|Take up Your Cross|
reference: ANTE-NICENE FATHERS, VOLUME 4, Chapter XXI
|Orthodox Perspective on|
Roman Catholic Claims
Christ is the Rock of our Salvation. We are called Christians because we believe in Christ. We could also be called Rocks because we believe in the Rock. That is how early Church fathers saw Peter’s faith in the One who is the foundation of the Church. The Church would be built on Jesus Christ, but also constitute those who had this faith. (Matthew 16:13-20). So, Jesus nicknamed Cephas Rock (Peter) just as some of us are named Christian. There is absolutely nothing in the passage which says anything like Peter being the first of a long line of single men who would carry sole authority over the entirety of the Church. Nothing in the Bible or in early church writings support the idea of a Roman papacy as the sole Christian authority throughout the rest of Church history.
|Lives of the Apostles|
When the Church began, the Apostles of Jesus Christ scattered far and wide. There was little possibility of communication between the Christians of India, Ethiopia, Turkey and Spain. It is unrealistic to claim that Peter could have had authority over all these lands in a time when such authority would have simply been a matter of practical impossibility. Yet, Matthew 16:13-20 has been used to support the papacy above all other Christian authorities. How did the early church view this passage? The early church fathers did not interpret this passage as Rome later came to. Indeed wherever the right faith is to be found, there are the keys to the kingdom. No one person has a monopoly on that faith. That is why Paul wrote that no other foundation than Jesus Christ can be laid (1 Corinthians 3:11).