Spirituality for Today – July 2009 – Volume 13, Issue 12

The 35th Pope

Saint Julius

A painting of Saint JuliusSaint Julius

Pope St. Julius 1st (337-352) – In 325, the Council of Nicaea defined the divinity of Christ. Pope Julius must be numbered among the champions of the work of that council. Arianism would not just go away. The Arian bishops appealed to the pope to repudiate the recognition of Athanasius as bishop of Alexandria. In a synod held in Rome, Pope Julius confirmed the right of the orthodox bishops to return to their sees. Next, the Arian bishops met and re-affirmed their opposition to the decrees of Nicaea and their condemnation of Athanasius. Pope Julius requested that a council be convened under the auspices of the emperors of the western and the eastern empire. In attendance were to be both the orthodox bishops, including Athanasius, and the Arian bishops. The Arian bishops walked out. The council re-affirmed the decrees of the Council of Nicaea and the episcopacy of Athanasius. They did, however, establish an appeal process for all Arian or deposed bishops.

Pope Julius would complete his pontificate by founding a number of churches in Rome. He remained loyal to Athanasius. The cemetery of Calepodius contains his remains.

Habemus papam!