Saturday, October 31, 2015

Questions for Catholics - Part 6 - Doctrine of Demons?

Let me begin by saying that this subject is not really a matter of Catholic apologetics.  It is NOT Catholic teaching to be part of and/or endorse the sex crimes which SOME priests were involved in.  There is no excuse for the behavior of the priests and even some of the bishops and hierarchy involved in this - so I will not defend them.  I will entertain Prasch's questions so that I am not accused of avoiding this topic - but the reality remains, those men were wrong and they violated Catholic teaching in what they did, for some what they failed to do.  Ultimately those involved violated the trust of the faithful while providing fodder for the ignorant to use this in apologetics and/or as an excuse in opposing Catholicism when Catholics oppose their actions (or lack thereof) as well.  
Now again, I’m only stating a fact. Why is there so much of this in the Roman church and so less in other churches? Why is there so much of it in the Latin rite but so little in your Eastern rite? I'm reading from the epistle of St. Paul to Timothy. In 1 Timothy 4:1…
But the Spirit…
…that is, the Holy Ghost…
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…
…doctrines of devils.
by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage…
Why? In the New Testament, why if St. Paul, specifically instructed by the Holy Spirit, say requiring celibacy is a doctrine of devils, does your church practice it? When you outlaw what is natural, people will do things which are unnatural. When God created sex He said it was good in the book of Genesis. That is why even in your own church you find it only in the Latin rite, not in the Greek. That is why you don't find it among rabbis or Protestant ministers in anything like the same proportion. It’s a doctrine of devils.
Actually, the numbers are just as high, if not higher, in non-Catholic religions.  You just hear about such scandals more in the Catholic Church (see links) because the Catholic Church is held up to be the standard bearer, the moral leader, etc. and when she fails, her enemies are ready to pounce.  The fact of the matter is the Catholic Church has made great strides toward curtailing such abuses under Pope Benedict XVI - and that goes mostly unheralded.

The point Prasch is really getting to is the discipline of priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
St. Peter was married, his wife’s name was Deborah. Most of the apostles were married. To forbid it would be a doctrine of devils. 
That which Scripture condemns is forcing celibacy on all people, which some cults did and perhaps still do.  They don't last very long though because a cult which requires celibacy literally dies out after a generation!  St. Paul recommends celibacy (verse) and while recommending it for all who can endure it - for those who cannot, he says it is better to marry than to burn.  No one is forced to become a Catholic priest, so no one has to be celibate.  If one is called to the priesthood of the Latin Rite, then they know - right up front - that one of the expectations in answering that calling is a celibate lifestyle.
What can be more demonic, more Satanic, more evil, than having sex with little children and doing so in the name of Jesus Christ? How can something be so Satanic? Because it comes from a doctrine of demons. How can you as a Roman Catholic believe in a religion that practices what is plainly and clearly called a doctrine of devils, and you see the fruit of it in the newspapers every single day of the year? How can you defend it? How can you defend a doctrine of devils and the devastation it causes to little children?
Again, there is no defending the evils SOME men in the Church committed against children - and I won't defend them.  Those who are still alive should be turned over to the secular authorities and let justice take its course - and that is precisely what has been happening in recent years.  Unfortunately, it did go on for many years in the past without the legal ramifications - but again, THAT is changing for the better.  

The above being said, it is absolutely ridiculous to believe and assert that it is a "doctrine" of the Catholic Church for any adult, priest or otherwise, to molest children.  Come now, Mr. Prasch, you really don't believe that nonsense and/or propaganda, do you?  If you insist upon keeping this up on your website, then I must demand of you to present the official Catholic teaching which endorses what you allege.  In light of the fact that there is no such teaching, you should remove these false allegations from your website.
Jesus said, “Suffer the children unto Me for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. (Mt. 19:14; Mk. 10:14) He said it would be better if a millstone were tied around your neck and cast into the sea than hurt one of these little ones. (Mt. 18:6; Mk. 9:42; Lk. 17:2) He didn’t say rape them as your clergy does. Not all of your clergy, no, but your hierarchy protects and covers up for it, and other clergy have admitted on the witness stand they knew what was going on for years and kept their mouth shut to protect their colleagues who did it, instead of the children who suffered it, It is a doctrine of devils.
Again, there is no such "doctrine" of the Catholic Church which endorses the actions of these (relatively few in number) men who committed such atrocities.  Not all priests did this, in fact relatively few did.  Not all in the hierarchy protected the offenders - though it is admitted again that some did.  As has already been stated too, the Catholic Church has made great strides in ridding the Church from such criminal behavior, in fact over 400 priests have been defrocked for sexual misconduct and handed over to secular authorities. 
Why do you believe in something so wicked, something so antagonistic to the nostrils of Christ, something that’s unthinkable in the dimension of evil and occupies? Why do you believe in a church that teaches a doctrine of devils? That's my question: Do you really believe such people are the guardians of your soul?
We don't have these beliefs.  No Catholic in their right mind believes what you allege is one of our "doctrines."   Are you really so ignorant to believe that we actually have such "doctrines?"  

The sex scandal is largely over.  Have we caught ALL the guilty parties?  I'd say not likely, but we've caught most of them and we're still working on "cleaning house" over this one.  There are now many safeguards in place and through education more and more priests and laity are being made aware of how to detect such abuses and report them to the proper authorities.  It was a terrible chapter in the history of the Church, but again - it was never a "doctrine" or anything close to be officially endorsed by the Catholic Church.  As such it really isn't something which should be part of Catholic apologetics, but so many (ignorant) anti-Catholic apologists keep bringing up the topic that we, Catholic apologists, cannot just ignore them. 

Part 5 - Eucharist and John 6

Summary of Responses to Lester Alberque

The "Community" section of BeliefNet went "read only" as of today.  I was hoping it was at the end of the day so I could post my final responses there - but it has already happened, so I will post my final replies to that forum here.  Participants there are free to continue here or join the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) if they would prefer a more interactive online/email forum.

