Pope Callistus I

Okay is this true? because this author says supposedly the successor to the Chair of St. Peter Pope Callistus I who was a repentant criminal and turned his life over to Christ allowed abortions and indulgences here is a part of the article



"In circa 217 A.D., Callistus became bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic saint Hippolytus reported:

Callistus…a man cunning in wickedness, and subtle where deceit was concerned, (and) who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne…Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII)

Notice that Callistus allowed (or at least permitted) abortion and adultery.

Note what The Catholic Encyclopedia admitted this about Callistus:

Callistus…permitted noble ladies to marry low persons and slaves, which by the Roman law was forbidden; he had thus given occasion for infanticide. (Chapman , Pope Callistus I)"

Remember that Hippolytus became a schismatic and Tertullian (another who butted heads with Callixtus) went into heresy.

Callixtus admitted those who had committed adultery and fornication back to communion after they had repented and done penance, which is entirely orthodox but what some in the earthly Church saw as scandalous, as they wished to keep a purer, stricter church. Callixtus also allowed highborn woman to marry low. This was forbidden by civil law, and so had consequences of these couples committing sinful acts to try to hide from the civil law, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is perfectly moral and orthodox to admit the equality of all in marrying someone else at any economic station.

Hippolytus reconciled with the church before his death and martyrdom, but he was in schism for some time and was a rigorist when it came to communion and absolution. That last point is key. He thought some sins were to grave to ever admit anyone back to communion, and he thought it horrid that the church be “soft.” Hippolytus also set himself up as an “antipope” at one point. His views of Callixtus, who took a merciful, forgiving approach, are certainly colored, to say the least.


It is well-known that some of the Popes were scoundrels. How does this affect the office of Peter? A poor leader does not invalidate an office. As to revealed truth/the deposit of faith, the status of married persons in society is not a part of that.

Callistus, however, doesn’t seem to be a scoundrel… except in the narrative of his arch-enemy Hippolytus. :wink:

Then most likely hippoytus did was basically slandering the Pope because he didn’t hippoytus didn’t agree with the pope so he might have lied about him but the Pope most likely didn’t do these things and if readmitted fornicators back they were done with their penance and confession and near the end of his life he was brought back to the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church

Okay…I did not go through the whole article in your link, but this is from Catholic Ency link provided…On the whole, then, it is clear that the Catholic church sides with Callistus against the schismatic Hippolytus and the heretic Tertullian. Not a word is said against the character of Callistus since his promotion, nor against the validity of his election.

Did you find this in your linked article? If not…then you should figure out why this important point was left out of the article…;):thumbsup:

What? Factions? :smiley:

OP: This COGwriter (Church of God?) is an anti-Catholic, for he asks the typically bible-blind question:

“Was he faithful to the Bible or human tradition?”

He clearly rejects the power of binding and loosing, which his community - whatever that is - does not have. Do not listen to him, for he is not even scrutinizing the very bible which he claims to use for a sole rule of faith.

OP, you are listening to pure nonsense from Herbert W. Armstrong’s “Worldwide Church of God,” a truly heretical group. Nothing good can come from that. Please read about the true Christian faith instead.

Alberto325, although you should be a Cathoic ;), you are far better off as a Methodist than to listen to Herbert Armstrong. He was a self-appointed prophet/apostle who rejected the Trinity, observed the Jewish Sabbath and dietary laws. A truly heretical sect. He had many other oddball ideas, including that Europeans were descended from the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice that virtually every non-Catholic community must first decry the Catholic faith before it sets forth its own beliefs. The Catholic faith does nothing of the sort. Rather, it presents only that truth which has been revealed by God to man - either directly, via His Son, the Holy Spirit, the prophets, or via the Church which Christ founded.

Those who first and foremost condemn the Catholic faith are, in essence, telling you that they are not and cannot be the one true Church.

From Popes in A Year by FLOCKNOTE:

How do we know he was pope?
Both the Liber Pontificalis (“Book of Popes”) and Church historian Eusebius list Pope St. Callixtus I as the 16th Bishop of Rome and 15th successor of St. Peter, noting that he reigned for just five years.

