Diet of Worms

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Worms, Diet of,

1521, most famous of the imperial diets held at Worms, Germany. It was opened in Jan., 1521, by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
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. After disposing of other business, notably the question of the ReichsregimentReichsregiment
[Ger.,=government of the empire], imperial council created by the Diet of Augsburg in 1500. It was intended to form the executive branch of the government of the Holy Roman Empire.
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, the diet took up the question of the recalcitrant behavior of Martin LutherLuther, Martin,
1483–1546, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, b. Eisleben, Saxony, of a family of small, but free, landholders. Early Life and Spiritual Crisis

Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ.
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. Charles was induced to summon Luther, who arrived at Worms under a safe-conduct on Apr. 16. At the diet Luther was asked if he would retract his teachings condemned by the pope. After a day's meditation he refused. For a week various theologians argued with him, but he would not retire from his ground. According to tradition Luther ended his defense on Apr. 18 with the words, "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen." Finally, on Apr. 26, the emperor, seeing that the dispute was fruitless, ordered Luther to leave the city. He was formally declared an outlaw in the Edict of Worms (May 25); the lines of the Reformation were thereby hardened.
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