In the year 1054, the Roman church officially went on its own way by leaving the grace of the Holy Spirit in the one true church, and persuing their own worldly interests. For many years the Roman church felt as though it reigned supreme over all other sees. This stretches far back in history to the earliest parts of the church. Although several of our fathers in the early church spoke out against this, they continue to believe otherwise, even going as far as misquoting the writings of the church fathers to fit their belief. For instance St Cyril of Alexandria is said by the Romans to believe in the fililoque, even citing some of his writings. What they fail to tell the unsuspecting victim is that they translated St Cyrils writings erroneously. They confused the words "proceed from" and "sent by" as meaning the same thing. In any Roman writings on St. Cyril, both are translated as "proceed from." This makes a very big difference in meaning, as the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father NOT the Son, but can and is sent by the Son. The Holy Spirit does not originate from Christ but from the Father.
St. Cyprian also speaks against papal supremacy in his treatsies and letters on the church. St. Cyprian believed that all bishops were equal, no matter the different titles given, as they are titles of respect not authority over one another. For St. Cyprian all bishops must be in accordance with their predecessors in order to be Orthodox. The priests must also be in communion with one of these bishops to be considered legitimate. The head of the church or High Priest (Heb. 3,4,5) is Christ, and no one man reigns supreme over all of Christendom.
The Romans use the verse Mt. 16:18 "Upon this rock I will found My church, that even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Christ was speaking to St. Peter about his confession of faith, meaning that Christ will build His church on them, as in the apostles and not St. Peter alone. What is the purpose of ordaining 12 specific apostles only to nullify their authority by placing St. Peter as having the sole authority. If St. Peter is the supreme authority, why then did St. James preside over the council in Jerusalem? (Acts 15:6) If St. Peter is indeed above all other Christians, then why was St. James given authority over St. Peter in presiding over the council with the ability to render a judgment to which is the correct doctrine. St. John Chrysostom's homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew clearly demonstrates that Christ did not speak directly to St. Peter giving him all the power and authority as opposed to all the apostles.
Going back as far as the 5th century to the time of Pope Leo I of Rome there arose these prideful doctrines of papal supremacy. Leo was one of the first of the Romans to really make light of this doctrine stating: "Supreme and universal authority in the church, bestowed originally by Christ on St. Peter, had been transmitted to each subsequent bishop of Rome as the apostles heir. As such, he assumed St. Peters functions, full authority, and privleges; and just as the Lord bestowed more power on St. Peter than on the other apostles, so the Pope was 'the primate of all the bishops' and the apostles mystical embodiment." (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes pg. 43, J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Univ. Press 1986)
Because of this belief Leo decided to isolate his rival in Alexandria by declaring them a heretic after some very cowardly acts. The dispute arose over the nature of Christ, which is why the council was called, just as in Acts 15:6. The Coptic church of Alexandria, which had defended the faith in the first three councils and had become rather well known, had defined the nature of Christ as St. Cyril. Which all had agreed on as being true in the 3rd council. Leo however was not satisfied and had changed the wording, then demanded we accept that definition as opposed to St. Cyril. While we accepted both definitions, as they are inherently the same, they rejected ours, which is St. Cyril's definition from the previous council that they accept.
Thus Leo was able to eliminate his rival church, even going as far as taking the name "Pope" from the Coptic church, as Rome used the word "Vicar." Leo had gotten his wish, power. Rome slowly continued their downward spiral, slowly trying to change doctrines, and adding new doctrines until the schism between them and the Eastern Orthodox in 1054.
What I find amazing is that Rome truly believes itself to be supreme authority and yet St. Peter had founded the church in Antioch 12 years prior to founding Rome, which he founded with St. Paul, as evidenced by St. Paul's letter to the Romans. Rome had been tainted with worldly ideas of church government and thus became drunk with wealth and power, to the point it had become almost completely unrecognizable. Because of their insolence they gave birth to their own worst enemy, protestantism which has terrorized the world since. This leads us to our next point.
The apostasy. From the Greek word apostasis, apostasy literally means the abandonment or renunciation of religious belief. (Oxford English Dictionary) While the case can be made by Rome that the apostasy did not begin with them but with protestants, it is historically clear that it did indeed with them. As we had demonstrated they had been heading the direction of worldly desires for centuries, and it culminated in 1054 by completely breaking away from the true church completely. Then over the years perverting doctrine and often times just making them up out of thin air. Many actually make the case that the apostasy has not happened yet and that all denominations are Christian. This is flawed theology. If indeed anyone who believes, as protestants hold to justification by faith alone, then our beliefs become completely irrelevant and useless. Why do it the hard way when you can just believe and attain the same results, it is absurd. Protestantism is quite frankly a man made belief founded in the 16th century. The two pillars of protestantism, justification by faith alone and the bible as sole authority are inventions, there is no historical evidence proving their existence before the 16th century. Therefore they have departed from sound doctrine. 2 Tim 4:3 "For there will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts, they shall heap up to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and will be turned unto fables." St. Paul is clearly speaking of Christians who will follow unsound doctrine, perverted doctrine. Instead they will choose to follow teachers who say what they want to hear. Therefore it is clear, the apostasy started with Rome, then trickled down and ignited the protestant reformation, furthering the decline.
Let us touch on one last topic. Infallibility. Probably the most heretical of all Roman doctrines. This originally was a belief that the Pope of Rome was completely infallible, stemming all the way back to St. Peter, then over time was changed to mean infallible in church matters. If this is true, why then was the council held in Jerusalem? If St. Peter is infallible, then only he should have spoke as well as presided over the council. The Pope of Rome has been set up as being godlike and not as the apostles intended, based on the writings of the church fathers who condemned having one supreme authority other than Christ.
Rome has led the people of this world into a downward spiral by its pride and arrogance. There is nothing truly sober minded about the leadership in Rome. Greedy, arrogant, and despicable are the words I would choose to describe them, the leadership, and possibly even heretical. I want to make it clear I am not condemning the people, I am simply attacking the invented doctrines and foolish leaders that have graced Rome over the centuries.