- Timeline of the Roman Catholic Church
As one the oldest branches of
Christianity, with Eastern Orthodoxy, [The Eastern Orthodoxand some other churches are also apostolic in origin -- i.e., they also date their origins back to the founding of the Christian Church at the time of the Apostles] the history of the Roman Catholic Churchplays an integral part of the History of Christianityas a whole. This article covers a period of just under 2,000 years.
Over time, schisms have disrupted the unity of Christianity. The major divisions occurred in 318 with
Arianism, in 1054 the East-West Schismof the Roman Catholic Churchwith the Eastern Orthodox Churchand in 1517 with the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church has been the moving force in some of the major events of world history including the evangelization of Europeand Latin America, the spreading of literacyand the foundation of the universities, hospitals, Western monasticism, the development of art, music, literature, architecture, the scientific method, and trial by jury. Also playing a role in world affairs includng, the Inquisition, the Crusades, an analytical philosophical method, and the downfall of communismin Eastern Europein the late 20th century.
Ministry of Jesus and founding
The Catholic Church's institutional basis is the person and teachings of
Jesus Christ(b. 6 – 4 BC Bethlehem, d. AD 33 Jerusalem) as described in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospels describe Jesus as an observant Jewish carpenterfrom the region of Galilee, who was both the promised Messiahor anointed one ("Christos" in Greek, giving rise to the title "Jesus Christ") and Son of God, in fulfillment of Old Testamentprophecy. Catholicism thus considers itself a successor religion to Judaismwith the Christian God and the God of the Jews seen as one and the same.
According to the four Gospels, when Jesus was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23), he left the town of Nazareth and began a ministry of preaching and miraculous healing. In his preaching, he called for repentance (Mark 1:15), presenting God as a loving Father always ready to forgive. He also called on people to imitate the goodness and love of God towards all. He gained a following of people who saw him as a
Rabbiand in some cases wondered if he could be the Messiah. He, however, aroused opposition from the Jewish religious leadership and authorities. They saw his teachings as dangerous to traditional Jewish doctrine and practice, and felt that his hints about his own personal identity were blasphemous. According to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, thus:
13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"16 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in Heaven.18 And so I say unto you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.
The Gospels give a detailed account of Jesus' final days, when, probably in his mid-thirties, Jesus was arrested by the
Sanhedrinin Jerusalemand was charged with blasphemy. During the trial by the Sanhedrin, he declared himself the Messiah. The Sanhedrin then persuaded the authorities of the Roman Empire, who ruled the region as Iudaea Province, to sentence him to death; after which, he was scourged, beaten, and crucified. The Passion of Christ as recounted in the Gospels, tells of the events of Good Fridaythrough Easter, when, according to the New Testamentaccount, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. By its own reckoning, the Church began on the first Pentecostwhen the Holy Spiritdescended on the apostlesand disciples in the Upper Room.
Jesus had earlier stated that he would entrust to
Simon Peterthe keys of the kingdom of Heavenafter being singled out and revealed by God the Fatherthat upon the "rock" (Latin "Petrus", Greek "Petros", and Aramaic "Cepha") of Peter, Jesus would found his Church. Simon Peter was singled out again in the context of the Gospel of John, chapter 21 with the explicit verbal commands of "Feed my lambs", "Tend my sheep" and "Feed my sheep" in verses 15 to 17, thus:
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."16 He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."It is on these foundational bases of scripture that the Catholic Church believes the
Popeas the successor of Saint Peter and the singular leader of the whole Church on earth. The doctrines of Papal authority and Primacy of the Roman Pontiffcontinue to be sources of controversy between the Catholic Church and other Christian churches.
c. 4 BC – 312 AD
* "c." 4 BC:
Nativity of Jesus. According to the Gospel of Luke, his birth occurred in the town of Bethlehemduring the reigns of King Herod the Greatof Judaeaand the Roman Emperor Augustus, and he was the son of the Virgin Mary, who conceived him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians see Him as the Divine Son of God incarnate.:*Although the calculations of Dionysius Exiguusput the birth of Jesus in the year that in consequence is called AD 1, history places his birth more likely some time between 6 and 4 BC.
* "c." 27: Jesus' baptism, start of ministry, and selection of the Apostles. The Gospel of Luke indicates that Christ was baptized during the 15th reign of Tiberius Caesar which is dated in 27 A.D (found in Luke 3:1,21,22). Christian Gospels strongly implicate Peter as leader and spokesman of the Apostles of Jesus being mentioned the most number of times in the Gospels. Peter, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John, constitute the inner circle of the Apostles of Jesus being witnesses to specific important events of the life of Jesus. Major preachings of Jesus, such as the
Sermon on the Mount. Performance of miracles, such as raising the dead back to life, feeding five-thousand, walking on water, etc.
