The Great Apostasy: A Timeline


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Seminary... faith4 is Catholic.  I presume Roman.  The Roman Catholic apostolic line of succession originates from Peter straight down to Pope Linus then to Cletus and to Clement (and this is as far as I've memorized, LOL)... all the way down to Pope Francis of today.

 

Here's the complete list.

 

But you might think... they're called Popes, not Prophets!  It really doesn't matter what they are called.  It only matters that the Roman Catholics believe that the Bishop of Rome was the one that got handed all the keys of Peter as Peter was believed to have set up his seat in Rome and ordained Linus as his episcopal successor while Paul travelled all over the east.

Thanks.  That is interesting.

 

I readily admit I am no historian or expert and know very little about the Catholic Church's history.  I only submit this is support of the truth about the Great Apostasy.  I am taking in what others have written in a factual, historical context.

 

If you click on Pope Formosus (891) from the list you provided you will read; "Under Stephen VI, the successor of Boniface, Emperor Lambert and Agiltrude recovered their authority in Rome at the beginning of 897, having renounced their claims to the greater part of Upper and Central Italy. Agiltrude being determined to wreak vengeance on her opponent even after his death, Stephen VI lent himself to the revolting scene of sitting in judgment on his predecessor, Formosus. At the synod convened for that purpose, he occupied the chair; the corpse, clad in papal vestments, was withdrawn from the sarcophagus and seated on a throne; close by stood a deacon to answer in its name, all the old charges formulated against Formosus under John VIII being revived. The decision was that the deceased had been unworthy of the pontificate, which he could not have validly received since he was bishop of another see. All his measures and acts were annulled, and all the orders conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his body; the three fingers which the dead pope had used in consecrations were severed from his right hand; the corpse was cast into a grave in the cemetery for strangers, to be removed after a few days and consigned to the Tiber. In 897 the second successor of Stephen had the body, which a monk had drawn from the Tiber, reinterred with full honours in St. Peter's. He furthermore annulled at a synod the decisions of the court of Stephen VI, and declared all orders conferred by Formosus valid. John IX confirmed these acts at two synods, of which the first was held at Rome and the other at Ravenna (898). On the other hand Sergius III (904-911) approved in a Roman synod the decisions of Stephen's synod against Formosus; all who had received orders from the latter were to be treated as lay persons, unless they sought reordination. Sergius and his party meted out severe treatment to the bishops consecrated by Formosus, who in turn had meanwhile conferred orders on many other clerics, a policy which gave rise to the greatest confusion."

 

There are many holes and unproven events as well as scandulous events in that list without historical proof.  In this example that is supported by historical documents, one Pope states the previous Pope had been unworthy to be Pope and "All his measures and acts were annulled, and all the orders conferred by him were declared invalid."  So, either one Pope is right or the other.  It sounds like it went back and forth about who was right.  But even if Stephen VI was wrong about Formosus then I am not sure how that makes him worthy to have held the keys of the Priesthood. They both cant be right and inspired.

 

In fact Stephen was attacked by mobs, supporters of Formosus, and found strangled to death in a dungeon.

 

There are also lists of Popes that have been abdicated or overthrown or deposed; For example.

Benedict V

Benedict IX: 1 | 2 | 3 

Benedict XVI

St. Celestine V

Gregory VI

Gregory XII

John X

John XVIII

Leo V

St. Martin I

St. Pontian

Romanus

St. Silverius

Silvester (Sylvester) III

 

There are examples of popes that were not confirmed, St Martin 1 as listed above; "Was consecrated without imperial confirmation. Boldly defended orthodoxy. Was charged with sedition and, although already bedridden, was tried, persecuted, and mistreated. He was deposed and exiled and died in exile. Sadly, he was abandoned by the Church and a new successor was elected before he had died. Has been considered the last martyred pope to date."  He was unconfirmed during his 4 years of office.  ... So, how does that make this a direct line of authority?

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Thanks.  That is interesting.

<snip>

 

.....

 

So, how does that make this a direct line of authority?

 

Oh my gosh... you're sinking to spamlds level!

 

Really???

 

The Catholic Church has almost a 2,000 year history.  The LDS has 200.  Do you see the missing zero there?

 

Yet, I can dig up just as much dirt on Joseph Smith and Brigham Young ALONE to give you shivers.  And that doesn't count all the controversy of Prophetic Succession...

 

Digging up dirt on Popes in the same manner as digging up dirt on Prophets does not nullify their claim to authority.

 

Nor does the difference between a Church spending their growing up years after the invention of the printing press and had the use of the internet not too long after and a Church who spent a lot of its growing up years in the dark ages nullify one over the other.

 

I have studied all those Popes in the many many many years I spent in Catholic School.  None of those things you nor spamlds wrote led me to believe that the Catholic Church lost their authority.  NONE.  Yet, I'm LDS now.  Ask me why.

