Continues from the previous post –
These two modifications, Mary as Mother God and rising of Jesus from his tomb to heaven, were essential to accept the religion in name of Jesus by Roman people. This struggle continued throughout two centuries of Christian era. However, some section of Roman Church continued to resist this formation of Catholic Church under St. Peter and St. Paul. During this period both Roman Church and Roman Catholic Church existed simultaneously. In their conflicts, many Roman Catholic Church priests were killed. St. Peter and St. Paul were also killed in that fight for power over people. They were declared as martyrs for the cause of Church.
We have seen how Roman Catholic Church came to be and how the initial work of foundation was done by St. Peter and St. Paul. They died in that endeavor and so they are popular as martyrs for the Church. Here after we shall see how this institution of Church made further advances in the course of time. These advances were more in temporal status than spiritual.
Many popes in the first three centuries of the Christian era are obscure figures except St. Peter and St. Paul. Several suffer martyrdom along with members of their flock in periods of persecution by Roman Church. Most of them are much involved in theological argument with other bishops, as the young church flexes its doctrinal muscles. This was the period when old Roman Church and new Roman Catholic Church were at loggerheads. This tussle continued for about three centuries, at the end, Roman Catholic Church came out winner and Roman Church was fully converted to Roman Catholic Church, this happened as the royalty, finally accepted authority of Catholic group over Roman Church and converted to Christianity. After this, the Roman Catholic Church began to advance at phenomenal speed in converting people to Christianity. Hereafter, the power of Roman Catholic Church began to be called Papacy.
During the Early Church, the bishops of Rome enjoyed no temporal power until the time of Constantine. After the fall of Rome (the "Middle Ages", about 476), the papacy was influenced by the temporal rulers of the surrounding Italian Peninsula; these periods are known as the Ostrogothic Papacy, Byzantine Papacy, and Frankish Papacy. Over time, the papacy consolidated its territorial claims to a portion of the peninsula known as the Papal States. Thereafter, the role of neighboring sovereigns was replaced by powerful Roman families during the saeculum obscurum, the Crescentii era, and the Tusculan Papacy.
Catholics recognize the pope as the successor to Saint Peter, whom Jesus presumably designated as the "rock" (word peter also means a rock) upon which the Church was to be built. Although Peter never bore the title of "pope" (Latin papa), Catholics recognize him as the first pope and Bishop of Rome, because he had the office, but not the title. Official declarations of the Church speak of the popes as holding within the college of the bishops a position analogous to that held by Peter within the college of the Apostles, namely, "Prince of the Apostles", of which the college of the Bishops, a distinct entity, is the successor.
Continues in next post –
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