Is being subject to Pope’s authority Papolatry?

Some Pope accusers claim that being always faithful to the Pope is being a “Papolater”. This implies that whoever is obedient to Christ by being obedient to our visible Head, the Vicar of Christ, is a Pope-worshiper.

Notice that this claim is very similar to the claim made by many Protestants against faithful Catholics, they accuse faithful Catholics of being idolaters because of praying to the Saints (this, of course, is asking the Saints’ intercession), honoring relics of Saints, having images of Saints, praying the Rosary, etc. It is because behind these accusations there is the same spirit whispering. But no, it is not from the Holy Spirit, it is a different spirit for the Holy Spirit draws no one to commit the sin of calumny (such as saying that anyone who listens to the successor of Peter is an idolater, or the like). Only God is the Judge of persons’ souls (1 Samuel 16:7) (Romans 2:16) (CCC # 1861).  So this accusation cannot possibly be of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle St. John warned us:

[1 John]
{4:1} Most beloved, do not be willing to believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are of God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

{4:5} They are of the world. Therefore, they speak about the world, and the world listens to them.
{4:6} We are of God. Whoever knows God, listens to us. Whoever is not of God, does not listen to us. In this way, we know the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.

The very Word of God (manifested in Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium) teaches us to be obedient to the Pope and to the Body of Bishops in communion with the Pope.

Our Blessed Mother told us: “to do whatever He [Jesus] tell us” (John 2:5).

What does Jesus tell us?

{15:14} You are my friends, if you do what I instruct you.

I want to be a friend of Jesus, what does He instruct us? Jesus instructs the ones He has sent to teach:

{10:16} Whoever hears you, hears me. And whoever despises you, despises me. And whoever despises me, despises him who sent me.”

If we don’t hear to the ones that He has sent, we don’t hear God and are not His friends.

{10:14} And whoever has neither received you, nor listened to your words, departing from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

Why would Jesus teach this bold statement that whoever listens to His Apostles and disciples, listens to Him? – it is because He knows that His Church is built on the Rock (Matthew 16:17-19), not on sand able to crumble. Jesus knows that His Church is indefectible, not able to lead the faithful away from the path of salvation.

{10:40} Whoever receives you, receives me. And whoever receives me, receives him who sent me.

On Matthew 10:40, the Fourth Council of Constantinople – 869 to 870 A.D teaches:

“We believe that the saying of the Lord that Christ addressed to his holy apostles and disciples, Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever despises you despises me, was also addressed to all who were likewise made supreme pontiffs and chief pastors in succession to them in the catholic church. Therefore we declare that no secular powers should treat with disrespect any of those who hold the office of patriarch or seek to move them from their high positions, but rather they should esteem them as worthy of all honour and reverence. This applies in the first place to the most holy pope of old Rome,…” – (canon 21).

This is a life-long continuous teaching of the Church:

“The Church’s Magisterium is the authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition” (CCC # 1008).

“The Father’s self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: “God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church – and through her in the world – leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness.”” – (CCC # 79).

“The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”47 [47 Dei Verbum 10# 2.] This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” – (CCC # 85).

The Catechism of Saint Pius X teaches:

53. Why is the Roman Pontiff the Visible Head of the Church?

A.The Roman Pontiff is the Visible Head of the Church because he visibly governs her with the authority of Jesus Christ Himself, who is her invisible Head.

Notice that the Pope governs the Church with the authority of Christ Himself! – are we going to be disobedient to Christ by being disobedient to the Pope? – far from us to commit such grave sin.

Furthermore, if the Pope were defectible, meaning that he would be able to fall into grave errors to the extent of leading the faithful away from the path of salvation, then the Church would also be defectible having a rotten visible head. But the Church is indefectible (Lumen Gentium # 39, n1) because the Pope has the gift of truth and never-failing faith (Vatican I) (Luke 22:31-32). These are dogmatic teachings of the Church.

The Church confirms with Her authority that: “Where Peter is, there is the Church” – (In Hac Tanta).

62. How should every Catholic act towards the Pope?

A.Every Catholic must acknowledge the Pope as Father, Pastor, and Universal Teacher, and be united with him in mind and heart.

So if we do what the Magisterium teaches, are we idolaters? – Of course not, that is a false accusation in order to try to justify their disobedience to God though His visible ministers.

