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[ this file's actual name is :]
http:///what-would-Jesus-think.info/
about/VicarsvsChrist.htm

Have the "Supreme Pontiffs"
enhanced, or obstructed
our view of Jesus of Nazareth ?

Have they been his vicars
(i.e. representatives)?
or his rivals?

THIS  is what Jesus Christ Himself taught : THIS  is what his supposed to be "Vicars" a Pope have taught :
{According to Matthew 16: 17-19 }

"God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah," Jesus said, "for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you–this is not from any human source.  You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!"

That sounds very impressive, doesn't it?  But Catholics all seem to be following instructions by their priests or nuns to slam their bibles shut after reading those three verses, so as not to see anything else that Jesus said (unless it has been screened by the hierarchy).  How many Catholics have read the very next verses (which are recorded in two Gospels, while the former, supposedly all important ones are only reported in one of the four Gospels) :

{According to Matthew 16: 20-23 & Mark 8:33 : )

Then he warned the disciples against telling others that he was the Messiah.  From then on Jesus began to speak plainly to his disciples about going to Jerusalem, and what would happen to him there – that he would suffer at the hands of the Jewish leaders, that he would be killed, and that three days later he would be raised to life again.  But Peter took him aside to remonstrate with him.  "Heaven forbid, sir," he said.  "This is not going to happen to you!"  Jesus turned on Peter and said,  "Get behind me, Satan.  You are an obstacle in my path, for the way you think is not God's way but man's."

How can anyone imagine that Jesus planned to make a man whom he considered unfit enough to be called "Satan", and all of his successors – many of whom he knew would be infinitely worse than Peter – the guides of every generation of his followers that would come after him?

{According to Matthew, Ch. 23:}

"At that time, Jesus addressed the crowds and His disciples, saying : 'The scribes and the Pharisees speak with the authority of Moses, so you must do what they tell you and follow their instructions.  But don't make the mistake of imitating their lives!  For, they preach but do not practice.  They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other men's shoulders – yet they themselves will not so much as raise a finger to move them.  Their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect.  They increase the size of their prayer books and lengthen the tassels of their robes; they love seats of honor at public functions and front places and to have men call them 'rabbi' or 'teacher'.  As for yourselves, don't you ever be called 'rabbi'  – you only have one teacher, and all of you are brother of one another.  And don't call any human being 'father'  – for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  And you must not let people call you 'leaders'  – for you have only one leader, the Anointed One (Christ).  The only 'superior' among you is the one who serves the others.  For, every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion.
    But alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play actors (hypocrites) that you are!  You lock the doors of the kingdom of Heaven in men's faces.  You will not go inside yourselves, and neither will you allow others to enter."
"You know that among the pagans, rulers lord it over their subjects and their great men make their authority felt.  This is not to happen among you.  No, anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the son of man came, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

{According to Mark 10:17-18 }

"As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."

{According to Matthew 20: 25–28)

" If anyone wishes to be first, he must make himself the last, and the servant of the rest. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave;  just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,"

{According to John 13: 3–17 }

Jesus . . .  got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. . . 
    After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.  If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them."

the papal succession

When promoters of the papacy remind us that current popes trace their ancestry all the way back to Peter, are they aware of John the Baptist's response to those who bragged about being "children of Abraham"?   {According to Luke 3: 7–9}

"John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him,  "You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

can a billion members be wrong?

Another reason that Catholics think that God is on their side is their billion number membership.  But would they be so persuaded, if they knew and believed these words of Jesus?

{ according to Matthew 7:13–17}

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.  For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?  In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit."

what's all the secrecy about?

{ according to John 3:19 – 21, Jesus said: }

"And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.  But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

"Don't mess with my words"

        The very last book of the Bible, Revelation ends with these words (Ch. 22: 13-21) :

" I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. . . It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. . . I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.  If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.  The one who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.  Amen."

Those who were instructed to be humble servants have tortured and executed as "heretics" those who over the centuries objected to their demanding that those who wanted to follow Christ call them "Supreme Pontiffs", "Holy Fathers", and "Vicars of Christ", who can't be wrong when teaching "ex cathedra", and who have governed the church throughout the world like emperors from their throne in their imperial "Vatican City".  From this imperial court they rule with an iron hand through their the "Roman Curia", which has codified the church's rules and regulations ("Canon Law"), and functions as the church's "Supreme Court", under the "Supreme Pontiff".

    For centuries, the people of the various local communities, or "dioceses" elected their own leaders, or "bishops".  But the Bishop of Rome has since irradicated just about every trace of democracy from the church and personally chooses the man to rule every diocese in the world and every last one of them is answerable to no man, but one.

