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Catholic Church In Medieval Europe
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Catholic Church In Medieval Europe

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  • 1. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages
  • 2.
    • The church was the most powerful organization in medieval Europe.
    • The church claimed to have power over all religious and secular (non-religious) parts of life.
  • 3. I. Reasons for the Church’s Power
    • A. Role of Faith
      • 1. The church represented God.
      • 2. Religion was part of daily life. It was social and united people.
      • 3. The church held the power to send you to Heaven or Hell.
  • 4.
      • 4. If you didn’t obey Canon Law you could be excommunicated .
    • Canon Law - church law; the church had its own courts
  • 5. Excommunication -
    • exclusion (being kicked out) of the church.
    • - Cannot receive sacraments
    • (means you go to hell)
    • - Cannot receive a Christian burial
    • - Shunned (rejected) by other Christians
  • 6. Interdict-
    • excommunication of an entire town, region or kingdom. This resulted when a noble or king violated canon law.
  • 7. II. Wealth
    • A. Nobles often left land to the church when they died.
    • B. Church wealth increased through tithes (church “tax” or donation; 10%)
  • 8.  
  • 9. III. Learning
    • A. Rulers relied on C lergy (religious officials) to keep records (in Latin).
    • B. The church preserved learning.
  • 10. Pope (1 head)            Bishops (2946 diocese, cathedrals)           Priests (219,583 parishes)          Catholics (1 Billion members) IV. Church Hierarchy
  • 11. V. Corruption
    • A. As the church’s wealth and power grew, so did corruption.
    • B. The clergy lived in luxury and ignored their vows.
    • C. This led to reform but would later split in the Church.
  • 12. Points to Remember
    • 1. Feudalism and the manor system separated and isolated people from each other
    • 2. Shared beliefs in church teachings keep people united during difficult times.
    • 3. The ultimate goal was to achieve salvation (a life in heaven).
    • 4. The church had power because they administered/ controlled the sacraments.