• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Roman Catholic Church was becoming increasingly unpopular in the Holy Roman Empire before the Reformation. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐The Roman Catholic Church was becoming increasingly unpopular in the Holy Roman Empire before the Reformation. Do you agree? I agree with the above statement. Before the Reformation, there had already been rising discontent within the Holy Roman Empire as more and more of the Church?s wrongdoings came to light. More importantly, ordinary people were becoming more alert of the corruption and shortfalls of the Church. In the 1500s - when human lives were far more delicate than present times, people needed a source of reassurance, which the Church could not effectually provide, therefore dissatisfaction spread and heightened until it reached a boiling point ? the Lutheran Reformation. - The distorted structure of the Church was one of the main reasons why the Roman Catholic Church was so unpopular, even in a time where people?s belief in God was ever escalating. In 16th century, popes were elected from a pool of nobility who saw their posts as means to further their own fortunes and expand their sphere of influence rather than a duty. ...read more.

Middle

Rather than relying on donations and subsidies, churches then would sell ?indulgences?, which are reputedly able to lessen one?s suffering in purgatory. - Corruption has always been a proliferating problem in medieval Europe, but it seemed that people?s appetite for such corruption was decreasing before the Reformation. Even though anticlericalism was rapidly worsening in Europe, it did not cause ordinary people to shy away from Catholicism at all ? to the contrary, there was a significant growth in popular piety in the Holy Roman Empire all the way up until the Lutheran Reformation. For both the wealthy and the poor, there was a trend in forming prayer groups which would say prayers and hold masses for members that have passed away. Many were travelling on pilgrimages and relic collection was at its peak yet during the 16th century. At the same time, religious literature was increasingly widespread amongst the population. Financially speaking, the Church was thriving, but otherwise it was not faring well at all. It was facing intensifying criticisms from the general public, who had begun to doubt its existence. ...read more.

Conclusion

It lacked a strong secular power, allowing the Pope to have more control over the Church. The Holy Roman Empire was particularly vulnerable to the Pope?s machinations ? ecclesiastical elites were often Italians who sent substitutes to their dioceses in the Holy Roman Empire, and yet this was paid by the Germans. The distrust in the Holy Roman Church would not have been only caused from its corruption and failings; the national rivalry between the Holy Roman Empire and Italy is also an important issue during that time. Different to other nations with more powerful secular ruler, the residents in the Holy Roman Empire would have to travel to Rome to appeal for justice. Italians were often biased against foreigners and gradually the public became more disillusioned. - Gathering all the evidence, therefore it is in my belief that the Roman Catholic Church was already unpopular before the start of the Lutheran Reformation. While the Reformation is undeniably a catalyst in the unravelling of the ancient Roman Catholic Church, it did not cause discontent with the Roman Catholic Church. The unpopularity of the Roman Catholic Church was constantly accumulating, until in the 16th century, it reached the tip in the Lutheran Reformation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How important were the events at Mnster 1534-5 in causing the failure of the ...

    4 star(s)

    Another branch of extremism going into a town, Wittenberg, and preaching apocalyptic messages that the world would end. This was one of the causes of the Peasants' Revolt of 1525 and all because of a few people going in with extreme views and giving the rest of the people a bad name.

  2. Cities were the main driving force of the Reformation in Germany(TM) " explain whether ...

    Such pamphlets included 'Of the Liberty of a Christian Man'. The towns and cities also housed the woodcuts, images and illustrations which accompanied the written word. This, in effect, helped to make the message of Lutheranism ever clearer for all types of people.

  1. HISTORY: MEDIEVAL WOMEN

    A statement written by Lady Alice Knynet most likely reflects the views women of this time held, "I would not leave possession of this castle to die therefore; and if you begin to break the peace or make war to get the place of me, I shall defend me.

  2. How important was the Society of Jesus in the Catholic Reformation?

    Although Xavier himself was successful in converting people to Catholicism, the main success in his actions were the "epic tales" of his successes in Asia which travelled back to Europe, convincing thousands over the next two centuries to travel like him, to Japan, Spain, South America, Germany and Japan, resulting in thousands of conversions.

  1. Asses the contribution of the Jesuits to the Catholic revival in the Sixteenth Century

    In addition, were better educated in Jesuits studies leaving better futures for improvement and expansion of Catholic revival. In relation to this, the Jesuits at the same time gave a catholic doctrine that was more clarified and understanding. An example of this was in 1599 the creation of a dedicated curriculum (Ration Studorum)

  2. How accurate is it to say that the controversy over indulgences were merely the ...

    banking family, which arose through purchasing of church offices, a clear papal abuse of simony. Leo X selling it to rebuild St Peter?s cathedral in Rome. The 95 theses aimed to put an end to what Luther regards as a corrupt practice, through an academic debate.

  1. Why was Luther able to challenge the Catholic Church so successfully in the years ...

    Germans saw the Pope as a foreigner who did little to benefit Catholics, despite the high papal taxes they had to pay to him. These taxes were used to pay for the rebuilding of St Peter?s Basilica in Rome thus not being advantageous to the Germans who were paying the tax.

  2. The events in India in 1856/7 were caused by the issue of the new ...

    This alongside with the banning of ?Thugee? an ancient practice of strangling trespassers on their land was again a direct threat to the religion which added to the anger of the Indian people and gave them more reason to revolt again the British rule and take part in the mutiny.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work