Why Did the Church Have so Much Power?

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  • Topic: Henry II of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
  • Pages : 2 (437 words )
  • Download(s) : 172
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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It was very difficult for kings to control the church. The church was very powerful. It could make people scared and tell them they're going to hell. They could even tell the king they were going to hell.

One man who got power off of the church was Henry VIII. He did so by closing down all catholic churches and creating the Church of England. One good example of kings not getting power of the church is King Henry II and Thomas Beckett.

Henry asked Thomas Beckett to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1161. Beckett accepted in 1162. Henry hoped that by Beckett being Archbishop, he would get control of the church. He was wrong. Beckett had a new master – GOD.

Another example of the power of the church is monks could murder someone and be sent to the church courts and get away with it. Nothing more would be said. Another example of power is the church saying who could be buried at the church and who couldn't. People who had committed suicide were not allowed to be buried in holy ground.

But why was the church so powerful? The answer to that is William, Duke of Normandy (William I).
When William became the King of the whole of England, he brought over a system that was used in Normandy – the feudal system. This system told everyone how powerful he or she was, and the church was very powerful. They wanted a share of Williams land and from then on they became high and mighty.

After Henry VIII, the church became weaker and weaker and parliament became top dog. Parliament made lots of decisions from the country and even took power from the king once.
During Mary I reign, she burnt prosatants. She even burnt archbishops. She wanted everyone to be Catholics. Archbishops were burnt, nobles and of course peasants. Sometimes peasants were burnt for not knowing the Lord's Prayer. Mary believed that anyone who didn't follow the Catholic ways would burn in front of the gates of hell. These people were known as...
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