Early Church Testimony Regarding the Primacy of the Pope / Church of Rome

Catholics believe that the Church of Rome has held a unique leadership role in order to maintain Church unity since the immediate post-apostolic period when the bishop of Rome succeeded St. Peter in his unique, Christ-appointed ministry role.  The way that this leadership has been exercised has changed as the needs of the universal Church have changed (and as the initial Roman persecutions decreased). Protestants/evangelicals often side with the Eastern Orthodox in pointing to various historical circumstances in which popes were opposed to refute this Catholic claim.  Catholics respond that all legitimate leadership finds opposition at times, and even St. Peter himself was ‘opposed to his face’ by St. Paul when he was not practicing what he preached as described in Galatians 2:11. This opposition did not diminish the leadership role of St. Peter, it just showed that he is a man who is capable of making mistakes or sinning like any other.  Regardless of the personal sins and errors in judgement of many of the popes, the Holy Spirit has prevented any of them from ever ‘binding’ all of the faithful to believe in heresy when defining dogma regarding faith and morals. In this manner, the promises of Christ himself have come to fruition: The gates of hell have not prevailed against the Church that Christ promised to build upon the person of St. Peter (and his confession of faith), The pope has continued to ‘confirm his brethren’ and ‘feed & tend Christ’s sheep’ as Christ charged St. Peter to do, and Christ (‘the Truth’ himself) has remained with the Church always, with his Spirit ‘guiding her into all truth.’
The following historical quotations illustrate this Catholic belief, which like many other Christian beliefs (the Trinity, the Canon of Scripture, the two wills and natures of Christ, etc…) became clearer and more evident as time went on.  For a historical survey of a vast amount of evidence regarding Rome’s ecclesiastic authority, I highly recommend the book Upon This Rock by the Baptist-to-Catholic convert Stephen Ray.
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Early Church Fathers on the Primacy of the Pope / Church of Rome
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Pope Clement I                                                                                                                       “Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63 [A.D. 80]).

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Hermas                                                                                                                             “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]).

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Ignatius of Antioch                                                                                                       “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, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God.” (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110], emphasis added).

“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” (ibid., chapter 3).

“I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant.” (ibid, chapter 4)

“Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria, which now has God for its shepherd, instead of me. Jesus Christ alone will oversee it, and your love.” (ibid., chapter 9)

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Bishop Dionysius of Corinth  (Writing to the Roman Church in c.166-174)

“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.”(compiled by Eusebius, Church History volume 4, c. 324 A.D., emphasis added)

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“Today we have observed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your letter [Pope Soter]. Whenever we do read it [in church], we shall be able to profit thereby, as also we do when we read the earlier letter written to us by Clement” (ibid., 4:23:11).
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St. Irenaeus (pupil of Polycarp, who was the pupil of the Apostle John)
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“Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say, ] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops.  For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre-eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.”  -(Against Heresies, (3,3,2), 180 A.D., emphasis added)
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Eusebius of Caesarea

Notice in the following account how the Pope understands that it is within his scope of authority to excommunicate entire Eastern Churches over certain matters of disagreement.  His fellow bishops rebuked him for this decision, seemingly due to thinking it was a bad decision rather than that his action was outside of his scope of authority in the first place:

“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, emphasis added).

“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” (ibid., 24:18).

“And how is it that they are not ashamed to speak thus falsely of Victor [bishop of Rome], knowing well that he cut off from communion Theodotus, the cobbler, the leader and father of this God-denying apostasy, and the first to declare that Christ is mere man? For if Victor agreed with their opinions, as their slander affirms, how came he to cast out Theodotus, the inventor of this heresy?  So much in regard to Victor. His bishopric lasted ten years, and Zephyrinus was appointed his successor about the ninth year of the reign of Severus.”(ibid, 5.28:6-7)