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Oh my gosh... you're sinking to spamlds level!

 

Really???

 

The Catholic Church has almost a 2,000 year history.  The LDS has 200.  Do you see the missing zero there?

 

Yet, I can dig up just as much dirt on Joseph Smith and Brigham Young ALONE to give you shivers.

 

Digging up dirt on Popes in the same manner as digging up dirt on Prophets does not nullify their claim to authority.

 

Nor does the difference between a Church spending their growing up years after the invention of the printing press and had the use of the internet not too long after and a Church who spent a lot of its growing up years in the dark ages nullify one over the other.

 

I have studied all those Popes in the many many many years I spent in Catholic School.  None of those things you nor spamlds wrote led me to believe that the Catholic Church lost their authority.  NONE.  Yet, I'm LDS now.  But reading all these dirt-dumping on Catholic Popes makes me embarassed of being associated with you folks.  And that's the truth.

I took that information off the same web site you gave for that list.  How is that digging up dirt?

 

Are these facts or are they not? 

 

If the Catholic Church (a subsequent Pope) says that a particular previous pope lost his authority how are you coming to the conclusion that none of them lost their authority?  How can they both be right?

 

Did Brigham Young ever say that Joseph Smith was not really the prophet or has any modern day prophet denounced a previous modern day prophet's authority?   I am not talking about dirt, just authority.

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And the bolded above is where you erred.  None of anything you wrote... NONE of it... proves a Great Apostasy occurred.  And that's a truth that you can take to the bank.  Therefore, it serves nothing - NOTHING AT ALL - but disturb Catholics.

 

And from one LDS to another... you should stop posting that stuff and calling it proof of a Great Apostasy.  You're making us look bad.  If somebody asks you why YOU think a Great Apostasy happened, you can point to those things as signs of it that makes YOU believe it happened.  Do you see what I'm saying?

I can only speak for myself (and by the way, I am a she, not a he) that the things that make me believe there was a great apostasy is because living prophets and those who have authority to say it have said it.  That is proof enough, such as Boyd K. Packer, previous president of the quorum of the twelve apostles; "

But as the centuries passed, the flame flickered and dimmed. Ordinances were changed or abandoned. The line was broken, and the authority to confer the Holy Ghost as a gift was gone. The Dark Ages of apostasy settled over the world.

But always, as it had from the beginning, the Spirit of God inspired worthy souls.22

We owe an immense debt to the protestors and the reformers who preserved the scriptures and translated them. They knew something had been lost. They kept the flame alive as best they could. Many of them were martyrs. But protesting was not enough; nor could reformers restore that which was gone."

 

And who did those protestors and reformers oppose?  What authority did they oppose?  "We owe an immense debt" to those that opposed that existing line of authority to keep the idea alive that something was lost!  Yeah for them that opposed those church leaders during the dark ages!!!  ... I think I am going to pray right now to give them thanks for opposing and protesting because they knew there was something lost.  Good job reformers!  Good job protestors! Way to listen to the light of Christ to tell you that something was missing, that the authority was gone without having any internet or historical facts to back it up!   Weren't they amazing people?  They gave their life to say that the leaders of the time did not have authority.  We owe them an immense debt!!!

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I took that information off the same web site you gave for that list.  How is that digging up dirt?

 

Are these facts or are they not? 

 

If the Catholic Church (a subsequent Pope) says that a particular previous pope lost his authority how are you coming to the conclusion that none of them lost their authority?  How can they both be right?

 

Did Brigham Young ever say that Joseph Smith was not really the prophet or has any modern day prophet denounced a previous modern day prophet's authority?   I am not talking about dirt, just authority.

 

They are facts.  Your usage of which - to disprove Authority (that is not presupposed merely on facts but as a matter of FAITH) - is wrong.

 

I gave you the link to give you the list of Apostolic Succession.  Not so you can dig the dirt on them without studying it in the light of the Papal Authority.  If you don't have the foundation of faith in the authority of Joseph Smith, reading about him on the internet - his polygamous life, his financial failures, etc. etc., and then putting it on a forum to point to and say, "see, see... how can he have authority?" is called Digging Up Dirt.

 

Let's take Benedict V as an easy example... Ortho is the emperor - no priesthood keys whatsoever.  Ortho did not like John XII (he was not a good pope - not to say that he did not have authority as that's a matter of faith), so he deposed John XII to install Leo VIII.  Note that this deposition is secular but as a matter of faith, we can believe that God works with the weakness of man and may have used Ortho's secular power to force John to hand the keys to Leo.  The Romans did not like that Ortho took over church matters, so after John XII died, they replaced Leo with Benedict V.  Ortho got mad, took Benedict and forced him to abdicate - another secular deposition.  This put Leo VIII back on the pontificate but he didn't last long - he died (God's way to correct the authority?  Matter of faith...) - and soon after Benedict died as well.  This caused John VIII to be the next pope.  Note that the reign of John VIII led the Church to use the Emperor to protect the interests of Catholics... without which, the Church could fall further into chaos.  God works with whatever He can use to further the Kingdom.

