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Michael Drake wrote:

Hi, guys —

The word vicar, by definition, means: acting as, representing, or substituting.

All loving followers of Jesus know there is no substitute.

Michael

  { How can any Catholic call anyone in your Church a vicar when Jesus is The Only Vicar? }

Mike replied:

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the comment.

I agree with your comment: All loving followers of Jesus know there is no substitute.

There is no substitute for Jesus Himself, but before He, Our Lord ascended into Heaven,
He decided to leave His divine authority to teach, preach, govern and rule His Church in the hands of a human successor who He personally appointed: St. Peter and his divinely appointed human successors.

If you have a problem with Our Lord speaking through St. Peter and His successors, see Matthew 16-13-20, 1 Timothy 3:15, and Matthew 18:15-18, then you have a problem, not only with Jesus' Church, the Roman Catholic Church, but with Our Lord's Decisions themselves.

I hope this clarifies what Catholics believe on this issue. In regard to the word vicar the Catholic Dictionary defines it this way:

vicar (VIH-ker): (Latin vicarius: substitute, deputy) One who performs acts of ecclesiastical/church authority in an ecclesiastical/church office in the name of another.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Michael replied:

Thanks Mike,

  • Can and does a human being really have the power to change God's times and laws?

Michael

Mike replied:

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the reply.

With God, anything is possible. Check out His job description.

If God wants to use mankind to partake in divine nature, through the Sacraments of the Church, and delegate His divine authority to St. Peter and his successors, to govern, rule and safeguard His Church, I'm not going to tell God He shouldn't save mankind that way.

  • Are you?

Half joking : )

I sense there is another question behind this question, that I may not be getting. Maybe my colleagues will see something I don't.


Mike

Eric replied:

Hi Michael,

You wrote:

  • Can and does a human being really have the power to change God's times and laws?

My inclination is to say, in general, "no", though Christ told the Apostles, "What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Like Mike, I'm unsure what you are asking. It sounds like you are making a reference to the Eucharist, but that doesn't make sense, as that doesn't involve changing God's times and laws. It does involve being mystically transported, in a sense, across time to the Cross of Jesus Christ. Perhaps that's what you are thinking of when you refer to "changing God's time". Always keep in mind that what goes on is by God's design, and is done by God Himself, in response to prayer. It's as if I asked you,

  • Can and does a human being really have the power to save himself?

Well, insofar as he has the power to believe and pray, and give his life to Christ, but we recognize that he is really claiming a promise God has made to him, and it is God who does the saving.
All we say is, "God, save me, a sinner." It is initiated by man, and it depends on man, but it is accomplished by God. So it is with the Eucharist: The priest prays, and God fulfills his promise and acts. There is no magic here; the priest isn't a wizard, he's a humble supplicant. The priest doesn't really have "power" in and of himself to accomplish anything, except insofar as God listens to his prayer on account of his ordination (by God's design).

Eric

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Michael,

No human can change the eternal laws of God. God does change His times in response to prayer.

What the vicar of Christ does, is to explain authoritatively God's Word and His laws, and be a governing shepherd for the flock.

The only other solution is that of Protestantism, where every man is a vicar of Christ, and Christ seems to have a lot of different opinions and dispensations, to the point of contradicting Himself.

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

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