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The Reformation Of The Roman Catholic Church

1036 words - 4 pages

In a time where people no longer could trust the ethical system of the RomanCatholic Church there was much confusion and a great need for change. In that changethere also came a great attack on the Church that could truly be exemplified by men suchas Luther and Calvin. The resulting reform that the many years of change brought was anew type of Christianity. What is so astonishing about the entire process of theReformation is how greatly it effected the nations of Europe, and how on the verge ofchaos people like the men mentioned above kept it together. All the factors that werestrung together can be best illustrated by the main powers in political, economic, andtheological issues who so desperately cried out for innovation. The issues of theaforementioned factors caused the dissolution of the greatest power in Europe at the time,and ultimately reduced it to a Europe who had no unification for the first time inthousands of years.The Reformation could have its earliest roots traced back to the days of Huss andWycliff who were the first people to speak out publicly against the practices of theRoman Catholic Church. However, it was Martin Luther who in 1517 really gathered thesupport of angry, fed-up citizens to establish Protestantism. Why Luther succeeded inconvincing the people when Huss and Wycliff didn't, was really based on the politicalatmosphere of the time that surfaced across Western Europe. In the Medieval times, theemperors of the Roman Catholic Church, which included but not exclusively held to PhilipI and Maximilian I, had asserted themselves as the secular rulers of Christianity across thecontinent. That meant that as well as being head of the religious department they alsocontrolled the states affairs and had supreme control second to God. After, the emperorsgrasped such titles as Kings, Princes , and Dukes. This type of command with which theHoly Roman emperors had granted themselves furthered weakened their control over theirempire, and ended up holding little significance in the eye of the people. No pointcould better demonstrate the weakening Empire than that by the end of the Middle Agesthe once great Holy Roman Empire was reduced to what is now Germany, and even theremany city states recognized themselves as independent. In brief terms this was known asthe dissolution of the feudal system, and it proved to be a big reason in the beginning ofthe Reformation. This of course was not the only reason or political factor thatcontributed to this great process at hand, there were other reasons like the emergence ofmonarchies in England, France, and Spain. Whether these countries chose to keep theirreligion as Catholic or not, it still greatly effected how people viewed the church and theirlives. National spirit became a big deal and people's loyalty shifted to Kings first, and thento the Pope. Countries like England, France, and Spain were especially at the front of thisbattle because with their economic and military levels under some...

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