Papal Primacy Quotes.

The Following quotes, are all related either to: Peter being the Rock (on Matt 16:18) or the Primacy of Peter or his see (some include the supremacy he has over all churches, and some are related to infallibility). They also speak of the power his successors have. Some speak of the importance of the see of Rome and its authority over other sees/churches etc.

1- "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 inclosed,' 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."
Jerome,To Pope Damasus,Epistle 15:1-2(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VI:18

- St. Jerome

2- "The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, ‘He that is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!’ . . . Therefore, I implore your blessedness [Pope Damasus I] . . . tell me by letter with whom it is that I should communicate in Syria" (ibid., 16:2). 

-St. Jerome

3- "‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division" (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]). 

-St. Jerome

4- Because the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church,” etc., cannot be set aside; this, which is said, is proved by the results; for in the Apostolic See religion has always been preserved without spot.... In which (See) is set the perfect and true solidity of the Christian religion. (from the “Formula of Pope Hormisdas”, accepted and signed by eastern bishops, AD 519)

- Formula of St. Pope Hormisdas

5- In the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept undefiled and her holy doctrine proclaimed. Desiring, therefore, not to be in the least degree separated from the faith and doctrine of that See, we hope that we may deserve to be in the one communion with you which the Apostolic See preaches, in which is the entire and true solidity of the Christian religion: promising also that the names of those who are cut off from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, not consentient with the Apostolic See, shall not be recited during the sacred mysteries. This is my profession, I have subscribed with my own hand, and delivered to you Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of the city of Rome. (from the “Formula of Pope Hormisdas”, accepted and signed by eastern bishops, AD 519, p. 344)

- Formula of St. Pope Hormisdas

6- "Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the 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; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]). 

-St. Pope Damasus I

7- "Rome the See of Peter, which has been made to the whole world the head of the pastoral office." St. Prosper of Acquitaine (450 A.D.)

- St. Prosper of Acquitaine

8- "The Roman Church, which is the head of all the churches." (Victor of Vita, circa AD 485)

- Victor of Vita

9- "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...' " (A.D. 492)

- St. Pope Gelasius

10 -The canons themselves willed the appeals of the whole Church to be referred to the examination of this See. From it they decreed also that no appeal whatever ought to be made; and thereby that it judged of the whole Church, and that itself passed under the judgment of none.... (St. Pope Gelasius, circa AD 492)

- St. Pope Gelasius

11 -The first See both confirms every synod by its authority, and guards by its continuous rule, by reason, to wit, of its supremacy, which, received by the Apostle Peter from the mouth of the Lord, the Church nevertheless seconding, it both always has held and retains.... (St. Pope Gelasius, circa AD 492).

- St. Pope Gelasius

12 -We who desire to serve the Apostolic see without blame, according to the divine precepts and statutes of the Fathers. (The bishops of Dardania to Pope Gelasius, circa AD 494).

- St. Pope Gelasius

13- "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 [Dioscorus] 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." (Bishop Paschasinus, legate of the Apostolic See at the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, p. 265).

- Bishop Paschasinus, Council of Chalcedon

14- "We will that all people who are governed by our clemency should practice the same religion as the divine Apostle Peter delivered to the Romans, as the religion proclaimed by him up to this time declares it; and which it is clear the Pontiff Damasus follows, and Peter, the Bishop of Alexandria.... Those who follow this law we order to take the name of Catholic Christians." ( AD 380)

-Emperor Theodosius

15- "They [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven [by the sacrament of confession] even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven’[Matt. 16:19]" (Penance 1:7:33 [A.D. 388]).

-St. Ambrose of Milan

16- "[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

-St. Ambrose of Milan

17- "It is to Peter that he says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church is, no death is there, but life eternal" (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David 40:30 [A.D. 389]).

-St. Ambrose of Milan

18 - From this Church [of Rome] the rights of venerable communion flow unto all. (St. Ambrose of Milan, AD 385)

-St. Ambrose of Milan

19- "We recognize in the letter of your holiness [Pope Siricius] the vigilance of the good shepherd. You faithfully watch over the gate entrusted to you, and with pious care you guard Christ’s sheepfold [John 10:7ff], you that are worthy to have the Lord’s sheep hear and follow you" (Synodal Letter to Pope Siricius [A.D. 389]). 

- Synod of Ambrose

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

- St. Ambrose of Milan

21 - "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?"
Ambrose, The death of his brother Satyrus,1:47(A.D. 378),in NPNF2,X:168

- St. Ambrose of Milan

22 - "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."
Ambrose,To Emperor Gratian,Epistle 11:4(A.D. 381),in SPP,160

- Ambrose of Milan

23- "To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance."(A.D.400)

-St. Augustine

24- "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" (Psalm against the Party of Donatus, 18 [A.D. 393])

-St. Augustine

25 - "There are many other things which rightly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church. The consent of the people and nations keeps me, her authority keeps me, inaugurated by miracles, nourished in hope, enlarged by love, and established by age. The succession of priests keep me, from the very seat of the apostle Peter (to whom the Lord after his resurrection gave charge to feed his sheep) down to the present episcopate [of Pope Siricius]" (Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 5 [A.D. 397]). 

-St. Augustine

26 - "If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius [39th pope] sits today?" (Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]).

- St. Augustine

27- "In the Catholic Church I adhere to the Chair of Peter. Whoever does not wish to stray from the true fold, must follow this voice of Peter." (Apostolic Digest pg 251, [A.D. 411])

-St. Augustine

28 - "Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).

-St. Augustine

29 - "The Roman Church, in which the primacy of the Apostolic See has always been in force" (AD 354-450 Epist. xlii).

-St. Augustine

30 - "To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance" (Augustine. De Util. Cred. c.17).

