Start of the Catholic church

Here you go. Good time when I was studying Clement I, the forth bishop of Rome in the 1st century or early 2nd.

Church Order


  1. “Let every one of you brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him.” (CHAP. XL – LET US PRESERVE IN THE CHURCH THE ORDER APPOINTED BY GOD)
  2. “And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place, “I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.” (CHAP. XLII – THE ORDER OF MINISTERS IN THE CHURCH)
  3. “Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry.” (CHAP. XLIV – THE ORDINCANCES OF THE APOSTLES, THAT THERE MIGHT BE NO CONTENTION RESPECTING THE PRIESTLY OFFICE)
  4. “For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are the presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world];” - (CHAP. XLIV – THE ORDINCANCES OF THE APOSTLES, THAT THERE MIGHT BE NO CONTENTION RESPECTING THE PRIESTLY OFFICE)

And it was a given whoever was the bishop of Rome was in the political city, and thus the pontificate sits there. In this letter “THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT”, the Church of Corinth writes to the Church of Rome for a request of help on issues going on in the church. And Pope Clement I wrote back to them after some time due to ongoing persecutions at the time. He said he was sorry for being tardy because of all the events going on.

Clement said this too,

  1. “Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you.” (CHAP. XLVII)

Clement and Paul call Saul as Cephas instead of Peter. I’m not sure why. Does anyone have any thought? I’m guessing it’s the title of Peter with another language, all meaning Rock.

I believe that our Lord before departing as a way to show us the inmense mercy He has for us asks Simon bar Jonas now Peter 3 times if he loves Him as the result of him rebuking Jesus 3 times at the Passion.
First Jesus out right told Peter he would betray Him.

26:33 Then Peter responded by saying to him, “Even if everyone else has fallen away from you, I will never fall away.”
26:34 Jesus said to him,** “Amen I say to you, that in this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”**

Remember Peter was asked 3 times if he knew Jesus and he negated knowing Him 3 times before the rooster crowed.

26:69 Yet truly, Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a maidservant approached him, saying, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.”
26:70 But he denied it in the sight of them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”
26:71 Then, as he exited by the gate, another maidservant saw him. And she said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
26:72 And again, he denied it with an oath, “For I do not know the man.”
26:73 And after a little while, those who were standing nearby came and said to Peter: “Truly, you also are one of them. For even your manner of speaking reveals you.”
26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear that he had not known the man. And immediately the rooster crowed.
26:75 And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, which he had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And going outside, he wept bitterly.

Now after the resurrection we read:

21:15 Then, when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
21:16 He said to him again: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
21:17 He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was very grieved that he had asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” And so he said to him: “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my sheep.

We see that Jesus responds to Peter’s reply that he loves Jesus with a simple “Feed my sheep”. Which simply means to care for the members of Jesus’s Church.

One of the titles that the Popes have is “Servant of the servants of God” or “Servus servorum Dei” in latin, which was first used by the Pope Gregory the Great in 587 AD.
And this title perfectly reflects the words of Jesus to Peter.

I see :slight_smile: Here’s a link to the book. You can probably get it through interlibrary loan at your public library, too.

Blessings itshannahbelle, in your journey to the fullness of truth. This overview may help.

Jesus specifically entrusts Peter with His authority.
All four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve also].

Sole authority to Peter:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

Already, Peter had exercised his supreme authority in the upper room before Pentecost to have Judas’ place filled. At the first Apostolic Council of Jerusalem Peter settled the heated discussion over circumcising the gentiles and “the whole assembly fell silent” (Acts 15:7-12). Paul made sure that his ministry to the gentiles was recognised by, Peter (Gal 1:I8).

The third successor of St Peter, Clement, wrote to the Catholics of Corinth in A.D. 95: “If any man should be disobedient unto the words spoken by God through us, let them understand that they will entangle themselves in no slight transgression and danger… Render obedience to the things written by us through the Holy Spirit.” (I Clem. ad Cor. 59,1). This Is The Faith, Francis J Ripley, Fowler Wright Books, 1971, p 151; 139-141].

About Pope Victor I’s declaration by edict, about the year 200, that any local Church that failed to conform with Rome was excluded from the union with the one Church by heresy, none other than the radical protestant Adolph von Harnack admitted that Victor I was “recognised, in his capacity of bishop of Rome, as the special guardian of the ‘common unity’… " (See And On This Rock, p 118, 1987, Trinity Communications, Fr Stanley L Jaki).

Harnack asked: “How would Victor have ventured on such an edict – though indeed he had not the power of enforcing it in every case – unless the special prerogative of Rome to determine the conditions of the ‘common unity’ in the vital questions of faith had been an acknowledged and well-established fact?”

The apostles were a collegial community, under Peter. “By the end of the apostolic age, the bishops of the Catholic Church began meeting together on a regional basis, and with the first ecumenical council at Nicaea in 325, this co-operative activity reached worldwide proportions.” (Fr John A Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Catechism, Doubleday, 1975, p 320-321).

Not quite!
The words Jesus used for Peter were “bind” and “loose,” “to bind” in the biblical
sense meaning “to forbid,” while “to loose” in the biblical sense means “to permit.”

The words Jesus used for all Twelve as breathed on them
was “forgive” and “retain,” this being the root of confession.

Not really the same thing.

[RIGHT]I have to remember that “Strengthen
your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
thing you
mentioned, that was brilliant! :smiley:

The reality:

My post #25:
Jesus specifically entrusts Peter with His authority.
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve also].

And later to the Twelve:
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 18:18)

“The same powers of binding and loosing are, indeed, promised to all the Apostles in Matthew 18:18, but because they were first promised to St Peter, the rock and the holder of the keys, it is clear that his fellow Apostles are to exercise them subordinately to his authority.” Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Archbishop Michael Sheehan, revised by Fr Peter Joseph, Saint Austin Press, 2001, p 189].

huh … how about that.

Indeed the power of the keys were also bestowed on the college of Bishops under the primacy of Peter. This the Catholic Church has understood since the beginning.

This is why the Councils which are convened at the request of the Pope are considered infallible when the Bishops get together and with the protection of the Holy Spirit they proclaim teachings in union with Pope who ratify their decisions.

First off I agree with your grandmother when she says St.Peter did not start the Church but that’s all I agree with her on.It is a historical fact that St.Peter was the first bishop of rome ,although it’s true the word “pope” does not appear in Scriptures the concept of the papacy is indeed in the Holy Scriptures.If you look at Isaiah22:22 you will see where Jesus borrowed his statement in Matthew16:18-19,also if you take a look at Matthew 23:1-3 where Jesus talks about the "Chair of Moses"this seemingly obscure verse in the New Testament canon is a well know Jewish tradition (btw ,does not appear anywhere in the Old Testament which also refutes the protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura) in Jesus’ day .This statement proves that Moses had successers ,just as Jesus intended St.Peter to have successers.All the early church fathers attests to the papacy ,and it just makes logical sense.And even in the book of Acts ,St.Peter had the final say on matters in the Church,see and read the first part of Acts.1:15 -25 ,where the doctrine of Apostolic Succession is discussed in Scriptures on replacing Judas and ordaining St.Matthias as the first bishop in the Church.

Peter – The Rock, Keeper of the Keys and Royal Steward

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13-19)

Peter’s understanding that Jesus was the Son of God did not come from working it out on his own; God the Father infused this revelation into Peter’s mind thus imprinting His seal of approval upon the humble fisherman. In turn, Jesus recognized that Simon had already been anointed by His Father in this way, and He declared, “Blessed are you” because the Father had already blessed Simon with knowledge of the Son. Speaking in His native tongue, Aramaic, Jesus gave Simon a new name, “Kepha”, the Aramaic word that means “rock”. Jesus declared, “You are kepha, and on this kepha I will build my church.”

Although Jesus spoke Aramaic, the New Testament was written in Greek, and “Kepha” would have been translated into the Greek words for “rock” which are “petra” or “petros”. “Petra” is the feminine form of the masculine word, “petros”, and obviously, “petros” is the more suitable form for a man’s name. From “petros” we derive the English name, “Peter”. For us modern readers then, Jesus’ pronouncement reads, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church”, but we must never lose sight of the fact that in the original language used by Jesus, Simon is clearly identified as the rock upon which the Church would be built by Jesus. Jesus announced His intention to establish His Church (singular – not “churches” plural) and His choice of Peter as its leader.

What is it about Peter’s character that caused Jesus to compare him to something as solid as rock? Isn’t this the same Peter who Jesus called “Satan” just a few verses later? (cf. Mt 16:23) Isn’t this the same Peter who would deny the Lord three times after his arrest? (cf. Lk 22:34) Surely this unstable character is anything but solid rock upon which a Church could be built; yet, Jesus sees something deeper in Peter’s character, and His choice would be vindicated when Peter ultimately received a martyr’s crown via crucifixion.

Matthew also tells us that Jesus gave Peter the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”. In ancient times, a king might choose a second in command (known as the royal steward) who literally wore a large key as a symbol of his office and who spoke with the authority of the king. The prophet Isaiah confirms this:

"In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Isaiah 22:22)

In the passage above, God is speaking, and He confirms the existence of the office, the key, and the continuation of the office despite the change of office holder. In other words, the office of the royal steward continued even when the man who held the office died or was replaced by someone else.

How does this relate to what we have learned from Matthew? In the New Testament, we learn that Jesus inherits the throne of his father, David.

Luke 1:31–33
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Thus, we know that Jesus is a king who will reign forever. Matthew tells us that that King Jesus named Peter as His royal steward and gave him the “keys to the kingdom of heaven" as the symbol of his authority to speak in His name. Since Jesus is an eternal king, the office of royal steward in His kingdom will never end. Although Peter died as a martyr (as Jesus foretold), the successors of Peter have taken his place in the eternal office of royal steward that Jesus established in His royal court.


In addition to the reference to a key or keys, note the following parallels:

"What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Is. 22:22)

"Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:19)

Jesus was thoroughly familiar with the Old Testament scriptures, and He intentionally referenced the passage from Isaiah when He appointed Peter as His royal steward. Peter received authority from Jesus to speak in His name, and to do so faithfully, Peter must not teach error. Therefore, Peter (and his successors who are the leaders of Jesus’ Church) are protected by God from ever teaching error in matters of faith and morals. This is called “infallibility”.

Jesus reveals the infallible nature of the Church when he declares, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." What does this curious passage mean? There are two possible interpretations.

First, if God reciprocates the binding and loosing of Church on earth with an identical binding or loosing in heaven, then the binding and loosing done on earth must of necessity be free from all error. If this were not so, God would have put Himself in the impossible situation of having to affirm that which is not true whenever the Church taught error.

A second interpretation would be that the authority of the church is to carry out the will and decisions of God upon earth as they have been established in heaven. This is in perfect accord with the way Jesus instructed us to pray: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Thus, the Church must either be prevented from teaching error in order that God may ratify its decisions in heaven or the Church must be proclaiming here below those things that are already true in heaven. Either way, the decisions and actions of the Church can be seen to be infallible with regard to matters of faith and morals. Anything less would make Jesus a liar for He also declared, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13) and “I am with you always till the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)

In conclusion, we have seen that Matthew has packed an incredible amount of information into one brief passage. We know that Jesus promised that He Himself would build a single Church with Peter as the rock upon which that Church would be built, that the office of head of the Church would be eternal, and that the Church itself must be protected from ever teaching error.

JerryZ #29
Indeed the power of the keys were also bestowed on the college of Bishops under the primacy of Peter. This the Catholic Church has understood since the beginning.

Refer post #25:
All four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve also].

Karl Keating explains:
Peter alone was promised something else. ‘I will give thee [singular] the keys to the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 16:19]. In ancient times keys were the hallmark of authority. A walled city might have one great gate and that gate one great lock worked by one great key. To be given the key to the city (an honor that exists even to today, although its import is largely lost) meant to be given free access to and authority over the city. The city to which Peter was given the keys was the heavenly city itself. This symbolism for authority is used elsewhere in the Bible (Is 22:22, Rev 1:18).” Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Ignatius Press, 1988, p 207].

“The promise of the Primacy is directly stated in the words: ‘I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven’,…St Peter, therefore, shall be master or ruler of the Church.” Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Archbishop Michael Sheehan, revised by Fr Peter Joseph, Saint Austin Press, 2001, p 189].

The name Pope is a Latin word for Papa which is a endearing term for the Bishop of Rome and of the Catholic Church as a whole.

That’s what you meant to say,…right? :wink:

There is no “little rock” – except in Arkansas :slight_smile:

From this link:Evangelicals picture Christ as having meant, “You are a small stone, Peter, but I will build my Church on this great mass of rock which is the revelation of my identity.”

One problem with this interpretation, a problem that many Protestant Bible scholars will admit,* is that while Petros and petra did have these meanings in some ancient Greek poetry, the distinction was gone by the first century, when Matthew’s Gospel was written. At that time the two words meant the same thing: a rock.

*: For example, D.A. Carson admits this in his commentary on Matthew in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank Gaebelein, gen. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984 ed.), vol. 8, 367-368.]

Another problem is that when he addressed Peter, Jesus was not speaking Greek, but Aramaic, a cousin language of Hebrew. In Aramaic there is no difference between the two words which in Greek are rendered as Petros and petra. They are both kepha; that’s why Paul often refers to Peter as Cephas* (cf. 1 Cor. 15:5, Gal. 2:9). What Christ actually said was, “You are Kepha and on this kepha I will build my Church.”

*: Cephas is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic Kephas (sometimes rendered Kepha or Kepa). The Gospels contain a number of Hebrew and Aramaic words and phrases which were transliterated into Greek for the benefit of non-Jewish readers. See, for example, John’s usage of the Hebrew and Aramaic terms messiah and Kephas in John 1:41-42. This passage sheds light on the apparent difference in meaning of Petros and petra in Matthew 16:18. John 1:41 says Simon Bar-Jonah’s new name would be Kephas (a massive rock) “which is translated Peter” (Petros).]

But even if the words Petros and petra did have different meanings, the Protestant reading of two different “rocks” would not fit the context. The second statement to Peter would be something which minimized or diminished him, pointing out his insignificance, with the result that Jesus would be saying, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! You are an insignificant little pebble. Here are the keys to the kingdom of heaven!” Such an incongruous sequence of statements would have been not merely odd, but inexplicable. (Many Protestant commentators recognize this and do their best to deny the obvious sense of this passage, however implausible their explanations may be.)

I also noticed that the Lord’s three statements to Peter had two parts, and the second parts explain the first. The reason Peter was “blessed” was because “flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (v.17). The meaning of the name change, “You are Rock,” is explained by the promise, “On this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (v. 18). The purpose of the keys is explained by Jesus’ commission, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (v.19). A careful reading of these three statements, paying attention to their immediate context and interrelatedness, clearly shows that Peter was the rock about which Jesus spoke.

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