Pope Francis I

The Roman Catholic Church has chosen its first non-European pope ever, and they went to the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. In taking a name no other pope has ever chosen, it seems likely that this pope will have some new directions for the Roman Catholic Church in mind. Both of the famous Francisi of history were reformers. St. Francis of Assisi introduced social reform to the church, whereas Francis Xavier was the founder of the Jesuit movement. Possibly, then, a combination of social reform and theological reform is coming?

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54 Comments

  1. TurretinFan said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    There were a few North African bishops of Rome, if I recall correctly. Victor I, Miltiades, and Gelasius. Obviously, that was well before there was Roman Catholicism, but they typically claim them.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    You’re right. The first non-European pope in a VERY long time, then. :-)

  3. greenbaggins said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Of course, I would not grant that Gelasius was a pope.

  4. March 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    He’s an interesting choice. His parents were born in Italy. He’s actually not the first Pope from a non-European country either. The last non-European was I think Gregory II (731-741) from Syria.
    Hopefully the new pope will give attention to the scandals but I doubt theological reform. Have you any info on his attitude to evangelicals in Latin America. In Argentina they are a small percentage. Nominally RCs there are over 90% but only 20% are reported as practicing.

  5. March 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Oops, I should have said Gregory III

  6. Dennis said,

    March 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve just read a few of his homilies (through Google Translate). While not as theologically deep as Benedict’s, they were very Christ centered…a bit simpler with a devotion to Mary. (hey…what do you expect from a Catholic Pope!)

    Seems to be a man of humility with not a lot of words.

    Habemus Papam Franciscum!

  7. michael said,

    March 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Wouldn’t it be wonderfull if over a short bit of time it came out that he was a closet TurretinFRANCISfan? :)!

  8. March 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Please. Everyone knows the new pope named himself for Frank Sinatra!

  9. March 14, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I don’t have any hope that any new pope will do anything of spiritual benefit, but it would be nice if we could at least get the cultural and societal benefit of a church that no longer harbors pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda politicians in their communion. Or perhaps one that can impress on the laity to stop voting for assorted anti-Christian leftists such as our current President.

    Unfortunately modern popes have seemed to be rather milquetoast caretaker popes, not the sorts who are going to clean house, so I’m not getting my hopes up. I mean, what is the point of having a pope, with all of the ostensible authority and prerogatives thereof in the context of a top-down hierarchy, if he’s not going to just get things done? Even secular dictators don’t seem to have any problem affecting meaningful change (for good or ill) in the domains they rule.

  10. Rooney said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:13 am

    “Wouldn’t it be wonderfull if over a short bit of time it came out that he was a closet TurretinFRANCISfan? :)!”

    And then he could use his infallibility to help the reformed apologists, before finally infallibly declaring papal infallibility to be false.

  11. michael said,

    March 14, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Rooney,

    If Francis the First did that wouldn’t that be deemed a fallacious fallible papal bull?

  12. Rooney said,

    March 14, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Oops, you are right.

  13. CD-Host said,

    March 14, 2013 at 7:48 am

    @David #9

    The Catholic Bishops have been becoming more universally conservative and strident. The Catholic Priests are shifting right, fast. The Catholic laity remains on the left. What had been a dispute about birth control 2 generations ago is becoming an overall rejection. The rate at which Catholics are willing to marry in the church or baptize their children in the church is falling off a cliff. Among intermarried Catholics that go to any church 2/3rds become Protestant.

    And let’s get political: Sister Carol Keenan felt comfortable negotiating directly with Pres Obama, VP Biden and Sec Sebelius undercutting Archbishop (now Cardinal) Dolan’s stance. This all happened in pubic. For this and other reasons Pope threatened the Sisters demanded the Bishops reassumed control, and the Sisters told him to go pound sand. Catholic public opinion supported the sisters.

    The speaker of the House, at the most prominent Catholic in public office, felt comfortable asserting the magisterium was misrepresenting the church fathers on an issue of vital faith and morals.

    On the healthcare debate the membership once VP Biden was onboard sided with Biden over Dolan.

    If they do try to kick the heretics out, are you so sure the membership doesn’t follow them out the door?

  14. Nathanael said,

    March 14, 2013 at 9:38 am

    The new Pope is, however, the first Pope from the Americas.

  15. Steven Carr said,

    March 14, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Just to point out what nobody else is pointing out. Jorge was born in Argentina, but he is as European as the last pope. He was born to Italian immigrants. Not non-European.

  16. Cris Dickason said,

    March 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I was surprised to learn this is the first Jesuit pope. I guess all these years the attitude was, the SJ is great, we need them [shock troops of the counter-reformation, after all], but, to put one in charge of everything?! Not until now!

  17. Mark B. said,

    March 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Yes, I heard it stated on the news that this is the first Pope that hasn’t been from Europe in a thousand years, but that’s anacronistic. The former Roman Empire would have been what most folk thought of back then, not Europe as modernly defined, so Lane’s sentiment, while unclear, is basically correct. And I agree that this is significant, even though Steven is right.

