Reactions to Luther's beliefs

The clerical, secular and Papal reactions to Luther's expression of beliefs.

  • Created by: Tiula
  • Created on: 14-04-11 10:10

After Luther's 95 Theses

  • Luther sent a copy of his 95 Theses to Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz, who immediately forwarded it to the Pope
  • Pope Leo X, though he wanted to condemn Luther, wanted to support Frederick the Wise (Elector of Saxony) for Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick supported Luther, so Leo could not publicly condemn Luther
  • Instead he sent Cardinal Cajetan to go to Germany and persuade Luther to withdraw.
  • Cajetan and Luther met at Augsburg in October 1518
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  • Cajetan did not want to discuss Luther's theology, he only wanted to accept a recantation.
  • Luther, however, wanted to discuss indulgences and persuade Cajetan round to his point of view
  • The interviews continued for several weeks, but the pair failed to find any common ground
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Disputation at Leipzig

  • Johannes von Eck at the university of Ingolstadt spoke out against Luther
  • this led to a series of arranged debates at Leipzig in June 1519
  • von Eck tried to (and succeeded in) comparing Luther accurately to the heretic Jan Hus, who had been burned at the stake in 1415
  • however, this did not, as he had hoped, incite Luther into a recantation of his statements. Luther defended himself well in the debates, areguably coming out on top.
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  • 15th June 1520 the papal bull Exurge Domine was issued. This gave Luther 60 days in which to recant his works or face excommunication.
  • However, its wording was so vague that some considered it to be a forgery.
  • Luther did not recant and so 60 days later the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem excommunicated him and anyone who supported his works.
  • Luther retaliated by burning it in public, along with the works of von Eck.
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