That is how Saint John Chrysostom viewed that verse:
"Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer, even as the rest of the Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" Observe his skilfulness. The leader of the choir stands last in his arrangement: since that is the time for laying down the strongest of all one's topics. Nor was it so wonderful for one to be able to point out examples of this conduct in the rest, as in the foremost champion and in him who was entrusted with the keys of heaven. But neither does he mention Peter alone, but all of them: as if he had said, Whether you seek the inferior sort or the more eminent, in all you find patterns of this sort.
Given that, this verse is not by itself a proof for the Papacy, nor is it even key or vital. It is merely one brick in the foundation for the Papacy. But I would question the strategy of someone presenting this as a main thrust of a proof.
My deepest apologies for the lateness of this response. I don't get to this forum all that often and so easily lose touch of posts.
The leader of the choir comes up a bit. Can I refer you to a Protestant sitehttp://www.christiantruth.com/stephenray.html
Choir leader (coryphaei) is used in the plural.
”He took the coryphaei and led them up into a high mountain apart...Why does He take these three alone? Because they excelled the others. Peter showed his excellence by his great love of Him, John by being greatly loved, James by the answer...’We are able to drink the chalice.’”
-Saint John Chrysostom “Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 56.2”
”For he who then did not dare to question Jesus, but committed the office to another, was even entrusted with the chief authority over the brethren”
- Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 88.1-2”
This would seem to indicate that Chrysostom taught that Peter was the supreme ruler of the Church. However in the passage cited above Chrysostom speaks of the apostle John as also receiving the charge of the whole world and the keys equally with Peter:
”And this He did to withdraw them (Peter and John) from their unseasonable sympathy for each other; for since they were about to receive the charge of the world, it was necessary that they should no longer be closely associated together
-Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 88.1-2”
”Do you not see that the headship was in the hands of these three, especially of Peter and James? This was the chief cause of their condemnation by Herod”
-Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily XXVI”
He goes on to speak of Paul as being on an equal footing with Peter:
”Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as chief and leader of the choir of the saints, and shall enjoy his generous love....I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it...Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder, at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul ariseth suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. What a rose will Rome send up to Christ!...what two crowns will the city have about it! what golden chains will she be girded with! what fountains possess! Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, nor for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church (1 Cor. 15:38 )”
-Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32, Ver. 24”
Further, Chrysostom speaks of James, and not Peter, as possessing the chief rule and authority in Jerusalem and over the Jerusalem Council:
”This (James) was bishop, as they say, and therefore he speaks last...There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently; not starts up (for the next word). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part.”
- Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 33”
Even John is said to have 'the keys'...
”For the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now”
-Saint John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 1.1”
Thus in the context of his writings, John Chrysostomon does not lend support to the Papacy.
Add to this that he spent most of his liturgical life in with a Church that was not in communion with Rome and we see him less and less as a support for the Papacy (as Catholics would wish).
He was ordained by Meletius who was not in communion with Rome (which itself undermines the Catholic position)...
"The work of the Council of Constantinople was completed. Theologically, it had carried the logic of the Council of Nicea and cautiously applied that Council's reasoning about the Son's relation to the Father to the Holy Spirit, though confining its statement to biblical terminology. Administratively, the Council continued the eastern practice of accommodating the ecclesiastical organization to the civil organisation of the Empire, sowing the seeds for discord among the four great sees of East and West by raising the ecclesiastical status of Constantinople to correspond to its civil position as New Rome. All in all, it proved to be a remarkable Council. It was never intended to be an ecumenical council: the Bishop of Rome was not invited: only 150 Eastern bishops were present; only one by accident from the West. Only at the Council of Chalcedon of 451 did it begin to rank in the East with the Council of Nicea as more than a local council. Because of the schism at Antioch its first president, Meletius, was not in communion with Rome and Alexandria
. Its second president, Gregory of Nazianzus, was not in western eyes the legitimate bishop of Constantinople. Strong doubts were later expressed about the authenticity of its creed. Its canons were rejected in the west for nine hundred years.
Davis L. D., (1990), "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787) Their History and Theology", (Liturgical Press, Minnesota), pp128-129.
This Orthodox saint (and doctor of the western church) was ordained a lector by St. Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch (370), and then to the diaconate (381). Later to the priesthood by Meletius' successor St. Flavian (386).
"Under Patriarchs Meletius and Flavian, Antioch and Rome were not in communion with each other. It must be emphasized that by receiving ordination at the hands of St. Flavian and St. Meletius, St. John unreservedly recognised them as genuine successors to the see of Antioch. By the very act of receiving ordination from these prelates, he was knowingly placing himself outside communion with Rome."
Whelton, M., (2006), "Popes and Patriarchs: An Orthodox Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims", (Concillar Press; Ben Lomond, CA), p110
John Chrysostomon wrote most of his works whilst not in communion with Rome.
Whelton then goes on to detail the reason for the schism; based on the loyalty towards St Meletius. Who interestingly enough was still elected president of a council of 150 bishops convened by the Emperor (The Second Ecumenical Council).
"Because of the schism at Antioch, its first president, Meletius, was not in communion with Rome and Alexandria."
Davis L. D., (1990), "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787) Their History and Theology", (Liturgical Press, Minnesota), p129
"It was presided over at first by St. Meletius, the bishop of Antioch who was bishop not in communion with Rome"http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.ix.ii.html?bcb=0
This site gives this footnote
E. B. Pusey. The Councils of the Church , a.d. 51–381, p. 306. Tillemont, Mémoires , xvj., 662, who says, “If none of those who die out of communion with Rome can merit the title of Saints and Confessors, Baronius should have the names of St. Meletius, St. Elias of Jerusalem and St. Daniel the Stylite stricken from the Martyrology.” Cf . F. W. Puller, The Primitive Saints and See of Rome , pp. 174 and 238. Many attempts have been made to explain this fact away, but without success. Not only was the president of the Council a persona non grata to the Pope, but the members of the Council were well aware of the fact, and much pleased that such was the case, and Hefele acknowledges that the reason the council determined to continue the Meletian Schism was because allowing Paulinus to succeed to Meletius would be “too great a concession to the Latins” (vol. III., p. 346).
This same quote is probably taken from another source...
"It was presided over at first by St. Meletius, the bishop of Antioch who was bishop not in communion with Rome"
Percival, H. R. (ed.), (1988) "The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church_, Vol XIV of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers", 2nd series, edd. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, (repr. Edinburgh: T&T Clark; Grand Rapids MI: Wm.B. Eerdmans)http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/const1.txthttp://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9801eaw.asp
Says that the Pope sent Lucifer to Antioch with authority...
"Pope Liberius authorized Athanasius to convoke a council to resolve the schism in Antioch. He sent two legates (Eusebius and Lucifer) with jurisdiction and authority in the East to preside with Athanasius over a council in Alexandria. The synod at Alexandria accepted the regularity of Meletius’s ordination. It appointed an Episcopal commission, which included the papal legates, to reconcile the divided Catholics in Antioch."
What did he do...
"Lucifer goes to Antioch and consecrates Paulinus.
It was decided therefore that Lucifer should go to Antioch in Syria, and Eusebius to Alexandria, that by assembling a Synod in conjunction with Athanasius, they might confirm the doctrines of the church. Lucifer sent a deacon as his representative, by whom he pledged himself to assent to whatever the Synod might decree; but he himself went to Antioch, where he found the church in great disorder, the people not being agreed among themselves. For not only did the Arian heresy, which had been introduced by Euzoius, divide the church, but, as we before said, the followers of Meletius also, from attachment to their teacher, separated themselves from those with whom they agreed in sentiment. When therefore Lucifer had constituted Paulinus their bishop, he again departed."
"The Ecclesiastical History" Book III.6
Thus the Papal person proclaimed Paulinus bishop in direct opposition to Meletius. Meletius continued with his own support in direct opposition to the decision of the Pope's man.
"Now recall that Paulinus is the Pope's man. Meletius continued to hold church services (outside the city walls) during this time. And the two continued in 'office'. One not being the Pope's choice. An arrangement was made that when one died, the other would succeed."
