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  • Simony is the sin of attempting to buy or sell an office of the Church or a sacrament. The word "simony" does indeed come from the name Simon, but not from the name Simon Peter. It comes from the name of Simon the magician, who had heard the preaching of Philip in Samaria and had accepted baptism.
  • One day he went, under the influence of these feelings, to the Church of the Lateran. There is the Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs, which tradition says Christ descended on retiring from the hall of judgment, where Pilate had passed sentence upon him. These stairs are of marble, and the work of conveying them from Jerusalem to Rome was reported to have been undertaken and executed by the angels, who have so often rendered similar services to the Church - Our Lady's House at Loretto for example. The stairs so transported were enshrined in the Palace of the Lateran, and every one who climbs them on his knees merits an indulgence of fifteen years for each ascent.
  • The pope has no power over Purgatory.
  • Selling indulgences to finance the building of St. Peter's is wrong.
  • By making a monetary contribution to the church, a penitent would receive a partial indulgence not to commit further sins, while at the same time, diminishing the time period that he/she was to suffer in PURGATORY for remission of his sins. Most people do not understand that an indulgence did not cancel sins. Only a priest during a confession session could absolve a truly repentant penitent.
  • The Imperial Diet ('Assembly') of Worms (in Germany), May 1521, presided over by Emperor Charles V. At the diet Luther was asked if he would retract his teachings condemned by the Pope (to include his 95 Theses). After a day's meditation he refused. "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen." According to tradition Luther ended his defense on Apr. 18 with the words, "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen." Finally, on Apr. 26, the emperor, seeing that the dispute was fruitless, ordered Luther to leave the city. He was formally declared an outlaw in the Edict. Even though he was promised safe conduct, it was secretly understood that he was to be taken on his way. However Prince Frederick the Wise, of Saxony, got to him first and hid him in Wartburg Castle, where Luther spent his time translating the New Testament into German, the common language.
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