Medjugorje ‘visionary’ says monthly apparitions have come to an end

Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mar 18, 2020 / 03:40 pm (CNA).- A woman who claims to be a visionary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje has said that Mary will no longer appear to her on the second of every month, as she has reportedly done monthly since 1987.

Alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje have long been a subject of controversy in the Church, which have been investigated by the Church but not yet authenticated or rejected.

The alleged apparitions began June 24, 1981, when six children in Medjugorje, a town in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, began to experience phenomena which they have claimed to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

According to these six “seers,” the apparitions contained a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer and fasting, as well as certain secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future.

Since their beginning, the alleged apparitions have been a source of both controversy and conversion, with many flocking to the city for pilgrimage and prayer, and some claiming to have experienced miracles at the site, while many others claim the visions are non-credible.

Among the alleged visionaries is Mirjana Dragičević Soldo, 55, who still lives in Medjugorje.

In 1987, she apparently began seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary on the second day of every month. During those alleged apparitions, Soldo prays with the Blessed Virgin Mary for non-believers, and conveys a message to the throngs of Catholic pilgrims who throng to Medjugorje for the event. 

On March 18, Soldo announced that the Blessed Mother would no longer appear to her at that time.

In January 2014, a Vatican commission concluded a nearly four-year-long investigation on the doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the Medjugorje apparitions, and submitted a document to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

When the congregation has analyzed the commission’s findings, it will finalize a document on the site, which will be submitted to the pope, who will make a final decision.

Pope Francis approved Catholic pilgrimages to Medjugorje in May 2019, but he has not made a deliberation on the authenticity of the apparitions.

Those alleged apparitions “still require an examination by the Church," papal spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said in a statement May 12, 2019.

The pope permitted pilgrimages “as an acknowledgment of the "abundant fruits of grace" that have come from Medjugorje and to promote those "good fruits." It is also part of the "particular pastoral attention" of Pope Francis to the place, Gisotti said.

Pope Francis visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2015 but declined to stop in Medjugorje during his trip. During his return flight to Rome, he indicated that the process of investigation in the apparitions was nearly complete.

On the return flight from a visit to the Marian shrine of Fatima in May 2017, the pope spoke about the final document of the Medjugorje commission, sometimes referred to as the “Ruini report,” after the head of the commission, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, calling it “very, very good,” and noting a distinction between the first Marian apparitions at Medjugorje and the later ones.

“The first apparitions, which were to children, the report more or less says that these need to continue being studied,” he said, but as for “presumed current apparitions, the report has its doubts,” the pope said.

Pilgrimages to Medjugorje have declined in numbers in recent weeks. Radio Free Europe reported March 16 that the coronavirus pandemic has diminished significantly the number of visitors to the city, especially visitors from Italy, who would ordinarily be in Medjugorje during March.

 


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40 Comments

  1. We read that Pope Francis praised the investigating commission’s work, calling it: “‘very, very good,’ and noting a distinction between the first Marian apparitions at Medjugorje and the later ones.”

    About fifteen years ago in a used book store I ran across a respectful book by a non-Christian who was genuinely and scientifically curious about apparitions and such (cannot now recall the title or the author). Near the back was an interview with Fr. Benedict Groeschel (a psychologist by training) about Medjugorje.

    Groeschel suggested that the first apparition(s) might well be genuine while the rest might be more natural “echoes” experienced by the seers.

    It is well-accepted that private revelations can be distorted by either just not getting all of it right, or by an alloy of the real event with figments of the recipients imagination or conviction, or can be plain or delusional fabrications.

    Of the second option, surely the truly supernatural and eternal does not fit well within the finite human mind and heart, and can be misunderstood. Even for a long time. Even in the form of “echoes” within human time, that overwhelm the neuron circuitry and mix with whatever else is already there.

    So, did Groeschel probably get it right? No deception, necessarily. And, the spiritual fruits (from the first event) are not at all diminished or discredited by a thorough discrimination and any more formal determination. In the big picture, the seers would be both mortal and vindicated against absolute detractors.

    • I’ve read various books that make me utterly disbelieve the whole thing (some are listed below). It’s been built on lies since the beginning. Even if I hadn’t read the books, the disobedience and duplicity of the people who push it would have done it. Lie after lie – the bishops have approved! The Pope has approved! Official pilgrimages are approved! Putting “Vatican” in the URL of websites even though they are not Vatican websites. “Quotes” allegedly by Pope St. John Paul II which provide no dates, locations, documentation, and pop up only on pro-Medjugorje sites.

      Some books:

      Medjugorje: A Warning, by Michael Davies; available online at http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/medjugorje.htm
      The Hidden Side of Medjugorje by Father Ivo Sivric, OFM
      The Medjugorje Deception, by E. Michael Jones
      Medjugorje Revisited by Donal Foley

    • Did Fr. Groeschel get Macial right? After that scandal his reputation was tarnished and it is difficult for me to take him as a trustworthy judge of anything spiritual.

  2. I question all the revenue they are making from these apparitions and where is it going? I’ve followed the messages over the years and messages are repetitive. I believe the blessed mother sends messages to people throughout the world and they don’t make it into a money making racket.

  3. Judge them by their fruits.
    Medjugorje has renewed the faith of many and led many away from sin and back to prayer and simple lives.
    The messages are repetitive because humanity repeatedly DOESN’T listen.
    The message is simple.
    Live in Christ not the ways of the world.

    • Having been to Medjugorje and met people and 1 man who went to confession for the first time in 50 years. The number waiting for Confession was amazing, as were the number of people who returned to the faith!

    • Disobedience and lies are the fruits I’ve seen.

      There are doubtless people who have the same devotion to the fraudulent visions of Garabandal, Bayside, and others. And they are wrong, too.

      Suppose the Vatican announced tomorrow that pilgrimages to Medjugorje were forbidden because the judgment was that the apparitions were false. How many of these people who “returned to the faith” would ignore the decision?

      I’m reminded of St. Teresa of Avila. One of her confessors, convinced that her visions were false, ordered her to make a rude gesture to Our Lord when He appeared to her. Out of obedience, she did, apologizing to Our Lord, Who told her that she was right to obey. Obedience is important, and these alleged visionaries and the circus surrounding them promote disobedience.

