The Catholic Church continues to grow, undergoes reform, introduces new architecture and launches the Crusades against Muslims.
Christianity continues to grow and the Church expands its power. During this time, some church officials start to marry, though the Church forbids it. Some church officials even start to sell religious positions! Kings got in on the act by appointing their own bishops and other officers. This was known as lay investiture and was very controversial. A medieval king Because of all these, many reforms investing a bishop come about to forbid such actions.
Why do you think lay investiture was controversial? What type of problems do you see with lay investiture? Can you think of modern day examples or similar scenarios?
Popes organize the Christian faith much like a kingdom - Christendom The Pope’s advisors make church laws – canon law – and travel throughout Europe. The Church even starts to collect taxes (tithes) from all believers. These taxes went to care for the sick and help the poor.
Also during this time, new church groups arose such as the Franciscan and Dominican orders. Much like monks, men known as Friars vowed poverty and devoted their lives to travel and spreading the message of God. Many were very well educated and became scholars. Women also joined the spiritual revival by joining convents and becoming nuns.
This new age was shown in another way, as many towns in Europe built magnificent cathedrals. In the early 1100s, these huge churches used a new style of architecture called Gothic. This style of architecture is perhaps one of the greatest achievements during the Middle Ages. These buildings were tall, reaching toward heaven. They had walls covered with large windows of colorful stained glass, which let in beautiful light. They featured pointed archways and many sculptures.
Gargoyles were usually carved sculptures on a Gothic cathedral. Some had the specific function to direct rainwater off the building while others were grotesque creatures with the purpose of warding off evil spirits.