I’ve been having weekly chats with a couple of LDS missionaries (this week they also invited one of my neighbors, who is Mormon. (I guess because I’m being a hard case).
I refuted the need for prophets, such as Joseph Smith, etc., as Jesus completed his work in His first coming, He is the fulfillment of the OT prophecies, and therefore no further prophets are required.
They replied that the Church was apostate after the death of the last apostles, which I shot right down, but then they made the argument that wouldn’t the Pope be a prophet?
I said that this was a clever argument, and that I’d have to pray (and study up) on this.
Um… is the Pope Prophesying? No… Ok, then I don’t think he’d be a prophet.
The prophets served a very particular purpose in the OT, specifically, they foretold the coming of the Messiah. Since the Messiah has come, there is no more need for prophets, especially considering the fact that He made it abundantly clear that we will have no clue when he comes again. If we’re not supposed to know when he’s coming again, having prophets that foretell his coming would be kind of… well… contradictory.
The Catholic Church never claims that the Pope is a prophet. No Pope has ever claimed to be a prophet. The Church teaches that prophecy ended with John the Baptist whom Jesus called the greatest prophet.
Anything the Pope teaches is based on that which has already been revealed.
The believe that Church holds that Pope Paul VI was a prophet, read Humane Vitae everything that he predicted would happened with contraception has in fact happened. Saint Faustina is another prophet and I have heard Blessed Fulton Sheen has been declared a prophet which I would accept because if you read or watch his shows from the 1950s, everything he says and has concerns about anyone could easily say apply to today as well, God’s truth is timeless.
Public prophecy ended with John the Apostle with the writing of Revelation, private prophecy has continued. Fatima is private prophecy, Saint Faustina is a prophet but it is private prophecy meaning you do not have to believe it in order to be saved like you would with public prophecy.
As others have stated, public revelation ended with Revelation.
Private revelations continue, however, but are not mandatory to be believed by the faithful.
What Pope Paul VI and Blessed Fulton Sheen did, specifically, was not prophesy and see the future in the traditional sense. They were instead great at interpreting the times and interpreting the present day, and they could predict where society was heading. G.K. Chesterton did the same.
The Pope is not a Prophet. As others have said, public revelation ended with Revelation.
Instead, the Pope is protected from error by the Holy Spirit when declaring from his office on a matter of faith and morals. However, what he declares is not new information, and is instead all derived from the deposit of faith that Jesus handed down to His Apostles. The Pope does not declare new public revelations or introduce new teachings. It all goes back to Christ.
Sure, our understanding of Christ’s teachings and doctrines develop over time, but it is the same faith and the same doctrines, nothing new is added.
Hey, same thing with me. Been talking to several LDS myself the past couple weeks and got asked the same question when I went into detail about the Catholic Faith. I quoted 1John 4 and reminded them that the Catholic Church specifies there is no need for public revelation since Jesus was the last public revelation and gaves us the truth. 1Tim 3:15. They then asked, why do you call the Pope; Pope? I said Pope means father. He is our spiritual father here on Earth, not a prophet who is to bring about a new revelation
It’s good to be a witness, but keep in mind that arguing is a trap that makes people more likely to convert. It gets you invested in the conversation and subtly shifts the burden of proof toward you when it should be on the LDS missionaries making assertions.
Prophecy, properly defined is not a prediction of future events. Anybody through whom God speaks is a prophet. Prophecy is a charism of the Holy Spirit, a gift that St. Paul exhorts the members of the early Church to strive for in Corinthians 14.
In today’s Church, prophecy generally comes in the form of exhortations and encouragement. It requires discernment, another charism of the Holy Spirit to confirm its authenticity.
“…those who prophesy build up the church.”
As part of their investigation into sainthood Fulton Sheen and Pope Paul VI’s prophetic statements are being considered but right now they are not like Fatima or Saint Faustina but all of these are private prophecies, it takes a very long time for the Church to declare something prophetic or that someone is a mystic, Saint Faustina had her encounter in the 1930s it took a long time for Divine Mercy to be accepted and she wasn’t declared a saint until 2000 and Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted the Sunday after Easter, Pope John Paul II will be declared a Saint this coming Divine Mercy Sunday. I will have to check into Chesterton because the Archbishop of London has opened a cause for sainthood for Chesterton.
Yeah but I think the ideah here from an LDS point of view is to lend credibility to their founder Joseph Smith who is a false prophet. Which is given warning in 1John4 1-6. He is in no way comparable to the Pope
We have to be careful not to confuse revelation with prophecy.
Public revelation ended with John the Apostle. Revelation began when God created the first man, reached it’s fullness in Jesus and ended with the death of the last Apostle, the last eyewitness to Christ.
John the Baptist was the last prophet. Prophecy is part of revelation but prophecy ended with John the Baptist. St. Faustina had private revelations from God but nothing new was revealed that had not already been revealed in the person of Jesus. St. Faustina is not a prophet.
The Mormon’s can believe whatever they want but we need to be clear about the difference between revelation and prophecy within our own faith. John the Baptist was the last prophet.
Mormon’s can believe whatever they want but allowing them to drag us down rat holes about the Pope being a prophet plays right into their hands.
John the Apostle wrote that if anyone teaches a doctrine other than what he does, they are not from God. John taught that we have to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood or we have no life in us. Mormon’s don’t teach that. Mormons teach something different so their doctrine is not from God. That’s all there is to it.
I’m not saying that they are bad people just that their Church teaches something other than what the Apostles themselves teach. So what if there were a great apostacy. They still don’t teach what the Apostles taught. That’s all there is to it.
I’d bet you are correct–that is, I bet they do teach this as an ‘evangelizing tactic’.
Now here’s what I find interesting about this discussion–I don’t remember who the priest was, but a priest once famously stated (if I can find the quote, I’ll post it later) that if he were not Catholic, he would be Mormon, or JW, or even Muslim, or such–but NOT protestant–and the reason he gave, was that if the Cat. Church had it wrong, it would take something on par with what Joseph Smith claimed–divine revelation–or prophecy–not what the protestants have done–which is basically jump to the conclusion that the Church that Christ founded was so wrong and corrupted, and that a mere human ‘movement’ was all that was needed to ‘right things’ (albeit in 10,000+ different directions).
This is similar to what I always point out to the protestants–if the Old Covenant took nothing less than Jesus Christ to amend…and Christ prophesied and founded a Church…and that Church existed visibly for 1500 years…then wouldn’t it take an act of divine intervention, to amend that Church, as drastically as the reformation purports to have ‘amended’ it?
…and that was never even claimed by any of the reformers (or otherwise demonstrated in any way shape or form, to be anything remotely resembling divine intervention).
So I’d go back to your LDS friend, and ask him:
Where in the Bible was Joseph Smith prophesied?
Point out that claiming prophecy isn’t enough–it has to align with existing revealed Truth–i.e.–the Bible (and ST)–just as the New Testament aligns with (and fulfills) the Old Testament.
(of course you should be prepared to show how St. Peter’s primacy is established, and the passages supporting apostolic succession…).