Published on March 13, 2014
THE EARLY MODERN AGE: THE REFORMATION María Jesús Campos learningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
In the year 1500, all Christians belonged to one Church, the Catholic Church, led by the Pope. The Catholic Church was extremely wealthy thanks to: The tithe: a tax paid annually by every worker. It represented 10% of their income. Donations were made by nobles and royal members in their testaments so they were forgiven for their sins.
CORRUPTION AND ABUSES Nepotism Simony Absenteeism: Pluralism Sale of Indulgences Luxury and lovers Illiteracy
Nepotism: the hierarchy (cardinals, bishops, abbots…) often appointed family members as priests or monks even if they were not qualified or trained. Simony: to buy and sell Church positions. Absenteeism: the priest or bishop does not live in the place they are appointed to serve. Pluralism: some priests controlled more than one parish or diocese at the same time.
The Sale of Indulgences: Christians believed that God sent sinners straight to hell and virtuous people straight to heaven. But they also believed that regular people, sinners but not wicked enough to be sent to hell, were sent to the purgatory to pay for their sins until they were ready to go to heaven. Going to purgatory was terrifying.
The Church said that Christians could reduce the amount of time they or their loved ones spent in purgatory by buying an indulgence. Indulgences = tickets to heaven This meant that the Church accepted money in return for the forigiveness of sin and a way out of purgatory.
Luxury and lovers: Popes, cardinals and bishops lived in luxury, spending vast fortunes on the construction of palaces and hiring artists to decorate them. Often fighting with other lords to conquer or control more territories. Having lovers and children with their lovers. Appointing their own children for the Church’s positions.
These shocked Christians who wondered if the clergy’s hyerarchy were forgetting their role as spiritual leaders of the Church. In the 16th century, as education spread, some Christians wanted to reform or improve the Church, but the Popes refused to listen.
MARTIN LUTHER: THE MAN WHO PROTESTED Born in Germany in 1483 Son of a wealthy copper miner who wanted him to study law. But he became an Augustinian monk. He saw himself as a sinner so he studied the Bible in depth to find a way for sinners to go to heaven.
In 1510 he visited Rome and was shocked by the luxurious lifestyles of many of the clergy there. Reading the Bible he found the following line in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans: “the just man shall live by his faith”. Justification by faith alone: God would save him so long as he had faith. Good works were not needed; he just had to believe in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness of sins is not something which we earn for ourselves by our own good deeds. Rather, it is a free gift, which God gives to us as a result of all that Jesus did for us as our Saviour. Salvation, therefore, is completely and only by faith in Jesus Christ
Needing money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Leo X promised an indulgence to anyone who contributed money to his cause. Luther produced the 95 theses and nailed them to the door of the Church in Wittenberg. There he objected to the idea of buying your way to heaven, and the building of great luxurious churches.
At first, Pope Leo X did little, especially since Luther was supported by his ruler, Prince Frederick the Wise. But the debate continued to grow. Luther was instructed to recant but he refused. Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther.
Luther began to write pamphlets outlining his beliefs and translated the Bible into German. Many Germans supported him. They began to call themselves protestants or lutherans. Some supported Luther for spiritual reasons, others for political and economic reasons.
MARTIN LUTHER’S IDEAS Justification by faith alone The priesthood of all believers Only two sacraments. Baptism and Eucharist The person in charge of the Church should be the local prince, not the Pope in distant Rome.
THE LUTHERAN’S REVOLT Luther’s disagreement with the Pope was not just a personal and spiritual matter. It was a serious political and economic (tithe) matter. Emperor Charles V supported the Pope. The German Princes (Holy Roman Empire) decided to support Luther as a way to weaken the Emperor and the Pope.
Trying to solve the situation, Emperor Charles V called the Diet of Worms. A meeting with all German princes in which Luther refused to recant. Charles V declared Luther an outlaw, which meant that anyone could kill him without punishment. Edict of Worms, 1521 “For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, where upon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work. “
But some German princes supported Luther in the hopes that doing so would weaken the emperor’s power. The Holy Roman Empire and mainly the territories of current Germany were plunged into a terrible War of Religion.
Although Emperor Charles V won the war, the protestants or Lutherans adhered to their ideas. Finally, in 1555 both sides signed the Peace of Augsburg. It established that each prince would have the right to decide which religion he and his people would follow.
CONSEQUENCES The religious revolution that Lugher began is known as the Reformation. Others in other parts of Europe started questioning the Church teachings as well: Switzerland: John Calvin created calvinisim or presbyterianism based on the idea of Predestination England: King Henry VIII personal and political interests led to a reformation in England
THE COUNTER-REFORMATION WITHIN THE CATHOLIC CHURC Taken by surprise by the force of the Protestant reformation the Catholic Church was slow in its response. 1545 the Pope called the Council of Trent Protestants were also invited but no agreement was reached. Nevertheles, the Catholic Church was to be reformed:
Simony, nepotism, pluralism and the rest of the abuses were to be banned. Bishops were obliged to live in their dioceses. All priests were to be fully and properly trained in seminaries. Protestants book were banned. Priests were not allowed to marry or have lovers. Only the Pope and the clergy could explain the Bible and the doctrine to the Catholic.
Both faith and good works are needed to save a person’s soul. There are seven sacraments An index, list of forbidden books, would be created. A Tribunal of Inquisition was to be placed in each catholic country to prosecute heretics.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE REFORMATION AND THE COUNTER-REFORMATION Division among Catholic and Protestants Wars of Religion and persecution: by the end of the 17th century, 10 millions Christians (catholic and protestants) had died as a result of arguments about how to serve God.
Europe was divided into those nations, largely in the south, who remained loyal to the Pope, and those, largely in the north, who broke with Rome and became Protestant.
By 1570, 2 out of every 5 Europeans were Protestants. But after the Counter-Reformation, by 1650, only 1 in 5 Europeans were Protestants.
Developed by María Jesús Campos Chusteacher wikiteacher
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