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Do you agree that the Church in England was in need of considerable reform in 1529?

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Introduction

Do you agree that the Church in England was in need of considerable reform in 1529? Many historians argue, that it is not true to say, that before the Reformation England was a land shrouded in the mists of ignorance; that there were no schools or colleges for imparting secular education till the days of Edward VI.; that there was no real religion among the masses, apart from practices such as pilgrimages, indulgences, and invocation of the saints; that the people were up in arms against the exactions and privileges of the clergy, and that all parties only awaited the advent of a strong leader to throw off the yoke of Rome. But there were a number of problems, which need to be considered. Many historians have argued that the people of the early 16th century agreed with Henry in his decision, to break with Rome because the church in England was a deeply unpopular institution. Anti-clericalism according to this line of argument was widespread. As G. R. Elton puts it, "People in England thought little of Priests". The clergy were widely despised. Archbishops and Bishops were disliked for their wealth and ostentation, with Wolsey being an obvious example. ...read more.

Middle

The main source of income for the holder of a parish was what he gained from tithes- the offering to the church of a tenth of each man's income, whether in form of crops, animal products, commercial profits or wages. But this was not the only payment they had to do. Priests could charge for weddings, churching, funerals, confessions and taking communion to the sick. The example of the 'Hunne Case' shows, how people tried to evade the duties. Richard Hunne, a London merchant, who refused his rector's demand for his recently deceased son's burial cover as a mortuary payment for the child. Hunne was imprisoned and, on the basis of some books, which were found in his house, was accused of heresy. Before his case could have come to trial he was found dead in his cell. The Bishop of London's chancellor and two others were accused of the murder of Hunne. The whole affaire caused considerable resentment in London, especially when the dead man was found guilty of heresy and his widow and children left alone in poverty. It has also been argued, that the English church was a 'relic of the Middle Age', that it had failed to allocate resources in accordance ...read more.

Conclusion

A number of the beliefs were similar to the new German heresy of Martin Luther, who had first published 95 theses in which he had contentions against the indulgences. There is some controversy over whether or not Luther actually nailed his 95 Theses to the doors of the Wittenberg Church. What is known is that his Theses were rapidly distributed, first among his peers and not long after among many others in Germany and abroad. People realized that Luther clarified the hidden facets of their faith by questioning the authority of the Pope. The Catholic Church suppressed certain facts. A public discussion of these facts would undermine the authority of the church, which promised a change in church, and other areas. Though some historians, like C. Haigh have argued that, "...The English people had not turned against their church and there was no widespread yearning for reform. The long-term causes of the Reformation- the corruption of the church and the hostility of the laity- appear to have been historical illusion." I have come to the conclusion, that the Church in England in 1529 needed considerable reforms, because many abuses, undoubtedly, had occurred in various departments of religious life. ?? ?? ?? ?? Maria Lembeck 12GM 1 ...read more.

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