Friday, June 15, 2007

Western Christendom

Enea Silvio Piccolomini, the future Pope Pius II, wrote shortly after the Fall of the City, on the state of Western Christian interrelations at that time:

"...neither Pope nor Emperor is adequately esteemed or obeyed; they are treated as fictitious names and painted figures. Each city has a king of its own; there are as many princes as houses. How might one persuade the numberless Christian rulers to take up arms? Look upon Christianity! Italy, you say, is pacified. I do not know to what extent. The remains of war still exist between the King of Aragon and the Genoese. The Genoese will not fight the Turks: they are said to pay tribute to them! The Venetians have made a treaty with the Turks. If the Italians do not take part, we cannot hope for maritime war. In Spain, as you know, there are many kings of different power, different policy, different will, and different ideas; but these sovereigns who live in the far West can not be attracted to the East, especially when they are fighting with the Moors of Granada. The King of France has expelled his enemy from his kingdom; but he is still in trouble, and will not dare to send his knights beyond the borders of his kingdom for fear of a sudden landing of the English. As far as the English are concerned, they think only of taking revenge for their expulsion from France. Scotch, Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians, who live at the end of the world, seek nothing beyond their countries. The Germans are greatly divided and have nothing to unify them."

The same might be said of Western Christianity today. How curious.



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