June 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 11

The Tenth Pope

Saint Pius I

Photo of a painting of Pope Pius IPope St. Pius I (140- 155) - Prior to the reign of Pius, the pope ruled in a collegial manner, but was the most prominent figure of the council. Pius I is regarded as the first Pope to function as the sole Bishop of Rome.

One of the important writings of the early was known as The Shepherd. A second century canon identifies Pius as the brother of Hermas, the author of this well known work.

In July of 144, Marcion was excommunicated by a synod of presbyters. It is believed that Pius presided over that synod. The teachings of Marcion deemed heretical claimed that the Old Testament had no relevance to Christian beliefs, the material world was to be loathed, and that Jesus actually did not possess a human body. Pope Pius I had to contend with a number of these Gnostic heretics who were in Rome at the time. Marcion was the most notable.

The reign of Pope Pius I was tranquil for the most part. At this time there was no question that Rome was the acknowledged center of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Pius I was assumed to be a martyr, but there is no evidence to substantiate the claim.

Habemus papam.