- St. Augustine

31 - "Peter...head of the Apostles, doorkeeper of heaven and foundation of the church." (Augustine. Ep 36)

-St. Augustine

32 - "This same Peter...bearing the figure of the Church...holding the chief place in the Apostleship..." (Augustine. Sermon XXVI)

-St. Augustine

33 - "If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, "Upon this rock I will build my church . . . " [Matt. 16:18]. The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius (36th Pope). In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found." (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).

-St. Augustine

34 - "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"
Augustine,To Glorius,Epistle 43:7(A.D. 397),in NPNF1,I:278

-St. Augustine

35 - "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 anathemized 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

-St. Augustine

36 - "[On this matter of the Pelagians] two councils have already been sent to the Apostolic See [the bishop of Rome], and from there rescripts too have come. The matter is at an end; would that the error too might be at an end!" (Sermons 131:10 [A.D. 411]).

-St. Augustine

37 - "Reminding Justinian of God's judgment for the exile of Pope Silverius, 'In this world there are many kings, not one, like that Pope who is over the church of the whole world.'" (c. A.D. 525)

-Bishop of Patara writing to Emperor Justinian.

38 - "Nor do we allow that any of these things, concerning ecclesiastical institution, should fail to be brought before his Holiness, as being the head of all the holy Priests of God...." (Emperor Justinian I, AD 520-533)

-Emperor Justinian

39 - Writing to the Pope:
Yielding honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, and honoring your Holiness, as one ought to honor a father, we have hastened to subject all the priests of the whole Eastern district, and to unite them to the See of your Holiness, for we do not allow of any point, however manifest and indisputable it be, which relates to the state of the Churches, not being brought to the cognizance of your Holiness, since you are the Head of all the holy Churches. (Justinian Epist. ad. Pap. Joan. ii. Cod. Justin. lib. I. tit. 1, AD 520-533)

- Emperor Justinian

40 - "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.'" (Macedonius, Patr. Graec. 108: 360a (Theophan. Chronogr. pp. 234-346 seq. A.D. 520-533)

-Emperor Justinian


41 - "Let your Apostleship show that you have worthily succeeded to the Apostle Peter, since the Lord will work through you, as Supreme Pastor, the salvation of all." (Coll. Avell. Ep. 196, July 9th, 520, Justinian to Pope Hormisdas).

-Emperor Justinian

42 - Peter, Head of the choir of Apostles. (Nilus, Lib. ii Epistl. A.D. 466-516)

- Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople

43 - Peter, who was foremost in the choir of Apostles and always ruled amongst them. (Nilus, Tract. ad. Magnam. A.D. 466-516)


-Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople

44 - "The primacy of the Apostolic See having been established by the merit of the Apostle Peter, by dignity of the city of Rome, and by the authority of the Holy Synod, no pretended power shall arrogate to itself anything against the authority of that See. For peace can be universally preserved only when the whole Church acknowledges its ruler." (Valentinian III A.D. 445)

-Valentinian III

45 - "We know who is in charge in the Church of Christ to the extent that we reverently, humbly and devoutly profess more especially to give due obedience in all things to the Roman Pontiff as God's Vicar. Whoever proudly resists this principle, we decree, is altogether outside the fellowship of the faithful, as a heretic." St. Isidore of Seville (620 A.D.)

- St. Isidore of Seville

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

-St. Isidore of Seville

47 - "Why did He shed His blood? That He might gain possession of those sheep which He intrusted to Peter and to his successors." (St. John Chrysostom, AD 387)

-St. John Chrysostom

48 - "Peter himself the Head or Crown of the Apostles, the First in the Church, the Friend of Christ, who received a revelation, not from man, but from the Father, as the Lord bears witness to him, saying, 'Blessed art thou, This very Peter and when I name Peter I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, First of the disciples, the First called, and the First who obeyed he was guilty ...even denying the Lord." (Chrysostom, T. ii. Hom St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387))

-St. John Chrysostom

49 - "Peter, the Leader of the choir of Apostles, the Mouth of the disciples, the Pillar of the Church, the Buttress of the faith, the Foundation of the confession, the Fisherman of the universe." (Chrysostom, T. iii Hom St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)).


-St. John Chrysostom

50 - "Peter, that Leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that one set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church." (Chrys. In illud hoc Scitote St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387))

-St. John Chrysostom

51 - "(Peter), the foundation of the Church, the Coryphaeus of the choir of the Apostles, the vehement lover of Christ ...he who ran throughout the whole world, who fished the whole world; this holy Coryphaeus of the blessed choir; the ardent disciple, who was entrusted with the keys of heaven, who received the spiritual revelation. Peter, the mouth of all Apostles, the head of that company, the ruler of the whole world." (De Eleemos, iii. 4; Hom. de decem mille tal. 3 St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)).


-St. John Chrysostom

52 - "In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples (Acts 15), both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock ...he first acts with authority in the matter, as having all put into his hands ; for to him Christ said, 'And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren." (Chrysostom, Hom. iii Act Apost. tom. ix. St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387))

-St. John Chrysostom

53 - "He passed over his fall, and appointed him first of the Apostles; wherefore He said: ' 'Simon, Simon,' etc. (in Ps. cxxix. 2). God allowed him to fall, because He meant to make him ruler over the whole world, that, remembering his own fall, he might forgive those who should slip in the future. And that what I have said is no guess, listen to Christ Himself saying: 'Simon, Simon, etc.'" (Chrys, Hom. quod frequenter conveniendum sit 5, cf. Hom 73 in Joan 5 St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387)).

