Why did the Pope go to Antarctica

500 years agoWhen Pope Luther threatened to be expelled from the church

"Rise up, Lord, and judge your cause! (...) For foxes have arisen, which are trying to destroy the vineyard. (...): A wild boar from the forest is trying to root it up, and an unbelievably wild animal eat it off. "

So it is said at the beginning of the bull "Exsurge Domine" Pope Leo X on June 15, 1520, which threatens Luther's ban and exclusion from the church. He is the "wild boar" that ravages the Lord's vineyard. For two years, a papal trial had been going on against him, triggered by his theses on indulgences.

Heretic in the sense of Jan Hus

The positions had hardened. Because of Luther's questioning of the papal power, the Dominican Johannes Eck called him a heretic in the summer of 1519 in a public debate in the sense of Jan Hus. Now it was clear to Luther: the papacy is the antichrist. The church historian Volker Leppin describes how he saw himself from now on:

"I reveal the Antichrist, who has ruled the Church as papacy for about 900 years, I reveal. And so Martin Luther is actually in a very prominent role in salvation history basically the one who is now the end of the rule of the Antichrist but also heralds the end of the world. "

Undeniable need for reform of the church

Luther saw himself in the role of a prophet who, at the end of time, declared war on the Pope as an anti-divine power, as an antichrist. For all the undeniable need for reform of the church of his time, an outrage. And Luther made this attitude public. So in August 1520 in his book "To the Christian nobility of the German nation from the improvement of the Christian class". He calls out to those whom he regards as comrades-in-arms in his struggle:

"You are the ones who are repeatedly oppressed; you are the ones who have to transfer money to Rome: you are the ones whose processes are directed to Rome instead of carrying out processes here in Germany - that is basically a liberation program of a German national church. "

Break with Rome accomplished

With his writing to the German nobility, in which Luther empowered them to reform the church, he had basically completed the break with Rome. When the bull threatening the ban of Pope Leo reached him, he wrote an opposing bull in Latin and German in November 1520. And took:

"Just as they excommunicate me for the sake of their godless heresy, so I excommunicate them again for the sake of the holy truth of God."

Luther excommunicated the Pope! The end-time prophet beats the end-time adversary of God - the Pope as an antichrist. To confirm this, Luther publicly burned a print from the bull threatening the ban near Wittenberg on December 10, 1520. From now on there is no turning back. With the Reformation, the Church and society experience a revolutionary upheaval. Certainly with downsides.

Rights of the territorial rulers strengthened

"In fact, the development of the Reformation not only for the Protestant area, but also for the Catholic area rolled into a time which then, through the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, enormously strengthened the rights of the territorial rulers in the religious area as well a religious peace comes which, as it was summarized later, says: cuius regio eius religio, that is, whoever rules, determines the religion, then this is a requirement that prevents any freedom even in the religious field. "

As a result, the nobility received an unprecedented level of power. And in place of the diversity of Christianity that was still common in the late Middle Ages, there was the strictness of the defined denominations. Was that avoidable? At the beginning there was Luther's endeavor to maintain an inner attitude of repentance instead of external activities and purchased absolution.

Luther's sharp polemics

His opponents escalated the conflict by not responding, but immediately confronting him with the overriding authority of the Pope. Luther, on the other hand, permanently poured fuel on the fire with his sharp polemics. Not to mention its apocalyptic interpretation of the conflict. Under these circumstances it must have come to a head. On January 3, 1521, Luther was expelled from the Roman Church. It was only centuries later that Protestants and Catholics were able to get closer to each other without denying each other that they were Christian.