Q — Acts of the Apostles has Peter visiting Antioch before any claim that he was in Rome. Tradition tells us that Peter made Evodius his successor bishop in Antioch, followed by St. Ignatius of Antioch. So weren’t Evodius and his followers popes rather than Linus and his followers?

A — This question admits of a very brief answer. It is the fourth century historian, actually the first church historian Eusebius, who tells us in his Ecclesiastical History (III.22) about Evodius succeeding St. Peter in Antioch, and being followed by the great Ignatius. But there is nothing else about Evodius. He is one of our great unknown Christian ancestors.

Secondly, we do know that the bishops were elected at this time in the earliest Christian communities. In all probability, therefore, Evodius was chosen as bishop by the Christian community of Antioch, and not appointed as such by St. Peter. In fact, the universal appointment of bishops by the pope in the Western Church really only comes into its own in the mid-19th century with Pope Pius IX and then in the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Third, speaking specifically about the Petrine ministry/Papacy, it is always the Bishop of Rome and not of some other place like Antioch, and this can be documented somewhat from about the middle of the second century A.D.

Q — My husband and I were wondering how much it would be to get married in the church.

A — There is no financial cost to having your marriage witnessed by a deacon or a priest in the Catholic Church. However, most couples make a financial gift to the parish and/or to the deacon or the priest. If an organist is required for the wedding, and if a cantor is required to lead the singing during the service, then they would normally expect to be paid for their services. If the reception after the service is taking place on church premises, for example, in the parish hall, then a cost would be involved for the rental of the space, setup, cleanup, etc.