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Pope for the ecclesiastical reorganization of his land, apparently without immediate result. Then, too, the Lombard Luitprand, with whom Boniface stopped on the way, had many English friends and was connected by marriage with the Bavarian dukes, so that through him there was promise of an introduction to Bavaria and of opportunity for inspection, as through windows, of neighborhood conditions in Austrasia and Thuringia. Bavaria was already, at least outwardly and nominally, Christian. Missionary work had begun here in Roman imperial days and had been vigorously prosecuted for the two preceding generations by Emmeran, Rupert and Corbinian. At the moment, however, Bavarian conditions were unfavorable to Boniface. The hierarchy desired no closer relations with the curia; the political conditions were fairly chaotic and promised to stay so till the Karlings should find time and occasion to establish a permanent ascendency. Here first, as throughout the whole of Boniface's work in Germany, sympathy and co-operation of the civil authority was a primary condition of success. Boniface invited it, waited for it, prepared the way for it with patient diplomacy. When and where he found it he was quick to seize opportunity and marvellously skillful in using it. When he did not find it he turned elsewhere, as now to Thuringia.
In this northern borderland of Frankish influence development, political and ecclesiastical, was naturally less advanced than in Bavaria. Leading men, especially Duke Hedan, had, however, been active in furthering Christian missions. Kilian, a Scotic monk, had maintained a mission station near Würzburg and found a martyr's death there late in the seventh century. Willibrord had been invited to come here from Frisia and grants of land had been made or offered to him in 704 and in 716. But the Saxons to the north, hereditary enemies of the Franks and so very averse to Christianity, had checked and were long to hinder its peaceful diffusion among the masses of the people. Many heathen practices survived, even among the baptized. We hear of priests who divided their allegiance between Christian altars and pagan shrines. Boni
face, after a very brief stay, went westward, as though to Karl, but turned to the north and joined Willibrord in Frisia. Possibly he felt that Willibrord, a fellow countryman and a bishop who, after an understanding with the Frankish majordomo, had sought a Roman commission, had a prior claim on Thuringia or, in any case, could help him there. When he joined Willibrord, however, he found that political changes had transformed the missionary outlook. Many doors were opening on expanding prospects and Boniface remained with the aging bishop for some two years and a half, taking away with him, it seems, friendship and confidence when, in the spring of 722, he went up the Rhine to Hesse, just west of Thuringia. Here he was nearer than he had yet been to the court of Karl, who had been the mainstay of Willibrord's work. If Boniface had left Frisia with the estrangement that is read by many into the record, he would hardly have put himself so near the long arm of Martel.
In Hesse Boniface found twin princelings, Dettic and Deorulf, who gave him, possibly at Willibrord's suggestion, fertile land for a church and cloister at Amoeneburg. He now sent Bynnan to Rome to tell of his impressions and of the beginnings of settled work and, travelling about the region, began to organize such groups of Christians as he found, or could gather from the half persuaded, into a body that might offer effective resistance to the heathen Saxons and so serve his own catholicizing purpose and incidentally commend him to Karl. In this task he was engaged when he was summoned urgently to come to Rome. It was already clear that he was the man for the occasion. He was consecrated Bishop on St. Andrew's Day, 722. He made a formal profession of faith and took an oath of allegiance. In the main this was that customary for suburbican bishops, but it substituted for clauses. obviously inapplicable others that seemed appropriate to the curial secretaries. And so the new bishop came to promise if he learns that priests are living contrary to the ordinances of the holy fathers to have no fellowship or connection with them ", a clause that was to give him much perplexity of con
science thereafter. His relations to Karl were left either to private conference or to his discretion. The promotion and the oath were both in the normal order of things. There was then probably no plan on either side to make Germany in any peculiar sense a "papal province ", though in Gregory's letter to Karl, telling him of the consecration, he claims rights in the Frankish Church that the papacy did not then in fact possess. It was hoped, and with good cause, to substitute for the undisciplined individualism of Scotic missionaries and their Frankish emulators such organization and discipline as at that time could come to Northwestern Europe only through the fellowship, the traditions, and the prestige of Rome. It was high time to form a German Church and, as has been well said, the Scots could never have organized a German Church for they had no organization themselves. Here as in England they had done noble work and left a glorious heritage into which it was now time for others to enter if it was to endure. Thus Boniface was working in the spirit of Theodore of Canterbury, in a like situation, toward the same goal. What he had at heart was not aggrandizement of papal temporal power but that Christians should, so far as in him lay, present a united front to pagan and Saracen. His was no blind allegiance. If Roman practices seemed to him to stand in the way of unity, he did not hesitate to speak his mind, and to the Pope first of all. That was his idea of loyal service and it is no bad one.
Boniface had been consecrated episcopus regionarius. He was to create his own diocese. For material assistance he looked always to England, rather than to Rome, and to his own field more than to either. Gregory's letter to Karl says Boniface is sent "to preach to people of the German race and to those who live east of the Rhine in the illusion of heathendom or the darkness of ignorance." Boniface delivered the letter in the spring of 723 and received the equivalent of a passport, giving him safe-conduct and right of appeal "if anything happens to him that cannot be settled legally ". This was only matter of routine. In return Karl exacted an
express profession of allegiance to his dominio ac patrocinio. It is notable, too, that the passport states that it is issued at Boniface's own request. The Pope's letter is ignored, although we know that it was customary in these passports to give the names of the patrons of the receiver. All this illustrates the ways of Frankish diplomacy. It did not controvert unwelcome claims, it ignored them. Karl had no present use for a reformer in Austrasia; a stronger Church beyond the Rhine would make Thuringia more effective as a buffer against the Saxons. Karl in these years was laying the final courses in the deep foundation of what was to be the kingdom of Pipin and the empire of Charlemagne. The years since 714 when he took the reins of government had been full of struggle, none of them more than those now before him when he was to earn the title Martel, the Hammer, on the field of Poictiers. It was a time to engross the mind of the greatest ruler of his day and the resources of the nation that promised most for the future of Europe. Karl would have brooked at that time no intervention in the Church of Austrasia where the exigencies of the political situation had seemed to him to justify the alienation of a large part of the ecclesiastical income. An indefinite "primacy of honor" Karl and the Frankish clergy would unquestionably have accorded to Rome, but that Karl was master in the Church of his land he never allowed to be questioned, and his clergy, for reasons not altogether to their credit, wished to have it so. Indeed when once Boniface complained to Rome of the attempted intrusion of a Frankish bishop on his field the Pope was content to turn the case over to Karl's good will. But if the Frankish parishes were often impoverished, if abbacies and sees were frequently the reward of service on battlefields in defence of the nation, those who denounce Karl as a despoiler of the Church should not forget that a unique place in his century as the protector of Christendom and of civilization is his due.
For the next ten years Boniface, neither directly helped by Karl nor hindered by him, gave himself to spreading and confirming Christian communities in Hesse and Thuringia,
never going beyond the range of Karl's protection but devoting chief attention to the Saxon border, opposing the inroads of heathenism and destroying what might aid in its revival, as, for instance, the oak at Geismar. The whole trend of the time was so obviously away from paganism in Thuringia that the tales of baptized myriads are not improbable, but of course pagan usages survived, as in such cases they always do, often for centuries. Some of these gave Boniface much anxiety, as appears constantly in his letters to the very end. More perplexing still were the "false priests," who, living among a people of low culture and themselves without organization, discipline or oversight had become a law to themselves and no longer drew a clear line between Christianity and heathenism. Celibacy was disregarded here as throughout Austrasia, where manners at that time may be described as imperfectly monogamous". Then, too, there were Scotic missionaries, not altogether worthy successors of Columban, Gall and Kilian, eccentric wanderers for the greater part, sometimes with a considerable following. When Boniface would restrain their license, they defended themselves, as they have since been defended, in the name of liberty, but it is clear enough that their day was over. It was not in them to make a German
The helpers in Boniface's work were mainly volunteers from the English cloisters. Their laborers were directed, wisely and in accord with experience in their own nation, to the leading men. Where these led it was part of the Teutonic social order that the rest should follow. Cuius regio eius religio was as true then of Germany as ever it was later. The overlord commanded, the vassals came en masse to baptism. They had been taught the husk of the faith. It was for missionaries from the monastic settlements to show them what they could of its kernel, largely in house to house talks which apparently they mingled with instructions in arts and husbandry. So the community spirit grew in Thuringia and these Germans got a new understanding of Christian unity, brotherhood and social service.