Jewish converts penetrated to Christianity, where they could exact their revenge. Jewish Kabbalists became Christian Kabbalists. Luther established Protestantism, creating a schism that permanently removed large sections of Christian Europe from Catholic Control. Rosicrucians cultivated the career of the foremost false prophet and Jewish apostate:
Tensions between Pope Innocent III and secular rulers ran high, as the pontiff exerted control over their temporal counterparts in the west and vice versa. The pontificate of Innocent III is considered the height of temporal power of the papacy.
The Corpus Christianum described the then-current notion of the community of all Christians united under the Roman Catholic Church. The community was to be guided by Christian values in its politics, economics and social life. This caused Christianity to become important to the Byzantine identity.
Before the East—West Schism which divided the Church religiously, there had been the notion of a universal Christendom that included the East and the West. After the East—West Schism, hopes of regaining religious unity with the West were ended by the Fourth Crusadewhen Crusaders conquered the Byzantine capital of Constantinople and hastened the decline of the Byzantine Empire on the path to its destruction.
The popes, formally just the bishops of Rome, claimed to be the focus of all Christendom, which was largely recognised in Western Christendom from the 11th century until the Reformation, but not in Eastern Christendom.
Known as the Western Schismwestern Christendom was a split between three men, who were driven by politics rather than any real theological disagreement for simultaneously claiming to be the true pope.
The Avignon Papacy developed a reputation of corruption that estranged major parts of Western Christendom. The Avignon schism was ended by the Council of Constance.
Some Protestant movements grew up along lines of mysticism or renaissance humanism cf. The Catholic Church fell partly into general neglect under the Renaissance Popes, whose inability to govern the Church by showing personal example of high moral standards set the climate for what would ultimately become the Protestant Reformation.
To safeguard Rome and the connected Papal States the popes became necessarily involved in temporal matters, even leading armies, as the great patron of arts Pope Julius II did. It during these intermediate times popes strove to make Rome the capital of Christendom while projecting it, through art, architecture, and literature, as the center of a Golden Age of unity, order, and peace.
McGinness described Rome as essential in understanding the legacy the Church and its representatives encapsulated best by The Eternal City: No other city in Europe matches Rome in its traditions, history, legacies, and influence in the Western world. Rome in the Renaissance under the papacy not only acted as guardian and transmitter of these elements stemming from the Roman Empire but also assumed the role as artificer and interpreter of its myths and meanings for the peoples of Europe from the Middle Ages to modern times Under the patronage of the popes, whose wealth and income were exceeded only by their ambitions, the city became a cultural center for master architects, sculptors, musicians, painters, and artisans of every kind In its myth and message, Rome had become the sacred city of the popes, the prime symbol of a triumphant Catholicism, the center of orthodox Christianity, a new Jerusalem.
Pope Julius II for example was not only an effective secular leader in military affairs, a deviously effective politician but foremost one of the greatest patron of the Renaissance period and person who also encouraged open criticism from noted humanists.
George Santayana in his work The Life of Reason postulated the tenets of the all encompassing order the Church had brought and as the repository of the legacy of classical antiquity: There are scattered about a variety of churches, industries, academies, and governments.
But the universal order once dreamt of and nominally almost established, the empire of universal peace, all-permeating rational art, and philosophical worship, is mentioned no more.
An unformulated conception, the prerational ethics of private privilege and national unity, fills the background of men's minds. It represents feudal traditions rather than the tendency really involved in contemporary industry, science, or philanthropy.
Those dark ages, from which our political practice is derived, had a political theory which we should do well to study; for their theory about a universal empire and a catholic church was in turn the echo of a former age of reason, when a few men conscious of ruling the world had for a moment sought to survey it as a whole and to rule it justly.
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