Was Paul a Catholic? Peter may have been the first Pope?

Galatians 2:14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all You are a Jew yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew , How is it it then that your force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

Only the Roman Pontiff is rightly called universal; the Pope can be judged by no one; no one can be regarded as a catholic who does not agree with the Roman church; the Roman Church has never erred and never will err till the end of time; the Roman Church was founded by Christ alone; the Pope alone can depose and restore bishops; he alone can make new laws, set up new bishoprics, and divide old ones; he alone can translate bishops to another see; he alone can call general councils and authorize canon law; he alone can revise his own judgments; his sentence cannot be repealed by anyone and he alone can review the judgments of all; he alone can use the imperial insignia; he can depose emperors; he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to impious rulers; the Pope is the only man to whom all princes bend the knee; all princes should kiss his feet; his legates, even those in inferior orders, have precedence over all bishops; an appeal to the papal court inhibits judgment by all inferior courts; a duly ordained pope is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter."

- Pope Gregory VII

Catholics claim peter was ther first pope. Catholics claim the pope is infalliable when it comes to doctrine. But we see Paul correcting Peter from the begining. How can that be?

Update 2:

Omnie read vs 14 you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

Sounds like teaching to me.

Update 3:

Omnie read vs 14 you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

Sounds like teaching to me.

Update 4:

Omnie read vs 14 you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

Sounds like teaching to me.

Update 5:

I didnt mean to submit the last message 3 times, sorry

Update 6:

Max all i did was quote the pope, maybe he or you need better understanding. And his quote is clear.

Update 7:

Spider man the process is the Cathlic Church makes comments that are false then back tracks trying to correct them.

This is just one example

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You make a lot of assumptions about the Pope that the Catholic Church never has. Paul was rebuking Peter about his actions and not about doctrine.

    Here is what Pope Benedict XVI said (on October 1, 2008) about Paul's rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:14:

    The second episode is the well known incident in Antioch, Syria, that attests to the inner freedom Paul enjoyed: how should one behave when eating with believers of both Jewish and Gentile origin? Here the other epicentre of Mosaic observance emerges: the distinction between clean and unclean foods which deeply separated practising Jews from Gentiles. At the outset Cephas, Peter, shared meals with both; but with the arrival of certain Christians associated with James, "the Lord's brother" (Gal 1: 19), Peter began to avoid contact with Gentiles at table in order not to shock those who were continuing to observe the laws governing the cleanliness of food and his decision was shared by Barnabas. This decision profoundly divided the Christians who had come from circumcision and the Christians who came from paganism. This behaviour, that was a real threat to the unity and freedom of the Church, provoked a passionate reaction in Paul who even accused Peter and the others of hypocrisy: "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" (Gal 2: 14). In fact, the thought of Paul on the one hand, and of Peter and Barnabas on the other, were different: for the latter the separation from the Gentiles was a way to safeguard and not to shock believers who came from Judaism; on the contrary, for Paul it constituted the danger of a misunderstanding of the universal salvation in Christ, offered both to Gentiles and Jews. If justification is only achieved by virtue of faith in Christ, of conformity with him, regardless of any effect of the Law, what is the point of continuing to observe the cleanliness of foods at shared meals? In all likelihood the approaches of Peter and Paul were different: the former did not want to lose the Jews who had adhered to the Gospel, and the latter did not want to diminish the saving value of Christ's death for all believers.

    It is strange to say but in writing to the Christians of Rome a few years later (in about the middle of the 50s a.D.), Paul was to find himself facing a similar situation and asked the strong not to eat unclean foods in order not to lose or scandalize the weak: "it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble" (Rm 14: 21). The incident at Antioch thus proved to be as much of a lesson for Peter as it was for Paul. Only sincere dialogue, open to the truth of the Gospel, could guide the Church on her journey: "For the kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rm 14: 17). It is a lesson that we too must learn: with the different charisms entrusted to Peter and to Paul, let us all allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, seeking to live in the freedom that is guided by faith in Christ and expressed in service to the brethren. It is essential to be conformed ever more closely to Christ. In this way one becomes really free, in this way the Law's deepest core is expressed within us: love for God and neighbour. Let us pray the Lord that he will teach us to share his sentiments, to learn from him true freedom and the evangelical love that embraces every human being.


    With love in Christ.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm afraid you misunderstand the doctrine of papal infallibility. The Pope is only infallible when he speaks "ex cathedra," or from the Chair of Peter (i.e., on behalf of the entire Church.) Those occasions are very rare and always deal with matters of faith, doctrine, and morals which impact the entire Church. And if you'll notice, that is exactly what Pope Gregory VII is referring to: things that will affect the Church's overall functions.

