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In 1516-17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone, whether fiduciary or dogmatic, cannot justify man; and that only such faith as is active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata) can justify man. The benefits of good works could be obtained by donating money to the church. -- On 31 October 1517, Luther wrote to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," which came to be known as The Ninety-Five Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire." Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: "Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?" -- Luther objected to a saying attributed to Johann Tetzel that "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory [also attested as 'into heaven'] springs." He insisted that, since forgiveness was God's alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances. However, this oft-quoted saying of Tetzel was by no means representative of the official Catholic teaching on indulgences, but rather, more a reflection of his capacity to exaggerate. Yet if Tetzel overstated the matter in regard to indulgences for the dead, his teaching on indulgences for the living was pure. -- The sale of indulgences shown in A Question to a Mintmaker, woodcut by Jörg Breu the Elder of Augsburg, circa 1530. According to scholars Walter Krämer, Götz Trenkler, Gerhard Ritter and Gerhard Prause, the story of the posting on the door, even though it has settled as one of the pillars of history, has little foundation in truth. In his preface to the posthumous second pressing of Luther's compiled work, humanist and reformist Philipp Melanchthon writes "reportedly, Luther, burning with passion and just devoutness, posted the Ninety-Five Theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany at All Saints Eve, October 31" (Old calendar). At the time he wrote the preface, Melanchthon lived in Tübingen, far from Wittenberg. In the preface, Melanchthon presents more untrue assertions: that indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel publicly burned Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, that Luther held colleges on nature and physics, and that Luther had visited Rome in 1511. For a professor of the Wittenberg University to post theses on doors is unparalleled in history. Even further, Luther was strongly law abiding and it would have been against his character to publish his thoughts and direction in this manner. Moreover, Luther never mentioned anything in this direction in his writings, and the only contemporary account of the publishing of the theses is the Latin account by his servant Agricola, who states that Luther presents "certain theses in the year of 1517 according to the customs of University of Wittenberg as part of a scientific discussion. The presentation of the theses was done in a modest and respectful way, preventing to mock or insult anybody".. He makes no mention of nailing the theses to a door, nor does any other source report this. In actuality, Luther presented a hand-written copy, accompanied with honorable comments to the archbishop Albrecht of Mainz and Magdeburg, responsible for the practice of the indulgence sales, and to the bishop of Brandenburg, Luther's superior. [article link]

Martin Luther (3 of 3) - Justification by faith - The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25) - He (Jesus) alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6) - All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25) - **This is necessary to believe - This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit - Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us ... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31) -- As a consequence, Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on 3 January 1521, in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem

Breach with the papacy: Pope Leo X by Raphael - Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz and Magdeburg did not reply to Luther's letter containing the 95 Theses. He had the theses checked for heresy and in December 1517 forwarded them to Rome. He needed the revenue from the indulgences to pay off a papal dispensation for his tenure of more than one bishopric. As Luther later noted, "the pope had a finger in the pie as well, because one half was to go to the building of St Peter's Church in Rome". -- Pope Leo X was used to reformers and heretics, and he responded slowly, "with great care as is proper." Over the next three years he deployed a series of papal theologians and envoys against Luther, which only served to harden the reformer's anti-papal theology. First, the Dominican theologian Sylvester Mazzolini drafted a heresy case against Luther, whom Leo then summoned to Rome. The Elector Frederick persuaded the pope to have Luther examined at Augsburg, where the Imperial Diet was held. There, in October 1518, Luther informed the papal legate Cardinal Cajetan that he did not consider the papacy part of the biblical Church, and the hearings degenerated into a shouting match. More than his writing the 95 Theses, Luther's confrontation of the church cast him as an enemy of the pope. Cajetan's original instructions had been to arrest Luther if he failed to recant, but he lacked the means in Augsburg, where the Elector guaranteed Luther's security. Luther slipped out of the city at night, without leave from Cajetan. -- In January 1519, at Altenburg in Saxony, the papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz adopted a more conciliatory approach. Luther made certain concessions to the Saxon, who was a relative of the Elector, and promised to remain silent if his opponents did. The theologian Johann Maier von Eck, however, was determined to expose Luther's doctrine in a public forum. In June and July 1519, he staged a disputation with Luther's colleague Andreas Karlstadt at Leipzig and invited Luther to speak. Luther's boldest assertion in the debate was that Matthew 16:18 does not confer on popes the exclusive right to interpret scripture, and that therefore neither popes nor church councils were infallible. For this, Eck branded Luther a new Jan Hus, referring to the Czech reformer and heretic burned at the stake in 1415. From that moment, he devoted himself to Luther's defeat. -- Excommunication: On 15 June 1520, the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull (edict) Exsurge Domine that he risked excommunication unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the 95 Theses, within 60 days. That autumn, Johann Eck proclaimed the bull in Meissen and other towns. Karl von Miltitz, a papal nuncio, attempted to broker a solution, but Luther, who had sent the Pope a copy of On the Freedom of a Christian in October, publicly set fire to the bull and decretals at Wittenberg on 10 December 1520, an act he defended in Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned and Assertions Concerning All Articles. As a consequence, Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on 3 January 1521, in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem. [article link]

