The Roman Catholic Church Essay

1857 Words May 4th, 2016 8 Pages
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is the most well-known religious leader in the world today. The office of the Pope was instituted early in the history of the Church. The Papacy was established much later. The leader of the church in Rome was a Bishop as was customary in the early church. In its origin the office of the Pope was not unlike any other office in church leadership, the term was not used exclusively at the church in Rome nor did it convey any special authority not available to the bishop of any other church in the empire. The term “Pope” is derived from the Greek word pappa a term of admiration for “father.” This term was little used in the Western Empire outside of Rome, the church there being originally Greek speaking. The term in the sixth century became to be used more exclusively for the Bishop of Rome. In the eleventh century Pope Gregory VII made the term official and later the term “papacy” was applied to distinguish the Roman Bishop’s office from all other bishoprics. Apostolic succession arose at the end of the second century. This ministry theory was meant to demonstrate the authority of the church and dispel heresies such as Gnosticism. The church in Rome derived it authority from the association of Peter and Paul. Peter being considered the preeminent Apostle of Jesus, specially charged as the foundation of the church, and having authority derived from the “keys of the Kingdom” (Matthew 16:18-19) is hailed as the authority in which the…

Related Documents