I feel the need to get back to the basics. One of the basics is that
Christ told Peter that he would be the foundation of His Church.
answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood
has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you
are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall
not prevail against it." Matt 16:17-18
Clearly, Christ promised to
build His earthly Church on Peter. To interpret this any other way is to
invite doctrinal disaster.
I wonder whether any Roman Catholic apologist could tell me when the first time this "doctrinal disaster" was averted? What was the first time that the passage above from Matthew 16 was interpreted that way?
For example, Augustine came across that passage, but did he interpret the way this apologist does? No.
Augustine had this to say:
Augustine (Sermon 26)
1. The Gospel which has just been read touching the Lord Christ, who walked
on the waters of the sea; and the Apostle Peter, who as he was walking, tottered
through fear, and sinking in distrust, rose again by confession, gives us to
understand that the sea is the present world, and the Apostle Peter the type of
the One Church. For Peter in the order of Apostles first, and in the love of
Christ most forward, answers oftentimes alone for all the rest. Again, when the
Lord Jesus Christ asked, whom men said that He was, and when the disciples gave
the various opinions of men, and the Lord asked again and said, “But whom say ye
that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
One for many gave the answer, Unity in many. Then said the Lord to Him, “Blessed
art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,
but My Father which is in heaven.” Then He added, “and I say unto thee.” As if
He had said, “Because thou hast said unto Me, ‘Thou art the Christ the Son of
the living God;’ I also say unto thee, ‘Thou art Peter.’” For before he was
called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a
figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock
(Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original
name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as
Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ.
“Therefore,” he saith, “Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock” which thou hast
confessed, upon this Rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, “Thou art the
Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;” that is upon Myself,
the Son of the living God, “will I build My Church.” I will build thee upon
Myself, not Myself upon thee.
One thing is clear, Augustine's interpretation is distratrous, but only for Roman Catholic apologists.
What will this Roman Catholic apologist reply? Who knows, but the expected reply is to appeal to the second section of the sermon where Augustine claims that Peter was the chiefest of the apostles, and then ask an inane question like "was Augustine Protestant or Catholic?"
Let's wait and see. If you want to read Augustine's sermone for yourself in its entirety, here is a link: