User:Gamonetus/Conference of Worms

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New article name is Conference of Worms


Conference of 1540-41: The Hagenau Conference having proved ineffective, a new one was called for Oct. 28 of the same year (1540). Pope Paul III decided to have as his representative a man not a cardinal, and appointed Tommaso Campeggio, bishop of Feltre. His instructions emphasized the grace of the pope in accepting a conference of this kind, which he so abhorred, and directed that the authority of the Curia be guarded and all proposals be reserved for papal decision. Cardinal Giovanni Morone, the nuncio, also appeared, his purpose being to obstruct the conference as much as possible. Pietro Paolo Vergerio came ostensibly as the French representative, really in the secret service of the pope to encourage the return of Protestants to the Church. Philipp Melanchthon set on foot on Oct. 22 in Gotha a protest against the claim of the pope to precedence and to the ultimate decision in such a conference. His own instructions were definite to refuse recognition of the papal supremacy, and warned of the danger of cleavage in Protestant ranks in case certain positions should not be maintained. The Protestants were to stand by the Schmalcald conclusions. The members of the conference arrived promptly, but the emperor's representative delayed his arrival till Nov. 22. Roman Catholics of note deputed were Frederick Nausea, Johann Cochlaeus, Julius von Pflug, Ambrosius Pelargus, Johannes Gropper, Johannes Eck, and Johannes Mensing, while for the Evangelicals appeared Jakob Sturm, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, John Calvin, Wenceslaus Linck, Andreas Osiander, Erhard Schnepf, Johannes Brenz, and Nicholas von Amsdorf. Representatives of Mainz, Bavaria, Electorate of the Palatinate, and Strasbourg were to officiate as presidents. The Evangelicals used the delay in cementing a united front. On Nov. 25 Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle opened the conference. To the Evangelicals it was suggested that they submit in writing what they proposed to hold, to which they replied by submitting the Augsburg Confession and Apology.

The real beginning of the conference was continually postponed, and on Dec. 8 Campeggio appeared and spoke of the zeal of the pope for a healing of the religious divisions, and to this assent was given without mention of the pope. The Evangelicals opposed the delivery of the summaries of action to the emperor alone, and demanded that each side receive an original set of documents, though they finally agreed to accept certified copies. The Roman Catholic party was not in agreement as to the measures to be adopted. It seemed as though the conference was going to pieces upon the question of the form of interchange of proposals. Granvelle had from the beginning no confidence in a public conference, and endeavored to get some individuals from the Protestant side to consent to more private proceedings and so to enable a compromise to be reached. On Jan. 2, 1541, the proposition was put forward that each of the eleven participants should speak together with the chief speaker for each side, the notaries to take down the chief points; on this the Evangelicals were not at one, Melanchthon and Bucer seeking to mediate, the effect of Granvelle's astute policy being seen in this attitude, the result being the anger of Osiander, who saw that some secret understanding was obtained. The Protestants desired that each of the participants should have free speech. Granvelle sought from the emperor authority to close the conference, but on Jan. 14 the conference began with Eck as the Roman Catholic speaker. He excused the delay on the ground that the Confession (of 1540) laid before them differed from that of 1530 and that comparison had required time, to which Melanchthon replied that they were essentially the same. Eck practically passed article 1, and began debate on article 2 dealing with original sin, upon which he and Melanchthon disputed till the 17th, when Granvelle called both, together with Mensing and Bucer, to a meeting, where the four agreed upon a formula which the Evangelicals could accept. Meanwhile, on the day before Granvelle had received orders from the emperor to close the conference, and on Jan. 18, when further proceedings were to be carried on, the president declared that the emperor had ordered, since no progress had been made, that the matters be deferred to the coming diet, and the conference was abruptly broken off.


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