What Was The Protestant Reformation? Causes And Main Effects

893 words - 4 pages

By the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church's corruption was beginning to spread. Simony, or the buying of church offices, was common along with pluralism which was the appointment of multiple bishops in multiple areas. Tithing had become mandatory to support the church's bloated clergy, yet it was the poorly paid servents who did the priest's duties. Meanwhile due to the invention of the printing press, common people were reading doctrine for themselves. All these factors sparked a major discontent with the church. With the Renaissance that proceeded and the French Revolution that followed, the Reformation completely altered the medieval way of life in Western Europe and initiated the ...view middle of the document...

In Geneva, Calvin built a model protestant community where he taught of pre-ordination and outlawed such things as gambling and swearing.In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church began to see the need for change. The changes began to take place between 1545 and 1563 at the Council of Trent. At these meetings simony and pluralism were ended. The inquisition became a church wide movement.Another group that was important in defining the Catholic Reformation was the Society of Jesus. The founder of the society, Ignatius Loyola, required that all members receive an advanced education in theology, philosophy, classical languages, literature, history, and science. This education and their dedication to the Roman Catholic Church formed a very effective group of missionaries.The religious tensions that formed between Catholics and the Protestants grew out of control and even brought on wars, including the Thirty Years war. This war started when a Holy Roman emperor tried to force his subjects back into the Catholic Church.Despite the diversity of revolutionary forces in the 16th century, the Reformation had largely consistent results throughout Western Europe. In general, the power and wealth lost by the feudal nobility and the Roman Catholic hierarchy passed to the middle classes and to monarchical rulers. Various regions of Europe gained political, religious, and cultural independence. Even in countries such as France and the region now known as Belgium, where Roman Catholicism continued to prevail, a new individualism and nationalism in culture and politics developed. The Protestant emphasis on personal judgment...

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