Catholic Church 16th Century

1078 Words5 Pages
The Catholic Church as we know today is vastly different from the one in the 16th century, but it also has its similarities. The main similarity is that the organization is constantly surrounded by controversy. Today issues such as pedophilia, birth control, and homosexuality are the major debates around the world. Yer, these problems seem to have simple solutions yeth they still remain unresolved. The main controversies within the Church during the 16th century that ultimately led to major reforms were sexual scandal, the suppressing of knowledge, and greed. In the eyes of the Catholic Church during the 16th century, members of the clergy were supposed to remain abstinent for their entire lives. The problem with this simple command was that…show more content…
The Church was very much responsible for removing knowledge from Europe because they labeled anyone who proved many of the “true” Church doctrines wrong a heretic and executed them. The humanist movement of the Renaissance led to most of the Church reform through the rediscovery of this lost knowledge. Now that people were beginning to become educated, even the semi-literate could evaluate the Church with some level of scrutiny. This scared the Church and in 1502 they held one of many book burnings in an attempt to destroy any knowledge that went against them, but it only inspired the intellectuals of Europe, “It was a futile bull - the velocity of new ideas continued to pick up momentum - and the Church decided to adopt stronger measures.” (99) Shortly after this burning Copernicus proposed that the Earth was not the center of the universe, a theory that undermined the official Church teaching. He was immediately called a heretic and burnt at the state, just for proposing a hypothesis that went against pas assumptions, Galileo would soon prove him right, but he too was killed for heresy, showing how afraid of knowledge the Church was. Regardless no matter how hard the Church tried to squash anticlerical teachings, their efforts have failed. Instead, to this day, the Church has been forced to adapt to every time one of their major doctrines was prove…show more content…
Ultimately the Church was at its lowest point, at the same time as they were preaching abstinence until marriage, the clergy were violating their own vows of celibacy. The was that the Church initially got away with this though is by making sure Europe wasn’t intelligent, because when the populous fif gain the knowledge that they craved through the humanist movement, the Church was on their heels. Lastly, it was greed that forced reform in the Catholic Church. It pushed people to split off from the corrupt, to follow people like Martin Luther, to restore what they had fallen in love with, God and his
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