Monday, 20 February 2017

MARTIN LUTHER AND GERMANY

How Martin Luther has shaped Germany for half a millennium

The 500th anniversary of the 95 theses finds a country as moralistic
 From The Economist print edition | Europe
Submitted to Blog by ARMAGH PRIEST

SET foot in Germany this year and you are likely to encounter the jowly, dour portrait of Martin Luther. With more than 1,000 events in 100 locations, the whole nation is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the monk issuing his 95 theses and (perhaps apocryphally) pinning them to the church door at Wittenberg. He set in motion a split in Christianity that would forever change not just Germany, but the world.

At home, Luther’s significance is no longer primarily theological. After generations of secularisation, not to mention decades of official atheism in the formerly communist east (which includes Wittenberg), Germans are not particularly religious. But the Reformation was not just about God. It shaped the German language, mentality and way of life. For centuries the country was riven by bloody confessional strife; today Protestants and Catholics are each about 30% of the population. But after German unification in the 19th century, Lutheranism won the culture wars. “Much of what used to be typically Protestant we today perceive as typically German,” says Christine Eichel, author of “Deutschland, Lutherland”, a book about Luther’s influence.

Start with aesthetics. For Luther this was, like everything else, a serious matter. He believed that Christians were guaranteed salvation through Jesus but had a duty to live in such a way as to deserve it. Ostentation was thus a disgraceful distraction from the asceticism required to examine one’s own conscience. The traces of this severity live on in Germany’s early 20th-century Bauhaus architecture, and even in the furniture styles at IKEA (from Lutheran Sweden). They can be seen in the modest dress, office decor and eating habits of Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and of Joachim Gauck, Germany’s president and a former pastor himself. Both may partake of the glitz of the French presidency while visiting Paris, but it would never pass in Berlin.
Luther shared his distaste for visual ornament with other Protestant reformers. But he differed in the role he saw for music. The Swiss Protestants John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli viewed music as sensual temptation and frowned on it. But to Luther music was a divinely inspired weapon against the devil. He wanted believers to sing together—in German, in church and at home, and with instruments accompanying them. Today Germany has 130 publicly financed orchestras, more than any other country. And concerts are still attended like sermons, sombrely and seriously.

Luther’s inheritance can also be seen in the fact that Germany, the world’s 17th-most populous country, has the second-largest book market after America’s. After he translated the Bible into German, Luther wanted everyone, male or female, rich or poor, to read it. At first Protestants became more literate than Catholics; ultimately all Germans became bookish.

Finally, a familiar thesis links Luther to German attitudes towards money. In this view Catholics, used to confessing and being absolved after each round of sins, tend to run up debts (Schulden, from the same root as Schuld, or “guilt”), whereas Protestants see saving as a moral imperative. This argument, valid or not, has a familiar ring in southern Europe’s mainly Catholic and Orthodox countries, which have spent the euro crisis enduring lectures on austerity from Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s devoutly Lutheran finance minister.

Yet on money, too, Luther differed from other reformers. When Max Weber wrote of the Protestant work ethic in 1904, he had in mind Calvinism and its relatives, such as American Puritanism. Calvin viewed an individual’s ability to get rich as a sign that God had predestined him to be saved. To Luther, Christians were already saved, so wealth was suspect. Instead of amassing it, Christians should work for their community, not themselves. Work (Beruf) thus became a calling (Berufung). Not profit but redistribution was the goal. According to Gerhard Wegner, a professor of theology, this “Lutheran socialism” finds secular expression in the welfare states of Scandinavia and Germany.

Luther’s “subcutaneous” legacy keeps popping up in surprising places, says Mrs Eichel. Germans, and especially Lutherans, buy more life insurance but fewer shares than others (Luther didn’t believe in making money without working for it). And everywhere they insist on conscientious observance of principle and order. They religiously separate their rubbish by the colour of glass and are world champions at recycling (65% of all waste), easily beating the second-place South Koreans.

Holier than thou

Luther also shares blame for some negative qualities ascribed to Germans. He was deeply anti-Semitic, a prejudice his countrymen have shed at great cost (he blamed evil stares from Jews for the illness that eventually killed him). Germans’ legendary obedience to authority is attributed to Luther’s insistence on separating spiritual and worldly authorities (which princes in his day found useful in suppressing a peasants’ revolt). And although personally fond of boisterous jokes, he was among the founding figures of Germany’s rather humourless and preachy tradition of public discourse. Germans today are the first to bemoan their national habit of delivering finger-wagging lectures.


Such rigid moralism can make Germans hard to deal with, especially in Brussels, where the EU’s problems demand a willingness to let misdemeanours slide. But there are worse traits than excessive morality. Besides, 500 years on, Lutheran Germany is being transformed by globalisation. Germany today has not only devout ascetics but everything from consumerist hipsters to Om-chanting yogis. A growing Muslim population is pushing the country towards a new kind of religious pluralism. Mrs Eichel herself finds German churches “too serious”; she attends one headed by an African-American gospel preacher. If the downside of Germans’ Lutheran heritage is a difficulty in lightening up or accepting alternative lifestyles, they seem to be getting over it.

PAT SAYS:

If Martin Luther and Protestantism has had this effect on Germany it begs the question as what what effect Roman Catholicism has had on Ireland?

As a result of Roman Catholicism are we Irish - in the Republic at least:

1. Subservient?

2. Sex obsessed?

3. Two faced - nice to your face but stab you in the back?

4. Think that the only commandment we should not break is the 11th - "THOU SHALT NOT BE CAUGHT"?

5. Greedy when it comes to land and money?

Of course we in Ireland had TWO sets of COLONISTS - THE ROMANS - AND THE BRITISH.

We had the Romans since the 5th century.

And the Brits since the 12th century.

I would love to read our readers views on how our religious and political has affected the Irish personality.



Sunday, 19 February 2017

FATHER DONAGHY'S SITUATION

THE BELFAST SUNDAY LIFE NEWSPAPER HAS PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE AND PICTURE OF THE HOUSE FATHER JAMES DONAGHY IS SELLING FOR £300,000.

Father Donaghy is just out of prison having served ha;f of a 12 year term for sexually abusing a  number of young men including BALLYMURPHY PARISH PRIEST - FATHER PATRICK MC CAFFERTY.




The £300,000 house in Lady Wallace Drive was bought by Father Donaghy from a house and fortune left to James Donaghy by two spinsters who were teachers and midwives respectively.

Apparently the doted on Donaghy who was from a very working class background in Lisburn.

The sale of the current house follows AN ATTACK ON THE HOUSE by unknown elements who did not want a sex offender living near them.

