early 14thc catholicism

I. Marc Carlson LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.edu
Mon Oct 14 07:42:48 PDT 1996

<"Donald T Carter II" <docarte at ibm.net>>
>Do any of the gentle folk involved in these correspondences have any ideas
>of where I might begin to find info regarding the practice of Roman
>Catholocism in the glorious Highlands in the early 14th C? I would welcome
>any help in this regard, either by messenger (address follows the somewhat
>amusing signature file) or in person at the Tuesday fighter practice ( look
>for the inhabitant of the green Great-Kilt).  With pre-emptive
>Gratitude,Donald mac Donald Mac Gregor

It wasn't particularly different from "Catholicism" as practiced anywhere
else in Europe at the time.  Certainly there are some reports of those 
Asiatic Heretics from Constantionple, but to just from their problems 
with the Saracen, God's letting them know who's the *real* Church....

Seriously, though, in the early 14th century there is no "Roman 
Catholicism" as we think of the term today.  "Catholic" *means* 
"universal", and therefore, the "catholic Church" means the Church that 
is Universally recognized (except in those lands that have not been 
converted to the "Right Way" yet).  That it's head is the Bishop of Rome 
is (according to doctrine) because that's the way God wanted it.

Now, having said that, I will tell you that there will be some 
differences in what is actually practiced in the different regions in 
Scotland.  There is almost always a difference between religion as 
taught by the Theologians and "popular" religion (the religion of the 
"populi", the People).  There are numerous modern examples of "popular" 
beliefs that the masses appear to believe in  [NOTE: If I offend anyone 
with these examples, please flame me by private mail so I will not be 
forced to ridicule and humiliate you publically]:  For example, There is,
not ten miles from my keyboard, a collection of the world's Ugliest
Bowling Trophies (Sometimes referred to as Oral Roberts University), which
is an example of how many people want to believe in something more 
*magical* than the boring dry simplicity of mere forgiveness and 
redemption.  Other examples include snake-handling, speaking-in-tongues,
drinking poison, and so on (BTW, I am NOT saying that they are wrong, merely
that they believe things not covered by mainstream dogma).  As these
popular beliefs move away from the mainstream, they begin to become
significantly more radical (not everyone who believes that the Endtimes
are nigh is wacko enough to build a compound, collect an armory, and commit
mass suicide, but there are *some* people...) until eventually they become
clearly something OTHER than "the Church".  It was to correct these "errors"
that "the Inquisitition" was established originally, and strengthened in the
13th Century.  BTW early 14th century, the Inquisition really had bigger
fish, primarily the Waldensians, to fry than the simple local cults, and so 
really left them alone unless they became TOO publically at variance to
accepted practices.

I suggest that you take a look at some of the histories of the Medieval Church
that are out there.  If you can't find any at your local library, let me
know and I'll see what I can find).

I. Marc Carlson, Reference Librarian    |LIB_IMC at CENTUM.UTULSA.EDU
Tulsa Community College, West Campus LRC|Sometimes known as:
Reference Tech. McFarlin Library        | Diarmuit Ui Dhuinn 
University of Tulsa, 2933 E. 6th St.    | University of Northkeep 
Tulsa, OK  74104-3123 (918) 631-3794    | Northkeepshire, Ansteorra

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