How Rome Became The Centre Of Christianity

How Rome Became The Centre Of Christianity

The Roman Vatican Papacy became the Centre Of Christianity after the Latin Vatican Patriarch replaced the Byzantine Patriarch of Constantinople as the head of the Christian Church following the Great Schism in Christianity that occurred in 1054.

One of the main causes of Christianity’s Great Schism in 1054 was the rise of Islam during the Crusades due to the Monophysite and Dyophysite dispute on the true nature of the Christ.

According to Historian Professor Walter Williams, the Monophysite and Dyophysite controversy led to the rise of Islam which undermined the influence of the Byzantine Christian Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria resulting in Rome and Constantinople emerging as the remaining competing Centers of Christendom in the Ancient world. 

Following the decline of the Byzantine Christian Chruch’s influence in Europe due to the rise of Islam during the Crusades, two separate Churches in Eastern and Western Europe first emerged based on their respective spheres of influence in Europe.

The Monophysite & Dyophysite Controversy

The roots of the Great East-West Schism in Christianity that led to the rise of Rome as the Centre of Christianity can be found in the dispute between Monophysites and Dyophysites on the nature of Christ.

When Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of Rome, the Christian Church was headquartered at the Hagia Sophia Church at Constantinople, the Capital of the new Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire

The Byzantine Church had 5 Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions or Sees each with its own Patriarch in Rome (Latin), Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. 

All Patriarchs were subordinate to the Patriarch at the Hagia Sophia.

According to Dr Williams, from the origins of Christianity since the creation of the Serapis Cult by Ptolemy I after the Greek conquest of Egypt circa 332 BCE, there had always been controversy and debate as to the nature of the Christ.

One faction known as the Monophysites believed that Christ was pure Spirit, whereas the Dyophysite faction believed that Christ was both flesh and spirit.

Under the reign of Theodisius, the Council of Chalcedon condemned the Monophysite heresy.

The Monophysites were pushed into Persia amongst the Seljuk Turks that were the greatest threat to the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire with its Capital at Constantinople.

In addition, the Monophysites retained a strong presence in Egypt all the way into Syria.

The Monophysite faction of Christians would eventually create the Religion of Islam (Muhammedism) which emphasised a Monophysite understanding of the Christ.

The Crusades would result in conflicts between the Dyophysite Christian Church and the Monophysite Muhammadens which gradually weakened the influence of the Byzantine Church throughout the Ancient world.

The Great Schism & Fall Of Constantinople

Against the backdrop of a weakening Byzantine Church, the Patriarch of Rome inserted the Filioque Clause into the Nicene Creed which had been declared at Chalcedon.

The Patriarch of Constantinople rejected the insertion of the Filioque Clause into the Nicene Creed because the Patriarch of Rome did not have the authority to alter official Church doctrine like the Patriarch of Constantinople.

This dispute over the authority of the Patriarch of Rome continued until the Patriarch of Rome officially separated from the authority of the Byzantine Church on July 16 1054.  

The 2 Centres of Christendom thus separated into two separate Churches in Eastern and Western Europe based on their respective spheres of influence in the aftermath of the steady decline of Christian influence caused by the Crusades.

The Latin Patriarch of Rome became the Western Catholic Church whilst the Patriarch of Constantinople became the head of the Eastern Byzantine Greek Orthodox Church based at Constantinople.

This division was cemented after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 when the Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Islamic Ottoman Empire, leaving the Western Roman Patriarch as the last bastion of Christian power ultimately explains how and why the Latin Vatican Papacy in Rome became the Centre of Christianity today. 

Conclusion

The rise of Rome to become the Center of Christianity can be traced to the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Church.

This Great Schism was itself a product of the dispute between the Monophysites and Dyophysites on the nature of the Christ dating from the days the Serapis Christ Deity was created by the Greeks circa 300 BCE.

Eventually, this Christological dispute led to the rise of Islam as a Monophysite response to Dyophysite Christian doctrine. 

As the Byzantine Empire declined during the Crusades, Christianity was replaced by Islam in significant parts of the Ancient world until there were only 2 remaining Centres of Christianity in the East and West competing for Authority.

Disputes over the Ecclesiastical authority of the Western Roman Patriarch eventually led to a split in the Byzantine Church into two factions represented by the Eastern Orthodox and Western Latin Churches.

With the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, Rome’s position as the new Centre for world Christianity was cemented as the Western Roman Patriarchs became the dominant power representing the Christian world giving rise to the Roman Vatican Papacy of today.

Once the Western Roman Patriarchs became the dominant power representing Christianity, the Vatican Pope adopted the title Pontifex Maximus (Chief Priest) which was borrowed from the Latin Priesthood of the Pagan Roman God Janus.

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