In this episode of Grace on Tap, Mike and Evan discuss the “fatherly hearing” between Cardinal Cajetan and Martin Luther at Augsburg in 1518. Luther wrote about this informal hearing when he returned to Wittenberg.
In June 1518, Pope Leo X has empowered a court to begin proceedings against Martin Luther. This court based on their examination of Luther’s 95 Theses called Luther to come to Rome for a trial. Cardinal Cajetan received word of this while he attending the Diet of Augsburg. August 28 Cardinal Cajetan received orders from the pope to arrest Luther, absolve him if he recanted, and use the ban to deal with all that supported him. The pope also wrote to Frederick the Wise seeking help in arresting this “son of perdition.”
Instead of arresting Luther, the cardinal agrees to a “fatherly” hearing.
In this episode we discuss how the cardinal insisted Luther recant his statements on the basis of canon law. Luther refused to recant on the basis of anything besides the authority of Scripture. Luther’s explanation of this meeting shows his trust on the enduring Word of the Lord as his sole source and norm for doctrine.
The featured beer for this episode is the Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. This robust and complex porter is a bittersweet tribute to the legendary freighter’s fallen crew—taken too soon when the gales of November came early.
Martin Luther and Cardinal Cajetan will have an important meeting in Augsburg in 1518. In this episode we talk about the lead up to this meeting. First we discuss the perspective of the pope. Then we look at Luther’s expectations for this meeting. Finally we discuss Frederick the Wise’s approach to this meeting.
In the summer of 1518, Cardinal Cajetan was traveling to Augsburg to attend the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire. The Imperial Diet was the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire. Part of the cardinal’s mission attending this diet was to get Luther to recant of his statements. Frederick the Wise recognized that the pope was in a weak position concerning discipline of Luther since everyone knew that Emperor Maximillian was going to eventually die. The pope needed to maintain friendly relationships with the electors of the Holy Roman Emperor so that he could have influence on who would be elected to be the next emperor. Frederick the Wise used his position as an elector to make sure that Luther did not get taken to Rome for a heresy trial.
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