Celtic Church


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Celtic Church,

name given to the Christian Church of the British Isles before the mission (597) of St. Augustine of Canterbury from Rome. Founded in the 2d or 3d cent. by missionaries from Rome or Gaul, the church was well established by the 4th cent. when it sent representatives to the Synod of Arles (314) and to the Council of Rimini (359). It continued to spread in the 5th cent. due to the work of St. Ninian in Scotland, St. Dyfrig in Wales, and St. Patrick in Ireland. The heresies of the 4th cent. that played a significant role in church affairs on the Continent seem to have had little influence in Britain, and although it was the home of Pelagius (see PelagianismPelagianism
, Christian heretical sect that rose in the 5th cent. challenging St. Augustine's conceptions of grace and predestination. The doctrine was advanced by the celebrated monk and theologian Pelagius (c.355–c.425). He was probably born in Britain.
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), his teachings did not gain followers there until 421 with an influx of refugees from the Continent. The missions of St. Germanus of Auxerre (429 and 447) against the Pelagians in Britain and the spread of monasticism from Gaul attest to contacts with the church on the Continent. The Saxon invasions, beginning c.450, all but destroyed Celtic culture, dealing a deathblow to the Celtic Church in England through the destruction of the towns in which it had gained its greatest following. The few small Christian communities that survived were to be found in Wales and Ireland and in N and SW Britain. The period of peace that followed the British defeat of the Saxons at Mons Badonicus (c.500) once again allowed for growth of the Celtic Church (especially through the work of St. ColumbaColumba, Saint
, or Saint Columcille
[Irish,=dove of the church], 521–97, Irish missionary to Scotland, called the Apostle of Caledonia. A prince of the O'Donnells of Donegal, he was educated at Moville and Clonard.
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), although isolation from the Continent continued until the mission of St. Augustine. Having converted King Æthelbert of Kent to Christianity, St. Augustine attempted to convince the leaders of the Celtic Church to change those practices (such as the dating of Easter and the forms of baptism and tonsure) that were at variance with the Roman Church and to accept the imposition of a diocesan organization on the essentially monastic structure of their church. He failed, and it was not until the Synod of Whitby (664, see Whitby, Synod ofWhitby, Synod of,
called by King Oswy of Northumbria in 663 at Whitby, England. Its purpose was to choose between the usages of the Celtic and Roman churches, primarily in the matter of reckoning the date of Easter (see calendar; Celtic Church).
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) that such agreement was largely reached, although independent Celtic churches continued on in Wales and Ireland.

Bibliography

See J. T. McNeil, The Celtic Churches (1974); F. E. Warren, The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
Or, as Paul wrote to the Celtic church in Turkey: "If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out.
Wade-Evans (1875-1964) is best known for his histories of post-Roman Britain and the Celtic church.
However I was reading about the ancient Celtic Church practices.
However, this Celtic Church, far removed geographically from Rome, had developed its own brand of Christianity, with many different customs, mostly liturgical.
Mind you, it beats me why the head of the Anglicans should be so hot on sanctioning saints either canonised by the Papacy, or raised into sainthood by the earlier paganish Celtic Church.
Back in the 9th Century, Dunkeld was the centre of the Celtic church and the cathedral remained rich and powerful until the Reformation.
It reports howSt David travelled to an assembly of celtic church bishops at the Synod of Brevi, where he denounced the CelticMonk Pelagius.
Bronze Age and Iron Age people and the Romans lived here before the Celtic Church made this a place of national importance, but the oldest buildings now seen in the town were built by the Normans.
Many of the festivals and feasts to celebrate the seasons and the coming of new life were adopted by the Church, and the original Celtic church in Northumbria was itself rooted in nature and the landscape.
It used to be said of the Celtic Church of the seventh century that it was "solid in the center and loose around the edges.
As the Celtic Church expanded, wells became associated with local saints, who were declared to be their patrons.