Leipzig Interim

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The Leipzig Interim was one of several temporary settlements between the Emperor Charles V and German Protestants following the Schmalkaldic War. It was drawn up in November 1545 as the Interim of Zella or Small interim and adopted as the Leipzig Articles, Leipzig interim or Great interim in December.

The earlier Augsburg Interim of 1548 met with strong opposition on the Lutheran side. In order to make it less objectionable, a modification was introduced by Melanchthon and other Protestant theologians, commissioned by Elector Maurice of Saxony. In a meeting held at Alt Zella in November, 1548, they explained in a Protestant sense what they considered essential points of doctrine, e.g. justification and others. They accepted the non-essentials or adiaphora, such as confirmation, Mass, the use of candles, vestments, holy days, etc.

The document then drawn up became known as the Interim of Zella, or the Small Interim. In the diet held at Leipzig in December, 1548, it was adopted by the estates of the Electorate of Saxony, and was then called the Interim of Leipzig, or the Great Interim.

The Leipzig Interim was harder to enforce on the Catholic side than the Augsburg interim, and caused a split in the Protestant side between Philippists and Gnesio-Lutherans, the so-called adiaphora controversies. In 1552 renewed fighting led to the Peace of Passau and finally the 1555 Augsburg Settlement.

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.