I’m currently reading about the medieval Church in my world literature course. The text paints a not-so-pretty picture of the Church–take the following excerpt, for example:
A sign that this might be true in the minds of some of the people can be seen in some of the carvings in the high arches of cathedrals. Where they can be seen by the priests and bishops watching from below, we see lives of saints and scenes from the Bible. In some of the hidden corners, though, where the priests could not see them, the stone carvers depicted the ancient pagan gods instead. We must look for clues like that to supplement the written record and try to gain an idea of what those times were really like.
I have the opportunity to write a paper that the entire class will see, along with a separate section just for the teacher. Any idea on how to approach this? I’m not sure how to disprove this other than by saying “prove it.”
The course also mentions the selling of indulgences, and how the profits were used to build St. Peter’s Basilica. After reading Catholic Answers’ page on the myths of indulgences (catholic.com/library/Myths_About_Indulgences.asp) I understand that Pope Pius V voided all indulgences that had been gained via monetary means in 1567 during the Council of Trent. Does anyone have any historical information they might be able to provide me with? This topic seems to be one of the largest misconceptions of the general public on the Church.
If anyone would like to see additional information on this literature unit (also the source of the above quote), this particular medieval unit can be found here: aventalearning.com/content168staging/English/English4b/medieval/medievalunit.html