One Fold and One Shepherd
"And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (ST. JOHN 10:16)
Here I would like to offer readers some commentaries on the St. John 10:16.
For more complete objectivity, I divided the authors of the commentaries into two groups.
The first group believes that in St. John 10:16 Our Lord speaks about all people confessing Christ as their Savior. One day all of them will recognize the Pope as the one Shepherd of the One Church. Consequently, non-Catholics will be converted and joined the one Catholic Church under the leadership and governance of the Visible Head of the Church, the Pope, who is the successor of St. Peter.
I chose Francis Patrick Kenrick, Archbishop of Baltimore to represent this first group in my article.
The authors in the second group believe that in St. John 10:16 Our Lord speaks about the Jewish people and the Gentile people whom He meant to call into One Fold - His Church. The One Shepherd here is Jesus Christ Himself, not St. Peter or his successors. Of course, these authors certainly believe that St. Peter (every his successor) fulfills the ministry of the Visible Head of the Church Militant according to the Will of Christ, the Invisible Head of the whole Church - Militant, Suffering and Triumphant.
These authors are the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Phole, PH. D., D. D., Professor of Apologetics at the Catholic University of America, Most Rev. Dr. MacEvilly, Archbisbop of Tuam, Leopold Fonck, S.J., President and Lecturer of the BIBLICAL INSTITUTE, Consultor of the BIBLICAL COMMISSION in Rome, and Rev. E. Sylvester Berry.
The Catholic Church teaches that St. Peter is the rock on which the Church rests and his office secures the maintenance of unity. Christ conferred on St. Peter the primacy over the Apostles and the faithful by the command to feed His lambs and sheep, by giving to him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and by special marks of distinction. As Christ is One, so He founded only one Church with only one Visible Head, the Vicar of Christ. This Dogma is based on the words of Jesus Christ addressed to Peter the Apostle. These words are found in the Gospel according to St. Matthew 16:18-19 “And I say to thee: that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” and “whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shalt be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven,” and in the Gospel according to St. John 21:15-22 “Feed My lambs, feed My sheep… follow thou me.”
St. Peter was the Bishop of Rome for some twenty-five years and died Bishop of Rome; and the dignity and power of St. Peter descended to the succeeding Bishops of Rome. The Bishops of Rome have always exercised supreme power in the Church, and that power has always been acknowledged by all Catholics. The Bishop of Rome is called the Pope, or Holy Father. He is also called, on account of his great dignity, the Vicar of Christ.
Perhaps these arguments are taken into account when some Catholic authors believe that in St. John 10:16 Our Lord says that all Christians - scattered into different groups and factions – will one day be united into One Church with One Shepherd, the Pope.
However, the authors in the second group believe that in St. John 10:16 Jesus Christ speaks that Jews and Gentiles should accept Jesus Christ as their One Shepherd. The Jewish people were called first, and were designated to preach to the Gentiles, that actually took place thanks to the first Apostles, whose origin - according to the flesh – is from the Jewish race.
Even though during His earthly life Jesus Christ spent most of His time among the Jewish people, He often fulfilled works of mercy and miracles of healing to people regardless of their ethnic origin.
Answering a non Jewish woman from Canaan whose daughter was grievously troubled by a devil (St. Matthew 15:22-28), He said: "I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel" (v. 24) and "it is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs" (v. 26). However, seeing her deep humility "Yea, Lord: for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters" (v. 27) and great faith, He cured her daughter: "be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour" (v. 28).
At the end of his earthly ministry, between the Resurrection and the Ascension, Jesus Christ sent His Apostles to “other sheep”, which are all nations: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever l have commanded you." (St. Matthew 28:19-20)
Commenting on St. John 10:16 Leopold Fonck, S.J. says that according to the Father's will, Christ is to be the Good Shepherd, not for Israel alone, but for the heathen world also.
Fr. Sylvester Berry says that after the defeat of Antichrist the Gentile nations will return to the Church and the Jews will enter her fold, and shall be fulfilled the words of Christ: "There shall be one fold and one shepherd".
Most Rev. Dr. MacEvilly explains: ''And they" - the two peoples, Jews and Gentiles - "shall be one fold."
