Saturday, March 03, 2007

Was St. Clement Really the 4th Pope?

Instead of my usual post, I have created a 7 minute audio monologue discussing whether St. Clement was really the bishop of Rome or merely a presbyter of 'special honor' as some skeptics like to say. Before watching the video, I suggest reading my recent post entitled 'Is Tradition Reliable?' In that post, I discussed my basic presuppositions and the presuppositions of the skeptics when it comes to early Church research.

The video isn't all that exciting and I'm not much of a speaker, just thought I'd use it for practice. Hope you enjoy.



Here are the some of the key quotes from early Church fathers (and from Clement) that I used in support of my argument:

Philippians 4:3
Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Hermas (2nd vision chapter 4):
You will write therefore two books, and you will send the one to Clemens and the other to Grapte. And Clemens will send his to foreign countries, for permission has been granted to him to do so.

Dionysius, (According to Eusebius)
To-day we kept the holy day, the Lord's day, and on it we read your letter- and we shall ever have it to give us instruction, even as the former one written through Clement"

Irenaeus, (Probably quoting Hegesippus)
Under this Clement no small sedition took place among the brethren at Corinth and the Church of Rome sent a most sufficient letter to the Corinthians, establishing them in peace, and renewing their faith, and announcing the tradition it had recently received from the Apostles

Clement to the Corinthians:
The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

...

The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, "I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith."

...

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry.

...

We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.

...

If, however, any shall disobey the words spoken by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and serious danger;

...

Joy and gladness will you afford us, if you become obedient to the words written by us and through the Holy Spirit root out the lawless wrath of your jealousy according to the intercession which we have made for peace and unity in this letter. We have sent men faithful and discreet, whose conversation from youth to old age has been blameless amongst us,—the same shall be witnesses between you and us. This we have done, that you may know that our whole concern has been and is that you may be speedily at peace.

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