Charlie's Blog: The Vicar of Christ


The Vicar of Christ

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

It is rare to get two Protestants to agree on anything. This hit me as I was going down a country road and saw a Baptist church and right beside it was another Baptist church. Protestants schism and fight among themselves such that denominations number in the thousands. It is so bad that many churches remove these denominational signifiers in favor of " Such-and-such Community Church" or "Willow Creek Oak Tree Something Woodsy Church." Or, they opt for something even less like just plain "Elevation" or "Vizion" with a "Z" or some other vague but empowering word. The biggest denomination today is "non-denominational." All of these tricks are to hide the many and various differences that afflict these separated brothers and sisters. But there is one thing that unites them all including uniting them with the separated believers of the Orthodox churches. They all deny the authority of the pope, and they all despise the Roman Catholic Church.

This realization came to me while trying to have a civil but ultimately contentious conversation with a Protestant friend of mine. We discussed various doctrines, but they all ended up swirling towards the drain of the authority of the Pope. I told him about Matthew 16:18-19 and the authority given to Peter and his successors. I told him that the Pope was the Vicar of Christ. His face contorted in disgust, and he said through clenched teeth, "I will never become a Roman Catholic." At that point, I realized the conversation was done. I shook the dust from my clothes, got in my vehicle, and left. I have not spoken to him again.

Why do Protestants hate the Pope? The reason is obvious though no one has the audacity to say it. But I do. They hate the Vicar of Christ because they hate Christ Himself. Let that slam into your gut for a bit. Now, let me share the words of Christ in John 15:18, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you." Now, not all Protestants realize that the Holy Father is the actual Vicar of Christ but have been fed lies and falsehoods believing the pope is the antichrist. I can understand that hatred. This was what I was taught and what I believed for virtually my entire life. But once the reality is known and established, to hate the pope and his authority is to hate the authority of Christ Himself.

St. Peter was the first pope. He was the guy Christ left in charge. Protestants will try and fail to argue that the words of Christ in Matthew 16:18-19 are based upon Peter's declaration of faith in Christ. This declaration is the "rock" that the Church is built on. This is utterly absurd. If this is the case, why does Jesus go on to talk about keys and the kingdom of Heaven? Why did all of the Christians recognize Peter and his successors as the final authority in the Church?

The pope is Christ's vicar on earth. The reason people reject this fact is because they wish to be their own popes deciding what is orthodox and binding upon them in matters of faith and morals. Recently, I had a conversation with a non-denominational Protestant, and he tried to argue for his heretical viewpoints based upon having some kind of special knowledge direct from the Almighty. I pointed out to him that he was not the pope. I also pointed out all those other denominations and believers who were united with him in the same belief in their own authority but all coming to differing conclusions. I just don't think Christ would be or could be the author of the mass confusion that is Protestantism.

Christ gave us a pope. He did not leave us fatherless orphans in this world. Those who know the pope as the Vicar of Christ and still reject him reject Christ Himself. This is strong stuff, but you can see what happens to all those who reject the pope. They are left with disarray and confusion. Father Robert Barron likes to use the baseball analogy of the pope as umpire. Without an umpire, the game of baseball would be utter chaos. The church is the same way. Those in communion with the pope have a father who keeps them in line. Those out of the communion with the pope behave as bastard offspring not knowing a father. They decide what is right and wrong, and it shows. And they also wish to forget who the Holy Father is which is why their knowledge of church history is virtually zilch. But all Christians have a father. They should do themselves a favor and come home to the Roman Catholic Church.