Easterm Fathers and the Primacy of Peter

Just a Link to some quotes of the Eastern Church Fathers and their view of Peter and his Primacy.


I don’t think the Eastern Churches, especially the Eastern Catholic Churches, disagree with the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. The issue is universal and supreme jurisdiction. So its Papal Supremacy that is the issue, not Papal Primacy.

Interesting quotes

Yes I know but as I see it, some of those quotes clearly suggest more than just mere “Papal Primacy”.

Also, forgive my ignorance (im still learning from our faith), but I a Primacy of honor without a corresponding authority is quite illogical in my point of view. To be honest, I dont even quite understand it. Maybe you can explain it to me (Again forgive my ignorance).

What do they suggest in your opinion?

Well in my opinion (which is a humble opinion) first they seem to esteem so much the see of Rome above all others. Its like if Rome (just for the very fact of having the succession of Peter) was the head of the whole church. Now since there are many quotes I guess I ought to post at least 3 in which this (in my opinion of course) seems what I just mentioned.

John Cassian, Monk (c. 430)

“That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God” (Cassian, Contra Nestorium, III, 12, CSEL, vol. 17, p. 276).

Why would a person (in this case St John Cassian) in Constantinople say “Tell us Peter how the churches must believe in God?” After mentioning “Who wielding the government of the RC possesed the principle authority”? That seems to much of a respect in my opinion.
St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)**

“Peter himself the Head or Crown of the Apostles, the First in the Church, the Friend of Christ, who received a revelation, not from man, but from the Father, as the Lord bears witness to him, saying, 'Blessed art thou, This very Peter and when I name Peter I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, First of the disciples, the First called, and the First who obeyed he was guilty …even denying the Lord.” (Chrysostom, T. ii. Hom)

“Peter, the Leader of the choir of Apostles, the Mouth of the disciples, the Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the faith, the Foundation of the confession, the Fisherman of the universe.” (Chrysostom, T. iii Hom).

“Peter, that Leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that one set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church.” (Chrys. In illud hoc Scitote)

Here Peter is clearly more than just an apostle with a “Primacy of Honor”. St John here in many was says that Peter is simply the head of all the apostles. A “Head” has more authority. Now don’t get me wrong I know that all apostles can bind and loose but, it seems as these quotes we read, and some others ive found in this site, that if you are not with the “Head” Which is Peter, meaning if you are not in full communion with him, then your church is lacking that “Head” which Christ established himself.

And since you are Antiochian,
Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria (450)
A native of Antioch, Theodoret ruled under the Antiochean Patriarch.

“I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds.” (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

When he says “For that most Holy throne (Rome) has sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds” This right here seems to imply that Rome has power above all other churches for the simple fact that Peter’s successor is in Rome, and not only that but he asks him to use his power as his successor.

These are just my thoughts, my personal opinion and interpretation as how I see it.

One of my favorites was this one from Theodore the Studite:

Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven.

This is exactly what i’m referring to and I haven’t ever even seen that quote before.

Dear brother Jacob,

I agree that all these quotes indicate MORE than a primacy of honor.:thumbsup:

At the same time, I would point out that NONE of these quotes demonstrate unilateral, absolute authority in the Church.:thumbsup:


The quotes from the two Johns are talking about St. Peter. Not the papacy. I think it is a mistake for Catholics to see “all the popes” whenever the word “Peter” is mentioned. The third quote seems to imply something about the papacy, but the context would be important to see to rule out hyperbole. Plus the Church in Antioch was opposed to the Church in Alexandria and needed Rome’s help. So Theodoret’s plea may have just been buttered up to reinforce his own cause. Plus I believe history shows that the Patriarch of Constantinople called the Council, not Pope Leo.

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