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Did Peter Have a Successor?
The Evangelization Station ^ | John Lee and Frank Bompas.

Posted on 05/08/2010 7:15:00 AM PDT by GonzoII

Did Peter Have a Successor?

The affectionate title “Pope”, by which Catholics refer to the Bishop of Rome, is not found in the Bible. But then neither are the words “Trinity” and “Incarnation”. The bishops heading all the great ancient patriarchates of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, are each known as “Pope” to their flocks; the title is not applied to the bishop of Rome only.

The word “pope” comes from the Greek "pappas" meaning “father” and is a scriptural custom started by the apostle Paul: “Even if you have countless guides in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ through the gospel” (1 Cor 4:14-15). Stephen addressed the Jewish leaders as “my fathers” in Acts 6:12-15, 7:1-2. In 1 Jn 1:12, the apostle John addresses his “dear children”, obviously alluding to himself as “father”, while in verse 13 he states: “I write to you, fathers”.

The Bishop of Rome (the Pope) has several official titles among which are “Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church” and “Servant of the Servants of God”.

The place of Peter in the early Church.

Peter had a pre-eminent position among the disciples of Jesus in the early Church. He is spokesman at climactic moments such as when Jesus walked on the water (Mt 14:28-32). He is always named first (Mk 3:16-19), and sometimes the twelve are referred to as “Peter and his companions” (Mk 16:17). He is the first witness to Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor 15:5), and Peter’s new name “Cephas” (rock) has significance (Gal 15:5).

In Acts Peter is the first to proclaim the gospel (Acts 2:14-40), and gives many of the major speeches (Acts 3:12-26).

See also Acts 4:8-12, 5:3-9, 29-32, 8:20-23, 10:34-43, 11:4-18, 15:7-11. The first miracle after Pentecost is worked through Peter’s command (Acts 9:34, 38-41, 5:15). Peter was the first to receive God’s revelation that the gospel was to go to the gentiles (Acts 10:9-48) and he was the first to command baptism to the gentiles (Acts 10:46-48).

Jesus’ words that Satan would sift Peter’s faith as wheat but that afterwards he would turn again and “strengthen his brethren” (Lk 22:31-32) were fulfilled.

In Jn 21:15-19 Jesus’ threefold question “do you love me?” is a reversal of Peter’s threefold denial. Jesus commands that he feed the sheep and the lambs and explains that the shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11). These words clearly mean that Peter is commissioned to care for Jesus’ flock after he departs.

Peter, the rock

There is the well-known statement to Peter in Mt 16:18-19 that he will build his church on the “rock”. This passage, which has been used by anti-Catholic apologists to disprove the Catholic understanding of the text, is not the entire basis for Catholic understanding of Peter’s role in the Church. It simply states what all the other New Testament evidence implies:

“... And I tell you, you are Peter (Petros) and upon this rock (taute, petra) I will build my church and the gates of sheol will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18-19).

Is the “rock” Peter or Peter’s faith or God, as in so many Old Testament passages? Jesus gives Simon a new name: “Petros” in Greek. But in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon’s new name is “Kepha”. Anti-Catholics use the most astonishing verbal gymnastics to prove that because of the slightly different form of the word (petros and petra) in Greek, the language in which the gospel was written, occasioned by a gender-change, Peter is a “pebble” or a “chip of rock” and Jesus is the Rock (Petros).

However in the original Aramaic in which Jesus spoke these words, the statement is “You are the ‘Kepha’ and upon this (Taute) ‘Kepha’ I will build my Church”. The word “taute” (this) immediately after calling Peter “Rock” emphasizes that Peter is the rock that Jesus is talking about.

The new name given to Simon, in the context of biblical culture, is extremely important: Abram to Abraham (Gen 17:5), Jacob to Israel (Gen 32:28), Eliakim to Joakim (2 Kings 23:34). Daniel, Ananias, Misael and Azarias are changed to Baltassar, Sidrach, Misach and Abdenago (Dan 1:6-8).

Furthermore the words of Mt 16:18 were spoken at Caesarea Phillippi near the present day Arab town of Banias and at the base of a huge rock slab near what is left of one of the springs that fed the Jordan.

The keys of the kingdom

Note the “keys” in Mt 16:19. Keys were the hallmark of authority. Also, Jesus addressing Peter as “Blessed are you ...” (Mt 16:13) gives the passage the aura of the most important statement he would make to Peter (or to anyone for that matter). Note too how in Isaiah 22:22, Isaiah places “the key of the house of David on the shoulder of Eliakim”.

Eliakim was the new “prime minister” of Israel under the king “alone”. The key has two aspects: the power to rule, authority and permanence – intergenerational succession. He was to have successors. Peter is to be the chief ruler in the New Israel (as Paul calls the Church) under the king, Christ. As in Isaiah, there may have been unworthy persons in possession of the keys, but the position is greater and more permanent than any one person. Just as when Judas hanged himself, a successor was chosen in Acts (Mathias), so the pattern was set for the other apostles, headed by Peter who were all to have successors throughout human history.

The authority of Rome

If one looks at the list of bishops in history of the most ancient sees, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople. Rome emerges, as the only bishopric of the ancient Sees which never taught heresy. The other three all fell at some time or other to Arianism, Monophysitism, Monotheletism, and Nestorianism. Was Peter in Rome, some ask? Peter’s First Letter, addressed to Christians in Asia Minor (c 67 AD), was written in Rome, which is identified by Peter as “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13), for obvious reasons during the reign of Nero. Anti-Catholic apologists such as Loraine Boettner try to prove Peter never was in Rome and that his letters were written from ancient Babylon. He is oblivious to the fact that Babylon is a code name for Rome, used more than six times in the Book of Revelation. In addition, Babylon at that time had been reduced to a backwater of inconsequential importance. Peter’s presence in Rome is mentioned in extra-Biblical writings such as the Sibylline Oracles, the Apocalypse of Baruch and 4 Esdras. Eusebius Pamphilius, writing in 303 AD, attests to Peter’s two letters having been written in Rome, referring figuratively to the city as “Babylon”.

