Saint Simplicius, the Forty-Seventh Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 47)

Saint Simplicius, the Forty-Seventh Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 47)

The reign of Pope Simplicius, who was elected as the Forty-Seventh Pope of the Catholic Church on March 3, AD 468, saw the end of the Western Empire.

In AD 476, Emperor Romulus Augustulus, the nominal emperor of the Western Empire, was dethroned by Odoacer, a general of the Germanic tribes. Theodoric, the King of the Ostrogoths, became the Emperor of Italy. Other Germanic tribes established their kingdoms in different parts of the Western Empire. Thus, a barbarian rule began in the West.

Although the barbarian rulers believed in the Arian heresy, they were tolerant towards the Church and the Catholic faith.

The reign of Pope Simplicius was a period in which the influence, prestige, and authority of his predecessor, Pope Leo I, were waning in the Eastern Church.

When Acacius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, attempted to enact Canon 28, which had been passed by the Council of Chalcedon but was not accepted by Pope Leo I, establishing that Constantinople should be equal to Rome, the Pope strongly condemned and opposed this attempt.

Although Patriarch Acacius had courageously opposed the Monophysite heresy and the Monophysite decree issued by the emperor Basiliscus, he became dismayed by the election of John Talaia as the Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria. This caused Acacius to be swayed by the flattery of the Monophysite partisan Peter Monegas, an opponent of Patriarch John.

Acacius then asked Emperor Zeno to issue a decree granting favors to the Monophysites. Pope Simplicius vehemently opposed this act and decree, but his interventions were often ignored by Acacius and his followers. Gradually, this led to the decline of papal influence and authority in the Eastern Church.

Pope Simplicius was forced to be a bystander in the conflict between Chalcedonian studies and Monophysitism in the Eastern Church.

Pope Simplicius suffered from illness for a long time and attained eternal rest on March 10, AD 483.
-edit&transl. SM

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