How to Convert [Basic Christian] RSS Feeds into PDF Documents using Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most used PDF viewers. **It also has a feed reader using which you can access and read your RSS subscriptions. A special feature which most of us don't us is that you can use it to convert RSS feeds into PDF documents. This option is available by default in Acrobat 8, but strangely enough disabled by default in Acrobat 9. To change this, • Go to Edit > Preferences scroll down to the Tracker category and under RSS • Check Enable RSS Feed In Tracker. • Now copy the URL of the feed onto your clipboard. • Then go to Comments > Track Reviews > RSS. • Click on 'Subscribe to RSS feeds'. A prompt will open where the feed URL will already be pasted. If not paste the URL in this field, and click OK. A number of entries will appear, choose which ones you want to save into a PDF and click OK. That's it and you will get your RSS feeds as PDF documents which you can share or store. {Using Adobe Acrobat Reader Go to "Forms" then "Track Forms..." then "RSS" and after the feed link has been provided (via link in right window pane) Right Click on the Feed Title (in the left window pane) and select the "Convert to PDF" option.} [article link]

Converted: Basic Christian Extended RSS Feed (PDF)

Basic Christian 2011 Extended Version - News-Info Feed. [article link]

Converted: Basic Christian RSS Feed - blog Bible Study (PDF)

Basic Christian: blog Bible Study - Genesis - Revelation. [article link]

Converted: Basic Christian RSS Feed - blog History Study (PDF)

Basic Christian: blog History Study - The 8 Kingdoms of the World. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 1 of 3) Pope Leo X: 11 December 1475 - 1 December 1521, born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, [made a Cardinal at the age of 13] was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest (only a deacon) to be elected Pope - He is known for granting indulgences [selling a type of sin tithe] for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses - He was the second son of Lorenzo de' Medici, the most famous ruler of the Florentine Republic, and Clarice Orsini - His cousin, Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, would later succeed him as Pope Clement VII (1523-34) {As an Occult infiltrator [concerned with money, power and destroying Christianity] of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Leo X was primarily involved in stripping money from Churches and individuals affiliated with Rome and appropriating the money for his own use. Pope Leo X used four schemes to gain wealth 1. Starting an overpriced building project [reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica] by taxing other churches. 2. Began the selling of 'indulgences' [licenses to sin] to individuals. 3. Initiating finances for a military Crusade against the Middle-East. 4. The selling of church offices, positions and even the belongings for huge sums of money to unqualified an unworthy individuals.}

