The Pope - Always the Vicar of Christ?

Is the Pope always the Vicar of Christ?

Meaning - is he always THE representative of Christ? Couldn’t we call Bishops/Priests/even the Laity representatives of Christ?

At times where the Pope has been bad, is he/would he still be called the Vicar of Christ or is the title explicitly for when he is acting in the office of?

This question is spawned from a recent conversation that I had in regards to The Pope whom is often called the Vicar of Christ. It is my understanding that he is always the Vicar. However, my friend brought up a good question - what about when Peter denied the Lord 3 times? Was he being the Vicar of Christ then?

Certainly we can refer to the Body of Christ as ‘representatives’ of Christ. Yet, not all representatives are equal. Imagine if you have a problem with a TV you just bought. You call the manufacturer and get their phone tech. Is s/he a representative of the company? Of course. If the CEO of the company got on the phone and apologized for the difficulties you were experiencing and promised resolution, would he be a representative of the company? Would the tech and CEO be ‘representatives’ in the same way? To the same degree? With the same authority? :wink:

my friend brought up a good question - what about when Peter denied the Lord 3 times? Was he being the Vicar of Christ then?

Recall that Christ’s conversation with Peter (“Do you love me? Feed my lambs… tend my sheep… feed my sheep”) came after the Resurrection!

Perhaps more to the point: one acts as a vicar when the actual leader is absent. Peter’s ministry as Vicar of Christ really started following the Ascension…

The acting Pope is always the Vicar of Christ. I don’t think our retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI retains that title since he no longer has "supreme and universal primacy, both of honour and of jurisdiction " over the Church See newadvent.org/cathen/15403b.htm . It’s a short article and should help clarify.

“Vicar of Christ” is a title given to the one elected Pope in the areas of jurisdiction and honor. It does not ensure or imply that he will not make intellectual and/or moral errors in his personal acts. It does ensure that when he exercises his “universal primacy of jurisdiction” over the universal Church, we can be assured that it is valid.

Regarding the primacy of honor: This also is always be present *because of the position *he holds. It is an honor of the office he holds, not an honor because of his personal holiness.
A sort of comparison might be one’s parent, We are always to honor their position as father/mother even if they make many errors.

I think that because of abuses of authority figures like priests and bishops are more
common than for popes, but they DO HAPPEN, they will have to give an account to
Him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead(1 Pet 4:5) but that is to be
expected for Jesus predicted that the heavenly powers would be SHAKEN or author-
ity would be disrespected because of the increase of lawlessness(Mark 13:25; Matt.
24:12)!!!

When Peter denied Christ 3 times he was not Pope yet.

The Pope is always the Vicar of Christ but only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on matters of Faith & Morals.

And when he rules in union with the bishops on matters of faith and morals.

Yes. The Vicar of Christ is a Vicar, which makes it all the more sad when he is bad.

When the Vicar of Christ sins, it is the VICARs sins not Christs. And if the sin is hearsay, the Pope no longer remains Pope, and the See is empty. But for other sins like immorality, violence, or even in history, gulp, occult, it is NOT like Christ sinning, it is like pressing the thorns further into His head. Hope that made sense.

Yes but Catholic need to adhere to who they say is pope, and so to disregard what he says outside of the infallible is non catholic behavior. To dare mock or criticize the pope is very very wrong. Even if it is not infallible.

Hey, every human being sins, even the Pope. He has to confess too!

Who’s mocking or criticizing the Pope?? :confused: I didn’t see it on this thread…

Time to quit this thread, also! :frowning: :thumbsup:

But he’s authoritative in everything he teaches. We don’t get to ignore what a Pope teaches just because it’s not infallibly taught. Catholics are expected to adhere to ALL Church teachings. Infallibility is pretty much irrelevant to the guy in the pew.

DavidFilmer #11
Infallibility is pretty much irrelevant to the guy in the pew.

This tired old refrain indicates an inability to understand history as well as to ignore the repetitive threads and posts that are confused about infallibility and what teaching is infallible and what is not.

The Church only declared infallibility when Gallicanism became Conciliarism after the Great Western Schism, claiming the superiority of council over the Pope, and promoted by John Gerson (1363-1429) and Peter d’Ailly (1350-1420). The French Revolution drove the bishops into the arms of the Pope and dealt a mortal blow to Gallicanism, but the basic idea was still alive until the First Vatican Council formally condemned it in 1870.
catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33692

To counter the irrelevant comments we have the revered Fr John A Hardon, S.J.
CONCILIARISM. The theory that a general council of the Church is higher in authority than the Pope. It began in the fourteenth century, when respect for the papacy was undermined by confusion in Church and State. William of Ockham (1280-1349), in his battle with Pope John XXII (c. 1249-1334), questioned the divine institution of the primacy. Marsilius of Padua (1324) and John Jandun (1324) declared it was only a primacy of honor. During the great Western Schism (1378-1417) many otherwise reputable theologians, such as Peter of Ailly (1394) and John Gerson (1409) saw in the doctrine of the council’s superiority over the Pope the only means of once more reuniting a divided Church. The viewpoint appeared that the Church in general was free from error, but the Church of Rome could err, and in fact had erred and fallen into heresy. The Council of Constance (1414-18), in its fourth and fifth sessions, declared for the superiority of council over Pope. However, these decisions never received papal approbation. In Gallicanism the conciliarist theory lived on for hundreds of years. Conciliarism was formally condemned by the First Vatican Council (1869-70), which defined papal primacy, declaring that the Pope had “full and supreme jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate to the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the world.” He therefore possesses not merely the principal part but “all the fullness of this supreme power.” Moreover, this power is ordinary or constant, and immediate or direct; it extends the Pope’s authority over each and all the churches, whether local or territorial, and over each and all the churches, whether local or territorial, and over each and all the pastors and the faithful (Denzinger, 3063).’

In more recent times, conciliarism has been renewed by those who appeal to a “magisterium of theologians” or “consensus of the people of God” against ordinary or even solemn teachings of the popes. (Etym. Latin concilium, council, assembly for consultation.)
Modern Catholic Dictionary by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
therealpresence.org/cgi-bin/getdefinition.pl

I never said the Pope wasn’t authoritative in everything he teaches.

Abu…I don’t have the time or desire to read your entire post. I know you are smart & very knowledgeable but these concepts are too deep for me. :blush:
Thanks, anyway.

Nonono nobody is mocking or criticizing. I was just responding to all the storms of Francis, and all the politics at play in the vatican. Most people take what they like from the pope, ignore what they dont. Sorry.

Vicar implies acting with the authority of another. The Pope is the vicar of Christ in relation to the whole Church. Bishops are the vicars of Christ in relation to their respective particular Churches (see Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 22, 27). Priests are vicars of their bishop.

[quote=Christrocket]At times where the Pope has been bad, is he/would he still be called the Vicar of Christ or is the title explicitly for when he is acting in the office of?

This question is spawned from a recent conversation that I had in regards to The Pope whom is often called the Vicar of Christ. It is my understanding that he is always the Vicar. However, my friend brought up a good question - what about when Peter denied the Lord 3 times? Was he being the Vicar of Christ then?
[/quote]

That’s his title even when he’s sinning or just doing day to day stuff. Just like a king is still the king when he’s sleeping or eating dinner, etc. But just like in that case, not everything the Pope does is done authoritatively. Just like not everything a king says or does becomes law, but only those things he intends to become law by his authority, so is not everything the Vicar of Christ does intended to be authoritative for the whole Church.

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