- The Church needed to silence him: he had called into question the ability of the Pope and the Church to teach true religion, whether the Church could really mediate between God and the sinner, and was attacking an important source of Church income.
- In 1517-1518 the Church expected Luther's superiors in the German part of the Augustinian order to discipline him. However, many of them sympathised with him and so little pressure was brought to bear on him.
- Luther was ordered to go to Rome, but refused to go. The Church authorities could not get their hands directly on Luther because he was protected by his secular prince, the Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise. The Pope did not want to press Frederick on this because he wanted his support in trying to stop Charles from being elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1519 (Frederick was one of only seven electors). The Pope deared the already immense power.
- In 1518 a papal legate, Cardinal Catejan, was sent to meet Luther privately, and threatened him with being declared as a heretic. Luther said he could not give up his ideas unless clear proof from the Bible showed he was wrong.
- The Church chose to challenge Luther at a public debate in Leipzig. Luther debated with Johannes Eck. Eck said Luther's views were like those of Jan Hus, who…