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Tertullian
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From his pre-Montanist orthodox period:
“For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago—in the reign of Antoninus for the most part, — and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus [c. 174-189], until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled. Marcion, indeed, [went] with the two hundred sesterces which he had brought into the church, and, when banished at last to a permanent excommunication, they scattered abroad the poisons of their doctrines. Afterwards, it is true, Marcion professed repentance, and agreed to the conditions granted to him— that he should receive reconciliation if he restored to the church all the others whom he had been training for perdition: he was prevented, however, by death. (On Prescription Against Heretics, 30. c. 200 A.D, emphasis added)
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“Come now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally. Achaia is very near you, (in which) you find Corinth. Since you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi; (and there too) you have the Thessalonians. Since you are able to cross to Asia, you get Ephesus. Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile! See what she has learned, what taught, what fellowship has had with even (our) churches in Africa! -(On Prescription Against Heretics, chapter 36. c. 200 A.D, emphasis added)
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From his heretical Montanist period, where he utilizes titles of the pagan Emperor to sarcastically protest Pope Callistus’s authority, and in so doing provides a valuable ‘hostile witness’ to the Papal authority claims, which Tertulian sees as originating from succession of St. Peter who was personally given ‘the keys.’  In this situation, Pope Callistus was using his authority by issuing ‘a peremptory edict’ that changed the penitential disciple of the sacrament of reconciliation, making it available to those who committed adultery or fornication on more than one occasion (this discipline continues even today).  This authoritative change extended beyond his own bisphoric diocese throughout the universal Church:
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“I hear that there has even been an edict sent forth, and a peremptory one too. The ‘Pontifex Maximus,’ that is the ‘bishop of bishops,’ issues an edict: ‘I remit, to such as have discharged [the requirements of] repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication.’ O edict, on which cannot be inscribed, ‘Good deed!’ …Far, far from Christ’s betrothed be such a proclamation!” (On Modesty 1, Ante-Nicene Fathers IV:74)
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“I now inquire into your opinions, to see whence you usurp the right for the Church. Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church …[Matt 16-19]’ that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed over to you, that is, to every church akin to that of Peter? What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when He conferred this personally on Peter? ‘On you,’ He says, ‘I will build my Church; and I give to you the keys’….” (On Modesty 21:9-10)
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St. Cyprian of Carthage
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Though later he did not always agree with the Pope’s decisions (but the rest of the Church did and still does), Bishop St. Cyprian uses clear terms to state that the Roman Church is the principle Church where faithlessness can have no access, and in which the Chair of Peter acts as a source of unity for communion within the universal Church:
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“Morever, after all this, having had a pseudo-bishop set up for themselves by heretics, they dare to sail, and to carry letters, from schismatic and profane men, to the chair of Peter, and to the principal Church whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise; nor do they consider that the Romans are those (whose faith was praised in the preaching of the Apostle) to whom faithlessness cannot have access.”  – Ep. lv. ad Cornel. (c. 246 A.D.)
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“The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” He says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.  And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)  And again He says to him after His resurrection: “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)  On him He builds the 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 intrinsic reason for that unity.  Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is 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 still be confident that he is in the Church?” -On the Unity of the Catholic Church, 4. (246 A.D.
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“They alone have remained outside [the Church] who, were they within, would have to be ejected…There [in John 6:68-69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ.  The people joined to the priest, the flock clinging to their shepherd in the Church.  You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishops, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church.  They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priest of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals.  The Church, which is one and Catholic is not split or divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere to one another.”  -Letters 66 (67): 8, (254 A.D.)
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Origin
“There is one baptism, and one Holy Ghost, and one Church, founded by Christ our Lord upon Peter, for (or from) an original and principle of unity.”  -(Ep. lxx. ad Januar. at Ep. Numid. p.270. (230-250 A.D.)
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The Martyrs of Lyons 
.                                                                                                                                            “And when a dissension arose about these said people [the Montanists], the brethren in Gaul once more . . . [sent letters] to the brethren in Asia and Phrygia and, moreover to Eleutherius, who was then [A.D. 175] bishop of the Romans, negotiating for the peace of the churches” (Eusebius, Church History 5:3:4 [A.D. 312])
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“And the same martyrs too commended Irenaeus, already at that time [A.D. 175] a presbyter of the community of Lyons, to the said bishop of Rome, rendering abundant testimony to the man, as the following expressions show: ‘Once more and always we pray that you may rejoice in God, Pope Eleutherius. This letter we have charged our brother and companion Irenaeus to convey to you, and we beg you to receive him as zealous for the covenant of Christ’” (ibid., 5:4:1–2).

