|Yeah, I thought Lincoln said that!|
Hey, Major! What's this got to do with Pope Saint Eugene I?
I am glad you asked. Eugene was a Roman priest in the seventh century, a time when the Christians were divided by a debate about the will(s) of Christ. You'll recall an earlier debate about the nature(s) of Christ: God, Man, or God & Man? The third view prevailed, and those subscribing to other views were anathematized as heretics. Having accepted the view that Jesus had two natures, the remaining Christians moved on to debate whether he had one or two wills. It seems to me like a reasonable compromise to allow some folks to think that he had two natures but one will. It satisfied the Byzantine Emperor Constans II; all things considered, keeping the emperor happy is a seldom a bad goal.
|Emperor Constans II|
For fourteen months, the Church in Rome was run by the household staff: an archdeacon, an archpriest, and some other useful functionaries. When it became clear that papa wasn't ever coming home, they eventually broke down and picked Eugene I. Having grown up on the Aventine -- perhaps Rome's equivalent of the Bronx -- he was expected to have sufficient tact to handle the problem. [Martin, by the way, got word of his successor's election and, while not thrilled, acknowledged the wisdom of it.]
|Aunt Mary's basilica|
The Byzantines were equally livid with his reply; they sent a letter in response telling him to back off or they would roast him as they had roasted Martin. But couldn't take much action since they were busy losing Rhodes and then the Battle of Phoenix to the Muslims. It's tough to worry about an upstart Pope in Italy with invaders on your shores.
Eugene might have gotten away with rejecting their heterodoxy, but the Church was once again divided, and a divided house cannot stand. You might see the "many rooms" quotation as meaning that there's enough space for everyone who accepts the one correct doctrine, but I suspect that it is a little broader. A loving, accepting God will find ways to embrace his creatures -- he won't split hairs about how many wills he has. Humans who roast each other over such trivia do the Devil's work by dividing us and feeding our animosity rather than our love.