Placing Limits on the Pope’s Power

“only the Pope (or the Pope with an Ecumenical Council) has, as the Successor of Peter, the authority and the competence to say the last word on the ways to exercise his pastoral ministry in the universal Church” — Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF, writing in “The Primacy of the Successor of Peter in the Mystery of the Church”

You’ve probably seen articles saying something like: “The Pope cannot do this or that because it is beyond his power.” But, you see, the person who decides what a Pope can and cannot do, must be above the Pope in authority. So only God or Christ can have such a say over the Roman Pontiff. Anyone else who says, “No, the Pope can’t do this or that because his authority is limited”, is pretending to have more authority than the Pope. Who gave you the role to decide what a Pope can and cannot do?

And it is also patently ridiculous, because the person making this type of claim must have limits on their own authority, and yet they are speaking as if they themselves have no such limits. Persons who claim that such and such is beyond the authority of the Pope are typically persons who themselves speak and act as if they have a grand authority that is beyond what they actually possess. They judge Popes and Councils. They speak as if they have the role to decide what is and is not truth. They judge all things, and then rush to set limits on what the Pope can judge. Such arrogance.

The Pope’s authority is divine. Who gave you authority to set limits on what is divine?

What did Christ say on the power of the Popes? He said what Peter and his successors bind on earth is bound also in Heaven. So the Pope’s authority is the authority of Christ, and it is not so limited as people imagine or wish it was.

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3 Responses to Placing Limits on the Pope’s Power

  1. sircliges says:

    «Who gave you the role to decide what a Pope can and cannot do?»

    What if it’s not “me” to decide? What if I am simply stating again something that was told by Popes or Council from the past?

  2. Alex says:

    (Ron, could you include some topics or a separate column with updates on the current world events? We witness how Afghanistan falls within days to the Taliban with practically no resistance, and the world cannot do anything other than evacuate its own staff from the capital (Afghanistan is as big as France). New floods this time in Japan after the devastating floods in Northwest Europe. July hottest EVER month on record with multiple fires in Southern Europe, Middle East, and Siberia which smoke reaches the North Pole. The world is preparing for new deadlier Covid Delta crisis next month. We are on the brink.

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