"Peter never was 'Bishop of Rome' "

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In a book by Thomas Cahill on Pope John XXIII in the very first page we read: "A pesar de la Propaganda Vaticana, Pedro nunca fue 'Obispo de Roma'" (The Vatican propaganda not withstanding, Peter was never "Bishop of Rome"). I'm giving the exact words of the book in Spanish since I don't have the original English edition.

This is highly surprising because it goes contrary to what I've read and heard up to this date. One thing is to read that there are no contemporary or earlier than the II Century testimonies about Peter being Bishop of Rome, and another completely different to read that Peter NEVER was Bishop of Rome.

Let's hear te opinions of people in this forum that are experts or at least have more knowledge aobut things Catholic than the ordinary Catholic.


-- Enrique Ortiz (eaortiz@yahoo.com), May 20, 2004


-- bump --

-- Enrique Ortiz (eaortiz@yahoo.com), May 20, 2004.

There is a fairly detailed treatment of the question here:


-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), May 20, 2004.

There are two distinct realities that need to be addressed here. One, whether Peter was in Rome. And,two, whether he was bishop of Rome while there.

On the first accord, it is plain sillyness to deny that Peter was in Rome. Paul M gave a good site for that in the above post, it is here if you want an easy link. Another good proof of this is the book, "The Bones of St. Peter".

On the second issue . . . well this is a complete twist of reality. In some sense it is true, Peter was not a Bishop in Rome. He was not Bishop because he was an Apostle . Petrine authority went with Peter. When he was in Jerusalem he was an Apostle and he had Petrine authority. When he was in Antioch he was an Apostle and he had Petrine authority. When he was in Rome he remained an Apostle and he retained Petrine authority. He wasn't Bishop of Rome because he was more than a bishop. Just as the Bishop contains the fullness of the priesthood and is even more, the Apostles posessed the fullness of the bishopric and then some. A bishop is a successor to an Apostle. The Bishop of Rome is the successor of Peter. The Pope holds the 'See' that Peter established.

It sounds like this book is playing a little game. Taking a true reality, that an Apostle and Bishop are not the same thing, and twisting that to mean something it doesn't. That Peter did not function in the sort of manner that a Bishop did. That is nonsense! Peter was the first of the Apostles where-ever he went. Being an Apostle presumes the function of the preisthood and the authority of the bishop. He was what he was while in Rome and that included and surpassed the functtions of a Bishop.


-- Dan Garon (boethius61@yahoo.com), May 20, 2004.

Why do some people put more effort into trying to disprove Catholic claims than they put into spreading their own message? This is not a rhetorical question. I don't understand.

-- mark advent (adventm5477@earthlink.net), May 20, 2004.


I think that some may see Catholicism as a threat to their beliefs. It's the idea of a bully -- prove others to be worse or more wrong than you, and it paints you in a better light (in the minds of the less discerning).

Also, there are some who sincerely believe that Catholics are in an evil religion and sorely deceived. Out of great compassion for Catholics, they attempt to disprove Catholic teachings in order to "rescue" us out of the Catholic Church.

-- Emily ("jesusfollower7@yahoo.com), May 20, 2004.

Dano makes a good point about Petrine authority. St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons and a Father of the Church, a man a century or so removed from Peter and Paul offers this description of apostolic succession in Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter III. The way I read this, Petrine authority was passed on to Linus, then to Anacletus, etc. So whether Peter was semantically the Bishop of Rome or not is, in a way, secondary to the authority he passed on and that has been passed on.

"2. 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,6 that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles."

-- Andy S ("aszmere@earthlink.net"), May 20, 2004.

Emily- Thanks. Do you think that mentality come from a deep self centered desire for personal admiration or acceptance (be like me, think like me, I'm right, you're wrong)?

-- mark advent (adventm5477@earthlink.net), May 22, 2004.

this is one of the biggest heresys i have ever read we are catholics or christians or whateever and we belive that peter was the first pope!

-- hannah R. (xoxhershykissxox@hotmail.com), January 23, 2005.

there is historical proof that peter simon and peter who was the leader of the christians in rome are two different people

anyway,peter was not a pope,in his time the RCC didn't even exist yet and he never had the title of pope

-- sdqa (sdqa@sdqa.com), January 23, 2005.

Peter was the bishop of Rome in the time of Nero. He was martyred in Rome, and his post was passed on to the next bishop. We say bishop because there is a seat associated with the bishop called a bishopric, and/or See. Who occupies it in direct succession from the first one who occupied it, Peter, is his successor. Bishop of Rome defines that See; and its ordained leader. Nothing you poor kids can object to changes the facts. The Church has been in existence from Pentecost after Christ's ascension till the present. Anywhere Peter travelled, he had primacy, he was bishop as well as apostle. It came to be at last Rome. The final authority (from Peter) of the Christian world (Catholic Church) for the ages.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), January 23, 2005.

sdqu, Repeat your error as much as you like:

''there is historical proof that peter simon and peter who was the leader of the christians in rome are two different people.''

You have nothing CLOSE to ''historical proof.'' Somebody has deceived you.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), January 23, 2005.

i'm still interested in seeing this wonderful proof that i've been hearing so much about.

-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), January 23, 2005.

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