"All power tends to corrupt;
absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Lord Acton, one of the England's greatest
Catholic thinkers, speaking about
church power, in an 1887 letter
to Bishop Mandell Creighton.



Pope Gregory VII (1073-85) :
"The pope cannot make a mistake."

Paschal II: (1099-1118)
"Whoever does not agree with the Apostolic See is without doubt a heretic."

Pope Innocent IV (1243-54):
described himself as "the bodily presence of Christ."( presumably by a kind of transubstantiation at his election)

Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) :
"Every human being must do as the pope tells him."

Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903):
"We hold upon this earth
the place of God Almighty."
( Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894 )

More examples of
authoritarianism in defiance of
Jesus' teaching and example
:

  1. Pope Paul III creates the Inquisition in 1542., the first Roman Congregation of what was to evolve into today's "Vatican Curia"
  2. The Council of Trent declares "Tradition" (the teaching of the "fathers", popes and councils) equal in authority to the bible - 1545.
  3. The Council of Trent adds the apocryphal books to the bible - 1546.
  4. Pope Gregory XVI condemns "freedom of conscience" as "a mad opinion" (1831-46).
  5. The temporal authority of the pope over all rulers is officially reaffirmed - 1864.
  6. The First Vatican Council ratifies, as the truth of God, Pope Pius X's "Syllabus of Errors" (which condemned and repudiated : freedom of religion, speech, press, and all scientific discoveries that have not been approved by the church - 1864.
  7. The First Vatican Council proclaims the absolute infallibility of the pope in all matters of a faith and morals - 1869-70.
  8. Not content to ignore Jesus' command to avoid the most modest of titles of honor, like "father" & "teacher", the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church competed with the royal courts of the past in the use of extravagant titles like "Your Holiness", "Your Eminence", "Your Excellency" and "Monseignor" and continue to use them and to wear impressive garb, even now that the rulers of the world wear common business suits and generally avoid titles of honor. [ see EpiscopalExtravagance.html ]



While some of what Catholics have been taught in their schools and from their pulpits comes from the Bible, a great many of the doctrines which they believe and the practices which they engage in are unique inventions of the Catholic Church which their authorities attribute to what they call "tradition".  Rather than being based on anything that God or Jesus are said to have taught in the Holy Scriptures, these teachings and practices are based on newer revelations and/or insights that churchmen supposedly received directly from God after the Bible was completed and published.




Unfortunately, through many centuries, when the church spoke of Christ and the Bible in its rituals, it has insisted on using Latin, a dead language which few priests, let alone lay people, really understood.  Yet, when it spoke of its own dubious Roman inventions, it always spoke in the vernacular.  Far from telling people these doctrines were their own inventions, popes have often insisted that as "Vicars of Christ", what they taught was "the Gospel of Jesus Christ".  Here are many examples of such doctrines and practices:

