Hundreds of years ago a statue of the pagan deity Jupiter was taken from the Pantheon. It was then modified, re-titled and seated on a throne. All of the people were then told by their religious leaders, “This is a statue of the Apostle Peter”.
Who would believe that such an abominable thing was truly an image of Peter? How many ‘Christians’ would not only believe the lie, but would actually come and worship before the lie, a thing which is strictly forbidden by the Second Commandment of the Decalogue (Exodus 20:4-5)?
Would you be astonished to hear that millions and millions over the centuries have done this very thing? Every year thousands of people make pilgrimages to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and worship the image of Jupiter. The foot of this abominable statue has actually been worn away by the kisses of the deceived admirers.
Though this statue of Jupiter is indeed a sad deception, there is even a more frightening hoax that is being foisted upon Billions of people today in the same city where the statue sits. And that hoax dear reader is the very Papacy of Rome. Just as Jupiter was dressed up and declared Peter; ungodly men for centuries have put on royal robes and a crown and declared themselves the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Prince of all the Bishops, and even Christ Jesus in a veil of flesh; and just as with the statue of Jupiter, billions have bowed to them and kissed their feet and accepted their authority as the very authority of God. O’ how men love the lie, but O’ the danger of believing a lie!
With the following booklet we wish to investigate some of the claims of the Papacy. We wish to see if the Apostle Peter was truly ordained “Prince of the Apostles” by Christ. We wish to see if he indeed established the Church of Rome, and did he ordain Clement as his successor, the second in a long line of Roman Bishops called ‘Popes’. Along the way we will look at the deception Rome employed to deceive people into accepting her dogmas, and we will even have a quick look at some of the most shady characters that ever held the office of Pope.
With all of this dear reader, please keep in mind that we wish not to spread any rumor or any falsehood about the Roman Church, for we are certain that the TRUTH will portray her just as she truly is. On occasion we will quote from the “Church Fathers” to support our teaching, we do this only as a secondary source, especially for historical value, knowing the confidence the Catholics place in these error filled extra-biblical writings.
THE CLAIMS OF THE ROMAN PAPACY
I. Peter’s Supremacy
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Christ made the Apostle Peter to have primacy and superior power over the rest of the apostles, it teaches that he was more than their equal, that he was their prince—and that he exercised a jurisdiction over the whole college of the apostles. Rome teaches that Peter was the sole and universal pastor over all the Christian world, the only vicar of Christ upon earth.
To see if these teachings are true we must turn to the lone book that would explain such a doctrine, and that is the Bible. The New Testament was written mostly during the life time of Peter and two of its books were written by Simon himself. If such a doctrine was ordained and existed during the first century it would be clearly explained in the Holy Writ. So we ask what does the bible teach on this subject?
The Bible record teaches that Christ never gave Peter any preeminence of this kind; the same keys Christ gave Peter, he also reached to James and John, and to the other Apostles (Matthew 18:18); [the key is the gospel, by which we enter into the sheepfold].
In fact Christ positively forbade any Apostle from acting like a prince over the others, and he taught equality, which is seen in the following verse.
Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
It is also clear the Apostles never knew of Peter’s Superiority. For instance, Paul plainly declared his equality with all the Apostles. (See 2nd Corinthians 11:5, 12:11).
And Paul showed that he took no exception of Peter’s “superior dignity”, when he “withstood him to the face” and “blamed” him openly. See Galatians 2:11.
No where in Holy Script do any of the Apostles look up to Peter as a Prince; for instance we point to the time when the Apostles at Jerusalem SENT Peter to Samaria:
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John” Acts 8:14
The word “Sent” according to Strong’s Concordance means: to order (one) to go to a place appointed. This alone shows that Peter was not a Sovereign.
The fact remains that Peter himself never assumed any thing like the Papacy assumes today, but he modestly styled himself an apostle of Jesus Christ, one among equals; and when he writes to the elders of the churches, he humbly places himself in the same rank with them: “The elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an elder” 1st Peter 5:1.
Clearly the New Testament is silent on the topic of Peter’s Papal powers. The post-biblical writers up to the third century also taught an equality among the Apostles, for example Cyprian in the third century wrote:
“To all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;”.... Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter” [Cyprian, the Unity of the Church]
Among others Origen taught that the promises Christ spoke to Peter was applicable to all the Apostles and Disciples saying :
“But if you suppose that upon that one Peter only the whole church is built by God, what would you say about John the son of thunder or each one of the Apostles? Shall we otherwise dare to say... [the gates of hell] shall prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect? Does not the saying previously made, “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” hold in regard to all and in the case of each of them? And also the saying, “Upon this rock I will build My church”? Are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them? But if this promise, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” be common to the others, how shall not all the things previously spoken of, and the things which are subjoined as having been addressed to Peter, be common to them? .... .... For all [Christians] bear the surname of “rock” who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught....they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.” [Origen’s Gospel of Matthew, book 12, chapter 11]
IS PETER THE ROCK OF THE CHURCH OF GOD?
But some may say, “But Peter is the Rock upon Christ built his Church”. But this only comes from a superficial reading of scriptures. Please notice the following.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (Petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Rock (Petra) that Christ’s church built upon is not a man named Peter (Petros), but the one Peter confessed to be the Son of GOD. Peter himself acknowledges such when he says that Christ is:
“a living stone,,chosen of God, and precious, he is.. the stone.. the head of the corner.. and a rock (Petra) of offence (see 1st Peter 2:4-9).
And Paul agrees that Christ is the Chief Rock the Church is built upon, the Apostles and Prophets making up the second layers: Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Petros (Peter) is a stone, Christ is the Petra (bedrock) to which the stones are united.
The Apostles absolutely deny that Christ had made Peter the Chief Apostle by later arguing who of the twelve would be the greatest (See Luke 22:24, Matthew 18:1). Which thing would be rather absurd, if Christ had just declared Peter to be their head.
Augustine, a very popular “Father” of the Roman Church wrote in fourth century:
“Therefore,” he saith, “Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock” which thou hast confessed, upon this Rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;” that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, “will I build My Church.” I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon thee”. [Augustine Sermon 26].
The teaching that Peter was made a ‘Prince’ over the other Apostles, or the Chief Bishop in the world by Christ is predominantly absent even from the writers of the Second and third centuries. Certainly this false teaching was developed centuries after the death of Peter.
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