-St John Chrysostom

54 - "And why, then, passing by the others, does He converse with Peter on these things? (John 21:15). He was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others (Galatians 1:18). And withal, to show him that he must thenceforward have confidence, as the denial was done away with, He puts into his hands the presidency over the brethren. And He brings not forward the denial, nor reproches him with what had past, but says, 'If you love me, preside over the brethren ...and the third time He gives him the same injunction, showing what a price He sets the presidency over His own sheep. And if one should say, 'How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?,' this I would answer that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher, not of that throne, but of the whole world." (Chrysostom, In Joan. Hom. 1xxxviii. n. 1, tom. viii St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 387))

-St John Chrysostom

55 - "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. iv. 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. xv. 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. i. 24), that bore "the marks" (stigmata,) (Gal. vi. 17) that sowed the Gospel everywhere yea, the dust of that body through which he ran to and fro everywhere!"
(Chrysostom,Epistle to the Romans,Homily 32:24 (c.A.D. 391), in NPNF1,XI:561-562)

-St. John Chrysostom

56 - "We will that all people who are governed by our clemency should practice the same religion as the divine Apostle Peter delivered to the Romans, as the religion proclaimed by him up to this time declares it; and which it is clear the Pontiff Damasus follows, and Peter, the Bishop of Alexandria.... Those who follow this law we order to take the name of Catholic Christians." (Emperor Theodosius, AD 380)

-Emperor Theodosius

57 - "In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter in mighty Rome commanded Linus [2nd pope], the first elected, to sit down. After him, Cletus [3rd pope, also known as Anacletus] too accepted the flock of the fold. As his successor, Anacletus was elected by lot. Clement [4th pope] follows him, well-known to apostolic men. After him Evaristus [5th pope] ruled the flock without crime. Alexander [6th pope], sixth in succession, commends the fold to Sixtus [7th pope]. After his illustrious times were completed, he passed it on to Telesphorus [8th pope]. He was excellent, a faithful martyr . . . " (Poem Against the Marcionites 276–284 [A.D. 267]).

-The Poem Against the Marcionites

58 - "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. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . . Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).

-St. Optatus of Milevus

59 - "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)

- St. Optatus of Mileve

60 - "[Jesus said:] Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the firstborn in my institution so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]). 

-St. Ephraim the Syrian

61 - "The blessed Apostle Peter, in his Successors, has transmitted what he received. Who would separate himself from his doctrine, whom the Master Himself declared to be the First amongst the Apostles?" (St. Pope Sixtus III, AD 434).

-St. Pope Sixtus III

62 - "If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives. (Theodoret Ibid, Epistle Leoni). (Theodoret of Cyrus, circa AD 450, p. 333)

- Theodoret of Cyrus

63 - "The great foundation of the Church was shaken, and confirmed by the Divine grace. And the Lord commanded him to apply that same care to the brethren. 'And thou,' He says, 'converted, confirm thy brethren.'" (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Haeret. Fab. lib. v.c. 28 circa AD 450).

- Theodoret of Cyrus

64- "'For as I,' He says, 'did not despise thee when tossed, so be thou a support to thy brethren in trouble, and the help by which thou was saved do thou thyself impart to others, and exhort them not while they are tottering, but raise them up in their peril. For this reason I suffer thee also to slip, but do not permit thee to fall, thus through thee gaining steadfastness for those who are tossed.' So this great pillar supported the tossing and sinking world, and permitted it not to fall entirely and gave it back stability, having been ordered to feed God's sheep." (Theodoret, Oratio de Caritate in J. P. Minge, ed., Partrologiae Curses Completus: Series Graeca AD 450).

- Theodoret of Cyrus

65 - "I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds." (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197 AD 450).

- Theodoret of Cyrus

66 - "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

67 - "Therefore let all those whom he has separated from his communion understand that they continue in ours, and that from this time he himself (Nestorius) cannot continue in communion with us, if he persists in opposing the Apostolic doctrine. Wherefore you shall execute this Judgment with the Authority of our See, acting in our Stead, and having our Power delegated to you; and that if, in the space of ten days after he has received this admonition, he does not expressly anathematize his impious doctrines, and promise to confess, for the future, that faith which the Roman Church and your Church and all Christendom teach concerning the generation of Jesus Christ our God, your Holiness may forthwith set about to provide for this Church (of Constantinople) under the full assurance that in such a case it is necessary that he should be utterly separated from our body." (St. Pope Celestine to St. Cyril of Alexandria, AD 430).

-St. Pope Celestine

68 - "Joining to yourself, therefore, the sovereignt of our See, and assuming our place with

authority, you will execute this sentence with accurate rigour: 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

- St. Pope Celestine

69 - "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

70 - "And all the most reverend bishops at the same time cried out. This is a just judgment. To Celestine  [43rd Pope], a new Paul! To Cyril a new Paul! To Celestine the guardian of the faith! To Celestine of one mind with the synod! To Celestine the whole Synod offers its thanks! One Celestine! 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 Celestine, and by the coming of your holiness. For ye have made manifest the zeal of the most holy and reverend bishop Celestine, 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 Celestine 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

71 - "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: who down even to to-day and forever both lives and judges in his successors. 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

72 - "We enjoin upon you [my legates to the Council of Ephesus] the necessary task of guarding the authority of the Apostolic See. And if the instructions handed to you have to mention this and if you have to be present in the assembly, if it comes to controversy, it is not yours to join the fight but to judge of the opinions [on my behalf]" (Letters 17 [A.D. 431]). 

- Pope Celestine I

73 - "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." (Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427],To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11(A.D. 430),in SPP,208)

- Pope Celestine

74 - "Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: ‘We offer our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you, the holy members, by our holy voices, you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your blessedness is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the head of the apostles, is blessed Peter the apostle. And since now [we], after having been tempest-tossed and much vexed, [have] arrived, we ask that you order that there be laid before us what things were done in this holy synod before our arrival; in order that according to the opinion of our blessed pope and of this present holy assembly, we likewise may ratify their determination’" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]). 

