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Chapter 11: Saints
   Saints and Blesseds
      461. A Maverick St. Patrick?

{461.1} Q. At an online forum I frequent, several Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox contributors claim St. Patrick had no connection with Rome -- that he was a free agent, a maverick, a proto-Anglican or Eastern Orthodox. They claim the view that he was sent by Pope St. Celestine is Catholic revisionism, unsupported by the primary sources (notably Bede). Could you point me to some resources that might shed light on this?

{461.2} A. In the fifth century there were only two kinds of Christians: Catholics and heretics. If St. Patrick had no connection with Rome, he would have been a heretic. "Anglicans" appeared only 1,100 years later, when King Henry VIII made himself head of the church in England. For about six centuries or so after St. Patrick, all the Eastern churches were Catholic, all of them under the jurisdiction of Rome.

{461.3} You will find a careful summary of modern scholarship regarding St. Patrick in The Building of Christendom, which is Vol. 2 of Warren Carroll's five-volume History of Christendom (Christendom College Press, see pages 121-124 and especially 129-131).

{461.4} Briefly, in 429, Pope Celestine sent St. Germanus of Auxerre to Britain to report on the state of the Church there. Evidently, after St. Patrick's return from Ireland, St. Germanus ordained him to the diaconate as a missionary to Ireland. Five or six years later St. Patrick was consecrated a bishop for Ireland.

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