  18. peacebyjesus said,

    March 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Some RCs are protesting (for what it is worth, which is not much):

    Francis, like his homeland of Argentina, is a total disaster. He has overseen the near-total destruction of the Church in Argentina. He hates and despises the Tridentine Mass, which is to say that he hates the Mass – let’s not mince words, and is a rabid persecutor of anyone in Argentina who shows ANY signs of tradition. A priest in Argentina literally risks the end of his career if he wears a cassock in public. He has forbidden the Tridentine Mass in Argentina, which is an act of direct disobedience, specifically against the papal decree Summorum Pontificum, but embraces horrific “charismatic” and “Superfun Rockband”-type liturgical sacrilege. (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2997344/posts)

  19. Dennis said,

    March 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    pbj,

    Can’t believe everything coming out right now…

    Here’s an article (in Spanish) dated 2007 that says he was celebrating Tridentine Masses 48 hours after the Motu Proprio was signed AND he set up a chapel in Buenos Aires specifically for Tridentine masses.

    http://edant.clarin.com/diario/2007/09/17/sociedad/s-03001.htm

    There are some fringe Catholics (as there always are) who don’t like the Pope…personally, I would rather interact with virulently anti-Catholic Protestants than some of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

  20. CATÓLICO SEMPRE said,

    March 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I have already seen pictures of this “Holy Father” in charismaniac and Jewish service meetings. I also saw at least 1 video of him in a very modern mass. I also saw a news report about how he thinks Anglicans are a valuable part of the Church Universal.

    I am extremely traditional in my taste and I will say unapologetically that the *vast vast vast vast* majority of the Holy Roman Church from AD33 to today would utterly condemn this “Holy Father” as a false Pope. I think that heretics and schismatics of the 10th and 15th century would even condemn him as a pretender to the chair of Peter.

    I think that if you want to be *historically conservative*, you can take no other viewpoint. These ecumaniac “Popes” are really weakening the historic Roman Faith and the friendlier these “Popes” are, the stronger apologetically the heretics and schismatics would become.

    Thank the Lord that some post-Vatican II apologists are leaving the apostate “Church” of today.

  21. CD-Host said,

    March 16, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I have already seen pictures of this “Holy Father” in charismaniac and Jewish service meetings.

    Well yes. Argentina, and for that matter all of Latin America has an exploded Pentecostal / Charismatic movement several hundred million large. In most Latin American countries what this is taking the form of is people baptizing, marrying and sometimes taking mass in Catholic churches while mostly attending Pentecostal churches often getting themselves rebaptized.

    In as little as a generation Latin America could be facing a situation where:

    a) The Catholic church’s claim to exclusivity is majority rejected with a majority considering themselves part Catholic part Protestant

    b) The doctrine of multiple baptism: paedobaptism + credobaptism is majority accepted

    Or in other places they might just continue to lose greater and greater numbers.

    On GreenBaggins there is a lot of discussion about the few dozen conservative Presbyterians with deep knowledge who leave for Catholicism each year. There is a lot of discussion about the many hundreds of x-catholics who become conservative Presbyterians each year, often through marriage.

    But that movement is now approaching ten million per year. Heck yeah it is something worth having a Pope who is knowledgeable about to try and address in a continent wide way.

    I’m not Catholic, but if I were a conservative Catholic who was concerned about avoiding a repeat of the Reformation when whole countries were lost to Protestantism, for centuries if not forever, I’d be thrilled to see a Pope who was deeply knowledgeable about Latin American Charismatics.

    As for Jews. Who cares? What do you think he’s going to do come out next week saying, “Well we at the Vatican changed our mind. Turns out Pharisees were right about how to read scripture and Jesus’ arguments were pretty stupid. So starting tomorrow we are going back to a Friday night to Saturday sabbath, where we’ll have classes in the proper sabbath prayers for women. All women should attend except for the ones who stopped menstruation in the last few days because we are switching over to monthly baptism for women during their fertile years. We’ll be teaching men how to apply tefillin.” What’s the point in not getting along as well as possible with Jews? What are you even worried about on this one?

    I think that heretics and schismatics of the 10th and 15th century would even condemn him as a pretender to the chair of Peter.

    Of course they would.

    a) He believes the church should own property, and rejects the poverty of Christ
    b) He’s in favor (not just mildly disapproving) of sex within marriage
    c) He’s strongly opposed to integrating folk magic into Catholicism
    d) He’s opposed to national governments appointing Bishops

    Those 4 hit a huge majority of them right off the bat.

    ____

    Let me just close by asking a question. Do you really think a Pope whose international claim to fame is based on opposing liberal movements in the Latin American church theologically and politically opposing liberal parties on issues like abortion and gay rights is unacceptable to the vast majority of Catholics because he is too far to the left? Might you consider that perhaps you are just a smidgen out of touch with where the Catholic community is?

  22. cathapol said,

    March 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Catolico Sempre said:

    I am extremely traditional in my taste and I will say unapologetically that the *vast vast vast vast* majority of the Holy Roman Church from AD33 to today would utterly condemn this “Holy Father” as a false Pope. I think that heretics and schismatics of the 10th and 15th century would even condemn him as a pretender to the chair of Peter.

    CS, “the chair” is no longer empty. Pope Francis, love him or hate him, was duly elected by the College of Cardinals and IS the new Bishop of Rome and successor to St. Peter. I too am very traditionally minded and have seen some of the reports you mention – but I pray the Holy Ghost is with Pope Francis and that his actions will increase the recent growth in Traditionalism and not hinder it. The bottom line is, there is no “pretending” here – Pope Francis IS the pope. Pray for him.

    Scott<<<

  23. cathapol said,

    March 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    TurretinFan said:

    Obviously, that was well before there was Roman Catholicism

    TF, when, exactly, do you believe Roman Catholicism began? My answer is Pentecost, 33ad.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

  24. CD-Host said,

    March 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

    @cathapol —

    TF, when, exactly, do you believe Roman Catholicism began? My answer is Pentecost, 33ad.

