Quiz about Interesting Facts on the Popes
Quiz about Interesting Facts on the Popes

Interesting Facts on the Popes Quiz


Here are a few interesting facts and historical events which took place during the papacy of some of the popes who headed the early Christian church.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
353,384
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
857
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: tornadosteve (10/10), mulligas (7/10), federererer (7/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Pope Linus, who was the second head of the church, issued which adornment decree about women? Hint

They must obey their husbands
They should enter the convent if unmarried
They should chastise their children every Sunday
Their heads must be covered in the church

2. The eighth pope, Telesphorus, was head of the church in a period when most of the liturgy of the holy mass was already established. However, he did instigate several other traditions of the church. One of these was related to Christmas. What was it? Hint

Santa Claus
Christmas Midnight Mass
Christmas trees
The star on the top of the Christmas tree

3. Pope Soter declared that for a marriage to be declared valid, what event had to take place first? Hint

The couple had to have several children first
The ceremony had to be carried out and blessed by a priest
The mother of the bride had to become a nun
The mother of the groom had to be deceased

4. What was notable about the papacy of the fourteenth pope, Victor I? Hint

He had seven wives
He changed the Liturgy of the Mass from Greek to Latin
He said divorce was permissible from a nagging wife
He celebrated the Liturgy of the Mass in French

5. During the reign of the 21st pope, we are lucky to have some first hand evidence, in the form of a letter written by him, about church numbers in Rome at that time. Who was this statistically minded - and extremely reluctant - leader of the church? Hint

Pius XII
Cornelius I
John VI
Paul

6. The church suffered persecution for several centuries in its early days. What official ruling by the Roman emperor Gallienus saw a temporary end to this in the papacy of Pope Dionysius? Hint

Edict of Toleration
Edict of Discrimination
Edict of Persecution
Edict of Freedom

7. During the papacy of Pope Caius, he established steps and positions through which aspirants to the rank of bishop first had to pass. These were porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, sub-deacon, deacon and - what else? Hint

Nun
Mufti
Priest
Arch-bishop

8. Perhaps the most interesting event associated with the thirty-fifth pope, Julius I, was the date he set to mark an important Christian celebration. Celebrated ever since on this date, which event is it? Hint

Easter Sunday
Mother's Day
St Valentine's Day
Christmas Day

9. Pope Damasus I headed the papacy at perhaps its most important time in history. This was during the reign of Emperor Theodosius. Constantine had legitimised Christianity earlier in the century, but it was Theodosius who issued another vastly important edict regarding the church in 380. What was this? Hint

He ordered the building of the Vatican
He made it the official religion of the Roman state
He established nunneries
He established presbyteries

10. Pope Anastasius I, the last pope of the 4th century, was followed to the papacy by the fortieth pope, Innocent I. The two were related. In what way? Hint

Uncle and nephew
Husband and wife
Cousins
Father and son


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Pope Linus, who was the second head of the church, issued which adornment decree about women?

Answer: Their heads must be covered in the church

Pope Linus was head of the church from 67-76 AD, and was its second pope. He created the church's first fifteen bishops during his pontificate. It is believed he was a close friend of the apostle Paul, and was no doubt influenced by Paul's attitude towards women as a result.

Born in Tuscany, but with his birthdate unknown, he passed away in Rome in the year 76. He died a martyr, but the facts surrounding this death are unclear, or whether this martyrdom even took place at all.
2. The eighth pope, Telesphorus, was head of the church in a period when most of the liturgy of the holy mass was already established. However, he did instigate several other traditions of the church. One of these was related to Christmas. What was it?

Answer: Christmas Midnight Mass

Telesphorus was pope from 126 to 137 AD. He was the eighth pope, or, in other terminology, the seventh pope after Peter. Greek by birth, he lived as a hermit on Mount Carmel prior to assuming office. Other traditions he is believed to have instigated during his pontificate were celebrating Easter on Sundays, and the seven week period of Lent leading up to Easter.

His date of birth is also unknown, but, as with almost all the popes, his date of death is also the closing date of his papacy.
3. Pope Soter declared that for a marriage to be declared valid, what event had to take place first?

Answer: The ceremony had to be carried out and blessed by a priest

Soter was pope from 166 to 174. He was born in Campania in Italy and died in Rome. By now Rome was well and truly recognised at the headquarters of the papacy, noted for the fact that many important personages visited the popes at the Holy See there. Pope Soter was noted, more than anything else perhaps during his rule, for his compassion towards, and assistance to, the poor and needy, exiled Christians, and those condemned by the Romans to slave labour.

He was the church's twelfth pope.
4. What was notable about the papacy of the fourteenth pope, Victor I?

Answer: He changed the Liturgy of the Mass from Greek to Latin

Victor I was pope from 189 to 199. He was born in Roman lands in Africa, and some historians describe him as the first black pope. This may or may not refer to this pope's physiology, or the fact that Africa itself at that time was referred to by such a term. Begun by Victor in Rome in the 2nd century, the celebration of the holy mass in Latin was universal by the 4th century. During Victor's papacy, the split with the churches of Asia Minor was also already underway.

The major point of difference that caused all the disagreements at this time was the dates on which Easter should be celebrated.
5. During the reign of the 21st pope, we are lucky to have some first hand evidence, in the form of a letter written by him, about church numbers in Rome at that time. Who was this statistically minded - and extremely reluctant - leader of the church?

