The Church of Rome was founded by the Lord Alone

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Catholic Faith does not come from laymen talking about opinions on YouTube. It comes from Jesus Christ, through the Apostles in Apostolic Tradition down throught the ages.

Recently a discussion has begun in the English speaking world as to whether a Roman Pontiff, in his capacity as Successor of Saint Peter, can separate the Office of Peter from the Church of Rome, such that the Bishop of Rome not be the Sucessor of Saint Peter.

The core of the argument is that the Petrine Office is distinct from the Church of Rome, the two being two distinct and separate realities which are only connected by history.

Dr. Taylor Marshal has listed the historical positions, which I think he has divided badly. So here I will divide them according to all possibilitites:

  1. That the two are united by Divine right, that is by the will of God.
  2. That the two are united by Apostolic Tradition.
  3. That the two are united by merely eccleiastical tradition.
  4. That the two are united by merely human tradition.

However, if you stop and think befor jumping into this debate, you will ask yourself the more important questions:

  1. What is the Petrine Office?
  2. What is the Roman Church?

The Petrine Office is by Divine Right, that is, it has its cause in an act of the Divine Will. This is de fide, and is taught at Vatican I. This office is a title to power, authority and jurisdiction which flows from Christ’s Mandate to Simon Bar John, saying: Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I shall build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail over Her.

But if you are a carefuly listener to Jesus Christ, then you just saw the answer to the second question:  What is the Roman Church?

Saint Gregory VII in his Dictatus Papae explicates what Christ said, as I reported the other day the very first thesis:

I. Quod Romana ecclesia a solo Domino sit fundata. I. That the Roman Church has been founded by the Lord alone.

For according to the words of Jesus Christ, HIS CHURCH is the entity founded upon Peter. From this it follows that when the Church was founded on Pentecost Day, the Church which was one and encompassed the entire world by Divine right and jurisdiction, was placed under the care of the Primacy of Saint Peter.

Following Pentecost Day in diverse places by the decision of St. Peter and the Apostles there was detatched from that one jurisdiction of the Church over which Peter ruled diverse local Churches, such as Jerusalem and Antioch which hold local circumscribed and limited jurisdictions.

What does this mean then for the Church of Rome?

Since, the Church of Rome was NEVER detached from the jurisdiction of Saint Peter, and therefore represents the original Church it all Her fullness, grace, authority and power, it follows that the Church of Rome was founded by Jesus Christ alone, as St. Gregory VII teaches. This is confirmed by the unbroken tradition whereby the Church of Rome claims to be founded by St. Peter and to have never had anyone but Saint Peter as its Bishop as its first Bishop.

Therefore, when we approach the question of whether the Petrine Primacy can be separated from the Church of Rome, we must affirm that it cannot be separated for three reasons:

  1. It is by Divine Right that the Office of St. Peter is joined to the Catholic Church, which Church is the Roman Church by nature.
  2. It is by Divine Ordinance that the Office of St. Peter is joined to the Roman Church, inasmuch as the Lord Jesus gave Saint Peter the authority to join his Office to any particular local Church.
  3. It is by Apostolic Right tha the Office of St Peter is joined to the Roman Church, inasmuch as the Apostle Peter freely decided to join his Office to the Roman Church by chosing to die there.

Therefore, it one says that the Office of St. Peter be said to be able to be separated from the Church of Rome he would be denying 3 divinely revealed truths:

  1. That the office of St. Peter was established by Jesus Christ as inseparable from the Catholic Church.
  2. That Jesus Christ gave the Apostles the authority to establish local Churches anywhere in the world.
  3. That Jesus Christ established the Apostles in such authority that their decisions would be upheld by Him forever.

As I showed in my previous post on this, it can be clearly demonstrated from the teaching of Vatican I that it is heretical to say that they can be seperated. The assertion of any theologian to the contray is simply the expression of the error of historicism. Because the infallible teaching of an Ecumenical Council means what it means, even if theologians during or after hold that it means something else.

Historically, it is also a great error to say that an opinion about this matter before Vatican I is licit, when the teaching of Vatican I now demonstrate that it cannot be held. If we used the same error, we could deny the Immaculate Conception defined in 1854 just becuase Saint Thomas Aquinas c. 1265 A. D., disagreed with it.

Therefore, as I said before, it is clearly heretical — that is in its implications — to say that the Church of Rome or the Office of the Bishop of Rome can be separated from the Office of St.. Peter.

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7 thoughts on “The Church of Rome was founded by the Lord Alone”

  1. It seems to me Bergoglio has separated himself from the Church and should no longer be considered the reigning Pope based on his heresies.. This is addition to the argument that he was never a legitimate Pope in the first place. Therefore “Pope” Francis is a usurper and Catholic owe him no allegiance.

  2. Thank you for weighing in on this, Brother Bugnolo. Taylor Marshall’s theology still seems to be very much contaminated by protestantism and protestant hermeneutic. We need to be careful not to take anything from laicists like TM too seriously.

  3. Br. Could you shed some light on the Avignon Popes during the middle ages and why that did not equate to the separation of the Petrine office from Rome?

    1. The Avignon popes still called themselves the Bishops of Rome. Being the Bishop of Rome does not consist in where you live, but that territory over which you have or claim the title to hold power, authority and jurisdiction.

  4. I find Dr. Mazza’s thesis quite brilliant in associating the katechon with the Rock. But dead wrong in thinking that the setting aside of the katechon means the See of Peter has to be split form the papacy.

    All Benedict had to do (and did) was step aside and let the Antichurch elect their Antipope Bishop of the Antichurch diocese of Rome.

    Bergoglio is indeed “Bishop of Rome” but of the Antichurch diocese of Rome, not of the Catholic Diocese founded by Christ Himself. His holding this position no more takes away Benedict’s holding of the See any more than the Anglican bishop of Rome does.

    The other glaring problem I find is that even if BXVI had legitimately split the See of Rome and the papacy, who will have the authority to bind then back together?

    Let us keep praying for Dr. Marshall. He is close to the Truth.

    1. Dr Mazza also fails to distinguish between appearances, intentions and realities. If Our Lord appeared to Pope Benedict, saying, You are My Vicar forever, but now is the time to step aside, so that the work of inqusity be manifested and the faithful stirred to return to Me, who can fault Benedict for doing what he did, best as he knew how, to fulfil the request of Our Lord. Which is to say, the document itself doesnot prove formal intent, but it does suffiice for giving the appearances of something strange.

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