Apostolic Succession and the Authority of the Pope in Question

I am seeking some answers about the Catholic understanding of Apostolic succession and the authority of the Pope. Here is my staple Protestant question…

Where can we go in history to see that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome? There is no evidence of this. The office of the Papacy was not solidified until hundreds of years after the deaths of the Apostles and there is no link between Peter being the first “Pope” and he who took his place as the official Pope much later.

On another note, why does the Pope dress so elaborately when Jesus himself and the Apostles themselves were very poor, had hardly a place to lay their heads? See what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
(1 Corinthians 4:11-13 ESV)

Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge problem in protestant circles as well. Just curious to know what Catholics think.

Have you read the Clement of Rome’s Epistle to Corinth:earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-roberts.html

CHAPTER 21 – LET US OBEY GOD, AND NOT THE AUTHORS OF SEDITION.

Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all. [For thus it must be] unless we walk worthy of Him, and with one mind do those things which are good and well-pleasing in His sight. For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, “The Spirit of the Lord is a candle searching the secret parts of the belly.” Let us reflect how near He is, and that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hid from Him. It is right, therefore, that we should not leave the post which His will has assigned us. Let us rather offend those men who are foolish, and inconsiderate, and lifted up, and who glory in the pride of their speech, than [offend] God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us; let us esteem those who have the rule over us; let us honour the aged among us; let us train up the young men in the fear of God; let us direct our wives to that which is good. Let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity [in all their conduct]; let them show forth the sincere disposition of meekness; let them make manifest the command which they have of their tongue, by their manner of speaking; let them display their love, not by preferring one to another, but by showing equal affection to all that piously fear God. Let your children be partakers of true Christian training; let them learn of how great avail humility is with God – how much the spirit of pure affection can prevail with Him – how excellent and great His fear is, and how it saves all those who walk in it with a pure mind. For He is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires [of the heart]: His breath is in us; and when He pleases, He will take it away.

CHAPTER 42 – THE ORDER OF MINISTERS IN THE CHURCH.

The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done sol from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture a certain place, “I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.”

CHAPTER 44 – THE ORDINANCES OF THE APOSTLES, THAT THERE MIGHT BE NO CONTENTION RESPECTING THE PRIESTLY OFFICE.

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.

Jn 19

23 When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem;

24 so they said to one another, ‘Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.’ In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes. That is what the soldiers did.

Hi Christopher,

If you search your questions in Catholic Answer, you will find better answers than mine.

True… The term pope is from Italian ‘father’. However, the ‘office’ of spiritual leader that is handed down from generation to generation has existed since the old testament time.

For example, Moses is replaced by Joshua who was then replaced by the judges and other prophets and kings.

Just because the term was only coined centuries later, it does not mean that it only started to exist at that time. Another example, Oxygen is discovered in the 18th century. I am pretty sure that before that century people also breathing the same thing, although not called oxygen.

For prove of the office of papacy, you can search many 1st and 2nd century documents from the Fathers of the Church, such as posted by pablope

Jesus is not as poor as many people think. Think about it, as a great teacher and prophet, many would have give donations for His ministry.

As noted by fms, Jesus’ clothes are expensive and it would be stupid if the soldiers tear it. So they gamble on it.
He wore the best perfume, donated by the prostitute who poured it on His feet. In the gospel, He is constantly depicted eating and drinking, making some of the Pharisees called him drunkard and glutton. He feed the 5000 men, using the donation of a boy.

Anyway back to our Pope. If you look outside of mass, you would notice that our Pope’s wardrobe is very simple. Anything that you see during a liturgy belongs to the Church. We, as People of God who has been entrusted His Church, would give donations for the work of God so that whenever we worship, it is the worship that is worthy of who is being worshiped i.e. the King of the Universe. That’s why you would see basilicas, cathedrals, down to gold-weaved chasubles, silver chalices, and marble altars.

Saying that the Pope owns all these is like saying Obama owns the White House.

The letter to the Corinthians is meant to remind the people to behave Christ-like in the community. Believe me, the Pope has been mocked, slandered, attacked and he still goes on.

I’m glad that you pointed to 1 Cor 11 because if you read furhter, St Paul wrote that the Corinthians should called him father (maybe not pope, but the pope is our spiritual father).

