How do you explain the prestige and influence of the church during the early middle ages?

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How do you explain the prestige and influence of the church during the early middle ages?

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The church the last refuge of the once Roman Empire were a stabilizing influence in Europe for the most part during the middle ages. Monasteries became centers of education, history, and agrarian sciences. Churches were civil centers where the majority of the towns people, visitors, merchants, tradesmen & pilgrims, would gather. The Church would lend legitimacy to the ruling fractions, and monarchs, grant and approve claims of both lands and titles. And they would also take it away. A constant strife of political power existed between the ruling elements of the land and the Church. Both needed to assure the masses of the legitimacy of their hold of power. The Church acted as a quasi UN amongst the crown heads of Europe, settling claims, negotiating disputes, etc. The church was involved in trade, banking, and through the Templar’s they had their own military wing. The church also had very negative aspects, they were involved in wars, the crusades not to mention all sorts of intrigues a