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Catholicism, the Vatican and history


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#1 The Midnight Q

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:32 AM

Just an observation and opinion...

Anyone here ever studied the Catholic church from a historical standpoint, not a religious one?

It's very interesting to hear stories about the Church throughout history quite particularly in Renaissance era Europe. These were quite interesting times for nations, religion and art. But then you do some digging especially in the days after books and movies like Angels and Demons and games like Assassin's Creed, and realize that the history is much stranger than fiction!

The Assassin's Creed franchise is my favourite as the fictional stories they write about the characters and events revolving around the Catholic Church are strikingly close to reality. I would research characters and events in the game and find that the events in the game are what did occur in history (of course the game version was tweaked to support their plot). A big example being the Borgia family known to some as 'history's original crime family'... the real story about the Borgias are far more interesting than the writers of the game could ever imagine (trust me).

In the years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Catholic church has definitely had its ups and downs... but a heck of a lot of downs. The Vatican was among the most if not the most corrupt institution in the world but had so much influence especially during the era of the Papal States. Being a devout Catholic myself, I find all this information quite interesting to me. Gotta learn more now

Edited by sirbenedictvs, 15 January 2012 - 09:37 AM.

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#2 halleluJah

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:07 AM

The catholic church is downright twisted and evil. I mean c'mon, even the pope says retarded things in public. What's more shocking is that people STILL don't question tradition. I'm not going to give my reasons as to why I not only think, but know that the catholic church is against God. There's plenty of information on the topic.

Anyway, I think all religions are against God. I don;t think the teachings are evil, but the concept of organized religion is. Spirituality is something so personal and unique. It shouldn't be be categorized, labeled or flaunted. It's so annoying when people are proud of their religion, it's so...wrong. :sweatdrop:
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#3 The Midnight Q

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:55 AM

You do realize that there's a clear difference between religion and faith. You may be mixing the two. Faith is what everyone has, religion is how they practice it. No need to bash on anyone who has a religion.

Going off on a tangent here but if you call the Catholic church "twisted and evil", what do you call the Church of Satan then? (yes it exists)

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In either case this topic was more about the history and influence of the Catholic church as an institution, not about Catholic faith itself. If it wasn't for the Vatican, there wouldn't have been much change during the Dark Ages and Renaissance in terms of art and science. Even the current calendar we go by today (1 January being the beginning of the year rather than 1 April as it was before; it took the American colonists quite a bit of time for them to catch up hence the Old World called them fools... April Fool's day) was commissioned by the Vatican and was proven through scientific means. What's that?! The Church using science?! Inconceivable! I'm trying to discuss about the history of the Church from a historical standpoint, say what you will about the Church as a religion, just not in this topic.
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#4 Karen

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:45 AM

Just an observation and opinion...

Anyone here ever studied the Catholic church from a historical standpoint, not a religious one?

It's very interesting to hear stories about the Church throughout history quite particularly in Renaissance era Europe. These were quite interesting times for nations, religion and art. But then you do some digging especially in the days after books and movies like Angels and Demons and games like Assassin's Creed, and realize that the history is much stranger than fiction!

The Assassin's Creed franchise is my favourite as the fictional stories they write about the characters and events revolving around the Catholic Church are strikingly close to reality. I would research characters and events in the game and find that the events in the game are what did occur in history (of course the game version was tweaked to support their plot). A big example being the Borgia family known to some as 'history's original crime family'... the real story about the Borgias are far more interesting than the writers of the game could ever imagine (trust me).


I haven't studied the actual history of the catholic church, but I think the history must be REALLY interesting. They are very powerful and although I'm not a catholic anymore, I do agree that it must be fascinating to study the works of the church! such a long history, essentially building an empire.


You do realize that there's a clear difference between religion and faith. You may be mixing the two. Faith is what everyone has, religion is how they practice it. No need to bash on anyone who has a religion.

Going off on a tangent here but if you call the Catholic church "twisted and evil", what do you call the Church of Satan then? (yes it exists)

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I'm trying to discuss about the history of the Church from a historical standpoint, say what you will about the Church as a religion, just not in this topic.


You're right Jeremy, there is a huuuge difference between religion and faith, but let's keep to the topic here. I'm sure there will be a lot to learn!
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#5 Arie

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:32 AM

This is an interesting topic.

The only history I know is art history. I am an art major and required to take art history. This year a lot of what we covered was about churches. Since I'm Jewish I actually knew close to nothing. Learning about the architecture and such is FASCINATING! I really really enjoyed it. Obviously I know this does not have much to do with your actual topic. But, I would like to put art into it. Most of medieval art is religious. It is so interesting to learn about. The Vatican itself is fascinating to me. The architecture and art. I think anyone can appreciate that. Religious or not.

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#6 The Midnight Q

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:06 AM

Oh no, I took an Art History class my sophomore year. Many medieval art was religious based but it wasn't until the Renaissance and Baroque eras that art took a huge leap forward... and became a lot more interesting lol. The Vatican at the time was actually the biggest patron of the arts. Artists like Bernini, Rafael, Michelangelo and Da Vinci were all commissioned by the Church. The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are just amazing (considering I only just learned then what frescoes were made of), Michelangelo was actually responsible for much of the artwork in St. Peter's Basilica.
One of my favourites is Filippo Brunelleschi who completed the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The dome is one of the largest if not the largest in the world, and it was done in the 15th cenetury!

In either case, I'm not sure if you've been to Vatican City yet, Arie, but if next time you're in Rome visit it and just be dumbfounded by the artwork in St. Peter's Basilica especially the Sistine Chapel. I've never been myself but from what people have told me, it's quite something else.
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#7 Lady Deadpool

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:20 PM

I haven't actually studied the Catholicism from a historic point of view but i know one thing; that the Church (both Easter and Western) helped a lot and encouraged the arts and science through difficult times. Church always had a lead role in the historical progress and it hardly gets any credits. I know for sure that if it weren't for the monks in Byzantium to preserve and study and translate all the Ancient Greek knowledge (from Philosophy to astronomy, mathematics science etc) and pass it on to the generations to come, no one today would even know who Plato or Socrates or Archimides was. But still even until today everyone says the Church always did nothing and held back progress and was against Science and against Pagans and against progress and blah blah. Same i presume goes for the Western Church as well.

The catholic church is downright twisted and evil.

Well i don't think anyone can say a Church is actually evil. I mean yeah some of it's representatives were corrupted. Especially during the dark ages. I mean i for once never agreed with the Crusades and i hate it that they still today say they were made in the name of God when the obvious reasons were economical and strategical and imperialistic.

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#8 The Midnight Q

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 03:53 AM

In both Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodox, the Church is single-handedly (sp?) responsible for preserving science, literature and history. During the Dark Ages and even towards the end of the Renaissance, the few people in the world who were literate were monks. Through the quite life in a monastery, they read past texts and write copies of these texts. That bit I was absolutely surprised to learn about; saw it on a documentary on the Codex Gigas of now Czech Republic.
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