Vito’s Letter to the Church in Rome
Dearest members of the Church in Rome,
As many of you know, Bishop Sylvester has moved on from earth and joined Christ in heaven. For many months he had been ill and, as his closest presbyter, we discussed all possible outcomes for the near future. Many weeks ago, he appointed me as his successor as Bishop of Rome. Therefore I write this letter to you as the new Bishop of Rome but in remembrance of the great Sylvester.
Our meetings during the Council of Nicea proved to be extremely successful and will benefit the Church forever. All doctrine that was produced at the council came through compromises between all present at the council and has strengthened our relationship with Rome. Firstly, we have agreed on a creed that describes the nature and relationship between all members of the Trinity. While we did not make it perfectly clear that Arian heresy will not be tolerated in the Church, we did formulate the language so it promotes God and Jesus’s co-equality and co-eternity. I think this was the best way to make clear of Arian heresy while keeping those members in the Church.
In addition to the creed, we also passed several canons that describe the governance of the Church. Firstly, we gave Metropolitan Bishops more authority over regular Bishops so that we do not have future confusion in the Church. Alongside this canon, we also declared that the Bishop of Rome will be the Pope and have ultimate authority over all other Metropolitan Bishops. As the new Pope, I think it is best to work closely with Constantine in order to spread our religion and maintain its unity in the Roman Empire.
We also discussed the date of Easter, which I was not very happy about. By celebrating Easter on the Sunday following Passover, we are catering ourselves to the Jews. We are basing the date on an irrelevant holiday because Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross served as a replacement of the sacrificial lamb. We also must align our lunar calendar with the Jewish lunar calendar. I foresee that this will cause problems in the future.
Additionally, we voted that clergy should remain unmarried, celibate, and free of women. If we are to make our Church unified and well-integrated into Roman society, then we should keep our authority of the Church similar to the authority of Rome. This requires a hierarchal structure that is run by men.
Finally, we voted that those who had faith lapse during persecution should be allowed back into the Church without punishment. We know that Jesus Christ preached forgiveness, therefore we should forgive the Lapsed on earth because they will ultimately be judged by God.
All in all, I think this council served as a major unifying force. Many members of the council had past relationships that promoted disunity, but I think those past relationships were triumphed by reconciliation.
I look forward to seeing you all when I return as the Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Church. In the coming years we will see a large growth of our religion alongside the growth of the Roman Empire.
May you all be with God in these prosperous times!