The Protestant Reformation

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Catholic Church, Protestantism Pages: 3 (1266 words) Published: March 7, 2005
The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation in western and central Europe officially began in 1517 with Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. This was a debate over the Christian religion. At the time there was a difference in power. Roman Catholicism stands with the Pope as central and appointed by God. Luther's arguments referred to a direct relationship with God and using the local vernacular to speak to the people. Luther's arguments remove the absolute power from the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church in general. The revenue from the taxes paid to the Church would be reduced with Luther's ideas, in part because of the removal of buying souls out of purgatory. If purgatory exists, then the Pope should empty it out of goodness and love, and not for the reason of money. There is also the removal of the power of buying one's pardon and with it salvation from the Church. The focus shifts from buying pardons to spending that time and money for works of mercy and love. Overall this presents an argument that removes the idea of the Pope making any mistakes and as a political entity, the Church loses monetary funds and power in general. The Church, while losing power over the masses of people, also lost political power. Previously taxes were collected from the people and paid to the kings, who in turn paid the Pope. In return they received monetary assistance when needed, as well as the international prestige of the Church. Now there were options. Kings could still collect taxes from their subjects, but it was not required that the Church be paid as well. The money could be used at the discretion of the king. This was related with countries becoming wealthy enough to defend themselves against the Pope's army, insuring their independence. Countries become independent entities in and of themselves, not relying on the Pope's...
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