Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Saint Pope Clement I- Early Church Father

Saint Pope Clement I


Saint Pope Clement I is also known as Clement of Rome. There are differing views as to exactly when and where he was born. The general agreement is that he may have been a freed man from a Roman household. He is generally considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be one of the Greek Fathers and an Apostolic Father. He was the third successor to Peter as Pope, after Linus and Anacletus (Cletus), and writings from other Early Fathers including those of St. Irenaeus, Origen, and St. Jerome, to name a few, say that Clement was baptised by Peter. He was also a contemporary of Paul, and one of the early writers in speaking of Clement, said that "the preaching of the Apostles still rang in his ears".

The one thing that gives us more knowledge about Clement than the first two sucessors of Peter, is Clements "Epistle to the Corinthians", a letter he wrote to the "sojourning Church in Corinth from the sojourning Church in Rome", in regard to a schism happening there. The date of the letter is believed to have been around 96 A.D. His name does not appear in the letter nor did he direct the letter to a bishop at Corinth, but, the letter seems to have been generally intended for all in the Church at Corinth. Clements Epistle, is also the first evidence of papal correction to a Church outside of Rome. The letter he wrote was so highly regarded by the Church at Corinth, that a decade or so later, the bishop in Corinth in a letter to Rome, mentions that the letter from Clement was read at their assemblies. Indeed, this letter was also included in the early Bibles of many of the eastern Churches, before the canon was established in the Latin Vulgate.

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