      • Its easy to just read the messages online and google search other peoples opinions and make assumptions if its true or not but i tell you anyone that goes to medugorje with an open heart knows its true truly from god. From the countless people screaming from demonic possesion during Eucharist to the sense of peace you feel when you go there these things point to something special. In the end of the day the prophesies they preach will be revealed in most of our lifetime if they are real

      • Leslie,
        I understand the circus you see as upsetting to you. But the pilgrims have to stay somewhere and must be fed. All of the messages that come from medjugorje are tested against scripture to see if they are scripturally sound. Is it truly inconceivable to you since Christ cannot appear to us until the second coming that he sends his loving Mother. Who was a blessed vessel for his conception and birth.. Her messages are loving and informative.

        • No, the “circus I see” is not what upsets me. The lying and disobedience of the alleged visionaries and their supporters does that. Tested against Scripture, my foot. What about how the “visionaries” informed the world that Our Lady had said repeatedly that ex-Franciscan priest Ivica Vego, who by the order of Pope St. John Paul II was expelled from the Franciscans, dispensed from his vows, and suspended, but was nonetheless disobeying and continuing to act as a priest, was innocent and had as much right to celebrate Mass as any priest. Meanwhile he was getting a nun pregnant.

          Or there’s one seer who was allegedly in ecstasy, flinched when someone jabbed his fingers towards her eyes, and then lied and said she was reacting to Our Lady’s seeming to be about to drop the baby Jesus. Yeah, right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPDRbO_qJ7g

          The pilgrims would do better to stay home and eat there.

          “Is it truly inconceivable to you since Christ cannot appear to us until the second coming that he sends his loving Mother.”

          Not at all. But she isn’t appearing at Medjugorje.

          “Her messages are loving and informative.”

          Yeah? Like the ridiculous story of the bloody handkerchief?

          I’d suggest you read “The Hidden Side of Medjugorje,” by Fr. Ivo Sivric, edited by Louis Belanger.

          I wonder what the reaction of many of those “devout” Catholics who are so enamoured of the unending “visions” will be if the Vatican announces “constat de non supernaturalitate.” How many of them will rebel and storm out of the Church in a snit?

      • “ordered her to make a rude gesture to Our Lord when He appeared to her. Out of obedience she did, apologizing to our Lord, Who told her that she was right to obey.”

        Your source for this?

  4. Ian Turnbull:
    “Judge them by their fruits.
    Medjugorje has renewed the faith of many and led many away from sin and back to prayer and simple lives.”
    *********

    That’s been my thoughts too.

  5. True or not who are we to judge. So many have renewed their faith and come closer to God and Jesus. If it is a money making racket they will one day have to answer before God.

  6. been going to medjugori for many years and do not doubt the appartions for one minute, why would Mirajana put herself thru all the anguish of people trying to touch her and get near to her, and the expressions on her face are definitely genuine when Our Lady appears to her.The peace and love is amazing, I will still carry on going to Medjugori. Also look at the transformation of Vicka’s face when she talks about the Gospa

    • So, it’s just a coincidence that the Blessed Mother told one of the seers that she would stop appearing to her monthly at exactly the same time the CoronaVirus would prevent pilgrims from going to Medjugorge? Please. I have no doubt that 95% of the people affiliated with trips to Medjugorge are sincere, but I’ve read everything about the seers themselves and think the whole thing has been a fraud from the get-go.

      • En octubre de 1917 la virgen dejó de aparecer públicamente en Fatima. Al mes siguiente, aparecen los primeros casos de la “gripe española” que llevaría a la muerte a Jacinta, Francisco y su familia…

  7. MedJugorje is VERY TRUE! So many people with so many testimonies. Blessed Mother has been with us all this time so many years to help man kind come back to God back to her Son and for Our sake!. Pope John Paul Believed in Medjugorje! With so much corruption in the church today and this Pope who has caused so much confusion,and division corruption, you can never go by anything he’s says! One day and very soon people who don’t believe in Medjugorje will have a wake up call. Truth lives!

    • I agree I believe we are starting the worldwide chastisements foretold in apparitions especially with this pandemic. These chastisements will continue if the world does not turn back fully to God. Especially now that Mirjana’s visions have now ceased. Look at the chaos going on and the world continues to look to each other for solutions. The solutions can only be from God… Pray more…. Speak less.

      • Have you been there Leslie? I have and experienced many miracles there, and when I returned home. Mary is definitely appearing there and it is a holy place like Fatima. The good fruits of Medjugoje are well documented. Satan is not going to advise people to say the daily rosary, fast, read scripture. This comes from God.

        • I haven’t been there, and wouldn’t go because it is clear that the alleged seers have been lying for years.

          Oh, yes, Satan will advise people to say the rosary, fast, and read Scripture; he plays a long game, and if he can use that to attack the Church, he will. And the fruit of Medjugorje is chiefly disobedience (with a side order of lies).

          Squishy emotionalism and feelzes are not good religious guides.

          And I repeat: you have no evidence that Pope St. John Paul II believed in Medjugorje.

          • Shouldn’t we allow the Church to rule on this? Why would you try to move people away from a place that has had massive positive conversions to the faith?
            Here is what Saint Pope John Paul II said in his own words:
            https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/medjugorje-deception-or-miracle-5427
            Authored By: Antonio Gaspari
            MEDJUGORJE DECEPTION OR MIRACLE?
            Pope John Paul II’s Opinion

            In line with Roman Catholic tradition, Pope John Paul II considers the Medjugorje phenomenon an issue for the local hierarchy. It is, however, common knowledge, that the Pope is sympathetic to the Marian site. In a meeting with Bishop Paul Hnilica, the Pope reportedly said: “If I were not the Pope, I would probably have visited Medjugorje by now.” During a meeting with the Superior General of the Franciscan Order, the Holy Father asked: “All around Medjugorje bombs have been falling, and yet Medjugorje itself was never damaged. Is this not perhaps a miracle of God?”

            This article was taken from the November 1996 issue of “Inside the Vatican.” Subscriptions: Inside the Vatican, Martin de Porres Lay Dominican Community, 3050 Gap Knob Road, New Hope, KY 40052, 1-800-789-9494, Fax: 502-325-3091.

          • Leslie, I’m inclined to agree with you, but I don’t understand how satan would play such a long game to attack the Church. How do you think he would do that?

          • Kathleen, the Church has, historically, waited until private revelations have ended before rendering judgment. The alleged apparitions at Mejugorje go on and on and on (saying a great many nonsensical things – like that “bloody handkerchief” story).

            “Why would you try to move people away from a place that has had massive positive conversions to the faith?”

            Because it is based on lies. How many of the people who are so wildly enthusiastic about it are so attached to it that they will continue in disobedience if the Church rules against it, as at Garabandal?

