ARE CATHOLIC POPES INFALLIBLE?

ARE CATHOLIC POPES INFALLIBLE?



The Roman Catholic Church teaches its followers that she is the true church that Jesus Christ founded through the original apostles. Yet most Roman Catholics are unaware that the Roman Church has so drastically developed her doctrines over the centuries that if the first century apostles of Christ, or even the early Catholic Bishops of the third and fourth centuries could step into the twenty first century to hear her teachings first hand, they would not even recognize her as the same Church. The early Bishops would not have been familiar with the concept of an infallible Pope who heads the Church as the "Vicar of Christ," i.e. "in place of Christ," nor would they have known about the latter Catholic Doctrines of Purgatory, Indulgences, Transubstantiation, Prayers to Mary and other departed saints, veneration of saints, bodily assumption of Mary, veneration of Catholic Tradition on an equal authority with scripture, and many other Catholic doctrines which were formulated after the first few centuries of the Christian era. Since the Roman Catholic Church cannot vindicate its teachings solely by the use of scripture, both Papal Infallibility and the alleged authority of oral tradition has usurped the authority of New Testament Scripture.



Although the Catholic Church may officially state that the New Testament has equal authority with Catholic Tradition, the plain truth lies in the words of Catholic Author John O'Brien: "Great as is our reverence for the Bible, reason and experience compel us to say that it alone is not a competent nor a safe guide as to what we are to believe."



Since Catholic Theologians do not regard the Bible as "a competent," "safe guide" as to what they are to believe, they always revert to their alleged authoritative traditions as formulated over the centuries by the Popes who they claim spoke with infallible inspiration.



The New Catholic Catechism states: "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope..."

Roman Catholic author, Cardinal Gibbons states that the same spiritual authority as given to the apostle Peter has always resided and still resides in the Popes, or Bishops of Rome:



"The Catholic Church teaches that our Lord conferred on St. Peter the first place of honor and jurisdiction in the government of his whole church, and that same spiritual authority has always resided in the popes, or bishops of Rome, as being the successors of St. Peter. Consequently, to be true followers of Christ all Christians, both among the clergy and laity, must be in communion with the See of Rome, where Peter rules in the person of his successor."



In the year 1302 A.D., Pope Boniface wrote: "Consequently we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."



Most Roman Catholics are unaware that it was this same Roman Pontiff who used "offensive phraseology" in some of his public documents. According to Pope Boniface, "to enjoy oneself and to lie carnally with women or with boys is no more a sin than rubbing one's hands together."



According to Church History, one hundred and ten Bishops of Rome have now ruled (the earliest Roman Bishops were not called Popes ). If the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Papal Infallibility were true, all Roman Catholic Bishops and later Popes would have miraculously agreed with one another over the centuries. Is this really the case? The evidence points overwhelmingly to the contrary. The Roman Popes repeatedly contradicted each other, anathematized each other, and lived immoral lives. Below are only a few of the many examples.



Bishop Liberius signed the Arian Sirmium Creed which denied the Deity of Christ; the next Pope in line ratified the Trinitarian Creed.



Pope Honorius contradicted so many Popes that he was anathematized (i.e. accursed) by Councils and Popes for centuries. According to the Catholic Bishop Luitprand of Cremona who lived at the time of Pope John XII 955 A.D., "No honest lady dared to show herself in public, for Pope John had no respect either for single girls, married women, or widows-they were sure to be defiled by him, even on the tombs of the holy apostles, Peter and Paul."



Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) lived in public incest with his two sister and his own daughter, Lucretia, from whom, it is said, he had a child. In 1501 he conducted a sex orgy in the Vatican.



In the ninth century Pope Stephen VI brought former Pope Formosus to trial by digging up his corpse from the grave and placing the body upon a throne. Pope Formosus was judged guilty of heresy, his bright robes were ripped from his rotting flesh, his fingers were hacked off, and his body was dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber River. Hence, one Pope clearly condemned another.



Yet to make matters even worse for Roman Catholics who trust the alleged infallibility of the Papal Office, the second successor of Pope Stephen had the body of Formosus, which a monk had drawn from the Tiber River, reinterred with full honors. Formosus' official orders were then declared valid. Then a future Pope, Sergius III turned around and declared that Pope Stephen was correct and Pope Formosus was wrong.



The list goes on. Pope Eugene IV condemned Joan of Arc to be burned alive as a witch. Then a future Pope turned around and declared her to be a saint.



