The Challenge of the Church in History Chapter #6 “The Church, The Sacrament of God’s Grace” 3 Periods 1. The period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30130) 2. The period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) 3. The period of global Christianity (1960present) The Period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30-130) We tend to look at the first period of the Church as a time of great enthusiasm and joy. Those baptized in the name of Jesus were eager to put the words and the deeds of Jesus into practice. They shared possessions. Some went so far as to sell everything to help the poor and to create a community of equals. The Period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30-130) Thanks to Saint Paul and others, the church spread rapidly beyond the walls of Jerusalem and out into the gentile world. The early Christians of Jewish ancestry were known as “The Way” and as Christianity spread into the pagan Greek and Roman parts of the world, it encountered some “growing pains” The Period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30-130) There was a small but influential group in Christianity called the “Juadizers” who wanted to retain the strict Jewish flavour and expression of this New Covenant Faith. New “Gentile” converts were often expected to follow many strict dietary laws or restrictions, observe laws of ritual purity, and be subject to circumcision (if male) before their profession of faith and initiation into the Faith was recognized by this Jerusalem based group. The Period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30-130) This demand created hardships for Gentile converts as the Church continued to spread outside the confines of Jerusalem. Many Christian missionaries, including Saint Paul himself, did not agree with these impositions placed on new converts and Baptisms continued in the Gentile world. An Ecumenical Council was soon called in Jerusalem to settle this dispute. The Period of Jewish Christianity (AD 30-130) The Council of Jerusalem 50-58AD under the leadership and authority of Saint Peter decided that Gentile converts need not follow strict dietary regulations, ritual purification laws, and male circumcision to become full members of the Christian Church. The Church had now definitively established herself as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) In 70AD, the Temple and much of Jerusalem had been destroyed and by the second century there were few historical traces of the original Church. The church continued to spread in a world dominated politically by an intolerant regime in Rome and in a world culturally dominated by Greece. The early Church was outlawed and persecuted for 250 years by the Romans. The extreme severity of these persecutions was sporadic but the attacks were relentless. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) The Roman Emperor, Constantine, ended persecutions in 313AD by proclaiming the Edict of Milan. Shortly afterward, Christianity was not only tolerated, but in fact received imperial favour. This new reality and encounter with this Greek/Roman world presented all sorts of ethical and theological questions. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) 1. 2. 3. 4. Accepted as the religion of the Holy Roman Empire, it was not long before Christianity was exposed to Greek philosophy ( First 2-5 centuries with its many unfettered ideas) and the core beliefs of the faith were threatened and the creed challenged. Threats to the central faith of the Church came from: Gnosticism Arianism Pelagianism Donatism Gnosticism Gnosticism is the theory of salvation by knowledge. They believed that they alone had the secret knowledge about God, humanity, and the universe. The Gnostics were disciples of various pantheistic sects that existed long before Christ. For them, matter is hostile to spirit. They professed a dualism of body and spirit. Spirit is Divine and good and the body is evil. Gnostisim The Gnostics professed a conjugation of divine powers. God was seen as too pure, ultimately unknowable and too perfect to have anything to do with the material universe. For the Gnostics, the God of the “Old Testament” and the Jews is actually a lessor god “Demiurges” who is violent, jealous, and evil. Gnosticism Generally the Gnostics believed in many created supernatural finite beings which battled for supremacy and the ear of the human. Sophia was one such supernatural finite beings whose task was to plant the seed of light, knowledge, and truth in some select people (gnostics). Other lesser supernatural finite beings (the Archons) kept mortals in bondage to the material world. Gnosticism Jesus was seen as a revealer or liberator who spread knowledge which would free humanity from Demiurges and allow humanity to return to their spiritual home. Gnostics deny the Incarnation. Gnostics borrowed what suited them from the authentic Gospels and wrote new gospels of their own. They denied objective revelation. (Preferred their secretive pantheistic version). Gnosticism The gospel of Thomas is a well known Gnostic gospel. Many a “Hollywood” movie has been based on the creative falsehoods of this and other Gnostic gospels. Arianism Arianism is a fourth century heresy that denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. It was authored by “Arius” (256-336AD), a priest of Alexandria, who in 318 AD began to teach the heresy that bears his name. Arianism Arius challenged the revealed truth of the Blessed Trinity and the Redemptive actions of Christ. Arius taught that Jesus is not consubstantial