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The Domination of the Papacy - Case Study Example

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This paper "The Domination of the Papacy" focuses on the fact that papacy was one of the most important periods in history which influenced all spheres of life: cultural, social, economic and political. Political power by the church and papacy was only a temporary development. …
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The Domination of the Papacy
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Download file to see previous pages When the national monarchies of western and central Europe had developed adequate governing strength to take over the political functions of the state in an ever-increasing degree, and when the church, against its will, was eliminated as political influence, it was all the more able to confine itself to its original scope of activity: spiritual, social, and ethical leadership. Thesis The dominance of Papacy as a result of weak monarchies and increased impact of religion on the life of an ordinary citizen

According to the theory of the relation of church and state that was actually applied in western Europe from about the eleventh century to the Reformation, the supreme function of life on earth was preparation for life in the next world. Society was a unit, a divine state, dominated by the church. There was no separation of church and state. The state was merely one aspect of society; it was not something external to the church; it had no interests opposed to or pitted against those of the church1. Whatever affected the church favourably or adversely had a like effect on the state2. The spiritual and temporal powers were two aspects of the same social organization, the City of God, as described by Augustine, elaborated by Thomas Aquinas, and expressed in legal form by various popes in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It was just as natural in medieval times to regard church and state as two aspects of the same organization as it is for us in a modern state to regard the legislative, executive, and judicial functions as three different aspects of the same governing state3.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a number of popes issued decrees affirming their rights as the final authority over secular affairs. These decrees asserted that in political affairs the papacy was superior to all sovereigns, just as the sun is superior to the moon, the spirit to the flesh, gold to lead. The papacy had control over both swords, the temporal and spiritual; it used the temporal sword by making use of the intermediary power of the kings and princes, who were servants of the papacy.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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