|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||22 December 401|
|Papacy ended||12 March 417|
|Born||Albano, Roman Empire|
|Died||12 March 417|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Other popes named Innocent|
Pope Innocent I (Latin : Innocentius I) was the bishop of Rome from 401 to his death on 12 March 417. He may have been the son of his predecessor, Anastasius I. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office".
According to his biographer in the Liber Pontificalis , Innocent was a native of Albano Laziale and the son of a man called Innocentius,but his contemporary Jerome referred to him as the son of the previous pope, Anastasius I, probably a unique case of a son succeeding his father in the papacy. According to Urbano Cerri, Pope Innocent was a native of Albania.
Innocent I lost no opportunity in maintaining and extending the authority of the Roman apostolic See, which was seen as the ultimate resort for the settlement of all ecclesiastical disputes. His communications with Victricius of Rouen, Exuperius of Toulouse, Alexander of Antioch and others, as well as his actions on the appeal made to him by John Chrysostom against Theophilus of Alexandria, show that opportunities of this kind were numerous and varied. He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa, held in Carthage in 416, confirming the condemnation which had been pronounced in 411 against Cælestius, who shared the views of Pelagius. He also wrote in the same year in a similar sense to the fathers of the Numidian synod of Mileve who had addressed him. Soon after this, five African bishops, among them St. Augustine, wrote a personal letter to Innocent regarding their own position in the matter of Pelagianism.In addition he acted as metropolitan over the bishops of Italia Suburbicaria.
The historian Zosimus in his Historia Nova suggests that during the sack of Rome in 410 by Alaric I, Innocent I was willing to permit private pagan practices as a temporary measure. However, Zosimus also suggests that this attempt by pagans to restore public worship failed due to lack of public interest, suggesting that Rome had been successfully Christianized in the last century.
Among Innocent I's letters is one to Jerome and another to John II, Bishop of Jerusalem, regarding annoyances to which the former had been subjected by the Pelagians at Bethlehem.
He died on 12 March 417. Accordingly, his feast day is now celebrated on 12 March, though from the thirteenth to the twentieth century he was commemorated on 28 July.His successor was Zosimus.
In 405 A.D. Pope Innocent sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse,identical with that of Trent (which took place more than 1000 years later), except for some uncertainty in the manuscript tradition about whether the letters ascribed to Paul were 14 or only 13, in the latter case possibly implying omission of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Previously in 367 A.D., Athanasius of Alexandria had circulated the 39th Easter Letter mentioning the list of Scripture, both Old and New Testament, which he referred to as "canonized".
In 846, Pope Sergius II gave approval for the relics of St. Innocent to be moved by Duke Liudolf of Saxony, along with those of his father and predecessor Anastasius, to the crypt of the former collegiate church of Gandersheim, now Gandersheim Abbey, where most rest until this day.Relics were also brought to The Church of Our Lady St Mary of Glastonbury upon its consecration.
Antipope Felix, was a Roman archdecon in the 4th century. He was installed as antipope from 355 to 365. Previously he was an archdeacon of Rome. He was installed irregularly in 355 after Emperor Constantius banished the reigned pope Liberius. Constantius, following the refusal of the laity to accept Felix attempted to have them co-rule but Felix was forced to retire. He resented in his lifetime but has enjoyed a more popular memory since. Antipope, in the Roman Catholic church described any figure attempting to oppose the legitimately elected Bishop of Rome, with Felix being among the unsuccessful.
Pope Linus was the second bishop of Rome. His pontificate endured from c. AD 67 to his death. Among those to have been pope, Peter, Linus, and Clement I are specifically named in the New Testament. Linus is named in the valediction of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul the Apostle in Rome near the end of Paul's life.
Pope Alexander I was the sixth Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio (2012) identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119. Some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian.
