The Rise of the Bishop of Rome

In today's service the Rev Robert West speaks to us of an early with barely any organisation composed primarily of Christians who had been or were slaves or of individuals of low social status. For early Christians the holding of explicit office in a non-recognised or even forbidden organisation would have involved grave risk to themselves, or at the very least misunderstanding. This early disorganised church gave rise with the Donation of Constantine to the Bishop of Rome as Patriarch of the West and then as alleged World Bishop, and Viceroy of Christ, over Kings and nation states - a medieval Europe of the Regions. But the emergence of the Pope, as we may now call him, did serve to provide focus and unity for a world which was, after the fall of Rome, all too diverse and chaotic.
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