Primacy Of Simon Peter
Some Christians hold that Simon Peter was the most prominent of the Apostles, called the Prince of the Apostles and favored by Jesus of Nazareth. As such, it is argued that Peter held the first place of honor and authority. In addition, in Catholicism, it is also argued this primacy should extend in perpetuity to the Pope over other bishops throughout the Church through the doctrine of Apostolic succession. This doctrine is also known as the Primacy of Simon Peter or the Petrine Primacy (from the Latin Petrus for "Peter") but it is more formally known as the Primacy of the Catholic Pontiff. A number of traditions, most notably Catholic, hold that Simon Peter (also called Saint Peter or Cephas) was the first Bishop of Antioch, as well as the first Bishop of Rome. Critical scholars point out, however, that bishops in the early Christian church probably did not perform their functions and roles in the manner that evolved in later centuries.
This Primacy of Peter is closely related to, and indeed essential to, the Papal Primacy, that is, the idea that the papacy, by divine institution, enjoys delegated authority from Jesus over the entire Church. However, this doctrine of the Catholic Church makes a distinction between the personal prestige of Peter and the supremacy of the office of pope which Catholics believe Jesus instituted in the person of Peter. Other denominations hold that the Primacy of Peter was only relevant during the lifetime of Peter. There are various views on the nature of the primacy and how it was exercised and passed on.
Whilst the reasons for disagreement on the nature of the primacy are complex, hinging upon matters of doctrine, history, and politics, the debate is often reduced to a discussion of the meaning and translation of the "on this rock" passage.
And I say also 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. (King James Version)
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