 

Also note that all this happened over NINE HUNDRED YEARS after the death of Christ.  The LDS Church only has a 200-year history... imagine what could come out of dirt-digging after 900 years...

 

Now... you can do this for ANY of those other popes you mentioned.  Everything boils down to a matter of faith in the same manner that you have faith that Brigham Young and all his dirt - and not Joseph Smith's son or anybody else - retained the authority of the LDS Church...

 

So, when you're talking about The Great Apostasy and Apostolic Succession of Priesthood Authority, picking up the dirt of years of work of Popes and Prophets does not prove that a Church lost authority.  Because, that same Church can pick up more years of good that those Popes and Prophets have done to counter-act anything you throw at them.

 

The ONLY true measure of The Great Apostasy is one's FAITH that the Priesthood is Restored.  Because, there won't be a need to restore something that did not get lost.  There is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to get into a discussion of "my authority is better than your authority" and "my Spirit is better than your Spirit" claptrap.

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I also looked at your supposed quotes by 3 Church fathers and the first two are made up as far as I can tell.  Unless you can provide reliable sources for these "quotes" from Origen and Cyprian of Carthage, your credibility just diminished in my opinion.  Milner lived in the 18th century and did not provide reliable sources, and all I keep getting when I search these quotes are LDS sources. 

 

 

 

Since Faith4 accusd me of just making up quotes, I went back and edited the original post with the omitted references.  This was never a research paper to begin with, just a discussion from another forum that was worth keeping.  I've added the proper APA references and created a "Works Cited" section.  So much for the "made up" quotes.  Anyone who wants to research these quotes can find them easily with Google.  Yes, many of them are cited in other LDS works, but it only takes a slight effort to click a couple more links and find the original documents. 

 

I don't expect an apology for being accused of lying and making stuff up.  I respect that these things are disturbing for Catholics to read.  Nevertheless, they are historical and they are true.  The point of this post was not to attack Catholicism or any other faith, but instead to show the proof they demand that an apostasy actually occured.  I hope my effort to improve the quality of the facts presented is worth it to someone in the future.  After all, it's all about the truth, isn't it?

 

 

It is quite common that when someone quotes someone else, or claims that they said something, they cite the relevant primary source.  We have tons of writings from the early Christians, so faith4 is asking you to explicitly cite the relevant place where we can find what Origen and/or Cyprian said what is claimed they said.  Is that too much to ask?  Your works cited does not demonstrate that.

 

I decided to google the matter of milk and honey and baptism.  I must say, your sentence, "Baptism, a simple rite of immersion administered upon repentance became an elaborate ceremony including milk and honey..." is somewhat deceiving, as I am sure many of us were imagining the early Christians bathing themselves in milk and honey as part of the baptism.  Instead, what we do find is that after the baptism (and not part of the baptismal sacrament), mixed milk and honey would be given to the newly baptized Christian to drink, symbolizing the nourishment of Christ.  It had nothing at all to do with baptism per se, which in Catholicism has always only necessitated immersion in water or pouring of water, along with the invocation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  As well, references seem to be pointing to this being tied to the Eucharist, the sacrificial offering of bread and wine (see "The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation"). 

 

http://www.christian-history.org/water-baptism-quotes.html

 

"In Africa, newly baptized believers were given a drink of milk and honey, symbols of their being children of Christ and citizens in heaven, a land of milk and honey."

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/1993/issue37/3702.html

 

 

So, I'm still not impressed by your purported evidences of the apostasy and presentation of Catholicism/ancient Christianity.  I still await why you seem to ignore the use of incense and flame in ancient Judaism as the origin of Catholic/Orthodox use of such elements in their liturgies, instead favoring a claim of origin in paganism.  I also await the specific ceremonies from military traditions and rituals marking the liberation of slaves.  Cite the specific source that I can read more.

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Wait, wait... you're saying that the 3 heavens are not in the Bible?  It is actually referred to by Paul in his letters to the Corinthians about the 3rd heaven and the different degrees of reward - one being gold, the other silver, the other being costly stones.

Yes, the doctrine of 3 levels of heaven is not taught in the Bible.

 

Are you referring to 1 Cor. 3:12? It mentions believers building on the foundation of Christ with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw which will be tested with fire. The gold, silver and costly stones are things we're building now. It doesn't say those will be rewards in heaven. And it certainly doesn't say anything about that heaven having 3 levels.

