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Posts tagged ‘Leo X’

Dead Popes

Saw this on NZ Conservative a few weeks back.

I do remember reading about one pope or another during the period of the Reformation who was about to issue a decree agreeing with some of the reformer’s demands, when the “mechanism” kicked in. He died before issuing the decree. And no, it wasn’t a mysterious Opus Dei monk who knocked him off, that’s Dan Brown’s imagination running away with him.

The funny thing is that I’ve been reading about Martin Luther via a book I recently obtained from a “free to a good home” bookshelf.

(Wife would just like to say at this point that this post makes a change from blogging about Labour et al.)

So I’ve been looking forward to reading that part, where the pope dies just before he gives in.

Today I realized that I’ve read about at least 2 bulls excommunicating Luther, and Luther excommunicating the pope as well as various miscellaneous condemnations and debates (actually very few of these – one of the reasons the Reformation won was because the RC church wasn’t willing to take up Luther’s offer to retract if they could prove him wrong from scripture). I’ve arrived at the point where Luther was kidnapped and locked up by his friends for his own safety in the Wartburg.

At that point Luther was under secular and church condemnation well past the point where any person, even the pope, could undo it, so I realised that I must have missed the death of the pope. Perhaps it wasn’t Leo X, but the pope before who was the nice guy?

Looking through Wikipedia, this seems to knock that on the head.

As part of a fund-raising campaign commissioned by Pope Leo X to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Johann Tetzel a Dominican priest began the selling of indulgences in the German lands.

Leo X was the pope who excommunicated Luther, and also the pope who started the controversey by selling indulgences. Luther posted his 95 thesis in 1517 and the Edict of Worms was issued on May 25 1521. Leo ruled from 1513 to his death on 1 December 1521.

So, no case – the pope did not die to prevent the Roman Catholic church from agreeing to the Reformation.

Because, had Leo been about to play nice with Luther at that point, that would be about as likely as Helen submitting all her emails to the SFO tomorrow.

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