Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peter wouldn't let this happen

It's bad enough the University of Notre Dame invited President Obama to give it's commencement address, but further insulting committed Roman Catholics is the decision to grant Obama an honorary law degree.

So, right next to Obama's framed letters of thanks from Planned Parenthood will hang a degree from the premier Catholic university in the United States. Truly a shame and possibly a curse for that institution.

I think it's fine to invite President Obama to visit Notre Dame, possibly even address students in an academic setting lecturing on some particular area of expertise in the context of an appropriate class or study. One of Obama's "townhall meetings" on the Notre Dame campus could certainly be a valuable part of University life where an exchange of ideas and honest debate would occur. Obama visiting and participating in some part of the Notre Dame academic process shouldn't be objectionable.

What is objectionable is inviting a radically pro-abortion politician to come and address the graduating seniors of an institution sponsored by a church that makes such a clear stand against the abortion holocaust. More objectionable still is granting an honorary law degree from Notre Dame to a man who thinks Roe v. Wade is a good and just law. Commencement addresses are not part of the academic process. They are a final statement on behalf of the institution granting a degree to the graduating seniors who will go forth and at some level represent that institution.

I was holding out hope that a higher authority in the Catholic church would stop this mockery, but alas, it seems no such action will come from Christ's "vicar". I am sure the Apostle Peter would not let this happen.



Rick Calohan said...

That is if you recognize Peter as being the first pope which you and I know he was not.

Scripture one: Christ taught that all the apostles were equal. Matthew 23:10: 'Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ; and ye are all brethren.' Matthew 23:11: 'But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.' In Mark 10:42, when the disciples strove among each other for supremacy, Jesus said: 'Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and their great ones exercise authority upon them.' Mark 10:43: 'But so shall it not be among you; but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister.' Mark 10:44: 'And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all.' Mark 10:45: 'For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.' From these passages it is evident that Christ conferred no superiority upon Peter, for if He had the strife could not have arisen, and Christ would have referred to His grant of supremacy to Peter.
Scripture two: Peter himself nowhere alludes to such supremacy. He says rather: 'The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.' (I Peter 5:1) He here calls himself an elder and witness, but nowhere the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.
Scripture three: Peter was sent by the other apostles to Samaria: 'Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.' (Acts 8:14) Just think of 'His Holiness' the Pope being sent by the Cardinals to preach the Gospel! It is well known that for many years Popes have not preached at all.
Scripture four: A council of the apostles and brethren was held at Jerusalem, Peter was present, and yet the sentence of James was followed (Acts 15:6-29).
Scripture five: The apostle Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 11:5 that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles, which is inconsistent with the notion of Peter's supremacy.
Scripture six: Peter, James and John are called pillars. 'James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars.' (Galatians 2:9)Because Peter was a pillar he was not the foundation.
Scripture seven: 'Paul withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed.' (Galatians 2:11) It is hardly the attitude to an 'Infallible Pope.'
Scripture eight: When Paul enumerates the various officers of the church he does not say: 'First the chief apostle' or 'the vicar of Christ, Jesus Christ upon earth' or 'the father of kings and princes,' but 'apostles' (Ephesians 4:11).


Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter . XXV. - Of the Church
6. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.

Reepicheep said...

My point isn't concerning the doctrine of the Papacy but rather my disappointment with the Pope to not rule as Peter would rule in such a situation.

Rick Calohan said...

I understood what you meant Tony just had to get in my weekly anti-Pope message. As long as Notre Dame accepts federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Pro-Death leaders such as Obama will continue to speak and be honored at such graduations. Follow the money Tony all roads lead to Washington or is that Rome? ; ) Besides the Pope is too busy showing his respect for the Mohamadans and promoting a Palestinian Statehood while minimizing the Holocaust in Israel, he has no time to bother with such trivial matters as a Roman Catholic University running amuck.

Frontier Forest said...

It’s beyond my comprehension, why on earth or how in heaven’s name can the powers from the Priests, all the way to the Pope, turn their backs on such blatant political plays of absurd hypocrisy? But on the other hand, it may be an unfair observation on my part, because I don’t understand Catholic deep rooted traditions, but most of “church-going” Catholics I know, believe, openly dialog, and are convinced to defend whatever the Pope says as absolute law that must be obeyed! That is until it is politically unwise or personally uncomfortable or it may cause a stir. But on the other hand, when it becomes personally profitable, or an opportunity to advance or look good in front of others, it’s okay. After all, such rationalizing could mean a large donation to the church, even maybe making you an honorable mention in the BIG CHURCH, or more people attending because of your actions, deeds, or policies. Justification to such self-ism sins becomes tolerable, even as in Notre Dame’s case, socially acceptable. Just think of all the Catholics that say they attend the “Church” take communion and want to be recognized, because it looks good for whatever reason. Political expediency? An abomination!
Chapter III, in AW Tozer’s power book, “The Pursuit of God”, is entitled, “Removing the Veil!” Tozer rips apart such atrocious deeds done in the flesh! Not quoting by only summarizing my thoughts on this chapter from this morning devo’s; We are separated from God's presence by our horrible sins. But because Christ has removed the Veil, tearing it from top to bottom, everything that needed to be done, in order to enter into His Holy presence, has been made complete. Yet so few of believers actually take hold of this blessed opportunity because the ugliness of continual volitional sins covers our hearts with our own man-made veil. Every part of our fleshly nature must, by the power of the cross, ripped away, laid bare, exposed before our God. Only then can we experience true joy by entering His glorious presence. In other words, we should not care what others may think or say. We are accountable to God and live according to His Word.