            “In line with Roman Catholic tradition, Pope John Paul II considers the Medjugorje phenomenon an issue for the local hierarchy.”

            The local hierarchy said flat-out that the apparitions are not true. And gross and flagrant disobedience to the local ordinary is what followed.

            “In a meeting with Bishop Paul Hnilica, the Pope reportedly said: “If I were not the Pope, I would probably have visited Medjugorje by now.””

            Reported by whom? If it were a true report, it would be cited by more than that one article, and by the Medjugorje-supporting sites which echo it and which seem to have an extremely flexible view of what constitutes “truth.”

            “During a meeting with the Superior General of the Franciscan Order, the Holy Father asked: “All around Medjugorje bombs have been falling, and yet Medjugorje itself was never damaged. Is this not perhaps a miracle of God?””

            When was the meeting? Which Superior General? Who else was present? Who reported this statement? Again, why is it reported only in one article and on Medjugorje websites?

          • “Leslie, I’m inclined to agree with you, but I don’t understand how satan would play such a long game to attack the Church. How do you think he would do that?”

            Lorena, forty years is a small span of time for a fallen archangel.

            I think he would do that exacty as I think he has done that: by lying and producing false apparitions, to draw people to have more faith in the false apparitions than they do in the Church, so that they disobey authority and promote division. The lies cause scandal and loss of faith.

            Look at the case of Sister Magdalena of the Cross, in the late 1400s and early 1500s in Spain. More recently, look at Mother Ebe Georgini.

  8. The Bible tells us that the dead know nothing. Do not listen to the apparitions because they are not from God.

    5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

    Mary, like the rest of us awaits the resurrection of the dead at the last trumpet when all the dead in Christ will rise incorruptible.

    In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52).

    When is the last trumpet? Well we see that in the Book of the Apocalypse as the return of Christ!

    But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets. (Apocalypse 10:7).

    If anyone, including some spiritual being from heaven give you a message that isn’t consistent with the Bible and the gospel of God – DO NOT BELIEVE IT!

    I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.

    We were always warned that there would be lying signs and wonders at the time of the end. If these lying signs and wonders become a worldwide and public phenomena, do not believe it because the Bible promises this must happen so don’t be deceived!

    Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, [4] Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. [5] Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
    [6] And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. [8] And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, [9] Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, [10] And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying:

    I say this in utmost love, do not believe the apparitions because Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Believe God’s word that told us that all these things would be so. Walk by faith and not by sight! Jesus will return to raise the dead in Christ incorruptible. You don’t need apparitions, you only need God and His word.

    • While I don’t question your good intentions, we know what road is paved with those.

      “The faith of the Church is that the saints are not really dead, but are fully alive in Jesus Christ, who is life itself (John 11:25; 14:6) and the bread of life who bestows life on all who eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:35, 48, 51, 53-56). The saints are alive in heaven because of the life they have received through their faith in Christ Jesus and through their eating of his body and blood.

      “The book of Revelation shows the saints worshipping God, singing hymns, playing instruments, making requests to Christ to avenge their martyrdom, and offering prayers for the saints on earth (Rev. 4:10, 5:8, 6:9-11).

      “Because they are alive, we believe that we can go to them to intercede for us with God. We do not need to see apparitions or hear their voices in order to believe they will pray for us in heaven. We trust that the saints will accept our requests for help and will present them to Christ for us.”

      https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/the-bible-supports-praying-to-the-saints

      Apparitions are private revelations. Nobody is bound to believe even the ones that have been approved. But denying that they are possible is foolish. https://www.catholic.org/mary/appear.php

    • Excuse me… the Virgin Mary didn’t die like every ordinary mortal, she was taken to Heaven after her time on Earth was over. Have you ever prayed the Rosary? Are you even Catholic?

      • If you are addressing me, of course I am Catholic, and of course I have prayed the Rosary.

        If you are addressing Jamie, no, he’s not Catholic, he’s a member of a non-Christian sect called the “Continuing Church of God.”

  9. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post Leslie, but I disagree and would really appreciate further clarification. The scriptures you cited about saints in heaven in Revelation can be explained but I want to focus on the very clear statements in scripture instead. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write the following in his first Epistle to Timothy.

    [5] For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:(1 Tim 2:5).

    Now I pose a question to you Leslie – Did the Apostle Paul while writing this epistle realise that he could ask Stephen (whom’s murder Paul consented to) to intercede for him with Christ and the Father? I would think that Paul thought of Stephen often for the rest of his life, yet we never see Paul give a salutation to the brethren that includes Stephen – only Christ and His Father are ever included from those in heaven.

    Now, I ask you a second question Leslie. I would appreciate a straight answer that does not contradict this very plain scripture:

    13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.

    I would not think that this scripture provides any wiggle room for brethren to be interceding for us in heaven, but I look forward to you explaining how this can be? So, my question is, how does someone such as Stephen, intercede for me in the throne room of God if he has not even ascended to heaven?

    Now, we see that David – no less than a man after God’s own heart, at the time of the Book of Acts had this said about him:

    29 Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David: that he died and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present say.

    Note: it does not state that David is up in heaven alive and interceding for us with Christ. Nay, it states a position affirming what the Apostle John wrote, which is stated above in John 3:13.

    Acts 2:34-35

    34 For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.

    His enemies are not yet all under his feet so he has not yet ascended. Finally we will see what the final enemy is in 1 Corinthians 15:24-26

    [24] Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue. [25] For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.

    [26] And the enemy death shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet.

    The final enemy to be destroyed is death. Since there are many enemies, death has not been destroyed and David Acts 2:29 just told us that David would not ascend until all his enemies were his footstool and 1 Corinthians just explained that the final enemy to be destroyed is death.

    I look forward to you explaining how I can better understand these scriptures without the scriptures being contradicted because Jesus said “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

  10. Jamie,

    “Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post Leslie, but I disagree and would really appreciate further clarification.“

    While I will be happy to reply and clarify, it would really be much more useful of you to consult with works by scholars who have written books and articles on this matter rather than having to rely on comments in a comment box that has limited space. For example, you might read this article by Scott Hahn: http://zuserver2.star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m4/sts.html

    “The scriptures you cited about saints in heaven in Revelation can be explained”

    Your opinion about what they mean undoubtedly differs from what I think they mean, which is what the Church thinks they mean. Why would I accept your interpretation? What authority do you have to decide on the meaning?

    “but I want to focus on the very clear statements in scripture instead. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write the following in his first Epistle to Timothy. ‘[5] For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:(1 Tim 2:5).’”

