Pastor Jordan Cooper on the History of the Papacy

Pr. Jordan Cooper. Read his blog, "Just and Sinner."

Pr. Jordan Cooper. Read his blog: Just & Sinner.

Full length (1:03:29) podcast available here.

“…We do want to differentiate between what the pope is now and what the pope was in the Middle Ages. We want to have caution, and we don’t want to be as harsh as we would be.

“With that being said, what was said [by Rome] about the papacy in the Medieval period still stands. What was said about the papacy in 1870 about the infallibility of the pope still stands. There’s been no retraction of these ideas. There’s been no retraction of the teaching that the pope is the Vicar of Christ, no retraction of the teaching that the pope is infallible, no retraction of the teaching that the pope is a mediator between God and man, no retraction of the teaching that the pope is the head of the Church, no retraction of the teaching that the pope is by divine right the successor of Peter and bishop above all bishops. Rome also hasn’t rejected the idea that the pope has supreme temporal power, even though it’s not exercised today, which confuses the Two Kingdoms.

“All of these things still exist in the Roman Church. They’re not emphasized as much as they used to be, which is a positive thing, but they are still believed. It still is a dangerous teaching. We don’t want to just get on board and say, ‘Oh, the pope is great; he’s just a good spiritual leader like anybody else,’ which is the boat that a lot of evangelicals are kind of jumping onto…Of course I hope that there’s a good pope; I hope that he’s sympathetic to our Lutheran concerns; I hope that he does moral good in the world in pushing actual ethical values, in pushing to outlaw abortion around the world — things like that; I think those are good things. Supporting the ‘culture of life’ as opposed to the ‘culture of death.’

“So, yes, I do hope the pope does all these things. I do hope that the pope is a positive influence in the world, and I do think that in many ways he can be. But at the same time he still claims all of these things which are anti-Christian, he still claims all of these things which are against Scripture, which are against the teachings of the early Church, which are offensive to any other bishop in the rest of the entire Church, including the Eastern Church (because they still don’t believe that — they’ve never believed in the office of the papacy…).

“I want to give a warning…to be cautious in the way that you see things; don’t give into the mentality of ‘we’re all kind of the same; the pope’s just another guy and we can kind of listen to him like we listen to anybody else.’ There really is a lot of danger in what the papacy teaches and what the papacy stands for, and if there ever is going to be any ecumenical work that ever goes forward with the Roman Catholic Church, that’s going to have to change, because the way that the Roman Catholic Church has always done ecumenical work is to say that, first of all, you have to submit to the papacy, you have to submit the pope as the infallible successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ. That’s a dangerous thing and we don’t want to get into that…”




  1. 1054: (East–West Schism) Western Catholic Church & Eastern Orthodox Church
    1177: Peter Waldo (Pierre Vaudès) of Lyon, France: founded Waldensians, Waldenses, Vallenses, and Vaudois
    1179: Third Council of the Lateran, Waldensians pleaded with Pope Alexander III to be recognized
    1184: Pope Lucius III declared at the Synod of Verona; the Waldensians, schismatics and heretics
    c. 1200: Codex Gigas; Latin Vulgate; scribe Herman the Recluse in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice
    1215: Fourth Lateran Council, Peter Waldo and Waldensians excommunicated for “contempt for ecclesiastical power” and preaching “innumerable errors”
    c. 1280: Dutch; Diatessaron translation
    1378 -1417: The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Western Catholic Church.
    c. 1400: Middle English; Diatessaron translation
    1409: The Council of Bishops, at Pisa, deposed of Pope Gregory XII and Pope Benedict XIII during the Western Schism. The Western Catholic Church had three popes that fought for power and authority over Catholicism under the Great Schism. To validate themselves, they each excommunicated one another (not recognized by the Church), and the Council of Bishops intervened.
    1414–1418: Council of Constance; 2-Popes managed Western Christendom: Western Catholic Church of Rome and Western Catholic Church of Avignon. The 16th Ecumenical Council of Constance 1414-1418 AD commenced to settle the Great Schism as the authority over all three popes. The popes challenged the Council’s authority unsuccessfully as they invoked their Haec Sancta, Frequens, and list of abuses to be addressed in future Councils.

