The concept of protestant reformation It is made up of two terms with very definite meanings.
It is known as reform the action and effect of reforming or reforming (re-forming, modifying, redoing something) is called reform.
Protestant, is an adjective that allows to name the one who protests or, in the field of religion, who is followed by Lutheranism or any of its branches.
Made this introduction we can say that Protestant Reformation is he movement that arose in the century XVI and that prompted a profound change in the Catholic Church. Protestants opposed the rule of the Dad over the entire Christian community and sought that church It will pick up the roots of the first Christianity.
The Protestant Reformation was promoted by various religious, politicians and intellectuals, led by the priest Martin Luther, who interpreted 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. In order to Luther, the Gospel it should be freely preached and not commercialized.
This inner revolution led a great crisis within the Church; the reformers criticized the corruption within the institution and the lack of religious piety. One fact that was decisive for the uprising of the Protestants was the sale of indulgences by the Church to finance the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in the province of Rome.
With the rebellion underway, the heads of the Orthodox part of the church proclaimed themselves the sole heirs of Christian truth and began to persecute all those who dissented. The rejected groups founded other ecclesial communities that demonstrated against the medieval Christian heritage and they fought for the restoration of the church. This led to an outright division of the church in Europe, where groups that accepted the Pope’s leadership and those that opposed him were recognized. The countries that joined the revolution and rejected the Pope began to call themselves Protestants. This would lead to 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 Reformation he managed to change a large number of state Christian churches. Over time, Protestantism managed to become the third branch of Christianity, with more than 500 million faithful today.
The response of the Church
The response of the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation was known as Catholic Counter-Reformation and included the reaffirmation of its millenary 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 statements, when verifying the repercussion that his words were having on the continent, the heads of the Christian community took action on the matter: they declared Luther heretic and they excommunicated him, completely disassociating him from the Catholic Church.
As the Protestant reform gained more weight, the Church embarked on a counter-reform in which it made manifest its ideals, making the conditions to be met by the faithful to belong to this community more stringent, therefore, to achieve salvation, and expanding his sacramental acts. This counter-reform rekindled the flame of devotions, emerging monastic orders and encouraging others already in force, such as the Discalced Carmelites and the Society of Jesus.