How far do the sources suggest that the early sixteenth century church in England was unpopular and corrupt?

Topics: 16th century, Bishop, Christianity Pages: 2 (557 words) Published: October 1, 2013
How far do the sources suggest that the early sixteenth century church in England was unpopular and corrupt? The Catholic Church of the 16th century was perceived as being corrupt and unpopular due to its social hierarchy within its society of ordained men, and their abuse of power to take advantage of the laypeople and their strong faith to extort money out of them for their own greedy purposes. The sources A, B, C and D all depict this corruption in one form or another. Source A suggests that the church was corrupt as Colet refers to the priests’ lifestyle as ‘evil and wicked’. This goes against the normality of priests being wholly good and holy people, and for them to be described in such a strong way shows that the Catholic Church had been turned upside down and their members were becoming more and more corrupt as time passed, leading to Colet calling for the ‘laws [to] be rehearsed’. This also shows that there is a need to re-iterate the values and morals of the Church, which would not be the case if its members were not behaving in such a way. It is also know that the Archbishop of Canterbury was the one who asked Colet to preach this sermon, which could indicate that some of the higher-ups did notice the corruption that was occurring. Also, the sect that Colet belonged to (Humanists) saw the wrong in this corruption which led to him speaking out against these actions. Source B also reflect the Church’s corrupt nature, as the fact that King Henry VII appointed ‘Master Fisher’ as a ‘bishopric’ only on the grounds that he saw and knew the ‘great and singular virtue’ that he saw in him. Also, he was his mother’s ‘confessor’. This shows that nobility was be used to easily sway judgement in appointing religious leaders, as Fisher was born into a very wealthy family (he was educated at Cambridge) and they were primarily used for the King’s own good, as he, not a religious figure in the Church appointed them. Both of these sources make an example of how...
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