It is always interesting to me to...for the first 350 years of the church...hell ...the first 1400 years...there is no challenge to the belief that Peter was the first head of the church...as well as his successors...only after a pissing match did people start arguing semantics...
What I find even MORE interesting is the wool so many Catholics willingly allow to be pulled over their eyes so that they can continue to believe that myth. From the link http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/forgeries.html:
They were ignorant of any autocratic power residing jure divino in the Bishop of Rome. They regarded Latin authors with suspicions as the fautors of the unprimitive claims of the Bishop of Old Rome; hence if they were to be persuaded that the Papalist pretensions were Catholic, and thus induced to recognise them, the only way would be to produce evidence provided ostensibly from Greek sources.
Accordingly a Latin theologian drew up a sort of Thesaurus Graecorum Patrum, in which, amongst genuine extracts from Greek Fathers, lie mingled spurious passages purporting to be taken from various Councils and writings of Fathers, notably St. Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and Maximus the Abbot.
This work was laid before Urban IV, who was deceived by it. He was thus able to use it in his correspondence with the Emperor, Michael Palaeologus, to prove that from the Apostolic throne of the Roman Pontiffs it was to be sought what was to be held, or what was to be believed, since it is his right to lay down, to ordain, to disprove, to command, to loose and to bind in the place of Him who appointed him, and delivered and granted to no one else but him alone what is supreme. To this throne also all Catholics bend the head by divine law, and the primates of the world confessing the true faith are obedient and turn their thoughts as if to Jesus Christ Himself, and regard him as the Sun, and from Him receive the light of truth to the salvation of souls according as the genuine writers of some of the Holy Fathers, both Greek and others, firmly assert.
Urban, moreover, sent this work to St. Thomas Aquinas...The testimony of these extracts was to him of great value, as he believed that he had in them irrefragable proof that the great Eastern theologians, such as St. Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and the Fathers of the Councils of Constantinople and Chalcedon, recognised the monarchical position of the Pope as ruling the whole Church with absolute power. Consequently he made use of these fraudulent documents in all honesty in setting forth the prerogatives of the Papacy. The grave result followed that, through his authority, the errors which he taught on the subject of the Papacy were introduced into the schools, fortified by the testimony of these fabrications, and thus were received as undoubted truth, whence resulted consequences which can hardly be fully estimated.
It was improbable that the Greeks, who had ample means of discovering the real character of these forgeries, should finally accept them and the teaching based on them; but in the West itself there were no theologians competent to expose the fraud, so that these forgeries were naturally held to be of weighty authority. The high esteem attached to the writings of St. Thomas was an additional reason why this should be the case (Edward Denny, Papalism (London: Rivingtons, 1912), pp. 114-117).
Von Döllinger elaborates on the far reaching influence of these forgeries, especially in their association with the authority of Aquinas, on succeeding generations of theologians and their extensive use as a defense of the papacy:
The Dominicans, Nicolai, Le Quien, Quetif, and Echard, were the first to avow openly that their master St. Thomas, had been deceived by an imposter, and had in turn misled the whole tribe of theologians and canonists who followed him. On the one hand, the Jesuits, including even such a scholar as Labbe, while giving up the pseudoIsidorian decretals, manifested their resolve to still cling to St. Cyril. In Italy, as late as 1713, Professor Andruzzi of Bologna cited the most important of the interpolations of St. Cyril as a conclusive argument in his controversial treatise against the patriarch Dositheus (Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1870), pp. 233-234).
The authority claims of Roman Catholicism ultimately devolve upon the institution of the papacy. The papacy is the center and source from which all authority flows for Roman Catholicism. Rome has long claimed that this institution was established by Christ and has been in force in the Church from the very beginning. But the historical record gives a very different picture. This institution was promoted primarily through the falsification of historical fact through the extensive use of forgeries as Thomas Aquinas' apologetic for the papacy demonstrates. Forgery is its foundation. As an institution it was a much later development in Church history, beginning with the Gregorian reforms of pope Gregory VII in the 11th century and was restricted completely to the West.
The Eastern Chruch never accepted the false claims of the Roman Church and refused to submit to its insistence that the Bishop of Rome was supreme ruler of the Church. This they knew was not true to the historical record and was a perversion of the true teaching of Scripture, the papal exegesis of which was not taught by the Church fathers (For an analysis of the church father's interpretation of the rock of Matthew 16:18 please refer to the article on that subject on this web page)
Dr. Aristeides Papadakis is an Orthodox historian and Professor of Byzantine history at the University of Maryland. He gives the following analysis of the Eastern Churchs attitude towards the claims of the bishops of Rome especially as they were formulated in the 11th century Gregorian reforms. He points out that on the basis of the exegesis of scripture and the facts of history, the Eastern Church has consistently rejected the papal claims of Rome:
The Byzantine indictment against Rome also had a strong historical component. A major reason why Orthodox writers were unsympathetic to the Roman restatement of primacy was precisely because it was so totally lacking in historical precedent. Granted that by the twelfth century papal theorists had become experts in their ability to circumvent the inconvenient facts of history. And yet, the Byzantines were ever ready to hammer home the theme that the historical evidence was quite different. Although the Orthodox may not have known that Gregorian teaching was in part drawn from the forged decretals of pseudoIsidore (850s), they were quite certain that it was not based on catholic tradition in either its historical or canonical form. On this score, significantly, modern scholarship agrees with the Byzantine analysis. As it happens, contemporary historians have repeatedly argued that the universal episcopacy claimed by the eleventhcentury reformers would have been rejected by earlier papal incumbents as obscenely blasphemous (to borrow the phrase of a recent scholar). The title universal which was advanced formally at the time was actually explicitly rejected by earlier papal giants such as Gregory I. To be brief, modern impartial scholarship is reasonably certain that the conventional conclusion which views the Gregorians as defenders of a consistently uniform tradition is largely fiction. The emergence of a papal monarchy from the eleventh century onwards cannot be represented as the realization of a homogenous development, even within the relatively closed circle of the western, Latin, Church (R.A. Marcus, From Augustine to Gregory the Great (London: Variorum Reprints, 1983), p. 355).
It has been suggested that the conviction that papatus (a new term constructed on the analogy of episcopatus in the eleventh century) actually represented a rank or an order higher than that of bishop, was a radical revision of Church structure and government. The discontinuity was there and to dismiss it would be a serious oversight (Aristeides Papadakis, The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy (Crestwood: St. Vladimirs, 1994), pp. 158-160, 166-167).