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Apostolic Lineage, St. Peter

“Peter appears to have preached in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia to the Jews of the dispersion. And at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer in this way. What do we need to say concerning Paul, who preached the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and afterwards suffered martyrdom in Rome under Nero? These facts are related by Origen in the third volume of his Commentary on Genesis.

“After the martyrdom of Paul and of Peter, Linus was the first to obtain the episcopate of the church at Rome. Paul mentions him, when writing to Timothy from Rome, in the salutation at the end of the epistle.” (Church History, Book 3).

“In the second year of his reign [of Emperor Titus], Linus, who had been bishop of the church of Rome for twelve years, delivered his office to Anencletus. But Titus was succeeded by his brother Domitian after he had reigned two years and the same number of months….In the twelfth year of the same reign Clement succeeded Anencletus after the latter had been bishop of the church of Rome for twelve years. The apostle in his Epistle to the Philippians informs us that this Clement was his fellow-worker. His words are as follows: With Clement and the rest of my fellow-laborers whose names are in the book of life…In the third year of the reign of the emperor mentioned above, Clement committed the episcopal government of the church of Rome to Evarestus, and departed this life after he had superintended the teaching of the divine word nine years in all.” (Church History, Book 3).

“There is extant an epistle of this Clement which is acknowledged to be genuine and is of considerable length and of remarkable merit. He wrote it in the name of the church of Rome to the church of Corinth, when a sedition had arisen in the latter church. We know that this epistle also has been publicly used in a great many churches both in former times and in our own. And of the fact that a sedition did take place in the church of Corinth at the time referred to Hegesippus is a trustworthy witness.” (On the Epistle of St. Pope Clement I, Church History).

“The time of John's death has also been given in a general way, but his burial place is indicated by an epistle of Polycrates (who was bishop of the parish of Ephesus), addressed to Victor, bishop of Rome. In this epistle he mentions him together with the apostle Philip and his daughters in the following words:

‘For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the last day, at the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory from heaven and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis, and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and moreover John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and being a priest wore the sacerdotal plate. He also sleeps at Ephesus.’ ” (Church History, Book 3).

“…[The Roman bishop] wrote to the bishops of the East, rebuking them for their wrong judgement of these men, and for disturbing the peace of the Church by abandoning the Nicene doctrines. He bade a few of them to come to him on a certain day to show that they had now reached a just decision about them, and threatened to bear with them no longer should they introduce more innovations. . . . The partisans of
Athanasius and Paul were reinstated in their sees, and they forwarded the letter of Julius to the bishops of the East. These bishops were highly indignant at these [letters] and met at Antioch and framed a reply to Julius, replete with elegance and the graces of rhetoric, but couched in a tone of irony and defiance. They confessed therein that the Roman church was entitled to the honour of all, because it was the school of the apostles and was from the beginning the metropolis of religion, although those who imported the doctrine came to her from the East. But they ought not to take second place because their church was small in size and numbers, for they excelled in virtue and wisdom. They called Julius to account for communicating with the partisans of Athanasius and were indignant against him for insulting their synod and abrogating their sentence. And they rejected his action as unjust and opposed to ecclesiastical law. After these complaints and protests, they offered peace and communion to Julius [the Pope], if he would sanction the deposition of those whom they had expelled, and the ordination of those whom they had elected instead; and they threatened the contrary, if he opposed their decrees. They added that the priests of the East before them had raised no objection when Novatian was expelled by the church of Rome.” (Sozomen, Church History, Book 3 [A.D. 450]).

“…the Bishop of Rome, having investigated into the accusations of each [Athanasius, Paul of Cple, Marcecllus of Ancyra, & Asclepas of Gaza), found them all agreeing with the Nicene synod, admitted them to communion, as agreeing with him. And insofar as the care of the universal church belonged to Pope Julius on account of the rank of his see, he restored each to his respective Church.” (Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Ch. VIII).

“The bishops of Egypt, having sent a declaration in writing that these allegations were false, and Julius having been apprised that Athanasius was far from being in safety in Egypt, sent for him to his own city. He replied at the same time to the letter of the bishops who were convened at Antioch, for just then he happened to have received their epistle, and accused them of having clandestinely introduced innovations contrary to the dogmas of the Nicene council, and of having violated the laws of the Church, by neglecting to invite him to join their Synod; for he alleged that there is a sacerdotal canon which declares that whatever is enacted contrary to the judgment of the bishop of Rome is null.” (Ecclesiastical History).

“The Macedonians, in, apprehension of further sufferings, sent deputies to various cities, and finally agreed to have recourse to Valentinian and to the bishop of Rome rather than share in the faith of Eudoxius and Valens and their followers.” (Ecclesiastical History, Book 6).

“They [Athanasius and Bishop Paul of Constantinople] confessed in this epistle, that the Church of Rome was entitled to universal honor, because it was the school of the apostles, and had become the metropolis of piety from the outset, although the introducers of the doctrine had settled there from the East.” (Ecclesiastical History, Book 3:8).

“Athanasius, escaping from Alexandria, came to Rome. Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Asclepas of Gaza went there at the same time. Asclepas, who was opposed to the Arians, had been accused by them of having thrown down an altar, and Quintian had been appointed in his place. Lucius, bishop of Adrianople, who had been deposed from his office on another charge, was also staying in Rome. The Roman bishop, on learning the accusation against each one, and finding that they were all like-minded about the doctrine of the council of Nicaea, admitted them to communion as of like orthodoxy. And alleging that the care for all belongs to him, because of the dignity of the see, he restored each to his own church.

“Julius, learning that Athanasius was not safe in Egypt, called him back to himself. He replied at the same time to the letter of the bishops who were convened at Antioch, for just then he happened to have received it, and he accused them of having secretly introduced innovations contrary to the dogmas of the Nicene council, and of having violated the laws of the Church by not calling him to the synod. For there is apriestly law, making uoid whatever is effected against the mind of the bishop of Rome.” (Church History, Book 3).

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