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Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy.
Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism.
Other scholars and historians disagree, citing the historical records of St. Irenaeus who recorded the linear succession of Bishops of Rome (the popes) up until their own times.
In the early Christian era, Rome and a few other cities had claims on the leadership of worldwide Church.
In 189, assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in Irenaeus's Against Heresies (3:3:2): "With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree ...The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, that was held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome (the pope) as their head.The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as leader of the Church, and the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles.
about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul.In recent centuries, popes were gradually forced to give up temporal power, and papal authority is now once again almost exclusively restricted to matters of religion.