Apart from the house being a very impressive property it is furnished to the highest standards.


THE SPACIOUS LOU NGE
Even as a priest Father Donaghy had expensive tastes and used to take the young men who were his victims shopping in designer clothing shops in Dublin and London.


THE MODERN KITCHEN
On at least one occasion Donaghy brought one young man to Glasgow and had himself and the young man kitted out in a full kilt costume costing thousands of pounds. 


THE MASTER BEDROOM
I have said before that Donaghy was very foolish to think that he could return to Lisburn and live there as if nothing had happened.

I think he would have been far wiser to move to London, change his name, register with the police there and try and find a job and build a future.

Of course people should not be taking the law into their own hands and James Donaghy has paid the price to society that the courts demanded of him.

But people - especially parents - and understandably so - are very irrational when it comes to having a sex offender living among them - even if there is a low risk of him re-offending.

Of course no one has told us whether James Donaghy is low, medium or high risk?


But there are some rumours among the clergy about Donaghy and the sale of this house.

1. There is talk that he has signed the house over to Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor but that he is to get his day in the house ???

2. There is talk that Bishop Treanor made this deal with him in return for paying all his legal fees ???

3. There is talk that James Donaghy owns another property in Newcastle in County Down and may decide to live there ???

4. There is also talk that Donaghy intends to return to India where he lived before going to prison ???

Perhaps some of our more knowledgeable readers might bring us up to date on these matters ??? 

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Catholic Bishop Buckley buries Peggy (107), 'a shining example of tolerance'
By Suzanne Breen BELFAST TELEGRAPH
PUBLISHED20/02/2017

A 107-year-old Presbyterian who requested to be buried by an independent Catholic clergyman sets a shining example to the rest of Northern Ireland, mourners at her funeral heard.

Bishop Pat Buckley said Peggy Dunbar from Ballyclare was an ordinary woman who embodied an extraordinary spirit of tolerance and reconciliation.
The dying wish of the Protestant, who was believed to be Northern Ireland's oldest woman, was that Bishop Buckley bury her. She had taken a shine to the rebel priest when he officiated at the marriage of her eldest daughter over 25 years ago.
Before the service Bishop Buckley stood at the gates of the Oratory to shake hands with mourners and welcome them to his church.
He told them: "Peggy Dunbar was a remarkable woman who defied the expectations society had of her.
"We think that when little old ladies turn on the TV they watch Mary Berry baking, The Antiques Roadshow, or Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
"Peggy watched Formula 1, football, rugby and (horse) racing."
The cleric said he was honoured to have been asked to officiate at Mrs Dunbar's funeral.
"Peggy had a native lack of prejudice which led her to relate to people on a one-to-one basis, regardless of religion or politics," he said.
"She is a shining example of the Northern Ireland we are still striving to create. This simple lady, who lived life far out of the headlines, has helped lay the foundations on which a better future can be built."
Mrs Dunbar, who would have celebrated her 108th birthday today, died of pneumonia last week.

Among the mourners were her two daughters Judith and Joan, and her son-in-law Seamus Tansey from Sligo, one of Ireland's best known flute players. It was at Mr Tansey's wedding to Joan that Mrs Dunbar first met Bishop Buckley. "I recognised then that she was a lady who enjoyed life to the full, who squeezed every last drop out of it," he told mourners.
"But she was nobody's fool and she was a stickler for table manners. She didn't hesitate to scold her son-in-law for adopting the more relaxed Sligo etiquette at the dinner table."
Bishop Buckley told the congregation that they had gathered together "not as members of one denomination or another, but as human beings and as Christians" to say goodbye to Mrs Dunbar.
He added: "Peggy lived for 39,215 days.
"Last Tuesday brought an end to her Earthly life but, as Christians, we believe she has entered a new dawn which will continue forever."
Local singer Loretta McNally sang the centenarian's favourite psalm, The Lord Is My Shepherd. Mourners, however, were then surprised when Bishop Buckley played a recording of one of Mrs Dunbar's favourite songs, When It's Springtime In The Rockies.


She was buried in Victoria Cemetery in Carrickfergus, where her late husband John was laid to rest in 1959 after dying tragically following a fall from a ladder.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

REMARKABLE WISH OF 107 YEAR OLD PRESBYTERIAN

Remarkable dying wish of 107-year-old Presbyterian granted as rebel Catholic priest will today bury her
By Suzanne Breen
PUBLISHED18/02/2017

Independent Catholic cleric, Pat Buckley, has today buried 108-year-old Ballyclare Presbyterian in a remarkable cross-community service.
Peggy Dunbar, who is believed to have been Northern Ireland's oldest woman, took a shine to the rebel priest when he married her eldest daughter over 25 years ago.

She never forgot him and her last wish was that he bury her. Mrs Dunbar died of pneumonia on Tuesday. Her body has lain at rest in Bishop Buckley's church, the Oratory, in Larne.
Her funeral service will take place today and she will be buried afterwards in Victoria Cemetery in Carrickfergus.s
"I am honoured to have been asked to bury Peggy," Bishop Buckley told the Belfast Telegraph. "In a narrow Northern Ireland, she has made a quiet, simple gesture of non-sectarianism.
"She was open, tolerant and cross-community minded, and she is going out of this world the way she lived."
Mrs Dunbar's daughter Judith said that her mother had died just six days before her 108th birthday. "My mother was a remarkable woman. She lived through two World Wars and the sinking of the Titanic," Judith said.


"She never left the island of Ireland - she didn't fancy flying and she didn't like the water so that ruled out boats as well. But the fact that she chose not to travel didn't in any way make her narrow-minded.
"She was totally non-judgmental and she had a great sense of fun. Mum didn't drink but she'd be happy, sitting with her mineral, in the company of those who did."
Peggy Melville was born on February 20, 1909 in Whiterock in Belfast which was then just countryside. The daughter of a publican, she had three sisters and one brother.
In 1936, she married Ballyclare farm worker, John Dunbar, whom she had met at a cricket club. They had two daughters. John died after falling from a ladder in 1959 aged 44.
Although born a Presbyterian, Peggy Dunbar occasionally attended St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Jordanstown because she liked the singing.
"Mum grew up playing the piano and the violin. She loved singing and dancing. Just three weeks before her death, her foot was tapping away when there was music on the radio," Judith said.
"Mum had interests you would never expect. She loved watching Formula 1, football, rugby and racing on the TV. She was very active right into her 90s. She would be out working in her garden in Ballyclare until dark.
"She loved to bake too. I still remember the smell of the most gorgeous tarts, pies and pancakes filling the kitchen as a child and my big sister Joan standing there licking the bowl."
Judith said that her mother had been thrilled to be sent €2,500 from Irish President, Mary McAleese, when she turned 100 as everyone born on the island of Ireland before partition is entitled to. She received a medal from Aras an Uachtarain every birthday after that.
"This year's medal from President Michael D Higgins arrived the day after mum died, it was very poignant opening it," Judith said.
Mrs Dunbar also received cards from the Queen on her 100th, 106th and 107th birthdays. The oldest person ever from Northern Ireland is believed to have been Belfast woman Elizabeth Watkins, who reached the ripe old age of 110 before she died in 1973.
Bishop Buckley last night said that it was "an immense privilege" for him to be asked to conduct the funeral service.


"Peggy was born five years before the outbreak of the First World War and she was 44 when the Second World War broke out. She was literally walking history," he said.
Bishop Buckley first met Mrs Dunbar when he married her daughter Joan to Seamus Tansey from Sligo, one of Ireland's best known flute players who taught dancer Michael Flatley to play the instrument.
"I remember Peggy from the wedding. She took people just as she found them and she was a character, a bit like myself," Bishop Buckley recalled.
"My door is always open to people of all religions and none. Asking me to bury her is a lovely gesture.

"Without making any great noises, Peggy embodied the spirit of reconciliation in life and in death."

Friday, 17 February 2017

MY FUNERAL TODAY OF 108 YEAR OLD MARGARET

This morning at 11 am in The Oratory I will have the great privilege of celebrating the funeral of 108 year old Margaret Dunbar from Ballyclare in County Antrim.

Margaret RIP passed away on Tuesday last. In two days time - Monday February 20th she would have been 108 years old.

That means that Margaret was already 5 years old when WORLD WAR 1 began and 44 years old at the outbreak of WORLD WAR 11

She was in her garden until well into her 90's. 

I got to know her many years ago when I celebrated the marriage of her daughter Joan to the Irish flautist Seam Tansey. 

MARGARET DUNBAR 108


Seamus Tansey is an acknowledged expert on the Irish Flute and in fact, as far as I know, taught the famous Michael Flatley to play the flute. 


SEAMUS


Seamus is a member of The Oratory congregation at Larne and delights us all every Christmas and Easter with his music and recitations. 

MARGARET DUNBAR - formerly Margaret Melville was born on 20th February 1909 at Whiterock Belfast - which was then in the countryside outside Belfast.

Her parents were John Mevville (publican) and Rhoda (housewife).

She had three sisters Meta (died at 32); Rhoda (died at 83) and Sadie (died at 76). Her brother Sam died at 66. 

Margaret Married John Dunbar ( farmer and boiler man from Straid) in 1936 and they lived at Greenisland outside Belfast. Sadly John was killed in work at the age of 44 in 1959 by falling from a ladder. 

Margaret and her two daughters Joan and Judith moved to Ballyclare after John died and Margaret lived in that house for the rest of her life. 

Margaret was an avid gardener right into her 90's staying in the garden until darkness frll.

She liked TV sports and followed Formula One racing, snooker, football and rugby.

She loved to sing and her two favourite songs were: PLEASE RELEASE ME LET ME GO and WHEN ITS' SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES. 




She never drank alcohol but was happy to sit in a pub drinking minerals. 

She was a stickler for table manners and was "fiesty" until the end of her life. 

MARGARET - CHURCH AND RELIGION:




She was a Presbyterian by birth but also attended the Church of Ireland where she liked the singing. Her churches were Whiteabbey Presbyterian Church and St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Jordanstown.




Margaret was always absolutely open minded when it came to churches and religion. 

As a result she is being buried from The Oratory in Larne.

It is a great privilege for me to be celebrating her funeral for two reasons:

1. She is one of, if not the oldest person in Ireland.

2. She is someone from a Presbyterian / Church of Ireland background that has entrusted her last religious service to me.

Margaret's mortal remains rested in The Oratory these last 2 nights.


THE ORATORY AWAITING MARGARET'S ARRIVAL ON THURSDAY EVENING LAST


Of course I have done things like this all my priestly life.

As the Psalmist says:

"HOW PLEASANT IT IS WHEN BROTHERS (AND SISTERS) LIVE TOGETHER IN UNITY. IT IS LIKE PRECIOUS OIL POURED UPON THE HEAD RUNNING DOWN UPON THE BEARD TO THE COLLAR OF THE ROBE"

Margaret, may the God who formed you in your mother's womb 108 years ago welcome you into Paradise where Lazarus is poor no longer and the just have eternal rest".

The highly acclaimed Belfast singer - Loreto McAuley will sing at Margaret's funeral service; One of the songs she will sing is: GO SILENT FRIEND:




St Peter’s Tomb
Discovered In Jerusalem

by F. PAUL PETERSON




Saint Peter's Tomb
   While visiting a friend in Switzerland, I heard of what seemed to me, one of the greatest discoveries since the time of Christ—that Peter was buried in Jerusalem and not in Rome. The source of this rumor, written in Italian, was not clear; it left considerable room for doubt or rather wonder. Rome was the place where I could investigate the matter, and if such proved encouraging, a trip to Jerusalem might be necessary in order to gather valuable first hand information on the subject. I therefore went to Rome. After talking to many priests and investigating various sources of information, I finally was greatly rewarded by learning where I could buy the only known book on the subject, which was also written in Italian. It is called, "Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit", printed in 1958 at the Tipografia del PP. Francescani, in Jerusalem. It was written by P. B. Bagatti and J. T. Milik, both Roman Catholic priests. The story of the discovery was there, but it seemed to be purposely hidden for much was lacking. I consequently determined to go to Jerusalem to see for myself, if possible, that which appeared to be almost unbelievable, especially since it came from priests, who naturally because of the existing tradition that Peter was buried in Rome, would be the last ones to welcome such a discovery or to bring it to the attention of the world.
    In Jerusalem I spoke to many Franciscan priests who all read, finally, though reluctantly, that the bones of Simon Bar Jona (St. Peter) were found in Jerusalem, on the Franciscan monastery site called, "Dominus Flevit" (where Jesus was supposed to have wept over [pg. 4] Jerusalem), on the Mount of Olives. The pictures show the story. The first show an excavation where the names of Christian Biblical characters were found on the ossuaries (bone boxes). The names of Mary and Martha were found on one box and right next to it was one with the name of Lazarus, their brother. Other names of early Christians were found on other boxes. Of greatest interest, however, was that which was found within twelve feet from the place where the remains of Mary, Martha and Lazarus were found—the remains of St. Peter. They were found in an ossuary, on the outside of which was clearly and beautifully written in Aramaic, "Simon Bar Jona".
The charcoal inscription reads: "Shimon Bar Yonah" which means "Simon [Peter] son of Jonah".
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    I talked to a Yale professor, who is an archaeologist, and was director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He told me that it would be very improbable that a name with three words, and one so complete, could refer to any other than St. Peter.
But what makes the possibility of error more remote is that the remains were found in a Christian burial ground, and more yet, of the first century, the very time in which Peter lived. In fact, I have a letter from a noted scientist stating that he can tell by the writing that it was written just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.
    I talked to priest Milik, the co-writer of this Italian book, in the presence of my friend, a Christian Arab, Mr. S. J. Mattar, who now is the warden of the Garden Tomb, where Jesus was buried and rose again. This priest, Milik, admitted that he knew that the bones of St. Peter are not in Rome. I was very much surprised that he would admit that, so to confirm his admittance, I said, to which he also agreed, "There is a hundred times more evidence that Peter was buried in Jerusalem than in Rome." This was something of an understatement, for he knew as I know that there is absolutely no evidence at all that Peter was buried in Rome. I have spoken on the subject to many Franciscan priests who either were or had been in Jerusalem, and they all agree that the tomb and remains of St. Peter are in Jerusalem. There was just one exception which is interesting and which only proves the point. The Franciscan priest, Augusto Spykerman, who was in charge of the semi-private museum inside the walls of old Jerusalem, by the site of the Franciscan Church of the Flagellation, was that exception. When I asked to see the museum, he showed it to the three of us, Mr. Mattar, who in addition to being warden of the Tomb of Christ, had been the manager of an English bank in Jerusalem, a. professional photographer and myself. But he told us nothing of the discovery. I knew that the evidence of Peter’s burial was there, for priests had told me that relics from the Christian burial ground were preserved within this museum. People who lived in Jerusalem all their lives and official guides who are supposed to know every inch of the city, however, knew nothing of this [pg 5] discovery, so well was it withheld from the public. I had asked an elderly official guide where the tomb of St. Peter was. He responded in a very profound and majestic tone of voice, "The Tomb of St. Peter has never been found in Jerusalem." "Oh," I said, "but I have seen the burial place of Peter with my own eyes." He turned on me with a fierceness that is so common among Arabs. "What," he replied, "you a foreigner mean to tell me that you know where the tomb of St. Peter is when I have been an official guide for thirty-five years and know every inch of ground in Jerusalem?" I was afraid that he would jump at my throat. I managed to calm him as I said, "But sir, here are the pictures and you can see the ossuary, among others, with Peter’s name in Aramaic. You can also see this for yourself on the Mount of Olives on the Franciscan Convent site called, "Dominus Flevit". When I finished he slowly turned away in stunned amazement. A person who has seen this Christian burial ground and knows the circumstances surrounding the case could never doubt that this truly is the burial place of St. Peter and of other Christians. I, too, walked around in a dreamy amazement for about a week for I could hardly believe what I had seen and heard. Since the circulation of this article, they do not allow anyone to see this burial place.
    Before things had gone very far, I had been quite discouraged for I could get no information from the many priests with whom I had talked. However, I continued questioning priests wherever I would find them. Finally one priest dropped some information. With that knowledge I approached another priest who warily asked me where I had acquired that information. I told him that a priest had told me. Then he admitted the point and dropped a little more information. It went on like that for some time until I got the whole picture, and I was finally directed to where I could see the evidence for myself. To get the story, it made me feel as though I had a bull by the tail and were trying to pull him through a key hole. But when I had gathered all the facts in the case, the priests could not deny the discovery of the tomb, but even confirmed it, though reluctantly. In fact, I have the statement from a Spanish priest on the Mount of Olives on a tape recorder, to that effect.
    But here we were talking to this Franciscan priest in charge of the museum, asking him questions which he tried to evade but could not because of the information I had already gathered from the many priests with whom I had spoken. Finally after the pictures of the evidence were taken, which was nothing short of a miracle that he allowed us to do so, I complimented him on the marvelous discovery of the tomb of St. Peter in Jerusalem that the Franciscans had made. He was clearly nervous as he said, "Oh no, the tomb of St. Peter is in Rome." But as he said that, his voice faltered, a fact which even my [pg. 6] friend, Mr. Mattar, had noticed. Then I looked him squarely in the eyes and firmly said, "No, the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem." He looked at me like a guilty school boy and held his peace. He was, no doubt, placed there to hide the facts, but his actions and words, spoke more convincingly about the discovery than those priests who finally admitted the truth.
    I also spoke to a Franciscan priest in authority at the priest’s printing plant within the walls of old Jerusalem, where their book on the subject was printed. He also admitted that the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem. Then when I visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, I encountered a Franciscan monk. After telling him what I thought of the wonderful discovery the Franciscans had made, I asked him plainly, "Do you folks really believe that those are the remains of St. Peter?" He responded, "Yes we do, we have no choice in the matter. The clear evidence is there." I did not doubt the evidence, but what surprised me was that these priests and monks believed that which was against their own religion and on top of that, to admit it to others was something out of this world. Usually a Catholic, either because he is brainwashed or stubbornly doesn’t want to see anything only that which he has been taught, will not allow himself to believe anything against his religion, much less to admit it to others. But there is a growing, healthy attitude among many Catholics, to "prove all things, hold fast to that which is good" as the Master admonished us all.
    Then I asked, "Does Father Bagatti (co-writer of the book in Italian on the subject, and archaeologist) really believe that those are the bones of St. Peter?" 
    
"Yes, he does," was the reply.
    Then I asked, "But what does the Pope think of all this?"
    That was a thousand dollar question and he gave me a million dollar answer. 
  
  "Well," he confidentially answered in a hushed voice, "Father Bagatti told me personally that three years ago he went to the Pope (Pius XII) in Rome and showed him the evidence and the Pope said to him, ‘Well, we will have to make some changes, but for the time being, keep this thing quiet’." In awe I asked also in a subdued voice, "So the Pope really believes that those are the bones of St. Peter?" 
    
"Yes," was his answer. "The documentary evidence is there, he could not help but believe."
    I visited various renowned archaeologists on the subject. Dr. Albright, of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, told me that he personally knew priest Bagatti and that he was a very competent archaeologist. I also spoke with Dr. Nelson Gluek, archaeologist and [pg. 7] president of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I showed him the pictures found in this article, but being with him for only a few minutes I therefore could not show him the wealth of material that you have before you in this article. However, he quickly recognized the Aramaic words to be "Simon Bar Jona". (Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew). I asked him if he would write a statement to that effect. He said to do so would cast a reflection on the competency of the priest J. T. Milik, who he knew to be a very able scientist. But he said that he would write a note. I quote, "I regard Father J. T. Milik as a first class scholar in the Semitic field." He added, "I do not consider that names on ossuaries are conclusive evidence that they are those of the Apostles."
Nelson Glueck
    I quote this letter of Dr. Glueck because it shows that priest Milik is a competent archaeologist. As I have mentioned, I was only able to be with him for a few minutes and was not able to show him but a very small part of the evidence. Anyone, including myself, would readily agree with Dr. Glueck that if only the name Simon Bar Jona on the ossuary was all the evidence that was available it would not be conclusive evidence that it was of the Apostle Peter, though it would certainly be a strong indication.
    The story of the cave and the ossuaries and the regular cemetery just outside of the Convent site is this: It was a Roman custom that when a person had died and after about ten years when the body had decomposed, the grave would be opened. The bones would be placed in a small ossuary with the name of the person carefully written on the outside front. These ossuaries would then be placed in a cave as in the case of this Christian burial ground and thus making room for others. But this cave or burial place where the ossuaries were found and which was created and brought about through the natural and disinterested sequence of events, without any reason to change facts or circumstances, was a greater testimony than if there were a witness recorded, stating that Peter was buried there. And yet, even that is unmistakenly recorded in the three words in Aramaic of the ossuary, Simon Bar Jona.
    Herein, lies the greatest proof that Peter never was a Pope, and never was in Rome, for if he had been, it would have certainly been proclaimed in the New Testament. History, likewise, would not have been silent on the subject, as they were not silent in the case of the Apostle Paul. Even the Catholic history would have claimed the above as a fact and not as fickle tradition. To omit Peter as being Pope and in [pg. 8]

[pg. 9]

