1. What were the main differences between Catholicism and Protestantism? What aspects of Catholic belief and practice did Luther and other Protestant reformers criticize, and why?Although Protestants and Catholics worship the same god, their beliefs and principles of faith are very different. The Roman Catholic Church believed that it was their ordained right to interpret the bible and the will of god for the people. The Church believed that Holy Scripture could only truly be interpreted by members of the religious hierarchy in the church that included at the lower rungs, local priests, above them, bishops, archbishops and cardinals, with the definitive spiritual leader, the pope. People who were not part of the church’s hierarchy were kept away from the bible by the church insistence on exclusive use of Latin. There was also the idea that the bible was the the only source of god’s will, and that the traditions and decisions enforced by the church, which were based on the ideals of the holy scripture, were also the will of god.
At the same time, many of the Church’s top officials had become political advisers to royalty as well.Protestant Reformers, centered around Martin Luther, rejected many of the ideas of the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants believed that the word of god could only be interpreted from the what was written in religious texts such as the bible, and that no human should claim a dominant role in its interpretation. Martin Luther specifically objected to the church’s sale of indulgences, a type of pardon that excused individuals from their sins. While the church authorities had argued for indulgences as a way to allow those who transgressed to enter heaven, Martin Luther objected that the selling of these indulgences in the early 16th century, in order to fund the reconstruction of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome, amounted a form of base greed, moral decay and hypocrisy.
Protestants believed that no human being, regardless of their rank in the church, had the power to wipe away the sins of man and grant them a ticket to heaven, and that absolution belonged to god alone. Having journeyed to Rome as a young priest, Luther had been “appalled at the materialism and corruption which he had witnessed among high-ranking church men.”( Source??) Luther saw that the hierarchical papal system was not the will of god because the bible never mentions or defines the roles of the members of the church. It was not only the abuse of authority, but the use of religious positions and practices conducted by the Roman Church hierarchy not found in the scriptures. Luther concluded that if someone followed Church rituals, then they deserved salvation. He also strongly opposed the idea that a person could have their sins forgiven based on how much they paid.
Luther further insisted the bible be translated from Latin to give access in common vernaculars to believers. In response to Martin Luther’s publishing his Ninety-Five Theses, Catholic authorities recognized its challenge to their deep religious powers and Luther was excommunicated, or essentially suspended, from being a Catholic monk. When asked to recant his views, he steadfastly refused.
Support for the challenge Martin Luther posed to Catholicism grew from there, shaking the Catholic church in the early 16th century. The Protestant Reformation shook up politics and religion in Western Europe from that point onwards. Luther’s followers and Protestant movements led to the launching of new churches in Germany and Switzerland. Even though they tried to grow in England, government resistance was strong, until King Henry VIII.
He wanted to divorce his wife for not being able to give him a male heir, and eventually marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. He set of himself up with the Church of England, with himself as a kind of pope, changing the rules. 2. In what ways — political, social, cultural, and religious — did the reign of Henry VIII transform England, Wales, and Ireland? What continuities remained the same during his reign?Henry VIII took to the throne of England in 1509 and ruled for 36 years during a time where his nation was influenced by the Protestant Reformation. Though he is most well known for marrying six different woman, Henry VIII’s reign marked England’s transition toward becoming a nation with more modern values. This is shown through the political changes that resulted from his seperating from the Roman Catholic Church.
This break represented England’s surge towards becoming an independent and sovereign nation, and was essential for establishing England’s constitutional monarchy. Henry was committed to many of the ideals of the Roman Church. But under his reign, by 1560, England had permanently left the Roman Catholic community. Consolidation of his power took place in part because after the Reformation, different kings began to supplant the power of the Catholic Church, which had dominated Europe since the middle ages after the Roman Empire collapsed. Where the problem lied was with the political and legal domination that the Papacy held over the crown. In 1527, Henry was determined to divorce Queen Catherine, who had failed to birth a male heir.
After failing to persuade the Pope and the Vatican to allow him to divorce Queen Catherine, Henry decided to work around the legal procedures of the Church, passing the 1532 act of Parliament called the Supplication against the Ordinaries. Soon thereafter, Parliament also passed the Act of Supremacy, which made Henry the Supreme Head of the Church of England. This diminished the role of the church in political affairs. It was never his intention to dispel orthodox teachings, but eventually reformers pressured the English church to abandon the strict teachings of Roman Catholicism.Influences beyond religious conflict also provided ways to consolidate Henry’s VIII’s power, for example in curbing the role of the nobility, greater statehood consolidation and the nascent growth of mercantile capitalism. Early scientific discoveries and inventions like the printing press served to expand traditional understandings of the world. For example, it gave Protestant dissidents like Martin Luther a chance to spread their ideas in multiple languages.
Debates on indulgences led critics to other themes, such as the rational idea that humans and the natural world did not begin with god, serving to suggest secular views as a basis for political authority. The Protestant Reformation in England allowed King Henry VIII to seize church wealth and expand markets, including overseas. England used this money to attack political adversaries.
With the money accumulated from fines and fees and from seizing church wealth, Henry was able to increase the size of his forces to enforce royal authority.