Protestantism versus Catholicism

Protestantism versus Catholicism

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Protestantism versus Catholicism
Catholicism was the religion in ancient Rome. In Rome, there was no separation of church and state like the United States. The Pope basically was in charge of the Roman people. Martin Luther was in the monastery, but he began to see some flaws in the Catholic Church. Martin Luther believed that certain things the Catholic Church were teaching were not morally correct. He then went to preach a different religion called Protestantism; this caused a big problem between him and the pope. Roman Catholicism and Martin Luther’s Protestantism have moral differences, religious belief differences, and caused a lot of conflicts.
Martin Luther realized morally that there was a lot wrong with the Catholic Church. For one thing, it was wrong that only the people high up in the church could read the scripture. He believed that everyone should be able to understand it and interpret it for themselves; this is why he translated it from Latin to German while he was living in Germany because his life was in danger. He also did not agree with celibacy and married a former nun. A big moral conflict for him was the fact that the Catholic Church sold indulgences in place of sin. In his words, “Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.” This was a dominate practice in the church and they used the indulgences to make the Church extravagantly beautiful.
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have quite a few religious belief differences. A major difference is the Catholics believe that if you sin you can pay indulgences to the Church to help keep you out of purgatory. However, Luther did not agree with this, he believed, “salvation was by faith rather than by works and to denounce the Church’s practices of selling indulgences.” He did not think it was necessary for the pope, priests, saints or Mary to intervene and that everyone can have their own personal relationship with Christ. Martin Luther claims, “The bible is the sole authority for Christians. All of this infuriated the Catholic Church and made them excommunicate Luther from the Church. They claimed, “He committed heresy against the Church which could be punished by death.”
Although Luther was under the impression he was in the right that does not mean this did not cause a lot of conflicts not only between himself and the Roman Catholic Church, but also for the Western European Culture in general.

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For instance, not only did he start preaching all of these differences, he also printed the Ninety-Five Thesis on the door of All Saints’ Church. He barely escaped from being killed by the Roman Church, but he still challenged the Pope. The reason this caused so much conflict is because the townspeople started to like Luther’s religion better and they also wanted freedom from the pope’s authority. Not only the people in Rome, but people all over Western Europe started to follow Luther. Because of this, a lot of peasants were killed trying to contend for the Protestant religion and they felt that Luther just abandoned them. The peasants were not the only once effected by this, but the Catholic churches were as well. As stated, “One of the central targets of the Reformation was the Catholic Church’s prolific use of religious imagery, which many Protestants believed was idolatrous.” There was not only the conflict between Protestants and Catholics but between Protestants and Jews. They actually hated the Jews and believed that they all should be persecuted. Even Martin Luther himself called them, “Devils and said they should be expelled from Germany”.
Although Luther’s Ninety-Five-Thesis caused a lot of hassle, it also helped in some ways. Some of the higher up officials in the Church realized some of the points the Protestants made were valid. For instance, “They said there was corruption, misuse, and blatant rule-breaking by church officials that needed to stop.” Martin Luther made a huge impact on the Western European culture and because of him a lot of changes happened. Even though a lot of people would say he betrayed the people by not helping in the fight, he also helped the people a lot and did risk his own life while doing so. Even today there are a lot of differences between Protestant, Methodist, Baptists and Catholic faiths.




Works Cited

An article, The Reformation
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