Portrait of a Pope: Introducing the Ostrogoths

"This son would one day be acclaimed by the Senate and People of Rome." Image: Raphael, The Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila, Wiki Commons (Source) In this article we continue our exploration of the historical context of the life of Pope St Gregory the Great. In the previous instalments of this series, we …

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Did Cardinal Newman want to “rethink” the papacy?

"And I submit myself to those other decisions of the Holy See, theological or not." Image: El Greco, SS Peter and Paul, Wiki Commons (Source) Editor's Commentary To celebrate the feast of SS Peter and Paul, we share three extracts from John Henry Cardinal Newman which, taken together, constitute a moving profession of faith in …

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Portrait of a Pope: The Reign of Odovacer in Italy

"For the great mass of the inhabitants of Italy, the old order of things remained unchanged." Image: The Consummation, Thomas Cole, (Wiki Commons CC). The city of Rome was still prosperous in the fifth century. In the previous part of this series on St Gregory the Great we looked briefly at the events leading up …

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Portrait of a Pope: St Gregory the Great and the End of Imperial Rome

"Where is the Senate? Where the People? The very buildings we behold crumbling around us." Image: The Favourites of Honorius, John William Waterhouse, (source). The city of Rome was still flourishing in the fourth century. In the autumn of AD 590, as a Lombard army marched on Rome and as the city tried to recover …

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