    Have you never asked anybody to pray for you? Have you never prayed on behalf of someone else? If you have done either, why, given what you seem to think this passage means?

    I refer you to the link I pasted above, to an article by Dr. Scott Hahn.

    “Now I pose a question to you Leslie – Did the Apostle Paul while writing this epistle realise that he could ask Stephen (whom’s murder Paul consented to) to intercede for him with Christ and the Father? I would think that Paul thought of Stephen often for the rest of his life, yet we never see Paul give a salutation to the brethren that includes Stephen – only Christ and His Father are ever included from those in heaven.”

    I do not know whether St. Paul asked for St. Stephen’s intercession; but there is no reason to think that he did not, or that he did not know that he could. You need only look at the writings of the early Church Fathers, and even to the graffiti around early Christian tombs, to see that the practice of asking the intercession of saints, and of angels, was established at the very beginning of the Church. For some examples: https://practicalapologetics.blogspot.com/2013/07/early-church-fathers-on-intercession-of.html and https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/ancient-graffiti-in-roman-catacombs-1642

    And let’s look at one of St. Paul’s salutations: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:3). Notice that St. Paul is interceding to them with God, asking that grace and peace from God the Father and from God the Son be given to them.

    “Now, I ask you a second question Leslie. I would appreciate a straight answer that does not contradict this very plain scripture:
    “’13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.’
    “I would not think that this scripture provides any wiggle room for brethren to be interceding for us in heaven, but I look forward to you explaining how this can be? So, my question is, how does someone such as Stephen, intercede for me in the throne room of God if he has not even ascended to heaven?”

    Even on your own terms – Jesus said this while He was still on earth. After His death the gates of Heaven were opened, and the Old Testament saints were able to enter into it.

    Even Protestants don’t agree with you. https://www.gotquestions.org/John-3-13.html

    You appear to think that no one is in heaven. If the verse you provide means what you think it means, what about 2 Kings 2:11? “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” How does that not contradict the “very plain Scripture” you quoted?

    “Now, we see that David – no less than a man after God’s own heart, at the time of the Book of Acts had this said about him:
    “’29 Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David: that he died and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present say.’
    “Note: it does not state that David is up in heaven alive and interceding for us with Christ. Nay, it states a position affirming what the Apostle John wrote, which is stated above in John 3:13. ”

    David died and was buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) and body was with them still at the time of the Acts (and may be with us still, though there’s dispute over where it is). That has nothing to do with whether his soul is in heaven and interceding for us. I will also point out to you that Jesus died and was buried, and His sepulcher is with us to this present day. That doesn’t mean that He isn’t in Heaven (body and soul).

    “Acts 2:34-35 ’34 For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy enemies thy footstool. ‘
    “His enemies are not yet all under his feet so he has not yet ascended.”

    I’m going to provide an explanation for you that is on Catholic Answers: “The author is not saying that David did not go to heaven after the resurrection of Jesus. The context is that Peter is pointing out that in certain Psalm passages David was not talking about himself but about Jesus.

    “Peter began his preaching by saying, ‘For David says of him . . . you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption’ (Acts 2:25,27).

    “By saying David was buried in their midst and was not resurrected, Peter was saying that David could not have speaking about himself, because the Psalm clearly states that the person will not remain in the grave. Peter was preaching the fulfillment of Scripture in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.” https://www.catholic.com/qa/is-king-david-in-heaven

    You wrote, “Finally we will see what the final enemy is in 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 ‘[24] Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue. [25] For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet. [26] And the enemy death shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet.’
    “The final enemy to be destroyed is death. Since there are many enemies, death has not been destroyed and David Acts 2:29 just told us that David would not ascend until all his enemies were his footstool and 1 Corinthians just explained that the final enemy to be destroyed is death.”

    It says that his enemies will be his footstool That is not the same thing as saying they will be destroyed. Using the original imagery, if I say “I’m going to use this block of wood as a footstool,” I am not saying “I’m going to destroy this block of wood.” If it has been destroyed, it can’t be a footstool. Jesus has put death under His feet already. He has conquered it. Romans 6:9 “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1016, says “By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. Just as Christ is risen and lives for ever, so all of us will rise at the last day.”

    “I look forward to you explaining how I can better understand these scriptures without the scriptures being contradicted because Jesus said “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).”

    No, Scripture cannot be broken. Unfortunately, it can be misinterpreted. As St. Peter wrote (2 Peter 3:16) ‘As also in all his [St. Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

  11. Thank you Leslie. Our Church knows all about the Catholic Church’s church fathers. Our Pastor goes through their works diligently and extensively and shows the errors of their works. In fact, anyone who is willing to look at the truth will see that there were two groups in the very early Church, one that kept the Holy Days and Passover on the 14th of the first month of the Hebrew calender and the other group that changed “The faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) and changed Passover to a Sunday and eventually changed its name to Easter after the Pagan goddess Ishtar or Astarte! One of your Church fathers by the name of Polycarp of Smyrna, who we agree is a true servant of Christ, followed the teachings of his teacher who was none other than the Apostle John! Polycarp went to the Roman Bishop of his time and very strongly told him to stop keeping Passover on a Sunday and to keep it at it’s proper time on the 14th! You probably know this as the quarterdeciman controversy meaning those who keep the 14th just as Christ and all his disciples did. If Polycarp is a Church father, why do you not listen to him and do as he did? Seems as though you direct me to further reading which I have already done, as our Pastor Dr. Bob Thiel does much teaching on the subject, I propose you also look at a book he produced on the true history of the Church of God. It has several hundred references accepted by the Catholic Church.

    https://www.ccog.org/updated-edition-continuing-history-of-the-church-of-god/

    I doubt this will be published on this site and I fully understand why you would not publish it, but this is a witness to whoever moderates this site and I thank you for posting my last two messages. I pray that whoever reads this would check out this link.

    As far as Protestants not agreeing with us, I am glad, because we are not Protestant as the Church of God can trace its history all the way back to Pentacost in AD 31 when the Church of God began.

    As far as Elijah goes, you will find he wrote a letter to a King many years after he went into heaven. How can this be? He was merely carried into the first heaven – the sky! The Bible tells us that God created the birds of the heavens. Heaven is the sky, it’s also the abode of the stars and planets and finally it is also used as the word for the abode of the Father and the Son and the other heavenly beings.

    Whoever moderates this, I thank you for the space to share the truth you have allowed me to share. If this is message is too strong for a Catholic site, I understand, but hope you would yourself check out the link. All our material is 100% free download and no personal information, including email is ever required. Freely you have received, freely you shall give.

