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Saturday, August 30, 2014
Date Posted:
2/28/1998

Contents
Introduction (1-6)
The Bible (9-23)
The Pope (24-42)
The Sacraments (43-51)
Confirmation (53-54)
Lord's Supper (55-78)
Priesthood (79-94)
Matrimony (95-97)
SIN (98-107)
Forgiveness (108-122)
Indulgences (123-127)
Penance (128-141)
Purgatory (142-159)
Mariolatry (160-187)
Angels (188-208)
Reformation (210-213)
Patrick (214-228)
Ecumenism (229-240)


The Pope (24-42)


A Concise Guide to Bible Christianity and Romanism
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley


  1. Did Jesus Christ appoint an earthly Head to His Church?
  2. What is the claim of Rome in regard to the Head of the Church on earth?
  3. What is the official teaching of Rome on the Pope?
  4. What text in Matthew's Gospel does the Church of Rome use to support her claims for St. Peter being the first Pope?
  5. Were the Fathers unanimous in their interpretation of the Scripture?
  6. What other Scripture in Matthew's Gospel does Rome quote to support her claim that Peter was the first Pope?
  7. What text in John's Gospel does Rome put forward to support its claim that Peter was the first Pope?
  8. How should these Scriptures be interpreted?
  9. What eight Scriptures show that there is no foundation in the Scriptures for the Papacy?
  10. How did the Church of Rome obtain the authority she came to exercise in Western Europe?
  11. Who was the first Bishop of Rome to attempt to exercise authority over other churches?
  12. What happened to Victor?
  13. How did the Popes in the Middle Ages attempt to establish their claims?
  14. When did the Church of Rome first discover that the Pope was Infallible?
  15. Did the Church of Rome, prior to 1870, believe that the Pope was Infallible?
  16. What follows from this Decree on Infallibility?
  17. Have official utterances of one Pope ever been condemned and rejected by another?
  18. How did the Papacy define its power?
  19. How did Pope Pius IX define Papal authority?
  20. How did Vatican II define the power of the Pope?

Back to Top 23. Did Jesus Christ appoint an earthly Head to His Church?

The Lord Jesus Christ is the sole King and only Head of His Church and He never appointed any earthly Head of His Church.

Back to Top 24. What is the claim of Rome in regard to the Head of the Church on earth?

The Church of Rome claims that the Pope as the successor of St. Peter is the Vicar of Christ on earth; the Supreme Head and Infallible Teacher of the Church, and those who do not believe this cannot be saved.

Back to Top 25. What is the official teaching of Rome on the Pope?

The Creed of Pope Pius IV Section X states: 'I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church for the Mother and Mistress of all Churches, and I promise and swear true obedience to the Bishop of Rome the Successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ.'

Back to Top 26. What text in Matthew's Gospel does the Church of Rome use to support her claims for St. Peter being the first Pope?

Matthew chapter 16 and verse 18: 'And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' The meaning of this text is obvious. Jesus having heard from the disciples the various notions which were entertained of Him, asked them: 'But whom say ye that I am?' and Peter, always more forward than the rest, replied: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus, having pronounced him blessed, as every believer is (Psalm 32:1), said: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' Christ in addressing Peter said: 'Thou art Peter,' using the word 'petros', which signifies a stone, but in referring to the rock He used the word 'petra', which means properly 'an immovable rock'. He does not say: 'Thou art Peter, and upon thee I will build my church', but 'upon this Rock.' The Rock he had confessed was Christ the Son of the living God, as though He said: 'Thou art Peter, a living stone in this spiritual edifice, but upon this immovable foundation I will build my church.'

Back to Top 27. Were the Fathers unanimous in their interpretation of the Scripture?

The Fathers of the church, as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kenrick, USA, who attended Vatican I, himself acknowledged, were divided. Eight say the Rock means the twelve apostles as a body. Sixteen say it refers to Christ Himself. Seventeen say it refers to St. Peter and forty four say it means the faith which Peter professed. It is clear that the Rock of the church is the infallible Rock of Ages, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Back to Top 28. What other Scripture in Matthew's Gospel does Rome quote to support her claim that Peter was the first Pope?

