A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
OR AS MUCH INFORMATION AS I CAN GIVE YOU ABOUT A 2000 YEAR INSTITUTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE IN A SINGLE CLASSROOM SESSION
WHAT IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation prefigured and revealed in the New Testament by Jesus Christ.
Christ established an institutional Church founded upon Apostles and successors beginning with Peter.
The Catholic Church is that ONE, true Church from an unbroken line from Christ and the Apostles.
Visible & Invisible reality Church on earth (militant), suffering (purgatory) and in heaven (Saints).
A visible instrument of grace and salvation.
By the power of Christ. All are called to holiness through the Catholic Church that is its purpose.
Christ the Teacher Icon from monasteryicons.com
All human history is salvation history.
The one true God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit has been present and active in the lives of his people since the beginning of time.
Throughout history there have been six covenants between God and his people. Covenant is Latin for "convenire" which means "come together".
Covenants bind one to another.
Adam & Eve, Noah, Abram, Moses, David, and Jeremiah.
The sixth was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC & APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Jesus is the promised Savior of Salvation History
Jesus Christ long-awaited Messiah of the Old Testament
Jesus Second Person of Blessed Trinity and along with God the Father, and Holy Spirit desires us to be ONE and HOLY
Jesus chooses His 12 Apostles and selects Simon to be His the ROCK upon which He will build His Church - APOSTOLIC
Greek for Church – Ecklessia: to be called out of the world but a call to ALL – UNIVERSAL
Christ the Enthroned Icon from monastaryicons.com
Pentecost Icon by Isaac Fanous (1992)
What is Pentecost?
Pentecost is a Jewish holiday, which the Jews use to celebrate the end of Passover. Jews celebrate the gift of the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai on this day. But we, as Catholics celebrate the birth of our Church.
33 A.D. - Jerusalem
"When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
- Acts 2: 1-4
The word Pentecost is Greek and it means
Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.
He carries out his office of teaching, governing and sanctifying the Universal Church.
Historically able to trace all Popes directly back to Peter, Bishop of Rome and their successors.
The office given uniquely by the Lord to St. Peter continues in the Bishop of Rome.
The other bishops of the Church are united with the Pope and assist him by carrying out the tasks of teaching, sanctifying and governing in local dioceses all the while in union with him.
Authority in matters of faith and morals.
The 266th Bishop of Rome is Twitter Verified.
Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of Vatican City-State, Servant of the Servants of God.
From founding on Pentecost to the Death of St. John
c. 33 A.D. to c. 100 A.D.
Simon becomes Peter
Passion, Death, Resurrection of Jesus
Holy Spirit is given at Pentecost
Conversion of Saul who becomes Paul
Conversion of Jews, Greeks, Romans, and pagan world
The Twelve Apostles by monasteryicons.com
FEED MY SHEEP
Can you watch my house for me until I come back? Thanks.
Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
- Matthew 16: 16-19
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."
- John 21: 15-17
PAUL WRITES (A LETTER)
PAULINE OFFICES OF THE EARLY CHURCH
Paul writes about Women in the early church
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well." - Romans 16:1
The early church grows and develops
Peter was the Apostle to the Jews and Paul worked extensively with Gentiles.
Paul's letters show us there was debate as to how communities should be formed and who should be invited.
This was discussed at the Council of Jerusalem in 49 A.D.
Paul Writes (A Letter) by Chris Rashcka
c. 64 A.D. to c. 311 A.D.
Rome burns under Emperor Nero in 64 A.D. he blames the Christian community for the fire.
St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred in Rome in c. 67 A.D.
Between 50 A.D. and 90 A.D., many Christians begin to travel during this time Scripture is written and tradition names the authors.
PERSECUTION OF THE WAY AND FIRST CHRISTIANS BY JEWS AND THEN ROMANS
Icon of St. Stephen by monasteryicons.com
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Images of Christ, Saints Peter and Paul, Baptism and the Orans pose during Mass as depicted in 3rd Century Icons found in the Roman Catacombs
SONO PAZZI QUESTI ROMANI
(They're Crazy, These Romans)
In 286 A.D. The Roman Empire split into East and West. There were eventually four rulers or Tetrarchs.
Destroying of churches and burning of the Holy Scriptures
Confiscation of church property
Banning Christians from undertaking collective legal action
Loss of privileges for Christians of high rank who refused to recant
The arrest of some state officials.
In 305 Diocletian abdicated; Galerius, his successor, continued persecution in the East until 311, when he granted Christians forgiveness, freedom of worship and, implicitly, the status of religio licita.
Edict of Toleration by Galerius in 311 ended Diocletianic persecution of the Christianity in Eastern Empire.
So, of course, these guys can't share an empire.
In 312 at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge one of the Tetrarchs, Constantine, looked up to the sun before the battle and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "Ἐν Τούτῳ Νίκα" (in this sign, conquer), often rendered in a Latin version, "in hoc signo vinces" (in this sign, you will conquer).
Constantine commanded his troops to adorn their shields with a Christian symbol (the Chi-Rho), and thereafter they were victorious.
In 313 Constantine and Licinius announced "that it was proper that the Christians and all others should have the liberty to follow that mode of religion which to each of them appeared best," thereby granting tolerance to all religions, including Christianity.
The Edict of Milan went a step further than the earlier Edict of Toleration by Galerius in 311, returning confiscated Church property. This edict made the empire officially neutral with regard to religious worship; it neither made the traditional religions illegal nor made Christianity the state religion, as occurred later with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380. The Edict of Milan did, however, raise the stock of Christianity within the empire and it reaffirmed the importance of religious worship to the welfare of the state.
Constantine becomes sole Emperor of Rome in 324.
He creates a new Capital in the East named Constantinople in 330.
Constantine would be baptized on his deathbed in 337.
Constantine's conversion, as imagined by Peter Paul Rubens
Ἐν Τούτῳ Νίκα
THE NAUGHTY LIST
ST. NICHOLAS, ARIUS, AND THE COUNCIL OF NICEA
"If the world is against Truth, I am against the world"
- St. Athanasius of Alexandria
"Is Jesus of the same essence or substance as the Father" this threatens to embroil the church in irremediable controversy.
Constantine calls the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea on July 4, 325
250 Bishops and perhaps 50 Deacons, most of these are from the eastern half of the Empire.
"Division in the Church is
worse than war"
BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE
After the council, the Nicene Creed is formulated.
Jesus is the same divine substance as the Father. Consubstantial is the word in Latin.
St. Nicholas does slap Arius during the meeting. He still became a saint though so there's hope for all of us.
THE NICENE CREED
"We believe in one God the Father all-soverign, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, begotten of the Father, only-begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made....And those that say ' there was when he was not', and, 'before he was begotten he was not, and that, 'he came into being from what-is-not, or those that allege, that the Son of God is 'of another substance or essence' or 'created,' or 'changeable' or 'alterable,' these the catholic and apostolic church anathematizes."
WITH THE FATHER & SON IS
ADORED & GLORIFIED
Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. affirms that the Holy Spirit is God & Christ has a human soul. Adds the language "the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets" to the Nicene Creed.
- CCC #471-474
POST NICENE PERIOD
During Constantine's reign, 10% to 20% of the population identifies as Christian.
One century later as much as 90% of the population are Christians.
Latin-speaking Church in Rome, Greek-speaking Church in Constantinople.
WILD, WILD WEST
THE CHURCH IN THE WESTERN EMPIRE
King Alaiac I and the Visigoths during the 410 siege of Rome
The Roman Empire decayed leading to the sack of Rome by Visigoths in 410 A.D.
The Western Empire would cease to be a functioning entity by 476 A.D.
Continued invasions from Franks, Scots, Saxons, Vandals, Huns, Ostrogoths and Burgundians
Constant Political and Social Upheaval
Less homogenous, less populous and more land East
Classical culture and Christianity purposefully melded in the East with Christianity, in the West forcibly melded with Germanic barbarism
Germanic tribes are evangelized by St. Boniface and others.
The isolation leads to a distinctly "European Culture"
With an Imperial power vacumn the Western Church emerges as the vanguard and guardian of intellectual life and cultural development in the West
THE QUEEN OF CITIES
THE CHURCH IN THE EASTERN EMPIRE
Constantinople was built to be a "Christian Rome"
It is the seat of the Eastern Church and Emperors
Empire maintains cultural significance in East
A homogenous blending of Christianity, Roman-style government, and Greco-Oriental culture
As Islam expanded in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa it served as a Wall for Western Christendom and Greco-Roman culture
Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
The biggest difference: Catholics see the pope as God’s #1 leader and Orthodox only see him as another bishop.
