The church acted as the government. It made laws and set up the courts to uphold the laws.
People in the Middle Ages were threatened withexcommunication, or being banished from church life and basically being banished from society.
Nobles and lords went to high church officials for advice. The church limited warfare, made peace between feudal lords, or even countries. This is one reason why this period saw little warfare.
Through the structure of the church, the Christian Church had power in every kingdom, village, and fief. Priests were in every village. The priests reported to a bishop, who reported to the archbishop. The archbishops reported directly to the Pope.
The Church was involved in all aspects in people’s lives.
Religious men and women lived in monasteries and convents throughout Europe.
The Gothic cathedral was an expression of medieval religion, and became a symbol of medieval society. Towns and cities built their own churches and cathedrals, the bigger the cathedral, the more religious they felt they were. The whole town would work at building the church.
Gothic cathedrals had ceilings over 1000 feet high. They were developed to bring in more light and had stained glass windows to decorate all around.
Stone arches called flying buttresses held the weight of the roof. And they allowed the windows to take the place of the walls.