Religion The Roman Catholic Church became a critical political and religious power in the lives of Europeans in the Middle Ages. This power evolved over time, but some key pieces were critical in the expansion of the Church's authority. Some of these elements over time would become the focus of criticism against the Church's practices and authority. Research the following elements of the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Be careful, many of these practices have changed in the modern Church so you will need to be specific about these in the correct period of time. Infallibility of the Pope Salvation only for those in the Roman Church Worshiping of Saints System of Indulgences - Exaltation of the Clergy - (This one is completed as a sample for you below. You will need to complete the other four for your assignment.) For each element: Define and explain what this meant in the Church and to the government and people Examples of each in practice. Problems that were created by this practice (why might some people consider this to be a problem?) Sample Answer: 1. The Exaltation of the Clergy meant that the religious leaders of the Church, the clergy, were more holy. They were considered to be closer to God and therefore better than average people. 2. This meant that the Clergy had to be treated like special powerful people. A clergyman could ask you to donate items to the Church and because of his holy authority, people obeyed him. The Clergy also had special rights. They could own land and a lot of wealth but weren't held to the same standards, like paying taxes that everyone else had to do. 3. The problem that some people saw with this was that some of the Clergy abused this power. Some of the abuses were extreme like gambling, keeping mistresses, and forcing people to turn over property. That it angered people because the clergy was supposed to be holier than other people, but they weren't doing holy things. And because they were held above everyone else, it was very hard to hold bad priests accountable for their actions.