Church fathers who said the keys was given to all the apostles


Someone posted on fb that church fathers like jerome and others understood that the keys was given not to peter but to all the apostles. Can someone explain this? Thank you


The Church Fathers are not infallible. And it is true that some authority has been given to all the Apostles.

I would be curious to know what book this page is coming from. What are the greater contexts within which the Church Fathers are speaking? This page seems rather slanted towards a protestant perspective.

Just because Jerome held a certain position, which is not necessairly definitively put forth in this citing, that does not make the interpretation or assertion of Jerome’s true.

The Fathers of the Church did not always agree with one another and also had their own interpreations of various scripture passages.


“In any case, the promise of the keys is given to Peter alone. In Mt 18:18 all the disciples are given the power of binding and loosing, but the context of that verse suggests that there the power of excommunication alone is intended.”

This is what the footnote from the Bible on the USCCB’s website says about that.


St. Jerome and the other Church Fathers cited are not wrong. However the quotes do not contradict the fact of St. Peter’s primacy, nor the primacy of the See of Peter. For example, St. Cyprian of Carthage (AD 251) also asserts:

God bles,


That’s because they are taking them out of context and because they don’t really know the Catholic Doctrine. Let’s break down what you said:

that the keys was given not to peter

Yes. The keys were given directly to Peter and to no one else.

but to all the apostles.

Certainly, but not directly to them. But they received them by and through St. Peter. Because without St. Peter, they wouldn’t have the keys.

None of the Church Fathers say that St. Peter did not receive the keys. Nor do they nor the Catholic Church deny that the rest of the Apostles also had access to the keys, through Peter.

Let’s look at the first one, by St. Jerome:

But you say, Matthew 16:18 the Church was founded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism. But why was not John chosen, who was a virgin? Deference was paid to age, because Peter was the elder:
Against Jovinius, middle of para 26

Notice how he doesn’t deny that St. Peter was the Chief Apostle. He says, “yet one among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism.”

Then he says, well, if one person was to be chosen, why not John? After all, John was the virgin, the beloved disciple, the only that that did not deny Christ and the one to whom Christ left His mother. But Jerome says, “well, because Peter was the elder.” That may sound a little lame, but it still shows that St. Jerome was well aware that St. Peter was chosen to lead the Apostles and therefore, the Church.


I see how they quoted it in isolation! Genius! Thank you so much De_Maria!


Protestant scholars will have some degree of familiarity with the Fathers of the Church but some books simply are intellectually dishonest.

I have another page to share with you when I get a chance…


Indeed! Lots of them really.


Sounds like an early defence of collegiality, to me.


Im not sure what you mean my friend


This is from the Catena Aurea of Thimas Aquinas. It is a commentary of the gospels he compiled from the Church Fathers:


I love the Catena Aurea (Golden Chain). It is also availabe as an e-book, for those who like to carry all their books around in their pocket.


Wouldn’t this give more credence to Orthodox Christianity rather than Protestantism?

I always thought it was pretty straight forward and the Bible even mentions that Peter was the first Apostle except that he wasn’t it was his brother Andrew so this also points to Peter being the first among Apostles as the head Bishop.


Orthodoxy agrees with the Primacy of Peter, and the conclusion drawn from it that the See of Peter, that is the Bishop of Rome, had Primacy. However, the common (and I believe historically incorrect) interpretation is that this was a Primacy of Honor, not a Primacy in a jurisdictional sense.


See here why the “Primacy of Honor only” argument is unconvincing…


Peter and all the apostles were given the power to forgive sin after the resurrection.

Peter was given the commission singularly by Jesus in the presence of the other apostles to shepherd His flock on the earth.

Before the resurrection, Jesus changed Simon bar Jona’s name to Peter= Rock= Kepha and singularly gave Peter the authority (Keys) to bind and loose upon the whole earth, again in their presence of all the other apostles.

In summary, all the apostles have the power to bind and loose. The bishops have the power to bind and loose at the local level. Peter has the power to bind and loose upon the whole earth.

Peter in communion with the apostles has the power to bind and loose upon the whole earth.

The Orthodox today cannot bind and loose upon the whole earth without Peter.

Thus Peter is given Primacy and jurisdiction over the whole Church on faith and morals.


I like y post. I question whether Peter required the other apostles to agree with him about what he may be inspired to bind and loose.


We know at the Church first council in Jerusalem recorded in the book of Acts. St. Peter did not consult with no one except heaven to allow the Gentiles into the Church by baptism.

I believe Peter does not bind and loose alone, when the Holy Spirit is the teacher of the Church, or as you correctly stated “inspired” Peter. Peter does not require the other apostles to agree with him to bind and loose upon the whole earth.

Today, the Pope is wise to have synod’s and council’s to assist or guide him, before Peter binds and looses. But these are not required, for Peter to bind and loose upon the whole earth.


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