Church Fathers on the Power of the Chair of Peter/Church of Rome

Currently Held by His Holiness Benedict XVI

see more at cathcorn

and catholicsource



First/Second Century     Third Century      Fourth Century     Fifth Century *still being updated

Before demonstrating patiastic evidence for Petrine primacy, or Peter as being the rock, and discussing the many views of who the rock is in Matthew 16:18, I would like show a Jewish understanding of Matthew 16:19m the verse which states “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”  The book “A Rabbinical commentary on the New Testament” by Samuel Tobias Lachs, on this verse states: “Possessing the keys is to possess the authority over that which the keys open…”  At which point the commentary proceeds to state that this imagery was first used in Isaiah 22:22.  And seeing as how God is not a God of confusion He uses language that is familiar to the people of the time, giving them the understanding that St Peter was given this great authority.

First, there are four common errors in the interpretation the claim of Matthew 16:18: They are as follows:

1--The Common Eastern Orthodox claim that the Rock was the Confession of Peter, or his "faith", which are both acceptable interpretation and are in the current catechism, but the Church Fathers generally equate Matt 16:18's rock with the Apostle Peter. Peter's faith is a part of Peter. The Catholic Church does accept "faith" being the Rock see below CCC quotes. As I will demonstrate many Eastern Fathers explicitly called St Peter the Rock of Matthew 16:18.  Many Orthodox assert that the claim of Peterine supremacy is unique to the Churches in union with Rome, this is false, also the Syrian Churches that are independent of the churches in union with Rome and Constantinople hold to the primacy of the Apostle Peter. If anything, the Eastern Orthodox have abandoned this tradition, especially the Antiochian Orthodox. Recently an Assyrian bishop part of the Church of the East, Bishop Mar Bawai Soho, Bishop of San Jose, California reunited to communion with the Roman Pontiff citing Syrian tradition for Petrine and Papal primacy.

2--The Protestant Claim that Matthew 16:18, Christ is actually calling Himself the Rock, which is incompatible grammatically with the adjective "this" because it is like with "Peter" since they ought to be together, and calling Himself the rock would simply be out of place grammar aside. A similar view was initially held by St Augustine, but many year later (at least 10) he wrote in his "Retractions" he might have been wrong and presented a more orthodox and common view to be read instead. St Augustine himself admits he is ignorant of Greek in his Answer to Letters of Petilian,2:38[90]. In reality St Augustine did not really have a consistent interpretation of the verse. This claim is illogical when reading the verse it then could be rewritten "You are Peter (rock)-- and I will build the Church upon myself" This would not make much sense in the context of Matthew, Christ would be changing subjects halfway through the sentence. (See the texts at the very bottom.)

3--The Protestant claim that Peter was a small rock petros and Christ is the big rock petra, this claim is very recent invention, probably from the 19/20th century, it is based on the assumption that Greek has not changed over 4000 years. It is simply an ignorance of Koine. Modern Greek if it was the language Matthew was originally written in, then this claim would probably have some truth, but unfortunately Matthew was not written in Modern Greek, that makes the distinction between big and little rock, in fact, the Church Fathers tell us that Matthew was written in Aramaic originally, not Greek. In Koine Greek the word for "little rock" is generally lithos, thought at time lithos can be almost any size, verse in which it is used are Matthew 4:6, 7:9, 21:42. Attic Greek makes the differentiation of "petra" and "petros," Koine does not. Aramaic word is Kepha, which would be same word for Peter and Rock. There are even instances in Attic Greek where petros can mean large rock, such as boulder. The Peshitta text, the Aramaic bible, still has kepha used both times in Matt 16:18, there is no evidence or proof to the claim of the word shu'a being used in Matthew 16:18, since NO Peshitta text contains the word, the first Aramaic version to possibly say "shu'a" was in the 7th century and it was translated from the Greek, not a real Aramaic bible., it is simply wishful thinking. Here is an argument (.pdf) put forth by a Protestant Aramaic scholar on kepha.   In the Peshitta Old Testament the word kepha does not strictly mean “small rock” in Daniel 6:18 a kepha (and not a shu’a) is used to block a cave so people cannot exit it! Here is an excerpt from "Symbols of Church and Kingdom" by Fr Murray on the reasons for the word in the bible and the Aramaic. Even the Protestant "Strong's" lexicon states little difference between the Petra and Petros(4073/4074), while other lexicons interject a meaning. According to Jacob Michael the word Kepha "is etymologically connected to the Greek word kephale, which means "head" - as in Eph. 5:23, where Christ is the "head" (kephale) of the Church."  Similarly an encephalogram is a picture of the head/brain. And an autocephalous church is one that leads itself.

4--The claim Protestant claim Peter cannot be called the rock in Matt 16:18 because only God can be called Rock, citing several verses. Catholics never deny God/Christ is the Rock, but simply believe Peter was made a rock in Matt 16:18, and was given the Keys, showing his authority over the Church. Peter's name is Kepha and he is called so several times in scripture. This claim is based on the idea that quoting one scripture and quoting it from one context will cancel out the other scripture of a different context. St Paul in Corinthians calls Christ the "Spiritual rock" of water in Exodus (1 Cor. 10:4). The same epistle Christ is called the "foundation" (1 Cor 3:10-12) In Isaiah, Abraham is called the 'rock from which you were hewn" and the "quarry" (Isaiah 51:1-2), Jewish rabbis from ancient times have called Abraham the "rock" of the world. John calls the "Twelve Apostles of the Lamb" the foundations (12 courses of stone) of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:14), and in another context Paul applies the term "rock" to all followers of Christ. Elsewhere it is said the church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone." (Ephesians 2:20) St. Peter calls people to be as "living stones" (lithos) (1 Peter 2:4-5) and calls Christ the "cornerstone" (1 Peter 2:6-8). The book of Psalms calls God "my rock of refuge" (Psalm 31:3) The Second Books of Samuel says the "The Lord is my rock" (2 Samuel 22:2) And again says "For who is God except the LORD? Who is a rock save our God?" (2 Samuel 22:32) Deuteronomy calls YHWH the "faultless" "Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:4) After, sifting through all the similes and metaphors where both man and God alike are compared to rocks and foundations, it is difficult, if not, foolish to apply one verse likening only God to a rock to a verse that does not necessary say that, the same applies with Peter and the Apostles and all believers. Furthermore, simply because the Psalm says "The LORD is my shepherd"(Psalm 23:1)and Christ said He is the "good shepherd" (John 10:11, 14) does that make void Christ making Peter a shepherd in the same Gospel? (John 21:15-18) Again the shepherd theme is applied to Apostles and Bishops appears in (1Peter 5:2,4; Acts 20:28, etc..) even David is called shepherd (2 Samuel 5:2) by God. God tells Ezekiel, "I will appoint one shepherd over them to pasture them." (Ezekiel 34:23-24) Does this prevent Catholic and Protestant priest and ministers alike from using the term "pastor" which is Latin for shepherd?

Many Syrian fathers have support Petrine Primacy by saying Jesus intentional gave Peter a name that is of God to show His authority in Peter, establishing Peter as the chief authority on Earth. As St Maximus of Turin said in AD 423: "Paul teaches 'The Rock was Christ,' [1 Cor. 10:3] so through Christ Peter was made the Rock, the Lord saying to him "thou art Peter." So through the Rock Christ, Peter is made a rock. Through the Shepherd Christ, Peter is made a shepherd.

First it should be noticed that Matthew 16:18 has MORE than one interpretation by the Church

Catechism 424: "Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church."

552: "Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Our Lord then declared to him: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." Christ, the "living Stone", thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it."

881: " The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church."

This shows that the Church does not have a "it’s either one or the other" thought in mind

Matt.16:18-19: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against 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."

καγω δε σοι λεγω οτι συ ει πετρος και επι ταυτη τη πετρα οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν και πυλαι αδου ου κατισχυσουσιν αυτης -- Greek

kagw de soi legw oti su ei petroV kai epi tauth th petra oikodomhsw mou thn ekklhsian kai pulai adou ou katiscusousin authV-- Greek transliteration

The following is the Peshitta text of Matthew 16:18-19, read right to left. The word Kepha/Keepa is the same word.

The phrase "you are Peter and upon this rock" is said: 'anath Chipha vehall hada Chipha." *also transliterated Keepa (source of interlinear

Sources for the following include or here (which makes some errors on the Fathers) and

Having a human being as rock is not absolutely foreign to the Bible, The Holy Spirit speaking through Baalam says:

.יִתְחַשָּׁב לֹא וּבַגּוֹיִם ,יִשְׁכֹּן לְבָדָד עָם-הֶן :אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וּמִגְּבָעוֹת , אֶרְאֶנּוּ צֻרִים מֵרֹאשׁ- כִּי -Numbers 23:9

Paleo Hebrew--.

Ki-merosh tsurim er'enu umigeva'ot ashurenu hen-am levadad yishkon uvagoyim lo yitchashav.--Transliteration of Hebrew of Numbers 23:9

"For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations."--Numbers 23:9 (Masoretic translation)

For from their beginning, I see them as mountain peaks, and I behold them as hills; it is a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be reckoned among the nations.--Numbers 23:9 (

οτι απο κορυφης ορεων οψομαι αυτον και απο βουνων προσνοησω αυτον ιδου λαος μονος κατοικησει και εν εθνεσιν ου συλλογισθησεται --Numbers 23:9 (LXX)

For from the top of the mountains I shall see him, and from the hills I shall observe him: behold, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.--Numbers 23:9 (LXX translation)

The word for rock here is tzarim in Hebrew and tarana in Aramaic

"Upon Abraham as top of the rocks God said I shall build my kingdom"--Midr. Yalk Commentary on Numbers 23:9, Midr. Yalk. i. 766 on Num. xxiii. 9 from Jewish Encyclopedia on Simon Peter

Here are verses in the Peshitta Text, which is the Aramaic of the Old Testament where it uses the word kepha in Daniel 2:35, Daniel 6:18 among other.  In Daniel 6:18(17) a kepha (lithos in Greek, abn in Hebrew) is used to seal the Lion’s Den.

“And they brought a large stone (kepha) and laid it upon the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his princes, so that the sentence might not be changed concerning Daniel.”—Lamsa Peshitta Translation

So they brought a great stone (kepha) and placed it at the opening of the den,* and the king sealed it with his ring and the rings of his nobles, those who did not wish Daniel to go free.*--Victor Alexander Peshitta Translation


In the Peshitta Text of 1 Kings 7:10 it speaks of large kephas being used for FOUNDATION stones:


ܕܡܬܩܢ ܒܟܐ̈ܦܐ ܛܒ̈ܬܐ ܘܒܟܐ̈ܦܐ ܪ̈ܘܪܒܬܐ܂ ܟܐܦܐ ܕܥܣܪ̈ ܐܡ̈ܝܢ܂ ܘܟܐܦܐ ܕܬܡܢܐ ܐܡ̈ܝܢ

And the foundation (was) of precious stones (kepha), great stones (kepha); stones (kepha) of ten cubits and stones (kepha) of eight cubits.



The kephas in 1 Kings 7:10 were 10 cubits x 1.5= 15 feet and 8cubits x 1.5= 12 feet, hardly easy to move!

Here we see God calling the Prophet Jeremiah a "Pillar" and "city" that will prevail:

:הָאָרֶץ-כָּל-עַל--נְחֹשׁת  וּלְחֹמוֹת בַּרְזֶל וּלְעַמּוּד מִבְצָר לְעִיר ,הַיּוֹם נְתַתִּיךָ הִנֵּה וַאֲנִי

.הָאָרֶץ וּלְעַם לְכֹהֲנֶיהָ ,לְשָׂרֶיהָ יְהוּדָה לְמַלְכֵי --Jeremiah 1:18

.לְהַצִּילֶךָ ,יְהוָה-נְאֻם אֲנִי אִתְּךָ-כִּי :לָךְ יוּכְלוּ-וְלֹא ,אֵלֶיךָ וְנִלְחֲמוּ --Jeremiah 1:19

For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.'--Jeremiah 1:18-9 JPS Masoretic Translation

ιδου τεθεικα σε εν τη σημερον ημερα ως πολιν οχυραν και ως τειχος χαλκουν οχυρον απασιν τοις βασιλευσιν Ιουδα και τοις αρχουσιν αυτου και τω  λαω 

της γης και πολεμησουσιν σε και ου μη δυνωνται προς σε διοτι μετα σου εγω ειμι του εξαιρεισθαι σε ειπεν κυριος --Jeremiah 1:18-9 LXX

Behold, I have made you in this very day like a strong city and like a strong bronze wall, to all the kings of Iouda and its rulers and the people of the land. And they will fight you and they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.-- Jeremiah 1:18-9 LXX translation

“And, behold, I have made you today like a solid beam,* a column of steel,* and a fence of brass over the entire land, over the kings of Judea and their commanders,* over their high priests and their prophets, and over all the nations of the earth. “They shall fight with you, but they shall not be victorious over you, for I shall be with you, I shall be your deliverance,”* said the Lord.--Peshitta (Aramaic) translation Victor Alexander of Jeremiah 1:18-9

"For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: Against Judah's kings and princes, against its priests and people. They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD."--Jeremiah 1:18-9 NAB


...אֲבִיכֶם אַבְרָהָם-הַבִּיטוּ .נֻקַּרְתֶּם בּוֹר מַקֶּבֶת- וְאֶל, חֻצַּבְתֶּם צוּר-אֶל הַבִּיטוּ ;יְהוָה מְבַקְשֵׁי ,צֶדֶק רֹדְפֵי אֵלַי שִׁמְעוּ- Isaiah 51:1-2

Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD; look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bore you..--Isaiah 51:1-2 (Masoretic Translation)

ακουσατε μου οι διωκοντες δικαιον και ζητουντες τον κυριον εμβλεψατε εις την στερεαν πετραν ην ελατομησατε και εις τον βοθυνον του λακκου ον ωρυξατε.  εμβλεψατε εις Αβρααμ τον πατερα υμων και εις σαρραν την ωδινουσαν υμας...--Isaiah 51:1-2  LXX

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, and seek the Lord: look to the solid rock, which ye have hewn, and to the hole of the pit which ye have dug. Look to Abraam your father, and to Sarrha that bore you...--Isaias 51:1-2 (LXX translation)


Rock is a rare name for one person to be named, usually only used for God. Peter is the only person in the New Testament that is REALLY renamed. Paul was not renamed Saul, that is a myth, Saul was his Hebrew name-Paul his Roman, nothing in the Bible narrative of his conversion mentions a renaming of Paul. Then the "Boanerges" (sons of Thunder) who were Sts James and John, this was more of a nickname and was not really even used much in the New Testament.

The phrase "gates of Sheol shall not subdue it" or "death" because Sheol is where the dead go in Judaism. The phrase comes from the idea that strongest part of an army is located at the city gate, therefore it seems as if a defensive barrier is being used for offensive purposes. It simply means the greatest power of death will not be enough to destroy the church. The following are verses in the Bible that refer to the "gates of death" or "hell" though not all necessarily in terms of battle.

Have the gates of death been shown to you, or have you seen the gates of darkness?—Job 37:17

Have mercy on me, LORD; see how my foes afflict me! You alone can raise me from the gates of death.—Psalm 9:14

They loathed all manner of food; they were at the gates of death.—Psalm 107:18

Once I said, "In the noontime of life I must depart! To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned for the rest of my years."—Isaiah 38:10

For you have dominion over life and death; you lead down to the gates of the nether world, and lead back.—Wisdom 16:13

and cried out in a very loud voice, imploring the Ruler over every power to manifest himself and be merciful to them, as they stood now at the gates of death.—3 Maccabees 5:51 (non-canonical)

my soul had been well nigh poured out unto death, (I had been) nigh unto the gates of Sheol with the sinner—Psalms of Solomon 16:2 (non-canonical)

‘a solidly built city, founded on rock, [that] protects from the power of chaos and the “gates of death”’.—1QH 6.24–26 [from the Dead Sea Scrolls] Schnackenberg Matthew, p. 159.

"Upon Abraham as top of the rocks God said I shall build my kingdom"--Midr. Yalk Commentary on Numbers 23:9, Midr. Yalk. i. 766 on Num. xxiii. 9 from Jewish Encyclopedia on Simon Peter

see more on Peter as Rock at

Here are more Scripture passages on the Papacy:

Isaiah 22:20-22: "On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open." (shows a parallel to Matthew 16:18-20)


John 21:15-17: "..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." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep."


Luke 12:41: "Then Peter said, "Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?" And the Lord replied, "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time?" (Feeding/shepherd like theme appears again here)


Luke 22:31-32: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you [singular] have turned back, you [singular] must strengthen your brothers." *The name Simon or Shimon in Aramaic means to "affirm" or to "hear" see Genesis 29:33.


Acts 15:17: “After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, "My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe…”


The significance of getting the keys was shown in Isaiah 22:20-22, but proof that Eliakim had authority over the House, or Palace, is shown in 2 Kings 18:37 with:


"Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace..." (NRSV)

"Then the master of the palace, Eliakim..." (NAB)

"And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was appointed over the palace.." ( rendering)

"Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household" (KJV)


Futher on Bishops as Shepherds as feeders of the flock:

1/ No one denies Christ is Shepherd, but Biblically He (Jesus) has made other shepherds to feed HIS flock.

Acts 20:28

"Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood."--New American Bible

προσεχετε ουν εαυτοις και παντι τω ποιμνιω εν ω υμας το πνευμα το αγιον εθετο επισκοπους ποιμαινειν την εκκλησιαν του  κυριου και θεου ην περιεποιησατο δια του ιδιου αιματος--Byzantine Majority Text

prosecete oun eautoiV kai panti tw poimniw en w umaV to pneuma to agion eqeto episkopouV poimainein thn ekklhsian tou kuriou kai qeou hn periepoihsato dia tou idiou aimatoV--Byzantine Majority Text Translation

Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.--Weymouth Translation

Take heede to your selves and to the whole flocke wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own bloud--Douai Rheims Bible 1582


Be shepherds of God's flock which is among you.--Weymouth Translation of 1 Peter 5:2

shepherd the flock of God which is among you--Darby

And then, when the chief Shepherd appears.. --Weymouth Translation of 1 Peter 5:4 or

So that when the Lord of the shepherds is revealed...-- Victor Alexander Peshitto Translation of 1 Peter 5:4



Is Peter called Kepha in Scripture other than in Matthew 16:18??

YES. Peter is called Kepha (rock) several times in the Bible (John 1:42, 1 Corinthians 1:12, 1 Corinthians 3:22..) which means Rock in Aramaic, it is linked etymologically to the Greek word kephale, meaning head. Christ is the head of the Church, Peter is the Prime Minister that is the representative of God, the visible head on earth, while Christ is the absolute Head (Ephesians 5:23, which uses Kephale)..

Kepha (rock) appears...

και ηγαγεν αυτον προς τον ιησουν εμβλεψας  αυτω ο ιησους ειπεν συ ει σιμων ο υιος ιωνα συ κληθηση κηφας ο ερμηνευεται πετρος --John 1:42 Greek

kai hgagen auton proV ton ihsoun embleyaV [de] autw o ihsouV eipen su ei simwn o uioV iwna su klhqhsh khfaV o ermhneuetai petroV--John 1:42 (Greek)

Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)--John 1:42

and also in...

