The catholic church believes that the pope is the vicar (substitute) of Christ on the earth and that he has universal power over the entire church. That is what the 1994 Catholic Catechism 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.” Pg. 234, #882
“The Roman Pontiff… as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful…” Pg. 235, #891
What does the Word say? The Word says that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He will bring all things to remembrance for us. He will guide us into all truth. 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. John 14:26 and Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth John 16:13 . Christ even said that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever and that He is the only One that knows the things of God and reveals them to man. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 and For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11.
If the pope is Christ’ s substitute on earth, then this would be backed up by Scripture somewhere. Instead, we find contradictions to that belief. Everyone bows down to the pope and kisses his ring or bows at his feet. The supposed “first pope” (to the catholics) was Peter. What did Peter do when Cornelius bowed down to him to worship him? And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. Acts 10:25-26 If Peter considered himself just a man, then why wouldn’t today’s popes? Why would the popes of today allow such a thing? Is it because Peter was humble? Then why isn’t today’s pope humble? Again, church tradition has allowed this and yet Peter physically pulled Cornelius up and rebuked him saying he (Peter) was also just a man. Not only was Peter saying he was a man but a man like Cornelius – no difference – no higher echelon, no greater degree, etc.
The Catechism also states that:
“The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” Pg. 246, #937
The Bible says, For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church Ephesians 5:23. The catholic church also calls the pople Holy Father. But Jesus said, call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 23:9 Also, Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy” Revelation 15:4 Only God is holy – only the Heavenly Father should be called Father. God would not give His name to another when His Word emphatically says He wouldn’t. I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another… Isaiah 42:8
If the position of pope was so important, why didn’t Jesus state it in the Word? To base an entire religion on this very concept would most certainly warrant a place in the New Testament where Christ began His church. And ye are complete in him (Jesus), which is the head of all principality and power: Colossians 2:10 and And he is the head of the body, the church… Colossians 1:18. This spoke of Jesus, not Peter.
My goodness, my friend, so many Scriptures refute the church doctrine of headship lying with the pope! How can traditions and majesteriums conflict with the Word of God? Who decides that it’s OK? The pope? Ouch! I would certainly prefer to err on the side of caution and use God’s Word than to depend on a man’s and find myself lacking at the judgment seat of Christ!