The Claims of the Pope – Part 6 – In Conclusion

In conclusion, let’s revised the claims of Pope Benedict XVI that non-Catholic Christians aren’t true churches:

“According to the Catholic doctrine, these Communities [the non-Catholic churches] do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense of the word.”

In this series of posts, we have established:

1. All believers in Jesus Christ are priests, and therefore the Catholic church does not hold a special and exclusive priesthood
2. Because of the lack of exclusive priesthood, the Catholic church does not have an exclusive method of performing the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper)
3. Believers are not saved by any work, including receiving the Eucharist in the way prescribed by the Catholic church
4. The Catholic priesthood does not have exclusive access to the gift of apostleship or apostolic authority

In examining these things, it can be clearly seen that the claim by the pope that the Catholic church is the only true church of Christ is fallacious and unbiblical. The church of Christ is made up off all those who have believed on his name and saved by his blood, death, resurrection and ascension.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Priesthood
Part 3 – The Eucharist
Part 4 – Saved By the Eucharist? Saved by Works?
Part 5 – Apostolic Succession

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5 Responses to The Claims of the Pope – Part 6 – In Conclusion

  1. Alexander says:

    Right on! Jesus certainly is the door! Catholics (and Pope)…Why confuse the issue?

  2. astudent says:

    Well said Krista,
    The only thing that I would add is the Pope is not the head of the Church.
    (Eph 1:22-23 NIV) And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
    That is Jesus and He is identified in verse 20. It is neither Peter, or the Pope.

  3. I think I need to add a Part 7 on this subject. It was definately in my train of thought on this subject, but got lost in transit. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Don says:

    Hello. I came across your blog. It is obvious that you love God and the Word of God. As we know from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    I think it important to understand that is a document for Catholics. I don’t think it should be a shock that the pope thinks that the Catholic Church is the true Church. Would you expect anything else? We would expect the same thing from an Orthodox Christian, a Mormon, Assemblies of God, etc.

    While I don’t expect everyone to agree with the Catholic Church it is important that the teachings of the Catholic Church are correctly presented. From reading these entries I suspect that you don’t have a full understanding of Catholicism.

    We agree that everyone shares in the priesthood. We all participate as priest, prophet, and king. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

    783 Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.
    784 On entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people’s unique, priestly vocation: “Christ the Lord, high priest taken from among men, has made this new people ‘a kingdom of priests to God, his Father.’ The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood.”

    In the Old Testament we can sea a parallel, the Israelites were considered a kingdom of priests, however the Levites were set apart as priests for the liturgical service.

    1539 The chosen people was constituted by God as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”[6] But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance.[7] A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are “appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”[8]

    The Catechism goes into this quite deeply. 1536 – 1600 are the main paragraphs. I would suggest you pick up a Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can buy it in the store, check it out from your local library, or even find it on line. It would help you in your understanding of Catholicism.

    Throughout your entries it is stated what is biblical and what isn’t. A good question would be is where did the Bible come from? Did it just fall from the sky? Who decided which books would be in the Bible (with the help of the Holy Spirit)?

    If all is needed is the Bible, how come there are thousands of denominations claiming to be use only the Bible but they all have different interpretations?

    Where in the Bible does it state the Bible is all we need?

    This is obviously a very important thing, and something that divides Christians, mostly Catholics and Protestants. Therefore it should be spelled out quite clearly and succinctly several times. The verse would have to be something like “All the teaching that is needed is found in the Scriptures and no where else”. Where are those verses or even that verse?

  5. Thank you for your comments. A couple of comments and thoughts in response:

    Firstly, I grew up in the Catholic church, and this was not nominally but actively. I have also done a great deal of study on the Catholic church, both before and after leaving. I do have a good understanding of the Catholic church.

    Secondly, I am not surprised at the words of the pope, I am merely correcting the error, as is the purpose of this blog. And I would not expect the same thing from any other Christian denomination, to claim to be the exclusive way to be saved (eg: Assemblies of God does not teach this way). Jesus is the only way to be saved. Period.

    Thirdly, thank you for bringing to light some things in the catechism. I will be sure to consult my copy as I continue to study the Catholic church

    Fourthly, I don’t agree with the catechism when it says we are all kings. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Likewise, I do not believe we are all prophets. The prophetic is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to some, but not all, just like any other gift. I also don’t agree with the Catholic understanding of baptism, but that’s another topic. I had to look up the passage where it says Israel is a kingdom of priests, but there it is in Exodus 19:6. I don’t agree with the Catholic understanding of holy orders, but I appreciate the observation.

    Fifthly for the question of Scripture. As you pointed out in the beginning of your comment, every word of Scripture is God breathed. There is a big difference between the inspired Word of God and the teachings of man. I don’t have time here to give a history of the canon of the New Testament, but I will make a note to do a series on this in the future. The Bible is very clear however that you cannot add to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19. See also Galatians 1:9-10).

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