The Church in Europe required reform at the end of the fifteenth
century and the beginning of the sixteenth century for a number of
reasons. The main reason being the behaviour of the papacy and their
priorities which were no longer the welfare of the Church. There were
other factors which contributed to the development of the Reformation
in Europe other than the state of the Church and Christian Humanism,
however these were the main factors.
The first reason why the Church in Europe needed reform was the papacy
who became more interested in wealth than in spiritual welfare. It was
normal for priests and bishops to charge a small amount for baptism,
weddings and burials as well as taking a tithe of everyman’s produce.
This was acceptable because it was the only way for them to survive,
however the situation became unacceptable when the papacy started
charging more for these services. This is an important factor, as
taking money away for holy ceremonies would bring resentment towards
the church from the common man who would definitely look to a
reformation to eliminate these charges.
Sales of Indulgences, which ‘were portrayed as a convenient way of
absolving one’s sins… preachers were encouraged to associate the coin
falling into the money chest with the soul moving from purgatory into
heaven,’ (Armstrong) angered many, including the German reformer
Martin Luther. The clergy who were profiting from this shows one of
the reasons why reform was needed and why profiting from the
impoverished is an important factor leading up to this reform.
... middle of paper ...
Reformation Treaties,’ Luther said ‘Reform is impossible unless the
Pope’s power in Germany is destroyed’ (Chadwick) This is important as
it is an example of Luther being concerned with the abuse of power
rather than other factors.
To conclude, there are other factors which contributed to the
development of the Reformation in Europe other that the state of the
Church and Christian Humanism. However the most important factors and
the factors which had the most impact on the reformation have to be
the state of the Church and Christian Humanism. Some would argue that
these are the only factors, however it is clear that the increase of
books due to the printing press and the Renaissance helped the
Reformation and therefore there were other factors which contributed
to the development of the Reformation in Europe.
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