Friday, March 06, 2009
(Latin, “arise Lord”)
This refers to the papal bull written by Pope Leo X on June 15, 1520. The bull intended to bring an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther and his rebellion to a halt by the threat of excommunication from the Church. In it, the demand was made that Luther retract 41 errors within 60 days. From the first paragraph, “Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. . . . The wild boar [Luther] from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.” On December 10, 1520 Martin Luther burned the bull in front of his students at Wittenberg. It is reported that he uttered these words at the burning, “Because you have confounded the truth [or, the saints] of God, today the Lord confounds you. Into the fire with you!” Some would suggest that this is the formal day on which the Great Reformation began. On January 3, 1521, Leo excommunicated Luther issuing another bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.