73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
The Pope had spoken out quite vehemently against those who were criticizing the sale of indulgences. This Thesis is the first of several to come that speak directly about the Pope at that time. So just a few words about Pope Leo X. These are taken from the written history of the popes.
Pope Leo X (11 December 1475 – 1 December 1521), born Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici, was Pope from 9 March 1513 to his death in 1521. The second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of the Florentine Republic, he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1489.
Following the death of Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected pope after securing the backing of the younger members of the Sacred College. Early on in his rule he oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council of the Lateran, but failed sufficiently to implement the reforms agreed. In 1517 he led a costly war that succeeded in securing his nephew as duke of Urbino, but which damaged the papal finances. He later only narrowly escaped a plot by some cardinals to poison him.
He is probably best remembered for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter’s Basilica, which practice was challenged by Martin Luther‘s 95 Theses.
At the time of this writing Martin Luther still had a great respect for the office of the Pope, but he was beginning to doubt the motives of the present pope. In his later writings Luther has come to feel that even the office of the pope is not God Ordained and may be the Anti-Christ.
Oh Lord, I thank you today for all the true leaders of the Church on earth. I thank You that they have kept Your church faithful to Your calling. Help me to live in accord with Your Holy Word and follow the leadings of Your true leaders. In Jesus name. Amen.