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Myconius on Tetzel

Page history last edited by nathan rein 10 years, 5 months ago

An account of indulgence-selling, by Friedrich Myconius (a minister in the town of Gotha, not far from Wittenberg, who was sympathetic to Luther)

At that time a Dominican monk named Johann Tetzel was the great mouthpiece, commissioner and preacher of indulgences in Germany. His preaching raised enormous sums of money which were sent to Rome. This was particularly the case in the mining town of Annaberg, where I, Frederick Myconius, listened to him for over two years. The claims of this shameful monk were unbelievable. Thus he said that if some had slept with Christís dear mother, the pope had power in heaven and earth to forgive the sin, as long as money was put into the indulgence coffer, and, if he forgave it, God must do so also. He furthermore said that if they would put money quickly into the coffer, all the mountains near Annaberg would turn into pure silver. He claimed that in the very moment the coin rang in the coffer, the soul rose up to heaven. The indulgence was so highly prized, that when the commissary entered a city, the Bull was borne on a satin or gold-embroidered cushion, and all the priests and monks, the town council, schoolmaster, scholars, men, women, maidens, and children, went out to meet him with banners and tapers, with songs and procession. Then all the bells were rung, all the organs played, he was conducted into the church, and the Popeís banner displayed. God himself could not have been welcomed and entertained with greater honor. In sum, and substance: God was no longer God, as he had bestowed all divine power on the pope.

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