For Lester Alberque, aka:  AristotlesChild, I will summarize some of our recent discussions in this posting.  If a deeper discussion is desired, separate postings can be started, or Les can do what is necessary to return to posting in CDF.  There were more discussions, but

Is Original Sin Still a Catholic Dogma?

Oct 13, 2015 -- 10:34AM, AristotlesChild wrote:
Oct 12, 2015 -- 11:15PM, Cathapol wrote:

CA:  How about reading CCC 404 (context seems to get you all the time!)

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man".293 By this "unity of the human race" all men are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.
CA >>How about reading CCC 404 (context seems to get you all the time!)<<

AC: Ah yes! The old context ploy. Part of what the Council of Trent (Session 5) is still carried forward in Catholic teaching.

However, the second part about personal guilt (the "stain" that everybody had, except Mary) got dropped.

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

So if none of Adam's descendents have the personal fault (or guilt, or stain) of Original Sin, we are all immaculate conceptiones, aren't we? There goes the dogma of (only Mary's) Immaculate Conception.
CA:  Wrong again!  Still within the context of the above:

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/491.htm
CA:  So we clearly see that the "second part" from Trent is NOT dropped and is echoed by Pope Pius IX and in the modern CCC.

CA: I do thank you for conceding:

AC:  Ah yes! The old context ploy. Part of what the Council of Trent (Session 5) is still carried forward in Catholic teaching.




CA:  And I add, "context" is not a "ploy" - it is a means of coming to the TRUTH by showing MORE of what was ACTUALLY SAID and, as usual, context betrays you, Les.  To what you did present, Original Sin is NOT about the "personal guilt" of "actual sin" it is about the inherited or hereditary sin of Adam, which is part of our fallen nature.  The only "ploy" here is the one whereby you tend to label anything which contradicts your fallen arguments as a ploy.

BOTTOM LINE:   The Dogma on Original Sin is still a dogma of the Catholic Faith, as it MUST be for once dogmatically defined - it cannot be "un-dogma'd."  

CA:  Nothing in ANY of Les' arguments proves that the Catholic Church has "changed" its position on this matter of dogma.  Les rationalizes a change, but in reality does not demonstrate.

Did Jesus Build His Church?


Les posits that He did not...
AC:  Jesus thought himself to be an end-time prophet who would return during his generation. See the New Testament. Obviously he did not.
His followers did not found a new Church, but remained observant Temple worshipping Jews (a sect within Judaism - see Acts) until the parting of the ways about 85 AD.

CA:  Nowhere do we have Scripture telling us that Christianity was a sect within Judaism.  The fact is, Jesus selected The Twelve who are our first bishops.  Those bishops passed on the authority Jesus gave to them to guide/lead His Sheep - with St. Peter given primacy.  We have that same structure to this day, regardless if they still went into the synagogues to worship and preach to the Jews - OR - of Les' rationalizations.  Jesus did indeed build His Church.

THE Fundamental Issue:  AUTHORITY

AC quotes:  "We, moreover, proclaim, declare and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."  [Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam, promulgated November 18, 1302,]

Is this infallible? If so, do all Catholics have to believe this?

And any non-Catholics not subject to the Pope can’t be saved?

CA:  Well, that's not exactly what it says!  Just because some do not admit to being subject to the pope does not mean they aren't.  I know a few people who insist that President Obama is not their president - that doesn't make it not so.  That being said, some argue that Unam Sanctum is infallible, others argue it is not.  


AC adds:  And how about this?

 “But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.” [Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Sapientiae Christianae  1890]

Do all Catholics in good standing believe this too?

CA:  Yes, Catholics in good standing need to be in submission and obedience to the will of the Church and to the pope, as to God Himself.  Now that would have limits.  I left out the word "complete" on purpose.  1) This is not an infallible statement and 2) if "obedience" is intrinsically evil or immoral then we would be obliged NOT to obey. 

AristotlesChild aka: LittleLes Says Good-Bye

AC:  It's about time to say good-bye. It's been fun!

I assume you'll be returning to your former websites where, as moderator, you have the authority to control all dialogue.

I'll be continuing on a number of different websites.

On the other hand (there are four fingers and a thumb!Laughing), maybe I'll start my own site where I can be the moderator and find was for deleting posters who disagree with my views, and have the authority, to do so! Apparently, Yahoo Groups is looking for a few good men!

Regards,

AC/ formerly LL

CA:  Well, if this is good-bye, sobeit Les.  I came to BeliefNet at your invitation, but I'm not going to chase you around - you know where I am.  As for your allegation that I have "the authority to control all the websites" I run, well - again, except for the AmericanCatholicTruthSociety.com (which has no forums "on" it) I don't "run" the other "websites."  I do moderate forums on Yahoogroups and this blog on Blogger.  Yes, I DO have the authority to "control all dialog," but I don't.   I allow the free-flow of dialog unless someone breaks the rules.  You are one who broke the rules on the CatholicDebateForum on Yahoogroups (CDF), so you were put on moderation.  The rule you broke was not documenting yourself - OR - you COULD have left your statement as it was and state it was your opinion (since you could not provide valid documentation).  You refused to withdraw the statement you made as fact, or state it was your opinion.  Your obstinate refusal to submit to the moderator request brought the moderation upon you - AND it is STILL within YOUR CONTROL to have that moderation removed!  You have three options:   1) Provide the documentation (which you've already admitted does not exist) or 2) retract your statement or 3) stand firm in your statement, that it is your belief - and your opinion.  Any one of those three options - and moderation would be removed (you're STILL a member of CDF, so you could go back to unmoderated posting immediately).

CA:  As I said, I will not be following Les to other forums - I joined BeliefNet basically after Les challenged that I could not withstand discussion with him in a forum I did not control - and he was proven wrong there too.  He knows where to find me - he knows how to have unmoderated access to CDF and he's not moderated here on the CathApol Blog.  It appears he'd rather be a self-declared martyr than come back to engage in valid discussion where we first met.

