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

Catholic Church in early 1500.

Extracts from this document...


By the 16th century the church as an institution was starting to 'crumble' and many of its people, Protestants and the reformation party were starting to put pressure on the church for a change. Although the main reason for the reformation was Henry VIII's divorce from Catharine of Aragon, I believe that the church was failing in some of its duties even though many criticisms and ideas were exaggerated. The church clergy was under enormous pressure, they had gained a bad reputation according to many as encouraging superstition merely for greed and many neglected their duties. Many contradicted the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church and this was dangerous as the church meant a lot to the majority of the people living in England. As G.R Elton puts it, "People in England thought little of priests". Many clergy were despised of their wealth and ostentation and Wosley became an obvious example. Not only was he never seen without fine clothes or expensive jewellery, he had several homes - Hampden Court being his most prominent residence. This was a very different contrast to that of Jesus in the New Testament. ...read more.


John Wycliffe was an example who attacked the church for its wealth, greed and superstitious practises. He started the Lollard movement which collapsed after many were executed for their heretical beliefs and attitudes against the church. Richard Hunne was another case in which he was prosecuted after refusing to pay mortuary dues after his baby son died. This case lead too much debate in anti-clericalism and this alerted those educated in the Church. After a combination of criticism regarding the church many humanists of the renaissance picked up on the weak points of the church and used anti-clerical insults to attack the church as they were unhappy with the educational standards of the clergy. If we look at revisionist views of the pre-reformation church, men like J.J. Scarisbrick and C. Harper-Bill now argue that by the standards of the time the church in the late 15th and early 16th century was actually doing a reasonable good job. According to Scarisbrick the bishops of the church were, "fairly conscientious men trying to do a conscientious job". There is plenty of evidence to support their dedication to pastoral work and the fact that many of them took their jobs seriously. ...read more.


We also must consider that both Protestants and the reformation party were deliberately looking for corruption in the church as they wanted a change. Many of these opinions were bias and some were even exaggerated over time. Statistics from the diocese from Norwich show that 90% left the church wills which show that the church was getting support from the people. The educational standards also showed an increase from 8% to 42% between 1370-1532. This actually shows that the church was improving in many ways and listening to views of reform and improvement given by the people. In conclusion, I have found from my studies of the Catholic Church in early 1500 that the church was corrupt in many ways even though some of these ideas were exaggerated and bias. I agree in various ways with the argument although one must consider that many criticisms were from those who wanted change and therefore, picked on 'weak' areas of the church to attack. The church was an important institution to the people and therefore it was important for the clergy to follow the ways in which the Bible teaches and to maintain Catholic traditions. 1 Page ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship 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 GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. How successful was the Council of Trent in the years 1545-1563 in tackling the ...

    Including pilgrimages, charitable deeds, indulgences and repenting from sin. The Protestants believed in Justification by faith, God would know if you had done wrong. At Trent they accepted the catholic view of sin and rejected the Protestant view. If the protestant view had been accepted then there would have been

  2. English Reformation

    The circumstances of his death have certainly remained suspicious, but the fact remains however, that since the Church was able to overcome the challenges of Hunne, this indicates that their jurisdiction was far more superior than statute, and it is not surprising that this exasperated the lawyers and merchants.

  1. Were abuses the source of the Reformation?

    Many laity saw the priesthood as their best chance to exit the rat race and earn a decent living. It is on monetary issues where many historians get stuck on the 'certainty' that the source of the reformation was due to abuses of the clergy, pertinently their abuse of wealth accessible to them.

  2. Why was the Catholic Church so weak by 1780?

    Therefore through rituals they could still express their devoutness. The Jansenists stressed a simpler individual faith and understanding based on the doctrines of St Augustine. Many Jansenists saw the baroque Catholicism of the Jesuits as wasteful and excessive and wanted the masses to surpass a superficial understanding of Catholicism and 'internalise' Catholic Christianity Jesuits had increasing power in Catholic

  1. The unrest caused by the religious wars and thereformers exaggerated church with the devil ...

    A young poor country girl, Joan, was persecuted for both heresy and witchcraft. " The fate of Joan of Arc, who lived from 1412-1431, is one of the best known early example of deadly persecution (Meltzer 74). She was the daughter of a farmer which made her seem ignorant, though

  2. St Germans Church in Cornwall

    But we can see a definite break in the wall, where we think the door was situated; there is evidence of a doorway that has been covered up. The whole town declined in the last years of the monks living at St Germans Church and was being descried as a fishing village (or Fischar Town)

  1. Homosexuality and the Church.

    It was a biased article from the view point of the evangelicals. It clearly showed how well they detested homosexuality and how they would not be a part of a church where the bishop is homosexual. This article was a little bit limiting in the information provided.

  2. A study of the attitudes of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican churches to ...

    outside marriage. However they teach that "men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect and sensitivity and that persons with a homosexual orientation "are called, to live the virtue of chastity," and "a life of loneliness and lack of sexual intimacy" but this does not still treat a homosexual the same as a heterosexual person.

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