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Why weren't Germans acceptable as Roman Emperors?

Why weren't Germans acceptable as Roman Emperors?

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Romans of various ethnicities ultimately rose to be Emperor, such as the Illyrians during the Crisis of the Third Century, of which a notable example is Aurelian. But as far as I know, no Germans did so, even when they were in a (military) position to do so, such as Ricimer. One could argue that the Eastern Emperor would have opposed this, but that is exactly my question: Why would he? What was wrong with a German Emperor, since there had previously been Illyrians and others?

My suspicion is culture. The Emperors of other ethnicities were heavily Romanized, the Germans less so. They were too 'foreign' to be Emperor.

In the Wikipedia article on Anthemius, the following appears:

As Aspar could not sit on the throne because of his barbaric origin, he opposed Anthemius whose prestige would have made him independent and chose a low-ranking military officer, Leo; in the West, as his barbaric origin barred Ricimer from the throne, it was Majorian who received the purple.

That part of the Wikipedia article was attributed (incorrectly it seems) to Prof. Ralph W. Mathisen. I emailed him and here is his emailed response, with his permission:

Nobody's "barbaric origin" "barred" them from the throne. Theodosius II was the grandson of the barbarian general Bauto, and there are several other examples. The Illyrians are not good examples, as they were all perfectly good Roman citizens. Of course, barbarian generals also were Roman citizens. Ricimer and Aspar would have been every bit as good Romans as Aurelian, perhaps even better! On Aspar note a letter of the Ostrogothic king Theoderic to the Synods of Rome of 501 CE recalls, "at one time it was recommended to Aspar by the Senate that he himself become Emperor. He is reported to have given the response, 'I fear that through me a precedent in government be established.'"

As with anything from that time period, it is difficult to say anything for certain. If we can believe Theodoric's letter, we have to assume that if Aspar did indeed fear a precedent would be set, that a counter-precedent of some kind must have existed. It didn't absolutely bar anyone from the throne, but it was enough to make Aspar and Ricimer think twice.

Pure speculation, of course, which may not be appropriate for a Q&A site like this one, but in this case, what else do we have? There was some reason Aspar and Ricimer didn't take the thrones when they could have.


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Protestant Reformers, including John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, and John Wesley, as well as most Protestants of the 16th-19th centuries, identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. The Centuriators of Magdeburg, a group of Lutheran scholars in Magdeburg headed by Matthias Flacius, wrote the 12-volume Magdeburg Centuries to discredit the Papacy and lead other Christians to recognize the Pope as the Antichrist. The fifth round of talks in the Lutheran–Catholic dialogue notes,

In calling the pope the "Antichrist", the early Lutherans stood in a tradition that reached back into the eleventh century. Not only dissidents and heretics but even saints [ citation needed ] had called the bishop of Rome the "Antichrist" when they wished to castigate his abuse of power. What Lutherans incorrectly understood as a papal claim to unlimited authority over everything and everyone reminded them of the Apocalyptic imagery of Daniel 11, a passage that had been applied to the pope as the Antichrist of the last days even prior to the Reformation. [9]

Doctrinal works of literature published by the Lutherans, the Reformed churches, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Anabaptists, and the Methodists contain references to the Pope as the Antichrist, including the Smalcald Articles, Article 4 (1537), [10] the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (1537), [11] the Westminster Confession, Article 25.6 (1646), and the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Article 26.4. In 1754, John Wesley published his Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, which is currently an official Doctrinal Standard of the United Methodist Church. In his notes on the Book of Revelation (chapter 13), he commented: "The whole succession of Popes from Gregory VII are undoubtedly Antichrists. Yet this hinders not, but that the last Pope in this succession will be more eminently the Antichrist, the Man of Sin, adding to that of his predecessors a peculiar degree of wickedness from the bottomless pit." [12] [13]

Referring to the Book of Revelation, Edward Gibbon stated that "The advantage of turning those mysterious prophecies against the See of Rome, inspired the Protestants with uncommon veneration for so useful an ally." [14] Protestants condemned the Catholic policy of mandatory celibacy for priests. [15]

During the Enlightenment Era, which spanned the 17th and 18th centuries, with its strong emphasis on the need for religious toleration, the Inquisition was a favorite target of attack for intellectuals. [16]

British Empire Edit

Great Britain Edit

Institutional anti-Catholicism in Britain and Ireland began with the English Reformation under Henry VIII. The Act of Supremacy of 1534 declared the English crown to be 'the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England' in place of the pope. Any act of allegiance to the latter was considered treasonous because the papacy claimed to have both spiritual and political power over its followers. It was under this act that saints Thomas More and John Fisher were executed and became martyrs for the Catholic faith.

Queen Mary, Henry's daughter, was a devout Catholic and during her five years as queen (1553–58) she tried to reverse the Reformation. She married the Catholic king of Spain and executed Protestant leaders. Protestants reviled her as "Bloody Mary". [17]

Anti-Catholicism among many of the English was not only grounded in their fear that the pope sought to reimpose religio-spiritual authority over England, it was also grounded in their fear that the Pope also sought to impose secular power over them in alliance with their arch-enemies France and Spain. In 1570, Pope Pius V sought to depose Elizabeth with the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, which declared that she was a heretic and purportedly dissolved the duty of all of Elizabeth's subjects to maintain their allegiance to her. This rendered Elizabeth's subjects who persisted in their allegiance to the Catholic Church politically suspect, and it also made the position of her Catholic subjects largely untenable if they tried to maintain both allegiances at once. The Recusancy Acts, which made worship in the Anglican Church a legal obligation, date back to Elizabeth's reign.

Assassination plots in which Catholics were prime movers fueled anti-Catholicism in England. These plots included the famous Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes and other conspirators plotted to blow up the English Parliament while it was in session. [18] The fictitious "Popish Plot" involving Titus Oates was a hoax that many Protestants believed to be true, exacerbating Anglican-Catholic relations.

The Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689 involved the overthrow of King James II, of the Stuart dynasty, who favoured the Catholics, and his replacement by a Dutch Protestant. For decades the Stuarts were supported by France in plots to invade and conquer Britain, and anti-Catholicism persisted. [19]

Gordon Riots 1780 Edit

The Gordon Riots of 1780 were a violent anti-Catholic protest in London against the Papists Act of 1778, which was intended to reduce official discrimination against British Catholics. Lord George Gordon, head of the Protestant Association warned that the law would enable Catholics in the British Army to become a dangerous threat. The protest evolved into riots and widespread looting. Local magistrates were afraid of reprisals and did not issue the riot act. There was no repression until the Army finally moved in and started shooting, killing hundreds of protesters. The main violence lasted from 2 June to 9 June 1780. Public opinion, especially in middle-class and elite circles, repudiated anti-Catholicism and lower-class violence, and rallied behind Lord North's government. Demands were made for a London police force. [20]

19th century Edit

The long and bitter wars with France which lasted from 1793 to 1815 (see French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars), saw anti-Catholicism emerge as a underlying method to help unite the different kingdoms together, Ireland however was overwhelmingly a majority Catholic Kingdom and as result its people were subjected to brutal oppression apart from a small Protestant minority. From the upper classes to the lower classes, Protestants were brought together from England and Scotland into a profound distrust and distaste for all things French,this was not true of the Catholic majority in Ireland who saw themselves as being severed from their Catholic brethren on the continent. Irelands Catholics requested military aid from France and Spain on numerous occasions to help break free themselves of Britain. That enemy nation was depicted as the natural home of misery and oppression because of its inherent inability to shed the darkness of Catholic superstition and clerical manipulation. [21]

Catholics in Ireland got the right to vote in the 1790s but they were politically inert for another three decades. Finally, they were mobilized by Daniel O'Connell into majorities in most of the Irish parliamentary districts. They could only elect, but Catholics could not be seated in parliament. The Catholic emancipation issue became a major crisis. Previously anti-Catholic politicians led by the Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel reversed themselves to prevent massive violence. All Catholics in Britain were "emancipated" in the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. That is, they were freed from most of the penalties and restrictions they faced. Anti-Catholic attitudes continued, however. [22]

Since 1945 Edit

Since World War II anti-Catholic feeling in England has abated somewhat. Ecumenical dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics culminated in the first meeting of an Archbishop of Canterbury with a Pope since the Reformation when Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher visited Rome in 1960. Since then, dialogue has continued through envoys and standing conferences. Meanwhile, both the nonconformist churches such as the Methodists, and the established Church of England, have dramatically declined in membership. Catholic membership in Britain continues to grow, thanks to the immigration of Irish and more recently Polish workers. [23]

Conflict and rivalry between Catholicism and Protestantism since the 1920s, and especially since the 1960s, has centred on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. [24]

Anti-Catholicism in Britain was long represented by the burning of an effigy of the Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes at widespread celebrations on Guy Fawkes Night every 5 November. [25] However, this celebration has lost most of its anti-Catholic connotations. Only faint remnants of anti-Catholicism are found today. [26]

Ireland Edit

As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all of the lands which were owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to Protestant settlers. Under the penal laws, no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland, even though some 90% of Ireland's population was native Irish Catholic when the first of these bans was introduced in 1691. [27] Catholic / Protestant strife has been blamed for much of "The Troubles", the ongoing struggle in Northern Ireland.

