The Pope | Successor to Peter
During Jesus earthly ministry, He personally chose twelve apostles with no hint of future succession. The Apostle Paul was chosen later by the Lord Jesus after the resurrection as He personally appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. Thus, the very beginning of the new testament Church was being established upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:20).
This position of being an “Apostle” was unique to them. Even after the Apostles’ deaths, their unique title remains with them for all eternity. In the Bible, we are given a glimpse of the heavenly city, And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb[Jesus] (Revelation 21:14).
According to Scripture, the future of the Church rested in the appointing of family men able to rule and to carry on the teaching of the Apostles and of Jesus Christ but all according to the written word of truth found in the Bible. The Bible clearly shows that the Apostles established the practice of appointing not successors but rather deacons and elders (elders are also referred to as bishops).
The Catechism Says:
Para 936 “The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is ‘head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth’”
The Bible Says:
I Peter 2:6-8 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him [Jesus] shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
The Catechism Says:
Para 77 “In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. Indeed, the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”
Para 1594 “The bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him. As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter.”
The Bible Says:
Titus 1:5-9 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
I Timothy 3:1-5 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
The term bishop or elder is never employed in the New Testament to designate an order of men superior to others. They are ordinary family men having also the function of leading the Lord’s people. Never are they seen as “successors” to the Apostles. This concept is wholly unknown to the New Testament. It is very clear from the Scriptures that the Apostle Paul was telling both Titus and Timothy who were not Apostles to be the ones to appoint bishops. This established the practice in which the local church was to appoint elders or bishops from the available men whose obedient lives were observed and evident to all.
The Scripture carefully recorded the visits of Peter to Samaria, Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea and Antioch. There is simply no mention made of his going to Rome, which is essential to establish the Roman Catholic position. This first building block of an imaginary succession is missing in the New Testament. Apostolic succession without apostolic doctrine is a fraud. The Apostle Paul at Rome never once mentions Peter in any of his letters written from Rome to the churches, although he does remember very many others who were with him in the city. Clearly the teaching regarding Peter being in Rome as its first Bishop is a simply a deception. Nowhere else in the New Testament or other credible written history shows evidence of Peter ever even visiting Rome.
The Roman Catholic Church has no intention of obeying the clear witness of the Scripture, as is obvious from their blatant disobedience to the fact that elders or bishops are to be the “husband of one wife”. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth (I Timothy 4:1-3).