St. Peter's Chair

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Authority of St. Peter

By Steven Merten

©Copyright 1990
All biblical quotes are from the New American Bible.
All bolding, color and underlining of scriptural quotes has been added.
Jesus' words are in red. Bible Abreviations

NAB MAT 16:13 Peter the Rock.

When Jesus came to the neighborhood of Ceasarea Philippi, he asked his disciples this question: "Who do people say that the Son of Man is? They replied, "Some say John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "And you," he said to them, "who do you say that I am?" "You are the Messiah," Simon Peter answered, "the Son of the living God!" Jesus replied, "Blest are you, Simon son of John! No mere man has revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. I for my part declare to you, you are 'Rock', and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it. I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then He strictly ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
St. Peter (64 A.D or 67 A.D)
St. Linus (67 A.D. - 76 A.D.)
St. Anacletus or Cletus (76 A.D - 88 A.D)
St. Clement I (88 A.D. - 97 A.D.)
St. Evaristus (97 A.D - 105 A.D.)
St. Alexander I (105 A.D - 115 A.D.)
St. Sixtus I (115 A.D. - 125 A.D)
St. Telesphorus (125 A.D - 136 A.D)
St. Hyginus (136 A.D - 140 A.D)
St. Pius I (140 A.D - 155 A.D.)


Click here to visit a complete list of the Catholic Popes from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI.

APA citation. The List of Popes. (1911). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

NAB JOH 21:15

When they had eaten their meal, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." At which Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." A second time he put his question, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know that I love you." Jesus replied, "Tend my sheep." A third time Jesus asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because he had asked a third time, "Do you love me?" So he said to him: "Lord, you know everything. You know well that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."

St. Anicetus (155 A.D. - 166 A.D.)
St. Soter (166 -175)
St. Eleutherius (175 - 189)
St. Victor I (189 - 199)
St. Zephyrinus (199 - 217)
St. Calixtus I (217 - 222)
St. Urban I (222 - 230)
St. Pontian (230 - 235)
St. Anterus (235 - 236)
St. Fabian (236 - 250)

APA citation. The List of Popes. (1911). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

NAB MAT 28:18 Commissioning of the apostles.

Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: "All authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of time."

St. Cornelius (251 - 253)
St. Lucius I (253 - 254)
St. Stephen I (254 - 257)
St. Sixtus II (257 - 258)
St. Dionysius (259 - 268)
St. Felix I (269 - 274)
St. Eutychian (275 - 283)
St. Caius (283 - 296)
St. Marcellinus (296 - 304)
St. Marcellus I (308 - 309)

APA citation. The List of Popes. (1911). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

NAB JOH 21:16 Peter the Shepherd.

When they had eaten their meal, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." At which Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

A second time he put his question, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know that I love you." Jesus replied, "Tend my sheep."

A third time Jesus asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because he had asked a third time, "Do you love me?" So he said to him: "Lord, you know everything. You know well that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."


St. Eusebius (309 - 320)
St. Melchiades (311 - 314)
St. Sylvester I (314 - 335)
St. Mark (336 - 336)
St. Julius I (337 - 352)
St. Liberius (352 - 366)
St. Damasus I (366 - 384)
St. Siricius (384 - 399)
St. Anastasius I (399 - 401)
St. Innocent I (401 - 417)


Click here to visit a complete list of the Catholic Popes from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI.
Pius IX (1846 - 1878)
Leo XIII (1878 - 1903)
St. Pius X (1903 - 1914)
Benedict XV (1914 - 1922)
Pius XI (1922 - 1939)
Pius XII (1939 - 1958)
John XXIII (1958 - 1963)
Paul VI (1963 - 1978)
John Paul I (1978 - 1978)
John Paul II (1978 - 2005)
Benedict XVI (2005 - present)

APA citation. The List of Popes. (1911). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

Authority unites people. Even we, in America, where we cherish equality, have put one man in unequaled authority over us in order to unite us. Though all people in America have equal dignity, all Americans do not have equal authority. The person in the position of president of the United States is not the smartest, wisest or honest man in America. In America, you can freely speak out against any of the policies, decisions or actions of the President of the United States. However, if you try to schism away part of America and start an independent country on U.S. soil, then the entire military might of the United States will be unleashed to defeat you. You can speak out against the laws of the United States but you will be physically forced to obey the laws of the government of the United States. It is authority which unites the United States and our unity is the foundation on which the entire strength of the United States stands.

All "united" groups need one person to choose the direction in which all members of the group will be compelled to go. Almost all organizations, companies, countries, clubs, militaries, religions etc. put one man in unequaled authority over all the rest of their group members and it is this authority which unites them in the direction they all will go. (NAB MAT 12:25) "A kingdom torn by strife is headed for its downfall. A town or household split into factions cannot last for long." Twelve Apostles with equal authority equals twelve Churches (I exaggerate a little).

