Protestant Reformation Essay

998 WordsMar 25, 20094 Pages
The Protestant Reformation was a revolutionary reform movement against the Catholic Church and its highest officials that began in Europe around 1517. Members of the Catholic Church decided to take a stand against the corruption of the authority in the Catholic Church. The people felt that the Church had lost its original traditions and beliefs and was corrupted by money and greed. There was even speculation that the corruption went as high as the Pope himself. Martin Luther, a reform leader established The “Ninety Five Theses” doctrine. The “Ninety Five Theses” doctrine was a list of major points and values that the bible held. This doctrine really became the main cause of the Protestant Reformation; the doctrine stated that these indulgences and newly implemented “forms of redemption” were not from the roots of the bible and rather from the pockets of the authority figures. Luther also attacked indulgences in general, and he voiced his objections to the sale of indulgences in his letter to the Archbishop of Mainz in 1517. According to the Church, indulgences took their existence from the surplus grace that had accumulated through the lives of Christ, the saints and martyrs. The purchase of an indulgence put the buyer in touch with this grace and freed him from the earthly penance of a particular sin, but not the sin itself. But Tetzel's sales pitch implied that the buyer was freed from the sin as well as the penance attached to it. Tetzel also sold people on the idea that an indulgence could be purchased for a relative in Purgatory – this meant the relative's soul would now fly to Heaven. For Tetzel: "As soon as pennies in the money chest ring, the souls out of their Purgatory do spring." Luther answered (Theses number 28) in the following way: "It is certain that when the money rattles in the chest, avarice and gain may be increased, but the Suffrage of the Church

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