There seems to be an increase in criticism on Catholicism, particularly on social media. Protestants have targeted our loyalty to the Pope, the Eucharist, petitioning Saints, Deuterocanonical books, Mary’s Virginity, etc. Atheists have been dynamic in criticism against Christian Faiths in general. For example, I don’t think any Catholic hasn’t had their faith dynamically challenged on Facebook. I’m challenged on FB by atheists and protestants on a daily basis. Since this seems to be an escalating issue, I’ll endeavor to address some of these contentions.
The Pope is a common target, as protestant denominations are compelled to discredit the Genuine Church in attempting to conjure credibility for their novel beliefs and doctrines. It is a forgone conclusion that Christ anticipated this when He so unmistakably proclaimed: "And I tell YOU that YOU are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever YOU bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:18). Therefore protestants have tried their best to erode this proclamation, particularly by breaking down the Greek words for “Peter” / Petros and “rock” / petra. Notwithstanding that nearly all Bible Scholars are confident that Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and there is only one word for both. The bottom line is that Jesus addressed this proclamation to Peter, not Marshall Applewhite, John Calvin, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Jeffrey Don Lundren, Martin Luther, Bonnie Nettles, Joel Osteen, Fred Phelps, Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, Huldrych Zwingli, nor anyone else. Some protestants claim that Jesus is the rock, but Christ’s statement clearly indicates otherwise. Other protestants who concede that Jesus chose Peter initially, contend that leadership was up-for-grabs after Peter’s death. However, Acts 1:26 attests otherwise. If Judas the traitor was intentionally replaced, so was Peter.
Moreover, it is essential to consider where Jesus made this prophetic statement to Peter; at Caesarea Philippi. “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). Caesarea Philippi is world renowned for a gigantic mountainous rock 100 feet tall and 500 feet wide. The city of Caesarea Philippi was built on top of this huge megalith. Petros translates as "pebble," while petra means "boulder", and that is exactly what they were standing on, a giant boulder. An additional location verification is the large open cavity in the colossal rock, it’s called the “Gates of Hades”. Furthermore there was a temple at the summit. Jesus was using the site as symbolism as to what He was doing, the massive rock representing Peter, with the visual picture of the temple on top, and the gates of hell below.