The papacy was brought to its knees by popes backed by powerful rulers.
Social revolts merged with heretic movements.
The Church's wealth and corruption were compared by Renaissance scholars to the ways of early Christianity.
The equality of all Christians was preached by Luther, who wanted them to have equal freedom and holiness once they put their faith in God's mercy to save them.
The belief that Christians could help themselves and others into heaven by living as monks or nuns or unmarried priests was a deceptive one.
Instead of obeying the popes who upheld this deception, Christians must be guided into heaven by God himself, speaking through their own consciences and their own understanding of the word of God in the Bible.
Luther's followers interpreted his message differently as his protest spread.
The salvation of souls seemed to be affected by these questions just as much as those in dispute between Protestants and Catholics, and the Protestant arguments over them were just as bitter.
The Protestants decided to divide the Church into many different churches, each with its own beliefs and organization.
The Roman Catholic Church was the largest of the churches.
In response to the Protestant challenge, it rallied around its traditional beliefs and practices as the only way to heaven, and around the traditional authority of the papacy as the only guide of Christians.
Some of the worst abuses that had brought the clergy into contempt were abolished and new religious orders were developed that were powerful instruments of education and propaganda.
It gained millions of new believers in Latin America despite losing most of northern Europe to Protestantism.
After more than a century of controversy, propaganda, persecution, and war, the struggle among the churches ended in stalemate.
Protestantism was assured of survival as a third branch of Christianity alongside Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
This was the biggest change in Western religion since the rise of Christianity.
As the remaking of Europe took place, it was one of the changes that affected many other areas of civilization, pushing them forward, sometimes holding them back, and sometimes changing their direction.
The growing power of both Protestant and Catholic rulers was strengthened by the Reformation, since they had the power to choose and uphold one or other church.
The partnership between Church and state grew even stronger, except that the state was the senior partner.
The idea that Christian freedom and equality applied to this world as well as the next was kept alive by social rebels, political dissidents and religious refugees.
The idea came to influence the structure of states and societies as the struggles of the churches died down.
The Renaissance ideals of tolerance and understanding among religions and optimism about the possibilities of human nature were damaged by the Reformation.
The idea of toleration was strengthened by the Protestant belief in freedom of conscience.
As human nature changed for the better, religious persecution and war were no longer evils of the past.
It seemed pointless for religious arguments to be argued as if the Christian beliefs that were argued about could never be proven.
The Christian Church was divided between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East in the Middle Ages due to differences on doctrine.
The popes and bishops exercised strong discipline to preserve Western unity.
Thousands of heretics were burned in the name of Christian purity and unity during the Middle Ages.
The Church had suffered a decline.
The medieval Church had reached its peak of power in the 13th century.
When the great cathedrals were built, when powerful reform orders were founded, and when scholastic philosophy achieved its greatest influence.
Pope Innocent III dominated the rulers of Europe as well as the Church organization.
The Church fell into disrepair in the 14th and 15th centuries and reached its lowest point in the 1500s.
The fortunes of the Church as a whole were tied to the papacy.
The Church's structure was strengthened by popes like Gregory VII and Innocent III.
The failures of the popes of later centuries affected the entire institution.
The French king Philip the Fair defeated Boniface VIII.
The new relationship was demonstrated when Pope Clement V moved his court from Rome to Avignon.
Avignon had a succession of French popes for seventy years.
Outside of France, the popes were looked upon with suspicion.
The pope should reside in the Eternal City because he is the bishop of Rome.
Avignon Clement left Rome because of unsafe conditions and the popes acted independently.
It was confirmed that the papacy had become a captive of the French monarchy.
The popes' stay at Avignon was referred to as the Babylonian Captivity by Petrarch.
There were still more serious embarrassments to come.
After Gregory XI decided to return the papal court to Rome, the Roman populace pressured the cardinals to choose an Italian as pope.
The French cardinals fled the city and chose a pope of their own.
The Italian pope stayed in Rome while this one moved to Avignon.
Both declared the other to be a false pope and excommunicated him and his followers.
The Great Schism lasted for forty years.
Europe has seen the spectacle of a Church divided into opposing camps with two popes and two colleges of cardinals.
Civil rulers supported either side politically.
France and its allies recognized Avignon, while England and the German princes recognized Rome.
Both popes were deposed and a new one was elected by the general council of the church.
The papacy had suffered a lot of damage by this time.
The moral authority of the pope had been the foundation of papal power.
The position was weakened so much that it opened the way to contempt and defiance.
The decline of the clergy began after 1300 because of the humiliation of the papacy.
The brave reform efforts of earlier centuries were forgotten as worldliness and abuses swept the Church again.
The conscience of the clergy was corrupted by comfortable living.
The seculars slipped into self-indulgence, lust, and greed.
The general situation was distressing as there doubtless remained thousands of honest, chaste, and pious clerics.
The urgent reform of these abuses became necessary.
The popes of the fifteenth century were not interested in reform.
The Church's princes were more interested in politics, wealth, and art than in spiritual affairs.
They began to turn inward as a result.
The founding of the Brethren of the Common Life was a response to that.
They joined together to emphasize Christlike simplicity, purity of heart, and direct communion with God.
At the same time, other Christians were moving towards a new idea of what the Church should be.
During the first century after Christ, their model was "primitive" Christianity.
Some people went into open rebellion after staying within the Church.
The supporters of the Czech reformer Jan Hus were able to take and hold an entire country in England because of the followers of John wiclif.
The need for a priesthood was questioned openly by a leading Oxford scholar.
The Church was suffering from more than just the behavior of some of its clergy, according to the study.
He claimed that God and the Bible are the sole sources of spiritual authority.
He made an English translation of the Vulgate Bible to make it easier for English people to read it.
Laymen were urged to read the Bible for themselves.
He said that every indi vidual can communicate directly with the Lord and can be saved.
He was forced to retire from teaching after challenging the accepted doctrine of authority and salvation.
Many of his followers in England were burned as heretics because of the civil unrest in England and the Great Schism in the Church.
The movement died out before the Reformation began.
The religious division of Europe was shown on the map.
Most of northern and western Europe is dominated by the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican reformations.
The struggle is still undecided in the regions shown as Lutheran- and Calvinist-influenced, and a Catholic religious revival and the support of local rulers will eventually bring most of them back into the Catholic camp.
The reform movement that began with Jan Hus was different.
He was inspired by the writings of wiclif to launch stronger, more radical attacks.
The depiction of the burning of the Czech heretic Jan Hus in 1415 shows him calm and dignified despite the flames.
The picture was printed from an engraved wooden block as religious propaganda.
The Holy Roman Empire was part of Bohemia, and Emperor Sigismund was upset by the growing unrest among the Bohemians.
Hus was promised safe-conduct by the emperor when he was summoned to stand trial for heresy.
Hus was found guilty after a long and cruel imprisonment.
The reaction was instantaneous.
There were feelings of anti-German and anti-Polish.
The country was taken over by a bloody uprising, which was fought off by the Catholic Church.
This was the beginning of political-religious wars in Europe.
The writings of the Christian humanists reinforced the criticisms of heretics like Hus.
The high clergy, monasticism, and popular devotional cults were ridiculed.
He never challenged the authority of the Church and his intellectual approach did not stir the common people.
The humanistic leanings of the Renaissance popes saved him from personal harm.
The leaders of the Protestant revolt found justification in the call for a purer religion, one free from ritualism and superstition.
They were prepared to split the Christian community if necessary in order to achieve their goals.
The rise of religious founders would be allowed by the new situation.
The principle and practice of the universal Church was being worked against by national sentiment.
The citizens of the northern countries thought the popes were foreigners who had no business in Italy.
The desire of kings and princes to gain control over the Church in their own territories was supported by this popular feeling.
The monarchs of Spain and France secured the right to appoint the bishop within their kingdoms by 1520.
The failure of heresies in those two nations is due to the fact that the kings had nothing to gain from religious changes.
In Germany and England, the kings and princes were expected to enlarge their powers in the event of a religious break with Rome.
The higher social classes thought they might benefit from a break with Rome.
In Germany, the Church held from one-fifth to one-third of the total real estate.
Members of the middle class disliked the fact that Church properties were exempt from taxes, and the landed aristocracy looked on with jealousy.
The feeling that the papacy was draining the homeland of wealth created another source of support for a religious revolt, as all classes of German society deplored the flow of Church revenues to Rome.
The success of the Protestant reform movements is dependent on economic, social, and political factors.
The reformers acted in response to their religious thoughts and feelings, not upon a calculation of these factors.
This had been true for the less fortunate heretics who preceded them.
The Protestant leaders were successful due to the new political and social forces.
The division of the Roman Church was at hand when the time was ripe for religious revolt in northern Europe.
Martin Luther, like the other Protestant reformers, did not intend to divide the Church or start a new church.
The end result was the division of the Church because Luther could not convert all Christians and other reformers could not.
He was capable of violent and sustained anger.
He was a man of courage and frankness.
