Question by The Thinker: How did the catholic church fail its people during the catastrophes of the 14th Century?
In the fourteenth century, the medieval west suffered a series of catastrophes, and the prestige of the church decreased dramatically. In which ways were the church’s dominance questioned, and how did the church fail to meet the needs of its people.
What were the Churches failings during this time?
During the plaque, famine and the rest – how did the Church fail the needs of the people? For example, taxes, indulgences and the creation of purgatory.
Answer by Stephen J
The church did not fail its people. on the contrary the church AS IT ALWAYS HAS- kept civilization together and kept it from falling completely apart. Taxes and feudalism were state caused problems- along with the inquisition and Templar persecutions. These were the doings of the States of Europe who were far from control of the church. In fact, it took all the resources the church had to keep Christendom together as long as it had…There was always a despot king who resented papal interference in “their” church. Finally, England finally did break away- because a spoiled murderer named Henry VIII wanted a divorce…of course by this time the church had lost many a devoted Catholics in martyrdom- (Thomas aBeckett, Joan of Arc) because of out of control tyrants.
To sum up- what did the church do during the medieval times of distress?
– Educated the common people – founded the modern schooling and archiving systems we have today- based on a FREE labor system by sacrificing clergy members committed to a vow of poverty.
– Catholics defended the entire continent from conquering Muslims without tolerance nor mercy.
– Kickstarted the Renaissance- the movement towards scientific progress, exploration, discovery and rediscovery of ancient knowledge (whose preservation is soley attributable to the Catholic clergy).
– Served as a tempering influence in the entirety of Europe- converting the powerful pagan tribes (whose lives revolved around warfare, destruction, and human sacrifice) to a religion of love.
To address the criticisms implied in your question:
Indulgences was simply a way for a penitent, who has already paid confessed sin and repented, to financially pay penance for the furtherment of the community- in the form of funds for churches. In fact, this still takes place in all churches today- and is considered an act of support and community spirit…As for Purgatory, its a doctrine still believed in today by over 1 billion Catholics. I personally believe in it simply because it makes sense; “nothing imperfect can enter a perfect place- thus rendering it imperfect- there must be a place where the imperfections and weaknesses within us can be cleansed”. It isn’t a “creation” by any stretch- simply a specific religious world view based on the examination of mysteries of this world. If you don’t believe it then you don’t believe it…that’s your call.
But in short, we catholics are the most intelligent religious adherents in the world. We welcome rational debate of our beliefs- simply because we have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. We neither fear discussion of our history nor our relevance in the future- the truth is always relevant and immutable. We do not propose to know the intentions of our Lord and certainly don’t claim to be “friends” with him like so many of our protestant friends. We fear our Lord.
Catholics are the most noble, wealthiest people on the planet. Catholics are also the poorest people on the planet. We send missionaries and charity to every country in the world (not just the white countries with money like protestants). Catholics are all colors, all races…but we all believe in LIFE! Catholic priests have Ph.D’s in all academic areas of human endeavor…but this education only reinforces our faith…
When Christianity is criticized, Catholics take the brunt of the criticism while the other “denominations” scurry and hide. When abortion, for instance, is debated- the Catholic church is inevitably the target of pro abortionists- even though it is forbidden in all major religions in the world- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judiasm…
So it doesn’t surprise me one bit to hear now that in addition to all other world calamities, the church is responsible for poor living conditions in Europe in the 14th century… whatever buddy….
Proud to be CATHOLIC!
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