On Sept. 25, 2013, protestant Rev. Bresciani wrote “Has the pope taken his first steps into Last Days apostasy?” for Renewamerica.com an online publication.
In the article, as you might well expect, Bresciani made lots of wrong statements about the Catholic Church in his attempt to shed speculation on the current pope and the end of the world. I don’t care about his personal opinions about the end of the world so I am not going to comment on those.
What I am going to do is tell the TRUTH where Bresciani told anti-Catholic lies. And I will do it using a PROTESTANT BIBLE, so the protestants can’t complain about the interpretation of a Catholic version of the Bible.
So let’s go…
Bresciani says: "Hundreds of traditional or patristic teachings of Catholicism are either in direct conflict with the bible or do not exist in the scriptures at all."
Me: HORSEHOCKEY! There is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING in the official teachings of the Catholic Church that conflict with Sacred Scriptures or Sacred Tradition. The “conflict” is with protestant PERSONAL INTERPRETATION of the Bible.
For example: A Baptist will tell a Lutheran that infant baptism is “merely getting the baby wet” because they PERSONALLY INTERPRET the Bible to neglect children in the New Covenant. The Lutheran will tell the Baptist they have it all wrong. A fundamentalist Baptist church will say “No female clergy”, while the American Baptists are loaded with female clergy. It’s all in their own interpretation if the Bible. The protestants can’t even agree amongst themselves how to interpret the Bible, hence the reason there are tens of THOUSANDS of differing and bickering protestant denominations in the world and growing more and more new ones each day as they break off and write their own theology. It’s a mess.
Bresciani says: What we must point out is that on two very important levels, those who stand on scripture can't ever recognize the authority of the Pope – it has never been a matter of whether they like him or not, nor is it a matter of personal choosing. First, Because of the Greek rendering of Matthew 16: 18, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" Protestants believe that Christ was referring to himself as the Rock, not Peter. This is supported by other scriptural passages, to wit:"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."(Mt 16: 18b)
Me: Bresciani is CHOOSING to ignore what Scripture says in order to keep his OWN personal interpretation of the Bible. Protestants might “believe” that Christ was talking about himself as the “rock” in Matthew 16 but those protestants (like so many before them) are WRONG.
First, Peter’s given name was Simon, it was Jesus Christ who CHANGED Simon’s name to “rock” (Peter) because he was making him the first pope to build the Church on.
John 1:40-42 (NIV)
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” which, when translated, is Peter.” [End quote]
Don’t like the NIV? How about these…
New American Standard Bible
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
King James Bible And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Holman Christian Standard Bible and he brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He said, "You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which means "Rock").
Aramaic Bible in Plain English And he brought him to Yeshua and Yeshua gazed at him and he said: “You are Shimeon, son of Yona; you shall be called Kaypha.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, "You are Simon, son of John. Your name will be Cephas" (which means "Peter").
Weymouth New Testament He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon, son of John: you shall be called Cephas" --that is to say, Peter (or 'Rock')
World English Bible He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is by interpretation, Peter).
Young's Literal Translation and he brought him unto Jesus: and having looked upon him, Jesus saith, 'Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas, thou shalt be called Cephas,' (which is interpreted, A rock.)
Don’t believe me? Here’s the very PROTESTANT Strong’s Concordance definition:
Képhas: "a rock," Cephas, a name given to the apostle PeterOriginal Word: Κηφᾶς, ᾶ, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (kay-fas')
Short Definition: Cephas
Definition: Cephas (Aramaic for rock), the new name given to Simon Peter, the apostle.
Me: So we see Jesus meets Simon and right off the bat changes Simon’s name to Peter/Rock. Now WHY did Jesus do that?
Hmmm… Jesus had an aversion to the name “Simon”? Nope.
Was Jesus marking Simon with a special position among the disciples?
DING! DING! DING!
