Saturday, December 1, 2012

Catholic Papal Succession: Pope Anacletus, Our 3rd Pope

by M. J. Joachim
Anacletus, Anencletus or, for those who prefer nicknames, Cletus…

He is listed as our third pope in the history of papal succession, his reign being from 76 A.D. to 88 A.D.

As can be expected since these were the days of the Early Church, Anacletus was a convert to Christianity. By all accounts, he was a Roman, though his name is of Greek origin.

Following in the footsteps of St. Peter and St. Linus before him, Cletus is called by name in Eucharistic Prayer I, when it is prayed during Mass. He was also canonized and is listed as a saint in the Church.

“Anacletus evidently exercised a position of pastoral leadership in Rome, but the monoepiscopal structure (also known as the monarchical episcopate) was still not in place there.” (McBrien, Lives of the Popes)

Several sources indicate Cletus ordained priests and a few state that he most likely created individual parishes, during his reign of approximately twelve years. “That he ordained a certain number of priests is nearly all we have of positive record about him,” states The Original Catholic Encyclopedia.

Historical documents also prove St. Anacletus died as a martyr; he is said to be buried in Vatican City near Sts. Peter and Linus, the popes who preceded him. His death is estimated to have occurred in or around 91 A.D.

That’s all for now, kind followers. Until next time, I wish you well J

M. J.

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Photo Credit:  Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain, Pope Anacletus as depicted in the Sistine Chapel