to his authority of ruling, the same Council said, "The Roman Pontiff, by virtue of his function, that is, as Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the whole Church, has full, supreme, and universal power, which he can always exercise freely." That is, even though most major decisions have been and are taken in a collegial fashion (by a council or group with the Pope), the Pope can act entirely alone whenever he so wishes, both in teaching, defining, and in ruling." (5)

It is worthy of emphasis that it was a successor of Pope St. Peter, Pope St. Damasus I who declared the cannon of the Holy Bible i.e. which books were inspired and were to be included. In the Decree of Pope St. Damasus I at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D., right after he declared which books of the Holy Bible were canonical, he stated the following:

"…Likewise it is decreed: After the announcement of all these prophetic and evangelic as well as apostolic writings which we have listed above as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded, we have considered that it ought to be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In addition to this, there is also the companionship of the vessel of election, the most blessed Apostle Paul, who contended and was crowned with a glorious death along with Peter in the City of Rome in the time of the Caesar Nero -- not at a different time, as the heretics prattle, but at one and the same time and on one and the same day: and they equally consecrated the above mentioned holy Roman Church to Christ the Lord; and by their own presence and by their venerable triumph they set it at the forefront over the others of all the cities of the whole world.

The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it…"

To quote St. Augustine again: "Rome has spoken; the case is closed.".


The Bishops of Rome Have Always Been the Head of the Church

Since Jesus founded the Catholic Church, it has always accepted the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Church. To be sure, there have been heretics who have held otherwise, as there will be apostates who will teach otherwise in the days to come, as well. The fact remains however, that the true Church has taught, and continues to teach, that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church even if he does not reside in Rome at the time.

The following are a couple of excerpts from writings of early Church Fathers indicating that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the universal Church:

"The blessed apostles (Peter and Paul), then, having founded and built up the Church (in Rome), committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy [2 Tm 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes." (St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, III, iii, 3; inter 180-199 A.D.)

"We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome; for Blessed Peter, who live and preside in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the Bishop of the City of Rome." (St. Peter Chrisologus, Letter of Peter Chrysologus to Euytyches; 449 A.D.; Jurgens 2178)

We would add that the title given to the Holy Father today of 'Pope' is slang that has evolved over time based upon the Latin word 'papa' for 'father'.(10). His official title is: "Bishop of Rome" and "Servant of the Servants of God".

For a list of the Popes since the time of Jesus Christ beginning with Pope St. Peter, see List of Popes.


The Infallibility of the Pope

We have seen how Jesus established His Church; how Jesus gave the Church the ministry of teaching and promised to guide its teaching by way of the Holy Spirit; how Jesus granted His authority to the Pope St. Peter and his successors; and how the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. From our discussion above, we can surmise that if the Pope would be allowed to lead fallibly, then the gates of Hell would prevail against the Church of God.

The Pope is the Supreme Pontiff in all matters relating to the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church. He answers to no human; He answers to God alone. The cardinals and bishops, both individually and collectively, report to, and are subject to, the Pope. Prior to their consecration, each cardinal and each bishop must take an oath of fidelity and obedience to the Pope. Ecumenical councils can only be called by the Pope, and it is the subsequent approval of the Pope that makes the councils ecumenical. That action is the exercise of his office of supreme teacher and ruler of the Church. Its necessity results from the fact that no authority is commensurate with the whole Church except that of the Pope; he alone can bind all the faithful.

 The Pope is infallible, only when he speaks ex cathedra i.e. from the chair [of Pope St. Peter]. This does not mean that the Pope is impeccable, and without sin. It means that he is infallible when speaking and teaching on faith and morals, only, as discussed below.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (11) refers to Vatican Council II, and states the following with respect to Papal infallibility:

889 "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." (12)

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.... The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. (13) When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," (14) and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith."(15) This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself. (16)

2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed. (17)

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers the following, which we submit for further clarification:

"The Vatican Council [in 1870] has defined as "a divinely revealed dogma" that "the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra -- that is, when in the exercise of his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians he defines, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church -- is, by reason of the Divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed in defining doctrines of faith and morals; and consequently that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable. of their own nature (ex sese) and not by reason of the Church's consent"(Densinger no. 1839 -- old no. 1680). For the correct understanding of this definition it is to be noted that:


what is claimed for the pope is infallibility merely, not impeccability or inspiration.


the infallibility claimed for the pope is the same in its nature, scope, and extent as that which the Church as a whole possesses; his ex cathedra teaching does not have to be ratified by the Church's in order to be infallible.


infallibility is not attributed to every doctrinal act of the pope, but only to his ex cathedra teaching; and the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:



The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.



Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible.



Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense. These are well-recognized formulas by means of which the defining intention may be manifested.



Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. To demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck (naufragium fidei) according to the expression used by Pius IX in defining the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Theoretically, this intention might be made sufficiently clear in a papal decision which is addressed only to a particular Church; but in present day conditions, when it is so easy to communicate with the most distant parts of the earth and to secure a literally universal promulgation of papal acts, the presumption is that unless the pope formally addresses the whole Church in the recognized official way, he does not intend his doctrinal teaching to be held by all the faithful as ex cathedra and infallible.

