"In 1162, something scandalous happened. The monks of the cathedral chapter of Canterbury, under pressure from King Henry II, elected the deacon Thomas Becket as Archbishop. By any rendering, this was a political imposition. Henry hoped that Becket would be a tool, one who would cooperate with royal aims and help subordinate the Church to the Crown. Since the late 500s, Canterbury had been the most important diocese in England. Its bishop led the English Church, and he presided over the major national ceremonies, like the coronation of the king. Typically, the bishop was a monk, sometimes from the cathedral's monastery. The see had such notable monk-bishops as Saint Anselm, who, only a half-century earlier, had upended King Henry I's attempted power-grab during the investiture controversy.
"Thomas Becket was no monk. He was smart, but worldly. . . ."
In a recent commentary, Brother Cyril Stola, O.P.,
reflected on Thomas Becket and some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit worked through him and his ministry.
To access Br. Cyril's complete post, please visit:
Dominicana: A Courtier Transformed (29 DEC 20)