The English Protestant rulers killed many thousands of Irish people (mostly Catholics) who refused to acknowledge the government and sought an alliance with Catholic France, England's great enemy. General Oliver Cromwell, England's military dictator (1653–58) launched a full-scale military attack on Catholics in Ireland, (1649–53). Frances Stewart explains: "Faced with the prospect of an Irish alliance with Charles II, Cromwell carried out a series of massacres in order to subdue the Irish. Then, once Cromwell had returned to England, the English Commissary, General Henry Ireton adopted a deliberate policy of crop burning and starvation, which was responsible for the majority of an estimated 600,000 deaths out of a total Irish population of 1,400,000." [28]

Laws which restricted the rights of Irish Catholics Edit

The Great Famine of Ireland was exacerbated by the imposition of Anti-Catholic laws. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the penal laws prohibited Irish Catholics from either purchasing or leasing land, from voting, from holding political office, from living either within 5 miles (8 km) away from a corporate town, from obtaining an education, from entering a profession, and doing many of the other things which a person needed to do in order to succeed and prosper in society. [29] The laws had largely been reformed by 1793, and in 1829, Irish Catholics could again sit in parliament following the Act of Emancipation.

Northern Ireland Edit

The state of Northern Ireland came into existence in 1921, following the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Though Catholics were a majority on the island of Ireland, comprising 73.8% of the population in 1911, they were a third of the population in Northern Ireland.

In 1934, Sir James Craig, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, said, "Since we took up office we have tried to be absolutely fair towards all the citizens of Northern Ireland. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State."

In 1957, Harry Midgley, the Minister of Education in Northern Ireland, said, in Portadown Orange Hall, "All the minority are traitors and have always been traitors to the Government of Northern Ireland."

The first Catholic to be appointed a minister in Northern Ireland was Dr Gerard Newe, in 1971.

Canada Edit

Fears of the Catholic Church were quite strong in the 19th century, especially among Presbyterian and other Protestant Irish immigrants across Canada. [30]

In 1853, the Gavazzi Riots left 10 dead in Quebec in the wake of Catholic Irish protests against Anti-catholic speeches by ex-monk Alessandro Gavazzi. [31] [32] The most influential newspaper in Canada, The Globe of Toronto, was edited by George Brown, a Presbyterian immigrant from Ireland who ridiculed and denounced the Catholic Church, Jesuits, priests, nunneries, etc. [33] Irish Protestants remained a political force until the 20th century. Many belonged to the Orange Order, [30] an anti-Catholic organization with chapters across Canada that was most powerful during the late 19th century. [34] [35]

A key leader was Dalton McCarthy (1836–1898), a Protestant who had immigrated from Ireland. In the late 19th century he mobilized the "Orange" or Protestant Irish, and fiercely fought against Irish Catholics as well as the French Catholics. He especially crusaded for the abolition of the French language in Manitoba and Ontario schools. [36]

French language schools in Canada Edit

One of the most controversial issues was public support for Catholic French-language schools. Although the Confederation Agreement of 1867 guaranteed the status of Catholic schools when legalized by provincial governments, disputes erupted in numerous provinces, especially in the Manitoba Schools Question in the 1890s and in Ontario in the 1910s. [37] In Ontario, Regulation 17 was a regulation by the Ontario Ministry of Education that restricted the use of French as a language of instruction to the first two years of schooling. French Canada reacted vehemently and lost, dooming its French-language Catholic schools. This was a central reason for French Canada's distance from the World War I effort, as its young men refused to enlist. [38]

Protestant elements succeeded in blocking the growth of French-language Catholic public schools. However, the Irish Catholics generally supported the English language position advocated by the Protestants. [39]

Newfoundland Edit

Newfoundland long experienced social and political tensions between the large Irish Catholic working-class, on the one hand and the Anglican elite on the other. [40] In the 1850s, the Catholic bishop organized his flock and made them stalwarts of the Liberal party. Nasty rhetoric was the prevailing style elections bloody riots were common during the 1861 election. [41] The Protestants narrowly elected Hugh Hoyles as the Conservative Prime Minister. Hoyles unexpectedly reversed his long record of militant Protestant activism and worked to defuse tensions. He shared patronage and power with the Catholics all jobs and patronage were split between the various religious bodies on a per capita basis. This 'denominational compromise' was further extended to education when all religious schools were put on the basis which the Catholics had enjoyed since the 1840s. Alone in North America Newfoundland had a state funded system of denominational schools. The compromise worked and politics ceased to be about religion and became concerned with purely political and economic issues. [42]

Australia Edit

The presence of Catholicism in Australia came with the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British convict ships at Sydney. The colonial authorities blocked a Catholic clerical presence until 1820, reflecting the legal disabilities of Catholics in Britain. Some of the Irish convicts had been transported to Australia for political crimes or social rebellion and authorities remained suspicious of the minority religion. [43]

Catholic convicts were compelled to attend Church of England services and their children and orphans were raised as Anglicans. [44] The first Catholic priests to arrive came as convicts following the Irish 1798 Rebellion. In 1803, one Fr Dixon was conditionally emancipated and permitted to celebrate Mass, but following the Irish led Castle Hill Rebellion of 1804, Dixon's permission was revoked. Fr Jeremiah Flynn, an Irish Cistercian, was appointed as Prefect Apostolic of New Holland and set out uninvited from Britain for the colony. Watched by authorities, Flynn secretly performed priestly duties before being arrested and deported to London. Reaction to the affair in Britain led to two further priests being allowed to travel to the colony in 1820. [43] The Church of England was disestablished in the Colony of New South Wales by the Church Act of 1836. Drafted by the Catholic attorney-general John Plunkett, the act established legal equality for Anglicans, Catholics and Presbyterians and was later extended to Methodists. [45]

By the late 19th century approximately a quarter of the population of Australia were Irish Australians. [46] Many were descended from the 40,000 Irish Catholics who were transported as convicts to Australia before 1867. The majority consisted of British and Irish Protestants. [ citation needed ] The Catholics dominated the labour unions and the Labor Party. The growth of school systems in the late 19th century typically involved religious issues, pitting Protestants against Catholics. The issue of independence for Ireland was long a sore point, until the matter was resolved by the Irish War of Independence. [47]

Limited freedom of belief is protected by Section 116 of the Constitution of Australia, but sectarianism in Australia was prominent (though generally nonviolent) in the 20th century, flaring during the First World War, again reflecting Ireland's place within the Empire, and the Catholic minority remained subject to discrimination and suspicion. [48] During the First World War, the Irish gave support for the war effort and comprised 20% of the army in France. [49] However, the labour unions and the Irish in particular, strongly opposed conscription, and in alliance with like-minded farmers, defeated it in national plebiscites in 1916 and 1917. The Anglicans in particular talked of Catholic "disloyalty". [50] By the 1920s, Australia had its first Catholic prime minister. [51]

During the 1950s, the split in the Australian Labor Party between allies and opponents of the Catholic anti-Communist B.A. Santamaria meant that the party (in Victoria and Queensland more than elsewhere) was effectively divided between pro-Catholic and anti-Catholic elements. As a result of such disunity the ALP was defeated at every single national election between 1955 and 1972. In the late 20th century, the Catholic Church replaced the Anglican Church as the largest single Christian body in Australia and it continues to be so in the 21st century, although it still has fewer members than do the various Protestant churches combined.

While older sectarian divides declined, commentators have observed a re-emergence of anti-Catholicism in Australia in recent decades amid rising secularism and broader anti-Christian movements. [52] [53] [54] [55]

New Zealand Edit

According to New Zealand historian Michael King, the situation in New Zealand has never been as clear as in Australia. Catholics first arrived in New Zealand in 1769, and the Church has had a continuous presence in the country from the time of permanent settlement by Irish Catholics in the 1820s, with the first Maori converted to Catholicism in the 1830s. [56] The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, which formalised New Zealand's status as a British colony and instigated substantial immigration from England and Scotland, resulted in the country developing a predominantly Protestant religious character. Nonethtless, French bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier was able to negotiate the inclusion of a clause guaranteeing freedom of religion in the treaty. [57] Some sectarian violence was evident in New Zealand in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. [ citation needed ]

New Zealand has had several Catholic prime ministers, which is indicative of the widespread acceptance of Catholicism within the country Jim Bolger, who lead the Fourth National Government of the 1990s, was the country's fourth Catholic prime minister Bill English, who lead the Fifth National Government from 2016 to 2017, was the fifth and most recent. Probably the most notable of New Zealand's Catholic prime ministers was Michael Joseph Savage, an Australian-born trade unionist and social reformer who instigated numerous progressive policies as leader of the First Labour Government of the 1930s.

German Empire Edit

Unification into the German Empire in 1871 saw a country with a Protestant majority and large Catholic minority, speaking German or Polish. Anti-Catholicism was common. [58] The powerful German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck—a devout Lutheran—forged an alliance with secular liberals in 1871–1878 to launch a Kulturkampf (literally, "culture struggle") especially in Prussia, the largest state in the new German Empire to destroy the political power of the Catholic Church and the Pope. Catholics were numerous in the South (Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg) and west (Rhineland) and fought back. Bismarck intended to end Catholics' loyalty with Rome (ultramontanism) and subordinate all Germans to the power of his state.

Priests and bishops who resisted the Kulturkampf were arrested or removed from their positions. By the height of anti-Catholic legislation, half of the Prussian bishops were in prison or in exile, a quarter of the parishes had no priest, half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed, 1800 parish priests were imprisoned or exiled, and thousands of laymen were imprisoned for helping the priests. [59] There were anti-Polish elements in Greater Poland and Silesia. [60] The Catholics refused to comply they strengthened their Centre Party.

Pius IX died in 1878 and was replaced by more conciliatory Pope Leo XIII who negotiated away most of the anti-Catholic laws beginning in 1880. Bismark himself broke with the anti-Catholic Liberals and worked with the Catholic Centre Party to fight Socialism. [61] [62] Pope Leo officially declared the end of the Kulturkampf on 23 May 1887.

