Corruption And Involvetion Of Martin Luther And The Catholic Church

1872 Words 7 Pages
Since Pope Urban II sold the first indulgence, a “ticket” out of purgatory, in 1095, the Catholic Church has been overrun with corruption and malfeasance. Popes and priests took advantage of this broken system, in which they would profit at the expense of the common man. It was not until 1510 when Martin Luther, a devout Catholic monk who was having trouble with his faith, visited the holy city of Rome that change truly began. Instead of finding a holy city, he found ubiquitous greed, corruption, and poverty. Luther, a biblical scholar, was dismayed at the Church’s phony practices, including indulgences, excommunication, and interdict. Luther believed the Church’s actions contradicted God’s teachings, and he intended to correct the broken …show more content…
Luther strongly desired to reform the Catholic Church and to rid it of its corrupt, phony practices, such as indulgences, excommunication, interdict, simony, and nepotism. Luther publicly posted his thoughts about these practices in his 95 Theses. With the introduction of the printing press, Luther’s radical ideas spread like wildfire throughout Europe and quickly gained popularity. Despite Luther’s strong public support, the Church was appalled by his work, as it brought bad publicity and highlighted malfeasance. In 1521, Pope Leo X put Luther on trial at the Diet of Worms for 41 alleged violations against the Church in his works. During the trial, Luther was given the option to recant for his sins or face possible excommunication or execution. At the Diet of Worms, Luther stated, “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other.” Luther was referring to the Church’s practices such as indulgences and excommunication, which were found nowhere in the Bible. Luther proceeded to say, “I can not and will not recant for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Luther would not recant until there was proof in the Bible that these practices existed. The trial proved even more damaging to the Church, as Luther highlighted …show more content…
After the Edict of Nantes concluded the Protestant Reformation in 1598, the Kings lost a substantial amount of their power to the nobles, princes, and peasants. Since the beginning of Luther’s revolutionary movement, he preached for equality, both within the Church and within the social hierarchy of Europe. Luther gained popularity among peasants because equality was a crucial principle of Protestantism. The peasants’ uprising against secular authority began in 1381 with the Peasants’ Revolt, which started the end of serfdom. Peasants were not adequately satisfied, and in 1525, they created The Twelve Articles Of The Peasants of Swabia and stated Luther’s works in a demand to gain additional rights. The Articles stated, “in the future we should have power and authority so that each community should choose and appoint and pastor, and that we should have the right to depose him should he conduct himself improperly.” The remaining 11 articles, cited the peasants demand for lower taxes, more rights, and overall, more equality within European society. This was highly detrimental to the King’s secular authority, as peasants and lower-class citizens virtually stopped obeying the King until they had been promised equality. The peasants often were successful in their demands, as the peasants accounted for a significant majority of the

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