Peter...the Bishop of Rome?


#1

I’m curious…where does the notion that Peter was the Bishop of Rome come from? The Clementine Recognitions state that it was Paul whom ordained Linus, before Peter even got there. So how is the Bishop of Rome able to hold the seat of Peter, if Peter never actually held the seat?

A Pac


#2

catholic.com/library/church_papacy.asp

Recognitions (Book I)
Preface

Written by Rufinus of Aquileia, and addressed to Bishop Gaudentius

To you, indeed, O Gaudentius, you choice glory of our doctors, belongs such vigour of mind, yea, such grace of the Spirit, that whatever you say even in the course of your daily preaching, whatever you deliver in the church, ought to be preserved in books, and handed down to posterity for their instruction. But we, whom slenderness of wit renders less ready, and now old age renders slow and inactive, though after many delays, yet at length present to you the work which once the virgin Sylvia of venerable memory enjoined upon us, that we should render Clement into our language, and you afterwards by hereditary right demanded of us; and thus we contribute to the use and profit of our people, no small spoil, as I think, taken from the libraries of the Greeks, so that we may feed with foreign nourishment those whom we cannot with our own. For foreign things usually seem both more pleasant, and sometimes also more profitable. In short, almost everything is foreign that brings healing to our bodies, that opposes diseases, and neutralizes poisons. For Judæa sends us Lacryma balsami, Crete Coma dictamni, Arabia her flower of spices, India reaps her crop of spikenard; which, although they reach us in a somewhat more broken condition than when they leave their native fields, yet retain entire the sweetness of their odour and their healing virtue. Receive therefore, my soul, Clement returning to you; receive him now in a Roman dress. And wonder not if haply the florid countenance of eloquence appear less in him than usual. It matters not, provided the sense tastes the same. Therefore we transport foreign merchandise into our country with much labour. And I know not with how grateful countenances my countrymen welcome me, bringing to them the rich spoils of Greece, and unlocking hidden treasures of wisdom with the key of our language. But may God grant your prayers, that no unlucky eye nor any livid aspect may meet us, lest, by an extreme kind of prodigy, while those from whom he is taken do not envy, yet those upon whom he is bestowed should repine. Truly it is right to point out the plan of our translation to you, who have read these works also in Greek, lest haply in some parts you may think the order of translation not kept. I suppose you are aware that there are two editions in Greek of this work of Clement,—the ᾽Αναγνώσεις, that is, Recognitions; and that there are two collections of books, differing in some points, but in many containing the same narrative. In short, the last part of this work, in which is the relation concerning the transformation of Simon, is contained in one of the collections, but is not at all in the other. There are also in both collections some dissertations concerning the Unbegotten God and the Begotten, and on some other subjects, which, to say nothing more, are beyond our comprehension. These, therefore, as being beyond our powers, I have chosen to reserve for others, rather than to produce in an imperfect state. But in the rest, we have given our endeavour, so far as we could, not to vary either from the sentiments or even from the language and modes of expression; and this, although it renders the style of the narrative less ornate, yet it makes it more faithful. The epistle in which the same Clement, writing to James the Lord’s brother, informs him of the death of Peter, and that he had left him his successor in his chair and teaching, and in which also the whole subject of church order is treated, I have not prefixed to this work, both because it is of later date, and because I have already translated and published it. But I do not think it out of place to explain here what in that letter will perhaps seem to some to be inconsistent. For some ask, Since Linus and Cletus were bishops in the city of Rome before this Clement, how could Clement himself, writing to James, say that the chair of teaching was handed over to him by Peter? Now of this we have heard this explanation, that Linus and Cletus were indeed bishops in the city of Rome before Clement, but during the lifetime of Peter: that is, that they undertook the care of the episcopate, and that he fulfilled the office of apostleship; as is found also to have been the case at Cæsarea, where, when he himself was present, he yet had Zacchæus, ordained by himself, as bishop. And in this way both statements will appear to be true, both that these bishops are reckoned before Clement, and yet that Clement received the teacher’s seat on the death of Peter. But now let us see how Clement, writing to James the Lord’s brother, begins his narrative.


#3

Believe it or not, I’ve read the documents and the only support they offer is hearsay from Irenaeus…nothing germane.

A Pac


#4

Why then are Peter’s bones there in Rome where history says they were?


#5

Why do you believe the question of who ordained Linus to be relevant to whether or not Peter was the Bishop of Rome?


#6

Because you obviously didn’t understand the question. I believe that Peter was in Rome. I also believe he was a Bishop (obviously). But it was Paul that founded Rome and ordained Linus. Linus was the Bishop of Rome when Peter came and when he died. As an apostle, he was more than a bishop…but he was not the Bishop of Rome. That was Linus and Antecleus.

A Pac


#7

Because, if indeed it was Paul that ordained Linus and Cletus as Bishops of Rome, then it was through Paul that the authority of the church was past…not Peter.


#8

How would you reach that Conclusion?. The fact that All popes were Bishops of Rome does not mean that all Bishops of Rome were Popes.


#9

[size=]Pseudo-Clementine Literature.

By Professor M. B. Riddle, D.D.

————————————

The name “Pseudo-Clementine Literature” (or, more briefly, “Clementina”) is applied to a series of writings, closely resembling each other, purporting to emanate from the great Roman Father. But, as Dr. Schaff remarks, in this literature he is evidently confounded with “Flavius Clement, kinsman of the Emperor Domitian.”504504 History of the Christian Church, vol. ii. p. 436, new edition. These writings are three in number: (1) the Recognitions, of which only the Latin translation of Rufinus has been preserved; Link[/size]


#10

Your source is apocryphal…

You could’ve found that out with just a google search…:shrug:


#11

The primacy resided in St. Peter when he was alive, before he went to Rome. Remember, the Pope doesn’t have to have ordained his successor himself. Most Popes have been bishops before they were intalled as Pope. So, St. Linus probably was ordained by St. Paul and was a bishop in the city of Rome. When St. Peter came, he most assuredly presided, with Linus as another bishop in town. Then, when St. Peter was martyerd, St. Linus, who was already a bishop, was installed, most likely since he had a lot of experience as a bishop in Rome.


#12

Estesbob,

How would you reach that Conclusion?. The fact that All popes were Bishops of Rome does not mean that all Bishops of Rome were Popes.

Non sequitur. Please explain…

Church Militant,

What was the point of the Pseudo-Clementine? I missed the connection. Moreover, I know what’s apocryphal. More importantly, is that it doesn’t conflict with any other source. Find me one that says it was PETER that founded Rome or ordained Linus. Apocryphal or not, nothing else says otherwise.

Genesis315,

The primacy resided in St. Peter when he was alive, before he went to Rome. Remember, the Pope doesn’t have to have ordained his successor himself. Most Popes have been bishops before they were intalled as Pope. So, St. Linus probably was ordained by St. Paul and was a bishop in the city of Rome. When St. Peter came, he most assuredly presided, with Linus as another bishop in town. Then, when St. Peter was martyerd, St. Linus, who was already a bishop, was installed, most likely since he had a lot of experience as a bishop in Rome.

Thank you for something we can go off from. Now, here’s my issue. Why did Christ give Peter authority, if Peter didn’t have to perpetuate that authority? Or, why didn’t the Bishop of Antioch become Pope? Peter was there first, and DID ordain that Bishop. See…here’s the problem that I have. The claim of Peter is untenable because it’s simply from geographic association. There was no other known association between Peter and Linus, so thus it is assumed. All of it is assumed. So if Peter indeed did no passing of authority, the only thing that makes sense is that a living Apostle—John, would take over after Peter left. Nothing else makes possible sense to me.

