1000 – 1499 AD
1009 – Muslims under Caliph al-Hakim sack Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem
1030 – 1049 – Saint Odilo of Cluny works for Church reform
1043 – Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, renews condemnation of the Western Church
1054 – Schism of the Eastern Church
1074 – Pope Saint Gregory VII enacts decrees against clerical abuses
1075 – Investiture Controversy: dispute over relationship between secular and church authorities
1095 – Start of the Crusades
Blessed Pope Urban II calls the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and restore sacred sites.
1099 – Crusaders retake Jerusalem
1115 – Saint Bernard of Clairvaux establishes monastery
1122 – Compromise reached in Investiture Controversy at Concordat of Worms
1123 – First Lateran Council ratifies the decisions of the Concordat of Worms
1139 – Second Lateran Council condemns various abuses among the clergy and laity
1163 – Start of construction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris
1167 – Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa besieges Rome
1167 – Rise of Catharism
This heretical movement, which rejects the humanity of Christ, promotes suicide and denounces marriage and child-bearing.
1173 – Rise of Waldensianism, an anti-clerical movement
1179 – Third Lateran Council condemns Waldensianism
1187 – Muslims under Saladin conquer Jerusalem
1204 – Sack of Constantinople: Crusaders commit atrocities against Eastern Christians
1206 – Saint Dominic sent to preach against Catharism in southern France
1207 – Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, divides books of the Bible into chapters
1208 – Saint Francis of Assisi denounces wealth
1215 – Fourth Lateran Council defines dogma of Transubstantiation
1232 – Saint Anthony of Padua canonized one year after death
1233 – Start of the General Inquisition, a court of inquiry established by Pope Gregory IX to defeat Catharism.
1252 – Sanction of the Use of Torture in the Inquisition
Pope Innocent IV authorizes the use of torture, in accordance with common law enforcement tactics of the time (Ad Exstirpanda). Strict limitations are put upon its use, however: it is never to cause the loss of life or limb; is to be applied only once; and is only to be used as a last resort. To a large extent, the Inquisition was humanely carried out when left to ecclesiastical officials and the punishment of unrepentant heretics usually involved excommunication rather than execution. The majority of abuse occurred at the hands of secular authorities. The Church often intervened in these instances to correct the abuses.
1265 – 1273 – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
1270 – Last Crusade ends with death of Saint Louis IX, King of France
1272 – Pope Gregory X forbids mistreatment of the Jews (Letter on the Jews)
1302 – Pope Boniface VIII affirms the authority of the Church of Rome
“We are obliged by faith to believe and hold—and we do firmly believe and sincerely confess—that there is one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and that outside this Church there is neither salvation nor remission of sins. … Furthermore, we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Unam Sanctum)
While the boldness in the Pope’s language reflects the political climate at the time of the writing, in essence he was merely restating what those before him had maintained (cf. Pope Clement, Letter of Clement to the Corinthians). This document was written at a time of a united Catholic Christendom; and it was addressed to Philip IV, the Catholic ruler of France. It was implicitly understood, therefore, that by “every human creature” Boniface was referring primarily to those within Christendom. He did not mean to place an unjust burden of belief upon people living outside of Christendom, who denied papal authority through ignorance.
1309 – 1377 – Avignon Papacy: The Papacy vacates Rome due to political turmoil
1318 – 1321 – Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy
1337 – 1453 – Hundred Years’ War
1347 – 1353 – Black Death
1377 – Saint Catherine of Siena convinces Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon
1378 – 1417 – Great Western Schism
The true succession of Popes continues at Rome while a succession of “anti-popes” begins at Avignon.
1380 – 1382 – John Wyclif supervises first complete English translation of the Bible
1382 – Church condemns Wyclif for numerous heresies including Predestination and denial of the Sacraments
1414 – 1418 – Council of Constance ends Great Western Schism
1415 – John Hus, follower of Wyclif, executed as a heretic
1418 – Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ
1422 – Pope Martin V forbids mistreatment of the Jews (Protection of the Jews)
1431 – Saint John of Arc executed for political reasons by corrupt English bishops
1431 – 1445 – Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence
1435 – Pope Eugenius IV condemns the enslavement of blacks (Sicut Dudum)
1455 – Printing of the Gutenberg Bible; includes deuterocanonical books
1480 – Start of the Spanish Inquisition
Pope Sixtus IV authorizes the establishment of the Inquisition in Spain to deal with crisis of false converts from Judaism and Islam. Many abuses take place. When Rome learns of abuses, the Pope admonishes the inquisitors to comply with Church regulations.
1492 – Christopher Columbus discovers the New World
1495 – Queen Isabella of Spain forbids the enslavement of the natives of Hispaniola
1495 – 1498 – Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan