Overview of the Reformation Movement

958 Words Jul 9th, 2018 4 Pages
During the 16th Century, not only was Europe was recovering from the social, political and economical upheaval it experienced, but it was thriving economically (399). Although there was stability within the governments and with colonial expansion, within the Church there were issues that were being noticed by the masses. There was neglect and ignorance and a loss of passion from the clergy, abuse of power from bishops and Popes, and misinformation spread through the masses on their salvation through indulgences (399–402). The latter was considered simony and was criticized by reformers like Erasmus, but it wasn’t until 1517 when a monk named Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses that quickly spread and caused a chain-reaction …show more content…
While the ideas of the clergy and nuns not needing to be celibate and the act of shutting down the convents were welcomingly accepted, there were issues that arose. Women did not gain any elevation in social or political status, and instead were deemed to be ‘more sexually driven than men and less capable of controlling their sexual desires’ (414). The reformers insistence that men and women should marry while young also caused conflict, as many men in Germany could not marry until the were a master craftsmen, and were expected to go to brothels. By the 1600, governments had outlawed prostitution and brothels (414).

While Protestantism was spreading throughout, the Catholic Reformation (or Counter-Reformation) was attempting to thwart it. In the 1530s, popes Paul III, Paul IV, Pius V, and Sixtus V were the leaders of this reformation who lead by example by not being self-indulgent as their predecessors, but lived their lives as the religious examples for their people. They also rectified their financial statuses and elected bishops and abbots who exemplified the same morals and ideals as they did (420–421). The council also mandated that bishops and priests were only able to hold one position, and censorship of books the council deemed as dangerous was on the rise. In 1545, the Council of Trent, a General Council of the entire Church that was summoned by
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