Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 23rd, 2015 and has been revised.
A Christian’s Pocket Guide To The Papacy: Its origin and role in the 21st century
By Leonardo De Chirico
Christian Focus Publications, 2015, 116 pages
In this short book, evangelical pastor and apologist, Leonardo De Chirico, examines the development of the papacy in Catholic history with a chapter especially devoted to recent popes, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.
As early Christianity gradually displaced paganism and was declared the state religion of the Roman Empire, it adapted many of the beliefs, practices, and rituals of its former rival. The bishop of Rome vied with the three other patriarchates (Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem) for preeminence. When the imperial seat was transferred to Constantinople, the bishop of Rome became the de facto emperor of the West along with the title of il Papa. The papacy patterned itself on the Caesarian imperial model and thenceforth sought to become the most powerful ecclesiastical and political authority in the world.
Dr. De Chirico provides many valuable insights into the history of the papacy and its possible future prospects especially in light of the growing secularization of the West combined with the relentless march of ecumenism. There is no doubt the Vatican is planning for all possible eventualities.
Every evangelical pastor needs to read this book and every believer would benefit from it as well in this era of increasing ecumenism. A Christian’s Pocket Guide To The Papacy can be ordered from Amazon here.
Here also is a link to Dr. De Chirico’s excellent blog, Vatican Files: Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Roman Catholicism.
Postscript: When this book was written in 2015, Dr. De Chirico could not have anticipated the mounting crisis within the Catholic church regarding pope Francis. Conservative and traditionalist Catholics are appalled by the doctrine-bending, progressive pope and some are even calling him a heretic.