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Why were Luther's ideas unacceptable to the Catholic Church?

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Introduction

Why were Luther's ideas unacceptable to the Catholic Church? There are many reasons why Luther's ideas were unacceptable to the Catholic Church. One such reason was that Luther's ideas had a serious impact upon the amount of money that was taken from Saxony by Pope Leo X in the form of indulgences. The money was quite desperately needed to pay off the huge debts that the Archbishop, Albert of Brandenburg had incurred as well as the building of St. Peter's cathedral in Rome. But because so many of the senior priests were very corrupt and had most likely bought their position within the church solely to make money, the act of buying ones position within the church is called simony. Also because of the vast amount of greed that was such a problem within the church many priests held far more than just one position in the church so as to gain far greater wealth, the is called pluralism. This was so important because it meant that unlike more pious religious men these men of the church were unlikely to back any reform whatsoever that led to the lessening of their own personal wealth because that was the only reason they were part of the church in the first place. Luther's ideas were voiced in 1517 when he pinned his 95-point thesis to the church door in Wittenberg. ...read more.

Middle

Many people in Saxony were buying indulgences left, right and centre because of the worry of what may happen if they did not, but when they heard this, which they invariably did because Luther's 95-point thesis was translated into German and sent all around the country they found the excuse they had been looking for to stop buying these extortionately priced commodities. Interestingly when Luther first put up the 95-point thesis he did so in Latin, which was the language of the church and so emphasising the fact that his quarrel was with the church. Although what the Pope first wrote in the "Brief Instruction" was that these Jubilee indulgences should only be administered to people who were truly repentant and had confessed their sins in at least 7 different churches. But as the Pope knew these rules were not adhered to in the slightest and the phrase quoted by Luther mocking the shameful way in which these indulgences were sold and the things that were said by many an unscrupulous merchant in order to sell these indulgences was "It is mere human talk to preach that the soul flies out [of purgatory] immediately the money clinks in the collection box". All of these views meant that the collection of money from Saxony was seriously reduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another disagreement between Luther and the Roman Catholic Church was that the traditional Church believed that every time the Priest blessed the bread and wine an actual miracle took place and the bread actually turned into Christ's flesh and the wine into his blood, this view was called transubstantiation. While Luther could not accept his and put forward his own view that the bread just mixed with Christ's flesh and the wine with his blood and so on another level they were similar, this was called consubstantiation. This infuriated the Church because Luther was now completely undermining their beliefs. Another of Luther's views that went completely against the Roman Catholic tradition was Sola Scriptura, which meant that the only scripture that true Catholics should adhere to was the Bible, while the Roman Catholic Church believed that the writings of prior Popes were just as relevant and should be adhered to just like the Bible, but above all, all of these scriptures had to be in Latin and not wasted upon the common people. Luther believed the exact opposite and thought that everyone should be able to appreciate the scriptures' although he new that this would be largely impossible since only about five percent of the population could read. ...read more.

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