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Excommunicating Luther Print E-mail
By Diet of Worms (extract)   
Friday, 22 July 2011

The said Luther gave no better response than he had previously given (according to the report of the deputies). He said that not only was he suspicious of each one of us, but that even if a general council were assembled, he still would not submit to it. And, if we were informed correctly, he even dared say with his polluted mouth that the things of the gospel and the Catholic faith have never been treated well by the general councils. Luther has appealed from the sentence of our Holy Father the pope to the general council as his last resort, even though he has said so many wicked and insulting things and has written such evil things about the general councils. With all his strength and ingenuity he has diverted and confused the people in the manner of the heretics who say there is nothing on earth they fear so much as the general councils. That is because the one thing done there, and that by divine providence, is to contradict the actions and writings of the heretics, enemies of truth, in order to destroy and annihilate their rash inventions. This [attitude towards the councils], more than any other heretical event, has been verified and manifested in Luther and his works. . . .

And now it is only just and necessary to find remedies pertaining to such a case, which we have done and executed as follows.

. . . We have declared and hereby forever declare by this edict that the said Martin Luther is to be considered an estranged member, rotten and cut off from the body of our Holy Mother Church. He is an obstinate, schismatic heretic, and we want him to be considered as such by all of you.

For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favor the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work. . . .
 
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