The Catholic Church played a crucial role in the consolidation of secular power all over Europe. It was in the interests of the Church for the Crown to be able to protect its properties and servants against attack or abuse of authority by local chieftains and regional notables. The pattern was the same in both Sweden and Finland, which, after internal power struggles, were united into one kingdom under a single monarch in the thirteenth century. The Church was a consistent supporter of Crown interests, and when by the end of the same century the Crown’s military forces were moving their outposts further and further eastwards towards Karelia, the Catholic priests were hot on their heels. In the summer of 1293 Torgils Knutsson, the Swedish constable of the realm, led a successful military expedition to the Karelian Isthmus. The local Orthodox population was converted and a castle built in Viborg (Viipuri, now Vyborg, Russia), which remained the most important eastern frontier fortress in the realm until the early eighteenth century. (bolds by me)
A hitory of Finland by Henrik Meinander
What does the word "pattern" refer to in this context?
My first thought was that the pattern is the way Finland and Sweden is united. Like both of them have had internal struggles.
But now I am confused and am not sure if my varians is correct or not.