Both the Catholic and Mormon faiths have a sort of hierarchical structure within their respective Churches. At the top we see two contrasting roles, the Mormon President (filled by people such as Joseph Smith or Brigham Young) and the Roman Pontificate (or the Pope). What are the differences in authority, control, and election of these leaders?

  • 1
    related question, this might contain what you are looking for
    – depperm
    Mar 14, 2022 at 1:07
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    also related
    – depperm
    Mar 14, 2022 at 1:13
  • @depperm is prophet and president interchangeable in this case?
    – Luke Hill
    Mar 14, 2022 at 1:39
  • Yes the president of the LDS church is sustained as prophet, seer, and revelator source
    – depperm
    Mar 14, 2022 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


The Roman Pontiff

  • is a successor of St. Peter.
  • has valid Holy Orders.

Thus, he shares in Christ's authority.

Baltimore Catechism 3.507:

Q. How do we know that the bishops of the Church are the successors of the Apostles?

A. We know that the bishops of the Church are the successors of the Apostles because they continue the work of the Apostles and give proof of the same authority. They have always exercised the rights and powers that belonged to the Apostles in making laws for the Church, in consecrating bishops and ordaining priests.

Mormons cannot claim this. Theirs is a man-made sect with solely human authority.

  • Would you mind editing your question to include the role the Mormon president plays in the Mormon church, including his role in defining doctrine and leading the church?
    – Luke Hill
    Mar 13, 2022 at 23:30
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    The argument that Mormonism “is a man-made sect with solely human authority” is meaningless. There are many denominations that would say the same of Roman Catholicism. Similarly the claim that the Pope is in charge because he has “valid Holy Orders” is just as refutable, and just as claimable by many other leaders. ¶ This Answer is a good example of the kind of circular reasoning known as the “begging the question” fallacy. Mar 13, 2022 at 23:47
  • @RayButterworth I have to agree. Also, Geremia has failed to give the way by which the Pope can define doctrine and answer (if it does) differ from Mormon presidents.
    – Luke Hill
    Mar 14, 2022 at 1:40
  • @Geremia uh… what? I am confused what that has to do with anything. Would you mind elaborating?
    – Luke Hill
    Mar 14, 2022 at 3:06
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    @Geremia as the LDS claim to be a restoration, they believe the priesthood was restored through Peter, James, and John; the president (as well as all priesthood holders) can trace their authority back to them
    – depperm
    Mar 14, 2022 at 10:27

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