Spendthrift [primarily on things not directly benefiting or advancing the Christian message and Gospel of Jesus Christ]: Leo's lively interest in art and literature, to say nothing of his natural liberality, his alleged nepotism, his political ambitions and necessities, and his immoderate personal luxury, exhausted within two years the hard savings of [Pope] Julius II, and precipitated a financial crisis from which he never emerged and which was a direct cause of most of what, from a papal point of view, were calamities of his pontificate. -- He sold cardinals' hats. He sold membership in the "Knights of Peter". He borrowed large sums from bankers, curials, princes and Jews. The Venetian ambassador Gradenigo estimated the paying number of offices on Leo's death at 2,150, with a capital value of nearly 3,000,000 ducats (about 132 million dollars in 2010 dollars) and a yearly income of 328,000 ducats ($14,432,000.00). -- The ordinary income of the pope for the year 1517 had been reckoned at about 580,000 ducats ($2,552,000.00) [around $44 each ducat coin in 2010 dollars], of which 420,000 came from the States of the Church, 100,000 from annates, and 60,000 from the composition tax instituted by Sixtus IV. These sums, together with the *considerable amounts accruing from indulgences, jubilees, and special fees, *vanished as quickly as they were received. Then the pope resorted to pawning palace furniture, table plate, jewels, even statues of the apostles. Several banking firms and many individual creditors were ruined by the death of Leo. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 2 of 3) Pope Leo X: Plans for a [power grabbing] Crusade - A truce was to be proclaimed throughout Christendom; the pope was to be the arbiter of disputes; the emperor and the king of France were to lead the army; England, Spain and Portugal were to furnish the fleet; and the combined forces were to be directed against Constantinople - Papal diplomacy in the interests of peace failed

Plans for a Crusade: The war of Urbino was further marked by a crisis in the relations between pope and cardinals. The sacred college had allegedly grown especially worldly and troublesome since the time of Sixtus IV, and Leo took advantage of a plot of several of its members to poison him, not only to inflict exemplary punishments by executing one and imprisoning several others, but also to make a radical change in the college. -- On 3 July 1517 he published the names of thirty-one new cardinals, a number almost unprecedented in the history of the papacy. Among the nominations were such notable men such as Lorenzo Campeggio, Giambattista Pallavicini, Adrian of Utrecht, Thomas Cajetan, Cristoforo Numai and Egidio Canisio. The naming of seven members of prominent Roman families, however, reversed the policy of his predecessor which had kept the political factions of the city out of the Curia. Other promotions were for political or family considerations or to secure money for the war against Urbino. The pope was accused of having exaggerated the conspiracy of the cardinals for purposes of financial gain, but most of such accusations appear unsubstantiated. -- Leo, meanwhile, felt the need of staying the advance of the Ottoman sultan, Selim I, who was threatening western Europe, and made elaborate plans for a crusade. A truce was to be proclaimed throughout Christendom; the pope was to be the arbiter of disputes; the emperor and the king of France were to lead the army; England, Spain and Portugal were to furnish the fleet; and the combined forces were to be directed against Constantinople. Papal diplomacy in the interests of peace failed, however; Cardinal Wolsey made England, not the pope, the arbiter between France and the Empire; and much of the money collected for the crusade from tithes and indulgences was spent in other ways. -- In 1519 Hungary concluded a three years' truce with Selim I, but the succeeding sultan, Suleyman the Magnificent, renewed the war in June 1521 and on 28 August captured the citadel of Belgrade. The pope was greatly alarmed, and although he was then involved in war with France he sent about 30,000 ducats to the Hungarians. -- Leo treated the Uniate Greeks with great loyalty, and by bull of 18 May 1521 forbade Latin clergy to celebrate mass in Greek churches and Latin bishops to ordain Greek clergy. These provisions were later strengthened by Clement VII and Paul III and went far to settle the constant disputes between the Latins and Uniate Greeks. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} (Part 3 of 3) Pope Leo X: Protestant Reformation and last years - Leo was disturbed throughout his pontificate by schism, especially the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther - In response to concerns about [priest-pastor] misconduct from some servants of the church