It should be observed in conclusion that papal infallibility is a personal and incommunicable charisma, which is not shared by any pontifical tribunal. It was promised directly to Peter, and to each of Peter's successors in the primacy, but not as a prerogative the exercise of which could be delegated to others. Hence doctrinal decisions or instructions issued by the Roman congregations, even when approved by the pope in the ordinary way, have no claim to be considered infallible. To be infallible they must be issued by the pope himself in his own name according to the conditions already mentioned as requisite for ex cathedra teaching." (18)




In antiquity the changing of one's name was a significant event, representing an elevation in status and respect.


Jesus, who is both God and man, changed Simon's name to Kepha, meaning 'the Rock'. Jesus did so in the same breath that He told St. Peter that upon him He would build His Church and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. In the next breath, Jesus gave St. Peter the keys indicating binding authority on Earth over His Church, and stated that what He bound or loosed on Earth would be accepted in Heaven. Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and 'Kepha' is Aramaic for "Peter' in English.


Not only is the transfer of the keys to St. Peter and the associated transfer of His authority to St. Peter a matter of common sense, but we see elsewhere in Holy Scripture that possession of the keys represented authority, as well.


There is additional evidence of Jesus transferring His authority as Shepherd on Earth to St. Peter in St. John's Gospel, when Jesus told St. Peter 3 times in succession to tend to and feed his sheep.


Throughout the New Testament, we see that St. Peter was always considered first among the Apostles.


We have a Church established by Jesus, and its ministry given it by Jesus. It is illogical to think that Jesus would establish His Church on Earth, declare that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, and not provide for an authoritarian office to manage it on Earth in His place.


Additionally, it is illogical for Jesus to have established such an office, and not have contemplated succession. Why would Jesus give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not expect it to be passed on in succession? If the early Christians needed a leader of the Church, the Christians in subsequent years would need one even more; as many of the Christians during St. Peter's time had heard Jesus teach the Gospels and knew the Apostles personally; while later Christians would not. In later years, the Church would need a leader even more, as forces would attempt to corrupt the teachings of the Church. Further His words: "The gates of the Hell shall not prevail against it" clearly contemplate that Jesus established this succession until the end of time.


Pope St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. This is evident in Holy Scripture; this is what the Church has taught since its early days; and this is what the Church continues to teach. The grave of St. Peter lies directly beneath the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.


For 2,000 years, the Church has consistently taught of the primacy of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.


Since Jesus founded the Catholic Church, it has always accepted the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Church. Further, the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church even if he does not reside in Rome at the time.


The Pope is the Supreme Pontiff in all matters relating to the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church. He answers to no human; He answers to God alone. The cardinals and bishops, both individually and collectively, report to, and are subject to, the Pope. The Pope is infallible, only when he speaks ex cathedra i.e. from the chair [of Pope St. Peter]. This does not mean that the Pope is impeccable, and without sin. It means that he is infallible when speaking and teaching on faith and morals, only, to the whole Church. The infallible teachings of a Pope are irreformable, even by a subsequent Pope (or by an Ex-Pope in the case of Benedict XVI).  .



Prepared with the grace of God
By Ben J. Verdina, May 2005 (edited September, 2016)


An Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I, (your name), a faithless sinner-- renew and ratify today in thy hands, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day, for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen.


An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Abyss of Mercy and Source of every grace and blessing, I consecrate and unite myself to You without exception or reserve - all that I am and all that I have, both temporal and spiritual, past present and future, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your Mother.

I leave myself entirely at Your disposal with complete confidence in Your Mercy and Love and I beg You to look upon this offering of my nothingness before You and to use me for Your own glory, for the honor of Your Mother and for the salvation of souls. Help me to seek You alone in all things. Hide me in the shelter of Your Most Sacred Heart and be my only Consolation and Refuge.

Grant me the graces I need to joyfully accept Your Cross daily, to lead a holy life and to die a holy death in Your service. Help me to trust completely in Your Mercy and Love and never to fear to humbly throw myself before the infinite Ocean of mercy which is Your Most Sacred Heart, especially at those times when I may fail in my faithfulness in Your service. Through this weak and miserable instrument, may Your Mercy, Love, glory and power shine forth. Above all, set my poor heart on fire with the Flame of Love which burns in Your Most Sacred Heart, and teach me how to return love for Love. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me - for I place all my trust in You.


How To Save Your Children

During one of the cenacles which Fr. Gobbi held in the United States, he was urged by many concerned people to ask Our Lady specifically what could be done to save the youth from the seductions of the world which were leading many of them astray and causing them to leave the Church. Our Lady gave Fr. Gobbi this definite and final solution to console the parents who are so concerned about the salvation of their children:


Pray the Rosary !


Every time you pray the Rosary say: "With this Rosary I bind all my children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.".


In doing so, Our Lady promised "to see to their souls.".





During 2004, the movie actor and director, Mel Gibson, published his motion picture depicting the Passion of Jesus. It is entitled: The Passion of the Christ, and was filmed in Aramaic. You will recall that therein, Jesus changed Simon's name to Kepha, and that henceforth others called him Kepha as well.



See: Gn 49:24; Dt 32:4; Dt 32:15; Dt 32:18; Dt 32:30-31; 2 Sm 22:2-3; 2 Sm 22:32; 2 Sm 22:47; 2 Sm 23:3; Ps 18:2; Ps 18:31; Ps 71:3; Ps 78:35; Ps 89:26; Ps 92:15; Ps 94:22; Ps 95:1; Psa 144:1; Ps 144:2; Is 26:4; Is 30:29; Hb 1:12



Also see the Catechism of the Catholic Church ('CCC') 877; Vatican II Ad Gentes 5



R. Brown, John, Anchor Bible, Doubleday, Garden City, 1970, 26 A p. 1113.



Fr. William G. Most, Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers to Modern Critics: "Chapter 16: You are Peter"

Complete Biography of Fr. William G. Most :

Fr. Most held doctorates in both classical languages and theology. For over 40 years, beginning in the 1940's, he taught undergraduates at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Then at the end of the 1980's, while in his own mid-70's, Fr. Most moved to northern Virginia to take a position on the faculty of the Notre Dame Institute, a Pontifical institute offering a Masters Degree in religious studies.

He was the author of twelve scholarly and popular books and a host of articles covering such topics as grace, Scriptural interpretation, the role of Mary in the redemption, and many other topics, Fr. Most was internationally recognized as one of the premier faithful Catholic theologians of our time. His theological breakthroughs on difficult questions regarding grace, free will and the prerogatives of Mary are already legendary.

Fr. Most died in January of 1999 at the age of 84. He had spent well over sixty of those years in direct, active and faithful service to the Church for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

The MOST Theological Library



World Christian Encyclopedia, April 2001, a Protestant publication. You may purchase this publication at www.amazon.com.



The Protestants continue to interpret Scripture 'personally' without the promise of the guidance of the Holy Spirit which was made to the Catholic Church, in spite of: 2 Pt 1:20; Acts 8:30-31; Heb 5:12; 1 Cor 11:18-19; Jude 21:25; Mt 22:16, resulting in newly created ecclesial communities daily, each claiming to be guided by the same Holy Spirit.



See: The Catholic Encyclopedia: Apostolic Succession



For additional information, see: The Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles



Is it acceptable to refer to a priest as 'father'? See Jude 17:9-11; Jude 18:19; 1 Cor 4:15. Also, see Lk 10:16 and the teachings of the Catholic Church on the matter.



The Catechism of the Catholic Church



Lumen Gentium 12; cf. Dei Verbum 10.



Lumen Gentium 25; cf. Vatican Council I: Denzinger-Schonmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum S 3074.



Dei Verbum 10 § 2.



Lumen Gentium 25 § 2.



Cf. Lumen Gentium 25.



Cf. Lumen Gentium 25; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declaration, Mysterium Ecclesiae 3.



The Catholic Encyclopedia: Infallibility


Recommended Reading

For additional information on this and related topics, we recommend you read the following:


Ecclesial Masonry: The Beast Like a Lamb


The Great Apostasy


Tribulation Update


The Original Prayer to St. Michael


The Whore of Babylon


Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers to Modern Critics: "Chapter 16: You are Peter"


St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles


The Catechism of the Catholic Church


The Catholic Treasure Chest


Catholic Doctrinal Concordance



For Additional Information On This and Related Topics Go To:




To subscribe to era-of-peace send an email to:




This writing is available on the Internet at


Also, read the following writings posted at the above mentioned web site:


Iniquity With Divine Retribution at the Dawn of the Era of Peace – A Summary Guide to the Tribulation


After The Warning


Tribulation Update


Thank You For Having Responded To My Call


Sky Signs


Ben's Calling


The Statues of Our Lady Are Crying For Our Help


Prayers of Consecration & Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Heaven and Earth Are Uniting – Fr. Gobbi


Ave Maria: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate


Supreme Authority of the Pope Until Death or Abdication


The Myth of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture


To Protect the Faith


Both Faith and Good Works Required


The Catechism and the "Term" Coredemptrix


Ecclesiastical Masonry: The Beast Like a Lamb


Tribulation Protection: The Blood of the Lamb


Scripture Alone? Is Half of the Story Sufficient?


Has Matthew 24:14 Been Realized? 'Definitely Yes'


To the Refuges on Wings of Eagles


Must the Reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem Precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?


The Abomination of Desolation


The Era of Peace


The Original Prayer to St. Michael


Mary, Queen and Queen Mother


How to Identify the Antichrist


The Whore of Babylon


The Mark of the Beast


Upon This Rock


 "Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, "On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, " or "whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven," that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed on to you, that is, to every Church akin to Peter? What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when he conferred this personally upon Peter? On you, He says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed."

 (Tertullian, On Modesty; Ch 21; ca 220 A.D.)


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