St. Ignatius of Antioch on the Episcopate and the Catholic Church

Comments Off on St. Ignatius of Antioch on the Episcopate and the Catholic Church

Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, 1st Century A.D

Advertisements

St. Clement I on Apostolic Succession

Comments Off on St. Clement I on Apostolic Succession

The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ has done so from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits of their labours, having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe…Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those presbyters already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry.

St. Clement I – First Epistle to the Church at Corinth, Ch 42 & 44, A.D. 96

St. Ignatius of Antioch on notions of the Eucharist contrary to the mind of God

Comments Off on St. Ignatius of Antioch on notions of the Eucharist contrary to the mind of God

But look at the men who have those perverted notions about the grace of Jesus Christ which has come down to us, and see how contrary to the mind of God they are. . . . They even abstain from the Eucharist and from the public prayers, because they will not admit that the Eucharist is the self-same body of our Savior Jesus Christ which flesh suffered for our sins, and which the Father of His goodness raised up again.

St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-107 A.D.)

Optatus of Mileis in Africa on unity under the Bishop of Rome

Comments Off on Optatus of Mileis in Africa on unity under the Bishop of Rome

But you cannot deny that you know that the episcopal seat was established first in the city of Rome by Peter and that in it sat Peter, the head of all the apostles, wherefore he is called Cephas, the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do other Apostles proceed individually on their own; and anyone who would set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. It was Peter, then, who first occupied that chair, the foremost of his endowed gifts …. I but ask you to recall the origins of your chair, you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church.

Optatus of Mileis

G.K. Chesterton on the the gates of Hell prevailing against the Catholic Church

Comments Off on G.K. Chesterton on the the gates of Hell prevailing against the Catholic Church

It might well be asked, indeed, why any one accepting the Bethlehem tradition should object to golden or gilded ornament since the Magi themselves brought gold, why he should dislike incense in the church since incense was brought even to the stable. But these are controversies that do not concern me here. I am concerned only with the historical fact, more and more admitted by historians, that very early in its history this thing became visible to the civilization of antiquity; and that already the Church appeared as a Church; with everything that is implied in a Church and much that is disliked in a Church … It was certainly not in the least like merely ethical and idealistic movements in our time. It had a doctrine; it had a discipline; it had sacraments; it had degrees of initiation; it admitted people and expelled people; it affirmed one dogma with authority and repudiated another with anathemas. If all these things be the marks of Antichrist, the reign of Antichrist followed very rapidly upon Christ.

The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton

Thomas Howard on Fundamentalism’s dismissal of the Early Church

Comments Off on Thomas Howard on Fundamentalism’s dismissal of the Early Church

As a Fundamentalist I had discovered while I was in college that it is possible to dismiss the entire Church as having gone off the rails by about A.D. 95. That is, we, with our open Bibles, knew better than did old Ignatius of Antioch or Clement of Rome, who had been taught by the very apostles themselves, just what the Church is and what it should look like. Never mind that our worship services would have been unrecognizable to them, or that our governance would have been equally unrecognizable; we were right, and the Fathers were wrong (about bishops, and about the Eucharist). That settled the matter.

Lead, Kindly Light by Thomas Howard