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Definition:   A title for the pope that reflects his role as mediator, or “bridge-maker” between the Catholic and God. The term was acquired from the chief Roman priest, the “Pontifex Maximus.” The sacral title was eventually reserved for the Roman emperor himself. The Catholic Church teaches that the pope holds the keys to heaven and has universal power over the Church. He has been given the authority to free souls from purgatory by promulgating indulgences. Salvation is only available through the Catholic Church, since only the successor to Peter that has been given the supreme authority to bind and loose. The Church, through the authority given to the pope, is the only bridge to heaven.

Discussion:  The popes usurp the authority of the one mediator between God and mankind, Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). The pope claims to be the head of the Church, but it is Jesus who is the true head (Eph. 1:22; 5:23). Jesus is alive and retains His authority (Mt. 28:18). He is the supreme priest forever (Heb. 6:20). We are saved to the uttermost through Jesus and Him alone (Heb. 7:25).

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