Comprehensive Possible Essays
1. In a well written essay discuss the role of the papacy has evolved 5. Christianity is a religion that emphasized the need for conversion.
over time. Choose any THREE popes from the following list and Throughout the year we have looked at the conversion of several
discuss their impact upon the Church. individuals who ultimately had a major impact on the Church. In a
a. Gregory VII well written essay, discuss THREE of following individual’s
b. Paul III conversion experiences. Be sure to include the information on the
c. Leo XIII events that led up to the conversion and impact that each had on
d. John XXIII the Church.
e. John Paul II a. St. Paul
b. St. Augustine
2. In a well written essay, discuss the problem of lay investiture in c. St. Francis of Assisi
the Church. Be sure to include the following points in your d. St. Justin
discussion. e. St. Thomas Aquinas
a. What is lay investiture?
b. Why did it create such problems for the Church?
c. What were the reforms that the Church attempted to 6. The Protestant Reformation was one of the most important events
deal with this problem? in the history of the Church. Martin Luther was the leader who
d. Who were some of the people that led to this reform? began the Reformation when he criticized Church practices. In a
e. What was the response of the political rulers? well written essay, discuss Martin Luther’s beliefs and how they
differed from those of the Catholic Church. In your essay explain
3. In a well written essay, discuss the impact that the ecumenical Luther’s positions and contrast them with the Catholic position on
councils have had on the Church and its teachings. Pick ANY ONE the following issues.
of the councils discussed throughout the year and make sure to a. Salvation
discuss the following. b. Scripture vs. Tradition
a. What was the year the council met? c. Papal Authority
b. What was the problem the council dealt with? d. Sacraments
c. Who were the major figures involved with the council? e. The Priesthood
d. What was the decision reached at the council?
e. How did the decision affect the Church? 7. Possibly the most important figure in the early Church was St. Paul.
In a well written essay, explain how he became the Apostle to the
4. The Church dealt with a number of Heresies that plagued the Gentiles. Describe all of his missionary journeys, the places he
Church during its history. In a well written essay, choose THREE of traveled, the people he met, the successes and failures and how he
these heresies ended up in Rome.
b. Donatism 8. Discuss the difference between geocentrism and heliocentrism?
c. Albigensianism How did these concepts impact upon the Church? Who was
d. Christian Modernism Copernicus? Galileo? How did the issue resolve itself during
e. Gnosticism Galileo’s time? Has there been any reconciliation since then, and by
9. In a well written essay, discuss the differences between the 13. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was instrumental in bringing
Catholic and Orthodox Churches and why tensions existed between Catholicism back to France after the French Revolution. In a
them. In your answer be sure to include the following: well written essay discuss the Church during the Revolution
a. The differences in practice and leadership between and how Father Chaminade re-Christianized France. Be sure to
the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. include;
b. The events that led to the Great Eastern Schism. a. Discuss how the Church was viewed by the
c. How the Fourth Crusade affected the relationship revolutionary government and what steps did it take
between the two churches. against the Church.
b. Why was Father Chaminade forced to go into hiding
during the revolution?
10. At the period of the Apostles there was a great conflict c. Where and how did Father Chaminade receive his
relating to the Gentiles who wished to become Christians. In a vision to re-Christianize France?
well written essay, describe this conflict. In you answer be d. What were the sodalities? What was their purpose
sure to include: and significance for Father Chaminade?
a. What were the demands of the Jewish Christians upon e. What was Father Chaminade’s philosophy for the
the Gentile Christians? Society of Mary?
b. What was the viewpoint of St. Paul, St. Peter,
Barnabus and St. James 14. One of the most damaging periods to the power and prestige
c. What was the Council of Jerusalem? When did it meet of the papacy was the period known as the Avignon Papacy and
and why? What were the major issues? the Great Papal (Western) Schism that followed it. In a well
d. What were the final decisions of the council? How did written essay, discuss the topic. Be sure to include the
these decisions affect the life of the Church? How following:
does it affect us today? a. Why was the papacy in Avignon and why that was a bad
11. Choose either Anglicanism or Calvinism. Discuss the following: b. What was the Great Papal Schism?
a. Who was its leader and how did it begin? c. Who were some significant figures during this period?
b. Discuss three differences it had with the Catholic d. How was all of this damaging to the papacy?
c. State what the Catholic positions on these issues are 15. Monastic and Mendicant orders have had a major impact on the
how the Catholic Church responded in general to the development of the Christianity in Europe. Pick THREE
Protestant Reformation founders and explain what group they founded, what work that
d. Discuss one individual who opposed the leader of both group was noted for, and any major contributions this order is
protestant groups that lost their life due to their noted for.
16. The role of women in Church history is often overlooked.
12. The role of the Papacy has evolved over time. In proper essay However, many women have had a profound impact on the life
format discuss the impact and role that THREE of the following of the Church. From the list of great women, select THREE
popes had on the history of the Church. persons and for each, explain where and when the person lived
a. Gregory I b. Leo I and what her specific contribution to the Church was.
c. Gregory VII c. Leo XIII
d. John XXIII e. Innocent III a. St. Monica b. St. Agnes
c. St. Agnes d. St. Catherine of Siena
e. St. Teresa of Avila ab. St. Joan of Arc
ac. Sts. Perpetua and Felicity ad. St. Bernadette