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The corruption of the Church.

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    Posted: 08-Aug-2007 at 21:03

The simple fact is: no church is free of corruption... The church is simply a human institution more. It doesn't matter the religion, it is the "business" of religion what sometimes go wrong.

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  Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2007 at 23:04
the "church" is man made, and man is inherently corrupt...
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  Quote Comet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Sep-2007 at 22:57
Originally posted by MengTzu

Originally posted by Illuminati

It is well known that the Catholic Church uin Medieval Europe was one of the most corrup organizations in history. their power rivaled that of many of the kings. They would demand payments to ensure that people would have passage to heaven....

The controlled the masses.

Marx once said..."Religion is the opiate of the masses."

This was definitely true in medieval Europe in my opinion.

what do you think?

That is exaggerated, and I don't see why the Catholic Church should be singled out here.  I'd go ahead and make this statement: the Catholic Church did have elements of corruption, but wasn't particularly so.

One thing we need to keep in mind is that history is always studied from hindsight.  In the Renaissance, Europeans went through classical revivals.  The idea that the Middle Ages were the "Dark Ages" was an idea of this time -- it was an effort to galvanize classical revivalist movements and to posit an opposite ideal against which the classicists strived.  Subsequent centuries of European histories saw similar trends of characterizing the past to justify the present.  Protestantism, nationalism, and capitalism led to a rethinking of the Medieval past, which was then interpreted as backward and corrupt in order to highlight the successes of modernity.

The thing regarding indulgences: the Catholic Church never issued the sales of indulgences.  It was the incorrect practices of some clergies (many of them probably weren't trying to overtly get money.  they were probably giving penances in forms of donations to the Church.)  When the issue of the sale of indulgences came up, the Church banned their sales.  (Penances in forms of donations were also banned I think.)  In keeping with an incident recorded in the Bible, where St. Peter condemned Simon the Magician for offering the Apostles money in exchange for having the powers of the Holy Spirit conferred upon him, the Catholic Church has never allowed sales of anything sacred -- everything from a blessed holy image to indulgences.  The idea of indulgence isn't "tickets to Heaven;" the idea was that every sin entails some temporary consequences that must be expiated, and those who died without expiation of venial sins and temporary consequences of sins, but nonetheless died in the state of grace and without mortal sin, would stay in purgatory temporary for expiation, upon the completion of which one would be released from Purgatory and goes to Heaven (contrary to some misunderstanding, Purgatory isn't a middle ground for the "not so good, not so bad" people.  It's a temporary station prior to Heaven for those who are saved.)  Hence indulgences (usually in forms of prayers) were granted to the faithful for expiation in order to lesson time spent in Purgatory.  (In other words, an indulgence might be granted by the pope that one prays a number of prayers, and by doing so one gains full or some expiation, depending on whether the person meets several requirements.)  Whether or not we agree with Catholic Theology is one thing -- we need to be clear that indulgences are not what many people mistaken them to be.

Peace,

Michael

12-8-2004



I don't think this is an exaggeration at all. Think about why people are calling it the "Dark Ages" in hindsight. One of the major reasons why they call it dark is because of the Church's dominance over the minds of men. Let's go back to Ancient Greece and Rome. You would see academies flourish with the goal of education in mind. There was no reason why one couldn't think and understand the world around them. Now think about the nature of education during the so called "Dark Ages". Academies are few in number (if they even existed at all)...the only education worth achieving was an education taught by the Church.

I think this is what makes the Renaissance even more important to Western Civilization than people give credit to. Sure, the Renaissance brought back Greek and Roman ideals, but it also brought back the thought that people could think for themselves once again. In other words, self education became a focal point and was a central issue during the Protestant Reformation. In fact, many of the Protestant reformers set up different curriculum's that opposed Church education. Philip Melanchthon, Luther's right hand man, is known as the Precept of Germany for his ability to reorganize the German education system.

There is no question education suffered during the "Age of Faith" as it is also called. To me, the Church deprived people of the medieval period a chance to excel their lives beyond the meager lives they were doomed to. I think this is why we see the rise of popular heresy after the year 1000 and the reason why the Protestant Reformation became so radical. People realized they were being denied the opportunity for an education and they were simply tired of being exploited by a money hungry organization.

One last bit of information...I believe St. Peter's Basilica is partly the creation of all those indulgences the Church received throughout the 16th century.


Edited by Comet - 24-Sep-2007 at 22:58
History is never clear cut...there are hardly any absolutes
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Sep-2007 at 20:02
Originally posted by Comet


I don't think this is an exaggeration at all. Think about why people are calling it the "Dark Ages" in hindsight. One of the major reasons why they call it dark is because of the Church's dominance over the minds of men. Let's go back to Ancient Greece and Rome. You would see academies flourish with the goal of education in mind. There was no reason why one couldn't think and understand the world around them. Now think about the nature of education during the so called "Dark Ages". Academies are few in number (if they even existed at all)...the only education worth achieving was an education taught by the Church.
1. Dark ages are dark because of the lack of historical sources.
2. The classical world was overrun by barbarians, their civilisation was shattered. In the west it was the Church who saved pieces of their culture. Monks copied works of ancient philosophers etc. The barbarians had no high education, only the Church guarded the flame of the past culture. Blaming them for this? Cry
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  Quote Comet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Sep-2007 at 06:31
Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by Comet


I don't think this is an exaggeration at all. Think about why people are calling it the "Dark Ages" in hindsight. One of the major reasons why they call it dark is because of the Church's dominance over the minds of men. Let's go back to Ancient Greece and Rome. You would see academies flourish with the goal of education in mind. There was no reason why one couldn't think and understand the world around them. Now think about the nature of education during the so called "Dark Ages". Academies are few in number (if they even existed at all)...the only education worth achieving was an education taught by the Church.
1. Dark ages are dark because of the lack of historical sources.
2. The classical world was overrun by barbarians, their civilisation was shattered. In the west it was the Church who saved pieces of their culture. Monks copied works of ancient philosophers etc. The barbarians had no high education, only the Church guarded the flame of the past culture. Blaming them for this? Cry


There's no question that there were other factors that led to this "Dark" period. In fact, the result of this collapse of ancient society was the Church emerging from the ruins of the early medieval period. It truly was the only solid organization left to turn to. Which is why a lot of people turned to the Church as means for "salvation"...that is to say, spiritual and temporal salvation.  It is this turn of events that enabled the Church to gain a tremendous amount of power.  Nevertheless, religion is a way in which one can "control the masses" (stealing Karl Marx's phrase) The works of ancient philosophy were very much accessible to people by those monks you mention. However, the Church also knew that much of the learning that took place in ancient times, clashed with the new developments of Church dogma and doctrine. This is just my opinion, but I would be willing to say that many of our translators may have "slipped" from time to time in their translation. Not to mention that if they didn't quite agree with the text, which is what most likely occurred in translating the bible, they would change the text to their liking. Another major factor is the monks ability to know Latin fluently. Many of them were flat awful at Latin. It is said by many of my medieval colleagues that the Latin language was virtually lost between Boethius and Aquinas. No one could make the Latin Language flow like those intellects of ancient times. The beauty of the language became one of the central focal points of the Renaissance.

While I agree with you that the early Church "guarded the flame", it is what they did with that flame that hurt early medieval society.
History is never clear cut...there are hardly any absolutes
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