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THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE POPE AND THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS

By Celestine Chinedu

Has it truly been….. the Catholic church preparing the dinner and allowing other churches wash the dishes?

The debate and questions about the Papacy and its stands in the society have been an age long thing. Many people claim that these leaders of the Roman Catholic Church only impose superiority and authority on the society, whereas some people feel that the Popes are only exercising arbitrary powers on the people due to the reverences their subjects bestow on them; still other people insist that the powers or authorities of any pope in the society are attached to the population which the Catholic Church controls, mostly in the whole world. However, there are basic reasons the Papacy remains an authority even In-Cathedral and Ex-Cathedral.

St. Peter’s square, Rome, Vatican city

AS A RELIGIOUS HEAD AND AUTHORITY

One of the things that gives the Papacy its mantle of authority in the world is its stand as the religious Head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope while In-Cathedral as the Roman Catholic head, wields the authority and control of the entire Catholicism. As a matter of fact, he remains an epitome of morality which accounts for his ‘Infallibility’ hence, this infallibility while in his position as the religious leader lies on the very fact that Christ who is the founder and foundation stone of the Church is infallible. Thus, the pope as the Vicar of Christ invariably, inherits the sanctity and authority when he acts, decides, administers, performs and address the church especially in matters of faith, religion and catholic doctrine. Consequently, the pope wields also, the moral, ethical, spiritual and pastoral authorities. Meanwhile, by this position, he is the leader of all the Roman Catholic Bishops and faithful.

AS A POLITICAL LEADER

The political stands or nature of the Papacy is undeniable. This is because, the Vatican which remains the permanent abode of the popes is an independent entity, in other words, a country of its own. Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy, The Vatican City is an independent city-state that covers just over 100 acres. The Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy with the pope at its head. The Vatican as it is mints its own euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and licence plates, operates media outlets and has its own flag and anthem. However, the Vatican only lacks one government function which is taxation. The museums admission fees, stamp and souvenir sales, and contributions generate the Vatican’s revenue.

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