- Council of Ephesus

75 - "Bishop Paschasinus, guardian of the Apostolic See, stood in the midst [of the Council Fathers] and said, ‘We received directions at the hands of the most blessed and apostolic bishop of the Roman city [Pope Leo I], who is the head of all the churches, which directions say that Dioscorus is not to be allowed to sit in the [present] assembly, but that if he should attempt to take his seat, he is to be cast out. This instruction we must carry out" (Acts of the Council, session 1 [A.D. 451]). 

-Bishop Paschasinus, Council of Chalcedon

76 - "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 [Dioscorus] 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." (Bishop Paschasinus, legate of the Apostolic See at the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, p. 265)

- Bishop Paschasinus, Council of Chalcedon

77 - "After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of 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!’" (The Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, p. 261,session 2). 

-Council of Chalcedon

78 - "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, ...."

-Council of Chalcedon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XII:72

79 - "We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope of the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the bishop of Rome" (Letters 25:2 [A.D. 449]). 

- Peter Chrysologus

80 - "Although the tradition of the Fathers has assigned so great an Authority to the Apostolic See, that no one should dare to dispute about a Judgment given by it, and that See, by laws and regulations, has kept to this; and the discipline of the Church, in the laws which it yet follows, still pays to the name of Peter, from whom that See (or discipline) descends, the reverence due, — for canonical antiquity, by universal consent, willed that so great a Power should belong to that Apostle, a Power also derived from the actual promise of Christ our God, that it should be his to loose what was bound, and to bind what was loosed, an equal state of Power being bestowed upon those who, by His will, should be found worthy to inherit his See...." (St. Pope Zosimus, AD 417).

-St. Pope Zosimus

81 - "Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgements...For(Peter) himself has care over all the Churches, and above all that in which he sat nor does he suffer any of its priveleges 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

- St. Pope Zosimus

82 - "I appeal to the justice of your Holiness, my Lord Zosimus, venerable Pope. The true faith is never troubled, and this especially in the Apostolic Church, wherein the teachers of a corrupt faith are as easily detected as they are truly punished... that they may have in them that true faith which the Apostles taught, and which is held by the Roman Church, and by all the teachers of the Catholic faith." (Paulinus Orosius, AD 418).

-Paulinus Orosius

83 - "If, for one man’s fault, the population of a whole province is to be anathematised, then will be condemned also that most blessed disciple (of Peter), Rome to wit, out of which there have sprung up not one, but two or three, or even more heresies, and yet not one of them has been able either to have possession, or to move the Chair of Peter, that is, the Seat of Faith.... Seeing that the institutes of the Apostolic doctrine exhort us, to produce to all that ask us the reason of the faith and hope that is in us, we will not delay to place the rule of our faith before your Holiness, who are the builder of that edifice." (Bachiarius writing to the Pope, AD 420).


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

- Pope Boniface

85 - "The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing 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" Boniface[regn A.D. 418-422],To the bishops of Thessaly,in GILES,230

- Pope Boniface

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

-Pope Boniface

87 - "Peter, Head of the choir of Apostles". (Nilus, Lib. ii Epistl.[A.D. 448]).

-Nilus of Constantinople

88 - "Peter, who was foremost in the choir of Apostles and always ruled amongst them." (Nilus, Tract. ad. Magnam.)

-Nilus of Constantinople

87 - "The Chief, Peter." (Macarius, De Patientia, n. 3, p. 180).


-Macarius of Egypt

88 - "Moses was succeeded by Peter, who had committed to his hands the new Church of Christ, and the true priesthood." (Macarius, Hom. xxvi. n. 23, p. 101[A.D. 371]).


-Macarius of Egypt

89 - "He suffers him no longer to be called Simon, exercising authority and rule over him already having become His own. 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." (Cyril, T. iv. Comm. in Joan., p. 131 [A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

90 - "He (Christ) promises to found the Church, assigning immovableness to it, as He is the Lord of strength, and over this He sets Peter as shepherd." (Cyril, Comm. on Matt., ad loc. [A.D. 424).


- St. Cyril of Alexandria

91 - "Therefore, when the Lord had hinted at the disciple's denial in the words that He used, 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith not fail,' He at once introduced a word of consolation, and said (to Peter): 'And do thou, when once thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' That is, 'Be thou a support and a teacher of those who through faith come to me.' Again, marvel also at the insight of that saying and at the completeness of the Divine gentleness of spirit. For so that He should not reduce the disciple to despair at the thought that after his denial he would have to be debarred from the glorious distinction of being an Apostle, He fills him with good hope, that he will attain the good things promised. ...O loving kindness! The sin was not yet committed, and He already extends His pardon and sets him (Peter) again in his Apostolic office." (Cyril Comm. on Luke's Gospel [A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

92 - "For the wonderous Peter, overcome by uncontrollable fear, denied the Lord three times. Christ heals the error done, and demands in various ways the threefold confession ... For although all the holy disciples fled, ...still Peter's fault in the threefold denial was in addition, special and peculiar to himself. Therefore, by the threefold confession of blessed Peter, the fault of the triple denial was done away. Further, by the Lord's saying, Feed my lambs, we must understand a renewal as it were of the Apostleship already given to him, washing away the intervening disgrace  of his fall, and the littleness of human infirmity." (Cyril, Comm. on John's Gospel [A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

93 - "They (the Apostles) strove to learn through one, that preeminent one, Peter." (Cyril, Ib. 1. ix. p. 736[A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

94 - "And even blessed Peter, though set over the holy disciples, says 'Lord, be it far from Thee, this shall be done to Thee." (Cyril, Ibid. 924[A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

95 - "If Peter himself, that prince of the holy disciples, was, upon an occasion, scandalized, so as suddenly to exclaim, 'Lord, be it far from Thee,' what wonder that the tender mind of woman should be carried away?" (Cyril, Ibid, p. 1064[A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

