The Influence Of The Roman Catholic Church

1299 words - 5 pages

The Roman Catholic Church had complete influence over the lives of everyone in medieval society including their beliefs and values. The Church’s fame in power and wealth had provided them with the ability to make their own laws and follow their own social hierarchy. With strong political strength in hand, the Church could even determine holidays and festivals. It gained significant force in the arts, education, religion, politics as well as their capability to alter the feudal structure through their wealth and power.
The Church was organised into a hierarchical system that sustained the Church’s stability and control over the people and lower clergy, by organising them into different groups. First there were the ordinary believers, the citizens of the kingdom who followed the Christian faith. Then there was the clergy, the members who devoted their lives to the church. Each group of the clergy was assigned specific functions by the clergy nobles to help run the Church competently. Amongst all the clergy associates, the Pope was at the top, he had the equivalent if not more power than the ruling monarch and was in charge of all political affairs and administered the clergy. He was able to dictate political laws and even comment on the Monarch’s decisions. Under the Pope, there were the bishops. The bishops directed church courts and managed cases correlated to the public such as marriage, wills and other public predicaments. Priests held religious services that consisted of sacraments, baptisms and the usual Sabbath services. The monks and nuns received manual labour that required helping clean the monasteries and assist the needy. Educated monks copied manuscripts of medieval and ancient knowledge in the Scriptorium. Finally, the friars were to wander around the neighbouring towns to preach and aid the needy. This system did not only transform the church into a holy vicinity for the needy, but also a business institution that helped the church gain reputation in power. The Church’s structure has allowed them to obtain a secure place in the society with every role in the Church participating with influencing the people in some way.

The institution accumulated its power through two main sources, its wealth and spiritual authority over the people. The Pope was so powerful in the medieval world, that he was able to organize Crusades which were a series of religious wars designed to restore the control of the Catholic religion. The Crusades brought back new innovations from foreign religious lands which has helped the expansion of businesses and farming, but most predominantly, strengthening the Church. Many books and ancient scriptures were written in Latin and could only be deciphered by the clergy, which displays the Churches strength through literature and education. With this virtue at hand, it infers that the primary people who could read and write were the clergy. In politics, laws were determined by the Church and formulating them...

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