Papacy historical confusion

Any thoughts are appreciated

GOD bless

Peter, this is a matter of history and most secular historians admit to this.

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This is odd, since EARLY Christians, whom this fellow attempts to cite from, all list Peter and Linus in succession as bishops of Rome.

But none justifies calling into question the veracity of St. Irenaeus’s list, or the claim by all nine lists we have, i.e., (1) from St. Hegesippus through St. Epiphanius,135 (2) from the ancient Roman Canon of the Mass,136 (3) from St. Irenaeus,137 (4) from Julius Africanus […] (5) from St. Jerome,138 (6) from the third century Poem against Marcion,139 (7) from St. Hippolytus in the Liberian Catalogue,140 (8) from St. Optatus,141 (9) and from St. Augustine,142 that there was a succession of bishops in Rome from St. Peter…

So the lists are quite clear: The monarchical bishops of Rome go back to Peter. This means that early Christians were quite aware that there was a singular pastor-bishop, head of the Roman church, ever since Peter’s ministry in Rome. There is absolutely no evidence that the Roman church was governed in ANY other way. Ignatius of Antioch in the early 2nd century is clear that the bishop-priest-deacon model of local church governance is a universal Christian structure. It may have developed a little differently in some locations, and terms like “presbyter” and “bishop” were surely more fluid at first. But it is clear that the early Christian sources knew their own history: The Roman bishops were grounded in Peter.

Look, the early Church was explicit – and implicit in practice – that the Roman church held a primacy because of Peter’s influence. It’s ridiculous to claim otherwise. One can more easily argue the extent of authority and jurisdiction, as the Orthodox-Catholic debate goes. But for sure, the early Christian theologians and leaders recognized Roman primacy. Irenaeus from the AD 180s is certain which church holds primacy, and why:

“…the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition” -Against Heresies 3:3:2


The fellow from your link attempts to include Cyprian as a counter-example to the Roman claims. Does he not know Cyprian’s own writings? Cyprian, in the 250s, is emphatic that the ROMAN church is the CHAIR of the universal church: That Christ established Peter as the basis of the church’s unity, and that this source of unity is continued in the “chair” of Rome.

Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? -Treatise on the Unity of the Catholic Church, 1st edition

See more from Cyprian in that above link^


Also, the fact that the author of that video series recognizes that it’s “ARGUABLE” who is the first pope is very telling, because it at the VERY LEAST presumes that the papacy is something that developed organically. And in some ways, it has.

In other words, the author doesn’t want Peter to be the first Pope, because that would mean Catholicism is true. But if you don’t admit Peter is the first Pope, as early Christians believed, then you have to admit that you don’t REALLY know who the first Pope actually was.

The easiest explanation is (besides going with early Christian testimony, who identify Peter as the bishop of Rome) is to recognize the gradual development of the Pope as truly organic because, well, the basis of the Pope’s office was there all along. Make sense?

Besides, “Pope” is just an endearing title that became more official and restricted to the Bishop of Rome over time. The title “Pope” is not the issue.

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Someone who knows more than me should inform that poor fellow. perhaps he will be convinced and even delete that misleading article. And, perhaps, he will even convert to the True Faith.

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That website is a rabidly anti-Catholic Protestant fundamentalist rag.

You should close the browser and never visit that website again. They bring great shame upon the Name of Christ by viciously and deceitfully attacking His Very Body as well as his appointed Vicar on Earth. On that mournful, that terrible, that Dread Day, they will stand before Jesus and give an account as to why they persecuted him.


I’m afraid to use my browser to read it.

THanks for your answers, and this goes for everyone else too, but this still leaves some confusion as to the following things he said
“Cyprian of Carthage, since made a saint by the Roman Catholics, convened a council of 82 bishops to renounce “Pope” Stephen’s attempt to claim the title of "Bishop of bishops."
At the Council of Nicea, in A.D. 325, the bishop of Rome was given authority over an area similar to that of the bishop of Alexandria. The bishop of Alexandria had authority over all of Egypt.”

If these are true then it seems weird for a saint to oppose the papacy.

Also the quote from Cyprian seems very counter to the authors point so thank you for that but it sounds like the chair of Peter is referring to all the bishops.

GOD bless!