Among the graffiti on the walls surrounding what was long believed to be the actual burial place of Peter under the high altar of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, are inscriptions such as “Peter within” in Greek, together with cryptograms of the Key. In 1968 Pope Paul VI officially announced that the bones of the Prince of Apostles had been conclusively identified under the Basilica. The discovery is discussed in detail in John Evangelist Walsh’s book “The Bones of St Peter”.

265 popes

There have been 265 popes in history. Peter was pope for 25 years and was martyred by crucifixion upside-down in 67 AD by Nero. His successor was Linus, followed by Anacletus, Clement I (96 AD) and so down through the centuries to Pope Benedict XVI (2005 - ). There have been some saints and some scoundrels (especially during the Dark Ages), but even Peter denied his Lord three times before “turning back” (Lk 22:31).

Consider the at most six “bad” popes out of a total of 265, which is not as big a proportion (1 in 44) when compared to the one bad apostle (Judas) from among the twelve men chosen by the Master. Acknowledging that some popes were bona fide scoundrels, no pope in all of history ever taught heresy.

Some anti-Catholics claim that the Emperor Constantine (274-337 AD) was the first pope and the “founder” of the Catholic Church. But the illustrious St Ignatius of Antioch ((25-110 AD), who was a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna (60-155 AD), and knew the apostle John, wrote: “where the bishop is …. there is the Catholic Church.”

Despite all his faults, Constantine legitimized Christianity and made Sunday a public holiday. He presided at the first general Council of the Church at Nicaea in 325 AD. He did much, together with his mother, Helena, to preserve the holy places in Palestine, Rome and elsewhere. He was, however, not eligible to become pope since he was only baptized on his deathbed.

The pope who promulgated the directives of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, at which Constantine presided, was Pope Sylvester I. He was the 33rd successor of St Peter, the first bishop of Rome and pope. Peter was martyred c. 67 AD and was the first universal pastor of Christ’s Church (see Mt 16:19-19, the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

Papal infallibility, not impeccability

Christ guaranteed that the faith would never suffer corruption and error. He gave the Church the charism of infallibility (Mt 16:18-19), in which the pope is the official “spokesman” together with the bishops in union with him. The gift has no connection with the Pope’s “impeccability” (personal holiness, or lack of it). It is exercised when the Pope officially (“ex cathedra”) clarifies or defines an aspect of faith or morals of Catholic Christianity, which has been part of the “deposit of faith” from the very beginning of Christianity. He makes use of this charism very rarely, and only when a belief is not clear, is under attack or is a cause of confusion to the faithful. For example, the dogma of the Assumption of Mary was defined in 1950. It was not “sucked out of thin air” on that date; it has been a belief of the Church since apostolic times, but was “defined” by Pope Pius XII in 1950 after consultation with all the bishops of the Catholic Church.

Universal leadership of the Pope

From earliest times, saints and scholars have witnessed to the Pope’s universal leadership and Popes have exercised this charism.

· In 96 AD Pope Clement sent a strong letter to the church at Corinth resolving a dispute there. It would be unheard of for a bishop to interfere in the affairs of another bishopric were he not recognized as universal pastor, with authority.

· On his way to martyrdom in Rome in 110 AD, Ignatius of Antioch wrote praising the Church of Rome “stamped with the Father’s name”.

· In 150 AD Polycarp of Smyrna conferred with Pope Anacletus on the date for the celebration of Easter.

· In the late 2nd century Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons refuted “false teachers not in harmony with the Church of Rome.”

· In 250 AD St Cyprian of Carthage questioned whether one still held the faith if one was not united with Peter.

· In the 4th century, Ambrose of Milan wrote, “Where Peter is, there is the Church”. Augustine, Jerome, Leo and Gregory I expressed similar sentiments.

Written and compiled by John Lee and Frank Bompas.

Printed with ecclesiastical approval.
The Evangelization Station
P.O. Box 267
Angels Camp, California 95222, USA
Telephone: 209-728-5598
Pamphlet 093

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; pope; stpeter
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The List of Popes

  1. St. Peter (32-67)
  2. St. Linus (67-76)
  3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
  4. St. Clement I (88-97)
  5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
  6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
  7. St. Sixtus I (115-125) -- also called Xystus I
  8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
  9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
  10. St. Pius I (140-155)
  11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
  12. St. Soter (166-175)
  13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
  14. St. Victor I (189-199)
  15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
  16. St. Callistus I (217-22)
  17. St. Urban I (222-30)
  18. St. Pontain (230-35)
  19. St. Anterus (235-36)
  20. St. Fabian (236-50)
  21. St. Cornelius (251-53)
  22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
  23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
  24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
  25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
  26. St. Felix I (269-274)
  27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
  28. St. Caius (283-296) -- also called Gaius
  29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
  30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
  31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
  32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
  33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
  34. St. Marcus (336)
  35. St. Julius I (337-52)
  36. Liberius (352-66)
  37. St. Damasus I (366-83)
  38. St. Siricius (384-99)
  39. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
  40. St. Innocent I (401-17)
  41. St. Zosimus (417-18)
  42. St. Boniface I (418-22)
  43. St. Celestine I (422-32)
  44. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
  45. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
  46. St. Hilarius (461-68)
  47. St. Simplicius (468-83)
  48. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
  49. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
  50. Anastasius II (496-98)
  51. St. Symmachus (498-514)
  52. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
  53. St. John I (523-26)
  54. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
  55. Boniface II (530-32)
  56. John II (533-35)
  57. St. Agapetus I (535-36) -- also called Agapitus I
  58. St. Silverius (536-37)
  59. Vigilius (537-55)
  60. Pelagius I (556-61)
  61. John III (561-74)
  62. Benedict I (575-79)
  63. Pelagius II (579-90)
  64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
  65. Sabinian (604-606)
  66. Boniface III (607)
  67. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
  68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
  69. Boniface V (619-25)
  70. Honorius I (625-38)
  71. Severinus (640)
  72. John IV (640-42)
  73. Theodore I (642-49)
  74. St. Martin I (649-55)
  75. St. Eugene I (655-57)
  76. St. Vitalian (657-72)
  77. Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
  78. Donus (676-78)
  79. St. Agatho (678-81)
  80. St. Leo II (682-83)
  81. St. Benedict II (684-85)
  82. John V (685-86)
  83. Conon (686-87)
  84. St. Sergius I (687-701)
  85. John VI (701-05)
  86. John VII (705-07)
  87. Sisinnius (708)
  88. Constantine (708-15)
  89. St. Gregory II (715-31)
  90. St. Gregory III (731-41)
  91. St. Zachary (741-52)
  92. Stephen II (752)
  93. Stephen III (752-57)
  94. St. Paul I (757-67)
  95. Stephen IV (767-72)
  96. Adrian I (772-95)
  97. St. Leo III (795-816)
  98. Stephen V (816-17)
  99. St. Paschal I (817-24)
  100. Eugene II (824-27)
  101. Valentine (827)
  102. Gregory IV (827-44)
  103. Sergius II (844-47)
  104. St. Leo IV (847-55)
  105. Benedict III (855-58)
  106. St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
  107. Adrian II (867-72)
  108. John VIII (872-82)
  109. Marinus I (882-84)
  110. St. Adrian III (884-85)
  111. Stephen VI (885-91)
  112. Formosus (891-96)
  113. Boniface VI (896)
  114. Stephen VII (896-97)
  115. Romanus (897)
  116. Theodore II (897)
  117. John IX (898-900)
  118. Benedict IV (900-03)
  119. Leo V (903)
  120. Sergius III (904-11)
  121. Anastasius III (911-13)
  122. Lando (913-14)
  123. John X (914-28)
  124. Leo VI (928)
  125. Stephen VIII (929-31)
  126. John XI (931-35)
  127. Leo VII (936-39)
  128. Stephen IX (939-42)
  129. Marinus II (942-46)
  130. Agapetus II (946-55)
  131. John XII (955-63)
  132. Leo VIII (963-64)
  133. Benedict V (964)
  134. John XIII (965-72)
  135. Benedict VI (973-74)
  136. Benedict VII (974-83)
  137. John XIV (983-84)
  138. John XV (985-96)
  139. Gregory V (996-99)
  140. Sylvester II (999-1003)
  141. John XVII (1003)
  142. John XVIII (1003-09)
  143. Sergius IV (1009-12)
  144. Benedict VIII (1012-24)
  145. John XIX (1024-32)
  146. Benedict IX (1032-45)
  147. Sylvester III (1045)
  148. Benedict IX (1045)
  149. Gregory VI (1045-46)
  150. Clement II (1046-47)
  151. Benedict IX (1047-48)
  152. Damasus II (1048)
  153. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
  154. Victor II (1055-57)
  155. Stephen X (1057-58)
  156. Nicholas II (1058-61)
  157. Alexander II (1061-73)
  158. St. Gregory VII (1073-85)
  159. Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
  160. Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
  161. Paschal II (1099-1118)
  162. Gelasius II (1118-19)
  163. Callistus II (1119-24)
  164. Honorius II (1124-30)
  165. Innocent II (1130-43)
  166. Celestine II (1143-44)
  167. Lucius II (1144-45)
  168. Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
  169. Anastasius IV (1153-54)
  170. Adrian IV (1154-59)
  171. Alexander III (1159-81)
  172. Lucius III (1181-85)
  173. Urban III (1185-87)
  174. Gregory VIII (1187)
  175. Clement III (1187-91)
  176. Celestine III (1191-98)
  177. Innocent III (1198-1216)
  178. Honorius III (1216-27)
  179. Gregory IX (1227-41)
  180. Celestine IV (1241)
  181. Innocent IV (1243-54)
  182. Alexander IV (1254-61)
  183. Urban IV (1261-64)
  184. Clement IV (1265-68)
  185. Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
  186. Blessed Innocent V (1276)
  187. Adrian V (1276)
  188. John XXI (1276-77)
  189. Nicholas III (1277-80)
  190. Martin IV (1281-85)
  191. Honorius IV (1285-87)
  192. Nicholas IV (1288-92)
  193. St. Celestine V (1294)
  194. Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
  195. Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
  196. Clement V (1305-14)
  197. John XXII (1316-34)
  198. Benedict XII (1334-42)
  199. Clement VI (1342-52)
  200. Innocent VI (1352-62)
  201. Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
  202. Gregory XI (1370-78)
  203. Urban VI (1378-89)
  204. Boniface IX (1389-1404)
  205. Innocent VII (1404-06)
  206. Gregory XII (1406-15)
  207. Martin V (1417-31)
  208. Eugene IV (1431-47)
  209. Nicholas V (1447-55)
  210. Callistus III (1455-58)
  211. Pius II (1458-64)
  212. Paul II (1464-71)
  213. Sixtus IV (1471-84)
  214. Innocent VIII (1484-92)
  215. Alexander VI (1492-1503)
  216. Pius III (1503)
  217. Julius II (1503-13)
  218. Leo X (1513-21)
  219. Adrian VI (1522-23)
  220. Clement VII (1523-34)
  221. Paul III (1534-49)
  222. Julius III (1550-55)
  223. Marcellus II (1555)
  224. Paul IV (1555-59)
  225. Pius IV (1559-65)
  226. St. Pius V (1566-72)
  227. Gregory XIII (1572-85)
  228. Sixtus V (1585-90)
  229. Urban VII (1590)
  230. Gregory XIV (1590-91)
  231. Innocent IX (1591)
  232. Clement VIII (1592-1605)
  233. Leo XI (1605)
  234. Paul V (1605-21)
  235. Gregory XV (1621-23)
  236. Urban VIII (1623-44)
  237. Innocent X (1644-55)
  238. Alexander VII (1655-67)
  239. Clement IX (1667-69)
  240. Clement X (1670-76)
  241. Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
  242. Alexander VIII (1689-91)
  243. Innocent XII (1691-1700)
  244. Clement XI (1700-21)
  245. Innocent XIII (1721-24)
  246. Benedict XIII (1724-30)
  247. Clement XII (1730-40)
  248. Benedict XIV (1740-58)
  249. Clement XIII (1758-69)
  250. Clement XIV (1769-74)
  251. Pius VI (1775-99)
  252. Pius VII (1800-23)
  253. Leo XII (1823-29)
  254. Pius VIII (1829-30)
  255. Gregory XVI (1831-46)
  256. Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
  257. Leo XIII (1878-1903)
  258. St. Pius X (1903-14)
  259. Benedict XV (1914-22)
  260. Pius XI (1922-39)
  261. Pius XII (1939-58)
  262. Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
  263. Paul VI (1963-78)
  264. John Paul I (1978)
  265. John Paul II (1978-2005)