[pg. 10]
[pg. 11]
[pg. 12]
Rome (and the Papacy) would be like omitting the Law of Moses or the Prophets or the Acts of the Apostles from the Bible.
    Dr. Glueck, being Jewish, and having been to Jerusalem, no doubt, is fully aware of the fact that for centuries the Catholic Church bought up what were thought to be holy sites, some of which did not stand up to Biblical description. For instance, the priests say that the tomb of Jesus is within the walls of the old Jerusalem, in a hole in the ground; whereas, the Bible says that the tomb where Jesus was laid was hewn out of rock and a stone was rolled in front and not on top of it. The Garden Tomb at the foot of Golgotha, outside the walls of old Jerusalem, meets the Biblical description perfectly. In fact, all those who were hated by the Jewish leaders, as Jesus was, could never have been allowed to be buried within the gates of the Holy City. The tomb where Jesus lay was made for Joseph of Arimathaea. His family were all stout and short of stature. In this burial place you can see to this day where someone had carved deeper into the wall to make room for Jesus who was said to be about six feet tall.
    When Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary to be an article of faith in 1950, the Catholic Church in Jerusalem then quickly sold the tomb of Mary to the Armenian Church. Ex-priest Lavallo told me personally that there is another tomb of St. Mary in Ephesus. But the tomb of St. Peter is altogether different for they would rather that it never existed, and to buy or sell such a site would be out of the question. It fell upon them in this manner, as I was told by a Franciscan monk of the monastery of "Dominus Flevit". One of their members was spading the ground on this site in 1953, when his shovel fell through. Excavation was started and there, a large underground Christian burial ground was uncovered. The initial of Christ in Greek was written there which would never have been found in a Jewish, Arab or pagan cemetery. By the structure of the writings, it was established by scientists that they were of the days just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. On the ossuaries were found many names of the Christian of the early Church. It was prophesied in the Bible that Jesus would stand on the Mount of Olives at His return to earth. You can see then, how the Christians would be inclined to have their burial ground on the Mount, for here also, had been a favorite meeting place of Jesus and His disciples.
    In all the cemetery, nothing was found (as also in the Catacombs in Rome) which resemble Arab, Jewish, Catholic or pagan practices. Dr. Glueck, being Jewish, is not fully aware, no doubt, that such a discovery is very embarrassing since it undermines the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Since Peter did not live in Rome and therefore was not martyred or buried there, it naturally follows that he [pg. 13] was not their first Pope.
    The Catholic Church says that Peter was Pope in Rome from 41 to 66 A.D., a period of twenty-five years, but the Bible shows a different story. The book of the Acts of the Apostles (in either the Catholic or Protestant Bible) records the following: Peter was preaching the Gospel to the circumcision (the Jews) in Caesarea and Joppa in Palestine, ministering unto the household of Cornelius, which is a distance of 1,800 miles from Rome (Acts 10:23, 24). Soon after, about the year 44 A.D. (Acts 12), Peter was cast into prison in Jerusalem by Herod, but he was released by an angel. From 46 to 52 A.D., we read in the 13th chapter that he was in Jerusalem preaching the difference between Law and Grace. Saul was converted in 34 A.D. and became Paul the Apostle (Acts 9). Paul tells us that three years after his conversion in 37 A.D., he "went up to Jerusalem to see Peter" (Galatians 1:18), and in 51 A.D., fourteen years later, he again went up to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1, 8), Peter being mentioned. Soon after that he met Peter in Antioch, and as Paul says, "Withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed," Gal. 2:11. The evidence is abundant, the truth is clear from the Scriptures which have never failed. It would be breathtaking to read of the boldness of Paul in dealing with Peter. Very few, if any, have withstood a Pope and lived (except in these days when everybody seems to withstand him). If Peter were Pope it would have been no different. Paul does not only withstand Peter but rebukes him and blames him of being at fault.
    This reminds me of my visit to the St. Angelo Castle in Rome. This castle, which is a very strong fortress, is connected with the Vatican by a high arched viaduct of about a mile in length over which popes have fled in time of danger. The Roman Catholic guide showed me a prison room which had a small air-tight chamber in it. He told me that a Cardinal who had contended with a pope on doctrine was thrown into this air-tight chamber for nearly two hours until he almost smothered to death. He then was led to the guillotine a few feet away and his head was cut off. Another thing remained with me forcibly. The guide showed me through the apartments of the various popes who had taken refuge there. In each case he also showed me the apartment of the mistresses of each of the popes. I was amazed that he made no attempt to hide anything.
    I asked him "Are you not a Catholic?"
   He humbly answered, "Oh yes, I am a Catholic, but I am ashamed of the history of many of the popes, but I trust that our modern popes are better."
    I then asked him, "Surely you are aware of the affair between Pope Pius XII and his housekeeper?" Many in Rome say that she ran [pg. 14] the affairs of the Pope and the Vatican as well.
    He hung his head in shame and sadly said, "Yes, I know."
   All this explains why the Catholic Church has been so careful to keep this discovery unknown. They were successful in doing just that from 1953, when it was discovered by the Franciscans on their own convent site, until 1959. Having succeeded for so long in keeping "this thing quiet," as the Pope had admonished, they were off guard when a fellow at that time came along who appeared harmless but persistent. Little did they know that this fellow would publish the news everywhere. Their position in the world is shaky enough without this discovery becoming generally known.
    As I have mentioned, I had a very agreeable talk with priest Milik, but I did not have the opportunity to see priest Bagatti while in Jerusalem. I wrote to him, however, on March 15, 1960, as follows: "I have spoken with a number of Franciscan priests and monks and they have told me about you and the book of which you are a co-writer. I had hoped to see you and to compliment you on such a great discovery, but time would not permit. Having heard so much about you and that you are an archaeologist (with the evidence in hand), I was convinced, with you, concerning the ancient burial ground that the remains found in the ossuary with the name on it, ‘Simon Bar Jona’, written in Aramaic, were those of St. Peter." It is remarkable that in his reply he did not contradict my statement, which he certainly would have done if he honestly could have done so. "I was very much convinced with you ... that the remains found in the ossuary ... were those of St. Peter." This confirms the talk I had with the Franciscan monk in Bethlehem and the story he told me of Priest Bagatti’s going to the Pope with the evidence concerning the bones of St. Peter in Jerusalem. In his letter one can see that he is careful because of the Pope’s admonition to keep this discovery quiet. He therefore wrote me that he leaves the whole explanation of the Aramaic words, "Simon Bar Jona", to priest Milik. This is a familiar way of getting out of a similar situation. In priest Bagatti’s letter one can see that he is in a difficult position. He cannot go against what he had written in 1953, at the time of the discovery of this Christian-Jewish burial ground, nor what he had said to the Franciscan monk about his visit to the Pope. However, he does raise a question which helps him to get out of the situation without altogether contradicting himself and at the same time putting a smoke screen around the truth. He wrote, "Supposing that it is ‘Jona’ (on the ossuary) as I believe, it may be some other relative of St. Peter, because names were passed on from family to family. To be able to propose the identification of it with St. Peter would go against a long tradition, which has its own value. Anyway, another volume will come [pg. 15] soon that will demonstrate that the cemetery was Christian and of the first century to the second century A.D.
The salute in God                      
most devoted                            
P. B. Bagatti C. F. M."               
    As I have shown, after the admonition of the Pope to "keep this thing quiet," priest Bagatti leaves the interpretation of the whole matter to priest Milik who offers several suggestions but in the end declares that the original statement of priest Bagatti may be true—that the inscription and the remains were of St. Peter.
    It is also very interesting and highly significant that priest Bagatti, in his attempt to neutralize his original statement and the consternation the discovery had and would have if it were generally known, says in reference to the name Simon Bar Jona (St. Peter), "It may be some other relative of St. Peter, because names were passed on from generation to generation." In other words he says that Peter’s name, Simon Bar Jona, could have been given him from a relative of the same name of generations before him, or, could belong to a relative generations after St. Peter. Both speculations are beyond the realm of the possible. First of all, it could not refer to a relative before St. Peter for the Christian burial ground could only have come into being after Jesus began. His public ministry and had converts; and therefore, could not belong to a relative before Peter’s time, since only those who were converted through Christ’s ministry were buried there. Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and left it desolate. Therefore, it is impossible that the inscription could refer to a relative after Peter’s time. One encyclopedia explains the destruction in these words, ‘‘With this event the history of ancient Jerusalem came to a close, for it was left desolate and it’s inhabitants were scattered abroad." From all evidence, Peter was about fifty years old when Jesus called him to be an Apostle, and he died around the age of 82, or about the year 62 A.D. Since by these figures there was only eight years left from the time of Peter’s death until the destruction of Jerusalem, it was then impossible that the inscription and remains belonged to generations after Peter. In those days names were passed on to another only after a lapse of many years. But let us say that immediately after the death of St. Peter, a baby was christened, "Simon Bar Jona", the inscription still could not have been of this baby for the remains were of an adult and not of a child of eight years who had died just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., at which time "the history of ancient Jerusalem came to a close, for it was left desolate and its inhabitants were scattered abroad." [pg. 16]
    This ancient Christian burial ground shows that Peter died and was buried in Jerusalem, which is easily understandable since neither history nor the Bible tells of Peter’s having been in Rome. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome. No wonder that the Roman Catholic Bishop, Strossmayer, in his great speech against papal infallibility before the Pope and the Council of 1870 said, "Scaliger, one of the most learned men, has not hesitated to say that St. Peter’s episcopate and residence in Rome ought to be classed with ridiculous legends." Eusebius, one of the most learned men of his time, wrote the Church history up to the year 325 A.D. He said that Peter never was in Rome. This Church history was translated by Jerome from the original Greek, but in his translation he added a fantastic story of Peter’s residence in Rome. This was a common practice in trying to create credence in their doctrines, using false statements, false letters and falsified history. This is another reason why we cannot rely on tradition, but only on the infallible Word of God.
