Second in the series, Recovering Catholics.
The Church Set Up:
The dogmas and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church teach that the institution of the papacy was first mandated by Biblical passages:
Matt.16:18-19: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Isaiah 22:20-22: "On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open." (shows a parallel to Matthew 16:18-20)
John 21:15-17: "..Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep."
Luke 12:41: "Then Peter said, "Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?" And the Lord replied, "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time?" (Feeding theme appears again here)
Luke 22:31-32: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."
However, none of these explicitly point to Rome. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas (a non-Biblical source) points to Jerusalem: The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
Lots of arguments over this, and continuing since The Great Schism.
The Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance; but there are only a few references of that time to recognition of the authoritative primacy of the Pope outside of Rome. The “Bishop of Rome” was considered first among equals in the early church capitals. There were five important centers in the early church: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, and Constantinople. The bishops in these cities were known as Patriarchs, and their specific ecclesiastical territory, as a patriarchate.
The title of Pope was from the early third century an honorific designation used for any bishop in the West. In the East it was used only for the Bishop of Alexandria. From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved it for the Bishop of Rome.
Eventually, the attempt of one patriarch (the Bishop of Rome) to assume the position of Head (or Pope) of the Universal Church, gave rise to the great division or schism of the Church. The Western Church recognized the sole leadership of the Pope in Rome; the Eastern Churches continued to recognize the historic leadership of their particular patriarchs in the East. This became known as the Great Schism. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. Pope Leo IX and Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains.
This lead to a disagreement on which was the original church. Here's a good way of thinking about it:
Which one is right?