Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week bring the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, and everything in between.
Here are just a few things that happened this week, July 16-22, in Church history. They include the temporary dissolving of the Jesuit Order and the First Vatican's official endorsement of papal infallibility.
Pope Dissolves Jesuit Order – July 21, 1773
This week marks the anniversary of when Pope Clement XIV issued a papal bull dissolving the Order of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits.
By the late eighteenth century, there was a growing contempt for the Catholic Church in Western Europe, with some nations viewing the Jesuits as the worst representatives of the papacy.
"The Protestant states of Europe had shaken off papal control; the Catholic monarchies of France, Spain, Portugal, Naples and Sicily longed to do the same," noted ucanews.com.
"So the Society not only faced the hatred of governments hostile to the papacy, who saw the Jesuits as the Pope's 'sword arm', but also of a weak papacy under Clement XIV, who finally capitulated to the demands of the monarchies of Spain, France and Portugal to suppress the Jesuits."
As a way of placating these countries, on July 21 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued a brief, or papal bull, titled "Dominus ac Redemptor" that officially suppressed the Jesuit Order.
"We declare all, and all kind of authority, the General, the provincials, the visitors, and other superiors of the said Society to be FOR EVER ANNULLED AND EXTINGUISHED, of what nature soever the said authority may be, as well in things spiritual as temporal," read the brief in part.
The suppression of the Jesuits would continue until 1814. Nearly two hundred years after the Jesuits were restored, one of their own became Pope Francis.
Catholic Church Recognizes Papal Infallibility – July 18, 1870
This week marks the anniversary of when Catholic leaders at the First Vatican Council officially recognized the "infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff," or what is commonly called "papal infallibility."
On July 18, 1870, Church leaders overwhelmingly approved a measure officially recognizing papal infallibility, which states that under specific official circumstances, the pope cannot err on matters of faith.
"... when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals," reads the First Vatican's declaration in part.
Papal infallibility is a controversial position of the Church, with many Protestants and others seeing it as Catholics elevating the pope to a godlike status.
Despite concerns and theological objections from many Christians, papal infallibility has only been invoked twice since the nineteenth century.
"There is no set list of ex cathedra teachings, but that's because there are only two, and both are about Mary," explained uscatholic.org in 2011.
"[Mary's] Immaculate Conception (declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and grandfathered in after the First Vatican Council's declaration of papal infallibility in 1870) and her bodily Assumption into heaven (declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950)."