Catholicism is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ that transcends through time and place. Catholics are prone to the influence of the period they are born in, affecting their views on religion. Living in the modern age alone presents contemporary Catholics with difficulties that affect how they practice their faith. The rising urge for meanings raises potential problems for the convert of the faith. , the most modern religious organization thus uses various historical aspects to justify their actions in the current society. Catholic is one religion that has fallen chiefly trap of justifying their actions. The modern Catholic Church mainly uses the medieval past to justify its authority or support its agenda in modern society. The paper discusses the parts of the medieval period that the Catholics are most interested in and have maximum impact in supporting their age. The Three peer-reviewed articles are included to provide the modern Catholic Church argument regarding the medieval past.
Additionally, the article explores how the modern catholic church uses the medieval past to achieve specific goals and agendas in the current society. Lastly, the paper explores whether the modern catholic church version of the pre-modern past is incomplete, distorted, or invented. Threeval past has considerable imp
The Middle Ages lasted from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the late 5th century until Renaissance in the 15th. The Roman Catholic Church controlled the European continent during that millennium, and its effect on all elements of customs and culture was undeniable. The medieval Catholic Church’s traditions and discoveries profoundly affected the West, including the yet-to-be-mapped and plundered New Frontier. Catholic Church and Christianity, in general, played a significant role during the middle ages in Europe (Fanning). The Centre of towns grew up due to churches thus had people attending weekly ceremonies such as marriages, confirmation, and requiem services, among others.
Additionally, kings and other prominent leaders were confirmed in the church by giving them the divine right to rule. Catholics, therefore, hold the middle ages with high regard since it is essential to their religion. Additionally, these few essential aspects of the middle ages that they are interested in influence how they justify their authority in modern society. The various accomplishments that the Roman Catholic Church had in the medieval period raised their interest in the said period. Their accomplishments include spiritual supremacy, literacy and illumination, art and architecture, and divine music.
Catholic Church supported, encouraged, and provided financial aid, thus transiting the missions to function the government. The system of royal patronage that the Pope granted exclusive rights to spread the faith and convert people contributed to the spiritual supremacy of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church had a significant influence politically in the medieval ages, such as the Portuguese patronage. Catholics are interested in these periods since they take pride in the spread of Catholicism assisted by the greatest catholic missionaries like Ignatius of Loyola. According to Don Fanning (2009), as explorers discovered lucrative trade routes to the East, the Catholic Church sought to expand through this new opportunity.
Additionally, scholasticism, mysticism, and monasticism are the critical elements in the medieval period that weaved together the infrastructure of the Catholic Church. Catholics are particularly interested in the late medieval period since the schools in cathedrals and monasteries developed in universities that mainly intended to explain God’s truth. Don Fanning illustrates how Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274 was responsible for formulating the sacramental system of the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, the period 1075 to 1122 was characterized by conflicts between the popes and monarchs. Both parties were relatively weak as they could not endorse laws, rights or claim complete control of the territory. Therefore, the conflicts mainly were over authority within territories and souls. Modern Catholic Church is interested in the medieval period since they resonate with the struggles they are currently experiencing.
The catholic church has specific goals and worldviews of religious groups and thus attempts to accomplish them in various ways, including the medieval past. The medieval ages had profound impacts on individuals’ lives as most of the population were Christians, which meant that they were Catholics. Believers thought that the church continued to hold a person’s soul in the afterlife considering the church’s central role in the lives of individuals in the medieval age. The previous church structures and beliefs have evolved to the modern world; however, the clergy and church leaders use past doctrines to drive specific goals and advance a worldview in the current religious structure (Melton). The current Catholic church is trying to advance a worldview that people’s lives should revolve around church, especially women experienced in the medieval period.
Additionally, the concept of people paying tithes and supporting parish priests are doctrines that the current church is promoting and not wanting to die despite the change in society’s social, political, and environmental structures. The doctrines of the Catholic Church in the medieval period are in a trial in the current generation to achieve specific goals or paint a particular worldview of the religious group. The church’s teachings previously were absolute, and questions were not allowed, as there was no room for doubt. Additionally, the religious group was actively involved in the country’s governance.
The religious groups aim to establish the church as the center for people’s lives as it was in the past. However, this is being met by significant opposition, considering the rise of various atheists who do not believe in any religion. The medieval period had everyone believing in the church, especially women who attended the church thrice or five times daily for prayers. However, the religious group is fighting the different religious views that the contemporary world presents to ensure a re-enactment of a medieval past. Additionally, the Catholic Church is pushing for inclusion in the national government and a seat at the table in decision-making in governance. The massive wealth accumulated through the tithes and lavish gifts in the medieval period castigated the religious groups’ urge to continue the legacy (Melton). The religious group advocates for continued tithes and lavish gifts by the congregants in the current world to achieve the church’s power and wealth back in the medieval past. Lastly, the religious group is driving the reformations in the church to achieve their improvised goals with an excuse that the Middle Ages was inconceivable to have any belief system other than the church. The current era offers different legitimate avenues for religious expression than the medieval era, and religious groups are taking advantage of that.
The version of the current religious group on their pre-modern past is distorted, especially since they think they were all-powerful and had influenced built on the truth and light of Jesus Christ (Lynch). The pre-modern past was characterized by most Roman Catholic churches in Western Europe. The church was all-powerful and was used as a legal alternative that ensured nobody went against the church or was labeled a heretic. The power relied on ignorance and superstition on a particular church population. The church had the power and the masses since people believed they could only get to heaven through church and no other way. The priests of the Catholic Church had massive power at the local level; that was not the case considering the perceptions people had on the church.
Additionally, people were many in the church since the relationship between them and the church was essentially due to money. The rich could buy their positions in church and get satisfied with the belief of attaining salvation. The mass power that the current religious group has on the pre-modern past is distorted and absurd. Few people were willing to speak about it against the Catholic Church, as the consequences were considered appalling to contemplate. The various ignorant people knew nothing new as they were taught certain narratives from their birth.
The collection at the end of the service was mandatory, and the payment could either be in money or in-kind such as seed, animals, etc. Additionally, congregants were expected to work on church land without pay for a specified number of days (Lynch). The people working on the church’s land could not work, thus proving a nuisance to the peasants. The wealth and power that the Roman Catholics had were through the backs of their poor congregants who had no choice. Additionally, the Catholic Church’s pre-modern past significant influence is not necessarily authentic, as people had no other choice and fear of having contrary opinions to the reigning global religion. The current religious groups’ version concerning their church in the pre-modern past is utterly misinformed and distorted; thus needs to be revised and interpreted correctly.
In conclusion, the modern Catholic Church’s monopoly on religious belief and practice is broken, and the current generation is characterized by greater spiritual freedom. The medieval period holds much importance in the history of the Catholic Church as it is its foundation. Additionally, the church’s current goals and worldview are trying to put across is informed by the medieval past. The area of interest of the Catholic Church in the medieval period is an essential aspect of the normal functioning of the church. The past church was wealthy from the backs of its believers through the selling of different teachings that had money ending up in the church’s pockets. Additionally, the wealth of the clergy was attributed to their teaching on purgatory, an afterlife realm where souls are trapped. The misuse of the church has not stopped as the modern catholic church is still taking advantage of the medieval period to drive certain ideologies in the mind of their believers to achieve specific goals.
Melton, J. (2018). Periodicals of the Unclassified Religious Groups. 10.4324/9781315047560-25.
Fanning, Don. “Roman Catholic era Medieval period.” (2009).
Lynch, Joseph. The medieval church: a brief history. Routledge, 2014.