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Church History Forum: papacy

by Catherine Frakas 30 Oct 2001

papacy QUESTION from Lilia Bodino on August 1, 2002 I have been reading your forum and I feel the awesome responsibility and power of the holy father.
Could you recommend a good book about the awesome responsibility and power of the papacy.
Thank you so much for your ministry and God Bless.
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on August 24, 2002 Dear Lilia,
The following books are the ones I recommend on the subject of the Papacy:

Jesus, Peter and the Keys by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, David J. Hess. This is a very good resource for understanding the origins, and also the Scriptural and Patristic proofs for the papacy.

Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church (Modern Apologetics Library) by Stephen K. Ray. Again, like the previous book, this one deals with the Scriptural and Patristic support for the papacy. I can’s say which I prefer, both are in my library. Ray’s book is easier to read, but Butler’s book is a bit more comprehensive.

The Glory of the Papacy-Volume I by DR. TIMOTHY O'DONNELL (6 tape set) (history series) If you are interested in a tape series, this one comes recommended. Published by St. Joseph Communications.

The Pope, Holy Father (Scott Hahn) A very good file to read as an introduction to the subject.

Finally, here’s a quote from a famous 19th century Anglican (you would say Episcopalian). Lord Macauley, no friend of the Catholic Church or the papacy, wrote the following in the Edinburgh Review in 1840:

There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination of the Roman Catholic Church.The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilization. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity; but the republic of Venice was modern when compared to the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending for the to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustine, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila..
(Note: the Augustine referred to above is St. Augustine of Canterbury, not St. Augustine of Hippo. Just in case there is any confusion.)
Thanks Lilia. If you have any other questions, feel free to write.
God bless,
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