Aren't apostles supposed to be bethren?

didn’t Jesus say that and they weren’t supposed to be king?

why is the pope considered an elected monarch then and why do tey use thrones?

The Pope is temporal ruler of the Vatican city-state. The Vatican is a nation. The Pope is head of state.

The chair is the seat of power. The ruler’s seat was a sign of his authority. Jesus told the disciples to respect the authority of the Jewish rulers who “sit on the chair of Moses.”

Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. (Matthew 23:1-3)

Jesus took away the authority of the Jewish leaders and gave that authority to the leaders of his Church - the Apostles and their successors the bishops.

The bishop’s throne is a symbol of his authority in the Church, and the presider’s chair in the parish is the symbol of the authority of the priest by virtue of his association with his bishop. The “Chair of Peter” is the symbol of the authority of the Pope. It is like saying that a court ruling came from the “Judges bench” or getting a memo “From the CEO’s desk.” They are symbols of authority.

Jesus is King. The person holding the office of Peter is Jesus’ Prime Minister. The Bishops are also ministers. They are princes in Jesus’ kingdom. This is what Revelation 4 references.

***Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. *(Revelation 4:4)

Bishops used to wear crowns in the early Church. The bishop’s authority is real but they are not to “lord it over” everyone. They are supposed to be servant leaders.


The bishops should treat each other as spiritual brothers (in fact, Popes often address the bishops as “brother bishops”). But this doesn’t mean that one brother isn’t the chief among the others.

Jesus didn’t say that one could not be a king or one could not be the head of the rest. On the contrary, he said that the person who would be the head of the rest should treat that office as one of service, not as a tyrant or oppressor.

Matt. 20:25 But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. 26 It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister: 27 And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant.

This is why one of the Pope’s most important titles is “Servant of the Servants of God.” His ministry should be at the service of the Church. This doesn’t mean a Pope would never abuse his office, but it would be a sin for him to do so.

Thrones are a symbol of authority and are not meant to glorify the person who sits on them.

He’s elected because people elect him. It has always been so, but the type of election has varied. At times, it was just the clergy in Rome, and in other times the laity also voted (can you imagine?). The manner of the election is irrelevant - the only thing that matters is that he is recognized by the Church as the Bishop of Rome.

He’s a monarch because he has absolute authority (the word “monarch” is from a Greek word (monárchēs) meaning “sole ruler.” All kings are monarchs, but not all monarchs are kings). He is not accountable to anybody (except God), and he cannot be legitimately deposed by any power on earth. He is the only Catholic to whom Canon Law does not apply.

Is that actually the case? I imagine that a lot of Catholics here would disagree…

They would be wrong:

The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely. [Code of Canon Law, #331]

The Pope is not subject to any authority (except God). The Pope can rewrite, amend, or completely abolish Canon Law on a whim.

That is not what Jesus said.

Luke 22:24-26 – Who is the Greatest?

Luke 22:24-32
24 a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 26 the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules (hegeomai) like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you (plural) as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you (singular), Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen (sterizo) your brothers.”

Hegeomai (Jesus is referring to Simon)

  1. to lead
    a) to go before
    b) to be a leader
  2. to rule, command
  3. to have authority over
  4. a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches
  5. used of any kind of leader, chief, commander
  6. the leader in speech, chief, spokesman
  7. to consider, deem, account, think


  1. to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix
  2. to strengthen, make firm
  3. to render constant, confirm, one’s mind

Who was Jesus referring to? Did Jesus say one of them would NOT be considered greatest? NO. Did He say one would NOT (hegiomai) be the one to lead/have authority over/ rule? No, He confirmed that one would (hegeomai).

Notice the language? Peter is to lead, rule, command, have authority over the others, govern, and control in counsels… make stable his brothers, strengthen them, and confirm them…and be the chief spokesman

Gee, sounds like the pope and the Catholic Church.

Originally posted by steve b

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