    Otherwise, the Pope is just as capable of making bad decisions and sinning as anyone else. Paul isn't the only person who's ever rebuked a Pope and called his behavior into question: the history of the Church is full of incidents where someone has spoken up when a pope has done something wrong.

    So the fact that Paul corrected Peter doesn't mean that Peter wasn't the first Leader/Pope of the Catholic Church. It just means that Peter had made a mistake and was willing to accept Paul's correction in all humility and love, just as all popes are expected to behave.

    Finally, remember to read things in the context of the era in which they were written. I'm not familiar with the passage you quoted, but it's very possible that it was written in a time when the office of the Pope was being threatened by politics, internal and/or external to the Church. If that was the case, then Pope Gregory is warning potential apostates that the authority of the Pope is not to be taken lightly.

    Source(s): Catholic convert
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, Peter was the first Pope, he was the leader of the Apostles and the early Church until he was executed in Rome.

    Peter was the Bishop of Rome and preached to the Jews. If you read the Acts of the Apostles you will find Peter had a very hard time preaching to non-Jews because he had been told by Jesus to look first to the lost sheep. But if you read about his dream in the Acts of the Apostles you will see why he needed to go see Cornelius and his family. He had to learn that this mission was going further than just the Jewish nation.

    Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus he was told to preach to the Gentiles he learned what he must do and did so. He went to Jerusalem to have a council with Peter and the Apostles on how to handle the situation regarding circumcision. Paul wrote many letters if he had sent words that were not true about Christ I am sure Peter would have chastised him severely but this was not the case.

    The only time the Pope speaks infallibly are on matters of faith and morals that are important dogmas of the Church the last time a Pope spoke 'ex cathedra' was Pope Pius XII on November 11, 1950 in the case of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The Pope represents Christ here on earth he has counsels of cardinals and archbishops who advise him on many things.

    The title Pope was used in 642. The authority comes from the words of Jesus in Matthew:

    Matt.16:18-19: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven

    This office has never been unbroken since Peter, the Church has safeguarded not only the words of the gospels but all the Traditions that were passed on by the Apostles to the Early Church Fathers.

  • 1 decade ago

    Praise Be To God the Almighty for your insight!

    You are so right in questioning the origins of the Roman Catholic church's doctrine.

    I would love to know where in the Scriptures does it say that the Roman church's Pope is the successor to Peter?

    And . . .

    Where in the Scriptures does it tell us that Peter was a Pope.

    The Roman church and her Pope and her doctrine are false and not of the Almighty or His Son in any way.

    If you are not following Scripture to the fullest then you are not following the correct path to the Almighty.

    The Christ followed them and spoke many times in reference to them, as did His Apostles. Yet the Roman church teaches that the Scriptures are not to be taken literally and that they are Not her church's only guide.

    She proves herself to be false in her non-biblical teachings;

    Easter, Xmas, crosses, bowing to images and a mere man, praying to the dead-mainly Mary and dead Saints, confessing to a priest, calling a mere man 'Father', placing steeples (obelisks) on churches, the sacraments, doctrine of men, symbolism, female deity worship, changing the Holy 7th day Sabbath, altering the Holy Word, and so on and so on.

    Now, I ask you how can any of this be of the Almighty?

    The only doctrine that the Pope is infallible to is the Roman church's false doctrine.

    Infallible means; "Incapable of erring", now how can a church and her Pope who teach contrary to the Holy Word of God the Almighty and His Christ be Not in error?

    Be Blessed:-)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The doctrine has to be spoken from the Chair of Peter for it's consideration under the infallability commandment...what was Peter's final word on the doctrine you are proposing? You do realize that Popes also consult others, especially councils, before claiming the final word on a doctrine, right?

    Your argument is so ill-thoughtout....it reflects a mentality that tries to stick the world into a single moment, instead of recognizing it is a process that continues to this day...

    EDIT: Perhaps, but not in this case...the doctrine explaining infallability didn't come about until the late 1800s (First Vatican Council, began on Dec 8, 1869) by Pius IX (the longest running Pope) as a reaction to the growing threat of liberalism and nationalism in Italy....even at the time, many Catholics were angered at the declaration, because they understood that it was an attempt to react to Napoleonic-like changes throughtout Europe...the whole "syllabus of errors" was a special doctrine that arose out of the historical climate of change - to which the Popes of that era wanted to turn the clock back to 1789 - prior to the French Revolution. It was reactionary and heavy-handed, but outside of the Marian doctrines, what doctrines spoken from the Chair of Peter would any Protestant sect disagree with?

