HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
Theology II- 2nd Semester Exam
Background Chapter: The Roman Empire
Chapter 1: Jesus and the Founding of the Church
Chapter 2: The Early Christians
Chapter 3: Persecution of "The Way"
Chapter 4: The Church Fathers and Heresies
Arianism came about during the fourth century, claiming that Jesus was neither God nor equal to the Father. St. Athanasius persistently fought against Arianism at the Council of Nicea and eventually the battle was won. The Council of Constantinople in 381 reaffirmed his beliefs and the Nicene Creed against Arianism.
Chapter 5: Light in the Dark Ages
Chapter 7: The Great Schism
Chapter 9: The Crusades and The Inquisition
The Inquisition began in reaction to the Albigensian heresy which had been thriving in in southern France. In 1231, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition as a means of getting rid of heresy, appointing mostly Dominicans and Franciscans as judges who were free from any secular influence. After a long and complicated trial process, if one was convicted of being a heretic, he was usually punished to good works such as building a church or participation in a crusade. The Inquisition in Spain was much more brutal and the punishments were much more cruel. Heresy was viewed as a serious crime during the Middle Ages.
Chapter 10: The High Middle Ages
St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic were friars during the middle ages that started their own Franciscan and Dominican orders that served Europe.
Chapter 11: The Plague, The Hundred Years War, and Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc, guided by the Lord, led troops against England. She was eventually captured, and burned at the stake for witchcraft, but she gave the French faith and had an enormous impact on the war.
Chapter 12: The Renaissance
Chapter 13: The Protestant and English Reformations
The English Reformation sparked when King Henry VIII wanted to leave his wife. The Pope wouldn't grant him a divorce and Henry wouldn't take no for an answer, so he declared himself the head of the Church of England. St. Thomas More an St. John Fisher were imprisoned and martyred for standing up to Henry VIII. Church properties in England were confiscated and England became Protestant.
By the late 1560s, Turkish soliders attacked Austria. St. Pope Pius V financed the Christian League to defeat them. They were victorious and Christians were safe from the fear of the Mediterranean becoming a "Muslim lake."
Chapter 15: Exploration and Missionary Movements
The discovery of the New World caused the Colombian Exchange. This was the exchange of agricultural goods, animals, plants, and diseases between the Western and Eastern Hemispheres.
There were many obstacles facing missionaries that went to evangelize America. Travel distance, climate, language, and the bad example of other settlers were difficult to overcome, but the dedicated missionaries did not give up.
For Charles V and Philip II , the propagation of Christianity was the primary goal in the new world. Since the very first voyages, priests accompanied sailors to convert the natives.
Spanish missionaries wanted to create communities away from white settlers so that their efforts wouldn't be ruined by their bad examples. The king gave them permission to found mission settlements. The natives chose their own civil authorities and only missionaries were able to visit the settlements. They were taught faith, reading and writing, modern farming techniques, and industrial crafts.
Chapter 16: The Age of Enlightenment
The most notable heresy in France during this time was Jansenism. According to Cornelius Jansen, Christ didn't die for all men since most people were predestined to damnation and he taught that only the "just" or predestined should receive the Eucharist. Pope Innocent X condemned Jansenism and pointed to the teachings of the Council of Trent, insisting that the Church teaches that God wills for everyone to be saves and gives each person sufficient grace for salvation. Louis XIV saw the Jansenist as a threat to his royal authority, and ordered the Convent of Port Royal where it was centered, destroyed.
The great scientific discoveries of the 17th century laid the foundation for what we know as the Age of Enlightenment. Discoveries vegan to prove the effectiveness of human reason and showed that scientific knowledge could be useful in problems of society, poverty disease, and war. As human reason became more popular, secularism and agnosticism would take hold as new popular "religions."
French mathematician Descartes invented coordinate geometry. He believed that man is incapable of knowing any truth that is metaphysical, and placed a huge wedge between Faith and reason.
Francis Bacon, an Englishman, wrote that knowledge would help man control nature and contribute to wealth and comfort. He posited that knowledge must originate form specific observations toward a general theory. This "inductive" method was known as empiricism and showed how knowledge could produce many practical advancements to improve the quality of life.
Chapter 19: The Rise of Soviet Communism and Nazism, Pope Pius XII and World War II
Soviet Communist leaders cruelly suppressed political position and established tight socialist control over the country, execution of the czar and his family. They were skilled in propaganda and convinced many Western intellectuals that the Soviet Union was a workers' paradise but the harsh reality was brutal and totalitarian oppression only grew worse. Religious persecution was a major element of the Communist regime, both persecuting Catholics and Orthodox churches.
In 1923, the last bishop in Russia was sentenced to ten years in prison and only one priest was permitted to minister in the country. The Church was against Communism from the start but it would take more than 50 years for the Soviet Union to crumble and for Communism to fall in Eastern Europe.
One of the most critical challenges to the Church was the rise of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party in Germany. Nazism was a blend of nationalist totalitarianism, racism, neopaganism, and maintained that superior individuals had the right to ignore conventional morality and live by their own rule- killing Jews. On March 14, 1937, Pope Pius Xi condemned Nazism and charged the regime with repeated violations of the concordat and open attack on the Church. Infuriated by the Pope's criticism, the Nazis launched propaganda against the Church.
Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939 and WWII had begun, claiming 55,000,000 lives before its end 6 years later. Pope Pius XI died and Pope Benedict XV was elected to take his place. Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was named an archbishop and appointed secretary of state under the Pope. Through diplomacy, the Pope won for the city of Rome "open city" status that made it exempt from military attacks. Jews were sheltered in the Vatican and Hitler was so upset with the effective resistance of the Vatican that he prepared a plan for assassinating Pius XII because of "the papal protest in favor of the Jews" but it was not carried out, as the war ended to soon. Rabbi Dalin called him "a righeous Gentile."
Sts. Maximillian Kolbe and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross also resisted the Nazi regime. Kolbe gave his life to save a man in a concentration camp, and Teresa who had originally been an atheist, converted to Catholicism and was killed for smuggling Jews to safety.
The Church helped Jews by helping them escape and by smuggling. Also, the Vatican had to stay relatively silent, as Jews were persecuted even harder whenever the Pope spoke out. Pope Pius XII saved hundreds of thousands of lives during the war.
Chapter 20: Vatican II and Pope St. John Paul II
Pope John Paul I was elected to the Papacy in 1978, but barely a month later he died of a heart attack. Pope St. John Paul II was elected and he said "open wide the doors for Christ." JPII emphasized the irreducible dignity and rights of every human being and believed that God had called him to lead the Church into a third millennium of the Christian era by continuing her renewal under Vatican II. He saw the secular humanism of Communism as a threat, and set out to combat it with all the spiritual weapons at his disposal.
On May 13, 1981 he was shot in St. Peters Square but he survived and even went to go visit his shooter in prison. Despite his age and declining health, JPII continued to travel and launch initiatives. He died in 2005 and many attended his funeral. Pope Benedict XVI was elected Pope and has reached out to the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians to try to amend ties.
Chapter 21: The Church of Immigrants to the US, Slavery, and The Church in the US- Present and Future
Again, in they 1960s and 1970s the Church struggled in America. It was discovered that some priests had been sexually abusing minors, and many churchmen had hushed the abuse to avoid scandal. This contributed enormously to the Church's overall loss of moral credibility and public esteem in the United States. The history of the Church has demonstrated throughout the centuries that the witness of God will push our Faith forward in the United States.