The year 1520 was a watershed for Martin Luther. On June 15, Pope Leo X had issued his papal bull Exsurge Domine condemning Luther's teaching. Luther's To the Christian Nobility appeared in August and by the end of this same year, he produced two more significant works. It is in this work To the Christian Nobility Luther argues that the Roman Catholic Church had made itself impervious to reform, therefore he urges the princes Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain, Henry VIII of England, Frederick III of Saxony (just to name a few) - all powerful political leaders of their time, to take ecclesiastical reform into their own hands.

By December Luther's patience had run out and in frustration he burned the papal Bull issued by Leo X - this left the pope no othe alternative than to pronounce in January of 1521, Luther's excommunication from the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Luther is the Wittenberg reformer solely credited for beginning the Protestant Reformation.

By the time of his death, a Lutheran Church was well established over large areas of Germany. Lutheranism is the religious belief held by the oldest, and in Europe the most numerous, of the Protestant sects. Today, over 75 million people belong to Lutheran churches, to be sure - Luther and his religious ideologies have had a significant influence on contemporary culture.
To the Christian Nobility