Long Response Part 7: I Am Fallible But Matthias was Still the First Example of Apostolic Succession

the first ecumenical council was the Council of Jerusalem where Matthias was elected to take the place of Judas (Acts 1:20, 25-26)

1) Where does the Scr refer to the Acts 1 meeting as a “council”?

It does not. I was wrong.

2) Why do other RCs refer to the “Council of Jerusalem” as that which occurs in Acts 15? After all, if there is only one God (in this case the Holy Spirit), then can there be various, differing (sometimes drastically) interpretations of Scripture? Also, if lozeerose is inspired by the Holy Spirit and other RCs as well, then how is his interpretation valid and others’ not?

Acts 15 is what I wanted to refer to. Acts 1 shows Apostolic Succession at work and Acts 15 an ecumenical council called to address a particular item of the faith. This is the first example of the Church’s Magisterial Teaching Authority.

3) Matthias wasn’t elected at all.

Sure he was, the Holy Spirit worked through the other Apostles. Casting lots was the method they used to elect/select Mathias. For example, eleccion is the word used in my Spanish translation. Still Apostolic Succession though as the words elect and select both refer to an act of “choosing” something or someone. Paul is another major example of Apostolic Succession.

Acts 1:23So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

4) Uh oh – we have a problem.  lozeerose has just told us that Matthias was elected.  No doubt other RCs, who actually take the time to read the passage, would tell us that Matthias was, for example, chosen by lot.  lozeerose disagrees with other RCs.

No problem here, I just used a word that Rhology does not like because he has not case against Apostolic Succession especially considering that Paul refers to the Church as being, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).” Building something requires that you add to or on top of something else. In the case of a structure, you add to the foundation.

5) We have another problem.

From here: He (Peter) headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26)

From here: After Judas’s death the eleven apostles convened; the Holy Spirit chose Matthias to take Judas’s place

From here: The one exception to this was Matthias, who replaced Judas. He was confirmed in office by God (Acts 1:24-26), and, though he did not receive his commission from Christ in person, he was a witness to Christ’s ministry (1:15-23).

From here: Matthias was chosen as apostle by the other apostles to replace Judas Iscariot. This choice was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, made directly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Once elected, he was treated exactly as one of the original Twelve.

Catholic Answers is a far better resource than I. Yet, I don’t see where my statement nor any of the above references contradict each other or the Church. Must be those hazy, Catholic goggles I’m looking through.

The problem is twofold:

a. 3 of the 4 articles cited here get it wrong.  Where does the Acts psg give any indication that Matthias was “elected”?  Will lozeerose dare to tell us that when Acts says “the lot fell to Matthias”, since The Church has apparently spoken, it actually means “Matthias was elected”?  It’s not as if the psg is unclear, and it inspires that much less confidence in RCs’ exegetical abilities that they mix up something this simple.

The passage is quite clear, the lot, implying chance, did fall on Matthias. However, this does not invalidate the dogma of Apostolic succession nor does the use of the words elected, selected or casting lots prove disunity in the Church. Every person cited by Rhology states the same thing – Matthias is the first example of Apostolic Succession. Rhology just likes to divert attention from the fact that the passage actually upholds Catholic dogma.

b. These RC documents don’t agree with each other on this question.  And, again, it’s not as if the Acts psg is unclear.  Further, it will not solve lozeerose’s problem to appeal to “they’re just private theologians” here, since he has repeatedly claimed unity in the RCC, and that multiplicity of conflicting interps = disunity, which he decries.  Judging by his own standards in this very simple exegetical question, RCC shoots a big fat fail.

Actually, it would appear that Rhology is the failure here because he implies that every Catholic is infallible and that we all agree on everything, marching in lock-step. Besides, the Magisterium is made up of ordained bishops not lay persons.

The truth of the matter is that the Church allows debate and discussion but not dissension. As stated before, my use of one term over another to express the same idea is not disunity. The passage still shows that Matthias was the Apostolic successor of Judas. All orthodox and official Church documents on this matter agree with this point in addition to those Catholics who are in communion with Rome like Catholic Answers and myself.

On the point of “private theologians,” Rhology is right to point out (red herring) that we are all speaking for ourselves as Catholics and not official representatives of the Church. We are all just trying to clarify, edify and evangelize to the best of our abilities.


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