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Tonight's Handout

Prepping, prepping, and prepping. Not much time for blogging, blogging, blogging.

Below is tonight's handout for my "Catholic History in 30 Minutes" presentation at a local bar. My first dry run took me 90 minutes. I then got it down to 60 minutes. I then flew through it in 40 minutes. By putting stuff in this handout, I'm cautiously optimistic I can keep it under 40 minutes, while still having fun with it (no rushing). We'll see.


We start around the year 100. Where the Book of Acts lets off, we pick up. . . . kinda
Book of Acts ends in late 60s. We're starting about 50 years later

The early years: Persecutions

313: The Edict of Milan: Safe to be Catholic

400s-600s: Decay of Rome. Nature abhors a vacuum. Church fills it. Leo and Attila, the original odd couple

800: Charlemagne. King of the Franks (read: “France”). Key dude

850-1000: True Dark Ages. Frowny face. The uglification of Europe: hot chicks taken north

1000: Dawn of Middle Ages. Height of Papal power. Smiley face, albeit a bit wry

1200s: The glorious century. Thomas Aquinas, mystic rock stars fueled by LSD (not really)

1300s: Everything sucks, leaving the Church and society crippled, handicapped, disabled at every level.

1500-1648: The Reformation and Treaty of Westphalia. Things continue to suck

1648-1870: Gradual decline and elimination of Church's political power; increase in religiosity

1929: Token of political power returned (Vatican City)

Miscellaneous Stuff

This is 2,000 years in thirty minutes. Things will be missed. You can't get mad or refuse to pay for my drinks because I left out your favorite saint or historical anecdote.

This is probably Western Civ as much as Church history. My apologies, but the two are as intertwined as bad haircuts and sixth grade.

I'm not couching my words in things like, “Catholic historians believe X” or “It is the Church's position that Y occurred.” It's simply too cumbersome, rhetorically, to do it. This is a Catholic history.

This lecture focuses on political events, with the religious ones in the background. It might be apt to reverse this emphasis in a subsequent lecture, but for tonight, deal with it.

If you're bored stiff and realize that we still have 500 years to go, don't panic or fake a heart attack to get out of the room. I cut through the last 500 years quickly.

The Q&A is for good faith discussion. If you're looking for debate or argument, you've come to the wrong place. Call me, and I'll meet you any time one-on-one, preferably over a drink. You can ask me any question in private, even those things you think might offend me, as long as they don't touch on my alleged enjoyment of Trailer Park Boys.