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Martin Luther Was Responsible for the Break-Up of the Catholic Church

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Thesis statement: Martin Luther was responsible for the break-up of the Catholic Church

Martin Luther was a representative during the 16th century of a desire widespread of the renewal and reform of the Catholic Church. He launched the Protestant reform a continuation of the medieval religious search.

From the Middle ages, the church faced many problems such as the Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism that hurt the prestige of the church. Most of the clergy lived in great luxury while most people were poor and they set an immoral example. The clergy had low education and many of them didn't attend their offices. Martin Luther had witnessed this himself, "In 1510 he visited Rome and was shocked to find corruption on high ecclesiastical places"

During Luther's early life he faced a severe inner crisis. When he sinned he looked for comfort in confession and followed the penance, the fasting, prayer and observances that the church directed him. But, he found no peace of mind and worried about his salvation. But reading St. Paul's letters he came to believe that salvation came though faith in Christ. Faith is a free gift, he discovered, it cannot be earned. His studies led him to a conclusion that, "Christ was the only mediator between God and a man and that forgiveness of sin and salvation are given by god's grace alone" (Martin Luther, 01). Historians agree that, "this approach to theology led to a clash between Luther and the Church officials, precipitating the dramatic events of Reformation".

To construct Saint Peters Basilica, Archbishop Albert borrowed money from the Fuggers (wealthy banking family). To pay for this loan Pope Leo X gave permission to Archbishop Albert to sell indulgences in Germany. An indulgence is a way to reconcile with God, by confessing your sins to a priest and perform a penance. By the later Middle Ages people believed that indulgence removed all their sins and ensured entry to heaven. The selling of indulgence troubled Luther, he thought people were ignorant to believe that they didn't have to repent after they bought an indulgence.

Martin Luther was a friar very devoted to the Church but after analyzing all these aspects he decided to do something about it. On October 31, 1517 he attached to the door of Wittenberg Castle a list of 95 theses or propositions on indulgences.

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