Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, April 30, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
4/29/2013 9:37:00 AM
Historian argues successfully that West grew from chaotic 10th century
This is the cover of
This is the cover of "The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century" by Brian Welter.
Catholic News Service


In "The Birth of the West," historian Paul Collins successfully highlights the tendency toward integration present among the 10th century's violent disintegration.

First the disintegration: Monarchs held on by the skin of their teeth, as they had no real administration or concept of statecraft. Politics therefore returned to the local and often to the barbaric. Warlords waged constant campaigning across Europe, with power as the only currency.

Even the papacy had lost sight of the larger picture of Christendom. The biggest problem it faced was, according to Collins, the "claustrophobic nature of Roman society ... a parochial, self-referential world in which the papacy increasingly became the plaything of local power brokers." In other words, the popes of the period were largely the creatures of the Roman clans constantly vying for power over the lucrative pilgrimage trade and taxation of the papal lands. St. Peter's successors therefore tended to get overly involved in this localized view, and left the church in the rest of Europe to itself. The author brings out the wickedness of these people quite vividly, relying on primary sources and historical episodes.

All across Europe, the Carolingian Empire, established by Charlemagne and his father Pippin, was unraveling in the face of this localism as well as from the Viking raids from the north and Muslim raids from the south. Europe was a dangerous, anarchic place, and readers are introduced to the names and situations that reflect this.

Collins cites the writing of the monk Paschasius Radbertus as "typical of the defeatism and despair that infected many in France" under Viking attack: "Who would have ever believed or thought possible that in our place and time we would be overrun by such fearful misfortunes? So today we are frightened as these pirate bands violate the borders of Paris and set on fire the churches of Christ on the banks of the Seine.... Who could have determined that such a glorious kingdom, so fortified, large, populous and strong would be humiliated and defiled by such a filthy race?"

The only hope for integration came from the faith. Despite all the invasions and political fragmentation, Christendom as an idea remained and united the continent. It is here, in the hearts of the people and in the monasteries, that the author locates the tendency to pan-Europeanism, something that would grow in the 11th century and afterward.

Ironically, given the unifying power of faith, the laity followed an eclectic mixture of Christian and pagan belief and practice. As well, "the borders between the terrestrial and non-natural worlds were permeable," the author observes, noting that death and disease, the weather and crop success or failure were up to God or other spiritual factors, including the people's sinfulness.

Collins gives us repeated glimpses of the external, ritualistic nature of faith, such as the fierce competition among pilgrimage sites to attract visitors. The more ornately beautiful a relic's presentation, the more spiritual power that pilgrimage church possessed, folk believed. Collins shows why this sort of thing played such a vital role: "People felt that their lives were manipulated by irresistible forces, both good and malign, that needed to be propitiated."

All this faith made the 10th century, despite the lack of political unity and coherence, an important period liturgically, as the Ottonian emperors of Saxony unified the Franco-Romanic liturgy, and as liturgical embellishment increased. Collins notes that the more ornamental priestly vestments reflected the increasing gulf between clergy and laity, though he fails to provide reasons for arguing so.

Despite this concern for the political, Collins also discusses the popular culture and social issues of the time. People lived not under the shadow of institutions but within webs of personal relationships, including protective ones with a lord, that brought some level of integration at the local level. Most peasants were not serfs, though they did owe service for the protection they received. Not surprisingly, they lived close to the land in a hand-to-mouth existence.

"The Birth of the West," while bogging down on occasion with all the names and places thrown around, particularly in relation to politics, opens a strange world to us, even to Catholics typically enamored by the Middle Ages. The 10th century is well before the more commonly known eras and movements, such as the Crusades, friars, scholastics and mystics of the 11th to 14th centuries.

Collins argues his main point successfully that these later centuries, and the modern world they created, grew out of the chaotic 10th century. This book will give readers a fuller understanding of the whole medieval period.





Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved