And then there are historian Fr. John Romanidies' (PhD University of Athens, also educated at Yale, etc) controversial claims about the Frankish takeover of Western Latin Catholic Christianity, enslavement of the Orthodox Western populace (which he actually compares to the atrocities perpetuated in Cambodia by Pol Pot), replacement of Western Catholic bishops -many of whom were executed- with Frankish military and political leaders, and within a couple of centuries, the papal office itself...
According to Fr. John this constituted the fountainhead of the loss of much that was "Roman Christian" culturally, intellectually, and religiously (not to mention Orthodox) in the Latin West.
"Gone was now the Patriarchate of Elder Rome which had been forcefully captured by the Franks, Lombards, Germans and with the help of the Normans. This struggle began in intensity in 983 and was consummated in 1009-1046. After 1045 the Popes of Rome, except for Benedict X (1058-9), were no longer Romans, but members of the Franco-Latin nobility who enslaved the Roman population. At the time of the Revolution of 1789 the Gallo-Roman slave population of France was 85 % of the total." http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.00.en.some_underlying_positions_of_this_website.htm
The development of major theological emphases which differed from first millennium Catholic (Orthodox) consensus, e.g. nature/grace dualism, replacement of the therapeutic model by legal/merit/satisfaction soteriology (leading to the Reformation), rationalist/foundationalist ways to God grounded upon autonomous human reason (leading to the Enlightenment and the Death of God in Western philosophy), origin of papal supremacy beginning in the middle ages etc. were viewed by Fr. John as consequences stemming from the shift of Old Rome from Roman to Frankish (though Roman in name) socially/culturally/politically after the conquest.
Any thoughts on Fr. John's theories about the Frankish conquest of Old Rome here? It's probably worth a thread of its own actually...
"Romanides contributed many speculations, some controversial, into the cultural and religious differences between Eastern and Western Christianity, and how these divergences have impacted the ways in which Christianity has developed and been lived out in the Christian cultures of East and West." -wiki (i.e. it's wiki, take anything it ever tells you about anything with a grain of salt ;-)