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Answered 2010-10-15 10:49:05

The church was able to gain wealth by collecting taxes.

Roman Catholic AnswerAlthough there have been periods in history when the Church had a great influence of local economies, through the monasteries, which owed a great deal of land, through Bishops and Cardinals who set themselves up as local princes; the Church, itself, has never aimed for secular power but was only concerned, primarily, with the salvation of individuals. The Church's primary function in daily life: the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, is, by definition, free. There is a very specific sin for charging money for these things: simony The name is taken from Simon in the New Testament who offered money to the apostles if they would give him their power through ordination.
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