Quo vadis?

Spread the love

Quo vadis?

Quo vadis is Latin for “wither goest thou” and it is found seven times in the Vulgate translation but most memorable in Christian tradition (the apocryphal Acts of Peter, Vercelli Acts XXXV) regarding  Peter when he encounters the risen Christ  along the Appian Way when he is fleeing persecution.  Peter asks Jesus, “Where are you going?”   and Jesus replies, “Rōmam eō iterum crucifīgī” (I am going to Rome to be crucified again). On hearing this Peter returns to Rome where he is crucified upside-down because he thought himself not worthy to be martyred in the same fashion as his master. The Church of Domine Quo Vadis in Rome is built where the meeting between Peter and Jesus allegedly took place.

Is there any truth to this tradition?  I think that there is although it is obviously based on Peter denying Jesus three times at the crucifixion after that Peter declared that although all others would forsake Jesus he would not and was willing to die for him.  Add to this the prediction of Jesus:

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee [Peter], When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me". (John 21:18-19).

This was obviously talking about the manner of Peter’s martyrdom.  Peter responded by asking about the fate of the “disciple whom Jesus Loved” (which was John but in fact represents all of us).  He was told it was nunya (as in none of your damn business).

" Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" ( John 21:22-23)

The disciples (as usual) misinterpreted (one might say that they were a bit thick but aren’t we all?) for in the first instance this was about John receiving the Revelation of the “Day of the Lord” which he did at Patmos.  However, the important point of both these texts is the phrase that joins them both – follow thou me – and that means that we continue to follow the Lord whether it ends in death or  whether we remain.  With the apostle Paul we should be able to say  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

 At the crossroads

We are at the same crossroads as Peter was in the Quo vadis tradition. We are at the parting of the ways.  Where do we go?   Back to Rome/Babylon/ Jerusalem the city of this world to confront the evil head on?   Will Jesus be crucified again?   Or, do we flee because of lack of faith. Everyone must make that decision for themselves.

I recommend the next article as it discusses this very quandary. In this article Archbishop Viganò is upheld as an example as indeed he is because he has confronted the Catholic church.  The question of faith escapes the narrow confines of dogma and before we mount our high horses of denominational purity we would do well to remember that all Christians fall under the judgement of God and in the end all will be revealed as lacking and falling short.

I recommend reading this article and watching a video of the archbishop which I found online.


Archbishop Vigano- People of faith must unite in a worldwide anti-globalist alliance to free humanity (11 min).