Start Date

19-5-2021 2:45 PM

End Date

19-5-2021 4:00 PM

Disciplines

History

Subjects

Indulgences -- History, Leo X (Pope : 1475-1521), Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano -- History, Catholic Church -- History -- 16th century, Reformation -- Early movements, Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Description

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the concept of of Original Sin has defined prayer and ritual. As this idea evolved throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, its teachings proved to be profitable, as exemplified by the creation of indulgences. This paper examines the sale of indulgences for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica under the jurisdiction of Pope Leo X from 1515–1518, and its implications on the Catholic Church’s splintering authority in Western Europe. As a direct effect of the use of indulgences for financial gain, Martin Luther wrote and presented his Ninety Five Theses, an event widely thought of as the commencement of the Protestant Reformation. His revolutionary ideals unveiled the true corruption and greed of the Catholic Church, and paved the way for the criticism of papal infallibility. In Pope Leo X’s underestimation of the solemnity of the Protestant Reformation, he ultimately narrowed the reach of the Catholic Church’s previously unyielding power over its followers and Biblical texts, and was forced to cease the monetization of the Catholic faith. This paper reveals the consequences of promoting a sinless life through the narratives of penance and purgatory, while simultaneously profiting off such supposedly immoral acts.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35602

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History Commons

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May 19th, 2:45 PM May 19th, 4:00 PM

Session 2: Panel 1: Presenter 2 (Paper) -- Pope Leo X and the St. Peter’s Indulgence: The Accidental Path to Reformation and Church Fragmentation

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the concept of of Original Sin has defined prayer and ritual. As this idea evolved throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, its teachings proved to be profitable, as exemplified by the creation of indulgences. This paper examines the sale of indulgences for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica under the jurisdiction of Pope Leo X from 1515–1518, and its implications on the Catholic Church’s splintering authority in Western Europe. As a direct effect of the use of indulgences for financial gain, Martin Luther wrote and presented his Ninety Five Theses, an event widely thought of as the commencement of the Protestant Reformation. His revolutionary ideals unveiled the true corruption and greed of the Catholic Church, and paved the way for the criticism of papal infallibility. In Pope Leo X’s underestimation of the solemnity of the Protestant Reformation, he ultimately narrowed the reach of the Catholic Church’s previously unyielding power over its followers and Biblical texts, and was forced to cease the monetization of the Catholic faith. This paper reveals the consequences of promoting a sinless life through the narratives of penance and purgatory, while simultaneously profiting off such supposedly immoral acts.