• 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. Describe the disadvantages that black Americans faced in the early ...

    other hand of anti-clericals seeking to maintain individual freedom and the supremacy of Geneva's ruling councils over the ministry. For Calvin excommunication was judiciously, but to be used all the same, by the church itself, not by the state, expect in a back-up-role.

  2. The Church, in the early first and second centuries, fought to establish itself as ...

    The letter to the Smyrnaeans follows in the tradition of his previous letters. He counters Docetism, explaining "I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed of flesh, and I believe that He is now" (Kirby Smyrnaeans). St.

  1. 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.

  2. Examine and comment on the attitudes of Roman Catholic and Anglican churches to Homosexuality.

    the largest of the groups to hold opinions on homosexuality being forms of religious groups, in particular the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Within the worldwide Anglican Church there is currently a lot of confusion over whether or not the acceptance of homosexuality can be tolerated or whether it simply goes too far against the laws of God.

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

    Wilkinson a member of the united Methodist clergy recites. "God is oneness and no one is excluded. Anytime you are showing compassion to another human, you are living in accordance with God's word. This was his response to "Christ - 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.

  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. Homosexuality and the Church.

    from several quarters ranging from those who do not approve of this act to those who are indifferent. In order to ascertain what the future holds therefore, the Daily Mail newspaper of July 14, 2003 was consulted. The article therein titled, "Gay Bishop will face the pressure to abandon the

  2. The Catholic Church was the single most powerful and influential force throughout virtually all ...

    The Church tried to combat the sinfulness of its converts and gradually progress was made, but it took many centuries. "By the end of the eleventh century, most western European pagans had become converted to Christianity and one of the religious aims of the early Middle Ages had been accomplished."

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