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O Clement, O Sweet

Today’s the feast of Pope St. Clement I, aka St. Clement of Rome, one of the Apostolic Fathers — often called “the first echo of the apostles.” He knew Peter and Paul and was converted through their preaching. Irenaeus and many others attest that he came to inherit Peter’s office. We know little about Clement, though, except for the long and beautiful letter he wrote to the Church of Corinth. In it he admonishes them to return to peace and true doctrine, and to stop bickering. Along the way, he also provides us precious glimpses of the first-century Church’s liturgy, hierarchy, influences, and moral concerns. You’ll find a fresh, new translation of Clement at Kevin Edgecomb’s Biblicalia blog. In 2007 we at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology will be publishing Msgr. Thomas J. Herron’s monograph arguing for an early dating of Clement’s epistle (with an introduction by Bishop Allen H. Vigneron of Oakland, California). Msgr. Herron — like John A.T. Robinson and Joseph Ratzinger — argued that the text was written before 70 A.D.

I’m talking about Clement on KVSS this morning, and the show should show up for download on their special Aquilina audio page.

If you’d like to walk in the footsteps of St. Clement — and visit his home! — consider joining me, The St. Paul Center, and the gang from KVSS radio as we make our pilgrimage in May 2007.