Luther against the sale of indulgences by the pope
The decisive start of the Protestant Reformation started on October 31, 1517 when the Augustinian monk, Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg in the German state of Saxony.
Martin Luther was a monk scholar. He was a doctor in theology and a professor at the university of Wittenberg. He had strong beliefs in the salvation of man and he did not agree to the sale of indulgences (remission to the stay in purgatory) .
In Luther’s time papal indulgences were being sold not only for the living but also for the dead. As soon as the money in the coffin rings, “the soul from purgatory springs to heaven,” was a common saying of the times.
In 1517, the Dominican Friar, Tetzel, went to Jitterbug near Wittenberg to sell indulgences on behalf of the pope. Tetzel used all his skills as a salesman and the people flocked to him. Luther was indignant and he nailed his 95 points on the wall of the church of Wittenberg. Through his these he pointed out the excesses and abuses of the Church.
Aided by the newly invented press the new ideas of Luther did not take long to reach the other parts of Germany.
….Luther felt that salvation could be granted by faith alone, and not by priestly or papal absolution as confirmed by the Bible.
Luther was excommunicated and a new Church begins. He was aided by Zwingli in Switzerland. He too preached against the indulgences and he too agreed with Luther in removing all vestiges of the roman catholic Church –images, crucifixes, clerical garb, even liturgical music.