Any history buffs know about the church's rise to power?
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11-09-2012, 01:29 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 01:03 PM by Buddy Christ.)
Any history buffs know about the church's rise to power?
I'm probably going to research it eventually, but I wanted to see how much you kind folks knew first. I've read about the origin of Christianity/Catholicism and its clash with Islam and the Crusades and such. But I never figured out how the church and the pope went from a cultural belief system to the "my word is the law" power of the Vatican. Back in the day, if my affinity for turn-based war games proves accurate, to be ex-communicated as a nation was to be exiled (figuratively) on an island of solitude. Politically and economically, no one would help you or acknowledge you. You sat alone at the lunch table as bullies picked on you at will. Inquisitors were seemingly above the law and were the self-appointed global authority. For a while, the Vatican was like the mafia, and you couldn't do anything unless they approved it first.

Now, HOW did it get to that? Was the Catholic church just piggybacking on the power of Rome (hence the notorious sect of Roman Catholic)? But from what I understand, the Holy Roman Empire was German and neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire. I'd best stop speaking now before I reveal myself to be speaking from a historically bereft mind.

Sub-question, when did it STOP being the puppet master of the world? People laugh at the pope and his funny hat these days without the fear that one used to incur.

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11-09-2012, 04:08 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 04:11 AM by earmuffs.)
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
The Holy Roman Empire was modern day Germany AND Italy (and bits and pieces more). When the Roman Empire split in to two (East and West), shit hit the fan. West became Holy Roman Empire, east became The Byzantine Empire. Byzantine Empire got owned over the years by various Muslim states. Bit of an unlucky location really. I believe the final blow was by the Ottomans, that was when all that remained was Constantinople (Modern day Istanbul).
The Papal State was separate.

The Papal State was run by the pope and because all the major powers of the time (England, France, Holy Roman Empire (Spain was broken into parts at this stage and was half Islamic)) were Catholic, the Pope had a lot of power. I guess his power was able to be because of the support of the major Catholic powers. After all, The Holy Roman Empire could have easily roflstomped The Papal State.

This is all back in the day when religion completely ruled EVERYTHING.

Later, (After the Holy Roman Empire broke up, after Napoleon) in the 1800's, Italy was formed and the Papal States were reduced. Bit later (late 1800's) Italy declared war on the Papal States and easily annexed the Papal States. It's note worthy that no Catholic country came to the aid of the Papal State (complete contrast to say 800 years prior). Italy declared war because it wanted Rome back. After it's annexation the pope held up on Vatican Hill refusing to fall under Italian rule and a bit later the pope agreed to give everything over to Italy and The Vatican City was born.

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11-09-2012, 06:31 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 06:39 AM by Vipa.)
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
Actually it's not like the church ruled everything. Even during the formation of the Holy Roman Empire Germany had lots of "earthly" rulers. These became eventually Kings etc. (I don't know the words for Kurfürsten etc.)

494 the doctrine of the two swords emerged from Pope Gelasius I, which basically stated that god chooses directly the spiritual and the earthly king seperately (Divine right of kings)

Still the Church didn't give in to this for another 600 Years - they insisted, they had to at least give their blessing to the earthly king (the king had to knee before the pope) - Which was eventually fought out in wars - Because god gave the two swords to the church and one of them only for "lease" to the king. (The spiritual sword used by the church, the earthly sword used FOR the church)

But since the european kings gained strength over time the doctrine became pointless, for the church lost control.

Nonetheless the pope remained mighty enough to maintain the inquisition and whole armies. Although the Holy Roman Empire was now under somewhat of a double-ruling (well actually there were more "earthly kings", but whatever ^^), no one dared to question the god given spiritual realm of the church, which basically gave the pope the possibility to prosecute spiritual crimes (while the verdict was executed by the earthly rulers)

The end of course began with Luther - divided believers eventually weakened the grip of the catholic church in various regions.
Renaissance, Humanism and especially Enlightenment ended the process altogether. If one doesn't believe in spiritual crimes anymore, wheres the point executing the verdict.


I could provide more details, but I'm too lazy to grab my history of law book ^^

But basically infights rendered it impossible for the church to ever have complete power. The "earthly" rulers didn't care much for spiritual power and left this completely to the church thus the possibility for an inquisition. With the rise of protestantism the individual rulers got to decide what religion was practiced within their domain. And then Enlightenment rolled over europe.
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11-09-2012, 06:44 AM
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
Just to clarify, I don't mean literally rule.
I mean every day life revolved very heavily around religion.
This is a time when 100% of the population was effectively Westborro Baptist Church.

