It sometimes seems as though the Black Plague did for a relatively healthy Catholic Church what Job's persecutions did to Job's faith: weakened it without destroying it. From here:
We are talking about the death of roughly, 25% of the population of Europe. Who do you think took care of these plague victims? Who was the most knowledgeable and dedicated? They were the priests, the monks, and sister. And the Black Plague reoccurred 8 times from 1450 to 1500 AD. There was widespread starvation. This was when Europe began to fractionalize where different people met and coalesced together and they started what we now know as Germany, France, and the other European countries. People wanted to be with people they understood, to protect themselves. Strangers were driven away, as they might be contagious.And the Plague had another effect. From the historian Barbara Rosenwein:
It was the priests and religious that trying to minister to the needs of the sick and dying and as a result, they were hit the hardest. In France specifically, in Europe entire monasteries were wiped out. They ended up losing 300 men of the Curia in Avignon at that time. Thousands of religious died. It could be estimate, although I have never seen any figures that 90% of the Catholic Clergy died during this period of the Black Plague. In addition, many of the educated clergy who managed to survive were put to work by the secular authorities. So what was left for the Church as the priesthood had been decimated?...The Church, in her desperation to serve the needs of the people started ordaining some men who were not really the best qualified or ideally suited. During this time of great upheaval the quality of many of the clergy was less than what would be desired.
Because the plague destroyed people and not possessions, the drop in population was accompanied by a corresponding increase in per capita wealth. A new type of consumer, who preferred variety and luxury, began to appear in both the towns and the countryside. People who were unsure if they would be alive the next day wanted to spend their money on fine foods and luxuries. Many lords and wealthy merchants built churches and commissioned religious art, partly in thanks for being spared the horrors of the Black Death.