* "c." 33: Peter declares and other followers believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Jewish Messiah promised by Yahweh according to the Jewish Scriptures and the predictions of the Hebrew prophets. Entry into Jerusalem, start of Passion of Christ. Jesus of Nazareth is crucified in
Jerusalemunder Pontius Pilate, procuratorof Judeaduring the reign of Tiberiusand Herod Antipas, after the Sandhedrin, under the High Priest Caiaphas, accuse Jesus of blasphemy. He was crucified by the Romans, however, under the political crime of sedition and rebellion as the titulus on his cross indicated his crime clearly as: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". According to his followers, three days later, "God raised him from the dead", [, , , , , , ] or, as they also express it, he "has risen." [, , ,] Forty days after his resurrection (Ascension), the Christian Gospels narrate that Jesus instructed His disciples thus: "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of time." (Matthew 28:18-20). Ten days later ( Pentecost) Peter makes the first sermon converting 3,000 to be baptized. From this point onwards, the teachings of Jesus are spread throughout the Roman Empireand beyond forming into churches led by the Apostles. Christian tradition records that the Christian Church in Rome was jointly founded by Saint Peterand Saint Paul, and that Peter was its first bishop.
* "c." 34:
St. Stephen, a deaconand first Christian martyr, stoned to death in Jerusalem.
* "c." 50:
Council of Jerusalem
* "c." 52: Traditional arrival of St. Thomas, the Apostle in
* "c." 64: Christian persecution begins under
Emperor Neroafter the great fire of Rome. Persecution continues intermittently until 313A.D..
* "c." 64-67?: Death of
St. Peterand St. Paulin Rome.
* "c." 70: Fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the
* "c." 72: Martyrdom of
St. Thomasthe Apostle at Mylapore.
* "c." 96: Traditional date of First Epistle of Clement attributed to
Pope Clement Iwritten to the church of Corinth.
* "c." 100: St. John, the last of the Apostles, dies in Ephesus. [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08492a.htm St. John the Evangelist] , Catholic Encyclopedia, retrieved Sep. 30, 2006] [ [http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/JOHNEVAN.HTM St. John the Evangelist] , ewtn.com, retrieved Sep. 30, 2006]
* "c." 110:
Ignatius of Antiochuses the term Catholic Churchin a letter to the Church at Smyrna, one of the letters of undisputed authenticity attributed to him. In this and other genuine letters he insists on the importance of the bishops in the Church and speaks harshly about heretics.
* "c." 150:
Latintranslations (the " Vetus Latina") from the Greek texts of the Scriptures are circulated among non-Greek-speaking Christian communities.
* "c." 155: The teachings of
Marcion, the gnostic Valentinus and pentecostalMontanists cause disruptions in the Roman community. Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empirecontinues.
* "c." 180:
Irenaeus's "Adversus Haereses" brings the concept of " heresy" further to the fore in the first systematic attempt to counter Gnostic and other aberrant teachings.
* "c." 195:
Pope Victor I, first African Pope, excommunicated the Quartodecimans in an Easter controversy. Some think he may have been the first pope to celebrate Massin Latin instead of Greek. [This statement is made in derivative websites such as [http://www.culturalcatholic.com/PopeVictorI.htm Cultural Catholic] (retrieved 28 September 2006) and [http://www.catholicintl.com/catholicissues/voford.htm Catholic Apologetics International] (retrieved 28 September 2006); but liturgical scholars are doubtful: early-twentieth-century Adrian Fortescue merely says, in two Catholic Encyclopedia articles, [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09790b.htm Liturgy of the Mass] 28 September 2006) and [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09790b.htm Church Latin] 28 September 2006), that, on the basis of the uncertain attribution to him of a work found among the writings of Saint Cyprian, Pope Victor seems to have been the first Pope "to use Latin at Rome" (referring to writing, not to liturgy); and the later Josef Jungmann makes no mention of this theory about Pope Victor, and states that the burial inscriptions of the Popes, which begin to be in Latin only with Pope Cornelius(d. 253), indicate that the change occurred later, while he observes that both languages will have been used in Rome for some centuries, according to the languages of the various groups of Christians in the city (page 65 of volume I of his "Missarum Sollemnia - Eine genetische Erklärung der römischen Messe" (Vienna, 1949) - the English translation, also in two volumes, is titled "The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development", and has been referred to as a "classic work", which "may be the best text on this most important mystery of our faith" [http://fishersofmen.wordpress.com/2006/08/22/the-introductory-rites-of-mass-1/] ).]
* "c." 200:
Tertullian, first great Christian Latin writer, coined for Christian concepts Latin terms such as "Trinitas", "Tres Personae", "Una Substantia", "Sacramentum"
January 20, 250: Emperor Deciusbegins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabianis martyred. Afterwards the Donatist controversy over readmitting lapsed Christians disaffects many in North Africa.
* "c." 250:
Pope Fabianis said to have sent out seven bishops from Rometo Gaulto preach the Gospel: Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturninto Toulouse, Denisto Paris, Austromoineto Clermont, and Martial to Limoges.
October 28, 312: Emperor Constantine leads the forces of the Roman Empire to victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Tradition has it that, the night before the battle, Constantine had a vision that he would achieve victory if he fought under the Symbol of Christ; accordingly, his soldiers bore on their shields the Chi-Rho sign composed of the first two letters of the Greek word for "Christ" (ΧΡΙΣΤΌΣ). After winning the battle, Constantine legalized Christianity. He himself was not baptized until shortly before death.
