Could someone explain this to me?


this is a question i asked

hi my friend is coptic orthodox, and he said they dont believe any of the apostles had authority over one an other,and that they were all the same, if this is true, then why do the coptic orthodox people have their own pope ?

and this is the reply i got

The Patriarch of Alexandria was given the title Pope by the acclamation of the important of the Patriarchs of Alexandria in the Faith. It is only one of reverence, not of authority, and both the Greek and Coptic Orthodox Popes of Alexandria have it but NOT the patriarchs the Rome set up for Alexandria, neither Coptic, Melkite/Greek or Latin (since abolished).
Btw, the Pope of Alexandria had the title before the Pope of Rome

i dont really understand it, could someone explain it to me, and did the pope of alexandria really have authority first ?


Their appointment of a leader appears to be an attempt to justify their separation from Rome. I could understand it if he had authority, but lacking authority, the position is made either for the honor of men, or to cement their distance from the Roman church.

It is very clear from scripture that Christ appointed Peter. There were not two Christs, and so their should not be two Popes. As regards the leadership role, with no one in charge, you get faith by committee. Who on earth wants that? The evil one?

Christ’s peace.


The Greek word “papas” means patriarch, father, bishop.

The word “pope” derives from the Greek “papas”. It was not an *exclusive *term in the early Church, it simply meant patriarch or leader or father. It did not acquire its *particular *meaning that we use today until later.

Therefore, yes, other patriarchs have that title and it’s been used in Alexandria since the mid-200s. It does not mean that they are the head of the Church.

The Successor of Peter is the head of the Church. The title “pope” has only been applied to the Successor of Peter since sometime in the 400s.


Hi John

Of course, the Church spread in the East before it did in the West. So the Eastern Churches are older.

But that is neither here nor there. St. Peter’ s successors were the bishops of Rome.



I also have a friend over on the Catholic Community Forum who is a Copt. I asked him what does his Church think of Jesus changing Simon bar Jonah’s name to God’s own name: Rock.

He admitted that he did not have a satisfactory answer.

One thing that greatly impresses me about the Coptic Church is that they were separated from the rest of Christiandom for around 1500 years, and there is little difference in our beliefs, when you really get right down to it.

Let us pray for Unity!


One of the frequent posters on the Eastern Christianity forum, Mardukm, is a convert from the Coptic Orthodox Church to Catholicism. There is a thread on his conversion here. His story addressed some of the issues you discuss. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you sent him a pm to get his take on the issue.


thank you. I just may pm him and invite him over to the other forum.

Peace! maurin


In the region of Greece, and Turkey Christianity dates back to the time of Christ, so they predate Rome in that regard. Several Apostles were in this region and their line of religious leaders date back to that source. It would be years before the Bishop of Rome was named the primary leader of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Churches simply deny that authority and rely on their own Apostolic Succession for their leadership. Their Apostolic Succession is not through Peter.

I hope that is what your looking for


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