Monday, August 12, 2019

Catholic Papacy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Catholic Papacy - Essay Example Peter to be the rock on which the Church would be built and St. Peter was martyred in Rome and thus making Rome the very symbol where Catholicism was focussed. The first century saw St. Peter as the first pope and since then, the continued line of popes goes on unabated, some of them obscure, some unknown to history, some ineffective, some power hungry to the extent of shaming the princes and a few, real serene father figures. In the beginning, it was a period of fighting for religion, being condemned, and persecuted and even being killed. The spirit of Christianity and its doctrines were yet to be established as nothing much had been done in that direction during the short life span of Christ. To the followers, everything was new guesswork and there was a dire necessity of creating principles and doctrines, much needed for any organised religion. Most of the initial popes quietly melted into the pot of history without being mentioned much. We come to know that Miltiades (311 - 314) held an open Council in Rome's Lateran Palace and was instructed to do so by the Emperor himself thus marking the beginning of interaction between Church and State. This interaction created many problems in later centuries and brought more difficulties than good. Before the roman church attained prominence worship was told to be conducted in houses rather secretly dreading persecution against the new religion. Emperor Constantine established three very important churches in Rome, making it obvious that the royal accent is granted to Christianity, especially so, because of the cathedral, now St. John Lateran, next to the emperor's Lateran palace while the other two in honour of two martyrs, Peter and Paul. Leo the Great (440 - 461) was the first Pope to wield certain powers and had an undisturbed reign of 21 years and was an admired and very effective pope who could control heretics and lay down role regulations to his successors. Hen defined Catholic Orthodoxy in the form of Tome and said it was Jesus' wish that Pope had to control other bishops and this wish was passed on to St. Peter by Jesus through the 'Power of Keys'. This worked well and was accepted by the other bishops and Christianity came under one papal umbrella and was honoured under the dictum: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. What you forbid on earth shall be forbidden in heaven, and what you allow on earth shall be allowed in heaven." In 410 came the sack of Rome by Alaric and his Visigoths while Emperor Honorius and Pope Innocent I were at Ravenna. Buildings were not destroyed and Alaric was happy with the booty. Huns, Vandals and Visigoths continued to undermine the royal power and slowly the power diminished giving an opportunity to Ambrose in Milan to almost control the imperial authority. In 452, Attila the Hun was the biggest threat to Christianity and Papacy and Gaiseric the Vandal was not far behind. Leo had to take diplomatic steps to negotiate with both and to some extent achieving a deal, papacy has now clearly stepped into the political arena. Gregory the Great (590 - 604) was another milestone in the development of papal power and authority. In 592, he accepted the papal responsibility for Rome while facing Lombards and persuaded them by agreeing to pay an annual sum. "Rome's relations with the Lombards were

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