And he named Simon by name of "The Rock (Kepha),"--Mark 3:16 (peshitta)

I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ."--1 Corinthians 1:12

Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you,--1 Corinthians 3:22

Do we not have the right to take along a woman, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?—1 Corinthians 9:5

that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.—1 Corinthians 15:5

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days.--Galatians 1:18

nd when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.—Galatians 2:9

And when Kephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.—Galatians 2:11

But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Kephas in front of all, "If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"—Galatians 2:14

Peshitta Text reference to Simon the Rock or Simon Keepa (Kepha)

And after they entered, they went up to the upper chamber, they were Simon Kepha and John and James and Andrew and Philip and Thomas and Matthew and Bartholomew and James Son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James.—Acts 1:13 (Peshitta)

And in those days, Simon Kepha arose in the midst of the disciples. There was a gathering of people of about one hundred and twenty people there, and he said—Acts 1:15 (Peshitta)

And as Simon Kepha and John, as one, went up to the temple, at the ninth hour of prayer,—Acts 3:1 (Peshitta)

Then Simon Kepha was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he told them, "Authorities of the nation and priests of the house of Israel, listen.—Acts 4:8 (Peshitta)

Simon Kepha and John replied and told them, "If righteousness before your God is more important than God, you be the judge.—Acts 4:19 (Peshitta)

And as the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritan people accepted the manifestation of God, they sent to them Simon Kepha and John.—Acts 8:14 (Peshitta)

Simon Kepha told him, "Your money shall perish with you, because you expect the gift of God is earned by the wealth of this world."—Acts 8:20 (Peshitta)

"And now, send men to the town of Joppa, and bring up Simon who is called Kepha"—Acts 10:5 (Peshitta)

And they called out from there and asked if Simon who is called Kepha is staying there?—Acts 10:18 (peshitta)

" 'However, send to the town of Joppa, and bring Simon who is called Kepha. Behold, he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner, who lives by the seashore, and he shall come and speak with you.'"—Acts 10:32 (peshitta)

And as he saw that it was pleasing to the Jews, he went further and had Simon Kepha arrested as well. And the days of the Unleavened Bread were approaching.—Acts 12:3 (Peshitta)

The Gospels in the Peshitta Text refer to Peter as Simon Kepha several times also...


Church Fathers

“To the great Rome [authority] was given because the two pillars are laid in the grave there, Peter, I say, the head of the Apostles, and Paul, the teacher of the nations. [Rome] is the first see and the head of the patriarchs”—Mar Abdisho of Soba, (Memra; Risha 1), 14th Century Church of the East theologian *taken from JAMES LIKOUDIS quoting Bishop Mar Bawai Soho, Assyrian of San Jose, California

“And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community, for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the Church. He who transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema”—Mar Abdisho of Soba, (Memra 9; Risha 8) 14th Century Church of the East theologian *taken from JAMES LIKOUDIS quoting Bishop Mar Bawai Soho, Assyrian of San Jose, California

“Peter the Rock shunned honor, he who was the head of the Apostles.”—St Ephraem the Syrian, Hymnes de S. Ephrem consevées en version arménienne, text and Latin tr. by Maries, L. and Mercier, C.,; (HArm) Patrologia Orientalis [PO] xxx 208-9 *see Fr Murray’s Symbols of Church and Kingdom p.217

“First of all Peter, the rock of the faith, whom Christ our God called blessed, the teacher of the Church, the first disciple, he who has the keys of the kingdom, has instructed us to this effect: Know this first, children, that there shall come in the last days scoffers[2 Peter 3:3-4]”—St Hippolytus, On the End of the World Chapter 10 c.AD 235

"This most holy See has preserved the supremacy over all Churches on the earth, for one especial reason among many others; to wit, that it has remained intact from the defilement of heresy. No one has ever sat on that Chair, who has taught heretical doctrine; rather that See has ever preserved unstained the Apostolic grace."—Theodoret of Cyr Epistle 116 to Renatus. c.AD 393-466 (taken from Stephen Ray)

"You should understand that the head of the Apostles was St. Peter, to whom Christ said, ‘You are the rock; and on this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.’ After his resurrection, he also said to him three times, while on the shore of the sea of Tiberius, ‘Simon, do you love me? Feed my lambs, rams and ewes.’ In another passage, he said to him, ‘Simon, Satan will ask to sift you like wheat, and I prayed that you not lose your faith; but you, at that time, have compassion on your brethren and strengthen them.’ Do you not see that St. Peter is the foundation of the church, selected to shepherd it, that those who believe in his faith will never lose their faith, and that he was ordered to have compassion on his brethren and to strengthen them? As for Christ’s words, ‘I have prayed for you, that you not lose your faith; but you, have compassion on your brethren, at that time, and strengthen them’, we do not think that he meant St. Peter himself. Rather, he meant nothing more than the holders of the seat of St. Peter, that is, Rome. Just as when he said to the apostles, ‘I am with you always, until the end of the age’, he did not mean just the apostles themselves, but also those who would be in charge of their seats and their flocks; in the same way, when he spoke his last words to St. Peter, ‘Have compassion, at that time, and strengthen your brethren; and your faith will not be lost’, he meant by this nothing other than the holders of his seat.//       Yet another indication of this is the fact that among the apostles it was St. Peter alone who lost his faith and denied Christ, which Christ may have allowed to happen to Peter so as to teach us that it was not Peter that he meant by these words. Moreover, we know of no apostle who fell and needed St. Peter to strengthen him. If someone says that Christ meant by these words only St. Peter himself, this person causes the church to lack someone to strengthen it after the death of St. Peter. How could this happen, especially when we see all the sifting of the church that came from Satan after the apostles’ death? All of this indicates that Christ did not mean them by these words. Indeed, everyone knows that the heretics attacked the church only after the death of the apostles – Paul of Samosata, Arius, Macedonius, Eunomius, Sabelllius, Apollinaris, Origen, and others. If he meant by these words in the gospel only St. Peter, the church would have been deprived of comfort and would have had no one to deliver her from those heretics, whose heresies are truly ‘the gates of hell’, which Christ said would not overcome the church. Accordingly, there is no doubt that he meant by these words nothing other than the holders of the seat of St. Peter, who have continually strengthened their brethren and will not cease to do so as long as this present age lasts."—Theodore Abu Qurrah, Syrian Catholic (orthodox) Bishop, c. AD 800, (pp. 68-69) (taken from James Likoudis)

"As for us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, our sole goal is to build ourselves on the foundation of St. Peter, he who directed the six holy councils. These councils were gathered by command of the Bishop of Rome, the city of the world. Whoever sits on that city’s throne is authorized by Christ to have compassion on the people of the church, by summoning the ecumenical council, and to strengthen them, even as we have demonstrated in other places. We ask Christ to confirm us in this forever, that we might inherit through it his kingdom, in that we have joined with it the doing of his commandments. To him be praise, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and forever." —Theodore Abu Qurrah, Syrian (Arab and Greek speaking) Catholic (orthodox) Bishop, c. AD 800, (p. 128) (taken from James Likoudis)

"[His successor, Palut, was obliged to go to Antioch in order to get episcopal consecration, which he received from Serapion, Bishop of Antioch], who himself also received the hand from Zephyrinus, Bishop of the city of Rome [AD 199-217], from the succession of the hand of the priesthood of Simon Cephas, which he received from Our Lord, who was there bishop of Rome twenty-five years, in the days of the Caesar [Nero], who reigned there thirteen years. But the Law and the Prophets and the Gospel, which ye read every day before the people, and the Epistles of Paul, which Simon Peter sent us from the city of Rome, and the Acts of the Apostles, which John, the son of Zebedee, sent us from Ephesus, these books read ye in the Churches of Christ."—Doctrine of Addai, Syrian, c. AD 400 from S. Rays’ “Upon this Rock”

 Simon, the Chief of the Apostles, who RULED over all powers [shultonin], that he might bind and loose without obstacle.”—Syriac Liturgy, in Feast of Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, Noct. i. Cod. de Propaganda (Syriac), 65, p. 369

“Blessed art thou, whom the Son of God hath chosen, set at the head of His disciples, and gifted with a godlike [aluhoith] power [shultono] of loosing and binding.”—It., in Feast of Apostles Saints Peter and Paul Noct. Ii. Cod. Eod. p. 373.

“I will appoint Simon Chief of My ministers*: I will deliver all My treasures into his hands: I will give him the keys of both earth and heaven: as he standeth firm before Me: upon him I will raise the bulwarks of My Church.”—Ibid, Office of the Holy Week, Fer. Ii. Hor. Vi. Cod. De Prop. (Syriac), 60, p. 67 *also translated husbandmen

“The Disciples were all Apostles; each of them had received the imposition of hands of our Redeemer, all of them were made Bishops, but for the sake of government, Simon was appointed Chief.”—Bishop Moses bar Kepha the Syrian (schismatic ie. Jacobite Monophysite), de Sacerdotio, Tract 4, cap 6, Cod. eod. p 124 c. AD 890

“So when they had supped, Jesus said to Simon Kipho: Barjonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.  Jesus said unto him: Feed Me My Lambs…Feed Me My rams…Feed Me My sheep.”—Bishop Moses Bar Kepha the Syrian (schismatic ie. Jacobite Monophysite), de Cerem. In John 21:15-17. Verses from the Peshitto Text c.AD 890

“Under the name of lambs (Jesus) meant the Pastors and Prelates of the Church, over which Simon was appointed by his Lord Head and Ruler…Likewise under the same name of lambs He meant the holy twelve Apostles and the seventy-two disciples.  Next, under the name of rams He meant the Priests, the Doctors, the Prelates, and Rulers…Lastly, he called sheep the holy flock of all the faithful together.” —Bishop Moses Bar Kepha the Syrian (schismatic ie. Jacobite Monophysite), de Cerem. In John 21:15-17. Cod. Eod. (Verses from the Peshitto Text) c.AD 890

“Under the name of lambs (Christ) referred to children, who are pure and meek; under that of rams, to men; and to women under that of sheep.  He likewise named lambs the Apostles, according to that: Behold, I send you as lambs among wolves, i.e. If thou lovest Me, take care of thy brethren the Apostles.  And by rams and sheep He signifies Princes and wealthy people.”—Denis Bar-Salibi (Bishop of Amida) Comment. In Johan. Cod. Vatican (Syriac), 289, p. 260, a tergo c.AD 1169

“Blessed art thou, Simon, dispenser of the (divine) treasure, who keepest the keys of the Kingdom of God, on whom the building of the Holy Church is based.  Thou art the kifo (stone) of firmness, which the Lord has placed in the foundation of His churches, that those who work in thy ministry may build up a true confession of faith severed from all doubt.”—Syro-Chaldean Liturgy, in Festo SS. Apost. Petri et Pauli, Noct. i. Cod. De Prop. (Syriac), 41, p. 348.

“In commemorating the holy Apostle Simon, the heavens rejoice, and all that is therein.  Even the Church on earth, with all her children, sings praises unto Him, who chose and placed him in her foundation, that she should never be shaken by floods, or storms of heresies.”—Syriac Liturgy, eodem Fest, ad Vesper. Cod. De Prop. (Syriac), 64, p. 133

“Our Savior bestowed a vast blessing on Simon, the Prince of the Apostles, whom He made the foundation of the Church, and to whom He said: Feed My weanlings, the lambs of My flock, feed My sheep.  Tend them sedulously and have them reared as children of the heavenly Jerusalem.”—Syriac Liturgy, Feria auri, ad Vesper. Cod Vatic. (Syriac), 284, p. 58

“One is His (Christ’s) faithful Vicar, Simon Barjonas, who is named Kifo (stone), to whom (Christ) Himself made the promise, saying: Upon this stone I build My Church: and again: To thee I will give the keys of the heavenly kingdom.  Christ in truth did not say to all the Apostles: “I will build upon you, I will give you.”.. Although to each Disciple was given the priestly office, the singular primacy which is a spiritual primacy, has not been given to all, but to a single one, as to the faithful Vicar of the one true God, that he should rule and guide all, and be over all his brethren.”—Nestorian Synod (schismatic/heretical) Sub Patriarch Dadishoo, in Nomocanone. Cod. De Prop. (Syriac), 27, p. 277.

“Only to Peter our Blessed Lord said: “Go, confirm thy brethren, for thou art the rock.”  By these words He placed him at the head of his colleagues, though they were all Pastors alike.”— Bishop Moses BarCepha (schismatic ie. Jacobite Monophysite) (Bishop of Mossul, Iraq), de Sacerdotio, Tract. 4, ch6. Cod. de Prop. Sharfian (Syriac), p. 185.

 “Jesus in His Gospel said to Peter: Thou art KIPHO, the ROCK on which I will build My Church.”—Syro-Chaldean Liturgy, in Fest SS. Apost. Petri et Pauli, Noct. i. Cod de prop, (Syriac), 41.

“Upon that rock of the household of Simon, the Prince of the Apostles, I am built up, and have nothing to fear.—The Church took up the burden, saying:--Floods and storms broke upon me, but they did not strike me.  The accursed Nestorius fought against me, and met with his ruin.”—Syriac Liturgy, Sabat. Ad Prim. Breviarium Feriale. Edi rom. 1858, p 409.

“To Simon said his Lord: Thou art the rock of strength, on thee I will base My holy Church.  Into thy hands I put the keys of heaven and earth, that thou, My true Disciple, mayest bind and loose according to My Will.  To thee I trust the flock, redeemed with My precious Blood.  Be a good shepherd to them, guard them from evil.”—Syriac Liturgy, in festo SS. Apost. Petri et Pauli, Noct. ii. Cod. de Prop. (Syriac), 64, p.141.

“Blessed art thou, Head, as thou wast, and tongue of the whole body of thy brethren.  That body, of which the sons of Zebedee were the two eyes, was made up of all disciples.  Those (sons of Zebedee) too are blessed, for they requested thrones from their Lord, but they did it only when they had seen assured the See of Simon, who, by a revelation from the Father, was named the unassailable Rock.”—Syriac Liturgy, in festo SS. Apost. Petri et Pauli, Noct. ii. Cod. eod. p. 373

“I am settled on the Rock of faith, I have nothing to fear.”—Syriac Liturgy, Domin. I. Dedicat., Noct. iii. Cod de Prop. (Syriac), 56, p.30

“How blessed art thou, O faithful Church, betrothed to the celestial Bridegroom.  Thy ramparts are steadfastly fixed on the Rock of faith.”—Syriac Liturgy, Domin. II. Dedic., Noct. ii. Cod. eod., p. 67

“On the Rock of faith Thou didst build Thy Church, O Savior.  No Storm will ever subvert or overturn her foundation.”—Syro-Chaldean Liturgy, Domin. II. Dedicat., ad Matutin. Cod. de Prop. (Syriac), 40

“The Church inherited her faith from the Apostles, especially from Simon Kipho, to whom our Lord said: “Thou art a rock, and upon thee I will build My Church.”  That is to say: Thou art a root and a foundation, a pattern to the whole body of those who do believe in Me, and behave themselves as thou didst, when thou lay open the truth which the Father revealed to thee from on high.  Hence it is that the gates of hell, that is, infidel people, unjust kings, tyrant emperors, heretics, and forgers of false doctrines shall never succeed to overthrow her (the Church)….Whosoever then shall separate himself from her will never belong to the sons of light, nor to any of them who build their houses upon the immoveable rock; houses, which will not be shaken, whilst the swelling main in seething, whilst the wild billows are breaking upon them, as Christ had declared it in His parable.  They will never be like those wretched communities (churches separated from Peter) who erected their building of sandy ground, which, as soon as the rain pours, the wind blows, the sea beings to swell, and the raging storm to roll its mighty waves high above them, are mercilessly battered and utterly ruined, nay, their very foundations are cleared off entirely, because their building was not based on the Rock, which is Simon.”—Abu Nasr Yahia (Monophysite Jacobite bishop) (Ibn al-Takriti), “Confirmatio,” or Demonst. Art. Leg. Christ, cap xxix. De Ecclesia. Cod. Vatic. (Garsciuni), 205, p. 204, a tergo (c AD 870)

“And Isaiah (62:2) said: And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Now these figurative promises were fulfilled in the advent of Christ, when He said to Simon: Thou art a rock, and upon thee I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail over thee, nor shall overcome thee. And again: To thee I deliver the keys of the kingdom of heaven; what thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.  Such is the new name which the Lord hath named in favor of the Church, as David said…”I will praise Thee among the congregation (Church) of peoples.”—Abu Nasr Yahia (Monophysite Jacobite bishop) (Ibn al-Takriti), “Confirmatio,” or Demonst. Art. Leg. Christ, cap xxix. De Ecclesia. Cod. Vatic. (Garsciuni), 205, p. 208, a tergo (c AD 870)

“(Christ) called the senior (of the Apostles) a rock, That he should be to the truth* a foundation, Whereupon He was to raise the edifice Of the faith of truth.  He proclaimed him a rock, to withstand Adversity, to raise upon him The building high to the coping.  A rock to bind one to with the other, The structures; as even in faith He was to bind peoples with peole.”—Elias (Nestorian bishop of Anbara), in Carminib. Theologicis. Cod Vatic. (Syriac), 183, p 305. (c. AD 920) *also translated equity, bounty, righteousness

 “Scholars apprised of the truth, seek the reason why our Savior called Simon Barjona (Kipho) a stone.—Since Christ himself, our great Savior, is the true One, why did He call for another Headstone of the building? As in the (ancient) law several were called Christs and Saviors of the people, so Simon was graced with the surname of KIPHO.  But one is the true Christ, the great Savior, [who nevertheless did occasionally apply to others those very same names.]  Christ the true Stone was, after all, to betake Himself to Heaven, and hide Himself from human eyes; hence the reason why He established on earth, His Vicar Simon, and him named the corner-stone of His building…Rightly did Christ call him (Simon) Kipho.—None before him had ever had called by such a name.—He was in truth to be the foundation and the cornerstone of the building.  Christ did not call him after His own name, a Savior, for many saviors had been amongst the people; and as He did not wish to abrogate the power of Barjona, [as it had been the case with those past saviors,] He did not even call him Christ, for many Christs had been in Juda, which were likewise superseded by the Son of God. But He did not put aside with them Kipho.”—Elias (Nestorian bishop of Anbara), in Carminib. Theologicis. Part ii, Serm 8, cent. ii., strophe 59. Assemani, Bibl. Orien.., tom. iii, chap. 177, p260

The Disciple:—Master, I wish you would tell me the meaning of our Blessed Lord's words to Peter: "Blessed art thou, Simon ....?" The Master:—By this Christ—blessed be His name —wished to assure Peter that He appointed him His vicar on earth, to redeem souls from sin I named thee Rock . . . Petros (Peter) is the Greek name for rock " Thou art Peter, upon thee I will build My Church;" upon thee, 0 Peter, I will raise My congregation. I am the true Rock, the steadfast foundation. By loving me thou becamest My disciple, and wast assimilated with Me, and built upon Me. I make my own Self a foundation for thee. Thus thou becomest a rock like Myself. Upon thee I go on building My congregation. Whoever becomes thy disciple will be built upon thee, who art the Rock.”—Questiones Theologico Morales, Quest x in Matt XVI. 18. Cod. Vatic. (Arabic), 94, p. 88. (sec. xvi) sine nomine Auctoris

“Sing of Holy Church, sing praises in solemn commemoration of Peter (petros), the Chief of the Apostles…on whose faith He (Christ) based thy foundations, whom He appointed Leader of His flock, through He laid open the portals of His treasures, wherewith He had enriched thy children.”—Syro-Chaldean Liturgy, in Fest. SS. Petri et Pauli, Noct ii. Code de Prop. (Syriac), 41, p. 375

“This is the sainted Simon.  Upon him is built and firmly established the Church, which no King or tyrant will ever succeed in conquering.”—Syro-Chaldean Liturgy, in commemoratione Defunctorum.  Cod eod.