  1. 215 A.D. - First mention of infant baptism.
  2. 300 A.D.(circa) - Prayers for the dead.
  3. 300 A.D.- Making the sign of the cross .
  4. 320 A.D.- Wax Candles.
  5. 312 A.D.- Emperor Constantine converted (more or less).
  6. 321 A.D.- Constantine declared Sunday (rather than the biblical sabbath) a civil holiday (Holy Day).
  7. 325 A.D.- Council of Nicea, under Constantine's direction, adopts "Creed" and recognizes episcopacy.
  8. 375 A.D.- Veneration of angels and dead saints.
  9. 375 A.D.- The use of images. (Despite the third commandment "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them."
  10. 394 A.D.- The Mass as a daily celebration.
  11. 394 A.D.- Council of Carthage: canonization of Scripture.
  12. 405 A.D.- Latin Vulgate Bible by Jerome.
  13. 407 A.D.- Edict of Innocent I: Compulsory infant baptism.
  14. 431 A.D.- The beginning of the exaltation of Mary.  The title "Mother of God" originated with the Council of Ephesus.
  15. 500 A.D.- Priests begin to dress differently than laymen. .
  16. 526 A.D.- Extreme Unction formalized.
  17. 529 A.D.- First monastic order begun by Benedict of Nursia.
  18. 593 A.D.- The doctrine of purgatory is established by Pope Gregory I.
  19. 600 A.D.- The use of Latin language in prayer and worship made official.
  20. 600 A.D.- Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and to angels.
  21. (540-604) - Pope Gregory the Great says that sex for married couple was all right provided they did not 'befoul their intercourse with pleasure' (Pastoral Rule 3.27).
  22. 607 A.D.- Title of "Pope" (Bishop of the universe) given to Boniface III by the Emperor Phocas.
  23. 680 A.D.- Pope Honorius declared a heretic by Third Council of Constantinople.
  24. 709 A.D.- Kissing the pope's foot begins with Pope Constantine.
  25. 750 A.D.- Temporal power of the popes is conferred by Pepin, King of the Franks.
  26. 786 A.D.- Worship of the cross, images and relics is now officially authorized.
  27. 850 A.D.- Holy Water (mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by a priest) comes into use. .
  28. 890 A.D.- The worship of Joseph as a saint.
  29. 927 A.D.- College of Cardinals established (for election of popes).
  30. 965 A.D.- Baptism of bells instituted by Pope John XIII.
  31. 995 A.D.- The canonization of dead saints is first done by Pope John XV.
  32. 998 A.D.- Fasting on Fridays and during Lent begins.
  33. 1050 - The mass has gradually developed into a sacrifice and attendance is now obligatory.
  34. 1079 - A.D. The celibacy of the priesthood is required by Pope Gregory II.
  35. 1090 - A.D. The rosary, a mechanical praying with beads, invented by Peter the Hermit
    (and then made popular by St. Dominic in 1208 AD).
  36. 11th century - A.D. "Sacred Heart of Jesus"
  37. 1184 - A.D. The Inquisition, in operation for centuries, is now made official by Council of Verona.
  38. 1190 - A.D. The sale of indulgences begins..
  39. 1215 - A.D. Doctrine of transubstantiation is proclaimed by Pope Innocent III as the power to bring down God out of heaven into a wafer and a cup.
  40. 1215 - A.D. Auricular confession of sins to a priest is instituted by Pope Innocent III and required annually in the Lateran council.  .
  41. 1220 - A.D. The adoration of the wafer (host) is decreed by Pope Honorius III.
  42. 1229 - A.D. Laymen are officially forbidden to have, or read, the Bible - by the Council of Valencia.
  43. 1251 - A.D. Protection by a piece of cloth, the scapular is invented by Simon Stock, a British monk.
  44. 1414 - A.D. Laymen are forbidden to drink the cup at communion, by order of the Council of Constance.
  45. 1439 - A.D. Purgatory is proclaimed as a dogma by Council of Florence.
  46. 1439 - A.D. Doctrine of seven sacraments is affirmed on pain of mortal sin.
    [ These seven key "sacraments" make the Catholic laity dependent on the clergy at every important moment of their life.]
  47. 1504 - A.D. The sale of indulgences (by Tetzel) begins.
  48. 1506 - A.D. Rebuilding of St. Peter with money from indulgence business begins.
  49. 1507 - A.D. Cult of holy house of Loretto, transported from Holy Land by angels recognized by Pope Julius II.
  50. 1508 - A.D. The first half of the "Ave Maria" prayer is made official.
  51. 1593 - A.D. The other half of the "Ave Maria" is required of the faithful by Pope Sixtus V .
  52. 1534 - A.D. The Jesuit Order is founded by Ignatius Loyola;
  53. 1534 - A.D. Luther publishes his bible in German & Calvin publishes his Institutes.
  54. 1542 - A.D. Pope Paul III creates the Inquisition, the first Roman Congregation of the bureacracy now known as the Vatican Curia.
  55. 1545 - A.D. The Council of Trent declares "Tradition" (the teaching of the "fathers", popes and councils) equal in authority with the bible.
  56. 1546 - A.D. The Council of Trent adds the apocryphal books to the bible.
  57. 1559 - A.D. Pope Paul IV initiates the " "Index of Forbidden Books"".
  58. 1565 - A.D. Following the Council of Trent "the creed of Pope Pius IV" is imposed as the official creed of the church.
  59. 1831-46 : Pope Gregory XVI condemns "freedom of conscience" as "a mad opinion".
  60. 1854 - A.D. The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is proclaimed by Pope Pius IX.
  61. 1864 - A.D. The First Vatican Council ratifies, as the truth of God, Pope Pius X's "Syllabus of Errors" (which condemned and repudiated : freedom of religion, speech, press, and all scientific discoveries that have not been approved by the church) .
  62. 1864 - A.D. The temporal authority of the pope over all rulers is officially reaffirmed.
  63. 1869-70 - A.D. The First Vatican Council proclaims the absolute infallibility of the pope in all matters of a faith and morals .
  64. 1907 - A.D. Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical letters Lamentabili and Pascendi against "Modernism".
  65. 1930 - A.D. "Public schools" (i.e.  non-sectarian) are condemned by Pope Pius XI (as opposed to church-run schools subsidized by the state, on the basis of taxes imposed on the public).
  66. Throughout World War II, while Hitler's government subsidized Catholic and Lutheran churches and schools, those churches avoided any clear condemnation of the Nazi attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish population of Europe.
  67. 1939-1958 - A.D. Controversial Pope Pius XII
  68. 1933 - A.D. Pius XII signs "Concordat" with Hitler.
  69. in 1939 - A.D. when Eugenio Pacelli became Pope, rather than publish the Encyclical Letter,Humani Generis Unitas {The Unity of the Human Race} in which Pope Pius XI explicitly condemned the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews, he buried it in the Vatican archives.
  70. Neither during Adolf Hitler's rise to power or any time since, has his Nazi bible, "Mein Kampf", ever been added to the "Index of Forbidden Books".
  71. Neither Hitler nor any of the many, many other Roman Catholic Nazi leaders were ever excommunicated.   [ See the_RCC-Nazi-leadership_1.htm ]
  72. 1950 - A.D. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (ascension of her body into heaven shortly after her death) is proclaimed as official infallible dogma by Pope Pius XII.
  73. 1963-1978 : Birth Control issue removed from the competence of the General Council of the Church by Pope Paul VI )
  74. 1965 - A.D. Mary is proclaimed to be "the Mother of God", by Pope Paul VI.
  75. 1966 - A.D. The "Index of Forbidden Books" discontinued by Pope Paul VI.
  76. 1978-2003 - A.D. Pope John Paul II does away with sensible precautions against hasty canonizations and canonizes more "saints" than all of his predecessors combined!

