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Church Reformation in the 16th and 17th century - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Church Reformation in the 16th and 17th Century Background information In 1054, a great schism occurred between the eastern and western Christian churches. The schism resulted from regional, theological, linguistic, and political differences that had emerged…
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Download file to see previous pages This compromised the respect accorded to papacy2. Since the schism tarnished the reputation of the papacy authority, it needed a resolution that would re-unite the people. Before the schism, the Catholic Church relied on a centralized Roman leadership. This paper will analyze the decrees that resulted from the emergence of the council of Constance. The issues that led to the schism in the Catholic Church included disputes concerning power and jurisdiction concerning matters3. The rise of English and French monarchies affected the papal authority. Things worsened after the election of the Urban the sixth. This happened in Rome and Urban proved to be extremely brutal forcing most of the other clergy to move back to Avignon where papacy had reigned before4. After their return to Avignon, they went ahead to elect a pope of their own bringing about a great controversy5. The Catholic Church devotees had two popes in power exercising control over the church.6 The division that emerged threatened to challenge the papacy powers. Different countries opted to support one of the two popes. Haec Sancta: Decree of the Council of Constance, 1415 Majority of the people opined that a council had the capacity to solve the controversy that was proving a threat to the unity of the church7. Although both popes portrayed reluctance to call upon the help of the council in solving the matter, a council came into place to propose solutions for the problem that was prevailing in the Catholic Church. The decree ‘haec Sancta’ declared by the council changed the entire picture of the competition that had resulted from different individuals claiming to have papal authority. The council of Constance was acting as one of the ecumenical councils that had existed in the past of the Catholic Church8. The council introduced the conciliar ideology that was to give rise to additional controversies in the future. The conciliar ideology was of the standing that the councils of the Catholic Church held a supreme position. This implied that no clergy was above the council. The pope had a responsibility of recognizing the authority of the council and obeying it. Therefore, the council of Constance made it clear that it held the exquisite authority to resolve the schism that the church was facing9. In accordance, the council disregarded the authority of the competing popes that had resulted from the schism. The council held the reasoning that electing a different individual altogether would restore the unity that had once existed in the church. In addition, the council sought to restore the centrality of power that had existed in papacy. In the decree, the council made it clear that the constitution of t he council was part of the Holy Spirit’s doing. In addition, the council claimed that it had power directed to them from Christ himself. The council then expressed its expectation for every individual regardless of state and dignity to accept the solution it had designed to resolve the schism that prevailed. In addition, the council instituted a second decree concerning the future activities of the council. From 1415 to 1417, the council held sessions that led to critical decisions. The council that was headed by Sigismund as the emperor10. It exercised supremacy in all its decisions, expecting nobody to raise the question of discontent11. The council appointed a new pope, Martin the fifth, restoring the papal authority to Rome12. Council of Constance: Frequens, 1417 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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