“The Lord built His Church on Simon Peter, and upon seventy-two pillars He made it stand.”—Syriac Liturgy, Fer vi, ad Primam. Breviarium Feriale. Edit. Rom. 1853, p 363

“Upon thee, O Simon, I will build the Holy Church, that the bolts of hell may not shake nor overthrow it.”—Syriac Liturgy, Fer v. Noct. ii. Beviar. eod. p 295

“Through the intercession of the Chief of the Disciples, who received the keys of heaven, and upon whom was raised the Church, let the twelve months be blessed.”—Syriac Liturgy in Off. SS Apostolorum, Noct. ii. Cod. de Prop. (Syriac), 64, p 148

Simon Barjona, upon thee I will build My Church. Such was the Lord’s behest.—To thee I will deliver the keys of heaven and earth, that thou mayest bind and loose without obstacle.”—Syriac Liturgy, in Off. Feriae auri (vi), Noct i. Cod. eod. p.112

‘Simon with fear and trembling joined his hands, drew near and bowed in adoration before the Son (of God). Our Lord met him, took hold of him, raised him up, and graciously told him: "Simon, stand up, and heed this well. Upon thy person I will build my holy and faithful Church, that shall be immovable forever and ever."’—Syriac Liturgy, in off. SS. Apost., ad Vesp. Cod Vatic. (Syriac) 234, p.62

“Upon thee, 0 Kipho (Rock), the first and the chief of His Apostles, Christ, who Himself is the Rock, founded and built the Holy Church, which He also fixed so unconquerably that the gates of hell . ."—Syriac Liturgy Ibid., Mens. 29 Jun.Cod. Vatic. (Syriac), 82, p. 358.

“(Peter) He was the leader* to penance; hence The Church is well built upon him in all shifts. Prudent indeed was the Son of the carpenter who laid her foundation, And purposely built her upon Simon at the beginning. Of penance, rather than of anything else, the Church is exultant, Since by it all her congregations thrivingly flourish. Should an adulteress or thieves ever struggle to get into (Paradise) Without penance, who would open to them the door'?  For this the Church is built upon him who denied, That all her superstructures might closely cement without rifting."—St. James (Jacob) of Serug, de Abnegatione Simonis, Hom. 57. Cod. Vatic. (Syriac), 118, p. 238, a tergo. *literally: “the head and the first”

“Have we no right to lead about a wife (gunaika) that is a believer, even as the rest of the Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” Observe his skilfulness. The leader of the choir stands last in his arrangement: since that is the time for laying down the strongest of all one’s topics. Nor was it so wonderful for one to be able to point out examples of this conduct in the rest, as in the foremost champion and in him who was entrusted with the keys of heaven. But neither does he mention Peter alone, but all of them: as if he had said, Whether you seek the inferior sort or the more eminent, in all you find patterns of this sort.”—St John Chrysostom, Homily XXI, On 1 Corinthians 9:5

“Thy strength is that of a rock, hence (I say) “Thou art a rock. And upon thee I will build My Church,” for thou wilt never break into pieces.  Thou art a rock, and upon thee I will build the Glorious.  The powers of hell, with their own crafts, shall not prevail against her. And what are they, tell me, the bars of hell, But death and Satan, who lay waste to the earth?”—St Jacob (James) of Serug., c. AD 520, Homil. Supra ciata Cod. Vatica. (Syriac) 460, p.182.**Note that the Diatessaron and other Aramaic manuscripts of sacred scripture read ‘bars of sheol’ rather than ‘gates of..”’

“Upon having called the Son (of God) by His own name, He blessed him, and had His Church built upon that Apostle.  He made him a rock, and set it down in the foundation of His House.  Seeing that he was to keep the whole fabric from shrinking.”—St Jacob (James) of Serug, c. AD 520, Homily Supra Citata, Cod. Eod.

“O ye who are entreating penitence, be ye like unto Aaron the chief of the priests who, when he had caused the people to sin by the calf, confessed about his sin and his Lord forgave him. And also David, the chief of the kings of Israel, confessed about his transgression, and it was forgiven him. And also Simon, the chief of the disciples, when he denied, (saying) that Christ hath never seen me, and he cursed and swore, "I do not know Him" [Matthew 26: 74] and when repentance came to him he multiplied tears in his weeping; our Lord received him, and made him the foundation, and called him Peter, the edification of the Church.”—St Aphrates (Afraates) Demonstrations VII:15

“But one must wonder at this Wind that it was not revealed to Moses, the chief of the Prophets, who divided the sea and went through its midst, nor again to Simon, the chief of the Apostles…”—St Ephrem (Ephraim) the Syrian, Discourse to Hypatius III:13

"But Simon the head spoke the beginning, saying, Thou art the Son, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And [then]: Blessed art thou, Simon, and the bars of Sheol shall have no power against thee. [Matt 16:16-9] That is, that the faith shall not be destoyed; for whatever he builds, who shall destroy it? And whatever he overthrows who shall set it up [again]? The Assyrians wished to destroy the house which he [sc. God] had built; but he destroyed the throne of his kingdom. And likewise Nicanor. Again, Achab wished to [re]build Jericho which had been overthrown; [but] his kingdom was destroyed."--St Ephrem the Syrian EC Syr. pp. 112-4

"He looked on Simon, head of the disciples, and our Lord stood there in the midst, between the former and the latter. The trumpets of the prophets grew silent and the horns of the apostles rang out."—St Ephrem the Syrian, found in Hymni contra Haereses 24,4

“He (Christ) left the other Disciples, and came to him who was the first and the head of the assembly, saying to him: "Satan hath often sought to sift you as wheat . . . yet I have prayed for thee that thy faith may not fail . . . and thou, once converted, mind to confirm thy brethren; that is, to be the supporter, the initiator, the teacher of those who, by faith, will come near to Me . . . thou being converted, confirm thy brethren/' which saying was both of one who pardons and of one who was raising him (Peter) to the apostolic Powers.”—St. Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 144, c.AD 440, Edit. Payne Smith, p. 412.

“(John) did not go into (the sepulcher) until the perfect Simon arrived: He waited for the arrival of him, who was carrying the Keys of the Church: Of him who, as steward of the House, was to open and enter it first: John stayed back wisely and did not go into (the sepulcher) : That he should not thwart the settled order of preaching: He awaited the coming of the Prince of the Disciples, who was left behind: That (Peter) might first behold and bear witness to the resurrection: Simon Kipho, the head of the structures came up, and entered before him: That he might be built first into the edifice of the Apostleship: The spiritual child dutifully yielded to his worthy elder: That, as he is in the foundation, he might be first in his preaching.”—St Jacob (James) of Serugh c AD 520, De Resurrectione Domini, Homily 72, Codex Vatican (Syriac) p 296 a tergo

“Thou art Kipho: down in the foundations of the great house I will set thee: upon thee I will build My elected Church. The wholeness of thy frames shall bear her weight: she will not sink. "I will place thee first in my building, thou being hardy. Be thou the basis to the Holy Temple which I am to inhabit. On thee I will expand all the "superstructures of the Daughter-of-day.”—St James (Jacob) of Serugh c. AD 520, de Inter. Christi et Revel. Petriy Homil. xxiv. Cod. Vatic. (Syriac), 460, p. 181.

“(Christ) entered upon the house, chose a stone, and set the foundation. (Gave the bride) an earnest to overcome death and Satan. The Great Apostle was the foundation of the Great House. Which the bride was to enter (as) a stronghold undefiled. (Christ) raised her a Chamber, and, lest she might be affrighted, warranted her. That miscreants should never prevail against her surety. He began to build her, and upon the Great Stone, He had found, Set her building, whose height was to transcend the clouds. Two-and-ten stones He had laid in the Palace of Light. But One was singled out to support the great building. He dressed, marked and carved the main stone He had found. And set it deep in the great building He was raising. The Bridegroom chose it, His Father carved it in that revelation, And the Holy Ghost had it finished and settled in the foundation of the Church.”—St James of Serugh, c.AD 520, de Interrog. Christi et Revel. Petri, Horn. xxiv. Cod. Vatic. (Syriac), 460, p. 181.

“Therefore on hearing those words, the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first of the disciples, for whom alone and Himself the Savior paid tribute, quickly seized and comprehended the saying. And what does he say? "Lo, we have left all and followed Thee?”—St Clement of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?: 21 [A.D. 188-199]

" And the Lord, to him to whom a little before He had said, "Blessed you are, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, " says, "Go back behind, Satan, an offence you are to Me. " Why therefore "Satan" is he, that a little before was "blessed," and a "Rock" ? –St Augustine Exposition on Psalm 56

Since St Matthew wrote the Gospel in Aramaic according to Early Church Father according to Papias, and Eusebius it is proper to refer to Syrian Christians

"Moses brought out water from the rock for his people; and Jesus sent Simon Kepha (the rock) to carry His doctrine among the nations. Moses lifted up the veil from his face and spake with God; and Jesus lifted up the veil from the face of the nations, that they might hear and receive his doctrine. Moses laid his hand upon his messengers (apostles), and they received priesthood; and Jesus laid His hand upon His apostles, and they received the Holy Spirit."—St Aphrates (Afraates) c.A.D. 280-367 Demonstration XXI (Of Persecution) Paragraph 10 Sentence ~12

“David handed over the kingdom to Solomon, and was gathered to his people; and Jesus handed over the keys to Simon, and ascended and returned to Him who sent Him.”—St Aphrates (Afraates) c.A.D. 280-367 Demonstration XXI (Of Persecution) Paragraph 13

Simon Kepha, the foundation of the Church, and James and John, strong pillars of the Church”—St Aphrates (Afraates) Demonstration XXIII 36:10-2

“Blessed are you Simon Kepha/ Who holds the keys which the Spirit forges Great is the word and ineffable/ That could stand bind and loose above and below/ Blessed are thou who wert as the head/ And as the tongue of the body of brotheren/ Through Simon was heard the Revelation from the Father/ Through the Rock unshakable” –St. Ephrem the Syrian De Virginitate 15:6,7 (AD 306-373) or

“Blessed are you, Simon Kepha/ Who holds the keys which the Spirit forged. Great is the word and ineffable, that could stand bind and loose above and below! Blessed the flocks He gave to you! How they have multiplied since you set up the cross over the waters*! Through love of it the sheep have borne all manner of virgins and saints!”—St. Ephrem the Syrian De Virginitate 15:6(AD 306-373) see book by Fr Murray*alludes to Gen 30:38

“For to Simon, the Foundation,/ Mary was first to run,/ and like the Church, brought him the good news/ and told him what she had seen/ that our Lord had risen and was raised up./ Fittingly did she come to Simon/ and bring him the good news that the Son was risen,/ For he was the Rock and Foundation/ of the Church of the Gentiles, the elect.”—St Ephraem the Syrian, S. Ephraemi Hymni et Sermones, ed. Lamy, T.J., Volume I, 531-3

"Let us consider what happened to Simon, thanks to his chastity; for [Jesus] made him the foundation of the Church and made him hold authority, made him the chief of the Apostles and gave him the keys of souls. He made him pasture His sheep He gave him [power] to loose and to bind."—The Armenian Hymn 'Dialogues of (married) Continence and Virginity'

(Commenting on John 13:8)"If this is not allowed to be, you have no share with me in the throne. If this is not allowed to be, give me back the keys I delivered to you. If this not allowed to be, even your authority will be taken from you."—Cyrillona the Syrian "washing of Feet" 117-27 c. AD 397

“The Simon, my disciple, have I set as foundation of the Holy Church,/ I called thee Kepha that thou mightest bear all buildings/ Thou art the overseer (baharo) /of those who build for me the Church on earth/ If they build anything hateful the foundation restrains them/ Thou art the foundation-head of my disciples/ By thee I will give drink to all nations thou hast the sweetness of life which I will give/ It is thee I have chosen to be firstborn of my teaching, to be heir of my treasures. I have given thee Keys of my Kingdom:/ Behold, Thou rulest over all my possession.” –4th MEMRA of attributed to Efrem used in Syrian Holy Week Liturgy, Lamy I, 411


“Let that false assembly, which without the Apostolic See . . . was held contrary to the traditions of the venerable fathers against the divine images, be declared anathema in the presence of our delegates, and let the word of our Lord Jesus Christ be fulfilled, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against her" [Matt. 16:18]; and again: "Thou art Peter . . ." [Matt. 16:18-19], whose throne holding the first place in all the world shines forth and holds its place as the head of the whole Church of God.”—Pope Hadrian to Patriarch St Tarasius of Constantiople, Pastoralibus Curis (AD 785) Denz 298

"What then saith the mouth of the apostles, Peter, the ever fervent, the leader of the apostolic choir?(1) When all are asked, he answers. And whereas when He asked the opinion of the people, all replied to the question; when He asked their own, Peter springs forward, and anticipates them, and saith, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."...... He added this, "And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church;"(10) that is, on the *faith of his confession*. Hereby He signifies that many were now on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd. "And the gates of hell" shall not prevail against it." "And if not against it, much more not against me. So be not troubled because thou art shortly to hear that I shall be betrayed and crucified." .... For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to a mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven. "For heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away."How then is He less, who hath given such gifts, hath effected such things?" –St John Chrysostom's, Patriarch of Constantiople Homily 54 on the Gospel of Matthew (16) (4th Century AD)

*Faith of his confession...this is similar to the modern Eastern Orthodox view that unfortunately does not equate Peter's Confession of Faith with Peter himself, but UNLIKE modern Eastern Orthodox, St John Chrysostom does infact equate Peter as the rock, not the confession of faith solely, because he says "his" confession..he even clearly calls Peter the rock in this next selection:

"Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received revelation not from man but from the Father...this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean that unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great Apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey"---St John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople, De Eleemosyna, 3:4 (ante A.D. 407), in SEP,74

and again in

"Peter ... that Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the Faith, the Foundation of the Confession."—St. John Chrysostom, Hom de Dec Mill Talent

"And why, having passed by the others, doth He speak with Peter on these matters? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the leader of the band; on this account also Paul went up upon a time to enquire of him rather than the others. And at the same time to show him that he must now be of good cheer, since the denial was done away, Jesus putteth into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He bringeth not forward the denial, nor reproacheth him with what had taken place." –St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantiople Homily 88 on John 21:15

"For of old Moses and Aaron, when this priesthood was theirs, suffered much; and Caiphas, when he had their chair, persecuted and condemned the Lord...Moses was succeeded by Peter, who had committed to his hands the new Church of Christ and the true priesthood"—St Macarius of Egypt AD 371

"Simon Kepha answered and said, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee also, that you are Kephas, and on this Rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it"—Tatian the Syrian The Diatesseron 23:31 [A.D. 170]).

"Simon, who was called a Rock, was deservedly called a Rock because of his faith."—St. James of Nisibis, A.D. 340 "Sermon I: on Faith (de Fide)"

“Also Simon who was called Kepha, because of his faith was called “Firm Rock” [Kepha sarrirta].”—St Aphrates (Afraates) Dem. 1, 40.27-41.1 Dem 1:17

" Our Lord received him, and made him the Foundation, and called him the Rock of the edifice of the Church."—St James of Nisibis c. AD 340 "Sermon vii. De Panitentia" (n. 6. Ed. Rom., p. 243. In Galland, p. 57)

"Jesus called Simon the Rock of faith"—St James of Nisibis c.AD 340 "Serm. xi: de Circumcis." (n. 12. Galland. p, 84)

"Andrew was the first to meet Christ, inasmuch as Peter was the younger in age. But . . . Peter became a Leader to his own brother. And God sees the dispositions of the heart, and knowing who is worthy to be appointed unto Presidency, He also chose Peter to be the Leader of His disciples, as in every way has been clearly shown."—St. Epiphanius c.AD. 374 "Adversus Haereses" 51, n. 17

"Peter merited to receive from Christ the Vicarship over His people "—St Ephraem Syrus c. AD 350 (Serm. de Mart. Pet. et Paul. Cod. Vatican, cxcix. ex. Syr. ap. David, op. cit. p. 26). OR..

“Then Peter deservedly received the Vicariate (of Christ) over His people.”—St. Ephrem., in Sermone de Martyrio, SS. Ap. Petri et PaulL Cod. Vatic. (Arabic), 199, p. 194, a tergo.


“Here is Simon, whom the Lord thrice called upon (saying): " Feed Me My rams and My gentle sheep.  I entrust thee with the keys of My spiritual treasury, that thou mayest bind and loose on earth and in heaven.  I will install thee Vicar of the heavenly kingdom; rule justly, and govern the children of thy household (the Church).”—Syro-Chaldean Litugry, in Com. SS. Apostl. Petri et Pauli. Cod, Vatic. (Syriac), 86, p.35

"For since the most blessed Peter received the headship of the Apostles from the LORD, and the church of Rome still abides by His institutions, it is wicked to believe that His holy disciple Mark, who was the first to govern the church of Alexandria, formed his decrees on a different line of tradition: seeing that without doubt both disciple and master drew but one Spirit from the same fount of grace, and the ordained could not hand on aught else than what he had received from his ordainer."—Pope Leo the Great, Letter 9, To DIOSCORUS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA. June 21, c. AD 445.. The Pope declares that Peter was the top Apostle.

“For though you think heaven still shut, remember that the Lord left here to Peter and through him to the Church, the keys of it, which every one who has been here put to the question, and also made confession, will carry with him.”—Tertullian, Scorpiace 10 c. AD 200

"Peter alone do I find--through (the mention of) his "mother-in-law",--to have been married. Monogamist I am led to presume him by consideration of the Church, which, built upon him, was destined to appoint every grade of her Order from monogamists."—Tertullian Chapter 8 of "On Monogamy"

Later, Tertullian adopts the Monatonist heresy around AD 199, he denies the power to forgive sins to "all the Church allied to Peter"

When Tertullian left the Church to follow a cult called the Monatonists and started bashing the Papacy, Pope

"I now inquire into your opinions, to see whence you usurp the right for the Church. Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, 'On this rock I will build my Church ...[Matt 16-19]' that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed over to you, that is, to every church akin to Peter? What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when He conferred this personally on Peter? 'On you,' He says, 'I will build my Church; and I give to you the keys'...."—Tertullian, On Modesty 21:9-10

“Since I has pleased God, by His special grace, to seat you in the Apostolic Chair, and so to qualify you in these our times, that it would be criminal not to lay before you what is for the Church’s interest -- we do beseech you to use your pastoral care in looking after the infirm members of Christ. For a new heresy is lately broached. But we hope by the mercy of our Lord, Who helps you in the discharge of your duty, and hears your prayers, that the abettors of this pernicious doctrine will submit to the authority of your holiness, which authority is derived to you from the authority of the Scriptures.”—Council of Milevis (attended by St Augustine) to Pope Innocent I AD 416

The following was signed in AD 519 to end the 34 year schism between the East and the West, this statement was required to be signed by Eastern bishops to show they would be obedient to the decisions of the Apostolic See, citing Matthew 16:18 as a reason... Signed by Patriarch John II the Cappadocian of Constantinople...

