How was the second Pope chosen?

After Peter died, how was the next Pope chosen?

We can’t say for sure, but early Bishops (including the Bishop of Rome) were typically elected by a consensus of the clergy of the area. At times the laity also participated in episcopal elections (can you imagine trying that today?).

We have no records of a Bishop designating his successor, but there’s no reason why this could not have happened, especially in the very early Church.

Later on, Bishops (including Popes) were routinely appointed by Emperors and Kings, but it’s safe to say this didn’t happen for Linus.

The manner of election is unimportant. The only thing that matters for a Pope is that he is recognized by the Church as the Bishop of Rome (and, of course, that he is actually a Bishop).

Many people speculate that Linus was chosen specifically by Peter. Since very early times, an election of the Roman clergy was used to select the Pope. What is interesting is that the Pope is the absolute ruler of the Church, as such he has complete control over how his successor is chosen. Up to and including choosing his successor himself. There is no dogmatic requirement for an election.

I have always thought it was highly likely that Peter appointed his successor. First of all, he was martyred, and the persecution likely took everyone by surprise without having time to work out the details of some sort of election. Also, he was appointed himself by Christ, so it would have seemed quite normal for him to appoint his successor, as the idea of episcopal elections likely had not taken hold throughout the Church.

Could Peter have appointed one of the other Apostles to be his successor? Many of the Orthodox Churches feel that they are in the true Apostolic line.

How do we know that the second Pope after Peter did not usurp this position and create a new (false) Roman lineage?

Could Peter have appointed one of the other apostles to be his successor? Of course he could have. But he did not.

All of the Eastern Orthodox Churches do have true Apostolic succession. This is an issue for every Bishop. The Catholic Church does not dispute that at all.

Likewise, to the best of my knowledge, the Orthodox Church does not dispute that the Catholic Church’s bishops have true Apostolic succession.

As to the possibility of Linus usurping the See of Rome, two thoughts come to mind. First of all, there is no evidence that it ever occurred, so it seems that tradition will trump speculation.

Secondly, it does not matter in the here and now. A pope is valid if he is chosen according to the rules established by his (legitimate) predecessor and is installed as the Bishop of Rome. So, in theory, someone could usurp the papacy, and as long as a subsequent person was validly installed as the Bishop of Rome, then it makes no difference.

I think you are confusing Apostolic succession and Papal succession.

Apostolic succession means that a guy was ordained by a guy who was ordained by a guy, and if you go back far enough, you get to a guy who was ordained by an Apostle (any Apostle). The validity of Apostolic succession relies on the validity of a Bishop’s predecessor and an unbroken chain of ordination. All Bishops (including the Pope) have Apostolic succession (and this includes all Orthodox Bishops).

There’s no such thing as Papal succession. The phrase is sometimes used to refer to the list of historical Popes, but the list has no theological significance (and we’re not even sure the list we have today is accurate, but it doesn’t matter). The validity of one Pope does not rely on the validity (or intent) of his predecessor, and it would not matter if we had no Pope for centuries (we could still elect a Pope).

If Peter had wanted John to take over as Pope, but Linus stepped in and was recognized as the Bishop of Rome, that’s fine - Linus becomes the legitimate Pope (no usurping happens, even if Linus used dirty tricks to secure his position). A person is Pope solely by virtue of being recognized by the Church as the Bishop of Rome. Any person who receives such recognition is legitimately Pope. Linus received this recognition, so he was Pope, and it doesn’t matter one bit what Peter did or did not intend.

1 Like

Besides, the Sistine Chapel wasn’t built yet, so there was as yet no place to look for white smoke :slight_smile:

Thabks for the correction, yes I guess I did mean Papal Succession.

Since it was Peter who was promised the keys to the Kingdom and was given the authority to bind and loose, and also was given the promise that the gates of hell would never prevail, isnt it very important that his line was never broken to ensure all of what was promised?

If Linus did usurp the papal office, then the Roman Catholic Church is not the Church that Christ installed on earth. This makes it seem like anyone couldve stepped up and claimed to be Pope and of the true Church with its roots to Christ, even if that was not the case.Likewise, what is to prevent an anti Pope from springing up and claiming to be the one, and if enough people follow and outweigh the current pope, then he becomes the new “true” pope? What about the Orthodox Churches who claim to have the one, true Pope with a lineage that dates back to Christ?

It is a very important issue IMO.

Not really. There is no sacrament of Holy Orders for the Papal office, only for deacon, priest, and Bishop. So to be a valid Bishop, it is very important that the line of Bishops performing ordination is never broken, but there is no such need for the papal office.

If Linus did usurp the papal office, then the Roman Catholic Church is not the Church that Christ installed on earth. This makes it seem like anyone couldve stepped up and claimed to be Pope and of the true Church with its roots to Christ, even if that was not the case.

One important note (which should have been brought up earlier). Linus is a canonized saint in the Catholic Church. It is quite a stretch to suppose he could have usurped the papacy. So Linus did NOT usurp the papacy. If you don’t have evidence of this, the continue suggestion seems to border on calumny.

An one cannot just “step up and claim to be Pope”. At any given time in Church history there has been procedures for the selection of the pope. All attempts at usurpation have ultimately failed.

And again, even if one did temporarily “usurp” the papacy, all that would have to happen is another Bishop be validly selected and installed as Pope.

It is a very important issue IMO.

Your opinion would be wrong, for all of the above reasons. It is not important to consider something that did not happen. It is not important to consider if, even in the impossible chance it happened, could have been easily remedied, since there is no requirement for a “papal succession” as you seem to be describing.

The Papal office comes with infallibility that was promised to Peter alone. Wouldn’t Peter have had to pass in this charism to the succeeding Pope?

One important note (which should have been brought up earlier). Linus is a canonized saint in the Catholic Church. It is quite a stretch to suppose he could have usurped the papacy. So Linus did NOT usurp the papacy. If you don’t have evidence of this, the continue suggestion seems to border on calumny.

Of course Linus is a saint in the Catholic Church. Likewise, there are ex Popes in the Orthodox Churches who they claim are saints too. Stating that doesnt get to the bottom of who the true Pope is.

An one cannot just “step up and claim to be Pope”. At any given time in Church history there has been procedures for the selection of the pope. All attempts at usurpation have ultimately failed.

All attempts after Linus. Im not saying Linus did that, but if he did, thats all it would’ve taken to start a new unbroken lineage.

And again, even if one did temporarily “usurp” the papacy, all that would have to happen is another Bishop be validly selected and installed as Pope.

What if the mass general consensus were that the false pope was the real deal and decided to stay with him while the smaller true Church still existed on the sidelines? .As far as I know, this is what the Orthodox Churches claimed happen between them and the Catholic Church.

the “offic” of pope - really didn’t get established – until

Emperor Constantine was the first Pope!!

Imperial Rome became PAPAL Rome on October 28, 312 A.D., when Constantine exchanged the eagle for the cross:

"Constantine declared himself the first pope…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticnovice View Post
The Bishop of Rome existed before Constantine so you could use that to counter that argument.
Doesn’t work.

If one is convinced that Constantine was the first pope,

yes every one knows this – (

then there was no bishop of rome before him.

Sources to the contrary that are provided are ignored.

"Constantine declared himself the first pope…the first (empire- bishop of rome)

with all authority-- over EVERY–BODY

Did You Know Old MacDonald Was a Really Bad Speller

youtu.be/zebvFBNZ3Mg

That is NOT the teaching of the church.

Of course Linus is a saint in the Catholic Church. Likewise, there are ex Popes in the Orthodox Churches who they claim are saints too. Stating that doesnt get to the bottom of who the true Pope is.

The Church would infallibly claim someone to be a saint who may have usurped the papacy? Really? That is you position?

All attempts after Linus. Im not saying Linus did that, but if he did, thats all it would’ve taken to start a new unbroken lineage.

Why the fixation on Linus as opposed to all succeeding popes? Heck, why not Peter? He could have fabricated the story in Gospel about being the rock on which the church would be built.

What if the mass general consensus were that the false pope was the real deal and decided to stay with him while the smaller true Church still existed on the sidelines? .As far as I know, this is what the Orthodox Churches claimed happen between them and the Catholic Church.

I know of no such claim by the Orthodox churches. Please provide a reference to your claim. The Orthodox Churches deny the infallibility of the Roman Bishop, they deny his authority, to varying degrees, they acknowledge his primacy. But they do not claim there is no legitimate Bishop oh Rome.

If there was a usurper, someone would be called to refute it…and actually, I just came across an article about this one, it is regarding the donatist heresy and the Catholic saint that responded:

calledtocommunion.com/2011/06/st-optatus-on-schism-and-the-bishop-of-rome/

In responding to the donatists…he cites the papal successors:

Having established the unique authority of the Chair of St. Peter in Rome, and its divinely established role as the visible principle of unity of the Catholic Church, St. Optatus then lays out the succession from St. Peter to the present pope in Rome (Pope St. Damasus [366-383] in the first edition, but Pope St. Siricius [384-399] in the second edition). He writes:
To Peter succeeded Linus, to Linus succeeded Clement, to Clement Anacletus, to Anacletus Evaristus, to Evaristus Sixtus, to Sixtus Telesphorus, to Telesphorus Hyginus, to Hyginus Anacetus, to Anacetus Pius, to Pius Soter, to Soter Alexander, to Alexander Victor, to Victor Zephyrinus, to Zephyrinus Calixtus, to Calixtus Urban, to Urban Pontianus, to Pontianus Anterus, to Anterus Fabian, to Fabian Cornelius, to Cornelius Lucius, to Lucius Stephen, to Stephen Sixtus; to Sixtus Dionysius, to Dionysius Felix, to Felix Marcellinus, to Marcellinus Eusebius, to Eusebius Miltiades, to Miltiades Silvester, to Silvester Marcus, to Marcus Julius, to Julius Liberius, to Liberius Damasus, to Damasus Siricius, who today is our colleague, with whom the whole world, through the intercourse of letters of peace, agrees with us in one bond of communion.
Now do you show the origins of your Cathedra, you who wish to claim the Holy Church for yourselves.26