"The Ecclesiastical History" Book V.5
Paulinus actually argued from canon law that there should not be a co-bishop!
And of John Chrysostomon; continually consecrated by Meletius, he later separated from him WITHOUT joining in communion with the Pope's man, Paulinus.
see Socrates Scholasticus
"The Ecclesiastical History"Book VI.3
"About this period Meletius, bishop of Antioch, fell sick and died: in whose praise Gregory, the brother of Basil, pronounced a funeral oration. The body of the deceased bishop was by his friends conveyed to Antioch; where those who had identified themselves with his interests again refused subjection to Paulinus, but caused Flavian to be substituted in the place of Meletius, and the people began to quarrel anew. Thus again the Antiochian church was divided into rival factions, not grounded on any difference of faith, but simply on a preference of bishops.
"The Ecclesiastical History" Book V.9
And as noted John Chrysostomon took orders from Flavian (after Meletius' death). Flavian was not in favour with Alexandria nor Rome. Flavian then sent messengers to Alexandria AND Rome to work out peace.
see Socrates Scholasticus
"The Ecclesiastical History" Book V.15
At that time there were several and rival claimants to be the proper patriarch in Antioch. Paulinus was the man favoured by Rome and Alexandria. Meletius was favoured by others. Jerome accompanied Paulinus back to Rome in order to get more support for him.
Ambrose hoped that a general council would be called in support of his friend. He hoped that the Pope would be the influence to make this happen.
"Ambrose was agitating for a general council to bring matters to a head, and succeeded in persuading the western emperor, Gratian, to convoke one in Rome. A number of western metropolitans assembled there in the summer of 382, but the east declined to cooperate. In fact Theodosius had no wish to see the settlement he was establishing upset by western meddling, and had already re-convened the council of the previous year at Constantinople. When the belated western summons reached them, the eastern bishops gathered there sent a courteous but firm reply, excusing themselves from attending, apart from a token delegation of three, but not yielding an inch on the disputed issues."
Kelly, J. N. D., (1975), "Jerome: His life, writings and controversies", (Hendrickson Publishers; Peabody, MA), pp80-81.
Thus the eastern churches did not obey the Pope. John Chrysostomon (sometimes used by Catholic apologists as a pro-Papal writer) always recognised Meletius as the legitimate bishop; someone not in communion with Rome.
Thus he spent most of his life 'in schism'. Most of his writings were in this period.
This Catholic apologist web-site gives some clues to the case
"when St. Chrysostom wrote this treatise, he neither was nor ever had been in communion with the Church of Rome, and, in fact, he remained outside of that communion for at least seventeen more years, perhaps for as many as twenty-six." (Puller, Primitive Saints)
As he proceeds to prove this in 146 large octavo pages, together with about fifty pages of extra notes, I cannot reply to it here. It is only necessary at present to state that there is no evidence that St. Chrysostom himself was ever out of communion with Rome. The bishops of the patriarchate of Antioch for the most part recognized St. Meletius and his successor St. Flavian as rightful patriarchs, while Rome and Alexandria (that is, St. Athanasius and his successors) thought that their rival Paulinus had the better title. But the rest of the East sides with Meletius, though remaining in full communion with Alexandria, Rome and the West. It is certain that neither St. Meletius nor St. Flavian was ever formally excommunicated by the Apostolic See. It is still more certain that their adherents -- whether the bishops within the patriarchate, or the priests (including St. Chrysostom) and people within the city -- were never excommunicated.http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num52.htm
They accept that Meletius was not Rome’s chosen man. They then pretend there’s no evidence about John’s schism; ignoring that he accepted ordination from the men Rome did not choose. Which is the point I made. And the point you wish to re-write. Rome wanted someone else. Rome didn't have any power. Rome was ignored. John accepted ordiantion from the men Rome didn't want.
Not being in 'communion' with is different from excommunication; it begs the point because Rome didn't have the power to excommunicate them anyway. That's the whole point. Despite Rome's wishes the East was happy with them being in the See of Antioch.