The most common beliefs held by Roman Catholics are:
- that Peter was the first to preach the gospel in Rome
- that Peter founded the Roman Church
- that as a result of his residence in Rome, Peter passed on his primacy to his successors the Popes, as Bishops of Rome.
These beliefs are neatly summed up in this extract from Catholic Belief by the Very Rev. Joseph Fa Di Bruno, D.D., 1884.
"St. Peter was the first to preach the gospel in Rome, and owing to his sanctity, zeal, prudence and power of working miracles, it was not long before he made many converts.
"The number of Christians increasing steadily each year, he chose the most distinguished among them and sent them as bishops or priests to different parts of the world as recorded in the Roman Martyrology...
"St. Peter having fixed his See in Rome to the end of his life and having died there a martyr, it follows as a matter of course, that his heirs and successors in that See should enjoy the prerogatives of that episcopate, that is, the supremacy which St. Peter received."
All these common beliefs are a mixture of error and confusion. This will be demonstrated from Roman Catholic works. In the next post in this series, we shall examine what Roman Catholics are required to believe about Peter, Rome, and the primacy of the Pope.