Peace be with you Victor and all present!!
Let start by apologizing for my long disappearance. I have been in study for many months and have years left on my path to become a Deacon, further my Master Program in Theology is quite demanding too. So I am sorry for being AWOL.
You replies are the standard and only justify the Papacy of Peter not a successor. (BTW, I’m not attacking you, I hope to help your proof!) Here is some quick background (hold on to your hats!):
Issues concerning the Papacy started around 313 AD, Constantine recognized Christians hence endowing the Church as a legal body. This gave us rights to buildings, property, public security, civic privileges, etc… Rome’s primacy in the world was moral and now it was also legal. So we adopted Roman Law and methods. But we fell under the Pontifex Maximus or Constantine himself. Knowing this, Constantine evoked the Council of Arles in 314 AD. This kind of medaling of Emperors went on for many years and in 380 AD Emperor Theodosius I created an edict stating that the orthodoxy of a bishop was ensured and judged by the Emperor himself. So in 381 AD Constantinople decided to take the See from Alexandria (remember Rome was not the Holy See at this time) with the support of the Emperor. Further they decided that no other bishop could interfere with any other diocese, thus securing the Holy See in Constantinople. This was also to curb the mingling of the Arian bishops but had the same effect on Rome.
Got your Hats still? Break for coffee maybe? Onward!
So Rome answered all of this in 382 AD by Pope Damasus who introduced the Petrine Theme at the Roman synod. This was a fimilar theme to many in Rome because Cyprian had called Rome the See of Peter in the 3rd Century. Now Tertullian wrote the frame work for the primacy of Rome about the same time.
Now to help with the Roman Primacy several key issues and points were made:
1. The Bible was translated into Latin.
2. Because Christ granted ligare and solvere (to bind and loose) to the Apostles and St. Peter, in particular, and was one of the most influential transmitters of Roman law ideas to the European Middled Ages, it was felt that St. Peter intended Rome as his Holy See from the beginning.
3. Pope Clement wrote to St. James that St. Peter bestowed upon him [Pope Clement] his [St. Peter’s] succession.
4. The Romans pretty much abandoned Rome upon the Barbarian invasions. This left the Church pretty much running the show in Rome.
iesh! So where do all this lead to, you may find yourselves asking!? Well we are on the downward slope now kids!
Leo I (The Great), Bishop of Rome 440-461 AD, claimed that a Pope inherits the office, the legal status and powers, of St. Peter not his personal merits and that the person of the Pope is separate from the office of the Pope. Under Roman Law the pope as office-holder was indistinguishable from St. Peter. The Pope followed St. Peter directly and he did not follow his predecessor directly. Thus the pope’s office was a direct divine act.
Leo went on to say that there was a distinction between the principatus of Church and State. A pope’s authority was not inherited from a predecessor nor was it charismatic. It was based on the succession to office by Christ to Peter and the Emperor was clearly inferior. The Pope and Emperor were co-terminus bodies, the Pope of the Church and the Emperor over the State. Of which both were members. This began the Emperor and Pope going separate ways and eventually lead to the Papal Schisms (for a later time).
So what does this all mean and how does it prove Papal Primacy?
1. Christ commissioned Peter to lead the church on earth.
2. The Early Church created bishops to govern dioceses.
3. Early Church bishops sought the advice of the Bishop of Rome to decided matters of faith.
4. Rome was considered to be the See of St. Peter the first Pope.
5. The fall of Rome cause great confusion and human politics interfered in the Church and help other Emperors and City States to seize the Holy See.
6. Europe held on to Roman law and dictates which supported biblical papal status.
7. Leo I (The Great) used existing law, precedence, and biblical arguments to return the Holy See to Rome where it has been since. This also help to lead to the division of the Eastern and Western Churches.
8. The State and Church realize separation of powers and for a time they hold to it. A short time.
By understanding the history, the laws and personalities at the time, and following the biblical text one can only assume the Primacy of the Pope and why the Holy See is rightfully in Rome.
This by no means ends the arguments but it is our basis for the Pope.