Rise of the Papacy Essay

738 Words Nov 2nd, 2011 3 Pages
History and Development of the Papacy
It took centuries to develop the supremacy of the bishop of Rome over the entire Catholic Church, an institution also known as "the papacy,"
“In the first few hundred years of the church, the term "pope," which means “father,” was used for any important and respected bishop, and the bishop of Rome was one of several important bishops in Christendom.”
Rome had always been respected for its relationship with Peter and Paul and its position as the church in the Empire's capital, especially after Christianity was legalized under Emperor Constantine.
The doctrine of the supremacy of the pope finally reached its pinnacle in the late 13th century, when Pope Boniface VIII claimed full religious and
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Matthew 16:19 is also the basis for the depictions of St. Peter guarding the gates of heaven. Peter was given the fullness of power over the church. Further evidence of this power is found in John 21, when the resurrected Christ commands Peter: "Feed my sheep."
“A final factor that must not be overlooked in analyzing the rise of the papacy is the personalities who held the office of bishop of Rome. These men - some of which were worldly, some of which were very devout - regarded themselves as holding a special place in Christendom and did not hesitate to claim this supremacy.”
How the Papacy Works
“Catholics look to Vatican City in Rome, where the pope lives, for their spiritual leadership. The pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican's head of state. The pope's governance of the Catholic Church is termed his Papacy. You often hear the pope called by many other names, including Papa, Vicar of Christ, Holy Father, and Bishop of Rome.”
Papal Authority
As head of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is the supreme spiritual leader of the Church and controls the church doctrine. Even though Peter was never officially the bishop of Rome, because of his work and his role as the head of the Church, he is recognized as the first Pope. Every pope since Peter is considered the immediate successor of Peter, and not of that pope's immediate predecessor. A pope is considered to be carrying on the power that

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