Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 4.
“…neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalts himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
2 Thessalonians 2:2-9
The wording here in the Confession affronts our modern sensibilities. Sure, the Pope doesn’t believe the Gospel, and sure his influence is worldwide, but to call him that antichrist? It seems to be a bit much. After all, the pope doesn’t hurt anyone, does he?
For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 883.)
In asking such questions about the character of the Pope, we fail to remember that Roman Catholicism, despite all that it has in common with Christianity, is antithetical to Christianity. The Pope is the infallible ruler of that religion. As vicar, the Pope is considered the earthly representative of Jesus Himself. Remembering that Jesus is God, how does that line up with Scripture?
I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8).
Jesus is the head of the Church. He alone has universal and supreme power over His Church.
We are quick to condemn those charlatans within evangelicalism who entice people with a false Gospel. Yet those “evangelical” wolves are just a drop in a bucket compared to the ocean of influence and power the Pope has had for millennia. The spiritual damage inflicted is immense. The Confession’s wording is not too strong.
Questions to Consider
- What is your view of the Pope? Who should be the supreme ruler of the Church?