Hope this helps

There is quite a bit of proof that Peter was in Rome and was the Bishop of Rome. And also his successors. It’s written about extensively by the fathers of the church. Also, I do believe that almost every Bishop of Rome (Pope) up until the time Christianity was made legal was killed as attempts to kill the church. Apparently the Romans knew who was in charge of the Catholic/Christian church in the first 4 centuries, even if protestants do not.

Here’s a starter for the Fathers of the Church who mention Peter not only being in Rome but commanding the church from Rome and even his successors after he was martyred.

catholic.com/tracts/peters-roman-residency

On another note, why does the Pope dress so elaborately when Jesus himself and the Apostles themselves were very poor, had hardly a place to lay their heads? See what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
(1 Corinthians 4:11-13 ESV)

Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge problem in protestant circles as well. Just curious to know what Catholics think.

Why do protestant ministers dress up when they preach in front of their flocks? Wasn’t Jesus a poor man that dressed humbly? Why do protestant people dress up when they go to church? Weren’t the apostles poor, simple people who followed Christ in simple manners?

That goes both ways. Priests and bishops have certain robes and vestments. Jewish priests also had special robes and vestments that they wore in services. Particularly because they entered into the presence of God in the Holiest of Holies in the temple. Catholic Priests, Bishops, Popes, Deacons, ordained ministers that take part in the mass enter into the presence of the Lord physically during the mass when handling the eucharist. Should they show up in jeans and tshirts while in the physical presence of the Lord?

Against Heresies (St. Irenaeus) > Book III, Chapter 2

newadvent.org/fathers/0103302.htm

  1. But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth…

On the blue and bolded part…doesn’t that ring a bell in you somewhere?

calledtocommunion.com/2009/07/ecclesial-deism/

Not only is succession the rule for appointing leaders in the Church, it is also the rule and pattern for accepting Church leaders. The second century Church faced this very challenge from Gnostics who claimed to have the true knowledge of the gospel. But the Church responded to this challenge by appealing to apostolic succession. St. Irenaeus refers to the Apostolic Tradition which is preserved by apostolic succession.42 These heretics, says St. Irenaeus, consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition. St. Irenaeus explains how the Apostolic Tradition was to be found, to whom it was entrusted, and how it was preserved:

[SIGN]It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to “the perfect” apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.

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 preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.43[/SIGN]

I suspect you’re going to use Scriptures to question the ‘Pope thing’…so just in case you’re unaware;

**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) **

Ben16 - is number 266.

I’ve stopped at No.40 because that is about the time that the CANON of Scriptures was settled. The Bible, as you now know it, came into it’s form during St.Innocent’s tenure as Pope…finally closed at the council of Trent, once and for all, because of all the dissentions about whose Holy Book is the canon.

Peter was crucified upside down in Rome, which pretty much settles the question of where he was when the Romans caught him again. You’ll have to see the Romans about any arguments he wasn’t in Rome.

He was also Bishop of other Sees, before becoming the Bishop of Rome.

Because he died as Bishop of Rome, anyone taking his place has to be Bishop of Rome and whoever is Bishop of Rome, governs from Pete’s Seat as the Vicar of Christ…because that is what Christ commanded. You’ll have to see Christ about that bit.

:cool:

Pope cames from the term papa as does father. This existed very early in the church. I suggest you visit your local library and actually read on the topic. The Apostolic Succession in Rome is intact, sorry you have been misinformed.:wink:

Happy Reading:thumbsup:

Recommended Reading:
[LIST]
*] **Shouldn’t the Church sell off its artifacts? **

*]Is luxurious living a sin?
*]When is trying to make money working for mammon?
*]Is it a sin to be rich?

*]Live Simply? Live Shrewdly by Donna Doornik
*]The Mass, the Temple, and Loraine Boettner by T.L. Frazier [/LIST]

The dress of priests, bishops and the Pope I have heard was common dress in the 5th-6th centuries. Over time as people began to dress differently the Church stuck with that style.

Christ Bearer, a simple google search would have given you the answers. :slight_smile:

Was Peter in Rome?
Pope Paul VI was able to announce officially something that had been discussed in archaeological literature and religious publications for years: that the actual tomb of the first pope had been identified conclusively, that his remains were apparently present, and that in the vicinity of his tomb were inscriptions identifying the place as Peter’s burial site, meaning early Christians knew that the prince of the apostles was there.

