Here is the link to a news article for your consideration, entitled “The Final Battles of Pope Benedict XVI”: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/pope-benedict-focuses-on-legacy-while-ignoring-vatican-power-struggle-a-838830.html.
The article pulls back the curtain of secrecy that historically protects the sitting pope and shows that there is “unrest” (to put it in the most respectful way possible) in the Vatican as the Cardinals await their opportunity to elect the next “infallible leader” of the Roman Catholic / Christian denomination. My source for the following “sound bites from history” is the newly released book by Thomas Horn and Cris Putnam, Petrus Romanus, the Final Pope Is Here.
And now please consider these historically verifiable facts about the evolution of Christianity:
- “The papacy is the oldest continuously functioning institute in the world. Before the United States elected its first President in 1789, they had already elected the two-hundred-fifty-first pope. Today, Benedict XVI stands as the two-hundred-sixty-fifth official pontiff. As the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is considered THE SUCCESSOR OF THE APOSTLE PETER AND THE VICAR OF CHRIST. That means that he is [considered] Christ’s exclusive representative on earth.” (Petrus Romanus, page 171)
- “A critical figure was Pope Stephen I (r. 254-257), who was the first, as far as we know, to assert forcefully the Petrine doctrine of Roman authority. HE INSISTED THAT HE HELD THE ‘CHAIR OF PETER’ (chathedra Petri) IN DIRECT SUCCESSION FROM THE APOSTLE PETER. This assertion inaugurates the idea that each pope is Peter’s successor, albeit nearly 200 years after Peter’s martyrdom. THE PAPACY, AS IT IS TODAY, SIMPLY DID NOT EXIST IN THE FEW CENTURIES OF CHRISTIANITY.” (P.R. pgs. 171-172)
- “It was only in the eleventh century that Gregory VII made ‘Pope’ or ‘Pontiff’ the official title. Accordingly, the term ‘papacy’ originated in the later eleventh century to differentiate the Roman bishop from the bishops of all other diocese. DURING THIS TIME POLITICAL MANEUVERS ALLOWED THE CHURCH TO ASSERT MORE AND MORE WORLDLY POWER.” (P.R. pg. 172)
- “In the thirteenth century, largely due to Pope Innocent III, the Potifex Maximus asserted the priority of the spiritual over the material world and adopted a supercilious new title, ‘Vicar of Christ.’ This renders into English literally as ‘INSTEAD OF CHRIST.’ Of course, to one with a coherent biblical worldview, this is outrageously blasphemous.” (P.R. pg. 172)
- “THE AUTHORITY OF THE PAPACY COMES FROM WHAT IS CALLED THE PETRINE DOCTRINE. This idea takes its name from PETER the apostle of Jesus, who is ALLEGED TO BE THE FIRST POPE. In ecclesiology, the theory of church government, this has been termed the Petrine Office. Today that office is audaciously ALLEGED TO HAVE INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY. For this we jump forward to the nineteenth century when Pius IX (1846-18780) called the Council, Vatican I, which DECLARED THAT ALL CHRISTIANS MUST CONFIRM … that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher OF ALL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE.” (P.R. pgs. 172-173)
IN OTHER WORDS …
Several centuries after the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God, a body of government was created to rule over ALL the followers of Jesus Christ. As we will see in coming posts, this act translated into death for many sincere Christians who refused to go along with the new laws being forced upon them.
Jesus said this about “teachers of the law”: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:2-12, NKJV)
More to come …