ABSTRACT

During the later tenth and the eleventh centuries the church in Ireland once more came closely into contact with the church on the Continent. There the reform of Benedictine monasticism was infusing new vitality into religious life; the papacy, restored to spiritual authority under the Ottoman emperors, and later freed from imperial control over papal elections, concerned itself more effectually than ever before in the affairs of western Christendom, Improved administration brought distant churches within the active surveillance of the popes, and the evils resulting from non-celibate clergy, the purchase of benefices, and secular control over ecclesiastical appointments were widely canvassed. From 1070 to 1109 England had two archbishops, Lanfranc and Anselm, who were both deeply concerned at the state of the church in Ireland. The result was that Irish churchmen became much more conscious than they had been earlier of the differences between their own church and that of western Europe.