with the Father nor is He of the same substance as the Father. Jesus is not co-eternal and equal in all things with the Father but only a creature made out of nothing like all other created beings. Arianism In a word, Jesus was considered the adopted son of God, a kind of “demiurge”. Arianism reduces the power and gift of the “Incarnation” to a just a figure of speech. Arianism struck at the very foundation of Christianity. Both Arius and Arianism were condemned at the council of Nicaea 325AD. Arianism and the Council of Nicaea The Bishops at the Council of Nicaea signed a creed that answered the challenges of Arius. “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,; begotten, not created, consubstantial (homousion) with the Father”. Arianism Since the fifth century, some Arian churches have remained in existence in many countries, although many were absorbed by Islam. A principle tenet of these churches is the recognition that Jesus is the Messiah but a denial that he is the natural son of God. Arianism, in that it denied the divinity of Jesus, expressed a theology very much like the “unitarianism” of Muhammad and Islam. Pelagianism Pelagianism is a 5th century Heresy that attacked the need for supernatural Grace for salvation. It was propagated by an Irish/English Monk named Pelagius (355425AD). Pelagianism Pelagianism puts special emphasis on human free will. It argued that when St. Augustine and others insisted on the necessity of Grace for Salvation, the perfection of being, and chastity, that this imperiled man’s use of his free will. It also teaches that mankind will not die because of the sin of Adam nor rise on the Last Day because of Christ’s redemption. Pelagianism Pelagianism has never really left the church. This heresy is alive and well in the attitude so prevalent in the modern world that proclaims that humans can do what is needed for their salvation or their well being all by themselves with no need for Sacraments, no real need for the Grace of God, and no real need for the Church. Pelagianism totally denies the supernatural order and the necessity of Divine Grace for Salvation. Donatism Donatism was a 4th century heresy which denied the efficacy of the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance. It was led by Magnus Donatus. Donatism The church at this time was being severely persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian between 303 and 310 AD. Christian Scriptures, Sacred Vessels, were being burned. Christians were butchered and put to death for their faith. Priests and Bishops were special targets. Donatism Christians were forced to reject their faith and Bishops and Priests on pain of death were asked to burn incense to pagan idols in their churches. During the persecution, some Bishops and Priests and laity had publically fallen away from their faith out of fear for their lives. They had apostatized (renounced or denied their faith). They became known as traitors (Traditores) Donatism In 312, Donatist Bishops refused to accept as valid the consecration of the Bishop of Carthage (one of the consecrating bishops was a traitor: Schism) Donatist believed that traitors or apostates had to be re-baptised. Donatists believed that the efficacy of Sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister. Donatism The Donatists claimed that all the Sacraments administered or offered by apostates (including the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) were invalid. Donatists also claimed that the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance would not benefit them and they could not be forgiven. St. Augustine dealt effectively with this heresy. Donatism The Church condemned such teaching as false and as an attack on the efficacy of Christ’s Redemptive Love. Grace is necessary and effective and the Credo of the Church reflected this. (Council of Nicaea) Donatism The lavabo at the offertory at Mass is a visible reminder that the efficacy of any Sacrament (including the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) is not depend on the character of the minister. Priest repeats Psalm 25 Period of Greek and European Christianity (50- 1964 AD) Christian thinkers such as Origen, Athanasius, Tertullian and Augustine used Plato's philosophy, or neo-Platonism, as a tool to make the gospel understandable and to explain theological concepts. Period of Greek and European Christianity (50- 1964 AD) This philosophy introduced into Christianity ways of thinking, language and images that were closer to the Greek thinking than to the Jewish tradition. Whereas the Jews did not permit pictorial representations of God, Christians began very early to create statues, paintings and icons of Jesus. Period of Greek and European Christianity (50- 1964 AD) Iconoclasm was a heresy that rejected as superstition the use of religious images and advocated their removal and destruction. It was occasioned by the rise of Islam, which like Judaism, considers all sacred images idolatrous. Period of Greek and European Christianity (50- 1964 AD) Islam pressured Emperor Leo the Isaurian in 726 to outlaw religious images and helped precipitate a crisis in the church over the veneration of Icons and the presence of Statues. The Second Council of Nicaea in 787 defended the lawful display and veneration of these Sacred Images. This Council affirmed that respect shown them really is given to the person they represent. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) The encounter with Islam and the rediscovery of Greek philosophy and civilization (8-13 centuries) Until the 13th Century Plato’s philosophy influenced catholic theology. Thomas Aquinas rediscovered the writings of Aristotle. With this rediscovery began a rich period of expressing the Christian message with the aid of Aristotle's theories of knowledge and metaphysics. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) Christianity divided. There are two historical divisions in church history: 1. “Schism” (East verses West) 1054 AD 2. “Protestant Reformation” 1538-1545 AD The Great Schism 1054 AD This Schism was largely spearheaded by the supercilious (arrogant condescending scornful) and ambitious “Michael Caerularius”, the Patriarch of Constantinople (10431058 AD). Since 4th century, there were five major cities that comprised Christianity. Eastern Cites Western Cities Jerusalem (Mother Church) Antioch (Syria) Alexandria (Egypt) Constantinople (Turkey) Rome (Italy) Background to the Schism Because of Global politics, Barbarian Invasions and natural geography, Rome in the west became increasingly isolated from the Eastern Churches. Cultural and Liturgical differences became magnified over time. Differences; A question of Emphasis Eastern Churches (Orthodox) Roman or Latin Churches Diversity in Faith expression (Ethnic and regional differences. Multiplicity in Languages of worship. Consecrated leavened Bread at Mass. Uniformity in faith expression. Use of Latin alone in Liturgy. Consecration of unleavened Bread at Mass. Focus on worship. (Mystery) Holy Spirit provided Guidance. Focus on Doctrine. (Certainty) Law(s) make things clear. Married Clergy Celibate Clergy Unity in the Eucharist. Unity in the Pope. Laity centered. Clergy centered. Focus on the mystery of the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus. Focus on the Incarnation and the humanity of Jesus. Sacraments are passive experiences, let God work. Sacraments are active encounters with the risen Lord. The Great Schism 1054 AD There was a long standing “anti-Latin” sentiment in the Eastern churches (particularly in Constantinople) which stemmed from differences in Liturgical practices and the fact that Rome had changed the Nicene Creed (The Filioque Clause) without consultation from the church leaders in the East. Patriarch Michael Caerularius exploited this discontent and instigated the quarrel with Rome. The Great Schism 1054 AD Caerularius sent provocative letters to the Pope and Bishops in the West and a letter to his fellow Patriarchs stating his vehement opposition to the Latin customs. i) Consecrating unleavened Bread ii) Clerical Celibacy iii) Fasting on Saturdays The Great Schism 1054 AD He called the Latin’s hypocrites, dirty dogs, liars, and schismatics in his letter to fellow Patriarchs! He then closed all Latin Churches in Constantinople including the Church of the Papal Legate. His Chancellor broke open Latin Tabernacles and desecrated the Blessed Eucharist. He stomped them under foot! The Great Schism 1054 AD Pope Leo IX wrote back to Caerularius defending the Latin customs and the rights of the Holy See reminding the Patriarch that most of the heresies came from the east. He sent three papal legates to the East (including Cardinal Humbert). The Emperor in the East (Constantine IX) received the papal delegates with honour and respect and wanted to amicably heal the growing rift. (The pope and he were good friends) The Great Schism 1054 AD Patriarch Michael Caerularuis was indignant that the legates broke with protocol and did not first prostrate themselves before him and called the legates “insolent, boastful, arrogant, and stupid”. Ignored them for months. Cardinal Humbert from the Emperor’s place, wrote defenses of the Latin customs and the rights of the Holy See convincing one of the Patriarchs to accept these customs. The Great Schism 1054 AD Patriarch Michael Caerularius thereafter declared “open schism” by provocatively removing the Pope’s name from his diptychs. (A diptych is a sort of notebook, used for correspondence and liturgies) The Great Schism 1054 AD Without the Pope’s knowledge or approval, Cardinal Humbert prepared a “Bull of Excommunication” against Patriarch Caerularius and his followers and placed it on the altar of Sancta Sophia (Hagia Sophia) on July 16th 1054 AD. The Great Schism 1054 AD Pariarch Michael Caerularius then jointly “Excommunicated” the papal legates and all those in communion with Rome. The “schism” was in full bloom! Pope Leo IX had died months before making Humbert’s excommunication invalid. There was an attempt at the Council of Lyons 1274AD to heal this schism but this remedy was not accepted nor ratified by the laity in the east. The Great Schism 1054 AD These joint “excommunications” were lifted in 1962 at the Second Vatican Council. This schism was largely accidental and amounted to a separation within the church It is not a fracture or break as would happen if the dispute was theological, doctrinal, or from a heresy. The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation centuries later is a fracture and break in the church because the dispute is theological and doctrinal. This fracture between Catholic and Protestant Christians was so acrimonious that it led to several bloody religious wars in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation was led by an Augustinian Catholic Priest from Wittenberg in northern Germany by the name of Martin Luther. Causes of the Protestant Reformation i) ii) iii) The “Black Death” wiped out large segments of the European population. Many clergy were poorly educated, some faithless. Many Dioceses were without Bishops. Immorality among some clergy Causes of the Protestant Reformation “Simony” (The buying and selling of Sacred Christian objects) The selling of “Indulgences”(remission of punishment for sin) was one method used by some Bishops to raise money for themselves and Rome. Many people were indifferent to the politics and by their own volition ignorant of the contents the Bible. Causes of the Protestant Reformation Those few who knew the Bible and their faith suspected that some of these practices seemed to be wrong. Loss of focus among many of the faithful. Some people were more concerned about seeking out and venerating relics than being a good Christian. Politics! The three Major Principles of the Protestant Reformation #1 “SOLA SCRIPTURA” SCRIPTURE ALONE was considered to be the FINAL authority on Church teaching and practices. (Paper Pope) Luther insisted on the absolute AUTHORITY and SUPREMACY of the Bible. The three Major Principles of the Protestant Reformation #2 “SOLA FIDEI” Salvation is achieved by “FAITH ALONE”! No need for God’s Grace and Good Deeds for one’s salvation. The three Major Principles of the Protestant Reformation #3 The “PRIESTHOOD of ALL BELEIVERS” For Luther, there was no need for Sacramental Priesthood (Pope, Bishops and Priests) Luther attacked the power of the Pope, the Mass, the Sacraments, and the Priesthood. Differences between Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches #1 Apostolic Succession and Authority: Protestants have no central authority save that of the Bible. Little or no unity. Churches of individuals. Catholics have unity in Eucharist and Pope and proclaim four elements of Apostolic Authority. Differences between Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches #2 Unity of the Eucharist;Mass;Sacramental Priesthood. Protestantism focuses on Pulpit not the Altar. Protestantism focuses on “Royal Priesthood with no sacramental priesthood (Exception: Anglicanism) Protestants have a communal meal of the last supper. Eucharist largely symbolic. Lutheranism (Consubstantiation) Catholicism (Transubstantiation) The Vernacular Bible A prevailing false assumption (still with us today) is the belief that Luther and Protestantism gave the Christian world the first vernacular Bible. The 1st printed Bible was produced with the authority of the catholic church by a catholic named Johann Gutenberg in 1455AD. There were 626 vernacular editions of the Bible with the blessing of the Catholic church before Luther. (8th through 16th century) The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) European empire Between 1492 and the end of the Second World War, Europe colonized virtually every continent in the world. Colonialism spread its mercantile forms, its laws, its religion, its civilization everywhere it went. The Church, directed by Christ’s command to go and teach all nations (Matthew 28.19), participated in this expansion and began to evangelize the world by implanting the Church on every continent. The Period of Greek and European Christianity (AD 50-1964) The “Age of Rationalism” & the modern world Rationalism was a great counter-movement to the vision of the Church and began in the seventeenth century. This period was characterized by a refusal to accept any authority that could not justify itself using reason. The age of Rationalism had an enormous impact on the Church, which bases its vision on Revelation, Faith, and Reason. Faith in God and the revealed truths of and from the supernatural have been deemed to be outdated and not relevant. We live now in the secular world of the individual driven by the “dictatorship of relativism” and “atheism”. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) The church is the Body of Christ and the Holy Spirit abides in and guides her. There is a visible and invisible dimension in her. Despite its high calling to be an agent of God’s Love and Presence, the church shows its human reality in all its historical ambiguity. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) The world of the third period is becoming global. A true world Church – a global church is emerging. Local cultures and practices are embraced. The Church is no longer dominated by one culture. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) During the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI asked God’s pardon for what members of the church had done in the past. He focused on events that led up to the Schism between the Eastern and Western Church. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) In March 2000, Blessed Pope John Paul II asked for healing and reconciliation for offenses perpetrated in the second millennium of Christianity including the historical divisions among Christians, intolerance, and antiJewish attitudes. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) Since Vatican II, the church has been concerned with restoring unity among all Christians (ecumenism) and healing old wounds from the sins of history. Pope John Paul II historic symbolic entry into 3rd millennium. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) On November 4th 2009, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the Apostolic Constitution: “Anglicanorium Coetibus” (Group of Anglicans) which establishes the mechanisms for allowing former Anglicans (Bishops and Priests) into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Period of Global Christianity (1960-present) Since this time many Anglican Bishops and Priests have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Many more are on the way, the Church is becoming more universal as old wounds are healed.