The reformation of the Catholic Church cannot be credited to just one factor. It was more a series of independent events that highlighted the need for reform and not just the Papacy’s work alone. Factors contributing to the reform movement were interlinked, and it is my view that the Protestant threat was the key factor in instigating reform. Although the contribution of the 16th century Popes was vital to successful and lasting reform, their acceptance wouldn’t have been brought about without this threat of losing religious dominance to Protestantism. Religious orders and the succession of Popes in favour of reform did make headway, but the driving force behind the reformation movement was undoubtedly the Protestant threat; although the 16th century popes contributed, without this there wouldn’t have been such a sense of urgency, and their contribution would have been more half hearted.
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