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This was a typical method of requesting public discussion of an issue, but this was no ordinary issue.Luther, the unknown Augustinian monk, was taking on the Roman Catholic Church on the matter of indulgences, Rome's primary method of fundraising for Pope Leo X's pet project, St. This protest against indulgences would become a protest against Rome itself and thus marked the start of the Protestant Reformation.Luther, as our story is about to show, found that out quickly. They were used by Rome to prove papal authority dating back to the most ancient times.The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals were a collection of letters by "popes" from Clement I (c. Martin Luther had obviously recently read the writings of Laurentius Valla, who had exposed the Isidorian Decretals as forgeries back in 1440, and he was incensed about the deceit.Professor Mazzolini did not know what he was getting into.He wrote a dialogue in Latin against Luther's theses (which had also been published in Latin), but Luther simply dismissed it. Leo X also demanded of Frederick the Wise, Elector in charge of Wittenberg where Luther was professor, that he deliver up this "child of the devil."Frederick the Wise, however, was quite impressed with Martin Luther, so he took up Luther's cause and arranged an interview with a papal representative at the diet [ The interview didn't go well.
He still devoutly prayed to the Virgin Mary from the pulpit; he did not doubt the intercession of saints in heaven for the sinners on earth; he celebrated mass with full belief in the repetition of the sacrifice on the cross and the miracle of transubstantiation.
On March 3, he wrote a letter to the pope expressing great humility but refusing to back away from his convictions.
Then he did indeed exhort the people not to separate from the Church in which so many martyrs had given their blood.
He republished it with an introduction that called it haughty, Italian, and typical of the school of Thomas Aquinas. Again Luther republished it, and he advised Mazzolini not to make himself any more ridiculous by continuing to write. The papal legate was Cardinal Cajetan, and when he asked Luther to recant, Luther told him he wanted to speak to Pope Leo X.
He explained to Cardinal Cajetan that if Peter was rebuked by Paul and was thus not infallible, then surely Peter's successor was not infallible, either. He told Luther never to enter his presence again unless he revoked his views.