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Martin Luther Burns the Papal Bull, Dec. 10, 1520

Martin_Luther_Burning_the_Papal_Bull

The Reformation was a series of upheavals between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries which led to the disruption of the western Latin church, until then unified under the authority of the Pope in Rome. National and territorial churches independent of Papal authority were established. They rejected much of Roman ritual and doctrine, and emphasized scripture over tradition. Eventually, these churches would be called Protestant churches.

On December 10 1520, Martin Luther burned all the books of the Canon Law outside the gates of Wittenberg, along with the Papal bull, Exsurge Domine, which had pronounced him an heretic. He had been excommunicated because he had listed grievances against the papacy and its abuses of religious and secular power, and had claimed that its corruptions were responsible for the world’s disorders.

A.C. Grayling, “Book Reviews- Burning books,” Financial Times, Oct. 3, 2003.

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