Luther at the Diet of Worms.ii

Here follows a portion of the report of Aleander, the papal nuncio to the court of Emperor Charles V. It highlights the approach of the Catholic Church at the time of Luther to the interpretation and implementation of Scripture and Tradition in regards to doctrine:

“However, Martin, you finally retreat and flee to the place to which all heretics have been accustomed to retreat and take refuge. Of course you say that you are prepared, since you are a human being who is able to slip and fall, to accept instruction out of the holy Scriptures, from anyone at all, high or low. However, up to this time there has been no one (justly, I should think) who has attempted to do what you say, except all the heretics who have always done the same thing; and you, just like them, wish holy Scripture to be understood according to your judgment and the workings of your mind. … Is it proper to question again, to drag into dispute, those matters which the Catholic church has judicially settled, matters which have turned upon the usages, rites, and observances which our fathers held with absolute faith, on behalf of which they would have endured all sorts of punishment, all torments, and for which at last they would rather have endured a thousand deaths than to have fallen away from in any way at all? Do you want us to stray from the path which our fathers faithfully trod? (“Luther at the Diet of Worms” (1521), LW 32, 128-129).


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