Jesus did not change ANYONE else’s name in the Bible- only Simon. Why? Because ONLY Simon was to become Pope- Jesus reinforces this in Matt.16:18 [and again in John 21]. The Rock which Jesus WOULD build His Church is Simon. So let’s look at Matthew 16:18 again- using a Protestant Bible of course! Now pay CLOSE attention here, because this is where Protestants get struck blind. WHO is Jesus calling the Rock? Notice all the times Jesus uses “YOU” to clearly point to Simon Peter.
New International Version And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
New Living Translation Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
English Standard Version And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
King James Bible 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.
Holman Christian Standard Bible And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.
Me: No matter how you cut it, Jesus says “I tell YOU” (speaking to Simon) “YOU are Peter/Rock”. Jesus is the CORNERSTONE, but Simon Peter is the ROCK Jesus built His Church on. THAT is what Scripture says. Jesus is NOT pointing to himself while saying “YOU Simon are Peter”. Can you even picture such a RIDICULOUS thing? Jesus is speaking TO Simon, telling Simon that SIMON IS PETER THE ROCK and that Jesus is going to build His Church on Simon Peter.
The next ridiculous falsehood Bresciani makes is: “Secondly, not one word in the bible speaks of 'apostolic succession.' It is a concoction of the Roman church, not a biblical teaching. It is very difficult even to support the teaching in view of the fact that there was no Catholic church for over 300 years after Christ came into the world. Most Catholics are totally unaware of this fact. They have been told they are the 'first church,' but true history betrays them.”
Me: Not one word about apostolic succession? Gee Reverend, just HOW was Judas Iscariot replaced in YOUR bible [Acts 1:15-22]??
Acts 1:15-22 New International Version (NIV)15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”
18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:“‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’
and,“‘May another take his place of leadership.’21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
Poor Bresciani doesn’t know Christian history or documents any more than he seems to know the Bible - but he will now. He falsely claims no Catholic Church existed until after the year 300 A.D., then just how do we have these documents Rev. Bresciani?
"See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, 8:2 (c. A.D. 110).
"[A]ll the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and 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." Martyrdom of Polycarp, 16:2 (A.D. 155).
“…to be in honour however with the Catholic Church for the ordering of ecclesiastical discipline...one to the Laodicenes, another to the Alexandrians, both forged in Paul's name to suit the heresy of Marcion, and several others, which cannot be received into the Catholic Church; for it is not fitting that gall be mixed with honey. The Epistle of Jude no doubt, and the couple bearing the name of John, are accepted by the Catholic Church...But of Arsinous, called also Valentinus, or of Militiades we receive nothing at all.” The fragment of Muratori (A.D. 177).
Oops there it is! The Catholic Church AND the Eucharist! That IS the Holy Catholic AND Apostolic Church!
Now more about that Apostolic succession…(note the dates- long before the year 300 AD)
"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. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... 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 [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).
"For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?" Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110).
"Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. His words are as follows: 'And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained a there until Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.'" Hegesippus, Memoirs, fragment in Eusebius Ecclesiatical History, 4:22 (A.D. 180).
Me: Now here is where poor Rev. Bresciani gets confused by his own theology as he contradicts himself…now remember he JUST got done saying there is no apostolic succession right?
Bresciani says: “Christ relegated his authority to his Apostles and their teachings too are on the same level as his. They were not mere scribes or interpreters of his will they were Holy Spirit inspired and authorized to speak as final authorities.”
Me: Does Bresciani think this authority died with the last Apostle? That Jesus changed Simon’s name to Rock, told Simon Peter he would build a Church on him and then…what? The Church died with Simon Peter? No! That authority has been passed on and will be until the Second Coming.
"Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 6 (c. A.D. 110).
"For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Trallians, 2 (c. A.D. 110).
As for the rest of what Bresciani says about apostasy, homosexuality and the end of the world he is certainly entitled to his opinion. When he thinks he can speak falsehoods about the Church and Church history he will be and should be corrected by ALL Catholics.
As the motto of this blog states: “Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.” Romans 14:16
If I see it, I will not allow it to be spread unchallenged.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
God bless all.
Source for Catholic quotes: http://scripturecatholic.com/the_church.html#scripture_II