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6 lectures on DVD
Originally produced in 2002, re-released in 2014 with new photos and diagrams.
Printed book now available at
Notes in PDF format will be provided
with DVD purchase.
Over the past two millennia more than 280 men (Popes and anti-popes) have claimed the title of Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of the West, and the successor of St. Peter. Many of them came to be canonized as saints, but many others were condemned by Church and State as criminals. Some have been elevated to the throne of St. Peter by the mobs of Rome, only to be eventually dethroned and murdered by that same mob. Most Popes have preached peace, some war; a few have even led armies into battle. Some men were elected to the office by reason of their unparalleled piety, but others gained it through unspeakable treachery. And the Papacy survived it all.
The Papacy has evolved from a simple ecclesiastical charge concerned primarily with the poor of the city of Rome to an international religious authority to which nearly one billion people look for guidance. This course will examine the vicissitudes of fortune of the Papacy from its simple foundation, through its position as the mighty sovereign of Rome and the Papal States, to its current status as a practically landless but still religiously and politically powerful entity, a situation brought about by the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century.