"Primacy of Honor"/St. Peter & the Church in Antioch?

Continuing my examination and have a quick question.

If the Primacy of Honor held by the Church in Rome and recognized from the beginning of our Church was because of St. Peter, we believe this as Catholics Why wasn’t the Church in Antioch held as Second in Honor of the Church in Rome even though she was started by St. Peter?

In 325 at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea the Church in Antioch established personally by St. Peter was not afforded 2nd in the ranking honor next to the Church in Rome as would make sense for her to be *if *the primacy of honor was really due to St. Peter & “the keys” as opposed to being based on the “imperial city”. Rather the Church in Antioch was listed in 3rd place at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea and then in later Ecumencial Councils as 4th place. :confused:

Just so happens that the order of honor given at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea followed the secular influence those cities held.

This Ecumenical Council, at the very least, gives us insight into the mindset of those early Bishops. It disturbs me that the mindset seems to match that of the Orthodox Church, not my Catholic Church’s mindset today.

The simple answer is that the list of honors of the Churches are not by who founded the Church but by rank of importance of where the Church was in the empire. Rome was the capital of the Empire and thus given primary honor. If we are to do this today, it would be akin to giving it to a city like New York which has world-wide prominence (I would think other palces would oppose Washington DC as it is the capital of the US and would denote other places being subordinate to the US, just a guess).

Alexandria was chosen, yet history interceded. .

As to the second part, in other words St Peter was martyred in Rome, also St Paul thus they are honored there. St Mark in Alexandria and so forth.

Jesus lived, died, rose and ascended in Jerusalem, wouldn’t that make it the prime Church by default?

Oh there’s no doubt that Jerusalem holds an early and special place in Christianity, it still does. In the same sense so does Antioch, yet Alexandria was chosen and held the Christian Library. We can only assume how many works were lost there. Alexandria is very special place.

When we say for example the EO and CC are doing fine, and they are. I take little pride in that, I find it very disturbing the Cross Alexandria and many middle east Church’s are left to bear.

Absolutely not. Peter was chosen by Christ to be the head of his Church…“Upon this Rock…”. and, ever since the death of St. Peter, his successor as Bishop of Rome was considered by all of the other Bishops to be the head of the church, or Pope. Yes, there were various dissendant groups among the Eastern Churches in the early years of the Church, but these groups were largely dismissed and suppressed by the majority of Bishops until the Great Scism in the 11th Century A.D.

Alexandria was a bigger and more important city back in the day, that is why they are where they are in the list.

Well anyone should know Jesus founded His Church. Peter founded no church. The primary of honor based on the city, if I am correct, derived from the East when Constantinople considered itself second to Rome.

Jerusalem was ahead of Antioch when the Apostles were there, but obviously Jerusalem was destroyed not long after the Apostles left Jerusalem and some short time later Rome emerged as the primary Church. Again it is based on the prominence of the city itself where the Church is located. You wouldn’t even find the word or concept “Chair of Peter” come until much later. Long after Rome has received primacy.

Right, thats correct. Alexandria was the second-greatest city of the Roman world.

I am not saying you are incorrect, its been a few years since I dived deep into history. My memory was simply remembering something I read that the position of honor based on an imperial city came from the East. Likewise, the lack of usage of a specific term does not negate it as having been believed or practiced. The term Trinity was used much later as well,but certainly not denied.

God Bless CTG.

Thus far, this thread implies that the ranking of the Churches was based purely on political considerations. If that was the case, why was Constantinople not made first when the new capital of the Empire was established?

Precisely! That is why I told CTG the position that it was based on political considerations derived much later and when Constantinople later became the #2 See next to Rome. Unless my history is totally rusty?

I am not sure. But the Roman Church protested the transferring of the captial to Constantinople. If they had something more than the prestige of their city, it wouldn’t have mattered, would it?

All three churches, i.e., Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were considered Petrine sees and that is why they were given the rank they were. If the ecumenical council of Nicea followed secular influence ALONE, then by all accounts, Constantinople (then called Byzantium) should have taken precedence over Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, i.e., Constantine made it his headquarters.

Darn it, I was hoping to get to say that first. :stuck_out_tongue:

This was not why Alexandia was chosen though it most likely played a part. By the third century A.D., the See of St. Mark in a Christian Alexandria became the site of a revitalized Christian Roman-Egyptian culture which continued in its intellectual superiority. This is what I am suggesting with the loss of the largest known Christian Library. This is the why along with St Mark and the Apostolic Succession to St Peter would have all been factors. St Mark was St Peters student. It developed into the second largest city as a consequence of the Roman Empire.

You have to view this from two points, one Christianity and two Temporal rulers. Constantine wasn’t sure if he wanted to be an Arian or not. He left all his options open as any great ruler would do. He called the First Ecumenical Council. And imagine His surprize when he bought the greatest Christian scholars together and they could agree on major issue’s. Temporal rule played a large part in Christianity and cannot be overlooked.

But he did transfer the capital to Constantinople, and Rome still remained first, thereby, something more than political reasoning was at influence.

Most of the time, they used the Church as an extension of their power, i.e., caesaropapism.


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.