top of page

How shall I answer questions about the pope?

Peter is entrusted with authority by Jesus. In answer to Jesus’ question, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  To this Jesus replied, “Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man, because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.  So I now say to you.  You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.  And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.  I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16: 13, 15-29.    Peter comes from the Greek which means “rock”. There are those who are intent on belittling the role of Peter and his successors in the Church and say that Jesus used an Aramaic word meaning “small stone.”  Apparently Calvin was the first one to propose this interpretation in the sixteenth century, in order to justify his separation from the Catholic Church.

Those who have studied the original text of the Bible tell us the exact word preserved for us is Cephas, meaning Rock/Peter and that there is no doubt at all of Jesus’ intention to make Peter the rock upon which Jesus would build His Church.

In Chantal Epie’s book, Page 31,  “The Scriptural Roots of Catholic Teaching” she says:  “When He promised to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the Lord was making him His representative, a promise that became effective after the resurrection, when Jesus solemnly appointed Peter shepherd of His flock.”  Epie also states, “Jesus entrusted to Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles with him, the power to teach.”  Scripture say this; “Jesus came up and spoke to them.  He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.  And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” Matthew 28:18-20.

Under the guidance of Peter, the Apostles handed on the faith through the teaching office of the church (The Magisterium).  CCC 86 states, “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant.  It teaches only what has been handed on to it.  At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully.  Jesus said to His apostles, “Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.”  Luke 10:16.

The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation . . . CCC 88


Jesus said to his apostles, “As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.”  John 20:21.  In this same way, the Apostles handed on the mission given to them by carefully appointing successors to shepherd the Church.​

bottom of page