The reformation of the Roman Catholic Church

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In a time where people no longer could trust the ethical system of the Roman

Catholic Church there was much confusion and a great need for change. In that change

there also came a great attack on the Church that could truly be exemplified by men such

as Luther and Calvin. The resulting reform that the many years of change brought was a

new type of Christianity. What is so astonishing about the entire process of the

Reformation is how greatly it effected the nations of Europe, and how on the verge of

chaos people like the men mentioned above kept it together. All the factors that were

strung together can be best illustrated by the main powers in political, economic, and

theological issues who so desperately cried out for innovation. The issues of the

aforementioned factors caused the dissolution of the greatest power in Europe at the time,

and ultimately reduced it to a Europe who had no unification for the first time in

thousands of years.

The Reformation could have its earliest roots traced back to the days of Huss and

Wycliff who were the first people to speak out publicly against the practices of the

Roman Catholic Church. However, it was Martin Luther who in 1517 really gathered the

support of angry, fed-up citizens to establish Protestantism. Why Luther succeeded in

convincing the people when Huss and Wycliff didn't, was really based on the political

atmosphere of the time that surfaced across Western Europe. In the Medieval times, the

emperors of the Roman Catholic Church, which included but not exclusively held to Philip

I and Maximilian I, had asserted themselves as the secular rulers of Christianity across the

continent. That meant that as well as being head of the religious department they also

controlled the states...