Having a limited faithful dissent with the non-infallible teachings of the Pope, or with his decisions of the prudential order is fine as long as those limited disagreements are truly based on Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. But, in any case, we must always be bound under the Pope’s authority because he holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, not us, and this is God’s teaching.

Also, this is not a matter of just “believing in Christ”, for even the devils believe in Christ (Matthew 8:28-29) (Luke 4:33-35) and they burn in Hell. This is a matter of believing to Christ, obeying what He teaches, this is a true belief in union with the Holy Spirit. “… I will show you my faith by means of works.” – (James 2:18).

{6:46} But why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?

If you do not do what Jesus says stop calling Him “Lord” for your lord is your own thinking.

{15:7} Hypocrites! How well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
{15:8} ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

{7:21} Not all who say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does the will of my Father, who is in heaven, the same shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

{14:24} Whoever does not love me, does not keep not my words. And the word that you have heard is not of me, but it is of the Father who sent me.

Those people who listen to their own hearts and intellect above the Magisterium should question themselves if they are the ones who are idolaters of their own thinking. For they think that they can interpret the Word of God better than the Magisterium that Jesus has left us for our instruction.

The early Christians were subject to the Apostles:

{2:42} Now they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communion of the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.

Are we going to accuse those early Christians of being “Apostle-laters” or having “Apostle-latria” because they were under the doctrine of the Apostles? – Of course not. They were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles because they knew that obeying them was obeying God’s instructions.

“We are all invited to trust in the Holy Spirit, to trust in Christ, by trusting in Peter.” – [The Primacy of the Successor of Peter in the Mystery of the Church # 15].

-Francisco Figueroa.

Recommended post: The Roman Pontiff: Immunity from Error and Never-failing Faith


This entry was posted in commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Is being subject to Pope’s authority Papolatry?

  1. dom64verona88chrysostomos says:

    O, mes très chers amis,
    Voir un peu est déjà quelque chose, et cela ne permet pas de juger! Nous serons nous-mêmes jugés sur nos propres jugements! Sinon, nous ôtons le libre-arbitre de notre prochain, quel qu’il soit, et cela est très grave! Ne pas faire le mal pour faire du bien! Le non-agir, l’immolation doivent suffire. La prière et la confiance inébranlable à la Divine Providence du Sacré-Coeur! Ne pas nous permettre même de penser sur autrui, ni sur nous-mêmes. Cela deviendrait peccamineux.

    Très humblement vôtre,

    Le pauvre pécheur que je sais être.

  2. Alex says:

    Those people want their antichrist. The different approach of pope Francis makes it the perfect candidate for them. No amount of reasoning will change their mind. While at the same time, at least the people I know from the so called latin mass communities, are pretty much money lovers and have unrestricted sexual instincts, yet inside the family. To produce a dozen of kids is their right and obligation…what is the difference with animals who have pretty much the same obligation? if the kids will be thrown under the bus at 18, and even while in the family the mother and father wouldn’t have even 5-10 min a day for each of them? Is that the model of Christian family that rejects abortion and contraception but also that must have LOVE first and foremost? That kind of family turns into an army unit. So is the apostate church community led by fanatic priests who turn their backs even during their obligatory normal masses and absolve the wrongdoings of the Inquisition in absurd homilies.

    Helping the poor? immigrants? That is all from the book of the “communist pope and liberation theology”. The law of the strongest and successful person who fights to get everything in life, not based on qualities but based on gains and struggles, that is no different from the law of the jungle, reigns in their hearts, in their families and in the apostate church communities they form. The more vulnerable ones should simply disappear somehow. Because, God has blessed only them and the ones like them, even if not righteous catholics like them. No problem with presbyterian and mormon, as long as they preach the same doctrine. The strongest of the day determines everything. Even holds the finger of God.

    What is different then from obeying the antichrist, when he finally arrives? I see no difference. In the name of their own created rules as if coming from God. Love and mercy are thrown in exchange of the service to the letter that kills (ref. Paul).

    I am going to project that further. The leaders of that dangerous cult, the few cardinals we all know by name, are the best candidates to fulfill the destiny of the false prophet if he is to appear in our days.

Comments are closed.