Causes of the Protestant Reformation
Thesis Statement: The causes of the Protestant Reformation were due to abuse of privileges of the church, the cry for reform of the people, and the Radical movement that would succeed in urging every man and woman to seek their own interpretation of his or her individual faith in the bible, which would have them look too God rather than the church for solace of their lives.
During the 16th Century Renaissance Era, there was great debate over what many thought were abuses of power and indulgences of the church, what one thought was indulgences or abuse of power another thought it was for a greater good. There was much strife between the clergy and the laity, this intern reflected in the number of election decrees. The church had been excluded all of the Laity, meaning people who were not clergy, or were consider secular priest; they also may have been people of the congregation with particular skills that worked along with the church. By the eliminating the Laity the clergy became wealthier. “As administrators of this wealth, many clergy, particularly the great prelates, gave a disproportionately large share of their attention to secular matters,” (Grimm 1973). Harold Grimm also states, “It is no wonder that many townsmen looked upon the clergy as hoarders of wealth who drained the cities and land of gold and silver,” (2). The church had also become the envy of kings and Princes they saw how powerful the Pope had become over all clergy and the people, most of the clergy along with the Pope lived like high society, and this included the archbishop, abbots, and bishops. Many people felt while the Popes doctrine was sound that there were problems with worldliness and immorality. Owen Chadwick makes the example,” A priest who was observed to be publicly drunken in the tavern was allowed to continue his ministry without rebuke, or a cleric known to be guilty of homicide was seen to escape with a modest imprisonment on bread...
Bibliography: 1. Chadwick, Owen. The Reformation.Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965.
2. Grimm, Harold J. The Reformation Era 1500-1650. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1954, 1965, 1973.
3. Gritsch, Eric W. Martin God’s Jester, Luther in Retrospect. Philadephia: Fortress Press, 1983.
4. Indulgences: http://www.thecaveonline.com/apeh/reformdocument.html
5. Jack Arnold L. The Cause and Result of the Reformation, Men of theology.Lesson 2 of 11.
6. The History Guide. Lectures on Early Modern European History. Revised 2009.
7. The Protestant Reformation: http://www.u-s-history.com/page/h1136.html
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