The Church affirms that God illuminates his eternal life to us through the sacraments. If this is true, then certainly the Church would have made life-giving contributions to the world at large. In fact, it has – in as much as we don’t always hear about them.
The ancient Romans were bewildered by charity. Charity is giving to those outside of one’s social circles, a giving motivated by love. It first arrived as a relevant social occurrence with the emergence of the Church. The ancient Romans were bewildered at how the Christian community would give to the poor, tend to prisoners, and take care of orphans and widows. Through social action, programmes, and contributions the Church remains easily the largest charitable organization in the world.
Caring for the Sick
Hospitals are organized institutions dedicated to the healing of all and not just those within a particular social circle. As a sustained social occurrence, they began via Church initiative in the 4th century. Even before this, the ancient world could not comprehend why the Church was so ready to heal and comfort the lowly, sick and diseased. Church efforts in healthcare continue globally today, especially in many of the world’s poorest regions.
Schools Pioneered by Catholic Church
Universities are formal institutions created for higher learning. They too were pioneered by the Church, starting from 11th and 12th centuries. Modern science came forth from these schools. It was very often supported by Church patronage and was greatly developed by either religious or lay Church persons who saw their scientific work as an effort to better comprehend the mind of God. Before all this, the learning and admonishing of monks saved Europe from cultural and educational collapse after the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Barbarian tribes.
The revolutionary ideas of the fundamental equality of all human beings and the sanctity of life are rooted in the book of Genesis, but their widespread social acceptance was affected by the Church. Under Church influence infanticide, a father’s power of life and death over his family, gladiatorial “shows”, and the disfigurement of criminals were ended before the collapse of the Roman Empire, while slavery was exterminated from Western society centuries before the Revival.
The Advancement of Women’s Rights
Women specifically were and uptill date still attracted to the Church, and its adversaries derided it as a “woman’s religion”. The Church’s admonition in relation to marriage, adultery, polygamy, male responsibility, and the worthiness of wives, girls, widows, celibates and orphans greatly improved the standing of women in society, while in essence nowhere else in the ancient world could communities of women self-govern as they did within the Church.
The first crucial legal system in the world appeared with the Church’s canon law of the 12th century. Its development recommended to the world the idea of human rights; formalized and insisted upon due process; decreed pioneered as needed for marriage; required criminal intent as a component of criminal responsibility; and popularised the ideas of equity and justice as central to law and power. Canon law’s assertion of property rights and the logic of contract established crucial fundamentals for market economics which has assisted raise livings standards generation on generation. International law began with Church theology and supporters in the 16th century and its first contribution was to insist on the natural rights of native census in the “new world”.