“A corrupt and inefficient organisation, seriously lacking in any real religious commitment” Discuss this view of the Roman Catholic Church on the eve of the reformation.
Prior to the reformation in England the Roman Catholic Church had been the only church in the country and as such had a form of monopoly which over the years had begun to be exploited by some who entered the priesthood for reasons other than those religious. An example of what was considered to be a form of corruption in the Roman Catholic church is given as an argument by Luther in his case for a reformation of religion in the Holy Roman Empire, the example being the sale of indulgences, through which people can pay an amount of money in order to be forgiven or to reduce their time spent in purgatory. Corruption was also evident in the system of ‘tithes’ in which every person would be required to pay one tenth of their goods to the church to form a sort of basic welfare system in which the goods collected would be distributed to those who needed them however, in actual operation this system sometimes resulted in a corrupt church official being in charge of the system and consequently the tithes in that area covered by the corrupt official would not be distributed evenly or sometimes may not be distributed at all. The view presented mentions that the Catholic Church was lacking in any serious religious commitment, not only is this evidence by the corruption which, in any organisation following true Christian values, should not appear as the Church should be helping people as much as it can and not profiting from their plight, it may be argued that the lack of religious commitment may stem from the system that the oldest child received his father’s land and titles and then the remaining children would enter into a profession or military service, it was customary for at least one child to enter the priesthood and as such, if none of the children wished to enter the priesthood but one was...
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