Monday, October 21, 2013

Catholic Popes: Pope Soter (Our 12th Pope)

By M. J. Joachim

Following in the footsteps of Pope Anicetus, Pope Soter formalized the celebration of Easter in the Roman Catholic Church to take place on the Sunday following Jewish Passover; he also decreed it to be an annual celebration in the Church. 

Several references indicate Pope Soter decreed marriage as a sacrament, though not all records confirm this, and information pertaining to this information seems limited at best. 

It should also be noted that Pope Soter appeared to be well known for his charity and acts of giving alms. It is indicated that he increased charitable works as a whole under his papacy, one of the many things encouraging his sainthood in the Church. Along with fighting the heresies of his time, Pope Soter worked tirelessly to build up the Church where it was naturally expanding and the faithful were growing in number. One of the ways he did so was to offer alms to their poor – case in point, the Church at Corinth. 

Dates of Pope Soter’s papacy range from 166 – 177, give or take. Along with St. Paul, he had a strong influence on the church in Corinth, to whom he wrote letters disapproving of some of their lenient and immoral behaviors. It also appears he may have separated the non-ordained monks from those who were ordained, thus preventing the non-ordained from touching alter cloths and burning holy incense. Again, information on this is limited and difficult to confirm, due to the period in history. 

Thank you for visiting Being Catholic. I look forward to seeing you again soon. 

M. J. 

Resources: Pope Soter – Princeton University, Lives of the Popes, Catholic Online, Bartleby Lives of the Saints, Saints -, The Original Catholic Encyclopedia

Photo Credit: Public Domain - US

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