When did Rome assume Primacy?


#1

Taken from another thread

I have indeed but the Greek does not suggest that at all. :smiley:

Well the early Bishops didn’t see the Bishop of Rome as being supreme

I see the primacy of Peter in Scripture (by the way, you are right from the other thread, John MacArthur is no authority…I just threw him out as an example outside the Catholic Church.) Then I see allusions in the 100s. And fairly specific references in the 200s. And certainly when someone is known to have written something, it does not follow that it’s the first time it was claimed. As well, when the primacy of Rome is asserted, there is really no outcry like there was against the Arians or Pelagian, etc… Early Christians were vocal against erroneous teachings, but not this one.

So when I see the assertion in Scripture and then again a 100 or 200 years later (take your pick) and continuing to this day, I don’t assume the concept was absent for 100-200 years after Christ, (especially when, at that time, running around screaming “Rome is our leader” might get him an extra-special death). The reason there was no mass outcry against early claims of Roman primacy was that the living Tradition in the churches verified it as I’ve explained here.


#2

There’s several things to ponder on this subject.

Certainly Pope St. Clement’s letter in the 80’s or 90’s to Corinth speaks of authority. There are definite authoritative overtones in the letter.

Pope St. Victor in the 150’s certainly exerted authority when he ex-communicated the entire Eastern Church for not following the West on their Easter celebration dates.

But, when you consider that the first 30 some-odd popes were executed. If you look at the Roman tendency to squelch a cult by striking at the head (less bloody, and cuts down on the losses of tax-paying citizens), and you realize that no other bishops faced as many executions as the Roman bishop, then you’ve got to realize that the Romans recognized who was the head of the Church. St. Ignatius was executed and St. Polycarp, but these bishops were the exception to their sees rather than the norm, as the bishop of Rome was.


#3

The Christians of Kerala were converted by the Apostle Thomas. None believe that St. Thomas had the primacy. At least half place the primacy in Rome.


#4

when you read early christian writers you see they all looked to the bishop of rome for direction he wasn’t called "papa"aka POPE that title came later]


#5

Good post, NotWorthy. I don’t know this story. Where is a good link?

Can you provide a link for this? What years was this?


#6

I think that both things are true. Certainly Peter’s confession of faith is a Rock. Jesus is also THE Rock, and at that moment Jesus grafted Peter into His own rockiness, changing his name to reflect this.

Are you ready to delve into the early fathers? This is where we see the Apostolic Succession really opened up. The NT Church seen in Acts still has the Apostles, and the Succession was not so critical until they began to depart to their heavenly reward.

This is a secular world view of leadership, and has no place in the Kingdom. Jesus made it clear that those in leadership would not take on the “supremacy” attidute prevalent in society. To interject the notion of it is contrary to Christ’s plan. On the contrary, the pope signs his letters “servant of the servants of God” fittingly. The primacy of the Christian Church in Rome is not based on it’s own claims, or any “supremacy” but in the adherance to right doctrine, upon which the unity of the whole Church is based:

“The blessed Apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the Church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the Epistle to Timothy. To him succeeded Anencletus; and after him, in the third place from the Apostles, Clement was chosen from the episcopate. He had seen the blessed Apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that He still heard the echoes of the preaching of the Apostles, and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the Apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded; and Alexander succeeded Evaristus. Then, sixth after the Apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telesphorus, who also was gloriously martyred. Then Hyginus; after him, Pius; and after him, Anicetus. Soter succeeded Anicetus, and now, in the twelfth place after the Apostles, the lot of the episcopate has fallen to Eleutherus. In this order, and by the teaching of the Apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us.” (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, A.D. 180, [3,3,3])

Certainly not, but each one can do it in the light of the Holy Spirit. This is also true of infallibile teaching. No one can teach infallibly except by the HS. This is the model represented in scripture:

Matt 16:16-18
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Teaching or confessing infallibly is not a work of flesh and blood, but of the Father, who reveals it by the HS. It is by grace, lest any man should boast.


#7

I’ll see what I can find. I read about it in Kenneth Whitehead’s “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic”.


#8

Writing about A.D. 107, St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter To the Romans, says:Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the greatness of the Most High Father and in Jesus Christ, His only Son; to the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of Him that has willed everthing which is; to the Church also which holds the presidency in the place of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctificatin, and, because you hold the presidency of love, named after Christ and named after the Father: her therefore do I salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father.