96 - "That the Spirit is God we shall also learn hence. That the prince of the Apostles, to whom 'flesh and blood,' as the Savior says, 'did not reveal' the Divine mystery, says to Ananias, 'Why hath Satan tempted thy heart," (Cyril, T. v. Par. 1. Thesaur. p. 340[A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

97 - "Besides all these, let there come forward that leader of the holy disciples, Peter, who, when the Lord, on a certain occassion, asked him, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' instantly cried out, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" (Cyril, T. v. P.2, Hom. viii. De Fest. Pasch. p. 105[A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

98 - "'If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.' When the Coryphaeus (Peter) had heard these words, he began to change." (Cyril, Ib. Hom. [A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

99 - "This bold man (Julian), besides all this, cavils at Peter, the chosen one of the holy Apostles." (Cyril, T. vi.l. ix. Contr. Julian. p. 325 [A.D. 424]).

- St. Cyril of Alexandria

100 - "Peter, set above the Apostles." (Peter of Alexandria, Canon. ix, Galland, iv. p. 98 [A.D. 306-311]).


- St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria

101 - "Peter, the Prince of the Apostles" (Anthony, Epist. xvii. Galland, iv p. 687 [A.D. 330])

- St. Anthony of Egypt

102 - "Rome is called the Apostolic throne." (Athanasius, Hist. Arian, ad Monach. n. 35 [A.D. 362])

-St. Athanasius

103 - "The Chief, Peter." (Athan, In Ps. xv. 8, tom. iii. p. 106, Migne [A.D. 362])

-St. Athanasius

104 - Writing to Pope Leo III:
"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". (Theodore, Bk. I. Ep. 23 [A.D. 759-826])

-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

105 - Writing to Pope Paschal:
"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 (Ps. xliii. 23). 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. Stretch forth thy hand so far as thou canst. Thou hast strength with God, through being the first of all." (Letter of St. Theodore and four other Abbots to Pope Paschal, Bk. ii Ep. 12, Patr. Graec. 99, 1152-3 [A.D. 759-826])

-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

106 - Writing to Emperor Michael:
"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." (Theodore, Bk. II. Ep. 86 [A.D. 759-826]).


-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

107 - "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." (Theodore Bk. II. Ep. 63 [A.D. 759-826]).

-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

108 - "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 the calm harbor of the whole Church, far removed from the waves of heresy, you the God-chosen city of refuge." (Letter of St. Theodor and Four Abbots to Pope Paschal [A.D. 759-826]).

-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

109 - "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." (Theodore the Studite, Patr. Graec. 99, 1420 [A.D. 759-826]) .

-St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople

110a - "The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell 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 also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” and again He says to him after His resurrection: "Feed my sheep." On him he builds his Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, 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; but a primacy was given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?"
(The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251).

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

110b - "The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell 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 also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. It is on one man that He builds the Church; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles after His resurrection, when He says, "As the Father has sent me, so also do I send you; receive the Holy Spirit: if any man his sins, they shall be forgiven; and if you retain any man's sins the shall be retained. (3)," nevertheless, in order that unity, which takes its beginning from one man alone. Indeed, the other Apostles were that also which Peter was, being endowed with an equal portion of dignity and power; but the origin is grounded in unity, so that it may be clear that there is but one Church of Christ..... If someone does not hold fast to this unity of the Church, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he resists and withstands the Church, can he still be confident that he is in the Church, when the blessed Apostle Paul teaches this very thing and displays the sacred sign of the unity when he says: "One body and one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord one faith, one baptism, one God (5)?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; second edition [A.D. 251).

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

111 - "With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source" (Letters 59:14 [A.D. 253]).
-St. Cyprian of Carthage

112 - "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" (Letters 43[40]:5 [A.D. 253]).

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

113 - "Cyprian to [Pope] Cornelius, his brother. Greeting. . . . We decided to send and are sending a letter to you from all throughout the province [where I am] so that all our colleagues might give their decided approval and support to you and to your communion, that is, to both the unity and the charity of the Catholic Church" (Letters 48:1, 3 [A.D. 253]). 

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

114 - "Cyprian to Antonian, his brother. Greeting ... You wrote ... that I should forward a copy of the same letter to our colleague [Pope] Cornelius, so that, laying aside all anxiety, he might at once know that you held communion with him, that is, with the Catholic Church" (Letters, 55[52]:1). 

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

115 - "Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it [rebaptism], 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." (St. Vincent of Lerins, AD 445, p. 331)

-St. Vincent Lerins

116 - This same norm of apostolic doctrine persists in the successors of him to whom the Lord enjoined the care of the entire sheepfold. (St. Pope Simplicius, AD 468, p. 301).

- St. Pope Simplicius


117 - "That which the Roman Church — which is the summit of the world enlightened with resplendent rays by the words of two great luminaries, namely Peter and Paul, and decorated with their bodies — holds and teaches, the entire Christian world unhesitatingly believes and professes with her, unto righteousness and salvation." (St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, AD 523).

- Fulgentius of Ruspe

118 - "Since the authority of convoking General Synods by a singular privilege has been delivered to the Apostolic See of Blessed Peter, and we do not read that any synod was ever considered ratified which was not supported by Apostolic authority." (Pope Pelagius II, circa AD 579-590).

- Pope Pelagius

119 - "No one can doubt that there is in the Apostolic See a great unfailing fountain, pouring forth waters for all Christians; whence rich streams proceed, bountifully irrigating the whole Christian World; to which See also, in honour of blessed Peter, the decrees of the Fathers gave special veneration in searching out the things of God, which ought by all means to be carefully examined; and above all, and justly, by the Apostolic Head of Bishops, whose care from of old it is, as well to condemn evils as to commend the things that are to be praised. For by the ancient discipline it is ordained that whatsoever be done, even in provinces remote and afar off, shall neither be treated of nor accepted, unless it be first brought to the knowledge of your August See, so that a just sentence may be confirmed by its authority, and that the other Churches may thence receive the original preaching as from its native source, and that the mysteries of saving faith may remain in uncorrupt purity throughout the various regions of the world".