Answer: Cornelius I

Cornelius was pope from 251 to 253. He didn't want the job, but was reluctantly forced to accept the position on the death of the other leading candidate, Moses. Novatian, a third candidate for the position, bitterly resented the fact he was overlooked, and, in a pattern that recurred periodically in the history of the church, set up a rival papal court. The main point of difference between the two opposing sides was whether Christians should have to be rebaptised if they backslid too far. Cornelius said no, Novatian insisted they should.

The bickering aside, in a letter that has come down to us from that time, the following figures on the membership of church in Rome at that period in history are given: "46 priests, 7 deacons, 7 sub-deacons, 42 acolytes, 52 ostiarii, over 1,500 widows and persons in distress (whom the church fed daily), 150 clergy staff members...and at least 50,000 Christians".

(Figures obtained from Wikipedia.)
6. The church suffered persecution for several centuries in its early days. What official ruling by the Roman emperor Gallienus saw a temporary end to this in the papacy of Pope Dionysius?

Answer: Edict of Toleration

Gallienus, emperor from 253 to 268, not only issued this edict of toleration for Christians, he also awarded the church legal status. Dionysius was elected pope in 259 after the church, which was in complete disarray from its tormentors, had been missing a leader for over a year.

This twenty-fifth pope promptly set about re-organising and setting the church in order during a period of peace and freedom from persecution which would last for the next fifty years. He is also believed to be the first pope who was not martyred, but instead died a peaceful death in the year 268.
7. During the papacy of Pope Caius, he established steps and positions through which aspirants to the rank of bishop first had to pass. These were porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, sub-deacon, deacon and - what else?

Answer: Priest

Pope Gaius or Caius held the position from 17 December 283 until his death on 22 April 296. He was the 28th leader of the church. The porter was the lowest grade of the minor clergy entered after an aspirant had been tonsured. He had to guard the church doors and other important church buildings, to prevent unbaptised person entering, particularly during the ceremony of the eucharist. A lector, the next step, was an official reader during the ceremony. The initial role of the exorcist was more of a student receiving instructions in the teachings of Christianity, and passing on this learning to new members of the church seeking to be baptised. It was not, as commonly thought, that of casting out demons. That work was that of an ordained priest.

An acoloyte was one assisting in the ceremonial rites of the church - a little like a modern day altar boy - but with the view to progressing higher up through the minor orders into the ultimate order of the priests. They were however limited as to which parts of the sanctuary they could enter. A sub-deacon was the lowest of the major orders in the church. The simplest description of his work was that of assistant to the deacon, the next step up. A deacon's work in the early days of the church was a more refined form of the earlier ranks, and was the final step before ordination into the priesthood. He also assisted the priests in the various aspects of their work, both pastoral and administrative.
8. Perhaps the most interesting event associated with the thirty-fifth pope, Julius I, was the date he set to mark an important Christian celebration. Celebrated ever since on this date, which event is it?

Answer: Christmas Day

Julius was born in Rome and was the papal head of the church from 337 until 352. He is also associated with the controversy over the concept of the Holy Trinity, an issue which has plagued Christianity ever since. This revolved around the debate of whether Jesus was equal to God, or God's subordinate. Arguments about the Blessed Trinity are an entire quiz on their own, but that is the background of the issue. Julius also decided, after due consideration, that the birthdate of Jesus should be set on 25th December, and this date has marked the birth of Christ ever since.
9. Pope Damasus I headed the papacy at perhaps its most important time in history. This was during the reign of Emperor Theodosius. Constantine had legitimised Christianity earlier in the century, but it was Theodosius who issued another vastly important edict regarding the church in 380. What was this?

Answer: He made it the official religion of the Roman state

Constantine (reigned 306-337) ended the persecution of Christians, and officially recognised Christianity as a legitimate religion, with his Edict of Milan in 313. This gave equal rights to the faith, along with the other religions and faiths currently being practised at the time. Theodosius, however, who reigned from 379-392, made Christianity the empire's official religion in 380. (Just in passing, he also banned the Olympic games in 393, and they didn't commence again until 1896).

Damasus, the thirty-seventh pope, headed the church from 366 until 384. He was born in the year 305. His papacy included, among other important events, his authorisation of Saint Jerome's translation of the Bible. Jerome, a renowned theologian, scholar and historian, was the pope's confidential secretary at that time. This version became known as the Vulgate because it was translated into the then commonly used language of Latin. Damasus also headed the Council of Rome in 382. This established the order and inclusion of the biblical cannon - the books we commonly known today as the Old and New Testaments.
10. Pope Anastasius I, the last pope of the 4th century, was followed to the papacy by the fortieth pope, Innocent I. The two were related. In what way?

Answer: Father and son

Many of the early popes were married and had children. However, by the time of the thirty-eighth pope, Siricius, the concept of papal celibacy was being ushered in. Siricius issued two decrees concerning this matter and stated in 385 that priests, if married, had to stop living with their wives.

By then, however, Innocent had already been born to Anastasius. This occurred before his father had entered the priesthood, so no papal laws had been broken. Innocent, the fortieth pope, headed the church from the year 401 to 417.

His father had been pontiff from 399 to 401.
Source: Author Creedy

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