Is the pope the head of the Church or is Christ?


#1

This discussion started on the thread Original Sin. (here at around post 16 forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=11290)SoSo") as not to highjack it, this new thread was started. Here is the discussion from before.

posted by Myhrr
Under the terms of your ‘contract’ with the RCC you are required to give complete submission of will and intellect to these doctrines on faith and morals from the Pope and magesterium, the infallible teaching authority, even if you don’t have belief in them.

posted by MariaG [left]My contract with the RCC? My ‘contract’ if you want to call it that is with Christ. And Christ made it clear that He wished us to submit to the authority of the Church. Since Christ is the church (Col 1:18), I submit my will to Christ.

[/left]

Posted by Myhrr [left]Good for you. However, the RCC claims that its bishop of Rome is the head of the Church in place of Christ, I was referring to that particular ‘contract’.

This is clearly seen in RCC confirmation as being the connection between the confirmed and the bishop confirming and through that to the RCC, since his validity as a bishop of the RCC is only through obedience to the Pope who claims to be the head of the Church.

Are you saying that you’ve by-passed this and gone direct to Christ for authority?

[/left]

[left]My reply is this:[/left]

[left]It is impossible to separate out the issue of Christ being the church:[/left]

[left]Col 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church…[/left]

[left]From the issue of the authority of the church. [/left]

[left]Mt 16:19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.[/left]

[left]The Keys of the kingdom, Christ’s authority, were given to Peter. Christ’s authority has been passed down to each successive pope. (This is the same concept as confession. Only God forgives sin, but He gave the authority to do so in His name to His apostles Jn 20:23)[/left]

[left]Christ is the head of the body, the church. Christ gave that authority to Peter to be a visible head acting for Him when He would be gone from this earth. Peter has passed on this authority to each pope. So the current pope is “head of the church” because of the authority from Christ to act as His representative. [/left]


#2

[quote=Myhrr]Good for you. However, the RCC claims that its bishop of Rome is the head of the Church in place of Christ, I was referring to that particular ‘contract’.

[/quote]

My question is, please clarify what you mean by contract and how between whom is the contract in place?


#3

Great response!

I would also like to add that the Pope does not “replace” Christ, as Myhrr claims. This is totally twisting Catholic Doctrine. The Pope serves Christ as His vicor on Earth. If this person actully read some of the Pope’s writings, I think they would not be so critical… since they obviously are in line 100% with Jesus Christ.

Jesus set up this system… it is stated clearly in Scripture… we have given all the Scripture passages.in other threads on this topic. If you dont’ like the system you don’t simply have a problem with the Catholic Church you have a problem with Scripture and Jesus himself… complain to Him about the Pope… it was HIS idea. Tell him he should not have renamed Simon Peter “the Rock… and on this Rock I will build my church” Tell Jesus he was wrong to tell Peter to “feed My sheep, feed my lambs…” Tell Him he was wrong about the Eucharist … that it couldn’t possibly be His Body and Blood, that He was wrong to let many followers leave because they refused to believe it because YOU refuse to believe it!!! Tell him you don’t want to “interpret” it the way he clearly states in the Gospels. Yeah you can rebuttle this, but really think about it and you will see that Scripture actually supports these doctrines you are against… you really have to ignore huge portions of Scripture to deny these things.


#4

The Pope is the Vicar of Christ on the Earth? “Vicar” means: substitute. A substitute replaces someone else. If Peter was Jesus’ vicar on Earth, this means that Peter replaced Christ after Christ ascended. The Catholic church would have become the church of Peter because of this replacement. When Peter died, his sucessor would have replaced him, so Peter’s successor was the vicar of Peter, and so on. John Paul II is the vicar of the pope that immediately preceded him. It would appear that Christ has been out of the equation for a very long time.

Vicar literally means a substitute, and a substitute is a replacement. So by the transitive property, a vicar is a replacement. Myrrh is right on target.


#5

[quote=rod of iron]The Pope is the Vicar of Christ on the Earth? “Vicar” means: substitute. A substitute replaces someone else. If Peter was Jesus’ vicar on Earth, this means that Peter replaced Christ after Christ ascended. The Catholic church would have become the church of Peter because of this replacement. When Peter died, his sucessor would have replaced him, so Peter’s successor was the vicar of Peter, and so on. John Paul II is the vicar of the pope that immediately preceded him. It would appear that Christ has been out of the equation for a very long time.

Vicar literally means a substitute, and a substitute is a replacement. So by the transitive property, a vicar is a replacement. Myrrh is right on target.
[/quote]

More properly it means substitute as in a representative, not as in an alternative.


#6

Yes, Christ is the head of the church. He is not the church, nor is he a part of the church. He is separate from the church. That is how He can be the head of the church.

