How Popular was the English Church in 1529? (Political and economic power…
How Popular was the English Church in 1529?
Political and economic power of the church
monarch was dependent on the church
relied on the church to to give his position legitimacy- by behing anointed by the archbishop of Canterbury. Henry looked to head of the church to reinforce his authority to govern. also pope could excommunicate the monarch if he was a heretic or tyrant
also, socially, the king was dependent on the church in the sense that he was only known by a small circle of the nobility and not really known outside of that. However, church physical centre of each parish - and everyone knew eachother
English monarchs swore obedience to the pope in rome
popes in Rome claimed to the successors to saint peter- so saw themselves as powerful, legitimate and authoritative
church collected taxes which were sent to rome (tithes- which is 10% of common peoples wages no matter their financial state)
estimated in 1520- rome received about £4500 per year in taxation and religious fees from England. tithes could include crops, wool or even eggs- stored in tithes barn - intended to support poor and help priest but was often sold
the law of the church - canon law was decided by the pope and cardinals in rome
pope had enormous powers- could draw up non- secular laws which applied to all of Christendom
church courts which offered the right to appeal to Rome operated in England to try religious matters
Abbots and Bishops sat in the House of Lords with a right to determine secular legislation
churchmen gained great power and influence as church advisers
Henry's chancellor-= cardinal wolsey- he represented the links between the church and the state. - he was responsible for the day to day gov of the country. he had ultimate authority over the legal system. as cardinal- had loads of authority in church- as cardinals elect the pope. was the archbishop of York, and was legatus latere- had right to act on behalf of the pope (not in all things though)- clear that wolsey exploited position to enhance position further
each settlement had its own priest and parish church- had local authority and collected tithes from community
church had had authority over the whole population- it was church law that people attend services every Sunday- and could be tried and sentenced in the church courts
the importance of giving to the poor was constantly stressed- many of the poor in a parish were able to be supported by gifts of food and clothing from the wealthier people in the community
In most areas there would have been an abbey, monastery or priory (rural= abbeys), (urban =priories), (smaller ones= monasteries).= worked for communities to help with the poor and the sick and education especially for the sons of the gentry
the power of the church= huge and for many was more present than that of the monarch
church's property= greater than any King's. also church has its own legal system and its own system of taxation
beliefs of ordinary people in 1529
fear of eternity spent in hell= very real- with vivid images emphasised through the wall paintings and stained glass in the parish churches
main aim of people= reduce time in purgatory (immediate state after physical death) and wanted to go straight to heaven
masses for the dead, gifts to the church, membership of guilds- helped a persons name be remembered and prayers said to help the soul go straight from purgatory to heaven
pilgrimages =, getting indulgences, praying to saints and viewing holy relics=central to people's everyday lives. so attempts to challenge the doctrine of church- was to result in serious unrest, particularly in areas distant from london
Religious and Social Role of the Church
The Liturgical Year - the majoirty of feast days, holy days- were the days where the community would not work but would celebrate together. - e.g all saint days
Lay Religious Guilds - the wealthy were able to finance the building of personal chantry chapels where a priest would be employed to say masses for the individual or family- for the vast majorirty this was not possible- those who could affors to joined guilds which provided a priest and a chapel for all those who contributed to the common fund. many of these guilds were based on crafts but there were also fraternities which were open to both men and women. Guilds also cared for the living
main goal=to reduce time In purgatory- which could be done by earning indulgences- which might involve going on a pilgrimage or praying to a saint or touching the relics of a saint- wealthier people would sometimes pay people to go on pilgrimages for them.
it was believed that the saint would ask God to help a person on their behalf. Prayers were made to saints by people when they were alive and by relatives on their half when they were dead. also masses for the soul of the dead were believed to reduce the time a person spent in purgatory. Good works also involved giving gifts to the church as well.
transubstantiation= where the priest elevated the host and wine and through his prayers Catholics believed a transformation occured in which they became the body and blood of Christ. The laity would only take the bread once a year at Easter and would never take the wine, which was consumed only by the priest.
The Role of Priesthood- he was central to the spiritual lives of the members of the church. he was central to the forgiving of sins- through penance. also- most of the population were not able to read and write- so they relied on the priest to interpret the word of God- so was important that the priest was capable.
The Importance of Printing - growth of literacy amongst nobility, gentry and merchants- was the result of an increase in grammar schools- taught Latin grammar to the sons of Merchants and the gentry- so meant could read and write- was also encouraged by the growth of printing press and availability of books- meant that no longer did the wealthy have to sit down and listen to a priest reading the bible in church- they could have their own bible and pend time reading the word of God for themselves..