Prior to the Protestant Reformation, there was only one dominant Christian church, the Roman Catholic Church. The church owned a large portion of the land in Europe, thus they had control of people’s lives politically. They also controlled people’s lives spiritually. They cared for people’s souls through baptism, the Eucharist, and confession. Because the common people were unable to read Latin, the church …show more content…
The selling of indulgences is one example of corruption. People paid the church to have their time in purgatory shortened, or to avoid purgatory altogether. The church began encouraging people to buy indulgences for selfish reasons. Their motivation for promoting indulgences was to fill their coffers, not to save people from purgatory.
The corruption in the church and the suppression of knowledge left the people searching for answers. They could get the answers they wanted from the Roman Catholic Church. This set the stage for people like Martin Luther to dispute the practices of the church, and suggest new theologies. Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses specifically contested the selling of indulgences. His audacity to speak out against the practices of the church opened the door for reform in the church.
The invention of the printing press played a significant role in the Reformation. It completely revolutionized the spreading of ideas, by allowing new ideas to flow from person to person quickly. The printing press brought a sort of enlightenment to Europe, because people could now get access to knowledge they never had before. This invention made it extremely hard for the church to control or censor the information that was readily available to the people. The common people reaped many benefits from the invention of the printing press, one of which was increased freedom from the control of the