St. Optatus writes to Parmenian:

But you allege that you too have some sort of a party in the City of Rome. It is a branch of your error growing out of a lie, not from the root of truth. In a word, were Macrobius to be asked where he sits in the City, will he be able to say on Peter’s Cathedra? I doubt whether he has even set eyes upon it, and schismatic that he is, he has not drawn nigh to Peter’s Shrine…. Behold, in Rome are the Shrines of the two Apostles . Will you tell me whether he * has been able to approach them, or has offered Sacrifice in those places, where as is certain are these Shrines of the Saints.21*

That’s not actually true - more than a dozen Popes have been deposed and overthrown by Emperors and Kings, and other Popes installed. BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER, because there is no such thing as Papal succession.

The keys don’t belong to Peter - they belong to the Office of the Pope. It doesn’t matter who holds the Office after Peter. The keys are not passed from one Pope to another; they come with the Office. It’s kinda like US Presidents - Obama didn’t get any authority from GHW Bush. He got his authority (and became President) when he was sworn into the Office of the President. The authority comes from the Office, not from the predecessor. The Papacy is exactly the same way.

If Linus did usurp the papal office

It is impossible to usurp the Papal office if the Church recognizes you as Bishop of Rome. The Bishop of Rome IS THE POPE. Linus was Bishop of Rome. Linus was the Pope. It doesn’t matter what Peter had intended.

This makes it seem like anyone couldve stepped up and claimed to be Pope and of the true Church with its roots to Christ, even if that was not the case.

If the person was recognized as the Bishop of Rome, it WOULD be the case. That’s how it works. The Bishop of Rome is ALWAYS the legitimate Pope.

Likewise, what is to prevent an anti Pope from springing up and claiming to be the one, and if enough people follow and outweigh the current pope, then he becomes the new “true” pope?

Nothing prevents it. It HAPPENED. It was called the Western Schism, and it lasted 40 years!!! (1378 - 1418) We are still not sure who was the “true” Pope during this time. BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER. Maybe nobody was the “true” Pope during this time. IT DOESN’T MATTER. There’s no such thing as Papal succession, so uncertainty or error in the line doesn’t matter - we can (and do) still have a valid Pope today.

What about the Orthodox Churches who claim to have the one, true Pope with a lineage that dates back to Christ?

They claim that all of their Bishops are Apostolically ordained (and they are), but they don’t claim “one true Pope.” Every Bishop (Catholic and Orthodox alike) has valid Apostolic succession. This has nothing to do with the Papacy (other than the fact that the Pope is also a Bishop).

It is a very important issue IMO.

Not really, because there’s no such thing as Papal succession.

I think it is true. The attempts ay usurping the papacy, now identified as antipopes, have never been recognized as the legitamite pope by the universal church. But in general we agree

Nope. The charism passes with the office.

You have surely been alive for at least one or two papal elections. Did Benedict choose Francis? John Paul certainly didn’t choose Benedict, given that he was dead at the time.

As others have explained, the apostolic succession of bishops relies on a direct, personal transmission of authority that must ultimately go back to one or more apostles. The papacy doesn’t work that way. It’s more like the U.S. Presidency. The current guy doesn’t affect the legitimacy of the next guy. Each election resets the legitimacy of the office, even if it were to be proven that one or more past occupants was illegitimate.

Usagi

Wellllll… stuff gets weird. Here’s an example: Pope St. Martin-1 was deposed and imprisoned by the Byzantine Emperor Constans-2 in June, 653. Sadly, the Church abandoned support for Martin and elected Pope St. Eugene-1 in Aug. 654 while Martin was yet alive, and Eugene reigned for more than a year before Martin died (in miserable circumstances) in Sept 665.

Since Martin did not abdicate (even under duress), Eugene would have been an anti-Pope for the first year of his reign, but, upon Martin’s death, Eugene could legitimately hold the Papal Office. I suppose it would be like a person who divorces and “remarries” - the second marriage is not legitimate while the first spouse is alive, but can become legitimate once the first spouse dies.

Eugene is counted on the Church’s roll of valid Popes (and he is a Saint of the Church), but that first year was strange. This is one of several similar incidents.

FWIW, Because of the oppressive conditions under which Pope St. Martin died, he is considered a martyr (and a Saint) by both the Catholic and Orthodox Church. He is the last Pope regarded as a martyr.

Considering Christ gave Peter the keys, it appears that it matters greatly.

Anyway, let’s say we concede that and say it comes with the Office. Does that mean *anyone * could have stepped up and filled the Office once it was vacant after Peter’s death?

Why is only the Bishop of Rome the only valid Pope? Why does the Bishop of Rome take precedent before any other?

Again, why is it only the Bishop of Rome? Says who?

Isn’t it important that we know that the Papal Office was not lost at some point in time? If it was, then no one has authority and no one alive today has the keys to the Kingdom or possesses infallibility.

So who’s Pope is true and infallible, the Orthodox or Roman Catholic? How do you know which is the right one and based on what?

And how is the Office passed on?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.