On Christmas Day 800 A.D., Pope Leo crowned Charlemagne (King of the Franks) the Holy Roman Emperor. Pope Leo’s intent was that one ruler, the Holy Roman Emperor, would be the secular ruler over the known world. But by having the emperor crowned by the pope in Rome, the Church achieved the superiority it needed: The one who installed could also depose. So later, in the 11th century, when the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV tried to control who was made bishop in his realm, he was deposed and excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII, also known as Hildebrand.
Under Charlemagne, one standard liturgical language also united the people of the Holy Roman Empire. Latin was the lingua franca (common language) for the Catholic Church and the government as well. This made sense because the other languages spoken at the time were still primitive (they didn’t have an extensive vocabulary), and many of them were never written — only spoken. Making Latin the language of worship solidified the empire because people could travel anywhere and still experience the same exact Mass.
The Byzantines saw the crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor as a slap to the Eastern emperor and the empire itself. From then on, relations between the East and the West deteriorated until a formal split occurred in 1054 A. D., called the schism. The Eastern Church became the Greek Orthodox Church by severing all ties with Rome and the Roman Catholic Church. In the end, Pope Leo and the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other and their churches.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople removed the mutual excommunications.
Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in 2014 / Getty Images
1095 A.D. TO 1270 A.D.
Siege of Antioch by Jean Colombe
The intention of the Crusades was initially honorable: It was a response to a plea for help from the Byzantine Empire, still a sister church at the time. In 1095, the Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus, sent ambassadors to Pope Urban II in Rome, asking for help to defend Christianity from an imminent attack. The Saracens (Arab Muslims during the time of the Crusades) had overrun the Holy Land, and Christians were no longer free to move about and visit their holy pilgrimage sites. A crusade to free the Holy Land was underway before you knew it.
Eight Crusades took place between 1095 and 1270 A.D.
Deemed a total failure, the Crusades didn’t free the Holy Land from Islamic rule, and injustice, debauchery, greed, envy, animosity, petty infighting, and prejudice erupted on both sides during these holy wars.
That said, had the Crusades not occurred, many historians believe that the Islamic military forces would’ve taken the opportunity to prepare for a massive assault on Europe, and no unified leadership or defense would have prevented it. The Crusades did contain the expansion. They also reopened trade routes to the Far East, which had been closed for several centuries due to the strength and spread of Islam in Arabia and the Middle East.
To Catholics, the Crusades are a poignant reminder that the ends never justify the means. The Catholic belief is that no matter how lofty the goal or noble the purpose, only moral means can be used.
1517 to 1648
Martin Luther (a Catholic monk) wanted the Catholic Church to fix some things it was doing. When the Church didn’t immediately change, Luther broke away and started his own church.
Now there were 3 main kinds of Christians:
Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.
Today there are over 33,000 different Protestant denominations (churches).
GREAT WESTERN SCHISM
1378 A.D. TO 1418 A.D.
From 1309 to 1376 the pope resided om Avignon, France rather than in Rome. A total of seven popes reigned during this time, all French, and all under the influence of the French Crown.
In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome. But after Gregory's death in 1378, deteriorating relations between his successor Urban VI and a faction of cardinals gave rise to the Western Schism.
The schism was driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, and the schism was ended by the Council of Constance in which the claimants resigned and Martin V was elected as pope in 1417.
Gregory XII's resignation (in 1415) was the last time a pope resigned until Benedict XVI in 2013.
Habemus Papam (1415)
Ritratto di Martino V by Pisanello
VATICAN II & THE CHURCH OF TODAY
Papal infallibility statements made in Church dogma (only 2) about Blessed Virgin Mary: Immaculate Conception and Assumption
Marian Apparitions; aka Age of Mary
World Wars & Christian Martyrs
Major enemies of the Church: Communism, Fascism, Modernism, Consumerism, Relativism; legalized abortion worldwide; attacks on marriage, family, gender identity; noise
Vatican Councils, encyclicals,