Nazi Germany Edit

The Catholic Church faced repression in Nazi Germany (1933-1945). Hitler despised the Church although he had been brought up in a Catholic home. The long-term aim of the Nazis was to de-Christianise Germany and restore Germanic paganism. [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] Richard J. Evans writes that Hitler believed that in the long run National Socialism and religion would not be able to co-exist, and he stressed repeatedly that Nazism was a secular ideology, founded on modern science: "Science, he declared, would easily destroy the last remaining vestiges of superstition". Germany could not tolerate the intervention of foreign influences such as the Pope and "Priests, he said, were 'black bugs', 'abortions in black cassocks'". [72] Nazi ideology desired the subordination of the Church to the State and could not accept an autonomous establishment, whose legitimacy did not spring from the government. [73] From the beginning, the Catholic Church faced general persecution, regimentation and oppression. [74] Aggressive anti-Church radicals like Alfred Rosenberg and Martin Bormann saw the conflict with the Churches as a priority concern, and anti-Church and anti-clerical sentiments were strong among grassroots party activists. [75] To many Nazis, Catholics were suspected of insufficient patriotism, or even of disloyalty to the Fatherland, and of serving the interests of "sinister alien forces". [76]

Adolf Hitler had some regard for the organisational power of Catholicism, but towards its teachings he showed nothing but the sharpest hostility, calling them "the systematic cultivation of the human failure": [77] To Hitler, Christianity was a religion that was only fit for slaves and he detested its ethics. Alan Bullock wrote: "Its teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest". For political reasons, Hitler was prepared to restrain his anti-clericalism, seeing danger in strengthening the Church by persecuting it, but he intended to wage a show-down against it after the war. [78] Joseph Goebbels, the Minister for Propaganda, led the Nazi persecution of the Catholic clergy and wrote that there was "an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a heroic-German world view". [75] Hitler's chosen deputy, Martin Bormann, was a rigid guardian of Nazi orthodoxy and saw Christianity and Nazism as "incompatible", as did the official Nazi philosopher, Alfred Rosenberg, who wrote in Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930) that the Catholic Church were among the chief enemies of the Germans. [79] [80] [81] In 1934, the Sanctum Officium put Rosenberg's book on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (forbidden books list of the Church) for scorning and rejecting "all dogmas of the Catholic Church, indeed the very fundamentals of the Christian religion". [82]

The Nazis claimed jurisdiction over all collective and social activity, interfering with Catholic schooling, youth groups, workers' clubs and cultural societies. [83] Hitler moved quickly to eliminate Political Catholicism, rounding up members of the Catholic aligned Bavarian People's Party and Catholic Centre Party, which ceased to exist in early July 1933. Vice Chancellor Papen meanwhile, amid continuing molestation of Catholic clergy and organisations, negotiated a Reich concordat with the Holy See, which prohibited clergy from participating in politics. [84] [85] Hitler then proceeded to close all Catholic institutions whose functions weren't strictly religious: [86]

It quickly became clear that [Hitler] intended to imprison the Catholics, as it were, in their own churches. They could celebrate Mass and retain their rituals as much as they liked, but they could have nothing at all to do with German society otherwise. Catholic schools and newspapers were closed, and a propaganda campaign against the church was launched.

Almost immediately after agreeing the Concordat, the Nazis promulgated their sterilization law, an offensive policy in the eyes of the Catholic Church and moved to dissolve the Catholic Youth League. Clergy, nuns and lay leaders began to be targeted, leading to thousands of arrests over the ensuing years, often on trumped up charges of currency smuggling or "immorality". [87] In Hitler's Night of the Long Knives purge, Erich Klausener, the head of Catholic Action, was assassinated. [88] Adalbert Probst, national director of the Catholic Youth Sports Association, Fritz Gerlich, editor of Munich's Catholic weekly and Edgar Jung, one of the authors of the Marburg speech, were among the other Catholic opposition figures killed in the purge. [89]

By 1937, the Church hierarchy in Germany, which had initially attempted to co-operate with the new government, had become highly disillusioned. In March, Pope Pius XI issued the Mit brennender Sorge encyclical - accusing the Nazis of violations of the Concordat, and of sowing the "tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church". The Pope noted on the horizon the "threatening storm clouds" of religious wars of extermination over Germany. [87] The Nazis responded with, an intensification of the Church Struggle. [75] There were mass arrests of clergy and Church presses were expropriated. [90] Goebbels renewed the regime's crackdown and propaganda against Catholics. By 1939 all Catholic denominational schools had been disbanded or converted to public facilities. [91] By 1941, all Church press had been banned.

Later Catholic protests included the 22 March 1942 pastoral letter by the German bishops on "The Struggle against Christianity and the Church". [92] About 30 per cent of Catholic priests were disciplined by police during the Nazi era. [93] In effort to counter the strength and influence of spiritual resistance, the security services monitored Catholic clergy very closely - instructing that agents monitor every diocese, that the bishops' reports to the Vatican should be obtained and that bishops' activities be discovered and reported. [94] Priests were frequently denounced, arrested, or sent to concentration camps – many to the dedicated clergy barracks at Dachau. Of a total of 2,720 clergy imprisoned at Dachau, some 2,579 (or 94.88%) were Catholic. [95] Nazi policy towards the Church was at its most severe in the territories it annexed to Greater Germany, where the Nazis set about systematically dismantling the Church - arresting its leaders, exiling its clergymen, closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Many clergymen were murdered. [96] [97] [98]

Netherlands Edit

The independence of the Netherlands from Spanish rule led to the formation of a majority Protestant country in which the dominant form of Protestantism was Calvinism. In Amsterdam Catholic priests were driven out of the city, [99] and Following the Dutch takeover, all Catholic churches were converted into Protestant churches, [100] [101] Amsterdam's relationship with the Catholic Church was not normalized until the 20th century. [102]

Nordic countries Edit

Norway Edit

After the dissolution of Denmark-Norway in 1814, the new Norwegian Constitution of 1814, did not grant religious freedom, as it stated that both Jews and Jesuits were denied entrance to the Kingdom of Norway. It also stated that attendance in a Lutheran church was compulsory, effectively banning Catholics. The ban on Catholicism was lifted in 1842, and the ban on Jews was lifted in 1851. At first, there were multiple restrictions on the practice of Catholicism by Norwegians and only foreign citizens were freely allowed to practice it. The first post-reformation parish was founded in 1843, Catholics were only allowed to celebrate Mass in this one parish. In 1845 most of the restrictions on the practice of non-Lutheran Christianity were lifted, and Catholics were now allowed to freely practice their religion, but Monasticism and the Jesuits were not allowed in the country until 1897 and 1956 respectively. [103]

Swedish Empire Edit

During the period of great power in Sweden, conversions to Catholicism were punished with fines or imprisonment and in exceptional cases, death. Sweden during the Thirty Years War saw itself as the protector of Protestantism in all of Europe against the pope. The March 20, 1600 Linköping Bloodbath saw several prominent Catholic nobles beheaded by order of King Charles IX of Sweden. The executions were partially motivated by the Polish invasion of Sweden and a threat of a potential Catholic takeover under Polish king Sigismund III Vasa, who planned to reconvert Sweden back to Catholicism. The Battle of Stångebro prevented Sigismund from conquering and violently reconverting Sweden. Catholic nobles were put in a majority of leading positions by Sigismund In the Swedish government without the approval of the Swedish people or parliament. The conspiracy provoked new laws preventing Catholics from holding leading government positions in the Swedish government. Due to the Austrian emperor winning a lot of great victories before Sweden joined. The war and Swedish successes cemented Protestantism's continued survival in the Holy Roman Empire and the following anti-Catholicism ingrained in the religion.

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was known as the lion from the North. He did prevent the pillaging of Catholic villages of Swedish troops by proclaiming Protestant moral superiority in 1631, while Catholic armies were plundering Saxony. He did not wear any armour during the Battle of Rain against the Catholics and proclaimed he was divinely chosen by God to lead the Protestants to glory. He, therefore, needed no protection in battle. [104] [105] Russian orthodox populations had the right to practice their faith since their incorporation in 1617 after the Ingrian war and never faced similar persecution. Even after Eastern Orthodoxy was legalized there remained an extreme anti-Catholic sentiment in Sweden which was widely supported by German nobility and German Protestants in Swedish territories.

Only in 1781 did Catholics have the right to worship once again in Sweden the latest of all major religions except Judaism that was legalized in the same era. Even though Judaism had already been in practice tolerated since Charles XII of Sweden brought Muslim and Jewish advisors with him from the Ottoman Empire. [106] While Protestant Swedes could not join any other religious organization until 1873 still in 1849 catholic converts were punished with imprisonment. Conversion to Catholicism was punished with fines or imprisonment even after the reform. [107] Catholics could not become a minister of the Swedish government or work as teachers or nurses in Sweden until 1951. [108]

United States Edit

John Higham described anti-Catholicism as "the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history." [109]

  • Jenkins, Philip. The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (Oxford University Press, New ed. 2004). British anti-Catholicism was exported to the United States. Two types of anti-Catholic rhetoric existed in colonial society. The first, which was derived from the heritage of the Protestant Reformation and the religious wars of the sixteenth century, consisted of the "Anti-Christ" and the "Whore of Babylon" variety and it dominated Anti-Catholic thought until the late seventeenth century. The second was a more secular variety which focused on the supposed intrigue of the Catholics and accused them of plotting to extendmedieval despotism worldwide. [110]

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. has called Anti-Catholicism "the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people". [111]

Historian Joseph G. Mannard says that wars reduced anti-Catholicism: "enough Catholics supported the War for Independence to erase many old myths about the inherently treasonable nature of Catholicism. During the Civil War the heavy enlistments of Irish and Germans into the Union Army helped to dispel notions of immigrant and Catholic disloyalty." [110]

