The Rise of the Papacy

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The Rise of the Papacy This paper, The Rise of the Papacy, will define the Papacy and Reformation , evaluate how and why the Papacy became the center of power in Rome, discuss the factors that contributed to its dominance of Western Europe until the Reformation, as well as, analyze the positive and negative ramifications of the Office of the Papacy. The Papacy is the system of ecclesiastical government in the Roman Catholic Church in which the Pope is recognized as the supreme head. It has its beginning with Peter and is represented now by Pope Benedict XVI. The Papacy can be looked at from two different viewpoints: biblical and historical. When looking at it from a biblical standpoint, the truth of its inception is shown in a light that the Protestant and Catholic theologians have a different opinion. When looking at it from a historical (political) viewpoint, issues of corruption and deceit will arise. The Biblical foundation for which the Catholic Church basis the start of the Office of Papacy on can be found in Mathew 16:18-19, “18 And I say to you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” The key words in these scriptures are “this rock” and “keys”. The Protestant theologians’ exegesis of theses scriptures and these key words clearly tells us that “this rock” does not refer to Peter himself, but to Peter’s confession that Christ is the Son of God and therefore Jesus is the rock. This can be validated through: the words of Peter’s own interpretation of what the rock of the Church is; the word “rock” as used in both the Old and New Testament; and by looking at the interpretation of the entire text of Mathew 16:13-19.
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