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History Of The Popes #1
by Thornchild/Angels/Occult

Be welcomed, my dear readers of "Attitude"! I invite you to follow me deeply into long time of past, having its roots in the times and life of Jesus Christ and one of his apostles, St. Pete. I indeed don't talk about the events of gospels, here I want to tell you of the


Before I can begin with the close description of the subject, I have to tell you that I used some important literal sources (e.g. Hans Kuehner's dictionary of the Popes). Now I can start with the real beginning, which has to be searched and found in the legendary words of Jesus. He said that on St. Pete he'd erect his church by giving him the keys to Heavens Kingdom and no evil should hinder that or overcome that. So the first of the many Popes (who officially are defined as the orphans of St. Pete) is

St. Pete (64 - 67?)

It isn't sure of the Popes that reigned in the first centuries when their pontificate (their reign) began and ended. So I added the "?" some lines earlier.

The reign of St. Pete is tied to the events of the first pursuations of the Christs. Those weren't catholics at that time, the catholic religion came to existance much later. Though emperor Nero wasn't the bloody tyrant history describes him as (e.g. he couldn't have been directly blamed for the fire of Rome for he was on a trip to Greece at that time), his participation due to the atrocities are deemed as very sure.

In those days the belief was couragedly preached as Jesus told it to be the task and the holy heir as the aim of the will of God. The first followers (a church congregation in the meaning of today was established far later) came out of the different social and job classes. It is not such likely that emperor Nero (54 - 68) began the long enduring wave of pursuation because he saw the Roman religion threatened in its ecclesial core. Many experts think that he was provoked to do so by his wife.

Linus (67 - 76?)

This man could have seen a lot of troubles during his pontificate. Emperor Nero killed himself in June 68. He was followed by four emperors during the time period of July 68 and October 69. After them the impressing emperor Vespasian began his reign. He was quite tolerant due to the Christians.

During the pontificate of Linus the Jewish War had ended and Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.

Anacletus (76 - 88?)

Vespasian died in June 79. He was followed by emperor Titus, who died in September 81. He was also a peaceful and tolerant emperor, who was followed by Domitian.

Klemens I. (88 - 97?)

A document of his days as ruler of the Christians, so called epistle of Klemens, is important to be mentioned. In that text, which is lesser a real letter than a religious-political essay in 61 chapters, taking a close look at the rules of hierarchy and obedience, he tells the believers that due to the order principle of the Roman Christians it has a kind of majority in contrast to other towns and states, without mentioning it especially. Further Klemens I. states that, due to his knowledge, the apostles St. Pete and St. Paul died in Rome.

Another text that is said to be from him is so called second epistle of Klemens. It is sure today that this is a falsification.

Evaristus (97 - 105?)

It is maintained that Evaristus gave the Roman title churches to the priests. Further he shall have died as a martyr during the reign of emperor Trajan. It's not proved historically. The peaceful emperor Nerva died in January 98 and was followed by emperor Trajan. His thoughts of emperorship meant a lot of war, so he began the first war against the Dacians in 101 and the second one in 105. Meanwhile he reigned, the Christians were again pursuated.

Alexander I. (105 - 115?)

With the end of the second war against the Dacians in 107, the Roman empire had its largest extension. After Trajan had strengthened his power, he widened the pursuations against the Christians. They were reasoned by the ban on unallowed communities. As it seems, Trajan saw the young Christian religion as such an institution. Meanwhile the pursuations were taking place - the very old bishop Simeon of Jerusalem was crucified and the bishop Ignatius of Antiochia was killed by wild animals (in the arena?).

Sixtus I. (115 - 125?)

After Trajan had died in August 117, emperor Hadrian took the Roman purple, the famous robe of the emperors. The missionary work could proceed for Hadrian behaved quite mild during the pontificate.

Telesphorus (125 - 136?)

The first years of the reign of this man were quite of the style the former pope had. But between 132 and 135 new trouble came up. The Israelites revolted against the Romans with their leader Bar Kochba (the translation of this name is 'son of the stars'). This revolt led to the end of political existance of Israel.

The Jewish Christians were involved into this conflict, by the revolting Israelites and the Romans which pursued them harshly. It is maintained that the pope died as a martyr. It is not farfetched that this could be true.

Hyginus (136 - 140?)

Hadrian died in July 138 and was followed by Antoninus Pius. He accepted the young Christian church which became more and more well structured by building up of the congregations. About 136 Valentin and his students came to Rome. With them they brought the religious form that was called gnosticism. The age of false doctrines began.

The gnosticism is a strange mixture of Christian, Hellenistic and partly other religious elements. The teachers, this is the first step, consecrate the mysteries to the students. The common belief of the gnostic congregation is then transformed into the second step, the transition from the religion into the philosophy is worked out. This is perfected by the construction of complex systems of religious and philosophic ideas, which are merged. At the end, it is thought, the answers to complex questions shall come out of these. The special kind of 'exotic flair' the gnosticism had been quite interesting for the Christians, though Valentin's success was more slow so far. Hyginus made no secret of his opinion due to the gnosticism.

Pius I. (140 - 155?)

It is said that he was the brother of Hermas, the author of an apocalyptic text. As it further is maintained, he ordered the building up of the oldest church in Rome. It seems quite sure that he went against Valentin and the new teacher of another style of gnosticism, Marcion. He wasn't a pure gnostic teacher, more a reformative man. He was quite tricky and founded a marcionic group, more or less a real anti-church, with the program to omit the Judaic elements in the church. His ideas were provoking even partly dangerous, as it is deemed. He had many friends but also a lot of opponents, bishop Polykarp of Smyrna called him the "first-born of Satan".

