IS THE ORTHODOX CHURCH APOSTOLIC ?
This Article is broken up in to seven parts
PART #1 THE QUESTION
PART #2 WERE DID IT ALL BEGINE ?
PART #3 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ?
PART #4 WHAT DO THE GREEK FATHERS SAY ?
PART #5 WHAT OF THE OTHER EARLY CHURCH FATHERS ?
PART #6 WHAT DOES HISTORY SAY ?
PART #7 CONCLUSION
+++NO, the Schismatic Greeks sects Have Not Apostolicity, for they reject the successor of St. Peter in the Primacy and will have no union with him. Besides, they are fallen-away members of the Catholic Church who have formed their own Church. Now, if the Catholic Church is the true Church ( which it is ! ! ), the Schismatic Bishops are outside the true Church, because their succession as teachers has been interrupted and broken off, as they themselves admit. And if the Catholic Church is false, then these Bishops left the false Church, not for the true Church of Christ, but to establish their own, for they are admittedly not joined to the Apostles by any bond.
+++It may be objected that these Bishops had true succession and true power before they separated, and did not lose them when they separated; that they are, for instance, true Bishops with the power of ordaining priests and consecrating Bishops as successors of the Apostles. But the answer is simply this: the Schismatic Bishops actually did break the true succession from the Apostles when they separated from the Apostolic Church, and they have the power of ordaining priests only inasmuch as they were successors of the Apostles. The Schismatic Bishops did not succeed the Apostles in the office of teaching and ruling, since they have a power of teaching and ruling which Christ did not wish to be in His Church, namely, a power separated from the Primate appointed by Christ Himself. The power which Christ did not wish to be in His Church was certainly not established by Him; it is a mere usurpation and is nil.
+++Did the Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church at any stage after the death of Christ recognize the Pope as supreme and infallibly head of the Church? Firstly, we cannot speak of the "Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Curch" prior to the Greek Schism commenced by Photius in 867 A.D. Until then there were simply Patriarchs of Constantinople, presiding there and subject to the Pope. Dr. Orchard, when a Congregationalist, wrote, "An examination of the circumstances of the Great Schism shows that the Eastern Church did then repudiate a supremacy which it had previously been in the habit of conceding to the Roman Patriarchate." The First Council of Constantinople in 381, which only Eastern Bishops attended, demanded that the Bishop of Constantinople should rank next after the Bishop of Rome, and before the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch. The Council of Chalcedon in 451, attended by the Eastern Bishops, ended its discussion with the unanimous cry, "Peter has spoken by Leo," when the Pope's decision was given. A century and a half later Pope Gregory I. could still write, "Who doubts that the Church of Constantinople is subject to the Apostolic See?" No one then doubted it; and no one disputed it until Photius came along in 867 to plunge the East into schism. The patriarch of Constantinople, and all the Eastern Bishops signed the formula of Hormisdas, who was Pope from 514 to 523. That formula contained these words, "We follow the Apostolic See in everything and teach all its laws. I hope to be in that one Communiion taughtby the Apostolic See in which is the whole, real and perfectg solidity of the Christian religion." Dean Milman writes, "Before the end of the third century the lineal descent of Rome's Bishops from St. Peter was unhesitatingly claimed and obsequiously admitted by the Christian world." (Radio Replies, 1942,p. 306-307 Vol. 2.)
WERE DID IT ALL BEGINE ?
+++It was not until 857 A.D. that the first major break between East and West occurred. The Eastern church began to question the authority of the Bishop Rome "AD 857 Controversy between Ignatius and Photius and at Constantinople over inconoclasm; Photius challenged right of Popes to rule in the east; this resulted in breach between Rome and Constantinople, laying basis for future schism of East and West "(author's note: This is the first recorded major attempt at a challenge of the authority of Rome, to come from Constantinople. 827 years after the Death of Our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, and the establishment of His Church. Clearly, this view is not supported by Tradition, or by the Early Church.... may God have mercy on their souls). (Concise Dictionary of World History, 1986, p. 665, Vol. 3),"and no one disputed it until Photius came along in 867 to plunge the East into schism"(Radio Replies, 1942,p. 306-307 Vol. 2.)" The schism became complete in 1054 AD, when Pope Leo IX excommunicated Michael Cerularius, the patriarch of Constantinople, and all his followers. The primary disagreement between the Eastern and Western curches was the incorporation of the term filioque, meaning "and fromthe son," into the Nicene Creed. The introduction of the filioque occured in the Western Church after centuries of controversy over the nature of the Holy Trinity, the supremacy of the Father, and the nature of the Son as a being with divine and human nature. The Eastern churches also refused to accept the spiritual supremacy of the pope, as they still do not recognize one person as the leading spiritual figure." before that point the evidence clearly points to the fact that all Christianity accepted the authority of the Pope unquestionably.
