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Word Count: 1,427
The Dark Ages of Europe were called such for several reasons One of the more notorious reasons was the state of the Catholic Church In the years before the Reformation members of the Catholic clergy had reached an all time low in terms of their morality The abuses of clerical power and privileges by the medieval clergy spanned all parts of their daily lives Members of the Catholic clergy were financially politically and socially corrupt Each of these corruptions made up the enormous religious corruption that was the logical result of such debauchery Of the several grievances against the Church the first and sorest was that she loved money and had too much of it for her own good Durant 17 Documents on the exact wealth of the Church in the Middle Ages simply do not exist Historians however speculate that the Churchs share of the wealth made up anywhere from a fifth to three-quarters in each of England France and Germany In Italy of course one third of the peninsula belonged to the Church as the Papal States and she owned rich properties in the rest Durant 17 The clergy was notorious for sucking money out of the people any way they could They were known to have sold false relics to unsuspecting believers passing animal bones and bits of torn cloak as those of Christ Often times priestscharged a mite too much for burial services Mee 151 or raised the amount of taxes due by a few ducats Charging extra for taxes was not difficult because clergy often served as local officials including those in charge of collecting taxes Clifford 7 Had he Church been using the skimmedscammed money for legitimate Church purposes it may not have been so insulting However it was blatantly obvious that the cash was going to the clergy who were becoming worldlier by the day Even the papacy the highest representative of Gods church on Earth had become
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