Essay about the monarchy against the church

Submitted By pugli22e
Words: 1135
Pages: 5

Power Struggle: The Monarchies Against the Church The ardent fighting between Pope Boniface VIII and Phillip the Fair set the tone for what would be the 1300s and on. Beginning with Pope Boniface VIII, the church had usurped tremendous amounts of power in Europe and the church began to be questioned. There was no king, queen or governmental structure above the church, which allowed the Catholic Church to assert their power and become the body of every day life in Europe. Meanwhile it also dictated the monarchies on what to do with their land and money. After the Black plague, the church began to be dissected, and there started to be questions of why exactly the people and the monarchies have allowed the church to become the superstructure that governs. As people grew discontent, they along with various activist thinkers began to dissent. Yet, the most awakened group were the monarchies in Europe, such as Philip of France, that aimed to recuperate the power they had lost to the church. The monarchies were no longer in charge of their own people. Thus, they were aiming for a new social arrangement where they could begin to make laws without having to satisfy and submit to the church.
Beginning in the 1300s there began to be a breakdown in the church and socially the people felt abandoned by the church and those who were supposed to protect them. The church had become a legal structure more than a social help, and religious guide. The papacy became entangled with power rather than assuaging social concerns. The social upheavals brought on by the plague then uncovered the instability within the structures of power, and set off a continuing discontent within the population. The people fell into a state of anarchy, “Thus they gathered together without any other counsel, and without any armor except with staves and knives, and so went to the house of a knight dwelling thereby” (Froissart). The people spilled blood of those in higher classes, trying to take away their power; however, the real problem was the conflict of who was in power anyway? The Church and monarchies of Europe would fight to decide. As people began to rebel, the monarchies began to notice they had no real power against the church. The biggest discontent towards the church is shown by the contemporary society expressed by Petrarch, “One is stupefied nowadays to hear the lying tongues, and to see worthless parchments turned by a leaden seal into nets which are used, in Christ's name, but by the arts of Belial, to catch hordes of unwary Christians” (Petrarch). The church was flashing its power and wealth, while people blindly obliged, yet when Phillip humiliated the pope it opened the doors for people to challenge the church. The church overall became the “evil” power during this time period, and became a structure synonymous with power-hunger, and wealth. Many contemporary thinkers saw the church as being devoid of religiousness and faith, but instead full of greed, and a stern, tyrannical power.
Beginning with Phillip of France all the way to the Catholic Monarchs there was a power struggle developing. As the monarchs tried taking their power back and the church started to lose credibility in governance and in faith. The monarchies now aimed to re-legitimize their power without the need for papal approval. In the 1300s the papacy had begun losing their stronghold in governing, because the monarchies brought the pope to their end. Phillip’s pillage of Avignon and the papal compounds began to disintegrate the church in the eyes of the people. Meanwhile, the monarchies were also in a position of asserting their own power, while their people faced eminent distressed and clashed against the monarchs as well. The monarch’s then were using the lack of papal authority during the plague as an example to discredit the church, and expose it as evil. Philip of France specifically portrayed this picture of Boniface with the help of William of Plaisians, “He has often…