Three Black Popes in History

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T-dodo

Three Black Popes in History

Post by T-dodo » Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:14 pm

This was printed just before the pope died. I don't know the exact sources. It was sent to me by a friend.

[quote]Pope John Paul II's frailty and poor health are prompting discussion on his eventual successor as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Many names are being tossed around as the next pope, including Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria.

If Arinze becomes the next pope, it might surprise some Catholics as well as non-Catholics that he would be the fourth black-African pope to lead the Catholic faithful.

The three black popes were:

Victor I (A.D. 186-197),
Miltiades (A.D. 311-314) and
St. Gelasius (A.D. 492-496)

All three were saints, having left their stamp on Christianity and the Catholic Church.

An article in the April 16, 2001 edition of Newsweek titled "The Changing Face of the Church" wondered if Cardinal Arinze could be the first b
lack pope. These kinds of inaccuracies are unnerving to Rev. Barbara Reynolds. Reynolds, a minister and former columnist for USA Today, teaches biblical studies at the Calvary Bible Institute in Washington, D.C. She said a lot of the influence of Africans in religious history is shrouded in secrecy. "I teach the black presence in the bible, and it's almost like a secret code that hasn't been broken."

Victor I, the 15th pope, is the reason Easter Day is celebrated universally on Sunday, said Reynolds. A native of Africa, Victor I served during the reign of Emperor Septimus Severus, also a black African, and one of several African emperors that led the Roman Empire.

"It's important to recognize that while there were three black popes in the early days from Africa, it was during a time when we didn't have racial prejudice - there was no concept of race in the modern sense," said biblical scholar Cain Hope Felder, of Howard University School of Divinity. Felder, who holds degrees fro
m Columbia University, Oxford University, Union Theological Seminary, and Howard University, said that historic "black popes" and the fact that many people are startled at the prospect of Arinze becoming the next pope are evidence of how modern racial prejudice has marginalized the influence of blacks in world history. "This was at a time when race didn't matter," Felder said emphatically.

"But now the prospect of selecting an African pope is seen as so dramatic and historic and even frightening to some - it just shows how unfortunate and deep the race factor has been in dividing people and distorting the gospel message," said Felder.

Miltiades, the 32nd pope, is remembered as the pope who led the church to final victory over the Roman Empire. Though Miltiades ruled the church for only three years, his reign witnessed one of history's turning points - the coming of Roman Emperor Constantine and his conversion to Christianity in A.D. 313. Miltiades was granted approval from Constan
tine that all Christians would be free to worship without persecution.

Gelasius I, the 49th pope, was born in Rome of African parents, taking office in A.D. 492. "Intelligent and energetic, Gelasius I knew what steps he should take to establish a secure future for the church," wrote Edward Scobie in the book African Presence in Early Europe. Scobie, who died in 1996, was professor emeritus at the City University of New York and a leading expert and authority on the presence of Africans in early Western Europe. Gelasius I, Scobie wrote, "saved Rome from famine and was emphatic on the duty of bishops to devote a quarter of their revenue to charity, stressing that 'Nothing is more becoming to the priestly office then the protection of the poor and the weak.' It is little wonder that he died empty-handed as a result of his lavish charity. He used to call his temporal goods: 'The patrimony of the poor." Reynolds said this religious history isn't just for black people. "It's for white peo
ple to know the truth also. The Bible says, 'You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.' It's not supposed to be one set of lies for white people and one set of truth for black people."

Felder agreed, but added the church must embrace diversity if it's going to survive and bring the truth to the masses. "We have allowed race to matter too much. And if the church is going to have a future, it's going to have to come up with a mandate for diversity and seeing beyond color," said Felder [/quote]

Widy_

Post by Widy_ » Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:04 pm

CHER Jean-Marie,

Je ne sais pas si tu as fais attention, mais plusieurs articles parus récemment, mettent en évidence la possibilité à ce que le prochain pape soit un noir.

D'ailleurs il y a même eu un article sur yahoo, et je sais qu'ils ont retenu le nom d'un nigérien comme éventuel pape.

Ce que j'ai beaucoup apprécié dans ces différents articles, c'est qu'ils ont posé l'équation à savoir est-ce que l'europe conservatrice (poum pa di dòt biten) sera prête à accepter un pape noir ?

Personnellement je n'y crois pas, mais on peut toujours espérer.

J'aimerai bien avoir l'avis des nègres intégristes chrétiens sur ce point bien précis.

Gelin_

Re: Three Black Popes in History

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:58 am

[quote]...Reynolds said this religious history isn't just for black people. "It's for white people to know the truth also. The Bible says, 'You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.'</B> It's not supposed to be one set of lies for white people and one set of truth for black people."[/quote]
The truth of the matter is that Jesus did not leave any pope in charge of those who believe in him. From the time he left to the end of the 1st century, the body of believers was organized as local churches under the leadership of qualified pastors and bishops - in africa, asia and europe. Members and leaders alike were from all possible ethnicities, and all that mattered was the love of God and a strong caring love for people (believers and unbelievers).

The bishop(s) in charge of the church that was in rome just took care of that particular church. It was only afte
r the political hand of rome took control of that church that its appointed leaders began to receive puffed-up titles beyond what was intended, and beyond what is scripturally allowed.

tou manti pa fon....

gelin

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:57 pm

[quote]The bishop(s) in charge of the church that was in rome just took care of that particular church. It was only after the political hand of rome took control of that church that its appointed leaders began to receive puffed-up titles beyond what was intended, and beyond what is scripturally allowed.[/quote]

Gelin,

Based on what you just said, how do you explain the catholic teaching of the infallibility of the pope? Where did that come from and how did they justify it using the New Testament?

Also, do you share in the views, it appears Jaf was supporting in another post, that the line of communication between Jesus, Peter and the catholic church that legitimizes the pope is not supported by historical documents? If not, why?

Jean-Marie

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:32 pm

[quote]Gelin, Based on what you just said, how do you explain the catholic teaching of the infallibility of the pope?[/quote]
It's only a doctrine of the roman catholic church. Nothing more. There is no such thing as an infallible man. Maybe that's why some want to see him as a bit more than just a man by referring to him as their holy father.

[quote]Where did that come from and how did they justify it using the New Testament?[/quote]
While the emperor of rome had political/social/economic control over everybody in the empire, the bishop in charge of the church in rome was gradually given a lot of authority and associated titles. It has no basis whatsoever in the new testament. By the way, let me recall that the catholic church bases its teachings on 3 sources: the books of the bible, the tradition of the catholic church itself (which can mean a lot of things - historically)
, and the decisions or particular points of view or teachings of the pope.

[quote]Also, do you share in the views, it appears Jaf was supporting in another post, that the line of communication between Jesus, Peter and the catholic church that legitimizes the pope is not supported by historical documents? If not, why?[/quote]
I don't fully understand what you mean here. Peter, along with other apostles like James and John, was in charge of the church which was in Jerusalem - of which Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a member. Does that mean anything to anybody? History says that later Peter moved to rome where he was subsequently killed because of his faith, along with many others. Nobody referred to any of the twelve apostles as pope or holy father. None. Because they all believed that there is only one father of us all, and he is in heaven. That's the Lord's prayer: Our Father in heaven....

gelin

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