When was it decided that the headquarters for the church is to be in Rome?

Thanks for your answers!

Short answer when Peter was martyred there and Peter’s authority as an apostles and the only holder of the keys were passed on to Linus.

The papacy moved to Rome when Peter moved to Rome. I can see God’s hand in this. If Peter had stayed in Jerusalem what would have happened to the succession of bishops when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews and Christians scattered across the Mediterranean area? As it was nearly every early pope was a martyr. With the papacy in Rome it brought about stability for the Church’s leadership. Besides this, all roads led to Rome at the time. It was the center of civilization. It made it easier to spread the Gospel than if it had remained a peasant religion on the edges of nowhere.

When both Peter and Paul were martyred there, their grave sites became shrines and Christians came to venerate there. Eventually Constantine placed a huge cathedral on the spot, directly over Peter’s grave. Now St. Peter’s Basilica is in the same spot. But I suppose the quick answer is that Peter’s successors stayed there and carried on his apostolate.

Peter and Paul’s martyrdoms at Rome secured them as founders.

The Church of Rome was wealthy and supported the building of new churches in the ancient Christian world and likewise settled disputes that could not be resolved in the other patriarchs’ jurisdiction.

Actually Peter and Paul were co founders, apostles, sent out. Peter’s son, Mark, helped he establish church structure in Rome. Following Peter was Linus as stated earlier…followed by Pope Clement.

The original title was bishop of Rome…and the name, papacy, evolved reflecting the growth and complexity of the spread of ancient Christianity.

Likewise, Peter had primacy over all other apostles and he is referenced 180 plus times vs other apostles. St. John stepped back and allowed Peter, the head, to enter the empty tomb on the day of the Resurrection.

It is Peter, and not the other apostles, who had the dream of the various animals…and then directed believers to eat anything except that offered to idols, or meat of animals found on roadsides or to eat blood. He spent much time with the Hebrew Christians, but in time, was waning and starting to fall back on his original directive.

Paul after his conversion, spent 15 days with Peter to make sure he understood everything of Christ, belief and practice (tradition), before beginning his ministry to the Gentiles. Likewise if anyone approached the apostles with their take on Christ, they wouldn’t listen to anyone. However, when Peter and the apostles met with Paul, they accepted him as a true witness to Christ.

When the ‘old Peter’ began to emerge…following the thinking of men and not God…regarding the dream and eating in context of liberality…it is Paul who confronted him and told him he was not being faithful to the directive God gave the Church. Peter said Paul was right…but the original illumination did not come to Paul but to Peter. Later Paul affirmed Peter’s authority, when he said, ‘Peter said I was right’. Confusing a little…but again Peter was taken to task for backsliding in his mission…and another good example of Peter and the papacy as being full of erring personal humanity.

There are 25 Protestant theologians who affirm the Catholic Church correct in regards to the name of Peter…not referring to a rock in Greek and Aramaic…but indeed to the name of a person.

I would add here that every bishop of his own diocese is sole authority over his church…equal to the pope. The local headquarters of the Church is your diocese’s bishop.

It is when the pope calls all bishops to Rome for a convocation or Council…they go into a different dimension…of interpreting the Gospel for our times…and it only works when all are in agreement…

When did St Peter go to Rome or what year did he go and establish the Papacy?

Is it possible if Rome were destroyed, that Peter’s successors could move some place else and the Bishop of Rome would no longer be the Pope?

The Pope will always be the Roman bishop even if he lives in some other city. For example popes for a few generations chilled in Avignon.

Christ, not Peter, established the papacy. He was vicar of Christ before coming to Rome.
Some fundamentalists used to claim that there is no conclusive proof Peter ever came to Rome, though there is much proof he did come there, and no evidence he did not.

It may help to differentiate between the Vatican, and the Holy See. The Vatican is the tiny city-state within Rome, the city that the Pope is bishop of. Most countries, including the USA, have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, which happens to be in Rome at present.
It was driven out of Rome in the past by unfriendly mobs, and could be driven out in the future by an unfriendly government. Some popes (bishops of Rome) never lived in Rome, just as many bishops of cities under hostile occupation have had to minister to their flock from elsewhere. Perhaps a few do today.

The Church throughout the world looks to the Holy See, not to Rome, or to the Vatican, as the heart of the Magisterium.

1 Peter is held to have been written from Rome; he called it “Babylon”.

The “office” was created by Jesus, a la Matthew 16, where he called Peter rock and foundation for his church, and gave him the keys-- which are the sign of the King’s second-in-command, who acts with the King’s authority and in union with the King’s wishes.

Around AD 175-185, St. Iraeneus wrote in Adversus Haereses about the Church in Rome, and how Peter’s authority was handed on to his successors, a la how Moses’ authority passed on to Joshua.

  1. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known **Church founded and organized at Rome by **the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.
  1. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

It should be mentioned that the Flavian emperors Vespatian and Titus undertook a campaign against Jerusalem and the Jews between 66-70 AD. They were eventually victorious, sacking the Temple and creating much persecution in the region. Up to that point, Jerusalem was the center of both Jewish and Christian life in the Roman world. After that date, it fell out of favor because many had been killed and for those that were left, it became a very dangerous place for Jews and Christians. This happened not long after the Christian persecutions under Nero (which resulted in the deaths of Peter and Paul), and cemented Rome as the new center of Christianity.

When Peter eventually settled in Rome and martyred there.

Not sure why Rome or why not Antioch or Alexandria or Carthage or Athens. Probably it had something to do with Rome being the capital of Roman empire, the center of the known world then. More importantly it was for Peter being the vicar of Christ, leader of the visible Church which Jesus founded; and the commission to spread the Good News to the whole world. If that was important, then Rome made stunning symbolism to that commission.

It should be noted that until the Great Schism, Rome, while certainly the most preeminent patriarchate in Christendom, wasn’t the only Patriarchate that could be considered a “headquarters.” Each patriarchal see had its own headquarters (Jerusalem, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria).

Also, while Peter was the first apostle to receive the Keys, he was NOT the only apostle to receive them. All the apostles received the Keys.

Rome was destroyed, and for a time the pope wasn’t in Rome, but St. Catherine of Sienna encourged the pope to return to Rome, which he did. As long as the papacy resided outside Rome there were factions each claiming to have the legitimate pope. When the papacy returned to Rome the papacy came under far less contention. It appears Rome is where God wants the bishop of Rome to reside.

I don’t think that’s correct— I think in Matthew 16, Peter’s the only one who gets keys, but in Matthew 18, the others are given a share in his authority.

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare′a Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli′jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”** 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[c] 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. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[d] and on this rock[e] I will build my church, and the powers of death[f] shall not prevail against it.[g] 19 I will give **you ****the keys of the kingdom of heaven,[h] and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

So-- in the original, is that a you-singular, or a y’all-plural?

vs a bit later, where it goes–

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you

, whatever **you **bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever **you *loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

So in this one, it’s far less clear who he’s addressing, since it starts off talking to “the disciples” about little children, and then has a smattering of teaching here and there, without any indication of continuity-within-a-single-conversation. But presumably those are y’all-plurals? The little footnote * says, “To the other apostles is given a share in the authority given to Peter.”*

The New Testament does not record anyone else receiving the Keys. Only Peter. All the Apostles had the authority to bind and loose, but the Keys were given to Peter alone.

Yes I knew as both you and another poster said that the Pope hasn’t always been in Rome. But I guess if you’re right about what God wants, Rome can never be destroyed to the point of where it would never be rebuilt.

Well, I did’t mean to indicate that. :slight_smile: It doesn’t matter where the pope is, he is the pope. Nuke Rome and the pope is still the pope even if he’s the bishop of a ruined city. No one can rescind Jesus’ bestowal of the keys of the kingdom on him. That will be in force until Christ comes again.

God…Rome was the instrument by which Christianity was to conquer the world.

The Keys are what give the authority to bind and loose, thus when Matt. 18:18 says all the apostles received this authority it is implying that they have the same keys. Several of the Church Fathers thought so as well:


“What, now, (has this to do) with the Church, and) your (church), indeed, Psychic? For, in accordance with the person of Peter, it is to spiritual men that this power will correspondently appertain, either to an apostle or else to a prophet.”

Hilary of Poitiers

“This faith it is which is the foundation of the Church; through this faith the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. This is the faith which has the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatsoever this faith shall have loosed or bound on earth shall be loosed or bound in heaven. This faith is the Father’s gift by revelation; even the knowledge that we must not imagine a false Christ, a creature made out of nothing, but must confess Him the Son of God, truly possessed of the Divine nature."

John Chrysostom

“For (John) the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now”


“He has given, therefore, the keys to His Church, that whatsoever it should bind on earth might be bound in heaven, and whatsoever it should loose on earth might be, loosed in heaven; that is to say, that whosoever in the Church should not believe that his sins are remitted, they should not be remitted to him; but that whosoever should believe and should repent, and turn from his sins, should be saved by the same faith and repentance on the ground of which he is received into the bosom of the Church. For he who does not believe that his sins can be pardoned, falls into despair, and becomes worse as if no greater good remained for him than to be evil, when he has ceased to have faith in the results of his own repentance.”

“…Peter, the first of the apostles, receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven for the binding and loosing of sins; and for the same congregation of saints, in reference to the perfect repose in the bosom of that mysterious life to come did the evangelist John recline on the breast of Christ. For it is not the former alone but the whole Church, that bindeth and looseth sins; nor did the latter alone drink at the fountain of the Lord’s breast, to emit again in preaching, of the Word in the beginning, God with God, and those other sublime truths regarding the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity and Unity of the whole Godhead.”

“For Peter in many places in the Scriptures appears to represent the Church, especially in that place where it was said “I give to thee the keys… shall be loosed in heaven”. What! did Peter receive these keys, and Paul not receive? Did Peter receive and John and James not receive, and the rest of the apostles? But since in a figure Peter represented the Church, what was given to him singly was given to the Church.”

“…the keys that were given to the Church,”

"How the Church? Why, to her it was said, “To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”


“Come now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally. Achaia is very near you, (in which) you find Corinth. Since you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi; (and there too) you have the Thessalonians. Since you are able to cross to Asia, you get Ephesus. Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile!”

“Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called “the rock on which the church should be built,” who also obtained “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” with the power of “loosing and binding in heaven and on earth?” Was anything, again, concealed from John, the Lord’s most beloved disciple, who used to lean on His breast to whom alone the Lord pointed Judas out as the traitor, whom He commended to Mary as a son in His own stead?”

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