38 – Being Pope doesn’t mean being the most important in the Church; we are all equal. I am somewhat unaware.

The veneration of the faithful toward the Holy Father has been a constant trace of Catholicism. This is understandable, considering his dignity as Vicar of Christ on earth and successor of Peter, who ‘presides over the Church in charity,’ with the power to bind and loose received from the very Redeemer of humanity.

In our days, however, some within the flock prefer a rather strange relationship with their shepherd. One that is no longer based on the admiration, respect and devotion that his elevated figure should inspire, but rather on a rapport between equals such that the person of the Supreme Pontiff is rebased to that of a populist leader, simultaneously and paradoxically a type of spokesman and slave of today’s  masses. At first sight, one might think that this radical change of ‘image’ could not but involve profound alterations in some fundamental doctrines of our Holy Religion, for does this novelty have precedents in Christian tradition? Let us examine some elements of our history…


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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


I – Peter: The First among the Twelve
II – The Roman Pontiff:  Guide of the People of God

I – Peter: The First among the Twelve

Sacred Scripture

You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church
Simon called Peter, is the first of the twelve Apostles
Jesus appeared first to Kephas
Saint Paul went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas
Paul stood up and taught in the midst of the brothers
Peter raised his voice and proclaimed 'Listen to my words'

Saint Ambrose

The Pope alone is placed above all

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

To affirm that Christians are endowed with equal spiritual power is to disarrange the ecclesiastical hierarchy

Pius X

The Church is an unequal society, in which some preside over others


We must possess greater zeal than the others for the Christian religion

John Paul II

Saint Gregory the Great and consciousness of the dignity of the Papacy
The Bishop of Rome is more obliged than others to seek the good of the Universal Church

Sixtus V

The Pope bears the solicitude for all the Churches

Boniface I

No one dared to establish anyone above Peter

II Council of Lyons (Ecumenical XIV)

The Church of Rome received the fullness of power from the Lord

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)

The Councils and the sacred canons confirm the authority of the Apostolic See


The role of Peter, supreme head to whom all owe submission and obedience


Unrestricted power to bind and loose

Code of Canon Law

The Pope holds supreme, full, immediate and universal power

II – The Roman Pontiff: Guide of the God’s People

Nicholas I

Nothing and no one may alter the privileges conferred by Christ to Peter

Pius XII

Christ entrusted the visible government of the Mystical Body to the Chief of the Apostles

Boniface VIII

The authority of Peter is not human, but rather divine

Council of Ephesus (Ecumenical III)

Peter always lives and judges in his successors

Saint Basil the Great

Christ bestows on his servants that which is His

Boniface I

The government of the Church does not leave the Pope free from cares

Pius IX

Mission to guard the flock from poisoned pastures

Paul VI

The Church must draw inspiration from a deeper scrutiny of its own origin, nature, mission and destiny

Related studies

  • 152 – “The Catholic Church has acted again and again as a mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defense of life, human and civil rights”

  • 150 – “Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it”

  • 140 – “Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also taking into account her defects? All mothers have defects. The Church also has her defects”

  • 138 – “The Church is woman. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests”

  • 115 – The Council Fathers strongly perceived a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The time had come to proclaim the Gospel in a new way


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    5 thoughts on “38 – Being Pope doesn’t mean being the most important in the Church; we are all equal. I am somewhat unaware.

    1. Very solid in Doctrine and concise guidance from Doctors of the Church and former Popes occupying the chair of Peter. I pray that Pope Francis will release his infatuation of his own earthly desires and submit to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and Church Fathers who proceeded him! Liberation Theology has no place in the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Thanks so much for providing all the references that are “Rock” solid. St. Michael the Archangel, protect the Church and Her followers from the enemy . “Vade Retro Satana”.

    2. Lucifer too considered himself equal to God and thus began the great calamities of life… Where will this equality drag us to?

    3. Our poor Holy Father! One day he tells us he’s humble, next day he tells us The Lord has favoured him with the grace to be humble. As I read more and more of Pope Francis’ words I see the contrast in his language and thought process, with the perennial expression in word and thought of the Church (absent the last 50 years). Your site certainly shows this contrast. Thank you for doing all the ‘heavy lifting’ for us.

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