Full Text for Confessions 1- Volume 42 - So how did the emperor and the papal representatives respond to the confession presented by the Lutheran princes on June 25th, 1530? (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CONFESSIONS 1 CON1-Q042 JANUARY 2005 CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CAPTION FIRST, INC. P.O. BOX 1924 LOMBARD, IL 60148 * * * * * This text is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. * * * * >> JOSHUA: So how did the emperor and the papal representatives respond to the confession presented by the Lutheran princes on June 25th, 1530? >> DR. CHARLES P. ARAND: I must say that the presentation and the reading of the Augsburg Confession created something of a dilemma for the Diet. The Augsburg Confession was quite mild, conciliatory, and grounded in scripture. And so now the question arises: How to respond? They had a number of options open to them. By they I mean the emperor and the supporters of the Pope. One was, perhaps, to simply reinstate the Edict of Worms. You may recall that the Edict of Worms, nine years earlier, had declared Luther to be an outlaw. It banned the publication of all his writings. It forbade the promulgation of his reforms, and anyone who offered support for Luther and his reforms did so at the peril of both life and property. That was one option on the table. Another option on the table was to refer the whole matter to a committee and, perhaps, even table the very idea of a response. The third option was to provide a writing that sought to answer and refute the claims of the Augsburg Confession. Now, before we actually arrive at what the emperor decided to do or what course of action he decided to pursue, we need to realize that there were several competing interests involved. On the one hand, you have Emperor Charles V. His primary concern, I suspect, has to do with the unity of the Holy Roman Empire for which he is responsible. And one of the major foreign policy issues that is very much in the forefront of all their minds is potential war against the Turks. They had occupied Hungary. They were knocking on the doors of Austria. Hence, they were sort of on the doorstep of the empire, the Eastern doorstep of the empire. For possible war against the Turks, the emperor needed the support of the German princes. He needed both their money and their manpower. Without it, then the war or any kind of campaign against the Turks would be extremely difficult, not to mention perilous. So on the one hand he needs to somehow draw them in, gain their support for his foreign policy concerns. On the other hand, Charles is, at the same time, the sworn protector and defender of the Catholic faith, the protector of the church. He works on the assumption that had been prominent among emperors since the time of Constantine in the fourth century, that the unity of religion is absolutely necessary for the unity of the empire. Therefore, to allow the Lutheran heresy to grow unchecked was to run the risk of undermining the very unity of the empire itself. So what does he do? If he pushes too hard, if he were to wage war upon the Lutherans and, in a sense, bring them into line, he's going to use up a good number of his own resources, not to mention possibly destroy a fair number of Lutheran resources, thereby weakening his position over and against the Turks. On the other hand, he can�t do nothing either. So that's one of the competing interests and a very significant one, I might add, in determining what kind of response to make. On the other hand, the second competing interest is the Roman party headed by the papal legate or the papal representative of Cardinal *Compeggio. Now they are all aware that this is not a church council. It's an imperial diet. It�s analogous to a meeting of Congress in the United States. As such, their powers are somewhat limited in terms of what they can actually get accomplished. Cardinal *Compeggio is limited, in a sense, to bringing to bear his influence as much as possible to persuade Charles to adopt a particular course of action. Now, *Compeggio has orders from Rome in terms of what he is to seek or what he ought to try and accomplish while at the diet. Ideally, he'd get the emperor, perhaps, either to ignore the religious question entirely and simply rally support for war against the Turks. Well, that had not happened. Another possibility, and this is one that he will urge very hard, is to reinstate the Edict of Worms and compel the Lutheran states to return to Rome by force of arms if necessary. So Cardinal *Compeggio also realizes that, because this is an imperial diet, Charles doesn't have any authority to decide religious matters. That's the job for the papacy and the magisterium of the church. The only authority Charles really has is whether or not to use force in making the Lutherans comply. So you have Cardinal *Compeggio, then, taking a fairly hard line. In fact, from May through June and July, he is going to urge the emperor on a number of occasions to use "fire and iron." That is, putting villages to the torch and using the sword in order to bring the Lutheran princes back into the fold, if you will. And then, of course, you have the Lutherans themselves who�s primary is to avoid condemnation by the diet, thereby being guilty or potentially guilty of treason and, hence, coming under the imperial edict and then facing, again, the possibility of war. In the end, Charles, at the advice of a number of people, decided to commission the Roman theologians to prepare a written response to the Lutherans. Now this in itself was a fairly tricky endeavor. You see, the Roman theologians did not want to prepare a written response. The reason for that is because in doing so, they felt it would grant the Lutheran confession too much validity, if you will. In other words, if you are, in fact, dealing with heretics, you don't negotiate with them. There is no point in negotiating, you know, we say there is no point in negotiating with terrorists in our day. They would say you don't negotiate with heretics. You simply call upon them to recant and return to the fold or face the consequences. So they feared that by writing a response, it would give the impression that the two sides stood, more or less, on equal footing with equal rights within the empire. Now, bear in mind, this is the very thing the Lutherans wanted to point out. The imperial summons had, in fact, requested that all parties in the dispute come to Augsburg with written papers or written position papers to present on the basis of which they could then dialogue in the hopes of finding a unity. So in the preface to the Augsburg Confession, Chancellor *Berk tries to create the impression in the emperor's mind, knowing full well that the emperor is already prejudiced against the Lutherans, because of *X404 articles. Chancellor *Berk in the preface is going to try and exercise what we today would call spin control. He is trying to limit the damage, if you will. So in the first half of the preface, he's going to try and portray the Lutheran party as having been more faithful to the imperial summons than the other