Important Link: Evidence that Peter was in Rome is non-existent:

Peter was not the first pope for he was never in Rome so how could the current bishop of Rome fill his shoes and succeed him?

Even if Peter was in Rome there is a sense in which it does not matter for the fact remains that the Catholic Church before the evolution of Roman Catholicism did not give the bishop of Rome supreme authority.  Read the sixth canon of the Council of Nicea from 325 AD:

“The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome. Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved.”

The evidence is unfavourable to the idea that Peter had ever been in Rome.

Clement who wrote in 96 AD never said that Peter was in Rome though plenty will tell you that he did thinking you will not look his letter up. Clement is supposed to be the Third Pope. Peter was the first and Linus the next one making Clement the successor of Linus to be the third.

The First Letter of Peter says that Peter was writing from Babylon. Babylon was a symbolic name for Rome and a negative one at that for the whole Bible treated Babylon as a manifestation of evil. But Peter did not mean it like that for he could have been writing from the real Babylon – where there were some Jews (page 181, Putting Away Childish Things) – or the Babylon in Egypt (page 14, Was Peter a Pope?).
Did Peter use the name Babylon to hide where he was writing from? Catholics say that Peter called Rome Babylon to avoid persecution. If it was that important to be cagey then why did he say where he was at all? Would Peter have used that nickname when it was so popular? Then its use would have been pointless. And it would have been known where it had been dispatched from so hiding was pointless? When he could have meant the real Babylon that was what he did mean.
This letter requests licking Rome’s feet so it is unlikely to call it by an insulting nickname.

The main things to know are that Peter's calling Rome Babylon as the letter does is usually taken as saying he was trying to hide his whereabouts. But others say it was to show that he was in fact in Rome and he was calling Rome Babylon to indicate that it was the new Babylon, as rich as decadent as the other had been. Carsten Thiede wrote, “for an inhabitant of the Roman Empire it was perfectly possible, and indeed quite natural, to compare the ancient Babylonian Empire with that of Rome in terms of their respective size, splendour and power, and equally in a negative sense, in relation to their decadence and declining morals.” However we know from Josephus that there was a Jewish community at Babylon so Peter could have been there.

Paul was the official organiser of the official Church at Rome: "I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Romans 1:11).  He was more of a bishop of Rome than Peter ever was.

Paul listed a heap of people he wished to greet in Rome when he wrote the letter to the Romans and never mentioned Peter. Catholics say that Peter was out of town when Paul wrote Romans and never greeted Peter. But the Epistle was not a postcard but a theological treatise so even if Peter had been out of town he would still have been named for it was meant to be studied for a long time. And could you imagine Peter writing to let Paul know that he did not want to be greeted for he was leaving Rome for a while?
Paul's letter was to be read out in Church and copied. In Romans 16, Paul asks for greetings to be extended to Christians in Rome. This implies that they were probably schismatics as they were absenting themselves from worship meetings. He had this problem in Corinth too where some were claiming to be for Peter and others for Apollos and others for Christ. It was so bad there that Paul said he was glad he baptised none but Crispus and Gaius in Corinth otherwise they would have a faction for him too. They were not making factions based on who baptised them. They were not that silly. Paul was indicating that they were notoriously difficult to keep together in a Church. They were making different Churches. Divisions in the Roman Church would mean that Peter could not be bishop there. A bishop needs a Church to serve not Churches and sects.

The epistles of Peter indicate that Peter was working in the East and the order in which he names the places he was writing to indicates that he had been moving around from Pontus to Bithnia in that order and so could have been in Babylon.

The first person to say that Peter was in Rome was Dionysius of Corinth in 170 AD (page 183, Putting Away Childish Things; page 73, A Handbook on the Papacy). But he made Peter and Paul equal in function so he is no support for the papacy (page 73, A Handbook on the Papacy).