In 1517 Martin Luther read his Ninety-Five Theses on the topic of indulgences in the church courtyard at Wittenberg. Students took the theses, translated them from Latin to German, and through the printing press they spread throughout Europe. Within two weeks, the theses had spread throughout Germany, and after two months they had spread throughout Europe. Leo failed to fully comprehend the importance of the movement, and in February 1518 he directed the vicar-general of the Augustinians to impose silence on his monks. -- On 30 May, Luther sent an explanation of his theses to the pope; on 7 August he was summoned to appear at Rome. An arrangement was effected, however, whereby that summons was cancelled, and Luther went instead to Augsburg in October 1518 to meet the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan; but neither the arguments of the cardinal, nor Leo's dogmatic papal bull of 9 November requiring all Christians to believe in the pope's power to grant indulgences, moved Luther to retract. A year of fruitless negotiations followed, during which the controversy took popular root across the German States. -- A further papal bull of 15 June 1520, Exsurge Domine or Arise, O Lord, condemned forty-one propositions extracted from Luther's teachings, and was taken to Germany by Eck in his capacity as apostolic nuncio. Leo followed by formally excommunicating Luther by the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem or It Pleases the Roman Pontiff, on 3 January 1521. In a brief the Pope also directed Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor to take energetic measures against heresy. -- It was also under Leo that Lutheranism spread into Scandinavia. The pope had repeatedly used the rich northern benefices to reward members of the Roman curia, and towards the close of the year 1516 he sent the impolitic Arcimboldi as papal nuncio to Denmark to collect money for St Peter's. This led to the Reformation in Denmark-Norway and Holstein. King Christian II took advantage of the growing dissatisfaction of the native clergy toward the papal government, and of Arcimboldi's interference in the Swedish revolt, to expel the nuncio and summon Lutheran theologians to Copenhagen in 1520. Christian approved a plan by which a formal state church should be established in Denmark, all appeals to Rome should be abolished, and the king and diet should have final jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes. Leo sent a new nuncio to Copenhagen (1521) in the person of the Minorite Francesco de Potentia, who readily absolved the king and received the rich bishopric of Skara. The pope or his legate, however, took no steps to remove abuses or otherwise reform the Scandinavian churches. --- Having fallen ill with malaria, Pope Leo X died on December 1, 1521, so suddenly that the last sacraments could not be administered; but the contemporary suspicions of poison were unfounded. He was buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - The Medici Family [generally considered the most Occult family of Medieval Europe] - Other Prominent Medici were *Pope Leo X (1475-1521); Pope Clement VII (1478-1534); Catherine (1519-1589), wife of [King] Henry II of France; and Marie (1573-1642), wife of [King] Henry IV of France and regent for their son [King] Louis XIII [Note: this is also the important and historic timeframe of the general discovery of America by the Italian born explorer Christopher Columbus in his 1492 voyage from Spain to America (Bahamas).]

Medici, an Italian family of merchants and bankers who ruled the republic of Florence through economic power and personal influence. By their patronage of the arts they made Florence the center of the Italian Renaissance. The Medici were created dukes of Florence by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1531, and grand dukes of Tuscany by Emperor Maximilian II in 1575. The last Medici grand duke was deposed by the Austrians in 1737. Important members of the Medici family included the following. Giovanni De' Medici: (1360-1429) established the family fortune and made himself ruler of Florence's merchant oligarchy. Cosimo De' Medici: (1389-1464), his son, used his banking business to gain political power and led Florence in a long period of prosperity and artistic achievement. Lorenzo the Magnificent: (1449-1492), grandson of Cosimo, gained fame as a statesman and patron of arts and letters. He was recognized as a poet himself and was largely responsible for the Tuscan dialect becoming the national speech of Italy. Cosimo (I) the Great: (1519-1574) succeeded to the dukedom in 1537 and ruled as a despot. He restored the duchy of Tuscany by conquering the other republics that had been part of it. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - The [two] Medici Popes - Pope Leo X [1513 - 1521] known for being the Pope that challenged Martin Luther's [1517 A.D.] 95 Theses -- Pope Clement VII [1523 - 1534] (Medici cousin of Pope Leo X) known for being Pope during the sacking of Rome in 1527 A.D. [The (Occult) Medici (family), led by (Pope) Clement, had tried to play everyone off against each other and had made everyone their enemy -- at least temporarily - source: mmdtkw.org/VSackRome.html]

