The Causes of the Protestant Reformation
The late middle ages in the life of Catholic Church was marked with serious corruption. Money became the source of all evils in the church. The reputation of the church and the entire clergy went down. As a result, the opposing group, called the Protestants tried to find their way out of the church. Their protesting activities came in the wake of rampant malpractices by the church officials amid calls for reforms. This attempt to reform the church was not only due to mishandling of money that belonged to the church, there were mounting accusations on the fake teachings as well as other indulgences. The spiritual needs of the people could not be catered for by the church. It was being seen as a rotten institution and which could not be trusted at all.
Immorality among the priests was rife. Although they were supposed to remain celibates, some of them kept mistress and did not hide it from the public eye. The church headship could not stop them from such evils because they were similarly involved in such acts. This angered the faithful more because such actions could not be agreed upon even by the holy doctrines. Varying views aroused from people as most of them began putting into question their belief systems.
Another cause for reformation resulted from the church leadership. People generally gave a lot of respect and honor to such church positions. Any leadership rank within the church was considered not just holy but very Devine. In the contrary, when the church needed to raise some money, the highest position would be sold to the highest bidder. Money at this point could buy positions in the church. People were angered even more as the holy place had lost its significance and turned into an enterprise. The abusive nature of the church became real when Alexander VI appointed his son as a cardinal when himself was not even a priest. Nepotism became when this happened.
The Catholic Church believes in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. One should avoid going to either hell or purgatory. In order to achieve this, other believers should pray for the person concerned. One also need to indulge oneself in prayer, goodwill, helping the less fortunate, participating in charity work, attending mass services, seeking forgiveness, and confessing sin committed. This implied that whoever did not want to go to hell or purgatory was supposed to work very hard towards it. However, it reached a point when the church began exchange the indulgences for money. Only those who could afford would get it. It was conclusive that money could buy anything from the church. The church became greedy and lost its respectable nature.
There was also high demand for money in the church which was required for architectural work in building more churches and monasteries with the latest designs. These actions created more propaganda in the church rather than the desired place of devotion to God. Many faithful were angered by the occurrences in the Catholic Church and decided to separate themselves. Others spoke openly against the ills of the church calling for radical reforms.
In my opinion, the action by the priests and the entire clergy on handling church affairs and also how they lacked personal morals was the most important cause of protestant reformation. They directly defied God and turned the divine place to abusive and corrupt ground. They also made clear to the public that what is contained in the holy writings may not necessarily be adhered to because they did not obey.
To conclude this, it is evident that the church and in particular the clergy walked in their own and decided not to live by word of God as they preached it. This became a big disgrace to the people who later protested bitterly calling for reforms.