Arise O Lord and judge thy cause! A wild boar invades thy vineyard!
~ Leo, excommunicating Martin Luther.

Pope Leo X was an antagonist in the 1953 film Martin Luther.

Leo was portrayed by Philip Leaver.

History Edit

In 1513 Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici was elected Pope. Leo wanted to continue on with the building of the new St. Peter's Basilica. Leo felt that God had given him the papacy and that he should enjoy the benefits of the office.

When Albert of Mainz sent his brother to present his desire to become a Bishop of a third German town, Leo told his brother that Albert would need to pay for that privilege. Bankers loaned Albert the money to pay Leo the money required. Leo in turn sent the indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel to work over the German towns in order to gain funds so that Albert could pay back the loans.

Meanwhile a young German theologian named Martin Luther became disgusted with the whole idea of indulgences being sold. He posted his 95 theses on the door of a local Cathedral, and sent a copy to Albert. Luther's writings were all in Latin, and were intended to be for scholarly debate among academics. What he didn't plan on was having the theses copied down, translated into German, printed, and then distributed across Germany. When the theses caused indulgence sales to fall off Albert sent the letter and the 95 theses he received on to Leo.

Leo was not happy that a man he considered to be a drunk little German monk was making so much trouble and putting such a dent in the indulgence business. Leo ordered that Luther be forbidden to continue his activities, however this did not stop Luther.

Luther continued to write against indulgences, and further expanded his writings - attacking the papacy and expressing an ideal of each person being a priest before God. Leo then decided to excommunicate the German monk and ordered his works be burned, followed by Luther himself.

Cardinal Aleander was sent to the court of Frederick the Wise in order to demand that Luther be turned over to the church. Frederick refused and instead stated that Luther would be tried before the Imperial Diet in Worms. Luther stood up to both the church and Emperor Charles V. Luther was kidnapped by Frederick after the Diet to keep either Leo and his people or Charles and his people from murdering the young German monk. Luther stayed in hiding for about a year until a series of uprisings forced him to come out of hiding and confront Andreas Karlstadt - who was using his words to incite violence. Meanwhile Leo died a few months after the Diet had been held.