How the Cistercians Can Help Us Disentangle the Washing of the Feet

From: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2015/03

Every year, we come back to the Holy Thursday ceremony of the washing of the feet — and all the inevitable controversy that surrounds it when women are included among the group whose feet are washed, in spite of the use of the masculine word viri in the liturgical rubrics. Sadly, we seem to be living in a time where liturgy so often becomes another socio-political statement, thanks to a pervasive disregard for the wisdom of Catholic tradition and the simultaneous conviction that we ourselves are the masters and possessors of the liturgy, that we know better than our benighted forebears. Liturgy then risks turning into a declaration of our preconceptions, priorities, and politics. How many people consider themselves bound to do things the traditional way because they have a fundamental trust that this way is good, holy, wise, greater than I am, and ready to teach me spiritual lessons if I but apprentice myself to it?

I would like to suggest, however, that in regard to the Holy Thursday mandatum ceremony, we can learn a valuable lesson from the Cistercian tradition, one that could resolve even this particular dispute in a surprisingly sympathetic manner.

First, we must recognize that Our Lord’s washing of the feet has a double aspect to it, which, it seems to me, accounts for some of the confusion we have managed to introduce by not thinking through how these two aspects are related. One aspect is the washing of the apostles’ feet at their ordination and the first Mass. Here, the accent is definitely placed on the apostolic college as the kernel of the new ministerial priesthood of the new covenant. The other aspect, of course, is the washing of the feet as a symbol of serving one’s fellow man in general, even as Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Thus we have something of a paradox here: a symbolic action of universal application is nevertheless being given at a very particular event in salvation history with a very special group of men—not just any human beings, not just any male individuals, but the first priests and bishops of the Church. The Virgin Mary was holier than all of them put together, she offered her Son most perfectly the next day at the foot of the Cross, and she guided the nascent Church in profound ways we will understand only in heaven. And yet she was not called upon to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice nor to govern local churches, as the Apostles and their successors did; nor was she among the men whose feet were washed at the Last Supper. This tension in the mandatum between the universal charity symbolism and the particular apostolic/priestly symbolism makes it necessary to choose ONE or the OTHER as the prime symbol. Yet there is an assymetrical relationship between these. If you mix in the women, you are opting for the universal charity message and excluding the ordination message; whereas if you simply have men, as the rubrics specify, you are opting for a reenactment of what Christ did that evening at the first Mass, but you are not excluding the charity symbolism. After all, the very heart of the sacrifice of Christ was His burning charity for God and man, and this is the love the apostles, as His priests, are to carry into the world. In any case, the way the ceremony is done should not, as it were, garble the message so that one ends up severing the universal message from its original sacramental context.

Here is where the Cistercian tradition can be so helpful. Historically, these related but distinct aspects of the Holy Thursday washing of the feet were highlighted in analogous but still separate monastic ceremonies, as Terryl N. Kinder explains:

While many activities related to water took place in the gallery nearest the fountain, the mandatum was performed in the collation cloister. The weekly mandatum, or ritual washing of the feet, takes its name from the commandment of Jesus (John 13:34), which was also the text of an antiphon sung during the ceremony: “Mandatum novum . . .” (“A new commandment I give you . . .”). The ritual was a reminder of humility and also of charity toward one’s neighbors, whether those in the community or those outside. It was obviously inspired by Christ washing the feet of his disciples, and it was commonly practiced in the early church as a simple act of charity, recommended by Saint Paul (1 Tim. 5:10).
The community mandatum took place just before collation and Compline on Saturday afternoon, and, as specified in chapter 35 of the Rule of Saint Benedict, the weekly cooks—incoming and outgoing—performed the ceremony. The cooks who were leaving their week’s duty were responsible for heating the water in cold weather. The monks sat along the benches in this gallery, and the ritual began when the abbot (or cantor in the abbot’s absence) intoned the antiphon Postquam. After the abbot took off his shoes, the community followed, but as foot modesty was very important, the brothers were instructed to keep their bare feet covered at all times with their cowls. The senior (in monastic rank) of the two monks entering his week’s kitchen service washed the abbot’s feet first, while the junior incoming kitchen brother dried his feet; this pair continued washing and drying the feet of all the monks sitting to the left of the abbot. At the same time the senior of the cooks leaving his weekly service washed the feet of the brothers to the abbot’s right, the junior outgoing cook drying; the pair finishing first went to the other side to help. The cooks then washed their hands along with the vessels and towels, and everyone put their shoes back on before the collation reading began.
On Holy Thursday preceding Easter, this ceremony had a special form, the mandatum of the poor. The porter chose as many poor men from the guesthouse as there were monks in the monastery, and these men were seated in this cloister gallery. The monks left the church after None, the abbot leading and the community following in order of seniority, until each monk was standing in front of a guest. The monks then honored the poor men by washing, drying, and kissing their feet and giving each one a coin (denier) provided by the cellarer. Later the same afternoon, the community mandatum was held, and it, too, had a special form on this day. In imitation of Christ washing the feet of the twelve disciples, the abbot washed, dried, and kissed the feet of twelve members of the community: four monks, four novices, and four lay brothers. His assistants then performed this ceremony for the entire community, including all monks from the infirmary who were able to walk, and all lay brothers.
We see, then, that the activities carried out in the gallery parallel to the church were activities of a spiritual nature—much like those carried out in the church itself. In every case they emphasized the Christian life in community, whether directed inwardly to oneself (the collation reading) or, in the mandatum, shared among others. The weekly mandatum recalled the unity-in-charity of the monastic community; the Holy Thursday mandatum linked that community to Christ and his disciples; and the mandatum of the poor symbolized the responsibilities of the community to the world of poverty and suffering beyond the abbey walls.[1]

Could we not think of ways in which to imitate and adapt the monastic custom in its thoughtful distinction of the two aspects of the mandatum? Could there be a washing of the feet of (e.g.) prisoners or the elderly or the handicapped that was not embedded, misleadingly and acontextually, in the liturgical commemoration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday? It seems to me that we may be victims of a too limited imagination when it comes to the way the liturgy (and the rich symbols of the liturgy) can spill out into parish activities, outreach programs, or other domains of Catholic life. Are we trying to jam everything into the Mass? We will certainly end up making a mess of it, if that’s the line of thinking we are following. Whereas if we allow the powerful deeds of Christ to sink into our consciousness, we will, like the Cistercians, develop a plethora of ways to express the inexhaustible richness of the Gospel, like streams branching off of a river.

