The began to misuse their power, the clergy

The Church began to gain more power by the 14th century. Priests filled in non-church offices and other members who could read and write. They never questioned the church as they were the representing a voice of God. At the end of the 13th century, problems commenced as the monarchs of the Pope had risen to power. The Pope instructed that one of his subjects should be freed, but Philip declined. Philip was backed by fellow nobles and disregarded what the Pope said. With the death of the Pope, Philip set up an election. During this election, Phillip manipulated it so a Frenchman was elected therefore the papacy was changed from Rome to Avignon of France. People despised how the French had such an aggressive hold on the church, which eventually led to a loss of support and respect to the church from monarchs. In 1376, Pope Gregory XI passed away and two years later, he was replaced with an extremely disliked pope named Urban VI. The French disliked the idea of having him as pope so they decided to elect a Frenchman, known as Clement VII, who diminished the position in Avignon. Pope Urban VI did not want to step down from office, therefore the church had two popes in office. This was known as the Great Schism; this weakened the church and divided the people, church supporters lost faith and did not know who to believe. Popes began to misuse their power, the clergy began to sell indulgences that would help to would be forgiven for any misconduct, and popes sold clerical positions to the highest bids. People who wanted to become popes did all they could to be able to get the positions, which included blackmailing, killing and torturing other people. An important element as to why the church began to decline was due to the corruption of the bible. People wanted a religion that they could trust in, but they were had a hard time trusting the church and its elected officials. A considerable amount of people in Europe were starting to change to a new religion and going to a new church, which was called protestants. There were two new classes called the reformers and the Protestants. In Germany, there were the leaders of Martin Luther (Lutherans) and the leaders of John Calvin in Switzerland (Calvinists). Another religion arose that was called the Baptists, they were a group of people that believed that everyone should be baptized. Martin Luther was the first person to translate the Bible into German and John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English. The Catholic church viewed this as a fallacy and they made it their goal to abolish these actions