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laxity which a state of disorder is sure to produce, and fell into many reprehensible and scandalous practices, which tended to bring the Irish name into as great disrepute throughout Christendom as it had formerly been in esteem.
16. Another evil arising from this calamitous invasion remains to be noticed. Hitherto, amidst all its variations of fortune, amidst all its advances or declensions in piety, learning, or fame, the Church of Ireland had been at unity in itself, free from internal division and from foreign control; but now the seeds of schism were sown which, in the course of two centuries more, ripened into subjection to the see of Rome. About the middle of the tenth century the Danes (who as already stated had settled in Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick) were converted to Christianity, though how or by what instrumentality is not recorded, nor have we any distinct notices of their religious history for another century. About this latter period, however, we find them seeking to connect themselves in ecclesiastical matters with the Normans (with whom they claimed kindred, and who were now recently established in England under William I.) rather than with the native Irish Church, and to place their bishops under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury instead of under the native primate of Armagh. The English Church had by this time become completely subject to the Court and Church of Rome, and the see of Canterbury was held successively by two Italians, Lanfranc and Anselm, both of whom were zealous in propagating the doctrines and discipline of their native Church, and therefore gladly availed themselves of the opportunity of introducing its influence into Ireland, where it was as yet unacknow
ledged. Accordingly for more than fifty years the bishops of these three cities were invariably consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and took an oath of canonical obedience to him.
As yet, however, the ecclesiastical connection between Rome and Ireland was only indirect; and though the bishops above mentioned professed themselves subject to Canterbury, there was, so far, no mention of Rome. About the year 1084, indeed, Pope Gregory VII. (better known as Hildebrand), a pontiff of great energy and ambition, and who put forward still higher pretensions than any of his predecessors had ventured on, addressed a letter to the King of Ireland, together with the archbishops, bishops, abbots, nobles, and people, which is still extant, and which contains the first express assertion of supremacy, whether spiritual or temporal, over Ireland. “ To blessed Peter,” he writes, “and his vicars, the universal Church owes a debt of obedience as well as reverence, which debt be careful that ye discharge in a devout spirit of affection to this holy Church of Rome." It is evident, however, from the general tenor of this letter that no such relations had hitherto existed between the Churches of Rome and Ireland; for in the conclusion he exhorts them that if there should occur among them any matters of business in which it might seem worth their while to have his aid, they should report it to him, and “their just demands should with God's assistance be satisfied." This is not the language of one accustomed to command and to be obeyed. How it was received in the present instance we are not informed.
17. It must have been galling to the haughty spirits who then directed the affairs of the Court of
Rome, that, amidst the general submission to her demands, one Church, and that one so famous for learning and zeal, should still hold out against her: and accordingly no efforts were spared to bring her to conformity. In these attempts an able and strenuous assistant was found in Gille or Gillebert, bishop of the Danish city of Limerick. This prelate having in early life travelled on the Continent, had formed a friendship with Anselm, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, and now, at his instigation, threw himself heart and soul into the plan for reducing the Irish Church to conformity and subjection to Rome. He wrote a book on the Church Service“, with a preliminary treatise on Church Government, in which the doctrine of Papal Supremacy was set forth in the plainest terms; in return for which service he was appointed to the office, heretofore unknown in Ireland, of Papal Legate, and in that capacity presided at the Synod of Rathbreasil, held A.D. 1118 *, notwithstanding the presence there of Kellach or Celsus, the Primate of Armagh, and also of the Archbishop of the newly-constituted see of Cashely. Thus begun, the work of subjection, or (as it was mildly put) con
u In the preface to this work he states that he had drawn it up at the request of many of the bishops and clergy, "in order that those diverse and schismatical orders of service by which almost all Ireland is deluded, may give place to one Catholic and Roman order.”—Lanigan, Hist. iv. 24, &c.
* Or (according to some authorities) A.D. 1110. See King, “Memoir,” p. 84.
y Constituted, it may be observed, by the sole authority of Kellach as Co-arb of St. Patrick, and without any reference whatever to Rome. His successor Malachi, however, who was an ardent supporter of the new regime, obtained the Pope's confirmation about thirty years after.
formity, progressed rapidly. Celsus was the next to espouse the cause, which was finally victorious under his successor, Malachi, Hitherto the pallium, the Romish symbol of archiepiscopal dignity, and likewise of archiepiscopal subjection, had been unknown in Ireland, where indeed the office of an archbishop in the modern sense of the term had only very recently been recognised; but now, by the exertions of Malachi, who went twice to Rome for the purpose, (having first as a pledge of his disinterestedness resigned his archbishopric,) and also used all his influence at home for the same end, it was brought to pass that, at a National Council or Synod held at Kells, A.D. 1152, and presided over by Cardinal Paparo as Legate from the Pope, the sees of Dublin and Tuam being erected into archbishoprics, their prelates, with those of the older sees of Armagh and Cashel, were invested with the badge of Papal Supremacy, and took the oath which bound them and their Church to Rome.
18. While it is impossible to contemplate without some feeling of indignant regret this surrender of the ancient independence of the Church of Ireland, it would be wrong to censure too severely those by whom the surrender was made. Their error was probably more of the judgment than of the heart. It is most likely that they could not perceive all the consequences of the step thus taken, especially as the supremacy which they now acknowledged was yet vague and undefined, and fell far short of that complete and despotic authority into which it afterwards grew; while, on the other hand, the disordered and harassed state of the Irish Church consequent on three centuries of devastation and confusion, might reasonably incline them to listen more complacently
to those fair promises of unity and strength, which the advocates of Rome held out as the result of submission—a submission, moreover, in which they but followed (and tardily) the example of the rest of Western Christendom.
19. Having now passed through the first or primitive portion of the history of the Irish Church, we come to view her in the second or Romish phase of her existence. Hitherto she had been a brilliant and fixed star in the spiritual heavens—the centre of her own system, though at times dimmed and almost eclipsed by intervening clouds; henceforth she was to revolve as a satellite round the sun of Rome.
20. The first and almost immediate consequence of the submission of the Church was the subjection of the State. Henry II., who had recently ascended the English throne, looked with covetous eyes on an island so near to his own dominions, and so enfeebled by centuries of anarchy and discord; and perceiving the influence which Rome had recently gained over the clergy, determined to resort to the Pope for aid. The occupant of the Papal Chair at that juncture was Adrian IV., who, being himself an Englishman, was doubtless sufficiently disposed to advance the power and dominion of his native country. He accordingly, A.D. 1155, (only three years after the Council of Kells, issued a bull, which is still extant, and in which he took on him formally to give and make over the country of Ireland to the English monarch. The ground of this extraordinary grant was no less extraordinary itself, namely, an alleged gift from the Emperor Constantine to the · Bishops of Rome of all the islands in the Roman empire in which the Christian religion had been made