* 313: The
Edict of Milandeclares the Roman Empire neutral towards religious views, in effect ending the persecution of Christians.
Ariuscondemned and excommunicated by a council convened by Alexander, bishop of Alexandria. [ [http://www.roman-emperors.org/conniei.htm De Imperatoribus Romanis - Constantine I] , retrieved Feb. 23, 2007]
* 321: Granting the Church the right to hold property, Constantine donates the palace of the Laterani to
Pope Miltiades. The Lateran Basilica(Basilica of Our Savior) becomes the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Rome.
November 3, 324: Constantine lays the foundations of the new capital of the Roman Empire in Byzantium, later to be known as " Constantinople".
* 325: The Arian controversy erupts in Alexandria, causing widespread violence and disruptions among Christians.
May 20, 325: [Date is according to Catholic Encyclopedia [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11044a.htm] but is not definitive.] [ [http://www.roman-emperors.org/conniei.htm De Imperatoribus Romanis - Constantine I] , retrieved Feb. 23, 2007] The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, convened as a response to the Arian controversy, establishes the Nicene Creed, declaring the belief of orthodox Trinitarian Christians in the Holy Trinity. The form of the Nicene Creed has undergone controversy over the " Filioque clause" but is still used by the Catholic Church to this day.
November 18, 326: Pope Sylvester Iconsecrates the Basilica of St. Peterbuilt by Constantine the Great over the tomb of the Apostle.
May 11, 330: Constantinoplesolemly inaugurated. Constantine moves the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium, renaming it "New Rome".
May 22, 337: Constantine the Great dies. Baptized as a Christian only shortly prior to his death.
Julian the Apostatebecomes the last non-Christian Roman Emperor.
February 27, 380: Emperor Theodosius Iissues an edict, "De Fide Catolica", in Thessalonica, published in Constantinople, declaring Catholic Christianity as the state religionof the Roman Empire. [ [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/theodcodeXVI.html Theodosian Code XVI.1.2] Medieval Sourcebook: Banning of Other Religions by Paul Halsall, June 1997, Fordham University, retrieved Septembe 25, 2006] [ [http://www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/theod16.html IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus] , Emperor Theodosius, George Mason University retrieved September 25, 2006] [Theodosian Code XVI.1.2:
:It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgement they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second punishment of our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven shall decide to inflict.
from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church, (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31 [Short extract used under fair-use provsions]
November 24, 380: Emperor Theodosius Iis baptized a Christian.
* 381: First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople.
* 382: The
Council of Romeunder Pope Damasus Isets the Canon of the Bible, listing the accepted books of the Old Testamentand the New Testament. No others are to be considered scripture.
* 391: The Theodosian decrees outlaw most Pagan rituals still practiced in Rome, thereby encouraging much of the population to convert to Christianity.
Jerome's VulgateLatin Bible translation is published. This remained the standard text in the Catholic world until the Renaissance, was used in Catholic services until the late 20th century, and remains an influence on modern vernaculartranslations.
* 404: The monk Telemachus jumps into an arena trying to separate two
gladiators; he is killed by the mob. The gladiatorial games are ended by the Emperor Honorius.
August 24, 410: Sack of Rome. Alaricand his Visigoths burst in by the Porta Salaria on the northeast of the city Rome.
* 431: The Ecumenical
Council of Ephesusdeclares that Jesus existed both as Man and God simultaneously, clarifying his status in the Holy Trinity. The meaning of the Nicene Creed is also declared a permanent holy text of the church.
October 8, 451: Ecumenical Council of Chalcedonopens.
November 1, 451: The Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council, closes. The Chalcedonian Creedis issued, which re-asserts Jesus as True God and True Man and the dogma of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. The council excommunicates Eutyches, leading to the schismwith Oriental Orthodoxy.
Pope Leo I(the Great) meets Attila the Hun, the Scourge of God, and dissuades him from sacking Rome.
Sack of Romeby the Vandals. The spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem previously taken by Titusare allegedly among the treasures taken to Carthage.
September 4, 476: Emperor Romulus Augustusis deposed in Rome, marked by many as the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The focus of the early Church switches to expanding in the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, with its capital at Constantinople. Eventually the Church splits into Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism in the 11th Century.
St Benedictbegins his Monastic Rule, setting out regulations for the establishment of monasteries.
Clovis Ipagan King of the Franks, converts to the Catholic faith.
Pope Symmachusruled that laymen should no longer vote for the popes and that only higher clergy should be considered eligible.
* 529: The Codex Justinianus (
Code of Justinian) completed. First part of Corpus Iuris Civilis (Body of Civil Law).
January 2, 533: Mercurius becomes Pope John II. He becomes the first pope to take a regnal name. John II obtains valuable gifts as well as a profession of orthodox faith from the Byzantine emperor Justinian.
* 533: The Digest, or Pandects, was issued; second part of Corpus Iuris Civilis (Body of Civil Law). The Institutes, third part of Corpus Iuris Civilis (Body of Civil Law) comes into force of law.
Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinoplecondemned the errors of Origen of Alexandria, the " Three Chapters", and confirmed the first four general councils.
