The reformation (reformare in Latin, meaning: to transfer, to repair)

Selling of indulgence leaflets
Martin Luther 1
Reformation in Hungary
This was an historical process amongst Western Christianity which took place in the 16th century. The reformation was primarily of a religious nature but also carried societal, political, economical and cultural components and led to the formation of independent Christian (Protestant) Churches in opposition to the Catholic Church. The most significant reasons prompting the beginnings of the Reformation (which was the appearance of Martin Luther in 1517) and its unparalleled success were: the corrupt practices within the Catholic Church and the commencement of reform movements against such; the humanist Church critics, the extreme sensitivity of the people of the time towards religious problems and its resulting strengthening of laic religiousness; the anti-papist mentality in Europe, the societal tension which was becoming more and more strained; and last but not least the new technology of printing. The Reformation effected all the countries in Western and Central Europe and to less extent Italy and Spain. Even before 1517 a lot of people demanded the reform of the Church in Hungary "in its head and members" (in capite et membris). After the appearance of Luther most reformers felt that there was no longer a chance for improvement within the Church. They announced that the salvation of man does not require mediators but relies on faith in Christ (sola fide). They attacked the pope - whom they regarded as the Antichrist from the Bible, - and the Church orders - especially the prelates and monks. They rejected the tithes collected by parishes, fasting, confession, the single status of priests, masses and other religious ceremonies and supported the privatisation of Church lands (secularisation). They only recognised the Bible as the foundation of Christian belief (sola scriptura). Reformers rejected all such developments of religious life which did not have a basis in the Bible: i.e. the Virgin Mary, the Saints, revering of relics and icons; all of which were regarded as "idolatry".

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