Little Bits of History

Not a Weight Loss Diet

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 25, 2014
Edict of Worms

Edict of Worms

May 25, 1521: The Edict of Worms is issued. The Diet of Worms (a formal deliberative assembly) was called by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. It began on January 28, 1521 and ended on this day. It was neither the first nor the last such event. Imperial diets had been convened at Worms five times before beginning in 829 and once again after in 1545. This is the most famous of them and when a date is not given, it is assumed one is speaking of the Diet of Worms of 1521. In June of 1520, Pope Leo X had issued a Papal bull outlining 41 errors he had found in Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses and other writings related to or written by him. In order to get Luther to appear before a court, safe passage was guaranteed and he was called to the Diet of Worms to either renounce or defend his views.

Luther was summoned and appeared before the Diet from April 16 to 18 with Dr. Jeromee Schurff, Wittenberg professor in Canon Law, acting as Luther’s lawyer. On April 17, Luther was reminded to speak only in answer to direct questions put to him by the presiding officer, Johann von Eck. There were about 25 books or papers that were in question and the titles were read. Luther asked for more time to form a proper answer and he was given until 4 PM the next day to prepare. When asked again if all the books were his, he replied that they were indeed all books he had written, but that they were not all of the same sort. They were, according to the author, in three categories. One group were books everyone liked, even his enemies. One group attacked the abuses within the Catholic Church and the papacy. And the last group was attacks on individuals for which he apologized about the tone of the works, but attested to their accuracy.

The Edict issued on this day proclaimed the already-excommunicated Martin Luther to be an obstinate heretic and banned both the reading and possession of his writings. He was guilty of heresy. The biggest stumbling block for Luther was the selling of indulgences. Luther proclaimed simply that this was wrong and the Pope was in error, challenging the infallibility of the Pontiff. Luther maintained that salvation was earned by faith alone without any need for good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. Luther also maintained that the path to salvation was to be found in scripture and if it was not in the Bible, it could be discarded.

Charles V was so busy with politics and war that the Edict was never enforced. Luther was supposed to be arrested and punished, but on his way home, Prince Frederick seized Luther and kept him safe in Wartburg Castle. While in residence there, Luther began to translate the Bible into German and bring the religious teachings directly to the people. He was never arrested and lived to be 62, dying in 1546. During his life, he continued to advocate for the poor. His new church was blossoming. Many times the practical implementation fell short of the ideal, but it was a church based on faith and with a worldwide following today, about 72.3 million people follow the simple monk’s teachings.

For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther.

On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther.

Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work. – all from The Edict of Worms

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired. – Martin Luther

Also on this day: “Swede” Momsen – In 1967, submariner Swede Momsen dies.
Nuking Ourselves – In 1953, the US continued testing with nuclear artillery.
Halley’s Comet – In 240 BC, Halley’s Comet was first documented.
The Fastest Man in the World – In 1935, Jesse Owens ran quickly.

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