A Pac


#13

Re underlined portion:

Where did you get the idea that Paul founded Rome? The Christian community existed in Rome before he ever went there, and he expressed his desire to come and visit them in the letter he wrote to them (Romans 1:10 and 15:22-29). The first time he went to Rome is when he was taken there as a prisoner - after his third missionary journey.

Nita


#14

Nita,

Thanks. Sure, he wrote to them on multiple occasions, but scholarship has a difficult time pegging when they were. Typical understanding is that Paul got to Rome before Peter…but not all historians agree. I think the best evidence is via the Recognition, in that Linus was ordained Bishop by Paul. If Peter had arrived first then he’d have ordained someone previously but there’s no record that this was the case. I’m not excercising ignorantium, but just stating what’s known, etc.

A Pac

P.S. Sorry…Irenaeus clumps Peter and Paul together as the founders, but they didn’t arrive together. That’s the hole in the story.


#15

If Paul founded the church in Rome, then why did he write the book of Romans, saying that he had always hoped to visit their church, but was unable to do so, but he hoped to visit them after his trip to Jerusalem to bring the tithing to the Holy Ones.

I think the point the early church fathers are making is that Paul and Peter were martyred there, not that they founded the church. Though I could be wrong on this.

Romans 1:7-13
To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.


#16

A Pac,

Unless things were different in the very beginning, a successor is not appointed until the pope dies. As you know, today the pope neither chooses, and obviously does not install, his successor!

I’m not sure why you consider it so important to determine whether Peter or Paul was the “bishop of Rome”. There’s no doubt they were both bishops and that they were both in Rome - but only Peter was Pope - not because he was in Rome, but because he was appointed by Jesus. It appears Linus was also ordained a bishop in Rome, but it is generally held that he did not become pope until after the death of Peter. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia newadvent.org/cathen/09272b.htm )

Nita


#17

Here is what Luther says about Peter:

That Caiaphas, Pilate, and St Peter came to Rome, and appeared before the emperor, is mere fable; the histories touching that point do not accord. Christ died in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, who governed five years after his death. All histories unanimously agree, that St Peter and St Paul died under the emperor Nero, whose last year was the five and twentieth year after the death of Christ. But St Peter was eighteen years at Jerusalem after Christ’s death, as the Epistle to the Galatians witnesses; and after that, he was seven years at Antioch. Then, as they fable, he ruled afterwards five and twenty years at Rome.

No pope among them all yet ruled five and twenty years; and, according to this reckoning, St Peter was not crucified under Nero. St Luke writes, that St Paul was two whole years at liberty in Rome, and went abroad; he mentions nothing at all of St Peter. It is a thing not to be believed that St Peter ever was at Rome.


#18

That is an inaccurate understanding of the Papacy AND Holy Orders. All Bishops have the authority to ordain.

The power to ordain, and who Peter did or did not ordain, is not what made Peter the Bishop of Rome.


#19

Wishful thinking on Luther’s part. Luther is not a reliable source of information on the Papacy-- having an *agenda *and being a *heretic *and all.


#20

I’m not sure what you’re saying here, he did have to perpetuate it. His “chair” has been occupied until this day.

Or, why didn’t the Bishop of Antioch become Pope? Peter was there first, and DID ordain that Bishop.

Because St. Peter was still alive when he left Antioch, he retained the primacy until he died.

See…here’s the problem that I have. The claim of Peter is untenable because it’s simply from geographic association. There was no other known association between Peter and Linus, so thus it is assumed. All of it is assumed. So if Peter indeed did no passing of authority, the only thing that makes sense is that a living Apostle—John, would take over after Peter left. Nothing else makes possible sense to mec

Amd yet, St. Clement I writes when St. John was still alive, and yet he writes as if he has authority over the universal Church. The fact that St. John didn’t take over says a lot.

Just like today, the successor of the Pope is not chosen by current Pope. He is usually elected after the Pope’s death. We can’t say whether or not St. Peter hand-picked St. Linus. We do know that the chair to have the primacy when he died, was in Rome. Therefore, that bishopric became the chief just as St. Peter was the chief.


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