Rome loves its relics, even when they are fake. Early Britons took on this idea, even before Rome became their spiritual head. Every church had to have its relic – a finger, a toe, a tooth (even when the tooth was from a boar), because it ‘helped’ ignorant folks to venerate God (or, rather, Rome).
The ‘Chair of St Peter’ is one such relic. It is amazing how a chair of an apostle who lived in the Middle East managed to get all the way to Rome! But, there it sits in St Peter’s Basilica, surrounded by a gilt bronze case made for it between 1647 and 1653. Because Peter was supposed to be a bishop of Rome, his chair is called a ‘cathedra’ (hence the name ‘cathedral’). Many popes used the chair after Peter supposedly used it.
Really, it is all quite pathetic – most people thought the chair had been used by Peter. In fact, it was not made until the 9th century, and was presented to the pope by Charles the Nip, in 875!
Of course, the back of the chair shows Christ handing Peter a set of keys – a fond image in the mind of Roman Catholics long deceived by their false church. The chair is just an advertisement for Romanism. The chair itself is held aloft by four doctors of the church, so that it appears to float above an altar, which is covered by streams of light from a window behind. All very theatrical.
The idea comes from Matthew 16:18-19 (see my study on this passage). Suffice to say that Christ did NOT hand Peter keys to the kingdom, NOR did He say that He built His church upon Peter, but the text is inscribed on the chair anyway! The chair has been used as a symbol of the popes’ power and authority ever since. Essential to all this is the deception that every pope is a successor of Peter.
Before this chair was made, there were other, earlier chairs (so much for authenticity), and each one had a feast day in its honour, on January 18th and February 22nd. The earlier examples did not survive. For this reason the chair became symbolic rather than actual. That is, it represents the power of the popes, a power ‘given’ to them because they succeed Peter…supposedly. And, because the popes live in Rome, the ‘authority’ extended itself to the city itself… hence its name: ‘the holy city’.
The January feast is in honour of Peter’s stay in Rome (though there is no evidence for it), and the February feast is in honour of his stay at Antioch. Both feasts are listed in the Tridentine Calendar, its rank being called ‘Double’. A later pope raised its rank to ‘Greater Double’. But, in 1960, pope John XXIII removed the January feast from the list. He made the February feast a ‘Second-Class Feast’. As in any man-made organisation, there are critics, who reject what the pope did, and who celebrate the two feasts anyway. So much for ‘authority’!
It is worth repeating, though I have written a longer paper on the matter, that there is no proof that Peter ever went to Rome. Indeed, as I argue in my paper, it is far more likely that he did not go to Rome.
The supposed ‘authority’ of Rome is based on two things: that he went to Rome and was its first bishop, thus giving all following bishops authentic claim to be head, and, that Christ gave him the keys to heaven and hell, etc. I advise you to read my articles on both those issues.
Concerning the latter claim, Christ did not found His Church on Peter, but on Himself. To say otherwise is to contradict the tenor and teaching of scripture, which always refers to Christ and God as the Rock, and always speaks of Christ as the Head of the church. To believe as Catholics do requires a definite move away from God’s word and towards beliefs invented by the cult of Rome.
© March 2011
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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