papacy_paper.docx - Collins Finley Collins Under Threat of Excommunication The papacy is the head of the Roman Catholic Church piloted by the pope(also

papacy_paper.docx - Collins Finley Collins Under Threat of...

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Collins Finley Collins 05/10/17 Under Threat of Excommunication The papacy is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, piloted by the pope (also known as the Bishop of Rome), and is the legacy of Saint Peter. Never falling from power, simply shifting into different territories of control, the papacy is still very influential today, however their temporal sway is much more limited than previously. For example, the United States has only had one Catholic president (JFK), and the controversy surrounding that is due to Catholics observing the pope as an authority figure. The dominance of the papacy increased significantly in the middle ages, starting with the fall of Rome. Their gain of temporal power from Constantine only allowed them to further ascend, eventually creating an organization with enough power to rival even the Holy Roman Emperor and the British Monarchy. Although it wasn’t until the 11th century that the papacy was fully able to manipulate and control secular aspects of the nation. By holding the power of God himself above the people’s heads, and under the threat of excommunication, the pope and his entourage could control the King himself. However, similar to Icarus, the papacy went too high, and were dealt a catastrophic blow by Martin Luther with the Protestant Reformation. Their rise and fall were affected by many things: the fall of Rome and Constantine’s pardoning of Christianity, the Great Schism, the Black Death, the Papal Schism, the Renaissance Papacy, and finally the Protestant Reformation. Each of these events readjusted the world’s view of the papacy and its agency, both for good and bad. With the fall of Rome came many things, although the prominence of Constantinople rises to the forefront. Derived from Constantine’s approval of Christianity, which, as a monotheistic religion, went against the Roman’s own polytheistic religion. In 313 C.E. however,
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Collins Constantine ended all persecution of Christianity, officially pardoning it. This lead to the religion officially starting to flourish, resulting in the papacy coming alive with the “donation” of Constantinople. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and the more earthly passions of malice and ambition kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody, and always implacable. -Edward Gibbon, “ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” Once Emperor Justinian I forced his own choice into the papal chair, the Byzantine Papacy began. This had the pope needing Byzantine approval for any episcopal consecration. Many popes went in and out during this time, but it was Pope Gregory that enacted papal primacy; an ecclesiastical doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the pope from other bishops. Later in the eighth century, under threat of Aistulf, Pope Stephen II went to the Frankish King, Pepin III for aid. When Pepin had successfully defended and obtained Ravenna, he gave large parts of it to the papacy, instead of back to the Byzantine Empire. Once the papacy had
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