Notes

[1] Terryl N. Kinder, Cistercian Europe: Architecture of Contemplation (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans; Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 2000), 136-37. To read more about how the Cistercians at Heiligenkreuz live out this practice even today, see this article by Fr. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist.

This entry was posted in Liturgy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to How the Cistercians Can Help Us Disentangle the Washing of the Feet

  1. Maggie says:

    Holy Thursday has become all about the washing of feet in most places. Sometimes, and I have experienced this, everyone gets to wash feet and/or have feet washed amid much giggles and splashing of waters. Thus is lost the importance of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood.

  2. Ponder Anew says:

    Good post. Ditto to your comments, Maggie, and I would suppose that there would need to be changes in the Missal rubrics to have the washing relocated? Given the social justice emphasis in today’s liturgies, I don’t see it.

  3. Catherine Geldart says:

    And they don’t want politics in religion!

  4. Catherine Geldart says:

    Why can’t people take the Easter Mysteries, the most beautiful and meaningful time, seriously? The Way the Truth and the Life not a frivolous splash about! I despair!

  5. toadspittle says:

    What a monumental example of inconsequentiality at work.

    The other aspect, of course, is the washing of the feet as a symbol of serving one’s fellow man in general,”
    Why not just do it – including our fellow woman, if her feet need washing – and leave it at that?
    Not “holy” enough, I suppose.
    Thin end of the wedge, maybe? Once you start washing women’s feet, you might end up with women popes.

    “…and it was commonly practiced in the early church as a simple act of charity, recommended by Saint Paul (1 Tim. 5:10).”
    No. Just won’t do. Not complicated enough.

    Don’t talk such nonsense, Toad.

  6. johnhenrycn says:

    I agree with these comments regarding the politicization of this ceremony. I was a catechumen 10 years ago who participated in it, and I was grateful to be chosen. As it seems to be now becoming a “statement” – not a rite of passage – not sure I’d feel the same way today. But it’s not yet reached that level in my parish.

    8 years ago (March 2007), a visiting priest, Fr Eugene O’Reilly, preached a sermon at Mass in which he called the washing of feet an act of “intimacy”, meaning in-to-me-see, and as you can gather (I scurried home to write it down) it made a profound impression on me.

  7. JabbaPapa says:

    Last time this conversation was had, I seem to recall looking into the history of this ritual, and discovering that the specific instruction about “men”/”viri” is a modern innovation.

  8. toadspittle says:

    Washing someone else’s feet is a good thing.
    Brings us down to earth – literally.
    But we are talking of it here as a ritual, as Jabba points out – not a, mundane, practical, task.
    So the exclusion of women here will constitute a carefully considered, and meaningful, act of rejection.
    It seems to me.

    And.. a further thought strikes Toad.. if The Last Supper was an entirely male event, and the Mass is a re-enactment of it – shouldn’t women logically be excluded from the Mass altogether?

  9. kathleen says:

    Do you know how recent the inclusion of the word viri is into the liturgy Jabba? I have not seen this point mentioned anywhere else.

    It seems to me that the important symbolism in the act of the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday only of viri (men) can be seen clearly here as being, in the author’s words, “placed on the apostolic college as the kernel of the new ministerial priesthood of the new covenant. This surely takes priority over Our Blessed Lord’s universal call to charity and evangelisation to all men and women.

    We desperately need holy priests in the Church; let’s not look for further ways to lessen the importance of the sacrificial priesthood.

  10. toadspittle says:

    “This surely takes priority over Our Blessed Lord’s universal call to charity and evangelisation to all men and women.
    “Priority”?
    Err…OK.

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    Do you know how recent the inclusion of the word viri is into the liturgy Jabba? I have not seen this point mentioned anywhere else.

    It’s in the 1975 Missal.

    It’s in the 1965.

    It’s in the 1962.

    It’s NOT in the 1920 Missal.

    hmmmm, it’s possible it’s an innovation of the 1962 Missal. I seem to recall something like that.

  12. GC says:

    Pope Pius XII’s reforms of Holy Week in 1955, in which the mandatum was inserted into Holy Thursday Mass. Before that the mandatum, if at all, was outside of Mass.

    http://www.canonlaw.info/a_footfight.htm

  13. kathleen says:

    Thank you GC – that’s an interesting article, though I think the “suggestion” Dr. Peters makes at the end is a bit silly! Transferring the rite to the Chrism Mass would deprive the majority of people from witnessing its beautiful liturgical statement of the self-giving generosity of the priest as Persona Christi.

    Dear Toad, I had a feeling I was going to need to spell this out for you!😉
    Of course generally speaking “universal charity” is a Divine mandate for one and all, and together with all Our Blessed Lord’s teachings laid out clearly by His Mystical Body the Church, they take precedence (“priority”) over disciplinary rules the Church sees fit to make for our good.
    However here we are talking about one special act – that of the symbolism implicit within the washing of the feet during the Maundy Thursday celebration – that Jesus applied solely to the Apostles’ feet, and with this the bestowing of the Holy priesthood on these men. It goes to follow that those who take part in this ritual on this blessed day should be male; otherwise the priestly ministry emphasised in this act is made irrelevant (for women cannot ever be priests of course).

  14. GC says:

    As a layperson, dear kathleen, I would have thought that the institution of the priesthood had more to do with the gathering of the 12 disciples and the words “do this in memory of me” rather than with the foot-washing. His “new commandment” to the 12 shows above all that the apostles, their successors and the successors’ vicars (priests) were to act in complete humility and charity, as are we all. But I understand that the mandatum rite itself was never really associated with the priesthood or ministerial ordination. It was, however, associated with the baptism of neophytes during Easter.

    Still, Toad makes a good argument that the priesthood was restricted to men in his effort above at 06.44. Brilliant, Toad, for which my thanks.

    Send it off to the Chrism Mass, kathleen, which also used to be on Holy Thursday, but now generally is one or two days before it. That would get more people going for the Mass of the Oils and would make for an entirely hoof-free Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, when we can all focus on the institution of the Blessed Sacrament and the sacred priesthood.

  15. kathleen says:

    Yes GC, the “do this in memory of Me” is Our Blessed Lord’s mandate to the Apostles to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and “feed” the flock with His very own Body and Blood – a sublimely beautiful and marvellous mystery that lies at the heart of our Glorious Faith… no argument with that!😉
    Yet although this is the culmination and summit of the life of priests, our good “shepherds” do so very much more than celebrate Holy Mass in their priestly ministry (as we all know). This is why I think St. John the Evangelist, who must have already been aware of the synoptic Gospel writers’ accounts of the Last Supper, never mentions these words of Our Lord at the “First Mass”, with the Consecration of the Bread and Wine, but relates the other side the priesthood, that of the care of souls and the self-giving, obedience and humility needed (symbolised in the washing of the feet) in His priests to lead souls to Heaven. The two are linked together in the unique and precious gift of the priest: the alter Christi in the Church.

    As for the ritual of the ‘washing of the feet’ being confined to the Chrism Mass – my opinion is that this would deprive the great majority of the faithful from witnessing the lovely event. I don’t know about other parts of the world, but where I live the Chrism Mass is only celebrated in the morning at the Cathedral of the capital city of the Province, so not many could get to it. Besides, most people would want to attend the beautiful afternoon Holy Thursday celebration in their local churches (the celebration usually lasts around 2 hours here), and it would be impossible for most to be present at both.

  16. toadspittle says:

    Excellent, GC and Kathleen, but…humour poor old Toad a bit…
    “….if The Last Supper was an entirely male event, and the Mass is a re-enactment of it – shouldn’t women logically be excluded from the Mass altogether?”

    This is no doubt a deeply stupid thought on my part – but why?
    Because I can easily imagine Kathleen saying, “Of course women aren’t allowed at Mass, Toad – If Jesus had wanted women present at Mass, he’d have had women present at The Last Supper, “The First Mass,” – wouldn’t He?”
    “Just like, if He’d wanted women to be priests, he’d have picked some lady Apostles, wouldn’t he?”

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    However here we are talking about one special act – that of the symbolism implicit within the washing of the feet during the Maundy Thursday celebration – that Jesus applied solely to the Apostles’ feet, and with this the bestowing of the Holy priesthood on these men. It goes to follow that those who take part in this ritual on this blessed day should be male; otherwise the priestly ministry emphasised in this act is made irrelevant (for women cannot ever be priests of course).

    Thanks to GC for locating the precise date of the change.

    kathleen, prior to that change, the decriptions of the ritual are that either 12 priests of a Bishop could be chosen (therefore : men), or 12 “pauperes” — paupers — with no mention at all of the sex of these.

    The symbolism that you refer to is a modern 20th century innovation in any case, just as the symbolism of “the Holy Family” was a 19th century one ; albeit that the specific symbolism that you refer to in this case did and does exist when the feet of 12 priests are washed.

    But it is a bad idea, I think, to confuse the washing of the feet of 12 priests with the washing of the feet of 12 paupers.

    Oh and BTW the Chrism Mass and the Mass of the Last Supper are normally two separate Masses, and it would surely be very confusing to combine the two into one !!!

    I’ll always have a fond remembrance of the only Chrism Mass that I attended, as I was one of the Catechumens chosen to present the oils for their Consecration to the Bishop — and this remains the only Catholic Mass where an unbaptised has a properly liturgical role to play. It’s not even the case for the initiatory Masses, not even the Mass of one’s Baptism, where the actions are not a part of the Mass proper.

  18. 12 “pauperes” — paupers — with no mention at all of the sex of these.
    Interesting.
    In the Old Empire the Emperor and the Empress would wash the feet of twelve poor men and twelve women on Holy Thursday. After the pedilavium the poor were given food and money. I wonder how it related to your washing of the twelve priests (or I believe in the Pope’s case twelve bishops)?

  19. kathleen says:

    “Oh and BTW the Chrism Mass and the Mass of the Last Supper are normally two separate Masses, and it would surely be very confusing to combine the two into one !!!”

    Dear Jabba, I think most people know that these are two separate Masses. Where I am living, the Chrism Mass is celebrated in the morning up in the city’s Cathedral, and the Mass of the Last Supper is celebrated in every parish church in the afternoon. (I have just added that time lapse detail into my previous comment to make it a bit clearer.🙂 )

    How lovely that you were chosen to present the oils for the Consecration of the new Catechumens to the Bishop! Yes, I can well imagine that would have left a lasting impression on one.

    HRM – what a fascinating piece of information! It also shows the very Christian spirit of sharing with the poor the Emperor and Empress wanted to impress on their realm, as so many saintly kings and queens of bygone centuries used to do.

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    or I believe in the Pope’s case twelve bishops

    still 12 priests AFAIK

  21. geoffkiernan says:

    HWGA….. AFAIK????

  22. GC says:

    HRM: In the Old Empire the Emperor and the Empress would wash the feet of twelve poor men and twelve women on Holy Thursday..

    It says here the Spanish royals did that also, perhaps until the 1930s when they were forced to decamp, and we know what happened next.

  23. johnhenrycn says:

    HRM & GC: Can’t think of a better way for royalty to guard against the sin of pride.

  24. toadspittle says:

    “HRM & GC: Can’t think of a better way for royalty to guard against the sin of pride.”

    Well,JH – abdicating, or being guillotined, – might work equally well.

  25. Tom Fisher says:

    HRM & GC: Can’t think of a better way for royalty to guard against the sin of pride.

    Why was the Emperor playing such a role anyway? It seems like an attempt to invest the power of the monarch with some sort of religious / mystical quality, and to this ‘ere Catholic republican it doesn’t sound much like humility

  26. JabbaPapa says:

    Why was the Emperor playing such a role anyway? It seems like an attempt to invest the power of the monarch with some sort of religious / mystical quality, and to this ‘ere Catholic republican it doesn’t sound much like humility

    We covered this in the other of the two recent long and boring threads.

    There was a long-running attempt by various Christian Imperial Régimes from the early Byzantine period onwards to try and arrogate to the figure of the Emperor some attributes of religious sovereignty that properly belong, in this world, only to the Roman Pontiff. It has its origins in Pagan Rome, not only because the first Emperor Julius Caesar was the pagan pontifex maximus ; but also because certain divine attributes ended up being allocated in that religion to the person of the Emperor.

  27. GC says:

    Toad and TF: HRM & GC: Can’t think of a better way for royalty to guard against the sin of pride.

    Toad and TF, enough of your Carlist nonsense.

