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Christian Ethics: The History of the Catholic Church

10 people/events that contributed to sins and evils in the Catholic Church.
by

Sarah G

on 11 March 2011

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Transcript of Christian Ethics: The History of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church The History of Sarah Grummett Written by: When Jesus came to Earth he taught about equality for all and doing the right thing, even if it means going against what is "right". Introduction In Jesus' time, the powerful religious leaders were corrupt and used their power to seem righteous and control others. Jesus used peace and love to fight against this corruption and to teach people the way of God. Throughout history and still today, the Catholic Church clearly proves that it is a powerful institution that struggles to follow the teachings of Jesus. Witch Hunts Throughout the Middle Ages, The Church lead a series of violet searches after those practicing witchcraft known as witch hunts. These searches accused innocent women of witchcraft, imprisoned them and burned them at the stake. Witch hunts caused mass hysteria and paranoia, all in the name of God. Monty Python and The Holy Grail Salem, 1600s The Salem witch trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Over 185 people were accused of witchcraft. They started when two girls began having fits. These girls began accusing people of witchcraft and blamed them for bewitching them. Many innocent people were imprisoned and executed, all because people were believed Satan was loose in Salem. The Crusades Soldiers like this killed in the name of God. Religious War to End All Wars The Crusades were one of Christianity's darkest hours. War, not Peace The first crusades were an attempt to regain Christian control of the Holy Land from the Muslims living there. Many innocent civilians were killed, raped and stolen from all in the name of God. The Crusades were brutal and evil. Many people were forced to "convert" to Christianity and were put to death in they refused. Conquering a land/people through war and violence in the name of God is completely unethical and goes against everything Jesus taught. However, Christians have persecuted, tortured and killed anyone with differing beliefs. Christians have done evil things in the past and continue to do evil things today. Heresy HERESY a belief that is contrary to an essential belief of Christianity As Christianity began to expand and develop, many groups began to differ in their beliefs. This scared the Church as they began losing control over how people thought. Many councils were formed to deal with heretics and soon believing something different became a crime. Those considered heretics were forced to renounce their beliefs and were persecuted and even killed if they refused. Sound familiar? Before Christianity was legalized and the main religion, Christians were persecuted for their beliefs and forced to convert to paganism. Pretty hypocritical, huh? Common Heresies PELAGIANS believed you could go to heaven without God's help ARIANS believed Jesus was only human GNOSTICS believed Jesus was only divine Indulgences Indulgences were first given out to knights returning from the Crusades and their sins were forgiven and were not punished in the afterlife. After the Crusades, the practice of indulgences continued. Indulgences were sold by priests and bishops. Now, you could be saved from eternal damnation- for a price. Those who could not afford indulgences (majority of the people at the time) were scared into believing they would go to hell without the purchase of indulgences. Jesus taught to love and forgive everyone, rich or poor. God alone will be our judge. $ The selling of indulgences by clergymen The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was a period when people began to question the power and ideas of the Church. Before this, people were like sheep- they did whatever the Church told them, they believed whatever the Church told them to believe, all out of fear of going to hell. Galileo Galileo Galilei proved that the Earth revolved around the Sun, in a time when most people were geocentric. The Catholic Church tried to stop this and condemned heliocentrism as it went against The Bible and since we were God's children, were the centre of the universe Galileo was forced to recant his views and was arrested for believing this. The Church tried to stunt the growth and development of its members by keeping them in the dark. Inquisition Many inquisitions occured over the history of the Catholic Church. An inquisition was a way for the Church to fight against heresy- through violence and torture. These inquisitions established a new standard of brutality for the Catholic Church in dealing with its own followers. Torture was used to force heretics into confessing of heresy. Through the many inquistions that the Church caused, thousands of suspected "heretics" were maimed, tortured and killed- by an institution that is "peaceful" Protestant Reformation Martin Luther Martin Luther The Protestant Reformation began in 1517, when Martin Luther posted a list of protests against the abuses in the clergy (especially indulgences) During this time, clergymen were completely corrupt and abused their power in unethical ways It was completely fair of Luther to speak out against the religious dictatorship that was the Catholic Church. However, this drove the Catholic Church crazy and they reacted by trying to shut up Luther before he had too many followers. Thanks to Luther, the Protestant Reformation led to many different branches of Christianity and allowed for new reforms in the Roman Catholic Church. Pedophile Priests Throughout the history of the church, priests are infamous for the ways they sexually abused young children. Priests are put in a position of trust, which they have abused. More recently, it was discovered that Pope Benedict protected many bishops accused of sexual abuse and even tried to cover them up. This is not uncommon in the Catholic Church, as it is custom to cover these scandals up. GAY MARRIAGE Jesus teaches to love everyone...so why is it that being gay and gay marriage is so wrong in the Catholic churches eyes? It says in the Bible that homosexualtpppy is a sin, but it also says you can stone your wife and own a slave. So obviously the Catholic Church picks and chooses what to follow. The Bible says... Keep marriage sacred! If marriage was so sacred, wouldn't the Catholic Church be fighting against divorce? Recently, several youth have committed suicide because they were told that being gay was wrong. If the Church always chooses life, then why are teenagers and kids killing themselves because they are being told they are impure?!? The Catholic Church uses God as an excuse to allow homophobia. Pro-Life There is nothing wrong with being against abortion, as human life is precious from the moment of conception. However, many who call themselves "Pro-Life" are violent and would do anything- even kill, against abortion. All women should be given the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion- especially in cases involving rape, incest, etc. Rather than attack women considering abortion, these women should be given the choice but educated and encouraged not to. Though, it is not the Catholic Church doing this but rather Christian extremists, the Catholic Church has done nothing to stop these terrorists attacks in God's name. Conclusion Christianity is not evil. However, since the beginning the Catholic Church has difficulty following Jesus' teachings. The Catholic Church has always tried to control its followers and have an almost imperialist views. The Catholic Church is so "set in its ways" when it comes to tradition and beliefs, that it is becoming like the corrupt Pharisees and Sadducees that Jesus warned against becoming.
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