Bishop Paprocki: Regarding Communion debate “There should be no unity with iniquity”

By Alejandro Bermudez for CNA

Bishop Thomas Paprocki. (Image: Courtesy Diocese of Springfield)

Denver Newsroom, Jun 23, 2021 / 16:56 pm (CNA).

In a statement published on June 23, 2021, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois lambasted recent media coverage of the USCCB vote to draft a document on the Eucharist.

Among the errors pointed out in the statement were claims by several media outlets that the “Vatican had warned the Catholic Bishops of the United States not to pass this proposal.”

Said Bishop Paprocki, “That is simply false.”

To clarify the issue the bishop continued, “In fact, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, SJ, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had written to the president of the USCCB calling for ‘dialogue . . .  first among the bishops themselves, and then between bishops and Catholic pro-choice politicians within their jurisdictions.’ In fact, bishops and politicians have been dialoguing about this issue for many years.”

He argued that the draft document was “precisely” the impetus needed to give the dialogue form and substance. USCCB procedures will now allow for regional bishops’ meetings to discuss the document and a formal debate and vote on the document—with the ability to propose amendments—at the November meeting.

Additionally, he noted that one of the “misleading arguments” was voiced by bishops and cardinals inside the USCCB. These bishops and cardinals argued that “drafting this document …would be divisive and would harm the unity of the bishops’ conference,” according to the statement.

However, Bishop Paprocki countered that “There should be no unity with iniquity.”

“Yes, we should strive for unity, but our unity should be based on the truths of our faith as found in Sacred Scripture and the constant Tradition of the Church. No one should want to be united on the path to perdition.”

The bishop stressed that other members of the hierarchy in Latin America united in the teaching on “Eucharistic coherence”— “including Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis).” The Latin American bishops were the first to use the term “eucharistic coherence,” though they were building off of the term “eucharistic consistency” used in Sacramentum Caritatis by Pope Benedict XVI. The term has been explosive in the American context, though it has been a feature of theological and papal thought with little controversy before immersion into its current context.

Addressing yet another inaccuracy, he asserted that Eucharistic consistency isn’t simply about “abortion and euthanasia,” but the problem of grave sin “of any kind.”

While mainstream reporting has often given the impression that the bishops recently decided only one sin will prevent someone from reception of the Eucharist, “It has been the constant teaching of the Catholic Church for the past two thousand years that those persons conscious of grave sin must first repent, confess their sins to a priest, and receive sacramental absolution before receiving holy Communion,” said the bishop.

“This teaching is reflected in the Church’s canon law and sacramental discipline,” he noted.

Finally, Bishop Paprocki concluded with a description of the oath taken by a bishop at his ordination and an exhortation to his brother bishops to “have the courage to fulfill their solemn oath.”

The oath reads: “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.”


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32 Comments

  1. Sometimes it looks like unity, ecumenism, and inclusivity have become ends in and of themselves. In theory a Satanic rite in the Church would be unifying, ecumenical, and inclusive.

    • It is good that many in the Catholic Church recognise the horror and abomination that is abortion of an unborn child of God. Unfortunately, this position has not been historically as concrete as many in the Catholic Church are led to believe.

      Here are some excepts showing that the position of the Pope’s has not been so concrete, even regarding when the soul becomes infused with the body, reminiscent of some of the positions of the pro-abortionists of today who believe that a baby is not fully human until it reaches certain stages of development.

      In circa 217 A.D., Callistus became bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic saint Hippolytus reported:

      Callistus…a man cunning in wickedness, and subtle where deceit was concerned, (and) who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne…Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII)

      Notice that Callistus allowed (or at least permitted) abortion and adultery.

      Note what The Catholic Encyclopedia has admitted about Callistus:

      Callistus…permitted noble ladies to marry low persons and slaves, which by the Roman law was forbidden; he had thus given occasion for infanticide. (Chapman , Pope Callistus I)

      Yet, the following is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion and was approved by the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI (when Benedict XVI was still known as Cardinal Ratzinger):

      Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to moral law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2271. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 606).

      However, they seem to be ignoring the Roman Bishop Callistus (as well as later Popes and others) who did allow abortion.

      Furthermore notice what one Protestant scholar wrote about other Roman Catholic Popes:

      Most Catholics are not aware that the infallible Church and popes have changed their minds several times on this topic–unthinkable from today’s perspective.

      From the fifth century onward, Aristotle’s view that the embryo goes through stages from vegetable to animal to spiritual was accepted. Only in the final stage was it human. Thus Gregory VI (1045-6) said, “He is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body.” Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than 40 days since it wasn’t yet human. His successor, Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed. His Bull of 1588 made all abortions, for any reason, homicide and cause for excommunication. His successor, Gregory XIV, reversed that decree. In 1621 the Vatican issued another pastoral directive permitting abortion up to 40 days (Hunt D. A Women Rides the BeastHarvest House Publishers, Eugene (OR), 1994, pp. 519-520).

      Quite similarly notice what one former Roman Catholic priest wrote:

      Most Catholics assume that the soul is infused at conception…For fourteen hundred years until the late nineteenth century, all Catholics, including the popes, took it for granted that the soul is not infused at conception…

      From the fifth century, the church accepted without question, the primitive embryology of Aristotle. The embryo began as a non-human speck that was progressively animated.

      In the fifteenth century, moralists began to ask whether it was not possible in certain circumstances to get rid of the foetus without fault…Some went further. They said it was permissable to save a mother’s life even after the foetus was humanized…

      Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than forty days since it was not human…His successor, the tempestuous Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed entirely. In his Bull Effraenatum of 1588, he said all abortions for whatever reason were homicide and were penalized by excommunication reserved to the Holy See. Immediately after Sixtus died, Gregory XIV realized that, in the current state of theological opinion, Sixtus’ view was too severe. In an almost unique decision, he said Sixtus’ censures were to be treated as if he had never issued them (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolbeg Press, Dublin, 2000, p.p 374-375).

      Even some Catholic monks put out instructions for how women could perform abortions in the Middle Ages:

      Looking for Medical Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts
      Spiegel – March 25, 2010 excerpts…

      Obscure passages can also be found in “Macer floridus,” another standard work of monastic medicine. “When a pregnant woman takes in the scent of the wilting flower through her nose, this shall abort the fruit of the womb,” a monk wrote in punchy Latin hexameter. He was referring to the flower of the wild arum plant. The same effect could be achieved, he added, “if the crushed root is inserted into the uterus from below with a small wool suppository.”

