"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Monday, November 14, 2011

EENS Monday: St. Cyprian

St. Cyprian (~210-258AD) is a hero of the Catholic faith. He is universally respected by Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestants alike as a great man, and a solid father of the Church. What  baffles me is what Protestants do with some of the things he says about the Pope. He seems to be quite clear about who has the primacy in the Church. He is quite clear: if you desert the chair of Peter, you are not in the Church. Read him for yourself:
"And he says to him again after the resurrection, 'Feed my sheep.' It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided." Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256)

Excellent article for further reading on St. Cyprian:

And here are a bazillion other Church Fathers saying things about the papacy that make Protestants blush and change the subject: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html#tradition_II


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