    The secrecy surrounding this case is amazing, and yet understandable, since Catholics largely base their faith on the assumption that Peter was their first Pope and that he was martyred and buried there. But I am somewhat of the opinion that the Franciscan priests, those who are honest, would be glad to see the truth proclaimed, even if it displeased those who are over them. While visiting with priest Milik, I told him of the highly educated priest with whom I had spoken just before going from Rome to Jerusalem. He admitted to me that the remains of Peter are not in the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican. I asked him what had happened to them? He responded, "We don’t know, but we think that the Saracens stole them away." First of all, the Saracens never got to Rome, but even if they had, what would they want with the bones of Peter? But they never got to Rome, so there it ends. We had a good laugh together, but more so when I told him of my discussion with a brilliant American priest in Rome. I asked this American priest if he knew that the bones of Peter were not in the "Tomb of St. Peter" in the Vatican. He admitted that they were not there. However, he said that a good friend of his, an archaeologist, had been excavating under St. Peter’s Basilica for the bones of St. Peter for a number of years and five years ago he found them. Now a man can be identified by his fingerprints, but never by his bones. So I asked him how he knew they were the bones of St. Peter? He hesitated and tried to change the subject, but on my insistence he finally explained that they had taken the bones to a chemist, and they were analyzed and it was judged that the bones were of a man who had died at about the age [pg. 17] of sixty-five; therefore, they must be Peter’s. How ridiculous can people be?
    Mark you, all the priests agree that the Vatican and St. Peter’s were built over a pagan cemetery. This was a very appropriate place for them to build since, as even Cardinal Newman admitted, there are many pagan practices in the Roman Catholic Church. You realize surely, that Christians would never bury their dead in a pagan cemetery, and you may be very sure that pagans would never allow a Christian to be buried in their cemetery. So, even if Peter died in Rome, which is out of the question, surely the pagan cemetery under St. Peter’s Basilica would be the last place in which he would have been buried. Also, Peter from every indication, lived to be over 80 and not 65 years old.
    The Pope was right, going back to the early Christian burial ground, they must make changes and many of them and fundamental ones at that. But I am afraid that the Pope’s (Pius XII) admittance of the discovery on Bagatti’s presentation of the documentary evidence was to satisfy Bagatti but at the same time admonishing him to keep the information quiet, hoping that the truth of the discovery would die out. But they have said that after all these years of excavation under the Vatican, they have discovered Greek words which read, "Peter is buried here," and it gives the date 160 A.D. First of all, the very structure of the sentence immediately gives one the impression that either quite recently or long ago, someone put the sign there hoping that it would be taken as authentic in order to establish that which then, and even now, has never been proven. Then there is a discrepancy in the date, for Peter was martyred around the year 62 A.D. and not 160 A.D. Thirdly, why is it that they mention nothing about finding bones under or around the sign? While visiting the Catacombs, one sees a few things which are not becoming to Christians, but which tend to indicate that the Christians had some pagan practices, similar to those of Rome today. Nothing is said about them and only after persistent questioning will the Roman Catholic priest, who acts as guide, tell you that those things, images, etc., were placed there centuries after the early Christian era.
    In 1950, just a few years prior to the discovery of the Christian burial ground in Jerusalem, the Pope made the strange declaration that the bones of St. Peter were found under St. Peter’s in Rome. Strange it was, for since beginning to build the church in 1450 (finished in 1626) they erected, St. Peter’s Tomb (?) under the large dome and Bernini's serpentine columns. Since then multiplied millions were thereby deceived into believing that the remains of St. Peter were there, which the hierarchy had all along known was not true, as is proven by the late Pope’s declaration. The following was published in the Newsweek of [pg. 18] July 1, 1957:
    "It was in 1950 that Pope Pius XII in his Christmas message announced that the tomb of St. Peter had indeed been found, as tradition held, beneath the immense dome of the Cathedral (there was, however, no evidence that the bones uncovered there belonged to the body of the martyr)." The parentheses are Newsweek’s.
    To make an announcement of such importance when there is absolutely "no evidence" is rather ridiculous as is also brought out in the Time Magazine of October 28, 1957 (as in above, we quote the article word for word).
    "A thorough account in English of the discoveries beneath St. Peter’s is now available ... by British archaeologists Jocelyn Toynbee and John Ward Perkins. The authors were not members of the excavating team, but scholars Toynbee (a Roman Catholic) and Perkins (an Anglican) poured over the official Vatican reports painstakingly examined the diggings. Their careful independent conclusions fall short of the Pope’s flat statement." (The Pope’s statement that the remains of St. Peter were found under St. Peter’s in Rome). The excavation under St. Peter’s for the remains of St. Peter is still going on secretly, in spite of the Pope’s declaration of 1950.
    Then in 1965, an archaeologist at Rome University, Prof. Margherita Guarducci, tells of a new set of bones belonging to Peter. The story was fantastic but lacked common sense and even bordered on the infantile—but a drowning man will grab for a straw and a straw it was to many. But the Palo Alto Times (California), May 9, 1967, came out with an article on the subject, and I quote, "Other experts, among them Msgr. Joseph Ruysschaert, vice prefect of the Vatican Library are not convinced by Miss Guarducci’s evidence. ‘There are too many unknowns,’ he told reporters on a recent tour of the Vatican grottoes, ‘There is no continuous tracing of the bones. We lack historical proof. They could be anyone’s bones.’ The Vatican would seem to be on the monsignor's side because so far it has taken no steps to officially recognize the bones as St. Peter’s," continues the article. [A similar article in the Valley Independent, Monessen Pa., May 10, 1967]
    The intelligent priest of whom I have mentioned said that Peter’s bones were found and he was a man who died of about 62 years of age, the tests indicated. Pope Pius XII declared these bones were the bones of St. Peter, in his Christmas message of 1950. These were the same as claimed by Newsweek, "there was, however, no evidence that the bones uncovered there belonged to the body of the martyr (Peter)," as well as the above doubtful statements of the archaeologists working on the case. The Pope, notwithstanding, was overjoyed to think they had found the bones of St. Peter until further examination proved that these bones were those of a woman. This fact came out in an article on [pg. 19] the subject in the S. F. Chronicle of June 27, 1968.
    To continue the history of another case in which they have erred: In spite of the statements by the high Papal authority above and the resultant lesson that should have been learned, the Pope, a year later claimed the Prof. Margherita bones as his very own, that is, those of St. Peter. When the bones were found there was little importance placed upon them and they were filed away as such. But when the first set of Peter’s bones turned out so tragically, there was a vacuum left and something had to be done. Again they turned their thoughts to the filed-away bones, the only hope they had of success. In them there was a ray of hopes for the bones were minus a skull, which could go along with the story of the supposed skull of St. Peter which had for centuries been guarded in the church of St. John Lateran in Rome. With a generous mixture of ideas, suppositions, theories and wishful thinking, a fairly logical story emerged. It was then declared by Pope Paul as the Gospel truth, that these now, were the genuine bones of St. Peter, and most of the faithful accepted them as such. For a while all was well until another hitch developed. This time, as fate would have it, the bones in connection with the skull which was guarded for centuries as that of St. Peter, were found incompatible to the more recent bones of St. Peter. The dilemma was terrible. They were between the Devil and the deep blue sea. They have juggled around the skulls of St. Peter causing confusion. It was a choice of claiming these bones championed by Prof. Margherita as fake, or claiming as fake the skull accepted by hundreds of Popes as that of St. Peter. They rejected the past rather than expose themselves to the ridicule of the present. Prof. Margherita claims in this article which appeared in the Manchester Guardian in London, as well as the S. F. Chronicle of June 27, 1968, concerning the long accepted skull of St. Peter, as "it is a fake." Then the article continues, "The hundreds of Popes and millions of Roman Catholics who have accepted and venerated the other skull were innocent victims of another early tradition." [A similar article in the Press Telegram, Long Beach Calif., Jan. 3, 1968]
    But the most astounding statement in the long article found in the above mentioned newspapers is, "The professor did not submit them (Peter’s bones?) to modern scientific tests, which would have determined the approximate age, because, she feared, the process would have reduced them to dust." How could any scientific study of bones be carried out without first scientifically determining the age of the person, or bones? This would be of the greatest interest and the most important for further research. Also any scientist or chemist knows that you do not have to submit the whole skeleton for testing to determine the age. A part of the shin bone or of a rib would be sufficient. It appears that she was protecting her "Peter’s bones" from another [pg. 20] possible disaster, which a wrong age would have caused. The Vatican and others have calculated through all existing evidence that Peter lived to be around 80 and 82 years, and that he died around the years of 62 or 64 A.D. These figures go along perfectly, as does everything else in the case, with the remains found in the Christian burial ground on the Mount of Olives and in the ossuary on which was "clearly and beautifully written," Simon Bar Jona in Aramaic.
    The following was taken from the book, Races of Mankind, page 161: "Strained attempts to have Peter, the Apostle to the Hebrews of the East, in Paul’s territory at Rome and martyred there are unworthy of serious consideration in the light of all contemporary evidence. At his age (eighty-two), that would not have been practicable. In none of Paul’s writings is there the slightest intimation that Peter ever had been or was at that city. All statements to the contrary were made centuries later and are fanciful and hearsay. The Papacy was not organized until the second half of the 8th century. It broke away from the Eastern Church (in the Ency. Brit., 13th Ed., vol. 21, page 636) under Pippin III; also the Papacy, by Abbe Guette."
    The great historian, Schaff, states that the idea of Peter being in Rome is irreconcilable with the silence of the Scriptures, and even with the mere fact of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. In the year 58, Paul wrote his epistle to the Roman church, but does not mention Peter, although he does name 28 leaders in the church at Rome (Rom. 16:7). It must, therefore, be concluded that if the whole subject is faced with detached objectivity, the conclusion must inevitably be reached that Peter was never in Rome. Paul lived and wrote in Rome, but he declared that "Only Luke is with me." [1 Tim. 4:11]


