Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury
Theodore, seventh Archbishop of Canterbury, b. at Tarsus in Cilicia about 602;
d. at Canterbury 19 September, 690; was a monk (probably of the Basilian Order)
but not yet in Holy Orders, living at Rome in 667, when Pope Vitalian chose him
for the See of Canterbury in place of Wighard, who had died before consecration.
After receiving orders, Theodore was consecrated by the Pope himself, on 26
March, 668, and set out for England, but did not reach Canterbury until May, 669.
The new primate found the English Church still suffering from the jealousies and
bitterness engendered by the long Paschal controversy, only lately settled, and
sadly lacking in order and organization. The dioceses, coterminous with the
divisions of the various kingdoms, were of unwieldy size, and many of then were
vacant. Theodore, says Bede, at once
visited all the island, wherever the
tribes of the Angles inhabited, and was everywhere received with respect and
welcome. He made appointments to the vacant bishoprics, regularized the position
of St. Chad, who had not been duly consecrated, corrected all that was faulty,
instituted the teaching of music and of sacred and secular learning, throughout
the country, and had the distinction of being, as Bede specifically mentions,
the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed. In 673 he convoked at
Hertford the first synod of the whole province, an assembly of great importance
as the forerunner and prototype of future English witenagemotes and parliaments.
Going later to the court of the King of Northumbria, which country was entirely
under the jurisdiction of St. Wilfrid, he divided it into four dioceses against
the will of Wilfrid, who appealed to Pope Agatho. The pope's decision did not
acquit Theodore of arbitrary and irregular action, although his plan for the
subdivision of the Northumbrian diocese was carried out. For St. Cuthbert in 685,
and in the following year he was fully reconciled to Wilfrid, who was restored
to his See of York. Thus, before his death, which occurred five years later,
Theodore saw the diocesan system of the English Church fully organized under his
primatical and metropolitical authority. Stubbs emphasizes the immensely
important work done by Theodore not only in developing a single united
ecclesiastical body out of the heterogeneous Churches of the several English
kingdoms, but in thus realizing a national unity which was not to be attained in
secular matters for nearly three centuries.
Apart from the epoch-making character of his twenty-one years' episcopate,
Theodore was a man of commanding personality: inclined to be autocratic, but
possessed of great ideas, remarkable powers of administration, and intellectual
gifts of a high order, carefully cultivated. Practically his only literary
remains are the collected decisions in disciplinary matters, well known as
Penitential of Theodore. It was first published complete by Wasserschleben in
1851, and several editions of it have been printed during the past sixty years.
Theodore was buried in St. Augustine's Monastery, Canterbury, a long poetical
epitaph, of which Bede has preserved only eight verses, being inscribed upon his
Suchen bei amazon: Bücher über Catholic Encyclopedia - Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury
korrekt zitieren: Artikel
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über http://d-nb.info/969828497 abrufbar.