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All residents were ordered to give sacrifices or be punished.Relations between the Church and the Empire were not consistent: "Tiberius wanted to have Christ placed in the Pantheon and refused first of all to persecute the Christians. [-] How are we to explain the fact that men like Trajan and above all Marcus Aurelius should have so relentlessly persecuted the Christians?
To resolve doctrinal differences among the competing factions within the Church, in or around the year 50, the apostles convened the first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem.
On the other hand Commodus and other villainous emperors rather favoured them." Religious philosopher Simone Weil wrote: "By the time of Constantine, the state of apocalyptic expectation must have worn rather thin.
[The imminent coming of Christ, expectation of the Last Day - constituted 'a very great social danger.'] Besides, the spirit of the old law, so widely separated from all mysticism, was not so very different from the Roman spirit itself.
Brown says that, while it is anachronistic to speak of Peter in terms of local bishop of Rome, Christians of that period would have looked on Peter as having "roles that would contribute in an essential way to the development of the role of the papacy in the subsequent church".
These roles, Brown says, "contributed enormously to seeing the bishop of Rome, the bishop of the city where Peter died, and where Paul witnessed to the truth of Christ, as the successor of Peter in care for the church universal".
That is, the Catholic Church considers the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, to be the successor to Saint Peter.
question whether there was a formal link between Peter and the modern papacy, and Raymond E.In 313, the struggles of the Early Church were lessened by the legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine I.In 380, under Emperor Theodosius I, Catholicism became the state religion of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor, which would persist until the fall of the Western Empire, and later, with the Eastern Roman Empire, until the Fall of Constantinople.Rome could come to terms with the God of Hosts." When Constantine became emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 312, he attributed his victory to the Christian God.Many soldiers in his army were Christians, and his army was his base of power.The New Testament records Jesus' activities and teaching, his appointment of the twelve Apostles, and his instructions to them to continue his work.