Where was Joe this time?

The home office in Rome needed to be refurbished.  So in 1516 a Dominican Friar was sent to Germany to sell indulgences (pieces of paper that offered God’s forgiveness in exchange for a monetary donation.)

The next October, one of the junior professors here at this German University blew the whistle by complaining in a way intended to open debate. He nailed his 95 points of objection to the door of All Saints Church, the University Chapel at this point.   One of these points of objection particularly stung, number 86, “Why does the Pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?”


Of course Luther was given the chance to recant and to retract. Doing otherwise would not be nice, and the Catholic Church is nice. Of course, Luther refused.   So in June of 1520 Luther was warned again, that he was being considered for excommunication unless he recanted within sixty days. In January, Luther was excommunicated by Papal bull, Decet Romanum Pontificem, which means something like, “It pleases the pope…”

And Martin’s soul has remained excommunicated down through the ages.

For full credit, name the university where Luther taught.   For extra credit, name the Pope.


About jmp479

For years I taught History and Philosophy at a community college in Central Pennsylvania. Now I am learning all sorts of things, from growing veggies and fruit, to fixing small engines and maintaining home systems. I am learning to live deliberately. Still love to hear from my past students, though. So drop me a line and tell me what you are up to.
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