How would you describe the condition of the Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant Reformation?
The condition of the Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant Reformation was appallingly corrupt, and immoral to say the least. The spreading ignorance in the Church began in the Clergy; more and more frequently they had been sending out priests with no training or schooling whatsoever to the people. Not only were these tainted teachings being fed right to the followers of the Church, but some people weren’t even receiving any sermons at all. In fact, during the great scramble for money and material things (like having more offices, which allowed for a higher income), Bishops often took on too many buildings at once and barely did sermons at any of them at all. On top of this, indulgences are being sold wrongfully. All of this, under the allowance of the Pope unbeknownst to the people, and to Luther himself, who exposed all these wrongdoings within the Catholic Church.
What were the Ninety-Five Theses about? What was the basic message of Luther’s complaint?
The Ninety-Five Theses were about exposing, as well as confronting everything wrong with what was happening within (most, but not all) of the branches of the Catholic Church.
The basic message of Luther’s complaint was that, even if the Catholic Church wasn’t riddled with corruption, even if it did function as it was supposed to, that still it would not be correct. He argued that the teachings themselves were the problem with the Catholic Church; this being because he had a completely different interpretation of what the Gospel message was than the Catholic Church did.