FORMULA OF POPE HORMISDAS ! !
The most obvious example is "The formula of Hormisdas" [AD 519] It so clearly stated the primacy and infallibility of the Roman See that from that day to the time of the Vatican Council, it has been a powerful weapon in the arsenal of Roman Catholic orthodoxy. It was subscribed to by the patriarch of Constantinople, it swept the East and in the end was signed by 2,500 eastern and Greek bishops. "The patriarch of Constantinople, and all the Eastern Bishops signed the formula of Hormisdas, who was Pope from 514 to 523. That formula contained these words, 'We follow the Apostolic See in everything and teach all its laws. I hope to be in that one Communiion taughtby the Apostolic See in which is the whole, real and perfectg solidity of the Christian religion.' Dean Milman writes, 'Before the end of the third century the lineal descent of Rome's Bishops from St. Peter was unhesitatingly claimed and obsequiously admitted by the Christian world.' (Radio Replies, 1942,p. 306-307 Vol. 2.) the following statements are direct quotes from this fantastic document.
+++Formula of Pope Hormisdas", AD 519,
"Because the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church," etc., cannot be set aside; this, which is said, is proved by the results; for in the Apostolic See religion has always been preserved without spot.... In which (See) is set the perfect and true solidity of the Christian religion."(from the "Formula of Pope Hormisdas", AD 519, )
+++Formula of Pope Hormisdas", AD 519,
"In the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept undefiled and her holy doctrine proclaimed. Desiring, therefore, not to be in the least degree separated from the faith and doctrine of that See, we hope that we may deserve to be in the one communion with you which the Apostolic See preaches, in which is the entire and true solidity of the Christian religion: promising also that the names of those who are cut off from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, not consentient with the Apostolic See, shall not be recited during the sacred mysteries. This is my profession, I have subscribed with my own hand, and delivered to you Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of the city of Rome." (from the "Formula of Pope Hormisdas", AD 519, )
WHAT DO THE GREEK FATHERS SAY?
+++Not only did the vast majority of Greek and eastern bishops (including the patriarch of Constantinople) signed this document confessing openly the authority of Rome. But we also have a number of other statements from Greek Saints ,patriarch's of Constantinople, Emperors of the eastern Roman Empire , popes and church councils declaring Rome's position as the head of the church which Christ founded.
+++Emperor Valentinian III, AD 445
"The primacy of the Apostolic See having been established by the merit of the Apostle Peter, by the dignity of the city of Rome, and by the authority of the holy Synod, no pretended power shall arrogate to itself anything against the authority of that See. For peace can be universally preserved only when the whole Church acknowledges its ruler. "(,Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 335f)
+++Emperor Justinian I, AD 520-533
"Nor do we allow that any of these things, concerning ecclesiastical institution, should fail to be brought before his Holiness, as being the head of all the holy Priests of God.... "(Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess )
+++Emperor Justinian I, AD 520-533
"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 holy churches. "(,Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess )
+++Pope Pelagius II, circa AD 579-590
"Since the authority of convoking General Synods by a singular privilege has been delivered to the Apostolic See of Blessed Peter, and we do not read that any synod was ever considered ratified which was not supported by Apostolic authority." (,Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 348)
+++St. Maximus the Confessor, of Constantinople, AD 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 there 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 that greatest Church alone to be their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell never prevail against her, that she has the keys of 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. " ( Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 272)
+++St. Maximus the Confessor, of Constantinople, AD 650,
"For he only speaks in vain who thinks he ought to persuade or entrap persons like myself, and does not satisfy and implore the blessed Pope of the most holy Church of the Romans, that is, the Apostolic See, which from the incarnate Son of God Himself, and also by all holy synods, according to the holy canons and definitions has received universal and supreme dominion, authority and power of binding and loosing over all the holy Churches of God which are in the whole world. "(Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess pp 354f)
+++St. Pope Agatho, AD 680,
"This Apostolic Church never turned away from the way of truth nor held any kind of error. This is the rule of faith. All who wish to please God must study to conform the Apostolic rule of the primitive faith founded on the rock Peter, and kept by him from error." ( Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 276)
+++St. Theodore of Studios to the Emperor Michael and Constantinople, circa AD 800,
"Order that the declaration from old Rome be received, as was the custom by the tradition of our Fathers from of old and from the beginning. For this, O Emperor, is the highest of the Churches of God, in which first Peter held the chair.... "( Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 279)
+++St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, AD 758-828
"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 usage, ever obtain full approval or currency. For it is they (the Roman Pontiffs) 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." ( Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, by Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess p 356)
+++The Council of Africa AD 646
"No one can doubt that there is in the Apostolic See a great unfailing fountain, pouring forth waters for all Christians; whence rich streams proceed, bountifully irrigating the whole Christian World; to which See also, in honour of blessed Peter, the decrees of the Fathers gave special veneration in searching out the things of God, which ought by all means to be carefully examined; and above all, and justly, by the Apostolic Head of Bishops, whose care from of old it is, as well to condemn evils as to commend the things that are to be praised. For by the ancient discipline it is ordained that whatsoever be done, even in provinces remote and afar off, shall neither be treated of nor accepted, unless it be first brought to the knowledge of your August See, so that a just sentence may be confirmed by its authority, and that the other Churches may thence receive the original preaching as from its native source, and that the mysteries of saving faith may remain in uncorrupt purity throughout the various regions of the world. "(Three Councils of Africa, in their Synodical letter sent to Pope Theodore, and read in the Council of Rome under Martin I, AD 646, )
WHAT OF THE OTHER EARLY CHURCH FATHERS ?