Pope Leo X - Giovanni de'Medici, 1475 - 1513 - 1521: Giovanni de'Medici, second son of Lorenzo and younger brother of the fatuous Piero, became the first of the Medici Popes (Leo X - Leone Decimo) at the age of 38 on 11 March 1513. Prior to this his life had been a complete roller coaster. Brought up in Medici luxury alongside Michelangelo (who was included in the Medici household by Lorenzo), older brother Piero and cousin Giulio (who was adopted by Lorenzo after his father (who was Lorenzo's brother) was killed in the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478), he had access to the incomes of several wealthy monasteries, including Badia a Passignano, and was made a Cardinal at the age of 13. All this came to an abrupt end in 1494 when, in the wake of Lorenzo's death, the incompetent surrender of his brother Piero the Fatuous to the French, and the ensuing Savanorola stirred turbulence, he had to sneak out of Florence dressed as a Franciscan Friar, and then live in hiding with his cousin for the next decade, latterly being protected by the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian (who ironically was to be a major cause of the collapse of the Bruges branch of the Medici Bank) and then by the dreadful Cesare Borgia and his father Pope Alessandro VI (1431 - 1492 - 1503 (72)) in Rome. ... Pope Clement VII Giulio de'Medici, 1478 - 1523 - 1534 (56) Illegitimate son of Lorenzo's (Pazzi murdered) brother Giuliano, adopted son of Lorenzo, and companion in exile to Lorenzo's son Giovanni (Leo X), who was three years his senior, Giulio de'Medici became Pope Clement VII (Clemente Settimo). He was good looking, intellectually sophisticated, a talented musician and a political disaster. In reality he also faced the legacy of the corrupt practices of his cousin Leo X, and the impossible task of operating in the emergent nation state Europe dominated by Charles V, Francis I, and Henry VIII (whom he excommunicated), and threatened by Suleiman the Magnificent, plus Martin Luther dealing the protestants into the game as well - see Insight Page. He lost England, and was humiliated by having to flee in disguise from Rome when it was barbarically sacked by Charles V's rabble army after Clement mistakenly got too close to flashy Francis I of France. [article link]

{Occult Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church} The Revised Roman Empire - 'Occult' power: the politics of witchcraft and superstition in Renaissance Florence - In Florence, how did one family--the Medici--secure their power after over a century of struggle, and how did they come to construct a myth of their own legitimacy? (Book)

Lawrence's interpretation, however narrow and flawed, does highlight an indisputable element of Grazzini's tale of Dr. Manente: its cruelty and "monstrosity," traits that, I will argue, provide insight into the social structures of the mid-sixteenth century, particularly those that rely upon coersion and force. In Florence, how did one family--the Medici--secure their power after over a century of struggle, and how did they come to construct a myth of their own legitimacy? ... It is important to remember that, from 1494--when the friar himself gained widespread support and offered a major threat to the rule of the Medici family--until long after his execution in 1498, Savonarola bequeathed a powerful religious and political vision that was not dependent on his leadership for survival--a fact that fascinated the political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli. Savonarola's followers--called the Piagnoni first by their enemies and later, proudly, by themselves--remained politically active after his execution, through the Republic that lasted until 1513, when the first Medici pope, Leo X, used the considerable influence of this position to help his family and their allies to return to Florence, and again after the sack of Rome in 1527, which occurred during the pontificate of another Medici, Clement VII. The Piagnoni continued to be active even after the Medici, first Alessandro and then Cosimo I, openly turned Florence onto the path of absolutism [unlimited, centralized authority and absolute sovereignty] by accepting the [nobility] title of Duke. ... Lorenzo's manipulation of the Church comes into play in the next phase of the beffa. ... At this point, Grazzini emphasizes not only that many friars and priests were ignorant, but, more importantly, that the kind of people Lorenzo elevated to positions of power in the Florentine church hierarchy were either superstitious [occult] or corrupt, criticisms that Savonarola also often made of the Medici.
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