BASIC R.C. BELIEF
The name given to the Supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church; from papa,
father. The pope is often called the Holy Father (See John 17:11).
Full title: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the
Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch
of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman
Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, now Gloriously
Reigning. For these last 3 words are sometimes substituted "Servant of the
Servants of God."
In 1009 a man named Peter was elected pope and changed his name to
Sergius IV. After that it became normal for a pope, to take a new name.
From THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE POPES-SAINT PETER TO JOHN PAUL II by
Michael Walsh, S.J., Chapter I: "There has been a great debate over
(Matthew 16:18) because, was we shall see, this is the crucial text by
which the popes attempted to justify their claim to rule over the whole
church, and not just over their local community in Rome. But whatever the
interpretation of the facts, the facts themselves are these: in Aramaic,
the language Jesus was using, the word `Peter' and the word `rock' are the
same: kepha. Until Jesus bestowed it on Simon, kepha was not a personal
name, and neither was its Greek equivalent, Petros ... But the name kepha
was translated into Greek as Petros. So those who were writing and
translating the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles clearly did not want
the significance of the word kepha (meaning rock) to be lost."
Scriptural "proof" for the primacy of the pope is Matthew 16:18-19. In
explaining this, Dr. Murray, Maynooth, Ireland, said: "By saying these
words, Jesus appointed Peter supreme head of the Church, and gave him full
authority to legislate for it; to teach, to inspect and judge; to reject
and denounce all false doctrines, and to declare what is the true Faith; to
appoint all its clergy and teachers and to arrange their work; in short,
the whole church, its officers, its constitution, its work, were entrusted
From THE NEW CATHOLIC DICTIONARY, Imprimatur, Cardinal Hayes, New York,
page 356: "Fabian, SAINT, POPE (236-250), b.Rome; d. there. A dove
descended on his head while he attended the papal election. Considering
this a sign from heaven he was elected by acclamation. Little is known of
From HOW TO FIND THE TRUE CHURCH, page 45, "Peter acted as chief of the
apostles, as for instance, at the election of Matthias. . . at the first
council, after much discussion Peter gave his opinion to which all
POST VATICAN II
Roman Catholic ecumenists play down fears of papal jurisdiction over
Protestants. They are saying that the Pope is a fellow bishop of all
bishops in Christendom. Because he comes from the See where Peter and Paul
were martyred he has a prominence that he uses to help his fellow bishops.
The Vatican II document LUMEN GENTIUM says, "For the Roman Pontiff, by
reason of his office as Vicar of Christ namely, 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" (Vatican II, edited by Austin
Flannery, O.P., page 375).
From INTRODUCING CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICISM by Theo Weston. "Underlying
conflict concerning the unfinished and, according to some, one-sided
treatment of the papal primacy by Vatican I."
From CURRENT TRENDS IN THEOLOGY by Jesuits Wolf and Schall, page 223, "At
the first Vatican Council the Church developed in detail the function of
the Pope in the life of the church. But the Council broke up before there
was time to balance this announcement of papal prerogatives and papal
duties with a definition of the status of the bishops in the church, or to
balance the statement on the hierarchy with complimentary statements on the
role of the laity in the Church."
During a visit to Des Moines, Iowa (1979), John Paul II was welcomed by a
Roman Catholic choir singing, "Joy to the world, the Pope has come"
(BAPTIST BULLETIN, DEC. 1979).
(From KEEPERS OF THE KEYS, Wilton Wynn, Random House, New York. 1988, p. 11
- "In the year 236 a farmer named Fabian wandered into Rome and stopped to
watch the clergy and people select a pope. A dove landed on Fabian's head,
and the assembly instantly acclaimed him pope."
In Matthew 16:18, "petra" is used for Rock and means foundation stone;
"petros" is used for Peter and means a small stone. See I Peter 2:4-5.
When Jesus first met Peter (John 1:42), He said to him, "Thy name shall be
Cephas" (an Aramaic word that Catholic apologists insist can mean rock or
stone), but the Holy Spirit defined it by saying "which is by
interpretation, a stone (Greek: petros).
If Dr. Murray is correct in his interpretation, why didn't Peter choose
Matthias in Acts 1 instead of having to cast lots?
Five witnesses can be summoned to answer the question, "Did you understand
that Jesus proclaimed Peter to be the infallible primate in Matthew 16:18-
19?" See if these witnesses testify that Peter exerted the two papal
prerogatives, primacy and infallibility. (a) Jesus (Matthew 16:23); (b) The
Apostles (Luke 22:24; Acts 8:14); (c) James (Acts 15:19); (d) Paul
(Galatians 2:11); (e) Peter (I Peter 5:1; II Peter 1:1).
From paper by Hugh Greene, WAS PETER (CEPHAS) THE ROCK?: "The word kepha is
derived from two ancient Hebrew (Chaldee-Aramaic) words. The first is keph,
meaning a hollow rock. The other is kaphaph, meaning to be bent over, or
the hollow palm of one's hand. (Strong's EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE AND
DICTIONARY OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS, Numbers 3710, 3721 in the Hebrew
"Therefore it is obvious that kepha, or Cephas, Peter's new name was
never meant to mean or signify a massive, immovable foundation such as a
mountain, or BEDROCK. Quite the contrary, Jesus (who used the word kepha in
John 1:42) wanted to show the complete difference between Peter and Himself
with regards to who He would build His church upon."
The Roman Catholic paper TWIN CIRCLE, July 1, 1979, stated: "It is
customary for the pope to speak using the plural form `We' which means `the
Holy Spirit and I'.
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