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Roman Catholicism

Translation
Roman Catholicism
the faith, practice, and system of government of the Roman Catholic Church.
[1815-25]

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Largest single Christian denomination in the world, with some one billion members, or about 18% of the world's population.

The Roman Catholic church has had a profound effect on the development of Western civilization and has been responsible for introducing Christianity in many parts of the world. It regards itself as the only legitimate inheritor of the ministry of Jesus, by virtue of an unbroken succession of leaders beginning with St. Peter the Apostle and continuing to the present day. It holds that the pope is the infallible interpreter of divine revelation. Church organization is strictly hierarchical. The pope appoints and presides over about 150 cardinals. Each of the church's 500 archbishops is the head of an archdiocese. These in turn are divided into about 1,800 dioceses, each headed by a bishop. Within dioceses are parishes, each served by a church and a priest. Only men can enter the priesthood, but women who wish to enter holy orders can become nuns, who are organized into orders and convents. The basic form of worship is the mass, which celebrates the sacrament of the Eucharist. Theologically, Roman Catholicism differs from Protestantism with regard to its understanding of the sources of revelation and the channels of grace. With Eastern Orthodoxy it asserts that both scripture and church tradition are revelatory of the basis of Christian belief and church polity. It sets the number of sacraments at seven (baptism, penance, Eucharist, matrimony, ordination, confirmation, and anointing of the sick); its rich sacramental life is supplemented by other devotions, chiefly Eucharistic services and devotions to the saints. The Second Vatican Council (1962–65) promoted the role of the laity in the church, abolished the Latin mass, and strove to improve relations with other religions. Pope John Paul II actively promoted better ties with people of other faiths, especially with Jews, and remained a popular pope despite controversies over the role of women in the church, clerical celibacy, and church opposition to divorce, contraception by artificial means, homosexuality, and abortion. Although faced with many challenges, the church remained one of the largest and most significant religious bodies in the world at the start of its third millennium.

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Introduction
 Christian church that has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization. Along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, it is one of the three major branches of Christianity.

      The Roman Catholic Church traces its history to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Over the course of centuries it developed a highly sophisticated theology and an elaborate organizational structure headed by the papacy, the oldest continuing absolute monarchy in the world.

      The number of Roman Catholics in the world (nearly 1.1 billion) is greater than that of nearly all other religious traditions. There are more Roman Catholics than all other Christians combined and more Roman Catholics than all Buddhists or Hindus. Although there are more Muslims than Roman Catholics, the number of Roman Catholics is greater than that of the individual traditions of Shīʿite and Sunni Islam.

      These incontestable statistical and historical facts suggest that some understanding of Roman Catholicism—its history, its institutional structure, its beliefs and practices, and its place in the world—is an indispensable component of cultural literacy, regardless of how one may individually answer the ultimate questions of life and death and faith. Without a grasp of what Roman Catholicism is, it is difficult to make historical sense of the Middle Ages, intellectual sense of the works of Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas, Thomas, Saint), literary sense of The Divine Comedy of Dante, artistic sense of the Gothic cathedrals, or musical sense of many of the compositions of Haydn (Haydn, Joseph) and Mozart (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus).

      At one level, of course, the interpretation of Roman Catholicism is closely related to the interpretation of Christianity as such. By its own reading of history, Roman Catholicism originated with the very beginnings of Christianity. An essential component of the definition of any one of the other branches of Christendom, moreover, is its relation to Roman Catholicism: How did Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism come into schism? Was the break between the Church of England and Rome inevitable? Conversely, such questions are essential to the definition of Roman Catholicism itself, even to a definition that adheres strictly to the official Roman Catholic view, according to which the Roman Catholic Church has maintained an unbroken continuity since the days of the Apostles, while all other denominations, from the ancient Copts to the latest storefront church, are deviations from it.

      Like any intricate and ancient phenomenon, Roman Catholicism can be described and interpreted from a variety of perspectives and by several methodologies. Thus the Roman Catholic Church itself is a complex institution, for which the usual diagram of a pyramid, extending from the pope at the apex to the believers in the pew, is vastly oversimplified. Within that institution, moreover, sacred congregations, archdioceses and dioceses, provinces, religious orders and societies, seminaries and colleges, parishes and confraternities, and countless other organizations all invite the social scientist to the consideration of power relations, leadership roles, social dynamics, and other sociological phenomena that they uniquely represent. As a world religion among world religions, Roman Catholicism encompasses, within the range of its multicoloured life, features of many other world faiths; thus only the methodology of comparative religion can address them all. Furthermore, because of the influence of Plato and Aristotle on those who developed it, Roman Catholic doctrine must be studied philosophically even to understand its theological vocabulary. Nevertheless, a historical approach is especially appropriate to this task, not only because two millennia of history are represented in the Roman Catholic Church but also because the hypothesis of its continuity with the past, and the divine truth embodied in that continuity, are central to the church's understanding of itself and essential to the justification of its authority.

      For a more detailed treatment of the early church, see Christianity. The present article concentrates on the historical forces that transformed the primitive Christian movement into a church that was recognizably “catholic”—that is, possessing identifiable norms of doctrine and life, fixed structures of authority, and a universality (the original meaning of the term catholic) by which the church's membership could extend, at least in principle, to all of humanity.

History of Roman Catholicism

The emergence of Catholic Christianity
      At least in an inchoate form, all the elements of catholicity—doctrine, authority, universality—are evident in the New Testament. The Acts of the Apostles begins with a depiction of the demoralized band of the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem, but by the end of its account of the first decades, the Christian community has developed some nascent criteria for determining the difference between authentic (“apostolic”) and inauthentic teaching and behaviour. It has also moved beyond the geographic borders of Judaism, as the dramatic sentence of the closing chapter announces: “And thus we came to Rome” (Acts 28:14). The later epistles of the New Testament admonish their readers to “guard what has been entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20) and to “contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones” (Jude 3), and they speak about the Christian community itself in exalted and even cosmic terms as the church, “which is [Christ's] body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way” (Ephesians 1:23). It is clear even from the New Testament that these catholic features were proclaimed in response to internal challenges as well as external ones; indeed, scholars have concluded that the early church was far more pluralistic from the very beginning than the somewhat idealized portrayal in the New Testament might suggest.

      As such challenges continued in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, further development of catholic teaching became necessary. The schema of apostolic authority formulated by the bishop of Lyon, Irenaeus (Irenaeus, Saint) (c. 130–c. 200), sets forth systematically the three main sources of authority for catholic Christianity: the Scriptures of the New Testament (alongside the Hebrew Scriptures, or “Old Testament,” which Christians interpret as prophesying the coming of Jesus); the episcopal centres established by the Apostles as the seats of their identifiable successors in the governance of the church (traditionally at Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome); and the apostolic tradition of normative doctrine as the “rule of faith” and the standard of Christian conduct. Each of the three sources depended on the other two for validation; thus, one could determine which purportedly scriptural writings were genuinely apostolic by appealing to their conformity with acknowledged apostolic tradition and to the usage of the apostolic churches, and so on. This was not a circular argument but an appeal to a single catholic authority of apostolicity, in which the three elements were inseparable. Inevitably, however, there arose conflicts—of doctrine and jurisdiction, of worship and pastoral practice, and of social and political strategy—among the three sources, as well as between equally “apostolic” bishops. When bilateral means of resolving such conflicts proved insufficient, there could be recourse to either the precedent of convoking an apostolic council (Acts 15) or to what Irenaeus had already called “the preeminent authority of this church [of Rome], with which, as a matter of necessity, every church should agree.” Catholicism was on the way to becoming Roman Catholic.

The emergence of Roman Catholicism
Internal factors
      Several historical factors, which vary in importance depending on the time, help to account for the emergence of Roman Catholicism. The two factors that are often regarded as most decisive—at any rate by the champions of the primacy of Rome in the church—are the primacy of Peter (Peter the Apostle, Saint) among the Twelve Apostles of Christ and the identification of Peter with the church of Rome. Although there are considerable variations in the enumerations of the Apostles in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2–5; Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:14–16; Acts 1:13) and further variations in the manuscripts, what they all have in common is that they list (in Matthew's words) “first, Simon called Peter.” “But I have prayed,” Jesus said to Peter, “that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32) and “Feed my lambs.…Tend my sheep.…Feed my sheep” (John 21:15–17). In perhaps the most important passage, at least as it was later understood, Jesus said to Peter,

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock [Greek petra] I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

      According to Roman Catholic teaching, this is the charter of the church—i.e., of the Roman Catholic Church.

      The identification of this obvious primacy of Peter in the New Testament with the primacy of the church of Rome is not self-evident. For one thing, the New Testament is almost silent about a connection between Peter and Rome. The reference at the close of the Acts of the Apostles to the arrival of the apostle Paul (Paul, the Apostle, Saint) in Rome gives no indication that Peter was there as the leader of the Christian community or even as a resident, and the epistle that Paul had addressed somewhat earlier to the church at Rome devotes its entire closing chapter to greetings addressed to many believers in the city but fails to mention Peter's name. On the other hand, in what is presumably a reference to a Christian congregation, the first of the two epistles ascribed to Peter uses the phrase “the chosen one at Babylon” (1 Peter 5:13), Babylon being a code name for Rome. It is, moreover, the unanimous testimony of early Christian tradition that Peter, having been at Jerusalem and then at Antioch, finally came to Rome, where he was crucified (with his head down, according to Christian tradition, in deference to the Crucifixion of Christ); there was and still is, however, disagreement about the exact location of his grave. Writing at about the end of the 2nd century, the North African theologian Tertullian (c. 160–c. 225) spoke of

Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority of the apostles themselves. How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's! where Paul wins his crown in a death like that of John [the Baptist]!

      Indeed, Rome could claim affiliation with two apostles, Peter and Paul, as well as numerous other martyrs for the faith.

      In addition to this apostolic argument for Roman primacy—and often interwoven with it—was the argument that Rome should be honoured because of its position as the capital of the Roman Empire (ancient Rome): the church in the prime city ought to be prime among the churches. Rome drew tourists, pilgrims, and other visitors from throughout the empire and beyond and eventually became, for church no less than for state, what Jerusalem had originally been called, “the church from which every church took its start, the mother city [metropolis] of the citizens of the new covenant.” Curiously, after the newly converted emperor Constantine (died 337) transferred the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330, Rome's civil authority was weakened, but its spiritual authority was strengthened: the title “supreme priest” (pontifex maximus), which had been the prerogative of the emperor, now devolved upon the pope. The transfer of the capital also occasioned a dispute between Rome (“Old Rome”) and Constantinople (“New Rome”) over whether the new capital should be entitled to a commensurate ecclesiastical preeminence alongside the see (seat of a bishop's office) of Peter. The second and fourth ecumenical councils of the church (at Constantinople in 381 and at Chalcedon in 451) both legislated such a position for the see of Constantinople, but Rome refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of that prerogative.

      It was also at the Council of Chalcedon (Chalcedon, Council of)—which was convoked to resolve the doctrinal controversy between Antioch and Alexandria over the person of Jesus Christ—that the council fathers accepted the formula proposed by Pope Leo I (Leo I, Saint) (reigned 440–461), which offered the orthodox teaching of Christ's Incarnation and of the union of both his natures. Recognizing the authority with which Leo spoke, the council fathers declared, “Peter has spoken through the mouth of Leo!” The council was only one in a long series of occasions when the authority of Rome, sometimes by invitation and sometimes by its own intervention, served as a court of appeal in jurisdictional and dogmatic disputes that had erupted in various parts of Christendom. During the first six centuries of the church, the bishop of every major Christian centre was, at one time or another, charged with and convicted of heresy—except the bishop of Rome (though his turn would come). The titles that the see of Rome gradually assumed and the claims of primacy that it made within the life and governance of the church were, in many ways, little more than the formalization of what had become widely accepted practice.

External factors
      In addition to various internal developments, at least two external factors contributed decisively at the beginning of the Middle Ages to the development of Roman Catholicism as a distinct form of Christianity. One was the rise of Islam (Islām) in the 7th century. During the decade following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, his followers captured three of the five “patriarchates” of the early church—Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem—leaving only Rome and Constantinople, located at opposite ends of the Mediterranean and, eventually, also at opposite ends of the Schism of 1054 (1054, Schism of).

      The other external force that encouraged the emergence of Roman Catholicism as a distinct entity was the collapse of governmental and administrative structures in the Western Roman Empire in 476 and the migration into Europe of Germanic and other tribes that eventually established themselves as ruling elites. (The Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital at Constantinople, survived as the Byzantine Empire until 1453.) Some of these peoples, particularly the Goths, had already become Christian before their arrival in western Europe. The form of Christianity they had adopted in the 4th century, generally known as Arianism, was, according to the ecumenical Council of Nicaea, heretical in its doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore, the future of medieval Europe belonged not to the tribes that had converted to an unorthodox Christianity but to the tribes, particularly the Franks (Frank), that had adhered to traditional Germanic religion and later became Christian. The Franks, after their arrival in Gaul, accepted Catholic teaching on the doctrine of the Trinity as well as the authority of the Catholic bishops of Gaul. The coronation by the pope of the Frankish king Charlemagne (c. 742–814) as emperor of the Romans on Christmas Day 800 was the culmination of the long-standing alliance of the Franks and the church.

The early medieval papacy
 During the centuries that marked the transition from the early to the medieval church, Roman Catholicism benefited from the leadership of several outstanding popes. Two of these popes—who are called “Saint” by the Roman Catholic Church and who are the only two popes called “the Great” by historians—merit special consideration, even in a brief article. Pope Leo I was, even for his pagan contemporaries, the embodiment of the ideal of “Romanness” in his resistance to the barbarian conquerors. In 452, with the help of the apostles Peter and Paul and a host of angels (according to papal tradition), he convinced Attila and the Huns (Hun) to withdraw to the banks of the Danube, thus saving Rome from destruction. He repeated this triumph in 455, when his intercession with the Vandals (Vandal) mitigated their depredations in the city. His aforementioned intervention in the doctrinal controversy among Eastern theologians over the person of Christ and the role played by his Tome of 449 in the formula of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 were part of a concerted campaign by Leo to consolidate and extend the jurisdiction of the see of Rome to remote areas such as Gaul, Spain, and North Africa; this extended jurisdiction was officially acknowledged by the Roman emperor.

      Pope Gregory I (Gregory I, Saint) (reigned 590–604), more than any pope before or after him, laid the foundations for the Roman Catholicism of the Middle Ages. He sent Augustine of Canterbury (Augustine of Canterbury, Saint) (died 604/605) to bring about the conversion of England to the Christian faith, and he corresponded with the rulers of the Merovingian Franks and with the bishops of Gothic Spain. He built up papal administration in central Italy and negotiated with the Lombard rulers who occupied the peninsula. Rejecting the universalist claims of the patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory asserted papal primacy over moral issues and emphasized the humility of his office by styling himself the “servant of the servants of God.” His commitment to a life of service is demonstrated in his Pastoral Rule, a guidebook for bishops that outlines their obligations to teach and to serve as moral exemplars to their flocks. Gregory the Great was also one of the most important patrons of the Benedictine monastic movement, to which he owed a considerable part of his spiritual upbringing; he wrote a life of St. Benedict of Nursia (Benedict of Nursia, Saint) (c. 480–c. 547).

      Notwithstanding the contributions of these popes, medieval Roman Catholicism would not have taken the form it did without the conversion of the emperor Constantine in 312. Constantine legalized Christianity, promoted its interests, and took an active role in its institutional and doctrinal development. Even though some supported a heretical version of Christianity, all subsequent emperors except Julian the Apostate favoured the faith. Theodosius I (347–395), however, made Catholic Christianity the official religion of the empire in 381 and prohibited the worship of pagan gods in 392. After Constantine every branch of Christendom had to work with rulers who claimed to profess its faith, and the manner in which the two main branches of the church (in Rome and Constantinople; before the Reformation) dealt with the state had a considerable impact on their development. As the church approached the conclusion of the first millennium of its history, it had become the legatee of the spiritual, administrative, and intellectual resources of the early centuries.

      Most of the preceding analysis pertains to the whole of Christendom. The Eastern Orthodox Church has almost as large a share in the developments of the early centuries of Christianity as does the Roman Catholic Church, and even Protestantism looks to these centuries for its authentication. However, the Middle Ages may be defined as the era in which the distinctively Roman Catholic forms and institutions of the church were established. The following chronological account of medieval developments shows how these forms and institutions emerged from the context of the shared history of the early Christian centuries.

Michael Frassetto Jaroslav Jan Pelikan

The church of the early Middle Ages
      During the thousand years of the Middle Ages, from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance, the papacy matured and established itself as the preeminent authority over the church. Religious life assumed new forms or reformed established ones, and missionaries expanded the geographic boundaries of the faith. The most dramatic example of this missionary activity was the effort to retake the Holy Land by force during the Crusades, but less-violent missions were undertaken in pagan Europe and in the Islamic world. Evangelical missions were most frequently led by monks, who also preserved the traditions of Classical and Christian learning throughout the so-called Dark Ages. After the year 1000, cathedral schools replaced monasteries as cultural centres, and new forms of learning emerged. The cathedral schools were in turn supplanted by the universities, which promoted a “Catholic” learning that was inspired, oddly enough, by the transmission of the work of Aristotle through Arab scholars. Scholasticism, the highly formalized philosophical and theological systems developed by the medieval masters, dominated Roman Catholic thought into the 20th century and contributed to the formation of the European intellectual tradition. With the rise of the universities, the threefold structure of the ruling classes of Christendom was established: imperium (political authority), sacerdotium (ecclesiastical authority), and studium (intellectual authority). The principle that each of these classes was independent of the other two within its sphere of authority had enduring consequences in Europe.

The concept of Christendom
      By the 10th century the religious and cultural community known as Christendom had come into being and was poised to enter a prolonged period of growth and expansion. Important progress had taken place well before this period, however. Beginning in the last years of the Roman Empire, the central institutions of medieval Catholic Christianity had gradually evolved, laying the foundation for the great advances of the later Middle Ages and beyond.

      One of the most significant developments of the late ancient and early medieval periods—for Roman Catholicism and all forms of Christianity—was the emergence of Christian theology. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Christian apologists attempted to explain their faith to their pagan contemporaries in the philosophical vocabulary of the age; among the most outstanding of such scholars was Origen (c. 185–c. 254), who developed a thoroughgoing Christian Neoplatonism. It was not until the 4th and 5th centuries, however, that the basic Christian doctrines were established. The Council of Nicaea and subsequent councils formulated the doctrines concerning the nature of the Godhead and the person of Christ. Subsequently, a number of Christian thinkers—the Latin Church Fathers (Church Father)—provided commentary on a wide range of issues, including the meaning of the sacraments, the Trinity, soteriology, eschatology, and ecclesiology. The most prominent and influential of these early theologians was St. Augustine of Hippo (Augustine, Saint) (354–430). His teachings on the sacraments, salvation, and the Trinity remained the starting point of discussion for Christian thinkers throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, and his monumental City of God (413–426/427) provided a Christian philosophy of history (history, philosophy of) and a new way to understand human society and its relationship to God. Augustine's works were a model of learned and elegant Latin style, as were the sermons of St. Ambrose (Ambrose, Saint) (339–397), whose reputation for sanctity and celibacy—as well as his excommunication of Theodosius in 390—set important precedents. Another Church Father, St. Jerome (Jerome, Saint) (c. 347–419/420), produced a Latin translation of the Bible—the Vulgate—that would serve as the standard text for centuries to come. Later ecclesiastics, including Caesarius of Arles (Caesarius of Arles, Saint) (c. 470–542) and Isidore of Sevilla (Isidore of Sevilla, Saint) (c. 560–636), produced a formidable body of Christian commentary and other scholarship that built upon the foundation of the Latin Church Fathers.

      During the late ancient and early medieval periods there was also a significant growth in monasticism, the origins of which are traditionally associated with the Apostles in Jerusalem. Although the Apostles were thought to be the precursors of Christian monastics, they were not the founders of the movement, which began in Egypt with St. Anthony (Anthony of Egypt, Saint) (c. 290–356). In imitation of Jesus' wandering in the desert and to combat the temptations of the Devil, Anthony undertook a life of isolation, asceticism, contemplation, and piety that inspired numerous imitators. These first monks often went to great extremes in their acts of self-abasement before God, and their eremitic lifestyle remained the ideal for religious persons until the introduction of cenobitic, or communal, monasticism by St. Pachomius (Pachomius, Saint) (c. 290–346) in the early 4th century. Among the many advocates of monasticism were St. Basil the Great (Basil the Great, Saint) (329–379), the father of Eastern monasticism, and St. John Cassian (Cassian, Saint John) (360–435), whose writings were influential in the development of Western monasticism. The true father of Western monasticism, however, was St. Benedict of Nursia (Benedict of Nursia, Saint), whose rule was noted for its humanity and flexibility. The Rule of St. Benedict was the standard monastic rule in the Western church by the 9th century, and it served as the basis for the later Cluniac and Cistercian reform movements.

      During the early Middle Ages, tensions between Rome and Constantinople increased, leading ultimately to the Schism of 1054. Separated by language (Latin and Greek, respectively) and liturgy, the Western and Eastern churches were divided further in the early 8th century by the imperial program of iconoclasm (the prohibition of the veneration of images of Christ and the saints), increased taxation of Rome by Constantinople, and the Byzantine emperor's failure to protect the papacy and its territories from the depredations of the Lombard invaders. Angered by these developments, Pope Gregory III (Gregory III, Saint) (reigned 731–741) sought an alliance with the Carolingian mayor of the palace, Charles Martel (c. 688–741). Although no agreement was reached, the initiative set the stage for a revolution in papal diplomacy and in the institutional orientation of the church at Rome. By the end of the 8th century, the church had become a fully Western entity, severing its alliance with the emperors in Constantinople and establishing a new alliance with the Carolingian dynasty (established in 751). The alliance played a critical role in the growth of the papal states. The establishment of the Carolingian-papal bond and the coronation of the first Carolingian king also provided the occasion for the composition of one of the great forgeries of the Middle Ages, the Donation of Constantine (generally thought to have been written in the mid-750s), which was based on pious legends that had been known since the 5th century and was subsequently used to justify papal claims of primacy. Although the formal break between the two churches did not come until three centuries later, differences over the insertion of the Filioque (Latin: “and from the Son”) clause in the creed, which confirmed that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and the failure to invite a Carolingian representative to the Second Council of Nicaea further heightened tensions between East and West.

      The Carolingian period is widely recognized as the high point in the development of the early medieval church. Beyond their alliance with the papacy, Carolingian rulers instituted a number of church reforms and began a cultural revival that directly influenced religious life. Many of the most important reforms were implemented by the greatest of the Carolingians, Charlemagne, and were intended to reestablish the proper organization of the episcopal hierarchy and to abolish the drunkenness, sexual immorality, and ignorance of the clergy. His royal and imperial decrees mandated the establishment of monastic and cathedral schools to teach both the laity and the clergy so that the fundamentals of the faith would be known to all. He attracted religious scholars to his court and rewarded them with important ecclesiastical posts. Charlemagne also presided over church councils that combated heresy, reformed the behaviour of the clergy, and defined church teaching. His efforts bore fruit in the 9th century, when theologians discussed the question of predestination and began the debate—which would reach its culmination in the 13th century—over the exact nature of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

      Well before Charlemagne's coronation, the papacy had made overtures to Carolingian rulers. Although Charles Martel rejected papal pleas for help, he did support the missionary activity of the Anglo-Saxon monk Boniface (Boniface, Saint) (c. 675–754), whose preaching to the Saxons and reform of the Frankish (France) church was sanctioned by Rome. Boniface's ties to Rome contributed to the growing interest in that city and to the devotion to St. Peter that characterized religious belief in the kingdom and especially in the Carolingian house. The relationship with Rome was formalized by Charlemagne's father, Pippin III (died 768), who usurped the Frankish throne with papal approval and was later crowned king by the pope. But the event of greatest significance for relations between the papacy and Carolingian rulers was Charlemagne's coronation as emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III (Leo III, Saint) (reigned 795–816). With few exceptions, during the rest of the Middle Ages emperors were created by papal coronation. The destinies of the two institutions were thus inextricably linked. This development contributed to contemporary understandings of the proper relationship between church and state and even to understandings of the church itself; it also led to controversy between later emperors and popes over the matter of universal authority in Christendom.

A period of decadence
      The advances made in church organization and in reformation of religious life could not be sustained in the post-Carolingian world. Indeed, the 10th century has traditionally been regarded as a period of decay and corruption within the church. As a result of the breakup of the Carolingian empire and a new wave of invasions, the church suffered materially and spiritually as both Christian and non-Christian warriors exploited it and its wealth. The monasteries suffered most during this period, but the general turmoil of the time contributed to the failure of the church to maintain the discipline and integrity of religious life. The laity suffered from the ignorance of rural priests, and clerics of all ranks were guilty of concubinage and other abuses.

      The papacy itself offers the best example of the abysmal situation of the church in the 10th and 11th centuries. The decline of Carolingian power left it without a protector and once again subject to the whims of the local aristocracy, who struggled among themselves for control of the office and its extensive territories in central Italy. The popes appointed by Italian nobles were sometimes violent and debauched and did little more than promote their family interests. Ill-suited for any pastoral role, they were sometimes not even priests when appointed; according to tradition, one new pope, Benedict IX, was an adolescent boy. Some of these popes had mistresses and children, and many came to power through bribery or other illicit means. Even imperial intervention beginning in the late 10th century failed to bring an end to papal corruption, because local families reasserted their control over Rome during imperial absences.

      Despite the decadence of this period, a number of developments offered promise for the future. Even the papacy enjoyed periods of renewed vigour during these dark times. Popes Leo VII (reigned 936–939) and Agapetus II (reigned 946–955) were active reformers, and Benedict VIII (reigned 1012–24) issued legislation against simony. During the papacy of Sylvester II (reigned 999–1003), who was recognized as the most learned man of his time, the dignity of the office was briefly restored. Moreover, no matter how depraved the reigning pope may have been, Rome remained the spiritual capital of the Western church. Since at least the Carolingian period, devotion to St. Peter had been growing throughout Europe, and it remained an important characteristic of religiosity in the 10th and 11th centuries. Peter's growing prestige attracted numerous pilgrims to Rome, even during times when his successor was devoid of any virtue.

      The evolution of the church was also influenced by events outside Rome. One of the most important of these was the resurrection of imperial authority and the Carolingian ideal of government by the German (Germany) king Otto I (912–973). Under him the bishops and greater abbots were drawn into royal service and enriched with estates and counties, for which they paid homage. Otto conquered northern Italy and was crowned emperor in 962 by Pope John XII (reigned 955–964). In the following year, Otto deposed the pope for immoral behaviour (tradition holds that John died of a stroke while in bed with a woman). Both Otto and his grandson Otto III (980–1002) appointed and removed popes, presided at synods, and extended their authority over the church. Otto III, an enlightened ruler, appointed as pope his former tutor—Gerbert of Aurillac, who took the name Sylvester II—with the intention of reviving a Christian Roman empire. Otto's death at an early age ended that dream, and the papacy became mired in local politics for the next half century until another German ruler intervened in its affairs.

      The revival of imperial power in Germany would have lasting influence on the development of the church, as would the foundation of the reformed monastery of Cluny in Burgundy in 909. Indeed, the first stirrings of the great reform movement that transformed the church in the 11th century are thought to have taken place at Cluny. Established by Duke William I, the Pious, of Aquitaine, Cluny rose to prominence under the direction of abbots Odo (Odo of Cluny, Saint), Odilo, and Hugh (Hugh of Cluny, Saint), who were the spiritual leaders of their age. From its beginning, Cluny enjoyed close ties with Rome because William placed the monastery under the protection of St. Peter and St. Paul and the pope. William also ensured Cluny's independence by forbidding any secular or religious authority from interfering in its affairs. Cluny developed a reputation as the highest form of religious life—indeed, as a paradise on earth—and its abbots spread Cluniac practices by reforming other monasteries (monastery). Cluniac monks lived strictly canonical lives, opposing simony and clerical unchastity. They also participated in an elaborate liturgical routine, singing the monastic hours (liturgical or devotional services for use at certain hours of the day, according to the monastic daily schedule) and offering prayers for the dead and the monastery's numerous benefactors. Cluny was not the only reformed house—Gorze was the most notable of several others—but it was the greatest, and the ideals it embodied set an important precedent.

Popular Christianity c. 1000
      By the 11th century the greater part of central Christendom had been divided into bishops' dioceses and individual parishes. But in the northern and western regions the proliferation of small private churches had not yet been wholly absorbed, and the existence of proprietary and exempt enclaves continued until the Reformation and beyond. The priest, in rural districts usually a villein of the lord (subject to the lord but not to others), cultivated his acres of glebe (revenue lands of the parish church), celebrated mass on Sundays and feast days, recited some of the hours, and saw that his flock was baptized, anointed, and buried. Lay people normally received Holy Communion four times a year—at Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and the Feast of the Assumption (August 15). Auricular (privately heard) confession was widespread but not universal.

      Despite the organizational confusion of the time, the early 11th century was a period of intense religious activity at all levels of society. This activity is illustrated by the number of newly built churches, which one contemporary described as a “white mantle.” (Some scholars have argued that the increase in religious activity about the years 1000 and 1033 was related to expectations of the apocalypse.) The first popular religious movements of the Middle Ages also began during this time. The most important of these was the Peace of God (God, Peace of) movement, a series of church councils clustered primarily in the years preceding the millennium of the birth of Jesus and the millennium of the Passion and later incorporated into the broader institutional fabric of medieval society. Originally intended to protect the church and the clergy, as well as the poor, from the demands of the growing number of castellans (members of the lower nobility who possessed castles), the peace movement later promoted religious reform and denounced simony and clerical marriage.

      Central to the success of the peace movement and a key element of spirituality about the year 1000 was the cult of the saints and relics. Contemporary sources describe the peace councils as great displays of the relics of saints, which attracted large crowds of laity whose presence and enthusiasm supported the church's reform efforts. The saints were believed to punish those who harmed the church and to cure their devotees of various maladies. In 994 the display of a saint's relics was thought to have cured the population of Aquitaine of an outbreak of St. Anthony's fire (probably ergotism (ergot)). These beliefs may explain the popularity of pilgrimages to shrines such as those of the Apostles at Rome, St. James at Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the Magi at Cologne (Germany), and many others. Jerusalem, too, became an increasingly important destination for pilgrims, among whom was Fulk Nerra (Fulk III Nerra) (c. 970–1040), the count of Anjou, who made three such journeys after pillaging and burning monasteries in the territories of his enemies. Countless other men and women traveled to Jerusalem in the early 1030s, probably to witness the return of Christ.

      Lay religious enthusiasm associated with the peace movement and the cult of the saints also contributed to the first expressions of heresy since late antiquity. Although there were far fewer such incidents in the 11th century than in the 12th and 13th centuries, there were more in the 11th century than in the previous five centuries combined. In Italy, northern and southern France, and all of western Europe, according to contemporary chroniclers, heretics denied the church's teachings on baptism, the Eucharist, marriage, and related matters; they also attacked the growing claims of ecclesiastical authority and on one occasion even destroyed the crucifix in the local church. The heretics lived simple and chaste lives and sought to follow the Gospels, rather than an increasingly hierarchical and worldly church, as best they could. Despite their efforts to imitate the Apostles, the official church treated them harshly: in 1022 a group of heretics was burned at the stake, the first execution for heresy since antiquity. In one of history's many ironies, the ideals of sexual purity and apostolic poverty represented by the heretics and by the orthodox popular enthusiasts were eventually embraced by the church, becoming part of the papal reform movement of the later 11th century.

The church of the High Middle Ages
      The developments in the church around the year 1000 foreshadowed the dramatic events of the later 11th century, which in turn stimulated the profound growth of the church in the High Middle Ages. The reforms of Gregory VII and the movement associated with him, sometimes recognized as the most important reformation in church history, radically restructured the church and its teachings. The foundation of the papal monarchy was laid during the 11th century, and the medieval papacy reached its greatest heights in the 12th and 13th centuries, especially under Innocent III (reigned 1198–1216). Moreover, both the Gregorian Reform movement and the broader social and cultural developments of the 11th century contributed to the spiritual and intellectual blossoming of the 12th century. Scholars and churchmen rediscovered the works of Aristotle, interpreted them in new institutional settings, and forged the medieval synthesis of faith and reason in the 13th century. The new forms of religious life that emerged, both orthodox and heterodox, were foreshadowed by Gregory VII's devotion to St. Peter or were inspired by Gregorian reform efforts. They reflected the transition from a faith that emphasized the divine majesty of God to one that focused on the suffering and humanity of Jesus.

 Although it was part of a broader reformation of the church that originated in the 10th century, the papal reform, or Gregorian Reform, movement, which began with the appointment of Pope Leo IX in 1049, is arguably the most important event in the church's history. Intended to return the church to its original purity and to abolish simony and clerical marriage, the movement revolutionized the church's organization, establishing the hierarchical structure headed by the pope that has come to characterize the institution. The movement also emphasized the central role of the priesthood and the sacraments in Christian life and asserted the importance of morally incorrupt clergy. The movement's efforts to remove lay interference in church affairs laid the foundation for later ideas concerning the separation of church and state. And, although it was late to join, the papacy made reform a truly universal movement that transformed both church and society.

      The first phase of the Gregorian Reform movement resulted from chaos in Rome. In the mid-1040s three claimants to the throne of St. Peter held sway in central Italy. Two popes were candidates of rival aristocratic families, and the third, though widely respected for his piety, allegedly committed simony to receive his office. To resolve the crisis and to ensure that he would receive the imperial crown from a legitimate pope, the pious Henry III (1017–56) held a council at Sutri in 1046 at which the three popes were deposed and Clement II (reigned 1046–47) was appointed the new pope. Clement and his immediate successors were short-lived popes, however, and ultimately Henry appointed his cousin, Bruno of Toul, who became Pope Leo IX (Leo IX, Saint) (reigned 1049–54). Leo introduced the spirit of reform as well as a broader conception of papal authority, both of which were dramatically displayed at the Synod of Reims in 1049. Leo, in the presence of the relics of St. Remigius, demanded that the bishops confirm their innocence of simony; those who did not he deposed. Leo established a papal presence north of the Alps in other church councils at which he promoted reform and denounced both simony and clerical marriage.

      Leo's reign was not without setbacks, however. His war with the Normans was a disaster, and his appointment of Humbert of Silva Candida as ambassador to Constantinople led to the Schism of 1054. Despite these setbacks, Leo's reign was a pivotal one in the history of the church, and his reform legislation set important precedents. He also surrounded himself with like-minded clerics and reformers who transformed the culture of Rome; from Germany he brought Humbert and Frederick of Lorraine (the future pope Stephen IX (Stephen IX (or X)); reigned 1057–58), and from Italy he recruited Peter Damian (Peter Damian, Saint) (1007–72). Humbert and Damian wrote influential treatises attacking simony and clerical marriage and served the pope as cardinals. Leo's program was continued by his successors, one of whom, Nicholas II (reigned 1059–61), reformed the process by which the pope was chosen. In the papal election decree of 1059, which was issued during the minority of the German king Henry IV (1050–1106), the right and duty of papal election was assigned to the cardinals, tacitly eliminating the role of the king of Germany even though vague reference to his notification was made. The decree, which was intended to eliminate lay interference in church affairs, reveals the belief held by some at the time that lay appointment, or investiture, of clergy was an act of simony and the cause of the church's ills.