1 posted on 05/08/2010 7:15:01 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

Don’t you know our modern image of Popes was invented by Coca Cola in the late nineteenth century?


2 posted on 05/08/2010 7:34:39 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: GonzoII
Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

No special mention of Peter?

If Peter is the rock, why is he not also Satan? Matthew 16:23 He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

The story of Peter's confession is told in three of the Gospels (see Mark 8, Luke 9). Only one telling mentioned the rock and keys. So is the important thing to remember the confession or the keys?

In Matthew 7 (before Peter's confession), Jesus has already explained the concept of the rock to the Apostles. They would have remembered the lesson of building on the rock and they would not have assumed the rock was Peter.

We can see this is true because in Mark 9:34b (after Peter's confession) "they had argued with one another about who was the greatest." This was after the keys and rock comment. The Apostles understood the concept of the rock and it was not Peter.

Using rationalizations for earthly power is a perversion of the Gospel. Reading the creeds, not one mentions Peter or the office of Pope. No where is the Bible does it mention a Successor, or even the possibility of a successor. Human rationalizations for why there has to be a successor mean nothing.

3 posted on 05/08/2010 8:24:50 AM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: GonzoII
There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ..

The first church council was overseen by James not Peter

Peter called himself an elder, not a bishop or pope

Paul refereed to the pillars (leadership) of the church as James, John and Peter

There is nothing to indicate peter was ever pope or that there is "apostolic succession " in any way

This is a fable made up out of whole cloth

4 posted on 05/08/2010 8:36:09 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Tao Yin
"No special mention of Peter?"

Christ already took care of that.

"Thou art Peter and upon this rock..."

5 posted on 05/08/2010 8:38:10 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Just a few observations:

1)In Matt. 23:9 Jesus says that we should call no man father is this because God is our spiritual father?

2)In Matt. 21:42 Jesus refers to himself as the stone that the builders rejected. This stone became the head of the corner, the beginning. Why would Jesus refer to Peter as the rock when Jesus says he, himself is the rock?

3)Acts 2:14-40 the scripture states the Peter stood up with the other 11, because of all the languages spoken there, one should consider that the other 11 spoke the same message just in other languages (Gods Spirit working through the apostles rather through the ears of those listening).

4)Regarding the keys, Jesus begins in Matt. 16:13-20 addressing all of the disciples, and ends the same way. That puts the focus on vs 18. Was Jesus talking to Peter or all of the disciples.

5)As for selecting a successor for Judas, Peter quotes a prophecy that Judas was to have a successor, but he goes on to set qualifications for successor-ship. The man had to be with them since the baptism of John all the way until the resurrection which they had to have personally witnessed. They only found 2 that fit the qualifications out of the 120 that were there. To be an apostolic successor meant you filled 2 requirements a)to fulfill prophecy, b)you followed Jesus for two years, how can there any longer be a qualified successor?

6 posted on 05/08/2010 8:44:44 AM PDT by inkdude
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To: Tao Yin

50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy

[written in 1994 and published on pp. 233-238 of my book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism]

See the related paper, Reply to a Critique of my 50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy, for a fuller explanation of exactly what I think these biblical evidences prove, and how I view them in terms of logical force (i.e., what I would claim for them), especially when considered individually.


The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

“Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the
Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (”Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison - Acts 12:1-17).

31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (”Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John - Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) - an example of “binding and loosing.”

41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.

by Dave Armstrong

7 posted on 05/08/2010 8:48:13 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: RnMomof7
"There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ.."

Regarding the word "pope" you can reread the post and here's some history for you:

II. Primacy of Peter’s Apostolic See

"The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth ... But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Clement of Rome, Pope, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

"Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love..." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110).

"There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the Romans, and addressed to Soter, who was bishop at that time. We cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle…In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: To-day we have passed the Lord's holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.' Dionysius of Corinth, To Pope Soter (A.D. 171).

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180).

"A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour's Passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour...Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicated.” Pope Victor & Easter (c. A.D. 195).

"And he says to him again after the resurrection, 'Feed my sheep.' It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided." Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256).

"After such things as these, moreover, they still dare--a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics--to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access." Cyprian, To Cornelius, Epistle 54/59:14 (A.D. 252).

”The reason for your absence was both honorable and imperative, that the schismatic wolves might not rob and plunder by stealth nor the heretical dogs bark madly in the rapid fury nor the very serpent, the devil, discharge his blasphemous venom. So it seems to us right and altogether fitting that priests of the Lord from each and every province should report to their head, that is, to the See of Peter, the Apostle." Council of Sardica, To Pope Julius (A.D. 342).

"And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province. But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighbouring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before." Council of Sardica, Canon III (A.D. 343-344).

"Bishop Gaudentius said: If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere charity which thou hast pronounced, that if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighbouring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defense, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this." Council of Sardica, Canon IV (A.D. 343-344).

"Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent.” Council of Sardica, Canon V (A.D. 343-344).

"Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church. Word should have been written of it to us all, that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons…For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Athanasius, Pope Julius to the Eusebians, Defense Against the Arians, 35 (A.D. 347).

"For Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, having written also against those who said that the Son of God was a creature and a created thing, it is manifest that not now for the first time but from of old the heresy of the Arian adversaries of Christ has been anathematised by all. And Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, making his defense concerning the letter he had written, appears in his turn as neither thinking as they allege, nor having held the Arian error at all." Athanasius, Dionysius of Rome, 13 (A.D. 352).

"You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat…in which Chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one." Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 2:2-3 (c. A.D. 367).

"For the good of unity Blessed Peter deserved to be preferred before the rest, and alone received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that he might communicate them to the rest." Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 7:3 (c.A.D. 367).

"No prejudice could arise from the number of bishops gathered at Ariminum, since it is well known that neither the bishop of the Romans, whose opinion ought before all others to have been waited for, nor Vincentius, whose stainless episcopate had lasted so many years, nor the rest, gave in their adhesion to such doctrines. And this is the more significant, since, as has been already said, the very men who seemed to be tricked into surrender, themselves, in their wiser moments, testified their disapproval." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], About Council at Arminum, Epistle 1 (A.D. 371).

"…I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul…The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundredfold…My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.” Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2 (A.D. 375).

"But he was not so eager as to lay aside caution. He called the bishop to him, and esteeming that there can be no true thankfulness except it spring from true faith, he enquired whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church?" Ambrose, The death of his brother Satyrus, 1:47 (A.D. 378).

"Your grace must be besought not to permit any disturbance of the Roman Church, the head of the whole Roman World and of the most holy faith of the Apostles, for from thence flow out to all (churches) the bonds of sacred communion." Ambrose, To Emperor Gratian, Epistle 11:4 (A.D. 381).

"To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle Peter bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs." Pope Sircius [regn. A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, Epistle 1 (A.D. 385).

"Or rather, if we hear him here, we shall certainly see him hereafter, if not as standing near him, yet see him we certainly shall, glistening near the Throne of the king. Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as a chief and leader of the choir of the Saints, and shall enjoy his generous love. For if when here he loved men so, that when he had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here...” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32:24 (c. A.D. 391).

"Number the bishops from the See of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who has succeeded whom. That is the rock against which the gates of hell do not prevail" Augustine, Psalm against the Party of Donatus, 18 (A.D. 393).

"I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by...and by the succession of bishops from the very seat of Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection commended His sheep to be fed up to the present episcopate." Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, 5 (A.D. 395).

“Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown, so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished.” Augustine, To Glorius, Epistle 43:7 (A.D. 397).

"The chair of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today." Augustine, Against the Letters of Petillian, 2:51 (A.D. 402).

“In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated with all solicitude by bishops, and especially by a true and just and Catholic Council, by preserving, as you have done, the example of ancient tradition, and by being mindful of ecclesiastical discipline, you have truly strengthened the vigour of our religion, no less now in consulting us than before in passing sentence. For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow the Apostle from the very episcopate and whole authority of this name is derived. Following in his footsteps, we know how to condemn the evil and to approve the good.” Pope Innocent [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, Epistle 29 (A.D. 417).

"Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgments...For (Peter) himself has care over all the Churches, and above all that in which he sat nor does he suffer any of its privileges or decisions to be shaken" Pope Zosimus [regn A.D. 417-418 ],To Aurelius and the Council of Carthage, Epistle 12 (A.D. 418).

"For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica, Epistle 13 (A.D. 422).

"The rising pestilence was first cut short by Rome, the see of Peter, which having become the head to the world of the pastoral office, holds by religion whatever it holds not by arms." Prosper of Aquitaine, Song on the Enemies of Grace, 1 (A.D. 429).

"Joining to yourself, therefore, the sovereign of our See, and assuming our place with authority, you will execute this sentence with accurate rigour: that within ten days, counted from the day of your notice, he shall condemn his [Nestorius'] false teachings in a written confession." Pope Celestine [regn. A.D. 422-432], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11 (A.D. 430).

"The Holy Synod said: 'Since most impious Nestorius will not obey our citation, and has not received the most holy and God-fearing bishops whom we sent to him, we have necessarily betaken ourselves to the examination of his impieties; and having apprehended from his letters, and from his writings, and from his recent sayings in this metropolis, which have been reported, that his opinions and teachings are impious, we being necessarily compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and colleague, Celestine, bishop of the Roman Church, with many tears, have arrived at the following sentence against him:--'Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been blasphemed by him, defines by this present most holy synod that the same Nestorius is deprived of episcopal dignity and of all sacredotal intercourse." Council of Ephesus, Session I (A.D. 431).

