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