Are these examples that prove Papal Supremacy didn't exist in the early church?


I came across this Wikipedia article that seems to have some pretty strong arguments against Papal Supremacy. Can someone clarify these and debunk them?

Rome is an Apostolic throne, not the Apostolic throne. Augustine too is misquoted on the same point of grammar …“because he saw himself united by letters of communion both to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished” - Augustine

John Chrysostom referred to Ignatius of Antioch as a “teacher equivalent to Peter”

Faced with exile, John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople, wrote an appeal for help to three Western churchmen. While one of these was the bishop of Rome, had Rome exercised primacy at that time, he would not have written to the other two bishops.

Cases which had been decided by Rome were appealed to bishops in other metropolitan areas.

Cases which had been decided by Rome were appealed to synods of bishops in other metropolitan areas.

A general council may overrule decisions of the Roman Pontiff

Decisions taken by popes in cases involving against bishops have often been confirmed by ecumenical councils. This indicates that the papal decision itself is not considered binding

The Third Ecumenical Council called Nestorius to account for his teachings following his condemnation as a heretic by Pope Celestine I. The council did not consider the papal condemnation as definitive.[93][94] Catholic theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet noted

It was fixed that all was in suspense once the authoritry of the universal Synod was invokved even though the sentence of the Roman Pontiff about doctrine and about persons accused of heresy had been uttered and promulgated.

A controversy arose out of the writings known as Three Chapters – written by bishops Theodore, Theodoret, and Ibas. Pope Vigilius opposed the condemnation of the Three Chapters. At the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553) the assembled bishops condemned and anathematized Three Chapters. After the council threatened to excommunicate him and remove him from office, Vigilius changed his mind – blaming the devil for misleading him…German theologian Karl Josef von Hefele notes that the council was called “without the assent of the Pope”


Given you spiritual struggles and scruples STOP seeking this stuff out.

Go to your spiritual director for your concerns!!!


A bunch of these are just bald assertions with no backup. It’s hard to address something without the facts and circumstances presented.


I don’t really see anything here that needs to be debunked.

There is nothing here that shows a strong argument against Papal Supremacy, unless the person presenting the argument asserts what he wants it to say.

OK not sure what’s the problem?

I’m sure we have had many great men over the years who were teachers equivalent to the Apostles. However, teacher and leader aren’t equivalent.

Nice assertion? Is there an unwritten rule somewhere that Catholics can ONLY appeal to the Pope for help?

All of the rest of your quotes are a misunderstanding of the meaning of Papal infallibility. Unless the Pope is speaking from the Chair of Peter and proclaims “Thus saith God” then the Bishops are free to appeal his decision. None of these cases involved the Pope making a decision that was binding on all Catholics.

Don’t let these articles twist you into believing they are saying something that is contrary to your faith.

If you are having difficulty seeing how these people are twisting the truth quit reading these article and only read the articles written by a good reputable Catholic source.

God Bless


The Orthodox churches deny the role of the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Catholic Church. If you look to them for information you should not be surprised when they support their own belief.


I’m currently doing the Epic Study on the Early Church (33-500 AD), & it states the following on St. Cyril of Alexandria and the Council of Ephesus:

"Nestorianism was another heresy that erupted in AD 428 when the patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, preached a Christmas homily denying the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the true Mother of God, or Theotokos . Nestorius taught that there were two natures and two persons in Christ, completely dividing the human person from the divine Person. He advocated that Mary was the mother only of the human person of Christ.

Hearing about Nestorius’ heretical teachings, St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, wrote a letter to him, urging him to hold and teach what the church believed in unity. He also sent letters to the emperor and Pope Saint Celestine I.

The pope condemned Nestorius’ teaching and approved the calling of an ecumenical council by Theodosius II to resolve the matter. The third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus, was held in AD 431. St. Cyril was the papal representative and led the proceedings to condemn and depose Nestorius for his erroneous teachings about Christ and the Blessed Mother."

From Epic: A Journey through Church History - The Early Church by Steve Weidenkopf; Ascension Press; West Chester, PA; 2012; Session 9: “Councils and a Great Pope”, p. 118 [ISBN: 978-1-935940-22-7]

It is my understanding that because of the practice of caesaropapism initiated by Constantine, there was no separation of Church & state as we know it now at that time in the Roman Empire. While Constantine did do some good for the Church, he mainly sought to control & use the Church to his own ends.

Between Constantine & Theodosius the Great, other emperors arose who either sought to promote heresy (Arianism) in the faith or paganism. By the time of this Council, the Emperor Theodosius the Great would have already outlawed paganism & established the Catholic Faith as the official imperial religion in the Edict of Thessalonica (AD 380).


Talk to your priest. And talk to him about why you are constantly looking for things that you know will upset you. That’s not healthy, spiritually or psychologically.


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