The reign of Gregory VII (Gregory VII, Saint)
      Hildebrand, who succeeded in 1073 as Gregory VII (reigned 1073–85), is perhaps best known for his struggle with Henry IV, but he had long served the church, and some scholars regard him as the main force behind papal reform. Indeed, the movement derives its name from his zealous defense of its ideals and his staunch advocacy of papal primacy. Gregory's actions were shaped more than anything by his devotion to St. Peter and his belief that the pope was Peter's successor. His legislation mandating clerical celibacy was issued partly because his immediate predecessors had advocated it; he was further motivated by his desire to restore what he perceived as the right order of the world. His efforts to abolish simony and to limit lay interference in the church were motivated by similar concerns. To promote reform, Gregory held councils, issued legislation, called on the bishops and princes of the world to remove simoniac clergy, and even allowed simoniac or unchaste clergy to be rejected by the laity.

      Even more directly influential was Gregory's centralization of the church. This initiative, clearly outlined in the Dictatus papae (“Dictates of the Pope”), a list of 27 short statements (included in his official letter collection), reflected his belief that the pope, as the successor of St. Peter, inherits a commission from Christ to rule over the church. Gregory also believed that the pope is sanctified by the merit of St. Peter and that Rome alone defines the true faith. Through canonical elections, Roman and local synods, the publication of canonical collections and polemical manifestos, his appointment of plenipotentiary legates (representatives with full power to negotiate), and his immediate control of diocesan bishops, Gregory spun a web in which every thread led to Rome. The scattered priests and distant bishops gradually became a distinct class, the clergy, with a law and a loyalty of their own. Although Gregory died a lonely exile, his principles of reform found reception all over Europe, and the new generation of bishops was Gregorian in sympathy and obedient in practice to papal commands in a way unknown to their predecessors.

The Investiture Controversy: Gregory VII to Calixtus II
      Gregory's reform activities have been overshadowed by his controversy with Henry IV over the investiture of the clergy. A right and duty of kings and emperors since the time of Charlemagne, lay investiture had become increasingly important to secular rulers who depended on ecclesiastical support for their authority. In ancient canon law, bishops were elected by the clergy and the people, and entrance upon office followed lawful consecration. After royal claims gradually transformed election into royal appointment, admission to office was effected by the bestowal, or investiture, by the lord of ring and staff (symbols of the episcopal office), preceded by an act of homage. This ceremony was highly evocative of simony, both because a layman bestowed a spiritual benefice and because money was often offered or demanded. During the 11th century, lay investiture came under increasing criticism as an act of simony and a violation of the independence of the church. Supporters of the traditional role of the emperor in ecclesiastical elections defended lay investiture by appealing to immemorial practice, which had been accepted and even enjoined by the papacy.

      Although the relationship between Gregory and Henry IV started promisingly, it quickly deteriorated because of a disagreement over events in Milan, where a reform group (the Patarines (Patarine)) struggled with traditional elements in the local church over succession to the bishop's throne. The pope sided with the reformers, and Henry and his advisers supported the rival candidate for the bishop's office in this important city. The involvement of Henry and his advisers in the affairs of the church of Milan brought papal condemnation and excommunication to the advisers. Henry's association with the excommunicated advisers and his continued intervention increased tensions with Rome. His disobedience as much as his insistence on the right of lay investiture, which was not formally condemned until 1078, brought about a break with Gregory by the end of 1075.

      Beyond the matter of lay investiture and the civil war brewing in Germany, Gregory and Henry were at odds over the nature of authority in the church—Henry claimed power over the activities of the church as the divinely appointed vice-regent of Christ, and Gregory presented himself as heir to the commission over all souls given by Christ to St. Peter (Matthew 16:18–19). On a more practical level, the controversy raised questions concerning the king's authority over the church in his realm, the limits of church law, and the papal coronation of emperors.

      In a letter of late 1075, after the impasse over Milan, Gregory chastised Henry for appointing bishops in Italy and for other failures, and the papal legate bearing the letter may have threatened Henry with excommunication. In response, Henry denounced Gregory as a false monk and demanded that he abdicate, and the imperial bishops renounced their obedience to the pope. At the Lenten synod in 1076, Gregory declared Henry excommunicated and deposed, and he released Henry's subjects from their vows of loyalty. Gregory's actions emboldened the opposition to Henry among the nobility, which agreed to meet, with Gregory in attendance, to decide Henry's fate. In one of the most dramatic events of the Middle Ages, Henry journeyed to meet Gregory at Canossa in the winter of 1077 and, barefoot in the snow, sought forgiveness as a penitent sinner from the pope. Gregory had no choice but to lift the ban of excommunication and restore his rival to the church. Once absolved, Henry was able to reestablish himself in Germany and defeat the rebellion. Yet he continued to oppose Gregory, who excommunicated the king again in 1080 to little avail. Now secure in Germany, Henry invaded Italy, drove Gregory from Rome, and replaced him with Guibert of Ravenna, the antipope Clement III (Clement (III)). Apparently defeated by Henry, Gregory died in exile—because, as Gregory said, he “loved justice and hated iniquity”—but the ideals he espoused, as well as the controversy he engendered, continued into the next century.

      Gregory VII, though defending the independence of the church, was in fact tolerant of royal appointments that were free from simony. Pope Urban II (reigned 1088–99) was equally inconsistent, though in other ways he was a reformer. Upon his accession as pope, Paschal II (reigned 1099–1118) immediately condemned lay investiture, thus precipitating the crisis in England between Anselm (Anselm of Canterbury, Saint) (1033/34–1109), archbishop of Canterbury, and King Henry I (1069–1135). This and a similar crisis in France were settled by a compromise. Election (by the cathedral chapter) was to be free and lay investiture was waived, but homage before the bestowal of the fief was allowed. Meanwhile, Paschal—at odds with the German king Henry V (1086–1125), who demanded imperial coronation—suddenly offered to renounce all church property granted by the king if lay investiture were also abandoned. Henry accepted, but the bishops refused the terms; thereupon the king seized the pope, who agreed to lay investiture under duress. By this time, however, a large majority of bishops were Gregorians, and the pope was persuaded to retract.

      Eleven years later Pope Calixtus II (reigned 1119–24) accepted the Concordat of Worms (Worms, Concordat of) (1122), according to which free election by ecclesiastics was to be followed by investiture (without staff and ring, which were granted by the church) and homage to the king. This agreement ended a strife of 50 years, during which pamphleteers on both sides had revived every kind of claim to supremacy and God-given authority. Although formally a compromise, the settlement was in effect a victory for the monarch, for he could usually control the election. Nevertheless, the war of ideologies had exposed the weakness of the emperor, who in the last resort had to admit the spiritual authority of the pope over all Christians.

      The increased authority of the papacy and the relative decline in the power of the emperor became clear in the unforeseen emergence of the Crusades as a major preoccupation of Europe. Gregory VII hoped to lead an army to defend Eastern Christians after their disastrous defeat by the Seljuq Turks at Manzikert (Manzikert, Battle of) (present Malazgirt, Turkey) in 1071. Faced with the loss of Asia Minor and the continued expansion of the Turks, the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus (1057–1118) appealed for help to Pope Urban II in 1095. Urban's celebrated call to the Crusade at Clermont (France) in 1095 was unexpectedly effective, placing him at the head of a large army of volunteers motivated by religious zeal and other more-mundane concerns. Although the capture of Jerusalem (1099) and the establishment of a Latin kingdom in Palestine were offset by disasters and quarrels, the papacy gained greatly in prestige and strengthened its position in relation to the emperor and Germany, which avoided participation in this first of many Crusades because of the ongoing Investiture Controversy. For more than two centuries, the Crusades remained a powerful movement headed by the pope. Numerous Crusades were waged in the Holy Land, and the Crusading ideal was applied to military and religious campaigns in Spain and eastern Europe. Later popes launched Crusades against heretics and opponents of papal authority and sanctioned the emergence of military orders. The Crusades thus reflected the widespread devotion to the church and to its leader, the pope.

The papacy at its height: the 12th and 13th centuries
      Gregory VII has often been portrayed as an innovator who lacked both authentic predecessors and authentic successors. It must be affirmed nonetheless that the later history of the papacy, modern as well as medieval, was shaped by what he and his followers did, and the continuing disabilities of the medieval papacy were largely the result of what they left undone. The hierarchical and sacerdotal structure of the late medieval and modern church owes much to the 11th-century reformers, though there had been earlier steps in its development. Throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, the papacy assumed a greater role in the direction of both church and society. The popes continued to exert their traditional authority over matters of doctrine and faith and presided over councils that ordered religious life and practice. The papal court became the court of last appeal, and the assertion of papal jurisdiction even into secular matters “by reason of sin” (ratio peccati) greatly expanded papal authority and sometimes led to conflicts with secular powers. The dispute over authority in the church, first evident in the Investiture Controversy, emerged repeatedly throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. The failure to resolve the matter of succession to the papal throne led to schisms that sometimes worsened imperial and papal relations. Impatience with the pace and the nature of reform also caused problems and contributed to the spread of heresy.

      Much of the drama of papal history in this period derived from conflicts between popes and secular rulers in the empire, as well as in France and England. As noted above, contested papal elections led to schism and to church-state controversy in the 12th century and afterward. The election of 1159, for example, brought about a prolonged schism during which the emperor Frederick Barbarossa (Frederick I) (c. 1123–90) promoted a series of antipopes who he hoped would be supportive of his policies. Frederick had previously run afoul of Pope Adrian IV (reigned 1154–59), who seemingly asserted that the emperor received his title as a beneficium (benefice), which would have entailed that the emperor was the pope's vassal. Although not as serious as the Investiture Controversy, Frederick and Adrian's dispute over beneficia in the incident at Besançon raised the question of who was the ultimate authority in Western Christendom and increased tensions between the emperor and the pope; the strong reaction of the emperor and lack of support for the pope in the German church forced Adrian to deny that he meant to imply the emperor was his vassal. Later popes also intervened in the affairs of kings and emperors. Innocent III became involved in the controversy in England between the nobles and King John (1167–1216), prohibited the divorce of the king of France, and played an active role in the politics of the empire. The popes of the 13th century pursued a vendetta against the Hohenstaufen dynasty that contributed to the breakdown of imperial authority in Germany and Italy.

      Despite abuses of power, the need for papal leadership was widely recognized during much of the 12th and 13th centuries. The great religious reformers, including St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Bernard de Clairvaux, Saint), sought the support of Rome, and legal scholars, such as Gratian, emphasized papal primacy. Further demand for papal leadership came from the local churches. The result was the acceleration of a process that led by the late 13th century to the extension of papal judicial authority far beyond the mere acceptance of appeals from lower courts; to the arrogation of the wide-ranging legislative powers manifest in the Decretals (decretal) (1234) of Gregory IX (reigned 1227–41), the first officially promulgated collection of papal laws; and to the system of “papal provisions” (direct papal intervention in the disposal of benefices) that was finally completed in 1335 by Benedict XII (reigned 1334–42).

      The papacy also asserted its leadership in matters of faith, especially in a series of ecumenical councils held at the Lateran (Lateran Council) Palace in Rome in 1123, 1139, 1177, and 1215. These meetings, the first of their kind since the 9th century, were deemed ecumenical because they were called by the pope, thus demonstrating the growing importance and authority of the papacy. The councils confirmed the legislation of the Gregorians against simony and clerical marriage, denounced heresy, reformed the papal electoral process, and approved the use of the term transubstantiation.

      Papal authority eventually extended into many aspects of life in Western Christendom and contributed to the reform and regularization of many institutions. Notably, in taking control of canonization, the papacy standardized and institutionalized the process of identifying a saint. However, the centralization of authority and the extension of papal legal jurisdiction also caused a number of problems for the church. The papal court and its army of clerical bureaucrats developed a reputation for corruption and venality, and the popes themselves were not above criticism. A late 12th-century satire maintained that the only saints venerated in Rome were Albinus (silver) and Albus (gold). Regarding this point in particular, one of the things left undone by the Gregorian reformers proved to be crucial. Their failure to uproot the notion of the “proprietary church” explains the willingness of later canonists to classify laws governing the disposition of ecclesiastical benefices as private law (law pertaining to the protection of proprietary right) rather than public law; it also accounts for the general tendency of people in the Middle Ages to regard ecclesiastical office less as a duty than as a source of income or an object of proprietary right. When the 13th-century popes found that direct papal taxation did not yield funds sufficient to support their bureaucrats, they adopted the practice of “providing” bureaucrats to benefices all over Europe, for the law itself encouraged them to think of such benefices as sources of much-needed revenue. Thus arose the characteristic abuses of pluralism (holding more than one benefice) and nonresidence, against which church reformers railed in vain from the mid-13th century; they soon laid the blame for these ills at the door of the papacy, which came to be regarded finally as an obstacle to reform rather than an agent of it.

The renaissance of the 12th century
      Since the early 20th century it has been commonplace to refer to the 12th century as a time of renaissance—though some have challenged this notion because of the important cultural developments of the 11th century. However it may be called, the 12th century was a period in which there arose new institutions of higher education, innovative techniques of thought and speech, and fresh approaches to ancient problems of philosophy and theology, all of which profoundly influenced the development of Christian belief and practice. All these activities were carried out by clerics and controlled by churchmen. The locus of educational activity was the cathedral school, and the new agent of instruction was the semiprofessional, unattached teacher, such as the French philosophers and theologians Berengar Of Tours, Roscelin, and Peter Abelard (Abelard, Peter), though monks such as Lanfranc, Anselm of Canterbury (Anselm of Canterbury, Saint), and Hugh (Hugh of Saint-Victor) and Richard (Richard of Saint-Victor) of the monastery of St. Victor, Paris, also contributed.

 Philosophy was revived through the development of logic and dialectic and their application to doctrines of the faith in formal exercises, in Augustinian speculation, and in critical reformulation. Theology in the modern sense (the term was first used by Abelard) emerged beginning about 1100. Even before then Anselm presaged the subsequent development of theology in work that reflected the growing intellectual sophistication of the age. His “ontological argument” for the existence of God employed a more rational approach to higher theology, despite his claim that he believed so that he could understand. His great treatise Cur Deus homo? (1099; “Why Did God Become Man?”) would later be influential for its emphasis on the human Christ.

      The first handbook of theology was composed by Abelard, a provocative and brilliant thinker who used Aristotle's logic in his explorations of the faith. In his Sic et non (“Yes and No”), he compiled 158 questions, together with contradictory answers found in the works of earlier theologians. He refused to provide resolutions to the opposing points of view, forcing readers to think for themselves but also emphasizing the ultimate authority of the Bible over human thought. Although this challenge to human authority led to his condemnation, his dialectical method became the preferred approach of the next several generations of theologians. Notably, Peter Lombard adopted Abelard's dialectic—and resolved the apparent contradictions—in his Four Books of Sentences. His classic manual may be said, in modern terms, to have created the syllabus of theological study for the age that followed. Together with the enrichment of logic brought about by the discovery of the works of Aristotle (through Muslim sources) and the emergence of the university, the Sentences ended the era of literary, humanistic, and monastic culture and opened the formal and impersonal Scholastic age.

The apostolic life
 Like intellectual culture, religious life in the 11th and 12th centuries underwent a dramatic transformation, which has been described as the transition from a “transcendental” Christianity that emphasized the Old Testament to an “incarnational” Christianity rooted in the Gospels. Although this distinction is much too neat and fails to recognize the importance of all the books of the Bible to medieval Christianity, it does reflect the growing emphasis on the human Christ and the apostolic life after the turn of the millennium. Often associated with 12th-century movements, interest in imitating the apostolic life was already evident in the early 11th century. The various heretical groups that appeared shortly after 1000 adopted the Apostles as a model. The Gregorian reformers were also inspired by the apostolic ideal, and ascetics, including Romuald (Romuald of Ravenna, Saint) and Peter Damian, promoted lives of apostolic poverty. By the late 11th and the early 12th century, itinerant preachers, including Robert d'Abrissel, founder of the abbey of Fontevrault (Fontevrault-l'Abbaye), combined evangelical zeal with a life of poverty in direct imitation of the Apostles. The new form of devotion to Jesus was expressed in writings by St. Bernard of Clairvaux and was subsequently epitomized in the life and works of St. Francis of Assisi (Francis of Assisi, Saint). At the same time, a new form of spirituality emphasized the humanity of Christ and the idea of Jesus as a suffering servant. Images of Jesus on the cross depicted him in death after enduring the torments of crucifixion. This emphasis on Christ's humanity contributed to the increasing devotion to his mother, Mary, whose veneration is most dramatically displayed in the churches dedicated to Notre Dame (“Our Lady”) in Amiens (Amiens Cathedral), Chartres (Chartres Cathedral), Paris (Notre-Dame de Paris), Reims, and elsewhere throughout Europe.

Religious orders: canons and monks (monasticism)
      Interest in the humanity of Christ and the desire to live the apostolic life in imitation of him influenced religious orders in the 12th century. The reformed orders of canons represent one aspect of this trend. The founder of the Premonstratensian order, Norbert of Xanten (Norbert of Xanten, Saint), was recognized for inspiring many to imitate the life of Christ. The order spread throughout Europe after its founding in 1120 and cultivated both the active and the contemplative religious life. Norbert's order was part of a broader movement to regularize the life of all canons by enforcing monastic rules.

      Traditional monastic life also underwent an apostolic-inspired reform in the late 11th and 12th centuries. Beginning with a few relatively small quasi-eremitic orders in Italy, such as the Camaldolese and the Vallombrosans, the movement spread to France with the founding of the extreme eremitic Grandmontines in 1077 and the eremitic Carthusians (Carthusian) in 1084; it became as wide as Christendom with the multiplication of the daughter monasteries of Cîteaux (founded in 1098). The guiding principle of the Cistercians (Cistercian) (based at Cîteaux) was exact observance of the Rule of St. Benedict, with emphasis on simplicity, poverty, and manual work. The addition of lay brothers tapped a large reservoir in an age of increased religious devotion and economic and population growth, and the organization of the order—which featured annual visitations and a general chapter—ensured good discipline and enabled the Cistercians to accommodate a vast family of houses scattered throughout the Latin church.

      The success of Cîteaux owed much to the genius of St. Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux (Bernard de Clairvaux, Saint) from 1115 to 1153, who was for 30 years the untitled religious leader of Europe. Owing to his influence, other new orders—such as the Premonstratensians, the English Gilbertines, and the military Knights Templars (Templar)—accepted or imitated Cistercian practices. By the end of the 12th century, however, changing social conditions and growing urbanization necessitated a new kind of religious order that would assume the prominence in society once held by the monks.

The mendicant orders
      In the early 13th century a new manifestation of the apostolic life appeared in the form of orders of mendicant preachers. The rise of the mendicants was in part a response to the revival of urban centres and the expansion of trade. The Waldenses, one of the first groups to adopt a life of evangelical poverty, were declared heretical for refusing to submit to ecclesiastical authority and for criticizing the church and its wealth. But the idea of adopting the apostolic life, prefigured by Robert d'Abrissel in the 12th century, was a powerful one that recalled the original purity and simplicity of the church at a time when both church and society were becoming increasingly wealthy and complex. Showing considerable foresight and discernment, Innocent III embraced the movement and made it part of the church when he approved the Franciscan and Dominican orders.

      Francis of Assisi (Francis of Assisi, Saint), a man of magnetic personality who believed that he was called by Christ to preach poverty, had no thought of founding an order, but his message and his genius exactly suited the age, and the vast concourse of his followers gradually transformed itself from a homeless, penniless band of preachers and missionaries in Italy into an international body governed by a single general and devoted to the service of the papacy. In contrast, Dominic de Guzmán (Dominic, Saint) (c. 1170–1221), whose vocation was preaching against heretics and whose followers kept a canonical rule, changed his existing institute into one of friars. Gradually the two groups became similar: international, articulated groups of men bound to an order but not to a community. They took the customary monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience but dropped the vow of stabilitas (“stability”) in favour of mobility, and they were governed by elected superiors under a supreme chapter and a general. Remarkably, first the Dominicans and then the Franciscans entered and soon dominated the theological schools of Paris and Oxford. Two similar bodies joined them, the Carmelites (Carmelite) and the Austin Friars, and for almost a century the members of the various mendicant orders were the theologians, the preachers, and the confessors of the Christian people.

The rise of heresy
      The same religious enthusiasm that contributed to the rise of Gregorian Reform and the orthodox movements of the late 11th and 12th centuries also inspired movements of religious dissent or heresy. The earliest episodes of heresy in the West predate the Gregorian Reform, and their ideals may have been absorbed by the Gregorians. In the early 12th century Gregorian Reform movement may have given rise to a wave of radical reformers whose religious zeal led them to excessive criticism of the church. The early dissenters, such as Tanchelm and Peter of Bruys, attracted large but ephemeral followings of clergy and laity. In the 1150s the Italian canon Arnold of Brescia (died 1155), an outspoken critic of clerical wealth and corruption, assumed the leadership of a revolt against the pope in Rome. Despite their popular appeal, these dissident leaders failed to inspire the kind of broad movement that would emerge later in the century.

      By the 1140s and possibly earlier, Bogomil missionaries from the eastern Mediterranean or the Balkans appeared in parts of western Europe. Their preaching and ascetic lifestyle gave rise to the Cathari (from Greek katharos, meaning “pure,” from the ascetic lives of their leaders), a sect that became prominent in northern Italy and southern France. Although the Cathari maintained that they alone were true Christians, their leaders, the “perfects,” overtly denied many traditional Christian doctrines, such as the Incarnation of Christ (they taught a Docetist Christology, which maintained that Christ only appeared to assume the flesh). Cathari teachings were dualistic, regarding matter and the human body as evil and spirit as good. Consequently, the perfects ate no meat and practiced celibacy. The sect's emphasis on poverty and its practice of mutual assistance appealed to many who were repelled by the luxury and wealth in which the Catholic hierarchy then lived. In the 1170s the Waldenses (named after their founder, the French merchant Valdes [often incorrectly known as Peter Waldo]) initiated another type of dissent in the Rhône valley and Piedmont. Anticipating St. Francis of Assisi, Valdes adopted a life of poverty and evangelism, and the movement grew in the newly emerging towns of Europe.

      These groups, basically and professedly orthodox, together with the reform-minded Humiliati of Lombardy (Italy), practiced poverty, Scripture reading, and preaching. The Cathari were proscribed as heretics by the papacy and were attacked by a Crusade and later by the inquisition, and they gradually disappeared. The Humiliati remained orthodox as a quasi-religious order. The Waldenses, largely through mismanagement by the bishops and papal refusal to allow them to preach, drifted away from the church. Officially condemned as heretical by Pope Lucius III (reigned 1181–85), they remained a non-Catholic body through the Middle Ages and afterward.

      These heretical movements suggest that the great sense of purpose and energy that had opened the 12th century had been lost by the century's last decades, which were notably barren of saints and other leaders. They also reflected the church's inadequate response to changing social and economic conditions, such as the growth of towns and trade, and to the spiritual needs of the growing urban population of Europe. Moreover, the church was deemed too materialistic, and the pope himself seemed either part of the problem or unable to resolve the church's difficulties.

Religious life in the 13th century
      The 13th century was an age of fresh endeavour and splendid maturity in the realms of philosophy, theology, and art, and it has traditionally been regarded as the high point of medieval civilization. The revival of religious life and culture in the period was heralded by the vigorous papacy of Innocent III, one of the youngest and most energetic popes to hold the throne of St. Peter. As pope, Innocent intervened in the political affairs of various European rulers and expanded the jurisdictional claims of his predecessors, preparing the way for the great lawyer-popes of the 13th century. He was an advocate of Crusades in the Holy Land and against heretics. Concerned as well with the religious life of the church, he co-opted the mendicant movement of the Waldenses by recognizing the order of St. Francis and some groups of Humiliati. He also held the fourth Lateran Council (1215), one of the most important church councils of the Middle Ages.

      The coming of the friars and the legislation of the fourth Lateran Council—including requirements of annual confession and Communion and a reduction in the number of impediments to marriage—saved the lower classes for the church and silenced many critics of the establishment. Well-trained and extremely mobile, the friars were able to reach and hold regions and peoples that the static monks and clergy had failed to persuade. The friars were also closely associated with the Beguines, a laywomen's religious movement with roots in the late 12th century.

      The 13th century in Europe as a whole was a time of pastoral activity in which bishops and university-trained clergy perfected the diocesan and parish organization and reformed many abuses. Nevertheless, the period was not without its share of controversies. The Beguines faced skepticism and prejudice despite their promotion of chastity, contemplation, and labour. The mendicants also encountered opposition. The early friars served and were welcomed by the bishops and parish clergy, but clashes soon occurred; the papacy gave the friars exemptions and privileges so wide that the basic rights of the secular clergy were threatened. An academic “war of pamphlets” led to an attack on the vocation and work of the friars. Finally, Boniface VIII (reigned 1294–1303) arranged a compromise that was just and workable; under a revised form it lasted for two centuries. A bishop could refuse friars entry into his diocese, but, once they had been admitted, the friars were free of his control.

The golden age of Scholasticism
 Philosophy, hitherto concerned almost exclusively with logic and dialectic, had stagnated in the late 12th century. It was revived by the gradual arrival from Spain and Sicily of translations of the entire corpus of Aristotle, often accompanied by Arabic and Hebrew commentaries and treatises. Through these works, especially the Metaphysics and the Ethics, the whole field of philosophy was opened to the schools. After a short period of hesitation, they were used by theologians, at first eclectically and then systematically. The great Dominican thinkers St. Albertus Magnus (Albertus Magnus, Saint) and his more-famous pupil St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas, Thomas, Saint) rethought Aristotle's system in a Christian idiom, adding to it a fair amount of Neoplatonism from Augustine. Aquinas, in some 25 years of work, set theology firmly on a philosophical foundation, especially in his Summa contra gentiles (1258–64) and Summa theologiae (1265/66–1273). The Italian theologian and Franciscan minister-general St. Bonaventure (Bonaventure, Saint), in an even shorter career, renewed the traditional approach of Augustine and the theologians of the monastery of St. Victor regarding theology as the guide of the soul to the vision of God. At the same time, masters in the arts school of Paris used Aristotelian philosophy to construct a naturalistic system that clashed with orthodox teaching. The condemnations that ensued in 1272 and 1277, coinciding with the deaths of Bonaventure and Aquinas, included some Thomist theses. This apparent victory of conservatism ended the long era in which Greek thought was regarded as right reason and foreshadowed the age of individual systems and the divorce of philosophy from theology.

The persecuting society
      The centralization and expansion that led to the achievements of the Roman Catholic Church in the High Middle Ages were not without their negative consequences, some of which were part of a broader societal development known as the formation of a “persecuting society.” The church defined who was a Christian and who was not and then took steps to convert or eliminate those not numbered among the faithful. Innocent III sanctioned the Albigensian Crusade (see Albigenses) against the Cathari of southern France after repeated efforts to convert them to Roman Catholicism failed. The Crusade, led by northern barons, devastated the culture and country of southern France and is notorious for the alleged comment of the papal legate prior to the sack of Béziers in 1209: “Kill them all. God will know his own.”

      The church also approved of new judicial practices against heretics, which ran counter to the developing legal traditions of both church and state. In 1231 Pope Gregory IX ordered that heretics be turned over to civil authorities for punishment and approved of the use of inquisitorial practices in the pursuit of heretics. The most notorious institution of the Middle Ages, the inquisition never attained the universal authority and centralization ascribed to it in the popular imagination, but the inquisitors, usually Franciscans or Dominicans, zealously pursued heretics, who suffered torture and, on occasion, death.

      Another instance of hardening sentiment can be seen in the treatment of Jews (anti-Semitism). Between 800 and 1200 the Jewish (Jew) population increased significantly in Lombardy, Provence, and the towns in the river valleys of the Rhône, the Rhine, and the Danube. They entered England only after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Apart from heretics such as the Cathari, they were the only “foreign body” in Western Christendom and, as such, attracted special notice. Accounts of violence against the Jews are recorded as early as 992 and increased in number over the coming centuries. There were shocking massacres of Jews when the Crusades were preached, especially in the Rhineland in 1096; and, after various occasions of panic among Christians, Jews were accused of a variety of antisocial crimes. They were also accused of sacrilege, and, beginning in the 12th century, Jews were accused of the alleged ritual murder of children for use of the blood in Passover celebrations. Later, Jews suffered from suspicions aroused by the Cathari, and theologians and church leaders wrote treatises condemning the Jews' refusal to accept the faith or identified them as witnesses to the truth in their rejection of Christianity. Concern with the Jews' rejection of Christianity led to violence against Jewish holy books, including the burning of thousands of copies of the Talmud (Talmud and Midrash) in Paris in 1242. The fourth Lateran Council required Jews to wear a distinguishing badge and forbade their employment by governments. This established once and for all the ghetto system in large towns, though it did not at first impair Jewish prosperity. Eventually, however, the growing class of Christian merchants became jealous and hostile, and in 1290 and 1306 the Jews were expelled from England and France, respectively. Their numbers consequently increased in Germany, which thereafter was called “the classic land of Jewish martyrdom.” Small groups of Jews remained in Italy, and the Roman colony was never disturbed, in part because it enjoyed papal protection. In Spain toleration gave way to widespread persecution and conversion under duress, leaving a heritage of sorrow for the future.

Michael Frassetto The Rev. Michael David Knowles, O.S.B. Francis Christopher Oakley

From the late Middle Ages to the Reformation
      The last quarter of the 13th century was a time of growing bitterness and harshness. The golden age of Scholastic theology had come to an abrupt end, its theoretical foundation challenged by a number of theologians. The troubles of the Franciscans (Franciscan)—who were divided between those who stood for the absolute poverty prescribed by the rule and testament of St. Francis (the Spirituals (Spiritual)) and those who accepted papal relaxation and exemptions (the Conventuals)—were an open sore for 60 years, vexing the papacy and infecting the whole church. New expressions of lay piety and heresy challenged the authority of the church and its teachings, leaving the papacy itself vulnerable to disintegration.

The “Babylonian Captivity (Avignon papacy)”
 The severest difficulties faced by the medieval church involved the papacy. The most extreme and inflexible advocate of papal authority, Boniface VIII, initiated a struggle with the French king, Philip IV, over Philip's attempts to tax and judge the clergy. After Boniface issued the bull Unam sanctam (“One Holy”), which asserted the unity of the church and the authority of the pope over kings, Philip rallied the people of France and accused Boniface of blasphemy, murder, sodomy, and other crimes. In 1303, mercenaries in French pay and under French leadership harassed and humiliated the pope with impunity, arresting Boniface at his family palace in Anagni. Although freed by the people of the town, Boniface never recovered from the shock and died shortly afterward. The aftermath of this “outrage of Anagni” was the desertion of Rome by the popes and their long residence (1309–77) at Avignon (now in France), a chapter in church history called the “Babylonian Captivity” after the 70 years of Jewish exile in Babylon in the 6th century BC.

      The disputes among the Franciscans, which had crystallized finally upon the teaching of the Spirituals that their absolute poverty was that of Christ, were harshly settled (1322) by the irascible octogenarian Pope John XXII (reigned 1316–34), who persecuted the Spirituals and declared belief in the absolute poverty of Jesus and the Apostles heretical. Afterward a group of Franciscans led by Michael of Cesena, minister-general of the order, and William of Ockham (Ockham, William of) became bitter and formidable critics of the papacy. With them for a time was the Italian political philosopher Marsilius Of Padua, a Paris master who in his Defensor pacis (1324; “Defender of the Peace”) outlined a secular state in which the church was a government department, the papacy and episcopate were human institutions, and the spiritual sanctions of religion were relegated to a position of honourable nonentity. Between them, Ockham and Marsilius used almost all the arguments against the papacy that have ever been devised. Condemned more than once, Marsilius had little immediate effect or influence, but during the Great Schism (Western Schism) (1378–1417) and later, in the 16th century, he and Ockham had their turn.

      With the papacy “in captivity,” Europe and the church entered an epoch of disasters. As the 14th century proceeded, the so-called medieval synthesis of the Scholastic theologians was undone by the works of Ockham and John Duns Scotus (Duns Scotus, John), and nominalism captured the universities. In England, John Wycliffe (Wycliffe, John) challenged the papacy and the teachings of the church, prefiguring the attacks of the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century. Although condemned by the church, Wycliffe influenced the thought of Jan Hus (Hus, Jan) and, especially, the Lollards (Lollard) of England. The church also suffered from the destruction of the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) between England and France and the devastation of the Black Death (1348–49), which decimated the population of Europe and inspired both orthodox and heterodox religious movements.

      Despite this upheaval, the basic structures of Christian belief and practice changed little during the first half of the 1th century. Many of the largest parish churches of Europe date from this time, as do many popular devotions, prayers, hymns, pilgrimages, and carols; also, many hospitals and almshouses were founded. Although relations between the friars and the secular clergy had been canonically settled, friction between the two groups continued. The friars came under wider criticism for worldliness and immorality, but they remained popular. Although heresy and antisacerdotal (anticlerical) sentiment became almost endemic in the cities of Belgium and the Netherlands in the 14th century, the same period produced some of the greatest mystical writers of the church's history: in the north, Johann Tauler (Tauler, Johann) and Jan van Ruysbroeck (Ruysbroeck, Jan van); in Italy, Catherine of Siena (Catherine of Siena, Saint); and in England, Walter Hilton (Hilton, Walter) and the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing. The Beguine Marguerite Porete, another influential mystic, was burned as a heretic in 1310.

Late medieval reform: the Great Schism and conciliarism
      Reformation of the church and the papacy was what the advocates of a return of the papacy from Avignon to Rome had in mind. In the pope's absence both the ecclesiastical power and the territorial integrity of the papacy had deteriorated within Italy, and the moral and spiritual authority of the office was in jeopardy throughout Christian Europe. This condition, so many believed, would continue and even worsen so long as the papacy remained in Avignon. Pope Urban V (Urban V, Blessed) (reigned 1362–70) attempted to reestablish the papacy in Rome in 1367, but after a stay of only three years he returned to Avignon and soon died. It was finally Gregory XI (reigned 1370–78) who, in 1377, permanently moved the papal headquarters back to Rome, but he died only a few months later. The immediate result of the return to Rome was not the restoration of confidence and credibility that some had predicted but the very opposite. During the papacy's residence in Avignon, not only had the church come under the political and religious domination of France but the College of Cardinals in Rome had filled the administrative vacuum by developing a form of government that can only be described as oligarchic. The powers that the cardinals had succeeded in appropriating were difficult for the centralized authority of the papacy, whether in Avignon or in Rome, to reclaim for itself.

      Meeting in Rome for the first time in nearly a century, the College of Cardinals elected Pope Urban VI (reigned 1378–89). But Urban's desire to reassert the monarchical powers of the papacy, as well as his evident mental illness, prompted the cardinals to renege on their choice later in the same year. In his place they elected Clement VII (Clement (VII)) (reigned 1378–94), who soon took up residence back in Avignon. (This Clement VII is officially listed as an antipope, and the name was later taken by another pope, Clement VII, who reigned 1523–34.) The years from 1378 to 1417 were the time of the Great Schism (Western Schism), which divided the loyalties of Western Christendom between two popes, each of whom excommunicated the other and all the other's followers. In the conflict between them, kingdoms, dioceses, religious orders, parishes, and even families were split, and the pretensions of the church to being, as the Nicene Creed said, “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” became a mockery. No one could be absolutely certain about the validity of the sacraments if the integrity and the very unity of the church, and therefore of the episcopate and priesthood as well, were in doubt. Speaking for a broad consensus, the University of Paris proposed three alternatives for resolving the crisis, which had now become, for laity and clergy alike, a crisis of faith: resignation by both popes, with the election of a single unchallenged successor; adjudication of the dispute between the two popes by some independent tribunal; or appeal to an ecumenical council, which would function as a supreme court with jurisdiction over both claimants.