 

There's also 1 Cor. 15. But as I pointed out in post 22 in this thread, the passage isn't talking about heaven itself at all. http://lds.net/forums/topic/54822-the-great-apostasy-a-timeline/?p=787007

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Yes, the doctrine of 3 levels of heaven is not taught in the Bible.

 

Are you referring to 1 Cor. 3:12? It mentions believers building on the foundation of Christ with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw which will be tested with fire. The gold, silver and costly stones are things we're building now. It doesn't say those will be rewards in heaven. And it certainly doesn't say anything about that heaven having 3 levels.

 

There's also 1 Cor. 15. But as I pointed out in post 22 in this thread, the passage isn't talking about heaven itself at all. http://lds.net/forums/topic/54822-the-great-apostasy-a-timeline/?p=787007

 

What is your religious denomination?  I want to be sure I address your points in light of your faith.

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They are facts.  Your usage of which - to disprove Authority (that is not presupposed merely on facts but as a matter of FAITH) - is wrong.

 

I gave you the link to give you the list of Apostolic Succession.  Not so you can dig the dirt on them without studying it in the light of the Papal Authority.  If you don't have the foundation of faith in the authority of Joseph Smith, reading about him on the internet - his polygamous life, his financial failures, etc. etc., and then putting it on a forum to point to and say, "see, see... how can he have authority?" is called Digging Up Dirt.

 

Let's take Benedict V as an easy example... Ortho is the emperor - no priesthood keys whatsoever.  Ortho did not like John XII (he was not a good pope - not to say that he did not have authority as that's a matter of faith), so he deposed John XII to install Leo VIII.  Note that this deposition is secular but as a matter of faith, we can believe that God works with the weakness of man and may have used Ortho's secular power to force John to hand the keys to Leo.  The Romans did not like that Ortho took over church matters, so after John XII died, they replaced Leo with Benedict V.  Ortho got mad, took Benedict and forced him to abdicate - another secular deposition.  This put Leo VIII back on the pontificate but he didn't last long - he died (God's way to correct the authority?  Matter of faith...) - and soon after Benedict died as well.  This caused John VIII to be the next pope.  Note that the reign of John VIII led the Church to use the Emperor to protect the interests of Catholics... without which, the Church could fall further into chaos.  God works with whatever He can use to further the Kingdom.

 

Also note that all this happened over NINE HUNDRED YEARS after the death of Christ.  The LDS Church only has a 200-year history... imagine what could come out of dirt-digging after 900 years...

 

Now... you can do this for ANY of those other popes you mentioned.  Everything boils down to a matter of faith in the same manner that you have faith that Brigham Young and all his dirt - and not Joseph Smith's son or anybody else - retained the authority of the LDS Church...

 

So, when you're talking about The Great Apostasy and Apostolic Succession of Priesthood Authority, picking up the dirt of years of work of Popes and Prophets does not prove that a Church lost authority.  Because, that same Church can pick up more years of good that those Popes and Prophets have done to counter-act anything you throw at them.

 

The ONLY true measure of The Great Apostasy is one's FAITH that the Priesthood is Restored.  Because, there won't be a need to restore something that did not get lost.  There is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to get into a discussion of "my authority is better than your authority" and "my Spirit is better than your Spirit" claptrap.

Lets get something straight, you are suggesting that my focus is in the quantity of good vs bad these men have done as a measure of authority.  I have no idea where you are getting that idea.  I have not suggested that or stated that.  If I have I apologize because that was not my intention.  I think you have taken what I posted as implying some kind of "dirt" on these men but all I was doing was showing internal disagreement about their own authority.  I don't take that as "dirt" as you do.

 

You are exagerating and expanded the scope of the things I have written.  I have not discussed any "dirt" on anyone in terms of character flaws or sinful life etc.  As far as I know, all those men lived relatively righteous lives but we do know from our own teachings and revelation that the Church that was established by Christ fell into apostasy meaning there was corruption in the church.  Who specifically was corrupted and how, I do not know.  What I have shown are examples of people within the Catholic church that dispute their own history and authority.  How can they say they have authority when in their own history, not dirt pulled up about someone's character but recorded disputes over authority specifically, suggests there was uncertainty about the line of authority.  If one Pope says the other Pope did not have authority then which one is right.  You are right, if that didn't happen then I suppose that is dirt.  But this is from the Catholic church's own historian writtings. So, are you saying that didn't happen?   Did the Cadaver Synod occur or did it not?  If it did occur and Stephen VI said that Formosus papacy was invalid and that he did not have authority then either that is true or Stephen VI did not have authority to make that claim.  It has to be one or the other, if that trial really took place like that as stated in the same material you provided and has been documented in numerous histories too many to even provide here.  This is a fact.

