- Defining The Issues:
-The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ made the Apostle Peter the first pope (leader of the Roman Catholic Church) and that He built His church upon him.
-The Church of Rome also claims that Jesus gave Peter a unique position of authority over His church which was supposed to get passed on through "apostolic succession" to present-day popes (thereby establishing the concept of an infallible church).
-There is a great deal of controversy between the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and all of the Protestant churches due to the issue of "private interpretation". Private interpretation of Scripture is the concept of a person using his or her reasoning to make a judgment on a particular passage from the Bible. It is a more individualistic approach to determining what Scripture means.
-Hierarchical structured churches always insist that we absolutely must have their leaders "infallibly interpret" the Scriptures in order to preserve absolute truth in doctrinal matters and thus aid in the prevention of division within the entire congregational body. Interestingly, the Eastern Orthodox Church makes identical claims to the ones listed above (though this essay is primarily directed to the authority claims of the Catholic Church).
- Biblical Evidence Against The Apostle Peter Being the First Pope And The Rock Of Matthew 16:18:
+If Peter was meant to be the head of the apostles, then he should have been the one who ordered the other apostles to travel to different places.
-If the Apostle Peter was the first pope, then how come the Apostle Paul never used the "head bishop" as the means to solve the problems that put the Church of Corinth into bitter division? Why did he rebuke those who claimed to be followers of Peter, if he were the first pope (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)?
- The "Biblical" Peter:
- The Church Fathers On "Peter The Rock":
- Examining "Apostolic Succession":
-When Scripture is examined in its proper context, the truth can easily be determined. The Lord Jesus Christ also promised that the Holy Spirit would come to give us spiritual comfort during difficult times, strength to resist sin in times of temptation, intercede on our behalf when we pray, lead searching souls who are lost to the light of the gospel, and even help preserve doctrinal truth (John 14:14-16; 16:13; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:10-18).
- Apostolic Succession "Proof-Texts" Debunked:
- Apostolic Succession And The Early Church:
- Was The Papacy An Essential Component Of The Early Church, If It Existed At All?:
- Contradictions In Later Succession Lists Of Roman Bishops:
- Unbroken List Of Popes Tracing All The Way Back To The Apostle Peter?:
- Altering The List Of Popes:
- Doctrinal Errors And Inconsistencies:
- Catholic Forgeries:
- The Discovery Of The Apostle Peter's Tomb In Jerusalem, Not Rome:
- Infallible Church?:
+God will cast unfaithful branches of Christians off, and attach repentant branches of Christianity back to the the Trunk of Salvation named Jesus Christ, that is, into the realm of His infinite mercy (Romans 11:16-25). According to Scripture, entire congregations can fall into grave sin and doctrinal error.
+An institution comprised of fallible beings constitutes a fallible organization by definition. The church will prevail to the end because of the power and faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
- Papal Infallibility:
+First of all, it should be noted that the pope speaks infallibly only when he decides to speak from his chair. This means that he can make errors in every other aspect of his life. It is my personal belief that there are ulterior motives behind the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. This doctrine was invented to silence questioning members of the Church and to dodge opposition from the outside critics.
+The Apostle Peter never made an ex-cathedra statement.
+"Ex-cathedra" statements are literally so rare that one may begin to wonder why Catholics demand that we blindly submit to their earthly hierarchy. Only a handful have been made in the past 2,000 years. The pope has had plenty of time to resolve issues throughout history, yet many issues remain unanswered and continue to arise within the dark chambers of Roman Catholicism. Rome is in a bitter state of division, though they would like to have us Protestants believe that they have perfect unity.
+If the pope was meant to be the infallible speaking instrument of the church, then why did so many church councils have to assemble (for periods of many years) to resolve moral and doctrinal debates? What was stopping the pope from resolving those matters once for all by simply making ex-cathedra statements? Where were his mystical powers, if he has any at all?
+If we were supposed to submit to the Church of Rome to get all of the infallible interpretations out of Scripture and thus clear all doctrinal confusion, then we would still be in pretty bad shape because Rome has "infallibly defined" the meaning out of less than 20 Bible verses during the entire period of its existence. All of these rare occasions were for the purpose of self gain, that is, for Rome to draw scriptural support for its own doctrines. Why then should we submit to the Roman Catholic Church? How does a fallible Cardinal transition into an infallible Pope?
+If the Magisterium was meant to be our infallible interpreter of Scripture, then who infallibly interprets the words of that infallible interpreter if divisions arise over the meaning of those words? How do we know that the Roman Catholic Church is infallible? What is the purpose of even having a Bible?
- No Pope Was Considered Infallible Until 1870 A.D.:
^After the year 1870, this question and answer section was removed from Keenan's catechism.
- "Origin" Of The Roman Catholic Church:
- Admissions To Incorporating Pagan Customs And Practices:
- How The Pope Got His Power:
- Concerning The Church Fathers:
- Scripture Is Understandable:
- The Papacy Is Not Historical And Is In Fact Contrary To What Christ Has Willed For His Church: