Study Guide

The World's Religions - Chapter VIII, Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Summary & Analysis

Huston Smith
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From the time the church became official in Rome (313 A. D.) up to 1054 A. D., the church was essentially a united body. At that time, however, the Roman and Eastern Orthodox branches split. The Roman understanding of the church held that it was a teaching authority and a sacramental agent. As a teaching agent, the church saw itself as the means of keeping the door of salvation open to all the generations following the Pentecostal beginnings of the church. The argument followed that the church was needed as an interpreter of the Bible. Many scenarios raised in the Bible, the church believed, needed clarification. Ultimately, the consensus was that the doctrine of papal infallibility came into being. As a sacramental agent, the Roman Catholic idea was that the agency gives permission or ability to perform or receive...

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This section contains 198 words
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