The Roman Catholic Papacyby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Describe the onset of a few Roman Catholic doctrines and describe the modifications made by Papal authority and tradition.
The Roman Catholic Church believes that Jesus is the Son of God, they believe in the Trinity, the resurrection, baptism, and they believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Where, then, does the difference lie between the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches? Although there are many born-again Christians in the Catholic Church, there are also many who are deceived. The reason for this is that although the Roman Catholic Church was founded on strong Biblical principles, shifting winds of doctrine have entered the church and distorted the truth. Because the Roman Catholic Church relies so heavily on the leadership of the Pope, it has been lead astray many times by Popes who have desired personal gain over truth. The following paragraphs will examine a few of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church and explore why they disagree from the Protestant Church.
The main difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church is the royal hierarchy in the Catholicism, of which the Pope is the head as Christ's representative on earth.1 The Catholics claim that God called Peter to be the first Pope in Matthew 16:15-20. Thus, they believe that every Pope is "the rock upon which the church is built" and by holding "the keys of heaven and hell", the Pope serves as a mediator between God and the church. Protestants, on the other hand, believe in the priesthood of all believers and that Jesus is the only mediator between God and his saints.
The first Popes, contrary to popular belief, were not appointed as successors to Peter in a grand temple in Rome, but instead came to power through the dominance of Rome in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries.2 Because Rome dominated almost all of Europe in these centuries, the bishops of Rome began to demand more power and submission than the other bishops. This, however, was against the original convictions of the Christians that no supreme power besides Jesus Christ should be the head of their religion. In the sixth century the Bishop of Rome was titled the "Pope" and the emperor gave special power and prestige to the Pope. The Catholics then claimed that Peter was the first Pope, and that every Pope was Peter's appointed successor. However, the Bible mentions nothing about a special place in the church for the descendants of Peter. Through the years, the Papacy became corrupt, distorting the scriptures and persecuting those who endeavored to accurately interpret the scriptures. Catholicism began to follow the teaching of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, instead of the Word of God.
According to Richard Bennet, "the Scriptures...warned that from the midst of the brotherhood would arise a power that would attempt to destroy the Gospel and the simple brotherhood of believers. This was nowhere more graphically fulfilled than in the rise of the Office of the Papacy out of the church that had been established in Rome."3 Many Christians believe that the Papacy is responsible for the misunderstanding that many Catholics have of the true Gospel. Before the Protestant Reformation, the Papacy and the entire Roman Catholic Church were "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."4 They were so afraid that someone would try to interpret the Bible truthfully instead of the way that pleased them, that they burned people at the stake for translating the Bible into the common language.
Finally, in 1517, one man found the courage to face up to the power of the Pope and endeavored to bring the truth back to its proper place. This man's name was Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.5 Each one of his theses was an accusation against the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Those 95 Theses sparked what is known as the Protestant Reformation. Those leading the Reformation argued against the idea of papal infallibility. Papal infallibility was defined by the First Vatican Council in 1870 as "the dogma that the Pope, when he solemnly defines a matter of faith and moral, does not have the possibility of error."6 This declaration gave the Papacy freedom to develop the scriptures as it suited them and led to immorality and greed in the Papal line.
Through the centuries Roman Catholicism has suffered from the winds of that blow doctrine like shifting sand hiding God's truth. No matter how much these doctrines turn people away from God, He will not change. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) Human traditions can never equal the timeless Word of God.
1. What apostle do the Roman Catholics believe was appointed as the first Pope?
a. John the Baptist
Correct answer: b
2. Why did the Bishop of Rome demand more power than the other bishops?
a. Because he had more churches
b. Because he was better friends with the emperor
c. Because Rome dominated almost all of Europe
d. Because he was older
Correct answer: c
3. Where does the Bible say that Peter's descendants should rule the Church?
a. Matthew 16:15-20
b. John 20:1
c. Genesis 1:1
Correct answer: d
4. What was the object of Luther's 95 Theses?
a. To accuse the Catholic Church of its false teachings
b. To praise the Catholic Church for the wonderful job they were doing
c. To argue against racism in the church
d. To propose a war called the Protestant War.
Correct answer: a
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t2w05popechange.htm>
The above essay was donated to hyperhistory.net.
of inaccuracies or plagiarism.
Post a link to this essay,
a great essay
on your blog or website :
|Comparative Essays||Biographies||Doc. Based Questions||Change Over Time|