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Sermon Notes

Please note that these are only notes, not transcripts, and as such are not identical to the recorded sermons. They also contain frequent abbreviations.


    1. Contrasting Peters

      1. In St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome stands a statue of Peter – countless pilgrims have worn away the toes by kissing it.

        1. The word papacy refers to the position of pope who claims to be the head of the visible church and vicar of Christ and the true successor of Peter.

        2. The claims are these: 1/ Christ appointed Peter to be prince of the Apostles, 2/ As prince of the Apostles, Peter had unique authority, 3/ That authority is his supremacy over the whole church. That authority gives him power to make binding (and infallible) pronouncements on faith & morals, 4/ That authority of Peter, with the gift of infallibility, continues in the office of the papacy in an unbroken line of succession so that Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th true successor of Peter today.

        3. Popes past and present have made those claims in very bold language [quotes].

      2. What does the Bible say about Peter?

    2. Roman Catholics may be surprised at what the Bible says about Simon Peter.

      1. In the Gospels.

        1. Peter was a Jewish fisherman from the Galilean village of Bethsaida (house of fishing), the hometown of his brother Andrew, and of Philip (John 1:42); Peter was introduced to Jesus by Andrew, his brother (v. 41). Peter’s original name was Simon, but Jesus, on meeting him, surnamed him Peter which means stone (v. 42). Elsewhere he is called Cephas (I Cor.1:12, 3:22, 9:5, 15:5 and Gal. 2:9) the Aramaic equivalent of Peter. Later, Peter was called to full time discipleship. He was called to leave fishing for fish and to fish for men. On that occasion, Jesus performed a miracle to which Peter responded – “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).

        2. Peter was intensely loyal and impetuous or impulsive. Peter was the kind of man who acted first and asked questions later. This is an endearing quality but it also got him into trouble. He was part of the “inner three” (Peter, James and John) who accompanied Jesus on very special occasions – the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Mt. of Transfiguration, the prayer in Gethsemane. He walked with Jesus on the water, but then his unbelief caused him to sink; he was upset when Jesus spoke of His suffering on the cross and rebuked Jesus to which Jesus said, “Get thee behind me Satan!” (Matt. 16:23); He protested at Jesus washing his feet, but a moment later begged Jesus to wash his feet, hands and head (John 13:6-10); he jumped to Christ’s defense in the Garden, cutting off a man’s ear with his sword but again was rebuked (John 18:11); and who can forget his terrible fall (denied his Lord three times with cursing [Matt. 26:74-75]).

        3. Peter’s name is prominent in the list of the Apostles. He appears first, and Judas Iscariot, last. But this could be simply because he was the oldest.

      2. In the Acts and Epistles

        1. Peter is prominent in the book of Acts until chapter 15, after which he is not mentioned. The focus turns to Paul. He spoke on the day of Pentecost; he healed the lame man at the gate of the temple; he rebuked the lying Ananias and Sapphira who fell dead at his feet; he raised Tabitha from the dead; he received a vision in which God commanded him to preach to Cornelius the Gentile; he was miraculously delivered from prison; and he spoke at the Council in Jerusalem.

        2. He wrote two epistles in the NT – a total of 8 chapters. And he is mentioned in some of Paul’s letters. I would urge you to go home and read Peter’s 2 epistles.


    1. What did the other apostles think?

      1. The first claim that we examine is that Peter was the Bishop of Rome, which bishopric was supreme. Supposedly, Peter died in Rome under the persecutions of Nero c. 68 AD.

        1. Paul was brought as a prisoner to Rome at the end of the book of Acts. When he arrives in Rome in chapter 28, the Christians meet him, but Peter is not mentioned.

        2. Paul writes a long epistle to the Roman Christians. In chap. 16, he greets by name no fewer than 26 people but he does not mention Peter

        3. Paul writes several of his epistles from prison in Rome but never mentions Peter.

      2. The Apostle Paul never mentions Peter’s supremacy over the apostles.

        1. This was not because of any supposed rivalry btw Peter & Paul. Peter writes of “our beloved brother Paul” (II Pet. 3:15). Paul’s letters are Scripture.

