The main goal of the Catholic Reformation was to counter Protestantism that was emerging at that time. Catholics, such as Luther and Erasmus, demanded reforms within the church as a result of faults within its leadership.
Before 1500, the Catholic Church was the most powerful institution in Europe, owned the largest amount of land, was exempted from taxes and demanded taxes from its followers. The Church was involved in secular affairs, thus losing its focus on spiritual matters. Martin Luther believed that the popes had no authority over the church and that people only needed faith alone to be saved by God. He was excommunicated from the church. During this time, thousands of people left the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Reformation was intended to counter this.