Why would they need to keep in touch, pray tell?
You read it? It’s a good letter. I’m guessing that Paul wrote a bunch of other stuff, that people didn’t preserve.
It is a good letter. No denying that. But so are St. Ignatius’s letters to these seven churches/people - yet none of them were ever thought to be inspired scripture, despite the fact that St. Ignatius - like Pope St. Clement I - was ordained a priest by St. Peter himself. Not only that, St. Ignatius was also a disciple of John the Apostle. These epistles, written within ten years of each other, preserved by the Church, and yet only one of them was seriously thought to have been divinely inspired. Is it a coincidence that the epistle from the bishop in Rome, and not the bishop in Antioch, was thought to be inspired? You decide.
The universal presidency? I think not.
I think it’s quite obvious how Ignatius holds the Roman Church compared to the other churches he wrote to:
Letter to the Ephesians:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia, deservedly most happy, being blessed in the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the beginning of time, that it should be always for an enduring and unchangeable glory, being united and elected through the true passion by the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ, our God: Abundant happiness through Jesus Christ, and His undefiled grace.
Letter to the Magnesians:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the [Church] blessed in the grace of God the Father, in Jesus Christ our Saviour, in whom I salute the Church which is at Magnesia, near the Moeander, and wish it abundance of happiness in God the father, and in Jesus Christ.
Letter to the Trallians:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, in Asia, beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh, and blood, and passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, through our rising again to Him, which also I salute in its fulness, and in the apostalical character, and wish abundance of happiness.
Letter to the Philadelphians:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia, in Asia, which has obtained mercy, and is established in the harmony of God, and rejoiceth unceasingly(1) in the passion of our Lord, and is filled with all mercy through his resurrection; which I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, who is our eternal and enduring joy, especially if [men] are in unity with the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons, who have been appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ, whom He has established in security, after His own will, and by His Holy Spirit.
Letter to the Smyrnaeans:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church of God the Father, and of the beloved Jesus Christ, which has through mercy obtained every kind of gift, which is filled with faith and love, and is deficient in no gift, most worthy of God, and adorned with holiness: the Church which is at Smyrna, in Asia, wishes abundance of happiness, through the immaculate Spirit and word of God.
Letter to St. Polycarp
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, Bishop of the Church of the Smyrnæans, or rather, who has, as his own bishop, God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: [wishes] abundance of happiness.
Letter to the Romans:
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that willeth all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God, which also presides in the place of the report of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of obtaining her every desire, worthy of being deemed holy,(2) and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the San of the Father: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, * abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God.*
You can tell by the introductions to these seven letters that St. Ignatius holds the Church in Rome in much higher esteem. Its the only letter in which he uses the word “presidency” and he uses the word twice. Once to describe how the church has the presidency in the country of the Romans and a second time to describe its presidency over love.