Heading home, I looked up at the grey sky, and sighed. It was getting pretty dark and my parents were going to kill me from being home this late. I couldn’t help but stopped by the local bakery. If only I could have some sweet bread from there. Sometimes, Mrs. Schönenberg would give me a few from the rejected pile. My stomach was growling. Our family was not wealthy, nor poor, though sometimes we starve due to the the food supplies running low in the winter. I kept my head low and continued on my way, until I noticed the sky grew brighter. With every step that I take, it turned greener and the wind blew swiftly. Until I noticed a giant disc like object floating in the sky, as it descends onto a nearby field. I should have been home by now, but curiosity killed me, as I ran hastily towards the mysterious object. Turned out it was gigantic! A green figure stepped out, and spotted me. Instead of heading home, I stepped up and said hi. Surprisingly, it replied in a human voice.
“Greetings human, I’m Alien. My family had come to find out about your local religions.” Of course, my parents raised me to be polite to everyone, so naturally, I invited him to a nearby bench.
“Sure! Around here, most of the people are Protestant, whilst some stayed Catholic. It’s kind of a long story, but I have time. ” I began.
“Can you tell me more about Protestantism?” Alien inquired
“So Protestant is a separate branch from Catholicism. It all started when there was dishonesty within the church. The priests were selling indulgences, which are supposedly pardons for your sins. The public had been fooled into buying indulgences, which will not bring them salvation, and was only a way for the church to gain money for themselves. There had also been simony, in which people buy high church offices.” I explained. He seemed intrigued, so I continued.
“John Wycliffe was the first to acknowledge corruption within the Church. He spoke out to the public, questioning the pope’s authority. He believed that the Bible was the ultimate source of Christianity. Wycliffe was outraged with the way the Church was controlling people by referring to the Bible wrongly. There were very few copies of the Bible, thus the Masses were in Latin, so common people relied heavily on the clergies. As a result, John Wycliffe translated the Bible from Latin into English, exposing the lies of the Church. ”
“There had been a few more attempts to reform the Church, such as Jan Hus. He too, agreed that the church had been too far corrupted and worldly. Church officials were abusing the selling indulgences, claiming that they will bring buyers’ salvation. Hus was recognized as a heretic-”
“What is a heretic?” Alien asked.
“Well, the word “heretic” comes from heresy, meaning speaking against the doctrine or church teachings.” I clarified.
“As a result, Hus was burned alive. Continuing on the reformation path, many individuals had spoken against the church: Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus wrote “The Praise of Folly,”a book criticizing the church’s action. Though the Reformation truly began in 1517, when a German priest known as Martin Luther questioned the church’s credibility and morals.” I said.
“You know what, we should take a walk through town so I could show you!” I suggested.
Alien nodded, as we headed towards the market place. Finally, we stopped at my favorite place ever, the book store. I exchanged greetings with the owner, and headed towards the religious books section. Sliding my finger across, I spotted one of Martin Luther’s books, The Ninety-Five Theses. I flipped through the pages and read Thesis 32 to Alien, “Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teacher.” Alien nodded, observed the pages, and held out a device and pointed it towards the book. It made a clickings sounds and flashes of light.
“Luther wrote these Ninety-Five Theses, in which he posted on a church nearby. With help from the printing press, he was able to make many copies quickly, so the Theses were known throughout Europe in a month. The Church had no way of concealing the lies, for Luther was a former priest. This caused a huge breakout, not only in Germany but throughout Europe as well. Many Catholics followers were questioning the Church’s morals and credibility. Something must be done. The casualties of the uprising against the Catholic Church lead to a new denomination, Protestantism. Their intention was to purify the Church.” I continued
“How about your family’s religion?”
“Well if you really want to know, my parents are Protestant, though my grandparents are Catholic. My parents, too, felt that the Church had been way corrupt and wanted to purify the church as well. On the other hand, my grandparents had followed the centuries long religion of Catholicism, passed down from ancestors. Both ma and pa made a very difficult decision, and had separate from our old family traditions, to join Protestantism. Grandpa was deeply disappointed with their choices, as our family parted from them, for pa believed it was the only choice. Consequently, my parent joined the reformation path along with many other with the same faith.”
Just as we were heading to the church, the same light that shone appeared, and i turned around, only to find Alien gone. I blew a kiss up to the sky for him. Oh well, i hope he remembers me. I kicked my heels and- What just happened? Oh dear, I feel intoxicated. Why don’t I remember anything, like I’ve just woken up with amnesia! Anyways, I should head home now, my parent will be prepared to beat me.