Is the Pope The Vicar Of Christ?

by Rick Jones

The Pope: Vicar of Christ

Is the pope the vicar (substitute) of Christ on the earth, wielding universal power over the whole church? If you believe the catechism, he is:

"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." Pg. 234, #882

"The Roman Pontiff... as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful..." Pg. 235, #891

While the Catholic church elevates the pope to the position of "supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful," God's Word reveals that someone else already fills that position:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..." John 16:13

Jesus promised that this infallible teacher would abide with us forever:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" John 14:16

The pope has clearly assumed a position reserved for the Holy Spirit of God. It is a position no man can fill:

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11

The Apostle Paul reiterates that the Holy Spirit of God, not a man, is the infallible teacher of all true Christians:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man' s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth..." 1 Corinthians 2:12-13


If the pope is Christ' s substitute on earth, there should be many similarities in their lives. Let' s see:

Should popes accept the worship of multitudes? Look how "Pope" Peter reacted when Cornelius tried to worship him:

"And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man." Acts 10:25-26

Pope: head of the church?

The Catechism claims that:

"The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" Pg. 246, #937

According to God's Word, the pope is not the head of the true church of Jesus Christ. That position is reserved exclusively for the Lord Jesus:

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church..." Ephesians 5:23

Concerning the pope' s title of "Holy Father," Jesus Himself instructed us to:

" no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Matthew 23:9

Yet, the pope not only accepts the title "Father," but "Holy Father" as well, a title reserved for God alone:

"Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy..." Revelation 15:4

It is not wise to assume a name reserved for God, for He will not share His glory with anyone:

"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another..." Isaiah 42:8

More Nagging Questions

Once again, Catholic doctrine and Scriptures could not disagree more. As a result, you must choose sides on each of the following questions:


Only you can answer these questions for yourself. And only you can decide which side you will believe - Catholic traditions of men... or God's Word?

"And ye are complete in him (Jesus), which is the head of all principality and power:" Colossians 2:10

"And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church..." Colossians 1:18