In order to fund renovation in the early 16th century to the St Peter’s Basilica, special pardons of written forgiveness began being sold by priests throughout Germany. Official absolution was found and granted through the purchase of these ‘indulgences’.
A saying attributed to Johann Tetzel, a priest who begun selling these in Germany, says that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.”
The German priest and Professor of Theology, Martin Luther, aghast when he saw these letters amongst his parishioners in 1517 wrote to his superior and included what became known as his ‘Ninety Five Theses’ in opposition to this practice and other practices of the Catholic Church.
History tells that this writing was also nailed to the door of Luther’s Church door. Several months later the original script, which was written in Latin, was translated into German and printed by a number of printers using the technology that Guttenberg had created to first print the Bible in 1455.
Here the Protestant Reformation and the family tree of a completely new world history was born.