Monday, June 27, 2011

Rome's Christian Legacy

Prepared by: Allia Yunus

As Roman rule began to fail in Western Europe, the Christian Church took on a political and cultural role as well as spiritual one. By 600 much of Europe was Christian owing to the activities of early missionaries. The church was now the only major institution to preserve its authority from Roman times, and almost the only unifying and civilising influence in Europe. From the 9th century its prestige and power were enhance by association with the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne and his succesors.

Relatiosn between the popes and Holy Roman emperors deteriorated during the Middle Ages, and the Existence of an alternative Roman tradition in the Byzantine east led to the separation of Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Crusaders against the Byzantine's Muslim enemies. Factional strife in Rome led to the removal of the papacy to Avignon (1309-77), and then to the Great Schism (1378-1417), when there were Rival popes in Rome and Avignon

The authority of the pope was restored in the Renaissance, but marred by family ambitions, decadence and corruption that helped to fuel the Reformation

Who's who among the missionaries of Europe

St.Paul (d.c.67)- Paul had the privileges of a Roman citizen. He travelled widely, taking the Christian message to Aegean islands, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy and possibly Spain.

St Columba (c. 521-97)- Columba was abbot of lona, which became a centre of Celtic Christianity.

St Columban (c.540-615)- The Irish missionary monk Columban took Christianity to the pagan Franks and established monastic centres of noted asceticism in France and nothern Italy

St Augustine of Canterbury (d. 605)- A Benedictine prior, Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory I to evangelise Britain in 597. He became the first archbishop of Canterbury.

St Boniface (675-754)- The English-born monk Bonifac was called the 'Apostle of Germany'. Appointed as archhishop of Mainz in 751, he was killed preaching in Friesland..

(Sources:Facts at your fingertips page 178)