The Pope

According to the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, 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” (Code of Canon Law #331).  The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.”  “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #882.

For most Catholics, the office and authority of the Pope is rested in the belief that the Apostle Peter ordained successors. Against the teaching of Scripture, the Papacy declares its Church to be founded on the Apostle Peter alone, stating that he was the first bishop of Rome and thus handing down all of his authority to subsequent popes and bishops.  This assumption is the very cornerstone of Roman Catholicism.  In bolstering the Catholic position that the Pope is the spiritual head of the Church, additional attributes have been assigned to this man.  The Roman Catholic Church refers to the pontiff as the Vicar of Christ and also claims for him infallible teaching authority.  Please examine carefully the official position of the Catholic Church in light of Him whom the Bible claims as head of the true Church of God.

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:10-12).

And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him [Jesus] should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:18-19).