Catholicism and Western Civilization

Western society and civilization is an important part of history today as well as the impacts of religion at the time of the Roman Empire. The most crucial religion that apperared within the western society was cathloticism. The church was a way of teachings with many concepts including schooling, culture and the focus of God. The church had its good and bad influences on the people. The most influential part of western society was not only God but the peoples focus on how to live a perfect life in the church’s perspective.

John Paul II, a pope that spoke on behalf of the sins committed by the people of the church, gave his condolences for the people who commited sins against god. His purpose being that the people would change the way they lived their life and to bigger their respect for God. “Catholics distinguish between the holiness of the inevitable sinful nature of men, including the men who serve the Church stated by Thomas E. Woods Jr.” This quote meaning that catholics parted between the good and the bad, but making sure that people took responsibility for their sins and realizing the consequences that come with them.

Catholics had the mindset that the church was divided into two different sides. One being the recognition of christ itself and the other being the sinful acts followed by consequence and forgiveness. The Pope would basically take responsibility for the people’s sins asking for god’s forgiveness accepting the pain and torture that they would go through because of the sins. for the people. The story of Catholicism, as far as they know it, is one of lack of knowledge, repression, and lack of progress.” Thomas E. Woods also states that, “Western civilization standpoints in debt to the Church for the university system, charitable work, international law, the sciences, and, important legal principles. Western civilization owes far more to the Catholic Church than most societies, Catholic incorporated often realizes. The Church, in fact, constructed Western civilization.”

The author breakdowns the history of the Church and Western civilization into sections that stretch the Church from its beginning through the supposed Dark Ages up to the present day. He shows that Western institutions, even though it first started in Athens and Jerusalem, were developing into a Catholic culture in a process that sped up from the early Middle Ages up to the period of the Reformation and the Enlightenment. At that point, the forerunners of these diverse revolts against the Church began using Western institutions for their own specific resolutions, developing out of but distant to their Catholic roots.

The Author Thomas E. Woods states “The Catholic Church’s supposed opposition toward science may be her highest deduction in the standard mind. The misleading form of the Galileo affair with which most people are familiar is very largely to blame for the well-known belief that the Church has foiled the advance of scientific examination. Even the Galileo events been every bit as corrupt as people think it was, John Henry Cardinal Newman, the famous 19th century changed from Anglicanism, found it illuminating that this is just about the only example that ever comes to mind. “The author persuasively discusses that current experimental science took place in the late Middle Ages because of the Christian belief that God produced the world from nothing and that there is an order in the universe that can slowly but surely known by people.

“The Church and Economics” a chapter from the book “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization”, should also attract attention from the progressively self-indulgent and money driven nature of our culture. In this chapter, the author points out that well-known economic historian Joseph Schumpeter not only recognizes the influences of the late Scholastics to current economics, but says “it is they who come nearer than any other group of having been ancestors of technical economics.” However, the roots of the Catholic contribution to market economics go even farther back. Jean Buridan (1300-1358), for example, who aided as principal of the University of Paris, made significant influences to the up to date idea of money. Instead of viewing money as a false product of state intervention, Burden showed how money arose freely and naturally on the market, first as a useful article of trade and then as a standard of interchange. In other words, money appeared not by government ruling but out of the process of voluntary exchange, which people discover to be dramatically cut down by the agreement of a useful and widely desired article of trade.

Present day economics owes much of its basic understanding to Catholic beliefs in that it inspires the common communal to pay more attention to the papal teachings on social justice. This viewpoint is predominantly important given our progressively rapid transition to a global economy. Woods continues to examine the work of the late Scholastics (writing in the 15th and 16th centuries) on various aspects such as inflation, the foreign exchange market, the value of money, and just price interest rates. Their thinking on economics was perceptive and outstandingly modern, in respects that they were writing proceeding to the 18th century appearance of the Scottish Enlightenment and Adam Smith. The rapid growth of the Church today and its superficial center of enthusiasm in the South and East brought new challenges of different cultures and new opportunities to spread widely its thought and institutions.

Pope Gregory XIII’s Gregorian Calendar has been implemented worldwide as the civil calendar; and time itself is measured by the West from the presumed date of the birth of the Church’s founder, Jesus of Nazareth. The cultural effect of the Church has been enormous. Church scholars, essentially without help, preserved knowledge in Western Europe following the Fall of Rome. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Church rose to replace the Roman Empire as the merging force in Europe. The places of worship that age remain among the most iconic accomplishments of construction produced by Western civilization. Many of Europe’s universities were also founded by the church at that time. The Reformation brought an end to religious agreement in the West, but the Renaissance masterpieces produced by Catholic artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael at that time remain among the most celebrated works of art ever produced. Similarly, Catholic sacred music by composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Vivaldi and Shubert is among the most admired classical music in the Western norm.

The papacy has been a large part of European politics. Pope Leo the Great met Attila the Hun in 452, and influenced him to turn back from his invasion of Italy. Pope Leo III pronounced Charlemagne as King of the Romans at the base of the Holy Roman Empire. Pope Clement VII refused to withdraw the marriage of Henry VIII, as a result infuriating the English Reformation, and Pope John Paul II is generally recognized as having speed up the Collapse of Communism in Europe. Rivalry between princes and popes and religious arguments contributed to quite a few political encounters in Western history, but the papacy also acted as peace broker and representative between rival rulers. From the harsh practices of the Spanish Inquisition to the overpowering of the ideas of Galileo Galilei many disapprovals of actions by the church and its role in Western societies have been made.

The Bible and Catholic theology have also strongly influenced Western philosophers as well as political advocates. The teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, are midst the important sources for modern notions of Human Rights and the welfare measures usually provided by the governments in the West. Catholic teachings on marriage and sexuality have also been both very controversial and very influential in the past as well as the present.

Catholicism played a large role in ending practices such as slavery, adultery, infanticide and human sacrifice. Christianity affected the status of women by condemning infanticide, divorce, incest, polygamy, birth control, abortion and marital infidelity. While official Church teaching considers women and men to be equal and different, some modern activists of ordination of women and other feminists argue that the teachings by St. Paul, the Fathers of the Church and Scholastic theologians advanced the impression of a pleasant female subordination. Nevertheless, women have played prominent roles in Western history through the Catholic Church, particularly in education and healthcare, but also as influential theologians and mystics. The important status of the Virgin Mary gave the views of maternal virtue and compassion a place at the core of Western civilization.

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