Tags: Rapture | Roman Catholic | Christian | Origins | Denomination

Roman Catholic Origins: 6 Things That Led to Development of Christian Denomination

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:38 PM

Roman Catholicism is the largest of all Christian denominations with approximately 1.2 billion global members. Its origins lie with the apostles of Jesus Christ in 1st century AD and the early Christian community.

The Catholic Church teaches that its public ministry began when the Holy Spirit filled the apostles of Jesus Christ at a harvest festival in Jerusalem known as the Pentecost.

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According to Religion Facts, for the first thousand years of Christianity there was only "the 'one, holy, catholic church' (note: "catholic" means "universal"), affirmed by the early creeds, which was the body of Christian believers all over the world, united by common traditions, Christian beliefs, church structure and worship."

Early Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire for more than three centuries. Initially sparked by the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, which Emperor Nero blamed on Christians, it is believed that multitudes of Christians lost their lives at the hands of the Roman government.

Here are six things that led to the development of Roman Catholicism:

1. The Edict of Milan was an agreement made in 313 AD in which newly converted Roman Emperor Constantine I agreed to stop persecuting Christians. This led to a reduction in the strength of Rome's civil authority and an increased emphasis on spiritual authority. By 318 AD, geographical provinces were ruled by bishops. The bishop of Rome became the most powerful because Rome was the capital of the Empire.

2. In 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius I decreed Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. During Theodosius's reign, the church began to take on the role of a governing force. In 381 AD, Theodosius issued a series of decrees that forbade all pagan worship.

3. From 440-461 AD, the Roman bishop, Leo I, known as "Saint Leo the Great" claimed jurisdiction over the universal church which began papal supremacy — a formal structure that is unique to what would become the Roman Catholic Church. Leo is considered the first Pope by historians.

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4. In 451 AD, the Council of Chalcedon laid the groundwork for what would divide the universal church into separate factions including that of Roman Catholic. The Council Definition affirmed that Jesus Christ is one person, both divine and human, both the son of God and the son of man. In addition, the Council "granted the See of Constantinople the same privileges of honor that were enjoyed by the Bishop of Old Rome, although the primacy and the highest rank of honor were due to the latter. The papal legates protested against this elevation of the Byzantine Patriarch, and Pope Leo confirmed only the dogmatic decrees of the council."

5. In 1054 AD, Pope Leo IX excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople, Michael I Cerularius over disputes about Roman authority. Cerularius in turn excommunicated the Pope. This led to a divide between Latin-rite and Greek-rite churches and came to be known as The Great Schism.

6. In the 16th century, the Protestant reformation was the final push that led to the development of the Roman Catholic Church. According to History.com, "In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice." This led to "religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era."

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Roman Catholicism is the largest of all Christian denominations with approximately 1.2 billion global members. Its origins lie with the apostles of Jesus Christ in 1st century AD and the early Christian community.
Roman Catholic, Christian, Origins, Denomination
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2015-38-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:38 PM
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