  28. toadspittle says:

    Yes, Tom – There is an interesting and, I think, important point here – that one plausible reason, or so I suggest, for the decline in interest (if that is the mot juste) in religion in the West, is that it is, or was, seen to be “linked,” or connected. in some fashion, to royalty and aristocracy in graphic form and symbol.
    Believers talk of “The Lord God,” and “Princes” of the Church in their lavish “palaces,” and so on, Most of which symbols on earth have been abandoned, neutralised, and generally discredited by contemporary “royals” who caper about misbehaving sexually and acting wonderfully foolishly – reduced to providing amusing and profitable fodder for Hola! and Hello! magazines and the like. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but still….
    There is, or was, an assumption – still flickering dimly in the minds of Habsburg Resuscitation Movement and a handful of others – that traditional generational heredity of power, land and influence based on a happy accident of birth is not only desirable – but actually laudable. It’s a system less worse than many others, such as “Democracy,” they say.
    They may even be right, but it’s not a generally held viewpoint. Far from it.
    “American” Christianity would appear superficially to refute this – but there Jesus is very often regarded, not as “King,” to be unquestionably obeyed, but as Best Buddy – my equal, but smarter.
    In short, Kings and Queens are firmly out of fashion, except on playing cards.

    If this “analysis” is accurate, it’s difficult to see what to do about it all, at this stage. Boring, anyway, Toad.

  29. Tom Fisher says:

    We covered this in the other of the two recent long and boring threads.

    Granted, Jabba. And I would rather concentrate on the Faith that we share than our comparatively minor differences about political legitimacy.

    I think the recent comment from Toad, time-tagged 07:37, is very astute.

  30. Tom Fisher says:

    Jabba,

    I simply don’t believe in, or respect, hereditary Office. And I appreciate that you probably regard me as a Philistine. But I’m yet to be convinced by any claim to an hereditary right to rule.

    Toad and TF, enough of your Carlist nonsense.

    Oh ok G.C, but only because you’re charming

  31. toadspittle says:

    Hadn’t considered myself as a “Carlist,”* before.
    Must look into it.

    * Nor a “Camillaist.”

  32. JabbaPapa says:

    I simply don’t believe in, or respect, hereditary Office. And I appreciate that you probably regard me as a Philistine. But I’m yet to be convinced by any claim to an hereditary right to rule.

    You keep on saying this as if it were relevant — but nobody who defends the classic Catholic Monarchical model is defending any strictly hereditary “right to rule”, given that the model in question is based on a feudal system where the heir apparent’s coronation was subjected to the approval of the Council of his or her Peers.

  33. toadspittle says:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/18/us/gallery/charles-camilla-us-tour/index.html
    Carlist? Nope. Not Toad.
    …Fond as he is of the young thooleramawn.
    But neither is Toad a C. S. Lewisist, or a Lady Gagaist.
    …Possibly a Kathleenist.

  34. GC says:

    Recent accounts from Spain report that over 70% of the population view their monarchy favourably, even though it is in the Alfonsine line. Sorry Toad and TF. That’s just the way it is.

  35. Robert says:

    Our Lord came to fulfil the Law (Old Testament). So in the line of Tradition of the priesthood in the Mosaic ritual were there any woman priests? We have the mystery of the Presentation before Us with a Holy priest (Man) and Holy Woman in the Temple (Jerusalem). The Apostles understood of course the priesthood (because of the Mosaic tradition).
    What nonsense that attempts to create a Tradition that excludes the Old Dispensation. Consider God man Man and Woman (The two become one flesh therefor washing the Man’s feet is washing the woman’s feet).

  36. Not to start another long and boring thread. but…
    to try and arrogate to the figure of the Emperor some attributes of religious sovereignty that properly belong, in this world, only to the Roman Pontiff.
    The HR Emperor was a cleric, and therefore entitled to some of the privileges of clerics, while dispensed from some of the obligations of clerics (i.e. celibacy). Other privileges were given the office by the various Popes, who believed in it firmly even when emperors like Frederick II (who died deposed) rose against them.
    that traditional generational heredity of power, land and influence based on a happy accident of birth is not only desirable – but actually laudable. It’s a system less worse than many others, such as “Democracy,” they say.
    Nothing is more democratic than the truth that everyone is equal when they are born, and it is certainly more democratic to be ruled by a born King than to suffer the Tyranny of Talent. And as I have already said, the hereditary principle is in the very nature of Man.

    nobody who defends the classic Catholic Monarchical model is defending any strictly hereditary “right to rule”, given that the model in question is based on a feudal system where the heir apparent’s coronation was subjected to the approval of the Council of his or her Peers.
    QFT

    Let us remember this Lent, that when Our Lord Christ of the Royal Lineage of David comes again in Glory and Majesty, HE comes to be your Judge and King, not your buddy.

    AEIOV CV*CR*CI

  37. “the first Emperor Julius Caesar was the pagan pontifex maximus”
    Julius Caesar was neither emperor nor pontifex, which by the way was a political office (something like magistrate of sacrifices) first applied to the Pope as term of abuse by Tertullian.
    A better candidate for the origins would be Constantine the Great, who considered himself the Defender and Enforcer of Orthodox Catholic Doctrine. Only in the deposed and schismatic Byzantine Empire was this ever (successfully) taken to extremes.

    AEIOV CV*CR*CI

  38. Brother Burrito says:

    Better the devil-chip-off-the-old-block-you-know than the one you don’t, I suppose.

    Who chooses the Peers who approve the heir??

    Whatever the system of government, it is how it can be unfairly gamed that matters.

    I remember thinking that the only totally secure governance system would be a “nemocracy”, ie nobody is in charge, but then I realised I had become an anarchist, though a Catholic one at that.

    Churchill called democracy the least-worst option. I see what he meant.

  39. johnhenrycn says:

    “…democracy the least-worst option.”

    Churchill, great man, was probably right. But what about a limited franchise? I remember there being one or two rural townships around where I used to live in which you or your spouse had to own land worth at least “X” dollars in order to vote in municipal elections. One problem with the universal franchise is that the poor will always vote for whoever promises the most freebies. Look at Greece and Venezuela.

  40. Brother Burrito says:

    There’s a good example of unfair gaming. Those who preferentially garner the votes of the poor will end up harming the richer, which is bad for everyone, ultimately.