IHH Asks About Retaining Sins

IHH Asked me:  Without going into a line by line response, you could answer this:  What is your view of retaining sins?




Scott replies:   My view is exactly what John records in John 20:23, "Those sins" which THEY retain, are retained.  This goes along with "those sins" which THEY forgive, are forgiven.  This is NOT about forgiving your neighbor, this is about offenses against God, and God Himself giving a special group of men the authority to forgive and retain such sins.  "Those sins" which THEY do not forgive are not forgiven.  Therefore the ONLY WAY to have THOSE SINS forgiven (those which offend God) is through one whom He has so empowered.  In short, get thee to a confessional!

AMDG,
Scott<<<

Buggsy's Genesis Account

Buggsy wrote:

The Garden of Eden is the story of human conception with the expulsion from the Garden being the story of human birth into the world of moral conflict and dualities.  We are the characters (right here and now) portrayed in the Genesis story.

Scott replies:

That is certainly one way to approach the Genesis story.  I take a Jewish approach, there's no one way to view Scripture.  I actually like Buggsy's view, but not to the exclusion of other views, including the traditional and literal view.

AMDG,
Scott<<<

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Questions for Catholics - Part 5 - The Eucharist and John 6

For this section, Mr. Prasch asks about John 6 and the Eucharist and challenges that he has yet to have a priest be able to answer him and "perhaps you can?"  I hope Mr. Prasch did not mean that rhetorically and is actually looking for responses and will acknowledge them. 
But I have yet another question.

In the Gospel of St. John 6 I've heard it quoted, quoted, quoted, and re-quoted as applying to the Eucharist. We read the following, I’m beginning in verse 47…



“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Notice St. John, quoting Jesus, says that Jesus said if you believe in Jesus you have eternal life. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” – the Gospel of St. John 3:36 in the Roman Catholic Bible. Jesus said, “If a man believes in Me though he die yet shall He live for he’s passed from death to life” – the Gospel of St. John 5:24 according to the Roman Catholic Bible. Belief is the key to eternal life.
A point I like to bring out in response to this argument, Prasch has brought up himself, but glosses over it.  "He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him."  So, if the Son commands you, not once, not twice, not even five or six times, but NINE TIMES in a single context to eat His body and/or drink His blood - you should obey Him, if you want eternal life in you!  Do not try to rationalize your way out of this nine-fold command, just obey it!  What kind of belief do you have if you refuse to obey Him?  Let us continue with Prasch's question(s) and arguments.
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
Jesus is saying that the manna that fell in the wilderness in the book of Exodus is a symbol of Him. It is the type, He is the antitype.

Now I am told that this refers to communion, the Lord's Supper at the Eucharist. The Lord’s Supper – the Eucharist, comes of the Jewish Passover. The Last Supper was a Jewish Passover meal called a “seder”. But Jews had to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem at Passover time; this was not at Passover and it was not in Jerusalem. Whatever applies to the Lord’s Supper does not apply in the direct sense because it's not the Last Supper. It's the wrong time of year, it’s the wrong place. 
Let us get something straight here and correct Prasch's view of history.  Yes, John 6 is at the wrong time of year, but that while being the time/place He issued the nine-fold command to eat His body and/or drink His blood but that was not the first time He administered the Eucharist.  The first celebration of the Eucharist was during the Passover Seder Jews also celebrate Passover wherever they are.  
The manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist.  Both are "bread from Heaven" but the manna was a physical meal while the Eucharist, while also being "real food" is a spiritual meal. 

