“In anticipation of your comment, I posted the more in depth explanation (see #2) for a reason. Please go back and re read it before refuting it.”
I read it, and that is my response. The scripture is clear upon whom the “Church” is built, which is Christ Himself. Peter was certainly an eminent man of Faith and a worthy believer who passed on the lesson that Christ taught him through his name to the other “lively stones” (Christians) who, as sons and daughters of God, make up a Holy Priesthood and body of Christ.
Did you read the Scripture quotes?
Would you be saying what you are if you believed in the Bible and what it says about St. Peter?
From the grammatical point of view, the phrase "this rock" must relate back to the closest noun. Peters profession of faith ("You are the Christ, the Son of the living God") is two verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause.
As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: "I have a car and a truck, and it is blue." Which is blue? The truck, because that is the noun closest to the pronoun "it." This is all the more clear if the reference to the car is two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peters profession is two sentences earlier than the term rock.
One interesting thing to me is that Acts 1-15 has Peter in a prominent role, then it is all Paul, Paul, Paul. When discussing “the Church” we rarely consider the work of Mark and the ancient churches which he founded in Africa - the Coptic and his influence on the Orthodox Eithopean church (which has been around for a long time.). They, perhaps, are equally as old as the Roman Catholic church with perhaps equal authority. And then there was Thomas and India .....
That interpretation is a construct of the Reformation necessitated by the political need to mute the authority of the Church. Ironically it isnt even remotely scriptural.
The Catholic Church relies entirely on Scripture, and not a specious and forced interpretation, but on the a careful analysis of every word. Each word of scripture is as sacred as every crumb of the Eucharist. Lets first consider the words used to set the scene for the dialog in Matthew 16. Following the feeding of the 5,000 near Capernaum and the dialog in the Synagogue in which Jesus declared His body the Eucharist and real food Jesus took Peter and along with the other Apostles and Disciples up to Caesarea Philippi to reveal his papacy to him. The selection of the location is far from a coincidence. Caesarea Philippi is a 25 mile, two day hike from Capernaum through some pretty rough country.
Caesarea Philippi is located near the Golan Heights. The city, previously known as Panis, was built above a huge rock wall that was known in ancient times as the Rock of the Gods. It was a very important location militarily, and had been a place of temples and worship dating back thousands of years before the first century.
Physically, that rock stood between a city of temples and the gates of hell. At the base of the cliff is a massive grotto or flooded cave that at the time was a natural cistern that the Greeks and their predecessors believed was a gate to the underworld. Although now collapsed by seismic activity and dry the Romans tried to measure the depth of the cistern and gave up when they passed 800 feet without finding the bottom. It is interesting to note that the ancients used to perform sacrifices in this cave and would see the emergence of blood from the sacrifices in the local springs that form the headwaters of the Jordan River as a sign.
It was before this wall, topped by the temple to Pan, the Greek God of chaos and confusion, that the conversation took place. In the presence of the massive rock that was a foundation to a holy city Jesus told Peter that he was a smaller rock, and that upon it, like the larger rock upon which was built the city before them, He would build His Church and that it would stand forever against the gates of hell. A side note is that all of this arguing about the relevance of Petros versus Petra is foolish in the context of that location. Jesus often used wordplay and humor to convey His message.
Jesus began the dialog by asking His Apostles and Disciples who the people said He was. He was demonstrating His rejection of a democratic, self-interpreting Church. The response to the question was varied. Some said John the Baptist, some said Elijah, some said one of the prophets. All were wrong.
Jesus then asked the Apostles collectively who they thought He was and there was silence and He then rejected an oligarchical or elite governance. Then, without consulting the other Apostles, Peter stepped forward and declared that Jesus was indeed the Son of the Living God, which was the correct answer. Jesus acknowledged this and declared that Peter could only have learned this from God, designating that like the He had throughout the history of His people God had chosen one person to be the spiritual leader to carry on after Jesus. And there, before the rock that stood between the ancient temple city of Caesarea Philippi and the cave grotto that was known to the people on the region as the gates or jaws of hell declared, it was upon Peter that he would found his Church, His Ekklesia, His Qahal.
Peace be with you