Throughout the centuries of Rome’s existence, the popes have regularly claimed to be divine. As the supposed successor of Peter, the Pope claims infallibility, the position of God on Earth, and ability to judge and excommunicate angels.
Cardinal Sarto, who became Pope Pius X, said this:
The Pope represents Jesus Christ Himself…i
This belief has so assimilated into society’s thinking that it is believed by many beyond Catholic circles. According to TIME, Pope John Paul II’s assassination attempt prompted a young Jewish man to say, “shooting the Pope—It’s like shooting God.”ii
Further Quotes from Vatican Documents show the Papacy’s belief in Papal Infallibility:
In 1512 Christopher Marcellus said this to Pope Julius II:
Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou hast given us, for thou art our shepherd, thou art our physician, thou art our governor, thou art our husbandman, thou art finally another God on earth (emphasis added).iii
Just recently, in 2004, Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland said this:
“It seems that Pope John Paul II now presides over the universal Church from his place upon Christ’s cross.iv
The Gloss of Extravagantes of Pope John XXII says this:
But to believe that our Lord God the Pope the establisher of said decretal, and of this, could not decree, as he did decree, should be accounted heretical (emphasis added).v
Words from the Popes themselves:
In 1302 Pope Boniface said this in a letter to the Catholic Church:
Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.vi
A coin of the Vatican state says this about Pope Pius VI:
Pius Sextus Pontifex Maximus.vii
Pope Leo XIII said these things about the role of the Papacy and the Roman Church:
Our thoughts went out towards the immense multitude of those who are strangers to the gladness that filled all Catholic hearts: some because they lie in absolute ignorance of the Gospel; others because they dissent from the Catholic belief, though they bear the name of Christians.
This thought has been, and is, a source of deep concern toUs; for it is impossible to think of such a large portion of mankind deviating, as it were, from the right path, as they move away from Us, and not experience a sentiment of innermost grief. But since We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty…viii
And more recently, Pope John Paul II wrote that names like “Holy Father” are applicable to the Pope, even though calling him that is counter to the Gospel:
Have no fear when people call me the “Vicar of Christ,” when they say to me “Holy Father,” or “Your Holiness,” or use titles similar to these, which seem even inimical to the Gospel.x
In 1996 he also gave his ascent to calling the Pope “Lord” and “Christ on earth”:
we readily understand the devotion of Saint Francis of Assisi for “the Lord Pope“,the daughterly outspokenness of Saint Catherine of Siena towards the one whom she called “sweet Christ on earth“, the apostolic obedience and the sentire cum Ecclesia of Saint Ignatius Loyola,and the joyful profession of faith made by Saint Teresa of Avila: “I am a daughter of the Church” (emphases added).xi
Many Compare the Pope with Jesus
The Papacy is not the only source of papal infallibility doctrine. Many Catholics and others use the titles of Christ to describe the Pope, as seen in the video below. This video is featured in the lecture That All May Be One by Professor Walter Veith. Purchase the DVD from the Amazing Discoveries™ webstore or view the lecture on Amazing Discoveries™ TV.
The Doctrine of Papal Infallibility is UnBiblical
It is clear that “the Popes have never reproved or rejected this title”xii of blasphemy and flattery, but the Bible does not support the belief of papal infallibility. It declares that “all of sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23). This includes the Pope. These boasts of the Papal State fulfill the Bible’s prediction of what the Antichrist power would do:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws…(Daniel 7:25).
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven (Revelation 13:5-6).
i. Cardinal Sarto, as quoted in Publications of the Catholic Truth Society Volume 29 (Catholic Truth Society: 1896): 11.
iii. Christopher Marcellus addressing Pope Julius II during the Fifth Lateran Council which began in 1512, as quoted in Alexander Hislop, The light of prophecy let in on the dark places of the papacy (London: William Whyte and Co., 1846): 91 and Letters between a Catholic and a Protestant on the doctrines of the Church of Rome originally published in Borrow’s Worcester Journal (Worcester Journal, 1827): 29. Find the original Latin version here
v. The Gloss of Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, Cum. Inter, title 14, chapter 4, “Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium”, Column 140 (Paris, 1685). In an Antwerp edition of the Extravagantes, the words, Dominum Deum Nostrum Papam (“Our Lord God the Pope”) can be found in column 153. View extracts here.
x. Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope (New York: Alfred A. Knoff. 1995): 6.