      The abortion method involving the suppository could even have worked. “Arum is quite toxic,” says Mayer. However, the intervention was probably not completely safe for the pregnant woman. “In the Middle Ages, toxic substances were used very often,” Mayer explains. “The people in the monasteries knew about the risks and side effects, but they often had no better alternatives.”

      Monks giving abortion tips? The medical historian doesn’t find this outlandish at all. “The Catholic Church only formulated its rigid position on abortion in the 19th century,” Mayer explains. It was not as clear in the past, he adds. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,685432,00

      Excerpts taken from Pontifical support for abortion and infanticide? https://www.cogwriter.com/news/church-history/pontifical-support-for-abortion-and-infanticide/

      As you can see, the Catholic Churches position on abortion isn’t as iron clad as they would make it seem.

      • The early Christian writing the Didache forbids abortion. It’s strange that people will go back centuries to find evidence for permitting abortion. This requires accepting centuries old, and out of date science. Genetics proves that the entirety of an unborn child’s genetic endowment is present at conception and is functioning. Yet the people bringing up this badly out of date science like to claim that the Catholic Church is anti-science, and that they are the true vicars of science.

        • The purpose of the post was not to find evidence to support abortion, as we in the Church of God are against abortion at any point of a pregnancy and for any reason. The point of the post, is that the Catholic Church likes to point out that they have always been against abortion, but as the evidence above shows, they simply have not been. The Pope’s are also meant to be infallible on points of doctrine. If this were the case, they would all hold the same doctrinal position regarding abortion.

          We may have more scientific knowledge today, but the writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit, so they did not require a science degree to know that life began at conception.

          Jeremiah chapter 1 should have been enough for the infallible Pope’s, but it was not.

          Jeremiah 1:4-5

          4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

          5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
          Before you were born I sanctified you;
          I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

          The Popes are obviously not infallible, else the Catholic Church would not have such differing views about abortion over the centuries. If they can’t be trusted to keep the original faith on something so serious, what hope is there of it keeping original Christianity on many of the other points?

          • It strikes me that monks in monasteries are NOT Popes.Yet even THEY might have a personal opinion. It does not make what they were doing valid or permissible. Regarding Callistus, I believe that a “high born lady” having made a somewhat brave decision to marry someone low born, presumably for LOVE, would NOT immediately chose to abort that man’s child. Why would she? Because the law said so? Good luck to that thought.More likely if social censure or trouble was an issue, they would easily flee to a location where neither party was known. What Hippolytus said about this issue is his opinion and nothing more. Nor might it be what happened in the majority of cases. Truth be told, even a Pope is allowed a PERSONAL opinion. Like Francis, he might harbor an unpopular sentiment about an issue. It does not mean he is in a position to approve it or name it permissible in the church.As for the women who can’t accept the rules which say no women priests, or accept themselves as God made them, I am weary from hearing their tantrums. Jesus defied many conventions of his day, and could have easily named women Apostles. He did not. That is the final word. I am a woman, and have NO problem with this reality.I serve the church in other capacities and suggest others do so as well.

          • A blunderbuss fires shrapnel everywhere but can still miss the precise target. Two points about papal infallibility, precisely:

            First, the precise definition on papal infallibility reads as follows: “The Roman Pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when exercising the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, he defines with his supreme apostolic authority a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised to him in St. Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith and morals: and therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves (and not from the consent of the Church)”

            Second, the 19th-century St. John Henry cardinal Newman offers a short list of positions not fitting the precise definition of papal infallibility: “What have excommunication and interdict to do with infallibility? Was St. Peter infallible on that occasion at Antioch when St. Paul withstood him? Was St. Victor infallible when he separated from his communion the Asiatic Churches? Or Liberius when in like manner he excommunicated Athanasius? And, to come to later times, was Gregory XIII, when he had a medal struck in honour of the Bartholomew massacre? Or Paul IV in his conduct towards Elizabeth? Or Sixtus V when he blessed the Armada? Or Urban VIII when he persecuted Galileo? No Catholic ever pretends that these Popes were infallible in these acts” (from a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk [1876], in Vincent Blehl (ed.), “The Essential Newman,” Mentor Omega, 1963, page 269).

      • Your mistake, which is frequently committed by those grasping at loopholes, is in failing to discern the difference between prudential beliefs and the actual teaching of the Church. The current Pontificate has and continues to be a text book example of the often wide chasm between the two.

  2. Just some observations:
    How did I ever learn about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist without the phrase “Eucharistic Coherence”?
    When did we substitute the phrase “grave sin” for “mortal sin”?
    I just read that in a leaked USCCB document they say that there will be no direct reference to Pro-abortion catholic politicians receiving the Eucharist.
    Poor media coverage of the USCCB is the least of their worries.
    Apparently archbishop Cordileone has recently said that he is still in Dialogue with Nancy Pelosi. (He has been her bishop for 9 years)
    In waiting for a bishop to actually obey canon 915 and refuse communion to a pro-abortion politician in his diocese, the phrase “when hell freezes over” keeps coming to mind.

  3. That’s a powerhouse oath the bishops take.

    I would love it if every one of them would renew their oath.

    And then have it tattooed somewhere on their bodies.

    • I agree. Perhaps they already do it, but I think it would be great if they renewed their oaths at every meeting of the USCCB.

  4. Pro-choice politicians are indirectly responsible for abortion—it is the pregnant woman who ultimately chooses to kill her baby. Bishops who protected pedophile priests are indirectly responsible for sex crimes against children—it is the pedophile priest who commits the sex crime. Bishops who endorse corrupt politicians are indirectly responsible for crimes against man kind—such as executions, separating children from their parents, and mishandling a pandemic. Bishops who play politics with the federal government are worshipping a golden calf. American bishops have lost a lot of credibility and are now painting themselves into a corner with their communion dialogue. May our Catholic leadership use their resources to spread the Good News of God’s Kingdom and stop playing politics.

  5. So, which bishops had their fingers crossed when they took this oath? I know how difficult it is to keep the vows of a vocation, but theirs is a more public witness than most of us — much like the witness of “devout Catholic” politicians. We don’t know who has taken the path of Confession, repentance, and a firm resolve to sin no more before receiving absolution for those sins, but we should be able to see the fruits of their repentance exhibited in future actions. If we don’t see the fruits, we can assume that the “firm resolve” to sin no more has been broken and must be restored by going to Confession again.

