Pontian Elected 18th Pope, But Will Abdicate Five Years Later

Pontian Elected 18th Pope, But Will Abdicate Five Years Later

Pope Pontian
Source: Wikipedia

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Pontian becomes the eighteenth pope. His reign starts out quietly, but once Maximus Thrax succeeds Alexander Severus as emperor, everything changes for Christians in Rome.

Thrax beings a campaign of repression and persecution against Christians, including 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 will abdicate the papacy (a first) in order to prevent there being a long-term power vacuum. This, in turn, creates the first certain date in the history of papacy: September 28, 235, the date of his abdication.

Very little beyond this is known about Pope Pontian except for his giving his official approval for the condemnation of church father Origen for heresy. It seems likely that if there was a synod in Rome to hear the charges against Origin, then Pontian would have presided over it.

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