Menocchio And The Counter Reformation

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Menocchio is a miller who was born in 1532 and lived in Italy. Menocchio had radical views on religion and was heard speaking against the Catholic Church. He was arrested and was interrogated by Church officials. Unlike most common people during this time Menocchio was creative and self-taught. He could, read write and he had free time on his hand to question religion and the Catholic Church teaching. In Early modern Europe religion was very important to people; the church was the only way people could go to heaven. However, Menocchio doubted this and did not believe everything the church told him. In this paper I will examine why Menocchio questioned religion and the effect of the printing press to understand the reaction of the Catholic …show more content…
” However, he did none of these things. He wanted to tell the court how he felt and spoke about his thoughts and his ideas which were radical. The Counter Reformation was dominant at this time. The church method at this time was to identify the person first and then prosecute them as a heretic . The Counter Reformation was the Catholic response initiated by the Protestant Reformation, starting with the Council of Trent. The Church first tried to label Menocchio as an Anabaptism but, since that did not fit they tried to see if he was a Lutheran since he had contact with a Lutheran. The court documents show that Menocchio had read many religious books even the Koran however, the inquisitors were puzzled that he was uninfluenced and came up with these ideas that were different from current ones . His ideas came from various sources and culminated together in a discontinuous and contradictory way. In the beginning of the trial he changed his statement twice. First he described his opinions as “diabolical inspiration” he then later said “My opinions came out of my head.” Menocchio’s drew his ideas from eleven sources and maybe even more that lead to his conclusions about the creation of earth and the problems with religion. More than half of Menocchio books were borrowed and only one of his books did he actually buy. These …show more content…
His ideas are a culmination of different ideologies, religions and oral culture. He believed that the Church was corrupt and there had to be another option. He was a man killed for his beliefs by the Church who wanted to silence him and remain in power. Even though Menocchio changed his views, he was literate and had the ability to think for himself. The church may have considered him to be a blasphemer but he saw it as expressing his thoughts and opions. Without the power of the printing press Menocchio would never had access to reading the books he read nor would he be able to back up his opions and form his own

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