Protestant reformation is a movement, which started in the 16th century in Europe. The movement aimed at reforming the Roman Catholic Church. Among those who participated in the reformation, include Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldreich Zwingli, John Know, and Henry VII. These individuals felt that the Roman Catholic Church had become so worldly. Leaders in the Church were using their powers to acquire material things such as land and political positions. The reformists were also opposed to the ecclesiastical organization, beliefs, doctrines, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the events that hastened the protestant reformation include the Black Death, where more than 40 percent of European population died from a plague, and the Western Schism, where three men concurrently claimed to be Pope (Protestant Reformation 2).
The Roman Catholic Church countered the protestant reformation through formation of counter-reformation. The aim of counter-reformation was to reclaim the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church in the midst of the protestant challenge. The counter-reformation tried to implement some of the reforms that Desiderius Erasmus had called for. Desiderius Erasmus was one of the individuals who called for reforms in the Roman Catholic Church but did not leave the Catholic Church to join the Protestants. Erasmus has called for restoration of the Bible as the source of authority in the Church, end of corruption in the Church, and return of land that the Roman Catholic Church and its leaders had acquired to the owners (English Bible History 4). However, in the course of the counter-reformation, “The Index of Forbidden Books’ was published, which publicly named and shamed unorthodox texts and Bible translations, including the work of Erasmus, despite the fact that Erasmus maintained his loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church as opposed to reformists such as Martin Luther and Calvin John (English Bible History 4). If I were a composer during the times of protestant reformation and counter-reformation, it would have been so discouraging to experience public shaming of the work that I would have placed great effort on. In fact, it would have been very disappointing if the side I was supporting would be the one to publicly disgrace my literary work.