The first salvation is to keep the rule of the true faith, and to deviate in no way from the tradition of the fathers. And because the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be set aside, which says: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,” these things which have been said are proven by the course of events, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished… Not wanting to fall away from this faith, and following the constitutions of the fathers in every respect, we anathematize all heresies, especially the heretic Nestorius, formerly bishop of the city of Constantinople, who was condemned at the Council of Ephesus by Celestine, pope of the city of Rome, and by the holy Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. Along with him we anathematize Eutyches and Dioscorus of Alexandria, who were condemned in the holy council of Chalcedon, which we follow and embrace. We anathematize with them Timothy the parricide [the Cat], surnamed Elurus, and his disciple and follower in all things, Peter [Mongus] of Alexandria. In like manner we condemn and anathematize Acacius, who was once bishop of the city of Constantinople, their accomplice and follower, and those who persevered in their communion, for anyone who embraces the communion of individuals receives a similar judgment at their condemnation. We also condemn Peter of Antioch [the Fuller], along with his followers... Wherefore, as we have already said, following in all matters the Apostolic See and preaching all its constitutions, I hope that I may merit to be in one communion with you, which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which is the integral and true solidity of the Christian religion. I also promise that during the celebration of the sacred mysteries, I will not recite the names of those who were separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who do not agree in every respect with the Apostolic See. This profession I have signed with my own hand, and offered it to you, Hormisdas, holy and venerable pope of the city of Rome. [CSEL 35: 520-22]

"Peter, set above the Apostles."—St Peter I, Patriarch of Alexandria, Canon. ix, Galland, iv. p. 98, AD 300-311 or

Thus Peter, the first of the apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with igominy, was last of all crucified at Rome.—St Peter I, Patriarch of Alexandria Canon IX

“Let them recall to their minds also how Peter, the chief of the apostles, "was thrown into prison, and delivered to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him;”—St Peter I, Patriarch of Alexandria Canon 13

"Peter, the Prince of the Apostles'—St. Anthony of Egypt Epist. xvii. Galland, iv p. 687. AD 330

"Macedonius declared, when desired by the Emperor Anastasius to condemn the Council of Chalcedon, that 'such a step without an Ecumenical Synod presided over by the Pope of Rome is impossible.'"—Patriarch Macedonius of Constantinople AD 466-516 (Macedonius, Migne PG 108:360a [Theophan Chronogr, pages 234-346])

"We follow and obey the Apostolic See, as Your Charity realizes and we consider those in communion with it to be in communion with us, and we too condemn the men condemned by it."—St Mennas, Patriarch of Constantinople, AD 536 Local Council of Constantinople (Labbe, Collect. Council., publ. Venice, vol. 7, cod. 1279.)

"The Pope of Rome, the head of the Christian priesthood, whom in Peter, the Lord commanded to confirm his brethren [Luke 22:31-32]."—Patriarch John VI of Constantiople AD 715 (John VI, Epist ad Constantin Pap ad Combefis Auctuar Bibl)

"Without whom (the Romans presiding in the seventh Council) a doctrine brought forward in the Church could not, even though confirmed by canonical decrees and by ecclesiastical usage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Popes of Rome) who have had assigned to them the rule in sacred things, and who have received into their hands the dignity of Headship among the Apostles."—Patriarch St. Nicephorus of Constantinople AD 758-828 (St. Nicephorus, Niceph Cpl pro s imag c 25)

"that the names of those who were separated from communion with the Catholic Church, that is of those who did not agree in all matters with the Apostolic See, are not to be read out during the sacred mysteries."—Libell. of John, bishop of Constantinople to St. Hormisdas. Eighth Ecumenical Council, prop. I.** now rejected by Modern Orthodoxy

"How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter (Peter and Paul), and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate....even as in all these things all are equally subject to her (the Church of Rome) according to sacerodotal law. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers (the Popes) are of the truly firm and immovable rock, that is of the most great and Apostolic Church of Rome."—St. Maximus the Confessor c.AD. 580-662 (St. Maximus, in JB Mansi ed Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, volume 10)

"The extremities of the earth, and everyone in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the Most Holy Roman Church and her confession and faith, as to a sun of unfailing light awaiting from her the brilliant radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers, according to that which the inspired and holy Councils have stainlessly and piously decreed. For, from the descent of the Incarnate Word amongst us, all the churches in every part of the world have held the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the orthodox confession and right faith in Him, that she opens the true and exclusive religion to such men as approach with piety, and she shuts up and locks every heretical mouth which speaks against the Most High."—St. Maximus the Confessor c.AD. 580-662 (St. Maximus, Opuscula theologica et polemica, Migne PG 90)

"If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus also anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God....Let him hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which is from the incarnate of the Son of God Himself, and also all the holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and surpreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world."—St. Maximus the Confessor c.AD. 580-662 (St. Maximus, Letter to Peter in Mansi 10:692)

Another translation

"If he wants neither to be nor to be called a heretic, he toes not need to satisfy random individuals of his orthodoxy, for this is excessive and unreasonable. But just as all men have been scandalized at him since the chief man was scandalized, so also when that one has been satisfied, all men will doubtless be satisfied. He should hasten to satisfy the Roman See before all others. For when this See has been satisfied, all men everywhere will join in declaring him pious and orthodox. For that man wastes his words who thinks that men like me must be persuaded and beguiled when he has not yet satisfied and beseeched the blessed Pope of the holy Roman Church. From the incarnate word of God Himself as well as from the conclusions and sacred canons of all holy councils, the Apostolic See has been granted the command, authority and power of binding and loosing for all God's holy churches in the entire world."—St. Maximus Epistle Ad Petrum illustrem, Coll. Counc., vol. 6, col. 1520.

"Since to great Peter Christ our Lord gave the office of Chief Shepherd after entrusting him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, to Peter or his successor must of necessity every novelty in the Catholic Church be referred. [Therefore], save us, oh most divine Head of Heads, Chief Shepherd of the Church of Heaven."—St. Theodore AD 759-826, Book I, Epistle 23 to Pope Leo III.

"Hear, O Apostolic Head, divinely-appointed Shepherd of Christ's sheep, keybearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, Rock of the Faith upon whom the Catholic Church is built. For Peter art thou, who adornest and governest the Chair of Peter. Hither, then, from the West, imitator of Christ, arise and repel not for ever. To thee spake Christ our Lord: 'And thou being one day converted, shalt strengthen thy brethren.' Behold the hour and the place. Help us, thou that art set by God for this."—Letter of St. Theodore (AD 759-826) and Four Abbots to Pope Paschal, Book 2, Epistle 12, Migne PG 99:1152-3

"Order that the declaration from old Rome be received, as was the custom by Tradition of our Fathers from of old and from the beginning. For this, O Emperor, is the highest of the Churches of God, in which first Peter held the Chair, to whom the Lord said: "Thou art Peter ...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." –St. Theodore, Book II, Epistle 86 to Emperor Michael

"I witness now before God and men, they have torn themselves away from the Body of Christ, from the Supreme See (Rome), in which Christ placed the keys of the Faith, against which the gates of hell (I mean the mouth of heretics) have not prevailed, and never will until the Consummation, according to the promise of Him Who cannot lie. Let the blessed and Apostolic Paschal (Pope St. Paschal I) rejoice therefore, for he has fulfilled the work of Peter."—St. Theodore, Book II, Epistle 63

"In truth we have seen that a manifest successor of the prince of the Apostles presides over the Roman Church. We truly believe that Christ has not deserted the Church here (Constantinople), for assistance from you has been our one and only aid from of old and from the beginning by the providence of God in the critical times. You are, indeed the untroubled and pure fount of orthodoxy from the beginning, you are the calm harbor of the whole Church, far removed from the waves of heresy, you are the God-chosen city of refuge." –Letter of St. Theodore and Four Abbots to Pope Paschal

"Let him (Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople) assemble a synod of those with whom he has been at variance, if it is impossible that representatives of the other Patriarchs should be present, a thing which might certainly be if the Emperor should wish the Western Patriarch (the Roman Pope) to be present, to whom is given authority over an ecumenical synod; but let him make peace and union by sending his synodical letters to the prelate of the First See."—St. Theodore the Studite, Migne PG 99:1420

"Simon Peter the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the Church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion—the believers in circumcision, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia—pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to over-throw Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero."—St Jerome De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men)

Gregory said To John, Bishop of Syracuse, "who doubts that the Church of Constantinople is subject to the Apostolic See?" (Epp., IX, xii, in P. L., LXXVII., 957); and again: "I know of no bishop who is not subject to the Apostolic See. But when no fault requires it to be otherwise, all according to the principle of humility are equal." (ibid.). -c A.D. 600 *notice, the same pope reject the term "Universal" Bishop for any bishop, even himself, but at the same time here he states his See is Supreme -sources for text:

"Further, since it has been customary for bishops to assemble here for the anniversary of the pontiff, forbid their coming for the day of my ordination, since
 foolish and vain superfluity delights me not. But if they must needs assemble, let them come for the anniversary of Peter, the prince of the apostles, to render
thanks to him by whose bounty they are pastors."- EPISTLE XXXVI. TO PETER THE SUBDEACON FROM POPE GREGORY 

And I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven 666 .”

III.  S. Peter’s work is still carried out by his successors.

The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook.  For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ.  And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified.  And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See.  For this, dearly-beloved, was gained by that confession, which, inspired in the Apostle’s heart by God the Father, transcended all the uncertainty of human opinions, and was endued with the firmness of a rock, which no assaults could shake.  For throughout the Church Peter daily says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys.  This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners.  It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it.  For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it.

IV.  This festival then is in S. Peter’s honor, and the progress of his flock redounds to his glory.

And so, dearly beloved, with reasonable obedience we celebrate to-day’s festival by such methods, that in my humble person he may be recognized and honoured, in whom abides the care of all the shepherds, together with the charge of the sheep commended to him, and whose dignity is not abated even in so unworthy an heir.  And hence the presence of my venerable brothers and fellow-priests, so much desired and valued by me, will be the more sacred and precious, if they will transfer the chief honour of this service in which they have deigned to take part to him whom they know to be not only the patron of this see, but also the primate of all bishops.  When therefore we utter our exhortations in your ears, holy brethren, believe that he is speaking whose representative we are:  because it is his warning that we give, nothing else but his teaching that we preach, beseeching you to “gird up the loins of your p. 118 mind 667 ,” and lead a chaste and sober life in the fear of God, and not to let your mind forget his supremacy and consent to the lusts of the flesh.  Short and fleeting are the joys of this world’s pleasures which endeavour to turn aside from the path of life those who are called to eternity.  The faithful and religious spirit, therefore, must desire the things which are heavenly, and being eager for the Divine promises, lift itself to the love of the incorruptible Good and the hope of the true Light.  But be sure, dearly-beloved, that your labour, whereby you resist vices and fight against carnal desires, is pleasing and precious in God’s sight, and in God’s mercy will profit not only yourselves but me also, because the zealous pastor makes his boast of the progress of the Lord’s flock.  “For ye are my crown and joy 668 ,” as the Apostle says; if your faith, which from the beginning of the Gospel has been preached in all the world has continued in love and holiness.  For though the whole Church, which is in all the world, ought to abound in all virtues, yet you especially, above all people, it becomes to excel in deeds of piety, because founded as you are on the very citadel of the Apostolic Rock, not only has our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed you in common with all men, but the blessed Apostle Peter has instructed you far beyond all men.  Through the same Christ our Lord. - Pope Leo I Sermon III section II / III c. AD 445


For to all who know the Gospel it is apparent that by the Lord's voice the care of the whole Church was committed to the holy Apostle and Prince of all the Apostles, Peter. For to him it is said, Peter, lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep (John xxi. 17). To him it is said, Behold Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat; and I have prayed for thee, Peter, that they faith fail not. And thou, when thou art converted,strengthen thy brethren (Luke xxii. 31). To him it is said, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I willgive unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind an earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven (Matth. xvi. 18).

Lo, he received the keys of the heavenly kingdom, and power to bind and loose is given him, the care and principality of the whole Church is committed to him, and yet he is not called the universal apostle; while the most holy man, my fellow-priest John, attempts to be called universal bishop. I am compelled to cry out and say, O tempora, O mores!

...If then any one in that Church takes to himself that name, whereby he makes himself the head of all the good, it follows that the Universal Church falls from its standing (which God forbid), when he who is called Universal falls. But far from Christian hearts be that name of blasphemy, in which the honor of all priests is taken away, while it is madly arrogated to himself by one.

Certainly, in honor of Peter, Prince of the apostles, it was offered by the venerable synod of Chalcedon to the Roman pontiff. But none of them has ever consented to use this name of singularity, lest, by something being given peculiarly to one, priests in general should be deprived of the honour due to them. How is it then that we do not seek the glory of this title even when offered, and another presumes to seize it for himself though not offered?

... Every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled (Luke xiv. 11; xviii. 14). And again it is written, Before a fall the heart is lifted up (Prov. xvi. 18). I however, rendering obedience to the commands of my Lords, have both Written sweetly to my aforesaid fellow-priest, and humbly admonished him to amend himself of this coveting of empty glory. If therefore he be willing to hear me, he has a devoted brother. But, if he persists in pride, I already see what will follow:-that he will find Him as his adversary of whom it is written, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Jam. iv. 6). –Pope Gregory the Great to Mauricius, etc. c. AD 600

"Steadfast in the fear of God, and in faith immovable, upon [Patrick] as upon Peter the [Irish] church is built; and he has been allotted his apostleship by God; against him the gates of hell prevail not" (Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 3 [A.D. 444?]).—Sechnall of Ireland

"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter"—Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]

"Simon Cephas answered and said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee also, that you are Cephas, and on this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it" –Tatian the Syrian (The Diatesseron 23 [A.D. 170]).

"[Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in Rome:] ‘For you now stand in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church’ [Matt. 16:18]"—Clementine Homilies 17:19 [A.D. 221]).

"Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? ‘Oh you of little faith,’ he says, ‘why do you doubt?’ [Matt. 14:31]"—Origen (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).

"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?"—St Cyprian (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

"There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering"—St Cyprian (Letters 43[40]:5 [A.D. 253]).

"There [John 6:68–69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are
secretly [i.e., invisibly] in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is one and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but it is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another"—St Cyprian (ibid., 66[69]:8).

The following of

"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth....If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger."--- Pope St Clement of Rome[regn. c A.D.91-101],1st Epistle to the Corinthians,1,59:1 (c.A.D. 96),in JUR,I:7,12

"Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate..."-- Pope St Victor I [regn A.D. 189-198],in Eusebius EH,24:9,in NPNF2,I:242-243

"Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter" (Firmilian rejected the pope for recognizing heretical baptism, which are generally held valid even until this day, in this letter Firmilian is condemning the Pope's decision) "bring in many other rocks (by validating heretical baptisms) and set up the buildings of many Churches.-- Pope St Stephen I [regn A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian,Epistle 74/75:17(A.D. 256).in ANF,V:394

"And why was nothing said to us concerning the Church of the Alexandrians in particular? Are you ignorant that the custom has been for word to be written first to us, and then for a just decision to be passed from this place? If then any such suspicion rested upon the Bishop there, notice thereof ought to have been sent to the Church of this place; whereas, after neglecting to inform us, and proceeding on their own authority as they pleased, now they desire to obtain our concurrence in their decisions, though we never condemned him. Not so have the constitutions of Paul, not so have the traditions of the Fathers directed; this is another form of procedure, a novel practice. I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter s, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us."—Pope Julius[regn A.D. 337-352],To the Eusebians,fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians,2:35,in NPNF2,IV:118

"Most honourable sons: Inasmuch as your love renders to the apostolic see the reverence which is its due, accept the same in no niggard measure for yourselves. For even though in the holy church in which the holy apostle sat, and taught us how it becomes us to manage the rudder which has been committed to us, we nevertheless confess ourselves to be unworthy of the honor, we yet on this very account strive by every means within our power if haply we may be able to achieve the glory of that blessedness....Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons."—Pope Damasus[regn A.D. 366-384],To the Eastern Bishops,fragment in Theodoret's EH,5:10,in NPNF2,III:139 AD400

"We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry....Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church....I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body....And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons"—Pope Sircius [reign c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona(Spain),1,3,20,in SL,699,701,707

"Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth."—Pope Anastasius [reign A.D. 399-401],Epistle 1,in DOP,182

"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated ... by bishops ... as you have done, the example of ancient tradition ... For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived ... that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head) also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once."—Pope Innocent I [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage,1,2 (A.D. 417), in SEP, 146-147

"It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches...Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office."—Pope Innocent I [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve,2 (A.D. 417), in SEP,147-148

"Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter...For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat...Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time...and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision."—Pope Zosimus [regn A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage, in SPP,175

"For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see."—Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica, in GILES,230

"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directings power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicaea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship."—Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly, in GILES, 230

"None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn."—Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia, in GILES, 231

"Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity."--- Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11 (A.D. 430), in SPP,208

"The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master (Jesus Christ) himself instructed first among the apostles?"—Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433), in GILES,261

"And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the LORD'S own institution as shown towards the partners of His honor, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter's See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself."—Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461),in NPNF2, XII:116

" 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it."—Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461),in NPNF2, XII:117

"Who does not cease to preside in his see,who will doubt that he *rules in every part of the world."—Pope St Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461],Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461),in GCC, 95 *Shows universally authority (jurisdiction)

"But this mysterious function the LORD wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that anyone who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery."---Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10(A.D 445), in NPNF2, XII:8

The universal jusridiction and powers are fully developed at this point in Church history, acknowledged by both the Western as well as the Eastern Church.There is no substantive difference in powers expressed by Pope John Paul II and Pope Leo the Great. (James G. talking to Peter V.)

"Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love..."—St Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110), in ANF,I:73

"There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the Romans, and addressed to Soter, who was bishop at that time. We cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle, in which he commends the practice of the Romans which has been retained down to the persecution in our own days. His words are as follows: For from the beginning it has been your practice to do good to all the brethren in various ways, and to send contributions to many churches in every city. Thus relieving the want of the needy, and making provision for the brethren in the mines by the gifts which you have sent from the beginning, you Romans keep up the hereditary customs of the Romans, which your blessed bishop Soter has not only maintained, but also added to, furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints, and encouraging the brethren from abroad with blessed words, as a loving father his children.' In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: Today we have passed the Lord's holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.' The same writer also speaks as follows concerning his own epistles, alleging that they had been mutilated: As the brethren desired me to write epistles, I wrote. And these epistles the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, cutting out some things and adding others. For them a woe is reserved. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord's writings also, since they have formed designs even against writings which are of less accounts.' "—Dionysius of Corinth, To Pope Soter (A.D. 171), Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 4:23, in NPNF2:1:200-202

"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 pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere."—St Irenaeus of Gaul, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180), in ANF,I:1415-416

"A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Savior’s passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Savior...Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate. But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor. Among them was Irenaeus, who, sending letters in the name of the brethren in Gaul over whom he presided, maintained that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be observed only on the Lord's day. He fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom ..."—Pope Victor & Easter (c.A.D. 195), Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History 5:23, 24,in NPNF2, I:241-243

"And he says to him again after the resurrection, 'Feed my sheep.' It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided."—St Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (Primacy Text, A.D. 251/256),NE,228-229 *Enemies of the Church have attempted to discredit this has a "Romish" interpolation, by citing a "nameless monk," first started by an Anglican Protestant "scholar".

"After such things as these, moreover, they still dare--a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics--to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access."--St Cyprian of Carthage, To Cornelius,Epistle 54/59:14(A.D. 252), in ANF, V:344

"For Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, having written also against those who said that the Son of God was a creature and a created thing, it is manifest that not now for the first time but from of old the heresy of the Arian adversaries of Christ has been anathematized by all. And Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, making his defence concerning the letter he had written, appears in his turn as neither thinking as they allege, nor having held the Arian error at all."—St Athanasius, Dionysius of Rome,13 (A.D. 352),in NPNF2,IV:180

"Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church. Word should have been written of it to us all , that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons. And why was nothing said to us concerning the Church of the Alexandrians in particular? Are you ignorant that the custom has been for word to be written first to us, and then for a just decision to be passed from this place? If then any such suspicion rested upon the Bishop there, notice thereof ought to have been sent to the Church of this place; whereas, after neglecting to inform us, and proceeding on their own authority as they pleased, now they desire to obtain our concurrence in their decisions, though we never condemned him. Not so have the constitutions of Paul, not so have the traditions of the Fathers directed; this is another form of procedure, a novel practice. I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us."—Patriarch St Athanasius, Pope Julius to the Eusebians, Defense Against the Arians, 35(A.D. 347), in NPNF2, IV:118

Athanasius attended and sanctioned the deliberations of the Council of Sardica and referred to the Council of Sardica as "the great Council" (Defense Against the Arians 1) or "the Holy Synod" (Letter to the People of Antioch 5)

"Bishop Hosius said: This also it is necessary to add, that no bishop pass from his own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless indeed he be called by his brethren, that we seem not to close the gates of charity. And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province. But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighboring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before."—Council of Sardica, Canon III (A.D. 343/344),in NPNF2,XIV:416-417

"Bishop Gaudentius said: If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere charity which thou hast pronounced, that if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighboring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defence, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this."—Council of Sardica, Canon IV (A.D. 343/344),in NPNF2,XIV:418

"Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent. And be this also ordained. But if he think that the bishops are sufficient for the examination and decision of the matter let him do what shall seem good in his most prudent judgment. The bishops answered: What has been said is approved."—Council of Sardica, Canon V (A.D. 343/344),in NPNF2,XIV:419

"What we have always believed, that we now know, for experience is proving and confirming for each of us what he has heard with his ears. It is true what the Apostle Paul, the most blessed teacher of the Gentiles, said of himself: 'Do ye seek a proof of him who speaks in me?' For, since the Lord Christ dwelt in him, there can be no doubt that the Spirit spoke by through his soul and animated the instrument of his body. And thus you, dearly beloved brother, though distant in body, have been with us in unison of mind and will. The reason for your absence was both honorable and imperative, that the schismatic wolves might not rob and plunder by stealth nor the heretical dogs bark madly in the rapid fury nor the very serpent, the devil, discharge his blasphemous venom. So it seems to us right and altogether fitting that priests of the Lord from each and every province should report to their head, that is, to the See of Peter, the Apostle."—Council of Sardica, To Pope Julius (A.D. 342),as cited by James T. Shotwell and Louise Ropes Loomis The See of Peter (New York:Columbia,1927),pp.527-528.

"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one."—Optatus of Mileve,The Schism of Donatists,2:2-3 (c.A.D. 367),in GCC,55

"For the good of unity Blessed Peter deserved to be preferred before the rest, and alone received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that he might communicate them to the rest."—Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists,7:3 (c.A.D. 367),in GCC,50

"Yet, at the very outset, error was so far set right by the bishops on whom the attempt was made at Ariminum to compel them to manipulate or innovate on the faith, that they confessed themselves seduced by opposite arguments, or owned that they had not perceived any contradiction to the opinion of the Fathers livered at Nicaea. No prejudice could arise from the number of bishops gathered at Ariminum, since it is well known that neither the bishop of the Romans, whose opinion ought before all others to have been waited for, nor Vincentius, whose stainless episcopate had lasted so many years, nor the rest, gave in their adhesion to such doctrines. And this is the more significant, since, as has been already said, the very men who seemed to be tricked into surrender, themselves, in their wiser moments, testified their disapproval."—Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], About Council at Arminum, Epistle 1 (A.D. 371),in Theodoret's Church History, in NPNF2,III:83

"Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord, woven from the top throughout,' since the foxes are destroying the vineyard of Christ, and since among the broken cisterns that hold no water it is hard to discover the sealed fountain' and the garden enclosed,' I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. The wide space of sea and land that lies between us cannot deter me from searching for the pearl of great price.' Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.' Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact. The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundredfold; but here the seed corn is choked in the furrows and nothing grows but darnel or oats. In the West the Sun of righteousness is even now rising; in the East, Lucifer, who fell from heaven, has once more set his throne above the stars. Ye are the light of the world,' ye are the salt of the earth,' ye are "vessels of gold and of silver." Here are vessels of wood or of earth, which wait for the rod of iron, and eternal fire. Yet, though your greatness terrifies me, your kindness attracts me. From the priest I demand the safe-keeping of the victim, from the shepherd the protection due to the sheep. Away with all that is overweening; let the state of Roman majesty withdraw. My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. But since by reason of my sins I have betaken myself to this desert which lies between Syria and the uncivilized waste, I cannot, owing to the great distance between us, always ask of your sanctity the holy thing of the Lord. Consequently I here follow the Egyptian confessors who share your faith, and anchor my frail craft under the shadow of their great argosies. I know nothing of Vitalis; I reject Meletius; I have nothing to do with Paulinus. He that gathers not with you scatters; he that is not of Christ is of Antichrist."—St Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VI:18

"But he was not so eager as to lay aside caution. He called the bishop to him, and esteeming that there can be no true thankfulness except it spring from true faith, he enquired whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church?"—St Ambrose, The death of his brother Satyrus, 1:47 (A.D. 378),in NPNF2,X:168

"Your grace must be besought not to permit any disturbance of the Roman Church, the head of the whole Roman World and of the most holy faith of the Apostles, for from *thence flow out to all(churches) the bonds of sacred communion."—St Ambrose, To Emperor Gratian, Epistle 11:4(A.D. 381),in SPP,160 *again shows universal authority

"To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle Peter bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs."—Pope Sircius [regn. A.D. 384-399],To Himerius,Epistle 1(A.D. 385),in DEN,36-37

"Or rather, if we hear him here, we shall certainly see him hereafter, if not as standing near him, yet see him we certainly shall, glistening near the Throne of the king. Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as a chief and leader of the choir of the Saints, and shall enjoy his generous love. For if when here he loved men so, that when he had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here, much more will he there display a warmer affection. I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it, both for its greatness, and its antiquity, and its beauty, and its populousness, and for its power, and its wealth, and for its successes in war. But I let all this pass, and esteem it blessed on this account, that both in his lifetime he wrote to them, and loved them so, and talked with them whiles he was with us, and brought his life to a close there. Wherefore the city is more notable upon this ground, than upon all others together. And as a body great and strong, it hath as two glistening eyes the bodies of these Saints. Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, from thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder (frixate) at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. [1 Thess.6:17] What a rose will Rome send up to Christ! (Is. xxxv. 1) what two crowns will the city have about it! what golden chains will she be girded with! what fountains possess! Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, not for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church. [1 Cor. 15:38.] Would that it were now given me to throw myself round (pericuqhnai) the body of Paul, and be riveted to the tomb, and to see the dust of that body that "filled up that which was lacking" after "Christ" [Col. 1: 24], that bore "the marks" (stigmata,) (Gal 6:17) that sowed the Gospel everywhere yea, the dust of that body through which he ran to and fro everywhere!"—Patriarch St John Chrysostom of Constantinople, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32:24 (c.A.D. 391), in NPNF1,XI:561-562

"Number the bishops from the See of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who has succeeded whom. That is the rock against which the gates of hell do not prevail"---St Augustine, Psalm against the Party of Donatus,18 (A.D. 393),in GCC,51

"I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by...and by the succession of bishops from the very seat of Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection commended His sheep to be fed up to the present episcopate."—St Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani,5 (A.D. 395),in GCC,78

"Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown, so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished"—St Augustine, To Glorius, Epistle 43:7(A.D. 397),in NPNF1,I:278

"If the lineal succession of bishops is to be considered with how much more benefit to the Church do we reckon from Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it!' For to Peter succeeded Linus, Clement...Damsus, Sircius, Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is too be found."—St Augustine, To Generosus, Epistle 53:2(A.D. 400),in GILES,180-181

"The chair of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today."—St Augustine of Hippo, Against the Letters of Petillian, 2:51(A.D. 402),in GCC,78

"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated with all solicitude by bishops, and especially by a true and just and Catholic Council, by preserving, as you have done, the example of ancient tradition, and by being mindful of ecclesiastical discipline, you have truly strengthened the vigour of our religion, no less now in consulting us than before in passing sentence. For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow the Apostle from the very episcopate and whole authority of this name is derived.  Following in his footsteps, we know how to condemn the evil and to approve the good. So also, you have by your sacerdotal office preserve the customs of the Fathers, and have not spurned that which they decreed by a divine and not human sentence, that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head),should receive what they ought to enjoin, whom they ought to wash, and whom that water, worthy of pure bodies, should avoid as defiled with uncleansable filth. I congratulate you, therefore, dearest brethren, that you have directed letters to us by our brother and fellow-bishop Julius, and that, while caring for the Churches which you rule, you also show your solicitude for the well-being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once; so that the Church being established in her rules and confirmed by this decree of just pronouncement against such errors, may be unable to fear those men, etc."---Pope Innocent [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, Epistle 29(A.D. 417),in SEP,146-147

"Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgments...For(Peter) himself has care over all the Churches, and above all that in which he sat nor does he suffer any of its privileges or decisions to be shaken"—Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418 ],To Aurelius and the Council of Carthage, Epistle 12(A.D. 418),in GCC,95,115

"For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See"—Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica, Epistle 13(A.D. 422), in GCC,115

"The rising pestilence was first cut short by Rome, the See of Peter, which having become the head to the world of the pastoral office, holds by religion whatever it holds not by arms."---Prosper of Aquitaine, Song on the Enemies of Grace,1(A.D. 429),in GCC,79

"Joining to yourself, therefore, the sovereignty of our See, and assuming our place with authority, you will execute this sentence with accurate rigor: that within ten days, counted from the day of your notice, he shall condemn his[Nestorius'] false teachings in a written confession."—Pope Celestine [regn. A.D. 422-432], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11(A.D. 430),in GCC,88

"The Holy Synod said: 'Since most impious Nestorius will not obey our citation, and has not received the most holy and God-fearing bishops whom we sent to him, we have necessarily betaken ourselves to the examination of his impieties; and having apprehended from his letters, and from his writings, and from his recent sayings in this metropolis, which have been reported, that his opinions and teachings are impious, we being necessarily compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and colleague, Celestine, bishop of the Roman Church, with many tears, have arrived at the following sentence against him:--'Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been blasphemed by him, defines by this present most holy synod that the same Nestorius is deprived of episcopal dignity and of all sacerdotal intercourse."—Council of Ephesus, Session I(A.D. 431),in GCC,89-90

"And all the most reverend bishops at the same time cried out. This is a just judgment. To Coelestine, a new Paul! To Cyril a new Paul! To Coelestine the guardian of the faith! To Coelestine of one mind with the synod! To Coelestine the whole Synod offers its thanks! One Coelestine! One Cyril! One faith of the Synod! One faith of the world!....Arcadius...said:...Wherefore we desire to ask your blessedness, that you command that we taught what has been already decreed by your holiness.... Theodotus...said: The God of the whole world has made manifest the justice of the judgment pronounced by the holy Synod by the writings of the most religious bishop Coelestine, and by the coming of your holiness. For ye have made manifest the zeal of the most holy and reverend bishop Coelestine, and his care for the pious faith. And since very reasonably your reverence is desirous of learning what has been done from the minutes of the acts concerning the deposition of Nestorius your reverence will be fully convinced of the justice of the sentence, and of the zeal of the holy Synod, and the symphony of the faith which the most pious and holy bishop Coelestine has proclaimed with a great voice, of course after your full conviction, the rest shall be added to the present action."—Council of Ephesus, Session II (A.D. 431), in NPNF2,XIV:222-223

"Philip, presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: Our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine the bishop is according to due order his successor and holds his place....Accordingly the decision of all churches is firm, for the priests of the eastern and western churches are present....Wherefore Nestorius knows that he is alienated from the communion of the priests of the Catholic Church."—Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431),in GILES,252

"B. Peter in his successors has delivered what he received."—Pope Sixtus III [regn. A.D. 432-440],To John of Antioch, Epistle 6(A.D. 433),in GCC,95

"For he [Pope Sixtus] wrote what was in accord with the holy synod[Council of Ephesus],and confirmed all of its acts, an is agreement with us."—St Cyril of Alexandria, To Acacius of Meletine, Epistle 40 (A.D. 434),in GCC,114

"And since these heretics were trying to bring the Apostolic See round their view, African councils of holy bishops also did their best to persuade the holy Pope of the city(first the venerable Innocent, and afterwards his successor Zosimus) that this heresy was to be abhorred and condemned by Catholic faith. And these bishops so great a See successively branded them,and cut them off from the members of the Church, giving letters to the African Churches in the West, and to the Churches of the East, and declared that they were to be anathematized and avoided by all Catholics. The judgment pronounced upon them by the Catholic Church of God was heard and followed also by the most pious Emperor Ho they had wandered, and are yet returning, as the truth of the right faith becomes known against this detestable error."—Possidius, Life of Augustine, 18 (A.D. 437),in GCC,80-81

"The example of Pope Stephen in resisting the Iteration of Baptism. Great then is the example of these same blessed men, an example plainly divine, and worthy to be called to mind, and medirated upon continually by every true Catholic, who, like the seven-branched candlestick, shining with the sevenfold light of the Holy Spirit, showed to posterity how thenceforward the audaciousness of profane novelty, in all the several rantings of error, might be crushed by the authority of hallowed antiquity. Nor is there anything new in this? For it has always been the case in the Church, that the more a man is under the influence of religion, so much the more prompt is he to oppose innovations. Examples there are without number: but to be brief, we will take one, and that, in preference to others, from the Apostolic See, so that it may be clearer than day to everyone with how great energy, with how great zeal, with how great earnestness, the blessed successors of the blessed apostles have constantly defended the integrity of the religion which they have once received. Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine--and he was the first who held it --that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his place, so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation--nothing but what has been handed down.' For that holy and prudent man well knew that true piety admits no other rule than that whatsoever things have been faithfully received from our fathers the same are to be faithfully consigned to our children; and that it is our duty, not to lead religion whither we would, but rather to follow religion whither it leads; and that it is the part of Christian modesty and gravity not to hand down our own beliefs or observances to those who come after us, but to preserve and keep what we have received from those who went before us. What then was the issue of the whole matter? What but the usual and customary one? Antiquity was retained, novelty was rejected."—Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories,6(A.D. 434),in NPNF2,XIV:134-135

"Although, therefore, dearly beloved, we be found both weak and slothful in fulfilling the duties of our office, because, whatever devoted and vigorous action we desire to do, we are hindered by the frailty of our very condition; yet having the unceasing propitiation of the Almighty and perpetual Priest, who being like us and yet equal with the Father, brought down His Godhead even to things human, and raised His Manhood even to things Divine, we worthily and piously rejoice over His dispensation, whereby, though He has delegated the care of His sheep to many shepherds, yet He has not Himself abandoned the guardianship of His beloved flock. And from His overruling and eternal protection we have received the support of the Apostles' aid also, which assuredly does not cease from its operation: and the strength of the foundation, on which the whole superstructure of the Church is reared, is not weakened by the weight of the temple that rests upon it. For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter. For when, as has been read in the Gospel lesson, the Lord had asked the disciples whom they believed Him to be amid the various opinions that were held, and the blessed Peter bad replied, saying, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' the Lord says, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and flood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father, which is in heaven. And I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. 'The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See. For this, dearly-beloved, was gained by that confession, which, inspired in the Apostle's heart by God the Father, transcended all the uncertainty of human opinions, and was endued with the firmness of a rock, which no assaults could shake. For throughout the Church Peter daily says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,'[Matthew 16:15] and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it."—Pope St Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461],Sermon 3:2-3(A.D ante 461),in NPNF2,XII:117

“the most blessed Peter, chief of the Apostolic band, was appointed to the citadel of the Roman empire, that the light of Truth which was being displayed for the salvation of all the nations, might spread itself more effectively throughout the body of the world from the head itself.”—Pope St Leo the Great, Sermon 82:III

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world."—Pope St Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461],Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461),in GCC,95

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [i.e. the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there] ? These are the things Dioscorus hid away."—Council of Chalcedon, Session II (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XIV:259

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties."—Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451), in NPNF2,XIV:259-260

"The great and holy and universal the metropolis of the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo....being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all...and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness, ...."—St Pope Leo the Great, Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451), in NPNF2,XII:72

"Peter was pronounced blessed by the Lord...the duty of feeding the spiritual sheep of the Church under whose protecting shield, this Apostolic Church of his has NEVER turned away from the path of truth in ANY direction of ERROR, whose AUTHORITY, as that of the Prince of all the Apostles, the whole Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Synods have faithfully embraced..."—Pope Agatho, To Ecumenical Council VI at Constantinople,(A.D. 680), in NPNF2,XIV:328-339

"It was right indeed that he(Paul) should be anxious to see Peter; for he was the first among the apostles, and was entrusted by the Savior with the care of the churches."—Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Galatians, PL 17:344 (A.D. 384), in SPP,62

" 'Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church', Wherefore where Peter the Church is..."—St Ambrose of Milan, Commentary on the Psalms,40:30 (AD 395),in DOP,184

"At length, after being tempted by the devil, Peter is set over the Church."—St Ambrose of Milan, Commentary on the Psalms, 43:40 (AD 397), in GILES,145

“Nor was Paul inferior to Peter, though the latter was the foundation of the Church, and the former a wise builder knowing how to make firm the footsteps of the nations who believed; Paul was not, I say, unworthy of the fellowship of the apostles, but is easily comparable with the first, and second to none. For he who knows not that he is inferior makes himself equal*.”—St Ambrose of Milan Of the Holy Spirit Book II Ch13 *Ss. Peter and Paul are equal in merit and humility

"...the chief of the disciples...the Lord accepted him, set him up as the foundation, called him the rock and structure of the church."—St Aphraates the Persian Sage, De Paenitentibus Homily 7:15 (A.D. 337), in SPP, 58 

"Jesus bar-Nun [Joshua] set up stones for a witness in Israel; Jesus our Savior called Simon the firm Stone [kepha sarrirta], and set him as a faithful witness among the Nations."—St Aphraates the Persian Sage, Dem XI (A.D. 337)

"Peter went not away unrequited and unrewarded; but was declared "blessed" by the truly Blessed, and was called the Rock of faith, the foundation and substructure of the Church of God. He receives too by promise the keys of the kingdom, and becomes the lord of the gates thereof, so as to open them to whom he may choose, and to close them against those against whom they justly ought to be shut, —plainly against the defiled and the profane, and the deniers of this confession, through which, as a careful guardian of the wealth of the Churches, (or, good churches), he was appointed to preside over the entrances into the kingdom… For behold Peter, that preeminently sincere disciple of Christ…"—St Asterius Hom. in Apost. Pet. et Paul, tom ii. AD 387

"In order that he may show his power, God has endowed none of his disciples with gifts like Peter. But, having raised him with heavenly gifts, he has set him above all. And, as first disciple and greater among the brethren, he has shown, by the test of deeds, the power of the Spirit. The first to be called, he followed at once....The Savior confided to this man, as some special trust, the whole universal Church, after having asked him three times 'Lovest thou me?'. And he receive the world in charge..."—Asterius, Homily 8 (A.D. 400),in GILES,145-146

"Number the priests even from that seat of Peter. And in that order of fathers see to whom succeeded: that is the rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer."—St Augustine of Hippo, Psalmus contr Partem Donati (A.D. 393), in GILES,182

"Peter bore the person of the church"—St Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 149:7(inter A.D. 391-430),in SPP,69

"When we hear the name of Peter, that name does not cause our minds to dwell on his substance, but we figure to our minds the properties that are connected with him. For we at once, on hearing that name, think of the son of him that came Bethsaida, Andrew's brother; him that was called from amongst fishermen unto the ministry of the Apostleship; him who on account of the pre-eminence of his faith received upon himself the building of the Church." –St Basil the Great Adv. Eunom. 4

"It seemed to me to be desirable to send a letter to the bishop of Rome, begging him to examine our condition, and since there are difficulties in the way of representatives being sent from the West by a general synodial decree, to advise him (the bishop of Rome) to exercise his personal authority in the matter, choosing suitable persons to sustain the labours of a journey, - suitable, too, by gentleness and firmness of character, to correct the unruly among us here."—St Basil the Great. Letter 69 to Anathasius, NPNF2 8:165

"One of these mountains was Peter upon which rock the Lord promised that he would build his church."—St Basil the Great, In Isaias (Esai), 2:66 (A.D. 375), in SPP, 55

"Peter is again called 'the coryphaeus of the Apostles"—Basil of Seleucia, Oratio 25(ante A.D. 468), in FOC, II:49

" 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven'? When Wilfrid spoken thus, the king said, 'It is true, Colman, that these words were spoken to Peter by our Lord?' He answered, 'It is true O king!' Then says he, 'Can you show any such power given to your Columba?' Colman answered, 'None.' Then added the king, "Do you both agree that these words were principally directed to Peter, and that the keys of heaven were given to him by our Lord?'They both answered, 'We do.' "—St Bede the Venerable, AD 700, Ecclesiastical History,3:5(A.D. 700),in RCH,I:271

"Whereas he [Pope Gregory the Great] bore the Pontifical power over all the world, and was placed over the Churches already reduced to the faith of truth, he made our nation (England), till then given up to idols, the Church of Christ"—St Bede the Venerable, AD 700, Ecclesiastical History, 2:C: I (AD 700)

“but that greatest of disciples among disciples, and of teachers among teachers, who presided and ruled over the Roman Church, and held the chief place in the priesthood as he did in the faith. Tell us then, tell us, we pray, O Peter, you chief of Apostles, tell us how the Churches ought to believe in God. For it is right that you should teach us, as you were taught by the Lord, and that you should open to us the gate, of which you received the key. Shut out all those who try to overthrow the heavenly house: and those who are endeavoring to enter by secret holes and unlawful approaches: as it is clear that none can enter the gate of the kingdom save one to whom the key bestowed on the Churches is revealed by you. Tell us then how we ought to believe in Jesus Christ and to confess our common Lord…Tell us then, O Evangelist, tell us the confession: tell us the faith of the chief Apostle…When then the Lord Jesus Christ asked whom the disciples believed and confessed Him to be, Peter, the first of the Apostles, replied…I imagine that you are not so shameless as to venture to prefer your own opinion to that of the first of the Apostles…."—St. John Cassian, Incarnation of Christ, Contra Nestorium, 3:12 (A.D. 430), in SPP, 61

“But still, as I have made use of the testimony of the chief Apostle, in which he openly confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as God..”—St. John Cassian, Contra Nestorium, 3:13 (A.D. 430), in SPP, 61

“But what are the other words which follow that saying of the Lord's, with which He commends Peter? "And I," said He, "say unto you, that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church." Do you see how the saying of Peter is the faith of the Church? He then must of course be outside the Church, who does not hold the faith of the Church. "And to you," says the Lord, "I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven." This faith deserved heaven: this faith received the keys of the heavenly kingdom. See what awaits you. You cannot enter the gate to which this key belongs, if you have denied the faith of this key. "And the gate," He adds, "of hell shall not prevail against you." The gates of hell are the belief or rather the misbelief of heretics. For widely as hell is separated from heaven, so widely is he who denies from him who confessed that Christ is God. "Whatsoever," He proceeds, "you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven." The perfect faith of the Apostle somehow is given the power of Deity, that what it should bind or loose on earth, might be bound or loosed in heaven. For you then, who come against the Apostle's faith, as you see that already you are bound on earth, it only remains that you should know that you are bound also in heaven. But it would take too long to go into details which are so numerous as to make a long and wearisome story, even if they are related with brevity and conciseness.” —St. John Cassian, Contra Nestorium, 3:14 (A.D. 430), in SPP, 61 *This interpretation as intended for the heretic Nestorius to show orthodox faith

Peter also the chief of the apostles says: "And now why do you tempt God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear. But we believe that we shall be saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ even as they were."”—St. John Cassian, Contra Nestorium, 5:9 (A.D. 430)

"A copy of the letter sent by the holy and Ecumenical Sixth Council to Agatho, the most blessed and most holy pope of Old Rome...Serious illnesses call for greater helps, as you know, most blessed (father); and therefore Christ our true God, who is the creator and governing power of all things, gave a wise physician, namely your God-honored sanctity, to drive away by force the contagion of heretical pestilence by the remedies of orthodoxy, and to give the strength of health to the members of the church. Therefore to thee, as to the bishop of the first see of the Universal Church, we leave what must be done, since you willingly take for your standing ground the firm rock of the faith, as we know from having read your true confession in the letter sent by your fatherly beatitude to the most pious emperor: and we acknowledge that this letter was divinely written (perscriptas) as by the Chief of the Apostles, and through it we have cast out the heretical sect of many errors which had recently sprung up.."—Constantinople III Council to Pope Agatho, (A.D. 680), NPNF2, XIV:349

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith..."—Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451), in NPNF2,XIV:259-260

" '...thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church' ... It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness...If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?"—St Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae (Primacy text), 4 (A.D. 251), in NE, 228-229

"He promises to found the church, assigning immovableness to it, as He is the Lord of strength, and over this he sets Peter as shepherd."—St Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Matthew (A.D. 428),in SPP,74

"He suffers no longer to be called Simon, exercising authority to rule over him already as having become His own. But by a title suitable to the thing, He changed his name into Peter, from the word petra (rock); for on him he was afterwards to found His Church."—St Cyril (of Alexandria) T. iv. Comm. in Joan.).

" 'Blessed art thou ...,' calling, I imagine, nothing else the Rock, in allusion to his name (Peter), but the immovable and stable faith of the disciple upon whom the Church of Christ is founded and fixed without danger of falling."—St Cyril (of Alexandria), On the Holy Trinity

"Peter, the foremost of the Apostles, and Chief Herald of the Church..."—St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,11:3(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VIII:6

"(Peter)The first of the Apostles, the foundation of the Church, the coryphaeus of the choir of disciples."—St John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople, Ad eos qui scandalizati 17 (ante A.D. 407), in SEP, 74

"[W]e have considered that it ought be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it..."...The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither the stain nor blemish nor anything like it"—Pope Damasus, Decree of Damasus,3(A.D. 382), in JUR,I:406

"[T]he first of the apostles, the solid rock on which the Church was built."—Epiphanius, In Ancorato, 9:6 (A.D. 374), in SPP, in 57

"Simon, My follower, I have made you the foundation of the Holy Church. I betimes called you Peter (Kepha), because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me...I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, have given you authority over all my treasures."—Ephraim, Homily 4:1,(A.D. 373),JUR,I:11

"...Close to him in the same reign of Claudius, the all-good and kindly providence of the universe guided Peter, that strongest and greatest of all the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others to Rome, as if against a great corrupter of life.   And he, like a noble general of God, clad in divine armor..."—Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2:14 (A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:115 (discussing Peter and Smon Magnus)

"And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, 'against which the gates of hell shall not prevail' "—Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,6:25 (A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:273

"...folly of (Pope) Stephen, that he who boasts of the place of the episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundation of the Church were laid..."—Firmilian, Epistle To Cyprian, Ep 75(74):17(A.D. 256),in ANF,V:394

"To Peter, that is, to his church, he gave the power of retaining and forgiving sins on earth."—Fulgentius, De Remissione Peccatorum, 2:20(A.D. 523),in SPP,71

"The holy Roman Church is senior to the other churches not by virtue of any synodal decrees, but obtained the primacy from Our Lord and Savior in the words of the Gospel, 'Thou art Peter...' "—Pope Gelasius, Decree of Gelasium (A.D. 492), in SPP, 166

"Who could be ignorant of the fact that the holy church is consolidated in the solidity of the prince of the Apostles, whose firmness of character extended to his name so that he should be called Peter after the 'rock', when the voice of the Truth says, 'I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven'. To him again is said "When after a little while thou hast come back to me, it is for thee to be the support of thy brethren."—Pope St Gregory the Great, Epistle 40(A.D. 604),in SPP,66

"Seest thou that of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were exalted and deserving of choice, one is called rock, and is entrusted with the foundations of the church."—St Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 32:18(A.D. 380),in SPP,56

"The memory of Peter, who is the head of the apostles...he is the firm and most solid rock, on which the savior built his Church."—St Gregory of Nyssa,Panegyric on St. Stephen,3(ante A.D. 394),in SPP,56

"[B]lessed Simon, who after his confession of the mystery was set to be the foundation-stone of the Church, and received the keys of the kingdom..."—Hilary de Poiters, On the Trinity, 6:20 (A.D. 359), in NPNF2, IX:105

"By this Spirit Peter spake that blessed word, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' By this Spirit the rock of the Church was established."—St Hippolytus, Discourse on the Holy Theophany, 9(ante A.D. 235), ANF, V:237

"[T]he statement of Our Lord Jesus Christ who said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,'...These (words) which were spoken, are proved by the effects of the deeds, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved without stain.''—Pope Hormisdas, Libellus professionis fidei,(A.D. 519), in DEN (171),73

"The decrees of the Roman Pontiff, standing upon the supremacy of the Apostolic See, are unquestionable."—Isidore of Seville,(ante A.D. 636),in PL:84

"But you say, the Church was founded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one (ie. Peter) among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism."—St Jerome, Against Jovinianus,1 (A.D. 393),in NPNF2,VI:366

"As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built!"—St Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15 (A.D. 375), in NPNF2,VI:18

"[B]lessed Peter preserving in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he under took...And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whos power lives and whose authority prevails in his him whom they know to be not only the patron of this See, but also primate of all bishops. When therefore...believe that he is speaking whose representative we are:..."—Pope St Leo the Great, Sermon 3:3-4(A.D. 442),in NPNF2,XII:117

"[T]he Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that anyone who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery."—Pope St Leo the Great, To Bishops of Vienne, Epistle 10 (A.D. 450), in NPNF2, XII:8

"For the extremities of the earth, and all in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the most holy Roman Church and its confession and faith, as it were a sun of unfailing light, awaiting from it the bright radiance of our fathers, according to what the six inspired and holy Councils have purely and piously decreed, declaring most expressly the symbol of faith. For from the coming down of the Incarnate Word among us, all the churches in every part of the world have possessed that greatest church alone as their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell do never prevail against it, that it possesses the Keys of right confession and faith in Him, that it opens the true and only religion to such as approach with piety, and shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks injustice against the Most High"—Maximus the Confessor, Opuscula theologica et polemica (A.D. 650),in PG (91:137-144)

"This Peter on whom Christ freely bestowed a sharing in his name. For just as Christ is the rock, as the Apostle Paul taught, so through Christ Peter is made rock, when the Lord says to him: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church..."'—Maximus of Turin, Homily 63(A.D. 408),in SPP,61-62

"[F]or the good of unity blessed Peter, for whom it would have been enough if after his denial he had obtained pardone only, deserved to be placed before all the apostles, and alone received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to be communicated to the rest."—Optatus of Milevis, De Schismate Donatistorum, 7:3(A.D. 370),in GILES,120

"And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail..."—Origen, Commentary on John,5:3 (c.A.D. 232),in ANF, X:347

"[T]he Lord spoke to Peter a little earlier; he spoke to one, that from one he might found unity, soon delivering the same to all."—Pacian, To Sympronianus,Epistle 3:2 (AD 372),in GILES,123

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. 'Peter, the apostle, who is the rock and support of the Catholic Church' "—Paschasinus, Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451)in NPNF,XIV:259-260

"You know that the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: 'Simon, Simon, behold: Satan has desired to possess you, so that he might sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And you, once you have converted, confirm your brethren!'[Luke 22:31-32]. Consider that the truth could not have lied, nor will the faith of Peter be able to be shaken or changed forever. For, although the devil desired to sift all the disciples, the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for Peter alone, and wished that the others be confirmed my him; and to Peter also was committed the care of 'feeding the sheep'[John 21:15];and to him also did the Lord hand over the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven'[Matthew 16:19],and upon him did He promise to 'build His Church' [Matthew 16:18];and He testified that 'the gates of Hell would not prevail against it' [Matthew 16:19]."—Pope Pelagius II, Quod Ad Dilectionem(c.A.D. 685),in DNZ(246),95

"We exhort you, honorable brother, to submit yourself in all things to what has been written by the blessed Bishop of Rome, because St. Peter, who lives and presides in his see, gives the true faith to those who seek it. For our part, for the sake of peace and the good of the faith, we cannot judge questions of doctrine without the consent of the Bishop of Rome."—St Peter Chrysologus, Bishop of Revenna, Epistle 25 of Leo from Peter(A.D. 449),in SPP,215

"There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the Apostles, pillar of faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever, lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed Pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place..."—Philip, Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431),in NPNF,XIV:223

"...the most firm rock, who(Peter) from the principal Rock received a share of his virtue and his name"—Prosper of Aquitaine, The Call of All Nations,2:28(A.D. 426),in SPP,71

"Peter, who is called 'the rock on which the church should be built,' who also obtained 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven...' "—Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200), in ANF,III:253

"If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Ghost, hastened to the great Peter in order that he might carry from him the desired solution of difficulties to those at Antioch who were in doubt about living in conformity with the law, much more do we, men insignificant and small, hasten to your apostolic see in order to receive from you a cure for the wounds of the churches. For every reason it is fitting for you to hold the first place, inasmuch as your see is adorned with many privileges."—Theodoret of Cyrus, To Pope Leo, Epistle 113(A.D. 449), in NPNF2,III:293

The following is taken from Catholic Encyclopedia:



History bears complete testimony that from the very earliest times the Roman See has ever claimed the supreme headship, and that that headship has been freely acknowledged by the universal Church. We shall here confine ourselves to the consideration of the evidence afforded by the first three centuries.

St. Clement. The first witness is St. Clement, a disciple of the Apostles, who, after Linus and Anacletus, succeeded St. Peter as the fourth in the list of popes. In his "Epistle to the Corinthians", written in 95 or 96, he bids them receive back the bishops whom a turbulent faction among them had expelled. "If any man", he says, "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" (Ep. 59). Moreover, he bids them "render obedience unto the things written by us through the Holy Spirit". The tone of authority which inspires the latter appears so clearly that Lightfoot did not hesitate to speak of it as "the first step towards papal domination" (Clement 1:70). Thus, at the very commencement of church history, before the last survivor of the Apostles had passed away, we find a Bishop of Rome, himself a disciple of St. Peter, intervening in the affairs of another Church and claiming to settle the matter by a decision spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Such a fact admits of one explanation alone. It is that in the days when the Apostolic teaching was yet fresh in men's minds the universal Church recognized in the Bishop of Rome the office of supreme head.

St. Ignatius of Antioch. A few years later (about 107) St. Ignatius of Antioch, in the opening of his letter to the Roman Church, refers to its presiding over all other Churches. He addresses it as "presiding over the brotherhood of love [prokathemene tes agapes] The expression, as Funk rightly notes, is grammatically incompatible with the translation advocated by some non-Catholic writers, "pre-eminent in works of love".

St. Irenaeus. (c.AD 150) The same century gives us the witness of St. Irenaeus -- a man who stands in the closest connection with the age of the Apostles, since he was a disciple of St. Polycarp, who had been appointed Bishop of Smyrna by St. John. In his work "Adversus Haereses" (3:3:2) he brings against the Gnostic sects of his day the argument that their doctrines have no support in the Apostolic tradition faithfully preserved by the Churches, which could trace the succession of their bishops back to the Twelve. He writes:

Because it would be too long in such a volume as this to enumerate the successions of all the churches, we point to the tradition of that very great and very ancient and universally known Church, which was founded and established at Rome, by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul: we point I say, to the tradition which this Church has from the Apostles, and to her faith proclaimed to men which comes down to our time through the succession of her bishops, and so we put to shame . . . all who assemble in unauthorized meetings. For with this Church, because of its superior authority, every Church must agree -- that is the faithful everywhere -- in communion with which Church the tradition of the Apostles has been always preserved by those who are everywhere [Ad hanc enim eoclesiam propter potentiorem principalitatem necesse est omnem convenire ecclesiam, hoc est eos qui sunt undique fideles, in qua semper ab his qui sunt undique, conservata est ea quâ est ab apostolis traditio].

