These propositions, also identified as "Disputation on the Power of Indulgence," began reformations in the Catholic Church which caused division and intensely changed the world. The renowned preacher wrote against indulgence, a system in Catholic Church in which a Christian confessed a sin and received absolution from punishment in hell momentarily although the penitent could satisfy the punishment by performing works of mercy. At purgatory, an individual received absolution of sin unsatisfied before death, therefore, clergy abused this system and benefited by selling indulgence. Luther began vehemently preaching about indulgence when his parishioners claimed they had attained forgiveness without repentance after their return from purchasing an indulgence from Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Church to preach about and sell indulgences in cities near Wittenberg. Further, he likens punishment in purgatory to fear and despair felt by dying people in Theses fourteen to sixteen. Further, Theses seventeen to 24 states that the spiritual state of people in purgatory is indefinite and he denies that the Pope has power over people in purgatory in Theses 25 and
The Reflection Of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses?
Martin Luther and the 95 Theses - Summary, Origins & Video - HISTORY
So he was also responsible for the salvation of his parish. Luther observed that many people in Wittenberg were not coming to him for confession any more. The practice of buying indulgences , which quasi replaced confession and allowed people to buy their salvation, was completely repulsive to Luther. He strongly believed that one lived a life of humility in order to receive God's grace.
The 95 Theses Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
By questioning the sale of indulgences and arguing that the pope does not have complete authority over forgiveness of sins and, to a larger extent, salvation, Luther established a precedent for the word of the Church to be called into question rather than it having absolute authority. Chaucer is sending them a slap in the face with this example because he is showing that the world knows they are not as perfect and pious as they seem. Religion is a theme in many works of literature throughout the ages. In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer is no different. He shows that they are all materialistic, using religion to trick people, and not honestly having the heart of a true believer.