Matthew chapter 16 verse 19: 'And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.' 'The granting of the keys to Peter is quoted in proof of his supremacy.' The keys, it is admitted, are a figure and apply to a door. Peter used the keys to open the door of the Gospel church, for he first preached to the Jews (Acts 2:41) and then to the Gentiles (Acts 10), so these words of Christ were fulfilled. The keys of the kingdom of glory belong only to Christ, for it is written of Christ that it is He that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth (Revelation 3:7). The declaration as to binding and loosing refers to all the apostles, and conferred no peculiar dignity on Peter, for Jesus says: 'Verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.' (Matthew 18:18)

Back to Top 29. What text in John's Gospel does Rome put forward to support its claim that Peter was the first Pope?

John's Gospel chapter 21 verses 15 to 17: 'So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter: 'Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.' Verse 16: 'He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.'

Back to Top 30. How should these Scriptures be interpreted?

The threefold question: 'Lovest thou me?' and the threefold exhortation to 'feed' remind us again of Peter's thrice repeated denial of Jesus. He had disowned his Master three times. He is restored to office in a thrice repeated exhortation. He was grieved; therefore no honour was here conferred upon him (note the seventeenth verse). The commission gave no peculiar privilege to Peter. This is the duty of every minister (Acts 20:28). The very word 'Pastor' - 'a shepherd' - is applied in general to ministers and is derived from the Latin word 'pasco' - 'I feed'. There is no Scriptural authority in these verses for the office of the Pope, either as an office which Peter fulfilled or which any of the bishops of Rome fulfil.

Back to Top 31. What eight Scriptures show that there is no foundation in the Scriptures for the Papacy?

Scripture one: Christ taught that all the apostles were equal. Matthew 23:10: 'Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ; and ye are all brethren.' Matthew 23:11: 'But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.' In Mark 10:42, when the disciples strove among each other for supremacy, Jesus said: 'Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and their great ones exercise authority upon them.' Mark 10:43: 'But so shall it not be among you; but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister.' Mark 10:44: 'And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all.' Mark 10:45: 'For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.' From these passages it is evident that Christ conferred no superiority upon Peter, for if He had the strife could not have arisen, and Christ would have referred to His grant of supremacy to Peter.

Scripture two: Peter himself nowhere alludes to such supremacy. He says rather: 'The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.' (I Peter 5:1) He here calls himself an elder and witness, but nowhere the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.

Scripture three: Peter was sent by the other apostles 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) Just think of 'His Holiness' the Pope being sent by the Cardinals to preach the Gospel! It is well known that for many years Popes have not preached at all.

Scripture four: A council of the apostles and brethren was held at Jerusalem, Peter was present, and yet the sentence of James was followed (Acts 15:6-29).

Scripture five: The apostle Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 11:5 that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles, which is inconsistent with the notion of Peter's supremacy.

Scripture six: Peter, James and John are called pillars. 'James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars.' (Galatians 2:9)Because Peter was a pillar he was not the foundation.

Scripture seven: 'Paul withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed.' (Galatians 2:11) It is hardly the attitude to an 'Infallible Pope.'

Scripture eight: When Paul enumerates the various officers of the church he does not say: 'First the chief apostle' or 'the vicar of Christ, Jesus Christ upon earth' or 'the father of kings and princes,' but 'apostles' (Ephesians 4:11).

Back to Top 32. How did the Church of Rome obtain the authority she came to exercise in Western Europe?

The Church of Rome obtained her power because she was the Church of the chief city of the West. She was rich and had a reputation for orthodoxy. At a later date the Pope's political activity was the chief factor in increasing Papal supremacy in Western Europe. Papal supremacy has never been recognised in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Back to Top 33. Who was the first Bishop of Rome to attempt to exercise authority over other churches?

The first Bishop of Rome to make this attempt was Victor who in 196 AD tried to excommunicate all the Churches of Asia Minor because their method of fixing the date of Easter was different from his.

Back to Top 34. What happened to Victor?

Victor was rebuked for his interference and his act of excommunication was set aside. This demonstrates that Papal supremacy was not then recognised by the church.

