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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:03 AM   #1
aaj
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Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


Hallo I`m have a very amateur interest in History. I am at the moment reading about the Papacy of Alexander (Rodrigo Borgia) My Q is
How much did the excesses of the Borgia family and Pope Alexander contribute to the rise of Protestant movement in Northern Europe and England?
Are there schools that subscribe to this and are there any good books for further reading? Thanks

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Old September 22nd, 2009, 02:14 AM   #2

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


Quote:
Originally Posted by aaj View Post
Hallo I`m have a very amateur interest in History. I am at the moment reading about the Papacy of Alexander (Rodrigo Borgia) My Q is
How much did the excesses of the Borgia family and Pope Alexander contribute to the rise of Protestant movement in Northern Europe and England?
Are there schools that subscribe to this and are there any good books for further reading? Thanks

They did not contribute to the rise of protestantism in the sense of provoking its emergence. The fact is that the Borgias are of course the subject of many wild speculations (the whole juicy incestuous stories and all) and of course not all of this is untrue. The papacy was hardly the ideal for christianity but it had been long before the Borgias came to power. Though the Borgias are mayhaps a bit more the most provocative lot, they were merely a symptom of a system that was rotten before they ever got introduced in it.

The protestant movement ows no founding drive to men like Borgia but the latter were fine examples of just the things protestants sought to defy in the old catholic faith and its structures, Luther came to his conclusions without having to witness the excesses of the Borgias, Henry VIII had wholy other motives when he denounced his allegiance to the 'one true faith', etc.



So in short, no, a pope like Alexander Borgia had nothing to do with the rise of the protestant movement in se. Alexander was a product of his time, a symptom of a disease, the disease that protestantism would attack, he was not a disease himself though, he was one of the many ulcers the disease had grown and that would soon be attacked by those who believed to hold the cure.

Last edited by gaius valerius; September 22nd, 2009 at 05:46 AM.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 04:32 AM   #3
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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


Protestants were angry at rich Catholic families like the Borgias financing gifts for the church. They saw this as corrupt: buying your way into heaven. As the Pope was in league with these wealthy families the monk Luther beleived the only option was to break away and form his own church.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


A good book to start with is Early Modern European Society by Henry Kamen. Arthur Dickens has written several books on Elizabethan Protestantism and the rise of the Puritan movement. Also look at Foxe's Book of Martyrs which criticises the Catholic church's corruption and cruelty.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #5

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


the Borgias are a fascinating study though they really arent the reason for the rise of protestant movement...as stated earlier, they were a product of the Church and their times and that is actually how some of the Reformation came about...
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #6

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


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A good book to start with is Early Modern European Society by Henry Kamen.
My favourite book!!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #7

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


The Borgias were not the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. It was more to do with Luther and his so-called "Revelation", he believed that it was his duty to reform the Church. At the same time, the laymen of the HRE and the Low Countries were becoming more educated due to widespread economic development. They began to question the Church (as most parish priests were uneducated and immoral). The bishops, archbishops, cardinals etc weren't exactly the epitome of morality and they certainly didn't care what the parish priests were doing. Italy had developed a habit of sending the, like, village idiots of Italy (who were connected to rich Italian families) to the little German townships to become Parish priests and collect tithes for the Church.

This trend had been going on for a while in the Renaissance. Of course, Alexander VI was not the most moral pope out there. The rumours about him and his family left a lot of resentment towards the Catholic Church. However, this was merely a factor and not a direct cause. Certainly, the Italians (who were the most affected by the Borgias) and the French monarchy never had any thoughts of Reform.

The Pope that had the most affect in the reform would have been Leo X. It was one of the great coincidences of history that he happened to be selling Indulgences at the time (or letting the archbishops in Germany sell them), while Martin Luther was busy condemning the Church. Leo X used the money to beautify Rome. Martin Luther saw Indulgences as sacrilegious as Divine Forgiveness was a right given to people by God.

Last edited by Hopeless03; October 30th, 2009 at 04:27 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #8

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


I agree with Hopeless 3; an excellent summary. To pin all on Luther is to discount, hundreds before him hundreds of years before him: Huss, Jerome, Wycliff etc., the very persons that Roman heresy tribunals compared him to. It would also ignore the efforts of the Waldensians.

I think, Nick, that Foxe's book would show more of the effects and reactions of the Reformation, and I think aaj was looking for causes.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #9

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


Mmhmm. I agree. There were various groups who contributed to the Protestant Reformation and in England, there was a whole different agenda altogether. I'd rather not go into details as the Protestant Reformation is extremely complicated. (Although, the Catholic encyclopedia does say interesting things about "heretical" groups such as the Lollards.) It would also go back to the Great Schism, which was solely political and left many disillusioned.

The Church has always reformed. It has a history of Reformation. St. Augustine for example was a reformer of the Church. The RC Church has no qualms about reforming, just the loss of its temporal power.Indeed the Italians were criticizing the Church as well. (Savonarola) Though, the Italian Nobles had too much invested in the Church to actually break away, nor did they deem it necessary.

Wow, I think I talk too much. x_X. Anyways, a great place to start is to read Luther's 95 Theses. Although they were not the whole cause of the reformation, they were the catalyst.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #10

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Re: Borgias and protestant movement 16th Century


Well, insofar as Luther was concerned, the selling of indulgences was the tipping point, the straw that broke the camel's back, as it were. But Leo X was a de Medici.
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