I don't think there's been a time when the Catholic Church hasn't had troubles of some kind, but the situation when Hildebrand became Pope Gregory VII, a thousand years ago, stands out a bit. Monastic discipline had gotten lax - putting it politely - and cattle were roaming through broken church doors. Lack of effective law enforcement - or laws - in places like the Champagne weren't helping, but that was external problem.
Depending on whether you were someone who wanted to see the Church get back on track, or one of the fat cats who liked the status quo just fine, St. Gregory VII was a dedicated reformer, or an enormous pain in the neck.
There's a pretty good - and lengthy - writeup on "Pope St. Gregory VII" on the New Advent website: excerpted from "The Catholic Encyclopedia." (New York: Robert Appleton Company.)
Changing Times: Been There, Done ThatI've noticed that many 'interesting times,' when everything seems to be in upheaval, come at roughly 500-year intervals:
- The rise - and fall - of the
- Babylonian Empire
- Assyrian Empire
- The epic age of India
- Rome's meltdown that
- Ended the Republic
- Started the Empire
- The Roman Empire's collapse
- The viking age, when half my ancestors were
- Raiding the other half, or
- Trading with them
- The Renaissance
Interesting, and I'll let it go at that.
- "Medjugorje: 'Pope defrocks priest' (Fr. Tomislav Vlasic Laicized)"
(July 29, 2009)
- "Zambia: Corruption, Hospitals, and Bishops"
(July 22, 2009)
- "The Catholic Church: 19 Centuries of the Great Commission"
(March 21, 2009)