Edict of Worms issued – May 25, 1521
This week marks the anniversary of when Holy Roman Emperor Charles V issued a decree known as the Edict of Worms that banned the works of Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther.
Named after a city in Southern Germany, the Edict of Worms described Luther as the “reviver of the old and condemned heresies and inventor of new ones” and called his books “insulting and libelous.”
“To the honor and praise of God, our creator, through whose mercy we have been given kingdoms, lands, and domains hereabove mentioned, it is our duty to help subdue the enemies of our faith and bring them to the obedience of the divine majesty,” the edict declared.
“We likewise condemn anything that speaks against the Holy Father, against the prelates of the church, and against the secular princes, the general schools and their faculties, and all other honest people, whether in positions of authority or not. And in the same manner we condemn everything that is contrary to the good moral character of the people, to the Holy Roman Church, and to the Christian public good.”