M5D1: The Renaissance Church

The election of Martin V, Odonne Colonna, as pope in 1417 ended the Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism in the Western Roman Church and resulted in the permanent return to Rome of the papacy. But, these traumatic events in the previous century may have irreparably damaged the prestige of the papacy and the church and may have set the stage for the Reformation almost exactly one century later, in a large part because the church came to be dominated by powerful and wealthy Italian Renaissance families who often viewed the papacy and church as personal property to be used as their own. Papal taxes and the complex sacramental system of the church were often burdensome, particularly in places like Germany, and may have given rise to the discontent that fueled Luther’s challenge to Rome.

After reading and viewing the assigned material, discuss the following in your initial post:

Was the Renaissance church as corrupt and worldly as Luther and the Protestant reformers claimed, or was there simply a different form of religiosity in Germany that made this seem so? In other words, did the Reformation result from a cultural difference in perspective, the troubled soul of a young priest, or a real need for reform? In addition to your text, please reference Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in your response and discussion. Your post should be about 250 words.

One Source must be: Zophy, J. W. (2008). A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe. New York, NY: Pearson College Division.

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