This is clarified in Ephesians 5:23, which states, **“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

**In this analogy, we can see that Christ cannot be the church, unless the husband is the wife. Since the husband and the wife in the analogy are separate entities, so is the church and Christ. The verse claims that Christ is the head of the church, meaning that the church is subject to Christ. If Christ was part of the church, the above verse would not make any sense, for He would have to be subject to Himself. The verse also tells us what it means for Christ to be the head of the church. He is the head of the church because He is the Savior of the body, which is the church.

Now, if Peter became the head of the church, then according to Ephesians 5:23, Peter would have replaced Christ as the Savior of the church. Then, as this role would have been passed on down the line until the current pope now has the role, John Paul II would be the new Savior of the church, if he is the head of the church. The Catholic church must have had a lot of saviors.


#7

Tanais

My question is, please clarify what you mean by contract and how between whom is the contract in place?

I think he meant contract in the sense of Covenant, or the new covenant, agreement, whatever. “Contract” is an odd word to use in connection with the pope. Our covenant is with Christ.


#8

[quote=Tanais]More properly it means substitute as in a representative, not as in an alternative.
[/quote]

Not according to the English language! Look up the word “substitute” in the dictionary. It never means: a representative. It always means: a replacement. The word literally means: in place of. For you to say that it refers to a representative is for you to redefine that word. If you are able to do that, then we can redefine any word to mean anything we desire. What you would have then is chaos.


#9

Christ is the head, who is in heaven. The Pope is the representative, who is on Earth. It’s as simple as that, nothing more, nothing less. We shouldn’t complicate the matter. If however, you do want to complicate the matter, you can find reference in scripture, the Catechism, and the writings of the early church fathers. :smiley:


#10

[quote=Peace-bwu]If this person actully read some of the Pope’s writings, I think they would not be so critical… since they obviously are in line 100% with Jesus Christ.
[/quote]

With all due respect, this is a very shaky line of argument. First off, which pope’s writings are in line 100% with Jesus? All of them? If not, your statement is either false, or else limited to a particular moment in time.

Secondly, the pope is human, and thus fallible. If all he ever wrote was a two-line birthday card to his mother, then it’s possible for all his writings to have been inerrant. The more a fallible person writes, the greater chance some large or small error will be included in his writing. In this case, our current pope has written quite a lot. So it seems likely that somewhere in his writings is something not 100% in line with Christ.

Certainly we believe that some portion of the pope’s writings are protected from error - for the rest, we must pray that any errors are small and insignificant. Or perhaps simply that any errors present are there according to God’s will.


#11

[quote=rod of iron]Not according to the English language! Look up the word “substitute” in the dictionary. It never means: a representative. It always means: a replacement. The word literally means: in place of. For you to say that it refers to a representative is for you to redefine that word. If you are able to do that, then we can redefine any word to mean anything we desire. What you would have then is chaos.
[/quote]

Not sure why you are taking such a hard line on the word “substitute,” when the word in question here is “vicar.” So rather than redefining a word to mean anything you desire, let’s get the full definition of “vicar” from Merriam-Webster (m-w.com):

** 1** : one serving as a substitute or agent; specifically : an administrative deputy**
2** : an ecclesiastical agent: as a : a Church of England incumbent receiving a stipend but not the tithes of a parish b : a member of the Episcopal clergy or laity who has charge of a mission or chapel c : a member of the clergy who exercises a broad pastoral responsibility as the representative of a prelate

I think this is pretty much in line with what everyone other than you has said.


#12

I am in favor of hearing RCC explain RCC :slight_smile:
*

From what I hear so far, I think RCC is doing a good job of explaining the papacy’s relationship to our Lord :slight_smile:

Now, as a non-align, I do not have the papacy as an Idea
within my Belief Set.

Roland
AmbassadorMan*


#13

[quote=stollerusa]I am in favor of hearing RCC explain RCC :slight_smile:
*

From what I hear so far, I think RCC is doing a good job of explaining the papacy’s relationship to our Lord :slight_smile:

Now, as a non-align, I do not have the papacy as an Idea
within my Belief Set.

Roland
AmbassadorMan*

You mean you don’t want a non-Catholic dissenter to explain Catholic dogma? Oh my, the brashness, the turpitude! I can’t believe what I am hearing. I need to go get my inhaler. BRB
[/quote]


#14

[quote=Apologia100]You mean you don’t want a non-Catholic dissenter to explain Catholic dogma? Oh my, the brashness, the turpitude! I can’t believe what I am hearing. I need to go get my inhaler. BRB
[/quote]

Absolutely!
Let Catholics define and explain Catholicism.
Let Orthodox…Orthodoxy.
Protestants…Protestantism
non-align…non-align

That is not to say that everything believed within Christendom is equally true and/or valid.

If I desire to define and explain my Belief Set without “help” from those inside any of the Big3, then I will extend the same courtesy to others.