  6. We must pray that our bishops will be willing to be martyrs for their authentic love of the Holy Eucharist. Those “funds” from the government, I fear, are driving this prolonged debate…as if Our dear Lord would not see to it that we have everything we need, including dollars, yen, pesos, whatever, for HIS people to live the Faith totally.

    • Ann Erwin,
      You identified the nub of the matter, exactly.

      Also, I might add, that clerics whom are working to have homosexual activities accepted as normal will have difficulty being decisive on Eucharistic consistency and the worthy reception of the Eucharistic Lord. There clerics are conflicted on the issues of guarding their cash flow from the government, as well as, being firm on the issue of the higher faculties controlling the lower faculties.

  7. My question would be how did we ever get 65 bishops who don’t even want to talk about the holy Eucharist

    • Robert Lockwood,

      My former bishop is on the list.
      ” ” pastor ” ” ” ”
      ” present bishop ” ” ” ”
      ” neighboring diocese former bishop is on the list.

      That’s four out of 65. Hello, Chicago!

  8. Bishop Paprocki takes hold of the reins and God bless him for his levelheadedness. While the unruly prelates loosely cast about such manipulative words as dialogue, balance, inclusive, divisive, unity, diversity, tolerance, ecumenism in order to delay, delay, and pay homage to the indecision deity– Bishop Paprocki sets the bit with:

    “There should be no unity with iniquity.”

    As I referenced in another post:

    Pablo Blanco in his article “Words and silence: the relationship between Benedict XVI and the media” Like Guardini, the German Pope believed that truth has no need of special adornments to make itself felt. Truth speaks with its very beauty.”

    Bishop Paprocki so faithfully holds the line continuing on with the full meaning of Eucharistic consistency and that it has been the Church’s teaching in both canon law and sacramental discipline. Next the faithful cleric reminds the ramblers to “have the courage to fulfill their solemn oath.” —-

    Indeed, “… truth has no need of special adornments to make itself felt. Truth speaks with its very beauty.”

    Thank you, Bishop Paprocki, manage those reins.
    Prayers, R

  9. I am sick sore and tired of the likes of Bishop propcki, cordleone and their likes who are all talk but little evidence for actual action! With respect, just do what And. Farragut did at Mobile Bay in 1864: Damn the torpedoes!!! Get to work will you?????!!!!! One last final warning then excommunicate!

  10. Also, it is true, that the Bible is clear that true Catholics should not be yoked together with iniquity for the sake of unity. The Bible is very clear on this. But do you know what the original beliefs of the Catholic Church were? Many Catholics would be shocked! Did you know that the first reference to the Catholic Church was not referencing Rome, but instead was referencing the Catholic Church in Smyrna, and showed that the one who had apostolic succession was Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna? The same Smyrna referenced in the Book of Revelation chapter 2. Here are some excerpts from the book ‘Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.’

    The Catholic Church of God in Smyrna

    But what about church being called “Catholic”?

    The world ‘catholic’ means ‘about whole’ ‘according to the whole’ or ‘throughout the whole’ or
    ‘complete’ and has come to mean ‘universal.’
    The first time the term “catholic church” has been found in ancient writings is in a letter from Ignatius to
    the Church of God in Smyrna (Holmes MW, ed. The Apostolic Fathers Greek Texts and English Translations.
    Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 3rd printing, 1999 footnote 109, p. 191). It was not in a document related to
    the Church of Rome until almost a century later (Ibid).
    Being raised Roman Catholic, this author was surprised to see that the earliest references to the “catholic
    church” were not references to Rome.
    Notice also the following comments:
    The word “Catholic” had its origin in the Greek language; and the things it stands for in Christianity
    originated at a time when the Greek language was the religious language of Christians in the West
    as well as in the East, in Rome and Africa and Gaul, as well as in Alexandria, Asia, and Antioch. The
    word is not found in the Greek Bible of the Old Testament, or the New Testament. It is an adjective
    compounded of the preposition καταʹ, meaning in this connection “throughout,” and the
    adjective ὅλος, “whole,” properly in the accusative, ὅλον or ὅλην, in accordance with the noun to
    which it is attached. … We first meet the word in the epistle of Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch, to
    the church at Smyrna, early in the second century … We find three uses of the word in the letter
    of the church of Smyrna on the martyrdom of Polycarp, its bishop, soon after the martyrdom in
    155 or I56. There is no good reason to question their genuineness. (Briggs CA. CATHOLIC-THE
    NAME AND THE THING. THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY, Volume VII, JULY 1903, Number
    3, pp. 417-418)
    Here are some quotes from Bishop/Pastor Ignatius of Antioch, in the early 2nd century:
    Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father and of the beloved Jesus
    Christ at Smyrna in Asia … Wherever the bishop appears, there let the congregation be; just as
    wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church. (Ignatius. Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 0.0.,
    8.2. In Holmes, pp. 185-191)
    So, Ignatius of Antioch refers to the Church of God in Smyrna and later says that the catholic church is
    where Jesus is. The bishop he was referring to in this case was Polycarp of Smyrna. In Ignatius’ extant
    letters (including one to Rome) he never refers to any bishop/pastor in or near Rome (like Linus, Cletus,
    Clement, Evaristus, or Alexander—the first claimed Roman Catholic “popes”) nor mention the term
    ‘catholic church’ in relationship to Rome.
    Furthermore, according to Roman Catholic scholars (e.g. Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the
    development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, pp. 13-15,
    McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco,
    2005 updated ed., p. 396, and Duffy E. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New
    Haven (CT), 2002, pp. 2,6), there are no clear early records proving the existence of any Roman bishops
    that early.

    The fact that it was in Ignatius’ letter to Smyrna that the term “catholic church” was first used is known and accepted by Roman Catholic scholars. The Catholic Encyclopedia specifically states:

    The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the
    letter of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about the year 110. The words run:
    “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there
    is the universal [katholike] Church.” However, in view of the context, some difference of opinion
    prevails as to the precise connotation of the italicized word … by the beginning of the fourth
    century it seems to have almost entirely supplanted the primitive and more general meaning …
    The reference (c. 155) to “the bishop of the catholic church in Smyrna” (Letter on the Martyrdom
    of St. Polycarp, xvi), a phrase which necessarily presupposes a more technical use of the word, is
    due, some critics think, to interpolation … (Thurston H. Catholic. Transcribed by Gordon A.
    Jenness. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton
    Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John
    Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

    Although Ignatius did use the transliterated expression he katholike ekklesia (ή καθολκή ἐκκλησία) in his
    letter—understand that he used it when addressing the Church of God at Smyrna in Asia Minor. That is
    the main region that the Continuing Church of God traces its descent through after the deaths of the
    apostles Peter, Paul, and John.
    Ignatius did not use the term for “catholic” in his letter to the Romans. Therefore, in a historical sense,
    the Church of God in Smyrna was (or at least an important part of) the original “catholic church.” Please
    read that factual statement again.

    • You appear to be flogging a dead horse. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. St. Peter was a Jew. He had to travel to Rome from Israel. St. Paul’s missionary journeys involved travel to Rome. The first Council of the Catholic Church was the Council of Jerusalem. The Apostolic authority of the Apostles went wherever they went. The writings of the Early Church Fathers have converted many a Protestant to the Catholic faith.

      • We are not Protestant. We can trace our beliefs all the way back to Pentecost 31ad. I tried to post some more information from the book “Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church” but the site stopped the post. Notice that the early references show that some of those who had the term catholic ascribed to them kept so-called Jewish Holy Days such as Unleavened Bread.

        The document written by the Smyrnaeans known as The Martyrdom of Polycarp seems to have been the
        second document that expression translated as “catholic church” was written in any records that we still
        possess:

        The church of God which sojourns at Smyrna to the Church of God which sojourns in Philomelium and to all the congregations of the Holy and Catholic Church in every place … the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic
        teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished. (The Smyrnaeans. The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, 0:1, 16.2. In Ante-
        Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson, Volume 4, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), printing 1999, p. 42)

        Therefore, by looking at Ignatius’ Letter to the Smyrnaeans as well as the Smyrnaeans Martyrdom of Polycarp, it should be clear that it was Polycarp’s church, the Smyrnaean Church of God, that the oldest
        literature points to as the original “catholic church.” (Note: this book has used lower case for the term
        “catholic church” in many discussions here because the term, according to most scholars, was used
        originally as more of as a description than a title.) By this time, though the churches in Asia Minor and
        Antioch were in communion with each other, they were NOT in communion/fellowship with the
        predominant churches in Rome or Alexandria.
        But also note that Polycarp was listed above as “an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna.” This points to the declaration that Polycarp had apostolic succession
        and should have been considered to have a/the mantle of top leadership of the known faithful prior to
        his death. Because it had succession from the apostles (as well as early writings), one could say that the Smyrna church was the original apostolic catholic Church of God. This view was carried forward into the 3rd century in Smyrna via Pionius.

        Getting back to The Martyrdom of Polycarp document itself, Gerd Buschmann says that document is
        “catholic-normative” and displays “the dogmatic common sense of the proto-Catholic Church” (Weidmann FW. Reviewed Work: Das Martyrium des Polykarp by Gerd Buschmann. Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 120, No. 3 Autumn, 2001, pp. 585-587). Yet, that is somewhat misleading. Instead, a more proper view would be that the original portions of The Martyrdom of Polycarp should be considered part of the original, not “proto” needing to be changed, catholic church. And, if the Martyrdom of Polycarp’s statement related to Polycarp, “For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished,” is accurate related to doctrine—that
        doctrine should NOT change!

        According to one account, c. 250 presbyter Pionius of Smyrna (who allegedly wrote The Life of Polycarp
        based on ancient manuscripts) said he was part of the catholic church:

        On the second day of the sixth month, on the occasion of a great Sabbath, and on the anniversary
        of the blessed martyr Polycarp, while the persecution of Decius was still on, there were arrested
        the presbyter Pionius, the holy woman Sabina, Ascleplades, Macedonia, and Limnos, a presbyter
        of the Catholic Church. … It was Saturday … Polemon the temple verger came in on them with his
        men in order to seek out the Christians and drag them off …
        “Pionius, … “Are you a Christian?” asked Polemon.
        “Yes,” said Pionius.
        Polemon the verger said: “What church do you belong to?”
        “The Catholic Church,” was the answer; “with Christ there is no other.” (The Martyrdom of Pionius
        and his Companions. Text from H. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs. Oxford, 1972, pp.
        137, 147)
        So, the above account points to some type of a Sabbath-keeping “Catholic Church” in Smyrna. Note: This
        particular “great Sabbath” is believed by certain scholars to have taken place on the first Day of
        Unleavened Bread; (see Lightfoot JB. S. Ignatius. S. Polycarp: Revised Texts with Instructions, Notes,
        Dissertations, and Translations, Volume 1, 2nd edition. Macmillan, 1889, pp. 45,702), however for it to
        have fallen on a Saturday, it would have been the 7th, the last, Day of Unleavened Bread in either 249 or
        252 A.D.

        When Pionius stated that there was no other true church than the catholic church, Smyrna and the rest
        of Asia Minor was not in fellowship with predominant churches in Rome or Alexandria (cf. Eusebius.
        Church History, Book VII, Chapter V, Verse I). Hence, Pionius was not referring to the Roman or Eastern
        Orthodox Catholic churches that were confederate at that time. Pionius also did not eat biblically unclean
        meats, but the Greco-Romans had adopted that practice in the 2
        nd century according to the
        pseudepigraphal Epistle of Barnabas and the less than accurate Liber Pontificalis.

        There are also some ancient 4
        th century references related to Lucian of Antioch that are of interest. Lucian
        was not in communion with the succession of at least three Greco-Roman bishops of Antioch, had a school
        based on literal biblical interpretation, “savoured of Judaism,” and was “Semi-Arian” (binitarian) (Newman
        JH, Cardinal. The Arians of the Fourth Century. Longmans, Green, & Co., New York, 1908, pp. 5, 9, 277,
        406). He reportedly was a Sabbatarian (Wilkinson, The Truth Triumphant, pp. 55-57; Kohen E. History of
        the Byzantine Jews. University Press of America, 2007, p. 53).
        In a seemingly 4th century creed ascribed to him, Lucian (or perhaps penned by a disciple) used the term
        “Catholic Church of God” (Schaff P. The Creeds of Christendom: The Greek and Latin creeds, with
        translations, Volume II. Harper and Brothers, 1877, pp. 28-29). This would not seem to have been a
        reference to the Greco-Roman churches as Lucian opposed the Alexandrian school. He was a church leader and probably was Church of God. Lucian’s Creed seems to be the oldest known document with the expression “Catholic Church of God.” Although as shown already, Ignatius used both “church of God” and “catholic Church” expressions in his 2nd century Letter to the Smyrnaeans.

        • What About Italy?

