Criticism of the Church

Critics of the Catholic Church

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  • Created on: 11-09-22 13:41
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  • The English Reformation: Critics of the Catholic Church
    • Lollards were a group from the late 1300s. They believed that sacraments and priesthood were not important aspects of faith. They wanted  laymen to be able to read the Bible but were tried by Church courts for heresy.
    • Humanism and Erasmus focused on the Bible rather than the Church community. Erasmus even translated the Bible into Greek as he believed the Bible should be translated into the language of ordinary people.
    • Wolsey was criticised by reformers as he used his position in Church to make himself very wealthy-- Hampton Court Palace.
    • Pluralism was very criticised- clergymen were holding multiple positions in more than one parish- reformers thought impossible to serve more than one parish effectively
    • Churchmen were making themselves richer and were practically untouchable by the law
    • Church morals were poor at best. They broke vows of celibacy and brothels were even set up for clergymen. Alexander Thornton lived openly with his partner and son
    • Simon Fish mocked Church authorities. He condemned English priesthood in 'A Supplication for Beggars' which may have influenced Henry VIII
    • The Boleyn family helped Cranmer and Cromwell into court and were supporters of Martin Luther. They held power in Henry's court and had a lot of influence over him. They regarded the Pope as a scheming foreign ruler
    • Martin Luther wrote the 95 theses which questioned teachings and ideas about penance, authority, the Pope and the effectiveness of Indulgences
      • Sola fide- the idea that faith alone can bring salvation, meaning many church customs were useless. With this he created the Lutheran Church with his friend Phillip Melanchthon
    • Hans Sebald Beham drew pics attacking Catholicism and greedy clerics
    • Hugh Latimer emphasised the importance of scripture - a key theme among reformers
    • William Tyndale also believed laymen should be able to read the Bible and translated it into English.
      • He also wanted more education for priests and renew the role of the clergy
    • The Case of Richard Hunne.
      • He refused to pay the fee for his son's burial and was imprisoned in 1514. He was found hanged in his cell; it declared as murded.
        • Officers of the Church claimed 'benefit of the clergy'. They were tried in a Church and couldn't be punished for the alleged murder
          • When word of this spread, people were outraged
    • Thomas Cranmer believed that the Church needed  reform.
  • Lack of English / translated versions of the Bilble
  • Questionable morals of priests / clergymen


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