    The solution to poverty is to make it desirable, voluntary, liberating. St Francis understood this. He didn’t envy riches, he just wished the rich could be as wealthy as he.

    I keep banging on about this* but the slogan shouldn’t be “Make poverty history!” but instead “Make poverty voluntary!”

    *Darn it I’ve just perforated my bodhrán.

  41. johnhenrycn says:

    Excellent point, BB. I wonder what Adrian Meades (in the Lake District) thinks about all of this?

  42. Brother Burrito says:

    I wonder if Adrian monitors any other threads here. He isn’t in the Lake District btw.

  43. toadspittle says:

    No need to be sorry on Toad’s account, GC @ 11.07. (Can’t speak for Tom.)
    I’m quite fond of all European royal families – including the dingbats of Monaco, and particularly the Spanish lot. They’ve been good to me.
    And Juan Carlos did a very fine thing in 1975, issuing in democracy after Franco died – and again in 1981, telling the fascists where to go.
    And his son is very tall.
    Yes, we like generally them well enough, in Spain. As longs as they don’t get too silly.

  44. johnhenrycn says:

    BB: Adrian seems to have several separate IP addresses tied to where he happens to be commenting from at any particular time, which is why I picked a possible one at random, but he may be nearer to John O’ Groats this evening for all I know, God bless him wherever.

  45. JabbaPapa says:

    Recent accounts from Spain report that over 70% of the population view their monarchy favourably

    Our own Catholic Monarch has approval ratings from both his subjects and the simple residents of about 97% or thereabouts …

  46. JabbaPapa says:

    HRM : The HR Emperor was a cleric, and therefore entitled to some of the privileges of clerics

    Correct — and the same was true (and may once again be true, God willing) of a properly anointed and pontifically recognised Catholic King.

    This is however an insufficient provision of the Sacrament of Holy Orders to justify any attempts to boss it over the Roman Pontiff in matters of any specifically religious Sovereignty. It’s actually heretical to justify such attempts in the form of a doctrine, though the details of this are even more extremely boring than the whole of the two previous threads LOL

  47. JabbaPapa says:

    BB: Adrian seems to have several separate IP addresses tied to where he happens to be commenting from at any particular time

    Yes well we’ve all seen that sort of behaviour before.

    He’s using an IP anonymiser.

    It simply suggests that “Adrian” is the latest tedious sockpuppet of the Usual Suspect anti-catholic trolling monomaniac.

    The only non-random location we’ve ever traced him to was in the Oxford suburbs — but it was a public garden, and anyway it’s well — Oxford ; therefore a somewhat meaningless trace.

    If he returns and starts ranting about Stockport, well, …

    Thing is, we’ve most of us become so inured to his “conversational” “gambits” that we now just slam them down near-automatically, and then ignore him.

  48. Tom Fisher says:

    Sorry Toad and TF. That’s just the way it is.

    Fair enough GC! I don’t want to derail the thread so I’ll drop the monarchy thing. (for a while🙂 )

    BB: Adrian seems to have several separate IP addresses tied to where he happens to be commenting from at any particular time

    I’m a bit of a technophobe, so I have very little idea as to what that means. Is he doing something sinister?

  49. Correct — and the same was true (and may once again be true, God willing) of a properly anointed and pontifically recognised Catholic King.
    This is however an insufficient provision of the Sacrament of Holy Orders to justify any attempts to boss it over the Roman Pontiff in matters of any specifically religious Sovereignty.

    I am in complete agreement with this statement (well almost; the HRE was actually ordained a deacon), and with any luck this aspect of the thread ends right about- here->.

  50. johnhenrycn says:

    Tom Fisher: I don’t really think Adrian is doing something sinister. I use the term “IP” address loosely. Can one not have several usernames through the same IP address? I’m sure that’s possible. But when Adrian posts a comment, whether it be from “in town” or “in the country” or wherever, at least I feel comfortable that it’s from one and the same atheist.

  51. geoffkiernan says:

    HRM at 1527… AEIOVCVCRCI……. WTHDTM….

  52. geoffkiernan says:

    There should be a ? after WTHDTM

  53. Tom Fisher says:

    Geoff!

    I presume WTHDTM means what the hell does that mean?

  54. toadspittle says:

    1: If we have to ask what acronyms (are they acronyms? Dunno.) such as GSYHIABODP and suchlike mean – they are worthless, and pointless. (IMAO)

    2: It simply suggests that “Adrian” is the latest tedious sockpuppet of the Usual Suspect anti-catholic trolling monomaniac. No doesn’t. And he’s not. He’s just young and still curious. He’ll get over it. Yes, we know it killed the cat, but where would we be if Eve hadn’t been curious? Still in The Garden of Eden and stark naked, I suppose.

  55. Tom Fisher says:

    One problem with the universal franchise is that the poor will always vote for whoever promises the most freebies. Look at Greece and Venezuela

    I’m not convinced that’s actually true Johnhenry. In the United States a plurality of the poor vote for the Republican Party, despite the fact that has an agenda diametrically opposed to their interests. Most poor people who vote for the Republican Party (and there are many) do so under the illusion that it shares their religious values, and patriotic sentiments. Certainly not because of ‘freebies’. Such that there are people who get ‘freebies’ from politics, they are generally very rich to begin with.

  56. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom at 6.49. Got it in one….. I still don’t know what AEIOVCVRCI means. Do you?

  57. Tom Fisher says:

    Yes, HRM is (as the name suggests!) very old school, he’s saying: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat

  58. GC says:

    Toad: I’m quite fond of all European royal families – including the dingbats of Monaco, and particularly the Spanish lot. They’ve been good to me.

    You mean, more sport for Toad, ey what?

    You know the written word for “country” these days in Chinese is more or less the written word for “king” surrounded by borders. That’s a little bit inaccurate, but in principle I am right. The word looks like this when written 国. If you look around the world you will see that nearly every country is a country largely because it had a king – or vice versa – at some stage (or some other country’s king – like the country I am in), or still has one, or maybe even a queen, a prince (emir?) or a grand duke.

    “Monarch” and “country” seem almost synonymous, historically speaking anyway. Even presidents of republics live in former royal palaces and enjoy many of the accoutrements of royalty.

  59. Tom Fisher says:

    Even presidents of republics live in former royal palaces and enjoy many of the accoutrements.

    Not in the Irish Republic

  60. GC says:

    Áras an Uachtaráin is the former residence of the British viceroy.

