Take a look at the Early Church Fathers (and some later pre-East-West-Schism writers that might not chronologically be listed with the ECF’s) I cited in this recent thread which deal w/ St. Peter, the Pope, the keys, and the classic Petrine texts found in the Gospel.
Another thing to note is that even today, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that:
424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.
That is not to be understood as contradictory to the straight forward and primary meaning of the text that St. Peter is the “rock” in Mt. 16:18-19. If both views are found in the Catechism, is it that big of a surprise that both are found in the ECF’s? But what where the Fathers trying to express by using the above mentioned interpretation is the question that needs to be ascertained? I think in most cases they are not dealing with the Papacy and Roman Primacy.
Both St. Peter and his faith are the “rock”, in Mt. 16:18-19, but the primary meaning of the text is that St. Peter is the “rock”, as the Catholic Church has always taught.
I’ll grab some of those citations to illustrate:
From the West:
This is attributed to Pope St. Damasus (“Decree of Damasus”), and I accept that following Jurgens:
“…the Holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven…”
Source: Jurgens, Williams A. “The Faith of the Early Fathers Volume 1”, The Liturgical Press. Collegeville, Minnesota: 1970. Pg. 404
From the East:
St. Maximus the Confessor:
“The extremities of the earth, and all in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord look directly towards the most holy Roman Church and its confession and faith, as it were to a sun of unfailing light, awaiting from it the bright radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers according to what the six inspired and holy councils have purely and piously decreed, declaring most expressly the symbol of faith. For from the coming down of the incarnate Word amongst us, all the Churches in every part of the world have held that greatest Church alone as their base and foundation, seeing that according to the promise of Christ our Saviour, the gates of hell do never prevail against it, that it has the keys of a right confession and faith in Him, that it opens the true and only religion to such as approach with piety, and shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks injustice against the Most High.”
Source: Chapman, John. “St. Maximus of Constantinople.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 24 Aug. 2013 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10078b.htm.
St. Theodore the Studite (and several other archimandrites) to Pope Paschal:
“Your Supreme Blessedness has doubtless learnt what misfortune our sins have drawn upon our Church. We have become, to speak as the Scripture, the conversation and proverb of all nations, but maybe You have not yet been fully informed by letter. This is why we humble monks and the least among the members of Christ, since our chief is a prisoner, and the first among our fathers are scattered hither and thither, have been able, thanks to your vicinity and to our common agreement in mind and words, to write you this letter, though it be very bold. Listen to us, O Apostolic Leader, set over by God to be the guide of the sheep of Christ, Doorkeeper of the heavenly kingdom, Rock of the faith, on which has been built the Catholic Church. For you are Peter, You are the successor of Peter, whose See You occupy with honour. Cruel wolves have broken into the fold of the Lord and Hell as before has risen up against it.
. . . Come to our assistance, arise and do not repulse us to the end. To You Christ our God said, ‘When thou art once converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ Now is the time and the place. Help us You who have been set by God for that purpose. Stretch out the hand as far as possible. Frighten, we beg You, the monsters of heresy with the flute of Your Divine speech. O Good Shepherd, we conjure You, give your life to your sheep…”
Source: “The Eastern Churches and the Papacy”, S. Herbert Scott, London: Sheed & Ward, 1928. Pg. 305.