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Word Count: 918
The onslaught of death and destruction from war and disease in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries fostered the need for a more personal spiritual guidance The Roman Catholic Church facing internal divisions and fiscal abuse more often than not left its practitioners spiritually destitute and unfulfilled Its remoteness alone from the day to day lives of its followers was enough to perpetuate unsatisfaction which was temporairly pacified by the lavish attractions of artistic new cathedrals With the humiliation of Pope Boniface VIII and growing political disorders in the Papal States the Papacy began its seventy year exile to Avignon in 1309 With the Papacy now so far removed from the States petty lords seized the opportunity to defy its authority The lack of ability to rule over their land damaged the papacies prestige Why should they obey the Pope when he was situated so far away Declining Papal prestige was least of their problems The expense of the move to Avignon was great and the Papal States were unable to supply sufficient funds Thus began the fiscal abuses of the church which laid the foundation for corruption Popes began claiming the income of vacant offices for themselves while appointing certain persons with multiple offices This was probably because high ecclesiastical offices were now sold for revenue to the highest bidder So now to be a leading religious figure in the church you need not be holy just wealthy Remissions of sin were even given in exchange for monitory contributions Although successful in enlarging the Popes revenues these monitory abuses came at a cost for the lower clergy Corruption trickled down the ecclesiastical hierarchy into the parish priest Unable to live sufficiently on their income they were more willing to lower their moral standards for monitory gain Dispensations that exempt those who could afford it from supervision delivered a direct blow to the Bishops authority The abuses of power continued on the local level but
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