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Pope St. Julius I
 “[The] judgment [concerning Athanasius] ought to have been made, not as it was, but according to the ecclesiastical canon. It behooved all of you to write us so that the justice of it might be seen as emanating from all. … Are you ignorant that the custom has been to write first to us and then for a just decision to be passed from this place [Rome]? If, then, any such suspicion rested upon the bishop there [Athanasius of Alexandria], notice of it ought to have been written to the church here. But now, after having done as they pleased, they want to obtain our concurrence, although we never condemned him. Not thus are the constitutions of Paul, not thus the traditions of the Fathers. This is another form of procedure, and a novel practice. … What I write about this is for the common good. For what we have heard from the blessed apostle Peter, these things I signify to you” (Letter on Behalf of Athanasius [A.D. 341], in Athanasius, Apology Against the Arians 20–35).
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Council of Sardica
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“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
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“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
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“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.The Council Writing to Pope Julius:
“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),pp.527-528.
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St. Optatus of Milevis
“You cannot deny that you know in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat, the same who was head – that is why he is also called Cephas [Rock] – of all the Apostles, in which chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one.  Therefore in the Single Chair, which is the first of the endowments sat first Peter, to whom succeeded Linus [a list of popes follows] . .  to Damasus succeeded Siricius, who is our colleague, with whom the whole world together with us is united in one fellowship of communion by the interchange of letters. . . 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 (c. 370 A.D.)
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“Whence then is it that you strive to usurp unto yourselves the keys of the kingdom of heaven, you who sacrilegiously fight against the chair of Peter, by your presumption and audacity?”  -De schism. Donat. 1. ii. n. 4,6 (c. 370 A.D.)
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“Having established the primacy of the see of Rome, he says: ‘But you say that you have a certain share in the city of Rome.  This is a branch of your error, shooting forth from falsehood, not from the root of truth.  In fact, if Macrobius be asked what chair he fills in that city, can he answer, ‘Peter’s chair?’ which I do not know that he even knows by sight, and unto whose memorial, like a schismatic, he has not approached…”  – De schism. Donat. 1. ii. n. 4,6 (c. 370 A.D.)

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“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.”
-The Schism of Donatists,7:3 (c.A.D. 367),in GCC,50

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St. Gregory Nazianzen
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“The faith (of Rome) was of old, and still is now, right, binding the whole west by the saving word, as is just in her who presides over all, reverencing the whole harmonious teaching of God.” – Carm. de Vita Sua, vv. 568-573, tom. ii. p. 704. (370 A.D.)
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St Jerome
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Writing to Pope Damasus:
“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.”
-Epistle 15:1-2(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VI:18
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Pope Damasus
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“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.” -About Council at Arminum,Epistle 1 (A.D. 371),in Theodoret’s Church History,in NPNF2,III:83
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“Although all the Catholic churches spread abroad throughout the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of the churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, Who says: “You are Peter…” (Matthew 16:18-19).  In addition to this, there is also the companionship of the vessel of election, the most blessed Apostle Paul who, along with Peter in the city of Rome in the time of Caesar Nero, equally consecrated the above-mentioned holy Roman church to Christ the Lord; and by their own presence and by their venerable triumph, they set it at the forefront over the others of all the cities of the world.  The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman church, which has neither stain nor blemish, nor anything like that.  The second see is that of Alexandria, consecrated on behalf of the blessed Peter by Mark, his disciple and an Evangelist, who was sent to Egypt by the Apostle Peter, where he preached the word of truth and finished his glorious martyrdom.  The third see is that of Antioch, which belonged to the most blessed Peter, where first he dwelled before he came to Rome, and where the name “Christians” was first applied, as to a new people.”  -Decree of Damasus, #3, (382 A.D.)https://wordpress.com/page/36217630/476/
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St. Ambrose
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“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?”
-The death of his brother Satyrus,1:47(A.D. 378),in NPNF2,X:168
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“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.”
-To Emperor Gratian,Epistle 11:4(A.D. 381),in SPP,160
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Edict of Emperor Theodosius
“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… Those who follow this law we order to take the name of Catholic Christians.”  –Theodosian Code 16.1.22 (cuntos populos), (27 February 380 A.D.)
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Ambrosiaster
“Whereas the whole world is God’s, yet is the Church said to be His house, of which Damasus (pope) is at this day the ruler.” – Comment. in Epist. i. ad Tim. Inter. Op. S. Ambos. (c.380-384 A.D.)
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Pope Sircius
“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.”
-To Himerius,Epistle 1(A.D. 385),in DEN,36-37
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St. Augustine of Hippo
“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 keeps 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 (397 A.D.)
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“The Roman Church, in which the Primacy of the Apostolic See has always been in force.” -Epist. xlii. (c. 400 A.D.)
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“Pastoral vigilance is common to all of us who exercise the episcopal office, although you (Pope Boniface) have the preeminence on a loftier summit”
-L. i. ad Bonif. c. I (c. 400 A.D.)
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“To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance.”
-De. Util. Cred. c.17 (c. 400 A.D)
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“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),in GCC,51
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“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”
-To Glorius et.al,Epistle 43:7(A.D. 397),in NPNF1,I:278
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“If the lineal succession of bishops is to be considered with how much more benefit to the Church do we reckon from Peter himself,to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: Upon this rock I will build my church,and the gates of hell shall not conquer it!’ For to Peter succeeded Linus,Clement…Damsus,Sircius,Anastasius. In this order of sucession no Donatist bishop is too be found.”
-To Generosus,Epistle 53:2(A.D. 400),in GILES,180-181

