History of the Church

BY: Zachary Ridgley

The Roman Empire

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jesus and the founding of the church

Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection In concert with His redemptive act, Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church Jesus said build as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles 2nd Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Receive the Holy Spirit whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven whose sins you retain, they are retained. 3rd Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded Do this in memory of Me. He commanded them to Make disciples of all nations and to Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
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the early christians

the early days of the Catholic Church make reference to Bishops priests virgins living in communities nuns the Sacrament of Confession, the Baptism of infants the Bishop of Rome as the Head of the Christian religion, and even reverence to the saint On the matter of Bishops, Pope St. Clement church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God worthy of hanor worthy of blessing worthy of praise worthy of success worthy of sanctification, and because you hold the presidency in love named after Christ and named after the Father. On the subject of Holy Communion, St. Justin Martyr, stated in his 1st apology 148-155 This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus And on the matter of Infant Baptism, we read from Saint Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition 21:16, in 215,Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them Regarding the Sacrament of Confession Origen in the Homilies in Leviticus 2:4 in 248 we read, A filial method of forgiveness albeit hard and laborious the remission of sins through penance, when the sinner... does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord and from seeking medicine, after the manner of him who say I said to the Lord I will accuse myself of my iniquity From the above it is obviously clear that the practices of the Christian Church in its early days is no different than today's practices of the Catholic Church. This confirms that the Catholic Church was the very first Christian Church, the one instituted by Jesus Christ While the believers of thousands of different religions can claim to be christians they cannot claim to be Catholics who belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that was instituted on earth by Jesus Christ.

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persucution of ¨they way¨

In the early Church those Christians who refused to renounce the Faith were martyred, often in public spectacles in places such as the Coliseum Because the death of the martyrs had occurred there, many of the Roman circuses were held as sacred by Christians When the circuses were dismantled, their material was used in the construction of Christian churches The earliest Christians referred to the Faith as “the Way.Living he Way required integrity and a strong commitment. Although living the Faith is always difficult, it was especially so for the early Christians.Many thousands of Christians lost their lives during the first three hundred years of persecutions Christianity is a religion born in the suffering and death of its founder Jesus Christ. In like manner, many of his early followers suffered and died for their belief in him. The persecutions began with Nero AD 64 and climaxed with Diocletian AD 303 However throughout this period regardless of the persecutions the Church continued to spread.

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the church fathers and heresies

The Athanasian Creed that emerged expresses the Catholic belief in the three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation of God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. It emphasizes the equality of each of the three persons of the Trinity The Creed begins and ends with an anathema on those who do not accept it Each sentence, word, and phrase of the Creed was carefully selected in order to adequately express the Catholic Faith While some of these terms may seem difficult to understand, members of the early Church suffered tortur exile and death in order to preserve and transmit the unadulterated Deposit of Faith.

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light in the dark ages

Initially, this era took on the term “dark” by later onlookers; this was due to the backward ways and practices that seemed to prevail during this time. Future historians used the term “dark” simply to denote the fact that little was known about this period; there was a paucity of written history. Recent discoveries have apparently altered this perception as many new facts about this time have been uncovered. The Francesco Petrarca was the first to coin the phrase. He used it to denounce Latin literature of that time; others expanded on this idea to express frustration with the lack of Latin literature during this time or other cultural achievements. While the term dark ages is no longer widely used, it may best be described as Early Middle Ages -- the period following the decline of Rome in the Western World. The Middle Ages is loosely considered to extend from 400 to 1000 AD.

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The Great schism

The Great Eastern Schism is the name given to the separation of the Roman and Byzantine branches of the Christian church. This separation of the Latin and Greek churches is sometimes dated from 1054 the date when Byzantine and Roman officials excommunicated each other. Actually, the break came about through a gradual process of estrangement that extended from the 9th to the 15th century.

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the crusades

By the end of the 11th century Western Europe had emerged as a significant power in its own right though it still lagged far other Mediterranean civilization such as that of the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic empire of the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, Byzantium was losing considerable territory to the invading Seljuk Turks who defeated the Byzantine Army at the battle of Menzikirt in 1071 and went on to gain control over much of Anatolia. After years of chaos and civil war the general alexius Camnenus seized the Byzantine throne in 1081 and consolidated control over the remaining empire as Emperor Alaxius I. In 1095, Alexius sent envoys to Pope Urban II asking for mercenary troops from the West to help confront the Turkish threat Pope Urban’s plea met with a tremendous response, both among lower levels of the military elite as well as ordinary citizens; it was determined that those who joined the armed pilgrimage would wear a cross as a symbol of the Church.
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The inquisition

There have actually been several different inquisitions. The first was established in 1184 in southern France as a response to the Catharist heresy. This was known as the Medieval Inquisition, and it was phased out as Catharism disappeared. Quite separate was the Roman Inquisition, begun in 1542. It was the least active and most benign of the three variations. Separate again was the infamous Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478, a state institution used to identify Jews and Muslims who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion.