    But be prepared, this message will go out to the entire world with far nor strength and power in the soon coming future to all nations (Matt 24:14).

    • “Our Church knows all about the Catholic Church’s church fathers. Our Pastor goes through their works diligently and extensively and shows the errors of their works. …our Pastor Dr. Bob Thiel does much teaching on the subject, “

      Tell me, where did Bob Thiel get his doctorate, and in what subject?

      I find it staggering that you have the gall to claim that he “shows the errors” of the early Church Fathers.

      “In fact, anyone who is willing to look at the truth will see that there were two groups in the very early Church, one that kept the Holy Days and Passover on the 14th of the first month of the Hebrew calender and the other group that changed “The faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) and changed Passover to a Sunday”

      The verse from the Epistle of St. Jude that you quote has nothing to do with the day of celebrating Passover: “3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say “8Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.” You can’t ignore the context of a verse and pretend that it supports your argument when it doesn’t.

      “One of your Church fathers by the name of Polycarp of Smyrna, who we agree is a true servant of Christ, followed the teachings of his teacher who was none other than the Apostle John! Polycarp went to the Roman Bishop of his time and very strongly told him to stop keeping Passover on a Sunday and to keep it at it’s proper time on the 14th!”

      Eusebius wrote, ”Polycarp could not persuade the Pope, nor the Pope, Polycarp. The controversy was not ended but the bonds of charity were not broken;” that hardly constitutes St. Polycarp’s “strongly telling” Pope Anicetus what to do.

      In one of the fragments of the writings of St. Irenaeus of Lyon, he described St. Polycarp’s visit to Rome, and all he wrote was “And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points, they were at once well inclined towards each other [with regard to the matter in hand], not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this head. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. “ Again, hardly “strongly telling.” And I must point out that Anicetus felt bound to the usage of those who had preceded him; and he was a successor of St. Peter, who was also an Apostle.

      The Catholic Encyclopedia points out, “even in the time of Pope Victor this usage hardly extended beyond the churches of Asia Minor. After the pope’s strong measures the Quartodecimans seem to have gradually dwindled away. https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05228a.htm

      “You probably know this as the quarterdeciman controversy meaning those who keep the 14th just as Christ and all his disciples did.”

      Jesus and His disciples observed Passover on the day that the Jews observed Passover. I hope that you will agree that between that time and the time of the Christian Church some rather significant events occurred. Like the death and resurrection of the Lord. Which is why the Apostolic Church worshiped on Sundays; and celebrating the Resurrection on that day also made sense.

      “If Polycarp is a Church father, why do you not listen to him and do as he did?”

      Because other Church Fathers held different views, and the Popes, who had authority in this matter, decided on the practice of having Easter on Sunday.

      “and eventually changed its name to Easter after the Pagan goddess Ishtar or Astarte!”

      The word “Easter” (as the German Oster and the Dutch Oostre) is in fact taken from and Old High German word. Encyclopedia Brittanica tells us “There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis, a Latin phrase that was understood as the plural of alba (“dawn”) and became eostarum in Old High German, the precursor of the modern German and English term.” The older explanation was from St. Bede the Venerable, an early English saint: “Bede provides the only documentary source for the etymology of the word, in his Reckoning of Time. He wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ (Old English ‘Month of Ēostre’, translated in Bede’s time as “Paschal month”) was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says “was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month.” In either case, Ishtar and Astarte have nothing to do with it. It’s only in the Germanic languages that Easter or cognate words are used; in Greek and Latin (and the languages derived therefrom), and in Russian, the name of the holy day is Pascha, taken from the Aramaic word (and related to the Hebrew word) for Passover. In other countries (such as Japan and China) the name is the equivalent of “Resurrection Day.” You’re welcome to argue that English and German speakers would do better to adopt a different name, but you can hardly condemn the entire Church for the linguistic foible of one geographical area.

      “Seems as though you direct me to further reading which I have already done, as our Pastor Dr. Bob Thiel does much teaching on the subject, I propose you also look at a book he produced on the true history of the Church of God. It has several hundred references accepted by the Catholic Church.”

      Instead, I did some research on your pastor. It was enlightening, to say the least. I didn’t even have to check any Catholic sources. The multitudinous Churches of God were sufficient; they appear to have an extremely low opinion of him.

      “I doubt this will be published on this site and I fully understand why you would not publish it,”

      Mr. Olson is quite kind about letting even people with truly bizarre views post.

      “but this is a witness to whoever moderates this site and I thank you for posting my last two messages. I pray that whoever reads this would check out this link.”

      You cannot seriously expect us to be interested in the opinion of a man who thinks that everybody got things completely wrong for nearly two millennia until he came along.

      “As far as Protestants not agreeing with us, I am glad, because we are not Protestant as the Church of God can trace its history all the way back to Pentacost in AD 31 when the Church of God began.”

      Your “CCOG” was founded in 2012 by the Bob Thiel you mention and is an offshoot of the “Living Church of God,” which was founded in 1998 as an offshoot of the Worldwide Church of God, previously called the Radio Church of God and now called Grace Communion International; which in turn was founded in 1934 by Herbert W. Armstrong. That in turn was an offshoot of the Oregon Conference of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), founded in 1858 by Gilbert Cranmer. That in turn sprang from the Millerites in the 1830’s. The Church of God, including your branch, cannot trace its origins back to Pentecost with any legitimacy. I stand corrected as to whether you are Protestant; as you appear to be one of the splinter groups that have not accepted basic Christian beliefs (as the Worldwide Church of God/Grace Communion International did), the CCOG is a non-Christian cult.

      “As far as Elijah goes, you will find he wrote a letter to a King many years after he went into heaven. How can this be?”

      No, I will find that “And there came a writing to him [the king] from Elijah the prophet.” It doesn’t say when the letter was written. Elijah was a prophet, remember? He could easily have written the letter before he was taken up into heaven. In any event, the events in the Bible are not always presented in strict chronological order. Even a quick online search will give you article after article explaining why the alleged contradiction isn’t one.

      “He was merely carried into the first heaven – the sky!”

      Sez you. What authority do you have that I should believe your particular interpretation? The Bible doesn’t say, “He was carried up into the heaven where the birds are.” In any event, only Jesus has ascended into heaven, of His own power. Any others who have gone to heaven have been assumed to heaven, not by their own power.

