ERA 3 << Medieval Church (1): Expansion & Conflicts (AD 600–1000) >> SESSION 2
Reference: Gonzalez, volume 1, chapters 28-29
† 9.1.1 Carolingian dynasty
· Supporter of papacy: The Frankish monarchy became the ardent supporter of the papacy during the Middle Ages, protecting it from barbarian conquests.
Martel’s son Pepin the Short (714–768), with
the consent of Pope Zacharias, forced the last Merovingian king to abdicate
 and founded the Carolingian dynasty [751–987]. He was consecrated by
Boniface as the king of the Franks. Pepin fulfilled his promise to the pope by
expeditions against the
† 9.1.2 Charlemagne (742–814)
· The empire: Charlemagne, son of Pepin, came to power . He was a devout Christian though he still kept concubines. He engaged in over 50 campaigns in expanding his empire. He divided the empire into areas, each comprising several counties under a duke.
by the pope: When Pope Leo III crowned
Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans” , almost all of the Western
church was under the emperor’s rule, with the exception of the British Isles
o First emperor: Although Charlemagne was considered to be the first Holy Roman Emperor, the continuous line of emperors began only with Otto the Great .
conquest: Charlemagne repeatedly invaded the Saxons and the Frisians
in Saxony (
conquest: Charlemagne invaded
· Ecclesiastical changes: Charlemagne was involved in ecclesiastic matters. He appointed bishops. He enacted laws specifying that the preaching be done in the language of the people, that Sunday be kept as a day of worship and rest, and that tithes be collected as if they were a tax. He entrusted Benedict of Aniane to reform monasticism, bringing monasteries into compliance with the Benedictine Rule.
Charlemagne was a patron of learning. He persuaded the great English scholar
Alcuin (735–804) to come from
† 9.1.3 After Charlemagne
· Louise the Pious: Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious tried to give more autonomy to the church but some bishops took advantage of the freedom for personal gains.
empire: After Louis the Pious died , his 3 sons fought to
gain control in civil wars. They finally divided the empire in the Treaty of
Verdun . Charles the Bald controlled Gaul (modern
† 9.1.4 The rise of feudalism
· The system: Feudalism is a system of political organization based on the possession of land. This was the only way in which justice and order could be maintained during the period of weak centralized authority. The result was the political and economic fragmentation of western Europe, and the decline of all centralized power, including the kings.
· Reason: Because of the Arab conquests, the trading routes to the east and the south were blocked. Prosperity was drained. Under such circumstances, the main source of wealth was land, rather than money. Feudalism was born.
· Hierarchy: This was a hierarchical system, based on the holding of lands, in which each feudal lord, which receiving homage from those who owed their lands to him, paid homage to the king, the vassal of God. Grants of land was hereditary. Society was divided into:  a group of protectors, the feudal knights, who had the privilege of land ownership in return for their services;  a group of producers, the serfs;  a group of prayers, the priestly class.
· Church lands: In the church, since bishoprics and abbots often had vast holdings of land, they became more powerful. These lands were gifts by pious or repentant men, seeking to atone for a life of sin. They remained in the Roman church, held by abbots and bishops. The feudalization of church lands tended to secularize the church and to distract its attention from spiritual to mundane interests. The effort in dealing with the investiture controversy led to the neglect of their spiritual duties.
· Investiture controversy: Since the oldest son of nobles could inherit the land from their fathers, the nobles often interfered with elections to get an abbey or bishopric for their younger sons and relatives. Many of these ecclesiastical officials were worldly and not interested in spiritual matters. The authority of investiture (to name the candidates) for such positions became one of enormous political significance. At times, both the feudal lord and the pope claimed the right to such authority.
invasions:  Vikings:
Norsemen (Vikings) from
9.1.5 Revival of the
ruler: The dukes of
the Great: Henry was succeeded  by his son Otto (912–973). Otto made the dukes his vassals and
took over supervision of the affairs of the church by choosing
bishops and abbots. Then he became interested in affairs across the
the papacy: The German emperors started to interfere in the
affairs of the papacy. For example, Emperor Otto III entered
· Conflict between pope & emperor: The ideal kingdom was thought to have two arms:  the spiritual, presided over by the pope and responsible for men’s souls;  the temporal, presided over by the emperor and responsible for men’s physical well-being. The pope and the emperor were to give each other mutual support. But the question was: Did the pope exercise delegated power from the emperor? (This the pope could not accept.) Or did God give supreme authority to the church, and the pope delegated authority to the emperor? (This the emperor could not accept.) Or did they hold coordinate positions in which God gave to each one directly supremacy within his respective sphere? The answer to this problem occupied the energies of popes and emperors during the Middle Ages until the pope finally succeeded in bring the emperor under his control.
