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THE YEARS 500 - 1000 A.D.

The years 500 - 1000 in the history of the Catholic Church began with the conversion of King Clovis. Charlemagne began an era that would eventually create a Europe where Church and State were united. It would be the only time that a continent was so united under Regnum et Sacerdotium...the most perfect form of society as envisioned by St. Augustine's City of God. 

Here, both Church and State rested on the same ultimate basis of divine authority; both were quickened by the consciousness of a common  faith; and both, however inconsistent, self-seeking or disloyal, were, in the last analysis, inspired by the Catholic Tradition. "To be European was to be Christian," was the saying. 

Every barbaric tribe that invaded Christian Europe was eventually assimilated into the Christian Faith. Yet it cannot be said that these centuries were growth years for the Catholic Church. In fact, an evil omen began emerging in the great schism of the  Eastern Church that would divide the Church into two. 

But as is always the case, a renewal was begun among the monastic orders which remained the bulwark of the Church during that lawless and wicked age. 

The year 1000 saw the papacy a booty of contending Italian lay factions and the government of the Church  was in complete disarray. 

It took a king, Otto the Great, to begin a renewal in the Church. Then his grandson, Otto III, who became Pope Gregory V, began what would be the Golden Age of Christianity in Europe. 






(updated 03-12-02)


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