    ...and as a side note, even in your own cut-and-paste quote we find "he alone can call general councils and authorize canon law; he alone can revise his own judgments"...how is this not applicable to the very Bible event you reference. I stand by my earlier statement - your argument is ill-thoughout, and you have a very limited understanding of historical context...

  • 5 years ago

    Neither, the Church treats them as equally important, that is why they share a feast day on 29 June. The individual feasts (Chair of St. Peter, Conversion of St. Paul) celebrate certain facts about their lives that make them so important. & despite what the 1 person said, it was Jesus who founded the Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Peter’s actions had to do with matters of discipline, not with issues of faith or morals.

    Furthermore, the problem was Peter’s actions, not his teaching. Paul acknowledged that Peter very well knew the correct teaching (Gal. 2:12–13). The problem was that he wasn’t living up to his own teaching. Thus, in this instance, Peter was not doing any teaching; much less was he solemnly defining a matter of faith or morals.

    Peter did have some kind of infallibility—he wrote two infallible epistles of the New Testament while under protection against writing error. So, if his behavior at Antioch was not incompatible with this kind of infallibility, neither is bad behavior contrary to papal infallibility in general.

    Response to: "Omnie read vs 14 you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

    Sounds like teaching to me."

    Force??? Paul rebuked Peter since this action could be misunderstood as implying that Jews should not sit at table with Gentiles and that the Mosaic Law is binding. Peter knew that keeping the Mosaic Law was not necessary, and Paul reminded him of this fact (2:15-16). Peter's understanding of the gospel was correct. The problem was with his behavior, not his teaching, nor did Paul's rebuke impugn Peter's authority. It is precisely because Peter is so important-because he is the chief apostle-that he provides such a useful illustration for Paul's exposition of the gospel's supreme importance.

    Response #3: @ Spiderman "the Cathlic Church makes comments that are false then back tracks trying to correct them. This is just one example"

    You have made abundantly clear your position, misunderstanding, and disdain for the Catholic Church. The Catholics here responded to you in charity, however it has become quite obvious that you did not pose a question to obtain information. You posed a question to mock Catholics.

    "There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics "adore statues;" because they "put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;" because they "say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;" because the Pope "is a Fascist;" because the Church "is the defender of Capitalism." If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

    If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because he called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. ... the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many miss its obviousness..." Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

  • 1 decade ago

    As a Catholic, I'm going to ask that, if you're going to make such statements then please have a better understanding of what you're talking about.

    The pope isn't a "roman" pontif. When a priest becomes pope he becomes universal. Pope of both the Eastern and Wester branches of the church. Part of the papal robes signify this.

    "THE" church is not Roman. It is simply Catholic. The Roman (aka Latin) rite is but one of over 21 rites under the umbrella of the Catholic Church.

    One holy CATHOLIC and apostolic church.

    not one holy roman catholic and apostolic church.

    The Catechism of the CATHOLIC church.

    not the catechism of the roman catholic church.

    You might want to look into that.

    Papal infallibility does not mean the pope is never wrong. You yourself seem to understand it is a matter of doctrine alone. As a matter of fact, if memory serves, papal infallibility has only been invoked three times since the dogma itself was proclaimed.

  • 1 decade ago

    During the time when Peter and Paul were alive, James, John and Peter were the leaders of the church. Paul was not Catholic. Peter was not the first Pope. (He even had a wife.)

    The term, Roman Catholic Church did not exist until after the Great Schism of 1054 C.E. It was then that the Church was divided into Eastern Rite (Orthodox) and Latin Rite (Roman Catholic) churches.

    Followers of the teachings of Jesus were first called "Christians" in

    44 C.E. in the church at Antioch, founded by Paul. (Acts 11)

    Source(s): Galatians 2:9 (Paul writes concerning his trip to Jerusalem) "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."
  • 1 decade ago

    For about 1000 years there was one HOLY ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH.

    The Bishop of Rome was always the first among equals, but never above the others.

    The infallibility of the Papacy was one of a few reasons for a Schism to develop in the Church. Since the Schism the Bishop of Rome ie: the Pope has led the Roman Catholic Church.

    A Quote:

    "Through the dogma of "Infallibility" the Western church lost its spiritual freedom. It lost its beauty and balance, and was deprived of the wealth of the grace of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ- from spirit and soul ended up a dead body. We are truly grieved for the injustice done to the church and we pray from the bottom of our hearts that the Holy Spirit illumine the mind and the heart of the Most Blessed Pontiff to have him return to the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH that which he took from her, something that should never have taken place." St. Nektarios of Aegina

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