His beliefs were the product of a long spiritual pilgrimage marked by doubt, agony, and finally conviction.
Luther was a peasant.
His father became a respected bourgeois after being a miner.
He wanted his son to study law so he could become a civil official.
Martin had fallen into deep spiritual fears after attending a school run by the Brethren of the Common Life.
He decided to abandon secular life and enter a monastery after completing his liberal arts course at the University of Erfurt.
He explained that when he was caught in a violent storm and was terrified, he thought the thunder was a call from God.
The Augustinian monastery in Erfurt is where Luther took vows.
Fearing that his soul was in danger of damnation, he hoped that an ascetic life would give him a better chance of salvation.
He didn't find any peace of mind as a monk or a priest.
His sense of unworthiness persisted even though he fasted, prayed, and punished himself.
The Church teaches that salvation can only be achieved by God's grace, through faith, and through good works.
Luther didn't think he could do enough good works to get God's favor.
He was sent to a new university in Wittenberg that was founded by Frederick, the elector of the Holy Roman emperor, who had the right to take part in the election of the emperor.
He stayed on as professor of theology after receiving his doctor's degree.
Luther discovered his path to spiritual peace.
He was struck by some passages in the Bible that seemed to suggest an answer.
Luther read "The just shall live by faith" in Paul's letter to the Romans.
He explained that the whole of Scripture had a new meaning for him.
The "justice of God" used to fill him with hate, but now it is sweet in love.
Luther realized that his own self- punishment and work as a monk had not gained him anything.
Man, by his nature, cannot please God without faith; but faith, a free gift of God's mercy, "justifies" a person and ensures salvation.
Our love of God will allow us to perform good works.
The ideas of this kind have a long history in Christianity, dating back to the apostle Paul and to the leading Christian thinker of the late Roman Empire.
Luther grew troubled when he began applying these ideas to the institution of the Church.
The issue of indulgences set religious passions ablaze.
Penalties due for sins can be reduced or eliminated in Catholic teaching.
The idea that a believer could purge himself of guilt in the eyes of God in exchange for good work was a distortion of religious teachings.
He had shared his views with his students, but now felt compelled to speak out.
The money from the sale of indulgences was going to Rome to build a new church, according to Luther.
He implied that they were of doubtful value.
His charges brought an immediate attack from the clergy, but they struck a sympathetic chord with the laity.
The revolt from Rome was aided by the new technique of printing, and copies of the "Ninety-five Theses" were distributed throughout Germany.
Luther and the pope were trying to stay on good terms with Frederick because of political reasons.
While the pope delayed, the seemingly unimportant incident set off a chain reaction of dissent and rebellion throughout Germany.
The reply to Luther's theses was directed by Leo.
In the series of theological pamphlets that followed, Luther expanded his attack on the papacy.
He argued that priests and bishops were just doing their jobs as princes fulfilled theirs.
He said that priests should be allowed to marry.
Luther challenged the doctrine of apostolic succession and good works, as well as the number and meaning of the holy sacraments.
He said that the Real Presence is not brought into being by the priest but by God.
Luther was excommunicated in 1520.
Luther burned the papal document of excommunication before the city gates of Wittenberg to show his defiance of Rome.
Luther had such strong support among all classes of the laity that the emperor hesitated, even though it was considered the duty of the civil ruler to punish confirmed heretics.
Luther should receive a hearing before the Imperial Diet according to Frederick.
Luther was given a last chance to change his mind at the Diet of Worms.
He said that he had to obey his conscience and that he had the authority to do so.
The Diet banned all new religious doctrine within the Holy Roman Empire.
On his journey to Worms, Luther was guaranteed safe-conduct.
He was branded an outlaw by the emperor after he left the assembly.
If the empire were to seize him, he could be killed.
Frederick had planned for Luther's safety.
Luther was kidnapped by his soldiers and taken to Frederick's castle at Wartburg, where he worked on a German translation of the Bible for a year.
His "people's" version of Scripture was printed in many thousands of copies and helped shape the modern German language.
He spent the rest of his life as an administrator.
He met some of his toughest tests in this part of his career.
His followers responded in unexpected ways to his teachings of the "priesthood of all believers" and the sole authority of Scripture.
Some thought about the relation of religion to society.
In Germany, as well as in Switzerland and the Low Countries, there were many sects.
The name was derived from their views.
It was only after someone old enough to comprehend Christian doctrine had made a voluntary confession of faith that it was meaningful.
The sects within the Anabaptist group varied greatly in their social ideas, which often proved troublesome to established laws and customs.
