John Schroeder, has concocted a fanciful story based on shoddy research and very weak arguments that have long ago been refuted by real history. The author's only credential seems to be his status as an "ex-Catholic" with a very big ax to grind. This may explain why Mr. Schroeder omits so much information. Thankfully we are able to read what the Church Fathers actually wrote and as is always the case the truth offers a much better picture. For those who believe in make-believe rather than factual truth Mr. Schroeder has written a masterpiece.
From Schroeder's supposed history of the papacy:
"That is not this writer's opinion or pipedream. That is hard, cold, unyielding history. In his 13th sermon, preserved I believe by divine intent, Augustine made his belief perfectly clear."
"Thou art Peter, and on this Rock - petra - which thou hast confessed, on this rock which thou hast known, saying: 'Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God,' I will build my church upon Myself, who am the Son of the living God; I will build it on Me, and not Me on thee."
"Roman Catholic apologists have called this writer some unflattering names for stating that there was no pope and no papacy for more than 500 years after Christ returned to heaven."
Really? So Catholic apologists would insult a CATHOLIC SAINT? No, I don't think so. This is getting nuttier all the time. One must remember that Augustine also said:
"Peter, who had confessed Him the Son of God, and in that confession had been called the rock upon which the Church should be built." (Augustine, In Ps. lxix. n. 4, Tom. iv. p. 1020, ed. Bened. 1836) in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri -- the Titles abd Perogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns and Oates, 1879), 23.
or how about:
"These miserable wretches, refusing to acknowledge the Rock as Peter, and to believe that the Church has received the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, have lost these very keys from their own hands." (Augustine, Christian Combat, in J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina, 40:289), in Michael Malone, ed., The Apostolic Digest, (Irving, TX: Sacred Heart, 1987), 246.
Interesting that Schroeder failed to mention any of this huh?
"But history is history, and all the name calling in the world will not alter the fact that Augustine spoke the previously quoted words during his years in Africa as bishop of Hippo - get this, now - in the first third of the FIFTH CENTURY. Moreover, Augustine's conviction - based on a correct interpretation of the Scriptures - that Jesus Himself was the foundation rock of Christianity, was shared almost 100% by the churches existing at that time."
There are several problems with the above paragraph. First of all, where is the proof that any Catholic calls Augustine names? Secondly, why would anyone call Augustine names when the idea Schroeder says he espoused was not what he, in fact, espoused? And was Schroeder merely ignorant of these facts? Or was Schroeder deliberately deceiving his readers?
Thus we see that Schroeder is simply wrong -- but he warbles on anyway:
"Constantine, who is not listed as a pope in Rome's papal lineage, himself assumed the leadership of the churches and took the title Pontifex Maximus - highest priest."
Incorrect. The Pontifex Maximus title at the time of Constantine was a title held exclusively BY THE PAGAN ROMAN EMPERORS and had nothing to do with Christianity. It was only later that the title was passed on, by a Christian emperor (Gratian, in AD 375), to the pope in acknowledgement of the fact that Roman paganism was abandoned in favor of Christianity. Clearly Schroeder has no idea of what he is talking about.
"Inasmuch as the Pontifex Maximus title is one of the many applied to Roman Catholic popes, Sylvester, bishop of Rome at the time, should have had that title if he was the reigning pope. He was not the pope or a pope, and he was not even in attendance at the AD 325 Council of Nicaea."
Clearly Schroeder is wrong again. How could Sylvester have the title when it had not been given up by the emperors yet? Did Schroeder do any research at all?
"What amazes about all this is how the Vatican has been able to obliterate the actual early Church history, successfully replacing it with the fairytales of "apostolic succession" and an "unbroken chain of popes" stretching all the way back to Peter."
What amazes me is that Schroeder tried to obliterate all of history and of course he failed. Anyone could have done some simple research and discovered what I posted here today. Did Schroeder? No. So apparently Schroeder doesn't know how to research or doesn't care to research.