      The third of these of these options, the summoning of a general church council, seemed to the theologians at Paris and to many others to be preferable. The first of several reform councils was held at Pisa (Pisa, Council of) in 1409 to deal with the schism and with many other problems of discipline and doctrine. Pisa elected Alexander V (Alexander (V)) (reigned 1409–10) pope—he was not accepted as pope, however, and is listed with the antipopes—in place of both incumbents. But, because neither of the other two would acknowledge the authority of the council and resign, the immediate result was that for a few years, as one cardinal said, the church was treated to “a simulacrum of the Holy Trinity”—the spectacle of three reigning popes. Although not well attended, the Council of Pisa nonetheless had widespread support throughout Western Christendom and established an important precedent for future councils.

      The trinity of popes, and the Great Schism itself, came to an end through the work of the Council of Constance (Constance, Council of) (1414–18), which was called by Alexander V's successor, John XXIII (John (XXIII)) (reigned 1410–15), under pressure from the Holy Roman emperor Sigismund. John, who was subsequently considered an antipope, failed in his attempt to undermine the council, and all three popes either resigned or were deposed, whereupon the council elected Oddone Colonna, who took the name Martin V (reigned 1417–31). In addition to settling the question of papal legitimacy, the council enacted a variety of reform legislation, among which was a stipulation that thenceforth, as a matter of church law, the church council would not be merely an expedient to be resorted to in an emergency but a standing legislative body, a kind of ecclesiastical senate that would meet at brief and regular intervals. The decree of the Council of Constance justified this provision on the principle that the authority of the ecumenical council as the true representative of the entire church was superior to that of the pope, who could not make a similar claim for himself apart from the council. This elevation of conciliar over papal authority was the central tenet of the late medieval movement called conciliarism.

      This action also helps to account for the ambiguous position of the Council of Constance in the history of later Roman Catholic canon law, as the opinions of canonists and historians differ to this day about which sessions of the council are entitled to the status of a true ecumenical council. An ambiguity even more complex attended the next reform council, which used to be known as the Council of Basel (Basel, Council of)-Ferrara-Florence but is now sometimes divided into two councils, that of Basel and that of Ferrara-Florence (Ferrara-Florence, Council of), though the legitimacy of the Council of Basel is contested at least in part. The council opened in 1431 at Basel, was transferred by the pope in 1438 to Ferrara (where discussions for reunion with the Eastern Orthodox church at Constantinople began), moved in 1439 to Florence, and held its closing sessions in 1443–45 at Rome. While still at Basel, the council reaffirmed the conciliarist teaching of the Council of Constance about the superiority of the council to the pope. The council's opposition to the pope, however, undermined its authority. Many of the delegates, hoping to achieve reunion with Constantinople, left Basel when the pope moved the council to Ferrara and then Florence. Those remaining in Basel took extreme conciliarist positions and even formally deposed the reigning pope and elected another. However, the deposition found little support and ultimately damaged the credibility of the council in Basel, as well as the credibility of conciliarism itself, as did the success of the council in Ferrara-Florence.

      Both the Council of Constance and the Council of Ferrara-Florence have additional importance in the history of late medieval reform in Roman Catholicism—Constance for dealing with the problem of heresy within the Western church, and Ferrara-Florence for addressing itself to the relation of Western Roman Catholicism to Eastern Christendom.

Jan Hus (Hus, Jan)
      A major item on the agenda of the Council of Constance was the challenge posed to the authority of both contending parties, council as well as pope, by the teachings of the Czech preacher Jan Hus (Hus, Jan). Although influenced by John Wycliffe, Hus was not as radical as the English theologian, especially regarding transubstantiation in the Eucharist (Wycliffe, though not Hus, held that the bread and wine in the Eucharist retain their material substance). Hus was highly critical of the ecclesiastical hierarchy and argued that its authority was only spiritual. He also advanced an Augustinian definition of the church, according to which the earthly church is made up of only the saved and the damned.

      Despite the accusations of his critics, it seems clear that Hus did not draw from this premise the radical conclusion that sacraments administered by a hypocritical priest or bishop or pope were invalid in themselves; the priestly office and the sacraments retained their objective validity. A prominent element of the Hussite demands, however, was a call for the administration of Holy Communion to the laity “under both kinds” (sub utraque specie), bread and wine; that is, they demanded the restoration of the chalice. Accordingly, the followers of Hus emblazoned a chalice on their banners. The Hussite movement of reform coalesced with the rising nationalism of the Czech people, many of whom resented German domination of Bohemia.

      In 1411 Hus was excommunicated by John XXIII. In keeping with the widespread spirit of conciliarism, Hus appealed his case to an ecumenical council of the church. Summoned to appear before the Council of Constance, he was promised safe-conduct by Sigismund, the Holy Roman emperor. Once at the council, however, Hus was arrested and imprisoned. He was tried for heresy (particularly because of his doctrine of the church) and condemned, and on July 6, 1415, he was burned at the stake. His main prosecutors, notably including Jean de Gerson (Gerson, Jean de), chancellor of the University of Paris, were also the leaders of the reform movement at the Council of Constance.

      The death of Hus was not the end of his movement. A civil war in Bohemia soon led to the formation of an independent Bohemian Catholic church, which was later absorbed by Rome. Remnants of the Hussite movement evolved first into the Unitas Fratrum (a religious group that rejected transubstantiation and advocated nonviolence and a strict biblical faith) and then into the Moravian church. In the emergence of churches independent of Rome, as well as in various specific doctrinal and moral teachings, Hus anticipated the Protestant Reformation a century later. In the 16th century his disciples joined with the Lutherans in their struggle against the church and the emperor.

Efforts to heal the East-West Schism
      At Basel and then especially at Ferrara-Florence, there were extensive negotiations and discussions over the newly revived proposals for effecting a reunion of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Western Roman Catholicism. Earlier attempts at such a reunion—for example, at the Council of Lyon (Lyon, councils of) in 1274—had failed. But now the time seemed ripe on both sides for a new effort at reconciliation. Christian Constantinople was under increasing threat from the Turks and desired Western support, moral as well as military. Leaders of the West, regardless of party, regarded the long-sought rapprochement with the East as a means of restoring the prestige of both the papacy and the ecumenical council, which could then be seen as having resolved both the major schisms of Christian history—the Great Schism and the East-West Schism—in the space of one generation. The patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph II, and the Byzantine emperor, John VIII Palaeologus, both came in person to the Council of Ferrara-Florence for the theological negotiations toward reunion of the two churches.

      In the doctrinal discussions between the Greeks and the Latins, all the major points of difference that had historically separated the two churches received detailed attention. The Greeks acknowledged the primacy of the pope, and the Latins acknowledged the right of the Greeks to ordain married men into the priesthood. The chief sticking point, as always, was the doctrine of the Filioque: Did the Holy Spirit in the Trinity proceed from the Father only, as the East taught, or “from the Father and the Son” (ex Patre Filioque), as the Western addition to the text of the Nicene Creed affirmed? Almost all those present at Ferrara-Florence came to an agreement that the dispute over the Filioque was chiefly one of words, not of content, since it could be amply documented that both versions of the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit had substantial attestation from the teachings of the Church Fathers in both churches. Agreement on the Filioque and on all other points at issue led to the adoption of a document of union, Laetentur coeli (“Rejoicing of heaven”), promulgated on July 6, 1439 (and still commemorated in a plaque on the wall of the Duomo in Florence). But the reunion came too late for both sides. It was repudiated in the East in Constantinople, where the memory of Crusader violence persisted, as well as in other Orthodox churches, notably the Church of Russia. Once again, as on so many occasions throughout Christian history, the reunion of the Eastern and the Western churches proved to be a dead letter and an unattainable goal.

Roman Catholicism on the eve of the Reformation

The decline of Scholastic theology
      The transition from the Middle Ages to the Reformation was gradual. One development that was both a cause and an effect of that transition was the decline of Scholastic theology. As practiced by its leading expositors, Aquinas and Bonaventure (who differed greatly on many issues), Scholasticism was the systematization of the Roman Catholic understanding of the relation between the claims of human reason and the authority of divine revelation. To that end it had made use of philosophy, and particularly the newly available works of Aristotle, to describe the powers and limits of human ways to truth in order to enthrone Christian theology as “the queen of the sciences.”

      With good reason have historians seen in this schema of reason and revelation the counterpart in the life of the mind to the schema of church and society set forth earlier in the 13th century by Pope Innocent III. These historians draw a similar correlation between the waning prestige of the papacy in the late Middle Ages and the shattering of the Scholastic synthesis by philosophical theologians such as William of Ockham. Some of the theological descendants of Bonaventure, less confident of the powers of human reason than he, elevated the primacy of faith and the authority of Scripture to an almost exclusive position as a way to truth, while some of the philosophical descendants of Aquinas appeared, at least to their critics, to be expanding the realm of what was knowable by natural means to the point that the primacy of faith was threatened by an all-engulfing rationalism. All the varieties of Scholastic teaching, moreover, were under attack from those leaders of late medieval Roman Catholic piety who contended that the crisis of faith and of the church called for a return to the authentic religious experience of the primitive church as set forth in the New Testament.

Expressions of spirituality and folk piety
      Late medieval spirituality cannot be dismissed as merely a symptom of the general malaise in Roman Catholic Christendom; it must be recognized as a dynamic force. One of its noblest monuments, the devotional manual titled The Imitation of Christ (Imitation of Christ) (1441), became the second most widely circulated book in Christian history, second only to the Bible itself. The Imitation, though impeccably orthodox in its doctrinal emphases, takes the reader beyond (or behind) the authoritative structures of both church and dogma to the inner meaning of the Gospels and the inner life of the believing heart: the Christ of the creeds is above all the Christ of the Gospels, who summons his followers not only to orthodoxy in their theology but to discipleship in their lives. The Imitation is traditionally attributed to Thomas À Kempis. The author was a member of the Brethren of the Common Life (Common Life, Brethren of the), one of many lay communities, both female and male, that sprang up during the 15th century as centres of the devotio moderna, a religious movement that stressed the inner spiritual life over ritual and works.

      Other expressions of folk piety, too, were flourishing on the eve of the Reformation. Partly as a continuing effect of the establishment of the orders of friars in the 12th and 13th centuries, there was a revival of interest in preaching throughout Roman Catholic Europe. Along with it developed a growing attention to the Bible, which for the first time began to circulate widely, also in vernacular translations, as a consequence of the invention of printing. The 15th century is also in many ways the high point in the history of Roman Catholic devotion to the Virgin Mary. At the same time, there is evidence of a tide of anticlericalism among the common people—much of it in reaction to the corruption of the church and the clergy—and of a growing skepticism among intellectuals and secular rulers, even about fundamental Roman Catholic teachings.

Roman Catholicism and Renaissance humanism
      At least some of this Skepticism arose within the intellectual and literary milieu of Renaissance humanism, whose relation to Roman Catholicism was far more complex than has often been supposed. The efforts of 19th-century historians of the Renaissance—many of whom were themselves under the influence of both anticlericalism and skepticism—to interpret humanism as a neopagan revolt against traditional Christian beliefs have been fundamentally recast by modern scholarship. Not only were many of the popes of the 15th and 16th centuries themselves devotees and patrons of Renaissance thought and art, but there were also Renaissance figures such as Nicholas Of Cusa, arguably the greatest mind in Christendom East or West during the 15th century, who was at the same time a metaphysician of astonishing boldness and creativity, an ecumenical theologian looking for points of contact not only with other Christians but even with Islam, and a reform cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

      Thus the humanists emerge as Christians who were working simultaneously for the reform of the church and of literary culture. To achieve those ends, they urged a return to the basics of Christian civilization—that is, to the Greek and Latin classics and to the monuments of biblical and patristic literature. Lorenzo Valla (Valla, Lorenzo) in Italy and Desiderius Erasmus (Erasmus, Desiderius) in the north are by no means isolated cases of humanists arguing for this blending of Christianity and Classical culture. Erasmus ridiculed the Scholastics for their philosophical abstractions and for their bad Latin, and in his anonymous satire Julius exclusus e coelis (“Julius Excluded from Heaven”) he lampooned the efforts of Pope Julius II (reigned 1503–13) to get into heaven. Erasmus also edited the writings of most of the major Church Fathers in both Latin and Greek. His edition of the Greek New Testament, the Novum Instrumentum (1516), was intended to stimulate a renewal of Christian faith and life, which he himself called “the philosophy of Christ.” Significantly, this merciless critic of the current state of Roman Catholicism nevertheless found it impossible to affiliate himself with the Protestant Reformation when it arose, and he died a faithful, if unappreciated, member of the Roman Catholic Church.

Roman Catholicism and the emergence of national consciousness
      On the eve of the Reformation the relation of church and state shaped much of the history of Roman Catholicism, as it had done since the time of the emperor Constantine. In most of the states of Western Christendom, the 15th century was a time of awakening national consciousness, whose particularity and regionalism often set it in opposition to the universalism of a world church. In the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, such opposition between nation and church led to a break with Roman Catholicism as such, but it is evident from the examples of 15th-century France and Spain that it could also lead to a national Catholicism that remained in communion with Rome. As the seat of the Avignon papacy and the stronghold of the conciliarism represented by Jean de Gerson, chancellor of the University of Paris, and Pierre Cardinal d'Ailly (Ailly, Pierre d'), 15th-century France represented just such a definition of Catholicism; and in the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges of July 7, 1438, the French clergy came out in support of what were taken to be the historical rights of the Gallican church to administer its own affairs independently of Rome while maintaining its ties of filial loyalty and doctrinal obedience to the Holy See.

      A few decades later, in 1469, the marriage of Ferdinand (Ferdinand II) of Aragon and Isabella (Isabella I) of Castile effected the union of Catholic Spain. In 1482 Ferdinand and Isabella concluded a concordat with the Holy See, under whose terms the Spanish crown retained the right to nominate candidates for the episcopate. Queen Isabella's confessor, the humanist educator, Roman Catholic primate of Spain, and grand inquisitor Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (Jiménez de Cisneros, Francisco, Cardenal), blended Spanish patriotism, Renaissance scholarship, and a strictly orthodox Roman Catholicism in a form that was to characterize the church in the Hispanic lands of both the Old and the New World for centuries to come.

      Spain was not the only nation-state with which the papacy had to contend. In 1516, after the French king Francis I defeated the allies of Pope Leo X (reigned 1513–21), the pope signed a concordat granting the king the right to nominate French bishops and higher church dignitaries, thus ending the election of bishops by cathedral chapters and abbots by monastic chapters.

The age of Reformation and Counter-Reformation
      The most traumatic era in the entire history of Roman Catholicism, some have argued, was the period from the middle of the 14th century to the middle of the 16th. This was the time when Protestantism, through its definitive break with Roman Catholicism, arose to take its place on the Christian map. It was also the period during which the Roman Catholic Church, as an entity distinct from other “branches” of Christendom, even of Western Christendom, came into being.

      The spectre of many national churches supplanting a unitary Catholic church became a grim reality during the age of the Reformation. What neither heresy nor schism had been able to do before—divide Western Christendom permanently and irreversibly—was done by a movement that confessed a loyalty to the orthodox creeds of Christendom and professed an abhorrence for schism. By the time the Reformation was over, a number of new Christian churches had emerged and the Roman Catholic Church had come to define its place in the new order.

Roman Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation
      Whatever its nonreligious causes may have been, the Protestant Reformation arose within Roman Catholicism; there both its positive accomplishments and its negative effects had their roots. The standing of the church within the political order and the class structure of western Europe was irrevocably altered in the course of the later Middle Ages. Although Boniface VIII's extravagant claims for the political authority of the church and the papacy were undermined by the Babylonian Captivity and the subsequent schism, by the mid-15th century the papacy had recovered and triumphed over the conciliar movement. By the time Protestantism arose to challenge the spiritual authority of Rome, however, the papacy had squandered some of its recovered prestige in its attempts to establish its preeminence in Italian politics. Indeed, the popes were so involved in Italian cultural and political affairs that they had little appreciation of the seriousness of the Protestant movement. The medieval political structure too had undergone change, and nationalism had become a more important force; it is not a coincidence that the Reformation first appeared in Germany, where animosity toward Rome had long existed and memories of the papal-imperial conflict lingered.

      Accompanying these sociopolitical forces in the crisis of late medieval Roman Catholicism were spiritual and theological factors that also helped to bring about the Protestant Reformation. By the end of the 15th century there was a widely held impression that the papacy refused to reform itself, despite the relative success of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512–17), which was called by Pope Julius II. The papacy's reputation had been damaged by the political and military machinations of popes such as Julius, and the hierarchy's greed and corruption were demonstrated by Pope Leo X's agreement (1514) to allow the sale of indulgences in the diocese of Mainz. The church also was plagued by the perception that professional theologians were more interested in scholastic debates than in the practical matters of everyday Christian belief and practice.

      Despite, or because of, the rampant abuses of the hierarchy, there were efforts to reform the church. The most notable reformers were the Christian humanists, including Erasmus and Thomas More (More, Sir Thomas), who advocated an evangelical piety and rejected many of the medieval superstitions that had crept into church teaching. In Spain, Cardinal Jiménez undertook the reform of the clergy, restoring the observance of celibacy and other clerical and monastic rules of behaviour. Although condemned for heresy, Girolamo Savonarola (Savonarola, Girolamo) represented the ascetic reformist piety that existed in the late 15th century.

      During the Protestant Reformation the church's conflicting tendencies toward both corruption and reform coincided with the highly personal struggle of Martin Luther (Luther, Martin), who asked an essentially medieval question: “How do I obtain a God who is merciful to me?” Luther at first attempted a medieval answer to this question by becoming a monk and by subjecting himself to fasting and discipline—but to no avail. The answer that he eventually found, the conviction that God is merciful not because of anything that the sinner can do but because of a freely given grace that is received by faith alone (the doctrine of justification by faith), was not utterly without precedent in the Roman Catholic theological tradition, but, in the form in which Luther stated it, there appeared to be a fundamental threat to Catholic teaching and sacramental life. And in his treatise The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, issued in 1520, Luther denounced the entire system of medieval Christendom as an unwarranted human invention foisted on the church.

 Luther's unsparing attacks upon the moral, financial, and administrative abuses of the church were initially prompted by the sale of indulgences in Germany by the Dominican friar Johann Tetzel (Tetzel, Johann). Luther insisted throughout his life, however, that the primary object of his critique was not the life but the doctrine of the church—not the corruption of the ecclesiastical structure but the distortion of the gospel. The late medieval mass was “a dragon's tail,” not because it was liturgically unsound but because the medieval definition of the mass as a sacrifice offered by the church to God jeopardized the uniqueness of the unrepeatable sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. The cult of the Virgin Mary and of the saints, in Luther's view, diminished the office of Christ as the sole mediator between God and the human race. Thus, the pope was the Antichrist because he represented and enforced a substitute religion in which the true church, the bride of Christ, had been replaced by—and identified with—an external juridical institution that laid claim to the obedience due to God himself. When, after repeated warnings, Luther refused such obedience, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1521.

      Until his excommunication Luther had regarded himself as a loyal Roman Catholic and had appealed “from a poorly informed Pope to a Pope who ought to be better informed.” He had, moreover, retained a Roman Catholic-like perspective on most elements of Christian doctrine, including not only the Trinity and the two natures in the person of Christ but also baptismal regeneration and the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. (He did, however, reject the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation in favour of what has come to be called consubstantiation.)

      Many of the other Protestant Reformers were considerably less conservative in their doctrinal stance, distancing themselves from Luther's position no less than from the Roman Catholic one. Thus, Huldrych Zwingli (Zwingli, Huldrych) lumped Luther's sacramental teaching together with the medieval one, and Luther in turn exclaimed: “Better to hold with the papists than with you!” John Calvin (Calvin, John) was considerably more moderate than Zwingli, but both sacramentally and liturgically he broke with the Roman Catholic tradition. The Anglican Reformation strove to retain the historical episcopate and steered a middle course, liturgically and even doctrinally, between Roman Catholicism and continental Protestantism, particularly under Queen Elizabeth I.

      The polemical Roman Catholic accusation—which the mainline Reformers vigorously denied—that these various species of conservative Protestantism, with their orthodox dogmas and quasi-Catholic forms, were a pretext for the eventual rejection of most of traditional Christianity, seemed to be confirmed by the emergence of the radical Reformation. The Anabaptists (Anabaptist), as their name indicates, were accused by their opponents of “rebaptizing” those who had received the sacrament of baptism as infants (the Anabaptists advocated adult baptism and held that infant baptism was invalid); this was, at its foundation, a redefinition of the nature of the church, which they saw not as the institution allied with the state and embracing both the good and the wicked but as the community of true believers who had accepted the cost of Christian discipleship by a free personal decision. Nevertheless, the Anabaptists retained, in their doctrines of God and Christ, the historical orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed. Those Protestants who went on to repudiate orthodox Trinitarianism as part of their Reformation claimed to be carrying out, more consistently than Luther or Calvin or the Anabaptists had done, the full implications of the rejection of Roman Catholicism, which they all had in common.

      The challenge of the Protestant Reformation became also an occasion for a resurgent Roman Catholicism to clarify and to reaffirm Roman Catholic principles; that endeavour had, in one sense, never been absent from the life and teaching of the church, but it was undertaken now with new force. As the varieties of Protestantism proliferated, the apologists for Roman Catholicism pointed to the Protestant principle of the right of private interpretation of scripture as the source of this confusion. Against the Protestant elevation of Scripture to the position of sole authority, they emphasized that Scripture and church tradition are inseparable and always have been. Pressing this point further, they denounced justification by faith alone and other cherished Protestant teachings as novelties without grounding in authentic church tradition. Echoing the Letter of James (2:26) that “faith without works is also dead,” they warned that the doctrine of “faith alone, without works” as taught by Luther would sever the moral nerve and remove all incentive for holy living.

      Yet these negative reactions to Protestantism were not by any means the only—perhaps not even the primary—form of participation by Roman Catholicism in the history of the Reformation. The emergence of Protestantism did not exhaust the reformatory impulse within Roman Catholicism, nor can it be seen as the sole inspiration for Catholic reform. Rather, to a degree that has usually been overlooked by Protestant and Catholic historians alike, there was a distinct historical movement in the 16th century that can only be identified as the Roman Catholic Reformation.

The Roman Catholic Reformation
The Council of Trent (Trent, Council of)
      The most important single event in the Catholic Reformation was almost certainly the Council of Trent (Trent, Council of), which met intermittently in 25 sessions between 1545 and 1563. The papacy's bitter experiences with the conciliarism of the 15th century made the popes of the 16th century wary of any so-called reform council, for which many were clamouring. After several false starts, however, the council was finally summoned by Pope Paul III (reigned 1534–49), and it opened on December 13, 1545. The legislation of the Council of Trent enacted the formal Roman Catholic reply to the doctrinal challenges of the Protestant Reformation and thus represents the official adjudication of many questions about which there had been continuing ambiguity throughout the early church and the Middle Ages. The “either/or” doctrines of the Protestant Reformers—justification by faith alone, the authority of Scripture alone—were anathematized, in the name of a “both/and” doctrine of justification by both faith and works on the basis of the authority of both Scripture and tradition, and the privileged standing of the Latin Vulgate was reaffirmed against Protestant insistence upon the original Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture.

      No less important for the development of modern Roman Catholicism, however, was the legislation of Trent aimed at reforming—and at re-forming—the internal life and discipline of the church. Two of its most far-reaching provisions were the requirement that every diocese provide for the proper education of its future clergy in seminaries under church auspices and the requirement that the clergy, and especially the bishops, give more attention to the task of preaching. The financial abuses that had been so flagrant in the church at all levels were brought under control, and strict rules requiring the residency of bishops in their dioceses were established. In place of the liturgical chaos that had prevailed, the council laid down specific prescriptions about the form of the mass and liturgical music. What emerged from the Council of Trent, therefore, was a chastened but consolidated church and papacy, the Roman Catholicism of modern history.

New religious orders
      Some of the outcome, and much of the enforcement, of the Council of Trent was in the hands of newly established religious orders, above all the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits (Jesuit), founded in 1534 by the Basque noble Ignatius of Loyola (Loyola, Saint Ignatius of), and officially established by the papacy in 1540. Unlike the Benedictine monks or the Franciscan and Dominican friars (friar), the Jesuits swore special obedience to the pope and were specifically dedicated to the task of reconstructing church life and teaching in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation. They thus came to be called the “shock troops of the Counter-Reformation.” In pursuit of that mission they became especially active in scholarship and education, above all in the education of the nobility; through their pupils they sometimes wielded as great an influence in affairs of state as they did in affairs of the church. Although they were by no means the only religious order in the foreign missions of the church, their responsibility for regaining outside Europe the power and territory that the church had lost within Europe as a result of the Protestant Reformation made them the leading force in the Christianization of newly discovered lands in the Western Hemisphere, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. At the beginning of the 17th century, for example, the Jesuits established a virtually autonomous colony in Paraguay.

      In addition to the Jesuits, other Roman Catholic religious orders owe their origin to the Reformation. The Capuchin friars renewed the ideals of the Franciscan order, and by their missions both within and beyond the historical boundaries of Christendom they furthered the revival of Roman Catholicism. The Theatines were founded by Gaetano da Thiene and the bishop of Chieti (Theate), Gian Pietro Carafa, who later became Pope Paul IV (reigned 1555–59); both through the program of the order and through his pontificate, the correction of abuses in the church assumed primary importance. Despite the attacks of the Reformers on the institutions and even the ideals of monasticism, it was in considerable measure a reformed monasticism that carried out the program of the Roman Catholic Reformation.

      Recognition of the scope and success of the internal movements for reform within 16th-century Roman Catholicism has rendered obsolete the practice of certain earlier historians who lumped all these movements under the heading “Counter-Reformation,” as though only Protestantism (or, perhaps, only the historian's own version of Protestantism) had the right to the title of “the Reformation”—hence the use here of the term Roman Catholic Reformation. Yet that does not deny a proper meaning of “Counter-Reformation” as part of the larger phenomenon, for counteracting the effects of Protestantism was part of the program of the Council of Trent, the Society of Jesus, and the papacy during the second half of the 16th century and afterward. Indeed, the papacy established two institutions, the Roman Inquisition and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (“Index of Forbidden Books”), specifically to combat the Protestant Reformation.

      The Counter-Reformation was instituted wherever there had been a Protestant Reformation, but it met with strikingly varied degrees of success. Most of the “German lands” in which Luther had worked remained Protestant after his death in 1546, but major territories, above all Bavaria and Austria, were regained for Roman Catholicism by the end of the 16th century. The Wars of Religion between 1562 and 1598 regained France for the Roman Catholic cause, though the Edict of Nantes (Nantes, Edict of) (1598) granted a limited toleration to the Protestants; it was revoked in 1685. Perhaps the most complete victory for the Counter-Reformation was the restoration of Roman Catholic domination in Poland and in Hussite Bohemia.

      The victory of the Habsburg Counter-Reformation in Bohemia and the defeat of Czech Protestantism were a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain (1620), in the early years of the Thirty Years' War. Often called the first modern war, this series of conflicts devastated the populations of central Europe, Roman Catholic at least as much as Protestant. The conclusion of the war in the Peace of Westphalia (Westphalia, Peace of) (1648) meant for Roman Catholicism the de facto acceptance of the religious pluralism that had developed out of the Reformation: Protestantism, both Lutheran and Calvinist, obtained a legal standing alongside Roman Catholicism in what had previously been regarded as “Catholic Europe.” Indeed, what began as a “religious war” aimed at resolving the confessional impasse brought about by the Reformation led eventually to a military alliance between Cardinal Richelieu (Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de) of France and the Lutheran king of Sweden, Gustav II Adolf. Thus did the process of the secularization of politics render the old antitheses—including finally the very antithesis between Roman Catholic and Protestant—less relevant than they had once been.

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan Michael Frassetto

Post-Reformation conditions
      The peace of 1648 may have meant that the era of the Reformation had ended, but for those who remained loyal to the see of Rome it meant that what had been thought of as a temporary disturbance would now be a permanent condition. Although the church still claimed to be the only true church of Jesus Christ on earth, in the affairs of the faithful and those of nations it had to accept the fact that it was just one church among many. The Roman Catholic Church was also obliged to deal with the nation-states of the modern era individually. To understand the history of modern Roman Catholicism, therefore, it is necessary to consider trends within particular states or regions—such as France, Germany, the New World, or the mission field—only as illustrations of tendencies that transcended geographic boundaries and that permeated the entire life of the church. Most of the development of Roman Catholicism since 1648 makes sense only in the light of this changed situation.

      The results of the change became evident in the papacy of the 17th and 18th centuries. On June 6, 1622, Gregory XV (reigned 1621–23) created the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, hence propaganda), which was renamed the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 1967. Its responsibility was, and still is, the organization and direction of the missions of the church to the non-Christian world, as well as the administration of the affairs of the church in areas that do not have an ordinary ecclesiastical government. While the congregation usually appointed vicars apostolic—bishops with only delegated authority over mission countries where the hierarchy had not yet been established—some nations, such as the United States, whose hierarchy was established in 1789, and Great Britain, whose hierarchy was restored in 1850, remained subject to Propaganda Fide until 1908. It has therefore played an important role in the efforts to restore Roman Catholicism in Protestant and, to some degree, in Eastern Orthodox territories.

Developments in France
The Gallican problem
      In many ways the course of the church's history has been determined by its relations with individual political powers rather than by the leadership of the popes. Ecclesiastical and secular governments were put on a collision course throughout Europe not only by the shrinking authority of the church as a consequence of the Reformation but also by the expanding ambition of the state as a consequence of the growth of nationalism. France, “the first daughter of the church,” was the nation-state whose development during the 17th and 18th centuries most strikingly dramatized the collision, so much so that Gallicanism, as the nationalistic ecclesiastical movement was called in France, is still the term used to refer to the efforts of any national church to achieve autonomy.

      Autonomy from Rome usually implied subjection to the French crown, particularly during the reign of Louis XIV, who sought to extend the so-called prerogatives of France when Rome resisted. A conclave of bishops and deputies met on March 19, 1682, in Paris and adopted the Four Gallican Articles, which had been drafted by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, a French bishop and historian. These asserted that (1) in temporal matters rulers are independent of the authority of the church, (2) in spiritual matters the authority of the pope is subject to the authority of a general council, as had been declared at the Council of Constance, (3) the historic rights and usages of the French church cannot be countermanded even by Rome, and (4) in matters of faith the judgment of the pope must be ratified by a general council.

      The next move was up to the papacy. Both Innocent XI (Innocent XI Blessed) (reigned 1676–89) and Alexander VIII (reigned 1689–91) rejected Louis's candidates for bishoprics in France, and only in 1693, during the reign (1691–1700) of Innocent XII, was this all-but-schismatic conflict resolved. Gallicanism was in part an expression of the distinctive traditions of French Catholicism and in part a result of the personal power of Louis XIV, the “Sun King.” But it was also, and perhaps even more fundamentally, a systematic statement of the inevitable opposition between the papacy and a series of rulers from Henry VIII of England to Joseph II of Austria, who, though remaining basically Catholic in their piety and belief, wanted no papal interference in their royal business but insisted on the right of royal interference in the business of the church.

 The church in France was the scene of controversies other than those connected with administration and politics. In his posthumously published work Augustinus (1640), the Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen (Jansen, Cornelius Otto) defended the doctrines of Augustine (Augustine, Saint) against the then-dominant theological trends within Roman Catholicism. The book's special target was the teachings and practices of the Jesuits; Jansen and his followers claimed that the theologians of the Counter-Reformation, in their opposition to Luther and Calvin, had erred in the opposite direction in their definition of the doctrine of grace. By emphasizing human responsibility at the expense of divine initiative, they had relapsed into the Pelagian heresy, against which Augustine had fought in the early 5th century. Jansenism instead asserted the Augustinian doctrine of original sin, including the teaching that man cannot keep the commandments of God without a special gift of grace and that the converting grace of God is irresistible. Consistent with this anthropology was Jansenism's rigoristic view of moral issues and its condemnation of the tendency, which it claimed to discern in Jesuit ethics, to find loopholes for evading the uncompromising demands of divine law.

      When it was espoused by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal (Pascal, Blaise) in his Lettres provinciales (“Provincial Letters”), the campaign against Jesuit theology became a cause célèbre. The papacy struck out against Jansenism in 1653, when Innocent X (reigned 1644–55) issued his bull Cum occasione (“With Occasion”), and again in 1713, when Clement XI (reigned 1700–21) promulgated his constitution Unigenitus (“Only-Begotten”). The Lettres provinciales was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1657. Theologically, Jansenism represented the lingering conviction, even of those who refused to follow the Reformers, that the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church was Augustinian in form but not in content; morally, it bespoke the ineluctable suspicion of many devout Roman Catholics that the serious call of the gospel to a devout and holy life was being compromised in the moral theology and penitential practice of the church. Although Jansenism was condemned, it did not remain without effect, and in the 19th and 20th centuries it contributed to an evangelical reawakening not only in France but throughout the church.

       Quietism, another movement within French Roman Catholicism, was far less strident in its polemics and far less ostentatious in its erudition but no less threatening in its ecclesiastical and theological implications. In many ways it was yet another form of the Augustinian opposition to any recrudescence of the Pelagian idea that man's religious activity can make God propitious to him. In Quietism this belief was associated with the development of a technique of prayer in which passive contemplation became the highest form of religious activity. Christian mysticism had always combined, in an uneasy alliance, the techniques of an aggressive prayer that stormed the gates of heaven and a resigned receptivity that awaited the way and will of God, whatever it might be. In the theology of François de Fénelon (Fénelon, François de Salignac de La Mothe-), a French archbishop and mystical writer, Quietism was combined with a scrupulous orthodoxy of doctrine to articulate the distinction between authentic Catholic mysticism and false spiritualism. Nevertheless, as scholars of medieval mystical movements have suggested, the Quietist movement showed how great was the gulf between the Roman Catholicism that had emerged from the Counter-Reformation and the spirituality of the preceding centuries, both Greek and Latin. A devotion such as that of the 4th-century Greek theologians Gregory of Nyssa and Evagrius of Pontus was completely ruled out by the legalistic theology that condemned Quietism.

Controversies involving the Jesuits (Jesuit)
      An analogous judgment would have to be voiced concerning the Chinese rites controversy, which centred on the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (Ricci, Matteo), who worked as a missionary in China in the late 16th and the early 17th century. Decades of scholarly research into Buddhist and Confucian (Confucianism) thought had prepared Ricci to attach the Roman Catholic understanding of the Christian faith to the deepest spiritual apprehensions of the Chinese religious tradition. The veneration of Confucius, the great Chinese religious and philosophical leader, and the religious honours paid to ancestors were to be seen not as elements of paganism to be rejected out of hand nor as pagan anticipations of Christianity but as rituals of Chinese society that could be adapted to Christian purposes. Ricci's apostolic labours won him many converts in China, but they also aroused the suspicion of many in the West that the distinctiveness of Christianity was being compromised in syncretistic fashion. The suspicion did not assert itself officially until long after Ricci's death, but, when it did, the outcome was a condemnation of the Chinese rites by Pope Clement XI in 1704 and 1715 and by Pope Benedict XIV (reigned 1740–58) in 1742. Ancestor veneration and Confucian devotion were said to be an inseparable element of traditional Chinese religion and hence incompatible with Christian worship and doctrine. Here again, the embattled situation of the Roman Catholic Church in the 17th and 18th centuries helps to account for an action that seems, in historical perspective, to have been excessively defensive and rigoristic.

