The Protestant Reformation : The Impact Of The Protestant Reformation

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Courtney Swenson Essay Question 3 The protestant reformation happened at the moment that it did because the Catholic Church was very a powerful force in Europe. It controlled people lives both spiritually and temporally. The church had so much power that it maintained political control over a large portion of Italy. The fact that the church held so much control over countries and governments became a point of contention among European countries such as the Holy Roman Empire, Italian city-states outside of Rome, England, France and Spain. The power of the rulers of these areas had greatly increased in the 14th century and they were eager to take the chances offered by a Reformation to weaken the grip of the Catholic Church in Europe and also to develop their own powers across the European continent. For quite some time the Catholic Church had been an institution rampant with internal struggles. Such as the Avignon Papacy from 1309 to 1377 when seven popes opted to live in Avignon, France and not reside in Rome which was and is the traditional home of the Papacy. The Pope and other high ranking church officials often lived opulent lifestyles rather than a more austere lifestyle that should befit a spiritual leader. Many church leaders and Popes maintained political powers. They led armies, waged wars and made many political decisions. Church offices were sold, and many Popes and bishops practiced nepotism to fill church offices. With all of these worldly issues for the Pope

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