Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 29, 1951

Read A Roman Catholic's Answer

Ervin A. Driskill, Columbus, Georgia

Paul says, "God set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles... (1 Cor. 12:28). Comment from a Catholic Bishop (Bishop Strossmayer) in the Vatican Council of 1870: "Is it to he believed, my venerable brethren, that St. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles, would have forgotten the first of these offices, THE PAPACY, if the papacy had been of divine institution"? Again, "Now, unless you hold that the church of the apostles was heretical (which none of us would either desire or dare to say), we are obliged to confess that the church has never been more beautiful, more pure, or more holy, than in the days when there was no POPE."

When Strossmayer was interrupted by another Bishop saying, ". . . Was not St. Peter at Rome? Was he not crucified with his head down? Are not the pulpits in which he taught, the altars at which he said mass, in this eternal city"? Strossmayer, (the Catholic) replied, "Seal-linger, one of the most learned of men, has not hesitated to say that St. Peter's episcopate and RESIDENCE at Rome ought to be classed with ridiculous legends."

But hear Strossmayer, the Catholic Bishop, again: ".. . I have sought for a pope in the first four centuries, and I have not found him. None of you, I hope, will doubt the great authority of the holy Bishop of Hippo, the great and blessed St. Augustine. This pious doctor—the honor and glory of the Catholic church, was secretary in the Council of Melvie. In the decrees of this venerable assembly are to be found these significant words—Whoever wills to appeal to those beyond the sea shall not be received by any one in Africa to the communion.' The bishops of Africa acknowledge the bishop of Rome so little that they smote with excommunication those who would have recourse to an appeal. These same bishops, in the sixth Council of Carthage, held under Aurelius, Bishop of that city, wrote to Celestinus, Bishop of Rome, to warn hint not to receive appeals from the bishops, priests, or clerics of Africa; and that he should send no more legates or commissaries; and that he should not introduce human pride into the church. "The importance of the bishops of Rome proceeded not from a divine power, but from the importance of the city in which they had their seat" And he continues, "The sixth Council of Carthage forbade all the bishops to take the title of prince of the bishops, or sovereign bishop. A3 for this title of universal bishop, which the popes took later, St. Gregory I., believing that his successors would never think of adorning themselves with it, wrote these remarkable words, 'None of my predecessors has consented to take this profane name; for when a patriarch gives himself the name of UNIVERSAL, the title of patriarch suffers discredit. Far be it then from Christians to desire to give themselves a title which brings discredit upon their brethren!'

"My venerable brethren, you cry out; but would it not be more dignified to weigh my reasons and my proofs in the balance of the sanctuary? Believe me, history cannot be made over again; it is there, and will remain to all eternity, to protest energetically aging the dogma of papal infallibility." (This sounds like a non-Catholic talking but it is none other than a recognized bishop in the CATHOLIC CHURCH). I think, today, that it would still be more dignified to weigh our reasons and proofs instead of crying "INTOLERANCE" as Catholics are now doing. I challenge Catholics to find PROOF for a pope before the fourth or fifth century; let's have the PROOF.

"Let us seize it, my brethren; let us arm ourselves with a holy courage; let us make a violent and generous effort; let us turn to the teaching of the apostles, since without that we have only errors, darkness, and FALSE traditions. Let us avail ourselves of our reason and of our intelligence to take the apostles and prophets as our only infallible masters with reference to the question of questions, 'What must I do to be saved'? "Ah! if he who reigns above wishes to punish us, making His hand fall heavy on us, as He did on Pharaoh, He has no need to permit Garibaldi's soldiers to drive us away from the eternal city. He has only to let them make Pius X, a god, as we have made a GODDESS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN. Stop, stop, venerable brethren, on the odious and ridiculous incline on which you have placed yourselves. Save the church from the ship-wreck which threatens her, asking from the HOLY SCRIPTURES "ALONE" for the rule of faith which we ought to believe and to profess. I have spoken: may God help me"!

Again, we challenge the Roman Catholic Church to stop hiding behind excuses and publicly prove their claims.