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The High Middle Ages

After the fall of Rome, no single state or government united the people who lived on the European continent. Instead the Catholic Church became the most powerful institution of the medieval period. Kings, queens and other leaders derived much of their power from their alliances with and protection of the Church. Ordinary people across Europe had to “tithe” 10 percent of their earnings each year to the Church; at the same time, the Church was mostly exempt from taxation. These policies helped it to amass a great deal of money and power.
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The Plague

The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague, a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that circulates among wild rodents where they live in great numbers and density. Such an area is called a ‘plague focus’ or a ‘plague reservoir’. Plague among humans arises when rodents in human habitation, normally black rats, become infected. The black rat, also called the ‘house rat’ and the ‘ship rat’, likes to live close to people, the very quality that makes it dangerous
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hundred year war

The Hundred Years' War was a long struggle between England and France over succession to the French throne. It lasted from 1337 to 1453, so it might more accurately be called the 116 Years' War. The war starts off with several stunning successes on Britain's part, and the English forces dominate France for decades. Then, the struggle see-saws back and forth. In the 1360 the French are winning. From 1415-1422 the English are winning. After 1415 King Henry V of England revives the campaign and he conquers large portions of France, winning extraordinary political concessions. From 1422 onward however the French crown strikes back. The teenage girl named Joan of Arc a remarkable young mystic, leads the French troops to reclaim their lands. Here's the brief outline of events, with major battles put in bold red color:
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Joan of arc

Joan of Arc, a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. With no military training, Joan convinced the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orleans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their French allies the Burgindians. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles VII Joan was captured by Anglo Burgundian forces, tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431 at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orleans had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism.
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The Renaissance

the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. The Renaissance also witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper printing, the mariner’s compass, and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of Classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.
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the Protestant Reformation & the english remormation

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century 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. 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. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes. The disruption triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s delayed but forceful response to the Protestants. The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
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Exploration and missionary movements

The Catholic Church during the Age of Discovery inaugurated a major effort to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the Native Americans and other indigenous people. The evangelical effort was a major part of, and a justification for the military conquests of European powers such as Spain, France and Portugal. Christian Missions to the indigenous peoples ran hand-in-hand with the colonial efforts of Catholic nations. In the Americas and other colonies in Asia and Africa, most missions were run by religious orders such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Jesuits.
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the age of enlightment

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism.
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pope puis xii and world war 2

During this dark time, the Catholic Church was shepherded by Pope Pius XII, who proved himself an untiring foe of the Nazis, determined to save as many Jewish lives as he could. Yet today Pius XII gets almost no credit for his actions before or during the war
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vatican 2

On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter's Basilica with a speech full of hope and promise. Recalling the Church's previous councils, the Pope said that Vatican II was called to reaffirm the teaching role of the Church in the world.In calling this vast assembly of bishops, the latest and humble successor to the Prince of the Apostles who is addressing you intends to assert once again the Church's Magisterium [teaching authority], which is unfailing and perdures until the end of time, in order that this Magisterium, taking into account the errors, the requirements, and the opportunities of our time, might he presented in exceptional form to all men throughout the world.
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pope st.john paul 2

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.
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the church of immigrants to the us and slavery

African American life in the United States has been framed by migrations, forced and free. A forced migration from Africa—the transatlantic slave trade—carried black people to the Americas. A second forced migration—the internal slave trade—transported them from the Atlantic coast to the interior of the American South. A third migration—this time initiated largely, but not always, by black Americans—carried black people from the rural South to the urban North. At the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, African American life is again being transformed by another migration, this time a global one, as peoples of African descent from all parts of the world enter the United States.
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the church in the u.s. presents and future

Every practicing Catholic in America is stuck between two worlds. On one hand, he inhabits a broadly secular culture, one indifferent to claims about the transcendent, in which the currency of human exchange is always some mix of money, pleasure, and power. His participation in that culture is nearly constant—it surrounds him in mass media, on the internet, in patterns of speech, in social expectations, and in the aims and operations of his government. The modern Catholic in America is swimming in secularity. On the other hand there is the Church, which stands apart from the sea of secularity, and offers a set of fundamental commitments and values. Here one makes vows that are lifelong and indissoluble. Here one's duties are insuperable and absolute. The currency of exchange put forward in the Church is based not on pleasure or power but truth, charity, and oblation. Here the economy of domination is swept away by the blood of the Lamb.The tension between these two forces in American Catholic life causes a great deal of confusion. I suspect many Catholics exist in a state of double-think, where they see the world through Christ at Mass, see it through the lens of materialism at work, and maintain an incoherent mix of the two at home with their families. The tension remains unresolved for ordinary Catholics because of persistent ambiguities in the institutions (Church and State) to which each side is anchored.

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