Resignation of Pope Pontian - the First Papacy Abdication Ever Hot

Resignation of Pope Pontian - the First Papacy Abdication Ever

Pope Pontian
Source: Wikipedia

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Pope Pontian (or Pontianus) resigns. His reign started out peacefully enough, but now that Maximus Thrax has succeeded Alexander Severus as emperor, everything is changing for Christians in Rome.

Thrax has launched a campaign of repression and persecution against the Christian community. This includes having both Pope Pontian and Antipope Hippolytus sent to the Sardinan mines, a punishment that few survive.

Knowing what is in store for him, Pope Pontian has decided to abdicate the papacy (a first, and something rarely done in the future). This ensures that there is no long-term power vacuum in the Christian church. This is also the first absolutely certain date in the history of papacy.

Not much is known about Pope Pontian except for this and his giving his official approval for the condemnation of church father Origen for heresy. There was probably a synod in Rome to hear the charges against Origen, and Pontian would have presided over it.

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Emperors of Rome: Maximinus Thrax

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