Diet of Worms

This is not a confession! Do not take this as a weird food habit!

The Diet (dee-it) of Worms was a parliament setting where all the princes and rulers of Germany could meet. Yes…Worms is a real place. Its the red area on this map.

map of worms

Charles V had become Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (This does not exist any more!) The Pope asked him to deal with the Luther situation. So in 1521, Charles V organised this Diet (Parliament) to sort out the troubles between Martin Luther and the Catholic Church promising not to harm Luther if he showed.

Luther spoke before the Diet and refused to withdraw his comments against the church. So what did he say?

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”.

After Luther left the Diet, Charles issued an order known as the Edict of Worms stating: “If you have sufficient force, you shall take Marrtin Luther prisoner and deliver him to us – he was now an outlaw.

diet of worms

Luther’s Got Friends

On Luther’s way home he was taken by Frederick the Wise, ruler of Saxony. He was a supporter of Luther. They took him to Wartburg Castle so he would be safe. While there, Lither translated the New Testament nto German, thus spreading his message to people who could not read Latin.

Even though Charles V ordered the Edict of Worms, there was little he could do to enforce it. He had problems of his own at that time! As a result Divisions between Catholics adn Protestants emerged. They were called Protestants because they protested against the Catholic church. Charles V rejected Luther’s “Confession of Augsburg, a statement aimed at showcasing Luther’s beliefs.

When 2 sides go to war!

After 1546, a civil and religious war broke out in Germany and lasted for 9 years. Lutheranism at this point was too strong in Germany so it could not be defeated. The war was eventually ended in 1555 through what is called “Yje Peace of Augsburg” The main point of the treaty was that rulers could decide on what they wanted to believe and were free to decide which to impose on their state. But!…Catholics had to leave Lutheran areas like Lutherans had to leave Catholic areas.

So there you have it! Martin Luther changed the course of history forever through his 95 theses and determination not to give up on his beliefs!

For more on this area, check out the topic Reformation on this site


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