Born: ? (Rome, Italy)
Died: March 12, 417
Pope: December 21, 401 - March 12, 417 (15 years)
Pope Innocent I was alleged by his contemporary Jerome to have been the son of Pope Anastasius I, but it is unclear if that is true or not. Regardless of that issue, Innocent I was pope at a time when the power and authority of the papacy had to deal with one of its most difficult challenges: the sack of Rome in 410 by Alaric I, the Visigoth king.
Fortunately, Alaric was a Christian and although his forces caused widespread destruction throughout the city, he spared Christian buildings and made an extra effort to attack pagan structures. When Innocent returend to Rome, he embarked upon extensive charity efforts - thus, although this seemed like the end of the world to the people of Rome, it became a great opportunity for the Church to expand its power and influence.
Theologically, Innocent made strong claims that all questions and disputes on matters of doctrine should be brought before the pope for a final decision. As a consequence, he was expected to reach such a decision regarding the growing heresy of Pelagianism - something which he was unable to decisively deal with before dying.
Also Known As: none
Alternate Spellings: none
Common Misspellings: none
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