+++the early Church Fathers recognized that Jesus made Peter the rock on which he would build his Church, that this gave Peter a special primacy, and that Peter traveled to Rome, I will show that the Fathers also recognized that Peter left a successor to his position in Rome and that the bishop of Rome--the pope-- and continued to serve Peter's function in subsequent generations of the Church.
+++Irenaeus of Lyons
"The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus" (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189]).
"[T]his is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrneans , which records that Polycarp was placed there by John, like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 32:2 [A.D. 200]).
+++The Little Labyrinth
"Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter" (The Little Labyrinth [A.D. 211], in Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3)
+++Cyprian of Carthage
"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. . . . ' [Matt. 16:18] On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).
+++Cyprian of Carthage
"Cornelius was made bishop by the decision of God and of his Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the applause of the people then present, by the college of venerable priests and good men, at a time when no one had been made [bishop] before him--when the place of [Pope] Fabian, which is the place of Peter, the dignity of the sacerdotal chair, was vacant. Since it has been occupied both at the will of God and with the ratified consent of all of us, whoever now wishes to become bishop must do so outside. For he cannot have ecclesiastical rank who does not hold to the unity of the Church" (Letters 55:):8 [A.D. 253]).
+++Cyprian of Carthage
"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source" (ibid., 59:14).
"[Pope] Stephen [I] . . . boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid [Matt. 16:18] . . . Stephen . . . announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter" (collected in Cyprian's Letters 74):17 [A.D. 253]).
+++Eusebius of Caesarea
"Paul testifies that Crescens was sent to Gaul [2 Tim. 4:10], but Linus, whom he mentions in the Second Epistle to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21] as his companion at Rome, was Peter's successor in the episcopate of the church there, as has already been shown. Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome, was, as Paul testifies, his co-laborer and fellow-soldier [Phil. 4:3]" (Church History 3:4:9-10 [A.D. 312]).
+++Pope Julius I
"[The] judgment [against 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], contained in Athanasius, Apology Against the Arians 20-35).
+++Council of Sardica
"[I]f any bishop loses the judgment in some case [decided by his fellow bishops] and still believes that he has not a bad but a good case, in order that the case may be judged anew . . . let us honor the memory of the Apostle Peter by having those who have given the judgment write to Julius, Bishop of Rome, so that if it seem proper he may himself send arbiters and the judgment may be made again by the bishops of a neighboring province" (canon 3 [A.D. 342]).
"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head--that is why he is also called Cephas ["Rock"]--of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).
+++Epiphanius of Salamis
"At Rome the first Apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 [A.D. 375]).
+++Pope Damasus I
"Likewise it is decreed: . . . [W]e have considered that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: 'You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven' [Matt. 16:18-19]. The first see [today], therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).
"[Pope] Stephen . . . was the blessed Peter's twenty-second successor in the See of Rome" (Against the Luciferians 23 [A.D. 383]).
"Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says 'With Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the book of life,' the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle" (Lives of Illustrious Men 15 [A.D. 396]).
"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 . . . I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church [Rome] whose faith has been praised by Paul [Rom. 1:8]. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. . . . Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact" (Letters 15:1 [A.D. 396]).
"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark on Noah will perish when the flood prevails" (ibid., 15:2).
"The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, 'He that is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!' . . . Therefore, I implore your blessedness [Pope Damasus I] . . . tell me by letter with whom it is that I should communicate in Syria" (ibid., 16:2).
