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Dear friends :hello!: ,

May the glorious Vigil of the Epiphany shine upon your hearts... :)

I've been looking into the ecclesiastical history of England through the ages. There are many disturbing trends of a rebellious nature. Stigand of Canterbury was elected against several different claimants by monks of the cathedral chapter of 1051, but the Pope refused to recognise him. He never made the trip to Rome to receive the white pallium that bishops must wear.

Several Kings of England had what seemed like a Germanic Salian streak of pushing for lay investiture of bishops throughout the 11th and 12th centuries. Even King John in the early 1200s had this idea that his selection for the Archbishopric of Canterbury should be independent of the Pope. It took a war and several angry nobles to show him what was what.

William of Ockham and apparently many English Franciscans were very disobedient, or at least hostile to submitting to Papal rule. The famous Lollards and Wycliffe were not exactly lovable when it came to Rome.

These schismatics http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/foru...ic=24219.0  think England was Orthodox before 1066. Anglicans believe it was evangelical (16th century sense) before 1066. We say it was Catholic, given the love St. Anselm showed for the papacy in the 1090's.

Whence all this intense history of rebellion? Are there more examples lurking in history? Does it all point, ever so dreadfully, to Henry VIII and 1534? What of the rhetoric of "Mary's Dowry"?
Seems like pre-Reformation England was an interesting mix of both northern and southern European influences. Countries far from Rome like Denmark and Iceland were a lost cause by the time of the Reformation, but England could have swung either way.... and it did, as the tumultuous reigns of the Tudor monarchs show.

Ireland is an interesting exception, given that it was very far from Rome yet stayed loyal. I wonder if it was purely out of piety, or if a large part of it had to do with the fact that adhering to Rome made them un-English.
(01-05-2012, 04:11 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Seems like pre-Reformation England was an interesting mix of both northern and southern European influences. Countries far from Rome like Denmark and Iceland were a lost cause by the time of the Reformation, but England could have swung either way.... and it did, as the tumultuous reigns of the Tudor monarchs show.

Yes, and the music of the time reveals much of this, as shown in the works of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.  Very interesting times indeed.
During the middle ages Popes often turned to monarchs to nominate people for important ecclesiastical positions.  In an era without mass communications such a system makes sense.  So for example, Henry II nominated Thomas Becket to be Archbishop of Canterbury.  Usually, the Pope would just rubber stamp the selections made my monarchs and gave them a lot free reign to run the church in their lands as they saw fit (although of course all final power rested with the Pope).  Unsurprisingly, when Popes put down their foot against monarchs in their appointments or running of the church monarchs often rebelled against the Pope, such as the famous controversy between Pope Saint Gregory IV and the Holy Roman Emperor IV.  

In England, when Henry VIII broke off from the church it wasn't clear at the time that he was bringing about a reformation.  Rome at the time seemed to consider Henry's break more akin to the previous battles between Popes and Monarchs than of Rome's battle with Luther.  Rome was therefore incredibly slow in responding properly to crisis as it assumed that given time Henry VIII or his successors would eventually recognize the power of the papacy (as all medieval monarchs had).  Indeed, with the reign of Mary I it seemed this policy had worked as the Church seamlessly returned to obedience to the Pope. Unfortunately, Mary died without heir and the crown passed to a Protestant.  
(01-05-2012, 04:11 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Ireland is an interesting exception, given that it was very far from Rome yet stayed loyal. I wonder if it was purely out of piety, or if a large part of it had to do with the fact that adhering to Rome made them un-English.

In Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years (a book I wouldn't necessarily recommend for orthodoxy), Diarmaid MacCulloch claims that Ireland mainly stayed Catholic in order to be rebellious toward Britain. However, if a rebellious streak will make someone Catholic, then such a rebellion should be encouraged by all virtuous people. It's rather wonderful how something as evil as British oppression caused something as good as Irish devotion.
(01-05-2012, 06:44 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 04:11 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Ireland is an interesting exception, given that it was very far from Rome yet stayed loyal. I wonder if it was purely out of piety, or if a large part of it had to do with the fact that adhering to Rome made them un-English.

In Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years (a book I wouldn't necessarily for orthodoxy), Diarmaid MacCulloch claims that Ireland mainly stayed Catholic in order to be rebellious toward Britain. However, if a rebellious streak will make someone Catholic, then such a rebellion should be encouraged by all virtuous people. It's rather wonderful how something as evil as British oppression caused something as good as Irish devotion.

