More said many things in this book that were controversial for his time, and for our time now as well. He contradicted himself at points, and the pages were riddled with rambling run-on sentenced, and horribly written dialogues. However, this book was written in a dialect targeting intellectuals (who could read Latin); meaning that he knew his audience would be composed greatly of church officials. I do not think that he purposefully would’ve written badly of the audience he was writing to, and if he had, then he would be simply hiding behind the category of satire, not embodying it. I don’t think that More was risking persecution by the church at all by publishing this book; he holds to many of the churches religious principals as well. Utopia has a ‘creator god,’ but there is no national creed. This can appeal to every person, (even those trying to impose their religions on others can typically take a step back and respect one another.) There is also faith in a ‘future religious unity’ among Utopians. More stays in safe areas here by making sure not to undermine the Catholic church, but not necessarily following their ways in his literature either.
Do you think that Luther really believed that Pope Leo X did not know what the indulgence salesmen were saying?
Although it is difficult to imagine that a man so smart as Luther would be naive enough not to believe that the Pope knew what was going on directly under his nose, and all around him, it is even more difficult to imagine that Luther would’ve defended the Pope so wrongfully so in many parts of his theses if he knew what was going on. My basic understanding of Luther’s beliefs is that, he knew for a fact there was wrongdoing in the churches by priests, bishops, and others in between; this he had proof of. However it isn’t so clear on his true feelings of the Pope due to the fact that he speaks for (in a defensive manner) the Pope, as well as doing his best to make him out to be a charitable and honest man. On the other hand, Luther challenges the Pope’s authority by stating that he does not possess the keys to the Church. Also, towards the end of his theses he begins to ask rhetorical questions that are pointing straight (but not only) at the Pope. He goes on to not only claim that there is no peace, but that he will expose it as well. To me this says that he may have had suspicions about the Pope, but that he really did want to believe he hadn’t been involved in all of this corruption. He was giving the Pope the benefit of the doubt.
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.