Then why has it prospered for over 2,000 years and is THE largest denomination of Christianity? Over 1 billion people around the world. Is that for nothing? Shall we ignore that fact? Or has it been guided and protected by the Holy Spirit all these years? Is is not the one that Jesus actually founded on Peter? Read these points about St.Peter: *Consider of all the Apostles, Our Lord chose to give a permanent new name ONLY to St. Peter by saying, "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter" Matthew 16:18. Note Our Lord did not give the other Apostles an additional new names, only Peter, which signifies Peter's authority among the Apostles. And if we look elsewhere in Scripture, other name changes have signified a change of status, such as with Abraham in Genesis 17:5 and Jacob in Genesis 32:28. *Consider the verse, "And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren." Luke 22:31. When Our Lord was about to establish the faith in His Church, He specifically prayed for St. Peter as head. Scripture does not show Our Lord saying this to any of the other Apostles. Is this not to place him as responsible for all? And it is also equally clear that having prayed specifically for St. Peter, the head of the others, it was so St. Peter might not fail, who was to assist with supplying the others with the faith as well. *And when Our Lord says, "being once converted" that St. Peter should "confirm thy brethren", does this not clearly state that St. Peter is head of the others? Our Lord could not have given St. Peter the command to confirm the Apostles without charging him to have care over them. *Also consider the verses, "When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep." John 21:15. Our Lord again, only said these words to St. Peter and not to the other Apostles because St. Peter alone was the authority among them. There is no confusion on whether Our Lord was speaking to St. Peter alone here for the part "more than these" shows Our Lord referring to the other Apostles, and only St. Peter was grieved. And what does it mean to give someone charge of feeding the sheep but to be their pastor, ruler and shepherd? In many places in Scripture to "feed" and to "rule" are used interchangeably as well so there is no confusion here. *And when Our Lord said, "As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep." John 10:15, Our Lord was not referring to specific sheep, but ALL of His sheep. Some Protestants have argued that Our Lord was referring to only specific "lambs" and "sheep" in John 21, but this is illogical for if He was, why did He not specify the specific lambs and sheep? bullet In addition, Our Lord first says, "Feed my lambs" twice, then "Feed my sheep" once. What was the purpose of this? This was to clearly give St. Peter charge not only over the people but the pastors and Apostles themselves for the sheep nourish the lambs. *We also have proof of St. Peter's authority over the other Apostles based on any time either all or part of the Apostles are referenced in Scripture, St. Peter is always listed first, and in each of these instances, the other Apostles' names that follow are not in any particular order. bullet We also note in numerous places in Scripture where there is occasion for the Apostles to speak, St. Peter is known to speak for the group. "Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." John 6:68. Notice St. Peter speaks for the group and also says "and WE have believed", speaking for all. Only one in authority speaks for a group. bullet Consider the verse, "And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe" Acts 15:7. This verse clearly shows St. Peter publicly exercising his authority over the other Apostles. *Some Protestants have been known to say that all the Apostles are equal, with St. Peter having no authority over them. Looking at the verses just referenced above, Our Lord clearly bestowed this right on St. Peter for the good of the Church; to avoid schisms like we see in the Protestant churches today! *To further expand on this point, in several other locations in Scripture there are references to Peter and the other Apostles without naming them, such as "Peter and they that were with him" (Luke 9:32) and "Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him" (Mark 1:36) which clearly indicate St. Peter as head. St. Peter is also named separately when referencing all of the Apostles on several occasions such as "But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee" (Mark 16:7), and "But Peter standing up with the eleven" (Acts 2:14), and "and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles" Acts 2:37. What more can be said on this subject? *Here we see St. Peter being first to convert others to the Church; "They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls" Acts 2:41 *Here we see St. Peter performing the first healing; "But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength" Acts 3:6-7 *St. Peter was the first of the Apostles to raise the dead; "Peter kneeling down prayed, and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and seeing Peter, she sat up. And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive." Acts 9:40,41. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter's authority over the other Apostles. *The Protestant reformers have also denied St. Peter was originally the first head of the Church. How can anyone deny this when so many writings from the first three centuries from renowned people contain references to St. Peter being first head of the Church and head of the Apostles? For example we have in the middle of the third century St. Cyprian saying that Cornelius has succeeded to "the place of Fabian which is the place of Peter" (Ep 55:8; cf. 59:14). Firmilian of Caesarea notices that Stephen claimed to decide the controversy regarding rebaptism on the ground that he held the succession from Peter (Cyprian, Ep. 75:17). In the first quarter of the 3rd century (about 220) Tertullian (De Pud. 21) mentions Callistus's claim that Peter's power to forgive sins had descended in a special manner to him. About the same period, Hippolytus in "Clement of Rome", 1:259) reckons Peter in the list of Roman bishops. In addition writings from St. Jerome quote St. Peter as "Head of the Church" and a writing from St. Hilary as "Happy foundation of the Church" and many, many other examples not listed here. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter being the first Bishop of Rome. Explain all the above.