by M. J. Joachim
The idea that Christianity was meant to replace, as opposed to fulfill, Judaism seems to be one of the most widely spread controversies during the foundation of the early church. So far, all the popes we’ve covered have had to deal with numerous groups – confused by Christianity to the point of forcefully challenging it, and trying to rid society of such a problematic system.
The Church, however, remained steadfast and resourceful in her early days, gaining great power and influence, thanks in large part to emperors supporting her endeavors. As we know, not all emperors did so. Consequently, many apostles and believers were sacrificed and martyred for their faith in Christian Catholicism.
“Pius I was the first of the listed popes to have functioned as the single, or sole, Bishop of Rome.” (Lives of Popes, McBrien) Prior to this interval, even though there was one particular pontiff and head of the Church, leadership appeared to be more group oriented, as in a Board of Directors vs. Sole Proprietor of a company or business.
Worthy of note is that numerous references indicate Pope Pius I established the rules of conversion from Judaism to Christianity. Christian teaching gained momentum during the reign of Pope Pius I, while heresies and heretics combating the faith, were reprimanded and excommunicated as necessary.
By most accounts, Pope Pius I is said to have reigned from 140 – 155 (give or take a year or two). Some sources indicate he was born a slave, though this is cause for debate in other sources. A few references state that Pope Pius I built one of the oldest churches in Rome and was martyred. Conflicts to both of these statements arose in my research, so it remains unclear on these points.
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Lives of the Popes, McBrien, ©1997
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