side. For example, the Lutherans were the first to arrive in Augsburg. They were ready to go. Secondly, the Lutherans had prepared their confession. Where is their opponents'? In addition to that, he also tries to create the impression that they are equals with the other side; namely, the representatives of Rome. And, as a result, he never refers to the opposition as the church, as if somehow the Lutherans were trying to seek recognition or gain recognition from Rome that they are catholic, and that they are Christian as well. So *Berk always portrays the other side as the other party in the dispute. So you have two parties standing on, more or less, equal footing. In the second half of the preface he goes on, now, to try and remove the emperor from deciding the religious question because he knows that the emperor is already somewhat prejudiced against him. He does this by suggesting that the Lutherans want the very same thing that the emperor wants. And what did they want? They both want a church council to be convened to resolve the religious disputes. But who doesn't want a church council? The pope, and so he tries to create the impression that the Lutherans and the emperor want the same thing. Who is standing in the way? The other side, the Pope as well as his cardinals and theologians. So that's sort of all in the background of now how are the Romans, the Catholics the adherents of the old faith, going to react to the Augsburg Confession and why they were so reluctant to prepare a response. Once the emperor commands it, they have to go to work. Now, they prepare a draft, a first draft, you might say, by July 12th. It's known as the confutation. It's a response or a new refutation, if you will, of the Augsburg Confession. This initial one was extremely voluminous and very polemical. In many instances, it failed to address the Augsburg Confession directly and instead, it went on, you might say, in tangents and tirades and the like. Cardinal *Compeggio wrote the first part of it and the last part of it, the introduction and the conclusion. Again, in the conclusion, he is urging the emperor to use force. Well the emperor refuses to accept it. I suspect, to his credit, he felt it was not only uncharitable but lacking in fairness and balance as well. Moreover, rhetorically, it would not come across well to the wider public nearly as well as the Augsburg Confession. So he sends them back to the drawing board, and a number of theologians, including *Compeggio, Johann *Kocleus, John *Eck and others worked on it for the entire month of July. As they're working on it, though, Cardinal *Compeggio continues to plead with the emperor. On July 22, he urges the emperor that when this document is produced, he insists that it be issued in the emperor's name. Now, why do you think that would matter? Because that doesn't mean -- it means then that the emperor is not acting as an impartial judge in this matter. If it's issued in the emperor's name, it is then issued as his official policy, his official position. And that would then, conceivably, close off further dialogue and negotiation. In other words, the final word. The one thing that *Compeggio and others feared is that if the Roman Catholic side prepared a response, then the Lutherans would respond with another response, and then where would it stop? At that point, you would have them negotiating and talking with one another as if they were equals. Well, *Compeggio managed to persuade the emperor to do precisely that. So when the final draft of the confutation was ready, it was presented on August 3rd and read aloud in the very same room in which the Augsburg Confession had been presented just over a month earlier. After it had been read, the Lutherans then requested a copy of it, just as they had given a copy of the Augsburg Confession to the other parties involved. The emperor indicated that he would consider the request. The next day, he arrived at a decision which was then published on August 5th. And the basic decision was, yes, you may have a copy of the confutation only on the condition that you agree to it prior to receiving it. Naturally, those conditions were unacceptable to the Lutheran side. They had, however, at the reading a number of their own stenographers a man particularly by the name of *Commerius, who took as extensive notes as possible in the event they might not receive a copy of the confutation. On the basis of these notes, Melanchthon begins writing a possible defense of the Augsburg Confession over and against the charges that had been leveled in the confutation. But that project is delayed temporarily during the month of August. During that month, the Lutherans and the theologians for Rome came together in actually about three meetings. The first meeting actually consisted of princes alone. There was a concern among the princes, both Lutheran and Catholic, that the cohesiveness that they had exhibited in past diets was being broken. And, generally, they tried to govern or make decisions within diets by consensus. Well, unfortunately, this meeting that took place simply between the princes went nowhere. If anything, their lines became hardened. Then there was a second committee meeting of approximately 14 theologians set up from each side. After about a week, that didn't make too much progress, and those meetings or negotiations came to an end. There was one last attempt by about seven, three or four theologians from each side, at the end of August. When this failed to achieve a compromise, Melanchthon began work on a defense of the Augsburg Confession in earnest. There was some concern about preparing it as quickly as possible not knowing when Charles would declare the diet to be brought to a conclusion. By the end of September, September 22nd, the diet officially is brought to a close. At that time, the Lutheran present and offer to Charles their defense of the Augsburg Confession. Charles, at that time, however, refused to receive it, and instead, he issued a recess. That's sort of the official findings of the diet, the official decisions of the diet. And in it, he basically gives the Lutherans until April 15th, 1531, to accept the confutation and return to the fold, or else. Now, that recess of September 22nd, will then be reworked and revised and is officially published on November 19th by the empire, much lengthier. And in that particular recess, there is also a provision made to prosecute the princes within the imperial Supreme Court should they not accept the confutation. The upshot of it all is, however, that war lay on the horizon. And throughout the winter of 1530, and the spring of 1531, the Lutherans are wrestling with questions if the emperor invades, shall we resist, or not. Luther prepares a writing called �A warning to the German People� in which he wrestles with this very question. He also prepares a writing, a gloss or comments on the imperial recess, as well. They also began thinking about forming a political alliance among the various Protestant princes to defend themselves should the emperor invade. So in the end, the diet ended, you might say, on a very ominous note.