Suppression of the Jesuits
      Among the repercussions of the controversy over Chinese rites was an intensification of the resentment directed against the Society of Jesus, to which some of the other movements mentioned above also contributed. The campaign to suppress the Jesuits was the result of the general anticlerical and antipapal tenor of the times. Hostility to the Jesuits was further inspired by their defense of the indigenous populations of the Americas against abuses committed by Spanish colonizers and by the strength of the order, which was regarded as an impediment to the establishment of absolute monarchist rule. The Portuguese crown expelled the Jesuits in 1759, France made them illegal in 1764, and Spain and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies took other repressive action in 1767. Opponents of the Society of Jesus achieved their greatest success when they took their case to Rome. Although Pope Clement XIII (reigned 1758–69) refused to act against the Jesuits, reportedly stating that they “should be as they are or not be at all,” his successor— Clement XIV (reigned 1769–74), whose election was urged by anti-Jesuit forces—issued a brief, Dominus ac redemptor (“Lord and Redeemer”), which suppressed the Society for the good of the church. Frederick II of Prussia and Empress Catherine II of Russia—one of them Protestant and the other Eastern Orthodox—were the only monarchs who refused to promulgate the brief. In these lands and elsewhere the Society of Jesus maintained a shadow existence until 1814, when Pope Pius VII (reigned 1800–23) restored it to full legal validity. Meanwhile, however, the suppression of the Jesuits had done serious damage to the missions and the educational program of the church at a time when both enterprises were under great pressure.

Religious life in the 17th and 18th centuries
      It would be a mistake to allow the narrative of these controversies to monopolize one's attention. Less dramatic but no less important was the continuing life of the Roman Catholic Church as “mother and teacher” during these centuries. Bossuet (Bossuet, Jacques-Bénigne) was not only the formulator of Gallican ideology but also one of the finest preachers of Christian history. He addressed king and commoner alike and asserted the will of God with eloquence, if sometimes with undue precision. Together with Jean Mabillon (Mabillon, Jean), a Benedictine monk and scholar, Bossuet helped to lay the foundations of modern Roman Catholic historiography. During the 18th century their work was continued and expanded, especially by Mabillon's confreres, the Maurists (Maurist), a Benedictine group that edited the works of the Greek and Latin Fathers. A similar group, the Bollandists, established by Jean Bolland among the Jesuits in the early 17th century, edited the lives of the saints. Both Jansenism and Quietism must be seen not only as parties in a controversy but also as symptoms of religious vitality. Engaging as they did considerable segments of the Roman Catholic laity, they expressed “the practice of the presence of God” with a new vigour.

      The Roman Catholic Church of this period exercised a profound influence on culture and the arts. Indeed, the spirit of the Baroque is inseparable from the Counter-Reformation, as is evident, for example, in the church of Il Gesù in Rome and in the sculpture and architecture of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Bernini, Gian Lorenzo). Pascal and Cervantes (Cervantes, Miguel de) are notable literary figures who expressed Roman Catholic thought and piety through their works. Despite its strong support for much of contemporary culture, the church also found itself in conflict with that culture during the Counter-Reformation. The condemnation of Galileo in 1616 and again in 1633 as “vehemently suspected of heresy” was more important symbolically than intrinsically, a sign of the alienation between science and theology. Also during this period several major religious orders were established or further developed, among them the Daughters of Charity, founded by St. Vincent de Paul (Vincent De Paul, Saint) in 1633, and the Trappists (Trappist), who take their name from the Cistercian abbey of La Trappe, which in 1664 was transformed into a community of the Strict Observance.

The church in the modern period
Catholicism in Revolutionary France (French Revolution)
      The period of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation was a time of convulsion for the Roman Catholic Church, but the era of revolution that followed it was, if anything, even more traumatic. This was partly because, despite the polemical rancour of Reformation theology, both sides in the controversies of the 16th and 17th centuries still shared much of the Catholic tradition. In the 18th century, however, there arose a political system and a philosophical outlook that not only did not take Christianity for granted but in fact explicitly opposed it, compelling the church to redefine its position more radically than it had done since the conversion of Constantine in the 4th century.

      Although the rhetoricians of the French Revolution spoke as though the church and the ancien régime (the pre-Revolutionary political and social system of France) had been one, no one could study the history of the church in the age of Louis XIV and accept so simplistic an interpretation. Indeed, there had been bitter and uncompromising conflict between the two. Nevertheless, this conflict had taken place within the context of certain shared presuppositions. It is significant, for example, that the French aristocracy, soon to become the hated object of Revolutionary zeal, constituted the source of almost all the bishops of the church in the ancien régime. This also meant that positions of authority in the church were largely foreclosed to the lower clergy because of their class. The theological and ecclesiastical parties identified with opposition to Rome were frequently those that drew the support of the laity; Jansenism, for example, was identified as the position of the lay lawyers who spoke for the French courts of justice against the hierarchy. Despite the hostility between church and state, therefore, the ancien régime appeared to its critics to be a monolith. Thus, when the French philosopher Voltaire (1694–1778) said, “Écrasez l'infâme” (“Crush the infamous one”), he may have meant superstition, ignorance, and tyranny, but what they added up to concretely in the minds of the revolutionaries was the supposed alliance of the monarchy with the Roman Catholic Church. This identification was only confirmed when the defenders of the established order, both lay and clerical, spoke out against the threat of revolution with a greater awareness of its dangers than of its justification.

      Complicating the predicament of the church in the ancien régime was the corrosive influence of the Enlightenment on the religious beliefs of much of the lay intelligentsia. Enlightenment rationalism took hold among many defenders of the political status quo as well as among clerical scholars, helping to produce the beginnings of critical biblical scholarship and of religious toleration. It would be an oversimplification, therefore, to put the Enlightenment unequivocally on the side of the critics and revolutionaries. But the confidence in reason and the hostility to “superstition” cultivated by the Enlightenment inevitably clashed with the Christian reliance on revelation and with the belief in supernatural grace as communicated by the sacraments.

      The political and social prerogatives of the church were also threatened by the Enlightenment, especially when it became allied with the expanding claims of an autocratic “enlightened despotism.” The brotherhood cultivated by groups such as the Freemasons (Freemasonry) and the Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, constituted a rival to the feeling of community that the church had once provided. The Masonic alternative to the Catholic mass even became the subject of an opera, The Magic Flute by Mozart (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus).

      Although leaders of the state were often more hospitable to the ideas of the Enlightenment than were leaders of the church, the latter proved more accurate in their assessment of the revolutionary implications of these ideas. The “heavenly city of the 18th-century philosophers” may originally have been intended as a substitute for the City of God, but it also provided much of the ideological rationale for the attack upon the ancien régime. In the familiar epigram of the Swiss writer Jacques Mallet du Pan, after the French Revolution, “philosophy may boast her reign over the country she has devastated.”

      The actions of the French Revolution against the church took many forms, but the most significant was the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790), which attempted to subject the church to the National Assembly. The entire church in France was reorganized, with the authority of the pope restricted to doctrinal matters. Later in the same year, a constitutional oath was required of all the French clergy, most of whom refused. Pope Pius VI (reigned 1775–99) denounced the Civil Constitution in 1791, and Catholic France was divided between adherents of the papal system and proponents of the new order. The closing decade of the 18th century was dominated by this conflict, and no resolution was provided by either church or state. The ultimate humiliation of the church took place in 1798 when Pius VI was driven out of Rome by French armies; in the following year he was taken captive and dragged back to France, where he died. As papal prestige sank to depths it had not reached since the crises of the 14th century, some critics called for abolishing the office altogether.

Napoleon I and the restoration
      The death of Pius as a martyr and his instructions for a conclave in the event of an emergency contributed to a dramatic reversal of fortune for the papacy and the church in the first half of the 19th century. However, the worst excesses committed against the church by the Revolution were overturned by one of the Revolution's own. After assuming power, Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I), recognizing the great division that attacks on the church had caused in France, sought an accommodation, which was achieved in a concordat concluded with Pope Pius VII (reigned 1800–23) on July 15, 1801. It granted freedom of worship to all Frenchmen while recognizing that the faith of most of them was Roman Catholicism. All incumbents of bishoprics were to resign and be replaced by bishops whom Napoleon, as first consul, would nominate. The properties of the church that had been secularized during the Revolution were to remain so, but the clergy was to be provided with proper support by the government.

      Many historians maintain that the Concordat of 1801 (1801, Concordat of) was as important an event for the modern church as the conversion of Constantine had been for the ancient church. As Constantine had first recognized and then established Christianity in the Roman Empire, so a series of concordats and other less-formal agreements created the modus vivendi between the church and modern secular society. What this arrangement entailed for the papacy was the surrender of most of the temporal holdings of the church in Europe. The eventual outcome was the creation of Vatican City as a distinct political entity, but only after a long conflict over the States of the Church during the unification of Italy in 1869–70.

      Although the Concordat of 1801 was of lasting significance, it was not the final act in the tumultuous drama involving Napoleon and the pope. Indeed, the French ruler attached a number of articles to the concordat that restricted papal jurisdiction in France, thus undermining the authority of the pope. Pius's refusal to accept the additions to the agreement led to worsening tensions between the two leaders and to Pius's eventual arrest and imprisonment. In January 1813, while in French custody, Pius was forced to sign a new concordat, but he repudiated the document two months later.

      Pius ultimately outlasted Napoleon, who suffered his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, after which the victorious powers attempted to restore the pre-Revolutionary order. The Congress of Vienna (Vienna, Congress of) in 1814–15 helped to establish a basis for the church's recovery in the 19th century by returning Rome to the pope. Pius further secured the church's future by signing concordats with the rulers of several countries, and he recognized the newly independent states of Latin America. He also revived the Society of Jesus, condemned Freemasonry, and patronized art and education. His efforts restored the papacy to its former position of respect and reestablished the church as an important force in the affairs of Europe and America.

 Few popes of modern times have presided over so momentous a series of decisions and actions as Pius IX (reigned 1846–78), whose early liberalism was ended by the shock of the Revolutions of 1848. During his reign the development of the modern papacy reached a climax with the triumph of Ultramontanism—the viewpoint of those who favoured strong papal authority and the centralization of the church—and the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility. It had long been taught that the church, as “the pillar and bulwark of the truth,” could not fall away from the truth of divine revelation and therefore was “indefectible” or even “infallible (papal infallibility).” Inerrancy had likewise been claimed for the Bible by both Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians. As the visible head of the church and as the authorized custodian of the Bible, the pope had also been thought to possess a special gift of the Holy Spirit, enabling him to speak definitively on faith and morals. But this gift had not been defined in a clear way. The outward conflicts of the church with the modern world and the inner development of its theology converged in the doctrinal constitution Pastor aeternus (“Eternal Shepherd”), promulgated by the First Vatican Council (Vatican Council, First) (commonly called Vatican I) on July 18, 1870. It asserted thatthe Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed.

      Those who opposed the official declaration of papal infallibility argued that such a declaration would widen divisions within the church and increase animosity and misunderstanding between the church and the modern world. This opposition was, however, ineffective, and the dogma of infallibility became the public doctrine of the church. Those who continued to disagree with the dogma withdrew to form the Old Catholic church, which was centred in The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland.

      In September 1870, while Vatican I was in recess, Rome was occupied by forces of the Kingdom of Italy, and the council was forced to suspend its work. During the subsequent period of the “Roman Question,” which lasted until 1929, the official position of the church was that the pope was a “prisoner” in the Vatican.

      Even before the promulgation of the dogma of infallibility, Pope Pius had exercised the authority that it conferred on him. In 1854 he defined as official teaching the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (Mary), “that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ.” Although the doctrine was very popular in an age of increasing Marian devotion and was supported by bishops and theologians, it was pronounced by the pope as a demonstration of papal infallibility. Ten years later Pius issued a document that was in some ways even more controversial, the Syllabus (December 8, 1864). In it he condemned various doctrines and trends characteristic of modern times, including pantheism, socialism, civil marriage, secular education, and religious indifferentism. By thus appearing to put the church on the side of reaction against liberalism, science, democracy, and tolerance, the Syllabus seemed to signal a retreat by the church from the modern world. Be that as it may, the document did clarify Roman Catholic teaching at a time when it was being threatened on all sides.

      The church's hostility toward modern thought and society led to a serious confrontation with the Prussian government in the Kulturkampf of the 1870s and '80s. Because he was a Prussian and a Protestant, Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck (Bismarck, Otto von) resisted the basic trend of the developments just traced. In his view, the Roman Catholic parties in the German states were an obstacle to the political union to which he was dedicated—i.e., a predominantly Protestant Germany without Roman Catholic Austria. Moreover, he believed that both the Syllabus of Errors and the dogma of infallibility were expressions of the church's opposition to the very sort of state he was trying to establish. Much of the theological opposition to papal infallibility came from German thinkers, notably Ignaz von Döllinger (Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von), to whose defense Bismarck sprang.

      The Kulturkampf began with the elimination of the Roman Catholic bureau from the ministry of education and ecclesiastical affairs in the Prussian state. Bismarck asserted the state's authority over all education in Prussia and expelled the Society of Jesus. Then, in direct defiance of the Syllabus of Errors, he made civil marriage obligatory, regardless of whether the couple had exchanged vows before a clergyman. Laws were passed to compel candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood to attend a German university for at least three years. Bismarck summarized his defiance of the church in an allusion to the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV in the 11th century: “We are not going to Canossa!” When Pius IX died in 1878, the conflict was still unresolved.

 Leo XIII (reigned 1878–1903) was no less conservative in his ultramontanism and his theological inclinations than his predecessor, and on issues of church doctrine and discipline his administration was a strict one. It was during his reign that the movement known as Modernism, which advocated freedom of thought and the use of biblical and historical criticism, arose within Roman Catholicism. Although the formal condemnation of its tendencies did not come until 1907, four years after his death, Leo made his opposition to this trend clear by the establishment of the Pontifical Biblical Commission as a monitor over the work of scriptural scholars. His conservative and centralizing tendencies also were reflected in his relations with other churches. Although he voiced a more open attitude toward the Eastern churches, he sought their return to obedience to Rome. In 1895 Leo appointed a commission to decide the long-mooted question of whether, despite the separation from Rome in the 16th century, the priestly ordination of the Anglican Communion was valid, as was that of the separated Eastern churches; in 1896 he issued Apostolicae curae (“Apostolic Concerns”), which denied the validity of Anglican orders and was a setback for ecumenical hopes on both sides.

      The pope's conservative nature was demonstrated most dramatically in his condemnation of Americanism. He had difficulty comprehending the burgeoning republic of the United States, American pluralism, and American Catholic praise for religious liberty. The controversy over Americanism arose from a French translation of a biography of Isaac Thomas Hecker (Hecker, Isaac Thomas), founder of the American congregation of priests, the Paulists. Hecker had sought to reach out to Protestant Americans by stressing certain points of Catholic teaching, but Leo understood this effort as a watering down of Catholic doctrine. Hecker also had used terms such as “natural virtue,” which to the pope suggested the Pelagian heresy. Because members of the Paulists took promises but not the vows of religious orders, many concluded that Hecker denied the need for external authority. Progressive Catholics in America advocated greater Catholic involvement in American culture, which some understood to mean that Roman Catholics should adapt its teachings to modern civilization. In Longinqua oceani (1895; “Wide Expanse of the Ocean”), Leo warned American church leaders—such as the only cardinal in the American church, James Gibbons (Gibbons, James), archbishop of Baltimore—not to export their unique system of separation of church and state, and in his pastoral letter Testem benevolentiae (1899; “Witness to Our Benevolence”) he condemned other forms of Americanism. Gibbons denied that American Catholics held any of the condemned views, and Leo's pronouncement ended the Americanist movement and curtailed the activities of American progressive Catholics.

      Despite his theological and ecclesiological conservatism, Leo's attitude toward the modern world was more accommodating than that of his predecessor. More diplomatic and flexible than Pius, Leo also initiated contacts with contemporary scholarship. He encouraged historical studies and opened the Vatican archives to researchers, including even Protestant historians. He also promoted education and the study of astronomy and science. The positive aspects of his theology appeared in the encyclical Aeterni Patris (“Eternal Father”) of August 4, 1879, which, more than any other single document, provided a charter for the revival of Thomism—the medieval theological system based on the thought of Aquinas—as the official philosophical and theological system of the Roman Catholic Church. It was to be normative not only in the training of priests at church seminaries but also in the education of the laity at universities. To that end Leo also sponsored the start of a definitive critical edition of the works of Aquinas. Although he was a staunch Thomist, Leo named John Henry Newman (Newman, John Henry) (1801–90), the English scholar whose theology was more Augustinian than Thomistic, a cardinal.

      Leo XIII is best remembered for his social and political thought, which earned him the sobriquet the “pope of peace.” Uncompromising in his attitude toward Italy and papal independence, Leo strove to improve relations with France and encouraged French Catholics to participate in their democracy. He also managed to mollify the church's position toward the policies of Bismarck, and the chancellor in turn moved toward a compromise. Diplomatic relations between Germany and the Vatican were restored in 1882, and gradually the restrictive laws of the Kulturkampf were lifted. But Leo's greatest achievements in relations between the church and the modern world were his social and political encyclicals (encyclical). Without repudiating the theological presuppositions of the Syllabus of Errors, these documents articulated a positive social philosophy, not merely a defensive one. In Libertas (“Liberty”), issued on June 20, 1888, he sought to affirm what was good about political liberalism, democracy, and freedom of conscience. Above all, the encyclical Rerum Novarum (“Of New Things”) of May 15, 1891, allied the church with the modern struggle for social justice. Although rejecting the program of 19th-century socialism, Leo also severely condemned exploitative laissez-faire capitalism and insisted upon the duty of the state to strive for the welfare of all its citizens. The social thought of Leo XIII helped to stimulate concrete social action among Roman Catholics in various lands, as in the Christian social movement.

      By the time of his death, soon after the close of the 19th century, Leo had restored the prestige of the papacy, and the church seemed in many ways to be entering a new era of respect and influence. Two historical forces, however, came to dominate the development of Roman Catholicism during the 20th century: World Wars I and II, with the accompanying upheavals of politics, economics, and society; and the Second Vatican Council, with upheavals no less momentous in the life and teaching of the church.

The period of the World Wars
      Pope Pius X (Pius X, Saint) (reigned 1903–14) symbolized the church's transition from the 19th century to the 20th. In his encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis (“Feeding the Lord's Flock”) of September 8, 1907, he formally condemned Modernism as “the résumé of all the heresies,” and in 1910 he prescribed that clergy and seminary professors take an oath abjuring Modernism and affirming the correctness of the church's teachings about revelation, authority, and faith. He sponsored the revision and clarification of the Code of Canon Law, which was completed during the reign of his successor and which replaced the code that had been in effect since the Middle Ages. More perhaps than any of his immediate predecessors or successors, Pius X attended to the reform of the liturgy, especially the Gregorian chant, and advocated early and frequent reception of Holy Communion. Yet hanging like a cloud over his pontificate was the growing threat of world war, which neither diplomacy nor piety was able to forestall. The last major document issued by Pius X was a lament over the outbreak of war, dated August 2, 1914; less than three weeks later he was dead.

       Benedict XV (reigned 1914–22) began his pontificate by issuing an encyclical, Ad beatissimi (“To the Most Blessed”; November 1, 1914), in which he condemned the extremes of the anti-Modernist crusade, but his efforts in this area were overshadowed by World War I. Although he vigorously denounced the atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict, his diplomatic policy of strict neutrality left him with few friends among the combatants. His peace initiatives were further thwarted by the Italian government, which succeeded in placing a clause in the Allies' secret Treaty of London (1915) that prohibited papal participation in any peace talks. Although excluded from the peace conference at Versailles, whose decisions he denounced, Benedict played an important role in the years after the war through his financial support of refugees and the wounded. He also improved relations with Italy, laying the groundwork for a final settlement in 1929. In 1920, as part of his program to reconcile Rome and France, he canonized Joan of Arc (Joan of Arc, Saint).

      World War I, which is often called the real end of the 19th century, was also a major turning point in the history of modern Roman Catholicism. Since ancient times the church had been accustomed to ordering its relations with secular society through negotiations with kings and emperors, who would preferably be members of its own fellowship. The war and the revolutions attending it brought about the end of the ruling dynasties of Germany (Hohenzollern), Austria-Hungary (Habsburg), and Russia (Romanov) and thus forced the church to come to terms with new democratic, communist, and fascist regimes. Of special significance was a series of pacts with the Fascist Italy of Benito Mussolini (Mussolini, Benito). In 1929 the church and the Italian government signed the Lateran Treaty, which regularized relations between them and recognized an independent Vatican City under papal authority, thus finally settling the “Roman Question.” In 1933 the church concluded a concordat with Nazi Germany, hoping to protect its own interests and those of German Catholics; this hope proved ill-founded, and the church's relations with Adolf Hitler (Hitler, Adolf) and his regime deteriorated.

      In the years leading up to World War II, the church's relations with Italy and Germany were shaped not only by the desire to protect Catholic interests in those countries but also by a hostility toward communism, which was shared by both popes of this period, Pius XI (reigned 1922–39) and Pius XII (reigned 1939–58). Although the papacy often spoke out against communism during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), it was silent on the subject during World War II, when Pius XII adopted Benedict XV's policy of strict neutrality. Although criticized during and after the war for its position, the papacy had enunciated its opposition to the secularist and racist programs of the totalitarian regimes, most notably in Pius XI's encyclical Mit brennender Sorge (“With Deep Anxiety”), which was read from Catholic pulpits in Germany on Palm Sunday (March 14) in 1937. Pius planned other pronouncements condemning Nazism but died before he could deliver them. His successor, Pius XII, who played a much more controversial role during the war, has been criticized for failing to speak out more forcefully against the genocidal policies of the Nazis. His strongest statement against genocide was regarded as inadequate by the Allies, though in Germany he was regarded as an Allied sympathizer who had violated his own policy of neutrality. Pius also approved efforts to help the Jews and ordered that the Jews of Rome be given refuge in the city's religious houses. After the war, the Vatican was involved in extensive humanitarian efforts. Pius, however, was criticized for not having done more. A cautious and experienced diplomat who feared that bold actions would cause more harm than good, he was not a prophet at a time when the world may have needed one.

      As a diplomat and former papal secretary of state, Pius was obliged, under the pressures of World War II, to clarify and refine the church's teachings on war and peace as well as to work out a strategy of survival. In the encyclical Mystici corporis Christi (June 29, 1943; “Mystical Body of Christ”) he sought to explain the nature of the church and its relationship to nonbelievers, and in Divino afflante Spiritu (September 30, 1943; “Inspired by the Divine Spirit”) he reinvigorated Catholic scholarship by approving the limited use of modern methods of historical criticism in biblical studies.

      Pius also approved liturgical reform, inviting greater lay participation in the service in Mediator Dei (November 20, 1947; “Mediator of God”). After the war he continued to oppose communism, becoming increasingly strident and threatening communists with excommunication. In the last years of his papacy he also moved away from his more liberal encyclicals and showed his more conservative nature. In 1950 he became the first pope since Vatican I to exercise the right of defining doctrine, proclaiming the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary to be a dogma binding on all members of the church. Earlier in the same year, in the encyclical Humani generis (August 12, 1950; “Of the Human Race”), he had given a reproof to various theological trends that appeared to be reviving the ideas and methods of Modernism.

The Second Vatican Council (Vatican Council, Second)
 From these two papal promulgations of 1950, many observers were ready to conclude that in the second half of the 20th century Roman Catholicism would assume an essentially defensive posture in relation to the modern world. Those who had come to that conclusion were compelled to revise it by the pontificate of John XXIII (reigned 1958–63) and by the Second Vatican Council (Vatican Council, Second), commonly referred to as Vatican II. During his brief reign, Pope John issued several important encyclicals. Of special interest is Mater et magistra (“Mother and Teacher”), published on May 15, 1961, which explicitly aligned itself with Rerum novarum of Leo XIII in calling for justice and the common good as the norms of social conduct. Two years later, in Pacem in terris (April 11, 1963; “Peace on Earth”), John addressed himself not only to members of the church but to “all Men of Good Will.” In this encyclical he formulated, more completely than any previous pope had done, a social philosophy of peace among people and between nations.

      This spirit of reform and social concern animated Vatican II, which John convoked but did not live to see to its conclusion. The council brought about drastic changes in the life and worship of the church, encouraging the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and greater lay participation everywhere. Perhaps even more historic were its actions regarding those outside the Roman Catholic Church. To Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians the council extended the hand of fraternal understanding instead of denouncing them as heretics. To the Jewish community it addressed words of reconciliation and regret for the anti-Semitism of the Christian past. To the world religions it spoke of the church's admiration for the spiritual values that had been preserved in traditions that did not know the name of Christ. And to all people, believers and unbelievers, the council expressed its respect for the integrity and freedom of humanity and its repudiation of coercion as a means of bringing people to faith. Underlying all this was its Declaration on Religious Freedom (December 7, 1965; Dignitatis humanae), which was based on the philosophy of the dignity of the human person and the right to religious freedom. In its importance for the development of the church, Vatican II will probably rank with the Councils of Nicaea (325), Chalcedon (451), and Trent (1545–63).

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan Michael Frassetto

Aftermath of the council
      The legacy of Vatican II remains a divided one. For some Catholics, the promise of far-reaching reform remains unfulfilled; for others, the council went too far, undermining the traditional beauty of church teachings and liturgy. This ambiguity was apparent during the papacy of Paul VI (reigned 1963–78), when many of the reforms of the council were implemented, most notably in the liturgy. The Latin mass was replaced by the vernacular mass, altars were turned around so that the priest faced the congregation, and greater participation by the laity in the celebration of the mass was instituted. Paul improved relations with the Orthodox Church and with non-Christian faiths. In the encyclical Populorum progressio (March 26, 1967; “Development of Peoples”) he called for social justice and denounced the excesses of capitalism, which led conservatives to accuse him of being a Marxist. The encyclical Sacerdotalis caelibatus, issued on June 24, 1967, affirmed clerical celibacy, and Humanae vitae (“Of Human Life”) issued on July 25, 1968, forbade the use of artificial birth control. These controversial encyclicals, which confirmed the church's more traditional teachings, alienated many Catholics and led some priests to renounce their vows, just as the progressive reforms of the pope and the council also led to the schism in 1988 of the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (Lefebvre, Marcel) and the movement to restore the Latin mass.

 The divided legacy of the council continued during the papacy of Pope John Paul II (1978–2005). An active and charismatic figure whose numerous trips abroad covered a greater distance than all previous popes combined, John Paul moved away from the episcopal collegiality stressed at Vatican II in favour of a more centralized papal authority. He opposed admitting women or openly homosexual men to the priesthood. He was criticized for not halting declines in church attendance and in the number of priests as well as for his conservative teachings on sexuality. He promoted controversial conservative groups, including Opus Dei, and advocated stricter adherence to Catholic theology, as indicated by his opposition to the liberal theologian Hans Küng (Küng, Hans) and to liberation theology (a Latin American movement that sought to aid the poor as a religious duty and criticized existing socioeconomic structures). On the other hand, John Paul noted the error of the condemnation of Galileo and the importance of revising theology to accommodate modern science, except those areas in modern science that were deemed to injure or destroy human life (e.g., stem-cell research). Although he was a staunch opponent of communism whose actions have been deemed instrumental to the collapse of the Soviet bloc, he criticized the excesses of Western capitalism. He also instituted a new Code of Canon Law (1983) and canonized an unprecedented number of saints. But his most important activity—fully in the spirit of Vatican II—was his outreach to other faiths, both Christian and non-Christian. These efforts included overtures to Judaism and Islam: John Paul was the first pope to visit the synagogue in Rome, and in 2000 he made a historic pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where, in the spirit of brotherhood, he prayed at the Western Wall, as well as at Al-Aqṣā Mosque.

      John Paul's successor, Benedict XVI, adopted his predecessor's conservative orthodoxy on matters of sexuality, priestly celibacy, and church organization and continued John Paul's dialogue with Judaism and Islam. He also faced the challenges of a decline in vocations and church attendance and the lasting effects of the scandal of the late 1990s and early 2000s concerning sexual abuse by priests.

Roman Catholicism outside Europe
The New World: Spanish and Portuguese empires

      Europeans first encountered the Western Hemisphere immediately before the Protestant Reformation. The fact of that discovery at that moment in history and the conquest of much of the New World by Roman Catholic powers are of major significance in the religious history of the hemisphere. The only part of the region that would remain non-Catholic was the area of the colonies that later became the United States and Anglophone Canada. Spain and Portugal were in their prime as sea powers in the late 15th and the early 16th century, and they were most responsible for exploring, colonizing, and establishing the Christian faith in the southern two-thirds of the American half of the world.

 The chief institutions for spreading Catholicism were the religious orders, including the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the Jesuits. Well-trained and self-sacrificing representatives of the orders were able to go wherever Spanish and Portuguese ships went. Indeed, members of the clergy were often included in the expeditions sent to the New World by the rulers of Spain and Portugal, who recognized the obligation to convert the indigenous population as part of their royal duty. The Spanish imposed Catholicism on the conquered Incas of Peru and Aztecs of Mexico and built churches and religious shrines where Inca and Aztec temples once stood. The new faith was almost immediately adopted by the defeated Aztecs, and, to teach the new converts better, many clergy learned their language. Despite royal patronage, there were occasional clashes between Catholic churchmen and colonizers or traders because of the latter's mistreatment of the indigenous population. At times Catholicism was able to temper the inhumanity of the conquerors. Foremost among the humane spokesmen for the indigenous peoples of the Americas was the Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas (Las Casas, Bartolomé de), “the Apostle of the Indians,” whose denunciations of European atrocities against the Native Americans became widely known; he was named bishop of Chiapas (Mexico) in 1543.

      From the 16th to the 19th century, European colonists and immigrants from nations other than Spain and Portugal came to Latin America (Latin America, history of). However, even when these movements were made up of Protestant minorities or when they included Protestant missionaries, they did little to disrupt the generally or nominally Catholic cultures.

After independence
      The inevitable reaction against the colonial powers took the form of independence movements and anticlerical (anticlericalism) revolts. The case of Mexico is illustrative: its rulers repeatedly proscribed Catholic education and promoted anticlerical interests following the country's break from Spain in 1821. At the same time, the government declared that Mexico was a Catholic country and, thanks to the papal decision to allow the practice, assumed the responsibility (formerly held by the kings of Spain) of nominating bishops to their sees. In 1859 Benito Juárez (Juárez, Benito) declared the separation of church and state; a decade later Mexico severed diplomatic relations with the Holy See. In 1917, seven years after the start of the Mexican Revolution, the new government placed further restrictions on the church, and many bishops and clergy were forced into exile in the United States. Increasing persecution in the mid-1920s inspired the Cristero Rebellion (1926–29), in which the peasantry, without the support of the bishops, rose up in defense of the church. Despite the state's hostility toward the church, the Mexican people remained largely Catholic, though they blended some indigenous religious values and practices with Catholic forms and were often at odds with their own bishops.

      Tensions between church and state in Mexico continued for the next two decades and resulted in renewed persecutions in the 1930s. After World War II, however, relations with the state improved, and the church gained greater freedom. Developments following Vatican II and the meeting of Latin American bishops at Medellín, Colombia, in 1968 were even more dramatic. The Catholic church in Mexico took a more activist role in society, denouncing the government for its brutal suppression of student protests, advocating social justice, and defending the rights of Native Americans and the poor. Theologians and some bishops supported liberation theology and Christian base communities (centres for studying the Bible, discussing social problems, and designing solutions to these problems) were established throughout the country. At the same time, however, more-traditional and conservative forces also became prominent. The controversial religious group Opus Dei assumed an increasingly important role in society, especially among the elite, and new episcopal appointments by Pope John Paul II strengthened conservative elements in the church. Along with the challenge of interpreting the decisions of Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico faced the aggressive proselytism of Protestant Christians, including Pentecostals, whose message had great appeal. The canonization of Juan Diego (the Aztec convert whose vision, according to tradition, of Our Lady of Guadalupe led to the construction of a new church and hastened the conversion of the indigenous people of Mexico) on July 31, 2002, and the promotion of a Catholic charismatic movement were seen as an attempt to limit the appeal of the Pentecostals and other Protestants.

 As Catholics in Mexico responded to the new situation created by Vatican II, they worked out an ever-improving relationship with the state. In the 1970s the Mexican government offered assistance to the church in the construction of the New Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe; the original church, the Old Basilica, had become unsafe because its foundations were sinking. It clearly was in the government's best interest to adopt a less hostile stance toward the church because an overwhelming majority of Mexicans considered themselves Roman Catholic. The strength of Catholicism was demonstrated by the huge crowds that greeted John Paul II on each of his visits to Mexico starting in 1979. In 1992 Mexico and the Holy See resumed diplomatic relations, and anticlerical laws still on the books, such as those proscribing the Jesuits and denying priests the right to vote, were repealed. The end of official anticlericalism encouraged some priests to speak out in favour of the poor and the Native Americans; among them was Samuel Ruiz, bishop of Chiapas, who was accused of inciting the peasant rebellion of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in 1994 but acted as a mediator between the rebels and the government.

      The history of the church in the rest of postcolonial Latin America was in many ways similar to its history in Mexico. By the middle of the 20th century, Latin American Catholicism remained strong but had endured periods of government hostility and increasing secularism. During the 1960s the cosmopolitan influences of Vatican II, the self-generated renewal of the church, and a new, socially responsible leadership contributed to the development of a more radical form of Catholicism. Inspired by the episcopal conference of 1968, which proclaimed its advocacy of the poor, the church in Latin America endorsed the vernacular mass and taught that sin was a matter of personal actions and unjust social structures.

      Liberation theology was widely supported throughout Latin America, and Christian base communities, which expanded the role of the laity in the church, assumed an influential place in church and society. Committed to drastic social reform and associated in some countries with programs of violent revolution, liberation theology was exemplified by Dom Hélder Câmara (Câmara, Hélder Pessoa) of Recife, Brazil, and by Camillo Torres, a priest killed in his role as a Colombian guerrilla. In some Latin American countries, even clergy who preached nonviolence were persecuted and killed by the military because they were perceived as sympathetic to leftist guerrillas. In El Salvador, for example, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating mass, and three American nuns were raped and murdered later that year; in 1989 the military killed six Jesuit priests.

      During the papacy of John Paul II, the church hierarchy in Latin America gradually became more conservative, a result of the pope's appointments to the church hierarchy as well as his directive that priests refrain from involvement in secular political activity. The renewed conservatism in the church reinforced the long-standing gap between official and popular Catholicism in Latin America. As in Mexico, Roman Catholicism was challenged by Protestant missionaries and the growing minority of converts to non-Catholic Christian churches.

Spanish (Spain) and French missions (mission) in North America
      While the colonies that would become the United States were being settled under the influence of British and continental Protestantism, Spanish Catholics had already established missions in Florida and elsewhere. Franciscans accompanied settlers and soldiers to New Mexico in 1598 and to Texas in 1690. In 1687 the Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino (Kino, Eusebio) began work in Arizona, establishing a mission near Tucson that became a centre for mission stations. Jesuits from Baja California were on the verge of moving into Alta California when their order was suppressed. In 1769 the Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra (Serra, Junípero, Blessed) founded a mission in San Diego, the first of 22 stations that would stretch up the California coast. Spanish missionary efforts came to an end in the early 19th century, and their record was one of mixed success at best. The missionaries in North America never received the full support of the Spanish government as had their counterparts in the south, the heart of the Spanish American empire. The missionaries also failed to learn the languages of the Native American population and, therefore, were unable to convert the indigenous peoples. Spanish efforts in the American West and Southwest did, however, lay the foundation for the eventual development of an organized church governed by an episcopal hierarchy.

