What Was The Diet Of Worms?
Diet Of Worms: When you hear the word ‘diet,’ you probably think of counting calories and restricting food intake. Understandably, you might be a little concerned to connect the word ‘diet’ to ‘worms.’ In the case of this lesson, though, an imperial diet has nothing to do with food; instead, it is basically a formal assembly or council meeting, kind of like a parliament. So we’re definitely not talking about eating worms!
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Empire frequently held diets in order to decide important political and religious questions. Remember, during this time politics and religion were very much intertwined. Imperial diets were held periodically in various cities. Heads of state, princes, royals, and church leaders typically participated.
The Diet Of Worms
On 17 April, the imperial marshal, Ulrich von Pappenheim, and the herald, Caspar Sturm, came for Luther. Pappenheim reminded Luther that he should speak only in answer to direct questions from the presiding officer, Johann Eck. Eck asked if a collection of books was Luther’s and if he was ready to revoke their heresies. Dr Schurff said, “Please have the titles read.” There were 25 of them, probably including The 95 Theses, Resolutions Concerning the 95 Theses, On the Papacy at Rome, Address to the Christian Nobility, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and On the Freedom of a Christian. Luther requested more time for a proper answer, so he was given until the next day at 4 p.m. On 18 April, Luther, saying that he had prayed for long hours and consulted with friends and mediators, presented himself before the Diet. When the counselor put the same questions to him, Luther first apologized that he lacked the etiquette of the court. Then he answered, “They are all mine, but as for the second question, they are not all of one sort.” Luther went on to place the writings into three categories: (1) Works which were well received even by his enemies: those he would not reject. (2) Books which attacked the abuses, lies and desolation of the Christian world and the papacy: those, Luther believed, could not safely be rejected without encouraging abuses to continue. To retract them would be to open the door to further oppression. “If I now recant these, then, I would be doing nothing but strengthening tyranny”. (3) Attacks on individuals: he apologized for the harsh tone of these writings but did not reject the substance of what he taught in them; if he could be shown by Scripture that his writings were in error, Luther continued, he would reject them.
Luther concluded by saying:
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.
According to tradition, Luther is said to have declared, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” before concluding with “God help me. Amen.” However, there is no indication in the transcripts of the Diet or in eyewitness accounts that he ever said this, and most scholars now doubt these words were spoken.
“‘Martin,’ said he, ‘there is no one of the heresies which have torn the bosom of the church, which has not derived its origin from the various interpretation of the Scripture. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments. It was with biblical texts that Pelagius and Arius maintained their doctrines. Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament—Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the council of Constance condemned this proposition of John Huss—The church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect, they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude.'”
Diet Of Worms Definition
Diet of Worms, meeting of the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire held at Worms, Germany, in 1521, made famous by Martin Luther’s appearance before it to respond to charges of heresy. Because of the confused political and religious situation of the time, Luther was called before the political authorities rather than before the pope or a council of the Roman Catholic Church.
In June 1520 Pope Leo X condemned 41 of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, but he also gave Luther time to recant. In response, Luther publicly burned the papal bull and refused to renounce his propositions. He was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church on January 3, 1521. While the emperor should then have arrested and executed Luther, the intervention of Luther’s prince, Elector Frederick III the Wise of Saxony, led to the decision that he would appear for a hearing at the Diet under the emperor’s safe-conduct.
On April 17, 1521, Luther went before the Diet. In response to questioning, he admitted that the books displayed before the court were his, but, when asked to repudiate them, he requested time to consider the question. The next day, again before the assembled Diet, Luther refused to repudiate his works unless convinced of error by Scripture or by reason. Otherwise, he stated, his conscience was bound by the Word of God. According to tradition, he said, “Here I stand; I can do no other.” Disorder broke out at the conclusion of Luther’s refusal to recant, and the emperor dismissed the Diet for the day.
A hero to many of the Germans but a heretic to others, Luther soon left Worms and spent the next nine months in hiding in the Wartburg, near Eisenach. When it came to the question of what to do with him, the Diet remained divided. In May, after most of the rulers had left, a rump Diet headed by Emperor Charles V passed the Edict of Worms, which banned Luther’s writings and declared him a heretic and an enemy of the state. Although the Edict mandated that Luther should be captured and turned over to the emperor, it was never enforced. Nevertheless, it inhibited Luther’s travels throughout his lifetime and made him dependent on his prince for protection.
Martin Luther Diet Of Worms
Martin Luther, the chief catalyst of Protestantism, defies the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V by refusing to recant his writings. He had been called to Worms, Germany, to appear before the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire and answer charges of heresy.
Martin Luther was a professor of biblical interpretation at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. In 1517, he drew up his 95 theses condemning the Catholic Church for its corrupt practice of selling “indulgences,” or forgiveness of sins. Luther followed up the revolutionary work with equally controversial and groundbreaking theological works, and his fiery words set off religious reformers across Europe. In 1521, the pope excommunicated him, and he was called to appear before the emperor at the Diet of Worms to defend his beliefs. Refusing to recant or rescind his positions, Luther was declared an outlaw and a heretic. Powerful German princes protected him, however, and by his death in 1546 his ideas had significantly altered the course of Western thought.
What Was The Diet Of Worms
The imperial Diet of Worms of 1521 was in many respects the culmination of the first phase of the Luther’s Reformation. In 1517, Luther’s protest had begun with his rejections of certain aspects of the medieval doctrine of penance and indulgences in the 95 Theses. As opposition increased, and as he studied the Scriptures in their original languages, Luther’s departures from late medieval theology grew ever more significant.
The increasing gap between Luther and the papacy on key questions regarding the Christian faith eventually culminated in a definitive rupture when in late 1518 or 1519 Luther came to his mature understanding of the Gospel. By early 1520, with the publication of his three Reformation treatises (Freedom of a Christian, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation), the implications of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith had been fully digested in Luther’s thought.
By June 1520, the Vatican’s patience had run thin. Pope Leo X published the bull Exsurge Domine (“Rise up, O Lord!”), which outlines forty-one errors of Luther. The Reformer was warned unequivocally that if he did not publicly renounce these errors and submit himself to the authority of the Roman Church that he would be excommunicated. For those living in the sixteenth century, ex-communication was far more serious than to simply being shunned by the institutional Church. Excommunication more often than not carried with it the penalty of torture and death at the hands of the civil authorities.
Instead of submitting to the pope’s bull, Luther publicly burned it, along with a copy of the Code of Canon Law. He told his followers (who had gathered to observe this event) that in condemning his teaching the pope had condemned the Gospel itself. In this, the pontiff had revealed himself to in fact be the occupant office of the Anti-Christ predicted by the New Testament. Luther’s defiance resulted in his official excommunication on January 3rd, 1521.