How does the office of Pope in the Roman Catholic Church differ from the office of President in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
As a protestant, from the information I have read concerning the Pope and the LDS President, the Pope is considered a very holy man of God, while the LDS President is recognized as a prophet, seer, and revelator. The pope doesn't percieve himself to be a prophet. - CM (non-LDS)
The Pope is a God-fearing gentleman. He is a good man. But he has no authority from God nor does he claim any. The Prophet is called of God to serve His purposes. He is inspired to lead the Latter-day church today much like Abraham or Isaac of old. He receives revelation for the Church. He has the Priesthood. I think that there is really only one similarity between the Pope and the Prophet. They are both good men. The Pope is at the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Jesus Christ is at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our Prophet is merely the mouthpiece of the Lord Jesus Christ. -JM (LDS)
I have attempted to address this topic by pointing out the how each office stands up to 6 fundamental issues.
I am 18 years old and extremely under-educated, so please be patient if you encounter some typos and if some of my statements are incorrect and e-mail me with any corrections. I would sincerely appreciate it.
I quote a Brother Francis three or four times in this writing, because my time in writing it was limited and I was unable to find an official Papal decree on some subjects. I do not attempt to deride the Catholic church in any way by quoting what he says, but simply find his statements to be profound in presenting the Catholic dogma, and therefore relevant and true to the presented topic.
<< Note: I refer to the two offices as Pope and Prophet, because these are their titles to their respectful congregations. This is not intended to uplift or debase either office in any way. >>
1. Teachings are Infallible
Although official church stances on issues may change (homosexuality, abortion, etc.), the infallibility of the Pope remains, because he is considered the ultimate authority of God's Will on Earth to the Catholic Church.
Likewise, the Prophet is the only true authority which can deliver revelations and commandments to the Church as a whole, and is the only authority which is infallible to the Church.
2. Have Power To Authorize Scripture
"To take one example, it is the Catholic Church and only the Catholic Church, that could state confidently that
the Latin Vulgate version contains all the inspired books and only those, and that it is free from error. It is also
the authority of the Church that can assure us that the Douay-Rheims version is a faithful rendering of the same
Latin Vulgate in the English language." -Brother Francis, M.I.C.M.
3. Only True Authority
Both the Catholic and LDS Churches believe this doctrine to some extent. (Catholocism's general consensus
being 'Outside the Church no salvation is possible,' and Mormonism's general consensus being 'Outside the
Church one cannot attain the highest degree of exaltation.')
Doctrine & Covenants 131:1-3
4. Priesthood Authority-
5. Terms of Authoritative Service
The Prophet is chosen as an Apostle by the Church Presidency and then outlives the other Apostles.
Therefore, both offices are attained through divine inspiration to others and death.
6. Continuing Revelation (Additional Canonized Scripture)
Article of Faith 9 "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."
A fundamental principle of the LDS Church is that the canonization is not complete; thus giving the Prophet authority to authorize new scripture and to, in fact, deliver new scripture in the form of revelation and commandment (i.e. The Doctrine & Covenants, General Conferences, The Book of Mormon, etc.) which may be canonized through the authorization of the Savior.
The Catholic Church allows additional revelation as well (as stated above), but does not permit canonization out of sacred respect for the divinity of the Bible and its all-encompassing teachings. The LDS Church does permit additional canonization at times out of sacred respect for the infinite nature of the Gospel and believes that additional canonized materials are needed as Mankind progresses. Both dogmas, as noted, are instituted out of sacred reverance.
The Bottom Line-
While I do not pretend to know the doctrine and practices of Catholicism (or even how to spell it right!). I believe the Pope with in his church is held up to be infallible. This is not true of our Prophet (or some Biblical prophets). Also, the Prophet of the church is sustained (voted, agreed upon) by the members of the LDS church. I do not think the Roman Catholic church has that practice. (But I reserve the right to be wrong). Also, while I believe the Pope to be a wise and caring man, I do not believe he is at the head of the Lord's church on the Earth. I believe the Prophet is. -L (LDS)
I am sorry, but, as a former Protestant and now a Catholic, you are wrong. Because you are not submerged in the culture you are just a person looking in from the outside making uninformed opinions. The Catholic church is the real church. We see Jesus as the Head of our Church. BUT, the Lord always left someone here on earth to shepard His people. Even in the beginning. Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc. Right on down through the popes. What do you think it means when Jesus gace the keyes of heaven to Peter-the first Pope? I have never understood why people think that the protestant reformation is when everyone finally understood what Jesus meant. Do you really think Jesus wanted us to finally figure Him out 1500 years later? -J (non-LDS)
the dictionary defines office as "a position of authority, duty, or trust given to a person".
i don't see much difference between the two offices in the sense that they are both pretty much in charge of their churches and both believe god put them there.
i believe neither is the true church. first of all, the bible teaches the true church is made of individual believers, not a building we meet in. also i believe the mormons are not christian because they follow another jesus and another gospel.
the pope on the other hand might be saved, i don't know. i do know he does not follow the word of god though. the bible teaches peter was married; the pope teaches the pope and priests cannot be married. the bible teaches we need only go through jesus to get to the father; the pope teaches we need to go through the priests and saints.
as far as the mormon president goes, he is not a true believer. the mormons deny christian doctrine and the mormon prophets of old, such as b young, even taught christianity was conceived in hell. j smith said god told him all the christian creeds were/are an abomination in god's sight.
both the mormon prophet and pope are wrong in many ways, but over all the offices, as defined by the dictionary, are about the power and position they hold. you may be thrown out of either church for pursing questions, but acts 17:11 says search the scriptures. and the bible teaches seek, knock, and ask. one thing the mormons and pope don't want us to do is ask questions.
for further talks and hard questions that must be asked, please write me at [email protected] thank you. -RB (non-LDS)