Did the Church Exploit Peoples Faith to Gain Wealth Essay

650 Words Feb 8th, 2013 3 Pages
In the early Sixteenth Century the Church was an integral part of the European society and the Church’s’ power was virtually absolute. The church stood for justice, supposedly, but many historians argue the Church was corrupt and exploited the people’s religious faith to increase its own wealth.
Source 1 agrees with this view ‘The bishops… take a tenth part of everything’ this illustrates that the Church was willingly taking the wealth of the people into its own wallets and the source further explains exactly how they used faith to take money from the people ‘Poor wives must be accountable for every tenth egg or be taken as a heretic.’ This demonstrates that those who didn’t obey the Church’s taxation were seen as unfaithful ‘heretics’
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Furthermore Aske was discussing abbey and monks whereas Fish was looking at churches and priests and the different subject matter can lead to different results so it is hard to compare and contrast the two of them.
Additionally Source 2 presents the idea that the church didn’t abuse people’s faith in order to add to their wealth but instead educated people on how to be a good Christian to help them choose to give to the church ‘spiritual guidance by the example set’ this is supported by the fact the Source 3 being a will that is leaving all wealth to the Church demonstrating a clear rational choice to leave money to the church showing little to no exploitation.
However it is important to note that the writer of Source 2 Robert Aske was a member of the Church thus reducing the source’s reliability due to Askes unwitting bias.
In conclusion the Church exploited people’s faith to gain wealth to an extent as shown by Source 1 which stated that the Church would punish and defame those who did not give up their wealth through calling them unfaithful and made people give to the church through wills which was supported by Source 3. However exploitation was not total as people’s faith meant they happily gave to the church as shown by Source 3 and Source 2 shows that the Church also seemed to give back to the community. Also it appears there was more

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