Colonial era Edit

American anti-Catholicism has its origins in the Protestant Reformation which generated anti-Catholic propaganda for various political and dynastic reasons. Because the Protestant Reformation justified itself as an effort to correct what it perceived were the errors and the excesses of the Catholic Church, it formed strong positions against the Catholic bishops and the Papacy in particular. These positions were brought to New England by English colonists who were predominantly Puritans. They opposed not only the Catholic Church but also the Church of England which, due to its perpetuation of some Catholic doctrines and practices, was deemed insufficiently "reformed". Furthermore, English and Scottish identity to a large extent was based on opposition to Catholicism. "To be English was to be anti-Catholic," writes Robert Curran. [112]

Because many of the British colonists, such as the Puritans and Congregationalists, were fleeing religious persecution by the Church of England, much of early American religious culture exhibited the more extreme anti-Catholic bias of these Protestant denominations. Monsignor John Tracy Ellis wrote that a "universal anti-Catholic bias was brought to Jamestown in 1607 and vigorously cultivated in all the thirteen colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia". [113] Colonial charters and laws often contained specific proscriptions against Catholics. For example, the second Massachusetts charter of October 7, 1691, decreed "that forever hereafter there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God to all Christians, except Papists, inhabiting, or which shall inhabit or be resident within, such Province or Territory". [114] Historians have identified only one Catholic living in colonial Boston--Ann Glover. She was hanged as a witch in 1688, shortly before the much more famous witchcraft trials in nearby Salem. [115]

Monsignor Ellis noted that a common hatred of the Catholic Church could unite Anglican clerics and Puritan ministers despite their differences and conflicts. One of the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament that helped fuel the American Revolution was the Quebec Act of 1774, which granted freedom of worship to Roman Catholics in Canada. [116]

New nation Edit

The Patriot reliance on Catholic France for military, financial and diplomatic aid led to a sharp drop in anti-Catholic rhetoric. Indeed, the king replaced the pope as the demon patriots had to fight against. Anti-Catholicism remained strong among Loyalists, some of whom went to Canada after the war while most remained in the new nation. By the 1780s, Catholics were extended legal toleration in all of the New England states that previously had been so hostile. "In the midst of war and crisis, New Englanders gave up not only their allegiance to Britain but one of their most dearly held prejudices." [117]

George Washington was a vigorous promoter of tolerance for all religious denominations as commander of the army (1775-1783) where he suppressed anti-Catholic celebrations in the Army and appealed to French Catholics in Canada to join the American Revolution a few hundred of them did. Likewise he guaranteed a high degree of freedom of religion as president (1789-1797), when he often attended services of different denominations. [118] The military alliance with Catholic France in 1778 changed attitudes radically in Boston. Local leaders enthusiastically welcomed French naval and military officers, realizing the alliance was critical to winning independence. The Catholic chaplain of the French army reported in 1781 that he was continually receiving "new civilities" from the best families in Boston he also noted that "the people in general retain their own prejudices." By 1790, about 500 Catholics in Boston formed the first Catholic Church there. [119]

Fear of the pope agitated some of America's Founding Fathers. For example, in 1788, John Jay urged the New York Legislature to prohibit Catholics from holding office. The legislature refused, but did pass a law designed to reach the same goal by requiring all office-holders to renounce foreign authorities "in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil". [120] Thomas Jefferson, looking at the Catholic Church in France, wrote, "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government", [121] and "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." [122]

1840s–1850s Edit

Anti-Catholic fears reached a peak in the nineteenth century when the Protestant population became alarmed by the influx of Catholic immigrants. Some Protestant ministers preached the belief that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon which is described in the Book of Revelation. [123] The resulting "nativist" movement, which achieved prominence in the 1840s, was whipped into a frenzy of anti-Catholicism that led to mob violence, most notably the Philadelphia Nativist Riot of 1844. Historian David Montgomery argues that the Irish Catholic Democrats in Philadelphia had successfully appealed to the upper-class Whig leadership. The Whigs wanted to split the Democratic coalition, so they approved Bishop Kendrick's request that Catholic children be allowed to use their own Bible. That approval outraged the evangelical Protestant leadership, which rallied its support in Philadelphia and nationwide. Montgomery states:

The school controversy, however, had united 94 leading clergymen of the city in a common pledge to strengthen Protestant education and "awaken the attention of the community to the dangers which. threaten these United States from the assaults of Romanism." The American Tract Society took up the battle cry and launched a national crusade to save the nation from the "spiritual despotism" of Rome. The whole Protestant edifice of churches, Bible societies, temperance societies, and missionary agencies was thus interposed against Catholic electoral maneuvers . at the very moment when those maneuvers were enjoying some success. [124]

The nativist movement found expression in a national political movement called the "American" or Know-Nothing Party of 1854–56. It had considerable success in local and state elections in 1854-55 by emphasizing nativism and warning against Catholics and immigrants. It nominated former president Millard Fillmore as its presidential candidate in the 1856 election. However, Fillmore was not anti-Catholic or nativist his campaign concentrated almost entirely on national unity. Historian Tyler Anbinder says, "The American party had dropped nativism from its agenda." Fillmore won 22% of the national popular vote. [125]

In the Orange Riots in New York City in 1871 and 1872, Irish Catholics violently attacked Irish Protestants, who carried orange banners. [126]

Anti-Catholicism among American Jews further intensified in the 1850s during the international controversy over the Edgardo Mortara case, when a baptized Jewish boy in the Papal States was removed from his family and refused to return to them. [127]

After 1875 many states passed constitutional provisions, called "Blaine Amendments", forbidding tax money be used to fund parochial schools. [128] [129] In 2002, the United States Supreme Court partially vitiated these amendments, when they ruled that vouchers were constitutional if tax dollars followed a child to a school even if the school were religious. [130]

A favorite rhetorical device in the 1870s was using the code words for Catholicism: “superstition, ambition and ignorance”. [131] President Ulysses Grant in a major speech to veterans in October 1875 warned that America again faced an enemy: religious schools. Grant saw another civil war in the "near future": it would not be between North and South, but will be between "patriotism and intelligence on the one side and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other." [132] According to historian Charles W. Calhoun, "at various points in his life, Grant had bristled privately at what he considered religious communicants' thralldom to a domineering clergy, but he did not specifically mention Catholicism in his speech. Still, Catholic journals decried the president's seeming exploitation of religious bigotry." [133] In his December 1875 Annual Message to Congress, Grant urged taxation on "vast amounts of untaxed church property" which Professor John McGreevey says was "a transparently anti-Catholic measure since only the Catholic Church owned vast amounts of property – in schools, orphanages, and charitable institutions". Grant told Congress such legislation would protect American citizens from tyranny "whether directed by the demagogue or by priestcraft." [134]

20th and 21st centuries Edit

Anti-Catholicism played a major role in the defeat of Al Smith, the Democratic nominee for president in 1928. Smith did very well in Catholic precincts, but he did poorly in the South, as well as among the Lutherans of the North. His candidacy was also hampered by his close ties to the notorious Tammany Hall political machine in New York City and his strong opposition to prohibition. His cause was uphill in any case, because he faced a popular Republican leadership in a year of peace and unprecedented prosperity. [135]

The passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919, a culmination of a half-century of anti-liquor agitation, also fueled anti-Catholic sentiment. Prohibition enjoyed strong support among dry pietistic Protestants, and equally strong opposition by wet Catholics, Episcopalians, and German Lutherans. The drys focused their distrust on the Catholics who showed little popular support for the enforcement of prohibition laws, and when the Great Depression began in 1929, there was increasing sentiment that the government needed the tax revenue which the repeal of Prohibition would bring. [136]

Over 10 million Protestant soldiers who served in World War II came into close contact with Catholic soldiers they got along well and, after the war, they played a central role in spreading a greater level of ethnic and religious tolerance for Catholics among other white Americans. [137] Although anti-Catholic sentiment declined in the U.S. in the 1960s, particularly after John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic U.S. president, [138] traces of it persist in both the media and popular culture. [139] In March, 2000, the Catholic League criticized Slate Magazine and journalist Jack Shafer for a piece the League described as taking "delight in justifying anti-Catholicism." [140] [141] Attacks on persons and property have also continued to occur. For instance, in 2018, an Indiana priest was assaulted by a man who said "This is for all the little kids," [142] in an apparent reference to clerical sex abuse, the most prevalent form of modern-day anti-Catholic sentiment. The summer of 2020 saw a wave of anti-Catholic acts which ranged from the vandalization of churches [143] [144] [145] and cathedrals [146] [147] to the destruction and often the decapitation of statues, particularly statues of St Junipero Serra, [148] [149] [150] Mary, [151] [152] and Jesus [153] [154] Illinois, [155] and Florida. [156] Many of these acts are tied to other political movements, most notably Black Lives Matter and other protests such as those which have occurred in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. The QAnon movement and other far right groups have also espoused anti-Catholic sentiment. One popular conspiracy is that the Three stars on the dc flag stand for London the Vatican and Washington. [157] Another far right conspiracy claims the pope was arrested for sexual abuse. [158]

Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious (generally Catholic) institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen. It suggests a more active and partisan role than mere laïcité. The goal of anticlericalism is sometimes to reduce religion to a purely private belief-system with no public profile or influence. However, many times it has included outright suppression of all aspects of faith.

Anticlericalism has at times been violent, leading to murders and the desecration, destruction and seizure of Church property. Anticlericalism in one form or another has existed throughout most of Christian history, and it is considered to be one of the major popular forces underlying the 16th century reformation. Some of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire, continually attacked the Catholic Church, both its leadership and its priests, claiming that many of its clergy were morally corrupt. These assaults in part led to the suppression of the Jesuits, and played a major part in the wholesale attacks on the very existence of the Church during the French Revolution in the Reign of Terror and the program of dechristianization. Similar attacks on the Church occurred in Mexico and Portugal since their 1910 revolutions and in Spain during the twentieth century.

