I don’t get it. Admittedly, I am not a Catholic. Admittedly, I do not claim any particular religion or denomination at all. But I’m a thinking person, dammit and I think this pope stuff is just ridiculous.
So the pope is in America and everyone’s going nutso over it. People will wait all day just to get a glimpse of the man and if they touch him!?! Man, be careful. Crazy Catholics are gonna be weeping and fainting and busting nuts all over the place.
I did some reading on the background of the papacy but I don’t really want to go into that right now. It’s not that complicated to me. Simply, I just don’t believe it.
You mean to tell me that this man is like 4th runner up to holiness after the Holy Trinity (father, son, holy ghost for you heathens)? Why? How? Apparently, when it’s time for a new pope, the gang of Cardinals gets together and votes. Oh, so you can VOTE on who has God’s cell phone number? Appointing the pope would make more sense to me if it was based on the same qualifications to become King of Camelot – pulling a sword from a stone. I mean, that’s something!
But a vote? We’ve all seen what could happen with a vote (see Election 2000).
The pope also has a LOT of influence. People all around the world, even those who are not Catholic, put a lot of trust in that man’s decisions. Almost everything the pope is against, I’m for and vice versa.
When I was doing my reading on the pope, I saw that the number one Biblical proof Catholic theologians turn to in order to show the pope’s legitimacy is Matt.16:18-19 which reads: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Apparently, the word “rock” is the key term. Catholics believe that this passage shows Jesus establishing his church on the shoulders of Simon son of John, whom Jesus re-named Peter (meaning rock). Thus Peter was the rock upon which Christ’s Church was built, therefore Jesus established a head to his earthly Church, calling for a successor to that head and thus the Papacy was established.
The names “Petros” and “Peter” are Greek and Latin translations of the Aramaic word “Cephas,” spoken by Jesus Christ. “Cephas” means “rock.”
However, this interpretation of events is challenged by non-Catholics. Some say it was Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus referred to. However, others propose that Jesus never called Peter rock at all but instead he was called “small stone”.
So basically, this whole pope business is predicated on Jesus calling some dude “Cephas” which meant rock and which translates into Peter. What’s the big deal about Peter?
In Roman Catholic theology, the doctrine of apostolic succesion states that Christ gave the full sacramental authority of the church to the Twelve Apostles in the sacrament of Holy Orders, making them the first bishops. By conferring the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders on the apostles, they were given the authority to confer the sacrament of Holy Orders on others, thus consecrating more bishops in a direct lineage that can trace its origin back to the Twelve Apostles and Christ himself. This direct succession of bishops from the apostles to the present day bishops is referred to as apostolic succession. The Roman Catholic Church also holds that within the College of Apostles, Peter was picked out for the unique role of leadership and to serve as the source of unity among the apostles, a role among the bishops and within the church inherited by thepope as Peter’s successor today.
Catholics are reaching a bit much.
Now, I’m not the kind of person who degrades the religions of others. I think folks should believe as they choose and worship as they so desire. By that same token, I believe as I choose and I choose not to believe that the pope is the messenger of God and that he is linked to one of the twelve disciples through a vote and a laying on of hands.
That’s all I have to say about that.