WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?: Refuting a Confused Anti-Catholic

 

Rev. Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS: zealous Defender of the Papacy

Reverend Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS, the courageous, zealous and indefatigable Catholic priest and defender of the Faith who almost single-handedly demolish all the attacks against the Holy Catholic Church hurled by anti-Catholics from various Protestant denominations, Evangelical sects and cults like the Iglesia ni Cristo, Ang Dating Dating Daan, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists posted in his blog an article regarding papal election to answer a query from a Catholic follower of his blog (See: http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/paano-ba-hinihirang-ang-bagong-santo.html).

In the comments section of his blog, I posted an observation questioning the monarchial succession in the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) as anti-Biblical for utter lack of basis in Scripture, especially in the New Testament where the mode for choosing leaders in the Church is by election. I noted that the accession to the highest office in the INC of Eduardo V. Manalo was not by election but by automatic succession. Eduardo V. Manalo, son of deceased Eraṅo G. Manalo and grandson of INC founder Felix Y. Manalo, was Deputy Executive Minister of the INC when his father was Executive Minister of the sect. Was there an election held to install Eduardo V. Manalo to INC’s highest office? None, as their official organ Pasugo did not report it. Thus, Crown Prince Eduardo V. Manalo’s automatic succession to the INC monarchy is a new doctrine and practice. It is a new invention. If we are to follow the INC’s logic and teaching, the INC has clearly apostatized again upon the installation of Eduardo V. Manalo as its Executive Minister.

Unable to refute Fr. Abe’s arguments as well as mine, an anonymous person (well, he hides under the pseudonym “EKS”), clearly sympathetic to the INC, or maybe an INC himself, posted a comment with the title Was Peter the First Pope? This is classic INC tactic. INCs are trained to attack, but are never able to defend their own position. How can they when their doctrines are indefensible?

Perhaps thinking that just like them, Catholics cannot answer their charges, the anonymous INC posted the following:

 

“WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?

No, because:
1. Peter was married, and popes cannot be married. In Matthew 8:14, 15 Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law. “When Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his WIFE’S MOTHER laid, and sick of a fever.” “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a WIFE, as well as … Cephas (Peter)?” 1 Corinthians 9:5.
2. Peter would not allow men to bow down to him, as he forbad Cornelius in Acts 10:25, 26. “Cornelius met him, fell down at this feet, and worshipped him. Peter … said stand up; I myself am a man.” The pope likes men to bow down to him.

3. Peter rejected the “tradition from your fathers.” (1 Peter 1:18), yet the Catholic church and popes base their teachings on man’s traditions.

4. Peter wore no crown as the pope does.

5. Peter had no wealth as the pope has: “Peter said, silver and gold have I none …” Acts 3:6. Peter never ACTED like a pope, never DRESSED like a pope, never SPOKE like a pope, and people never APPROACHED him as a pope.

6. Peter never took to himself the title “PONTIFIX (sic) MAXIMUS” as all the popes willingly accept, as seen by the initials P.M. after their names in the Vatican. This was a title of the pagan Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar’s time on. It means “Chief Bridge Maker between earth and heaven.” This is a name of blasphemy for a man to take, and Peter never saw himself as such. Jesus Christ is the only Bridge Maker between earth and heaven (John 1:51).”

As usual, Fr. Abe quickly demolished each and every canard peddled by the anonymous anti-Catholic who reeks with the air and arrogance of an INC. His point by point refutation, which I replead here, can be found hereunder:

 

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_25.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_4684.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_8818.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_5692.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_5692.html

http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/08/defending-st-peter-first-pope-against_9237.html

It seems to me that Fr. Abe had fun in answering the inane accusations of the anti-Catholic. What a diversion they provide us Catholic apologists! The attacks are flimsy and neither here nor there!

At any rate, I wish to supplement the answers Fr. Abe had ably and convincingly given. Lest I repeat what the good priest has already dealt with, I shall only add a few comments and observations.

 

  1. Peter was married, and popes cannot be married. In Matthew 8:14, 15 Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law. “When Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his WIFE’S MOTHER laid, and sick of a fever.” “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a WIFE, as well as … Cephas (Peter)?” 1 Corinthians 9:5.

