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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

195: PAPAL SUPREMACY

Because of recent events, I want to share a few things.

A few weeks ago I had a conversion with my neighbor about religion. He is Greek Orthodox. I asked him to explain how his faith differs from Roman Catholicism. He basically said that it all comes down to the fact that they don’t believe in papal supremacy. Basically, he said that he doesn’t believe that the Pope speaks with God, whereas the Catholics do. My neighbor did say that the Pope probably means well and is likely a wonderful man. 

Papal supremacy refers to the doctrine that the Pope, by reason of his office, is the earthly representative of God and holds all keys for the entire Christian Church. He has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered. In brief, "the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls.”

My neighbor and I share some common religious beliefs, since I don't believe in papal supremacy as well. 

A religion that believes in papal supremacy, would likely teach and sing songs like “Follow the Pope, follow the Pope.. don’t go astray. Follow the Pope, follow the Pope, he knows the way.” In their religious services, they would frequently speak about their love of their Pope, there would be stories told about him, illustrated books of his talks would be published, biographies would be written about his life. He would be called a Beloved Pope. Faithful members would have to sustain him as the only one who holds and can exercise all keys. People would hang on their walls pictures of the Pope, along with quotes like “When the Pope speaks, the thinking has been done”. It would be frowned upon to question the infallibility of the Pope. All of this would be required for continued growth and dominance of the Church. The Catholic church leadership would safeguard and maintain this orthodoxy of faith by bringing its members into compliance with this doctrine and its leaders or they are cast out. 

References in well known LDS books have linked the Roman Catholic church to the Great and Abominable church, and the Whore of Babylon. I wonder if the doctrine of papal supremacy is one of the main reasons. Any time we set up a man to be a mediator between us and God is abominable. While the Lord sends true messengers to preach and point His children to Him, the Lord employs no servant to come between us and the Lord.

I recently heard a quote attributed to Hugh Nibley, “Do not serve men who require your obedience, your adulation. Only one is worthy of disciples, and that is the Savior.”

True messengers sent to us from the Father will say things like.. Follow the Savior, follow the Savior. They would speak about their love of the Lord. They would not tolerate any attention towards themselves. They would say, forget about me, don’t write biographies about my life, I am not important. In fact, I am a fool. Look to the Lord, and His scriptures. In fact, please open up your scriptures in Sacrament Meeting. Read them and learn more about the prophecies. Stop hoping that someone “presiding” is going to lift you to heaven. No one can do that. There is only One who matters. When you focus on some man as a leader, you are an idolater. Put an end to your idolatry and look to Christ. The heavens are open. Connect with Him. Stop looking around – look up.

However, when these true messengers say such things they are usually mocked, labeled as apostate, and cast out and exed.