A person that stood for a more clear belief was the wandering teacher Justinos, as apologete (defender of early church) he was also against the gnosticism.

Anicetus (155 - 166?)

In those years the early Christians became the members of the early Catholic church. The holy Polykarp of Smyrna came to Rome to talk with the pope, the subject was so called "passah strugle", an open question due to the right time to celebrate the feast of Easter. The end of this discussion was the result that Anicetus and Polykarp celebrated Easter in their congregations as they did before, at differently set dates.

It is quite sure that the young church was happy around 160, for that time Valentin went out of Rome.

A phenomenon of the first centuries is the fact that if a false doctrine was more or lead 'beaten' by the church or is less powerful due to the church, the next one surely isn't far or is already in progress. Anicetus had to give his view on the montanism and its popular teacher (its founder was Montanus), a man called Tertullian.

The montanists were kind of sect that had a strict ethical background. They were fanatical in their life and behaviour (e.g. they didn't wish the hierarchy of the church, preferring prophets as charasmatic leaders etc.). Tertullian determined first the concept of the person and the trinity.

Soter (166 - 175?)

In March 161 the emperor Antoninus Pius had died. Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became emperors. The migration of the peoples and the war against the Marcomannians that did take place before it as the revolt of the teutonic tribes was no real problem for the church and its pope. In 169 Lucius Verus died and so Marcus Aurelius ruled alone.

Eleutherus (175? - 189)

During the last years of the reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius the pursuation began anew. He tolerated the Christians in the early years but the events due to the false doctrines made him suspicious. That time saw many martyrs like Justinus and his friends, bishop Potinus and Blandina and Pontikus.

Further Eleutherus argumented against the montanism. It is maybe a rumour that king Lucius of Britain was converted by the pope or his missionaries. The pope also had to stand up due to the marcionism.

Victor I. (189 - 199)

During his pontificate the question due to the "passah struggle" was newly discussed. Regularly, as it is set by the religious rules of the Israelites, the feast of Easter is celebrated on the 14th of Nisam. The Roman congregation did celebrate Easter eight days later, those of Asia Minor followed the Jewish principle. The pope excommunicated them, Irenaeus of Lyon brought him to his senses and Victor I. took back his sanctions.

The pope saw the first waves of the false doctrine of the monarchianism. It was a theory of two different kinds. The first of it, the dynamic monarchianism, was taught by Theodot of Bycance. He told that the trinity was wrong and Jesus as the son of God was a God himself.

This idea is also called the adoptianism, explaining that God as a God adopted Jesus, his son as a God.

In 192 emperor Commodus was assassinated. He was followed by the well emperor Pertinax. Few months later he was also killed. Didius Julianus became his orphan and Septimius Severus shared the Roman throne with him. A short time later, in June 193, Didius Julianus was murdered. It became normal for the emperors of Rome to take their steps quite fast and to fall deeply from high point. It is very unclear if Victor I. was a martyr or not. At the time of his death, around 199, Septimius Severus started the pursuation again.

Zephyrinus (199 - 217)

Meanwhile he was pope, the doctrine of the modalistic monarchianism became more and more a reason for quarrels, provoked by its teacher Praexeas. The pope also explained the dogma of the trinity which was always misunderstood.

The modalistic teachers Epigonus and Kleomenes also came to Rome in the pontificate of Zephyrinus, it is said they had an impressing influence on him.

The beginning of the development of the atonement essence also can be set into the time this man was the leader of the early Catholic church. Pope Zephyrinus also tried his best against the next wave of the montanism.

Kalixtus I. (217 - 222)

He fought bravely against ideas of the modalistic monarchiast Sabellius and ex-communicated him. Further he was quite angry referring to an aggressive presbytian who felt quite provoked by the fact that not he, but Kalixtus I. had become pope. It can't be reconstructed who was right or not but this quarrel ended in a problem, for Hippolyt the presbytian became the very first antipope. The danger laid in the fact that the first schism was close to break out like a volcano. It has to be mentioned in addition that Hippolyt's group around him was limited in number but highly intelligent. Due to the fact that Hippolyt and his friends acted against the pope the schism began.

Hippolyt indeed was such a strong and charismatic person that his state of to be a mighty foe of the "rulebook" of the early church lasted for a long time.

Urban I. (222 - 230)

He had quarrels with Hippolyt too, but he stayed without a real success. The Roman emperors fast came one after the other, murder was proceeded due to the throne.

Pontianus (230 - 235)

He saw the end of the quarrel in a fericious way, for in March 235 the military Maximinus Thrax was elected by the soldiers to be the new emperor. He pursued the church and finally the pope and the antipope were banned to Sardinia, where they died a short time later.

Anterus (235 - beginning of 236)

He is the first pope to tell just his name and the short time of his pontificate, for it only lasted about six weeks. He was the first Pope that was buried in the so called catacombs of Kalixtus. May be he was a Greek.

Fabianus (January 236 - January 250)

He strengthened the church and reorganized it. Fabianus divided Rome into seven deaconal districts which were put in the charge of seven deacons. He also put a closer eye on the funeral places.

Fabianus was a quite popular pope with a high degree of intelligence. Many very famous and powerful church people (e.g. Origenes, one of the greatest theologians of his time) liked him a lot.

Legendary is the statement that the pope did send seven missionaries to Gallia. It isn't sure if Fabianus was a martyr during the pursuation of the emperor Decius.

Here, my dear readers, I wish to end this first article of the series. In fact I wish to add that those first popes were no popes in the meaning as it can be said of the very later popes.

I will tell you more in the next issues of the "Attitude", till then I am off as your mag editor...


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