When we evaluate the historical understanding of the Church when it pertains to Roman Supremacy, the whole issue hangs on Matt 16:19. The text was cited by many a Pope from the fourth century and on when he was pressing his rights as the Bishop of Rome. But, how did western Christian interpreters view the matter when not directly debating issues of politics?
Note: I have since added an addendum to this blog post. Also, I mistook Christian of Stavelot’s work for Dungal of Bobbio’s. I have since made this correction.
This post has its origins on Catholic Answers Forums, where once again the topic of Matthew 16:16-19 came up for discussion. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this topic, Matthew 16:18-19 is used to justify the Catholic doctrine of Papal Supremacy. The logic is as follows: 1.) Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ; 2.) Christ renames Peter (formerly Simon) as Peter, which means rock; 3.) that the rock unto which Christ proclaims that he will build his Church is Peter himself; 4.) although the rest of the apostles themselves receive the powers of binding and loosing as is later detailed in John 20:23, Peter alone received the keys; 5.) therefore in conclusion Peter holds supreme authority over the other…
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