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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, July 16

1054
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rivalclaims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and PatriarchAthenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
1338
German princes and the electors of the Holy Roman Empire rally around Ludwig IV of Bavaria at Rense, declaring that an emperor's authority comes directly from God, is awarded by the electors' votes, and doesn't need papal approval. Pope John XXII, warring against Ludwig through proxies, has claimed the right to approve whoever is chosen Holy Roman Emperor. Wishing to eliminate German influence over Italy, the pope has ordered Ludwig to resign and when he doesn't, excommunicates him. Leading churchmen and scholars take Ludwig's side, including William of Ockham, Marsilius of Padua, and John of Jandun. Later Ludwig will conquer Rome and establish a pope more to his liking.
1410
Archbishop Zbynek of Prague has works of Wycliffe burned in Bohemia because they had been condemned by antipope Alexander V, whom Zbynek had recently accepted as the legitimate pope during the Papal Schism.
1686
Death in Chester, England, of John Pearson, bishop of Chester, a careful scholar and systematic theologian with great knowledge of ancient writers. His most famous work was Exposition of the Creed.
1769
Father Junipero Serra celebrates High Mass before a hewn wooden cross at San Diego, where he opens the first of nine missions in California. Other Spanish priests from his mission will open twelve more.
1814
Baptism of twenty-seven-year old Cai Gao by missionary Robert Morrison at a remote spot in the hills along the shore of Macao. Cai Goa will go on to destroy his idols and to assist with Chinese publications before his death of lung disease less than three years later.
1863
Birth of Howard E. Smith, American church organist and composer of the melody tothe popular hymn, 'Love Lifted Me.'
1931
Death of C. T. Studd, 69, pioneer English missionary. He was one of the 'CambridgeSeven,' and worked on the mission field in China, India and Central Africa.
1972
Soviet agents martyr Baptist private Ivan "Vanya" Moiseyev after months of severe persecution because of his Christian faith and because he has been leading other soldiers to Christ.
1998
Death of Jeremiah Olatusi Akeredolu, first Anglican bishop of Akoko diocese of Nigeria.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"