Argentina Edit

In 1954, Argentina saw extensive destruction of churches, denunciations of clergy and confiscation of Catholic schools as Juan Perón attempted to extend state control over national institutions such as the Catholic Church in Argentina. [159]

Austria Edit

Holy Roman Empire Edit

Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II (emperor 1765–1790) opposed what he called "contemplative" religious institutions — reclusive Catholic institutions that he perceived as doing nothing positive for the community. [160] Although Joseph II was himself a Catholic, he also believed in firm state control of ecclesiastical matters outside of the strictly religious sphere and decreed that Austrian bishops could not communicate directly with the Roman Curia. [161] His policies are included in what is called Josephinism, that promoted the subjection of the Catholic Church in the Habsburg lands to service for the state. [162]

Austro-Hungary Edit

Georg Ritter von Schönerer (17 July 1842 – 14 August 1921) was an Austrian landowner and politician of Austro-Hungary. He was a major opponent of political Catholicism and the founder of the movement Away from Rome!, aimed the conversion of all the Catholic German-speaking population of Austria to Lutheranism, or, in some cases, to the Old Catholic Churches. [163] [164]

Brazil Edit

Brazil has the largest number of Catholics in the world, [165] and as a result, it has not experienced any large anti-Catholic movements.

During the Nineteenth Century, the Religious Question was the name given to the crisis when Freemasons in the Brazilian government imprisoned two Catholic bishops for enforcing the Church's prohibition against Freemasonry.

Even during times in which the Church was experiencing intense conservatism, such as the era of the Brazilian military dictatorship, anti-Catholicism was not advocated by the left-wing movements (instead, Liberation theology gained force). However, with the growing number of Protestants (especially Neo-Pentecostals) in the country, anti-Catholicism has gained strength. A pivotal moment during the rise of anti-Catholicism was the kicking of the saint episode in 1995. However, owing to the protests of the Catholic majority, the perpetrator was transferred to South Africa for the duration of the controversy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, Drug dealers took advantage of the pandemic to unite five slums in Rio de Janeiro imposing evangelical Protestantism on the area and attacking Catholics (and also members of Umbanda). [166] [167]

Colombia Edit

Anti-Catholic and anti-clerical sentiments, some of which were spurred by an anti-clerical conspiracy theory which was circulating in Colombia during the mid-twentieth century, led to the persecution and killing of Catholics, most specifically, the persecution and killing of members of the Catholic clergy, during the events which are known as La Violencia. [168]

Cuba Edit

Cuba, under the rule of the atheist Fidel Castro, succeeded in reducing the ability of the Catholic Church to work by deporting one archbishop and 150 Spanish priests, by discriminating against Catholics in public life and education and refusing to accept them as members of the Communist Party. [169] The subsequent flight of 300,000 Cubans from the island also helped to diminish the Church there. [169]

France Edit

During the French Revolution (1789–95) clergy and religious were persecuted and Church property was destroyed and confiscated by the new government as part of a process of Dechristianization, the aim of which was the destruction of Catholic practices and the destruction of the very faith itself, culminating with the imposition of the atheistic Cult of Reason followed by the imposition of the deistic Cult of the Supreme Being. [170] The persecution led Catholics who lived in the west of France to wage a counterrevolution, the War in the Vendée, and when the state was victorious, it killed tens of thousands of Catholics. A few historians have called it genocide. [171] However, most historians believe it was a brutal crackdown against political enemies rather than genocide. [172] The French invasions of Italy (1796–99) included an assault on Rome and the exile of Pope Pius VI in 1798.

Relations improved in 1802 when Napoleon came to terms with the Pope in the Concordat of 1801. [173] It allowed the Church to operate but did not give back the lands it proved satisfactory for a century. By 1815 the Papacy supported the growing alliance against Napoleon, and was re-instated as the State Church during the conservative Bourbon Restoration of 1815–30. The brief French Revolution of 1848 again opposed the Church, but the Second French Empire (1851–71) gave it full support. The history of 1789–1871 had established two camps—the left against the Church and the right supporting it—that largely continued until the Vatican II process in 1962–65. [174]

France's Third Republic (1871–1940) was cemented by anti-clericalism, the desire to secularise the State and social life, faithful to the French Revolution. [175] This was the position of the radicals and socialists. [176] in 1902 Émile Combes became Minister of the Interior, and the main energy of the government was devoted to an anti-clerical agenda. [177] The parties of the Left, Socialists and Radicals, united upon this question in the Bloc republicain, supported Combes in his application of the law of 1901 on the religious associations, and voted the new bill on the congregations (1904). By 1904, through his efforts, nearly 10,000 religious schools had been closed and thousands of priests and nuns left France rather than be persecuted. [178] Under his guidance parliament moved toward the 1905 French law on the separation of Church and State, which ended the Napoleonic arrangement of 1801. [179]

In the Affaire Des Fiches, in France in 1904–1905, it was discovered that the militantly anticlerical War Minister under Combes, General Louis André, was determining promotions based on the French Masonic Grand Orient's huge card index on public officials, detailing which were Catholic and who attended Mass, with the goal of preventing their promotions. Exposure almost caused the government to fall instead Combes retired. [180]

Italy Edit

In the Napoleonic era, anti-clericalism was a powerful political force. [181] From 1860 through 1870, the new Italian government, under the House of Savoy, outlawed all religious orders, both male and female, including the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Jesuits, closed down their monasteries and confiscated their property, and imprisoned or banished bishops who opposed this (see Kulturkampf). [182] [183] Italy took over Rome in 1870 when it lost its French protection the Pope declared himself a prisoner in the Vatican. Relations were finally normalized in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty. [184]

Mexico Edit

Following the Mexican Revolution of 1860, President Benito Juárez issued a decree nationalizing Church property, separating Church and State, and suppressing religious orders.

In the wake of the revolution of 1910, the new Mexican Constitution of 1917 contained further anti-clerical provisions. Article 3 called for secular education in the schools and prohibited the Church from engaging in primary education Article 5 outlawed monastic orders Article 24 forbade public worship outside the confines of churches and Article 27 placed restrictions on the right of religious organizations to hold property. Article 130 deprived clergy members of basic political rights.

Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles's enforcement of previous anti-Catholic legislation denying priests' rights, enacted as the Calles Law, prompted the Mexican Episcopate to suspend all Catholic worship in Mexico from August 1, 1926, and sparked the bloody Cristero War of 1926–1929 in which some 50,000 peasants took up arms against the government. Their slogan was "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!).

The effects of the war on the Church were profound. Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed. [185] Where there were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people, the rest having been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination. [185] [186] It appears that ten states were left without any priests. [186] Other sources indicate that the persecution was such that, by 1935, 17 states were left with no priests at all. [187]

Some of the Catholic casualties of this struggle are known as the Saints of the Cristero War. [185] [188] Events relating to this were famously portrayed in the novel The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. [189] [190]

Poland Edit

For the situation in Russian Poland, see Anticatholicism in Russian Empire

Catholicism in Poland, the religion of the vast majority of the population, was severely persecuted during World War II, following the Nazi invasion of the country and its subsequent annexation into Germany. Over 3 million Catholics of Polish descent were murdered during the Invasion of Poland, including 3 bishops, 52 priests, 26 monks, 3 seminarians, 8 nuns and 9 lay people, later beatified in 1999 by Pope John Paul II as the 108 Martyrs of World War II. [191]

The Roman Catholic Church was even more violently suppressed in Reichsgau Wartheland and the General Government. [192] Churches were closed, and clergy were deported, imprisoned, or killed, [192] among them was Maximilian Kolbe, a Pole of German descent. Between 1939 and 1945, 2,935 members [193] of the Polish clergy (18% [194] ) were killed in concentration camps. In the city of Chełmno, for example, 48% of the Catholic clergy were killed.

Catholicism continued to be persecuted under the Communist regime from the 1950s. Contemporary Stalinist ideology claimed that the Church and religion in general were about to disintegrate. Initially, Archbishop Wyszyński entered into an agreement with the Communist authorities, which was signed on 14 February 1950 by the Polish episcopate and the government. The Agreement regulated the matters of the Church in Poland. However, in May of that year, the Sejm breached the Agreement by passing a law for the confiscation of Church property.

On 12 January 1953, Wyszyński was elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pius XII as another wave of persecution began in Poland. When the bishops voiced their opposition to state interference in ecclesiastical appointments, mass trials and the internment of priests began—the cardinal being one of its victims. On 25 September 1953 he was imprisoned at Grudziądz, and later placed under house arrest in monasteries in Prudnik near Opole and in Komańcza Monastery in the Bieszczady Mountains. He was released on 26 October 1956.

Pope John Paul II, who was born in Poland as Karol Wojtyla, often cited the persecution of Polish Catholics in his stance against Communism.

Spain Edit

Anti-clericalism in Spain at the start of the Spanish Civil War resulted in the killing of almost 7,000 clergy, the destruction of hundreds of churches and the persecution of lay people in Spain's Red Terror. [195] Hundreds of Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War have been beatified and hundreds more in October 2007. [196] [197]

Switzerland Edit

The Jesuits (Societas Jesu) were banned from all activities in either clerical or pedagogical functions by Article 51 of the Swiss constitution in 1848. The reason for the ban was the perceived threat to the stability of the state resulting from Jesuit advocacy of traditional Catholicism it followed the Roman Catholic cantons forming an unconstitutional separate alliance leading to civil war. In June 1973, 54.9% of Swiss voters approved removing the ban on the Jesuits (as well as Article 52 which banned monasteries and convents from Switzerland) (See Kulturkampf and Religion in Switzerland)

Byzantine Empire Edit

In April 1182, the Eastern Orthodox population of the Byzantine Empire committed a large-scale massacre against the Catholic population of Constantinople, [199] [200] this massacre is known as the Massacre of the Latins and it further worsened relations and increased enmity between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism. [201]

Russian Empire Edit

During Russian rule, Catholics, primarily Poles and Lithuanians, suffered great persecution not only because of their ethnic-national background, but also for religious reasons. Especially after the uprisings of 1831 and 1863, and within the process of Russification (understanding that there is a strong link between religion and nationality), the tsarist authorities were anxious to promote the conversion of these peoples to the official faith, intervening in public education in those regions (an Orthodox religious education was compulsory) and censoring the actions of the Catholic Church. [202] In particular, attention was focused on the public actions of the Church, such as masses or funerals, because they could serve as the focus of protests against the occupation. Many priests were imprisoned or deported because of their activities in defense of their religion and ethnicity. In the late nineteenth century, however, there was a progressive relaxation of the control of Catholic institutions by the Russian authorities. [203]

Former Yugoslavia Edit

During World War II in Yugoslavia, the Chetniks killed an estimated 18,000-32,000 Croats. [204] About 300 villages and small towns were destroyed, along with a large number of mosques and Catholic churches. [205]

During the Yugoslav Wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ICTY determined that ethnic Croats were being persecuted on political, racial and religious grounds, as part of a general campaign of killings and forced-removals of Croat civilians. The religious element of the Serbian persecution of Catholic Croats was the deliberate destruction of religious buildings and monuments, including churches, chapels and even cemeteries. [206] It is estimated that some 200 Catholic churches were destroyed or severely damaged by Serb forces during the Croatian War of Independence, [207] while another 269 religious buildings were destroyed during the Bosnian War. [208]

Ukraine Edit

In the separatist region known as the Donetsk People's Republic, the government has declared that the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the state religion, and Protestant churches have been occupied by paramilitaries. [209] Jehovah's Witnesses have lost their property, and their Kingdom Halls have been occupied by rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. [210] Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, and Protestant clergy have been kidnapped by groups such as the Russian Orthodox Army, and they have also been accused of opposing Russian Orthodox values. [211] Human Rights Watch says that the bodies of several members of the Church of the Transfiguration were found in a mass grave in 2014. [212]

Bangladesh Edit

Burkina Faso Edit

On May 12, 2019, six Catholics including a priest were killed by gunmen who rode on motorcycles and stormed a church in Dablo during a Sunday morning mass. [214] A day later, on May 13, 2019, four people were killed and a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed by armed men in an attack on Catholic parishioners during a religious procession in the remote village of Zimtenga. [215]

China Edit

The Daoguang Emperor modified existing law, making spreading Catholicism punishable by death. [216] During the Boxer Rebellion, Catholic missionaries and their families were murdered by Boxer rebels. [217] During the 1905 Tibetan Rebellion, Tibetan rebels murdered Catholics and Tibetan converts. [218]

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, all religions including Catholicism only operate under state control. [219] However, there are Catholics who do not accept State rule over the Church and worship clandestinely. [220] There has been some rapprochement between the Chinese government and the Vatican. [221]

Claims of persecution of Chinese Christians occurred in both official and unsanctioned churches. [222] The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping "is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.", [223] which has involved "destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith". [224]

Japan Edit

On February 5, 1597 a group of twenty-six Catholics were killed on the orders of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. [225] During the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japanese Catholics were suppressed, leading to an armed rebellion during the 1630s. After the rebellion was defeated, Catholicism was further suppressed and many Japanese Catholics went underground. [226] [227] Catholicism was not openly restored to Japan until the 1850s.

North Korea Edit

Sri Lanka Edit

Government actions Edit

In Sri Lanka, A Buddhist-influenced government took over 600 parish schools in 1960 without compensation and secularized them. [228] Attempts were made by future governments to restore some autonomy.

Anti-Catholic violence Edit

Since 2000, in a context of rising violence against religious minorities, i.e. Christians, Muslims and Hindus, multiple attacks on Catholic churches occurred. For instance, in 2009, a mob of 1,000 smashed the interior of a church in the town of Crooswatta, assaulting parishioners with clubs, swords and stones, forcing several of them to be treated in hospitals. In 2013, vandals smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary as well as a tabernacle, and they also tried to burn the Eucharist at a church in Angulana, near Colombo. [229]

The term "anti-Catholic Catholic" has come to be applied to Catholics who are perceived to view the Catholic Church with animosity. Traditionalist or conservative Catholics frequently use it as a descriptive term for modernist or liberal Catholics, especially those modernist or liberal Catholics who seek to reform Church doctrine, make secularist critiques of the Catholic Church, or place secular principles above Church teachings. [230] [231] Those who take issue with the Catholic theology of sexuality are especially prone to be given this label. [232]

Suppression of the Jesuits Edit

Prime Minister Pombal of Portugal was aggressively hostile to the Jesuit order because it reported to an Italian power—the Pope—and tried to operate independently of the government. He organized a full-scale war on the Jesuits both in Portugal and in much of Catholic Europe as well. The Jesuit order was suppressed in the Portuguese Empire (1759), France (1764), the Two Sicilies, Malta, Parma, the Spanish Empire (1767), and Austria and Hungary (1782). The Pope himself suppressed the order everywhere in 1773, but it survived in Russia and Prussia. The suppression was a major blow to Catholic education across Europe, with nearly 1000 secondary schools and seminaries shut down. Their lands, buildings, and endowments were confiscated their teachers scattered. Although Jesuit education had become old fashioned in Poland and other areas, it was the main educational support network for Catholic intellectuals, senior clergy, and prominent families. Governments tried in vain to replace all those schools, but there were far too few non-clerical teachers who were suitable. [233]

The Jesuit order was restored by the pope in 1814 and flourished in terms of rebuilding schools and educational institutions but never regained its enormous power in the political realm. [234] The suppression of the Jesuits "was an unmitigated disaster for Catholicism." The political weakness of the once-powerful institution was on public display for ridicule and more bullying. The Church lost its best educational system, its best missionary system, and its most innovative thinkers. Intellectually, it would take two centuries for the Church to fully recover. [235]

Anti-Catholic stereotypes are a long-standing feature of English literature, popular fiction, and even pornography. Gothic fiction is particularly rich in this regard. Lustful priests, cruel abbesses, immured nuns, and sadistic inquisitors appear in such works as The Italian by Ann Radcliffe, The Monk by Matthew Lewis, Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin and "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe. [236]

Why were British monarchs not referred to as "emperor" at the height of the British Empire?

I know that Queen Victoria was referred to as Empress of India, but why was there no "Emperor of the British Empire"?

I think it's pretty clear that Britain was an Empire, so why were British monarchs just kings and queens?

Well, king/queen was just the title they traditionally held in their position as monarch of Great Britain. It's one thing to adopt such a title when creating a wholly new political entity (Emperor of Brazil), after the old political order has been totally swept away (Emperor of France), or by claiming to be the continuation an old political order (the Kaiser, or "Caesar", Germany got it from the Holy Roman Empire, the Tsar, or "Caesar", of Russia claimed it from the fall Byzantium), it's a different matter to just convert a pre-existing Queen title to an Empress one.

For one thing, it would inevitably raise suspicions of an attempt to instate absolute monarchy, which is antithetical to British tradition. It was, to some degree, fine to rule as Empress in a faraway colony, it wouldn't necessarily be acceptable to try to be Empress of Britain. Claiming the title in India also had more legitimacy than it would have in Britain, as the previous Mughals had ruled as more less "emperors", and Victoria was ruling over rajas, which are effectively equivalent to Kings, and an Emperor is, in one sense, a King of King. As well, India had a vast territorial extent and diversity compared to Britain.

Also, in the times of the British Empire, the monarch had no general title for the Empire as a whole. They were Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which ruled over the colonies. Disraeli later gave Victoria the additional Empress title for India, but this was the only direct title for a colony she had. She couldn't be Empress of the whole British empire without parliaments approval, which it was wont to grant.

We must also make a distinction between two different common use cases for the word "empire". In one, it's a political entity ruled by an Emperor. In the other, it's simply any large, multiethnic territory ruled by some entity. Both don't have to be true - in fact, they rarely are. You can generally tell the difference between the two by whether or not it would make sense to say the entity in question has an Empire. The Byzantine Emperor in 1440 didn't really have an Empire, he had a city. Conversely, the British had an "Empire", but didn't have an Emperor, and was never officially "the British Empire". As well, the French had an Empire in Africa, even when they were a republic and had no monarch at all. And Japan still technically has an Emperor, but it no longer has an Empire after it's defeat in 1945. And the country officially changed its name from "the Great Japanese Empire" to "Japan-state" with their 1947 constitution, so it would be inappropriate to refer to it as an "Empire" even though it has an Emperor.

Battleground Germany

As a result, Germany became the bloodiest battleground in the Catholic-Protestant contest. Between 1300 and 1850, it was home to 104 religious battles—a quarter of the European total, according to Leeson and Russ’ dataset, which covers 21 European countries.

Invasion wasn’t necessarily the most effective way of winning converts. With Catholic-Protestant rivalries now out in the open, officials had to boost the appeal of their brand to religious consumers by providing more services. Protestants, for instance, offered lower prices for tithing, while Catholics reaffirmed the cult of saints, which encouraged grassroots engagement by beatifying and canonizing candidates venerated by local communities. (Among those selected post-Reformation were Albertus Magnus, the great German philosopher and patron saint of medical technicians, and Saint Charles Borromeo, a rabid witch-hunter who also happens to fend off ulcers.)

But in these unstable times of brutal weather and constant warfare, the hottest service to provide was protection against Satan and his minions: witches.

For centuries, common folk had widely believed in witchcraft. People bought and sold magical services like love potions and spells to help find stolen belongings. Up until around this time, the Catholic Church hadn’t been that worried about witches and witchcraft, let alone interested in prosecuting them.

