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Cathedrals and the Roman Catholic church order

 

The building of medieval cathedrals is probably the greatest achievement in human history. The intricate beauty and perfected geometry and detail could only take form from the dedication of highly trained individuals, only established master craftsmen were hired for such work. Undertaking the construction of a cathedral required selflessness, perseverance and the ability to embed beauty into its craft. Since most master craftsmen had to pass on their unfinished work to future generations because it would take anywhere from 100 to several hundreds of years to complete. Most never seeing the completion of their hard work.

The Medieval Church dominated everybody’s life, from peasants to kings. It was probably one of the major unifying factors influencing their beliefs. Nobody challenged the church about the real existence of God, Heaven or Hell. Even though some might have had skepticism towards it, an outlaw would still carry the doubt that by disobeying the church and not abiding its rules they were sure to find a place in Hell at their death. The people believed from an early age, that the only way to get into Heaven was if the Roman Catholic church let them. Everybody was terrified of Hell, and the people would have been told of the horrors awaiting sinners at their weekly service when they attended church on Sunday morning.

The leaders of the church came from privileged, wealthy families of nobility. There was a distinct social class during the middle ages, you were born into a class and generally stayed in that class your entire life.  This pecking order not only defined the kings, barons, knights and peasants but was within the Roman Catholic church as well. The pope, head of the church was compared to the king, he was meticulous in defining matters of faith and morality. The cardinal could be compared to the barons, he was appointed by the pope and was his most trusted advisor. On the pope’s death, the cardinal had to elect a new pope. The archbishop and bishop were like the knights, they reigned over parishes that were spread across the land. Since the pope could not be everywhere at once, the archbishop and bishop would uphold the pope’s word and rule. Finally, At the bottom of the hierarchy was the humble priest, comparative to the peasant, he generally came from an impoverished family with little education. He would normally work in the village church and be responsible for caring for the old and sick, and educating the youth to read the Bible and speak Latin.

The cathedral rose window was made with 3 different coloured kite papers. They were cut into 3 equal circles and folded accordion style similar to paper snowflakes. Then glued by overlapping them together. Consider using a window to find the best positioning when the light shines through.