    1418: 16th Ecumenical Council of Constance (Conciliarism: the popes serve under the council). Haec Sancta: prepared by canon lawyer Francesco Zabarella,
    This holy synod legitimately assembled in the holy Spirit, constituting a general council and representing the catholic church militant, it has power immediately from Christ; and that everyone of whatever state or dignity, even papal, is bound to obey it in those matters which pertain to the faith, the eradication of the said schism and the general reform of the said church of God in head and members.’
    1460: Pope Pope Pius II invoked Execrabilis.
    Execrabilis: “ipso facto incur sentence of anathema, from which he cannot be absolved except by the Roman Pontiff and at the point of death” & “presume to appeal from the pope to a future council, in spite of the fact that the pope is the vicar of Jesus Christ” & “condemn[s] all such appeals and prohibit[s] them as erroneous and detestable.”
    1483: Pope Sixtus IV again invoked Execrabilis.
    1487: Pope Innocent VIII, Papal Bull, Order of Extermination of the Vaudois and Waldensians
    1502: Barefooted Augustinian, Johann von Staupitz; St Peter’s Archabbey, Salzburg; Order of Saint Benedict; Vicar-General of the Augustinian Order in Germany, (Saxon) Congregation; professor of theology; first dean of University of Wittenberg; founding father of Wittenberg University
    1509: Pope Julius II again invoked Execrabilis.
    1517: 18th Ecumenical 5th Lateran Council (Conciliarism condemned: with council serving the popes)
    1520: Pope Leo X again invoked Execrabilis (Exsurge Domine).
    Pope Leo X, declared that “…[Luther] broke forth in a rash appeal to a future council. This to be sure was contrary to the constitution of Pius II and Julius II our predecessors that all appealing in this way are to be punished with the penalties of heretics.”

  2. Martin Luther “Luder” at University of Erfurt
    1502: Bachelor’s degree of law
    1505: Master’s degree of law
    Martin Luther “Luder” at University of Wittenberg
    1507: Ordained monk, (Augustinian Priesthood-Western Catholic Church)
    1508: Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies
    1508: Wittenberg University (Augustine Monastery-Western Catholic Church) theology professor
    1509: Bachelor’s degree in the Sentences by Peter Lombard
    1512: Doctor in Biblia
    “Luther’s followers” Protestants for Western Catholic Church; against Pope Leo X & Dominican professor of theology, Sylvester Mazzolini
    1517: Luther’s 95 Theses
    1518: Heidelberg Disputation
    1520: Condemnation of Luther
    1521: Excommunication of Luther & Karlstadt from Western Catholic Church
    1521: Diet of Worms (Emperor Charles V of Saxony) ordered to confine Luther and disband “Luther’s followers” (Protestants of Pope Leo X’s 18th Ecumenical Council, 5th Lateran Council, modification of traditional Catholic doctrine)
    Lutheranism Established by Martin Luther “Luder”
    1522: New Testament translated into German
    1529: Admonition to Confession
    1529: Luther’s Catechism for Children
    1529: Luther’s Large Catechism
    1530: Johann Eck’s 404 Theses
    1530: Luther’s Exhortation
    1530: Roman Confutation
    Electorate of Saxony at the time: Jakob Andreä (1528–90), Martin Chemnitz (1522–86), Nikolaus Selnecker (1528–92), David Chytraeus (1531–1600), Andreas Musculus (1514–81), Christoph Körner (1518–94), Caspar Heyderich (1517–86), Paul Crell (1532–79), Maximilian Mörlin (1516–84), Wolfgang Harder (1522–1602), Daniel Gräser, Nicholas Jagenteufel (1520–83), Johannes Cornicaelius, John Schütz (1531–84), Martin Mirus (1532–93), Georg Listenius (d. 1596), and Peter Glaser (1528–83); and a smaller set of this group (Andreä, Chemnitz, Selnecker, Chytraeus, Musculus, and Körner)
    1530: Augsburg Confession to Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg, “Augustana” (directed by Martin Luther, Justus Jonas, Johannes Bugenhagen, and Philipp Melanchthon): signed by the Elector John of Saxony, Margrave George of Brandenburg, Duke Ernest of Lüneburg, the Landgrave Philip of Hesse, the Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, the representatives of Nuremberg and Reutlingen, and probably also the electoral prince John Frederick and Duke Francis of Lüneburg
    1531: Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Philipp Melanchthon, Schmalkaldic War, Lutheran Schmalkaldic League
    1534: Greek Septuagint (except Books not in the Hebrew Masoretic) translated “Old Testament” into German; Apocrypha remained in Lutheran Bibles until the 1880’s

