The Council of Rome held at 382 AD and presided over by Pope Damasus I contains a rather curious formula which goes,
After the announcement of all of these prophetic and evangelic or as well as apostolic writings which we have listed above as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded…
Now why on earth would the Pope write such a Protestant sounding formula grounding the Catholic Church upon the Scriptures?
The answer can be seen in their next declaration:
We have considered that it ought to be announced that… the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church…”
Thus the reason for the invocation of sola scriptura by the Pope is clear. He wants to ground the primacy of Rome directly upon “evangelical voice of our Lord” in opposition to the Eastern idea that the primacy of Rome is conceded to him by a conciliar action of the whole Church. He can only do this by asserting that the Scriptures are prior and anterior to the whole Catholic Church and is its foundation, and directly from this foundation, assert his Petrine Primacy.
Naturally the irony is that even as the Pope invoked sola scriptura to undermine the institutional authority of the other ancient sees, the Protestant Reformers would later on invoke the very same principle to undermine his own authority. If indeed sola scriptura is not part of the depositum fidei but is a doctrine “invented”, then it is not invented by the Protestant Reformers but by the Pope himself, who was so anxious to assert his primacy that he planted the seeds for his own destruction.
Well, what can I say as a Protestant, but thank God for power hungry Popes who in their zeal to establish the throne of the Antichrist cannot help but trip over the true Rock of the Church, the Faith of the Scriptures…