Ten Popes Who Shook the World 22-10-2007 - 02-11-2007
Professor Eamon Duffy presents a series on ten great pontiffs.
For nearly 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has turned to the Pope in Rome for spiritual leadership. From the remains of the Roman Empire, through the Renaissance and into the modern era, the papal office has played a central role in the history of Europe and the wider world. Popes throughout the ages have had to deal with political crises, from Attila the Hun to Adolf Hitler, while shouldering the spiritual burden that comes with the throne of St Peter.
In this new series for BBC Radio 4, Professor Eamon Duffy profiles 10 men who have led what is arguably the most powerful institution in history – the papacy. Each of the 10, he argues, helped shape the world today. Starting with St Peter and ending with Pope John Paul II, Professor Duffy explores what we know of the characters who have held that office, and asks which of them has made the greatest mark on history.
Father Robert King, the University of Bristol Chaplain, listened to the first programme. He said, "The first episode sets the standard for what promises to be an impressive series reflecting on the influence of great popes through the course of history. Eamon Duffy's genius is for making Church history accessible and I look forward to following the series."
1/10. St Peter
He recalls the oriental beginnings of Christianity and the figure of St Peter. It is widely believed that Rome was where Peter spent his final years, and it is from Peter that all Popes trace the authority and symbolism of their office. But what do we know of his life, and why was Peter the Rock upon whom the Catholic Church was built?
2/10. Pope Leo
The 5th-century Pope Leo the Great virtually invented the papacy as we know it. As Rome's secular glory faded, he laid the foundations of an office that was to play a central role in European history.
3/10. Pope Gregory the Great
The papacy of Gregory the Great at the end of the 6th century marked a shift in Christian history. As the Byzantine world slipped from its grasp, the church turned its eyes northwards. It was Gregory who launched the mission to England.
4/10. Pope Gregory VII
The 11th-century monk Hildebrand came from lowly Tuscan roots, but rose to become one of the greatest Popes in history. As Gregory VII, he set about tackling the corruption which had become endemic in the church and restoring the image of the papacy.
Professor Duffy charts the life of this great reformer who once forced an Emperor to meet him barefoot in the snow, but who ultimately died in exile.
5/10. Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was an aristocrat who believed in the high authority of his office. Yet his energy encouraged the founding of both the Dominican and Franciscan movements, breathing new life into the Europe of the Middle Ages.
6/10. Pope Paul III
Paul III was a great entertainer and Renaissance patron. His legacy can be seen in Rome's public spaces, but he also led the Catholic Church at the time when its excesses came under attack from Martin Luther and the Protestant North. Having been dubbed Cardinal Petticoat in his early career, he later came to lay thefoundations for the Counter Reformation.
7/10. Pope Pius IX
When he was made Pope in 1846, Pius IX was regarded as a liberal. He held the papal office for longer than anyone else and by the time of his death his reputation was transformed. Dogmatic and intolerant of dissent, he locked the Catholic Church into a confrontation with the modern world. Duffy tells the story of how the papacy coped with the spread of democracy.
8/10. Pope Pius XII
Pius XII was elected six months before the start of the Second World War, and his response to that conflict has dogged his reputation. Struggling to remain impartial, Pius failed, in the eyes of many, to speak out strongly enough against the Holocaust. But has history judged him fairly?
9/10. Pope John XXIII
John XXIII reigned for less than five years. But when he died, The Times commented that few Popes had so captured the world's imagination. A kindly, laughing old man when he took the papal throne, he immediately astonished the Catholic Church by calling the Second Vatican Council. Duffy examines the life of the Pope with the vision of a new Pentecost.
10/10. Pope John Paul II
The first non-Italian Pope for 450 years, John Paul II survived an early assassination attempt. Though widely acclaimed for his role in challenging communism, he has been criticised for holding inflexible theological and moral positions. Duffy looks at John Paul II's achievements in the context of papal history and remembers his final days when Rome came under the international media spotlight.
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Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 192
Mode : stereo
Frequency : 48000 Hz
Length : 03:06:12
Encoder : Lame 3.97
Source : Freeview
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