The Papacy 's Reign Over The Masses

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The Papacy’s Reign Over the Masses During the Middle Ages, the rise of the Church’s influence was made apparent through the many glaring acts of power that took place. Whether it be a crusade on a far off land, or a local kingdom challenging the Papacy in ways such as electing their own bishops, they were a force to be reckoned with. It was in their best interest to control as many people as possible, working to gain power over the masses. The Papacy persuaded the common people to fear and support them through expulsion of outsiders, actions in gods will, and prosecution of the evil people within a society. Non-Christians in the community were often ostracized and persecuted for the benefit of those in power. During one of the Church’s many reformations, a solid social border was created between the Jewish and Muslim people and the Christian community. It was decreed by Pope Innocent III that “Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province…shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress” (Sources, 58). Laws directed just at these select group of people by the church showed an abundance of power on their part, preventing outsiders from mixing with the Christians. These laws were developed by the Pope and his followers during the Fourth Lateran Councils, which took place in order to strengthen the idea of “Christendom,” which is a term that explains the times when the Church acts as the state. During

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