History 104A, October 21: The Way of the Cross


               Please take out your crosses, whether you're a Muslim or Jewish.


          Beat me back so I don't burn myself with your crosses.


               What we were doing is using that little diagram for the cross


          that's in your little packet to talk about the power and the role of


          the church during medieval times.  And of course medieval times is I


          guess I never gave you a date and time line.  What we're really


          talking about is the period from 500 to 1500 CE.  Now, we identified


          to you that the church in a sense begins with the crucifixion of


          Christ or before, but the power or the role, the uniqueness, the


          development, the expansion of the church more or less beginning in the


          fourth century really begins to reach its main peak and control with


          Gregory the great, the Pope that is in the end of the sixth century.


          And continues in many ways until 1517 when, although Christianity


          continues as a major force, what we now know as Catholicism begins to


          weaken its hold over western Europe with of course Martin Luther's


          hosting of the 95 thesis, and we're coming up on the anniversary of


          it.  He did it on Halloween, October 31st.  I'm not sure they


          celebrated Halloween in 1517.  That's something to look into, the


          harvest, the forests, but certainly they did celebrate all hallows


          night or all hallows Eve.


               Okay.  We went halfway around the cross.  We stopped at the


          bottom with the truce of God.  During medieval times, it was


          considered sinful to fight on holy days.  And therefore, during the


          holy days, you were supposed to cease battle.  Of course some of you



          know that we have sort of that same tradition.  We stop fighting for


          example during World War II around Christmas time -- I'm sorry, World


          War 1 -- so that we could play soccer between the trenches between the


          German and the French.  That tradition continues basically through


          today.  However, the person who really never followed that tradition


          was George Washington.  If you recall, he attacked the Hessians on


          Christmas day after they were all nice and drunk.  He was the father


          of our country, so we can forgive him his transgressions since he was


          considered a good Christian.  The only one of the fathers of the


          republic that really saw himself thoroughly as a Christian, but that's


          another story.


               The problem was that by 1100 there were about 200 Christian


          holidays.  How can you have fun and not kill people if you only have


          165 days to do it in?  Generally, despite the fact that it was


          considered a sin, the battles continued.  Religion does play a role


          and people get very upset when it violates even in war, like wars are


          supposed to have rules.  We're supposed to be gentlemen and Americans


          are not supposed to burn the bodies of the Muslims because we are


          supposed to -- oh well.  I've always got a kick out of that.  How do


          we maintain the sense of morality in the immorality of war?  But


          that's a personal statement.  We'll let that go.


               Hospitality -- it was the church pretty much that created the


          hospices, places where people would stop on their way traveling.  They


          actually ran in some ways many of the inns by the monasteries by the


          churches where people stopped off.  They went into a convent; they



          went into a monastery.  They stayed overnight and they provided not


          only the hospitality itself, but they gave a certain level of what


          we're going to talk about later, sanction actually and charity.  In


          other words, the main institutions that we identify with private


          industry today or identified with government were under the control of


          the church.  And of course some of our best literature, I suppose,


          coming out of the high middle ages deals with travelers.  And we'll


          talk about false images a little later, like people stayed in one


          place.  There was a lot of traveling going on often to pilgrimages,


          pilgrimages to holy places to receive some sort of grace.  It is


          considered good works.  And you could achieve salivation by going to


          places that were sacred, similar to traveling to the place where


          Christ was crucified, to the holy land.  And still we go to places in


          Europe around the Vatican and places like that, there are people who


          are going to sell you pieces of the true cross.  They have all these


          little images that are going to help you in your salivation at least


          for Catholics, the feeling at one time was that these were good deeds,


          quite different from the Protestant sense of Martin Luther where it


          was based on faith and faith alone rather than good working.  You did


          your good works under Protestantism because you had good faith.  Under


          catholicism, the good faith were the keystones to the salivation.


               Interdict -- you know what excommunication is.  Excommunication


          is when an individual is forbidden from taking the sacraments.  They


          are declared a heretic or removed from the church in some fashion.  An


          interdict does it to the whole country.  An interdict excommunicates



          everyone in the country whether they were good or bad for the failings


          of the kings, of the nation, of the state.  Translation, priests are


          forbidden in those countries to provide the sacraments or in those


          particular areas.  And the purpose of an interdict is to, in a sense,


          cause a rebellion among the peoples against the principle, the leaders


          of that nation, to force them to give in to the Pope.


