The Protestant Reformation. Before the 1500s Christianity was largely confined to Europe, split between Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe and Eastern Orthodox churches in the East and Russia. German priest Martin Luther challenges the Catholic Church.
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Catholic church needed money to pay off debts incurred from wars and extravagant spending, particularly Pope Leo X (a Medici!)
To raise funds, church officials turned to selling indulgences, payments to remove the penalties of sin
Indulgences even sold to the dead
Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.
Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.
Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope's pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.
Read over this list of differences between Protestant and Catholics in the 1500s
Discuss at your table groups why Luther’s beliefs were such a challenge
Which of these differences would cause the most problems for the Catholic Church?
Found supporters among nobles, dissatisfied with church power and wanted an opportunity to gain land and taxes previously under the control of the church
Urban middle class opposed to the power and restrictions of remaining feudal system
Commoners angry about corruption of church and luxurious living of church authorities
Attempts to address some of the abuses/corruption of the Church authorities
Ignatius Loyola forms Society of Jesus (Jesuits); vow of poverty/good works etc…focus on education, counteracting the spread of Protestantism
Council of Trent (1545-1563).
Repression of heresy “An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs.”
There were several inquisitions
The Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834)
The Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821)
The Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860 )
Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand needed a uniting force for a country-200,000 Jews expelled or forced to convert to Catholicism (“conversos”). Muslims (Moors) also expelled.
Protestant Reformation gave a powerful incentive to the continuation/growth of the Inquisition
Economic incentive: the Inquisition confiscated the property and wealth of heretics.
Named as the Grand Inquisitor of Spain in 1483,served until 1499
Confessor to QueenIsabella
Repentant or not………..
Reformers within the Catholic Church, like the Jesuits, were stern (No more fun-loving Popes like in Renaissance Era)
Slow to react at first to the Reformation, the church under its harsh new leaders cracks down on heretics.
In the end, though the Church had to accept the division of Europe, Catholicism emerged stronger than ever in the areas that it still controlled.
In France between there were 8 wars between Protestants (called Huguenots) and Catholics between 1562 and 1598.
In August 1572 the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris led to six weeks of bloodshed in which thousands of Huguenots were killed.
The Edict of Nantes in 1598 ends these wars with a declaration of religious tolerance that allows Huguenots to worship and live in France.
Protestants in the Netherlands revolt against Spain in 1566. War lasts 11 years. In 1579, the northern provinces successfully declared independence from Spain. But fighting continued for another 70 years.
Thirty Years War (1618-1648), starts as a Catholic-Protestant fight for control of Germany and central Europe and ends up drawing in most of the nations of Europe at one time or another.