The Holy Roman Catholic Church

As an organisation, the Catholic Church has a structure covering the majority of Europe, unlike the Church of England which deals with only one country and is headed by its monarch. The head of the Catholic Church is the Pope in Rome (or occasionally Avignon) who essentially appoints the episcopal (bishop) hierarchy from the top down, as well as the Cardinals.

England, despite being a Protestant country, has reluctantly retained the Catholic part of the hierarchy. A large minority of the population, including a significant proportion of the landed gentry has retained the Catholic religion and it has made it necessary for this to be tentatively accepted by both the Church of England and the monarch. So far, there is no indication that King Harry wishes to do anything but continue limited support of the Catholic Church.


Membership of the Catholic Church represents either your beliefs as a lay worshipper or your active service as a priest or bishop within the Church. In addition, affiliation can be public or private to reprsent the choice of some individuals to keep their religion secret as being a Catholic does provoke a lot of discontent from the Protestants and Puritans. As a smaller community, even lay members of the Church may be required to lend their support to the Church hierarchy more often.


Affiliation may be Public or Private.

Lay Worshipper (Rank 0)

You are a Catholic and worship in Catholic Churches and Chapels. You are occasionally called upon by the church (especially if you are a high-ranking noble) to assist them.

Pastor (Rank 1)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk.

You are a parish priest, ordained in the Church and tending to the Catholic minorities of the countryside. This can be a part-time job, since little time is devoted to ministry and sacrements.

Deacon (Rank 2)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk, Doctrine or Organisation (2).

You are a priest in one of the larger Catholic Churches in the major towns and are an integral part of the Catholic support network. You are required to assist Catholics if they are in trouble for their religious beliefs and minister to them in difficult situations.

Archimandrite (Rank 3)

Requirements: The Ordained quirk, Doctrine or Organisations (3) or Diplomacy (4)

Although an Archimandrite was usually appointed as an overseer for several monasteries by the local Bishop, since the dissolution of English monasteries the title has been an honourary rank for those priests or deacons who are favoured by the Bishop. Their duties are expanded (running the Churches and relationships with the Church of England) and they command much respect as the right-hand men of the Bishops.

Bishop or Archbishop (Rank 4)

Requiremetns: The Ordained quirk, Landed Title (3), Organisation, Doctrine or Diplomacy (2)

The few Bishops who have been able to retain their land (or receive it back) while remaining part of the Catholic structure continue to run the Church for the Pope in Rome. You are one of the most important parts of the Church in England and command great respect from the Catholic minority which gives you a degree of control over them - control you will need if the Church is to expand or even survive in the hostile Protestant environment. You have the powers to ordain new clergy, and even in some cases expell (excommunicate) members of the Church whether ordained or not.

There is only one Archbishopric available, though it is not fixed to locations like that of the Church of England. The Archbishops in England and Wales does not have the same power as the Archbishops of the Church of England, but they do lead the Catholic Church. If you wish to play an Archbishop consult a GM.


A Cardinal, appointed specifically by the Pope in Rome and sent out to a specific country, has ultimate power there. They are the representatives of the Pope outside Rome and can control the Church.

Technically head of the Church of Rome for England, players cannot start as a Cardinal, but it is possible for a Bishop to be appointed Cardinal if the current one dies.


Women are specifically not allowed to be ordained in the Catholic Church and all reforms have been rejected so far. Many still argue for this, in light of women being ordained in the Protestant churches, but the Catholics are resolute.


The Catholic Church is not against the use of magic, but prefers to control its application, especially that of Theurgy and Sorcery. It teaches emphatically about the dangers of corruption associated with both, but many Bishops across Europe are practicioners, often using it for the wrong reasons.

The other magics are not discouraged as such, but the teaching calls for a Catholic use of them where possible. Using it for the good of the Church, rather than for one's gains, is considered the right thing to do.

Recent Events

The terrible events in Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich, have struck all English Catholics. A group of Puritans stormed the Catholic Church there, took Father Edward from the safety of the Altar and summarily executed him in the town square calling him 'Witch' and 'Devil-worshipper'. There is no reason to believe that Father Edward was anything but a good Catholic pastor, his burning in Bury St. Edmunds is a crime and affront to the Holy Roman Church itself.

The Bishop of Ely has called on Catholic lords to petition King and Parliament for justice.

roman_church.txt · Last modified: 2007/04/24 10:10 by innokenti