17 votes
Accepted

Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

The chair was real, but its actual function is different from what the legend says. And actually, it seems to have been three chairs: one "commode"-type seat, and two porphyry "pierced" chairs. Read ...
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10 votes

Are there any followers of Catharism today?

Full followers of Catharism were known as 'Perfects'. They would commit to a specific ascetic lifestyle, and would on their death ascend to heaven. Other lesser followers of Catharism would be ...
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9 votes
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Where can I find the text of the documents produced at the Council of Quiercy (853)?

I've found two sources online for the Latin text, but unfortunately nothing in English. The Latin is available in Gousset's Les actes de la province ecclésiastique de Reims, page 233, as well as ...
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9 votes

Did medieval European monasticism provide a release from certain societal pressures?

Monasticism is frequently associated with "the contemplative life", as opposed to "the active life". While there are many different kinds of monastics, an important subset is those who are chiefly ...
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9 votes
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What is the basis for saying that Aquinas accepted the Immaculate Conception?

St. Thomas's views on the Immaculate Conception went through three phases.cf. also ch. 2, art. 2, § "St. Thomas and the Immaculate Conception" of Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life by Fr. ...
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  • 32.7k
7 votes

What is the case against seeing the Medieval Catholic Church as oppressive?

I think, as is often the case, that in some times and places, the Church was co-opted by the Aristocracy. While the Church certainly had a vested interest in promoting learning, the Aristocracy did ...
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  • 5,607
7 votes
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When and how can a pope revoke the decrees of an ecumenical council?

Faith and Morals/Discipline Gregory X, to avoid a repetition of the too lengthy vacancies of the papal see, caused it to be decided that the cardinals should not leave the conclave till the pope ...
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  • 7,327
7 votes
Accepted

How was Queen Keran, wife of Leo II of Armenia, able to become a nun?

While not specific to Queen Keran's situation, this section from Medievel English Nunneries 1 may provide some clues. Motives for taking the veil: a refuge for widows and occasionally for wives. ...
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  • 1,626
6 votes

Why were Pseudo-Dionysius's works accepted as authentic for so long?

I think that a distinction needs to be drawn between authentic in the sense that the works were historically authentic (i.e. indeed written by the Dionysius of Acts) and authentic in the sense that ...
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  • 5,382
6 votes

Why did the medieval church become involved with marriage?

Before the Middle Ages, the Western Christian church did not really care about marriage? For most of Church history, matrimony had been celebrated without clergy and was done according to local ...
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6 votes
Accepted

What was the basis for saying that 11th-century Greek churches were "rebaptizing" Latins?

Some Greeks were rebaptizing Latins. While this does not seem to have been the universal position of the Orthodox Church in XI Century, some of the Eastern clergy objected to the Latin method of ...
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  • 3,538
6 votes
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How did Pope Urban II justify the first Crusade?

It is true that in the Ten Commandments we read that it is not permitted to kill. But we do have a duty to protect ourselves and our neighbors in times of war or persecution. The helpless needed to be ...
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  • 53.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Historical Apologetic used by 7th Century Christians towards Early Muslims Regarding the Hypostatic Union and Jesus' Title "Son of God"

James White discusses this in What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an. Here is the relevant quote with some emphasis added: One early source, the Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ’...
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  • 975
5 votes

Why did the medieval church become involved with marriage?

This question is somewhat misleading because it makes no distinction between a Sacrament that does not necessarily require formal distribution by the Church (ex: Marriage, Baptism and Penance) and a ...
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  • 709
5 votes

Were plenary indulgences issued during the crusades, as indicated by Dan Brown?

In the history of indulgences, the "Crusade Indulgence" is known as the first official plenary indulgence. Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code certainly stated several untruths about the teachings of ...
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  • 53.2k
5 votes

Are there any followers of Catharism today?

Does the group Cathars exist today? There is a group that call themselves "The Assembly of good Christians". They make the claim that they are a remnant of the ancient heterodox Cathars. They self-...
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5 votes

Could a lowborn during the middle ages read the bible?

Rev John O'Brien wrote in The Faith of Millions* that in the Middle Ages (1000s to renaissance) the Bible was chained in various churches so it would be accessible to the greatest number of people. ...
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5 votes
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Did the Bull, Unam Sanctam, authorize/promote Christian aggression by the "temporal sword"?

Pope Boniface VIII said there are two swords: Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the ...
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5 votes

What did the commisioning of the preaching of crusades involve?

It doesn't appear that there was a formal "commissioning" of any sort. Most of the information that follows is actually summarized from articles on Wikipedia (on Louis VII of France, Bernard of ...
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5 votes
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Who were the Black Canons on the Augustinian Priory of Inchmahome in Scotland?

"Black Canons" is another name for Augustinian canons regular. They are "black" because of their habit, according to the OED: black canon n. [from the colour of the habit worn; compare post-...
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  • 32.7k
4 votes

When and why did the Catholic Church stop the Crusades?

(TL;DR): Well, the Catholic Church didn't call a stop to the Crusades. It is the crusaders themselves who gave up after the failure of the siege of Tunis. As user13992 said, Crusades "stopping," we ...
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4 votes

What is the "city of seven hills" in St. Malachy's Popes Prophecy?

What is the "city of seven hills" in St. Malachy's Popes Prophecy? The problem with prophecies in general is that it is almost impossible to know the correct interpretation(s) to them until ...
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  • 53.2k
4 votes

Is the Church a business?

It is true that some organisations, historically, calling themselves by the name of Jesus Christ, have made a lot of money, have invested a lot of money and now own considerable wealth and property. ...
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  • 19k
3 votes

What is the case against seeing the Medieval Catholic Church as oppressive?

The answer is Europe and the Faith by Hilaire Belloc. He consistently and logically argues that the fallacy that you bring up is a result of collusion between the the North Germans who think their ...
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  • 33.3k
3 votes

What is the case against seeing the Medieval Catholic Church as oppressive?

The Catholic Church—since at least the time of Charlemagne, his tutor Alcuin of York, et al.—promoted learning, established parochial schools, and laid the foundations of the modern university. The ...
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  • 32.7k
3 votes

What is an open atheist's fate in the Middle Ages in Christian Europe?

A noted scholar of Christianity, Alec Ryrie, in his lecture "How to be an Atheist in Medieval Europe" points out unbelief was not a hypothetical situation in Middle Ages. Though it's worth ...
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3 votes

How could a seventh-century heretic have possessed papal infallibility?

Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I, 17.I, summarizes Roman Catholic response to this question as follows: Roman Catholics have defended Honorius's orthodoxy (and so papal infallibility) by ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Was Emperor St. Justinian an Aphthartodocetist?

Historians widely agree that Justinian did indeed issue an edict imposing aphthartodocetism (the idea that Jesus's body was always incorruptible), citing the testimony you quoted from Evagrius ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Did John Wycliffe accept extreme unction?

To answer your question about 'extreme unction' Gillets summarizes it best under the phrase 'qualified sense' The seven sacraments of the church were all admitted, though in a qualified sense, by ...
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