Pope Stephen I Martyred by Emperor Valerian's Men Hot

Pope Stephen I Martyred by Emperor Valerian's Men

Pope Stephen I

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Pope Stephen I dies when men sent by Emperor Valerian martyr him while he's sitting on his papal throne, celebrating mass. Even as late as the 18th century, the chair will be preserved with the blood stains still on it.

The primary problem which Pope Stephen I had to deal with during his reign was how to handle "lapsed Christians" — Christians who succumbed during the Decian persecution and renounced their faith, turned in other Christians, handed over scriptures to be burned, etc.

The harshest response, advocated by Novatian and his followers, was to force all lapsed Christians to go through rebaptism as if they had never been Christians to begin with.

The milder response, favored by Pope Stephen I and many others, is to merely insists on sincere repentance from the lapsed Christians and then offer them communion again.

The latter position will eventually become the accepted and orthodox one — namely, that no sin is so grave as to cause one to cease being a Christian entirely. Novatian will be declared a heretic, and Novtianism will be declared a heresy.

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