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Rome had a large congregation early in the apostolic period whom Paul the Apostle addressed in his Epistle to the Romans, and according to tradition Paul was martyred there. 30–130), the Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance.Clement I, at the end of the 1st century, wrote an epistle to the Church in Corinth intervening in a major dispute, and apologizing for not having taken action earlier.The papacy came under the control of vying political factions.Popes were variously imprisoned, starved, killed, and deposed by force.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.Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them.Some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century.
Pope Gregory I (c 540–604) administered the church with strict reform.
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.
James the Just, known as "the brother of the Lord", served as head of the Jerusalem church, which is still honored as the "Mother Church" in Orthodox tradition.
Alexandria had been a center of Jewish learning and became a center of Christian learning.