|Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam|
Though our title to this article specifies the primacy of St. Peter as the Prince of the Apostles, we shall consider not only the God-given role entrusted to the Head of the Apostolic College, but also the establishment of the hierarchical structure of the Church in general.
We offer this little article as a work of apologetics: An attempt to demonstrate, from the scriptural witness alone, that the Papacy and the College of Bishops is not man-made but is of God. Rather than multiplying citations of the Sacred Text (indeed, there are many hundreds of references to the hierarchical structure of the Church in both the Old and New Testaments), we will consider only a few particularly important passages.
I offer this meager piece in honor of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, on this the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.