I think we all knew this wouldn’t stay on-topic …
May I first say a couple things?
The total lack of ecumenicalism I observe on these forums is atrocious, a bafflement, and a true shame. Should we of all people, who bear the sweet name of Christ, be the ones to undo all the progress the Church has made in recent decades concerning cooperation and tolerance within and without the faith? The Catechism may help to remind us of our unity:
836 “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.”
838 “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.”
After all, are we not to be “striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace,” as there is, after all, but “one body and one Spirit,… one Lord, one faith, one baptism; [and] one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”?
Perhaps it might be most beneficial if we would mutter a Hail Mary (or, to my Protestant brothers and sisters, an Our Father) under our breaths before heatedly responding to comments. Also, if we are not prepared to listen, as well as to speak—on both sides, what’s more—then what good does this forum do? Is it then no more than an argument, a brawl, rather than a discussion?
Actually, there’s 2. St. Peter and St. Linus.
Nice observation! It is true: the first “popes” (I use this term with certain reservations, as they admittedly weren’t able to exercise their authority like the papacy today) are mentioned in the Scriptures. Past this we have other early witnesses, two of which were written at such amazingly early dates that it strains credulity for me sometimes as a former Protestant—the very thought of such strong historical support for such a distinctly Catholic belief. Yet such things, I found, weren’t as great of oddities as I once imagined, I did come to discover. But still, early Christian witnesses simply amaze me for a plethora of reasons: not just in their great testimony to the faith, but also in contemplating the context these letters were written in, the harshness of the times …
He did for 1500 years and then in the 16th century people decided to omit and change things as Corki said.
There are numerous interpolations throughout the Scriptures, including in the Old Testament. Certain additions, such as John 8, are maintained as inspired writing, others are not, for a variety of reasons. It is simply not that clear-cut.
I grew up in a “Bible believing Baptist church” and I know all about what is picked through and discarded. When I started reading the Bible after my conversion to the Church it was like I had never read it before…
I found myself in a similar experience. I was baptized May 3rd of 2006, in First Baptist Church. I was, for the first time in my life, involved in things like Youth Group, Sunday School, etc. I was encouraged to read the Scriptures, and as I did, I began to discover things, though for a time I continued to accept with passivity the teachings the pastors presented me with. Yet when clear contradictions arose and my questions could not be answered, I had to look deeper.
The Pope does not make the laws. The Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia does that. The Pope does give his sign of approval concerning law Code of Canon Law.
And in any cause, according the Catholic viewpoint, the papacy derives its power from Christ: Isa. 22:22, Matt. 16:18. When Christ endowed Peter, and all the apostles, with his authority, breathed on them (in other words, gave them his Spirit), upon them was bestowed something we might refer to as the “apostolic charism,” a gift which we, as Catholics, maintain exists still in the Church today. Their commission by Jesus himself ensured the trustworthiness of their teaching. We believe that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops in communion with him are just as endowed with this charism as Peter and the other apostles were.