Archbishop MacEvilly also refers to the Epistles of St. Paul to the Galatians (3:28), where the Apostle speaks about Jesus Christ, and not about St. Peter. Paraphrasing this verse the Archbishop emphasized that all the people without distinction of origin, or condition, or sex, by the Sacrament of Baptism have been ingrafted into Christ, and become one mystical body of which Jesus Christ is the Head.
Of course, I in no way deny, that all Christians - living in the flesh on earth - should belong to the one fold, with one Shepherd, the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, when he is alive (see PS). However, Catholics cannot place the Vicar of Christ above Christ Himself, as some pseudo-Catholics do.
I would like also to emphasize that I am not talking about the true Catholic author, Archbishop Kenrick whom I referred in the first group of authors in my article.
The Archbishop agrees that in St. John 10:16 Christ speaks about Jews and Gentiles. Abp. Kenrick says that they should be united in one fold, under the charge of Peter, but he also teaches that Peter is just the Viceroy of Christ the Monarch. He also says that every grace by which the mind is enlightened, the will moved, and the Church built up in faith and charity, comes from Christ, not from Peter, whose office is ministerial and external, and totally dependent on the Supreme Invisible Head.
Anyway, regardless of whose interpretation of St. John 10:16 you prefer, you can only draw one conclusion: that the main meaning of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words written in this verse is that He came to redeem not only Jews, but Gentiles as well. Christ is One Shepherd to all nations, and all nations are called by Him to be His one fold: "There is neither Jew, nor Greek: there is neither bond, nor free: there is neither male, nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus" (To Galatians 3:28). And this interpretation is truly Catholic.
PS When the Pope dies or resigns, the period of the Vacancy of the Holy See begins. Regardless of the duration of the Vacancy, the One Church of Christ, the Papacy, the Holy See still exist and stand firmly. During all the periods of the Vacancies all Catholics still belong to the One Catholic Church.
Here the quotations follow:
THE PRIMACY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE VINDICATED
BY FRANCIS PATRICK KENRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF BALTIMORE:
“Our Lord had foretold the union of Gentiles and Jews in His Church. "Other sheep I have," said He, "that are not of this fold: them also I must bring; and they shall hear My voice: and there shall be made one fold and one shepherd." (John x. 16) This was not to be accomplished lay Himself personally, since He was not sent by His Father unless to the sheep that had strayed away of the house of Israel; but by the ministry of His apostles. All His sheep were to be united in one fold, under the charge of Peter.” p. 58
“Since Christ represents Himself under the image of a good shepherd, in giving to Peter the command to feed His lambs and sheep, He imparts the highest authority under the most tender image.
It is not difficult to reconcile the headship of Peter with that of Christ. The apostle tells us that Christ instituted the ministry, "that performing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in Him who is the head, Christ; from whom the whole body, compacted and fitly joined together, by whatever joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity." (Eph. iv. 15.) Christ is clearly styled the head in this place, in a way in which Peter cannot be so designated. Every grace by which the mind is enlightened, the will moved, and the Church built up in faith and charity, is derived from Christ; not from Peter, whose office is ministerial and external, and totally dependant on the supreme Invisible Head. "Christ is the head of the Church. He is the Saviour of His body." (Ibid. v. 23.) Who has ever thought of ascribing to Peter headship of this nature? Who has ever regarded him as the Saviour of the Church? God the
Father hath made Christ "head over all the Church, which is His body, and the fulness of Him, who is filled all in all." (Eph. i. 22.) No one recognises Peter as head in this sense. Christ is "above all principality, and power, and virtue, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." (Eph. i. 22.) The like cannot be said of Peter, who, under Christ, was only the visible head of the Church on earth, governing it according to the principles which He taught, and in virtue of the authority which He vouchsafed to delegate. Whoever deems such authority derogatory to the headship of Christ, must consider the viceroy of a monarch an antagonist of his sovereign." p. 61 (1)
ESCHATOLOGY OR THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF THE LAST THINGS
By THE RT. REV. MSGR. JOSEPH POHLE, PH. D., D. D.:
In saying, "I have other sheep that are not of this fold, them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd," Our Lord simply meant that His Church was to embrace all nations. (2)
AN EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN
BY HIS GRACE THE MOST REV. DR. MacEVILLY:
16. "And other sheep I have," etc. He refers to the Gentile world, whom He meant to call into His Church, bestowing on them the priceless gift of faith (Isaias xlix.), "Ecce dedi te in lucem gentium," etc. "Other" than the Jewish people, whom He was sent to preach to first, and gather into His fold.