        2. In Galatians, Paul writes about Peter that he went to visit him in Jerusalem for 15 days (1:18); and he says that “James, Cephas and John seemed to be pillars” (2:9). Peter was merely a fellow pillar with James and John and is not even mentioned first. Not the Rock, merely one of the pillars. Then later in chapter 2, Paul recalls how he, Paul, “withstood Peter to the face because he was to be blamed” because he “walked not uprightly acc. to the truth of the gospel” (2:11, 14).

        3. Paul did not accord Peter supremacy at all. He writes, “For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles” (2 Cor. 11:5).

      3. What about the other Apostles? Did they accord to him special honor?

        1. If Jesus had made Peter the Rock, the Universal Bishop and the supreme authority in the church, the other disciples did not get the message. Even after the incident in Matt. 16, the disciples argued about who should be the greatest (Mark 9:33-37). Jesus never said, “Peter is the greatest. Stop squabbling!”

        2. The first doctrinal controversy in the early church was this: can Gentiles be saved as Gentiles by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, or must they be circumcised and keep the law of Moses to be saved? What did the church in Antioch do? They did not appeal to Peter. Peter did not call a council. The church at Antioch asked the church at Jerusalem and together they called a council with “the apostles and elders” as delegates (15:6). At this Council, Peter was not supreme. After much disputing (15:7) Peter stood up and recounted his experience with Cornelius. He concluded, “we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they” (15:11). But Peter did not have the last word. Paul and Barnabas speak, and then James, not even an apostle, sums up the arguments (he calls Peter “Simon”) and he grounds his recommendations in Scripture (15:14-15). James’ contribution is decisive. The church votes as a body, and Peter is never mentioned in Acts again!

    2. So, Paul & the other Apostles never confer on Peter special titles, privileges or authority. What did Peter think? How did he see himself?

      1. Peter would be appalled at the honor accorded to him and to his supposed successors the popes.

        1. If Peter saw the statue to him in St. Peter’s basilica, its toes worn away by countless kisses, he would be horrified.

        2. When Cornelius the centurion received Peter into his home, his first impulse was worship, “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet and worshipped him” (Acts 10:25). Today people kneel before pope, fall down before him & kiss his ring. Peter said to Cornelius, “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man” (v. 26).

      2. Peter never names himself bishop of Rome, or claims any special titles.

        1. In his two epistles he calls himself “apostle” (I Pet. 1:1; II Pet. 1:1) and “servant of Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:1). He never claims to be in Rome.

        2. In I Peter 5 he writes, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder …” Then he warns them against “being lords over God’s heritage” (v. 1, 3). He calls them to feed God’s flock, to take oversight, but never claims special authority over them.

        3. The titles which the popes claim in the name of Peter – Universal Bishop, Holy Father, His Holiness – were never claimed by Peter himself.


    1. Matthew 16:18 (quote). In fact, if you were to ask a RC to quote one text from Scripture, it would most likely be this text.

      1. The Roman Catholic interpretation is this:

        1. Peter means Rock; Jesus said He would build His Church on this Rock; therefore, Jesus builds His Church on Peter, and on all the popes who are in Peter’s line.

        2. Peter the Rock has authority to rule over the whole church, and God has given Peter and the popes after him (in communion with Peter) the gift of infallibility.

      2. We should notice, first, that Matt. 16 is not about Peter, but about Christ. The subject is not, who is Peter, but who is Jesus of Nazareth.

        1. Jesus had spent three years teaching and preaching esp. in Galilee. At the end of that period, he takes his disciples to Caesarea Philippi, and asks them, “Whom do men say I the Son of man am?” [What’s the word on the street about me?].

        2. What would your answer be: Was Jesus only a good man; was He only a good teacher; was He mad? Those are the opinions of men today.

        3. Peter answered beautiful conf.: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

      3. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!

        1. Jesus is the one promised throughout the OT, the one chosen by God, authorized and equipped by God, to bring salvation to sinners: that is what “Christ” means!

        2. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, the one beloved by His Father, and sent into the world to save sinners: that is what “the Son of the living God” means!

        3. And this Christ, this one who is both God and man, in two natures, in one person forever, is the only Savior. Is that your confession tonight? If not, you must repent & believe in this Jesus.

      4. Jesus’ response to Peter’s confession was to pronounce a blessing.

        1. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona …” Why and in what way was Peter blessed? It was not because he of all the disciples was so clever to work out who Jesus was.

        2. Jesus does not give credit to Peter, but praises God: “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.”

        3. Then he says, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church …”

    2. Did Jesus mean by those words, “Thou art Peter and upon THEE I will build my church.”? Would Christ build the Church upon the man, Simon Peter?

      1. The NT was written in Greek in which there are two different words: one is petros (Peter, a stone) and the other is petra (rock). The text reads, “Thou art Peter (petros) and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church.”

        1. The difference between petros (Peter) and petra (rock) is the difference between a bedrock and a movable piece of rock, a smaller stone. Petros is only found in the name Peter in the NT but petra is used many times.

        2. In Matt. 27:60, Joseph of Arimathaea places the body of Jesus is a tomb hewn out of rock (petra); in Matt. 7:25, the wise man built his house on the rock (petra); in I Cor. 10:4, Paul talks about the rock (petra) which supplied water to Israel in the wilderness. That rock (petra) was Christ

      2. Peter and the other Apostles did not understand Christ’s words to mean that Peter is the Rock on which the church is built.

        1. Peter himself says about Jesus Christ, that He is the stone which the builders rejected. That stone, Jesus, “is made the headstone of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense” (I Pet. 2:7-8).

        2. Paul agrees. He writes in Romans 9:33, “Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock (petra) of offense.” In Eph. 2:10, he writes, “And ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles [pl.] and prophets [pl.] [not Peter alone], Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” In I Cor. 3:11, he writes, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” And in Revelation 21:14, John writes, “And the wall of the city had 12 foundations and in them the names of the 12 apostles of the lamb” [not Peter alone!].

        3. The Apostles were foundations, not in their persons, but because they (in writing the inspired Scriptures) set down the foundational doctrines, the confession, on which the church is built. But once the foundation is laid, we need no more.

        4. Peter was not and could not be the foundation of the Church, only Christ is!

    3. But Christ says more in Matt. 16:19. He adds, “And I will give unto thee the keys.”

      1. The Roman Church sees in the keys special authority given to Peter.

        1. First, the keys of the kingdom of heaven are not power over heaven, earth and hell. The idea that Peter stands at the pearly gates of heaven is mythology. The last book of the Bible, Revelation, shows us that Jesus has those keys, “I am he that liveth and was dead and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death” (1:18) and “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (3:7). Those are different from the keys Peter got.

        2. Second, the promise of the keys is repeated two chapters later (18:18), and this time, Jesus gives the keys to all the disciples, not to Peter alone. In so doing, Christ gives all the disciples power to bind and to loose.

        3. Third, the power of binding and loosing is declarative. Peter and the other disciples do not decide or determine for themselves who is saved and who is lost. Peter and the other disciples do not themselves forgive sins. Nowhere in the NT do Peter and the other disciples say, “I absolve thee.” Instead, Peter and the disciples exercise the keys by preaching, by declaring on the authority of the Word of God that all those who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation are saved and receive forgiveness of sins; and that all those who live in sin and unbelief are outside of the kingdom of heaven, un-forgiven and lost.

      2. That this is the true meaning is clear from the actions of the disciples in the NT. The Apostles preached; every true minister of Christ preaches the Word of God.

        1. In Acts 2, Peter preaches, verse 36-40

        2. In Acts 3, Peter preaches, verse 19

        3. In Acts 4, Peter boldly proclaims Christ by preaching, verse 10-12

        4. In Acts 5, Peter with the other Apostles, preaches, verse 29-32

        5. In Acts 8, Peter declares to Simon Magus, verse 20-23

        6. In Acts 10, Peter preaches to Cornelius the Roman soldier, verse 38-43

        7. In Acts 13, the Apostle Paul preaches in the synagogue, 38-41

        8. This is exactly what Jesus Christ said they would do: Luke 24:45-47

        9. The keys of the kingdom are exercised, not wherever the Roman popes sit, but wherever the Bible is open, explained, applied and preached by a man sent by Jesus Christ through the church institute. Sadly, the keys of the kingdom are rusty in many churches: there is no preaching, a few minutes of cute stories is NOT preaching, and the people are IGNORANT of the Bible. If you are going to a church where the Bible is not preached, YOU ARE NOT IN A TRUE CHURCH.

  4. LUKE 22:32 AND JOHN 21:15-17

    1. Luke 22:31-32 is a warning to Peter about his temptation to deny Jesus & a promise.

      1. Notice the change of persons – “Satan hath desired to have YOU (pl.) but I have prayed for THEE (sing.).”

        1. Peter is particularly in danger because of his foolish self confidence; Satan already had entered Judas Iscariot, the traitor, now he wanted the others.

        2. Jesus had prayed esp. for Peter. Peter does not heed the warning but boasts in the next verse 33.

        3. Peter’s faith will not fail entirely. He will not perish as Judas did who had no faith.

      2. When Peter is converted (turned from his terrible sin of denying Jesus), he must “strengthen” his brethren.

        1. Rome teaches that Peter had a unique role in strengthening the other disciples, and that the pope has that role today; but the word “strengthen” is a word used elsewhere in Scripture and is by no means unique to Peter.

        2. Paul writes, “For I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to the end ye may be established” [strengthened] (Rom. 1:11); and later he describes Timothy as one equipped to strengthen. Timothy was not even an apostle: “And sent Timotheus, our brother and minster of God and fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ to establish [strengthen] you” (I Thess. 3:2).

        3. Peter can surely strengthen his brethren without being the bishop of Rome, the prince of the apostles, the supreme bishop, or the pope. And he did!

    2. John 21 is Peter’s restoration after his terrible fall into sin. He had denied Jesus three times, and Jesus asks him three times, “Lovest thou me?” and commands Peter three times, “Feed my sheep.” Feed my lambs.” “Feed my sheep.”

      1. Rome teaches that here Christ made Peter – and therefore the Pope – Universal Shepherd, over the lambs and the sheep, over the laity and clergy of the church.

        1. Rome says that Peter has the special calling to feed, rule & shepherd the flock. Therefore, says Rome, the pope today has this unique, infallible teaching role, to rule over, feed and teach the entire church.

        2. Through the gift of Peter, says Rome, the pope and the bishops with him teach.

        3. But Rome misses the entire point of John 21 which is really very beautiful.

      2. But, there is something very profound going on in John 21. Jesus has risen from the dead; and He has breakfasted with the Disciples. Now He turns to Peter.

        1. Three times Jesus asks Peter, Do you love me? Three times Peter had denied Jesus. In this way, by testing Peter, Jesus restores him to his position as an apostle, and forgives him, so that all might know that no stigma attaches to Peter.

        2. But, the three questions, and the three answers are slightly different, esp. in the Greek. The passage has two different words, both translated love. The first is agape: this is true love, the love of wholehearted devotion, ardent desire, selfless, sacrificial service. The second is philia: this is affection. To show you the difference I will translate the questions and answers with love (agape) and affection (philia).

      3. In these three questions and answers, Jesus probes the heart of Peter.

        1. Verse 15, Simon, son of Jonas lovest thou (agape) me more than these? Peter had said that even if all the disciples would deny Jesus, he, Peter, never would. Thus he had boasted that he loved Jesus more than these other disciples. So Jesus asks him, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” Peter’s response is a humble, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I have affection (philia) for thee.” After his denials, Peter, dare not boast and does not even dare use the word agape.

        2. Verse 16, Simon, son of Jonas lovest thou (agape) me? Now, Jesus does not ask Peter, is your love for me greater than John’s, Andrew’s and the others, but is there love (agape) for me in your heart at all? Peter’s response again is a humble, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I have affection (philia) for thee” Peter dares not claim to have the ardent love of agape, but he does believe he has philia. That much he dares to hope. Not agape, certainly not agape more than these, but philia. And Peter appeals to Christ’s knowledge: Lord, thou knowest.

