Reformation in continental Europe and England and its consequences

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Reformation is the religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th century. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church, loss of papal authority and credibility as well as other societal, political and economical issues of the time. This revolution had a major impact on Europe and it gave way to short term and long-term consequences, which still can be seen today.
There were many causes of Reformation, some go as far back as the fourteenth century. One of the main ones was that the papal authority and credibility were damaged. This was done through, Avignon papacy, - a time where the headquarters of the Holy See had to be moved from Rome to Avignon, it brought uncertainty to the people, as they did not trust the Pope, and believed the Pope favoured the French. Following this, the Great Western Schism also contributed to the loss of papal authority as it split Christian Europe into hostile camps, because three different men were claiming to be the true Pope, each having some support from different kings and princes of Europe. Finally, the corruption of the Renaissance papacy, such as that of Alexander VI (who did not keep the celibacy vow) resulted in loss of papal credibility.
As the Holy See was not as powerful anymore, it was suffering from attacks on the papacy. Many felt that the Pope and his Bishops had developed into an abusive feudal monarchy. They were not happy that the Church was concentrating on making profits and not on the spiritual well being of people. Early reformation movements such as the Lollards and the Hussites that were founded by John Wycliffe and John Huss respectively were suppressed for their attacks on the papacy.

People also resented the Church, because of practices such the indulgences – when individuals paid to church for forgiveness of their sins. The society was aware that the higher clergy was interested in political power, material possessions, and privileged position in public life. Many bishops and abbots (in some countries they were territorial princes) thought of themselves as secular rulers and not as servants of the Church. Members of the Church went to great lengths to increase their income, sometimes even uniting Episcopal sees to boost their funds and power. Basic obligations were abused - practice of celibacy was not always observed. This resulted in lowering...

... middle of paper ..., the English Civil War saw many casualties, this was nothing compared to many wars in continental Europe and their scale. England was not in the same state of turmoil as Europe.

The long-term consequences of Reformation can still be seen today. An example of this is royal successors of Henry VIII being the head of English church, which became the Anglican Church by the Act of Conformity. Henry VIII laid basis for the Anglican Church and many variants within the denomination such as Lutheranism, Anglicanism and Calvinism, which are still in operation today. These denominations influenced the change of beliefs and practices, in 1539; Six Articles were presented that outlined the details of some of the changed beliefs and practices such as communion, and vows of chastity.

Many causes and key individuals contributed to Reformation, a movement that reformed important doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches. The consequences of Reformation varied across Europe, but the main outcomes were the further split of Christian Church and the numerous wars that caused deep disagreements, which still can be felt today.

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