The Apostasy of the Roman Catholic church’s claim of Papal succession as the supreme head of the Catholic Church. The biblical Apostles were equals, the false doctrine of the Papacy is a Roman concept to gain power over the other Bishops in the church; there was no Pope in Apostolic times nor throughout the early Church:
St Peter is placed first in lists of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:1–4; Luke 6:13–16). He was often the spokesman for the group (Matthew 16:13–16), and he gave the first sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2). Peter, along with James the Just and John, was one of three pillars in the Jerusalem Church (Galatians 2:9). Peter, Paul and Barnabas made observations about doctrine at a conference in Jerusalem, but James, not Peter, chaired the conference and rendered the final decision (Acts 15). Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and Paul became the apostle to the Gentiles, but neither one is listed as above the other (Galatians 2:7). Paul even corrected Peter (Galatians 2:11–14). Peter refused homage when it was offered (Acts 10:25–26). The Bible reveals that Peter was a leader among the apostles, but he neither had nor claimed primacy over the others.
Roman Catholic sources acknowledge that the term “pope” was not used in the West “until the first half of the 5th century” (Short Biographies of All the Popes, Lozzi Roma, p. 2). As scholar Hans Küng states: “Catholic theologians concede that there is no reliable evidence that Peter was ever in charge of the church in Rome as supreme head or bishop” (The Catholic Church, Küng, p. 20). Professor Küng also mentions that “there could be no question of a legal primacy, or even of a pre-eminence based on the Bible, of the Roman community or even of the Bishop of Rome in the first centuries” (ibid., p. 49). The New Testament does not link Peter with Rome, and it mentions no successor to Peter. The apostles urged Christians to look to Jerusalem and the churches in Judea, not to Rome, as their models (Galatians 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 2:14).
At the Council of Nicaea in 325AD, records show that the Roman bishop, Sylvester I, did not attend and exercised no primacy when the date of Easter was set as a replacement for the biblical Passover, nor even when the trinity was adopted into the doctrines of the new Roman Catholic religion. The Council of Nicaea was called and presided over not by a Roman bishop, but by the Emperor Constantine I. As emperor, Constantine held the title of Pontifex Maximus (High Priest) in the pagan Roman religion, a title that Roman bishop Leo I would adopt a century later when arguing for the Petrine primacy over all other bishops. In 451 AD, however, the Council of Chalcedon rebuffed Leo, and decreed that the bishops of Rome and Constantinople had equal authority. By 1200 AD, Pope Innocent III was claiming to be the “Vicar of Christ,” (Latin: Vicarius Christi) and the Supreme Sovereign of the Church and the world (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 776). For about 600 years during the Middle Ages, Roman bishops pointed to the “Donation of Constantine” as evidence of their right to preside over all the other bishops, but the document was later proven to be a fraud (Kung, p. 50).
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