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11-09-2012, 07:09 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 07:13 AM by Janus.)
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
(11-09-2012 06:44 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Just to clarify, I don't mean literally rule.
I mean every day life revolved very heavily around religion.
This is a time when 100% of the population was effectively Westborro Baptist Church.

...or 'the Pilgrims', who were just as crazy fundamentalist. Mad as hatters. The Jim Jones followers of their era.
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11-09-2012, 07:41 AM
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
Muffers pretty much nailed it, from a political point of view.
From a Church History perspective, There were originally 4 seats of power in Christianity. There were Patriarchs in Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria. They all had fairly equal power, and met to agree on things. Later the Patriarch of Rome, asserted primacy, the Great Schism occurred, (East vs West), and the Papacy developed into what we know it today. In fact the Bishop in Rome, did not hold primacy, but appropriated it for himself, (and retroactively justified it .. "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church", a quote that the Jesus Seminar does not agree Jesus ever really said, but was "placed in his mouth").

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tirUy13Q_L8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkJ0n_dkx-8

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11-09-2012, 09:35 AM
RE: Any history buffs know about the churches rise to power?
(11-09-2012 01:29 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I'm probably going to research it eventually, but I wanted to see how much you kind folks knew first. I've read about the origin of Christianity/Catholicism and its clash with Islam and the Crusades and such. But I never figured out how the church and the pope went from a cultural belief system to the "my word is the law" power of the Vatican. Back in the day, if my affinity for turn-based war games proves accurate, to be ex-communicated as a nation was to be exiled (figuratively) on an island of solitude. Politically and economically, no one would help you or acknowledge you. You sat alone at the lunch table as bullies picked on you at will. Inquisitors were seemingly above the law and were the self-appointed global authority. For a while, the Vatican was like the mafia, and you couldn't do anything unless they approved it first.

Now, HOW did it get to that? Was the Catholic church just piggybacking on the power of Rome (hence the notorious sect of Roman Catholic)? But from what I understand, the Holy Roman Empire was German and neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire. I'd best stop speaking now before I reveal myself to be speaking from a historically bereft mind.

Sub-question, when did it STOP being the puppet master of the world? People laugh at the pope and his funny hat these days without the fear that one used to incur.

This is complicated, and long, but I will try to summarize, as much as I can. If you want to get more detailed I can skype with you or something.

Christianity started out like the other "mystery religions" and Zoroastrianism. The Roman Republic didn't really give a shit what you believed as long as you also 'worshiped' Roman Gods (to them it was kind of like respecting the flag of your country). The majority of Christians were persecuted by the Romans though because THEIR God said, those other Gods suck, only worship me or you'll go to hell. After a long time of this happening, finally a couple of Roman Emperors (Octavius aka Augustus especially). The State Religion became Christianity, and wouldn't you know it? God gave Peter akak St. Peter permission to control the gates of heaven (Peter being the Head Mother Fucker In Charge of Christianity in Rome). So after Pete croaked the church decided that that power wasn't only ole' Petes, but whoever had that position. Since the HMIC of Rome got his power from the one true God, that always beats other powers, like the ones given to Kings. The King might be able to kill you, but your soul was controlled by the HMIC of Rome (ask the Pope). After the Pope gave people power (like to Clovis, a Germanic leader of Modern day France and Germany, Italy) for converting Barbarians from Paganism to Christianity by force, or killing them if they refused. Well it eventually got really political, and the Church had split in two when the Roman Empire did creating the Orthodox Church in what was the Eastern Roman Empire. French Kings got powerful and wanted to have a Pope, then there was two Popes for a while, causing a lot of doubt, then the Pope at the urgency of the leader of the Orthodox Church leader helped them slaughter Muslims from Persia for not allowing them to do their pilgrimages and threatening Byzantium aka Constantinople. Pope saw this as a possible way to reunite the Orthodox with the Catholics starting the crusades. Then a few hundred years after the whole two pope SNAFU the King of England got pissed at the Pope because he wouldn't let him annul his marriage so he could have an heir declared he was kind of the Pope of his country cause God gave him his power too creating the Church of England. Then there was also Martin Luther who wanted to reform the Catholics, but then the Pope tried to have him killed for not following his rules. A bunch of folks though Martin was right causing more and more splintering. Eventually the Pope lost more and more power. The End.

I tried to condense over 2,000 years of history into a paragraph so I left a lot out. Like I said, if you wanna skype or something I could give you more info but to really understand it all you'd need to read a history book

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