How Far Was the Catholic Church in Germany Ripe for Reform Before 1517

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How far was the Catholic Church in Germany ripe for reform before 1517? There are many contributing factors as to how ripe the Catholic Church was for reformation, one of these was the corruption of the Church. To the people at the time, priests were incredibly important; they had the responsibility of preventing souls from going to hell and were the only ones who could administer the sacraments which would guarantee salvation. However, usually priests would only do this in exchange for money which led the church to be riddled with abuses as the priests only seemed interested in amassing wealth rather than taking care of their parishioners spiritually. Other abuses included simony, nepotism, pluralism and absenteeism. Another factor as to how ripe the Catholic Church was for reformation was the papacy. The Pope was the most powerful figure in the Catholic Church as he had the power to create new laws, appoint cardinals and rule over the central government of the Church. However several popes abused their power for example Pope Julius II who was known as the ‘Warrior Pope’ because of his military interests. He was also rumoured to be having sexual relationships which other men. Another example is Pope Leo X who committed the abuse, simony, from the sale of indulgences to improve St Peter’s Church in Rome, but a lot of this money went on military campaigns. Many of the Popes needed large amounts of taxes to fund their lifestyles and their demands became a matter of concern as the Pope was meant to be someone who could lead the people to salvation. This caused resentment among Christians especially those in Germany. The people of Germany already resented the papacy because it exploited Germany economically as it was one of the richest, most urbanised and educated parts of Europe, extracting the largest sums from the ruling families. By 1500, England, France and
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