 

There is nothing in LDS history that I am aware of that states a previous Prophet's authority was disputed by a current Prophet.   So, I am not sure what "dirt" you think you can pull up about Joseph Smith or Brigham Young that would be related to that discussion of linear succession.  Otherwise, you are trying to suggest that I am talking about something I am not.

 

I agree with your statement "God works with whatever He can use to further the Kingdom."  But that is not how you are really seeing this.  You are trying to suggest that God worked through the Popes and that was His Kingdom.  I disagree with that premise. The Catholic Church was not "God's Kingdom".  God did not work through the Popes as one in authority over His Church on Earth as the Catholic Church claims.  God's "Kingdom" did not exist as a church during those times as reflected by the answer Joseph Smith received about which church to join.  God would not have to restore the church unless it was not in existence at that time, He would just have to reorganize it.

 

All I have to show is one little break in the line to "prove" that there is not linear succession. You are right, it still requires faith to believe in it or not.  But, this is a point in which faith is questioned, did Stephen VI say that Formosus authority as a Pope was invalid or did he not? Or was Stephen VI not in authority to make such a statement?  Or are all the histories just "dirt" like you are trying to say, that that event did not happen that way?  Is it really disputed by the Catholic Church that that event took place? 

 

My goal is not to "measure" the apostasy as you assume but at the same time if one believes in the one true Church of Christ as does the Catholic Church then one would dispute one over the other, who has authority.  I am not measuring how much "good" was done over how many years as you have tried to make the focus.  That is your focus not mine.  One could not take a liberal view of this matter like, 'they were all good and trying to do the best they could with what they have so don't worry if they claimed to be the one true church with all the authority and that nobody else had the authority". Is that what you are tyring to tell me?

 

For example, "In the encyclical Mortalium Animos of 6 January 1928, Pope Pius XI wrote that "in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors" and quoted the statement of Lactantius: "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation."[10] Accordingly, the Second Vatican Council declared: "Whosoever, [...] knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved."

 

The Pope from 1928, at the same time Heber J. Grant was around as a confirmed prophet of God's Church on the whole Earth stated that only the Catholic Church had the authority.  At the same time Heber J. Grant claimed to be the living leader with authority from God of God's only true Church on Earth, Pope Pius XI also made the claim.  So, one is not telling the truth.  If one says they believe one, then they are saying they don't believe the other.   There is no middle ground here. I am not sure why you are so excited about trying to create some middle ground when Pope Pius XI showed no middle ground. 

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Lets get something straight, you are suggesting that my focus is in the quantity of good vs bad these men have done as a measure of authority.  I have no idea where you are getting that idea.  I have not suggested that or stated that.  If I have I apologize because that was not my intention.  I think you have taken what I posted as implying some kind of "dirt" on these men but all I was doing was showing internal disagreement about their own authority.  I don't take that as "dirt" as you do.

 

You are exagerating and expanded the scope of the things I have written.  I have not discussed any "dirt" on anyone in terms of character flaws or sinful life etc.  As far as I know, all those men lived relatively righteous lives but we do know from our own teachings and revelation that the Church that was established by Christ fell into apostasy meaning there was corruption in the church.  Who specifically was corrupted and how, I do not know.  What I have shown are examples of people within the Catholic church that dispute their own history and authority.  How can they say they have authority when in their own history, not dirt pulled up about someone's character but recorded disputes over authority specifically, suggests there was uncertainty about the line of authority.  If one Pope says the other Pope did not have authority then which one is right.  You are right, if that didn't happen then I suppose that is dirt.  But this is from the Catholic church's own historian writtings. So, are you saying that didn't happen?   Did the Cadaver Synod occur or did it not?  If it did occur and Stephen VI said that Formosus papacy was invalid and that he did not have authority then either that is true or Stephen VI did not have authority to make that claim.  It has to be one or the other, if that trial really took place like that as stated in the same material you provided and has been documented in numerous histories too many to even provide here.  This is a fact.

 

That bolded and red above.  That's where you err.  That's a conclusion that YOU took out of 20 minutes of reading.

 

Here's THE fact.  Catholics - the exact same Catholics that wrote those exact same things that you read - WROTE those things to ESTABLISH a straight line of authority from Peter.

 

Now ask yourself why.  It will take you 4 semesters at 3 credits each to gain an understanding at an intellectual level - surely not 20 minutes.  But yeah, 20 minutes if you study it through the prism of Faith in the Apostolic Line of Succession claimed by the Roman Catholic Church.

 

And how is that different from the deposit of Faith required to find that the LDS Authority is true?

 

Now, of course you can use that exact same history (interestingly, the Catholics have the most complete unbiased account of one) in the light of your Faith in the Restoration of Priesthood Authority and come out with a different conclusion.  But without that Faith on the Restoration, you will understand why the Catholics see an unbroken line of Authority from Peter to Francis.