He then proceeds to enumerate the Roman succession from Linus to Eleutherius, the twelfth after the Apostles, who then occupied the see. Non-Catholic writers have sought to rob the passage of its importance by translating the word convenire "to resort to", and thus understanding it to mean no more than that the faithful from every side (undique) resorted to Rome, so that thus the stream of doctrine in that Church was kept immune from error. Such a rendering, however, is excluded by the construction of the argument, which is based entirely on the contention that the Roman doctrine is pure by reason of its derivation from the two great Apostolic founders of the Church, Sts. Peter and Paul. The frequent visits made to Rome by members of other Christian Churches could contribute nothing to this. On the other hand the traditional rendering is postulated by the context, and, though the object of innumerable attacks, none other possessing any real degree of probability has been suggested in its place (see Dom. J. Chapman in "Revue Benedictine", 1895, p. 48).

St. Victor. During the pontificate of St. Victor (189-98) we have the most explicit assertion of the supremacy of the Roman See in regard to other Churches. A difference of practice between the Churches of Asia Minor and the rest of the Christian world in regard to the day of the Paschal festival led the pope to take action. There is some ground for supposing that the Montanist heretics maintained the Asiatic (or Quartodeciman) practice to be the true one: in this case it would be undesirable that any body of Catholic Christians should appear to support them. But, under any circumstances, such a diversity in the ecclesiastical life of different countries may well have constituted a regrettable feature in the Church, whose very purpose it was to bear witness by her unity to the oneness of God (John 17:21). Victor bade the Asiatic Churches conform to the custom of the remainder of the Church, but was met with determined resistance by Polycrates of Ephesus, who claimed that their custom derived from St. John himself. Victor replied by an excommunication. St. Irenaeus, however, intervened, exhorting Victor not to cut off whole Churches on account of a point which was not a matter of faith. He assumes that the pope can exercise the power, but urges him not to do so. Similarly the resistance of the Asiatic bishops involved no denial of the supremacy of Rome. It indicates solely that the bishops believed St. Victor to be abusing his power in bidding them renounce a custom for which they had Apostolic authority. It was indeed inevitable that, as the Church spread and developed, new problems should present themselves, and that questions should arise as to whether the supreme authority could be legitimately exercised in this or that case. St. Victor, seeing that more harm than good would come from insistence, withdrew the imposed penalty.

Inscription of Abercius. Not many years since a new and important piece of evidence was brought to light in Asia Minor dating from this period. The sepulchral inscription of Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis (d. about 200), contains an account of his travels couched in allegorical language. He speaks thus of the Roman Church: "To Rome He [Christ] sent me to contemplate majesty: and to see a queen golden-robed and golden-sandalled." It is difficult not to recognize in this description a testimony to the supreme position of the Roman See.

Tertullian. Tertullian's bitter polemic, "De Pudicitia" (about 220), was called forth by an exercise of papal prerogative. Pope Callistus had decided that the rigid discipline which had hitherto prevailed in many Churches must be in large measure relaxed. Tertullian, now lapsed into heresy, fiercely attacks "the peremptory edict", which "the supreme pontiff, the bishop of bishops", has sent forth. The words are intended as sarcasm: but none the less they indicate clearly the position of authority claimed by Rome. And the opposition comes, not from a Catholic bishop, but from a Montanist heretic.

St. Cyprian. The views of St. Cyprian (d. 258) in regard to papal authority have given rise to much discussion. He undoubtedly entertained exaggerated views as to the independence of individual bishops, which eventually led him into serious conflict with Rome. Yet on the fundamental principle his position is clear. He attributed an effective primacy to the pope as the successor of Peter. He makes communion with the See of Rome essential to Catholic communion, speaking of it as "the principal Church whence episcopal unity had its rise" (ad Petri cathedram et ad ecclesiam principalem unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est).

The force of this expression becomes clear when viewed in the light of his doctrine as to the unity of the Church. This was, he teaches, established by Christ when He founded His Church upon Peter. By this act the unity of the Apostolic college was ensured through the unity of the foundation. The bishops through all time form a similar college, and are bound in a like indivisible unity. Of this unity the Chair of Peter is the source. It fulfills the very office as principle of union which Peter fulfilled in his lifetime. Hence to communicate with an antipope such as Novatian would be schism (Ep. 68:1).

He holds, also, that the pope has authority to depose an heretical bishop. When Marcian of Arles fell into heresy, Cyprian, at the request of the bishops of the province, wrote to urge Pope Stephen "to send letters by which, Marcian having been excommunicated, another may be substituted in his place" (Ep. 68:3). It is manifest that one who regarded the Roman See in this light believed that the pope possessed a real and effective primacy.

At the same time it is not to be denied that his views as to the right of the pope to interfere in the government of a diocese already subject to a legitimate and orthodox bishop were inadequate. In the rebaptism controversy his language in regard to St. Stephen was bitter and intemperate. His error on this point does not, however, detract from the fact that he admitted a primacy, not merely of honour but of jurisdiction. Nor should his mistake occasion too much surprise. It is as true in the Church as in merely human institutions that the full implications of a general principle are only realized gradually. The claim to apply it in a particular case is often contested at first, though later ages may wonder that such opposition was possible.

St. Dionysius of Alexandria. Contemporary with St. Cyprian was St. Dionysius of Alexandria. Two incidents bearing on the present question are related of him.

Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 7:9) gives us a letter addressed by him to St. Xystus II regarding the case of a man who, as it appeared, had been invalidly baptized by heretics, but who for many years had been frequenting the sacraments of the Church. In it he says that he needs St. Xystus's advice and begs for his decision (gnomen), that he may not fall into error (dedios me hara sphallomai).

Again, some years later, the same patriarch occasioned anxiety to some of the brethren by making use of some expressions which appeared hardly compatible with a full belief in the Divinity of Christ. They promptly had recourse to the Holy See and accused him to his namesake, St. Dionysius of Rome, of heretical leanings. The pope replied by laying down authoritatively the true doctrine on the subject.

Both events are instructive as showing us how Rome was recognized by the second see in Christendom as empowered to speak with authority on matters of doctrine. (St. Athanasius, "De sententia Dionysii" in P. G., XXV, 500).

Emperor Aurelian. Equally noteworthy is the action of Emperor Aurelian in 270. A synod of bishops had condemned Paul of Samosata, Patriarch of Alexandria, on a charge of heresy, and had elected Domnus bishop in his place. Paul refused to withdraw, and appeal was made to the civil power. The emperor decreed that he who was acknowledged by the bishops of Italy and the Bishop of Rome, must be recognized as rightful occupant of the see. The incident proves that even the pagans themselves knew well that communion with the Roman See was the essential mark of all Christian Churches. That the imperial Government was well aware of the position of the pope among Christians derives additional confirmation from the saying of St. Cyprian that Decius would have sooner heard of the proclamation of a rival emperor than of the election of a new pope to fill the place of the martyred Fabian (Ep. 55:9).

The limits of the present article prevent us from carrying the historical argument further than the year 300. Nor is it in fact necessary to do so. From the beginning of the fourth century the supremacy of Rome is writ large upon the page of history. It is only in regard to the first age of the Church that any question can arise. But the facts we have recounted are entirely sufficient to prove to any unprejudiced mind that the supremacy was exercised and acknowledged from the days of the Apostles.

It was not of course exercised in the same way as in later times. The Church was as yet in her infancy: and it would be irrational to look for a fully developed procedure governing the relations of the supreme pontiff to the bishops of other sees. To establish such a system was the work of time, and it was only gradually embodied in the canons. There would, moreover, be little call for frequent intervention when the Apostolic tradition was still fresh and vigorous in every part of Christendom. Hence the papal prerogatives came into play but rarely. But when the Faith was threatened, or the vital welfare of souls demanded action, then Rome intervened. Such were the causes which led to the intervention of St. Dionysius, St. Stephen, St. Callistus, St. Victor, and St. Clement, and their claim to supremacy as the occupants of the Chair of Peter was not disputed.

In view of the purposes with which, and with which alone, these early popes employed their supreme power, the contention, so stoutly maintained by Protestant controversialists, that the Roman primacy had its origin in papal ambition, disappears. The motive which inspired these men was not earthly ambition, but zeal for the Faith and the consciousness that to them had been committed the responsibility of its guardianship. The controversialists in question even claim that they are justified in refusing to admit as evidence for the papal primacy any pronouncement emanating from a Roman source, on the ground that, where the personal interests of anyone are concerned, his statements should not be admitted as evidence. Such an objection is utterly fallacious. We are dealing here, not with the statements of an individual, but with the tradition of a Church -- of that Church which, even from the earliest times, was known for the purity of its doctrine, and which had had for its founders and instructors the two chief Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. That tradition, moreover, is absolutely unbroken, as the pronouncements of the long series of popes bear witness.

Nor does it stand alone. The utterances, in which the popes assert their claims to the obedience of all Christian Churches, form part and parcel of a great body of testimony to the Petrine privileges, issuing not merely from the Western Fathers but from those of Greece, Syria, and Egypt. The claim to reject the evidence which comes to us from Rome may be skilful as a piece of special pleading, but it can claim no other value. The first to employ this argument were some of the Gallicans. But it is deservedly repudiated as fallacious and unworthy by Bossuet in his "Defensio cleri gallicani" (II, 1. XI, c. vi).

The primacy of St. Peter and the perpetuity of that primacy in the Roman See are dogmatically defined in the canons attached to the first two chapters of the Constitution "Pastor Aeternus":

* "If anyone shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not constituted by Christ our Lord as chief of all the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant: or that he did not receive directly and immediately from the same Lord Jesus Christ a primacy of true and proper jurisdiction, but one of honour only: let him be anathema."
* "If any one shall say that it is not by the institution of Christ our Lord Himself or by divinely established right that Blessed Peter has perpetual successors in his primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of Blessed Peter in this same primacy. -- let him be anathema" (Denzinger-Bannwart, "Enchiridion", nn. 1823, 1825).

A question may be raised as to the precise dogmatic value of the clause of the second canon in which it is asserted that the Roman pontiff is Peter's successor. The truth is infallibly defined. But the Church has authority to define not merely those truths which form part of the original deposit of revelation, but also such as are necessarily connected with this deposit. The former are held fide divina, the latter fide infallibili.

Although Christ established the perpetual office of supreme head, Scripture does not tell us that He fixed the law according to which the headship should descend. Granting that He left this to Peter to determine, it is plain that the Apostle need not have attached the primacy to his own see: he might have attached it to another.

Some have thought that the law establishing the succession in the Roman episcopate became known to the Apostolic Church as an historic fact. In this case the dogma that the Roman pontiff is at all times the Church's chief pastor would be the conclusion from two premises -- the revealed truth that the Church must ever have a supreme head, and the historic fact that St. Peter attached that office to the Roman See. This conclusion, while necessarily connected with revelation, is not part of revelation, and is accepted fide infallibili.

According to other theologians the proposition in question is part of the deposit of faith itself. In this case the Apostles must have known the law determining the succession to the Bishop of Rome, not merely on human testimony, but also by Divine revelation, and they must have taught it as a revealed truth to their disciples. It is this view which is commonly adopted. The definition of the Vatican to the effect that the successor of St. Peter is ever to be found in the Roman pontiff is almost universally held to be a truth revealed by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and by them transmitted to the Church.


The following are Church Father's that have been quoted by anti catholics to try to disprove Peter is the rock of Matthew 16:18

Claim: "The Comforter is holy, and the Word is holy, the Son of the Father, by whom He made all things, and exercises a providence over them all. This is the Way which leads to the Father, the Rock, the Defence, the Key, the Shepherd, the Sacrifice, the Door of knowledge, through which have entered Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, Moses and all the company of the prophets, and these pillars of the world, the apostles, and the spouse of Christ, on whose account He poured out His own blood, as her marriage portion, that He might redeem her."--Long version of the Epistle to the Philidelphia by Ignatius * NewAdvent does not have the "long version"

Answer: Before starting it needs to be noted text was pulled from the "Long Version" of the Letter, which may or may not be an interpolation to Chapter 9, which the long version is found of Calvin College site. Either way there is no real issue, there is no objection to Christ being called Rock, as He is called that often in scripture, but what anti-Catholic attempt to do is to apply this as declaring the ONLY person to ever have been called Rock in the bible, which I have already proved before is false. In fact in the Catholic Mass there hymns reference Christ as rock. This spurious text does not even refer to Matthew 16:18. In addition I have already shown that 1Peter, Acts 20, and John 21 call other people "shepherds" as well, and Matthew 16:19 is clear that Peter is the recipient of the keys.

Claim: "First of all, sir, I said, explain this to me: What is the meaning of the rock and the gate? This rock, he answered, and this gate are the Son of God."First of all, sir," I said, "explain this to me: What is the meaning of the rock and the gate?" "This rock," he answered, "and this gate are the Son of God."—Shepherds of Hermas Parable/simultude 9, Chapter 12

Answer: This does call Christ the rock, and as well as the GATE (of hell?). But unfortunately, this anti-Catholic has decided to be deceptive and apply a parable in this book and of "tower" to Matt 16:18, which the book does not reference, it is not even speaking of Matt 16, in fact the name "Peter" is not even mentioned in the whole book.

Claim: "For I have shown that Christ was proclaimed by the prophets in parables a Stone and a Rock."—St Justin Martyr (Second Apology) Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 113

Answer: To put this into context, St Justin is comparing Christ to Joshua, and is speaking of a knife of stone for circumsion. "Prophets in parables" it is not even based on the gospel, but rather "prophets." St Justin is likely commenting on Joshua 5:2 where God says to Joshua: "Make thee knives of stone (flint) , and circumcise the second time the children of Israel." This, once again, is not even really related to Matthew 16:18. There is no objection or contradiction to this use of rock.  Christ the Rock made Peter a Rock.

Claim: "For, because Jesus Christ was to introduce the second people (which is composed of us nations, lingering deserted in the world aforetime) into the land of promise, " flowing with milk and honey " (that is, into the possession of eternal life, than which nought is sweeter); and this had to come about, not through Moses (that is, not through the Law's discipline), but through Joshua (that is, through the new law's grace), after our circumcision with " a knife of rock " (that is, with Christ's precepts, for Christ is in many ways and figures predicted as a rock ); therefore the man who was being prepared to act as images of this sacrament was inaugurated under the figure of the Lord's name, even so as to be named Jesus."—Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews Chapter 9 Paragraph 5

Answer: This is also referring to Joshua 5:2. This is in just about the same context as St Justin's. This is not a commentary on Matt 16:18, I have already shown Peter is referred to as rock by Tertullian. Showing that Tertullian calls Christ a Rock proves nothing, as it is a common word used for God in both Testaments.

Claim: "Again, He changes the name of Simon to Peter, inasmuch as the Creator also altered the names of Abram, and Sarai, and Oshea, by calling the latter Joshua, and adding a syllable to each of the former. But why Peter? If it was because of the vigor of his faith, there were many solid materials which might lend a name from their strength. Was it because Christ was both a rock and a stone? For we read of His being placed "for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence." I omit the rest of the passage. Therefore He would fain impart to the dearest of His disciples a name which was suggested by one of His own especial designations in figure; because it was, I suppose, more peculiarly fit than a name which might have been derived from no figurative description of Himself. "-Tertullian, Against Marcion book IV Chapter 13

Answer: This is not a quote which at all goes against the meaning of Matthew 16:18, but rather it likely is referring to it. This strengthens the argument for Peter being called Rock. Tertullian goes into explaining WHY Peter was called a Rock, it was because Christ is a Rock. Peter is not called rock simple because of his name, but because of his name and his faith in Christ who is rock, therefore allow Christ to change Peter's name to Rock because of Peter's faith. Through Christ the Rock Peter is made rock. This clearly goes against the idea that only God is called Rock.

Claim: 'The very " stumbling-block " which he declares Christ to be " to the Jews, " [1Corinthians 1:23] points unmistakably to the Creator's prophecy respecting Him, when by Isaiah He says: " Behold I lay in Sion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. " [Isaiah 8:14] This rock or stone is Christ. [Isaiah 28:16] This stumbling-stone Marcion retains still.'—Tertullian Against Marcion book V Chapter

Answer: Once again...proves nothing because the word rock is not strictly applied solely to God, though most often does. Yes, Christ is called the rock. There is not objection to calling Christ Rock as He is, but this verse does not prove that Peter is NOT called rock, and does not even speak of Matt 16:18. Another application of a commentary of a verse foreign to Matt 16:18.

Claim: For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. " Therefore, " he says, " You are Peter; and upon this Rock " which you have confessed, upon this Rock which you have acknowledged, saying, " You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church; " that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, " will I build My Church. " I will build you upon Myself, not Myself upon you.

2. For men who wished to be built upon men, said, " I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, " who is Peter. But others who did not wish to be built upon Peter, but upon the Rock, said, " But I am of Christ. " And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, " Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? " And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter.—St Augustine Sermon 26 AD 395

Answer: This is an almost valid argument, unfortunately, the SAME Sermon does in fact hold to Peterine Primacy in the first sentence of the third paragraph: "holding the chief place in the Apostleship"(Sermon 26). John Salza comments "Augustine is saying that Jesus is the rock and Peter is grafted into Jesus because he is Jesus’ Vicar. Jesus is the source, not Peter." And as stated before, St Augustine, many years later, wrote about this interpretation of Matthew 16 in his retractions admitting he MAY have been and Peter maybe the rock, offering two possible interpretations with the following:

"In my first book against Donatus I mentioned somewhere with reference to the Apostle Peter that 'the Church is founded UPON HIM as upon a Rock.' This meaning is also sung by many lips in the lines of blessed Ambrose, where, speaking of the domestic rooster, he says, 'When it crows, he [Peter], the ROCK of the Church, absolves from sin.' But I realize that I have since frequently explained the words of our Lord: 'Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church', to the effect that they should be understood as referring to him Peter confessed when he said: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God', and as meaning that Peter having been named after this rock, figured the person of the Church, which is built upon this rock and has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For what was said to him was not 'Thou art rock', but 'Thou art Peter'. But the rock was Christ, having confessed whom(even as the whole Church confesses) Simon was named Peter. Which of these interpretations is more likely to be correct, let the reader choose."(St. Augustine, Retractations 1:21 AD 427).

Augustine has multiple interpretation of scripture. Nonetheless, St Augustine in either case denied the primacy of St Peter, and in many of his other writing does in fact call Peter the rock, as shown earlier.

Claim: "Why have I wanted to make this little introduction? In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Christ, you see, built His Church not on the man, but on Peter's confession. What is Peter's confession? 'You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' There's the Rock for you. There's the foundation. There's where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer." (St. Augustine, Sermon 229, Sermons Volume 6)

Answer: St Augustine also elsewhere writes:

"....Why! a faggot that is cut from the Vine retains its shape. But what use is that shape if it is not living from the root? Come, brother, if you wish to be engrafted in the Vine. It is grievous when we see you thus lying cut off. Number the bishops from the See of Peter. And, in that order of fathers, see whom succeeded whom. This is the Rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer. All who rejoice in peace, only judge truly." (St. Augustine, Psalmus Contra Pertem Donati)

"For, if the order of the succession of bishops is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter, to whom the Lord said: 'Upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." For to Peter succeeded Linus, to Linus Clement .... To Julius Liberius, to Liberius Damasus, to Damasus Sircius, to Sircius Anastasius." (St. Augustine, Epistle 53)

etc..Many Protestants try to force an "either-or" argument as opposed to "both-and" see In the Catechism "Peter's confession of faith" is one of the accepted interpretations (CCC §424).

