Earliest Popes

Can someone please direct me to writings of and writings by the earliest Popes.
Such as who came after Peter and so on, and the evidence of them as Pope and their own writings.

In God’s love.

Read “Faith of the Early Fathers” by Jurgens. Also, very good is “A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs” by Bercot.

A good start is to look at the following link – these are quotations from VERY early Christian sources pointing to the early papacy and naming the first Popes: catholic.com/library/Peter_Successors.asp

And here is a list of all of the Popes with links to articles about most of them (this is a 1914 source, so there are no articles on the rest of the 20th Century Popes.

One of the earliest papal writings is a letter by Clement (4th Pope) who wrote – while John the Evangelist was still living – to settle a dispute in the always-aggravating Corinthian Church. I can’t find a link to it but if you grope around these forums, you’ll likely find it.

Good luck! This is fascinating history!

Hello pure in heart:

Try this thread from this Catholic Answers Forums: “Will The Real Successor of Peter Please Stand Up.”


and these websites from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:



Also, please remember that the word ‘Pope’ is derived from the Greek word ‘father’, and Catholics call their spiritual leaders ‘Father’ following Paul’s example: “I became your father in Jesus Christ through the Gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15).

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ, and the Patriarch of the West. And just as I would call any Catholic priest ‘Father’, I also call the head of the Church of Christ, father, i.e. Pope! It would be inappropriate to refer to any Catholic Priest as Pope, as it would be inappropriate to refer to any minister as Prime Minister or Senator as Mr. President.

Jesus appointed Peter as the head of the newly found universal church, a Bishop; and St. Linus was duly appointed Bishop in his turn.

Hi James,
Good info here…thanks. Btw, Welcome to the Fora…I’m from MA too.:slight_smile:

This link (newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm) contains a list of popes and each name is a link to that popes history and, when available, to their writings.

This link (newadvent.org/cathen/06001a.htm) contains references to other 1st, 2nd and 3rd, etc. Century Christian writers.

May the love of God, the peace of His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

Yours in Christ.

Also, try this interesting and informative website [obviously by a non-Catholic]:


There were existing and operating within the holy Catholic Church a whole series of Popes, or Bishops of Rome, right up to the time of Constantine.

Don’t forget, Constantine did not create the Catholic Church, and he did not make it the state religion. Constantine legalized Christianity and stopped the persecutions. The Popes and the Catholic Church existed before and after Emporer Constantine.

See this thread: