The Christian Church in the Middle Ages Essay
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The Christian Church in the Middle Ages
The Christian Church in the Middle Ages played a significant role in society. Unfortunately though, the church is often regarded as the capital of corruption, evil, and worldliness. Today, so many people depict the medieval church as being led by materialistic popes, devouring tithes from poverty-stricken peasants, having various illegitimate children, and granting indulgences for money from wayward believers. Yes, circumstances like this may have been the case, and is often hard to disapprove, considering the fact that this notion is often advocated in movies. But we must open our mind, and look at the situations first before jumping to conclusions. As many things define the distinct…show more content…
It is also worth noting that not all contemporaries who were interested in the reformation, such as Erasmus, joined Luther in his famous feat, the Reformation. With this in mind, Luther and other reformers are usually credited with bringing the church back to the New Testament ideal, which is not necessarily the case. Luther and his contemporaries definitely did not introduce the concept of “reform”. Actually, during this time of the wealth and luxury of monastic orders, reform was a recurring theme. But considering the way various popes around Europe tried to bring the church back to its wholesome state, is good to note that most monastic treatises arguing the moral decline of the church do their best to make the church appear as black and unholy as possible. They depict every little thing that is in the least tainted with anything immoral ten times as worse as it really was, alleging that it was excessive with luxury, worldliness, and corruption. Another element that contributes to the misleading idea that the church was corrupt were the clerical abuses taken place during the later Middle Ages. Many people picture the church being run in an authoritarian and totalitarian way by misguided popes, hungry for money and power. This was not always true but trying not to contradict that fact that there were cases of
Show MoreThe Church Had enormous influence over the people of medieval Europe and had the power to make laws and influence monarchs. The church had much wealth and power as it owned much land and had taxes called tithes. It made separate laws and punishments to the monarch’s laws and had the ability to send people to war. The church controlled the people of Europe's beliefs and determined holy days and festivals. The people who worked in the church were some of the most educate people. It was one of the powerful institutions in Medieval Europe and even had its own hierarchy. The church, because of its large power and influence, caused the Christian religion to be the most widespread belief in the world. The remnants of the once powerful religion…show more content…
This system comprised of the Pope at the head of the Church, then cardinals, arch- bishops and bishops, priests, nuns and monks and the lowest were friars who travelled the land. This hierarchy caused the Church to be very orginised. The Church gained a lot of its wealth from the tithe tax but it also had the right to take money from people who were being baptised, from marriages, funerals etc. The Church owed a large part of its wealth to the peasants and the lords for their land and money.
Through the Churches power and influence they were allowed to create separate, Church law. The Church had separate trials and punishments to those of the monarch’s, any member of the Church who committed a crime would be judged in the Church court. The Church would judge a person’s innocence through trials by ordeals. These ordeals include ordeal by poison, water, pulling an object from boiling oil, carrying hot metal over a certain distance, walking over hot coals if one of the burns got infected, the person would guilty. If a person would be found guilty, assuming that they weren’t dead from infections or burns, they would be punished by banishment or excommunication, were the person would be unable to talk to any church member or attend any church activities. These laws were also used on King John in the 15th century causing a rebellion, which meant that the Church had far greater influence on the