“The chair of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today.”
-Against the Letters of Petillian,2:51(A.D. 402),in GCC,78

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Pope Anastasius I
“Far be this from the Catholic discipline of the Roman Church… Assuredly care shall not be wanting on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel for my people; and to visit by Letter, as far as I be able, the members of my body, throughout the divers regions of the earth, to prevent any beginning of a profane interpretation from creeping in, which may have for its object to confound devout minds, by spreading its darkness.” –Ep. i. Ad Joan. Jerosol n.5 (399 A.D)
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Pope St. Innocent I
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“These, then, are the things which it behooves every Catholic Bishop, having before his eyes the judgment of God, hence-forward to observe…. That if any causes, or contentions, arise between clergy of the higher, or even of an inferior order, the dispute be settled agreeably to the Synod of Nicaea, by an assembly of the Bishops of that same province; and that it be not lawful for any one… to leave these priests (bishops), who by the will of God govern the Church of God, and to have recourse to other provinces.  If any greater causes shall have been brought forward (or discussed), let them, after episcopal judgment, be referred to the Apostolic See [Rome], as the synod (of Nicaea) resolved,and a blessed custom requires.”
-Ep. ii. ad Victric. n.1 (410 A.D.)
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“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 sacredotal 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.”
-To the Council of Carthage,Epistle 29(A.D. 417),in SEP,146-147
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Pope Zosimus
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“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”
-To Aurelius and the Council of Carthage,Epistle 12(A.D. 418),in GCC,95,115
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Pope Boniface
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“For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See”
-To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica,Epistle 13(A.D. 422),in GCC,115
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Pope Celestine
“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.”
-To Cyril of Alexandria,Epistle 11(A.D. 430),in GCC,88
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The Council of Ephesus
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“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 leter of our most holy father and colleague,Celestine,bishop of the Roman Church,with many tears,have arrived at the following sentence against him:–‘OurLord 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 sacredotal intercourse.”
-Council of Ephesus,Session I(A.D. 431),in GCC,89-90
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“And all the most reverend bishops at the same time cried out. This is a just judgment. To Coelestine, a new Paul! To Cyril a new Paul! To Coelestine the guardian of the faith! To Coelestine of one mind with the synod! To Coelestine the whole Synod offers its thanks! One Coelestine! 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 Coelestine, and by the coming of your holiness. For ye have made manifest the zeal of the most holy and reverend bishop Coelestine, 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 Coelestine 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
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“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: 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
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Pope Sixtus III
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“B. Peter in his successors has delivered what he received.”
-To John of Antioch,Epistle 6(A.D. 433),in GCC,95
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St. Cyril of Alexandria
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“For he[Pope Sixtus] wrote what was in accord with the holy synod[Council of Ephesus],and confirmed all of its acts,an is agreement with us.”
-To Acacius of Meletine,Epistle 40(A.D. 434),in GCC,114
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St. Possidius
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“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 veneranle 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 anathematised and avoided by all Catholics.The judgement 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.”
-Life of Augustine,18(A.D. 437),in GCC,80-81
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St. Vincent of Lerins
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“The example of Pope Stephen in resisting the Iteration of Baptism. Great then is the example of these same blessed men, an example plainly divine, and worthy to be called to mind, and medirated upon continually by every true Catholic, who, like the seven-branched candlestick, shining with the sevenfold light of the Holy Spirit, showed to posterity how thenceforward the audaciousness of profane novelty, in all the several rantings of error, might be crushed by the authority of hallowed antiquity. Nor is there anything new in this? For it has always been the case in the Church, that the more a man is under the influence of religion, so much the more prompt is he to oppose innovations. Examples there are without number: but to be brief, we will take one, and that, in preference to others, from the Apostolic See, so that it may be clearer than day to every one with how great energy, with how great zeal, with how great earnestness, the blessed successors of the blessed apostles have constantly defended the integrity of the religion which they have once received. Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine–and he was the first who held it –that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, 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. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation–nothing but what has been handed down.’ For that holy and prudent man well knew that true piety admits no other rule than that whatsoever things have been faithfully received from our fathers the same are to be faithfully consigned to our children; and that it is our duty, not to lead religion whither we would, but rather to follow religion whither it leads; and that it is the part of Christian modesty and gravity not to hand down our own beliefs or observances to those who come after us, but to preserve and keep what we have received from those who went before us. What then was the issue of the whole matter? What but the usual and customary one? Antiquity was retained, novelty was rejected.”