He uses the present, "I have" and calls them His ''sheep" by anticipation, as He foresaw their call, at no distant period, into the sheepfold of His Church, and their faithful correspondence with His grace, "and they shall hear My voice."
"That are not of this fold." Scattered abroad, like sheep without a fold, wherein safely to congregate.
"Them also I must bring,'' into the fold, bestowing on them the light of faith, as I am constituted by My Father, the "light to enlighten the Gentiles." This verse seems to be parenthetically introduced, and verse 15 to be immediately connected with verse 17.
''And they" - the two peoples, Jews and Gentiles - "shall be one fold." All the sheep shall form one fold founded by Me, who am to be the ''one" only chief "shepherd." All other shepherds are dependent on and subordinate to Me (Gal. iii. 28; Ezechiel xxxiv. 13-16). (3)
AN EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL
And of The Catholic Epistles
BY HIS GRACE THE MOST REV. DR. MacEVILLY:
"There is neither Jew, nor Greek: there is neither bond, nor free: there is neither male, nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. iii. 28)
Without distinction whether of origin, or condition, or sex, you have all by baptism been ingrafted on Christ, and become one mystical body of which He is Head.
"There, is neither Jew nor Greek," &c. All these distinctions are merged in the common character of children of God, (Kenrick). How calculated are not these words to inspire all Christians with sentiments of love and humility. They should all, in whatever rank or condition of life, regard each other as one, as equal, as co members of the mystical body of Christ; hence, they should love one another, and regard one another, in the light of perfect equality. (4)
The Parables Of The Gospel
BY LEOPOLD FONCK, S.J.:
In the Old Testament, Almighty God often compares Himself to a shepherd and His people to the flock (Ps. 25, 1; 78, 13; 94, 7; 99, 3; Ez. 34; Mich. 7, 4; Zach. 10, 3). He had announced the coming of the Messiah to the people under the same beautiful image (Is. 40, 11; Ez. 34, 23; Zach, 13, 17). Hence Christ, by emphatically repeating His words, points out that in Him these prophecies have been fulfilled, that He is in truth the Good Shepherd promised to His people. He also points out that He has fulfilled the duties of a good shepherd towards his flock. He had said already that He was come to bring life and life more abundantly to His sheep. He now shows at what cost He will thus provide for the welfare of His flock: "I lay down my life for my sheep." His approaching death, which He thus once more foretells, is the expiation for sin which of His own free will He has taken upon himself, by which men delivered from the death of sin are to receive the life of grace and glory superabundantly. This image is still more strongly accentuated by the contrast with the cowardly hireling.
But, according to the Father's will, Christ is to be the Good Shepherd, not for Israel alone, but for the heathen world also; therefore He adds in conclusion: "And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (v. 16). In the one Church of the Covenant, the Faithful will be gathered from Jews and heathens into the fold under one shepherd and head, Jesus Christ, and will be led by Him into eternal life. (5)
THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN
BY REV. E. SYLVESTER BERRY:
“After the defeat of Antichrist the Gentile nations will return to the Church and the Jews will enter her fold. Then shall be fulfilled the words of Christ: "There shall be one fold and one shepherd" (St. John x, 16)."
"These prophecies will not be fulfilled before the time of Antichrist, since the Apocalypse clearly shows that he will come into a world harassed by paganism, apostasy, schism, and heresy (Apocalypse ix, 20, 21). The Jews still unconverted, will accept him as Messias and assist in his warfare against the Church. Only after the defeat of Antichrist and the return of the Gentile nations to the Faith, will the Jews accept Christ as the true Messias. (6)
The quotes from the Holy Scripture taken from: THE HOLY BIBLE PUBLISHED WITH THE APPROBATION OF THE CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF IRELAND. The Douay Version of the Old Testament of 1609, and with the Rhemish Version of the New Testament of 1582, Given at Dublin, May 4th, 1857.
