Background Chapter- The Roman Empire
The church began to sell indulgences angered Martin Luther, a German monk. He was completely against this. He started the Protestant reformation after breaking away from the Church. The English Reformation began by the King of England asking the Pope for an annulment on his marriage. The King was angry when he was denied it and started his own church of England.
The Bolsheviks took over Russia, implemented Marxist Communism, and voila Europe and the whole world has a new problem. The Communist regime there persecuted Christians, Eastern and Western alike.
Hitler came to power in 1933, one of his first acts was seeking an agreement with the Church on the issue of Church independence in Germany. The Church made the agreement to secure the freedom of German Catholics.
Pius XII was elected pope while being the Vatican secretary of state, in a time of turmoil and crisis of the Second World War. He led tireless efforts to fight the Nazis and secretly resisted and hid the Jews and victims of the War.
Two Saints of The Nazi Persecution are St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and St. Maximilian Kolbe.
After the previous pope had died after only month in office, Pope St. John Paul II was elected as the unwilling pope but since he was called to by God he did his duty. John Paul was one of the most outstanding popes of all time and was the first non-Italian pope elected in over 450 years.
This Ecumenical Council was convened to update the Church for the Modern World. Many doctrines made at Vatican Council two are still being released today and implemented such as the new translation for our creed and parts of the Mass. Four Constitutions were written there: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.
In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade across the world. However, in America the bishops said little. Once most were emancipated many became Catholics and were all welcome into the Church.
The United States, as it was a hotbed for immigration, was a landing place for Catholics from Europe. Many Spaniards came to bring the faith to what is now Mexico and Florida. To Juan Diego, the Aztec, Mother Mary appeared and helped establish a church at Guadalupe.