Monday, July 09, 2007

Pope Soter

In 166 AD, the year following Justin's martyrdom, Soter succeeded Anicetus as bishop of Rome. Dionysius, the bishop of Corinth records the following (as quoted by Eusebius):

For from the beginning it has been your practice to do good to all the brethren in various ways, and to send contributions to many churches in every city. Thus relieving the want of the needy, and making provision for the brethren in the mines by the gifts which you have sent from the beginning, you Romans keep up the hereditary customs of the Romans, which your blessed bishop Soter has not only maintained, but also added to, furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints, and encouraging the brethren from abroad with blessed words, as a loving father his children.
He also mentions Pope Clement's earlier letter to their city and how they still read it in public worship along with Soter's letter which is no longer extant (remember the canon was not settled at this time and Clement could rightly be called a direct disciple of the apostles).

This is about the only information we know of Soter - he was known for continuing the Church at Rome's generosity and as did the former bishops of Rome he acted as a father to the Church elsewhere. O how I wish we still had his epistle!

No comments: