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The Reformation Essay

793 words - 4 pages

During the 16th Century there was a religious revolution in Christianity throughout Europe. Martin Luther, a German monk, revolted against the Church because of what he saw as hypocrisy of the Catholic clergy and authority against Biblical beliefs. This was counter acted by the Catholic Church in an internal, peaceful and reform minded Catholic Reformation and by a conflicting and fighting Counter- Reformation to stop the spread of his teachings. Martin Luther believed the Clergy’s blatant disregard of duties and rules and the selling of indulgences justified his revolt while the Catholic Church disagreed both internally reforming the Church though rules and regulations and by counteracting and fighting though enforcement to stop it.
Martin Luther revolted against the Catholic Church because of what he saw as hypocrisy of the authorities and clergy with their disregard of duties and rules which was against Biblical beliefs. The Clergy of the 16th Century was considered to be very corrupt. Clerics were very immoral. Priests were often involved in prostitution and had concubines. Clerical ignorance was also widespread. Many priests could not read and simply repeated the Latin Mass. Pluralism, the holding of one more than one Church office at a time, was constant. Many bishops would often try to gain more bishopric offices just to gain their salary rather than to help spread the message of Christ. They would often hire a priest to do his duties there, paying him much lower than he was paid for the office. This led to absenteeism, being absent from a diocese, district, or church one was holding office for but not doing those duties. All of these factors, clerical immorality, ignorance, pluralism, and absenteeism, all led to widespread anticlericalism, opposition to the clergy. Along with all these problems was the selling of indulgences. An indulgence was document sold by the church for money that lessened the penance in Purgatory. Indulgences were widely believed to bring forgiveness for all sins. Martin Luther viewed this as a complete corruption of the Papacy replacing grace with money. Luther believed one could be saved by faith and grace alone. Luther viewed indulgences and the hypocrisy of the Clergy as enough to revolt against the Church.
In order to stop the spread of Luther’s teachings the Church began a Catholic Reformation. The Catholic Reformation was characterized by internal and peaceful reforms though rules and regulation. The Catholic...

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