I wrote these series of articles (see menu sidebar to the left) as a Catholic for Catholics, but I no longer accept Catholic teaching as the authoritative source of truth.I have not attempted to align these articles with my current views.

There is a passage in the Bible used by Catholics to support their view of the papacy.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 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. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [rock], and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 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. (Matthew 16:15-19)

Observations:

Peter openly acknowledged that Jesus was (1) the Messiah, and (2) the Son of God — this at a time when others were saying he was something else. This confession is foundational to Christianity. The defense of these two facts were central in the early development of Christianity. (Many heretical groups appeared which denied these two facts.)

The church is founded on these two facts and Peter boldly proclaimed these two facts. (Acts 2:36; 3:13,15; 4:10-12; 5:31; 10:16). God gave Peter a vision which provided the divine evidence that the early Christians were to allow Gentiles to join the church.

Jesus built his church on Peter and his unwavering confession of who Christ was.

As Americans we commonly say our nation was built on the founding fathers. If they had not decided to revolt against the British and to form a new nation there would be no America. (I am not here addressing the topic of whether or not this revolt was morally justified: I have my doubts.) Now America is based on the laws and principles established by these founders.

It is like this with the church. Peter was the leader of the apostles and likely kept them from adopting strange views about Christ (in the early church there were plenty of people with strange views about Christ).

I don't accept the Catholic view of the papacy; that Jesus intended the bishop of Rome to be the head of the church, or that the church was to be a hierarchical institution at all.