A history of the Papacy
Jesus founded the papacy in the first century, when he chose St. Peter, the leader of the apostles, to be his earthly representative. “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church,” he states in chapter 16 of Matthew. “I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
Those words, which now circle the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, serve as the biblical mandate for the papacy.
The list below charts this long history from St Peter to the current Pope.