This Week’s Ask Alice: Why the Vatican?



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Roy writes: Jesus wasn’t born and raised in the Vatican, so why the Vatican is your holy city?

Alice explains: Catholics recognize Rome as our holy city since it is the place where Peter, Christ’s successor and our first pope, was martyred. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom by Jesus. Catholics acknowledge Peter as the earthly head of our Church.

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

Jesus instructed his apostles to preach the gospel all over the world, which meant spreading their efforts outward far past Jerusalem.

“It is not for you to know the times orasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The disciples felt called to travel and preach the gospel in Rome. “There we found some brothers and were urged to stay with them for seven days. And thus we came to Rome.” (Acts 28:14)

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) and exists outside of time, He certainly knew what He was doing when moving our holy city from Jerusalem to Rome. Considering that Jerusalem has been a lit firecracker in the Middle East for centuries, the Holy Spirit wisely inspired Church leaders to choose a sacred city that’s removed from the fighting fray.

From 70 to 130 A.D., Jerusalem was the scene of terrible persecution. Through the centuries Jerusalem has been conquered and ruled by Muslims. Geographically, Rome sits by itself rather than in the midst of the troubled Middle East.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Doug Lawrence Adds:  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “All roads lead to Rome.”

In the early days of Christianity, that was literally true … and also, the reverse.

Rome was then the very heart of the civilized world’s system of government, commerce and industry. A network of excellent roads, coupled with easy, reliable connections by sea, made Rome the literal “center” of the earth.

With new Christian communities constantly popping up throughout the world, all of them in need of inspired, timely, and expert guidance, there was truly “no place like Rome” from which to stay in constant contact, with the Holy See of Peter effectively leading the budding church, in all things Catholic.

During the 4th century, with the rise of Emperor Constantine, who at once ended the persecutions, became a dedicated supporter of the Catholic Church, and eventually, a Catholic himself.

The wisdom behind the selection of Rome for the location of the Holy See soon became even more apparent, as the Catholic Church continued to greatly benefit from the dedicated patronage of both the Emperor Constantine and his mother, St. Helena.

The contemporary writings of the Roman historian and Catholic Bishop Eusebius, aptly chronicle those events (and more.)

Read all about that here (particularly in Books IX and X.)

When the Empire eventually fell, the Roman Catholic Church found itself in a unique position, charged with rebuilding modern western civilization in the image of heaven … a daunting task that was eventually accomplished with a very high degree of success … through the grace of God … and the holy, inspired work of generations of dedicated Catholic men and women.

Book Selection: How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

It’s also interesting to note that the Jews, as a nation or people, have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah … while the formerly pagan Romans … the ones who actually nailed Jesus to the cross and thrust the spear through his heart … did indeed convert … and they have remained staunchly Catholic for (at least) the last 1500 years.

All the more reason to choose Rome, rather than Jerusalem, as the headquarters of the universal church … at least, until Jesus comes again … bringing with him the “New Jerusalem”.

(Revelation 3:12)  He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God: and he shall go out no more. And I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.

(Revelation 21:2)  And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Besides … “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.” (Psalms 127:1)

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

2 Comments

  1. You do realise that in the quotes you referenced there is no mention of Rome as the centre of Christianity. I would thin that a small problem.

    • Since the last book of the New Testament was written around 95 AD and NONE of the new testament writings had yet been recognized as scripture by the Catholic Church, and since by that time, Rome was already the location of the Holy See of Peter, with both St. Peter and St. Paul already martyred there, along with five other successive popes, it would seem that Rome was already the de-facto headquarters of the church … and everyone … Christian or not … knew that to be a fact.

      Based on all of this and more, why would anyone have to look for written scriptural evidence for Rome as the center of Christianity, when every Christian who lived at that time knew, without a doubt that Rome was the place?

      Have you never read the history, or the links we supplied?


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