    That was directed at TurretinFan and I’m sure he’ll answer but I’m also one who rejects 33CE. That is not an accepted date here, for most it is the role of bishops and a higher level of hierarchy beyond that.

    That’s not unusual for Protestants. When I was a kid I was raised with 313 CE, the Edict of Milan, being the birth of Catholicism. That was when the church faced Matt 4 and answered the opposite of Jesus “yes we will trade the gospel for money and power”.

    A historically serious answers depends on what do you mean by Catholicism. How do you differentiate Catholicism from other forms of Christianity in the ancient world? Looking at the multiplicity of Christianities running around in the 2nd, 3rd century which ones are close enough to Catholic for you to call them Catholic. I think you could make up reasonable criteria: belief in the church as a separate institution, belief in Jesus as the primary focus of worship, believe in priest -> bishop institutional authority, belief in sacramental theology as administered by the church, belief in Peter as a successor to Jesus…. and off that something like 160 CE seems reasonable. Say that 80% of the above is OK, and you could find some examples around 120-140 CE range.

    But note that you are having to create this criteria. Pick different criteria and you get very different dates. And I would say there is no hint and lots of counter evidence for any church meeting these sorts of criteria existing as early as 33CE.

  25. March 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    It looks like some pro-choice American politicians will be among the delegates to the new pope’s inaugural mass. Count this as yet another reason to avoid the Roman Church:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/biden-pope-francis-installation-communion_n_2903342.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

  26. cathapol said,

    March 18, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Hi CD-Host,
    Thank you for your response. I was raised a Lutheran myself, and for 29 years I too rejected that the Catholic Church was THE Church built by Jesus Christ. Going on 25 years as a Catholic now, I cannot see any other church which can even come close to fitting the bill. Some would ask me to consider Eastern Orthodoxy, and I do – I consider them to have been part of that One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church until 1054 AD – and there’s still a thread of connection between our churches, but that’s a whole ‘nuther discussion.

    The reason I stick with 33 AD is that Jesus clearly promised He would build His Church, and I don’t believe He waited 1500+ years to start building it. I believe He selected our first bishops, the Apostles (their office is referred to as a “bishoprick” in Scripture too). By the year 313 AD there is already a list of 31 successors to St. Peter’s office! By the year 160 AD there are 10 successor to St. Peter’s office – so I’m not quite sure how one comes up with that as a starting point for “belief in Peter as a successor to Jesus.”

  27. cathapol said,

    March 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    CD-Host also said:

    When I was a kid I was raised with 313 CE, the Edict of Milan, being the birth of Catholicism. That was when the church faced Matt 4 and answered the opposite of Jesus “yes we will trade the gospel for money and power”.

    Hmmm, from what I know of the so-called “Edict of Milan” is that it was essentially a two-man summit between Constantine (Emperor of the Western Roman Empire) and Lucinius (Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire) wherein the two leaders decreed that ALL religions were to be tolerated in the Roman Empire. The decree mentions Christianity several times as being free to exist and marked the official end to the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. The two emperors also decreed that all property which was formerly owned by Christians and/or the Christian Church be returned (and compensation for such returns could be applied for by going to the local Roman governor). Anyway, I fail to see the “yes we will trade the gospel for money and power” agreement in the document. Pope St. Miltiades was not even present at the summit in Milan.

    God bless,
    Scott<<<

  28. CATÓLICO SEMPRE said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:51 am

    cathapol said:
    CS, “the chair” is no longer empty. Pope Francis, love him or hate him, was duly elected by the College of Cardinals and IS the new Bishop of Rome and successor to St. Peter. ….. The bottom line is, there is no “pretending” here – Pope Francis IS the pope. Pray for him.

    Why should I believe that? What makes this generation of Cardinals any better than the one that brought in the super-ecumenical Popes or the porno-Popes?
    Why should I believe that this Pope (or any of the last few Popes) is not a pretender? Do you infallibly know that there is no “pretending”?

    BTW, answer me this [Yes or No]:
    What is your view on the afterlife destination of heretics like Anglicans? Are they going to be saved? Are they part of the Church Universal? If you were Pope, would you seriously even sign documents/joint-declarations with heretics?

  29. Don said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:29 am

    #28 CATÓLICO SEMPRE said,

    Why should I believe that this Pope (or any of the last few Popes) is not a pretender? Do you infallibly know that there is no “pretending”?

    Can anyone tell if this guy is a reactionary Catholic or a Protestant troll trying to stir up trouble? In the present context, there’s basically no difference I guess. Except that a Protestant would leave “last few” out of the excepted quote…

  30. Rooney said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:27 am

    CATÓLICO SEMPRE is a Sedevacantist for sure.

    A Protestant would not care if RCs think that Anglicans are part of the Church Universal. Neither would a Protestant be so hostile to the “last few” Popes because those last few Popes have been so nice to Protestants. I personally hope that Pope Francis would be as nice as Benedict XVI. I hope that all future Popes would permanently remove the “heretic” tag off Protestants.

    If you want to see full blown Sedevacantism in action, go to mostholyfamilymonastery.com or saintbirgitta.com.
    Two websites with very similar Sedevacantist material filled with Hell fire messages for the whole world. Not only do they condemn virtually the rest of the world to Hell, they even condemn eachother to Hell, as well as Sungenis and Matatics.

    I think that Sedevacantists really need a Pope right now.

  31. CD-Host said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:58 am

    @catapol #26

    By the year 313 AD there is already a list of 31 successors to St. Peter’s office! By the year 160 AD there are 10 successor to St. Peter’s office – so I’m not quite sure how one comes up with that as a starting point for “belief in Peter as a successor to Jesus.”

    There is a difference between things having happened at a time and writing them back into history with foreknowledge. For example Landmarkism was a Baptist theology where they wrote themselves into the entire history of Christianity. They asserted that Baptists had not evolved out of English Separatists and Familialists but had existed through all of Christian history. So the Montanists and the Paterines are not just 2nd century groups that share a few ideas with modern day Baptists rather they were in fact Baptist, in the modern sense in their theology. Then the Novatianists the Donatists continue the line.

    Your list of Popes is very similar. Those lists start appearing in the late 2nd century. Were there actually a coordinated institution all through the previous 130 years you would expect to see evidence of the institution coordinating itself which you don’t see until later, in any meaningful sense until the 3rd century. If I were to talk to a Christian in 70 CE would he have any idea that Linus was his Pope the way that when I talk to a Catholic in 2013 they recognize that Francis is their Pope? My assertion is the unambiguous evidence is they wouldn’t have a clue who Linus was, assuming Linus wasn’t just a 2nd century fabrication based on 2 Timothy 4:21.

    _______

    In terms of the Edict of Milan, as I mentioned I don’t hold to that being the crucial turning point. But it represents Christianity being brought into the state system fully. Very quickly Christianity becomes the official religion of a city, state, or empire. This allows for the creation and progressive development of a Christian culture or civilization. Christianity supports the state and the state supports the church as we develop of the corpus Christianum, where there was no freedom of religion and where political power was regarded as divinely authenticated.

    So soon their is an assumption that all citizens (except for the Jews_ were Christian by birth. Infant baptism is adopted as a symbol of obligatory incorporation into this Christian society. Most importantly the state makes use of imposition of obligatory tithes to fund this system which also lead to the increased wealth of the church. The increased wealth makes possible the construction of massive and ornate church buildings and the formation of huge congregations. And that creates a bureaucracy, the hierarchical ecclesiastical system, based on a diocesan and parish arrangement, which was analogous to the state hierarchy and was buttressed by state support. That groups creates a thick distinction between clergy and laity, and the relegation of the laity to a largely passive role

    Catholicism itself ceases to have anything to do with beliefs freely chosen. The defense of Christianity by legal sanctions to restrain heresy, immorality, and schism Sunday as an official day of rest and obligatory church attendance, with penalties for noncompliance. The definition of “orthodoxy” as the common belief shared by all, which was determined by powerful church leaders supported by the state. The imposition of a supposedly Christian morality on the entire society (although normally Old Testament moral standards were applied). The division of the globe into “Christendom” or “heathendom” and the waging of war in the name of Christ and the church
    The use of political and military force to impose the Christian faith

    Where exactly you want to put the turning point depends. But from a Protestant perspective, Milan, is a very good place to argue about where the Catholic church ceased being the kind of church Protestants approved of, and became a branch of the Roman Empire.

  32. Rooney said,

    March 19, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I think that the Vatican does not currently have an official list of real/false Popes yet. I am not too sure though. Can anyone shed some light on this?

  33. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

    CS said:

    Why should I believe that this Pope (or any of the last few Popes) is not a pretender?

    For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear… no explanation is necessary. For one who wants to believe in conspiracy theories, no explanation will do.

    Do you infallibly know that there is no pretending”?

    I have sufficient knowledge.

    BTW, answer me this [Yes or No]:
    What is your view on the afterlife destination of heretics like Anglicans?

    That’s not a yes or no question! My view, however, is that God is their Judge, not me – and certainly not you. Let God do His job, you do yours, and I’m certain your’s is not to tear down, but build up – as is mine.

    Are they going to be saved?

    That is not for me (or you) to say.

    Are they part of the Church Universal?

    They are validly baptized. One does not leave the Church Universal through excommunication (that which an heretic would receive) they would not be allowed to receive Catholic sacraments until they go to Confession. Beyond that, I am not going to be entrapped into being artificially made part of a tribunal – nor should you.

    If you were Pope, would you seriously even sign documents/joint-declarations with heretics?

    I’m not pope, and neither are you. Frankly though, if such a “joint declaration” pointed out similarities in beliefs AND still recognized differences which officially separate us, would such a signature be a sign of falsehood or truth? If I were pope, I would not fear signing my name to truth. I suspect you’re talking about the joint declaration with the Lutherans, and that document still recognizes we are not united. I was a Lutheran, it would not be acceptable for me to return to that “church” – nor partake in their “sacraments,” yet I could point out where they are in agreement with Catholicism.

    May God grant you peace,
    Scott<<<

  34. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 9:33 am

    The reason I stick with 33 AD is that Jesus clearly promised He would build His Church, and I don’t believe He waited 1500+ years to start building it. I believe He selected our first bishops, the Apostles (their office is referred to as a “bishoprick” in Scripture too). By the year 313 AD there is already a list of 31 successors to St. Peter’s office..

    Concerning which see http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/historical-literature-on-the-earliest-papacy/

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2011/06/nonexistent-early-papacy.html

    The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the authority of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably “no”

    .. if we ask in addition whether the primitive church was aware, after Peter’s death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Church’s rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer. (page 1-2)

    “If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no.” – Klaus Schatz [Jesuit Father theologian, professor of church history at the St. George’s Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt] on Priesthood, Canon, and the Development of Doctrine in his work, “Papal Primacy,” p. 3.

    However, is your argument that being the instruments and stewards of Divine revelation, and inheritors of Divine promises or God’s presence and preservation, and having historical descent, requires or infers perpetual infallibility. That seems to be the RC argument.

  35. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    One does not leave the Church Universal through excommunication (that which an heretic would receive) they would not be allowed to receive Catholic sacraments until they go to Confession .

    What this means is that men even as Ted Kennedy can be counted and treated as members in life and in death, but if they convert and turn from being liberal RCs to conservative Christians, then that is when real concern is shown for their soul, more so than if they became a liberal Anglican. Because it is conservative classic evangelical types that are a threat to Rome having supremacy.

  36. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    PBJ,
    I don’t really worry about on group over another. My goal is simply to provide answers for that which is in my heart. Jesus has supremacy.

  37. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    CD-Host said:

    If I were to talk to a Christian in 70 CE would he have any idea that Linus was his Pope the way that when I talk to a Catholic in 2013 they recognize that Francis is their Pope? My assertion is the unambiguous evidence is they wouldn’t have a clue who Linus was, assuming Linus wasn’t just a 2nd century fabrication based on 2 Timothy 4:21.

    In 70 AD they did not have the communication networks we have in 2013, so I am sure many would not know, within a week or two of his election, that Linus was just elected pope. Eventually the word would get out, but again, without the communications networks we have now, it would not be as current or immediate knowledge as we have with Pope Francis. So yes, there would be differences in personal perceptions and knowledge. Their primary concern/focus would be on their local communities – however – those local leaders would likely be a bit more aware than the average Christian. Times were different even 50 – 100 years ago, and more than 100 years ago it was a written only communication – which, again, would take time. As you go further back in history too, you get a smaller and smaller group of people who could read, so the communication at that point becomes more word-of-mouth and reliance upon your local community leaders (bishops and priests, who were likely educated and could read).

    Scott<<<

  38. CD-Host said,

    March 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    @cathpol —

    Depending on which papel list you use Linus is pope for about a dozen years. I’m not saying in the first week. 70 he’s been Pope for years. If you want to make it 75 Ce, if you believe that changes anything, feel free.

    Their primary concern/focus would be on their local communities

    Christians in 75 CE live in a global empire. I can’t find a good one for 75 but this map for 116 CE is close: http://www.bible-history.com/maps/roman_empire_color-9.gif

    These are not a group of parochial people that are unaware of travel, trade or international relations. In terms of literacy I’m not sure how that is relevant. Illiterate people know who Barack Obama is today. In any case in the empire in urban areas rates are probably closer 20%. In rural areas closer to 10%. 75 CE is not the dark ages, the empire is educated.

    So no. That doesn’t cut it. If Linus is in any meaningful sense Pope people would know about it.

  39. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    CD-Host said:

    Depending on which papel list you use Linus is pope for about a dozen years. I’m not saying in the first week. 70 he’s been Pope for years. If you want to make it 75 Ce, if you believe that changes anything, feel free.

    Well, I wasn’t going with a literal date, but if you’re going with 70 AD or even 75 AD (I refuse to use “CE”), you’re talking about the time when Rome had just annihilated the Jews and turned their focus upon the Christians. You’re not going to find a whole lot of writings during this age which point explicitly to the earthly leader of the Church!

    I’m not sure what significance the map of the Roman Empire relates, but here’s one which shows the reach of Christianity by 250 AD within the Roman Empire – and it is no where near as encompassing as the map you posted. Christianity was largely in pockets prior to the so-called Edict of Milan. The point would not be whether or not they are aware of travel and trade – but rather that information technology was no where near then to what it is today. It may take weeks, or longer, for news to reach from Rome to even Spain or Portugal, and even moreso to the outer reaches up in Britannia (where, in even 250 AD, there were no Christians there yet).

    Now, all that being said, being that Sts. Peter and Paul were likely executed on the same day in 64 AD, and as two greatly known leaders of Christendom, I’m sure word spread quickly of their deaths – and likely almost as quickly would have been word of Linus’ elevation to the Apostolic Seat. Again, Nero blamed Christians for the burning of Rome, just a few months before Peter and Paul were put to death, and it was considered “sporting” to put Christians to death in the Roman Circus and/or Colosseum, so publicizing the new leader in writing would not have been conducive to Pope St. Linus’ safety.

    Scott<<<

  40. TurretinFan said,

    March 20, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Scott:

    You asked: “TF, when, exactly, do you believe Roman Catholicism began?”

    I answer:

    If Roman Catholicism is defined by her (supposedly) infallibly defined dogmas, her birthday is November 1, 1950, which is when her pope defined the fiction of the bodily assumption. If she is defined by the last (supposedly) ecumenical council she accepts, she’s even younger (December 8, 1965), the date of conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. If she is defined by her canon laws, the most recent major edition was January 28, 1983. If she’s defined by her current pope, then she’s newborn.

    But if she’s simply vaguely defined as a movement, it’s hard to provide a fixed date. Benedict XVI treated Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) as the father of Roman Catholicism – despite the fact that Thomas Aquinas’ views would place him outside the RCC today.

    Perhaps better dates would be the dates of Constance (1418), Florence (1445) and Trent (1563), where certain aspects of Thomas’ theology gained ecclesiastical dominance. Then again, a lot of Tridentine RCism has been undermined in contemporary RCism.

