Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, December 7

374
Early Church Father, Ambrose, 34, was consecrated Bishop of Milan, Italy. His influential works on theology and ethics made Ambrose (along with Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great) one of the "four doctors" of the Western (Latin) Church.
430
At the Synod of Rome, Cyril of Alexandria, 54, formally condemned the doctrine of the Antiochene monk Nestorius, who had claimed that there were two separate Persons in the Incarnate Christ (one Divine, the other Human).
521
(traditional date) Birth of Columba, who becomes an Irish monk, educator, bishop, and missionary. He will undertake evangelization in Scotland and Northern England, founding a monastery on the isle of Iona.
1254
Death of Pope Innocent IV. His reign had been marred by perpetual strife with German emperors, a bull allowing the Inquisition to use torture and anonymous denunciations, and pressure on French king Louis IX to undertake disastrous crusades.
1661
Under pressure from the British Parliament, the American Colony of Massachusetts suspended its Corporal Punishment Act of 1656, which had imposed harsh penalties on Quakers and other religious Nonconformists.
1821
Death of Pomare II, the Christian king of Tahiti.
1875
Five Franciscan nuns, exiled by the policies of Bismarck, drown in the wreck of the ship Deutschland off the coast of England during a storm. Gerard Manley Hopkins will write a celebrated poem about the event.
1892
African clergy and laypeople write a letter protesting attempts to declare Samuel Adjai Crowther's service as the first African bishop in Nigeria unsuccessful. They point to thousands of conversions and the establishment of many schools and churches under Crowther. British missionaries paint the deceased Crowther as unsuccessful so as to convince the Anglican church to maintain white leaders in Nigeria.
1965
A joint Catholic-Orthodox declaration from Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I lifts the mutual excommunications that Catholics and Orthodox had placed on each other in 1054 at the start of the great East-West Schism.
1973
In Atlanta, the Presbyterian Church in America formally instituted its missionary organization, PCA Mission to the World. It was an outgrowth of the newly established denomination.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"