It is, first of all, talking about how the Exodus was a symbol of Jesus – the manna.
“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
He would give His flesh for the life of the world.
Then the Jews…
…that means the Judeans, not all Jews but the religious establishment,,,
…began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
Those influenced by the Pharisees would have had this argument.
Actually, "the Jews" refers to those who were with Him and the Apostles at the synagogue in Capernaum during this sermon.  It is important to note what it is they are grumbling about - it is about the reality of Jesus being able to give them His flesh to eat - exactly the type of argument Prasch is giving us now!  Let us continue...
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
Unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you cannot live.  I'm told this is the Eucharist and it is the key to eternal life. That's what I was taught in Catholic school. The context, however, going all the way back to verse 32 is the Exodus. No fewer than three places Jesus says in the same passage that the key – the key – to eternal life is belief.
Again, it is "no fewer than three places," it is actually nine places in this small section.
But I am told the bread and wine was transubstantiated, turned into His literal body and blood and then eaten. How do I account for this? Well, the first problem I had as a Catholic looking at this was this: Just reading on…
These things…
…in verse 59…
…He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum”…
…not at the Last Supper in Jerusalem when the Lord’s Supper communion was instituted.
This has already been address, He taught it at Capernaum and instituted it at Jerusalem during the Passover Seder.  This is not a troublesome reference so I am not sure why Prasch has difficulty with it, unless he just never thought of it this way.  How do you account for the teaching of transubstantiation?  Jesus Himself said, "This IS My body" and "This IS My blood..." those who "believe" Him don't doubt these words and/or try to rationalize their way out of them.  In John 6, nine times Jesus commands we partake of His body and/or blood stating His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink - not symbolism or parable.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing…
How can eating His flesh be the key to eternal life if “the flesh profits nothing”? “Eating the flesh” meant believing His words. I will prove it.
While I appreciate Prasch's confidence, his "proof" is yet to be seen and I am just as confident that my counter arguments will "disprove" Prasch's conclusions.
We have to read this as a literary unit, as a “gospel”. In John 1 of this same gospel St. John writes that “the Word became flesh” (Jn. 1:14) – the Greek word “sarx”. “Logos” became “sarx”. Jesus is the Word of God incarnate.
I'm really okay with reading John's Gospel in the context of John's Gospel as a whole.  John 1:14 is an excellent connection to John 6, for "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."  This is completely complimentary to the literal reading of John 6 as it exemplifies that God Himself became incarnate, by the Holy Ghost through the Virgin Mary.  Going to other contexts, even by the same writer, does not so easily compliment the Gospel message.
Look at the New Testament, first of all in the book of Revelation 10:10. This Same St. John, the same apostle who wrote this in the Apocalypse, says…
I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it…
Belief equals eating the Word of God; you make it part of yourself. He was the Word incarnate, it becomes incarnate within us, it becomes part of us. He ate the Word.
The little book which, in John's vision, the angel has is not the Gospel, it is not the Word made flesh and back to Word again, it is an eschatological prophecy.  These are not the same context and are not arguing to the same point.  Apples and oranges, Mr. Prasch.  That being said, we DO believe that in partaking of the Eucharist that Christ becomes part of us and dwells within us.  So, there is tangential relation here but it actually would go against Prasch's position.
Let’s look at the book of the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel 3…
Then He said to me, “Son of man…
…just as Jesus is called “Son of Man”…
…eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll.
So he ate the Word of God.
And so Ezekiel, like John, eats the scroll.  I fail to see how this helps Prasch's cause.
The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah said the following in 15:16…
Your words were found and I ate them…
The Word becomes flesh. You “eat” the Word by believing it. “He who believes has eternal life”. Jesus says in John 6, the flesh profits nothing. How could it possibly be the key to eternal life? You have three problems; that's what I discovered as a Catholic.
Prophetic vision statements of eating "words" are not the same thing as obeying Jesus' nine-fold command to eat/drink His flesh/blood.  So, how could this possibly be the key to eternal life?  Because Jesus said it is!  Jesus did not just issue the commands and then leave everyone to figure it out for themselves.  No, to those who had faith in Him, did not turn and walk away from Him, He provides the means of fulfilling this command in instituting the Eucharist.
The first problem was on one hand I was being told that the sacrament of the Eucharist was the key to eternal life, but the catechism told me salvation comes by the sacraments of baptism and penance – that’s how sin is taken away. It contradicts itself. Which sacrament saves? Now in fact by reading the Bible I came to realize no sacrament saves – Jesus saves. It's not an ex opere operato ritual called a “sacrament”. The sacraments are emblems; it’s believing in Him through faith and repentance. That is the first problem. How can the Eucharist be the key to eternal life if your own catechism says it’s other sacraments?
All the sacraments are means of grace given to us by Jesus Christ Himself.  They are outward signs, instituted by Christ to give grace (Baltimore Catechism).  The Eucharist is the central sacrament, having other sacraments which also give grace does not detract from that.  If I give you $100 and someone else gives you $50, does that second gift detract or add to the first? 
The second problem: Once more, in the first church council of the book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 15, the apostles, including Peter,outlawed the consumption of blood as a pagan demonic practice. Cannibalism was outlawed as pagan and demonic. Christians were told not to do it. If it is literal blood, you can’t drink it. The apostles were told by the Holy Spirit to forbid its consumption. “The flesh profits nothing”. That’s the second problem.
The actual verse is Acts 15:20, and James while he mentions blood, it actually doesn't "outlaw" this, he is trying to lessen the burden on the Gentile converts and says to "avoid" it.  That, and it is in conjunction with their former pagan practices of invalid marriage, meat from strangled animals and blood.  The Eucharist is not a pagan practice, it is an outward sign, instituted by Christ to give grace.     
The third problem is, again, Jesus was a Jew. This had to be celebrated at Passover in Jerusalem. What He would have said, the Hebrew prayer, would have been, “Za guphe sha ani ashbar b’ad’chem zot asu l’zichroni; ha’cos ha’zot he ha’brit ha’had asch zot asu l’zichroni.” “This is my body I’ve broken for you, this cup is the cup of the new covenant of my blood poured out for you, do it in remembrance of Me.” (Lk. 22:17-20) The apostles and Jesus were Jewish; they understood it would have been a memorial if they understood what it meant at all. Obviously the Sanhedrin and the people they influenced did not. It’s a memorial. “Do this in remembrance of Me”. Consumption of blood was a pagan practice, not a Jewish one.
Actually, back to John 6, the Jews accepted Jesus' words as literal - and they walked away because they could not believe His words.  Jesus did not chase after them and say, "Hold on guys!  That was symbolic language, I was speaking in parables."  No, He did not, and when He spoke in parables, He explained the meaning of the parables to His Apostles - did He explain away the literal meaning here?  No!  He doubled down and said, "Will you also leave?"  No fluffy rationalizations, He meant what He said and the Jews and many of His own disciples "turned and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66-67).  

Now let's look at the "institution narratives" such as in Luke 22:17-20.  Jesus does not say, "This is symbolic of My body, etc." no, He states "This IS My body, etc."  The reality of the Real Presence is confirmed by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11:27-29 makes it crystal clear that partaking in this Eucharist (which he just repeated the consecration narrative in verses 23-26) is partaking in the body and blood of the Lord and to do so unworthily the person eats and drinks judgment upon themselves for not recognizing the body and the blood of our Lord.
That is my question. If your own catechism says salvation comes by baptism and penance, how can it come by the Eucharist? 
You will have to understand that Catholics don't buy into the whole "sola" slogan thing.  Salvation is not by baptism and penance alone, nor is it by the Eucharist alone.  There are seven sacraments, and every Catholic should participate in at least six of them.  
If the flesh profits nothing, how can it be talking about literal flesh, given the fact that the apostles condemned its literal consumption?
There are two subjects in that one sentence so I'll deal with them individually.  First off, "the flesh profits nothing" for it is not intended to be a meal which one takes to fill their belly, in fact Scripture tells us that if you are hungry, you should eat at home so as to not bring judgment upon yourself (1 Cor. 11:34).  

