At the eve of Protestant reform in Europe the Catholic Church had taken a turn for the worse. People were becoming less interested in the local Mass. Attendance dropped in this area because people were more interested in more dramatic aspects of religion. People would make large pilgrimages to hear a popular preacher or to attend a holy feast.
Also corruption in the clergy was becoming a pressing issue. They desired money more than anything and their biggest concern was how they would acquire money from the laity (the laity being anyone who was not a member of the clergy). Likewise, bishops who were assigned to certain areas were interested in everything except their duties leaving their land in distress. Finally, priests had to be instructed by their superiors to celebrate Mass. They were so lax in their duty that they were instructed to hold Mass at least four times a year when it should have been held at least every week. All in all the Catholic Church was in need of reform.