  61. Tom Fisher says:

    Quite right, hardly a Royal Palace!

  62. Tom Fisher says:

    If you look around the world you will see that nearly every country is a country largely because it had a king – or vice versa – at some stage (or some other country’s king – like the country I am in). or still has one, or maybe even a queen, a prince or a grand duke.

    Thankfully there are exceptions, such as Iceland, whose subjection to a Monarch came late in its history. But what significance do you imagine the historical existence of Kingship to have? I doubt there are many ‘countries’ that have never been burdened by shamans or witch-doctors, but thankfully we are largely rid of them. As far back as the 1380’s people in England were already pointing out how utterly fatuous the claims of Kingship were.

  63. GC says:

    Þorsteinn Ingólfsson (“son of the kingly wolf”) was the major chieftain of Iceland and set up the Thing, that elected the king or chieftain. “Elected”, my foot.

  64. JabbaPapa says:

    Interestingly, when Her Majesty is on an Official visit to France, she is always provided with an Apartment in the Louvres Palace.

  65. JabbaPapa says:

    As far back as the 1380’s people in England were already pointing out how utterly fatuous the claims of Kingship were.

  66. JabbaPapa says:

    HRM : Julius Caesar was neither emperor nor pontifex, which by the way was a political office

    Sorry, but this statement is just as silly as it is false.

    Caesar was Imperator of the Roman Legions, as were all of his successors.

    As for “not being pontifex”, and the “office” of pontifex being “just political”, you’re making an extraordinarily false claim.

    The pagan pontifexes were an order of the Roman priesthood, and Julius Caesar was not merely one of these, but he was the chief priest of that order. Yes, they also had some civic and therefore political responsibilities, but their purpose as priests was to appease the river “gods” and “goddesses” and to establish whether or not a projected bridge over one of these rivers was acceptable to these entities, and to perform the rituals to ensure that continued use of these bridges was permissible.

    This is not unrelated BTW to the fact that as both Imperator and High Pontifex, Caesar was able to convince his Legions to cross the Rubicon — which was as much a religious act as a military and political one.

    Have you been drinking the Kool-Aid of 1970s secularist revisionism ?

  67. kathleen says:

    Strange how everyone seems to think that the troll commenter, Adrian, is simply an immature “youngster”, when in fact he is a middle-aged man in his forties!! However, given the content of Adrian’s repetitive questions and remarks, this is an understandable error.😉
    ________

    Back to the original topic of this article, I found this on the NLM blog on the question. It is from a commenter quoting the words of a letter he received from the ‘Congregation for Divine Worship’. It clarifies why the use of the word viri “men” (not “women”) are those chosen at the washing of the feet ceremony during the Holy Thursday celebration of the Last Supper:

    “According to the Missale Romanum (teria editio typica 2002), Feria V in Cena Domini, Ad Missam vespertinam, no. 11, the washing of feet is reserved to “chosen men” (viri selecti), that is male persons. This is also stated in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum (editio typica 1984, reimpressio 1995), no. 301. This Dicastery considers this legislation clear and wishes to add nothing further.”

  68. GC says:

    Dear kathleen, know you not that those of 40-or-so years are the “new young” (in fact, they try to look younger than 40 with trips to the face-masseurs and hair-colourists)? They’ve got 50 years to go, whereas that was the outlook of the mere 20-or-sos in ye recente oldene dayes.

    To get back to the topic, as you say, I hope this may assist, the mandatum novum do vobis , which the composer calls a troparion, like the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics. He uses a frequent Slavic Eastern chant tone for the Gospel verses, which we Western Catholics can somehow effortlessly recognise, accept and treasure. The Gospel verses, the music together with the art are just the thing.

    Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos.

    A new commandment I give you: that you love one another as I have loved you.

  69. kathleen says:

    Absolutely lovely GC. What a treasure you are – really!🙂

    Surely someone in their forties is ‘middle-aged’, don’t you think? We can’t be expected to live much more than 90 something (i.e. 45 X 2 = 90), surely? I must admit though to knowing a grand old lady, with all her wits about her, who is well over a 100 years old !! She’s the mother-in-law of one of my sisters.

  70. toadspittle says:

    “…A new commandment I give you: that you love one another as I have loved you.”
    …Regardless as to whether you are as “well born” as St Francis de Sales, or not.

    “..everyone seems to think that the troll commenter, Adrian, is simply an immature “youngster”, when in fact he is a middle-aged man in his forties!!
    As always, Kathleen, Toad* unquestioningly takes your word for it – but how do you personally know that? Is there something “funny” going on here?

    * a middle-aged child in his seventies.

  71. kathleen says:

    Nothing “funny” Toad – simply inside information.😉

    OK, I’ll tell you how I know.
    At some point last year when we were undergoing one of our “Adrian ordeals” (all to do with differences between human beings and animals, if I remember rightly), our old commenter Michael Kenny, who had been the main one trying to sort out Adrian’s confusion, kindly thought of relieving CP&S a lot of tedium by having a private session of e-mails with him to try to explain the issue. In the course of that long (and futile, I might add) discussion, Adrian told Michael that he was 40 something years old! I remember Michael passed that information onto me.🙂

    P.S. My sister’s 100+ year old mother-in-law (easily old enough to be my granny… and your mother😉 ) puts her long life down to a joyful disposition, at peace with God and all men! Interesting, huh?

  72. GC says:

    kathleen, as ever you are such a kind, encouraging soul.

    Over here, lots of the 40-somethings are all off to the daily gym, the weekly wrinkle-therapists and the fortnightly salon. They’re convinced they are still “youngish” and that the stats bear this out. My 50-something (Chinese) favourite restauranteur is even doing it and keeps telling his patrons that he is much too fat for his age.

    My young brother’s grandmother-in-law died not that long ago at 103, not a bad effort here at all. She was a retired teacher, a daily Mass-goer and was wonderfully looked after by her Eurasian children, who mostly died before she did.

    At family dinners, she would always want to tell a different story that she made up and then asked us to tell one too. The ensuing general embarrassed silence didn’t seem to disappoint her that much. Because she was born of English parents here when King Edward VII was the sovereign, she even received one of those telegrams (or whatever it was) from Mrs Windsor on her hundredth birthday.

