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What Effect Did The Black Death Have On The Catholic Church?

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Simon Jenner Profile
Simon Jenner answered
The Black Death, which struck Europe over the course of the first three-quarters of the 14th Century, marked a significant change, not only for the Church but also for society as a whole. The Black Death killed between one-half to two-thirds of Europe's population, and resulted in the widespread collapse of civil order and authority, especially in the first decades immediately following the Black Death. Unsurprisingly, death came to loom large in the medieval mind in a way it had not previously, and to a certain extent the authority of the Church was damaged by its apparent inability to stop the plague. But while religious practices changed, focusing more on private devotions and on prayers for the dead, the greater impact of the Black Death would be much more subtle, but no less devastating for the Church. In short, the Black Death created a labor shortage, which had three immediate effects: Peasants could charge more for their labor and thus became more wealthy; labor became more mobile and independent and the restrictions that were imposed on peasants before the Black Death collapsed and became unenforceable; and labor saving devices, such as printing presses, were devised, to help deal with the lack of labor. The increased wealth and travel promoted trade and the formation of a merchant middle class for the first time since ancient Rome, a class that increasingly could read and write and that could afford an education for its children and luxuries like books, which thanks to the printing press were now more numerous and cheaper than before. Ironically, many of the Church's later activities, like the sale of indulgences (basically get out of purgatory early cards in exchange for a donation--a hot item given all the fear of death on focus on damnation that occurred as a result of the Black Death), helped to foster the use of technology such as the printing press. The net result of these changes was a population that was increasingly disaffected with a Church that persisted in the use of Latin and which, by the close of the 15th Century, had grown increasingly corrupt, in large part through the sale of indulgences. To make matters worse, many people began buying Bibles (for the first time translated into the everyday language of the people), which at first the Church even encouraged, until people began to question the Church's interpretation of the text. The ultimate result, after a number of growing threats to the Church's authority (such as John Wycliffe and Jan Hus), was the Protestant Reformation, begun by Martin Luther. Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland and other Northern European kingdoms abandoned the Church, to form their own 'purified' congregations, which met with the ambitions of local rulers to free themselves of the Pope and establish their own authority over all matters spiritual. France, especially Northern France, became a front line in the resulting Wars of Religion.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The Black Plague, which the Catholic Church blamed on the Jewish people, forced the people of Europe to lose faith in their god consequently leaving them to question the Church's power.  Because of the plagues Catholic holy leaders would no long go to the dying to read them their last rights. This angered the people beginning the rebellion against the Catholic church and leading to the  Protestant Reformation, creating the Protestant religion.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
What the hell do jewish people have to do with the black plague!?
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
A lot.... The Jews were blamed for the disease that hit Europe. The Europeans tortured them for answers and killed the Jews for coming to a conclusion that the Jews poisoned them.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The black death actually was a very vicious disease in that time.Many people were against the church and god because they thought that god was punishing them and Jews supported god.that was the reason for blaming the Jews.
Evelyn Vaz Profile
Evelyn Vaz answered
The Black Death which is also much known as the black plague is considered to be as one of the most devastating pandemic in human history. It is said to have began in the south-western Asia and spread to Europe. It was somewhere in the late 1340's that it managed to get the name Black Death. It almost wiped out half the European population and was also a big boom to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church however in return received a very bad name as the holy officials could really cure the people off the disease. People began to loose faith then and began to think of the church as something totally artificial. The church in turn could also not state the actual reason for the plague and so people began to loose their faith all the more in the religion.
jay-dee baybee Profile
jay-dee baybee answered
If effected the church in the way that the church and god were prayed to and they didnt help  cure the problem and that caused every one to pick on the church

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