Some of us are going through Sketches from Church History by S M Houghton one small chapter at a time. (By the way, the book has pictures.) Aiding us in this study is the work book by Rebecca Frawley. Both are Banner of Truth books.
Now we are at
Chapter 6   The Rise of the Papacy

Some keywords/names to remember/key ideas from this chapter are:

  • The word ‘Pope‘ means ‘papa’. Whereas the only two permanent offices of church leadership taught in the New Testament are Elder and Deacon
  • Bishops of influential congregations (like Rome, Antioch, and Jerusalem) exalted themselves and called themselves as the patriarchs.
  • The Bishop of Rome claimed the highest authority in the church on the basis of:
    • The notion that Peter lived in Rome for 25 years as Bishop of Rome
    • The “Donation of Constantine,” a forged document that claimed that the Emperor Constantine had granted bishops of Rome very extensive rights in Italy, including the privilege of wearing a golden crown.
    • Decretals (Forged letters and decrees) of bishops of Rome going back to apostolic days established the authority of the Pope in both chuch and state.
  • Pope Gregory gained political power by defending Italy against the Lombards when the weak emperor was ruling from Constantinople. Gregory also reformed church music in the middle ages.
  • In 800 AD, Charles the Great was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III. This made popes think that they had the power and right to enthrone and depose monarchs at their will.
  • In 1053 AD, the Roman Catholic Church (which used Latin, and believing that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son) and the Greek Orthodox Church (which used Greek, and believing that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone) split.
  • Apostasy in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Everything pointed to outward show and inward emptiness
    • Praying to saints
    • Worship of images, and images placed in churches
    • Martyrs and famous bishops were idolized
    • Mary the mother of Jesus, blessed among women, was unduly exalted and called upon as ‘the queen of heaven’ and worship was paid to her

To read more about Sketches from Church History