To unite His people, Jesus has put one man, in one position, over all His flock. Pope Benedict XVI sits in St. Peter's chair and he is the only man in possession of the Holy Spirit of ultimate human authority over Christ's Church at this point in time. Pope Benedict XVI's authority has been handed down from the hand of St. Peter by the sworn Word of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus many times tells us that many in the Jewish Sanhedrin are evil and he knows they will condemn him to death. Still, pre-resurrected Jesus strictly respects God's full authority of his Church in the sons of Moses and Aaron alone.

NAB2 MAT 23:2

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.
God's most tremendous wrath in Old Testament is poured out on those who seize duties and positions that only priests from the lineage of Aaron and Moses are allowed to do. Why do Jesus and the Father protect so dearly Church authority in the Jewish Sanhedrin when they know their are many authorized Church leaders who are evil? Jesus and the Father even know that the God authorized Church high Priest will even condemn to death his own prophetic messiah Jesus? Because authority unites.

NAB NUM 18:1

The LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons as well as the other members of you ancestral house shall be responsible for the sanctuary; but the responsibility of the priesthood shall rest on you and your sons alone. .....//..... 7: But only you and your sons are to have charge of performing the priestly functions in whatever concerns the altar and the room within the veil. I give you the priesthood as a gift. Any layman who draws near shall be put to death."

NUMBERS 16

NAB NUM 3:38

East of the Dwelling, that is in front of the meeting tent, toward the sunrise, were camped Moses and Aaron and the latter's sons. They discharged the obligations of the sanctuary for the Israelites. Any layman who came near was to be put to death.

NAB 1CH 23:12

The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; four in all. The sons of Amran were Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to be consecrated as most holy, he and his sons forever, to offer sacrifice before the LORD, to minister to him, and to bless his name forever.

NAB EXO 29:9

"Thus shall the priesthood be theirs by perpetual law, and thus shall you ordain Aaron and his sons."

NAB 2CH 13:9

"Have you not expelled the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of the foreign lands? Everyone who comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams becomes a priest of no-gods. But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests ministering to the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites also have their offices. They burn holocausts to the LORD and fragrant incense morning after morning and evening after evening; they display the showbread on the pure table, and the lamps of the golden lampstand burn evening after evening; for we observe our duties to the LORD, our God, but you have abandoned him. See, God is with us, at our head, and his priests are here with trumpets to sound the attack against you. Do not battle against the LORD, the God of your fathers, O Israelites, for you will not succeed!"

NAB HEB 5:1

Every high priest is taken from among me and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with erring sinners, for he himself is beset by weakness and so must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. One does not take this honor on his own initiative, but only when called by God as Aaron was. Even Christ did not glorify himself with the office of high priest; he received it from the One who said to him, "You are my son; today I have begotten you;" just as he said in another place, "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
Though God destroys those who oppose the God given authority in Aaron, Aaron is not infallible.

NAB NUM 12:2

They complained , "Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks? Does he not speak through us also?" So angry was the LORD against them that when he departed, and the cloud withdrew from the tent there was Miriam, a snow-white leper! When Aaron turned and saw her a leper, "Ah, my lord!" he said to Moses, "please do not charge us with the sin that we have foolishly committed!"
In seeing the special God given authority that even some bad Jewish Sanhedrins have in Old Testament we can see the tremendous value of the Christ given authority in the Catholic Magisterium. Catholic Magisterium authority holds the Church body of people united while Christ's presence in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, blown at random throughout the members of the whole body of people, guides the Church along Her way.

NAB 1CO 1:10

I beg of you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree in what you say. Let there be no factions; rather, be united in mind and judgement. I have been informed, my brothers, by certian members of Chloe's household that you are quarreling among yourselves. This is what I mean: One of you will say, "I belong to Paul," another, "I belong to Apollos," still another, "Cephas has my allegiance," and the fourth, "I belong to Christ."

NAB 1CO 11:17

What I now have to say is not said in praise, because your meetings are not profitable but harmful. First of all, I hear that when you gather for a meeting there are divisions among you, and I am inclined to believe it. There may even have to be factions among you for the tried and true to stand out clearly. When you assemble it is not to eat the Lord's Supper for everyone is in haste to eat his own supper.
The pope and all humans are free from the will of Jesus, free from the will of the Father and free from the will of the Holy Spirit. The pope and all humans are not without error. God does not control the popes every decision nor does God force the pope to do exactly as He wills. Christ gave the pope unequalled authority over all His followers to keep his Church united. The Holy Spirit of wisdom, healing gifts, visions, all blow at random through out the entire body of the Church, helping Her along Her way.

If you have been away or if you have never been Christian, I invite you to come home to the House that St. Peter built upon the command and will of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church stands with Her arms open wide yearning for your return.

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author Steven Merten