St. Siricius I, Pope of Rome
A deacon under Popes Liberius and Damasus I, Pope/St. Siricius was born in
Rome c. 334 and was elected to the papacy in 384. Opposed briefly by
Ursinus, he was the first pope to issue decretals, directives written in
the style of edicts and carrying the force of law. In 386, he issued a
decretal calling for clerical celibacy and threatening sanctions against
the unchaste. Siricius presided at the synod that excommunicated Jovinian
in 392/93 for saying that the Theotokos lost her virginity when she bore
Jesus. Siricius also condemned Bonosus of Niassus for saying that the
Theotokos and St. Joseph had children together after the birth of Jesus.
Siricius died in 399, and his tomb was a popular pilgrim's destination in
the VII Century.
Karen Rae Keck
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