The attack holds no water. It is simply a gross ignorance of Catholic teaching, if not a lamentable misrepresentation of it. Celibacy is not essential to the Papacy. There have been Popes, who like Peter, were married before their election. Had the anonymous anti-Catholic bothered to check the facts, he could have easily ascertained that the qualification for a person to be Pope is “any Catholic male.” So, celibacy is not a requirement, much less is it essential. It just so happens that the majority of those elected are celibates in view of the circumstances involved.

  1. Peter would not allow men to bow down to him, as he forbad Cornelius in Acts 10:25, 26. “Cornelius met him, fell down at this feet, and worshipped him. Peter … said stand up; I myself am a man.” The pope likes men to bow down to him.

     

The verse says it all: “Cornelius met him, fell down at this feet, and WORSHIPPED him.” Cornelius intention in kneeling down before Peter was to WORSHIP him. Catholics don’t do that to the Pope. We kneel as a sign of deep respect and honor, and never to worship the Pope.

“The pope likes men to bow down to him.” Really? How did you know? Well, the Japanese like to bow before each other. I don’t think they intend to worship each other. Or, if we bow before sovereigns or even the flag, are we worshipping kings and queens and pieces of cloth? The argument of the anti-Catholic is totally flimsy.

If the anti-Catholic reads his Bible thoroughly, he would have known that kneeling or bowing does not always translate to worshipping. They can also mean a gesture of respect. The following verses which no minister or pastor would ever teach their members because these would refute them and expose their falsehood:

 

“Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My standard to the peoples ; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. “Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet ; And you will know that I am the LORD ; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 49: 22-23)

“And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.” (1 Kings 1:47)


 

“David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.” (1 Samuel 24:8)

“Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.” ( Genesis 27:29)

These verses from God’s Holy Word are enough to put the issue to rest. The point is clear, kneeling or bowing does not always mean worshipping, they can mean some other things like profound respect.

 

 

If the INC would maintain that kneeling is worshipping, then it would turn out that they actually don’t worship God. They don’t kneel during their pagsamba. Naturingan pa namang pagsamba eh hindi naman pala sumasamba kasi walang pagluhod!

If the INC is to be consistent that kneeling is worshiping, again it will turn out that their ministers worship Manalo because they kneel to him as these pictures show.

What rank hypocrisy!

 

  1. Peter rejected the “tradition from your fathers.” (1 Peter 1:18), yet the Catholic church and popes base their teachings on man’s traditions.

The anonymous anti-Catholic reads the Bible but doesn’t understand it. Peter rejected the “tradition from your fathers” (1 Peter 1:18) and so do we. What tradition is referred to in the verse? Man-made Jewish traditions. Catholics don’t follow man-made Jewish traditions like the Corban rule denounced by Our Lord (Mark 7:11). Sorry, but the Catholic Church and the Popes don’t base their teachings on man’s traditions. We base them on Sacred Scripture and Sacred or Apostolic Tradition commanded by no less than the Bible itself.

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
4. Peter wore no crown as the pope does.

This is the silliest argument ever raised. Is the crown essential to the Papacy? No. Popes who did not wear any crown are no less Popes than those who did. I pity the anonymous anti-Catholic. He does not know how to discern what is essential from what is not.

  1. Peter had no wealth as the pope has: “Peter said, silver and gold have I none …” Acts 3:6. Peter never ACTED like a pope, never DRESSED like a pope, never SPOKE like a pope, and people never APPROACHED him as a pope.

Who says that the Pope owns wealth? You obviously do not know our Popes. John Paul II did not even have a bank account. Our Popes live in a modest room with little modern amenities. They eat frugal meals. Pope Pius XII, who belonged to the Roman nobility before his election to the Papacy, bequeathed his patrimony to the Apostolic See.

Wealth, or the lack of it, is not essential to the Papacy. The Popes during the fiercest persecutions against Christianity had no material wealth. There may have been worldly Popes but they are more of the exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless, the presence or absence of wealth has nothing to do with the Papacy.

The so-called Vatican treasures like precious works of art are not owned personally by the Pope. They belong to the Church and for all humanity. These are priceless treasures. The Church keeps them in trust for all God’s people. That’s why they are in museums. If the Church sells them, they would go to private individuals as personal collections, thus depriving humanity and the coming generations to see and appreciate them.

The double standard is glaring here. The Manalos live in palatial mansions and are filthy rich. Where do they get their fabulous riches?

