Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/651

This page needs to be proofread.


the local ordinary sends the record of her case with had been dead and buried for centuries and that

his own decision (and that of the regular superior, suddenly it was bom again, and developed during

if any) to the Holy See for action; if the religious be- the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Against this

longs to anv other pontifical institute, the mother false contention is the fact that Humanism was

gineral sends all the documents in the case to the but the natural development of the learning of the

oly See for decision. Middle Ages, a flowenng out of the knowledge of

In case of serious scandal and imminent risk of very the prece£ng centuries, grave danger to the conununity a religious with per- Already in the time of Charlema^e we note a

petual vows in a non-clerical mstitute mav be sent widespread revival of classical learning. Eveiyone

back into the world by the local superior with the con- recalls how this powerful patron of letters, notwith-

sent of his council and of the local ordinary, but the standing continual wars, established schools

ordinanr or one of the higher superiors must put the throughout his empire, how he invited from Eng-

matter before the Holy See without delay. land the celebrated Alcuin, a distinguished scholar

An exempt cleric professed perpetually cannot be and disciple of the Venerable Bede, under whose dismissed without a canonical trial or investigation; direction academies were established where the he must have been guilt}^ of three offenses, of the same sons of the more wealthy were taught Latin, Greek, kind or at least indicative of a permanent evil will. Hebrew, philosophy, theology and mathematics, .the first and second each bein^ followed by a formal This new impulse thus given to letters was con- admonition and threat of dismissal given by his tinned by tne successors of Charlemagne and immediate higher superior, or guilty of continuous stimulated anew, successively, by such scholars and offence despite two warning given at least three apostles of learning as Dante (1265-1321), Petrarch months apart. The immediate higher superior re- (1304-1474), Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455). During ports to the general, who with his council (of at least the centuries which separated the Humanists from four assistants) form the tribunal with power to order Charlemagne, scholarly monks had been preserv- dismissal; the sentence, however, cannot become jng, copying, studying, teaching the writings of the effective till it has been approved by the Sacred ancient Roman and Greek poets, historians, and Congregation of Religious. In an extraordinary csjse philosophers. Alongside the scientific language

the consent of his council when there is not time to gophical and theological progress of the twelfth

have recourse to the higher supenor, but the regular century had astounded the world, and experimental

^nomcal investigation must be instituted without g^ience had appeared on the scene of history with

delay. A religious prof^ perpetually, on being ^he English philosopher, Roger Bacon (1214-94).

dismissed, remains bound by his vows of relwon jhe Crusades had given a new impulse to leaminK,

unl^ the contrary IS provided by the constitutions ^^e first encyclopedias had summarized the knowT-

of the institute or by an Apostohc mdult. If he is m ^^^^ ^f their times, the splendor of plastic arts had

sacred orders and hia offence WM very serious he covered Europe with monuments which are the

may be deorived. perpetually of clerical dress; if his admiration no less than the despair of our age,

fault was less mevoiw, he w under suspension unt^ ^j exploration had extended the geo-

hei8abwlvedbytheHolySee;he.maybeorde)^^ graphical knowledge of the learned, and basic in-

theSacredCongrM^tiontoremammacertamdio^^^ ventions had made further discoveries possible to

the ordinary of which can send him to do penance m mankind

areligioiwhouMorpUcehimunderthecare^dsupe^ g. ^^ ^^ diffusion of classical learning in

fZf?J5t,ffi?n^iil^«^ft^n^^^^^^ the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is but the

oSoXrhe'^hVra'a^^ 5Ser L°^^ Jolal^^^^ ^hrJ^tu^'oiL'^a^S

afterthelapseofayearask^HolySee.torem?^^ ^r^^^l^Z'^'A)^ Rena^^^'^r^l'tS

S^^MSS.^'l^aSLl^^ existence over night with the arrival in Europe of

wo'rk^lJ^e'il'^lSuSr^^^^^^ r^^'T^ P-^T"t^-- '?Z.^%Pf^L^

he is under an obligation to return to religion; ilhe ^he advancing Turk. These professors, they claim

has given proof of r^l amendment during tLse years brought to Western Europe the knowledge and

his Srder must take him back, unless the Holy See [ove of the literary masterpieces of antiquity. But

decides otherwise; if the vows were dissolved he may Jjje fact is that, when these profeMors appeared,

be accepted by any benevolent bishop; otherwise the ^^^ monks of the Middle Ages had for a thousand

matter is to be referred to the Holy See. y^ars been spending themselves to preserve and

Codex juru eanoniei, can. 487-672; VBRMBBiiacH. De religions m^ke known many Of these treasures of mankind.

VI (Bruges. 1011); 44-5; Kinans, Nune and Siatere in Irish Whatever additional writings Western Europe re-

Scd. Record (Dublin. 1918-9). ceived at that time it had learned to appreciate by

-» . ^ ., , T^ . its own centuries-long literary studies.

Benalssance.— By the term Renwssance is gen- yyie leading characteristic of the Renaissance erally understood the vast intellectual movement ^^s a general infatuation with the writings and the of the fifteenth and sixteenth centunes. This ^^t of pagan antiquity. From the admiration of movement manifested itself first m Italy, after- ^he ancient literary and artistic fortns there was, wards successively in the other countnes of Western ^-^^ gome of the Humanists, but one step to the Europe. It was marked by a wider and deeper imitation of pagan morals and manners, and but knowledge of Greco-Roman antiquity, and a pas- another step to the consequent contempt of Chrifr- sipnate love for its literature and art. The scholars ^j^nity and the further attempt to paganize thfe who devoted themselves to the study of the Greco- modem world. This extreme led some well-mean- Roman civilization were called Humanists, and the j^g but narrow-minded persons to the opposite, epoch m which they lived is known as the Renais- perhaps not less dangerous, extreme. Seeing that sance. The term Reruusaance or re-birth, as applied the study of pagan art, pagan literature, and to the above mentioned intellectual movement, is ancient science led to the rejection of the Christian a misnomer. It wrongly implies that the knowl- faith and Christian morals, these extremists con- edge of the literature and art of Greece and Rome tended that this study should be abandoned and