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The authority of the church of Rome began to decline with the growth of the new learning and the craving for the Reformation A Flaming scholar Erasmus started the operation against the corruption and other vices in the high places of the Roman Church. He published, too, some writings, challenging the Papal authority that had been declining from 1470. What Erasmus taught was put into an actual practice by Martin Luther. A peasant by birth, he had entered an Augustinian house of Enfurt, but the life of the cloister gave him no comfort. He was oppressed with an intense consciousness of the inward sin, and his wrestling in his own mind trained in him the practical earnestness and the feeling of a close personal relation between man and God which masked him through life. He left the monastery in 1508, and become a teacher of theology in the new Saxon University of Wittenberg. After his visit to Rome in 1510, he had his own bitter experience of the carelessness, indifference, and perversion of the Papal Court. He set himself against the dismal situation, pervading the Catholic Church and solemnly protested. The Roman Church paid no heed to him and tried to silence him. But Luther was no faint-hearted personality and could not be subdued into silence.

So, Luther's confrontation with the church started resulting in the emergence of a new movement the Lutheran movement. From a mere local affair of Germany it attained a European character, and led to the establishment of Protestantism. That was a strong Christian force against Catholicism and a new church, the Protestant Church, took the hold of the religious order in a good many European countries, including England.

Martin Luther was a great name in the Reformation movement of Christianity. His ideas and outlook, his stand and objectives and his sermons and teachings form the basis of the church, established by him the Lutheran Church.


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