“Peter never ACTED like a pope.”
I don’t know is meant by this. The anonymous anti-Catholic is careless and does not even bother to explain his terms. If by “acting like a Pope” means that Peter considered himself and acted as a father, my answer is YES, PETER ACTED LIKE A POPE. In 1 Peter 5:13, he considered Mark as his son. And if Mark is his son, what is he to Mark? A father of course.

“Peter never DRESSED like a pope.” The anonymous anti-Catholic did not explain this. All I know is Peter DID NOT DRESS LIKE A MINISTER, either. The INC ministers and Protestant pastors wear costly business suits and barongs. Peter certainly did not dress like them. He never wore a coat-and-tie. In fact, there is much similarity between Peter’s clothes and the Pope’s. Peter wore a cloak (Mt. 5:40; Lk. 6:29), and so does the Pope. Peter was girded (Jn. 21:18), and so is the Pope. The similarities can be multiplied but the instances are enough to prove the point. Now, my challenge is for the enemies of the Pope like the anonymous anti-Catholic to show just one verse in Scripture that says that Peter wore a coat-and-tie or a barong.

“Peter never SPOKE like a pope.” Again, I am at a loss at what is meant by this unexplained asseveration. If by speaking like a Pope is speaking with authority, my answer is YES, PETER SPOKE LIKE A POPE.

“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” (Acts 1:15-16).

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words…” (Acts 2:14).

“And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.” (Acts 5:2-5).

“And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” (Acts 15:7).

Again, verses can be multiplied but that would be surplusage already. Clearly, the ministers and pastors of his church failed to teach EKS these Bible verses.

“People never APPROACHED Peter as a pope.” It is really frustrating to divine what the anonymous anti-Catholic meant by this. However, if by approaching Peter as Pope means people flock to him (as some sort of celebrity), my answer is YES, PEOPLE APPROACHED PETER AS A POPE.

“Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” (Acts 5:15)

“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5) [Comment: All Catholics pray for the Pope. During the time of Napoleon, the Pope was held captive and the whole Church prayed for him in much as the same way that the early Church prayed for Peter].

“And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
(Acts 9:37-40).

See? Peter’s “celebrity” status is also being enjoyed by the Popes.

You see, Felix Manalo was also treated as a celebrity. His physiognomy always appears in the Pasugo and so are the faces of his successors in the KAMAG-ANAK, INC. Eliseo Soriano’s image is emblazoned in tarpaulins and billboards of every ADD Coordinating Centers and ubiquitous on TV. Born again televangelists are also being treated as celebrities and superstars. Why all these hypocrisy?

6. Peter never took to himself the title “PONTIFIX (sic) MAXIMUS” as all the popes willingly accept, as seen by the initials P.M. after their names in the Vatican. This was a title of the pagan Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar’s time on. It means “Chief Bridge Maker between earth and heaven.” This is a name of blasphemy for a man to take, and Peter never saw himself as such. Jesus Christ is the only Bridge Maker between earth and heaven (John 1:51).”

This is anachronism. Obviously, Peter did not accept the title “Pontifex Maximus” because it was then used by the Roman Emperors at that time. It was only accepted by the Bishops of Rome after Constantine parted with it, thereby acknowledging the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Vicar of Christ, the Mediator between God and Man (1 Tim. 2:5). The acceptance of this title by the Pope was symbolic of the victory and triumph of Christianity over the pagan Roman Empire. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with the title as in fact the Bible mentions pontifex maximus in Leviticus 21:10:

PONTIFEX, id est, sacerdos MAXIMUS inter fratres suos, super cuius caput fusum est unctionis oleum, et cuius manus in sacerdotio consecratæ sunt, vestitusque est sanctis vestibus, caput suum non discooperiet, vestimenta non scindet” (Leviticus 21:10, Vulgate).

Clearly, the accusations are a thud. They have been refuted over and over yet anti-Catholics continue to peddle these lies. No wonder, EKS and people like him are under the influence of the “accuser of the brethren who accuses them … day and night” (cf. Rev. 12:10). Yet, we don’t fear them because we have the divine promise in Blessed Apostle Peter:

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19).

 

 

VIVA IL PAPA!!! VIVA IL PAPA!!! VIVA IL PAPA!!!

SOURCE: http://bromarwilnllasos.blogspot.com/search/label/Catholic%20Faith%20Defenders

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