Saturday, August 07, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): The Emperor's Response


This is the response - dated Summer 1337 - from Emperor Ludwig IV to the November 12, 1336 declaration issued by Pope Benedict XII.

"My Excommunication and Related Matters"


Holy Father:

In response to your recent missive I have several statements to make:

Primus, I begin with my mistake. I committed a grave error when I interfered with the authority of he Church by marching on Rome and ensuing events. I am truly sorry for these acts; I beg forgiveness; and promise not to so interfere again.

Secundus, and likewise, I believe the Church has made an error in interfering with the election of the Eperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Our Prince Electors are willing to defend the rights and freedom of the Imperial Dignity, which they declared are not the creation of the Pope but are derived directly from God. We assert that no papal confirmation or approval is necessary for the election of our Emperor and that Pope John XXII's various sentences of excommunication passed upon me were unjust.

Tertius, I believe to some degree that the Church can have a role in mediating such earthly matters as elections. However, I also believe that this role has been far exceeded by the Church’s arbitrary declarations in the case at hand.

Moreover, the issue is past and moot. It is clear that my people support me, and that my excommunication and the Church’s continued interference in the internal affars of the Holy Roman Empire hurts its people and has accomplished nothing.

I pray that you will reconsider this points, Holy Father, and to grant an end to my punishment. I long to be held in the embrace of the Church once again.

Yours in Faith,
Ludwig von Bayern IV

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