† 9.2.1 Old & new ideas
· Theological debates: During Charlemagne’s reign, schools flourished, manuscripts were copied. Most theological activities centred on controversies over a single point of doctrine or worship.
· John Scotus Erigena (815–877)—He was an Irish scholar at the court of Charles “the Bald”—one of the grandsons of Charlemagne. He was the most famous theologian of this time. Erigena expounded a form of Neoplatonism mysticism. This was confused with Paul’s theology in the NT, and the Apostle was read as if he had been a Neoplatonist, leading to a pantheistic tendency. Erigena’s book Predestination opposed an extreme form of Augustinianism, which teaches that God predestines evil. On the topic of real presence of Christ in the communion, Erigena favoured a more spiritual interpretation.
· On predestination: Gottschalk of Orbais, a monk who studies Augustine’s writings, concluded that the church had departed from Augustine in predestination. Gottschalk was criticized by his enemies and was declared a heretic and imprisoned in a monastery.
presence: Paschasius Radbertus
(785–860), a monk of Corbie near
Elipandos, bishop of
† 9.3.1 Benedictine Monastic Order 
· East vs West:
o  Work: Western monasticism tended to be more practical. It rejected idleness, deplored purely ascetic acts, and emphasized work as well as devotion. It did not punish the body for the sole purpose of renunciation, but also to train it, as well as the soul, for a mission in the world.
o  Community: Western monasticism did not place the premium on solitude that was typical in the East. From the beginning, Western monasticism organized life in the community.
o  Hierarchy: Western monasticism did not live in the constant tension with the hierarchy of the church that was typical of Eastern monasticism. Western monasticism has been the right arm of popes and bishops.
· Benedict of Nursia (480–547)—founder of Benedictine Order—Following a period of extreme asceticism as hermit, Benedict had a group of disciples. They built a monastery at Monte Cassino , and founded the Benedictine Order. Benedict’s sister Scholastica founded a similar community nearby for women.
Re-establishment: The monastery (abbey) was later looted and burnt down by the
· Monastic activities:
o Prayer: The core of monastic life was prayer. The monks were to gather 8 times a day—Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. They included the reciting of the Psalms and readings of the Scripture.
o Studies: A main occupation was studies. Since books were needed, monks became adept at copying the Bible and other books, and thus preserved them for later generations.
o Functions: The monastery became a teaching centre for children, perhaps also a hospital, a pharmacy, and a shelter for weary travellers.
† 9.3.2 Benedictine Rule 
standard: Benedict wrote the Rule
for his monastery. With the support of the papacy, Benedict’s Rule became the monastic standard for
all Western monasticism. In a synod at
· Content: The book aims at a wise ordering of monastic life, with strict discipline, but without undue harshness. It combines brevity with completeness. It emphasized poverty and chastity for all monks.
· Elements: There are 2 crucial elements: permanence and obedience.
o Permanence: Monks are not free to go from one monastery to another as they please. This led to great stability in the time of chaos.
o Obedience: Obedience is to Christ, to the Rule, and to the abbot. Instant obedience to the superior is expected, without grumbling or reluctance. However, the abbot (head of the monastery) must not be a tyrant as he is subject to God and to the Rule.
o Discipline: An errant monk is to be admonished secretly. If he does not repent after 2 admonitions, he is to be reprimanded before the community. The next step is excommunication, barred from community meals and contact. The next steps are whipping and finally expulsion.
o Occupations: There are 3 main occupations:  manual labour, even those who come from wealthy families would receive no special treatment,  divine reading—reading and meditation on the Bible and other spiritual books,  work of God—liturgical worship.
o Humility: There are 12 stages of humility, from the 1st stage of fear of God, to the 12th stage of showing humility to everyone, not just in the heart but also in outward behaviour.
† 9.3.3 Cluniac Order 
· Corruption: As the monasteries owned land and gained wealth and power through feudalism, the bishops and nobles who were supposed to be their guardians used them for their own personal gains. By 9th-c and 10th-c, some became abbots by buying their posts, or even through murders, and then lived luxuriously on the basis of the abbey’s income. The Benedictine Rule was generally ignored.
de Baume (850–926)—founder of
Cluniac Order—He acquired a charter from Duke William III of
· Abbots: Berno [abbot 910–926], Odo [abbot 927–944], and 5 succeeding abbots [944–1109] were men of ability and character. They made the monastery a great success so many Benedictine monasteries followed it as a model.