 

Ergo... and this is very important so pay very close attention... pointing those things out to somebody who has NO FAITH in the Restoration of Priesthood Authority in these Latter-days does NOTHING but insult Catholics.  AND... for those who has faith in the Restoration of Priesthood Authority, pointing those out does not make them more faithful because they already have faith in the Restoration.

 

Therefore, the only purpose in putting those things as EVIDENCE (not proof!) of the validity of the Restored Priesthood Authority is for personal study - definitely and absolutely NOT for convincing others of it!

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Thanks.  That is interesting.

 

I readily admit I am no historian or expert and know very little about the Catholic Church's history.  I only submit this is support of the truth about the Great Apostasy.  I am taking in what others have written in a factual, historical context.

 

If you click on Pope Formosus (891) from the list you provided you will read; "Under Stephen VI, the successor of Boniface, Emperor Lambert and Agiltrude recovered their authority in Rome at the beginning of 897, having renounced their claims to the greater part of Upper and Central Italy. Agiltrude being determined to wreak vengeance on her opponent even after his death, Stephen VI lent himself to the revolting scene of sitting in judgment on his predecessor, Formosus. At the synod convened for that purpose, he occupied the chair; the corpse, clad in papal vestments, was withdrawn from the sarcophagus and seated on a throne; close by stood a deacon to answer in its name, all the old charges formulated against Formosus under John VIII being revived. The decision was that the deceased had been unworthy of the pontificate, which he could not have validly received since he was bishop of another see. All his measures and acts were annulled, and all the orders conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his body; the three fingers which the dead pope had used in consecrations were severed from his right hand; the corpse was cast into a grave in the cemetery for strangers, to be removed after a few days and consigned to the Tiber. In 897 the second successor of Stephen had the body, which a monk had drawn from the Tiber, reinterred with full honours in St. Peter's. He furthermore annulled at a synod the decisions of the court of Stephen VI, and declared all orders conferred by Formosus valid. John IX confirmed these acts at two synods, of which the first was held at Rome and the other at Ravenna (898). On the other hand Sergius III (904-911) approved in a Roman synod the decisions of Stephen's synod against Formosus; all who had received orders from the latter were to be treated as lay persons, unless they sought reordination. Sergius and his party meted out severe treatment to the bishops consecrated by Formosus, who in turn had meanwhile conferred orders on many other clerics, a policy which gave rise to the greatest confusion."

 

There are many holes and unproven events as well as scandulous events in that list without historical proof.  In this example that is supported by historical documents, one Pope states the previous Pope had been unworthy to be Pope and "All his measures and acts were annulled, and all the orders conferred by him were declared invalid."  So, either one Pope is right or the other.  It sounds like it went back and forth about who was right.  But even if Stephen VI was wrong about Formosus then I am not sure how that makes him worthy to have held the keys of the Priesthood. They both cant be right and inspired.

 

In fact Stephen was attacked by mobs, supporters of Formosus, and found strangled to death in a dungeon.

 

There are also lists of Popes that have been abdicated or overthrown or deposed; For example.

Benedict V

Benedict IX: 1 | 2 | 3 

Benedict XVI

St. Celestine V

Gregory VI

Gregory XII

John X

John XVIII

Leo V

St. Martin I

St. Pontian

Romanus

St. Silverius

Silvester (Sylvester) III

 

There are examples of popes that were not confirmed, St Martin 1 as listed above; "Was consecrated without imperial confirmation. Boldly defended orthodoxy. Was charged with sedition and, although already bedridden, was tried, persecuted, and mistreated. He was deposed and exiled and died in exile. Sadly, he was abandoned by the Church and a new successor was elected before he had died. Has been considered the last martyred pope to date."  He was unconfirmed during his 4 years of office.  ... So, how does that make this a direct line of authority?

 

 

"Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?"  Matt 7:3

 

I do not have time to write a lengthy reply to each of your points and questions, Anatess did a fine job trying to clarify for me. (Thank you Anatess).  But, since you've mentioned the trial of Formosus a few times in separate posts, I will clarify this example for you.  Yes, this trial actually happened, as ridiculous and petty as it sounds, the Catholic Church does not deny this, or try to hide it.  But, just b/c Stephen VI declared Formosus' authority revoked, it does not mean it was "bound" in heaven, b/c Stephen VI was speaking as a man and not with Papal infallability.  Papal infallability does not include every word that comes out of a Pope's mouth.  Stephen VI could humiliate his predecessor posthumously all he wanted, it doens't mean any actual authority was reversed or changed.  And just as the kings and high priests of Judah bickered over authority (Hasmonean Dynasty) a few decades before Jesus came, so God still fulfilled his Covenant promise to David that out of Judah, through the line of David, a ruler would come.  This is why we are not to place our trust in men, but in God alone, that He can still fulfill his promises through corrupt men, His Glory will always be greater.  Our job is not to judge those who were, and are, corrupted in His Church, but to trust in His faithfulness and Justice, for all these men will be judged for their works.  And for those who were given more, more will be expected.   