That stance reversed by the mid-1500s, as Lutheranism gained ground. Protestants tended to be much warier of witchery Luther himself authorized the execution of four accused witches, while Calvin urged Genevan officials to wipe out “the race of witches,” notes Gary Waite, a history professor at the University of New Brunswick, in The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America. Catholic leaders were getting nervous. They responded with some of the most brutal massacres, St Maximin’s among them. That, in turn, inspired Lutheran authorities to up their witch-hunting game still more.

Witch investigations were time-consuming and expensive. But the payoff could be worth it. After all, what clearer way was there to quantify the fight against Satan than a big bonfire bodycount?

The research by Leeson and Russ shows that religious competition did, indeed, spark witch hunts. In addition to collecting data on religious battles, they amassed a dataset of more than 43,000 witchcraft prosecutions in nearly 11,000 separate trials. Sure enough, in places and periods where confessional competition was fierce, witch hunts intensified. More than two-thirds of the witch trials and 90% of the religious battles occurred during the Counter-Reformation, when Catholics stepped up their response to legalized Lutheranism between 1550 and 1650.

Witch trials were also greater and more frequent in Germany and Switzerland, where religious contests were most heated. More than 40% of Europeans executed for witchcraft were in Germany, according to the new dataset. Tellingly, the slaughter subsides after 1648, when the Peace of Westphalia brought an end to religious wars by establishing the geography of Catholic and Protestant monopolies and mandating tolerance of mainstream sects of Christians, regardless of official religion. That drop-off occurred well before the last gelid gasp of the Little Ice Age swept the area in the late 1600s.

Meanwhile, in Catholic strongholds—where Inquisitors were busily persecuting “heretics”—witches were mostly ignored. The infamously savage Spanish Inquisition executed no more than two dozen alleged witches Portugal put to death around seven.

The analysis explains why witch hunts took off in certain geographical areas and never really took hold in others. But why were Germans and their neighboring regions so much more spooked about witches than other Europeans in the first place?

Whitewashing Ancient Statues: Whiteness, Racism And Color In The Ancient World

Although we often romanticize the bare marble of ancient sculpture today, most of these specimens were in fact painted in bright shades of blue, red, yellow, brown and many other hues. Over the past few decades, scientists have worked diligently to study the often-minute traces of paint, inlay and gold leaf used on ancient statues and to use digital technologies to restore them to their original polychromy.

As this history of painted statuary returns to view, it brings with it an unsettling question: if we know these statues were polychromatic, why do they remain lily white in our popular imagination?

Head of a Young Man. Centrale Montemartini, Rome, Italy. Color and gilding still visible. Uncovered . [+] in the area of Piazza Dante.

How we color (or fail to color) classical antiquity is often a result of our own cultural values. B efore a show on color in antiquity at Frankfurt's Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, a rt historian Max Hollein noted that well into the twenty-first century, the idea of a "pure, marble-white Antiquity" prevailed despite many hints that sculpture was often painted. One influential purveyor of this falsehood was Johann Joachim Winckelmann (d. 1768). His two volumes on the history of ancient art, Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums, were hugely popular in Europe and helped define art history as we know it today. They also perpetuated and further entrenched the idea that white marble statues like the famed Apollo of the Belvedere were the epitome of beauty.

The famed Apollo of the Belvedere was unearthed during the Renaissance but dates back to the early . [+] 2nd c. CE. It was seen as the ideal of beauty in the 18th century. The statue is now in the Vatican Museums in Rome.

The Apollo of the Belvedere is itself a marble copy of a Greek original likely done in bronze in the 4th century BCE. While many Greek sculptors used b ronze for their statuary work, Romans preferred the more durable marble . Particularly during the Roman empire of the second and third centuries CE, sculptors made use of marble more regularly in their copies of bronze originals. While the Romans were, in part, making material decisions, Winckelmann saw something else. In white marble classical sculpture, he viewed the embodiment of ideal beauty. As emerita Princeton historian Nell Irvin Painter details in her book The History of White People, Winckelmann was himself a Eurocentrist who regularly denigrated non-European nationalities such as the Chinese or the Kalmyk. As she puts it, "color in sculpture came to mean barbarism, for they assumed that the lofty ancient Greeks were too sophisticated to color their art." Winckelmann was wrong, of course, but his visual narrative continues to be told.

Romans also did copies in different colored marbles to add skin tone. This was likely the case why . [+] the rosso antico marble was used for this 2nd century Roman copy of a Greek original that depicted a centaur.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC (CC-0)

So, what did this painted sculptural exterior actually look like? Yellow, red and black were often applied as an underpainting before painted details were added. Art historian and polychromy expert Mark Abbe has emphasized that painters could then apply paints over this base coat to accentuate hair, eyes, eyebrows, jewelry and clothing with a vibrance white marble could not provide alone. Indeed, ancient sources such as Vitruvius or Pliny, note the presence of color used by ancient sculptors. But as Abbe states, " Burial, early modern restoration practices, and historic cleaning methods have all reduced the polychromy on Roman marble sculptures."

Istanbul Archaeological Museum, room 5 - Reconstruction of the original polychromy of a Roman . [+] portrait of the emperor Caligula (37-41 CE). On a loan by the Glyptotek in Munich for the Bunte Götter exhibition.

Giovanni Dall'Orto via Wikimedia

For their part, Romans had a great variety of skin tones within their Mediterranean world. Frescoes, mosaics and painted ceramics from both the Greek and Roman periods reveal a fascination with black Africans and particularly Ethiopians, but did not employ what W.E.B. Du Bois would call a "color prejudice." Although Romans generally differentiated people on their cultural and ethnic background rather than the color of their skin, ancient sources do occasionally mention skin tone and artists tried to convey the color of their flesh.

A view of the Ara Pacis museum lit during the celebrations for the 2000th anniversary of the death . [+] of the Emperor Augustus in Rome on August 19 , 2014. The projection, made in digital, modular and allows to modify the profiles and colours in real time. The choice of the individual colours of the Ara Pacis was made on the basis of laboratory tests, comparisons with Roman painting, especially in Pompeii, and colour research on architecture and ancient sculptures. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Classical artistic depictions could indeed exaggerate facial features in a way not dissimilar to the racist knickknacks that can still be found in flea markets and antique shops across the country. Yet ancient persons did not engage in the construct of biological racism. As emeritus Howard University classicist Frank Snowden has pointed out, "nothing comparable to the virulent color prejudice of modern times existed in the ancient world.”

So what does it say to viewers today when museums display gleaming white statues? What does it say when the only people of color one is likely to see appear on a ceramic vessel? Intentional or not, museums present viewers with a false color binary of the ancient world. One that, in its curation, perpetuates this skewed representation of antiquity. The excellent Tumblr "People of Color in European Art History" addresses the dearth of people of color in art history, and museums should take note. As noted on their Tumblr page, the group's mission is to return color to the past: " All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia."

A southern Italian (likely Apulian) oinochoe (wine pitcher) from c. 350 BCE which depicts a black . [+] African. These are aesthetically though not contextually similar to the later racist "face pitchers" popular in the American South. This pitcher is on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.

A return of variety to the ancient world's skin tones paints a truer picture. It also asks us to reflect on the current state of those disciplines, fields, and practices connected to historical study. As a classicist, I am no stranger to the seas of lily white, spectacled and tweed-wearing people at conferences. My field is dominated by white folks. We have known for a long time that we have a diversity problem, and one way to address this might be to emphasize what an integral part people of color played within ancient Mediterranean history. But the onus is also on the media and fashioners of popular culture. For example, depictions of ancient Rome within video games perpetuate the perception of whiteness through their recreated statues and depictions of the people of ancient Rome. As digital humanist and video game expert Hannah Scates-Kettler noted to me, the whiteness depicted in popular video games set in the ancient world–like Ryse: Son of Rome–discourages many people of color from seeing themselves in that landscape. Together, we sat down and played the game last week and there were indeed a lot of white people and white statues.

University of Iowa Digital Humanist and video game expert Hannah Scates Kettler plays Ryse: Son of . [+] Rome on the screen outside the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

The whiteness of these games, like that of museum exhibits, is not an altogether conscious decision. Game developers and curators alike have inherited these false constructions of the past. However, classical archaeology, science and new digital technologies now allow us the ability to go back and more accurately depict the ancient Mediterranean. In doing so, we can abandon the Eurocentric art history of the 18th century and its championing of whiteness as equal to beauty. In its place we can illustrate the diversity of the Mediterranean, its people and its history. And, perhaps, in this truer representation, we can come to better understand ourselves.

Mummy Portrait of a Bearded Man, Romano-Egyptian, about 150 - 170 C, Encaustic on wood. So-called . [+] "Fayum Portraits" often give a better idea of the skin tone of Mediterranean peoples, particularly in Egypt. Now at the Getty Museum.


Enraged by this horrible crime committed by Romulus and his men, the armies of the betrayed surrounding cities and towns attacked the Roman territory. The king of Caenina marched with his troops to the outskirts of Rome. They were met by the Roman army. However, they were defeated following the killing of their King in 752 BC.

Romulus and his men celebrated a second victory in the same year when the Antemnates actively invaded Roman land in retaliation for the events that took place during the festival of Neptune. They were also defeated and Antemnae fell and was seized by the armies of Romulus. Roman colonists were dispatched to the captured towns and some were moved to the Roman capital.

King Titus Tatius of Sabine, declared war on the Romans and attacked Rome. King Titus and his troops managed to capture the citadel on Capitoline Hill after the treason of Tarpeia, the daughter of a Roman governor. Tarpeia opened the city gates for the Sabine troops but lost her life in the siege. The Roman army led by Hostus Hostilius, a nobleman of Ancient Rome, quickly marched on the citadel but was defeated by Mettus Curtius of Sabine in a battle where Hostus lost his life. King Romulus then rallied his troops and led them back to the citadel in person and defeated Mettus Curtius.

