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Alexandra ArtiedaDecember Essay 4Bertsch Church During the middle ages the faith in god was an accepted fact of everyday life The church was more than a place of worship but rather became a powerful institution It had it own government laws courts and systems of taxation The churchs teachings influenced everyone in feudal society from king to peasant The greatest influence on Medieval society was the Christian Church It shaped the culture and organizations of the Middle Ages After the fall of the Western Roman Empire it was the only institution of the old order left in Western Europe the Church soon converted Germanic rulers and provided them with guidance creating a new society Yet the Germans influenced the church as well It had to adjust to meet the needs of its new members which were often very different from those of the Romans in the Eastern Empire All power within the church hierarchy was in the hands of local bishops The bishop of Rome the pope had a certain fatherly superiority based on his holding of the so-called chair of Saint Peter to whom it was supposed Christ had granted governing power However neither the elaborate methods of churchly government nor the idea of a monarchical church headed by the pope was to be developed for another 500 years The church saw itself as the spiritual community of Christian believers in exile from Gods kingdom waiting in a hostile world for the day of deliverance The most important members of this community were found outside the hierarchy of church government in the monasteries that dotted Europe During the High Middle Ages the Roman Catholic church organized into an elaborate hierarchy with the pope as its certain leader it was the most sophisticated governing institution in western Europe The pope became the sole representative of the Romans to the new rulers the papacy took on great responsibilities and powers as
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