If you've ever wondered what the connection is between St. Peter and the Pope, this video will get you started toward an answer.
Salvete omnes, I'm Lindsey Scholl and welcome again to "The Roman Minute," where you can sample a little bit of Rome in around a minute. Today, we're talking about a concept called "Apostolic Succession." This is important for Roman Catholicism, because it's why St. Peter is called the first Pope and why modern Pope sits in the chair of St. Peter.
Apostolic succession is like an inheritance of appointments. Christ appointed the apostles. They, in turn, appointed leaders in the church. These leaders in the church became bishops, or elders, and in, turn, appointed someone after them. Through a famous tradition I won't go into here, Peter was considered the first bishop of Rome. According to the Church Historian Eusebius, "After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, the first man to be appointed Bishop of Rome was Linus. He is mentioned by Paul when writing to Timothy from Rome....Clement...became the third bishop of Rome." This process is called apostolic succession, and with some bumps in the road, it's how Pope Francis I the priest from Argentina is connected to Peter the Apostle the fisherman from Palestine.
Now, Eusebius was writing about apostolic succession in the 300s. But the Bishop of Rome didn't become the head of the western church until at least the mid 400s. What changed for our friends the Roman bishops? We'll find out in the next video.
I'm Dr. Lindsey Scholl, bringing you "The Roman Minute" and wishing you Pax Christi.
*Book Three, History of the Church