The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire was the predominantly Greek-speaking continuation of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), which was originally known as Byzantium. Initially it was the eastern half of the Roman Empire (often called the Eastern Roman Empire in this context), it survived the 5th century fragmentation and collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and continued to thrive, existing for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Byzantium is today distinguished from ancient Rome proper insofar as it was oriented towards Greek culture, characterised by Christianity rather than Roman paganism and was predominantly Greek-speaking rather than Latin-speaking. One of the important early christians was Pope Clement I, later saint Clement. He was the first Apostolic Father of the Church. Few details are known about Clement's life. According to Tertullian, Clement was consecrated by Saint Peter, and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the late 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. The Liber Pontificalis presents a list that makes Pope Linus the second in the line of bishops of Rome, with Peter as first but at the same time it states that Peter ordained two bishops, Linus and Pope Cletus, for the priestly service of the community, devoting himself instead to prayer and preaching, and that it was to Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole. Appointing him as his successor. Tertullian too makes Clement the immediate successor of Peter. And while in one of his works Jerome gives Clement as "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter" (not in the sense of fourth successor of Peter, but fourth in a series that included Peter), he adds that "most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle".

Another was John Chrysostom (c. 347&ndash407), Archbishop of Constantinople.

Another was Agnes of Rome (c. 291 &ndash c. 304) she is a virgin&ndashmartyr, venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims, and virgins.

She is also known as Saint Agnes and Saint Ines. Her memorial, which commemorates her martyrdom, is 21 January in both the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and in the General Roman Calendar of 1962. The 1962 calendar includes a second feast on 28 January, which commemorates her birthday. Agnes is depicted in art with a lamb, as her name resembles the Latin word for "lamb", agnus. The name "Agnes" is actually derived from the feminine Greek adjective "hagnē" (&gamma&nuή) meaning "chaste, pure, sacred".

According to tradition, Saint Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility born and raised in a Christian family. She suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on 21 January 304. The Prefect Sempronius wished Agnes to marry his son Procopius, and on Agnes' refusal he condemned her to death. As Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, Sempronius had a naked Agnes dragged through the streets to a brothel.

Another was Pope Gregory I (540 &ndash 604), better known in English as Gregory the Great, he was pope from 3 September 590 until his death. Gregory is well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope. Throughout the Middle Ages he was known as &ldquothe Father of Christian Worship&rdquo because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day.

He is also known as St. Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Orthodoxy because of his Dialogues. For this reason, English translations of Orthodox texts will sometimes list him as "Gregory Dialogus". He was the first of the popes to come from a monastic background. Gregory is a Doctor of the Church and one of the Latin Fathers. He is considered a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, and some Lutheran churches. Immediately after his death, Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim. John Calvin admired Gregory and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good pope. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire

The first Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) formalized Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and Rome became the center of Christianity. When Rome was sacked by the Albino Germanics in 410 A.D, though the Papacy remained in Rome, Constantinople became predominant. In 800 A.D. Pope Leo III crowned Charles I, king of the Franks (Charlemagne) as Holy Roman Emperor (even though there was already a Roman Emperor in Constantinople). Under the protection of the Frankish Emperors, the Pope was once again able to exert authority.

The divided Church

The East&ndashWest Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. There was no single event that marked the breakdown, in the centuries immediately before the schism became definitive, a few short schisms between Constantinople and Rome were followed by reconciliation's.

Pope Leo IX of Rome and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains. In 1054, Roman legates traveled to Michael Cerularius to deny him the title Ecumenical Patriarch (first among equals), and to insist that he recognize the Church of Rome's claim to be the head and mother of the churches, Cerularius refused. The leader of the Latin contingent, Cardinal Humbert, excommunicated Cerularius, while Cerularius in return excommunicated Cardinal Humbert and the other legates. Though efforts were made to reunite the two churches in 1274 (by the Second Council of Lyon) and in 1439 (by the Council of Florence) they ended in failure.

Today, the Eastern Orthodox Church, being continuous, still depicts the original Christians as they really were - as Blacks, (though somewhat Whitenized). The Western Church and its off-shoots: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Anabaptist, Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Quaker, Reformed, etc: apparently unafraid of damnation for Heresy, chooses to falsely depict them as Albinos.


Avignon was a French city in southeastern France by the left bank of the Rhône river. Often referred to as the "City of Popes" because of the presence of popes and antipopes from 1309 to 1423 during the Catholic schism. In 1309 the city, still part of the Kingdom of Arles, was chosen by Pope Clement V as his residence, and from 1309 until 1377 it was the seat of the Papacy instead of Rome. This caused a schism in the Catholic Church. At the time, the city and the surrounding Comtat Venaissin were ruled by the kings of Sicily of the house of Anjou. The French King Philip the Fair, who had inherited from his father all the rights of Alphonse de Poitiers (the last Count of Toulouse), gave them over to Charles II, King of Naples and Count of Provence (1290). Queen Joanna I of Sicily, as countess of Provence, sold the city to Clement VI for 80,000 florins on 9 June 1348 and though it was later the seat of more than one antipope, Avignon belonged to the Papacy until 1791, when during the French Revolution, it was reincorporated with France.

Seven popes resided there:

Pope Clement V: 1305&ndash1314
Pope John XXII: 1316&ndash1334
Pope Benedict XII: 1334&ndash1342
Pope Clement VI: 1342&ndash1352
Pope Innocent VI: 1352&ndash1362
Pope Urban V: 1362&ndash1370
Pope Gregory XI: 1370&ndash1378

John VIII Palaiologos

John VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus (1392 &ndash 1448), was the penultimate (next to last) reigning Byzantine Emperor, ruling from 1425 to 1448. John VIII was the eldest son of Manuel II Palaiologos and Helena Draga&scaron, the daughter of the Serbian prince Constantine Draga&scaron. He was associated as co-emperor with his father before 1416 and became sole emperor in 1425.

In June 1422, John VIII Palaiologos supervised the defense of Constantinople during a siege by the Ottoman Turks under Murad II, but had to accept the loss of Thessalonica which his brother Andronikos had given to Venice in 1423. To secure protection against the Ottomans, he visited Pope Eugene IV and consented to the union of the Greek and Roman churches. The Union was ratified at the Council of Florence in 1439 which John attended with 700 followers including Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople and George Gemistos Plethon, a Neoplatonist philosopher influential among the academics of Italy. The Union failed due to opposition in Constantinople, but through his prudent conduct towards the Ottoman Empire he succeeded in holding possession of the city.

John VIII Palaiologos named his brother Constantine XI, who had served as regent in Constantinople in 1437&ndash1439, as his successor. Despite the machinations of his younger brother Demetrios Palaiologos, his mother Helena was able to secure Constantine XI's succession in 1448. John VIII died at Constantinople in 1448.

Constantine XI Palaiologos

Constantine XI Palaiologos (1404 - 1453) was the last reigning Byzantine Emperor from 1449 to his death as member of the Palaiologos dynasty.

The Fall of Constantinople

The siege of the city began in the winter of 1452. Constantine faced the siege defending his city of 60,000 people with an army only numbering 7,000 men. Confronting the Byzantine forces was an Ottoman army numbering many times that, backed by state-of-art siege equipment provided by a very competent Hungarian arms maker named Orban. Before the beginning of the siege, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II made an offer to Constantine XI. In exchange for the surrender of Constantinople, the emperor's life would be spared and he would continue to rule in Mistra, to which, as preserved by G. Sphrantzes, Constantine replied:

"To surrender the city to you is beyond my authority or anyone else's who lives in it, for all of us, after taking the mutual decision, shall die out of free will without sparing our lives."

He led the defence of the city and took an active part in the fighting alongside his troops in the land walls. At the same time, he used his diplomatic skills to maintain the necessary unity between the Genovese, Venetian and the Greek troops. He died on 29 May 1453, the day the city fell. His last recorded words were: "The city is fallen and I am still alive", and then he tore off his imperial ornaments so as to let nothing distinguish him from any other soldier and led his remaining soldiers into a last charge where he was killed.

A false account of the death is recorded by the Ottoman historian Tursun Beg who was an eyewitness at the siege, according to him Constantine was killed by Ottoman azab soldiers while trying to flee with his retinue. After his death in battle during the fall of Constantinople, he became a legendary figure in Greek folklore as the "Marble Emperor" who would awaken and recover the Empire and Constantinople from the Turks. His death marked the end of the Roman Empire, which had continued in the East for 977 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Compared to other cultures of that period, there are few archaeological finds related to Germanic tribes. Many artifacts were actually found in mire: After winning battles, they threw the weapons of hostile tribe in swamps, as a symbolic ritual for their final victory. Even wooden objects like this shield have been well preserved there.

Previous exhibitions only focused on individual aspects like the legendary Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, he says.

Towards the year 100 AD, a Roman historian by the name of Tacitus described the country he called "Germania": The "appearance of the country differs considerably in different parts, but in general some of it is quite gruesome because of its primeval forests," he wrote.

Archaeological finds, loans from Germany, Denmark, Poland and Romania, show that while the Germanic tribes did live in villages without a fortified road and not, like many Romans, in cities, they weren't actually living in primeval forests. Excavations have proven that in certain areas, settlements were no further than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) apart, and sometimes within sight of each other, surrounded by fields and meadows.

A digital reconstruction of a Germanic village with cultivated fields

The Ancient Romans worshiped many gods during their rule. Discover the 10 most powerful of these Roman Gods.

The assumption was that when more people are mourning the death of a person, then that person was more popular and had more status. To impress their friends and neighbors, wealthy families would hire lots of mourners to honor their dead family members.

This practice got so bad in Ancient Rome that they passed a law to prevent women from crying at funerals. The law didn’t need to address men because it was considered a public disgrace for men to cry in public².