Quick Facts on Roman Catholicism


By Pastor Nick Bibile


Is there a difference between Catholic and Roman Catholic?

Yes. Many are not aware that there is a difference between Catholicism and Roman Catholicism.  According to Webster Encyclopedic dictionary the word Catholic means universal or general. In the beginning of the church there were no denominations but only one general church and was called Catholic not Roman Catholic.


Then how did Roman Catholicism begin?

The early church which was called Christian or Catholic was persecuted by the Roman Emperors. Christians were crucified, burnt alive and given to wild beasts to be eaten alive. Then there was a sudden change as Constantine the Roman emperor (A.D 313) granted liberty to all Christians as before Christians were persecuted and killed but now Constantine gave religious freedom to the people. He exempted Christian ministers from taxes and encourage to build churches. He moved his capitol to Byzantium and he called Constantinople, “New Rome.” Of the Empire.


Then Emperor Theodosius (A.S 378-398) made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire and made church membership compulsory. Here we see the beginning of Roman Catholicism.  All unconverted people attended church. We see the great apostasy of the church as the Roman Empire had conquered the church. The church became a political organization. Ministers became priests.


What is the meaning of Pope?

The word pope means Papa, Father. The Pope commands all to call him `Holy Father', and his priests feel insulted if persons do not address them as `Father'


Was Apostle Peter the First Pope?

Roman Catholic Church will list Peter as the first Pope but in truth for 500 years there were no Popes. It was first given to Gregory I by the wicked emperor Phocas, in the year 604. Gregory, however, refused the title, but his second successor, Boniface III (607) assumed the title, and it has been the designation of the bishops of Rome ever since.

Peter was not the first pope. According to the Roman Catholic Church the Pope is infallible, means he never makes mistakes. No one can rebuke the pope. However Apostle Paul rebuked Peter.

Ga 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Then Why Does the Roman Catholic Church List Apostle Peter as the First Pope?

The Church of Rome use the following scripture to prove their case. Let us read.

Mt 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Well, Doesn’t it Look Clear That the Church Built on Peter?

No. It does not. Peter in Greek is Petros it means a small rock or a stone.  Jesus in Matthew 16:18 said, Thou art Peter, meaning a small rock/stone. Then Jesus said upon this rock. Rock here in Greek is not Petros but Petra meaning a large rock and on that large rock he will build his church not on a stone.


Is there other holy scriptures in the Bible to say that Jesus is the Rock?

Yes.  Read the following.

1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Ps 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.


Is the Church Built on the Foundation of Christ Jesus?

Yes, Read the scripture.

1 Cor 3: 11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


Ok, now I understand from the Holy Bible the Church is not built of Peter but of Jesus Christ.  But what about Jesus telling Peter the following?

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 16: 19)


Can you answer?

Yes, certainly. The word keys are used as metaphorically as a key has to do with a door. Keys of the kingdom of heaven has to do with door of faith, the door for the gospel. It was first given to Peter and we see at the Pentecost how the Lord used Peter opening this door to the Jews in preaching the gospel (Acts 2:1) and then to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1) But it was not only given to Peter but to the rest of the apostles, a commission to preach the gospel to all nations, then to all the believers. It was not given to one man but to the church in unity. Only Jesus has the keys to hell and death.

Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Only Jesus has the authority to shut and open doors

Re 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Then what about when Jesus said, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Can you answer?

Here we see Jesus gave the church to exercise authority in reference to church discipline, this authority was not only to Peter but to the church. Compare Matthew 16:19 with the following scripture in context and you will see this has to do with Church discipline.

Mt 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  19 Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Did apostle Peter himself ever claim to be the Pope?

Peter said he was apostle and elder but not a pope.  Read the following Scripture.

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.


According to Roman Catholicism Pope is the Head of the Church. What does the Holy Bible say?

The word of God is very clear, it is not the Pope who is the head of the Church but Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

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


The Pope is called the Chief Shepherd, what does the Bible say?

The Bible is again clear that it is not the Pope who is the Chief Shepherd but Christ Jesus is the Chief Shepherd.

1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


Pope is called the Holy Father. Now I see that that the Bible is true, what does the Bible say?

Many are calling him Holy Father.  This is an abomination to God.  Jesus said, "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matt. 23:9) Here Jesus is not talking of our physical fathers but referring to a spiritual father, the only spiritual Father we have is God not the Pope.