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How far was the church in need of reform in 1529?

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Introduction

How far was the church in need of reform in 1529? In 1529 Henry the 8th started to reform the Catholic Church in England, however there are different reasons and opinions as to why he decided to reform the church. There was a big anti-clerical feeling in 16th century England, the corrupt church was unpopular with the masses. However the main view claims that the reformation was actually due to politics at the time. Henry needed a male heir to the throne and therefore needed a divorce to his wife.What te people of england wanted wasn't taken into consideration. There was generally an anti-clerical feeling amongst people. The clergy of that time and before were constantly viewed as corrupt and unholy. But were the clergy really that bad, and if they were would people not have done anything about it? Many laypeople did see the clergy, as greedy and excessive, people were growing discontented with hypocritical clergy such as Wolsey. ...read more.

Middle

This case is an example at the discontent among many people at the high taxes; sometimes half of a person salary would go on different taxes. The church was widely discredited and anti-clericalism spread wider as rumours circulated that the church had planted the heretical materials on Hunne. However, the Hunne case is thought to be a one off, an isolated incident. The opposition that it stirred was very small scale and was in London within the merchant classes. Although nearly everyone would have grumbled about the taxes, people stilled pay them. The Catholic Church remained popular as it had a great capacity to satisfy the needs of its entire people, both in the city and the country. For the peasants of the farming towns, church services were a way of bringing the entire community together; the church offered a lovely and social function and baptisms, confirmations and marriages were seen as social highlights. ...read more.

Conclusion

All three were calling for better standards among the church. Erasmus, a famous scholar called for an improvement in the standard of church education. However although all of these men were clearly criticising the church in one way or another, none of the were indicating that the church needed to go through a full scale reformation but rather that the church needed to reform itself, they were calling for a reformation from within the church, they wanted the clergy to improve themselves. The Catholic Church in England did have some faults, but generally people were happy and satisfied with it. It wasn't the institution in decline as it is often portrayed but actually just as popular as it had always been. People were happy with what they knew and therefore didn't like the idea of a new church and religion, which is why there were protests after the reformation. Henry VIII and his parliament exaggerated these faults in order to reform the church for their own personal needs, rather than the needs of the ordinary people. By Alex Ewing ...read more.

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