Start of the Catholic church

Would anyone mind telling (or sending me links) to learn about how the Catholic church got started? And how Peter became the first Pope and explain Matthew 16:18 further? My Grandma insists that it was the faith that Peter had in God, and that he wasn’t the first Pope nor started the church.

Is your grandmother Protestant or Orthodox? Jesus, Peter, and the Keys explains a lot about this issue, using quotes from theologists of all three traditions as well as Early Chirch Fathers and other great sources!

You could start by Reading the Church Fathers like.
Clement of Rome
St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Ignatius of Antioch
Polycarp of Smyrna
John Chrysostom
Clement of Alexandria

After reading the Bible and then reading the Church Fathers you see the continuation, the Bible was not written or rather the letters were not put together for another 300 years after Our Lord Ascended into Heaven, he did not throw down the Bible as he was ascending. This is what Protestants forget it was all the letters from the Apostles 2000 years ago.

Forum Members might have other suggestions.:signofcross:

Well, certainly Peter did profess rightly, we can agree on that. But we must look at what Jesus did as a result of that profession.

a: Changed his name. There are many instances in the old testament where this occurred to prominent figures.
b: Gave him the keys to the kingdom. Again, the old testament is a good place to look for the role of the prime minister, prime meaning first, of course.
c: Authority to bind and loose. goes along with the prime minister.

The thing is, we have to put away ourselves a bit and honestly say to ourselves, "with all the language and cultural changes over the last 2000 years, who cares what I think? Better question is, “What did the first disciples think it meant?”.

Well, when referring to his brethren, Paul had a tendency to single Peter out from the crowd, and appealed to the Church in council at Jerusalem to settle a dispute where James and Peter were. After Peter was martyred, Linus succeeded his chair, then Clement, Anacletus,(there are mixed reviews on the order of Anacletus and Clement) … and today Francis in an unbroken chain. There are many testimonies from the Early Church Fathers that attest to such a list of popes

One of the many is St. Jerome (*Illustrious Men *AD392)who writes:

Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says, “With Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the Book of Life,” the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle.

So I say it matters less what you or I or your grandmother think about what the Scripture says. If we are saying something that is in opposition to the fathers of the Church, it may be wise to rethink our position.

God Bless

She was brought up Moravian (which is a Protestant denomination)

Thank you for your information! :slight_smile:

Here’s a copy of EWTN’s apologetic’s cheat sheet. Scroll down to Papacy.

Actually, it was the revelation of the Father that (appears to have) prompted Jesus to respond with the rock and Church.
“And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 16:17

Biblically, any time a name was changed by God (Jesus being God) a fatherly (papa-pope) role was given to this person. Abrahm-> Abraham; Jacob ->Israel; Simon -> Peter

These roles are also sort of a representative of the assembly/Church as a whole.
“The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus” Acts 3:13
The author is implying, this God of these men is OUR God.

It helped me as a Protestant to see the link between Isaiah 22:22 and Matthew 16:18. Very similar words on the keys of the kingdom. In Isaiah, having the keys meant a chancellor for a king. He would deal with the meetings, make decisions, etc. (Someone else can give a greater description than that). In Matthew 16:18, Christ hands the keys to Peter. So this is huge!

Remember too, Christ changes Saul’s name to Peter (meaning Rock). Whenever God changes a name in the bible it’s a huge calling he’s giving the person. To say he just has a good faith wouldn’t be a reason to change a person’s name. So yes, he did have a great faith, but it’s also why Jesus “gave the keys to the kingdom.” It’s a both-and than just one thing. Most protestants think the way Luther did, quite dialectic: it’s either this or that.

We have Clement’s letter to the Epistles in the Ante-Nicene Fathers document. He was the third Roman bishop after Peter. Since he has a clearly marked role as bishop of Rome, wouldn’t the first bishop be Peter? Someone had to be. This almost must have been how things were run to defend the teachings of the church and pass them down over the ages.

Paul also outlines the roles of bishops, priests, and deacons. Peter in scripture says he can’t hold his office for long and needs to pass it down (which Linus was the second pope).

Some reasoning is since Paul outlines the role of bishop, and if a pope is the Bishop of Rome, than it’s clearly biblical. It’s like saying 1 = 1, and some argue 1 doesn’t equal 1.

Hope some of this helps! “Almost” welcome to the church! You’ll love it.

That explains it a little better!!! It’s a lot to take in that’s for sure. And Thank you!! I’m coming home! :smiley:

Oh yeah, one more thing: my favorite church father was St. Ignatius of Antioch who helped me finally join. He’s really worth reading.

“Where the bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church” - St. Ignatius, bishop & student of St. John of the Apostles, A.D. 107

So, some reasoning: St. John is credible. He wrote one of the Gospels. If his disciple was St. Ignatius, and later bishop (traditionally appointed by Peter), then St. Ignatius is credible. St. Ignatius is saying follow the bishop to avoid heresy. Sounds pretty good to me.