In the past, monasteries were independent of other monasteries in the same
order. The abbot of
o The Carthusian monasteries, organized by Bruno , followed this pattern of centralized authority.
· Reforms: The Cluniac leaders called for reform in clerical life and complete obedience to the Benedictine Rule. They condemned simony (buying and selling of church offices for money) and nepotism (appointing relatives to office). Celibacy was compulsory. They emphasized poverty and an ascetic life. They also insisted that the church should be free from temporal or secular control by civil authorities.
· Decline: The monasteries created good monastic schools which helped to make Latin the common tongue of the Middle Ages. However, the order gradually declined, again because of its accumulation of wealth. Inspired by the holiness of the monks, people made gifts to the monasteries. The original ideal of simplicity of life was lost. The order came to an end legally in 1790.
† 9.3.4 Cistercian Order 
· Robert of Molesme (1027–1111)—founder of Cistercian Order—In late 11th-c, when the Cluniac order gradually declined, a new monastic reform was founded at the Citeaux Abbey . The order was the successor to the Cluniac order. Both had similar emphasis and both had wide impact on the church. By 15th-c, the order had 750 monasteries. Today, there are still Cistercian monks, including the Trappists, who are monks in strict observance.
· Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)
o Life: He was the most famous monk of this order. He was later ordered to found a new community at Clairvaux  which became a centre of reformation. It became the parent to 70 new Cistercian monasteries. One of Bernard’s disciples later became Pope Eugene III [1145–1153].
o His influence: His fame forced him to intervene as arbitrator in many political and ecclesiastical disputes. He was a mystic devoted to the contemplation of the humanity of Christ, the champion of ecclesiastical reform, the preacher of the Second Crusade, and the fighter against all theological innovations, such as Peter Abelard.
o On grace & free-will: His book Grace and Free-Will maintained that our good works are at the same time entirely the work of God’s grace (leaving no room for boasting) and entirely the work of our own free-will in that it is we who perform them (thus making them worthy of reward). Man’s will is always free in the sense that he wills voluntarily and spontaneously. But without the grace of God, fallen man wills only to sin.
o On humility & mystical union: His spiritual works taught steps to humility and steps towards mystical union with God. He urged his students to find time for reflection or meditation in the midst of a busy life. Quote: “Humility is a virtue by which a man has a low opinion of himself because he knows himself well…. You will never have real mercy on the failings of another until you know and realize that you have the same failing in yourself.”
† 9.3.5 Franciscan Order 
· Mendicant orders: The growth of cities and trade brought about the monetary economy. While promoting more specialized production and increasing collective wealth, it also resulted in a growing chasm between the rich and the poor. A reaction was the development of mendicant monastic orders. Mendicants (friars) were those who lived by begging, depending on the alms and gifts from the people. They included the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Carmelites, and the Augustinian friars.
· Characteristics: With the approval of Pope Innocent III, he founded the Franciscan Order , taking the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Instead of living in monastic communities to pray and labour, they went among the people of the cities to help them and to preach to them. A sister order for women was founded by Claire , a spiritual sister of Francis.
· Absolute poverty: Well aware of the temptations that success played before his order, Francis made a will forbidding his followers to possess anything, not only for individual friars, but also for the order as a whole. But shortly after his death, two parties developed. The rigorists insisted on strict obedience to Francis’s instructions. They called themselves “spirituals” who followed the teachings of Joachim of Fiore. The moderates argued that changed circumstances required a less literal interpretation of the rules. Pope Gregory IX declared that Francis’s will was not binding , and the order began to own property .
The order sent out missionaries to
† 9.3.6 Dominican Order 
Guzman (1170–1221)—founder of
Dominican Order—As a clergy, he joined a disciplined monastic life and rigorous
study in order to make use of the best possible arguments
against heresy. He founded a school near the
· Characteristics: He founded the Dominican Order , also called Order of Preachers. Their main objective was preaching, teaching, and study, and poverty was seen as a means to that end. Their recruits received solid intellectual training in their task to refute heresy. They gave the church some distinguished theologians.
Since the priority was preaching, the ideal of living by begging was set aside
when new circumstances made it advantageous to own property. They soon
established a foothold in the universities.
