Can you help with the origins of the papacy?
I am a lawyer and part-time Evangelical seminarian who has started to see a lot of Catholic truth over the last year or so. In fact, I have taken a leave-of-absence from seminary to discern God's will in this regard.
I have a few questions regarding the origin of the papacy I am hoping you can help me with.
(1) In Acts 15, 22 and Gal. 2:9, it appears the Jerusalem church is the center of the church with James serving as the leader.
(a) Why did Paul, Barnabas and perhaps even Peter appeal to the Jerusalem church and James? Why didn't Paul and Barnabas simply appeal to Peter?
(b) Was the Jerusalem church the center of the early church? If so, why wasn't Peter the leader of the Jerusalem church?
(c) When did the center of the church shift from Jerusalem to Rome? 70 AD? What happened to James?
(2) Is it true that popes did not preside over the first several church councils? If so, why not?
Thank you so very much!