Wikipedia— Saint Peter

Peter is venerated in multiple churches and is regarded as the first Pope by the Catholic Church. After working to establish the church of Antioch, presiding for seven years as the leader of the city’s Christian community, he preached to scattered communities of believers (Jews, Hebrew Christians and the gentiles), in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia. He then went to Rome, where in the second year of Claudius, it is claimed, he overthrew Simon Magus and held the Sacerdotal Chair for 25 years. He is said to have been put to death at the hand of Emperor Nero.

In Against Heresies (Book III, Chapter III, paragraph 3), St. Irenaeus wrote (2nd century A.D.):

     The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles…

The vestments have meanings…fisheaters.com/vestments.html

Stole
Symbol of the clerical office,
immortality, and the yoke of Christ

The stole, matching the liturgical color, is a long, scarf-like vestment worn over the alb and under the dalmatic/chasuble. The priest wears the stole around his neck so that it hangs equally down his chest in front or forms an X-shaped Cross; the deacon wears his stole over the left shoulder and tied at his right side; the Bishop wears his stole so that it hangs equally down his chest. As he puts on the stole, the priest kisses the Cross on the stole and prays:

Restore unto me, O Lord, the stole of immortality, which was lost through the guilt of our first parents: and, although I am unworthy to approach Your sacred Mysteries, nevertheless grant unto me eternal joy.

Chasuble or Cope

For the Eucharistic Liturgy: Chasuble
The chasuble, also matching the liturgical color, is is the long, often ornate, sleeveless poncho-like garment worn by priests and bishops over the alb and stole during the sacrifice of the Mass. As he puts on the chasuble, he prays:

O Lord, Who said: My yoke is easy and My burden light: grant that I may bear it well and follow after You with thanksgiving. Amen.

Actually there exist lots of evidence. Where? The written words of many early church fathers or do we consider them all as great liars and great story tellers?

That is quite incorrect. While Scripture does not explicitly say he was the bishop of Rome, we know this as a matter of secular history. Peter almost certainly wrote both of his epistles from Rome, as Peter says he is writing from Babylon. That was first century code for Rome, much as the Big Apple is a modern reference to New York.

The office of the Papacy was not solidified until hundreds of years after the deaths of the Apostles and there is no link between Peter being the first “Pope” and he who took his place as the official Pope much later.

Depends on what you mean here. Specific Catholic doctrinal claims about the Pope, yes. The Pope simply being the bishop of Rome? No.

I didn’t think this was something that we knew. A fellow called Snow typed out this summary which can be found here

*But for now, I’d like to post what I have run across in my studies about whether or not Peter was actually a monoepiscopal leader over the Church and Bishop of Rome.

He wasn’t - Catholic scholars agree:

  1. “Let’s see what St. Ireneaus has to say on the subject back in the second century between the period of 175-190 A.D.

Adversus Haereses (1:27:1):

“Credo was the one who took his system from the followers of Simon, and came to live in Rome at the time of Hyginus, who held the ninth place in the espiscopal succession from the Apostles downward.” note: 100 plus years after the fact

and

  1. An unquoted and un-cited and unquoted claim that Eusebius said that Peter was the 1st Bishops of Rome. (which would have been about 230 plus years after the fact.

I always enjoy the opportunity to add to my library and so a few trips to the bookstore and local library resulted in the following that indicate that I am far from alone in my assertion that the evidence for Peter as the first pope is lacking (and note that at minimum 5 of the historians below are Catholic - Cahill, McBrian, Duffy, Wills, Johnson, De Rosa - and a number of those were trained in the Catholic priesthood.)

  1. “Vatican propaganda notwithstanding, Peter was never the “bishop of Rome… The first man who can be designated “bishop of Rome” with historical certainty is Anicetus, who stands eleventh in the Vatican’s somewhat fanciful list of early “popes…” Thomas Cahill, Pope John XXIII, Penguin Books 2002, pp1-2

  2. Nothing is known of the length of his residence (in Rome): the story that it lasted 25 years is a 3rd century legend. Ignatius assumes that Peter and Paul wielded special authority over the Roman Church while Iraneus claimed they jointly founded it and inaugurated its succession of bishops. Nothing, however, is known of their constitutional roles, least of all of Peter as presumed leader of the community… In the late 2nd cent. the tradition identified Peter as first bishop of Rome.(J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford University Press, 1986 p6-7)

