The Biblical Basis for the Papacy
John Salza
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Buy *The Biblical Basis for the Papacy* by John Salza online

The Biblical Basis for the Papacy
John Salza
Our Sunday Visitor
223 pages
March 2007
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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John Salza provides a great book to show that the office of the pope, or the papacy, has basis in the Bible and the writings of the Fathers of the Church. Salza’s intent is that Catholics can have discussions with non-Catholics about the primacy of the pope, who is the successor of St. Peter. Salza uses scripture verses to show that Jesus founded his Church on the profession of faith of Simon Peter when Peter said that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and the Son of God. Jesus replied that no mere man had revealed this to him but that God his Father had done this. That is when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter to show that he was to have an important ministry or part in the salvation of the world.

Salza introduces what he plans to present to the reader and uses the Douay-Rheims Bible and the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version Bible for Scripture quotes. He also addresses the issue of Protestants’ idea of Scripture alone and their ignoring Tradition which came before Scripture; they forget that Tradition decided the contents of the canonical Bible.

St. Peter is held to be the first among the Apostles using many Scripture verses. In discussing what the name “Peter” means, Salza refutes those who would say that Jesus did not intend for the Church to be built upon this “rock.” He addresses the various arguments that contradict the true meaning Jesus had in re-naming Simon, Peter.

Salza examines the issue of what “the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” means, and he shows what binding and loosing means from a Scriptural point of view as well as from Tradition. Chapter five discusses what “chief shepherd of the Church” means.

Salza shows from the Bible that Peter was acknowledged as the leader of the Early Church and that the other apostles always recognized his primacy, following with an examination of the issue of apostolic succession. All the Apostles had successors, which are the bishops, but Peter’s successors were special since he himself was special as the leader of the visible Church on earth. The Tradition of the Church has recognized that Peter’s successors in Rome starting with St. Linus up to today’s current pope, Benedict XVI, held the office of primacy in the college of bishops. The Eastern Orthodox agree that the Successor of Peter has primacy but disagree with Roman Catholics as to how this office functions. Salza does not discuss the controversy between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches; his main concern is with refuting Protestant opposition to the papacy.

Salza quotes various Fathers of the Church from both the East and the West on the topic of the pope. For those who do not know the Church Fathers, they are those who were bishops and/or theologians from the second to the fourth century. Some of the earlier ones knew the Apostles themselves. They passed on the teachings of the Apostles that were not always written down. This is part of what is called Tradition.

Salza discusses what “no salvation outside of the Church” means based on various councils and popes, which at first seems out of place in this book about the papacy. But to deny the primacy of the pope can lead a person outside of the Church. He finishes his book with a list of the popes, and although there is not an index or bibliography, there are footnotes.

John Salza is the author of the books Masonry Unmasked: An Insider Reveals the Secrets of the Lodge (2006) and of The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Faith (2005). He is the creator of an extensive Catholic apologetics site, A lawyer and apologist, he is a frequent speaker on Catholic radio, including his own daily feature on Relevant Radio called “Relevant Answers.” This present book on the papacy is highly recommended to those interested in the study of the papacy, those needing a book to refute those opposed to the papacy, and for those wanting to know more about the biblical basis for the papacy.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., 2007

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