Roland
AmbassadorMan


#15

When Christ ascended, He realized that He needed a human to act in His place ON EARTH through which Christ would work through to lead His Church, as The Word of God spoke through prophets in the Old Testament and worked through Abraham, Moses, etc, to lead the Israelites. Did Moses replace God? Absolutely not! God used Moses as His instrument to guide His chosen people. Moses was the Vicar of God in this case. As is the papacy. We can be 100% sure that when the pope comes out and says that he speaks infallibly on faith and morals that the Holy Spirit is using the man of the pope as an instrument to guide God’s people (the Church).

That said, it is obvious that Christ is the Head of the Church who uses the papacy to lead His people.


#16

[quote=Andrew Larkoski]When Christ ascended, He realized that He needed a human to act in His place ON EARTH through which Christ would work through to lead His Church, as The Word of God spoke through prophets in the Old Testament and worked through Abraham, Moses, etc, to lead the Israelites. Did Moses replace God? Absolutely not! God used Moses as His instrument to guide His chosen people. Moses was the Vicar of God in this case. As is the papacy. We can be 100% sure that when the pope comes out and says that he speaks infallibly on faith and morals that the Holy Spirit is using the man of the pope as an instrument to guide God’s people (the Church).

That said, it is obvious that Christ is the Head of the Church who uses the papacy to lead His people.
[/quote]

Yes, very good! But I’d like to elaborate.

The kingdom of David was a “type” of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Mr 11:10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

the Davidic kingdom had an office of Royal Steward, or Prime Minister, who would be in charge of the kingdom in the absence of the king. Jesus set up the office of pope in exactly the same manner.


#17

Interesting posts.

882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."402 "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."403

The first meaning of ‘perpetual’, I’ve just looked it up on a handy Encarta, is 1.** LASTING FOR EVER** lasting for all time.

So you’re not expecting Christ to return? Or are you saying that when Christ returns He and Bishop of Rome will slug it out and the Vicar of Christ will win, because your infallible teaching is that the Vicar of Christ is the perpetual and visible head of the Church?

‘Visible’ is interesting too, the RCC teaches that Christ is absent by not being visible which is the reasoning behind its claim to supreme authority over the Church, the office of Vicar of Christ is Christ visible for the Church, substitute is exactly what the RCC means here.

This is explained by:** **
Pope Pius XII: (A.D. 1939 - 1958)

"Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. For Peter in virtue of his primacy is only Christ’s Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, Who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisible, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth, after His glorious Ascension into heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same. “They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous errors who believe that they can accept Christ as the head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it.” (Pope Pius XII, encyclical Mystici Corporis which appeared in 1943; The Papal Encyclicals 1939-1958, Claudia Carlen, I.H.M., McGrath Publishing Co., 1981, p. 45.)

The RCC does not mean some wishy-washy definition it’s exact in its wording and the explanation that goes with it. Christ on earth, for all intents and purposes of the Church, is the Bishop of Rome.

This is not how the early Church understood Christ’s presence in the Church as explained by the Orthodox (Pomazansky):

The leading personality of the Third Ecumenical Council, St Cyril of Alexandria, in his “Epistle on the Holy Symbol,” which is included in the Acts of this Council, writes: “The most holy Fathers … who once gathered in Nicaea, composed the venerable Ecumenical Symbol (Creed). With them Christ Himself presided, for He said, *Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them *(Matt 18:20). For how can there be any doubt that Christ presided at this Holy and Ecumenical Council? Because there a certain basis and a firm, unvanquishable foundation was laid, and even extended to the whole universe, that is, this holy and irreproachable confession. If it is thus, then can Christ be absent, when He is the Foundation, according to the words of the most wise Paul, *Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” *(ICor. 3.11)



#18

Even the Orthodox believe that Christ gave men the authority to speak in his name.

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
Luke 10:16


#19

Dear Myrrh,

Why do you post things without any knowledge of what you speak? You are trying to sensationalize the word “perpetual” to mean “eternal,” but everyone knows there is a difference between the two words. Perpetual does not mean “for ever” in the manner you are proposing - i.e., “eternal” in the hopes of establishing some off-the-wall exact and complete identity between Christ and the Pope. “Perpetual” means “for ever” as in “permanent” - as when God exhorted His people through His Prophets many times by saying “this sacrifice shall be offered in perpetuity.” “Perpetual” is used exactly because it is distinct from “eternal.” When “perpetual” is used, it means merely that it is permanent UNTIL CHRIST RETURNS.

You obviously do not have a clue about the Catholic/Orthodox doctrine of the Real Presence if you assume that the Catholic Church believes that Christ is absent from His Church.

Myrrh, please be more responsible with your posts. You are merely exposing your own ignorance, aside from the fact that your posts are not edifying at all for the Christian.

God bless,
Greg


#20

The Pope is the visible head of the church on earth, but Jesus is his boss.


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