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During  this era, the indissolubility of marriage was re-emphasized. Thus, the easy access to annulments these days are in direct opposition to the ancient practice of the Catholic Church (Council of Carthage, 407). 

The monks, who used to be the light and life of the Church, became the source of scandals. St. Jerome, a champion of monastic life, spoke vehemently against such monks. So the Council of Chalcedon in 451 reiterated the behavior expected of monks. Aside from the quest for holiness that they had vowed, they were not to interfere in secular affairs and observe the ancient practice prohibiting marriage. A large number of the Eastern monks left the Catholic Church. 

It was during this era that the Blessed Virgin Mary, though recognized as the greatest among the saints, took her proper place in both the liturgy of the East and West...up to the present. 

At this time, too, the Church held sway over most of Europe and the Middle East. They had the leisure of discussing what they did not understand...which was disastrous. Not understanding what they were discussing, many fell into heresies. Then there were the barbarians that crossed Christendom. 

But slowly, the barbarians became Christians. The Pope replaced the Emperor as Pontifex Maximus. Rome became the center of a new civilization. By the next century, the year 500, Europe would be united by the Catholic Church and every important city of the Empire would be known as a Bishop's See. 






(updated 03-12-02)


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