* 590: Pope Gregory the Great. Reforms
ecclesiasticalstructure and administration. Establishes Gregorian Chant.
* 596: Saint
Augustine of Canterburysent by Pope Gregory to evangelize the pagan English.
* 638: Christian
Jerusalemand Syriaconquered by Muslims.
Egyptfalls to the Muslims, followed by the rest of North Africa.
* 664: The
Synod of Whitbyunites the Celtic Church in England with the Catholic Church.
Third Ecumenical Council of Constantinopleputs an end to Monothelitism.
* 685: The Maradites used their power and importance to choose
John Maron, one of their own, as Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. John received the approval of Pope Sergius I, and became the first MaronitePatriarch.
* 698: St
Willibrordcommissioned by Pope Sergius Ias bishop of the Frisians ( Netherlands). Willibrord establishes a church in Utrecht.
* 711: Muslim armies invade
Saint Boniface, an Englishman, given commission by Pope Gregory IIto evangelise the Germans.
Iconoclasmbegins in the eastern Empire. The destruction of images persists until 843.
* 732: Muslim advance into Western Europe halted by
Charles Martelat Poitiers, France.
* 751: Lombards abolish the Exarchate of Ravenna effectively ending last vestiges of Byzantine rule in central Italy and Rome.
* 756: Popes granted independent rule of
Romeby King Pepin the Shortof the Franks, in the Donation of Pepin. Birth of the Papal States.
* 787: Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea resolved
* 793: Sacking of the monastery of
Lindisfarnemarks the beginning of Vikingraids on Christian Europe.
December 25, 800: King Charlemagneof the Franksis crowned Holy Roman Emperor of the West by Pope Leo IIIin St. Peter's Basilica.
Ansgarbegins missionary work in Swedennear Stockholm.
Saint Cyriland Saint Methodiussent by the Patriarch of Constantinopleto evangelise the Slavic peoples. They translate the Bible into Slavonic.
Fourth Ecumenical Council of Constantinoplecondemns Photius. This council and succeeding general councils are denied by the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
* 910: Great
Benedictinemonastery of Clunyrejuvenates western monasticism. Monasteries spread throughout the isolated regions of Western Europe.
Mieszko I of Polandconverts to Catholicism, begining the Baptism of Poland.
* 988: St. Vladimir I the Great is baptized; becomes the first Christian Grand Duke of
Burchard of Wormscompletes his twenty-volume "Decretum" of Canon law.
July 16, 1054: Liturgical, linguistic, and political divisions cause a permanent split between the Eastern and Western Churches, known as the East-West Schismor the Great Schism. The three legates, Humbert of Mourmoutiers, Frederick of Lorraine, and Peter, archbishop of Amalfi, entered the Cathedral of the Hagia Sophiaduring mass on a Saturday afternoon and placed a papal Bullof Excommunication on the altar against the Patriarch Michael I Cerularius. The legates left for Rome two days later, leaving behind a city near riots.
November 27, 1095: Pope Urban IIpreaches a "sacrum bellum" (holy war), a Crusade, to defend the eastern Christians, and pilgrims to the Holy Land, at the Council of Clermont.
* 1098: Foundation of the reforming monastery of
Citeaux, leads to the growth of the Cistercian order.
* 1099: Retaking of Jerusalem by the 1st Crusade, followed by a massacre of the remaining non-Christian inhabitants, and the establishment of the
Crusader kingdoms, in Latin bishops are appointed to dioceses still largely populated by the Orthodox.
* 1123: First Ecumenical Lateran Council.
* 1139: Second Ecumenical Lateran Council.
* 1144: The
Saint Denis Basilicaof Abbot Sugeris the first major building in the style of Gothic architecture.
* 1150: Publication of "
* 1179: Third Ecumenical Lateran Council.
* 1182: The
MaroniteChurch reaffirms its unbroken communion with the Holy See.
October 2, 1187: The Siege of Jerusalem. Ayyubidforces led by Saladincapture Jerusalem, prompting the Third Crusade.
January 8, 1198: Lotario de' Conti di Segni elected Pope Innocent III. His pontificate is often considered the height of the temporal power of the papacy.
April 13, 1204: Sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. Beginning of Latin Empire of Constantinople.
Saint Francis of Assisibecomes a hermit, founding the Franciscanorder of friars.
November 11, 1215: Fourth Ecumenical Lateran Council opened by Pope Innocent III.
November 30, 1215: Fourth Ecumenical Lateran Council is closed by Pope Innocent III. Seventy decrees were approved, the definition of transubstantiationbeing among them.
Inquisitionfounded in response to the Cathar Heresy, at the Council of Toulouse.
* 1231: Charter of the
University of Parisgranted by Pope Gregory IX.
* 1241: The death of
Ögedei Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongols, prevented the Mongols from further advancing into Europe after their easy victories over the combined Christian armies in the Battle of Liegnitz(in present-day Poland) and Battle of Mohi(in present-day Hungary).
First Ecumenical Council of Lyons. Excommunicated and deposed Emperor Frederick II.
Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons. Catholic and Orthodox Churches temporarily reunited.
Marco Poloarrives home in Venice.