Secondly, that the substance becomes His flesh is not the same as the condemnation of eating the flesh offered to idols.  You're mixing teachings again here. 
The doctrine of transubstantiation was formulated in its present form in the Middle Ages by Thomas Aquinas based on Aristotle’s “philosophy of accidents” which was debunked by modern science, chemistry, and physics.
The doctrine of transubstantiation didn't go by that name until sometime later, but the truth of it was taught by Jesus Christ Himself when He dictated the words of consecration "This IS My body..."  Then we have all the Early Church Fathers (some of whom I will cite) who present the teaching precisely as we believe and accept to this day - it did not wait for St. Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages!  Here's a sampling:
St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.)
I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans 7:3)
Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: FOR THERE IS ONE FLESH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and one cup IN THE UNION OF HIS BLOOD; one ALTAR, as there is one bishop with the presbytery… (Letter to the  Philadelphians 4:1)
They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)
St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 - 165 A.D.)
We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [Baptism], and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined.
For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 - 202 A.D.)
…He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, "THIS IS MY BODY." The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, HE CONFESSED TO BE HIS BLOOD.
He taught THE NEW SACRIFICE OF THE NEW COVENANT, of which Malachi, one of the twelve prophets, had signified beforehand: [quotes Mal 1:10-11]. By these words He makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; BUT THAT IN EVERY PLACE SACRIFICE WILL BE OFFERED TO HIM, and indeed, a pure one; for His name is glorified among the Gentiles. (Against Heresies 4:17:5)
But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given IS THE BODY OF THEIR LORD, and the cup HIS BLOOD, if they do not acknowledge that He is the Son of the Creator… How can they say that the flesh which has been nourished BY THE BODY OF THE LORD AND BY HIS BLOOD gives way to corruption and does not partake of life? …For as the bread from the earth, receiving the invocation of God, IS NO LONGER COMMON BREAD BUT THE EUCHARIST, consisting of two elements, earthly and heavenly… (Against Heresies 4:18:4-5)
If the BODY be not saved, then, in fact, neither did the Lord redeem us with His BLOOD; and neither is the cup of the EUCHARIST THE PARTAKING OF HIS BLOOD nor is the bread which we break THE PARTAKING OF HIS BODY…He has declared the cup, a part of creation, TO BE HIS OWN BLOOD, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, HE HAS ESTABLISHED AS HIS OWN BODY, from which He gives increase to our bodies.
When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE -- flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST(Against Heresies 5:2:2-3)

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 - 216 A.D.)
Calling her children about her, she [the Church] nourishes them with holy milk, that is, with the Infant Word…The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. "EAT MY FLESH," He says, "AND DRINK MY BLOOD." The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutriments. HE DELIVERS OVER HIS FLESH, AND POURS OUT HIS BLOOD; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery! (Instructor of Children 1:6:42,1,3)

Council of Nicaea (c. 325 A.D.)
It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon nor the custom permits those who do NOT offer sacrifice to give the Body of Christ to those who do offer the sacrifice(Canon 18)

St. John Chrysostom (c. 344 - 407 A.D.)
Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the SACRIFICIAL VICTIM WHO IS PLACED THEREON! (Homilies on Romans 8:8)
Christ is present. The One [Christ] who prepared that [Holy Thursday] table is the very One who now prepares this [altar] table. For it is not a man who makes the SACRIFICIAL GIFTS BECOME the Body and Blood of Christ, but He that was crucified for us, Christ Himself. The priest stands there carrying out the action, but the power and the grace is of God, "THIS IS MY BODY," he says. This statement TRANSFORMS the gifts. (Homilies on Treachery of Judas 1:6)

St. Augustine (c. 354 - 430 A.D.)
"That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God IS THE BODY OF CHRIST. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, IS THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. Through that bread and wine the Lord Christ willed to commend HIS BODY AND BLOOD, WHICH HE POURED OUT FOR US UNTO THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS." (Sermons 227)
"The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread [Luke 24:16,30-35]. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, BECOMES CHRIST'S BODY." (Sermons 234:2)
"What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that THE BREAD IS THE BODY OF CHRIST AND THE CHALICE [WINE] THE BLOOD OF CHRIST." (Sermons 272)
"How this ['And he was carried in his own hands'] should be understood literally of David, we cannot discover; but we can discover how it is meant of Christ. FOR CHRIST WAS CARRIED IN HIS OWN HANDS, WHEN, REFERRING TO HIS OWN BODY, HE SAID: 'THIS IS MY BODY.' FOR HE CARRIED THAT BODY IN HIS HANDS." (Psalms 33:1:10)
That should suffice for now, and there are many, many more I could quote/cite.  The point is, to say that the teaching of transubstantiation began in the Middle Ages is absolutely false. 
I won't go into that now (modern science, chemistry and physics), but that is my question.
Yes, don't go into the science approach because this isn't about science - it's about faith and trusting in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He commanded, nine times over in John 6 that we eat His flesh and/or drink His blood or we have "no life" in us.  Later He provided the means of eating His flesh and drinking His blood when He instituted the Eucharist on that first Holy Thursday, the week of His passion, death and resurrection.  Denying our Lord and rationalizing or blaming it on science is no different than what the Atheist or Agnostic does.
If the flesh profits nothing, if Jesus said the key is belief – eating His flesh is believing the Word, if the consumption of blood was outlawed, how can it be what I was told as a Catholic and what you were told? It can't possibly be if you’re not allowed to consume blood and the flesh profits nothing. Please answer my question. I've yet to find a priest who can, maybe you can.
I believe I already have answered your questions (you asked more than one).   The key IS belief, and part of believing would include obeying our Lord and Savior.  He commanded it, so don't try to use rationalizations to get out of accepting Him, Jesus Christ, at His word.  It's time to come home, Jacob.