      To the east of Texas, the French Catholics settled in Louisiana by 1718. Similarly, to the north, French explorers, traders, and conquerors settled much of eastern Canada and brought with them a Catholic church that has remained dominant there up to the present. French missionaries also penetrated the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi valley, but few traces of their efforts remained after English-speaking settlers arrived in the North American interior late in the 18th century.

Roman Catholicism in the United States and Canada

      Although French Catholics participated in the exploration and colonization of the Mississippi valley, among the 13 colonies of the emerging United States only Maryland, which had been settled in 1634 and established in 1649, included an appreciable number of Catholics before American independence. Catholics were often unwelcome in—and even excluded from—many other colonies, where Congregational or Episcopal churches were supported by law; indeed, only one colony, Pennsylvania, allowed mass to be celebrated in public. According to some estimates, there were at most 25,000 Catholics in a colonial population of about 4,500,000 at the time of independence in 1776.

      From the first, however, the leadership of the Catholic church enjoyed a respected place in American society. Charles Carroll (Carroll, Charles), a member of a notable colonial Catholic family, served in the Continental Congress and the U.S. Senate and signed the Declaration of Independence. He also helped to write the Maryland state constitution, which guaranteed freedom of worship for all Christians. His cousin, John Carroll (Carroll, John), the first bishop in the United States and the first archbishop of Baltimore, pioneered in exploring positive relations between Catholic religionists and their fellow citizens. One issue that troubled John Carroll's last years was “ trusteeism,” a debate over lay versus clerical control of ecclesiastical institutions and properties. The efforts of lay trustees to govern the temporalities of the church often brought them into conflict with bishops and priests. Administration of church property by the laity was consistent with American practice, and the trustees maintained that they promoted the church's democratic principles and the interests of parishioners against the hierarchy. In 1829, long after Archbishop Carroll's death, the First Provincial Council in Baltimore ruled against lay control of ecclesiastical property and strengthened the authority of the bishops. Although the issue of trusteeism would emerge again, the decisions of the council defined the administrative structure of the church and established a precedent that was restated at subsequent councils.

 Beginning in the 1830s and '40s, the assurance of religious freedom was an added attraction for millions of Catholic immigrants who made their way to the United States for economic reasons, and by 1850 Catholicism was the single largest Christian church in the country. Cultural differences between the new immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland or Germany, and the general population led to conflict with the established Catholic community and aroused suspicion and hostility among Protestants. A nativist Protestant crusade, characterized by intense anti-Catholic prejudice, manifested itself in various ways. Anti-Catholic histories were produced by Protestant scholars, and literary accounts of the sexual improprieties of priests and nuns also appeared. Many Americans, including Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of Morse Code, believed that immigration was part of a papal plot to take over the United States. In 1849, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiment led to the formation of the Know-Nothing party. Opposition to Catholicism also led to acts of violence, such as the burning of a convent in Boston in 1834 and the anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia in 1844.

      Despite these problems, American Catholicism endured. Its ranks were greatly increased by immigration, and it attracted a large number of converts—as many as 700,000 during the 19th century, according to some estimates—including the first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton (Seton, Saint Elizabeth Ann). The church built an extensive educational system that ranged from parochial (parochial education) elementary and secondary schools to colleges and universities. Parochial elementary schools received further impetus in 1884 when the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore decreed that every parish was to have a school. Through these institutions, Catholic leaders enabled their parishioners to combine religious loyalties to Rome and civil loyalties to the United States.

      Ironically, one of the most divisive events in American history, the Civil War, contributed to the growing acceptance of Roman Catholicism in the United States. The issue of slavery, one of the main causes of the war, was not a particularly problematic one for the church. Many Catholics owned slaves, and Catholic moral teaching accepted the existence of slavery as a consequence of the sin of Adam. Catholic workers opposed emancipation, fearing increased competition for jobs. Although the Catholic church was not rent by the issue as were many Protestant churches, it did teach that slaves must be treated humanely, and many northern Catholics came to oppose the institution. When war broke out, Catholics on both sides enthusiastically joined the fight. The bishops of New York and Charleston were sent on diplomatic missions, and Catholic priests served as chaplains in both the Union and the Confederate armies. Their support for the Northern or the Southern cause made Catholics more visible and brought them increased acceptance after the war.

      In the second half of the 19th century, the Catholic church in the United States sought to end its internal divisions and respond to the challenges of the broader world. The Second Plenary Council, held in Baltimore in 1866, addressed matters of discipline and organization, emphasized the importance of the doctrines of the faith, and condemned beliefs such as unitarianism (Unitarianism and Universalism) and Transcendentalism. In 1869–70 American bishops participated in Vatican I, where they were among the minority that opposed the declaration of papal infallibility. Closer to home, the church took steps to evangelize the freed slaves, though it offered them no material assistance. Of greater concern for the church was the continued immigration of Catholics and increasing tensions between immigrant communities, particularly German and Irish. Archbishop John Ireland exacerbated the problem by praising public education and by supporting English as the sole language of instruction in all schools. Such tensions contributed to the controversy over “Americanism,” in which American Catholics were charged with innovating in doctrine and practice and diluting church teachings in order to win converts. Despite these adversities, the church continued to prosper.

      During the 20th century Catholics in the United States struggled to find an identity and a place for themselves in American society. In the early part of the century they faced continued hostility from Protestants. A law passed in 1924 limiting immigration from the Catholic countries of Europe was rooted in religious bias. In 1928 anti-Catholic prejudice contributed to the failure of the presidential campaign of Democrat Alfred E. Smith (Smith, Al), the governor of New York and the first Catholic presidential candidate. Meanwhile, the church in the United States reshaped its institutions to broaden its perspective and to bring itself closer to the American mainstream. During World War I the National Catholic War Council was formed to demonstrate Catholic support for the American war effort, and after the war it promoted the cause of social justice. During the Great Depression and afterward the efforts of Catholic political activists and reformers such as Dorothy Day (Day, Dorothy) received national attention.

      The revival of Thomism, the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, was also important. The revival, also known as Neo-Scholasticism, began in the 1850s, and by the reign of Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878–1903) it contributed to a flourishing of Catholic theology and biblical studies. Thomism came to be taught in all Catholic schools and, by the 1920s, strengthened the intellectual identity of educated American Catholics.

      As in World War I, the patriotism shown by American Catholics during World War II helped to abate anti-Catholic prejudice. In 1960 a Roman Catholic, John F. Kennedy (Kennedy, John F.), was elected president—an office previously thought to be out of reach for Catholics. Increasing numbers of Catholics held political office at the local and national levels, though tensions over church-state issues persisted, especially with regard to abortion and aid to Catholic schools. Greater prosperity and demographic changes such as the growth of suburbs increased contact between Catholics and non-Catholics, and the ecumenical movement brought about better relations between the faiths. By the early 21st century Catholics accounted for 22 percent of the American population. With 200 dioceses, the American hierarchy is the third largest in the world.

      The church in the United States, as in the rest of the world, endured a period of great turmoil following Vatican II (1962–65), one of the most important councils in the church's history. Vatican II brought much of Catholic practice up to date (to paraphrase Pope John XXIII), revised the liturgy, altered relations between clergy and laity, and permitted the vernacular mass. It also encouraged dialogue between the faiths and a more collegial relationship between the bishops. These changes, which profoundly affected the lives of all members of the church, were welcomed by many, though they inspired a minority to leave. A more sizable number of Catholics left the church in the 1960s and '70s because of what they saw as the church's failure to fulfill the promise of the council. Many Catholic laity were particularly alienated by the prohibition of birth control, a ban that was subsequently widely ignored. In addition, the church's emphasis on clerical celibacy led many clergy to renounce their vows or to choose other vocations. Although American Catholics in the late 20th century continued to be devoted to the church—Pope John Paul II remained a beloved figure for most Catholics—many took it upon themselves to decide which strictures they would follow.

      In the early 21st century the American church was shaken by accusations of child molestation on the part of many clergy. A study commissioned by the National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops showed that some 4 percent of American priests (more than 4,000) had committed such crimes, in some cases repeatedly and over a period of several decades. More than 10,000 cases of molestation were authenticated, though victims' groups asserted that additional cases went unreported because the victims were ashamed to come forward. It also became evident that some bishops had made a bad situation worse by shielding priests who had sexually abused minors or by transferring them to other pastoral assignments. When faced with the immensity of the problem, the church, after some halting steps, dealt with it publicly and worked to prevent abuse from happening again. By 2004 the Catholic church worldwide had paid out more than $1 billion (U.S.) in jury awards, settlements, and legal fees, leading some dioceses to consider protection under bankruptcy law.

      The church in the United States faced other issues in the early 21st century, caused in part by the diversity of the American church and its willingness to take positions not fully in line with those enunciated in Rome. U.S. bishops sought to repair the church's damaged reputation in the wake of the pedophilia scandal and to extend the church's moral authority by reinforcing adherence to traditional Catholic teachings on a wide range of issues. Some bishops even suggested that Holy Communion be withheld from politicians and their supporters who do not accept the church's teachings on such issues as abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and stem-cell research. More-liberal Catholics criticized this as being one-sided, noting that no penalties were suggested for those who rejected the church's opposition to the death penalty. Many Catholics also ignored bans on birth control and abortion and demanded a greater role for women in the church.

      The Roman Catholic Church entered Canada with some of the first French explorers and colonists and, despite the country's eventual domination by the English, has remained the largest Canadian church. Explorers who established the first permanent French settlements in the 17th century were joined by Catholic missionaries, generally members of religious orders such as the Franciscans and Jesuits. Catholic clergy participated in the founding of the settlements at Port Royal in 1604 and Quebec in 1608. Although divided on the nature of their Catholicism (between Gallicanism and ultramontanism), these missionaries introduced church institutions and actively preached among the indigenous population, achieving early success among the Huron. In the late 17th century, members of the Iroquois and Mohawk nations converted, including Kateri Tekakwitha (Tekakwitha, Kateri), the first North American Indian to be proposed for canonization (she was beatified in 1980). Some missionaries, however, suffered martyrdom at the hands of indigenous peoples who opposed the French and their faith. Despite these setbacks, the work of evangelization continued, as did the establishment of bishoprics and parishes, and Catholic missionaries were involved in the further exploration and colonization of Canada and the Louisiana Territory.

      Although the French established an early presence in Canada, they were gradually overtaken by the English. England acquired the province of Nova Scotia from the French in 1713. During the French and Indian War the English conquered Quebec, and by the Treaty of Paris (1763), which ended the war, they took possession of the rest of French Canada. The Quebec Act of 1774 guaranteed the rights of Canadian Catholics but also contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolution (because it appeared to revive French influence in North America). The act, however, failed to satisfy many Canadians, and a new constitution was created in 1791. The territory was divided into two administrative regions, one of which was predominantly French and Catholic. In the 1790s the Catholic community in Canada was strengthened by the addition of a number of priests who fled the French Revolution. Most French Canadians opposed the Revolution, and as a result they drew closer to the government in London, which granted them greater civil rights.

      The church in Canada experienced important spiritual and secular changes and challenges in the 19th century. By mid-century the church had restructured the episcopal hierarchy, built new schools and hospitals, and expanded into western Canada. The church suffered occasional hostility from Canadian Protestants, and French Canadian Catholics opposed the union of the provinces in 1840. From that time, the church in Quebec identified itself increasingly with French Canadian culture and nationalism, a development that complicated the position of the church following the union of Canada in 1867. For much of the rest of the century there were tensions between Catholics and Protestants over education, financial resources, and settlement patterns. Catholics in Canada also faced issues raised by the decisions taken at Vatican I, which they generally supported, as well as the problem of finding a proper balance between French and non-French members of the church.

      Many of these difficulties were resolved by the early 20th century. By then the Canadian church, in the eyes of Rome, had reached its maturity, and Canada was no longer considered a missionary territory. During the period of new nationalism after World War II, French Catholics in Quebec became concerned about the assimilation and possible disappearance of their culture, and they took steps to assure the perpetuation of their faith and language in an otherwise largely Protestant and English-speaking nation. Beginning in the 1960s, Canadian Catholics faced the challenge of responding to the decrees of Vatican II and the postconciliar popes. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), whose formation in 1943 anticipated the council's call for national bishops' councils by some two decades, provided leadership for the church after Vatican II. The CCCB encouraged interfaith dialogue with Protestants and Jews in Canada and addressed matters of social justice, including the rights of Canada's indigenous peoples. The church also instituted the vernacular mass and other liturgical reforms established at Vatican II.

      In the late 20th century the Catholic church in Canada faced difficulties, including a decline in the number of both priests and parishioners. Protestant churches as well as the Catholic church were challenged by the increasing secularization of society. As a result of the “Quiet Revolution” in Quebec, the church lost its influence over education and other social institutions in the province and the population came to identify itself in terms of French culture rather than Catholicism. In 2002, however, John Paul II's celebration of World Youth Day in Toronto offered Canadian Catholics an opportunity to reaffirm their faith.

Roman Catholicism in Africa and Asia
      Although Catholicism had established itself in the Americas by the 18th century, it became a worldwide presence for the first time only in the 19th century. This expansion was the result of both Western imperialism in Africa and Asia and the rebirth of a missionary spirit in Christendom. Some efforts were built upon traces of 16th-century missionary activities, such as those of St. Francis Xavier (Xavier, Saint Francis), a Jesuit missionary to Asia; usually, however, they had to develop on the basis of original methods and in new territories.

Missions in Africa
 In the early church, Africa was one of the great centres of the faith and the home of some of its most influential figures, including Perpetua, Tertullian, Athanasius (Athanasius, Saint), and Augustine (Augustine, Saint). With the exception of the Coptic Church in Ethiopia, almost nothing remained of the strong early Christian communities in the north after the introduction of Islam (Islāmic world) to the region in the 7th century. The success of the new religion in North Africa was attributable in part to its inherent appeal and in part to dissatisfaction with the policies of political and religious leaders in Constantinople. The very success of Islam, however, eventually inspired Catholic leaders in Europe to return to Africa to defeat the rival faith. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese explorers and missionaries made alliances with West African leaders and induced them to accept baptism. The church enjoyed some success in the Kongo kingdom, and missionaries moved into Central Africa from there. But the collapse of the kingdom in the mid-17th century and the decline of Portuguese power undermined this success, and by the 19th century the Catholic church in Africa had virtually disappeared.

      For centuries the Catholic missionary effort in Africa was hampered by the Atlantic slave trade and by the missionaries' association with European colonization. After about 1800, however, evangelization was vigorously renewed. Catholic missionaries had little success in western and southern Africa, where British and Dutch Protestant evangelists had preceded them, but they fared better in other parts of the continent. An archbishopric was established in Algiers, and in 1868 Archbishop Charles Lavigerie (Lavigerie, Charles) founded the White Fathers, an energetic order of missionaries whose name derived from their white cassocks. The order was quite successful in East Africa; many Africans joined it, and the first modern African Catholic bishop was a White Father. Another order, the Holy Ghost Fathers, established a settlement for freed slaves in Bagamoyo (in present-day Tanzania). Catholic missionaries also moved into Central Africa, and by 1900 there were some two million Catholics south of the Sahara.

 The church expanded in Africa during the 20th century, improving its efforts in education and ministry and increasing the number of African priests and bishops to minister to the faithful, whose numbers grew to nearly 140 million by the early 21st century. The Catholic church was the first Christian denomination to staff an entire diocese with African clergy, and several Africans were raised to the rank of cardinal by the popes. Further profound changes resulted from the process of decolonization. In the 1950s and '60s, when the countries of Africa gained their independence, Catholics and other Christians played important roles in the development of new states such as Tanzania. The church's traditional support for education was an influential factor in its success, and in the 1990s many governments turned to the church to help them run their educational systems. In the generations following independence, the church often found itself defending the disenfranchised and opposing repressive military regimes. The church's advocacy did not come without cost, however, as large numbers of Catholic clergy were murdered in the civil disorders that plagued the continent.

      As it struggled to establish its place in postcolonial Africa, the church also responded to the challenges posed by Vatican II. Indeed, the African church was particularly open to some of the changes recommended by the council. Having previously taken steps toward Africanizing the hierarchy, the church redoubled its efforts in that regard. Although in competition with Muslim leaders for converts, African Catholic leaders such as the influential Nigerian cardinal Francis Arinze also pursued interfaith dialogue. African vernaculars replaced the traditional Latin of the mass, and the process of “inculturation” resulted in the incorporation into the liturgy of African traditions in music and dance. At the start of the 21st century, the church in Africa was one of the most dynamic churches of postconciliar Catholicism and was poised for continued growth and wider influence.

Missions in Asia
      In Asia, Catholicism profited from Portuguese and Spanish adventures beginning in the 16th century. In that part of the world, however, the church faced unique challenges. Asians had not had contact, as Muslims had, with biblical views of history and destiny. Buddhists, Daoists, Confucians, and Hindus were devoted to worldviews uncongenial to Western attitudes toward God, time, and history. In the encounter, Catholics vigorously debated the permissible degrees of accommodation to Asian views of life, rituals, and religious concepts.

      In India there were traces of missionary activities from premodern centuries (e.g., the Malabar Christians), and Catholicism here and there succeeded in finding new bases. But the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV removed from the scene the most assertive group of Catholic missionaries at the most inopportune moment. However, in Indochina, in what is now Vietnam, Catholicism flourished despite persecution.

 Catholic missionaries arrived in Japan in the 16th century at the time that European traders began making contact with the islands. The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier made the first converts in Japan in 1547 and founded Catholic communities in several Japanese cities. Other missionaries followed during the second half of the 16th century. They were supported by some Japanese nobles and began to have success on the island of Kyushu and other parts of the south, establishing the faith in cities such as Nagasaki and Kyōto. A college and two seminaries were founded, and the first efforts at organizing the church were made. By the end of the century, however, opposition from Japanese Buddhists and others had limited the spread of the faith, and several missionaries and Japanese Catholics had suffered martyrdom. In the 17th century widespread persecution of Catholics began, and the church was officially suppressed.

      Roman Catholicism in Japan enjoyed more-lasting success in the 19th and 20th centuries, despite occasional setbacks. Catholic and other Christian missionaries returned to the country after Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853–54 forced Japan to allow entry to foreigners. These missionaries made contact with descendants of 17th-century Christians and sought new converts. The reappearance of missionaries led to a wave of persecution and the exile of thousands of Catholics. Government policy, however, was quickly reversed and religious freedom was established throughout the country. Catholic seminaries and other institutions were introduced to Japan, and religious orders of men and women began establishing communities there late in the 19th century. Pope Leo XIII established the Japanese church hierarchy in 1891, and Catholic secondary schools and a university were founded in the late 19th and the early 20th century. The rise of Japanese militarism and imperialism during the first half of the 20th century brought renewed hardship to the church. The Catholic church in Japan suffered during World War II, as did all of the country, and in 1945 Nagasaki, the oldest centre of Catholicism in Japan, was largely destroyed when an atomic bomb was dropped on it. After the war the church grew once again, thanks to the guarantee of religious freedom in the new constitution. In the generations following the Second Vatican Council, the church made greater efforts to adapt to Japanese culture, which were reinforced by Pope John Paul II's visit to Japan in 1981 and by subsequent initiatives during his long reign.

       China, unlike Japan, was visited early by Christian missionaries; Nestorian Christians had arrived already in the 7th century. The first Catholic missionaries, however, began preaching in China only in the late 13th century, when the Franciscan Giovanni da Montecorvino (Montecorvino, Giovanni da) was welcomed by the khan (the Mongol ruler of China). A small number of missionaries followed in the 14th century and, like Montecorvino, baptized members of the foreign ruling elite and built churches and other Catholic institutions. However, the failure to convert indigenous Chinese and an interruption in the arrival of missionaries from Europe led to the virtual disappearance of the faith by the end of the 14th century.

      A more lasting Catholic presence in China was established by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century. Francis Xavier (Xavier, Saint Francis) inspired the first Jesuit mission to China, though he died before reaching the Chinese mainland. Adopting Xavier's approach of preaching to the Chinese on their own terms, Matteo Ricci and other missionaries adopted the dress of Confucian scholars and gained the respect of the Confucians through discussion and display of scientific knowledge. In the 17th century the Jesuits were joined by various other religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians. Despite jurisdictional disputes and competition for converts, missionary activity extended into nearly every Chinese province. The deposition of the Ming dynasty and the establishment of the Qing dynasty—which adopted a less tolerant attitude toward the missionaries, especially after the church forbade Chinese converts from continuing the indigenous practice of honouring Confucius and family ancestors, during the Chinese Rites Controversy—helped to bring a successful period of missionary activity in China to an end. During the 18th century, preaching and converting to Christianity were prohibited, the church was persecuted, and the number of Chinese Christians declined dramatically.

      In the 19th century, Roman Catholicism experienced a revival in China as European economic exploitation of the country increased. Treaties imposed on the Chinese during the Opium Wars (1839–42; 1856–60) led to the abolition of restrictions against Christians and the restoration of church property. Missionaries returned in large numbers, and Catholic churches, hospitals, and schools became familiar sights on the Chinese landscape. Although only a small percentage of the people had become Catholic, the church had grown so large that the pope ordered the reorganization of ecclesiastical districts in China in 1879. Meanwhile, however, Chinese resentment of the Western presence in their country continued to grow. The eventual result, the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, took the lives of some 30,000 Catholics, both indigenous Chinese and missionaries; 86 of the martyrs were later canonized.

      The suppression of the rebellion was followed by a period of expansion of the church in China that lasted until the triumph of communism in the country in 1949. The communist authorities halted Catholic missionary activity and proscribed indigenous Catholic practices. Although the faith survived, it was divided between Roman loyalists and adherents of an autonomous Chinese church, the Patriotic Catholic Church, which rejected papal authority and maintained an independent hierarchy. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) both churches were persecuted, and Christian clergy and laity were tortured or sent to labour camps. Starting in the late 1970s, the situation of Christianity in China greatly improved, and the divisions between the two Catholic churches diminished. The revived Patriotic Catholic Church—often called the Open Church because it registered with the government—restored the prayer for the pope to the order of the mass, and Pope John Paul II legitimized most of its bishops; the Chinese government permitted its spiritual affiliation with Rome in 1989. The Underground Church, which resumed the tradition of obedience to Rome and did not register with the government, faced continued difficulties, especially during the crackdown on unregistered groups following the official proscription of the Falun Gong movement in 1999. Meanwhile, long-standing tensions between Rome and Beijing were exacerbated by the ordination in 2000 of bishops of the Open Church without papal approval and by the canonization of 87 Chinese Christians and 33 missionaries to China in the same year. The latter action was interpreted by Chinese leaders as an attempt to reassert control over the church in China and as an homage to those who had assisted European imperialism. In 2007 China consecrated two bishops supported by the Vatican, signaling a move toward better relations between Rome and Beijing.

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan Martin E. Marty Michael Frassetto

Structure of the church

Doctrinal basis
The nature of the church
      In 1965 the Roman Catholic theologian Marie-Joseph Le Guillou defined the church in these terms:

The Church is recognized as a society of fellowship with God, the sacrament of salvation, the people of God established as the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit.

      The progress of Roman Catholic theology can be seen in the contrast between this statement and the definition still current as late as 1960, which was substantially the one formulated by the Jesuit controversialist Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (Bellarmine, Saint Robert) in 1621:

The society of Christian believers united in the profession of the one Christian faith and the participation in the one sacramental system under the government of the Roman Pontiff.

      The older definition, created in response to the claims of Protestantism, defines the church in external and juridical terms. The more recent definition is an attempt to describe the church in terms of its inner and spiritual reality.

      From its origins the church has thought of itself as the one and only worshipping community that could trace itself back to the group established by Jesus Christ. The ancient adage, “There is no salvation outside the church,” was understood as applying to those who had withdrawn from the church as well as to those who had never belonged. When this adage was combined with the notions contained in Bellarmine's definition, lines between those inside the church and those outside it were clearly drawn. These lines were maintained in the breakup of Western Christendom in the Reformation.

      There were, however, other factors determining the idea of the one true church. The Roman Catholic Church had never excluded the Orthodox Church from the community of Christian believers, even though the two churches fell into schism in 1054. Furthermore, the juridical definition of the church did not include traditional themes such as the communion of saints (saints, communion of) and the body of Christ. The theme of the communion of saints refers to the church as a whole, including both the living and the dead (the souls in purgatory—a place or condition for those who must be cleansed from lesser sins—and in heaven). The idea of communion appears in early church literature as an indication of the mutual recognition of union in the one church and the notion of mutual service.

      The theme of the body of Christ appears in the letters of Paul (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4–5; Colossians 1). In modern Roman Catholic theology, the term mystical has been added to body, doubtless with the intention of distinguishing the church as body from the juridical society. Pius XII, in the encyclical Mystici corporis Christi (1943; “Mystical Body of Christ”), identified the mystical body with the Roman Catholic Church. Most Roman Catholic theologians now take a less rigorous view, trying to find some way of affirming membership in the body for those who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church. The documents of the Second Vatican Council described the church as the “People of God” and as a “pilgrim church,” but no generally accepted statement of membership in this church has yet emerged. Vatican II also departed from established Roman Catholic theology since the Reformation by using the word church in connection with Protestant churches. This use has caused some confusion, but the trend now is to think of one church divided rather than of one true church and other false churches.

      The claim of the Roman Catholic Church to be the one legitimate continuation of the community established by Jesus Christ is based on apostolic succession. The idea of apostolic succession first appears in AD 95 in a letter of Clement, bishop of Rome, who maintained that the bishops succeeded the Apostles. The teaching on apostolic succession received fuller expression in the works of the 2nd-century Church Father Irenaeus (Irenaeus, Saint), whose writings against the Gnostics (Gnosticism) (dualistic sects that maintained that salvation is not from faith but from esoteric knowledge) urged that Catholic teaching was verified because a continuous succession of teachers, beginning with the Apostles, could be demonstrated. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, problems of schism within churches were resolved by appealing to the power of orders (holy order) (i.e., the power a person has by reason of his ordination as deacon, priest, or bishop) transmitted by the imposition of hands through a chain from the Apostles. Orders in turn enabled the subject to receive the power of jurisdiction (i.e., the power an ordained person has by reason of his office). In disputes between Rome and the Eastern churches, the idea of apostolic succession was centred in the Roman pontiff, the successor of Peter. Apostolic authority is defined as the power to teach, to administer the sacraments, and to rule the church. Apostolic succession in the Roman Catholic understanding is validated only through recognition by the Roman pontiff, and the Roman Catholic Church understands the designation “apostolic” in the creed as referring to this threefold power under the primacy of the Roman pontiff.

      The Roman Catholic Church has not entirely denied apostolic succession to non-Roman churches. Rome recognizes the validity of orders in the Orthodox churches; this means that it recognizes the sacramental power of the priesthood but does not recognize the government of these churches as legitimate. The orders of the Anglican (Anglicanism) and the Lutheran (Lutheranism) churches, on the contrary, are not recognized by Rome, though negotiations aimed at resolving the differences between the churches in this regard have been held since Vatican II. Oriental churches in union with Rome (Eastern Catholics (Eastern rite church)) are recognized as being in full apostolic succession. Luther (Luther, Martin) and Calvin (Calvin, John) affirmed that apostolic succession had been lost in the Roman Catholic Church by doctrinal and moral corruption and that the true church was found only where the gospel was rightly preached and the sacraments were rightly administered. Thus, Protestant churches generally have not accepted the necessity of apostolic succession.

The Rev. John L. McKenzie

The papacy
The papal office
 The word pope (Latin papa, “father”) was used as early as the 3rd century to refer to any bishop, and the word papacy (Latin papatia, derived from papa) is of medieval origin. In its primary usage, papacy denotes the office of the bishop of Rome, for whom the title of pope has been reserved in the West since the 9th century, and, hence, the system of ecclesiastical and temporal government over which he directly presides.

      The multiplicity and variety of papal titles themselves indicate the complexity of the papal office. In the Annuario Pontificio, the official Vatican directory, the pope is described as bishop of Rome, vicar of Jesus Christ, successor of the prince of the Apostles, pontifex maximus (“supreme pontiff”) of the universal church, primate of Italy, archbishop and metropolitan of the Roman province, sovereign of the state of Vatican City, and servant of the servants of God. In his more circumscribed capacities as bishop of Rome, metropolitan of the Roman province, primate of Italy, and patriarch of the West, the pope is the bearer of responsibilities and the wielder of powers that have counterparts in the other episcopal, metropolitan, primatial, and patriarchal jurisdictions of the Roman Catholic Church. What differentiates his jurisdiction from these others and renders his office unique is the teaching that the bishop of Rome is also the successor to St. Peter (Peter the Apostle, Saint), prince of the Apostles. As the bearer of the Petrine office, the pope is raised to a position of lonely eminence as chief bishop, or primate, of the universal church.

 Basic to the claim of primacy is the Petrine theory, according to which Christ promised the primacy to Peter alone and, after the Resurrection, actually conferred that role upon him (John 1:42 and 21:15 ff. and, especially, Matthew 16:18 ff.).And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

(Matthew 16:18–19)
Feed my lambs.
…Tend my sheep.

(John 21:15–16)

      Following an ancient tradition, Vatican I defined the Petrine primacy by citing these three texts, interpreting them to signify that Christ himself directly established St. Peter as prince of the Apostles and visible head of the church militant, bestowing on him a primacy not merely of honour but of true jurisdiction. The council maintained also that by Christ's establishment the Petrine primacy was to pass in perpetuity to his successors and that these successors were the bishops of Rome. In stipulating further that the Roman pontiffs, as successors in the Petrine primacy, possess the authority to issue infallible pronouncements in matters of faith or morals, the council cited both Matthew 16:18 ff. and Christ's promise to Peter at the Last Supper:

But I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.

(Luke 22:32)

Ancient and medieval views of papal authority
      Of the Petrine texts, Matthew 16:18 ff. is clearly central and has the distinction of being the first scriptural text invoked to support the primatial claims of the Roman bishops. Although the exact meaning of this passage was debated by patristic (patristic literature) exegetes (early Church Fathers who in their interpretation of the Bible used critical techniques), the tradition of Roman preeminence developed very early in the history of the church. In the late 4th and 5th centuries there was an increasing tendency on the part of Roman bishops to justify scripturally and to formulate in theoretical terms the ill-defined preeminence in the universal church that had long been attached to the Roman church and to its bishop. Thus, Damasus I (Damasus I Saint), despite the existence of other churches of apostolic foundation, began to call the Roman church “the apostolic see.” At about the same time, the categories of Roman law were borrowed to explicate and formulate the prerogatives of the Roman bishop. The process of theoretical elaboration reached a culmination in the views of Leo I (Leo I, Saint) and Gelasius I (Gelasius I, Saint) (reigned 492–496), the former understanding himself not simply as Peter's successor but also as his representative, or vicar. He was Peter's “unworthy heir,” possessing by analogy with the Roman law of inheritance the full powers Peter himself had wielded—these powers being monarchical, since Peter had been endowed with the principatus over the church.

      On a purely theoretical level, the distance between the claims advanced by Leo I and the position embodied in the primacy decree of Vatican I is not great. Medieval popes, such as Gregory VII, Innocent III, and Innocent IV, clarified in both theory and practice the precise meaning of that fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) over the church to which, according to some scholars, Leo I himself had laid claim. In this they were aided not only by the efforts of publicists such as the 13th-century Italian theologian and philosopher Giles of Rome, also known as Aegidius Romanus (Giles of Rome), who magnified the pope's monarchical powers in unrestrained and secular terms, but also by the massive development during the late 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries of canon law, which made increasing use of Roman law and legal practices. Gratian (Gratian's Decretum)'s Decretum (c. 1140), the unofficial collection of canons that became the fundamental textbook for medieval students of canon law, laid great emphasis on the primacy of the Roman see, accepting as genuine certain canons that were based on long-standing tradition but were actually the work of 8th- and 9th-century forgers. Two such canons were restated by the 1917 Code of Canon Law as the principles “that there cannot be an ecumenical council which is not convoked by the Roman Pontiff” and that “the First See is under the judgment of nobody.”

      The prevalence of such ideas and the absence of a formidable challenge to papal primatial claims during the High Middle Ages explain the lack of any conciliar definition of the Roman primacy at the great “papal” general councils of that period. Hence it took the (abortive) attempt at reunion with the Orthodox Church (Eastern Orthodoxy) at the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1439 to evoke the first solemn conciliar definition of the Roman primacy, which was included in the decree of union with the Greeks (Laetentur coeli) as follows:

We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world, that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of Peter, prince of the Apostles, that he is the true vicar of Christ, head of the whole church, father and teacher of all Christians, and [we define] that to him in [the person of] Peter was given by our Lord Jesus Christ the full power of nourishing, ruling and governing the universal church; as it is also contained in the acts of the ecumenical councils and in the holy canons.

Early-modern and modern views of papal authority
      Laetentur coeli was the basis for the solemn definition that Vatican I promulgated in 1870 as part of its dogmatic constitution Pastor aeternus. Having asserted as a matter of faith the primacy of Peter and the succession of the popes in that primacy and having quoted in full the Florentine definition, the constitution clarified what was to be understood by “the full power of nourishing, ruling, and governing” the church, which, according to that definition, inhered in the pope's primacy. Unlike the conciliar definition arrived at in Florence, Pastor aeternus specified this to include the pope's judicial supremacy, insisting that there is “no higher authority,” not even an ecumenical council, to which appeal can be made from a papal judgment.

      An important step in the development of the definition of papal infallibility occurred in 519, when Pope Hormisdas (reigned 514–23) decreed that the Roman see had always preserved the true Catholic faith. This assertion of the teaching authority of the papacy was included in Pastor aeternus. Despite challenges to papal claims from both the Eastern and Western churches throughout the Middle Ages, many popes, canonists, and theologians, including Aquinas, upheld the belief that the institution of the papacy possessed a privileged teaching authority. In the later Middle Ages, the Spiritual Franciscan Peter John Olivi developed a theory of papal inerrancy, and other Franciscan theologians cited papal infallibility in their debate over poverty. During the era of the Great Schism and the conciliar movement, the idea of papal infallibility was further developed. An even more dramatic step was taken following the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation by the Roman, or ultramontane (Ultramontanism), theological school, whose distinguished representatives included Cardinal Bellarmine. Prominent during the 16th and 17th centuries, this school identified the supreme teaching authority of the universal church with the teaching authority of the pope and claimed that the infallibility promised to the church was also possessed by the pope acting as its head, thus guaranteeing the inerrancy even of the pope's individual doctrinal pronouncements. Although it drew from earlier materials—notably from the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (a 9th-century collection of canon laws, authentic and forged, attributed to the popes and councils of the first seven centuries) and from the writings of medieval theologians such as Aquinas, Giles of Rome, and Augustinus Triumphus—the ultramontane school derived much of its initial strength from the papalist reaction to the conciliar movement (conciliarism), and it was shaped very much by its opposition to the claims of the conciliarists and their Gallican successors on behalf of the general council. This is evident in the solemn definition of the doctrine promulgated by Vatican I, which insisted that the ex cathedra definitions of the pope—literally, those made from the papal “chair” or throne—“are irreformable of themselves and not by virtue of the consent of the Church.” The conciliar debates indicate that this sentence was intended to exclude the Gallican notion that a papal definition could not claim infallibility unless, subsequently or concomitantly, it received episcopal assent. Despite the maximalist (extremist) tendencies both of subsequent Catholic apologists and of their Protestant critics, the sentence apparently was not intended to restrict the church's infallible teaching authority to the pope alone or to suggest that the pope was free to define doctrine without making every effort to take into account the mind of the church.

