petrine ministry

chi-the-rho  asked:

I’m having lunch with my Baptist previous pastor tomorrow sharing my Catholic faith, he asked for a list of scriptures that led me. This should be interesting but I highly doubt he is aware that every heresy is “scriptural”. What can I do? Should I just plain tell him the Bible is a Catholic book, inspired by God to his church? That there is only one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Christ on the rock of Peter? That the Catholic Church is Christ’s mystical body? I need help.

Hi bsirm:

I’m sorry that this is too late for your lunch with your previous pastor. But a Scripture that should certainly start a good discussion is the last verse of the Gospel of St. John:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25).

Sooo….Jesus did, and I’m sure said, many other things as well. Where are these things? Protestant Christianity accounts for the written Word of God in Scripture, but makes no allowance for Apostolic Tradition.

Apostolic Tradition is the oral transmission of the Gospel, before any of the New Testament scripture was written. It is the preaching of the Apostles, their examples, their stories, the worship and liturgy they presided over, and the many, many sacred customs which the Apostles passed on in the local churches or dioceses which they founded.

The origin of Christianity as a religion, and the foundation, and setting up of the structures of the Church, proceeded along many lines throughout the entire Mediterranean and beyond. And only part of God’s Word or Divine Revelation is captured in writing and preserved in the New Testament for us today. 

And yet Protestant Christians often ask, “Where is that in the Bible? Find it in the Bible! Prove it in the Bible…” It’s as if they have never read John 21:25 and don’t have a clue that even the Bible says Jesus did “MANY other things.” Logically, it stands to reason that the Bible does not contain every single doctrine and story of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Once you establish the problem of this restriction of God’s Word to the written Scripture alone, you must then account for Tradition. Who gathers these stories, teachings, and customs that are outside of the Bible and presents them in doctrinal form to the Church? Who is the referee or who arbitrates this collection of oral, Apostolic teaching which is Sacred Tradition. Who presides over the Church Councils and makes the decisions, empowered by the Holy Ghost?

Well, we Catholics would say that the Tradition of the Apostles is by the Lord’s command best transmitted and authoritatively interpreted by their Successors, the Pope and the Bishops. Otherwise, neither Scripture nor Sacred Tradition has a body to vouch for it, to transmit it in unified and coherent form. Instead of Magisterium and Apostolic authority present in the Petrine ministry and the episcopal college, you have a multitude of pastors and communities each floundering to come to a cohesive body of doctrine—Protestantism.

God bless and take care! Fr. Angel

makarza-deactivated20160809  asked:

Hola, Padre! Una amiga mía anda muy convencida de que nuestro Papa viene a arruinar la Iglesia, usted qué opina? Yo leo los resultados del sínodo y sólo veo un llamado al amor hacia los pecadores, no encuentro nada que amerite el repudio :(

(translation) “Hello father. A friend of mine is very convinced that our Pope has come to ruin the Church. And what do you think? I read the results of the Synod and all I see is a calling to have more love for the sinner. I find nothing that merits rejection.”


Unfortunately, in the traditional Catholic blogs, many writers are telling people that Pope Francis is ruining the Catholic Church. Either that, or they accuse the Pope of introducing confusion, ambiguities, and divisions into the Church, especially because, they say, he either takes the side of the “liberals” or does not correct them.

In my personal opinion, Pope Francis is carrying out his ministry, his vocation, according to the way he has always dealt with people—by trying to reach out to them, reconcile them to the Church, and give them hope and encouragement to do the good that they can do by their actions to promote the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is Francis a good Catholic priest, or a bad Catholic priest? My way of answering this question is to say that a good priest must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This means calling people to repentance for the kingdom of God is at hand, and correcting whatever in their present life does not give them the freedom to turn to God.

A good priest must be a tireless shepherd who seeks out the lost, and when he finds them, he must bind up their wounds and give them good example of how to live the Christian life. Finally, a good priest must be devout and prayerful, at Mass, in the sacraments, and in his ability to pray with people who need the comforting touch of prayer.

These are the tasks which I see Pope Francis carrying out in his ministry. Yes, the problems of confusion, and division, arose at the Synod. Yes, the rest of the Church is sometimes misled into capitulating to the secular culture. But I believe those problems of lack of conviction and lack of courage will always exist in the Church, and I do not see Francis as being the blame of these problems right now.

And it is true that the Pope has become good friends with many liberals and dissenters. He has even spoken to atheists with great respect. Does that make the Pope a heretic? Is he too friendly and not aggressive enough with the enemies of the Catholic Church?

But treating others with kindness and friendship does not mean you actually agree with everything they say. It means, in my opinion, that the Pope has simply found common ground with certain liberals and this has led to mutual respect and friendship. I know the old saying…”Tell me who you run around with…” Well, if we apply those words to Jesus, it means he liked fraudulent tax collecting and prostituting! I don’t think so.

On my blog, I have at times been very harsh at correcting the doctrine of other people, or their attitudes. I have been severe in putting others in their place. What I say is orthodox, but at times very aggressive. And you know what? It is not always helpful.

Even some traditional Catholics disagree with me and do not speak with me anymore. Now, let us apply this to the Pope. Yes, it is true, Pope Francis could do more to be harsh with the enemies of the Church. He could be more severe in correcting all the falsehood and error being propagated by priests and religious. And with the secular culture, the Pope could issue more condemnations against sin, with unambiguous clarity.

But does that guarantee that the Church will grow and be in better condition? I don’t think so. Sometimes, a priest gets tired of repeating the orthodox doctrine of morality. The Catholic Church has made its beliefs crystal clear about abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexual sexual acts, women priests, and the errors of bad liturgy which we see so much of after Vatican II.

How much does a pope need to repeat these condemnations over and over and over again?

And if the pope repeats the condemnations and anathemas, will that help people to see the light? In my experience, if priests, bishops, and popes are not careful, they can drive people further away, and give the impression that all the Catholic Church is about is condemning sin and correcting the many errors of wayward Catholics.

In my personal experience, negativity, aggressiveness, and black and white preaching about God’s judgments and punishments do not always succeed. I think Pope Francis understands that the mass media works to confuse people and give the worst impression of the Catholic Church that they can give.

Pope Francis also understands that millions of people are very thin skinned—meaning that they are easily hurt and angered by what they see in the media. It only takes one wrong phrase or one “snarky” comment from the Pope, for people to feel personally insulted, and to take it in the worse way possible. 

So what does the Pope do? He decides a different method of shepherding. He is trying gestures and conciliatory words. He is trying to show people his authentic self, remaining true to his simple lifestyle and familiar interactions with people, especially the poor and poor in spirit.

This is risky. People can think that the Pope, and the Catholic Church, is a “paper tiger” that does not stand by its own beliefs. This new style of being a shepherd can make a Pope look weak, like a man who flip-flops, who is wimpy, and wishy-washy. This is the unfortunate idea that many traditonalist Catholics have of Pope Francis.

I do not blame the Pope for trying out a new style of leadership, and a different way of shepherding. Something needed to be done to give the Church a more caring and compassionate face. Something had to be done to convince the most hardened enemies of the Church that she desires to be a field hospital for the wounded of humanity.

Will Pope Francis succeed in giving a better image to the Church. Will the Pope AT THE SAME TIME encourage the leadership of the Church to work harder to welcome home the prodigal children? I don’t know. It waits to be seen. I trust that the Church is in the hands of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and He knows what He will do through the ministry of Pope Francis. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel


Nov 2013 – “Showing no hesitance and displaying the living out of the Beatitudes that characterizes his Petrine ministry, Pope Francis embraced, kissed, and blessed a man with severe facial deformities. Pope Francis, while speaking with the man, gestured toward the sky in a private moment, in the midst of a crowded square. The name of the man and the cause of his disfigurement are unknown." 

May we all be so focused on sharing Christ’s example that we never recoil from comforting those in need.