      “The Bible tells us that God created the birds of the heavens. Heaven is the sky, it’s also the abode of the stars and planets and finally it is also used as the word for the abode of the Father and the Son and the other heavenly beings.”

      Quite true. That doesn’t mean that I have to accept your authority for which one is being mentioned in any given verse.

      “Whoever moderates this, I thank you for the space to share the truth you have allowed me to share. If this is message is too strong for a Catholic site, I understand, but hope you would yourself check out the link. All our material is 100% free download and no personal information, including email is ever required. Freely you have received, freely you shall give.”

      Unfortunately, what you are sharing is not truth. I believe that your intentions are good, but good intentions do not make up for being wrong.

      “But be prepared, this message will go out to the entire world with far nor strength and power in the soon coming future to all nations (Matt 24:14).”

      Ummm, what? Matthew 24:14 says “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations: and then shall the consummation come.” I don’t know where you got that translation.

      • I felt that I should offer a defence of Dr Bob Thiel before I cease communication, as it seems you are so eager to know his study credentials and are very quick to criticize and judge him. I on the other hand, have only used history and scripture. He has a Th.D. in early Christianity from the Calvin Graduate School of Theology. I understand you will believe it to be worthless because it isn’t from a Roman Catholic school of theology.

        Putting that aside,trusting what other people say about someone without viewing the actual writings and what he has said is foolish (cf. Proverbs 18:13), as we know from the Bible that Jesus and his disciples were spoken against constantly and the disciples were not educated in all the places that the religious leaders of the time were. The Bible also tells us that it’s the Spirit that leads us into knowledge and wisdom,

        While I hope I am wrong, you do not seem to be interested in the truth of the Bible shown in some of the clear scriptures I have provided and you would prefer to listen to later ‘traditions’ that go against scripture rather than a man taught by an Apostle i.e. Polycarp of Smyrna, who relied on sacred scripture. Yes, you may well claim Peter was the first Pope, but even some in the Catholic Church recognise he could not have spent any significant amount of time in Rome in order to be the Bishop of Rome. Here are two different writings from Catholic sources.

        The Catholic Encyclopedia states

        Christ not only established the episcopate in the persons of the Twelve but, further, created in St. Peter the office of supreme pastor of the Church. Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome, and ruled the Church there as its bishop. It is from Rome that he dates his first Epistle, speaking of the city under the name of Babylon, a designation which St. John also gives it in the Apocalypse (c. xviii). At Rome, too, he suffered martyrdom in company with St. Paul, A.D. 67 (Joyce G.H. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. The Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

        But is that account completely accurate?

        Or what about the following from the Church of Rome ?

        The Apostolic Ministry of St. Peter…A.D…

        42-49 First sojourn in Rome…
        54-57 Second sojourn in Rome; Gospel of Mark written under Peter’s direction…
        62-67 Third sojourn in Rome; canonical Epistles of Peter…
        67 Martyrdom in Rome and burial near the Necropolis at the Vatican

        (Ray S.K. Upon This Rock. Nihil Obstat Robert Lunsford. Imprimatur + Carl F. Mengeling, Bishop of Lansing. Ignatius Press, San Francisco, p. 67).

        Roman Catholic scholars teach:

        … that Peter founded the Church of Antioch, indicates the fact that he laboured a long period there, and also perhaps that he dwelt there towards the end of his life … It is also probable that Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor for it can scarcely be supposed that the entire period between his liberation from prison and the Council of the Apostles was spent uninterruptedly in one city, whether Antioch, Rome, or elsewhere … Peter returned occasionally to the original Christian Church of Jerusalem … The date of Peter’s death is thus not yet decided; the period between July, 64 (outbreak of the Neronian persecution), and the beginning of 68 (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

        It is not biblically clear that Peter founded the church in Antioch (Stephen or Barnabas seems more likely, see Acts 11:19-22), but he probably spent a lot of time there Antioch (Galatians 2:11). However, it is clear even from Catholic history that Peter did not found the Church in Rome, spent little time in Rome, did not fix his residence there, and was not the first “bishop of Rome.”

        This area of Antioch is near the southern border of Asia Minor. It is not in or anywhere near Rome.

        The Catholic Encyclopedia admits this about Peter:

        … we possess no precise information regarding the details of his Roman sojourn (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

        No precise information means that the Roman Church has essentially relied on after the fact writings, nearly all of which were written over 100 years after Peter’s death, that say that he was in Rome and/or died in Rome. But even those accounts suggest that he was not there very long. (It should be noted that there are later accounts that Peter actually died in Jerusalem or Asia Minor, but they also are of questionable reliability.)

        Thus, the earlier claim about Peter that “Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome” is clearly false.

        Excerpts are from Thiel. B, Peter and Rome. Retrieved from https://www.cogwriter.com/peter.htm

        You should also recognise that Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles, while Peter was an Apostle to those of the circumcision (Galatians 2:7-8). Why would the Apostle to the circumcision be the physical head of the church in Rome – a gentile city? It makes no sense.

        What does make sense is that many who are church fathers in the Catholic Church are the ones that “went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us” (1 John 2:19). Since it was John who was inspired to write this, and Polycarp was his faithful disciple – then he was not the one who departed from the faith once for all delivered (Jude 1:3). Finally, since we see in 1 Corinthians 12:28, that apostles then prophets are the order of hierarchy in church government, why would a Roman bishop be higher in church government rank than a living apostle who reclined on the bosom of Jesus, because most scholars accept that John was the last living apostle that saw Christ who also wrote a gospel and epistles, therefore, one would expect the head of the church after Peter’s death would be one of the original twelve that was left living. Since John lived until around the end of the first century, does one really think that he needed to be subservient to the Roman bishop in matters including doctrine?

        No, Peter was not the first Pope and the early bishops of Rome that held their positions while the apostles still lived , according to 1 Corinthians 12:28, were illegitimate and had no authority over the apostles still living and the churches in Asia Minor, that Christ chose to write to in Revelation 2-3, which just so happened to leave out Rome. If the Popes were rightfully the leaders of the Church, one would think that based upon all written above, including 1 Corinthians 12:28, that John also would have been Pope before the end of his life, but he simply was not.

        I realise I had said I had finished writing in my prior message, but maybe you would be wise to actually read what Dr Bob Thiel wrote in his Church history booklet rather than denigrating him with personal attacks based upon spurious and unsubstantiated claims. I have been polite toward you Leslie and I would appreciate it if you too would afford the same decorum toward myself and Dr. Bob Thiel.

