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Did the Church Play Positive or Negative Role in the Middle Ages? Essay

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Did the Church play a positive or negative role in the Middle Ages? The Middle Ages are known as dark period of history. The Roman empire collapsed, barbarian tribes took over and formed new kingdoms and the Church got great power. The Church got political influence and not always used it for good purposes. Also, the church preached about one thing and did another. In the end, was there anything positive about the church? Well, maybe after some thinking we may find some positive things, but in my opinion, the Church was more negative than positive in the Middle Ages. Why?

There are several reasons. The first one is “indulgence”. This shows how wrong and rotten the Church was at the time. They sold indulgence to ordinary people who really believed it would save them, and used the money to power the crusades. Also pope Urban II promised everyone who took part in the crusades to get free indulgence. To me this means that people were so blinded they even gave their life to the church which promised salvation in return. Another reason are the crusades. I think that fighting and killing over who believes in better god is the most stupid thing people could do.

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The Church was preaching about living in peace, loving everyone around you and so on, but the Church itself was warring. I don’t understand how this could work without anyone stopping and saying “hey, wait a minute, this isn’t right! ”. But again, this didn’t happen because people were blinded with the Church’s preachings. Another thing that was wrong about the Church was the Inquisition. This was again just about the money. The Inquisitors accused someone of being heretic, then investigated them, made a short trial, tortured and finally punished their victims. The tortures were brutal and the punishments unmerciful.

The“heretic“ could be banished, forced to become a pilgrim, forced to wear a yellow cross for life, publicly recantationed or improsoned. Sometimes the “heretic” could be burned at stake. Also the heretic’s property could be confiscated. So this is where the Church got money. So they tortured, murdered and confiscated property of people “in the name of God”. Also I think that the power of excommunication was too great and it gave the Church the power to influence the politics in a way they wanted to. When some king or landlord didn’t agree with the Church and did things the way he wanted, the Church simply excommunicated him.

This way he lost his social status, all respect and influence. He had to beg for mercy. Then the Church canceled the excommunication and he had to do what they told him anyway. So in fact, the Church ruled. Everyone had to do what the Church wanted them to do. If they didn’t, they were either excommunicated or accused of being heretic. So to sum it up – the Church made money on people’s naivity and beliefs, caused wars, bloodshed, hate and fear, called someone a heretic, punished them, confiscated their property and controlled politics.

This all tells me that the Church in the Middle Ages was nothing about God and belief. It was all about money and power. They didn’t care about people, they didn’t follow their own preaching. If someone stood against it they burned them. So this is what the Church should look like? They did no good at all. They were the exact opposite of what they should have been. And I think that these few points were enough to prove that the Church was a negative. Sources: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Middle_ages ; http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Medieval_Inquisition