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«De manibus Valachorum scismaticorum ... »

Romanians and Power in the Mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary- The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

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Ioan-Aurel Pop

The medieval history of the Romanians in the Hungarian kingdom still represents one of the most delicate subjects in European history. This book is the product of more than thirty years of research, and thus provides new and balanced insights into that history, revealing both the rise and the decline of communities and individuals, as well as the diversity of these borderlands of Christian Europe.

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19. The Romanians position regarding the Western Church and the position of the Western Church regarding the Romanians

Extract

When the Christian churches of the Middle Ages are invoked, some caution, including of a terminological nature, is needed. We are often accustomed to referring to Catholicism and Orthodoxy with reference to the earliest times, forgetting that the two notions, as well as the realities pertaining to them, have a well-defined historical existence, that they appeared at a precise moment in European history. Naturally, this is the situation seen from my perspective, that is, from the vantage point of a secular historian, not a the- ologian, for it is the only point of view I could adopt. The separation of the two European Christian Churches–one with the centre in Rome and the other with the centre in New Rome (Constantino- ple)–officially occurred, as everyone knows, in 1054. However, church histo- rians know well that this chronological limit is a convention, that the formal distinctions and even, to some extent, the distinctions of dogma between the two churches were older and had accumulated gradually. However, at the time, the year 1054 was not perceived by the world, the community, or the public space as an irreparable rupture; by some, it was not even acknowledged as a modest event. This is because most people then did not even know that this event had occurred. It has often been said–as noted above–that the true fracturing of Christian unity was perceived, rather, in 1204, on the occasion of the Fourth Crusade, when visceral hatred effective- ly set the “Latins” against...

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