Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't Knock The Fathers!

“[Mr. Pope] endeavors to bring the Holy Fathers into a qualified disrepute, as Luther did before him. When Luther found the authority of the holy Fathers strong against him, he said, ‘I care not if a thousand Chrysostoms, a thousand Cyprians, a thousand Augustines, stood against me. And let this be my creed, ‘I yield to no man.’’ Again, he says, ‘I, Dr. Martin Luther, as to those matters (articles of faith,) am and wish to be deemed obstinate, contumacious, and violent.’ Such was Luther’s confession that the Fathers were against him. When Luther found a great number of sects arising amongst the reformers—Calvin denying the real presence—Zuinglius saying, that THIS IS MY BODY, means ‘this REPRESENTS my body,’ he began to repent, and he threatened to return to Popery again, if they continued to raise such schisms. Mr. Pope should not endeavor to bring the Holy Fathers into disrepute. If he says that they were fallible, which I admit, yet he must allow that they are good and faithful witnesses of what was the Christian doctrine in their days. If I show, as I will, the infallibility of the church to be the doctrine of sixty Fathers at a time, when Mr. Pope will admit that the church was pure, then is it not evident that such doctrine must be true? If Mr. Pope answers in the negative, then he must contradict all Protestants who admit the authority of the first four councils—I do not include the council of Jerusalem.”

-Fr. Thomas Maguire in his debate against the Rev. Richard T.P. Pope, which took place at the lecture room of the Dublin Institution on April 19, 1827.

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