Why's the Pope in Italy?

Can someone enlighten me…why is the Pope in Italy and not “the Holy Land”? is there some actual significance, or is the view better?

Hmmm… maybe the ROMAN Catholic Church is behind this…


Simon-Peter supposedly founded the Catholic Church in Rome and was the first Pope. That just happened to be where he was at the time, though Rome was the center of the world at that time.

This isn’t meant to sound like “who’s buried in Grant’s tomb”. I mean, what’s the history here? The Romans just didn’t drop their gods and goddesses at the drop of a hat. So, what’s the scoop? In fact, the Romans weren’t too keen on any thoughts that differed from theirs. I don’t get it.

{quote]The Romans just didn’t drop their gods and goddesses at the drop of a hat

Actually, I think they did. Under Emperor Constantine, I believe.

Because bears s**t in the woods. :smiley:

Wrong thinking is punished, right thinking is just as swiftly rewarded. You’ll find it an effective combination.

The apostle Saint Peter was the most active of the apostles in proselytizing, and is one of the major figures responsible for spreading christianity in the first century A.D.

There is no firm historical evidence for Saint Peter having lived in Rome, but some documents say that he lived 25 years in Rome.

My theory is that the idea of christianity spread to Rome because Rome was the center of culture at this time, and if it hadn’t gained a toehold in the main city in Europe (at that time), then the religion would not have become as widespread (in the European continent, and subsequently the world) as it has.

Of course, the pope is in Rome because at the beginning of the church, that was the most important city. But remember that afterwards it has been tried to move the Pope out of Rome, and the authority of the Roman Catholic Church out of Italy. e.g. the french popes in Avignon.

According to tradition, Simon, yclept Peter, traveled to Rome, where he became the first bishop of that city and was martyred under Nero in 67 CE. Actually, I do not believe that there is any independent confirmation of who the bishop of Rome was, or even that there was a bishop, until the late second century
It should be remembered that, despite popular tradiion’s (and the Church’s) attempts to retroject the hierarchy to the earliest times, the bishops (Greek episkopoi) of the various congregations are originally completely autonomous (Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, avers that the bishop of Rome is no more than episcopus inter episcopi). The bishop of Jerusalem, the bishop of Rome, the bishop of Resume Speed, Iowa – none have more temporal or spiritual authority than any other.
Now, of course, Rome was the largest city and political capital of the Empire until the beginning of the Dominate; the local bishops drew prestige from this. After Diocletian and Maximian relocated their seats, the Roman bishop (“pope” or papa was a common title for all bishops at this point) was the sole authority left in the city, and, particularly in the declining years of the Western Empire, and the decades after its fall (and the destruction of the Kingdom of Italy by the East), was often solely responsible for organizing poor relief, ransom of captives, etc.
The great eastern bishoprics or patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and (after Constantine I made it his capital) Constantinople, often did rival and even overshadow Rome. It is worth noting that the Christian churches of these areas did not accept the authority or the doctrine of Rome. Egypt and Asia were (and their remaining Christian population is) monophysite; eastern Europe (Christianized from Constantinople) is Orthodox.
Gradually, the notion of the “papal monarchy” arose; that “pope” was to be regarded as a superior title, and that its holder was superior, temporally and spiritually, to the bishops, archbishops, and metropolitans of the sees that represented the Western empire or were Christianized fom them.

It is often said that “anything is possible”. In fact, very few things are possible, and most of them have already happened.

Heck, and I thought it was because the Vatican is located there.

And Saint Paul was a Roman citizen. That’s why he received the honorable execution of having his head lopped off, as opposed to Peter, who was crucified.


Historically, didn’t the Bishop of Rome after Constantine indeed have more powers than the Bosop of Spokane, Washington? He was the one who coronated all the Holy Roman Emperors.
In the N.T. Jesus does indicate that Peter was to be something like the head of the church (“Thou art Peter, and on this rock blah blah”). His tomb was there, and it is considered that the bishop of Rome is the direct descendant (symbolically) of Peter, the first one. The first big basilican churches were built there (John Lateran, then Peter’s which was at the time a matyrium, not a church; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was third, I think (in Jerusalem).
And yes, the Romans did drop the other Gods at the drop oif a hat, although there was a 11 year (?) lag time between the Edict of Milan (313) which legalized Christianity, Cxn’ty becoming the Official Religion in 319, and the other religions becoming Illegal a couple of years later.

Always been one of those fascinatin’ bits, to me.

If you asked Jesus which was God’s Holy City, he would undoubtedly have said Jerusalem. After all, Jesus never visited Rome… but his Big Event stuff was focused around Jerusalem.

Later, when Paul reported a vision of the apres-mort Jesus telling him to forget about Judaism, the center of the religion moved to Rome, which happened to be the center of the Empire. So, where Jesus-alive said, “Render unto Caesar…”, differentiating the mundane from the sacred, apparently Jesus-dead said, “Hey, go for what’s popular and take over the political organizations.”

[ MPSIMS comment ] That having been said, I find it appalling that no Pope has seen fit to visit Jerusalem or other sites in Israel up to the present day (a trip is planned for later this year, I believe)… nor even to recognize the existence of the state of Israel until recently. [ /MPSIMS comment ]

I thought it was because that’s where all the best churches were !

“Wisdom is the booby prize, they give you when you’ve been unwise.”

The pope lives in the Vatican City, which isn’t part of Italy or Rome, technically. :wink:

And he is there because they didn’t take kindly to captivity in Babylon (Avignon). :wink: