Were Peter's successors given their authority by God?


Hi everyone. I have a question. Was Peter’s successors given their authority by God? Please provide a citation from scripture or tradition to back up your answer. Thanks.


Well, I read part of an article on Catholic.com about the authority of the Pope and got my answer. I was satisfied with this answer and am coming back home to Rome. Thanks everyone! :slight_smile:


Well, Jesus was God, so: YES.

All the scripture quotes you need are here:


I don’t understand how you come to that conclusion by saying that Jesus was God. I agree that Jesus was/is God but how does that mean that Peter’s successors have His authority? I mean, Jesus only gave Peter the authority right? :shrug::confused: That said, after reading part of that article from Catholic Answers, I do believe that Peter’s successors have authority given to them by God.


So what about the evil men that have been popes,were they appointed by God,if not did Christ leave the church during their reign?

If so why?


Well Jesus is God and He picked 12 regular men. Did He make a mistake? Why didn’t Jesus pick more holier men?

Judas betrayed Him and all the rest left him.

Why should we expect better men now?

I mean even Thomas doubted Jesus yet Jesus did not kick Him off the team.

The Church is Holy because of God. That is the Divine part.

The Church is made up of sinners. That is the human part.

Just like Jesus

both human and Divine.

and like the Bible

with authors who are

human and Divine.


Popes are appointed by men, who hopefully appeal whole-heartedly to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their decision. The moral failings of such men can lead to the election of popes who are, on a personal level, sinful, or even quite evil.

HOWEVER, in spite of various moral failings (some more egregious than others), that does not in any way lessen the power of the Holy Spirit to protect the infallible teaching authority of the Pope and, subsequently, the Magisterium.

It would be silly to say that, “the Holy Spirit picked John Paull II”, or “the Holy Spirit picked Benedict XVI”. No, the cardinals chose them! However, the fruit that has come from both the popes strongly indicates that it was indeed the will of the Holy Spirit that the cardinals did elect them, and the cardinals made, prayerfully, the same choice, with His guidance. If someone else, say, Cardinal Martini, had been elected pope - in spite of his strong liberal tendencies - he would still be protected from teaching ANY error in the matters of faith and morals, regardless of his personal opinions or leanings.

In sum, the popes can be anywhere on the spectrum in terms of their personal sinfulness/holiness. When they choose, as a body, the man whom the Holy Spirit wills, the fruit is astounding. When they succomb to political pressure or scheming, and pick a man other than whom the Holy Spirit wills, we end up with popes like the Borgias. Still, it does not alter one iota the teaching authority of the Church, which comes from the Holy Spirit, who speaks through Peter and his successors, regardless of their personal failings (as demonstrated in spades by St. Peter, himself!)


Welcome home!


Let me ask this question,who appoints the evangelists; and can that line be traced back to anyone in particular?


Alright !!


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