I was talking to some Orthodox, and they told me that Peter was the Bishop of Antioch, and actually the founder of the Church of Antioch, and that Linus was the first Bishop of Rome, and Peter traveled there later in life, and was revered as a leader the Christian community in Rome, but he was not the first pope, as Roman Catholics assert. They were saying that the first “pope” was in fact Nicholas I, and previous to that the term “pope” was not used, which is actually a pagan title. I found this very interesting, since I had never heard this before. This is what I found on the New Advent site:
"The later tradition, which existed as early as the end of the second century (Origen, “Hom. vi in Lucam”; Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”, III, xxxvi), that Peter founded the Church of Antioch, indicates the fact that he laboured a long period there, and also perhaps that he dwelt there towards the end of his life and then appointed Evodrius, the first of the line of Antiochian bishops, head of the community. This latter view would best explain the tradition referring the foundation of the Church of Antioch to St. Peter.
“It is also probable that Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor for it can scarcely be supposed that the entire period between his liberation from prison and the Council of the Apostles was spent uninterruptedly in one city, whether Antioch, Rome, or elsewhere.”
“…at Antioch the disciples were first named Christians… St. Peter himself came to Antioch (Galatians 2:11), probably about the year 44, and according to all appearances lived there for some time.”
Of course, the authors of the Catholic Encyclopedia assert that Evodius was the first bishop of Antioch.
Also, the entry concerning Linus seems to be quite confused. Nobody seems to know exactly when he was bishop, for how long, and who came before or after him. And very short! One would think that the “second” bishop of Rome would have more of a story, but apparently not.
Here are some quotes from some Orthodox sites:
"The See of Antioch dates back to the days of the Apostles Peter and Paul, founders and patrons of the Church of Antioch, and currently ranks third in honor among the fifteen autocephalous Orthodox Churches. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). The first Bishop of Antioch was St. Peter the Apostle and the third was St. Ignatius of Antioch; it was from Antioch that Saint Peter and Saint Barnabas set out on their great missionary journeys, a tradition that marks the history of the Church of Antioch. "
“Church tradition maintains that the See of Antioch was founded by Saint Peter the Apostle in A.D. 34 . Peter was either followed or joined by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas who preached there to both Gentiles and to Jews, who seem to have been numerous in the city. …] After spending some seven years in Antioch, Peter left for Rome. To succeed him as bishop of Antioch he appointed Euodius, who is thus counted in early episcopal lists as the first successor to the Antiochian Throne of Peter.”
“The spiritual care of the Church of Antioch was vested in the Bishop of Antioch from the earliest years of Christianity. The first among the Bishops of Antioch was St. Peter who is believed to have established a church at Antioch in AD 33.”
“The Church of Antioch is the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul, who are its patron saints. In terms of hierarchical order of precedence, it ranks third among the world’s Orthodox churches, behind Constantinople and Alexandria.”
So, if Peter was actually bishop of Antioch first, this throws the whole “primacy of Peter” thing right out the window, doesn’t it?