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The Two Republics, or Rome and the United States of America

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    INNOCENT I, 402-417

    Innocent was an indefatigable disciplinarian, and kept up a constant correspondence with all the West, as well as with the principal bishoprics of the East, establishing rules, dictating to councils, and issuing decretals upon all the affairs of the church. Hitherto the dignity of the bishopric of Rome had been derived from the dignity of the city of Rome. Innocent now asserted that the superior dignity of the bishopric of Rome was derived from Peter, whom he designated the Prince of the Apostles; and that in this respect it took precedence of that of Antioch because that in Rome Peter had accomplished what he had only begun in Antioch. He demanded the absolute obedience of all churches in the West, because, as he declared, Peter was the only apostle that ever preached in the West; and that all the churches in the West had been founded by Peter, or by some successor of his. This was all a lie, and he knew it, but that made no difference to him; he unblushingly asserted it, and then, upon that, asserted that “all ecclesiastical matters throughout the world are, by divine right, to be referred to the apostolic see, before they are finally decided in the provinces.”—Bower. 5[Page 450] Id., “Innocent,” par. 8 from the end. At the invasion of Alaric and his siege of Rome, Innocent headed an embassy to the emperor Honorius to mediate for a treaty of peace between Alaric and the emperor. “Upon the mind of Innocent appears first distinctly to have dawned the vast conception of Rome’s universal ecclesiastical supremacy, dim as yet, and shadowy, yet full and comprehensive in its outline.”—Milman. 6[Page 451] “History of Popes,” Celestine, par. 15. He was succeeded by—TTR 450.2

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