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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95 Theses

Posted in History by patriciahysell on October 31, 2012

Martin Luther

October 31, 1517: Martin Luther posts his “Disputation” on the Castle Church in Wittenberg. “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” was written in Latin and posted on the door as was the custom of the time at the university. On this same day, a hand-written copy was sent to the archbishop, Albert of Mainz and Magdeburg. This included “honorable” comments concerning the practice of selling indulgences – something the bishop was wont to do. Another copy was sent to the bishop of Brandenburg who was Luther’s immediate superior. It took weeks for copies of the 95 Theses, as it was called, to spread across Germany and another two months for the disputation to reach all of Europe.

It wasn’t until January 1518 that the work was translated by Luther’s friends into German. Then using the relatively new printing press, copies were made and the controversy began in earnest. Luther was adamantly against the selling of indulgences, or the forgiveness of sins. At the time there was a saying that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory into heaven springs.” Luther maintained that God alone was capable of granting forgiveness and wished to see Christians return to more theologically sound practices.

On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X responded by issuing a rebuttal with the English translated title of  “Arise, O Lord” and he outlined where he thought Luther was in error. Luther’s Theses became a declaration of independence of Northern Europe wishing freedom from Papal authority. This was the beginning of the Catholic Church’s loss of power over much of Europe as well as the decline of feudalism and the rise of commercialism. Some of these social changes may have happened without the break from the Church, but with one type of freedom, another was easier to achieve.

In 1517, Luther was 34 years old and he lived to the age of 62. He was a respected theologian and had no plan to break from the church in which he practiced his faith. However, he became an iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation and maintained throughout his life that buying salvation with cash was against doctrinal preaching. He was adamant about salvation coming via grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He also believed that the Word of God should be accessible to more people and translated the Bible into the vernacular rather than keeping it in the esoteric Latin of the Church. His hymns brought singing into churches and his marriage to Katharina von Bora set an example of married clergy. Luther was excommunicated by the Pope and condemned as a outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor when he refused to retract his 95 Theses at the Diet of Worms in 1521.

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.

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

Peace if possible, truth at all costs.

The Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else. – all from Martin Luther

Also on this day:

“I’m just a patsy” – In 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald in Moscow, vows to never return to the US.
Shooting Shooters – In 1912, the first gangster film was released by DW Griffith.
Hot, Hot, Hot – In 1923, a heat wave began in Marble Bar, Australia.