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…”