Martin Luther burns papal edict – December 10, 1520
This week marks the anniversary of when Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther burned a papal decree threatening him with excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.
Three years had gone by since the publication of Luther’s "95 Theses." In June 15 of 1520, Pope Leo X issued the Exsurge Domine, which stated that Luther must recant his views or face excommunication.
To demonstrate his refusal to recant, Luther burned a copy of the Exsurge Domine, along with other books, including one on church law, before a crowd in Wittenberg. The following month, the Church officially excommunicated Luther.