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Diets of Nuremberg

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NUREMBERG, DIETS OF, 1522-23, important church councils of the reformation. After the invasion of Hungary by Soliman the Turk the emperor Charles V. convened a diet at Nuremberg, Mar. 22, 1522, to concert measures against the Turks, and settle internal religious difficulties. The emperor wrote to pope Adrian VI., urging him to confirm the decisions of the diet, and to use his money to destroy the heresy of Luther. Pope Adrian sent his chamberlain with a brief to the elector of Saxony, requesting him in the next diet " to protect and maintain the dignity and majesty of the apostolic see, and with it the peace of christendom," as his ancestors had done. Frederick replied that while he chiefly sought the glory of God and the peace of the empire, Luther and his followers must be met with reason, not force. The pope then represented to Francis Chieregati, his legate at Nuremberg, that Luther and his adherents were not only heretics but dangerous to the state, and therefore must be suppressed. In another brief to the elector he charged him with being the. friend of hereties. He also forbid his protecting Luther under penalty of ecclesiastical and civil punishment. AL the diet which con vened Dec. 13, 1522, Hans von Plaunitz, a friend of Luther, represented Frederick. Chieregati, the pope's legate, presented it papal brief to the diet demanding that the Lutheran preachers should be arrested and sent to Rome to be judged. This the diet refused, and made a vigorous reply to the brief. Appearing again in 1523 before the diet the legate demanded the enforcement of the decrees of the diet of Worms against Luther's heresy, declaring at the same time that the bad state of the church was due to the laxity of discipline in the clergy, and also to the bad example of some of the popes. The pope also confessed freely the need of reformation in the church, and promised to do all in his power for its improvement. Both parties were displeased with these state ments of the legate; "the papal, because the pope confessed the evil condition of the church, and censured his predecessors; the reformers, ridiculing the promise of the pope to introduce reforms. A committee was appointed by the state to prepare a reply to the legate; and this favored the Protestant principles, declaring that the abuses of the Roman court, the immorality of the clergy, the violation of the concordats, etc., had been fully shown by Luther, making in all 81 different counts. The reply also demanded that a free council should be held at some city of Germany, engaging that Luther and his adherents should not make disturbance by preaching or writing. The legate, in reply, insisted on the execution of the terms of the edict of the diet of Worms. Philip von Feilitzsch, the envoy of the elector of Saxony, protested against the agreement that Luther and his followers should publish nothing until the meeting of the council. Luther also wrote to the elector Frederick, claiming the same freedom to defend himself that the opposite party had to attack him; that the stipulation not to publish until the settle ment of the difficulties could not apply to the publishing of the Bible or the preaching of the gospel, as the word of God could not be bound. The acts of the diet disappointed the pope; the emperor disregarded his appeals, because of his interference in the affairs of France, and Adrian died of grief.

The condition of things in Germany and the change in the papal see led to another diet at Nuremberg, Nov. 11, 1523. Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio was the legate of the new pope, Clement VII. The diet was opened Jan. 14, 1524. • The majority showed itself opposed to the pope. They discussed the necessity of furnishing assistance to the king of Hungary, of contributing to the war against the Turks, and the seat of government from Nuremberg to Esslingen. This displeased the emperor as well as the pope, and Hanart, in behalf of the emperor, and Campeggio for the pope, demanded the dissolution of the diet. Campeggio showed the danger to the empire in any departure from the ancient faith; the states referred him to the grievances complained of in a for mer diet. The legate replied that the pope had received no official communication of those grievances, and insisted on the carrying out of the edict of Worms. Frederick's representative declared that he had 'received no official communication of the edict of Worms; that the late diet had not. forbidden evangelical preaching, and that its decisions could not be set aside without discussion. The diet dissolved April 18. The seat of government was removed to Esslingen. aid was granted to the king of Hungary and for the war against fiaelurks, state decided also, that the pope.should, with the assent of the ehiperoPloatise a free beheld in,GerrnanY as soon a5 possible, and that, in the meantime, another diet at Spires should specify the of the princes against the pope, and decide on the manner of holding the aforementioned council; until. then the princes should carefully watch all new doctrines and books, but sec also that the gospel should be freely and peacefully preached and explained, as generally received by the church. The emperor was prevented by complications with France from much impeding the reformation. The pope's legate sought to organize a Roman Catholic league in opposition to the evangelical princes and stateS, and even attempted to gain over Melanchthon. The reformation rapidly gained ground. In 1542 and 1543 two other diets were held, but they were not very important. Political difficulties and dissatisfac tion. because the promised reforms had not been carried out, led to another diet, which. was held Jan. 31, 1543, in which the Roman Catholics opposed all reform, and the other party acted with vigor. King Ferdinand urged the prosecution of the war against the Turks with increased energy, of protecting Hungary and the neighboring regions, and of granting aid against the French, who had invaded the Netherlands. The evangelical princes and states presented to the king and to the imperial commissioners a list of their grievances. They complained of the peace of Nuremberg having been broken by the imperial chamber of justice, and of the promised reforms not having been carried out. They required also religious liberty. All the questions gave rise to numerous debates, which related mostly to the political affairs of the empire. The proposed council, which was to be held at Trent, the evangelical party refused to accept, and, as no sure guaran tees of peace were given them, they declined to take any further part in the proceedings' of the diet. The resolutions of the diet were therefore passed without the of the reform party.