Give me the scoop on Callixtus I.
We don’t know when he was born or where, but Callixtus was a slave of Carpophorus for the first part if his life. Carpophorus, a real piece of work, exiled his young slave to the mines of Sardinia, but after a while Callixtus was freed. He soon became archdeacon and Number Two to his predecessor, Pope St. Zephyrinus.

Being enthusiastic and a talented organizer, Callixtus is thought to have arranged the creation of more parishes (known as “titular” churches) in Rome, and was in charge of a cemetery that’s still around today. He knew the family of St. Cecilia (patroness of music), and thanks to their donation built two titular churches there as well, now know as Santa Maria in Trastevere. It was here that tradition says Callixtus was martyred, having been thrown down a well by a pagan mob.

What was he known for?
Callixtus I was a merciful and compassionate guy. He made some people mad – mainly Hippolytus and Tertullian – by admitting believers who had committed adultery and fornication into the Church after they had done proper penance. It apparently wasn’t yet settled that we don’t just say, “Hey bro, you had your chance” to grave sinners. In any case, Callixtus put it to rest, invoking Jesus’ promise to Peter that the bishops held power to bind and loose (Matt. 18:18), no matter the severity of the sin.

Fun fact: Callixtus was the first pope to have to deal with what we now know as an “antipope”. Thanks to his spat with Callixtus and Zephyrinus, Hippolytus was mad enough to set up a breakaway church, where he “reigned” as antipope for the next several years. Callixtus I, in response (probably) said, “Have fun with that.”

What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 222, Roman Emperor Elagabalus and his mother were assassinated during a revolt. He was succeeded by 13-year-old Alexander Severus.

Coming tomorrow…Pope St. Urban I


Well I was baptized as a Catholic and was going to get comfirm into the Church but they were some issues so my family left the Church and then we got into a cult very similar to Hebert W. Armstrong cult aka Hebrew roots movement but I got out of it and I go to a Methodist church but one of my family members sent me a link to COGwriter aka Bob Thiel and I thought I could debunk his nonsense but he uses so many sources and data and even the Church Fathers so it’s very hard to debunk his “evidence” as it were

And while there were some in history who did not live up to their office - this Pope did!

St. Callistus! Pray for us!

That is very true like Rodrigo Borgia better known as pope Alexander VI but Pope Callistus I was a excellent pope and a repentant sinner who turned to Christ

Let me invite you home. Once you understand the Catholic faith - from the inside and not from the outside, you will realize that you are home and will desire to go nowhere else. “Issues” can run the gamut from various sins, to some sense of being offended by a Priest, to fellow parishioners, etc. Don’t let those issues of the past halt your quest!

Thank you very much :slight_smile: and I went to a Catholic mass with my grandmother a few months back but I refrain from taking the Holy communion and I really liked the mass and first of all there is two Marian dogmas that I don’t feel comfortable with that she remained a virgin her entire life and the immaculate conception I don’t feel comfortable with it but I fully accept the other two the assumption of her into heaven and she’s the Mother of God

Absolutely great! I replied from the standpoint that the CoG article was attacking the Papacy - which of course it was.

There is hope for all of us!

The Church sets things in stone in response to heresy. It is not a doctrine-making machine, but is very slow and deliberate in discerning God’s truth. Both Marian doctrines were well-believed in long ago. But, as you have noticed, Mary has been under attack (by people who say she doesn’t matter to their salvation!) since the reformation - thus, the truth had to be argued and set down in stone, just as circumcision was set aside at that first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15). We can only imagine the arguing and debate over that one. The same thing with Arianism - that heresy lasted for hundreds of years.

Ah I see then so the dogmas of the Church was in response to heresy and blasphemous statements made by heretics and I know unfortunately the Blessed Virgin Mary has been attacked by heretics and of course she’s part of our salvation St Irenaeus of Lyons and St Justin martyr said she’s the New Eve

Ever listen to Dr. David Anders’ EWTN radio show “Call to Communion”? Excellent. Give him a call as he will provide a thorough theological answer to any question you have regarding Catholicism. It is also streamed live on EWTN’s YouTube channel.

Oh okay then thank you because I have a lot of questions and I will contact him because I’ve never heard of him

You could also use a copy of Catholicism for Dummies, which is an excellent basic explanation (catechism) of Catholic belief and doctrines.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.