Nuggets from "Whatever Happened to Heaven?" by Dave Hunt |

Hunt, Dave

Nuggets from "Whatever Happened to Heaven?" by Dave Hunt

Pope Leo X issued a papal bull authorizing the sale of indulgences in Saxony, under which half the money (after commissions) went to [Archbishop] Albert and the other half to the Fuggers [a wealthy banking family in Augsburg]....It was a blatant financial arrangement, the source of funds being the shrinking pocketbooks of the poor souls who believed they were thereby purchasing valid forgiveness of their sins and a shortened time in purgatory. Albert put the program in the capable hands of a Dominican monk named Johann Tetzel, whose high-pressure sales tactics made the scheme work....Tetzel was paid about $1,000 per month plus expenses, which was an incredibly large sum in those days....Martin Luther's famous Ninety-Five Theses, which were nailed in anger to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, were mainly an attack against the abuse of the indulgence system such as Tetzel represented, though not against the doctrine of indulgences itself. Luther had not yet gone that far in his thinking but would soon be forced to break completely with Rome when it refused all appeals for reformation.