POPES AND MORE POPES
Who is the Pope? Roman Catholics when asked, who is the head of their church, will respond: the pope of Rome of course, perhaps surprised that you even asked for this is common knowledge. Recently during the event of the present pope’s tour and mission to the U. S., it was brought to my attention that some Orthodox priests had spoken of the pope quite favorably, as though he is one of us, even though he openly believes and declares that we are inferior and he is superior. Priests and bishops who speak well of him are setting fire to their own homes, for the pope’s existence is anti-Orthodox and the pope is an enemy of Orthodoxy and its bishops and priests. He does not seek to change but to dominate Orthodoxy, the true Church. Since they left the Church, their plans are to swallow up and destroy Orthodoxy by bringing it into the papal kingdom
The papacy has no resemblance to the church which Christ built when He sent His Apostles to preach the Gospel to all the nations. He did not send Peter as chief over all the other Apostles, for He established the apostles with equal authority, and sent them all, not just Peter, to go forth and proclaim the Gospel, baptizing believers in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The papacy claims that all bishops in the world, including the Orthodox, are inferior to the pope. They claim is that he is the single bishop who directs the world following direct orders from God. Further they claim that he is the sole representative of God and that the pope and papacy are the only source of divine truth, divine doctrine and divine grace!
The following facts describe who the pope of Rome really is and what he represents. He is not the vicar of Christ which is impossible. Impossible, because a vicar represents someone who is absent, and Christ is not absent for He promised to be “with us to the close of the age”. The Roman church defines the pope and papacy with preposterous claims that are just clever lies which come from the father of lies. So why admire and exalt a man whose source of authority is falsehood? Or what claim to fame can a liar possess?
Papal doctrine drastically opposes the doctrine and teaching of Christ and His Church with the claim of the pope to be the infallible head of the papacy. Orthodox clergy who admire the pope and the papacy may be unaware of our One Holy Orthodox doctrine. If they still admire him after becoming aware through truth, they embrace foolishness and become betrayers of our holy faith. Those who recognize the pope as being a legitimate bishop immediately betray holy Orthodoxy and all of its members who constitute the Church.
The pope is unashamed to proudly proclaim that full, supreme and universal authority over the whole church lies in him alone and that no other bishop has such supreme God-given authority. Their claims to be successors of Peter, and his authority remain as claims. They base their authority on Peter but Peter had absolutely no authority over any other apostle for Christ made them all equal. Christ himself even told Peter that certain things were none of his business, and Christ established that Peter had no authority over John the Evangelist. Holy Scripture says: “just follow me.” Here is the full quote: “Then Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them . . . When Peter saw him (John the beloved), Peter said to Jesus, and what shall this man do? Jesus said unto him, If I will that he stays here until I return, what is that to? You follow me . . .” (John 21:20-23).
Again, think of the impossibility concerning Peter when he was in Antioch, Syria deep in the East, how could he lay down rules that he applied on the other side of the world in the West, establishing who were to be His successors, that is the popes of Rome. And how did Peter choose Rome and not Antioch where He was preaching, and where they were first called Christians.
The truth is that the papacy while claiming their “church” to be the true church, became the main cause of the arousing of confused and confounded Protestantism, which completely twists the meaning of the Church changing peoples idea as to the true meaning of the Gospel of Christ, which is to believe in Jesus Christ as head of the Church which is His body, as St Paul writes; and to keep all His commandments. The papacy, being a single false Christianity spawned an additional myriad of false churches, all teaching different things and deceiving gullible people, many of whom end up as disbelievers. Among these Protestant groups are Unitarians and Universalists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Evangelists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Reformed, Adventists, Old Catholics. etc.
The popes in their past centuries have always proven to be the bitter enemy of Orthodoxy but never their friends. The papacy seeks to dominate the entire Christian world. The Orthodox leaders who greet and embrace the Pope as a brother in Christ have already betrayed the Orthodox Church and succumbed to the enemy. Popes do not really seek union although they talk about it. But union to the papacy always means “under the domination of the infallible pope of Rome”. What does the pope demand of the Orthodox? They say, Keep all that you have, just commemorate the name of me, the pope. Such a commemoration would deny Orthodoxy and those who do commemorate will completely surrender in betrayal their Orthodox Faith.
Orthodox Christian must be single minded, believing in our sacred Creed that we alone are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We must not deviate from sound doctrine and the commandments of Christ listed in the last paragraph.
“Cursed is everyone that does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10). Again: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). Also: “Whosoever therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven . . . For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:19-20).