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214. Is the Pope Jesus Christ Himself, as some would allege, or is he the representative of Jesus Christ?


There is a photo of Pius X being passed around with a false statement attributed to him.  In the caption Pius X is alleged to have said that "the Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh."   No Pope is Jesus Christ in the flesh.  There is only one Man-God and He is Jesus.  Popes are in fact representatives of Christ and there is the authority that Jesus gave His Apostles in general and to Peter specifically.   What is most telling about this quote is that it gives no Catholic source.  If they had a Catholic source for it they would be screaming it from the house top.  I did some looking around and found an article titled "The Pope claims to be God on earth" and Pius X was quoted in the article.  Apparently, they didn’t give the source for the quote because if the reader had checked it, he would realize that Pius X never said the Pope was Jesus Christ. 

Here is the actual quote where the detractors of the Catholic Church derive the mistaken notion that the Pope is God.   It is from a letter written by Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto (who became Pope Pius X in 1903);  "Dear Don Marino – I have read all the homilies I have made in anniversary of the election of the Holy Father, I said these exact words:  ‘The pope represents Jesus Christ himself, and therefore is a loving Father…’" Pius X claims that the Pope represents Jesus Christ and in no way claims that the Pope is Jesus Christ Himself.  They have misrepresented him and disagree, not with Pius X, but with their own misrepresentation of him.   

The Pope as Jesus Christ is anti-Catholic teaching not to be confused with actual Catholic teaching.  The Pope as a representative of Jesus Christ is the actual Catholic understanding.   The Pope representing the person of Jesus Christ is scriptural.  Jesus gave Peter the keys and the power to bind and loosen: "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.  WHATEVER you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and WHATEVER you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven" (Mt 16:19).  Peter was not the Christ, but when he was binding and loosing he was operating in the person of Christ. Notice that Jesus shared His authority with the Apostles; it was not "Jesus Alone" who had authority. 

As the father has sent me, so I send you (Jn 20:21). "Whoever listens to you listens to me, whoever rejects you rejects me, whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16, Matthew 10:40). If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Mt 18:17-18).  Notice that Jesus shared this authority; it was not JESUS ALONE who had authority.   

Jesus said to the Apostles, "As the father has sent me, so I send you (Jn 20:21). Whoever listens to you listens to me, whoever rejects you rejects me, whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16, Matthew 10:40).  And so to listen to the Apostles is listening to Jesus.  They were not the Christ but were operating in the person of Christ as His representatives.  This was the authority that Jesus gave to leaders in the Church. Of course the detractors of the Catholic Church actually reject this God given authority to the Apostles even though it is in the Bible.  These are just some of the Bible verses that they rarely if ever quote.  They will say that we do not to listen man; we pay attention to God alone.  And yet they are in rebellion to the very Bible they claim to believe when they ignore the authority Jesus gave to the Apostles. 

And so why do they oppose authority of the Church as manifested in bishops and popes?  It is because they promote a Protestant tradition called "Jesus Alone."  The "Jesus alone" assertion negates the authority that was handed to the church from Jesus, Peter and the Apostles.  However, once you realize that the Apostles represent Jesus Christ, then it is no longer "Jesus alone," but Jesus and the Apostles. 

If it was Jesus alone, then Jesus would not have given authority to the Church.   And so this begs the question; what do the adversaries of the Catholic Church do with all of these verses having to do with the authority of the Apostles?   They either try to explain them away when you bring them up, or ignore them entirely and turn to other verses in the Bible.   In effect, they have nullified some of the words of Jesus for the sake of their own man-made "Jesus ALONE" tradition.  .

Here is the actual photo of Pius X that is floating around the internet.  The words are alleged to be his, but the quote is a misrepresentation of his words.    

This blatant form of misrepresentation of the Catholic Church is actually a form of hatred.  The question is this; why do they hate so?   Do they hate for the sake of hatred or do they have some goal in mind.    Actually they do have a goal and it is twofold.   First of all, they want to get people out of the Catholic Church and into their churches using a negative sales approach.   And secondly they do not want to lose people from their churches to the Catholic Church.  They are somewhat successful initially, with Catholics who do not know their faith and history well.   However, this approach tends to backfire when people who have believed the misrepresentations realize that the information is not correct.  They pose for themselves the question “If the Catholic Church is so corrupt, then why do we have to misrepresent it in order to prove it wrong?” 

They research further and find themselves falling in love with the very Church they were taught to hate.  There are many testimonies of people, discovering the Church that Jesus founded in this way.   As for myself, I find the corrupt representation of the Church to be very offensive.  However, every time someone misrepresents the Catholic Church, this provides one more new opportunity to tell the truth about my Church.   We should not hate the detractors of the Catholic Church.  Jesus taught us to, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father…”  (Mt 5:44-45).  And in this we will find peace for our souls.