Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

No Pope here!

Reasons for opposing the papal visit to Scotland & England of Pope Benedict XVI

Primary grounds for objection

5. Spiritual. History is replete with the statements made by different Popes or else made by others about the Papacy. They were never shy in stating their claims. Rome might be a little embarrassed in modern times but these claims have never been denied or disowned. 

Cardinal Manning in a sermon in the Pro Cathedral, Kensington, and reported in the Tablet [weekly Catholic newspaper] Oct 9, 1864 said: [speaking the name of the Pope which was a rhetorical device]
I acknowledge no civil superior, I am the subject of no prince, and I claim more than this, I claim to be the supreme judge on earth and director of the consciences of men, I am the last supreme judge of what is right and wrong. 

The R.C. New York catechism stated: 
The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth…by divine right the Pope has supreme and full power in faith, in morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true vicar, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth

The Pope claims specific titles which belong alone to the persons of the Godhead. 

The Pope takes titles belonging to God the Father. 
[1] In past times the pope has styled himself as ‘our Lord God the Pope’. These words appear in Roman Canon Law: 
To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical. This feeds into the ancient idea that the Pope is God on earth

Pope Pius V [who excommunicated Elizabeth I] said: 
The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth. 

Pope Nicholas I declared that:
the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who, being God, cannot be judged by man. 

Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical ‘The reunion of Christendom’ declared that the Pope holds: 
upon this earth the place of God Almighty

[2] The Pope styles himself as ‘Holy Father. The title ‘Pope’ comes from the Greek and Latin word for 'father'. On the website detailing the itinerary of the visit this title is used for the pope: 
The Holy Father will then be based in London for the remainder of the visit

The Pope therefore usurps titles belonging to God the Father in the Scriptures, John 17:11:
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

The Pope takes titles belonging to God the Son
[1] He styles himself the ‘supreme pontiff of the universal church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church No 882 states: 
For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.

On a gate to the Vatican there is inscribed in Latin: Benedict XVI, Supreme Pontiff, in the year of Our Lord 2005, in the first year of his pontificate. The words ‘Supreme Pontiff’ in Latin are 'Pontifex Maximus'

This title means the Pope claims to rule over every church and over every Christian within every church without exception. He is not coming to Britain as head of the Roman Catholics. He comes claiming to the head of every professing Christian. 

Let me give you one example of the reach of this claim The Catholic Encyclopedia states the Pope: 
… has the right to interpret authentically the natural law. Thus, it is his to say what is lawful or unlawful in regard to social and family life. 

The Pope goes as far as to claim that he is the directer of men’s consciences. 

This title 'Pontifex Maximius' is a form of an old title that comes from pagan Rome. This title: Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. It was the most important position in the ancient Pagan Roman religion. 

[2] He styles himself as the way to God. An address made by the archbishops and bishops of Ireland to the pope in 1949 makes interesting reading: 
We the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland, prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, humbly offer you our warmest congratulations on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of your ordination to the priesthood… our thoughts go back to that great event fifty years ago by which your Holiness was taken from amongst men and appointed for men in the things that pertain to God, was made a minister of Christ and a dispenser of His mysteries, received power over the real and mystical body of our Saviour and became a mediator between God and man - another Christ. It is worth noting that these words are addressed to him as a Priest and not just as the pope. This is how Rome views every priest. Pope Pius IX said: I alone despite my unworthiness, am the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ; I alone have the mission to guide and direct the barque of Peter; I am the way, the Truth and the life

Pope Boniface VIII said: 
We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff

These titles are not Biblical. We reject the pope’s blasphemous claims. He is usurping titles of the second person of the Trinity. We proclaim Jesus Christ as the sole King and only Head of the Church, Eph 5:22,23; 5:23; Col 1:18. Jesus Christ alone is the way to God, John 14:6

The Pope takes titles belonging to God the Holy Spirit. 
He styles himself the ‘vicar of Christ’. The word ‘vicar’ means ‘instead of’. The Catechism of the Catholic Church No 882 & 937 state respectively: 
For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, … ; 
The pope enjoys by divine institution supreme, full, immediate and universal power in the care of souls.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states regarding this title: 
A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal primacy, both of honour and of jurisdiction, over the Church of Christ.… the title Vicar of Christ is more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from Him. 

The Catholic church elevates the Pope to the position of ‘supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful’. The Pope claims to be the representative of Christ on earth, to act in His place and with His authority. 

The Popes first claimed to be ‘the vicar of Cæsar’. Imperial Rome moved the Emperor’s seat of government from Rome to Constantinople. The Pope claimed to take his place. In the 5th century they claimed to be ‘the vicar of prince of the apostles’. In the 8th century they went still further and styled themselves the ‘vicar of Christ’; and that on the basis of a document that was a forgery. 

This title was one of the three which formed what was known as the ‘The triple tiara’. It consisted of three crowns symbolising the triple power of the Pope: father of kings [temporal power], governor of the world [universal jurisdiction] and Vicar of Christ [universal pastor]. 

It is interesting that the last three popes have not been crowned in this fashion. At the end of the second session of the Second Vatican Council in 1963, Pope Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St. Peter's Basilica and laid the tiara on the altar. He was supposedly renouncing his claims. Since then, none of his successors has worn a tiara. However Rome still claims that the Pope is the vicar of Christ. 

This is a title usurped from the Holy Spirit. He alone is the true vicar of Christ. To Him the care of souls has been entrusted by the second person of the Trinity. He has been sent in Christ’s name not the Pope, John 14:26; 15:26:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

A fitting conclusion is the quotation for the Westminster Confession of Faith: 
There is no other head of the Church, but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God. Chapter 25, section 6.

These blasphemous claims of the Pope must be resisted. They cannot be allowed to go by unchallenged. Let others remain silent if they must, it is the duty of Bible believers to speak out and say this is a denial of the Word of God. 

We therefore primarily protest against the Pope’s visit in fidelity to our God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Faithfulness to God requires that we speak out against this ‘blasphemous bachelor on the Tiber’ as W P Nicholson called many years ago. 

God has commissioned His people to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. We are not to stand by and let an idolator like Benedict XVI steal titles, and offices from God and apply them to himself. 

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