To what extent was the Papacy responsible for the growing criticism of the Roman Catholic Church The Papacy were highly responsible for the growing criticism of the Roman Catholic Church; without them and their actions, people could question the need for the Reformation of the Christian Church. There are also other important causes, such as Erasmus and Humanism, the sale of indulgences and nepotism. The behaviour of the different popes was a major cause for the criticism. The pope is the most the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and has a major influence over Catholics. At that time, he was also the spiritual leader of most of Europe. He is also supposedly God??™s form/representative on earth and should live a good, holy life. However, the popes in this period of time were far from this.
They fathered illegitimate children, sinned and were dishonest. They taxed people to fund their lavish lifestyles or used it to redecorate their church, rather than actually using their money for the taxpayers??™ benefit. Most people were very poor and this led to great criticism because people complained that their much needed money was being wasted on unnecessary things. Popes swore they would lead a good, holy life and be celibate, but many ignored it. When their actions were known by the public, many people criticised his right to hold the position. Another cause was the illiteracy of the papacy.
Readings from the Bible, in service were read in Latin, and the people did not understand it. This meant priests could make up stuff in the service, misleading their audience. In some cases, the priests themselves didn??™t understand Latin! How could they regard themselves as a spiritual leader A man named Erasmus eventually began to translate the Bible from Latin. He offered his translation to the church, but they rejected it as it exposed the illiteracy, and people questioned what the papacy had to say during their services.
The sale of indulgences is a very important cause for criticism. It was used as one of Luther??™s main arguments against the church. He believed that this was purely a money making scheme by the Pope, in order to fund the building of St. Peter??™s Basilica. Indulgences promised time off purgatory for either the buyer, or a dead loved one, and also forgiveness of any sins committed. Many people gave away the majority of their money, in return for a piece of paper with meaningless words on it.
Luther persuaded people it realise that they meant nothing, and developed the argument that they were spiritually not accepted. The nature of the papacy was a major reason for the growing criticism of the RC church, however they were only one of many reasons for the reformation. Their behaviour only fuelled people??™s opinions on Christianity by exposing many flaws. The selling of indulgences, nepotism and poor spiritual leadership, added to peoples??™ criticisms, which led to people like Luther standing out against the way the RC church was behaving.