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Horacio Tomas T.

Castillo III November 14, 2013


1POL1 Dr. Esmeralda F. Sanchez

Synthesis of the Concise Church History
When Jesus called his 12 apostles, he already started his mission to save mankind from
sin. This event was also the start or the birth of the Catholic Church. During the time of Christ,
the Catholic Church was in its infancy, Jesus Christ wanted his group to grow and become a
religion that would create a stable and permanent community. At the time of Christs death and
resurrection, this group of followers known as The Apostles, preached the good news of Jesus
Christ. They would go on to preach to the Jews and gentiles. They were able to this mission with
the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ to grant his apostles the
power to preach his good news to the Jews and Gentiles.

The Catholic Church began to grow, in its early stages, namely the growth of the Early
Christian Community. Here the first Jewish Christians started to proclaim the good news that
they learned from the apostles. The good news started to reach within the whole of Israel even in
Jerusalem. Then the good news started to be proclaimed within the gentile community. As the
Christian Community began to grow, there was still resistance from some of the Jewish and
gentile communities but with the help of Paul and his radical methods he was able to break this
barrier and fully make Jewish and Gentile communities believe in Christ. Then in the year 49,
Paul and the other Apostles to Jerusalem to defend the Jewish Christian Church, this is also
known as the Council of Jerusalem. A new mission to the gentiles was initiated at Antioch,
where Christianity was able to flourish and it was able to spread to all of the Roman Empire
because of the massive Jewish Christian Communities.

As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, the romans persecuted the
Christians by Roman authorities. Romans hated Christianity as it violated Roman Law, it
rejected the divine status of the roman emperor, and according to romans, caused the roman gods
to punish the roman empire because of people converting or committing treason against the gods.
This hatred culminated the Jews destroying a garrison in Jerusalem, this lead to Titus retaliating
against the Jews by burning down Jerusalem and looting the temple leaving Jews without a
home.

Despite all the setbacks caused by roman persecution, Christianity spread all over the
world. Christianity reached Africa, Asia, The British Isles and Europe. The spread of Christianity
had its complications for example people had a hard time accepting Jesus Christ as the messiah
and Jewish and Gentiles difficulty in adapting to the teachings of the disciples/apostles. This lead
to some to rebel and make there own sects and preach their own interpretation of the Law. One
example of this is Arianism, a heresy from the east that denies Christs divine status. Another
example is the wests heresy, Donatism where its belief that people who sin cannot be redeemed.

A major event in the growth of Christianity is its first roman emperor to be baptized as a
Christian. This emperor, Emperor Constantine supported Christianity to its fullest, he fought in
the name of Christ, built structures for the Church, gave the Catholic Church powers in the
empire. The downside of this is that it weakened the Churches spirituality, thus turning the
church into a rich and powerful institution. As time went on, Christianity gained more power, but
it had a price, the empire interfering with church affairs, leading to struggles between the pope
and emperor for autonomy. Emperor Constantine called for a council to be help to address the
rise of Arianism. When Constantine died Theodosius became the new emperor and his
appointment as the new emperor, its increased Christianitys power by implementing anti pagan
laws. During the rein of Theodosius, the fall of Rome was observed, starting with the Council of
Constantinople to address Arianism. As the roman authority declined gradually the Church
started to get more power. This was solidified at the council of Chalcedon where the pope, Pope
Leo emphasizes the supremacy of the Papacy and the church. In the next years to come, Popes
and converted franks would then unite and form Christendom. Christendom was the start of
Christianity as an empire, controlling most of Europe, preserving a lot of values and
characteristics from the Roman Empire.

This then ushered in the Medieval Period where the Churchs influence suddenly was in
decline during the earl medieval periods but come the 10
th
century it was revived but when it
revived, feudalism was the system and the Church struggled to address it. With all of the
churches problems, this called for reform called the monastic reform and was successful when
Pope Gregory VII reformed the Church and made the Church as the ruling power of the land.
This Reformation during the 13
th
century ushered in the Golden Era of the Church starting with
the crusades, campaigns intended to reclaim the holy land from the Muslims. From the 3
crusades only the first was successful. After the crusades came the climax between
Constantinople and Rome. This was called the Schism. This event illustrated the decline of
between the relationships of these two churches.

As the 13
th
century went by, monarchs started gaining power, while the papacy was
declining in power. This also signaled the end of Christendom and gave birth to nationalism.
After this, the Church face numerous scandals, issues, and schisms leading to the Church not
being able to reform its structure or system, thus making it disorganized. Many popes tried to
make reforms in order to reorganize the Church, but none were successful until the second
Vatican council but this would be years ahead. Martin Luther then made his famous call for
reforms in front of a church where he posted his 95 theses on its doors. After this, the Church
gave its own counter-thesis in the council of trent of 1545. As the 1700s came in so did the age
of enlightenment/age of reason/age of rationalism. This developed nations intellects and
philosophical ideaologies. Then came the French revolution where Napoleon Bonaparte came to
power. This revolution destroys the Church of Old. The Church lost control of its people and it
declined.

As the French revolution came to an end so did napoleons rein to. This downfall gave
birth to a new era and also saw the revival of the Catholic Church. Establishing its former status
as a great order. Reestablishing of Papal seat because of the new king, King Louis XVIII,
religious orders and other important figures. After this revival came the industrial revolution
where the breakthrough of technology came. In this revolution the Church restored its former
values and protected a lot of workers rights. This all happened during 19
th
century. As the 19
th

century came to a close the 20
th
century just around the corner, Pope John XXIII called for the
second Vatican council that would sought the reformation of the Church as we know it today.
This council started 1962 with Pope John XXIII as pontiff and ended 1965 with Pope Paul VI as
the pontiff. After this council, the Catholic Church is at present organized and powerful.