As a great reader of the Bible, he condemned some beliefs of the Catholic Church:
- Salvation by good works: to avoid going to hell, a Catholic must do good works recommended by the Church, such as pilgrimages, alms to the poor, buying indulgences…
- Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints.
He claimed that Salvation was God’s gift: it was ‘Salvation by grace’
He criticized the power of the Pope who decided what should or should not be believed.
In the 95 theses against indulgences, he wrote in the 45th thesis: ‘Christians should be taught that one who sees his fellow in need, but abandons him to buy indulgences, does not buy the Pope’s indulgence for himself but God’s outrage.’
Luther’s 45th thesis states that to please God, the poor should be helped, instead of spending money on indulgences, as they were useless.
Religious crisis in the 16th century: the birth of ProtestantismProgramme d’histoire au collège , classe de 5ème : La crise religieuse au XVIe siècle