Wednesday, September 17, 2008
CATHOLICISM AND AUTHORITY
The beauty of the Catholic Church is her authority. The pope and the magisterium protect the Christian from falling into error. It is clear that Peter had a place of primacy when one reads the gospels. He is the one that Jesus renamed from Simon to Peter. He is truly the rock. His confession in Matthew 16 is more than a confession of faith. Some of our separated brothers and sisters fail to read the relevant passages as a whole. It is Simon (soon to be Peter) that correctly answers the question of Jesus' true identity. After his identification Jesus confers the power of the keys. The promise of the keys is given to Peter alone, to no one else. The pope as the apostolic successor of Peter has those keys today. The notion of apostolic succession is not an invention of the Church. We see apostolic succession clearly demonstrated in Acts 1, 15-26. The reason we Catholics are so excited at times when in the presence of the pope is not because of him but because of who he is. He is the apostolic successor of Peter.