A Church timeline for 2019

19AD – Jesus (probably) aged 23 grows in wisdom if not stature.
119 AD – Hadrian (Emperor 117-138) says Christians must not be sought out but only prosecuted for specific, provable, offences.
219AD – The effeminate and possibly insane Emperor Heliogabalus persecutes Christians to divert attention away from his unpopular reforms of pagan religions,
319AD – The Emperor Constantine, despite embracing Christianity and making it the imperial religion, still regularly consults soothsayers on occasions of public misfortune.
419AD – Following the barbarian sack of Rome (410), St. Augustine sets about his ‘City of God’ describing the unseen underlying conflict between sin and salvation, between the ‘City of Man’ and the ‘Kingdom of God’.
519AD – Foundation of the Kingdom of Wessex, which later, with its capital established at Winchester, would prove so important in the establishment of the Christian faith in our islands.
619AD – St. Mellitus, one of the original group to come from Rome with St. Augustine of Canterbury, after being the first bishop of London, becomes the third Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Lawrence.
719AD – Moslem armies cross the border between Spain and France and seize Narbonne, setting up a mosque in the Christian church of Sainte-Rustique (the Moslem will be halted and repelled in 732).
819AD – Viking hordes arrive in Wexford – “inlet of the mud flats” – and set into reverse the progress of the Irish Christian mission.
919AD – The Bulgarian Orthodox Church becomes self-governing and acquires its own Patriarch (nearly 700 years before that of Moscow).
1019AD – Consolidation of the ‘State of Kiev’ by Yaroslav the Wise, this being the truly cradle of ‘Russian’ Christianity, hence the Ukrainian-Russian animosity which continues to this day.
1119AD – The Church condemns the Frenchman Peter of Bruis, who denied infant baptism, erecting of churches, veneration of crosses, transubstantiation and prayers for the dead (killed by a mob 1131).
1219AD – St. Francis of Assisi, in Egypt at the 5th. Crusade, hopes to convert the Sultan; he is received graciously but his preaching is “without effect”. The scene is shown in one of Giotto’s frescoes in the Upper Basilica in Assisi.
1319AD – Birth of St. John of Bridlington near this East Yorkshire town; renowned for sanctity and miracles, he is canonised in 1401 but despite fervent appeals his beautiful shrine is destroyed in 1537.
1419AD – Death of the anti-Pope John XXIII, “ambitious, crafty and unscrupulous”, who had to flee the Council of Constance, set up to end the Papal Schism, disguised as a postman. When Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope in 1958 he deliberately did not call himself John XXIV, to show that his ‘predecessor’ was invalid.
1519AD – On Good Friday the Spanish ‘conquistadors’ under Hernán Cortés land on the Mexican coast at Veracruz; the Christianisation of the New World begins.
1619AD – Colonists from Bristol arrive at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia, and give thanks to God, this being the first celebration in America of Thanksgiving, preceding the Pilgrims on the Mayflower by two years.
1719AD – Death of Francisco d’Adda, cardinal, archbishop and nuncio to England under the Catholic James II (1685-8); his consecration at St. James’ Palace scandalised the Protestant Court but he warned the King that his anti-Protestant policies would end in disaster.
1819AD – Birth of François-Marie-Benjamin Richard, Archbishop of Paris 1886-1908, who would have to lead the French Church through the ‘Combes laws’ of 1904/5, separating Church and State, closing some 10,000 Church schools and forcing religious Orders into exile.
1919AD – The Swiss theologian Karl Barth, seeing how liberal Protestant theology had contributed to the rise of German nationalism with the fatal consequence of the First World War, writes his commentary on the Letter to the Romans – “a bomb dropping into the theologian’s playground” – showing how we can only know of Christ what God has revealed of him.
2019AD – Church history waits to be made – maybe here?