        3. Verse 17: Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou have affection (philia) for me? Now, Jesus is probing even deeper. Simon, is there even affection, even that lesser philia love in your heart? Peter, you denied me three times, I am asking you three times. Peter was grieved that Jesus asked him the third time & exclaims, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I have affection (philia) for thee!

        4. After receiving answers to three questions, Jesus commands Peter three times to feed the flock, which is the church. Feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my sheep.

      4. The reason Peter was singled out for the three questions and the threefold commission was not a special honor but because Peter alone had denied Jesus three times and needed to be restored in this way. Gently, tenderly, lovingly, Jesus puts His finger on Peter’s broken heart and heals him.

        1. Peter is not the unique, supreme Shepherd. All Christ’s apostles, and indeed every faithful minister is called to feed the sheep by teaching them the Word of God. The pope can claim nothing for himself from this verse, because we have to ask, “Does the pope teach the Word of God?” And the answer is no!

        2. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven He said to all the apostles [not just Peter], “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them …” (Matt. 28:19)

        3. It is interesting that the word “feed” (Greek: bosko) is used everywhere else in the NT to refer to the feeding of pigs! It simply means to feed, to feed with the pure Word of God in the case of Christ’s sheep. As for the other word (Greek: poimaino), Paul uses it in Acts 20:28 where he commands the elders of Ephesus to feed the church (“feed the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood”). And then in I Peter 5:2, Peter writes, again to the elders, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof …” And he reminds them “when the chief Shepherd shall appear (Jesus Christ) ye shall receive a crown of glory …” (v. 4).


      1. There is no evidence for Petrine supremacy in the Word of God

        1. There is no evidence in Scripture that Peter was ever the Bishop of Rome

        2. There is no evidence in Scripture that Paul, or the other apostles, or even Peter himself believed that Peter had supremacy.

        3. There is no evidence in Scripture that Peter claimed special honors, titles or privileges.

        4. There is no evidence in Scripture that Jesus Christ built the Church upon Peter; in fact, the Rock in Matthew 16:18 does not refer to Peter, but to Christ or to Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Indeed, the foundation of the Church is not Peter, but the apostles together, that is the apostolic doctrine of Scripture, with Christ Himself as chief cornerstone.

        5. There is no evidence in Scripture that Peter has keys in distinction from the other apostles and the only “key power” he and the others had was declarative: he declared to believers that they are in the kingdom of God, and to unbelievers that they are outside which is what all ordained preachers do today.

        6. And there is no evidence in Scripture that Peter is the chief shepherd. Peter had to be restored after his terrible fall into sin.

      2. And even if there was evidence for all of that (and there is not) there is no evidence that Peter passed on any special privileges to successors. The idea of apostolic succession is a myth invented by the Roman Catholic Church to justify the papacy. Pope Benedict XVI is not the successor of Peter.

      3. We must not look to the pope but to the Bible. That was Peter’s own way:

        1. Peter writes that “the word of God lives and abides forever” (1st P. 1:23)

        2. Peter urges the believers to “desire the sincere milk of the word” (1st P. 2:2)

        3. Peter teaches that Jesus Christ is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, and that this Jesus Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree of the cross (1st P. 2:24-25)

        4. And the final words of Peter to the church are found in 2nd Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen!”

        5. Grow in grace, then, not by blindly following a man claiming to be Peter’s successor but by studying the Scriptures for yourself, and by seeking a church where you and your children are taught the Bible.

























    1. The roots of the papacy.

      1. The papacy developed as the Bishopric of Rome gained importance.

        1. The main cities of importance in the early church were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome. Each had a claim to importance, Rome esp. claimed association with the Apostles.

        2. At the same time, the church was drifting away from Biblical church government: a hierarchy of bishops was developing in the church. Moreover, the clergy were emerging as a separate class. They were being elevated above the laity, the common people. And certain clergy were being elevated more than others.

