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The Pope

Holy Father...

Successor of St. Peter...

Bishop of Rome...

His Holiness...

The Pontiff...

Shepherd of the Universal Church...

The Pope...

And On This Rock

St. Peter was the foundation that Christ used to build His Church.  Of the Apostles, He seems to have called on St. Peter to lead the Church.  With every new generation, this has been passed on.  Each generation appoints a new leader.  In the Catholic tradition, this man is the Pope.

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

Can you imagine being St. Peter?  To be honest, I felt that creating this website to share my faith was a daunting task.  Can you imagine Christ telling you that He is going to use you as the foundation to build His Church?  Peter was facing quite a challenge.

St. Peter was not destined to live forever, not on Earth anyway.  And, when the time had come, the torch was passed to a new leader.  For generations, the torch has been passed to a man deserving of the position.  By no means is this an easy decision.  The College of Cardinals, a group of wise and devout Catholic leaders, spend a great deal of time to carefully select the new Vicar of Christ.  To be selected as the next Pontiff, one has to be a man of incredible faith, indeed, to fill the shoes of St. Peter.

Unity

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), it is said that the purpose of the Pope, along with Holy Orders, is to bring unity to the Church (CCC 815 & 816).  Through his bishops, the Pope has leaders in every part of the world.  This has been the secret to success for the Catholic Church.  There is one unified church.  There is one unified message.  There is one unified group of believers.

For years as a non-denominational Christian, I felt like I did not belong.  I went to church after church in the search of a place to call home.  Even with the inspiring messages and fantastic music, I did not feel at home.  Through all of my searching, it was the Catholic Church that led me home.  Although I was skeptical at first, I was able to take comfort in the unity of the Church.  I am finally home.

Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven

One of the pillars of the Catholic faith is the tradition that it is built on.  Much of this tradition is built on the teachings of the Popes, past and present.  This contrasts sola scriptura, as taught by many Protestant churches.  Sola scriptura is the belief in the Bible alone.  Protestants believe that the Bible alone is the source of our faith.  Catholics, on the other hand, go beyond scripture to include tradition.  This is one of the great debates between Catholics and non-Catholics.

Growing up in a Protestant home, I was raised in the traditions of sola scriptura.  I have always questioned what authority the Catholic Church had in its traditions.  I questioned how the Pope could dictate those traditions.  But, right there in the scriptures that I held so dear, the answer was calling out.  In the passage from Matthew 16, Christ Himself dictates that St. Peter is given this power.  Peter is told that what he binds on earth will be bound in heaven.  As the successor of St. Peter, Catholics believe the Pope has been given the same keys to heaven.

May God Bless our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI!

 

 

Topics of Faith

Enrich your faithWaking Up Catholic covers many of the topics that are central to the faith... and often central to debate.

Wake Up!

Where do you stand?Going through RCIA?  Cradle Catholic?  New to the faith?  Wherever you may be, we can help.

Bible Verses

Grow through the Scriptures On a daily basis, come back to find the latest Catholic Bible Verses. Study the Bible each weekday with our Daily Catholic Bible Verses.

Prayers

Communicate with the Lord to grow closer to God, we must learn to communicate with Him, and one way is through these common Catholic prayers.  Try these classic prayers... Learn more