Zach said...

You're talking about the Peter of Quo Vadis? who thrice denied the Lord, right? Just checking.

I'm disappointed, too, but no pope is impeccable in the execution of his office. Not Peter, not Benedict.

Plus, none of us knows what may be going on behind the scenes prior and subsequent to the event (if it indeed happens as planned).

Reepicheep said...

Zach, no, not the legendary version of Pete made up in "Quo Vadis", nor even the one who thrice denied our Lord.

I'm talking about the Peter who got in the Jews face in Acts 2 and wasn't afraid to say "You killed Jesus". The Apostle Peter.

I'm beyond disappointed, this isn't a difficult call for the Pope to make. It's a public scandal so it should be handled publicly.

Zach said...

Tony, I'm pretty sure that Peter's apostolic life did not consist of one uninterrupted blaze of glory for the Lord. Galatians 2 details one act of cowardice--there were no doubt other failures, as well (this is a strange turn of events, no? for the Papist to be trying to convince the Calvinist of Peter's faults).

My point is that, yes, I would like to see the Pope open up a can of whoop on Notre Dame, but, as you know, that's not generally how the Pope operates. Over 60 US bishops have publicly denounced Fr. Jenkins in the strongest terms, and he will likely lose his post as president in the near future.

You are also aware that there are logistical matters concerning the legal organization of UND that hamstring the hierarchy's ability to intervene directly.

Just because you and I don't see the logic behind the way Pope Benedict is operating doesn't mean that it won't turn out well. Let's remember, it hasn't happened yet. Whether it does or not, we could look back on this coming weekend as the beginning of the end for abortion in America.

Reepicheep said...

Fair enough Zach. I'm still doing a double take on your dissin' Peter...good point on Paul's need to confront Peter in Galatians 2...providentially that's where I am in the text myself.

OK. Let's see how this plays out.

Frontier Forest said...

Thanks Zach! I always welcome your spiritual banter!

Zach said...

Ha! I don't know if I'd characterize my comments as "dissing" Peter. :¬)

He's clearly one of the greatest heroes of the faith, but he obviously possessed his fair share of weaknesses through which Christ's power was made perfect--as has every one of his successors.

Just as Paul was justified in confronting Peter, so was Catherine of Siena justified in confronting Gregory XI. Luther, too, raised some valid objections in confronting Leo X. Of course, I think he erred in leaving the Church and would have better served the body of Christ had he followed the course of the great in-house reformer Charles Borromeo, but that's another conversation. :¬)

Reepicheep said...

Obviously I don't think Peter had a successor. Further, you'd be hard pressed to argue some of his supposed successors were even Christians. But that's another discussion :)

The Church left Luther, not the other way around...but alas, you are right, that's another discussion :)

Zach said...

No successors? At all?

Reepicheep said...

Zach, I can tell you're feeling feisty, you well know the Reformed view of Apostolic Succession and the whole notion of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.

But, for the sake of clarification to those who may be reading-

The gift of Apostleship was limited to 13 men in history (the original 11 plus Matthias, then Paul). Very simply, each of these men received their commission from the resurrected Christ. The ministry of elders is indeed "apostolic" but there are no more actual Apostles.

As it relates to Peter, he helped (along with the other Apostles) oversee the planting of churches and the appointing of elders in each of them. There is indeed a "succession" of the apostolic message through the continual ordaining of elders in the church, but the authority of the Apostles is carried forth through Scripture (and the ministry of the Holy Spirit illuminating and applying the Scriptures). To maintain the apostolic ministry, ordained elders must teach and preach the Scriptures. So, in one sense Peter has myriads of successors so long as ordained elders are faithful to the Scripture. In another sense, there are no longer Apostles, so Peter doesn't have a personal successor- never has.

As for the primacy of the bishop of Rome...that's a very interesting study. I've spent several months on studying it for my doctoral studies. I'm thoroughly convinced the whole move to make the Bishop of Rome the prime Bishop in the Roman Church is far more about ecclesiastical politics and particular events that weakened the Eastern Churches ability to compete for the spot than some kind of exegetical gymnastics with Matthew 16. Further, I can no longer be convinced that any Bishop of Rome before Damasus (366) thought much of the primacy of his seat.

But heck, this is the stuff of a much longer post.

Zach said...

Feisty, moi? :)

Your doctoral thesis sounds interesting. Leaving aside the question of whether the Bishops of Rome had any special authority in the earliest years of the church, certainly you recognize that your notion of invisible spiritual succession of the apostolic message was neither the notion nor practice of the early church.

Perhaps that's the way it should have been, or maybe that's the best option remaining given the supposed errors of Rome, but that's not the way it was.

Reepicheep said...

My thesis isn't on the papacy, it's just part of the reading/research.

I'm not sure what "invisible spiritual succession of the apostolic message " is. I don't think that's what I mean.