          Perhaps is should be pointed that after The Martyrdom of Polycarp, we then see a version of the term
          “catholic church” in a document known as the Muratorian Fragment. However, the original Greek manuscript was lost and what is now available is a 7th century document written in Latin, which was not
          the original.
          It is claimed that this document originally came from the late 2nd century. It was discovered in Milan, Italy
          and is also known as the Muratorian Canon. Here is what it states about certain heretical writings:
          ra quae in catholicam eclesiam recepi non (Latin original)
          which cannot be received into the catholic church (English translation)
          While some consider the Muratorian fragment to be the earliest list of New Testament books, it improperly includes the heretical books of the Apocalypse of Peter and Wisdom of Solomon, but excludes
          Book of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and one of John’s epistles.
          This was not the same ‘catholic church’ that was in Smyrna as those in Asia Minor and Antioch were in communion with each other then, but not then with the predominant church in Rome. Nor did the Christians of Asia Minor or Antioch accept the extra heretical books that the Muratorian fragment included.

          Plus, Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians showed that those in at least Asia Minor and Philippi recognized books that the Muratorian fragment excluded since Polycarp quoted Hebrews 3:1, 12:28 and 1 Peter 1:21, 2:12,21,22,24, 3:9,22, 4:7 and refers to teachings in James, 2 Peter, and the three epistles of John.

          It was not until the latter half of the 4
          th century that the term “Catholic Church” was clearly used for the
          Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic churches. That is when the Greco-Roman bishop Cyril of Jerusalem
          used it (Cyril. Catechetical Lectures, XVIII, 26).
          Furthermore, in an Imperial decree in 380, Emperor Theodosius declared that the “Catholic Church” was
          the official religion of the Roman Empire (Theodosian Code XVI.1.2. Cited in Bettenson H, ed., Documents
          of the Christian Church, London: Oxford University Press, 1943, p. 31). He also issued an Imperial decree
          that said any who would not embrace his definition of the Godhead were prohibited to use the term
          “catholic,” and he also labelled such persons as “foolish madmen” and “heretics” (ibid). Or as it is
          translated elsewhere, he labelled them “demented” and “insane.”
          Notice the following from Theodosius:
          C. Th. XVI.i.2. IT IS Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our
          Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the
          Romans, as the religion which he introduced makes clear even unto this day. It is evident that this
          is the religion that is followed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man
          of apostolic sanctity; that is, according to the apostolic discipline and the evangelic doctrine, we
          shall believe in the single Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, under the concept of
          equal majesty and of the Holy Trinity. We command that those persons who follow this rule shall
          embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and
          insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the
          name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the
          retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment
          (28 February 380).
          C. Th. XVI. i.3. We command that all churches shall immediately be surrendered to those bishops
          who confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one majesty and virtue, of the
          same glory, and of one splendor; to those bishops who produce no dissonance by unholy
          distinction, but who affirm the concept of the Trinity by the assertion of three Persons and the
          unity of the Divinity. . . . All, he ever, who dissent from the communion of the faith of those who have been expressly mentioned in this special enumeration shall be expelled from their churches as manifest heretics and hereafter shall be altogether denied the right and power to obtain churches, in order that the priesthood of the true Nicene faith may remain pure, and after the
          clear regulations of Our law, there shall be no opportunity for malicious subtlety (30 July 381)
          Yet, the Nicene faith of Pontiff Damasus and Bishop Peter of Alexandria was not the original catholic faith
          of the Apostle Peter. It should be noted that the Judeo-Christians community remained on Mt. Sion until
          the seizure of their church/synagogue by the Byzantines soon thereafter. Those of the original catholic
          faith had to flee into the wilderness from many locations (Revelation 12:6).
          Shortly thereafter, Greco-Roman Catholic scholars such as Jerome and Epiphanius referred to later
          Christians who held aspects of original catholic doctrines as Nazarenes.

          Notice also the following statement:
          From Justin to Jerome, however, the Nazarenes were viewed as doctrinally within the fold of what could be called “catholic Christianity.” (Varner W. Baur to Bauer and Beyond: Early Jewish
          Christianity and Modern Scholarship. Academ.edu, Received November 16, 2019)

          And it should be noted that the Nazarene “catholics” were not part of the church that Justin Martyr and
          Jerome were affiliated with. But they held doctrines consistent with the Church of God in Ephesus and Smyrna.

          Notice an interesting, but highly important, observation by the late Roman Catholic priest Bellarmino
          Bagatti:

          In conclusion, regarding the Nazarenes, both St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome have nothing to condemn them for except the observance of customs forbidden by the Councils. (Bagatti,
          Bellarmino. Translated by Eugene Hoade. The Church from the Circumcision. Nihil obstat: Marcus
          Adinolfi. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970.
          Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, p. 35)

          Those Councils would have been the Councils of Nicea (325 A.D.) and Constantinople (381 A.D.) which
          were called and directed by Roman emperors (the unbaptized ‘lay bishop’ Constantine and Theodosius
          respectively). And that is a major difference between the Continuing Church of God and most others who
          consider themselves catholic. The Greco-Romans accept several Imperial (and other) Councils as divinely
          authoritative (they are selective about the various councils as some contradict others) as their basis to
          change from aspects of the original catholic beliefs, while we in the CCOG consider those councils of
          mainly historical interest documenting changes that the attending groups in the adopted.

          So, we see, that there were two groups that were called Catholic, but the original catholics were forbidden to use the name any longer and were persecuted. Christ’s church were promised persecution but we’re never to be persecutors.

          Here is the link to the book by Dr. Bob Thiel, Beliefs of the “Original Catholic Church”.

          https://www.ccog.org/books/

          • Interesting. When I made the Protestant reference it was to show how people who where raised to question Catholicism were won over by reading the Early Church Fathers. I appear to have struck a nerve and now see where you are coming from. I am a long-term participant in Catholic Bible study at my parish. I’ve been through the heresies and early Church history. I saw a video by Dr. Brant Pitre where he went through the origins of the Bible. He said that during the early Church that there were many heretical writings. Councils were held to settle disputes and to clarify Church teachings. Dr. Pitre has also done video presentations tracing the Jewish roots of the Catholic faith. St. Paul made a practice to preach first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. He gave a teaching on the Jews in Romans 11.
            *
            For those interested Dr. Pitre has some presentations on YouTube and he has PDF outlines and excerpts of his videos on his website and on the Catholic Productions website.
            *
            From everything that I have seen the Catholic Church has always had the sounder, more comprehensive teaching than her opponents.

  11. Express our opinion relating to Abortion in the USA

    We are some regular, normal Catholics with large families, children, and grandchildren.
    We are all concerned with the current situation in our top leaderships in US Church.

    The current division among the top Leaderships indicates that there are different opinions and judgments among the Bishops.
    Therefore, we are humble to express our opinion regarding the current issue of abortion as follows:
    We would not take stance on the areas of catechism, Church laws, or Church teachings but we would express our opinion based on real-life experience.
    Firstly, we would like to tell a story below:
    There were two ladies in my hometown in Vietnam, the first one starts up an activity involving pregnant women: She visits pregnant women that seem to have problems. She gave them consolation and moral support and sometimes some physical help materially…
    Off and on she picks up some girls on the street who escaped from the family (in our country, especially in the rural area, people hardly tolerate the pregnancy without marriage, the family and neighborhood criticize and condemn these girls and sometimes kick them out of the family. So, they have to run away and find a way to survive or end up kill themselves) and give them support materially, room and board, through the giving birth, but still, some of them decide to have an abortion. This is when the argument between the two lady owners started:
    One said if any girl decides for the abortion then we must kick her out of the house and stop the help, but the other lady said that we have done our best to convince her to do the right thing, right way but if she chooses the abortion, that’s just between her and God, we should support her anyway (by giving the girl the financial help to go the right professional healthcare otherwise she will go to a witch doctor anyway and risk her life) We must understand and share her concern for choosing the abortion because she worries about her life after giving birth, who will help her and the baby after that. We must acknowledge and understand her dead-end situation.
    We will do our best within our conscience and let God do the judgment.

    Above is a summary of a story that we experience in actual life. However, there are many similar cases like this in life. And in our opinion, those two ladies are both right but in different aspects: One acts in her view of pure religion, and the other acts in her view of human love.

    We have read the accusation of the Democrat’s promotion of abortion. Our understanding of the term promotion is to invite, encourage, motivate people to go on with the action of abortion as a salesperson goes out on the street to sell a product.
    Our understanding is that the Democrats do not promote any of the above activities. They are only giving supports to the people in need after the fact that they have chosen abortion.
    The Democrat party tends to look up to the poor, the needy, and the immigrants more than any other party.

    Look beyond religion into the social environment.
    Abortion is a grave sin and must be stopped but how?
    Supposed the government outlaw abortion, suppose there would be no more Democrat party, no more president Biden, would abortion disappear?

    As Pope Francis recently stated: abortion is firstly a social matter.
    Abortion exists not only in the USA but all around the world. A study shows that over 50% of abortion is due to the economy, the study also shows that in the USA, to raise a child thru teen-ages costs around 200,000 USD (only the poor people can feel this hardship).
    Most people know that abortion is unconscientious but they choose to do it because they evaluate that to accept sins and spend a small amount of money for abortion procedure rather than worrying about a future of long many years of burden. However, for the non-religious people, which account for the majority, abortion is solely economy, therefore the economic matter is the issue to be concerned if we want to solve this social problem.

    The economy unbalanced is the major cause of many social problems today in the world: Only a few percent of people own most of the fortune in the world. And unfortunately, they own the fortune by unjust measures.
    The number of people gets killed in the world today is from many causes: Poverty, lack of nutrition and medication, war and gun, un-justice, corruption, etc. dead by abortion maybe just a small part but we hear it sound severe because it involved in politics.

    We see things differently therefore we think differently in the area of morality and God’s love. We understand God’s love a simple way as we love and care for our children with flexibility when they are sick or healthy, strong or weak.

    Quinn Nuyen,
    Downey, California

  12. St. Paul actually had something to say about Eucharistic coherence and about unity as against dissensions and factions:

    “…he withers the [port-city sinkhole] Corinthians in telling them they are spiritually immature, worldly. And how does he know that some at least are not living the gospel? Their divisions are the telltale sign, for the Spirit brings unity (1 Cor 3:1-3, CCC 790-91). These same factions likewise are an impediment to the worthy celebration of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:17-34). Since the Eucharist makes the many to be one (1 Cor 10:16-17), A COMMUNITY THAT LACKS UNITY MUST BE RESISTING THE EUCHARIST ITSELF” (CAPS added).

    Now, what to say of the factional 66 (or was it 666!), who rigidly/bigotedly (!) opposed simply staying on schedule to debate what to say and to discern how best to say it—about Eucharistic coherence/the Real Presence (CCC n. 1374 in 1992!)—footdraggers Cupich, Gregory, McElroy, Tobin, et al—-but, who are we to judge?

    And, as for the precipitating link to comfort-zone/Catholic Biden et al, and the VISIBLE reality of abortion, we have this not-inadmissible (!) and commonsense wisdom from Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “We do not err because the truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because it is more comfortable.”

    (Quotes from Thomas Dubay, S.M., “Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment,” 1997).

  13. Dialoguing while Catholics are committing mortal sins is beyond ridiculous. It’s not as if the definition of sin is going to change.
    Clerics need to speak to Church teachings and encourage people to stop committing sins.

  14. You say that Catholicism has the more sounder answers, but, the simple fact remains, that most scholars will accept that there were two main groups in the beginning of the 2nd century. One that kept the original faith and had become “imitators” of the churches of God in Judea in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 2:14), which most scholars will attest, had a semblance of Jewishness, though without the myriad of rules that the Jews placed on Jews as well as no longer needing to sacrifice. These are the laws that were done away. The Judaizers that many believe the Church of God to be, are those who wanted to accept Jesus but still hang onto the works of the law, those being the sacrifices and extra laws that were never meant to be.

    If people were to imitate the Churches of God in Judea, how could they do this by rejecting everything Jewish?

    The simple fact is that when the persecution of Jews increased, leading up to the Bar Kokhba revolt, that many Christians wanted to distance themselves from the Jews and did not want to look Jewish. Jude wrote that we should contend earnestly for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude verse 4). The faith was not meant to change, and the original catholic Church did not change and we still hold fast to that faith!

    The Catholic Church has said that the Protestants aren’t legitimate because they do not have apostolic succession, and that is true and correct. The Church of God does have apostolic succession, but not in the same way the Church of Rome does it. We believe there have been men such as Polycarp of Smyrna who held the apostolic succession mantle, that is passed on to another, possibly in a different location after they pass on or fall away. We do have a succession list and the Continuing Church of God has the most highly researched list of men who held the original teachings that we still hold to today.

    The Church of Rome persecuted those of our persuasion and put edicts against us in the 4th Century and they had to hide in the mountains for 1260 years, until and finally in the 17th century, they were free once again to practice their faith openly.

