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What Christians connected the occurrence of the Great Schism* and the Crab Nebula Supernova, which both occurred around the middle of 1054 A.D.?

This question is not about Christians speculating in astrology—a form of divination, which is unlawful foreknowledge of future events.**

This question is related to how Christians have applied Genesis 1:14,

…let them [i.e., the stars] be for signs…

to the 1054 supernova—namely, how they saw the supernova as a sign, not of a future event, but of, for example, God's displeasure at the Great Schism.


* Also called the "Eastern Schism" or "East-West Schism"

** St. Thomas Aquinas defines astrology as when "one desires to foreknow the future that cannot be forecast by their [i.e., the stars'] means." (Summa Theologica II-II q. 95 a. 5, "Whether divination by the stars is unlawful?"). Basically, "to know with certitude future human actions" by means of the stars is unlawful because humans have freewill, which the influence of the stars cannot take away; "to foreknow those future things that are caused by heavenly bodies" is "neither an unlawful nor a superstitious divination." (ibid., corpus).

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    This question probably won't be successful unless you can provide some background and ask a specific question about faith or practice within Christianity. As most Christians refrain from searching for significance in the stars, this is akin to asking a mathematician, "did anyone else make the connection between the big dipper and the polynomial (x -(0))*(x -(-1 + 5i))*(x - 4)*(x - (5 +5i))*(x - (10 + 5i))*(x -(8+ 7i))?" Astrology is not really relevant in Christianity. – Andrew Jul 12 '15 at 20:17
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    @Andrew Really? So why did the wise men follow the star which led to the Messiah? And what does it mean in Genesis 1:14 "... and let them be for signs ..."? – Stephen Montgomery-Smith Jul 12 '15 at 21:12
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    I think you need to show that someone would bother. Many things occur around the same time as something else. In fact, everything occurs around the same time as something else. Why should anybody connect these two things? – 3961 Jul 12 '15 at 21:54
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    @StephenMontgomery-Smith Okay, excuse my ignorance. Those are the kinds of things that should be in your question, so people like me can see that there is a reasonable likelihood one would/should connect these events. – 3961 Jul 12 '15 at 22:15
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    @StephenMontgomery-Smith I said sorry for not knowing enough about this and suggested those things should be in your post to prevent confusion. Then you say "No, my suspicion is that you are looking at the question from your rather narrow perspective of what constitutes a respectable theologian." That came off as rude. This is also rude "If you don't know the answer, just ignore the question." If someone sees an issue with your question it is inappropriate to tell them to just go away then. – 3961 Jul 12 '15 at 22:30
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The Chicago Tribune has an article that proposes some theories on why the observation of the supernova went mostly unnoticed in Europe. The article mentions the significance of the date with respect to the Church:

Another reason the lack of records of the supernova is so puzzling is that 12 days after it first appeared in the sky, the Christian church began its final East-West split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Astronomical events were believed to foreshadow developments on Earth, making it unlikely that the appearance of a new star so near the time of such a major event would go unrecorded.

This source seems to imply that the contemporary sources who might have commented were silent on the matter.

The connection, however, has not been lost on everyone. This letter on fivedoves.com relates the two events intimately, though perhaps presumptuously:

In heaven, the Great Schism of 1054 AD is marked by a supernova explosion creating the beautiful Crab Nebula and witnessed visually by both Chinese and European astronomers. The supernova appeared visible to the unaided human eye during daylight hours in July 1054 at approximately the same time as the eastern bishops voted to remove themselves from communion with the Roman Bishopric.

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  • This is a great answer. So why are you trashing the question? (Also, how did you find the answer. I tried various google combinations, and found nothing.) – Stephen Montgomery-Smith Jul 12 '15 at 22:13
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    I googled "crab nebula and the church". Personally I am interested in these sorts of things, but for this site it's not a great question as asked. – Andrew Jul 12 '15 at 22:15
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    That I got such a fine answer shows that this site is a great source for this kind of information. – Stephen Montgomery-Smith Jul 12 '15 at 22:19
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    I'm happy I could help! – Andrew Jul 12 '15 at 22:23

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