Claim: For Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Augustine the rock of Matt 16:18 was neither Peter nor his confession, but Jesus himself.

Answer: Ignorance of the Church Fathers, only looks at certain documents, ignoring others, reading only the last 4 words of Isaiah 44:6 would certainly lead them to conclude "there is no god."

St. Augustine was demonstrated in previous questions, and in quotes here.

Why therefore "Satan" is he, that a little before was "blessed," and a "Rock"? --St Augustine Exposition on Psalm 56

"And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, 'against which the gates of hell shall not prevail' "--Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,6:25 (A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:273

"He said to Peter, 'And upon this Rock I will build my Church.' "--St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 18:25).


Claim: Peter was condemned by Paul for being a Judaizer and therefore the Pope is not infallible.

Answer: Sort answer: Infallibility does not mean impeccability.  Long answer: St Peter (peace be upon him) was condemned for what he practiced not what he taught, after all Acts tells us St Peter (peace be upon him) was given the revelation to evangelize the gentiles and no longer call them unclean. Peter it seems was pressured to not eat with gentiles because of Judaizers within the Christian community according to one interpretation of St Paul's (peace be upon him) story in Galatians. In the Acts account of the story it appear St Peter was in charge of going against the Judaizers and sharing his revelation to them that they are not to be called unclean. According to some church Fathers the Cephas in St Paul's (peace be upon him) story is not Simon Peter called Cephas, but another Cephas who was one of the 70 dispatches of Christ, and St Clement of Alexandria (peace be upon him) according to Eusebius (may God grant him mercy) goes even further to say that Cephas in the story of Paul's was not the Apostle but one of the 70. (Eusebius Church History Book 1 Chapter 12:2) This might explain why St Paul uses two names for Peter in the same narrative, he says "Peter" then when referring to the man who refused to eat with Jews called him "Cephas," all this in the same chapter within a few lines. When condemning St Paul says "Cephas" not Peter. Some have been troubled by St Paul's account and have even gone as far as to discredit St Paul because his story contradicts the Acts account and he appears to be attacking an orthodox leader of the Church, but he is simply stating "Cephas" has erred in conduct, never really state his teaching, and furthermore may not be speaking to the Apostle Simon Peter since if the account is generally held to be the Council of Jerusalem it would seem to contradict Acts version, which means either...there are two councils of Jerusalem of which one is missing in the Acts narrative, or that there were two different "Cephas"--an Apostle and one of the dispatches.  While the name ‘Peter’ is solely used in the Byzantine Majority and Textus Receptus;  the Alexandrian text, both New and Old Latin Vulgates, seem to support the view of two Cephas by having in Galatian’s uses two separate names: 2:7-8 says "Peter" then in v. 9,11 the name is “Cephas”.  The Peshitta Text here gives not clues since Petros is Kepha in Aramaic.  Perhaps when translated from Aramaic the translators new there were 2 “cephas.” Regardless, if St Paul was condemning St Peter it was because St Peter was not practicing a teaching that St Peter himself revealed to the Church by a vision. To see more on two Kephas and evidence for it in scripture etc.

St John Chrysostom did not hold the view of two “kephas” but does explain the conflict and the real meaning was that St Peter feared they would leave the faith and he wanted St Paul to teach the Galatians a lesson through himself (St Peter) since they would have left the faith had St Peter said it, or if St Paul told them directly at this time they would hate him:

[on verses 11-2]

“Many, on a superficial reading of this part of the Epistle, suppose that Paul accused Peter of hypocrisy. But this is not so, indeed it is not, far from it; we shall discover great wisdom, both of Paul and Peter, concealed herein for the benefit of their hearers. But first a word must be said about Peter’s freedom in speech, and how it was ever his way to outstrip the other disciples. Indeed it was upon one such occasion that he gained his name from the unbending and impregnable character of his faith. For when all were interrogated in common, he stepped before the others and answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [Matthew 16:16]. This was when the keys of heaven were committed to him. So too, he appears to have been the only speaker on the Mount; [Matthew 17:4] and when Christ spoke of His crucifixion, and the others kept silence, he said, “Be it far from Thee” [Matthew 16,22]. These words evince, if not a cautious temper, at least a fervent love; and in all instances we find him more vehement than the others, and rushing forward into danger. So when Christ was seen on the beach, and the others were pushing the boat in, he was too impatient to wait for its coming to land. [John 21:7]. And after the Resurrection, when the Jews were murderous and maddened, and sought to tear the Apostles in pieces, he first dared to come forward, and to declare, that the Crucified was taken up into heaven. [Acts 2:14, Acts 2:36] It is a greater thing to open a closed door, and to commence an action, than to be free-spoken afterwards. How could he ever dissemble who had exposed his life to such a populace? He who when scourged and bound would not bate a jot of his courage, and this at the beginning of his mission, and in the heart of the chief city where there was so much danger. How could he, long afterwards in Antioch, where no danger was at hand, and his character had received luster from the testimony of his actions, feel any apprehension of the believing Jews? How could he, I say, who at the very first and in their chief city feared not the Jews while Jews, after a long time and in a foreign city, fear those of them who had been converted? Paul therefore does not speak this against Peter, but with the same meaning in which he said, “for they who were reputed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me?” But to remove any doubt on this point, we must unfold the reason of these expressions.

The Apostles, as I said before, permitted circumcision at Jerusalem, an abrupt severance from the law not being practicable; but when they come to Antioch, they no longer continued this observance, but lived indiscriminately with the believing Gentiles which thing Peter also was at that time doing. But when some came from Jerusalem who had heard the doctrine he delivered there, he no longer did so fearing to perplex them, but he changed his course, with two objects secretly in view, both to avoid offending those Jews, and to give Paul a reasonable pretext for rebuking him. For had he, having allowed circumcision when preaching at Jerusalem, changed his course at Antioch, his conduct would have appeared to those Jews to proceed from fear of Paul, and his disciples would have condemned his excess of pliancy. And this would have created no small offence; but in Paul, who was well acquainted with all the facts, his withdrawal would have raised no such suspicion, as knowing the intention with which he acted. Wherefore Paul rebukes, and Peter submits, that when the master is blamed, yet keeps silence, the disciples may more readily come over. Without this occurrence Paul’s exhortation would have had little effect, but the occasion hereby afforded of delivering a severe reproof, impressed Peter’s disciples with a more lively fear. Had Peter disputed Paul’s sentence, he might justly have been blamed as upsetting the plan, but now that the one reproves and the other keeps silence, the Jewish party are filled with serious alarm; and this is why he used Peter so severely.

Observe too Paul’s careful choice of expressions, whereby he points out to the discerning, that he uses them in pursuance of the plan, (oiconomia) and not from anger.

His words are, “When Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned;”[note this agrees with the Alexandrian not the Textus] that is, not by me but by others; had he himself condemned him, he would not have shrunk from saying so. And the words, “I resisted him to the face,” imply a scheme for had their discussion been real, they would not have rebuked each other in the presence of the disciples, for it would have been a great stumblingblock to them. But now this apparent contest was much to their advantage; as Paul had yielded to the Apostles at Jerusalem, so in turn they yield to him at Antioch. The cause of censure is this, “For before that certain came from James, who was the teacher at Jerusalem, he did eat with the Gentiles, but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing them that were of the Circumcision:” his cause of fear was not his own danger, (for if he feared not in the beginning, much less would he do so then,) but their defection. As Paul himself says to the Galatians, “I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain:” [Galatians 4:20], and again, “I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve, so your minds should be corrupted.” [2 Corinthians 11:3]. Thus the fear of death they knew not, but the fear lest their disciples should perish, agitated their inmost soul.

“Insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation.” [Verse 13]

Be not surprised at his giving this proceeding the name of dissimulation, for he is unwilling, as I said before, to disclose the true state of the case, in order to the correction of his disciples. On account of their vehement attachment to the Law, he calls the present proceeding dissimulation, and severely rebukes it, in order effectually to eradicate their prejudice. And Peter too, hearing this joins in the feint, AS IF he had erred, that they might be corrected by means of the rebuke administered to him. Had Paul reproved these Jews, they would have spurned at it with indignation, for they held him in slight esteem; but now, when they saw their Teacher silent under rebuke, they were unable to despise or resist Paul’s sentence.

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel.” [Verse 14]

Neither let this phrase disturb you, for in using it he does not condemn Peter, but so expresses himself for the benefit of those who were to be reformed by the reproof of Peter.

“I said unto Cephas before them all.” [verse 14]

Observe his mode of correcting the others; he speaks ‘before them all,’ that the hearers might be alarmed thereby. And this is what he says,

“If thou, being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, how compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”[Verse 14]

But it was the Jews and not the Gentiles who were carried away together with Peter; why then does Paul impute what was not done, instead of directing his remarks, not against the Gentiles, but against the dissembling Jews? And why does he accuse Peter alone, when the rest also dissembled together with him? Let us consider the terms of his charge; “If thou, being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, how compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” for in fact Peter alone had withdrawn himself. His object then is to remove suspicion from his rebuke; had he blamed Peter for observing the Law, the Jews would have censured him for his boldness towards their Teacher. But now arraigning him in behalf of his own peculiar disciples, I mean the Gentiles, he facilitates thereby the reception of what he has to say I which he also does by abstaining from reproof of the others, and addressing it all to the Apostle. “If thou,” he says, “being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews;” which almost amounts to an explicit exhortation to imitate their Teacher, who, himself a Jew, lived after the manner of the Gentiles. This however he says not, for they could not have received such advice, but under color of reproving him in behalf of the Gentiles, he discloses Peter’s real sentiments. On the other hand, if he had said, Wherefore do you compel these Jews to Judaize? his language would have been too severe. But now he effects their correction by appearing to espouse the part, not of the Jewish, but of the Gentile, disciples; for rebukes, which are moderately severe, secure the readiest reception. And none of the Gentiles could object to Paul that he took up the defense of the Jews. The whole difficulty was removed by Peter’s submitting in silence to the imputation of dissimulation, in order that he might deliver the Jews from its reality. At first Paul directs his argument to the character which Peter wore, “If thou, being a Jew,” but he generalizes as he goes on, and includes himself in the phrase…”—St John Chrysostom Chapter II of Galatians

A few others, hold to the same view as St John, like Origen and St Jerome. here does based on the greatness of St Peter, a few other Church Fathers Tertullian, St Cyril, St Augustine, Ambroster, St Gregory do say however that St Peter’s action here was actually sinful because they claim it was based on bad motive, rather than St John’s and Jerome’s view that it was for good motive.  Here is a link to an argument between St Jerome and St Augustine on this issue and St Jerome defends his view that St Peter was not in error.

Papal infallibility does not mean the Pope must be sinless and perfect, far from it since there have been countless popes, but they are infallible only in regards to teaching the faith when speaking authoritatively from the Chair of Peter either by ex-cathedra or in Ecumenical Council. Day to day homilies and speeches are not infallible.

Claim: Pope Stephen IX was pope 3 times--how can Catholics claim to have Apostolic Succession?

Answer: Simony, abdication..etc doesn't remove apostolic succession. Look at the list of the Patriarchs of Constantinople. Rome has only a few messes where popes were pope more than once..Stephen IX was pope 3 times--while Constantinople has people being pope 1-5 times! This argument is foolish.

Claim: Rome is the youngest Patriarchy

Answer: Constantinople is younger--c.AD 323, Jerusalem had to be reestablished, Alexandria fell into schism among other things...saying Rome is the youngest is not only false, it proves nothing. Rome has primacy because Sts. Peter and Paul (peace be upon them) died there, St John Chrysostom (peace be upon him) said St Peter (peace be upon him) was transferred to Rome.

Claim: Peter was called Satan and a stumbling block, so Peter cannot be called rock or have authority.

Answer: St Ephraim explained this:

Thou art Kepha, that stone [kepha] which He [Christ] set up so that Satan might stumble on it.  In turn Satan [wanted] to put it in Our Lord’s way so that he might stumble on it.  In turn Satan [wanted] to put it in our Lord’s way so that he might stumble on it, by that ‘far be it from thee.’ For we could not have known that Satan was plotting thus; but he who knows gave us to know, by that ‘get thee off, Satan, thou art a stumbling-block to me’. But He [Christ] threw it [the stone] behind him, so that those followers [of Satan] might stumble on it, for they drew back and fell [John 18:6].”—EC Syr. Pp112-4 see here

Claim: Peter was not the head of the Church—the apostle James was since he was bishop of Jerusalem.

Answer: St James was appointed this position.  St James, peace be upon him, did not lead the Apostles, did not utter the words that the gentiles believe “through my mouth.” [Acts 15] He was not the one declared the rock of the Church—the reason he was given important since the council took place in Jerusalem and the issue of the Judaizers took place primarily in Jerusalem, which at that time was considered to be the chief city.  However, it must be noted St James is NOT the one called the Apostle to the Jews, St Peter is, who was also the first one told to bring in the Gentiles.

On this matter the Early Church Father Eusebius quoting St Clement of Alexandria writes:

‘But Clement in the sixth book of his Hypotyposes writes thus: "For they say that Peter and James and John after the ascension of our Savior, as if also preferred by our Lord, strove not after honor, but chose James the Just bishop of Jerusalem."’—Eusebius Church History Book II:1

Claim: Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic by an Ecumenical Council therefore papal infallibility does not exist.

Answer: This error of Honorius does not fit under the set conditions for infallibility since it was addressed to one person not the Church.  This is issue was not previously defined by a general council (the two wills of Christ). Pope Honorius assumed that if Christ had two wills it means they could contradict, though he erred in saying one will, he was correct in saying Christ’s wills cannot contradict. This issue was later settled by the next Popes and Council.  Honorius did misunderstand and he was condemned as a heretic, and for not condemning heresy when he should have.

Claim: Pope Liberius signed a heretical statement.

Answer: He felt forced to sign it, not infallible. One Early Church Father claimed it was a lie started by Arians which was consequentially believed by Church Fathers.

Claim: Pope Vigilius

Answer: Force was involved again.

Claim: Pope Zosimus flip flopped on Peligians

Answer: Partly true, but he never approved of their theology, they just tricked him into believing that they were orthodox, but later Zosimus realized this and condemned them.  I watched the debate between Dr Robert Sungenis and “Dr” James White (he went to a self accredited university), where White nearly admits this is not really a case of the pope erring where he is supposed to be infallible, since doctrines were not mentioned directly in the initial letter of the Pope, but rather the persons, who the pope misunderstood.  Furthermore, the pope only wrote these letters to Africa, rather than the whole world.

Claim: The Council of Constance in Haec Santa goes against later teaching at Vatican I.

Answer: This session was done by schismatics and an anti pope—it’s not binding and later true popes did not sign it.

Claim: St John Chrysostom calls Paul the “teacher of the world” why not claim Pauline supremacy?

Answer: ST Paul was the “teacher of the world” because he preached to gentiles and travelled much of the known world and wrote various epistles.

Claim: Revelation has Jesus having the keys, not Peter.

Answer: First of all St Peter, peace be upon him, was given the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 16:19) while the Lord Jesus, holy is His Name, holds “the keys to death and the netherworld.” (Rev. 1:18) Even if these were the same keys, how would that at all negate Matthew 16?? Jesus is God, He has them too—He was the one that gave them to St Peter.

Claim: St Peter was married therefore he was not the first Pope.

Answer: So, what? This is by far the weakest argument presented by anti-catholics. St Peter was married at least for a time, there is no reference to his wife, only implicitly through his mother-in-law do we know he was married, furthermore St Peter became a celibate when he came to follow Jesus as it is written: “We have left everything to follow you.” (Matthew 19) No one doubts Jesus had the Apostles leave their families to follow Him.  Initially the early church had married priests and bishops, but only later it was restricted to celibates for several reasons, especially since St Paul and Jesus promoted celibacy (1 Corinthians 7 & Matthew 19).  Married men are divided. 

Claim: If St Peter was in Rome then why is he not mentioned in Acts 28 in Rome, and why do the people act as if they never heard of the gospel?  And if St Peter was in Jerusalem in AD 49 how can you say he was already in Rome already?

Answer: Simple. Around the year AD 45? the Emperor Claudius banished the Jews from Rome, this event is recorded in Sacred Writ: “..Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.”—Acts 18:2, (one this note the NAB makes an error and says c. AD 40, which is not possible since he was not Emperor until AD 42) and since the early Christian movement was highly associated with Judaism still, they were consequentially banished.  Some historical records suggest that the debate was due to Jews debating whether or not Christ was the Messiah—so clearly St Paul was not the first Christian in Rome!  Later when they (the Jews) were permitted to return no Christians apparently came back, or otherwise St Paul the narrator of Acts would have mentioned it, does it seem odd that St Paul were the FIRST to preach in Rome, around the year AD 62, when Christ died around thirty years ago and no one in the Imperial City knew of the gospel yet, of course it was previously there, but the first Christians in Rome left.

Claim: If Papal Infallibility is true then why did some fathers at the Vatican I vote it down?

Answer: First of all—almost if not every dogma, definition had a few dissenters in every ecumenical council. Furthermore, the Melkite Patriarch is sad to have voted against the definition because he felt it would alienate the Eastern Orthodox.  Ultimately, the number of votes in an Ecumenical council does not matter since the pope has always been needed to make it official and binding, even long before Vatican I as was demonstrated by some Greek Fathers.

Claim: The Pope is the antichrist his official title is Vicarius Filii Dei—which adds up to 666!!

Answer: This claims has traditionally been pushed by Seventh Day Adventists, the title “Vicarius Filii Dei” never was nor is a Papal Title, the only document that uses the phrase is referring to St Peter, Donation of Constantine, which is a forgery.

“as on earth he (Peter) is seen to have been constituted vicar of the Son of God, so the pontiffs, who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles,”—Forged Donation of Constantine

Does this mean 7DA’s are calling an apostle the antichrist?? The alleged photographs of the papal tiara in the 19th century are photoshopped to try to say the phrase—anticatholics are very dishonest people.

Claim:  The Pope and Catholics all the Pope God and the Lord God the Pope!

Answer: The Pope is not God nor has he called himself God. These claims, once again, are based on interpolations that large Anti-Catholic Anglicans asserted in the 19th Century. These claims of the Pope being God are proved to be lies and anti-Catholic inventions here. Also see here.  Why must anti-Catholic perpetuate lies?

Claim: You bow to the pope and kiss the pope’s toe!! You worship the pope you are going to hell!! Peter in Acts refused people who worshipped him!

Answer: I do not know of people that still bow to the pope or ‘kiss his toe,’ but bowing to leaders was done in the Bible in the Old Testament, in 1Kings 1:23 you see the Prophet Nathan bowed down to or worshipped (sachah) King David, this was done to show honor to the leader.  In Acts St Peter refused to be bowed to by Cornelius because Cornelius thought he was God.  For more on this see my page on the saints.

Claim: 1 Peter 2:8 calls Christ petra!!

Answer: So what, notice petra there is a small rock.

click analytics