The Peter in Rome legend first appeared in Justin Martyr’s Apology which was full of errors about Simon Magus which shows that Justin was too uncritical for his own good. Irenaeus just follows Justin – he even swallowed his assertion that Jesus died an old man! – and Hippolytus simply copies Irenaeus and on it goes. The Peter in Rome legend goes back to one unreliable man who was unreliable to verify his sources (page 40, 41, St Peter and Rome). The Bible with its insistence that there has to be at least two reputable and independent witnesses to establish any claim has been cast aside for the sake of the pope!
Tertullian was the first to claim that Peter was crucified in Rome. Origen was the first to say it happened upside down. Both legends arose too long after the time Peter was supposedly in Rome to be of any value. When there is no proof that Peter died in Rome how do we know that he was bishop there and how do we know that if he was that he never resigned and became bishop elsewhere or even nowhere? The Catholic Church seems to think that Peter came to Rome in 63 AD and died the following year.

The Church stated that a tomb found in the reign of Pope Pius XII under St Peter’s was the tomb of Peter and held his remains in 1950. Later it emerged that this judgment was incorrect (page 40, Treasures from God’s Storehouse). The best historians reject the judgement (page 19, Infallible?). And they are right because it was Gaius who in 200AD became the first to claim that Peter’s tomb was in Rome. There was a dispute in tradition about where in Rome the tomb or grave was (page 186-7, Putting Away Childish Things). In 260AD, there were many Christians who believed that Peter and Paul were buried where the Church of St Sebastian is. It is hard to believe that Rome would have let Christians know where the pair were buried or have the bodies in case there would be a new resurrection story or cult surrounding them. If the apostles were executed, they would have been burnt to ashes or given to the lions for their dinner.
Finding Peter’s tomb in Rome would not help the case for the papacy in any way. For years nothing was known of this tomb forcing the Church to make do without this important evidence. If God protected and approved the papacy he would not have let this happen.
Bones of chickens and even swine were found down there and Peter would not have been buried with pigs being a Jew. The Church has a skull of St Peter’s in St John Lateran that did not come from this tomb for it used to think that skull fragments from the tomb are his too. Did Peter have two heads? The other bones Pius XII kept in his apartment were found to contain the remains of several people though he thought they were just Peter’s especially when a few of them were examined by his own doctor Galeazzi-Lisi and found to be the remains of a man from sixty to seventy. Was Peter the only man that age in ancient Rome?
An anthropologist, Venerando Correnti was hired and he found the bones belonged to two men in their fifties and to a woman in her sixties plus the bones of pigs, sheep and goats. A sixth century document says that Constantine searched for the remains of Peter and found them and put them in a bronze tomb. But any bones that Rome says are Peter’s have been dumped. Eusebius who would have known said that in his day it was believed Peter and Paul were in a cemetery not under a Church though there was a St Peter’s then. The Vatican forbade the excavations to be carried out right. It restricted the photos of the site and the photo we do have indicates that the bones were moved first. This is extremely unprofessional archaeology where everything has to be recorded down to the flimsiest detail. And it is known that a Msgr Kaas inspected the site every day with the archaeologists out of the way and moved the bones to keep them out of the dirt.
The Church claims that the bones that are now accepted as the real Peter’s bones were found behind a wall with “Peter is here” inscribed on it. It is false though if the Church admits that it will have no evidence that Peter has been found.
Segoni found only yellow bones except for a mouse’s bones so why are the bones that are presented as Peter’s white now? Why did he say he found them in an urn and why is the Vatican saying they were found in the wall? Thermal analysis curve tests have shown these bones did not come from the wall.
Incredibly the book Pope Fiction (page 109) admits that bones thought to be those of Peter were taken from a grave in Vatican Hill in the Third Century and hidden in the catacombs before they ended up under St Peter’s Basilica and still it states, as if it is proven or fact, that they are Peter’s. It says the bones belong to a crucified man in his sixties. Laughable! All this goes a long way to proving the bones are Peter’s as if there were no men in their sixties crucified in Rome! Nobody can prove where the bones came from.
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