It is shameful that Pope Francis I would disgrace the Roman Catholic congregation with his garbage. This is what I was talking about: the Pope taking Jesus Christ's place. It is no surprise that Catholics believe that Jesus Christ made Peter the leader of the apostles. They believe that he and the other twelve apostles pass their authority on to their successors, which continues for the rest of history, including today. Peter is believed to be the leader of the apostles, with the greatest authority, and therefore his successors carry on the greatest authority. The Roman Catholic Church combines this belief with the concept that Peter later became the first bishop of Rome, and that the Roman bishops that followed Peter were accepted by the early church as the central authority among all of the churches. Apostolic succession, combined with Peter’s supremacy among the apostles, results in the Roman bishop being the supreme authority of the Catholic Church – the Pope.
However, nowhere in Scripture did Jesus, the apostles, or any other New Testament writer set forth the idea of "apostolic succession." Further, neither is Peter presented as "supreme" over the other apostles. In fact, apostle Paul rebuked Peter when the latter was leading others astray (Galatians 2:11-14). Yes, the apostle Peter had a prominent role. Yes, perhaps the apostle Peter was the leader of the apostles (although the book of Acts records the apostle Paul and Jesus' brother James as also having prominent leadership roles). Whatever the case, Peter was not the "commander" or supreme authority over the other apostles. Even if apostolic succession could be demonstrated from Scripture, which it cannot, it would not result in Peter's successors being absolutely supreme over the other apostles' successors.
Catholics point to Matthias being chosen to replace Judas as the twelfth apostle in Acts chapter 1 as an example of apostolic succession. While Matthias did indeed "succeed" Judas as an apostle, this is in no sense an argument for continuing apostolic succession. Matthias chosen to replace Judas is only an argument for the church replacing ungodly and unfaithful leaders (e.g., Judas) with godly and faithful leaders (e.g., Matthias). Nowhere in the New Testament are any of the twelve apostles recorded as passing on their apostolic authority to successors. Nowhere do any of the apostles predict that they will pass on their apostolic authority. No, Jesus ordained the apostles to build the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20). What is the foundation of the church that the apostles built? The New Testament – the record of the deeds and teachings of the apostles. The church does not need apostolic successors. The church needs the teachings of the apostles accurately recorded and preserved, and that is exactly what God has provided in His Word (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2).
Although I am not a Catholic myself, from what I understand about Christianity and Scripture, the Bible does not promote the concept of apostolic succession. However, what is found in it is that the true church will teach what the Scriptures teach and will compare all doctrines and practices to Scripture in order to determine what is true and right. The Roman Catholic Church claims that a lack of ongoing apostolic authority results in doctrinal confusion and chaos. It is an unfortunate truth (that the apostles acknowledged) that false teachers would arise (2 Peter 2:1). Admittedly, the lack of "supreme authority" among non-Catholic churches results in many different interpretations of the Bible. However, these differences in interpretation are not the result of Scripture being unclear. Rather, they are the result of even non-Catholic Christians carrying on the Catholic tradition of interpreting Scripture in accordance with their own traditions. If Scripture is studied in its entirety and in its proper context, the truth can be easily determined. Doctrinal differences and denominational conflicts are a result of some Christians refusing to agree with what Scripture says – not a result of there being no "supreme authority" to interpret Scripture.
Scriptural teaching helps Christians determine the truth, even that about the church. What is mentioned in Scripture is the idea that the Word of God was to be the guide that the church was to follow (Acts 20:32). It is Scripture that was to be the infallible measuring stick for teaching and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is the Scriptures that teachings are to be compared with (Acts 17:10-12). Apostolic authority was passed on through the writings of the apostles, not through apostolic succession. You and I may have similarities and differences on topics such as the apostolic succession, but at least we can agree that Francis has gone too far with his leadership style and is causing chaos, division, and usurpation of divine authority.
(Also, your example of a constitutional crisis gives clarity as to understanding how Pope Francis I caused a crisis within the Roman Catholic Church through his beliefs, conduct, and behavior. It is a good example.)