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

What Was The Condition Of The Roman Catholic Church In England In 1529?

Extracts from this document...


What Was The Condition Of The Roman Catholic Church In England In 1529? Many historians believe that the Roman Catholic Church was in a very poor condition by 1529. The spreading of Protestant beliefs and the fact that the Church was in a poor condition anyway led to a strong disliking for the Roman Catholic Church and its clergy. This made it relatively easy for Henry VIII to dissolve the church and replace it with his own. However, other historians think that the Roman Catholic Church was in a very healthy state and religious changes were the cause of a greedy king chasing a new mistress and the wealth of the monasteries. Neither of these theories suggest any weakness in the Roman Catholic Church but this is not surprising as the historians who had these theories were both Catholic priests. Many new ideas spread across Europe around 1529; mainly Lollard, Humanist and Lutheran ideas. These spread because many Catholics could not accept many of the Catholic teachings. For instance the existence of purgatory was troubling for many as this had not been mentioned in the Bible at all; many found the act of confessing ones sins deeply worrying, this led radicals such as Martin Luther to think about the practice. ...read more.


Protestant ideas began to pour over the border, several of the cantons broke from the Catholic Church and became Protestant while other cantons remained firmly Catholic. Of the cantons that adopted Luther's new movement, the most important and powerful was the city-state of Zurich under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli. He was popular in Zurich for his opposition to Swiss mercenary service in foreign wars and his attacks on indulgences; he was, as significant a player in the critique of indulgences as Luther himself. Zwingli rose through the ranks of the Catholic Church until he was appointed "People's Priest" in 1519, the most powerful ecclesiastical position in the city. In 1523, the city officially adopted Zwingli's central church reforms and became the first Protestant state outside of Germany. From there the Protestant revolution would sweep across Europe. The only individual that had a real influence over religious thinking was William Tyndale. He was strongly influenced by Lutheran ideas and was a powerful critic of the church, especially when it came to the practice of indulgences, low level of education of the clergy and the doctrine of purgatory. Tyndale was most influential with his translation of the New Testament into English. ...read more.


The monasteries had large resources and great wealth but they failed to play the part in educational, religious and welfare life of the country their numbers warranted. The abbots became a lot like rich aristocrats or gentry. Increasingly the feeling was that the monasteries were out of date as they had been founded in a very different age, one where there was much greater piety and religious zeal. The fact that Henry VIII was able to close them with such ease in the 1530s suggests that perhaps they no longer commanded as much respect or affection as they had done in the past. In conclusion the Catholic Church was a large and powerful organization, still fully accepted by the English people. There was open criticism in some areas of the church, especially the monasteries, however these criticisms were normally constructive and helped the church more than damaged it. Any opposition to the church was either swiftly dealt with by Henry VIII, who was a great follower of the church at the time, or did not fully surface until after England broke away form the church. Therefore it would be quite safe to say that the religious changes taking place in the 16th century were not due to the people's dissatisfaction with the church. ...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 far was the church in need of reform in 1529?

    The church kept people content which is why the majority of people didn't complain a lot. The criticisms of contemporaries show that the church was definitely in need of a reform. John Colet, Melton and More all criticised the church clergy, claiming that many priests were rude and ignorant and

  2. Hursley church shows us typical ideas about Christianity and church building ideas that were ...

    Communion is a main event at this church every Sunday, In which the priest performs a miracle. A font is also here, this is used for baptisms. So this church shows Keble's ideas about Christianity and church buildings very well.

  1. Do you agree that the Church in England was in need of considerable reform ...

    It was argued, that they are not doing their jobs properly. That could be traced back on the low educational standard and that it was so very easy for somebody to become a parish priest. An example: A 16th century survey of the diocese of Gloucester showed, that out of

  2. English Reformation

    With very few signs and demand for future reformations, it would appear that the strength of the Church triumphed over the 'small cells of committed adherents.'

  1. Explain the importance of Henry's relationship with the Papacy in relation to other factors ...

    of the church had become more complex and more subject to abuse, and yet less able to meet the needs of the church's adherents. J. Guy said "The impact of humanism upon English thought and religion must be seen in perspective" as humanism only influenced the English church to a

  2. No need for counseling in the Church

    Some take it more seriously than others and are reaping the benefits there of. I believe that God has all the answers and God does have a plan for every single one of us.

  1. In what ways did the Roman Catholic Church confront the threat of Protestantism?

    The Council of Trent, summoned in 1545, was initiated as a general reform of the church. However, it was clearly a response to the protestant threat. Paul III's initial aims were to protect his own authority as head of the Catholic Church, to remove clerical abuses and to define Catholic doctrine and defend it from Protestants.

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

    The persecution at the hands of the papacy and the Jesuits fuelled the Jansenists desire to reduce papal 'power and pretensions and the regimes which upheld it' again contributing to the weakening of the Catholic Church. The fall of the Jesuits proved to be fatal to the strength of Catholicism.

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