17

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 on for more. In Misconceptions About the Middle Ages (page 66-7; ed. Harris and Grigsby), a description is given of the chairs' function in papal coronations: ...


16

On a historical note, as with Pope Joan story, this too never happened. These the two myths became connected in a well circulated rumor which what eye-witnesses to medieval papal coronations believed they were watching. The result was the often repeated report of a public rite always seen by others, never by the narrator. If Pope Joan story is not true, ...


15

Overall, general accessibility to books was difficult for two of the reasons you mention: The were extremely expensive to make According to this source, we have the report of a book taking four weeks to copy (by hand, of course, and costing "53 shillings." At that same point in time, a pig was 10 pence, meaning that one book would have been equivalent to ...


14

One could perhaps say that the dogmatic definition of papal infallibility as expressed at Vatican I is the Church's formal way of dealing with this tension. The case of Pope Honorius has of course been debated for centuries and was brought up prior to Vatican I as an argument against papal infallibility. The old Catholic Encyclopedia has a helpful summary of ...


11

I contacted the Valdensian Seminary in Rome and got this reply, from Lothar Vogel, professor of Church History: Dear Mr. Gunther, I thank you very much for your kind request and for your interest in Waldensian history. I can tell you that there are no sources concerning medieval Waldensian hymns or liturgies linked to Eucharistiv ...


10

My interpretation is that the answer is, "doctrinally, effectively, none." While I will definitely say that it seems like there was a good deal of effect on the politics of Italy (and, to a lesser extent, France) in the High Middle Ages, from a doctrinal perspective, it does not really seem to be terribly significant. And I say this for two particularly ...


10

Potential sources for this information include both written and visual accounts of the clergy. For the latter, we can look to illustrations in manuscripts, bearing in mind that the technical constraints of these illustrations mean that drawings may well be simplified in terms of colours and patterns. Also, artists may draw clergy as they "ought to be" rather ...


10

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 reincarnated to get another chance. Unfortunately to be a Perfect, you need to be inducted by another Perfect. Since there are no more Perfects, no-one can become one....


10

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 Hefele's Conciliengeschichte, volume IV, page 187. The first of these includes a very brief introduction in French, while the second has more extensive commentary ...


9

This is an important question. While we today decisively reject the terrible things that people in the past thought and did, we should not shy away from recognizing what they did and why. And as Christians we must be honest about the role of religion and the church. The "Middle Ages" covers a thousand years and the whole of Europe - and Jewish life varied ...


9

You would have been excommunicated by the church and shunned by the community. But then again, for some individuals, the solace that comes from "having the courage of your convictions" and "being right" may have made that option more palatable (see de Tocquville below). People would have thought you odd, and possibly a public health hazard. (After all, God ...


9

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 engaged in maintaining a simple, prayerful life in an enclosed community, and are therefore found much more towards the contemplative end of the spectrum. The ...


8

St. Thomas Beckett - 1170 - assassinated at a church for annoying the king who made him Archbishop. St. Bernard and companions - 1226 - killed by the Moors Bl. Charles the Good - 1127 - killed at church after stopping black marketers St. Stanislaus - 1079 - killed after excommunicating a wicked king. St. Elphege - 1012 - killed by Danish invaders for ...


8

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. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Phase 1: clear support of it St. Thomas's clearest support of the Immaculate Conception is in his commentary (1252-6) on Peter ...


7

Well, only the Catholic and Orthodox churches existed during the times of the crusade. So, most major Protestant groups tend to wash their hands of the whole matter since they didn't exist at the time. The Catholic church specifically, has apologized for the Crusades (back in 2000) and seems to carry a sense of shame about the whole event. The event ...


7

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 not. After all, Scripture is a revolutionary thing, and if the working classes (peasantry) became to well versed in exactly what the Bible teaches, they might be ...


7

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 had been elected. This constitution which inflicted certain material privations on the cardinals if the election was too long delayed, was suspended in 1276 by ...


7

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. The occasional cases in which wives left their husbands to enter a convent were less likely to provoke discord. Such women as left husband and children to ...


6

I'm addressing all of the inquisitions, not merely the Spanish Inquisition here. Several were perpetrated by kings, not the Catholic Church. I agree with the other answers that state that the Inquisition is a stain and an evil that should never have happened. None of what I'm posting here should be taken in any way that detracts from @James Black's answer,...


6

A book during that period cost more than most people earned during a year or more. Only exceptionally rich people owned any books. Books were copied by hand back then. It's only when the printing press was invented that normal folks could afford books. There were some murmurings within the church about letting commoners read the Bible themselves, but little ...


6

Some early forms of Rosary were known before 1200, although they were probably not as popular as from 13th century on. Jesus prayer popular in Orthodox church was definitely known. Angelus is prayed outside monasteries since 13th century. Way of the Cross is even younger. Wikipedia article on novena is a stub and brief search didn't find anything much better,...


6

The era of the Crusades certainly coincides with a dramatic increase in the authority of the Pope, both in practical terms and in the development of doctrine. It is a bit hard to untangle how much of this is due to the Crusades themselves. First, a word of warning! It is very easy to slip into anachronistic habits when thinking about the medieval papacy. It ...


6

Summary: The answer boils down to a matter of whether the Catholic Church should retain the power to dictate what is "truth" or not. Longer answer: The Catholic Church was used to have a monopoly on the interpretation of the Bible, and since God was the ultimate authority and truth, in practice the church had the monopoly on all kinds of truths in ...


6

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 customs. The first available written detailed account of a Christian wedding in the West dates only from the 9th century and appears to be identical to the old ...


6

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 they correctly reflect Apostolic teaching. Eastern Christian theology is not based so much on the former as the latter. The Pseudo-Dionysian corpus was not so ...


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