+++Ambrose of Milan
"[T]hey [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven [by the sacrament of confession] even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven" [Matt. 16:19]" (Penance 1:7:33 [A.D. 388]).
"If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?" (Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]).
"If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, "Upon this rock I will build my church . . . " [Matt. 16:18]. Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement, Clement by Anacletus, Anacletus by Evaristus . . . " (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).
+++Council of Ephesus
"Philip the 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 Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place m this holy synod'" (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).
+++Pope Leo I
"As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy Apostle Peter" (Letters 110 [A.D. 445]).
+++Pope Leo I
"[T]he Lord says, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood have not revealed it to you, but my Father, who is in heaven. And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it . . .' [Matt. 16:18]. 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" (Sermons 3:2-3 [A.D. 450]).
+++Pope Leo I
"Whereupon the blessed Peter, as inspired by God, and about to benefit all nations by his confession, said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Not undeservedly, therefore, was he pronounced blessed by the Lord, and derived from the original Rock that solidity which belonged both to his virtue and to his name [Peter]" (The Tome of Leo [A.D. 449]).
+++Council of Chalcedon
"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of 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! . . . This is the true faith! Those of us who are orthodox thus believe! This is the
faith of the Fathers!'" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 451]).
"We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope of the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of 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 [A.D. 449]).
WHAT DOES HISTORY SAY ?
+++Clearly before the split of East and West, the whole church was governed by the successor of Peter, the Bishop Rome, our holy father the Pope. A novice study of history would also verifie this fact (the following lists of events are from the book Concise Dictionary of World History, 1986, p. 665, Vol. 3)
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Key events in the history of the Church include:
8-6? BC Jesus born in Bethlehem; worked as a carpenter until around age 30, when He began His public ministry.
AD 30 Jesus Christ crucfied in Jerusalem; disciples claimed He rose from the dead, appeared to them, and commissioned them to preach a Gospel (lit. "good news") of eternal salvation through Him.
AD 30-44 Disciples of Christ gathered around the Apostle Peter; the nucleus of teh new church engaged in preaching the Gospel of Jesus and administering the sacraments.
AD 45 St. Peter moved to Antioch as first bishop of the Church there; St. James left as bishop of Jerusalem.
AD 55 St. Peter left Antioch for Rome, where tradition held he became the first bishop (Pope).
AD 67 Persecutions of Christians ordered by Nero; Sts. Peter and Paul martyred, according to tradition.
AD 67-79? St. Linus, first of the line of successors to St. Peter, became bishop of Rome (Pope).
AD 95 St. Clement of Rome (fourth Pope) wrote "Epistle to the Corinthians," interveneing in the affairs of a local Greek church. (Authors note: This is an obvious example of the authority of the "Bishop of Rome" [i.e. Sovereign Pontiff, the Pope]. Even the Greek Churches had to bow to the authority of the successor of St. Peter. And they did so willingly.)
AD 107 First mention of the term "Catholic Church" (lit. "Universal Church") in an epistle of St. Ignatius of Antioch.
AD 341 St. Julius Pope (AD 337-352); defended Nicaea and reaffiirmed Roman Primacy based on apostolic tradition stemming from Peter.
Late 4th Cent. AD Twenty-seven books, constituting the present canon of the New Testament, decreed by Church to be authentic Scripture: Festal Epistle of St. Athanasius of Alexandria (AD 376); Decree of Pope Damasus (AD 382) ; provincial Synod of Carthage (AD 397).
AD 417 St. Innocent I (Pope AD 402-417) declared that pronouncements of bishops must be confirmed by the Roman See.
AD 519 "Formula of Pope Hormisdas" signed by 2,500 eastern and Greek bishops.
AD 451 The Council of Chalcedon , attended by the Eastern Bishops, ended its discussion with the unanimous cry, "Peter has spoken by Leo,"
AD 579 Pope Pelagius II, circa (Pope 579-590) reaffiirmed primacy of Rome.
AD 680 St. Pope Agatho,reaffiirmed Roman Primacy of the Church, based on apostolic tradition stemming from Peter.
AD 865 St. Nicholas the Great (Pope 858-867) reaffiirmed primacy of Rome.
AD 1054 The schism became a complete , when Pope Leo IX excommunicated Michael Cerularius, the patriarch of Constantinople, and all his followers.
+++Clearly, the position of bishop of Rome as the apostolic successor of Peter and head of the church is fundamentally grounded in tradition and the bible.The orthodox like the Protestants have rejected the sacred tradition of the early church and created their own. It is also cleare from the writings of the early Christians that the true church is based in Rome not Constantinople. Once again we see the dishonesty of the schismatic Greek church which claims to respect sacred traditions and to be apostolic.