Papal nuncio Jerome Aleander 

The Views of Papal Nuncio Jerome Aleander on Martin Luther's Appeal to Caesar
(December 1520)

As for myself, I would gladly confront this Satan, but the authority of the Holy See should not be prejudiced by subjection to the judgment of the laity. One who has been condemned by the pope, the cardinals, and prelates should be heard only in prison. The laity, including the emperor, are not in a position to review the case. The only competent judge is the pope. How can the Church be called the ship of Peter if Peter is not at the helm? How can she be the ark of Noah if Noah is not the captain? If Luther wants to be heard, he can have a safe conduct to Rome. Or His Majesty might send him to the inquisitors in Spain. He can perfectly well recant where he is and then come to the diet to be forgiven. He asks for a place which is not suspect. What place to him is not suspect, unless it be Germany? What judges would he accept unless Hutten and the poets! Has the Catholic Church been dead for a thousand years to be revived only by Martin? Has the whole world gone wrong and Martin only has the eyes to see?

(Source: Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950)(Hendrickson, p. 166).

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