Internal Weaknesses of the Catholic Church as the Real Resons for the German Reformation

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Internal Weaknesses of the Catholic Church as the Real Reasons for the German Reformation
There is some validity in this statement as there is evidence to support this claim that the Church was spiritually unhealthy in the pre-reformation period, as argued by traditionalists such as John Lotherington, editor of 'Years of Renewal.' However, the statement made is rather too simplistic. There is strong evidence that there were several reasons other than the weaknesses of the Catholic Church that played an important role in causing the German Reformation. Michael Mullett argues that Luther was the cause of the Reformation, while Keith Randell, author of 'Luther and the German Reformation,' argues that there were a number of causes such as political, economic, social, and cultural causes. Lotherington argues that the Church was the most important key issue for the cause of the German Reformation. He quotes, "The Roman Catholic Church was intent on exploiting Germany." He bases his argument on the evidence that religion was the most important affair in the Middle Ages. In this age, people would not live to an old age but would die quite young. Therefore, people would place their trust in God and subsequently, in the Church, thinking that by 'good works' and other practices such as purchasing Indulgences would get them eternal life. It was the sale of Indulgences that made Luther write his Ninety-Five Theses. Randell also supports Lotherington's view that it was Luther's protest against Indulgences that spurred the Reformation. Relics of Saints were also a money-making scheme which is mentioned by Lotherington, which must have...
Overall, it must be argued that the conditions of the Church were not the central cause, but rather that the abuses within the Church were only exaggerated by many Lutheran reformers and in fact Luther himself. Yes, the abuses were there, but as stated by Lotherington, they were a natural order, and as Mullett and Randell state, most of the population did not know about the abuses. Therefore, the internal weaknesses of the Church cannot be acknowledged as the real reason for the German Reformation. Rather than one main factor, it was rather a number of factors behind the German Reformation.

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