          Q    This is jumping forward a bit, but did a Pope ever give that to


          Henry the VIII?  Or to England under the right of Henry the VIII?


               THE PROFESSOR:  The answer is, yes.


          A    I know that they excommunicated him, but --


               THE PROFESSOR:  When the interdict was placed on the nation?


          A    Yeah.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I think it was and Henry simply went ahead and


          created his own church, the Church of England.  Even earlier than that


          an interdict was placed on England under John.  I don't remember what


          John's number was, but John the brother of Richard the lion hearted.


          If you recall, Richard went off to fight in his mother's lands.  Well,


          first of course John stood on the throne so Robin Hood could hassle


          him while -- John took over officially fighting for his mother's land


          in France.  And John refused to follow orders and dictates from the


          Pope.  And he was excommunicated.  And the country had an interdict


          placed on it.  The bearings -- by the way, what an interdict also


          does, it removes any futile obligations.  If you have vouchers,


          loyalty to the king or to a lord, the interdict says those vows are no


          longer valid.  And with that, the barrens rebelled against John and



          received the most famous document in English history, what is often


          the cornerstone, the first beginnings of what we often identify in the


          English language countries as the beginnings of democracy.  Because in


          1215 John gave to the barrens the magna carte, the great charter.


          Most of you have heard about the great charter, and it's supposed to


          be the beginnings of democracy.  Input was allowed; discussion was


          allowed; and their views were to be respected.  They, not being the


          people, that's the interesting part of it -- we often see it the


          people have a say.  No, this was only the barrens.  The barrens had a


          say now.  Once the interdict was removed and John gave into the


          Pope -- I might know that he withdraw the interdict in 1225 --


          withdraw, I'm sorry -- basically the rights he had given under the


          magna carta.  This is not uncommon historically.  You give something


          and then you draw it back later.  But in any case, the fact that the


          magna carta was issued opened the door for further democracy and


          finally the people's right to participate in government.  Of course it


          takes hundreds of years good faith that finally comes into being.


               The last interdict that I know of occurred in 1926 in Mexico,


          1926.  That's not as long ago as we think.  We're not talking medieval


          you were.  The Mexican revolution in 1917 brought on a very strong


          anti-church feud in Mexico.  The first Mexican revolution, 1857


          confiscated church lands because the church owned over 50 percent of


          the land.  People died, left their land to the church so that they


          would help them go to heaven.  They were doing good works.  The church


          never tied to it kept, the land.  And we're talking 50 percent of the



          land, but probably 75 percent of the best and most arid land which


          keep people peasants.  Most of that was confiscated.  But under the


          1917 Constitution, all churches were not to have any land.  The church


          land itself was to belong to the state.  Priests were not to wear


          their habits, their whatever it's called, their collar and vestments


          outside of the church itself.  They had to dress like normal people


          when we walked the streets, nuns as well.  And more so, they were not


          allowed to say anything political from the pulpit at the church.  So


          it basically broke the power of the church itself.  In fact, some of


          you may know and I think I mentioned this before, I did my


          dissertation, my Ph.D. dissertation on a governor in a state in


          southern Mexico called Tobasco and his name was Tomas Gardeno


          Carnival.  And he was a socialist who followed the dictates of the


          Mexican revolution of 1917 and became governor of the State of Tabasco


          in 1920.  As governor of the state, he proceeded to outlaw any


          religion when meant Catholicism by ordering all the priests to marry.


          Of course priests can't marry, so basically it forbid the church.  And


          when asked why he wanted priests to marry, he said he wanted to


          legitimatize their children.  I did tell you about this before; right?


          He went on of course to develop a group of red shirts that broke into


          homes and stole all religious items and created bonfires of crosses


          and Bibles.  He named his pet as Jesus Christ that was shown in


          various agricultural circles; his pet bull, the Pope, his pet cow, the


          Virgin Mary; and his brother named his son Lucifer.  This is what we


          call a fun story.  I picked up on it in a book called the Power and



          the Glory by Graham Green where they talked about the brandy priest


          who kept hidden, he was a drunkard but he would sneak into villages


          and perform the sacraments.


               Mexico had from 1926-29 something known as the Christero


          rebellion where priests mainly in northern Mexico led armies against


          the revolutionary Mexican government.  And it wasn't until 1929 that


          the then President of Mexico a man named Calles fined signed a ..


          with the church recognizing that church's rights in Mexico -- it still


          did not remove some of the prohibitions, but it gave them the right to


          fully exist and that made a big right in the nation and the sacraments


          returned and the interdict was removed.  When I visited Mexico the


          first time many many centuries ago, priests still were not allowed to


          wear their vestments on the streets.  You didn't know who was a priest


          and who was a nun, but that's changed today.  If you go down to


          Mexico, you will see the habits, the vestments being worn today.


          Change is coming.  1926 to 29, that's modern times in a sense.  For


          most of you, it's ancient history; but in reality, it's not a thousand


          years ago.


               Interdict -- it also brought one of the most famous incidents in


          recent history.  In 1057 I believe it was the Pope Gregory the seventh


          placed an interdict on the holy Roman entire and it's emperor Henry


          the fourth.  And his barrens rebelled against Henry.  Henry met the


          Pope in the Alps at a place called Canossa, I believe.  I'll check the


          spelling.  At Canossa he stayed outside for three days barefooted on


          his knees in the snow and in the Alps.  Amazing he didn't freeze to



          death.  I don't know how much of the story is true or not, begging


          forgiveness and begging the Pope to forgive him, the emperor of the


          holy Roman empire.  The Pope finally came out and forgave him.  He


          went back and the interdict was removed.  The barrens had to give


          their power back to holy Roman emperor.  And a couple of years later


          Henry came down with his barrens and removed the Pope.  But that's the


          way the cookie crumbles, to use an old statement, hour of the




               Cannon law -- as I talked earlier, church courts basically the


          law of medieval Europe was the church law and people functioned under


          church law.  Now, while the church made decisions such as we talked


          about the inquisition, the church never executed people.  They never


          burned them at the stake.  After they were convicted under the


          interdict, under the inquisition, they were given over to the civilian


          authorities.  The church washed their hands of them, and it was the


          civilian authorities who burned them at the stake.


               The basis of modern law of course the Justinian code of the


          modern empire that passes onto church law which we know of as canon


          law which comes to us today in civil law.  I already talked about


          church lands in Mexico.  Actually, under Spanish control in Mexico in


          1776 the king of Spain issued an edict that said that no priest can


          demand land forgiving the last rights, which let's us know that often


          priests we refused to give the last rights, extreme unction until


          people turned over portions of their land to the church.


               Charity -- today when we think of most charitable organizations,



          they're private organizations like united way or they're government


          welfare programs.  Throughout most of the history from medieval times


          it was controlled by the church.  The government did not provide


          charity.  The church took care of people.  To some extent charity


          ended with Protestantism for a long while within the churches.  Part


          of the reason was the tremendous influence -- and we'll talk more


          about this of Calvinism -- that you were predestined to heaven and


          hell, that you were born a saint or a sinner.  And what indicated


          whether you were a saint or sinner is wealth.  If you worked hard, you


          became wealthy, God was on your side and it indicated you were going


          to go directly to heaven.  However, if you were poor, then God was


          punishing you because it was just the beginning of your burning in the


          ever lasting fires of hell.  So why give charity to the poor.  Let


          them burn in hell.  The faster they die the faster they're going to go


          to hell and they're out of the way.


          Q    I was just going to say maybe the chauvinism (sic), that's more


          like the Hindu like or like a caste system, like if you're born in


          this lower caste, you're destined to be a lower caste person for the


          rest of your life and the only way of containing social stratification


          is by marrying someone --


               THE PROFESSOR:  The difference in the Indian caste system is that


          while in this life you might be stuck in the caste, if you follow and


          live your life without desire and you accept your life, then you will


          be reborn, reincarnation into a higher caste.  So you look forward to


          the constant rebirth.  The difference of course would the sense of



          predestination is you're living poorly and then in the next life there


          isn't any except for hell.


          A    So that's bad.


