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James, your answer is tainted by falsehoods about what people believed and what the Church is alleged to have taught in the time of Luther. The idea that it was taught that God was not a kind and loving God is an excuse made up by enemies of the Catholic Church. Once again, I’d refer you to Erikson’s book on Luther which covers many of the psychiatric issues Luther had. He had problems with Scruples, ie that even when he had confessed his sins, and been absolved he was still unsure of God’s forgiveness. He imposed on himself such penances as cleaning out the latrine in the Augustinian Monastic house he lived in.
The fact is that the Catholic Church had centuries before condemned the ideas of Marcion and others who equated the God of the Old Testament as being an Evil Punishing God. Before Luther we had men like St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Dominic who without denying penance, and our need for reformation of our souls, preached in union with the Church that God would supply the graces we needed for our salvation. Calvin, Luther and the rest taught that mankind was so reprobate that there was nothing he could do to save himself. It was the Catholic Church that taught even in these dark days you speak of, that God has seen in mankind something of worth, as it was God who created us, and that while fallen, due to the stain of original sin, there was something good in us His creation and justice demanded that we be given hope and grace.
As for superstition, and witchcraft, we need not look to the Middle Ages, they remain with us, and they pre-dated the times of Luther.