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THE YEAR 500 A.D. 

The emperor had abandoned Rome and had gone to the East. Rome was left without a leader. This made Pope Leo head of the Church and political head of Rome.

Union of Church and State had a rough beginning. Though later it would end up in a happy marriage. 

At this time Empress Theodora had Pope Silverius imprisoned for life. And Emperor Justinian forced Pope Vigilius to sign a shameful statement. Theoodoric, after receiving great favors from the Pope, imprisoned Pope John I. After this, the Pope took a stronger stand against the Emperor and here began the birth of the papal kingdoms. Popes would become spiritual heads and worldly kings...the latter caused the Papacy and the Church great problems later on. 

At this time, too, Popes were nominated by their predecessors. And doctrines that were clearly established in the Church were Papal infallibility, the Divinity of Christ and the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the importance of Tradition (i.e., the writings of the Fathers of the Church) and the obligations of membership in the Church. 






(updated 03-12-02)


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