They tried to convert Jews (Vincent Ferrer in
† 9.3.7 Military orders
· Knights of Saint John or the Knights Hospitallers: It was founded in 12th-c to defend pilgrims and to care for the sick.
Templars  was brought under the Cistercian rule . It
pledged to defend the
† 9.4.1 Corruption
documents: Pope Nicholas I [858–867] used a collection of
historical documents to reinforce his authority. These documents, the False Decretals, were later proved
to be forgeries. He was successful in upholding
the right of a bishop to appeal directly to the pope. He even tried to assert
his authority over the patriarch of
of popes: Because of the increase in power in the papacy, the
election of the pope involved bribery, deceit, or even violence. Pope John VIII
[872–882] was murdered. Then, pope followed pope in rapid succession. The
papacy became the prize that rival parties in
· Nepotism: Pope Sergius III [904–911] was supported by the Italian family of Crescentius whose daughter Marozia was Sergius’s lover. After 5 intermediate popes, Marozia managed to put his son from Sergius III on the papal throne as Pope John XI [931–935]. Later, Marozia’s grandson became Pope John XII [955–964]. After that, her cousin became Pope John XIII [965–972].
control: For a while, Emperor Otto III controlled the selection
of the pope. He named his 23-year old nephew Pope Gregory V [996–999], and also
Sylvester II [999–1003]. When Otto died, the Crescentius family gained control
naming 3 popes [1003–1012]. Then the counts of
IX: He became pope when he was 15 years old . In 1045, he
abdicated on a financial reward and the Crescentius family named Pope Sylvester
III. Then Benedict IX withdrew his abdication but sold the papal throne to his
godfather who became Pope Gregory VI. So there were 3 popes at the same time.
Emperor Henry III of
† 9.4.2 Pressing problems facing the church
· Lay investiture: The appointment and the investiture (installation) of bishops and abbots by nobles, kings, and emperors put the church under the control of civil authorities.
· Simony: The buying and selling of ecclesiastical posts was perhaps the worst evil to be eradicated.
· Corrupt moral: Many clergy took concubines or indulged in illicit love affairs with the women from their congregations. Some gave more attention to their children than to their clerical duties.
· Nepotism: The appointments of descendants and relatives to ecclesiastical posts were related to the problem of clerical marriage. Celibacy of the clergy was promoted for centuries but was never turned into a universal rule until the Council of Lateran II .
· Luxury: High clergies and abbots enjoyed luxurious living.
† 9.4.3 Renewal
[1049–1054]—Henry III appointed his cousin Bruno, Count of Dagsbourg and bishop
of Toul as pope. He was known for his reforming zeal. He was accompanied by two
wellknown monks, Hildebrand and Humbert, and
was welcomed into
· Reforming popes: The next four popes [1055–1073] continued the reforms started by Leo IX. However, they were in fact under the influence of Hildebrand who was the most powerful person in the papacy. The attempt to wrestle the power of investiture of the pope from the aristocracy was made  when Pope Nicholas II decreed that the pope would be elected by the cardinals. This was eventually passed by the council .
† 9.4.4 Gregory VII [1073–1085]
Hildebrand finally accepted to be pope . His dream was a world united
under the papacy, not only western Europe, but also the
He continued the campaign against simony, clerical
marriage, and lay investiture. A synod in
the emperor: The pope clashed with Emperor Henry IV [1056–1106] of the
Gregory later supported a rebellion of Henry’s rival, but Henry defeated the
usurper and appointed a rival pope Clement III . He then marched on
† 9.4.5 Conflicts with the empire
II [1088–1099]—He excommunicated Philip I of
II [1099–1118]—He tried to make peace with Emperor Henry V [1106–1125] by accepting all lay
investitures. But he declared that any future lay investiture would be
excommunicated. Henry V invaded
II [1118–1119]—He was captured and released many times and
finally died in the abbey of
· Callixtus II [1119–1124]—He negotiated with the emperor and agreed to Concordat of Worms . Prelates would be elected freely, although in the presence of the emperor’s representatives. Only proper ecclesiastical authorities would have the right to invest prelates. The granting of all feudal rights, privileges, and possessions would be in the hand of civil authorities. The Concordat was confirmed in the Council of Lateran I .
II [1130–1143]—Bernard of Clairvaux succeeded in persuading the
monarchs to support the pope. But some cities, including
III [1159–1181]—Emperor Frederick Barbarossa
[1152–1190] made peace with the pope and he stopped appointing the line of
rival popes. The pope convened the Council of Lateran
III  which determined the method of papal election. It was decided
that the college of cardinals could elect the pope, with consultation with the
† 9.4.6 Innocent III [1198–1216]
· Most powerful pope: He became the most powerful pope in church history. He believed that he was the vicar of Christ, with supreme authority on earth. He believed that kings derived their authority from him. He would use excommunication (against the individuals, denial of sacraments) and interdict (a sort of general strike by the clergy, against the whole region, forbidding the clergy to perform any but the most essential services—no mass, no preaching, no burial on consecrated ground). He used and threatened to use the interdict 85 times. He published an authoritative edition of the canon law called the Decretum . It supported the idea of centralization of authority in one individual. He called and controlled the Council of Lateran IV  to affirm his absolute power.
countries: King Pedro II of
† 9.4.7 Council of Lateran IV 
· Doctrinal decisions:
o Transubstantiation: The council promulgated the doctrine of transubstantiation, which holds that in communion, the substance of the body and blood of Christ takes the place of the substance of the bread and wine. “The bread is transubstantiated into his body and the wine into his blood, by God’s power. This is so that we may receive of him what he has received of us (flesh and blood) in order to realize the mystery of unity (with him). No one can effect this sacrament except a duly ordained priest.”
◦ There was little attempt in the early church to define the body and blood of Christ in the communion. In 4th-c, there were 2 approaches: Augustine represented the “symbolic” tradition, and Ambrose represented the “conversion” approach. Both approaches were acceptable until 11th-c. Gradually, the conversion approach won leading to the decision in this council. Transubstantiation assisted in the pope’s claim to absolute power as only ordained priests can effect the conversion and all priests are controlled by the pope.
o Heresies: It condemned the Waldensians, the Albigensians, and the Joachimites.
o Inquisition: It instituted episcopal inquisition—every bishop should inquire as to the presence of heresy in his diocese, and destroy it.
· Decisions on practices:
o Clerical conduct: It ordered the clergy to abstain from theatre, games, hunting, and other such pastimes.
o Fees for service: It ruled that priests charging for the administration of sacraments is unlawful.
o Cathedral schools: It ordered that every cathedral have a school, and that education in such schools be open to the poor.
o New monastic orders: It determined that no new monastic orders with new rules could be founded.
o Penance: It decreed that all the faithful must confess their sins at least once a year. It warned priests against breaking the “seal of the confessional”—revealing sins that have been confessed to them in private. Guilty priests will be deposed from the priesthood and condemned to do lifelong penance in a monastery.
o Relics: It forbade the introduction of new relics without papal approval.
o Non-believers: It required all Jews and Muslims in Christian lands to wear distinctive garments that would set them apart from Christians.
· Control by pope: All these important decisions on complicated issues were made within 3 days. It is clear that most of these matters were not the result of the assembly’s deliberation but rather decisions of Innocent III.
 treasure our heritage
Obedience, discipline, and humility in the monastic orders are Biblical and important for Christian living.
 appreciate God’s providence
The church still survived even with so much papal corruption.
 avoid past errors
Corruption occurred when the church acted like a civil authority.
 apply our knowledge
Private control of ecclesiastical offices must not be allowed.
 follow past saints
The rejection of worldly possessions by the Franciscans can encourage us to live a simple life.
● What were the theological controversies in the 9th and 10th centuries?
o theory of adoption of the Son by the Father (adoptionists)—led by Elipandos
o predestination (as taught by Augustine)—rediscovered by Gottschalk yet he was condemned
o real presence of Christ in communion—invented by Radbertus
● What were the factors that led to the corruption of the papacy?
o using false documents to boost its power
o controlled by powerful families
o simony—buying and selling of ecclesiastical positions
● What were the main features of Benedictine monasticism? Should today’s Christians learn to practice them?
o Benedictine monasticism stressed physical labour, prayer, and study.
o They are good models that today’s Christians can learn to practice.
● What were the 4 main aspects of monastic reform?
o abolition of simony (buying and selling of ecclesiastic posts)
● What were the emphases in papal reform? What led to its failure?
o Reform: compulsory celibacy and abolition of simony
o Failure: because of possession of land and wealth
● What were the results of the conflicts between the ecclesiastic and civil authorities (popes vs Germanic emperors)?
The papacy turned to