Reading 16 - Reading 16: Reformation Points: 50 Martin...

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Reading 16: Reformation Points: 50 Martin Luther “Letter to the German Nobility”, 1520 The pope should have no authority over the emperor, except that he anoints and crowns him at the altar, just as a bishop anoints and crowns a king; arid we should not henceforth yield to that devilish pride which compels the emperor to kiss the pope's feet or sit at his feet, or, as they claim, hold his stirrup or the bridle of his mule when he mounts for a ride; still less should he do homage and swear faithful allegiance to the pope, as the popes have shamelessly ventured to demand as if they possessed that right . ... Such extravagant, over-presumptuous, and more than wicked doings of the pope have been devised by the devil, in order that under their cover he may in time bring in Antichrist, and raise the pope above God, as many are already doing and have clone. It is riot proper for the pope to exalt himself above the temporal authorities, save only in spiritual offices such as preaching and absolving . ... Of the same sort is also that unheard-of lie about the "Donation of Constantine" [a forged document backing the power of the pope]. It must have been some special plague of God that so many people of understanding have let themselves be talked into accepting such lies as these, which are so manifest arid clumsy that I should think any drunken peasant could lie more adroitly and skillfully. I-low can a mart rule an empire and at the same time continue to preach, pray, study arid care for the poor? Yet these are the duties which properly and peculiarly belong to tire pope, and they were imposed by Christ in such earnest that He even forbade His disciples to take with them cloak or money, since these duties can scarcely be performed by one who has to rule even a single household. Yet the pope would rule art empire and continue to be pope! This is a device of the knaves who would like, tinder the pope's name, to be lords of the world, and by means of the pope arid the name of Christ, to restore the Roman Empire to its former state . ... Luther on Papel Homage The kissing of the pope's feet should take place no more. It. is air unchristian, nay, an antichristian thing for a poor sinful man to let his feet be kissed by one who is a hundred times better than himself. If it is done in honor of his authority, wiry does not the pope do the same to others in honor of their holiness? Compare the two- Christ and the pope! Christ washed His disciples' feet and dried them, and the disciples never washed His feet; the pope, as though he were higher than Christ, turns things around and, as a great favor, allows people to kiss his feet, though lie ought properly to use all his power to prevent it . . . [By] pilgrimages men are led away into a false conceit and a misunderstanding of the divine
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2011 for the course HIST 123 taught by Professor Mr.shmit during the Spring '11 term at St. Vincent.

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Reading 16 - Reading 16: Reformation Points: 50 Martin...

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