      In its dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium (1964; “Light of Nations”)), Vatican II (Vatican Council, Second) focused on the nature of episcopal authority while also endorsing Vatican I's teaching on papal primacy and infallibility. It insisted that bishops (bishop) “are not to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiff, for they exercise an authority which is proper to them,” since “by divine institution…[they] have succeeded to the place of the apostles (apostolic succession) as shepherds of the Church” and are themselves, in fact, “the vicars and ambassadors of Christ.” Also, “just as, by the Lord's will, St. Peter and the other apostles constituted one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter and the bishops as the successors of the apostles are joined together.” This college, “together with its head, the Roman Pontiff, and never without this head” is “the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church,” a supreme authority that it can exercise in more than one fashion but “in a solemn way through an ecumenical council.” The supreme authority in the church can be exercised not only personally by the pope himself but also in a collegial fashion by the whole episcopate, which of necessity includes the bishop of Rome as its head.

      In so emphasizing the doctrine of episcopal collegiality, Vatican II was responding to the findings of modern New Testament and patristic scholarship concerning the nature of the primitive and ancient church; the council insisted that it was restoring an ecclesiological emphasis of great antiquity. Recent scholarship on the medieval church indicates that papal primacy was more limited, especially in the early Middle Ages, and that support for collegiality survived, in the writings of canonists and theologians, side by side with the more prominent concern with papal primacy. The great conciliarists active at the Council of Constance (Constance, Council of) attempted unsuccessfully to balance these two emphases, and even in the modern period, despite the growing prominence of ultramontane views and their eventual triumph at Vatican I, the collegial concern was never fully displaced. Although episcopal collegiality was supported by Vatican II and Pope Paul VI, it has suffered as a result of the centralizing tendencies of John Paul II.

Historical conceptions of the relationship of the papacy to the world
      Theories concerning the relationship of the papacy to the world at large have both reflected and conflicted with the established political conceptions of the day. The pope has been conceived successively as a leading dignitary in an imperial church headed in effect by an emperor, as a majestic potentate possessed of a supreme and direct authority even in temporal matters, and as a primarily spiritual figure who in temporal matters has no more than an indirect power of intervention. With the post-Reformation fragmentation of Christendom, the growth of secularism, and the emergence of the unified modern state claiming omnicompetence within its borders, even such attenuated claims to an indirect power became increasingly anachronistic. Throughout the 20th century the pope, although affected by the conventions regulating the relations of heads of state with each other, possessed mainly a moral authority deriving from the dignity and prestige of his office. The strength of that authority, however, depended upon his moral standing as a person, upon the persuasive force of his cause, and upon the degree of enthusiasm he could arouse within the church. Despite these limitations, the pope could still exercise great influence on political affairs, as events of the late 20th century demonstrated.

Contemporary teaching on papal authority
      After the mid-20th century some voices in Roman Catholic circles questioned both the doctrine of papal infallibility and the exercise of papal primacy—at least as it was envisaged in the teaching of Vatican I and the Code of Canon Law. The church's official teaching on the papal office remains that of Vatican I, solemnly reaffirmed at Vatican II. Nevertheless, the latter council's juxtaposition of the doctrine of episcopal collegiality with the existing teaching on papal primacy and infallibility created something of a dilemma in Catholic ecclesiology. Although the text of Lumen gentium insisted that the doctrine of episcopal collegiality in no way impugned the pope's primacy, a minority of the council fathers remained unconvinced, though they were said to have been won over by the explanatory note that the Theological Commission, by papal authority, appended to the decree. The note is framed in much more juristic terms than is the decree itself, and in discussing the possession by the college of bishops of “supreme and full power over the whole Church” it insists that “there is no distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken collectively” and that “necessarily and always, the College carries with it the idea of its head,” so that the bishops acting independently of the pope cannot be considered to constitute a college. At the same time, the note insists that “since the Supreme Pontiff is the head of the College, he alone can perform certain acts which in no wise belong to the bishops, for example, convoking and directing the College, approving the norms of action, etc.,” norms that “must always be observed.”

      Already in 1964 there were some who regarded this note with considerable unease, feeling that it withdrew from the bishops, in practical and legal terms, the supreme authority they were said, on theological grounds, to share. Subsequent events did little to dispel such misgivings. In 1968 Pope Paul VI, rejecting the recommendations of a commission he sanctioned and failing to consult the bishops, promulgated Humanae vitae (the encyclical on birth control), considered by some observers to be the most divisive papal initiative of recent times and one that amounted to a de facto negation of collegiality. Although Paul seemed less supportive of collegiality, he did encourage the exploration of the relationship between collegiality and infallibility. He also established the Synod of Bishops (Bishops, Synod of) in 1965, which would continue to meet regularly throughout his papacy and that of his successors.

      The controversy over papal primacy and episcopal collegiality continued during the papacy of John Paul II. Clearly committed to the spirit of Vatican II, John Paul reached out to the people of the world in his many travels and through his internationalization of the College of Cardinals. He maintained an almost ultramontane understanding of papal authority and sharply curtailed the authority of national episcopal conferences. The Roman Curia, a name first used for the body of papal assistants in the 11th century, became increasingly centralized and remained the administrative power in the church. John Paul also reestablished the papacy as a leading moral authority in the world, a role that had become increasingly important after the loss of temporal sovereignty in 1870. Although many Roman Catholics and non-Catholics alike disagreed with him on a number of issues, he remained a highly respected figure on the world stage. During his reign the papacy continued to be a force for international peace, justice, and human rights, as well as a focal point of controversy on matters of gender and sexuality.

The offices of the clergy
The Roman Curia and the College of Cardinals
      In the day-to-day exercise of his primatial jurisdiction, the pope relies on the assistance of the Roman Curia. The Curia originated in the local body of presbyters (priests), deacons (lower order of clergy), and notaries (lower clerics with secretarial duties) upon which, like other bishops in their own dioceses, the early bishops of Rome relied for help. By the 11th century this body had been narrowed to include only the leading (or cardinal) presbyters and deacons of the Roman diocese and broadened to embrace the cardinal bishops (the heads of the seven neighbouring, or “suburbicarian,” dioceses). From this emerged the Sacred College of Cardinals, a corporate body possessed, from 1179 onward, of the exclusive right to elect the pope. The college, in a special assembly known as a conclave, still possesses the right to elect the pope, as well as the right to govern the church in urgent matters during a vacancy in the papal office. Since 1958, a series of popes extended the size of the Sacred College beyond the traditional limit of 70 and broadened its membership to make it more representative of the church's international character, though Paul VI limited the number of cardinals who could participate in papal elections to 120 and decreed that cardinals could not participate in papal elections or curial business after age 80. Under John Paul II the college eventually comprised 185 cardinals from 69 countries.

      Cardinals are selected by the personal choice of the pope, in consultation with the cardinals in Rome at the time, in a consistory, or solemn meeting, which is secret. The cardinals reside either as bishops in their own sees or in the Vatican as the highest rank of papal advisers and officers in the Roman Curia. Since the time of Martin V (reigned 1417–31), the names of some newly promoted cardinals have been held in pectore (Latin: “in the breast” or “in the heart”) by the pope. The name of a cardinal in pectore is not made public, and he acquires the responsibilities and rights of the other cardinals only if his name is subsequently published.

      During the Middle Ages the cardinals played an important role as a corporate body, not only during papal vacancies, as today, but also during the pope's lifetime. In the 12th century the Roman councils that popes had hitherto convoked when urgent matters were at hand were replaced by the consistory of the cardinals, which thus became the most important collegial (corporate) body advising the pope and participating in his judicial activity. Eventually it began to make oligarchic claims to a share in the powers of the Petrine (Petrine theory) office and attempted, with sporadic success, to bind the pope to act on important matters only with its consent. During the 16th century, however, the Roman congregations (congregation) (administrative committees), each charged with the task of assisting the pope in a specific area of government, were finally established, and the power of the consistory began to decline, and with it the importance of the cardinals as a corporate body. At the same time, there was an increase in the power and influence of the “curial” cardinals—those who did not administer local dioceses but who served as the pope's representatives in important foreign affairs or resided permanently in Rome, holding responsibilities in the curial congregations, tribunals, and offices that proliferated in the course of the next three centuries.

      By the early 20th century the growth of the Roman Curia had produced a bewildering tangle of administrative and judicial bodies in which neither temporal and ecclesiastical functions nor executive and judicial powers were clearly demarcated. The reforms of Pius X (reigned 1903–14) and Benedict XV (reigned 1914–22) clarified and streamlined the work of the Curia and introduced a measure of order into its maze of overlapping jurisdictions. In the wake of Vatican II and in response to complaints about abuses of curial power and requests for an internationalization of curial staff and a modernization of curial functions and procedures, Paul VI pledged himself to act. His reforms, instituted in the apostolic constitution Regimini ecclesiae universae (“Government of the Universal Church”)of 1967, were further modified in 1988 by John Paul II in the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus (“The Good Shepherd”).

      The Curia is divided into several agencies, or dicasteries, including the Secretariat of State, the various congregations, the tribunals, and the pontifical councils. The Secretariat of State, which is divided into two sections, is the agency that works most closely with the pope in his mission to govern the church and to establish relations with foreign countries. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (originally the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition) is the oldest of the nine congregations and is responsible for spreading and defending Roman Catholic belief. The other congregations are those for the Oriental Churches, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, for the Causes of Saints, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for Catholic Education, and for Bishops. The tribunals constitute the judicial branch of the Curia and include the Apostolic Penitentiary (which grants indulgences, absolutions, and other favours), the Roman Rota (a court of appeals and first instance), and the Apostolic Signatura (the highest judicial body of the church). In addition to restructuring the established dicasteries, John Paul II also restructured a number of administrative bureaus and created the pontifical councils, which include councils for the laity, Christian unity, interreligious dialogue, dialogue with nonbelievers, and others. Finally, the offices of the Curia are responsible for the financial administration of the Curia and the papacy.

Francis Christopher Oakley Ed.

The college of bishops
      In Roman Catholicism the college of bishops is the successor (apostolic succession) to the college of the Apostles; the earliest mention of the office of bishop is found in the New Testament. Every Roman Catholic bishop is a bishop of a place—either a proper area, or jurisdiction, of which he is the ordinary (as he is called in church law), or a fictitious place, a see no longer existing, of which he is named titular bishop. The office of the first bishops differed from the later institution; references in the Gospels to episkopoi are better understood to mean “overseers.” In the early Christian communities there was often little distinction between bishops and presbyters, and there was usually more than one bishop associated with each community, though the appearance of the bishop as the individual leader of the local church—the monarchical bishop—was a fairly early development. Ignatius of Antioch (Ignatius of Antioch, Saint)—whose letters, written about AD 107, provide an early description of the Christian community—was clearly a monarchical bishop, and he did not think of himself as the only one of his kind; thus, the institution must have arisen in apostolic or early postapostolic times.

      The bishops succeed to the apostolic power, which is understood as the power to teach Catholic doctrine, to sanctify the church through the administration of the sacraments, and to govern the church. The residential bishop is supreme in his territory in this threefold function, having no superior other than the Roman pontiff. As the principal teacher of his diocese, the bishop is responsible for providing witness to Christ and for preaching the gospel of Christ. The bishop must also educate his flock on all the teachings of the church concerning faith and morals, children and the family, the individual, and society. In his priestly function, the bishop is called on to administer the sacraments and to encourage his flock to experience the Eucharist as a means of achieving unity in the love of Christ. As the chief officer of the diocese, the bishop has executive, legislative, and judicial powers to govern the church. The responsibilities of the office are great and demand considerable leadership.

      Bishops in modern times have been more visible as managers of the business of the diocese than as pastors and teachers. No authentic “Catholic” activity is conducted in a diocese without at least the tacit approval of the bishop; his disposal of funds and persons makes it evident that the activity will flourish much more vigorously if it enjoys his active support and encouragement. His power to discourage or forbid activities, which he is free to use according to his judgment, is both a strength and a weakness of the Roman (Roman Curia) Catholic structure. The bishop is assisted in governing the diocese by a staff called, like the staff of the pope, a curia. The structure of the staff is to some extent determined by canon law—e.g., vicar-general, chancellor, and official, or head, of the diocesan tribunals. Otherwise, the bishop at his discretion may appoint a staff according to the needs of his diocese. His authority over the staff and his clergy is nearly absolute.

      Until Vatican II the Roman Catholic Church had not dealt with the ambiguity of two concurrent jurisdictions, pontifical and episcopal (episcopacy). The pope cannot define or limit the powers of a bishop; the powers are “ordinary,” inhering in the office itself. Vatican II accepted the emphasis that recent theologians have laid on the collegial character of the episcopacy, and the supremacy of the pope is understood as supremacy in the college; the pope needs the college of which he is head, though Vatican I declared that he needs neither its consultation nor its approval. It is now understood that such solitary action should be the exception rather than the rule; and the Synod of Bishops, established after Vatican II, was a step toward involving the body of bishops in the policy of the entire church, hitherto formulated exclusively by the Roman see. During the papacy of John Paul II, the church proceeded along a contradictory path regarding the role of the episcopacy. In his 1995 encyclical Ut unum sint (“That They May Be One”), the pope seemingly supported the emphasis on collegiality voiced at Vatican II, but he also taught that there were limitations to episcopal independence.

      Originally elected to office and often appointed by kings and emperors during the early Middle Ages, bishops have been chosen by the pope since the 11th century. In modern practice, appointments to the office are made from confidential lists of suitable priests sent to the pope every three years by the bishops. Bishops in modern times have generally been career administrators in the church, but any priest can ascend to the office if he possesses certain qualifications. A candidate for the office must be at least 35 years old and have served as a priest for at least five years; he must also have strength of faith and moral character, and he must have a licence or expertise in Scripture, theology, and canon law. In 1970 Pope Paul VI established 75 as the mandatory age of retirement for all bishops except the bishop of Rome.

Ecumenical councils
      The first church council, which set the precedent for all subsequent meetings, took place at Jerusalem about AD 50 and was attended by the Apostles, who debated whether Gentile Christians were obliged to follow the Mosaic Law. Regional councils of bishops, convoked to settle doctrinal and disciplinary questions, appeared in the 2nd century. The first general council representing the bishops of the whole world occurred at Nicaea (Nicaea, Council of) in Asia Minor in 325 (the Greek oikumenē, from which the word ecumenical is derived, referred to the inhabited world). The council was convoked not by an ecclesiastical authority but by the Roman emperor Constantine (Constantine I), who wanted the church to reach a final decision on the Arian controversy (Arianism). (According to Arius, the Son of God was a creature of similar but not the same substance as God the Father.) The Roman Catholic Church has held 21 such assemblies, though only three (Trent, Vatican I, and Vatican II) have been held since the mid-16th century.

      Canon law defines an ecumenical council and its procedure; actually, the law represents the procedure followed in the convocation of Vatican I. There is no precise criterion for determining what is an ecumenical council, and one can say only that councils are ecumenical if and only if the Roman Catholic Church regards them as such. The Orthodox churches recognize the first eight councils only.

      The ecumenical council is recognized as the supreme authority within the Roman Catholic Church. Along with the pope this makes two supreme authorities; the church reconciles this logical dilemma by asserting that the ecumenical council, acting with the pope, is supreme. Only the pope can convoke an ecumenical council, and he or his legates must preside. There are no limits to the competence of an ecumenical council, but the pope must approve its decrees.

      The Great Schism (Western Schism) (1378–1417), during which three men claimed the papacy simultaneously, led to the movement known as conciliarism, which maintained that the ecumenical council was the means of saving the church from scandal and corruption. The idea of conciliarism was rooted in debates from the 12th century; in the 15th century it was applied with much success to the resolution of the schism, though the excesses of extremist conciliarists soon led to the demise of the movement, and much of the policy of the Roman see since that time has been devoted to the suppression of conciliarist sentiments. This has naturally led to questions about the value of ecumenical councils, which are cumbersome and expensive compared with an omnicompetent office such as the papacy. Nevertheless, the usefulness of ecumenical councils has been illustrated by both Vatican I and Vatican II. Apart from the public and psychological impact produced by a consensus so broad, the council makes available to the church a fund of wisdom and experience not available to the Roman Curia, and it seems to generate among participants a state of mind and a strength of purpose that is above their normal level of thought and action.

The priesthood (priest)
      Although the term “priest” (Greek hiereus) refers to the entire Christian people, it is given to no church officer (clergy) in the New Testament. First appearing in the 2nd century, the office is associated with the establishment of the eucharistic sacrifice, over which the priest was called to preside. No doubt the development of the monarchical episcopate also contributed to the emergence of the priesthood; the bishop needed assistance in his threefold task of teaching, sanctifying, and governing, and the priest exercised this power as an officer of the bishop. Although priests are members of either a diocese or a religious community, in the exercise of the threefold ministry every priest is subject to the bishop of the diocese in which the ministry is conducted.

      The pastor of the parish is the model priest. Despite the fact that in large parishes the pastor may be primarily an administrator, Catholics experience their church directly through the parochial clergy. Catholics hear sermons, worship, receive the sacraments, and look for religious counsel and direction in their parish. Many Catholics, particularly in the United States, send their children to parish schools. The parish is also the centre of activities ranging from recreation to adult education and social work, all under the direction of the clergy. Whereas the parochial clergy are genuine pastors, the pastoral office has often been reduced for the bishop and is barely visible in the pope. The strength of the Roman Catholic Church historically has been rooted in its priests, especially in its parochial clergy.

      Roman Catholicism for centuries has fostered a distinct clerical identity, symbolized by clerical garb, which sets priests as a class apart from lay Catholics. The priesthood is also set apart by gender; only men may become Catholic priests. The most striking feature of this class, celibacy, has stirred up considerable dissatisfaction in the modern church. Many priests and other observers have called for the acceptance of married priests, arguing that the rule of celibacy interferes with the ministry. Others have urged the acceptance of female priests. Because of this dissatisfaction and the issues related to it, there have been a significant number of departures from the priesthood and an alarming decrease in the number of candidates.

Religious communities
      Religious communities in the Roman Catholic Church consist of groups of men or women who live a common life and pronounce the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience (the evangelical counsels). Members of religious communities generally accept a rule of life that emphasizes humility and the renunciation of worldly goods and pleasures. The aim of such a life has traditionally been the contemplation of God and the pursuit of Christian perfection (theologically defined as perfect love). The religious life also has been understood as flight from the world, though monastic communities often have been great economic and cultural centres.

Hermits (hermit) and monks (monasticism)
      The origins of the religious life traditionally have been traced to the apostolic community in Jerusalem at the very beginning of the church. In the 1st century, groups of ascetics adopted lives of celibacy and poverty. In the 3rd and 4th centuries St. Anthony and other anchorites, or hermits, who escaped sin and temptation by flight from the world—mostly in the deserts of Syria, Egypt, and Palestine—greatly stimulated the growth of the movement. Flight from the world became the rule of the cloister, forbidding both free entrance of “externs” and free egress of the religious and imposing supervision in all dealings with seculars. The evangelical counsels meant a life of solitude and destitution and an effort to attain union with God by prolonged, almost constant contemplation. Where large numbers of hermits assembled in the same place, cenobitism (cenobitic monasticism) (common life) emerged, and the hermits or monks (monk) (Greek monachos, “solitary”) elected one of their members abbot (Aramaic abba, “father”). Eastern monasticism produced the rules of Pachomius and Basil in the 4th century, and travelers (most notably John Cassian) introduced monasticism into the Latin church. Western monasticism, however, came to be dominated by the rule of Benedict of Nursia (Benedict of Nursia, Saint), who founded his communities in Italy in the 6th century.

 Compared with most contemporary monastic rules, the Benedictine Rule emphasizes less austerity and contemplation and more common life and common work in charity and harmony. It has many offshoots and variations, and it has proved itself sturdy, surviving many near collapses and reforms. The monk does not join an “order” but a monastery. He takes vows of obedience, stability, and fidelity to the monastic life, adopts the habit (i.e., the distinct form of dress of the order), and the tonsure. Although Benedictine monasteries were almost always located in rural regions, the labour of the monks transformed them into food-producing areas which then attracted settlement. Thus, the monks who had fled the world found that the world sought them out for services, which they gladly rendered.

      The monks established internal and external schools in their communities and preserved the learning of antiquity by copying numerous ancient Latin manuscripts, both pagan and Christian. The primary purpose of the monastic community, however, was religious. The Benedictine monk was committed to a life of prayer, which was fulfilled in choir by the communal chanting of the divine office (a set form of liturgical prayer) at specific times of day. As the centre of the perfected religious life, monasteries received much support from the laity, who bestowed upon the monks numerous pious donations in the hopes of establishing spiritual kinship with them and being included in the monks' prayers.

mendicant friars (friar) and clerks regular
      Mendicant orders, such as the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Carmelites, and the Augustinians, arose in the 13th century. The friary was like a monastery, with common life and the divine office in choir, but the friars made excursions, sometimes at great length both in time and distance, for apostolic works, mostly preaching. All of the mendicant orders had apostolic work in mind at their foundation. They were thus at the ready disposal of the pope, and the principle of clerical exemption (exemption from the jurisdiction of the bishop) became much more important than it had been for the monks. Originally, the friars did not need even the approval of the bishop to preach in his diocese, though this freedom has been restricted in modern times. Preaching became almost the specialty of the mendicant friars in the Middle Ages, and they were important in the foundation of the great medieval universities.

      The third major form of religious life, that of the clerks regular, developed in the 16th century. These communities were formally and frankly directed to active ministry. According to Ignatius of Loyola (Loyola, Saint Ignatius of), founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)—the best-known example of clerks regular—the Society imitated the manner of living of devout secular priests (i.e., priests not bound by a rule) and placed itself at the disposal of the pope. The clerks regular were even more mobile than the friars and possessed the resources necessary to undertake specialized works. Since the 16th century the works of these religious communities have been education, foreign missions, preaching, and theological scholarship.

Nuns (nun) and brothers
      Until the 17th century, religious communities of women were almost entirely contemplative and generally subject to rigid cloister, or seclusion. (The Beguine movement—laywomen living communal lives of celibacy, prayer, and work—is one exception to this tradition.) Beginning in the 16th century, women's communities began to admit girls into the convents not as novices (those admitted to probationary membership in the community) but to educate them as gentlewomen. Modern communities of women all stem from the type of community instituted in France in the mid-17th century by Vincent de Paul (Vincent De Paul, Saint) under the name Daughters of Charity (Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Daughters of). At first these groups were deliberately nonmonastic; Vincent did not wish cloister. The Daughters of Charity was founded to help the poor and the sick and to provide their children with religious training and rudimentary education. These have remained the major works of the communities of women.

      Religious communities are orders if the members (or some of them) pronounce solemn vows (vow) and are congregations if the members pronounce simple vows. Whereas solemn vows are perpetual, simple vows may be perpetual or temporary. The difference between the two is subtle: solemn vows, though dispensable, were meant to be a more permanent and durable consecration than simple vows. Men who make religious profession but who do not receive the sacrament of holy orders are “brothers.”

      Secular institutes (secular institute), such as Opus Dei, have arisen since World War II. They are not religious (and therefore do not pronounce the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience), have little or no common life in a common residence, have no superior but rather a manager of their few common affairs, and intend to bear Christian witness in the world in any type of secular employment.

The laity
      Although the laity as a class are not mentioned in the New Testament, they came into being with the clergy at the end of the 1st century; the laity were identified as the part of the church that is not in orders. If the office of the clergy is conceived as teaching, sanctifying, and governing, then the function of the laity is to be taught, sanctified, and governed. The modern term Catholic Action (especially under Pius X and Pius XI) meant the organized general assistance by the laity in the mission of the church, yet, as it was more closely defined, the mission of the church was still entirely clerical, and lay action was accessory to the mission proper.

      Building on the precedents of the two popes Pius, Vatican II redefined the laity as part of the people of God and revised the role of the laity in the church. It called “secular” all nonecclesiastical activity and declared that the secular is the proper area of the layperson. This means that laypersons are the judges of how to realize their Christian destiny in the secular sphere. Although “proper” does not mean exclusive, the statement implies that the clergy can offer principles and general directions but not make specific decisions. The Roman Catholic Church intended to make the laity the channel of its relevance in the world.

      The council also took steps against passivity of the laity in ecclesiastical life, a reform some Roman Catholics were at first slow to accept, because they were not accustomed to the idea and because they were uncertain about how it should be implemented. The council's most visible reform involved the liturgy, which was now rendered in the vernacular. The altar was turned around so that the presiding priest faced the laity, who participated more fully in the mass through congregational singing and by responding to liturgical prayer. The council also recommended the creation of lay councils in each diocese and parish, which were gradually established in the following generation.

      The council's reform of the role of the laity was reinforced by a revision in 1983 of the Code of Canon Law and by Pope John Paul II's apostolic exhortation Christifidelis laici (December 30, 1988; “The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People”). The new law code highlighted a number of rights for the laity, including eligibility to hold church offices. Laypersons were allowed to serve as diocesan chancellors and to attend diocesan synods. The laity were also called on to participate in diocesan and parish financial and pastoral councils and to serve as advisers to bishops and priests. The revised code also established the right of laypersons to serve as lectors, commentators, and cantors, and they were even allowed to preach, confer baptism, and distribute Holy Communion. In his exhortation, the pope sanctioned the new lay ministries and duties described in the canon law. Drawing from the decrees of Vatican II, John Paul explained that all Christians share in the mission of Jesus Christ and are responsible for spreading the faith. The laity are called on to manifest the faith in their daily lives and to live as Christians in the world, thereby sanctifying it.

      The earliest individual church law (law code) was called a canon (Greek kanōn, “rule, measure, standard”), and the canons came to be referred to as canon law. Church laws appeared almost as soon as church authority, and some passages of the New Testament reflect early rules; whether they should be called “law” at this primitive stage is doubtful. Laws of dioceses or of regions were formed by diocesan synods or regional councils even before Constantine. Laws for the whole church appear with the earliest ecumenical councils. Collections of canon law, which were made throughout the Middle Ages, include the important codes of Burchard of Worms and Ivo of Chartres (Ivo of Chartres, Saint), though the first definitive codification was made only about 1140 by Gratian in the Decretum Gratiani (Gratian's Decretum). To this collection in the next 400 years were added the decretals (papal decrees on points of law) produced in the reigns of Gregory IX (1234), Boniface VIII (1298), and John XXII (1317) and two collections known as Extravagantes (1500). These formed the Corpus Juris Canonici (“Body of Canon Law”); no further collection of laws was made later than the Corpus. Effectively, though not formally, canon law included the opinions of canonists who interpreted the Corpus.

      This unsatisfactory and cumbersome collection led to calls for codification. No doubt the desire was influenced by the production of the Napoleonic Code (1804), which became the basic law of most of the nations of western Europe. The codification was begun by a document of Pius X (1904) and was completed, under the direction of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, during the reign of Benedict XV (1917); it became law in 1918. This Codex Juris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) remained the basic law of the Roman Catholic Church until 1983, when a new Code of Canon Law, originally commissioned by Pope John XXIII, was instituted by Pope John Paul II. Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome, however, have their own code of canon law.

      The history and structure of church law are treated more fully under canon law.

Beliefs and practices

Concepts of faith
      The idea of faith shared by all Christian churches is rooted in the New Testament. But the New Testament idea of faith is not simple; indeed, it possesses a breadth of meaning that has led to varying understandings, even within a single Christian communion. Most modern interpreters of the New Testament would agree to a description of faith as the personal knowledge of God revealing himself in Christ. Yet it is doubtful whether the post-Reformation theology of any Christian church has presented faith simply in these terms.

      Well before modern theologians considered the meaning of faith, Christian thinkers, beginning with Paul and the Evangelists, sought to explain faith. In the Synoptic Gospels, God was the object of faith, and faith itself was belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. The apostle Paul taught that faith meant belief in Christ and the preaching of Christ, which is the word of God, as well as obedience to Christ. Faith also was the key to salvation, and as such it offered confidence in the reconciliation with God. For John, faith was inspired by miracles and was knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah. The Apologists and other early writers commented on faith, but the most influential discussion of faith was that of Augustine, for whom faith was the acceptance of revelation and the freely given gift of God. This idea was developed and given official sanction at the second Council of Orange (529), which declared that the beginning and even the desire of faith was the result of the gift of grace. In the 13th century St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas, Thomas, Saint) defined faith as an intellectual assent to divine truth by the command of the will inspired by grace and the authority of God. Aquinas's definition was made canonical by the Council of Trent and Vatican I. The fathers at Vatican II confirmed this understanding of faith in the dogmatic constitution Dei verbum (November 18, 1965; “The Word of God”), which declared that faith must be preceded and assisted by “the grace of God and the interior help of the Holy Spirit.” Vatican II stressed that both the bestowal of grace and the human response to it are free acts.

Preambles and motivation of faith
      Two subjects are key to understanding Catholic faith: the preambles of faith and the motivation of faith. The preambles of faith include those rational (Rationalism) steps through which the believer reaches the conclusion that belief in God is reasonable. The freedom of faith is respected by affirming that such a conclusion is as far as the preambles can take one. That is, the preambles show that there is good evidence for the existence of God and that belief in God is reasonable (reason), but they cannot establish God's existence with absolute certainty or beyond rational doubt. Thus, the preambles leave one free to accept faith or to reject it.

      Traditional approaches to the preambles include the study of the scientific and historical difficulties raised against the Christian fact itself (i.e., the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, and glorification of Jesus Christ), against the Roman Catholic interpretation and proclamation of the Christian fact, or against the Roman Catholic claim to be the exclusive custodian of revealed doctrine and the means of salvation. In their earlier forms, these studies attempted to show that faith is the necessary result of a purely rational process. But a faith that proceeds necessarily from reason alone can be neither free nor the result of grace.

      The study of the motivation of faith attempted to meet this difficulty. Some analyses presented faith as resting solely on evidence and clumsily postulated a movement of grace necessary to assent to it. Normally, however, one "wills" to believe something only in cases where the evidence for the belief is less than rationally compelling. Ultimately, the Roman Catholic analysis must say that the evidence that belief is reasonable can never be so clear and convincing that it compels one to believe on rational grounds alone. At this point, the will inspired by grace chooses to accept revelation for reasons other than the evidence.

      The motive of faith that has been presented by Catholic theologians is “the authority of God revealing.” It is held that the preambles of faith show that it is reasonable to believe that God exists and that he has revealed himself. This evidence, together with an acceptance of the notion that, if God reveals himself, he does so authoritatively (i.e., through church authorities), motivates a person to make the act of faith. The problem with such an analysis has been to define how the authority of the revealer is manifest to the believer. It seems that the notion of the authority of God revealing must be an object of faith rather than a motive, because the believer cannot ever experience the conjunction of this authority together with the fact of revelation. This dilemma caused an increasing number of Catholic theologians to move closer to a view that emphasizes faith as a personal commitment to God rather than as an assent to revealed truth.

      Heresy is the obstinate denial by a professed, baptized Christian of a revealed truth or of that which the Roman Catholic Church has proposed as a revealed truth. The unbaptized person is incapable of heresy, and the baptized person is not guilty of “formal” but only of “material” heresy if he does not know that he denies a revealed truth. The seriousness with which Roman Catholicism regarded heresy is shown by the ancient penalty of excommunication. Civil penalties, including death, did not appear until the age of Constantine. Lesser civil disabilities continued in force, though the law was often ignored, into the 20th century. Protestant governments were often as severe as Roman Catholic governments in the suppression of heresy.

      Roman Catholic theologians often deal with heresy, paradoxically, as a necessary step in the development of dogma. They point out that the questions raised by heresy are often legitimate, though heretics too quickly assume a one-sided and exclusive view of the doctrine they wish to impose on the entire church. Modern studies have noted that many of the criticisms of the church made by the heretics of the early 11th century were made by the papal reformers after 1050. In recent times many of the theses of Modernism, which were condemned vigorously by Pius X in 1907, found their way into Catholic theology later in the 20th century.

The concept of revelation
      Although other religions have ideas of revelation, none of them bears a close resemblance to the idea of revelation found in the Bible and in Christianity. Roman Catholic theologians distinguish between revelation in a broad sense, which means knowledge of God deduced from facts about the natural world and man's existence, and revelation in the strict formal sense, which means the utterances of God. This latter idea can be conceived only by analogy with the utterances of man, and its precise definition involves difficulties.

      The earliest idea of revelation is the one found in the Hebrew Scriptures, in which the speech of God is addressed to Moses and the Prophets. They in turn are described as quoting the words of God rather than interpreting them. Jesus, the fulfillment of the Prophets, does not merely speak the word of God; he is the word of God. This phrase, which occurs only in the opening verse of both the Gospel and the First Letter of John, has become a technical term in theology; Jesus is the incarnate Word. As such he is both the revealer and the revealed.

The content of revelation
      The proper content of revelation is designated in Roman Catholic teaching as mystery; this theme was important in the documents of Vatican I. The theme of mystery was developed in response to the intellectual movements of the 18th and 19th centuries known as the Enlightenment, scientism, and historicism. The Roman Catholic Church perceived these movements as threats to the idea of a sacred revelation, because they appeared to claim that human reason had no frontiers or that human reason had demonstrated that revelation was historically false or unfounded or that the content of revelation was irrational. The affirmation of mystery meant that the reality of God was unattainable to unaided human reason (theologians had long used the word “incomprehensible,” which says more than modern theologians wish to say). Mystery refers both to the divine reality and to the divine operations of the world. These operations can be observed only in their effects; the operation itself is not seen, nor is its motivation seen. The plan of God, which is realized in history, is mysterious. Vatican I insisted that the existence of God and of a moral order is attainable to reason, and some of the fathers of the council wished to state that these truths were imposed upon reason by the evidence, a step that the council did not choose to take. Mystery does not mean the incomprehensible or the unintelligible; it means, in popular language, that man cannot know who God is or what God is doing or why God is doing it unless God tells him. Mystery also means that, even when revelation is made, the reality of God and his works escapes human comprehension.

      The term “supernatural (supernaturalism)” has been used in Roman Catholic theology since the 17th century to designate not only revelation but other aspects of divine work in the world. The term's inescapable ambiguity, however, has led many modern theologians to avoid it. The “natural (nature, philosophy of)” that the supernatural presupposes is the world of human experience; the quality of this experience is not altered by technological and social changes, as long as they are fulfillments of the potentialities of nature. Indeed, it is the spectacular growth in the knowledge of these potentialities in modern times that leads to doubt as to whether there can be a supernatural at all. The supernatural reality is identified with God in his reality and in his operations. This is a reality that man cannot create or control. The supernatural in cognition is this reality as it is perceptible to man; it is, for man, simply unknown as far as unaided reason can attain. Vatican I affirmed that without revelation human reason cannot reach anything but a distorted idea of the divine and an imperfect idea of the moral order. This means also that without revelation human beings are unaware of their destiny, either individually or collectively, and are unable to achieve it without the entrance of the supernatural into the world of history and experience.

      Contemporary theologians of revelation are aware that historical and literary criticism have rendered untenable the primitive idea of revelation as the direct utterance of God to man. Although Roman Catholic theologians have not found a satisfactory way of describing revelation, they do not agree that the destruction of a naive idea of revelation entails the destruction of any possible idea. Theologians also recognize that the older idea of a “revelation of propositions” as a collection of timeless and changeless verities, almost like a string of pearls, is no longer tenable. Every utterance that is called a revelation was formed in a definite time and place and bears the marks of its history. There is no revealed proposition that cannot be restated in another cultural situation. Indeed, contemporary theologians are aware that these propositions must be restated if the Roman Catholic Church is to speak meaningfully in the modern world. Roman Catholicism does not accept the possibility of a new revelation; it believes that reason can never completely penetrate the “mystery” and that it must continue the exploration of the mystery that has already been revealed.