February 22, 1300: Pope Boniface VIIIpublished the Bull " Antiquorum fida relatio"; first recorded Holy Year of the Jubilee celebrated.
November 18, 1302: Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Unam sanctam.
* 1305: French influence causes the Pope to move from
August 12, 1308: Pope Clement V issues the Bull "Regnans in coelis" calling a general council to meet on October 1, 1310, at Vienne in France for the purpose "of making provision in regard to the Order of Knights Templar, both the individual members and its lands, and in regard to other things in reference to the Catholic Faith, the Holy Land, and the improvement of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons".
* August 17 - 20, 1308: The leaders of the
Knights Templarare secretly absolved by Pope Clement V after their interrogation was carried out by papal agents to verify claims against the accused in the castle of Chinon in the diocese of Tours.
October 16, 1311: The first formal session of the Ecumenical Council of Vienne begins under Pope Clement V.
March 22, 1312: Clement V promulgates the Bull "Vox in excelsis" suppressing the Knights Templar.
May 6, 1312: The Ecumenical Council of Vienneis closed on the third formal session.
May 26, 1328: William of Ockhamflees Avignon. Later, he was excommunicated by Pope John XXII, whom Ockham accused of heresy.
* 1370: Saint
Catherine of Sienacalls on the Pope to return to Rome.
Anti-pope Clement VII(Avignon) elected against Pope Urban VI(Rome) precipitating the Western Schism.
Lithuanians were the last in Europe to accept the Catholic faith.
* c. 1412 – 1431: St.
Joan of Arc, a peasant girl from France, has visions from God telling her to lead her countrymen to reclaim their land from the English. After success in battle she is captured by the English in 1431 and is condemned as a heretic and was executed by burning at the age of 19. Later investigation authorized by Pope Callixtus III would conclude she was innocent and a martyr.
Johannes Gutenbergcompletes his wooden printing pressusing moveable metal type revolutionizing the spread of knowledge by cheaper and faster means of reproduction. Soon results in the large scale production of religious books including Bibles.
May 29, 1453: Fall of Constantinople.
Christopher Columbusdiscovers the New World.
* 1493: With the
Inter caetera, Pope Alexander VIawards sole colonial rights over most of the New World to Spain.
January 22, 1506: Kaspar von Silenen and first contingent of Swiss mercenaries enter the Vatican during the reign of Pope Julius II. Traditional date of founding of the Swiss Guards.
April 18, 1506: Pope Julius II lays cornerstone of New Basilica of St. Peter.
Michaelangelostarts painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
October 31, 1517: Martin Lutherposts his 95 Theses, protesting the sale of indulgences.
* 1516: Saint Sir Thomas More publishes "Utopia" in Latin.
Spanish conquest of Mexicoby Hernando Cortes.
January 3, 1521: Martin Luther finally excommunicated by Pope Leo Xin the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.
* 1521: Baptism of the first Catholics in the
Philippines, the first Christian nation in Southeast Asia. This event is commemorated with the feast of the Sto. Niño.
October 17, 1521: Pope Leo X confers the title Fidei Defensorto Tudor King Henry VIII of Englandfor his defense of the seven sacraments and the supremacy of the pope in Assertio Septem Sacramentorumagainst Protestantism.
May 6, 1527: Sack of Rome.
Our Lady of Guadalupeappears to Juan Diegoin Mexico.
November 16, 1532: Francisco Pizzarocaptures Atahualpa. Conquest of Incan Empire.
August 15, 1534: Saint Ignatius of Loyolaand six others, including Francis Xaviermet in Montmartre, then just outside Paris, to found the missionary Jesuit Order.
October 30, 1534: English Parliamentpasses Act of Supremacymaking the King of England Supreme Head of the Church of England. Anglicanschism with Rome.
* 1535: Michaelangelo starts painting the "Last Judgement" in the
* 1536 To 1540:
Dissolution of the Monasteriesin England, Wales and Ireland.
December 17, 1538: Pope Paul IIIexcommunicates King Henry VIII of England.
Pope Paul IIIconfirmed the order of the Society of Jesus.
July 21, 1542: Pope Paul III, with the Constitution "Licet ab initio", established the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.
* 1543: A full account of the heliocentric Copernican theory titled, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium) is published. Considered as the start of the Scientific Revolution.
December 13, 1545: Ecumenical Council of Trentconvened during the pontificate of Paul III, to prepare the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation. Its rulings set the tone of Catholic society for at least three centuries.
December 4, 1563: Ecumenical Council of Trentclosed. The decrees were confirmed on January 26, 1564, by Pius IV in the Bull "Benedictus Deus".
St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Athanasiusand St. Thomas Aquinasare made Doctors of the Church.
July 14, 1570: Pope St. Pius V issues the Apostolic Constitution on the Tridentine Mass, Quo Primum.
October 7, 1571: Christian fleet of the Holy League defeats the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto.
Teresa of Avilawrites "The Interior Castle", one of the classic works of Catholic mysticism.
February 24, 1582: Pope Gregory XIII issues the Bull Inter gravissimasreforming the Julian Calendar.
October 4, 1582: The Gregorian Calendaris first adopted by Italy, Spain, and Portugal. October 4is followed by October 15- ten days are removed.
September 28, 1586: Domenico Fontana successfully finished re-erecting the Vatican Obelisk at its present site in St. Peter's Square. Hailed as a great technical achievement of its time.
Robert Bellarminefinishes his "Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei".
* 1598: Papal role in
Peace of Vervins.
* 1600: Pope
Clement VIIIsanctions use of coffee despite petition by priests to ban the Muslim drink as "the devil’s drink". The Pope tried a cup and declared it "so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it." [ [http://www.newpartisan.com/home/suave-molecules-of-mocha-coffee-chemistry-and-civilization.html Suave Molecules of Mocha] Coffee, Chemistry, and Civilization, New Partisan - A Journal of Culture, Arts and Politics, Mar. 7, 2005, retrieved Oct. 23, 2006]
Tokugawa Ieyasubans Christianity from Japan.
April 19, 1622: Pope Gregory XVmakes Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu a cardinal upon the nomination of King Louis XIII– becoming Cardinal Richelieu. His influence and policies greatly impact the course of European politics.
November 18, 1626: Pope Urban VIIIsolemnly dedicates the New Basilica of St. Peter 1,300 years after the first Constantinian basilica was consecrated by Pope Sylvester I.
* 1633: Trial of
Galileo, after which he is sentenced to house arrest.
Shimabara Rebellionleads to a further repression of Catholics, and all Christians, in Japan.
September 12, 1683: Battle of Vienna. Decisive victory of the army of the Holy League, under King John III Sobieskiof Poland, over the Ottoman Turks, under Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara MustafaPasha. The Turks do not threaten Western Europe militarily again.
* 1653: The
Coonan Cross Oathwas taken by a group of Saint Thomas Christiansagainst the Portuguese.
* 1685: Louis XIV revokes the
Edict of Nantes, and large numbers of Huguenotrefugees leave France.
Pope Innocent XIIdeclares against nepotismand simony.
Encyclical Unigenituscondemns Jansenism.
Clement XIrules against the Jesuits in the Chinese Rites controversy.Reversed by Pius XIIin 1939
Kangxi Emperorbans Christian missions in China.
April 28, 1738: Pope Clement XIIpublishes the Bull " [http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Clem12/c15inemengl.htm In Eminenti] " forbidding Catholics from joining, aiding, socializing or otherwise helping in any way shape or form the organizations of Freemasonryand Freemasons under pain of excommunication. Membership to any secret society would also incur the penalty of excommunication.
Pope Benedict XIV,appointed first women as professors to Papal Univerities in Bologna, reformed canonization procedures, intellectual open to all sciences;
Passionistorder granted full rights by Clement XIV.
Junípero Serraestablishes Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of the Spanish missions in California.
Suppression of the Jesuitsby Clement XIV, already excluded from many states. Only in the Russian Empireare they able to remain.
* 1789: John Carroll becomes the
Bishop of Baltimore, the first bishop in the United States.
French Revolutioninstitutes anti-clericalmeasures.
Pope Pius VItaken prisoner by the armies of Napoleon I, dies in captivity in France.
1800- 1823: Pope Pius VII
July 16, 1802: French Concordat of 1801. The Catholic Church re-established in France.
December 2, 1804: Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of the French in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, in the presence of Pope Pius VII.
Pope Pius IXbegins his reign. During his reign he asks that an antiCatholic document written by Freemasons known as the Alta Venditabe distributed to alert Catholic officials of possible Masonic infiltration.
* 1847: The
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalemresumes residence in Jerusalem.
* 1850: The
Archdiocese of Westminsterand twelve other dioceses are set up, re-establishing a Catholic hierarchy in the United Kingdomagainst intense political opposition.
* 1852: The First
Plenary Council of Baltimorewas held in the United States.
1854* Dogma of the Immaculate Conceptionby Pope Pius IX
December 8, 1869: Pope Pius IXopens the First Ecumenical Council of the Vatican
July 18, 1870- The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ from the fourth session of Vatican I, "Pastor Aeternus", issues the dogma of papal infallibilityamong other issues before the fall of Rome in the Franco-Prussian Warcauses it to end prematurely and brings an end to the Papal States. Controversy over several issues leads to the formation of the Old Catholic Church. This council was not formally closed until 1960 by Pope John XXIII in preparation for the Second Vatican Council.
May 15, 1891: Pope Leo XIIIissues encyclical " Rerum Novarum" (translation: Of New Things).
November 30, 1894: Pope Leo XIII publishes the Encyclical" [http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13orient.htm Orientalium Dignitas] " (On the Churches of the East) safeguarding the importance and continuance of the Eastern traditions for the whole Church.
* 1898 - Secondo Pia takes the first photographs of the
Shroud of Turin.
1903- 1914: Saint Pope Pius Xnumerous reforms, staunch defender of the faith, introducing frequent communion, promoting Gregorian ChantProblems with France. He is the most recent Pope to be canonized a saint. Prior to him was Pope St. Pius V.
1914- 1918Pope Benedict XV declares neutrality during World War Onehis peace innitatives are rejected by both sides as favoring the other. Massive papal charity in Europe.
1916: Charles I of Austriais crowned Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He is one of the last Catholic monarchs. Charles attempted to negotiate peace between the warring nations during World War One. His attempts at peace are largely ignored.
1917: Canon Lawfor the Roman Catholic Church published by Pope Benedict XVThe apparition of Our Lady of Fatimaoccurs in Fatima, Portugal over the course of six months ending in the Miracle of the Sun. This apparition is considered to be among the most important in the Catholic Church.
1918: Persecution of the Roman Catholic Churchand especially the Eastern Catholic Churchesin the Soviet Union (until 1985)
1922: Emperor Charles I of Austria dies in exile and poverty in Portugal. Later to become beatified as Blessed Charles.
1925: Holy Yearproclaimed by Pope Pius XI
1926: Beginning of Church persecutions in Mexico until 1940also known as the Cristero War or La Cristiada.
October 2, 1928: Saint Josemaría Escriváfounded Opus Dei, a worldwide organization of lay members of the Catholic Church.
February 11, 1929: The Lateran treatyis signed by Benito Mussoliniand Cardinal Gasparri establishing the independent State of the Vatican Cityand resolving the Roman Questionbetween Italyand the Holy Seesince the seizure of the Papal Statesin 1870.
February 12, 1931: Vatican Radiois set up by Guglielmo Marconiand inaugurated by Pope Pius XI. First signal broadcast is in Morse code: "In nomine Domini, amen".
1931- 1936: Persecution of the Church in SpainIt is estimated that in the course of the Red Terror (Spain), 6,832 members of the Catholic clergy were killed. [ Hubert Jedin, "Church history", 619]
July 20, 1933: Concordat Between the Holy See and the German Reich signed by Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli and Franz von Papenon behalf of Pope Pius XIand President Paul von Hindenburg, respectively.
1937: Mit Brennender Sorge Encyclicalagainst National Socialismby Pope Pius XI, written by Cardinals Eugenio Pacelliand Michael von Faulhaber
September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland. Start of the Second World War. The Vatican, after trying to avoid the war, declares neutrality to avoid being drawn into the conflict. Massive Vatican relief intervention for displaced persons, prisoners of war and needy civilians in Europe.
* During WWII: Convents, monasteries, and the Vatican are used to hide Jews and others targeted by the Nazis for extermination. (see
The Myth of Hitler's Pope) St. Maximilian Kolbeis martyred in Auschwitz concentration camp after volunteering to die in place of a stranger. The Nazis imprison and at times execute Catholic clergy, monks and nuns not compliant to Nazi ideology.
1943: Encyclicals of Pope Pius XII Mystici Corporisdefining the Catholic Church as the Body of Christ;
1943: Encyclical Mediator Dei, opening biblical research to Catholic scholars
* 1944: The German Army occupies Rome.
Adolf Hitlerproclaims he will respect Vatican neutrality; however several incidents, such as giving aid to downed Allied airmen, nearly cause Nazi Germanyto invade the Vatican. Rome is liberated by the Allies after only a few weeks of occupation.
1950: Holy Yeardeclared by Pope Pius XII, who announced on December 25, 1950 that the Tomb of Saint Peter had been identified by archeologists underneath Saint Peter Basilica; canonization of Pope Pius X, Maria Goretti; encyclical Humani Generis
1950: The Assumption of Maryis defined as dogma by Pius XII
1954: First Marian yearin Church history proclaimed by Pius XII, who introduced Marian Feast Queenship of Mary
October 11, 1962: Pope John XXIIIopens the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council. The 21st ecumenical councilof the Catholic church emphasized the universal call to holinessand brought many changes in practices, including an increased emphasis on ecumenism; fewer rules on penances, fasting and other devotional practices; and initiating a revision of the services, which were to be slightly simplified and made supposedly more accessible by allowing the use of native languages instead of Latin. Opposition to changes inspired by the Council gave rise to the movement of Traditionalist Catholics who disagree with changing the old forms of worship and disagree with the rise of previously condemned philosophies now being adopted by clergy and laity.
December 7, 1965: Joint Catholic-Orthodox Declaration of Pope Paul VIand the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. Mutual excommunication of the Great Schism of 1054 against Catholic and Orthodox is lifted by both parties.
December 8, 1965: Pope Paul VIsolemnly closes the Second Vatican Council.
* 1970: Revision of the Roman Missal, following on gradual introduction of vernacular languages in celebration of Mass.
1973: Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawain the remote area of Yuzawadai, near the city of Akita in Japan reports seeing a number of apparitions now known as Our Lady of Akita.
August 26, 1978: Pope John Paul Ibecomes the first pope to use a double regnal name. He reigns for only 33 days.
October 16, 1978: Pope John Paul IIbecomes the first Polish pope and first non-Italian pope elected in 450 years; influential in overthrowing communismin Europe.
* 1984: First
World Youth Dayinstituted by Pope John Paul II celebrated in Rome. Celebrated between Rome and a different city in alternating sequence every year.