Pope Miltiades, also known as Melchiades the African, was the bishop of Rome from 311 to his death on 10 or 11 January 314. It was during his pontificate that Emperor Constantine the Great issued the Edict of Milan (313), giving Christianity legal status within the Roman Empire. The pope also received the palace of Empress Fausta where the Lateran Palace, the papal seat and residence of the papal administration, would be built. At the Lateran Council, during the schism with the Church of Carthage, Miltiades condemned the rebaptism of apostatised bishops and priests, a teaching of Donatus Magnus.
Pope Siricius was the bishop of Rome from December 384 to his death. In response to inquiries from Bishop Himerius of Tarragona, Siricius issued the Directa decretal, containing decrees of baptism, church discipline and other matters. His are the oldest completely preserved papal decretals. He is sometimes said to have been the first bishop of Rome to call himself pope.
Pope Sixtus II was bishop of Rome from 31 August 257 until his death on 6 August 258. He was martyred along with seven deacons, including Lawrence of Rome during the persecution of Christians by Emperor Valerian.
Pope Urban I (175?–230) was the bishop of Rome from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Callixtus I, who had been martyred. It was previously believed for centuries that Urban I was also martyred. However, recent historical discoveries now lead scholars to believe that he died of natural causes.
Pope Zosimus was the bishop of Rome from 18 March 417 to his death on 26 December 418. He was born in Mesoraca, Calabria. Zosimus took a decided part in the protracted dispute in Gaul as to the jurisdiction of the See of Arles over that of Vienne, giving energetic decisions in favour of the former, but without settling the controversy. His fractious temper coloured all the controversies in which he took part, in Gaul, Africa and Italy, including Rome, where at his death the clergy were very much divided.
Pope Felix I was the bishop of Rome from 5 January 269 to his death on 30 December 274.
Leo I, also known as Leo the Great, was bishop of Rome from 29 September 440 until his death. Pope Benedict XVI said that Leo's papacy "was undoubtedly one of the most important in the Church's history."
Pope Lucius I was the bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death on 5 March 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution by Emperor Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.
Pope Evaristus was the fifth bishop of Rome from c. 99 to his death c. 107. He was also known as Aristus. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy. It is likely that he was the bishop of Rome when John the Apostle died, marking the end of the Apostolic Age.
Pope Anicetus was the eleventh bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome to discuss the Easter controversy.
Pope Anacletus, also known as Cletus, was the third bishop of Rome, following Peter and Linus. Anacletus served as pope between c. 79 and his death, c. 92. Cletus was a Roman who, during his tenure as pope, ordained a number of priests and is traditionally credited with setting up about twenty-five parishes in Rome. Although the precise dates of his pontificate are uncertain, he "...died a martyr, perhaps about 91". Cletus is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the mass; his feast day is April 26.
Pope Zephyrinus was the fifteenth bishop of Rome from 199 to his death on 20 December 217. He was born in Rome, and succeeded Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.
Pope Pontian was the bishop of Rome from 21 July 230 to 28 September 235. In 235, during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, Pontian was arrested and sent to the island of Sardinia. He resigned to make the election of a new pope possible. When Pontian resigned on 28 September 235, he was the first pope to do so. It allowed an orderly transition in the Church of Rome and so ended a schism that had existed in the Church for eighteen years.
Pope Marcellinus was the bishop of Rome from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. He may have renounced Christianity during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians before repenting afterwards, which would explain why he is omitted from lists of martyrs. He is today venerated as a saint in Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Church.
Pope Simplicius was the bishop of Rome from 468 to his death. He combated the Eutychian heresy, ended the practice of consecrating bishops only in December, and sought to offset the effects of Germanic invasions.
Nicetas was Bishop of Remesiana,, which was then in the Roman province of Dacia Mediterranea.
In the Catholic Church, the Synod of Bishops, considered as an advisory body for the pope, is one of the ways in which the bishops render cooperative assistance to him in exercising his office. It is described in the 1983 Code of Canon Law as "a group of bishops who have been chosen from different regions of the world and meet together at fixed times to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world."
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