        This now will be my last post. Thank you for allowing me the privilege and opportunity to politely debate and present the truth of the matter and hope that some of the writings of Catholic scholars as well as Bible scriptures has provided you with some things to think about.

        • “I felt that I should offer a defence of Dr Bob Thiel before I cease communication, as it seems you are so eager to know his study credentials and are very quick to criticize and judge him. I on the other hand, have only used history and scripture. “

          You have used the version of history and the interpretation of scripture on which you and he agree, but I have seen nothing that shows that your interpretation has any authority. It’s your opinion, one that disagrees with the teaching of the Catholic Church, which was founded by Jesus.

          “He has a Th.D. in early Christianity from the Calvin Graduate School of Theology. “

          Oh, is that the latest story? Previously it was TCU, and when it was pointed out that Texas Christian University does not have any record of his being a student there, it became “TC of U;” and then it was identified as mail-order university in India…. Here’s quite an interesting link: https://ambassadorwatch.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-remarkable-story-of-bob-thiels-thd.html

          “I understand you will believe it to be worthless because it isn’t from a Roman Catholic school of theology.”

          Not for that reason; there are some excellent theological seminaries that are Protestant. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, for example, where Scott Hahn and Marcus Grodi, among others, studied.

          “Putting that aside,trusting what other people say about someone without viewing the actual writings and what he has said is foolish (cf. Proverbs 18:13),”

          What Proverbs 18:13 says is “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” There’s another of those misapplied verses. I don’t need to read the writings because I know that, for example, your pastor doesn’t believe that the Holy Spirit is God; in and of itself, that belief is enough to disqualify him from being worth reading, and his list of beliefs on his website adds a great deal more evidence that anything he writes is really not worth reading.

          “as we know from the Bible that Jesus and his disciples were spoken against constantly and the disciples were not educated in all the places that the religious leaders of the time were.”

          Jesus is God, of which He gave ample proof, and the disciples were taught by Him. Those who spoke against Him, and them, were in error. Those who speak against your pastor’s teachings do not seem to be in error at all.

          “The Bible also tells us that it’s the Spirit that leads us into knowledge and wisdom,”

          Yes, the Spirit guides the Catholic Church so that She teaches truth. Outside the Church, there is a chaos of splinter group upon splinter group, all of them claiming to know the truth by the leading of the Holy Spirit, and all of them disagreeing with one another. Clearly the Holy Spirit is not leading them.

          “While I hope I am wrong, you do not seem to be interested in the truth of the Bible shown in some of the clear scriptures I have provided”

          I am quite interested in the truth of the Bible; but that truth is not shown in what you have written.

          “and you would prefer to listen to later ‘traditions’ that go against scripture rather than a man taught by an Apostle i.e. Polycarp of Smyrna, who relied on sacred scripture.”

          There is one letter from St. Polycarp extant; and an account of his martyrdom; and mentions of him by various others, such as Eusebius. I am not listening to “later ‘traditions;’” even at the time when St. Polycarp lived most of the Church (excepting Asia) celebrated Easter on Sunday, the day of the Resurrection. In any case, none of the Church’s Traditions go against Scripture (which is written Tradition). Against your misinterpretation of Scripture, yes, but the fault does not lie with the Church.

          “Yes, you may well claim Peter was the first Pope,”

          Of course he was.
          “but even some in the Catholic Church recognise he could not have spent any significant amount of time in Rome in order to be the Bishop of Rome. “

          What does the amount of time he spent there matter? He was Bishop of Rome. He died there. His successors were Bishops of Rome. Tertullian, Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, and others all mentioned that St. Peter was in Rome and that he died there.

          [Snip a bunch of stuff that does nothing but say that St. Peter traveled widely, which doesn’t mean that he wasn’t Bishop of Rome].

          “It is not biblically clear that Peter founded the church in Antioch (Stephen or Barnabas seems more likely, see Acts 11:19-22), but he probably spent a lot of time there Antioch (Galatians 2:11).”

          Of course St. Peter spent a lot of time in Antioch. And his successor as Bishop of Antioch was Evodius, whose successor was Ignatius.
          “However, it is clear even from Catholic history that Peter did not found the Church in Rome, spent little time in Rome, did not fix his residence there, and was not the first “bishop of Rome.””

          Sez you. A number of the early Church Fathers and unbroken Tradition disagree with you: St. Peter died in Rome, and his successors were bishops of Rome. Golly, whom am I going to believe, you or them?

          “This area of Antioch is near the southern border of Asia Minor. It is not in or anywhere near Rome.”

          Irrelevant. The Apostles traveled widely.

          “The Catholic Encyclopedia admits this about Peter ‘… we possess no precise information regarding the details of his Roman sojourn’’

          We don’t have precise details, but we know that he was there, that he was Bishop of Rome, and that he died there.

          “No precise information means that the Roman Church has essentially relied on after the fact writings, nearly all of which were written over 100 years after Peter’s death, that say that he was in Rome and/or died in Rome. But even those accounts suggest that he was not there very long.”

          So what? If he had been there for a day or a week or a month or a year, he was Bishop of Rome and he died in Rome. His tomb is in Rome. Ancient graffiti at the site of his tomb asks for his intercession. Do you think a bishopric is some sort of award for a certain amount of time at a certain place?

          Let’s dd to that the fact that while we may not now have many writings from the time St. Peter was Bishop of Rome or immediately afterward, it doesn’t follow that the people who were writing “over 100 years after Peter’s death” didn’t have access to earlier sources.

          “ (It should be noted that there are later accounts that Peter actually died in Jerusalem or Asia Minor, but they also are of questionable reliability.)”

          They are of questionable reliability. The are not *also* of questionable reliability.

          “Thus, the earlier claim about Peter that ‘Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome’ is clearly false.’”

          No, what’s clearly false is your reasoning process. What, do you think there was a sort of residency requirement? “You can’t be considered to have fixed your residence somewhere unless you have spent x amount of time without leaving?” Seriously, sweetie, get a grip.

          “Excerpts are from Thiel. B, Peter and Rome. Retrieved from https://www.cogwriter.com/peter.htm”

          If you are presenting his reasoning, rather than yours, then I will place the blame for the poor reasoning on him rather than on you.

          “You should also recognise that Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles, while Peter was an Apostle to those of the circumcision (Galatians 2:7-8). Why would the Apostle to the circumcision be the physical head of the church in Rome – a gentile city? It makes no sense.”

          You seem to forget that it was St. Peter who baptized the first gentile convert to Christianity. Do you imagine that if a Jew had come up to St. Paul and asked for baptism, St. Paul would’ve said, “Sorry, dude, but I only deal with the gentiles?”

