Abuses and Criticisms of the Church (Clergy+ Cardinal Thomas Wolsey ( …
Abuses and Criticisms of the Church
The Richard Hunne Case
was a merchant tailor in London. - In March 1511, he refused to pay a mortuary fee, as he didnt give the church his baby's christening robe when it died. - Then in October 1514, Hunne was arrested as a Lollard Bible was found in his house.
In December 1514, Hunne was found dead in his cell, having apparently hanged himself, but there were signs of murder on his body. in 1515 it was confirmed that the church had murdered him for denying transubstantiation+ refusing to pay mortuary fees. - Hunne was seen as a martyr by his supporters+ his death caused widespread anger against the clergy.
Clergy+ Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
priests+monks expected to obey vows of chastity. - BUT priests were criticised for being greedy, lazy and disobeying their vows of chastity as some were accused of having affairs and some were known to have children. - clergy charged excess fines for probate ( enabled goods of dead person to be passed to another). also they charged people for mortuary fees. clergy were also promoted to the houses of great men, which left parishes without educated clergy t preach + learned clergy often held more than one church- LINK TO PRACTICES OF THE CHURCH
'benefit of the clergy' - if priest suspected of committing a crime, then who could claim the benefit of being tried in a church court, which let the clergy escape death penalties as opposed to the consequence of being tried in the king's court'
Wolsey - attended court each day with a group of servants- the opposite of humility.- he also rode a donkey, which many felt mocked Christ's journey to Jerusalem. - Criticised for his wealth as he was given a number of palaces achieved through simony. - he was archbishop of York, had living places at Winchester and Durham which were never visited by Wolsey-pluralism=absenteeism.- He was also a father of a child.
other criticisms of the church - it was possible for church men to appeal to rome in court- which many lawyers were critical of- as cases should be heard in the courts in England.- the land owned by the church restricted the room for poor peasants to graze their animals. the church was also involved in trade
Practices of the Church
SIMONY- where a priest sold his position and titles to the person willing to pay the most, rather than the most experienced.
Nepotism- where clergy give positions and titles to members of their family, rather than to people of high ability.
Pluralism- where priests would hold the right to one more parish and would take money from both +would hire a partially educated cleric to preach in one- but in some cases might not be able to read or write.
Absenteeism- usually caused by pluralism and was where priests would be absent from one or more parishes.
Lollardy- believed that Christianity should be based on bible and not the interpretations of the priests.- believed that everyone should have their own bible, written in English and not Latin ..- lollards rejected the idea of the priest- thought they got in the way+ that a man should confess his sins directly to god, not to a priest. - they did not believe in transubstantiation (which was heresy). - believe in predestination rather than doing good works to go to heaven, so believed that the fate of ones soul was decided before the expulsion of adam and eve.
Lollardy- followers of John Wycliffe- he was the first English theologian to challenge the papacy+ produce an English bible between 1320- 84.
Lutherans- followed the beliefs of Martin Luther- belived that good works dont benefit the soul, only faith could do that. Martin Luther promoted the translation of the bible to a language that common people could understand- he challenged the papacy by nailing them to door of a cathedral in 1517+ was excommunicated by the pope in 1521.
Lutherans- William Tyndale and Simon Fish followed Lutherans ideas and in 1526, Tyndale translated the bible into English in 1526. In 1528, Tyndale wrote his book 'The Obedience of a Christian Man' which said that if the monarch, rather than the pope was responsible for the church, then religious chnage could occur- so this helped support henry vs the pope when trying to get a divorce.
Humanism- an intellectual movement which wanted to return the original Greek texts of the bible to help understand scriptures. - they did believe in the basic principles of the catholic faith, like free will. but they wanted to purify the ideas of religion from errors which had occured through translations.
Key Humanist leaders= Erasmus , john colet and Thomas More. Erasmus was critical of catholic practices, but was committed to catholic beliefs of the church and to papal authority. Henry and Catherine of Aragon considered themselves humanists , as henry wanted to purify the church and supported rewriting the bible in Latin, based on original Greek texts. Thomas More helped henry in writing the Defence of the Seven Sacraments as a response to Lutheran attacks.
ESSAY QUESTION -
How important were alleged abuses of the clergy in gaining support amongst the laity, by 1529, for religious change?