After joining the church, I wrote this one topic out of many on Papal authority with bible verses and historical notes. So that might help too. Kind of my notes when in RCIA.

Hi Hannah! I’ll sum it up as best as I can in my words… I did some research on St. Peter and Paul and took a couple of bible study classes on it. You might want to watch the Catholicism video by Fr. Barron one of the discs are on St Peter and Paul.

It was Jesus who started the church when He picked Simon who He named Peter (because Peter means Rock) to build the church upon because of his faith and because of his great love for Jesus. We see here Jesus is calling the church His church.

Read the whole Chapter 16 of Matthew and you’ll see what your grandma was talking about… Particularly Matthew 16:17…

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

John 21:17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Read closely in scripture and you will see Peter leading the church…Now remember this is the beginnings, and Christians were under great persecution so things like what we should call the leader of the church “pope” didn’t come till later, but for sure. Jesus picked only one of the apostles to head it as the Pope does, and in apostolic tradition, more Main leaders came to follow to replace Peter as well as others to replace the other apostles who were leaders but not the top leader like Peter. Read the scriptures in order starting from the Acts of the Apostles and you’ll see the beginnings of the church developing.

Acts 1: 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Acts 2:14
Peter Addresses the Crowd ] Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.

Peter instructs the other leaders.

1 Peter 5:1 So I exhort the presbyters* among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.a
Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock.

The church grew…

Acts 4:4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

Acts 9:11 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

The church existed 300+ of years before the bible even existed. The bible was the work of the church completed after Christianity was made legal, so all the details are not included in the bible. Refer to :. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, the bible is useful, but by that statement we know that it doesn’t contain everything we need to know about our faith. What they needed to know was the Church teaching and the bible Supported that hand in hand and still does… The bible wasn’t the sole source of the teaching for Christians, and still isn’t for Catholics. We have the magisterium which teaches us what the scriptures mean and about our faith. That’s why we have to look at the traditions of the church to fully understand about our beliefs.

IN the first 1500 years of Christianity there were no other Christian religions outside of the Catholic church, so Christianity WAS the Catholic church. So although your grandmother might not see the details like Peter being called the Pope, at the time the bible was written these details didn’t matter, there was only one Christian church and that came to be named later as the Catholic church. Remember the first 300 years of Christianity, it was not legal to be Christian but all Christians were united in their beliefs, which were the frameworks for our beliefs.

Peace… Karen

It works like this: Jesus asked the Apostles what everyone thought of him, a few said that
many claim Jesus to be Elijah or the other prophets, then Jesus asked the Apostles who
THEY thought he was. The Twelve were silent.
Simon Bar Jonah then came out and said that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.
Jesus thus renamed Simon ***
“Peter*,” **meaning the Rock ____________ _______________ Keep in mind that it was the Father
(or little rock). _____________________________________ in Heaven who told Peter who Jesus is.
He continued saying how he would found his Church
upon this Rock, referring to Peter’s confession, that
being the Rock.
Peter was being identified with the Rock, showing how he was to be the Chief Apostle.

If you read later on, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him, three times Peter
said, “Yes, you know I love you” (grieving the third time), THREE TIMES Jesus said,
"Feed my sheep," making evident Peter’s role in the Church.

It should be known that the Office of Pope did not start immediately. Jesus planted the
seed, it began to grow, and only later on after the Church matured that the Papacy be-
STARTED with Peter, developed slowly over time, later on became formalized.

That is how I see it anyway, please anyone correct me where I err.

Okay, one more tidbit haha. I learned over time that Protestants who are arguing look to scripture only. Although the verses are there to support Peter’s role, they will still deny it because it doesn’t fit their existing thinking. What to do? I’ve been taking a philosophy approach some more. Say there’s a soccer game going on. The referee couldn’t make it, so the game can’t be played fairly. There’s going to be arguments. No one can decide what the play was. If the referee was there (the pope as a shepherd who tends Christ’s flock), the game could continue. See, that philosophy is simple enough to change their way of thinking. It’s not scripture-based, but if you change their thinking with philosophy, then they will start looking at verses differently. It makes all the sense in the world to have a referee. How can there be one flock “in one faith” in scripture without one? It’d be chaos, and we see that in the protestant realm with 30,000 divisions right now. With the referee story, it puts things into perspective much easier than throwing bible verses at each other, although it’s still equally important. I think we forgot how to reason as a culture. The culture is: Just show me the verse, and I’ll believe. Just show me what to do. Pastor, just tell me what to believe. Okay, I’m done.

Thank you!

That really does make a lot of sense! Thank you for putting it in perspective! :slight_smile:


I will definitely take this and study!! Thank you for being so helpful!

Please look out for any correctors! :o

You’re welcome!:slight_smile:

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