Marian yearannounced by John Paul IIin the encyclical Redemptoris Mater
June 30, 1988: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvreof the Society of St. Pius X(SSPX), consecrates four men as bishops at Ecône, Switzerlandwithout the express permission of the Pope. Lefebvre et al. automatically incurs excommunication according to canon law. Traditionalist bishops of the SSPX have been in schism (though this is debated) ever since, however the excommunication does not extend to the priests, religious or lay supporters of the SSPX. [ [http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0072.html Schism of SSPX] Pete Vere, My Journey out of the Lefebvre Schism: All Tradition Leads to Rome, Catholic Education Resource Center, retrieved Nov. 20, 2006]
December 31, 1991: The Soviet Union is officially dissolved. Persecuted Catholic Church re-emerges out of hiding, especially in the Ukraineand Baltic States.
* 1992: The new "
Catechism of the Catholic Church" is first published, in Latin and French.
* 1994: "
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis", an Apostolic Letter upholding a prohibition against ordination of womento the priesthood, is promulgated by Pope John Paul II.
April 30, 2000: Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday in the General Roman Calendar, with effect from the following year.
January 1, 2001: The 21st century and the new millennium begin. The Church solemnizes the start of the third Christian millennium by extending into part of the year 2001 the jubilee year that it observes at 25-year intervals and that, in the case of the year 2000, it called the Great Jubilee.
January 6, 2001: John Paul II issues Novo Millennio Ineunte, a program for the Church in the new millennium, wherein he placed sanctity through a training in prayer as the most important priority of the Catholic Church in consonance with its purpose.
January 18, 2002: Former American priest John Geoghanis convicted of child molestation and sentenced to ten years in prison, as part of the ongoing sex abuse scandal. The Geoghan case was one of the worst scandals of the Catholic Church in the USA.
April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II dies at the age of 84. His funeral is broadcast to every corner of the globe through the modern media. Millions of Catholic pilgrims journey to Rome to pay final respects.
April 19, 2005: German-born Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger is elected by the College of Cardinalsas Pope Benedict XVI, thus becoming the first Pope elected during the 21st century and the 3rd millennium.
August 18, 2005: Pope Benedict XVI attends the World Youth Dayin Cologne, Germany, his first trip outside Italy.
September 12, 2006: Pope Benedict XVIdelivers address on "Faith, Reason" in University of Regensburg. Benedict maintained that in the Western world, to a large degree, only positivistic reasonand philosophyare valid. A concept of " reason" which excludes the divine, is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures, according to Benedict. [Benedict XVI, Meeting with the representatives of science in the Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg (September 12, 2006)] He quoted negative views of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus, regarding Islam, which several weeks after it was delivered, created violent reactions among Muslims in several parts of the world. [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections] from official Vatican website, retrieved Oct. 18, 2006] [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=94748 "Three Stages in the Program of De-Hellenization"] by Pope Benedict XVI, Zenit News Agency, retrieved Oct. 18, 2006] [ [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pope17sep17,0,5146612.story?coll=la-home-world Pope Is Regretful That His Speech Angered Muslims, Sep. 17, 2006, L.A. Times] , retrieved Oct. 18, 2006] [ [http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/09/18/pope.islam.ap/ Al Qaeda threat over pope speech, Sep. 18, 2006, CNN.com] retrieved Oct. 18, 2006] [ [http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-09-18T100352Z_01_L18796129_RTRUKOC_0_US-POPE-ISLAM-QAEDA.xml&WTmodLoc=NewsHome-C1-topNews-1 Qaeda-led group vows "jihad" over Pope's speech, Sep. 18, 2006, Reuters] , retrieved Oct. 18, 2006]
June 11 2007 Pope Benedict XVIreverted the decision of his predecessor regarding papal elections,and restored the traditional two-thirds majority required [Moto Proprio, De Aliquibus Mutationibus, June 11, 2007]
July 7, 2007: Motu proprio Summorum Pontificumis issued by Pope Benedict XVI explicitly liberating the Roman Missalof 1962 as the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Hopes of healing the schism between the SSPX and the Catholic Church is implied in accompanying letter to the motu proprio.
October 28, 2007: Pope Benedict XVI authorizes the largest beatification ceremony in Church history involving 498 Spanish Martyrswho were killed during the Civil War in Spain.
May 2008: A solemn declaration agreed on between Pope Benedict XVIand Muslims, led by Mahdi Mostafavi stressed, that genuine religion is essentially non-violent and that violence can be justified neither by reason nor by faith. [cite web |last= Kleiber| first=Reinhard| title =Iran and the Pope Easing Relations | publisher =Quantara |date=2008| url = http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:sO2sUod5fnQJ:www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-478/_nr-759/i.html+Pope+Benedict+agreement+with+muslims&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=us| accessdate =2008-06-24 ]
July 2008: Pope Benedict XVIparticipates in Sydney Australiain the World Youth Dayand announces Spain as the country to host the next one.
History of the Roman Catholic Church
* [http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Curricula:_Church_Historyn History of the Catholic Church]
History of the Papacy
Timeline of Christianity
Bokenkotter, Thomas. "A Concise History of the Catholic Church." Revised and expanded ed. New York: Image Books Doubleday, 2005. ISBN 0-385-51613-4
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