        3. When Constantine moved his imperial capital from Rome to Constantinople, a power vacuum was created into which the Bishop of Rome stepped.

        4. Also, many of the bishops of Rome were capable leaders and theologians, esp. in the doctrinal controversies swirling around at the time. People began to look to the bishops of Rome for advice. They willingly obliged, and more and more their advice was viewed as authoritative.

      2. Pope Leo the Great (440-461) and his successors

        1. When Attila the Hun threatened the city of Rome in 452, Leo, the bishop of Rome, courageously went out to meet him and persuaded him to turn back.

        2. A few years later (455) the Vandals, a Barbarian tribe, attacked Rome. Leo did not succeed this time in turning them back, but he did stop them burning down the city. Out of the chaos of the sacking of Rome, Pope Leo became a natural leader.


      1. There were several reasons for this

        1. The church was becoming more corrupt; proud, ambitious men were able to occupy the position of pope, often by means of simony. Simony is the sin of purchasing ecclesiastical positions by bribes.

        2. The Donation of Constantine was a document in which the Emp. Constantine supposedly bequeathed his lands and authority to the Bp. of Rome. This document was forged in the 8th or 9th C but was not discovered to be a forgery until 15th C.

        3. The popes began to claim power over the civil government as well as the church. On Christmas Day, 800, pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor. Out of that come the roots of the Holy Roman Empire.

      2. There were certain very ambitious popes.

        1. Gregory VII (1020-1085) sought to root out simony from the church, and to do he insisted that he, the pope, would appoint all bishops. This led him into conflict with the kings of Europe who wanted to appoint their own bishops. For example, Gregory VII deposed Henry IV, the German Emperor, in 1076 because Henry wanted to appoint his own bishops. When Henry’s German princes supported the pope, Henry had to recant in the snow outside the papal residence until the pope reinstated him (1077). In 1075, Pope Gregory VII issued a bull called Dictatus Papae: the pope is Universal Bishop, the pope may appoint & depose earthly kings, no prince may kiss any man’s feet but the popes, no man may call a general council without papal approval, the pope is supreme in ecclesiastical & civil matters.

        2. Innocent III (1160-1216) forced King John of England to accept his appointee to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. John was subdued by the threat of interdict; the pope reinstated him and made England a vassal state.

        3. Boniface VIII (1294-1303) : he tried to force the King of France to submit. France insisted on taxing the clergy to fund wars; Boniface was not able to make his claims of power stick. The King of France arrested the 85 year old pope in his own bedroom. The pope was released but died shortly after. After Boniface papal power over the kings of Europe began to decline.


      1. The popes had always resided in Rome, but after Boniface VIII and his controversy with the King of France, the papacy moved to Avignon, France (1305-1377) [about 70 years].

      2. After the Babylonian Captivity, a worse blow hit the papacy

        1. In 1379 it was time for the Cardinals to elect another pope. The crowds clamored for an Italian pope, but the Cardinals did not wait for the French Cardinals to arrive. Urban VI (an Italian) was elected; but the French Cardinals refused to recognize him and they elected Clement VII (a Frenchman, the cousin of the King of France). Urban sat in Rome; Clement in Avignon.

        2. Urban and Clement both insisted that they were pope, and cursed one another. Europe was divided. Some gave allegiance to one pope, others to the other pope.

        3. The problem was: how can you solve this. The pope is supreme, even over councils. And yet several councils had to be called to deal with the problem.

        4. In 1409, the Council of Pisa deposed both popes and appointed a third, but that only meant that there were three claiming to be the true successor of Peter. In 1415, the Council of Constance deposed three popes and appointed a fourth. This time the decision stuck and Pope Martin V was accepted by all to be the legitimate pope. After these councils, future popes refused to recognize the authority of councils. In 1460, Pope Pius II issued Execrabilis.

      3. In 1517, the Reformation began. And in 1520 he burns the papal bull which excommunicated them. The Reformation was a deadly blow to papal pretensions as well.

      4. In 1870, the Pope at Vatican I defines the dogma of papal infallibility.