Protestant Reformation

Protestant Reformation. A religious movement with a renewal tendency that took place in Europe in the 16th century and which, in turn, originated the breakdown of Christian unity and the consequent formation of other Churches , independent of papal authority, independent of papal authority: Protestant Churches. Many churches that emerged from that movement were called “Reformed Churches”, with the purpose of evoking a disposition to conversion and renewal.


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  • 1 The Reformation
  • 2 Main causes of the Protestant Reformation
    • 1 The corruption of the Clergy
    • 2 The spread of the Bible
    • 3 Humanism and the Renaissance
  • 3 Forgers of reform
  • 4 Sources


The emergence of the Protestant Reformation is considered one of the most important events in history , since its consequences, today, remain alive at the religious, political, economic and cultural level in the world. In order to understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to situate oneself in the context of the time, to demonstrate and determine the causes of the Protestant Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation began in Germany , it was a reform movement led by the German monk Martin Luther who published his 95 Theses, where he criticized the sale of indulgences, as a reaction against the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church , it was soon spread by various countries of Europe, taking in many of them the face of a political, economic and social movement.

Main causes of the Protestant Reformation

The corruption of the Clergy

Many authors agree that the state of corruption and ignorance of the Catholic clergy was the fundamental cause of the Reformation. The truth is that, at the beginning of the 16th century, the church faced a difficult situation that originated precisely as a consequence of the misguided conduct of a part of the ecclesiastics who, forgetting their status as such, proceeded on the margins of religious teachings .

Corruption in customs, ignorance and too much thirst for wealth; lack of ecclesiastical vocation, forgetfulness of sacred religious duties and relaxation of discipline, were the manifestations of this state of crisis. High dignitaries and doctors of the Church , in defense of this Christian institution, cried out for the moralization of that Clergy, preached the return to the purity of customs, also yearned for a reform.

On the other hand, they had also contributed to diminish the authority and prestige of the Church, the ambitions to the papal solio (to the position of Pope ) that resulted in the Great Schism or Schism of the West.

Likewise, the Church and the disputes that arose between the councils (assemblies of bishops) and the Popes subtracted unity and strength from the Church. many defended the superiority of the Council over the authority of the Holy Father. They also stimulated criticism of the Clergy, their wealth and excessive luxury, contrary to Christian simplicity, humility and poverty. In addition, disorders targeted by simonia or an immoderate concession of indulgences were the target of the attacks.

The spread of the Bible

Due to the appearance of new inventions: Printing and paper, it was possible to spread the Bible , the Holy book that contains the Gospels , source of the word of God . The low price and its easy reading contributed to its generalization. From 1457 to 1518 , more than four hundred editions of the Bible came to light, and the Gospels were translated from Greek, their original version, by humanist scholars.

Humanism and the Renaissance

The influence of Humanism and the spread of the Bible, originated the criticisms of religious ideas held by the Church, it was claimed, a marked contradiction between the teachings of the Holy Books and the conduct of the clergy. Coming to the conclusion that each believer could interpret the biblical content according to his own conscience (free examination), without the intervention of the Catholic Church. “The invention of the printing press and the progress of instruction made the Bible available to everyone, spreading the conviction that the salvation of the soul and the forgiveness of sins could be pursued simply by observing the precepts of Holy Scripture correctly.


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