  73. JabbaPapa,
    Caesar was Imperator of the Roman Legions, as were all of his successors.
    As for “not being pontifex”, and the “office” of pontifex being “just political”, you’re making an extraordinarily false claim.

    I retract my previous statement (thanks to your correction). It seems my research was incomplete. And I never stated that the Pontifex was merely political, just that it was also a political office. This Wikipedia quote puts it concisely: “The Pontifex was not simply a priest. He had both political and religious authority. It is not clear which of the two came first or had the most importance. In practice, particularly during the late Republic, the office of Pontifex Maximus was generally held by a member of a politically prominent family. It was a coveted position mainly for the great prestige it conferred on the holder; Julius Caesar became pontifex in 73 BC and pontifex maximus in 63 BC(this is what Jabba was able to correct me on).”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontifex_Maximus
    And while Julius Caesar was Imperator, he was neither Augustus nor Princeps, the office we moderns usually associate with the Roman Imperium.

    AVSTRIA EST IMPERARE ORBI VNIVERSO
    CHRISTVS VINCIT*CHRISTVS REGNAT*CHRISTVS IMPERAT

  74. johnhenrycn says:

    AVSTRIA EST IMPERARE ORBI VNIVERSO
    …or A.E.I.O.U. as Frederick lll (the Peaceful) used to insist be hand printed by Cistercian monks on each detachable sheet of hemp supplied to the royal privies. I mean really, the use of Latin tags and acronyms on this blog is getting out of hand, not to mention our dear Austrian friend is getting above his station. All The World Is Subject To Austria? You might make good strudel, HRM, but please get a grip.

  75. not to mention our dear Austrian friend is getting above his station.
    Hardly, if you are referring to Kaiser Frederick, as his office was Commander(Imperator as Jabba would say) of Christendom, which is to be spread to the ends of the Earth. But getting back to the main post…
    AEIOV CV*CR*CI

  76. toadspittle says:

    “P.S. My sister’s 100+ year old mother-in-law (easily old enough to be my granny… and your mother😉 ) puts her long life down to a joyful disposition, at peace with God and all men! Interesting, huh?”

    Kathleen: Interesting about Adrian, thanks. Yes, he’s only a nipper, after all. A mere 40-odd.
    Also about the above age-virtue-link issue.
    I shall have to ruthlessly moderate my own joyful and peaceful disposition, or be in danger of living to a great age myself, like Picasso (93) and Bertrand Russell (97), and your sister’s mother-in law. Being “well-born,” as in Russell’s case, probably helps – “good blood,” and all that, eh, GC? Doesn’t really explain Picasso though, or Dolores Ibarruri (93), or Irving Berlin (101).
    Doesn’t explain Keats (26) or Mozart (35), either.

    I’m reminded of the optimist who told the pessimist, “Science has proved(!!!) that optimists can expect to live twenty years longer than pessimists.” “Serves them bloody well right,” replied the pessimist.

  77. Tom Fisher says:

    Hardly, if you are referring to Kaiser Frederick, as his office was Commander(Imperator as Jabba would say) of Christendom, which is to be spread to the ends of the Earth.

    What do you mean by ‘Christendom’ in this context?

  78. GC says:

    Toad: I shall have to ruthlessly moderate my own joyful and peaceful disposition, or be in danger of living to a great age myself, like Picasso (93) and Bertrand Russell (97).

    And on no account become a nun or an emeritus bishop, Toad.

  79. toadspittle says:

    Tried to become a nun, once. Failed the medical.
    Failed the bishop exam, too. Not fat enough.

    Stop telling silly lies, Toad – you know you passed both physicals. Then failed the mentals.
    Quite right, too.

  80. What do you mean by ‘Christendom’ in this context?
    Christendom is the temporal and culture sphere of Catholicity, as opposed to the spiritual, a uniquely Catholic Culture with the Pope as its supreme head, and the Emperor is its temporal and military head. To separate Catholicism and Christendom is to severely maim Catholicism, and leave it without a political, cultural, and military defender.

  81. johnhenrycn says:

    HRM (00:23)
    “Words, words, mere words…”, as the Bard once said in one of his problem plays. As for me, I’ve got this problem figuring out your sub-agenda, although I think your main one is a respectable and Catholic one.

  82. Tom Fisher says:

    Christendom is the temporal and culture sphere of Catholicity, as opposed to the spiritual, a uniquely Catholic Culture with the Pope as its supreme head, and the Emperor is its temporal and military head. To separate Catholicism and Christendom is to severely maim Catholicism, and leave it without a political, cultural, and military defender.

    So in your view; the believers should be united under one supra-national state, subject to the Law of God, and with nonbelievers extended toleration provided that they didn’t offend God’s Law. Individual believers should presumably work towards the establishment of such a polity, and their struggle for this should take precedence over their loyalty to the unbelieving and atheistic governments they live under.

    Would that be a fair summing up of your view?

  83. Would that be a fair summing up of your view?
    Yes, it would, save that firstly I am not advocating any kind of overthrow (especially not a violent one) of any existing state, at least for the present, and secondly I would hesitate to call Christendom a supra-national state, but rather a culture encompassing all Catholic national states (and by extension all Catholics) in accordance with the principle of Subsidiarity, with the Holy Roman Imperium as its highest temporal authority.

    By the way, I am now posting as the Hapsburg Restorationist. Don’t worry (or rejoice), the Movement still exists.

  84. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, there you go: HRM is a closet Muslim according to Tom Fisher’s loose interpretation of HRM’s ‘thought’. I don’t agree. With either of them. But HRM’s last comment (00:23) is especially vexatious, suggesting as it does that bullsh** baffles brains, because said comment is so amorphous that it could have been written by the likes of Schillebeeckx (RIP).

  85. Tom Fisher says:

    HRM is a closet Muslim according to Tom Fisher’s loose interpretation of HRM’s ‘thought’.

    Of course he’s not a Muslim, he’s a supporter of Theocratic government. The most energetic proponents of which (Currently) are Islamists. You will note that as a matter of cold fact the reasoning which makes a unified Catholic Empire appealing to HRM is very similar to the reasoning used by advocates of a Caliphate, if you pay attention to what they say.

    There is a symmetry between the forlorn desire for a dead Empire, and the forlorn nostalgia for a dead Caliphate

  86. There is a symmetry between the forlorn desire for a dead Empire, and the forlorn nostalgia for a dead Caliphate
    The empire may be dead, but ask ISIS if the Caliphate is.

