The Early Christians * Symbols * The Papacy
Christian Symbols • The cross was the most widespread and enduring of all Christian symbols • By the third century, the practice of making the sign of the cross was deeply rooted in the Christian world • Another widespread and ancient Christian symbol is the fish • Greek for fish is “ichthys which stands for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour” • The anchor symbolizes safety and hope A carving on a tombstone in the early fourth century catacomb of St. Domatilla depicts the fish symbol combined with the cross-like anchor symbol.
The Papacy From the Catechism of the Catholic Church The episcopal college and its head, the Pope 880 Peter is chosen as the first Pope 881 Peter is named the “rock” of the Church 882 The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ 883 The college or body of bishops only has authority with the Pontiff as its head 884 The college of bishops has power over the universal Church in a solem, ecumenical council Pope Benedict XVI, elected April 19, 2005
885 This college expresses the variety and universality of the People of God; the unity of the flock of Christ, under one head 886 Individual bishops are the source of unity in their own Churches; they are assisted by priests and deacons. The bishops extend the Church especially to the poor, to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working throughout the world. Pope John Paul II