The Dark Ages and the Petrine Doctrine


My professor made a couple statements today about the “dark ages” and the Papacy that unnerved me. On account of the power of the papacy prior to 1100, he said that nowhere was the the Bishop of Rome looked up to as a head of the Church. Immediatley I recalled an instance where Innocent I was confronted by Augustine and 5 other Bishops as to a statement on the claims put forth by Pelagism. He of course declares them heretical( and then Pelagius twisted his view a lil thereafter.) He seemed to equate the real power of the papcy in politics, and this leading up to the Crusades, which is understandable, but was Europe really so dark, and divided? He had condescending statements as to how low the mass had sunk. He claimed that the “table of the lord” was turned against the people (unlike, he says, the early disciples who had it towards the people)and the people were illiterate, and the majority of priest would mumble and not understand the mass in latin. Was the priesthood really in this much decay, and were Catholics christians for reasons unknown even to themselves. (comparing to the zeal of the first centuries?)

One final thing he presented was that in the early monastic traditions such as the Benedictines and Augustinians, there was a denial of self. But he equated this to a “lack of value for human life”. which proably unnerved me more than anything. But whatever, I just would like to know what you guys think on these subjects.

If it is true and historic, I will accept it, although it all sounded slightly skewed to me.
(I attend a secular instituion, the title of the class is Augustine and Aquinas, and the teacher is a non-believer-- in God)


i will address the “mumbling” part.

many people of that time did not read and did not understand latin. they knew the concepts of what happened at the mass. which is why we actually get a phrase today from this period that arose out of not understanding the words. “hocus pocus” is a term that came out of people misunderstanding “hocus corpus meum” (this is my body). it became associated with magic because the people understood the concept that at these words, something mystical took place (i.e. the bread and wine becoming the body and blood).

the church was not in a good place in the “dark ages”. read “How the Irish Saved Civilization”. it addresses some of the things you are asking.


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