Roman Persecution?


This might be a dumb question, but a protestant argument I hear is that how can roman catholics be the first christians when the romans literally crucified crucified St peter. Upside down and killed tons if other christians?


I don’t see how this would be relevant in their argument. Those marytrs started the Church and died for it, and we’re her descendants.


It was the Roman pagans who crucified St Peter. St Peter was the first Pope.


This argument makes no logical sense. Roman Catholics trace the origin of our church back to the martyrs in Rome like St. Peter, the first Roman Catholic Pope, and other early Christians persecuted and killed by the Roman pagans. Every Protestant sect traces itself back to the exact same people (St Peter and early persecuted/ killed Christians). It’s not like the Roman Catholic Church was founded by the Roman pagans who were killing the Christians.

Moreover, in the time of the early Roman persecution and for 1500 years thereafter, the Protestants were all members of the Roman Catholic Church themselves. So we all trace ourselves back to the same group. It’s not like the Protestants were Team Christian, with St. Peter and Paul and whoever on their team, and the Catholics were Team Roman Pagan with all the murderous Roman emperors on their team.

This statement by any Protestant is totally nonsensical and one would have to be completely uneducated about history to think it has any merit at all.


Who does this person think St. Paul wrote his letter to the Romans to? The Christian Church–the Catholic Church–was in Rome (and elsewhere).

Anyway, the Catholic Church was not founded first in the city of Rome–that is not why the Church in that city is important. The Catholic Church is not limited to Rome and never has been.


What a silly argument. Don’t pay it any attention.

How can someone be this ignorant of history?


I’m not even sure what the question is asking.

I would first want to know what they mean by “Roman Catholic”. That designation would not be used until many years later. And I believe it was largely imposed from the outside. Yes, “Rome” eventually started to be used as a metonym for the authorities of the Church. But that’s no different from using a capital city or capital building to refer to a national government.

Do they think we believe Christians in Rome somehow pre-existed all of the other Christians who lived at that time? We certainly don’t. But we do believe all the Apostles (and their successor bishops) recognized Peter as their leader and passed that allegiance to Peter’s successor bishop, St. Linus.

Are they suggesting that the Roman civil authorities that crucified Peter were Catholics?


I would just respond that this person is not making a distinction between the Roman Church, and Imperial Rome, so this objection makes no historical or logical sense.


This is a completely illogical argument.

When St Peter came to Rome there was only the Church. There was no Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox churches. We come from the Apostolic Church.

The argument also infers that the only possible people who could be Roman Catholics must have been born in Rome, fathered by St Peter and that he could not possibly have does this. It is complete nonsense.


Because martyrdom is the seed of Christianity. Ask your Protestant friend to provide witnesses of Protestantism in the early Church.


Jesus got crucified for our sins- we are , in a sense, all guilty of sin and therefore of his crucifixion. It is God’s work in contradiction that those who crucified his Son would turn over to his side. God likes contradictions- he tends to choose poor and small to be his prophets, he tends to elevate those who are low to be higher than the others. Same way, Romans have been granted a chance to become the seat of Christianity- which they, luckily for them and us, did.


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