  3. “The papacy was to claim that Peter was the first bishop of the church at Rome… No proof exists.” Brian Maynahan, The Faith - A History of Christianity, Doubleday, 2002, p41

  4. “(The first succession lists, however, identified Linus, not Peter, as the first Pope. Peter was not regarded as the first Bishop of Rome until the late second or early third century.)” and “St. Irenaeus of Lyons (d. ca. 200) assumes that Peter and Paul jointly founded the church of Rome and inaugurated it’s succession of bishops (Against Heresies 3.1.2: 3.3.3). However, there is no evidence that Peter actually served the church of Rome as its first bishop even though the “fact” is regularly taken for granted by a wide spectrum of Catholics… Indeed, there is no evidence that Rome even had a monoepiscopal form of ecclesiatiscal government until the middle of the second century.” Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, Harper Collins 1997, pp29-30

  5. “Nor can we assume, as Irenaeus did, that the Apostles established there (Rome) a succession of bishops to carry on their work in the city, for all the indications are that there is no single bishop at Rome for almost a century after the death of the apostles. In fact, wherever we turn, the solid outlines of Petrine succession at Rome seem to blur and dissolve.” Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinner - A History of the Popes, Yale University Press 1997, pp1-2

  6. Peter and Paul, however, do not appear to have been monarchial bishops handing on office to their successors… The first bishop whose actions suggest monarchial status is Anicetus (c. 155-66).” Paul Johnson, The Papacy, Orion Publishing Group, 1998, p26

  7. “According to legend, after leaving Jerusalem in the 40s Peter traveled through Asia Minor and eventually to Rome, where he was martyred under the emperor Nero after the great fire of 64. These legends, however, come from later developments in the Petrine tradition.” L. Michael White From Jesus to Christianity, Harper 2004 p272

  8. “As to worldwide jurisdiction, did it ever cross Peter’s mind when preached to his little flock at Antioch or Rome that he had command over the whole Church? Such an idea had to wait until Christianity was integrated into the Roman Empire. Even then it took time for the papacy to grow to the stature that made such pretension plausible… So the early church did not look on Peter as Bishop of Rome, nor, therefore, did it think that each Bishop of Rome succeeded to Peter.” Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ. Crown Publishers, 1988, p25

  9. “That Peter founded the Church in Rome is extremely doubtful and that he served as it’s first bishop (as we understand the term today) for even a year, much less the twenty-five-year period that is claimed for him, is an unfounded tradition that can be traced back to a point no earlier than the third century… The tradition is only vaguely discerned in Hegesippus and may be implied in the suspect letter of Dionysius of Corinth to the Romans (c. 170). By the third century, however, the early assumptions based upon invention or vague unfounded tradition have been transformed into “facts” or history. D. W. O’Conner, Peter in Rome, Columbia University Press, 1969, p207*

cont’d

continuing:

*10. “In fact, the first Roman bishop in any meaningful sense was probably Soter, 166-74…” Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, Simon and Schuster, 1976, p61

  1. “Well if Peter alone of the Twelve left Jerusalem, can the claim of succession be derived from him as bishop of Rome? So defenders of the papacy have claimed. But Brown asserts that “Peter never served as the bishops or local administrator of any church. Anitioch and Rome included.” Gary Wills, Papal Sin, Doubleday 2000 p158 - Wills quotes Raymond E. Brown, SS., Biblical Reflections on Crises Facing the Church, Paulist Press, 1975, p70.

  2. The question of whether Peter was indeed the first bishop of Rome has recently gained popular prominence due to the American best seller by papal critic and dissenter Garry Wills who vigorously dismisses the entire idea as myth. Although simplistically and sensationally presented, Wills’ thesis relies on the view of many, albeit more subtle, critical scholars that Peter could not have been a bishop at Rome because there were no bishops in Rome until the middle of the second century A.D. This view that Peter could not have been a bishop appears to be the common or majority view among critical scholars. Oswald Sobrino, J.D., M.A. (Catholic author “Catholic Analysis 2006” who also writes on the web)

To be fair, in addition to the 11 books and 1 web paper I checked above, I have one book - that I bought autographed by the author - A History of the Popes - Vicars of Christ by Charles A. Coulombe, MJF Books, 2003. The author discusses at length Peter’s extra-biblical activities in depth including details of Peter’s supposed years in Rome without a single citation nor without mentioning, as do the 12 sources cited above, that there is no historical record of it for over a hundred plus years later. *

Peter almost certainly wrote both of his epistles from Rome, as Peter says he is writing from Babylon.

Peter in Rome and Peter being the bishop of Rome = two different things.

and here is another quote that may interest you:

It seems that (with respect to the situation at the time of 1st Clement) there is a “general agreement among scholars that the structure of ministry in the church of Rome at this time would have resembled that in Corinth: with a group of presbyters sharing leadership, perhaps with a differentiation of roles among them, but with no one bishop in charge.” (p 100)

"There exists a broad consensus among scholars, including most Catholic ones, that such churches as those in Alexandria, Philippi, Corinth and Rome most probably continued to be led for some time by a college of presbyters, and that only during the course of the second century did the threefold structure become generally the rule, with a bishop, assisted by presbyters, presiding over each local church.

One conclusion seems obvious: ** Neither the New Testament nor early Christian history offers support for a notion of apostolic succession as ‘an unbroken line of episcopal ordination from Christ through the apostles down through the centuries to the bishops of today.’ Clearly, such a simplistic approach to the problem will not do. **On the other hand, many reputable Catholic scholars, who share the consensus regarding the gradual development of the episcopate in the early church, remain convinced that we do have solid grounds for holding that bishops are the successors of the apostles. Such scholars agree that along with the evidence from the New Testament and early Christian documents, one must invoke a theological argument based on Christian faith to arrive at the conclusion that bishops are the successors of the apostles ‘by divine institution.’ At the same time, they insist that the evidence from the New Testament and early Christian literature is crucial, and must be treated with scholarly integrity. It is counterproductive to put forth arguments that will not stand the test of critical exegesis or historical investigation." (Francis A. Sullivan, S.J., From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church, Mahwah, NJ: Newman Press, 2001, 15-16.)

When looking at the Acts and Epistles…dissension is on the same level as witchcraft.

There is an excellent book out by Fr. Thomas Dubay, ‘Faith and Certitude’. He said continual and incessant dissension and doubt, disputes…is actually a form of intellectual sickness.

I read many years ago a paper referring to a Protestant academic who spent 27 years attempting to prove otherwise, that there was no apostolic succession of the Petrine papacy After painstaking research, he found out the Church’s claims were true.

People have to remember that at the time of the Apostles…the Church was as a seed. The institutional Church just did not instaneously fall down from heaven. Christ chose human beings, weak human beings to begin His Church. It was almost annihilated by the two last Roman emperors, who were overcome by then Emperor Constantine.

Not exactly.

As a clerical term it comes from the Greek most likely, but one can say papa is an Indo-European word at least. Even more, it comes from the earliest language forms before the separation into the major language families. Just like ‘mama’, forms of the word papa are know around the world, for example in the Semitic languages (abba) and even Chinese! (baba 爸爸).

Here is what one online etymology has to say about the title ‘Pope’…

O.E. papa, from M.L. papa “bishop, pope” (in classical L., “tutor”), from Gk. papas “patriarch, bishop,” originally “father.” Applied to bishops of Asia Minor and taken as a title by the Bishop of Alexandria c.250. In Western Church, applied especially to the Bishop of Rome since the time of Leo the Great (440-461) and claimed exclusively by them from 1073.

This above is actually correct in that it identifies the Metropolitan of Alexandria as the first to use the word ‘Pope’ as a title of his office. Perhaps it is that the Metropolitan of Rome adopted the term in imitation, or perhaps it became popular as another way to say ‘patriarch’ (which means essentially the same thing) and it stuck.

If we look at the line of Popes, it shows

**#9 St. Hyginus (136-140) **
as attested by St. Ireneaus, in Against Heresies (Book I, Chapter 27)
newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

That only proves Apostolic Succession, the Papacy, and Sacred Tradition!

Surely,you don’t think that the Simon mentioned here, is Simon Peter, do you! Sorry for calling you Shirley! Lol

  1. An unquoted and un-cited and unquoted claim that Eusebius said that Peter was the 1st Bishops of Rome. (which would have been about 230 plus years after the fact.

Ok, so some more writings attest that Peter was the Bishop of Rome emerge, bearing witness to Sacred Scripture and Tradition. How is this disproving anything?

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