I have also already done several articles on the topic of John 6 and the Eucharist and I invite you to check those out as well:  http://cathapol.blogspot.com/search/label/John%206

Part Four - The Rock

Part Six - Doctrine of Demons?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Questions for Catholics - Part 4 - The Rock

For this section we will be dealing with Prasch's questions on the "Rock."
The second question I would like to ask is this one: I was always told in Catholic schools and by my mother that Peter was “the rock”. “Upon this rock I will build my church” from Matthew 16. (Mt. 16:18)  I was told that in English and, when I was a little boy, I was taught to read Latin. The Bible was the Vulgate, the only one read ritually; it was not studied. However, having learned to read the original Greek and Hebrew languages, I looked at the original meaning in the original languages. I would not call myself a Protestant, but remember Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Cranmer and every one of the reformers, every one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation was from the intelligentsia of the Roman Catholic priesthood. Everyone had been a Roman Catholic priest who went back and read the Scriptures in the original languages. I’m not defending Protestantism, I don't identify with it; I’m a Christian, but I’m just asking the question, “Is Peter the rock?”





Let us first look at the term "Protestant," what does it mean?  A Protestant is one who protests - and clearly, Mr. Prasch is protesting against the Catholic Church.  He can say he doesn't identify with it - but "it" identifies with him in his protesting. 
I lived in Israel for many years and at the base of Mt. Herman there’s a place called “Banyas”. In the Bible it was called “Caesarea Philippi” and it is there where Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build My church”. And I was told that He gave the keys and power to Peter. “Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”. (Mt. 16:19)
Where one has lived really doesn't add weight, one way or the other, to the argument.
I'd like to read directly from the Greek language what it says in the New Testament. Jesus spoke Aramaic, but when Matthew wrote it down on the testimony of the apostles who’d been eyewitnesses he wrote it in Greek. Or if it was written in another language it was quickly translated into Greek. We have one historical reference that Matthew might have been in Hebrew or the Hebrew dialect of Aramaic according to Haggis Sippus, but there’s no manuscript ever found. We have the Greek. And it is the translation of the Greek which the Roman Catholic church bases its doctrine that Peter is “the rock”. Is that what it says?
Verse 18, and I’ll translate it word by word:
Kago de” – “Also I” or “And also I”…
…”soi lego” – “to thee” or “to you say”…
…”hoti sy ei Petros” – “thou art Peter” or “you are Peter”…
…”kai” – “and”…
…”epi” – “around” or “on, but in the context it would mean “on”, with that I agree…
…”taute te petra” – “on this rock”…
…”oikodomeso… (from where we get the word “oikos” – “house”) …"mou” – “I will build of Me”…
…”ten ekklesian” – “the church”.
It would be built on Christ, not of Peter.
Even with Mr. Prasch's translation it says "I will build OF Me," not "ON" Me! That is saying that Jesus is the Builder, not the one being built upon.

At Banyas – Caesarea Philippi, there’s a cascade with millions and millions of flat chips of stone washed out of the cascade. The Greek word “petros” – “Peter”, “little Peters”. There is a big boulder on which the temple of the Greek god Pan that had been there at one time had been built and the temple to Caesar Augustus, the deified emperor, had been built that Jesus was referring to where the house would be built. That is called a “petra”. “You are one of these little chips of stone; upon this boulder I will build my church of Me.”
Mr. Prasch makes the mistake, as many Protestant apologists make, of not recognizing that the Greek language has gender specific terms.  When speaking of a man's name, in this case "Peter" - or in the Greek, "Petros," the word is masculine.  However, when speaking of an inanimate object, such as a "rock," the word would indeed be "petra" (or "petras").  The explanation of Prasch's abuse of the Greek is quite simple.  He attempts to anticipate this objection next...
When asked to explain this, Roman Catholic scholars say, “But Jesus was speaking Aramaic, or a language related to Hebrew. and because Peter was a male He had the use the masculine form 'petros', which is the word for 'a little rock' instead of 'petra' which is the word for 'a boulder’”. I went to a pretty good university and a pretty good bible college and I'm told by people who are from Greece that my Greek is not bad so far as my understanding of its meaning. But I know people who are really, really fluent in Greek, they grew up speaking it and they’re experts in reading the Old Testament, the church fathers, and so forth, they are from Greece. I know people like this in Australia particularly, and they confirm what I say is right. And so if there’s any academic or a person with a degree in Greek saying what I say is right, what I say is what I was taught. Gender in Greek does not have to do with sex in any primary sense; it has to do with the way a word is used in the context of the sentence. It is not male and female as in sex, it’s male and female as in the way the word is used in the context.
No, Mr. Prasch, gender specific terms are exactly that - gender specific.  It would be improper to call a man by a feminine gendered noun of "petras."  Regardless of your unnamed "people who are really fluent in Greek," (unnamed sources are essentially worthless), the other problem you would have here is we're not talking about the modern use of Greek, but biblical Greek.  But, without seeing what these "fluent speakers" are actually translating, you really have presented us with a lot of words, but an empty assertion.  

The above being said, you started off that paragraph stating we (Catholics) would say Jesus was speaking Aramaic, to which there is evidence to that end since in Aramaic "Peter" would be "Kephas" or "Cephas" and we see the untranslated Aramaic used in John 1:42; 1 Cor. 1:12, 3:22, 9:5, 15:5 and Gal. 2:9 (KJV).  So, if we go with the Aramaic approach Matthew 16:18 would read something like, "Thou art Kephas and upon this Kephas I will build My Church."  You see, there's no variation in Aramaic, as there is in Greek.  Going to the Aramaic, which I would agree, is most likely the language Jesus was actually speaking at the time, Prasch's argument loses even more ground.