Tradition and scripture
      In Roman Catholic theology, tradition is understood both as channel and as content. As channel it is identical with the living teaching authority of the Catholic church. As content it is “the deposit of faith,” the revealed truth concerning faith and morals. In Roman Catholic belief, revelation ends with the death of the Apostles; the deposit was transmitted to the college of bishops, which succeeded the Apostles.

 The Roman Catholic Church recognizes that the Bible is the word of God and that tradition is the word of the church. In one sense, therefore, tradition yields to the Scriptures in dignity and authority. But against the Protestant slogan of sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”), itself subject to misinterpretation, the Roman Catholic Church advanced the argument that the church existed before the New Testament. In fact, the church both produced and authenticated the New Testament as the word of God. For this belief, at least, tradition is the exclusive source. This belief also furnished a warrant for the Catholic affirmation of the body of truth that is transmitted to the church through the college of bishops and preserved by oral tradition (meaning that it was not written in the Scriptures). The Roman church therefore affirmed its right to determine what it believed by consulting its own beliefs as well as the Scriptures. The Council of Trent affirmed that the deposit of faith was preserved in the Scriptures and in unwritten traditions and that the Catholic church accepts these two with equal reverence. The council studiously avoided the statement that they meant these “two” as two sources of the deposit, but most Catholic theologians after the council understood the statement as meaning two sources. Some Protestants thought it meant that the Roman Catholic Church had written a second Bible.

      In contemporary Catholic theology this question has been raised again, and a number of theologians now believe that Scripture and tradition must be viewed as one source. They are, however, faced with the problem of nonbiblical articles of faith. To this problem several remarks are pertinent. The first is that no Protestant church preaches “pure” gospel; all of them have developed dogmatic traditions, concerning which they have differed vigorously. It is true, however, that they do not treat these traditions “with equal devotion and reverence” with the Bible. The second remark is that, through the first eight ecumenical councils (before the Schism of 1054), the Christian church arrived at nonbiblical formulas to profess its faith. Protestants respond that this is at least a matter of degree and that the consubstantiality of the Son (i.e., his being of the same substance as the Father), defined by the Council of Nicaea, is more faithful to the Scriptures than the Assumption of Mary, which was defined as dogma by Pius XII in 1950.

      Roman Catholics and Protestants should be able to reach some consensus that tradition and Scripture mean the reading of the Bible in church. Protestants never claimed that a person and his Bible made a self-sufficient Christian church. The New Testament itself demands that the word be proclaimed and heard in a church, and the community is formed on a common understanding of the word “proclaimed.” This suggests a way toward a Christian consensus on the necessity and function of tradition. No church pretends to treat its own history as nonexistent or unimportant. By reading the Scriptures in the light of its own beliefs, the church is able to address itself to new problems of faith and morals that did not exist or were not attended to in earlier times.

      Catholic theologians of the 19th century dealt with this problem under the heading of the development of dogma. To a certain extent the question is an epistemological one: Is a new understanding of an ancient truth a “new” truth? It is important to note that the problem of the development of dogma does not arise out of faith. Thus, Sir Isaac Newton (Newton, Sir Isaac)'s observations of falling bodies consisted of nothing that people had not seen for thousands of years, yet his insights profoundly altered our understanding of the universe. The problem is important in theology because of the necessity of basing belief on the historical event of the revelation of God in Christ. Unless this link is maintained, the church is teaching philosophy and science, not dogma. Hence, Roman Catholic theology has tended to say that dogma develops through new understanding, not through new discoveries.

The magisterium
The concept of teaching authority
      The Roman Catholic Church claims for itself a teaching authority that is unparalleled in the Christian community. In its broadest sense, this authority belongs to all members of the church, who, according to Vatican II, share in the threefold mission of the church by virtue of baptism. Teaching authority in a narrower sense is held only by bishops and the pope by virtue of their office and by theologians by virtue of their learning. In its strictest definition, the magisterium refers to the teaching authority of bishops and the pope. The Reformers of the 16th century rejected the traditional definition of the magisterium and did not claim for their own churches the authority they rejected in the Roman church.

      To teach with authority means that the teacher is able to impose his doctrine upon the learner under a religious and moral obligation. This obligation does not derive from the nature of teaching itself; the learner is morally obliged only to assent to manifest truth. Instead, it derives from the premise that the teaching authority of the Roman church is founded on the commission given by Jesus to the Apostles (Apostle) as contained in the New Testament (Luke 10:16, “Whoever listens to you listens to me”). But whereas the response of the hearers of the Apostles was faith, the response of the Roman Catholic is expected to go beyond faith. The Apostles were presumed to speak to those who did not yet believe, whereas the Roman Catholic Church imposes its teaching authority only upon its members. The definition of the church's teaching authority must show that these modifications do not exceed the limits of legitimate doctrinal development.

Organs of teaching authority
      Although teaching authority most broadly defined is vested in the whole church, it is especially associated with certain well-defined organs. These organs are the hierarchy—the pope (papacy) and the bishops. The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally been divided into “the teaching church” and “the listening church.” Clergy below the hierarchical level are included in “the listening church,” even though they are the assistants of the bishops in the teaching office. The hierarchy alone teaches what the Roman Catholic Church calls “authentic” doctrine. This idea contradicts the traditional belief that “the consent of the faithful” is a source of authentic doctrine. The conventional resolution of this problem, which stipulates that the consent of the faithful is formed under the direction of the pastors, deprives the consent of the faithful of any meaning.

      As Vatican I solemnly declared, the Roman pontiff is vested with the entire teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This means that the pope is the only spokesman for the entire Roman church and that the papacy carries in itself the power to act as supreme pastor. It is expected that the pope will assure himself that he expresses the existing consensus of the church, but in fact the documents of Vatican I are open to the understanding that he may form the consensus by his utterance alone. Vatican II clarified this ambiguity in the idea of the spokesman of the church by its emphasis on the collegial character of the primacy of the pope. The pope, however, does not always speak as the supreme pastor and head of the Roman church, and he is expected to make this clear in his utterance.

      The bishops are authentic teachers within their dioceses. Thus, the same implicit conflict exists with regard to teaching as was noted in connection with governing. The conflict is resolved by collegiality: whether the doctrine taught by the authentic teacher is orthodox can be determined by comparing it with the doctrine of his episcopal colleagues. In the pre-Constantinian church, doctrinal disputes were resolved in this way, and a regional council was called if necessary. Since the Reformation, the Roman see has never admitted publicly that a bishop has fallen into doctrinal error; the united front of authentic doctrine is preserved, and the matter is dealt with by subtle means. What is taught by all the bishops is understood to be authentic doctrine. It is further understood that the bishops teach in communion with the Roman pontiff, and a conflict of doctrine on this level is simply not regarded as a possibility. This consensus of the bishops is known as “the ordinary teaching.” “The extraordinary teaching” signifies the solemn declaration of an ecumenical council (which is the assembly of the bishops) or the most solemn type of papal declaration, known as a definition of doctrine ex cathedra.

Object and response
      The object of authentic teaching is defined as “ faith and morals.” Faith means revealed truth. Morals theoretically means revealed moral principles, but it has long been understood as moral judgment in any area of human conduct. Thus, not only does the Roman Catholic Church prohibit contraception for its members, it also asserts that contraception is universally wrong by declaring that it is contrary to “ natural law.” In this way morals includes both the declaration and the interpretation of natural law. The limits of faith and morals have never been defined by the Roman Catholic Church, nor can one take the exercise of the teaching authority as a reliable guide. Thus, the teaching authority condemned the heliocentric theory of Galileo as contrary to the Bible because it had always understood that revealed truth, in the context of current knowledge, may require one to accept or to reject certain propositions, though those propositions themselves are not part of revealed doctrine.

      Dogma is the name given to a proposition that is proclaimed with all possible solemnity either by the Roman pontiff or by an ecumenical council. A dogma is a revealed truth that the Roman Catholic church solemnly declares to be true and to be revealed; it is most properly an object of faith.

      Vatican I declared that the pope, when he teaches solemnly and in the area of faith and morals as the supreme universal pastor, teaches infallibl (papal infallibility)y with that infallibility that the church has. The infallibility of the church has never been defined, but its extent is understood by theologians to be limited to faith and morals, as is pontifical infallibility. These terms are ambiguous, as noted above. Although the doctrine of infallibility is subject to many reservations and qualifications, pontifical documents often have an aggressive tone that may mislead the incautious reader. The real problem is how an authority that can and does make errors in doctrinal teaching can be called infallible, even with numerous and serious reservations. In the early 1970s some Catholic theologians, such as Hans Küng (Küng, Hans), suggested that the church should be understood as indefectible—i.e., not able to fail or be totally led astray—rather than infallible.

      The proper response of the Roman Catholic to authoritative teaching that is “ordinary” and does not clearly deal with faith or morals is “religious assent,” a term that is extremely difficult to define. The theory of religious assent does permit considerable dissent from authoritative teaching, such as the dissent that greeted Paul VI's teaching against contraception in 1968. Religious assent is particularly relevant to the pontifical document called the encyclical, which first appeared in the 18th century and became the normal mode of pontifical communication in the 19th century. The encyclical letter is a channel of ordinary teaching, not solemn and definitive, and is somewhat provisional by definition. Religious assent may be withheld, in popular language, by anyone who in good conscience thinks he knows better. Although the decisions of Vatican II raised the possibility that the church would implement its teaching authority in a less juridical and less hierarchical way, Pope John Paul II reasserted the traditional claims of the teaching authority and emphasized the need for all Roman Catholics to adhere closely to a strict definition of orthodoxy.

Major dogmas and doctrines (doctrine and dogma)
      The Roman Catholic Church in its formula of baptism still asks that the parents and godparents of infants to be baptized recite the Apostles' Creed as a sign that they accept the basic doctrines of the church and will help their children grow in the Catholic faith. The creed proclaims belief in the Holy Trinity; the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ; the coming judgment of Christ; the remission of sins; the church; and eternal life. The early Church Fathers made the creed the basis of the baptismal homilies given to catechumens, or those preparing for the rite. The homilies, like modern Roman Catholic doctrine, went considerably beyond the bare articles of the creed.

      Roman Catholic faith incorporates into its structure the books of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. From these books it derives its belief in original sin, conceived of as a hereditary and universal moral defect of human beings that makes them incapable of achieving their destiny and even incapable of basic decency. The importance of this doctrine lies in its explanation of the human condition as caused by human and not by divine failure (nor, in modern Roman Catholic theology, by diabolical influence). Humankind can be delivered from its debased condition only by a saving act of God—the death and Resurrection of Jesus. In Jesus, God is revealed as the Father who sends the Son on his saving mission, and through the Son the Spirit comes to dwell in the redeemed. Thus, the Trinity of persons is revealed, and the destiny of man is to share the divine life of the three persons of the Trinity. The saving act of Jesus introduces grace, which in Roman Catholic belief signifies both the love of God and the effect produced in human beings by his love. (The theological idea of grace has been hotly disputed.) The response of believers to the presence of grace is the three theological virtues (virtue) of faith, hope, and charity; these enable them to live the Christian life. Human beings are introduced to grace and initiated into the church by baptism, and the life of grace is sustained in the church by the sacraments.

 The life of grace reaches its fulfillment in eschatology. In this area of belief about the end of the world and “the last things,” modern theology rejects the physical rewards and punishments that were central to earlier belief and so vividly depicted by Dante. Most theologians recognize the allegorical character of most of the traditional imagery of heaven, hell, and purgatory, and the church's catechism identifies separation from God as the greatest punishment of the “eternal fire” of hell. Judgment itself is both personal and general, according to the church. Every individual will be judged according to his faith and works immediately after death, but Christ will also come to judge the living and the dead at the end of time. Central to Catholic eschatology is belief in the resurrection of the body, which for Roman Catholics, as for all Christians, is confirmed by the bodily Resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, the importance of the Ascension of Christ in his flesh was noted in the Gospels and the letters of Paul the Apostle.

Sacraments (sacrament)
General characteristics
      In Roman Catholic theology a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Jesus Christ that is productive of inner grace. The number of sacraments varied throughout much of the first millennium of Christian history, as did the definition of the term sacrament itself. After extensive theological discussion during this period, church leaders in the 11th and 12th centuries decided upon seven as the exact number of sacraments. They are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance (reconciliation), anointing of the sick, marriage, and holy orders. This number was confirmed by the Council of Trent against the Protestant Reformers, who maintained that there were only two sacraments.

      The sacrament in modern theology is frequently described as an encounter with mystery, the mystery being the saving act of God in Christ, and theological studies have explored the ideas of sign and significance. The traditional Roman Catholic view of the effectiveness of the sacraments (as defined by the Council of Trent) is described by the phrase ex opere operato (“from the work done”), which is best explained briefly by saying that the faith and virtue of the minister neither add to the sacrament by their presence nor detract from it by their absence. The minister is merely the agent of the church, and the effectiveness of the sacrament is based on the saving act of God in Christ, which is signified by the rite and applied to the recipient of the sacrament.

      The theological explanation of the sign that effects by signifying is not easily communicated and has often been criticized by those outside the church. Roman Catholic theologians remark, however, that the mystery of God's saving act is not capable of complete rational explanation, though there are analogies in common experience. Indeed, there is no society that does not employ effective signs. The inauguration of the president of the United States, for example, is an effective sign in the sense that the ceremony results in the oath taker becoming president. The sign of the coronation of a monarch is similarly effective.

      Traditionally, the church attributes the institution of the sign to Jesus Christ (though this has been the subject of discussion among modern theologians), which removes the right of anyone to tamper with it. The Roman Catholic Church believes that, if God gives a sign, alteration of the sign might cause it to lose its significance or otherwise render it ineffective. Hence, the proper material and the traditional formula are treated as sacred. Since Aquinas, the material used is called “matter” and the words are called “form”; the terms are borrowed from Aristotelian metaphysics. The material becomes sacred and salutary only by its conjunction with the proper words. The effect produced has for centuries been called “grace.”

      The term sacramental is used to designate verbal formulas (such as blessings) or objects (such as holy water or medals) to which a religious significance has been attached. These are symbols of personal prayer and dedication, and their effectiveness is measured by the particular dispositions of the person who uses them.

 Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration and initiation into the church that was begun by Jesus, who accepted baptism from John the Baptist and also ordered the Apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). According to the teaching of St. Paul, which draws an analogy with the death and Resurrection of Jesus, baptism is death to a former life and the emergence of a new person, which is signified by the outward sign of water (Catholic baptism involves pouring or sprinkling water over the candidate's head). Baptism is understood, therefore, as the total annulment of the sins of one's past and the emergence of a totally innocent person. The newly baptized person becomes a member of the church and is incorporated into the body of Christ, thus becoming empowered to lead the life of Christ. Nothing but pure natural water may be used, and baptism must be conferred, as Jesus taught, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is normally conferred by a priest, but the Roman Catholic Church accepts baptism conferred in an emergency by anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, having the use of reason “with the intention of doing what the church does.” In the spirit of Vatican II, which acknowledged the validity of any baptism that is “duly administered as Our Lord instituted it” (Unitatis redintegratio [“The Restoration of Unity”]; November 21, 1964), the church has recognized as valid the baptisms of a wide range of non-Catholic churches.

      As the sacrament of rebirth, in which the baptized person is made new and permanently sealed with the spiritual mark of belonging to Christ, baptism cannot be repeated. The Roman Catholic Church baptizes conditionally in cases of serious doubt of the fact of baptism or the use of the proper rite (ritual), but it no longer approves of the conditional baptism of miscarried or stillborn infants.

      Two points of controversy still exist in modern times. One is baptism by pouring or sprinkling water on the head rather than by immersion of the entire body, even though immersion was probably the biblical and early Christian rite. The change almost certainly occurred during the spread of Christianity into Europe north of the Alps and the usual occurrence in early spring of the baptismal feasts, Easter and Pentecost. The Roman Catholic Church simply asserts that the symbolism of the bath is preserved by a ritual infusion of water.

      The second point of controversy concerns the baptism of infants. There is no certain evidence of this practice earlier than the 2nd century, and the ancient baptismal liturgies are all intended for adults. There is, however, extensive testimony suggesting the introduction of infant baptism as early as the 1st century. The apostle Paul compares baptism with circumcision, the Jewish rite initiating male infants into the religious community. Other early Christian writers provide evidence of the practice: Tertullian rejected it, thus suggesting its widespread use, and Origen spoke of infant baptism as an established practice. It became the norm by the 4th century and remained so until the 16th century, when various Protestant groups rejected it. It remains the practice of the Roman Catholic Church and most mainline Protestant churches.

      The long-standing liturgy of infant baptism, however, indicates the importance of an independent adult decision; without this decision the sacrament cannot be received. The Roman Catholic Church accepts this principle by introducing adults (sponsors, godparents (godparent)), who make the decision for the infant at the commission of the parents and are given the responsibility of ensuring the child's Christian upbringing. The responsibilities of parents and godparents have received great emphasis in the church's rite of baptism for children, which was first promulgated in 1969 and subsequently revised. It is expected that, when they grow up, children who have been baptized will accept the decision made for them and will thus fulfill and validate the adult decision that was presumed.

      Traditionally, one of the justifications for infant baptism was the popular and learned belief in children's limbo (limbus infantium). Although discussed by theologians, including Aquinas, the doctrine of limbo was never formally pronounced by the church. From the 12th century, however, it was commonly believed that the souls of children who die unbaptized go to limbo, where they experience neither the torments of hell nor the joys of heaven. In the 20th century, belief in limbo became more rare, and the church taught that unbaptized infants are entrusted to the mercy of God and Jesus, who said

Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

(Mark 10:14)

      A sacrament that is conferred through the anointing with oil and the imposition of hands, confirmation is believed to strengthen or confirm the grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit at baptism. Apostolic precedent for the sacrament has been found in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts of the Apostles, The), chapters 8 and 19, in which Peter and Paul on separate occasions put their hands on already-baptized Christians to confer on them the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The sacrament was originally administered as part of baptism, as it still is in Orthodox churches, but gradually evolved into a distinct sacrament. As a result of its detachment from baptism, confirmation came to be delayed until later in life, so that in the modern church the minimum age for receiving it is seven; many dioceses, however, have established an older minimum age. The postponement of confirmation has led many Roman Catholic theologians to interpret it as a rite of passage from childhood, like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony. It is also understood as a rite in which Christians can confirm the commitment to the church made for them at baptism.

      The confirmation rite is a relatively simple ceremony that is traditionally performed during the mass by the bishop, though modern liturgical renewal has empowered pastors of parishes to confer confirmation. The service includes a homily, usually on the meaning of the sacrament, followed by the renewal of the vows of baptism by the confirmands. The bishop raises his hands over those taking confirmation and prays for the bestowal of the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit (according to Isaiah 11:2–3, wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord). He then anoints the forehead of each confirmand with chrism (holy oil consecrated at the Maundy Thursday service) and says Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti (“Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit”). The rite concludes with the eucharistic service and blessing of the congregation. The recipient of confirmation, who is presented by a sponsor of the same sex, traditionally takes a “confirmation name” that will remind the confirmand of this sacrament. Many confirmands choose the name of a saint whose qualities they admire.

The Eucharist
      The Eucharist (from the Greek for “thanksgiving”) is the central act of Christian worship; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, it is practiced by most Christian churches in some form. Along with baptism it is one of the two sacraments most clearly found in the New Testament, and along with baptism and confirmation it is one of the sacraments of initiation. The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes the Eucharist as sacrifice (mass) and sacrament (communion).

 The rite was instituted by Jesus and is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and in the letters of Paul. According to the Evangelists' account, Jesus established the practice at the Last Supper, a traditional Passover seder, when he blessed the bread, which he said was his body, and shared it with his disciples. He then shared a cup of wine with his disciples and told them “this is the blood of my covenant, which is poured out for many.” According to the Evangelist Luke, Jesus called on his followers to repeat the ceremony in his memory, and it is clear that the earliest Christians regularly enacted it. Originally, the Eucharist was a repetition of the common meal of the local group of disciples with the addition of the bread and the cup signifying the presence of Jesus. During the 2nd century the meal became vestigial and was finally abandoned. The Eucharist was originally celebrated every Sunday; by the 4th century it was celebrated daily. The eucharistic formula was set in a framework of biblical readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers that depended in form somewhat on the synagogue service. This remained one basis of the various liturgies that arose, including the Roman rite.

      The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is derived from the sacrament's relation to the death of Jesus. According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus spoke of himself as a sacrifice, possibly foreshadowing his imminent sacrifice on the cross. He used bread and wine to symbolize his body and blood, possibly reflecting contemporary Jewish usage of bread and wine as sacrificial elements, and gave them to his disciples so that they could share in his sacrifice. The theme is clearly elaborated on in Paul's Letter to the Hebrews, and the sacrificial character of the Eucharist was widely accepted by the early Christians. Roman Catholic theology preserves the early understanding of the Eucharist as a sacrifice in its teaching on the mass, and it has firmly insisted that the mass repeats the rite that Jesus told his disciples to repeat. The rite is the memorial of the original sacrifice of Christ. It is an effective commemoration of his death that also makes present the sacrifice on the cross; during the mass

the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner. (Catechism of the Catholic Church; 1992)

      Roman Catholics believe in the real presence, an issue that has dominated Catholic-Protestant controversies about Holy Communion. The celebrated term transubstantiation is defined as the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, even though the physical appearance of the offering remains unchanged. Roman Catholic teaching, which was developed during the Middle Ages and supported by later councils and popes such as Paul VI, applies Aristotelian categories to explain the mystery of Christ's literal presence in the sacramental bread and wine. This teaching of the real presence is intended to emphasize the intimate relationship between Jesus and the communicant. Although Catholic theologians developed new ways to interpret the mystery of the sacrament of the Eucharist in the period after Vatican II, the doctrine of transubstantiation remains the fundamental understanding of all Catholics.

      As a result of Vatican II, the church sought to restore to the Eucharist the symbolism of Christian unity that the sacrament clearly has in the New Testament. Originally, the symbolism was that of a community meal, an accepted symbol of community throughout the whole of human culture. Roman Catholic efforts to restore this symbolism have included the use of the vernacular and the active participation of the laity. As a means of symbolizing unity, the ancient rite of concelebration—i.e., several priests or bishops jointly celebrating a single eucharistic liturgy—was restored by Vatican II, which also emphasized the corporate nature of communion as well as the important role of the laity in eucharistic celebrations. The practice of celebrating the Eucharist in an informal setting—i.e., in private homes or classrooms—was instituted in some places as a way of drawing the laity more intimately into the rite.

      Church law obliges Roman Catholics to receive Holy Communion at least once a year (during the Lent-Easter season) but encourages them to take it at mass every Sunday, on feast days, and even every day. In this way the faithful can receive the many benefits of the Eucharist. In addition to strengthening community, frequent communion also strengthens contact with Jesus Christ and allows the faithful to participate in Jesus' sacrificial work. Finally, the Eucharist focuses attention on the ultimate goal, the return of Jesus Christ. Communion is the anticipation of the coming glory of heaven.

      The name of the fourth sacrament, reconciliation, or penance as it was once known, reflects the practice of restoring sinners (sin) to the community of the faithful that was associated with the earliest discipline of the penitential rite. Those who sinned seriously were excluded from Holy Communion until they showed repentance by undergoing a period of trial that included fasting, public humiliation, the wearing of sackcloth, and other austerities. At the end of the period, they were publicly reconciled to the church. Although there were some sins, called mortal sins—e.g., murder, adultery, and apostasy—for which certain local churches at certain times did not perform the rite, this did not mean that God did not forgive but only that good standing in the church was permanently lost. Elsewhere it was believed that the rite of penance could be performed only once; relapsed sinners lost good standing permanently. Rigorist sects that denied the power to forgive certain sins were regarded as heretical. The penitential rite involving strict discipline did not endure beyond the early Middle Ages, and there can be no doubt that it was too rigorous for most Christians. In the opinion of many, it did not reflect the forgiveness of Jesus in the Gospels with all fidelity.

      It is impossible to assign an exact date of origin for “auricular confession”—i.e., the confessing (confession) of faults by an individual penitent to a priest—but it was most likely developed in the 6th century by Irish monks and introduced to the Continent later by Irish and Anglo-Saxon monks. This is the penitential rite that has endured into modern times. It was rejected by most of the Reformers on the ground that God alone can forgive sins. The Roman Catholic Church claims that the absolution of the priest is an act of forgiveness; to receive it, the penitent must confess all serious (mortal) sins and manifest genuine “contrition,” or sorrow for sins, and a reasonably firm purpose to make amends. Following Vatican II, the church began to emphasize penance as a process of reconciliation with the church and as a means of obtaining pardon from God. The priest is seen as a healer aiding in the process, and the penitent sinner is called to conversion and correction of his or her life.

      Indulgences (indulgence), which caused such controversy at the beginning of the Reformation, represent neither instant forgiveness to the unrepentant nor licenses of sin to the habitual sinner. Rather, they are declarations that the church accepts certain prayers and good works, listed in an official publication, as the equivalent of the rigorous penances of the ancient discipline.

      This sacrament was long known in English as “extreme unction,” literally rendered from its Latin name, unctio extrema, meaning “last anointing.” It is conferred by anointing the forehead and hands with blessed oil and pronouncing a formula. It may be conferred only on those who are seriously ill. Seriousness is measured by the danger of death, but imminent death, however certain, from external causes—such as the execution of a death sentence—does not render one apt for the sacrament. It may be administered only once during the same illness; recovery renders one apt again. Its effects are described as the strengthening of both soul and body. An ancient rite that continues Jesus' ministry of healing, the sacrament is directed against “the remains of sin.” Although this is a poorly defined phrase, it was long ago recognized that serious illness saps one's spiritual resources as well as one's physical strength so that one is not able to meet the crisis of mortal danger with all one's powers. In popular belief, anointing is most valuable as a complement to confession or—in case of unconsciousness—as a substitute for it.

      Anointing is not the sacrament of the dying—it is the sacrament of the sick. The New Testament passage to which the Roman Catholic Church appeals for this rite (James 5:14–15) does not envisage a person beyond recovery. Postponement until the patient is critically ill (in modern medical terms) means that the sacrament is often administered to unconscious or heavily sedated patients even though the church urges that the sacrament be given, if possible, while the person is still conscious.

      The inclusion of marriage among the sacraments gives the Roman Catholic Church jurisdiction over an institution that is of as much concern to the state as it is to the church. The church claims complete jurisdiction over the marriages of its members, even though it is unable to urge this jurisdiction in modern secular states. The sacrament in Roman Catholic teaching is administered by the spouses through the exchange of consent. The priest, whose presence is required, is an authorized official witness; in addition, the church requires two other witnesses. Marriage is safeguarded by a number of impediments that render the marriage null (annulment) whether they are known or not, and the freedom of the spouses must be assured. This means that the Roman Catholic Church demands an unusually rigorous examination before the marriage, and this in turn means that it is practically impossible to marry on impulse in the Catholic church. All of this is for the purpose of assuring that the marriage so contracted will not be declared null in the future because of some defect.

      The rigid Roman Catholic rejection of divorce, which is based on the teachings of Jesus, has been a major cause of hostility toward the church in the modern world. Absolute indissolubility is declared only of the marriage of two baptized persons (Protestants as well as Catholics). The same indissolubility is not declared of marriages of the unbaptized, but the Roman church recognizes no religious or civil authority except itself that is empowered to dissolve such marriages; this claim is extremely limited and is not used unless a Roman Catholic is involved. Declarations of nullity, however, should not be confused with divorce nor be thought of as a substitute for divorce.

      The onerous conditions that Roman Catholicism formerly imposed upon non-Catholic partners in “mixed” marriages have been relaxed significantly since Vatican II, particularly as regards written promises that the children will receive religious education in the Roman Catholic faith. The church's former rigidity toward such marriages has also largely disappeared. They may now be celebrated in church during the mass, and a Protestant minister or a Jewish rabbi may share the witness function with the priest.

      This sacrament confers upon candidates the power over the sacred, which means the power to administer the sacraments. The Latin church had long recognized four minor orders (holy order) (porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte) and four major orders (subdeacon, deacon, priest, bishop). The minor orders represented church services rendered by persons not ordained. In 1972 Pope Paul VI issued the apostolic letter Ministeria quaedam (“Certain Ministries”), which abolished the major order of subdeacon and all minor orders and created the lay liturgical ministries of lector and acolyte. Only the major orders are held to be sacramental, but they are regarded as one sacrament within which a tripartite hierarchy of sacramental effects is administered separately. Ordination is conferred only by the bishop; the rite includes the imposition of hands, anointing, and delivery of the symbols of the order. The power of the sacred peculiar to the bishop is shown only in the sacraments of confirmation and orders. Ordination can neither be repeated nor annulled. Priests who are suspended from priestly powers or laicized (permanently authorized to live as laymen) retain their sacred power but are forbidden to exercise it except in emergencies. The priest is always ordained to a “title,” meaning that he is accepted in some ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Lectors and acolytes are instituted by a bishop or by the major superior of a clerical religious institute. Following a calling of the candidates, instruction, and prayer, lectors are presented with a Bible and acolytes with a vessel with bread or wine.

      Following Vatican II, much theological discussion was devoted to such issues as the ordination of women, which is a divisive issue within the church and between the church and other Christian denominations. Catholic women do serve in various roles, as lectors, eucharistic ministers, even marriage tribunal officers and altar servers, and large number of women are lay chaplains. Many traditionalist Catholics, however, have seen the advent of altar girls in 1994 as merely the first salvo in the battle for the complete ordination of women, and John Paul II made it clear to dioceses and bishops that they are under no pressure to use altar girls. Some nuns have also pushed for a larger role in a more “inclusive” church; some of them have even gathered in groups to administer the Eucharist to one another. Other controversial suggestions include the restoration of the permanent diaconate (with the powers to baptize, preach, and administer the Eucharist), to which both married and single men are admitted, and the idea of ordination for a fixed period of service. Except for the diaconate, these are radical suggestions in Roman Catholicism.

Liturgy
      Cultic worship—a formal system of veneration—is so universal in religion that some historians of religion actually define religion as cult. Cultic worship is social, which means more than a group worshipping the same deity in the same place at the same time. A cult is structured, with a division of sacred personnel (priests) who lead and perform the cultic ceremonies for the people, who are in a more distant relation with the deity. The sacred personnel are designated by the choice and acceptance both of the deity and of the worshipping group. The words and actions of the cultic performance are divided into roles assigned to the leaders and to the worshippers. It is the tendency of cultic worship to replace spontaneity, which it once had, with set and even rigid forms of words and acts. These are preserved by tradition, and they generally have a sacredness that is based on the belief that the directions for cultic worship came ultimately from the deity.

The mass
      Roman Catholic liturgy has its roots in Judaism and the New Testament. The central act of liturgy from earliest times was the eucharistic assembly, the commemorative celebration of the Last Supper of Jesus. This was set in a structure of liturgical prayer. During the first six centuries of the Christian church, there developed a rich variety of liturgical systems, many of which have survived in the “Oriental” (i.e., Eastern) churches. In the West the Latin liturgy appeared fully developed in Rome in the 6th and 7th centuries. The Roman liturgy was adopted throughout western Europe from the 8th century. In the same period, however, liturgy developed in Frankish territories; the Roman rite that emerged as dominant in the 10th century was a Roman-Frankish (Frank) creation. The Roman rite was reformed by the Council of Trent (Trent, Council of) by the removal of some corruptions and the imposition of uniformity. After Trent the Roman see was the supreme authority over liturgical practice in the entire Roman Catholic Church.

      By the 11th century, Roman liturgy had acquired the classic form that it retained up to Vatican II. The fullness of the liturgy could be witnessed only in some cathedrals, collegiate churches, and monastic churches. The full liturgy included the daily celebration of the solemn high mass and the recitation of the divine office in choir. The solemn high mass was entirely sung and was performed by at least three major officers (celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon), assisted by many acolytes and ministers; the low mass was spoken and conducted by a single priest and a server or two. Except during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, the altar was decorated, and numerous candles (used in the Middle Ages for light rather than for ornamentation) and incense were employed. Singing and chanting were accompanied by the organ and in modern times even by orchestral music. Indeed, Mozart once complained that the archbishop of Salzburg compelled him to compose a mass without the resources of a full symphonic orchestra.

      Latin (Latin language) did not become the language of the Roman rite until the 6th century. As a sacred language, Latin really has no parallel. Jews have always made a genuine effort to learn some Hebrew, and other sacred languages are archaic forms of the vernacular; the English of the Authorized Version of the Bible became the language of prayer in many Protestant churches. The effect of the use of Latin, it has been argued, was to make the liturgy the preserve of the clergy and to make the laity essentially passive. This was countered by efforts to use sound and spectacle in the performance of the solemn liturgy. For centuries the canon of the mass, the central eucharistic formula, was recited by the celebrant inaudibly, with his back to the people, and the elevation of the host and chalice and the ringing of the bells to signal the consecration were the only means of communicating to the people that the pivotal point of the mass had arrived; the canon of the mass was a kind of verbal “sanctuary” that the laity were not even supposed to hear.

      The abandonment of Latin as a result of Vatican II excited deep antagonisms. Some Catholics cherished the Latin liturgy and regarded it as the symbol of the timeless and changeless Roman Catholic Church. Others believed that the restoration of the vernacular would restore to the liturgy two functions that it had in the early centuries: to instruct converts and to confirm members in their faith. Although most Roman Catholics came to accept the vernacular mass approved at Vatican II, a minority group, the so-called Catholic traditionalists, rejected the reforms of Vatican II and remained devoted to the Latin mass. The best-known figures in this movement were Gommar De Pauw in the United States and, especially, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (Lefebvre, Marcel) in France.

      The divine office was a legacy to the clergy from the monks. From the earliest times, monks assembled several times daily for prayer in common. This practice developed into set common prayer at stated times each day (matins or vigils, midnight; lauds, first daylight; prime, sunrise; terce, mid-morning; sext, noon; none, mid-afternoon; vespers, sunset; compline, before retiring). The divine office consisted basically of the chanting of the Psalms (in a weekly cycle), the recital of prayers, and the reading of the Scriptures (to which were later added selections from the writings of the Church Fathers, probably instead of a homily given by one of those present). Together with the mass, the office has been the only “official” prayer of the Roman Catholic Church; all other prayer forms are “private,” even if several hundred people recite them together. For this reason clerics in major orders since the Middle Ages have been obliged to recite the divine office, or “ breviary,” privately if they are not bound to attend the office in choir. It was long recognized that there is an inconsistency in the private silent reading of a prayer structure that is intended for choral chanting. Vatican II recommended a reform of the canonical hours, which included simplifying their observance, encouraging participation by the laity, and restoring the practice of singing the hours in groups..

The liturgical year
      The liturgy has traditionally been arranged in an annual cycle that is a reenactment of the saving events of the life, death, Resurrection, and glorification of Jesus Christ. The events are reenacted as an assurance that the saving act will reach its eschatological fullness, and the liturgy is an expression and a support of the Christian hope. The cult of the saints is an intrusion into the liturgical cycle, and it has been much reduced in the contemporary liturgical reforms.

      The liturgical season begins with Advent, a time of preparation for the Christmas holiday. After Christmas the first of two periods of Ordinary Time follows and continues until Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of penitence leading to the Paschal Triduum, the period beginning on Holy Thursday and ending with the evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday marks the start of the Easter season, which continues as a time of celebration until Pentecost Sunday, some 50 days later. Pentecost (commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples) marks the start of the second period of Ordinary Time, which continues until the Advent season begins anew.

