|NB. Seal and fish discussed next year|
Wilfrid was an impressive guy for the seventh century. He was born to the 1%, but since he didn't get along with step-mom, he was packed off to the King's court, whence he moved to Lindisfarne. In spite of having been educated at the center of Celtic Christianity in Great Britain, Wilfrid backed the Roman faction at the Synod of Whitby. This settled some burning issues, including how best to cut a monk's hair and how to determine which Sunday is Easter. Wilfrid's speech on the calculation of Easter was apparently memorable; moreover, he faction prevailed.
On the strength of that, he was appointed bishop of Northumbria; needing consecration, he set out for Gaul (France) to find some Latin Rite bishops to lay hands on him. The journey would have taken long enough, but he was shipwrecked in Sussex and attacked by heathens en route. By the time he got back, political winds had shifted in Northumbria and Chad was seated on his cathedra. Wilfrid went south, but when Theodore took over at Canterbury, he bounced Chad off the chair and gave it back to Wilfrid. Later on, Archbishop Ted tried to break up Wilfrid's see, so Wilfrid took his case to Rome. Rome backed him up, but King Ecgfrith refused to allow him back into York so he was exiled south once again, this time to preach to those Sussex heathens that had nearly killed him. Fractious bunch, these Brits.
|His church in York -- St. Margaret Clitherow's shrine is here|
At worst, he was a bigshot who needed more monastic humility and less ecclesiastical pomp. At best, he was a defender of the faith caught between the Celtic zealots who would have balkanized the Church and secular kings who would have subordinated the Church. I lean toward the former, but I tend to think a Celtic rite church would have been healthy in keeping Rome open-minded. It probably wouldn't have prevented the Schism, papal corruption, or the Reformation, but it couldn't have hurt. Sorry, Wil.