Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/567

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507

ANGLO-SAXON 507 ANGLO-SAXON course of which Wessex gradually acquired a position of supremacy, the Danish incursions destroyeil many great seats of learning and centres of nion;istic dis- cipUne, sucli, for instance, a.s .Jarrow, the home of St. Hede, and these calamities soon exercised a disa-strous etTect upon the lives iind work of the clergy. Kuig .lfred the Great strove hard to put things on a better footing, anil, speaking generally, the devotion of secular rulers towards the papacy antl the Church w:us never more conspicuous than at thi.s geriod. To this age belongs the famous grant to the hurch of a tentli of his land by ICthelwulf, father of Alfred. This had nothing directly to do with tithes, but it showed how completely the principle w;i.s recognizetl anil how close wa.s the vniiori between Church and State. The final victory of .lfred over the Danes, the treaty with (iutlirum their leader at Wedniore, and the consequent reception of Chris- tianity by the invaders, ilid much to restore the Church to happier conditions. In tlic joint code of laws published by .Mfretl ami Cuthrum, apostasy Wius declarcil a crime, negligent priests were to be fined, the payment of Peter's- Pence was connnanded, and the practice of heathen rites wsus forbidden. The union between secular and ecclesiastical authority at this time, and in- deed throughout the whole of tlu' Anglo-Saxon period. was verj' clo.se, and some of the great national councils seemed almost to have the character of Church sjTiods. liut the clergy, while remaining; closely identitiicl with the people, and discharging in each district the func- tions of local state officials, seem never to have quite re- gained the religious spirit which the period of Danish in- cursions had im- paired. Hence, in the time of St. Dimstan, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 900 to 988, a very strong movement made it.self felt (encouraged especially by St. ..Ethelwold of Winchester, and St. Oswald of Worcester and York), which aimed at replacing the secular clergy by monks in all the more important "minsters". There can be no doubt that at this period the law of celibacy was ill obser-ed by priests, and the custom of marrjTiig was so general that it .seenieil to have been impossi- ble to enforce any very severe penalties against delinquents. Hence, great efforts were made by the three saints named and by King I'^dgar to renovate and spiritualize moniusticism upon the lines of the groat Hencdictine rule, hoping thereby also to raise the tone of the secular clergy and to increiise their influence for good. For the same end St. Dunstan sought to remedy the isolation of the English Church not only by intercourse with Kr.incc and I'landers, but also, in the words of Bishop Stubbs, "by estab- lishing a more intimate communication with the Apostolic See". Henceforth nearly all archbishops went personally to Home for the pallium. These efforts resulted in a distinct adv;uice in general cul- ture, though England no longer led, but w:is content to follow the scholars of the Continent. Still, much was gained, and when, after renewed invasions, a Danish dynasty became masters of England, "the society which was unable to withstand the arms of Canute, almost immeiliately humanizeil ami elevated him". Canute w;is a fervent convert. He made a great pilgrimage to Rome in 1026-J7. His legisla- tion was largely ecclesia-stical in character, and he insisted anew on the payment of Peler'.s-Pence. These Roman influences were al.so reinforced under I'Mward the Confessor by the appointment of .several foreigners to English sees and Dy a great revival of Cilgriniages to Rome. The foreigners were probably oth more devout and more capable than any native priests that were available. There is nothing to show that competent Englishmen were passed over. On the contrary, when in 1062 papal legates again visited ICngland they were responsible for the ap- pointment of one of the greatest native churchmen of Anglo-Saxon times, St. Wulstan, Bishop of Worces- ter. In lum.self "a faultless character" (Diet. Nat. Hiog., s. v.), he lived on under Norman rule, for nearly thirty years, serving to perpetuate the best traditions of the Anglo-Saxon Church in the reor- ganized hierarchy of the Conquest. IV. Ecclesiastical OuoAMz.vriOK. — There can be no doubt that in the Christianizing of Britain the monk came before the secular priest, the minster (mon- asterium) was prior to the cathedral. St. Augustine and his CO 111 pan ions were monks, be- longing seemingly to com in unities founded by St. (Ircgory himself, Ihougli it would be a mistake to regard them as identical in discipline, or even in spirit, with the Benedictines of a Liter age. Still greater would be the error of using mod- ern standards to juilge of the monks of t he Celt ic Church, those rude but as- cetic ini.ssionaries who established themselves in the lonely island of Lindisfarnc, and who in their excursions under the leadersliip of St. Aidan gradually built up the Church of Northumbria. The early monastic institutions of the West, both Roman and Celtic, were very adaptable and seem to have been well fitted for missionary efforts; but they were nev- ertheless incapable of providing permanently for the spiritual needs of a Christian population, as they essentially supposed some form of common life and the gathering of numbers in one monastic centre. As .soon, then, a.s the work of conversion had made some little progress, it became the aim of the bishop orablK)t — and under the Celtic system the abbot was often the religious sui>erior of the bishop — to draw- young men into intercourse with their community and after more or less of instruction to ordain them priests and send them to dwell among the ix^ople, wherever their ministrations were most needed, or where provision for their support was most readily offered. To a large extent the parochial system in England was brought into being by what may be called private chaplaincies (cf. Earle, Land Char- ters, 73). It was not, as u.sed formerly to be main- tained, the creation of Archbishop Theodore or any one organizer. The gcsith, or noble landowner