False. The council under Cyprian was a council of African bishops who held to a different, extremist view of baptism, which was rejected by the universal Church in favor of the Roman view held by Pope Stephen. So the pope’s view on baptism won out, anyway. But the council was not convened to reject a claimed title of Stephen – there is no indication Stephen called himself this. Rather, what Cyprian said was that “For no one of us [African bishops] sets himself up as a bishop of bishops,” and so when he says this, he is indirectly challenging Stephen, who sought to advance the Roman view of baptism throughout the church. Cyprian, at first, thought that each bishop should decide the matter for his own region. Ultimately, though, it seems that Cyprian was wishy-washy about many things and modified his theory of church governance over time.

But he surely saw the bishop of Rome has holding a very different role than any other bishop. The bishop does hold the “chair” for his local community, but only about the bishop of Rome does Cyprian acknowledge a universal source of unity. Talking about Pope Cornelius, he says he holds the “place of Peter,” who in turn holds the “one chair.”


Can’t find the place in the videos where he talks about this. Can you identify which one, and at what point in the video?

Here’s the thing: Cyprian wasn’t railing against Stephen, per se, but against his declaration that heretics did not need to be re-baptized. The bishops Cyprian gathered (from Africa) agreed with him. The matter was later resolved, in a synod of bishops… in favor of Stephen’s perspective. (So much for “not following the Bishop of Rome”, eh? :wink: )

This was one of the arguments against papal primacy: namely, that the bishop with the most important ‘church’ (or ‘diocese’) should be the pope. Note the inherent problems with that approach: there would have to be agreement on what the “most important” area was, and even if there were agreement, nevertheless that distinction could change over time, according to the politics of the day! Therefore, the Church has always maintained that the pope is the pope because he’s the successor of Peter, not because he’s the bishop of Rome.

Another way to look at is, in more simplistic terms, is:

Cyprian clearly acknowledged the Roman Church as the “principle church” and the “womb and root of the catholic church.” And he clearly said that a “primacy is given to Peter,” precisely for the church’s unity.

Cyprian also saw each bishop has reflecting the chair in his own church community. But Cyprian was emphatic that cutting off from the one chair of Peter in Rome meant severing communion with the Catholic Church. That’s one reason that, despite his alternative views on baptism, he stuck with Rome and didn’t break communion.

You and that article explained it very well and put it in more context than I could have by just reading the whole dialogue, thank you.

I am still partially confused about the chair of Peter being limited to just one and why that would only apply to the Bishop of Rome but everything else I look at seems to imply primacy of Peter so I guess I can safely assume his primacy and accept that i don’t understand it now but try to best I can, thanks.
GOD bless!

I get what you are saying about Petran primacy over Roman primacy and that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that!

I haven’t finished the video but i got that quote from the text itself (before or after i can’t remember)

GOD a bless!

I’m not exactly sure of the extent of your understanding of the Pope and so on.

But you are aware of the biblical foundations for Peter’s primacy, yes? That in Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus declares Peter to be the rock of his church? Peter literally means “rock” and was not his original name (it was Simon).

This headship of Peter among the rest of the Apostles is the basis for there being a singular successor to Peter who retains this headship among the rest of the church’s bishops, who are successors to the Apostles in general.


@Catholic1seeks just went into beast mode. Can you like a post twice?

yeah i know a lot about the jiblical and practical reasons for the papacy but i saw some thing where a guy rallied the number of fathers who held to the view that Peter was the rock and it wasn’t much (i think it was bishop Kendrick). Personally i think it’s clear Peter is the rock but was wondering if you had any insight

I think the answer to one question, perhaps easier to answer now after 2000 years of experience, would be helpful. We have to answer it for ourselves: Does the Church need a rock, a singular place where the doctrinal buck stops?

The early fathers who said the rock was something other than Peter were not speaking to the same concerns as non-Catholics and anti-Catholics do. That is, even if they said the rock was something other than Peter, it wasn’t to deny Petrine primacy or papal authority. The primacy of Peter was universal in the early church. Besides, I’m having trouble calling to mind a father who denied the rock was Peter. Sometimes fathers said the rock meant Peter, but also his faith, like Augustine. But again, Augustine wasn’t rejecting papal authority, and so forth.

Regardless, I would argue the fathers generally do acknowledge the rock to be Peter. Even if that were not the case, the textual basis for this conclusion is solid. Peter’s name MEANS Rock, after all.

Practically, yes, for the sake of unity.

But then again, there are plenty of things regarding the Christian faith that are not strictly necessary. Was it necessary to have Baptism? Probably not, but God chooses to relate himself to us through material means — even through water, in this case. And so on.

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