Pope Sixtus V had a version of the Bible prepared which he declared to be accurate. Just two years later, Pope Clement VIII declared that this version was full of errors.



Even today Evolutionists love to use the argument that it was the Popes of Rome who condemned the astronomer Galileo for his correct view of the Solar System and Universe.



If Papal Infallibility is proved to be an erroneous theory, as the above historical evidence clearly indicates, then all of the added doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church must be called into question. And if Papal Infallibility is proved to be false, then the entire authority of Catholic Tradition that had developed over the centuries by numerous Popes cannot be trusted as truly authoritative or binding upon the Church of God.



All Roman Catholics must seriously examine Catholic Traditions in light of the authoritative scriptures which have been accurately delivered to us by Christ's holy apostles and prophets. The apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 2:20 that the Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Nothing is mentioned of Papal Infallibility which would change the Churches beliefs over the millennia. Quite the contrary, the apostle Paul stated as recorded in Acts 20:27 "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." Yet the Romish Church today would tell us that the apostles did not declare the whole counsel of God to us in the holy scriptures, nor did they do a competent job. Who are we to believe? The first century apostles of Christ, or the Romish Popes?



Roman Catholic Theologians use Matthew 16:13-19 to assert that the Church was built upon the foundation of Peter as the primary apostle and that all subsequent Bishops of Rome who were appointed after Peter's death were automatically given Peter's authority. Does Christ's words as recorded in Matthew chapter sixteen really prove the Roman Catholic view?



"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, But whom do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar jona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto you, that you are Peter {Petros=stone}, and upon this rock [Petra=Mass of Rock] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20).



The subject question in the above text is not "who is Peter," but rather, "who is Christ?" Since the subject topic was "Who do you say that I am," the context demands that the revelation Peter received from the Heavenly Father was not about who Peter was, but rather, who was Christ? Verse number twenty proves this interpretation to be accurate, "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ."



The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven is the Divine Revelation that Jesus is the Christ. The Church of God could not have been built upon Peter as the chief foundational rock because the scriptures state that Jesus is the only chief foundational Rock of our Salvation. The Bible itself proves that Jesus is the only chief foundational stone upon which the church has been built!



Jesus did state that Peter was an important stone in the proclamation of the gospel. It was Peter who used the Kingdom keys to initially unlock the door of salvation to the Jews (Acts 2), to the Samaritans (Acts 8), and to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:20 that the true Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles..." Not "an apostle", but "the apostles." There is absolutely no mention in any other scriptures proving that Peter was the head of the universal Church.



Moreover, Jesus did not say, "you are Petros (a stone) and upon this Petros (stone) I will build my Church..." Jesus clearly stated: "you are Petros (a stone) and upon this Petra (Massive Rock) I will build my Church...”



Since there are no parallel passages proving that Peter alone is the rock or foundation upon which the Church is built, yet there are numerous scriptures proving that Jesus Christ is the rock or foundation upon which the Church is built, it is a most logical deduction that the true Church of the living God is built upon Jesus Christ as the "massive rock" or "the chief corner stone."(Ephesians 2:20) May the honest reader prayerfully consider the following scriptures:



"I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God, He is the Rock."(Deuteronomy 32:3,4) "There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God." (1 Samuel 2:2).



"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer." (2 Samuel 22:2) "For who is God, save the LORD? And who is a rock, save our God?" (2 Samuel 22:32) "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer." (Psalm 18:2) "Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation." (Psalm 62:1,2).



"And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer." (Psalm 78:35) "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: and let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation." (Psalm 95:1) "Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed." (Rom 9:33).



"Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual food; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:10,11).



Since the above scriptures prove that the LORD our God alone is "the rock of our salvation," and since the apostle Peter is not God manifest in the flesh, Jesus Christ must be the Rock upon which the Church is built. The True Church of God is the Church that both understands who Jesus is, "the rock of our salvation" in flesh, and that the True Church is built upon Christ as the firm foundation. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."



WAS THE APOSTLE PETER THE INFALLIBLE HEAD OF THE EARLY CHURCH? The New Testament Scriptures are replete with examples of Peters' Fallibility. Remember that it was Peter who stood in the way of the will of God by trying to prevent Jesus from dying on the cross. Jesus rebuked Peter saying, "Get thee behind me Satan..." (Matthew 16:23) It was Peter who impetuously blurted out, "Let us make three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." For Peter did not know what he was saying.(Luke 9:33) And it was Peter who denied the Lord three times prior to his conversion at Pentecost. (Matthew 26:34).