"The best of popes",
" the worst of popes" !

In order to believe that Jesus intended to make the successors of St. Peter his personal rrepresentatives ( or "Vicars") on earth, one must not only believe that about the best of those successors, but about the very worst of them as well. In order to see what that actually means, turn now to

PopesvsChrist.html

Worship not justified

in or by the Bible :

  1. "Christ the King"
  2. The Infant (Prince) of Prague
  3. Mary's "Queenship"
  4. Mary as "Mediatrix of all grace"
  5. Shrines of all kinds
  6. "Patron Saints" with power in specialized areas
 

Beliefs

in or by the Bible:

  1. Crucial role of the Pope, and through him of all clergy
  2. requiring celibacy for priests
  3. reserving the priesthood (and most positions of honor or power) for men only
  4. the duties of wives to their husbands
  5. pressuring non-Catholics to "convert" in order to marry Catholics
  6. pressuring the non-Catholic parent to raise his or her children as marry Catholics
  7. strict ban on marriage after divorce (except for those influential enough to get special treatment, such as "annulment")
  8. burial of Catholics in Catholics-only cemeteries
  9. the cataloguing of Mortal vs.  Venial Sins
    Identifying the following, for example, as "Mortal Sins": masturbation, missing mass on Sundays or other "days of oblcgation", birth control, embrionic cell research , suicide, even for the hopelessly ill, and any number of other transgressions of the church's regulations.
  10. St. Alphonsus de Ligouri expressed the belief of many Roman Catholics about Jesus' mother, Mary :
            "As to her power. Cosmas of Jerusalem has called the intercession of our Queen not only powerful, but omnipotent.  And Richard of St. Laurence has written:  " From the omnipotent Son the Mother was made omnipotent."  The Son is omnipotent by nature, the Mother of grace, inasmuch as she obtains from God whatsoever she asks." (Of Dignity and Duties of the Priest, - page 414)

Throughout the ages and throughout the world where the popes and bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church have repeatedly demonstrated that when it comes to "moral relativism", they are world-class champions. And if you were to ask Jesus what he thinks of this church, Do YOU think any of the following proves the moral superiority of the Roman Catholic Church?

ActionvsWords
  1. The immoral Catholicism of Fascist Italy
  2. The immoral Catholicism of Fascist Spain
  3. The immoral Catholicism of Fascist Germany
  4. The immoral Catholicism of Fascist Croatia
  5. The Roman Catholic Church, "Mother of Dictators"
  6. The contrast between Christ & "the Vicar of Christ"
  7. Century upon century of R. C. church's arrogance
  8. The Church's barbaric treatment of "heretics"
  9. The Church's barbaric treatment of the Jews
  10. The Church's barbaric treatment of "Savages"
  11. The Church's barbaric treatment of "Slaves"
  12. What has made "The Church" so barbaric?
  13. One the R. C. church's least significant scandals,
    the sexual abuse of its children by its priests and bishops.

Take it from Stephen;
there is much more where
this came from, at my
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