    And frankly, that’s probably the best way to date the movement – to the “late medieval” period – 15th or 16th century, although there were undoubtedly doctrinal roots that go back earlier.

    That doesn’t mean that no one before 1054 held to any views in common with Roman Catholics, and it doesn’t mean that things like the Edict of Milan were insignificant factors in producing what eventually came to be RCism. Still, calling anyone in the patristic or early medieval period “Roman Catholic” is anachronistic.

    -TurretinFan

  41. CD-Host said,

    March 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

    @Cathpol #39

    Scott. You’ve been at this a very long time. The people on GreenBaggins are kinda smart. I like to think I’m not the dimmest bulb on the box either. Do you really think you can keep making stuff up and the reaction is going to be, “oh wow now that I know this completely fictional thing about Roman history I totally believe the Catholic view is plausible”. I think you need to start dealing with the reality, of your problem here. I get the impression that early history is not your strong suit. You raised this topic with TF, you now know you have a hole in your game. If you want to fix it you can. But you aren’t going to fix it with this quality of argument. Now with that in mind I’m going to respond.

    you’re talking about the time when Rome had just annihilated the Jews and turned their focus upon the Christians.

    No I’m not, because that didn’t happen. In 70 the Judean war was started. The last thing in the world the Roman Empire wanted was for that war to become a generalized rebellion with the Jews throughout the empire. They wanted it to remain a provincial rebellion, and they were successful. The Kitos war in 115-7 is far closer to what you are describing, a generalized Roman / Jewish war. But even that isn’t a war of annihilation.

    As for “turning their focus on the Christians” there is no record of any anti-Christian persecution at all in the 70s. There certainly was nothing organized. Christianity was to the Romans just one of many noxious superstitious cults thriving in the empire. Vespasian, once he became emperor, was patient. He was fond of propaganda not massacres. Christians, if Vespasian cared might have had all sorts of insulting plays written about them, they might have coins minted with some embarrassing facts. But we see no evidence of that either.

    Catholics if they existed during Vespasian’s time would have been experiencing what everyone else was. An Emperor who in today’s terms is a “tax and spend liberal” focused on social welfare and massive construction projects, He used high taxes and devaluation to fund his work. Christians might have griped about the taxes, thrilled at what they bought, but they would have had no particular reason to hide in 75 CE. Vespasian would have wanted to help the poorest Christians and tax the rich ones, not kill them. There is no evidence of Christians You can see his attitude towards Jews with the Fiscus Judaicus.

    You’re not going to find a whole lot of writings during this age which point explicitly to the earthly leader of the Church!

    I see so the theory now is that Linus is the secret power behind the Bishops. There is a hierarchy but it is sort of like Al-Qaeda’s hierarchy unknown to the Romans. I’ll give you credit for creativity. Before I reply do you really want to lock in with that one?

    and it is no where near as encompassing as the map you posted. Christianity was largely in pockets prior to the so-called Edict of Milan.

    This is off topic but there is huge expansion in the generation before Constantine of Christianity. Christianity is 313 is much larger than Christianity is 250 CE

    but rather that information technology was no where near then to what it is today. It may take weeks, or longer, for news to reach from Rome to even Spain or Portugal, and even moreso to the outer reaches up in Britannia

    I doubt it, they had pretty good communication systems. But let’s grant 12 weeks for news to travel around. How does that explain them not knowing about Linus is pope for 12 years?

    I’m sure word spread quickly of their deaths – and likely almost as quickly would have been word of Linus’ elevation to the Apostolic Seat.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either word spread quickly and everyone knew in which case you have a problem with your literature or word didn’t spread because Christians all over the empire didn’t know they had a “pope” or didn’t care. I guess you could Al Qaeda approach to try and get out of that knot.

    just a few months before Peter and Paul were put to death, and it was considered “sporting” to put Christians to death in the Roman Circus and/or Colosseum

    Linus is dead before the colosseum is finished. Remember how I was talking above about Vespasian’s construction projects, the colosseum is one of them. No one is being put to death in the Colosseum yet.

    Besides that. Nero is from the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Vespasian founds the Flavian dynasty. They have totally different policies and that was well understood. No question Christians hated Nero, but Vespasian is the guy who drove Nero’s clique out of power and caused Nero himself to commit suicide. Vespasian is about as good as the situation could get for a religion without state support. There are no mass executions of any of the cults of sects, and no persecutions of Christians at this time.

    Now Vespasian’s younger son will grow up to persecute Christians. But in 75 CE he is just a Senate consul and in 70 CE he’s a newlywed.

  42. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    TF said:

    Still, calling anyone in the patristic or early medieval period “Roman Catholic” is anachronistic.

    Well, I prefer to just call them “Catholic.” To use “Roman” seems to alienate our Eastern brethren.

    There are so many teachings in the patristic period which are completely in line with Catholicism and rejected by Protestantism it isn’t even funny. To say Catholicism started sometime after the medieval period is just laughable. I am quite willing to prepare a treatise on these matters, if you’re interested.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    PS- I consider myself to be a Thomist and I assure you, I am not "outside the RCC."

  43. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    CD-Host wrote:

    As for “turning their focus on the Christians” there is no record of any anti-Christian persecution at all in the 70s.

    So, Sts. Peter and Paul, executed in the 60’s, were not persecuted for being and preaching Christians? Why was St. John exhiled to the island of Patmos? Why is it that virtually all the early Saints in the Church were martyrs? Please, I’m not drinking that kool-aid! If you really believe there was no persecution in the 1st century, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

  44. CD-Host said,

    March 22, 2013 at 6:48 am

    @cathapol #43

    CD: As for “turning their focus on the Christians” there is no record of any anti-Christian persecution at all in the 70s.

    Cathapol: So, Sts. Peter and Paul, executed in the 60′s, were not persecuted for being and preaching Christians

    I’m a bit at a loss. The quote you pulled out is in the context of an entire discussion about how during the 60s when there were persecutions under Nero Rome was in Julio-Claudian dynasty. In 75 CE, the year we are talking about, Rome was at the start of the Flavian dynasty which had different policies. I spend a lot of paragraphs explaining this. So obviously I’m not discussing the 60s.

    Now either you don’t get that the 1st century took 100 years to complete and different things were happening during different years, or you just writing for effect.

    .. If you really believe there was no persecution in the 1st century

    Which is an odd response to a post that discusses the persecutions under Nero.

    ____

    I’m sorry but you seem too fundamentally dishonest to engage on these topics. These topics can be complex enough even with people honestly engaging. I no longer have any idea when you are lying for effect and when you honestly don’t understand something.

    I’ll let you work through other people on other threads. You can feel free to get the last word, I’ve wasted enough time.

  45. cathapol said,

    March 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    CD: As for “turning their focus on the Christians” there is no record of any anti-Christian persecution at all in the 70s.

    Cathapol: So, Sts. Peter and Paul, executed in the 60′s, were not persecuted for being and preaching Christians

    I’m a bit at a loss. The quote you pulled out is in the context of an entire discussion about how during the 60s when there were persecutions under Nero Rome was in Julio-Claudian dynasty. In 75 CE, the year we are talking about, Rome was at the start of the Flavian dynasty which had different policies. I spend a lot of paragraphs explaining this. So obviously I’m not discussing the 60s.

    Actually, what we were discussing was the reason we don’t have much written about Linus’ election to be Peter’s successor. You arbitrarily
    chose 70-75 AD, asking if the average Christian had the same awareness of Peter’s successor back then as they do in 2013. My response was that Christians were under active persecution at the time. The first great persecution of Christians began under Nero, who was emperor when Linus was elected. My point was that the early Christians did not make it all the easier for the Romans to identify and arrest the Christians – especially their earthly leader. History reports that among other things, Christians were doused with flammable material, then hung on poles and lit on fire to act as torches for Nero’s palace.

    Now, there were periods where persecution dropped off to a minimum, even peace for Christians, in fact from Nero to Domitian there are few reports of the horrendous persecution which returned under Domitian in 89 AD. So, in 70 or 75 AD, there likely was little persecution going on, but that does not change my point that Peter was killed and Linus elected during Nero’s fury, so the early Christians were likely not advertising to Rome who the new leader was, especially while Nero was still alive (into 68 AD).

    Now either you don’t get that the 1st century took 100 years to complete and different things were happening during different years, or you just writing for effect.

    I am well aware that there were periods of relative peace for the Church, but that, again, was not the point.

    SW: .. If you really believe there was no persecution in the 1st century

    Which is an odd response to a post that discusses the persecutions under Nero.

    Maybe you’re not getting it… Nero was a Roman Emperor in the first century! He was in that position from 54-68 AD. Peter, with Paul, was put to death under Nero in 64 AD. Linus was elected as Peter’s successor in 64 AD, while Nero was still alive and the persecution of the Church under Nero was in full swing. That is all I was saying.

    I’m sorry but you seem too fundamentally dishonest to engage on these topics.

    And now the ad hominem (and a violation of Rule #3 of this forum), I see. I assure you, I have not been dishonest with you, or anyone here, in the least. I was speaking generally to the persecution of the Church which most definitely began in the first century, as a partial explanation as to why there are no extant contemporary writings pointing to Linus, especially during Nero’s reign.

    The details of Linus’ papacy is really a diversion to the point anyway, I was asked if someone in 70 AD would be as aware of him as the Church is aware of Pope Francis. I will answer again, they may not have been as aware but news would have spread, and those who needed or wanted to know, I’m sure they knew by 70 AD, or 75 AD, who St. Peter’s successor was.

    These topics can be complex enough even with people honestly engaging.

    Well, it’s not really all that complex, it’s a matter of history. When I first responded, I was responding generally – not specifically. When it became clear you were being more specific, I got more specific.

    I no longer have any idea when you are lying for effect and when you honestly don’t understand something.

    I have never lied to you nor to anyone else here. Perhaps you’re just trying to elicit an emotional response from me to make me look bad, but if that’s the case – it’s not working. If I have been less than clear in my responses to you, then I apologize and if you, rather than accusing me falsely (bearing false witness) were just asking for more clarity, and doing so in a charitable manner, then our discussion could have been more more edifying for all.

    I’ll let you work through other people on other threads. You can feel free to get the last word, I’ve wasted enough time.

    I am sorry you feel that way. If you are of good will, then I wish you peace.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  46. Dozie said,

    March 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I do not believe that Pope Benedict’s successor has been found. What we have in Francis is an ardent practitioner of liberation theology. It is true that the Catholic Church can not be destroyed by any outside power nor by nuisances such James White and John Bugay; the Church, if she is destroyable can only be destroyed by Catholics, especially Catholic Bishops. The selection of Francis is “another eating at the foundation” of the Church. Vatican II was the first. Francis will so deface the Church it will be unrecognizable in the next two years. What Catholics now can hope for is that a man who seems to resent the papacy and even the Church will resign from the office he has little appreciation for and to do so ASAP. One wonders why he accepted the office; to destroy it?