Back to Top 35. How did the Popes in the Middle Ages attempt to establish their claims?

Popes in the Middle Ages frequently attempted to establish their claims by the use of certain decretals. These have since been proved to be forgeries. There comes to light among the Isidorian Decretals, sometime between 829 and 845, the definite statement of an edict representing the Emperor as conferring on the Pope the administration of 'our palace, the city of Rome, and the provinces of all Italy'. The Bishop of Paris (858-870) states that the Emperor Constantine after his baptism relinquished Rome to the Apostolic See. The Donation and the Document supporting it remained undisputed down to the middle of the 15th Century and was the grand basis of the Pope's temporal power. It was exposed by numerous writers for the colossal fraud that it was and the ruinous usurpation it imposed. It is now admitted by Rome to be a fraud.

Back to Top 36. When did the Church of Rome first discover that the Pope was Infallible?

The Church of Rome did not discover that the Pope was infallible until the year 1870 - just a century and a quarter ago. In 1870 the First Vatican Council decreed that the Pope was infallible when 'in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church'. However, he is not preserved from liability to err when he speaks as a private teacher.

Back to Top 37. Did the Church of Rome, prior to 1870, believe that the Pope was Infallible?

No! For example, Keenan's Controversial Catechism, a Catechism used in all the schools of Ireland, published in 1860, stated about Papal Infallibility: 'This is a Protestant invention; it is no Article of the Christian faith.'

Back to Top 38. What follows from this Decree on Infallibility?

It follows from this Decree that if the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is true, the Church of Rome must hold that all Popes have been infallible from the time of the first Bishop of Rome.

Back to Top 39. Have official utterances of one Pope ever been condemned and rejected by another?

Yes. For example, Pope Honorius was condemned by the Sixth General Council in 681 and was denounced as a heretic by every Pope who succeeded him until the 11th century. Innocent I and Galacius I were condemned by the Council of Trent. Also, on various occasions two people have at the same time claimed to be Pope, and each has cursed the other as an impostor.

Back to Top 40. How did the Papacy define its power?

The Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, says: 'We declare, affirm, define and pronounce it to be necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.' This Decree was declared by Cardinal Manning to be infallible and beyond all doubt an act ex cathedra (which means that it is spoken by the Pope as the universal Head of the Church on earth and with the supreme apostolic authority, i.e. an infallible statement.

Back to Top 41. How did Pope Pius IX define Papal authority?

In the year 1866 Pope Pius IX said: 'I alone, despite my unworthiness, am the successor of the apostles, the barque of Peter; I am the way, the truth and the life. They who are with me are with the Church; and they who are not with me are out of the Church. They are out of the way, the truth and the life. Let men well understand this, that they be not deceived or led astray by soi-distant Catholics who desire and teach something quite different from what the Head of the Church teaches.'

Back to Top 42. How did Vatican II define the power of the Pope?

Vatican II - Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (18 November 1965):

'This is the unique Church of Christ which in the Creed we avow as one holy catholic and apostolic. […] This church, constituted and organised in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in union with that succession.' (Chapter 1, paragraph 8)

'This sacred synod turns its attention first to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon sacred Scripture, it teaches that the church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. […] WHOSOEVER, THEREFORE, KNOWING THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS MADE NECESSARY BY GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, WOULD REFUSE TO ENTER HER OR REMAIN IN HER, COULD NOT BE SAVED.' (Paragraph 14)

'But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is simultaneously conceived of in terms of its head, the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and without a lessening of his power and primacy over all, pastors as well as the general faithful. For in virtue of his office, that is as vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he can always exercise this power freely.' (Paragraph 22)

'Therefore his definitions of themselves and not by consent of the church are justly styled irreformable for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit promised to him in blessed Peter. Therefore they need no approval of others nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment.' (Paragraph 25)

Catechism of the Catholic Church - Dublin, Veritas, 1995:

'The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles and the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14) […] Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the College of Bishops. […] The sole Church of Christ […] subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor or Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.' (Paragraphs 869, 870)

'The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of His Church. He entrusted the keys of the church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the College of Bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth.' (Paragraph 936)

The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate and universal power in the care of souls".' (Paragraph 937)

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