PAT SAYS:

If the above is true the bones under  St Peters in Rome are the bones of an unknown person.

I found this article very interesting and I thought I should share it.

The Roman Catholic Institution is founded on the inventions of men.

Is this one of those inventions.

And do the Romans really know it is.

After all the Vatican and the so called Tomb of St Peter is a massive money making machine.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

JESUS' CHURCH v THE ROMAN CONSTRUCT

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC INSTITUTION BEARS LITTLE OR NO RESEMBLANCE TO THE CHURCH JESUS FOUNDED AND INTENDED!

AND - I WOULD SAY THE VERY SAME ABOUT ALL ORGANISED RELIGIONS - ANGLICANS, PRESBYTERIANS, METHODISTS ETC.



The "church" Jesus founded consisted of the Twelve Apostles, the 70 "disciples" and a number of other peripheral others. The women in the group were extremely prominent.

They WERE NOT CALLED CHRISTIANS. In fact they remained JEWS. They went to the Temple in Jerusalem to pray and met on the "Sabbath" (Sundays) to Break Bread in each other's homes.

They had no pope, no cardinals, no archbishops, no bishops and no priests.

They had no Vatican, no basilicas, no cathedrals, no churches etc.

Eventually as the community and its needs grew and as the occasional heresy showed its head some organisation became necessary.

This took the form of the emergence of elders - who were not CLERICS but community members who were APPOINTED BY THE COMMUNITY to be the organisers. This eventually led to a group of elders who were there to preach the Gospel and the appointment of deacons who were to look after the widows and orphans.

With further organisation each community had a group of elders and it was seen fit to have a SENIOR ELDER. This led to the development of the development of OVERSEER episcopus or bishop) elders (presbyters or priests) and deacons - the forerunner of our Holy Orders of bishop, priest an deacon.

THE 12 APOSLES - with the possible exception of James who was leader of the Christian Community in Antioch - WERE NOT OVERSEERS / BISHOPS.

The Apostles commission was to THE WHOLE CHURCH and not to an individual community. 

To call ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS - "THE SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES" is erroneous. 

Bishops are the successors of the overseers or episcopi.

Quite early on the office of Apostle seemed to die out.

In the Roman Tradition they claim that the 5,000 + bishops are the successors of the Apostles.

How did 12 become 5,000?

Would it not be more in keeping to have 12 Apostles running the Roman Church than a pope and a civil service or curia?

THE REAL ROT SET IN when Christianity ( a name that emerged at Antioch after the Jerusalem Christians moved there after being persecuted) became the state religion of the Roman Empire.

This was the first occasion when the then Christian leader in Rome formed an unholy alliance with Constantine, the Roman Emperor.

Constantine, for political reasons, pretended to convert to Christianity but in fact continued to worship pagan gods for the rest of his life.

This was one of the first time the world witnessed the UNION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

It is questionable if St Peter was ever in Rome and if he was there is no grounds for saying that he was the first bishop of Rome.

As I say above he was an APOSTLE and not a BISHOP !

There is no evidence whatever that the bones that are under the altar of St Peter's are the bones of Peter at all. People are venerating old bones that could have been anyones.

Wikipedia says:

"The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied, especially in the east, to all bishops[18] and other senior clergy, and later became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century.[19][20][21][22][23] The earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by then deceased Patriarch of AlexandriaPope Heraclas of Alexandria (232–248).[24] The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.[25]

"During the Early Church, the bishops of Rome enjoyed no temporal power until the time of Constantine. After the fall of Rome (the "Middle Ages", about 476), the papacy was influenced by the temporal rulers of the surrounding Italian Peninsula; these periods are known as the Ostrogothic PapacyByzantine Papacy, and Frankish Papacy. Over time, the papacy consolidated its territorial claims to a portion of the peninsula known as the Papal States. Thereafter, the role of neighboring sovereigns was replaced by powerful Roman families during the saeculum obscurum, the Crescentii era, and the Tusculan Papacy"..

The pure church that Jesus founded lasted a few hundred years and was gradually replaced by a series of man made teachings, doctrines and practices.

I know that when I publish this today there will be people coming on here claiming that Jesus instituted the office of pope and the RC institution.

The devil can quote scripture for his own purposes.

If we want to belong to the church Jesus founded we need to get back to the early Christian community and its characteristics and indeed its purities.

In the words of the graph on the top of this blog we need to back to 33 AD and forget all the add ons ever since.