Even were the office of head of the Church conferred in Matt. XVI., 18, surely it was withdrawn in Matt* XV L, 23, where Christ said to Peter, “Get thee behind me. Satan I”

The Catholic Answers

The fact that the office was not withdrawn is clear from the later words of Christ to Peter, “And do thou, being converted, confirm thy bretliren.” Lk. XXII., 32; and again, from the commission to feed the whole flock given to Peter after Our Lord’s resurrection, as recorded in Jn. XXL, 15-18. Prompted by love and reverence for Christ, Peter had protested that Christ ought not to suffer. And Christ would have been the first to appreciate such motives. However harsh the English may seem to be, Christ really replied gently, as if to say, “Peter, you do not yet understand the plan of God. You are letting your human affection sway your judgment. But such thoughts are opposed to my vocation. Get thee behind me, Satan.” The word Satan is not used personally here, as of the devil, but in the sense of adversary, Christ intending merely, “I cannot accept the natural promptings of your affection for me.” No withdrawal of office is involved.

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