Our church’s opposition to this proposed papal visit is based on scriptural convictions and because of the deeply offensive and insulting nature of Pope Francis’s claims and creed.
It is not on grounds of blind sectarianism: it is not the product of an innate hatred of all things Roman Catholic.
We bear no ill will towards our Roman Catholic neighbours, but rather wish that all people might enter into the freedom of the glorious Gospel of Christ.
Titles such as, ‘Holy Father’, ‘Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church’ and ‘Vicar of Christ’ historically have been viewed by Protestant churches as blasphemous because they are at variance with Scripture in that they usurp titles that belong to the Trinity.
As Reformed Evangelical Protestants, we totally reject the arrogant claim that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the “Sovereign Pontiff of the Church”. We recognise no Head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those historic creeds of the Protestant Churches have recognised that the Pope by his claims has placed himself in the place of Christ and therefore have termed him –‘The antichrist in the Church’ (‘anti’ means in place of).
The Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 25 Section VI which our ministers and elders sign at ordination reads,
‘There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.’
Rev Ian Brown, Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church