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Middle Ages and the Church. Aim/Goals: How did the Roman Catholic Church come to control medieval life in western Europe? Do Now: (1) After the fall of Rome, there was a new political system. What was it called? (Hint: Starts with the letter “F.”)

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Middle Ages and the Church

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Middle Ages and the Church

Aim/Goals: How did the Roman Catholic Church come to control medieval life in western Europe?

Do Now:

(1) After the fall of Rome, there was a new political system. What was it called? (Hint: Starts with the letter “F.”)

(2) What did the people during the Middle Ages live on? (Hint: It starts with the letter “M.”)

Homework #18: The Roman Catholic Church was very powerful during the Middle Ages. Do you feel that the Church should have a say in the government? Example: same sexed marriages, abortion, prayer in school, etc. Please answer in a paragraph. Must be 5-8 sentences.


Cooperation and Mutual Obligations


  • Agriculture (farming) the basis for wealth

  • Lands divided up into self-sufficient manors

  • Peasants (serfs) worked the land and paid rent In exchange for protection

  • Barter the usual form of exchange


  • Decentralized, local government

  • Dependent upon the relationship between members of the nobility

  • Lord and his vassals gave justice and were the highest authority in their land


Fief and Peasants

Fief and Peasants

Military Aid



Food Protection Shelter

Food Protection Shelter

Military Service



Food Protection Shelter

Pay Rent

Farm the Land



Read Document #1 and answer all questions in full sentences in your notebook.

  • After the fall of Rome __________________


    happened to the Church.


2. The _____________________headed the Roman Catholic Church. His role was



3. If the Christian did not obey the rules of the Church, they would be __________________.

4. The role of the Church officials were _______


_______________________________________. They were important because ______________________.

The Catholic Church

  • The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe during the Middle Ages, and it had its own laws and large income.

  • Church leaders such as bishops and archbishops sat on the king's council and played leading roles in government.


  • Bishops, who were often wealthy and came from noble families, ruled over groups of parishes called dioceses.

  • Many times, they were part of the feudal system and in exchange for a fief and peasants had to provide homage and military aid to a leige lord.

Parish Priests

  • Parish priests, on the other hand, came from humbler backgrounds and often had little education.

  • The village priest tended to the sick and indigent and, if he was able, taught Latin and the Bible to the youth of the village


  • Monasteries in the Middle Ages were based on the rules set down by St. Benedict in the sixth century. The monks became known as Benedictines and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to their leaders.


  • Monks were required to perform manual labor and were forbidden to own property, leave the monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society.

  • Daily tasks were often carried out in silence.


  • Monks and their female counterparts, nuns, who lived in convents, provided for the less-fortunate members of the community. Monasteries and nunneries were safe havens for pilgrims and other travelers.

Monastic Life

  • Monks and nuns went to the monastery church eight times a day in a routine of worship that involved singing, chanting, and reciting prayers from the divine offices and from the service for Mass.


  • Between prayers, the monks read or copied religious texts and music. Monks were often well educated and devoted their lives to writing and learning.


  • Pilgrimages were an important part of religious life in the Middle Ages. Many people took journeys to visit holy shrines such the Canterbury Cathedral in England and sites in Jerusalem and Rome.


5. The role of the Church was that _____________________________________





6. As the Church became more powerful ______


7. Three forms of corruption that the Roman Catholic Church participated in was _____


Which form of corruption do you feel is worse? Explain in a few sentences.

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