-(Three Councils of Africa, in their Synodical letter sent to Pope Theodore, and read in the Council of Rome under Martin I, AD 646)

120 - "O holy Head, Christ our God hath destined thy Apostolic See to be an immovable foundation, and a pillar of the faith. For thou art, as the divine Word truly saith, Peter, and on thee as a foundation-stone have the pillars of the Church been fixed." (Metropolitan Sergius of Cyprus to Pope Theodore, AD 649).

- Sergius of Cyprus

121 - "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." (Maximus, in J.B. Mansi, ed. Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, vol. 10 (AD 650))

- St. Maximus the Confessor

122 - "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 there 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 that greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell never prevail against her, that she has the keys of 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." (Maximus, Opuscula theologica et polemica, Migne, Patr. Graec. vol. 90, St. Maximus the Confessor, of Constantinople, AD 650).

- St. Maximus the Confessor

123 - "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 supreme dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God throughout the whole world." (Maximus, Letter to Peter, in Mansi x, 692, AD 650).

- St. Maximus the Confessor

124 - "This Apostolic Church never turned away from the way of truth nor held any kind of error. This is the rule of faith. All who wish to please God must study to conform the Apostolic rule of the primitive faith founded on the rock Peter, and kept by him from error." (St. Pope Agatho, AD 680).

- St. Pope Agatho

125 - "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..."
Agatho Pope,To Ecumenical Council VI at Constantinople,(A.D. 680),in NPNF2,XIV:328-339

- St. Pope Agatho

126 - "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 Roman Pontiffs) 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." (St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, AD 758-828).

- St. Nicephorus

127 - "Lest he be found a schismatic or a non-Catholic, let him follow the most approved authority of the Roman Church, so that we may ever have the examples of our salvation from the same place we received the beginnings of the Catholic faith. Let not the members be separated from the Head; let not the key-bearer of the heavenly kingdom cast out those whom he knows have deviated from his teachings." (Alcuin, AD 780)

- Alcuin

128 - "Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the 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; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).  

- St. Pope Damasus, council of Rome

129 - "The bishop of Constantinople shall have the primacy of honor after the bishop of Rome, because his city is New Rome" (canon 3 [A.D. 381]). 

- Council of Constantinople I

130 - "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."
Innocent I[regn A.D. 401-417],To the Council of Mileve,2 (A.D. 417), in SEP,147-148

- St. Pope Innocent I

131 - "For who knows not, or notices not, that what was delivered to the Roman Church by Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and is to this day guarded, ought to be observed by all men, and that nothing ought to be superinduced (or, introduced), which has not (that) authority, or which may seem to derive its precedent elsewhere.... " (St. Pope Innocent I, AD 410)

- St. Pope Innocent I

132 - "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 judgement, 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

- St. Pope Innocent

133 - "Yea, why have you confirmed this by your own act, but that you know that, throughout all the provinces, answers to questions always emanate from the Apostolic Spring.... For the authors of these evils must needs be more cautious, in seeing themselves, upon the report of two synods, separated from the communion of the Church, by the Decree of our sentence." (St. Pope Innocent I, AD 410)

- St. Pope Innocent I

134 - "If cases of greater importance are to be heard [at a council], they are, as the synod decrees and as happy custom requires, after episcopal judgment, to be referred to the Apostolic See" (Letters2:3:6 [A.D. 408]).

- St. Pope Innocent I

135 - "In seeking the things of God . . . following the examples of ancient tradition . . . you have strengthened . . . the vigor of your religion with true reason, for you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us, and have shown that you know what is owed to the Apostolic See, if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the apostle himself [Peter] from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have emerged. Following him, we know how to condemn evils just as well as we know how to approve what is laudable. Or rather, guarding with your priestly office what the Fathers instituted, you did not regard what they had decided, not by human but by divine judgments, as something to be trampled on. They did not regard anything as finished, even though it was the concern of distant and remote provinces, until it had come to the notice of this See [Rome], so that what was a just pronouncement might be confirmed by the authority of this See, and thence other churches—just as all waters proceed from their own natal source and, through the various regions of the whole world, remain pure liquids of an incorrupted head. . . ." (Letters 29:1[A.D. 408]).

- St. Pope Innocent I

136 - "But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).


- St. Irenaeus

137 - "A question of no small importance arose at that time [A.D. 190]. For the parishes of all Asia [Minor], as from an older tradition held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Savior’s Passover. . . . But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world . . . as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast [of Lent] on no other day than on that of the resurrection of the Savior [Sunday]. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all, with one consent, through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other but the Lord’s day and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on this day only. . . . Thereupon [Pope] Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the community the parishes of all Asia [Minor], 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. . . . [Irenaeus] fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom" (Church History 5:23:1–24:11 [A.D. 312]). 

- Eusebius of Caesarea

138 - "Thus then did Irenaeus entreat and negotiate [with Pope Victor] on behalf of the peace of the churches—[Irenaeus being] a man well-named, for he was a peacemaker both in name and character. And he corresponded by letter not only with Victor, but also with very many and various rulers of churches" (Church History, 5:24:18 [A.D. 312]).

- Eusebius of Caesarea 

139 - "...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..."
Eusebius, Church History,2:14 (A.D. 312),in NPNF2,I:115

- Eusebius of Caesarea 

140 - "[Pope] Stephen ... 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 [Matt. 16:18]. ... Stephen ... announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter" (collected in Cyprian’s Letters 74[75]:17 [A.D. 253]).