"Philip, presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: Our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine the bishop is according to due order his successor and holds his place...Accordingly the decision of all churches is firm, for the priests of the eastern and western churches are present...Wherefore Nestorius knows that he is alienated from the communion of the priests of the Catholic Church." Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431).

"Peter in his successors has delivered what he received." Pope Sixtus III [regn. A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch, Epistle 6 (A.D. 433).

"For he [Pope Sixtus] wrote what was in accord with the holy synod [Council of Ephesus], and confirmed all of its acts, an is agreement with us." Cyril of Alexandria, To Acacius of Meletine, Epistle 40 (A.D. 434).

“Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine--and he was the first who held it --that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his place, so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation--nothing but what has been handed down.’” Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 6 (A.D. 434).

"And since these heretics were trying to bring the Apostolic See round their view, African councils of holy bishops also did their best to persuade the holy Pope of the city (first the venerable Innocent, and afterwards his successor Zosimus) that this heresy was to be abhorred and condemned by Catholic faith. And these bishops so great a See successively branded them, and cut them off from the members of the Church, giving letters to the African Churches in the West, and to the Churches of the East, and declared that they were to be anathematised and avoided by all Catholics. The judgment pronounced upon them by the Catholic Church of God was heard and followed also by the most pious Emperor Ho they had wandered, and are yet returning, as the truth of the right faith becomes known against this detestable error." Possidius, Life of Augustine, 18 (A.D. 437).

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away." Council of Chalcedon, Session II (A.D. 451).

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties." Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451).

"The great and holy and universal the metropolis of the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo...being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all...and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness..." Pope Leo the Great, Chalcdeon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451).

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).

“For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter...The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).



III. Peter’s Successors Claim Authority over the Church

"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth....If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Pope Clement of Rome [regn. c A.D.91-101], 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

"Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate..." Pope Victor I [regn. A.D. 189-198], in Eusebius EH, 24:9 (A.D. 192).

"Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter." Pope Stephen I [regn. A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian, Epistle 74/75:17 (A.D. 256).

"I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter s, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Pope Julius [regn. A.D. 337-352], To the Eusebians, fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians, 2:35 (c. A.D. 345).

"Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], To the Eastern Bishops, fragment in Theodoret's EH, 5:10 (c. A.D. 372).

"We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry....Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church....I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body....And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons." Pope Sircius [regn. c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona (Spain), 1,3,20 (c. A.D. 392).

"Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth." Pope Anastasius [regn. A.D. 399-401], Epistle 1 (c. A.D. 400).

"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated ... by bishops ... as you have done, the example of ancient tradition ... For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived ... that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head) also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, 1,2 (A.D. 417).

"It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches...Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve, 2 (A.D. 417).

"Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter...For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat...Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time...and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision." Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage (c. A.D. 418).

"For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 420).

"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly (c. A.D. 420).

"None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia (c. A.D. 420).

"Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity." Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 1 1 (A.D. 430).

"The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master himself instructed first among the apostles?" Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433).

"But this mysterious function the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10 (A.D 445).

"And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the Lord’s own institution as shown towards the partners of His honour, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter's See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461).

"'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).



Copyright 2001 - 2007 © by John Salza. All Rights Reserved.

8 posted on 05/08/2010 8:48:38 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ..

Yes there is. On the walls of the catecombs at San Calista. I saw the papal crests myself carved into the rock.

9 posted on 05/08/2010 8:59:10 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: papertyger
Truth Handling and Teaching Authority

Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Truth Handling and Teaching Authority
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Peter: A Biblical Portrait
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Matthew Chapter 16, Verse 18: The Primacy of Peter
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Truth Handling: Infallibility
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishop of Rome
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, First and Second Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventh and Eighth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Ninth and Tenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Infallibility: The Magisterium, Vatican Council II, The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 25

10 posted on 05/08/2010 9:35:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GonzoII

John Salza a great site. Thanks for posts!

11 posted on 05/08/2010 9:37:15 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
"John Salza a great site."

It sure're welcome!

12 posted on 05/08/2010 9:44:18 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Notice your quotes BEFORE 250 (according to your quotes) do not call Peter Bishop of Rome or pope..

Catholic Answers states, "Admittedly, the Bible nowhere explicitly says Peter was in Rome; but, on the other hand, it doesn't say he wasn't. Just as the New Testament never says, 'Peter then went to Rome,' it never says, 'Peter did not go to Rome.' In fact, very little is said about where he, or any of the apostles other than Paul, went in the years after the Ascension. For the most part, we have to rely on books other than the New Testament for information about what happened to the apostles, Peter included, in later years."

If we relied on the scripture we would know that Paul was called by God to be the apostle to the GENTILES and Peter was called to be the apostle to the JEWS.

If indeed Peter was a missionary or a Bishop in Rome he was being disobedient to Gods call to him.. The historical information given by the Bible documents Peter's ministry in Palestine and Syria

When Paul wrote to Rome, there was no indication of Peters presence there or as some historians may say that Peter and Paul were there at the same time .

