03 May, 2011

Authority of the Pope

(John the Baptist) The church is the body of Jesus and Jesus is the head of the body. The pope has no authority over the church, only Jesus has that authority. If the pope did have authority then he has to follow what Jesus says not what he wants. Listening to all the things the pope is saying, it seems the pope is moving away from the truths in the Bible and away from Jesus.

Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

(Cristoiglesia) Let us look at what the whole body of Scriptures says instead of using an eisegetical approach to understanding as you have done. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the high priest, St. Peter is the prime minister and the twelve disciples are the foundation stones of the Church. Unlike what you claim without citing a single example, papal teaching has never contradicted anything that our Lord has taught but instead has confirmed His teaching and proclaimed it to the world. Nothing in the Scriptures you provided denies the authority that Jesus gave to St. Peter and His successors as prophesied by Isaiah in fulfilling the Scriptures. The Church is given all authority on earth by Jesus and St. Peter and His successors are the prime ministers. In the late first century after the founding of the Church at Pentecost St. Ignatius the third bishop of St. Peters bishopric at Antioch defined the Church as it was understood in the apostolic times as those who gather around the bishops saying, “where the bishops is there is the Church” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans). Without the Pope and the other bishops there is no Church as the visible and invisible Church are those who are obedient and faithful to the bishop. The Pope is the visible head of the Church serving as the servant of servants.

Jesus gave the authority to St. Peter saying to him with the witness of the other disciples:

Matthew 16:13-19 (King James Version)
13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In using the construction vernacular Jesus was speaking of building His Church and giving the authority, represented by the keys, to St. Peter. In doing so He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah of the Messiah appointing an earthly prime minister of the Church and establishing the enduring office of prime minister that would endure for all times.

(John the Baptist) Jesus says He is the head of the church not the pope.

(Cristoiglesia) As you can clearly see, Jesus being the high priest does not detract from the fact that Jesus with the authority of the High priest appointed St. Peter as His prime minister of His enduring Church on earth. We further understand from Scriptures that it is this Church under the leadership of the prime minister appointed by Jesus that contains those who are obedient and faithful to Christ’s desire that we be one in His Church.

John 17:21 (King James Version)
21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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