Some people applied New Testament teachings to their own times, refused military service, and sought to establish a more equal community.
Other sects advocated violence against sinners and against officials who didn't punish them.
Luther was very conservative in his views on the social order.
He was against any sort of rebellion against the established political authorities.
The serfs were seeking relief from new burdens laid upon them by their feudal lords in eastern Germany, where serfdom was growing more oppressive at this time, when Luther responded angrily to a peasant revolt that swept through Germany.
He admitted that he commanded the slaughter of the peasants.
He was very strict with the preachers who disagreed with him.
He believed that they should be executed because they were guilty of rebellion against the state.
The Lutheran Church had an orthodoxy of its own.
The document was a moderate statement of Luther's views on the relation of faith and works.
Charles wanted to suppress the Lutheran Church by force, even though he was busy with war and politics outside Germany.
In 1529, Charles and the Catholic members of the Imperial Diet renewed the earlier Worms decree prohibiting all new religious doctrines in Germany.
The name came to be used for all the rebel creeds.
Catholic states lined up against Lutheran states as Germany was split into armed alliances.
The Lutheran princes were too powerful for the emperor to overcome.
The members of the Imperial Diet agreed to leave each prince free to choose between Catholicism or Lutheranism, known as the Religious Peace of Augsburg.
For sixty years, religious warfare was suspended in the German states.
The people living in the Lutheran states were able to accept the decisions of their princes.
The peasants were embittered by Luther's attitude towards them, but their bitterness softened with time.
The princes, nobles, and bourgeois supported the church.
The support of the established order pleased all who held office or wealth, and it appealed to German patriotism by rejecting the Roman papacy.
Luther's church felt comfortable for the laity as a whole.
According to Luther's doctrine, all Christians were on the same spiritual level as their ministers, and the man of property could feel superior.
The Church was no longer an independent power in society.
The kings of Scandinavia established the new faith as their official religion because of the advantages of a state church.
The church to state was subordinating the religious establishment in each Lutheran country.
The formerly Catholic religious buildings and grounds were assigned to the new churches, but the landholdings of the bishops and abbots were seized by the crown.
In accordance with Luther's views, monastic orders were abolished and ministers were allowed to marry.
Luther had six children with a former nun.
He raised the value of marriage and upheld the rights of wives to sexual satisfaction, but he did not urge any changes in the social role of women.
All manner of formal "good works" were rejected.
The principle of Church authority and many semblances of medieval religious practice were retained by Luther.
The worship service in German was the same as the Catholic service.
Luther kept art and music in his church, unlike some other reformers, and he composed a book of hymn as well as several catechisms.
Luther was not the only religious rebel in the 1520s.
He tried to impose his doctrine on the others, but failed.
His logic worked against a unified reform movement.
He taught that each person must see the truth of the Bible according to his or her own conscience.
There was no limit to the number of denominations after papal authority was overthrown.
Two of the many separations that followed Luther's revolt require special attention because of their historical impact.
The Church of England is the most conservative of the major splits from Rome.
The other, initiated by John Calvin, was very different from the Catholic tradition.
As a young man, he prepared for the priesthood in Paris and then, at his father's urging, turned to the study of law.
He found a career in law distasteful and became active in scholarship.
He took up the study of Hebrew and Greek after receiving his law degree.
Calvin converted to the idea of religious reform in 1533 after a year.
France was the scene of heated disputes about the Church, like the rest of Europe.
Calvin was a keen scholar all his life, but after his conversion he became a reformer.
The city was in the middle of political and religious turmoil after it revolted from its feudal overlord.
Calvin and his version of reformed Christianity dominated the community.
Calvin's influence extended far beyond his city.
Reformers from all over Europe came to Switzerland to study his doctrine.
Two years after the massacre of Protestants in Paris, a woodcut portrait was published in Germany.
The true Protestant faith leaps from nation to nation, with "Antichrist" trying to stop it by spilling innocent blood.
Calvinism was the leading Protestant force in France, the Netherlands, Scotland, and England.
He rejected a priesthood based on apostolic succession because he saw the Bible as the sole source of authority.
Calvin and Luther agreed that salvation was determined by God's grace alone.
He disliked monasticism and other "Romish" practices as pilgrimages, indulgences, and the veneration of saints and relics.
The difference between the two men was what each chose to emphasize.
Luther's obsession with his soul's salvation led him to his doctrine.
Calvin was obsessed with a sense of God's omnipotence and human depravity.
Calvin's position may have been influenced by his contact with humanism.
He drew his vision of God's glory and perfection from the Old Testament, and no other theologian has followed through with that logic.