Sunday, March 27, 2016

And Dark Ages ....

1) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Were Heruli, Ostrogoths and Vandals the Three Uprooted Horns? · 2) Great Bishop of Geneva! : The Penitents of Each would be Equally Absolved · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : And Dark Ages ....

The Pastor, whose video I am not linking to because he is not allowing comments under it, but his name is David Assherick*, cites:

That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution, which has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history.

In the internet scanned pdf edition, it is on page 40 that I find this of William Edward Hartpole Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, vol. 2, but it is a revised edition from 1919. Probably Assherick cited original edition from the author's lifetime.

Now, there are two problems with Lecky.

One is, he was a Protestant and believed Protestants could have a competent knowledge of history while remaining Protestants. That much is clear from the quote. But second problem is that he died in 1903, well before the insitution called Trench Warfare in WW-I, well before Communism, well before all the horrors of Communism. And as a side kick, the somewhat lesser ones of Nazism.

So, supposing innocent blood was indeed shed very much by Catholics, which I do not agree to be the case, since I do not agree the heretics were all that innocent or all that many (I don't know where Assherick got 100 millions from, as I glean through the rest of the chapter, the figures I get from Lecky, or his revisor, are 31,000** killed by Spanish Inquisition in Spain, and 50,000 or 100,000 killed by same institution in the Netherlands under Charles V, and it is generally granted that Spanish Inquisition was more prone to shed blood than the older anti-Albigensian one).

But citing Lecky means forgetting that after Lecky died there has been Communism. And of course Abortion. Where the victim is REALLY guaranteed to be an innocent person.

Now, next Mr Assherick claims that the "Dark Ages" WERE so called - sounds as if so called while still ongoing, right? - because the Word which is lantern of my feet was forbidden.

As an example Mr Assherick cites Bibles chained to the walls of monasteries and churches (he used the word temples). To me that sounds like - accessible.

OK, you could NOT take that Bible along home. You had to read it on the spot.

And rather often (though not quite invariably) it was in Latin.

Assherick says Latin was not the language of the people. English is these days the language of certain peoples, while other peoples, whose language it is NOT actually learn it. As having learned both English and Latin, I can state this: Latin has an easier system of tenses, and an easier pronunciation - on the other hand to a speaker of Germanic languages, like Swedish and German, English may be easier because more words are similar. To a speaker of French or Italian, Latin would be easier also from that point of view.

There was no actual ban on learning Latin imposed on laymen. Especially as people who has started universities and left before becoming priests, as well as lawyers, as well as medical practitioners, all knew Latin. And especially as monasteries and convents were acting schoolmasters for the monks and friars to have a good deed to do, not just for economic gain, and so poor people were more likely to learn Latin during Middle Ages than some of the later centuries - or even most of the later centuries.***

A layman who knew Latin (or in countries where the language had a translation approved by Catholic Church) and who regularly said his prayers and kept the commandments was not likely to have his demand, if such, to read the Bible at home refused as soon as editions were available that were not in need of being chained to walls because they were so expensive. Or if he could get a copy because he was rich or because a rich man bought it for him.

Every Mass, two doctrinal and narrative texts are read, Epistle and Gospel. After each Gospel read on a Sunday or a major Holiday, from 813 on in France, a sermon had to explain or even basically translate the Gospel, and the sermon had to be in a language the people understood. Up to 800, they had understood Latin as it was pronounced there, but that was not as well understood by clergy from outside France.

What happened was basically as if English as spoken in England was no longer good enough for use in Church, they wanted to restore the pronunciation which the spelling is mostly based on, that of Chaucer. When they did, with Latin and not English, of course, people ceased to understand what was pronounced at Epistle and Gospel readings, and then the sermon was added very quickly in order to restore the understanding. Italy and Spain went through a similar process about 200 years later. And that is how Catholic priests having to deliver sermon in a language henceforth defined as distinct from Latin, became founders of French, Provençal, Italian, Castilian, Catalan, Galician°.

Bible truth was also given in a very easy to understand form in the Mystery Plays. Cecil B. DeMille gave us one in 1956, it is called The Ten Commandments. Oberammergau founded one as a promise to get rid of a plague. They got rid of it and kept promise, every ten years new actors and actresses°° grow beards (in appropriate characters) and make a similar play about the Passion of Christ. Mel Gibson made a similar one. Christmas trees come from having a mystery play about Adam and Eve doing the wrong thing in Eden - held on December 24th. What fruit is ripe and fresh during Christmas (before imported oranges)? Apples. What tree is green in winter (Adam and Eve were hardly picking from a tree that was bald because leaves had fallen)? Spruces and pines. So, a tree of spruce or pine variety is for that mystery play decked with apples. After the play, around Christmas Midnight Mass, not consecrated Hosts are added, to represent salvation through Christ.

No, it is not as if Biblical truth was being withheld from the public during Middle Ages. David Assherick is wrong.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris V
Easter Lord's Day

* Talk held before 4th of August 2014. ** 290,000 condemned to sentences less severe than death - that mean prison while inquisitors try to convert them (and everyone except the 31,000 or those who escaped, which might be half - or even half of the 31,000 themselves, if the number is based on sentences rather than nactual executions), or seven years penance, or pilgrimage to Santiago, or wearing a certain type of cross during the time of penance. And of course, in case of people actually having held a heretical view and abandoning it, public abjuration. These were the most common events during the autos da fé, and what auto da fé (act of fiath) gets its name from. *** About as soon as school ceases to be a privilege for those able to pay for it, except very elementary ones, Latin ceases to be as widely taught in schools. Not quite same thing as in Catholic countries, where the spirit of the Middle Ages was kept up : the Mozarts were NOT well off and NOT priesthood, but they learned Latin all right (the composer we think of as a homeschooler and his less well known son with a free or very cheap place at the Piarist school). ° The most famous dialects of Galician are now Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. But in the Middle Ages the relevant literary language was based on the dialect of places like Santiago, Lugo, Coruña - which are now in Spain. °° Blessed Virgin Mary traditionally played by a virgin!

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