 

"It's easy to float downstream.  After all, even dead bodies can float downstream, but it takes a real man, a real woman, to swim against the current. "  - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on times of persecution and corruption and how Christians could pick up their cross and carry it.   

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This discussion is interesting.  We have a Catholic who is defending her doctrinal line and the doctrine of papal succession and reliance on tradition as well as scripture.  We have a Protestant who rejects the need for priesthood keys, authority,tradition, or anything else beyond a Bible and faith. The difference between those two views is evidence of the apostasy!

 

I wanted to comment on a couple of quotes from the resident Protestant:

 

Quote #1 

 

...I'm aware of that teaching, but it's not supported by the Bible either. Look at how the New Testament authors treated the scriptures they had. They didn't restore any lost doctrines, let alone whole books that had been lost. They don't even seem to be aware of a Book of Abraham or the doctrines taught in the Book of Moses. They freely quote from scripture without making any corrections. They were completely confident in the accuracy and completeness of their scriptures.

 

Quote #2

 

Says who? Do any of the New Testament authors say anything about lost scriptures? Do they do anything to restore lost scriptures? They warn about false teachers and make predictions about SOME people falling away from the church, but none of their prophesies mention lost writings.

 

I would dispute that the apostles in the 1st century considered the canon closed.  In the 19th century, it was considered that the Council of Jamnia closed the Jewish scriptures around 90 A.D.  That theory has been challenged, but it is safe to say that there was not a settled canon in the time of Jesus and the apostles.

 

Then, we might also consider that there are a few mentions by New Testament authors of prophetic utterances from scriptures that are not currently in the Old Testament.  For example, the prophecy that the Messiah would be a Nazarene is not contained in the Old Testament, event though it is cited by Matthew in Chapter 2, verse 23.  He's quoting a prophet and declaring that Christ fulfilled it, but it's not in the Old Testament.  Jude 14 mentions a prophecy from the Book of Enoch in verses 14 and 15.  That's not in the Old Testament either but Jude quotes it as a prophecy and obviously considered it scripture.

 

It is a misconception to superimpose modern sectarian aversion to "adding to" the Bible upon ancient believers.  If the gospel writers considered the canon of scripture closed, why did they write more of it?  Suffice it to say that the scripture is the product of prophets.  It doesn't replace them.  New prophets often add to the scriptures.  Much was lost.  There are 17 books we know of that are missing.  Various Christian churches today have different numbers of books in their Bibles.  Catholics and Protestants don't agree on which books go in it.  The Syrian and Ethiopian Churches have books that the others don't include.

 

To presume that God gave a monolithic "rule book" in the form of the Bible and that prophets just interpret it is fallacious.  God sends prophets whenever he wants and if people write down what they say, it tends to become scripture.  Sometimes they produce new material that restores lost information.  For example, Moses wrote the first five books, which includes the account of the Creation.  In doing so, he was probably either citing source material or restoring lost scripture about how the world was created.  Like Joseph Smith, Moses looked into the distant past and brought forth ancient scripture to a new generation to whom it had been lost.
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I have not read every post, but as a practicing LDS and any practicing LDS should know or come to the realization very quickly that from a historical documented stand point we have NOTHING on the Catholic church. You can make all the arguments you want about the "great apostasy" and weather it did or didn't happen. I personally happen to be a believer, however I am not so naive to think that I "Prove" anything.

 

If you want proof go to a Roman Catholic church and you will find a chart hung up somewhere with a picture of Christ at the top and every Pope down to modern time. This is documented and traceable undisputed fact.

 

As LDS there comes a point and time in our religion were a leap of faith is needed....a big leap.

 

If you want to enter into a scholarly discussion about theology with a Catholic Priest (and I don't know that the responses posted have been done by such a person) by all means go ahead but know that you are out gunned. They go to school for this, they receive training, and instruction. We do not. 

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This discussion is interesting.  We have a Catholic who is defending her doctrinal line and the doctrine of papal succession and reliance on tradition as well as scripture.  We have a Protestant who rejects the need for priesthood keys, authority,tradition, or anything else beyond a Bible and faith. The difference between those two views is evidence of the apostasy!

Why? How is doctrinal disagreement evidence of the apostasy? I've seen many LDS list verses that mention false prophets as evidence of the apostasy, but it doesn't make sense. There were false teachers and people who believed them very early in the church. Does that mean the early church was in apostasy? There's more false teachers and disagreements now than there was 200 years ago. Does that mean the apostasy is getting worse?