  87. Tom Fisher says:

    You will remember Johnhenry, the old trope about how minorities were better off under the old Imperial regime than the nation states which followed (and it’s not without some truth of course. But the problem is that toleration becomes a matter of beneficence granted to Jews etc. Rather than their right to religious and intellectual freedom being fundamentally prior to the claims of a religious government.

    Anjem Choudary makes a similar claim which is a perfect mirror image of HRM’s: As an example, Andalusia (Spain today) had the sharia implemented over it for some 800 years, where the Muslims, Christians and Jews were able to live side by side with their rights fulfilled and safety and security guaranteed. It was under this Islamic rule that much of the works of ancient scholars and religious texts were translated into modern languages and the things that we all take for granted, such as pavements, street lights, libraries, hospitals, running water etc. were introduced into the heart of Europe.

  88. johnhenrycn says:

    TF: didn’t I say you were accusing him of being a closet Muslim? That’s exactly your metaphorical implication at 03:37, since confirmed by your comment at 04:34.

    “Of course he’s not a Muslim” you say, much like I might say: “Of course Al Jolson wasn’t a negro” (even though he looked like one and acted like one), which is what you’re saying about our Hapsburg wannabee, “if you pay attention to what [you] say.” Metaphorically “of course”.

  89. Tom Fisher says:

    No Johnhenry, that would be to miss the point of what I’m saying. HRM is a Catholic, not a Muslim. My point is that the desire to revive a supra-national Catholic polity in Europe, or a supra-national Muslim Caliphate, are simply to different versions of the same theocratic beast, and the supporters of each use remarkably similar concepts in arguing their cause.

    I’m saying it’s the mirror image of political Islam, I’m not saying he’s a Muslim.

  90. Tom Fisher says:

    *two different… of course, typo.

  91. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh dear, Tom is so much quicker replying than I am. Our comments get mixed up. No matter. Deep down – deep down under, that is – he gives as much thought to his comments as I do to mine, and I will defend to some extent his right to think. Until next time, Tom Fisher.

  92. Tom Fisher says:

    Islam is the Ape of Christianity

    I have no fondness for Islam, any more than I have fondness for theocracy. But it remains the case that your Quixotic quest to revive a dead Catholic polity in Europe is not as different as you might like to think from the Islamic nostalgia for a Caliphate.

  93. Tom Fisher says:

    It is not a “supra-national state,” but a unifying Culture encompassing many states in accordance with the Catholic principle of Subsidiarity, having the Holy Roman Imperium as its highest temporal authority.

    And how will you bring about the submission of those states to the temporal authority of an Emperor?

  94. Tom Fisher says:

    By the way, I am now posting as the Hapsburg Restorationist. Don’t worry (or rejoice), the Movement still exists.

    Hapsburg Restorationalist,

    You’re clearly an intelligent and well informed person. And in a world where many people stand for nothing whatsoever, at least you stand for something

    I think you’re barking mad, but don’t be offended, it’s better to be mad than boring. I wish your blog (and upcoming books?) every success, and also live in confident hope of the failure of your cause.

    https://thewarforchristendom.wordpress.com/

  95. toadspittle says:

    So, Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, and Holland, etc. are not part of “Christendom” any more. OK.

    It’s true that Andalusia was probably the least horrible place to live in Europe when The Moors, ran things, certainly in Cordoba.
    But Christians and Jews had to pay over the odds for the privilege with extra taxes and restrictions.
    But, yes, it is highly ironic today. Swings and pendulums.

    And I’m quite prepared to believe the Habsburgs were much less intolerant of Jews than were the Nazis.

    Put your clocks forward! Immediately!

  96. JabbaPapa says:

    Christendom is the temporal and culture sphere of Catholicity, as opposed to the spiritual, a uniquely Catholic Culture with the Pope as its supreme head, and the Emperor is its temporal and military head.

    This definition is historically false, as the old Catholic Christian Kingdoms most certainly belonged to Christendom, with no need for any subjugation to any Empire.

  97. Tom Fisher says:

    Put your clocks forward! Immediately!

    I’m jealous Toad! Down here the long evenings are almost over, and sitting outside in the evening for a few glasses of wine just isn’t the same when you need a torch and a rain-coat. Planning to be in the UK for a month in June / July though. I’m sure the English summer will be as disappointing as ever.

  98. This definition is historically false, as the old Catholic Christian Kingdoms most certainly belonged to Christendom, with no need for any subjugation to any Empire.
    In what sense do you mean this? In Medieval Christendom, the kings looked to the Emperor as primus inter pares, and often times the Emperor would mediate disputes between secular authorities and the Papacy (when he was not the cause of that dispute). The Emperor was indeed the highest authorirty, yet he did (and even could) interfere unecessarily with local affairs of kings, according to the principle of subsidiarity.*
    And how will you bring about the submission of those states to the temporal authority of an Emperor?
    The heads of state of the individual countries would swear loyalty to the Restored Emperor and to the Pope, being informed by there Catholic religion and history to do so.

    (*Thus started another long and “boring” thread)

  99. JabbaPapa says:

    In Medieval Christendom, the kings looked to the Emperor as primus inter pares, and often times the Emperor would mediate disputes between secular authorities and the Papacy (when he was not the cause of that dispute). The Emperor was indeed the highest authorirty, yet he did (and even could) interfere unecessarily with local affairs of kings, according to the principle of subsidiarity.*

    I have never read anything about mediaeval France or England or Spain to support this notion, except for the Carolingian and immediate post-Carolingian period in some parts of northern France.

    Indeed the notion that England after the Norman Conquest or England and France during the Hundred Years War had their disputes “mediated” by the Emperor would seem to be completely unreasonable.

  100. Indeed the notion that England after the Norman Conquest or England and France during the Hundred Years War had their disputes “mediated” by the Emperor would seem to be completely unreasonable.
    Not only is it reasonable, but an Englishman named Richard of Cornwall (son of the ever infamous King John) was actually elect Holy Roman Emporer (but never crowned). And it was HRE Sigismund who called the Council of Constance in order to end the Great Western Schism.

    But there is a narrower sense in which Christendom stands for a polity as well as a religion, for a nation as well as for a people. Christendom in this sense was an ideal which inspired and dignified many centuries of history and which has not yet altogether lost its power over the minds of men. Catholic Encyclopedia: “Christendom”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s