The Catholic Church

EQ: Is religious leadership just as effective as political leadership?

Historical Background:

Power and Influence: Jesus told the apostles to spread the catholic teachings about the kingdom of God everywhere. Catholics believe Jesus rose from the dead, and that he rose from the dead in order to carry all people to salvation when they die.

Pope and Vatican Power:

Vatican is led by the pope.  Papacy is the popes office.

Balance and Power in Europe:

Popes are the highest power in the Catholic Church. Then, the deacons, priests, cardinals, and bishops are underneath the Pope.

Pope's Role in Church:

The Pope is the first and foremost the Supreme Pastor. That means that he represents Christ's love and concern for every single individual. That is why the Pope's priority lies in getting to know people, understanding how they live, listening to their interests and sharing their sufferings and their joys. He is the representative of God in all political and religious decisions.

Monks and Nuns:

Monks are males that dedicate themselves to the church and Nuns are women that dedicate themselves to the church. They normally live in Monastery's together and serve to the poor and helpless people as well as spread their religion to everyone they meet.

Missions and Missionaries:

Missionaries are people who spread the word of God around. They go on missions to serve their Lord and those in need of help. While serving they spread and introduce their religion to whoever they serve.

Charlemagne vs. The Pope


Charlemagne was born around 742, the son of Bertrada of Laon and Pepin the Short, who became king of the Franks in 751.

Charlemagne served as a source of inspiration for such leaders as Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler, who had visions of ruling a unified Europe.

After Pepin’s death, the Frankish kingdom was divided between Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman. The brothers had a bad relationship however, with Carloman’s death, Charlemagne became the ruler of the Franconians.

Once in power, Charlemagne wanted to unite all the German people into one kingdom, and convert them to Christianity. In order to carry out this mission, he spent the majority of his reign busy with military campaigns. After becoming king, he conquered the Lombards, the Avars and Bavaria.

Charlemagne waged a bloody, three-decades-long series of battles against the Saxons, a Germanic tribe of pagan worshipers, and earned a reputation for ruthlessness. Eventually he forced the Saxons to convert to Christianity, and declared that anyone who didn't get baptized or follow other Christian traditions would be put to death.


A fateful event for the papacy was the donation of lands made to the pope by the Frankish king Pepin. The papacy had already been given lands, but it was the Donation of Pepin that was the symbolic founding of the Papal States. The pope then became a powerful prince as well as a ruler. This conflict of powers was a determining condition in the struggle between church and state that was a main theme in the history of the Middle Ages. Princes attempted to direct the church just as the pope tried to establish secular as well as spiritual supremacy over the rulers. A central point at issue arose and conflict was far wider and deeper. Although all in the West confirmed that Christendom was under the pope in Rome, that affirmation had barely any impact on the question of papal supremacy in secular affairs. By crowning Charlemagne, Leo III at once the empire and sanctioned the creation of a state, as the Roman Empire, and was to be the chief antagonist of the papacy for centuries.

Take this quiz below to see how much you've learned so far!

EQ: Is religious leadership just as effective as political leadership?

CTQ: Who's power was more influential, the political power of Charlemagne or the religious power of the Papacy?


We think that Charlemagne had more influence on everyone because he was very demanding and killed many who didn't believe in what he believed. He also was very big on expanding Christianity and Catholicism, which then led to him having a bigger impact in the catholic church.

MLA Citation
"Anglican Nuns Praised for Joining Catholic Church." :: Catholic News Agency (CNA). 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. .
Lavanga, Claudio. "Pope John Paul II's Personal Notes Published Against His Will."NBC News. 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

"MONKS AND MERMAIDS (A Benedictine Blog)." : THE MONASTIC COMMUNITY OF JERUSALEM. 11 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

"The Catholic Church in Cambodia." Missionaries of Charity—Cambodia. 29 Sept. 2009. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Travlang Travel Guide." Travlang Travel Guide St Peters Basilica A Place For Sacred Feelings And Perpetual Devotion Comments. 3 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Charlemagne." A&E Television Networks, 13 Sept. 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

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