- Firmilian

141 - "[I]f any bishop loses the judgment in some case [decided by his fellow bishops] and still believes that he has not a bad but a good case, in order that the case may be judged anew . . . let us honor the memory of the apostle Peter by having those who have given the judgment write to Julius, Bishop of Rome, so that if it seem proper he may himself send arbiters and the judgment may be made again by the bishops of a neighboring province" (canon 3 [A.D. 342]). 

"[I]f some bishop be deposed by the judgment of the bishops sitting in the neighborhood, and if he declare that he will seek further redress, another should not be appointed to his see until the bishop of Rome can be acquainted with the case and render a judgment" (canon 4).


- Council of Sardica

142 - "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 neighbouring 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

- Council of Sardica, Canon III

143 - "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 neighbouring 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

144 - "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)

- Council of Sardica, Canon V

145 - "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).

- Council of Sardica, To Pope Julius

146 - "Your most sweet holiness, [Bishop Eulogius of Alexandria], has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy . . . I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair, who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honor to myself in no wise delights me . . . who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Peter from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, ‘To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]. And again it is said to him, ‘And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren’ [Luke 22:32]. And once more, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep’ [John 21:17]" (Letters 40 [A.D. 597]).  

- St. Pope Gregory I

147 - "Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . established the worship belonging to the divine religion. . . . But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the apostles. And he wanted his gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as if from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he was himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery. . . . [You, my brothers], must realize with us, of course, that the Apostolic See—out of reverence for it, I mean—has on countless occasions been reported to in consultation by bishops even of your own province [Vienne]. And through the appeal of various cases to this see, decisions already made have been either revoked or confirmed, as dictated by long-standing custom" (Letters 10:2–3 [A.D. 445]). 

- St. Pope Leo I

148 - "As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy apostle Peter" (Letters 110 [A.D. 445]). 

- St. Pope Leo I

149 - "[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:..."(Leo the Great(Pope),Sermon 3:3-4(A.D. 442),in NPNF2,XII:117).

- St. Pope Leo I

150 - "[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 any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery."
(Leo the Great(Pope),To Bishops of Vienne, Epistle 10 (A.D. 450),in NPNF2,XII:8).

- St. Pope Leo I

151 - "If in your view, [Anastasius of Thessalonica], in regard to a matter to be handled and decided jointly with your brothers, their decision was other than what you wanted, then let the entire matter, with a record of the proceedings, be referred to us. . . . Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen [to be apostles], but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the universal Church would converge in the one see of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head" (Letters., 14:11 [A.D. 445]). 

- St. Pope Leo I

152 - "Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . 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. He wished him who had been received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he himself was, when he said: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal temple might rest on Peter’s solid rock, strengthening his Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it" (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445). 

- St. Pope Leo I

153 - "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

- St. Pope Leo

154 - "'Thou an 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

- St. Pope Leo

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

- St. Pope Leo

156 - "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 an 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

- St. Pope Leo

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

- St. Pope Leo

158 - Our Lord Jesus Christ then became a man, but by the many He was not known. But wishing to teach that which was not known, having assembled the disciples, He asked, 'Whom do men say that the Son of man is?' ...And all being silent (for it was beyond man to learn) Peter, the Foremost of the Apostles, the Chief Herald of the Church, not using the language of his own finding, nor persuaded by human reasoning, but having his mind enlightened by the Father, says to Him, 'Thou art the Christ,' not simply that, but 'the Son of the living God.' (Cyril, Catech. xi. n. 3 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch (363)).


- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

159 - For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven. (Cyril, Catechetical Lectures A.D. 350 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch).

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

160 - Peter, the chief and foremost leader of the Apostles, before a little maid thrice denied the Lord, but moved to penitence, he wept bitterly. (Cyril, Catech ii. n. 15 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch (363))

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

161 - In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, also the foremost of the Apostles and the key-bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, healed Aeneas the paralytic in the name of Christ. (Cyril, Catech. xviii. n. 27 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Patriarch (363)).

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

162 - Teaching us all orthodoxy and destroying all heresy and driving it away from the God-protected halls of our holy Catholic Church. And together with these inspired syllables and characters, I accept all his (the pope's) letters and teachings as proceeding from the mouth of Peter the Coryphaeus, and I kiss them and salute them and embrace them with all my soul ... I recognize the latter as definitions of Peter and the former as those of Mark, and besides, all the heaven-taught teachings of all the chosen mystagogues of our Catholic Church. (Sophronius, Mansi, xi. 461(c. 638)).


- St. Sophronius

163 - Transverse quickly all the world from one end to the other until you come to the Apostolic See (Rome), where are the foundations of the orthodox doctrine. Make clearly known to the most holy personages of that throne the questions agitated among us. Cease not to pray and to beg them until their apostolic and Divine wisdom shall have pronounced the victorious judgement and destroyed from the foundation ...the new heresy. (Sophronius, [quoted by Bishop Stephen of Dora to Pope Martin I at the Lateran Council], Mansi, 893(c. 638)).


- St. Sophronius

164 - "And for this cause, sometimes we ask for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair (the Chair of Peter at Rome) which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the head and highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from old and from the beginning with power by its canonical or apostolic authority, because the truly great Peter, head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be trusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the Gospel of grace, but because he was also commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for 'Peter,' saith He, 'lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.' And again, because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God Himself incarnate for us with power and sacerdotal authority .....And Sophronius of blessed memory, who was Patriarch of the holy city of Christ our God, and under whom I was bishop, conferring not with flesh and blood, but caring only for the things of Christ with respect to your Holiness, hastened to send my nothingness without delay about this matter alone to this Apostolic see, where are the foundations of holy doctrine. "(A.D. 645).


- Stephen, Bishop of Dora in Palestine

165 - "Peter, the coryphaeus of the disciples, and the one set over (or chief of) the Apostles. Art not thou he that didst say, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'? Thou Bar-Jonas (son of the dove) hast thou seen so many miracles, and art thou still but Simon (a hearer)? He appointed thee the key-bearer of Heaven, and has though not yet layed aside thy fisherman's clothing?" (Proclus, Or. viii In Dom. Transfig. t. ix. Galland (A.D. 434)).


- St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople, a disciple of St. John Chrysostom

166 - "That great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the principle authority in faith and in priesthood. Tell us, therefore, we beg of you, Peter, prince of Apostles, tell us how the Churches must believe in God" (Cassian, Contra Nestorium, III, 12, CSEL, vol. 17, p. 276 (c. A.D. 430)).

- John Cassian, Monk

 167 - "The Pope of Rome, the head of the Christian priesthood, whom in Peter, the Lord commanded to confirm his brethren." (John VI, Epist. ad Constantin. Pap. ad. Combefis, Auctuar. Bibl. P.P. Graec.tom. ii. p. 211, seq. (A.D. 715)).


- John VI, Patriarch of Constantinople

168 - "Neither to John, nor to any other of the disciples, did our Savior say, 'I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,' but only to Peter." (Eulogius, Lib. ii. Cont. Novatian. ap. Photium, Biblioth, cod. 280 (A.D. 581)).


- Eulogius of Alexandria

169 - "Holy men are therefore called the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them; as that Chief of the Apostles testifies, he that was found to be blessed by the Lord, because the Father had revealed unto him. To him then did the Father reveal His true Son; and the same (Peter) furthermore reveals the Holy Spirit. This was befitting in the First of the Apostles, that firm Rock upon which the Church of God is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The gates of hell are heretics and heresiarchs. For in every way was the faith confirmed in him who received the keys of heaven; who looses on earth and binds in heaven. For in him are found all subtle questions of faith. He was aided by the Father so as to be (or lay) the Foundation of the security (firmness) of the faith. He (Peter) heard from the same God, 'feed my lambs'; to him He entrusted the flock; he leads the way admirably in the power of his own Master." (Epiphanius, T. ii. in Anchor (A.D. 385)).

- St. Epiphanius, Archbishop of Salamis

170 "The chief of the disciples...the Lord accepted him, set him up as the foundation, called him the rock and structure of the church." (Aphraates, De Paenitentibus Homily 7:15(A.D. 337),in SPP,5).

- Aphraates

171 - "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 Saviour 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).

- Asterius

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

- Prosper of Aquitaine

173 - "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

- Prosper of Aquitaine

174 - "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!'(Lk 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)." Pelagius II(Pope),Quod Ad Dilectionem (c.A.D. 685),in DNZ(246),95

- Pope Pelagius II

175 - "[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).

- Pacian

176 -"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..."' (Homily 63(A.D. 408),in SPP,61-62).

- Maximus of Turin

177 - "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."
(Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration 32:18(A.D. 380),in SPP,56).

- Gregory of Nazianzen

178 - "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." (Gregory of Nyssa, Panegyric on St. Stephen,3(ante A.D. 394),in SPP,56).

- Gregory of Nyssa

179 -"[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

- Hilary de Poiters

180 - "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."
Hippolytus, Discourse on the Holy Theophany,9(ante A.D. 235),ANF,V:237

- Hippolytus

181 - "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-honoured 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

- Constantinople III Council

182 - "One of these mountains was Peter, upon which rock the Lord promised to build His Church (Comm. in Esai 2,66 [A.D. 373])

- Basil the Great

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

-Basil of Seleucia

184 - "'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.' " (Bede Venerable, AD 700, Ecclesiastical History,3:5(A.D. 700),in RCH,I:271).

- Bede

185 - "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

- Ambrosiaster

186 - "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."
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

- St. Pope, Clement of Rome

187 - "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."Julius[regn A.D. 337-352],To the Eusebians,fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians,2:35,in NPNF2,IV:118

- Pope Julius

188 - "To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upom 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


- St. Pope Sircius

189 - "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"
Sircius[regn c A.D. 384-399],To Himerius,bishop of Tarragona(Spain),1,3,20,in SL,699,701,707

- St. Pope Sircius

190 - "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: To-day 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

- Dionysius of Corinth

191 - "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 Saviour'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 Saviour...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

- St. Pope Victor

192 - "Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called "the rock on which the Church would be built" [Matt. 16:18] with the power of "loosing and binding in heaven and on earth" [Matt. 16:19]"" (_Demurrer Against the Heretics_ 22 [A.D. 200]).

- Tertullian

193 - "I now inquire into your opinion, to see whence you usurp this right for the Church. Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, "On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" [Matt 16:18-19a] that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed on 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 upon Peter? Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed"" (_On Modesty_ 21:9-10_[A.D. 220]).

- Tertullian

194 - "But if you are near Italy, you have Rome, where authority is at hand for us too. What a happy church that is, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John [the Baptist, by being beheaded]" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 36 [A.D. 200]). 

- Tertullian

195 - "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." (Adv. Eunom. 4 [A.D. 373])

- Basil the Great

196 - "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." (Letter 69 to Anathasius [A.D. 373]).

- Basil the Great

197 - "Therefore shall you [Hermas] write two little books and send one to Clement [Bishop of Rome] and one to Grapte. Clement shall then send it to the cities abroad, because that is his duty" (The Shepherd 2:4:3 [A.D. 80]). 

- Hermas

198 - "Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father" (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]). 

- Ignatius of Antioch

199 - "You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force" (Letter to the Romans 3:1). 

- Ignatius of Antioch

200 - "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]). 

- The Letter of Clement to James

 201 - "[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]). 

- The Clementine Homilies