The Catholic Church

Madison Ernst and Lauren Cunningham

What impact did the religious leaders have on the balance of power in Europe?

Foundations of power and influence

  • The church and the state were closely linked.
  • The duty of every political authority was to support and sustain the church.
  • As apostles carried the word of Jesus to different parts of Rome, it became easier to build and organize the Christian community.
  • The start of the dominance of Pope control started with Pope Leo I in the 5th century. He repaired public buildings and convince invaders such as the Attila to leave Rome.

Papacy and the Vatican power structure

  • The papacy was the office of the pope.
  • Papacy is alos defined as the power of the pope.
  • Vatican system: the pope has the most power, then the bishops, and then the priests/churches

Balance and maintenance of power in Europe

  • The pope became powerful because Europe used Christianity to help govern the Roman empire.
  • The close relationship between the pope and emporer contributed to the popes increase in power.
  • The church was always included in political affairs.
  • The Pope used the Petrine theory (popes are successors of St. Peter) to assert their power over other bishops and the Christian community.
  • Bishops and emporers sometimes clashed over who had greater authority in Rome.
  • The pope helped the emporer govern occasionally.

Role of the Pope in the Catholic Church

  • ensure that the faith of the church does not waver from the traditions set by Jesus
  • viewed as the successors to St. Peter
  • greatest political figure

Role of the monks

  • manual labor
  • forbidden to own property, leave monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society
  • Clergy- head of all orders
  • required to serve as ambassadors of Catholicism

Role of nuns

  • provided for the less fortunate member of society
  • copy manuscripts of religious text
  • make food and clothes
  • teach children
  • oversee community finances
  • Both monks and nuns were responsible for practicing and spreading the word of Jesus and Catholic faith.


  • Missionaries are members of a religious group that are sent to teach certain services.
  • The mission is to send discples preaching in Jesus' name.

Critical thinking: What were the roles of the nuns and monks, and how did it impact society?

Monks and nuns are people that have left society to devote theirlives to God.They tooks vows of chastity to be obedient to religious leaders. Monks and nuns also filled societal needs. Such as tending to the sick, helping the poor, and educatiing children. In monasteries and covents, monks and nuns preserved ancient writings by copy ancient writings. Some became missionaires, risking their lives to spread the message of Christianity. Monks and nuns help preserve the faith of the Catholic church uphold the laws set by Jesus.

Once again...What impact did the religious leaders have on the balance of power?

During the Middle Ages in Rome, the Catholic Church played a huge role in the government system. Rome used religious values and leaders to run society. Sometimes, this caused conflict between the emperor and the religious leaders. Therefore at times, the balance of power was uneven between leaders in Rome. As time passed, religious leaders started to gain power, decreasing the role of the emperor.


Bardsley, Sandy. "medieval nuns." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"Catholic Bishop with Staff | Clergy Clipart." ShareFaith. Web. 18 Dec.    2014. .

Emmons, Jim Tschen. "Catholicism." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Emmons, Jim Tschen. "origins of the papacy." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"Making History - Medieval Monastic Clergy." YouTube. YouTube, 3 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. .

"Middle Ages for KidsAbbots, Bishops,Cardinals, Pope." Abbots, Bishops, Cardinals, Pope. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <

"Monk Clip Art." - Vector Clip Art Online, Royalty Free & Public Domain. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. .

"Priest 20clipart | Clipart Panda - Free Clipart Images." Priest 20clipart | Clipart Panda - Free Clipart Images. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Singman, Jeffrey L. "medieval monks." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"World Book Online Reference Center | Online Reference Book| Online Encyclopedia." World Book. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <     id=ar473900&st=catholic church>.

Comment Stream