You claim, of course, that the Pope is supreme head of this organised hierarchy. Yet urns it not the Emperor Phocas who first gave the Pope his title and universal jurisdiction? History records this as having happened in 607 A.D.

It does not. It records that, at the request of the Pope, the Emperor made it illegal for any other Bishop to usurp the title which had always belonged to the Bishop of Rome. To forbid others to take a title which has ever been the rightful possession of one is not to confer the title upon that one. And if the Pope did not possess universal jurisdiction until 607, how could St. Clement, third successor of St Peter as Bishop of Rome, write to the Christians at Corinth, “If any disobey the words spoken by God through us, let them know that they will entangle themselves in transgression and no small danger, but we shall be clear of this sin.” Thus the fourth Pope demanded obedience under pain of sin from Christians living abroad. Again, how could St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in Gaul, and who died in the year 202, say that all churches were subject to, and must agree with the Church at Rome, because St. Peter had founded the Church there, and the Bishops of that city were his lawful successors, beginning with Linus? Irenaeus died over 400 years before the date you give. The Council of Ephesus in 431, embracing all Bishops and not even held at Rome, decreed, “No one can doubt, indeed it is known to all ages, that Peter, Prince and Head of the Apostles and Foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from Christ our Redeemer, and that to this day and always he lives in his successors exercising judgment.” This was 176 years earlier than the date you give.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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