Love of the Holy Father
After the Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our ‘third white love’, to which the Virgin of Revelation referred to on the 12th April 1947, is the Holy Father. It is the third fundamental column of the Catholic Faith, and without it no-one can truly refer to themselves as Catholic.
The office of the Holy Father was Divinely Instituted
The figure of the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth, is not an invention of man, nor is the Church which originated from Christ’s side and was founded on Peter and His Apostles. It was Jesus that selected Peter as His Vicar, head of the Apostles and guide of the Church. ‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church’. In another place ‘’Look after my sheep’ (Jn 21:16). Only Peter, James and John were witnesses of His Transfiguration and His agony in the garden (Mt 26:37). Matthew reporting the names of the 12 Apostles put Peter first (Mt 10:2). Jesus was a guest in Peter’s house in Capernaum (Mk1:26-31). Peter was part of a confined group of Apostles and he very often spoke in the name of the twelve.
Peters Primacy has been recognised since the very foundation of the Church.
Peter’s primacy was recognised by the Apostles who recognised his authority. For example he had the power to speak first (Mt 19:27), John arrived at the empty tomb first but waited for Peter to enter first (Jn 20:4-8). Jesus, at the Last Supper reminded him of his mission saying, ‘Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers’. (Lk 22:31-32)1
Peter also spoke on behalf of the Apostles:
‘During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place). He said…’ (Acts 1:15)
‘Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.’ (Acts 2:14)
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, (rise and) walk. (Acts 3:6)
Peter responded to their questions:‘…Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit….’ (Acts 2:38)
‘Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders…’ (Acts 4:8)
In Chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles Peter speaks to the Assembly in Jerusalem regarding the controversy over circumcision.
The first Fathers of the Church, who all knew the Apostles, had a strong conviction of Peter’s Primacy as is evident in their writings. The Pope therefore is the voice of Christ on Earth. He speaks in the name of Christ, with the same authority to teach and confirm his brothers in the faith. Humanly speaking it could be easier and more comfortable to follow the tide of popular opinion, however the Pope is charged with the protection of the ‘deposit of the faith’ and so he must teach the truth that has been handed down from Christ to his Apostles to us today. He must interpret the situations of the modern world in the light of Christ’s teaching and not change Christ’s teaching to accommodate the modern world.
Love the Pope and listen to his voice because Christ speaks to us today through the voice of the Pope and the Bishops united to the Petrine office.