 

The Bible clearly teaches there will be false teachers and SOME people will believe them. That's it. There's no reason to assume those verses are saying none of the teachers in the coming church age have the true gospel.

 

I would dispute that the apostles in the 1st century considered the canon closed.  In the 19th century, it was considered that the Council of Jamnia closed the Jewish scriptures around 90 A.D.  That theory has been challenged, but it is safe to say that there was not a settled canon in the time of Jesus and the apostles.

Closed vs. open canon isn't as big a deal as following the Gospel the apostles taught. I would be more open to the LDS Gospel if it didn't include a core Gospel doctrine that wasn't taught in the Bible, like the doctrine of 3 separate kingdoms in heaven. It's not taught in the Bible. The 1 Corinthians 15 passage contrasts physical, earthly bodies with spiritual, heavenly bodies. It doesn't mention heaven itself at all.

And I don't see how the doctrine isn't a core LDS Gospel doctrine. Say your Protestant friend tells you they already believe in Christ and trust in Him for their salvation. Then they ask you why they should join the LDS church since they already believe? Can you answer that question without referring to multiple kingdoms in heaven? If a doctrine is a fundamental point in your answer to the question of "Why should I join your church?," isn't a core part of your doctrine?

Besides, John wrote about plenty of details of heaven in Revelation. Why wouldn't it include a basic detail like 3 separate kingdoms in heaven? Why would John take the time to list the types of stones in the foundation and leave out a huge detail about multiple kingdoms?

 

Since you believe many scriptural books were lost, why haven't they been restored? Why haven't any LDS prophets restored the book of Enoch or any other lost book that's actually mentioned? It seems odd how Mormons stress the issue of lost books mentioned in the Bible while none of the LDS prophets seem to be concerned with actually restoring those books. Should we look at some other religion for the modern prophet who can restore them?

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Since you believe many scriptural books were lost, why haven't they been restored? Why haven't any LDS prophets restored the book of Enoch or any other lost book that's actually mentioned? It seems odd how Mormons stress the issue of lost books mentioned in the Bible while none of the LDS prophets seem to be concerned with actually restoring those books. Should we look at some other religion for the modern prophet who can restore them?

 

The only reason LDS seem to care about 'lost books' is because people like yourself have repeatedly challenged our belief that God has not changed and he still speaks to us just like the bible repeatedly and undeniably shows.  The fact that we believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly verses their acceptance of Sola scriptura.  The fact that we have answers to the question only means that the question get asked a lot not that we in our personal daily lives make that a big deal of it.

 

As for restoring those books what do you think the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Convents are all about?  God restoring teachings that were lost (The teachings are the important things).  And do expect that "That God will yet reveal many great and important things.

 

But it seems clear to me that you seem bound and determined to twist anything we say to your own end.  That you aren't listening so much as preparing your next attempt at a gotcha, so I am going to end my participation because for me such discussions are a waste of time

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As for restoring those books what do you think the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Convents are all about?  God restoring teachings that were lost (The teachings are the important things).  And do expect that "That God will yet reveal many great and important things.

That's what I've been trying to say, the teachings are the important things. It doesn't matter that some books have been lost as long as the teachings have been preserved. God preserved His teachings for 3000 years before Christ came, so why wouldn't He have preserved them for the next 2000 years. Like you said, God doesn't change. So He wouldn't have suddenly stopped preserving His teachings.

 

I'm not opposed to God keeping the canon open and speaking to us today through prophets. But maybe He doesn't need to. Maybe careful study of the Bible is enough for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Maybe the Holy Spirit acts as our prophet today who will help guide us. But that guidance doesn't mean He'll stop us from ignoring the revelation we have to have faith in someone claiming to be a prophet.

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Then what's the point of making a claim you refuse to back up? I apologize if I come off as hostile, but I feel strongly about this. 

 

Accidentally getting drawn into something that I don't want to be.

 

You're objective here is the problem, not how strongly you feel.

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Accidentally getting drawn into something that I don't want to be.

 

You're objective here is the problem, not how strongly you feel.

Paul and John both taught about rejecting teachers who teach doctrine different than what they taught. That's my objective. How can someone follow that objective if they have to ignore what they already believe about the Bible while investigating the LDS church?

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Paul and John both taught about rejecting teachers who teach doctrine different than what they taught. That's my objective. How can someone follow that objective if they have to ignore what they already believe about the Bible while investigating the LDS church?

Please cite the doctrine that we teach that contradicts Paul and John. I suspect it may contradict your understanding of what they are saying or lack of understanding on what we truly believe.

 

Also, please tell us what denomination of Christianity you are a part of so that we can have a better discussion.

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