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I use this newsletter to send Bible studies as much as once per week, sometimes less, but never more. See back issues.

Rome's Audacious Claim: The Demise of Papal Primacy

On December 1, 2019 I (Paul Pavao) released Rome's Audacious Claim (available wherever books are sold), and with its release we will put the doctrine of Papal Primacy to rest as the relic of medieval times that it is.

My books, and those I have published for others, consistently maintain 4-star and better ratings despite the occasional 1- and 2-star ratings from people angry about my kicking over sacred cows.

It is not that I am going to disprove the claim that Peter instituted the bishop of Rome "shepherd" and "full, supreme, and universal authority" over the entire Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995, par. 882). I am simply going to explain why the Roman Catholic Church is giving it up.

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Roman Catholic Church has made efforts to restore fellowship with the Lutheran and Orthodox Churches. In the process, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops admitted to their Lutheran counterparts that ...

Any biblical and historical scholar today would consider anachronistic the question whether Jesus constituted Peter the first pope, since this question derives from a later model of the papacy which it projects back into the New Testament." (USCCB, 1973, par. 9)

It was the Vatican itself, however, that confirmed to the Orthodox that ...

In the West, the primacy of the see of Rome was understood, particularly from the fourth century onwards, with reference to Peter’s role among the Apostles. The primacy of the bishop of Rome among the bishops was gradually interpreted as a prerogative that was his because he was successor of Peter, the first of the apostles. This understanding was not adopted in the East, which had a different interpretation of the Scriptures and the Fathers on this point. (Vatican, 2016, par. 16, emphasis mine)

That document, also known as "The Chieti Agreement," acknowledges that although "Over the centuries, a number of appeals were made to the bishop of Rome, also from the East, in disciplinary matters, such as the deposition of a bishop," these appeals "expressed the communion of the Church, but the bishop of Rome did not exercise canonical authority over the churches of the East" (Vatican, 2016, par. 19, emphasis mine).

Why would the Roman Catholic Church make these admissions? Hans Küng, a participant in the Vatican II council, explains ...

The promise to Peter from the gospel of Matthew (16:18), "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," which is so central for today's bishops of Rome and which now adorns the interior of St. Peter's in gigantic black letters on a gilt background, is not once quoted in full in any Christian literature of the first centuries—apart from a text in Tertullian, and this does not quote the passage in connection with Rome, but in connection with Peter. (Küng, 2001, The Catholic Church: A Short History, p. 41)

Thus, my job is simply to show you why the Roman Catholic Church, their U.S. college of bishops, and their leading scholars have been forced to admit that the claims made by leading Roman Catholic Apologists like Jimmy Akin, Stephen Ray, and Stephen Hahn and even by The Catechism of the Catholic Church do not hold water.

You will find Rome's Audacious Claim accomplishes this task well.


Catechism of the Catholic Church: With Modifications from the Editio Typica. (1995). Paper. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Küng, H. (2001). The Catholic Church: A Short History. English edition translated by . Hardback. New York: Random House, Inc.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). (1973). "An Agreed Statement on Conciliarity and Primacy in the Church." Web. Retrieved 20 September, 2018 from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Vatican. 2016. "Synodality and Primacy During the First Millennium: Towards a Common Understanding in Service to the Unity of the Church." Retrieved March 15, 2018 from The Holy See

Where to Go from Here

The bulk of this site is found in its articles, listed alphabetically by subject. The heart of it, though, is in the Rebuilding the Foundations series.