The Church was a sanctuary where all could seek and receive refuge in the Middle Ages.
The function of holy people was to interpret Gods’ ways to those in power. They did this by educating themselves so they could advise wisely. In turn they were protected by those in power because it was believed that they could invoke the Gods’ protection.
Rituals and liturgies were developed which ensured continuity which in turn gave comfort to the followers.
Much of the other work of the religious has been to care for the sick and the poor and it still is. Many people have been granted succour and sanctuary since time began.
Sadly as we know, power corrupts and few can withstand the seductive corruption of power.
We should not let the sad perversions of power relations in institutions obscure the great good done by selfless servants of Gods.
Places of worship are still sanctuaries for many – places where we can escape the buzz, rush and pressure of modern life to think and pray and lose fears.