-Commonitories,6(A.D. 434),in NPNF2,XIV:134-135
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St. Peter Chrysologus
“We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope in the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth 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, 449 A.D.)
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Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria
“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.” -(Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197, 450 A.D.)
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“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 the Churches.  For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives.” -(ibid, Epistle Leoni, 450 A.D.)
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Pope Leo the Great
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“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.”
-Sermon 3:2-3(A.D ante 461),in NPNF2,XII:117
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“Who does not cease to preside in his see,who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world.”
-Sermon 5(A.D ante 461),in GCC,95
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Council of Chalcedon
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“After the reading of the foregoing epistle [i.e. the Tome of Pope 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 [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there] ? These are the things Dioscorus hid away.”
-Council of Chalcedon,Session II (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XIV:259
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“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 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.”
-Council of Chalcedon,Session III (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XIV:259-260
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“The great and holy and universal Synod…in the metropolis of Chalcedon…to 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, ….”
-Leo the Great,Pope,Chalcdeon to Pope Leo,Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XII:72
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Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople (466-516 A.D.)

“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.)

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Emperor Justinian (c.520-533)

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).

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

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 St. Avitus, bishop of Vienne (c.520 A.D.)
“If the pope is rejected, it follows that not one bishop, but the whole episcopate threatens to fall.” (Si papa urbis vocatur in dubium, episcopatus videbitur, non episcopus, vaccilare. — Ep. xxxiv; ed. Peiper)
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St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (c. 638)

“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)

“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)

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Stephen, Bishop of Dora in Palestine (c.645 A.D.)

“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.”

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Sergius, Metropolitain of Cyprus (c.649 A.D)

Writing to Pope Theodore:
“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.”                           -(Sergius Ep. ad Theod. lecta in Sess. ii. Concil. Lat. anno 649)

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St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 650)

“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 her 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 the greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell will never prevail against her, that she has the keys of the 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)

“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)

“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 pursuade 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, accodring to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and surpreme 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).

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John VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 715 A.D.)

“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.)

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St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (c.758-828 A.D.)

“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 usuage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Popes of Rome) 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.”                                     -(Nicephorus, Niceph. Cpl. pro. s. imag. c 25 [Mai N. Bibl. pp. ii. 30]).

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St. Theodore the Studite of Constantinople (c.759-826)

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)

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)

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 highests 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)

“I witness now before God and men, they have torn themselves away from the Body of Christ, from the Surpreme 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).

“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).

“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, emphasis added)

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