  3. 1538: Pope Paul III, excommunicated King Henry VIII of England

    Counter-Reformation: Catholic Revival or “Roman Catholic Reformation”
    1545-1563: Popes-Paul III (1534–1549), Julius III (1550–55), Paul IV (1555–59), & Pius IV (1559–65)
    1545-1563: 19th Ecumenical Council of Trent: Western Catholic Church abolished with a new “Roman Catholic Church”
    1545-1563: 19th Ecumenical Council of Trent: abolished the Catechism of the Western Catholic Church
    1545-1563: 19th Ecumenical Council of Trent, new Orders established: Capuchins, Ursulines, Theatines, Discalced Carmelites, the Barnabites, and Jesuits
    1566: Pope St. Pius V (1566–72) established new Roman Catechism (1992: Roman Catechism name changed back to the old 1544, Catechism of the Catholic Church)
    1563-present: remnants of the Western Catholic Church “Old Catholics” associate with Orthodox Christianity, High Church Protestants, Anglicanism, and Roman Catholicism
    1592: Pope Clement VIII published his revised edition of the Vulgate, referred to as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate. He moved three books not found in the canon of the Council of Trent from the Old Testament into an appendix “lest they utterly perish” (ne prorsus interirent): Prayer of Manasses, 3 Esdras (1 Esdras in the King James Bible), 4 Esdras (2 Esdras in the King James Bible)
    1854: Pope Pius IX declares papal infallibility as dogma
    1864-1870: First Vatican Council (20th Ecumenical Council), papal infallibility upheld
    1950: Pope Pius XII established policy of uniformitarianism
    1962-1965: Second Vatican Council (21st Ecumenical Council)
    2009: Pope Benedict XVI publicly established policy of Intelligent Design doesn’t contradict theory of evolution by Catholic scholars

  4. The papacy denounced conciliarism, at the 18th Ecumenical Council (5th Lateran Council) of 1517. The papal schism: away from Catholicism, abolishing the Western Catholic Church and its catechism, and the newly chartered Roman Catholic Church in 1545; all together alarmed Christians to such a degree that they sought out what seemed to remain of the Western Catholic Church and the Catholic faith. Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis was posted up in 1517 in response to papal abolition of the Decree Haec Sancta Synodus (Sacrosancta), issued April 6, 1415; as well as the Bull of Pope Pius II, Execrabilis on 18 January 1460 condemning the Council of Bishops’ (conciliarism) succeeded by Pope Leo X of 1520.

    For some, the Evangelical Church of Germany of 1530 (later Lutherans by 1580, after Luther’s death), the new Roman Catholic Church of 1545, the Reform Church of 1559; offered an outlet to continue the teachings of Catholicism according to how congregations understood their Church. Remnants, known as Old Catholics emerged from the schismatic Church and retained the Western Catholic Church and its’ catechism, but weren’t recognized by the papacy; they eventually dissolved into surrounding catholic-based faiths; until the term “Old Catholic” reemerged in opposition to the 1st Vatican Council.

    The Church of Rome and the Reformers were both actively engaged in actual Church reform movements. Unlike, Protestants, who opposed the modern reforms, taking place, at the Church of Rome and among Reformers like Karlsdat and Calvin.

    Protestants, under Luther, did however want to restore much of what was lost in Catholicism to prior reforms that took place. Protestants wanted to restore the Church’s authority back to the Council of Bishops (conciliarism); also some of the Apostles married with children as were the popes in early Church history, not to mention the lineage that lead from Abraham to the Virgin Mary and Christ Jesus. Reviving some of what has been lost over the past century, back to Catholic roots, was intent of Luther as Lutherans perceived their doctrine.

    1 Corinthians 9:5
    “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?”

    It’s of no coincidence that the Church of Rome began referring to its policies as the Counter-Reformation (opposition to Reformers, Karlsdat and Calvin) and Catholic Revival (opposition to Protestantism under Luther’s Catholicism revival).

    The content above is the most centrist point of contention between the Roman Catholic Church (1545-present) and the Western Catholic Church (1054-1545); From Luther’s perspective, and that of many Catholics of that age; Catholicism was under siege by the papacy.

    This quote is from Roman-Catholic bloggers, “The fact is that they started their own branches of Christianity. Their actions caused a fragmentation of Christianity that continues to this day.” Most of these bloggers aren’t even aware that the Western Catholic Church changed its name to the Roman Catholic Church at the council of Trent. They also aren’t aware that the Roman-Catholic Church is a fundamentally different doctrine from that of its predecessor the Western Catholic Church.

    Roman-Catholics won’t acknowledge that the Pope Clement Vulgate removed Deuterocanonical Books into an appendix in much the same manner Luther did with his Apocryphal appendix. St. Jerome also took issue with the Deuterocanonical Books as was standard under the Order of Augustine who commissioned St. Jerome.

    Yes, Roman-Catholics are as much a schematic denomination from its origins in Catholicism through the Old Catholics of the Western Catholic Church as are Reformers. As a Lutheran, I stand by my biased view that our doctrine most closely resembles the founding intent of the overall Catholic Faith and the Word of God in Christ Jesus.

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