This was the condition of the Papacy before 538 A.D. But when the bishops of the Roman Church became
"head over all the churches" and "true and only corrector of heretics," the Papacy came into existence as the ruling,
controlling power-- the head of the beast. It was given existence or life as a head by the existing government, the
powers that be, the government of the empire granting it the authority to define and correct heresy. What made the
Papacy a persecutor? Briefly answered, it was religion by law, or power to enforce religious decrees and to punish
heretics, or those who disobeyed these decrees.