#9

Hey Todd…that is listed at NewAdvent as one of his “spurious” epistles. Does that mean we are not sure of authorship?

LINK


#10

Living in India among the “Thomas Christians” I would suggest
syromalankara.org/ It only took one Apostle to make millions of Christians today.


#11

His Epistle to the Romans is authentic. It is the fourth one under his name at NewAdvent.

Ignatius of Antioch [SAINT]


#12

I ask this because of my ignorance. Who murdered and beheaded St. Paul? Why was Paul held in prision in Rome. Where was the Church? Were they not being prescuted for spreading the gospels so why would they be murdered, crucified and beheaded? Paul was in prison for serveral years, this is why we have so many letters from him? Where was the Church in their defense?

Was it because Rome wanted control over the people? Authority over? So if ST. Peter was crucified upside down preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, how can the Church say they were given the keys? Where or who was the Church in that time? Keys does it not mean the " Keys of knowledge" there is 12 gates in God’s temple that the 12 tribes of Israel will enter through?

Was Roman Church, not practicing their own religious rites what ever that was? Who or what Church existed at that time when Peter and Paul went? They Peter and Paul must have been causing a riot among the romans, right?

God Bless

God Bless


#13

Why would St. Peter give or is there anything written in Peter saying I give you the Keys? Why would St. Peter say this when he is being crucified upside down? Would you give your keys to a theft or murder to your house, who is going to kill you?
There were 12 apostles who spread the gospels over all the nations at that time, were they not? So why does the Catholic Church say they are the one true church? What about the works of the other apostles who started Churches and were also murdered for their faith in serving God-- also?

Even the youngest of the apostles St. John who was held in prision by the Romans on Patmos was the last of the apostles who started the Church in Phillipi? St John wrote the last book of the NT—Revealations?
Was St John not also at the foot of the cross of Jesus? With Jesus Mother? Did Jesus not say to John this is thy Mother? Woman this is they son? Yet nothing is said about John to the extent of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Why?

God Bless


#14

It may have helped that many parts of the Church were actually either close to Rome, or within traveling distance thanks to the Roman road system. It is easier to supervise things with a centralized location. I am not trying to downplay the importance of St. Thomas, but the simple facts of geography and the transportation of the time may have made it more difficult to get back and forth between India and the West.


#15

The OP answer is from the very beginning. But in all honesty we apparently do have a weak link in the very first hand off to Linus since there are competing accounts of who was #2. See this CAF Thread : A compelling non-Catholic argument that gives a very interesting discussion centered on Linus. We never were able to conclude with perfect objectivity that Linus was #2 but the evidence supporting him as #2 is certainly in the realm of highly probable. As well The Catholic Church presents this accounting.

It would have been historically “nice” to get a solid written account or record with a date and place indicating where the Bishops all came together to appoint Linus as the new head of The Church. But after Linus or Clement there is no question that Rome was calling all the shots for the then fledgling Catholic Church during a very volatile period of persecution (6 martyred in the first century).

My own perspective is that the evidence of blood and persecution of the early popes is the strongest testament possible of who The Church’s enemies considered to be the head of The Church. It makes perfect sense that the Romans would prefer to murder the top leadership of The Catholic Church rather than the lower level leadership. In a sense The Church’s enemies independently ratified who we accept today as her leaders through a baptism of blood.

But we do know that there are sources that disagree on Linus’s place in the succession of Popes. Tertullian says that Peter was succeeded by Clement I. The Apostolic Constitutions says that Linus was the first Bishop of Rome, ordained by Paul, and was succeeded by Clement, who was ordained by Peter. But there are plausible accounts for why Tertullian’s account differs and is in assumed to be inaccurate.

James


#16

Presumably Ceasar, to whom he had apppealed his legal case. Paul was charged with sedition. You can read about the charges in the book of Acts, and follow the case up until the decision was made to send Paul to Rome. The machinations of the Pagan Roman court system were very slow, which is why it took years for Paul’s death sentence.

This you can also read in the book of Acts, where and why he was arrested, and how he was imprisoned, and how he made his appeal that took him to Rome. There are no records about how the Church in Rome was started, but it is presumed that some who were present at Peter’s sermon on Pentecost were baptized and returned to Rome. It is also interesting to read the closing salutations in the book of Romans, and all the people that Paul knew in the Church there before he was taken to Rome.

