Saint Anastasius I, the Thirty Ninth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 39)

Saint Anastasius I, the Thirty Ninth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 39)

On November 27, AD399, Pope Anastasius I was elected as the thirty-ninth head of the Catholic Church. He brought a fresh perspective compared to his predecessor, Pope Siricius, who had faced severe criticism.

Pope Anastasius I was known for his ambition and agreeable nature, which garnered support from influential figures like St. Jerome and St. Paulinus of Nola. They appreciated his more sympathetic stance rather than the practice of severe penance that existed in the Church.

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During his relatively short papacy, Pope Anastasius I made notable decisions. He condemned the works of Origen, citing false teachings, and took punitive measures against Origen's followers for promoting heretical beliefs.

Through his decrees, he emphasized the falsehood of many of Origen's teachings. Despite Origen's stature as an eminent early church theologian, Pope Anastasius I firmly rejected the concept of apocatastasis, which suggests that all individuals, even sinners, will be saved on the last day of judgment.

In response to the bishops' demand in Africa for repentance and reconciliation from priests who had followed the Donatist heresy, Pope Anastasius I encouraged them to persist in their fight against this heretical movement.

On December 1, A.D. 401, Pope Anastasius I passed away. St. Jerome mourned his early departure and sort reign, remarked that Rome did not deserve a bishop as remarkable as Pope Anastasius I.
-edit&transl. SM

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