What were the key events of the Protestant Reformation?

1 Answer
Mar 9, 2018


The challenges to the authority of the Catholic Church


  1. Oct 31 1517 Martin Luther posts his 95 thesis Challenging the Church's authority to grant indulgences allowing people to buy their way out of purgatory instead of personal faith, and reliance on the direct grace of Christ.

  2. 1519 Zwighi a Swiss reformer establishes independent churches in the Ana Baptist tradition challenging the exclusivity of the Catholic Church.

  3. 1521 Friedrich of Saxony grants the excumicated Luther political refuge after the Diet of Worms. This challenges the political authority of the Church to impose its decrees. ( Jon Hus, an earlier reformer, after being excumicated was burned at the stake by the political authorities at the request of the Catholic Church. )

  4. 1524 The peasants revolt of Germany. Accepting Luther's teachings about the "priesthood of al believers" The peasants revolt against both the authority of the Catholic church but also the authority of local princes, and nobles. The revolt is put down with much bloodshed and Luther's support of the local princes. the

  5. 1534 King Henry of England revolts against the authority of the Catholic church which would not grant him the divorce he desired. The lands and wealth of the Catholic Church is taken and an independent church with King Henry in charge is created. An English translation of the bible is required to be placed in every parish for people to read. ( The English translations of Wycliff had been outlawed by the Catholic church and Wycliff excuminated)

  6. 1541 John Calvin a French reformer finds refuge in Switzerland. His Reformation teachings spread to Scotland, Transylvania, Holland and back to his native France. HIs teachings and doctrines establish Presbyterian. churches where the local leaders have authority instead of the church leaders, bishops, and popes of the Catholic Church.

  7. 1555 The peace of Augsberg establishes the legal coexistence of both Protestants and Catholics in Germany ending the religious civil war in Germany. This challenges the authority of the Catholic Church as the only legal religion.

8.1648 The Treaty of Westphalia ends the 30 years war. This challenges and effectively ends the monopoly of political power of the Catholic Church in Europe. During the 30 years war the Catholic church called on the political power of Spain , France, Portugal and other "loyal" countries to invade and reestablish the Catholic Church as the official church in Holland, and Germany. Germany, Sweden and other protestant governments fought a military campaign to remain independent. The Treaty of Westphalia recognized that nations in Europe could be independent of the political authority of the Catholic Church.