The Council of Chalcedon
The entire Papal system is built on the supposition that Jesus made St. Peter the head of the church and that the popes are his successors. Since there is not one shred of evidence from Scripture to support this supposition we must find out when and how it all started. To answer this question we must go back to the year 303 A.D.
Beginning in the year 303, the pagan Roman Empire made one last great attempt to exterminate Christianity This persecution, under the Emperor Diocletian, began on the 23rd of February (303 A.D.), that being the day the Roman Terminalia was celebrated, and the cruel pagans boasted that they would finally put a termination to Christianity. . . . Fire, racks, swords, wild beasts, crosses, poison and famine were made use of to kill the Christians. Invention was exhausted to devise tortures against those who would not deny Christ and acknowledge Caesar as "lord" and burn incense to his image.
The lives of Christians during that time consisted of persecution above ground and prayer underground.
The main target of the pagans was the Word of God. The New Testament was completed by 90 A.D., and God did not leave his Church without the Scriptures doing this perilous time.
This persecution lasted 10 years and was ended by the victory of Constantine, and his Edict of Milan (313 A.D.), granting freedom of worship to the believers. It was a great victory of Christ over the Dragon and the pagan Roman superstition.
Even though the True Faith was victorious, it was a deadly blow to Christianity from which it never fully recovered. As fast as the pagans killed all the great leaders of the Church, they were replaced by phonies who had none of the zeal of their predecessors.
Emperor Constantine (reigned from 306 337).
Constantine came riding in on a white horse, ended the storm of persecution and established the peace of the Church. He was hailed as a hero but many doubted his profession of Christianity. After 10 years of relentless persecution they were glad that their sufferings were at an end.
The Romans had a saying that:
This seems to be the Pagan/Papal Roman pattern throughout history.
Constantine presided over a famous Church Council named the Council of Nicaea in 325. At this Council, Constantine dictated that the date of the Lord's Resurrection should be celebrated only on the Sunday following the new moon. Those who refused to comply were called Quatrodecimans or 14th Day Christians and were ostracized by the ruling hierarchies.
At the first great church Council held in Jerusalem about 45 A.D., the apostle James presided. 300 years later we find a Roman soldier presiding. No wonder the Lord was disgusted with them and decided to move westward to Hibernia.
Constantine moved to the East in 330 A.D., built a new Capital and called it Constantinople or New Rome. Soon this city was overtaking Old Rome in wealth, prestige, and military power. Eastern Emperors like Justinian actually ruled over Italy for some time.
Constantinople was founded by Constantine in 330 A.D.
Constantinople was also called New Rome. Soon the 2 cities became bitter rivals.
The Council of Chalcedon Canon 28.
In the year 451 an Ecumenical Council was called in that city called the Council of Chalcedon. Over 600 Bishops attended. The main topic of discussion was the dual nature of Christ. Canon 28 of that Council gave equal status to Old Rome and New Rome or Constantinople. Here is the text of Canon 28:
There you have it: Rome was recognized because it was the Imperial City....Noting about St. Peter being there....Nothing about Apostolic Succession....Nothing about the Keys etc., etc. Rome's supremacy was purely political and that Canon proves it!!
Leo I (440 - 461) was Pope at that time. He was a man of towering ambition and pride. He was not going to share his city with an upstart like Constantinople. Equality was the last thing that he cared about.
Old Rome was in a very precarious position. Barbarians from the North were at the gates outside . . . greed and corruption were everywhere within. Leo needed a competitive edge if Old Rome was to survive.
It was then that he hit upon the idea of St. Peter and the Keys. If he could convince the world that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, that he was Head of the Church, and that he (Leo) was his successor then he had a powerful weapon to use against his rivals.
It would require many centuries and massive forgeries before this idea became accepted dogma in the Roman church. Until the Norman Conquest in 1172, it was never accepted by the Hibernian Christians, and the Churches of the East have never accepted it to this day.