Christianity was considered by the Pagan Roman authorities as a seditious Jewish sect. They were charged with many and various offenses. At one point (before Paul went there) all the Jews were expelled from Rome because of the uproar caused by the preaching of the gospel. Christians were also charged with setting Rome on fire.

the Romans wrote about Christians “they eat their god and drown their children”, references to baptism and the eucharist. They were also charged with atheisim, oddly, because they did not believe in the Roman Pantheon of gods.

Most of Paul’s letters were written before he went to prison, including the letter to the Roman Church. I don’t doubt that the Christians in Rome did their best to get good lawyers for both Peter and Paul, but it was a lost cause, and they were martryrd.

Absolutely! these were the same Roman soldiers that crucified Christ. Well, not the same ones, but of the same army.

Where or who was the Church in that time? Keys does it not mean the " Keys of knowledge" there is 12 gates in God’s temple that the 12 tribes of Israel will enter through?

The keys are the symbol of authority given to Peter by Jesus. He passed them to his successor, and so on to the present day bishop of Rome. I don’t know that they are for the gates in the temple, but for legislating here on earth, for sure. Peter was crucified upside down because he told the soldiers he was not worthy to be crucified like his Lord. This is why, to this day, the chair of the Pope has an upside down cross on it.

I don’t think the apostles caused any more riot than they did in any other city. :wink:

By that time, the church had largely gone underground. They were meeting in the tombs (catacombs) underground.


#17

If there were any written records of many of these events, they are lost to us now. We have sacred oral tradition that gives us stories of many of the Apostles, and of the Blessed Virgin. Pains were taken to preserve information about Peter because Jesus said “upon this rock I will build my church”.

Peter passed on his authority to govern to Linus (you will also find his name in the NT) prior to being sent to death. This may have happened some time prior to his execution, since Peter probably did not know when it would happen, and wanted to make sure to pass on the keys.


#18

Wow, you have a lot of questions…
The Romans had a way of dealing with troublesome religious sects - cut of the head of the beast and the body dies. It was easier to round up the leaders, kill them, and the rest of the flock typically merges back into mainline society. This didn’t work with the Christians, and it took a long time for the Romans to figure this out. I believe the first 30 or so Popes were all crucified by the Romans.

So, why were the Christians troublesome? A lot of the persecutions began with Nero after he burned down Rome. Rather than admitting his misjudgment, he needed a scapegoat. The Christians (whose section of Rome escaped the damage) were easy to blame. They were meek, mild-mannered, and had no one of fame and authority to stand up and speak for them.

I think it was the Nero persecutions that led to Peter and Paul’s crucifixions.

Then you also had a secretive group that ate the flesh and blood of their God, according to rumors floating around Rome. The Christians didn’t explain this phenomena to non-Christians, so the rumors fed on themselves. This led to mis-trust of the Christians and made them an easy target for persecution.

Was it because Rome wanted control over the people? Authority over? So if ST. Peter was crucified upside down preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, how can the Church say they were given the keys? Where or who was the Church in that time? Keys does it not mean the " Keys of knowledge" there is 12 gates in God’s temple that the 12 tribes of Israel will enter through?

The authority the Church has is not over secular rulers. It’s the authority to make laws on Christian morality and to forgive and remit sins.

Was Roman Church, not practicing their own religious rites what ever that was? Who or what Church existed at that time when Peter and Paul went? They Peter and Paul must have been causing a riot among the romans, right?

God Bless

God Bless

No, they weren’t causing a riot among the Romans. But the Romans began persecuting them nonetheless. The Christians were actually very lawful citizens, easily managable, and never causing undo stress on their rest of the citizenry. Their moral living, though, may have made others feel uneasy as they wallowed in their sinful ways, as this often tends to do to people.


#19

All those churches were One Church. The Apostles didn’t start variations of religions. They all spread the same Gospel through the same Church.

Even the youngest of the apostles St. John who was held in prision by the Romans on Patmos was the last of the apostles who started the Church in Phillipi? St John wrote the last book of the NT—Revealations?
Was St John not also at the foot of the cross of Jesus? With Jesus Mother? Did Jesus not say to John this is thy Mother? Woman this is they son? Yet nothing is said about John to the extent of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Why?

God Bless

You lost me here. The fact that Jesus does NOT mention John or Mary’s name indicates that these two represent something far bigger than they are.

You and I each are the beloved disciple (represented by John) given over to our Mother the Church (represented by Mary).


#20

Thank you so much to all for your “kind charity” in helping me understand! God Bless and given in Love!


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