Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms

On 18 April 1521, Martin Luther appeared before the Diet - the council of German rulers - for the second time. When Luther completed his address, the official told him that he had not spoken to the point. The question was whether he would recant or not. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V demanded a plain answer.

Then Luther said these words: "Since your Majesty and your Lordships ask for a plain answer, I will give you one without either horns or teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture or by right reason (for I trust neither in popes nor in councils), since they have often erred and contradicted themselves) - unless I am thus convinced, I am bound by the texts of the Bible, my conscience is captive to the Word of God, I neither can nor will recant anything, since it is neither right nor safe to act against conscience. God help me. Amen."

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