Papal Development in the Medieval Period

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Introduction For Augustine, the Roman church was the seat of Peter to whom the Lord after his resurrection entrusted the feeding of his sheep and the church in which the primacy of apostolic chair developed and remained successful. The fall of the Western Roman Empire and its invasion by the barbarians created a number of independent kingdoms each of which was of great significance for the latter history of the church in its territory. It also gave new functions and power to two institutions that had began to develop earlier the monastic and the papacy. More invasions posed new challenges to the church and were very disastrous. This condition raised diverse reasons for papal power from different popes who contributed differently to its growth. Some of these reasons and how they contributed to papal growth and different popes who initiated and supported this leadership and the methods they used and their impact to the church are going to be discussed. National character of Christianity in the middle Ages. In the middle ages, religion in the Christian sense was a matter of national churches resulted as the Germanic and the Slavic peoples accepted Christianity. Gregory the Great in his days tried with little success to bring all the new churches to Rome. The close relationship of the Carolingians with the papacy since the eighth century resulted in imperial theocracy; and not in papal hierarchy. When the imperial power disintegrated and the church remained the only bond of union between Christian people, Gregory’s old ways were chosen once more and the pope’s sovereignty was quickly established. Even though it law that the pope be also held superior to the emperor. This was the trend development during the middle Ages. (Neve J.L:1946; 181) The Pseudo-lsidorean Decretals (abt.845) These were false letters of early popes, genuine rules drawn from the church

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