How did you like the book?
(01-05-2012, 07:03 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 06:44 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 04:11 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Ireland is an interesting exception, given that it was very far from Rome yet stayed loyal. I wonder if it was purely out of piety, or if a large part of it had to do with the fact that adhering to Rome made them un-English.

In Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years (a book I wouldn't necessarily for orthodoxy), Diarmaid MacCulloch claims that Ireland mainly stayed Catholic in order to be rebellious toward Britain. However, if a rebellious streak will make someone Catholic, then such a rebellion should be encouraged by all virtuous people. It's rather wonderful how something as evil as British oppression caused something as good as Irish devotion.

How did you like the book?

I thought it was interesting and well-written (and, according to the book's back cover, Eamon Duffy agrees with the sentiment). For an agnostic (atheist?), MacCulloch was pretty favorable in his treatment of Christianity in general.

As one would imagine of a work on Church history by any non-Catholic author, though, there were significant errors in it. One thing that particularly irked me was his statement (part of an over-all treatment of Christ's life which was more balanced than expected) that Christ might not have cared about being consistent in His teaching (referring to seeming inconsistencies in His sayings recorded in the Synoptic Gospels). Also, like most modern secular historians, his over-all view is that dogma evolves rather than develops. He underplays the difference between the Catholic, Nestorians, and Monophysites. Also, he assumes that SS. Gervase and Protase were invented by St. Ambrose in a political power-grab. He pokes fun at Our Lady of Lourdes and implies that Lourdes was fraudulent.

Again, I think that the book was very good for a history of Christianity written by an atheist, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone struggling with his faith.
(01-05-2012, 04:24 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]During the middle ages Popes often turned to monarchs to nominate people for important ecclesiastical positions.  In an era without mass communications such a system makes sense.  So for example, Henry II nominated Thomas Becket to be Archbishop of Canterbury.  Usually, the Pope would just rubber stamp the selections made my monarchs and gave them a lot free reign to run the church in their lands as they saw fit (although of course all final power rested with the Pope).  Unsurprisingly, when Popes put down their foot against monarchs in their appointments or running of the church monarchs often rebelled against the Pope, such as the famous controversy between Pope Saint Gregory IV and the Holy Roman Emperor IV.  

In England, when Henry VIII broke off from the church it wasn't clear at the time that he was bringing about a reformation.  Rome at the time seemed to consider Henry's break more akin to the previous battles between Popes and Monarchs than of Rome's battle with Luther.  Rome was therefore incredibly slow in responding properly to crisis as it assumed that given time Henry VIII or his successors would eventually recognize the power of the papacy (as all medieval monarchs had).  Indeed, with the reign of Mary I it seemed this policy had worked as the Church seamlessly returned to obedience to the Pope. Unfortunately, Mary died without heir and the crown passed to a Protestant.  
Not to nit-pick, but it is Pope St. Gregory VII.
(01-05-2012, 07:33 PM)InfinityCodaLMHSYF Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 04:24 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]During the middle ages Popes often turned to monarchs to nominate people for important ecclesiastical positions.  In an era without mass communications such a system makes sense.  So for example, Henry II nominated Thomas Becket to be Archbishop of Canterbury.  Usually, the Pope would just rubber stamp the selections made my monarchs and gave them a lot free reign to run the church in their lands as they saw fit (although of course all final power rested with the Pope).  Unsurprisingly, when Popes put down their foot against monarchs in their appointments or running of the church monarchs often rebelled against the Pope, such as the famous controversy between Pope Saint Gregory IV and the Holy Roman Emperor IV.  

In England, when Henry VIII broke off from the church it wasn't clear at the time that he was bringing about a reformation.  Rome at the time seemed to consider Henry's break more akin to the previous battles between Popes and Monarchs than of Rome's battle with Luther.  Rome was therefore incredibly slow in responding properly to crisis as it assumed that given time Henry VIII or his successors would eventually recognize the power of the papacy (as all medieval monarchs had).  Indeed, with the reign of Mary I it seemed this policy had worked as the Church seamlessly returned to obedience to the Pope. Unfortunately, Mary died without heir and the crown passed to a Protestant.  
Not to nit-pick, but it is Pope St. Gregory VII.

I really did know that.  It was just a typo!