Pauls letter to Rome has been dated at around 58AD, following Catholic tradition, Peter would have been "bishop" there for almost 20 years by that time

Paul never hints in Romans that he knows that Peter has worked in Rome or founded the Christian church there before his planned visit (cf. 15:20-23). If he refers indirectly to Peter as among the 'superfine apostles' who worked in Corinth (2 Cor 11:4-5), he says nothing like that about Rome in this letter. Hence the beginnings of the Roman Christian community remain shrouded in mystery. Compare 1 Thess 3:2-5; 1 Cor 3:5-9; and Col 1:7 and 4:12-13 for more or less clear references to founding apostles of other locales. Hence there is no reason to think that Peter spent any major portion of time in Rome before Paul wrote his letter, or that he was the founder of the Roman church or the missionary who first brought Christianity to Rome. For it seems highly unlikely that Luke, if he knew that Peter had gone to Rome and evangelized that city, would have omitted all mention of it in Acts." [Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 30].

Peter never claimed any title but elder ...

Although Catholic tradition, beginning in the late second and early third centuries, regards Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and, therefore, as the first pope, there is no evidence that Peter was involved in the initial establishment of the Christian community in Rome (indeed, what evidence there is would seem to point in the opposite direction) or that he served as Rome's first bishop.--Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997, p.25(Catholic educator and Church historian)

13 posted on 05/08/2010 11:55:28 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: GonzoII

Here’s More PRO PAPACY
Regarding the authority of Peter as the Pope — what about the incident where Paul rebuked him?

Here’s how this objection has been dealt with by three Catholic sources and a Protestant reference dictionary:

Bertrand Conway

St. Paul’s rebuke of St. Peter [Gal 2:11), instead of implying a denial of his supremacy, implies just the opposite. He tells us that the example of St. Peter `compelled’ the Gentiles to live as the Jews. St. Paul’s example had not the same compelling power.

The duty of fraternal correction (Matt 18:15) may often require an inferior to rebuke a superior in defence of justice and truth. St. Bernard, St. Thomas of Canterbury and St. Catherine of Siena have rebuked Popes, while fully acknowledging their supreme authority . . .

The rebuke, however, did not refer to the doctrine, but to the conduct of St. Peter . . . St. Peter had not changed the views he had himself set forth at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:10). But at Antioch he withdrew from the table of the Gentiles, because he feared giving offence to the Jewish converts. They at once mistook his kindliness for an approval of the false teaching of certain Judaizers, who wished to make the Mosaic law obligatory upon all Christians. His action was most imprudent, and calculated to do harm because of his great influence and authority. St. Paul, therefore, had a perfect right to uphold the Gospel liberty by a direct appeal to St. Peter’s own example and teaching.

(The Question Box, New York: Paulist Press, 1929, 152-153)

Leslie Rumble and Charles Carty

No doctrinal error was involved in this particular case . . . To cease from doing a lawful thing for fear lest others be scandalized is not a matter of doctrine. It is a question of prudence or imprudence. St. Paul did not act as if he were St. Peter’s superior. Nor did he boast. To show the urgency of the matter, he practically said, `I had to resist even Peter - to whom chief authority belongs.’ And his words derive their full significance only from the fact that St. Peter was head of the Apostles.

(Radio Replies, St. Paul, Minnesota: Radio Replies Press, 1940 vol. 1, 82-83)

St. Paul wrote to the Galatians (1:18), that he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed there fifteen days with him. Why to Peter rather than to any other of the Apostles? And why does he add that, having gone to Jerusalem, he also saw James? He does not say that he went to see such Apostles as were at Jerusalem, or that he went to see James, and also happened to see Peter whilst there.

(Ibid., vol. 1, 82)

Karl Keating or Patrick Madrid

Notice that in the preceding ten verses (Gal 2:1-10) Paul goes to great lengths to assure his readers that he and Peter saw eye to eye on this issue.

(Notice, by the way, that throughout these chapters Paul refers to Simon Peter as `Cephas’ - the transliteration of the Aramaic `Rock’ - in recognition of the unshakeable doctrinal steadfastness conferred upon Peter by our Lord in Matthew 16:18).

The problem at Antioch arose when Peter acted in a manner inconsistent with his creed. It was not a matter of doctrinal error, but hypocrisy (the very Greek word Paul uses in verse 13), which means not practicing what one preaches . . .

There is therefore nothing in the passage that undermines the doctrine of papal infallibility . . .

If one were to reply that we teach by our behavior, we would agree, but `teaching’ in that broad sense has never been included in the claims the Catholic Church makes for papal infallibility.
(This Rock, July, 1990, 28)

New Bible Dictionary

This defection was roundly denounced by Paul; but there is no hint of any theological difference between them, and Paul’s complaint is rather the incompatibility of Peter’s practice with his theory. The old theory . . . of persistent rivalry between Paul and Peter, has little basis in the documents . . . Despite this lapse, the Gentile mission had no truer friend than Peter . . . At the Jerusalem Council [he] is recorded as the first to urge the full acceptance of the Gentiles on faith alone (Acts 15:7 ff.).

(J.D. Douglas, editor, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1962, 973)
I made the following comment in my book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (p. 231):
If St. Peter were guilty in this instance of hypocrisy (which appears to be the case), this is no disproof whatsoever of the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility, since that teaching does not extend to behavior and applies only to decrees on Faith and morals which are intended to bind all the faithful to a certain doctrinal standpoint. Granted, hypocrisy and bad example are not conducive to the successful propagation of a viewpoint, yet one must critique an idea according to its actual content. Thus, the attempt to undermine papal infallibility by means of this scriptural passage fails, due to misunderstanding of the Catholic claims for the Pope’s divinely appointed charism (in other words, it is a “straw man” argument).
In another paper on this general topic of the relation of Peter to Paul (way back in 1998), I wrote:

Peter was rebuked for hypocritical practices, as you correctly note. This has no bearing on his office, nor Paul’s position relative to it. Catholics have a long history of laymen rebuking decadent popes, while remaining faithful to the Church (e.g., St. Bernard, St. Francis, St. Catherine of Siena). Peter was inconsistent with his own doctrine — hence the hypocrisy which Paul rebuked — otherwise the charge makes no sense at all. Upon reading Galatians 2:11-14, one sees the word “hypocrisy” or “insincerity” or “dissimulation,” according to various translations (NRSV, RSV, and KJV, respectively).

The word “dissimulation” in Gal 2:13 in the KJV is the Greek hupokrisis (Strong’s word #5272) - from which is derived the English “hypocrisy.” It is translated as “hypocrisy” in the KJV at Mt 23:28, Mk 12:15, Lk 12:1, 1 Tim 4:2, 1 Pet 2:1. The cognate hupokritees is often applied by Jesus to the Pharisees (e.g., Mt 6:2,5,16, 7:5, 15:7, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-15,23,25,27,29, Mk 7:6, Lk 11:44). We all know what “hypocrite” means. This is what Peter was rebuked by Paul for.

I find it very interesting that Jesus, while He often scathingly rebuked the Pharisees, nevertheless says:

The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.

(Matthew 23:2-3; NRSV)
Pharisees had the teaching authority at that time, but were hypocritical in not following their own teaching. Yet Jesus (somewhat surprisingly) said to follow them as authorities anyway, because they sat on “Moses’ seat” (i.e., they preserved the ongoing Tradition). Likewise, with Peter as the first pope, and likewise with all popes. We are obligated to obey them. If this was true even with regard to the thoroughly arrogant and spiritually warped Pharisees, according to Jesus’ own injunction, how much more so in the case of popes — an office expressly designated by our Lord to lead the Church?

Are popes perfect? Obviously not. Peter wasn’t (he denied Christ). Others have faltered in various ways. This is impeccability, which the Church doesn’t teach. But this notion that popes’ teaching can be dissented from is pure Protestantism and private judgment. They can indeed be rebuked for lapses of duty, cowardly behavior, etc.

Note also how the Apostle Paul respects the authority of the high priest, who wasn’t even a Christian. In the account of his “trial” before the chief priests (Acts 23:1-5), Paul was ordered by the high priest Ananias to be struck on the mouth. Paul immediately lashed out at him, saying, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! . . . “ (similar to Jesus’ denunciations of the Pharisees). But when informed that he was the high priest, Paul appealed to his ignorance of that fact, desists, and says, “. . . for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.’ “

In other words, he respected the leader, though not even a Christian, and far less an authority — in one sense — on spiritual matters than St. Paul. Then in 23:6 he calls himself a Pharisee, and many Pharisees defend him in 23:9. The whole point is that obedience to divinely-appointed leaders is not an option for the Catholic. Paul wouldn’t even speak ill of the high priest. He calls us to imitate him elsewhere.

Also, [this Protestant pastor] feels that Paul is MUCH more important than Peter. Is he?

I think this is like asking whether a mother is MUCH more important than a father, or protein MUCH more important than carbohydrates, or one blade of a pair of scissors MUCH more important than the other. In other words, the question itself doesn’t even make sense, and is a bit foolish. Obviously, God had plans for both men in His Church.

Paul is extremely important; no one denies that; much less the Catholic Church. However, Peter has been greatly underemphasized by Protestants (probably mostly because of his association with the papacy in Catholic thinking, as the first pope or prototype). Scripture has quite a bit about the great authority of Peter. I have done a quick summary of this biblical data:

14 posted on 05/08/2010 12:37:43 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: GonzoII
"The affectionate title “Pope”, by which Catholics refer to the Bishop of Rome, is not found in the Bible. "

That's correct and the concept isn't found in there either. The rock God refers to is Peter's faith, not Peter.

15 posted on 05/08/2010 12:44:07 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

16 posted on 05/08/2010 12:48:26 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
St. Paul wrote to the Galatians (1:18), that he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed there fifteen days with him. Why to Peter rather than to any other of the Apostles? And why does he add that, having gone to Jerusalem, he also saw James? He does not say that he went to see such Apostles as were at Jerusalem, or that he went to see James, and also happened to see Peter whilst there.

gal2 7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter was apostle to the jews, not the gentiles.. not the Romans in other-words

17 posted on 05/08/2010 12:49:28 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: johngrace
"The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ."

No. there is nothing that distinguishes Peter from anyone else, other than his faith. God pointed to Peter's faith, because He was teaching the fact that the church is built on faith, not bodies. Churches that build with bodies are empty.

"Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy)."

First, doctrine is nothing, but a declaration of some claim arrived at through some committee's democratic process. That process is not a logical opperation and does not in any way indicate truth. Appealing to democratic process, which is nothing more than bandwagon propaganda, is really all one has to support the claim that god chose to build His Church on bodies.

When one builds their church on bodies, the church is empty, desolate and w/o foundation.

18 posted on 05/08/2010 1:09:14 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: RnMomof7

Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (”Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8). Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

19 posted on 05/08/2010 1:12:48 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace; GonzoII
Did Peter Have a Successor?
St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome
Heart of the Church (St. Peter in Words and Stone)
A Saint for the Rest of Us
On This Rock

St. Peter and Rome
Did the Apostle Peter Ever Visit Rome?
Occasionally Naive and Fearful, Yet Honest and Capable of Repentance (Profile of St. Peter)
Saint Peter As Seen by His Successor (extraordinary document from B16 on his preaching and papacy)
Peter, Witness of the Resurrection (Papal preparations for Easter 2006)
The Fraternal Society of St. Peter on EWTN
Saint Peter and the Vatican, the Legacy of the Popes
Saint Peter and The Vatican - Legacy of the Popes

20 posted on 05/08/2010 1:18:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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