Roman Catholic Church and Judgement in the Middle Ages

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“In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (Thessalonians 1:8, 9). The Middle Ages was a time of death, pain and superstition; no one could escape God’s judgment. When the Roman Empire fell, The Church had created an everlasting clutch of control over the people. If one did not obey The Church, they were excommunicated and labeled heretics, cast out into the world with no spiritual guidance, never to see the light of God again. However, The Church also offered hope and a chance of salvation in a time that was inevitably grim and solitary. This statement will be proven the through the analysis of The Church’s rise to power, the threat of heretics, the effects of excommunication and inderdictment. The role of monks and nuns in the medieval society, the use of sins and the idea of heaven and hell and how The Church used sacraments to gain control of people’s lives will also be discussed to prove this statement. Christianity is based upon the teachings of a Jewish man named Jesus. He encouraged people to act out of compassion instead of self interest, to tolerate difference and work towards reducing the suffering of less fortunate beings. However, Roman Emperors, Nero, Decius and Valerian, persecuted those who practiced Christianity; regarding the worshiping non-Roman gods as treason. It wasn’t until later in the Empire’s development that Christianity became more accepted.

Emperor Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to declare the freedom of worship and in 392, Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Ro...

... middle of paper ... and gave the Church a massive amount of influence. Despite this, the idea also helped monk and nuns to offer people a hope of salvation from the devil if they resisted his temptation.

Monks and nuns were preachers who spread the word of God, helped the needy and cared for the sick. They offered hope and salvation for the people in an otherwise desolate world. Monks and nuns devoted their day to prayer and also had daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing, brewing ale etc. Written in the ‘Cesarius of Heisterbach’ is a passage which outlines the deeds monks and nuns completed for the sick people, “During the famine off 1197, our monastery… gave help to many… the abbot had a whole ox stewed and gave a ration to every poor person.” This source clearly displays the compassion monks and nuns had the hope and salvation that The Church offered for the people.
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