The Pope

Trirad
Trirad
Jul 24 · 6 min read
Image for post
Image for post

The Pope is a huge stumbling block for many Christians and I don’t see why. Let’s start with the hardest part. The Pope can be infallible according to Catholics. The Orthodox and the Protestants reject this idea. I don’t think that they really do reject it, because it doesn’t mean what they think it means. And I’ll tell you why.

When Catholics say that the Pope is infallible, it is only when he is speaking in ex cathedra (literally, “from the chair”). This has only happened 7 times in 2,000 years! All this means is that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, he is being guided by the Holy Spirit, much as any prophet in the Holy Bible would have been. When the Holy Spirit is guiding you with prophecy — the Holy Spirit cannot be fallible. God is not fallible. God is the only one who is not fallible. And as we talked about before — we are all called to be prophets. The Holy Spirit can choose anyone to speak to. Would that all of Christianity were prophets! As the spiritual descendant of Peter, the Pope is more likely to have his heart open enough to be able to prophesier. That is all that that means. It doesn’t mean he is the only one and it doesn’t mean his every utterance, and it doesn’t mean reincarnation of Peter. There are so many misunderstandings about the Pope, there is no way that I can cover them all. So this blog is about the big ones.

So, the Protestants believe that the Pope has no authority whatsoever. The Orthodox believe that the Pope as the Bishop of Rome has the importance of honor but not actual authority. The Catholics believe that he is the spiritual successor of Peter. So waaaaaay different.

All of these things have to do with authority — who is in large and in charge. But it’s not about that. Now, the Protestants have no overarching authority over all of the denominations which has led to — sorry, must be said, chaos. There are over 45,000 different denominations. Divide that among the 900 million Protestants and that is approximately 20,000 people per denomination all going in a different directions. This is not a good thing! We need to reign in the people who are putting out false teachings and leading the people astray, but in order to do that we need some group of people or person who’s soul job is keeping on top of this!

This brings us to the Orthodox Church. They keep things together and working towards the betterment of God’s people by councils of bishops, of which the Pope is one, the Bishop of Rome. Works really well.

However…

Before I get to the Catholics belief, we have to talk about the authority that Jesus wanted. It’s not about who is in large and in charge. Authority has nothing to do with that. It is about unity. Jesus, as He was in Gethsemane preparing Himself for the ordeal to come, He asked the Father that we be unified as He is unified with the Father. How is a son unified with his father? It is called family. Family is a unity of love. We may not always agree with each other. We may not get along with each other all the time, but we do always love each other. If Christians are the body of Christ in this world then we need to love each other as family, not walk away every time someone doesn’t agree with us. As family we respect each other and discuss our differences but we don’t break apart — because of the love we share.

As a family, there does have to be a guide, a person in the family with authority: someone who teaches you right from wrong, someone who tells you to eat your vegetables because they are good for you, someone with the authority to say — do your homework. In the family of Christ we have the Church and the Pope. And that is where the word comes Pope from — Papa.

The Pope serves the entire Catholic Church, serves not lords over. The Pope is not an invention of the Church, as is commonly thought. Jesus made the role of the Pope to guide His Church. And that statement requires some explanation.

Everyone knows the twelve sons of Israel became the twelve tribes that was the Kingdom of Israel. Just as the twelve apostles of Jesus became the leaders of the Kingdom of God. Old Testament reveals the New. Okay, so all on the same page.

Along that same line of the Old revealing the New, we have:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias, And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father. Isaiah 22:20–23

So, when the King is away, the Prime Minister has the authority and the duty of the King: to watch over and take care of the kingdom.

Now, that being said, when Jesus said to Peter:

Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. Matthew 15 -19

The apostles knew what He meant. Peter was now the Prime Minister, the Pope. So, when the Jesus Ascends, the Peter has the authority and the duty of the Christ the King: to watch over and take care of the Kingdom.

The Pope is the spiritual successor of Peter to whom Jesus gave the Keys of Heaven. Which makes the Pope the Prime Minister of the Kingdom, not the King, not just some guy who wants to be in charge, but the steward of the Kingdom {Catholic (meaning Universal) Church (meaning God’s Kingdom on earth)}.

Jesus established God’s Universal Kingdom on earth. Do you really think He would not leave the Kingdom a steward in His place until He comes again? Really? Seriously — really?

A family getting together for the holidays will show you that coming together as Christians will not be easy. But like a family getting together for the holidays, yeah, sometimes it can be difficult, but it is the love that strengthens those bonds. It is the love that no amount of squabbling will separate them. When push comes to shove a family will hang together against any foe.

All Christians can come together. We can have a Family Reunion and be one again.

Peace be with you.

Quick aside: Father Mike does a much better job than I have of explaining this so if you need more:

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store