What teachings and actions led John Wycliffe to be called a heretic by the church?



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Reading Notes: Reformation

31.3 Early Calls for Reform

1. What teachings and actions led John Wycliffe to be called a heretic by the church?

Wycliffe questioned the pope’s authority and attacked indulgences and immoral behavior by clergy. He said the Bible, not the church, was the ultimate religious authority. Against church tradition, he had the Bible translated into English

2. What reforms did Jan Hus call for?

Hus wanted to end corruption among clergy. He also wanted the Bible and the mass to be offered in the people’s ordinary language rather than Latin.

3. In what way did Catherine of Siena’s approach to faith help prepare people for the Reformation?

Catherine showed that people could lead spiritual lives that went beyond the usual norms of the church. She emphasized personal experience of God over church practices.

4. Who was Desiderius Erasmus? How did he help to prepare Europe for the Reformation?

Erasmus was a humanist priest who wanted to reform the church. He wrote “The Praise of Folly,” a satire of society, including abuses by clergy and church leaders. His attacks on church corruption added to people’s desire to leave Catholicism.




31.4 Martin Luther Breaks Away from the Church

1. Why did Martin Luther write the Ninety-Five Theses and post them on the door of the church in Wittenberg?

Luther was outraged by the selling of indulgences. He posted the Ninety-Five Theses to express his ideas about this practice.

2. How were Luther’s beliefs different from those of the Catholic Church?

Luther believed that salvation came from faith, not good works. He said the Bible, not the pope, was the ultimate source of religious authority. He said all Christians were priests and should read the Bible for themselves. And he claimed that most of the church’s sacraments had no basis in the Bible.

3. What happened when Luther was brought before the Diet of Worms?

He refused to take back his teachings and was declared a heretic by the emperor. The emperor forbade the printing of his writings.


31.5 Other Early Leaders of the Reformation

1. Name three things that helped the movement begun by Luther to spread across Europe.

People were tired of abuses and ready for change. The printing press helped spread Luther’s ideas. Government leaders learned they could win independence from the church.

2. What two Protestant reformers began new churches in Switzerland?

Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin began new churches in Switzerland.

3. What personal and political reasons led King Henry VIII to split with the Catholic Church?

Henry VIII split from the church so that he could get a divorce and remarry, and so that he would no longer have to share power and wealth with the church.

4. Who was William Tyndale? What important contribution is he known for?



Tyndale was a priest and a scholar who translated books of the Bible into English. He adopted Protestant views and was burned at the stake. His translations were used in the King James Bible.


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