Corruption In The Roman Catholic Church

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In Martin Luther’s Freedom of a Christian, he talks about many different concepts, one prominent one being corruption, specifically of the Roman Catholic Church. The most common definition of corruption means dishonest actions by those in charge, in Luther’s case, the Catholic church. A modern example of corruption would be of the United States in 1972 when President Richard Nixon conducted the Watergate scandal. However, Luther defines corruption as deviating from the word of God and not following His teachings. He does not blame those in charge but the church as a whole. This brings the questions of what constitutes corruption in Luther’s term, how corruption comes about, and how can religion help to stop it? Corruption plagues every aspect of life, yet it’s “complexity in nature” (Onongha) makes it difficult to identify causes of it. According to Onongha forms of corruption come to be in many different ways depending on culture. For example, one Christian can become corrupt by buying indulgences, while another can become corrupt by not living through God and developing selfish habits. This relates to Luther’s definition because it shows how there is more than one definition of corruption within the Church and things can be corrupt in more ways than one. In Luther’s culture and time period the corruption people were most concerned of could have been what Luther defined it as, deviation from the one true ruler, God. In addition, corruption is found in more than places of
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