      The colour of the priest's outer garments reflects the liturgical season or day: white or gold is worn for Christmas and Easter; purple is worn for Advent and Lent, except on the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday of Lent, the midpoint of the penitential seasons, when pink is worn as a sign of hope and joy; red is worn for Good Friday and Palm Sunday and on the feasts of martyrs; green, another symbol of hope, is worn for the rest of the liturgical year; and white is worn for funerals as a symbol of life instead of mourning.

Paraliturgical devotions
      In the Roman Catholic Church, liturgy in the proper sense is the liturgy of the mass, the divine office, and the sacraments. For hundreds of years, however, the Latin language, the clerical character of the liturgy, and the search for novelty have combined to produce forms of worship that are “paraliturgical,” meaning that they lie outside the liturgy and in some cases contradict it. These acts are also known as devotions or devotional practices, which means that they are accepted voluntarily and not from obligation.

Eucharistic devotions
      A number of eucharistic devotional practices arose in the Middle Ages, when Catholics rarely received the Eucharist more than once a year. The practice of benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, for example, is a blessing conferred by a priest holding a consecrated host in a vessel of display called a monstrance; the priest's hands are covered to signify that it is the blessing of Jesus and not his own. This blessing is accompanied by hymns, the organ, and the use of incense. The practice of “exposition” is the public and solemn display of the eucharistic bread, again with the accompaniment of hymns, the organ, incense, and processions. The most prominent of the eucharistic celebrations is the Feast of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, Feast of), which was instituted in the 13th century by Pope Urban IV (reigned 1261–64) and was inspired by Blessed Juliana, prioress of Mont Cornillon (near Liège in present-day Belgium). The reservation of the Eucharist in churches is a way in which Catholics can address themselves in personal prayer to Jesus “really present.” These eucharistic devotions have often functioned as substitutes for mass and Holy Communion, and since the modern renewal of liturgy they occur much less frequently.

Cult of the saints
      Other devotions involve the cult of the saints (saint), a practice of great antiquity repudiated by the Reformers of the 16th century as a denial of the total mediation of Christ. Although this objection oversimplified Catholic practice, the devotions did sometimes approach superstition. Since the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, Catholic theologians have distinguished (by Greek technical terms) the worship paid to God (latria, “adoration”) from the veneration addressed to Mary (hyperdulia, “super-service”) and the saints (dulia, “service”). The Roman Catholic understanding of the intercession of the saints is an extension of the belief in the communion of saints. Although such veneration does tend to multiply mediators, it has often fostered a simple and not unpleasing familiarity with the world of the supernatural.

 The cult of the most important saint, Mary, has been the source of great controversy with Protestant denominations, especially after the papal declarations of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and the Assumption in 1950. As the mother of Jesus (Greek Theotokos, “God-bearer”), Mary has long been accorded special devotion by Catholics and other Christians. She is given the feminine traits of sympathy and tenderness that are not improper to the deity but are somewhat improper to the father figure and the king figure. She is the object of one of Catholicism's most famous prayers, the Hail Mary:Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee!
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

      A mediator before her son, Mary has been thought by some to be a co-redeemer with Christ, and the church recognizes her as the mother of the church, a model of faith, and a symbol of eschatological hope. The multitude of apparitions of Mary (e.g., at Lourdes, France, and at Fátima, Portugal) reflects the need among many Roman Catholics for local symbols and signs of her presence.

Ed.The Rev. John L. McKenzie

      The word mysticism is of relatively recent coinage. The Catholic tradition for centuries has spoken of theologia mystica (a term taken from the Pseudo-Dionysius (Pseudo-Dionysius The Areopagite)), which means the experience of God in prayer without images in the mind—a direct, albeit obscure, experience of God; a foretaste of the vision of God in the next life. St. Augustine, famously in the Confessions, described that experience as an ascent toward God. That “dark” contemplative experience runs like a thread from the Greek Fathers into medieval spirituality (especially among the Carthusians), reaching its greatest expression in the writings of the 16th-century Carmelite school best represented by St. Teresa of Ávila (Teresa of Ávila, Saint) and St. John of the Cross (John of the Cross, Saint). Its greatest 20th-century exponent was the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton (Merton, Thomas).

      More generally, the modern term mystic has been applied to those spiritual teachers and writers who have reached intense levels of contemplative prayer through their identification with the person of Christ (St. Francis of Assisi) or through a disciplined practice of meditation (St. Ignatius of Loyola) or through other forms of contemplative practice. While some of these figures may have exhibited ecstatic phenomena (stigmatization, locutions, etc.), such exterior signs are not essential (St. John of the Cross warned against them). The Roman Catholic Church has always expressed some reservations about such experiences for fear that they may be the result of psychological pathologies or demonic illusions. The constant test of the authenticity of mystical prayer has been whether it increases love of God and neighbour; as St. John of the Cross once put it, “In the evening, you will be examined in love.”

The order of the mass
      Catholics are expected to attend mass each Sunday and on various holy days of obligation designated by the church. The mass itself is highly structured and can be difficult for non-Catholics to follow. Typically lasting about an hour, sometimes longer, the mass is generally divided into two parts, the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist, but in reality five distinct phases are discernable: the introductory rites, the liturgy of the Word, the liturgy of the Eucharist, the communion rite, and the concluding rite. Catholics must stand, sit, kneel, bow, and make the sign of the cross at various points throughout the mass. Variations in the order of the mass (discussed below) are common depending on certain circumstances and the time of year.

The introductory rites
      A typical Sunday mass begins with an entrance song, during which the priest, deacon, and ministers, and sometimes altar servers (both altar boys and girls are permissible), lectors, and lay eucharistic ministers (who assist in administering Holy Communion) process to the altar. The priest and deacon then kiss the altar. After greeting the congregation, the priest asks the people to recall their sins and to repent by reciting the penitential rite (“I confess to almighty God…”) or a version of it. Unless it is included in the penitential rite, the Kyrie is then spoken (“Lord, have mercy…”) followed (except during Christmas and Lent) by the Gloria, an ancient hymn of praise (“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth…”). The priest then delivers the opening prayer, to which the congregation responds with “Amen” (“So be it”), thus concluding the first part of mass.

The liturgy of the Word
      The second phase of the mass, the liturgy of the Word, typically consists of three readings: a reading from the Old Testament, a non-Gospel reading from the New Testament, and a reading from the Gospels; the first two readings are done by a lector (a lay reader), and the Gospel is proclaimed by the deacon. A responsorial psalm and a Gospel acclamation divide the three readings. The priest then delivers the homily, which usually focuses on one of the readings or on that day's special occasion. The public profession of faith follows, which means reciting either the Nicene Creed or the shorter Apostles' Creed. The Nicene Creed is a succinct statement of Catholic doctrine:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated on the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

      Ending the liturgy of the Word are the general intercessions (the “prayer of the faithful”), in which petitions are offered for the "holy Church, for the civil authorities, for those oppressed by various needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world." Specific prayers may also be extended to couples recently married in the church, to persons ordained or confirmed in the church, or to members of the church suffering illness or bereavement.

The liturgy of the Eucharist
      The third part of mass, the liturgy of the Eucharist, is the high point of the celebration. While the gifts (donations) of the people are being gathered and brought to the altar, an offertory song is typically sung. Meanwhile, the deacon and assistants prepare the altar. The priest washes his hands, and he offers a prayer of thanks to God (quietly or aloud, if no song is being sung) for the gifts of bread and wine that presently will be changed into Christ's body and blood. He then invites the people to pray that their sacrifice will be acceptable to God, whereupon the people repeat: "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church." The eucharistic prayer follows, in which the holiness of God is honoured, his servants are acknowledged, the Last Supper is recalled, and the bread and wine are consecrated. The host and chalice are then elevated into the air by the priest, who sings or recites: "Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, forever and ever." The people respond with "Amen."

The communion rite
      At the start of the communion rite, the priest calls on the people to pray the most universal of Christian prayers—the Lord's Prayer (the "Our Father," the Pater Noster)—whose author, according to the Gospels, was Christ himself. The prayer is said or sung, often while members of the congregation join hands:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

      In divergence from Protestant practice, the Catholic church stops the prayer after "deliver us from evil," which is where the original prayer ended before an additional two lines (a doxology) were added about AD 100. At this pause in the prayer the priest says, "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day…" at which point the people in unison complete the final two lines of the prayer, saying “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.” The deacon then asks members of the congregation to exchange a sign of peace with their neighbours to signify one family in Christ, an act which usually consists of a handshake or a nod while saying "Peace" or "Peace be with you." After the priest prepares the bread and wine, the people exclaim: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed." Once the priest has administered Holy Communion (Eucharist) to his assistants, the people then file up to the altar, row by row, receiving the bread first (which is placed in their hands or on their tongues by the priest, deacon, or eucharistic minister) and the chalice of wine, if offered, second. (Communion offered in both kinds—bread and wine—has a long and complicated history; beginning in the 12th century, the chalice gradually came to be reserved for the priest alone. Though Communion under both kinds is now allowable at the discretion of the bishop, many churches offer both kinds to the priest's assistants at the altar but offer only the bread to the congregation at large; this is often done merely to ensure an "orderly" administering of Communion to the congregation, and the church teaches that the whole Christ is present in the individual elements of bread and wine.) Upon receiving Communion, the people then return to their seat and kneel in silent prayer while waiting for Communion to end.

The concluding rite
      Once Holy Communion is completed and the altar has been cleared, the final part of mass follows: the concluding rite. The priest, after a period of silence for reflection on the "mystery" that has just occurred, offers a final greeting. Church announcements are typically made at this point, a final blessing is then offered, and the people are dismissed, encouraged to "go in peace to love and serve the Lord." Variations on the dismissal include “The mass is ended, go in peace,” and “Go in the peace of Christ.” Some parishes sing a final song, though this is not required according to the official order of the mass.

The role of the church in society
Missions (mission)
 From its beginnings, Christianity has regarded itself as a true world religion that appeals to all people without distinction of race, nation, or culture. Roman Catholics believe that their church has preserved this missionary thrust more faithfully than any of the non-Roman churches. During the 4th and 5th centuries the Roman church devoted itself to the evangelization of the various peoples who had begun to pressure and cross the frontier of the Roman Empire. Wishing to become “Roman,” these peoples accepted the church as a component of Roman civilization or at least recognized the power of the Christian God, as did the great Frankish king Clovis (Clovis I). The barbarians who established themselves in the Western Roman Empire, notably the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks, became active missionaries after their conversion to Christianity, at times finding themselves in competition with missionaries from the Byzantine world. After the year 1000, the growing awareness of Islam (Islāmic world) as a religious and political rival of Christianity led to the Crusades. The church's response to Islam was not solely violent but included active missionary efforts by members of the Franciscan and Domincan orders; the most famous such mission was that of St. Francis during the Fifth Crusade.

      The missionary movement received new stimulus during the two ages of European exploration and colonial (colonialism, Western) expansion in the 16th and 17th centuries. Spanish and Portuguese monarchs included missionaries among the colonizers sent to the Americas, Africa, and Asia, and French merchant interests sponsored missionaries in areas that the French explored. In the 17th century, control of evangelical missions gradually passed from national political and economic leaders to the papacy. In the 19th century Rome assumed a much more central role in missionary work, defining missionary territories and assigning responsibility for them to various religious orders, and individual popes personally supported the missionaries and directed their evangelical efforts.

      Missionary churches achieved the independence appropriate to the diocesan structure only in the 20th century, many at the time of Vatican II. Vatican II officially ended the colonial phase of missions and declared that “the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization is a basic duty of the People of God.” Nevertheless, it was difficult for Roman Catholic missions to divorce themselves from colonialism, and many missionaries, it must be said, did not want the divorce. Until the mid-20th century, most of the clergy and all of the hierarchy in mission countries were European or American, as were the heads of educational and benevolent operations. Even the peoples of the mission countries, including their clergy and religious personnel, generally wished to give their church a European identity rather than an Asian or African one.

      After Vatican II the situation changed, as the very definition of missionary activity was transformed and the duties of all Christians to undertake evangelical work was emphasized. The new evangelism emphasized the importance of bearing witness to Christ, which includes efforts to spread the gospel and to promote the church's teachings on human dignity. The former missionary churches were placed more and more in the hands of local peoples, and the bishops in regional councils took over leadership of evangelization formerly held by missionary orders. In the decades following Vatican II, the church's mission was conducted with greater sensitivity toward other cultures, and church leaders emphasized interreligious dialogue. In 1986 and 2002 Pope John Paul II invited world religious leaders to Assisi to pray for peace, and he subsequently prayed at a synagogue and a mosque. The pope offered further guidance on missions in his encyclical Redemptoris missio (December 7, 1990; “The Mission of Christ the Redeemer”), renewing the church's commitment to mission and calling for the evangelization of lapsed Christians and non-Christians alike.

      Between the barbarian invasions and the Protestant Reformation, education (parochial education) in Europe, except in the Arabic and Jewish centres of learning, was conducted by representatives of the church. Learning during the early Middle Ages was preserved by the monasteries; monks copied the books of the Bible and the manuscripts of Latin pagan writers and of the Church Fathers, and they composed works of history, hagiography, and theology. They were also charged with establishing schools and teaching those with the ability and desire to learn. The establishment of the European universities after 1100 was also the work of the church; these institutions were stimulated by Arabic scholars, whose writings introduced Europeans to Aristotle, thereby laying a foundation for later Scholastic philosophy and theology. The cultivation of literature and the arts in the 15th century flourished under the patronage of the papacy and of Catholic princes and prelates.

      The birth of modern science was coincidental with the Reformation and the ages of European expansion. The Roman Catholic response to the new science, as well as to the new philosophical systems that accompanied it, was hostile; consequently, the world of European learning after 1600 was dissociated from the Roman Catholic Church, which patronized only defensive learning. At the same time, Roman Catholic initiatives in educating the poor were gaining momentum. The invention of printing had diffused education to an extent far beyond what was possible before, and all the churches were interested in reaching the minds of the young. This interest was matched after the French Revolution by the modern states, which in the 19th century moved toward the exclusion of church influence from education. But the Roman Catholic Church, through its religious communities, was a pioneer in educating children and the poor.

      In the 20th century the Roman Catholic educational endeavour in many European and American countries, particularly in the United States, had become a vast enterprise. In the second half of the century, however, mounting costs and reduced numbers of religious instructors and other personnel created critical problems for Catholic schools, and even their survival was at stake in many regions. The problems were not lessened by the fact that Roman Catholic education, even where it was strongest, reached only a minority of Catholic students. In addition, the church had to confront its traditional reputation as an adversary of the intellectual freedom that the modern academic world cherishes. Pope John Paul II took steps to improve relations with the scholarly world by promoting the value of modern science and technology and by commissioning a review of the church's condemnation of Galileo (see BTW: Galileo's Condemnation).

Charitable (charity) activities
      Institutional benevolence to the poor (poverty), the sick, orphans, and other people in need has been characteristic of the Christian church from its beginnings. The church's charitable activities have involved organized assistance, supported by the contributions of the entire community and rendered by dedicated persons. The church in this way fulfills the duty of “the seven corporal works of mercy” mentioned in the Gospel According to Matthew (chapter 25) and carries on the healing mission of Jesus. Protestant churches continued the works of institutional benevolence after their separation from the Roman church. Institutional assistance to the needy is a legacy from the church to modern governments.

church and state relations
      The most important modification in the Roman Catholic theory and practice of church-state relations was the declaration of Vatican II in which the Roman Catholic Church recognized the modern, secular, pluralistic nation as a valid political entity. Union of church and state had been the common pattern since the era of Constantine, and all pontifical declarations of the 19th century rejected separation of church and state as pernicious. This position was steadfastly maintained despite the fact that the union of church and state had been accepted by the Protestant countries of Europe; it reflected a long history of the state's domination of the church and the church's involvement in political power struggles. Vatican II declared that the Roman Catholic Church is not a political agent and will not ask for political support for ecclesiastical ends. A significant change in the Roman attitude toward the state was the council's explicit endorsement of freedom of religion. Although they did not support any specific form of secular government, the popes of the 20th century, including John XXIII and John Paul II, asserted that the state must guarantee the human rights and personal dignity of all its citizens.

Economic views and practice
      During the centuries when the Roman Catholic Church constituted the whole of Christendom, each individual's place in the church reflected his place in the political and economic structure. In modern times the identification of the church hierarchy with the landed aristocracy led the revolutionaries of 18th-century France to attempt to destroy the Roman Catholic Church along with other components of the old order. The Roman Catholic Church entered the 19th century with a firm official bias against revolutionary movements, and the brief liberalism of Pius IX ended with his experiences in Italy during and after the Revolutions of 1848. The Roman Catholic Church was inflexibly opposed to all forms of socialism, and its opposition to Marxist communism was implacable. Thus, the Roman Catholic hierarchy was identified with the new capitalist (capitalism) classes of industrial society. In many European countries this meant that the church lost membership among the working classes. In Rerum Novarum (1891), Leo XIII became the first pope to speak out against the abuses of capitalism. The church's teaching on social issues was further elaborated by Pius XI in Quadragesimo anno (1931; “In the 40th Year”), by John XXIII in Mater et magistra and Pacem in terris, by Paul VI in Populorum progressio, and by John Paul II in Centesimus annus (1991; “In the Hundreth Year”). The church's opposition to socialism has gradually diminished, and it has approved of labour unions and even moderated its staunch opposition to liberation theology. John Paul II, whose role in the fall of communism is widely recognized, was highly critical of unregulated capitalism as well as Western materialism and consumerism.

      In its own practices, the Roman Catholic Church has insisted on exercising complete control of its private property and productive investments. It is not accountable to the laity for its funds, which are managed by the hierarchy; hence, the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church has long been a mystery. However, the raids of greedy anticlerical governments, as well as some public disclosures, have indicated that the wealth of the church is exaggerated in popular belief. Following Vatican II, there was a strong movement in favour of public financial reports.

The family
      Roman Catholic teaching identifies the family as the social and moral centre of the community; the family, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is “the original cell of social life.” The guiding principle of church teaching, the stability of the family, does not admit divorce, which was banned by Jesus. Although the church long defined the family as a hierarchical structure headed by the father, it now in keeping with the declarations of Vatican II and the teachings of John Paul II rejects the traditional subordination of women in the family in favour of equality of dignity and responsibility between men and women. The family, moreover, is child-centred; traditional Catholic teaching makes the primary end of marriage the procreation and rearing of children. Only recently have Catholic theologians begun to speak of mutual love as an end “equally primary.”

      In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the Roman Catholic Church was faced with the problem of preserving the unquestioned values of mutual love and responsibility in marriage while attempting to come to terms with the realities of modern life. The practice of birth control has proven particularly controversial within Catholic sexual ethics, which uphold the family ideal. In Humanae vitae (1968; “Of Human Life”) Paul VI restated the church's traditional prohibition of birth control, against the recommendations of a commission instituted at Vatican II and despite the opposition of many theologians and laypersons, asserting that “each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” In the 1980s and '90s the church's position banning condom use by Catholics was criticized by health and human rights advocates as possibly fostering the spread of AIDS. Vigorously upheld by John Paul II, the ban was reaffirmed by his successor, Benedict XVI, after a 2006 study on the theological ramifications of using condoms with the intention of preventing sexually transmitted diseases (sexually transmitted disease) rather than insemination. Dignitas Personae (2008; “The Dignity of a Person”), a Vatican statement on bioethics, proscribed Catholics from taking the “morning-after” pill (contraception), because its use manifests the intention to commit abortion; denounced in vitro fertilization, because it disrupts the natural process of conception; and condemned medical research using embryonic stem cells (stem cell), though it endorsed research with adult stem cells. While many theologians, clergy, and laypersons agreed with church policy on these matters, many others disagreed and even chose to defy it.

      The church also struggled with the issue of homosexuality among the laity and clergy. The church opposed gay marriage, declared homosexual behaviour to be sinful and homosexuality an “objective disorder,” and advised gay Catholics to remain chaste. It also provided specific guidelines for the pastoral care of homosexuals, denounced violence against them, and taught that the fundamental dignity of homosexuals as human beings must be respected.

The church since Vatican II (Vatican Council, Second)
      Vatican II, one of the most important councils in church history, profoundly changed the structures and practices of the church. It sought, in the words of Pope John XXIII, aggiornaménto, “to bring the church up to date,” and many of the council's decrees did bring the church into the modern world. Although the reforms were welcomed by many, they produced internal disruptions greater than any the church has known since the Protestant Reformation. Some have argued that the council did not go far enough, while others have maintained that its reforms went too far, too fast. In the decades following the council, liberal and conservative Catholics were divided over interpretation of its decrees. Although such disunity posed a real threat of schism, there were only a few group departures. The number of departures of individual members of the laity and clergy, however, was large enough to cause concern and remained an important matter for the church long after the council ended.

      In accordance with Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church officially abandoned its “one true church” position and formally ended the thousand-year schism with the Greek Orthodox Church. It also entered into ecumenical (ecumenism) conversations with other churches with the hope of establishing greater Christian unity. The church has assumed observer status in the World Council of Churches and has participated in groups associated with the World Council. Representatives of the church participated in the discussions sponsored by the World Council that led to the publication of the important document Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (1982), which identified areas of agreement between the churches on several core teachings; the church responded positively, though with qualification, to the text. Steps to improve relations with non-Christian religions were made at Vatican II and by the popes of the later 20th century. The council's declaration Nostra aetate (October 28, 1965; “In Our Era”) rejected the traditional accusation that the Jews killed Christ, recognized the legitimacy of Judaism, and condemned anti-Semitism. Efforts at improving relations with other religions, especially Judaism, were pivotal to the papacy of John Paul II, who prayed with world religious leaders in 1986, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and prayed in a mosque and a synagogue.

      The openness of the Catholic church following Vatican II took surprising forms in places such as Latin America, where local church leaders supported liberation theology (the Latin American movement that sought to aid the poor as a religious duty and criticized existing socioeconomic structures) in the 1970s. For a time, the church adopted a less confrontational approach to communist (communism) governments in the hope of improving the lives of Catholics in those countries. Following the election of John Paul II, however, the church supported opposition movements in communist eastern Europe and suppressed liberation theology; at the same time, it remained keenly involved in international affairs, as the pope undertook numerous pastoral visits throughout the world.

      Problems, however, have been more in evidence than progress. The church faced the challenge of resolving the long-latent conflict between the hierarchy and the lower clergy over the tradition of total obedience in lifestyle and ministry. This conflict has come to a head on the issue of clerical celibacy; although there are no sure statistics, there are estimates that as many as one-half of Catholic clergy (priest) wish celibacy to be optional. The issue of clerical celibacy was raised anew in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when members of the clergy, as discussed earlier, were accused of sexually abusing minors.

      There was also discontent among the clergy regarding the nature of the church's ministry. Many religious workers felt that the conventional ministries were not reaching enough people and were not meeting their most urgent needs. The desire to work “in the world,” while hardly alien to the New Testament ministry, was not easily satisfied within the traditional roles assigned to the clergy. And what might have appeared to be a minor issue in some places became a major issue in others; many priests and religious (women religious in particular, who have had more of a problem) no longer wished to wear the identifying garb, because they believed it to be an obstacle to personal relations. The discontent with life and ministry led to a large number of departures from the priesthood, most dramatically following Paul VI's encyclical Sacerdotalis caelibatus (June 24, 1967; “Priestly Celibacy”), which confirmed the necessity of celibacy. The laity too became more restive, and many left the church for a variety of reasons, including the church's teachings on birth control. Some left because they believed the reforms of Vatican II were too liberal. More generally, there was a widespread but not explicit rejection of the traditional uses of authority and obedience in Roman Catholic clergy and religious communities.

      Vatican II also made profound changes in the liturgical practices of the Roman rite. It approved the translation of the liturgy into vernacular languages to permit greater participation in the worship service and to make the sacraments more intelligible to the vast majority of the laity. The change, a sharp break with the older tradition of using Latin in worship, caused discomfort for some but allowed for adaptation of the liturgy according to the needs and desires of many throughout the world.

 Perhaps the most significant change brought about by Vatican II was the beginning of what the German theologian Karl Rahner (Rahner, Karl) (1904–1984) called the emergence of the Weltkirche (German: “world church”). Vatican II was not dominated by the churches of Europe and the Americas, the traditional centres of Catholic strength. The Weltkirche continued to develop during the rest of the 20th century, as the Catholic church established a vigorous presence in Africa and parts of Asia and became a more prominent and outspoken church in Central and Latin America.

      The shifting demographics of contemporary Roman Catholicism have presented the church with a number of challenges. How should it respond to declining church attendance, declining numbers of religious, and the increasing secularism in the West and in the traditionally Catholic countries of Europe in particular? Would the ordination of women and married men check these trends? How should the church respond to the growing numbers of Muslims in some of these countries? How should it adapt its message and its practice in non-Western regions of the world, especially Africa? How should it balance papal authority over the entire church and the rights of the bishops over the local churches so as to avoid centralized authoritarianism on the one hand and the loss of unity on the other? What pastoral strategies should be used to combat the aggressive evangelization by fundamentalist groups in Latin America? Such challenges are among many that will face the church in the new millennium as it tries to be faithful to that Gospel dictum of “bringing forth old things and new.”

Lawrence Cunningham Ed.

Additional Reading

General Works
Large-scale works are Hubert Jedin and John Patrick Dolan (eds.), History of the Church, 10 vol. (1986–89). John McManners (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity (1990, reissued 2001), is useful. Roland H. Bainton, The Horizon History of Christianity (1964, reissued as Christianity, 2000), is a well-written, beautifully illustrated, comprehensive introduction to Western Christianity through the centuries and includes references to modern Catholicism worldwide.

Belief and practice
Reference works include Robert C. Broderick (ed.), The Catholic Encyclopedia, rev. and updated ed. (1987); Thomas Carson and Joann Cerrito (eds.), New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., 15 vol. (2003), which treats all phases of Roman Catholicism; Karl Rahner et al. (eds.), Sacramentum Mundi: An Encyclopedia of Theology, 6 vol. (1968–70), which deals with Catholic doctrine and theological thought; and F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone (eds.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. (1997), with informative articles on Roman Catholic subjects and helpful bibliographies.An excellent brief compendium of doctrine is A New Catechism: Catholic Faith for Adults, trans. by Kevin Smyth (1967, reissued 1982; originally published in Dutch, 1966). Also valuable is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later elected as Pope Benedict XVI) and Christopher Schönborn (one of the contributors to the church's new catechism), Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994). Roman Catholic theology of the church is discussed by Hans Küng, The Church (1967, reissued 1976; originally published in German, 1967); and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, trans. by Adrian Walker (1996; originally published in German, 1991).The contemporary Roman Catholic Church is surveyed by John L. McKenzie, The Roman Catholic Church (1969, reissued 1971). A balanced and comprehensive introduction is Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, completely rev. and updated (1994). See also Barrie Ruth Straus, The Catholic Church (1987, reissued 1992). Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, 5 vol. (1971–91), opens with the apostolic Fathers and closes with the Second Vatican Council. Jaroslav Pelikan, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, 4 vol. (2003), is a comprehensive collection of statements of faith and includes a volume of commentary on the creeds. Rosemary Ruether and Eleanor McLaughlin (eds.), Women of Spirit: Female Leadership in the Jewish and Christian Traditions (1979, reissued 1998), is a step toward redressing the imbalance in most scholarship. An important starting point for developments in Roman Catholic theology after the Second Vatican Council is Hans Küng, On Being a Christian, trans. by Edward Quinn (1976, reissued 1984; originally published in German, 1974). On developments in Roman Catholic feminist theology, see Mary Jo Weaver, New Catholic Women: A Contemporary Challenge to Traditional Religious Authority (1985, reissued 1995).

The Latin church from antiquity to the late Middle Ages
Perceptive introductions to the medieval church are Bernard Hamilton, Religion in the Medieval West (1986); and R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (1970, reprinted 1990). A useful survey of the history of the early church is Peter Brown, The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, AD 200–1000, 2nd ed. (2003). Important studies of the church in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages are Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (1983); R.A. Markus, The End of Ancient Christianity (1998); Richard E. Sullivan, Christian Missionary Activity in the Early Middle Ages (1994); and J.M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church (1983). Étienne Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (1955, reissued 1980), is a masterly summary with a full bibliography. Heiko A. Oberman, The Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism, rev. ed. (2000), looks at the theology of the late Middle Ages in its entirety, with special emphasis on nominalism. C.H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, 3rd ed. (2001); and C.H. Lawrence, The Friars: The Impact of the Early Mendicant Movement on Western Society (1994), are accessible surveys of the medieval religious orders. The profound changes in spirituality and church organization that occurred in the 11th and 12th centuries are studied in Uta-Renate Blumenthal, The Investiture Controversy: Church and Monarchy from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century (1988, reissued 1991); Michael Frassetto (ed.), Medieval Purity and Piety: Essays on Medieval Clerical Celibacy and Religious Reform (1998); Rachel Fulton, From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800–1200 (2002); Gerd Tellenbach, The Church in Western Europe from the Tenth to the Early Twelfth Century (1993); and Caroline Walker Bynum, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (1982).Henry Charles Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages: Its Organization and Operation (1954, reissued 1993), remains the essential, but sectarian, introduction to the topic. Bernard Hamilton, The Medieval Inquisition (1981); and Edward Peters, Inquisition (1988), offer a more balanced view; and Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, 2nd ed. (1997, reissued 2000), is the best introduction to the institution in Spain. The history of medieval heresy is best examined in Malcom Lambert, Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation, 3rd ed. (2002); and R.I. Moore, The Origins of European Dissent (1977, reissued 1994).A useful introduction to the Crusades is Thomas F. Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades (1999). Francis Oakley, The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages (1979, reissued 1985); and Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform, 1250–1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe (1980), cover the late Middle Ages with sound judgment. W.A. Pantin, The English Church in the Fourteenth Century (1955, reissued 1980), is a good introduction to late medieval English developments; and Lawrence G. Duggan, Bishop and Chapter: The Governance of the Bishopric of Speyer to 1552 (1978), an important study of the institutional church in Germany.

Reformation and Counter-Reformation
The period is surveyed thoroughly in two reference works: Thomas A. Brady, Heiko A. Oberman, and James D. Tracy (eds.), Handbook of European History, 1400–1600: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation, 2 vol. (1994–96); and Hans J. Hillerbrand (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, 4 vol. (1996). An important introduction is G.R. Elton (ed.), The Reformation, 1520–1559, 2nd ed., vol. 2 (1990) of The New Cambridge Modern History, 14 vol. (1957–77, reissued 1975–99). Other useful introductions to the period are John Bossy, Christianity in the West, 1400–1700 (1985); Euan Cameron, The European Reformation (1991); Heiko A. Oberman, The Dawn of the Reformation: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Reformation Thought (1986, reissued 1992); and Lewis W. Spitz, The Protestant Reformation, 1517–1559 (1985).Jaroslav Pelikan, Obedient Rebels: Catholic Substance and Protestant Principle in Luther's Reformation (1964), is an investigation of Luther's thought; and Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950, reissued 1995), remains the best introduction to Luther's life. Developments in England are considered in Eamon duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400–1580 (1992). George Huntston Williams, The Radical Reformation, 3rd ed. (2000), is a synoptic presentation of the “left wing” of the Reformation. Reform in the Roman Catholic Church is treated best in Robert Bireley, The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450–1700 (1999); Michael A. Mullett, The Catholic Reformation (1999); and R. Po-chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal 1540–1770 (1998).

Roman Catholicism in modern times
An extensive and valuable study is Kenneth Scott Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: A History of Christianity in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 5 vol. (1958–62, reissued 1973); vol. 1, 3, and 5 concentrate on Roman Catholic themes. E.E.Y. Hales, The Catholic Church in the Modern World: A Survey from the French Revolution to the Present, new rev. ed. (1960), concentrates on Europe and America. Two works that make aspects of the American Catholic experience readily available to readers are John Tracy Ellis, American Catholicism, 2nd ed. rev. (1969); and Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (1985, reissued 2001), an essential study. Stephen Neill, Colonialism and Christian Missions (1966), and A History of Christian Missions, 2nd ed. rev. by Owen Chadwick (1986, reissued 1990), provide brief and generally fair comments on Catholic ventures. Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation, trans. and ed. by Caridad Inda and John Eagleson, rev. ed. (2001; originally published in Spanish, 1972), is a provocative introduction to Roman Catholicism in the developing world. Another essential study is Anthony Gill, Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America (1998). Adrian Hastings, The Church in Africa, 1450–1950 (1994), is a valuable introduction.Lester R. Kurtz, The Politics of Heresy: The Modernist Crisis in Roman Catholicism (1986), provides an introduction to the debate over Modernism. Austin Flannery (ed.), Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, new rev. ed. (1996), is a useful collection of documents from the council; and Adrian Hastings (ed.), Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and After (1991), is a valuable consideration of the postconciliar Roman Catholic Church.

The papacy
Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, 2nd ed. (2002), is a comprehensive and lively study of the papacy. An excellent brief introduction to papal history up to the Reformation is Geoffrey Barraclough, The Medieval Papacy (1968, reissued 1979). Essential studies for the development of medieval papal claims are W. Ullmann, The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages: A Study in the Ideological Relation of Clerical to Lay Power, 3rd ed. (1970); and Brian Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility, 1150–1350: A Study on the Concepts of Infallibility, Sovereignty, and Tradition in the Middle Ages (1972, reissued 1988). Other valuable studies of the medieval papacy are Peter Llewellyn, Rome in the Dark Ages (1971, reissued 1996); Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (1989); Guillaume Mollat, The Popes at Avignon, 1305–1378 , trans. by Janet Love (1963; originally published in French, 9th ed. 1949); and Francis Oakley, Council over Pope? Towards a Provisional Ecclesiology (1969).Good studies of the papacy from the Renaissance to modern times include John A.F. Thomson, Popes and Princes, 1417–1517: Politics and Polity in the Late Medieval Church (1980); A.D. Wright, The Early Modern Papacy: From the Council of Trent to the French Revolution, 1564–1789 (2000); Owen Chadwick, The Popes and European Revolution (1981); and Frank J. Coppa, The Modern Papacy Since 1789 (1998). Edward Cuthbert Butler, The Vatican Council, 1869–1870: Based on Bishop Ullathorne's Letters, ed. by Christopher Butler (1930, reissued 1962), is a history of the First Vatican Council. Walter M. Abbott (ed.), The Documents of Vatican II (1966, reissued 1989), is an introduction to the achievement of the Second Vatican Council. Garry Wills, Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000), is a controversial and highly critical commentary on the modern papacy.Works on the papacy from theological perspectives include Paul C. Empie and T. Austin Murphy (eds.), Papal Primacy and the Universal Church (1974), an ecumenical dialogue; and Rudolf Schnackenburg, The Church in the New Testament (1965, reissued 1974; originally published in German, 1961), which presents the results of 20th-century Roman Catholic biblical scholarship. Raymond E. Brown, Karl P. Donfried, and John Reumann (eds.), Peter in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (1973, reissued 2002), considers the biblical problems in the Petrine question. Karl Rahner and Joseph Ratzinger, The Episcopate and the Primacy, trans. by Kenneth Barker (1962; originally published in German, 1961), is an analysis of the pope-bishop relationship; and Hans Küng, Infallible? An Unresolved Enquiry, new expanded ed. (1994; originally published in German, 1970), and Structures of the Church, trans. by Salvator Attanasio (1964, reissued 1982; originally published in German, 1962), are basic to an understanding of contemporary “liberal” Roman Catholic thinking on the papacy. Francis Dvornik, Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, trans. by Edwin A. Quain (1966, reprinted 1979; originally published in French, 1964); and John Meyendorff et al., The Primacy of Peter, 2nd ed. (1973, reissued 1992; originally published in French, 1960), are useful studies of Eastern Orthodox views on papal primacy. Ed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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