Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Was Luther Wrong Part 5 - The Papacy

Pope Leo X
This is a continuing project reflecting upon Exsurge Domini - where Pope Leo X declared the Errors of Martin Luther.  This section deals with the papacy.
25. The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world, instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.

John 21:15-17 is where Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, hands over to St. Peter the duty of Shepherd.  So yes, Martin, it was instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.
26. The word of Christ to Peter: "Whatsoever you shall loose on earth," etc., is extended merely to those things bound by Peter himself.

If that were true then the Apostles would not be fulfilling the command of Jesus Christ when He said to them, "as the Father sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21).  The Son was sent to select the Apostles, our first bishops, and He empowered them (Matt. 18:18) and specifically St. Peter (Matt. 16:18-19) with infallible authority.  If they truly were sent out as the Son was sent out, then they pass on this authority to their successors.
27. It is certain that it is not in the power of the Church or the pope to decide upon the articles of faith, and much less concerning the laws for morals or for good works.
Again, looking back at Matt. 16:18-19 and Matt. 18:18, Jesus empowers first St. Peter alone and then the Apostles/bishops as a group with the authority to bind or loose whatsoever he/they choose.  So yes, they were given this authority and as was pointed out previously, that authority was handed down to their successors (John 20:21).
28. If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err; still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council.
There is no "if" here - and no pope has erred in declaring an infallible teaching on faith or morals - not one!  Do popes err on other things?  Certainly!  Some popes were downright scoundrels, but not ONE of those scoundrels "taught" anything from the Chair of Peter.

The next section will be on Church councils.

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