The Middle Ages for Kids - The Inquisition Illustration

Middle Ages for Kids
Power of the Church
& the Inquisition

The Inquisition: The Catholic church was worried. Was the devil stealing peoples souls? How would you know? So, to fight the devil the church founded an new court. The Inquisition. The Inquisition were those priests whose job it was to find and punish anyone who was against the church or working with the devil.

They called people who worked against the church a heretic, and any action or speech against the church was called heresy. The Inquisition was also tasked with stamping out heresy. The Inquisition could place people under arrest and question them using torture to get them to confess to heresy. If you confessed right away before torture, you would be punished but you could be redeemed. If you didn't confess, you could be tortured until you did confess. How could a person win? Well, you couldn't.

The Inquisition started out as a way to fight against evil, but very quickly became another tool to control people.

The Power of the Church: The Catholic church was the supreme power during most of the medieval period. Some of the ways the church exercised its power includes the flow of wealth, the use of sacraments to control people and their lives, the use of Church councils, the propaganda value of the religious beggars (friars), and finally, the horrible cruelty of the Inquisition and the fear it generated.

Interactive Quiz about the Middle Ages (with answers)