Book 2, Chapter 3, 827 AD to 857 AD – The Clergy and The Monasteries – Continued
Not that all the monks were dissolute and idle, nor that all the priests were avaricious and incompetent. Of the former, some toiled hard in their cells for many weary years, with patient fingers copying and illuminating wonderful missals and ancient classics, and of the latter, some, like Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, and like the venerable Bede, proved themselves patterns of industry or of administrative skill, and of piety. Theodore, who died in 690, at the advanced age of ninety, employed a long life well and usefully. A Greek by birth, he was sent by Pope Vitalian, to take the place of Wighard, (who had been at Rome, whither he had gone for consecration), and he brought with him to this country a number of valuable ancient books, then of priceless worth, and it was he who first introduced into this island the study of the Greek language.
He encouraged the wealthy to build and endow churches, by conferring upon them the right of patronage. These structures had heretofore been of timber, but now they began to be erected of stone. He introduced the Gregorian chants, so grand and sublime in their severe simplicity, or extended their use to the parish churches as well as in the cathedrals. He assigned fixed posts to the priests, whom even he found it not easy to manage, for in his Capitula, he directs, “Any presbyter who shall have obtained a parish by means of a price, is absolutely to be deposed, and likewise, he who shall by means of money have expelled a presbyter lawfully ordained to a church, and so have obtained it entirely for himself.”
Chapter 3, Egbert
Chapter 3, The Clergy and The Monasteries
Chapter 3, The Witenagemot
Categories: Book 2