Home › Forums › All Things Catholic › Non-Catholic asked: “DID THE BIBLE STATE PETER FIRST POPE?” › Reply To: Non-Catholic asked: “DID THE BIBLE STATE PETER FIRST POPE?”
While the Iglesi Ni Christo is not Trinitarian, and believes it’s founder to be the Second coming of Christ, the first error is to limit any and all doctrine to the Bible. The Bible nowhere says Trinity, or that Sunday is now the official day of worship, but most Christians accept these as a matter of fact. The entire New Testament is itself the product of a Catholic Council which was approved by the Pope. If one denies that authority, they would need to review all the books that were accepted by local Churches up to that time and decide for themselves which books are authentically Biblical.
Again we have a case of someone picking one scriptural passage and ignoring the rest. Jesus Christ’s calling the apostle Peter “rock”: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18) is ignored or explained away as Jesus just saying something confusing. While the Catholic Church does recognize that the Apostles did in fact each go on their own missions, and James remained in Jerusalem to lead the Church there, it was Peter who was considered the leader of the whole Church. When the names of all the Apostles are listed in the NT, Peter’s name comes first. At the Council of Jerusalem, Paul argues against Peter, but ends up accepting Peter’s authority. Peter stands up in the Upper Room and at the Council of Jerusalem. If James was the leader as they claim, it would have been wrong for Peter to make the final authoratative procolmation.
As to the idea that all Popes are infallible, that is true, but it is not true in the sense that Protestants charge. The Pope is infallible under specific narrowly defined limits. First unlike may Protestants believe, Infallibility has little to do with the man, but is a promise of Christ to the Office of the Papacy. We have this from Jesus himself, who promised the apostles and their successors the bishops, the magisterium of the Church: “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16), and “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). In a special way this promise of Christ applies to the Pope when he defines a dogma to the entire Church, in the fullness of his authority, on a matter of Faith or Morals. Since this is a rare occurance, and not an everyday event, (in fact most theologians only cite two occasions that Papal Infallibility has been invoked) most Protestants give more infallible authority to their pastors, and the founders of their sects without knowing it than the Catholic Church gives to the Pope.
The English word Pope comes from Papa, which means Father. While Protestants will tell you that Jesus said, “Call no man Father” what Jesus was relating to us is that God is the highest authority, and who we must know to be our creator. St. Paul speaks of being a Spiritual Father to those he has baptized, and taught. None who say that you cannot call a priest or the Pope Father, would think it wrong to call their own father by that name or honor him as such. Otherwise we would have to reject the command to “Honor thy father and mother.”