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Paul Varghese wrote:

Hi, guys —

In the Bible it is written that Christianity was established in Antioch. (Acts 11:26)

  • In that case, how can the Pope, in Rome, be the successor of Peter?


  { If Christianity was established in Antioch, how can the Pope, in Rome, be the successor of Peter? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Paul —

I believe the Bible says they were first called Christians in Antioch.

Just as the seed of any tree is just a tree seed, with time, it grows into a tree.

Peter went to the city of Rome and was martyred there. From there, the Church grew to what it is today.

These pages from our colleagues at Catholic Answers may help:


Eric replied:

Hi, Paul —

What my colleague says is correct; Scripture merely says that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch, not that the Church was founded there. Nevertheless, Peter was the first bishop of Antioch, so if you want to believe that, that's fine too.

Peter moved to Rome at a later date to be bishop there together with Paul; there he was martyred. That is why the successors of Peter are in Rome and not in Antioch, although the Antiochenes take great relish in their historical connection to Peter.


John replied:

Paul —

Technically, the Bishop of Antioch is also a successor of Peter.

Before leaving for Rome he left a successor in Antioch, the Melkite Patriarch is that successor today.

If Peter had not made it to Rome, for some reason, then the Papacy would have probably been established in Antioch. 

Obviously, the faith would be the faith, but it would have a very Eastern feel. Oh yeah, the official language of the Church would probably have been Arabic!


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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.