    As I have said prior, the true faith was never meant to persecute, nor to be political, but was promised persecution. The Church of Rome persecuted many, some heretical, but some were faithful Church of God Christians. They were given many names by the persecutors – some were called Annabaptists, some Paulicians, some were called Petrobrussians, and as I said, not all who held those names were true, but through history, we have been able to find those who held the faith of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Here is our succession list. Some spaces are blank because writings were often destroyed by the persecutors. Paul even said that Christians were often called a cult back in his day.

    Here is something about our succession list from the book, The beliefs of the Original Catholic Church:

    Peter and Asia Minor
    Based on available records, we have put together a list beginning with the original apostles, then tracing
    through the faithful leaders in Asia Minor emerging Smyrnaean leaders.
    We in the Continuing Church of God do believe that while Peter was alive, Peter did have pre-eminence.
    And that is not simply a recent COG opinion. Notice what the late Herbert W. Armstrong taught:
    God has always worked through one man, primarily, at a time. … In founding God’s Church, Jesus
    worked primarily through one man, Peter, even though He originally chose His 12 disciples. Few
    have ever noticed how Peter was the real leader. Jesus had told His disciples to go NOT to the
    gentiles, but to the “lost sheep of the House of Israel”. … The Jerusalem conference (Acts 15)
    showed that PETER was predominant over even Paul, although Paul was the ONE MAN God
    worked through primarily in the ministry to gentiles. … Acts 8: PETER with John went to Samaria
    … Acts 15. This crucial crux chapter has been misinterpreted, twisted and distorted. I have tried
    to take space to MAKE IT CLEAR in this article. The other apostles and ministers were all in
    confusion, arguing and disputing. But CHRIST silenced them by speaking through His CHOSEN chief
    apostle, PETER! (Armstrong, Herbert W. And Now Christ Sets Church Back On Track Doctrinally!
    Worldwide News, February 19, 1978, pp. 1-2).
    We in the Continuing Church of God also teach the same about Peter. Furthermore, we trace our apostolic
    succession through him to the Apostle John and then to Polycarp of Smyrna. It should be understood that
    there is sufficient evidence from even Roman Catholic approved sources to show that succession was
    handed off (via the laying on of hands) from the Apostle John to Polycarp.
    It may be of interest to note, that in a sense, the “Smyrnaean” leaders that Tertullian earlier referred to
    could also be considered as the “succession list of the see of Ephesus.” It was accepted for centuries
    among the Greco-Romans that there was an apostolic succession in Ephesus/Asia Minor.
    We in the Continuing Church of God believe (and this is supported by some Greco-Roman scholars), that
    after the mid third century, the list of our leaders can now be considered to be “lost” as the Greco-Roman
    historian Eusebius did not report them in Asia Minor. Plus, non-COG leaders ended up dominating Asia
    Minor in the latter portion of the third century. Hence, we do not show faithful leaders by name after
    Pionius in lists like the one below:
    Asia Minor/Ephesian/Smyrnaean Succession List
    c. 31 – c.64-68 Apostle Peter
    c. 67 – c. 98-102 Apostle John
    c. 100 – c. 157 Polycarp
    c. 157 – c. 160 Thraseas

    c. 160 – c. 167 Sagaris
    c. 167 – c. 170 Papirius
    c. 170 – c. 180 Melito
    c. 180 – c. 200 Polycrates
    c. 200 – c. 220 Camerius
    c. 220 – c. 245 Eudaemon *
    c. 245 – c. 250 Pionius **
    250 – 339 Unknown in Asia Minor as Eusebius did not report (apparently intentionally according
    to even Roman Catholic sources).
    * Eudaemon reportedly apostatized by c. 250, but precisely when is not clear. A group calling itself
    the ‘Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Ephesus, of All Asiana, and the Americas’ used most of the
    list through above (including dates) through Eudaemon (though originally this author, then they
    had, him through 250—this author changed the date later after learning more about Eudaemon’s
    falling away and Pionius’ faithfulness). This claimed Greek patriarchate is NOT in full communion
    with the official Orthodox Catholic Church. As far as the origin of the list goes, Dr. Thiel, the author
    of this text originated it and later the other organization seemingly looked to have copied much
    of it. When this author called to speak to their patriarch about that, he told him he was uncertain
    of its origin, so this informed him how and when he developed that list.
    ** We in the CCOG do not consider that Pluinos of Ephesus, who is the first claimed leader in
    certain lists to come after Pionius, was a true Church of God Christian; nor do we consider that
    Heliodorus of Laodicea was either. This is partially based on a mid-late 3
    rd
    century writing from
    Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria where he said that Asia Minor no longer was divided from
    Alexandria and Jerusalem (Eusebius. Church History, Book VII, Chapter V, Verse I) as the main
    regions became part of a confederacy, which meant compromise hit Asia Minor, and Pluinos and
    Heliodorus would have thus not held original catholic church of God beliefs.
    Anyway, with the exception of Eudaemon, all on the above list are considered to be saints by Roman,
    Orthodox, and CCOG catholics

    Anyway: here is our tentative list:

    While recognizing that certain historical records are sparse, and many COG documents (including lists)
    were destroyed, we have put together a tentative list as the details of several leaders as well as dates are
    not firmly established.
    That being said, the following imperfect list includes leaders from the time of the Apostles and may best
    represent a/the top COG leader/pastor at the time throughout history (with the understanding that there
    could be other acceptable early and late lists) or least apparent Sabbath-keeping leaders whose teachings
    seemed to suggest having laying on of hands succession:
    c. 31 – c. 64-68 Apostles Peter and Paul
    c. 67 – c. 98-102 Apostle John
    c. 100 – c. 157 Polycarp of Smyrna
    c. 157 – c. 160 Thraseas of Smyrna
    c. 160 – c. 167 Sagaris of Laodicea
    c. 167 – c. 170 Papirius of Smyrna
    c. 170 – c. 180 Melito of Sardis
    c. 180 – c. 200 Polycrates of Ephesus
    c. 200 – c. 220 Camerius of Smyrna
    c. 220 – c. 254 Nepos of Arsinoe
    c. 254 – c. 275 Unnamed Antiochian(s) or possibly Dorotheus 1
    c. 275 – 312 Lucian of Antioch
    c. 313 – 380 Unnamed Antiochian (s) 1
    c. 380 – c. 470 Unnamed Nazarenes 2
    c. 470 – c. 500 Constantine of Antioch and Aushin 2
    c. 500 – c. 645 Unnamed ‘Paulicians’ 2
    c. 645 – c. 650 Leader with New Testament from Syria 3
    c. 650 – c. 684 Constantine of Mananali (Silvanus) 3
    c. 684 – c. 696 Simeon 3
    c. 697 – c. 702 Sergius 3
    c. 702 – c. 717 Paul the Armenian 3
    c. 717 – c. 746 Gegnesius 3
    c. 746 – c. 782 Joseph (Epaphroditus) 3
    c. 783 – c. 800 Unnamed
    c. 801 – c. 835 Sergius (Tychicus) 3
    900s Stefano Carlino 4
    1000s Sergius (27 years) 5
    c. 1110 – 1140 Peter DeBruy (Pierre De Bruy)
    1140 – 1155 Arnold of Brescia
    1156 – 1181 Nicetas 5
    1181 – 1205 Peter Waldo 5
    1205 – 1224 Arnold Hot 6
    1224 – 1300 Unnamed Sabbatarian Waldensians
    c. 1310 – 1322 Walter the Lollard 7
    1322 – c. 1335 Raymond the Lollard
    c. 1335 – c. 1460 Unnamed Sabbatarian Waldensians 2
    c. 1460 – 1492 Anthony Ferrar 8
    1492 – 1525 Unnamed Sabbatarian Waldenesians 2
    1526 – 1528 Moravian Sabbatarian Anabaptist ‘traveling minister’ 9
    1529 – 1540 Andreas Fischer 10
    c. 1540 – 1563 Michiel Rovillart of Arras 11
    1560 – 1579 Francis David 12
    1580 – 1587 Christiern Francken or 1579 – 1585 Jacob Paleologus 13
    1588 – 1600 Andreas Eossi
    1600 – 1616 Simon Péchi
    1617 – 1619 John Traske 14
    1620 – 1652 John Pecke 14
    1652 – 1654 Peter Chamberlen 14
    1654 – 1661 James John 14
    1661 – 1678 William Saller/Seller 14
    1678 – 1711 Henry Soursby 14
    1712 – 1715 John Maulden 14
    1715 – 1718 John Maxson 15
    1718 – 1737 Joseph Crandall 15
    1737 – 1748 Joseph Maxson
    1748 – 1778 John Maxson
    1779 – 1797 Nathan Rogers 15
    1797 – 1820 James Dunn 16
    1820 – 1850 John Cottrell 17 or 1823-1850 Peter Davis
    1850 – 1871 Asa Bee
    1871 – 1900 A.C. Long
    1900 – 1905 William C. Long
    1905 – 1921 S.W. Mentzer
    1921 – 1933 Andrew N. Dugger or 1922 – 1933 John S. Stanford 18
    1933 – 1986 Herbert W. Armstrong
    1986 – 2011 Aaron Dean 1986 -2011 or Roderick C. Meredith 19 or 1986 – 2010 Dibar Apartian 20
    2011 – present Bob Thiel

    • From what I’ve seen scholars say a great many things. From what I’ve read the Church and Judaism had a tempestuous relationship, but the record more supports the hermeneutic of continuity. Peter and John were called before the Council, St. Stephen was also made to appear before the Council. Peter and John answered “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.” St. Stephen’s response was his discourse in Acts 7. Saul acted like he had jurisdiction over the early Christians. After his conversion as previously stated St. Paul always went to the Jews first then the Gentiles. It is my understanding that the Jews enjoyed religious toleration in the Roman empire. The reason that I heard was that the Jewish faith was of great antiquity and the Romans had a respect for things of antiquity. One thing that helped fuel the split between Judaism and the Church was that in Matthew 24 Christ had warned the early Christians to head for the hills ahead of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70AD. They obeyed Christ.
      *
      The Jewish Roots presentations of Dr. Pitre go into more detail than I can in a comment. But I heard that in the era of the Messiah that the only offering that would remain was the todah, thank, offering. This is the Holy Eucharist. Christ is a Priest in the order of Melchizedek, who offered bread and wine. He is also a King in the line of David. Mary is the Queen Mother, the Gebirah, and Peter is the prime minister, the al ha-bayith. Isaiah 22:15–25 shows the succession of this office where keys to the kingdom are stated, the same as when Peter was given the Keys to the Kingdom. There is a saying “The New Testament lies concealed in the Old, the Old lies revealed in the New.” The Bible studies that I took did a lot of tracing of the connections between the Old and the New Testaments and information about the cultural context of the Bible.
      *
      According to Wikipedia “Of the first 31 popes, 28 died as martyrs.” Being a pope back then was hazardous duty.

  15. Some of the Bishops who voted to move to deny communion to President Biden – and those Catholics who are of the same mind and heart as these Bishops – are best reminded with this Facebook message gone viral.
    https://www.facebook.com/586335321424338/photos/a.601932513197952/4237586522965848/?type=3
    The post message to the Bishops is reproduced here:
    “I want to write a longer piece about those bishops who seek to keep some from the table of Christ, but for now I will say this: it is not your table (nor mine). Bishops, priests, etc. are neither the hosts nor the bouncers nor the ones who wrote the guest list. The Eucharist is the resurrected body of Christ given for the life of the world. Jesus Christ is the one who invites the guests (“all you who labor”); he is the host of those who come; he is the setter of the table; and he is the feast which is shared (“Take this, all of you. . .this is my body, this is my blood”). We are guests at the meal, and sometimes (by his calling) servers. So stay in your lane, please. The wait staff doesn’t get to exclude those who want to come. If you don’t like the company Christ calls (and, admittedly, it is a rag tag bunch of sinners, one and all), it’s you who need to leave the table, not them.”

    • Best reminded of what, exactly?

      Whoever produced that prudential nonsense you’ve cut and pasted should take a look at Matthew 18 and ponder the words of Christ on how to excommunicate the unrepentant from the Church.

    • Andrew Peeters,

      At Baptism we are cleansed of Original Sin. Our souls are free and pure.
      —-When we commit venial sin our souls are stained.
      —-When we commit mortal sin there is no sanctifying grace in our souls.
      —-When we are in the state of mortal sin we have no wedding garment.
      Do you remember The Parable of the Wedding Garment: Matthew 22:10–14. The King said to the man:

      “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.

      Andrew Peeters,

      Before you can participate in the Eucharistic Banquet, you have to cleanse your wedding garment by repentance. Confession is available to the soul dead in sin.
      Receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin is a sin of sacrilege and one visits condemnation upon oneself. Look it up in Corinthians.

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