The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 5)

by Vladimir Moss

Rome and the Holy Roman Empire

Turning to Rome now: the first half of the tenth century was probably the period of the deepest degradation in the eternal city’s pre-schism history – the so-called “pornocracy” of Marozia, an evil woman who with her mother Theodora made, unmade, lived with and begat a series of popes. However, in 932 Marozia’s second son Alberic, marquis of Spoleto, imprisoned his mother, took over the government of Rome and gave it a short period of peace and relative respectability. But in 955 Alberic died and his son Octavian became Pope John XII at the age of sixteen. Continue reading “The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 5)”

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The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 4)

by Vladimir Moss

The English Monarchy

“In the intricate web of vassalage,” writes J.M. Roberts, “a king might have less control over his own vassals than they over theirs. The great lord, whether lay magnate or local bishop, must always have loomed larger and more important in the life of the ordinary man than the remote and probably never-seen king or prince. In the tenth and eleventh centuries there are everywhere examples of kings obviously under great pressure from great men. The country where this seemed to present least trouble was Anglo-Saxon England…”[20] Continue reading “The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 4)”

The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 3)

by Vladimir Moss

The Growth of Feudalism

Thus was the Papist heresy crushed – for the time being. However, the serpent of Papism lay bruised, not completely scotched; and a more permanent triumph could be hoped for only if a healthy antidote against its poison could be built up within the West. This depended, above all, on the strength of the other pillar of Christian society in the West – the sacred power of the anointed kings. Such an antidote existed, as we shall see, in England, where a powerful monarchy ruling most of the country arose in the person of King Alfred the Great. On most of the continent, however, the monarchy was deeply involved in a phenomenon that had a profoundly negative impact on both political and ecclesiastical life – feudalism. Continue reading “The fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 3)”

The Fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 2)

by Vladimir Moss

The Rise of the Heretical Papacy

As the power of the “Holy Roman Emperors” of the West declined in the ninth century, so the power of the Popes increased. Beginning with Nicholas I, they began to claim a quasi-imperial rule over the whole Church, East and West. And this imperial role began more and more to resemble the “imperator-plus-pontifex maximus” role of the pagan Roman emperors: the heresy of Papism was born. Continue reading “The Fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087 (Part 2)”

The Fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087

by Vladimir Moss

INTRODUCTION: ENGLAND AND THE CONTINENT

On October 14, 1066, at Hastings in southern England, the last Orthodox king of England, Harold II, died in battle against Duke William of Normandy. William had been blessed to invade England by the Roman Pope Alexander in order to bring the English Church into full communion with the “reformed Papacy”; for since 1052 the English archbishop had been banned and denounced as schismatic by Rome. The result of the Norman Conquest was that the English Church and people were integrated into the heretical “Church” of Western, Papist Christendom, which had just, in 1054, fallen away from communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, represented by the Eastern Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Thus ended the nearly five-hundred-year history of the Anglo-Saxon Orthodox Church, which was followed by the demise of the still older Celtic Orthodox Churches in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Continue reading “The Fall of Orthodox England – The Ecclesiastical Roots of the Norman Conquest, 1043-1087”

Harold II of England, the last Orthodox king of England

King Harold II of England (ca. 1022 – October 14, 1066) was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. He was the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex, succeeded St. Edward the Confessor to the throne of England, but served as its king for less than a year, dying on the field of battle at Hastings in southern England in 1066, when England was invaded by William the Bastard (“the Conqueror”), Duke of Normandy. He ruled from January 5, 1066 to October 14, the day of his death. Though he has never been formally canonized, he is regarded by some Orthodox Christians as a passion-bearer or even martyr and as the last Orthodox king of England.

Continue reading “Harold II of England, the last Orthodox king of England”

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