Rebuttal: We worship Jesus Christ, through Papal Guidance.
What the Bible Says
1 Tim 2:1-3 – "First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior,"
Acts 14:22-23; 1 Tim 3:1-8 – They (the apostle St. Paul) appointed presbyters (priest) for them in each church, and with prayer and fasting (penance), commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.
Col 1:18 – “He (Jesus) is head of the body, the church.”
Jn 20:21 – Here, Jesus gives his Apostles his own mission - "[Jesus] said to them again, peace be with you, as my Father has sent me, so I send you."
Eph 4:11– Church leaders or hierarchical
1 Tim 5:7 – Here, some rules for presbyters are given
1 Tim 4:14-17 – Paul says be imitators of me for I am your father in Christ. He makes it very clear that the laying on of hands is truly of “prophetic utterance.”
1Tim 5:17 – “Let the elders (presbyters, priest) who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”
Paul writes to Timothy, that we should pray for those in high positions, for it is acceptable by God. We continue this tradition through the Pope elect, as well as those same bishops and priests mentioned previously.
What the Church Teaches
St. Ignatius of Antioch, the preceding bishop of St. Peter, and a disciple of St. John was consecrated bishop of Antioch in 69 AD. He said, “Through the ordained ministry, especially that of the bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.” That was close to 30 years after the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
In Other Words
The community of believers referenced here, is the structure the Catholic Church uses today. The ordained bishops and priests of the Church understand that Christ is the Highest Priest so that by keeping the traditions of the Church, He is made visible. It is clear that those who are servants of the gospel, deserve our highest respect and a share of material resources (tithing). The Catholic Church neither holds up the Pope (the chair of St. Peter) higher than Jesus, nor does it teach to do so. Therefore, it is not the “chair” of Peter, but the “throne” of God that we are honoring. We honor these men because of the office they hold and being our spiritual 'fathers' as Paul states in 1 Tim 5:17. We hold them in high regard because they point the way to Christ. The body of Christ, the Church, respects these men of honor - and we should too. After all, they are the best examples on earth to what it means to be Christ-like.