(1) THE PRIMACY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE VINDICATED, BY FRANCIS PATRICK KENRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF BALTIMORE, SEVENTH REVISED EDITION, BALTIMORE: PUBLISHED BY JOHN MURPHY & CO. 182 BALTIMORE STREET. 1875. p. 58, 61
(2) ESCHATOLOGY OR THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF THE LAST THINGS, A DOGMATIC TREATISE, By THE RT. REV. MSGR. JOSEPH POHLE, PH. D., D. D., FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF APOLOGETICS AT THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, ADAPTED AND EDITED BY ARTHUR PREUSS, SECOND, REVISED EDITION, B. HERDER BOOK CO. 17 SOUTH BROADWAY, ST. Louis, Mo. AND 68, GREAT RUSSELL ST., LONDON, W. C., 1918. NIHIL OBSTAT: F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, Sti. Ludovici, die 17 Maji 1918. IMPRIMATUR: +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici, Sti. Ludovici, die 18 Maji 1918. p. 106
(3) AN EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN CONSISTING OF AN ANALYSIS OF EACH CHAPTER AND OF A COMMENTARY CRITICAL, EXEGETICAL, DOCTRINAL, AND MORAL HAVING THE TEXT, ENGLISH AND LATIN, PREFIXED IN FULL TO EACH CHAPTER, ALSO, THE VERSES IN EACH CHAPTER MARGINALLY ARRANGED SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE COMMENTARY, BY HIS GRACE THE MOST REV. DR. MacEVILLY, Archbisbop ot Tuam, SECOND EDITION, DUBLIN: M. H. GILL & SON, 50 UPPER O'CONNELL STREET, NEW YORK: BENZIGER BROTHERS, 113 BROADWAY, 1902, p. 209-210
(4) AN EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL, And of The Catholic Epistles, CONSISTING OF AN INTRODUCTION TO EACH EPISTLE, AN ANALYSIS OF EACH CHAPTER, A PARAPHRASE OF THE SACRED TEXT, AND A COMMENTARY, Embracing Notes, Critical, Explanatory, ann Dogmatical, INTERSPERSED WITH MORAL REFLECTIONS. BY HIS GRACE THE MOST REV. DR. MacEVILLY, Archbisbop ot Tuam, Vol. I, SIXTH EDITION, ENLARGED, REVISED AND CORRECTED, DUBLIN: M. H. GILL & SON, 50 UPPER O'CONNELL STREET, BENZIGER BROTHERS, NEW YORK, CINCINNATI AND CHICAGO. 1898, p. 384
(5) The Parables Of The Gospel AN EXEGETICAL AND PRACTICAL EXPLANATION, BY LEOPOLD FONCK, S.J., PRESIDENT AND LECTURER OF THE BIBLICAL INSTITUTE, CONSULTOR OF THE BIBLICAL COMMISSION IN ROME, TRANSLATED FROM THE THIRD GERMAN EDITION, BY E. LEAHY EDITED BY GEORGE O'NEILL, S.J., M.A., PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, THIRD EDITION, Frederick Pustet Co., Inc., Printers to The Holy Apostolic See and The Sacred Congregation of Rites, NEW YORK CINCINNATI, Imprimi Potest: A. J. MAAS, S.J. Praep. Prop., Nihil Obstat: REMIGIUS LAFORT, D.D., Censor., Imprimatur: JOHN CARDINAL FARLEY, Archbishop of New York. NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 1914, Printed in U. S. A., p. 750-753
(6) THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN BY REV. E. SYLVESTER BERRY, FIRST EDITION, COLUMBUS, OHIO: JOHN W. WINTERICH, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SUPPLY HOUSE, 59 EAST MAIN STREET, 1921, NIHIL OBSTAT: JOSEPH MOLITOR, D. D., Censor Deputatus, IMPRIMATUR: +JAMES J. HARTLEY, Bishop of Columbus, June 15, 1921, p. 189-190, 192