               THE PROFESSOR:  So this is no hope at all.  If you know you're


          going to go to hell, why not go out and have a ball all a way.  The


          answer in being in part because of the different levels of hell and


          that comes through from Dante's inferno.  You want to constantly be


          careful because you don't want to go to the deeper level so you're


          hoping as a sinner your sin is going to be at a higher level of hell.


          People didn't go out and commit further sins.  As long as I'm evil, I


          might as well be real evil.


          A    Yeah, that's my thinking.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah.


               Manuscripts -- as we indicated knowledge is power.  The church


          controlled that knowledge.  They had the libraries.  They had the


          books and this were very few of them because they had to be


          handwritten.  The illuminated manuscripts of course had these


          beautiful letters the gold leaf and they were of course the perfect


          kind of writing.  We are very much expressed historically especially


          the period of Charlemagne around 800s the illuminated manuscripts that


          came out of that period.  Sometimes the calligraphy was absolutely


          gorgeous with the colors that comes through.  Priests would spend most


          of their life doing one book.


          Q    Wasn't there a project about five or six years back where a few


          universities got their best calligraphies together and make an



          illuminated version of the holy Bible?


               THE PROFESSOR:  Very possible.  It wouldn't surprise me but it


          doesn't stick anywhere in my mind.


               The best movie dealing with this whole sense of the power of the


          book and the libraries is one that I absolutely recommend that every


          student get a chance to see.  The book itself is not as easy to read.


          It's called -- In the Name of the Rose with Sean Connery.  It deals


          with a monastery around 1200.  And Sean Connery plays a priest that's


          sort of like a Sherlock Holmes.  But it centers around the library in


          the monastery and the books themselves.  I guess from the book


          although I saw it, was the thinking thing I didn't realize the most


          shacking thing was the fact that they had just developed reading


          glass.  For the first time coming out of the study of stained glass


          windows they finally got class for people to read.  Up until that


          time, if you're a nun or a monk and you were doing manuscripts most


          people at the age of 40 can't read anymore.  Their lives are over


          without glass.  So it was quite an amazing discovery because it gave


          people the ability to continue doing their work and reading,


          especially close up.  In any case, The Name of the Rose is a book by


          an Italian literature professor is a little cumbersome, but I enjoyed


          reading it but the movie is not.  I'm sure it's floating around on


          rental.  It was done about 10 years ago I believe.


               The right of sanctuary -- where is sanctuary offered today?


          A    International waters.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah, I guess, not necessarily, but you're right,



          international waters.  I'm going to swim out into international water


          physical do something wrong.


          A    Actually, I think it just means anyone can go after you.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Sanctuaries are often in embassies.  If they're


          willing to accept us in the embassy, that embassy the property of that


          nation which translates to they are not supposed to intervene in the


          embassy.  Of course that was of course part of that big issue back in


          1980 when the Iranians allowed some quote/unquote students terrorists


          whatever you want to call them, to occupy the American embassy and


          keep prisoner for that 444 days, some 50 American citizens.


          Q    How come the marines didn't shoot the people that were going


          inside the embassy?  Did they dry to shoot them?


               THE PROFESSOR:  You've got marines on base.  It's like any


          problem, if you have masses of people moving on you.  You have a


          chance, number one.  Number two, do you want the create an


          international incident?  How far do you go?  Those are choices made by


          the commander in a field.  How do you choose on something like that?


          I think also we did not expect them to really take over.  Of course


          the marines can only shoot once they come into the property.  On the


          outside, they are only protected by the outside government.  You don't


          have a lot of marines sitting there.  Maybe 10 at the most.  It's not


          like you have 100 or so Iranian military outside of the gates.  They




               Embassies become sanctuaries today.  And try gaining sanctuary in


          a church today and the authorities will go in.  They do not respect



          church sanctuary.  Translation, of course, become that the medieval


          times the church was the power.  And if somebody reached inside a


          monastery or inside a church, it was supposed to be sacred and


          respected.  Don't get me wrong, there were times when civil


          authorities did go in and massacre every nun and every monk and take


          the fugitive that they were looking for.  But as the whole, a


          sanctuary was supposed to be guarantee.


               Well, that finishes our religion for today.  We have a group


          meeting.  So you're life in Rome.  So let's break up into the groups.


          I'll put out the sheets.  You can pick them up here.