Edict of Worms

The Edict of Worms took place during The Diet of Worms in 1521. The Diet of Worms is the most famous of the imperial diets held at Worms, Germany. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conducted the Diet of Worms from January 28, 1521 to May 25, 1521.

After disposing of other business, notably the question of the Reichsregiment, Diet of Worms took up the question of the defiant behavior of Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546). Martin Luther was a German monk, professor, theologian, church reformer, and Father of Protestantism. His ideas influenced the Protestant Reformation, changing the course of Western civilization. The Diet of Worms addressed this situation during what was called The Edict of Worms.

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Charles V. was prompted to summon Luther, who arrived at Worms under a safe-conduct on April 16, 1521. At the Edict of Worms, Martin Luther was asked if he would retract his teachings, which were condemned by the pope. After a day’s meditation he refused. For one week, various theologians argued with him, but Luther stood his ground. According to tradition, Luther ended his defense on April 18, 1521 with the words, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.” Finally, on April 26, 1521, the emperor, seeing that the conflict was futile, ordered Martin Luther to leave the city. Luther was formally declared an outlaw in the Edict of Worms (May 25); the lines of the Reformation were thereby hardened.


“Diet of Worms.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 8 Jan. 2009 .

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