Meaning of Protestant Reformation

What is Protestant Reformation:

The Protestant Reformation is the name given to the religious movement started by Martin Luther, a German monk, who strongly criticized the religious policy of the Popes on October 31, 1517, when he published and hung his famous 95 Theses on the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral in Germany, 500 years ago.

The word reform indicates the action of modifying or redoing something, in this case it refers to a true religious revolution due to the changes that were generated.

On the other hand, Protestant is an adjective that is used when a person disagrees with something, and it is the term that is used in the Catholic Church in order to mention Lutheranism and its ramifications.

As a result of the criticisms made by Martin Luther, he was excommunicated after rebelling against the Catholic Church by Pope Leo X, later he married and continued his reflections on the Protestant Reformation.

However, he was not the only one who was against many of the things that happened in the Church, there were also other religious, politicians and thinkers who shared his opinion and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

See also:

  • Reform.
  • Catholic Church.
  • Schism.

Causes of the Protestant Reformation

One of the main causes that motivated Luther, and his followers, to reform the church was the sale of indulgences. For him, the Gospel should be freely preached and not commercialized. For Luther, the basis of thought was faith.

Luther wanted to discuss the bad practices exercised by the Roman papacy, especially due to the levels of corruption that existed, because, at that time, the common thing was to preach the word of God in exchange for money.

The following phrase "The just shall live by faith" was of great importance to Luther and was the spark that detonated his movement to emphasize that religion should be based on faith, that it is free as well as God's mercy, and not the monetary and material wealth.

According to what Luther preached, faith is a free gift that people have and it is the work of God. Having been able to identify this meaning was a revelation and illumination that changed the meaning of the Holy Scriptures that Luther had previously.

Other causes that also added to the discontent were the Western Schism, when three popes clashed for the pontifical authority, the beginning of Romanticism, and the attitude of those priests who did not know the Holy Scriptures, were alcoholics and adulterers, and were not a good example of Catholicism.

Therefore, once Luther decided that the right time had come to bring his revelation and knowledge to light, he wrote 95 theses as part of an academic debate in which he exposed his disagreements with the fundamental principles of Christianity and his discovery to the rest. of the catholic church.

What followed was a great controversy, Luther directly attacked the sale of indulgences of Juan Teztel, in Germany, as it was a vile way for the Church, as an institution, to profit from the payment that people made to get them from purgatory the souls of their loved ones.

Until then, no person had dared, like him, to expose their annoyance. Then, on October 31, 1517, All Saints' Day, Luther published his 95 Theses, which were printed and quickly spread to various parts of Europe.

However, the representatives of the Catholic Church rejected Luther's thesis, proclaimed themselves as the only heirs of Christian truth, and began a persecution of all those who followed the Protestant Reformation.

Once the Protestant Reformation movement began, a series of confrontations and wars were generated for religious reasons that lasted approximately thirty years. At that time, those who were against the Pope and the Catholic Church were called Protestants.

However, the Protestant Reformation and Protestantism expanded and reformed a large number of Catholic churches, gaining ground and became one of the branches of Christianity with the most practitioners.

Years later, John Calvin, a French theologian, founded one of the most important branches of Protestantism called Calvinism, in which he considered that all the sacraments should be eliminated, except baptism and the Eucharist, and faith should be based on Jesus.

This branch gave way to others such as Anabaptism, Anglican, Presbyterian and Congregationalist, among others.

The Protestant Reformation was a spiritual uprising that affected the cultural, political, economic and social perspectives of the time and that is part of the most important events of humanity.

See also the meaning of Protestantism and Christianity.

Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was initiated by Martin Luther as an expression of his disagreement with the abuses of power and excesses that existed in the Catholic Church, as well as the inappropriate behavior of its leaders, which generated a great moral and religious crisis.

Therefore, as Luther's theses expanded, the Pope and the bishops met to determine a plan against the Reformation, what is now called the Counter-Reformation. At that time it was considered to do the following:

Restitution of the Court of the Holy Inquisition: designed for the purpose of persecuting, imprisoning and punishing those who considered themselves Protestant or non-Catholic.

Index of prohibited books: it was a list made up of the titles of literary works that were considered prohibited for exposing dogmas contrary to those of the Catholic Church.

Creation of the company of Jesus: this company was made up of Jesuits whose task was to go to the new conquered territories in the other continents and convert the natives into Catholics.

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