Fr. Mike goes all the way back to Genesis to explain why Catholics have a pope. God established the kingdom of Israel with the twelve sons of Jacob. Centuries later, he appointed David as the king who would unite this kingdom. Centuries after that kingdom was divided, Jesus established a new kingdom by appointing the twelve apostles.
To unite this new kingdom, which is the Church, he appointed Peter as his vicar here on earth. Jesus is the king, but he gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter. This means Peter and his successors play the role of the “prime minister”, or the right-hand-man, or the steward of the king while Jesus is gone.
The papacy may be a divisive topic today, but clearly God gave his Church a pope as a sign of unity for all who are a part of the new kingdom Christ established.
See also: “Did Jesus Envision a Pope” by Dr. Andrew Swafford.
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.