At this time, the youngest son of Lorenzo de'Medici was named Pope Leo X in Rome. His intentions were to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica, which would cost millions of dollars. He made this money by selling high-powered jobs in the church and indulgences (pardons for sins).
Then, Martin Luther began teaching at the University of Wittenberg, where his students and other professors listened to his new ideas.
You are now Pope Leo X!
Luther absolutely despised the selling of indulgences. He believed it was a sign of greed and corruption within the church. To share his ideas, he wrote ninety-five arguments that opposed indulgences in Latin. He called this document the Ninety-five These, and he nailed it to the church door of the University of Wittenberg.
Only faith and God's mercy can save a person.
By putting up the Ninety-five These, Martin Luther made protests arise all across Europe. Then it was translated into German, so multiple people could read his ideas. Over-taxed peasants were satisfied with the way he was attacking the greed of the church. Luther's idea that all believers were equal held was just as powerful as his view on money. Pope Leo X did not particularly enjoy these ideas, though.
Luther is a wild boar who has invaded the Lord's vineyard.
Infuriated, the pope lashed out with a papal bull (an edict issued by a pope). The papal bull required all church officials to burn Luther's writings and that anyone who followed Luther's ways was a heretic. In response, Martin Luther gathered students, townspeople, and fellow professors to set a copy of the papal bull ablaze.
After this, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther, taking away his membership in the church. In 1521, Martin Luther was ordered to appear before the Diet of Worms, knights and representatives from various towns and regions that gathered in Worms, Germany. He had been told he would remain unharmed, so he went to Worms as a result, where he refused to recant and was given 21 days of safety before one could harm him. He had been declared both a heretic and a criminal.
I will not recant.
A good friend of Luther's, Prince Frederick of Saxony arranged for five five horsemen to pretend to kidnap Luther, leading to people believe he was dead. For ten months, he hid in the castle the horsemen had taken him to. Martin Luther had inspired people to leave the Catholic Church and protest against the practices of the church. Wars broke out, and many people were burned or hanged over these issues. Eventually, in 1546, Martin Luther died, having wrote over 60,000 pages.