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Great Schism: A Second Chance at Unity... Denied!

A few years ago two Popes were elected and claimed the authority of the Church. Mad King Charles of France supports Pope Clement the 7th in Avignon, but he has been trying to convince Pope Clement to resign. The scholars at the University of Paris have suggested that BOTH Popes resign and a new Pope be elected to unify the Church. It is not to be. Pope Clement has collapsed in a fit of apoplexy.... which means he lost consciousness and died of a heart attack or more likely a stroke. Pope Boniface the 9th in Rome is a reasonably good Pope but Rome is still a dangerous place. The Cardinals in Avignon elect Pope Benedict the 13th and make him promise to resign if ever the majority vote to have him do so. The Cardinals are looking ahead to Church unity. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In a sense, waiting for one of the Popes to die in order to unify the Church is letting God make the decision. One assumes that God has a plan and that He would not allow the "wrong" Pope to take the reins of His Church. Unfortunately, this sort of logic can be misleading. For example: if I am supporting Pope A against Pope B and Pope A dies, does that mean I was wrong or does it mean that God wants me to elect Pope C to further God's plan? How can one decide? The Church (or any religious group) needs a formal designated body to make these decisions. The Church will form several special councils until they finally hit on one that works... the Council of Constance will begin the work of unification in 1414. [5]

The Koreans Have Seoul

Last year the Cho-sen Dynasty took power in Korea. It will be the longest lived and final dynasty in Korea lasting until 1897. This year they have moved their capital to Seoul which means "Capital City". [6]

In 1403 the Koreans will develop a metal movable type system remarkably similar to the one Gutenberg will produce in 1436, but it's impact on the culture will not be the same. The Koreans are not using a printing press but the time savings allows them to spend more time illustrating their books. It will also free them from errors in hand-copying. The penalty for errors in a character-based Western language is that words are misspelled but unless the errors are severe, one can usually work out the meaning of the text. Errors in a symbolic language such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese can result in a complete misunderstanding. The value of a symbolic language is that it can span multiple languages with only minor changes for grammar. In other words... the symbol for a cow is a cow in a symbolic language no matter how you pronounce it in your local language such as a "cow" in English, a vache in French, or a kuh in German or a [korova] in Ukrainian. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This Korean naming convention of calling the capital city "Capital City" is similar to the Japanese naming their capital city "Tokyo" which means "Eastern Capital" but don't tell anyone I said that. That would be like telling the Ukrainians that they shared a lot in common with the Russians. True or not, all that would earn you is a punch in the nose. Tokyo won't become the capital of Japan until 1868. The capital of Japan during the Middle Ages is Kyoto. [10] [11]

Faith, Hope, and Charity: A Twelve Step Program for Parliament

"I believe in the end the truth will conquer." -- John Wycliffe to John of Gaunt.

"By hook or crook," the Lollards are determined to reform the Church of England. The Lollards are the followers of the late John Wycliffe (died 1384) who had translated the Bible into English to force reform on the Church of England. Now the Lollards have drawn up a set of Twelve Conclusions presented to the English Parliament and nailed to the doors of Westminster Abbey and Saint Paul's Cathedral. The Parliament has been put off by reform every since the Peasant's Rebellion of 1381. They will do nothing. In 1517, the Reverend Friar Martin Luther will nail his list of 95 reforms to the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg sparking the Protestant Reformation. Most of his demands for reform will be the same ones that the Lollards are demanding now. It's going to be a long wait. [12] [13] [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards is a little too long to be included here but you can find a literal translation from Middle English at the Harvard digital archives at the link below. To summarize... they wanted a restoration of "Faith, Hope, and Charity," the three Christian virtues of the New Testament. These demands were designed to restore those virtues and they are at the hub of this controversy. The only substantial difference between what the Lollards demands now and Martin Luther's demands years later is the issue of ... well... maybe it's best to say that there WAS one substantial difference between the Lollards and what became the Reformation and leave it at that. Talk to your appropriate faith authority for further information. This is somewhat of a dodge but the issue is tough to summarize in a sentence or two without seriously misrepresenting one side or the other.[15] [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1394, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Norwich, John Julius. Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. New York: Random House. 2011. (BOOK) quote="In his last years Clement, while still at Avignon, came under heavy pressure [...] to agree to a solution whereby both popes should resign and open the way for a new conclave; but he, like Boniface, firmly rejected all such suggestions, and he was still stubbornly resisting when he died, of a sudden apoplectic attack, on September 16, 1394."
  2. Antipope Clement VII - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Antipope Benedict XIII - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Apoplexy (Historical Meaning) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Council of Constance - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Joseon (Cho-sen) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Gernet, Jacques. (translated by Foster, J. R. and Hartman, Charles) A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. 1996. p. 335. (BOOK)
  8. Google Translate
  9. Alex Shrugged Notes: Just to be clear... metal movable type has been in use in Korea for a long time now, but THIS system is similar to the Gutenberg system.
  10. Tokyo - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Kyoto - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards (Middle English, literally translated into Modern English), Harvard.edu, 2006 [last update]
  13. Bartlett, John. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 14th Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1968. p. 163b (BOOK) quote="By hook or by crook. -- John Wycliffe, Controversial Tracts [c.1380]"
  14. Martin Luther: Start of the Reformation - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. Faith, Hope and Charity - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  16. Sola fide - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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