The concept of protestant reform It consists of two terms with very defined meanings.
It is known as reform to the action and effect of reforming or reforming (reshape, modify, redo something) is called reform .
Protestant , is an adjective that allows you to name the one who protests or, in the field of religion , who does he follow? Lutheranism or any of its branches.
Done this introduction we can say that Protestant Reform is the movement that arose in the century XVI and that prompted a profound change in the Catholic Church . Protestants opposed the domain of Pope over the entire Christian community and they sought that the church it will return to the roots of the first Christianity.
The Protestant Reform It was promoted by various religious, politicians and intellectuals, having as leader the priest Martin Luther , who interpreted the medieval doctrines from the Holy writings . This made Luther reject the system of sacraments of the Catholic Church of the time, which included the sale of indulgences. For Luther , he Gospel It should be preached freely and not subject to commercialization.
This internal revolution led a great crisis within the Church ; the reformists criticized the corruption within the institution and the lack of religious piety. A fact that was decisive for the uprising of the Protestants was the sale of indulgences by the Church to finance the building of St. Peter's Basilica in the province of Rome.
With the rebellion going on, the chiefs of the orthodox part of the church proclaimed themselves the only heirs of the Christian truth and began to persecute all those who dissented. The rejected groups founded other ecclesial communities that demonstrated against medieval Christian heritage and fought for the restoration of the church. This led to a resounding division of the church in Europe, where groups that accepted the leadership of the Pope and those who opposed him were recognized. The countries that joined the revolution and rejected the Pope began to be called Protestants ever since. This would result in multiple religious wars that took place in the territory, known as holy wars.
Although the Protestant Reformation originated in Germany, it quickly spread throughout the world. The most representative leader of these changes was a Catholic monk of the Augustinian order whose name was Martin Luther.
Thanks to the support of various civil authorities, the Protestant Reform He managed to change to a large number of state Christian churches. With the passage of time, Protestantism managed to become the third branch of Christianity, with more than 500 million faithful today.
The Church's response
The response of the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reform It was known as Catholic Counter Reformation and included the reaffirmation of his millennial doctrine, with the consecration of bread and wine as the Body and the Blood from Christ and the veneration of relics and iconographic images as Christian practices, among other points.
Although at first they had not given importance to Luther's claims, when checking the impact that his words were having on the continent, the leaders of the Christian community took action on the matter: declared Luther heretic and they excommunicated him, completely decoupling him from the Catholic Church.
As the Protestant reform acquired more weight, the Church perched a counter-reform in which it revealed its ideals, making the conditions to be fulfilled by the faithful to belong to this community more stringent, therefore, to achieve salvation, and expanding His sacramental acts. This counterreform he revived the flame of devotions , emerging monacal orders and encouraging others already in force, such as the Barefoot Carmelites and the Society of Jesus.