  47. Robert said,

    March 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Dozie,

    Then the Magisterium and the Roman Pontiff are supposed to guarantee orthodoxy how?

  48. cathapol said,

    March 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Dozie said:

    I do not believe that Pope Benedict’s successor has been found.

    Pope Francis was duly elected by the college of cardinals, he’s Pope Benedict’s successor.

    What we have in Francis is an ardent practitioner of liberation theology.

    Whether that is true or not, it is yet to be seen with him as pope. The Holy Ghost will not allow him, or any pope, to infallibly teach anything contrary to Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition. What he may, or may not do, again, is yet to be seen.

    It is true that the Catholic Church can not be destroyed by any outside power nor by nuisances such James White and John Bugay; the Church, if she is destroyable can only be destroyed by Catholics,especially Catholic Bishops.

    The Church cannot be destroyed – we have Christ’s promise on that! It may get down to a remnant at times, but the Church itself cannot be destroyed. It has gotten to that “remnant” size in the past, like with St. Athanasius, and it could again – but have faith in Christ’s promise.

    The selection of Francis is “another eating at the foundation” of the Church. Vatican II was the first.

    Well, you’re contradicting yourself – if Francis is not Pope Benedict XVI’s successor – then what he would be “eating at” would not be THE Church.
    Francis will so deface the Church it will be unrecognizable in the next two years.
    Again, that is yet to be seen.

    What Catholics now can hope for is that a man who seems to resent the papacy and even the Church will resign from the office he has little appreciation for and to do so ASAP. One wonders why he accepted the office; to destroy it?

    Have faith, and try not to be scandalous. Be faithful and true to the faith and trust the Holy Ghost.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  49. cathapol said,

    March 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    We have had “bad popes” in the past – it can happen again. Like I said a bit ago, we really need to wait and see what this pope will do.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  50. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Scott: The Holy Ghost will not allow him, or any pope, to infallibly teach anything contrary to Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition. What he may, or may not do, again, is yet to be seen.

    So let’s imagine a hypothetical in which a “rogue pope” calls a “council” stacked with bishops friendly to his cause. We’ve had robber councils, we’ve had rogue popes, so this is not outside of God’s permissive will.

    If said “pope” now announces a “doctrine” and the “council” signs off on it – who would know the difference? How would they know the difference?

    How do you know that Vat I or Vat II was not such a council?

  51. sean said,

    March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Jeff,

    Why bother with a hypothetical. We have Vat II which was self consciously pastoral yet as of 2005 Benedict is having to issue statements on how to interpret it(hermeneutic of reform………….continuity) not defining anything btw, just resisting rupture with the past tradition. Which in itself offers two opportunities, one; The document itself is not pastoral, a failure of the document, or two; the magisterium’s failure to define definitively it’s pastoral application, which is in fact a failure implicit in the first opportunity. Right now, they’re going with; ‘it’s the devils fault’- Pope Paul VI

  52. Robert said,

    March 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Cathapol:

    You wrote: We have had “bad popes” in the past – it can happen again. Like I said a bit ago, we really need to wait and see what this pope will do.

    Who gets to tell who the bad popes are? If the Magisterium tells us who the bad Magisterium is, how do we know the Magisterium is telling us the truth? Maybe a pope claiming that an earlier pope was “bad pope” is actually a bad pope himself condemning a good pope.

  53. peacebyjesus said,

    March 31, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Pope in trouble with trads for washing the feet of two females:

    After the decision by Pope Francis to wash the feet of two women on Holy Thursday, conservative Catholic priests and laypeople alike will now be looking for ways out of the dilemma posed by the foot washing rite of the Holy Thursday Mass…

    By including women, the Pope has cast all liturgical laws into the hazard….

    Universae Ecclesiae says that all customs or liturgical practices not in force in 1962 (such as altars girls, communion in the hand and now, apparently, washing women’s feet), are not to be integrated into liturgies in the older form of the Roman Rite..

    If liturgical law permitted the washing of women’s feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, [then] no one would have noticed the pope’s doing it. What was newsworthy (apparently, massively newsworthy) is that, precisely because liturgical law does not authorize it, the pope’s performance of the action was huge news…

    Liberals are going to claim that because of what Francis did, they can do whatever they wish. (two stories: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3002435/posts

  54. cathapol said,

    April 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Re: Jeff in #50 –

    So let’s imagine a hypothetical in which a “rogue pope” calls a “council” stacked with bishops friendly to his cause. We’ve had robber councils, we’ve had rogue popes, so this is not outside of God’s permissive will.

    If said “pope” now announces a “doctrine” and the “council” signs off on it – who would know the difference? How would they know the difference?

    Well, as you said – we’ve had “rogue popes” before and at least one “robber council,” – but the fact is – not one of these has attempted to teach infallibly. Your hypothetical fails here.

    How do you know that Vat I or Vat II was not such a council?

    Well, Vatican I did teach infallibly, so, at least as far as that teaching, Vatican I was not a “rogue council.” Vatican II, on the other hand, was a “pastoral” council, not a “dogmatic” council, and thus did not define any dogma. Where it did speak of dogmatic things, it “pastorally” taught on something which was already defined. So, with that in mind, Vatican II does not “fit” your hypothetical either.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<


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