To what extent was the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church the main reason for the reformation in Germany 1517-25
During the 1500s there was widespread hatred for the Roman Catholic Church. The German people resented the Church for their ecclesiastical corruption and there was huge amounts of anti clerical anger. It was Luther who was at the forefront of the Reformation and his anger, caused by the selling of indulgences during his visit to Rome, which sparked the Reformation in 1517. For this reason corruption of the Catholic Church was a very important cause of the Reformation in 1517. One of the key examples of corruption of the Catholic Church was the selling of indulgences providing the customer with instant remission for future sins and instant remission for relatives in Purgatory. The Dominican Friar Johann Tetzel appeared in the boarders of saxony selling these indulgences. He was an excellent salesman and made spectacular claims such as the removing of relatives from Purgatory. The money made from this was split between Leo for the building of St.Peter’s and Albert to repay the bribe to become Archbishop Elector of Mainz, which was necessary as he already held two North German bishoprics. This shows that a whole new level of Church scandal was emerging and that by 1517 scandals were obvious to the general public, Archbishop Elector of Mainz being an example of this. It was scandals like this which encouraged the public hatred for the corrupt Bishops and Monks. Monasteries had become some of the biggest landowners and land lords during the 1517 and also managed to not pay tax, in this way there was a huge dislike of monasticism. In this way it became much easier for Luther’s ideas to be accepted by the German people and also shows that corruption of the Catholic Church was a very important reason for the Reformation in Germany during 1517.
Luther claimed that he ‘couldn’t sit by and watch this travesty of Religion’, meaning the selling of indulgences. This shows to us that Luther was very outspoken and was not afraid of being called a heretic. This is shown