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The Reformation
Conflict in the Catholic Church
Abuses in the church:
* Worldliness of Renaissance popes
* Poorly educated lower clergy - some
* Lower clergy having semi-official wives
* Selling of indulgences (pardons for sin)
Conflict in the Catholic Church
Reasons for Reform:
* The printing press allows the printing of the
Bible and other literature that allowed
people to read and interpret for themselves.
* The people began to see abuses and want
higher standards for clergy. Reform is
GUTTENBERG - 1440-1450
Martin Luther
• Luther is angered over the sale of indulgences.
• In anger he writes the 95 Theses:
* Salvation by faith alone
* The Bible is the only authority for Christian
life not -the church
* The priesthood of all believers; meaning that
all people can communicate with God as the
priests do
Martin Luther
• Someone took Luther’s ideas and printed
them with the printing press. The
document was spread across Germany.
• The church was not happy with Luther’s
ideas and he was asked to recant his
Martin Luther
• Luther refused and was excommunicated.
• Charles V tried Luther at the Diet of
Worms. The result was the Edict of
Worms which declared him a heretic and
an outlaw.
• In spite of this, Luther’s ideas took hold
and began to spread across Germany.
John Calvin - Switzerland
– 1. Everyone is sinful, but God can save you
– 2. Predestination - God knows when you
are born whether you will be saved or not:
those who are saved are called “The Elect”
– 3. Wanted a theocracy - government ruled
by the Church
– Followers are known as Calvinists
John Knox - Scotland
This reformer put Calvin’s ideas into
practice. His followers overthrew
their Catholic Queen (Mary Stuart)
and set up a working theocracy.
–Followers were known as
Henry VIII - England
• Henry broke from the church
when the Pope refused to
give him a divorce from his
wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Catherine could not produce
a male heir and Henry
wanted to remarry.
• Henry created the Church of
England and named himself
head of the new church.
Counter - Reformation
• Catholics were concerned about Protestants
leaving the church so they began their own
reforms. These reforms are called the
“counter” reforms because they come in
response to the Protestants.
• Pope Paul III called a meeting in Trent.
• The council of Trent decided
– 1. To end the sale of illegal indulgences
– 2. To clarify church rules, practices, and beliefs
– 3. To set up more education for priests and clergy
St. Ignatious Loyola
Founded the Society
of Jesus. Members
were known as
Jesuits. The society
was run like an army.
Their mission was to
win Protestants back
to the Catholic