& The Church of Rome Celtic Church
King Daithi held the seat in
Tara about 407 A.D. Daithi was a
great warrior. He marched into
and defeated the King of the Picts (or Scotts). He marched all through Scotland and at
some point probably captured young Patrick. England
In AD 431, Pope Celestine sent Bishop Palladius, a Roman, to Waterford/Wexford. This area was already occupied by some Christians.
The Pope feared that the Irish may be influenced by a British missionary named Pelagius. This missionary was condemned as a heretic by the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. Pelagius taught the soul had free choice and free will, not predestination. Today predestination is not a church precept.
In 432, Pope Celestine sent Patrick back to
no longer a captive, but a bishop. From the beginning and for another 200
years, the Ireland had an individual Celtic flavor,
rather than a universal Roman Order. St Patrick was a robust, energetic man
about 45, roughly dressed, not adorned in long robes. He experienced Brehon law
rather than Roman law. Irish Church
There were many factors that missionaries Palladius and Patrick encountered that made their objective difficult, such as Pelagianism, traces of the Arian heresy, Paganism & sun worship.
The next pope, Sixtus
III, fearing that Patrick
was too close to the Celtic tradition, summoned him to . Patrick continued to ignore the order
and the matter was quietly dropped by Rome . Rome
The Papal desire to Romanize the Celtic church would continue indefinitely, culminating 700 years later, AD 1155, with the laudabiliter and the Norman conquest of
1169. Like the military and political situation, it can be seen then, that the
evangelization of Ireland
was never a smooth, easy transition, but riven with dispute, rancor and even
Papal intrigue. Ireland
was continuously wary of the Celtic church and wanted it to conform to the
universal order. The widespread gains of Celtic missionaries in Sea of Rome and
half of Scotland
alarmed the pro-Augustine, Orthodox Roman church. In AD664, the Irish bishop,
St Colman, was ordered to attend a meeting at England in Whitby Yorkshire,
where he was compelled to accept Roman church customs in liturgy, feast-dates,
texts, dress and tonsure etc.
During the six centuries of the barbarian Dark Ages, following the fall of the
Roman Empire, became a beacon of the
Christian church in Ireland Europe, the golden age of
culture, art and scholarship. A leading figure of this pre-Renaissance
enlightenment was Johannes Scotus or John Scot, the Irish philosopher from the
Co. Down area of today(AD800-77); not to be confused with the anti-Aquinas
namesake of the 13th century(“Scotus” can also mean “Dark”).
This 9th Century scholar supported the pro-Pelagian and anti-Augustinian line on free will etc., at the court of King Charles in
, as resident philosopher. He reasoned
also, that Hell was not an eternal punishment, since sin and therefore its
punishment, was finite. Paris
Therefore, the Devil himself would eventually be saved, leaving good and Heaven as the only entity. Pope Honarius
Scotus’s great work DeNatura to be burned. But some copies have survived. He
himself was protected by the King.
His image was used on the Irish five-punt note in recent time. It would seem that while correctly advocating free will and choice, he erred in assuming that Satan would choose to repent and be saved. Out of Hell there is no redemption, because the wicked hate God. God, in allowing choice and free will, does not then condemn the wicked; rather the wicked freely choose to be separate, forever, from God, thus Hell; evil is their eternal delight, the terrible paradox of free will and choice.
Henry II of
and called the Council of Winchester in 1155 for this purpose, knowing the
Pope’s desire to “civilize” Ireland
and regulate church practice there. Henry then sent an envoy to Pope Adrian IV,
an Englishman (Nicholas Brakespear), a son of a priest (no clerical marriage
ban then). In 1156 the Pope granted Henry the papal bull laudabiliter,
permission to invade Ireland . Ireland
Ironically then it was Roman Catholicism which initiated the conquest of
via an English Pope and an English Norman king. Ireland
The High King of Ireland, Roderick O’Connor, was not even consulted and he was powerless to resist because the Pope compelled the bishops, clergy and people to accept English rule, under pain of excommunication, damnation or papal interdict.
Henry’s barons however, feared the sea route and no invasion occurred until 1169 after Dermot McMurrough’s appeal to Henry for help in 1166. Pope Alexander
III enforced the edict in 1171 by ordering the
bishops to meet at Cashel and accept Roman and Norman rule.
So Henry had a bloodless conquest of
and was welcomed here by the bishops and military leaders alike. The people had
no say in the matter. So, 740 years after Patrick came to a Celtic church, it
was the Roman church and Catholicism which, paradoxically, conquered Ireland . Ireland
This became Protestant rule 400 years later when King Henry VIII converted. Patrick is the real conqueror however, when on March 17 we of all denominations joyously celebrate a British/Roman/Celtic church saint in a uniquely Irish Way!
May the love and protection
Saint Patrick can give
Be yours in abundance
As long as you live.
Your Correspondence Secretary President
Frank Darcy Ken Egan