          There were Jews in Rome, but in any event St. Peter was the prince of the Apostles, the leader on earth of the Church; and Rome was the capital and center of the empire, and a good place to go to work on converting the entire empire.

          “What does make sense is that many who are church fathers in the Catholic Church are the ones that ‘went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us’ (1 John 2:19).”

          Snort. It makes sense only if you are desperately trying to denigrate the Church because you want people to believe that your odd little johnny-come-lately sect has the truth that was somehow overlooked for some 1800 years (and that’s being generous and giving you credit for the Millerites of the early 1800’s). So you’re saying that the gates of hell prevailed against the Church for centuries. Talk about contradicting the Bible…

          Annnnd again, you take verses out of context. Look at 1 John 2:18 and the verses that follow: “Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out , that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.” So he is warning against the many antichrists, and a few verses later he tells you who those antichrists are: “22 Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denieth the Father and the Son.” The Church Fathers did not deny the Father and the Son.

          “Since it was John who was inspired to write this, and Polycarp was his faithful disciple”

          I thought you believed in nothing that isn’t in the Bible. So where in the Bible does it say that St. Polycarp was St. John’s faithful disciple? *I* know he was because of the writings of the early Church Fathers, but why do you believe it? You ignore all the other historical things that the early Fathers say.

          “ – then he was not the one who departed from the faith once for all delivered (Jude 1:3)”

          You’re misusing the same verse. I’ve already pointed out to you your error about the people who departed from the faith as mentioned in Jude 1:3. He is referring, as it says in the next verse, to “certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Lasciviousness and denying Jesus. Not celebrating Easter on Sunday or any of the other things which you reject.

          .”Finally, since we see in 1 Corinthians 12:28, that apostles then prophets are the order of hierarchy in church government”

          And again you completely ignore the context of a verse. This chapter is discussing the fact that people have different gifts but are all members of the Church and all important, just as eyes and ears and other parts of the body have different functions but are all important.

          “why would a Roman bishop be higher in church government rank than a living apostle who reclined on the bosom of Jesus, because most scholars accept that John was the last living apostle that saw Christ who also wrote a gospel and epistles, therefore, one would expect the head of the church after Peter’s death would be one of the original twelve that was left living.”

          No, one wouldn’t expect that. St. John wasn’t the head of the Church; St. Peter was, and after St. Peter died his successor inherited his office, and so on down to the present day.

          “Since John lived until around the end of the first century, does one really think that he needed to be subservient to the Roman bishop in matters including doctrine?”

          Show me in the Bible an instance where St. John had a dispute over doctrine with the Pope and St. John’s view prevailed. After all, everything is in the Bible, according to you. In any case: Yes, one really does think that St. John needed to be subservient to the Pope in matters concerning doctrine, if there had ever been a dispute.

          “No, Peter was not the first Pope”

          Peter was the head on earth of the Church; the vicar of Christ, given the keys of the kingdom just as the chief steward in the royal household in the Davidic kingdom had the keys, and his successors had the keys in their turns. That’s what the Pope is, and Peter was the first Pope.

          “and the early bishops of Rome that held their positions while the apostles still lived , according to 1 Corinthians 12:28, were illegitimate and had no authority over the apostles still living”

          That is not what the verse says. You’re taking it out of context – again.

          “and the churches in Asia Minor, that Christ chose to write to in Revelation 2-3, which just so happened to leave out Rome.”

          It also left out all of the churches except those seven in Asia Minor. Asia Minor is where St. John evangelized.

          “If the Popes were rightfully the leaders of the Church, one would think that based upon all written above, including 1 Corinthians 12:28, that John also would have been Pope before the end of his life, but he simply was not.”

          You indulge in some seriously muddled reasoning. Your opinion (based on a verse taken out of context) is that an Apostle must be the leader of the Church as long as there is an Apostle alive. Therefore you believe that St. John, at the end of his life, would have been leader of the Church after all the other Apostles had died. And since St. John was never pope, you therefore reject the idea of the Pope as leader of the Church or, seemingly, that there was any leader of the Church.

          The Church has never taught that any Apostle except Peter was the leader of the Church on earth. Do you imagine that, when one Apostle died, the next one took his place? In what order? Age? Order in which they began to follow Jesus? Nearness (or distance) from Jerusalem? Coin toss? Wrestling match? And what about when the last Apostle died – to whom would the leadership go next? His successor as Bishop? The successor of St. Peter as bishop, and then when he died to – whom? The immediate successor as Bishop of one of the other Apostles? But what if the immediate successor had died? Go to the immediate successor of the next Bishop in whatever order of the Apostles you had come up with? Or go to the second successor? It would have been a jumbled mess. No, Jesus planned better than that. He built his Church on Peter, the Rock, and gave him the keys to pass to his successors.

          “I realise I had said I had finished writing in my prior message, but maybe you would be wise to actually read what Dr Bob Thiel wrote in his Church history booklet rather than denigrating him with personal attacks based upon spurious and unsubstantiated claims. I have been polite toward you Leslie and I would appreciate it if you too would afford the same decorum toward myself and Dr. Bob Thiel.”

          What spurious claims? That he founded your church in 2012 or so? That the members of the many, many other “Church of God” churches have a very low opinion of him? They’re not spurious. And I’m not likely to waste my limited time in reading his writings any more than I’m going to read the writings of the Mormons or the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

          “This now will be my last post.”

          It seems to me I’ve heard that song before; it’s from an old, familar score; I know it well, that melody….

          “Thank you for allowing me the privilege and opportunity to politely debate and present the truth of the matter“

          What you presented was not the truth of the matter.

          “and hope that some of the writings of Catholic scholars as well as Bible scriptures has provided you with some things to think about.”

          There is nothing that you have provided that needs to be thought about. I read Catholic scholars, but your pastor’s interpretation of them is of no value.

  12. Thank you for the space. The original Church was also called a cult or a heresy and was maligned by the religious majority, but Paul said they awaited the resurrection and that they believed the law and the prophets as do we. So, Leslie, I wear that cult badge with honour, for blessed are you when they say all kind

    Acts 24:14-15

    [14] But this I confess to thee, that according to the way, which they call a heresy, so do I serve the Father and my God, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets: [15] Having hope in God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection of the just and unjust.

    Thank you and goodbye.

  13. If God does not use prophets to intercede for us and were dead and not yet resurrected then explain the transfiguration of Christ when the apostles saw Moses and Elijah.

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