Next, Prasch goes into other contexts which use similar language, but the context is not talking about building the Church - let us us look at what he presents and look at what is actually being discussed in context.
Let us look 1 Corinthians 10:4
and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.In Greek it says, “de he petra en ho Christos”. “Petra”. Christ Himself who was a male is referred to in the feminine. The idea that they changed the gender because Peter was a male is ridiculous. That is not how Greek grammar works. I don't believe St. Paul made a mistake, nor did the Holy Spirit when He inspired St. Paul to write Corinthians. “The rock” is Christ and it’s called “petra”. What does it say in Matthew 16? “You are ‘petros’ and upon the ‘petra’ I will build My church.” You cannot use a little chip of stone the size of your thumb as the foundation for a building; you cannot use a “petros” as the foundation for a building; you can only use a “petra”. If you’ve been to Caesarea Philippi you would see it makes no logical sense. If you know Greek you would see it makes no logical sense.
Two things here, 1) the "petra" in 1 Cor. 10:4 is not a name - it is a descriptor; 2) the context is not speaking of building the Church, but of what the Jewish forefathers in the desert did.  That manna which they partook of in the desert was from this rock which was following them (in the desert).  The analogy is the rock was Jesus Christ.  Prasch continues...

But there's more. In 1 Corinthians 3:11 we read something else.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.If anyone – if anyone – builds on the foundation of something else – gold, silver, precious stones, etc., it’ll be manifested on the day of the Lord; it will be revealed with fire; it won't stand. The only foundation we can build on is Christ, not Peter. Was St. Paul wrong? For that matter, were the early Roman Catholic popes and councils wrong? Or were the later ones wrong who said that Peter is “the rock” instead of Christ even though the New Testament says the opposite, and even though their early popes said the opposite?
Wow!  At face value Prasch's argument sounds quite convincing!  It speaks of building on a foundation other than Jesus Christ.  Yes, it does!  However, the context is not about the building of the Church, it is about the works of men.  If the man does not build his works in the State of Grace, that is, within Christ, then when those works are tested by fire - they will be burned up and the man will suffer loss, yet he will be saved.  This has nothing to do with the building of the Church!  Just because the term "petra" or "rock" is used does not mean it is comparable to Matthew 16:18-19.
The Roman Catholic Church claims that its doctrines are not only “apostolic”, but “patristic” – they come from the church fathers. I do not believe in the doctrinal authority of the church fathers. I do not believe the “apostolic” necessarily equals the “patristic”. However, even if I did, of the church fathers the Roman Catholic church looks to as a way to define what the apostles believed, most of the church fathers said that “the rock” was Christ, not Peter. A minority of them said “the rock” was the faith of Peter. Most say “the rock” was Christ, a few said “the rock” was Peter’s faith. None – not even one of their own church fathers – not only one of your church fathers has ever said that “the rock” was Peter,
Really?  First of all, "apostolic" and "patristic" are not equivalent terms and the Church does not teach that they are - red herring.  

Secondly, Prasch claims that "not even one of (our) own church fathers" teach that Peter is the rock.  

St. Cyprian of Carthage
"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]). 

Optatus
"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).  

Pope Damasus I
"Likewise it is decreed: . . . [W]e have considered that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see [today], therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).  

St. Jerome

"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails" (Letters, 15:2).
"The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, ‘He that is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!’ . . . Therefore, I implore your blessedness [Pope Damasus I] . . . tell me by letter with whom it is that I should communicate in Syria" (ibid., 16:2).
http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/docs/ecfpapacy.htm
So, while Prasch has asserted that not even ONE Church Father supports Peter as being "the rock" I have presented FOUR and there are more.  Prasch should be a little more careful in making absolute statements such as "not one..." for it makes it extremely easy for anyone to find even ONE to make his statement absolutely false.
Given the fact that you cannot use a chip of stone the size of your thumb – a flat chip of stone the size of your thumb – as the foundation for a building, given the fact that the original language says “You are the ‘chip of stone’ and upon ‘the boulder’ I will build My church”, given the fact as St. Paul says we can build on no foundation other than Christ Himself, and given the fact of the New Testament says that Christis “the rock” – “petra”, “the boulder”, and given the fact that none of your own church fathers of the Roman Church believed that “the rock” was Peter, why do you? Why do you believe something which is practically, historically, biblically, patristically unfounded? And in fact, having been to Caesarea Philippi so many times, I have to say asbsurd. Why, in the early centuries, did no one believe it? Popes were fired – sacked by church councils. That is the question.
Prasch's question includes an assertion which begs the question!  As we have already seen, he is wrong about the historical and patristic recording of Peter being the rock upon which Jesus would build His Church and biblically, it is still Matthew 16:18-19 and John 21:15-17.  So, why do we believe this?  Because Jesus Christ Himself established it and it IS evidenced throughout history, including patristic writings.  

At the end of that paragraph, Prasch inserts an unsubstantiated comment that "popes were fired - sacked by church councils," as if that has anything to do with Jesus naming Peter "Rock" and promising to build His Church on "this Rock."  Church councils do not have that authority!  I am aware of a pope being judged postmortem but I am wholly unaware of ANY pope being fired or "sacked" by a Church council, therefore I would challenge Prasch (or anyone else who might support his position) to document this claim, or retract it as a false statement.
My mother has the view that many people would have – Irish, Catholic, British, Protestant. I just got back from Ireland a few days ago and I‘ve studied Irish history at some length. I was astounded to discover that most of the founders of Irish Republicanism, originally called “The Home Rule Movement” – Isaac Butt, Theobold, Napper Tandy, Charles Parnell, Wolfe-Tone – every one of them was a Protestant. “The Irish patriots like Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels, was a Protestant. It was only later identified with Catholicism in the times of Daniel O'Connor and so forth. But I was more astounded to learn how the “English”, quote/unquote, first got involved in Ireland. There was a non-English king, an ethnic Norman. He was not Anglo-Saxon, he was a French Viking. Henry II was threatened with excommunication by Pope Adrian IV if he would not invade Ireland and put an end to the local Celtic church in Ireland, and force them to acquiesce to Rome and the papacy. How did the English first become involved in invading and occupying Ireland? The pope sent them.

The term is “revisionism”. I’m no admirer of Voltaire’s values, but he was a talented writer. And he was right about one thing: “History is the lie everybody agrees on”. When you read what really happened you get a different picture. But the problem I have in speaking to my very Catholic mother is her Catholic identity is part and parcel of her Irish identity and can't see beyond it. There is a historical prejudice that's emotionally charged. It would be family disloyalty. Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me”. (Mt.10:37) Do I love my mother? Yes, but I love God first and I want them to know the truth.
Wow!  Where did Prasch study Irish history?  Does he realize that the history of Christendom in Ireland goes back much further than the 12th Century Pope Adrian IV?  I think not!  Prasch's view ignores the fact that St. Patrick, after first being captured as a slave in pre-Christian Ireland, returned years later to convert the people to Christ and is acknowledged to be the first Bishop or Prelate of Ireland.  When was St. Patrick in Ireland?  Born at the end of the 4th Century, St. Patrick was sent as a missionary to Ireland in 433 A.D. to convert the Druids.  Mr. Prasch, listen to your mother, she's got this right!
Prasch continues:
When I looked for the truth I found that “the rock” was and is Christ, not Peter, not only according to the New Testament but according to Roman Catholic history itself, That's my second question: Why do you believe Peter is “the rock” when the New Testament and your own church fathers and just the practical circumstances of trying to build a house on a chip of stone all dictate he could not possibly be?
We've already seen Mr. Prasch's argument here answered and his position demonstrated to be false regarding St. Peter and the Rock.  Now he asks the "little stone" or "chip of stone" v. the "large stone" or "boulder" - which again takes us back to the Greek of petros v. petra, and the reasoning for using those two words in the Greek has already been presented.  

Another point, in modern Greek there's a slight difference between petras and petros though the meanings overlap (they both can mean the same thing even in modern Greek) but in Koine Greek, the words are synonymous.  We are reminded that the Prasch brought up Aramaic as the language which Jesus was actually speaking - and again, there's only one word in the Aramaic - "Kephas" (or "Cephas").  The bottom line here, no matter how you slice it, the inflected difference in the Koine Greek really makes no difference in the meaning of the words, the only difference is the nouns being named.  An inanimate rock gets the feminine gendered "petras" but a male person would get the masculine gendered "petros." 
Popes have been warlords. They ordered nations to go to war with each other. They’ve been homosexuals, they’ve had illegitimate children. The banking families of Europe would vie to get their man into the papacy – the Borgia popes, the Medici family. Sometimes there would be two or three people claiming to be pope and the one that had the biggest military backing, usually from France, would declare the others to be antipopes. Well, I'll leave that to others to sort out. The only question I'm asking you is how can Peter be “the rock”?
Prasch's argument here is a non sequitur.  It does not follow from the previous to the conclusion.  In other words, the type or number of persons who were popes has absolutely no bearing on Peter and "the rock."  This then becomes nothing but a diversionary (red herring) argument, and the objective reader must reject it as just that.
And even if he was “the rock”, where does it say that Peter was empowered to pass that position on to others? If Peter was the first pope, why is it in the book of Acts 15 at the first council of the church that James presided, not Peter? James says, “Brethren, listen to Peter”? No, “Listen to me”. (Acts 15:13) And he does not rule by decree. He says, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us”. (Acts 15:28) It was a collective decision by all the apostles, it was not the pope speaking autocratically ex cathedra. Why was James presiding and doing all the talking if Peter was the pope? It’s a fair question.  Why did James preside if Peter was the pope?
I'll accept this as a "fair question," but an ignorant one.  The council was held in Jerusalem, and James was the Bishop of Jerusalem.  As such, the bishop of that jurisdiction should convene and conclude the council.  Note as well, when James said "listen to me" he was also assenting to the decision made by Peter to settle the dispute.  James did not make the decision, he agreed and consented to Peter's decision, see Acts 15:7.  St. Peter also was not the only one to speak out at the council - note that the whole council fell silent when Barnabas and Paul spoke about how moved the Gentiles were when they spoke among them (Acts 15:12).  Church councils also do make decisions based upon consensus of the bishops in attendance - so inadvertently, Prasch has given testimony to how Church councils work.  I would add, no council can be called "ecumenical" without the consent/approval of the Bishop of Rome.  Clearly St. Peter was in agreement with the decision at the Council of Jerusalem - as it was HIS decision.
Why did St. Paul rebuke Peter in the presence of all in the book of Galatians? (Gal. 2:11-14) When is the last time you saw a bishop or a cardinal or a priest standing up in public and face-to-face challenging the pope and telling him off for being a hypocrite or behaving hypocritically? I've seen them kneel down and kiss his ring, but I've never seen any of them tell him off. You don't talk that way to the pope. If Peter was the pope, why did Paul talk to him that way? Fair question?
Being pope does not equate to being impeccable.  Many Protestants seem to confuse the teaching of infallibility with impeccability.  No pope is perfect.  All popes make mistakes.  All popes go to confession.  Some popes have made serious errors in judgment and/or actions.  None of that affects the fact that they are successors to St. Peter's bishoprick/office.  Why did St. Paul correct St. Peter?  Because St. Peter was wrong.  St. Peter was the first pope, and he made mistakes, we should not expect that St. Peter's successors would be impeccable either.
Even in its earlier centuries the Roman Church didn’t believe that. Now of course I would argue that the Roman Catholic Church did not exist as such until the 4th Century, but we’ll put that aside. The question I'm asking is in light of the evidence – biblical, patristic, and historical and practical, how can you possibly believe Peter is “the rock” when the Bible says “the rock” is Christ and we can build on no other foundation?
Prasch is repeating himself in this question and we've already answered it, but I shall recap it briefly again.  The Scripture which Prasch quotes citing we can "build on no other foundation" is in the context of the works of men.  Works not built upon Christ, or as Catholics would call it, "in the state of grace," will be burned up and the person will "suffer loss" (1 Cor. 3:15).  That passage is NOT about building the Church, as Matt. 16:18-19 states.  

Prasch has committed so many errors in his premises, no one could or should accept his conclusions.  I say this in all charity, Mr. Prasch, listen to your mother and come back to your Holy Mother, the Church.
Part Three - Purgatory

Part Five - The Eucharist and John 6