Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Clement of Rome

CLEMENT OF ROME (Roman Christian, died 99 CE)

With Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome is the third of the Three Great Apostolic Fathers of the Church. What's more, he was also Bishop of Rome, a post that is considered identical to that of Pope. Things are a bit fuzzy back then, but only St. Peter the Apostle and one or two others seem to have held the seat before him. We have one genuine letter from him, to the church at Corinth (called 1 Clement) in which he asserted the authority of "presbyters" (priests, the successors to the apostles), a major plank in the platform of papal power. A second epistle, called 2 Clement, is now thought to have been written by another author. Tradition says Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan, and executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea; he has become, naturally, a patron saint of mariners.


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