This chapter examines the context of Monte Cassino's fading into the background, in the conviction that both political and religious concerns were at play. What Mayke de Jong has emphasised in her publications and teaching is that a too sharply defined distinction of political and religious concerns and ambitions misses the mark for our period. Spiritual concerns had secular components and repercussions, and vice versa. In his efforts to further his reforms Charlemagne relied on networks based on trust, loyalty and values shared with his fideles. The two meanings of the word fides, 'faith' and 'fidelity', exemplify the interwovenness of politics and religion in the Carolingian empire. When it comes to assessing Monte Cassino's position within Charlemagne's network of renovatio, important clues are held by Theodemar's epistolary guide to the world of Benedictine monastic discipline, including his lengthy discussion of fashion.