Heresy in the Roman Catholic Church: A History by Michael C. Thomsett

By Michael C. Thomsett

Within the 2,000-year background of the Roman Catholic Church, cases of heretical activities have again and again challenged the vital doctrinal authority of the pope. This serious ebook explains the development and ideology of the equipped hobbies, either huge and small, and files the contributors and their efforts in demanding papal infallibility, singular doctrine, and the Inquisition. It examines how, regardless of Church efforts at holding singular keep an eye on, heretics have by no means ceased to seem and reappear from precedent days into smooth instances. This e-book areas heretical hobbies of their right context, together with how the evolution of cultural and social alterations within the Christian global affected how the Church was once in a position to implement its claimed authority

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Whereas the Ebionites disputed Christianity altogether, Gnostics were more likely to explain Christian belief in terms of duality. The Ebionites first appeared around 150. They believed in two divine forces, good and evil, making it similar to Gnostic beliefs. On the good side, Christ ruled as the son of 28 Heresy in the Roman Catholic Church Mary and the Son of God. However, the sect also believed that Christ as Savior had already visited the temporal world in the persons of Adam and Moses. For this sect which attempted to reconcile Jewish and Christian beliefs, the entity of Christ had left the body of Jesus before his crucifixion; thus, at death Jesus had reverted to being only a man and was not the messiah.

Ebionites also had their own sacred book, the Gospel of the Ebionites. This book, most likely derived from the Gospel of Mark, included a claim that Jesus had been a vegetarian. Elchasai (alt. Elkasai) began a breakaway sect of the Ebionites, called Elkasaites. The name translates to “hidden power,” suggesting that the inspiration for this movement came directly from the Holy Spirit. Elchasai came from Syria and founded this sect in the first half of the second century. By 220, elements of the sect had spread as far as Rome.

By 447, Pope Leo I (440–61) declared once and for all that heretics were subject to the most severe punishments. As historian H. C. Lea wrote, Pope Leo I not only justified the death penalty but also declared that 42 Heresy in the Roman Catholic Church if the followers of a heresy so damnable were allowed to live, there would be an end to human and Divine law. The final step had been taken and the church was definitely pledged to the suppression of heresy at any cost. 15 Heresies between the third and fifth century plagued the Church until Pope Leo I announced that the death penalty was a suitable punishment for heretics.

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