Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

This name is only another form for Anacletus, the second successor of St. Peter. It is true that the Liberian Catalogue, a fourth-century list of popes, so called because it ends with Pope Liberius (d. 366), contains both names, as if they were different persons. But this is an error, owing evidently to the existence of two forms of the same name, one an abbreviation of the other. In the aforesaid catalogue the papal succession is: Petrus, Linus, Clemens, Cletus, Anacletus. This catalogue, however, is the only authority previous to the sixth century (Liber Pontificalis) for distinguishing two popes under the names of Cletus and Anacletus.

The "Carmen adv. Marcionem" is of the latter half of the fourth century, and its papal list probably depends on the Liberian Catalogue. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (q.v.) mentions both "Aninclitus" and "Clitus" (23 and 31 December), but on each occasion these names are found in a list of popes ; hence the days mentioned cannot be looked on as specially consecrated to these two persons. Apart from these lists, all other ancient papal lists, from the second to the fourth century, give as follows the immediate succession of St. Peter: Linos, Anegkletos, Klemes ( Linus, Anencletus, Clemens ), and this succession is certainly the right one. It is that found in St. Irenæus and in the chronicles of the second and third centuries. Both Africa and the Orient adhered faithfully to this list, which is also given in the very ancient Roman Canon of the Mass, except that in the latter Cletus is the form used, and the same occurs in St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, Rufinus, and in many fifth- and sixth-century lists. This second successor of St. Peter governed the Roman Church from about 76 to about 88. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that his father was Emelianus and that Cletus was a Roman by birth, and belonged to the quarter known as the Vicus Patrici . It also tells us that he ordained twenty-five priests, and was buried in Vaticano near the body of St. Peter.

There is historical evidence for only the last of these statements. The feast of St. Cletus falls, with that of St. Marcellinus, on 26 April; this date is already assigned to it in the first edition of the "Liber Pontificalis" . (See POPE SAINT CLEMENT I .)


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter