This passage is interpreted by Roman Catholic expositors to support their position on
papal infallibility. It is argued that the authority of Jesus Christ is guaranteed in this
passage to the legitimate successors, i.e. the Bishops of Rome.
- Luke 10:16
- "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he
that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."
This passage has no application to the Roman Church since those to whom the words,
"he that heareth you heareth me. . . " were given, were instructed to:
- The above words are directed specifically to the seventy (vs. 1, 17), not to a single
supreme head and his "legitimate successors."
Even if this passage were intended to give unique authority to specially chosen
successors, the Roman Church has no claim to this authority, since she has spoken
contradictorily about the same things. Two examples illustrate the point.
- "Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes. . . " (vs. 4). Is this the way
R.C. emissaries are sent forth?
- "Heal the sick that are therein." (vs. 9). Do the proselytizers of the Roman
Church heal the sick in the cities they visit?
- "Be as lambs among wolves." (vs. 3). Can it be said of the Roman Church that
its Popes have been "lambs among wolves"? The facts of history as recorded by
both R.C. and non-R.C. historians amount to a thorough refutation of the claim of the
Roman Church to these words of the Lord. 1
- Eugene IV (1431-1447) condemned Joan of Arc to be burned alive as a witch, while another
pope, Benedict XV, in 1920, declared her to be a saint.
- Sixtus V (1585-1590) recommended the reading of the Bible but Pius VII (1800-1823)
condemned the practice.
- The incompatibility of this statement of the Lord with the official practice of the
Roman Church is borne out in the following quotation: "Those are not to be accounted
murderers or homicides who, when burning with love and zeal for their catholic mother
against excommunicated persons, shall happen to kill a few of them." This was the
decree of Pope Urban II in 1088 A.D. and is embodied in the canon law of Rome, as Cause
xxii quest. v., chpt. 47, Excommunicamus from which the quotation is taken. When the canon
law was revised by a commission of cardinals, under Pope Gregory XIII in 1580, this decree
was left in, and was made an article of faith. Return