41. Pope St. Zosimus 417-418


The ill-tempered Pope Zosimus was only in office for a little under two years and he did his very best to irritate or exhaust everyone he came into contact with. First things first,he undid the previous Pope’s condemnation of Caelestius. Caelestius was a believer of Pelagianism,which means you want salvation,but you don’t want or need God’s help getting it. Basically. Caelestius didn’t want to be excommunicated so he told Zosimus that he didn’t believe in that anymore and he wanted nothing more than to proclaim the truth. Zosimus believed him,blessed him,sent him on his way and then wrote strongly worded letters to the African bishops that had dared to believe Caelestius was a heretic. Hold on,replied the African bishops,Caelestius came back and kept right on selling his brand of religion. He pulled the big Pope hat over the Pope’s eyes. Zosimus reversed course and immediately condemned Caelestius…..again. No info on whether any strongly worded letters of apologies went out. The next time the African bishops had a problem with a priest,they went over the Pope’s head(whose authority they cleared did not trust),and went to the emperor to fix it. Again,Zosimus wrote strongly worded letters to everyone involved and was going out of his way to reassert his fragile authority when he passed away of natural causes. The Romans threw many parties on the announcement of his death. Ouch. They can’t all be Pope Francis…..


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