The Middle Ages

Popes vs. Kings


              In the Middle Ages the pope was the head of the Christian Chruch. Because nearly everyone went to church, the pope had great power. People saw the pope as God's representative on Earth. They looked to the pope for guidance on how to live and pray. Since the pope was seen as God's representative, it was his duty to decide what the church would teach. From time to time, a pope would write a letter called a bull to explain a religious teaching or outline a church policy. This gave the pope the power to decide when someone was acting against the church. One punishment for acting against the church could be to be excommunicated, or catsed ou tfrom the church. This punishment was greatly feared because they believed that people who died while excommunicated would not get into heaven.


In England and France kings inherited their thrones from their fathers. At times the, nobles wen tagainst the kings, but the kings usually regained order easily. They maintained this order through alliances  as well as warfare.

The Clash between Popes and Kings

As popes worked to increase their power, they often came into conflict with kings. For example, kings thought that they shoud be able to select bishops in their countries. But, popes argued that only they could choose religious officials. The verse between the kings and popes was practically the fight over choosing bishops and abbots for the countries.